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HTC sells phone factory to invest in VR businesses

By: Lana Jelic | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Mar 17, 2017 8:23 pm

HTC has announced that the company has sold its phone manufacturing facility in Shanghai to boost their investment into their Vive virtual reality business.

 

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A Chinese company, Xingbao Information Technology bought the factory for $91.17 million.

 

HTC said the sale of the Shanghai plant will not affect its mobile division. This also removes the liability of owning the factory and the depreciation of its value. HTC does still occasionally manufacture devices for other companies like the Google Pixel, but most of HTC's contract manufacturing days are over.

Continue reading 'HTC sells phone factory to invest in VR businesses' (full post)

PS3 life cycle to end this month

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: Mar 17, 2017 7:18 pm

After more than ten years, Sony's PlayStation 3 console will stop being manufactured starting this month.

 

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Microsoft celebrated the Xbox 360's 10th birthday by officially killing its life cycle, but it appears that Sony will at least have the grace to retire its PlayStation 3 months after the system's 10th anniversary.

 

Word of the discontinuation spread from Japanese website Esuteru, who spotted the info on Sony's official PS3 Japanese website. "Scheduled completion coming soon," reads the PS3 listing on Sony's Japanese site. Other users have been talking about it on Twitter, too.

Continue reading 'PS3 life cycle to end this month' (full post)

Nintendo orders 16 million Switch production contract

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: Mar 17, 2017 3:12 pm

Nintendo has put in a supply order for 16 million Switch consoles to be manufactured and shipped throughout 2017 and beyond.

 

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Like most new Nintendo systems, its new handheld-console Switch hybrid is in extreme demand with supply pretty much nonexistent. In order to keep up with the demand, Nintendo has doubled its Switch production for this year and next, according to reports from Wall Street Journal's Takashi Mochizuki.

 

As soon as Nintendo's next fiscal year (FY 2018) begins on April 1, 2017, the manufacturing of 16 million new Switch consoles will begin. This massive influx of units will be shipped across the company's full FY2018 timeline that's held from April 1, 2017 through March 31, 2018.

 

"In the fiscal year starting April 2017, assemblers under contract with Nintendo are now planning to manufacture 16 million or more Switches, up from an initial plan for eight million, said people briefed on the plans. Even after accounting for inventory, that suggests Nintendo believes it can sell significantly more than 10 million units during the 12-month period, they said, beating expectations of many analysts," Mochizuki reports.

Continue reading 'Nintendo orders 16 million Switch production contract' (full post)

Is this Elgato's new Evolve capture/streaming device?

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: Mar 17, 2017 11:10 am

Elgato, the company behind some of the best and most trusted games capture and streaming tech on the market, is currently working on a mysterious project called "Project Evolve." This could be it.

 

 

Since Elgato is making Project Evolve, it's likely a unique new capture/streaming device aimed at making content creator's lives easier. The company has been teasing Evolve since March 9, and recently let a bunch of Twitch streamers go hands-on with Evolve at PAX 2017.

 

So what is Evolve exactly? If these pictures are accurate, it looks like a tablet-shaped device with 15 pushable, customizable buttons. I'm guessing that it's a kind of all-in-one hub device that merges capture and streaming with a single output cord that can switch between multiple modes, inputs, capture presets, etc by pressing the buttons. For example, you might be able to press a Mario button to start streaming Nintendo content from your Switch or Wii U with a specific preset to match the hardware, avoiding the need to switch up settings.

Continue reading 'Is this Elgato's new Evolve capture/streaming device?' (full post)

MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Gaming X 11G spotted in the wild

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Video Cards | Posted: Mar 17, 2017 10:59 am

Out of all of the custom GeForce GTX 1080 Ti graphics cards on the way, one of the most exciting for me is the MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Gaming X 11G - something we've just go an exclusive look at. We secured this shot of the card from an industry source.

 

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From the first shot, we can see that MSI hasn't done much to the physical style of the GTX 1080 Ti Gaming X 11G compared to the GTX 1080 Gaming X 8G, except that the 'GeForce GTX' branding is much more apparent here - and we have 8+8-pin PCIe power connectors.

 

I can see a DVI port on the card as well, so it's a nice touch that MSI is thinking of the gamers with DVI displays out there. This is all we have for now, but what do you think of MSI's upcoming GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Gaming X 11G? Is this the GTX 1080 Ti for you?

2029: the year computers will be smarter than humans

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Mar 17, 2017 10:18 am

Skynet is coming, and it'll be here sooner than you think: 2029. That's at least according to Google's Director of Engineering, Ray Kurzweil - who said: "By 2029, computers will have human-level intelligence".

