Tag Archives: Limited

Limited English Proficiency Linked With Less Healthcare

Adults with limited English skills receive far less health care than do those proficient in English, according to a new study in Health Affairs.

Jessica Himmelstein, MD, a Harvard research fellow and primary care physician at Cambridge Health Alliance in Cambridge, Mass., led a study of more than 120,000 adults published July 6, 2021. The study population included 17,776 Hispanic adults with limited English proficiency, 14,936 Hispanic adults proficient in English and 87,834 non-Hispanic, English-proficient adults.

Researchers compared several measures of care usage from information in the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s Medical Expenditure Panel Survey from 1998 to 2018.

They found that, in adjusted analyses, total use of care per capita from 2014-2018, measured by health care expenditures, was $ 1,463 lower (98% confidence interval, $ 1,030-$ 1,897), or 35% lower for primary-Spanish speakers than for Hispanic adults who were English proficient and $ 2,802 lower (98% CI, $ 2,356-$ 3,247), or 42% lower versus non-Hispanic adults who were English proficient.

Spanish speakers also had 36% fewer outpatient visits and 48% fewer prescription medications than non-Hispanic adults, and 35% fewer outpatient visits and 37% fewer prescription medications than English-proficient Hispanic adults.

Even when accounting for differences in health, age, sex, income and insurance, adults with language barriers fared worse.

Gaps Span All Types of Care

The services that those with limited English skills are missing are “the types of care people need to lead a healthy life,” from routine visits and medications to urgent or emergency care, Himmelstein said in an interview.

She said the gaps were greater in outpatient care and in medication use, compared with emergency department visits and inpatient care, but the inequities were present in all the categories she and her coinvestigators studied.

Underlying causes for having less care may include that people who struggle with English may not feel comfortable accessing the health system or may feel unwelcome or discriminated against.

“An undercurrent of biases, including racism, could also be contributing,” she said.

The data show that, despite several federal policy changes aimed at promoting language services in hospitals and clinics, several language-based disparities have not improved over 2 decades.

Some of the changes have included an executive order in 2000 requiring interpreters to be available in federally funded health facilities. In 2010, the Affordable Care Act enhanced the definition of meaningful access to language services and setting standards for qualified interpreters.

Gap Widened Over 2 Decades

The adjusted gap in annual health care expenditures per capita between adults with limited English skills and non-Hispanic, English-proficient adults widened by $ 1,596 (98% CI, $ 837-$ 2,356) between 1999-2000 and 2017-2018, after accounting for inflation.

Himmelstein said that though this study period predated COVID-19, its findings may help explain the disproportionate burden the pandemic placed on the Hispanic population.

“This is a community that traditionally wasn’t getting access to care and then suddenly something like COVID-19 comes and they were even more devastated,” she noted.

Telehealth, which proved an important way to access care during the pandemic, also added a degree of communication difficulty for those with fewer English skills, she said.

Many of the telehealth changes are here to stay, and it will be important to ask: “Are we ensuring equity in telehealth use for individuals who face language barriers?” Himmelstein said.

Olga Garcia-Bedoya, MD, an associate professor at University of Illinois at Chicago’s department of medicine and medical director of UIC’s Institute for Minority Health Research, said having access to interpreters with high accuracy is key to narrowing the gaps.

“The literature is very clear that access to professional medical interpreters is associated with decreased health disparities for patients with limited English proficiency,” she said.

More cultural training for clinicians is needed surrounding beliefs about illness and that some care may be declined not because of a person’s limited English proficiency, but because their beliefs may keep them from getting care, Garcia-Bedoya added. When it comes to getting a flu shot, for example, sometimes belief systems, rather than English proficiency, keep people from accessing care.

What Can Be Done?

Addressing barriers caused by lack of English proficiency will likely take change in policies, including one related reimbursement for medical interpreters, Himmelstein said.

Currently, only 15 states’ Medicaid programs or Children’s Health Insurance Programs reimburse providers for language services, the paper notes, and neither Medicare nor private insurers routinely pay for those services.

