E3 2021 has well and truly kicked off. And even if we have to wait for Tuesday to see what Nintendo’s planning — let alone the lack of any standalone Sony event — the Summer Game Fest gave us a proper look at the highly anticipated Elden Ring.
FromSoftware’s latest game draws the creative talent of no less than George R.R. Martin for the story as well as an array of creatures and enemies that can’t be described in any other way than nightmare fuel.
That might have been the major blockbuster reveal, but it came at the end of a barrage of trailers that included Death Stranding: Director’s Cut (what did they cut?), a fantasy-themed Borderlands spin-off, an underwhelming Jeff Goldblum appearance for a new Jurassic Park game and a lengthy appearance by Weezer. There were also new trailers for Tales of Arise, Endless Dungeon, Monster Hunter Stories 2 and news on about 20 other games. It was, well, a lot. How am I meant to make any progress in Ratchet and Clank with all this E3 stuff to cover? The next big presentation will be from Ubisoft, and that kicks off Saturday at 3PM ET. A brief reprieve, then, for today.
— Mat Smith
1,020 peak horsepower and 390 miles of range.
While Elon Musk’s car company is still cranking away on the Roadster and Cybertruck, it’s ready to start shipping a new higher-performance version of the Model S. Moving on from Ludicrous Mode, this sport EV goes to Plaid courtesy of a three-motor setup that — along with other upgrades, like a new heat pump and radiator — is capable of achieving repeated high-speed runs. According to Musk, when it comes to the Plaid’s sub-two-second 0 to 60 MPH capability, “This car can do it over and over again and it doesn't get winded.”
The Tesla event also served as an opportunity to show off the redesigned elements coming to every new Model S and Model Y. That includes the PS5-caliber infotainment system, which can run Cyberpunk 2077 at 60 fps, massively improved back seats, steering yoke and the shifter that isn’t there. But the Plaid was the star of the show, and it’s available for purchase if you have $130,000 or so to spare and can wait while Tesla ramps up production over the next few months. Continue reading.
Almost definitely before Martin’s 'The Winds of Winter' gets here.
Two years after it was first revealed at the last E3, we’ve got a proper look at FromSoftware’s next Souls-ish game. Not only is the new world co-created by George R.R. Martin, but there was apparently also some help from former Game of Thrones staffers. While we saw some in-game action, it’s still not entirely clear how Elden Ring will play, but expect tortured beasts, lots of dying and a grim world to explore. Continue reading.
The Xbox experience is getting baked into smart TVs, too.
Just days before Microsoft's big ol' E3 livestream, Microsoft decided to reveal that Xbox is working with global TV manufacturers to get Game Pass on smart televisions. Considering a Game Pass Ultimate subscription unlocks cloud capabilities, this feature will allow folks to play Xbox titles with just a controller, no console required. Think of it as Chromecast for Xbox. Additionally, the company announced, officially, that it’s building a video game streaming stick, as teased late last year. This means you can equip your TV for xCloud without having to buy a new one. Continue reading.
You have until June 17th to snag the terrific paranormal adventure at no cost.
In case you weren’t replaying Mass Effect or Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade (what a title), maybe you can distract from all the new E3 titles with Control, a rather brilliant game that’s currently free to download from the Epic Games Store. Continue reading.
A small drone for full-frame cameras.
Sony has officially launched the Airpeak S1 drone — the same professional filmmaking drone it first revealed at a virtual CES presentation earlier this year. The company says it's the "world's smallest drone" that can use its full-frame mirrorless interchangeable-lens Alpha cameras to shoot high-definition footage. The Airpeak S1 can last for 22 minutes in the air without a payload and up to 12 minutes with a camera in tow. It has a max speed of 55.9 MPH, can stay stable in winds up to 44.7 MPH and comes equipped with five image sensors. Those sensors help to estimate the aircraft's spatial position and orientation in real time. As you might expect, this high-tech drone comes with a high price: $10,000. And no, that doesn’t include a camera. Continue reading.
The 0.64 micrometer pixels are the smallest in the industry.
Samsung is pushing the limits again on pixel sizes with its latest smartphone camera sensor. The ISOCELL JN1 fits 50 megapixels into a tiny 1/2.76-inch format for a pixel size of just 0.64 micrometers. Why should we care? Well, the tiny sensor size will be useful for multi-camera setups, and future phones could use the sensor for front-facing, ultra-wide, telephoto or standard cameras, depending on the setup and resolution required. It will also reduce camera module thicknesses by around 10 percent, Samsung said, which means either slimmer devices or more space for other tech. Continue reading.
The NMPA also launched a takedown campaign against Twitch.
The National Music Publishers' Association (NMPA) has filed a $200 million lawsuit against Roblox for allowing the illegal use of songs in streams. It has also launched a "major ramp-up" of its takedown campaign against Twitch for the Amazon platform's failure to license music.
NMPA President David Israelite said that Roblox, with 42 million daily active users, has "taken virtually no action" to prevent copyright infringement. Israelite added that Amazon's Twitch livestreaming service is still failing to license music. As such, it has stepped up its takedown campaign and will keep removing music that Amazon is allegedly not paying for. Roblox has yet to respond to the lawsuit. Continue reading.