After nearly six years in development, Aliens: Fireteam finally has a release date. Now known as Aliens: Fireteam Elite, it's coming out on August 24th on Steam, PlayStation 4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S. Like in Valve's Left 4 Dead series, you'll embark on a variety of repeatable missions where you'll need to use teamwork and communication to take on the challenges before you. In all, there'll be 20 different Xenomorphs, Weyland-Yutani synthetics and other enemies, each with their own AI systems, for you and your friends to take on. Each time you jump into a mission, two other Colonial Marines will support you, and they can be played by both humans and AI bots.
It was the company's last cartridge-based home console before the switch to optical discs and it introduced players to the joys of awkwardly-placed joysticks. And of course there were the games: the jump to a 64-bit CPU meant you could now experience the worlds of Hyrule and the Mushroom Kingdom in glorious 3D. However, while Super Mario 64, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and GoldenEye 007 might be the go-to titles when talking about the Nintendo 64, the tastes of the Engadget crew run a little more off the beaten path, as evidenced by the memories our staff shared below. If there's one Nintendo 64 title I wish would make a comeback on the Switch, it's Diddy Kong Racing. I spent hours of my childhood on this game and, to this day, it's the one title that gets me to dust off my Jungle Green N64 and sit too close to the TV.
NVIDIA has launched a new app you can use to paint life-like landscape images -- even if you have zero artistic skills and a first grader can draw better than you. The new application is called Canvas, and it can turn childlike doodles and sketches into photorealistic landscape images in real time. It's now available for download as a free beta, though you can only use it if your machine is equipped with an NVIDIA RTX GPU. Canvas is powered by the GauGAN AI painting tool, which NVIDIA Research developed and trained using 5 million images. When the company first introduced GauGAN to the world, NVIDIA VP Bryan Catanzaro, described its technology as a "smart paintbrush."
Not content to be merely a Hollywood movie star, Sega's Sonic is making his way to Minecraft. Just in time for the hedgehog's 30th birthday on June 23rd, Mojang is releasing Sonic-themed DLC for its immensely popular sandbox title. The downloadable content includes a bit of everything. Fan-favorite Sonic levels like the Green Hills Zone have gotten a blocky makeover, turning them into infinite runners you can play through with your friends. Naturally, they'll be rings along the way for you and your buddies to collect as you race one another.
You can now try Brave's search engine for yourself. Brave has launched a beta Search feature both as an option in all its browsers as well as through the web for everyone else. As you'd expect, it's billed as a privacy- and transparency-oriented platform that doesn't track your activity or use "secret" algorithms to curate results. You'll eventually have the option of an ad-free version if you're willing to pay, and Brave will make Search available for other engines. The site index is independent, although Brave noted that image searches and some other features will lean on Microsoft's Bing.
Tinder is enamored with video. After giving serial daters the ability to video chat last fall, the app is now letting members add multiple clips to their profile. Starting today, users will be able to edit and upload up to nine recorded videos from their phone to their Tinder profile. This, the company says, offers members a more "authentic way to express themselves." In particular, Tinder expects its Gen Z users raised on TikTok and YouTube to take to the feature with aplomb. The demographic makes up 50 percent of its global user base.
If you haven't already bought a new gaming monitor in the online shopping chaos we like to call Prime Day, Samsung might have something to halt any rash purchases. It unveiled its latest batch of budget Odyssey gaming monitors, including a flat rather than a curved model that can do 4K at 144Hz. Unlike Samsung's curvy G9 and G7 models, the new Odyssey G7 28 (G70) has a flat panel and uses IPS rather than QLED tech, which means it won't be as bright. With HDMI 2.1 compatibility, it can do 4K resolution at up to 144Hz, so it'll support Sony's PS5 and the Xbox Series X models at 4K 120Hz with room to spare. Alas, Samsung hasn't offered prices for this, the most interesting model.
Tesla has gone all-in on vision-only autonomous driving, to the point of even phasing out radar sensors in some of its EVs. Now at a CVPR 2021 workshop, Tesla senior director of AI Andrej Karpathy has explained how it's planning to do this by using an in-house supercomputer called "Dojo," as TechCrunch has reported. Karparthy explained that with vision-only tech, computers must respond to new environments with the same speed and acuity as a human. However, doing that requires AI training on a massive dataset with a powerful supercomputer to crunch it. Tesla has one of those in house with "Dojo," a next-gen model with 1.8 exaflops of performance and 10 petabytes of NVME storage running at 1.6 terabytes per second.
Apparently, c, and that's a problem companies designing machines for household chores need to overcome. Toyota has developed a solution for the issue and has released a video demonstrating its robot wiping down tables and other surfaces -- all while taking the video itself. As the company explains, "most robots are programmed to react to the objects and geometry in front of them" and can't differentiate between an actual object and its reflection. Something as common as a drinking glass or a shiny toaster could prevent robots made to work in homes from doing their tasks properly. Toyota says it overcame that problem by developing a novel training method that allows robots to "perceive the 3D geometry of the scene while also detecting objects and surfaces." In the video, you'll see Toyota's robot seeing the 3D geometry of various elements in a house, allowing it to recognize all kinds off wipeable surfaces, like tables and counters.
The CDC and WhatsApp have teamed up on a Spanish language vaccine-finder service to help reach people who have yet to get COVID-19 vaccines. The service, called "Mi chat sobre vacunas COVID," is a chatbot that helps users find locations to get vaccinated, and find free rides to get there. Importantly, the service will also counter common misinformation about the shots, with details on side effects and why it's important to get vaccinated. That extra info is important as Latino communities in particular have been targeted by a wave of vaccine misinformation throughout the pandemic -- much of it spread via WhatsApp -- that officials say has fueled vaccine hesitancy. The chatbot is available by messaging "hola" to 1-833-636-1122 or can be accessed directly here.