Over half a decade in the making, the wait is finally over – Grand Theft Auto, arguably one of the best and most controversial (Rated M for Mature 17+) video game in console history, has finally been released (on the East Coast; those of you on the West Coast are going to have to wait a couple more hours!) Although there are only two months remaining until the release of the PS4 (Nov. 15) and Xbox One (Nov. 22), sales are expected to go strong. It’s been predicted that the game will net over $1 billion dollars retail in the first month alone while selling through 6.5 million release day copies netting $400 million USD. Looming releases of the two new consoles are clearly not a concern for Rockstar (creator of the popular series) and nor should they be. The sheer amount of detail, time, and effort that went into the making of Grand Theft Auto is incredible and should be more than enough to sway a weary buyer – it’s been estimated the game cost a staggering $260 million dollars to produce, but when Rockstar was asked about this, they declined to comment. To put that into some perspective, the same amount of money is put into the making of some Hollywood blockbusters (the Spider-man & Harry Potter franchises.) Continue reading
With smartphones becoming more and more popular among teenagers, they have begun to lose their true meaning, productivity on the go. In an attempt to bring back the productive side of smartphones, DataViz inc. has released Documents to Go, an app that aims to be Microsoft office in your pocket, and succeeds in being so.
Unlike Android, when Microsoft announced Windows Phone 7, they also announced a certain number of requirements the phone must have, before Microsoft would give the green light. Many people speculated as to why this is. Personally, I think it’s to avoid slow/low end phones that would provide a sluggish, bad WP7 experience, defaming the name of Microsoft’s new handheld OS. To be quite honest, I think this is a good idea because Google’s openness, while good, could use some requirements. There are way to too many low end Android devices being produced, degrading the overall Android experience, and if Google wants to keep their customers and gain new customers, they’re going to have to do something about this soon.
The WP7 requirements are, a standard set of buttons, WVGA (800 x 480) display, cell and Wi-Fi connectivity, at least 256 MB of RAM, and at least 8 GB of storage. However, what now changed is, the requirement for a camera. A camera is no longer a requirement for WP7 devices, and one could speculate this is so that companies like Nokia can offer these devices in low end markets, and removing the camera would cut cost. Also, camera-less devices could be used in government work.
The much anticipated Grand Theft Auto Five trailer was released today, and boy are people amped up. Personally, I’m extremely excited for this game. Grand Theft Auto is one of my, if not most favorite video game franchise of all time. I remember purchasing my first Grand Theft Auto game like it was yesterday, in fact, I still have the poster on my wall – Grand Theft Auto III. I received a $20 dollar Blockbuster gift card, so I decided I’d buy a video game. Grand Theft Auto always looked appealing to me, so I thought I’d finally get it for my PS2. This was less than a year after its release, and I had to pay a mere $25 dollars, considerably less than today’s prices. Too bad I was underage when this game came out, but luckily, my mother came inside the store and told them it was okay, and bought it for me. Yes, I played Grand Theft Auto as a pre-teen, and I think I came out okay.
Now, the question is, how many discs will GTA V come on? For the PS3, I think the maximum is 2 blu-ray discs, but the Xbox 360 is a whole other ball game. Unfortunately, the Xbox is using the outdated dual layer DVD format, which doesn’t have nearly as much space as blu-ray discs. In fact, LA Noire, also from Rockstar, released on three discs for the Xbox. Now, with these huge free roam Grand Theft Auto games, I can imagine it being on 7 discs, if not more! I’m okay with that because I want the amazing graphics, long and fun game-play, and no missing features due to size! As long as I don’t have to switch discs every so often, I should be fine. Once you install all discs, you should only be required the first disc to play. That’s just my opinion, though…
Microsoft created a video of how they envision technology around us will be in the future and how we can interact with it. It’s meant to show us how technology around us can increase our productivity factor tenfold. The description for the amazing video reads:
Watch how future technology will help people make better use of their time, focus their attention, and strengthen relationships while getting things done at work, home, and on the go.
It’s funny – I feel as if we see videos like this from various companies over the past few years, but when I look at some of the innovation we’ve had, I can’t help but think this kind of life is certainly possible in my lifetime. While it may be possible, sadly, it doesn’t seem probable. To get truly as awesome or as productive as we see in these videos, it’d require a lot of work and cooperation for us, the people, and the rest of the world, and we don’t know how willing the whole world would be to innovations like these. Also, I can’t help but think of all the new privacy concerns that would arise. Oh, and lastly, and this is the very sad part – Patents. I think the broken patent system will slow down innovation to the pace of a snail. It really is said. As far as the video goes, I thoroughly enjoyed, and I do recommend watching it!
We got some interesting news via JP Morgan, from EWeek. The Amazon Kindle Fire tablet, which JP Morgan was initially unimpressed by, said that sales are on track to hit somewhere between 4.5 – 5 million! This information comes from channel checks with supply chain vendors which were conducted by financial research concern J.P. Morgan.
Pre-orders have been amazingly successful with figures like 30,000 – 50,000 a day! This is explained by the low and competitive price point, and it certainly helps that this is following the $99 HP TouchPad fire sale. At $199, the Kindle Fire tablet is a great price and a great Android tablet with competitive services, thanks to Amazon’s cloud involvement. Not only is it just a Kindle for books, but the Kindle Fire can also be used to watch movies, stream music, as well as downloading and using apps/games, available from from Amazon’s Android App Store. It’s important to note that Amazon won’t be including Google Apps, which includes the Google Android App Market; this is all thanks to the previously mentioned Amazon App Store that launched several months ago, which shaves off some of Amazon’s cost to produce this tablet.
