Apple’s AR is closer to reality than Google’s

Apple has often been accused of acting like it invented things that others have been doing for years. That complaint is not without merit, however Apple can lay claim to transforming existing things into mainstream successes, which takes no small amount of invention in its own right. Fingerprint authentication and contactless payments are just two recent examples, having both existed in Japan and on niche devices for over a decade before Apple raised them to global prominence with the iPhone.

Next up on Apple’s agenda is augmented reality, the act of superimposing digital data and visuals atop a live video feed of your surroundings — something that Google, Microsoft, and many others have been experimenting with for a long time. Apple is far from being able to claim it invented AR, but its new ARKit in iOS 11 is already showing signs to suggest that Apple will help bring AR into the mainstream faster and better than anyone else.

The chronic problem with augmented reality has always been one of practicality. You could have the most basic forms of AR on your regular phone, as provided by apps like Layar, which has been around since 2009, but those have never been particularly compelling. Or you could have more sophisticated and appealing augmentations, as presented by Google’s Tango project, but you’d need a big fat phablet to lug around to make them happen. Apple’s difference is to combine the convenience of your daily phone with the appeal of advanced AR.

Follow

Made With ARKit @madewithARKit

Measure distances with your iPhone. Just because you can. Clever little #ARKit app by @BalestraPatrick ‍♂️ http://bit.ly/2sFl8RB 

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Looking at this distance-measuring app, it seems so simple and obvious. Of course your super-powered, multi-core phone should be smart enough to measure out basic distances, and there have indeed been many wonky apps trying to do that in the past. But measuring with AR, as already shown off by Google Tango phones, allows you a much more intuitive method for doing it. Having the phone actually aware of the three-dimensional space in its view allows for precise measurements, which can be represented with a neat hologram of a measuring tape. Apple’s advantage in the contest for doing this best is simple: while Google Tango demands special hardware, ARKit requires only that you have a recent iOS device. At WWDC earlier this month, Craig Federighi described ARKit as “the largest AR platform in the world,” and he was right.

Apple’s AR will immediately reach millions of people who already have the requisite hardware. And while it looks to be functionally as flexible and capable as Google’s Tango (check out some early examples of fanciful experiments with ARKit), its broader audience makes it much more enticing for serious developers to invest their time and money into. Google’s Tango is about the future whereas Apple’s ARKit is about the present.

Follow

Made With ARKit @madewithARKit

BOOM And just like that we have #ARKit measurement app number 2 http://bit.ly/2sbaNta  → by @laanlabs

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Considering how little time it took to develop two convincingly accurate AR measuring apps with the iOS 11 beta, and reading the comments from their makers, Apple also appears to have an advantage in the ease of development with ARKit. It’s exciting to think that there are still three months before the release of the next iPhone and the accompanying finalization of iOS 11, by which time Apple’s big-budget app developer partners are likely to have a deluge of AR-enabled apps for people to play with. That’s how stuff goes mainstream: as a big wave of change that touches everyone from casual Pokémon Go players to serious home DIY geeks figuring out how to arrange their living room furniture.

For the people who don’t care about incremental changes in phone specs or design, the differentiator between devices has always been in the unique things that each one can do — or, failing that, the convenience and ease of use of common features. Apple’s iPhone is more convenient than Google’s Project Tango devices and with iOS 11 it’ll have much better AR capabilities than its nearest premium Android rivals. So if we’re looking for the AR innovator that will take the technology into the mainstream, Apple once again looks like the likeliest suspect.

[Source”GSmerena”]

 

Why evolution is better than revolution in product design

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Digital products will always need to be redesigned. Styles progress, hardware technologies advance, and development possibilities are ever-increasing. Just in the past year the potential for implementing microinteractions, and processor-intensive animations and graphics, has come along at a fair pace. Product teams are continuously looking to iterate and stay ahead of or pass the competition. This is ever important in furthering the design and development industries, and delivering to the consumer the very best product available.

The process of redesigning is not always so straightforward. There are times when teams and individuals have to decide whether to redesign from the ground up, or iterate on the current product. In this article we are going to look at both options and analyze just why redesigning from scratch should be avoided in the majority of cases.

