5 Things to Know About Nintendo’s Super Mario Odyssey

The biggest Mario game in a long time.

Nintendo’s latest game Super Mario Odyssey is launching in a big way.

Starting on Friday, game lovers around the globe will have the opportunity to buy the latest Nintendo NTDOY game, Super Mario Odyssey. As its name suggests, the title centers on the iconic Mario character, and gives you the opportunity to enter a virtual world with your protagonist and explore it at your leisure. And as always, you’ll be chasing the antagonist Bowser around the world in hopes of saving Princess Peach, who has been kidnapped.

But is Super Mario Odyssey worth buying? And should you spend this weekend exploring its vast world?

Read on for the key things you should know about Super Mario Odyssey before you plunk down $ 60 on the game.

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What Is Super Mario Odyssey?

Super Mario Odyssey is the latest installment in the famed Mario franchise. The game is an open world title that allows you to explore the world and enter levels to take on enemies and collect Moons that “power” the Odyssey, a spaceship that gets you around.

Super Mario Odyssey puts you in the place of Mario, who is aiming at saving Princess Peach, who has been kidnapped by the evil Bowser. It’s a tired concept, of course, but Nintendo apparently feels it’s still going to appeal to gamers.

Where Can I Play the Game?

If you’re hoping to play Super Mario Odyssey on the game console of your choice, you’re out of luck. The game is available exclusively on the game company’s Nintendo Switch console.

What Are the Reviewers Saying?

So, Super Mario Odyssey might just be one of the best games ever released, and is the highest-rated game on the Nintendo Switch.

According to MetaCritic, a site that collects reviewers scores, Super Mario Odyssey has attracted an average score of 97 out of a possible 100.

What Makes Super Mario Odyssey Different From Recent Games?

Super Mario Odyssey is the spiritual successor to Super Mario 64, a game that was released on the Nintendo 64 in 1996, and Super Mario Sunshine, a popular title released in 2002 on the GameCube.

That’s because Super Mario Odyssey is an open-world adventure game that lets players explore wherever they’d like. It also includes various levels inside worlds that offer full, 3D gaming.

Nintendo has released Mario games in recent years, but they’ve mainly been 2D adventures like the Super Mario games of old.

OK, So How Do I Buy It?

Sold on Super Mario Odyssey?

If you’re looking to get your hands on the game, it’ll be available starting on Friday, October 27.

Most major retailers, including GameStop GME , Best Buy BBY , and Amazon AMZN , will all start selling the game on Friday. Nintendo Switch owners can also buy a digital version directly on the console.

Both physical disc and digital Super Mario Odyssey versions will cost $ 60.

Tech

Venmo Users: You’re About to Be Able to Use the App to Shop Online

Millennials who split the bill can split bills at many more sites.

PayPal announced a massive expansion for use of its Venmo payments app popular with millennials. The app grew as a quick way for customers to send each other money, but starting this week, Venmo users can also pay for e-commerce purchases with the app on millions of mobile retailing sites such as Lululemon and Foot Locker.

PayPal is leveraging its relationships to take payments with its main namesake service at about 2 million online retailers to expand the usefulness of Venmo, which it acquired in its $ 800 million purchase of startup Braintree in 2013. With the mobile checkout update, Venmo users can make a purchase on their phone at any retailer’s site that accepts PayPal, either with funds stashed in the app or split among other Venmo users.

“Now, Venmo’s ready for our favorite autumn to-do—holiday shopping. (Seriously, it’s never too early for presents. Or candy corn.),” Ashley Phillips, Venmo’s lead product manager for commerce, joked in a blog post announcing the new feature.

Analysts said the move should help expand Venmo’s market presence, which accounted for $ 8 billion worth of transactions in the second quarter, about double the amount from the prior year. Although Venmo doesn’t generate much actual revenue for PayPal yet, its transaction volume is growing considerably faster than the company’s overall volume, which increased 23% to $ 106 billion in the second quarter. The added usefulness also helps Venmo fend off new competitive threats, as Apple aapl is adding person-to-person payments to its mobile payments system.

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“Consumers simply want to move dollars from one place to another whether that means sending those dollars to a friend or a merchant,” said James Wester, a payments analyst at IDC. “So it’s smart for PayPal to make Venmo more useful by expanding the opportunities for consumers to use it to move their dollars.”

