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15 February 2013

iPhone 6 with 4.8-Inch Display Coming in June 2014 – Analyst

Image comment: iPhone 6 concept by Federico Ciccarese
Image credits: Federico Ciccarese (

iPhone 6 concept by Federico Ciccarese
Jefferies analyst Peter Misek has released an estimate of Apple’s upcoming product launches all the way to June 2014, when the Cupertino giant will supposedly unveil the iPhone 6 powered by a new processor and boasting a 4.8-inch display.

Misek has a hit and miss track record on Apple predictions, which is true for pretty much any analyst out there. Though he does seem to be a little more conservative than other Wall Street buffs.

Instead of boasting that Apple will for sure unveil big-screen televisions and iWatches, he maintains that the company will take its time to make forays into new markets.

His first prediction for 2013 is a special event with iTV-related announcements. That’s iTV-related, not the iTV itself.

Misek, like a handful of other analysts, believes Apple will roll out some sort of software development kit (SDK) for developers to code apps for the big screen.

Apple product roadmap estimate
Enlarge picture
This will be Apple’s first step in its mission to place itself at the center of the living-room, Misek believes.

Come June, Misek believes there’s a good chance Apple will release the iPhone 5S and a low-cost version of the smartphone, as many others have predicted as well. The showcase will be at WWDC, Apple’s annual developer conference.

In the September-October timeframe, the iPad 5 will be released alongside a Retina-display iPad mini 2, and the iTV itself, according to Misek’s estimates.

That’s right. The big-screen Apple TV is coming this year, Misek believes.

The analyst’s chart then skips a few hard to predict product launches to drop a pin on June 2014.

According to the Jefferies analyst, that’s when Apple will unveil an all-new iPhone powered by a supercharged processor, estimated to be manufactured with a 20-nm process.

The phone’s processor could have as many as eight cores, he says, after checking with sources in Apple’s supply chain. The screen size will also increase to 4.8 inches, according to Misek.

Mysterious Samsung GALAXY Altius Smartwatch Leaks

 Samsung Galaxy Altius screenshot
Word that Apple plans to release an iWatch emerged a while ago and it appears that competition is already taking it serious.

A similar device manufactured by Samsung has just been spotted recently by the folks over at Techkiddy on Korean forums.

Although the devices hasn't been caught on camera yet, there are a bunch of screenshots that suggest this Samsung Galaxy Altius is a smartwatch.

In fact it's more than a smartwatch as the device comes with support for GSM network communication.

It is also worth mentioning is powered by the so-called Altius operating system and allows users to view email and listen to music. The leaked screenshots also indicate the smartwatch is working with South Korean carrier SK Telecom.

For the time being, there's no telling if these images are real or just another hoax, so stay tuned for more updates on the matter.

20 November 2012

Samsung Releasing GALAXY S II Plus with Jelly Bean in Q1 2013

Image comment: Samsung Galaxy S logo
Image credits: Samsung Mobile

Samsung Galaxy S logo

It looks like Samsung will launch the long-rumored Galaxy S II Plus after all. Although the smartphone was initially scheduled to be released this fall, the South Korean company decided to postpone it.

According to SammyHub, the main reason behind Samsung’s decision to delay the smartphone is the fact that the company wanted to launch the Galaxy S III mini and Galaxy Premier Android phones around the same timeline.

However, rumor has it that Samsung is ready to release the Galaxy S II Plus by the end of the year or in early Q1 2013. No word on the exact launch date or pricing options, but more details might surface in the following weeks.

Samsung Galaxy S II Plus will be available in Chic White and Dark Blue, but will only feature 8GB of internal memory.

For the time being, Samsung takes into consideration only one version of Galaxy S II Plus, so Android enthusiasts might want to prepare to purchase a microSD memory card for additional storage.

The good news is Samsung Galaxy S II Plus will ship with Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean operating system out of the box, integrated with the company’s TouchWiz Nature UX interface.

Although the smartphone might be officially unveiled in late December or early January, Samsung will start shipping the Chic White Galaxy S II Plus from week 3, while the Dark Blue version will be available from week 5.

Samsung Galaxy S II Plus is expected to be priced somewhere between the Galaxy S III mini and Galaxy Premier, though we will know more as soon as details on the phone’s specs sheet emerge.

Apparently there’s no specs sheet for the moment, which means Samsung is still in the process of adding the phone’s hardware. Stay tuned for more updates on the matter.

12 November 2012

Quick Look: Angry Birds Star Wars (Gameplay Video Included)

It’s hard to believe that the whole Angry Birds phenomenon started with an addictive mobile game and quickly took the world by storm, spawning sequels, tie-ins, merchandising, and quite a lot of money for developer Rovio.

After the recent Angry Birds Space, the studio continued exploring the universe and has now released Angry Birds Star Wars around the world for both mobile devices as well as for Windows-powered PCs.

