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E3 2021 schedule, news, attendees and all the biggest games so far

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E3 2021 is officially underway, but it looks a little different than in previous years. The gaming conference is online-only, running from June 12 to June 15, with publishers and developers hosting their own live streams as part of the event.

Following the cancelation of E3 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it remained unclear whether E3 2021 would still go ahead in some form. A digital event was set to take place in 2020 but, due to a lack of support, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) decided to scrap the event altogether – with Geoff Keighley's Summer Games Fest taking center stage for gaming announcements instead.

But this year is different and we've seen a few conferences already, with showcases from the likes of Xbox and Nintendo still to come. With all these conferences, it can be hard to keep track of who is streaming when. So we've put together this handy guide to all the biggest gaming conferences happening in June and July, so you can keep track of each one. Read on for everything we know so far about E3 2021.

Key announcements so far

E3 2021

(Image credit: ESA)

What we've seen so far

Below, we've rounded up the biggest showcases that have happened so far and what was announced:

June 3

Warhammer Skulls Showcase - June 3

Games Workshop's annual event, previously called Skulls for the Skull Throne, has been rebranded to Warhammer Skulls. This week-long Warhammer event was kicked off with a showcase live on June 3.

The showcase included 14 big announcements including the reveal of Warhammer 40,000: Chaos Gate - Daemonhunters and updates for Total War: Warhammer 3 and Vermintide 2. You can watch the full showcase above.

June 5

Indie Live Expo - June 5

The Indie Live Expo took place on June 5 and is Japan's largest indie game festival. This showcase (obviously) focused on indie titles, with 300 games showcased over the stream's nearly six-hour running time. You can catch up on the full showcase above.

Guerrilla Collective Day One - June 5

Guerrilla Collective

(Image credit: Guerrilla Collective)

The Guerrilla Collective is a digital games festival that primarily focuses on indie titles. This was the first of two Guerrilla Collective events, which seen a myriad of announcements on games including Omno, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night and Aeon Drive.

This stream was followed by the Black Voices in Gaming stream, which showcased games created by Black developers and titles featuring a Black protagonist.

June 9

Battlefield 6 reveal - June 9

EA DICE revealed the new Battlefield, called Battlefield 2042, with an official reveal trailer on June 9. Battlefield 2042 features huge maps, dynamic weather and three multiplayer modes. You can read all about it right here.

June 10

Summer Game Fest Kickoff Live! - June 10

Summer Game Fest kicked off on June 10 with the Summer Game Fest: Kickoff Live showcase. The showcase was packed with announcements, trailers and reveals and, while not all of them were particularly awe-inspiring, there were some standouts.

The biggest 'surprise' of the night was the reveal of a full-length Elden Ring trailer, which gave us our best look yet at the collaboration between George R.R. Martin and FromSoftware and a release date: January 21, 2022. Elden Ring looks to be the natural progression of the Dark Souls series, featuring FromSoftware's iconic melee combat while adding in a giant open world and horseback traversal. It will be available on last-gen consoles as well as PS5 and Xbox Series X/S via a free upgrade.

There was also the official announcement of the Borderland's spin-off, Tiny Tina's Wonderlands, which is a standalone title based around (you guessed it) Tiny Tina. This standalone title is releasing in early 2022 and has a star-studded cast that includes Andy Samburg and Will Arnett. 

Metal Slug Tactics followed up with a gorgeous anime trailer, taking the revered arcade shooter to a turn-based setting. Elsewhere, the newly announced Planet of Lana looked phenomenal, presenting a gorgeous world contrasted with monstrous creatures. We also got the news that a Death Stranding Director's Cut is coming to PS5, with a full reveal to take place "in just a few weeks".

We also heard more about Call of Duty Warzone: Season 4, got a glimpse of Overwatch 2's redesigned characters and Giancarlo Esposito even popped by to taught about his role in Far Cry 6. 

Overall, while there wasn't the breadth of big announcements that we hoped for, the Elden Ring reveal more than made up for.

June 11

Koch Primetime Gaming Stream - June 11

The Koch Media conference was a bit dull but we knew that would potentially be the case when the company told fans not to expect Metro, Dead Island or Saints Row at its showcase. 

Instead, Koch announced a new publishing label: Prime Matter. One of the first games announced for Prime Matter is Payday 3, which will be developed in partnership with Starbreeze Studios. 

There aren't any further details for the game at this time except that Payday 3 is being aimed for a 2023 release window on consoles and PC.

IGN Expo - June 11

IGN Expo

(Image credit: IGN)

The IGN Expo featured further details on Gearbox's Tiny Tina's Wonderlands plus exclusive reveals of Doki Doki Literature Club Plus, World War Z: Aftermath, AudioClash: Battle of the Bands, Core Keeper, Bramble: The Mountain King and more.

Guerrilla Collective Day Two - June 12

Guerrilla Collective

(Image credit: Guerrilla Collective)

The second day of Guerrilla Collective featured games including Among Us, Akatori, Aragami 2, BPM: Bullets Per Minute, Demon Turf, Ghostrunner and more.

Ubisoft Forward - June 12  

Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

Ubisoft's pre-show event featured updates on live games such as For Honor, Trackmania, The Crew 2, Brawlhalla and Watch Dogs: Legion. But the main event from the publisher offered world premiere gameplay and trailers for Rainbow Six Extraction as well as further details on Far Cry 6. In addition, there was news on Riders Republic and a new Assassin's Creed Valhalla DLC pack.

