18/06/2016 Click


18/06/2016

A comprehensive guide to all the latest gadgets, websites, games and computer industry news. With reports from LA on the world's biggest video games expo - E3.


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Transcript


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a rowboat on a fun run on London Marathon. Now on BBC News, it's time

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to click. This week: The E3

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videogames extravaganza! We are headbanging, foot

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tapping, lion taming, This is E3, the biggest video game

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show on Earth. Every June, the Convention Centre

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in downtown Los Angeles fills This is where the next year's big

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releases are announced, with high energy, much fanfare,

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and gimmicks galore. You can race a car, visit a haunted

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house, you can come and You can pick yourself

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up a swag bag... For as long as I can remember,

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all of the big games companies have scrabbled for our attention

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at this But times are a changing,

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and not every company is happy shouting over all this noise

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when they could have their own event a bit later and control

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the message better. Now, there are a number of big names

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which are usually at E3 but aren't here this year,

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Electronic Arts, Activision, They don't have booths

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on the show floor. Turnout's still pretty decent,

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though. There are still plenty

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of big hitters here. So joining me on the floor

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are two awesome end bosses. Colossal Kate Russell,

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and monstrous Marc Cieslak. And I wanted to start with something

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I think is really innovative. Not VR in itself, but the fact that

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someone's finally giving you at home the opportunity to experience

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what I'm experience You can now see the world

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as I'm seeing it! Come

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Where you?

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Well, that's all very well for you at home

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but what we are experiencing is Spen prancing around in a green cupboard.

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But what this does help to demonstrate is one of the big themes

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That is that there is are tonnes and tonnes and tonnes of virtual

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Now that gamers can finally get their hands on virtual reality

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headsets, the games industry has revealed what you'll actually be

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This includes old school classics like Battle Zone,

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As well as recruiting Star Trek cast members,

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past and present, to show off Ubisoft's Star

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Here, four players adopt the role of different Bridge officers,

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Most of the gameplay mostly consists of operating controls.

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Perhaps not as thrilling as a real away mission.

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As soon as you can get us out of here I will be most grateful.

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Boldly going where few games designers have gone before means

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new ways of thinking about games and how we play them

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are crucial for these virtual experiences to work.

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Sony is going all in with virtual reality.

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It is a whole bunch of different experiences across different genres

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which are meant to show off what VR is capable of.

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They are the kind of games which can only be played wearing a headset

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Most of the games in here have been teased over the last couple

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of years, but there are two experiences

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This is Scavenger's Odyssey, a shooter.

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Looks like some kind of mechanised suit.

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The targeting is done by simply looking at where I wanna shoot.

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But this is where you start to get a sense that this

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is a game designed to work in 360 degrees.

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When I look around there isn't really any "up" there

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It is a bit how I imagine a fly must see the world,

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being able to jump onto any surface at any angle, which at times can be

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This game is Danger Ball, a futuristic sport.

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Now, I don't need a controller for this at all.

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And this allows me to move this bat around.

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There's more to it than that, though.

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You can add spin by flicking the ball when it gets close to me.

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You very quickly get used to using your head to hit the ball

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It's sort of like tennis if you had to head-butt the ball

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Futuristic games with balls, I'm all over it.

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Now it's my turn to do VR once again.

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Four headsets hanging from these spindles, and the idea is several

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people can take part in the same experience at once.

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And, although it can be a game, what they are actually aiming

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for is an interactive theatre experience, where we all take part

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and solve different puzzles and share an experience.

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For example, over here, I can pick up this ball.

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So I can throw this to yellow.

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So, obviously, it is a work in progress.

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But the idea is that in the future you can have actors also taking part

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in the experience, taking you through different rooms

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and helping you to solve different puzzles, for example.

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At the moment, I have to say it is both weird and interesting.

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The first big announcement came as no real surprise.

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With news of the slimmer, more design-centric Xbox OneS having

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Serving up 4K HDR gaming, and a customisable controller that

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can suit even the wildest of tastes, at $299, this midcycle release may

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leave a sour taste in the mouths of families who bought

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into the chunkier machine just a few years ago.

