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TweakTown News Posts - Page 65

'Thor: Ragnarok' unleashes first trailer

By: Ben Gourlay | More News: Celebrities & Entertainment | Posted: Apr 10, 2017 11:13 pm

With Marvel's first film of the year almost upon us in 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2', the studio has turned their attention to promoting the upcoming third entry in the 'Thor' saga; 'Ragnarok', which has just released its first-look trailer.



Set directly after the events of 'Avengers: Age of Ultron', 'Ragnarok' finds Thor held captive on the planet Sakaar without his signature weapon and forced to fight a gladiatorial duel against Hulk in order to stop the destruction of Asgard. 'Ragnarok' stars Chris Hemsworth reprising his role as Thor for a fifth time, alongside Tom Hiddleston as Loki, Mark Ruffalo as Hulk, and Jeff Goldblum as the villainous Grandmaster.


'Thor: Ragnarok' hits 3D, 2D and IMAX screens worldwide from November 3, 2017.

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ISS expedition 50 crew members return to Earth

By: Lana Jelic | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Apr 10, 2017 10:48 pm

Expedition 50 crew members safely returned to Earth on Monday after 173 days in space.




The Soyuz MS-02 spacecraft, carrying Expedition 50 Commander Shane Kimbrough of NASA, and Flight Engineers Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, has landed in Kazakhstan at approximately 7:20 AM. The three touched down southeast of the remote town of Dzhezkazgan in Kazakhstan.


"It was a textbook touchdown," said NASA's spokesperson Rob Navias. "The Soyuz was pulled by its main parachute onto its side, but the crew was quickly extracted and are in good shape."

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Blizzard has numerous secret projects in the works

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: Apr 10, 2017 10:12 pm

Blizzard is working on a few new projects right now, and another key executive has shifted roles to work on one of these mysterious games.




StarCraft II's lead gameplay designer David Kim has left the series to work on a new undisclosed project at Blizzard. Kim announced his departure from StarCraft on the Blizzard forums. Kim's words indicate he's working on a new project outside of the RTS realm, possibly the new Diablo project. "I've reached a point in my career where I've decided to branch out to a different project, to explore, learn, and grow as a game designer. This other project will be right here at Blizzard, so I hope working on this next game will be as awesome as my experience working on SC2 and with the community."


Right now we know that Blizzard is making a "new unannounced Diablo game"--possibly Diablo 4--and started a hiring spree back in March for a game director, senior concept artist, senior character artist, and a lighting artist. All of those roles have been filled and the listings have since been taken down. We also know that Blizzard is making a "robust first-person engine for an unannounced project," and we could even see Overwatch 2 or even a more definitive version of the studio's scrapped Project Titan game.

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ZTE launches its first Android Wear smartwatch - Quartz

By: Lana Jelic | More News: Wearable Computing | Posted: Apr 10, 2017 9:26 pm

ZTE has launched their first Android Wear 2.0 smartwatch named Quartz.




The ZTE Quartz comes with a circular 1.4-inch AMOLED display along with Gorilla Glass 3. The smartwatch is powered by Snapdragon Wear 2100 and comes with 768MB of RAM and 4GB of internal storage.


The watch features a 500 mAh battery, which is larger than the LG Watch Sport's 430 mAh cell. The company claims that the battery will give you up to 36 hours of battery life per charge.

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Project Scorpio has the power, now it needs games

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: Apr 10, 2017 8:12 pm

With its new 4K-ready Project Scorpio console, Microsoft has certainly brought the power. But what about the games? Any new console needs a host of new games that leverage the full extent of that system's power. Can we expect Microsoft to reveal tons of new first-party console exclusives soon? Probably not, and here's why.



As I said before, I think Project Scorpio was made for developers. With an incredible synergy between hardware and software, developers can tap the console's raw power and striking intelligence to make truly next-generation experiences. With Scorpio's 6TFLOP Polaris-derived GPU, its highly customized 2.73GHz Jaguar evolved CPU, 12GB of GDDR5 system RAM, and the highly efficient software toolsets, APIs, and other resources, developers are armed with the tools they need to bring their visions to life--all without having to make significant compromises in the process. Still, though, the Xbox brand just isn't attractive to a good portion of developers--mainly Japanese devs--and Microsoft has a hard time making exclusivity deals.


Don't expect this to change with Project Scorpio. Yes, I do think the system's power and efficiency will turn heads, but the install base just isn't there. Devs will go with PlayStation 4 instead due to the massive install base and attach rate the platform presents. So why doesn't Microsoft aggressively pursue new deals and forge new contracts with developers? It's simple: they don't have to.

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Arkane: Prey's scope is mind-boggling

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: Apr 10, 2017 5:25 pm

Arkane's new Prey game looks quite interesting, and I have a feeling it melds some distinct psychological horror-weirdness with old-school first-person shooter action. That sounds like quite a formula, and Arkane is pretty impressed with what they've built.



