Have you been waiting for Captain Marvel since before you saw the end of Avengers: Infinity War? Release week is finally upon us and I will be definitely seeing it this weekend — especially after reading CNET’s review. Patricia Puentes describes it as “a soaring tale of self-discovery with a ’90s riff.”
It’s a perfect week to launch the first female-led superhero movie of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, because it coincides with International Women’s Day. Several brands across CBS Interactive, including CNET, collaborated to highlight these powerful women of Marvel with a special feature. We have an interview and photo shoot with Danai Gurira from Black Panther, a mega-bracket showdown and we even take a look at professional cosplay.
Powerful women of the Marvel universe
Check out our poll below and let us know if you’re heading out to the movies this weekend to see Captain Marvel. Remember, you can always hit the comment section to tell us more about your fandom.
The best VR games and experiences on Oculus Quest and Quest 2 – CNET
If you’re looking for the closest thing to a self-contained VR gaming console, the Oculus Quest 2 is your choice. The compact headset replaces Facebook’s 18-month-old Oculus Quest, but it reminds me more than ever that there are some really excellent games on the platform. VR can be an amazing escape, a workout or both. Over…
If you’re looking for the closest thing to a self-contained VR gaming console, the Oculus Quest 2 is your choice. The compact headset replaces Facebook’s 18-month-old Oculus Quest, but it reminds me more than ever that there are some really excellent games on the platform. VR can be an amazing escape, a workout or both. Over the last year at home, VR gaming has become an even bigger part of my life. Despite existing in a company-controlled walled garden (and increasingly Facebook-oriented login and data policies), the Quest has turned into quite a destination for the best VR games. (Note to access top PC VR games like Half-Life: Alyx or Star Wars: Squadrons, you’ll need to plug into a gaming PC with a USB cable.) The rate of good games arriving has accelerated this year. The Under Presents is one of my favorite, weird, endless games in VR.
All of these games work with the year-old Oculus Quest and the new Quest 2, but many apps are receiving extra updates and graphic boosts for Quest 2 owners. We’ll continue to update this list over time.
Oculus Quest 2 is better and cheaper… with one Facebook…
I missed my chance to go to Disney and see Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, but ILMxLab’s Batuu-themed game is the next best thing. It’s not exactly a tour of Black Spire Outpost, but the incredible character acting, world design and intense blaster battles are an impressive feat. It’s over too soon, but it still costs less than most Disney souvenirs. (Also check out Vader Immortal, ILMxLab’s previous lightsaber-wielding adventure involving Darth Vader.)
Read our hands-on experience and interview.
Big Box VR
The multiplayer battle royale experience of Population One is very Fortnite-like. In fact, it’s extremely Fortnite-like. That’s a good thing. There are few large-scale multiplayer VR games right now, and this is one of the best. Dropping down from above, navigating the shrinking map, climbing and hunting for supplies, and excellent controls make this a must-play team shooter.
It’s expensive, and the file size can get up to 8GB on the Quest 2, but this is console-quality VR shrunken down into a portable headset. Saints & Sinners was already an acclaimed PC VR game, and the transition to the Quest keeps its polish and RPG-like feel. It’s freaky, but it’s also deep. There’s a lot more going on than simple shooting.
A lot of Quest games are expensive, but a surprising number are free. Rec Room is a social hub that’s also a doorway to tons of social games, with a seemingly limitless set of possibilities. Sometimes it feels a bit like Wii Sports or VR Roblox. There are mini-adventures, paintball games and more. I just want there to be improved parental-control features (there seem to be a lot of parents letting kids into Rec Room lately).
Read our original impressions of Rec Room, pre-Quest.
This is Oculus Quest’s killer app, and if you want to get moving, love lightsabers, or just want a fun dance challenge, this is it. There are plenty of tracks to keep you busy, the lightsaber tracking is fantastic, and there are extra music packs to buy if you feel compelled. I’m currently exhausting myself trying to beat my nephew’s high scores.
Bullet time, grab the gun, wait — the faster you move, the faster everything else moves. Get it now? Superhot was one of the first games that hit the Quest, and it’s still amazing. Runner-up pick: Pistol Whip. (Sorry, I still like Superhot more.)
For Fun Labs
Seriously, ping-pong in VR is so good. The table physics, the size of the play area, the way VR matches what you need perfectly — who knows? You can play online with real people, and the gameplay is shockingly unforgiving.
