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Thursday’s top tech news: A prime Nintendo showing

Yesterday’s Nintendo Direct showcase was a doozy. As well as new trailers for upcoming games like Pikmin 4 and The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, the company revealed the long-rumored Metroid Prime remaster, and casually announced it would be available later that same day. Alongside it, Nintendo also surprise-released an initial crop of Game Boy and Game Boy Advance games for its Switch online service. What delightful surprises.

Less delightful was Twitter’s performance yesterday, after the Elon Musk-owned social media network suffered technical issues that stopped people from tweeting, and broke DMs and TweetDeck. As Elon Musk would say, “Concerning.”

In lieu of a tweet, here’s a silly Mastodon post to start your day:

Stay tuned, as we continue to update this list with the most important news of today: Thursday, February 9th, 2023.
  • Here’s how you can preorder the new Zelda for $49.99

    Link, wearing a blue cloak, kneels down at the edge of an island, hovering above the clouds. Other sky islands float in the background.
    Though you’re going to miss out on owning this excellent box art in physical form.
    Image: Nintendo

    Are you hyped for the impending launch of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom but still a little miffed about it being the first $70 Nintendo Switch game? If you’re a Nintendo Switch Online subscriber, there’s something you can do about that. By buying Nintendo’s digital game vouchers, you can effectively preorder your digital copy of the new Zelda for just $49.99.

    The Nintendo Switch Game Vouchers cost $99.98 for two, each of which is redeemable for a qualifying full-price game on the eShop. The game list includes preorders like the upcoming Zelda, Pikmin 4, and recent hits that haven’t seen many discounts yet — such as Splatoon 3. If you pay $99.98 for the two vouchers and use one to preorder Tears of the Kingdom ($69.99) and the other on a game like Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp ($59.99), then you’re paying $49.99 for each and saving a total of $30.

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  • Justine Calma

    Feb 9, 2023

    Justine Calma

    Neuralink probed for allegedly transporting contaminated devices removed from monkey brains

    A monkey and his Pong
    A monkey with a Neuralink implanted in its brain.
    The Verge

    Elon Musk’s brain implant company is under investigation by the US Department of Transportation (USDOT) after allegations surfaced today that it may have illegally transported pathogen-laced devices removed from monkeys.

    An animal welfare group raised concerns in a letter sent to the USDOT today asking it to investigate Musk’s company Neuralink “for violations of the federal hazardous material transportation law and fine it accordingly.”

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  • Mitchell Clark

    Feb 9, 2023

    Mitchell Clark

    Kraken pays a $30 million fine and shuts down crypto staking in the US

    A coin is set aflame to reveal a digital wireframe underneath.
    Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

    Kraken will end its crypto staking program in the US and pay $30 million in penalties as part of a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The regulator charged the company with selling unregistered securities through its “crypto asset staking-as-a-service program.” It’s been clear for a while now that the SEC was planning to clamp down on crypto yield programs. In 2021, it got into a spat with Coinbase over the exchange’s plans to launch a lending feature in the US, and last year, it (and several states) settled with BlockFi for $100 million over the company’s interest accounts.

    Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong tweeted concern about “rumors” the SEC would like to get rid of crypto staking in the US, claiming it’s “important innovation” and “not a security” — important since labeling it that way makes these businesses and potentially proof-of-stake blockchain operations like Ethereum 2.0 — subject to much stricter laws.

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  • Feb 9, 2023

    Zoë Schiffer and Casey Newton

    Elon Musk’s reach on Twitter is dropping — he just fired a top engineer over it

    Elon Musk shown looking downward in front of upside-down Twitter logos.
    Illustration by Laura Normand / The Verge

    For weeks now, Elon Musk has been preoccupied with worries about how many people are seeing his tweets. Last week, the Twitter CEO took his Twitter account private for a day to test whether that might boost the size of his audience. The move came after several prominent right-wing accounts that Musk interacts with complained that recent changes to Twitter had reduced their reach.

