The Morning After: All the big news from The Game Awards, including 'Hades II' and more sequels


The Game Awards gave us a busy night for gaming news. First up, Idris Elba will star in Cyberpunk 2077's first big DLC. Phantom Liberty is a spy thriller introducing a new character, FIA agent Solomon Reed, played by Elba. The DLC also includes new missions and a new district in Night City, all of it culminating in "an impossible mission of espionage and survival," according to developer CD Projekt RED. I wonder if he'll bump into Keanu Reeves' character.

A still from the video game
A still from the video game 'Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty' showing a character modeled after actor Idris Elba.  

A Hades sequel might be the biggest reveal. While the game looks similar to the Supergiant hit, you can expect a new female protagonist, Melinoë, training with the witch goddess Hecate, and generally slaying beasts in the underworld. We also got release dates for Final Fantasy XVI (June 22nd), Street Fighter 6 (June 2nd) and Diablo IV (June 6th). In short, June 2023 is shaping up to be a busy month in gaming.

Hideo Kojima was also ready to reveal his next project, Death Stranding 2 - yes, another sequel. Both Norman Reedus and Léa Seydoux will reappear in the game, headed for PS5. Kojima added that his studio is also working on a second, completely new project with an experimental edge. So, not a sequel?

We've pulled together all the other big gaming headlines right here. But which game won? FromSoftware's Elden Ring, of course. It beat games like God of War Ragnarok, Horizon Forbidden West, Stray and Xenoblade Chronicles 3 to claim Game Of The Year.

- Mat Smith

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IKEA's latest Sonos Symfonisk speaker is a $260 floor lamp

It's the most expensive member of the Symfonisk lineup.


IKEA and Sonos' floor lamp collaboration, at $260, is the most expensive speaker in the Symfonisk lineup. Current models range from $120 for a bookshelf speaker (with less than stellar audio) to $250 for musical wall art. And your investment in the floor lamp could creep even higher if you want something other than the included bamboo shade. It'll launch in January 2023.

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Google merges its Maps and Waze teams

But it says apps will remain separate.

Google is planning to merge its Waze and Maps divisions, The Wall Street Journal has reported. The move aims at reducing duplicated work across the products, but Google said it will still keep the Waze and Maps apps separate. Waze and Maps have been sharing features ever since Google acquired Waze for $1.1 billion back in 2013. "Google remains deeply committed to Waze's unique brand, its beloved app and its thriving community of volunteers and users," a spokesperson told the WSJ. Waze CEO Neha Parikh will leave her role after a transition period, but there will reportedly be no layoffs.

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Google says it's making Chrome less of a battery and memory hog

Two new modes should help lighten the load on your desktop or laptop.

With a new Memory Saver mode, Google says Chrome will reduce its memory usage by up to 30 percent on desktop. The mode frees up memory from open tabs you aren't using. Google says this will help to give you a smoother experience on active tabs. Chrome will reload inactive tabs when you switch back to them. The company has also revealed a Battery Saver mode, which Google says can kick in when you're using the browser and your device's battery level drops to 20 percent. Chrome will limit background activity, including tabs with videos and animations. Google says all users will have access to them in the coming weeks, and it's rolling out the build already.

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EU sets December 2024 deadline for USB-C wired charging on new phones

Expect to see a USB-C iPhone by 2025 at the latest.

The European Union has set a firm deadline for manufacturers to adopt USB-C charging for most electronic devices sold in the region. New phones, tablets, headphones, portable speakers and many other types of devices will need to adopt the standard for wired charging as of December 28th, 2024. Laptop makers will need to switch to USB-C by April 2026.

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