Battlefield 4 image emerges, confirms present day setting

Anthony Garreffa | Gaming | Mar 17, 2013 10:32 PM CDT

Battlefield 4 will be officially announced later this month, on March 26 at the Games Development Conference 2013 (GDC), but for now we have the first image of the game. The image, below, confirms that the next-gen, first-person shooter will take place in the present day.

Battlefield 4 image emerges, confirms present day setting | TweakTown.com

As you can see, the image shows off a soldier and various vehicles pushing through a city, which is in the background. Battlefield 4 continues on its predecessor's color scheme, of orange, black and blue - which is definitely not a bad thing. DICE's Karl Magnus Troedsson said last summer: "We still want to stay in this genre, the modern day as it is. We feel this is a place we can be and continue with the series. Battlefield 4 can live in this space and be very successful."

Something I'm looking forward to seeing is the unlocking of the potential of the graphics engine to be used, Frostbite 2. Frostbite 2's engine in Battlefield 3 was only utilized to a reported 30%, with Battlefield 4 pushing that right up to 80% with improved dynamic lighting and tessellation, among other goodies.

Continue reading: Battlefield 4 image emerges, confirms present day setting (full post)

RumorTT: Leaked specs on Nexus 5 "Megalodon", would be a smartphone powerhouse

Android and Me have received an an image from an anonymous source, claiming that they work for Google, telling them the image below is the real deal on the Nexus 5. Their source claims that the Nexus 5 would be released later this year, October to be precise, and that they are evaluating several prototypes from different manufacturers.

RumorTT: Leaked specs on Nexus 5

One of these prototype's is LG's, who made the Nexus 4, and is going under the codename of "Megalodon". Megalodon looks like a serious powerhouse, but before we get into them we will state that this is a serious rumor, and half of these specs are most likely not correct:

  • 5.2" OLED Display with 1920x1080 resolution
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 @ 2.3 GHz
  • 3GB LPDDR3 Ram
  • 16/32/64GB of internal storage
  • 16MP rear camera by OmniVision (4k video recording @30FPS, 1080p video recording @60FPS, Real Time HDR & HDR video recording, optical image stabilization, BSI 2.0)
  • 2.1MP front camera (1080p video recording @30FPS)
  • 3300 mAh Lithium Polymer battery
  • Front positioned stereo speakers
  • Qualcomm RF360 (LTE 150 Mbps & HSPA+)
  • Integrated DVB-T / ATSC-antenna
  • Gesture like controls (navigation, zoom, etc)

Continue reading: RumorTT: Leaked specs on Nexus 5 "Megalodon", would be a smartphone powerhouse (full post)

Maxis chief admits SimCity could have had an offline mode

Anthony Garreffa | Gaming | Mar 17, 2013 8:33 PM CDT

Well, well, well, here we are; Maxis' chief, Lucy Bradshaw, has come out and admitted what we all thought - SimCity was capable of an offline mode, but it conflicted with the vision that the developer had for the game. Bradshaw said Maxis had:

Maxis chief admits SimCity could have had an offline mode | TweakTown.com

Rejected that idea because it didn't fit with our vision. We did not focus on the "single city in isolation" that we have delivered in past SimCities. We recognize that there are fans - people who love the original SimCity - who want that. But we're also hearing from thousands of people who are playing across regions, trading, communicating and loving the Always-Connected functionality. The SimCity we delivered captures the magic of its heritage but catches up with ever-improving technology.

Bradshaw also added:

Always-Connected is a big change from SimCities of the past. It didn't come down as an order from corporate and it isn't a clandestine strategy to control players. It's fundamental to the vision we had for this SimCity. From the ground up, we designed this game with multiplayer in mind - using new technology to realize a vision of players connected in regions to create a SimCity that captured the dynamism of the world we live in; a global, ever-changing, social world.

Continue reading: Maxis chief admits SimCity could have had an offline mode (full post)

Change.org petition for Google Reader exceeds 100,000 signatures

Trace Hagan | Internet & Websites | Mar 15, 2013 9:02 PM CDT

I know many of us are saddened by Google's choice to close down the Google Reader product. Many of the TweakTown staff use it daily. However, some good news has come out of the decision: new competitors are stepping up and developing new products or improving existing ones.

