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19
Jun

Best upcoming Xbox One games to look forward to 2017-2018


The big news from E3 2017 was that the extra-powerful Xbox One X console – formerly Project Scorpio – will launch worldwide on 7 November 2017. That means true 4K HDR gaming is imminent.

But it wasn’t just hardware that Microsoft was showing off at its E3 conference. It was games too. Plenty of exclusives, others which will run better on the One X than any other platform. Exciting times.

We’ve included release dates where possible and a trailer for each of the best upcoming Xbox One games. We’ll also update this round-up throughout E3 2017 and the rest of the year, so there’ll always be something to come back for.

Crackdown 3

Release date: 7 November 2017Xbox One exclusive: Yes (also on Windows)Publisher: Microsoft StudiosPre Order: See price drop on Amazon UK – See Price drop on Amazon US

First revealed at E3 2015, it’s been a fairly long wait for this Microsoft exclusive. But we can see why: the game is due to launch alongside the Xbox One X console, with full 4K graphics at 60fps, so there’s surely been tuning going on to get that right. Plus actor Terry Crews plays the lead. Yep, Terry Crews – he’s both hilarious and brilliant in that casting, as you can see from the trailer above.

Forza Motorsport 7

Release date: 3 October 2017Xbox One exclusive: Yes (also on Windows)Publisher: Turn 10Pre order: See price drop on Amazon UK – See price drop on Amazon US

Forza is one of the Xbox’s mainstays. So it was no surprise to see Motorsport 7 announced for 2017. Interestingly it’ll arrive more than a month before the Xbox One X, but will support the fullest graphical fidelity to make that on- and off-road racing look all the more elegant.

Beyond Good And Evil 2

Release date: 2018Xbox One exclusive: No, also on PS4 and PCPublisher: UbisoftPre order: See price drop on ShopTo.net (UK) 

It’s been almost 15 years since the original game, so when Ubisoft pulled this one out of the bag at its E3 2017 pre-show conference it was one of those fuzzy stomach happy moments. The game’s other-world setting – where multiple species communicate and interact – is quirky, cheeky and stunning. Think The Fifth Element in video game form and you’re half way there.

Sea of Thieves

Release date: 2017Xbox One exclusive: No, also on PS4 and PCPublisher: RarePre order: See price drop on Amazon UK – See price drop on Amazon US

  • Sea of Thieves preview: Turning you into a software pirate

With more than a little pepper of Britishness – the trailer was voiced by Simon Pegg doing his try-hard Scottish accent – Sea of Thieves, a treasure hunting pirate game, produced by Rare, is one of those slightly out-there online games that’s probably going to divide opinion. We played it in 2016 and loved it, however, because its co-op multiplayer brings a fresh approach to the usual hack and slash.

Skull & Bones

Release date: TBCXbox One exclusive: No, also on PS4 and PCPublisher: Ubisoft

If there’s a game to starkly contrast the jovial pirates of Sea of Thieves (above) then, well, Ubisoft has hit the nail on the head with Skull & Bones. This multiplayer takes you to the seas where you’ll need to use co-operative play to sink your competitors’ ships and get the best loot possible. With Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag already under its belt, Ubi is no stranger to the world of pirates – which gives us more than an inkling that this is going to be one very well received game indeed.

Ori and The Will of the Wisps

Release date: TBCXbox One exclusive: Yes (also on Windows)Publisher: Microsoft Studios

The visual style of the original Ori was simply gorgeous, a trait which is carried forward into the sequel, The Will of the Wisps. Also: that owl, it makes us want to cry.

Metro: Exodus

Release date: 2018Xbox One exclusive: No, also on PS4 and PCPublisher: Deep SilverPre order: See price drop on Amazon UK – See price drop on Amazon US

The follow-up to Metro: Last Light proves that we can’t keep our gaming hands off the post-apocalyptic future. First shown at the E3 2017 Xbox pre-show conference, Metro: Exodus looks stunning – while ensuring its fair share of frightening scares too.

Anthem

Release date: 2018Xbox One exclusive: No, also on PS4 and PCPublisher: EA / BioWare

Perhaps the first “wow” game to be unveiled at E3 2017, the new IP from BioWare mixes robots and monsters together in a third-person mission-based adventure which looks like a mixing pot of Fallout 4, Titanfall 2, Horizon: Zero Dawn and Mass Effect. And we mean that in a good way. Just watch the trailer and try to keep your jaw closed.

State Of Decay 2

Release date: 2018Xbox One exclusive: Yes (also on Windows)Publisher: Undead LabsPre order: See price drop on Amazon UK – See price drop on Amazon US

State of Decay has its work cut out more than ever, especially in the face of Sony’s zombie onsluaght in its exclusive Days Gone and The Last of Us 2. But if you like open-world and the undead then it still looks like a top drawer title.

Cuphead

Release date: 29 September 2017Xbox One exclusive: Yes (also on Windows)Publisher: Studio MDHR

Years in the making, Cuphead, the side-scrolling platformer, finally has a release date. Hurrah.

Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus

Release date: 27 October 2017Xbox One exclusive: No, also on PS4Publisher: BethesdaPre order: See price drop on Amazon UK – See price drop on Amazon US

  • Wolfenstein 2 preview: Intense FPS is back and in fine form

We loved the original Wolfenstein reboot when it landed in 2014. Three years on, it’s time for round two in The New Colossus. Bethesda introduced the game at E3 2017 at its pre-show press conference (in quirky style, with a live action video that looked like something between Lassie and Terminator), showing the Nazi future and the American resistance.

Destiny 2

Release date: 8 September 2017Xbox One exclusive: No, also on PS4Publisher: ActivisionPre order: See price drop on Amazon UK – See price drop on Amazon US

  • Destiny 2 release date, screens, formats and everything you need to know

The follow-up to Activision’s massive multiplayer online first-person shooter is sure to be a big hit with its hardcore fans. And there’s not long to wait, either, with the game arriving this September.