Angry Birds Star Wars practically combines two of the most popular franchises on Earth into a single package that can either rule the galaxy or disappoint with its lackluster Force tricks. Is this the great game we’re looking for or should it be frozen in Carbonite? Let’s have a quick look.

Angry Birds Star Wars impresses right from the get go not just with the hilarious splash screen, that shows the famous birds as characters from the TV series, but also with its theme song that smoothly combines the classic Star Wars theme with the more playful tunes of Angry Birds games.

After that, once you actually start the game, you begin a sort of retelling of the events from Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, where a plucky young Luke Skywalker (the red bird) under the guidance of Obi Wan Kenobi (the black one) start their journey against Darth Vader and the forces of the Empire (the pigs).

You’re then treated with a pretty classic Angry Birds experience, as you need to fling birds at the unlucky pigs who made their homes on some very unstable structures.

As you progress, you unlock special powers for your birds, like a lightsaber for Luke, as well as special bonus levels with only R2D2 and C-3PO that take place in space and feel, as you can imagine, like stages from Angry Birds Space.

Overall, the whole game is quite fun and a treat for many Star Wars fans, not just Angry Birds ones. Check out a gameplay video with the first few stages above.

21 October 2012

Weekend Reading: Season Passes and Taking Risks

Image comment: The first DLC included in Borderlands 2's Season Pass
Image credits: Gearbox

The first DLC included in Borderlands 2's Season Pass

In the last week we’ve posted a variety of stories concerning Season Passes, either ones that have been confirmed for upcoming games, like Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 or Forza Horizon, or ones that are now coming into effect, like the one for Borderlands 2.

Season Passes are a pretty new strategy in the gaming industry as they’ve only been around for a year or so and are quickly becoming more and more popular.

In case you’re not aware of them, they represent access to all of the DLC that’s going to be released for a game, and can be purchased for a smaller amount of money than the actual add-ons separately.

In theory, the passes represent a great deal both for developers and publishers, as they receive money early which can immediately be invested in the DLC, and for gamers themselves, which rest assured that they’ll receive the add-ons for a lower price.

In practice, however, a lot of risk is involved with selling and buying a Season Pass.

First up, for developers, the existence of such a thing practically forces them to create the content they promise to customers. Creating a game, even an expansion for it, can be a tricky thing that doesn’t always end up like planned.

Max Payne 3 is a great example, as Rockstar sold a special Pass and posted a release schedule for the DLC included in it. Sadly, it couldn’t stick to it and is now bundling together items in new add-ons like the Hostage Negotiation pack.

Secondly, for gamers, it represents an unknown risk, as you can't know for sure if the add-ons will be any good. You can end up with some impressive expansions, like Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate’s Booty for Borderlands 2, or you can get some rather short ones, like the Genkibowl VII one for Saints Row 3, which was fun yet felt a bit tedious.

My current strategy is to wait for a few expansions to appear for a game and then decide if I’m going to get its Season Pass. What about you? Do you get the pass right alongside the game or are your more cautious?

Halo 4 Launch Trailer Now Available

Microsoft has just released the official launch trailer for its upcoming Halo 4 game, produced by David Fincher and directed by Tim Miller, which hints not just at the core conflict of the actual title, but also shows off footage with the origins of the franchise’s hero, Master Chief.

Halo 4 may have been leaked weeks ahead of its actual release on November 6, but Microsoft isn’t affected by this problem and the company has now released the official launch trailer for the long-awaited first-person shooter.

In the footage above, you get to see not just Master Chief facing the “ancient evil” promised by the game’s story, but also glimpses from his origins.

From standing on the beach with his mother when he was a child, to the intense training he received before his powers were augmented in the Spartan program, Master Chief’s life hasn’t been an easy one and, as you can see in the video, even he can make mistakes.

Check out the trailer above and get ready for the release of Halo 4 on November 6, only on the Xbox 360.

19 October 2012

Mark of the Ninja for PC Gets Another Update, More Bug Fixes

Mark of the Ninja for PC  - Mark of the Ninja for PC
The folks over at Klei Entertainment are working hard to iron out the recent issues that have been plaguing their Mark of the Ninja title since its launch three days ago.

Some of the these bugs might have been brought by the previous update, which was pushed two days ago via Steam, but that has yet to be confirmed.

All in all, the latest update for Mark of the Ninja patches lots of the bugs that have been reported in the last 48 hours. Some of these bug fixes are listed below:

-Fixed issue in "Breaching the Perimeter" level where Ninja would sometimes be killed instantly when restarting a particular checkpoint.
-Fixed potential hindering issue where a vent would not unlock in “The Trail of Shadow” level.
-Fixed issue where fuseboxes would not reset in the Challenge Room of "An Ancestral Home" level.

For the full list of changes included in the latest patch for Mark of the Ninja head over to the official announcement. Check out our quick look (video included) here.

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