Sunday 24 January 2016

Windows 10 Mobile Now Supports Smartphones With Intel x86 Chips

Windows 10 Mobile 
Windows Phone smartphones with Intel x86 chips could soon hit the scene with the next generation of Windows 10 Mobile handsets.
So far, all mobile phones running Windows packed ARM-based chips from Qualcomm. This will apparently change soon, as Microsoft is embracing Intel x86 chips.
As a new Microsoft webpage reveals, Windows 10 Mobile now supports both x86 and ARM-based SoCs. Windows Phone fans have long been waiting for this to happen, as no version of the OS has ever supported x86 chips.
This should enable Microsoft to better compete against rivals. Windows Phone is not nearly as popular as Android, and the available choices could have something to do with it.
Supporting both ARM (32-bit) and Intel x86 chips could lead to a wider range of Windows 10 Mobile devices, so users would have more options.
Microsoft teamed up with Intel in 2015 in a bid to convince device makers to bring Windows 10 to budget mobile devices running Atom X3 chips. It took a while for Microsoft to support larger device displays and higher resolutions, but it eventually got there.
Windows 10 Mobile supports devices with a maximum resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels (QHD) and screen sizes of up to 7 inches.
However, the problem with Intel's Atom X3 is that it currently supports only 3G. This may be a main reason why no OEM took the challenge to launch an Atom X3-powered Windows Phone.
This year should bring faster Atom X3 chips with 4G LTE capabilities, which may appeal more to device makers. Microsoft was rumored to launch its own Surface Phone with an Intel Atom X3 chip, but nothing materialized so far.
While the partnership between Intel and Microsoft proved successful on the PC front, the two companies have yet to see a similar success on the smartphone market.
Windows 10 Mobile smartphones with Intel x86 chips on board could be the answer, and it's good to see they're in the cards. Neither Intel nor Microsoft offered any details on the matter, however, so it remains unclear just when such handsets would hit the market.
Nevertheless, it will bring an interesting change to the scene. ARM-based chips dominate the smartphone market and only a few Intel-based smartphones are available, all powering Android handsets.

Wednesday 20 January 2016

February 2016 New Game Releases: Mojang's 'Cobalt,' 'Toki Tori 2,' 'Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc' Launch Next Month

Three new games, "Cobalt," "Toki Tori 2," and "Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc," will be launching in February 2016. Here are the details.
"Cobalt" from Mojang
Initially pegged for an October 2015 release, "Cobalt" is finally launching next month. The game is the creation of developer Oxeye Game Studio and published by "Minecraft" creator Mojang. The game will launch to Microsoft's Xbox One and 360, and PC on Feb. 2. The game will cost $19.99.
According to Mojang's Owen Hill, the game will take around eight hours to complete, but this could vary depending on how a gamer plays the title. Multiple local and online multiplayer modes could also distract players from the main game for hours on end.
In addition to all these features, PC players will also have Steam Workshop, which allows them to build their own levels. Those who bought the alpha also get a free Steam code through their Mojang account.

Play "Toki Tori 2" on PS4 "Toki Tori 2," the sequel to developer Two Tribes' first game ever, comes to the PlayStation 4 on Feb. 23. PS4 owners can buy the game both digitally and as a physical copy. The PS4 version adds five ancient telephatic frogs that will provide guidance to the game's protagonist, a chicken that only has two moves: whistle and stomp. "Toki Tori 2" on the PS4 also adds 15 achievements. The title is a large, open world puzzle game that deviates a little from its core principles by being semi-verbal. The telephatic frogs will provide players with details of their quest through thought bubbles. "Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc" comes to PC Spike Chunsoft has announced the release date of the first installment in its graphic adventure game series, "Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc." Although no specific date was provided, the developer-publisher revealed that it's targeting to launch the game's PC version next month. The game revolves around a group of students whose school has turned into a prison, thanks to a strange bear named Monokuma. He plays judge, jury, and executioner as the students engage in a battle of words in a mock trial for murder.

'Dragon Quest XI' Release Date News: Game to Launch Before June in Japan?

Dragon Quest VIII The Journey of the Cursed King
As one of the best-selling franchises that has ever been helmed by Yuji Horii, it is not surprising that the excitement for "Dragon Quest XI" is all around the gaming community.
The hype has only increased even more after news emerged in the past week that the game is getting prepared for release in 2017. To be more specific, Horii gave a few details about the game's development during the 30th Dragon Quest Anniversary Presentation last Wednesday, Jan, 13.
According to Gematsu, Horii said the story is almost ready to wrap up, meaning fans can expect additional information to be shared by the development team in the coming months. Aside from the story, Horii also said that some parts of the game's beginning are already playable.
It is then safe to assume that a gameplay trailer may be on the way in the next couple of months, especially since some areas of the game are ready for gameplay.
Despite the good news, fans shouldn't get their hopes to high on a release this year. This is because the game's volume is obviously massive and it will take time for the team to complete all aspects of the game, from setting, characters, weaponry, and all other things acquainted with the game.
While patience is obviously needed for fans of the game, another bit of good news has been revealed as Horii also announced that they are looking forward to releasing the game sometime between May 27, 2016 and May 27, 2017 in Japan.
The time difference given by Horii is somehow huge, compared to other creators and developers who give announcements about release dates. This is probably because of the time needed to make sure everything is set before launching a game. Fans wouldn't want a half-baked version of the game anyway.

New Doom level released by game creator John Romero

Tech Gone Bad Doom level 

John Romero, one of the developers behind the seminal computer game Doom, has released his first new level for the title in 21 years.
He is offering the new material for free via the file-sharing site Dropbox.
Mr Romero told the BBC he had made it as a "warm up" for a new project.
Doom was released in 1993 and had 10 million players by 1995. It has retained a cult popularity, and still has a dedicated community of players who also create their own content.
The source code - the computer program that powers the game, written in a human-readable computer language - has been available for some time.
As a result, Mr Romero estimates there are about 30 alternative versions of the entire game, and more than 100,000 add-on levels created by Doom fans.
"Every day people are still making new levels for it," he said.
His new level, Tech Gone Bad, is a boss level that offers an alternative climactic fight.
It ends in a massive complex with a huge computer room that links to different portals and "hell cracks" in the floor, he said.
Tech Gone Bad Doom level 

The original final level was made by the developer Sandy Petersen and not Mr Romero.
The new version is mostly based outdoors.
Mr Romero said that distinguished it from the original game, which was largely based on indoor play, with the exception of Mount Erebus in level six (E3M6 in the Doom register).
"Doom mapping is pretty easy to do compared with 3D engines," Mr Romero said of his own creation.
"But I did worry... the community that's been playing it for 20 years would tear [the new level] apart."
However the reaction from players has been positive, he added.
"It's been out for four days and it's exploded. It's crazy that a game that's 23 years old has so many people still super-excited about it."
He added he had no idea Doom would become such a perennial favourite back in the early 1990s.
"With Doom, it was mouse and keyboard-controlled on the PC when it was released, and you can still play it that way," he said.
"People remember how much fun they had a long time ago and I hope they will have that much fun again."

