AMD quietly reveals Ryzen 3 chip details with Ryzen Pro’s launch

ryzen 5

Today, AMD’s disruptive Ryzen processors stepped out of the mainstream and into the business world with the announcemnt of Ryzen Pro chips loaded with enterprise-friendly features. But the soft launch revealed interesting information for enthusiasts, too: Hard details about AMD’s yet-unreleased Ryzen 3 chips.

The only thing AMD has officially said about Ryzen 3 is that the Core i3 competitors will launch sometime in the third quarter (read: by the end of September). The Ryzen Pro launch reveals two specific chips, the Ryzen 3 Pro 1200 and Ryzen 3 Pro 1300. Both are true quad-core chips without multi-threading, packing identical 65-watt TDPs and 2MB L2/8MB L3 cache sizes. The key difference? Clock speeds. The Ryzen 3 Pro 1200 hovers between 3.1GHz and 3.4GHz, while the faster Ryzen 3 Pro 1300 rocks clocks between 3.5GHz and 3.7GHz.

The Kaby Lake Core i3 lineup tends to have higher base clock speeds, but Intel’s chips only offer two processor cores augmented by hyperthreading. Here’s an AMD-supplied graph showing how the Ryzen Pro 3 compares against the Intel Core i3-7100. Comparing the higher-end Ryzen 3 chip against Intel’s base-level Core i3 stacks the deck a bit, but it’s still illuminating. (Be sure to click the image to enlarge it and read AMD’s searing anti-Sysmark footnote.)

ryzen 3 pro performance

AMD

Ryzen 3 vs Core i3, according to AMD

[Source”timesofindia”]

Amazon Prime Day returns with longer sales and even more deals

cyber monday 7

What started as a one-time event for Amazon’s 20th anniversary is now an annual tradition. Amazon just announced that Prime Day is back for its third trip around the Internet.

The deals begin at 6 PM Pacific / 9 PM Eastern on Monday, July 10, 2017 and last for thirty hours until 2:59 AM EST on Wednesday, July 12. On the west coast, the end time is 11:59 PM Pacific on Tuesday, July 11.

Amazon is promising more than 100,000 deals across the company’s U.S. and international sites for Prime members. The retailer says there will be new deals almost every five minutes during the sales period.

For anyone who has an Alexa-enabled device, however, the bonanza starts two hours earlier on July 10 at 4 PM Pacific / 7 PM Eastern. At that time, Alexa devices will let you shop with your voice to grab some early Prime Day deals. This is the first year Prime Day will have voice shopping, Amazon says. The Prime Day voice shopping period follows the company’s first voice shopping weekend during the 2016 holiday season.

While Prime Day is still a few days away, there are some “teaser” deals you can start getting today. Amazon says it’s offering “rare deals” from its own stable of services including Audible, Amazon Music Unlimited, Prime Video, and Kindle Unlimited.

amazon stock 1 100667895 origMartyn Williams

Amazon is also building up to the shopping festivities with five days of deals prior to Prime Day. Each day the sales are based around a different theme. On Wednesday, July 5 there will be more voice shopping deals; on July 6, Amazon Music; July 7 is Amazon Video; July 8 is Everyday Essentials (Amazon’s line of gear for the home); and July 9 is Amazon Reading. During every lead-up day, Amazon will also offer deals on smartphones and Amazon devices, and products from Prime Pantry—the company’s store for groceries and other home items.

The impact on you: Amazon will offer deals on all kinds of products on its site on Prime Day, but only for members of Amazon Prime. Anyone who signs up for Prime that day can still take advantage of the sales, even if you start with the free 30-day trial. While Amazon’s first Prime Day in 2015 was roundly criticized for sub-standard offers, last year’s deals were better. They may further improve this year as Amazon determines how low it can go a few months prior to the holiday price slashing.

Stay tuned for PCWorld’s Prime Day coverage. We’ll be sifting through Amazon’s offerings and highlighting the best deals on PCs, PC accessories, games, and electronics.

