This week in games: Overwatch gets a server browser, Project Cars 2 targets 12K and more

Project Cars 2

More Kickstarter news this week. Can you believe it? Last week I joked about a renaissance but now I’m pretty sure it’s actually happening.

That, plus Overwatch gets a server browser, South Park delays a second time, a bevy of launch trailers and announcement trailers and trailer trailers, and Project Cars 2 talks about supporting 12K resolutions. Mmmm, that’s a lot of pixels.

This is gaming news for February 6 through 10.

St2sis

Another chance for me to talk about Stasis? Excellent. If you don’t know, Stasis is the best horror game you (probably) didn’t play in 2015. An isometric horror game in the vein of the classic Sanitarium, Stasis is some excellent derelict space ship sci-fi.

And now the developers are working on a follow-up, titled Beautiful Desolation. Like PC Gamer, I apparently missed word on this in January, but there’s a Kickstarter campaign and everything. I’m not a huge fan of the name, but I am a huge fan of the art on display so far, and fervently hope it reaches its funding goal.

Tormented Bards

Let’s keep on the crowdfunding theme for a second and talk about inXile. The studio released details on both the upcomingTorment: Tides of Numenera and the slightly-less-upcoming Bard’s Tale IV this week, with a look at Torment’s story and Bard’s Tale’s combat. Here’s Torment:

And Bard’s Tale:

Finish the fight

Halo Wars 2 launches next week, at least for Ultimate Edition buyers. Will it be good? No idea, but it sure does have some beautiful cinematics.

Live to serve

It’s not the sexiest update, but Overwatch is getting a server browser to complement its bevy of matchmaking systems. Want to play a custom game with friends? You can finally—nine months after release—do so.

Project C2RS

I’d sort-of forgotten that Slightly Mad Studios has been working on Project Cars 2. Hard to forget, given the stink people made when the sequel was originally announced, coming as it did mere months after the release of the original. But regardless, I’d forgotten.

There’s video now though—gorgeous video. Also, support for 12K resolutions (12K!) and more. Time to upgrade your graphics card, sim racers.

More-za

Speaking of racing games…well, actually no. The big news this week is that Playground Games, developer of the beloved Forza Horizon series, is working on a new game—and it’s not a racing game. According to GamesIndustry.biz , Playground is opening a second studio and branching out into a new genre, in addition to (presumably) the 2018 Forza Horizon game.

If this mythical second project ends up even half as good as Forza Horizon, we’re in for a treat.

South Park: Still Not Whole

Bad news, South Park fans: Latest game The Fractured But Whole has been delayed yet again, this time to a rather ambiguous “sometime this year.” That’s the second delay for the superhero-themed sequel, which was originally supposed to arrive in December and then was pushed to early 2017. Now? Well, we’ll see.

Cue the Miyamoto quote about a bad game being bad forever, and et cetera.

Siege lifted

Ubisoft’s doing just okay with-or-without South Park though, I imagine. Case in point: Rainbow Six Siege is still humming along, still 2015’s best shooter, and just about to start its second season of DLC characters and maps. You’ll get four minutes of that below, with a look at the new “Velvet Shell” operators and Coastline map.

Oh, and Ubisoft also brought back the Rainbow Six Siege Starter Edition. For $15 you get the game and access to four operators, with a whole lot of grinding if you want to unlock the rest—or you try it, enjoy it, and buy the full game (maybe when it goes on sale?) to continue as normal. Your call.

Wild

Okay, more Ubisoft news. Ghost Recon: Wildlands is set to release in March. Ubisoft’s continued its tradition of “Silly Live-Action Trailers” for this one—except this time they’ve made a whole live-action movie. There’s a teaser below. Go microwave some popcorn. I’ll wait.

source”cnbc”

[email protected] Project: More than 10,000 Kerala schools to be on wiki platform

IT@School Project: More than 10,000 Kerala schools to be on wiki platform

On occasion of Kerala Formation Day, the state government will be re-launching the [email protected] that was designed to impart IT education in schools by setting ‘School Wiki’ on the lines of Wikipedia.

