A screenshot from the video game Mario Kart is shown in a handout.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Nintendo of America
October 02, 2020 – 8:00 PM
TORONTO – The popular Mario Kart series of games has seen the stars of the Nintendo universe race through deserts, haunted houses, ancient temples and myriad other exotic locales.
Next stop? Your living room, provided you have the space to host your own track.
“Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit” is a toy and video game combination that uses a “mixed reality” interactive experience to let gamers set up racetracks in their homes and drive them using their Nintendo Switch consoles.
The kit, which will be released Oct. 16, uses a Switch-controlled Mario Kart toy mounted with a camera to drive through checkpoints and create a track. Players can then drive that course, either in a single-player time trial, against AI opponents or in local multiplayer mode with up to three additional drivers.
The product includes the physical kart, featuring either Mario or his brother Luigi, four gates and a USB charging cable. The four gates serve as the checkpoints for racetrack creation and must all be used when creating a course.
The combination of using in-game tools with real-world objects offers a lot of creative potential when designing tracks. The gates can be customized with a variety of boons and traps familiar to Mario Kart enthusiasts, including items, speed boosts and Thwomps — massive stone blocks that smash down on the track. Courses can be assigned environments which have their own hazards, such as ice blocks that can freeze your cart.
Those digital enhancements can be combined with physical elements to make courses even more challenging. A demonstration video showed a cart plowing through a stack of cardboard boxes on the track, creating a series of hazards for other racers. Creative gamers will no doubt find no shortage of clever uses for everyday household items when making tracks.
If it all comes together, the result should be a classic Mario Kart racing experience boosted by creative input from gamers. So far it looks promising, as the demo showed Mario whipping around a custom course, using items to boost his speed and throw obstacles at opponents and avoiding traps in both the physical and digital realms.
Of course, like a physical toy racetrack, you’ll need some room to set up. At a product demonstration a Nintendo spokesperson recommended an unobstructed space of roughly five square metres to lay out a track, which could be a challenge for those who live in apartments or condos, or in busy environments with a lot of foot traffic.
There are options if space is at a premium. Gates can be used several times per lap, and tracks can cross over each other to add complexity to a compact design. Compact tracks would need some pretty tight turns, so the toy kart would likely have to run at one of the lower available speed settings.
There is also the issue of price, especially with multiplayer races. The manufacture-suggested retail price of the kit is $129.99 — about $50 more than the average price of a newly released triple-A video game — and each player must have their own kart and their own Switch to participate. The software component of the product is free to download.
Also, as a physical kart is needed to play, there is no online connectivity. So in the product’s current state, it’s not possible to create a track then share it over the Internet with a friend.
While space and price are potential issues, “Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit” should deliver an intriguing experience to fans of the series. It remains to be seen how seamlessly the physical and digital products coexist, but the potential is there to satisfy kart racers and track builders alike.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 2, 2020.
Initial reports on the PlayStation 5 appear to confirm that the DualSense controller supports Android.
This means you’ll be able to connect the controller to your phone via Bluetooth for gaming.
This lines up with earlier rumors that the DualSense is very similar to the DualShock 4.
Twitter was inundated today with reports from reviewers who received their PlayStation 5 review units. One of those reviewers, Austin Evans, posted a video on YouTube talking about what he’s allowed to talk about so far.
In an unboxing video for the DualSense controller that will come with PS5 consoles, Evans confirms something we suspected: the DualSense will support Android out of the box.
In the video, Evans actually uses the controller to play a game through Microsoft’s xCloud service (oh, the irony). You can see the video mirrored below.
DualSense Android support is real!
If all you’re interested in is the Android support, fast forward to 6:50.
Although this is exciting news for Android gamers, it isn’t totally unexpected. Not too long ago, we heard that the innards of the DualSense controller strongly align with those in the DualShock 4, the PlayStation 4’s controller. As such, it makes perfect sense that the DualSense would also support Android.
Still, it is exciting to know that your shiny new PlayStation 5 controller can double as a shiny new Android controller whenever you wish!
The Sony PlayStation 5 will hit store shelves on November 12. However, good luck getting one as pre-orders have been selling out in minutes. The DualSense controller, though, should be relatively easy to get.
Happy launch day! The new iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro are arriving to pre-order customers as of today and are hitting stores worldwide. We picked up a Pacific Blue iPhone 12 Pro and thought we’d share our first impressions for MacRumors readers still deciding on a purchase or waiting for their own iPhones to arrive.
Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. This year’s iPhones include no EarPods or power adapter in the box, so there’s a new, more environmentally friendly box that’s slimmer than the prior boxes. There’s the phone itself, a Lightning to USB-C cable, a few small regulatory booklets, an Apple sticker, and a SIM ejection tool.
