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Mario gets Deluxe treatment for Nintendo Switch

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Players will be able to take to the track and race against each other when Mario Kart 8 Deluxe launches for the Nintendo Switch on 28th April.

Friends can instantly compete in thrilling multiplayer races wherever they are, simply by handing one of the two Joy-Con controllers included with the Nintendo Switch console to an opponent and competing on the console’s built-in screen. Extend the invite and place the console in the Nintendo Switch dock to play in TV mode, where up to four players can settle scores over split-screen action. Test your skills online and challenge players across the globe, or go solo by playing in handheld mode – anytime, anywhere. Experience precise motion controls that players of any skill level can enjoy by adding Joy-Con to the Nintendo Switch Joy-Con Wheel, available separately in pairs. With so many different ways to play and a plentiful number of courses and modes, this is the biggest and most accessible Mario Kart game yet.

In Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, familiar characters from the Super Mario series compete in races set around the world of the Mushroom Kingdom and beyond. Racers have to be prepared to get ahead of their rivals through the use of items such as the Super Star – which makes players invincible for a short period of time – and the notorious Spiny Shell, which will hunt down and attack the player in first place. Adding to the frantic racing action is the use of antigravity, allowing vehicles to race along the sides of buildings, up astonishing waterfalls, and nudge opponents for a satisfying speed boost.

Budding racers who are new to the series and wish to learn the tracks can now make use of the new Smart Steering feature, which will help prevent them from driving off the course. In addition, the Nintendo Switch Joy-Con Wheel Pair will be sold separately on 28th April, so friends and siblings alike can compete using motion control. Mario Kart veterans, meanwhile, can enjoy a more conventional playing style by using either a Joy-Con Grip or the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller for more precise controls.

As well as more accessible control methods, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe will have 48 courses available from the start, as well as five speed classes, including the expertly challenging 150cc Mirror Mode and the high-octane, ultra-fast 200cc mode. In addition, players will now be able to choose from 42 racers, including returning fan favourites King Boo, Dry Bones, and Bowser Jr. For those seeking a challenge, Gold Mario awaits the finest players who can complete all cups in 200cc. Friends can also suit up and take to the asphalt with the ability to bring their Mii into the game as a racer. Also new to the series are the Inkling Boy and Inkling Girl from Splatoon 2, who bring new vehicle parts and the new Urchin Underpass course for battle mode, all based on the multiplayer shooter.

Battle mode has been revamped and expanded in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, with eight dedicated courses to choose from, including selections from previous titles such as Mario Kart 7. On top of Balloon Battle, both Bob-omb Blast and Shine Thief modes return from Mario Kart Double Dash!!, while Coin Runners makes a comeback from Mario Kart Wii. Battlers can also enjoy a brand new cops and robbers-style mode known as Renegade Roundup.

Multiplayer mayhem can be enjoyed in a variety of different ways on Nintendo Switch consoles, with four different methods available to play with friends.

  • Up to four friends can play on a single Nintendo Switch console in TV mode, or in tabletop mode by using the stand at the back of the console and placing it on a flat surface
  • Online multiplayer makes a return, allowing for up to two local racers to get involved in 12-player races with others around the world
  • Through Wireless Play, multiple Nintendo Switch consoles can be connected to each other, allowing up to eight people to play together in the same room
  • Up to 12 consoles in TV mode can be connected via LAN Play, with one or two players per connected Nintendo Switch

Players can also create highlight reels and watch them again via the in-game mode Mario Kart TV, allowing them to save the memories of their greatest successes, or their most glorious failures. Should players wish to race in style, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe comes with a wide range of amiibo compatibility, including all the Animal Crossing series and Super Mario series, while Splatoon series amiibo grant a new racing suit for Mii characters.

 

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Legion gets a pro makeover

Lenovo’s latest Legion gaming laptop, the Y530, pulls out all the stops to deliver a sleek looking computer at a lower price point, writes BRYAN TURNER

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Gaming laptops have become synonymous with thick bodies, loud fans, and rainbow lights. Lenovo’s latest gaming laptop is here to change that.

