by Tim Baysinger via The Wrap

Mark Hamill had a secret role in “The Mandalorian,” that nobody knew about until Friday.

On the final episode of the behind-the-scenes docuseries “Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian,” it was revealed that Hamill lent his voice to a character in the Disney+ series. And who he voiced is an Easter Egg hunter’s dream: The droid EV-9D9.

Disney+ last aired a new episode of “The Mandalorian” in December.

Don’t know who that is? “Star Wars” die-hards will tell you EV-9D9 is the same droid in “Return of the Jedi” that was responsible for registering new droid acquisitions in Jabba the Hutt’s palace. Even more, the episode in which he turns up — the fifth of the season — takes place on Tatooine, which just so happens to be Luke Skywalker’s home planet.

It’s not the first time Hamill, an accomplished voice actor, has played someone other than his famous Jedi Knight in the galaxy far, far away. He’s voiced alien creatures in both “The Last Jedi” and “The Rise of Skywalker,” as well as the Sith Lord Darth Bane in the TV series “The Clone Wars.”

Hamill, of course, is also well known for lending his voice to The Joker in “Batman: The Animated Series.”

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You don’t need a 25-character code to access bundled games and DLC.

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by Ann Smajstrla via Engadget

A new Xbox feature makes it easier to claim games that come with the console, doing away with the 25-digit codes that were required before. Digital Direct, pointed out by Polygon, embeds games and other DLC directly to the console that you can redeem during the setup process. For those who are post-setup, the feature can be found in the “Accounts” and “My Library” sections.

When setting up a console, you will now see a page giving you the option to redeem content and service offers that come with it, according to the Xbox website. Redeeming is as simple as clicking “Claim It.” Anything that’s redeemed will be attached to the Microsoft account that claimed it.

Alternatively, you can navigate to “Settings,” then “Account,” then “Included with this Xbox,” to find the Digital Direct content available for your console and its redemption status. This information is also viewable in “My Library.”

Digital Direct appears to be the “digital attach” feature dubbed Project Roma, according to Thurrott. The Xbox team gives codenames to various features that were under development for its console — Anaconda was revealed as Series X and Maverick turned out to be Xbox All Digital, among others.

The feature is shipping first on the just-released Cyberpunk 2077 Xbox One XCyberpunk 2077 won’t be available to play until September, but gamers can take advantage of Digital Direct on the new console while they wait.

Microsoft has previously tried to address the hassle of download codes by making them scannable via QR codes and the Kinect camera. Digital Direct eliminates the tedious typing, however it could make it difficult to share or sell a bundled game you don’t want.

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by Ben Gilbert via Business Insider

Do you have a Nintendo Switch? Did you also have a Nintendo 3DS or Wii U?

If you answered yes to both of those questions, there’s a possibility your Nintendo Switch account was one of about 300,000 that was breached by hackers.

Nintendo announced the breach in April, but it doubled the number of affected accounts in an update this week “as a result of continuing the investigation.”

The issue applies specifically to anyone who connected their old Nintendo 3DS and Wii U “Nintendo Network ID,” or NNID, to the Switch. Nintendo now uses a system called Nintendo Account, but the company allowed people with existing NNIDs to connect those to their new Nintendo Account.

Nintendo said it no longer allows NNID logins on the Switch.

If your account was breached, you’ll likely know soon by receiving an email like this:

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Beyond sending an email to the account associated with your Nintendo Account, Nintendo is alerting affected users by forcing a password reset.

“As a further precaution,” the company said, “we will soon contact users about resetting passwords for Nintendo Network IDs and Nintendo Accounts that we have reason to believe were accessed without authorization.”

Going forward, the company suggests doing two things to make your accounts more secure.

First, you should change the passwords associated with both your Nintendo Account and your Nintendo Network ID. Second, you should set up two-factor authentication, which adds an extra layer of security on top of a password.

For more information, check out Nintendo’s support page here.

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by Shingo ITO via AFP

Tokyo (AFP) – Every day, 90-year-old Japanese grandma Hamako Mori flexes her fingers to keep them nimble. Not for knitting or needlepoint, but to keep them in shape for playing video games.

The pensioner known as “Gamer Grandma” spends three or more hours a day battling monsters and going on missions in the virtual worlds of her favourite games, and even has a popular YouTube channel for her fans.

“I’m passionate about playing games every day,” the white-haired widow told AFP in an interview conducted by videochat.

“Every day is an enjoyable day,” she said, describing eviscerating on-screen foes as a fantastic stress reliever.

