Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Bend it like Samsung: Galaxy X, the flexible phone

Samsung has been playing around with the concept of a bendable phone for a while now, and rumors of prototypes have been flooding the Internet as well, but now Samsung has taken its first official step towards a bendable phone. Say hello to the Galaxy X.

Showed off by Samsung at the SID 2016 event in San Francisco, the Galaxy X is the flexible phone complete with a roll out LED display by the company. The Galaxy X can be rolled out, similar to an old fashioned scroll, but currently does not include a touch screen layer. The company has not confirmed if the phone will come with a touch layer later on, but it can be large hurdle to tackle.

However, the screen is of high quality and comes with a Full HD resolution on a display, and is approximately the same size as the Galaxy Note 5 at 5.7 inches, and is also really thin at 0.3mm. A lot of Samsung's flagship devices already support a curved edge on the screen, but the Galaxy X will be the first one with a fully bendable display.

Samsung is not the first one with the idea though, as LG is also working on a flexible phone similar to the earlier G Flex and G Flex 2. It might be a race to see who comes out with the phone first, but if rumors are to be believed, Samsung might release the Galaxy X next year.

Samsung Unveils 5.5-Inch 4K Smartphone Display Prototype for VR

Teasing the future, electronic giant Samsung has unveiled a smartphone display screen with 4K resolution. At San Francisco's Display Week conference, Samsung showed off a 5.5-inch 4K Amoled display for smartphones meant especially for virtual reality, or VR.

Virtual reality has really got a boost it needed after Google unleashed its Daydream project at I/O this year. In the meanwhile, more and more smartphone-based VR headsets are also hitting the market, where users can just slip their smartphones in and experience immersive viewing. However, virtual reality viewing is limited to the resolution that the smartphone provides. Most of the smartphones today have a full-HD (1080x1920 pixels) display, and some go so far as QHD (1440x2560 pixels) providing better experience in VR.

However, 4K (2160x3840 pixels) resolution display will elevate the viewing experience in virtual reality, and judging by Samsung's small display in San Francisco, 4K display on smartphones may soon become reality.

The company claims (via UploadVR) that the 4K UHD display at Display Week was just a prototype. It boasts of 806ppi pixel density, 97 percent colour gamut, and 350nit brightness. Samsung was rumoured to bring 4K display with the Galaxy Note 5, but that didn't happen, and the phablet adopted a QHD (1440x2560 pixels) display instead. Even the Note 6 has been tipped off to come with 4K display, however contradicting reports of a 2K QHD display have also surfaced. Needless to say, all rumours must be taken with a pinch of salt until the official release.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 6 is expected to include a Snapdragon 820 SoC, 6GB of RAM, 32GB storage for base model with storage expandability via microSD card, and 12-megapixel rear camera with a Dual Pixel setup.
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Tags:  4K display,  Android,  Mobiles,  Samsung,  Samsung Galaxy Note 5,  Samsung Galaxy Note 6,  VR headset

Minecraft-style Dragon Quest Builders is coming to the West for PlayStation 4 and Vita

Sony announced today that Dragon Quest Builders is coming to North America this October for PlayStation 4 and Vita. The announcement comes as part of the series 30th anniversary today, celebrating the release of the original Dragon Quest for the Nintendo Entertainment System. A boxed copy will release for the PS4 game, but the Vita version will be digital only. Builders is a spin-off of the Japanese role-playing game series usually known for turn-based combat, but this title takes a lot of its inspiration from the mega-hit Minecraft. That’s one of the most popular games of all time, so it’s not a bad choice if you’re going to ape off something (Minecraft has sold over 70 million copies across all of its many platforms). You can watch the cinematic trailer below to see what we’re talking about.

Building things one block at a time? It certainly does look like Minecraft.
“Dragon Quest Builders is a sandbox action RPG where your imagination is the limit!” Sony noted on its blog. “Everything plays out in real-time and the world is made entirely of blocks (although it may not look that blocky), and you can use these blocks to build pretty much whatever you want.”
Dragon Quest Builders came out in Japan earlier this year. Sony noted that it’s trying to bring more games in the franchise to the west, which included Dragon Quest Heroes last year.

The Witcher 3: Blood And Wine review – the last witcher hunter

The final DLC expansion for The Witcher 3 has a whole new region to explore, a vineyard to manage, and a vampire to destroy…

No matter what else may change in the world of video games the one constant of the modern era has been the inessential-ness of almost all DLC. The fact that pre-ordering a season pass has become commonplace, before you have any idea of what it might include, must stand as one of the great triumphs of 21st century marketing. But occasionally there are exceptions. Sometimes developers do put in a real effort, and create something that is genuinely unmissable if you’re already a fan of the game. Blood And Wine is one of those exceptions.

The irony here is that The Witcher 3 is already so massive that it’s probably the last game in the world that actually needed any kind of expansion. But last year’s Hearts Of Stone was already very good, and this second and final expansion is equally impressive.

