Apple Unveils Apple TV 4K With HDR Support And Native Siri Support

Apple Unveils Apple TV 4K With HDR Support And Native Siri Support

Apple has announced their latest iteration of the Apple TV: the Apple TV 4k.

The just announced Apple TV 4K will feature full native 4k playback in addition to HDR support with the latest HDR10 standard baked in. Additionally, Apple is promising that the latest iteration of the Apple TV will ship with the ground-breaking A10X Fusion Chip. The A10X chip is the same chipset featured in Apple’s IPad Pro line of tablets.

Due to the added horsepower provided by the A10X chip, the new Apple TV will be able to encode higher bitrates and not only deliver silky smooth 4k video but also upscale content and make things look the best they can possibly look.  Whether you’re watching it on the latest OLED 4K set or an older 1080p set, the new Apple TV promises to transform the home theatre experience when it launches later this month.

Those unfamiliar with High Dynamic Range or HDR technology, the term comes from the photography world and refers to the depth of colour and black levels present in a photograph. HDR for 4K video works in a similar fashion and helps reproduce better colours and contrast alongside deeper and darker black levels.

During Apple’s keynote earlier today, Eddy Cue, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services had this to say:

“Bring the magic of the cinema straight to your living room with the new Apple TV 4K, customers will love watching stunning 4K HDR movies from an impressive catalog on iTunes, while also getting automatic upgrades of 4K HDR movies already in their iTunes library and enjoying 4K content on services like Netflix, coming soon.”

Native Siri support will also be included with the new Apple TV which will make it easier than ever for consumers to find exactly the content they’re looking for.  The New Apple TV will be out September 22, 2017, and will retail for $229 (CAD) for 32GB or $249 (CAD) for 64GB variants.

Star Wars: Episode IX Marks The Return Of JJ Abrams As Director

Star Wars: Episode IX Marks The Return Of JJ Abrams As Director

Star Wars: Episode IX will see the return of JJ Abrams as director.

It is official: Disney confirmed with Deadline that Abrams will be returning to the helm to direct the forthcoming Star Wars: Episode IX movie.

The announcement comes after Rian Johnson (Last Jedi) decided against the offer to come back and replace Colin Trevorrow (Jurrasic World), who himself recently stepped down from the director’s chair of the upcoming release of Star Wars: Episode IX.

Disney was in talks with Abrams shortly after Johnson decided to leave the project. Abrams first took on the Star Wars property back in 2015 with the release of Star Wars: Episode VII: The Force Awakens.

The Force Awakens marked the beginning of a new trilogy of Star Wars films. Episode VII took place 30 years after the end of Star Wars: Episode VI: Return of the Jedi.  The story followed the adventures of Finn, a soldier who defected from the First Order — a remnant faction of the Empire lead by the evil Kylo Ren.

Gleaning information from the available trailers, it looks like the Last Jedi will focus on Rey’s quest in mastering the Force thanks to her training with the Legendary Luke Skywalker — now a recluse living on the island-like planet of Ahch-To.

Fans have been scratching their heads over the meaning behind the title of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, specifically in regards to a line spoken in the trailer by Luke Skywalker.

In the trailer, Luke Skywalker says, “It is time for the Jedi to end,” which currently has people investigating whether the word Jedi itself is singular or plural. Many fans agree that the word is plural, which if true, may spell the very end of the Jedi itself in the movie.

For now, all fans can do is speculate and eagerly await the anticipated release of both the Last Jedi, which is scheduled to come out this Holiday season and the eventual release of Star Wars: Episode IX sometime in 2018.

Okami HD Set For 4K Remaster For PlayStation 4, Xbox One, And PC

Okami HD Set For 4K Remaster For PlayStation 4, Xbox One, And PC

Earlier today, it was announced that Okami would be getting an HD re-release on current gen platforms and PC. It has also been confirmed that Okami will also be getting a Western re-release.

The Okami HD remaster will sport resolutions up to 4k and will be available both physically and digitally on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, with a digital-only release on PC.

4k resolutions should bolster the already beautiful looking game to new heights. Okami utilizes a stunning painterly aesthetic inspired by traditional Japanese Sumi-e art. Players assume the role of Amaterasu, a powerful Japanese Sun Goddess who has taken the form of a legendary white wolf while on a quest to defeat the evil Orochi.

Aside from the unique cell shaded art style, Okami allows players to engage in battles through the use of the Celestial Brush, a legendary magic imbued paintbrush turned weapon. Attacks are done through simple button presses, however, thanks to the Celestial Brushevery animation is fluid and visually appealing, with explosive inky blotches and swipes of paint-fuelled fury that helps break up the otherwise fauvist landscape.