    On Tuesday, Musk gathered a group of engineers and advisors into a room at Twitter’s headquarters looking for answers. Why are his engagement numbers tanking?

    Read Article >
  • Richard Lawler

    Feb 9, 2023

    Richard Lawler

    You might be able to see SpaceX test the Starship launch system on this stream.

    During an event on Wednesday, SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell said the company would attempt a 33-engine static fire test today.

    Naturally, the folks at NASA Spaceflight have their cameras trained on the test stand in Rocketland / Boca Chica, TX, and the livestream has caught signs that the time of the test is approaching soon.


  • Jay Peters

    Feb 9, 2023

    Jay Peters

    Metroid Prime’s remaster is the best way to experience a classic

    A screenshot of Samus Aran in Metroid Prime Remastered
    Samus is back on Nintendo Switch.
    Image: Nintendo

    Metroid Prime is my favorite game of all time. It was the Super Mario 64 of Metroid, brilliantly ushering the sci-fi platformer series from 2D to 3D. Obviously, I was thrilled to hear about Nintendo’s surprise release of Metroid Prime Remastered, which you can play right now. But I’ll admit that I was a touch nervous to return to the game, which I hadn’t played in years. Would it hold up? In my first hour with Remastered, the answer so far is definitely yes. 

    I was overcome by waves of nostalgia from the moment I booted up the game. The glitchy, electronic, and somewhat spooky theme song is just as effective at setting the tone of the game as it was when I first played Metroid Prime in 2002 on the GameCube. So is the legendary main menu music, which is the next thing you hear, and the fanfare that plays just moments before you finally take control of Samus, which is a brilliant take on the fanfare from the very first Metroid on NES.

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  • James Vincent

    Feb 9, 2023

    James Vincent

    7 problems facing Bing, Bard, and the future of AI search

    An illustration of a woman typing on a keyboard, her face replaced with lines of code.
    Image: The Verge

    This week, Microsoft and Google promised that web search is going to change. Yes, Microsoft did it in a louder voice while jumping up and down and saying “look at me, look at me,” but both companies now seem committed to using AI to scrape the web, distill what it finds, and generate answers to users’ questions directly — just like ChatGPT.

    Microsoft calls its efforts “the new Bing” and is building related capabilities into its Edge browser. Google’s is called project Bard, and while it’s not yet ready to sing, a launch is planned for the “coming weeks.” And of course, there’s the troublemaker that started it all: OpenAI’s ChatGPT, which exploded onto the web last year and showed millions the potential of AI Q&A.

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  • Andrew Webster

    Feb 9, 2023

    Andrew Webster

    Game Boy games make Nintendo Switch Online feel like the ultimate retro subscription

    A screenshot of The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening.
    The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening on Nintendo Switch Online.
    Image: Nintendo

    With the way Nintendo tends to drip-feed retro releases, it’s easy to forget that it operates an excellent subscription service for fans of classic games. It’s one that showed a lot of promise at launch, and since then, it has steadily grown into something that largely fulfills that promise. There are still some issues, but it’s affordable and convenient — and with the recent addition of Game Boy games, it now has a very impressive library with plenty of room to grow.

    In case you missed it, Nintendo both announced and launched Game Boy and Game Boy Advance games as part of its NSO subscription during its first Nintendo Direct of the year last night. Right now, there are nine original Game Boy titles available — including classics like Metroid II: Return of Samus, The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening, and, obviously, Tetris — along with six GBA games, most notably the adorable Zelda spinoff The Minish Cap and the absolutely hilarious RPG Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga. These platforms join existing ones including the NES, SNES, N64, and Sega Genesis.