Change.org petition for Google Reader exceeds 100,000 signatures | TweakTown.com

A petition was started on Change.org that asks Google to rethink its plans regarding shutting down Google Reader. Impressively, the petition has already surpassed 100,000 signatures. The Google Reader closure was announced just two days ago. For comparison, it took nearly 30 days for the White House petition regarding cell phone unlocking to gain a similar count.

We're not sure that this petition will have any effect on Google's stance. A Google spokesperson said in a statement, "We've given an overview of our reasoning and plans on our blog posts on the Official Google Blog and the Google Reader blog, and we'll be communicating directly with our users as we make these changes."

That doesn't mean that you shouldn't sign the petition, available here. The more signatures that are put on the list, the better the chances of Google Reader sticking around, at least for a year or two. My name's on the list. Is yours?

Continue reading: Change.org petition for Google Reader exceeds 100,000 signatures (full post)

Nintendo Wii U sales are underwhelming, fails to outperform monthly Xbox 360 or PS3 sales from last 7 years

Trace Hagan | Business, Financial & Legal | Mar 15, 2013 8:02 PM CDT

Bringing you doom and gloom seems to be my job today. Nintendo's Wii U appears to be selling in underwhelming amounts. According to a Macquarie Capital analyst, Nintendo only managed to move 66,000 Wii U consoles in February, though 70 percent of those were the more expensive Deluxe Set.

Nintendo Wii U sales are underwhelming, fails to outperform monthly Xbox 360 or PS3 sales from last 7 years | TweakTown.com

According to NPD Group, Wii U sales actually went up in February by roughly 40 percent. However, this doesn't account for that many extra units as January's sales numbers were also low. The Wii U's price is likely to blame as it costs as much as, or more than, competing consoles that have extensive game libraries.

It's important to note that the Wii U's February sales numbers are lower than the PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360's numbers from any month within the last seven years. Nintendo needs to repeat the success it saw with the 3DS after they dropped the price by dropping the price of the Wii U to a more competitive level.

Continue reading: Nintendo Wii U sales are underwhelming, fails to outperform monthly Xbox 360 or PS3 sales from last 7 years (full post)

Microsoft Surface tablets sold worse than expected

Trace Hagan | Business, Financial & Legal | Mar 15, 2013 7:04 PM CDT

It's looking as though Microsoft's expedition into the tablet market might not be paying off as much as the company expected. According to people knowledgeable about Microsoft's sales, the company has reportedly only sold around 1.5 million Surface devices, meaning Surface RT and Surface Pro sales combined.

Microsoft Surface tablets sold worse than expected | TweakTown.com

Bloomberg reports that only about 400,000 Surface Pro units and just over one million Surface RT tablets have been sold. This is in stark contrast to Microsoft's expectations which had the company moving two million Surface RT tablets in December alone. The company ordered around three million, so there is quite a bit of stock left.

Part of the problem is the high cost of the Surface device. Another issue is Windows RT. There has yet to be a compelling argument for the operating system. Intel continues to push x86 as a viable tablet chip and it's capable of so much more. Microsoft's Surface advertising certainly hasn't helped, either.

Microsoft still has a chance to turn it around, but I don't think they will be able to unless they cut the pricing by at least 20 percent.

Continue reading: Microsoft Surface tablets sold worse than expected (full post)

My thoughts on Samsung's Unpacked 2013 press conference

I imagine that many of our readers tuned into the Samsung Unpacked 2013 event last night. If you didn't, you might have been following our coverage of the event. But, if you were just following our coverage, you missed out on quite the show. You missed out on the ridiculousness that was Unpacked 2013. Check it out for yourself:

We all know the basic story line that press conferences follow. Some big player will come up on stage and tell you about their new product. Some try to deviate from this basic story line by bringing up celebrities to endorse their products. Last night, Samsung deviated far from this basic story line to some success.

While I found the whole show quite contrived, it did have several funny moments thrown in. The humor didn't come naturally, but it still managed to get the occasional laugh. If you've ever been to Disneyland's Innoventions Dream Home, you'll probably understand what I mean by that.

