Good morning! You're waking up to a lot of transport tech news: Germany has restarted running an electric-hybrid train, Tesla is ending free Supercharger access to new car buyers and Uber is relying more on its own traffic estimates in a bid to beat gridlock. We'll also learn the name of SpaceX's first Moon-bound passenger. Oh, and you will be able to play Fortnite for free on the Switch, even if Nintendo's online gaming service costs money. What can you expect this week? Deeper dives on Apple's new hardware, ahead of launch day and much more.
As I'm surrounded by software engineers in a conference room with no natural light, playing augmented reality games on an iPhone, I forget for a second that I'm in Seattle visiting Facebook. Not Amazon or Microsoft. Facebook, a company that's evolved from a simple social network to a full-on technology behemoth. Here, inside the largest engineering hub outside its Menlo Park headquarters, Facebook says people are working on many of the projects that will impact its 10-year roadmap and mission of "bringing the world closer together," including Games, Groups, Messenger and, of course, ads. But I'm there to talk about one particular emerging technology that the company believes will be key to its future: augmented reality.
PC players on the fence about Call of Duty Black Ops 4 can get an early taster of the game's Battle Royale mode today -- the same day as those who paid for a pre-order. All you have to do is sign up to Blizzard's desktop gaming hub, Blizzard.net, and watch an hour of Twitch broadcasts from partnered streamers Ninja, Shroud, Summit1G or TimTheTatman between 10AM PT/1PM Eastern and 2PM PT/5PM Eastern. Then early access will be sent straight to your Battle.Net account.
PUBG Mobile's recruited 20 million daily active users (outside of Korea, Japan, and China) in just six months. To celebrate, Bluehole is giving gamers a massive update led by the arrival of the Sanhok map. That also means new weapons (Flare Gun, QBZ, Muscle Car and Bulletproof UAZ), along with a new Season Page that shows all your data -- including titles, highest tier reached and more -- and the usual gameplay improvements, this time tweaking the chat system, clan rankings, air drop items, and friends list, among others.
Civilization VI is invading Nintendo Switch on November 16th, and now its creators have dropped a trailer showing what you can expect from the empire builder. In early September, 2K and Firaxis Games accidentally revealed the game's arrival's on the console in an announcement that they also quickly took down. You don't have to worry, though: the game is truly set to invade the platform with its expansions and scenario packs in tow.