Super mario in Unreal Engine 4

I think we’ve all dreamed of what a Nintendo game would look like if it ever got the PC treatment, fear not Nintendo fans as someone has put Mario in the latest unreal engine and oh boy does it look good, 3D artist Aryok Pinera has given us a glimpse of what a PC Nintendo game could look like by inserting the mushroom eating plumber unto Unreal Engine 4.

As you can see the entire thing looks damn right stunning all the environments are taken from the unreal marketplace, Mario’s animations were scripted using blueprints only and his animations were recreated from scratch as well as the PBR ready textures.

As mentioned in the unreal engine 4 post this engine has shown to be rather impressive this further shows the potential of the engine and more importantly that a Mario game using this engine would definitely look fun to play and good eye candy. while that being said the hyper-realistic visuals look great they may not suit the cartoon style of Mario it does look great, but we can only imagine how it could look if Nintendos own artists were to work on these types of high-level visuals.

Do you think a Mario game with a photo-realistic look would be fun?.

Thank you PCGamesN for providing us with this information.

Tumblr TV Is the Latest GIF Video Player on the Web

Tumblr just added a GIF search engine earlier this month and it now launched yet another GIF dedicated feature, namely Tumblr TV. From the looks of it, the feature aims to be a 9GAG.tv service, but for GIFs.

Unlike its GIF search engine, users don’t have to be logged into Tumblr to use the feature. Users will see that the player automatically starts in full-screen mode, but it’s not that great since GIFs tend to have a low resolution.

The feature is called ‘TV’ because it lets users pause, play and navigate to the previous and next GIF. With it, Tumblr says it wants to give users more ways of fiddling with its GIF feature. However, the social media platform doesn’t have integrated sharing options, which means that GIFs cannot be shared on your Twitter or Facebook accounts.

It’s a shame to see Tumblr miss out on further promoting its service through third-party sharing features, but Tumblr hopes this will attract more users to one of its popular ‘exclusive’ features, namely GIFs. The feature is now available on the web, but Tumblr hopes to bring it on the mobile version soon as well. You can view the feature and what it has to offer by clicking the following link.

Thank you TechCrunch for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of Tumblr

Steve Jobs Predicted We Would Buy Computers for the Internet… in 1985

Steve Jobs was a visionary in the technology industry unlike anyone before or after him. He often predicted things that became essential facets of our everyday lives.

Take for instance the “Macintosh in a book”, which he predicted in early 80s and essentially became the iPad of 2010. There’s also the cloud and remote storage, something he understood in 1997, and you can hear him predict in this video. He realised the importance of “interpersonal computing” while at NeXT,  before Sir Tim Berners-Lee developed the World Wide Web on a NeXTcube that would become the world’s first web server.

In fact, I think Jobs’ ideas about “interpersonal computing” are quite often missed in the story arc of his life when we hear about it in the press. Quite often we hear of how he only changed the PC business with the Macintosh, then the music industry with iTunes and the iPod, followed of course by smartphones with the iPhone and then tablets with the iPad. To me, he was an essential figure in the creation of the internet and the web as we know it today.

Not only because the web was born on a NeXT computer, but because Steve Jobs understood and really pushed for the networking standards and concepts that make the internet of today a reality. The NeXTcube featured high-speed ethernet, graphical e-mail and object-orineted programming in 1988. The concepts that the NeXTSTEP OS introduced led to the familiar WebObjects platform used widely on the internet today.

So it’s no surprise that a largely unseen Playboy article has been uncovered today that says Jobs predicted that we’d all buy computers just for access to a “nationwide communications network”… in 1985. Here’s a snippet from it, but you can read the full thing at the source link bellow.

“Playboy: What will change?

Jobs: The most compelling reason for most people to buy a computer for the home will be to link it into a nationwide communications network. We’re just in the beginning stages of what will be a truly remarkable breakthrough for most people-as remarkable as the telephone.

Playboy: Specifically, what kind of breakthrough are you talking about?

Jobs: I can only begin to speculate. We see that a lot in our industry: You don’t know exactly what’s going to result, but you know it’s something very big and very good.

Playboy: Then for now, aren’t you asking home-computer buyers to invest $3000 in what is essentially an act of faith?