[Source”timesofindia”]

Audi might ditch the Quattro for hyper-performance cars

Audi might ditch the Quattro for hyper-performance cars

With technology taking over driving, car enthusiasts are looking for ‘pure’ cars that are fast but challenging. In an attempt to win over them, Audi might ditch the Quattro all-wheel drive technology in favour of the classic front-engine rear wheel drive setup.

In terms of absolute pace, the Quattro all-wheel drive system is leagues ahead of the two-wheel drive counterparts, because it has twice as much as traction at its disposal. The latest four-wheel drive systems, paired with four-wheels steering, make cars carry mind-bending speeds through corners without any drama.

It is a known fact that very few owners of performance cars take it to its absolute limits below which, these tech marvels are a tad boring. The front-engine rear-wheel drive setup with the modern power figures is quite dangerous at high speeds but at moderate speeds, it is much livelier which seems to be the reason why Audi Is contemplating building rear-wheel drive performance cars as well.

Audi has recently renamed Quattro GmbH to Audi Sport, which comes as a precursor to the tectonic shift in Audi ideology. This move might be in the making to take on BMW and Mercedes sports cars that are still offered as rear-wheel drive only. The rear-wheel drive setups might be limited to the RS series of cars by Audi with the intermediate S series continuing with its four-wheel ways.

[Source”timesofindia”]

Akitio Node Cabinet review: Real, affordable graphics for your laptop

akitio node cabinet primary

The Akitio Node external GPU cabinet is here to give your Thunderbolt 3-equipped laptop a big boost. This affordable unit—basically, a big steel box with a 400-watt PSU and a fan in front—lets you drop in most modern AMD or Nvidia graphics cards and then connect it to a laptop using PCIe over Thunderbolt 3/USB-C.

dsc04540

Gordon Mah Ung

The Akitio features one fan for the PSU, and one in front that offers plenty of airflow.

For the most part, when it works, it’s amazingly smooth. For example, we cracked open the Node, dropped in a Founders Edition GeForce GTX 1080 Ti card, then plugged it into a HP Spectre x360 13t. Once we had the latest drivers installed from Nvidia’s website, we were off and running. As these results from 3DMark FireStrike Ultra show, the tiny HP Ultrabook gives what-for to big, giant, fast gaming laptops.

spectre x360 egpu 1080 ti firestrike ultra overall

IDG

Yes, a sub-3lbs. laptop can hang with big fat gaming laptops–if you cheat like we did.

The score you see above, however, is the overall score for 3DMark FireStrike Ultra, which also counts CPU performance. The dual-core Kaby Lake chip in the tiny HP Spectre x360 13T isn’t going to compete with the quad-cores. In the 3DMark test that includes just the graphics performance, however, you’ll see a better spread from the GTX 1080 in the giant EON17-X laptop.

Yes, there’s a good chance the limited x4 PCIe Gen 3 could rob you of some performance over what you might get if the GPU were in a desktop. In fact, the same GPU will typically score in the 7,000 range when in a full x16 PCIe Gen 3 slot. But just remember: The alternative is being stuck with the integrated graphics in the laptop, unable to game at this higher level of performance.

spectre x360 egpu 1080 ti firestrike ultra graphics

IDG

The graphics score shows you just how serious the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti is even when constrained by a x4 PCIe Thunderbolt 3 connection.

Compatibility: No guarantees

It’s pretty much a no-brainer: If the Node works with your Thunderbolt 3-equipped laptop, go for it. But that ‘if’ is a really big question. Although we think Thunderbolt 3 is wonderful, support for external graphics is still pretty spotty. The problem, we’re told by vendors: Boot support for external graphics over Thunderbolt 3 isn’t quite standardized yet. That means the list of laptops with official support is pretty minimal. As of this writing, it’s Intel’s NUC, the HP Spectre x360 13T, and Razer’s Blade and Blade Stealth. Many who have purchased it using laptops not listed by Akitio have reported success too, though.

So how do you know if your laptop supports external graphics over Thunderbolt 3? One way to do that is to check the Thunderbolt 3 utility that should appear in the system tray. Click Settings and then Details to get this pop-up. If your laptop says it supports external GPUs, then it might work.

