opinion

The Best Games of 2018: God of War

The Best Games of 2018: God of War

If, at the beginning of the year, you were worried that the new God of War title was just a cynical money grab from Sony, you definitely weren’t alone. After all, the God of War series had a pretty good run back in the days of the PS2 and PS3, but it overstayed its welcome and ended up going out with the whimper that was God of War: Ascension. It wasn’t hard to imagine that Sony was simply tapping a dormant franchise to squeeze more money out of fans of the series, with no real intention of returning the franchise to its former glory. That’s just what big publishers do.

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Microsoft is winning the console war from second place

Microsoft is winning the console war from second place

It has not been a friendly console cycle for Microsoft and the Xbox One. Microsoft’s troubles began from the second it revealed the Xbox One back in 2013 - not only did the company reveal a console that seemed to put gaming last, but it also took a heavy-handed approach to digital rights management that immediately received a lot of blowback. Though Microsoft reversed many of these controversial decisions before the console launched, the damage was done.

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The Amazon smart microwave is an Alexa Trojan horse

The Amazon smart microwave is an Alexa Trojan horse

Kitchen conversations usually consist of "what time is dinner ready?" and "it's your turn to load the dishwasher," but Amazon's Alexa-powered microwave hopes to change all that. It's easy to joke at the idea of a voice-controlled appliance, certainly one which counts proactively reordering popcorn among its key talents, but the AmazonBasics Microwave is more important than you might think. For $60, it's Amazon's cunning Trojan horse for Alexa.

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The Samsung foldable phone has more questions than answers

The Samsung foldable phone has more questions than answers

Samsung is making a foldable phone but, though we've seen the screen, there remain more questions than answers about the Android device and the market for others like it. Previewed at Samsung's opening keynote at its annual developer conference, SDC 2018, the heavily-disguised handset was more about showing off Samsung Display's flexible AMOLED technology than making a pitch to phone buyers themselves.

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The Samsung foldable phone needs to explain “why” not just “how”

The Samsung foldable phone needs to explain “why” not just “how”

If the rumors and teasing is true, Samsung is about to show us its long-anticipated foldable smartphone. Variously known as the Galaxy X or, more recently, the Galaxy F, the folding phone is expected to make its debut - or at least get a preview - at Samsung's Developer Conference on Wednesday in San Francisco, CA. The question is, has Samsung got more than a hardware showcase for us?

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It’s okay to be disappointed with Diablo Immortal

It’s okay to be disappointed with Diablo Immortal

It was an interesting weekend for Blizzard, its fans, and the Diablo series. On Friday, Blizzard revealed Diablo Immortal, a new game set between Diablo 2 and Diablo 3 that'll be available exclusively on iOS and Android. Fans, in short, weren't pleased by this announcement, and the blowback began almost immediately, with one BlizzCon attendee now-famously asking during a panel that took place almost immediately following the announcement if Immortal was some kind of "out-of-season April Fools joke."

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I love the MacBook but it’s getting lost

I love the MacBook but it’s getting lost

Creatives have a shiny new iPad Pro, while MacBook Air die-hards have an all-new Retina model, but where does that leave the 12-inch MacBook? Apple's thinnest, lightest laptop has been controversial from day one, its single USB-C port and low-profile keyboard forcing some not-insignificant compromises in return for its extreme portability.

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The winning iPhone strategy is shifting to Mac and iPad

The winning iPhone strategy is shifting to Mac and iPad

Apple tested its strategy out on the iPhone, took a risk, and it paid off: now, it’s the turn of the Mac - and specifically the new MacBook Air - to go next. For long-time MacBook Air fans, the late-2018 update to the ultraportable addressed a lot of complaints. Faster processors, more storage, and a Retina display all checked off boxes long-overdue. However there was one change we were hoping not to see.

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Five electric cars I’m surprised don’t exist yet

Five electric cars I’m surprised don’t exist yet

Electrification is in fashion now, but there’s still plenty of room for EVs to catch up with their gas-burning brethren. While Tesla may have led the charge in electric luxury, while Nissan, Chevrolet, and others have focused on the entry-level, the pickings are still rich for vehicles taking advantage of electric motors’ instantaneous torque, zero emissions, and design flexibility.

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The iPhone XR has one big dealbreaker

The iPhone XR has one big dealbreaker

On the face of it, the iPhone XR knocks it out the park. The same style as an iPhone XS, a bigger display, a broader range of colors, and no real compromise on performance - and all for $250 less. It sounds too good to be true and, unfortunately, it maybe is.

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For Pixel 3, bigger isn’t better

For Pixel 3, bigger isn’t better

Bigger isn't always better, and in the case of the Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, it's the smaller of the two smartphones that has my vote. Both smartphones share much the same feature-set, including Google's tremendous computational camera system. Indeed, it's that parity of talents which makes the Pixel 3 all the more appealing.

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I’m no notch-hater but jeez, this Pixel 3 XL

I’m no notch-hater but jeez, this Pixel 3 XL

I'm not a notch hater. Honestly, I'm a little surprised that that's a sentence you can say in 2018 and have it relate to an actual controversy in the tech world, but nobody said this year would make any sense. Anyway, I don't have an instant revulsion to phone display notches, but I have to say, I'm not feeling the Pixel 3 XL's screen right now.

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