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TweakTown News Posts - Page 54

Electric car that has a garden and turns into an office

By: Lana Jelic | More News: Technology in Vehicles | Posted: Dec 12, 2016 6:25 pm

Rinspeed, a Swiss car manufacturer, is famous for its exotic concepts that don't enter into production but attract a lot of attention.




At CES, the company will introduce a self-driving electric car called Oasis that also has a small garden plot behind the windshield. Yes, a garden. I guess if you are stuck in traffic you can plant or water your flowers or something?


With its large glass areas and shrouds on the front wheels, the refined and swift two-seat runabout looks rather futuristic. The company says they found the inspiration for this concept in the famous Star Wars icon R2D2 because their car can also turn on its wheels with almost a zero radius thanks to a special steering angle, two in-wheel electric motors and torque vectoring.

Continue reading 'Electric car that has a garden and turns into an office' (full post)

Microsoft: you have to 'fudge' info to market 4K HDR

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: Dec 12, 2016 4:34 pm

Since 4K HDR gaming is something you have to see to believe, marketing it can be very difficult: you literally can't see the differences unless you already own the requisite 4K HDR displays, making the next resolution jump quite nebulous for Sony and Microsoft to sell. Due to this roadblock and difficulty, Microsoft exec Albert Penello says companies "have to fudge things a bit" in order to sell 4K HDR gaming.




Like it or not, consoles are forging ahead to the new realm of 4K HDR gaming. Sony's pushing into this territory with its new 4K-ready mostly-upscaled PlayStation 4 Pro, and has even enabled HDR for base PS4 consoles. Microsoft, however, has two consoles for 4K HDR gaming: the new $299 Xbox One S, which upscales regular Xbox One games to 4K on UHDTV screens and supports HDR, and its "monster" Project Scorpio, which will enable native 4K gaming with its (likely) AMD Vega GPU. But when Sony announced the PS4 Pro in September, it was very difficult to actually sell the console on its merits, as you literally can't even its main selling point unless you already have the required 4K display hardware.


So how will Microsoft and Sony get around this very obvious roadblock? By "fudging" the details. "Showing people what 4K and HDR looks like is really hard when you're not watching the thing in 4K or in HDR," Microsoft exec Albert Penello said on Major Nelson's recent podcast. "How do we market that and be honest. You have to fudge things a little bit to show the differences, but you want to do it in a way that's honest. So even telling customers what it looks like, we have to go through that journey." Both Microsoft and Sony are guilty of 'fudging' the details, and here's how.

Continue reading 'Microsoft: you have to 'fudge' info to market 4K HDR' (full post)

TSMC's new $15.7 billion fab will make 3nm, 5nm chips

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: Dec 12, 2016 3:41 pm

TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company) announced that it will spend $15.7 billion on a new facility to create 3nm and 5nm chips.




The new facility will be based in Taiwan, and may use the Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) lithography process to fabricate 3nm and 5nm chips. Back in July of this year, TSMC affirmed it's made strides in its EUV technology, implementing 125W EUV source into its ASML NXE:3350 equipment.


"We're asking the government to help us find a plot that is large enough (123 to 197 acres) and has convenient access so we can build an advanced chip plant to manufacture 5 nm and 3 nm chips," TSMC spokesperson Elizabeth Sun told TechPowerUp.

Continue reading 'TSMC's new $15.7 billion fab will make 3nm, 5nm chips' (full post)

Decima engine will 'rocket Death Stranding to Jupiter'

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: Dec 12, 2016 2:39 pm

Awesome things are happening on the Sony front: Hideo Kojima's new Kojima Productions studio is collaborating with Guerrilla Games to foster an amazingly powerful and dynamic new games engine called Decima, which will push Sony's new 4K-ready PS4 Pro to its limits.



The Decima engine is powering both Kojima Pro's new Death Stranding game and Guerrilla Games' excellent-looking PS4 exclusive Horizon: Zero Dawn. In other words, two dev teams are pouring their heart, soul and know-how into a single unified engine. "It's a full blown collaboration. They are using a merged code base, it's the same code," PS4 architect Mark Cerny affirmed in a recent interview (see above).


Kojima is so impressed with the Decima engine and the collaboration that he says Death Stranding will fly way past its original goal: instead of landing on the Moon, Kojima will take his new mysterious game all the way to Jupiter. "We decided to make the rocket by reforming their engine. And by doing so it enables us to go to Mars but even to Jupiter," Kojima said in a series of metaphorical Tweets.

Continue reading 'Decima engine will 'rocket Death Stranding to Jupiter'' (full post)

AMD announces Radeon Instinct, the beginning of AI

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Cloud Computing | Posted: Dec 12, 2016 2:00 pm

We are in for a wild freakin' ride in 2017, with AMD kicking things off today with the announcement of something radically new: Radeon Instinct. What is Radeon Instinct? There's no easy answer to that, but it is the next big thing in cloud computing - something being touted as the machine intelligence era.



Back in the 1960s, the big thing at the time were the massive main frames that would take up entire buildings, requiring radical amounts of cooling and physical space - while not providing much power (compared to the insane amounts of data crunching power we have now).




In the 80s and 90s it shifted to client-server operations, and then in the last 15 years we've seen a massive shift towards cloud computing.

Continue reading 'AMD announces Radeon Instinct, the beginning of AI' (full post)

New HDMI 2.0b spec announced by format working group

By: Ben Gourlay | More News: Connectivity & Communications | Posted: Dec 12, 2016 7:08 am

Ahead of next month's CES event in Las Vegas, the HDMI forum, which consists of the major players from consumer electronics companies, mobile devices and cable manufacturers have ratified a major update to the HDMI cable specification, dubbed version 2.0b.




