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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Rumor: The Next PlayStation Codename is Orbis

PlayStation Orbis Mock up (photo actually a PS3)

Today Kotaku posted an article saying that "a reliable source who is not authorized to talk publicly about next-gen hardware but has shared correct information with us before" told them that the next PlayStation has the codename Orbis.  I checked and found out that orbis is Latin for circle, orb, ring, disk, orbit, coil, round, or rotation.  The article went on to say that if you combine it with Vita (the name of Sony's handheld game console) you get Orbis Vita which means "The circle of life." This could symbolize connectivity between the PlayStation Vita and the PlayStation Orbis (or PlayStation 4).

The article also says the PlayStation Orbis currently has an AMD x64 CPU and an AMD Southern Islands GPU that's capable of displaying games at a resolution of 4096x2160 and 3D games in 1080p and will be released in 2013. And there's some bad news:  no backwards compatibility and no used games (games will be available as a Blu-Ray disc or as a download--either way it will be locked to a single PSN account). Not only that, you must be connected to the Internet, and if you aren't your PlayStation Orbis won't turn on.

Thankfully this is just a rumor and has not been confirmed by Sony. I'm personally thinking it's all fake.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

3DS One Year Later Review (Happy Birthday 3DS!!!!)

One year ago today the Nintendo 3DS was released in the United  States of America on March 27, 2011. So, Happy Birthday, 3DS!!!!  Let's hope for another good year. I am going to review the 3DS based on the improvements that have happened over the past year, the games, the 3DS itself, and how good of a year it is to buy the 3DS.

Improvements Over the Past Year

Taking 3D pics is cool, but taking 3D video is awesome.  The price at launch was $250, and now it's $170. We have the eShop, and it's doing really well.  The Nintendo Network is starting to come out, plus they also added SwapNote, an Internet browser, Find Mii 2, and Puzzle Swap 2.  These are all just a few of the ways the 3DS got a lot better in the past year.

Improvements score:  10/10


The 3DS took awhile to get a lot of games (there was a drought of games in the first six months after launch), but now we have Super Mario 3D Land, Resident Evil Revelations, Mario Kart 7, Metal Gear Solid Snake Eater 3D, Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, Starfox 64 3D, etc.  On the eShop we have Pushmo, Mutant Mudds, Dillon's Rolling Western, Zen Pinball 3D, Sakura Samurai: Art of the Sword, etc.

Games score:  10/10

The 3DS Itself

The 3DS is probably the best selling 3D device ever, and it is rightfully so.  The 3D effect is really cool and adds a lot to games. The design of the 3DS reminds me of the DS as in it has a sturdy clamshell design (I dropped mine once, and it didn't even get a scratch).  Design features the 3DS has that the DS doesn't have include a Circle Pad and three cameras. Cool software the 3DS has includes the internet browser, Swapnote, Nintendo Video, Face Raiders, and AR Games. Another cool feature is StreetPass.  When I bought the 3DS, I wasn't excepting StreetPass to be so fun and now I bring my 3DS everywhere hoping that I pass someone who also has a 3DS. I also now use my 3DS as my MP3 player. My only complaints are  the lack of a second Circle Pad and that the glossy finish of the 3DS smudges so easily.

The 3DS itself:  10/10

How Good of a Year is it to Buy the 3DS?

I think it is a really good year to buy the 3DS.  In fact, I think this will be the best year to buy the 3DS possibly ever.  There are games coming out left and right. Some people are waiting for the 3DS lite to come out, but they're possibly going to have to wait until 2013 because 2012 will be the year of the Wii U, and Nintendo won't want to distract from the launch of the Wii U. So if you have been on the fence, I recommend that you buy the Nintendo 3DS.

How good of a year it is to buy the 3DS:  10/10

Overall score: 10/10

Monday, March 26, 2012

Random Technology Q&A: To get the new iPad or to get the Kindle Fire

The question I will answer today is: "What will the new iPad do for me that a Kindle Fire won't?"

Hard question.  First let's look at the pros of the Kindle Fire, then at what the new iPad do will for you that a Kindle Fire won't.

