FIFA has been vocal about its ideas for the future of wearable tech in soccer, and now its vision is coming to life. Statsports is set to become the official on-field performance monitoring device of US soccer, and in the biggest partnership of its k… Engadget RSS Feed
I have been a big fan of developer Ogre Pixel for a number of years now, with such great mobile game releases as Warcher Defenders [Free] and Swipe Casters [Free]. So I was pretty excited to finally meet face to face at GDC 2018 and check out two of Ogre Pixel’s upcoming games. First up is a game I feel has enormous promise as it’s a concept I haven’t seen done anywhere before. The game is called Jumper Jon and it’s a Metroidvania style platforming adventure, but with one huge twist: You play the game in 30-second chunks. Each time you start a game you’re given 30 seconds to explore and collect whatever you can, and when that time runs out you’re dead. Luckily you’ll get to keep whatever items you obtained, so for the next 30 second chunk you’ll be able to get just a little bit further than before. I’m probably doing a bad job of describing it but when you see it in action in the following video you can see just how novel an idea it is. Ogre Pixel is hoping to launch Jumper Jon sometime this year.
Following that, Ogre Pixel was showing a game that’s a little further along in development. It’s called Pixel Stars and it’s an extremely simplified runner with an extensive character collection mechanic based around famous personalities from the world of video games and movies. It’s all done in a parody fashion so don’t expect to see the REAL stars these character are based on, but it’s certainly not hard to figure out who is who. With Ogre Pixel’s proficiency in pixel art, it makes unlocking and playing with all these different characters a ton of fun as they absolutely capture the essence of each one. See Pixel Stars in action in the video below and look for it to launch in a month or two.
Welcome to the March 8th SwitchArcade Roundup, covering the latest Nintendo Switch news, releases, and sales! There’s a whole lot going on in and around the Switch world today, before Nintendo drops their Direct, which is happening at 5:00 PM EST/4:00 PM CST/2:00 PM PST. You can watch via the embedded player below. We’ve got 10 new games to check out today, a few intriguing news items, and a sale on SMG’s fun Death Squared to check out. Let’s quit wasting time and get into the good stuff.
Activision reveals Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, but not for Switch?
After being teased on James Harden’s hat, Black Ops 4 (stylized with Roman numerals as IIII, and not IV, though that shield logo actually looks kinda neat) was confirmed by Activision. While the teaser has some noteworthy details, such as zombies being back, as is the awesome remote control drone, there’s not a whole lot to glean from this trailer other than it’s a new Call of Duty game. The reveal happens on May 17th, and the game releases on October 12th, much earlier than the standard November release window for Call of Duty games. The announcement doesn’t mention the Switch yet, but there’s no reason why today’s Nintendo Direct might not mention it, or it gets confirmed at a later date. Or maybe some kind of Call of Duty will hit the system soon.
I’m curious to see what the reaction to this one is. Call of Duty: WW2 kinda saved the franchise by going back to boots on the ground, but the competitive CoD crew has started to shift over to Fortnite. Will CoD add a battle royale mode to compensate? I’m down for it. I will appreciate the irony if I get laid off from a company that went big into competitive Call of Duty, back to writing for TouchArcade…and then Call of Duty comes to the Switch. So far, it isn’t, but I hope it does!
Daylight Studios’ eccentric Holy Potatoes games are getting Switch ports courtesy of Rising Star Games. Shop management game Holy Potatoes! A Weapon Shop?! hits this spring, with the space-based Holy Potatoes! We’re in Space?! hitting in the summer, with Holy Potatoes! What the Hell?!, the game where you torture the potato-y damned by cooking them into recipes, hits this autumn. Yeah, that last game is real. While the games have historically worked best with mouse or touch controls, controller support is coming to the Switch ports so you can play on the TV. Preferably while eating some potato products.
Lozenge Lab’s turn-based puzzle game where you help a swimmer cross a pool without hitting any other swimmers will dive on the eShop on March 20th. We enjoyed this one on mobile, so if you want this one on Switch, you only have a couple of weeks to wait. It’ll run you $ 5.99 on the eShop.
This multiplayer puzzle game hit mobile not too long ago, but if you want to play with friends using a joy-con each, or to play in the game’s four player levels, you can do so at a 20% discount, as the game’s on sale for $ 11.99 until March 13th. Don’t let that death counter scare you, y’all have this! Unless your friends are idiots that can’t listen to your instructions, I suppose.
The awesome roguelike shoot ’em up is out now on the Switch, and if you loved the game on other platforms, you should consider picking this one up on Switch. Ships now have a special ability (the default ship has a sword), there are new weapons, and the all-important co-op mode! The game is still really tough, and it seems a bit faster than the mobile version I’m accustomed to, but playing with physical controls all the time is a big help. Also, you can play a particular seed with the ship of your choice from the beginning, though some of the modes only unlock after you play so many times.
