Categories
Computing

Intel’s upcoming Raptor Lake may hit the enviable 6GHz mark

Intel’s 13th-generation Raptor Lake chips may be capable of boosting past the 6GHz mark if one tipster is to be believed. The company’s current Core i9-12900 CPUs are already capable of maxing out well over 5GHz.

The rumor comes courtesy of tipster @OneRaichu on Twitter, who claims at least one SKU of the CPU will be capable of a 6GHz turbo boost due to Intel’s Efficient Thermal Velocity Boost (ETVB) technology. That would make it the first x86 chip to reach that level of performance.

🥵6 GHz turbo MAYBE will appear in one SKU. (in ETVB mode)🤣
I guess it should not be normal sku. https://t.co/SFubzjdXNG

— Raichu (@OneRaichu) June 21, 2022

More confirmation of ETVB was revealed when Intel updated its Extreme Tuning Utility (XTU) overclocking application to include “future platform” support for ETVB. As Wccftech notes, the overclocking features listed in the XTU changelog will be available to 12th-gen Alder Lake CPUs as well.

As a refresher, Intel’s regular TVB “opportunistically” increases the clock speeds by up to 100MHz if the CPU is within its thermal limit and enough turbo headroom is available. This is how Alder Lake CPUs are able to get into the mid-5GHz range. The ETVB mode will likely be an improvement upon the TVB to perhaps allow even higher frequency boosts depending on how hot the CPU is.

This probably isn’t surprising considering some of the early benchmarks we’ve seen for Raptor Lake. In the Sandra benchmarking tool, it was found that the Core i9-13900 crushed the current Core i9-12900. However, we must caution that it was an early engineering sample that was tested so the actual performance numbers could vary upon release.

Obviously, AMD isn’t sitting on its laurels, with Team Red readying its own Ryzen 7000 chips built on the new Zen 4 architecture. AMD showed off impressive results at Computex 2022, beating Intel’s Core i9-12900K by 31%. It also showed the Zen 4 chip boosting up to 5.5GHz while playing Ghostwire Tokyo.

AMD CEO Lisa Su noted that even with such impressive results, Ryzen 7000 chips will be capable of of clock speeds “significantly” above 5Ghz. That’s not even counting any kind of overclocking potential. That said, if Intel is able to achieve 6Ghz without overclocking, that will still represent a remarkable achievement.

Editors’ Choice




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Categories
AI

Use AI to weather the upcoming data deprecation storm

Hear from CIOs, CTOs, and other C-level and senior execs on data and AI strategies at the Future of Work Summit this January 12, 2022. Learn more


This article was contributed by Tara DeZao, product marketing director, AdTech and MarTech at Pega

Last summer’s announcement that Google’s third-party cookie deprecation has been pushed out to 2023 drew cheers, yawns, and everything in between. But the question remains: what will advertisers and marketers do with the extra time? Will they squander it and resist evolution until the bitter end? Or will they use it to make real changes in pursuit of better business outcomes and improved customer experiences?

There’s a scene in “My So-Called Life,” the 90s TV drama that followed a group of angsty teens as they navigated the pitfalls of a suburban high school. The protagonist, Angela Chase, is huddled in the girls’ bathroom, frantically studying for a test, and demoralizing herself for not doing it sooner. Suddenly, another student bursts through the door and triumphantly shouts, “The copy machine ate our geometry test!” Given the time period and its lack of digitization, this meant that the crowd of girls huddled in the bathroom had a one-day reprieve and all cheered triumphantly, grateful for the extra study time.

We’ve now arrived at our “the copy machine ate our geometry test” moment. This tipping point has been a long time coming, whether or not Google pulled the plug on cookies in Chrome. Without data deprecation, consumers continue to opt-out of third-party cookie tracking and data storing amid ongoing privacy concerns, as they have done for the past several years. Various sets of government regulations around the globe are in response to these concerns. The browser and operating system restrictions, as well as the tightening of data portability rules within walled gardens, have signaled major disruptions to the digital marketing environment for several years. This is why closing the door on legacy data practices is a golden opportunity to deliver customers better experiences, a goal that continues to elude many of us in the existing landscape.

Overall, consumers aren’t happy with the State of the Union between themselves and the digital marketing industry. We struggle with frequency, relevance, context, and personalization in our engagement with them. We engage too often with irrelevant content at the wrong times and deliver either not enough or too much personalization to consumers. Not only that, but we’re getting it wrong, and we have been for quite some time. And the number of consumers who’ve installed ad blocks since 2019 proves it: Statista reported in March that there are more than 763.5 million ad block users worldwide. We’re driving consumers away from wanting to even have conversations with us.

But it’s not that they don’t want to hear from us, it’s the way we’re speaking to them that isn’t working. When there is a true value exchange, consumers welcome engagement.  According to Merkle’s “Consumer Experience Sentient Report” released in April which reviewed how consumers feel about brands using their data in digital marketing and advertising, about half of adult US internet users said that when brands use their data in advertising, it helps them discover (50%) and find (49%) products and services that interest them — but 44% said this often feels invasive.

Undoubtedly, there will be brands and other organizations in the digital ecosystem that will resist change and hold onto legacy practices until the bitter end of data deprecation. But If you want to be in the better outcomes and experiences camp, even if you haven’t started your transformation, now is the time, and here’s how to get started.

Commit to better privacy and transparency on all your channels

This may seem obvious, but many organizations do not lead with consumer trust, privacy, and transparency when it comes to digital marketing and advertising. And although it’s in the fine print, respecting consumer privacy always makes for a better outcome. Always be transparent about how you use customer data. Be responsive when the consumer asks you for information, and deliver clear and understandable explanations of the types of data you collect and how you use it.

Audit your data strategy and MarTech stack

Many current MarTech stacks look like a jumble of point solutions to deploy segment-based, fixed marketing campaigns, and as such are leveraging multiple kinds of data. Spend the time to audit exposure – you might have external partners in your media ecosystem and not even know what types of data segments are being utilized. What do your data usage, audience targeting, and search capabilities look like? What steps can you take in the data deprecation future to deploy new types of targeting, modeling, and beyond that aren’t reliant on third-party data and technology? Are there new partnerships you can create to access the data you need to round out your strategy? Do some of your technologies need to be replaced?

