Nintendo Press Conference
Nintendo kicked off the day with a conference that left many people confounded. I’m still not sure what to make of it myself, but nonetheless, we’ll try to make sense of the festivities. Project Café is dead, long live Wii U. The naming conventions continue to defy logic and suggest that this iteration isn’t in fact, a whole new console – which it actually is.
The Wii U features a 6.2-inch touch screen controller, as rumoured, complete with mic, camera and gyro sensor. It will be able to run 1080p, is backwards compatible (nudge, nudge Sony) and will allow for multiscreen play with the TV.Continue reading »
Well E3 is well and truly here, and on the day before the show floor opens up to a hungry press, two of the console companies along with EA and Ubisoft held press conferences to demonstrate their latest and (hopefully) greatest, and of course, to brag about games/consoles sold.
Microsoft Press Conference
First up, bright and early at 9:30 was Microsoft’s presser and their emphasis was as clear as day: lots of Xbox Kinect, much like last year. Aside from a few demos of intriguing, moan and groan filled Tomb Raider, from Crystal Dynamics, an utterly predictable dose of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, a demo of Gears of War 3 with Cliffy B and the ever enthusiastic Ice T and a few somewhat inevitable Halo announcements, the bulk of the show was given over to Kinect.
Core titles such as Mass Effect 3 were shown to utilise voice commands of the Kinect, to select dialogue and instruct your squad, along with Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, which demo’ed an insanely detailed weapon customisation system.Continue reading »
Well, well, well, there’s frequently a ‘one more thing’ at these events, but there’s been much debate over what this one will be. Well, debate no longer. Here it is:
This is the ‘one more thing’ that everyone has been waiting for. iTunes Match. This is the third way to deliver music to your iDevices. So what does it do? Well, as expected, it will scan your entire iTunes library and match all of your tracks to what’s in the 18-million track strong iTunes store in just a few minutes, and all tracks are upgraded to 256kbps.Continue reading »
Probably the announcement that has attracted the most rumour, speculation and interest in the build up to WWDC has been iCloud, supposedly Apple’s new music streaming service. And unlike, iOS and OS X, the world has so far been unclear as to what iCloud replace, if indeed that is the intention. iTunes? MobileMe? Neither of these products are the most popular amongst Apple’s arsenal, so replacing either, or both, would be a welcome step for many.
We’ve been commentating on the build up to this day, in anticipation of iCloud, with our views on why it’s good, why it’s bad, what it is and everything in between, so please feel free to trawl through the last week or so’s articles here on Zath for some further pre-announcement analysis, stay glued here for the latest news as it comes in from California, and tune in later for some post-announcement analysis from me.Continue reading »
Whilst it has undoubtedly been Apple’s most successful venture of late, in the eyes of many, probably most, in fact, the Cupertino company has let the platform stagnate since its introduction onto the original iPhone and subsequently the iPod Touch and finally the iPad. Annoying features have been seemingly ignored and are irritating to this day. Although, many pinned their hopes on this day, being the day, that those issues are put to bed.
A while back, we posted a list of all the things we hope to see in the next version, and many of you no doubt have your own suggestions. But, today is WWDC, and Steve Jobs has taken to the stage to enlighten us mere mortals of what’s to come in the next iteration of the world’s most sugccessful mobile OS. iOS 5.Continue reading »
Lion. The undisputed king of the jungle. The biggest, most dominant, of all the big cats, and that fact alone leaves little doubt that Mac OS X 10.7, will be the last iteration of the operating system that market the resurgence of Apple in the personal computer scene. Mac OS 9 wasn’t Apple’s finest moment, yet the strides made since then have been phenomenal, and here we are. The last hurrah from the animal kingdom. The last hurrah from Mac OS X.
And though it’s pulled into the station at the end of the line, this is certainly not the end for Apple software. New passengers are just boarding, sales figures for Mac’s are better than ever and by large, that has to be attributed to the overwhelming success of Apple’s mobile devices: the iPod, the iPhone, the iPad. The whole ecosystem has contributed to the emergence of a brand so globally renowned, that it’s very difficult to escape. So, let’s not look at this as an end, but as a new beginning, because Apple is leading the Macintosh on a whole new voyage, starting with Lion.Continue reading »
In the wake of the inaugural demo of Windows 8 this week, there’s much debate over whether employing the ‘Metro UI’ that we’ve already seen with Windows Phone 7 and the accompanying Zune software on the desktop and tablet OS is the right move from Microsoft. Obviously it’s far too early to judge the potential success of the bold step, but I’m finding it hard to put my finger on a feeling I’m having about it that doesn’t amount to at least an element of concern for the future of Windows. Let me elaborate.