This is a great 7 inch tablet with many attractive options. If you’re in the market for a good, relatively cheap Android tablet, I’d recommend the Kindle Fire, although one of the downside is no cameras, but still, I think it’s worth it.
Today, Apple stealthily updated its MacBook Pro lineup, internally. You’re not going to find any external changes, but rather a boost on internal specs, specifically faster processors and graphics cards. The specific details are as follows: the 13-inch model got upgraded to a 2.4 GHz Core i5 or a 2.8 GHz Core i7 dual-core processor, depending on your preference. Before this, they were 2.3 GHZ and 2.7 GHZ, respectively, but that’s not it; Apple also took the liberty of upgrading the hard drive space to a 500 GB minimum, up from the previous 320 GB! The 15-inch model on the other hand doesn’t get any extra hard drive space, BUT, it gets a processor upgrade as well as a graphics upgrade! Previously, the 15-inchers were sporting 2.0 GHZ and 2.2 GHZ core i7 processors, by intel, and now, they’re bumped to 2.2 GHz or 2.4 GHz intel core i7 processors. As far as the upgraded graphics go, they’ll be bumped to an AMD Radeon HD 6750M (Graphical Processing Unit) GPU which has 512 MB of GDDR5 video RAM, whereas before, it was merely packing a 256 MB 6490M. As far as the high end option goes, it was bumped to a 1GB GDDR5 Radeon HD 6770M; before it had a 1GB GDDR5 6750M. And lastly, as far as the 17-inchers go, we see a boost in graphics to a 1GB 6770M, from a 6750M, and the CPU went up to a 2.4 GHz core i7 from the previous 2.2 GHz core i7. The best part is the prices don’t change at all; they’re the same as before the spec bump!
Personally, I plan on getting a MacBook Pro as my next laptop, BUT I plan on waiting till a a new refresh. I want one with some physical alterations, whether it’s weight reduction or a some new ports, I’m planning on waiting. I’m pretty sure we’ll see these changes during the Spring of 2012, if we go by Apple’s track record. Either ways, these are beasts!
Well, it looks like Google isn’t the only company making money off their Android Operating System…Microsoft is too. Yeah, that’s right, Microsoft. Due to patenting issues that Android is in violation of, Microsoft wants some money, and rather than going after Google directly, they’re going after the manufacturers. Not only are they going after the manufacturers rather Google, they’re working with manufacturers to come an agreement, simply because they know they can make more money of agreements with these manufacturers, rather than fighting against Google, in court, about the Android OS.
Today, we learned, via CNet, Microsoft signed another hardware maker to a patent-protection deal, marking the milestone of having half the world’s original design manufacturers on board with its Android-Chrome licensing effort. This deal was signed with China-based Compal Electronics. Basically what will now happen is, Compal will pay royalties to Microsoft for any hardware, tablet, smartphone, or any other consumer electronic that uses Google’s Android or Chrome Operating System. This isn’t the first company Microsoft has signed deals with; others include Wistron, based in Taiwan – they handle contract manufacturing related to Chrome, and Quanta computer. Not only do they have agreements with these companies, they’re not suing Google, but in fact, they’re suing Barnes and Noble over the Nook and Motorola as well, over Android related patent infringements! You gotta hand it to Microsoft, rather than suing for patent violation, they’re banking on the success! $
Ah the sidekick – I remember seeing these bad boys around several years ago, instead of these fancy smancy iPhones and Android phones, back when it was only the business men who actually used the blackberry devices. Many of my friends who had the sidekick, had either the sidekick 3, Sidekick ID, Sidekick LX, and rarely the Sidekick Slide. I can clearly remember several people carrying a phone they used on a family plan, along with a secondary Sidekick on a prepaid plan; it was that popular! People would go out of there way to get the Sidekick, even if they had a phone! The time of the Sidekick Slide was when I saw the amount of people using Sidekicks decreasing significantly. This was most probably due to the fact that the original iPhone released late 2007!
These original Sidekick devices were made by Sharp/Danger, for the most part, running DangerOS. DangerOS was pretty advanced for its time; it was essentially all over the cloud. However, there were some hiccups along the way. Several times the servers went down causing Sidekick owners to loose their data and ALL their contact information. DangerOS was actually owned by Microsoft at this time, but the Sidekick name still belonged to T-Mobile, whereas Microsoft went of and created their version of the Sidekick, the Kin One and Kin Two, which ultimately failed. While support for these original Sidekicks ended May 31st, 2011, T-Mobile introduced a new, Android powered, Samsung made, Sidekick 4G! Continue reading
Well, it is that time of year again. The largest gaming expo in the world otherwise known as E3 is almost upon us and everyone is making bets as to what the hottest games of the show will be. I will be sharing what I think Microsoft has in store for this year’s show. They certainly have kept quiet since the last E3 and have not revealed much of their 2011 lineup. Will Microsoft have something other than Gears of War 3 and Forza Motorsport 4 to keep hardcore gamers happy? Will Kinect have a software lineup worth drooling over? I think I’ve got this figured out.