Mori cuts an elegant, mild-mannered figure, with her hair pulled back into a ponytail and a pair of large glasses perched on her nose.

She begins the videos she posts on her YouTube channel with a friendly “Konnichiwa” and a bow.

But her grandmotherly demeanour disappears when she plays, transformed into a gun-toting character in Call of Duty or a sword-wielding android in NieR: Automata.

Mori, who lives in Chiba, southeast of Tokyo with her family, holds a Guinness World Record certifying her as the world’s oldest gaming YouTuber.

“She always gets into the games,” her only grandchild, 43-year-old Keisuke Nagao, told AFP.

“I think she is slightly different. Ordinary old people are not so enthusiastic about video games as she is.”

– 300,000 YouTube fans –

Mori isn’t new to the gaming world, and has played some 200 titles since she took up the hobby some four decades ago.

Her first console was a Cassette Vision, which she bought in 1981 after being intrigued by her children’s obsession with gaming.

“I discovered that there was this fascinating thing that existed in the world,” she said.

She has played most of the gaming world’s smash hits including “Super Mario Brothers”, “Dragon Quest”, “Final Fantasy” and “Call of Duty”, and admits to sometimes staying up until 2am when she is sucked into a session.

Her favorite games include action-adventure series “Grand Theft Auto” and popular fantasy role-playing game “Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim”.

“You can do whatever you want to” in a game, she said, describing them as a “motivation in life.”

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Mori usually plays alone at home, but launched a YouTube channel in 2014 to connect with other gamers.

She posts new videos filmed by her grandson three or four times a month and has attracted 300,000 subscribers and millions of views with content featuring her gaming but also showing her daily life.

“It’s fun being watched by a lot of people, rather than playing alone,” she said of her “Gamer Grandma” channel.

Among her videos is one showing her blowing out candles on a cake to celebrate her 90th birthday with her family. Another features her “unboxing” a brand-new PlayStation console.

At 90, Mori is fighting fit, but she says some state-of-the-art games require agile hand motions that can prove challenging.

“It’s getting hard. It really is,” she said, describing exercises she does with her fingers and hands every day to keep herself game-ready.

– ‘Better than doing nothing!’ –

But she has no intention of giving up gaming.

“I won’t put it down just because it’s difficult… It’s better than doing nothing!”

And she hopes with practice she can improve further.

“I want to play well no matter how old I am,” she said. “I want to continue as long as possible.”

Mori is something of an evangelist for video games, and encourages other older people to get into gaming, or find other hobbies that keep them going.

“It doesn’t have to be video games necessarily. But it’s good to do something,” said Mori, who swam regularly until the age of 80 and still knits.

And while Mori said she understands concerns about video game addiction, particularly among young people, she pointed out that gaming may have helped many survive lockdowns over the coronavirus.

“It’s safer to play at home, rather than going out,” she said.

For now, Mori is eagerly awaiting the release of the PlayStation 5, due to hit shops later this year.

“It’s seriously preoccupying me,” she said. “I want one. I really do.”

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by Rich Duprey via The Motley Fool

GameStop (NYSE:GME) business was hurting even before the COVID-19 outbreak, so a pandemic bursting on the scene that closed all nonessential retail should have brought it to its knees, if not killed it off.

While the conventional wisdom says the migration of video game play to digital and downloads has the retailer biding its time until the console upgrade cycle kicks in, a new report suggests that not only has the coronavirus not done in GameStop, it may have actually taught it how to thrive in this new economy.

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Nothing to do but kick back and play

With schools closed, businesses shuttered, and everyone on lockdown and in self-isolation, video game sales and gameplay are soaring.

Spending on hardware, software, and accessories had been in decline as people waited for the newest consoles and the games to go with them: Sales fell 26% and 29%, respectively, in January and February. But NPD Group says they reversed course in March.

As COVID-19 was declared a pandemic and people practiced social distancing, hardware sales surged 63% for the month compared to a year ago while software jumped 34%. Accessories rose 12% year over year.

The report said it was “the highest reported spend for a March month since the $1.8 billion achieved in March 2008.”

Switching up expectations

All three console makers saw strong growth in the first quarter, with hardware sales exploding to $461 million in March alone and the Nintendo (OTC:NTDOY) Switch, a hybrid portable game console, being the biggest winner, setting a record for hardware unit sales that more than doubled from a year ago.

Even Microsoft‘s Xbox One and Sony‘s Playstation 4 grew by 25%.

GameStop became the big beneficiary, particularly because the Switch was not readily available on other platforms, though even it ran into supply problems.

