Pokemon coming to Nintendo Switch in September
Nintendo Switch owners will get their first Pokemon game this September, with a remastered version of Pokemon Tournament to be released for the console on 22 September.
Pokemon Tournament DX is an enhanced version of the Wii U game released in Europe and the US last spring. It will feature an extended cast of Pokemon to fight with, including Decidueye, Croagunk and more.
Nintendo has announced that the fighting game will be playable at E3 2017, so Pocket-lint will get its hands on it then. From our plays of the Wii U version, we already know that it’s a surprisingly addictive foray into Pokemon battles.
#PokemonUltraSunMoon will launch on Nintendo #3DS on November 17th! pic.twitter.com/vXTBsiuA4y
— Nintendo UK (@NintendoUK) June 6, 2017
Sadly, a rumoured Switch port of either Pokemon Sun or Moon doesn’t seem to be on the cards after all. Instead, Nintendo has announced new 3DS versions of the game(s).
- Pokemon Go: How to play and other tips and tricks
Pokemon UltraSun and UltraMoon are coming, with different storylines to the existing handheld games.
They will be available on 17 November this year and will also undoubtedly be shown properly for the first time at E3 2017 next week.
The classic Pokemon Gold and Pokemon Silver games will be available as part of Virtual Console for the 3DS on 22 September too.
OnePlus 5 will launch on 20 June
After months of rumours and leaks, the OnePlus 5 finally has a launch date, 20 June 2017.
- OnePlus 5: Release date, rumours and everything you need to know
OnePlus will be live streaming the reveal on its company website at 5:00pm BST on the day. There will also be several pop-up events in various countries around the world, including London, New York and Berlin, where the phone will be shown off to a live audience.
The OnePlus 5 is shaping up to be a serious “flagship killer”, given the specs and features we already know it will arrive with. They include a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, the same processor chip used by the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Sony Xperia XZ Premium
Excited to launch the OnePlus 5 on June 20 https://t.co/vC1vkzE6o8. I think @getpeid is too ???? pic.twitter.com/QsURqy4ptW
— Pete Lau (@petelau2007) 6 June 2017
It’s also tipped to come with a dual-lens camera, something even the Galaxy S8 doesn’t have, although this hasn’t been officially confirmed yet. OnePlus has previously teased an image taken on two different cameras, and asked which we think was taken on the 5. It doesn’t take a genius to work out the company is referring to the much clearer image in question.
We do know OnePlus is taking the camera seriously, after it confirmed it has formed a partnership with DxO to “support their exciting mobile photography strategy”.
Elsewhere, the OnePlus 5 should feature a Quad HD display, at least 6GB of RAM and either 64GB or 128GB of internal storage.
We don’t have long to wait until the full unveiling of the OnePlus 5, and rest assured we’ll bring you all the latest news as and when we get it.
‘Arms’ is the successor to ‘Punch Out’ the Nintendo Switch needs
The original Punch Out may be heralded as a classic 8-bit NES game, but it’s one I didn’t play until I was in college. I’d heard it mentioned as I grew up but always dismissed it out of hand. Sports games, particularly those with celebrity endorsements, meant nothing to me as a child. When I eventually picked up a battered copy at a local flea market, I discovered the game was a masterpiece of simple, but challenging, gameplay. My experience with Arms on the Nintendo Switch is almost identical. It looked underwhelming until, of course, I played it.
Believe it or not, it’s not the boxing theme that ties these games together. It’s that they’re both deceptively simple. Nintendo’s original pugilist action game masquerades as a straight slugfest. Punch your opponent. Dodge. Block. Punch again. It seems obvious, but actually playing this way almost guarantees a loss. That’s because Punch Out is secretly a puzzle game. You can’t win by being a “better fighter,” you have to suss out your opponent’s “tell” — openings hidden by taunts and affectatious animation that let you break through each character’s increasingly impenetrable defenses. It’s a baffling hurdle for first-time players, but it’s a challenge that’s immensely satisfying to overcome.
