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What did you do during lockdown? Right, you were playing ‘Grand Theft Auto’

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Now we know what all of you have been doing during the pandemic, and it wasn’t necessarily all working from home:

Sony Corp. said Tuesday that its April-June profit jumped 53% as its video game and other online businesses thrived with people staying home due to the coronavirus lockdown.

And Take-Two Interactive Software said it sold over 15 million units of “Grand Theft Auto V” in the first two quarters of the year, as more people lapped up the action-adventure videogame to keep themselves entertained in lockdown.

Sony reported a 233 billion yen ($2.2 billion) profit for the most recent quarter, up from 152 billion yen the year before.

On the flip side, Sony warned that its movies division would likely suffer for two or three years due to filming delays and closed theaters. Consumer demand for electronics products has also plunged, including sales of digital cameras, TVs and other gadgets, according to Sony.

Meanwhile, Sony unveiled its prototype of an electric car, highlighting the reach of consumer electronics into new sectors in the digital age.

The company is projecting a 510 billion yen ($4.8 billion) profit for the fiscal year that ends in March 2021, down 12% from the previous fiscal year.

Sony said music streaming was doing well, as people stayed home due to the pandemic, but other parts of its music business have suffered. Online video content also is doing well, it said.

Video game operations got a big lift from people signing on to network services. There are now 45 million PlayStation Plus subscribers, a paying online membership for games, and Sony is planning a major upgrade with the PlayStation 5 to go on sale later this year.

Take-Two shares, which are up more than 37% this year, hit a record high of $180.61, a day after it reported a blockbuster quarter.

“Grand Theft Auto V”, the seventh installment of the franchise, follows the story of three protagonists – Trevor, Franklin and Michael – as they find their way through a fictitious California-like state to accomplish missions involving car-chases and shootouts.

Take-Two sold over 25 million units of “Grand Theft Auto V” globally in the last 12 months, more than double that of a year earlier.

The company also joined rival videogame publisher Electronic Arts Inc in raising its annual sales forecast as demand for their popular videogames soars.

U.S. spending on video games in June surged 26% to $1.2 billion, the highest for the month in over a decade, according to research firm NPD, as people turned to games for relaxation during lockdowns and also purchased more in-game content.

Material from Reuters was used in this report.

Source: https://www.autoblog.com/2020/08/04/sony-take-two-interactive-video-game-sales/

Automotive

10 TIPS FOR WOMEN DRIVING ALONE AT NIGHT

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Whether on foot or in a car, women are never safe from robbers and thieves. This is mainly because they view them as helpless damsels, carrying lots of valuable items such as jewelry. You can secure yourself with some basic night-driving tips.

When driving out late at night, safety must be your top priority. Never give and take rides from strangers and most importantly, never let your car break down.

With some knowledge of safety tips and basic self-defense, you can be a lot more confident when hitting the road.

Here are 10 ways you can keep yourself safe when driving alone at night.

1.  Never compromise on maintenance

Traveling alone at night and your car has just broken down? You’re at your most vulnerable. While malfunctions can happen anytime, you can reduce them through regular maintenance.

For women who are not well-versed in car repair, consider getting a safety check before you take a long trip. Also, remember to carry spare tires and fuel, and keep the vehicle’s instruction and repair manual with you.

Before each trip, check your car for flats, malfunctioning locks, and wobbly gearboxes.

2.  Keep an eye on the following vehicles

This is a good tip especially when there’s no one else on the road. Keep an eye for vehicles that seem to keep on following you. So to be sure, try driving around in circles, preferably around a park or fuel station.

If you suspect a vehicle is following you, keep driving and do not stop. Don’t let the suspects out-drive you. Drive to the nearest police station or fuel station. Or simply drive into a more populated place and try to get help.

3.  Keep your valuables out of sight

A lot of times, women on the roads are assaulted for their jewelry and valuables. The perpetrators see you as a damsel in distress, and they think it’s easy to get these items off you.

Keep your valuables such as your electronics, jewelry, watches, and handbag, out of sight. If you get robbed, never prioritize your valuables over your life. Unless they want to take both, in that case, your best shot is to out-drive them or get to a police station quickly.

4.  Let others know where you’re going

Before going on a long trip, let others know where you’re going. And try to be more specific about the route you’re taking. Although, your route may change if the situation calls for it. If you get stranded, inform your relatives and friends immediately of your location and situation.

If you’re not able to get help from passersby, call a local police station for help. Stay in the car with your doors and windows locked, till help arrives.