And the hottest game was Animal Crossing: New Horizons, which was available only on the Switch, beating out Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, which is available on multiple platforms.

The destination location online

While GameStop initially tried to say its stores were essential and kept them open, it needn’t have risked the ire of its employees, the public, or politicians, as online sales through the video game retailer’s website soared 1,500% between March 1 and April 10, according to data from Earnest Research.

So strong were GameStop’s sales that it was able to handily surpass all other electronics retailers, including AppleBest Buy, and Newegg.

It turns out that GameStop’s history as the go-to retail store for hardware and video games still translates well with consumers when they’re forced to look online.

GameStop needs to build on that reputation in the future, and the coronavirus pandemic may have provided the blueprint for it to do so.

Building on the momentum

It’s probably too soon to say GameStop is out of the woods and that after the upgrade cycle completes it won’t just revert to form.

Yet the video game retailer is under pressure from activist investors who are pushing a comprehensive series of changes that could help move GameStop away from being primarily a physical retailer and more toward digital game sales.

Such sales will only continue to grow, so GameStop needs to go where its business is heading. It got a major assist from a terrible illness and it would be a shame to waste the chance it has been given. Now GameStop needs to show it has learned this important lesson.

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by Sabrina Rojas Weiss via SheKnows

How are all my fellow WFH parents doing today? Taking care of kids at home while working is just a walk in the part, isn’t it? We should probably all get second jobs just to fill our time when we’re not learning how to bake bread. Naturally, this dad who went on Reddit to complain about his wife nagging him to do the laundry when he really wants — nay, deserves — to play video games absolutely has our support, doesn’t he?

Kidding, in case your mind-numbing exhaustion has eliminated your ability to read sarcasm. We’re so amazed at the boldness of this man-child daring to ask if he’s the asshole in this scenario. While his wife works full-time from home and also takes care of their two children following stay-at-home orders, he works out of the home and says he is “physically tired when I get back.” The division of labor they agreed upon years ago is that he takes out the trash, cleans the bathrooms, and does the laundry; she cooks, does dishes, makes the beds, sweeps and mops, and has the minor duty of “keeping up with the kids.”

On the evening in question, the wife asked him to wash the towels, and he seemed to think there was no urgency in the matter. He takes his video games very seriously, and she should understand. Also, she should be grateful that gaming is his vice instead of cheating.

“It might not be that second, but I’ll get it done,” he explained of his laundry procrastination. “Especially since she’s been home all day, I didn’t think it’d be an issue for her if she did them. Tonight, I was on the game in the middle of a conversation with my buddies. She asked me again to take care of the towels and I simply told her, ‘I’m in the middle of a game.’ She took a towel from the washing machine, threw it at me, and stormed off, slamming a door. I said something along the lines of ‘You’re always bitching.’ ”

The fight escalated to the wife declaring she wants a divorce. Even after typing all of this out, the husband wonders if there is some other reason she might want out.

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https://www.reddit.com/r/AmItheAsshole/comments/g9f7dz/aita_for_playing_video_games_while_my_wife/ 

Dude’s gonna have a whole lot more time for gaming in his near future.

AITA for playing video games while my wife chooses to do house chores?

Throwaway as my wife is often on Reddit… Married for 4 years, 2 children. We always argue. We both work, but when I get home I’d like to be able…

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I have scrolled through almost all of the 1,200 responses to this post, for which commenting is already closed, and I have yet to see a single person voting in his favor. Big surprise there. So, rather than recap any kind of debate, my service to you will be in the form of choosing some of the best insults hurled at him:

 

“You [may] have 2 kids, but your wife has 3.”

“The chores he has are the chores you give your 13-year-old who wants to earn a little pocket money.”

“Move back in with your mom if you want to be babied that badly. You obviously aren’t ready to live in the real world.”

“Not the asshole. I’d say you’re the soon-to-be-single man.”

“There are 171,476 words in the Oxford dictionary but that’s still not enough to describe what a huge gaping prolapsed anus you are.”

“YTA, what’s her @ though?”

“I’m 14 and have more chores than you.”

For a more cathartic laughs at this guy’s expense, head over to Reddit. Also, enjoy this past story of a husband who woke up in the wrong decade and doesn’t understand that men need to do housework.

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‘Ghost of Tsushima’ is moving back a few weeks to mid-July.