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The game footage started rolling with some big titles on the slate,

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all hoping to win Xbox back some of its edge.

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Pushing the cross-platform agenda is at the heart of Microsoft's drive

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to bring Xbox and Windows 10 players together in a slieu

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Forza Horizon 3 got pulses racing with a demo of its four-player

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campaign mode on Xbox and PC, scheduled for September release.

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The new IP kid on the block, we got the first proper look at Sea

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of Thieves's gameplay, a swashbuckling, shared-world

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adventure that looks like it's going to be ridiculous amounts

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But there was sadly no release date floated.

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Help me out, so more people can do the anchor thing.

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A run of big budget sequels, Gears of War IV...

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..Whipped the crowd up into a frenzy, almost as predictable

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as these rinse-and-repeat triple A's.

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They're looking pretty slick, but nothing

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Although, Halo fans did get this playable beta demo that

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went live for a week, right after the briefing ended.

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There's been a lot of speculation about whether there would be any

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significant hardware upgrades announced here today.

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And with leaked information about the Xbox OneS coming out

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in the last 24 hours or so, slimmer sleeker, more design-led,

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you would be forgiven for thinking that was going to be it.

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But then, right at the end of the conference, Phil Spencer

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Project Scorpio will be the next edition to the Xbox family,

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and it is ultimately the next step in delivering our vision

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of the future of gaming beyond generations.

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Being released next autumn, this beast of a box will support

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high-definition 4K gaming and is VR ready, packing the most

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powerful graphics card ever put inside a consol.

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Microsoft is keeping its options open when it comes to VR headsets.

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Our consoles also run on Windows 10, so all of that innovation

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and creativity that is happening, we wanted to capture it

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We needed the computing capabilities of the six

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terraflops of Project Scorpio to make that possible.

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So, for us, our strategy is to continue to embrace

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the incredible community of VR development on Windows

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Microsoft calls it "choice," but are console owners really ready

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to upgrade their machines every year in the same way PC owners do?

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Fans of the platform can at least take some solace hearing that games

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will be playable across all three consoles and Windows 10 PCs, too,

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They are just going to look a lot sweeter on the new box next year.

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You are trying to fabricate magnetic nanowires,

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but you accidentally create sponge-like carbon-rich nanorods.

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Yes, researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

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in the US accidentally discovered these novel structures when one

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of their experiments didn't go to plan.

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The new nanorods are unique as they are capable of absorbing

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water at low humidities and are capable of expelling it

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Most materials just keep on absorbing water.

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And tech titan, Microsoft, has stumped up $26 billion

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for professional networking website, LinkedIn.

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The move, which sparked some surprise from commentators,

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effectively values each of LinkedIn's 106 million users

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Microsoft boss, Sachin Nadella, said that the purchase was all part

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of his plan to better integrate Microsoft services in the Cloud.

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And commercial space company, SpaceX, broke

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While their latest launch succesfully got a payload

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into orbit, the company failed to stick the landing

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of its Falcon9 Rocketon rocket on its return trip.

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It suffered from what the SpaceX CEO called a rapid,

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unscheduled disassembly, or rapid explosion, to you and me.

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That follows three succesful landings in the past few months.

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And, finally, that wasn't the only machine not behaving itself.

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A robot in a Russian city of Perm caused moderate confusion

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and a minor traffic jam after escaping from its testing

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grounds when a researcher left the gate open.

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Not everyone is convinced the caper was an accident, with some

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suggesting it might have been a publicity stunt,

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rather than a desperate robotic cry for help.

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Traditionally, the gaming industry hasn't exactly been known

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for its unbiased approach to the female of the species.

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With diversity a hot topic across the tech sector,

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gaming conventions like this have done a lot to clean up their act,

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binning the booth babes and generally creating a better

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Having said that, too many games on display here still have a long

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way to go when it comes to treating female characters with respect.

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Impossible anatomies, ridiculously oversexualised

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clothing, and not enough strong female protagonists are still things

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we still see far too much in the big budget titles.