The unit we reviewed housed an Intel Core i7-8750H, with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 GPU. It featured dual storage, one bay fitted with a Samsung 256GB NVMe SSD and the other with a 1TB HDD.

The latest addition to the Legion lineup has become far more professional-looking, compared to the previous generation Y520. This trend is becoming more prevalent in the gaming laptop market and appeals to those who want to use a single device for work and play. Instead of sporting flashy colours, Lenovo has opted for an all-black computer body and a monochromatic, white light scheme. 

The laptop features an all-metal body with sharp edges and comes in at just under 24mm thick. Lenovo opted to make the Y530’s screen lid a little shorter than the bottom half of the laptop, which allowed for more goodies to be packed in the unit while still keeping it thin. The lid of the laptop features Legion branding that’s subtly engraved in the metal and aligned to the side. It also features a white light in the O of Legion that glows when the computer is in use.

The extra bit of the laptop body facilitates better cooling. Lenovo has upgraded its Legion fan system from the previous generation. For passive cooling, a type of cooling that relies on the body’s build instead of the fans, it handles regular office use without starting up the fans. A gaming laptop with good passive cooling is rare to find and Lenovo has shown that it can be achieved with a good build.

The internal fans start when gaming, as one would expect. They are about as loud as other gaming laptops, but this won’t be a problem for gamers who use headsets.

Click here to read about the screen quality, and how it performs in-game.

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Serious about security? Time to talk ISO 20000

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By EDWARD CARBUTT, executive director at Marval Africa

The looming Protection of Personal Information (PoPI) Act in South Africa and the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union (EU) have brought information security to the fore for many organisations. This in addition to the ISO 27001 standard that needs to be adhered to in order to assist the protection of information has caused organisations to scramble and ensure their information security measures are in line with regulatory requirements.

However, few businesses know or realise that if they are already ISO 20000 certified and follow Information Technology Infrastructure Library’s (ITIL) best practices they are effectively positioning themselves with other regulatory standards such as ISO 27001. In doing so, organisations are able to decrease the effort and time taken to adhere to the policies of this security standard.

ISO 20000, ITSM and ITIL – Where does ISO 27001 fit in?

ISO 20000 is the international standard for IT service management (ITSM) and reflects a business’s ability to adhere to best practice guidelines contained within the ITIL frameworks. 

ISO 20000 is process-based, it tackles many of the same topics as ISO 27001, such as incident management, problem management, change control and risk management. It’s therefore clear that if security forms part of ITSM’s outcomes, it should already be taken care of… So, why aren’t more businesses looking towards ISO 20000 to assist them in becoming ISO 27001 compliant?

The link to information security compliance

Information security management is a process that runs across the ITIL service life cycle interacting with all other processes in the framework. It is one of the key aspects of the ‘warranty of the service’, managed within the Service Level Agreement (SLA). The focus is ensuring that the quality of services produces the desired business value.

So, how are these standards different?

Even though ISO 20000 and ISO 27001 have many similarities and elements in common, there are still many differences. Organisations should take cognisance that ISO 20000 considers risk as one of the building elements of ITSM, but the standard is still service-based. Conversely, ISO 27001 is completely risk management-based and has risk management at its foundation whereas ISO 20000 encompasses much more

Why ISO 20000?

Organisations should ask themselves how they will derive value from ISO 20000. In Short, the ISO 20000 certification gives ITIL ‘teeth’. ITIL is not prescriptive, it is difficult to maintain momentum without adequate governance controls, however – ISO 20000 is.  ITIL does not insist on continual service improvement – ISO 20000 does. In addition, ITIL does not insist on evidence to prove quality and progress – ISO 20000 does.  ITIL is not being demanded by business – governance controls, auditability & agility are. This certification verifies an organisation’s ability to deliver ITSM within ITIL standards.

Ensuring ISO 20000 compliance provides peace of mind and shortens the journey to achieving other certifications, such as ISO 27001 compliance.

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