I love everything about the game: the challenge, the replayability, the fun and unorthodox weapons, and of course, the metal soundtrack. But if you want to listen to something else while you play, may I recommend some appropriate space metal: Vektor’s Terminal Redux? Much of what I wrote in my mobile version applies to this version, and I definitely recommend playing Steredenn on Switch either again or for the first time. Getting back into this myself has been a ton of fun.
You thought the iPhone jumping from 8 to 10 was bad? How about World Conqueror jumping from 4 to 10? It might actually just be the letter X this time, but don’t get in the way of my jokes. This is a World War II turn-based strategy game where you can undergo missions from the Axis and Allied forces, or build up your own empire from one of 20 countries in the Conquest mode. You can use touch controls or the controller, depending on how you prefer to play. Slitherine’s not on the Switch yet, so EasyTech’s World Conqueror X is gonna be the way to go if you want some turn-based strategic warfare on your Switch.
Need more fast-paced, high-ranking chasing action on your Switch? After publishing Bleed not too long ago, Digerati now has Bleed 2, just a month after the game’s console release (and a year after the Steam release). You use a sword and a ton of ammo to shoot a ton of enemies, and fight a ton of boss fights. And then you get ranked for how fast, how much damage, and how much style you had in killing everything. Get that S rank, folks. I dug the original Bleed, this might be worth checking out!
It’s really weird to think that the late 1990s are so far in the past that now game developers are making unabashed tributes to games from that time. While the game saw release in 2017 with the Festival of Magic subtitle, this release is what they’re calling the “Shouldhavebeen Edition” with a massively overhauled story, side quests, and improved visuals. The other versions get all this new content the same time as the Switch release, so unfortunately, older reviews for other platforms might not represent what the current experience is like. Hopefully it’s a much better game!
Dolores Entertainment publishes this popular mobile roguelike action game onto the Switch. The big addition here from the mobile version is couch co-op for up to four players! That sounds like a good reason to check this one out again if you’ve already played one of the mobile versions.
Awesome Games Studio brings their game where you control a massive zombie horde to the Switch. Ever wonder where the endless amounts of zombies from other games came from? Apparently, they came from I, Zombie (not to be confused with the TV show iZombie), as you have to turn humans and command them to build giant hordes. There’s a level editor in the game if you desire more content or want to start creating things for yourself. I mean, there’s no Super Mario Maker on the Switch yet…
D3 Publisher brings this visual novel to Switch, and it might just be the sexiest game available on the Switch, by far. As the description states, “Once at the banquet, you find yourself presented with men so beautiful you can scarcely believe they’re of this world. They beguile you with tempting eyes and practiced movements.” One of the men has an eyepatch. This game is possibly TOO SEXY. Unrelated question: can you play this one with a single Joy-Con?
Only one game this week, HAMSTER? I’m disappointed. Here’s the 1995 entry into the Fatal Fury series, which makes the controls only have three attack buttons, while adding in the front, middle, and back lanes from Fatal Fury 3, so you can dodge attacks just by changing lanes. Sounds interesting! It’s hard to go wrong with an SNK fighter, if you’re into the genre and can pull off some of the ridiculous joystick motions required to do super moves in SNK’s titles.
Ratalaika Games drops a golf-inspired game onto the Switch. You launch the eponymous fairy, Midnight, around different levels, trying to avoid hazards like spikes and saws. Those are things that professional golfers rarely have to deal with, but you’re gonna have to deal with ’em. You’ll try to get three stars on the game’s 70 levels, using either touch controls or the joystick to aim and launch yourself.
After the recent EU release, now the US gets this version of Peter Molyneux’s game where you explore a trail, and steadily discover the world and build up a community in Eden Falls, while interacting with other players exploring the trail. You can also get a pet dog, which is the key here. It is funny seeing what are essentially mobile ports like these getting regular-priced Switch releases. Hmm!
Researchers at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga have developed a platform that measures an athlete’s risk of injury using the Internet of Things (IoT).
The new system could allow athletes at every level, from superstar to hopeful, to create a personal injury risk profile, and manage it from their own smartphones.
Professional athletes live with the knowledge that a serious injury could occur at any moment. Beyond the physical repercussions, these apparent twists of fate can damage successful careers, affect team members or clubs, and have a lasting impact economically and psychologically.
Part of the solution to the ever-present threat of injuries lies in no longer treating them as bad luck, claim researchers. Instead, athletes and their trainers or managers can use new technology to help predict when they might occur.