 

[Source”indianexpress”]

 

Eleven UK sports ‘thrown under bus’ on funding call for changes

Eleven sport governing bodies are demanding an overhaul of the way Britain invests in the pursuit of Olympic and Paralympic medals.

In an unprecedented challenge to elite performance funding agency UK Sport, the group have joined forces to call for an urgent review of what they call “a two-class system that runs counter to Olympic ideals”.

National Lottery money is currently allocated on the basis of medal potential, helping to transform the country’s sporting fortunes.

But amid an athlete welfare crisis and various governance problems, UK Sport has faced mounting criticism over its approach.

The 11 sports – archery, badminton, baseball/softball, basketball, fencing, handball, volleyball, weightlifting, wrestling, wheelchair rugby and table tennis – were all left without funding when UK Sport announced its £345m plan last December.

This was despite badminton meeting its medal target at Rio 2016 and table tennis and weightlifting showing signs of progress.

Instead of UK Sport’s “no compromise” approach to picking winners, the unfunded sports want a “tiered support structure” that would guarantee every Olympic and Paralympic sport a base level of funding.

  • Huge concerns over athlete welfare – Grainger
  • Should welfare come before winning?
  • Elite funding ‘cut-throat’ – Redgrave

Incoming UK Sport chair Dame Katherine Grainger told BBC Sport she understood why the sports had taken a stand, but said: “It’s not fair to say we’re narrowly focusing on a few sports.”

The unfunded sports believe they can all be backed if UK Sport cuts the amount it spends on bringing major events to this country, its budget for getting British administrators into international federations and the £67.4m it gives to the English Institute of Sport (EIS), the organisation that provides sports-science services to most Olympic and Paralympic sports.

The EIS’s headcount has been growing and will top 300 next year, but it has taken on more responsibilities, works with the vast majority of British athletes and is considered to be a world-leading service.

Fencing at thje Rio 2016 Olympics
Fencing is just one of the 11 sports that has revolted since further cuts in funding after the London 2012 Olympics.

What do the sports say?

In a joint manifesto calling for “a new approach” to investment, the 11 sports – which include Archery GB, British Basketball, British Weightlifting, Badminton England, GB Wheelchair Rugby and Table Tennis England – all of which have suffered funding cuts – said the existing approach to National Lottery investment “has been conspicuously successful in winning medals, but has disenfranchised many of the country’s elite sportsmen and women, creating a two-class system that runs counter to Olympic ideals.

“Providing opportunities for elite British athletes in all relevant sports to compete in the Olympics and Paralympics need not run counter to the pursuit of medals, and will make the nation even prouder of TeamGB’s and ParaGB’s triumphs.

“We call on Dame Katherine Grainger to recognise the dangers inherent in the current direction of travel. We urge UK Sport to recognise that medal targets alone should not be the sole criteria for its funding.

“We believe UK Sport should adopt a revised investment model that embraces every Olympic and Paralympic sport, with a tiered support structure”.

The sports say their new approach is “readily affordable from economies within UK Sport’s support costs, and from within the English Institute of Sport. Time is pressing and debate must begin now”.

Dame Katherine Grainger ‘not surprised’ by 11 sports opposing UK Sport funding

How have funding cuts affected sports?

Adrian Christy, the chief executive of Badminton England – which lost all of its £5.74m funding from UK Sport this year in the wake of Rio 2016 – told BBC Sport: “We have a very clear view that every sport in this country matters.

“We’ve seen lots of sports that have lost their funding, we’re one of those. And as a consequence of that it’s really difficult to see how your long-term development of athletes can continue to inspire a nation. We’ve made a third of our staff redundant in the last several months, we’ve cut our performance programme in half.

“This is a demand for UK Sport to take a long hard look and say ‘are medals and medallists the only metric which investments into sports can be made?’ We don’t believe it is.”

Can UK Sport afford to change?

With Team GB winning 67 medals in Rio, and Para GB then claiming 147 medals, many are reluctant to change a system that has transformed British success since 1996 when the country finished 36th in the medal table.

But Christy disagrees.

