Technology content trusted in North America and globally since 1999
7,669 Reviews & Articles | 56,764 News Posts

TweakTown News Posts - Page 83

Leak confirms that the Note8 will have a headphone jack

By: Lana Jelic | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jul 5, 2017 8:24 pm

More and more phone manufacturers are ditching the 3.5mm headphone jack, and there have been some rumors that Samsung might to the same with the Galaxy S8 and S8+. However, the company decided to keep it, at least for now.




With the Note8 launch around the corner, many began to question if the device would keep the headphone jack, or join the numerous other phones that lack this feature.


According to a new leak, a photo of the Note8 case, the phone will have a 3.5mm headphone jack.



Continue reading 'Leak confirms that the Note8 will have a headphone jack' (full post)

Nintendo will continue testing mobile monetization

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jul 5, 2017 7:16 pm

Nintendo is keen on learning everything it can to give its fledgling smartphone gaming business wings.




Rather than have any one set method to make money with its smartphone games, Nintendo has experimented with a number of different monetization paths. All of Nintendo's three mobile games use various payment plans with varying degrees of success. Super Mario Run uses a free-to-start model, locking full the game behind a $10 fee after players finish a demo--as a result less than 10% of players actually bought it. Free-to-play Miitomo allows players to buy items with premium currency. With Fire Emblem Heroes, however, Nintendo has enjoyed the most success: the game racked up $5 million in its first week. The game uses the "gacha" model, a free-to-play method where players pay money to unlock in-game content--in this case orbs that can be used to unlock new characters, replenish stamina, and various other bonuses.


Despite the strong earnings of Fire Emblem Heroes, Nintendo isn't ready to commit to any one model just yet. In a recent Q&A session with shareholders and investors, Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima said that the company will continue experimenting with various payment methods to ensure as many people around the globe can play their games. Nintendo's research will likely fold into its upcoming new Animal Crossing mobile game, as well as the reported Zelda smartphone game.


"We feel that Nintendo is still a newcomer in the smart-device business, and we have released three applications so far with different IPs and payment models. Although no single model is clearly superior, we have been able to learn a lot. We want to keep thinking about how consumers would want to pay for content in our future smart-device applications," Mr. Kimishima said during the meeting.


"Super Mario Run has seen over 150 million downloads and access from over 200 countries. Less than 10 percent of these consumers have actually purchased the full game. While there are consumers all over the world who want to play a Mario game, there are varying economic situations across the world, and some consumers are not able to pay for the game."


"This may be due to the price or the payment methods, so in the future we will consider not only a single set price, but other methods that incorporate a wider variety of elements to allow as many consumers as possible to play."

Continue reading 'Nintendo will continue testing mobile monetization' (full post)

Volvo to electrify all vehicles within 2 years

By: Lana Jelic | More News: Technology in Vehicles | Posted: Jul 5, 2017 6:07 pm

Volvo has announced that every car they launch from 2019 will have an electric motor, marking the historic end of cars that have only an internal combustion engine (ICE) and placing electrification at the core of its future business.


This means that within the next two years, Volvo will completely switch to manufacturing only electric cars and hybrids, making them the first major car manufacturer to stop selling cars with only gas or diesel engines.




Håkan Samuelsson, President and Chief Executive of Volvo Cars, said in a statement:


This is about the customer. People increasingly demand electrified cars, and we want to respond to our customers' current and future needs. You can now pick and choose whichever electrified Volvo you wish.

Continue reading 'Volvo to electrify all vehicles within 2 years' (full post)

ZTE launches an outdated smartphone - the Blade V7 Plus

By: Lana Jelic | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jul 5, 2017 4:17 pm

Although ZTE already released the Blade V8, the company is still not giving up on the V7 line. After the launch of the Blade V7 and V7 Lite, the company has now announced the Blade V7 Plus.




The device comes with some new features but is has more minuses than pluses.


The phone is powered by an outdated Mediatek MT6753 processor and comes with 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of internal storage, expandable up to 32GB with a microSD card. The Blade V7 Plus features a 5.2-inch screen and runs on Android Marshmallow 6.0.

Continue reading 'ZTE launches an outdated smartphone - the Blade V7 Plus' (full post)

Xbox One X benchmarks revealed

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jul 5, 2017 3:29 pm

Microsoft has provided game developers with Xbox One X GPU benchmarks for nine different games, and that information has since been published to give players an idea of what the new 4K console "beast" can do.




Eurogamer's Richard Leadbetter got a hold of the Xbox One X GPU benchmarks list and has compiled a ton of data, insights, and explanations in a jam-packed article. The nine benchmarked games are anonymous, but Leadbetter has a few guesses on what they could be.


The data is based on GPU frame time captures from PIX, Microsoft's Performance Inspector for Xbox which captures game profiles that allow for developer-side optimizations. PIX samples are captured from games running on original Xbox One consoles to make a performance profile. The profile is then passed through the Xbox One X's Scorpio Engine to "port" the game to 4K resolution in the most basic way possible. Remember that the Xbox One X will natively boost performance of all Xbox One games by default without tapping any of the new hardware, similar to the PS4 Pro's Boost Mode. Leadbetter affirms the GPU benchmarks via PIX didn't tap additional console hardware features, and the data exists outside of gameplay so "30 or 60FPS caps are irrelevant."

