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Ubisoft suite for Switch

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Ubisoft has announced that Just Dance 2017, Rayman Legends Definitive Edition and Steep will be part of the line-up for Nintendo Switch which will be launched in March 2017.

Ubisoft has been constantly evolving, leading development of exciting games for each new platform launch. For years, Ubisoft and Nintendo have been partnering to deliver original, creative and memorable entertainment gaming experiences.

Nintendo Switch combines the best of two worlds: mobile handheld and traditional at-home console gaming. This new console brings Ubisoft and its teams new opportunities to express their creativity, develop fresh ways to play and push the industry boundaries once again.

“Ubisoft is bringing Just Dance 2017, Rayman Legends Definitive Edition and Steep to the Nintendo Switch. We’re proud to be working closely with Nintendo on this new console, making sure players can enjoy great games on a device that shares the same philosophy as these games: great accessibility and the ability to bring people together”, said Xavier Poix, Managing Director, Ubisoft’s French Studios. “These three games are just the beginning; we will share more about other exciting projects for Nintendo Switch at a later date.”

Just Dance 2017 – Dancing with anyone – anywhere, anytime

Just Dance 2017 will be the first Ubisoft game released for Nintendo Switch at launch. The chart-topping dance track, “How Deep Is Your Love” by Calvin Harris & Disciples, will be available as an exclusive track for Nintendo Switch owners via Just Dance Unlimited.* This hit song joins 40 tracks already available in the game, including “Sorry” by Justin Bieber, “Lean On” by Major Lazer Ft. MØ & DJ Snake, brand-new hits like “Don’t Wanna Know” by Maroon 5, party favourites like “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” by Beyoncé and classics like “Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen. Nintendo Switch players will also have three months of free access to Just Dance Unlimited, the dance-on-demand subscription streaming service, which offers more than 200 additional songs and access to exclusive tracks, with new hit songs added all the time.

More accessible than ever, Just Dance 2017 can now be played anywhere, with up to six players at the same time using a Joy-Con controller, or by using the Just Dance Controller app (which turns your smartphone into a controller).

Rayman Legends Definitive Edition – Exploring Rayman’s legendary worlds

Players’ all-time favourite, Rayman, is back in the game thanks to Rayman Legends Definitive Edition, the ultimate version of the critically acclaimed Rayman Legends created by Michel Ancel. This edition includes all the game’s traditional features, such as Kung Foot, plus some brand-new surprises. Nintendo’s history has included the Rayman brand since the franchise’s beginning, with titles such as Rayman Advance for Game Boy Advance, Rayman 2 The Great Escape for Nintendo 64 and Rayman Raving Rabbids for the launch of Wii.

Rayman, Globox and the Teensies are off wandering through an enchanted forest when they discover a mysterious tent filled with a series of captivating paintings. As they look closer, they notice each painting seems to tell the story of a different mythical world. While focusing on a painting that shows a medieval land, they are suddenly sucked into the painting, entering the world, and the adventure begins. The gang must run, jump and fight their way through each world to save the day and discover the secrets of every legendary painting.

Steep – Experiencing action sports in the beautiful open-world of the Alps

In Steep, players drop in to the Alps and ski, snowboard, wingsuit and paraglide through the game’s massive open-world playground, filled with great activities and views. Developed by Ubisoft Annecy, Steep is designed for a culture that’s all about sharing experiences with the world. Steep features seamless multiplayer, populating the world with players as they naturally explore the Alps. Players and friends across the globe can take on challenges together or compete with each other to snag the top spot on the leaderboard. The open-world of Steep will be further enriched by the majestic slopes of Alaska in a free update available this year.

*“How Deep Is Your Love” by Calvin Harris & Disciples is available through Just Dance Unlimited and can be accessed either via the free trial or by subscribing. The track will be available for all platforms later this year.

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Low-cost wireless sport earphones get a kickstart

Wireless earphone brands are common, but not crowdfunded brands. BRYAN TURNER takes the K Sport Wireless for a run.

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As wireless technology becomes better, Bluetooth earphones have become popular in the consumer market. KuaiFit aspires to make them even more accessible to more people through a cheaper, quality product, by selling the K Sport Wireless Earphones directly from its Kickstarter page

KuaiFit has an app by the same name which offers voice-guided personal training services in almost every type of exercise, from cardio to weight-lifting. A vast range of connectivity to third-party sensors is available, like heart rate sensors and GPS devices, which work well with guided coaching. 

The app starts off with selecting a fitness level: beginner, intermediate and advanced. Thereafter, one has the ability to connect with real personal trainers via a subscription to its paid service. The subscription comes free for 6 months with the earphones, and R30 per month thereafter. 

The box includes a manual, a USB to two USB Type B connectors, different sized soft plastic eartips and the two earphone units. Each earphone is wireless and connects to the other independently of wires. This puts the K Sport Wireless in the realm of the Apple Earpods in terms of connection style. 

The earphones are just over 2cm wide and 2cm high. The set is black with a light blue KuaiFit logo on the earphone’s button. 

The button functions as an on/off switch when long-pressed and a play/pause button when quick-pressed. The dual-button set-up is convenient in everyday use, allowing for playback control depending on which hand is free. Two connectivity modes are available, single earphone mode or dual earphone mode. The dual earphone mode intelligently connects the second earphone and syncs stereo audio a few seconds after powering on. 

In terms of connectivity, the earphones are Bluetooth 4.1 with a massive 10-meter range, provided there are no obstacles between the device and the earphones. While it’s not Bluetooth 5, it still falls into the Bluetooth Low Energy connection category, meaning that the smartphone’s battery won’t be drastically affected by a consistent connection to the earphones. The batteries within the earphones aren’t specifically listed but last anywhere between 3 and 6 hours, depending on the mode. 

Audio quality is surprisingly good for earphones at this price point. The headset style is restricted to in-ear due to its small design and probable usage in movement-intensive activities. As a result, one has to be very careful how one puts these earphones, in because bass has the potential of getting reduced from an incorrect in-ear placement. In-ear earphones are usually notorious for ear discomfort and suction pain after extended usage. These earphones are one of the very few in this price range that are comfortable and don’t cause discomfort. The good quality of the soft plastic ear tip is definitely a factor in the high level of comfort of the in-ear earphone experience.

Overall, the K Sport Wireless earphones are great considering the sound quality and the low price: US$30 on Kickstarter.

Find them on Kickstarter here.

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Taxify enters Google Maps

A recent update to Taxify now uses Google Maps which allows users to identify their drivers, find public transport and search for billing options.

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People planning their travel routes using Google Maps will now see a Taxify icon in the app, in addition to the familiar car, public transport, walking and billing options.

Taxify started operating in South Africa in 2016 and as of October 2018 operates in seven South African cities – Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni, Tshwane, Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth and Polokwane.

Once riders have searched for their destination and asked the app for directions, Google Maps shares the proximity of cars on the Taxify platform, as well as an estimated fare for the trip.

If users see that taking the Taxify option is their best bet, they can simply tap on the ‘Open app’ icon, to complete the process of booking the ride. Customers without the app on their device will be prompted to install Taxify first.

This integration makes it possible for users to evaluate which of the private, public or e-hailing modes of transport are most time-efficient and cost-effective.

“This integration with Google Maps makes it so much easier for users to choose the best way to move around their city,” says Gareth Taylor, Taxify’s country manager for South Africa. “They’ll have quick comparisons between estimated arrival times for the different modes of transport, as well as fares they can expect to pay, which will help save both time and money,” he added.

Taxify rides in Google Maps are rolling out globally today and will be available in more than 15 countries, with South Africa being one of the first countries to benefit from this convenient service.

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