Hey, good morning! You look fabulous.
Welcome to Monday, and the beginning of a very busy week in gaming news. While you can expect the usual mix of Gear, Entertainment and Tomorrow reports, E3 2017 has kicked off, and that means all of gaming's biggest players have a lot to show off. We will be reporting live all week from Los Angeles.
A year after Microsoft promised the most powerful console ever, it has delivered the details. The Xbox One X will go on sale November 7th with specs built to enable 4K, 60fps gaming. The price? A cool $499. Many of the games coming out this fall will "Xbox One X Enhanced" for the new console, while older titles can gain improvements via a patch, similar to what we've seen with the PS4 Pro. Microsoft didn't discuss any VR aspirations for its latest box -- which is also the smallest Xbox ever, thanks to a new liquid cooled "vapor chamber" -- but we're guessing that's in the plans too.
Microsoft keeps adding to its catalog of Xbox 360 games that are playable on Xbox One (up over 400 at last count), and now it's announced plans for something else: original Xbox games on Xbox One. So far the only one announced is Crimson Skies: Road to Revenge, and it sounds like it should work in a similar manner to Xbox 360 backward compatibility where your original discs will still work -- if you haven't tossed them in yet.
Minecraft is about to enter its final form. In August, the Better Together update will land and unify the game across nearly every platform, from iOS and Android to Xbox One and Nintendo Switch. This unification comes courtesy of the Bedrock Engine, which already powers all mobile, Windows 10, Amazon Fire and VR versions of the game. It soon won't matter which platform your friends use to play Minecraft -- every version will be the same, they'll share DLC and updates, and all players will be able to create new worlds together. Well, nearly all. The PlayStation 4 and Xbox 360 versions of Minecraft are not included in the initial Better Together update.
Microsoft went first, but tonight Sony strikes back. Last year Sony showed off a lot of games that are due to arrive in 2017 and beyond, so we're expecting updates on big name titles like God of War, The Last of Us 2, Gran Turismo Sport and much, much more. Follow along with our liveblog of the event, which is starting at 9PM ET (maybe take a nap first).
EA's E3 2017 Battlefront II presentation did its best to balance new multiplayer goodies (Chewbacca, the planet Naboo, Yoda, Darth Maul, Rey and more) with a highly-anticipated campaign mode, which appears to center on the 'good' Imperials fight to beat the upstart Rebel Alliance. Battlefront II will apparently bridge the story gap between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens, similar to how spin-off movie Rogue One connected earlier Star Wars chapters.
The team behind Mass Effect has something new up its sleeves. BioWare today revealed Anthem, a new open-world franchise seemingly set in a futuristic, jungle-ridden universe. It definitely has Destiny, Star Wars and Far Cry vibes. The first gameplay reveal has the player venturing into the wilderness in search of some workers who have landed themselves in a bit of trouble and highlights the game's expansive world, exploration and cooperative combat.
DARPA is spending $80 million to fund the development of the world's first graph analytic processor. The HIVE (Hierarchical Identify Verify Exploit) accesses random, 8-byte data points from the system's global memory, crunching each of those points individually. That's a much faster approach for handling large data compared to typical processors that access large chunks of sequential data and fill their caches as often as possible. If the concept works as promised, though, it could quickly spot major problems, like cyber-terrorism, before they become especially dire.
But wait, there's more...
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- 'Need for Speed: Payback' and the business of car crashes
- Watch EA's E3 2017 event in 12 minutes
- EA's VP explains What EA learned from 'Mass Effect'
- SpaceX could send its biggest rocket to space in three months
- Uber considers sidelining its CEO