But the big news was left for the end: Ubisoft showed off a trailer for a gorgeous new Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora game, set in the world of James Cameron's Avatar movies.

Gearbox Entertainment - June 12

borderlands 3

(Image credit: 2K Games)

It was a relatively quiet showing from Gearbox, letting us see a little bit more from Tiny Tina's Wonderlands, revealing Homeworlds 3 is in the works and showcasing some Godfall DLC. 

But the most exciting part of the brief event was a behind the scenes look at the Borderlands movie during the conference - with director Eli Roth and star Kevin Hart talking to Gearbox boss Randy Pitchford about how production on the still-shooting film is going.

E3 2021 schedule

Below, we've rounded up all the confirmed dates and times for E3 2021's conferences. We will continue to update this article as more conference details are confirmed. 

June 12

Wholesome Direct - June 12

Wholesome Direct

(Image credit: Wholesome Games)

Date and time: June 12 at 10am PT / 6pm BST / 1pm ET (or June 13 at 3am AEST)

How to watch: YouTube

What we're expecting: Wholesome Direct is an independent showcase ran by Wholesome Games that aims to "spotlight uplifting and thoughtful indie games". This year's event is set to showcase an hour of exclusive footage, new game reveals, developer interviews and announcements from 75 titles. 

TechRadar's Take: In a particularly dark year for many of us, Wholesome Direct couldn't come at a better time. If you want to watch a stream that showcases games with only good vibes, then this is the one for you.

June 13

Xbox and Bethesda Games Showcase - June 13

E3 2021 Xbox Bethesda Showcase

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Date and time: June 13 at 10am PT / 6pm BST / 1pm ET (or June 14 at 3am AEST)

How to watch: Twitch, YouTube, Twitter and Facebook

What we're expecting: This showcase will be around 90 minutes long and is featuring games from Xbox Game Studios and Bethesda Softworks.

TechRadar's Take: We're hoping E3 2021 will see Microsoft giving us a solid release date for Halo Infinite as well as officially announcing a new Forza Horizon game is in the works. We're also hoping to hear more about Fable, which was confirmed to be in the works last year. We're also hoping Bethesda will give us more details on Starfield and The Elder Scrolls 6, and set the record straight about whether both games will be Xbox platform exclusives.

Square Enix Presents - June 13

Square Enix Presents

(Image credit: Square Enix)

Date and time: June 13 at 12:15pm PT/ 3:15pm ET/ 8:15pm BST (or June 14 at 5:15am AEST)

How to watch: Square Enix's Twitch and YouTube channels

What we're expecting: This stream is going to last around 40 minutes and Square Enix has even given a vague list of what we can expect to see during the presentation, including the announcement of a new game from Eidos-Montréal, an update on Babylon’s Fall, fresh details on Marvel’s Avenger’s upcoming expansion and a deep dive on Life is Strange: True Colors.

TechRadar's Take: There have been rumors of a new Marvel Xcom game and we're hoping for these to be confirmed during Square's conference. In addition, we're hoping for a release date for the Life is Strange Remastered Collection. 

Warner Bros Games - June 13

Back4Blood

(Image credit: Turtle Rock studios)

Date and time: June 13 at 2pm PT / 5 pm ET / 10pm BST (or June 14 at 7am AEST)

How to watch: Twitch

What we're expecting: The publisher has confirmed that Back 4 Blood is the only game that will be featured at this event.

TechRadar's Take: While this event will only feature Back 4 Blood, we're still hoping that Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, Gotham Knights and Hogwarts Legacy pop up during another E3 2021 conference - maybe the Summer Game Fest Kickoff Live event? We're hoping to finally get a look at gameplay for Hogwarts Legacy and Suicide Squad - with maybe even rough release windows thrown in?

PC Gaming Show - June 13

PC Gaming Show

(Image credit: Future)

Date and time: June 13 at 10:30pm BST / 5:30pm ET / 2:30pm PT (or June 14 at 7:30amam AEST)

How to watch: Twitch

What we're expecting: The PC Gaming Show will see Sean “Day9" Plott, Frankie Ward and Mica Burton hosting E3's biggest celebration of PC games to date, with 39 new trailers, game announcements, and interviews beamed to audiences around the world.

TechRadar's Take: Our friends at PCGamer have been hard at work bringing you another fantastic PC Gaming Show which will be packed to the brim with reveals and deep dives into the best PC games on the horizon.

Future Games Show - June 13

Future Game Show

(Image credit: Future)

Date and time: June 13 at 4pm PT / 7pm ET /12am* Midnight BST (or June 14 at 9am AEST)

How to watch: Twitch, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and GamesRadar

What we're expecting: The Future Games Show returns on June 13, as part of a double-header show alongside the PC Gaming Show. The Future Games Show will see a range of announcements and reveals on games across all platforms and genres, from AAA to indie. 

TechRadar's Take: We can't wait to see what our friends at GamesRadar have in store for this special E3 edition of Future Games Show. What we do know that the show will be packed with over 40 games across all major console and PC platforms, from publishers including SEGA, Private Division, Team17, XSEED Games and more. You don't want to miss it.

