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AMD: PC gaming will benefit from next-gen consoles

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Sep 18, 2013 11:33 am

AMD is the company that has hardware in both next-gen consoles, with x86-based APUs in the Sony PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Xbox One. We know to expect benefits as PC gamers from next-gen consoles thanks to the x86 architecture, which means better, and much more polished 'ports', if you can even call them that with this generation of consoles.




AMD's Matt Skynner has had some interesting things to say during an interview with Forbes, where he said that not only is PC gaming alive and well, but that it's actually growing. Skynner said that the architectures in the next-gen consoles are similar to that of the PC, which makes it much cheaper and most of all, easier for developers to create games for both the consoles, and PC.


Skynner actually said that next-gen games will actually run better on AMD hardware because the games have been built from the ground up on AMD-powered consoles. This is going to be quite interesting considering NVIDIA is still by far in the game, so it'll be interesting to see what kind of benefit AMD will have with these next-gen titles. You can be sure we'll be covering this when the next-gen consoles, and games launch in November.

BlackBerry's Z30 is the company's biggest smartphone yet at 5 inches

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Sep 18, 2013 10:34 am

Some would call it weird timing, others would ask "when is a good time for BlackBerry these days?" but the Canadian phone maker has just unleashed its latest smartphone into the wild, the BlackBerry Z30.



The BlackBerry Z30 is a 5-inch smartphone featuring a Super AMOLED display and a new 1.7GHz processor with 'quad-core' graphics. BlackBerry has crammed the biggest battery ever found in a BlackBerry device into the Z30, with a 2,880mAh unit that should be good for around 25 hours of use. The phone maker is also launching the Z30 with BlackBerry 10.2, its latest version of its mobile OS.




BlackBerry 10.1 includes a bunch of enhancements, with a complete reworking of the BlackBerry Hub. Continuing on with the hardware itself, we have stereo speakers on the Z30, and something that it calls BlackBerry Natural Sound. This technology is meant to improve voice and video calls made over BBM. Inside the Z30 is a new antenna that should hopefully guarantee better signal strength and less dropped calls.


We should expect the Z30 to reach the UK and Middle East next week, with other regions receiving it before the holidays.

DICE playing with Kinect-based head tracking in Battlefield 4

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Sep 18, 2013 10:21 am

If Battlefield 4 wasn't already looking exciting enough, then the ever-so-slight promise of head tracking being worked on by DICE should make you quiver with excitement.




The news is coming from an interview with Xbox Wire and Battlefield 4's executive producer Patrick Bach, who said that there are multiple applications for Kinect on the Xbox One being worked on. He said: "With Kinect, we're looking into features that enhance the controls including peeking and leaning and tracking head movement, as well as incorporating voice commands."


DICE has already said that we should expect some form of Kinect use in Battlefield 4, but it wasn't to be motion controls. It will most likely arrive as voice commands, or something to that effect. This news is some what of a tease for Oculus Rift, with DICE working on head tracking, should we expect virtual reality support? DICE would see mountains of happy fans if they were to do that, it would also sell Rift headsets like hotcakes.

ASRock unveils its Fatal1ty Z87 Killer motherboard

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Motherboards | Posted: Sep 18, 2013 9:41 am

ASRock make some truly killer motherboards, so it's about time that they used the word 'killer' in one of its motherboards. Introducing the new ASRock Fatal1ty Z87 Killer motherboard, the company's newest motherboard in its Z87 range of motherboards.




The new Fatal1ty Z87 Killer motherboard features a Killer E2200 Intelligent Networking Platform, which should be something online gamers will be interested in, as it reduces the latency in online gaming. ASRock ran some in-house testing, where it saw a reduction in latency in League of Legends, Diablo 3 and DoTA2 by 136%, 60% and 47%, respectively.




ASRock's Fatal1ty Z87 Killer motherboard also features some of the usual high-end features we have come to expect from the motherboard maker, which come in the form of Hi-Density Power Connectors that "reduces 23% power loss and decreases the power connector's temperature." ASRock has also baked in Purity Sound, which is an on-board audio solution and HDMI-in for those who want to use their PC as a video-in device, plugging in their console for example.

Uncharted voice actor has nothing but great things to say about PS4

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming Consoles | Posted: Sep 18, 2013 9:27 am

The man responsible for giving us the voice behind Uncharted's Nathan Drake, Nolan North, spoke with Gamerhub at the GameStop Expo in LA about the upcoming PlayStation 4 from Sony.He seemed to be in love with the tech inside of the next-gen console, stating that he has seem some work and just couldn't believe it was real. He said:




I've seen of the prototypes of the PS4 and I know that a lot of the developers I'm working with that use the PS4... it's an amazing machine. I think it's going to step up the game for any game. Whether it's Uncharted, God of War, Call of Duty, all these games are going to benefit from just the technology that they're putting out.