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by Kris Holt via Engadget

The Last of Us Part II, fingers crossed, will at long last make its way to PS4 on June 19th. Sony and Naughty Dog had originally planned a February 21st release date, but they pushed the sequel back to May 29th. Earlier this month, they delayed the game indefinitely to better coordinate a global release strategy amid the COVID-19 pandemic. As it turns out, you’ll only need to wait an extra few weeks for the next chapter of Ellie’s story.

News of the new date arrives just after major spoilers about The Last of Us Part II seemed to emerge in leaked videos. Footage showing cutscenes, gameplay and menus appear to be doing the rounds, but at the very least, you know how much longer you’ll have to dodge spoilers if you’re eager to play on release day.

To give Naughty Dog’s latest opus some breathing room, Sony has also pushed back another upcoming major title by a few weeks. Sucker Punch’s Ghost of Tsushima was scheduled for June 26th. Instead, the hotly anticipated samurai adventure will be out on July 17th.

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by Brian Womack via Dallas Business Journal

GameStop Corp. is cutting back on pay amid the challenges with COVID-19 – with the bigger cuts earmarked for the higher-ups.

The troubled Grapevine retailer (NYSE: GME) is temporarily reducing the salary of CEO George Sherman by 50 percent, the company said in a statement. There is a 30 percent reduction for CFO Jim Bell and the remainder of the executive leadership team.

“Certain other employees” across its units also will get cuts of between 10 percent and 30 percent temporarily. GameStop offered “certain” corporate support staff the option to temporarily furlough or take a reduced work week or pay program.

GameStop is looking for ways to find traction amid the onslaught of COVID-19 and the restrictions that have been put on its sites under shelter-in-place rules.

Since the company closed stores to the public on March 22, it retained more than 90 percent of planned sales volumes in the two thirds of the stores conducting curbside operations. Still, comparable store sales for the nine-week period ended April 4 dropped about 23 percent.

“We believe our aggressive focus on expense, inventory and capital expenditure reductions will help preserve our financial health as we work to ensure readiness and ramp up operations as soon as conditions allow,” Sherman said in a prepared statement. “The situation remains very fluid and a great deal of uncertainty remains, however, we entered into this time with a strong balance sheet and believe that we have sufficient cash and liquidity for the foreseeable future.”

With retail under pressure, the company did not make a portion of certain lease payments and remains in discussions with landlords.

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by Mike Feibus via USA TODAY

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – About a month ago, the internet started to list.

Up to that point, online activity flowed more or less in balance, with work traffic relegated mostly to the business side of the ship. Then social-distancing directives forced much of the serious stuff over to the starboard side. Which is where we watch Netflix.

As it happens, the country’s internet infrastructure has proven robust enough to handle the wholesale shift. Unfortunately, it’s a different story for many homes with older Wi-Fi routers that weren’t equipped to handle the onslaught.

If your work videoconference is struggling to keep pace because it’s crowded out by your spouse’s team meeting and the kids’ virtual classes, then take heart. Help is on the way.

Tomorrow, the FCC is expected to approve a new lane for Wi-Fi traffic, something it hasn’t done in more than two decades. It spans the 6GHz frequency range, which means it’s much faster than both 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi. Plus, it’s more than twice as wide as both those bands combined. Which means that 6GHz-enabled smartphones and tablets will have plenty of elbow room for all your family’s left-boat and right-boat activities.

You can’t buy electronics with 6GHz Wi-Fi yet. When devices do become available, they’ll be marked with the Wi-Fi 6e designation, which means they support the latest Wi-Fi 6 standard with radios that can communicate on the new band as well as the older, more crowded frequencies.

Expect to start seeing 6GHz devices – as well as routers to connect them – in time for what I’ll call the back-to-homeschool shopping season this summer.

A spectrum that can keep up

It’s not so much the skyrocketing volume of traffic borne out of social distancing that’s stressed older networks so much as the type of traffic. Even before work-from-home directives, Wi-Fi 4 and older-generation routers often had trouble keeping pace in the evening, when family members simultaneously played online games, engaged in social media and streamed videos.

Daytime internet traffic during social isolation has proven to be even more challenging, with multiple family members logged into high-bandwidth videoconferencing sites, with real-time activity flowing in both directions. Wi-Fi 6 laptops and smartphones are built for that. They’ll perform even better on 6GHz spectrum, where they will be free of interference from smart doorbells, thermostats and older tablets, PCs and phones.