Arms doesn’t use Punch Out’s “tell” mechanic, but the core game is no less deceptive. At a glance, it looks like a dressed-up Wii Sports ripoff, but flailing its motion controls wildly or mashing buttons won’t get you anywhere. Instead, players have to master the “puzzle” that lies behind every great fighting game — a ballet of each character’s special moves, attributes, strengths, weaknesses and timing. In Arms, this means knowing which arms (the weapons in the game) can block another weapon’s attack, or knowing how to use a fighter’s special attribute (such as Min Min’s defensive kick move) to deflect an incoming punch. It means learning how the speed of each telescoping attack can be used to create a tactical advantage.
It’s this hidden challenge — and overcoming it — that makes both of these games great. Players can pick up either title and have fun with the basic gameplay, but the complexity beneath the surface transforms each experience into something genuinely satisfying. Figuring out how Bald Bull telegraphs his punches (in Punch Out) or learning how to counter attacks by equipping different arms (in Arms, of course) makes the player feel smart and accomplished. This design that rounds out the gameplay and lends what could have been a shallow title a challenging experience curve.
For Arms, this culminates in a game that is easy to pick up and play for fun but has a huge amount of depth for players to dive into. The basics of punching and dodging are easy enough, but every arm changes how a character plays and effects what kind of attacks they can counter or overpower. Different loadouts change punch speed, which can have a huge impact on the amount of time you have to tactically react to your opponent’s movements and exploit them to land a counter or grab attack. Between the game’s strong core fundamentals, and its hundreds of possible loadout and character combinations, Arms becomes a game where skill and knowledge absolutely matter — at least if you want to compete online or in the single player mode’s higher difficulty levels.
The game has its flaws. Beyond multiplayer, the grand prix mode and a few mini-games, it just doesn’t offer much. Much like Super Smash Bros, Nintendo’s Arms will ultimately live or die on the strength of its charming characters and core gameplay. For me, that’s probably enough. I may have discovered Punch Out decades after the fact, but its expertly crafted gameplay and design brings me back to it again and again. After putting a dozen hours into Arms, I feel the same way about it. This is a title with good fundamentals and solid core gameplay — and I’m glad I didn’t dismiss it out of hand as I did with Nintendo’s original boxing game.
Lyft and nuTonomy aim to improve self-driving car comfort
Ride service companies like Uber and Lyft are focused on the technology of self-driving cars, but what about everythingn else? Lyft is now exploring the passenger aspect via a partnership with self-driving software firm nuTonomy. The idea, the companies say in a news release, is to gain knowledge on areas like passenger comfort and safety, “from routing and booking to the performance of the driving system and how it interacts and communicates with the rider.”
Lyft and nuTonomy will be doing R&D in the Boston area at the Raymond L. Flynn marine park and nearby at Seaport and Fort Point. During trials, “an engineer from nuTonomy rides in each of its vehicles during testing to observe system performance and assume control if needed,” the company said.
nuTonomy, a startup that sprung from MIT, has some experience in those areas, having launched the first-ever automated taxi service with Mitsubishi i-MiEV and Renault Zoe electric vehicles in Singapore. (It also had its first accident shortly after that.) The company is also running its own small self-driving trials on a small stretch of road in South Boston.
Lyft, meanwhile, has teamed up with a few rival self-driving companies so far, including GM and Google’s Waymo. Waymo told the NY Times that as a partner, Lyft can help it “reach more people, in more places.” Indeed, once the tech becomes reliable enough to put on the streets without supervision, companies will focus on paying customers to try to recoup the massive investments they’ve laid out so far.
Following initial trials, Lyft and nuTonomy could expand to gather even more data and learn “about the ideal function, performance and features of an autonomous mobiliy-on-demand service,” they say. nuTonomy could use that knowledge soon, as it plans to take its Singapore ride-sharing service out of trials sometime in 2018.