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  • Victoria Song

    Feb 9, 2023

    Victoria Song

    The group behind Matter is tackling healthcare next

    Render of the CSA Health and Wellness working group logo.
    The CSA announced it’s putting together a Health and Wellness Working Group.
    Image: Connectivity Standards Alliance

    The Connectivity Standards Alliance (CSA), the group behind Matter, announced today that it’s putting together a working group to build a standards and certification program for health and wellness technology — basically, a specialized “Matter” that zeroes in on how Internet of Things devices can work together with wearables and other future forms of health tech.

    Matter is a new smart home standard that allows IoT devices to communicate with each other regardless of which company made them. So long as you know a smart home device supports Matter, you know they’ll play nicely together. The CSA’s new Health and Wellness Working Group aims to apply the same concept to health and wellness tech. The ultimate goal is to help people age gracefully by enabling them to stay in their own homes and communities for as long as possible.

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  • Umar Shakir

    Feb 9, 2023

    Umar Shakir

    Lucid joins the EV price war with a $7,500 credit for its luxury Air sedan

    Lucid Air, low angle, rear and passenger side, bright sky, grassy plains
    Image: Tim Stevens for The Verge

    Lucid is giving buyers a $7,500 credit when purchasing some models of its luxury Air electric sedans. The company is the latest EV maker to offer a discount in what some auto industry experts see as a slowly developing price war for plug-in models.

    “The credit is applied at the time of purchase and will appear on the purchase agreement,” Lucid’s public relations manager for technology Justin Berkowitz tells The Verge.

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  • Mia Sato

    Feb 9, 2023

    Mia Sato

    An AI-generated health story had several errors.

    A story about low testosterone generated using an AI tool and published by Men’s Journal contained several factual errors, Futurism reports.

    Men’s Journal is the latest to publish — and then correct — stories that used AI systems following the CNET AI saga. CNET eventually added corrections to more than half of its AI-generated articles.


  • GM strikes a deal aimed at avoiding future chip shortage disruptions

    The GM logo in blue and white
    Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

    General Motors has struck a “first-of-its-kind” deal with GlobalFoundries (GF) to lock down its supply of crucial semiconductors, a move aimed at avoiding the disruptions caused by the recent global chip shortage.

    Under the agreement, GF will manufacture the chips at its semiconductor facility in upstate New York. The company, which is owned by the United Arab Emirates sovereign wealth fund Mubadala Investment, has said it would invest $1 billion to build a second factory near its Malta, New York, headquarters.

    Read Article >
  • Richard Lawler

    Feb 9, 2023

    Richard Lawler

    Green light.

    So, what do you think of Microsoft’s new AI-enhanced search? Check out what it’s telling us in our first tests, and let us know in the comments if there are any other questions we should be asking.


  • Sheena Vasani

    Feb 9, 2023

    Sheena Vasani

    Amazon’s sleep tracking Halo Rise lamp is $40 off once again

    Amazon Halo Rise on a nightstand with a plant, while a person sleeps in the background.
    Amazon’s Halo Rise smart lamp has returned to its lowest price to date.
    Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

    Buying Amazon’s Halo Rise is kind of like purchasing a smart alarm clock, a sunrise lamp, and a contactless sleep tracker at the same time. The versatile gadget can function as all three and offers great value for your money, especially since it’s available at an all-time low of $109.99 ($40 off) at Amazon and Best Buy right now.

    For those unfamiliar with Amazon’s newest wellness gadget, here’s the rundown: the Rise acts as a good smart lamp that’s compatible with Echo devices but can also mimic natural morning light, helping you to wake up during your lightest sleep stage. It also doubles as a decent sleep tracker that produces daily reports — so long as you position it correctly on your bedside table — and it can monitor your bedroom’s temperature and humidity levels as well as any light disturbances to help you improve the quality of your sleep.

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  • Feb 9, 2023

    Patrick George

    EVs ‘are not enough’: Polestar and Rivian urge more drastic climate action

    Rivian logo on the side of its R1S SUV
    Image: Nilay Patel / The Verge

    At this point, just about every car company has committed to spending the next few years adding electric and hybrid vehicles to their fleets or eventually phasing out internal combustion engines entirely

    But in a new climate study released this week, EV startups Rivian and Polestar have a more dire message: electrification alone will not be enough.