These new network demands that Wi-Fi 6e addresses aren’t fleeting. They’ll remain in place long after the current stay-at-home directives are lifted. For one thing, health experts predict we’re in for more social-distancing initiatives over the next year or two in response to the ebb and flow of COVID-19 infections. But even when we’re not trying to flatten the curve, education and productivity are retooling for a future with more homebound activity than before. For one, school boards are expected to incorporate video into classrooms so kids can participate virtually when they’re home sick. With younger children, that likely will force at least one parent to stay behind and work from home.

As well, some professions are already rethinking how they approach face-to-face communication. In healthcare, for example, coronavirus is turning the emerging telemedicine industry on its head. Rather than examine people remotely who aren’t sick enough to go to the hospital, clinicians increasingly are tapping the technology to maintain safe distances between them and contagious patients.

I also believe that America’s culture of showing up to work sick will suffer collateral damage from the coronavirus crisis. We’ll still work, contagious or not. But going forward, we’ll probably do it from home.

Although it wasn’t planned that way, the new 6GHz spectrum couldn’t come at a better time. Because while the hull of our internet infrastructure has proven to be sound enough to handle the stress of an all-hands call to the home side of the deck, older home wireless networks have been exposed.

The upcoming 6GHz Wi-Fi, or Wi-Fi 6e, has the raw bandwidth, range and networking intelligence to run smoothly what we want to do and what we need to do. You might call it the new Wi-Fi for the new normal.

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I’ve been seated in this exact position for roughly a month now. (Image: Dan Howley)
by Daniel Howley, Technical Editor, Yahoo Finance

The majority of Americans are currently under some form of stay-at-home order, meaning we’re all spending a whole lot more time getting reacquainted with our couches. And with that extra down time, more people are turning to video games — especially as they look to distract themselves from the tragedy outside their doors.

Look no further than the record number of people simultaneously using Valve’s massive Steam gaming platform for proof that gaming is offering people a needed outlet to pass the time and stay in contact with friends and family.

But what if you’re new to gaming, and don’t know what to start with? Or are looking to get back into gaming after a hiatus? Then you’ve come to the right place. Because I’ve got a list of new titles that offer something for everyone who needs to take their mind off the outside world.

‘Final Fantasy VII Remake’ – PS4

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‘Final Fantasy VII Remake’ is, well, a remake of the classic JRPG with dramatically improved visuals and a far larger story. (Image: Square Enix)

Oh, mamma! “Final Fantasy VII Remake,” is, well, the long-awaited remake of the quintessential JRPG (Japanese role-playing game), “Final Fantasy VII.” Originally released for the PlayStation back in 1997, “FFVII,” as it’s known, is one of the most influential games in history thanks to its fantastic story and addictive gameplay.

Fans have been pining for “FFVII Remake” for years, and with the game finally available, it’s the perfect time to jump on it. Packing stunning graphics and a new real-time combat system, the game is a major technical upgrade.

The remake only goes through the first 4 to 5 hours of the original “FFVII” story, but expands it to 40 hours by adding a dump truck load of new content. Square Enix, the game’s developer, will be releasing additional chapters of the game in the future.

‘Doom Eternal’ – PS4, Xbox One, PC, Switch

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‘Doom Eternal’ is the follow-up to 2016’s ‘Doom’ and features more over the top demon-crushing awesomeness than you can handle. (Image: Bethesda)

Good, old-fashioned demon-destroying mayhem. That should be the tagline for “Doom Eternal,” the follow-up to 2016’s outrageous reboot of the “Doom” franchise. What should you expect from this first-person shooter game set in a world overrun by demons?

How about a nonstop heavy metal riff-powered mad dash through stages of some of the most punishing combat you can imagine. We’re talking about running chainsaws through Possessed Soldiers, pulling the eyes out of Cacodemons, and blasting the limbs from Hell Knights.

Everything about “Doom Eternal” takes the franchise’s demon-slaying insanity, cranks it up to 13, and tosses the dial into a hell pit. “Doom Eternal” isn’t just nonstop craziness, though. The game offers smartly designed levels, and the controls are airtight for the kind of fast paced combat the title is known for. It’s a challenging few hours that are time well spent.

‘Animal Crossing: New Horizons’ – Switch

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‘Animal Crossing: New Horizons’ is one of the most relaxing, easy going games you can play. As long as you can get your hands on a Switch. (Image: Nintendo)

From stomping demon skulls to one of the most relaxing games to launch this year, “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” for the Nintendo (NTDOY) Switch is, at its heart, a world-building game. But the world you build — a deserted island that transforms into a luxurious destination drawing celebrities like crooner K.K. Slider — is so cute and inviting that you feel compelled to keep playing.