REDESIGNING FROM SCRATCH

To begin, redesigning from scratch should not always be avoided. On occasion, a company can inherit a product simply for the user base, domain name, or because they see the potential to completely re-engineer the product from the ground up, into something completely different.

One example of a product that completely redesigned from the ground up is Bebo. What was once a fast-growing social network has since become multiple new products as a result of complete redesigns. In its latest relaunch, it has been developed into a messaging app, somewhat reminiscent of Slack.

The issue with redesigning from scratch, is you pose the risk of alienating users. In certain cases, the product can have such underperforming design and UX, that it leaves this as the only appropriate course of action. The issue is when products are redesigned for little reason other than for change for its own sake.

It’s important to ask two questions when pondering this decision:

  • Does my vision for the product clash considerably with the current design and framework?
  • Is the current product posing multiple substantial design and UX issues for users?

If the answer to either is yes, then this may well be the most appropriate course.

If you believe a redesign may cause a loss of users, answering yes to either should override any worries you have of this being the case. Sometimes, and only sometimes, a small proportion of the existing user base who are entirely opposed to change has to be discounted in order to move the product forward. You just have to be sure you are truly moving the product forward with a complete redesign—there has to be clear underlying reasons such as above.

REDESIGNING IN ITERATIONS

For most cases, this should be the route to take. By continuously iterating on a product, you avoid alienating the current user base by by slowly but surely introducing new UI and UX enhancements with each version. This is a lot easier to digest for users, and typically helps avoid having them move to competitors. It also allows for the removal of a feature if proven not to be effective or useful for new and existing users.

Redesigning in iterations can also often result in the best possible product. When you are constantly redesigning from the ground up, it eliminates the positive effects of stepwise refinement.

Take Google’s core search product, for example. I’d argue they have never redesigned completely, and instead continuously iterated over multiple decades. With Google, they have an incredibly complex product, but a simple interface, and have iterated upon this in small steps to the point now where the product is extremely refined, powerful, and easy to use.

Another such example is InVision. A few years ago, they could have completely wiped the design which was looking tired and outdated. Instead of building something new with the latest short-term style trends, they chose to iterate on the current version one step at a time with the outlook of creating one of the finest design industry tools. All the while, they kept existing users satisfied by not overhauling every feature and layout.

In the above examples, you can see just how the product has progressed from something very dated, to a cutting-edge, industry leading product design—all through continuous iterating on the features, layout, and styles.

This approach also excludes the issue of overhauling a design every time the design team or lead is changed. It provides a consistent approach over long periods of time, and avoids individual designs and styles making their mark at the users’ expense.

Next time you are working on a design, ask yourself: should I really redesign this product from scratch, or can we achieve better long-term results with stepwise refinement?

 

 

[Source:- webdesignerdepot]

The path to a Surface phone is clearer than ever with Windows 10 on ARM

Why does ARM on Windows 10 matter? What does it mean for a phone running Windows 10? Let’s break down Microsoft’s latest announcement to identify its implications.

Microsoft’s announcement of Windows 10 on ARM is a momentous occasion. Companies like Apple have been rumored since 2012 to be working on bringing macOS to ARM. Even just weeks before the MacBook Pro refresh rumors were swirling that Apple’s new laptops were ARM based. Yet it is Microsoft who is the first to do it for real (and not just for a Touch Bar).

To be clear, Windows 10 on ARM is about PCs and not phones. Nonetheless, the prospect that these two systems will come together is feasible. Here is how a Surface “phone” could happen, but first some background on why ARM even matters.

x86-64 versus ARM

ARM is the architecture used in modern smartphones. Whether it’s Apple’s A10 Fusion chip or Qualcomm’s Snapdragon line, these processors are all based on the ARM architecture. ARM differs significantly from x86 and x64, which is what Intel chips like ATOM, Core M, and Core i are based, as well as AMD’s processors.

Windows 10 Mobile runs on ARM; Windows 10 on x86-64. They share OneCore and UWP, but there’s a yawning gulf between the architectures.

Windows 10 Mobile runs on ARM; Windows 10 for PC runs on x86-64. Both share OneCore and UWP as their center of overlap. The difference is also why you cannot run x86 Win32 apps on your phone. Architecture matters.

