Subject: General Tech | October 3, 2012 - 06:44 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Kickstarter, kick ass, Nexus, Nexus 2, gaming
The original Nexus: The Jupiter Incident can be hard to explain to those who believe the only RTS game style involves a base and focuses on harvesting resources in order to produce masses of cloned troops of different styles and tiers. It is similar to Homeworld in that it involves fleet battles and races with differing technologies and spaceships but that is where the similarity ends. There is no mothership nor do you collect resources to spawn more ships, instead you start with a set amount of ships and equipment to outfit those ships at the beginning of the mission and if you happen to lose a ship to enemy fire that ship is gone; if you are lucky you might get a replacement next mission. The ships can be outfitted with a variety of weapons and equipment, from shield destroying beam weapons to hull destroying missiles to close support fighters, your choices are limited only by the supplies available not the amount of money or resources you collected. The pace is much slower but then the missions are unforgiving and simply having a ship out of place could spell disaster for your entire squadron. At $10 on Steam if this sounds even slightly interesting you should pick it up!
The reason it is worth mentioning this 8 year old game is that the Most Wanted Entertainment and most of the original dev team have launched a Kickstarter program to fund the creation of the sequel, Nexus : The Gods Awaken. Keeping the original feel, as they put it "a game for Admirals, not Project Managers", and updating the game to modern specifications with the use of the Unreal Engine, perhaps not an exact match to the two tech demos released over the past few years, in fact perhaps even better. Ship design is planned to be modular which will allow greater customization of your task force as well as enabling the inclusion of larger, better designed space stations and capital ships. You will get full control over the design of your fighters, bombers and gunboats, which may make watching them die while protecting your ships a more personal experience than in the first game. You can also expect to see familiar faces and two new alien races, not to mention the one you already went up against but only if they get enough money to get this project off the ground.
Kickstarter is quickly becoming a way for game companies to finance the creation of a game without needing a large publisher behind them and when tied with a release on Steam it also reduces the need for a distributor. Many will loudly scream that this will lead to a fragmentation of the gaming industry as not everyone will hear about the release of a game, as well as leading to the release of games not destined to be blockbusters. You can safely ignore them, another Halo game should come out soon and they will stop paying attention and let those who like a game for what it is and not what the advertising says get on with supporting projects like this. If you feel the same, head to the Kickstarter site and toss them a few coins!
"The gameplay of Nexus is everything the discerning Space Admiral could desire. Alongside improvements and polish across the board to existing graphics and gameplay, there is also a wealth of new features to expand and enrich the gameplay to ever-greater heights.
The Psis are a new class of NPC, who can be added to the crew of certain ships. Each Psi has a unique power, allowing them to influence the course of battle, and turn a lost cause into a triumphant victory."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Borderlands 2 Gameplay Performance and IQ @ [H]ard|OCP
- Sleeping Dogs Gameplay Performance and IQ @ [H]ard|OCP
- Borderlands 2 @ LanOC Reviews
- Resident Evil 6 @ The Inquirer
- Tekken Tag Tournament 2 @ The Inquirer
- Borderlands 2 PhysX Performance Review @Hi Tech Legion
- Strung out on Borderlands 2 @ The Tech Report
- F1 2012 PC Review @ eTeknix
- Make Something Unreal Live Is “Genetics and Genomics” @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Feeding The Machine: Gas Guzzlers Demo @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- FIFA 13 PlayStation 3 @ Tweaktown
- FIFA 13 (PS3) Game Review @ HardwareHeaven
- Mark of the Ninja Review (XBLA) @ Kitguru
- Resident Evil 6 Review (Xbox 360) @ Hardwareheaven
Introduction, Design and Connectivity
Subject: Mobile | July 13, 2012 - 04:31 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: google, Nexus, jellybean
Google's first tablet, the Nexus 7, is running the new Android OS called JellyBean and has inside a quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor and 1GB of RAM, with the $200 model sporting 8GB of storage and the $250 doubling that to 16GB. Apart from the storage the models are the same, with a 1280 x 800 screen and a single micro-USB plug, no SD card slot at all. It also only has a single 1.2MP camera which will only let you send video, there is no camera app to allow you to snap pictures. Check out the usability of the new device over at TechSpot.