“We are not for one second asking to take money away from sports,” he said. “The target around medals would still be the same. We believe there are opportunities for UK Sport to look within their own budgets and save money elsewhere. We’ve been thrown under a bus.

“We don’t believe the cost of funding the sports is more than 4% of the overall total pots of money of UK sport. 4% to say another 11 sports, the maths of that is about another 100 athletes in a position to represent Great Britain – and who knows, add to the medal table that we won in Rio.”

What do funding chiefs say?

GB's Katherine Grainger
Katherine Grainger is the new chair of UK Sport

Former rower Dame Katherine Grainger, who takes up her new role as chair of UK Sport on Saturday, said: “If I were in their shoes I’d be doing the same. In any organisation, you do everything you can to protect the athletes. So when that funding is cut you’d do anything to get that back.

“So calling for a review is a very realistic and credible thing to do and I’m not surprised they’ve done it now.

“There will be a review, there is every four years. Obviously, things change, the climate changes, sports change, pressure of resources changes, so that’s why it’s always worth looking at again and I’m very confident to see that it will be reviewed again, it just won’t happen instantly.”

However, Britain’s most decorated female Olympian added: “If you look at the success of Rio, then we got more medals across more sports than we’ve done before. Our actual breadth of success is growing all the time, so it’s not fair to say that we’re narrowly focusing on a few sports.

“What is fair to say is that our money is finite and it’s not stretching. As more sports are more successful, the irony is that the money can’t go as far.

“If there is anything that can be cut, but not at the expense of success, then it will be. But right now that’s the situation we’re in.

“People I’ve met in my short time here so far are really passionate about improving things, so actually if 11 sports do come and say ‘we want things done differently, is there a better way to do this?’ then actually let’s look at it.”

Ed Warner, who recently stepped down after a decade as chair of UK Athletics, said: “Winning medals is important, but more important still is winning them in the right way.

“Katherine Grainger’s arrival at UK Sport is a wonderful opportunity for her to challenge the groupthink that constrains the current system and to put in place a new funding structure that embraces all Olympic and Paralympic sports, because every one of them matters.”

But Grainger also added a cautionary tale from her own experience.

“I started rowing at a time when we kept our boats on scaffolding poles under a bridge – we didn’t have the set-up we have now. The facilities have been transformed,” she said.

“So you look not just at the medal success but at the level of support we have, the coaches, the training camps. I don’t think many athletes would like that to slip back to a stage where we just wouldn’t be competitive internationally.”

A British Olympic Association spokesperson said: “We fully understand the anxiety of those sports as they face the reality of current funding decisions.

“We are constantly looking at ways to support unfunded sports within our membership, including through the allocation of Olympic Solidarity funds to athletes where possible.

“If we are to increase third party funding of sport then we must work to protect our country’s stellar performances in the medal table, and in doing so the work of our colleagues at UK Sport in developing an acclaimed World Class Programme.”

A British Paralympic Association spokesperson said: “We are very proud of the success of the ParalympicsGB team – second in the medal table at Rio 2016 and winning medals across more sports than ever before – which has provided the inspiration not only to get more people engaged in sport but fundamentally to challenge and change attitudes to disability in society.

“We must look at the overall public funding system for sport at all levels and at what alternative streams can be developed to ensure that sports can continue to maximise their opportunity and impact.”

[Source”indianexpress”]

Monsoon Tips For You And Your Car!

The monsoons are here. And with it all the muck, floods and incessant traffic jams that we have become so used to. The monsoon is also the worst season of the year for your car as it starts to accumulate mud, dirt and of course water in all the smaller crevices and gaps which can result in rust. So here are a few tips to keep your car spic and span in the rains and also some tips and tricks to help you drive safer and to keep your car protected from all the harm that it can go through.

Protecting your car’s exterior:

The Simplest way to protect your car’s exterior is to make sure dirt and muck don’t settle on it. If you do get the time to do so, always try and wipe down or wash off all the gunk from your car’s body post driving in the rain. This will ensure that the dirt and muck gets washed off and cant stick around and in turn damage paint. Every morning too, wipe your car down to get rid of all the leaves and twigs from your car’s paint.