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But as gaming evolves into ever more immersive experiences,

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scientists at Stanford University's Human Virtual Reality Lab

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are looking at how virtual reality could be used to make people

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Since 2003, we have been running psychology experiments to see

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if a virtual reality can change how you think of yourself and others.

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By running through a body transfer sequence which connects the mind

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with the self image in the virtual mirror, subjects can walk in someone

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else's skin, becoming older, or a different race or gender,

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and even experiencing abusive and threatening behaviour.

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This is the type of body that is basically default

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Women are forced to play what is called hyper

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They are of a shape that is rare to find in nature and they tend

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What we have done in this lab is run a series of experiments that studies

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what happens to women's view of gender when they are in this

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hypersexualised body that affects how they see themselves later on.

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One of the goals of the team is to persuade big publishers

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to include empathy and diversity training experiences

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What if, every 30 minutes of playing, you had to do

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a 30-minute public service announcement where you have

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to experience sexual harassment as a woman,

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or you become a minority and experience the violence

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In other words, let's let the games be the games,

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but the game makers have such power because this medium is so pervasive.

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It is one of the most pervasive media on our youth.

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Can we also put in some pro-social messages,

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as we are spending all this time playing the game?

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Even though current demos are somewhat crude, having been

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coded by students on micro-fractions of the budget spent

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With more money, and the weight of large publishers behind it,

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VR experiences like this could start to change the way gamers think

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Chipping away at the ingrained biases and toxic attitudes that have

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driven so many people away from gaming communities in the past.

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It turns out we have been doing this games controller thing all wrong.

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We have been using our hands to control the mouse, keyboard,

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the joystick, or whatever, But all this time we should have

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It is slightly curved underneath, which means it can rock

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The idea is you put your feet on it, and that is how

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Now, that seems a bit silly because you still

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But in some environments you cannot see your hands, for example in VR.

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Here I am in some kind of art gallery, and I can fly around just

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by scooting forwards, scooting right, and scooting left,

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And by doing a weird combination of one heel and one toe,

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I can actually go up as well, and then right toe and left heel

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I have to be honest, this is making me feel

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quite queasy, and I think that is because of the

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Can you see I am gripping quite hard on the chair, too?

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I will swivel around and say hello to this whale, which

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bizarrely seems to have something inside.

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I am going to hand over to Marc Cieslak, who has been

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LA's historic Shrine Auditorium played host to the PlayStation

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event, which bombastically kicked off with an orchestra

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playing the theme to the new Norse-inspired

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The event then continued with a brief look at

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Quantic Dream's latest, Detroit: Become Human.

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Please, you've got to save my little girl.

:17:17.:17:23.

Sony beefed up its VR credentials by announcing the launch date

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I am happy to announce that, on 13 October, PlayStation

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VR will make its debut in the United States.

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As well as announcing 50 games to come out with the thing,

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including Resident Evil 7, and VR experiences for

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Call of Duty Infinite, and Final Fantasy 15 VR experience.

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The biggest applause of the show was reserved for games design

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Kojima showed off a cryptic trailer for a game featuring the walking

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dead, and lots of dead crabs and fish.

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What does it all mean, Kojima-san?

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And the hits kept on coming, from crowdpleasing fan favourites,

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to lots of new and original games, which the audience at

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the Shrine Auditorium absolutely lapped up.

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In contrast to the Xbox show this morning, where Microsoft

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teased new technology, Sony has chosen to show new games.

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However, there is a new, upgraded PS4 in the works.

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You just cannot see it at this year's E3.

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You have an upgraded PS4 in the works.

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Why are we not seeing that at E3 this year?

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Just as was the case with PlayStation VR,

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we feel that it is important to show people the new hardware,

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the new platform, when we have the full range of experiences that

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But the high end PS4, code-named Neo, that we are working on,

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is an addition to the existing lineup, not a replacement.

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And we also were looking at the way in which,

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perhaps, the technology and innovation cadence has

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And perhaps we have an opportunity to move slightly away

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from just a static console, that remains absolutely

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the same for, you know, a period of six, seven,

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eight years, and perhaps offer, in addition to the current

:19:43.:19:47.