"Google has released a number of Nexus branded "hero" smartphones in the past, but the new Google Nexus 7 is the first ever tablet to bear the Google Nexus name. Built by Asus, the Nexus 7 also has the distinction of being the first device to run the Android 4.1 "Jelly Bean" operating system.
While the Nexus 7 offers nothing to consumers that can't be found elsewhere - save for Jelly Bean - it offers a number of refinements to the Android tablet experience in terms of both software and hardware. And it does it all at a sub-$200 price point that is meant to dethrone Amazon's Kindle Fire as the reigning Android tablet of choice for consumers. With specs like a quad-core processor and a 1280 x 800 pixel display, that seems possible and likely."
Here are some more Mobile articles from around the web:
- Google Nexus 7 and Android 4.1 @ AnandTech
- Google Nexus 7 Review @ TechReviewSource
- Acer Aspire V3-571G-9435: The Value Proposition @ AnandTech
- Sony VAIO E15 Review @ TechReviewSource
- Acer Aspire TimelineU M3 review: a large Ultrabook @ Hardware.info
- Lenovo IdeaPad U310 Review @ TechReviewSource
- PC Specialist Vortex III HD7S @ Kitguru
- Acer Aspire S5 Ultrabook Review: The Steady March of Progress @ AnandTech
- Seagate GoFlex Satellite Review @ TechwareLabs
- MacBook Air 13? Ivy Bridge (mid-2012) MBA Ultrabook @ SSD Review
- Cooler Master ARC Stand for Macbook and iPad Review @ OCIA
- Samsung Galaxy S III 16GB Smartphone Review @ Legit Reviews
- HTC One S Android Smartphone Review @ HardwareHeaven
- Samsung Galaxy S III @ Kitguru
- Orange San Diego @ The Inquirer
Subject: General Tech | June 29, 2012 - 06:47 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: tablet, Nexus, jelly bean, google io, google, Android
We first saw an ASUS 7” tablet at CES 2012. That tablet would quickly drop off the radar only to emerge again at this year’s Google I/O developer conference as the Google Nexus 7. The Nexus 7 is a 7” tablet that closely resembles the original ASUS model but tweaks the case and knocks the price down to $199.
Specifications include a quad core Tegra 3 processor with 12-core GPU component, 8GB or 16GB of storage space, and 1GB of RAM. Other features include WiFi, NFC, and Bluetooth. Further, Google announced during its Day 1 keynote that the Nexus 7 weighs in at 340 grams and offers up to 9 hours of video playback time. All that hardware drives Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and an IPS display with resolution of 1280x800 resolution.
All Things D talked with both ASUS CEO Jonney Shih and Google’s Andy Rubin about the new Google Nexus 7 tablet and how it came to be. Reportedly, ASUS had just four months to come up with a 7” tablet for Google that they could sell at cost for $200. Both of those added up to a tight time schedule with 24-hour development cycle and a tablet that was mostly similar to its CES tablet but at the lower Google price point. Dubbed Project A Team internally, ASUS added a number of new people to the tablet project and moved engineers around the work – including some postings in Silicon Valley so that they could work closely with Google. It also enabled ASUS to work around the clock on the hardware (albeit by different workers). Google has stated that ASUS was one of the few companies that could have pulled off the tablet in the short time frame given. AllThingsD quoted Google’s Andy Rubin as saying “We went from zero to working product in four months.”
On the ASUS side of things, Jonney Shih told the site that “our engineers told me it is like torture” regarding working with Google to develop the tablet. Also, he stated that Google can be a demanding company to work with. “They ask a lot.”
