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USATODAY - Tech Top Stories


Video games for all seasons: Microsoft and Nintendo reveal upcoming releases

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Much of the country is reopening as concerns about the coronavirus pandemic lessen, but video game makers have a message: If you want to stay inside, we can keep you entertained. Publishers and developers big and small unveiled video games in the pipeline for the rest of 2021 and 2022 during the Electronic Entertainment Expo, which ran Saturday to Tuesday (June 12-15). Even before that, during the Summer Games Fest kickoff on June 9 we learned that "Elden Ring," the much-awaited collaboration between Game of Thrones creator George R.R. Martin and From Software, makers of games such as "Dark Souls" and "Bloodborne," had a release date of Jan. Microsoft showed off Xbox games including "Psychonauts 2," coming out in August, "Forza Horizon 5" (November), "Halo Infinite," scheduled for later this year, and games such as "Redfall" and "Starfield," from Bethesda Softworks' studios coming in 2022. And the software giant stressed the advantage of its Xbox Game Pass, emphasizing the slew of games that will be available on the subscription service. 'Madden NFL 22':Tom Brady, Patrick Mahomes on video game cover, but inside are new realistic tweaks Nintendo showcased "Mario Golf: Super Rush," coming to Nintendo Switch on Friday, and revealed a new Metroid game called "Metroid Dread," out in October. There was also an update on the sequel to "The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild," scheduled for 2022.


Is Kirby the best Super Smash Bros character? USA TODAY staff sounds off

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Nintendo recently hosted Nintendo Direct live stream during the Electronic Entertainment Expo, revealing several video games coming to the company's popular video game console. Among the announcements, the company revealed the character Kazuya of "Tekken" fame is the latest brawler to step into battle as a new character in the fighting game Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. However, Nintendo didn't specify when Kazuya would make its Smash Bros. debut. In honor of the announcement, we asked USA TODAY staffers to give us their favorite Smash Bros. character main. He's from my favorite Legend of Zelda franchise game: "Ocarina of Time," and made his Smash debut in Super Smash Brothers Melee.


5 insider tech travel hacks you'll use every single trip

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Every summer, I get the travel itch. Before you head out, make sure your home is locked down. The bad news is security cameras, from video doorbells to a full-fledged security system, aren't always hack-proof out of the box. Tap or click here for the steps to make sure only you can access your security and video doorbell camera's feed. Speaking of cameras, best check your rental for any hidden cameras.


'Madden NFL 22': Tom Brady, Patrick Mahomes on video game cover, but inside are new realistic tweaks

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

The quarterbacks who competed in Super Bowl 2021 are facing off again – on the cover of the upcoming "Madden NFL 22" video game. Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Tom Brady and the Kansas City Chiefs' Patrick Mahomes both appear on the cover of the game, due out Aug. 20 ($69.99, for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/SX; $59.99, for PS4, Xbox One, PCs and Google Stadia). They are the most-recent two Super Bowl MVPs, though Brady won the big game in February. It's a rarity for Madden NFL to have two players on the cover, though in 2010, the video game series featured Super Bowl XLIII participants Larry Fitzgerald of the Arizona Cardinals and Troy Polamalu of the Pittsburgh Steelers as co-cover athletes. Brady and Mahomes have each appeared previously on the Madden NFL cover; Brady in 2018, Mahomes in 2020.


Nintendo Switch has impending 'Metroid Dread' game coming in October

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

'Metroid Dread,' a video game coming to the Nintendo Switch in October, brings to a close a 35-year story arc for franchise heroine Samus Aran.


With 'Metroid Dread,' Nintendo Switch addresses space warrior video game's past and future

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Mario may be Nintendo's standard-bearer, but Samus Aran of the "Metroid" games is getting her own chance to headline. And it's the first new story in the series in 19 years to play in 2D, picking up after "Metroid Fusion," released in 2002 for the Game Boy Advance handheld. "Metroid Dread" pays homage to that game with its side-scrolling heritage that goes back to the first installment in the series, "Metroid," from 1986. Samus moves fast and fluidly runs, jumps, slides and climbs through lush landscapes with detailed 2.5D backgrounds. A new power, the Spider Magnet, allows the character to climb walls and stick to ceilings like Spider-Man.


Kids into Minecraft, Fortnite and Roblox this summer? Get in the game with them, parents

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

In this fledgling, post-pandemic world of almost-summer 2021, there are a million reasons to worry about your kids playing video games. What if they get addicted, see too much violence, or talk with some super creepy stranger online? Screen time soared for every age group during the pandemic, but most notably, it shot up as much as 500% for some children and teens. It's about another trend that evolved out of those countless hours we were all stuck in our own bubbles over the past year-plus: Parents learned to play video games with their kids, and good things happened as a result. "Teaching my mom and dad to play (Rocket League) last winter was a turning point for us," 15-year old high school sophomore Collin Blewett explained over the phone. "It was kind of a best-case, fairytale time that I never expected," he added.


Nintendo at E3 2021: How to watch Tuesday's Nintendo Direct live stream

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Is this finally the time we hear about a new Nintendo Switch? On Tuesday, Nintendo will host a Nintendo Direct live stream during the Electronic Entertainment Expo, with announcements on video games coming to the company's popular video game console. However, all eyes are on rumors of an updated Nintendo Switch, which would reportedly include 4K support and an improved screen. Matti Littunen, equity analyst at AllianceBernstein, said it's possible we don't see a new Nintendo Switch device until at least next year. "Sales are still strong and the transition to the new gen has been slowed down," he said.


Have you seen the cartoonish photos? Here's what to know about the latest face-changing app

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Large eyes, soft lines and vibrant coloring: You, too, can look like a character straight out of a Disney movie. The Voilà AI Artist app has taken social media by storm by providing users with AI-powered photo filters. But what happens to those images once uploaded to the web? Users can upload or take a photo, pick a mode and then save the image or upload it to social media. Voilà also has a feature that modifies images specifically of celebrities and offers a subscription service at $3 on iOS and $2 on Android a week, which eliminates ads.


E3 2021: Razer's super-fast 14-inch video game laptop, plus Project Hazel face mask

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Video game hardware company Razer debuted what it called the world's most powerful 14-inch gaming laptop at the Electronic Entertainment Expo. The Razer Blade 14, available to order now starting at $1,799 on razer.com, At only 0.66 inches thin and weighing less than four pounds, the Blade 14 "is like a laptop that is 10 years in the future," said Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan said Monday during an online E3 presentation. The laptop has THX Spatial Audio 7.1 surround sound, promises 12 hours of battery life. Higher tech configurations with a QHD display – improved resolution over the full HD display – and faster graphics chips than the standard GeForce RTX 3060 run more: QHD and GeForce RTX 3070 ($2,199.99)