Posts Tagged ‘isn’t’
And it isn’t just about games.
The release of a new generation of video game consoles has traditionally meant the promise of new, previously impossible kinds of video games. The jump from 16- to 32- and 64-bit consoles made possible three-dimensional game worlds. The next generation made possible the expansion of these worlds to impressive scale and the furnishing of these worlds with outrageous amounts of detail (think about the difference between Mario 64 and Grand Theft Auto 3). And though the last jump, to the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360, took some time, it ultimately enabled the painting of these worlds with staggeringly lifelike texture and cinematic quality (think about the difference between GTA 3 and GTA 4, or the Mass Effect series).
Now that the announcement of Microsoft’s new system, the Xbox One, has come and gone, we know the contours of the next generation, the first in eight years. The new machines from Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony are wildly different, but they are all ostensibly game systems, and this may very well be the last time these three companies release new systems within a year of one another. In other words, this may be the last console generation, as such. And for the first time in their thirty-year history, game consoles are no longer about presenting new kinds of games to consumers.
That was most obvious on Tuesday, when Microsoft revealed its new consumer electronics device, and I hesitate to call the thing a game console, any more than I'd call a tricked-out PC a game console. It is an impressive device that does a lot of interesting things, and it looks like it belongs on a sideboard, and it is certainly a much more versatile and ambitious device than Sony's PlayStation 4. But, the very first thing that Microsoft decided to show about the Xbox One, their lead, the thing they were most proud of about their “game console”, was the fact that you can verbally order it to watch television. The second thing, I believe, was that you can use your hands to make the display smaller. The third had to do with Skype.
Microsoft announced at the event that they had eight exclusive games in development for their new black rectangle, and that these would be announced in three weeks at E3, the gaming trade show in Los Angeles. Todd Holmdahl, a corporate vice president of hardware at Microsoft, told me on Tuesday that it was important to take the two events in aggregate, that there was simply so much information about the Xbox One to disseminate that it would have muddied the message to announce both the system and the games. That’s a fair point, but also: what?. If you take the hundreds of journalists on hand for a game console announcement on an hour-long tour of the anechoic chambers and test labs in which the gesture-control sensor in your new device was honed, you're sending a message. If the most interactive game-thing that you demonstrate to the press is the new rumble strip in the triggers of your controller, you're sending a message. If the biggest news about actual games in your introductory press conference relates to the number of servers that can offload graphics processing to the cloud, you're sending a message.
The message is: The most important thing, the first thing, the defining thing about the Xbox One is the platform, not the games. Console manufacturers have always bragged about their new hardware, but always in the context of what it meant for games. This is new.
I want to be clear: this is not by definition good or bad, as some have written. But it is a change, and it does have obvious implications for the culture of console gaming. Of the half-dozen games Microsoft teased, three were FIFA (the best selling game in the world), Call of Duty (the best selling game in America) and Madden (the second best selling game in America). Millions of people play these games, and for Microsoft they represent a real, compelling route into the homes of the people who play them and the people who live with the people who play them. Indie games, prestige games, creative games, frankly, don't. In ten years, the percentage of games today for mainstream game consoles that were weird, or idiosyncratic, or not “IP” may seem well and truly strange. We may very well expect to control our televisions with gesture and have cable-cum-game boxes that can suggest programs or games to us based on our mood, deduced through our facial expressions and heart rate. But the place for novel kinds of games on a piece of technology that takes as its aim the American mainstream seems small indeed.
Since we saw Illumiroom at CES in January, the technology has come quite a ways. But while it’s still a spectacular technology display, don’t look for it to pop up in any Xbox announcements in the near future. In fact, Microsoft Research’s Hrvoje Benko and Brett Jones told us during a interview that while they have Illumiroom technology working well at this point, they’re not likely to even demo it to the public until July at Siggraph.
That’s not to say that you’re not going to want it. The researchers showed in detail exactly how it works: they use a Kinect to scan your living room, then project a series of “illusions” onto it with a wide-screen projector, getting the colors just right using a technique called “radiometric compensation.” The projector and Kinect can be mounted in any convenient spot in the room, like the ceiling or a table. While the technology can be used with other forms of entertainment, researchers concentrated on gaming, since they’re able to generate source material that works well with the effects. Some of those illusions include “focus,” which displays special effects around the images, “segmented focus,” to extend the display to portions of the living space (requiring extra material to be generated), and “appearance,” which can actually change the look of the living room by giving it a cartoon appearance, for instance. Despite the still-early phase of the research, it’s definitely whetting our appetite for more — and you can see a full video of the presentation after the break.
Perhaps they have too much of our data.
You can find this on the sales page for their iPad.
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When Microsoft’s Frank X Shaw announced on Tuesday that more Windows Phone handsets than iPhones were shipping in seven markets, the question on the minds of market watchers was, “OK, which seven?” The answer, courtesy of The New York Times Bits Blog, is Argentina, India, Poland, Russia, South Africa, and Ukraine — along with a smaller group of countries (including Croatia) that falls under the banner of “rest of central and eastern Europe.” The numbers come from market research firm IDC, a representative of which further deflated Shaw’s claims by pointing out that three of the markets (Ukraine, South Africa, and “rest of”) amounted to less than 100,000 units apiece in the fourth quarter of 2012.
