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FPS Boost arrives in 13 EA games, up to 120FPS supported on Xbox Series X|S
by Pulasthi Ariyasinghe
FPS Boost support is expanding to include quite a few older Electronic Arts-published games, offering Xbox Series X|S owners access to hugely improved frame rates that weren't possible in last-gen consoles.
Today's additions bring hits like the three most recent Battlefield entries, Star Wars Battlefront games, and the Titanfall franchise over to the "up to 120FPS" camp over from their original up to 60FPS states in last gen. The sole game that only sees a bump up to 60FPS is the EA Originals title Sea of Solitude. See the complete list of newly FPS Boosted games below:
Battlefield 1 Battlefield 4 Battlefield V Mirror’s Edge Catalyst Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare 2 STAR WARS Battlefront STAR WARS Battlefront II Titanfall Titanfall 2 Unravel 2 Sea of Solitude Note that FPS Boost will not be enabled by default on some of these experiences, and needs to be turned on in the Compatibility Options manually.
All 13 EA games introduced today to FPS Boost are also included in the EA Play subscription, which means Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members with an Xbox Series X or S can jump in and try out the updates right now.
With the latest arrivals, FPS Boost is now available on 23 games, including the original batch of five titles added in February and the five Bethesda games from March.
UK turning to legislation to get rid of mobile not-spots
by Paul Hill
The UK government has announced that it will propose law changes in an effort to boost mobile connectivity in rural areas to help those who live, work, and travel in those places. Under the legislation, mobile carriers will be allowed to make new and existing masts up to five metres taller and two metres wider to boost their range, it also allows operators to attach equipment that lets them be shared more easily.
The government believes that the change will encourage mobile carriers to improve their existing masts rather than build new ones. The increased size would still allow them to reach a similar number of users as building new masts, enabling innovations such as remote healthcare, self-driving vehicles, and smart home devices.
The legislation will give protection to protected areas such as national parks, the Broads, conservation areas, areas of outstanding natural beauty, and world heritage sites but will allow for masts on buildings to be placed nearer to highways to boost coverage.
Commenting on the new legislation, Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden said:
While the new legislation will loosen restrictions, the government said that local authorities would still need to give their approval for masts and will have a say on where they’re placed and their appearance. The new plans will first go to consultation until 14 June 2021 to get feedback before starting the process of becoming law.
Rocket League is coming to smartphones as a 2D game called Sideswipe
by João Carrasqueira
Rocket League, the driving and soccer mashup game by Psyonix, is heading to mobile devices later this year - kind of. The developer today announced Rocket League Sideswipe, a new take on the Rocket League formula that's tailored to be played on smartphones (via Gamespot).
The biggest difference between Sideswipe and the original Rocket League is that it will play in a 2D perspective, with the players' cars and the ball being seen from the side. Because of the more limiting movement that comes with a 2D environment, the game will also support fewer players, so only 1-versus-1 and 2-versus-2 matches are supported. Matches will be shorter, too, lasting just two minutes.
Aside from those changes, the heart of Rocket League gameplay is still prominent here. Both the typical Soccar mode and Hoops mode can be played here, but in order to add some challenge to the former, goals are now raised from the ground, so scoring a goal isn't as simple as just pushing the ball forward. Rocket League Sideswipe also retains the heavy customization elements of the original, with different bodies, wheels, boost trails, and more to choose from.
Psyonix says the title will feature controls that are easy to learn, regardless of whether you've played the original or not. With Rocket League becoming free-to-play last year, one might have expected the full game to eventually come to mobile devices, but reworking the controls for that would likely have made it much more difficult to play. Plus, since matches are shorter and feature fewer players, cross-platform play would probably have been impossible anyway.
If you want to see for yourself what the experience feels like, you'll need to be in Australia and New Zealand so you can register for a time-limited alpha test on Android devices. The full launch is planned for later this year, both on Android and iOS, and more betas should show up in different regions before then.
Sky Mobile reveals how much data was saved due to lockdown
by Paul Hill
The Mobile Virtual Network Operator, Sky Mobile, has revealed that £174 million worth of data has been saved among its customers due to lifestyle changes brought around by lockdowns in response to the coronavirus pandemic. It’s unsurprising that mobile data has dropped significantly due to people staying home and using their broadband connection more but it’s nice that Sky Mobile has been able to quantify the use reduction.
Customers that have continued to pay for their mobile usage over the last year have not lost access to the 55 million GBs of data that have been saved, instead, it’s stored in Piggybank for up to three years so many customers will have a lot of data to burn through once restrictions are lifted. Sky Mobile said that on average, customers have saved 43 GB of data which works out to about £136 of savings per person.
Commenting on the news, Paul Sweeney, Managing Director of Sky Mobile, said:
According to the firm, customers in Scotland saved the most data reaching 7.7 million GBs and saving £24 million. London came second with customers saving 4 million GBs of data which was worth £13 million.
While not one of the main providers in the UK, the service does have 2 million customers and it offers some interesting features including Piggybank and the recently announced ability to share spare data with those who may need it.
Deutsche Telekom and Ericsson run tests to green sites
by Paul Hill
The mobile solutions provider, Ericsson, has announced that it’s working with Deutsche Telekom to power mobile sites using renewable solar energy. The companies are conducting their tests at a Deutsche Telekom mobile site in Dittenheim, a village about 100 miles north of Munich, in a bid to show that mobile phone sites can be powered using an independent energy supply backed by solar power.
To power the Dittenheim site, the two firms built small solar modules that took up an area of 12 metres-squared. Ericsson has provided the Ericsson Power System that is being used to manage maximum power point tracking and voltage conversion. Based on testing carried out during the latter half of 2020, the two companies showed that solar energy was capable of powering two-thirds of the energy needs of the site.
Commenting on the project, Leif Heitzer, Senior Vice President Technology Guidance & Economics at Deutsche Telekom, said:
Projects such as these will be critical for Deutsche Telekom as it moves forward to meet its carbon obligations under the Paris Agreement which aims to limit global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius. Ericsson also said that it’s a strong supporter of the Sustainable Development Goals which promote, among other things, renewable energy, decent work and economic growth, and innovation and infrastructure - all of which apply to the experiment in Dittenheim.