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TweakTown News Posts - Page 60

Samsung increases Exynos modem to 1.2 Gbps

By: Lana Jelic | More News: CPU, APU & Chipsets | Posted: Aug 1, 2017 1:07 am

Samsung has announced that the Exynos 8895 is now capable of peak download speeds of up to 1.2 Gbps. This is an increase of 20% over earlier this year when the same modem was capable of 1 Gbps.




However, as Samsung worked with the Japanese modem equipment company Anritsu, they were able to squeeze another 200 Mbps of peak bandwidth out of their modem.


This would bring Samsung up to par with where Qualcomm has been with their latest modems since last year. This also means that users with Exynos-based Samsung Galaxy devices should expect similar but not equal experiences to those with Qualcomm-based Galaxy devices. There are still many other ways that modems can perform differently, like battery life that Samsung isn't talking about.

Continue reading 'Samsung increases Exynos modem to 1.2 Gbps' (full post)

SpaceX's Falcon Heavy first launch planned for November

By: Lana Jelic | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Aug 1, 2017 12:03 am

SpaceX is currently using the Falcon 9 rocket for the company's launches, but the bigger Falcon Heavy should take those launches over soon. Elon Musk first mentioned the Falcon Heavy rocket in a September 2005 news update. The rocket was scheduled to fly in 2014, then 2015, but there have been delays, and now, the company is aiming for the second half of this year.




SpaceX's CEO Elon Musk explained last year that developing the Falcon Heavy proved to be much more difficult than they previously thought, but it seems that the company is on track. Back in May SpaceX conducted the first Falcon Heavy static fire test which was a success.


Elon Musk has now announced that the company plans the first Falcon Heavy launch for November.

Continue reading 'SpaceX's Falcon Heavy first launch planned for November' (full post)

Capcom doubles down on Switch game support

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jul 31, 2017 9:26 pm

On the heels of strong first quarter earnings assisted by Capcom's first Nintendo Switch game, the Japanese games-maker says the console is "very strong" and it'll likely release more games for the machine.




Despite being priced at $39.99, Capcom's newly released Ultra Street Fighter II managed to sell 450,000 units globally across the Nintendo Switch's 4.7 million worldwide install base in a single month, outperforming the company's expectations. "Ultra Street Fighter II (for Nintendo Switch), which was released in May 2017, made an excellent start and proved to be a smash hit," Capcom wrote in its fiscal Q1'18 earnings report. Capcom asserts that Ultra Street Fighter II was massively popular in Europe and North America where it sold 350,000 copies, and less-so in Japan where it saw 100,000 copies. In comparison, Japanese Switch owners purchased 670,995 copies of Splatoon 2 in three days.


Due to strong Ultra Street Fighter II sales, Capcom is now confident in Nintendo's growing Switch platform and expresses interest in releasing more games for the device. "The Nintendo Switch is very strong and I expect it to spread in the future. We are considering future response including Monster Hunter Double Cross Nintendo Switch Ver. planned to be introduced in August," Capcom CEO Kenzo Tsujimoto said in a Q&A session during Q1 earnings call.


Capcom's full fiscal year guidance roadmap offers compelling evidence that new Switch games are on the horizon.

Continue reading 'Capcom doubles down on Switch game support' (full post)

Capcom's Q1 games operating income spikes by 2,080%

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jul 31, 2017 5:15 pm

Capcom reports strong growth for the first quarter in Fiscal Year 2018, pushing net sales up by 7.5% year-over-year and an incredible 2,080% earnings spike in digital contents segment operating income.




Capcom has kicked off the fiscal year ending March 2018 with impressive earnings across the board; not only was revenue positive in all gaming sectors, earnings rebounded year-over-year thanks to consistently strong sales of key flagship titles.


The Japanese games-maker reported net sales of 11.746 billion yen ($106.172 million) for the three month quarter ended June 30, 2017, up 7.5% year-over-year. Operating income was 784 million yen ($7.08 million) up an amazing 208% year-over-year from Q1'16's loss of $726 million yen. Ordinary income for the quarter was 772 million yen ($6.97), up a big 137% from the substantial 2.08 billion yen ($18.8 million) loss last year. Capcom's total profit was positive this quarter, pulling in 521 million yen ($4.70 million) and up 136% from last year's big 1.41 billion yen loss.


Capcom's digital contents segment, which is the core of the Japanese company's business, saw a meteoric 2,080% spike in operating income from last year's calendar Q1'16 earnings. Net sales for the segment were also up from last year by 14.1%, with segment net sales pulling in 7.688 billion yen ($69.49 million).

Continue reading 'Capcom's Q1 games operating income spikes by 2,080%' (full post)

Only 17% of Nintendo Switch owners use phone chat app

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jul 31, 2017 3:14 pm

Nintendo's awkward and truly backwards-implemented online voice chatting app is a mess, and a huge portion of Nintendo Switch owners simply aren't using it.




The Nintendo Switch Online smartphone app, which requires Switch owners to use their phone while playing Switch games in order to chat with friends in online multiplayer games like Splatoon 2, has been released as part of a "free, limited test" to arm Nintendo with much-needed feedback on its incoming online service. However, gamers simply aren't using the app: analyst firm Sensor Tower reports that just 17% of the Nintendo Switch's full 4.7 million global install base, or 780,000 users, have downloaded the app on both Google Play and Apple's iOS Store.