The way I see it, there are a number of very valid reasons why people buy Windows computers:
1. It’s all they know, it’s familiar.
2. It’s great for business.
3. It’s great for games.
4. It’s home to a huge quantity of great third-party apps.
5. It’s compatible with a huge range of hardware.
There are probably more, but these are the key ones for me right now. And I fear that despite still offering the element of Windows that is familiar to us all these days, and the ‘Metro’ UI only really acting as a skin, despite Microsoft’s current insistence that it’s something more, this new development has all but eradicated many of those reasons.Continue reading »
There’s something strange about this year’s WWDC: we already know what’s coming. Last week, Apple sent out a press release detailing what will be covered by Steve Jobs in his keynote on Monday. As expected, we are going to take our first look at iOS 5, learn more about Mac OS X Lion, and see what Apple has up its sleeve for its new cloud service, iCloud.
One of iCloud’s main features will be the ability to stream music to iOS devices from the cloud without any of the music having to be stored locally on the device. Of course, this has already been done by both Google and Amazon with Google releasing it’s Music service, and Amazon allowing users to store songs purchased on the Amazon MP3 store for free, enabling them to stream tracks from the web and to their Android phones. How these services differ from Apple’s, however, will be the key selling point of iCloud not only to consumers but to the record companies as well.Continue reading »
Gameloft is a company best known for its mobile titles, developed for iOS and Android smartphones, but since the introduction of the Mac App Store in the new year, the firm has widened its horizons to include development for the Mac.
One of the Mac titles released by Gameloft is Modern Combat Domination: a Counter-Strike-esque first person multiplayer shooter that allows you to play online in a multitude of modes and increase your level as you become more proficient at the game. Originally released for the Playstation 3 via PSN, Modern Combat comes with a low price tag to attract even the most casual of gamers, but is this a case of getting what you pay for, or can Gameloft’s latest title match up to the big games in the App Store? Let’s check it out!Continue reading »
We’ve been treated to a number of great interviews this week at the D9 conference which is happening in the States this week, and last night was, for many, the main event. Microsoft Windows President Steven Sinofsky gave attendees a sneak peek at the next version of Windows, codenamed ‘Windows 8′, with a focus on lower hardware requirements and a new touch-centric overlay for the operating system which makes it easier to use on tablets and other touch screen devices.
Although this was a very early demo of Windows 8 – the whole demonstration was powered by a hidden desktop computer underneath the stand, with visible wires trailing from the unit itself to interface with the machine – the touch interface shows quite a bit of promise and seems to include a number of useful features for an early release. We’ve been waiting for a true touch interface to come to Windows for quite some time now, so let’s take a look at what it consists of!Continue reading »
L.A. Noire. The game that promised so much, the hype almost became unbearable, and the wait even more so. Having pre-ordered the game a couple of months back, May 20th just couldn’t come fast enough for me and as I scampered home on that bright spring afternoon, carefully peeled away Amazon’s stress-free packaging, and with bated breath waited for the seemingly eternal installation. There was only one question on my mind: How good will it be, being the good guy?
This is new territory for Rockstar, with previous esteemed titles such as GTA and Red Dead Redemption providing hour upon hour of sometimes hilarious criminal escapades and proving so popular, it’s certainly a bold step to adopt the same system with a complete role reversal. The problem is for me, that whilst street shoot-outs, car/horse-jackings and driving motorcycles from the top of the empire state building is unquestionably entertaining in the aforementioned titles, sprinting through the streets of LA armed with not a lot more than a pencil and a little black book isn’t quite so enthralling.
But, what we’ve got with L.A. Noire is quite the mixed bag.Continue reading »
Yet another first-person shooter (FPS) game hits our shelves. It seems to be that the majority of big titles released these days are FPS, with none of them really standing alone with something slightly different to make it stand out from the rest. But does Brink break that mould and bring us something new?
Most FPS games allow you to be pretty much a solo player, running around and doing your own thing, killing anyone that stands in your way. There’s been plenty of times when I’ve single handedly won a Deathmatch on Call of Duty doubling my entire teams score (I’ve also been on the other side) as you can work individually. This isn’t the case with Brink however, as it’s vital that you work as a team to achieve your goal, otherwise you’ll find it rather tricky to achieve any objectives.Continue reading »
For four years now, Ovi has been Nokia’s primary best answer to not only Apple’s ludicrously successful App Store, but the likes of Google/Bing maps and a variety of other products that it has been pit against in the mobile market.
However, apparently the time has come for Nokia to scrap the ‘Ovi’ name, in favour of the master brand, ‘Nokia’. It’s a wise-move, from a marketing point of view, keeping it all under one header, if you like, removing the potential for confusing consumers and detaching itself from its own products in some respects. The shift takes it along the same naming path as Google operates so successfully, and will see the Ovi Store and Ovi Maps amongst others, becoming Nokia Store and Nokia Maps.
