One of the most traditional annual technology events, CES 2020 officially begins this Sunday in Las Vegas, United States, starting the industry calendar with the promise of a flood of products, gadgets and technology news.
A meeting point for companies such as Amazon, Intel, LG, Lenovo, Microsoft, Google, Samsung, Sony and more, the convention – as in previous years – should have a mix of current technologies, including 8K TVs and other home products, and medium and long term innovations such as 5G and autonomous cars. Of course, with one or two surprises along the way.
5G (once again)
At this point, the 5G is no surprise at CES. The next generation of mobile connectivity has been discussed for a few years and its first commercial deployments have started around the world in countries such as the United States. By 2020, however, the expectation is that the 5G networks will finally arrive, which will become more tangible for end users. In practice, that means one thing: new 5G smartphones.
CES is not traditionally known as an event marked by the launch of smartphones. Major manufacturers often save their ads for other times of the year, such as the Mobile World Congress (MWC) or for their own events.
Still, there is always the expectation that one company or another will decide to anticipate an announcement to take advantage of the spotlight under CES and showcase some product. Another possibility is for small or midsize companies to unveil gadgets or services related to 5G, also expecting to draw attention during the convention.
Next generation TVs
Unlike smartphones, televisions are at home at CES. The Las Vegas event is traditionally where companies introduce their new TVs – whether they are market-ready models or conceptual designs. Recent examples of this were The Wall, Samsung’s modular MicroLED wall-to-wall television, and LG’s folding television, which can be completely hidden by curling into furniture that resembles a side table.
With this year’s next-generation consoles from Sony and Microsoft expected to arrive this year, more 4K HDR TVs are expected to be featured, as well as models that can play 120Hz content.
As usual, 8K televisions should also be fun and showy at the event, but they still have the status of niche technologies – far from reality for the overwhelming majority of consumers. And with the promise from Microsoft and Sony that their consoles will also play 8K content, it is possible that these TVs will gain more popularity, but it is too early to predict any kind of mass adoption.
Autonomous, electric and flying cars
A few years ago, the auto industry made CES their home when it came to presenting industry news. With constant advancement of electric cars and vehicle automation technologies, companies such as General Motors, Aston Martin, Fiat, Honda and Jeep are confirmed attendances this year. Electric vehicles should continue to be the focus of automakers this year, but technologies that bring more comfort and convenience to the driver will also be in the spotlight – including artificial intelligence systems.
Another trend that is already confirmed at CES 2020 is flying cars – hailed as the next frontier for urban mobility, prototype flying cars have already been shown in past editions of CES and will continue to appear. Among the confirmed models this year is Hyundai’s Personal Air Vehicle (PAV) concept flying car.
Daily life assistants everywhere
Home automation has been a recurring theme at CES for a few years. With the advancement of home wirelss connectivity and evolving connected devices, the dream of the connected home – capable of making life easier by automating everyday tasks – continues to be sold by the companies participating in the event.
Google and Amazon already have confirmed attendance at the conference, so it would come as no surprise that CES 2020 will bring a flood of products with the Wizard and Alexa shipped. From smart speakers to appliances, washing machines to smart home hubs, partners of the two tech giants should show it all.
Ninja gets skin on Fortnite in new update
Tyler “Ninja” Blevins will have his own skin in Fortnite. The streamer made the announcement on Wednesday morning (15) on a broadcast on his Mixer channel. The item is part of the Icon Series, which already has the Marshmello and Major Lazer skins. According to the player, the news comes to the game on Thursday (16), along with the 11.4 update, the first of 2020 at Epic Games Battle Royale. Nevertheless, the skin is only available for three days, leaving the game catalog as early as the 19th.
The character’s look was praised by the streamer. The skin features spiky hair, a blue jacket and hood, and black pants. “(The skin) looks like me,” commented Ninja during the broadcast. Other news involving the player has also come to Battle Royale: an emote, a blingback and a pick are available to the player who purchases the item. You can even vary between four skin customizations.
The title developer plans to release more such items, bringing real-world personalities into the game. Loserfruit and TheGrefg, for example, are also confirmed by Epic Games.
We're bringing the artistic vision, personality and attitude of our top creators to Fortnite with the Icon series, starting with @Ninja!
This is just the beginning of gaming, music, film, and fashion colliding in Fortnite.
Read more here: https://t.co/iIV9SHq3zM
— Fortnite (@FortniteGame) January 15, 2020
Fortnite Update 11.4 also features a new weapon side rank feature. In non-competitive matches, the player may “set aside” the assault rifle as a heavy assault rifle, which returns in this patch. Now it will also be possible to upgrade the rarity of weapons early in the game. New items have also been added, such as the Flint-Knock pistol and the Shockwave and Impulse grenades.
Funds are already nearing the end of Fortnite’s first season, Chapter 2, which began in October last year. The next one is scheduled to start in February, and should bring news such as map changes, battle pass and new item releases.
How to get Ninja skin in Fortnite?
Ninja’s skin will be in store for a limited time, however, and availability will cease once it is removed. The skin will be removed three days later, on January 19.
Ninja’s partnership is part of a new Icons series in which Epic Games collaborates with musicians, artists, movies, fashion and more to bring themed experiences to Fortnite. Past collaborations included Marshmello and Major Lazer. Epic has also confirmed that YouTube creators Loserfruit and The Grefg are future collaborations of the Icons series.
