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TweakTown News Posts - Page 2364

Nintendo Wii U sales are underwhelming, fails to outperform monthly Xbox 360 or PS3 sales from last 7 years

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Mar 16, 2013 1:02 am

Bringing you doom and gloom seems to be my job today. Nintendo's Wii U appears to be selling in underwhelming amounts. According to a Macquarie Capital analyst, Nintendo only managed to move 66,000 Wii U consoles in February, though 70 percent of those were the more expensive Deluxe Set.




According to NPD Group, Wii U sales actually went up in February by roughly 40 percent. However, this doesn't account for that many extra units as January's sales numbers were also low. The Wii U's price is likely to blame as it costs as much as, or more than, competing consoles that have extensive game libraries.


It's important to note that the Wii U's February sales numbers are lower than the PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360's numbers from any month within the last seven years. Nintendo needs to repeat the success it saw with the 3DS after they dropped the price by dropping the price of the Wii U to a more competitive level.

Microsoft Surface tablets sold worse than expected

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Mar 16, 2013 12:04 am

It's looking as though Microsoft's expedition into the tablet market might not be paying off as much as the company expected. According to people knowledgeable about Microsoft's sales, the company has reportedly only sold around 1.5 million Surface devices, meaning Surface RT and Surface Pro sales combined.




Bloomberg reports that only about 400,000 Surface Pro units and just over one million Surface RT tablets have been sold. This is in stark contrast to Microsoft's expectations which had the company moving two million Surface RT tablets in December alone. The company ordered around three million, so there is quite a bit of stock left.


Part of the problem is the high cost of the Surface device. Another issue is Windows RT. There has yet to be a compelling argument for the operating system. Intel continues to push x86 as a viable tablet chip and it's capable of so much more. Microsoft's Surface advertising certainly hasn't helped, either.


Microsoft still has a chance to turn it around, but I don't think they will be able to unless they cut the pricing by at least 20 percent.

Casino scammed by player using hijacked security cameras

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Mar 15, 2013 10:50 pm

This is one of those "happy Friday stories" that you always see. For once, the House didn't win. A foreign high roller managed to scam $32 million from Crown casino by using hijacked cameras to gain an advantage over the house. Full details of the scam are not yet known, but we do know the player has been banned from the casino. I wonder why...




The person in question was occupying one of the expensive villas with his family. He managed to gain remote access to the casino's security cameras, which he then used to spy on the dealer's hand. He had someone watch the cameras and somehow relay the information to him so that he could make intelligent bets.


His scam was uncovered over the course of eight hands. He and his family were then kicked out of the villa in the middle of the night and instructed never to return. While the casino believes it is likely they will be able to recover most of the $32 million lost, in all likelihood, the player has already returned to his country of origin.

Continue reading 'Casino scammed by player using hijacked security cameras' (full post)

My thoughts on Samsung's Unpacked 2013 press conference

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Mar 15, 2013 9:53 pm

I imagine that many of our readers tuned into the Samsung Unpacked 2013 event last night. If you didn't, you might have been following our coverage of the event. But, if you were just following our coverage, you missed out on quite the show. You missed out on the ridiculousness that was Unpacked 2013. Check it out for yourself:



We all know the basic story line that press conferences follow. Some big player will come up on stage and tell you about their new product. Some try to deviate from this basic story line by bringing up celebrities to endorse their products. Last night, Samsung deviated far from this basic story line to some success.


While I found the whole show quite contrived, it did have several funny moments thrown in. The humor didn't come naturally, but it still managed to get the occasional laugh. If you've ever been to Disneyland's Innoventions Dream Home, you'll probably understand what I mean by that.


I understand that Samsung wanted to keep people's attention. They had to try and make the show entertaining, especially since they allowed basically anyone to attend. They managed to play to both audiences by having the master of ceremonies say something simple: "The new phone looks and feels awesome." A person they called an "elaborator" expanded upon what he said: "That's because its slimmer, yet stronger."


The scenes that rose from the floor were somewhat entertaining. They did this as opposed to pre-recorded videos.

Continue reading 'My thoughts on Samsung's Unpacked 2013 press conference' (full post)

RumorTT: Motorola X Phone will feature multiple models, small price tags

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Mar 15, 2013 9:05 pm

People have quite a bit more time to speculate on just what Motorola might be planning for the X Phone now that Samsung's Galaxy SIV has been detailed publicly. Again, we're hearing some incredible claims about what Motorola will be doing with this rumored iPhone-killing X Phone.




Like we warn with nearly every rumor, none of these details have been confirmed so don't take them for cold hard facts. However, the claims we are hearing now aren't so far-fetched. The Nexus 4 retails for $300, pretty cheap as far as phones go, especially considering that it comes without a contract.


The new rumors are saying that the X Phone will launch with an extremely low price point, possibly as low as $199. This low cost helps to explain why the device is said to only be coming with a Snapdragon S4 Pro, 2GB of RAM, a 4.65-inch display, and a 2,200mAh battery. It's not a bad phone in terms of specs, but it isn't the best.


