opinion

It’s time to stop pre-ordering video games (again)

It’s time to stop pre-ordering video games (again)

Another controversy swept the gaming industry recently. If you missed it, I’m not sure how, but just in case you did, here’s a quick rundown: Electronic Arts and DICE crossed a line for many gamers yet again, tying Star Wars: Battlefront 2’s progression system to a loot box feature that is unquestionably too greedy. The response from players was quick and brutal, causing EA’s PR team to go into crisis mode.

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3 iPhone X facts that made me #TeamNotch

3 iPhone X facts that made me #TeamNotch

Not since Apple ditched the headphone jack has a Cupertino design decision been so controversial as the iPhone X's notch. The unusually-shaped OLED screen on the flagship smartphone is still dividing opinion, months after we saw it for the first time. After living with the iPhone X for a few weeks, however, I've been swayed over to #TeamNotch for a few key reasons.

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How TrueDepth could make Apple’s AR headset actually work

How TrueDepth could make Apple’s AR headset actually work

Apple is working on an augmented reality headset, and I would be very surprised if the TrueDepth camera wasn't inside. Teams inside the Cupertino company are reportedly busy building a new rOS "reality operating system," the custom system-on-a-package chipset to run it, and the hardware to build around that under the codename "T288." Just as tricky as actually making an AR wearable that isn't utterly dorky, though, is figuring out how wearers will actually interact with it.

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It’s time to buy a Nintendo Switch

It’s time to buy a Nintendo Switch

When a new console launches, there's always a period immediately afterward where many gamers sit on their money and wait for that console to become worth a buy. The time following launch can be a defining period for a console - if it achieves wide appeal, that attracts more developers to support the young platform and increases its value. If, on the other hand, it only manages a niche or small appeal, growth can flounder and scare developers away.

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I love this iPhone X Face ID feature – but it could be better

I love this iPhone X Face ID feature – but it could be better

The internet may be obsessed with Animoji karaoke right now, but the iPhone X's Face ID has captured my attention - no pun intended - in another way. The TrueDepth camera is at the root of some of the most controversial elements of the iPhone X, its presence forcing the notched display and ousting the apparently beloved Touch ID fingerprint sensor, for example. Still, as I'm living with the iOS smartphone day to day, I'm growing increasingly convinced that those compromises were worth it.

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Pixel 2 XL screen saga keeps getting worse

Pixel 2 XL screen saga keeps getting worse

The Pixel 2 XL is still making headlines, but not for the reasons Google was hoping for. The early wave of generally glowing reviews may have given the Android smartphone a good start, but as devices reach buyers there are big, ominous concerns being raised about Google's choice of display. Right now, there are three big problems the Pixel 2 XL faces, and one awkward question.

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We need to talk about the Polestar 1

We need to talk about the Polestar 1

Until now, Polestar has been relying on "I didn't expect a Volvo to drive like this!" to stand out in the auto industry. This week, we got to see the next act for the newly-established EV automaker. The Polestar 1 may have relatively tiny production numbers in mind - just 500 cars per year - but it stands a chance of starting some big dominos toppling.

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Are you still excited about iPhone X?

Are you still excited about iPhone X?

Buying a new smartphone can feel like a game of Russian roulette. Sure, in most tech segments there's that sneaking suspicion that "something great" is just around the corner, but none is so cutthroat and fast-paced as the phone industry. For once, though, if you've been holding out for Apple's new flagship, you've had the chance to see the main competition. That leads me to one big iPhone X question.

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Pixel 2 XL: A word of display warning

Pixel 2 XL: A word of display warning

If you're in the market for an Android smartphone the new Google Pixel 2 should be on your shortlist, but there's something you should know first. Google has two versions of the Pixel 2, the regular 5-inch model and a Pixel 2 XL with a 6-inch display. While they share the same name, and the same design language, in some key ways they're very different phones.

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Don’t underestimate the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus

Don’t underestimate the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus

Any other year, the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus would feel, well, magical. Apple's two new smartphones address some long-standing complaints from iPhone owners, like including wireless charging support; they look sleek, have improved cameras, and borrow clever screen technology from the iPad Pro. Of course, this year there's a shadow looming over both new handsets.

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The $2,000 iPhone is coming

The $2,000 iPhone is coming

Like many, I was unsurprised and generally unmoved by the iPhone X. We can blame leaks for that. The event wasn’t exciting, and judging by the opening which brought us words from Steve Jobs’ that had never been made public, it’s clear Apple wanted it to be. Instead, we got exactly what we expected, save for one small detail. Apple is framing the iPhone X as the blueprint for mobile tech moving forward. On a hardware level, that’s great. Elsewhere, that’s a problem.

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Take it from an HTC fan: this Google deal won’t help

Take it from an HTC fan: this Google deal won’t help

I'm an HTC fan, but I can't say I'm impressed by the company's billion dollar deal with Google. The phone-maker has been instrumental in many of the most pivotal moments in modern smartphone history, producing some of my favorite devices in the process. I've also found myself at times being one of the company's more vocal critics, though, and for all HTC's attempts to spin this deal with Google as a win-win for all, I'm not convinced.

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