Last week, we reported on a Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 leak that showed a clear indentation along the rear of the tablet, strongly suggesting the inclusion of a magnetic S Pen for the productivity-focused device.
Now, an exclusive new leak from Android Headlines has revealed some very official-looking renders which all but confirms a rear-mounted, magnetic stylus for Samsung's still-unannounced tablet.
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Stuck on you
As you can see, the leaked render above shows the Tab S6's rumored magnetic S Pen, which seemingly snaps onto the tablet directly under a new dual camera setup on the rear of the device – the first to appear on any Samsung tablet.
The design decision is sure to be a divisive one, as the rear-mounted S pen, which is suspected to charge wirelessly and boast Bluetooth functionality, would likely have to be detached each time a user wants to lay the tablet flat on a table – a proposition which has already drawn some very strong reactions around the TechRadar offices with some labelling it "awkward".
Additionally, the unconfirmed device's leaked renders also show off its alleged keyboard cover, which now seemingly includes a kickstand that gives off strong Microsoft Surface Pro vibes.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 is expected to be officially unveiled in the coming weeks ahead of the Galaxy Note 10 reveal. You can check out the rest of the leaked renders, which show the device in multiple colors, over on Android Headlines.
With the security of personal information becoming an increasing priority amongst the general public, many tech companies are promising heightened protection in response, and are introducing new methods of dealing with any breaches once they've occurred.
However, for users, half the battle is knowing whether or not you’ve even been affected, which is where websites like Have I Been Pwned can help. Created by security specialist Troy Hunt, the site can alert users if their email address has been found in any reported data breaches.
Mozilla collaborated with Hunt late last year and has since incorporated his site’s data in Firefox’s own built-in Monitor tool. Monitor allowed users to receive notifications if the details they enter crop up in any future breaches, rather than just checking retrospectively.
- Firefox Monitor will notify you if your passwords have been compromised
- Firefox now stops sites spamming you with authentication requests
- Mozilla launches new desktop password manager, Firefox Lockwise
Now, as discovered by BleepingComputer, Mozilla plans to integrate this Monitor service to work in conjunction with its Lockwise password manager, aiming to have it ready in two versions time, for Firefox 70.
This integration would allow the tools to cooperate, scanning any saved emails and passwords and cross-referencing them with the immense database of login details from Have I Been Pwned, actively alerting users if they’ve been affected and suggesting they change their password.
While this feature will warn users of any existing accounts saved with Lockwise that have a password potentially exposed in a data breach, they won’t work retroactively. That means users will still need to manually check if their account credentials have been exposed in older breaches.
As part of the new feature, more detailed stats will also be displayed on the extent of the impact on your account, including the number of email addresses affected, amount of breaches they are involved with, and the number of passwords exposed in the breaches.
Firefox 70 is currently expected to see release by the end of October.
It began in Canada in May and now it’s spreading.
Immediately after changes to the photo-sharing platform were announced in April, Instagram began hiding the total number of likes on posts in Canada as a test. The design change meant that account owners could see how many likes they have, but nobody else will be able to tell.
How this change has been received is as yet unknown, but Instagram is expanding its testing ground to six other countries – Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Ireland and Brazil.
Starting July 18, total like counts will disappear from posts on the main feed, profiles and permalink pages.
Users will be informed of the change via a message appearing on the top of their feed.
Instagram has acknowledged that online bullying is a major problem on the platform and has rolled out two new tools to combat the issue. It also came under pressure when the killer of a teenage girl posted images of her body on Instagram – they were online for hours before being taken down.
According to Mia Garlick, the Director of Public Policy for Facebook and Instagram in Australia and New Zealand, this change is to make the platform less competitive.
“We hope this test will remove the pressure of how many likes a post will receive, so you can focus on sharing the things you love,” she said in a statement.
While the average user won’t mind too much, this change could affect influencers in a massive way. However, Instagram says the testing won’t impact businesses or influencers as no changes will be made to measurement tools like Insights and Ads Manager, where likes and engagement metrics will continue to be recorded.
Microsoft has been consistently designing some of the best Windows tablets and 2-in-1 laptops for years with its Surface lineup. When the Surface Pro 6 launched however, back in October 2018, there were relatively few improvements over the 2017 model. So, we were starting to wonder if we were going to see more impactful improvements to the Surface Pro formula.
Enter the Surface Pro 7. We’re now starting to see all kinds of patents for the new Surface Pro coming out of the woodwork that may just change how we use Microsoft’s tablets.
For instance, there’s a new USB-C magnetic Surface charger, which we really hope comes to fruition. Couple that with Intel’s new Ice Lake processors that should launch sometime this year, that is if Microsoft doesn’t pack it with new ARM processors, and the Surface Pro 7 may end up being the most powerful model yet.
However, because nothing has been confirmed, this is all informed speculation. Still, we will update this article with any new information that surfaces.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? The next Surface Pro tablet
- When is it out? Late 2019 at the earliest
- What will it cost? Probably around $899 (£879, AU$1,349) to start.
Surface Pro 7 release date
Because the Surface Pro 6 only came out a few months ago, it’s unlikely that we’ll see the next one any time soon in 2019.
The Surface Pro 4 and Surface Pro 6 both launched in October 2015 and 2018, respectively. However, the Surface Pro 2017 did see a June release date. It’s possible that the Surface Pro 7 will launch in October 2019, but the release cadence for Surface Pro devices appears to be approximately every 16 to 18 months.
In other words, we might see the Surface Pro 7 until Spring or Summer 2020. We could see it hit the streets in October, if Microsoft wants to target that annualized release, but we’ll believe that when we see it.
Don’t worry, as we’ll update this article just as soon as we hear any word – official or otherwise – on the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 release date.
Surface Pro 7 price
The Surface Pro 6 launched at $899 (£879, AU$1,349) for the base model, a noticeable increase in price over the Surface Pro 2017, the base model of which was $799 (£799, AU$1,199). So, the pricing of the Surface Pro 7 could go one of two ways: either it gets another price increase of $100, or it may just stay the same price. We doubt the price will drop again, though.
If the price does go up by another $100, and start at $999 (about £770, AU$1,380), it’ll put the Surface Pro 7 in the same league as devices like the Dell XPS 13 and the HP Spectre x360 – not to mention the new iPad Pro.
Much like anything else here, we won’t know the actual pricing of the Surface Pro 7 until Microsoft is ready to share it. But, we’ll update this article as soon as that happens.
What we want to see
Because the Surface Pro 7 is so far out right now, it’s hard to predict what exactly will be in the next Surface device. However, based on all the patents that Microsoft has filed recently, like an update to the Surface Pen that would make it more accurate, we have come up with a wishlist of updates we’d like to see.
Back at CES 2019, Intel announced Ice Lake, the first 10nm Sunny Cove architecture for laptops. And, while we don’t just yet just how well these processors will perform, the smaller manufacturing process will inevitably lead to better performance and efficiency.
However, we’ve seen some rumors that Qualcomm Snapdragon-equipped Surface devices are “floating around”. It’s unlikely that the top-end Surface Pro 7 would use an ARM processor like this, as there would be problems with software emulation of x86 apps. However, we could see an entry-level Surface device using these ARM chips.
If the Surface Pro 7 includes these new processors, you can expect considerably improved performance and battery life across the board.
Thunderbolt 3, please
Microsoft, for obvious reasons not worth getting into here, has been hesitant to implement Thunderbolt 3 into its Surface Products. And, while this was excusable in the early days, it’s getting harder and harder to ignore with each Surface release.
Fortunately, we have reason to believe that Microsoft will release the Surface Pro 7 with Thunderbolt 3 support, or at the very least basic USB-C charging. Microsoft has patented a new magnetic charger with a USB-C input that would function like the current Surface charger.
We’re truly not sure whether Surface Pro 7 will support Thunderbolt 3, as it depends upon Microsoft’s willingness to trade its proprietary technology for Thunderbolt 3, which it must pay Intel to license.
An improved Type Cover
The Surface Pro 6’s Type Cover is already one of the best tablet keyboard accessories out there. It’s not only very responsive, but also has plenty of feedback and is made of solid materials. However, we haven’t seen any marked improvements to its since the Surface Pro 2017. We don’t think there’s any such thing as a perfect product, so we want to see how Microsoft improves on the formula next.
Like the charging capabilities, we might have an idea of the next generation Type Cover will look like. Microsoft has patented a thinner Type Cover that should reduce the footprint of the device all around. It looks like Microsoft is planning on doing this by using a trackpad that’s built right into the printed circuit board.
It might also use haptic feedback in the keys, to improve the tactile response of typing, which would be necessary on a thinner keyboard cover.
It’s a bizarre move, but we’re intrigued nonetheless – if Microsoft can make the Type Cover slimmer without falling in the same trap as Apple’s Butterfly keyboards, it could be a game-changer.
We’ve also seen a patent that would make the fabric covering the Type Cover smarter. It would feature touch sensitivity, so you could swipe through news stories and photos without having to find the touchpad or the touchscreen. We’re not sure who was asking for this tech, but it’s still a cool idea.
Image Credit: TechRadar
macOS Catalina – the official name for macOS 10.15 – is almost here, having been showcased at Apple's WWDC 2019 conference in San Jose, California. From what we've seen, there are some brilliant new features coming to macOS Catalina – such as the nifty ability to use an iPad as a second screen.
To start, macOS Catalina allows app developers to more easily port their iPhone and iPad apps to Mac. Apple has introduced a new feature solely for developers known as "Project Catalyst," which allows them to seamlessly port their iOS 13 and iPadOS apps to the macOS environment.
Apple's head of software, Craig Federighi, also confirmed at WWDC that macOS 10.15 Catalina is saying goodbye to iTunes and giving way to new apps: Apple Music, Apple Podcasts and Apple TV. Each of these new macOS Catalina apps gain enhanced features that aren't available in the existing versions running on other devices.
macOS 10.15 Catalina, whose public beta is now available to download, also adds into the mix Sidecar, a new built-in tool for using an iPad as a secondary display for your Mac or MacBook device. This feature works both wired and wirelessly.
Hardware-wise, Apple showed off the new Mac Pro 2019 at the event, which we expect will launch with macOS 10.15 Catalina already installed.