Okami originally released on the PlayStation 2 all the way back in 2006. Since the original release of the game, Okami has seen several re-releases beginning with the Nintendo Wii and most recently with an HD remaster on the PlayStation 3 in 2012. Okami also received a direct-sequel on the Nintendo DS, the game was known as Okamiden and was released in 2010.

Interestingly enough, the Wii release of Okami got extra attention by both the press and fans alike, as the North American cover of the release had an IGN watermark that could be visible near Amaterasu’s face. Thankfully, Capcom was quick to admit to the error and offered consumers free replacement prints that omitted the IGN watermark.

The 4k release of Okami HD will be available December 12, 2017 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. The game will retail for $19.99 USD or $24.30 CAD.

 

 

 

Nintendo Ramps Up SNES Classic Production, NES Classic Returns 2018

Nintendo Ramps Up SNES Classic Production, NES Classic Returns 2018

Nintendo has recently confirmed that due to overwhelming demand for the forthcoming SNES Classic, the company plans to continue pushing out units into the new year.

The NES Classic released in 2016 and proved to be much more popular than Nintendo had anticipated. Thankfully, it has been confirmed that Nintendo is planning on revving up the production of the SNES Classic so more players can actually get their hands on one without resorting to auction sites such as eBay.

For all those Nintendo fans that missed out on the elusive NES Classic, Nintendo has promised that they will be bringing back the ultra popular throw-back console sometime in 2018. This news is especially interesting due to the fact that Nintendo stated that they were not planning on manufacturing more NES Classic units.

The September 29 release of the SNES Classic should see additional units reach store shelves earlier than what was originally anticipated, which should hopefully translate to more units available to day one customers.

The SNES Classic will ship with 21 renowned titles, including the likes of Super Mario World, Final Fantasy III, and the never before released Star Fox 2—a title that utilized the Super Nintendo’s Super FX chipset. The Super FX chip brought with it the ability to render basic 3D polygonal graphics, which in 1993 was groundbreaking for a home console.

Those who missed the opportunity to pre-order the NES Classic last year or the to-be-released Super Nintendo Classic will now potentially be able to pick one up when each console launches.

The SNES Classic will become available for purchase September 29, 2017, and the Nintendo NES Classic will see a re-release sometime in 2018, with no definitive date announced at this time. The SNES Classic will be available for $79.99 USD or $99.99 CAD. $20 less than the NES Classic which released in late 2016.

Xiaomi Takes A Bite Out of Apple’s Aesthetic With Mi Notebook Pro Laptop

Xiaomi Takes A Bite Out of Apple's Aesthetic With Mi Notebook Pro Laptop

Xioami, a company known for their affordable range of smartphones, has begun dipping their toes into the laptop market.

The renowned Chinese company first entered the laptop space with their Xioami Notebook Air, launched as a more affordable alternative to Apple’s line of MacBook laptops.

This year, Xioami has targeted Apple’s MacBook Pro line with the recently announced Mi Notebook Pro. Like Apple’s own design aesthetic, the upcoming laptop features a thin industrial bezel and an overall sleek form factor.

Inside the hood, the Mi Notebook Pro will ship with the latest Intel quad-core i7 processor and up to 16GB of RAM, in addition to an impressive 1TB of SSD storage and Nvidia’s Geforce MX150 graphics chipset.

If that wasn’t enough, the Mi Notebook Pro will also borrow elements from popular smart devices, which in this case translates into the inclusion of a fingerprint sensor built into the laptop’s precision trackpad. In terms of IO, Xioami is boasting the fact that the Mi Notebook Pro will feature several more ports than Apple’s MacBook Pro range of laptops (which feature 4 USB Type-C ports).

The upcoming laptop will also feature a 3-in-1 card reader, two USB-C ports, two standard USB ports, and an HDMI port.  The forthcoming laptop will also sport a 16.5” 1080p display (it is unclear what kind of panel Xioami will be deploying within the Mi Laptop Pro).

Xiaomi is set to launch the Mi Notebook Pro starting at ¥6399 CNY or $1189.47 CAD.  Like the Mi Notebook Air, which initially was only available in China, a similar approach towards the Mi Notebook Pro is expected. Those interested in Xiaomi’s line of Apple alternatives may consider checking out their official website.

Xioami Global website

Xioami North American/ Canadian website  

No release date for a global launch of the Mi Notebook Pro has been announced at this time.

Nintendo President Appeases Fans Over Possible SNES Classic Shortage

Nintendo President Appeases Fans Over Possible SNES Classic Shortage

With the demand of the NES Classic resulting in supply issues, many fans were left worried that a similar issue will arise when with the release of the forthcoming SNES Mini.