Continue reading 'Xbox One X benchmarks revealed' (full post)

Samsung to launch the first 'mini' smartphone in 3 years

By: Lana Jelic | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jul 5, 2017 2:09 pm

Samsung recently launched its this year's flagships, the Galaxy S8 and S8+, and while we are waiting for the Note8, it seems that the company is preparing another smartphone - the Galaxy S8 mini.




According to reports, the Galaxy S8 mini will feature a 5.3-inch screen, although it might feel smaller due to the extra wide aspect ratio (18.5:9). The device is rumored to be powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 821, the same processor used in LG G6.


The Galaxy S8 mini should come with 4GB of RAM, same as the Galaxy S8, and 32GB of internal storage. It should also feature a fairly high-end feature, an iris scanner.

Continue reading 'Samsung to launch the first 'mini' smartphone in 3 years' (full post)

Nintendo shies away from PC gaming, and for good reason

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jul 5, 2017 12:21 pm

Nintendo currently has no plans to bring its games to desktops or laptops.




The House of Mario has changed dramatically over the years and is now a big success again. The company spent years swimming against the current with its stubborn attachment to a clandestine business model, but has since turned everything around by embracing market trends. Nintendo traditionally has tried to make trends instead of follow them, and this approach worked quite well over the years until it hit a brick wall with the Wii U. Now the Kyoto-based games-maker has done both: it's changed the game with its massively popular new Switch handheld-console hybrid, and swims with the current by bringing its world-class IP to smartphones for the first time.


While Nintendo's paradigm shift towards a more open integrated hardware and software business has paid off, the company is still slow to further change. Its mobile releases are staggered over many months to ensure quality and avoid saturation, but Super Mario Run was by far and large a misstep due to its free-to-start business method. Nintendo weighs its moves very carefully in regards to the Nintendo Switch, too, keeping big games releases appropriately spread across the year and keeping big updates like Virtual Console and the paid online service close to its chest.


But there's one platform Nintendo just isn't ready to pursue yet: PC.

Continue reading 'Nintendo shies away from PC gaming, and for good reason' (full post)

AMD Radeon RX Vega leak: 8GB HBM2, GTX 1080 perf

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Video Cards | Posted: Jul 5, 2017 12:10 pm

There's a significant rumor on AMD's upcoming Radeon RX Vega graphics card, with WCCFTech reporting that there's a new listing of RX Vega with the code 687F:C1, showing details on RX Vega's GPU clocks, HBM2 clocks and memory bandwidth.




As previously rumored, AMD will reportedly launch the Radeon RX Vega with 8GB of HBM2, featuring memory bandwidth of 484GB/sec. The GPU will be clocked at 1630MHz, which is a big jump over the 1200MHz GPU clocks in previous rumors. The 8GB of HBM2 is also clocked higher than previous rumors, from 700MHz up to 945MHz.




Performance wise, it seems to be dropping right into where I expected it to hit: a competitor to NVIDIA's refreshed GeForce GTX 1080 with its 8GB of GDDR5X clocked at 11Gbps. AMD's new Radeon RX Vega hits 31,873 graphics score in 3DMark 11, which is around 4000 more than the GTX 1080 and double the score of the GTX 1070. The GTX 1080 Ti is still much faster, but I think we'll see another competitor in a few months for the GTX 1080 Ti in Vega form. For now, GTX 1080 11Gbps performance is great... for AMD, as FreeSync gaming displays are significantly cheaper than their G-Sync counterparts.

Continue reading 'AMD Radeon RX Vega leak: 8GB HBM2, GTX 1080 perf' (full post)

Nintendo Switch helps revitalize Japan hardware sales

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jul 5, 2017 10:33 am

Despite only releasing in March, the Nintendo Switch has topped Japan's domestic hardware sales and rallies the country's total console sales for the first half of 2017.




Nintendo's new Switch handheld-console hybrid has had a tremendous effect on Japan's console gaming segment. The new system, which launched in March and combines both handheld and console form factors, has only been available for four out of the total six-month sales aggregation period and has still managed to dominate Japan's 1H 2017 video games hardware sales.


Mobile gaming reigns supreme in Japan, but the Nintendo Switch has managed to spark growth in the country's console hardware market. Japanese games website Famitsu tracked hardware and software sales for the last 26 weeks from December 2016 to June 2017, showing substantial growth in hardware sales for the first half of 2017. According to the data total games hardware sales in Japan are up a mighty 44% year-over-year to $676.26 million (76.51 billion yen), with the Nintendo Switch at the top of the charts with over 1 million units sold.



Continue reading 'Nintendo Switch helps revitalize Japan hardware sales' (full post)

China is home to 25% of the world's game market

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jul 5, 2017 6:23 am

With a population that far exceeds 1 billion, it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that China is the largest gaming market in the world, and is expected to be a $29 billion industry this year.




Gamasutra reported from IHS Market Technology that while consoles were illegal in China until 2014, mobile and PC gaming is massive in the country with 51% of the market. Xbox One and PS4 sales have only hit 500,000 - but will continue to grow, as they've only been on the market for just over 3 years now.


IHS said in the report: "This slow adoption is a reflection of having to compete with the entrenched PC and mobile games markets and existing grey market console imports from Hong Kong and Japan, which are often cheaper than the official versions of the consoles. Sony has experienced a mild increase in sales momentum in 2017 and will be further helped by the recent launch of the PS4 Pro, which has been priced aggressively to compete with grey market imports. The company also benefits from a well-established brand and its entrenched console lead versus Xbox in most Asian territories".