There's also been recent rumors that a new MacBook Air 2019 and MacBook Pro 2019 13-inch will launch alongside macOS Catalina later this year, thought that might be less likely considering that Apple just refreshed both the MacBook Air 2018 and the MacBook Pro 13-inch base configuration.
Here's every major change coming to Apple's OS for Macs and MacBooks in 2019 with macOS Catalina.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? macOS 10.15 Catalina, the successor to macOS 10.14 Mojave.
- When is it out? Apple says "this fall," so in Q3 2019.
- How much will it cost? Nothing. Apple software updates are always free.
macOS Catalina release date
For anyone who isn't an app developer or willing to step into the beta, macOS 10.15 Catalina will be made available to the public "this fall," as Apple promised on stage at WWDC 2019. For those folks not on the northern hemisphere, that means some time in Q3 2019, most likely late September, if we were to look at previous macOS releases.
The public beta of the OS is now available for free however, and is available for anyone to try out at this link. If you're feeling particularly adventurous and have 100 bucks or quid just sitting around, you can even test out the special developer preview beta right now.
For more detailed information regarding just that, we’ll show you how to download the macOS Catalina beta test right now. Otherwise, keep this page bookmarked as we will be updating it as more details regarding macOS 10.15 Catalina come to light.
macOS Catalina compatibility
Of course, one of the first questions that come to mind must be: can the Mac or MacBook I own right now work with this new hotness?
Luckily, every piece of Mac hardware that could upgrade to the current macOS 10.14 Mojave will be able to receive the new macOS 10.15 Catalina update. Here's the full list of devices:
- 12-inch MacBook (2015 and later)
- MacBook Air (2012 and later)
- MacBook Pro (2012 and later)
- Mac mini (2012 and later)
- iMac (2012 and later)
- iMac Pro (2017)
- Mac Pro (2013 and later)
Goodbye, iTunes – hello, Apple Music, Podcasts Books and TV
WWDC 2019 and macOS 10.15 Catalina make it official: iTunes is no more... it has ceased to be. And, from its ashes will rise the new apps for macOS: Apple Music, Apple TV and Apple Podcasts – they’re going to be enhanced versions of those that appear on iOS.
Apple Music will allow macOS users access to their entire libraries of music regardless of whether the tracks have been downloaded via streaming. This is also where music ripped from CDs will live, incorporated into the same libraries.
On the other hand, Apple TV will feature the app's channels, plus more than 100,000 iTunes movies and TV shows to browse, buy or rent. All of this content will be available in 4K HDR video and Dolby Atmos audio wherever offered. Finally, Apple TV+ will be available through this app as soon as the service launches later this year.
Apple Podcasts will bring the service's more than 700,00 podcasts, as well as new episode updates to the Mac in a new interface. This version of the app will feature enhanced search functions that can pull up episodes by hosts, guests or even discussion topics.
Finally, Apple Books will be where you can purchase and listen to audiobooks, and as with the other new apps, will feature a familiar interface for anyone who is used to iTunes.
Apple has revealed more information about the apps that will replace iTunes following WWDC and how they will work.
If you’re worried about all your existing music, playlists, and iTunes gift cards and credit, don’t be. The company confirmed that all your music and playlists will be ported over to the Apple Music app in macOS 10.15 Catalina, and any iTunes gift cards or unspent iTunes credits can be used in the new apps.
In macOS 10.15 Catalina, the iTunes Store can still be used to buy new music, and can be accessed through the Sidebar in the Apple Music app. And of course, you can also subscribe to the Apple Music streaming service through the app – and if you do, you can hide the iTunes Store for less clutter.
With iTunes gone, Apple also explained that syncing devices in macOS Catalina will now be handled by the Finder app, which will be able to backup and sync those devices. According to Apple, it will also be easier to drag and drop files for quick transfers as well.
Sidecar turns your iPad into another display
This is probably the most exciting update to macOS with macOS 10.15 Catalina: the ability to extend your Mac's display to a nearby iPad, both wired and wirelessly. Since a fair amount of MacBook users are likely iPad owners, this means that a sizable amount of mobile workers just received a secondary display without having to spend extra.
Perhaps even more importantly, this connected iPad can also be used as a drawing tablet with various specifically supported apps. Final Cut Pro X, Adobe Illustrator and iWork are the first apps mentioned to support this feature.
We currently don’t know which iPad models will work with Macs using the Sidecar feature, but it'll most likely be those models that can run the new iPadOS, which is also getting released later this year.
Apple says that the following Mac apps will support Sidecar's Apple Pencil input and other enhanced features:
- Adobe: After Effects, Illustrator, Premiere Pro
- Affinity Designer & Affinity Photo
- Cinema 4D
- DaVinci Resolve
- Final Cut Pro & Motion
- Substance Designer & Painter
Screen Time comes to macOS
One of Apple's most impactful changes to iOS 12 was Screen Time, an app that tracks your iPhone or iPad usage time and offers insights into the trends. This functionality will not only come to macOS with Catalina, but also feature a new “One more minute” feature, which gives you more time to save your work or finish up a game.
This information will be synced across your iPhone and iPad, giving you a complete profile of how often you stare at your collective screens as well as guidance on what to do with that information. The feature will also include parental controls on time spent using a Mac as well as with whom children are able to communicate with.
Project Catalyst – is this Marzipan?
It appears that what was formerly referred to in rumors and leaks as "Project Marzipan," Apple's master plan to bring more apps from the iPhone and iPad to the Mac, is now known as Project Catalyst. For developers, it all seems to start with simply ticking off a box within the Xcode app in macOS 10.15 Catalina.
A series of new features and protocols then become available to the app in the development phase, from which the developer can choose to add to their apps – presumably with additional yet lighter coding. It seems to make the process rather seamless and speedy, with even Twitter using the tool to quickly bring its native app back to macOS from iOS.
Other fun improvements
Safari browser will have a new startup page that uses Siri Suggestions to surface commonly visited websites, bookmarks, iCloud tabs and more.
Mail will allow users to block messages from senders, mute message threads from issuing push notifications and send unsubscribe requests from within the app to mailing list providers.
And lastly, Reminders will soon get an overhaul in visual interface so that it will let users more easily generate, track and organize their reminders.
- This is the new Mac Pro for 2019
While Amazon's 48-hour Prime Day event is officially over, Walmart's 'The Big Save' sale is still going strong. The retail giant is trying to compete with Amazon by launching its sale a day earlier and extending the end date to today.
Walmart also has a leg up on Amazon by offering their deals to everyone – you don't need to be a member or have a subscription. You also get free shipping on all orders over $35. The deals aren't bad either, with massive savings on everything from 4K TVs and laptops to kitchen appliances and vacuums. You'll also find discounts on Google smart home devices, which aren't available on Amazon.
See our roundup below of the best Walmart deals that are still available. Keep in mind these offers end tomorrow, so you should take advantage of these rare sales while you can.
Walmart has a lot of stuff on offer right now, with a wide range of devices and categories that are at an all-time low price.
We've scoured the site, and listed the best deals that are worth your time. Here are out top choices:
TechRadar is scouring the site rounding up all the top deals on Amazon Prime Day - and we’ve put all the best Prime Day deals in one simple-to-use place to help you find the offers that will really matter to you.
If you're still searching for a killer phone deal post-Prime Day, then you've come to the right place. Walmart's 'The Big Save' sale has been extended until today with sitewide discounts on tech, appliances, home items, and more. One of the best deals we've seen is the Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus phone that's on sale for just $237.99. That's a massive $600 price cut for the refurbished Samsung smartphone.
The Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus features a beautiful 6.2-inch end-to-end display that flows seamlessly into the aluminum shell. You can take crisp and clear pictures on the Samsung phone with an impressive 12MP rear camera and 8MP front camera. The front-facing camera provides an Auto Focus feature which tracks faces resulting in extra sharp selfies. The S8 Plus packs 64GB of storage and includes a 3,500mAh battery that claims to last a day-and-a-half.
This particular offer from Walmart is for a refurbished phone, which means the phone has passed an industry-leading 65+ point inspection with no signs of wear and tear. Walmart's summer sale ends tomorrow, so you should snag this killer phone deal before it's gone.
You can shop more of the best Walmart deals that are happening now on TVs, appliances, laptops, and more.
Interested in other S8 deals? Se the best Samsung Galaxy S8 deals that are currently available.
Just take a look at the best open world games on PC. Even traditionally linear franchises are opening up their worlds. The Witcher and Witcher 2, for example, were traditionally narrative-based RPGs, but The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt took that formula and turned it into one of the best open world games we’ve ever played. Quite a few of the best indie games have adopted this style.
Of course, we’d be remiss not to mention all the excellent franchises that have been open world games from the beginning. Games like Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and Grand Theft Auto V have not only set a high standard for the open world game design, but also taken it to a whole new level.
There are many great open world games on PC, but since such games take up so much free time, you should only go for the best of the best. Luckily, we here at TechRadar spend so much time playing open world games that we know the best open world games to recommend.
Gabe Carey has also contributed to this article
Check out our Linux vs Windows vs Mac - OS comparison video below.
The first two Witcher games were compelling, complex and challenging, but only enjoyed minor success. However, all the word of mouth about the first two games led to the Witcher 3 blowing up when it came out. It was a massive step up in quality as well, and arguably one of the best RPGs of all time.
You step in the role of Geralt, a mutated monster hunter or witcher, to scour the world for your adopted daughter in a medieval period ravaged by war. Geralt can walk, ride or sail across the war-ravaged lands (and seas) of Novigrad, Velen and Skellige. You can even forage for herbs, explore under the seas or the city back alleys, and encounter all kinds of folk and creatures. The other elements of the game are spectacularly polished as well - limber, agile combat, a deep levelling system and a storyline with some unusually-smart storylines. Plus, with the Blood and Wine expansion, you’ll be able to take on a clan of Vampires in the colorful land of Toussaint, too.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is now four years old, but it definitely stands the test of time and is still one of the best open world games on the market right now. This well-realized world blows the likes of Skyrim out of the water.
Last year’s Assassin’s Creed: Origins already felt like a revelation of what an Assassin’s Creed game could be. It replaced many of the gameplay mechanics with what feels are more immersive, organic and even fun. But, Ubisoft went even farther. With Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, it has refined everything that made Assassin’s Creed: Origins so great, turning it into the best game in the series so far.