Granted, ASUS had a good starting point with its 370T tablet that it showed off at CES, but the difficult part was taking that same tablet and making it cost less than $200. Google’s goal with that price point was to attempt to capture the mainstream market – a market that is currently buying into the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet tablets (and accompanying ecosystems). Despite being based on Android, both Barnes and Noble and Amazon have heavily tweaked the interface and heavily tied the hardware into their content ecosystems. Google wants to do the same with its Play Store by releasing a tablet at cost on its Google Play Store that will run the latest – and bloatware-free – version of Android. The company is trying to position the Nexus 7 as the perfect tablet to consumer Play Music, Play Books, and Play Movies on. The hardware inside and out along with the latest Android OS do make it a very compelling option for people wanting a tablet with the form factor of the Kindle Fire but the full (and latest) stock version of Android. Both companies seemed to run into the Nexus 7, but in the end the pressure ASUS was under may have resulted in a "diamond in the (Android tablet) rough."
What do you think of the Nexus 7? Is it the Kindle Fire for the more tech savvy (and/or those not already heavilly invested in a competing media catalog like Itunes, Amazon Kindle, et al)?
Subject: Mobile | June 27, 2012 - 03:43 AM | Ken Addison
Tagged: tablet, Nexus, memo, jelly bean, ics, eeepad, asus, Android
For months, rumors have been flying about Google introducing a "Nexus" tablet platform, reminiscent of what they have done with previous phone releases. With the Google I/O Day 1 Keynote just hours away, we at PC Perspective are throwing our hat into the ring in predicting what Google is likely to announce.
During meetings with ASUS at CES 2012, representatives from the company introduced us to a series of 3 tablets, including the Eee Pad MeMO 171, and the later to be named Transformer Prime Infinity. While these two tablets have been released or are soon to be released in some retail capacity, there is one product that they were talking about that morning which ASUS has gone completely silent on.
While ASUS was being a little cagey about the product at the time, we did recieve some initial information for this Eee Pad MeMO 370T. We were told that it was a Tegra 3 product, and that it would come in at around $250. This device however was not particularly accessible to us like the rest of the time as it was locked in a protective case. We could use the screen of the device, but that was about it. In fact, the pictures that we snapped of this device were frankly just by chance, as we were expecting to see this product later down the line and didn't put much focus onto it.
Moving on to later in the same day, we attended the NVIDIA press conference, which was very Tegra focused. One of the big announcements was an unnamed ASUS $249 Tegra 3 Tablet. NVIDIA was also being pretty silent about this product, but we once again expected news about their low-cost platform for tablet (Kai) in the coming weeks.
NVIDIA announces $249 ASUS Tegra 3 Tablet at CES
However we never recieved any more information in the following 6 months from either ASUS or NVIDIA, which brings us to this year's Google I/O. With Google expected to be working with ASUS on a 7" tablet, and the fact that NVIDIA was so hyped about a product that was never heard from again, it becomes a safe assumption to look towards the long forgotten Eee Pad MeMO 370T as the likely platform. While the styling may be altered, any potential Google/ASUS 7" tegra tablet will certainly have had roots in the Eee family.
Android 2.3 (Gingerbread)
The Nexus S 4G is a Google phone through and through. Following Google’s first hardware venture into the handset market, the Nexus One, this phone is how Google envisions the Gingerbread (Android 2.3) platform. Manufactured by Samsung, the Nexus S originally debuted as a GSM unlocked phone and on T-Mobile in the US earlier this year. Now, for the debut on CDMA networks, Samsung and Sprint have teamed together to add a 4G, WiMAX modem.
Because it is a Google tuned experience, the Nexus S 4G software is extremely polished, and provides a great user experience. Being the first phone to ship with Gingerbread, and still being one of the few phones shipping with it at this point in the game, it provides the absolute best small form-factor experience that Android is capable of.
Hit this link to keep reading our review of the Samsung Nexus S...