Most anticipated games of 2020: The Last of Us Part II
Talking about the most anticipated games of 2020 and not quoting The Last of Us Part II doesn’t really match. The sequel produced by Naughty Dog is one of the most anticipated titles for those who played the first The Last of Us in 2013 – and I dare say, maybe even for those who didn’t play it either.
It seems that Naughty Dog will use its best weapon, that is, an emotionally drawn narrative and attention-grabbing multidimensional characters to deliver the desired sequence. After all, everything the producer has presented about the game so far focuses on these aspects.
This time, the deuteragonist of the first game, Ellie, is the one that gets the most prominence. And her personal journey for revenge will possibly help her discover more about her own origins – or so the community has been speculating for months.
Of course Joel, the protagonist of the first game, is also back, but the spotlight seems to rest on the young woman in the sequence. And in addition to a very emotional and cinematic storyline, The Last of Us Part II will feature new gameplay.
It will be possible to jump between small spans, dodge threats and even block some attacks. Crawling to escape the enemy’s field of view is also new. Ellie will also be able to focus on three different types of skills (Survival, Manufacturing and Stealth) and listening, the mechanics of the first game, is back in continuation.
The young woman will primarily use a bow and arrow, but may use heavier knives and firearms as well. And besides, there will be new enemies.
So far, we know that Jackson County in Wyoming and Hillcrest in Seattle are among the settings of The Last of Us Part II. However, the question remains: will we ride in various areas and cross the United States, as in the first game?
So far, only Ellie’s purpose has been publicized, and it’s basically a revenge that will unleash an unbridled trail of blood of violence – something that will even force Joel to try to help her, for better or for worse.
However, what or who exactly causes this uncontrollable thirst for revenge on Ellie? What about your relationship with Joel after the end of the first The Last of Us? Are they on good terms?
What will Ellie discover by chasing the group of fanatics known as the Seraphites? There are a lot of questions and, it seems, the game will stir the players’ emotions again.
What do I look forward to most in The Last of Us Part II? Multifaceted and captivating characters (either positively or negatively); social, political and even environmental issues; and a narrative full of conflicts and reflections along the way.
At the same time, other than a replay of the first game, Naughty Dog seems to be whimsically experimenting with new mechanics, enemies and locations – and who knows what else the producer is hiding up its sleeve…?
What to expect from Xbox in 2020?
If you need to recognize something about Microsoft in recent years, it’s that they worked hard. The current generation of consoles has been dominated by the PlayStation 4, which has taken advantage of the public’s rejection of the initial Xbox One concept and has emerged as the market leader, selling over 100 million units in about 6 years.
There are no official Xbox One sales figures, but the console is thought to have roughly half of its main rival’s sales – not necessarily a bad figure, but still below its predecessor, the Xbox 360.
But it must be admitted that, in a difficult situation, Microsoft’s gaming division, which was now headed by Phil Spencer, did not stand still, making several decisions not only reactive to what Sony was doing, but making its own. proposals and concepts to expand and revitalize the brand.
In the console area itself, Microsoft has reiterated and improved Xbox One with several new versions, including a significantly more powerful Xbox One X. For example, unlike the management of their predecessor, Don Mattrick, Spencer and their team worked to implement a backward compatible system for Xbox One, capable of running not only Xbox 360 games and the original Xbox.
Xbox has also firmly embraced the policy of offering services to its consumers, with its big asset being the Xbox Game Pass, which allows subscribers to access a revolving catalog full of great games (most recently including GTA V), plus discounts for anyone who wants to. buy the game before it is removed from the program.
Game Pass also serves as a showcase for its main titles, making its great exclusive available to the program’s subscribers. And considering the company’s major studio acquisitions in recent years, including Playground Games (Forza Horizon), Ninja Theory (Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice) and Obsidian Entertainment (The Outer Worlds), this showcase should only get more flashy going forward.
Microsoft also seems to want to “decentralize” the Xbox public association as just a console: for a few years now, Microsoft has come back to value the PC market. Game Pass has its own desktop version, and exclusives like Gears 5 and Halo: Reach (part of the Master Chief Collection) are in its catalog.
More than that, in some cases, Xbox has made occasional alliances with potential rivals to expand its brand, such as selling its games on Steam and even porting titles like Ori and the Blind Forest and Cuphead for the Nintendo Switch.
It wasn’t a perfect way – Scalebound’s cancellation still hurts many people’s hearts – but Microsoft has prepared significant ground for the future. And by 2020, there is a chance to make a big splash in the competition.
The power of the new console is still officially unknown, but the trailer above gives us an idea of what can be done with a platform compatible graphics engine, and they are downright impressive. Microsoft has also indicated that it will be backwards compatible with generations past its release, and it seems that it will even run more than one game at a time.
The Xbox Series X arrives in late 2020, and will have as its flagship product Halo Infinite, whose mission is to revitalize the franchise after the warm reception of Halo 4 and Halo 5. But the game will also be available for Xbox One. and for PC, stressing that the name “Xbox” is not limited to one machine.
In addition, a classic franchise, Flight Simulator, will also return in style for all three platforms.
It is expected that Microsoft is hiding some cards up its sleeve, which should be revealed (expected) during E3 2020, but at this point, considering all the work of the games division, it is quite possible to imagine that Xbox end the year in a promising way.