5.  Use the SOS feature

Most modern phones, including Android and iOS phones, have an SOS feature. You can find the feature by simply searching in your settings. Activate it, and press the power button thrice to send an SOS message along with your location to the authorities. You can also send the message to a few selected contacts.

You can also attach a picture of your surroundings to the message, or an audio recording. This can be useful when you can’t provide details of your situation and a quick photo or audio will help.

6.  Learn repairing basics

While it may take some time, learning the basics of how to repair your car can help you a lot. You no longer will be the helpless driver on a highway. Learn how to change a tire, fix a flat, jump-start the car, and filling your fuel.

For changing a tire, take a look at the following video guide:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=314HE4aMG-g&ab_channel=ChrisFix

Also, learn how to replace the head and tail lights, wipers, and spark plugs. You can also lookup from common solutions to a failed engine. Keep spare tires, fuel, and the car’s handbook at hand. Refer to the handbook for some basic troubleshooting and repairing.

7.  Safety in parking lots

It’s not uncommon for women to get robbed or assaulted in parking lots. Consider parking close to the guards’ check posts. Or park near the VIP area, which is usually heavily guarded.

Keep your keys out of the purse when approaching the car, so you can quickly get in and out. Unlock the car only when you get close to it. Remember to double-check your car’s locks before leaving it.

Take the elevator or stairs that are the most populated. It may be tempting to avoid tightly packed areas, but sometimes it’s a better idea.

8.  Makeshift weapons

Some basic weapons such as a folding pocket knife, pepper spray, and tasers are all good choices for self-defense. Look into local laws about self-defense, as most don’t allow anything other than a folding pocket knife.

You can make pepper spray at home using some basic ingredients such as pepper, chili, and salt. Here’s a video explaining the procedure:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWfquvm_Xn4&ab_channel=Glamrs

When facing the opponents who are stronger than you, aim for the eyes and the groin, as this will incapacitate them. It’s much more effective than trying to take the opponent head-on.

9.  Avoid unsafe routes:

While it may be tempting to take a route with no traffic which may compromise your safety. Avoid routes that are sparsely populated, have no traffic and have a bad reputation. Also, evade these routes when attacks and looting are at their peak.

If you’re unsure, you can check with people you know to confirm the road safety. Google Maps also has some good features, such as the Stay Safer feature, that lets you know when a taxi is going off-route.

10.              Fear is your biggest enemy

And lastly, abandon fear. Whether you’re driving and stuck on a highway, never lose hope, or give in to fear. A lot of women are vulnerable on the road, but many make it out safe too.

If you fear a vehicle is following you, or your life is in danger; calm down and think with positivity. Consider your options wisely and resort to your local police station if everything else fails.

Conclusion

Personal safety is the top priority for both men and women. Perhaps, no one is more vulnerable than a woman driving alone at night on an unsafe road.

Learn to troubleshoot problems with your car and always carry pepper sprays or stun guns with you. Always keep your valuables hidden, and stay vigilant; especially if you’re alone on the road.

But above all, never give in to panic and lose hope. When all else fails, flee to a more public space. And never hesitate to call the cops. We can surely put an end to female violence if we all come together.

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Automotive

Gaming Roundup | Is the ability to play Gran Turismo worth $399?

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Autoblog may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page. Pricing and availability are subject to change.

The crossover between gearheads and gamers is growing every day. Professional race car drivers develop their chops digitally before ever stepping foot onto certain tracks thanks to racing simulators like iRacing. Entertainers like T-Pain are simultaneously diving into both automotive and gaming ventures. We even see the overlap firsthand on our very own livestreams, where car enthusiasts of all ages from around the world join us to talk about not only their favorite cars, but also their favorite racing and driving games. So we wanted to create a place on Autoblog to talk about the gaming news of the week, and how it might relate to the automotive world (and for any parents out there, we’ll try to help you make sense of some of the madness.) Enter: Autoblog‘s Gaming Roundup. Let’s dive in. 

Did Sony finally release Playstation 5 prices?

