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Game

Ubisoft delays ‘Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora’ to 2023… 2024

We hope you weren’t expecting to play Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora before the next movie arrives. Ubisoft and Massive Entertainment have delayed the Avatar game to 2023 or 2024. The developers pinned the setback on “ongoing constraints” affecting game production across the industry. Ubisoft said it was still “committed” to creating a next-gen game and saw James Cameron’s franchise as a “multi-year opportunity.”

Other projects are facing delays or even cancellations. Axios‘ Stephen Totilo noted that Ubisoft has cancelled its battle royale brawler Ghost Recon Frontline and Splinter Cell VR. The company also dropped two unannounced games, and has pushed back a lower-profile “premium” game from a 2022-2023 release window to 2023-2024.

The decisions come as Ubisoft tries to turn around its fortunes. While it did see “better than expected” sales from the Assassin’s Creed series and Rainbow Six Siege in the first quarter, its net bookings dipped 10 percent compared to a year earlier. Ubisoft’s business isn’t booming, and the delays for games like Frontiers of Pandora only increase the pressure to cut costs.

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Game

‘Her Story’ creator Sam Barlow delays ‘Immortality’ to August 30th

Immortality, the next game from Her Story and Telling Lies creator Sam Barlow, has been delayed. Previously scheduled to arrive on PC, Xbox and mobile on July 26th, the game will now launch on August 30th. Barlow announced the delay on Twitter.

“Today we’re pushing back the release date for Immortality to August 30th, 2022,” he said this week. “It has taken decades for Marissa Marcel’s work to find the light of day, so we’re happy to spend a month more to ensure the experience is as polished as possible.”

Like Barlow’s past projects, Immortality is a full-motion video game. You’ll need to find out what happened to actor Marissa Marcel by watching lost footage from three films she starred in before her disappearance. Barlow hired Allan Scott and Amelia Gray – best known for work on Queen’s Gambit and Mr. Robot, respectively – to help with the project. Barlow previously hinted Immortality would make its way to other platforms after its initial release.

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Computing

M2 MacBook Air shipments may already be facing delays

The MacBook Air featuring Apple’s latest proprietary M2 processing chip is available for pre-order as of Friday. But as quickly as the new laptop has become available, it is already facing shipping delays.

Customers can pre-order the M2 MacBook Air through the Apple website or the Apple Store app. However, these order options are already showing shipping estimates beyond its July 15 global retail launch date, with many configurations delayed for shipment until July 18 or later in the U.S., according to MacRumors.

That might not sound too bad, but MacRumors points out that some custom configurations might have shipment dates delayed beyond July. This has been continuous problem with the M1 Pro and M1 Max MacBook Pro, which has faced many months of delays in shipment.

The M2 MacBook Air was announced in early June in a number of colors and hardware specifications, with eight-core and 10-core GPU options, and Midnight, Starlight, Space Gray, and Silver as color options. Apple is expected to have the M2 MacBook Air standard configurations available in-store when the laptop launches on July 15.

The shipment delay duration might also be dependent on where you’re ordering. Our location is giving shipping dates between late July and mid-August for all configurations of the M2 MacBook Air. Various metropolitan areas might experience longer waiting times for the new laptops.

Reports that surfaced in late May right before the M2 MacBook Air unveiling at WWDC 2022 revealed the M1 MacBook Air was among the easiest Apple computer to purchase during a time when several products were facing massive shipping delays due to supply chain issues. Products including the 2021 MacBook Pro 14-inch and 16-inch models, the 2021 iMac, Apple Pro Display XDR, Mac Studio, and Studio Display were all also delayed until August, according to Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman.

It is uncertain whether the M2 MacBook Air shipping delays have been caused by consumer demand or supply chain issues.

The M2 MacBook Air starts at $1,199, while the M1 MacBook Air is still currently available and sells for $999.

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Game

Valve further delays Steam Deck dock due to supply shortages

You’ll have to be patient if you want an official way to turn your Steam Deck into a makeshift desktop. As The Verge notes, Valve has indefinitely delayed its Steam Deck Docking Station due to a combination of supply shortages and pandemic-related manufacturing shutdowns. The company said it was “improving the situation” and would share more info when available.

The setback won’t affect production and reservation windows for the Steam Deck itself, Valve said. In the interim, the company vowed to upgrade support for third-party USB-C hubs and external monitors.

The Docking Station cradles the Steam Deck while providing display, Ethernet and USB connections. It was announced alongside the handheld system, but wasn’t available when the Steam Deck first reached customers. Valve still lists the release as “late spring.” The delay won’t preclude you from using the Steam Deck as a PC or attaching it to a TV, but generic hubs clearly won’t be as elegant as a dock built with the console in mind.

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Game

Cyberpunk 2077 delays updates, fixes, DLC roadmap to 2022

Shortly after Cyberpunk 2077 released and fans expressed their discontent with the game, CD Projekt Red committed to fixing its various issues. When it made this commitment, it shared a roadmap that detailed its plans for updates, DLC, and the next-gen upgrades for 2021 and beyond. Today, however, we’re learning that the remainder of the roadmap for 2021 has been delayed into 2022, suggesting Cyberpunk 2077 won’t get any more major updates for the rest of the year.