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey places you in the shoes of Alexios or Kassandra in the middle of ancient Greece, as you take on the role of a mercenary trying to find his or her family. Everything else you do is completely up to you – you choose your alliances, you choose your missions and the world is your oyster.
The fantastic RPG mechanics from Origins make a return in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, alongside some much-needed improvements. In many ways, this game perfects the legendary series’ formula, making for one of the best open world games of all time.
Plus, if the massive world wasn’t already enough content for you, there’s more good news: Ubisoft is constantly updating it with new content, new mercenaries to hunt down and even some fresh expansions. If you pick up the season pass, you get even access to Assassin's Creed III Remastered, which includes Assassin’s Creed: Liberation.
You might not quite understand why Forza Horizon 4 is even on a list of the best open world games. After all, Forza is a racing series, not an open world game. Well, you’d only be half right. Yes, it’s definitely a racing game, but the Forza Horizon series has always sat among the best open world games to date. And, Forza Horizon 4 takes that winning formula even further.
Not only are all of the systems that were in place in 2016’s Forza Horizon 3 present here, but they’ve also been refined to create one of the smoothest open world racing games we’ve ever had the pleasure of playing.
The map is a tad smaller than the previous offering, but Forza Horizon 4’s world changes seasons every week, which changes how each track plays every time you play it (or, at least until you’ve played it on 4 separate weeks). Simply put, Forza Horizon 4 is one of the most fun racing games on the market. With all the added open world content – like collectable cars and randomly placed ramps – it’s also one of the best open world games on the market.
There are new expansions getting added as well, like Forza Horizon 4: Fortune Island, for even more content.
Grand Theft Auto V has been out for quite a while now, but because we still don’t have Red Dead Redemption 2 on PC, it remains to be the best open world game on PC from Rockstar. It’s a huge pastiche of L.A. through which you can fly, run or drive across. It’s an amazing achievement, and the fact that it works in multiplayer is astounding.
What makes it such a success, however, is the freedom it gives you. When you’re not running around and robbing banks during the campaign, GTA V basically lets you do whatever you want – even if it breaks the game. You can go anywhere, do anything and commit however many atrocities as your wicked heart desires.
There are also a ton of activities available you can do on the side. This means that when you’re not busy causing all sorts of mayhem, you can take up some tennis, do yoga or even kick your feet up and watch some TV. There’s a reason this game is so beloved.
The plot may not have made much sense, but Hideo Kojima’s last entry to the Metal Gear series was a masterpiece of layered open world mechanics, which is why we’re so excited about Death Stranding.
In the twin deserts of Afghanistan and Angola, Big Boss, or Venom Snake, has a range of objectives to tick off. As him, you roam the areas on foot, horseback or in a variety of ground vehicles. You can take either lethal or non-lethal weapons, and a variety of AI companions.
The world of Metal Gear Solid V is unbelievably bleak, weather-torn and heavily guarded. Uniquely, it learns from your behavior – overuse a particular tactic, and your enemies will adapt. For instance, rely too much on headshots, and they’ll start wearing metal helmets.
Away from the frontline, you can develop Mother Base by building new facilities and airlifting enemy soldiers, prisoners, resources, vehicles, animals and anything else you want to from the battlefield to beef up your armory.
Bethesda has made a name for itself over the last couple of decades by rolling out some of the best open world games, and Fallout 4 is a fantastic example of why. You’ll be in post-apocalyptic Boston, where you’ll explore the ruins of the city in all it’s retro-futuristic glory.
While the plot ultimately revolves around rescuing your kid from their kidnappers, you might temporarily forget all about that with all those side missions and plunder loot from super mutants and bandits.
Once you get everything done (if you ever get everything done), Bethesda’s games have a tendency to be immensely replayable thanks to the way different character builds can interact with the world around you.
Get even closer to the action by playing through Fallout 4 in VR, with the HTC Vive.
When Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor was unveiled nearly five years ago, it was heralded for its portrayal of Tolkien’s Mordor as well as its unique nemesis system. The sequel, Middle Earth: Shadow of War, takes this concept and turns it up to 11, letting you roam in the last human stronghold in Mordor.
This is one of the best open world games you can immerse in 2019. Especially after the removal of the microtransactions that plagued the game at launch, the Nemesis system feels fresh. Plus, the combat is just as good as ever, with a wealth of new skills you can unlock during its lengthy campaign.
Later in the game, it will start introducing some RTS elements as you command an army of dominated orcs to retake different strongholds. The Middle Earth series has shown some real innovation, and we can’t wait to see what else is Monolith Studios capable of in the future.
Last year, Ubisoft took one of the most venerated squad-based shooter series in its arsenal, Ghost Recon, and turned it into an open-world paradise. You’re set loose in Bolivia, tasked with taking down a drug cartel that has taken power over the region – by set loose, we mean you’re free to pursue this goal however you feel like.
Ghost Recon Wildlands may be one of the best open world games when you’re playing by yourself, but where it really shines is when you’re playing with friends. This is because Ghost Recon, at its very core, has always been a tactical shooter that’s built around working with a team of AI companions. Naturally, when you team up with your friends, this gameplay is elevated to another level entirely.
Just keep in mind that this game is a stunner, which means it demands a pretty beefy setup to run properly, so make sure to pay close attention to those system requirements.
When the first Crackdown was rolled out in 2007, it kind of changed the game. You took the role of a superpowered cop out to bust a cast of zany criminals. While Crackdown 3 hasn’t evolved much in the 12 years since, it still has its own identity.
Crackdown 3 takes the super-powered hijinks of the original and scales it to modern graphics without changing too much of what made the original game so great. This might make it feel a little dated to some folks, but if you were into the first one, there’s lot to love here.
What really stands out here, however, is the new Wrecking Zone multiplayer game mode. It utilizes the power of Microsoft Azure cloud computing to make the entire city destructible.
Far Cry 5 might just be the epitome of what the best open world games on PC should be in 2019. This games is unique in the fact that it allows you to truly go anywhere on the map, as well as, do anything. As it doesn’t water this freedom down by limiting the amount of space you have open to you, it’s also perhaps one of the biggest game maps we’ve ever explored.
Far Cry 5 takes place in the middle of the Montana wilderness, and while it does feature a plot that involves cultists or something, that all falls into the background as you wander around and get lost in the massive world. We haven’t finished Far Cry 5, and we don’t think ‘finished’ exists in this game.
We’re not the only ones that love Far Cry 5, either. At the Game Awards 2018, Ubisoft announced Far Cry: New Dawn, a direct follow-up – a first for the classic shooter series.
For years, the Yakuza franchise has been a bit of a best kept secret. Recently, however, these fantastic games have gained some well-deserved mainstream success. And, thanks to this success, these classic titles are finally, albeit slowly, making their way to PC with Yakuza Kiwami leading the charge.
It’s a remake of the first Yakuza title, which was released nearly 13 years ago in the US. With it, PC gamers can finally see how the franchise got its start, placing players in the shoes of Kazuma Kiryu as he fights his way through the Yakuza’s ranks. More than that, it’s a compelling mix of serious storytelling and silly moments – something that the Yakuza series would become famous for over the years.
When Rage came out back in 2010, it was critically lambasted for being a technical mess on PC. Now, almost a decade later, Rage 2 is here, and it has improved dramatically on almost every aspect of the original. So much so that it’s made our best open world games of 2019 list.
id Software teamed up with Avalanche Studios to bring the perfect marriage of excellent gunplay and open-world shenanigans. You’re let loose in the middle of a surprisingly colorful post-apocalyptic wasteland, where you’re free to destroy everything in your path.
Not only are there a ton of big guns, but you also get a bunch of deadly Ark powers that you can use to eviscerate your enemies. The mark of a true Rage 2 pro will be the ability to combine all of these abilities together into visceral chains of carnage.
The gameplay feels excellent. In fact, you’ll have so much fun blowing everything up that you’ll hardly notice how empty the open world is. And, really, that’s exactly what we wanted out of an open world shooter from id Software, especially after the excellent Doom 2016.
Microsoft's exclusive Gears of War series is one of the most popular to hit Xbox, with the Lancer and its chainsaw bayonet as recognizable as Halo’s iconic Warthog. And at the Microsoft E3 2019 keynote, the company announced Gears 5 is coming out September 10, 2019.
Called Gears 5 rather than Gears 'of War' 5 the latest game in the series will have a female protagonist, Kait. Marcus Phoenix will still appear, but Kait will take the starring role as she leads her team on a personal mission continuing from the emotional ending of Gears of War 4.
Microsoft shared more details about Gears 5 during it's E3 2019 conference: a new 3-player online and local co-op mode 'Escape,' a special character pack featuring Terminator skins in a crossover with the upcoming 'Terminator: Dark Fate' film, and a new teaser.
Another fun addition: Gears 5 will get a Map Editor, a first for the series, per an Xbox official tweet. And if you sign up for the new Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, you can play the game four days early on September 6.
[Update: Ahead of July’s Versus tech tests, The Coalition has released a trailer showing some of the new features that will be in the new Arcade mode. Watch it below.]
Cut to the chase
- What is it? The fifth game in the main Gears of War series, potentially acting as the middle chapter in a second trilogy
- When’s it out? September 10, 2019
- What can I play it on? Xbox One, and PC (maybe. See below for more details)
Gears 5 trailers
Ahead of some Versus Tech Tests in July, The Coalition released a trailer showing off the game’s brand new Arcade mode.
At E3 2019, Microsoft gave more details about Gears 5, including the new 3-player co-op mode Escape. Here's the trailer, showing off the three new characters who will fight to get out of a Locust-infested area.
Microsoft and The Coalition studio head Rod Ferguson confirmed Gears of War 5 during the Xbox Keynote at E3 2018. To go alongside the announcement we got a new trailer starring Kait Diaz, Marcus Fenix and the rest of the Gears crew. Locusts will again play a major role in the series when the game comes out later this year.
You can check out the Gears 5 announcement trailer below:
Gears 5 release date
Gears 5 is coming on September 10, 2019, as Microsoft announced during its E3 2019 keynote. But you can get it four days early on September 6 if you subscribe to the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.
Gears 5 news and features
Multiplayer Tech Tests coming in July
The Coalition has confirmed that it will be kicking off multiplayer tech tests for Gears 5 in July. The testing will take place across two sessions: July 19 to July 22 and July 26 to July 29. Pre-load will be available from July 17.