Various cookie alternatives are emerging to fill the data gap looming for many organizations. But these solutions will not be a like-for-like replacement. As alternatives remain largely unproven, it becomes even more essential to identify where your business needs to strengthen or replace existing capabilities. For example, in 2020 Forrester Research defined a new type of data, zero party data, as “data that a customer intentionally and proactively shares with a brand, which can include preference center data, purchase intentions, personal context and how the individual wants the brand to recognize her.” It is essentially a subset of first-party data that gives its users broader contextual signals about a consumer with their consent. But this approach assumes that consumers will want to participate and on the scale that advertisers need to make the investment worth the reach. Also positioned as a viable alternative when facing data deprecation are data cohorts where organizations share first-party data to create types of interest-based segments in privacy compliant ways.  Google’s FloC is an example. The efficacy of this approach is yet to be determined.

Invest in AI and centralize all your data

Today’s consumer moves through the web at an accelerated pace, constantly changing their context. If we as marketers don’t move with them, we miss the opportunity to connect. Fixed campaigns and rules-based customer journeys aren’t about what the customer needs or wants at the moment, they are about what products and services we want to talk to them about. The only way to keep up with both the consumer and the industry as it evolves is to implement solutions that rely on AI and machine learning.

Artificial intelligence-backed marketing and advertising solutions can ingest your customers’ signals as they move through the web and interact with your brand to deliver highly relevant, perfectly timed customer interactions. Most leverage either predictive or adaptive modeling capabilities to predict consumer behavior, even in the face of a data deprecation storm. The most accurate tools leverage both. Predictive modeling and analytics are not new to marketing and advertising technologies. Predictive analytics ingests data from historical customer interactions to try and predict customer behavior, and most of the time is created by data scientists. Conversely, adaptive modeling starts with no data inputs and learns in real time from data gathered during a customer interaction. Models auto-create and optimize on the fly. The key to hyper-personalized, perfectly timed customer engagements is the capability to ingest immediate inputs and deliver an interaction at that moment.

These capabilities greatly reduce, and in some cases eliminate, the need for external data sources. Especially because AI empowers businesses to aggregate and centralize data from all over the organization for use in marketing initiatives. We keep hearing that there are brands across various industries that don’t have access to enough first-party data to survive in a post-cookie digital landscape, but many organizations are sitting on a trove of it. However, because it may be sitting outside of marketing in areas of the business such as finance, customer service, operations, etc., and because they don’t have solutions that can stitch it together, it goes wasted.

Making these changes may seem daunting because they are. Major strategic and organizational shifts are a heavy lift, but the delay has given us the gift of time to make them. And because we aren’t time-crunched, we can do it right and get away from the cobbled-together stacks of the past. We are in the middle of a digital revolution, and we are running out of time to make the big changes that brands need to make to weather the upcoming storm data deprecation will create. And isn’t it always better to fix the roof when it’s dry outside?

Tara DeZao, product marketing director, AdTech, and MarTech at Pega.

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Categories
Game

The Best Upcoming Xbox Series X Games to Know About

The Xbox Series X and Series S have now been out for over a year, bringing better resolution, higher frame rates, and ray tracing to gamers around the world. These upcoming Xbox Series X games promise to continue to show off all those bells and whistles in fun, new experiences.

If you’re eager to find out what Microsoft has in store for the years ahead, we’ve rounded up every game confirmed so far, including new offerings, franchise installments, and ports of existing titles. We’re looking beyond the first-party projects here to encompass all the great games coming to this powerful new piece of gaming hardware.

Further reading

Optimized games available at launch

Xbox Series X and Series S hit store shelves without a major exclusive launch title. To make up for that, it came with over 30 games that are “optimized” for the new hardware. Existing games like Fortnite will be available to play one day 1 with some form of next-generation improvements, though it’s not clear what those updates are for each game.

These games will be available to players in a few different ways. Games like Assassin’s Creed Valhalla utilize the consoles’ Smart Delivery feature, giving players who own the game on Xbox One a free upgrade. Some of these upgraded games will be available via Game Pass, including first-party titles like Gears Tactics and Ori and the Will of the Wisps.

  • Assassin’s Creed Valhalla (Smart Delivery)
  • Borderlands 3 (Smart Delivery)
  • Bright Memory 1.0
  • Cuisine Royale (Smart Delivery)
  • Dead by Daylight (Xbox Game Pass and Smart Delivery)
  • Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition
  • DIRT 5 (Smart Delivery)
  • Enlisted
  • Evergate
  • The Falconeer (Smart Delivery)
  • Fortnite
  • Forza Horizon 4 (Xbox Game Pass and Smart Delivery)
  • Gears 5 (Xbox Game Pass and Smart Delivery)
  • Gears Tactics (Xbox Game Pass and Smart Delivery)
  • Grounded (Xbox Game Pass and Smart Delivery)
  • King Oddball (Smart Delivery)
  • Maneater (Smart Delivery)
  • Manifold Garden (Smart Delivery)
  • NBA 2K21
  • Observer: System Redux
  • Ori and the Will of the Wisps (Xbox Game Pass and Smart Delivery)
  • Planet Coaster (Smart Delivery)
  • Sea of Thieves (Xbox Game Pass and Smart Delivery)
  • Tetris Effect: Connected (Xbox Game Pass and Smart Delivery)
  • The Touryst (Xbox Game Pass and Smart Delivery)
  • War Thunder (Smart Delivery)
  • Warhammer: Chaosbane Slayer Edition
  • Watch Dogs: Legion (Smart Delivery)
  • WRC 9 FIA World Rally Championship (Smart Delivery)
  • Yakuza: Like a Dragon (Smart Delivery)
  • Yes, Your Grace (Smart Delivery)

Confirmed new games

These games are coming to the Xbox Series X/S, but they are not slated for launch. Some titles may be coming to other console platforms, as well, and most will also come to the PC.

Halo Infinite (campaign)

Master Chief holding his helmet by his side.