Star Wars: Battlefront 2

Release date: 17 November 2017Xbox One exclusive: No, also on PS4 and PCPublisher: EA / DICEPre order: See price drop on Amazon UK – See price drop on Amazon US

  • Star Wars: Battlefront 2 multiplayer preview: Special characters add a dynamic that fans will love

The first game we played at E3 2017 was at EA’s pre-show showcase, Star Wars: Battlefront 2 looks set to please fans of the original game – while grabbing yet more thanks to a brand new solo campaign mode. The game is even said to have a storyline that “helps bridge the gap between Return of the Jedi and The Fore Awakens”. Interesting stuff.

Strange Brigade

Release date: TBCXbox One exclusive: No, also on PS4 and PCPublisher: Rebellion

  • Strange Brigade preview: Undead onslaught is oodles of fun 

With its lick of British charm, Strange Brigade introduces an “exotic safari” of forgotten lands in a way that only publisher Rebellion could deliver. It’s tongue-in-cheek 1930s-style trailer shifts direction not long in, introducing a rosta of enemy types – from the undead to armoured minotaurs – which look like they’ll ensure it’s no picnic.

Assassin’s Creed: Origins

Release date: 27 October 2018Xbox One exclusive: No, also on PS4Publisher: UbisoftPre order: See price drop on Amazon UK – See price drop on Amazon US

  • Assassin’s Creed: Origins preview: The rethinking of a classic

After a year off the boil, the Assassin’s Creed series is back in business for 2017. And this time it’s set in ancient Egypt.

Far Cry 5

Release date: 27 February 2018Xbox One exclusive: No, also on PS4Publisher: UbisoftPre order: See price drop on Amazon UK – See price drop on Amazon US

  • Far Cry 5 preview: A politically charged and unflinchingly brutal return to form 

After the more stripped back sticks ‘n’ stones Far Cry: Primal, the forthcoming outing in the series, Far Cry 5, looks to be a far more current political missile. Set in a fictional United States, the story follows a preacher whose rise to prominence is more gang-like in style than religious. Throw in the usual array of hunting, shooting, flying and general disarray and it looks to be a return form for the series.

Life Is Strange: Before The Storm

Release date: 31 August 2017Xbox One exclusive: No, also on PS4 and PCPublisher: Square Enix

  • Life Is Strange: Before The Storm preview: No rewind mechanic, it’s all about teenage angst

One of our favourite choice-based games of recent year’s, which went under the radar of too many players, Before The Storm is effectively Life Is Strange 2. Judging by the trailer it’s going to delve into life’s big questions, with its share of quirks. Here’s hoping it matches up to the mastery of the original.

South Park: The Fractured But Whole

Release date: 17 October 2017Xbox One exclusive: No, also on PS4 and PCPublisher: UbisoftPre order: See price drop on Amazon UK – See price drop on Amazon US

  • South Park: The Fractured But Whole preview

If you’re a South Park fan then you’ll love The Fractured But Whole, which looks almost exactly like a live episode of the animated adult comedy show. If you’re a turn-based role-playing game fan then you’ll love the game too, if you can get beyond its childish fart jokes and humour. Love both? Then you’re in for a treat.

Red Dead Redemption 2

Release date: 2018Xbox One exclusive: No, also on PS4Publisher: Rockstar/Take-Two

  • You can pre-order Red Dead Redemption 2 here

We already had an inkling Red Dead Redemption 2 was on the cards before the official reveal at the end of 2016. A slew of rumours about the game circulated in summer 2015 – specifically around E3 time. A map was leaked on NeoGaf, alleged to be a design guide. And Take-Two previously said that Red Dead Redemption was as important a franchise as GTA. Considering there have only been two games in the series so far, which originally came out in 2004 and 2010 respectively, we’re certainly due another one.

The Evil Within 2

Release date: 13 October 2017Xbox One exclusive: No, also on PS4Publisher: BethesdaPre order: See price drop on Amazon UK – See price drop on Amazon US

Like having the bejeezus scared out of you? Say hello to TEW2, the follow-up horror that will almost certainly make your skin crawl. And with Resident Evil 7 now played to death by most horror fans, the Friday 13th release date in October makes for perfect timing.

Marvel vs Capcom Infinite

Release date: 2017Xbox One exclusive: No, also for Xbox One and PCPublisher: CapcomPre order: See price drop on Amazon UK – See price drop on Amazon US

The crossover beat-em-up is back, with Capcom characters – such as the Street Fighter gang and Mega Man – taking on superheroes from the Marvel Universe. Not much else is know for now, but you can expect a mighty of cast of fighters to control.

19
Jun

Ring Video Doorbell Mark 2 offers 1080p and removable battery


Ring has announced a second generation version of its famed Ring Video Doorbell, this time with a removable battery pack so you don’t have to take the entire unit off the wall.

Not to be confused with the also available Ring Pro, the Ring 2 also ups the ante when it comes to video quality. It is now able to record and stream in 1080p rather than 720p. In addition, it adopts the interchangeable faceplates idea from the Ring Pro.

It looks similar to the first-generation device, being a wireless, connected doorbell with a 160-degree field of view and 180-degree motion detection angle.

It offers two-way audio, so users can speak to a visitor via a smartphone or computer and vice versa. And as well as utilise the rechargeable battery, it can be wired into an existing doorbell transformer connection (8-24VAC).

Ring

Its night vision talents are improved over the original model, but Wi-Fi is the same, supporting 802.11b/g/n (2.4GHz).

At present, the Ring Video Doorbell 2 is available in the US only. You can get it at Best Buy, Home Depot and ring.com itself.

The price is $199 and it should be as easy to install as the original – which we found to be a doddle when we reviewed it back in August last year.

We’re currently awaiting details of when the new version might come to the UK too.

19
Jun

Best upcoming PS4 games to look forward to 2017-2018


You’re now the proud owner of a PlayStation 4 or PlayStation 4 Pro, or are still considering whether to make the investment in Sony or not. Either way, you’ll find our list of tantalising gaming treats enough to have you excited for the months ahead.

There are plenty of amazing PS4 games on the horizon and we’ve chosen the best of those coming up – both exclusive and cross-platform releases – for you to pop on your wish lists.