Recruiting bilingual providers and staff at health care facilities and in medical and nursing schools will also be important to narrow the gaps, Himmelstein said.

Strengthening standards for interpreters also will help. “Currently such standards vary by state or by institution and are not necessarily enforced,” she explained.

It will also be important to make sure patients know that they are entitled by law to care, free of discriminatory practices and to have certain language services including qualified interpreters, Himmelstein said.

Garcia-Bedoya said changes need to come from health systems working in combination with clinicians, providing resources so that quality interpreters can be accessed and making sure that equipment supports clear communication in telehealth. Patients’ language preferences should also be noted as soon as they make the appointment.

The findings of the study may have large significance as one in seven people in the United States speak Spanish at home, and 25 million people in the United States have limited English proficiency, the authors noted.

Himmelstein receives funding support from an Institutional National Research Service Award. Garcia-Bedoya reports no relevant financial relationships.

This article originally appeared on MDedge.com , part of the Medscape Professional Network.

Review: Worms Rumble – Fun Traversal, But A Limited Battle Royale Spin-Off

If you’ve ever played a Worms game, chances are you know more or less how it works by now. Two or more teams wage war within the confines of a 2D destructible arena, each taking turns to make their move in a strategic battle of wits and firepower. It’s a formula that, despite some missteps here and there, simply works. So when Worms Rumble came along to shake up the formula with faster, real-time gameplay, we were understandably a bit sceptical.

With every major game publisher seemingly desperate to show off their own take on the battle royale genre, Worms is the latest franchise to wave its hand in the air and yell “hey, we’ll have some of that!”. Worms Rumble is somewhat of a spin-off of the main Worms series, boasting real-time gameplay in a strictly online multiplayer setting. Its core modes consist of Team Deathmatch, Standard Deathmatch, Last Squad Standing, and Last Worm Standing. The latter two are the game’s mandatory battle royale modes, though the overall player count can only reach a maximum of 32, albeit with cross-platform support.

Out of the available modes at launch, the deathmatch options are significantly more fun than the battle royale modes. Although the latter take place across much larger maps with an abundance of items to discover, the deathmatch modes offer up much more replayability. The game does try to prepare you for this by recommending you reach a certain level before trying out the battle royale modes, otherwise you’re likely to snuff it pretty early in each match.

Controlling the worms themselves feels much quicker and more fluid than past entries. They’ve been given a handy boost in speed, alongside a rolling ability that not only lets you get out of danger quickly, but also grants you extra height and distance when jumping. Aiming is done via the two analogue sticks in typical twin-stick fashion, meaning you can easily manoeuvre your worm to a safe place whilst firing towards your opponents.

Although you’ll start each match with the very basics of weaponry, crates are littered around each stage containing both new weapons and various grenade types. A handful of your favourite classics are here, including the rocket launcher, shotgun, banana, and holy hand grenade. It’s undeniable, however, that certain weapons have lost much of their charm in this entry simply due to the lack of destructible environments. Honestly, what’s the point of the holy hand grenade if it’s not going to cause a gigantic crater to form in the ground?

Aside from this, the selection of weapons is pretty sparse for the most part. It’s clear the game is designed to be a streamlined experience in contrast to the more strategic approach taken with previous entries, but with so many of the more unique weapons and items missing here, the game has, by extension, lost a lot of its own identity.

The levels themselves are reasonably large, with plenty of winding corridors and tight spaces. They’re big enough that you can quite easily retreat to safety if need be, but not so big that you’ll struggle to locate your opponents. Scattered throughout the levels are vents, which are handy for hiding away from the enemy, but can prove tricky to navigate quickly if someone happens to spot you inside, bringing a small sense of risk vs reward to the game.

Not only that, but the game also encourages quick traversal with the inclusion of zip wires and elevators. It’s genuinely quite thrilling when you’re in the thick of it to jump onto a zip wire and zoom across half the map to safety. You can also flip this around, of course, and utilise zip wires to quickly ambush opponents, particularly if you’re carrying the one-two punch of a rocket launcher and a holy hand grenade. Let chaos ensue.

