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Daily Authority: 👋 Goodbye, HBO Max

HBO Max and Discovery Plus are merging, our Pixel Buds Pro review, plus an impossible Halo 2 challenge, conquered.
By
August 5, 2022
HBO Max logo on smartphone stock photo 1
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

🚲 Happy Friday! I finally managed to finish Stranger Things this week. Next up: Paper Girls. And speaking of streaming…

Warner Bros. Discovery’s big moves

hbo max discovery plus
Warner Bros Discovery

The streaming world is set for another major shakeup as Warner Bros. Discovery continues to make huge changes to its business plan. The latest change will see its two major streaming services, HBO Max and Discovery Plus, merge in the Summer of 2023.

  • HBO Max launched back in May 2020 in the US and slowly thereafter internationally.
  • It has been the home of all legacy HBO content, plus a huge catalog of Warner Bros. movies, TV shows, and more.
  • That means it has everything from The Sopranos to Batman to Bugs Bunny.
  • Discovery Plus, on the other hand, is home to documentaries and reality shows.
  • There’s a wide breadth there too, since it includes many channels like Discovery, HGTV, Food Network, Animal Planet, and more.
  • Warner Bros. Discovery also announced that the combined number of subscribers for HBO, HBO Max, and Discovery Plus came to 92.1 million, up 1.7 million from the previous quarter.

But is there enough overlap here to warrant combining the services?

  • At the moment, the two don’t seem to have much in common.
  • However, prior to the merger, Warner Bros. Discovery will swap some content between them.
  • First up is hundreds of hours of CNN content, previously on HBO Max, added to Discovery Plus starting August 19.
  • Next are DIY shows from the Magnolia network, previously on Discovery Plus, added to HBO Max starting September 30.
  • The real problem here is increased prices. HBO Max is already one of the most expensive streaming services out there.
  • This comes on the heels of a few other baffling Warner Bros. Discovery decisions, like canceling the near-finished Batgirl movie, taking a $90 million loss.

Roundup

🎧 Google Pixel Buds Pro review: Now with noise-cancelling (Android Authority).

📸 New leaks indicate that the Google Pixel Fold might have a unique camera position (Android Authority).

💤 Samsung may ditch the “Z” from the Galaxy Fold 4 and Flip 4 names. What was the Z for anyway? (Android Authority).

🎮 Microsoft starts testing an Xbox Game Pass family plan, including GP Ultimate for up to four people (The Verge).

👀 Far Cry 6 headlines this weekend’s Xbox Free Play Days games — free to play until Sunday (Game Rant).

🕹️ Evo weekend is here: How to watch the fighting game event of the year (Arstechnica).

Oppo Watch 3 series images leak online: A curved Apple Watch? (Android Authority).

🏎️ In case you thought EVs were expensive, Ferrari to go electric in 2025, with 40% EV sales by 2030 (Forbes).

Friday fun

halo infinite
Microsoft

It seems that the envelope has been pushed even further when it comes to needlessly punishing gaming challenges. On June 24, YouTuber/streamer Charles “Cr1tikal” White Jr. published a video offering $20,000 to the first person to complete Halo 2 on the highest difficulty setting (Legendary), with all additional challenges enabled, without dying.

It’s hard to overstate how difficult this is. The additional challenges (called Skulls), do things like double enemy damage, remove your HUD and crosshairs, and make enemies literally invisible. There is one Skull left out that gives the player invisibility, which is considered an advantage. In 18 years, it had never been completed, or perhaps even attempted. Still, after a few months of trying, one man finally completed the challenge.

A relatively private part-time streamer called Jervalin (he doesn’t even have a Twitter account) managed to finish his run in six and a half hours. You can watch the whole run here, or just skip to the end to watch the wholesome moment where his family comes in to congratulate him. Also check out Cr1tikal’s reaction video here.

Want more Halo action? Here’s everything you need to know about the Halo TV series on Paramount Plus.

Until next time,

Nick Fernandez, Editor.