LEGO Dimensions Ghostbusters Trailer Released

LEGO Dimensions Ghostbusters Trailer Released

LEGO Dimensions Ghostbusters trailer debuts

Content for Interactive Entertainment, TT Games and The LEGO Group’s hit game LEGO Dimensions continues to roll out with the latest level pack hitting stores today – Ghostbusters! You can check out the Ghostbusters trailer for LEGO Dimensions in the player below. The Ghostbusters Level pack has been released alongside the DC Comics Team Pack, which features The Joker, Harley Quinn, The Joker’s Chopper, and Quinn-mobile; and the Back to the Future and Doctor Who Fun Packs featuring Doc Brown and the Travelling Time Train, and a Cyberman and Dalek, respectively.
When a mysterious and powerful vortex suddenly appears in various LEGO worlds, different characters from DC Comics, The Lord of the Rings and The LEGO Movie are swept away. To save their friends, LEGO Batman, LEGO Gandalf and LEGO Wyldstyle journey to locations beyond their wildest imaginations, and they soon realize that Lord Vortech is summoning villains from across different LEGO worlds to help him gain control. As his power grows, worlds mix, unexpected characters meet and all boundaries are broken. Our heroes must travel through space and time to rescue their friends before the vortexes destroy all of LEGO humanity.
LEGO Dimensions is an entertainment experience that merges physical brick building with interactive console gameplay, and includes gameplay from “The Simpsons,” “Doctor Who,” Portal, Jurassic World, Midway Arcade, LEGO Chima and “Scooby-Doo!” These fan-favorite worlds, most of which have never before been in a LEGO video game, will converge with DC Comics, The Lord of the Rings, The LEGO Movie, The Wizard of Oz, LEGO Ninjago and Back to the Future worlds in one thrilling adventure playable with the LEGO Dimensions Starter Pack.
LEGO Dimensions is available for the Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii U.

Agatha Christie: The ABC Murders Gets Official Trailer

Agatha Christie ABC Murders 

Announced earlier this month, Agatha Christie: The ABC Murders got its first official trailer earlier this week and it goes a long way towards showing us the secrets to how to catch yourself a killer. The video shows off the unique art style in the game, as well as just how you are going to be doing your investigating. The player steps into the shoes of Agatha Christie’s popular Hercule Poirot as he attempts to go through a number of witnesses, knowing that one of them is likely the criminal.
The video shows that the player needs to be able to look through a number of different scenes in order to find clues. Sometimes these clues will be plenty easy to find and other times it appears as though they are quite well hidden and will need a keen eye. There will also be a number of puzzles that will need to be solved in order to gather several different clues. Along the with this first official video, Microids and Kalypso Media released a statement detailing just why they decided to make this game.
“Recognised in the Guinness World Book of Records as the most successful novelist of all time, Agatha Christie specialized in locked room thrillers and classic whodunit mysteries. Her 66 novels, 154 short stories and 19 plays have been translated worldwide into over 50 languages. And Then There Were None, Death on the Nile and Murder on the Orient Express are just some of the many titles that have been adapted for film and TV,” Kalypso Media stated. The companies said that Agatha Christie: The ABC Murders will be available on Steam on February 4 and on the Xbox One and PS4 on February 5. Those who preorder the Steam version will be able to get a 20 percent discount.

Darkest Dungeon Launch Trailer Teases Brutal Difficulty

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Darkest Dungeon is officially launched on Steam after a year of Early Access, delivering on its Kickstarter promise of unforgiving, uncompromising action.

Another Kickstarter darling has delivered, as the unpitying RPG Darkest Dungeon has been fully released on PC as of this morning. The final patch notes are live, the final and darkest dungeon has been added to the end of the game, a launch trailer is published, and developer Red Hook Studios cackles wildly from their throne of skulls. Darkest Dungeon can be purchased via Steam for $19.99, which is part of a two-week 20% discount ending February 2.
As part of their launch announcement, Red Hook Studios wrote a letter to their community thanking them for their support and discussing the process that had led to this point. Halfway through, they described Darkest Dungeon in a way that must be shared:
“Darkest Dungeon grew up in that second year. It was not friendly, or welcoming; it did not owe you a victory, or suffer fools. It wasn’t fair, like the horror movies and war stories that formed its foundation. It broke game ‘rules’; took control away, kicked you when you were down. It smoked behind the gym with its friends and skipped class.
Underneath all that badassery, though, it challenged you to think differently about heroism, and about the cost of adventuring. It taught you that preparedness was important, but thinking on your feet when the s*** hits the fan was the true test. And, of course, it reminded you that overconfidence is a slow and insidious killer. For all its unyielding focus on what can go wrong in an adventure, it showed why heroism is the only antidote for failed hope.”
It’s refreshing to see the developer be so direct about what kind of game Darkest Dungeon is, because there will inevitably be many players who outright refuse to play Darkest Dungeon again after it shows how truly vicious it can be. It’s best players know what they’re getting into so they have no one else to blame when the dungeon wins. 
The Darkest Dungeon began its life as a side-project developed by four friends. However, the scope of the project quickly grew beyond their means, leading to the launch of a Kickstarter requesting $75,000. The project would go on to raise $313,000 and funded the developers work through 2014. By the start of 2015, they’d have Darkest Dungeon in a playable state and launch the game on Steam’s Early Access. Over the past 12 months the game has changed in large and small ways, many the result of direct feedback from the community. Today it’s fully launched.
That Darkest Dungeon exists and is fully launched today is evidence of how far independent development has come in recent years. Kickstarter only launched in 2009. Steam Early Access only launched in 2013. That both of those platforms reached a stable point where a team of four friends could find success on each, thereby allowing them to bring Darkest Dungeon that much closer to launch, is incredible. Ten years ago, Darkest Dungeon would never have been made.
Ten days from now there will be a lot of frustrated players who will be wishing Darkest Dungeon was never made! It’s great to see games that defy the norm, games that have broken “game rules,” find the audience begging for them.

The Division Live-Action Series Gets Its First Trailer

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Ubisoft reveals The Division’s first live-action trailer for a four part series in conjunction with major YouTube groups like Rocket Jump, Corridor Digital, and devinsupertramp.

Ubisoft continues to crank the marketing machine into high gear for their upcoming open world shooter, Tom Clancy’s The Division. With the highly anticipated beta scheduled to begin in two weeks for those who have pre-ordered the title, new details and information has also come into light thanks to new trailers and gameplay footage from some users on YouTube.
The latest footage comes from Ubisoft themselves, as they’ve teamed up with major YouTube groups like Rocket Jump, Corridor Digital, and devinsupertramp to produce a four part live-action series based in the world of The Division. Known as Agent Origins, the live-action special examines the backstories and lives of four Division agents during the early stages of the outbreak in New York City.
These agents have been recently activated in an effort to restore order and retake New York City back from the rioters and militarized groups that have begun to appear within Manhattan. What’s interesting about the short films is that Ubisoft has not confirmed if any of these agents will make an appearance in some way during the events of the game, or if this is strictly for promotional purposes.
The total run time for the short film is around half an hour and can be viewed in full on Amazon Prime Video along with five minutes of exclusive scenes. For those without Amazon Prime, however, the live-action films can be found on YouTube through each of the respective channels.
Ubisoft has been fairly active in promoting The Division once the calendar year flipped to 2016. The flurry of news really began last week as a trailer detailed new gameplay footage and provided more insight into what it takes to become a Division agent along with sacrifices that one has to make. Players were able to see landmarks like the Brooklyn Bridge, though as Ubisoft later confirmed, that specific borough won’t be available to explore on day one.
Fans should also be happy to note that somewhat overpowered microtransactions like the ability to auto level a character won’t make it into the game and the developer has no interest in doing so post-release. While the game will come with microtransactions, Ubisoft has promised that they would be fair and won’t be pay to win. Still, specifics around what will be offered inside of the game have not been revealed, which may concern some players.
Are you excited to check out The Division next week in the beta or are you adopting a wait and see approach when the game releases in March? Let us know your thoughts below in the comments.
Tom Clancy’s The Division arrives for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC on March 8, 2016.