Halo Infinite is the next chapter in the Halo franchise, and although it was announced as a launch title, the game’s campaign has been delayed until December 8, while the multiplayer mode is already available. It’s one of the most-anticipated Series X releases as of right now, one that continues the story of Halo 5: Guardians. From what we’ve heard thus far, it seems to be even more ambitious than previous games in the series, powered by the 343’s new Slipspace Engine. The Slipspace Engine breathes new life into the Halo universe, as it better conveys the characters’ emotions. We also know that the game is larger than the previous two Halo games combined, at least according to Microsoft’s July 20/20 Series X event.

Starfield

The Starfield logo in space.

Starfield is Bethesda’s first original RPG in 25 years. Bethesda has not revealed much outside of a teaser shown at E3 2018 and a second one at E3 2021. We don’t have many of the important details yet, but we do know that the game will be a single-player experience and come exclusively to Xbox on November 11.

State of Decay 3

A survivor on a snowy cliff.

State of Decay 3 exists, and that’s about all we know. A follow-up to Undead Labs’ open-world zombie game a few years ago, State of Decay 3 is launching exclusively on Xbox Series X and PC and will be coming to Game Pass on release day.

Avowed

The Avowed logo in dark green space.

Avowed is probably still a few years off, especially with The Outer Worlds DLC shipping soon. We know, however, that it’s coming, and it’s coming exclusively to Xbox Series X and PC. It’s a presumably open-world, first-person RPG similar to Skyrim. The game takes place in Eora, the same world as Pillars of Eternity, and features melee combat and spell-casting, at least based on the teaser.

The Outer Worlds 2

A space man standing on an alien cliff.

Only just revealed at E3 2021, The Outer Worlds 2 is the next installment to the small, well-received sci-fi RPG from Obsidian entertainment. We only got the smallest of announcement trailers, but based on just that, we know that the same level of humor and self-awareness will be in the sequel. Despite being a sequel, the game will focus on a brand new cast in all-new environments. The teaser ends without a release date, so this one may take quite a while to arrive.

Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands

A banshee from Tiny Tina's Wonderlands.

Kind of a spinoff to a spinoff, Tiny Tina’s Wonderland is a full game based on one of the DLCs for Borderlands 2, where you play as a character participating in a fictional Dungeons and Dragons-type game hosted by the lovably insane Tiny Tina. Despite the fantasy setting, this looks like it has all the trappings of the Borderland games you either love or hate. There are tons of weapons and loot, crass and absurd humor, a colorful and unique world, and more loot. This romp through the twisted world of Tiny Tina’s imagination hits March 25.

As Dusk Falls

A man being held at gunpoint.

As Dusk Falls is the first game from Interior Night, a U.K.-based studio made up of former Sony and Quantic Dream developers (known for work on Detroit: Become Human and Beyond Two Souls). True to form, As Dusk Falls is a narrative-driven adventure game involving two families over the course of two generations. We haven’t seen any gameplay, but it looks like As Dusk Falls could use hand-painted images to tell its story, like a beautiful graphic novel playing out on screen. We’ll know when the game launches on Xbox Series X, PC, and Xbox One, probably in 2021.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chernobyl

A character wearing a gas mask in the woods.

Microsoft didn’t show much of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 in its initial showcase, but at E3 2021, we got a new name, a first look at some gameplay, and the release date of April 28 for the Series X. A PC exclusive series for many years, this survival horror shooter will likely stretch the limits of the Series X when it launches. If you need more horsepower, it’s coming to PC, too.

Marvel’s Midnight Suns

Wolverine, Iron Man, and Ghost Rider from Marvel's Midnight Suns.

The Marvel train keeps on trucking with a collaboration no one saw coming. Firaxis, makers of the insanely popular XCOM and XCOM 2 revivals, are taking on the Marvel license with the somewhat niche Midnight Suns. Taking cues from their tactical, turn-based games, this game won’t be nearly as brutal as their prior games in that space. You will lead a team of occult-focused heroes, including fan favorites like Blade and Ghostrider, to face off against a demonic threat. While originally scheduled for early 2022, it has since been delayed until the second half of that year.

Warhammer 40K: Darktide

Three Warhammer marines in a dark hallway.

We still don’t know much about Warhammer 40K: Darktide, but it comes from Vermintide developer Fatshark, so that provides a pretty big clue. It’s a four-player co-op shooter where you take on mobs of enemies, similar to Left 4 Dead. It’s launching as a timed-exclusive on PC and Xbox Series X, though we don’t have a release window yet.

Dying Light 2: Stay Human

Buildings burning in Dying Light 2.

Before we get off the zombie train, we have one more to hit. This time its a sequel to the surprise hit that mixed zombie survival with first-person parkour elements and somehow stuck the landing. Set 15 years after the original, this game is set in a world where humans have devolved a bit into a kind of “new Dark Ages” as the developers put it. If it is as mechanically fun to simply run, jump, and bash zombies as the original, we’ll be happy. It will squeak in just before the end of 2021 on December 7th.

The Gunk

The Gunk character looking at a strange landscape.

The Gunk is a new action-adventure game from Steamworld developer Image and Form. As the studio’s first foray into the 3D realm, it’ll be interesting to see how The Gunk turns out when it launches as a timed-exclusive on Series X, Xbox One, and PC in December.

Fable

A forest and kingdom landscape.

The Fable franchise is getting a reboot with Fable, developed by Forza Horizon studio Playground Games. We don’t know much about the game, short of a vague announcement trailer shown during Microsoft’s July Xbox Series X showcase. We don’t have a release date yet, so it’ll likely be many moons before we dive back into the fantasy world Lionhead created years ago. We do know, however, that the game is coming to Xbox Series X and PC, and that it’s launching on Game Pass.

Elden Ring

A giant battle in Elden Ring.

The team at FromSoftware is back and treating us to a brand new IP. Known for their Dark Souls series, this time, the team has expanded their scope to make a fully open-world experience, along with story contributions from author George R.R. Martin. The combat looks, from what little we’ve seen so far, to be very much familiar to the older Souls games, which fans would no doubt want. Really, we’re just excited for a brand new, ugly, dangerous, and mysterious world to explore and a story to string together. This latest test of wills arrives on February 25.