I understand that Samsung wanted to keep people's attention. They had to try and make the show entertaining, especially since they allowed basically anyone to attend. They managed to play to both audiences by having the master of ceremonies say something simple: "The new phone looks and feels awesome." A person they called an "elaborator" expanded upon what he said: "That's because its slimmer, yet stronger."

The scenes that rose from the floor were somewhat entertaining. They did this as opposed to pre-recorded videos.

Continue reading: My thoughts on Samsung's Unpacked 2013 press conference (full post)

RumorTT: Motorola X Phone will feature multiple models, small price tags

Trace Hagan | Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Mar 15, 2013 4:05 PM CDT

People have quite a bit more time to speculate on just what Motorola might be planning for the X Phone now that Samsung's Galaxy SIV has been detailed publicly. Again, we're hearing some incredible claims about what Motorola will be doing with this rumored iPhone-killing X Phone.

RumorTT: Motorola X Phone will feature multiple models, small price tags | TweakTown.com

Like we warn with nearly every rumor, none of these details have been confirmed so don't take them for cold hard facts. However, the claims we are hearing now aren't so far-fetched. The Nexus 4 retails for $300, pretty cheap as far as phones go, especially considering that it comes without a contract.

The new rumors are saying that the X Phone will launch with an extremely low price point, possibly as low as $199. This low cost helps to explain why the device is said to only be coming with a Snapdragon S4 Pro, 2GB of RAM, a 4.65-inch display, and a 2,200mAh battery. It's not a bad phone in terms of specs, but it isn't the best.

It's actually really attractive, though, when you consider the rumored price. We'll probably hear more about this device at Google I/O. Oh, did I forget to mention that it's rumored that there will be multiple models? According to the rumor, we can expect a range of devices to launch under the brand of X Phone.

Continue reading: RumorTT: Motorola X Phone will feature multiple models, small price tags (full post)

SpaceTT: Comet Pan-STARRS shows off in brilliant fashion in the March skies

Last week I reported on a comet that was set to make an appearance in our twilight skies and even though it has dimmed past naked eye visibility, those with binoculars, telescopes and DSLR's can still view the spectacular Comet Pan-STARRS. Astronomers, astrophotographers and photographers across the US have captured some stunning images during it's week long visit and I want to share them with you.

SpaceTT: Comet Pan-STARRS shows off in brilliant fashion in the March skies 1

First up is an image taken from Sumter, South Carolina by my good friend and fellow astrophotographer Hap Griffin (source #1). He captured the image which includes Pan-STARRS and the crescent moon in a single frame as they set behind a tree line near his home.

SpaceTT: Comet Pan-STARRS shows off in brilliant fashion in the March skies 2

Up next is a breath-taking shot of Pan-STARRS that was taken by photographer Chris Cook (source #2) at First Encounter Beach, Massachusetts. The shot features Cook and his son standing on a hill gazing in wonderment at such a beautiful scene.

Continue reading: SpaceTT: Comet Pan-STARRS shows off in brilliant fashion in the March skies (full post)

RumorTT: Upcoming budget iPhone to be featured in several different colors

Charles Gantt | Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Mar 15, 2013 1:13 PM CDT

It seems like it's been forever since I covered an Apple rumor, but today I am going to break that trend. Apple Insider is reporting that the Cupertino company will be keeping some old and bringing some new features to the table on it's upcoming budget model iPhone.

RumorTT: Upcoming budget iPhone to be featured in several different colors | TweakTown.com

Analysts are saying that Apple may release the cheaper iPhone with the same 4-inch Retina display featured in the current generation iPhone, and that it's half millimeter thick plastic case could come in as many as six different colors in addition to the traditional black and white.

That sounds like a very thin, very easy to break case, but it is reportedly reinforced with glass fibers which makes it as strong, if not stronger, than current phones with plastic cases. The colors will be similar to those found in iPod's and should appease the mass of teens who will flock to the cheaper device.

Continue reading: RumorTT: Upcoming budget iPhone to be featured in several different colors (full post)

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