In an announcement today, the HDMI forum revealed the update to the format includes the following capabilities:


  • Enables transmission of High Dynamic Range (HDR) video
  • Bandwidth up to 18Gbps
  • 4K@50/60 (2160p), which is 4 times the clarity of 1080p/60 video resolution
  • Up to 32 audio channels for a multi-dimensional immersive audio experience
  • Up to 1536kHz audio sample frequency for the highest audio fidelity
  • Simultaneous delivery of dual video streams to multiple users on the same screen
  • Simultaneous delivery of multi-stream audio to multiple users (Up to 4)
  • Support for the wide angle theatrical 21:9 video aspect ratio
  • Dynamic synchronization of video and audio streams
  • CEC extensions provide more expanded command and control of consumer electronics devices through a single control point

    While some of these features were enabled in earlier specifications by individual manufacturers, the ratification by the working group should mean improved functionality throughout the sector. Thankfully, the updates is also fully backwards compatible with the HDMI 2.0a specification, with no need to purchase new cables to unlock the new features. Expect to see more about HDMI 2.0b at next month's CES event in Las Vegas.

    PS4 developers explain their single platform focus

    By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming Consoles | Posted: Dec 12, 2016 6:40 am

    Sony has been making moves throughout 2016 to secure more of the gaming console space, with over 50 million PS4s sold, you could definitely say they're making the right moves.



    Lead Architect of the PS4 and PS4 Pro, Mark Cerny was interviewed with IGN alongside Guerrilla Games' CEO Hermen Hulst and Hideo Kojima where he said: "I think one of the things you're seeing is just the benefit of focus on a single platform".


    He continued: "You can know the technology down to the tiny hardware details and then take advantage of them in your engine. And that really pays off. I mean, I was sitting there this morning at the keynote at PSX 2016 and it's clear that Guerrilla and Naughty Dog have somehow found the button you push that makes more polygons come out".

    Continue reading 'PS4 developers explain their single platform focus' (full post)

    Hit the road with 'David Brent' in our Blu-ray giveaway!

    By: Ben Gourlay | More News: Contests & Giveaways | Posted: Dec 12, 2016 5:25 am

    To celebrate this week's release of 'David Brent: Life on the Road' on Blu-ray and DVD, we have 5 Blu-ray prize packs to give away thanks to our friends at eOne Home Entertainment.




    'David Brent: Life on the Road' sees the highly anticipated big screen debut of one of comedy's best-loved characters, David Brent (Ricky Gervais). The star of the hit BBC series The Office, Brent hasn't given up on his dream of rock stardom. Assembling a group of musicians who are just in it for the money, and a talented rapper in an attempt to gain some street cred, Brent embarks on a selffinanced tour - a last ditch effort to find fame and fortune. Featuring original music by the man himself, David Brent: Life on the Road returns Gervais to his most iconic character, once again pushing the boundaries of comedy with hilarious, excruciating and surprisingly moving results.


    To go into the running to win a prize, simply correctly answer the following question:

    Continue reading 'Hit the road with 'David Brent' in our Blu-ray giveaway!' (full post)

    Watch Dogs 2 peak players drop by 47% already

    By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Dec 12, 2016 5:05 am

    Oh, Ubisoft - you can't catch a break, and there's no one else to blame. Watch Dogs 2 was released onto the PC two weeks after its launch troubled launch on the PS4 and Xbox One, but the numbers aren't looking good at all.




    According to the latest report from our friends at GitHyp, Watch Dogs 2 player base is suffering already, falling behind the concurrent players of even The Division and Rainbow Six: Siege. Paul Curtin from GitHyp writes: "Watch Dogs 2 debuted one week ago with a peak of 18,113 players in a single hour (less than half of the original's 47k peak) and the player counts have already dropped 47% to a peak of only 9,604 players today. The players per hour average is brought down even further with the game dropping to slightly under 5,000 users per hour when factoring in prime after school/work hours in the U.S. each day".


    Ubisoft is trying to put out the fire, explaining to PC Gamer: "We expect both week-two and week-three sales to be above traditional sales patterns. There is a trend toward games, especially high-quality games, having stronger and longer 'tails' as favorable reviews and word of mouth spread. Watch Dogs 2 is already considered a tremendous addition to the open-world action adventure series and we're confident that millions of players are going to love it".


    Watch Dogs 2 has already dropped out of the top 50 games on Steam, and its player base is withering away. Just like the physical sales of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare - I don't see a recovery for Watch Dogs 2. The big question to ask now is: will there be a Watch Dogs 3?

    COD: Infinite Warfare physical sales down 51%

    By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Dec 12, 2016 3:27 am

    Call of Duty has been a franchise that has weathered the storm, but now it's taking some damage - and needs to take some R&R, especially with sales of the latest COD: Infinite Warfare not being up to scratch.




    Cowen analyst Doug Creutz in a recent note to clients said that physical sales of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare are down around 17% from expectations, with another source confirming the results with CNBC that the year-over-year sales for November are down a rather large 51%.


    But, just as TechSpot notes: these are physical sales, and there has been a tectonic shift towards digital downloads in the last few years. The digital downloads of COD: Infinite Warfare (and other games, for that matter) will offset a good amount of the lost physical sales, but it still goes to show that the Call of Duty franchise is in a little bit of trouble.


    What do you think? Are games like Overwatch, CS:GO, League of Legends, and others just too strong for these older AAA franchises like Call of Duty? Sales are already down by a massive 50% on the physical side of the argument, and it's not like they're going to magically get better in the next 3-6 months. The COD audience dies off quicker and quicker each year...