You’ll do everything from build essential tools like shovels, axes, and fishing rods, to filling a museum’s exhibit halls with dinosaur fossils, constructing roads, sculpting the landscape itself, and decorating your own home.

With “New Horizon’s” online connectivity, you can even fly off and spend time on your friends’ islands, selling your own wares, and buying items not found on your little bit of paradise. I’ve been playing this game for weeks, and I still instinctively grab my Switch every time I plop down on the couch so I can check up on my townspeople.

‘Persona 5 Royal’ – PS4

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A favorite in my home, ‘Persona 5 Royal’ is an enhanced version of the 2017 original, and features new characters and bosses. Prepare to lose more than 100 hours of your life. (Image: Atlus)

I’m admittedly biased in including “Persona 5 Royal” on this list, because my wife and I are massive fans of the original version of this game, “Persona 5,” released in 2017. “Persona 5 Royal” adds quality-of-life changes to this 100-hour plus JRPG focused on high school students going to class, getting after-school jobs for spare cash, and fighting demons in a parallel dimension called the metaverse.

“Royal” also brings along a new character who teams up with your group of teenage vigilantes. These teens are seeking justice against adults whose desires for wealth, power, and control over others have poisoned their hearts. That’s where you and your friends, The Phantom Thieves, come in.

You’ll battle it out across various dungeons, capturing demons, or personas as they’re known in this game, before you reach your final battle to stave off a worldwide catastrophe. Think of it as a high school melodrama with a ton of addictive gameplay, lovable characters, and a dash of “Pokemon”-style collecting, and you’ve got a decent idea of what “Persona 5 Royal” has to offer.

‘Call of Duty: Warzone’ – PS4, Xbox, PC

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Drop into a 150-player free-for-all with ‘Call of Duty: Warzone.’ I’ve been playing this almost every night to stay in touch with my friends, and, my god, it’s fun. (Image: Activision Blizzard)

I’ve been spending a little too much time with this title as of late. “Call of Duty: Warzone” is a free-to-play battle royale title in which you and 149 other players battle it out across a massive map using everything from pistols to rocket launchers until just one of you is left.

The game, which launched March 10, already has more than 50 million players, and with the team of developers at Infinity Ward and Raven Software continuing to tweak the experience with new game modes and additional weapons, it’s clear this title will have staying power.

Similar to games like “Fortnite” and “PlayerUknown’s Battlegrounds,” you parachute out of a plane over the enormous game map, before diving to the Earth and scrounging for anything you can use against your competitors. The twist, however, is that when you die, you’re sent to what’s called the Gulag for a one-on-one gunfight. The winner is then sent back into the game to fight on, while the loser calls it quits.

I play this game several times a week with my friends, and it offers the opportunity to socialize with them, while blowing stuff up. What more could I ask for?

‘Ori and the Will of the Wisps’ – Xbox, PC

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‘Ori and the Will of the Wisps’ is a gorgeous side-scroller of a game that will challenge you, and may even bring a tear to your eye. (Image: Microsoft)

Looking for more of a traditional side-scroller? “Ori and the Will of the Wisps” might be the right option for you. Though, be warned, this title isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s a challenging game that will require you to restart areas over and over again until you can master the controls and timing needed to move forward.

The sequel to the beautifully told “Ori and the Blind Forest,” “Ori and the Will of the Wisps” puts you in the role of Ori, a guardian spirit, who must find his lost friend Ku. This is the kind of game you not only play, but fall in love with thanks to its detailed level design and gorgeous visual styling. And there’s a decent shot you’ll end up tearing up a little at the end.

All you can play options

If you’re not sure whether these games are the right fit for you, you’re in luck, because both Microsoft and Sony offer all-you-can-play services that give you access to hundreds of games for a set monthly fee.

Microsoft’s (MSFTXbox Game Pass costs $9.99 per month, $4.99 to start, to play on PC; $9.99 per month to play on your Xbox One console; or $14.99 per month to access games on both PC and console, and lets you play more than 100 games as often as you want.

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Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass gives you unlimited access to more than 100 games for a flat monthly fee. (Image: Microsoft)

PlayStation Now

PlayStation Now is Sony’s (SNE) answer to Game Pass and starts at $9.99 per month, $24.99 for 3 months, or $59.99 for a year, giving you access to hundreds of games that you can download to your PS4, or stream to your PC.

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Sony’s PlayStation Now is another all-you-can-play option worth checking out. (Image: Sony)

Both options are an outrageous value, and well worth checking out if you’re searching for something to scratch that gaming itch while you’re stuck inside.

Happy gaming.

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