The expansion is reminiscent of how PayPal pypl successfully expanded when it was bought by eBay ebay , noted analyst Brendan Miller at Forrester Research. Users often had money sitting in their PayPal accounts after selling something on the site, so PayPal enabled them to spend the money more easily directly on the site as well, without needing to shift it to a bank account.

“It’s huge,” Miller said. “Money is sitting in all these Venmo accounts and now they can burn it off and it doesn’t have to get moved back to a savings account or a checking account.”

Tech

Elon Musk Reveals More Details About His Plan to Colonize Mars

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk revealed a trove of new details on the company’s plan to colonize Mars.

He discussed technical details about the giant rocket that he says will take passengers to the Red Planet, the road map for getting to its first launch, and insights into SpaceX’s broader strategy in an “Ask Me Anything” forum on Reddit Saturday.

Musk was his typical freewheeling self during the AMA, quoting the cartoon Bob the Builder and responding to a question about spaceship design with the highly technical insight that “tails are lame.”

He also gamely responded to questions about tangential details of settling Mars, including speculation that settlers might use a compressed version of the Internet. Musk observed that data would take between 3 and 22 minutes to travel between Earth and Mars. “So you could Snapchat, I suppose. If that’s a thing in the future,” he wrote.

More substantively, Musk clarified the scope of SpaceX’s ambitions on Mars. Though he has shared images of vast Martian cities in his presentations on Mars colonization, he said SpaceX isn’t focused on building those cities itself.

“Our goal is get you there and ensure the basic infrastructure for propellant production and survival is in place. A rough analogy is that we are trying to build the equivalent of the transcontinental railway. A vast amount of industry will need to be built on Mars by many other companies and millions of people.”

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That means SpaceX will be designing and building things like systems for creating fuel from Martian resources, work that Musk said is “pretty far along.” But they won’t be focused on issues like how colonists grow food.

Musk also reiterated previous claims that SpaceX is designing the new Mars rocketstill code-named BFR, which stands for exactly what you think it does – to be as safe and reliable as today’s commercial airliners. That will be crucial if plans to use the BFR for transportation around Earth come to fruition.

Musk also shared some details about the game plan for testing the BFR ahead of its first scheduled flight in 2022.

“[We] will be starting with a full-scale Ship doing short hops of a few hundred kilometers in altitude and lateral distance,” Musk wrote. “Those are fairly easy on the vehicle, as no heat shield is needed, we can have a large amount of reserve propellant and don’t need the high area ratio, deep space Raptor engines.

“[The] next step will be doing orbital velocity Ship flights, which will need all of the above.”

SpaceX’s progress on its Falcon 9 rocket in recent years – especially its unprecedented success in landing and reusing rockets – has fascinated observers and re-energized public dialogue about space.

Tech

The Senate Is About to Approve Commercial Sale of Self-Driving Cars (But Not Trucks)

You will soon be able to ride home from your local car dealership in a car that finds its way there unassisted while you nap or read. That reality came a whole lot closer this week, with bipartisan agreement in the Senate on legislation allowing self-driving cars to take the the roads. The law is expected to come up for vote in the near future, and pass.

The House passed similar legislation, also with bipartisan support, several weeks ago. That legislation allows car manufacturers to sell up to 25,000 autonomous vehicles the first year they offer them. That will go up to 100,000 cars a year if the self-driving cars prove as safe as human-driven ones. And that’s not all. The Trump administration also helped out recently by issuing voluntary safety guidelines for autonomous cars and at the same time requesting that states avoid writing laws or regulations governing self-driving cars and possibly hampering their introduction.

The senators who arrived at the self-driving deal note that autonomous cars appear to be safer than human-driven ones. “Ultimately, we expect adoption of self-driving vehicle technologies will save lives, improve mobility for people with disabilities, and create new jobs,” said Senators John Thune (R-S.D.) and Gary Peters (D-Mich.) in a joint statement. They may be right: When a Tesla owner died while his car was in Autopilot mode last summer, company founder Elon Musk pointed out that it was the first known Autopilot fatality in 130 million miles of driving, whereas there’s a human fatality for every 89 million miles of traditional driving.

But if cars with no one at the wheel will soon become a common sight, the same won’t be true of semi trucks. The Teamsters successfully lobbied for the House version of the bill to limit self-driving vehicles to 10,000 pounds or less. That could be a problem for the U.S. trucking industry, which was short an estimated 48,000 drivers at the end of 2015, a shortage that’s expected to grow to 175,000 over the next seven years. That will create enormous pressure to replace hard-to-find long-haul truck drivers with no-muss, no-fuss AI.

