In Depth

Five things this week in tech: Mario, Google and more

From the launch of Nintendo's first mobile game to the biggest trends of 2016, here are five of this week's top stories

This week's launch of Super Mario Run on the Apple iOS app store is a substantial move for Nintendo. It's the first time in decades that the company has released a video game on a platform other than its own, with the one-finger Mario title being welcomed by positive reviews from critics.

Here are the five top stories from the tech world this week:

1 – Xbox One games come to Oculus Rift

Microsoft is dipping its toes into the virtual reality industry by pairing up with Oculus to stream Xbox games on the Rift headset. While not quite the full VR experience offered by PlayStation's recently launched headset, the Xbox streaming app allows players to view their game through a window that is fully adjustable. The app is free to download, but users will need to own an Oculus Rift VR headset and Xbox One console.

2 – Super Mario Run launches on iOS app store
Super Mario Apple

Nintendo's first foray into the mobile gaming market launched on Thursday when Super Mario Run debuted on Apple's iOS app store. Critics are praising the game's familiarity and depth, with IGN saying the gameplay is "easy to pull off but difficult to master". The game can be downloaded for free, but players will be prompted to upgrade to the full game for £7.99 after the third level.

You can find everything you need to know about Super Mario Run here.

3 – Consumer tech and US elections dominate this year's Google trends

Google released its rankings for the top trends and news stories of the year, with the US presidential election and consumer technology dominating user searches. Pokemon Go was the most searched term this year, joined at the top by the iPhone 7 and Donald Trump. Following the deaths of several notable names, the firm created a ranking of trending losses, which is headed by pop stars Price and David Bowie.

4 – Billions affected in Yahoo hack
Yahoo

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Yahoo has revealed that phone numbers, names, passwords and email addresses of "more than one billion user accounts" may have been stolen in a hacking attack dating back to 2013. The email provider's chief information security officer, Bob Lord, says the company is in the process of informing users whose accounts have been breached.

5 – UK stuck in 4G 'digital slow lane'

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ONLINE_YES

The UK's 4G mobile phone service is worse than Albania's, Panama's s, Peru's and Romania's, according to a government watchdog. A report from the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) urges the government to ensure basic talk, text and data services are available to Britons after it claims there are too many "digital deserts" and "not spots" where users can't get a signal.

Five things this week in Technology: Apple, Mario and more

09 December

It has been a busy week for Sony following its PlayStation Experience (PSX) event on Monday, which saw the release of several new game trailers, including Gran Turismo Sport and The Last of Us: Part 2. 

Here are the five top stories from the tech world this week.

1 - Bluetooth 5 now available to manufacturers

The Bluetooth Special Interests Group (Bluetooth SIG) has announced the fifth generation of its wireless connection, which is now available for manufacturers to implement into new hardware. The connection boasts a transfer speed around two times faster than its predecessor, with four times the range and eight times the capacity of broadcast messages. 

2 - Sony teases The Last of Us: Part 2 in new trailer

Sony has revealed a teaser trailer for a sequel Naughty Dog's post-apocalyptic game - The Last of Us. The film focuses on Ellie, who appears to have matured since the previous title, suggesting the title could be set between five and ten years in the future. Director Neil Druckmann says the game explores the concept of "hate" and features an "intense" storyline. 

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3 - Super Mario Run expected to make $71m in first month

Nintendo is set to make its debut on to the mobile market next week with the launch of Super Mario Run - and reports suggest it's going to be a commercial hit. Sensor Tower says the Italian plumber's latest adventure will generate $71m (£56m) worldwide in gross revenue and $50m (£49.6m) in net revenue during its first month. 

4 - Gran Turismo Sport gets a 4K PS4 Pro preview trailer

Sony has released a 4K trailer for Gran Turismo Sport, running on its high-power PlayStation 4 Pro console. Unveiled at PlayStation Experience, the trailer demonstrates the racing game running with HDR features enabled, giving a more lifelike feel to paintwork and landscapes. The game also features 140 unique cars, all with highly-detailed interiors and improved engine sounds.

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5 - The Last Guardian reviews

The Last Guardian has finally arrived after spending nearly ten years in development - and it's already a hit with the critics. "It's insane how organic Guardian is," says Destructoid, adding it feels like a game created as an adventure rather than a "cookie-cutter puzzle platform". The boy and his animal friend Trico move in "emotive" ways that make the relationship between the two feel "genuine", the site adds.

You can find all the details here.

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