Because ARM was made to be efficient for small batteries and reduced thermal loads, it’s ideal for smartphones and slim tablets.

Historically, ARM chips were significantly less powerful than desktop-class x86 processors. That’s been changing in the last few years. Apple’s A10 Fusion chip, found in the iPhone 7, is often compared in performance to the 2013 MacBook Air — which sported a 1.3GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor.

So, if ARM’s so fantastic, why not just put your desktop OS on it? The task requires a tremendous amount of engineering and work. Microsoft, evidently, has finished it. Apple is likely still working on something.

 

 

 

 

[Source:- Windowscentral]

The path to a Surface phone is clearer than ever with Windows 10 on ARM

Why does ARM on Windows 10 matter? What does it mean for a phone running Windows 10? Let’s break down Microsoft’s latest announcement to identify its implications.

Microsoft’s announcement of Windows 10 on ARM is a momentous occasion. Companies like Apple have been rumored since 2012 to be working on bringing macOS to ARM. Even just weeks before the MacBook Pro refresh rumors were swirling that Apple’s new laptops were ARM based. Yet it is Microsoft who is the first to do it for real (and not just for a Touch Bar).

To be clear, Windows 10 on ARM is about PCs and not phones. Nonetheless, the prospect that these two systems will come together is feasible. Here is how a Surface “phone” could happen, but first some background on why ARM even matters.

x86-64 versus ARM

ARM is the architecture used in modern smartphones. Whether it’s Apple’s A10 Fusion chip or Qualcomm’s Snapdragon line, these processors are all based on the ARM architecture. ARM differs significantly from x86 and x64, which is what Intel chips like ATOM, Core M, and Core i are based, as well as AMD’s processors.

Windows 10 Mobile runs on ARM; Windows 10 on x86-64. They share OneCore and UWP, but there’s a yawning gulf between the architectures.

Windows 10 Mobile runs on ARM; Windows 10 for PC runs on x86-64. Both share OneCore and UWP as their center of overlap. The difference is also why you cannot run x86 Win32 apps on your phone. Architecture matters.

Because ARM was made to be efficient for small batteries and reduced thermal loads, it’s ideal for smartphones and slim tablets.

Historically, ARM chips were significantly less powerful than desktop-class x86 processors. That’s been changing in the last few years. Apple’s A10 Fusion chip, found in the iPhone 7, is often compared in performance to the 2013 MacBook Air — which sported a 1.3GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor.

So, if ARM’s so fantastic, why not just put your desktop OS on it? The task requires a tremendous amount of engineering and work. Microsoft, evidently, has finished it. Apple is likely still working on something.

Why it’s a big deal

The ability to run a full PC operating system on a tablet, two-in-one, or laptop powered by ARM has been the dream. Battery life in such a device gains a few hours with excellent thermals. The PC is now always connected to the internet. It can also be thinner and lighter than any x86-64 system — there’s less battery needed for an acceptable lifespan and reduced thermal dissipation demands.

We already have that with smartphones, but now you can run a full OS for apps and games with minimal compromises.

Such a scenario changes concepts around gaming, using digital inking, productivity, reading, exchanging information, and creativity. It’s the power of a PC but with fewer limits.

To make this tech dream come true, ARM’s performance had to improve, batteries had to get better, and someone had to port their OS. Well, that all just happened and none of us are dreaming anymore. This is the coming reality.

Cost counts too

A performant x86-64 processor is also much more expensive than ARM. This pricing matters to companies trying to create new categories of devices with greater abilities. For example, an Intel ATOM chip is around $37, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 runs about $70. But an Intel Core M processor starts at $281 and a Core i7 can go over $600.

That problem of Core M PC sticks being fantastic, but crazy expensive now disappears.

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon SoCs also have everything on board including Wi-Fi, LTE, GSM, Bluetooth, Quick Charge, and camera technology all for a fixed cost. Manufacturers choose which features they want and license it. Hence why your Qualcomm-powered phone might not have Quick Charge 3.0.

On the other end, x86-64 is just the processor. Any LTE modem support is extra, as are all the other radios. Because of this difference, PCs range in feature sets, price, and even size.

The additional components make x86-64 systems hotter, more expensive, larger, and harder on batteries than any ARM counterpart.

