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TweakTown News Posts - Page 77

Windows 10 Maps app receives major enhancements to search

By: Sean Ridgeley | More News: Apps | Posted: Mar 19, 2016 12:02 am

Windows 10 Insiders get the benefit of some major enhancements to the Maps app today, namely to search, but also navigation and interface, among other areas.




For search, there's the new ability to conduct and view multiple searches simultaneously (e.g. see nearby hotels and restaurants at the same time, or see multiple directions at the same time), with the option to view them separately if need be. Algorithms are improved, too, which closer and better results.


Regarding the interface and navigation, navigation buttons are now at the top of the app on desktop and at the bottom on mobile, making everything more intuitive whatever device you're on; labels are now found directly on the map; elements can be hidden or shown at will; public transit routes are easier to follow with more precise instructions and an improved design, and Cortana will give you instructions when enabled.

Continue reading 'Windows 10 Maps app receives major enhancements to search' (full post)

Less than half of developers expected to use Windows by next year

By: Sean Ridgeley | More News: Operating Systems | Posted: Mar 18, 2016 10:34 pm

Programmer community site Stack Overflow's new survey sees OS X overshadowing Linux again this year as the more popular operating system among developers. Although Windows still leads the pack (currently at 52.2%, including the different versions), it's expected to continue trending downward, below 50% by this time next year.




The survey -- which covers many topics -- is based on answers from more than 56,003 developers among 173 countries, which is said to make it the "most comprehensive developer survey ever conducted." Stack Overflow notes the survey is inherently biased against developers who don't speak English, at least not as their native tongue.

Sony reportedly looking to refresh the PlayStation 4.5 for 4K gaming

By: Jeff Williams | More News: Gaming Consoles | Posted: Mar 18, 2016 9:04 pm

There seems to be some substantial information regarding a minor (or fairly major) refresh of Sony's PlayStation 4. In fact, some developers have reportedly told Kotaku that there have been actual discussions behind closed doors about a "PlayStation 4.5" that could include a more powerful GPU for actual 4K gaming.




More than three independent sources in the developer community seem to have been able to confirm the existence of some type of evolution in hardware and design. This information seems to be even more substantiated after a supposed behind-closed-doors meeting from Sony at GDC. And just what does it mean for current owners?


Well, it would be the anti-thesis of what makes a console such a valuable ecosystem. The hardware is similar for a full generation of development, meaning no one has to upgrade to experience their games at the greatest possible settings for that platform. Having different versions, even if one is discontinued, defeats the purpose of the fixed-specification console. This is even in line with Microsoft's want to have upgradable console hardware in the future. The console as we know it, then, might be doomed. Or we could be looking at the definitive next generation, earlier than usual.

Continue reading 'Sony reportedly looking to refresh the PlayStation 4.5 for 4K gaming' (full post)

Sword Art Online gets seriously real with a VR makeover by IBM

By: Jeff Williams | More News: Gaming | Posted: Mar 18, 2016 8:15 pm

IBM Japan has a big surprise in store for MMO fans. Out of nearly 100K applicants they only took a small sample of 208 people and showed them what they're calling a Virtual Reality Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game. They've transformed, in what looks like just a technical experiment at the moment, Sword Art Online into a massive VR experience.




They had hinted at such a project this past February, but there hasn't been much word about how they were going to make the futuristic MMORPG into a VR game, but now we have some more details on what they did. They've created their own VR headset based off of the Oculus Rift DK2, called the Navugia. They added additional sensors, including a Leap Motion sensor and a Kinect V2 attached to a helmet device. The resulting experience literally puts you into the years 2022, when the game is set.


The whole thing is running off of IBM's SoftLayer cloud service with their own cognitive layer, a showcase of what their deep learning tech can do. But really it's to show what life could be like if you wanted to literally live inside an MMO. Take a walk on the wild-side and you're likely never to come back. They're taking the "role-playing" quite literally here. The photos were taken by Inside Games while they took a look at it. It's an interseting use of VR, but perhaps cumbersome at this point. Nonetheless very impressive.

Continue reading 'Sword Art Online gets seriously real with a VR makeover by IBM' (full post)

Caravan is a mix of a trading sim with RPG and authentic folklore

By: Jeff Williams | More News: Gaming | Posted: Mar 18, 2016 7:05 pm

You might think that something like a "trading simulator" would be boring as can be. But you might be terribly wrong too. Remember The Oregon Trail? Oh yeah, that's been remastered and re-released too. That and all manner of management sims seem to gain popularity, even among their own small niches. But still, they can be great to relax to for many reasons. Caravan wants to offer you something like that. But with an Eastern flair.




Just what is it? Well, Caravan is a trading and exploration game with a bit of strategy and RPG mixed in. On top of that there's actually story that's being told as you progress. You'll be in control of a caravan in the pre-medieval Orient with the ability to travel to the various towns along the Arabic peninsula. Your caravan will steadily grow as you across more members, heroes and camels. And they're not just making it an easy "trading" game, there's a big emphasis on recreating all the dangers, adventure, tempting business opportunities and even combat that you might run up against.


Of course, there's also that trading mechanism, where you'll manage all the important resources, like water, provisions and the caravan's animals. A tough The really cool thing is that the game is based on actual history. There's elements of real lore and actual history mixed into other fantastical bits.

Continue reading 'Caravan is a mix of a trading sim with RPG and authentic folklore' (full post)

Star Wars Battlefront Outer Rim DLC gets a sweet new trailer

By: Jeff Williams | More News: Gaming | Posted: Mar 18, 2016 6:17 pm

Star Wars Battlefront's next update is bringing us further into the Outer Rim and adding two new heroes, but we already knew that. A new trailer shows off even more info about what we can expect from the first official expansion.