Jobs: In the future, it won’t be an act of faith. The hard part of what we’re up against now is that people ask you about specifics and you can’t tell them. A hundred years ago, if somebody had asked Alexander Graham Bell, “What are you going to be able to do with a telephone?” he wouldn’t have been able to tell him the ways the telephone would affect the world. He didn’t know that people would use the telephone to call up and find out what movies were playing that night or to order some groceries or call a relative on the other side of the globe. But remember that first the public telegraph was inaugurated, in 1844. It was an amazing breakthrough in communications. You could actually send messages from New York to San Francisco in an afternoon. People talked about putting a telegraph on every desk in America to improve productivity. But it wouldn’t have worked. It required that people learn this whole sequence of strange incantations, Morse code, dots and dashes, to use the telegraph. It took about 40 hours to learn. The majority of people would never learn how to use it. So, fortunately, in the 1870s, Bell filed the patents for the telephone. It performed basically the same function as the telegraph, but people already knew how to use it. Also, the neatest thing about it was that besides allowing you to communicate with just words, it allowed you to sing.”

Source: Longform Via: The Verge

Pebble to Push new Modular Smart Watch in 2015

2015 will see smart watch manufacturer Pebble release their next generation highly customizable product choices. Not only will they reportedly contain the ability to be strapped to your wrists via a plastic, metal case or leather strap – but advanced customization options are ticking in the pipeline.

Pebble was introduced to the world thanks to a Kickstarter campaign reaching great success, ensuring they could begin pitting their best against the plethora of smart watch offerings by multi-billion dollar tech companies such as Apple, Samsung, ASUS and LG.

Following the high-profile release of Apple’s first smart watch, Pebble have decided to entice customers to their brand by providing alternatives in styling, features and operation to these big-name competitors. The next models of Pebble watches will feature many secret developments in design and application, but unfortunately it’s very hard to get information out of them at this stage as to any specifics.

The most popular rumor is that of Pebble releasing modular smart watches, giving users the ability to do things such as change their wrist bands on-the-run and utilize different watch faces. It’s a smart concept as it then creates a product to suit many different users needs. Imagine a watch that you can dress up for a job interview, then simply change the fact and strap for a dance in a dingy nightclub.

At this stage there isn’t any more information available to us, including no set release date or pricing structure – we will report as the story develops here on eTeknix.

Image courtesy of Chiphell

New Turtle Beach Xbox One Headsets Available Next Month

Turtle Beach have just revealed their their latest range of headsets will be heading to the Xbox One on March 7th. The XO Series headsets – including the XO FOUR and XO SEVEN – were first announced in the summer of 2013, so they’ve been a long time coming and with the Xbox One only having two companies to-date that have announced headsets for the console, I’m sure gamers will be happy to hear there is finally some more competition on the market.

The Ear Force XO SEVEN (UK SRP £129.99) is a premium headset built on the foundation of the tournament-grade SEVEN Series, with premium finishes including a padded headband and noise isolating ear cups with memory foam cushions. It also features interchangeable speaker plates so users can customise the look of their headset. The XO SEVEN is compatible with mobile devices and comes with a detachable boom mic and a breakaway mobile cable with an in-line mic for phone calls and audio chat.

The Ear Force XO FOUR (UK SRP £89.99) has a 3.5mm cable for use with mobile devices and a detachable boom mic.

“Our partners, retailers and distributors are all reporting that there is significant demand for Xbox One compatible headsets,” said Juergen Stark, Chief Executive Officer at Turtle Beach. “We are happy to share that as of March 7 the best next-generation audio experience will be available to consumers.”

I’ve only reviewed a few Turtle Beach headsets in my time here at eTeknix and I’ve been impressed every single time, with the new consoles having only been on the market a couple of months it’s going to take a while for a great selection of after market peripherals to become available and these latest headsets from Turtle Beach are a great first step for the brand.

Thank you Turtle Beach for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of Turtle Beach.

Apple Developer Center Serves Breached By Hackers

The Apple developer Center was down for three days, but Apple kept pretty quiet as to why the service was offline, at least until now. Turns out that Apple has been busy investigating a security breach. Developers have been sent the following email from Apple, which has been confirmed to be legitimate and it goes on to detail what has happened over the last few days.

iTunes accounts were not affected by the breach, just Developer accounts and no credit card data was compromised. Apple held off on making an announcement until they knew the finer details of what had happened so not to cause a panic and there is currently no timeline on the Dev Center coming back online, likely while they find a way of patching the exploit.