Microsoft’s problem is they need something stronger than an ATOM, but cheaper and smaller than an Intel Core M. A processor based on ARM does all of that, plus adds in 4G LTE support, radios, and is significantly more efficient than an x86-64 system.

How to go from Mobile to the phone?

All this news and talk of smartphone components raises the next logical question: Why can’t we run Windows 10 for ARM on a smartphone?

Why Microsoft keeps working on Windows 10 Mobile: ARM, cellular, and the next big thing

In theory, you now can. The reality though is more complicated. Nevertheless, you can bet Microsoft is very much likely working on such a scenario for a ‘Pro’ smartphone experience.

Here are a few reasons why Microsoft has not put Windows 10 on ARM on the phone… yet:

  • Pricing: Such a phone will be more expensive. Additional RAM, a large SSD for significantly more storage, and the license SKU for full Windows 10 will make this “phone” costlier. Full Windows 10 takes around 20GB of storage versus ~4GB for Mobile. Full Windows 10 also ideally needs at least 8GB of RAM, compared to 2GB for Mobile. Most modern flagship smartphones have 4GB of RAM, with a few select Android phones sporting 6GB.
  • Continuum in reverse: The interface experience is not there — even the touch-friendly Windows 10 design isn’t going to work on a screen much smaller than 7 inches. Microsoft needs the Mobile shell (UI) for when the device is acting as a phone, but shows the desktop when docked. It’s Windows 10 Mobile Continuum, but inverted.
  • Phone support: While Windows 10 on ARM supports LTE data, it still lacks proper telephony abilities like phone calls, visual voicemail, SMS, and the like. Presumably, those features from the Mobile system will be incorporated into Windows 10 for ARM, but that still needs to happen.
  • Let the dust settle: Microsoft wants to get Windows 10 on ARM into devices like tablets and two-in-ones first, build out UWP some more and refine the whole experience. Once emulation has improved and deployment has expanded, hardware costs will come down, Windows 10’s power efficiency will improve, the processors will be even faster, and then a phone that can run Windows 10 on ARM makes sense.

There is also the idea of an external GPU (eGPU). That tech becomes an interesting extension for Continuum when docked and using Windows 10 on ARM. That technology, however, hasn’t even been developed yet for ARM.

Windows 10 Mobile for budget

Despite some of these hurdles, it should be evident by now that Microsoft sees Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile scenarios colliding and overlapping.

A device that runs full Windows 10 on ARM can be positioned as a ‘Pro’ device for those who need it all.

Windows 10 Mobile through Continuum and even x86 emulation becomes more like a desktop PC. Meanwhile, the desktop PC becomes more like Mobile. Cats and dogs living together! Windows 10 Mobile can still hit much lower price marks, yet deliver a similar experience, compared to a device running full Windows 10.

When you break it down that way, then Windows 10 Mobile makes sense. It will be the “light” version of Windows 10 both in features and cost. A device that runs full Windows 10 on ARM, however, can be positioned as a ‘Pro’ device for those who need it all. Perhaps someday when even the base ARM processors are powerful enough, then a separate Mobile OS won’t make sense anymore — but that’s still years away at best.

The future is mobile

I think this is where Microsoft is headed. A “Surface phone” would be a Pro device that is high-end hardware, but capable of being a full PC when docked at a desk (or with a Lap Dock). Windows 10 Mobile can still be used for entry level and mid-range phones where such OS overhead is not required or even desired.

I think we also have our answer to why there is no Surface 4 yet and why manufacturers bailed on Windows 10 Mobile tablets. Microsoft obviously had something much bigger in the works that’s more tantalizing to both them and their partners.

There are a lot of dots getting connected here between the realities of today’s technologies and the Surface phone, and it’s becoming obvious how Microsoft’s going to bridge the remaining gaps. Inking, mixed reality, UWP, OneCore, Windows Hello, Windows 10 on ARM, far-field speech-communication, Continuum, and more all promise a world where the device in your pocket can do much more than just run dinky phone apps. You are seeing that world being created right in front of your eyes.

Windows 10 on ARM is game changing. Make no mistake about it: the path to the ultimate phone just became much clearer.