In terms of visual design, however, the levels are simply too busy. There’s so much going on in the background, it’s often tricky to know which platforms are actually reachable, and which ones are just part of the scenery. This is only exacerbated on the Switch’s portable screen, so good luck if you’re planning on playing in handheld mode or on Switch Lite.

Which leads us onto our next issue: an overall lack of content. There are so few levels on offer with Worms Rumble, don’t be surprised to see the same locations multiple times in a row before a different area enters the rotation. It’s exhausting after a while to see the same locales yet again, and with such basic, by-the-numbers gameplay holding it all together, there simply isn’t enough here to keep your attention for very long. We’ve no doubt that Team17 will introduce more maps later down the line, but the game really needed a bit more variety out of the gate.

Outside of the core gameplay, you’re able to customise your worm to your liking, including an offering of various eyes, skin tones, mouths, and clothing. There’s a rather limited selection at the start (including a rather baffling set of Christmas themed items), but as you level up your worm, you gain access to additional item sets. We would’ve liked the game to include an option to save certain customisations so you can flip between them at will, but unfortunately you’re stuck with having to completely revamp your worm every time you want a change.

In terms of matchmaking, the game offers up sessions fairly quickly when opting for either Deathmatch or Team Deathmatch, but it can take an awfully long time if you go for the battle royale themed modes (and if you happen to perish early on, it can naturally feel like wasted time). Not only that, but there were multiple instances where we eventually got into a match only to find a total of 5 or 6 players active out of a possible 32. At launch, the player base feels pretty sparse already, and that’s not good.

Finally, as with any multiplayer focused game, you can expect to find a great deal of DLC packs available for purchase. These appear to be entirely cosmetic, with new skins for your worm, fresh emotes, and custom paint jobs for your weapons. Having said that, with the game dishing out fresh items every time you level up, there’s not a great deal of incentive to purchase the extra content at this time.

Conclusion

Worms Rumble is a reasonably fun game in its own right; the battles feel fast, the weapons pack a decent punch, and the addition of zip wires make traversal a blast. The problem is that in transitioning to a multiplayer-focused battle royale style game, much of what made Worms so iconic in the past is now gone, with far fewer weapons and absolutely no destructible environments. Add to this a rather limited selection of levels, and you’ve got an experience that may well be fun for a short while, but certainly won’t keep you engaged for the long haul.

Author:
This post originally appeared on Nintendo Life | Reviews

BBC iPlayer is adding one of the best new Netflix features …but for a limited time

But unlike the best Netflix features, Netflix Party wasn’t created by the streaming giant itself – it was a third-party app available as a Chrome extension.

Netflix Party has since been rebranded as Teleparty, and now a variety of streaming services, including Disney+ and Prime Video, have similar solutions built directly into the app itself.

Apple recently announced that its FaceTime video call app will be able to share video playback – so you can watch a show on Disney+ or Apple TV+ and chat with friends and family who live further afield. The update to FaceTime will launch this autumn.

Speaking about the BBC’s take on watch parties, Dan Taylor-Watt, director of product and systems on BBC iPlayer and BBC Sounds, said: “As there’s no Glastonbury on again this year, our Watch With Friends feature will still enable music fans who want to get together virtually to enjoy amazing classic sets from years gone by, and the brilliant new Live at Worthy Farm performances.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Tech Feed

Xbox Series X stock event confirmed as May PS5 restock remains limited

The next Xbox Series X stock event is coming to the UK this week, courtesy of Box.co.uk.

The good news is that, like past events, this one will be run as a ballot, meaning you won’t be waiting in a big queue.

Instead, gamers will need to sign up today via an email account to have a chance at buying a console.

Box has provided a 24-hour notice confirming that the next Xbox Series X stock ballot will be held on Friday, May 7.

It should also be noted that if you are successful in the ballot, the company will contact you directly via the email you share with them.

So anyone interested in throwing their hat into the ring will need to make sure they have all their information sorted on the official site.

