The biggest news of the day made its way out of Microsoft’s Redmond headquarters a few hours ago, but there’s plenty more to see just 150 miles to the north in Vancouver, British Columbia. SID’s Display Week exhibition kicked off this morning, giving us an opportunity to get hands-on with some pretty nifty prototypes from LG and Samsung, including that first manufacturer’s 5-inch flexible plastic OLED panel and a brilliant 3,200 x 1,800-pixel laptop display from the latter. We’ll be scouring the floor over the days to come, on the hunt for similar innovations, many of which will likely find their way into our smartphones, laptops and living rooms later this year and beyond.
Protip: Use our “SID2013” tag to see this week’s hottest Display Week news!
Filed under: Displays
With each subsequent console generation there’s an undercurrent of fear, a concern that this will be the cycle that finally kills off something many hold near and dear: the used game. Though these scratched-up disks and carts are often overprized and come with incomplete or unfortunately creased manuals, they’re still better value than the shrink-wrapped titles.
With the announcement of the current next-generation of consoles the discontent raised again. Is the axe about to drop on the used video game market? Is this the iteration that will prevent you from borrowing something from a friend? Not if Microsoft has anything to say about it. The Xbox One does support used games and it does support game sharing — but the details are in some cases a bit murky. Join us after the break for an exploration of what we know.
You’ve already read our hands-on with Xbox One’s new Kinect and wireless gamepad, but perhaps you noticed our inability to test the gamepad’s new “impulse triggers?” Well, we’re glad to tell you we’ve just mended that exception.
First things first, though — we got hands-on with the new gamepad in a more finished state (which is to say “with the impulse triggers and the new Start / Back buttons). The most noticeable difference is one that most gamers will likely overlook initially: the new texture on the edge of the analog sticks. Head below with us for more!
Gallery: Xbox One hands-on
It didn’t take long for console warriors, fanboys and a brutal media to take aim at Nintendo’s Wii U. The fledgling system was relentlessly teased for its name (seemingly even sillier than that of its predecessor) and a list of specifications certain to be outdone by its competitors. The device’s novel tablet controller stayed judgment for a short time, but it didn’t last long — a weak launch lineup, a slow operating system and software delays soured an already judgmental community.
Wii U detractors eventually climbed atop their soapboxes to issue their final verdicts: Nintendo is doomed. A premature prophecy, perhaps, but one that became increasingly difficult to argue with: diminishing sales and third-party desertion set a negative tone for the Wii U’s future. Dedicated fans (this editor among them) quickly fell into a defensive position, dismissing EA’s abandonment of the platform with promises of Nintendo’s own first-party wonders. Optimism reigns supreme. Still, with both Microsoft and Sony’s cards on the table, it’s clear that Nintendo is about to take another hit.
We had the opportunity to chat with Albert Penello, senior director of product planning at Microsoft this afternoon, who was kind enough to clarify a few topics for us regarding the recently-unveiled Xbox One. One thing we were quick to ask about was the integrated storage. 500GB sounds like a lot today — but so did the 20GB unit in the original Xbox 360. The HDD there was, at least, replaceable. Can you do the same with its successor? Sadly, no. Hard drives in the Xbox One are non-user-serviceable, but Penello confirmed that the USB 3.0 port is there for external storage, which can be used for everything the internal storage can be used for. That includes game installs and downloads. So, don’t fret: adding storage will be just as easy as ever.
How much? When? Where? Who cares? If you aren’t exactly interested in knowing how much the impending Xbox One will cost you — let alone when it’ll actually hit your doorstep — you can sign up to be notified of your opportunity to pre-order the console right now. To be clear, this isn’t a sign-up for a pre-order. It’s just a sign-up to be notified of pre-orders officially opening up. So really, what’s to lose? Hit the source link below in order to share your email address, and you’ll get a $10 Microsoft online store credit for your trouble. (Or, you can hit the Amazon link for those needing an excuse to make better use of their Prime subscription.)
Google has been spending quite a lot of time tweaking, streamlining and generally beautifying the interface of its “social backbone.” But while the mobile apps and desktop site have seen near constant updates, the mobile Google+ site has languished slightly behind. Today Mountain view is delivering a little bit of parity for those on platforms that don’t have an official app, such as Windows Phone 8 and BlackBerry 10. The update brings the new card UI to the phone-focused version, along with easier to see and tap +1 and re-share buttons. The updated profile experience is also going mobile, with large cover photos and more touch friendly icons coming to both personal profiles and pages. There’s no need to wait patiently while this rolls out either: the new mobile Google+ site is already live.
Looking to save some coin on your tech purchases? Of course you are! In this roundup, we’ll run down a list of the freshest frugal buys, hand-picked with the help of the folks at Slickdeals. You’ll want to act fast, though, as many of these offerings won’t stick around long.
Monday’s list of links may have gotten bumped to Tuesday, but rest assured that we’ve got a handful of discounted tech ready for your perusal. A wireless Brother all-in-one inkjet printer and 300W JBL wireless subwoofer made the cut alongside three other tempting gadgets. Head down beyond the break for the full list and all of the requisite purchase info.
The Xbox One’s 50GB Blu-ray discs will automatically rip to your 500GB hard drive, Microsoft tells us, and it looks like you won’t have to wait til they’re done to get going. That’s according to the Xbox One landing page on Xbox.com, spotted by our friends at Joystiq, which says, “With Xbox One, you can start playing immediately as games install. And updates install seamlessly in the background, so your games and entertainment won’t be interrupted.”
And that’s not all they’ve sussed out in details — the Xbox One will also have a 1,000-person friend cap. How does that tie into the Skype integration? Good question! That’s not clear just yet, but it stands to reason that they’re independent of each other.
Six months after promising to integrate sight recognition technology into its Here suite of apps, Nokia has finally updated Here Maps with LiveSight. The update is available today in the Windows Phone app store and requires Windows Phone 8. By tapping a button in HERE Maps, users can enter LiveSight mode, which will scan the surrounding area and pull up relevant information about nearby locations, like addresses, phone numbers and ratings. Lumia owners familiar with Nokia’s City Lens app will recognize the virtual signs attached to buildings viewed through the camera display and the Here Maps version of LiveSight appears to have similar functionality — including Here’s strongest selling point, offline access. If you want to see LiveSight in action, you can watch Nokia’s preview video after the break.