We’ve included release dates where possible and a trailer for each. We’ll also update this round-up throughout E3 2017 and the rest of the year, so there’ll always be something to come back for.

Shadow of the Colossus

Release date: 2018PS4 exclusive: YesPublisher: Japan Studio

Perhaps the biggest unveil at the PlayStation pre-E3 conference was Shadow of the Colossus – the updated take on the 2005 classic – depicing giant beasts and jaw-dropping graphics. It didn’t get a great deal of screen time, however, but with few other new Sony exclusive titles announced this year, it’s a hot one to watch for 2018.

Beyond Good And Evil 2

Release date: 2018PS4 exclusive: No, also on Xbox One and PCPublisher: Ubisoft

It’s been almost 15 years since the original game, so when Ubisoft pulled this one out of the bag at its E3 2017 pre-show conference it was one of those fuzzy stomach happy moments. The game’s other-world setting – where multiple species communicate and interact – is quirky, cheeky and stunning. Think The Fifth Element in video game form and you’re half way there.

Metro: Exodus

Release date: 2018PS4 exclusive: No, also on Xbox One and PCPublisher: Deep Silver

The follow-up to Metro: Last Light proves that we can’t keep our gaming hands off the post-apocalyptic future. First shown at the E3 2017 Xbox pre-show conference, Metro: Exodus looks stunning – while ensuring its fair share of frightening scares too. Monsters versus man, with limited supply of ammo, this first person shooter looks as though it could be a genuine thrill.

Anthem

Release date: 2018PS4 exclusive: No, also on Xbox One and PCPublisher: EA / BioWare

Perhaps the first “wow” game to be unveiled at E3 2017, the new IP from BioWare mixes robots and monsters together in a third-person mission-based adventure which looks like a mixing pot of Fallout 4, Titanfall 2, Horizon: Zero Dawn and Mass Effect. And we mean that in a good way. When the gameplay demo was shown at Xbox’s pre-E3 conference, the vast open-world format and the way it can be flown through is a spectacle to behold. Here’s hoping it doesn’t fall into any of the initial traps that Mass Effect: Andromeda did, because this looks to be one of 2018’s most promising titles.

The Last of Us Part II

Release date: TBCPS4 exclusive: YesPublisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment

This trailer really gave us goosebumps the first time we saw it – partly thanks to the very idea that one of the greatest examples of storytelling in games is continuing, but also because of the return of a certain character. It looks suitably beautiful but is very early in development so we suspect you’ll have to wait until E3 2017 to see some actual gameplay footage.

Death Stranding

Release date: TBCPS4 exclusive: YesPublisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment

  • You can pre-order Death Stranding here

How do you follow up the Metal Gear Solid series now you’re no longer involved? By making the oddest, most disturbing survival horror game on the planet, that’s how. Or, at least, that’s what we think Hideo Kojima is up to. We can’t really make heads nor tails of it at the moment. Needless to say, the first game from his newly formed Kojima Productions has the entire world’s attention.

Days Gone

Release date: 2017PS4 exclusive: YesPublisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment

  • You can pre-order Days Gone here

Days Gone was the surprise reveal at the 2016 Sony E3 pre-show conference. The story, set in a seemingly post-apocalyptic world, follows a badass biker trying to survive in a zombie-laden land. Cue interspersed sections of his past playing on his mind and there’s the crucial balance of story and third-person shoot-’em-up. The real standout moment for the game, though, was just how many zombies are depicted on screen. Here’s hoping we get to see more of the game at E3 2017.

God of War

Release date: 2017PS4 Exclusive: YesPublisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment

  • You can pre-order God of War here

The infamous lead character of the God of War series, Kratos, now has a son, melding the typical smash-’em-up gameplay of old with a more heartfelt storyline. The game follows on from its previous Greek Mythology setting, moving into Norse Mythology, but doesn’t hold back on the giant beasts and battles. From trolls to dragons, there’s going to be plenty of bone-crunching fights to satisfy fans both old and new.

Spider-Man

Release date: 2017PS4 exclusive: YesPublisher: Insomniac Games

One of Marvel’s best-loved characters is coming to PS4 in all his web-slinging glory. However, Marvel has been fairly quiet about this one – but we anticipate seeing much more of the game at E3 2017.

Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus

Release date: 27 October 2017PS4 Exclusive: No, also on Xbox OnePublisher: Bethesda

  • Wolfenstein 2 preview: Intense FPS is back and in fine form

We loved the original Wolfenstein reboot when it landed in 2014. Three years on, it’s time for round two in The New Colossus. Bethesda introduced the game at E3 2017 at its pre-show press conference (in quirky style, with a live action video that looked like something between Lassie and Terminator), showing off the Nazi future and the American resistance.

Skull & Bones

Release date: TBCPS4 exclusive: No, also on Xbox One and PCPublisher: Ubisoft

With Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag already under its belt, Ubisoft is no stranger to the world of pirates – which gives us more than an inkling that this is going to be one very well received game indeed. Skull & Bones is a multiplayer game which takes you to the seas – where you’ll need to use co-operative play to sink your competitors’ ships and get the best loot possible.

Destiny 2

Release date: 8 September 2017PS4 exclusive: No, also on Xbox OnePublisher: Activision

  • Destiny 2 release date, screens, formats and everything you need to know

The follow-up to Activision’s huge massive multiplayer online first-person shooter is sure to be a big hit with its hardcore fans. And there’s not long to wait, either, with the game arriving in September.

Star Wars: Battlefront 2

Release date: 17 November 2017PS4 exclusive: No, also on Xbox One and PCPublisher: EA / DICE

  • Star Wars: Battlefront 2 multiplayer preview: Special characters add a dynamic that fans will love

The first game we played at E3 2017 was at EA’s pre-show showcase, Star Wars: Battlefront 2 looks set to please fans of the original game – while grabbing yet more thanks to a brand new solo campaign mode. The game is even said to have a storyline that “helps bridge the gap between Return of the Jedi and The Fore Awakens”. Interesting stuff.