Launched on November 1, 2009, School Wiki was inactive for almost two years.

As per reports, this project also aims at encouraging knowledge generation and sharing among students and teachers.

Details of the project:

  • The whole portal is made entirely in Malayalam language
  • School Wiki features a unique content collection jointly undertaken by the students and teachers
  • Along with alumni and public, 15,000 schools from class 1 to 12 in the state have lent a helping hand in this project
  • This has been prepared using Wikemedia Foundation’s Wikemedia software.

Meanwhile, speaking about his project, K Anvar Sadath, Executive Director of [email protected] Project said, “[email protected] Project has made arrangements for specific training for teachers and students for using School Wiki and identify and assign district level admins for data accuracy and modifications and provide necessary support.”

Features of [email protected]:

  • Now just by logging into School Wiki, all schools would be able to fill in and update basic elementary details
  • Also, schools would be able to upload details such as infrastructure data, renowned alumni, school websites, school map, blogs, various clubs and forums, class magazines, supporting images and videos
  • Furthermore, this platform will have educational contents prepared by students, as well as teaching
  • And analytical Malayalam language projects such as “School Patram – [School Newsletter]”, “Nadodi Vijnanakoshan – [Local Encyclopedia] “and “Ente Nadu-[My Village]” would also be there

Not only this, state Education Minister Prof C Raveendranath said, “Awards would be given to those schools that make use of and maintain School Wiki in the most effective manner.”

source”cnbc”

First ‘Project Tango’ phone’s release gets pushed back from “Summer” to “Fall”

hasselblad zoom hero shot

We’ve seen plenty of products that snap a lens over top of your existing smartphone lens, but nothing quite like this. The Hasselblad True Zoom is a Moto Mod that works with Moto Z phones, and completely replaces your phone camera with a point-and-shoot that gives you 10X optical zoom. It certainly doesn’t come anywhere near approximating the quality of Hasselblad’s famous medium-format cameras. Frankly, Hasselblad should be ashamed to have their name on this.

It’s a curiosity, a technical “huh, that’s kinda neat” exercise that delivers lower quality and less value than a comparably-priced point and shoot camera.

Hasselblad in name only

Hasselblad is famous for its high quality medium format cameras. When NASA took cameras into space on Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo missions, they were (somewhat modified) Hasselblads. This Moto Mod will not deliver quality deserving of the name.

Snap it onto your Moto Z and it completely replaces the built-in camera (currently only the Moto Z Play is supported, with a software update coming soon for the Moto Z and Z Force). The camera app works the same, but the HDR toggle is gone, and in its place you get a few shooting modes. You can shoot JPG, black and white JPG, or JPG + RAW.

hasselblad modes

You lose HDR shooting, but gain a few shooting modes. It’s not a good tradeoff.

A thin grip makes it a little easier to hold your phone horizontally for shots, and a tiny, flimsy zoom switch quickly pulls the lens from 4.5mm to 45mm (equivalent to 25mm to 250mm on a 35mm camera). There’s a reasonably bright xenon flash, toggled using the on-screen button. And of course, the shutter. That’s it, that’s all the physical controls you get.

hasselblad zoom 04

Jason Cross

You want physical controls? You get a shutter, power button, and flimsy zoom switch. That’s it.

The True Zoom features it’s own sensor, a 12 megapixel, 1/2.3-inch CMOS that doesn’t particularly impress me. Sure it’s got 1.55 micron pixels, but these specs don’t supercede the best smartphones. The size and resolution is matched by the Nexus 6P. While most good phones have an lens with an aperture in the f/1.8 to f/2.0 range, the True Zoom features a fixed aperture that is f/3.5 when zoomed out, f/6.5 when zoomed in. That narrower aperture means worse low-light shots.

hasselblad zoom 03

Jason Cross

The grip is better than nothing, but too shallow to be really useful.