Crossfire X

The Crossfire X logo.
Microsoft

Crossfire X, a PC classic, was originally planned to make its way to Xbox consoles in 2020 but was delayed into 2021 due to development issues. Crossfire is an FPS that pits two private military factions against one another, allowing you to choose a side and complete missions curated for that particular faction. The new campaign, developed by famed Control and Alan Wake developer Remedy Entertainment, is launching on Xbox One and Series X this year, though it doesn’t appear to be coming to Game Pass.

Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II

Senua making a pained face.

Hellblade II is the next entry in the Hellblade franchise from developer Ninja Theory. Senua’s Saga is a direct sequel to Hellblade: Senuas Sacrifice, which focused on a broken Celtic warrior who was haunted by visions and voices in her head as she fought for the soul of her lover. The developers of the first game tapped neuroscientists and people who experience psychosis to create the eeriness of the first Hellblade, which we expect to carry on in the second.

A Plague Tale Requiem

Amica and Hugo looking out over a desolate landscape.

The sequel to the hit indie title A Plague Tale: Innocence, this game has a lot of similarities to the Senua games. It is a smaller, more focused title with an emphasis on story, strong combat design, and graphical design that is almost unbelievable for the size of the team. The game will be a direct follow-up to the first game, following Amicia and Hugo, and will arrive sometime in 2022.

The Lord of the Rings: Gollum

TheGollum talking to himself in an orc cave.

The Lord of the Rings: Gollum is a narrative-focused adventure game that focuses on the events that occur between Gollum finding the One Ring and the start of the Lord of the Rings story we all know and love. Deadalic Entertainment inked a deal with Middle-Earth Enterprises to develop this project, meaning the game will be more akin to the books, not the movies.

Everwild

Three cloaked people in a pink field.
Microsoft

Announced during the XO19 event by Microsoft, Everwild is the new title from Rare Studios. Everwild is an adventure game with a similar art style to that of Rare’s Sea of Thieves. There has not been a confirmed release date or much information about the gameplay. However, check out the trailer for Everwild to get a glimpse of what the game will look like graphically.

Bright Memory Infinite

A man in a space suit standing on a dock.

Bright Memory Infinite is a sci-shooter with an episodic twist. The game, developed by indie Chinese studio FYQD Studio, takes the FPS genre and adds close-quarters combat, delivering fast-paced action as you take on the role of Shelia, an employee of the Science Research Organization tasked with stopping a military organization from acquiring a legendary ancient power that can reawaken the dead.

Early episodes of the game have been available through Steam’s Early Access program since last year and have received positive reviews from critics. The original Bright Memory was developed by a single person, showcasing the power of Unreal Engine for solo developers. There were plenty of bugs and instruction issues — mainly because of poor translation — but we expect those issues to be cleaned up when the game launches for current-gen consoles and Series X later in 2022.

Scorn

A twisted corpse in a grey room.

First-person horror game Scorn drops players into a nightmarish, puzzle-filled world. The game has been in the works since 2013 and is finally being released as the ultimate horror experience on Xbox. According to developer Ebb Software, the world of Scorn draws visual inspiration from Swiss painter H.R. Giger and Polish painter Zdzislaw Beksinski, and conceptual inspiration has come from works by notable writers Franz Kafka, Thomas Ligotti, and J.G. Ballard, among others. Basically, this is going to be a nightmarish experience like no other.

Chorus

A person touching a strange metal triangle.
Microsoft

Chorus is a modern take on the classic space shooters developed by Deep Silver. The title is expected to be a fast-paced, single-player experience, one that pits you against hordes of enemy starfighters, large battleships, and unknown Void entities. You can play as one of two characters: An ace pilot and ex-cultist named Nara or Forsaken, a sentient AI starfighter. Throughout the game, you will be able to unlock devastating weapons, mind-bending abilities, and engage in zero-g combat.

Microman

A tiny man fighting an ant with a fork.
Steam

In the aptly titled Microman, you play as a janitor shrunk to the size of an ant. The premise is pretty basic — you fight for your life against ants, spiders, frogs, and rats as you attempt to return to normal — but some mechanics might push the simulator a bit further. You can utilize butterflies as transportation, for instance, or make use of various utensils as weapons. Developer Glob Games claims the concept to be reminiscent of Marvel’s Ant-Man or Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, which, on the surface, seems fair.

Rainbow Six Extraction

Soldiers shooting aliens while trying to close the doors.

Ubisoft took its time sharing info about Rainbow Six Extraction, previously subtitled Quarantine, until this year’s E3. We now know that the tactical shooter will feature various operators from Rainbow Six Siege and that they’ll face off against the mutated, alien parasite. The entire game is inspired by the popular mode called Outbreak that was only available for a short time in Rainbow Six Siege. A new, distinct team is developing Rainbow Six Extraction at Ubisoft, so, while it’s a member of the Rainbow Six lineup, we’re expecting a different vibe. This game will hit sometime in January.

Saints Row

The crew of the Saints Row reboot stands against a wall.

The Saints are back in town, but it’s a brand new town and an all-new gang of Saints. This reboot is completely overhauling the story the games had built up, which makes sense considering how impossible it would be to follow up where that story left off. Now, the team wants to make a more grounded story and game, though we still do see plenty of comedy and arcade-style gameplay that set it apart from something trying to be strictly realistic. There’s been a distinct lack of competition for GTA in the third-person, open-world crime space, so we’re glad to see a new attempt to spice up that genre. This reboot will hit on August 23.

Vampire: The Masquerade — Bloodlines 2

A camp of bums with a burning barrel.
Microsoft

Set in a dark and reimagined Seattle, Bloodlines 2 is the sequel to a 2004 cult classic. In this action RPG, you play as a human who is killed and revived as a thinblood — aka a relatively weak vampire. You can customize your character via a handful of upgradable disciplines and even pledge your allegiance to a vampire clan and navigate the World of Darkness, an alternative Earth where vampires, werewolves, demons, and other creatures shape human history. Vampires must stay hidden from the human race as much as they can, but rogue vampires have been publicly attacking the population of Seattle and causing tension between the city’s clans. Your decisions will change the balance of power in the city.