According to the studio, those taking part in the tests, whether they’re on Xbox One or PC, will be playing three distinct Versus modes across two of the game’s new multiplayer maps. These modes will be Arcade, Escalation and King of the Hill. There will also be a chance to try out the new features Bootcamp and Tour of Duty.
Access to the tests is included with Xbox Game Pass memberships but non-members can also get involved by pre-ordering Gears 5 from the Windows and Xbox stores or through participating third-party retailers who will be distributing the access codes.
If you want to purchase the game or take part in testing sessions on PC you’ll need to make sure your machine is up to scratch. The Coalition has confirmed the minimum, recommended and ideal system specs required for Gears 5.
- Min OS: Windows 10 May 2019 Update
- CPU: AMD Ryzen 3 or Intel i5 Skylake
- GPU: AMD Radeon RX 570 or RX 5700/ Nvidia GTX 970 or GTX 1660 Ti
- VRAM: 4GB
- RAM: 8GB
- HDD: 15GB
No loot boxes or season passes
As we count down the days until Gear 5's September release, The Coalition has announced some more details around how players will be earning new content and items as they play.
In Gears 5, all DLC maps will be free in both matchmaking and private play scenarios and there won't be any loot boxes in sight.
New content will be earned through the Tour of Duty system. This will involve daily challenges and medals that you can complete to rank up and earn cosmetic rewards and you'll also get some of the in-game currency, Iron. It will, according to Coalition, be clear what's required of you to earn each item and there will be no premium, pay-only content in Tour of Duty.
As well as getting a small amount of Iron through Tour of Duty, you'll also be able to buy it using real-world currency. All store purchases will also be direct so there won't be any RNG causing issues.
Another way to unlock new content will simply be by playing - supply drops will happen at random as you rack up the hours and these can't be purchased with real-world currency. If you get a duplicate item, it'll automatically be scrapped and you'll be able to use the remnants to craft new items or upgrade skills.
We got hands on with Gears 5 during E3 2019. Our first impressions of Escape Mode are that it's a fun co-op experience but that it runs the risk of growing repetitive.
During the XO18 show in November, 2018, The Coalition studio head Rod Ferguson promised "a bunch of innovations, a bunch of changes, a bunch of things that are really exciting and different but still feel like Gears of War" (via GamesRadar).
Cult of personality
During the XO18 show in November, 2018, The Coalition studio head Rod Ferguson
explained the studio wants to prove it can still provide "an authentic Gears of War experience" and that Gears 5 will be about "bringing The Coalition’s personality to the game" (via GamesRadar).
Gears of War 5 was confirmed during E3 2018, and will be called Gears 5 to be released in 2019. Following on from the ending of Gears of War 4, this game will follow Kait as the star of a new trilogy. Breaking her chain of command, the game will follow Kait as she breaks the chain of command and takes her squad on a decidedly personal mission.
Microsoft has been pushing its PC Play Anywhere program, that sees you able to take your Xbox games and play them on Windows PCs. Gears of War 4 made use of it way back in 2016, so there’s no reason why Microsoft would drop the service for a sequel. (Which is a nice change, considering Gears of War 2 and 3 never saw releases on PC.)
What we want to see from Gears 5
Gears of War 4 ended with JD and Kait fighting their way through the Swarm to try and save Reyna, Kait’s mother, only to find it was too late. Reyna wasn’t dead but the Swarm were trying to integrate her into their hive and removing her would kill her. But, at Reyna’s request, JD and Kait tear her away from the Swarm.
Before she does, Reyna teases a great mystery: she gives Kait a necklace that she says she was given by her own mother, Kait’s grandmother. The symbol is one Gears fans will recognize looks remarkably similar to one worn by Queen Myrrah of the Locust, your nemesis in original trilogy. A Gears sequel would have to explore this further – are Reyna and Kait descendants of the Locust?
There are hints that Adam Fenix, Marcus’ father, JD’s grandfather was close to Myrrah before the wars, so there’s a chance that Locusts and humans coupled but it would be new territory for a Gears of War game to explore.
Besides continuing the campaign story, we’d like to see more of the changed world we were introduced to in Gears of War 4. Taking place 25 years after the original trilogy, the sequel is set in a world where humans were forced to abandon fossil fuels and collect together in small martial law-governed encampments and violent windstorms sweep the land, tearing up anything left unprotected.
Gears of War 5 should explore that further, showing us how desperate humans are trying to fight off the Swarm on a planet that is trying to kill them.
The Coalition worked to make Gears of War 4’s battlefields more dynamic places, giving you the ability to pull enemies out of cover and leap forward with short range charges. A sequel should continue this, giving players greater freedom of movement and ways to break stalemates between human and Swarm forces.
The original Gears of War cemented the cover shooter as a subgenre, now its sequels have to rattle its foundations by taking away the safety of sitting behind a low wall.
(Image credits: The Coalition/Microsoft)
- These are the best Xbox One games you can play right now
While the best monitors aren’t going to boost up your computer, they will definitely make your computing experience so much better since they make everything easier to see and read, boosting productivity. And although there are many pricey displays out there, many of the best monitors are affordable. This means that whatever your budget it, you can find a cost effective screen that are easy on your eyes.
With high pixel density, quick refresh rates and many different sizes of panel, it’s never been easier to find the best monitor to match your needs and budget. Whether you're looking for a gaming monitor to keep up with the best gaming PCs, or you just bought a MacBook Air and you need one of the best USB-C monitors as a secondary display, you’ve come to the right spot.
We put together a list of the best monitors 2019, so that it’s even easier for your to find the ideal one. You can trust our picks, as we’ve tested and reviewed them all ourselves.
Now that the best PCs can handle 4K easier than ever before, the best 4K monitors are everywhere. That’s why BenQ rolled out the PD3200U, a massive 32-inch Ultra HD display, as part of its Designer Monitor range. 3D designers especially love this display, thanks to the factory-calibrated color accuracy and CAD/CAM mode. Marketed to creatives and professionals, BenQ has designed, seemingly by mistake, a panel that gamers can get behind as well, making it one of the best monitors all-around – so long as they can find a room for it on their desks.
Read the full review: BenQ PD3200U
While the AOC Agon AG352UCG6 Black Edition is a gaming monitor through and through, it’s one of the best monitors if you’re looking for an ultra-wide display. With its excellent color support, strong contrast ratio and lightning fast 120Hz refresh rate, everything you do on your PC will look better and feel faster. It’s on the pricey side, but this ultra wide monitor can significantly boost productivity, making it totally worth the steep price tag. As long as you have the hardware to drive it, it’s one of the best monitors money can buy.
Read the full review: AOC Agon AG352UCG6 Black Edition
If you’ve been looking for one of the best monitors, and you’re ready to just throw your hands up and buy the most expensive monitor you can find, you’re in luck. The Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ combines so many high end features that it almost seems over-the-top. It doesn’t just boast a 4K UHD display at 144Hz, but it’s also rocking Nvidia G-Sync and HDR. This is simply the best monitor on the market, but it will also cost an arm and a leg. If you’re playing games, doing photo and video editing work, or even just general desktop work, you can’t go wrong with this monitor, as long as you have the cash to shell out.
Read the full review: Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ
When you’re growing weary of the same old 16:9 aspect ratio, nothing hits the spot like a cinematic 21:9 display. It’s not the best for watching Netflix or YouTube, but the Acer Predator X34 is an excellent example of what an ultra-wide monitor can do. Boasting an attractive aluminum bezel and polygonal stand that resembles a bird’s foot, this massive 34-inch monitor is a wonder to behold. More importantly, armed with Nvidia’s G-Sync tech, you won’t require V-Sync stressing out your graphics card. The Acer Predator X34 does all the heavy lifting for you. This is about as immersive as a gaming monitor gets, and one of the best monitors to buy this 2019.
Read the full review: Acer Predator X34
Ultrawide monitors are nothing new: they’ve constantly made it on folks’ the best monitors list for a few years now, in fact. These wide monitors are lifesavers when it comes to productivity, and they’re only getting more popular than ever. The Asus Designo Curve MX38VC, however, takes it to another level. Not only does this monitor have a massive 3,840 x 1,600 resolution, but with USB-C compatibility and a Qi wireless charger built into the base, it’s going to be a workplace companion you won’t be able to live without. It’s a tad pricey, and doesn’t feature HDR, but that’s a worthy sacrifice, especially for professionals.
Read the full review: Asus Designo Curve MX38VC
We don’t often run into technology that’s so far ahead of the curve that we’re left dumbfounded, which is why the Dell UltraSharp UP3218K has impressed us even more. Finding one of the best monitors that can reach the raw beauty this one does should be next to impossible. It’s not just the resolution, either. Dell went so far as to make sure that the build quality and color reproduction are the best in the business as well. The Dell UltraSharp UP3218K is aimed at professionals, obviously, so if that sounds like it’s up your alley, it’s probably the best monitor you’ll ever find.
Read the full review: Dell UltraSharp UP3218K
- This product is only available in the US and UK at the time of this writing. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the BenQ PD3200U
If you’re looking for an excellent 1440p monitor with HDR for multimedia and gaming, then the BenQ EX3203R might be ideal for you. One of the best monitors this 2019, this one’s notable as it brings in a ton of high-end features in a product that is extremely affordable. Sure, 32 inches might sound like a bit much for a monitor, but the 1800R curvature on this BenQ panel means that it’s easy to use, both for productivity, as well as for immersion in your games and media.
Read the full review: BenQ EX203R
- This product is only available in the US at the time of writing. UK and Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Acer S277HK
If you’re on a limited budget, then it might break the bank – like any Alienware product would. Still, Dell’s 25-inch gaming monitor will all but eliminate screen tearing, and whether you have an AMD Radeon VII or an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080, there’s a configuration for you. With G-Sync or FreeSync doing some of the heavy lifting from the GPU that would otherwise be spent on VSync, the Alienware 25’s 120Hz refresh rate may actually be viable. The 1ms response time? Well, that’s just the cherry on top.