What the Kindle Fire will do for you that the new iPad won't:
  • Only $199 dollars (the cheapest version of the new iPad costs $499)
  • A gorilla glass screen (advantage:  it's harder to break and scratch than the iPad's screen)
  • It's smaller (easier to carry with you).
  • Free cloud storage

What the new iPad will do for you that a Kindle Fire won't:

  • A screen with a resolution of 2048×1536 (the Kindle Fire screen has a resolution of 600×1024 and 2048×1536 is higher than an HDTV, advantage: the iPad's screen will be nicer to look at)
  • An A5X processor that has a dual-core CPU and quad-core graphics (the Kindle Fire has a dual-core processor, advantage: the iPad will be faster and have better graphics)
  • A front-facing camera and a rear-facing camera (the Kindle Fire doesn't have any camera, advantage: you will be able to take pictures)
  • More apps (the Kindle Fire has a lot of apps but the iPad has a lot more) 
  • A 9.7 inch screen (the Kindle Fire has a 7 inch screen, advantage: a bigger screen [that can also be a disadvantage in that it can be harder to carry with you])
  • The cheapest iPad has 16GB of space (the Kindle Fire has 8GB of space [you do get free cloud storage though] advantage: more space to store things while you don't have Wi-Fi).
  • It's Apple.

 My advice is if you have the money, even though the Kindle Fire is really good, go with the the new iPad (another alternative is the not-yet-released MeMo 370T -- it has Android Ice Cream Sandwich and specs almost matching to better than the new iPad's all for $250, but we don't know when it's going to be released; it could be in a few months or never).

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion is Announced

Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion, the companion to Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two, was announced on March 23, 2012, in the 277th issue of Nintendo Power. It appears that the game is a 3DS exclusive. The article says that Dreamrift is the studio that is developing Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two is Revealed

Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two will have online co-op

Though Epic Mickey 2 was originally confirmed in January, we now know the full name, Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two, and that it's going to be a musical (I'm not sure I like that). It also looks like the main problem with the original Epic Mickey, the game's camera, has been fixed, with over 1,000 changes made to the camera. So far the game has been confirmed for the Xbox 360, PS3, and Wii. It will be released Q4 2012. There's still no information about a Wii U or 3DS version (there are some rumors saying that Disney has plans to create a companion to the main sequel for the 3DS called Epic Mickey: Power Of Illusion). I think Disney is preparing something special for the Wii U and will announce it at E3 2012.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Random Technology Q&A: To get the new iPad or to get the discounted iPad 2?

The question I will answer today is: "Technology Hobbit, would you suggest that I save some money and buy the discounted IPAD2 or splurge a little and buy the new IPAD3? Which would be more bang for my buck?" by James Kaladon.

I suggest the new iPad (iPad 3 $499 16GB, $599 32GB, $699 64GB, for Wi-Fi + 4G $629 16GB, $729 32GB, $829 64GB) because the iPad 2 ($399 for 16GB or $529 for the 16GB Wi-Fi + 3G) is only discounted $100 dollars. It may seem like a lot of money, but you have to remember that the iPad 2 (16GB) is still $399. For only $100 dollars more you get the new iPad (16GB) that has a screen with four times as many pixels as the iPad 2 (the new iPad has a resolution of 2048×1536 and the iPad 2 has a resolution of 1024×768), an A5X processor that has a dual-core CPU and quad-core graphics (the iPad 2 has a dual-core A5 processor), a 5 megapixel camera capable of recording 1080p video (the iPad 2 has a 0.7 megapixel camera capable of recording 720p), and, best of all, it will run all the apps (the iPad 2 will not be able to ran all the apps that are built for the new iPad).

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Apple iPad 3 Event: Siri in Japan, New Apple TV and iPad

As part of iOS 5.1 they are bringing Siri to Japan. TV shows and Movies on iTunes can now be in full HD (1080p). The new Apple TV (not the rumored Apple HDTV) is $99 and has iCloud and 1080p support. The new iPad has a 5-megapixel camera and the screen has 3.1 million pixels. The new iPad also has 4G LTE. The price will be $499 for 16GB, $599, 32GB $699 with Wi-Fi, and for 4G, $629/729/829. It will be available on March 16 (the rumor was right). So far it has been known just as the "new iPad". They will continue offering the iPad 2 16GB model for $399 with Wi-Fi, and for 3G $529.

Apple iPad 3 Event Live Blogs Roundup

Hears a roundup of some of the Apple iPad 3 event live blogs.

Apple iPad 3 Event Live Blog, at IGN

iPad 3 Announcement: Live From the Apple Keynote Event, at PCMag

Live Update: Apple March 7 press event, at Macworld

Apple iPad 3 event: live, at Telegraph

Apple’s iPad 3 event – live coverage, at the financialpost

Live blog: Crowd in S.F. preparing for Apple's expected iPad announcement, at mercury news 

Live Blog: Join Wired at Apple’s ‘See and Touch’ iPad Event, at Wired

Start time:
  • 10:00am Pacific Standard Time 
  • 12:00pm Central Standard Time 
  • 1:00pm Eastern Standard Time 
  • 06:00 p.m. United Kingdom
  • 07:00 p.m. Germany 
  • 03:00 a.m. (March 8) Australia

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

iPad 3 Rumor Roundup

iPad 3 event invitation

Tomorrow at 10 am PST Apple has a 99.99% chance to announce the next iPad. Here is the iPad 3 rumor roundup I have made of what I consider the most likely to be true.