 

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This new claim is a big one, as the Singularity has been teased by the smartest people in the world - the point where computers become smarter than humans. Others have said that the Singularity would take place in 2045 or so, with British theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking staking claims on the Singularity happening in 2045.

 

Softbank recently acquired ARM Holdings, with plans of bringing the Singularity to us within the next 30 years. Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son explained in a press conference last October: "I think a big paradigm shift is coming. The biggest theme in my view is the Singularity. I think it is coming into reality in the next 30 years. For that vision, I am exercising that strategy. $100 billion is an interesting size of ammunition. In my view, that is the beginning. My passion is bigger than many people think".

 

Then we have people like Tesla's Elon Musk, or Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, worried about AI and the future of the human race - but Kurzweil isn't. He added: "That's not realistic. We don't have one or two AIs in the world. Today we have billions".

Mass Effect: Andromeda raw 4K gameplay on GTX 1080 Ti

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Mar 17, 2017 8:29 am

If you're an EA/Origin Access member on the Xbox One or PC, you can get into the 10-hour trial of Mass Effect: Andromeda - the expansive new RPG from EA and BioWare. We dived in for a few hours, playing around with some of our graphics cards, playing Mass Effect: Andromeda at 4K on Ultra settings on NVIDIA's new GeForce GTX 1080 Ti.

 

 

As you can see, we're pulling an average of around 60FPS at this resolution on the GTX 1080 Ti - something the developer promised. This is, however, just the trial - and there will be the full game release next week, where we can dive into the performance side in a bigger way.

 

I used:

 

  • Intel Core i7-7700K w/Noctua U12S cooler
  • AORUS Z270X-Gaming 9 motherboard
  • 1TB OCZ RD400 NVMe M.2 SSD
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Founders Edition

Continue reading 'Mass Effect: Andromeda raw 4K gameplay on GTX 1080 Ti' (full post)

Chrome 57: less CPU load, throttles background tabs

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Internet Browsers | Posted: Mar 17, 2017 7:20 am

We all know just how much CPU and especially RAM that Chrome can eat up, but Google promises that Chrome 57's background tabs will be limited to an average CPU load of just 1%, on a single CPU core.

 

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Google explains the throttling method that they've used on background tabs on their Developers website, with Google pushing every background tab into its own time budget (in seconds), with specific CPU time for the tab to complete its process - and is limited to just 10 seconds, freeing up CPU cycles. The company does note that the regeneration code can be shifted around, as they take in more data about how background tabs are throttled.

 

If you're like me - right now, you've got a background tab playing music through Google Play Music, so there will be some exceptions to background tab throttling in order to see those tabs not crashing or not functioning properly.

Continue reading 'Chrome 57: less CPU load, throttles background tabs' (full post)

Vulkan's multi-GPU muscle: now requires Windows 10

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Video Cards | Posted: Mar 17, 2017 5:51 am

Khronos Group has the technology and gaming worlds excited over its Vulkan API, which is a low-level API that provides more performance from your graphics card in games that utilize the API - like DOOM.

 

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But after their GDC 2017 slides were looked over, native multi-GPU support for NVIDIA GeForce SLI and AMD Radeon CrossFire setups now require WDDM to be set to "linked display adapter mode", something that is exclusive to Windows 10. This means that Vulkan and its multi-GPU goodness is locked to Windows 10, eyeing off Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users with multi-GPUs, with a striking glare.

 

Game developers have to add multi-GPU, DX12, and/or Vulkan support in manually - so this isn't too much of a surprise, but whatever Khronos, Microsoft, NVIDIA, or AMD can do to make game developers' lives easier for multi-GPU goodness, they should be doing. This kind of feels like a step backwards.

Continue reading 'Vulkan's multi-GPU muscle: now requires Windows 10' (full post)

Mass Effect: Andromeda available now, at least for some

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Mar 17, 2017 4:31 am

If you're an EA Access or Origin Access member, you can download the trial of Mass Effect: Andromeda... like, right freakin' now.

 

 

EA provides a pretty decent 10-hour trial of Mass Effect: Andromeda available for EA/Origin Access members on the PC and Xbox platforms, with the download setting you back a pretty hefty 42GB... and remember, you'll have to download it again when it drops next week.

 

After playing through the first 10 hours, you'll be "gated", meaning that you won't be able to push through any more progress after that - but the multiplayer side of Andromeda is completely unlocked, so you can do what you want there without restrictions.

Continue reading 'Mass Effect: Andromeda available now, at least for some' (full post)

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