The Morning After: We play with the OLED Nintendo Switch

Plus: Facebook pauses work on Instagram Kids, and YouTube battles NBC.

Kris Naudus / Engadget

The Nintendo Switch OLED is due to hit store shelves on October 8th, and we’ve been able to get some face-to-face time with the new hardware. Our Kris Naudus says the new machine is beautiful in a way previous pieces of Nintendo hardware have never been.

Obviously the biggest feature worth discussing is that gorgeous new 7-inch OLED display, which is brighter, crisper and lovelier than its predecessor. Then there’s the new kickstand that stretches across the back of the device for better balance, reliability and adjustability.

Image from Metroid Dread

At the same time, Naudus got to play Metroid Dread, a de-facto launch title for the refreshed console. The 2D-side scroller is heavy on horror, and one of the best tactics the main character, Samus Aran, can employ to survive is to just run the hell away from whatever unspeakable monster attacks.

To get on, Samus uses some new tech, including a spider magnet that lets her cling to ceilings. Oh, and she’s now packing a cloaking device so she can sneak past those unquenchable horrors — but she can only use it in short bursts.

— Dan Cooper

Facebook is ‘pausing’ work on Instagram Kids app amid growing scrutiny

For all the obvious reasons.

Facebook is “pausing” work on Instagram Kids to consult with parents, experts and policymakers. The project, which politicians on both sides of the aisle agree is a terrible idea, has come under sustained criticism since its existence was revealed. Instagram head Adam Mosseri said the pause really is a pause, since Facebook knows there is a real problem of tweens lying about their age to access the full-fat version of the app.

This will not, however, placate critics of the company and the effects its platforms have on younger children. The volume of which has intensified after WSJ reported Facebook’s own internal research said Instagram had a toxic effect on kids’ mental health. (Facebook claims the data, while true, has been misrepresented and has pledged to release more of its own internal research to counter.)

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YouTube TV may drop 14 NBC Universal channels over a contract dispute

Corporate wrangling over cash makes cord-cutting so relaxing.

NBC Universal and YouTube are now publicly fighting about how much cash NBC gets from YouTube TV’s service fees. The pair are recruiting users to aid their causes, with NBC saying YouTube TV users risk losing NBC, USA, Bravo, CNBC and Telemundo (among others) if the Google-owned video service doesn’t pay up. YouTube, meanwhile, has told users it’ll cut the monthly price by $10 a month if those channels do wind up going.

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Uno Synth Pro review: IK Multimedia shows it's serious about hardware

This is an analog synth worth checking out.

IK Multimedia Uno Synth
Terrence O'Brien

IK Multimedia’s first Uno Synth was a surprise, coming as it did from a company with a pedigree in MIDI controllers rather than synthesizers. It didn’t get it entirely right the first time, but there was enough promise in IK’s premise for it to justify a second go. Managing Editor Terrence O’Brien has spent some time with the improved Uno Synth Pro Desktop, a $400 replacement for the original model. There’s plenty of detail in his full review, but it seems that while IK hasn’t buffed out all of the original’s faults, the sounds are so good, you won’t care.

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'Babylon 5' is getting a reboot

Series creator J. Michael Straczynski is back, too.

Jump! Jump now!
Warner Bros. / Babylonian Productions

The CW has started work on a potential reboot of seminal ‘90s TV series Babylon 5 with original creator J. Michael Straczynski back running the show. Originally airing between 1993 and 1999, Babylon 5 helped build the world of Peak TV as it exists today. If you thought Game of Thrones invented long-running plot lines, tireless internet speculation and a lengthy, novelistic series of plot arcs, think again. And Babylon 5 managed to do this on a budget that would have made the makers of General Hospital reconsider if it was worth getting out of bed in the morning.

Of course, you might argue some of B5’s plot lines were a little bit fantastical, even for a sci-fi series. One of the biggest story arcs the series ran was the takeover of the Earth government by a xenophobic and paranoid president who was aided by a shadowy foreign power. Escapism! This may also go some way to redressing the way (parent company) Warner Bros treated B5 both during its original run and in its digital second life, which I’ve covered pretty extensively over the last few years.

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