In fact, Arkane's Lead System Designer Seth Shain says Prey is quite mind-boggling. "The sheer audacity of what we have dared to build in this game, it's a little bit mind-boggling to me," Shain said in a recent interview with GameTM magazine. "The fact that we were able to stuff it all into this package called Prey is kind of amazing; it's a testament to the team and the passion of the developers we have here. Everybody shared in this vision and really wanted to see this thing through the end."


Considering Prey looks to be a cerebral game that has you second-guessing your very identity, the term "mind-boggling" certainly seems apt. From what I've seen, the game looks to be a mix of Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits' sci-fi bizarreness infused with Dead Space's survival horror, all wrapped up neatly in some DIY-style improvised FPS action straight out of an old-school PC shooter.

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The Nokia 9 powered by Snapdragon 835 could cost $700

By: Lana Jelic | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Apr 10, 2017 3:26 pm

Nokia's Snapdragon 835 powered flagship has been rumored for a while, and it is believed that the device will be named the Nokia 9.




Nokia recently announced the modern version of the Nokia 3310 and three smartphones, but their flagship is yet to come.


Recent rumors have suggested that the Nokia 9 will have a 5.5-inch QHD OLED screen, 6GB of RAM, and 64GB or 128GB of internal storage. The same leak claims that the device will come with 22MP dual-lens Carl Zeiss rear camera and a 12MP front-facing shooter. Other features should include 3,800 mAh battery support for Qualcomm Quick Charge 4, fingerprint sensor, and iris scanner. The phone should also have IP68 certification.


A new leak confirms previous rumors and reveals more about the pricing and availability of the device. According to the latest leak, the Nokia 9 should come out in Q3 this year.

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Nintendo Direct announced for April 12

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: Apr 10, 2017 2:39 pm

Nintendo today announced that it'll hold a Nintendo Direct showcase on April 12.




The Nintendo Direct will mainly focus on ARMS and Splatoon 2, but the Japanese console-maker will also discuss Nintendo Switch and Nintendo 3DS plans as well.


Tune in on April 12 at 3:00 p.m. PT/6:00 p.m. ET for information on Nintendo Switch and Nintendo 3DS in a new Nintendo Direct presentation focused mainly on ARMS and Splatoon 2.

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Minecraft will soon have microtransactions

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: Apr 10, 2017 2:13 pm

Well Microsoft, you've finally done it. Not content with shoving gambling-style microtransactions in its biggest games (Halo 5 and Gears of War 4), Microsoft unloads a new money-making strategy onto Minecraft, the indie sensation that will soon have its own virtual currency (because why not?!). Minecraft's new strategy culminates with a new storefront and virtual currency combo that will let users buy skins, textures and other content made by their favorite creators.




Minecraft's new digital storefront allows creators and modders sell their user-created maps, mini-games, and skins for virtual currency called Minecraft Coins. These coins can be purchased with real life cash in denominations of 300 MC for $1.99, 840 MC for $4.99, and 1,720 coins for $9.99. Creators earn the lion's share of the sales at over 50%, and 30% goes back to the storefront.


"The idea is to give Minecraft creators another way to make a living from the game, allowing them to support themselves in the creation of ever-greater projects, while giving Pocket and Windows 10 players access to a growing catalogue of fun stuff - curated and supplied by us, safely and simply," Microsoft says.

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Project Scorpio only takes 1% perf hit with 4K assets

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: Apr 10, 2017 12:46 pm

Microsoft has already proven that Project Scorpio can indeed scale 1080p Xbox One games to full native 3840 x 2160 4K resolution, in part thanks to the console's 6 TFLOP Polaris-derived GPU and the multitude of tweaks, customizations, and adjustments throughout the entire system. But 1080p assets are much, much lighter than native 4K assets, and anyone who games in 4K can tell you those art assets get quite huge. Being a machine made specifically to hit native 4K gaming, Scorpio only takes a marginal performance hit switching to 4K assets.




Just in case you're unfamiliar with how Microsoft's new Project Scorpio works, here's a quick run down. The system is built to scale up Xbox One games from 900p and 1080p to full native 4K resolution, and then utilize native 4K game textures and art assets to match the game's scaled resolution. Xbox One games will need specific patches and adjustments to hit the full 4K experience--textures and resolution--and games built on DirectX 12 will enjoy significantly better CPU performance. We've already seen a tech demo equal to Forza Motorsport 6: Apex (which runs on DX12) hit native 4K 60FPS at normal Xbox One settings (high preset) with only 66% of the GPU used. Digital Foundry confirms that the game can still hit 4K 60FPS even with settings equal to PC's Ultra settings with about 80-100% of the GPU used.


Switching from 1080p assets to 4K textures and assets is one of the major halves of Project Scorpio's 4K-ready gaming, so it's quite important the switch doesn't take away too many resources to accomplish. In fact, swapping to 4K assets only hits Scorpio's performance by 1% in specifically optimized games. According to Digital Foundry's Richard Leadbetter, this hit is negligible: "Turn 10's software architect Chris Tector told me that swapping between 1080p and Ultra HD assets has around a 1% hit to performance. Basically margin of error then."

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