The vast majority of Switch Online app downloads were in the United States, and Sensor Tower's data shows just how little Japanese gamers care about voice chatting. This strongly reinforces the believe Nintendo is marketing the Switch for the Japanese market first, as Japanese gamers typically do not use voice-based interactions while playing online games. While it's worth noting the Switch Online app only works with Splatoon 2 right now, the game is massively popular in Japan: in 3 days it sold 670,995 units, meaning one out of every two Switch owners in Japan bought the game.

Continue reading 'Only 17% of Nintendo Switch owners use phone chat app' (full post)

GTA V goes to the stars in new space mod

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jul 31, 2017 12:14 pm

Modders are bringing Rockstar's massively popular Grand Theft Auto series to space in a move that could counter No Man's Sky or Mass Effect: Andromeda's space exploration.



A consortium of GTA modders are making an ambitious new mod called Grand Theft Space, which will allow gamers to explore the heavens and land on planets throughout--and beyond--the solar system. "I've heard little rumblings in the past of people wanting to make space mods. I've seen map-editor satellites, and space ship looking vehicles, the whole 9 yards," GTA Space modder sollaholla said on the mod's announcement page. "But nobody seems to have ever made it so you can actually go in space. So I said, 'Screw it, I'm gonna make a space mod.'"


The modders want to include a ton of features including a fully-fledged psychics system to emulate the free-floating zero-g of space, as well as planet exploration, gunning down aliens and other unknown intergalactic baddies, joyriding and cruising in vehicles on planet surfaces, and a few missions thrown in to boot.

Continue reading 'GTA V goes to the stars in new space mod' (full post)

AMD shows off Radeon RX Vega, but it's just a tease

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Video Cards | Posted: Jul 29, 2017 11:14 pm

AMD is oh so close to revealing its new Radeon RX Vega family of graphics cards, with the company unveiling their new Radeon RX Vega graphics card.




Linus Tech Tips seems to have an exclusive from AMD, which is almost as big news as Radeon RX Vega itself, with the world's first unboxing of RX Vega at their #LTX2017 event. The card displayed features a beautiful silver/black/red theme, with a red 'R' in the corner.




It looks ridiculously good, conspicuously sitting next to the Radeon Holocube as well.

EA recommits to Frostbite-powered action genre focus

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jul 29, 2017 8:20 pm

EA is rolling forward with its plan to integrate the Frostbite engine and the action genre into all of its games.




In May 2016 I predicted that BioWare's then-secret new IP would be action-based. Fast-forwarding to today and Anthem, BioWare's newly announced IP, indeed puts action first above RPG and adventure elements. Before Mass Effect: Andromeda was released, I predicted the game would have heavy action elements instead of the beloved tactical squad-based content the series was known for; lo and behold, the game delivered just that.


In a May 2016 Investor's Day Presentation, Electronic Arts confirmed it would start focusing heavily on the action genre in a bid to leverage an untapped market. Now in 2017 the games giant has reinforced that initiative with confirmations it will continue pushing an action focus for its new games.


When discussing research and development spending during a recent EA quarterly earnings call, company Chief Financial Officer Blake Jorgensen said EA will continue pushing more action-oriented games to tap the genre's lucrative market.

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EA confirms BioWare Montreal moved to EA Motive

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jul 29, 2017 5:15 pm

Electronic Arts CFO Blake Jorgensen confirms BioWare's Montreal team has been integrated into Jade Raymond's new EA Motive studio.




Two months after Mass Effect: Andromeda launched to dismal critical reception, reports from Kotaku's Jason Schreier indicate EA down-sized BioWare Montreal, the studio that made the game, and put the Mass Effect series on hiatus. The remaining BioWare developers were then spread out across EA Motive and BioWare's core Edmonton division to help work on the latter's new IP, Anthem, the reports continue. Now EA has officially confirmed the fate of its Montreal studio, validating the reports from May of this year.


While discussing R&D spend in a recent quarterly earnings call, EA Chief Financial Officer Blake Jorgensen said BioWare Montreal has been moved into the EA Motive studio to help Jade Raymond's team develop a new IP.


"We're building out a new studio in Montréal, as we've told everyone. And we've hired over 100 people into that studio that are brand-new to EA. This is to build the new IP around Jade Raymond's team that she's been building. I was in that studio last month. And it's a wonderful new addition to our team. And we brought our BioWare Montréal team into that same facility. So they now all sit in one new studio together," Mr. Jorgensen said during the call.

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Mass Effect: Andromeda helped EA pull in record Q1 sales

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jul 29, 2017 2:20 pm

Although BioWare Montreal's massively panned and hugely criticized action-RPG suffered in the long run, EA confirms Mass Effect: Andromeda strongly contributed to revenues and helped the company pull in record first quarter earnings.



Mass Effect: Andromeda is undoubtedly bombed in the public eye, but according to EA's latest fiscal Q1'18 earnings call, the game bolstered its quarterly revenues with strong sales. With a fully-monetized strategy the game helped in a number of ways including live service earnings, digital downloads, and total net sales.


Net sales for fiscal Q1'18 were $775 million, up 13.63% year-over-year from fiscal Q1'17's $682 million, and $25 million (3.33%) above EA's guidance for the quarter. "Year-on-year growth was driven by the Mass Effect: Andromeda sales captured in the quarter and by FIFA," EA Chief Financial Officer Blake Jorgensen said during the company's fiscal Q1'18 earnings call.


Mr. Jorgensen also asserts Mass Effect: Andromeda "was a strong contributor" to EA's quarterly digital net sales, which pulled in $681 million in earnings, up 19.89% year-over-year. Digital net sales isn't just full game downloads however; it includes microtransactions, season passes, DLC, add-ons, etc.

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