All posts in “Gaming”

Nintendo’s bringing DIY robots and more to the Switch using cardboard

[embedded content]

Nintendo’s big new surprise interactive experience for the Switch is now official, and it’s basically a maker kit for the portable console which uses cardboard component pieces to allow people to build a range of different creations and play with them using the console to power games that interact with the DIY components.

NintendoLabo is like a next-level Lego, with kits that let you do things like build working pianos that interact directly with Switch software, and even make your own robots. Nintendo shows off an interactive fishing game with a real, built-it-yourself cardboard fishing rod you can use to catch stuff in-game, and a rolling bot you can remote control with the Switch’s touchscreen, as just a couple fo examples.

It actually looks super fun, and there’s a a variety kit and a robot kit coming out on April 20, 2018, with pricing starting at $69.99, which seems like a deal for the level of interactivity and creativity that’s available with these things. The Labo kits include all the cardboard pieces you need to build the projects they contain, as well as the Switch software necessary to run the interactive digital elements.

Nintendo is also selling Labo customization kits for $10 that will ship at the same time, and provide stencils, stickers and tape that allow you to customize the creations so that your cardboard robot backpack looks different from everyone else’s cardboard robot backpack.

Kudos to Nintendo for once again ignoring the well-trod ground of putting more silicon and tech behind their gaming console ambitions, and instead striking out into the unknown of the weird and wacky. This looks like a real good time, and one that won’t necessarily result in a huge new source of waste plastic after people move on to the next thing.

Yesojo’s Nintendo Switch projector dock is a dream accessory

[embedded content]

The Yesojo Nintendo Switch projector dock got a lot of attention when we covered the launch of its crowdfunding campaign last year, but at CES, it was on display and working, with the company ready to ship to its early backers. We got to spend some time with the portable projector, which gives your Switch a high-resolution screen you can take with you anywhere – and we came away very impressed.

The Yesojo is barely larger than the official Nintendo Switch dock itself, and very similar in terms of how the actual dock component works, so there’s no learning curve. It has a 200 lumen digital projector built-in, which is roughly equivalent to around 2,000 lumen with a lamp-powered home unit in terms of brightness. Even in the CES hall lights, it was perfectly playable, and you can imagine how good it would look in dark lighting conditions.

Built-in to the projector is a battery with enough capacity to give you around four hours of play time – and the battery is actually charging up the Switch the whole time it’s in operation, so even when it runs out you can undock the Switch and play for hours more that way.

The Yesojo also features a built-in speaker that’s surprisingly powerful and clear in terms of output, and really fills a room – again, even when competing with ambient conference hall sound.

Finally, the Yesojo also has input for other HDMI devices so that you can use it with things beyond the Switch, making it an extremely versatile travel accessory both for work and play.

As mentioned, the Yesojo is going to begin shipping soon, and it retails for $369. It’s a great accessory for the Switch, and a good deal for a portable projector that works with all your devices, and that also ships with a USB-C adapter in the box. The dock itself can charge easily using the original Switch adapter, too, so you only need one cable.

It sounded like it was potentially too good to be true when the project was first announced, but now that we’ve had some time with it, it lives up to its potential – and more. We’re going to be putting it through its paces for a full, extended review soon, but based on what we saw at CES, this will be a very in-demand add-on for Switch fans.

Kolibree Magik toothbrush lets kids play with augmented reality while they brush

Augmented reality is slowly seeping into our everyday lives. It’s not just for snaps and video games anymore. Case in point: a new kids toothbrush with AR. 

French company Kolibree announced at CES 2018 a smart toothbrush that uses AR to make brushing teeth fun for kids. 

The device is paired with a motion-tracking app that uses your smartphone’s front-facing camera to put your kid right in the middle of the fun. It comes with a phone stand, so your kids don’t have to worry about holding up a phone while they brush. 

[embedded content]

Kids can choose from 15 different games, featuring pirates, princesses, monsters, and a whole cast of fantasy characters. 

In one version, kids are tasked with shooting a monster who is spreading cavities across the land. As it runs around the screen, the child in turn moves the toothbrush around her mouth to shoot it. 

The toothbrush also allows parents to monitor their children’s brushing habits. They’ll see how many times a day their kids are brushing, how fast, and for how long. 

Oh, and you don’t need to stress about over-brushing: The app can only be used three times per day. 

Another interesting feature: It teaches kids to brush. The Magik toothbrush app offers kids guidance on where to brush, how thoroughly to brush, and how long to stay in each spot. 

This is not Kolibree’s first go at a smart toothbrush. The company released Ara, a toothbrush that uses artificial intelligence to track oral health and encourage healthy brushing habits, in early 2017. 

Magik will launch later this year for under $30. That’s significantly more than your average toothbrush, but you get the brush, the mobile game, the stand, and a much happier kid for that price. 

Check out more of our CES 2018 coverage here.

Https%3a%2f%2fblueprint api production.s3.amazonaws.com%2fuploads%2fvideo uploaders%2fdistribution thumb%2fimage%2f80737%2f2fbd52d5 88fc 4302 89eb 1f3eddf5c751

Nintendo announces raft of new and retro titles for Switch (plus new Mario outfits)


The Switch is getting a bevy of new games that should appeal to a broad variety of players, Nintendo announced today in one of its “Direct” videos. A new Mario Tennis game, updates to Odyssey, some classics and indies, and perhaps most unexpectedly, Dark Souls: Remastered.