Their research is set out in Mitigating sports injury risks using Internet of Things and analytic approaches, a paper published in the journal Risk Analysis. It explains how screening procedures can help predict the likelihood of an injury using wireless devices and cloud analytics.
Sports injury management, even at a professional level, will always rely on some form of subjective assessment. That might come from the athlete in question, who’s determined to run or play in the next game, despite the pain. Or it might come from a doctor who has to interpret that information and make a split-second decision, while facing commercial or personal pressures.
However, the University of Tennessee Chattanooga researchers have done their best to remove this element from the screening process – or at least to provide as much objective data as possible to minimise the risk.
This greater objectivity is added by combining the athlete’s previous injury history with the results of a number of standardised screening tests. The result is a real-time dashboard providing details of each individual athlete’s status.
The research project was developed in real-world conditions with a team of American footballers.
A month before the players got together for preseason training, information on their previous injuries was collected using a Sport Fitness Index (SFI) survey. Each player then took a Unilateral Forefoot Squat (UFS) test, which assessed their ability to synchronise muscle responses in their legs while holding an upright position.
The researchers used accelerometers built into their smartphones to measure the results. The collected data was then integrated with the athletes’ self-reports of previous injuries and with longitudinal tracking of exposure to game conditions.
In their analysis of the data, the researchers found the ‘red zone’: athletes who played at least eight games were over three times more likely to suffer an injury than those who played fewer than eight games. Of those athletes who exhibited at least one risk factor, 42 percent then sustained an injury.
“Assigning all athletes to a single type of training program, without consideration of an individual’s unique risk profile, may fail to produce a substantial decrease in injury likelihood,” wrote Gary Wilkerson, lead author of the study.
“The results also provide a useful estimation of the odds of injury occurrence for each athlete during the subsequent season.”
Internet of Business says
Moving forward, Wilkerson and his team predict that the prevalence of smartphones and other IoT devices will help to make these and similar screening tests more accessible to athletes at all levels.
Anybody participating in sport could then put all of their data together to identify their own personalised injury risk. A truly smart solution to a painful – and often costly – problem.
It’s clear Google is trying to push the Assistant more than ever in 2018, particularly in the face of stiff competition from Amazon’s Alexa. Google’s presence at CES was entirely Assistant-themed and with many Chromebooks and other smart home devices getting support for the Assistant this year, it’s going to be on hand pretty much everywhere.
Google’s latest big commercial, aired during the 2018 Oscars, is an ode to laziness. With the help of celebrities like John Legend, Kevin Durant, and Sia, the ad reminds us of things the Assistant can take care of to make our lives easier.
Using a compact radio antenna 10 years in the making, researchers have discovered evidence of the oldest suns in the known universe. They’ve published their findings in Nature.
When we look at stars, we see them as they were, not as they are. That’s because the light takes time to travel from its source to our eyes. With powerful enough telescopes, we could directly see the very oldest stars in the universe. Unfortunately, those telescopes don’t exist.
The researchers posited that the earliest stars likely changed the universe’s background electromagnetic radiation, also known as cosmic microwave background (CMB). Although they knew what they were looking for — a small change in the intensity of CMB radio signals between certain wavelengths — finding it wasn’t going to be easy, considering everything else going on in the universe.
“Sources of noise can be 10,000 times brighter than the signal — it’s like being in the middle of a hurricane and trying to hear the flap of a hummingbird’s wing,” Peter Kurczynski, an NSF program director, noted in a press release.
Based on previous research, the team also knew that the universe’s earliest stars released large quantities of ultraviolet (UV) light. When this light interacted with hydrogen atoms, it would absorb CMB photons, leaving a signal in radio frequencies; an indication that stars were forming.
Using a customized radio antenna in the Australian desert, the team collected radio wave data until, at last, they found what they’d been looking for: a clear dip in CMB intensity. This dip indicated that ancient suns first emerged about 180 million years post-Big Bang. For several years the researchers checked and rechecked the data before concluding its validity.
“Finding this minuscule signal has opened a new window on the early universe,” said lead investigator Judd Bowman, an ASU cosmologist, in the press release. “It’s unlikely we’ll be able to see any earlier into the history of stars in our lifetime.”
Not only does this discovery give us a glimpse of the universe’s earliest stars, it may also help us solve one of its greatest mysteries: the nature of dark matter.
The signal at the center of the EDGES project was twice as intense as expected, indicating that the absorbing hydrogen atoms were colder than researchers thought they’d be. One possible explanation could be an interaction with dark matter.
“If that idea is confirmed, then we’ve learned something new and fundamental about the mysterious dark matter that makes up 85 percent of the matter in the universe,” said Bowman. “This would provide the first glimpse of physics beyond the standard model.”