 

car cover in rain

(Never use a car cover in the monsoon if parking in the open)

Never use a car cover on your car if you intend to park it out in the open. While it might protect from random leaves and twigs falling on the car and while most of the water falling on the car might flow away, the cover tends to stick to the car’s body due to the moisture. When the sun is out and the car dries, the cover can stick to the car’s clear coat and can actually peel it off when the cover is removed causing irreversible damage to the paint.

 

car care monsoon tips

(Always clean the under bonnet and boot areas to clear the water drains)

Remember to always clean under the bootlid and the bonnet of your car. Frequently, leaves tend to get stuck under them which ends up clogging the water drainage gutters. The leaves can also get stuck inside door jams causing water to accumulate in crevices and causing rust which will then lead to water leaking into the interior cabin.

The underbody of the car can be protected by spraying a mixture of diesel and used engine oil. This mixture keeps moisture and dirt/grime away and can be integral to protect mechanical moving parts and the underfloor of the car from rust. The combination can also be used on the likes of the front suspension. Avoid spraying it on the engine/exhaust components due to fire hazards and on the brake discs as it can form a film that can cause loss of braking.

Applying a paint protection film is the best way to protect your paint from the effects of rain and moisture. However, these are very very expensive so as an alternative measure, you can apply a ceramic paint protection to make sure water tends to flow away. You also also use simple car wax or polish your car’s paint to make sure the water doesn’t stay on the surface and tends to flow away.

Protecting your car’s Interior:

The interior of your car takes one of the worst brunt in the monsoon. Wet and muddy shoes, wet clothes and very high level of moisture can cause the insides of your car to smell. The best way to keep the water and muck off the carpets is to use old newspapers. Newspaper absorbs water instantly and is cheap to buy too which makes it a great alternate to using cloth to clean the carpets and mats.

interior monsoon car care tips

(Use newspapers to soak up the water inside your car)

If you are going to get wet when you enter the car, the easiest way to protect your seats is to drape them with a large towel. In particular, drape the backrest and the headrest as that is what tends to get the wettest when you enter the car after getting caught out in the rain.

use a towel to cover the seats[Source”indianexpress”]

2018 Honda Jazz launched with a hybrid variant internationally

2018 Honda Jazz launched with a hybrid variant internationally

Honda recently introduced the third generation of their Jazz. And now the 2018 hatchback is being offered with a new trim and an updated safety system. The manufacturer has added a hybrid variant to the Jazz line-up which sits just below the top ‘V’ trim.

The 2018 Honda Jazz sources its power from an i-VTEC 1.5-litre engine which produces 107bhp. The hybrid variant, on the other hand, gets an added electric motor and produces a combined power output of 167bhp. The new vehicle gets a seven-speed dual clutch transmission.

The 2018 Honda Jazz, globally known as the Honda Fit, also underwent cosmetic tweaks and the manufacturer has updated the safety feature by offering the ‘Honda-sensing’ technology. A sport trim with unique styling features is another new addition to this line-up.

The 2018 Honda Jazz is expected to hit the Indian soil early next year. However, it is highly unlikely that the Honda jazz will introduce a hybrid trim for India. Nevertheless, the manufacturers will adopt its cosmetic changes and offer the new Jazz with a drivetrain similar to the current one.

 

[Source”indianexpress”]

Microsoft’s machine learning can predict injuries in sports

Microsoft is bringing its big-data knowledge to sports. Today, the company introduced its new Sports Performance Platform, an analytics system that aims to help teams track, improve and predict their players performance using machine learning and Surface technology. Created by Microsoft Garage, the group responsible for the tech giant’s offbeat innovations, the project is designed to make coaches better understand player data and find ways to turn that into actionable insights. Microsoft’s Sports Performance Platform can, for example, figure out when a player is at risk of injury, based on his or her most recent performance and recovery time.

