How do you follow up one of the most well-regarded and critically acclaimed games of the last decade? Well, you keep a lot of things the same, but shake it up. The first few hours of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom take place entirely in the sky, but the game leads you through a handful of shrines to get a new set of abilities, just like you did on the Hyrule plateau in Breath of the Wild.
Now, there are islands in the sky and underground grottos to explore, assisted by some powerful new skills, including Fuse, which lets you stick objects to weapons and arrows to enhance them, and Ultrahand, where you can stick objects together to build basically anything you want, including vehicles. Read on for how this translates to the world of Zelda and Link – which is what I’m doing while I wait for my copy to land before the weekend.
– Mat Smith
The Morning After isn’t just a newsletter – it’s also a daily podcast. Get our daily audio briefings, Monday through Friday, by subscribing right here.
The biggest stories you might have missed
He will be CTO and executive chair.
Musk has announced a replacement chief executive will start at Twitter in roughly six weeks. While he hasn’t identified the new leader by name, he indicated he’d hired a woman for the role. Musk will stay on as executive chair and chief technical officer covering “product, software and sysops.” Hours after Musk’s announcement, The Wall Street Journal reported that NBCUniversal advertising exec Linda Yaccarino “is in talks” to take over the CEO role at Twitter. Yaccarino is known for being an “industry advocate for finding better ways to measure the effectiveness of advertising,” according to The Journal. Sounds fun. Musk said in December he would honor the results of a poll he made, asking whether or not he should bow out. He said he would leave as soon as he found someone “foolish enough to take the job.”
It borrows camera features like Product Showcase from its Alpha series.
Sony is still making smartphones, and its latest is the flagship Xperia 1 V, for both photographers and vloggers. The Xperia 1 V has a new image sensor called Exmor T for Mobile, designed to be faster and work better with computational (AI) photography while offering “approximately double” the low-light performance of the Xperia 1 IV. For vloggers and content creators, it now features the same Product Showcase setting found on Sony’s vlogging cameras, like the ZV-E1, which will keep items locked in focus while blurring out the background. The new sensor also promises improved skin tones, thanks to extra saturation available on the sensor. It also has a new voice priority mic near the rear camera. As with past Xperia models, the catch here is the price: The Xperia 1 V starts at $1,400.
But they’ll still be available as ‘standalone options.’
A “one-app experience” that combines Disney+ and Hulu content will launch in late 2023, Disney CEO Bob Iger announced during the company’s latest earnings call. He said the company will continue offering Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ as standalone options, but combining services “is a logical progression.” In addition to announcing the combined streaming app, Iger has also revealed Disney+ is getting another price increase after adding $3 on top of its ad-free streaming tier’s monthly fee in December. He didn’t say when the company is raising the service’s prices, but when it does, the ad-free and ad-supported tiers will cost more than $11 and $8, respectively.
The Fairbuds XL are not buds, though.
Ten years since Fairphone launched its first repairable smartphone, now it’s bringing its processes to wireless over-ear headphones. They’ll include active noise cancellation (ANC), multiple audio modes, two-point Bluetooth connection and a two-year warranty. The company says Fairbuds XL (these are not buds) use 100 percent recycled aluminum, 100 percent recycled tin in its solder paste and 80 percent recycled plastic. It added it has integrated Fairtrade Gold into its supply chain, and uses 100 percent vegan leather for both the ear cushions and headband.
Think ‘Cuphead’ with Tommy guns.
Mouse is a shooter inspired by the style of 1930’s cartoons from Disney and other studios. The (very) early footage shows barebones maps and gameplay mechanics, but if it gets close to the magic of Cuphead, it could be a lot of fun.