$80 well spent: Nintendo SNES Classic Edition retro console gets it just right

Now with twice as much word room

If you’re a Twitter user, we’re sure you’ve heard the earth-shaking news by now: Twitter is experimenting with allowing tweets twice as long as the current 140-character limit. In a Twitter website post, the 280 character limit – which is only available to a group of testers at this point – was revealed in a bid for “transparency” of the company’s big new idea.

According to the post, one driver of the bump is, of course, the frustration many users have with the 140-character limit. However, Twitter also said that isn’t the case with many Japanese, Korean and Chinese language users since they use symbols that transmit more information per letter, as it were. Twitter says that while the character limit is a test at this point, we wouldn’t be surprised to see it implemented down the road, and likely soon, for better or worse.

A river of streaming options

Over the past few years, cable TV providers’ revenues have been hit by so-called “cord cutters,” or people who have ditched cable TV service for internet-based streaming services, over-the-air antennas, or a combination of both. So what to do? Well, Comcast figures if you can’t beat ‘em, might as well stream to ‘em. Along those lines, their new streaming service, Xfinity Instant TV, has now gone live.

So how does Comcast hope to reconnect those cord cutters who already have a multitude of streaming options to choose from? Pretty simply, they’re going local. The Xfinity offering will include local broadcast stations in the mix along with the major networks, as well as Telemundo, Unimas, Univsion, and all the public access channels you can handle. The system also includes a DVR with 20 yours of capacity.

Naturally, you can option up the base $18 per month basic deal with three additional packages that focus on kid and family programming, entertainment channels, and of course, a Sports and News option. You’ll also need to be a Comcast Broadband customer to even get the thing to work, so you’ll have to do some math to see if you’ll actually save any money against your current cable bill. Go here for more information and fire up that calculator.

Decades in the shrinking

Last year, Nintendo had a surprise hit on their hands with its $60 throwback mini-console, the NES Classic Edition, a miniaturized version of their original game console from decades ago. Now, Nintendo is back with another retro device, the Super NES Classic Edition, which is yet another miniaturized version of a past console. We’re sensing a trend…

Anyway, DT gaming guru Mike Epstein has been burning a lot of hours “testing” the console and the 20-plus retro games hiding inside. Yep, they’re all there: Super Mario Kart, Yoshi’s Island, Final Fantasy 3, Donkey Kong Country and one new one: Star Fox 2, which was set to come out a couple of decades ago, but is only now making its debut on the S-NES Classic. Better late than never!

Is the SNES Classic worth $80? Are those old games still fun to play? We sure think so, and if you missed those old-school games like we do, you’ve got a lot of hours on the couch ahead of you. Check out Mike’s full review.

We’ve got more news on our Facebook page and YouTube channel, and be sure to tune in to this week’s DT podcasts: Close to the Metal (computers and such) on Tuesday, Trends with Benefits (general tech shenanigans)  on Thursdays, and Between the Streams (movie and TV topics) every Friday.

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