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Gaming: Xbox Series X details; Tony Hawk's Pro Skater doc; Pokémon names 7-year-old champ

By Jacob Oller
Xbox Series X official

The next generation of gaming is almost upon fans, which means the consoles of the future have stopped being mysterious black boxes of ambiguous tech and started becoming hyper-specific collections of numbers, games, and bragging rights. Now the Xbox Series X has released all sorts of official details for what it will be able to run and how it’ll run it — which means that gamers can start getting excited about all the steps forward home gaming is about to take.

Over at the official Xbox blog, Phil Spencer, Head of Xbox, dropped all sorts of new specifications for the upcoming console — and a few exciting details that even the layperson can understand.

Things like backwards compatibility. Yes, the Xbox Series X won’t just play new generation games, but “existing Xbox One games, including backward-compatible Xbox 360 and original Xbox games,” will play on the new console with a graphical and mechanical polish. Xbox One accessories will work on the new machine, as will games from the Xbox Game Pass. The subscription service will provide the first-party games immediately at launch, including titles like Halo Infinite.

Now for some nitty-gritty: The Xbox Series X boasts twice the Xbox One X’s GPU (wielding a meaty 12 TFLOPS), hardware-accelerated DirectX Raytracing (real-time environment generation), solid-state drive storage, 120 FPS support, and updated controller latency syncs. There’s also a function that allows players to leave multiple games running in the background, then hop right back into one without going through all the loading screens.

The Xbox Series X looks to start off a new generation of the console wars late this year.

Next, a fan-favorite (some might say generationally-defining) game is getting its own documentary. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, with its innovative controls and hip soundtrack, was the game of many, many childhoods. Now, thanks to longtime franchise producer Ralph D’Amato and Swedish documentarian Ludvig Gür, the Pretending I’m a Superman is about to hit the film festival circuit.

Named for Goldfinger’s “Superman,” a classic of ska-punk that featured on the game’s soundtrack, Pretending I’m a Superman spawned a successful IndieGoGo campaign in 2017 that led to the interviews of many familiar skaters:

Hawk, along with Rodney Mullen, Steve Caballero, and Chad Muska, is interviewed in the documentary, which tells the story not just of the game but of the skating scene of the time and its long-term impact on the industries at large. Hawk even posted about the premiere, which he’ll be attending with Mullen:

Pretending I’m a Superman premieres on Feb. 29 at the Mammoth Film Festival in California.

Finally, the world of competitive Pokémon has crowned a new champion after this weekend’s Pokémon Oceania International Juniors Championships — and she’s not even old enough to canonically start her Pokémon journey. For those in the know, kids in the Pokémon world go off on their adventure when they turn 10. Simone Lim, the newly-minted champ, is only 7.

The underdog Lim bested 21-time Regional Champ Justin Miranda-Radbord in the finals, which fans can see below:

If the win itself wasn’t impressive enough, Lim won hearts and minds with her post-game interview — during which she clutched the stuffed Eevee that she brought with her throughout the tournament:

Oceania was the first international event in this season of Pokémon play, kicking off the Sword and Shield generation with a new metagame and plenty of exciting mechanics (like the ability to Dynamax).

This is Lim’s first year competing, but she’s already stormed the scene, placing high in both the Malaysia Regionals and a Singapore Special Event. But this big win solidified her as someone to watch in the future as her combination of winning personality and impressive reads on her opponents has grown her fan base. Is there anything else to say about her? Let's hear it from Lim herself: