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Tony Hawk on why they’ve remade his most iconic games




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Not everyone can spin a skateboard 360 degrees, whilst gliding through the air, and then land it back on the ground without crumpling into heap.

Tony Hawk can and, as arguably the most famous skateboarder on the planet, has also made it possible for millions of others to do it in his game series.

“The success of the games is probably the reason people still know my name to this day,” he tells Radio 1 Newsbeat.

“It changed my life, it’s the reason I’ve been able to follow my passion.

“To be back doing it 20 years later with the same gameplay and the same enthusiasm, is really rewarding.”

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Tony Hawk Pro Skater was first released 20 years ago and new versions were a consistent part of gaming release schedules for 15 years.

The early titles are considered by many to be some of the most popular games of all time.

However there hasn’t been a new release for major consoles since 2015 – and that version was widely criticised.

Tony explains why he thinks now is the perfect time re-visit the series: “The seed was planted when we were coming up on the 20th anniversary of the first game.

“I had seen all the fans saying they wanted a re-master.

“The subject came up, with the developer Activision, and it just seemed like the right time.

“Vicarious Visions were given the task of developing it and I would say very quickly, we started seeing progress that I knew the fans would be excited about.”

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This new release is a reworking of the first two Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater titles.

Gaming has changed significantly since the original was released in 1999.

Persistent online worlds, battle royale and loot boxes were still a long way off back then.

But Tony’s convinced that there’s an audience for the remakes: “There’s such a passion for this series, especially the early games.

“Those fans are coming back because they enjoy the gameplay and can jump right back into it.

“I also like the idea that there’s a whole new generation that has never experienced any of these, that will that will get to play them for the first time.”

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Tony thinks that it’s fans of the originals that should be most excited: “The levels and the maps are all exactly in tune with what the first games were,

“The developers have nailed the gameplay and brought it into the new realm of technology.”

The original titles are credited with getting many Skateboarding stars onto boards for the first time.

Tony says that was never the plan: “It became a sort of bonus to all of us involved,” he says.

“I just thought that we’d make a game that skaters would appreciate, and maybe inspire some of them to go buy a console – but it ended up inspiring gamers to skate.

“Going into this 20 years later I think it will still inspire people, but for the most part, kids have already started skating at an early age.

“Skating is

Official feed of BBC News, The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is a British public service broadcaster. Headquartered at Broadcasting House in Westminster, London, it is the world's oldest national broadcaster, and the largest broadcaster in the world by number of employees.

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Broadband: Old TV caused village broadband outages for 18 months





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Switching off the problem television fixed the issue for Aberhosan villagers, Openreach says

Engineers have solved a mystery which left villagers with broadband problems for 18 months.

Connectivity could be poor along with slow speeds from 07:00, causing issues for households trying to get online.

Openreach engineers replaced cables at Aberhosan, Powys, but it did not fix the problem so they had to think again.

They then switched to a monitoring device and found the fault was due to electrical interference emitted by a householder’s second-hand television.

The owner, who does not want to be identified, was “mortified” to find out their old TV was causing the problem, according to Openreach.

“They immediately agreed to switch it off and not use again,” said engineer Michael Jones.

Engineers walked around the village with a monitor called a spectrum analyser to try to find any “electrical noise” to help pinpoint the problem.

“At 7am, like clockwork, it happened,” said Mr Jones.

“Our device picked up a large burst of electrical interference in the village.

“It turned out that at 7am every morning the occupant would switch on their old TV which would, in-turn, knock out broadband for t

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‘Lack of investment’ behind snarled-up legal system





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Many think the courts system needs to invest more in technology

When Louise Westra and her partner decided to adopt a child in November 2018, they were aware of the long process that was ahead of them, but they were not to know that the coronavirus pandemic would hold them back from completing the adoption of their son.

On 27 March, their petition was due in court. As lockdown had taken effect, telephone conferencing would be used instead of going to court.

However, after the phone call, Ms Westra received an email from her solicitor explaining that the papers had not been served to the biological parents of the child. This continued every month after lockdown, as it wasn’t possible for the papers to be physically served.

“It’s farcical because one of them is the biological father who lives with the biological mother who has had her petition but the biological father hasn’t and they live in the same premises,” Ms Westra says.

Serving papers has to be completed by post via Royal Mail or in some cases lawyers would instruct a process server to physically take the papers and hand them to the person.

“It sounds very archaic but if [the person] won’t take them by hand, the processor has to touch them on the shoulders and drop the papers at their feet and that’s technically counted as full service,” says Rebecca Ranson, a solicitor for Maguire Family Law.

E-mailing or any other forms of digital communication are not considered valid – even though the majority of people in the UK have access to e-mail and the internet. It is this kind of process, in need of a digital upgrade, that is frustrating for Ms Westra.

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Anna Moffatt

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Louise Westra got stuck in a “farcical” legal loop

Ms Westra’s case is one of many that have been delayed. The number of outstanding Crown court cases was 43,676 on 26 July, and the entire backlog across magistrates’ and Crown courts is more than 560,000. The Commons Justice Committee has announced an inquiry into how these delays could be addressed.

The reality, however, is that there was already a huge backlog back in December, and Covid-19 has just exacerbated an existing problem. Cases like Ms Westra’s have been affected by the pandemic, but many lawyers believe that the legal system could have been better prepared through technology investment over the years.

“We’ve got people being held for longer than they otherwise would be, and for every person in custody waiting for trial or waiting on bail for trial, there are witnesses, and complainants and their families awaiting a resolution. Whether it’s the lack of technology links in prison, using Skype and improvising or not having enough Nightingale courts – it all boils down to a lack of investment,” says Joanna Hardy, a London-based barrister.

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In 2016 HM Courts & Tribunals Service began a £1bn court reform programme. This included a video-conferencing tool called the Cloud Video Platform (CVP), which allows for a dedicated private conference area, so criminal lawyers can speak to their clients without visiting prison.

A programme for testing and adopting video technology was planned out until 2022, but in the pandemic, the government had to get CVP up and running in 10 weeks. This has since been extended to civil courts. But this implementation has been challenging, as there are only a restricted number of physical video links allowed.

“As we weren’t ready for this huge technolo

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Microsoft buys Fallout creator Bethesda for $7.5bn





Bethesda's titlesImage copyright

Xbox-owner Microsoft has acquired the games company behind blockbuster titles including Doom, Fallout, Skyrim and Wolfenstein.

It is paying $7.5bn (£5.85bn) for Bethesda’s parent ZeniMax Media.

Xbox has said that the publisher’s franchises would be added to its Game Pass subscription package for consoles and PCs.

This could help make the forthcoming Xbox Series X more attractive than the PlayStation 5 to some players.

Both machines are due to launch in November.

Game Pass already gives players access to more than 200 games. Microsoft includes first-party titles at point of launch to those signed up to its “ultimate” package without further cost.

By contrast, Sony has opted to charge players up to £70 for its own major releases and does not intend to include new titles in its PlayStation Plus Collection service.

It is not yet clear how the takeover affects Bethesda’s plans to create The Elder Scrolls 6, Starfield and other unfinished games as cross-platform titles.

In a statement, Xbox chief Phil Spencer said the two firms “shared similar visions for the

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