The company says one of the main benefits to its sports analytics tool is that it’s powered by proprietary business tools such as Power BI, a cloud-based intelligence suite also used on products like Excel, as well as Azureand, of course, Surface computers. “Imagine making clutch decisions that are based on insight, rather than gut,” said Jeff Hansen, general manager of Microsoft Brand Studio. “The difference between a win or a loss can be decided by an extra five minutes of wind sprints, levels of hydration or getting to bed 30 minutes earlier the night before.”

Professional teams such as the Seattle Reign FC (US, National Women’s Soccer League) and Real Sociedad (Spain, La Liga) are already taking advantage of the Sports Performance Platform. But Microsoft says its goal is to expand beyond the pros and bring these tools to other levels, which could benefit school programs and amateur coaches and players.

While Microsoft is calling the platform an experiment right now, it is seeking “sports organizations and partners” that may be interested in being involved as it’s developed. Let’s just hope everyone who uses it doesn’t feel the same way NFL players and coaches do about the Surface on the sidelines.

[Source”indianexpress”]

A guide for buying one of Microsoft’s excellent Surface computers

Microsoft now has a variety of Surface devices that are designed to replace your laptop. There’s the Surface Book with a removable display, the Surface Pro with a kickstand, and now the new Surface Laptop that is the most traditional laptop Microsoft has ever made. I’ve been using all three extensively recently and have been able to learn the strengths and weaknesses of each. If you’re thinking about buying one of Microsoft’s Surface devices, here’s what you need to know.

SURFACE BOOK

Surface Book
Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

I reviewed the original Surface Book nearly two years ago, and while I’ve been using it as my day-to-day laptop, it’s far from perfect. Microsoft created the Book with a detachable display, and it’s something I rarely ever use. You can push a button and the display will release and transform into a large tablet. I’ve used this for taking down notes or showing friends YouTube videos, but unless you’re an illustrator, it’s not a feature you’re likely to use regularly.

Using the Surface Book as a tablet isn’t ideal, either. Battery life when detached from the base is only around three hours, and it doesn’t have a kickstand to prop it up on a desk or table. Windows 10 still lacks tablet apps, so its best for basic tasks like watching videos or browsing the web. If that’s all you want to do, then it’s fine for that, but for anything more you’ll want a dedicated tablet like the iPad.

If you stick to using the Surface Book as a laptop, you’ll have a better experience. While the display is a little wobbly and top heavy at times, the base for the keyboard is sturdy and great for writing long emails or typing out dissertations. I rarely use the touchscreen, but I do occasionally reach up and swipe away notifications, scroll a webpage, or pinch-to-zoom on a picture. A touchscreen on a laptop isn’t essential, but you’ll notice a lack of one if you get used to something like the Surface Book.

The overall dimensions of the Surface Book make it heavier and chunkier than most 13-inch laptops, so consider that if you’re looking for a lighter laptop. The bonus of this heft is the battery packed into the base and the option to get a model with an additional GPU inside. The GPU-equipped Surface Books make a big difference for if you’re using them with external monitors and apps like Photoshop, and I’ve found the battery life on the Surface Book is solid at around seven hours for mixed usage.

Full Surface Book review.

SURFACE PRO

Surface Pro (2017)
Photo by Tom Warren / The Verge

I’ve been using a Surface Pro 4 as a secondary device, mostly in my living room, for around 18 months now. Microsoft’s latest Surface Pro simply improves the internals, the Surface Pen, and introduces some minor design changes. While the Surface Pro 4’s battery life only lasts around four hours for me, the latest Surface Pro stretches to about seven hours, which is a solid improvement. It’s more of a refined Surface Pro than a wholly new generation, but Microsoft has also solved some of the fan issues that have plagued the Surface Pro 3 and Pro 4.

If you opt for the Core i5 model you’ll never hear the fans as it’s a fanless design (and it’s not a Core M chip inside), but even with the Core i7 version I’ve only heard the fans once when I was running games and apps like Photoshop on an external monitor. During regular use, I’ve never noticed the fans, which is wildly different than the Surface Pro 4 that would spin its fans up at every opportunity.