What does this mean for Nokia? Well, most importantly I would suggest that this is a simple indication of Nokia’s new direction. Rebranding frequently plays a huge part in the resurgence of an almost forgotten company, a category which Nokia so easily falls into these days, sadly.Continue reading »
Fragmentation is a term bandied about all too often these days, but since Android started doing the rounds as a popular mobile OS, it seems to be cropping up a little worryingly in all too many unwanted places.
According to a trusted source of Engadget, Sony has a round of new super-slim, super-lightweight notebooks in the pipeline, but that’s not the most interesting part. What’s more important, is the tip that the machines will sport a Thunderbolt port.
We all remember the official debut of Thunderbolt back in the latest MacBook Pro range as well as the new iMac’s, but this is the first news we’ve heard of the technology being implemented elsewhere. Of course, we know it is logically the next step forward with regards to data transfer specifically, amongst its other incredible uses.Continue reading »
For years we were stuck with the then necessary burden of keeping all of our music stashed in a drawer or cupboard, plucking out the track we’ve just arrived at the mood for and slipped it onto whatever variety of player we happened to have. In fact, it was that way for over a hundred years before the invention of the MP3 player – and that changed everything. But, could we be on the verge of another drastic shift in the methods we use to deliver, store and access our music? There are pretty strong hints that Apple will soon join the ranks of companies offering cloud-based music services, which already includes the recent additions of Amazon and Google, as well as the longstanding services such as Grooveshark and Spotify. And now the strongest, most powerful gladiators have supposedly entered the arena, it’s about time we asked the question: is it actually what the consumer wants?Continue reading »
With so many sensitive files being stored on our hard drives, keeping our data protected should be the first priority on our computers. Despite this, most users rarely have any kind of encryption between potential thieves and their files. Any sensitive data can be easily accessed if a computer is lost or stolen, but what can users do to solve this problem?
Knox for Mac is made by AgileBits, the same company that created 1Password, and it allows you to create various ‘vaults’, which are password protected and encrypted, allowing you to drop in any file that you want to securely store. The concept is fairly simple, but how does it stack up in real life use?Continue reading »
As a girl geek I get excited about impressive tech, but even more excited when I come across a gadget that is as slick-looking as its specs. That’s what happened when I came across the Innergie mCube Slim Super Compact Universal Adapter.
As you can see, the mCube’s body is an Apple-like white with pleasing rounded corners, and small enough to slip into a pocket or slot in a laptop bag. It’s reminiscent of My Passport portable hard drives; extremely light and is quite frankly a great little gadget.Continue reading »
In the past being a ‘geek’ or a ‘nerd’ wasn’t something to shout about being in mainstream society, however perhaps thanks to the Internet, more and more people are fans of ‘Geek Chic’ and embracing their inner geek!
Now to celebrate this, us geeks now have our own day, 25th May is Geek Pride Day and has been celebrated since 2006 – why the 25th May? Well back in 1977, that was the day of the premiere of the original Star Wars movie, so that seems like a suitable date to me!Continue reading »
Before I delve into the actual point that I’m going to hopefully get across in the article, I’m just going to put my cards, face up so you can all see them, right out on the table. The title of this article makes the massive assumption that Microsoft hasn’t already had this same thought. Either that, or it is just too damn belligerent to take note of what the rest of the world is thinking. It’s there to make you read the article, and seeing as you’re reading this right now, I guess it might have worked.
Now, let’s get down to business. And business is exactly the first point of this little agenda. I wouldn’t like to hazard a guess how many business customers Microsoft currently provides for. I could probably find out, but I fear that my brain might malfunction and cause a minor aneurysm should I try to process so many digits. Suffice it to say, it’s a lot. It’s the focal point of the business, and that’s a point that I’ve attempted to reiterate time and time again in posts for Zath, particularly in recent review of Windows Phone 7, the Redmond-based software giant’s latest and thankfully greatest mobile OS.Continue reading »
Yet more chaos surrounding Windows Phone 7 updates has arisen today, after much speculation surrounding the unofficial updating tool ‘ChevronWP7′. Originally, Microsoft claimed that the update would leave your device in a ‘non-serviceable state’, though that evidently left many users confused.
Exactly what that meant, though, has become clear today, thanks to an outburst from Senior Director for Windows Phone, Brandon Watson. Apparently, the official update left the NoDo update incomplete, with destructive remnants of the pre-NoDo build remaining on the device, leading to the inability to achieve any further updates.Continue reading »