June 14

Take-Two Interactive - June 14

GTA 5

(Image credit: Rockstar Games)

Date and time: June 14 at 10:15am PT / 1:15pm ET / 6:15pm BST (or June 15 at 3:15am AEST)

How to watch: Twitch

What we're expecting: Take-Two hasn't confirmed what we will see at its conference but we're expecting details on the enhancements and new features coming to GTA 5 on PS5 and Xbox Series X and news about upcoming GTA Online updates.

TechRadar's Take: We're not necessarily expecting Take-Two to announce GTA 6 (though, who knows), but it’s likely we’ll see an update on some 2K sports titles and maybe find out more about BioShock 4 or those Marvel XCOM and Borderlands spin-off rumors (though we may see the latter at the Gearbox conference).

Capcom - June 14

resident evil village key art

(Image credit: Capcom)

Date and time: June 14 at 2:30 pm PT / 5:30 pm ET / 10:30 pm BST (or June 15 at 7:30am AEST)

How to watch: Twitch

What we're expecting: Capcom has confirmed that its showcase will feature Resident Evil Village, Monster Hunter Rise, Monster Hunter Stories 2 and The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles. We're expecting the Resident Evil Village news to be about the game's delayed ReVerse multiplayer mode, while we could see DLC for Monster Hunter Rise. It's likely news on the latter two titles will be updates on their development ahead of their releases in July.

TechRadar's Take: We still don't know about Capcom's sci-fi adventure Pragmata, which was announced last year, so we're hoping for a better look at it at E3 2021. We're also hoping to see more of Dragon's Dogma 2 and Street Fighter 6.

Razer - June 14

See more

Date and time: June 14 at 3pm PT / 6pm ET / 11pm BST (or June 15 at 8am AEST)

How to watch: Twitch, YouTube and Facebook

What we're expecting: The company has said it will be announcing some new products and giving viewers chances to win Razer prizes.

TechRadar's Take: We're excited to see what Razer has in store for us at E3 2021. We're sure there are going to be some mouth-watering (and wacky) products on show.

June 15

Nintendo Direct - June 15

nintendo direct e3 2021

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Date and time: June 15 at 5pm BST / 9am PT / 12pm ET (or June 16 at 2am AEST)

How to watch: Twitch

What we're expecting: We know there won't be any hardware at Nintendo's E3 2021 Direct, with the publisher confirming its showcase will be focused exclusively on Nintendo Switch software. This conference is going to run for around 40 minutes, with a three-hour gameplay session happening afterward.

TechRadar's Take: We're hoping Nintendo will use E3 to give us a release date (and more details) on Breath of the Wild 2, gameplay footage of Splatoon 3 and Bayonetta 3, and maybe a closer look at the Pokémon Diamond and Pearl remakes and Pokémon Legends: Arceus.

Bandai Namco - June 15

Elden Ring

(Image credit: FromSoftware)

Date and time: June 15 at 10:25pm BST / 2:25pm PT / 5:25pm ET (or June 16 at 7:25am AEST)

How to watch: Twitch

What we're expecting: We’re also not sure what Bandai Namco will be showing, though Scarlet Nexus is a possibility ahead of its release. It’s safe to say Elden Ring fans will have everything crossed that the game might make an appearance, but nothing is certain. 

TechRadar's Take: While Bandai Namco is most likely to give us an update on Tales of Arise and Scarlet Nexus, whether we'll see Elden Ring remains to be seen. Since its reveal at E3 2019, we haven't heard much about the FromSoftware/George R.R. Martin collaboration - and fans are getting impatient. We're hoping we see even a glimpse of Elden Ring during Bandai Namco's conference on June 15 - the final day of E3 - what a closer that would be.

E3 2021 Awards Show - June 15/16

E3 2021

(Image credit: ESA)

Date and time: June 15 at 4:45pm PT / 7:45pm ET (or June 16 at 12:45am BST / 9:45am AEST)

How to watch: Twitch, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube

What we're expecting: The E3 2021 Awards show will be wrapping up E3 2021. Selecting from titles shown across the four-day show, “editors from IGN, GameSpot, PC Gamer, GamesRadar, IGN China and  GameBonfire will determine the winners for the Official E3 2021 Awards Show.”

TechRadar's Take: The E3 Awards show highlights the most anticipated games from the event, but it's also set to be packed with announcements and reveals, so it's worth watching.

June 16 - June 22

Steam Next Fest - June 16 to June 22

Steam

(Image credit: Steam/Valve)

Date and time: Kicks off on June 16 at 10am PT / 1pm ET / 6pm BST (or June 17 at 3am AEST) and lasts until June 22

How to watch: Steam's YouTube channel

What we're expecting: Steam Next Fest (formerly Steam Game Festival) is a multi-day celebration of upcoming Steam games, featuring hundreds of demos.

TechRadar's Take: While we're not expecting any big announcements at Steam Next Fest, it's worth keeping an eye on the demos made available during the festival.

July 6

Nacon Connect - July 6

See more

Date and time: July 6 at 6pm BST/ 10am PT / 9pm ET (or July 7 at 11am AEST)

How to watch: Nacon's Twitch and YouTube channels

What we're expecting: French publisher Nacon has announced its own show, Nacon Connect, which promises “new gameplay, exciting announcements, special guests and epic collaborations”.

TechRadar's Take: It’s possible we could see an update on Lord of the Rings: Gollum here, given that the game is co-published by Nacon and Daedalic Entertainment. 