It did, and predictably, the PS5 will be available on November 12 for the same price as the Xbox Series X at $499. There’s a twist, though. As you probably know, Xbox is releasing two consoles this November, the Series X and the $299 Series S. Although the Series S doesn’t quite pack the same punch as the Series X, it’s still a “next generation console” and it will be able to play all the same games as the Series X. Well, what might be flying under the radar a bit is that Sony is releasing two consoles this November as well, the PS5 and the PS5 digital edition (the same console but without a disc drive). The headline here is that, if you don’t need a disc drive, you can get a PS5 digital edition for $399. Assuming the PS5 and Series X are mostly comparable in power (yes, yes, I know, this can be argued but realistically they’re about the same, let’s be reasonable here), this means that if you don’t need a disc drive, you can snag a “full-powered” next-gen console for only $399 in the form of a PS5 digital edition. The confusing part, though, is that if you don’t have a 4K TV or don’t care about playing every game at the absolute maximum specs that can be achieved via console, then you can still participate in the next generation of gaming just fine with the $299 Xbox Series S. Keep in mind, if you want to play Forza, that’ll only be available on Xbox (and PC), and if you want to play Gran Turismo, that’ll only be available on Playstation, so you’ll have to go PS5. Got all that? You might have to search pretty hard for a PS5, though you can pre-order one here, but availability has been sporadic, and that’ll likely continue for some time.

Racing games that aren’t sims

Q: You guys talk a lot about sim racers in these posts — can you recommend any racing games that aren’t simulators?

You better believe we can. Last week, a game called “Hotshot Racing” launched on PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch. It’s a retro-style racing game themed after arcade games, and News Editor Joel Stocksdale spent this past week playing it. His thoughts:

Joel Stocksdale: “Hotshot Racing” is an all-around charmer, from the graphics to the gameplay. Its art style is clearly inspired by arcade racing games, particularly Sega Model 1 and Model 2 games such as “Virtua Racing” and “Daytona USA.” That’s evident by the vibrant colors, low-polygon models and creative tracks adorned with everything from castles to dinosaurs. The detailed animations of everything on the track, the long draw distances and buttery smooth framerate make it look and feel more sophisticated than you would expect, though. Also evident is not just a love for classic arcade games, but for cars. The game features various drivers with unique cars, all of which are clearly inspired by real ones. These include well-known vehicles like Corvettes and Jaguar E-Types, as well as more obscure machines such as the Toyota GT-One Le Mans racer. You’ll even find paint schemes inspired by real cars, such as a TRD Toyota Levin race car or a NASCAR wearing the colors of Tom Cruise’s City Chevrolet car in “Days of Thunder.” Thought was also put into the visual upgrades that can be done, such as the engine hood scoops: Front-engine cars get scoops in the hood, mid-engine cars get them on the sides and roofs.

The gameplay is also a blast. You get a superb sense of speed, with the bright scenery whipping by, anime speed lines in your peripheral view. Controls are extremely tight, precise and responsive.Combined with easy-to-drive cars, the game is great for anyone of any skill level to pick up and try out. The game mechanics and tight controls also make it so that there’s plenty to master for people who want a challenge. Adding nuance is the fact that every car controls a little bit differently, even within the same class (balanced, speed, acceleration and drift). With 16 tracks, race, time trial, pursuit and speed related modes available, there’s plenty to keep you busy. It’s still not as expansive as a game like “Forza Horizon,” but that’s OK, especially because “Hotshot Racing” carries a price of just $19.99. So if you’re looking for a bright, cheerful and exciting racing game that doesn’t take itself too seriously, “Hotshot Racing” is absolutely worth a try. The game is a digital-only release, so you won’t find it on store shelves, but you can pick it up from any digital storefront. If you need to fund your account, you can do that by picking up an Xbox Store gift card here, or a Playstation Store gift card here.

Source: https://www.autoblog.com/2020/09/18/gaming-roundup-ps5-prices-announced/

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Automotive

Nissan Z Proto, next-gen Hyundai Tucson and a hi-po mystery Bronco | Autoblog Podcast #645

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In this week’s Autoblog Podcast, Editor-in-Chief Greg Migliore is joined by Senior Editor, Green, John Beltz Snyder and News Editor Joel Stocksdale. In the news this week, Ford has teased some sort of high-performance Bronco, Nissan unveiled the Z Proto, Hyundai revealed the next-gen Tucson and GMC teased the Hummer EV’s “Crab Mode.” Our editors break that all down for you, and share some insights and opinions before they turn to the cars in their own driveways. This week, they’ve been spending time with the 2020 Mercedes-AMG G 63, as well as the 2020 BMW Alpina B7.

Autoblog Podcast #645

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Source: https://www.autoblog.com/2020/09/18/podcast-nissan-z-proto-hyundai-tucson-ford-bronco-mercedes-amg-g63-bmw-alpina-b7/

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