The iPad 3 will have a screen with a resolution of 2048 by 1536 pixels

I personally think there's a 98% chance it's true mainly because the site ars technica has been visited 365 times by a device with a screen with a resolution of 2048x1536.  Currently there are very few devices that have a resolution of 2048x1536.

          The iPad 3 will have a quad-core processor and 1GB of RAM       

I think there's an 80% chance Apple will use a quad-core A6 processor and have 1GB of RAM for the iPad 3. Because the iPad used a 1GHz A4 single-core processor and 256MB of RAM and the iPad 2 uses a 1GHz A5 dual-core processor and 512MB of RAM, it makes sense that the iPad 3 will use a quad-core A6 processor and 1GB. Also the $250 dollar MeMo 370T has a quad-core processor and 1GB of RAM, so iPad 3 will almost have to use a quad-core processor and 1GB of RAM to keep up with the competition.

                                   The iPad 3 will have 4G LTE support                           

I think there's a 70% chance the iPad 3 will support 4G LTE connectivity because the Tech blog iMore says that the source that correctly revealed that the date of the Apple event would be March 7 now says that the iPad 3 will support 4G LTE connectivity.

                                   The iPad 3 will release on March 16                             

I think there's a 90% chance it will launch 9 days after the announcement, which would be March 16th, because historically Apple releases its products soon after its announcements, such as the iPad 2 was announced on March 2, 2011, and was released 9 days afterward on March 11, 2011.

                                                        Other Rumors                                             

The next iPad will be called the iPad HD: 40% chance
The iPad 3 will include Siri: 99% chance

Monday, March 5, 2012

Wii U Q&A: The Wii U to support 2560x1600 resolution?

The question I will answer today is "What is the Wii U's graphics card and what resolution will it support?  Also, I have read some articles saying that the Wii U will be underpowered compared to the Xbox 720 and PS4 and won't support as high of resolution as them, is this true," by anonymous.  The following is my answer.

AMD has confirmed that the Wii U is going to use a custom-designed Radeon HD similar to the Radeon R700 architecture. Some places such as IGN have said that the type of Radeon R700 that it's going to use is most like that of the Radeon HD 4850 (I believe it is most likely that the Wii U's version is on par or more powerful).  Assuming that this is true, I googled the Radeon HD 4850 and found its official specification page.  As you can see in the image below the Radeon HD 4850 supports 2560x1600 resolution also known as WQXGA.

That is 4,096,000 pixels which is more than 1.9 times higher resolution then full HD (1920×1080). It is even higher than 2K resolution. So when someone tells you that the Wii U is underpowered, that is not true (here's a good article comparing the Radeon HD 4850 and the HD Radeon 6670 [the Xbox 720's rumored graphics card]). Recently some people have gotten it into their minds that the Xbox 720 and PS4 will support higher resolutions than the Wii U, but it is most likely not true; one reason is that there are hardly any TVs that support 2560x1600 resolution.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Friday, March 2, 2012

Random Technology Q&A: Ask Your Questions

Welcome to the Random Technology Q&A column where you ask questions and I answer your questions to the best of my ability. You have from now until Wednesday at 6pm to ask any question about anything to do with Technology (and I do mean anything) including, but not limited to, computers (including processors, graphics cards, etc.), TVs, phones, tablets, mp3 players, video game consoles (not the Wii U--you can ask questions about the Wii U here), technology companies (Google, Apple, Sony, etc.). I will post my answer on Sunday the 11th at 1pm. I look forward to seeing what you ask in the comments.

Wii U Q&A: Ask Your Questions

Introducing the new Wii U Q&A column where you ask questions and I answer your questions to the best of my ability.  You have from now until Sunday Monday at 6pm 10am to ask any question about anything to do with the Wii U, and I will post my answer on Monday the 5th at 1pm to 2pm. Ask away in comments.


Welcome to The Technology Hobbit, where I will be posting articles and reviews about video games (Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft, etc.), computers (PCs, Macs, laptops, etc.), TVs, mobile technology (iPhones, tablets, Androids, mp3 players, etc.), and more. Check out my two new columns: the Wii U Q&A column, where I answer all your questions about the Wii U, and the Random Technology Q&A column, where I answer all your questions about any thing to do with Technology. Make sure you vote in the "Which do you think is the best handheld game console of all time?" poll on the right, and check out the Wii U timeline. Also follow The Technology Hobbit here on Blogger, go over to Facebook and like us, and/or follow our Google+ page, and coming soon follow us on Twitter.