July 22

EA Play Live 2021 - July 22

ea play live 2021 logo

(Image credit: Electronic Arts)

Date and time: July 22 (time TBC)

How to watch: TBC

What we're expecting: Electronic Arts (EA) has confirmed that it will be skipping E3 and will instead hold its own summer games showcase, called EA Play Live. The event will be held on July 22, 2021. So far we know that Battlefield 2042's third multiplayer experience will be revealed at the event. More details are set to follow, but you can check out the event's website here.

TechRadar's Take: For the last few years, EA has opted to hold its own event, but it's usually fallen around the same time as E3. It's surprising, then, that the company's event will take place over a month later than E3 2021, which runs from June 12 to June 15. In addition to Battlefield 2042 news, we're also expecting EA will share more on FIFA 22 and Madden 22.

What is E3 2021?

E3 2021

(Image credit: ESA)

The E3 name stands for ‘Electronic Entertainment Expo’, and it’s been running in some form since 1995. Hosted by the Entertainment Software Association, E3 is a three-day convention to celebrate and showcase all things gaming, usually to publicize upcoming games and consoles – with a smattering of panel discussions and keynotes alongside the excitement of the show floor.

E3 2021 will be the 26th time the event is held, with the ESA cancelling E3 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. But this year, rather than being held as an in-person event at the Los Angeles Convention Center (its home since 2009), E3 2021 is an entirely digital event.

When is E3 2021 and how much will it cost?

E3

(Image credit: logoboom/Shutterstock)

E3 2021 will take the form of an all-digital event that will run from June 12 to June 15, 2021. The ESA has confirmed that the event will consist of live press conferences and a four-day-long video stream. Digital attendees will also be able to keep track of everything that's going on through the E3 app.

Despite speculation that parts of the event would be behind a paywall, the ESA has confirmed that E3 2021 will be entirely free for attendees. 

Who is attending E3 2021?

E3 2021

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Xbox, Nintendo, Capcom, Ubisoft, Take-Two, Warner Bros., EA, Koch Media, Square Enix, Sega, Bandai Namco, Gearbox and Xseed Games are all confirmed to be making an appearance at E3 this year, however, Sony is noticeably absent from the ESA's list of commitments - instead, taking part in Summer Game Fest.

One company that was scheduled to be present was Konami, which pulled out of the event "due to timing." The company announced via Twitter that: "We want to reassure our fans that we are in deep development on a number of key projects, so please stay tuned for some updates in the coming months."

It’s an impressive show of support for E3 2021, with many speculating that the online-only event would be largely ignored by the biggest companies in the industry. Having Xbox and Nintendo in attendance is a boon to the ESA, whose event was seen by many as 'the Christmas of gaming announcements' has diminished in recent years.

In a press release, ESA CEO Stanley Pierre-Louis said: "For more than two decades, E3 has been the premier venue to showcase the best that the video game industry has to offer, while uniting the world through games. We are evolving this year's E3 into a more inclusive event, but will still look to excite the fans with major reveals and insider opportunities that make this event the indispensable center stage for video games."

E3 2021 vs Summer Games Fest

Summer Game fest

(Image credit: Summer Game Fest)

Summer Game Fest was set up by The Game Awards host Geoff Keighley and made its debut in 2020 – filling in the gap left by E3 2020. Last year's Summer Game Fest was an online season of events bringing together 16 of the industry’s largest publishers, including Microsoft, Sony, Activision, Valve, Bethesda and Blizzard in a four-month cavalcade of news, trailers and game demos.

From May until August, the Summer Game Fest partnered with these publishers to release updates on game projects and announce new titles across social media platforms, as well as providing playable demos for attendees – Microsoft shared a staggering “between 75 and 100” game demos in total. 

This year's Summer Game Fest will apparently be more "condensed", according to Keighley. The event still spans June and July, having kicked off on June 10 with a world premiere showcase.

This will be the first year we see E3 and Summer Game Fest taking place in the same timeframe, so it will be interesting to see which publishers and developers choose to showcase as part of E3 and which choose to do so at Summer Game Fest - and which decide to partake in both. 

E3 2021: what happened at E3 2019

E3 2021

(Image credit: CD Projekt Red)

Given that E3 2020 was canceled, the last E3 to take place was E3 2019. Even without Sony on show, there was still plenty to make 2019 a great year for E3. We had that wonderful Keanu Reeves appearance, and the news he was appearing in Cyberpunk 2077 (as seen above), new specs for the Xbox Series X, and that brilliant BOTW 2 teaser. We also got a full unveiling of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order and updates on Apex Legends Season 2 from EA, and the announcement that Dark Souls dev From Software and Game of Throne's George R R Martin were collaborating on the upcoming game Elden Ring.

Square Enix had one of the better press events we've yet to see at E3 2019, packing in tons of new information on Marvel's AvengersFinal Fantasy VII Remake and the remastered version of Final Fantasy 8.

It wasn't all good news, though, with Animal Crossing: Horizons getting delayed, and the long-awaited Dragon Age 4 not getting so much as a mention. Ubisoft also didn't show off a new Splinter Cell game (cowards!) or its much-delayed Beyond Good and Evil 2 – though it did find time for Just Dance 2020, and the announcement trailer for Gods and Monsters.

