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TweakTown News Posts - Page 61

Apple ditches Touch ID, goes all-in with Face ID

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Oct 13, 2017 4:43 am

Apple changed everything with its Touch ID home button, a fingerprint sensor that doubled as a home button, but now that Apple has collected enough fingerprints, it's moving onto collecting your face ID.




The company announced their iPhone X, the first iPhone to receive Apple's new facial recognition technology, Face ID. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said that Apple isn't likely to make a new iPhone with Touch ID in 2018. Kuo issued a note, saying that the biometric touch sensor in Apple's future iPhones is uncertain, saying that the decision to kill Touch ID has already been made by Apple.


Kuo said that 3D sensing is the "key selling point" on all iPhones for 2018 and "[Apple intends to] capitalize on its clear lead in 3D sensing design and production for smartphones", with Apple making a big point about that focus with the announcement of iPhone X. Apple made a very big point about the TrueDepth cameras and plethora of sensors inside of the iPhone X, and is now pushing all-in with Face ID, something Apple can capitalize on since they're one of the first with good facial recognition on a smartphone.

Samsung CEO resigns, claims 'unprecedented crisis'

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Oct 13, 2017 3:37 am

Samsung Electronics CEO and Vice Chairman, Kwon Oh-hyun, has just resigned from the company, where he will step down from his positions on the board, and as CEO of Samsung Display.




Kwon said in a letter to employees: "It is something I had been thinking long and hard about for quite some time. It has not been an easy decision, but I feel I can no longer put it off. As we are confronted with unprecedented crisis inside out, I believe that time has now come for the company start anew, with a new spirit and young leadership to better respond to challenges arising from the rapidly changing IT industry".


The letter to Kwon's employees continued: "There are no words to describe how proud I am that we built together one of the most valuable companies in the world. We have come a long way to create a company that truly changes how people live, work and communicate with each other. But now the company needs a new leader more than ever and it is time for me to move to the next chapter of my life".


Kwon joined the company in 1985, where he eventually led the semiconductor business before he sat in the CEO chair in 2012. Last year, Kwon was named Samsung Display CEO where they have been making large leaps over the competition to become one of the gigantic innovators in the display business.

Continue reading 'Samsung CEO resigns, claims 'unprecedented crisis'' (full post)

Razer gaming smartphone: Snapdragon CPU, 8GB RAM, 1440p

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Oct 13, 2017 3:19 am

The hype train for Razer's purported gaming smartphone is heating up, with new rumors teasing that it might rock a desktop worthy 8GB of RAM, as well as a slew of other somewhat impressive specs.




Razer's upcoming gaming smartphone will reportedly be powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 835 processors, while we'll have a large 5.7-inch display with a native 2560x1440 resolution. Razer is using mostly off the shelf components, without going into the manufacturing of its own... well, anything inside of this phone. The design and look of the phone are expected to be custom, I can't see Razer launching a new gaming smartphone and not wanting to impress.


I'm expecting RGB LEDs of some form, because if Razer doesn't unveil an RGB gaming smartphone, Corsair will be the ones with their own RGB smartphone soon enough.

WD promises 40TB HDDs in the near future

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Storage | Posted: Oct 13, 2017 2:33 am

Western Digital is planning a new range of HDDs based on MAMR technology, with 14TB, 16GB, 20TB and beyond HDDs to surely arrive between now and then. But, WD has promised 40TB by 2025 thanks to microwave-assisted magnetic recording (MAMR).




The company explained the news with an announcement from President and COO of Western Digital, Mike Cordano, saying: "Our ground-breaking advancement in MAMR technology will enable Western Digital to address the future of high capacity storage by redefining the density potential of HDDs and introduce a new class of highly reliable, 'ultra-high capacity' drives".


What is MAMR? MAMR, or microwave-assisted magnetic recording is a new storage technology that WD has been working on for years now, with the other being HAMR, or heat-assisted magnetic recording. This new breakthrough in MAMR technology that WD has reached is the new "spin torque oscillator" that is used to generate a microwave field that increases the reliability to record data at ultra-high density. WD can use this new breakthrough in MAMR tech to record over 4 terabits-per-square-inch over time.


WD explained: "With sustained improvements in recording density, MAMR promises to enable hard drives with 40TB of capacity and beyond by 2025, and continued expansion beyond that time frame".

Continue reading 'WD promises 40TB HDDs in the near future' (full post)

Dragon Age creative director Mike Laidlaw leaves BioWare

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: Oct 12, 2017 11:15 pm

BioWare has lost another big source of talent at the studio, this time with Dragon Age creative director Mike Laidlaw departing the studio.




Mike Laidlaw, one of the main creative forces behind the Dragon Age series of games, has left BioWare after 14 years. His departure follows ex-studio head Aaryn Flynn leaving BioWare in July. While Laidlaw didn't reveal exactly why he departed, citing that "after 14 years and working on Jade Empire, Mass Effect and Dragon age, it's time for me to move on," his departure is interesting given BioWare is currently making a new Dragon Age project.


As for the future of Dragon Age, and the next project, Laidlaw says he's confident the series is in great hands with BioWare veteran Mark Darrah overseeing the team.

Continue reading 'Dragon Age creative director Mike Laidlaw leaves BioWare' (full post)

PEGI can't designate lootboxes as gambling

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: Oct 12, 2017 10:22 pm

PEGI, the Pan European Game Information board that assigns video games with age restrictions, says it can't actually formally designate lootboxes as gambling because it doesn't have the authority.