Fable Legends New Trailer Reveals New Character

Man, Fable Legends has had just about the most protracted development cycle for any game not called The Last Guardian in recent memory. This is a game that was revealed years ago, and which has suffered multiple delays, and which is still not out. For now, it is supposed to release some time later this year, with a multiplayer beta due first.
For now, we have received a brand new trailer for the game, and this trailer reveals a brand new character. Her name is Winter, and she is a powerful mage who can control ice. Winter will be a support based character, who can slow down other characters and freeze them- her debuffs and status afflictions should help in any match.
Fable Legends is a free to play asymmetric multiplayer game which will launch on the Xbox One and PCs running Windows 10. You can check out the new trailer for it for yourself below.

Watch the trailer for Furi from The Game Bakers here

Arriving in 2016 – from The Game Bakers and Reverb Triple XP – is Furi, an intense all-boss fighting-combat game.  Also on board with Furi is Takashi Okazami, who is more famously known for Afro Samurai. Takashi Okazami will be bringing life to the game with his character design – which you can see in the trailer below – for which each shall have their own strengths and weaknesses and it’s upto you to locate and utilise.  With a soundtrack composed by electro musicians including Carpenter Brut, Furi is set to make our machines quake this coming year.
furi logoThe story of Furi starts ten years ago, when Emeric was asked what he would do if he could make his dream game. He came up with a game that would be one long boss fight. A boss fight against an opponent similar to you, not a gigantic creature or a demon. A boss fight that felt like a duel— a tense, exhausting, and utterly rewarding duel. Furi is the manifestation of this idea that stuck with Emeric, as he grew as a designer and set up The Game Bakers.
furi fight
Furi is a game where you fight for a reason. It’s a game that teases you before the fight, while you walk toward your fate, the same way you would be pumped up and stressed before a boxing match. The combat gameplay is designed with Japanese games in mind — ultra fast-paced and responsive. Your character moves as soon as you send an input. Skills and reflexes are required to dodge and parry the enemies’ attacks.

New Knuckle Sandwich Trailer Showcases Hilariously Weird And Random Gameplay

Knuckle Sandwich is still deep in development, but that hasn’t stopped creator Andrew Brophy from sharing some new details about the bizarre RPG. And for those of you who like pretty pictures, he’s sharing those new details through the ancient art of “gameplay trailer.”

After making its way through Steam Greenlight last October and wowing audiences with its equally out there demo/prequel, Tarantula, it looks like we’re getting closer to an actual launch for Knuckle Sandwich on PC and Mac. To help update folks on what they can expect out of this indie RPG, a new trailer has been released covering everything from the overworld, to shops and even combat.

If you’re watching this and getting a distinct Earthbound vibe, there’s probably a good reason for that. Knuckle Sandwich is wearing its inspirations on its sleeve, and classic RPG’s like Earthbound certainly appear to be part of the mix. The game’s art style also reminds me of Scott Pilgrim, but even that was in turn inspired by retro gaming, so who knows? The above gameplay trailer went live on the Knuckle Sandwich official website earlier today, complete with some additional details about the highly anticipated indie game. According to the description, Knuckle Sandwich follows the story of a dude who moves out on his own and gets a job at a crappy diner with some interesting new coworkers. Once you star working the new gig, you notice that folks have started going missing and, on top of that, a bunch of cults start popping up looking for answers. You know, standard small town stuff. Now it's your job to figure out what the heck is going on, so good luck with that one. While Andrew Brophy is designing the game, that funky soundtrack is the work of Gyms, in case you’re curious. Otherwise, games don’t get much more “indie” than this. That is, of course, not a knock against Sucker Punch. It looks pretty rad if you’re in the mood for a game that feels like it was built for the SNES, but with some modern tweaks. I know there are some youngsters out there who can’t appreciate this rising “genre,” but they can just stick to their Call of Duty and Madden and we’ll all keep getting along just fine. According to Brophy, that demo/prequel I mentioned earlier, Tarantula, will be made available soon. Since the game is being distributed through Steam, that’s a safe bet for where we’ll be able to find it once it goes live.

Unravel: new trailer explains sandbox gameplay


Platformer Unravel's out next month. Here's a new trailer that explains how its gameplay works - it's well worth checking out...

Update: EA-published indie game Unravel, thanks in no small part to its gorgeous graphics and unspeakably cute lead character - a skinny humanoid made from yarn.
It has to be said, though, that there's far more to the game than the simple 2D platformer than we were initially expecting. Yarnie's dangling bit of thread is more than just a means of traversing the landscape - it's an integral means of solving each area's puzzles. Yarnie only has a finite amount of thread - if he unravels too much, he won't be able to reach the end of the level. Each level is also a kind of sandbox, which means there are multiple ways of solving puzzles and finding your way to the end.
We've learned all of this thanks to the new gameplay trailer below, which elegantly explains how Unravel works. Simply put, there's far more to the game than retro platforming and pretty graphics - the way Yarnie can interact with the environment is ingenious, and will clearly lead to some downright mindbending conundrums.

Monday 18 January 2016

Microsoft rolls out Skype Translator to all Windows users

microsoft has finished rolling out Skype's much-anticipated real time voice translation service to all of its Windows users, according to a post on the Skype blog.
Skype -- founded in Estonia in 2003 -- can understand Mandarin, English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish, and translate one to another as you video call your Skype contacts.

"We launched Skype Translator preview just over a year ago in partnership with Microsoft Translator," the blog post reads. "Skype Translator has come a long way since then."

Skype said French to English is the most popular language pair, while the top international "calling corridor" is Germany to Ghana.

Skype also offers a text translation service that works in over 50 instant message languages.

The translation service has so far only been rolled out to Windows users but Microsoft is planning to roll it out to other platforms in the future. Additional languages are also expected to be integrated soon.
To start using Skype Translator, Skype for Windows customers must click on the globe in the upper right hand corner of the app. Skype users must first ensure they have the most up to date version of Skype.

Microsoft has also made it possible to integrate Skype with enterprise chat tool Slack.
The Slack integration has been introduced so teams on Slack can easily make a Skype voice or video call to each other. Set up requires the user to visit the Skype integration for Slack product page, and click on the "Add to Slack" button.

Earlier this week Microsoft introduced group video calling for iOS, Android, and Windows phones in a bid to help it compete with Google Hangouts.