Here's a full list of everything that was announced at E3 2019:

Nintendo

Microsoft

  • Halo Infinite (release window, coming to Xbox Project Scarlett)
  • Gears 5
  • Blair Witch
  • Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga (Xbox One and PC)
  • Bleeding Edge
  • Battletoads
  • Age of Empire II: Definitive Edition (PC)
  • Wasteland 3
  • Microsoft Flight Simulator (PC first, Xbox One later)
  • Minecraft Dungeons
  • Spiritfarer (coming to Xbox Game Pass)
  • 12 Minutes (Xbox One and PC)
  • Forza Horizon 4: Lego Speed Champions Expansion
  • Crossfire X
  • Gears Pop!

Take-Two Interactive/2K Games

Electronic Arts and EA Sports

CD Projekt Red

Konami

  • Contra Rogue Corps (Xbox One PS4, PC and Switch)
  • Contra Anniversary Collection

Bethesda

  • Deathloop (Platforms unknown) (Trailer)
  • Doom Eternal (Xbox One PlayStation 4, PC and Nintendo Switch)
  • The Elder Scrolls: Blades (debuting on Nintendo Switch; iOS, Android updates)
  • Fallout 76: Nuclear Winter (Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC sneak peek)
  • Ghostwire: Tokyo (Platforms unknown)
  • Wolfenstein: Youngblood (PS4, Xbox One and PC)
  • Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot (VR)
  • Commander Keen (iOS and Android)

Square Enix

  • Final Fantasy 7 Remake (PS4)
  • Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles (PS4, Nintendo Switch and mobile)
  • Final Fantasy 8 Remastered
  • Final Fantasy 14: Shadowbringers (PC)
  • Circuit Superstars (Square Enix Collective, developer Original Fire)
  • War of the Visions: Final Fantasy Brave Exvius
  • Romancing Saga 3
  • Scarlett Grace
  • Dragon Quest Builders 2
  • The Last Remnant Remastered (coming to Nintendo Switch)
  • Trials of Mana: Collection of Mana (coming to Switch)

Ubisoft

  • Ghost Recon Breakpoint (Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC)
  • The Division 2 (Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC)
  • For Honor (Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC)
  • Watch Dogs Legion (Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, Stadia) (game play available)
  • Assassin’s Creed Odyssey (game update)
  • Roller Champions (PC download available now, other platforms unknown)
  • Gods & Monsters (Xbox One,PlayStation 4, PC, Stadia and Switch)

Sega

  • Panzer Dragoon: Remake (Nintendo Switch)
  • Phantasy Star Online 2 (Xbox One)
  • SEGA Genesis mini console coming September 2019 with mini games like Mega Man:The Wily Wars, Earthworm Jim, Sonic the Hedgehog 1 & 2, Ecco the Dolphin and 35 more classic games.

Bandai Namco

  • Tales of Arise
  • Dragonball Z: Kakarot
  • Code Vein
  • The Dark Pictures Anthology: Man of Medan
  • RAD

Various

  • Elden Ring (via FromSoftware)
  • Dying Light 2 (from Techland)
  • Way to the Woods (Team 17)
  • Dauntless (coming to Nintendo Switch via Phoenix Labs)
  • The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance Tactics (En Masse Entertainment)
  • Dead by Daylight (coming to Nintendo Switch via Koch Media)
  • New Super Lucky’s Tale (coming to Nintendo Switch via Playful Corp.)
  • Empire of Sin (John Romero multi-console game)
  • Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair (Playtonic)
  • Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin (via Edelweiss and XSEED Games)

Date

12 Jun 2021

Sources


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  • Six steps to making your business website accessible

    Digital transformation continues to move our daily lives to the internet, forcing businesses of all sizes to adopt new technologies that better meet their customers’ needs and help them to compete in the digital age. 

    But as digital transformation sweeps through every industry - from retail to transportation to manufacturing, and beyond - it’s exposing gaps in digital accessibility and the vulnerabilities these gaps create for businesses and customers alike. 

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in four Americans lives with some type of disability. 

    Yet, only 3% of the internet is accessible to people with disabilities. So, when we talk about gaps in digital accessibility, we are first and foremost talking about millions of lives and livelihoods that are being left behind, while the rest of the society continues to reap the benefits of digital transformation. 

    Despite the legal guidelines governing digital accessibility, the moral imperative, and a good business sense, many companies still don’t feel the urgency - or don’t know how - to make their digital content universally accessible. 

    The good news is that today we have the technology and human expertise needed to bridge the digital accessibility gap without inflicting operational or financial burden on businesses. Below are six steps every business should take to ensure equal access to their digital content and tools, and by extension - to their products and services. 

    But before diving into the action steps, let’s first review a few basic definitions.  

    What is digital accessibility?

    Digital accessibility is the practice of designing and building websites, apps, media, and web-related tools and technologies that are usable by people who are living with disabilities or conditions that may impact their access to the web. 

    There are a number of visible and invisible disabilities that may impair a person’s ability to access digital content. The general categories of disabilities include visual, auditory, motor, and cognitive/neurological. 

    To be accessible to the broadest audience, digital content should meet the four major principles defined by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) - it has to be perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust. 

    In summary, users need to be able to see and hear content, use different functionalities, navigate website structure and content with ease and clarity, and be able to use different assisted technologies.

    Why is digital accessibility important? 

    More than a billion people need assistive technology to carry out their daily tasks. In the digital context, assistive technology is any device, software, or equipment that’s easy to use and helps people with disabilities to consume and interact with web content. Voice-enabled software, keyboard alternatives, and screen readers (JAWS, NVDA) are all examples of assistive technology. 

