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TweakTown News Posts - Page 11

Disney's new mobile AR headset plays Star Wars games

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: 1 week, 1 day ago

Soon you'll be able to play Holochess and swing Luke Skyalker's lightsaber in AR.




Disney today revealed at its D23 event that it's making a smartphone-powered Augmented Reality (AR) headset that plays Star Wars games. The headset is being developed in conjunction with tech-maker Lenovo, who has built its AR skillset up while working alongside Microsoft on its fleet of Windows 10-powered Mixed Reality headsets, and works just like Samsung's best-selling Gear VR headset. Users will download games and apps to their smartphone, and slot in their mobile phone into the headset.


"We've been working on our own version of Augmented Reality. We teamed up with Lenovo and Lucasfilm to build our very own Augmented Reality headset. This device will let everyone experience their favorite moments from Star Wars like never before," said Mike Goslin, VP of Advanced Development for Disney.


"No you can play Holochess for real in your own living room. And you can bring epic battles to life, where X-wings and Imperial Walkers battle out in your living room. And we're just getting started."

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Faraday Future's own future is in question

By: Lana Jelic | More News: Technology in Vehicles | Posted: 1 week, 2 days ago

According to the Las Vegas Review Journal, Faraday Future has said that they are walking away from their planned $1 billion electric car manufacturing facility in North Las Vegas. They will instead seek an existing building to build their vehicles in, instead.




By starting production in an existing facility, the company can prove its own viability and now the company is looking for a place with 1 million square feet to build their cars in either California or Nevada.


The company had originally planned a 3 million square foot facility that was this year reduced to 650,000 square feet and now ultimately to zero. This announcement came with mixed reactions as the State of Nevada approved a package of tax incentives to bring Faraday Future to Nevada.

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Nintendo spent $527m on research & development last year

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: 1 week, 2 days ago

Nintendo today released its 2017 Annual Report that highlights financial earnings and other interesting data, including total research and development costs for last fiscal year.




According to the report, Nintendo spent $527 million on research and development costs in Fiscal Year 2017 (April 1, 2016 - March 31, 2017), down 13.06% year-over-year, for both hardware and software endeavors across its entire platform ecosystem. The Kyoto-based console-maker notes that this R&D spend was used to help launch the new Nintendo Switch handheld-console hybrid along with a library of titles including The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, as well as a number of accessories and peripherals.


This investment also brought 14 Nintendo 3DS games to market, including Pokemon Sun and Moon and Super Mario Maker, along with a number of new 3DS hardware variants. The company even confirmed a new Quality-of-Live (QoL) device is in the works.


To get a better idea of how much Nintendo typically spends on research and development, I took a look at previous annual reports and compared Nintendo's R&D spend over the last six fiscal years. You can find the data below, along with a breakdown of R&D spend for this six-year period, and a quick bullet list of the things Nintendo just spend $527 million to make.



Continue reading 'Nintendo spent $527m on research & development last year' (full post)

Permanent $499 Oculus Rift bundle price may spark sales

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Virtual & Augmented Reality | Posted: 1 week, 2 days ago

Oculus has confirmed that its premium Rift VR headset is getting a permanent price drop in a bid to fill out the headset's install base and pull more gamers into the Oculus ecosystem.




After the Oculus Rift's big $399 sale ends, the Facebook Inc.-accelerated headset and its accompanying Touch controllers will be sold in a bundle for $499. Oculus affirmed this price drop is permanent, and the bundle includes: Rift headset, two sensors, Touch controllers, cables, and six free titles when you activate Touch-Lucky's Tale, Medium, Toybox, Quill, Dead and Buried, and Robo Recall. We reached out to Anshel Sag, Associate Analyst at Moor Insights and Strategy, for further insight on the Rift's price drop.


"Dropping the price to $499 indicates that Facebook isn't happy with sales (and they shouldn't be). They also desperately need to reach at least 1 million users so they have a compelling user base size to attract more developers. They can't pay for all the content on oculus home, so they're going to need to attract unpaid developers," said Moor Insight's Mr. Sag, who analyzes key trends in the technology sphere such as VR and AR.


As we reported, the PC-powered Oculus Rift VR headset is the least-popular in terms of HMD sales and hardware revenues, and is fourth in line behind the HTC Vive, Sony's PS4-powered PlayStation VR, and the mobile titan Samsung VR.

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Jotun is free on

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: 1 week, 3 days ago

Jotun, the celebrated Norse-themed indie from Thunder Lotus Games, is now available 100% free on




Today Thunder Lotus Games and GOG have teamed up to celebrate the pre-order debut of Sundered, the developer's new Lovecraftian Metroidvania scroller complete with hand-drawn animation just like Jotun. All users can pick up a free copy of Jotun without any strings attached--just sign in and grab the game from the front page or the official title page.


All pre-orders for Sundered get 10% off as well as a free copy of the game's soundtrack. Sundered is slated to release July 28, 2017, and you can find more about the game below.