XBOX SERIES X BALLOT LINK

A message explaining the ballot from Box.co.uk can be found here: “Box.co.uk have decided to run a ballot system for the new Xbox Series X while stock is in such constraint and demand is so high. The ballot system allows customers to sign up with their email address and name in order to be in with a chance of being selected at random to purchase a console.

“We will contact all lucky customers by email, instructing them on how to purchase their Xbox Series X console.

“If you, unfortunately, don’t get selected then you will be automatically entered into the next ballot draw.

“The ballot will close when supply can keep up with demand. Upon which we will email all contacts to inform them of the closure of the ballot system and that plentiful stock is available at box.co.uk for anyone still looking to purchase a console.

“As we receive each wave of stock, a ballot will be drawn from the remaining customers within the ballot who have not already been invited to purchase. We will announce each draw 24 hours before it happens via our social media channels.”

Xbox Series X stock has dragged behind demand from consumers all year, leaving many gamers unable to upgrade.

And it isn’t just Microsoft fans struggling, with PS5 restock events drying up during April 2021.

The good news is that thousands of more consoles are expected to arrive during May 2021, although a big stock drop has yet to materialise.

There were hopes that something would be coming this week from Argos, Very or GAME, kicking off before Friday, May 7.

However, nothing has been revealed yet and it looks like the first major stock drop will be happening next week.

Argos, Very, GAME and John Lewis are expected to be among the first to offer PS5 stock, with thousands of consoles expected to be included.

Smyths Toys have also indicated that they will be dropping new PlayStation 5 stock at some point in May.

However, even with these new consoles hitting digital shelves this month, supply is still not going to be able to keep up with demand.

Shortages in the production chain have led to mass problems in the tech field and these issues are expected to continue throughout 2021.

Author:
This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Gaming Feed

Limited Run Republishing Another Two Game Boy Titles, Pre-Orders Open This Friday

Game Boy© Nintendo Life

Physical distributor Limited Run Games has announced it will be republishing not one, but two Game Boy classics. The first is StarHawk and the second one is Metal Masters – both titles will be available for pre-order this Friday over a four-week period.

Metal Masters is a 2D beat ’em up fighting game, and was developed by Bit Managers and published by Electro Brain on the Game Boy in 1993. The alien shooter StarHawk arrived on the portable scene in the same year and was developed by NMS Software and published by Accolade.

Stop the evil alien race in the classic Game Boy title StarHawk! Open for four week pre-order starting this Friday at 10AM ET / 7AM PT. Only on http://LimitedRunGames.com.#Gameboy #StarHawk

StarHawk© Limited Run Games

That’s not all, Metal Masters on Game Boy is hitting the http://LimitedRunGames.com store this Friday. Don’t miss this robotic fighting game available for four week pre-order. #GameBoy

Metal Masters© Limited Run Games

According to Limited Run Games, both games will be priced at $ 34.99 USD each. Will you be adding these ones to your retro library? Tell us down below. In related news, LRG has also revealed its physical version of Bug Fables.

This article originally appeared on Nintendo Life | Latest News

Xbox Cloud Gaming for Windows 10 PC and Apple Phones and Tablets Begin as Limited Beta for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate Members

Our mission at Xbox is to empower you to play the games you want with the people you want, anywhere you want. Simply put, we believe games have the power to connect humanity and it’s our mission to make gaming more accessible to people around the world.

As we shared at the end of last year, we’re bringing Xbox to more players on more devices via the cloud this year. Starting tomorrow, we’ll begin sending out invites to select Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members to start testing the Xbox Cloud Gaming limited beta for Windows 10 PCs and Apple phones and tablets via web browsers. We’re launching xbox.com/play where invitees can play over 100 Xbox Game Pass titles through Edge, Google Chrome, or Safari. Offering cloud gaming through the browser and having a simplified, universal landing page presents a great opportunity to make cloud gaming approachable to more players in more places over time.

The limited beta is our time to test and learn; we’ll send out more invites on a continuous basis to players in all 22 supported countries, evaluate feedback, continue to improve the experience, and add support for more devices. Our plan is to iterate quickly and open up to all Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members in the coming months so more people have the opportunity to play Xbox in all-new ways.