Detroit: Become Human

Release date: 2017PS4 exclusive: YesPublisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment

  • You can pre-order Detroit: Become Human here

David Cage, founder of development studio Quantic Dream, is well known for lifelike gaming experiences. His forthcoming PlayStation 4 exclusive, Detroit, plays upon android co-inhabitants on earth, their (dis)obedience of their human commanders, and the inevitable fallout that such a power balance entails. As with all Quantic Dream games, the hyper-real visuals are wrapped around a point-and-click style adventure, with a decision-based storyline and consequential actions based on your choices. Will it be the developer’s best yet?

Strange Brigade

Release date: TBCPS4 exclusive: No, also on Xbox One and PCPublisher: Rebellion

  • Strange Brigade preview: Undead onslaught is oodles of fun 

With its lick of British charm, Strange Brigade introduces an “exotic safari” of forgotten lands in a way that only publisher Rebellion could deliver. It’s tongue-in-cheek 1930s-style trailer shifts direction not long in, introducing a rosta of enemy types – from the undead to armoured minotaurs – which look like they’ll ensure it’s no picnic.

Assassin’s Creed: Origins

Release date: 27 October 2018Exclusive: No, also on Xbox OnePublisher: Ubisoft

  • Assassin’s Creed: Origins preview: The rethinking of a classic

After a year off the boil, the Assassin’s Creed series is back in business for 2017. And this time it’s set in ancient Egypt.

Far Cry 5

Release date: 27 February 2018Exclusive: No, also on Xbox OnePublisher: Ubisoft

  • Far Cry 5 preview: A politically charged and unflinchingly brutal return to form 

After the more stripped back sticks ‘n’ stones Far Cry: Primal, the forthcoming outing in the series, Far Cry 5, looks to be a far more current political missile. Set in a fictional United States, the story follows a preacher whose rise to prominence is more gang-like in style than religious. Throw in the usual array of hunting, shooting, flying and general disarray and it looks to be a return form for the series.

Life Is Strange: Before The Storm

Release date: 31 August 2017PS4 exclusive: No, also on Xbox One and PCPublisher: Square Enix

  • Life Is Strange: Before The Storm preview: No rewind mechanic, it’s all about teenage angst

One of our favourite choice-based games of recent year’s, which went under the radar of too many players, Before The Storm is effectively Life Is Strange 2. Judging by the trailer it’s going to delve into life’s big questions, with its share of quirks. Here’s hoping it matches up to the mastery of the original.

South Park: The Fractured But Whole

Release date: 17 October 2017PS4 exclusive: No, also on Xbox One and PCPublisher: Ubisoft

  • South Park: The Fractured But Whole preview

If you’re a South Park fan then you’ll love The Fractured But Whole, which looks almost exactly like a live episode of the animated adult comedy show. If you’re a turn-based role-playing game fan then you’ll love the game too, if you can get beyond its childish fart jokes and humour. Love both? Then you’re in for a treat.

Red Dead Redemption 2

Release date: 2018Exclusive: No, also on Xbox OnePublisher: Rockstar/Take-Two

  • You can pre-order Red Dead Redemption 2 here

We already had an inkling Red Dead Redemption 2 was on the cards before the official reveal at the end of 2016. A slew of rumours about the game circulated in summer 2015 – specifically around E3 time. A map was leaked on NeoGaf, alleged to be a design guide. And Take-Two previously said that Red Dead Redemption was as important a franchise as GTA. Considering there have only been two games in the series so far, which originally came out in 2004 and 2010 respectively, we’re certainly due another one. Yee-ha!

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy

Release date: 22 August 2017PS4 exclusive: YesPublisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment

Naughty Dog pulled another surprise out of the bag with the announcement of a new Uncharted game. Starring Chloe Frazer, from Uncharted 2 and 3, the game is set a year after the events in Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End and seemingly uses the same game engine as Nathan’s Drake’s last outing. It also provides access to Uncharted 4’s multiplayer modes.

Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy

Release date: 30 June 2017PS4 exclusive: YesPublisher: Activision

  • You can pre-order Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy here

When it was announced Crash Bandicoot was returning in a new version of the original platformer we didn’t realise it would be in a pack of the first three games, all remastered: Crash Bandicoot, Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortek Strikes Back and Crash Bandicoot: Warped. However, that’s what Activision will be launching in 2017 and we have to say that Skylanders developer Vicarious Visions is seemingly doing a fantastic job with the updated visuals.

Marvel vs Capcom Infinite

Release date: 2017PS4 exclusive: No, also for Xbox One and PCPublisher: Capcom

The crossover beat-em-up is back, with Capcom characters – such as the Street Fighter gang and Mega Man – taking on superheroes from the Marvel Universe. Not much else is know for now, but you can expect a mighty of cast of fighters to control.

Gran Turismo Sport

Release date: 2017PS4 exclusive: YesPublisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment

  • You can pre-order Gran Turismo Sport here

Originally planned for the end of 2016, GT Sport was pushed back to 2017 for good reason. We’re still not sure of an exact release date, but we do know that PS4 Pro owners will be treated to 4K (checkerboard) visuals with HDR. Some of the content will also be playable in a PSVR headset. You can watch the trailer in 4K if you have the right kit and it shows just how stunning the game will be.

Knack 2

Release date: 2017PS4 exclusive: YesPublisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment

The original Knack was one of the PS4 launch titles several years ago and wasn’t as well received as Sony would have hoped. However, a sequel is on its way and lessons will likely have been learned. Certainly, the trailer looks to be more involving than the first game with more puzzles, locations and, seemingly, co-op play.

19
Jun

Best upcoming Switch games to look forward to 2017-2018


After the flop of the Wii U, Nintendo is looking to be on fine form with its Switch console. The home-meets-portable console was introduced in March 2017, along with Zelda: The Breath of the Wild, which might well be game of the year, and the company isn’t looking to slow things down – with more releases penned in for 2017 and beyond. 

In June 2017 the company hosted its E3 Spotlight stream, announcing a slew of games, the best of which we’ve included below alongside a trailer for each (where available). We’ll continue to  update this round-up throughout 2017 – so there’ll always be something exciting to see.