The biggest drawbacks to the Surface Pro for me are the display size and the kickstand. I’d love to use the Surface Pro as a laptop replacement, but when I’m travelling to tradeshows I find it difficult to use in my lap for long periods of time. The kickstand isn’t sturdy enough, and the keyboard has a lot of flex when it’s not seated on a table. Microsoft’s 12.3-inch screen size is just a little too small for me, and I prefer the bigger 13.5-inch displays on both the Surface Book and Surface Laptop.

Microsoft’s latest Surface Pro also includes support for an updated Surface Pen. While the Surface Pen is now sold separately, it now supports tilt for shading and is way more responsive. I’m not an illustrator, but I’ve noticed the Surface Pen is definitely more responsive compared to the Surface Pro 4.

One of the other benefits to the Surface Pro is its weight. At 2.3 pounds with the Type Cover attached, it’s barely noticeable in a bag. I do occasionally travel into the office with the Surface Pro on days when I don’t want to carry the significantly heavier 3.6 pound Surface Book.

[Source”indianexpress”]

The best video games of 2017 so far

Nintendo’s bright, brisk take on the fighting game has a range of outlandish characters engaging in lighthearted fisticuffs with customisable robotic arms. The Switch motion controllers make it a ridiculous physical workout.

Armed and dangerous
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A ridiculous workout … Arms. Photograph: Nintendo

What we said: Arms is unique, colourful, and accessible, with enough complexity to tempt a competitive scene but not so much to make anyone feel alienated.

Read the full review

Everything

(PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows, Linux, Mac OS; Double Fine)

Game designer David OReilly produced one of the most unusual video game releases of the decade with this exploration of time, space and being, all set to a soundtrack of quotes from philosopher Alan Watts.

David Oreilly’s Everything.
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A strange comfort … David OReilly’s Everything. Photograph: David Oreilly

What we said: Everything takes the strange comfort of the procedurally generated personal to a universal scale, and it is good. It’s really good. Everything is a game that knows what its core strengths are, and it does not shy away from them: everything persists, and everything is connected.

Read the full review

Gravity Rush 2

(PlayStation 4; Sony)

The acclaimed gravity manipulating sci-fi title is back with an unexpected yet welcome sequel, following lead character Kat as she swoops and falls through a stylised neon city.

Kat in Gravity Rush 2
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Reckless abandon … Kat in Gravity Rush 2. Photograph: Sony Interactive Entertainment

What we said: Gravity Rush 2 recreates the sense of reckless abandon that came when riding a bike as a child, the feeling of limitless potential combined with the intoxicating thrill of knowing that the tarmac could come up to meet you at any moment.

Read the full review

Hitman: the Complete First Season

(Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One; Square Enix)

The bald assassin returns in Io Interactive’s brilliantly designed open-world action game, in which disguise, planning and ingenuity are as important as picking the right weapon.

Hitman video game
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Return of the bald assassin … Hitman. Photograph: Square Enix

What we said: The beauty of the game is, you can play for many hours, but then see a friend try a mission and they’ll do something totally different … The game unfolds like a puzzle box and, just when you think it has finished unfolding, it reveals something new.

Read the full review

Horizon: Zero Dawn

(PlayStation 4; Sony)

Killzone developer Guerrilla Games surprised many with this gorgeous adventure following a young warrior investigating her origins on an apocalyptic Earth, dominated by hulking robot dinosaurs.

Horizon Zero Dawn
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Immensely playable romp … Horizon Zero Dawn. Photograph: Sony

What we said: Horizon: Zero Dawn is an ambitious technological showpiece for Sony’s new PlayStation Pro platform and a visual benchmark for this console generation … An immensely playable – and likeable – romp with a core combat mechanic worth the price of purchase alone.

Read the full review

Injustice 2

(PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Android, iOS; Warner Bros)

The superhero fighting game series swoops back, with an impressive cast of DC denizens including Batman, SuperGirl and Green Lantern, as well as a full-bodied campaign mode and some incredibly pyrotechnic battles.

Super-sized fighting fun ... Injustice 2
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Super-sized fighting fun … Injustice 2 Photograph: PR Company Handout

What we said: A lavish and complete package that satisfies both casual fans and fighting fanatics alike.

[Source”cnbc”]