Those who receive an invite just need a compatible Bluetooth or USB-connected controller or can use custom touch controls for more than 50 games to start playing and testing. In the early stages of the beta, we’ll be focusing on fine-tuning features and creating a consistent experience across platforms, while making sure games are running their best. For more information on how to play, an updated list of supported devices, and release notes, please visit our support hub.

This is an exciting step on our journey to bring gaming to the 3 billion players around the world. Thanks so much for helping us shape cloud gaming, from the early days in Preview to today, quite simply we couldn’t have done it without you.

Catherine Gluckstein, Vice President & Head of Product, Project xCloud

This article originally appeared on Xbox Wire

Limited Run Reveals Neo Geo Pocket Color Selection Vol.1 Physical Release, 10 Classics On One Switch Cartridge

Back in March, SNK surprised fans with the digital release of the Neo Geo Pocket Color Selection Vol.1 for Switch.

It contains the following 10 games – SNK Gals’ Fighters, Samurai Shodown! 2, King of Fighters R-2, The Last Blade: Beyond the Destiny, Fatal Fury First Contact, SNK vs. Capcom: The Match of the Millennium, Metal Slug 1st Mission, Metal Slug 2nd Mission, Dark Arms and Big Tournament Golf / Neo Turf Masters.

If you’ve been holding out for a physical release, Limited Run Games has now announced a physical version of this ten-in-one collection. Pre-orders will open on 22nd April and are open for a total of four weeks. In addition to a standard copy of the game, there’ll also be a collector’s edition – which comes with the game, a retrospective book, two-sided poster, steelbook and classic Neo Geo Pocket-style packaging.

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It seems physical publisher Pix’n Love Publishing will also be offering a European physical release. Pre-orders open on the same date as the LRG one:

Will you be adding this physical collection to your Nintendo Switch library? Leave a comment down below.

This article originally appeared on Nintendo Life | Latest News

Review: RetroMania Wrestling – A Faithful But Limited NostalgiaFest

RetroMania Wrestling Review - Screenshot 1 of 5
Captured on Nintendo Switch (Handheld/Undocked)

The search for a truly wonderful wrestling game on Switch has been one fraught with disappointments, and one that’s still yet to result in an absolute gem.

WWE 2K18 was such a shocking, glitch-riddled port that 2K Sports declined to bring the 2019 and 2020 offerings to Nintendo’s console. Its arcade-style spin-off WWE 2K Battlegrounds fared a little better in that it actually worked, but it was still a repetitive, shallow experience.

The closest we’ve come to brilliance on Switch so far is Wrestling Empire, an indie title that appears to be inspired by the N64 era (the best era for wrestling games) and is absolutely packed with content but is such a laughably buggy mess – deliberately so, to be fair – that it won’t be to the tastes of anyone who just wants a solid wrestling game.

Well, the 10-count has ended and the next competitor stepping into the ring for this Switch Royal Rumble is RetroMania Wrestling, the ‘official’ sequel to Technos’ classic 1991 arcade wrestling game WWF WrestleFest (in that developer Retrosoft reached an agreement with the game’s owner, not that anyone from Technos actually worked on this game).
RetroMania Wrestling Review - Screenshot 2 of 5
Captured on Nintendo Switch (Handheld/Undocked)

Anyone old enough to remember WrestleFest will be able to tell right away that RetroMania is an authentic facsimile, at least visually. The game does an impressive job of recreating the way that WrestleFest looked, right down to the way you see the competitors slowly walking down the entrance ramp before each fight. Once inside the ring everything looks like it should: moves in particular have just the right number of frames of animation to make it look like an authentic modern version of WrestleFest.

It may look the part, then, but it feels different, particularly when it comes to the grappling mechanic. WrestleFest was a bit of a button-basher and each wrestler only had four grapple moves that the game picked for you, but RetroMania’s grappling system is more timing-based like the Fire Pro Wrestling games. When both wrestlers get into a grapple, the aim is to press a button just as they both make contact. If you time it better than your opponent you’ll flash green and be in control of the move. If you do it at the same time, it’s button-bashing time.