Super Mario Odyssey

Release date: 27 October 2017Switch exclusive: Yes Publisher: Nintendo

  • Super Mario Odyssey preview: Aces and oddities

The Switch was always going to need a Mario game to sell it, with Odyssey being exactly that. It looks like a quirky title, however, with Mario able to almost possess surrounding objects and enemies – from a T-rex to a taxi cab, a Bullet Bill and a Goomba – in a fashion that we’ve never seen before in a Mario game. It might be genius, it might be a step too mad for the Mario hardcore. We’ll find out in October…

Kirby

Release date: 2018Switch exclusive: Yes Publisher: Nintendo

Announced during the company’s E3 Spotlight presentation, Kirby makes its return in side-scrolling platformer fashion. With single or multiplayer, this looks like good ol’ fashioned family fun. It’s penned for released in 2018.

Yoshi

Release date: 2018Switch exclusive: Yes Publisher: Nintendo

Another Nintendo staple is Yoshi. And he’s coming to Switch in 2018. With recent Wii and Wii U titles sticking to the side-scrolling platformer formula, Yoshi for Switch looks to break out of that format and offer a more three-dimensional approach for everyone’s favourite dinosaur. Again, it’s due in 2018.

Skyrim Switch

Release date: 2017Switch exclusive: No (version is exclusive, however)Publisher: Bethesda

A potentially massive release for Switch: Bethesda is releasing Skyrim on Nintendo for the first time ever. Yep, you’ll be able to play Skyrim on the go – and it’ll be out this year.

Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle

Release date: 29 August 2017 Switch exclusive: Yes Publisher: Ubisoft

  • Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle preview: Cute and compelling turn-based action 

Nintendo is increasingly showing its hand as a versatile company which is willing to collaborate alongside other majors – and Mario + Rabbids is the unexpected and interesting epitome of that. Yep, Ubisoft’s Rabbids are making their way into the Mushroom Kingdom in hilarious form in this adventure meets turn-based battle/strategy game. We’ve never seen a Mario like it before.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2

Release date: 2017 Switch exclusive: Yes Publisher: Nintendo

If you’re a JRPG fan then this ought to be the title for you. The original Xenoblade Chronicles has an almost cult following and the sequel doesn’t look as though it’ll disappoint.

FIFA 18

Release date: 2017 Switch exclusive: No (version exclusive, however)Publisher: EA Sports

FIFA is coming to Nintendo for the first time. It’s caused something of a stir, however, as the Frostbite engine that EA uses under license for the game isn’t used on the Switch game. That means inferior graphics and no Journey story mode for the latest title. We’re glad it’s coming to Switch for the first time, but many will see it as a hampered version.

Splatoon 2

Release date: 21 July 2017Switch exclusive: Yes Publisher: Ubisoft

The sequel to the incredible original splat-’em-up, Splatoon 2 is best thought of as a family-friendly shooter. Paintballs rather than live ammo is one hell of a lot of fun, though, so this zany sequel is one to keep an eye on.

Metroid Prime 4

Release date: 2018 (TBC)Switch exclusive: Yes Publisher: Nintendo

Nintendo may well have stolen E3 2017 by announcing at its E3 Spotlight presentation that a new Metroid will be coming to Switch. We don’t know what it’ll look like, how it’ll play, or when it’ll be out… but we’re still excited. And we think that’s just fine. It’s games like this that make a Switch worth the investment.

Unnamed Pokemon RPG

Release date: 2018/19Switch exclusive: Yes Publisher: The Pokemon Company / Nintendo

As if the Metroid announcement wasn’t enough, Nintendo only went and lifted the lid on the fact The Pokemon Company is working on an exclusive Pokemon role-playing game for the Switch. It won’t be released until at least 2018, however, so we’re reading that as probably the year after. Still, fans will be extra excited about the prospect, we’re sure.

Zelda: The Breath of the Wild DLC

Release date: From 30 June 2017 (second DLC “holiday 2017”)Switch exclusive: Yes Publisher: Nintendo

The biggest game on Switch has a trio of downloadable content purchases on the way. The first of which, The Master Trials, will be released in June; the second, The Champion’s Ballad, will arrive for the holiday season. Harder difficulty modes, new weapons, masks and armour lead the changes. A great way for the Zelda hardcore to get yet more out of their love of Link.

19
Jun

Our favorite games of E3 2017


Now that our editors have escapred the confines of the LA Convention Center, it’s time to reflect on what we saw at E3 2017. More than ever, there was something for everyone, and some of us couldn’t pick just one “best” game. Whether you were at the show or at home, hopefully there’s at least a single game that made you circle its release date on your calendar — here are the ones we’re waiting for.

bge2-pack-e3-keyart-final-nologo-1.jpg

Beyond Good & Evil 2 (Ubisoft)

Nick Summers

Nick Summers
Associate Editor, Engadget UK

Beyond Good & Evil 2 was a game I had given up on. Ubisoft and series creator Michel Ancel had insisted the sequel was still in development, but I didn’t believe them. Beyond that glorious reveal trailer from 2008, there was little evidence to show that the project was still alive. For years, I tuned into Ubisoft’s E3 press conference in the hope that something, anything, related to Beyond Good & Evil would be announced. Eventually, I just accepted it was dead. Clearly the game was too ambitious, or too expensive and risky for a publisher like Ubisoft to back.

But then I was proven wrong. Ubisoft took me by surprise and re-revealed Beyond Good & Evil 2 with a gorgeous CG trailer at this year’s convention. The tone was different, the vision altered, but I didn’t care. The game was real, and there was Ancel on stage, thanking the crowd and fighting back tears. It was a magical moment, the kind that every E3 promises but rarely delivers. Of course, there’s every chance that the game will be canceled or reworked again to hit a release date. But for now, I have hope again. And that’s enough.

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Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus (Bethesda)

Timothy J. Seppala

Timothy J. Seppala
Associate Editor

I had three favorite games coming out of this E3: Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, Metronomicon: Slay the Dance Floor and Agents of Mayhem. While a big-budget first-person shooter, an RPG/rhythm game hybrid and a cel-shaded super-anti-hero simulator may be very disparate games, the common thread is that they defy expectations.

