Lego is infusing its bricks with digital magic in a series of new augmented reality experiences using Apple's updated ARKit 2. The Lego AR experiences, due out later this year, combine real-world Lego buildings with digital landscapes. Build a physical Lego structure, such as the Assembly Square building that appeared on-stage at Apple's WWDC 2018 conference, and hold up a tablet or phone running the AR app to see the entire thing come to life. Streets appear at its base, alongside trees, grass, digital buildings, little Lego people and cars.
Apple has been flirting with augmented reality for a bit. Now, the company is ready to take it to the next level. ARKit 2.0 is just that. Apple even tapped Pixar for a special file format, USDZ. Cupertino's plans for AR go beyond just file formats, though. Using the new Measure app, you can take full measurements of an object using nothing but your iPhone's camera. Lowe's and Mercedes are probably frothing at the mouth for this update. Senior Vice President Craig Federighi used it to measure his college suitcase and a photo of him as a baby.
Microsoft is cutting the price of the 4K-friendly Xbox One X for the first time in what the company is calling its biggest Xbox sale of the year. All Xbox One models are dropping by $50, so the Xbox One X will set you back $449, while the Xbox One S costs $199 for the 500GB version, and $249 for 1TB. If you've been looking for a new controller, you can pick one up for $10 less.
It took a few tries, but I was finally able to lift the World Cup trophy with my beloved Mexico in FIFA 18. It wasn't an easy feat, either; I had to get past football superpower Germany in the final. But it happened, a 3-2 win! And that's probably the only way I'll ever get to see Mexico win soccer's most important competition. Over the past few days, I've spent most of my spare time playing FIFA's new Russia 2018 World Cup mode, which EA Sports made available free to all owners of the game on PC, PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One. That gesture alone deserves a lot of credit, since during the last World Cup in 2014 the developer released a standalone game for the tournament that was $60. And that was just for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. The latest-generation of consoles only got a disappointing, stripped down version.
When Turtle Rock Studios made asymmetrical shooter Evolve free-to-play, it looked like the game had found its second wind. Player numbers grew dramatically, extra maps and overhauled skill sets were introduced to keep things fresh, and the player-base stabilized at a healthy 15,000 per month. However, just a couple months later, player interest vanished.
Just as we expected, ASUS is keeping up with the gaming laptop competition with its new ROG Strix II gaming laptops. Available in two models, "Hero" and "Scar," the Strix II machines have been upgraded with thin bezel displays running at 144Hz. We've seen those features from all of the major gaming notebook makers this year, but ASUS is going a step further by including a 15.6-inch 1080p panel with a low 3ms response rate, compared to the 7ms screens other companies are using. That should make the Strix II notebooks ideal for fast-paced games.
Thanks to the likes of PUBG and Fortnite arriving on mobile, gaming smartphones seem like a no-brainer for brands that want to break into the crowded smartphone world, with the Razer Phone setting the bar for others to follow. ASUS thinks it can do better. Here at Computex, the company surprised many by unveiling the ROG Phone, its first-ever handset made specifically with gaming in mind.
If you have State of Decay 2 but haven't fired it up in a while, you'll have to be... patient. Undead Labs has released its first patch for the zombie-slaying title, and it's a whopping 20GB -- that's about as large as the install on the Xbox One. And despite the size, you're not getting more content. The 1.2 update fixes a raft of bugs, including gameplay quirks, multiplayer, the heads-up display and the environment. Think of this as a gigantic, later-than-usual day-one patch ironing out the quirks of the launch version.