Much to the dismay of gamers, the ESRB yesterday declared that lootboxes aren't gambling because users are always guaranteed to receive something for their money and there's no actual monetary loss. Now the European ratings board PEGI delivers an answer on the contested topic, saying that even if it wanted to classify lootboxes as gambling they wouldn't be able to.


"In short, our approach is similar to that of ESRB (I think all rating boards do, USK in Germany as well). The main reason for this is that we cannot define what constitutes gambling," PEGI Operations Director Dirk Bosmans told WCCFTech. "That is the responsibility of a national gambling commission. Our gambling content descriptor is given to games that simulate or teach gambling as it's done in real life in casinos, racetracks, etc. If a gambling commission would state that loot boxes are a form of gambling, then we would have to adjust our criteria to that."


The pushback from critics like Jim Sterling and Totalbiscuit have given rise to a strong movement against loot boxes, which are seen as exploitative gambling by consumers and gamers. The topic came to a head with the recent Shadow of War loot box controversy, and more recently with Battlefront II's in-game loot boxes which serve as the gatekeepers for all progress in the game.

Continue reading 'PEGI can't designate lootboxes as gambling' (full post)

343i donating REQ pack proceeds to disaster relief

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: Oct 12, 2017 9:05 pm

343 Industries today announced it's using a special $10 Halo 5 REQ pack to raise funds for humanitarian relief, giving gamers the opportunity to make an impact on those affected by Hurricane Maria and the recent wildfires.




I've been quite critical of Halo 5's REQ packs in the past, but I think it's absolutely amazing that 343 Industries and Microsoft are using these lootboxes to help real people. The special Relief and Recovery REQ Pack costs $10, and 343i will donate 100% of the proceeds to disaster relief organization GlobalGiving.


"For every purchase of the "Relief and Recovery REQ pack" from Halo 5: Guardians between Oct. 12, 2017 to Oct. 23, 2017, Microsoft will donate all proceeds of the Relief and Recovery REQ pack to GlobalGiving (," reads the official listing. "The Relief and Recovery REQ Pack unlocks five permanent REQs selected from the most popular visual customizations in Halo 5: Guardians - all of them Ultra Rare or better rarity (if available), plus ten boost cards of Rare or better rarity."

Continue reading '343i donating REQ pack proceeds to disaster relief' (full post)

Battlefront II uses premium currency, prices revealed

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: Oct 12, 2017 6:49 pm

As I predicted weeks before official confirmation, Star Wars: Battlefront II will be monetized with its own premium currency that's sold for real money that allows players to buy in-game loot boxes.




Battlefront II's monetization scheme has been heavily criticized for being "pay to win", but the writing was on the wall way before DICE and EA officially confirmed mTX was in. We've covered how EA makes billions from its online-based service games, especially from games like FIFA, and typically any time they discuss non season-pass approaches to service games that means heavy lootbox-style pay-to-win monetization. Futhermore, all post-release DLC and content for Battlefront II will be free, which is another huge clue of loot box mTX monetization. Now thanks to a recent Amazon leak, we know how much gamers will pay for Battlefront II's premium currency.


The game's premium currency is called "crystals", and if you played the beta you likely saw the icon in the upper right between credits and crafting parts. Crystals will be sold at tiers ranging from $5 for 500 crystals to $100 for 12,000 crystals. The exact crystals-to-lootbox exchange rate remains unknown at this time, and we probably won't see that until the game drops in November. Expect to spend crystals on everything from lootboxes to crafting parts.

Continue reading 'Battlefront II uses premium currency, prices revealed' (full post)

Nissan modifies a GT-R so a PS4 controller can drive it

By: Shaun Grimley | More News: Gaming | Posted: Oct 12, 2017 12:19 pm

To celebrate Nissan's 20th year involvement with Gran Turismo and the upcoming release of Gran Turismo Sport, Nissan modified a Nissan GT-R to be compatible with a DualShock 4 controller. That's right, this GT-R was fitting out with robots and a micro-computer and was driven around Silverstone's National Circuit using an unmodified DualShock 4 controller and nobody behind the wheel!



Professional racer Jann Mardenborough was chosen to drive the Nissan GT-R, or GT-R/C as it's officially known as, around the race track. The Nissan GT-R/C is fitted with four robots that controls the race car- Steering wheel, transmission, brakes and throttle. A micro-computer receives the inputs from the DualShock 4 controller and then processors the data for the robots to control the car.


So this begs the question, who is faster? The man, or the controller? Jann was hoisted above the race track in a helicopter to provide the perfect viewing point. His fasted lap around the circuit was 1 minute and 17.47 seconds, reaching a top speed of 131 MPH and average speed of 76 MPH.

Continue reading 'Nissan modifies a GT-R so a PS4 controller can drive it' (full post)

Japan love the SNES Mini - over 360,000 units in 4 days

By: Shaun Grimley | More News: Gaming | Posted: Oct 12, 2017 11:30 am

No one can deny Japan's passion and loyalty for the Nintendo brand, it should then come as no surprise that Nintendo's latest retro mini-console, the SNES Mini (Mini Super Famicom in Japan) is selling extremely well.




Nintendo have sold 368,913 units in Japan since the SNES Mini has been on sale, that's only 4 days! In comparison, the NES mini sold 262,000 units over the same period. Both are impressive statistics considering the SNES mini is essentially a 16 year old miniature console. No figures have been released regarding the rest of the world's sales figures, but due to a stock shortage you can bet the SNES Mini is selling well across the globe.


The NES Mini sold 2.3 million units during its 6 months before it was discontinued, you can expect the SNES Mini to surpass that figure and open the door for the N64 Mini to be produced.