Wolfenstein explores the concept of fragile masculinity in what’s typically a genre driven by an overdose of testosterone. Not only that, it toys with the idea of a video game protagonist’s service record catching up with them — something Halo developer 343 Industries could learn from.

Rhythm games were a fleeting obsession of mine, and if Rock Band 4’s sales are any indication, they were for a lot of people. Metronomicon’s fundamentals are impeccable, but it’s the way the title marries role-playing elements like character classes and spell-casting to the beat-matching that really sold me. Oh, and that music.

I’ve waited ten years for a proper sequel to Crackdown (let’s not talk about 2010’s Crackdown 2). What I played of Crackdown 3 left me feeling flat on Monday, but getting 30 minutes with Agents of Mayhem made me ridiculously excited. Mayhem takes Crackdown’s cartoony superhero skeleton and grafts an actual game on to it with a metric ton of personality to spare. I have a lot more to say about it, but know this: Buying Agents of Mayhem on August 15th will save you $60 when Crackdown 3 is released November 7th.

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Duck Season (Stress Level Games)

Jessica Conditt

Jessica Conditt
Senior Reporter

I didn’t stray too far from the Engadget stage this year (Sidenote: Engadget had a stage this year), but turns out I didn’t have to in order to find a completely unexpected, joyful game — with a creepy twist, just the way I like it. Duck Season warps the classic Nintendo Entertainment System title Duck Hunt into a virtual-reality, 3D game set in 1988, complete with a real-life gray-and-orange blaster that actually works like a shotgun, thanks to the HTC Vive Tracker and a motion controller.

Not only does Duck Season play into NES nostalgia in a beautiful way, it tells a brand-new story: Your actions have consequences and there are seven different endings, some of which involve the classic laughing dog turning out to be a serial killer. This prospect is made all the more frightening considering, in Duck Season, the dog looks more like a Five Nights at Freddys character than a lovable, furry companion. Plus, it’s all in full-scale VR.

Duck Season represents an overall trend of this year’s E3: VR has certainly found its place in the industry, and independent experiences on the platform are becoming increasingly polished and wonderfully surprising.

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Madden 18 (EA)

Billy Steele

Billy Steele
Senior News Editor

I haven’t cared about a Madden game in years. Don’t get me wrong, I love football, but these games mostly just felt like the same thing — wash, rinse, repeat. For Madden 18 though, EA brought the popular sports franchise over to its Frostbite engine and added a story mode known as Longshot. And it looks fantastic.

The pieces of the “Longshot” story I saw at E3 were enough to hook me, especially since there’s no longer an NCAA Football franchise to look forward to each year. Sure, you don’t get to play as college-era Devin Wade, but you do get a feel for high school football in Texas and more events that lead up to an NFL scouting combine. If “Longshot” can do for Madden what “The Journey” did for FIFA last year, EA could draw a lot of people back to the gridiron.

The other game that really caught my eye at E3 was Call of Duty: WWII. The last game in the franchise, Infinite Warfare, wasn’t my cup of tea, but going back to the franchise’s roots in historical conflicts may win me back. The pieces I’ve seen so far look like vintage Call of Duty with all the tricks today’s games allow. It also gives a bit of a nod to Left 4 Dead, with healing system based on health packs (first aid kits) and more reliance on your fellow troops. Again, I’ve only seen a glimpse, but it was enough to persuade me to step onto the beaches of Normandy this fall.

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Star Wars Battlefront 2 (EA)

Sean Buckley

Sean Buckley
Associate Editor

It’s inevitable. When I return home from E3 each year, somebody asks me what the best thing I saw was. It seems like a simple subjective question, but it’s almost impossible to answer. E3 is a show that overflows with amazing news — and choosing a single “best” from all of them is a task I just can’t manage. Press me, and the obvious answer comes to mind: Nintendo’s Super Mario Odyssey is a gorgeous (if weird looking) open-ended exploration game primed to end the Switch’s first year in style, and the company’s promise to make not just a new Pokémon game, but two new Metroid titles, has guaranteed me a future filled with my favorite Nintendo franchises. It’s going to be a good year.

If we measure by what surprised me, however — it’s going to be Star Wars: Battlefront II. The first game had all the aesthetics of George Lucas’ space opera, but none of its epic story. It felt like the backdrop of a play with no actors on the stage. The sequel, on the other hand, seems to be finally raising the curtain on EA’s Star Wars narrative. With an epic story that follows the trials of a soldier raised in the dogma of Empire propaganda, it has the potential to be the first Star Wars game in a decade to deliver on what I love about the franchise in the first place. Plus, the improved flying mechanics, epic space battles and beautifully authentic game world look pretty rad too.

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Skyrim (Bethesda)

Mat Smith

Mat Smith
Bureau Chief, UK

I’m getting far too excited about Beyond Good and Evil 2 — despite the fact that it really only has a thematic, spiritual connection to the 2003 original. The scale of the game, and the vision, looks incredible: I’m just waiting to see how it all bares out in the end. More immediate gaming treats for me centered on Nintendo. Super Mario Odyssey is already shaping up to be the Switch’s next hit game, while Skyrim for Nintendo’s hybrid console is a future gaming timesink that’s also landing soon. Established franchises and sequels were a mixed bag: I was hoping for a reimagined Assassin’s Creed but saw more of the same, just in Egypt, while Far Cry 5 was incredibly fun to play even in its early demo, reinvigorated with your squad of allies. And a dog.

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Moss (Polyarc)

Moss (Polyarc)

Devindra Hardawar

Devindra Hardawar
Senior Editor

After seeing plenty of hyped-up, big budget games at E3, I was surprised to find that the one which resonated with me the most was a debut title from a small independent studio. And it stars a mouse with a sword. Moss, from ex-Bungie developers Polyarc Studios, is a PlayStation VR adventure game that harkens back to The Legend of Zelda and Secret of Mana. But it brings everything we loved about those adventure games to the modern age with luscious VR environments.

Moss doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but it has the look and feel of an instant classic. The game’s mouse heroine, Quill, is both adorable and badass. Its combat and puzzles feel fresh, while learning all the right lessons from what came before. It’s a VR adventure I can’t wait to take.