The deepest fan-pleaser cut has to be The World Ends With You, a quirky DS cult hit with a great soundtrack and great modern aesthetic. Many a fan has asked for a remake or port, and they are surely crying tears of delight today.

The impeccable Super Mario Odyssey gets a new competitive game mode and an appearance by the well-known plumber’s too frequently ignored brother. Luigi hosts Balloon World, where you’re given 30 seconds to hide a balloon somewhere on a stage, or find one that someone else has hidden. No doubt 999-star power players will find ways to put these in absurdly hard to reach areas.

Luigi also appears (alongside all the usual suspects) in the new Mario Tennis Aces, which is pretty much what you’d expect. The story mode looks like it’ll be fun, though I doubt it will touch the fondly remembered Power Tour on GBA. (If you want a spiritual sequel to that, try Golf Story. Wrong sport, right feel.)

I personally am looking forward to playing action JPRG Ys VIII, the beautiful and musical Fe, and mega-hard pixelly platformer Celeste, which has been given a few easier modes for people who don’t want bite marks on their controllers.

While I’ll probably end up replaying Dark Souls: Remastered on PC to get the maximum effect of the redone art, it’s nice to know that Nintendo is looking to court games and developers generally preferred by more hardcore types.

Check out the rest of the Nintendo announcements (with groan-worthy narrated clips) at the Direct page.

Razer’s Project Linda concept transforms the Razer Phone into a laptop

Pop the Razer Phone into the Project Linda laptop dock and, boom, you've got a real laptop. Sorta.
Pop the Razer Phone into the Project Linda laptop dock and, boom, you’ve got a real laptop. Sorta.

Image: michelle yan/mashable

Gaming company Razer stunned everyone with its Batman-worthy triple-screen laptop concept at CES last year, and now it’s back with another laptop concept, this time for Razer Phone owners.

Dubbed “Project Linda,” the clamshell device is the latest attempt at mobile and laptop convergence.

The idea isn’t new: Slot your Razer Phone into the clamshell dock and transform it into a 13-inch laptop with full-sized keyboard and touchscreen. It is, however, the smoothest and sleekest implementation of this concept created.

Devices like the original Motorola Atrix 4G laptop dock and PadFone, both released in 2011, tried their best to make laptop and tablet docks for phones a thing. But they were ahead of their time.

Past failures be damned, Razer’s making its own version and it doesn’t look half bad. Closed, Project Linda looks like Razer’s Blade gaming laptops. It’s pretty thin, too at 0.59-inches. 

But open it up and you’ll see there’s a huge hole where you’d normally find a trackpad.

The Razer Phone docked into Project Linda.

The Razer Phone docked into Project Linda.

Image: MICHELLE YAN/MASHABLE

That’s because your Razer Phone becomes the laptop’s trackpad when you slip it. The most satisfying part is how the phone is inserted in. You press a button in the upper left corner of the trackpad, which then slides a retracted USB-C plug into the phone’s port — complete with a really pleasing mechanical switch sound. It’s just the kind of detail you’d expect from a Razer concept.

The keyboard is surprisingly tactile with good travel for all the keys.

The keyboard is surprisingly tactile with good travel for all the keys.

Image: michelle yan/mashable

There are two modes for Project Linda. The phone’s Android home screen can be mirrored onto the 13.3-inch full HD display (Razer’s shooting to make it a touchscreen, but it was a non-touchscreen version on the prototypes) or accessed in desktop mode, which gives you an interface that’s similar to Chrome OS or Windows 10.

All of the Project Linda laptop docks I tried out were pre-production concept prototypes so they were pretty buggy (the Razer Phone as a touchpad was laggy and janky), but the keyboard felt very tactile, the screen was bright and vibrant, and Android apps ran alright.

VAINGLORY RUNNING ON PROJECT LINDA DIRECTLY FROM THE RAZER PHONE.

VAINGLORY RUNNING ON PROJECT LINDA DIRECTLY FROM THE RAZER PHONE.

Image: BRIAN WONG/MASHABLE

This being a Razer device, modeled after the Blade laptops, the keyboard is tricked out with the company’s signature Chroma keyboard. So you can customize the keys to some 16 million colors or have it play different effects like spectrum and ripple, which display a rainbow hue of colors and flashing effect, respectively.

Razer had one model running Vainglory that was connected to a Bluetooth mouse and it was a decent experience if you ignored the bugginess and crashes.

Razer hasn’t provided any details on battery life or how much Project Linda will cost (if it even is released commercially). For all we know, Project Linda may never see the light of day.

Still, the concept device is intriguing and if there’s any company that can make you care about a laptop dock for your Razer Phone, it’s Razer.

Https%3a%2f%2fblueprint api production.s3.amazonaws.com%2fuploads%2fvideo uploaders%2fdistribution thumb%2fimage%2f82712%2f2c16432e 4a1a 4501 988f cc49f7555e5f