When we think we've reached the pinnacle of what a game can look like, some genius somewhere makes it a little bit better and opens up the avenue for an opportunity to make the game more cinematic, more of an experience. I think the PS4 is going to be pretty amazing - it's going to push those boundaries even further.


North then teased gamers by saying: "I've seen some stuff... gameplay... that they're testing for... I don't remember what game it was but they were doing some testing on the PS4 and I couldn't believe it was gameplay. I mean, it's extraordinary technology."

Vision Sensor gives the Oculus Rift new eyes to see with

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Virtual & Augmented Reality | Posted: Sep 18, 2013 8:21 am

I think that 2014 is going to be the breakout year for virtual reality, with kick-ass products like the Oculus Rift which isn't even close to a consumer launch yet. But, now we have Vision Sensor hitting IndieGogo, which the team give a description of "creates new seeing capabilities for the Oculus Rift."



Vision Sensor is basically augmented reality for the Oculus Rift, which sees two sensors and a sensor attachment cover strapped to the front of an Oculus Rift Developer Kit. It features a resolution of 1280x480 at 60FPS, and weighs just 75g so that it doesn't feel too heavy with the Rift, and Vision Sensor on your head.




The team at Vision Sensor say that there are 3 new possibilities to add to the user experience, with the first being an Immersive AR Experience. The second is Intuitive Operation (Mixed Reality) and the final possibility is Regaining Lost Vision. The first, lets you be in the world of Oculus Rift, but still stay in the real-world through augmented reality.


Intuitive Operation allows your fingers and hands to become an interface, replacing the traditional mouse and keyboard (or controller/Razer Hydra). The final part is regaining your loss of vision when the Rift is on your head and in front of your eyes.

You can now remotely change your Google password on an Android device

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Sep 18, 2013 7:28 am

Google has finally provided the ability for Android users to remotely change their passwords on any Android device. The Android Device Manager is what you'll require, which allows you to track and locate any Android device associated with your Google account.




This is all done without the need of a third-party application, which is nice, but until now Google has held back the ability to remotely lock or change your password. The Mountain View-based giant is slowly rolling this new feature through its Google Play Services, but if you'd like to check now, you just have to go into the Device Administrators panel under the Security section in your settings.

Ryse, an Xbox One exclusive, will only run at 900p, not 1080p

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Sep 18, 2013 6:24 am

This is something I expected, but Microsoft has announced that it's Xbox One exclusive title Ryse, will not be running at the native 1920x1080 resolution on the Xbox One, but 900p instead.



Crytek is the developer behind the Xbox One exclusive, with Aaron Greenberg, who is the chief of staff for the Devices and Studios group, confirming that Ryse will run at just 900p. Greenberg did post an update to Twitter, saying "Forza 5 is native @1080p, Ryse is native @900p, but Xbox One upscales all titles to 1080p & they look amazing."




Is this more damage control? I think so. Resolution definitely isn't everything, but after 8 years on the market, you would think that the 'next-gen' consoles would be able to handle a resolution of 1080p. Especially so, when PCs have been doing it without a problem for a decade or more now. Even with the beefed-up GPU and CPU specs in the weeks leading up to the Xbox One's mass production.

Nexus 5 model unveiled as LG-D820, two models included

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Sep 18, 2013 5:32 am

Slowly waiting in the darkness with a dagger is Google's Nexus 5 smartphone, which will be manufactured by LG. But now it seems that two LG Nexus 5 versions have received Wi-Fi certification.






The two models in question are the LG-D820_C and LG-D820_S. I'm hoping the choice of model numbers is deliberate, as we have two models with "S" and "C", just like the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C. Nice work there, LG/Google. We should see the new Nexus 5 smartphones featuring dual-band Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac as well as Wi-Fi Direct support. We are hoping to see the Nexus 5 unveiled on October 14 with Android 4.4 KitKat.

EA's new CEO is an Aussie, no shrimps on EA's barbie, though

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Sep 18, 2013 4:29 am

Former executive VP of EA Sports, Andrew Wilson, has just stepped into the shoes of the company's CEO position. Wilson took to EA's official website, breaking the news himself, and took some time to discuss EA's future.




He said: "From my start at EA in Australia back in 2000, through stops in Asia, Europe and now North America, I've worked with people in this company who have consistently amazed and inspired me. It's my passion for our people and the great products we all impact that gives me such excitement for our future. I hope you all feel the same level of energy and optimism that I do as we embark on this journey together."


Wilson believes that the path EA is currently walking, is the right one, which includes exploring online gaming, digital revenue streams and continuing to make high-quality AAA games, such as Battlefield 4. One of his additional goals is to instill "a culture of execution that will drive profitable growth."

Continue reading 'EA's new CEO is an Aussie, no shrimps on EA's barbie, though' (full post)

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