According to Microsoft, Skype has around 300 million users who make over two billion minutes of calls per day, as of 2014. Data suggests that Skype is even responsible for a drop in international calls.

Microsoft says new processors will only work with Windows 10
Soon, when you buy a new PC, it won't support Windows 7 or 8. Microsoft has announced a change to its support policy that lays out its plans for future updates to its older operating systems, and the new rules mean that future PC owners with next-generation Intel, AMD, and Qualcomm processors will need to use Windows 10.
It's not usual for old PCs to fall short of the minimum requirements of a brand new operating system, but in this case, the opposite is happening. Microsoft and its partners will not be putting in the significant work necessary to make new hardware work with older versions of Windows. The old operating systems, at best, will merely lack the latest updates. At worst, they might not function properly.
"Going forward, as new silicon generations are introduced, they will require the latest Windows platform at that time for support," Microsoft notes in a blog post published on Friday. "Windows 10 will be the only supported Windows platform on Intel's upcoming 'Kaby Lake' silicon, Qualcomm's upcoming '8996' silicon, and AMD's upcoming 'Bristol Ridge' silicon."
This new policy doesn't mean that Windows 7 and 8.1 are no longer supported in general. The two operating systems will continue to get updates through January 14th, 2020 and January 10th, 2023, respectively. But that's only if you're using hardware that was contemporaneous with those operating systems.
For current PC owners, the detail to note is that Intel's current, sixth generation processors, known as Skylake, are the first that won't support either of the older versions of Windows. (Intel and Microsoft say that the platform and Windows 10 were designed for each other.) Microsoft is phasing in the policy now.
For the company's all-important enterprise customers, who often lag behind on hardware and software updates in order to guarantee stability, Microsoft says it will be maintaining a list of approved Skylake systems that are guaranteed to have Windows 7 and 8.1 support through July 17th, 2017. That gives companies an 18-month grace period to buy modern hardware for employees before committing and implementing upgrades to Windows 10.
After the grace period, only "the most critical Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 security updates will be addressed for these configurations, and will be released if the update does not risk the reliability or compatibility of the Windows 7/8.1 platform on other devices." Companies and consumers, of course, can still buy older PC hardware that doesn't utilize Intel's Skylake platform or other modern CPUs — the last generation of supported Intel processors are known as Broadwell, and those chips are still widely available.
The policy change not only makes Microsoft's hardware partners happy — they no longer are on the hook to develop as many costly software updates for past versions of Windows — but it also helps Microsoft push adoption of Windows 10. The company sees the operating system as the "final" version of Windows; it's now a service, not a product, and this change better reflects that. There's only one current version of Windows, and while Microsoft will fulfill its legacy hardware obligations, it won't be expending resources to help users steer clear of its latest and greatest.

'Elder Scrolls 6' release date: What should be featured in new game?


Now that "Fallout 4" has proven to be a successful game, talks are now focused on Bethesda's next likely project, "Elder Scrolls 6" or "Skyrim 2."
It appears that fans will have to wait longer before they get their hands on a "Skyrim" sequel, because Bethesda's vice president of marketing, Pete Hines, hinted that it will be a "very long time" before the company will talk about its next project, Dual Shockers reported.
Despite not having a confirmed release date, the hype for "Elder Scrolls VI" won't seem to die down. Fans even took to forums to discuss what Bethesda should include in the next installment.
According to MoviePilot, a group of Redditors discussed some of the features that the game developer should include for "Elder Scroll VI" or "Skyrim 2."
One fan reportedly wanted the sequel to feature weapon forging, just like how it is in "Fallout 4." MoviePilot also gathered that most fans would want the upcoming game to grant rewards to players who are focused on a couple of skills.
It gets boring to have a player max out on all skills, and fans reportedly wanted to play a character considered to be exceptional, but only when it comes to a few specific skills.
"Elder Scrolls" players have also voiced out their ideal location for the next game. Some of the names dropped include Elsweyr, Valenwood, and The Summerset Isles. According to MoviePilot, Elsweyr is the ideal location for the game as it offers a balance of tropical forests and rocky mountains.
Meanwhile, GamingBolt also shared some of its ideas on what the next game should feature. According to the news outlet, more detailed cutscenes should be included in "Skyrim 2." The cutscenes are considered important to bring to light the plot points that players are likely to miss out on especially when searching for the next monsters.
In addition, GamingBolt mentioned that cutscenes should make the game more interesting to watch and play.

Sunday 17 January 2016

'GTA 5' DLC release: Game to get story expansion?


Although the current installment in the popular and long-running "Grand Theft Auto" franchise keeps on being updated by developer Rockstar Games, most of the new content is centered on its online multiplayer feature, "Grand Theft Auto Online." However, should recent speculations be true, fans of the series may see a new story unfold for the main characters in "GTA V."
According to PlayStation Lifestyle, speculations about a story DLC for "GTA V" have been floating online ever since the title's release in 2013. Meanwhile, the rumors have been rekindled with a recent social media post by Shawn Fonteno, who voiced main protagonist Franklin in the current story. Fonteno posted an image of him donning a motion capture suit.
It is unclear, however, if the image is a recent one or an old photo that Fonteno only decided to upload recently to tease fans that there will be a story add-on for "Grand Theft Auto V."
Some commenters are also of two minds about Fonteno's post, with some claiming that since it is already at least three years since the original rumors about story DLC began, and with a rumored "Grand Theft Auto VI" supposedly already in the works, Rockstar Games would have left "GTA V" the way it is right now. In addition, the developer already said in the past that the whole team behind "GTA V" is already hard at work, with all its focus on expanding "GTA Online" with new content.
Meanwhile, in connection to expansion content, Inquisitr mentioned that as per Rockstar Games, expansion items can be categorized as either time-limited only or general DLC packs. The developer issued a statement regarding some players' confusion when their supposed item gifts disappeared from their inventories. Apparently, the gifts were part of the holiday-themed "Festive Surprise" DLC, which expired last Jan. 5.

Bayonetta 2 Wii U Game Gets Standalone Release on February 19

The official Twitter account for Nintendo of America announced on Thursday that Bayonetta 2 will receive a standalone release on February 19 for US$29.99. Previously the game was only available in a bundle with the original Bayonetta game.
Bayonetta's titular character will be added to Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS as a playable character.
The Bayonetta games received an anime film adaptation, Bayonetta: Bloody Fate, in 2013. Funimation licensed the film in North America, while Madman Entertainment handled the licensing in Australia.
Platinum Games and Sega released the first Bayonetta action game about a shape-shifting, fighting witch on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in Japan in October 2009 and then in North America in January 2010. Platinum Games and Sega released Bayonetta 2 for the Wii U in October 2014.