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FIFA 18 (EA)

Edgar Alvarez

Edgar Alvarez
Senior Editor

Sometimes I’m so predictable. Even though I had a chance to play some super-interesting games at E3 2017, like the indie beat-’em-up Aztez, my favorite one of the show was FIFA 18. That’s not to say EA’s massively popular title isn’t interesting, but it is still just about football at the end of the day. And I guess that’s why I love it. This year, EA is bringing back one of my favorite features: “The Journey,” a story mode that was introduced in FIFA 17 and lets you pretend like you’re living the life of a professional soccer player. Beyond that, the game continues to look more real than ever before, while the match gameplay has been slowed down to feel more realistic. Most importantly though, Cristiano Ronaldo is FIFA 18’s cover star, which gives me the excuse I need to have a picture of him in my household — even if it’ll be tucked away somewhere in my entertainment center.

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Anthem (BioWare)

Richard Lawler

Richard Lawler
Senior News Editor

After playing a bit of Forza Motorsport 7, Project Cars 2, Gran Turismo Sport and F1 2017 (I didn’t manage to get my hands on Need for Speed), I’m just happy that one of my favorite genres had such strong representation at E3. 2017 will be a great year for racing games, but ultimately none of those are the game I’m most excited about.

Although it wasn’t playable on the show floor, the short Anthem preview carefully ticked off a list of everything I’d always wanted to see in Destiny — after I peeled away the stilted “gamer chat” that played over the preview. It will be a while before we find out if the team from BioWare can deliver on the promises made (Bungie’s Destiny and Ubisoft’s The Division both arrived with some degree of downgrades from what players originally expected), but oh how sweet it looks. Action that takes place on land, in the air and underwater; a base city that actually feels alive and gives some hint of what the players are supposed to be protecting; and graphics that are a cut above are an awesome combination.

The preview video hinted at a properly modernized multiplayer setup that made it easy for teammates to drop in. Execution across multiple platforms could be tricky, but if BioWare can pull it off, then Anthem could turn out to be the game I imagined while I was playing Destiny (and the one I’d hoped to see in Destiny 2.)

Follow all the latest news from E3 2017 here!

19
Jun

GM eyes HD mapping to boost self-driving car development


Last year, GM bought Cruise Automation, a startup focused on self-driving car technology, and now it appears the automotive giant is getting serious about creating HD maps. Cruise Automation has just announced that it’s recruiting a Head of Mapping, who will “own the strategy, planning, and execution of our specialized HD maps,” according to the job posting.

While GM might be the country’s top auto manufacturer, it lags behind Google and other Silicon Valley companies when it comes to self-driving technology. Indeed, Google’s self-driving project, called Waymo, has an upper hand on its rivals because of the company’s robust maps. GM and other car companies are racing to keep up with the tech giant.

However, GM has an advantage that Google does not: actual cars on the road. Last year, GM announced that it would begin to use OnStar, the safety system and in-car concierge installed in its cars, to create maps for autonomous vehicles. Now, it appears as though the company is ready to take advantage of all that data. “Look at how many cars GM sells — it won’t take much to have that data very quickly,” Dave Sullivan, an analyst with AutoPacific Inc., told The Wall Street Journal.

GM also recently announced that it was adding an additional 130 cars to its test fleet of autonomous Chevy Bolts. Between its prototype driverless cars and advances in HD mapping, it appears as though GM is very serious about developing safe and effective self-driving vehicles as quickly as possible.

Via: The Wall Street Journal

Source: Cruise Automation

19
Jun

Ripplemaker brings modular synths to all skill levels with an iOS app


There are plenty of apps that can turn your phone or tablet into a synthesizer, but they tend to fall into two camps: they’re either affordable and simple or pricey and robust. While that’s sometimes due to the nature of the instruments they’re replicating, it can frustrating if you want an app that covers all the bases. However, music app developer Bram Bos may have managed just that. He recently released Ripplemaker, a patch-based modular synth for iOS that’s designed to ease you into the West Coast synth method (where you add harmonics to a waveform to produce an effect) while still giving you room to grow.

To start, all the modules are already wired. If you just want to play with a monosynth, you can get started right away. It’s only when you want to experiment that you have to think about patch cables. There’s also a separate sequencer that encourages dabbling in new sounds, complete with a random pattern generator that can get you started. Of course, you can sync with other apps and devices (in this case, through either Ableton Link or MIDI Clock) and export your creations as MIDI or WAV files.

Ripplemaker is available right now for $9. That’s not the lowest price we’ve seen for a synth app, but it’s better than the $20 to $30 you tend to pay for similar software. Professional musicians aren’t likely to balk at higher prices, of course (it’s still a bargain compared to a real synth setup), but the low cost makes it easier to jump in if you’re a first-timer or hobbyist.

Via: FACT, Synthtopia

Source: App Store

19
Jun

IKEA plans to improve AR shopping tools with help from Apple


Apple and IKEA are creating an AR app that will let customers preview how an item will look in their home. Michael Valdsgaard, IKEA’s digital transformation manager, told Swedish website Digital.di, “This will be the first augmented reality app that allows you to make reliable buying decisions.”

In the first version, customers will take photos of their homes and use the app to place images of IKEA products wherever they might want them. Valdsgaard said users will be able to position products with millimeter precision and sizing of the products will be to scale. Eventually, customers may be able to try out products and then order them through the app.

The IKEA catalog app sort of lets you do this now, but not with much accuracy. In it, you can click on a piece of furniture and see it superimposed over whatever your camera is pointed towards. You can drag the furniture around and get an idea of what it might look like in your home and you can even use the app to make sure the size is accurate. But Valdsgaard says the new app will be better with the help of Apple’s technology and experience with AR.

IKEA isn’t the only retail company with AR shopping experiences. Both Lowe’s and Pottery Barn have apps that let you get an idea of how furniture and appliances will look in your home. Lowe’s even uses AR to help customers navigate their stores and VR to give lessons on how to successfully complete certain home improvement projects.

