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Intel to sell NAND flash memory business to SK Hynix for $10 billion

Derek Strickland | Storage | Mon, Oct 19 2020 3:14 PM CDT

Intel is nearing a deal to sell its flash memory segment to SK Hynix for $10 billion, sources tell The Wall Street Journal.

Intel to sell NAND flash memory business to SK Hynix for $10 billion 34 | TweakTown.com

Intel's foray into high-performance NAND flash has been a rocky one; The company's 3D Xpoint memory created interesting applications via its Optane SSD drives, but the volatile storage market has led to inconsistent earnings for Intel. Intel's NSG branch (Non-volatile Storage memory Group) has lost money for multiple quarters in a row, and only recently returned to profitability in Q2'20, where the storage business hit all-time highs.

"Q2 was an all time record for quarterly revenue for our memory business. The business also returned to profitability this quarter, generating approximately $300 million in operating income," Intel executive VP George Davis said in a recent July earnings call.

Continue reading: Intel to sell NAND flash memory business to SK Hynix for $10 billion (full post)

Call of Duty's Haunting in Verdansk is the ultimate Halloween event

Derek Strickland | Gaming | Mon, Oct 19 2020 2:28 PM CDT

Infinity Ward's new Haunting of Verdansk cross-over Warzone and Modern Warfare event might be the ultimate seasonal Halloween event in gaming history, complete with custom Jisaw and Leatherface skins and tons of content.

Call of Duty's Haunting in Verdansk is the ultimate Halloween event 3 | TweakTown.com

The ambitious Haunting of Verdansk timed event starts tomorrow across all platforms in both Warzone and Modern Warfare, and is part of the season 6 rollout. Infinity Ward has jam-packed tons of stuff to do and experience, from new Jisaw and Leatherface skin packs that unleash a distinct Halloween Horror Nights terror onto the battlefield, to the little nuanced Easter eggs that only appear every so often (weird ventriloquist dummies in Verdansk, as well as chainsaw ghosts).

The most exciting part of the Haunting in Verdansk event is Zombie Royale, a new zombies mode with a twist: When players die, they come back as zombies to take on other living players. Undead players can actually resurrect themselves by killing two live players and collecting special syringes.

Continue reading: Call of Duty's Haunting in Verdansk is the ultimate Halloween event (full post)

Final Fantasy VII + Final Fantasy VIII duo pack coming to Switch

Derek Strickland | Gaming | Mon, Oct 19 2020 1:32 PM CDT

Square Enix plans to bundle both Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy VIII Remastered on a single re-release cartridge on Switch.

Final Fantasy VII + Final Fantasy VIII duo pack coming to Switch 22 | TweakTown.com

Today Square Enix confirmed the FFVII + FFVIII twin pack on Switch will also release in other regions including Australia, New Zealand, the Middle East, and Europe. The collection will include both classic games on a single GameCard, including the remastered Final Fantasy VIII with its enhanced graphics and visuals and new cheat modes.

The collection will retail on store shelves for 40 Euros and is set to ship on December 4, 2020.

Continue reading: Final Fantasy VII + Final Fantasy VIII duo pack coming to Switch (full post)

Watch Dogs Legion microtransation store sells playable characters

Derek Strickland | Gaming | Mon, Oct 19 2020 12:16 PM CDT

Ubisoft confirms Watch Dogs Legion will be monetized with in-game microtransactions including cosmetics and other personalization items.

Watch Dogs Legion microtransation store sells playable characters 34 | TweakTown.com

Like every Ubisoft game, especially those with live services or seamless online multiplayer, Watch Dogs Legion will have optional in-game purchases to help players unlock content early on. The great thing is the mTX isn't specifically pay-to-win.

The store will sell cosmetics and customizables, and will even sell operatives, or playable characters you can use in missions or while playing multiplayer. Legion has a premium currency called WD Credits with an exchange rate of roughly $1 per 100 WDC. This is a sharp contrast to Assassin's Creed Origins and Odyssey, who both sold powerful weapons, armors, and convenience items for real money.

Continue reading: Watch Dogs Legion microtransation store sells playable characters (full post)

Betelgeuse, the star that will explode, is 25% closer than we thought

Jak Connor | Science, Space & Robotics | Mon, Oct 19 2020 2:35 AM CDT

It can be very challenging for astronomers to determine the specific distance of an object in space accurately, and an example of that is the red supergiant Betelgeuse.

Betelgeuse, the star that will explode, is 25% closer than we thought 01 | TweakTown.com

Betelgeuse has been in the news recently as astronomers have said that this red supergiant will erupt into a supernova. Now, according to an international team of scientists, led by researchers from The Australian National University and The University of Tokyo, the distance of Betelgeuse from Earth may have been more accurately determined.

Since size and distance play a pivotal role in determining the specifications of an object (the further an object is away, the smaller it appears), previous estimations for Betelgeuse's size and distance have now been thrown into question. Dr. Laszlo Molnar, a co-author of the study, said in a statement, "The actual physical size of Betelgeuse has been a bit of a mystery-earlier studies suggested it could be bigger than the orbit of Jupiter. Our results say Betelgeuse only extends out to two-thirds of that, with a radius 750 times the radius of the sun."

Continue reading: Betelgeuse, the star that will explode, is 25% closer than we thought (full post)

Square Enix 'couldn't develop anything' during COVID-19 lockdowns

Derek Strickland | Gaming | Sun, Oct 18 2020 3:32 PM CDT

Transitioning from work-from-home measures has significantly interrupted development on a number of games, especially Square Enix's newest titles. Now company CEO Yousuke Matsuda warns consumers and investors that this disruption will negatively affect future earnings.