‘Ninja Turtles: Mutants In Manhattan’ Screenshots Leak Online Prior To Game’s Release


The game still hasn’t been officially announced by either developer Platinum Games or Activision, but Ninja Turtles: Mutants In Manhattan certainly looks like the real deal.
We’ve seen so much information for the upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manahattan already and the game hasn’t even been officially announced. Initially, it was rated in both Brazil and Australia followed by a list of achievements dropping as well as the box art. After all that, both Activision Blizzard and Platinum still remained tight lipped. Hopefully after today, however, they will provide us some more details after new screen shots leaked.
A source provided PureXbox five exclusive screens to the game which you can all see below. Not only did they reveal the time pattern the game will use in the TMNT era, but also the animation technique. Similar to Transformers: Devastation, Platinum will use the same cell shaded animation with TMNT. This allows the player to believe they are actually controlling a TV cartoon opposed to typical CGI video game characters. In addition, you can see the Turtles’ weapons appear to be glowing in multiple spots, indicating some special powerup maneuvers. Of course, last but not least, we can’t forget the original version of TMNT’s Beebop which is also in the game.
It appears they are going for a more throwback feel with Mutants in Manhattan based on everything we know so far. You can see the images below and we’ll let you know more as soon as we hear.

Thanks, PureXbox

‘Pokken Tournament’ Update: Game’s Release Date Set on Mar. 18; Chandelure Unveiled


In its latest "Pokken Tournament" update, Nintendo has announced that the highly-anticipated game will finally be released on Mar. 18. 
According to Game Rant, the "Tekken" inspired fighting game will have a worldwide debut, which means that gamers in the United States, Japan and Europe will be able to play the game simultaneously.
This comes as good news for gamers who were earlier disappointed when the Japan-based company decided to push back the release of "Star Fox Zero" and "The Legend of Zelda" for Wii U well into 2016.
With this recent "Pokken Tournament" update, Nintendo has therefore stayed true to form by rolling out its core RPG games not only on a regional basis, but rather on a global scope.
The announcement of the "Pokken Tournament's" official release date comes on the heels of reports that Chandelure has been unveiled as a playable character in the game.
Described as the "oddest fighter choice the game has seen yet," the character is expected to arrive in the "near future."
Based on the latest "Pokken Tournament" update, there will be 16 characters in the line-up of fighters, which includes two versions of Pikachu and Mewtwo.
As the roster has not yet been "set in stone," there is still a possibility an all-time favorite "Pokemon" character will make the final cut.
According to Entertainment Weekly, the release of "Pokken Tournament" is in line with "Pokemon's" 20th Anniversary celebrations.
The entertainment portal cited "Pokken's" unique gameplay, noting that instead of the usual turn-based battles of traditional "Pokemon" games, it lets players duke it out in the traditional fighting game style.
The initial copies of "Pokenn Tournament" will include an Amiibo card that allows players to unlock the Shadow Mewtwo character.
The Entertainment Weekly news update added that "Pokkén Tournament"   will arrive shortly after the original Pokémon games are re-released for the Nintendo 3DS on the franchise's 20th anniversary.

Homefront: The Revolution Will Reportedly Launch on May 17

image description 

An image of a Target pre-order card possibly leaks the release date for Deep Silver’s upcoming first-person shooter Homefront: The Revolution as May 17th.

The last time we saw Deep Silver’s Homefront: The Revolution was five months ago during Microsoft’s Gamescom press conference. Since then, little has been said about the upcoming first-person shooter, but now an image taken at Target has apparently revealed the release date for the game.
The image is of Target’s $1 reservation cards, which allow people to pre-order games. One such card will apparently hit Target store shelves soon, and it is for Homefront: The Revolution. A release date of May 17th, 2016 is listed on the card in two separate spots, and by the looks of the card it doesn’t seem like a fake. The card also reveals that those that pre-order Homefront: The Revolution from Target will receive an additional $5 gift card, but any other potential pre-order bonuses are not listed.
Deep Silver has yet to comment on the image or confirm any concrete release date for the new Homefront. In fact, the last time the company commented on the game’s release was when Homefront: The Revolution was delayed to 2016. Its new release window has been either Q1 or Q2 2016 since the delay, so the reported May release date certainly fits within that time frame.
Homefront: The Revolution Will Reportedly Launch on May 17 - Homefront: The Revolution Target pre order card
While Deep Silver has been mum on Homefront: The Revolution, the company must have been planning a release date announcement soon. Perhaps with this leak, Deep Silver will make the announcement even sooner, because unless the date has changed, it’s pointless at this juncture to stay quiet on the subject.
Hopefully an official release date announcement comes with some new gameplay footage of the title. Homefront: The Revolution has had a fairly troubled development cycle, with development switching from Crytek to Deep Silver’s Dambuster Studios, and the game’s director abandoned the project even before that. Because of this, the general lack of footage (outside the Gamescom trailer) has been concerning, and with its release date not that far off, there’s not a lot of time left to polish the experience.
Perhaps the previous delay gave the developers enough time to craft Homefront: The Revolution into a compelling experience. If the leaked release date turns out to be legitimate, it looks like we won’t have to wait much longer to find out.
Are you interested in Homefront: The Revolution? Does the game’s troubled development cycle have you worried? Will you be pre-ordering it or waiting for reviews? Leave a comment below and give us your thoughts on Homefront: The Revolution.
Homefront: The Revolution doesn’t have a confirmed release date just yet, but it is due for release this year on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.
Source: IGN

Batman: Arkham Knight is giving away DLC for all PS4, Xbox One and PC gamers this January

Batman: Arkham Knight

Batman: Arkham Knight fans are in for a right treat this January following the news that Rocksteady have unveiled a load of new free DLC which players will be able to download later this month.
Primarily this consists of the “Crime Fighter Challenge Pack #6,” formerly known as the “Community Challenge Pack.” and includes six challenge maps from Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City, and a special endless Predator Mode challenge.
Because these maps were based on areas from the previous “Arkham” games, including areas like Crime Alley and the Iceberg Lounge, all of the challenges will also receive a "next-gen overhaul", with improved graphics.

n addition, the free DLC will also feature a new free skin, which is the costume Batman wore during the “Batman Incorporated” comic book series from Grant Morrison.
The “Batman Inc.” skin was originally available as a downloadable code for those that picked up the “Batman: Arkham Knight” graphic novel, which acted as a prequel to the video game.
While grateful for the gesture this has also got Arkham Knight fans on forums pondering if more previously exclusive costumes may become available soon.
This could include a “Earth 2 Batman” skin that was given away in a special event and also two PS4 exclusive skins “Justice League 3000” and “Batman 66,” which as of yet have not been made available to anyone who doesn't own a Sony console.
CODA, the Arkham Knight Community Manager, told fans on the games official blog:
"We can’t wait for you guys to get your hands on the remastered maps.
I was watching Harry (one of our best combat players, you may remember him from Arkham Insider) play Iceberg Lounge just the other day and the later part of that map pretty much blew my mind – I know it’ll do the same for some of you here!"