In a recent interview with the Financial Times, Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime strongly advised fans interested in the SNES Classic to avoid paying more than the suggested retail price of the system.

Like the NES Classic before it, the pre-order batch of the SNES Classic is currently sold out in most popular retailers, with many listings of the popular throw-back system already available on websites such as eBay. Fans have been left with the notion that procuring a console will mean resorting to resellers and auction sites.

Nintendo President Reggie Fils-Aime urged potential buyers to avoid resellers that have exorbitant prices.

“I would strongly urge you not to over-bid on a SNES Classic on any of the auction sites . . . You shouldn’t [have to] pay more than $79.99,”.

When asked about the massive shortage that plagued the release of the NES Classic, Fils-Aime mentioned that Nintendo did not create an artificial scarcity of the product. Nintendo instead relied on data provided by other companies in which in apparent disinterest in retro consoles was surmised, which lead Nintendo into thinking the NES Classic wouldn’t be as popular as it turned out to be.

The SNES Classic will be available later this month when it launches September 29 in North America and September 30 globally.

 

Synthetic Dawn Story Announced For Stellaris, Available September 21

Synthetic Dawn Story Announced For Stellaris, Available September 21

Paradox Interactive has announced details surrounding their highly anticipated expansion pack for Stellaris — known as Synthetic Dawn.

The upcoming Synthetic Dawn story pack for Stellaris will be priced at $9.99 or $12.20 CAD and will be available on September 21.

Martin Anward, game director for Stellaris shed some light on the forthcoming Synthetic Dawn story pack. The pack will focus on deepening the lore within the already rich narrative of Stellaris. It will specifically follow the Machine Empires, which Paradox Interactive touts as being powerful synthetic hive minds that have somehow taken control over their organic masters.

Players will be able to play as three distinct types of Synthetics or Machine Empires, which include:

  • Determined Exterminator, a rogue defence system AI, with the sole purpose of eradicating all organic life.
  • Driven Assimilators who exist in order to better understand organic life. They are known as machines who like assimilating all organic beings within the robotic hive mind consciousness.
  • Rogue Servitors, robots built by organic civilizations many decades ago — now left with the notion of taking things upon themselves and seeking out all organic lifeforms throughout the galaxy.

Another feature in the upcoming Synthetic Dawn story pack for Stellaris comes in the form of the Fallen Machine Empire, a group of robots that are engaged by an unknown threat. The Fallen subsect of the Machine Empire is seen as unstable and unpredictable, therefore making them an equally interesting and mysterious force within the game.

The upcoming story pack will also allow players to customize their AI assistant in the game, which gives players access to a whole host of toggles such as language, voice type, effect volume, and more.

For a better look at what’s to come in Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn, check out the overview trailer bellow:

Ubisoft Announces New Studio And Job Opportunities With $780 Million Expansion

Ubisoft Announces New Studio And Job Opportunities With $780 Million Expansion

Ubisoft announced today that they are planning a $780 million dollar expansion.

The legendary Montreal based games studio recently announced that they are planning on opening a new studio in Quebec.  The new studio promises to potentially give Canadians 1,000 new job opportunities within the province by 2027.

Ubisoft’s upcoming venture will help realize a new studio in Saguenay, Quebec. The forthcoming studio promises to bring with it a better focus towards connected experiences and opportunities for players to engage in more online focused titles from the renowned games company.

The announcement of the upcoming expansion was revealed through the company’s official Twitter, earlier today. Yannis Mallet, the CEO of Ubisoft Montreal, Quebec, and Toronto had this to say on the matter:

“We are entrusting Ubisoft Saguenay with a mandate that is resolutely focused on the future, the development of connected experiences that allow millions of players to meet and interact on online game platforms is a leading growth and innovation driver not only for Ubisoft but for the entire video game industry as a whole.”

Canadian readers or those willing to travel might be interested in knowing that Ubisoft has already put up job listings for work at the upcoming Saguenay branch.

The new Saquenay office will be a part a larger $780 million dollar expansion, with the Canadian province investing $160 million towards the new studio. Additionally, Ubisoft aims to create 200 new jobs for Quebec City in addition to 675 jobs for Montreal, with plans for another studio elsewhere in Quebec.

Ubisoft Montreal is one of the larger studios within the games company and has been responsible for many AAA titles including the Assassin’s Creed franchise, the Far Cry franchise, both the Watch Dogs titles, and For Honor.

Currently, the most anticipated title being worked on by the Montreal based studio, would have to be the upcoming release of Assassin’s Creed: Origins. A title in which players will be able to step back in time and visit the Great Pyramids while uncovering the mysteries surrounding the birth of both the Templars and Brotherhood of Assassins.

PlayerUnknown’s BattleGrounds Achieves 10 Million Copies Sold

PlayerUnknown's BattleGrounds Achieves 10 Million Copies Sold

The PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds train doesn’t seem to be showing any signs of slowing down—the ultra-popular title has achieved a new milestone of 10 million units sold.

Bluehole Studios’ took to their official Twitter earlier today and announced the incredible feat.

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is still currently in Early-Access on Steam, however, the title has managed to somehow reach the 10 million mark in Steam sales. The title reached the already impressive 8 million units sold just two weeks ago.

Some of the success of the game can be attributed to the game’s popularity on streaming sites such as Twitch, which due to the competitive nature of the title makes it a perfect game for spectacle.

As previously reported, according to the metrics from Steamspy Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds has the honour of holding the number one spot for a non-Valve title being played concurrently on the popular games’ platform.

The surge in sales can also be contributed to the recent announcement that the title will also be coming to consoles, specifically on Xbox One, and that the game will support cross-play with PC players. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is currently only available on PC, however, the upcoming Xbox One version will be a timed exclusive, meaning the game may (or may not) hit the PlayStation 4 sometime in the future.

Microsoft is currently in talks with Sony in regards to cross-play between future titles, something that Sony currently is not on board with.

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds will be available on Xbox One sometime in 2018 with no definitive release date announced. The Xbox One X version of the title will support 4k visuals in addition to HDR support.

Players were recently teased with two new maps; one featuring a desert setting and another set in the distant future.  The new maps for PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds should be available with the next update.

 

 

Trailer For Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 Highlights Switch Exclusive Features

Trailer For Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 Highlights Switch Exclusive Features

A new trailer for the Nintendo Switch version of Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 has been dropped that highlights some of the exclusive Switch features the game will have once released.

The anticipated Nintendo Switch release of Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 is just a few weeks away. The upcoming game will feature the same fast and frenetic action from the original release, albeit with a lower framerate in some areas. To sweeten the deal, Xenoverse 2 on Nintendo Switch will include a host of new, exclusive features.

The full list of features for the Nintendo Switch version of Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 can be viewed below:

  • TV-Mode: Play through the entire Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 storyline.
  • Handheld Mode: Take Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 for Nintendo Switch with you on the go!
  • Table-Top Mode: Share the Joy-Con controllers and battle a friend on the same screen.
  • Six player Co-op Mode: Team up with friends to take on huge bosses where cooperation and strategy are key to victory.
  • Three vs. Three Online Matchmaking Mode: Form two teams of three Dragon Ball warriors and battle against each other for supremacy!

Additionally, Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 on Switch will feature optional gesture based actions, which will let players pull off signature moves such as the Kamehameha Wave and Spirit Bomb with easeThose familiar with the Dragon Ball Z Tenkaichi series on the Nintendo Wii will feel right at home, as Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 will employ a similar control scheme for all gesture based moves.

Probably the biggest reason to own the upcoming release of Xenoverse 2 is the portability factor. The original release of Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 featured a densely packed world full of quests, story missions and more. Having the title on the go should provide players with dozens of hours of content, in addition to the ability to engage in impromptu 1 on 1 matches on the go.

Resident Evil 7: Gold Edition Announced For Consoles And PC

Resident Evil 7: Gold Edition Announced For Consoles And PC

Capcom has just announced that Resident Evil 7 will be getting a definitive edition in the form of Resident Evil 7: Gold Edition.

Resident Evil 7: Gold Editon will be available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. The upcoming re-release was unveiled in the latest issue of the popular Japanese gaming magazine, Famitsu.

The Japanese release of Resident Evil 7: Gold Editon will include both the standard edition of the game in addition to an Ages 18+ Adults only copy of the title.  The adult version of the game will most likely be the standard edition of the North American release—in Japan, violence and gore is generally given a stricter age restriction, hence why the new edition of the game will be getting two versions.

The Gold edition of Resident Evil 7 will also include the full title in addition to both volumes of the Banned Footage downloadable content. Interestingly enough, the new release will also include a brand new chapter known as End of Zoe.

The never before-released End of Zoe chapter will star Zoe Baker and takes place at the end of her story during the events of Resident Evil 7. Those who already own the vanilla Resident Evil 7 can purchase End of Zoe digitally for ¥1,500 ($17 CAD).

Finally, alongside End of Zoe, fans of Resident Evil 7 can look forward to the Not a Hero downloadable content, which stars Chris Redfield. The Not a Hero DLC will be free of charge. Both pieces of new downloadable content will become available December 14 in Japan, no release date for other regions has been announced at this time.

Resident Evil 7 first released earlier this year, and was was praised for its return to survival horror. Over here at CGM, we gave the game a well deserved 9 out of 10, remarking on the titles’ excellent use of VR integration on PlayStation 4.