    But assistive technology by itself can’t make your website content accessible. You have to incorporate digital accessibility best practices into the design and development of your website, so that people who use assistive technology can engage with your content, make online purchases, and become repeat customers. 

    As you think about the ROI of digital accessibility, consider that, in the US alone, people with disabilities control $645 billion in disposable income. 

    Another important consideration is search engine optimization (SEO). From a business perspective, the purpose of SEO is to drive target audiences to your website and convert site visitors into paying customers. For Google, the world’s biggest search engine, the goal is “to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.” By implementing digital accessibility best practices, such as clear navigation, proper headings, ALT text, video captions, etc., you can improve your site’s ranking in search and grow organic traffic. 

    Just keep in mind that while digital accessibility helps boost SEO, your site’s great search ranking doesn’t mean your content is fully accessible to people with disabilities or meets the legal standards. Which brings us to the next point: legal guidelines governing digital accessibility. 

    Key laws and guidelines for digital accessibility

    The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is one of the key legislations that prohibits discrimination based on disability. For a website to be compliant with the ADA, it must be accessible to people who browse the web with assistive devices. Between 2017 and 2021, the number of ADA-related lawsuits went up 400%. If your website is not accessible to people with disabilities, it's not compliant with the law and you are at risk of being sued. 

    Based on the way the courts and the Department of Justice have interpreted the law so far, ADA compliance is clearly mandatory for government and business websites. Most ADA website lawsuits are filed against businesses that are considered “places of public accommodation” under the law. 

    But the ADA, which was signed into law in 1990, doesn’t provide technical standards or specific legal criteria for implementing digital accessibility. Instead, there are W3C guidelines known as Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) that serve as the basis of modern discussions on the accessibility methods and provide clear guardrails for how to format content so it is accessible to all users. 

    Even though WCAG are considered a “voluntary technical standard” under the ADA, they are frequently cited in lawsuits and ADA settlements. In fact, ADA precedence shows that using WCAG as a guideline will ensure your site is usable and compliant. Adhering to WCAG guidelines will also help to protect your business from the threat of expensive litigation. 

    Six steps to make your website accessible

    Broadly speaking, steps in creating accessible websites fall into two categories: designing new sites and revamping existing sites for greater accessibility.

    1. Incorporate digital accessibility into website design

    According to a 2021 study by AudioEye, 50% of designers and developers say they are fairly familiar with digital accessibility. 

    Website accessibility starts at the very beginning of a design project and designers should address it at every step of the way. Some elements to consider from the start are colors, color contrasts, ALT text on images, programming text for screen readers, font styles, and the careful use of interactive elements. 

    While designing for accessibility should be a top priority from the beginning, WCAG guidelines are ever-evolving, so it’s not a one-and-done effort. Accessibility improvements should be addressed on an ongoing basis.

    2. Review existing websites regularly  

    Review all new or updated content to make sure your site continues to meet the accessibility standards. As WCAG guidelines evolve and new developments in accessibility aids are uncovered, it is up to webmasters and designers to keep a site up-to-date. Because these changes are happening constantly, webmasters should implement regular accessibility monitoring. 

    Artificial Intelligence (AI) accessibility tools can uncover broken or missing accessibility features and automatically make the fixes in real-time or alert webmasters to manually remediate issues. There are tools, such as AudioEye, that specialize in active monitoring to flag new accessibility issues.

    3. Acknowledge the current limits of AI technology

    While accessibility AI is a cost-effective solution to automate accessibility in real-time for a majority of issues and continues to become more advanced, there are gaps in its capabilities that require more dedicated human attention to overcome. 

    The ideal solution to maintaining digital accessibility is to pair AI solutions with experts who manually check and remediate issues. Automation will continue to improve with new developments in catching and fixing errors, but in the meantime, manual monitoring and remediation are vital to a truly accessible website. 

    4. Use manual support to ensure digital accessibility

    Designate a person to perform regular manual tests of all elements on the website. When errors and issues are found, implement manual fixes as soon as possible. Document all fixes and test to ensure the fixed remediations stick.

    5. Continuously train and empower your team  

    Accessibility experts are available to train your internal team on best practices. While everyone has access to WCAG, interpreting them can be difficult for webmasters, designers, and developers who are not well-versed in digital accessibility. 

    One-off or regular training sessions can be arranged for a deep dive into particular elements of accessibility. This could be particularly helpful when redesigning or developing a new site.

    6. Stay current on digital accessibility laws and regulations

    Accessibility experts are well-versed in the legal proceedings surrounding website accessibility issues. Oftentimes, businesses are shocked when presented with a web accessibility lawsuit. Calling on the support of experts in these situations can be tremendously helpful in navigating through the process and quickly repairing existing issues to prevent further legal action.

    Digital accessibility can seem as a complex, highly-technical field with moving pieces. Don’t get discouraged, instead tap into available resources, start implementing the steps above, and make digital accessibility part of your business culture. 

    With a combination of AI technology, human developers and designers, and regular monitoring and improvements, you can make your site accessible and inclusive, increase your market reach, and protect your business from potential legal action.   

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  • Best laptop games: 10 games for laptops that won't melt your machine

    The best laptop games are there for you whenever you're on break for work and you just need to kill some time before you get back to the grind. Because they're so easy to run, even cheap laptops will be able to play these games just fine. 

    Don't think you're getting some third-rate games here, either. Games like Disco Elysium are not only easy on your laptop, but engaging and hilarious to boot. The laptop games on this list are among the best PC games on the market right now, and really goes to show the flexibility that PC gaming offers. 

