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HTC will sell the Vive VR headset directly through the HTC website

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Wearable Computing | Posted: 1 week, 1 day ago

While HTC might not be doing so well when it comes to smartphone sales, it has one of the most exciting products in it arsenal, with the Vive VR headset arriving later this year.

 

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With no firm release date other than 'the end of 2015', HTC is now saying that it will sell Vive directly through its website, as well as various retailers. HTC.com and HTCVR.com will have the first Vive units available, but it will slowly reach other destinations. HTC's Head of Global Marketing, Jeff Gattis, talked with Polygon recently about Vive, where he said: "Everybody is excited about this: They see the potential for the market, the potential to sell the things around it. They see it as a great traffic driver to their stores".

 

Gattis said that "retail will be part of [their] strategy" but it won't happen until Q1 2016, but that doesn't mean the Vive is delayed from its 'end of 2015' release window. Gattis added: "I don't know if we're necessarily going to hit retail for holiday, but we're still very committed to that".

Continue reading 'HTC will sell the Vive VR headset directly through the HTC website' (full post)

Mortal Kombat X tops US retail sales charts for the first half of 2015

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: 1 week, 1 day ago

In what should come as a total surprise, Mortal Kombat X has topped NPD Group's sales rankings for video games at the retail level in the US for the first half of 2015. Considering the #2 title is Grand Theft Auto V, this is a huge scoop for Warner Bros., especially after the huge issues surrounding Batman: Arkham Knight.

 

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Most of the games on the chart will be games you either own, or have heard of, but it's quite surprising to see Mortal Kombat X top the list. Here's the top 10 sales rankings for video games at retail for the first half of 2015, according to NPD Group:

 

  • 1. Mortal Kombat X (Publisher: Warner Bros.)
  • 2. Grand Theft Auto V (Publisher: Take-Two Interactive Software)
  • 3. Battlefield Hardline (Publisher: Electronic Arts)
  • 4. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (Publisher: Activision)
  • 5. Minecraft (Publisher: Microsoft)
  • 6. Batman: Arkham Knight (Publisher: Warner Bros.)
  • 7. Dying Light (Publisher: Warner Bros.)
  • 8. NBA 2K15 (Publisher: Take-Two Interactive Software)
  • 9. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (Publisher: CD Projekt Red)
  • 10. Super Smash Bros. (Publisher: Nintendo)

Halo 5's campaign features eight playable Spartans

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

343 Industries has revealed new info on the importance of teamwork in Halo 5: Guardians' campaign mode, underlining key mechanics and tweaks they've made along the way.

 

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For the most part 343i has kept the standard Halo formula in tact for Halo 5, but this time around the game has a decidedly more strategic co-operative feel. Gone are the days of lone-wolfing it in Master Chief's boots: throughout the missions you'll be accompanied by three other Spartans all with their own attributes, Loadouts, and specialized HUD's.

 

"Your team is your weapon," reads the developers' new Halo Waypoint update.

Continue reading 'Halo 5's campaign features eight playable Spartans' (full post)

Security issues plague contactless payments, Which? group finds

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: 1 week, 1 day ago

As there is a big push for consumers and retailers to adopt contactless payments, there are plenty of cybersecurity headaches that must be addressed.

 

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The Which? Consumer group noted that data from contactless debit and credit cards can be intercepted - and while not all data is taken - it's enough to make fraudulent purchases.

 

"Using an easily obtainable reader and free software to decode data, we were able to read the card number and expiry date from all 10 cards," said a spokesperson from Which?, in a statement published by Sky News. "We were also able to read limited details of the last 10 transactions, although no cards revealed the CVV security code."

Continue reading 'Security issues plague contactless payments, Which? group finds' (full post)

BlackBerry speaks about security efforts, as business focus changes

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: 1 week, 1 day ago

BlackBerry is looking for new business opportunities away from just smartphone handsets, and recently showed off a new line of security products. The company wants to continue its evolution from just a smartphone maker, and has focused more on software and cloud-based offerings.

 

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The full turnaround may take a bit longer than what the company previously predicted, and instead of it taking six months, could take an additional 12 to 18 months.

 

"I'm pretty satisfied with the progress on the turnaround so far," said John Chen, CEO of BlackBerry, in a statement to Reuters. "I laid out the $500 million software revenue target and I'm still comfortable with that commitment for this fiscal year, it looks good."

Continue reading 'BlackBerry speaks about security efforts, as business focus changes' (full post)

Valve talks about Half-Life 3, says it can't exist 'outside of a game'

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: 1 week, 1 day ago

While Valve still hasn't confirmed the development of Half-Life 3, rumors have circling Reddit that the script for Half-Life 3 is finished, but it won't be released 'due to fear'.