The list isn’t exactly…
The fine folks at Tinhte have actually gotten their mitts on a Motorola-made Android phone that hasn’t already made its main debut. Right from the gate, the outlet keeps in mind that it’s not the rumored “X phone” because it’s missing out on a big, magnificent display that would rival other flagship gear, but the specifications still offer it a fair amount of horsepower. Behind the device’s approximately 4-inch 720p screen hide a Snapdragon S4 Pro (or better), an Adreno 320 GPU, 2GB of RAM and a 2,000 mAh battery. On the outdoors, the smartphone sports a curved back reminiscent of the HTC One, a black finish and a thin bezel framing its show. Tinhte states that the mobile carries a XT912A design number, so we reckon it could be a relative of the Droid RAZR, which is labeled as the XT912. Hit the jump for a video trip of the gadget, or click the source link for a full image gallery.
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When Twitter mishandled its attempted acquisition of photo-sharing app Instagram, it found out an important lesson: when you see an app that works completely with tweets (brief bursts of text), you better snag it up fast. Twitter founder Jack Dorsey was a substantial fan of the service, and quickly curbed his Instagram photo tweets when Facebook acquired the company. Time later on, Twitter included filters to the photos area of its app, and no one cared. Everyone knew video would be next, and there was no method Twitter was going to miss out.
Amtrak this week revealed strategies to upgrade its on-train Wi-Fi backbone to 4G, declaring the enhanced infrastructure will provide faster rates and a more reliable hookup for tourists. The initial half of that appears sensible enough; LTE from Verizon and AT&T (Amtrak counts on both carriers to accomplish across the country Wi-Fi) will undoubtedly enhance download speeds for those utilizing smartphones, tablets, and laptop computers aboard the company’s trains. But as The Atlantic points out, reliability remains an additional matter entirely– one that won’t always be solved by 4G.
The intermittent hookup hiccups commuters frequently complain about are more most likely the outcome of cell tower placement instead of any deficiency with the technologies Amtrak …
Snapchat may let you send out videos that vanish after a couple of seconds, but its users ought to most likely understand that the content isn & rsquo; t erased– the recipient can still access it just by plugging his or her iPhone into a computer. BuzzFeed reports that using a free of charge, readily-available file searching app you can still get copies of the expired videos from your iOS gadget (no word on Android since a more apparent bug was dealt with last week), and without jailbreaking. Facebook & rsquo; s Snapchat rival Poke is much better in this regard, however not by a lot: videos are deleted after they & rsquo; ve been viewed, but can still be pulled off the gadget beforehand. We & rsquo; ve been able to replicate the results from both applications.
” There will always be ways to …
According to Google Maps and other atlases, Sandy Island is a little island in the South Pacific to the east of Australia. Except, SURPRISE, it isn’t really there. I bet it was a fake island Google Maps added to ensure nobody was copying their maps and trying to sell them as their own. Mapmakers do that with roadmaps you know — they’re called trap streets. Haha, there is no Peen Street — you copied my map! Of course I’m not ruling out the possibility it was just a Google Maps error, I’m just seriously doubting it. COMPUTERS ARE SMART.
Even though it occupied about 60 square miles on maps, the team from the University of Sydney found only the deep blue of the Coral Sea when they arrived at the coordinates of the phantom island this month.
Sandy Island was supposed to be halfway between Australia and New Caledonia. The ship’s captain approached it nervously, worrying that they’d run aground, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
“It’s on Google Earth and other maps so we went to check and there was no island. We’re really puzzled. It’s quite bizarre,” said lead researcher Maria Seton, a geologist. “How did it find its way onto the maps? We just don’t know, but we plan to follow up and find out.”
Wow, what a MYSTERY. Whatever could have happened, “scientists”? I wonder if *banging on table* IT’S THE ISLAND FROM ‘LOST’ AND EVERYONE HERE KNOWS IT. Back me up, Hurley. “He just had a heart attack.” The man loved fried chicken. “I think it was your yelling.” IT WAS THE CHICKEN.
Thanks to Joe and Amanda, who both tried telling me it was the lost city of Atlantis coming up for air. That — that’s also a very real possibility.
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We understand you’ve got questions, and if you’re brave enough to ask the globe for responses, then right here’s the outlet to do so. This week’s Ask Engadget inquiry is from Diamar, who is eyeing up a brand-new mobile phone, however doesn’t desire one the size of a table tennis bat. If you’re wanting to ask one of your very own, drop us a line at ask [at] engadget [dawt] com.
“I review your website and I figured I ‘d provide this a try. I’ll be in the marketplace to upgrade my iPhone 4S, but all of the very best mobile phones now have significant displays. I have actually wanted a Galaxy SIII, but its 4.8-inch screen is pushing it. Can you recommend any type of present or future mobile phones that don’t have massive displays? Thanks!”
Were we in the construction trade, we ‘d be drawing the air over our teeth in a disapproving manner. If you’re seeking a flagship style, then it’s probably going to be on the large side:
- Sony Xperia T – 4.6-inch
- Nokia Lumia 920 – 4.5-inch
- HTC 8X – 4.3-inch
- HTC One S – 4.3-inch
- Motorola RAZR i (or M) 4.3-inch
- Apple iPhone 5 – 4-inch
Of course, if size is your only issue, then you could possibly drop down a few levels (and cost points) and snag a Galaxy S III Mini, which has a 4-inch display, however far much more modest specifications. That’s our take on the scenario, anyway, but what about the neighborhood? Share your ideas, people.
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