Square Enix 'couldn't develop anything' during COVID-19 lockdowns 12 | TweakTown.com

Square Enix's latest Q1 gaming earnings were pretty good. Net sales, profit, and operating income are all up. Amusement closures incurred a 2.26 billion yen loss, though. These earnings spikes are a short-term result of COVID-19 lockdowns, which pushed many consumers indoors. COVID also took a chunk out of game dev progress, and now Square Enix says the real financial hit will come later as a result of this interruption.

In a recent interview with The Financial Times, Square Enix CEO Yousuke Matsuda says the company "couldn't develop anything" during COVID-19 lockdowns. The games-maker is faring better now that it's moved its teams to work from home, but during the initial period, game dev was stalled.

Continue reading: Square Enix 'couldn't develop anything' during COVID-19 lockdowns (full post)

MachineGames wants to make more co-op multiplayer games

Derek Strickland | Gaming | Sun, Oct 18 2020 2:21 PM CDT

Youngblood might've just been the beginning of MachineGames' co-op ambitions, and the studio is interested in infusing more multiplayer components into its games.

MachineGames wants to make more co-op multiplayer games 53 | TweakTown.com

Today MachineGames re-confirmed our suspicions: More co-op games are probably on the way. In a Bethesda.net post, the studio expressed desires to make another online multiplayer game of some sort whether it be co-op or traditional multiplayer. The studio is interested in taking its learnings with Youngblood and applying them to future games. Microsoft will be glad to hear this. Now that MachineGames is a first-party Xbox studio, it's only natural for its games to have live service-style hooks with engagement-driven mechanics, i.e. unlockables, co-op, and other online content specifically designed for Xbox Game Pass subscriber growth and retention.

The Wolfenstein developer started off with the standalone online co-op multiplayer game Wolfenstein Youngblood, which was actually monetized with in-game purchases. That move was part of Bethesda's push into live services, a push that's seen most of its big IPs transition into online-driven games (ESO, Fallout 76, etc). This live service focus was an attractive business model for Microsoft and helped add value to the recent $7.5 billion Bethesda buyout. It folds perfectly with Microsoft's emphasis on services.

Continue reading: MachineGames wants to make more co-op multiplayer games (full post)

Watch Dogs Legion runs at 4K 30FPS with ray tracing on PS5, Xbox SX

Derek Strickland | Gaming | Sun, Oct 18 2020 2:20 PM CDT

Ubisoft's new massively ambitions Watch Dogs Legion game will hit 4K 30FPS on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X with ray tracing turned on, the developers confirm.

Watch Dogs Legion runs at 4K 30FPS with ray tracing on PS5, Xbox SX 43 | TweakTown.com

Assassin's Creed Valhalla runs at 4K 60FPS on next-gen consoles without any ray tracing effects, but Watch Dogs Legion is going a separate route. Legion is opting for more flashy graphical performance and will instead max out at 4K 30FPS with ray tracing turned on. It's possible the game won't hit 60FPS on next-gen outside of 1080p resolution. The developers have been kind of coy on the exact modes we can expect in Legion.

"Ray tracing, 4K, 30fps on PS5 and Xbox Series X,"Watch Dogs Legion live producer Lathieeshe Thillainathan said in a Reddit AmA session.

Continue reading: Watch Dogs Legion runs at 4K 30FPS with ray tracing on PS5, Xbox SX (full post)

Wolfenstein 3 to tap high-speed SSDs to radically change game design

Derek Strickland | Gaming | Sun, Oct 18 2020 12:15 PM CDT

MachineGames plans to leverage next-gen PCIe 4.0 SSD tech to supercharge upcoming games including Wolfenstein 3.

Wolfenstein 3 to tap high-speed SSDs to radically change game design 53 | TweakTown.com

In a recent Bethesda.net blog post, MachineGames gives some exciting clues on what to expect from future games. Right now the studio is working on new projects including Wolfenstein 3. These games should be built specifically for PCIe 4.0 SSD tech which can supercharge data flows like never before, removing seek times to eliminate asset reproduction, and significantly improving load times. No longer will games have to use sequences like long elevator rides to bridge level checkpoints. The result can radically and fundamentally change how MachineGames' titles are made and played.

Like most developers, MachineGames wants to use SSD storage to help usher in a new era of games development. The possibilities are exciting for devs and gamers alike. While no exact specifics were given from the studio, MachineGames says it sees SSDs as transformative for the future of its games--and the industry as a whole.

Continue reading: Wolfenstein 3 to tap high-speed SSDs to radically change game design (full post)

PlayStation 5 to sell an absurd 200 million consoles, analyst predicts

Derek Strickland | Gaming | Sat, Oct 17 2020 1:10 PM CDT

Rakuten Securities analyst Norio Imanaka makes bold forecasts on PS5's sales that border on the absurd, saying Sony's next-gen console will be the best-selling system in history.

PlayStation 5 to sell an absurd 200 million consoles, analyst predicts 23 | TweakTown.com

Rakuten analyst Norio Imanaka predicts the PS5 could sell 200-300 million units in just 5-6 years' time. This figure is pretty outlandish for a few reasons. First, a bit of perspective: The PS5 would have to sell 40 million consoles every year for 5 years to hit 200 million. The PS4 has never broken more than 21 million sales a year, and in FY2016 the PS4 hit peak sales of 20.3 million.

Secondly, these figures would easily dethrone the industry's best-selling console of all time. The PS2 has sold-in 155 million units worldwide after 13 years on the market, as per Sony's official figures. These predictions see the PS5 eclipsing the PS2 by 45 million units in less than half the available market time.

Continue reading: PlayStation 5 to sell an absurd 200 million consoles, analyst predicts (full post)

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