Earlier today, CD Projekt Red updated the original post containing the roadmap and the FAQ regarding the state of Cyberpunk 2077. The new roadmap says that more updates, improvements, and DLCs will be coming in 2022 and states explicitly that the next-gen console update will be landing at some point in Q1. You can check out the updated roadmap below.

Unfortunately, the new roadmap shows patch 1.31 as the final release for 2021. Patch 1.31 went live back in September as a follow-up to the much larger 1.3 update. According to this roadmap, patch 1.31 is the last significant update we’re getting this year.

That doesn’t necessarily mean there won’t be any more updates for Cyberpunk 2077 this year, but it does suggest that any other updates coming down the pipeline will likely be smaller in scope. Of course, we already knew some of the information contained within this new roadmap, as CD Projekt Red recently confirmed that the next-gen updates for both Cyberpunk 2077 and The Witcher 3 had been delayed into next year.

The big question is whether or not we’ll see any more major patches beyond 1.3 at all. Late last year, when Cyberpunk 2077 was still fresh out of the gate and fans were voicing their opinions, CD Projekt Red said that most of the changes for the console version would come in two big patches. Presumably, the company was talking about updates 1.1 and 1.2 there. With updates 1.3 and 1.31, we’ve moved well beyond those first two patches, so it’s entirely possible that CD Projekt Red isn’t planning any other major patches at all.

Assuming that’s the case, we’ll likely see bug fixes ship in smaller (hopefully more frequent) updates. We’ll just have to see what CD Projekt Red announces in the new year. We’ll let you know when those announcements are made, so stay tuned for more.

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Game

Amazon delays ‘New World’ MMO again, this time to September 28th

Amazon has delayed New World mere weeks before its previously announced August 31st release date. It will now arrive about a month later, on September 28th, so that Amazon Game Studios can spend an extra few weeks polishing, fixing bugs and improving stability. The company says it decided to delay New World again following player feedback it collected during the MMO’s recent closed beta.

“This was not an easy decision to make. We know this isn’t the first time we’ve changed our launch date in pursuit of quality, and that it can be disappointing to wait a bit longer.” Amazon Game Studios said on Twitter. “But we want to be sure we deliver you the highest quality game possible at launch.”

For those of you still keeping track, this is New World’s fourth delay. When Amazon first announced the game, it said it would come out in May 2020. Its release date initially slipped to August 25th, 2020, before Amazon announced a month later it was pushing the game back to spring 2021. At the start of the year, it then delayed the game to its most recently planned August 31st release date.

To say there’s a lot of pressure on Amazon Game Studios to deliver a hit for its parent company would be an understatement. Amazon announced the game’s first major delay after taking the unusual step of rolling back the availability of Crucible, its first AAA title. It later ended the development of that game. Before taking over as CEO of Amazon, Andy Jassy told employees he was committed to the studio. “Though we haven’t consistently succeeded yet in Amazon Game Studios, I believe we will if we hang in there,” he said in an email. Now it’s on the New World team to prove that confidence was well-earned.

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Game

Ubisoft delays ‘Rainbow Six Extraction’ to January 2022

Ubisoft has delayed its two big September releases. Both and won’t make their previously announced release dates, the company shared in separate blog posts on Friday. Originally scheduled to come out on , Ubisoft now plans to release Extraction in January 2022. Meanwhile, it has pushed Riders Republic from to October 28th.

Of the two, Extraction is the more significant delay given the popularity of Rainbow Six Siege and the timeframe involved. “Our ambition with Rainbow Six Extraction is to deliver a full-fledged AAA experience that changes the way you play and think about cooperative games,” Ubisoft said. “We are embracing the opportunity to take additional time to bring this vision to life in the way it deserves in January 2022. We are confident this will ensure Rainbow Six Extraction is the immersive, cooperative, and thrilling experience we set out to create, and the one you aspire to play.”

As for the latter game, Ubisoft said the delay will “give us more time to fine tune the experience and give you another chance to jump in before launch and provide feedback.” At its , the company said players would get a chance to beta test Riders Republic before release.

Neither delay is the first for Rainbow Six Extraction and Riders Republic. The latter was originally supposed to come out at . However, Extraction has had a more complicated development. Ubisoft first announced the game at E3 2019, at which point it was known as . At that point, it was supposed to come out in 2020, but then that didn’t happen. Ubisoft then didn’t say much about the game until it revealed it was considering a name change. 

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Tech News

Nokia Android 11 update delays made official

Although it does try its best to update its dozens of phone models, it seems that this strategy is catching up to HMD Global. Despite its boast of shipping pretty much vanilla Android, the company is struggling to keep its phones up-to-date with the latest release of Android. Now nearing the middle of the year, HMD Global is releasing a revised timeline for its Android 11 updates and it isn’t looking good for the company’s reputation.

After prematurely revealing it, HMD Global did formally announce its plans for the Android 11 rollout for no less than 14 phones. That schedule would start before 2020 ended and would hopefully be completed by the second quarter of this year. As Nokia phone owners can testify, that never really happened.

