New Nintendo 2DS XL hands-on: this is the 3DS that always should have been

New Nintendo 2DS XL hands-on: this is the 3DS that always should have been

New Nintendo 2DS XL hands-on: this is the 3DS that always should have been

The New Nintendo 2DS XL came as a surprise to the tech world. In the lead-up to the release of the Switch, Nintendo said its new portable hardware and its old handhelds would coexist. But as the Switch became Nintendo’s fastest-selling console, many wondered if the 3DS and the 2DS would gradually make their way toward the sunset. That isn’t the case.

Let’s temporarily put aside questions of Nintendo cannibalizing the handheld market. The New 2DS XL may be the best handheld hardware Nintendo has made since the original DS in 2004.

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Let me tell you what it’s like to wear VR shoes

Let me tell you what it's like to wear VR shoes

Let me tell you what it’s like to wear VR shoes

See that guy up there in the lead image? That’s not me. That guy has what they call in the industry “range of motion” and is “good at kicking.” When I strapped on Cerevo’s Taclim VR shoes, I felt like an old man. My kicks were barely inches off the ground because I was scared of losing my balance in these weird, bulky, raised sandals, and I had to shuffle in place to “walk” in the simulation.

The sandals connect to your VR setup, PC or mobile (I tested with a Gear VR), over Bluetooth or Sub-GHz wireless, and have 9-axis motion sensing. That’s accelerometer, gyroscope, and geomagnetism. I can’t speak to the quality of tracking, though, because Cerevo’s tech demo was a simple “make a motion enough like a kick and it’ll probably register as a kick in the demo.” This was the furthest possible thing from a 1:1 experience, and it kind of sucked.

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Ikea Place is an AR app that lets you put furniture on the street

Ikea Place is an AR app that lets you put furniture on the street

Ikea Place is an AR app that lets you put furniture on the street

With yesterday’s release of iOS 11, developers and users alike are still in the early stages of figuring out whether Apple’s ARKit can actually be useful. Here to add to the discourse, Ikea has released its own AR app to help customers visualize what their furniture might look like in their own living rooms. Or street. Or elevators. The point is, you no longer have to argue with your significant other inside the Swedish furniture conglomerate. Now you can destroy your relationship anywhere!

All joking aside, the app is super fun to play around with. It’s designed so you can easily swipe through its most popular collections, or filter by types of products like “Baby & Children,” or “chairs and desks.” There’s no search function yet, which could come in handy when rifling through the 2,000 products currently listed in the app. You can also tap the item name to go straight to the product listing on the website.

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The Holo app is a tease of what’s to come with AR on the iPhone

The Holo app is a tease of what's to come with AR on the iPhone

The Holo app is a tease of what’s to come with AR on the iPhone

The most exciting thing about Apple’s recent announcement of iOS 11 at WWDC, to me, was ARKit. The idea that augmented reality is going to be baked into the mobile operating system means all sorts of weird stuff is on the way this fall. If, like me, you’re anxious to play around with AR, but you also don’t want to burden your iPhone with a buggy developer beta version of iOS 11, a new app called Holo is almost good enough to scratch that itch.

Holo was created by a VR / AR company called 8i, which we actually profiled back in February. It’s a simple app that lets you place “holograms” — essentially animated 3D models of people or animals — in your world using your iPhone’s screen as a viewfinder. There’s a burgeoning “store” inside the app where you can download different 3D objects, but they’re all either people or animals at the moment. There’s a skateboarder, a dancing wrestler, a few different versions of Spider-Man (sponsored by Marvel, of course), and for those of you clamoring for topical augmented reality, a fake Donald Trump.

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The Holo app is a tease of what’s to come with AR on the iPhone

The Holo app is a tease of what's to come with AR on the iPhone

The Holo app is a tease of what’s to come with AR on the iPhone

The most exciting thing about Apple’s recent announcement of iOS 11 at WWDC, to me, was ARKit. The idea that augmented reality is going to be baked into the mobile operating system means all sorts of weird stuff is on the way this fall. If, like me, you’re anxious to play around with AR, but you also don’t want to burden your iPhone with a buggy developer beta version of iOS 11, a new app called Holo is almost good enough to scratch that itch.

Holo was created by a VR / AR company called 8i, which we actually profiled back in February. It’s a simple app that lets you place “holograms” — essentially animated 3D models of people or animals — in your world using your iPhone’s screen as a viewfinder. There’s a burgeoning “store” inside the app where you can download different 3D objects, but they’re all either people or animals at the moment. There’s a skateboarder, a dancing wrestler, a few different versions of Spider-Man (sponsored by Marvel, of course), and for those of you clamoring for topical augmented reality, a fake Donald Trump.