It's actually really attractive, though, when you consider the rumored price. We'll probably hear more about this device at Google I/O. Oh, did I forget to mention that it's rumored that there will be multiple models? According to the rumor, we can expect a range of devices to launch under the brand of X Phone.

Mike Schroepfer appointed as Facebook's Chief Technical Officer

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Mar 15, 2013 8:33 pm

Facebook has announced that Mike Schroepfer will be the company's new Chief Technical Officer. Schroepfer was formerly the VP of Engineering for Facebook. "Mike Schroepfer's new designation as Facebook's CTO reflects the unique and important role he plays across the company," Facebook said in a statement.




Schroepfer has been with Facebook for just shy of five years, so he has plenty of experience with the company. Prior to joining Facebook, he worked at Mozilla as VP of Engineering for three years. He will likely continue to push for Facebook's "mobile first" strategy. We wish Schroepfer the best in his new position.

SpaceTT: Comet Pan-STARRS shows off in brilliant fashion in the March skies

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Mar 15, 2013 6:30 pm

Last week I reported on a comet that was set to make an appearance in our twilight skies and even though it has dimmed past naked eye visibility, those with binoculars, telescopes and DSLR's can still view the spectacular Comet Pan-STARRS. Astronomers, astrophotographers and photographers across the US have captured some stunning images during it's week long visit and I want to share them with you.




First up is an image taken from Sumter, South Carolina by my good friend and fellow astrophotographer Hap Griffin (source #1). He captured the image which includes Pan-STARRS and the crescent moon in a single frame as they set behind a tree line near his home.




Up next is a breath-taking shot of Pan-STARRS that was taken by photographer Chris Cook (source #2) at First Encounter Beach, Massachusetts. The shot features Cook and his son standing on a hill gazing in wonderment at such a beautiful scene.

Continue reading 'SpaceTT: Comet Pan-STARRS shows off in brilliant fashion in the March skies' (full post)

RumorTT: Upcoming budget iPhone to be featured in several different colors

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Mar 15, 2013 6:13 pm

It seems like it's been forever since I covered an Apple rumor, but today I am going to break that trend. Apple Insider is reporting that the Cupertino company will be keeping some old and bringing some new features to the table on it's upcoming budget model iPhone.




Analysts are saying that Apple may release the cheaper iPhone with the same 4-inch Retina display featured in the current generation iPhone, and that it's half millimeter thick plastic case could come in as many as six different colors in addition to the traditional black and white.


That sounds like a very thin, very easy to break case, but it is reportedly reinforced with glass fibers which makes it as strong, if not stronger, than current phones with plastic cases. The colors will be similar to those found in iPod's and should appease the mass of teens who will flock to the cheaper device.

Samsung Galaxy S4 official accessories detailed

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Mar 15, 2013 5:43 pm

The Galaxy S4 is the most full featured smartphone that Samsung has ever built, and as such, the phone has some dedicated "Smart Accessories" to match. Today, the Korean company has listed all of the official accessories on its Galaxy S4 micro site.




First up we have the S Band which is a fitness band that records your steps, calories burned and distance walked. It is followed by the Body Scale, which is a traditional but smart weight scale. It reports back to the Galaxy S IV via Bluetooth and can store date for up to four users. Both of these new accessories work in conjunction with the S Health app to help keep you in shape.




Up next is HRM or heart rate monitor which is a real-time heart rate tracking device. It sends heart rate data to the Galaxy S4 via Bluetooth, which is then displayed by using the Running Mate app. Another official accessory that is useful to those who run is the Head Set. It features two speakers in each ear bud and has a volume control pod built into the cable.




Samsung has designed and released several external protective covers for the Galaxy S4, of which one really stands out. The S View cover is a flip cover style case that includes a window cutout that lets you see text messages, time and other features without ever opening the cover. A pouch, standard flip covers and hard cases are also available for the S4.

Continue reading 'Samsung Galaxy S4 official accessories detailed' (full post)

Samsung's Galaxy S IV game pad alludes to upcoming 6.3-inch device

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Mar 15, 2013 5:23 pm

Samsung's Galaxy S IV has been making major news all morning across the web, and as with such things, people are beginning to notice things that may allude to an upcoming new device. Engadget came across an interesting little tidbit of information while browsing the Galaxy S IV microsite.




One of the official accessories for the upcoming Galaxy S IV is a game pad that features a sliding clamp that secures the phone to the game pad. That's pretty awesome by itself, but what others failed to take notice of is the mention that it supports up to a 6.3-inch device.


Call me crazy, but I do not think that Samsung would include support for a larger device than it's flagship phone unless it were planning on releasing a device in the future that featured a 6-inch class screen. There are rumors that the next Galaxy Note phone would feature a screen in the 6-inch range. What do you think? Is this Samsung's way of leaking information about an upcoming device, or is it just a number on a screen that we should not worry about?