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12 things you need to know in tech today

Here’s your daily tech digest, by way of the DGiT Daily newsletter, for Wednesday, June 12, 2019!

1. Nintendo: this E3’s winner?

The major E3 2019 conferences are now over and we’ll soon be back to talking other tech. But first, here’s what went down with the Nintendo Direct.

The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild sequel showing Link and Zelda from behind. Nintendo

  • Nintendo announced a sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and it was possibly the best-kept secret of this year’s show / all time.
  • In a short teaser, we see Link and Zelda traveling through a mysterious cave (I guess all caves are kind of mysterious aren’t they?) accompanied by some eerie, backward music, and a glowing, flowing light.
  • Next thing you know, some dead monstrosity (that fans are pretty sure is the series’ recurring villain Ganondorf) is reanimating and Hyrule Castle is rising from the ground.
  • That’s about all we got from the teaser in terms of plot, and we didn’t learn anything about gameplay.
  • But it looks like it’s based on the Breath of the Wild engine and tech, so a huge graphical or gameplay overhaul won’t be in tow.
  • Same console, same engine, darker tone… this feels very much like what Majora’s Mask was to Ocarina of Time. Which could technically mean it will destroy every other game, ever?
  • A direct relationship to Majora’s Mask has already been denied, though. Boo!
  • Rather than a release date or title reveal, the teaser ends with the quote: “The sequel to the Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild is now in development.”
  • I suspect it’s two or so years away from release, but my co-worker Ollie Cragg has another theory.

Upcoming Animal Crossing title pushed back to 2020

Animal Crossing New Horizons screenshot showing a girl fishing. Nintendo

  • Animal Crossing: New Horizons has been delayed until March 20, 2020 after Nintendo previously said it was coming in 2019.
  • But there’s a short new gameplay trailer here, and then 24 minutes of footage and a chat via Gamespot here, and it looks so gosh-darn adorable I can’t be disappointed about the delay.
  • In this iteration of the chat-to-animals-and-craft-stuff-em-up, players are set to build a new life on a deserted island.
  • It doesn’t look like it will stay deserted for very long.
  • The gameplay seems to be very much in the tradition of previous titles, but the trailer’s end suggests the player will receive control of a potential smartphone-like device via business tycoon-racoon Tom Nook. What will it do? Hmmm.
  • Those unfamiliar with Animal Crossing may be forgiven for wondering if it’s a spoof of a children’s educational game.
  • And those familiar with Animal Crossing will probably have already fainted from the excitement of it all.

Other Nintendo announcements

The Legend of Zelda Links Awakening screenshot showing hyrule field. Gamespot

  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is heading to the Switch this year, meaning you’ll soon be able to Gwent on the go.
  • The title picked up numerous game-of-the-year awards in 2015, and despite its age, it’s going to test the Switch’s hardware to the max. The Witcher’s official Twitter has confirmed it will run at 720p resolution when docked and 540p while handheld.
  • There were bags of new footage of The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening remake, and a confirmed release date: September 20, 2019. If you haven’t seen what it looks like, have a peek – the art style is ridiculously nice.
  • Also, we must all protect the Link’s Awakening amiibo.
  • We got a look at some upcoming Smash Bros DLC characters, including Banjo-Kazooie (after a cheeky fake out) and some Dragon Quest folks that Japan probably went nuts over.
  • And a cinematic trailer for Fire Emblem: Three Houses appeared. That’s landing on the Switch next month on July 26.
  • Luigi’s Mansion 3 is happening and the internet is here for his slimy doppelganger, Gooigi.
  • Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield gameplay was shown off. Looks hot but people are disappointed about the Pokémon transfer limitations. It’s complicated, but basically, you can’t catch ‘em all in this one.
  • A new Trials of Mana RPG is on the horizon, coming early 2020. This is a big deal for some long-time fans – the series has been around since the mid-90s.
  • And Nintendo announced No More Heroes 3 – another series with a fervent following (for some reason).

A good show all round

  • Nintendo didn’t mention its rumored new Switch consoles – minor updated machines said to be coming this year – or the recently rebooted Metroid Prime 4, Bayonetta 3, or Pikmin 4.
  • And yet it still had a killer E3 with tons of reasons to be excited about the Switch’s future.
  • I just realized how Nintendo has really embraced the “family friendly” image it tried to shake in the GameCube days. It makes for a nice change of pace from the drab tone and gun porn in so many other gameplay trailers at this year’s E3.
  • Also, I remember poring over E3 screenshots in Nintendo Official Magazine when I was a kid, and now all this stuff is there, with loads of footage, on YouTube. Pretty neat.

2. Mark Zuckerberg deepfake to trouble Facebook fake video stance?

A deepfake showing the likeness of Mark Zuckerberg. Instagram

From the wonderful world of Nintendo to a somewhat bleak reality.

  • A deepfake video, showing the likeness of Mark Zuckerberg, has appeared on Instagram.
  • In the video, created by artists Bill Posters and Daniel Howe with advertising company Canny, the fake Zuckerberg talks about the implications of one person controlling billions of people’s stolen data.
  • “Imagine this for a second: One man, with total control of billions of people’s stolen data, all their secrets, their lives, their futures,” says Fakerberg.
  • Instagram owner Facebook has previously said it would not remove this type of video under its policies. But what about when it concerns its own CEO?
  • Well, Instagram told Motherboard would treat this video the same way as it treats all other misinformation on its platform.
  • That means deprioritization, but not removal.
  • Anyone watching the video carefully (or listening for that matter) will notice it isn’t quite right. But that relies on the viewer’s somewhat careful attention.
  • Which, when it comes to online media, can be in short supply.
  • Though it’s good to see Facebook-owned Instagram standing by its policy even though this affects the big man himself, the bad news is – as we’re all aware by now – fake content can be produced for political gain.
  • Once this technology reaches the point where it’s completely indistinguishable from reality, we could be doomed.
  • New York Times warned we need to be prepared for this eventuality in an article earlier this week: Deepfakes are coming. we can no longer believe what we see. Don’t miss it.

3. Facebook wants to give you money for your data (Android Authority). That’s quite, erm, well, erm, er, well, erm, ahem, yeah… better than taking it for free, is what I’ll say about that.


4. Also, Zuckerberg apparently reached out to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi over a recent deepfake she was the target of. She hasn’t called him back (Washington Post).


5. LG Elec’s 5G phones in doubt as chip deal with Qualcomm set to expire (Reuters).


6. The Pixel 4 may have been spotted in real-life photos, though we don’t get a great look at the device because it’s inside a case. There are a few Pixel 4 designs in the works, apparently, but this could be one of them (GSMArena).


7. More Pixel 4 rumors, including discussion about its potential square camera bump (The Verge).


8. TechCrunch says Tesla has a design for a submarine car just sitting around, but I say, why wouldn’t it? It probably has loads of oddball car designs sitting around… its business is breakthrough car tech (TechCrunch).


9. Dropbox is getting a massive overhaul, wants to be the center of your workflow (The Verge). Kind of needs it because Google Drive has been destroying it.


10. Uber adds Melbourne to flying taxi plans (Financial Times). It probably won’t look like a yellow cab like in Back to the Future Part II, though.


11. Apple discusses acquisition of Intel’s German modem unit (The Information, paywall)


12. Huawei says it’s scrapping laptop launch because of US blacklisting (CNBC). We don’t know which laptop, but its MateBook series relies on Intel chips, so it was possibly one of those.


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