UK police make first arrest triggered by facial recognition
Police in South Wales have arrested a man using automatic facial recognition software. It’s the first time a person has been seized this way in the UK, according to Wales Online, following a series of trials at large-scale public events including Download music festival and Notting Hill Carnival. The most recent was the Champions League final in Cardiff, which took place last Saturday (June 3rd). The man, however, was arrested three days beforehand (May 31st). In a statement to Ars Technica UK, police confirmed he was a local resident and “unconnected” to the game in Cardiff.
“The facial recognition technology is currently being tested as [a] proof of concept in order to determine its potential and feasibility within a challenging, real-world policing environment,” a police spokesperson said. “The UEFA Champions League has clearly provided a perfect testing ground. While early indications are proving positive, we will continue to develop our understanding of its capabilities and limitations.”
The setup used by the police is unclear. For the Champions League final, officers used a “real-time” hardware and software solution developed by NEC. It’s possible that a similar system was used for the arrest, as well as the broader trials taking place in the city centre. A request for tender published by South Wales Police does, however, mention a “Slow Time Static Face Search” linked to 500,000 custody images in a “Niche Record Management” database, which seems to be separate from the real-time monitoring. Regardless, multiple vans have been spotted in Cardiff with cameras on the roof and a “facial recognition fitted” warning on the side.
While monitoring and detection clearly takes place on the move, it’s possible the police are analysing and cross-referencing the images elsewhere. Whatever the situation, the arrest is evidence of the technology’s potential to pick out people in a crowd. Running faces against a database of wanted criminals, or anyone with a track record, should give the police a better idea of who is nearby. It does, however, raise ethical questions about public privacy and potential surveillance overreach.
“South Wales Police has made significant progress in the development of its technology in the past 18 months, and that work is only set to continue as we strive to ensure we arm our officers with the very best technology commercially available – providing the public benefit is both proven and justifiable,” the spokesperson added. “The technology will be tested in a variety of circumstances and location in the months to come, assisting in our assessment of the viability of the project moving forward.”
Source: Wales Online, Ars Technica UK
Amazon discounts Prime for customers with EBT cards
Amazon announced today that customers enrolled in a number of different government assistance programs can now get Prime subscriptions for $6 per month. As of now, the offer is limited to those with a valid EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) card, but the company plans to extend the benefits to assistance programs that don’t use EBT in the future.
The price is almost half of a standard monthly Amazon Prime subscription and works out to be a nearly 25 percent discount off of the typical yearly membership cost. It also comes with all of the expected Prime perks including free two-day shipping, Prime Video, Prime Music and Twitch Prime.
The discounted Prime offer comes after an announcement earlier this year about a pilot program allowing AmazonFresh and other online grocery stores to extend their services to Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) enrollees. Because a Prime membership is now required for AmazonFresh, the new program could allow more SNAP users to actually take advantage of the grocery delivery service.
Customers with an EBT card can enroll now and subscriptions can be renewed yearly up to four times.
Via: Business Wire
Nintendo hasn’t forgotten about ‘Pokémon’ on the 3DS
Okay, so, today’s brief Nintendo Direct didn’t reveal the Switch version of Pokemon Sun and Moon, but if you aren’t a fan of traditional fighting games and still prefer the 3DS to the Switch (see: battery life) there was still some silver lining for you from today’s Pokémon Direct. Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon will be released November 17th. The pair will feature pocket monsters not found in the original releases and a different story, along with new features that “will allow you to enjoy your adventure even more, making this truly an ‘ultra’ title,” according to the video. Sure! So, while they’re definitely the “latest installments,” they really aren’t 100 percent new per se.
More than that, Pokémon Gold and Silver are making their way from the annals of history — the Gameboy Color, to be exact — to the 3DS Virtual Console. They’ll also be compatible with the Pokémon Bank app and will be released on September 22nd, the same day as Pokken Tournament on Switch. There weren’t any further details regarding the handheld Pokemon, but with E3 starting this weekend, that’s bound to change pretty shortly.