The new Batman pack will be available to PC players on 19 January, and 26 January for on PS4 and Xbox One console owners.
Batman Arkham Knight Warner Bros
MAPS: The DLC will include plenty of challenge maps from past Arkham games
The welcome treat from Rocksteady comes only weeks after Warner Brothers released the games Season of Infamy: Most Wanted expansion.
The expansion came packed with new villians, new batmobiles and several skins for the Caped Crusader to slip into.
Primarily it featured four separate missions to enjoy as The Dark Knight fights back against an invasion of legendary Super-Villains from the Rogues Gallery.
Also featured in the DLC were several add-on’s to keep gamers hooked that little bit longer.
For starters you could drive the original Batmobile from the 2009 Batman: Arkham Asylum game, as well as suit up in a number of new character skins for the caped crusader, including the Batsuit from the 2008 movie The Dark Knight.
Finally fans of the game were also treated to a fresh batch of the increasingly-popular challenge maps to master.
These featured Batman, the Batmobile, Nightwing, Azrael, Harley Quinn and allowing focused training in Freeflow Combat and Invisible Predator stealth incursion.
Batman Arkham Knight

New York tries to force phone makers to put in crypto backdoors


The sport of holding Apple, Google and other tech companies over a barrel to demand backdoors now has a new player: New York.
The state assembly has come up with a proposed bill that would ban encrypted mobile phones and slap manufacturers with a $2,500 fine per phone sold in the state of New York without a backdoor.
In a nutshell, backdoors are security holes – for example, an undocumented master decryption key – knowingly added to software.
The bill, introduced earlier this month, (PDF) demands that smartphones come with means of being decrypted, starting as of two weeks ago:
Any smartphone that is manufactured on or after January 1, 2016, and sold or leased in New York, shall be capable of being decrypted and unlocked by its manufacturer or its operating system provider.
The state assembly would impose a $2500 fine for each infringing phone sold in the state.
That’s a lot of phones and a lot of potential fines. New York’s a big state with a big appetite for mobile gadgets.
The rationale, from notes on the bill:
The fact is that, although the new software may enhance privacy for some users, it severely hampers law enforcement’s ability to aid victims.
All of the evidence contained in smartphones and similar devices will be lost to law enforcement, so long as the criminals take the precaution of protecting their devices with passcodes. Of course they will do so. Simply stated, passcode-protected devices render lawful court orders meaningless and encourage criminals to act with impunity.
The proposed bill is similar to the Investigatory Powers Bill in the UK, which has the support of Prime Minister David Cameron.
If it passes – the next step would be for the bill to move to the floor calendar, followed by votes in the assembly and senate – it would mean that manufacturers or operating system providers would have to decrypt and unlock phones for law enforcement and other authorities, creating a backdoor to surpass the encryption.
We’re hearing plenty of similar calls to poke holes in encryption, coming from countries including the UK with its Investigatory Powers Act or in China, which was poised to require internet companies and other technology suppliers to hand over encryption codes and other sensitive data for official vetting before they went into use.
Those demands were dropped in the law’s final draft, but China’s new law still requires that companies help with decryption when the law deems it necessary for investigating or preventing terrorist cases.
The Netherlands, on the other hand, has come out against backdoors last week, but the assault against the technology is still raging, as the New York bill clearly shows.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has been strenuously arguing that backdoors weaken security.
Here’s how he explained it to 60 Minutes last month:
Here’s the situation… on your smartphone today, on your iPhone. There’s likely health information, there’s financial information. There are intimate conversations with your family, or your co-workers. There’s probably business secrets and you should have the ability to protect it. And the only way we know how to do that, is to encrypt it.
Why is that? It’s because if there’s a way to get in, then somebody will find the way in. There have been people that suggest that we should have a backdoor. But the reality is if you put a backdoor in, that backdoor’s for everybody, for good guys and bad guys.
Cook and other Silicon Valley execs last week met with White House officials to discuss the use of social media and technology in the fight against terrorism, radicalization, and propaganda.
Apple has stated that it’s “impossible” to unlock most iPhones, given an iOS 8 feature that prevents anyone without the device’s passcode from accessing the device’s encrypted data – including Apple itself.
Cook has said that a backdoor wouldn’t be such an issue if it were to be used only for catching “bad people,” but he doubts that crooks couldn’t manage to figure out how to exploit a backdoor even if it were only meant to help law enforcement.
Naked Security’s take?
Paul Ducklin put it pretty bluntly: “Tim Cook is right: if you put in cryptographic backdoors, the good guys lose for sure, while the bad guys only lose if they are careless.”
And, as Paul recently reminded us, the US has gone down this road before, and it didn’t turn out well.
In the 1990s, the US required American software companies to use deliberately weakened encryption algorithms in software for export, in an attempt to make it safe to sell cryptographic software even to potential enemies because their traffic would always be crackable.
The results:
  • International customers simply bought non-US products instead, hurting US encryption vendors.
  • EXPORT_GRADE ciphers lived on long after they were no longer legally required, leaving behind backdoors such as FREAK and LOGJAM that potentially put all of us at risk.
Backdoors have a way of being forgotten about, soon end up widely known, often live much longer than anyone imagined, and can be widely misused: all good reasons to avoid them.

Samsung's new Galaxy J3 debuts at Boost, Virgin Mobile for $180

New year, new phone line. At least that's what it feels like as Samsung brings its latest smartphones, the Galaxy J series, to the US, starting with Sprint's two prepaid carriers, Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile.
The entry-level J3 phone sells for $180 all in. You can buy it today from Virgin Mobile or starting January 18 from Boost.
Samsung spends most of its energy focusing on fancy flagship models; the J series is a reminder that the phonemaker must also attract customers seeking simpler phones for lower prices if it wants to compete across the board.
As such, the Galaxy J3 packs hand-me-down hardware in a shiny design:
  • 5-inch display with 1,280x720-pixel resolution
  • 5-megapixel rear camera
  • 2-megapixel front-facing camera
  • 1.2GHz quad-core processor
  • 16GB internal storage
Still, Samsung is going to have to do better than this to sway truly savvy buyers, who turn to manufacturers directly to buy phones such as the higher-end, but similarly priced Huawei Honor 5X that we saw at CES in Vegas last week.

Windows 10 Mobile Rolling Out to Microsoft Lumia 535; Upgrade Advisor App Launched

Windows 10 Mobile Rolling Out to Microsoft Lumia 535; Upgrade Advisor App Launched 

Microsoft appears to have begun seeding the Windows 10 Mobile software update to Lumia smartphones. The Redmond-based company earlier this week made available the latest version of its mobile operating system to the Microsoft Lumia 640, and it is now seeding the update to the low-cost Lumia 535 in at least one region. The company has also released Upgrade Advisor Beta for all Windows Phone 8.1 users, to help them upgrade their phone.
Users in Latin America are reporting that they have started to receive Windows 10 Mobile software update on the Lumia 535 smartphone. As seen in the screenshots, the update escalates the version number of the software to 10586.29. The update is currently only available for the unlocked Lumia 535 handset it appears.
Microsoft also recently started to seed Windows 10 Mobile to the Lumia 640 on T-Mobile network in Poland. The rollout confirms that the company has begun to release Windows 10 Mobile to more Lumia smartphones. It had previously committed to seed the software version to all Windows Phone 8.1-powered smartphones with more than 4GB of internal storage in December. However, last month, the company said that it was pushing the roll out timeframe to "early 2016."
The company has released an app to assist users with upgrading to Windows 10 Mobile. Called Upgrade Advisor Beta, the app allows users to know whether their Windows Phone handset is eligible to upgrade. It also helps with cleaning up memory on the smartphone to make enough room for the new software version.
"The Windows 10 Mobile Upgrade Advisor app will tell you if your Windows 8.1 phone is eligible for upgrade to Windows 10 Mobile. It can also help free up space on your phone so you're ready for the upgrade," the app description reads. "When you open the app, it checks your phone and lets you know if it's eligible to upgrade, if an update is required before you can upgrade, or if your phone can't be upgraded."
To recall, for Windows Phone 8 software update, Microsoft maintained an update tracker on its website to help users know when the new software version will become available for their smartphone. For Windows 10 Mobile, there's no tracker as such, which makes the new app handy for users.