Read More

The new Reservoir Dogs video game is like Hotline Miami with time travel

The new Reservoir Dogs video game is like Hotline Miami with time travel

The new Reservoir Dogs video game is like Hotline Miami with time travel

Video game projects based on iconic auteur action movies tend to turn out poorly. You’ve got the canceled console game based on Taxi Driver, the troubled Apocalypse Now adaptation, and the critically panned 2006 translation of Reservoir Dogs. So a second adaptation of Quentin Tarantino’s classic heist movie, set to release this spring, is working against expectations. But whatever else might go wrong, Reservoir Dogs: Bloody Days has one thing working in its favor: its central idea is actually pretty clever.

Bloody Days is a violent top-down action game based around a series of heist missions, starring the film’s six color-coded protagonists. While it’s not as stylish-looking or self-aware as Hotline Miami, it has a similar structure: each map is a little maze where you’re supposed to learn the location of enemies and find the most efficient way through them, picking up their weapons as you go. But instead of using a single avatar, you select two or three at a time and play as all of them — not with unified squad movement or a series of sequential turns, but by rewinding and fast-forwarding to control each character simultaneously.

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The new Reservoir Dogs video game is like Hotline Miami with time travel

The new Reservoir Dogs video game is like Hotline Miami with time travel

The new Reservoir Dogs video game is like Hotline Miami with time travel

Video game projects based on iconic auteur action movies tend to turn out poorly. You’ve got the canceled console game based on Taxi Driver, the troubled Apocalypse Now adaptation, and the critically panned 2006 translation of Reservoir Dogs. So a second adaptation of Quentin Tarantino’s classic heist movie, set to release this spring, is working against expectations. But whatever else might go wrong, Reservoir Dogs: Bloody Days has one thing working in its favor: its central idea is actually pretty clever.

Bloody Days is a violent top-down action game based around a series of heist missions, starring the film’s six color-coded protagonists. While it’s not as stylish-looking or self-aware as Hotline Miami, it has a similar structure: each map is a little maze where you’re supposed to learn the location of enemies and find the most efficient way through them, picking up their weapons as you go. But instead of using a single avatar, you select two or three at a time and play as all of them — not with unified squad movement or a series of sequential turns, but by rewinding and fast-forwarding to control each character simultaneously.

Read More

The new Reservoir Dogs video game is like Hotline Miami with time travel

The new Reservoir Dogs video game is like Hotline Miami with time travel

The new Reservoir Dogs video game is like Hotline Miami with time travel

Video game projects based on iconic auteur action movies tend to turn out poorly. You’ve got the canceled console game based on Taxi Driver, the troubled Apocalypse Now adaptation, and the critically panned 2006 translation of Reservoir Dogs. So a second adaptation of Quentin Tarantino’s classic heist movie, set to release this spring, is working against expectations. But whatever else might go wrong, Reservoir Dogs: Bloody Days has one thing working in its favor: its central idea is actually pretty clever.

Bloody Days is a violent top-down action game based around a series of heist missions, starring the film’s six color-coded protagonists. While it’s not as stylish-looking or self-aware as Hotline Miami, it has a similar structure: each map is a little maze where you’re supposed to learn the location of enemies and find the most efficient way through them, picking up their weapons as you go. But instead of using a single avatar, you select two or three at a time and play as all of them — not with unified squad movement or a series of sequential turns, but by rewinding and fast-forwarding to control each character simultaneously.

Read More

Qualcomm shows off inside-out VR tracking in a Power Rangers-themed headset

Qualcomm shows off inside-out VR tracking in a Power Rangers-themed headset

Qualcomm shows off inside-out VR tracking in a Power Rangers-themed headset

Qualcomm sold its Snapdragon 835 mobile processor as a virtual and augmented reality powerhouse earlier this week, but it’s been light on examples — at least, until now. As part of a partnership with Lionsgate and production company Reel FX, it’s showing off a VR tie-in to the upcoming Power Rangers movie, complete with a multi-colored set of Power Rangers-themed mobile headsets.

In principle, these reference designs are like the Gear VR, Daydream View, or other smartphone-powered products. But they feature something that’s practically brand-new for mobile headsets: inside-out tracking, thanks to depth-sensing cameras on the front of the Qualcomm phone prototype inside. This means that you can walk around — not just look around — inside the virtual world of Zordon’s cave, for the roughly five minutes the experience lasts.

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Qualcomm shows off inside-out VR tracking in a Power Rangers-themed headset

Qualcomm shows off inside-out VR tracking in a Power Rangers-themed headset

Qualcomm shows off inside-out VR tracking in a Power Rangers-themed headset

Qualcomm sold its Snapdragon 835 mobile processor as a virtual and augmented reality powerhouse earlier this week, but it’s been light on examples — at least, until now. As part of a partnership with Lionsgate and production company Reel FX, it’s showing off a VR tie-in to the upcoming Power Rangers movie, complete with a multi-colored set of Power Rangers-themed mobile headsets.

In principle, these reference designs are like the Gear VR, Daydream View, or other smartphone-powered products. But they feature something that’s practically brand-new for mobile headsets: inside-out tracking, thanks to depth-sensing cameras on the front of the Qualcomm phone prototype inside. This means that you can walk around — not just look around — inside the virtual world of Zordon’s cave, for the roughly five minutes the experience lasts.

Read More