More about Sundered:


Sundered is a horrifying fight for survival and sanity, a hand­-drawn epic from the ​creators of ​​Jotun. You play Eshe, a wanderer in a ruined world, trapped in ever­changing caverns teeming with eldritch horrors. Harness the power of corrupted relics to defeat gigantic bosses, at the cost of your humanity. Resist or embrace.


  • Beautiful hand­-drawn art
  • Massive boss fights
  • Dynamic encounters against hordes of enemies
  • A mix of hand-crafted & procedural levels
  • Corruptible abilities
  • Multiple endings

Nintendo financials signal big comeback

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: 1 week, 3 days ago

Nintendo today published its 2017 Annual Report in English, highlighting various financial data and giving consumers, investors, and gamers a better look at the company's current market situation.




Nintendo's latest annual report is filled to the bring with interesting data. The brief chronicles Nintendo's performance across four different fiscal years in key metrics like net sales, operating income, total profits, profit per share, net assets, and more. FY17 was a successful year for the Kyoto-based console-maker, and the new Nintendo Switch handheld-console hybrid helped rally shares, net sales, and total profits to new heights. The Nintendo 3DS also did well throughout the year--to date the handheld has more than 66 million units sold.


I've prepared a series of graphs that illustrate Nintendo's year-over-year performance compared to three past fiscal years, and you can check them out below.



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NVIDIA amps up EVE: Valkyrie with VRWorks Ultra graphics

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Video Cards | Posted: 1 week, 3 days ago

If you're playing EVE: Valkyrie on your VR headset with your PC, you might want to know that NVIDIA has just annoucned its VRWorks Ultra graphics setting for EVE: Valkyrie.




The new VRWorks Ultra setting improves the quality of the cockpit lighting in EVE: Valkyrie, increases the quality of lighting and shadowing in every single area and level of the game, increases the fidelity of reflections and shadows, and even projectiles receive dynamic lights.


NVIDIA's press release says: "A lighting model developed by NVIDIA and incorporated by CCP for EVE: Valkyrie uses high-quality, physically-based lighting effects from NVIDIA Volumetric Lighting to add immersive, awe-inspiring shafts of bright light (God rays) to many scenes and levels, transforming their appearance. EVE: Valkyrie also includes a new anti-aliasing technique developed by NVIDIA called Multi-Sample G-Buffer Anti-Aliasing which improves anti-aliasing by further reducing visible aliasing of geometry edges and specular highlights, giving players a superior visual experience".

Samsung could announce Galaxy Note 8 on August 23

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: 1 week, 3 days ago

The biggest smartphone of the year could be the release of the Galaxy Note 8 from Samsung, which could be the golden kick to the guts that hurts Apple when it launches the iPhone 8 later this year gimped, lacking its wireless charging function that's causing a "sense of panic" at Apple.




Well, according to a new tease from notorious mobile leaker Evan Blass, who now writes for VentureBeat, the Galaxy Note 8 will be announced on August 23. Samsung's new Galaxy Note 8 will reportedly rock the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 or Samsung's own Exynos 8895 processor, but have its RAM bumped up to 6GB.


Blass adds that the Note 8 will be the first Samsung smartphone with a dual-camera set up, both being 12MP with independent optical image stabilization for the lens. The fingerprint sensor will stay in the same spot as the S8, which is a real let down if it's true.

Mobile game development costs rise in Japan

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: 1 week, 3 days ago

Japanese games-makers like DeNa, who's partnered with Nintendo to make games like Super Mario Run, are spending more and more to develop mobile games.




The cost of mobile games development is rising in Japan, says Dr. Serkan Toto, CEO of Japaneses games consultancy Kantan Games. According to Dr. Toto's analysis of recent Japanese developer filings and reports for three major games-makers, the costs of mobile games development has risen from $3.5 to $9 million per game.


Nintendo-partnered mobile dev DeNA reports that each game costs about $4.5 million to develop, excluding marketing and other costs. DeNA CEO Isao Moriyasu noted during the company's Q4 earnings results briefing that the costs for mobile games development in Japan has jumped.


Higher costs are also affecting major players like overseas social network titan GREE. The company's Wright Flyer Studios, which Dr. Toto notes is GREE's top studio, estimates mobile game development costs to be anywhere from $4.5 million to $9 million. GREE executive and Wright Flyer Studios head Eiji Araki predicts costs could rise even further.

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Mass Effect: Andromeda's trial mode is 43GB full game

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: 1 week, 3 days ago

EA today announced that Mass Effect: Andromeda's full game trial is now available on all platforms, allowing players to try the game out before they buy.




All of EA's biggest games typically come with a "first play" trial mode that's more like a locked off full game rather than a demo. Mass Effect: Andromeda's first play trial was our first glimpse at the unfortunate glitches and facial animations that plagued the game, turning the then-massively anticipated spin-off into a laughing stock. Now that trial is back, and it's just as big as ever.


The Mass Effect: Andromeda trial is simply the full 43GB game with a 10-hour countdown timer attached. EA is betting that after you download the full game (which is almost 1/10th of the PS4's base 500GB hard drive, mind) and play the game for 10 hours, you're much more likely to buy the full version to continue your progress.

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