Read the full review: Alienware 25
It might be unbelievable, but the BenQ Zowie XL2540 is every bit the gaming monitor that the Asus Predator X34 is. While it may not seem it from the outside looking in, it does its job incredibly well too, giving up dazzling lighting effects for a zippy 240Hz refresh rate and nigh-instantaneous 1ms response time. There’s no G-Sync or FreeSync, as this monitor assumes you already have a rig that’s plenty capable of eliminating screen tears without any help. Instead, this monitor keeps it simple by supplying you with lots of visual presets, an “S Switch” control pod for managing those presets and a pair of adjustable light screens.
Read the full review: BenQ Zowie XL2540
If you’re running games using a weaker GPU and you’re looking to get into ultra-wide displays without spending a fortune, then LG’s 34UC79G-B might just be one of the best monitors for you. This monitor, which measures at 34-inches diagonally, is armed with AMD FreeSync for screen tear elimination and a 21:9 aspect ratio best suited for games and cinema. Despite a resolution lower than other ultrawide displays out there, this LG monitor pulls off a crisp image nonetheless – and with stunning color accuracy, at that. You can also change the height, which is more than can be said for even some of the pricier 4K monitors out there. This one’s definitely a sure win.
Read the full review: LG 34UC79G-B
Gabe Carey and Bill Thomas have also contributed to this article
Image Credits: TechRadar
After releasing some of the best games in franchise history on the Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo and Game Freak are finally ready to bring the main Pokémon games to the Nintendo Switch – the first of which are called Pokémon Sword and Shield.
The games will release globally on Nintendo Switch this November and will bring with them a brand-new region, features and Pokémon for trainers to swoon over.
The key points Nintendo has announced so far are that the games are set in the Galar Region (basically, a Pokémon-ified version of the UK) and will include a number of new creatures including three new starting Pokémon, Scorbunny, Sobble, and Grookey. We'll also see a new mechanic called Dynamaxing that will replace Z-Moves and Mega-Evolutions, and more intense gym battles.
How does Sword and Shield stack up to Pokémon Let's Go: Pikachu and Eevee? Those games acted as a sort of reboot of the original Red and Blue titles for the Nintendo Gameboy, and for many didn't count as a 'core' Pokémon experience. Since Pokémon Sword and Shield are the first mainline Pokémon games to come to Nintendo Switch, and expectations are much, much higher.
So what do we know, and what are we hoping to see when Pokémon Sword and Shield launch this year? Read on to find out.
[Update: Pokémon Sword and Shield controversy has been addressed with an interview which states all of the in-game models have been created from scratch and aren’t recycled. Read on to find out more.]
- Best Nintendo Switch games: all the must-have titles for your console
Cut to the chase
- What is it? The eighth-generation of Pokémon games
- When can I play it? November 15, 2019
- What can I play it on? Nintendo Switch
Pokémon Sword and Shield: release date
During a special Pokémon Sword and Shield focused Nintendo Direct on June 5, Nintendo revealed that Pokémon Sword and Shield will release globally on November 15, 2019.
In addition, Nintendo announced pre-orders for a double-pack edition of the games will be available soon.
Pokémon Sword and Shield: trailers
The most recent Pokémon Sword and Shield trailer gave us a closer look at Gigantaxing, new Pokémon and the Galar Pokémon League. Check it out below:
The best glimpse we've had of Pokémon Sword and Shield was during a special Nintendo Direct in June. The Nintendo Direct shed a lot of light on what new features we can expect alongside some new Pokémon pals.
Check out the video below:
The first Pokémon Sword and Shield trailer didn't give too much away, but you can see the first glimpse of the environments and art style.
You also get a first look at three new starter Pokémon: the fire-rabbit Scorbunny, twig-monkey Grookey, and a sad-looking tadpole (sadpole?) called Sobble.
Check the trailer out below:
The last video, released right around the time of E3 2019, highlighted some of the geographical features of the Galar Region and introduced us to raid battles – a mechanic taken from the Pokémon Go mobile game.
Pokémon Sword and Shield screenshots
Pokémon Sword and Shield news and features
Brand new models
The Pokémon Sword and Shield development team has been facing ire from fans following the news that every single Pokémon ever won’t be available to catch in the new games with the latest rumors suggesting that Game Freak has been utilising old 3DS creature models for the Switch game in order to cut costs. This theory has been shot down by an older Famitsu interview with Junichi Masuda and Shigeru Ohmori (via Polygon) in which it’s stated that the models for the new game have been created from scratch.
It was also said that the more intensive graphics of the Switch has lengthened the time needed to render Pokémon so the limited Pokédex would have come at some point.
Version-exclusive Gym Leaders
Pokémon Sword and Shield will have version-exclusive Gym Leaders. In Pokémon Sword you will battle karate prodigy Bea, while in Pokémon Shield, you take on emo king Allister.
Previously we had heard of the Dynamax feature that allows Pokémon to become super-sized during battles, however Nintendo has now revealed the "phenomenon" of Gigantamaxing.
While Dynamaxing can only occur in specific areas of the Galar region, and is a common occurrence for Pokémon from the region, Gigantaxmaxing is only specific to certain species of Pokémon and kicks things up a notch by not only increasing a Pokémon's size but also its appearance.
In addition, Gigantamaxing boosts the power of the Pokémon and allows it to use a unique move known as a G-Max Move - each G-Max Move is particular to a specific species of Gigantamax Pokémon.
More new Pokémon
In a recent trailer Nintendo introduced us to some more new Pokémon we'll be encountering in Galar, including the walking ice-cream sundae Alcremie, adorable puppy Yamper, coal chunk Rolycoly and steel dragon Duraludon.
Pokémon producer Junichi Masuda has reiterated the news that not all Pokémon would be available to catch in Sword and Shield in a statement to fans on the official Pokémon site. In the statement, Masuda thanked fans for their love of the Pokémon series but reaffirmed the decision to limit Pokémon in the game to those within the Galar region.
He did, however, add that "even if a specific Pokémon is not available in Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield, that does not mean it will not appear in future games."
Fan backlash against the news has been severe but it seems that Game Freak is sticking to its guns. Masuda added in his statement that the Galar region will see “the world of Pokémon continues to evolve. The Galar region offers new Pokémon to encounter, Trainers to battle, and adventures to embark on. We are pouring our hearts into these games, and we hope you will look forward to joining us on this new journey.“
Can't catch 'em all
It's been confirmed that Pokémon Sword and Shield will not feature every Pokémon from the franchise so far, making them the first mainline games to do so. Given there are now more than 800 species of Pokémon this is, perhaps, not all that surprising.
The reason, according to Game Freak producer Junichi Masuda (via Famitsu), is that on reaching generation eight there will be more than a thousand Pokémon in the Pokédex. Such a large number means "it has become extremely difficult to make Pokémon with a new personality play an active part and to balance their compatibility" as well as to make sure they'll all be balanced in battle.
Not only that, it would be too difficult to have so many in-game models with a high enough graphical quality.
Though the choice saddens Masuda, he says that it's a decision he "had to make some day" and that he's opting to "choose the quality".
Pokémon Ball Plus
We didn't hear much about Pokémon Sword and Shield during Nintendo Direct at E3 2019, but it was teased that the Pokémon Ball Plus can be used to take your in-game Pokémon for "a stroll". However, the ball cannot be used as a controller.
In addition, it was teased that "good things" will happen if you build up a strong connection to one Pokémon in particular.
Release date revealed
Nintendo held a special Pokémon Sword and Shield focused Nintendo Direct on June 5 that revealed both games will release globally on November 15, 2019.
Max Raid Battles
Much like Pokémon Go, Sword and Shield has a feature which allows trainers to team up with up to three others online to take on more powerful Pokémon.
Pokémon Sword and Shield's wolf-like Legendary Pokémon are Zacian (sword) and Zamazenta (shield).
This new mode allows trainers to make their Pokémon giant and super-powered. This mode can only be activated once during a battle and lasts three turns before a Pokémon reverts to normal size.
More new Pokémon
Alongside the starter Pokémon, Nintendo has also revealed a few more new Pokémon joining Sword and Shield: Wooloo (sheep Pokémon), Gossifleur (a fancy lady Pokémon that evolves into Eldegoss), Drednaw (who resembles a snapping turtle) and Corviknight (a raven and glorified taxi service for the Galar region).
Galar features a Wild Area where trainers can explore, battle and capture Pokémon. Which Pokémon appear depends on the environment and weather.
Trainers will battle Pokémon leaders in Stadiums rather than the usual gyms. These stadiums are huge and packed with a cheering audience.
Nintendo revealed your new rival is Hop, whose older brother is the Pokémon champion of Galar. Meanwhile Professor Magnolia and her assistant Sonia will act as your guides.
Trainer outfit customization will be a feature
While it's not a brand new feature, trainer outfit customization has been popular with Pokémon players since it was introduced in X and Y. And it's a feature which a recent Uniqlo competition has confirmed will be in Pokémon Sword and Shield.
In a collaboration with The Pokémon Company, the clothing brand asked fans to design a top which would then be sold in stores. Now that the winning entry has been chosen (a design featuring Magikarp and Gyrados) it's been revealed that the top will also be wearable in Pokémon Sword and Shield as a trainer outfit.
Just how many more outfit options there'll be in the games isn't known yet, but we're hoping to catch a glimpse of some more if Nintendo shows us some new Sword and Shield footage during its E3 conference this year.
Made for handheld
While the Pokémon Let's Go games were developed with TV mode in mind, Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa has stated that Pokémon Sword and Shield will "emphasize the fun of playing Nintendo Switch in handheld mode." Furukawa made the comments during Nintendo's March 2019 Financial Results Briefing (via Nintendo Life).
A whole new world
We know the game is set in a brand new region of Galar, rather than a rehash of Kanto or a previously visited territory. Galar seems to be loosely inspired by England's cities and countryside, with rolling hills and brickwork cities to explore.
The trailer also showed glimpses of jewel-encrusted mines and what might even be a football stadium (see the kit below), though we're waiting to see whether competing in a Pokémon-themed Football World Cup will be possible for players.
Brand new Pokémon
Yup, this is a new generation of Pokémon, meaning you'll be seeing a lot of new faces – as well as a lot of old ones. The trailer gave us a mix of familiar Pokémon like Pikachu and Hoothoot along the new starters, and we're hoping Game Freak manage to keep the new designs interesting (no ice cream or candelabra Pokémon, please.)
Modern to the core
Sword and Shield look to retain the look and 3D animation style of the Pokeémon Let's Go games that launched on Nintendo Switch last year.
Pokémon games haven't been flat 2D games in years, and has increasingly been moving towards full-size avatars and 3D environments. Some may miss the old-school pixel charm of the earlier games – and find the 3D creature models a bit bland – but for better or worse this is what we're getting.
Pokémon Stars what?
What still confuses us is that we've been waiting for the long-rumored Pokémon Stars game for over two years now, Eurogamer. published a report in late 2016 that said multiple sources had confirmed a new version of Pokémon Sun and Moon was being developed for the Switch under the code named Pokémon Stars.
While it never materialized, 'Stars' could well have been a code-name for what eventually became the Let's Go games, or could still prove a Switch port for the Sun and Moon games.
- We wonder where Pokémon Switch will land on our picks of the best Pokémon games
More than six years after Borderlands 2 burst into our lives, Borderlands 3 has finally been announced and given a firm release date that we can count down to.
After so long waiting, it hardly feels real that the release date of Borderlands 3 is so close; we've even spent some hands-on time with the game now!
With larger-than-life characters, a lively and colorful alien planet to explore, tons of absurd weapons, and a wisecracking sense of humor, Borderlands has managed to blow some fresh air into an FPS genre that often sticks to 'gritty' visuals and dull urban environments.
Here's everything we know so far about the game, and when it's finally going to be landing on PC and consoles.
[Update: There's a new Borderlands 3 trailer. Read on to watch it for yourself and to find out more about the game's Vault Insider Programme and that cross-play news.]
Cut to the chase
- What is it? The third numbered game in the first-person shoot and loot franchise
- When can I play it? September 13, 2019
- What can I play it on? PS4, Xbox One, PC and Google Stadia
Borderlands 3 release date
Gearbox has now confirmed a release date of September 13, 2019.
Borderlands 3 trailers and preview
While we wait for the game to land, we do have a number of new trailers to pore over. The latest isn’t trying to tell you anything specific but it’s a real mood setter and you can tap your feet to The Turtles so it’s well worth a watch.
E3 brought us an exciting amount of new footage including a new cinematic trailer and ten whole minutes of gameplay footage. You can watch both below:
Gearbox took to the stage at PAX East (March 28-30) to show off the formal announcement trailer below. You get a good look at the new villains of the series (a brother and sister?), new shiny cities and creaking scrapyards, and series-favorite robot Claptrap doing some breakdancing.
It looks... pretty much the same as any Borderlands game before it, which is both reassuring for fans and a bit disappointing for those looking for a new spin on the series. It's too early to judge before we've seen more, though.
What we know for sure is that there'll be a lot of guns (over one billion, and even one with little machine legs) and a whole lot of looting in expansive sandbox environments. Oh, and a saxophone solo – because why not?
There's also a separate announcement trailer for the release date, which also names the four vault hunters and the name of the villains: the Calypso Twins...
The official announcement came only days after a 'Mask of Mayhem' teaser you can see below. It's packed with little clues and hints of the game to come, including everything from a morse code to braille, and what seems to be a broken-up redeem code (C35TB - WS6ST - TXBRK - JJH6H - TTTJT) that we imagine will be usable for some sort of DLC reward or exclusive skin for eagle-eyed viewers.
What's more, we've been able to spend some time with the game thanks to a hands-on gameplay reveal event that TechRadar attended. The gameplay loop, at least, is familiar, with your job to take down enemies, look their corpses, and level up. It looks like Gearbox is putting plenty of detail and imagination into the weaponry this time around.
What's new is a focus on movement that's more fluid, and improvements to multiplayer, including the option for allies to revive each other. There's also "loot instancing", designed to level the playing field a little for groups of friends who've spend different amounts of time in the game. Borderlands 3 also gives you your very own spaceship, the Sanctuary 3.
For a full rundown of everything we saw in our time with the game, check out our hands-on preview in full.
Borderlands 3 news and rumors
No cross-play at launch
Although it’s something Gearbox is interested in making happen, there will be no cross-play in Borderlands 3 when it launches. Randy Pitchford confirmed this news via Twitter where he also said that the team is committed to making the dream a reality in the future so keep your fingers crossed, folks.
Vault Insider Programme
Want to earn in-game loot before Borderlands 3 is even released? Then you’ll want to take a look at the Vault Insider Programme. Not only will signing up to this bring you news about the game as it’s announced, it’ll dish out points that can be spent in Borderlands 3 or Borderlands 2.
The Vault Insider Programme is basically part of the marketing push ahead of Borderlands 3 so it probably won’t surprise you to know that points are earned after you set up a Gearbox Shift account and link it up to your various social media channels. You’ll get your points from watching the latest videos, visiting the Borderlands social media channels, essentially doing a lot of the things you might do anyway if you’re interested in the game.
You can either spend your points on a randomised piece of loot or weaponry or save up for something specific.
In addition to the new ping system, Borderlands 3 includes a bunch of other features that aim to increase the game's overall accessibility including compatibility with the Xbox Adaptive Controller, re-mappable controls, a variety of subtitles and closed captioning options, and level-syncing (which will allow you to play with friends, even if you're different levels).
There have also been improvements made to online match-making. Players will be able to search for a match in the background while continuing to play the game, and match preferences can be more specific than previously. This means you can find players at the same point in the story as you or set the mode you want to play in.
At a panel at Guardian Con last week (via PC Gamer), Gearbox revealed it has added a range of new features to Borderlands 3 to make multiplayer more accessible than its predecessors. The biggest addition? An Apex Legends-style ping system that allows players to communicate with each other without ever having to say a word.
Much like in Apex Legends, Borderlands 3's multiplayer will allow players to simply cover over an enemy or chest and then press a button to 'ping' it to your fellow teammates. In other words, it lets you highlight important things like hostiles, good loot and objectives.
This feature will allow players to communicate easily and without having to deal with the stress of a stranger screaming down your headset. Of course, that option remains available.
Check out a video of the new ping system in action below:
As promised, Borderlands 3 made an appearance at E3 2019 with a brand new cinematic trailer, 10 minutes of gameplay to pore over and confirmation that there's a brand new planet called Eden 6 that's inspired by the Louisiana swamps.
Oh, and those rumors about a Borderlands 2 DLC bridging the gap to the third game? Those were true. Borderlands 2: Commander Lilith and the Fight for Sanctuary offers a 10-hour story which starts right at the end of Borderlands 2.
Even better, it can be downloaded for free from now until July 9 on Xbox One, PS4 and Steam. After that it'll cost you £11.99 so if you have any interest in Borderlands 3 it's worth picking up right now.
Reports of Borderlands 2 DLC - confirmed
The rumors about a Borderlands 2 DLC bridging the gap between the second and upcoming third game were true. Commander Lilith and the Fight for Sanctuary DLC is free and available now.
Details, details, details
We managed to have a chat with Amanda Christensen, a concept artist at Gearbox and a key character designer on Borderlands 3. She told us that "the most obvious jump is in terms of our level of detail" in the upcoming game, and that there are a "bunch of cool little details" spread throughout. It's a revealing chat and you can read everything Christensen had to say about Borderlands 3 here.
DLCs: quality over quantity
The DLC future of Borderlands 3 looks bright enough, after Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford intimated on Twitter that future DLCs would focus on quality over quantity: it seems as though Borderlands 3 might focus on fleshing out the capabilities of the game's starting classes instead of asking players to start building new ones from scratch, and that's fine with us.
Epic Games Store exclusive – to start
While Borderlands 3 will launch on PS4, Xbox One and PC, the PC version will start as an Epic Games Store exclusive, before joining the Steam Store six months on.
Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford hinted at this back in December, when he voiced his support for the new marketplace. Epic has been courting various exclusives for its store, including Metro Exodus and The Division 2, so we're not overly surprised.
Cross-platform co-op could be included
A listing page for Borderlands 3 on the Microsoft store gave a hint to a very-cool potential new feature landing with the game – cross-platform multiplayer. Though the page in question has since been pulled, it showed the game's feature set to include play across consoles not limited to Microsoft's own. With the game initially an Epic Games Store exclusive, and that platform's biggest title, Fortnite, being cross-platform in many console scenarios, there's certainly the genesis of the infrastructure to support the feature if true.
A representative for the game's publisher, 2K Games, told IGN that “Cross play is something we’re looking at closely, but don’t have anything to confirm or announce at this time.”
Vault Hunter names
The release date trailer also gave us the names of the four vault hunters, which offer their own spins on the traditional four classes. We have a Gunner weapons expert (Moze), a Siren with floating fists at the ready (Amara), an android Beastmaster (Fl4x), and a suave, stealthy Operative (Zane). We also got the names of the entry's villains: the very evil-looking Calypso Twins (not identical).
Borderlands 3 confirmed – as well as a board-game
Gearbox gave us the announcement we wanted on March 28, at PAX East in Boston. The showcase was hit with technical difficulties – like a lot – and for some reason included a really long magic trick. But we got our first look at the anticipated title, as well as a tie-in board-game called Borderlands: Tiny Tina’s Robot Tea Party.
4K remasters (for free!)
Good news for anyone with a copy of Borderlands 1, 2, or the Pre-Sequel: Gearbox is releasing enhanced 4K remasters of the previous games, and anyone who already owns them will get to download the remastered version for free. You'll need a 4K ready console or PC to make the most of it, but it's wonderful fan service for those who do.
Hints, lots of hints
At PAX West 2017, Pitchford announced during a panel that 90% of the Gearbox team is “working on the thing I think most of you guys want us to be working on.”
Pitchford also took part in an IGN Unfiltered interview around the same time, when he said that if another Borderlands game were to be made, it would be more of a true sequel as opposed to another Pre-Sequel spin-off.
Caught in the act
And in April 2017, Pitchford took to Twitter to post a picture of himself wearing a motion capture suit with the caption “Doing a shoot... I may or may not be a psycho bandit in a video game we may or may not be working on. Also, happy Bulletstorm launch day!”
Given that Psychos are a Borderlands enemy we’d say this tweet can be read with a fairly large nudge and wink.
The GDC presentation
Before all of this Pitchford took to the stage during Epic Games’ Unreal presentation at GDC in March 2017, where he showed off new rendering tech that “may be used in a future Gearbox game.” He explicitly said the footage shown was not from a video game but what was shown was highly reminiscent of Borderlands.