    Read Article >
  • Jon Porter

    Feb 9, 2023

    Jon Porter

    240W fast charging will charge this smartphone fully in under 10 minutes

    The Realme GT Neo 5 in black, purple, and white.
    The Realme GT Neo 5 in black, purple, and white.
    Image: Realme

    This is getting ridiculous. Realme has just announced a new smartphone, the Realme GT Neo 5, that supports up to 240W fast charging. According to GSMArena, that will make it the fastest charging smartphone on the market, faster than the 210W offered by the Redmi Note 12 Discovery Edition, and almost 100W faster than the 150W charging offered by OnePlus devices like the 10T. 240W is in line with the latest USB power spec announced by the USB-IF in 2021.

    In practical terms, we’re really hitting the point of diminishing returns with fast charging wattage this high on smartphones. Realme advertises that the GT Neo 5’s 4,600mAh battery can be charged to 100 percent in nine and a half minutes thanks to its 240W charging. That’s super fast, but it’s also basically the same as what Redmi was claiming the 210W charging on the Note 12 Discovery Edition could achieve last year (although admittedly it has a slightly smaller 4,300mAh battery). If you’re after a partial charge, Realme’s new phone can hit 20 percent in 80 seconds, and 50 percent in four minutes.

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  • Mitchell Clark

    Feb 9, 2023

    Mitchell Clark

    Most people can tweet again, but Twitter still has issues

    A black Twitter logo over a red illustration
    Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

    Twitter appears to be recovering from having technical issues that prevented people from tweeting, though problems with DMs, and accessing TweetDeck are still seemingly persisting. Downdetector reports that the problems started around 4:30PM ET, and the unfettered ability to tweet came back around an hour and a half later.

    The company has said it’s aware of the existing issues, and is working on fixing them.

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  • Andrew Webster

    Feb 8, 2023

    Andrew Webster

    Nintendo Direct February 2023: the biggest news and trailers

    Nintendo’s logo in a green circle with black and purple shapes around it
    Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

    The latest Nintendo Direct had all the big names — well, aside from Mario. But we got a fresh trailer for the next Zelda game, a surprise launch of the original Metroid Prime, a release date for Pikmin 4, and the addition of Game Boy games to the Switch Online subscription service. Plus, there were some excellent announcements for RPG nerds. Here’s everything you might have missed.

    The wait for the sequel to Breath of the Wild has been tough, but at least we have a new trailer to make things a little easier. The latest is very dramatic.

    Read Article >
  • Andrew Webster

    Feb 8, 2023

    Andrew Webster

    Metroid Prime Remastered is coming to the Switch today

    It’s not Metroid Prime 4, but it’s still big news for fans of intergalactic bounty hunter Samus Aran: the original Metroid Prime is being remastered for the Switch. Even better, the game will be launching today in the Nintendo eShop (a physical version will be available on February 22nd). The news was announced during Nintendo’s first Direct presentation of 2023.

    The first Prime launched two decades ago on the GameCube and was remarkable for the way it translated the moody exploration of Super Metroid into a first-person experience. It was followed by two sequels. A fourth game, the aptly named Metroid Prime 4, is in the works but was rebooted in 2019 with little information since then.

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  • Feb 8, 2023

    Jay Peters and Sean Hollister

    Game Boy and Game Boy Advance games are coming to Nintendo Switch Online today

    Nintendo Switch Online subscribers will be able to play Game Boy and Game Boy Advance games later today, the company just announced during its Nintendo Direct. And you’ll be able to play the multiplayer ones with a friend wirelessly — no Link Cable required.

    Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advance games will all be available, but the GBA titles will be exclusive to people who pay for the more expensive Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack tier — the same one you previously paid for if you wanted N64 and Sega Genesis titles. It costs $49.99 a year instead of the $19.99 you pay for the normal Switch Online.

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