Even without the possible dark matter connection, the discovery is groundbreaking. The EDGES project team’s follow-up projects, designed to build off this remarkable research, are already in the works.
The early development of our universe is still quite a mystery, but in a new study published today in Nature, researchers describe what may be evidence of when the first stars began to form. After the Big Bang, which took place some 13.7 billion year… Engadget RSS Feed
Tired of cases and 3D renders of the Galaxy S9? Well, the floodgates have opened now and hands-on photos of the actual device were inevitable. The photos show the front of the upcoming flagship as the phone boots up as well as the back with the redesigned camera/fingerprint reader assembly. There wasn’t any doubt on the matter, but you can see the Bixby button on the side – it hasn’t gone anywhere. Leaked Samsung Galaxy S9 hands-on photos This is the Black color option, one of four color options to be available at launch. Source (in Chinese) | zVia
Apple’s tenth-anniversary iPhone X continues to get stellar reviews, but not only from gadget bloggers and Apple fans. There’s another group that is absolutely enamored with Apple’s latest and greatest iPhone: Android phone makers. Several Android phone companies love Apple’s new design so much that they’re not even trying to hide it anymore, blatantly ripping off Apple’s work in their own upcoming devices.
Bigger companies like Samsung will stick to copying features such as Face ID and Animoji (well, aside from this upcoming gem from Huawei). But other Android smartphone makers are taking things much, much further by shamelessly copying Apple’s iPhone X design. That’s right, Apple’s signature iPhone X design feature — the “notch” at the top of the display — will appear on a number of different Android smartphones this year. But Android vendors won’t stop there, and they plan to steal even more key elements from Apple’s iPhone X.
Last week, we told you about two upcoming Android phones that were shaping up to be blatant iPhone X ripoffs. Both phones came from smaller China-based smartphone makers, and their iPhone X knockoffs will never make it to US shores. Still, it’s a bit unsettling to see how shameless these companies have become; our favorite of those two iPhone X knockoffs is the “Leagoo S9,” which impressively manages to steal the name of Samsung’s upcoming new flagship phone while stealing the design from Apple’s just-released flagship phone. You can see the phone here. Impressive work indeed, Leagoo.
As we mentioned earlier, better-known companies that sell their phones around the world are mostly steering clear of Apple’s iPhone X design. Instead, they’re just stealing key features from the iPhone X. This is something that happens all the time, so it’s hardly a surprise. Android phone makers steal features from Apple, Apple steals features from Android phone makers, and time marches on.
In this case, Apple’s Face ID feature on the iPhone X has prompted Android phone vendors to work on 3D facial recognition, since current facial recognition features on Android phones are terribly unsecure. Other iPhone X features are being aped by Android phone makers as well, of course. The big one this year appears to be Apple’s Animoji feature, which will come to smartphones from Samsung, Huawei, and other companies in 2018.
Smaller phone makers are going full steam ahead, though. They have no qualms with shamelessly stealing from Apple. Interestingly, however, the latest iPhone X clone comes from an unlikely place: Sharp.
Sharp was one of the first phone makers in the world to release a smartphone with an “all-screen” design, like the one pictured above. The company has continued to explore designs with wonderfully narrow bezels since first launching the Aquos Crystal in 2014. In 2018, however, it looks like the company has a new design in store for its upcoming flagship smartphone… and it’s Apple’s design.
The image above was posted by a user on Chinese microblogging site Weibo. No, that’s not the iPhone X. Instead, it’s an upcoming Sharp smartphone believed to be called the Sharp Aquos S3. That’s quite a nice notch at the top of the display, no? Quite unique, right?
Now let’s take a look at the back of the phone:
We know we’ve seen a dual-lens rear camera setup like that before, but we can’t quite put our finger on it…
The upcoming Sharp Aquos S3 is just the latest in a long line of iPhone X clones that are set to flood the market this year. It shouldn’t really come as a surprise that Android phone makers are comfortable with copying Apple so blatantly, and yet we’re still taken aback every single time. Apple has certainly aped various aspects of smartphone designs from other companies, but can you imagine what would happen if Apple released a device that was a spitting image of some other company’s phone? Jony Ive et al. might not always hit home runs, but at least they design Apple products themselves.
Sharp’s upcoming Aquos S3 smartphone has been doing the rounds in the rumorverse since the beginning of this year, getting certified for sale both by China’s TENAA and Taiwan’s NCC. Those outings have revealed a few pictures of the handset, but if you want more a source over in China delivers today. This is our first look at hands-on images of the Aquos S3, caught somewhere in the wild with its iPhone X-inspired screen notch and dual rear camera positioning and vertical alignment. Unlike Apple’s darling, this model goes with a fingerprint scanner on the back as you can see, since the…