 

 

[Source:- windowscentral]

 

Microsoft claims area supplies 70% more battery life than Chrome

Microsoft’s edge browser has been trailing in terms of adoption and utilization, even as home windows 10 has received increasing market percentage. The corporation has released an legitimate document documenting the energy efficiency advantages of the usage of aspect, the brand new browser it debuted with home windows 10, partially in the wish of convincing greater users to spend time with the utility. Now, Redmond is claiming that aspect can supply as much as 70% more battery lifestyles than Google Chrome.

The group behind the metrics posted a blog publish in which they detail how Microsoft conducts its assessments, as well as facts on its energy checking out criteria and facts on the way it modifies structures to degree instant power consumption. The video evaluating energy intake the usage of streaming video is under:

if you study over different weblog posts, you’ll be aware that exceptional scenarios present specific contrast metrics for Chrome, facet, Firefox, and Opera. every browser’s overall performance varies depending at the specifics of the workload, but according to Microsoft, aspect is usually the regular winner.

Browser strength

obviously, Microsoft is scarcely a impartial birthday party on this front, but facts from different parts of the net as a minimum indirectly backs up the corporation’s claims. tests performed at BatteryBox from remaining 12 months confirmed that Chrome become regularly a battery hog on OS X as well. several years ago, Google fixed a Chrome “feature” that set the machine interrupt timer to tick at its lowest possible cost throughout the whole working gadget. This had a substantially negative impact on windows battery existence. manifestly other issues remain unresolved, and more than one articles have mentioned that Chrome doesn’t run specifically properly on systems with enormously low-cease hardware.
velocity and responsiveness versus battery existence

The battle among responsiveness and energy consumption dates lower back at the least as a ways because the creation of Intel‘s SpeedStep generation. Early SpeedStep structures could lower their working speeds to lessen strength, but the first iterations of the technology may be thrown off and refuse to spin up its clock velocity properly (or to reduce it whilst applicable). strength control on modern computer systems is now state-of-the-art enough that even the “Low electricityoption is frequently acceptably responsive (though this can vary depending on how many programs you juggle and what your use instances are).

In this point in time, the browser is the software that simply every user runs on a each day foundation, and therefore the unmarried maximum crucial utility when it comes to decreasing basic device power intake. Chrome has constantly been architected with speed and responsiveness in mind. That proper the browser extraordinarily properly whilst it become a young upstart tough mounted systems like Firefox or internet Explorer. primarily based on battery trying out from more than one assets, Chrome honestly does use greater battery life.

whether this may bring about any modifications to Chrome, alternatively, remains to be visible. Microsoft didn’t get severe about fixing issues with internet Explorer 6 till Firefox had already seized 13.five% of the browser marketplace percentage (based on net programs’ reporting at the time). Chrome’s superstar has been ascendant for some of years, on the fee of its competition at Redmond and Mozilla — till that stops being the case, Google might also feel it has no purpose to reply to these allegations. alternatively, given how critical battery life is these days, the organisation could be foolish to ignore such an obvious overall performance problem.

Fallout 4’s Far Harbor DLC is Larger Than Oblivion’s Biggest DLC

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Publisher Bethesda reveals that Fallout 4‘s forthcoming expansion pack known as Far Harbor is larger than the biggest DLC for The Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion.

With Fallout 4‘s Automatron DLC having been recently released, fans of Bethesda’s popular post-apocalyptic RPG have now turned their attention to the title’s forthcoming add-ons. As it happens, one gamer took to Twitter to ask the studio’s Vice President of PR and Marketing, Pete Hines, about the magnitude of Fallout 4‘s Far Harbor content, which resulted in the executive saying “it’s bigger in size than Shivering Isles,” which was The Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion‘s biggest DLC package.

For those unaware, Shivering Isles was the first expansion pack for Oblivion, and it brought loads of fresh materials, including a map about a quarter of the area of Cyrodiil, which is Elder Scrolls 4 main setting. Bearing that in mind, it makes sense as to why Bethesda’s intent to charge $25 for Fallout 4‘s Far Harbor as a standalone download.