Gotham Knights

Nightwing leaping at the camera.

A spiritual successor to the Batman: Arkham series, Gotham Knights is a co-op action RPG starring Batgirl, Red Hood, Robin, and Nightwing. The game is slated to launch sometime in 2021 on Xbox Series X. Although a successor to the Arkham games, Gotham Knights isn’t being developed by Rocksteady Studios (we’ll get to what that team is working on in a moment). Instead Warner Bros Montreal, the studio behind Arkham Origins, is at the helm.

Hogwarts Legacy

A wizard with a glowing wand looking at Hogwarts.

The long-rumored open-world Harry Potter game is finally here, and it has a name. Hogwarts Legacy is set in the world of Harry Potter, of course, but new developer Portkey Games appears to be taking the story in a different direction. Although the game was announced during Sony’s September PS5 event, Hogwarts Legacy is also launching on Series X. We don’t know when that’s happening, though.

Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League

Harley, a shark guy, and deathstroke hanging out.

Rocksteady isn’t making Gotham Knights because it’s busy working on Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League. It’s one of a few confirmed next-gen exclusives, launching on Series X in 2022. We don’t know much about the game yet, but it takes place in the Batman: Arkham universe and is set in an open-world Metropolis. We also know the four playable characters in the game: Harley Quinn, King Shark, Deadshot, and Captain Boomerang.

Perfect Dark

Joanna Dark looking at a pyramid.

The first game from a brand new Microsoft studio called The Initiative was revealed to be a revival of the long-dormant Perfect Dark series. We haven’t seen this espionage sci-fi FPS since Perfect Dark: Zero launched with the Xbox 360, but the original N64 game is still considered one of the all-time greatest FPS games. The game has only had a teaser announcing its existence, so we know next to nothing about it, though we hope it will stay true to the stealth and gadget-based gameplay of the original. For now, we have no clue as to when it will arrive, but it likely won’t be until 2023 at the earliest.

Dragon Age 4

Dragon Age 4

Technically, Dragon Age 4 isn’t confirmed for Xbox Series X. It’s just confirmed as a “next-gen experience.” As a massive third-party IP, though, it’ll probably launch on Series X. We don’t have a release date or really any information about the next Dragon Age game, but don’t expect it soon. At best, the release date won’t be until 2022 or 2023.

The Elder Scrolls VI

The Elder Scrolls VI
Bethesda

Just like StarfieldElder Scrolls VI was announced at E3 2018 and is still years away from release. In fact, Pete Hines of Bethesda recently revealed on Twitter that the Elder Scrolls VI wouldn’t launch until after Starfield. With the Xbox Series X, we can expect more expansive maps and faster loading times, though there is no definitive date as to when we might set foot once again on the continent of Tamriel.

Editors’ Choice




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Categories
Game

Apple Arcade’s upcoming additions include ‘Tetris’ and ‘Monster Hunter’ games

Apple Arcade is expanding its game selection, and it once again includes a mix of brand new (if familiar) originals and well-established classics. The all-you-can-play service will “soon” add Tetris Beat, an Arcade original from N3twork that blends Alexei Pajitnov’s line-clearng puzzles with rhythm game elements. The more you keep to the rhythm, the larger your combos get. The soundtrack includes well-known names like Alison Wonderland and Hannah Diamond, among others, so you might enjoy it just for the music.

The other upcoming title, Monster Hunter Stories (below), will be more than a little familiar — it’s a years-old adaptation of the turn-based Capcom RPG that made its debut on the 3DS. The game flips the usual premise on its head by making you a “rider” that forms ties with some monsters rather than hunting them down.

'Monster Hunter Stories' from Apple Arcade on iPhone

Capcom

Two more veteran games will join the mix. Halfbrick’s Jetpack Joyride makes the endless runner (flier?) available without worrying so much about in-app purchases, while Neko Atsume offers serene cat collecting as a foil to the other, more frantic games in the collection.

As before, Apple isn’t counting on any one game to draw you to Arcade. Like past additions, these latest entries are more about making a stronger overall case for Apple’s $5 per month service — you might be more likely to sign up (or get it as part of an Apple One bundle) if you know titles like Tetris Beat and Monster Hunter Stories are just a quick download away.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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Tech News

Fitbit’s upcoming feature will help you prove you don’t snore THAT loudly

If your friends have stayed over at your place, they might have had stories about how loudly you snore. And unless there’s some video evidence, it might be hard for you to prove otherwise.

However, Fitbit’s upcoming feature might help you do just that. According to an APK teardown for Fitbit’s upcoming Android app version 3.42, from 9to5Google, the company’s preparing an app update with a “Snore and Noise detect” feature.

[Read: This dude drove an EV from the Netherlands to New Zealand — here are his 3 top road trip tips]

The app uses a mic on your Fitbit device to detect noise and determine if you’re snoring. According to screenshots posted by the publication, the feature and the mic gets turned on when the wearable detects that you’re sleeping:

We look for snore-specific noises. When our algorithm detects an event that’s louder than the baseline noise level, it performs a calculation to decide if it’s snoring or something else. 

Credit: 9to5Google
Categories
Game

Nintendo Switch Pro: Upcoming handheld gaming console explained

The Nintendo Switch released in March 2017 and the follow-up Switch Lite came in September 2019 – both the handheld consoles brought a fair amount of success to the Nintendo camp. Now the next-gen video game console is agonizingly close to release. There is substantial evidence of the existence of the long rumored Switch Pro (or maybe it will be called Switch 2) – and it’s coming sooner than expected.

Years of speculation (right from the time of Switch Lite release) has taken shape of sourced reports with the potential of a handheld console that brings next-generation display and graphics to lure gamers who prefer the compact nature of handhelds. The Switch needs a worthy successor, and Switch Pro is brewing into one, as Nintendo looks to entice hardcore mobile gamers with its console.

Design and specifications

The video game console will have a slightly bigger screen size compared to its predecessor. It’s a no brainer that the upcoming console will have trimmed down bezels and might come in an attractive set of color options. Larger Joy-Con controllers will be a great addition as it promises better grip, and also larger home buttons for better interactivity.