As XDA would point out, the Nokia 8.3 5G was the first to get that update and it only happened in the first quarter of 2021. Based on the old schedule, the Nokia 1.3, 2.3, 2.4, 3.4, and 4.2 should have already been upgraded to Android 11. Of course, that hasn’t happened yet either.

Perhaps to manage expectations, HMD Global is releasing a revised schedule that pushes almost all of those by a full quarter. Some, like the Nokia 1 Plus, are staying put, strangely, but now the company’s schedule will last until the third quarter. That means that some Nokia phones will be receiving Android 11 just as Android 12 is announced.

HMD Global is silent on why the updates are being delayed but it is perhaps the victim of its own success. Having so many phone models coming from different ODMs, it might be a logistic nightmare to get all of these updated on schedule.

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Game

Super Nintendo World finally has an opening date after COVID delays

It’s been a long time coming, but now the first Super Nintendo World park has its official opening date. The theme park, which is located at Universal Studios in Osaka, Japan, was supposed to be open already, but of course, the COVID-19 pandemic played a part in pushing back that opening date on multiple occasions.

At one point, Super Nintendo World was slated to open on February 4th, but that opening date was delayed due to a new round of lockdown orders following a surge of coronavirus cases in Japan. As Nintendo of Japan announced on Twitter today, the new opening date for Super Nintendo World is Thursday, March 18th.

This is the first of a number of planned Super Nintendo World parks that are slated to open around the world. Nintendo and Universal are planning to open parks in Singapore, Hollywood, and Orlando in the future, with the Osaka park acting as something of a pilot.

Unfortunately, those of us here in the United States might be waiting some time before a Super Nintendo World opens in our neck of the woods. Last week, we heard reports that the opening of Super Nintendo World Orlando has been delayed to early 2025 – four years from now. As you’d expect given the past year, Universal apparently halted construction on the park because of economic uncertainty brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, and has only recently resumed construction.

So, for now at least, those of here in the US will have to watch Super Nintendo World from afar and see what our friends in Japan think of it when it opens next week. Back in December, Super Nintendo World was the subject of a Nintendo Direct, so if you’re wondering what all the fuss is about, that could be worth a watch as we wait for more news on upcoming parks.



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Computing

Microsoft officially delays Surface Neo, dual-screen Windows PCs

Microsoft has officially confirmed that it’s delaying its dual-screen Windows experiences, including the Surface Neo, until “the right moment” arrives. That announcement was part of a Monday blog post in which Panos Panay, the new chief product officer of Windows and Devices, laid out his vision of what he sees for Microsoft’s Windows 10 and related hardware programs.

In some sense, the blog post announcing the changes reads like a recap of what we already know: The Windows 10 May 2020 Update will begin shipping to the general public this month; Microsoft is turning its Build conference into a free, online-only event; and Microsoft is postponing its own dual-screen devices.

Microsoft had only internally communicated the latter choice internally, according to a recent ZDNet report. That report said Panay had indicated that the pandemic had prompted Microsoft to refocus its priorities on single-screen devices. 

On Monday, Panay confirmed this, and offered more insight into Microsoft’s rationale for adjusting its strategy. “The world is a very different place than it was last October when we shared our vision for a new category of dual-screen Windows devices,” he wrote. “As we continue to put customers’ needs at the forefront, we need to focus on meeting customers where they are now.”

That means that Microsoft will “pivot our focus toward single-screen Windows 10X devices that leverage the power of the cloud to help our customers work, learn, and play in new ways,” Panay wrote. “These single-screen devices will be the first expression of Windows 10X that we deliver to our customers, and we will continue to look for the right moment, in conjunction with our OEM partners, to bring dual-screen devices to market.”

Based on his phrasing, that essentially means that Microsoft is delaying the Surface Neo, which was originally scheduled to ship in 2020. Windows 10X, which simplified the Windows experience and stretched the experience across two screens, will now emphasize the “simple” rather than the two screens. (Microsoft’s Windows 10X emulator recently added a single-screen experience.) Focusing the delay on “dual-screen Windows devices” also suggests that Microsoft may still ship the Surface Duo, a dual-screen Android phone, on time. 

Microsoft windows 10x Surface Neo  edge across two screens Microsoft

It appears that you won’t be seeing this dual-screen view in Windows 10X hardware anytime soon.

The future of Windows 10

More subtly, Panay also indicated that Microsoft may be gearing up to add more new features to Windows 10. We’ve already reviewed the Windows 10 May 2020 Update, due to roll out sometime this month, so we know that Microsoft updated features like the Windows Subsystem for Linux and Cortana without adding new functionality.

“The May 2020 Update is just the first step,” Panay wrote. “As a team, we are committed to delivering meaningful innovation in ways that matter most to the billion people around the world relying on Windows right now. That is why, in this holiday and the next, we are going to accelerate innovation in Windows 10 to ensure that Windows devices are the best way to work, learn and play. We are going to make important improvements in every one of those areas.”

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