 

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Well, someone reached out to Valve's Marc Laidlaw, who said: "I can't comment on Valve's internal process, but I can say that it sounds like someone is trolling. Anonymous sources have been posting speculation masquerading as inside knowledge since the Half-Life 1 delay in 1997. If that's any comfort, please rest assured that in my experience at Valve, fear is the last thing that would ever drive a decision about what to work on".

 

When it came to the question of "If the story is finished, why not release it as a book or a comic", Laidlaw responded with: "There's a misunderstanding that I've always tried to address straight on when this question comes up, which is that a Half-Life story can somehow exist outside of a game. It can't. The story is created through the process of trying to figure out how to best use the features of the engine within the interesting set of constraints it poses".

 

"The story is a part of the game. It doesn't exist as a separate script that is handed off to game designers which they are expected to somehow make compelling through puzzles and combat", he continued. Laidlaw finished off by saying: "The story develops while trying to solve the problem of how to make a fun game. It's like saying 'Why don't you write a sonnet that's a novel?' The Half-Life story is really only as good as the game that lets you play it".

Biggest issue with Gears of War on Xbox One was maintaining 60FPS

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: 1 week, 2 days ago

We all know that the little system that could - er, the Xbox One - finds it hard to maintain 60FPS, but even with something like Gears of War? Yes, and that is something developer The Coalition found its 'biggest challenge' when making Gears of War: Ultimate Edition for the Xbox One.

 

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GamingBolt talked with the Lead Designer at The Coalition, who said: "It was fine but just like any other game project there are ups and downs. Technically speaking, the biggest challenge was maintaining 60 frames per second. Maintaining all the visual effects and lighting effects [at 60fps], I mean it looks beautiful when running at 60 fps".

 

When it comes to the PC version of Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, we're going to receive Windows 10 and DirectX 12 support, and it reportedly looks "mind blowing" in 4K.

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 to feature 8-core processor, 4GB of RAM

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: 1 week, 2 days ago

Thanks to a leaked benchmark, we now know that Samsung's upcoming Galaxy Note 5 will feature an 8-core processor and 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM. Samsung will be using its own octo-core Exynos 7420 SoC inside of the Galaxy Note 5.

 

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The Geekbench result was used on a Verizon-powered Galaxy Note 5, with the model name of 'SM-N920V'. The benchmark has the Galaxy Note 5 has a single-core result of 1418, while the multi-core result was 4399. These scores are very similar to that of the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge, so we should expect the same performance on the Galaxy Note 5 that we had in the S6 and S6 edge.

 

Samsung is expected to unveil its new Galaxy Note 5 next month, with rumors pointing to August 12. The Galaxy Note 5 should feature a 5.67-inch 1440p Super AMOLED display, the aforementioned 8-core processor, 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM and Samsung's new Shannon 333 LTE modem.

YouTube for Android will now display videos in vertical full screen

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Apps | Posted: 1 week, 2 days ago

In what feels like "why haven't we had this sooner", Google has finally allowed vertical videos on YouTube. Vertical videos you ask? Sounds weird, but with videos shot on smartphones representing a large portion of YouTube videos, vertical video support is very welcomed.

 

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YouTube for Android previously only supported landscape video playback, so if the video was filmed vertically, it would have some large black bars and it would simply look atrocious. But with YouTube for Android v10.28, vertical videos are supported, with the tall clips now taking up the entire frame.

Ex-Witcher 3 developers form new studio, working on UE4 powered game

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: 1 week, 2 days ago

Some of the developers that worked at CD Projekt RED, the studio behind The Witcher series of games, have moved over to IMGN.PRO. IMGN.PRO is the studio responsible for Kholat and Fool's Theory, with the company joining forces with the ex-CD Projekt RED developers.

 

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IMGN.PRO is working on a new 'demanding, ambitious' title that is powered by Unreal Engine 4, with IMGN.PRO's co-founder, Lukasz Kubiak, teasing: "Evolution is a keyword when thinking both about our business and our new project. Merging our team with the Fool's Theory crew gives us access to the best people in the industry. Since the beginning of Kholat development our goal was to deliver ambitious, high quality games. Nothing has changed in this matter. Despite the fact, that now we want to go even further. With such a talented and experienced team, we intend to create a truly sensational game. The new project we are currently working on will be completely different than Kholat, much bigger and way more powerful".

 

The former Senior Quest Designer at CD Projekt RED, and Fool's Theory founder, Rokosz, said: "We started working on a game that will be a daring combination of some isometric genres. I don't want to reveal too much details at this point other than we're developing the game on Unreal Engine 4. It was a natural choice for us, taking into consideration how experienced the team is in working with this tool. I can assure you that the game will break some proven schemes and we'll be revealing more information about it very soon".

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