It also shares Fire Pro’s use of light, medium and heavy grapple moves. Much like a real bout, it’s unrealistic to expect to storm in and start pulling off powerful slams right after the match starts, so at first the only grapples you’ll be able to successfully perform are weak ones (stronger ones will be reversed). Eventually your character’s momentum bar builds, enabling you to pull off medium and strong grapples. In this way the pace of the fight feels more like something you’d see on TV. Each grapple strength also has a variety of different moves, pulled off by holding a different direction as you press the button.

RetroMania Wrestling Review - Screenshot 3 of 5
Captured on Nintendo Switch (Handheld/Undocked)

The grappling is great, then, but the other attacks leave a lot to be desired. Punches and kicks are tough to connect with, and running attacks need to be lined up absolutely perfectly or they won’t connect. This is much easier said than done, meaning you’ll find yourself avoiding running attacks altogether: a shame, because they’re among the most satisfying moves in the game on the rare occasions they do connect.

Another disappointment is the character roster, which only consists of 16 wrestlers. It’s a weird mix of indie, New Japan and Impact wrestlers, with the likes of Tommy Dreamer, Colt Cabana and the Blue World Order joined by NWA champ Nick Aldis and Impact’s Matt Cardona and Brian Myers (previously known in the WWE as Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins). It’s even got the Road Warriors (aka the Legion of Doom) in there, because why not. They were the final bosses in WrestleFest, after all.

If you eat, drink, breathe, sleep and occasionally sneeze wrestling then this may well be a roster to get you excited, but your typical WWE (or even AEW) fan is going to struggle to get excited about the prospect of playing as Warhorse or the Blue Meanie. It just feels like they’ve dumped in whoever they could get to agree to be in it: 71-year-old Austin Idol and 62-year-old Nikita Koloff are hardly going to have most fans eagerly stuffing $ 25 in the eShop’s mouth, Ted DiBiase style.
RetroMania Wrestling Review - Screenshot 4 of 5
Captured on Nintendo Switch (Docked)

Oddly, there are actually more arenas than there are wrestlers, and these are brilliantly put together. Whether it’s Stevie Richards’ gym, Tommy Dreamer’s House of Hardcore arena, a WCW-inspired beach setting, the ECW-style ballroom or a match set in hell itself, the locations are varied and packed with detail, especially when the camera zooms out and you get a wide shot of everything. There’s even an arena based on Cardona and Myers’ Major Wrestling Figure Podcast, with a ring that looks exactly like the blue plastic WWF toy ring release in the early 90s and might just be the best thing in the game.

In terms of gameplay modes, there’s a Story mode where you play as Johnny Retro (aka John Morrison) as he tries to make a comeback from an injury. Starting off at Stevie Richards Fitness, you’re in charge of who to befriend and who to backstab thanks to the dialogue trees (though these have a habit of popping up at the end of lines, meaning we accidentally picked decisions when we thought we were skipping the previous line). This gives you a surprising amount of choice, but sadly the story is far too short to consider it the main reason for buying the game.

Other modes include 10 Pounds of Gold (a standard tournament where you try to reach Nick Aldis to win the NWA title), a ‘Retro Rumble’ (which is a 16-man Royal Rumble style match), and a straightforward Versus mode with a number of match types. The latter is versatile enough for some interesting bouts – an eight-man tag match in a blue WWF-style cage, anyone? – but is still a little limited compared to what Wrestling Empire and even the WWE 2K games have to offer in terms of match customisation.

RetroMania Wrestling Review - Screenshot 5 of 5
Captured on Nintendo Switch (Docked)

Ultimately, RetroMania Wrestling is as much about what it doesn’t have as what it does have. There’s no online multiplayer, no character creation, no enormous stars in the roster and no longevity in its single-player game modes. The developer has already said there’ll be more DLC wrestlers to come (the first pack includes Mr Hughes and Impact wrestlers James Storm and Chris Bey), and has also pledged to add more modes like a GM Mode if there’s enough interest. The latter could potentially make this a far more enticing prospect, but just now there’s not a lot on offer.