Prior to Hines’ confirmation of Fallout 4‘s forthcoming expansion pack being bigger than Oblivion‘s most massive add-on, the post-apocalyptic RPG’s director, Todd Howard, had confirmed the Far Harbor DLC contains the largest landmass created by Bethesda yet, but revealed it actually has a little less playable content than Shivering Isles. Of course, even though Fallout 4‘s upcoming island adventure doesn’t include as much as Oblivion‘s giant expansion, it doesn’t mean that the quality is going to be poor. If anything, fans should expect a rollicking good time with the studio slightly paring down the content to include better faction quests, settlements, creatures, dungeons, as well as higher-level armor and weapons.

Before Fallout 4‘s Far Harbor expansion launches in May, however, fans of the game may be more excited to receive the title’s Survival Mode, which is receiving a PC beta build this week. While the add-on will surely provide plenty of new content, some Wastelanders may have a heavier hankering to ratchet up Fallout 4‘s difficulty.

fallout-4-far-harbor-dlc-size-oblivion-energy-weapon

While all of Fallout 4‘s DLC offerings for story and typical gameplay elements are certainly appealing, the April release date of Wasteland Workshop — that is, Bethesda’s extensive enlargement of the action-RPG’s crafting options — is arguably the most anticipated add-on yet. After all, giving fans a larger swathe of design options for settlements to create a more livable home and customize the title’s assets even more has sort of become an extremely time-consuming game in and of itself.

At any rate, all of the previously mentioned materials — Automatron, Wasteland Workshop, and Far Harbor — are set to provide Fallout 4 players with plenty more reasons to jump back into the Boston Commonwealth. In truth, the only decision fans have to make at this point is whether or not to pick up the DLC separately at individual prices, or to go all-in with the Season Pass for $50.

Fallout 4 is out now and is available for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.

Source: Pete Hines – Twitter (via VG 24/7)

 

[Source:- Gamerant]

Cyberpunk 2077 is ‘Better, Bigger, More Revolutionary’ Than Witcher 3

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In a financial call, CD Projekt RED reveals that upcoming RPGCyberpunk 2077 is a ‘huge game’ with a magnitude ‘much greater’ than The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.

Taking place in a dystopian setting where advancements in technology have become “both the salvation and the curse of humanity”, Cyberpunk 2077 sounds gloriously grim and futuristic. Despite only having been seen in a teaser trailer released several years ago, RPG fans have put the CD Projekt RED game high up on their wish lists. With the developer’s work on The Witcher 3: Wild Huntwrapping up and the team now “hard at work” on Cyberpunk 2077, fans are eager for info about the upcoming game, and in a recent financial call the dev offered just that.

Speaking during CD Projekt RED’s 2015 financial results conference, the studio’s president Adam Kiciński and studio head Adam Badowski both revealed more on the game. Badowski said that after the massive success of The Witcher 3 (it won Game of the Year at The Game Awards 2015, for example), Cyperpunk 2077 has to be “even better, even bigger, even more revolutionary” and the developer wants it to be a “truly outstanding game”. Moreover, it was revealed that Cyberpunk 2077 is a “huge game” and that its magnitude will be “much greater” than The Witcher. CD Projekt RED has “amazingly large ambitions” for it.

Cyberpunk 2077 Wallpaper Art

This isn’t the first time the developer has spoken of its high expectations for Cyberpunk 2077, nor is it the first time that the dev has promised that it will be larger than The Witcher 3. Towards the end of 2015, the developer revealed that Cyberpunk 2077 would be bigger than anything it had ever created, “far, far bigger” in fact. CD Projekt RED has also said that it has considered multiplayer gameplay for Cyberpunk 2077, but there’s no word on whether that will be classic team deathmatch or just co-op.

During the call, the CD Projekt RED bosses also revealed their plans to double the amount of developers at the studio. There are currently 400 developers who are working on two major games (Cyberpunk 2077 and an unannounced RPG) and some other projects the developer cannot currently talk about, and it wants to up that number to 800 and split the devs into four teams.

That increased studio size doesn’t necessarily mean that fans will get Cyberpunk 2077 any faster, though, as during the call, the developer also said that it is still “a long ways away from the premiere.” While that statement is disappointing, it also obliterates a previous rumor that suggested that Cyberpunk 2077 would be released this year. However, given just how much CD Projekt RED has planned for this, many fans will accept a longer wait time if it means that the developer can deliver something incredible.

 

[Source:- Gamerant]