Devolver announces Omnibus with quirky trailer

According to publisher Devolver Digital, this spring we'll get to experience a bus driving game that has had a long and fictional development. It's developer Buddy Cops who are responsible for this slightly different take on driving buses in populated areas, or as Devolver Digital CFO Fork Parker states in the press release:
"OmniBus will revolutionize the way we all think about video games and buses as it totally changes the public transportation video game simulation paradigm."
The press release is mainly filled with ironic remarks, but here is some of the things we interpret to be true:
• Multiplayer Derby Mode: Jump into the chaotic free-for-all multiplayer versus mode where drivers are pitted against each other in a high score trick mode or the visceral deathmatch mode sure to raise tensions down at the bus depot.
• Free Play Trick Mode: Choose your favorite bus and pull off unbelievable jumps, flips and twists to hit incredible high scores and impress friends, family, and other OmniBus drivers on the leaderboards.
To see what we suspect to be gameplay, check out the game's first trailer below. Omnibus is coming to PC, Linux and Mac this spring.

New Star Wars Rebels Trailer Has a Force Awakens Connection

New Star Wars Rebels Trailer Has A Force Awakens Connection!

Star Wars Rebels trailer features connection to The Force Awakens

Lucasfilm and Disney XD have revealed a new Star Wars Rebels trailer that teases the remaining episodes of the show’s second season and has an interesting connection to last year’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens, as well as the tease of a new (or perhaps return of an old) villain! Check it out in the player below!
Star Wars Rebels is created by Dave Filoni (Star Wars: The Clone Wars), Simon Kinberg (X-Men: Days of Future Past, Sherlock Holmes), and Carrie Beck. The Lucasfilm Animation production is executive produced by Filoni and Kinberg.
The season two voice cast includes Freddie Prinze Jr. as Kanan, Vanessa Marshall as Hera, Steve Blum as Zeb, Tiya Sircar as Sabine, Taylor Gray as Ezra, Ashley Eckstein as Ahsoka Tano, Dee Bradley Baker as Captain Rex, Captain Gregor and Commander Wolffe, David Oyelowo as Agent Kallus and Sarah Michelle Gellar as the Seventh Sister Inquisitor.

Star Trek Timelines Launch Trailer

Disruptor Beam and CBS Consumer Products Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Star Trek by Welcoming Generations of Fans into New Strategy Role-Playing Mobile Game
Disruptor Beam, the company that brings together fan communities and games, announced today that STAR TREK TIMELINES, a new strategy role-playing game that brings together 50 years of Star Trek, is now available. The game can be downloaded for free in five languages (English, Spanish, French, German, Portuguese) on both the App Store for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, and on Google Play for Android devices.
Licensed by CBS Consumer Products, Star Trek Timelines features hundreds of beloved characters from all eras of Star Trek as well as stunning 3D graphics. Exploring the galaxy alongside friends, players can gather their favorite starships, and assemble a dream crew including familiar faces like Kirk, Spock, Janeway, Worf, Locutus of Borg, and many more. As they participate in missions, players have the opportunity to command a variety of iconic starships and engage in 3D ship-to-ship battles with a cinematic feel.
“We’re celebrating Star Trek’s 50th anniversary this year by welcoming fans from around the world into the Timelines game community,” said Jon Radoff, Founder and CEO of Disruptor Beam. “We have created a game that will immerse fans in the Star Trek universe like no other game has. And with its deep, story-driven gameplay and stellar graphics, we believe that Timelines is one of the best-looking game experiences on a mobile device today.”
Star Trek Timelines includes content and characters from Star Trek: The Original Series, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager, and Star Trek: Enterprise – plus the first ten Star Trek films, from Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979) through Star Trek Nemesis (2002). Star Trek celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2016, with the first episode of the original series airing back in September 1966.
Disruptor Beam has built a name for itself as a game developer that has successfully brought together fan communities with games, while mastering the strategy role-playing game genre across both mobile and web platforms. The company’s first hit, Game of Thrones Ascent, was released in spring of 2013 to critical acclaim, with a fanbase that has grown to over 12 million players.
Star Trek fans can download Star Trek Timelines now on the App Store and on Google Play. Disruptor Beam will continue to update the game post-launch by adding and expanding features, integrating more characters and starships, and incorporating in-game events. Players can follow along with these developments by joining the Timelines community in the Disruptor Beam forums and by following us on Facebook and Twitter.

New Homeworld gets a launch trailer ahead of its release next week

Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak - i.e. the RTS game formerly known as Homeworld: Shipreakers (i.e. the game formerly known as Hardware: Shipbreakers) - has released a new story trailer and gameplay footage ahead of its 20th January release.
Developed by Blackbird Interactive, a new studio comprised by many of the folks who created the first Homeworld in 1999 at Relic Entertainment, Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak was originally going to be an off-brand spiritual successor to the Homeworld franchise. But once Gearbox purchased the rights to the Homeworld IP in 2013 during THQ's bankruptcy, it decided to join forces with Blackbird and let them use the official Homeworld license.
Where Homeworld games are typically set in deep space, Deserts of Kharak is set on the titular sandy planet and it serves as a prequel to the main Homeworld series. While originally conceived as a new IP, it turns out Blackbird artist Aaron Kambeitz had secretly been plotting how to connect the game then known as Hardware: Shipbreaks into the Homeworld universe should the opportunity arise. Thankfully, it did.
Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak usually goes for £29.99 / $49.99 on Steam, but it's 20 per cent off for owners of the Homeworld Remastered Collection. Others will have to pay full price, but pre-orders come with a copy of said Remastered Collection.

Gorgeous Indie Game, Oxenfree, Gets a Launch Trailer

If you’re looking to start off 2016 with a good ghost story, Oxenfree is the game for you. This indie game has a gorgeous hand-painted look, but that might be to throw players off from some of its disturbing elements.
Oxenfree is developed by Night School, an independent studio made by Telltale and Disney alumni. If you’ve played a Telltale game before, some of the voice actors may sound familiar. Erin Yvette and Gavin Hammon both had roles in The Wolf Among Us, and Britanni Johnson played Angel in the Borderlands series. The launch trailer for the game briefly shows the relationship between their characters before getting weird.
Oxenfree is available now on Xbox One and Steam. This adventure game’s visuals are immediately striking, but the mystery behind the ghostly noises and visual distortions should motivate players to see what the game is really about.
Will you pick up this supernatural thriller this month? Let us know in the comments.