Conclusion

RetroMania Wrestling looks like WWF WrestleFest, plays (a bit) like Fire Pro and has a wide variety of entertaining arenas to play in. However, the tiny roster, lack of creation modes, lack of online and brief single-player experiences mean you’re really going to need to be interested in local multiplayer if you’re going to be playing this one for a long time. To give it the Cena test: it’s got our respect for going old-school and it’ll get loyalty from the cult following it’ll inevitably gain, but it still needs a bit more hustle before it’s the finished product, whereas just now it feels like The Prototype.

Limited Run Will Be Publishing Save Me Mr Tako: Definitive Edition On Consoles

Back in 2018, there was mention of the Game Boy-inspired adventure Save Me Mr Tako: Tasukete Tako-San getting a physical release if there was enough interest.

It’s been a bumpy ride since then – with the game even delisted on the eShop, but now, it’s bounced back.

The new Definitive Edition will be receiving a Limited Run Games physical release on consoles. More details about the new digital release will also be revealed later down the line.

In a separate blog post, the game’s developer Christophe Galati revealed the definitive version of the game would arrive digitally on 5th March:

“I waited a long time to get the game patched and I can’t wait for you to experience the game in all its glory in this Definitive Edition.”

Unfortunately, if you’ve already got a copy of the original game – you’ll still have to buy this new version again because of the publisher swap:

“Last year for the game’s two year anniversary I announced that I had parted away with my former publisher Nicalis, resulting in the game being removed from the stores (Steam and Nintendo eShop). Because the game was delisted and is now under a new publisher, we are unable to patch the existing game and instead need to deliver it as a new title. Unfortunately this means anyone who previously purchased the original game will still have to purchase this new version to enjoy all the new content. I contacted both Valve and Nintendo to see if I could do a special discount for players with the original version in their library but unfortunately it’s impossible.”

So, there you go – Mr Tako is finally getting a physical release. Will you be buying this game again, or trying it out for the first time? Leave a comment down below.

Introducing the Designed for Xbox Limited Series Bang & Olufsen Beoplay Portal Headphones

At Xbox, we believe providing choice to our players is critical in delivering quality gaming experiences across all our products and services. We know how important immersive audio is to keep you connected and being connected is more important now than ever. Whether you are gaming with your friends around the world, listening to your favorite music, talking on a conference call for work, or bingeing the latest shows, audio plays a vital role in your everyday experiences. While we currently offer a wide range of first and third party headsets for all types of gamers including the new Xbox Wireless Headset, we see an opportunity to deliver even more experiences through the Designed for Xbox program. 

Today, we are thrilled to introduce the Bang & Olufsen Beoplay Portal Wireless Headphones for Xbox. Beoplay Portal is the perfect combination of technology, design and craftsmanship providing an immaculate audio experience for gaming and everyday activities. It is the first product for the Designed for Xbox Limited Series program, intended to bring premium and bespoke experiences to our Xbox fans.

Bang & Olufsen’s Beoplay Portal Wireless Headphones for Xbox are available in Black Anthracite, Grey Mist, and Navy Brass and can be pre-ordered starting today in select markets.

Bang & Olufsen Beoplay Portal Headphones

Engineered for gaming, designed for life.

Beoplay Portal has a sophisticated aesthetic and can be used in any situation, while offering easy access to dedicated gaming features. Customize the game/chat balance, mute, and volume directly on the headset itself or from the Bang & Olufsen audio app. You can easily connect to your Xbox Series X|S or Xbox One with lossless 2.4GHz Xbox Wireless connectivity built in. Beoplay Portal is also compatible with PC and mobile devices with Bluetooth 5.1 and aptX Adaptive, allowing you to take immersive audio on the go. Charging is quick and gets you back in the game within 3 hours. Beoplay Portal offers 12 hours of battery life when using Xbox Wireless, Bluetooth and active noise-cancellation, and 24 hours when only using Bluetooth and active-noise cancellation.

