First announced in February, Scarlet and Violet are the next mainline entries in Game Freak’s enormously popular Pokémon series and the first since 2019’s Sword and Shield. Though Pokémon took a bit of an offramp earlier this year with Pokémon Legends: Arceus—a prequel spin-off with action-adventure gameplay akin to Monster Hunter—these latest versions, so far, seem to be a return to the typical classic Pokémon-training formula.
In other words: You find yourself in a tiny town with, like, five buildings. You struggle to choose a best friend from three eye-wateringly adorable baby animals (in this case: Sprigatito, a grass-type kitten; Fuecoco, a fire-type sort of crocodile…dinosaur…thing; and Quaxly, a water-type duck with an extremely silly-looking hat). You then watch as your best friend slowly grows up into a formidable monster capable of leveling towns and then direct them to do battle against the best friends of other people. Over the course of your adventure, you cobble together a team of other terrifying creatures, strolling around the countryside with six of them in tow.
But the two versions will add some new elements. To wit, there are two aforementioned (oddly grown-up-looking) professors: Professor Sada and Professor Turo. Dating back to the days of Oak in the very first games, professors in Pokémon games serve as guides and mentors for the player.
And of course, these are to be the first ever open-world Pokémon games in the franchise, with confirmation today that players will be able to approach the game in their own order. We’re told, “you’ll experience a world you’re free to explore at your leisure—not in an order dictated by the story.”
Recent mainline Pokémon games have taken place in fictional realms based on regions like France and the United Kingdom, moving somewhat away from the Japan-inspired worlds of the earlier entries. Some fans believe Scarlet and Violet are inspired by Spain and Portugal. (Footage released so far bears strong geographical and architectural resemblance to the Iberian Peninsula.) Scarlet and Violet also appear to feature four-player co-op. In the trailer, one NPC says, “If you connect with friends, you can head out on adventures together—up to four of you at a time!”
The trailer wrapped with a pre-rendered cinematic panning over the two version-specific legendary Pokémon. I’m not gonna say they look silly until I see their movesets, but they do seem like some run-of-the-mill Pokémon I could capture on, like, route 106. (Legendaries are overrated anyway.)
The two upcoming Pokémon entries are cornerstones of the Switch’s stellar 2022 lineup. Next week will see a new release in Nintendo’s long-dormant soccer series, Mario Strikers. That’s followed two weeks later by Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes, a musou spin-off of Fire Emblem. The month will offer Xenoblade Chronicles 3, an RPG that’s destined to gobble up at least 400 billion hours on your backlog. And in September, Nintendo will unleash Splatoon 3, the latest entry in the most PG-rated of all the multiplayer shooters. And that’s to say nothing of the major games that have been announced but don’t yet have release dates, like Bayonetta 3.
Updated: 06/01/22, 10.20 a.m. ET: Added extra details regarding the open-world nature of the game.
vivo iQOO 10 series to be the first with a Dimensity 9000+ smartphone – GSMArena.com news – GSMArena.com
The iQOO 10 is already in the rumor mill, and we expect to learn more as early as next month. Latest information coming from trustworthy sources claimed the series will be the first with a phone, powered by a Dimensity 9000+ chipset.
The Mediatek platform was announced just last week as a minor improvement over the Dimensity 9000. It has a slight CPU and GPU boost, as well as updates of the signal processing and 5G modem. The high-performance Cortex-X2 core goes from 3.05 GHz to 3.2 GHz, and the Taiwanese chip maker promised devices with the platform as early as Q3.
It is safe to assume the hype and teasers will begin next week which is also the beginning of the new quarter. We have no information if the iQOO 10 or the iQOO 10 Pro smartphone will run on the Dimensity 9000+ but it could be either of them – we have to see whether vivo is also going to use the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1.
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Apple's entry-level MacBook Pro M2 has slower SSD speeds than its M1 counterpart – The Verge
Apple’s new 13-inch MacBook Pro M2 base model appears to have slower SSD speeds than its M1 predecessor. MacRumors reports that YouTubers Max Tech and Created Tech have both tested the 256GB base M2 model and discovered the SSD’s read speeds are around 50 precent slower than the M1 MacBook Pro with 256GB of storage. Write speeds are reportedly around 30 percent slower.
Testing was completed using Blackmagic’s Disk Speed Test app, and Max Tech even disassembled the 13-inch M2 MacBook Pro and found that Apple is only using a single NAND flash storage chip. The M1 MacBook Pro uses two 128GB NAND chips, and multiple chips can enable faster SSD speeds in parallel.
Other 13-inch M2 MacBook Pro models with larger SSD storage don’t appear to suffer from slower SSD speeds. Another YouTuber with a 512GB M2 model ran tests and found similar speeds to the M1 version, and most reviewers were seeded with fast 1TB models and didn’t find any speed issues.
If SSD speeds are an issue for you on the base 13-inch MacBook Pro, you’ll need to stump up an extra $200 for the faster 512GB model. But if you’re willing to do that, you might want to wait and see what’s inside the new MacBook Air. The base model will be priced slightly less at $1,199, but if it has slower SSD speeds then there’s an identically-priced $1,499 512GB model that will presumably have the two NAND chips. Unlike the M2 MacBook Pro, the M2 MacBook Air also gets a big redesign — including new colors, a larger display, a 1080p webcam, and MagSafe charging.
We’ve reached out to Apple to comment on the SSD changes in the MacBook Pro, and we’ll update you accordingly if we hear back.
Amazon's Alexa could soon mimic voice of dead relatives – Prince Rupert Northern View – The Northern View
Amazon’s Alexa might soon replicate the voice of family members – even if they’re dead.
The capability, unveiled at Amazon’s Re:Mars conference in Las Vegas, is in development and would allow the virtual assistant to mimic the voice of a specific person based on a less than a minute of provided recording.
Rohit Prasad, senior vice president and head scientist for Alexa, said at the event Wednesday that the desire behind the feature was to build greater trust in the interactions users have with Alexa by putting more “human attributes of empathy and affect.”
“These attributes have become even more important during the ongoing pandemic when so many of us have lost ones that we love,” Prasad said. “While AI can’t eliminate that pain of loss, it can definitely make their memories last.”
In a video played by Amazon at the event, a young child asks “Alexa, can Grandma finish reading me the Wizard of Oz?” Alexa then acknowledges the request, and switches to another voice mimicking the child’s grandmother. The voice assistant then continues to read the book in that same voice.
To create the feature, Prasad said the company had to learn how to make a “high-quality voice” with a shorter recording, opposed to hours of recording in a studio. Amazon did not provide further details about the feature, which is bound to spark more privacy concerns and ethical questions about consent.
Amazon’s push comes as competitor Microsoft earlier this week said it was scaling back its synthetic voice offerings and setting stricter guidelines to “ensure the active participation of the speaker” whose voice is recreated. Microsoft said Tuesday it is limiting which customers get to use the service — while also continuing to highlight acceptable uses such as an interactive Bugs Bunny character at AT&T stores.
“This technology has exciting potential in education, accessibility, and entertainment, and yet it is also easy to imagine how it could be used to inappropriately impersonate speakers and deceive listeners,” said a blog post from Natasha Crampton, who heads Microsoft’s AI ethics division.
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