If you’re up for a creepy dive into mysterious puzzle boxes, this all-new VR game from the makers of the hit game series called The Room is a fantastic and spooky mental challenge (it’s not great for kids, though). There are lots of other escape room games on Quest, including the excellent I Expect You To Die, and a ticketed live multiplayer escape-room experience from Adventure Labs, too.
Read our review of The Room VR: A Dark Matter.
The synesthetic Tetris Effect was one of the best games of 2018, and the Quest version is mostly as good. It’s intense, the music is amazing, and even though the levels are frantic, it’s also weirdly zen. This is a perfect way to unwind.
Read our review of Tetris Effect.
Oculus’ zero-gravity ultimate frisbee game is a relentless three-on-three experience that gave me vibes of Rocket League, but in VR. The controls, which rely on your hands to catapult around, are brilliant. The open beta is free right now, and it’s great. But expect to lose.
Moss is about a small mouse with a sword who goes on a quest. You’ll follow him through levels that feel like dioramas you can peer down at. Walking around and exploring the beautiful worlds is half the fun, but the game itself is also great and plays like a console platformer, but in 3D.
With other people in your home, VR can be a solitary disconnect. Keep Talking involves others by having people not in VR handle a bomb-defusing manual while the person in VR tries to communicate and stop the bomb in time. It feels like a weird board game, which is something most VR games never succeed at.
An endless and randomly generated set of castle enemies meet you every time you play, and this roguelike game uses a bow and arrow as your only method of navigation and attack. The mechanics feel great, and being surrounded by enemies you’re firing arrows at can be incredibly intense.
If you miss miniature golf (or real golf), Pro Putt’s courses feel like a pretty great stand-in. The courses are cartoonish, but not mini-golf crazy. The putting realism is surprisingly good. I find the whole thing a little meditative.
Talk about a game that never seems to get old. While Space Pirate Trainer has been around since the launch days of the HTC Vive, the simple arcade design is perfect. You stand still, shoot at aliens and shield yourself. Survive as long as you can. It’s perfect.
Want to revisit ’90s games, including the experience of sitting on the floor with a controller playing games on a TV? You can do that already with a little retro 16-bit console, but Pixel Ripped pulls it off uncannily in VR. You’re a kid in a home, playing games that don’t exist. Then you enter the pixel world, and it gets stranger. The original 80s-set Pixel Ripped 1989 is now inside as add-on DLC, too.
VR can turn your sense of reality inside out, and A Fisherman’s Tale is the best type of out-of-body experience. A room with puzzles to solve also has a dollhouse, which is a perfect model of the room you’re in. You can reach into your own space and as you do, a larger hand from above enters your room. It’s like living in your own weird puzzle dollhouse universe, and it’s fantastic.
Red Matter was one of the best-looking Oculus Quest games, and an update for Quest 2 pushes the graphics even further. The puzzle-solving, atmospheric, brooding adventure is set in an alternate-timeline Cold War in space. Your tool-filled space suit glides around and grapples with the brilliantly evoked world, which often has Half-Life vibes.
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More VR and gaming advice
Mi 11 and Mi 11 Pro Launch Announcement by Xiaomi Likely for Qualcomm Snapdragon Tech Summit 2020
Xiaomi is likely to announce Mi 11 as its next flagship smartphone at Qualcomm Snapdragon Tech Summit 2020 that will be virtually held between December 1 and 2. While the Chinese company hasn’t yet provided any details about its launch plans, Qualcomm has confirmed that Xiaomi co-founder and CEO Lei Jun will join the annual…
Xiaomi is likely to announce Mi 11 as its next flagship smartphone at Qualcomm Snapdragon Tech Summit 2020 that will be virtually held between December 1 and 2. While the Chinese company hasn’t yet provided any details about its launch plans, Qualcomm has confirmed that Xiaomi co-founder and CEO Lei Jun will join the annual conference to announce its next-generation product developments. The Mi 11 is speculated to accompany the Mi 11 Pro, and both new phones are likely to come with Qualcomm’s latest flagship Snapdragon processor rumoured to be the Snapdragon 875.Qualcomm has posted details on Weibo that highlighted the presence of Lei Jun at the Snapdragon Tech Summit 2020. An official image shared by the San Diego-headquartered company on the microblogging network shows that the executive will announce Xiaomi’s latest product developments for global customers alongside sharing its long-term partnership with Qualcomm.The product announcements are likely to be around the Mi 11 as Xiaomi at the Snapdragon Tech Summit last year announced the Mi 10. The new Mi flagship phone is expected to be among the first models to come with the next-generation Snapdragon SoC.A listing on benchmark site Geekbench recently suggested the existence of the Mi 11. It showed Android 11 and 6GB of RAM. The phone also received a single core score of 1,105 and a multi-core score of 3,512.The Mi 11 is speculated to come along with the Mi 11 Pro. Both new Mi phones are rumoured to come with a 48-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera and an enhanced image stabilisation. The Mi 11 Pro is also tipped to feature a QHD+ display with a 120Hz refresh rate.In addition to its announcement, Jun is expected to reveal some key specifications of the Mi 11 series at the forthcoming Qualcomm Snapdragon Tech Summit. The flagship phones, however, may take some time to reach global markets.Is Redmi Note 9 Pro Max the best affordable camera phone in India? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.
