CES is the annual showcase of the latest high-tech wizardry and consumer products that are coming to revolutionize your life. But it's also a showcase of some truly bizarre gadgets ranging from the hyper-specific to the just plain strange.
GameSpot sister site CNET has rounded up these oddities with some truly remarkable finds. Maybe you could use the Orii, a bone conduction ring that broadcasts sounds through your finger and into your ear. Or you could get some exercise with a Verde treadmill, which generates power for your home to trim down your energy bills. Or you can heat your food with the GoSun solar cooker, a sunlight-powered oven.
Some seem a bit impractical or unnecessary. The Monit smart diaper sensor can tell you if your baby's diaper is dirty, which isn't that handy considering if it is, you'd have to take it off and change it anyway. And it's difficult to envision a proper use for the Hyundai Elevate, a concept car with legs that can climb over barriers up to five feet, outside of an Inspector Gadget cartoon. You can see those strange ideas, along with several more, at the CNET gallery, or check out the full scope of CNET CES coverage for much more tech news.
The online arena combat PC game Blast Zone Tournament normally sells for $20 on Steam. It has just dropped to free, where it will stay between now and January 16. This free period, which gets you the full game to keep and play forever, comes alongside the announcement that Blast Zone Tournament will come out of Early Access--and also land on Xbox One and PS4--on February 28. Anyone who plays games on a Windows PC would do well to grab it now while it's free.
Blast Zone Tournament bears more than a little resemblance to the Bomberman franchise. You play as a bomb-throwing character who runs around single-screen arenas trying to explode your opponents. Victory Lap Games has packed in a lot of features, including a single-player campaign, cross-platform multiplayer, 10 multiplayer modes, 283 multiplayer levels, and character customization.
The campaign is comprised of 240 challenges that can earn you costumes to dress up your character. The multiplayer modes support up to 32 players simultaneously for battle-royale matches. Once the game launches on consoles, you'll be able to play cross-platform between PS4 and PC and between Xbox One and PC.
It's been a few weeks since Microsoft last rolled out a new batch of backwards compatible games for Xbox One, but that dry spell has finally been broken. The first set of BC games of 2019 has been revealed, and it consists of three Xbox 360 titles spanning various genres.
This week's additions are Battlestations Pacific, Fuel, and Rayman Raving Rabbids. Battlestations Pacific is a 2009 military action game that mixes aerial dogfights, naval combat, and real-time strategy. Fuel--also originally released in 2009--is an arcadey open-world racer, while Rayman Raving Rabbids is a silly minigame compilation starring the titular characters.
If you still have a physical copy of these titles, you can now simply pop their disc in and play them on your Xbox One. If you've previously purchased them digitally, you'll find them automatically waiting in the Ready to Download section of the console's My Games and Apps tab.
A time-limited demo is now available for the Resident Evil 2 remake, letting you survive against hordes of zombies for a solid half-hour. Your reward for successfully completing the demo is an exclusive new cinematic trailer, but in case you just can't wait or weren't up to the challenge, you can view it above--just beware, it has some possible spoilers if you want to go into the full game fresh.
The trailer is the completion reward for the "1-Shot" demo, which is now available on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. It gives you a smattering of gameplay with Leon S. Kennedy, but only a limited time to complete it. You have 30 minutes to try as many times as you'd like, but after that the demo is off-limits. If you managed to unlock the trailer by successfully completing the demo, it's viewable as much as you'd like.
While the demo focuses strictly on Leon, the full game will also feature Claire Redfield, just like the original Resident Evil 2. Capcom has promised that it's reimagined some portions of the experience to surprise players. It's also been updated with a modernized control scheme and a new camera perspective to match.
Capcom teased a rather unique demo for the remake of Resident Evil 2 recently, and now it's available for you to try for yourself. You'll have to be careful not to burn too much time taking in the utterly gross sights and sounds, though, because it only lasts 30 minutes and then you can't play anymore. For the time being the demo is only available in Australia, at least on Xbox One, but if you just can't wait to play you can change your territory.
The "1-Shot" demo will be available on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. It has a hard time limit of just 30 minutes, and once that time expires, you can't play anymore. The demo takes you through a snippet of gameplay as Leon S. Kennedy, and if you finish quickly enough you can go through it again. If you fail, you can keep trying until your half-hour is up.
Finishing the demo will give you an exclusive new cinematic trailer. You can then watch the trailer as much as you'd like even if time has expired, but the demo will be off-limits. The demo will be available through January 31.
Publisher Epic has pledged that, every two weeks throughout 2019, it will give away a new PC game to anyone with an Epic Games Store account. All you have to do is visit the store to collect it. The latest freebie is now available: What Remains of Edith Finch, an adventure game that has you play through a series of connected short stories about the doomed Finch family. You can download it for free between now and January 24--a good deal, considering it currently sells for $20 on Steam.
Named one of GameSpot's best games of 2017, What Remains of Edith Finch puts you in the shoes of the title character, the last living member of her family, as she explores the old Finch mansion and estate. Several generations have lived and died here, and as you explore, you play through the events that led to their untimely demises.
While that may sound bleak, the stories vary quite a bit in tone. In GameSpot's 9/10 What Remains of Edith Finch review, Justin Clark wrote, "It's not often that a game's plot slips past the bitterness of grief to finally get to the acceptance, but that's the triumph in What Remains of Edith Finch. Ultimately, if the game has any resemblance of a moral, it's that the bravest, most beautiful thing every one of us does is choose to keep going, despite knowing what's coming."
Creative Assembly, the same developer behind Alien: Isolation, has further teased its brand-new IP. The tease came out in a very roundabout way, with Creative Assembly responding to a tweet by film director Neill Blomkamp that was probing Twitter in search of people who work for Epic Games.
A brand-new IP from Creative Assembly has long been known about--with the studio first mentioning it in a November 2017 tweet--but there still hasn't been confirmation for what it is. Rumors for the new IP first started in January 2017, when Player One reported new job listings for a lead technical artist, lead system designer, and senior meta game designer on Creative Assembly's Careers page mentioned the game.
The job listings described the new IP as "genre-defining" and said it would require a designer to create "weapons, movement, abilities, gadgets, health, and other underlying gameplay systems." It's unfortunately not much to go on, and Creative Assembly hasn't shared any more information beyond that. However, based on the studio's tweet about wanting to talking to Blomkamp about the game, it's possible the developer might be planning to reveal more information about this new IP soon.
Square Enix is bringing a host of classic Final Fantasy games to new consoles this year, including Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age and Final Fantasy X / X-2 HD Remaster. The publisher has now announced when the two titles will hit Nintendo Switch and Xbox One, and they're both set to arrive in April.
First, Final Fantasy X / X-2 HD Remaster will release on April 16. This set contains remastered versions of both Final Fantasy X and its sequel, Final Fantasy X-2, which have been touched up with high definition visuals, some additional content, and other improvements. In our original Final Fantasy X / X-2 HD review, we called the collection "a meticulous refurbishment" and awarded it an 8/10.
Shortly after the X / X-2 HD Remaster arrives, Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age will come to both Switch and Xbox One on April 30. This version of the classic PS2 RPG was first released on PS4 in 2017, with a Steam port following in 2018. It likewise features HD visuals and a host of gameplay improvements, including a revamped job system and the ability to increase the game's speed.