The squared-off edges of the new iPhone design are a major departure from the rounded edges we’ve had since the iPhone 6, so the feel of the flatter edge will take some getting used to. It can be a bit more uncomfortable to hold in the hand when you’re unaccustomed to it, but it does feel secure and easy to hold on to, even though it’s thinner than the iPhone 11 models.
Design wise, the new iPhone 12 Pro looks similar to the iPad Pro or something like the iPhone 5, so if you love that flat edged look, this is the phone for you. We think it looks great, and it’s a refreshing change from rounded edges. There have already been complaints about those shiny stainless steel edges on the Pro models, and we can confirm, that glossy material is a fingerprint magnet. The Pacific Blue color is unique, but it doesn’t do much in terms of hiding fingerprints.
The iPhone 12 Pro is 6.1 inches, which is about the same size as the iPhone 11 before. Last year’s Pro model was 5.8 inches, so expect a bit of a size increase, but overall, the sizes aren’t hugely different.
Apple added a new Ceramic Shield display that offers 4x stronger drop protection, but we’re not going to test that claim and ruin a perfectly good iPhone. Drop tests will be coming, though, and note that Apple makes no claims when it comes to protection against scratches and dings. Our iPhone is new enough that it’s in perfect condition, but there have been early reports that the screen is easier to scratch than normal, which is something to keep an eye on.
We covered MagSafe cases and chargers earlier this week before we had a new iPhone and were curious if the magnetic connection is stronger with an actual iPhone 12 in hand, and it does seem like there’s a small difference. It’s still not as magnetic as we might have expected, and while we don’t have a Wallet accessory on hand to test yet, there’s a good chance it’s not going to be the best accessory to slap onto the back of the phone.
All of the new iPhone 12 models support 5G, but we can’t give feedback on connection speeds because it’s just too early. That’s something we’ll follow up on in another video, but for the fastest mmWave 5G, you need to be in specific parts of specific cities to use it, so most people won’t be experiencing it.
Most people will connect to slower Sub-6GHz networks. We have a T-Mobile iPhone 12 Pro, and so far, the speeds seem to be a bit faster than on LTE, but for Verizon, LTE was faster. We’ll also need to come back to the A14 chip after we’ve had some time to test it out, but it is unsurprisingly the fastest chip in an iPhone yet.
The iPhone 12 Pro has a middle-tier camera that’s better than the iPhone 12 camera but not quite as good as the camera setup in the Pro Max, launching in November. There are three lenses along with a LiDAR Scanner, which brings some neat features like Night Mode portraits, Night Mode for the Ultra Wide lens, and improved low-light performance.
Ultra Wide lens comparison The LiDAR Scanner works by sending out light and measuring the time it takes to reflect back from objects, mapping out the entire space around you. In addition to photography features, it also has some AR applications, but developers need to incorporate the new technology into apps before we can see what it can really do.
Portrait mode comparison As for the camera quality, we’ll have a deep dive, but early photos are promising. The 7-element Wide camera has an f/1.6 aperture that lets in 27 percent more light, and there’s an improved optical image stabilization system that makes 5000 adjustments per second. The iPhone 12 Pro is also capable of shooting 4K HDR and Dolby Vision video, which we’ll show off more in-depth in a future video.
Telephoto comparison Make sure to stay tuned to MacRumors because we’re going to have a lot more iPhone coverage coming, including those aforementioned deep dives into 5G connectivity and camera technology. When November rolls around, we’ll also be able to see the real differences between the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max camera systems.
An art installation years in the making that promises to amplify Calgary’s nighttime skyline will officially debut on Saturday night.
Northern Lights, a light show installed on two sides of the Telus Sky building, was created by artist and author Douglas Coupland. It features 2.2 kilometres of LED lighting, 600 custom bulbs and 89,000 pixels of light.
The lights — which wrap most of the windows on the building in an inverted L shape — combine to depict the aurora borealis in motion, along with a myriad of other patterns. The show will be visible on both the north and south facing sides of Telus Sky, a 59-storey skyscraper at 685 Centre St. South.
Calgarians have been seeing test runs of the show periodically for months, but Saturday night will be the official launch of the full show.
At 160,000 square feet, Northern Lights will be the largest art installation in Calgary.
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After the Saturday night premiere, Northern Lights will run every night year-round, starting about one hour before sunset to 11 p.m.
Telus is recommending people watch the show from the ground from Centre Street and Stephen Avenue or Centre Street and 9 Avenue.
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