To compete with gaming hardware – be it bigger consoles or gaming smartphones – the Switch Pro is destined to have at least 8GB of RAM and onboard storage of 128GB. As per a reliable data miner @SciresM, the console will be powered by the upgraded Tegra X1+ chipset (codenamed project Aula). The processor will get higher clock speeds and an efficient cooling solution for a performance boost.

This will result in probable native 1440p resolution with the aforementioned 4K upscaling achieved using the Nvidia DLSS 2.0 technology. The co-processor will lend the higher output resolution (on DisplayPort over USB 3.0) in docked mode, powered by the Realtek chip. Better battery life for the Switch Pro is imminent, given the demanding requirements, and the other options on the market for handheld gaming.

Standout features

Nintendo will ideally want to offer the playable experience in both docked/undocked modes, as well as the tabletop mode. According to a fresh leak, the console will have detachable Joy-Con controllers which will be interchangeable between consoles. The plastic kickstand on the Switch is rumored to have been ditched for a larger flap-like stand (like on the Surface Go and Surface Pro) for better device stability in the tabletop mode.

A patent filed by Nintendo suggests there is a likelihood of health-tracking capabilities landing with the upcoming console. The patented device in question has health tracking features similar to that on smartphones – capable of sleep monitoring, heart rate monitoring and stress level detection. This makes sense since the Switch Pro will have health-related gaming titles like the Ring Fit Adventure.

Backward gaming compatibility is another feature Nintendo will not ignore. According to a report in March 2021, Nintendo’s rumored console will have backward and futureproof compatibility. Surely there will be some exclusive titles for the Switch Pro to lure previous version owners to make the shift.
Better hardware also promises a major quality boost on the gaming titles as developers will have flexibility in leveraging the processor’s capability along with the 4K support.

4K display on the way

One thing that Nintendo Switch owners missed in the age of PS5 and Xbox Series X is the 4K output when hooked to a TV. The new Switch Po will bridge this gap without a doubt. According to Bloomberg (who’ve dug their nails deep in this development), the next-gen handheld console will be capable of upscaling to 4K on the device itself. Combined with the 7-inch Samsung OLED display, Nintendo fans will experience sharper image quality with deeper blacks, contrast and color depth.

Expected release date

Quite a lot has been said and speculated about the probable release date of the Nintendo Switch Pro in the past few weeks and months. Now courtesy Bloomberg [paywall] and Eurogamer’s sources, it is highly likely, the gaming console will make an appearance ahead of E3 2021. The gaming-centric event is scheduled to kick off from June 12 through June 15 – so Nintendo’s upcoming console could be announced anytime in the coming weeks. Apparently, Nintendo’s own digital showcase is also going to happen later in the week following E3.

The pre-E3 reveal makes complete sense as developers can then showcase their games for the console at the event. Titles like Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild sequel, Metroid Prime 4, Pokemon Diamond and Pearl, and the Pokemon Legend: Arceus.

The final release date of the Switch Pro is highly likely in September or October this year – just in time for 2021’s holiday celebrations when gaming consoles are bought off the shelves like hotcakes.

The price is a surprise

The price of the upcoming premium handheld console is a bit foggy at this point in time. However, if we are to believe analyst Matthew Kanterman of Bloomberg Intelligence, the console will carry at least a $100 price bump as compared to the base model of the current offering.

According to him, a $350 price will be optimum, given the hardware enhancement and features coming to the device. Even if it is priced at $400, Nintendo can expect highlighting demand in most parts of the world. The $400 price tag prediction is also supported by Game Industry’s gaming analyst Dr. Serkan Toto.

Is it worth the wait?

Eagerly awaited all this time for the Nintendo Switch Pro to finally reveal itself? Then this is not the right time to give up on the speculations that now seem more concrete than ever before. In a couple of weeks’ time if the handheld console doesn’t show up then you could move on to the other options. However, if Switch Pro is officially announced by Nintendo, it will be well worth the wait.

The fact that it will be ready to buy off the shelves by this year end, gives even more reason to explore the goodness of the newer hardware. As opposed to going for the older Switch or Switch Lite. Given all the leaks and the information from internal sources, the console looks good to take the gaming fraternity by surprise. Our suggestion will be to definitely wait for the Switch Pro.

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Categories
Computing

New Leaks Could Point to an Upcoming Mac Pro Update

A purported image of the upcoming AMD Radeon Pro W6900X

The Mac Pro could be about to receive a noticeable boost to its performance. A new range graphics cards called the AMD Radeon Pro W6000 series appear destined for the Mac Pro, and have been not only photographed but also benchmarked. These cards will support AMD’s Navi RDNA2 architecture, offering a substantial upgrade to current Mac Pro graphics performance.

Images of two of the cards have leaked, giving a first glimpse of them out in the wild. However, the photos depict the type of standard PCIe graphics card that usually appears in Windows PCs. Apple’s Mac Pro, on the other hand, uses a proprietary MPX Module to house the graphics card, so the images in question almost certainly do not reflect what the cards will look like inside the Mac Pro, if they are indeed ever offered for sale by Apple.

Even more tantalizingly, one of the cards — the Radeon Pro W6900X — has appeared on benchmarking website Geekbench, where it scored 177,719 in the Metal graphics test. Compare that to the Vega II Duo, currently the top-end GPU available in the Mac Pro, which scored 101,502 in the same test. Exact specs of the W6000 series cards, such as the amount of video memory they possess, are not yet known.

Interestingly, the W6900X card was tested inside a Mac Pro system (code-named MacPro 7,1) with an Intel Core i9 10920X processor, something that is not currently available to be configured inside a Mac Pro. What this means is anyone’s guess — Apple may have been using this processor simply for testing purposes, or it may offer it in future configurations. This seems unlikely, though, as currently the Mac Pro only offers workstation-class Xeon processors.