Valdsgaard says they would like to have the app available by the iOS 11 debut, but that it may not be possible. IKEA expects to have 500-600 products available on the app at launch.

Via: 9to5Mac

Source: Digital.di

19
Jun

It’s time to embrace the eSIM


It’s a downright shame that eSIMs aren’t commonplace by now. Embedded SIM technology has the potential to make getting connected to cellular networks much more convenient, but there hasn’t been a consumer-friendly set of specifications for it since its 2013 introduction. That is, until last year, when the GSM Alliance (GSMA) released updated guidelines to add support for multiple profiles and devices (more on that later). Since then, thanks to partnerships between Microsoft, Intel and Qualcomm on a new generation of connected PCs with eSIMs onboard, we’re going to see the technology feature in all sorts of gadgets over the next few years.

For the uninitiated, SIM stands for Subscriber Identity Module, and it’s generally a tiny, fingernail-sized piece of plastic that you slide into a tray on your phone, laptop, tablet or smartwatch. Typically, this is found in your phone, and contains a unique reference number for your account so that your mobile service provider knows who to charge and how much access to grant you. The card also has some onboard memory to store a small number of your contacts and SMS messages.

sim card with smartphone

But fiddling with a tiny, physical card is archaic and frustrating (who wants to carry around a SIM ejector?), and eSIMs can alleviate that pain. Embedded SIMs integrate the identification technology of the plastic card into the device’s processor or modem itself. For Intel-branded chips, this will be supported in its existing XMMTM 7260 modem and upcoming XMM 7360 model, while Qualcomm offers it in the Snapdragon 835 chipset. But that doesn’t mean you’ll have to buy a new device. If your machine already has a SIM card tray, you’ll be able to slide in an adapter.

Don’t worry about being locked to one carrier, though. Thanks to the new version of what’s called “remote SIM provisioning (RSP),” eSIMs can store and adopt different profiles (or accounts) so you can simply switch carriers without having to get a new card (we’ll get to what this looks like on your device in a bit). This means you could get wireless plans when you’re traveling or buy specific amounts of data without having to visit a carrier’s physical store. The GSMA, which represents the interests of about 800 mobile operators worldwide, updated its RSP specifications in March to extend this capability to gadgets other than phones.

The Samsung Gear S3 pictured above is one of the first consumer devices to use an eSIM.

Carriers will have to support this technology before you can access their networks over eSIM. So far, T-Mobile, AT&T and about 20 providers worldwide have said they’ll work with Microsoft to let eSIM-connected PCs buy data from the Windows Store. What that process will look like isn’t clear yet. Microsoft said it’s working on making the carrier selection process part of the Windows 10 interface. It could be as easy as picking a wireless operator the way you select a WiFi network, then going to the Windows Store to buy the amount of data you think you’ll need.

Based on a presentation made by Deutsche Telecom/T-Mobile at the GSMA’s March event, it could also involve entering an activation code provided by the operator in your device’s settings.

Not only will eSIMs save you trips to physical stores and remove the need to fiddle with a tiny piece of plastic, the space saved from not having a card tray anymore could also make for smaller gadgets. Since SIM cards don’t take up all that much room in laptops and phones, the space gained is most significant in things like wearables and connected devices. If they didn’t have to accommodate physical SIM trays, device makers could design LTE-capable smartwatches that are a bit slimmer.

We’re still at least a few months away from seeing the benefits of eSIM and the resulting carrier flexibility. But given the support from big brands like ASUS, Lenovo and HP, who have all signed on to make eSIM-enabled PCs, it’s clear we’ll see much more of the feature soon. Plus, who knows? In a few more years, we could even say goodbye to physical SIM cards altogether. And good riddance.

19
Jun

Leaked iPhone 8 Screen Protector Includes Reduced Bezels and Front-Facing Camera Cutout


New images and a video of a screen protector for the upcoming “iPhone 8” have been posted to the Chinese social network site Weibo and shared recently by leaker Benjamin Geskin and leak aggregation site SlashLeaks. The tempered glass screen protector is said to be made for Apple’s upcoming iPhone 8 with a 5.8-inch display, and represents a design that falls in line with current rumors for the unreleased iPhone.

The screen protector’s bezels are noticeably thin and are the same thickness all the way around, with the exception of the front-facing cutout for the device’s camera and various sensors. Although reports have failed to largely agree upon how Apple will incorporate the iPhone 8’s front camera into a device with dramatically thinner bezels, recent renders have suggested a minor cutout for the camera, ambient light sensor, proximity sensor, and potentially a 3D sensing module.

To make the cutout less noticeable, iOS could then use deep black technology provided by the new OLED screen to make the area atop the screen appear like one uninterrupted dark strip. As Geskin tweeted out over the weekend, the new tempered glass screen protector aligns nicely with his previous iPhone 8 renderings.

#iPhone8 Render aligned with tempered glass. pic.twitter.com/OwJ2R3VxBb

— Benjamin Geskin (@VenyaGeskin1) June 17, 2017

Called the “Olixar iPhone 8 Full Cover Tempered Glass Screen Protector” and priced at $31.99, the MobileFun description for the accessory says that it supports 3D Touch and provides edge-to-edge protection for the iPhone 8’s screen. The screen protector is also said to include a 2.5D rounded edge, supporting the rumor that the iPhone 8 will include a flat OLED display.


In a separate image posted on SlashLeaks today, another screen protector manufacturer has leaked a picture of an iPhone 8 accessory, claiming the 5.8-inch iPhone will be dubbed the “Decade Edition.” This name has never been mentioned in previous reports on potential name schemes for the iPhone 8, so it’s best to remain skeptical about its veracity.

Following a report last year that Apple employees were referring to the 2017 iPhone as the “iPhone 8,” that nomenclature has largely become the go-to title for the 5.8-inch device. More recently, Japanese site Mac Otakara has suggested that the device could be called the “iPhone Edition,” marking the new iPhone as a higher-end device similar to the Apple Watch Edition. The “Edition” name would furthermore differentiate it from the iterative iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus updates also expected to launch this fall.

Related Roundup: iPhone 8
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