Category Archives: Tech

Microsoft hasn’t lost focus, we should be excited

“I know the tech technically exists, but having it–entertainment and gaming–all integrated and in one place is really great.”

When Microsoft announced the original Xbox, it envisioned a device as “the center of the living room.” Fast-forward to the Xbox One announcement, everything seems to be in place.

But, many have already mentioned the #XboxReveal event as a “beginning of the end” for Microsoft, stating that it has “lost focus.” However, believe it or not, that was never the purpose of a Microsoft gaming console. Microsoft has always wanted its consoles to be the ultimate “all-in-one” entertainment machine with outstanding content.

The Xbox One console, front view.
With that being said, I completely understand the outcry from the Xbox fan base. But, this doesn’t mean the Xbox isn’t about gaming. Microsoft has always been about creating and delivering content–anything to keep players and consumers interested in its console.

“I know the tech technically exists, but having it–entertainment and gaming–all integrated and in one place is really great,” said an interested costumer about the Xbox One. It’s with this statement; I bring you the reason behind the #XboxReveal event.

However, the real statement here is: “Why would the hardcore gamer be interested in a TV/Xbox console?” Because, at its core, the Xbox One is an extremely powerful gaming device. And I believe that’s what many of us missed throughout the event. Think of it this way: this press conference was primarily about the upcoming long-rumored Apple vs. Microsoft war for living rooms. In fact, that’s what Apple news blogs have been talking about since the X1 reveal. E3 will be about console wars.

Microsoft introduces Xbox One

The Xbox One console, front view. 

It’s finally official.

Microsoft have announced the Xbox One, the “future” of gaming and the next Xbox. The next-generation platform is expected to launch later this year, and is boasted to be an “all-in-one experience” that pushes the boundaries of realism.

“Xbox One is designed to deliver a whole new generation of blockbuster games, television and entertainment in a powerful, all-in-one device,” said Microsoft president Don Mattrick. “Our unique, modern architecture brings simplicity to the living room and, for the first time ever, the ability to instantly switch across your games and entertainment.”

Nintendo centralizes, blending hardware development

Nintendo is centralizing its hardware development. According to a Nikkei report, Nintendo plans to merge both its console and handheld divisions into one with the investment of $340 million in a new Kyoto development facility.

The structural shift is intended to speed up hardware development on both sides, and introduce a mechanism that will allow both the 3DS and WiiU to coexist in the same space.

CES 2013: Nvidia Announces A New Gaming Handheld

Out of left field, Nvidia announced a dedicated gaming handheld, of all things.

Code-named Nvidia Shield, Nvidia announced the device at its CES press conference. The device features lithium batteries that have 38 hours of battery life with a clamshell design, and is based on the Terga 4 mobile chip.

Nvidia Shield is an Android-based device. In addition to an HDMI port, the system also has a micro SD slot, micro USB slot and a headphone jack. On the controller itself is a HD touch screen that is based on a clamshell design.

As well as Android apps and games, The Shield will also allow gamers to access games installed on their home PC for play on the Shield’s screen.

Star Wars: The Old Republic Expands In Spring 2013

BioWare’s free-to-play MMORPG, Star Wars: The Old Republic, will be getting its first proper expansion pack in spring 2013, said a post on the game’s official website.

The expansion, entitled Rise of the Hutt Cartel, introduces a new set of story missions, on a new planet named Makeb and a five-level boost to the level cap — upping the ceiling to 55. However, the final release date isn’t set.

Why Neon Alley Impressed Me

Recently, Viz Media took a leap into the streaming business with Neon Alley, an amine streaming application available on the PlayStation Network. And, thanks of some black market business deals, I got an extended look with the application and to say the least, I was absolutely surprised.

First and foremost, Neon Alley is an application dedicated to a small market of avid anime watchers on the PlayStation Network. I believe that Viz Media’s planning to expand the service, but right now they’re just testing the waters; building a following on PSN with the application before going onto bigger things.

“I mean, they even play Death Note! What more do you want from ANY anime channel.”

Anyway, during my time with the application, I could tell that the product was in the beginning stage. It was noticeable because there wasn’t any episode viewable in high definition, atleast during the time view it. It’s not to knock the service in any shape or form — it’s better then stretching the episode to fit the screen. That being said, there’s nothing that could be said about the quality other than that it will get better with time.

My only real knock on the application is that its only available on PSN. Neon Alley is prefect for multiple devices, preferably any mobile device. It just seems that having to jump start your PlayStation 3 just to watch this Neon Alley is a bit of a task. But, that seems to be the ideals of the person watching it.

Anyway, I’m not going to talk about the price because well everyone has a different financially situation, but for level of content that you’re getting $6.99 shouldn’t keep you back from subscribing to the application. That being said, Neon Alley isn’t the Netflix amine application. However, what it is, is entertainment at the hardcore level. I mean, they even play Death Note!

Halo 4 is banning users across Xbox Live [Update]

343 Industries have posted a notice on Twitter, for those who are playing Halo 4 early, that a “technical glitch” is causing players to be banned across Xbox Live.

People affected by the ban not only include people who have gained access to the game legally, but also illegally. 343 Industries along with Microsoft are working on fixing the problem as we speak.

“Some folks playing Halo 4 today were banned in-game on accident. Technical glitch. We’re working on the fix and so sorry for the error,” read a tweet on the official Halo Waypoint Twitter feed.

Update: Microsoft have fixed the problem. 

DayZ on consoles is “a nature progression”

At one of the Eurogamer Expo development sessions, Bohemia Interactive lead designer Dean Hall commented about the standalone version of DayZ coming to consoles.

“I believe, that all comes down to how many sales we need to make it viable,” said Hall when questioned about taking DayZ beyond just the PC. Hall then adds that “it is a nature progression” in the sense of the expansion of any product.

TGS 2012: Sony Announces New, Slimmer PlayStation 3

In the opening minutes of its Tokyo Games Show press conference, Sony Computer Entertainment president Andrew House took the stage to announce a new, slimmer version of the PlayStation 3.

The new PlayStation is available in “charcoal black,” but Japan gets the super-special “classic white” option. House said that the internal volume and weight of the new model is less than half of the original system — it’s 20 percent and 25 percent less volume/weight compared to the current slim.

Apple Introduces iPhone 5

Apple has unvieled the next generation iPhone. Apple vice president of marketing Phil Schiller took the stage at an event in San Francisco to announce “the newest, largest, fastest iPhone,” the iPhone 5.

“iPhone 5 is the most beautiful consumer device that we’ve ever created,” said Schiller. “We’ve packed an amazing amount of innovation and advanced technology into a thin and light, jewel-like device with a stunning 4-inch Retina display, blazing fast A6 chip, ultrafast wireless, even longer battery life; and we think customers are going to love it.”

The iPhone 5 is the “thinnest smartphone in the world,” and features “an all-new 7.6 mm anodized aluminum body that is 18 percent thinner and 20 percent lighter than iPhone 4S.”

Apple promises that the device will feature a strong battery life, suggesting a “8 hours of 3G talk time, 8 hours of LTE browsing, 10 hours of Wi-Fi browsing, 30 hours of video and 225 hours of standby.” They have also updated the camera.

Last but not least, the iPhone 5 will be available  either white & silver or black & slate, and will be available in the US for a suggested retail price of $199 for the 16GB model and $299 for the 32GB model and $399 for the 64GB model.