Microsoft and Nintendo reveal upcoming releases.

Much of the country is reopening as concerns about the coronavirus pandemic lessen, but video game makers have a message: If you want to stay inside, we can keep you entertained. 

Publishers and developers big and small unveiled video games in the pipeline for the rest of 2021 and 2022 during the Electronic Entertainment Expo, which ran from Saturday to Tuesday (June 12-15). Even before that, during the Summer Games Fest kickoff on June 9, we learned that “Elden Ring,” the much-awaited collaboration between Game of Thrones creator George R.R. Martin and From Software, makers of games such as “Dark Souls” and “Bloodborne,” had a release date of Jan. 21, 2022.

Microsoft showed off Xbox games including “Psychonauts 2,” coming out in August, “Forza Horizon 5” (November), “Halo Infinite,” scheduled for later this year, and games such as “Redfall” and “Starfield,” from Bethesda Softworks’ studios coming in 2022. And the software giant stressed the advantage of its Xbox Game Pass, emphasizing the slew of games that will be available on the subscription service.

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Image Credit: euronet.com

Nintendo showcased “Mario Golf: Super Rush,” coming to Nintendo Switch on Friday, and revealed a new Metroid game called “Metroid Dread,” out in October. There was also an update on the sequel to “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild,” scheduled for 2022.

Independent video game publishers showed off an eclectic roster of adventures in the works.

Sony did not participate in E3, but its new PlayStation 5 game “Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart,” released June 11, is getting glowing reviews.

Last year, spending on video games rose 23% to $177.8 billion, according to research firm NewZoo. Experts are split on whether spending on games will increase in 2021, DFC Intelligence expects 10% growth worldwide, with people spending more, but perhaps devoting less time to playing – since they can leave the house.

What else happened in tech?

• Cartoon app. The Voilà AI Artist app that transforms your face into an animated movie character has taken social media by storm, but should you download it?

• Windows open? A preview of Microsoft’s new Windows 11 operating system leaked online and the net was not impressed. But it’s not the final product, we will learn more soon, as the software giant has a Windows event scheduled for Thursday (June 24).

• Another net disruption. Just one week after a massive online outage, another brief one shut down websites and apps of dozens of financial institutions, airlines, and other companies Thursday.

Game break

Despite lots of online chatter, we didn’t expect Nintendo to announce new hardware at E3. Polygon took a historic look at why it makes sense not to.

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