The summer months can bring drought conditions in many areas across the world, but as any hardcore gamer will tell you, the gaming industry suffers the same condition each year. It's even tougher in years like 2014, where two major consoles just launched and early adopters are clamoring for new software for their pricey investments.
While I can't do anything about the lack of new games that are set to drop this summer, I can certainly help you get through it. Over the next two months, right before summer hits, we are going to see a few high profile games released that we think will dull the summer gaming blues. Some are old favorites, while a couple are brand new IP that look to offer unique gaming experiences. Here's my list of the five games to pick up this summer, in order of release date:
Microsoft has officially the new Surface Pro 3 during a press event in New York City this morning, just under 7 months after releasing the Surface Pro 2. While the Surface Pro 3 may look similar at first glance, what with the kickstand and all, Surface chief Panos Panay went out of his way to make the point that this device is all about solving the problem of deciding between a laptop and a tablet. The Surface Pro 3, after all, can replace your laptop, claimed Panay.
So what makes the new model so impressive? Let's take a look at a rundown of features. First, Microsoft has increased the display size to 12-inches at a 3:2 aspect ratio and 2,160 x 1,440 resolution. That is the largest Surface display yet, with the highest density to boot. Despite being larger, it's also lighter than the Surface Pro 2 as well, weighing in at 800 grams. Panay made the point by comparing the weight of the Surface Pro 3 against the 11-inch MacBook Air, which has a smaller display without as high a screen resolution.
Microsoft surprised the gaming world this morning with the announcement it will sell the Xbox One without Kinect for $399 starting on June 9th in the U.S. This brings the price of the Xbox 360 in line with that of the PlayStation 4, which should bring the two consoles into even more heated competition.
An odd move (though some might say it was expected in order to compete,) since the company wouldn't stop talking about how essential Kinect is to the Xbox One functionality and gaming direction less than a year ago. I guess Microsoft has been feeling the heat if the PlayStation 4 sales, and had to adjust that strategy right quick.
Apple is purportedly set to make its biggest acquisition in the history of the company, as The Financial Times is reporting that it is about to buy Beats Electronics for $3.2 billion. What would Apple get out of Beats Audio? Well, for starters, there's the Beats Music subscription platform, which allows customers to listen to on-demand music along with curated mood-based playlists. That would be a great complement to iTunes Radio, which doesn't allow users to put songs on repeat, and limits skip functionality. Additionally, Beats is likely most known for its iconic Beats by Dr. Dre headphone line. Apple would become owner of the audio hardware in the case of an acquisition, and could even use the Beats Audio sound profile in future iOS devices (similar to what HTC did in its phones when it was a stakeholder in Beats Audio a couple of years ago.)
Apple and Beats Electronics are both keeping silent for now, but if the deal does go through, it's large enough that an official announcement will be made by both companies.
Last year, HTC impressed us with the release of the original HTC One, a phone that featured what we believed to be the best build quality of any Android smartphone. This year, the HTC One (M8) takes its place as the flagship handset from HTC.
On the surface, the HTC One (M8) improves upon the original in a multitude of ways. Faster internals. Dual-lens UltraPixel camera. Larger display. Improved industrial design. The question is, though, does the final product add up to being another that can stand above the crowded Android line-up? We've put the device through its paces, and we are here to answer all of those questions here in our full HTC One (M8) review.
I give you a look at the new HTC One (M8) smartphone in this episode of Unboxing Live. The M8 is the follow-up to my favorite Android phone of last year, the HTC One (see our original HTC One video review.) I open it up and give you a tour of the smartphone, which boasts impressive specs and some of the nicest hardware out there on a smartphone.
Want your own? Get the HTC One M8 from these carriers:
- 5-inch 1080p display
- Quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor
- 16GB capacity
- HTC UltraPixel camera
- 802.11ac Wi-Fi
- 5-megapixel wide angle front camera
- Android Jelly Bean with HTC Sense
- HTC BoomSound dual front stereo speakers
- 2600mAh battery
Our friends at BGR is reporting that it has acquired an image of Amazon's upcoming smartphone with 3D display. Purportedly, this is a prototype, and if it's true, it has some interesting features that set it apart from the pack. The biggest feature is a 3D effect that is powered by a series of infrared cameras that are used to to track the eyes and face of the user, which then uses the data gathered to power the 3D effect without using the typical methods of deliverying glasses-free 3D (like found on the Nintendo 3DS.) The display is a 4.7-incher, along with a 13-megapixel rear camera.
Amazon has been rumored to be working on its own smartphone for years, ever since releasing the first Kindle Fire tablet. According to the Wall Street Journal, Amazon's 3D smartphone should ship to customers this September.
A photo that purports to show a front panel from the upcoming iPhone 6 has appeared on China's Weibo site. In the photo, someone is holding the alleged iPhone 6 part up next to a current black iPhone 5s in order to show a size comparison between the two Apple smartphones. The display panel matches up with the rumored 4.7-inch size increase. Of course, that doesn't mean that this particular image is real, but iPhone leaks do start happening annually, like clockwork, around this time of year for the past three years.
This morning Amazon sent out invitations for an April 2nd event that invites us to "Please join us for an update on our video business." In the background is a couch, with a few pieces of popcorn spilled on it. It looks like the company may finally launch the long-rumored Amazon Video set-top box, a product that would compete with devices like the Apple TV, Chromecast, and Roku products. Amazon's box may even differentiate itself by offering gaming right out of the gate, as we saw a prototype of an Amazon game controller leaked a couple of weeks ago. There are plenty of Android games that Amazon could see success with with game controller support built-in.
We'll know for sure on April 2, and we'll bring you the full details.
Update: It looks like Amazon may also launch a free video streaming service at this event as well!
New Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has announced the availability of Office for iPad, making it his very first public announcement since taking the helm of the tech company. Microsoft Office for iPad was not only announced today, but it's available for download today from the Apple App Store as well.
Office for iPad is comprised of three free apps: Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. You can use each app to view and present their respective Office documents, but if you also want to be able to create and edit documents, an Office 365 subscription is required. Through the power of OneDrive, changes made to documents in one place (like the iPad app) will sync over to your other environments (like your Windows laptop.) Here are the download links:
We'll have a full Office for iPad review shortly to let you know our thoughts!
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