Every single device will play the same content, is that the idea?

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Every single device will play a standard version of

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And then we will have the opportunity to have what we hope

:19:57.:20:00.

will be a large set of games which will also have

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So, as far as PlayStation and Xbox are concerned,

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there will be more new machines on the horizon than console

:20:08.:20:10.

So we have also heard from Microsoft.

:20:11.:20:22.

The other big hardware manufacturer, Nintendo, doesn't make much

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They have jiggling fruit on their stand,

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They also have this big, new, secret console in the works,

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which is still secret, so they will not show it to us.

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They have, however, announced a new game,

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The hero, Link, awakens after 100 years of hibernation

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to a vast landscape, all of which seems to be explorable.

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He can now jump, climb and steal weapons.

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The game will drop next year, and it will run on the Wii U,

:20:57.:20:59.

The standout is all these new consoles we are going to have.

:21:00.:21:08.

A new Xbox, another new Xbox, and a new PlayStation as well.

:21:09.:21:11.

We usually get one console from a manufacturer

:21:12.:21:19.

It is an upgraded Xbox, a slimmer model, and a different

:21:20.:21:25.

It is confusing for consumers, because over the course

:21:26.:21:32.

of a console's life, the hardware is locked.

:21:33.:21:36.

It is most sensible for developers and for consumers.

:21:37.:21:38.

This space where we have several different machines,

:21:39.:21:43.

some of them with higher specifications than others,

:21:44.:21:47.

creates a little bit of confusion in the space.

:21:48.:21:50.

And for me, I don't quite understand what the strategy is moving forward.

:21:51.:21:56.

Surely it has got to be VR, hasn't it?

:21:57.:21:58.

Surely we need a box that can cope with VR and 4K.

:21:59.:22:01.

That is the promise, that VR is going to be coming.

:22:02.:22:03.

One thing I found interesting about the announcement at the press

:22:04.:22:06.

conferences on Monday is that Microsoft has chosen,

:22:07.:22:09.

pretty much a couple of hours beforehand, to make and a now

:22:10.:22:15.

I wonder if the folks at Xbox are a bit miffed about that,

:22:16.:22:24.

or maybe it was strategic, to make sure that Sony would not get

:22:25.:22:27.

Pure speculation, that is totally allowed at the BBC.

:22:28.:22:32.

I am looking forward to the shared-world gaming content

:22:33.:22:35.

It is bringing us back to an era of gaming

:22:36.:22:41.

But unlike open world, shared world means that

:22:42.:22:45.

you don't have to play with the great unwashed masses.

:22:46.:22:47.

You can choose your gaming friends to play with,

:22:48.:22:52.

which can make it a bit more of a customised experience,

:22:53.:22:55.

And next year we now have these new consoles to play

:22:56.:23:01.

with, and we have a lot of VR content as well.

:23:02.:23:06.

Next year we should genuinely see some new machines.

:23:07.:23:08.

We haven't been able to get our hands on them or play

:23:09.:23:16.

Next year there is a new machine from Nintendo, there is Scorpio,

:23:17.:23:19.

we should be seeing next year, and of course the upgraded PS4

:23:20.:23:22.

But that will have an effect, I think, on the games

:23:23.:23:27.

Absolutely, new machines to this extent, with VR, means actually

:23:28.:23:30.

None of this sort of rinse-and-repeat triple-A sequels,

:23:31.:23:35.

It is not so easy port these new titles to the VR experience,

:23:36.:23:40.

so we will see, I hope, a whole new genre of games

:23:41.:23:43.

from the ground up, specifically for VR,

:23:44.:23:46.

How do you fancy going back to China next

:23:47.:23:56.

Most of the stuff in there is made in China.

:23:57.:24:01.

Next year we will show you how and where.

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Now, if you will excuse us, let's go and play.

:24:05.:24:33.

After the intense thunderstorms and heavy showers of recent days, the

:24:34.:24:41.

weekend is looking comparatively

:24:42.:24:43.

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