Bang & Olufsen Beoplay Portal Headphones

With the introduction of a virtual boom arm, Beoplay Portal offers reliable microphone performance without the intrusive design of a physical boom arm. An array of directional, beamforming microphones isolate and amplify your voice while cancelling out background noise for crystal clear conversations. The modern design of the virtual boom arm along with Bluetooth 5.1 makes this headset perfect for listening to music or taking calls on the go.

Gamers who purchase Beoplay Portal can use the Bang & Olufsen audio app, available on iOS or Android, to fine-tune their audio experience. The app allows users to quickly swap between pre-set game modes, like RPG or FPS, adjust adaptive active noise-cancellation, mic monitoring, mic tone and game/chat balance. You can also customize your own personal audio mix by balancing audio tones between bright, relaxed, energetic, and warm, and many other options for a personalized audio experience. With Bluetooth, the app will automatically adjust to entertainment and travel preset modes. The app also ensures you have the latest software for your headphones and updating is quick and simple.

A sleek and sophisticated design for gamers.

Beoplay Portal combines Scandinavian design values with the world of gaming. Designed by Jakob Wagner in partnership with Bang & Olufsen’s design team, contemporary design aesthetics can be seen in features like gradient anodization on the aluminum earcups, unparalleled craftsmanship and quality materials. The lambskin ear cushions with built-in jaw support ensure great sound isolation and fully immersive audio. Chosen for durability and breathability, the Beoplay Portal features calfskin leather on the exterior headband with bamboo fiber textile on the inside band, and the cushions on top of the headband relieve any sort of fatigue you might find from long-term wear. The headset is extremely lightweight, at only 9.9 ounces (282 grams), making it ideal for gaming and travel.

The earcups have capacitive touch controls for easy access to volume and game/chat balance. Swipe up or down on the back of the earcup to adjust volume on the right and game/chat balance on the left. A quick double tap mutes your microphone, and another brings you back to chat. When using Bluetooth, a quick adjustment in the app allows the left ear cup to control ANC and own-voice balance.

Renowned Bang & Olufsen sound makes its way to gaming.

Bang & Olufsen are world leaders in both sound and design and are now bringing their legendary audio expertise to Xbox with the Beoplay Portal Headphones. Based out of Denmark, they have been developing audio solutions for over 95 years and have been continuously raising the bar in audio innovation across multiple categories. While many are familiar with Bang & Olufsen sound quality through their world-renowned speakers, headphones, or TVs, this is the first time they set out to build a gaming-first audio device.

Bang & Olufsen Beoplay Portal Headphones

Beoplay Portal has been tuned by acclaimed acousticians for the most immersive and precise gaming audio. Experience your favorite games like never before with its engaging, sensorial audio and hear the subtlest of sounds you did not even know existed. Beoplay Portal comes with a pre-activated Dolby Atmos for Headphones service and is compatible with Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PC, and mobile devices.

Designed for Xbox Limited Series

Bang & Olufsen Beoplay Portal is the first Designed for Xbox Limited Series product in our program. Marked by a Designed for Xbox Limited Series badge on the lower right-hand corner of the box, this new category of licensed products ensures premium product quality and design. Limited Series products will also boast a custom-made feature set designed specifically for Xbox that will take your gaming experience to the next level.

Pricing and availability

We’re excited for you to experience the thoughtful combination of immersive sound, timeless design and the unrivalled craftsmanship that is Bang & Olufsen. The Bang & Olufsen Beoplay Portal Headphones for Xbox will be available starting at $ 499.00 USD from select Microsoft Store markets worldwide, Bang & Olufsen and other participating retailers. See below for availability details:

Microsoft Store: U.S and Canada

  • Black Anthracite: Available for purchase today
  • Grey Mist: Pre-order today, ships in May
  • Navy Brass: Pre-order today, ships in May

For all other markets, check xbox.com or your local gaming retailer for availability.

Alex Nunn, Sr. Business and Strategy Lead, Designed for Xbox