    Even if you're using one of the best gaming laptops, the games on this list have a lot to offer, even if they're not quite up to snuff to the mighty graphics in more powerful notebooks. This list is by no means extensive either: but we narrowed down the 10 games that everyone should consider installing on their laptops for some nice gaming on the side. 

    Screenshot from Disco Elysium game

    (Image credit: ZA/UM)

    1. Disco Elysium

    • CPU: Intel Core i7 or AMD 1800 equivalent
    • RAM: 8 GB RAM
    • GPU: NVIDIA Geforce 1060 or equivalent

    Ever had grand dreams of becoming the greatest detective in history? We know we did, and we have just the game for you. Disco Elysium is digital heaven for those who’ve always had a knack for problem-solving skills and fancy themselves the coolest (or most crooked) PI in their daydreams. 

    In this open-world RPG, among the best laptop games that you can play right now, you have unprecedented freedom to do whatever you want as a detective – whether that’s solving murder mysteries and helping people or taking bribes, manipulating others and becoming a millionaire. And, that’s with a plethora of wild skills and cool detective tools at your disposal. 

    The city you’re running around in, of course, has that certain mystery je ne sais quoi atmosphere to it, like Gotham-meets-Neo-noir. And, it only adds to this extremely charismatic title. If you’ve got hours to kill, or really even if you don’t, this game needs to be on your laptop right now.

    How to get Among Us on Nintendo Switch

    (Image credit: Innersloth)

    2. Among Us

    • CPU: Intel Pentium 4
    • RAM: 1 GB
    • GPU: Intel HD

    Among Us seems a bit more casual than other titles on this list, with each game lasting 10 to 15 minutes but that doesn’t mean you won’t lose hours playing it. The concept is relatively simple. 4 to 10 players are placed in a map, either a spaceship or space station, and are tasked with some menial errands. Up to 3 of the players are secretly imposters who pretend to do the same things but actually go around sabotaging things and killing other players. Emergency meetings can be called where players argue over who the imposter is and then vote to kick someone out. Considering how short each game is, just about everyone will have a chance to play as an imposter after a few games.

    What makes Among Us such an enduring game is how it can bring friends together the way a good board game can, combining socializing and strategy in a way that most online games don’t.

    Cuphead screenshot

    (Image credit: Studio MDHR Entertainment Inc.)

    3. Cuphead

    • CPU: Intel Core2 Duo E8400, 3.0GHz or AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+, 3.0GHz or higher
    • RAM: 2 GB
    • GPU: Geforce 9600 GT or AMD HD 3870 512MB

    You might be turned off by the tremendous amount of challenge it poses, but we promise you that Cuphead is worth a shot. If you don’t already find its vibrant, whimsical art style delightful, then you might be convinced by some backstory of how it was made.

    Cuphead is from indie developer Studio MDHR (short for Studio Moldenhauer), named for the two brothers who started the project, Chad and Jared Moldenhauer. In fact, the whole company is made up of family members and friends who sought out to finish their dream project.

    Marija Moldenhauer, Chad’s wife, was responsible for the inking and clean up in this hand-drawn ode to 2D platforming classics like Mega Man and 1930s Fleischer cartoons like Betty Boop. And, if the 19 bosses aren’t enough for you, Cuphead is getting a major DLC next year featuring new bosses, areas and a new playable character.

    Humankind

    (Image credit: SEGA)

    4. Humankind

    • CPU: Intel Core i5 4th Gen
    • RAM: 8GB
    • GPU: NVIDIA GTX 770 or AMD R9 290

    If you’re a fan of history-based strategy games like Civilization or Age of Empires but are looking for something a little different, then Humankind is for you. This game takes that format and gives it a little twist, allowing you to customize your gameplay as you go. You can upgrade to different cultures as you progress and shape your empire with all sorts of decisions regarding religion, war, alliances, and more that can have long lasting impacts. In fact, every play through will be different. 

    You can wage nuclear war or destroy the world with pollution in Humankind, but your goal is to be the most famous empire by the end of the game to win. While it does seem to share a lot of similarities with the aforementioned giants of turn-based historical strategy games, that added level of customization, different mechanics for city-building and waging war, not to mention the ability to essentially rewrite history makes Humankind a worthy and unique addition to the genre.

    Stardew Valley

    (Image credit: Chuckefish)

    5. Stardew Valley

    • CPU: 2 GHz
    • RAM: 2 GB
    • GPU: 256 MB video memory, shader model 3.0+

    If you’re obsessed with farming sims (and, considering how well the likes of Farming Simulator and Harvest Moon sell, there’s a few of you out there), then few games will get you jumping for agricultural joy more than the enchanting busywork of Stardew Valley.

    Taking cues from the Harvest Moon games, Stardew Valley's top-down point of view and cutesy characters feel blended together seamlessly, making it one of the best laptop games available.

    It doesn’t seem all that exhilarating, tending to fields, growing produce and raising livestock – but that’s the beauty of it. There’s a special kind of peace to the mundanity of Stardew Valley’s minutia as you expand your farm, catch some fish down at the river and even head into the village to strike up friendships (and maybe something a little more) with a cast of NPCs. Farming has never been so much fun or addicting.