He also revealed that this new tech is capable of simulating different physics depending on a planet’s properties. Specifically he said “there might be different physics and the sun and the moons might be in different positions than what we’re used to on Pandora.”
That seems to have been pretty prophetic – as we know Borderlands 3 will be making use of some new environments beyond what we saw on Pandora in the previous games.
Borderlands regular Mikey Neumann won't be writing on the new game, as he was unfortunately forced to resign from the project due to health complications. The lead writer on Borderlands 2, Anthony Burch, has also since left the company. There’s been no hint with regards to who’ll be taking up the pen after their departures.
Another change is that the voice behind Claptrap, David Eddings, has left Gearbox for Rooster Teeth so it’s unlikely he’ll be taking up the role again.
If you missed out on Amazon Prime Day this year, you still have time to snag some killer deals. Walmart's competing 'The Big Save' sale has been extended another day with massive savings sitewide. You can find Black Friday like prices on headphones, appliances, laptops, and most importantly on 4K TVs.
The best Walmart TV deal we've seen is the Vizio 55-inch 4K TV that's on sale for $319.99. That's a $158 discount and a fantastic price for a mid-size TV with premium features. The smart TV has Chromecast built-in and works with Amazon Alexa and the Google Assistant so you can stream from Hulu, Netflix, and more using your voice. The 55-inch TV features 4K Ultra HD resolution and full-array LED backlighting, which results in a high-quality life-like picture.
Like we mentioned above, this is a crazy-good price for a 55-inch 4K smart TV and the lowest price we've seen for this particular model. Walmart's summer sale ends today, so you should snag this rare deal while you can.
Walmart's best cheap TV deals:
Usually, the day after Amazon Prime Day has up moping about the office, sad that all the super cheap deals have dried up. There's no time for that today though as the Walmart sale has taken the bargain baton from Amazon to give us one final day of deals.
And we've been enjoying the latest battle between Amazon Echo deals and the Google Home smart speaker/screen range. Google has an extra day to play with now though and these prices are absolute scorchers.
The tiny but mighty Google Home Mini is on sale for just $25, saving you 50% on the base MSRP. The standard-sized Google Home has come down to just $69 from $129. If you really want some room-filling sound from your smart speaker than the rarely discounted Google home Max is $150 cheaper than usual at $299. And if you'd like a smart speaker with a screen, Walmart's deals have you covered there too with the Google Nest Hub (aka, the recently renamed Google Home Hub), can be yours for an ever so tempting $79, down form the standard $149.
All of these devices feature the excellent Google Assistant built-in. You can ask it any questions you can think of an it'll use the enormously-powerful Google search engine to read an answer back to you. You can also use it for basics like asking about the weather forecasts and the news. Or how about requesting songs via Spotify and YouTube Music? Smart home devices like Nest and Hive thermostats and Philips Hue bulbs are supported too.
The best Google device deals in the US:
Shop more Google Home devices with our list of the cheapest Google Home prices: the best Home Mini, Hub and Max deals.
You can also shop more of the best Walmart deals with our roundup of the best sales happening now.
From its retina-punishing Instax cameras and handsome X-series models through to its high-end GFX medium-format monsters, Fujifilm certainly has a product portfolio wide enough to entice photographers from all corners.
And now the company will be bringing them all together in a new home, with the launch of a new concept experience center in London.
- Read our in-depth Fujifilm X100F review
- Best camera 2019: 10 of the best cameras you can buy right now
- Want 100MP images? The Fujifilm GFX 100 isn't your only option
Situated in Covent Garden, and said to be the world's first store of its kind for the Japanese company, the center will not only allow photographers get their hands on a wide range of range of Fujifilm's imaging products, but also promises to inspire visitors to create, print and share their images.
Theo Georghiades, General Manager of Fujifilm UK and the new venture's project leader, said: “Image quality is core with all the products that we have, and we want to be able to showcase this, whether it’s with Instax, X-series or GFX, or with photo gifting and printing.
“We want to reward our customers with a 360-degree offering. This isn’t just an old fashioned camera club: we want everyone to feel welcome and enjoy image making.”
The center will have a number of different zones that showcase various products and services from the company, from separate areas for the GFX system and X-series cameras through to an Instax camera and printers experience zone, and a further Wonder Photo Shop for printing and gifting.
The center is set to be located on Long Acre, one of the busiest streets in the area. Right now it's still being constructed, and it's expected to open its doors towards the end of the year.
Fujifilm is also expected to announce two new lenses shortly, the Fujinon XF16-80mm f/4 R OIS WR and GF50mm f/3.5 R LM WR lenses, while rumors of an X-Pro3 camera have also been bubbling way for some time.
Royal Portrush is looking resplendent and ready to host the first Northern Ireland-based Open Championship since 1951. Hopefully the field of golfers are equally as prepared to do battle for the famous Claret Jug and their own place in the history books. The good news is that you're in the right place to discover where to get a 2019 Open live stream of every swing.
After Francesco Molinari's incredible win at Carnoustie in 2018, the world's best golfers will head to Portrush in Northern Ireland for the 148th edition of golf's oldest major tournament.
Englishman Max Faulkner took home the Claret Jug at Royal Portrush last time it was here 68 years ago and the likes of Justin Rose, Tommy Fleetwood and Ian Poulter will all be looking to end the English drought at the Open Championship this time around. Lots of eyes will be on Tiger Woods, of course, following his fairy tale Masters win earlier in the season. And talking of fairy tales, home country hero Rory McIlroy will be desperate to go well - he's been made favourite to win at Betfair, followed by the awesome world number one Brooks Koepka and Spaniard Jon Rahm.
If you don't yet know what your 2019 Open live stream options are, then keep on reading. It's FREE in some areas, which is great news.
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Live stream golf coverage for free at TheOpen.com
The Open Championship is following the likes of the Masters and US Open, which means you can get a free live stream at TheOpen.com. Assuming it's the same as last year, it should be available globally - fantastic news!
It will be showing action from featured groups - which groups those are we don't yet know - and featured holes (it was 8, 9 and 10 last year). There's even audio commentary to go with them.
That's great if you're only interested in following the players it selects for you, but not so good if you want full and proper coverage. Aside from the TheOpen.com live stream, we have more watching options below.
How to get a 2019 Open live stream from outside your country
We're going to guess that if you've landed on this page, you're going to want something more extensive than that free Open live stream described above. For you, we have full details on which networks are showing the golf in the UK, US, Canada and Australia.
But try to watch your domestic Open Championship coverage while out of the country and you'll soon be faced with a block. That's because broadcasters implement a geo-restriction to stop non-nationals from watching their coverage. Fair enough, but annoying if you've paid for a pricey subscription and still want to watch without having to resort to some dodgy illegal stream you've discovered on Reddit.
How to watch the Open Championship: live stream in UK
How to watch the British Open golf in the US
- Hulu with Live TV $40 per month - Hulu with Live TV includes CBS, Fox, NBC and ESPN.
- FuboTV $35 for the first month - FuboTV gives you the first month at a discounted rate but after that the price increases to $45 a month. The service includes CBS, Fox, NBC and the NFL Network but does not come with ESPN.
- PlayStation Vue From $50 per month and the ideal choice for PS4 owners thanks to its access to the likes of ESPN, NBC, Fox, Disney and other essential networks. Crank up the price and you can add the likes of Showtime and HBO, too.
- DirecTV Now $50 per month - DirecTV Now includes CBS, Fox, NBC, ESPN and for $5 extra you can add the NFL Network.
- YouTubeTV $40 per month - YouTubeTV gives you access to CBS, Fox, NBC and ESPN.
If you're outside the US this weekend but want to access one of the above options, then you can use a US VPN to effectively transport your computer, phone or tablet's IP back to a US location.
How to live stream Open golf in Canada
How to get an Open live stream in Australia
Where is the 2019 Open Championship?
The Open returns to Northern Ireland after 68 years with the world’s greatest players competing for the Claret Jug over the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush.
Who are the favourites for the 2019 Open?
Playing in his home country, Rory McIlroy is looking for his second Open Championship and fifth career major victory and leads the betting with Betfair.
Brooks Koepka, who is yet to lift the Claret Jug and fellow American Dustin Johnson follow McIlroy, with Jon Rahm and three-time Open Championship winner Tiger Woods also well backed.
Who won the 2018 Open Championship?
Francesco Molinari won the 2018 Open, which was held at Carnoustie Golf Links in Scotland. The Italian finished 8-under to earn his first major title.
It’s been six long years since Nintendo last released a game in the Luigi’s Mansion series, and with fans beginning to give up hope of another, the announcement that a sequel will hit Nintendo Switch in 2019 is very welcome news indeed.
Announced with a trailer during a Nintendo Direct on September 13, 2018 the tentatively named Luigi’s Mansion 3, is set to be released on Switch this Halloween - very spooky indeed.
During Nintendo Direct at E3 2019, we did get a bunch of new details about what we can expect from the next game in the spooky series. Here's everything we know so far about Luigi's Mansion 3.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? The third entry in Nintendo's spooky series
- When can I play it? October 31st, 2019
- What can I play it on? Nintendo Switch
Luigi's Mansion 3 release date
Luigi's Mansion 3 will launch for Nintendo Switch on October 31st, 2019 (AKA Halloween!). It's a very fitting release date for such a spooky title.
Luigi’s Mansion 3 trailers
Nintendo dropped a more in-depth gameplay trailer for Luigi's Mansion 3 during E3 2019. Check it out below:
Although the first trailer doesn’t give away much, it does give us a sneak peek at the high quality graphics and gameplay. Check it out below:
Luigi's Mansion 3 news and rumors
Releasing this Halloween
Nintendo has confirmed Luigi's Mansion 3 will launch on October 31st, 2019 (AKA Halloween).
This co-op and competitive mode sees you clearing rooms, taking on ghosts and completing challenges to collect coins. Can be played online or couch co-op.
Lots of rooms in the hotel
Including a greenhouse, film studio, and theatre stage.
Luigi can now summon a flubber-like version of himself that can slip through bars and walk over spikes. Even better, a friend can control Gooigi and you can co-op.
Including Slam (which slams ghosts on the ground), Suction Shot (which attaches the plunger to an item before pulling it away, destorying it), and Burst (an air pressure group attack).