Thank you TechCrunch for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of TechCrunch.

Xbox One To Be Region Locked

A report on XbitLabs states that Microsoft has made the decision to region lock their new Xbox One console, although this doesn’t really come as a big surprise to me, nor does it present me personally with any issues, it could be bad news for those who love to import their games as you would then need either an “unlocked” or “cracked” consoles, or of course an imported console to play those imported games.

This isn’t a case of sticking it to customers though as most companies region lock different kinds of hardware to prevent the breaking of regional laws, a certain game might be illegal in one country and not in the other, this would prevent such software being imported and played where it is not meant to.

“Similar to the movie and music industry, games must meet country-specific regulatory guidelines before they are cleared for sale. We will continue to work with our partners to follow these guidelines with Xbox One,” said a Microsoft official in a conversation with Digital Trends web-site.

The other, much less technical solution, would be to not sell that game in that territory and let the people decide their own fate with the local law for importing games, a much more fair and just system if you ask me, plus the import business from sites like Play-Asia will no doubt take a profit hit from this lock, especially given the amount of games that may never get released globally.

There is also some issue with taxes, import prices being cheaper / higher and other such things, but this has always been true of import goods and its hard to say just yet how that will work with the Xbox One given that no official prices have been released yet.

Next-Gen Console Might Be Cheaper Than You Think

GameStop knows a fair few things about games consoles and the retail market, in fact it’s safe to say the Sony and Microsoft have sat down with them for some long and hard discussions about sales patterns, investors, prices, marketing strategies and much more to work out what will do best when the new consoles launch later this year.

GameStop believe that a lot of people are fearing a high price at launch and it’s causing too much worry as we approach the launch window, something that Rob Lloyd, the Chief Financial Officer for GameStop was quick to dismiss in the company’s post-earnings call, where he said that both of the new consoles will have a “lower opening price than the last cycle.”

When the Xbox 360 launched here in the UK back in 2005 it has an initial launch price of £279.99 and roughly adjusted for inflation that would be around £330.00 today ($400 US launch vs $475 after inflation) and to think that the new consoles would be anywhere above that would be crazy talk, the market just isn’t ready for that kind of investment on a large-scale, we are still recovering from a global recession you know.

When the Xbox 360 launch you could pick up two models at $300 and $400, the PlayStation 3 clocked in at a hefty $500 and $600. Yet back in the day, both these consoles used radically new hardware ideas, the Xbox had a triple CPU configuration, where as the PlayStation 3 had the Cell Broadband Engine, this time were seeing off the shelf components from AMD that have been modified, but that aren’t radically different from what we expect to see in the PC market over the next two years or so, this should keep manufacturing costs down significantly.

With both consoles launching in the same year you can bet there will be a price war, if Sony or Microsoft don’t start one, the retail market will and one thing is for certain, the consumer will win. It does however seem unlikely that the price for either will be under that of the Xbox 360 launch, but it’s impossible to think that it would be near the upper end of the PlayStation 3 launch, the sweet spot and magic number I expect is in the middle and around £300-350.

How much would you be willing to pay for a next-gen console? Keeping in mind that your budget would involve extra controllers, games and more upon purchase, personally I’d be setting a £500 but that all depends on if I can stick to putting money in a savings account each week.

Sneak Peek Of Call of Duty: Ghosts Posted By Infinity Ward

Call of Duty: Ghosts is set to be one of the biggest games of the year both in terms of sales and in terms of hype, and sure that may be something that has been true of every Call of Duty game for years now, things simply don’t seem to by dying down any time soon.

Now I’m not a Call of Duty fan, I even know there is a lot of hate for the series these days, but we simply cannot ignore that this game will sell by the millions none the less and Infinity Ward know how to build a good hype with very little.

So here is that very little, a super short sneak peek of the new game that has been published on Vine, with the following message;

“Exclusive sneak peek from @InfinityWard of Call of Duty: Ghosts for our followers! RT to tell your friends where you’ll be on 5.21”

You can check out the video below or follow this link to the Vine post.

So, will you be submitting to the sales beast that is Call of Duty this year, or are you saving you hard earned cash for some of the other AAA game releases that will be hitting consoles and PC later this year? Or perhaps you’re holding out for next-gen? Let us know in the comments section below.

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