Saturday 16 January 2016

Asus Live With 5-Inch Display, 8-Megapixel Camera Launched

Asus Live With 5-Inch Display, 8-Megapixel Camera Launched 

Asus has launched a new non-ZenFone smartphone dubbed the Asus Live in Brazil. Priced around $210 (roughly Rs. 14,000), the dual SIM supporting smartphone is yet to reach other countries.
The Asus Live smartphone with model name G500TG is a low-end device based on the specifications. The Android 5.1 Lollipop-based smartphone features a 5-inch HD (720x1280 pixels) resolution display. It packs a quad-core MediaTek MT6580 processor clocked at 1.3 GHz, clubbed with 2GB of LPDDR3 RAM.
The 3G-enabled smartphone houses 16GB of inbuilt storage, which can be further expanded via microSD card (up to 64GB). It bears an 8-megapixel autofocus rear camera along with a 2-megapixel front-facing camera. It is backed by a 2070mAh battery. Asus Live users will also be receiving 100GB of free Google Drive storage for 2 years. 5GB of free Asus WebStorage will also come included.
The smartphone sports a plastic build and is available in Blue, Magenta, and Yellow colour variants. Measuring 144.5x71x9.98mm, the Asus Live weighs 140 grams. As for the connectivity, the handset includes 3G, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, USB 2.0, Bluetooth v4.0, FM radio and GPS options.
Asus is set to launch its ZenFone Zoom smartphone in India on January 22. The ZenFone Zoom was first unveiled at CES 2015 but has yet to see wide availability. Running Android 5.0 Lollipop with the Asus ZenUI on top, the ZenFone Zoom sports a 13-megapixel rear camera with f/2.7 to f/4.8-aperture, 10-element lenses with 3X optical zoom, OIS (optical image stabilisation), laser autofocus, and dual-colour Real Tone flash. The company touts that with a thickness of just 11.95mm, the ZenFone Zoom is the "world's thinnest 3X optical smartphone offering up to 12X zoom-in effect."

Google self-driving exec says needs proposals to share research


John Krafcik, the head of Google’s project to develop self-driving vehicles, said on Thursday he would have to see specific proposals before entering into a consortium including automakers.
Krafcik appeared with U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, who spoke of working with companies to develop safety guidelines for self-driving vehicles.
Krafcik was asked whether Google would enter into a consortium of automakers that Mark Rosekind of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will announce on Friday, and share technology including intellectual property.
“I’d guess I’d want to see more and understand more. It’s the first I’m hearing about it,” said Krafcik.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 budget phablet coming to India
Xiaomi will soon release the Redmi Note 3 budget phablet to the Indian market, the company said in a tweet. However, the company did not reveal the launch date or the price of the smartphone. The successor of Redmi Note, the upcoming Xiaomi phablet was launched in China in November last year.

The Chinese startup also tweet said that it is looking for 100 explorers who will try out the smartphone before it hits the market. Those who are interested in the programme can sign up by January 31.

Redmi Note 3 has a 5.5-inch display with Full HD (1080x1920p) resolution and runs on MIUI 7 software, based on Android Lollipop OS. Powering the device is a 2GHz octa-core Mediatek Helio X10 chipset, which is usually found in mid-range (or more expensive) handsets. The smartphone comes in two variants; 16GB internal storage and 2GB RAM; and 32GB internal storage and 3GB RAM.

For imaging, Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 packs a 13MP camera with phase detection autofocus and two-tone LED flash on the back as well as a 5MP camera for selfies. Connectivity suite of the smartphone consists of the usual: 2G, 3G, 4G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and dual-sim functionality.

A 4,000mAh battery keeps the smartphone running. Despite the beefy battery, Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 is only 8.65mm thick, but weighs a hefty 164 grams. The new smartphone is an all-metal affair with an iPhone 6-like look, since Xiaomi has done away with the plastic body of the successor.

The 16GB variant has been priced at 899 yuan (approximately Rs 9,350), whereas the 32GB model costs 1,099 yuan (approximately Rs 11,400).

TomTom Spark Music GPS Fitness Watch comes Bluetooth headphones

TomTom Spark GPS Fitness Watch, TomTom Watches, TomTom Spark GPS Fitness Watch price, TomTom Spark watches, TomTom International, TomTom GPS watches, TomTom India launch, technology, technology news 

TomTom, known for its GPS navigation systems and highly specialised sports watches, has launched a new set of watches in India called Spark Fitness series with prices starting Rs 13,999. The watches are available online on Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal.
The Spark Fitness watches comes in four options: TomTom Spark GPS Fitness Watch (priced at Rs 13,999), TomTom Spark Cardio GPS Fitness Watch (priced at Rs 17,999), the TomTom Spark Music GPS Fitness Watch (also Rs 17,999) and TomTom Spark Cardio + Music GPS Fitness Watch, which is priced at Rs 21,999.
TomTom is also selling the Spark Music GPS Fitness Watch bundled with Bluetooth headphones at Rs 21,999 and the Cardio + Music fitness with the Bluetooth headphones at Rs 25,999.
TomTom Spark watches come with 3GB of music storage space and allow users to listen to music while running so they don’t have to carry their smartphones. The watches can connect with a variety of Bluetooth headphones and come pre-loaded with Running Trax, a thirty minute mix of motivating, high energy songs.
TomTom Spark watches with Cardio come with a built-in heart rate monitor that tracks heart rate, and all watches support a multi-sports tracking. The watches have a Gym, Running, Swimming, Cycling, Treadmill mode for training sessions. The Spark series has built-in 24×7 activity trackers as well to count the number of steps taken, calories burnt, sleep during the day, etc.
TomTom Spark GPS Fitness Watch, TomTom Watches, TomTom Spark GPS Fitness Watch price, TomTom Spark watches, TomTom International, TomTom GPS watches, TomTom India launch, technology, technology news TomTom Spark Fitness GPS Watches have a 24×7 activity trainer.
The new watches are also water resistant up to 40 metres. TomTom says the battery life is up to 3 weeks if used only for regular activity tracking. However if you use the watch for intense training sessions, it has a battery life of 11 hours, while the GPS Cardio and Music watch has a battery life of up to 5 hours.
“Our internal study revealed that over 75 per cent of people listen to music while they work out and many use a smartphone to do so. We have solved this uncomfortable problem with the integrated music player in the TomTom Spark,” said Peter Frans, co-founder of TomTom International on the launch.

On the growing competition in the fitness wearable space and the rise of more ‘prettier’ fitness bands in recent times, Frans said that unlike others TomTom offers a clear purpose, which helps them stand out.
“I think we’re in a good space with our fitness watch.  It is a product with a clear purpose, it is built for workouts. If you’re going to be active, then this is a good product. Of course, in general what we’re seeing is more sensors are coming into the market built into the devices, dealing with more data and analytics. We’re doing a lot of innovations there, especially in our app,” said the TomTom co-founder.
“For instance our app MySports also links to Apple’s HealthKit, to Android Wear. We also link to Strava as a lot of people who cycle use that app, we link to RunKeeper, etc. We have a completely open approach to that. But what’ve seen is that most people who buy the product, they loved the MySports app too,” he added.
TomTom’s India Country Sales Manager Hitesh Ahuja stressed that the high-prices of the watches had not proved to be a problem for the company in India.
“When we launched our watches in 2015, we were looking at India from a different angle. We thought India is going to be very price-sensitive market, but we’ve been proved wrong. Our top-end watches with heart-rate sensors contributes more than 50 per cent to our sales. It shows the rising trend for fitness gadgets in India,” said Hitesh Ahuja, Country Sales Manager, TomTom India.