Luigi's Mansion 3 sees Luig being invited to stay in a hotel alongside his friends Mario, Peach and co. But unfortunately the hotel isn't quite what it seems and things take a dark turn when he arrives. There are some ghost guests who refuse to check out and they're not exactly friendly.
Luigi's got a brand new vacuum, in the form of the Poltergust G-00. This new super sucker can fire plungers, use jet propulsion to increase jumping, and use the Strobulb.
- Nintendo Switch review: the only place to play Luigi's Mansion 3
Turn on your console today and you’ll find a rich library of games that put game-making into the player’s hands. Super Mario Maker 2 and Dragon Quest Builders 2 are just two recent critically acclaimed examples, while Minecraft is now the best-selling game of all time.
Of course, this has its history in the modding culture on PC and dates further back to computers like the Commodore 64 which, besides its own software library, allowed anyone to program their own games, giving birth to the bedroom coders of the 1980s.
But these coding options didn’t really exist for the games console, not least because these were considered more as entertainment for your living room TV rather than a workstation. This all changed with LittleBigPlanet on the PS3, its creators Media Molecule headed up by ex-members of Lionhead, a studio that embraced a culture of tinkering with technology and giving players agency.
“We believe that people like expressing themselves in lots of different ways, like gardening, sewing, or making music,” says Siobhan Reddy, Media Molecule co-founder and studio director. “The idea was to give players a home to build upon those experiences they had with the Commodore 64, Lego, dress-up - all of these things that we all collectively, individually loved, and bring that to a console experience.”
Back in 2006, pitching LittleBigPlanet as a platforming game where you could also create and share your own levels actually came at a good time, as it coincided with the rise of user-generated content-sharing platforms like MySpace, Flickr, and YouTube - though there were doubts along the way.
“I think what became more challenging as time went by was people believing that we would be able to build a creative community,” says Reddy. The true test came with the game’s public beta a month before launch, which she recalls watching the results from their conference room screen.
“We knew it would take about half an hour for someone to get through the first bit of the game that would unlock Create,” Reddy explains. “So the clock's ticking down and we're thinking, 'will someone publish something?' And then when we saw that first creation, we're like, okay, all right. And then it just followed and flowed.”
LittleBigPlanet allowed for an incredible breadth of player expression and customization in both its adorable mascot Sackboy and its levels, yet it was also within the constraints of a physics-based platformer. By the time the team had shipped LittleBigPlanet 2 in 2011, they were ready to break free of those constraints for something far more freeform and ambitious, which brings us to Dreams.
No dream too big or small
Currently available in early access on PS4, there’s no simple way to describe Dreams. Sure, you can use it to create your own games, while the final version will also include a fully playable campaign, but it’s really a rich smorgasbord of creation tools comparable to Photoshop, Blender, Garage Band, and YouTube, albeit in a playful form using either the DualShock 4 or PlayStation Move controllers.
And while the infinite possibilities can seem daunting for anyone with blank canvas syndrome, the beauty is that you can enjoy Dreams purely by noodling and tinkering with just one element.
There may be people who still want to make their own solo projects, but whether you’re interested in creating beautiful environments or interesting character models, the creations become their own reward in the Dreamiverse, with one such favorite trend of Reddy’s being the abundant variety of animals that players are making.
“I particularly love the pelican,” Reddy says. “And now someone’s made a couple of little games about the pelican, and I love that it’s gone on to have a little life of its own. That’s the dream - that people would riff on each other’s ideas they share.”
There’s also an abundance of support both from in-depth tutorials that cover the basics to masterclasses, as well as from regular community jams to encourage you into the various available pathways.
“You can come into it and just collage a game together, but what I’m also noticing is that people are dipping their toes a little bit more into logic or animation,” says Reddy. “It might be that you always stay on the collage, or it might be that actually you sort of incrementally learn different aspects of game development, or sculpture, or animation, or music. Wherever the mood takes you, we want to provide a pathway.”
Care in the community
To an extent, Media Molecule has evolved from a traditional game developer to tool creators, as well as curators and moderators, fostering and facilitating a creative community.
There’s probably an advantage to shaping this community early on, in smaller numbers in early access, to prevent the trolling or toxicity that can plague other games. According to community manager Abbie Heppe, Dreams already benefits from having a positive community from the outset. After all, the most common words used among the community have been ‘love’ and ‘thanks’.
“I think part of that is driven by the fact that people are doing creative things, and they need to put themselves out there,” says Heppe. “You see that in professional congresses too. People need that sort of support, feedback, and encouragement from people around them. It makes people think about how they react and respond to others.”
Dreams is certainly the most ambitious sandbox for creating just about anything you can think of, but Reddy also modestly refers to it as just one of many other creative experiences, especially where today even traditional games are featuring creative modes of their own, whether it’s Overwatch, Fortnite or even Assassin’s Creed Odyssey.
“I think as much as there's always been a hunger for people playing games, there's also been the fact that people like putting their own imprint on the games that they play,” Reddy explains. ”I love the fact that this generation is growing up where it's completely normal to have creativity as part of their game experiences.
"It's really awesome that we're a generation where that's really celebrated, because it’s obviously something that we love.”
Red Dead Online is officially out of beta testing and is beginning to earn its stripe as a fully-fledged online game. But with such a massive open-world to explore in Red Dead Redemption 2's single-player story, why should you be excited about the game's online mode?
Rockstar's open-world Western game, a prequel to 2010's Red Dead Redemption, was released to wide critical acclaim last year and was all anyone could talk about for months on end.
While you might have expected an online mode to be live from the game's successful launch, it makes sense that Rockstar wants you to focus on the main story – and boy is there a lot of it – before waltzing into a less narrative-driven multiplayer experience in Red Dead Online.
Rockstar has proved itself at converting a massive single-player game into a lively online experience, as shown in the launch of GTA Online in 2013, which has become almost as massive a phenomenon as the mainline GTA V game it spun off from.
So what can you expect from Red Dead Online, and how can you access it?
- Red Dead Redemption 2 on PC: could it happen?
Red Dead Online update news and patch notes
- What's new? This week there's some horse-themed rewards and discounts
The latest Red Dead Online update sees players receiving a free horse care package, if they log-on this week. This package includes a horse reviver, two horse medicine, two horse stimulants, and more.
If that's not enough, there's also a 20% discount on stable spaces and horses under Rank 40.
The latest additions to Wheeler, Rawson and Co. Catalogue include The Descoteaux Hat, Alvarado Chaps and Gerden Morrow Spurs, with the Cossack Hat also still available for a limited time.
Red Dead Online: tips and tricks guides
The wild west is dog eat dog. So make sure you're not the mutt of the litter with our Red Dead Redemption 2 guides which cover everything from fishing and hunting to mini-games and weapons.
- Red Dead Redemption 2 hunting guide
- Red Dead Redemption 2 fishing guide: from small fry to deadliest catch
- Red Dead Redemption 2 Easter Egg guide: where to find the best kept secrets
- Red Dead Redemption 2 mini-game guide: how to win money at Poker, Blackjack, and Five Finger Fillet
- Red Dead Redemption 2 weapons guide: everything you need to know about guns in the Wild West
Red Dead Online: how to access
It doesn't take much to jump into Red Dead Redemption 2's online mode.
You can access Red Dead Online by selecting the 'Online' option from the Red Dead Redemption 2 title menu (at the top-right hand side of the screen). You then pick which online mode you would like to play and wala!
Red Dead Online - what's next?
According to Rockstar Games, a bunch of new content is coming to Red Dead Online in the next few months, including new Free Roam characters and Showdown modes.
his includes new Free Roam Missions and clothing for both PS4 and Xbox One on May 21, along with new PS4 Early Access content. Meanwhile, a new Head for the Hills Showdown Mode and the Wild Animal Kills Competitive Free Roam Challenge will roll out on May 28. This will be followed by the Public Enemy Showdown Mode and Railroad Baron Free Roam Event, where players capture cars on a moving train, on June 4. Then June 11's update includes the Sport of Kings Showdown Mode, plus new limited-time and permanent clothing additions to the Wheeler, Rawson and Co. Catalogue.
Rockstar has also told players to keep an eye out for weekly bonuses like RDO$ and Gold gifts, increased payouts, care packages, exclusive gifts and more.
Beyond that, Rockstar promises "future updates will offer new ways to fully inhabit your character as you progress in multiple roles and carve out your own place on the frontier".
Players will be able to take on the first three of a series of new roles: track down wanted criminals as a bounty hunter; search the world for treasure, and other exotic items to sell as a collector; or build a business at camp as a trader. Each new role comes with unique gameplay, outfits, weapons and rewards.
- (Image credits: Rockstar Games)
It won't make you happy, you won't laugh but what we can say for certain is Chernobyl is a must-watch. Yes...weird intro we know, but Chernobyl is easily one of the best shows around really, you just have to watch Chernobyl online - here's how.
If the cult following, massive love from TV reviewers and now - a few Emmy nominations - is anything to go by, this is possibly the best show around right now. It blends the horrific reality of the disaster with impressive story telling, incredible acting and scenes that will shock.
We can safely tell you that this show isn't an easy ride, but we haven't watched anything quite as compelling in a long time. The real testament to just how brilliant it is its current position as the number 1 TV show on IMDb...of all time...just one month after its release.
So if you're ready to watch the best TV show around right now (IMDb doesn't lie) then you're in the right place. We've tracked down all of the best locations to watch Chernobyl online, no matter where you live. We've listed all of the options below.
The entire show has now completely aired but if you're a bit late to the band wagon or want to watch it all again (you're brave!) then all of the episodes are now available to watch on catch up. We've listed all of the options if you want to watch Chernobyl online down below.
Watch Chernobyl online from outside your country:
If you find yourself in the unlucky position where you're out of the country, on holiday or temporarily abroad when you want to watch the show, don't panic just yet - there is still a chance to watch Chernobyl online as it happens. Using a little handy trick, you can get around geo-blocks and digital borders using a VPN.
This will allow you to gain access to all the dramatic Chernobyl content as it happens without even having to be in one of the countries its airing in by changing your IP. That way you can binge watch the show on your holiday.
Which VPN is best for you? Our personal favourite is ExpressVPN. And how do you use that to watch Chernobyl online? Read on to find out all you need to know.
How to watch Chernobyl online in the US:
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How to watch Chernobyl online in the UK:
How to watch Chernobyl online in Canada: