Features

7 Biggest Announcements at E3 2017

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Every year around this time, some of the biggest video game makers come together to show off their games and hardware to the press and public at the Electronic Entertainment Expo. Here are seven of the biggest announcements from this year’s E3.

Microsoft unveils the Xbox One X

Dubbed “the most powerful console ever made,” the Xbox One X made its first public appearance as the centerpiece of Microsoft’s E3 press conference. Like the PS4 Pro to the original PS4, the Xbox One X is the premium version of the base Xbox One. Unlike the PS4 Pro, the Xbox One X can actually run games at native 4K resolution, meaning way better-looking graphics, thanks to its beefier specs. It comes at a hefty price, though, retailing at $499 when it launches on November 7, 2017.

Check out our feature on the Xbox One X for details as to why it deserves the title “most powerful console ever made.”

Bioware showcases its newest original game Anthem

Bioware, the creators of hit RPG franchises Mass Effect and Dragon Age, showed off the first-ever gameplay footage of its upcoming sci-fi multiplayer RPG loot shooter Anthem at the Microsoft E3 press conference. Players in power armor traverse massive alien environments — running, swimming, and jetpack-boosting as they fight monsters with an impressive assortment of weapons and abilities.

It should be interesting to see how the studio’s brand of storytelling will integrate with the action-oriented, open-world dynamics when the game comes out late in 2018 on PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

Bethesda debuts Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus with a provocative trailer

Wolfenstein: The New Order, the 2014 reboot of the classic Wolfenstein first-person shooter series, was a surprise critical hit and had its fair share of fans. The existence of a sequel was hinted at last year’s E3, but it was only confirmed officially with the oddly hypnotic and highly propulsive trailer at publisher Bethesda’s press conference.

Wolfenstein follows the alternate history of Nazis winning World War II. This part of the saga is set in 1960s America where you lead a ragtag resistance group as grizzled, true-blooded Yankee hero BJ Blazkowicz to take back control of the United States. It’s disturbingly relevant considering the political climate in the USA, and the trailer has already courted controversy online.

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus will come out on PS4, Xbox One, and PC on October 27, 2017.

Ubisoft reveals long-awaited follow-up to cult classic Beyond Good & Evil

Back in 2003, Beyond Good & Evil came out to rave reviews but didn’t sell particularly well. The quality of the game earned it a small but loyal fan base, though. This reputation grew over the years, and the welcome reception to the 2011 Full HD remaster sparked even more interest and cemented its status as a “cult classic.” Assassin’s Creed publisher Ubisoft closing out its E3 press conference with a gritty, cursing-heavy CG trailer of Beyond Good & Evil 2 is proof enough that this is a major deal.

Fans will have to wait a while, however, since no release date was set during the reveal. Signing up for the Space Monkey Program shows the game will be out on PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

Sony presents Monster Hunter World

There’s no denying how huge the Monster Hunter franchise is, especially in Asia where handheld gaming is still going strong. The series propped up the PlayStation Portable, and it switching over to the Nintendo 3DS had many handheld gamers abandoning the PlayStation Vita. The coming arrival of Monster Hunter World on PS4, Xbox One, and the PC in early 2018 could lead to a sizable chunk of the mobile gaming audience playing on those platforms, experiencing the unique thrills of Monster Hunter in Full HD glory like never before.

Nintendo announces core Pokémon game coming to the Switch

Ever since Nintendo showed off the portability of the Switch, fans have been fantasizing over the prospect of seeing all the big titles (exclusive to Nintendo’s mobile devices) get main entries, not spin-offs, on this newest hybrid console. The biggest of them all, Pokémon, was finally confirmed to have a core entry on the Switch during the company’s E3 showcase. No details have been released, but you can check the announcement yourself by watching this part of the Nintendo Spotlight video:

Nintendo teases Metroid Prime 4

The Metroid Prime trilogy on the Wii was a revelation in the early 2000s, transforming a beloved and influential 2D action platformer into a riveting FPS adventure that critics and gamers adored. However, the last installment was a decade ago, and badass heroine Samus Aran hasn’t had a good solo game since. So, of course, Nintendo dropping this teaser for Metroid Prime 4 in the middle of its E3 video presentation has caused much celebration among die-hard Metroid fans and Switch owners wanting more to look forward to in the console’s following years.

SEE ALSO: 5 of the Best Free-to-Play Console Games

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Hands-On

Huawei Mate 20 Pro Hands-on: Best phone of 2018?

Huawei outdoes itself again

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In an industry where incremental updates are the new norm, Huawei manages to wow us again — barely a year after the release of the P20 Pro. The Chinese company is back with the Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro which might just be the best among the best this year.

In this video, we go over the phones’ new designs, updated cameras, and new memory card format. We also go through the differences between the Huawei Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro.

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Features

Huawei Mate 20 vs Mate 20 Pro: What are the differences?

Price isn’t the only factor

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Huawei has once again launched two flagships phones at the same time; one comes with a Pro moniker, while the other does not. Like before, there are some significant differences between the Mate 20 pair to take note of.

While we wait to get our hands on the Porsche Design Mate 20 RS and Mate 20 X, here are the two phones we already know everything about.

Display

One obvious difference is in their displays. While the Mate 20 Pro goes for a notched 6.39-inch 1440p curved HDR OLED display — certainly a mouthful — the regular Mate 20 has a 6.53-inch 1080p RGBW HDR LCD with a much smaller notch.

The Pro model justifies the larger notch by housing a more complex camera system for secured facial recognition, but if that doesn’t matter to you, the regular variant’s Dew Drop notch may be more appealing — and definitely less intrusive.

In addition, the Mate 20 Pro’s OLED tech allows it to curve the edges and equip an in-display fingerprint scanner. It’s essentially the more modern-looking design of the pair.

Performance

Since both models have Huawei’s Kirin 980 chipset installed, pure performance is virtually identical. The Pro and non-Pro also share the same memory and storage configuration of 6GB and 128GB, respectively, although the plain Mate 20 has a more affordable 4GB memory variant available, too.

Another minor difference: The 4200mAh capacity of the Mate 20 Pro, along with the more energy-efficient OLED, provides it with potentially longer battery life than what the Mate 20’s 4000mAh capacity and LCD panel offer.

A more significant advantage for the Mate 20 Pro is its inclusion of a 40W SuperCharge adapter in the package — noticeably better than the 22.5W output of the Mate 20’s. Plus, the Pro version can charge other phones wirelessly using wireless reverse charging tech.

Cameras

Perhaps, you’ll care most about the difference in camera quality and performance. While it’s too early to make photo and video comparisons, an initial look at specs shows that the Mate 20 Pro may have an edge.

There are three modules in place for the Pro: One is a 40-megapixel main camera, another has 20 megapixels and an ultra-wide lens, and the final unit offers 8 megapixels with 3x optical zoom

As for the Mate 20, its main camera has only 12 megapixels, the ultra-wide shooter settles for 16 megapixels, and the 8-megapixel telephoto camera goes up to only 2x optical zoom.

Despite the larger notch of the Mate 20 Pro, they share the same 24-megapixel selfie camera.

Pricing and colors

This part largely depends on where you reside, but in an ideal setting, all five colors — Emerald Green, Midnight Blue, Twilight, Pink Gold, and Black — should be available for both models.

Pricing is another matter, and it again depends per region. In Europe, the Mate 20’s 4GB+128GB configuration retails for EUR 799 and its 6GB+128GB model goes for EUR 849. The Mate 20 Pro’s sole 6GB+128GB variant costs EUR 1,049, making it more expensive by EUR 250 and EUR 200, respectively.

In Singapore, the Mate 20’s 6GB+128GB setup retails for SG$ 998, while the Mate 20 Pro is at SG$ 1,348 — a difference of SG$ 350.

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Huawei Mate 20 series first to have Nano Memory Card

Could this become a trend?

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Aside from introducing a host of flagship features to the freshly minted Mate 20 series, Huawei also introduced a new memory card standard, simply named Nano Memory Card.

It’s available on both the Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro, and it effectively replaces the microSD slot we’ve become so accustomed to. The question is: What’s so special about it?

The simplest answer is that it has the same size as the nano-SIM card inside any smartphone today. Because of the identical dimensions, the secondary card slot doesn’t have to be designed differently, like what has been done for microSD cards.

In the case of the Mate 20 series, the removable card tray has back-to-back slots: one for the nano-SIM, and the other for either another nano-SIM or separate Nano Memory Card.

As of writing, Huawei will be offering 128GB and 256GB NM Cards, with speeds of up to 90MB/s. They’re hoping it’ll become the new standard, and are producing adapters for additional compatibility.

It’s certainly a more efficient way of adding physical storage to a handset, and allows manufactures like Huawei to use the saved space for other features, like a large battery.

Looking ahead, it seems only logical for other smartphone brands to follow suit, but that would mean consumers would have to buy into a whole new standard and let go of their microSD cards.

The same thing happened with the introduction of the USB-C port, wherein users had to replace their micro-USB cables for the newer, more intuitive system. It’s been a gradual process, but definitely rewarding.

It’ll take a while before we find out if this will become a trend, but for now, we should appreciate Huawei’s courage in taking the first, big step.

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