Source: Nintendo (YouTube)
Apple wants iMessage to be your customer service app
Apple has been steadily improving iMessage over the past year, and now apparently it wants to get businesses in on the action. Enter Business Chat, Apple’s as-yet-unreleased tool to provide customer service through iMessage.
While the service hasn’t been officially announced yet (there’s a 10 AM PT/1 PM ET talk scheduled for June 9 at WWDC), Business Chat is touted as a way for consumers to interact with businesses and make purchases on the iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch. It will be integrated into some of Apple’s native apps, including Safari, Maps, Siri and Spotlight. While the actual chatting will presumably happen in iMessage, the service will originate within these apps.
It’s not surprising Apple is making the foray into facilitating communication between businesses and consumers; after all, it’s in their interest to keep as many people within their own ecosystem as possible. The more you can do with an app, especially one that integrates features such as Apple Pay, the more likely you are to stick with it.
There’s a growing trend toward instant customer service communication. Facebook has been improving Messenger for businesses, and Twitter has been working on customer service features for years. As we move more towards instant customer service through private messaging (rather than phone or email), it will be interesting to see how these services develop new tools to enhance communication. One thing is for sure though: the way we interact with businesses is quickly changing, and hopefully for the better.
California and China partner on clean energy tech
The Trump administration’s decision to leave the Paris Accord has already prompted some states to forge their own pro-environment pacts, but the latest such alliance is… unusual. California and China are forming a partnership that will see the two work together on clean energy technology, including carbon capture and IT that can keep greenhouse gases in check. They’ll also unite on emissions trading and additional “climate-positive” initiatives. It sounds like a contradiction to work with China when it’s notorious for its pollution, but it makes more sense in light of the country’s recent efforts to turn itself around.
China is in the midst of an aggressive push to become the world’s preeminent source of clean energy. And it’s not just for the sake of the planet — it sees clean tech as a way of boosting the economy. In addition to the jobs that come from producing solar panels and wind turbines (it’s already a giant in those fields), it could sell unneeded electricity to other countries. One of the nation’s key energy officials, Li Junfeng, has even gone so far as to say “coal is over” — a sharp contrast to the current US government’s eagerness to defend coal whenever possible.
If there’s a problem, it’s that the team-up may take a long time to get going. You might not see much emissions trading when China is currently focused on its very large domestic market, and the deal is more than a little lopsided when the world’s most populous country is involved with a single US state. Both are hotbeds for eco-friendly tech, however, so it wouldn’t be surprising to (eventually) see soem progress that wasn’t possible before.
OnePlus 5 launches on June 20th
After a steady stream of teasers, OnePlus is finally ready to put its money where its mouth is: the smartphone maker is holding a launch event for the OnePlus 5 on June 20th at 12PM Eastern. It’s not saying more about the phone alongside the news, but the “focus on what matters” tagline is a not-so-subtle allusion to the 5’s DxO-backed camera. As it is, both official tidbits and leaks already give an idea as to what to expect — this should be another flagship-class device that (hopefully) undercuts rivals on price.
On the record, OnePlus has acknowledged that the 5 will include a Snapdragon 835 like the Galaxy S8 and many other high-end Android phones circa 2017. It’ll keep the fingerprint reader on the front, too. Other details are less certain, but an Android Authority prototype leak hints at OnePlus joining the dual camera craze. You can also expect gobs of RAM (the OnePlus 3T already has 6GB), a hefty battery (reportedly 3,600mAh) and an improvement on the company’s signature Dash Charging.
The one gray area is price. AA has heard that the price will be higher than the $439 you pay for a 3T today, but it’s not clear what kind of price hike you could expect, if any. There could be just a modest bump, but it also wouldn’t be shocking if OnePlus has to veer closer to the $650 or higher pricing you tend to see for top-tier phones. Its prices have been creeping upward over the years, and taking on the biggest names in the business requires some expensive hardware.
Are you prepared for the OnePlus 5? Focus on what matters and join our keynote live on June 20. https://t.co/uuWc1m3pz1 pic.twitter.com/KfbVfMyh00
— OnePlus (@oneplus) June 6, 2017