Howdy, readers! Jeffrey here with this week’s roundup!
It’s the most wonderful time of the year… for a gamer that is! E3 2017 is upon us and boy oh boy does the future look bright for videogames. Between Beyond Good and Evil 2, Metroid Prime 4, and Anthem, this year’s E3 truly packs a punch. Since it may be a long ways away before we actually get to play some of these games, this is also a great time to catch up on those backlogs we’ve been building all year. Whether you are at E3 this week playing the games of the future, or at home catching up on the games of the past, there is no doubt this is truly a wonderful time to be in a gamer.
This week, Sherri L. Smith gives us the latest on Microsoft’s new Xbox One X, Samit Sarkar shows us which fan favorite Ubisoft game closed out their conference, Chelsea Stark talks about the much anticipated Super Mario Odyssey, Heather Alexandra tells us about a new indie gem, Moirai, and Scott Stein updates us on what Apple is doing with augmented reality technology.
And with that, the Roundup!
Sherri L. Smith dives deep inside Microsoft’s newly announced Xbox One X. What was once Project Scorpio has been renamed and given a price. At $499 the One X definitely fulfills its promise of delivering true 4K gaming. With a higher price than Sony’s $399 Playstation 4 Pro, you’re definitely getting higher specs, but at the end of the day you really have to ask yourself how much you value high fidelity graphics. Keep in mind, all games that run on the One X are also available on the base One S model. To find out how many teraflops this beast is packing, read here.
Samit Sarkar brings us news on the long awaited Beyond Good and Evil 2. Taking place before the original game that released 14 years ago, this prequel is set in a futuristic, multi-ethnic civilization that revolves around space piracy. Featuring a “seamless online playground”, interstellar travel, and planet exploration, Beyond Good and Evil 2 still seems a little far off, and with no confirmed release window, we’re really unsure when we will see this game on store shelves. To see the beautifully crafted CG trailer, along with some quotes from creative director Michel Ancel, read here.
Chelsea Stark goes hands on with the hotly anticipated Super Mario Odyssey. Say hello to Cappy, Mario’s all new magical hat friend! In the latest 3D Mario game, players toss the iconic hat around, knocking over obstacles and taking control of enemy characters. The game also features loads of variety in its Kingdoms which are essentially different worlds that the player must travel to in order to save Princess Peach. While Nintendo is being quiet on how many Kingdoms are exactly in the final game, they promise that they will be extremely diverse and include “things we’ve never seen in Mario’s world before.” To find out what creatures and objects Cappy can take control over in Super Mario Odyssey, read here.
Heather Alexandra calls Moirai, the indie pick of the week. A first person adventure game which has you explore a mine looking for a missing women. Moirai has an amazing twist so Heather advises you to play the game before reading the article. Available for free on Mac, PC, and Linux, Moirai is most definitely worth the 5-10 minutes it takes to complete. For more on what makes this indie title so great, read here.
Scott Stein tested out Apple’s, newly announced, augmented reality tech. Earlier last week at WWDC 2017, Apple’s annual developer conference, the tech giant showed off ARKit, a developer toolkit that allows for the creation of augmented reality experiences in iOS. One of the demos on display had users place digital object on a real world table using the iPhone’s camera. To read more about how the quality of this AR technology compares to the competition, check here.
And now for news outside of the Circle. . .
Also at WWDC 2017, Apple announced a slew of new products. The iMac got a powerful upgrade, making it a serious contender as a possible gaming rig. New updates to pretty much every OS Apple has out right now brings fresh and welcomed features. However, probably the biggest announcement had to be the HomePod, a new smart speaker that aims to compete with the Amazon Echo and the Google Home. For more details on what’s to come in Apple’s future, read here.
In an announcement that had many Switch fans disappointed, Nintendo announced Pokemon Ultra Sun and Pokemon Ultra Moon for the Nintendo 3DS. While spin-off Pokemon games have been par for the course since the first generations Pokemon Yellow, many fans are surprised to see Nintendo release a new core Pokemon for an older platform. While not entirely left in the dust, Switch owners are still getting a Pokemon game in the form of a port of the Wii U’s Pokken Tournament as well as the promise of a “core rpg” title sometime in the future. For more on these ultra titles, read here.
Shawn Layden, president of Sony Interactive Entertainment, got up on stage earlier this week to show off what’s in store for the future of PlayStation. Aside from known quantities such as Destiny 2, Knack 2, and the new God of War (which all look fantastic), fans were surprised to see announcements for Skyrim VR, a Shadow of the Colossus remake, and even a Monster Hunter game. For a complete roundup of PlayStation’s E3 2017 Conference, read here.
New York has recently decided to give out grants to fund a “virtual reality lab” somewhere in the big apple. The state is also giving money to NYU where students can earn a degree in the field of videogaming. While the videogame business on the east coast still lags behind the west coast, programs like this are sure to balance the playing field. For more on this, read here.
A group of Michigan State University students recently had their mobile game tested out by third graders. Their game Movers Who Care is something young children can use to occupy their time when their families are packing up and preparing to move. The third graders provided the MSU students with direct feedback on how the game can be improved such as adding a leaderboard system. For more on this, read here.
And that’s it for this week’s Roundup! Be sure to check back next week to stay updated on what’s going on in and outside of the Circle!