Tech

If AWS is serious about Kubernetes, here’s what it must do

Amazon Web Services has joined the “Anyone-but-AWS” club, pledging its support to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation to better align with the Kubernetes crowd. It’s not as if the cloud giant had much of a choice: As much as AWS wanted to ignore Kubernetes into obsolescence, the gravitational pull around Kubernetes is simply too strong. Although most people view the CNCF announcement as a big endorsement for Kubernetes, AWS has been far cagier, offering precious little information on what it plans to do.

The big question is just how far Amazon will go to support the open source project voted most likely to “take down AWS,” as WS02 CEO Sanjiva Weerawarana? said. Here is what AWS must do: Build a Kubernetes service.

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InfoWorld Cloud Computing

IDG Contributor Network: Is shadow IT something CIOs should worry about?

Pervasiveness of shadow IT

I talked to several CIOs in the #CIOChat recently about shadow IT.Their collective wisdom is shared in this post. The first thing that impressed me in this chat is that the CIOs know the numbers. CIOs shared what they had learned from Cisco, Gartner, and Brocade. Cisco found that shadow cloud use was greater than 15 times higher than estimated by CIOs. CIOs said that Gartner’s research found that more than 40 percent of IT spend is in fact shadow IT. And Brocade, which did a global survey of 200 CIOs, found that more than 80 percent had seen some form of unauthorized cloud/SaaS usage.

Does the presence of shadow IT make a statement?

I asked the CIOs whether the presence of shadow IT makes a statement about business/IT alignment. CIOs had a wide range of answers to this question. CIOs said that often the real problem is not shadow IT but why and how shadow IT emerged. CIOs suggest that in many cases, shadow IT is in fact a symptom of unmet needs. It can as well imply a perceived lack of speed for IT versus the needs of the business.

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CIO Cloud Computing

After Amazon outage, HealthExpense worries about cloud lock-in

Financial services companies as popular targets of cybercriminals for the obvious reason — they’re where the money’s at. And health care companies have medical records, which are very valuable on the black market since the information there can be abused in so many ways, and doesn’t expire.

HealthExpense, which provides health care payment services to banks and their enterprise customers, straddles both worlds.

“When we started, every new client asked us about security,” said Marco Smit, CEO at Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Health Expense.

“It has to do with the data we’re collecting,” said company CSO Ken Lee. “We are definitely bound by HIPAA compliance, and we hold all the personal health information and financial information.”

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CIO Cloud Computing

Look before you leap: 4 hard truths about IoT

Most technologies go through a stage when everything seems possible. Personal computers in the early 1980s, the internet in the late 1990s and mobile apps around the beginning of this decade were like that.

But so was the first unboxing of a Galaxy Note 7. In time, either suddenly or gradually, reality sets in.

The internet of things still looks promising, with vendors and analysts forecasting billions of connected devices that will solve all sorts of problems in homes and enterprises. But the seams are starting to show on this one, too. As promising as the technology is, it has some shortcomings. Here are a few.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Computerworld Cloud Computing

Look before you leap: 4 hard truths about IoT

Most technologies go through a stage when everything seems possible. Personal computers in the early 1980s, the internet in the late 1990s and mobile apps around the beginning of this decade were like that.

But so was the first unboxing of a Galaxy Note 7. In time, either suddenly or gradually, reality sets in.

The internet of things still looks promising, with vendors and analysts forecasting billions of connected devices that will solve all sorts of problems in homes and enterprises. But the seams are starting to show on this one, too. As promising as the technology is, it has some shortcomings. Here are a few.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

InfoWorld Cloud Computing

Visual Studio’s cloud IDE gets smarter about builds

Microsoft’s Visual Studio Team Services cloud-based application development platform is improving pull requests, package management, and GitHub build integration.

Upgrades will make it easier to work with pull requests assigned to teams, Microsoft said in a bulletin discussing improvements planned for rollout during the next few weeks. “When a PR is created or updated, email alerts will now be sent to all members of all teams that are assigned to the PR,” the company said in release notes on Team Services. A future release will support pull requests assigned to Azure Active Directory groups and teams containing these groups.

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InfoWorld Cloud Computing