We already know that Nien Nunb and Greedo are on the way to help out within the dark halls of Ja.bba's Palace and on the dangerous factories of Sullust, but we didn't really get to see them in action and actually in-game. The new maps are actually looking quite good and intricately laid out. And in fact it looks inspired by not only the movies, but also from the map that was part of Battlefront 2. In addition to the two new maps and heroes, there'll be new star cards (a scatter gun, dioxis grenade and an adrenaline stim) and weapons. You'll be able to equip the new Relby V10 rifle and the DT-12 blaster pistol. A new Extraction Mode is also making into the game that has the Rebels recovering resources while the Imperials defend them.


This DLC, however, isn't free and needs to purchased as part of the Season Pass. But, that also gets you more content down the road when they release it throughout the year. The Season Pass is $50 in total, or the DLC cna be purchased separately for $15.

Sonic the Hedgehog finally makes it to the Apple TV

By: Jeff Williams | More News: Gaming | Posted: Mar 18, 2016 4:04 pm

There was one platform, for better or worse, that Sonic hadn't made an appearance quite yet. He's been running along the mobile scene for some time, but not on the Apple TV. The first Sonic the Hedgehog is available right now through the TV OS app store, while the second installment is coming on March 24th.




And they aren't stopping there. If you wanted to use your micro-console as a true gaming machine, than you'll be able to play Sonic CD on the 31st of March. Strangely, all three of the games are live on the store, but only one can be purchased. That indicates that it's a complete and finished, uploaded app. There's no word from Sega on why we have to wait to enjoy all the classic adventures of Sonic. It could simply be a business decision. Regardless of why, the miniscule console is a pretty good fit for the blue blur.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti to be nearly 2x faster than the GTX 980 Ti

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Video Cards | Posted: Mar 18, 2016 3:39 pm

As we get closer to NVIDIA's GPU Technology Conference in early April, we're finding out more details on the next-gen Pascal architecture, and what cards will purportedly arrive under the new 16nm process. Now remember, these are just leaked specs on the purported cards - the specs could change, and so could the naming system NVIDIA uses on the next-gen cards.




According to the latest rumors, NVIDIA will launch the new cards under what we'll call them for now (I seriously don't think they'll be called this): GeForce GTX 1080, GTX 1080 Ti and the new Titan X successor. Starting with the GTX 1080, which will feature the GP104 core, we'll see 4096 CUDA cores (a 100% increase over the 2048 CUDA cores on the GM204-based GTX 980).


We are to expect a near doubling in texture units, ROPs, memory bandwidth and 6GB of GDDR5 (up from 4GB on the GTX 980). The GeForce GTX 1080 Ti is even more powerful, with 5120 CUDA cores, 320 texture units, and 160ROPS - with another 28% in TFlops performance. The GTX 1080 Ti will also reportedly rock 8GB of GDDR5 (I think we'll see GDDR5X) and a 512-bit memory bus.

Continue reading 'NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti to be nearly 2x faster than the GTX 980 Ti' (full post)

NVIDIA powers the Star Wars: Trials on Tatooine VR experience at GDC

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Virtual & Augmented Reality | Posted: Mar 18, 2016 3:16 pm

GDC 2016 - If you're a Star Wars fan, I apologize in advance: the Star Wars: Trials on Tatooine is as close as you can get to actually being there, and it was powered by NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 980 Ti and the HTC Vive.



Industrial Light and Magic's ILMxLab created the VR 'experience', which makes perfect use of the HTC Vive headset and included Lighthouse controllers. It starts off with the iconic Star Wars text crawl and then drops you on Tatooine.


From there, you're on the surface of Tatooine and then the Millenium Falcon flies over and lands right next to you, and out pops R2D2. A voice over from Han Solo is provided, saying that you need to help Artoo fix something on the ship, so you use the controller to press some buttons and then TIE fighters fly over and begin attacking. Solo fires back and takes them out, and after you've pressed some more buttons, it takes off and leaves R2D2 behind.

Continue reading 'NVIDIA powers the Star Wars: Trials on Tatooine VR experience at GDC ' (full post)

Bombshell's free DLC and 1.1 update fixes a lot of those pesky bugs

By: Jeff Williams | More News: Gaming | Posted: Mar 18, 2016 3:02 pm

Bombshell didn't quite come out of the oven exactly like 3D Realms had planned. It was a good concept with some interesting underlying gameplay, and a neat story. It was the bugs, glitches and other infernal problems that kept people from actually enjoying it. Update 1.1 should make it a lot better, if not far more palpable to play. They've also added some free DLC to entice current users back.




The massive list of changes and fixes includes a bevy of items that they've found and changed by scouring through both the user reviews and critical reviews. 3D Realms and Interceptor Entertainment are very optimistic about what they've done underneath, so much that they're offering the game at a 33% discount, along with the addition of retro-themed Shellshock mission as free DLC.


In the changelog, they mention having new crosshairs for every weapon, adding in a more minimalist HUD for those that thought it was a bit too busy, and having NPC's actually show up on the mini-map. The most important fix that they've made is with the aiming mechanism. Now you can actually hit what you're aiming for. And they'll only shoot at you while they're on screen, which was minor, if annoying issue. There's more fixes and changes than you can shake a stick at, but if you've got the game and were disappointed, this might be enough to get you re-interested.