    6. Age of Empires IV

    • CPU: Intel Core i5-6300U or AMD Ryzen 5 2400G
    • RAM: 8GB
    • GPU: Intel HD 520 or AMD Radeon RX Vega 11

    Fans of RTS games rejoice! Age of Empires IV is here and it takes everything that made previous entries so much fun and updates it. Not only does the game receive a fresh coat of paint but the AI and mechanics have been updated as well.

    You can select one of eight civilizations to play your way through four distinct campaigns covering 500 years of history, ending at the Renaissance. You don’t have to stick to the single-player campaign however. You can also play with friends in PvP or multiplayer co-op as well. And, more importantly, you don’t need a hefty GPU to play, making this a great game to play on your laptop. You just need integrated graphics as good or better than Intel HD 520, which has been around since 2015.

    A screenshot showing Night in the Woods

    (Image credit: Finji)

    7. Night in the Woods

    • CPU: Intel i5 Quad-Core
    • RAM: 4 GB
    • GPU: Intel HD 4000

    In more than a few ways, we’re inclined to describe Night in the Woods as Life is Strange meets Bojack Horseman. The interactive dialogue bits are reminiscent of the former while the overarching themes of dealing with mental health issues ring true in the latter.

    Night in The Woods itself was developed in Unity by Infinite Fall, the virtual studio comprised of coder and composer Alec Holowka and Twitter jokester slash illustrator and animator Scott Benson. Together, these two have designed not just a game, but a stunning world full of relatable characters that should hopefully resonate with you.

    You take on the role of Mae, a cat who dropped out of college and recently returned to her hometown of Possum Springs. It’s a completely narrative-driven game, as modern point-and-click adventure games tend to be, with very few gameplay hooks that will hold your attention. So, if you’re into Telltale Games or Life is Strange, Night in the Woods might be the best laptop game for you.

    Best of all, it will run fairly smoothly on integrated graphics, given that it has an attractive, but not highly demanding, art style. Surely, this is a title we’ll be talking about for years and years to come, even if it was snubbed at The Game Awards.

    command and conquer remastered collection

    (Image credit: Electronic Arts)

    8. Command and Conquer: Remastered Collection

    • CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E4600 @ 2.4ghz or AMD Athlon 64 X2 6400 @ 2.4ghz
    • RAM: 4GB
    • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GT 420 or ATI Radeon HD 5570

    The 90’s are still alive in the form of the Command & Conquer Remastered Collection. This doesn’t just have a remastered version of the original game from 1995. It also has Red Alert as well as the games’ three expansion packs for over 100 missions and over 250 multiplayer maps. That’s quite a lot of content in this release.

    Among the best laptop games to dig into this 2020, this remastering includes upscaling the cinematics, remastering the music (including 20 re-recorded tracks), and most importantly, setting the game in 4K resolution. The controls have been updated for a modern experience including the ability to use hotkeys. And, the game comes with mod support for those who want to add their own spin to the game.

    The core of the game is still mostly the same as it was in the 90’s so if you’re looking for a great looking, great sounding blast from the past, then this is the perfect escape for you.

    Pillars of Eternity screenshot

    (Image credit: Obsidian Entertainment)

    9. Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire

    • CPU: Intel Core i3-2100T @ 2.50 GHz / AMD Phenom II X3 B73
    • RAM: 4 GB
    • GPU: ATI Radeon HD 4850 or NVIDIA GeForce 9600 GT

    While it’s a 2018 title and has a reasonably massive following, your laptop’s integrated graphics can still run Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire. It has mostly the same forgiving system requirements as its predecessor, so if you are a fan of that game, you should be able to engross yourself in this best laptop game as well.

    Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire drops players on the Deadfire archipelago and tasks them with hunting down a rogue god. And, just like its predecessor, it features rich storytelling and deep RPG gameplay that harkens to the days of Baldur’s Gate and Neverwinter Nights.

    While all the backgrounds are in 2D and viewed from a top-down point-of-view, they’re still lovely to behold. Plus, the numerous spell effects will keep you bewitched as you work your way through the intense and tactical combat.

    And, because it's coming from Obsidian, a studio known for making the best RPGs of all time, you can be confident that you’re getting an adventure, and one of the best laptop games, that’s worth every penny.

    papers please logo

    (Image credit: Lucas Pope)

    10. Papers Please

    • CPU: 1.5 GHz Core2Duo
    • RAM: 2 GB
    • GPU: OpenGL 1.4 or better

    If somebody told you a game about working in a border control office would be one of the most addictive games ever, would you scoff and walk off shaking your head?

    Well, you might give a little indie gem by the name of Papers, Please a chance. Set in a fictional take on the Eastern Bloc, you’re an immigration clerk tasked with processing refugees from a hostile neighbouring nation.

    The core concept is simple: check each person’s documents against a clear set of rules, process those who meet the requirements and detain those with false papers. 

    The game is created to test your attention to detail, as well as the strength of your moral compass. Sometimes you’ll have to decide if specific sympathetic characters should be granted asylum, even if it goes against the rules. 

    The twist is good performance effectively feeds you family, while mistakes put their lives in danger. It’s dark, but engrossingly so.

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  • Was this Nvidia RTX 3070 deal on Wish too good to be true?

    A tech channel on TikTok managed to allegedly secure a genuine RTX 3070 graphics card in a deal that could have been too good to be true...

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  • What is TPM: Why are Trusted Platform Modules important

    With TPM, you can control who accesses sensitive data on your systems - and where that data goes.

    Read More

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