Still, the leaked images and scores remain intriguing, and could hint at a future graphics upgrade for the Mac Pro. Industry analysts have claimed for months that the Mac Pro is due to be updated in 2021, including with an all-new half-size model, although the full-size version will not yet make the leap to custom Apple Silicon chips. This could be because Apple is waiting for more pro software to be available on the new chip architecture, or because Apple’s high-end chips are not yet ready for production.

Still, given that Apple is actively testing new internal components for the Mac Pro, we might not have long to wait for news of a refreshed version.

Editors’ Choice




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Categories
Computing

Report: Upcoming Microsoft Surface devices may use AMD or Qualcomm chips

Upcoming Microsoft Surface devices may use chips from either AMD or Qualcomm, according to a report, as Microsoft attempts to diversify its portfolio.

While it’s unknown whether Microsoft’s relationship with Intel has deteriorated, the company apparently is evaluating Surfaces that use either an AMD SoC or a Snapdragon chip, Petri reported. The AMD SoC, code-named Picasso (said to combine a Zen+ core with a Vega GPU), would be used inside a potential Surface Laptop 3, with the Qualcomm chip reserved for the Surface Pro 7.

Microsoft typically hosts events to refresh its Surface devices in October. The 2018 improvements to both the Surface Pro 6 and Surface Laptop 2 were mostly cosmetic. Petri said it expects more of the same for this October, though with a shift away from the underutilized Surface connector to a more conventional USB-C port.

Microsoft might be quietly seeding leaks about using rival chipmakers as a time-tested negotiating tactic to extract better pricing from Intel, currently its exclusive CPU supplier. But it’s also likely that Microsoft is looking for better solutions than Intel provides. For instance, Microsoft’s Surface Pro devices typically include an LTE variant that ships later. A shift to a relatively powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon chip like the 8cx would probably allow an LTE or 5G variant to ship right away. (Branding it as the Surface Pro 7 5G probably wouldn’t be out of the question, either.)

Shifting to AMD for the Surface Pro, on the other hand, would allow Microsoft to bundle in a bit more graphics horsepower. Related, Intel recently made some bold claims about how well its own Ice Lake chips would compare to AMD’s GPUs.

In any case, it’s likely that Microsoft will choose either AMD or Intel or Qualcomm exclusively for a product line. The intricacy of tablet design doesn’t lend itself to designs that could accommodate a choice of chip.

Whether new Surface products come to market is all speculation at this point. But if Microsoft is evaluating CPU options, the next refresh to the Surface lineup could be somewhat more than iterative, and that’s good news.

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Categories
Computing

Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy Book Flex, Galaxy Book Ion emphasize stunning displays, light weight

If you like big, beautiful screens, you may want to start saving up: Samsung’s new Galaxy Book Flex and Galaxy Book Ion will boast QLED screens and up to a whopping 600 nits of brightness for working outdoors.

Both the Galaxy Book Flex and the Galaxy Book Ion are part of Intel’s Project Athena, which has the chipmaker working closely with a PC maker’s engineering team to design “halo,” or flagship, devices. New features include the ability to charge a Galaxy phone via wireless charging embedded in the touchpad, as well as the bright new quantum-dot, or QLED, displays that feature 100 percent color accuracy.

samsung galaxy book ion with 10th gen intel core project athena verified onscreenb Samsung

Samsung’s Galaxy Book Ion

We’re interested to see what the battery life will be: Both the 13-inch and 15-inch Ion and Flex devices boast 69.7Wh batteries, which is higher capacity than normal, especially for a 13-inch device. Dial down the 1080p displays’ brightness when indoors, and you could have notebooks with exceptional battery life.

The Flex and Ion will join the Samsung Galaxy S, announced this summer as “Project Limitless,” which uses the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx for all-day battery life. However, Samsung invited Intel corporate vice president Gregory Bryant on stage to announce a second Samsung Galaxy S, which will use the Intel Lakefield processor. Samsung representatives clarified: “We have announced two versions of the Galaxy Book S,” one wrote in an email. Shipping dates will be revealed at a later time, Samsung said.

Both the Flex and the Ion use Intel’s 10th-gen chips: Comet Lake and Ice Lake, respectively. Both models will use Intel’s integrated GPUs in their 13-inch versions; and both notebooks will offer the option of an Nvidia GeForce MX250 GPU in their 15-inch versions.

samsung galaxy book flex with 10th gen intel core and intel iris plus graphics lifestyle Samsung

Samsung’s Galaxy Book Flex

Samsung’s Galaxy Book Flex appears to be the more conventional of the two new notebooks, with a 360-degree hinge. It also integrates the S Pen, allowing drawing capabilities, access to the PENUP creative community, and, more importantly, allowing the S Pen to wirelessly control your PC with new gesture controls for PowerPoint and video playback. It’s all housed in a “Royal Blue” aluminum chassis, Samsung said.

The Galaxy Book Ion, for its part, is an aggressively designed ultralight that weighs just 2.53 pounds in its 13-inch form factor. Like the Flex it boasts a QLED display and the wireless charging, which looks like it will occupy your laptop’s touchpad when in use. 

One interesting aspect of the Galaxy Book Ion is that there’s a user-serviceable extra slot for both memory and storage, so if you want to add a bit more oomph in either respect, you can, without too much hassle. Full specs of the Galaxy Book Ion and Galaxy Book Flex are below. Both devices will ship in early 2020, Samsung says.

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Categories
Tech News

Every Upcoming Electric Pickup Truck

It’s almost 2021, and there is still not a single battery-powered truck you can buy new in America. And yet, the list of carmakers trying to snag a slice of this lucrative segment grows on a regular basis, and electric pickups are will begin flooding the market during the first half of the 2020s. There’s a lot at stake: Trucks are profitable and hugely popular in America. It’s not a coincidence that the Ford F-Series has been the bestselling vehicle for the past 38 years.

While we wait, we’re looking at the battery-powered pickups that have been announced and are currently being developed. Keep in mind that the details in this story could change. We’re discussing trucks that don’t exist yet, sometimes made by companies that have never built a car. Delays, cancellations, and other surprises aren’t inconceivable. Basic market research is extremely important before you plop down a four-digit deposit.

