Xbox One X: More Speed

Microsoft earlier this week announced the next version of its Xbox line of gaming consoles, ahead of E3 2017, now ongoing in Los Angeles. The new Xbox One X, which goes on sale Nov. 7 for US$499, is slimmer than previous models and packed with power. With a 6-teraflop Scorpio engine, the One X has 40 percent faster graphics performance than its chief rival, Sony’s PS4 Pro. The custom Scorpio engine in the Microsoft box burns chrome at 1172 MHz — a 37 percent increase over its predecessor, Xbox One,…

Read More

Microsoft Curbs Cortana in Windows 10 In 2017

Microsoft on Thursday announced that it was restricting its Cortana digital assistant to operating with the Edge browser and Bing search engine in Windows 10. “As Windows 10 has grown in adoption and usage, we have seen some software programs circumvent [its] design and redirect you to search providers that were not designed to work with Cortana,” said Ryan Gavin, Microsoft’s general manager of search and Cortana. “The result is a compromised experience that is less reliable and predictable,” he added. “The continuity of these types of task completion scenarios…

Read More

steam over steamed

Where would the PC gaming market be without Steam, the digital distribution platform that was developed by Valve Corporation more than a decade ago? It likely would be in worse shape than it is now, but that’s not to say it would be bad. First, despite the repeated cries that “PC gaming is dead,” the state of PC gaming is actually pretty good and PC gaming is very much alive because of Steam, which also offers digital rights management, multiplayer game hosting and social networking services. Valve can take a…

Read More

Apple Brings Back That 4-Inch Feeling Old Is Gold

Apple on Monday announced a pair of new products in old sizes — the 4-inch iPhone SE and the 9.7-inch iPad Pro — banking on user preferences for the familiar form factors to lessen their hesitancy to upgrade. Although Apple’s hour-long “Loop You In” event was short on surprises, it was slimmer on filler as well. Among the notable extras, Apple announced a price cut bringing the Apple Watch to US$300, along with a selection of new bands. It also announced support for Apple TV folders and the release of…

Read More

Microsoft’s Mixer Could Shake Up the Streaming Game 2017

Microsoft on Thursday announced Mixer, a rebranded version of its game-streaming service previously known as “Beam.” In addition to the name change, the service will include a number of new features designed to attract more gamers. The added features will unlock new possibilities for social streaming, while also helping viewers find specific content across the service, according to Microsoft. New co-streaming functionality will allow four PC streamers to combine their respective broadcasts into a single split-screen stream. This feature soon will roll out to Xbox gamers as well. In addition,…

Read More

PCs Shine Again, but How Long

Just when PCs looked to be dying a slow, painful death, they became interesting again. As expected, this week’s news coming from Computex in Taiwan is flush with new PCs and PC technologies, but is it enough to reinvigorate a market that has faced declining sales since 2011? The market peaked at just over 365 million units annually, and fell to 269 million units last year, according to Gartner. So, why all the excitement? The excitement is emerging from both the technology driving PCs and the applications leveraging the processing…

Read More

The Max-Q: The Coolest Thing of Computex

I didn’t attend Computex this year, and that was sad for everything but my budget, because there was a ton of cool stuff announced at the show. Dell, HP and Lenovo showed off new designs that were both attractive and compelling. Mixed-reality headsets hit; based on Intel and Microsoft technology, they were far more affordable than the strong virtual reality stuff already in market (andsome aren’t bad looking). New core wars broke out, as AMD’s 16 Core Threadripper was challenged by Intel’s 18 core i9. It seems that gaming was…

Read More

‘Arms’ Could Help Nintendo Fight Its Way Back Into the Ring

Arms, the highly anticipated fighting game for Nintendo’s Switch, will be available next Friday, and based on the early reviews, the company just may have found the magic bullet. Nintendo’s Switch console, launched earlier this year, has been something of a surprise success. Prior to its launch, it seemed like a risky play for the company, which has been bobbing and weaving in its efforts to appeal to couch potatoes, e-sports enthusiasts and outdoor adventurers alike. The Switch, a pricey console that can be enjoyed in the living room or…

Read More

E3 Enhancements, Expectations and Perhaps Excitement 2017

All of the major video game developers, publishers and console hardware makers, as well as many retail buyers and the gaming press, will descend on Los Angeles for E3 2017 next week. The annual event — a showcase for computer, video and mobile games and related products — will kick off officially on Tuesday and run through Thursday at the Los Angeles Convention Center. However, it actually will begin on Monday with press briefings from Microsoft, Sony, Bethesda, Electronic Arts and Ubisoft. E3 has been the main trade event for…

Read More