So you’ve got a sensor equivalent to what you’d find in a good smartphone, a much smaller aperture, and a couple of extra physical controls. All photos are sent to the camera over the Moto Mod interface, to be processed by the phone. The interface really isn’t fast enough for burst photography, and there’s a significant lag after taking each shot.

hasselblad zoom 02

Jason Cross

The shutter is small and zoom switch flimsy, and those are really the only controls you get.

You can’t even record great video. You’re limited to 1080p at 30fps. No slow motion, no 4K. Optical image stabilization is limited to still shots; with video you get electronic stabilization.

10X optical zoom and not much else

The whole point of this Mod is to give you a true optical zoom. That’s something smartphones can’t do. Those thin bodies prohibit moving lenses, so you’re stuck with crummy digital zoom.

hasselblad zoom 01

Yep, that’s 10X optical zoom all right. It’s really the only thing the Hasselblad True Zoom does quite well.

As far as that goes, the True Zoom works. You can get clear shots from a long way away, and quickly zoom in and out. And that’s about it. It doesn’t take better photos than any of the Moto Z phones it works with, let alone industry leaders like Samsung or Apple’s latest.

moto z play vs true zoom

Jason Cross

Indoors, photos with the True Zoom are dimmer, duller, and noisier than those shot with the Moto Z Play.

Photos in low light are a bit dull and visibly grainy. In bright light it fares better, but it’s still somehow slightly soft and still shows noise. In other words, you’re better off not snapping this onto your phone, even if you have it with you, unless you need to zoom in. That’s a fairly scathing intictment: the snap-on replacement camera is worse than the built-in one.

moto z play vs true zoom 02

Jason Cross

Would you pay $250 more to get the photo on the right? Me either.

Buyer beware

A Moto Mod that you slap onto the back of your phone and instantly replace the built-in camera with something way better? What a great idea!

It’s too bad the Hasselblad True Zoom isn’t actually better. For $250 you get true 10X optical zoom, along with lower-quality photos, worse video, no HDR, and to few physical controls. The True Zoom doesn’t even have it’s own built-in battery, so it drains your Moto Z’s battery quite a bit.

For the same price you can get a dedicated point-and-shoot like the Canon PowerShot SX610 ($245 on Amazon) that will give you more zoom, more detail, better image quality, and more physical controls. There’s little excuse for this Moto Mod to cost what it does, considering that the phone does most of the heavy lifting. I’m not sure I would pay $50 for this Moto Mod, let alone 5 times that price. It’s a great idea, but the execution and value proposition are miles from where they should be.

source”cnbc”

First ‘Project Tango’ phone’s release gets pushed back from “Summer” to “Fall”

The Lenovo Phab2 Pro was announced back in June at Lenovo Tech World in Silicon Valley and is the world’s first phone with Google’s Project Tango to soon become commercially available. You can check out our hands-on from back in June.

AusDroid reports that the Project Tango smartphone will not be coming to Australia at all. As far as where it will be coming first, Lenovo says that the Phab2 Pro will arrive in Asia next month to whichever countries Lenovo’s phones are normally sold.

The Lenovo Phab2 Pro was supposed to become available in the US online in August, and in Best Buy stores this month. However, AusDroid’s report coincides with Lenovo’s minor change to the US landing page for the Phab2 Pro. The page used to say “Coming This Summer” but has since been changed to reflect a new timeframe. Now the page says “Coming This Fall”.

Just last month, a Lenovo blog post hinted that the device would be “available in stores this holiday season”.

The Lenovo Phab2 Pro uses advanced sensors that are able to detect the phone’s location in 3 dimensions. Possible applications for the technology aren’t limited to exploring a museum, previewing new furniture in your home, taking accurate measurements in 3D, or even navigating the New York Subway system tunnels, perhaps? Imagine if it could tell you exactly where to go and which platform to take the train from.

The Lenovo Phab2 Pro will cost $499 in the US and and feature a huge QHD 6.4 inch display, 16MP camera, 64GB/4GB of memory, powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 CPU and backed by a 4,050mAh power cell.

Thanks for the tip Aquaphoenix!

source”cnbc”