Surprisingly for an expansion, the first thing that strikes you about Blood And Wine is just how impossibly good the graphics are. The Witcher 3 always looked amazing, on both PC and consoles, but the art design and use of colour in Blood And Wine is exemplary. The entire adventure, in a new region called Toussaint, looks like some fantasy picture postcard come to life, with gorgeously detailed landscapes that mix the imagery of real world southern France with one part J.R.R. Tolkien and another part Lewis Carroll.

From an artistic standpoint, if not a technical one, Blood And Wine looks even better than the main game. But it’s also tonally distinct, with much more emphasis on humour – even as you deal with the main threat of a particularly unpleasant vampire.

As Geralt you get to oversee your own estate in the area, which you’re given quite a bit of control over – including overseeing your winery and drinking its contents. It’s implied that this is where Geralt will retire and end his days, the estate and the outcome of some of the other quests his reward for dealing with The Wild Hunt in the main game. It’s not unheard of for role-playing games to provide their own lengthy epilogue, but like most this can tend towards the self-indulgent.

A significant issue is the humour, which is often considerably less barbed or subtle than the main game. The camp, pseudo-chivalrous knights of Toussaint are a lot of fun but there’s also in-jokes aplenty about everything from DLC and CD Projekt themselves to Fawlty Towers. As you might imagine, that’s difficult to pull off in a fantasy setting and the hit rate is not particularly high. But there’s also the problem that by being set in a new region most of the characters are also new, and few of them are as interesting as those in the main game.

It’s telling that the best missions are the most serious ones, which are in turn closest in tone to the original. And that’s not something we’re comfortable in admitting, as we’re always urging DLC to try something new. Not all of the more whimsical missions are duds though, and there’s a particularly good one where you’re making more peaceful use of your tracking skills by helping a budding naturalist. Or another where you’re questing for a statue’s lost testicles.

Fable to be revived as a digital card game

A group of Lionhead developers is raising the Fable franchise from the ashes.

Having formed a new studio called Flaming Fowl in the wake of Lionhead's April closure, the team will be taking to Kickstarter to crowdfund a Fable-themed, free-to-play digital card game called Fable Fortune.

The game had previously been in development for 18 months before Lionhead closed down, the team revealed in an interview with IGN. To make the game now, they've licensed the IP from Microsoft, which now owns it. Fable Fortune will consist of some Hearthstone-style collectable card game gameplay, with both single-player and online multiplayer player-versus-player and co-op modes, drawing on the Fable universe and games.

It will also include some quest-like elements, such as playing specific cards or using mana, that will allow you to make "good" and "evil" Fable-style choices.

The Kickstarter will be seeking a minimum of £250,000 (around $367,000). If successful, the game is expected to release early 2017. The campaign will go live on Kickstarter on May 31.

Does 'Finding Dory' depict Pixar's first lesbian couple?

Does the new trailer for Finding Dory depict the first-ever lesbian couple in a Disney-Pixar film?

Vigilant fans of the animated sequel (in theaters June 17) to 2003's Finding Nemo are speculating that it does.

In the latest trailer (at the 1:07 mark), Hank the Octopus (voiced by Ed O'Neill) ends up in a baby carriage next to two women who pick up a tot's dropped sippy cup.

Game of Thrones Just Confirmed a Huge Fan Theory

It was all about family this week on Game of Thrones.
Sam (John Bradley) and Gilly (Hannah Murray) resurfaced to introduce us to the entire Tarly clan, Arya (Maisie Williams) had to make a difficult choice between her real family and her Faceless Men family, and Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) did whatever he could to protect his kin from the High Sparrow (Jonathan Pryce).
"Blood of My Blood" also featured the anticipated returns of two key characters who haven't been seen in years. Read on to find out who they were and scoop on all the other jaw-dropping moments from Sundays' episode.
Braavos: Thrones finally put Arya's temporary trip to No One land to rest. After some tense small talk with her intended victim, Arya's thirst for vengeance is reignited. Instead of poisoning the actress, Arya saves her life and reunites with her beloved Needle. (No lie, this was almost as satisfying and Sansa and Jon's reunion.)
But of course, that meddling Waif was watching the whole time and immediately tattles on Arya to Jaqen. While her mentor is disappointed in Arya's choice, Jaqen has no choice and sends the Waif to kill Arya.
North of the Wall: Meera (Ellie Kendrick) has somehow managed to drag Bran's useless body into the forest while he downloads all of the Three-Eyed Raven's visions (including our first look at Daenerys' dad, the Mad King Aerys!). But Hodor could only hold the door so long, and the Night's King's soldiers are soon upon them. Just when it looks like Bran's luck has finally run out, he and Meera are rescued by... wait for it... Benjen Stark (Joseph Mawle)!