Black Friday 2020 Fire tablet sales: Amazon Fire HD 10 and Fire HD 8 Kids Edition are both $80 – CNET
This story is part of Holiday Gift Guide 2020, CNET’s gift picks with expert advice, reviews and recommendations for the latest tech gifts for you and your family. The Black Friday deals are finally here! Actual Black Friday may be a few days away according to the calendar, but the shopping holiday price cuts, including…
This story is part of Holiday Gift Guide 2020, CNET’s gift picks with expert advice, reviews and recommendations for the latest tech gifts for you and your family.
The Black Friday deals are finally here! Actual Black Friday may be a few days away according to the calendar, but the shopping holiday price cuts, including Fire tablet deals, are already going strong. Are you in the market for a new Amazon Fire tablet or want to give one as a gift for a special someone? Several of the models have returned to their lows first seen during last month’s Prime Day sale. Specifically:The Fire HD 10 (10-inch tablet) is now $80 ($70 off)The Fire HD 10 Kids Edition is now $130 ($70 off)The Fire HD 8 Kids Edition is now $80 during Prime Day ($60 off)The Fire 7 Kids Edition is now $60 ($40 off)The Fire HD 8 will also be returning to its Prime Day low of $55 by Cyber Monday. Thus far, Amazon hasn’t confirmed Fire HD 8 Plus tablet discounts, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see these Amazon devices return to their Prime Day lows over the next few days: The Fire HD 8 (8-inch tablet) will be returning to $55 ($35 off)The Fire HD 8 Plus was $75 during Prime Day ($35 off)Note that the Fire Kids Editions include a case and a year of Amazon’s Kids Plus subscription service, a $36 value.
Black Friday 2020 sales and deals
Amazon has come a long way from the first Kindle Fire tablet. The Amazon Fire HD 10 is Amazon’s biggest tablet with a 10-inch screen size and powerful speakers (and it now charges via USB-C). Just like its smaller 8-inch sibling, the Fire HD 8, the tablet is packed with benefits for Prime subscribers, making it easy for members to stream and download movies, TV shows and games. The Fire tablets don’t use a pure version of Android, but instead Amazon’s Android-based Fire operating system, and pull apps from the Amazon App Store. You can still get apps from Google Play, but you’ll have to install the store yourself — meaning gaming enthusiasts have access to all of their favorite mobile games for an excellent gaming tablet experience.
This child-friendly version of the Fire HD 8 tablet adds a padded case, parental controls, a two-year warranty and a one-year subscription to Kids Plus (formerly known as FreeTime Unlimited), which normally costs $3 a month and gives you access to a bunch of kid-friendly content. It’s not really suitable for remote learning, but it’s a much more affordable option than giving a young child a full-on iPad.
This has all of the same extras as the HD 8 above, but it’s the childproof version of the smaller, more affordable Amazon Fire 7. You’re getting a 7-inch screen instead of 8, and a less robust processor.
The Fire HD 8 Plus adds wireless charging and more RAM (3GB instead of 2GB), with performance that improves on the standard Fire HD 8. The tablet should charge just fine on most wireless charging pads.
Read our Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus review.
The Fire HD 8 was updated earlier this year with a faster processor, USB-C charging, better Wi-Fi performance, 2GB of RAM (up from 1.5GB) and a bump from 16GB to 32GB of storage in the base model. Its HD screen is sharper than the entry-level Fire 7, but it’s not nearly as sharp as iPad displays. The HD 8 Plus adds wireless charging and slightly better performance, thanks to 3GB of RAM.
Read our Amazon Fire HD 8 (2020) review.
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