Atlis XT

Base range: 300 miles
Base price: $45,000
Available in: 2021

Arizona-based newcomer Atlis introduced the four-door XT online in 2019. It hopes to deliver a truck that drives, tows, and hauls at least as well as a V8-powered model without burning a drop of gasoline. Its drivetrain consists of four in-wheel electric motors powered by a lithium-ion battery pack that delivers up to 300 miles of range in its most basic configuration. There’s a 500-mile version on the roster, too. Atlis plans to launch XT production in 2021, though there’s no word yet on where it will be manufactured.

Bollinger B2

Base price: $125,000
Base range: 200 miles
Available in: 2021

Forget surfboards and Instagram-friendly beaches — Bollinger’s B2 is being designed to excel when the going gets tough. It will slot into the EPA’s Class 3 category, meaning it will land in the same segment as heavy-duty variants of the Chevrolet Silverado and the Ford F-Series, among other rigs. It won’t have power windows, interior carpeting, airbags, or a giant touchscreen. When it comes to electric pickups, the B2 is shaping up to be as tough as it gets.

Its 614-horsepower powertrain is relatively compact, and the cabin only seats four, so Bollinger carved out a lumber-friendly storage compartment that runs from end to end. The B2 also boasts 15 inches of ground clearance, a 5,000-pound payload, and a relatively low 7,500-pound towing capacity. This all comes at a steep price: $125,000. Production will tentatively start in 2020, and the first deliveries are penciled in for early 2021.

Ford F-150 Electric

Base price: TBD
Base range: TBD
Available in: 2021

America’s best-selling vehicle for decades is going electric. Ford confirmed it will offer a battery-powered version of the next-gen F-150 to fend off an offensive led by Tesla and Rivian. Little is known about the model, though we know it will be the quickest and most powerful version of the truck, and deliveries are tentatively scheduled to start in 2022. If you can’t wait that long for an electrified truck, you’ll have to settle for the PowerBoost hybrid model introduced in June 2020. Its gasoline-electric drivetrain is built around a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine.

GMC Hummer

Base price: $112,595 (at launch)
Base range: 350 miles
Available in: Late 2021

After several delays, GMC finally introduced the first Hummer-badged off-roader in nearly a decade. It picks up where its predecessors left off from a design standpoint, but it’s entirely electric; it doesn’t burn a drop of gasoline. Its specifications are nonetheless extremely impressive. GMC quotes up to 350 miles of range, 1,000 horsepower, and a three-second sprint to 60 mph that’s on par with many high-performance models.

General Motors president Mark Reuss revealed that one-, two-, and three-motor variants will be available when the truck hits showrooms. It’s expected to begin rolling into dealerships in the fall of 2021 as a 2022 model.

Lordstown Endurance

Base price:$52,500
Base range:
250 miles
Available in: 2021

With 600 hp from four individual motors and a 7,500-pound towing capacity, the Lordstown Endurance sounds like an all-around practical truck that never needs to visit a gas station. It delivers about 250 miles of range in its most basic configuration, and its on-board power outlet promises to let users run tools and charge their devices off the grid by drawing power from its battery pack. We haven’t seen the truck in the metal yet, but we know it will be built in a former General Motors factory located in Lordstown, Ohio, hence its name.

Lordstown planned to introduce the production version of the Endurance at the 2020 edition of the Detroit auto show, but the event has been canceled. It’s still scheduled to make its debut in the summer of 2020, but its reveal will likely take place online. Deliveries will begin in early 2021.

Rivian R1T

Rivian R1T on a beach
Base price: $69,000
Base range:
230 miles
Available in: 2021

Rivian became the industry’s sweetheart when it introduced the R1T at the 2018 edition of the Los Angeles auto show. This electric off-roader is a lifestyle-oriented model that’s more comfortable hauling kayaks than hay bales, and it’s decked out with clever features like a pass-through under the cargo box and a feature called tank turn. Rivian’s project was so convincing that Amazon and Ford funneled a substantial amount of money into it.

The specifications sheet lists three available lithium-ion battery packs ranging from 105 to 180 kilowatt-hours, between 230 and 400 miles of range, and a towing capacity of about 11,000 pounds. Although the goal was to begin production by the end of 2020 in a former Mitsubishi factory located in Normal, Illinois, Rivian had to delay deliveries until 2021.

Tesla Cybertruck

Tesla Cybertruck

Base price: $39,000
Base range: 250 miles
Available in: 2021

Imagine what you’d get if you crossed a sports car with a pickup truck. You may have guessed it already, but we’re talking about the Tesla Cybertruck. This radical-looking vehicle is one of the most controversial on this list, but there’s a lot more to it than just an angular roofline and potential bulletproofing.

For one, this pickup truck will comfortably seat six, will have a 17-inch touchpad, and will deliver 250-500 miles of range based on how it’s configured. The exoskeleton of the truck will protect passengers and drivers with stainless steel.

The Tesla Cybertruck will also be able to tow a maximum of 14,000 pounds – enough to compete with the ever so popular Ford F-150. It’s phenomenal even to think that Tesla could compete with Ford when it comes to towing power. The company has told California regulators that this model will be close to the weight of a medium-duty Ford F-250.

As Tesla plans to open a variety of new, state-of-the-art, modernized manufacturing factories, we can expect to start seeing more and more of these Cybertrucks. Due to its high consumer demands, Tesla is working hard to increase its production practices. The company is no longer up and coming; it’s proven to be successful and one of the top-running automakers in the world today in 2021. Tesla is a legitimate manufacturer who we believe will soon set the standard for EVs. Keep your eyes peeled for the Cybertruck unveiling sometime during 2021. In 2022, we expect to see some significant changes. 

We foresee that the 2022 model will be a more streamlined and polished version of the Cybertruck. However, we should also be prepared for setbacks and delays due to Tesla’s history. Tesla recently pushed back the Roadster’s launch, so it’s best to assume the same could happen to the Cybertruck release. It’s hard to find an electric pickup truck out on the road today. When you think about how many gas-fueled pickups there are, it’s exciting to know that an EV version is coming soon. We believe electric pickup trucks will be an innovation revered and used by drivers and conservationists alike.

Editors’ Choice




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