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Shining, Shimmering, Splendid: iPad 3′s Retina Display Dazzles

  • Author: JesseLangley
  • Filed under: iPhone
  • Date: Mar 26,2012

Chances are you have heard about the new Apple tablet affectionately named “iPad 3.” If you’re wondering what the big deal is with the buzz surrounding Apple’s latest tablet, then you really haven’t been paying attention. Perhaps the most talked about, and hyped aspect of the new iPad is the retina display. While the retina display is not new to Apple — the iPhone 4 saw the introduction of the retina display in mid-2010 — but the flashy new display is a key piece of what makes the new iPad great for gamers. There are already some games that push the limits of the iPad’s new display and many argue that the iPad retina display outshines every other tablet on the market in the video quality category. Still, others wonder if the new retina display is enough to drive hardcore gamers to the iPad.

Some Amazing Graphics Features

  • Retina Display – In case you were wondering whether or not the new retina display was awesome, we’ll bang that drum one more time — the new iPad retina display is awesome. It boasts four times the video resolution of the iPad 2. What does this mean in numbers? For the true gadget nerds out there, this means a resolution of 2048-by-1536, 44 percent more color saturation and upwards of 3.1 million pixels on the screen. That’s over 3 million pixels on a 9.7-inch screen.
  • Quad-Core Graphics Processing –There is some controversy surrounding the iPad’s A5X quad core graphics processing claim. Without getting too technical, the argument is that Apple misrepresented the GPU capabilities, or that the new iPad is not truly capable of quad-core graphics processing. Wherever you land on this issue, it’s undeniable that the graphics processing capabilities on the new iPad are superior to most tablets on the market. Tested against other tablets, the new iPad performs complicated graphics processing tasks much quicker, and with minimal to zero latency.
  • Up to 1080p HD — While not a graphics-specific feature, this is a neat tool for anyone interested in tech gadgets of the future. That is, the new iPad can shoot HD video up 1080p, which is a significant upgrade from the iPad 2 that shot digital video up to 720p.

So, Will Gamers Migrate to the iPad HD? Probably.

It would surprise no one to find that Apple’s recent foray into mobile gaming was no coincidence — especially with the release of the new iPad. The key to attracting the most hardcore gamers has to do with mobile graphics processing. Without a powerful graphics processor, mobile gaming is pointless. But this is where things have gotten a little fuzzy in the race for the fastest graphics in the tablet world. Many tablets that claim to have the best graphics are often making that claim while running a dual core graphics processor. But considering that Apple upgraded the iPad HD’s video processor to quad-core processing with the new A5X processor, that claim can no longer hold up. This is where the graphics race expects to get heated. More and more hardware manufacturers are beginning to develop quad core graphics processors, which will bring mobile gaming to the next level.

 


The Line Between Games and Reality Further Blurred

  • Author: JesseLangley
  • Filed under: Reviews
  • Date: Mar 26,2012

As time goes on, technology gets more and more sophisticated and video games are becoming increasingly more realistic. Today’s games have stunning graphics, imaginative story lines, improved game interactions and controls, and online player connectivity. Video games are becoming increasingly more advanced, yet today’s entrepreneurs often still gain inspiration from the classic video games of yesteryear.

Many of today’s young entrepreneurs have fond memories of playing video games like Super Mario Brothers on the old Nintendo Entertainment Systems and that has given them ideas to create new and inventive products that are reminiscent of the older classic video games. In that sense, older games are becoming even more real than modern games.

Consider the following:

Mario Coins For Real

Bryan Duxbury and Adam Ellsworth have brought the iconic mystery box to reality in a true feat of creativity over day jobs.

The two have created an interesting and innovative lamp based on Super Mario Bros., the old Nintendo game. One can turn the light off and on by punching the lamp, which then makes a sound of coins after it is tapped. After every eight hits, the lamp rewards the owner with the 1-Up sound. Duxbury had this idea for quite some time, but it wasn’t until he met Ellsworth did the project get off the ground. Ellsworth works in 3D printing, so he used a three dimensional printer to create a rapid prototype of the lamp within a week after he received it from Duxbury.

Rapid prototypes allow for the creation of three dimensional scale models or even working prototypes with the assistance of computer aided design. This means that simple to intricate objects can be manufactured with computer aided design without the need to have manufacturing facilities at home or even at work. One can submit an interesting design to a rapid prototyping company, and they can create a 3D product. This can revolutionize the way at-home entrepreneurs can get his or her ideas to the marketplace and beyond.

While the initial 8BitLit prototype was far from perfect, it gave the two hope that they were onto a great product. Future tweaking led to the great product that they have today. The lamp is proving to be so popular that the two are contemplating expanding their online store to include more lamp accessories and even more lamps.

Modern technology is improving rapidly by leaps and bounds. Ideas and concepts such as rapid prototyping are giving an almost immediate 3D product out of a mere idea. If we are able to create an almost instantaneous reality out of an idea, the future is boundless and unlimited. If rapid prototypes can create an invention out of a concept within a week, then the prospects for innovation and creativity are almost infinite. The future is bright and the limitless possibility for invention and advancement are within our grasp.

Just don’t tell the cosplayers.

 


The Death and Rebirth of Mobile Gaming(Or, Give Me Buttons or Give Me Death!)

  • Author: JesseLangley
  • Filed under: Games
  • Date: Mar 22,2012

Remember the Lynx? How about the N-Gage? Yeah, most people don’t because they were out and out flops upon their release. However, if you’re of a certain age you probably remember the Gameboy. Ever since the late 1980s Nintendo had the portable gaming market cornered, but with the less-than-stellar initial sales figures for the 3DS, bloggers and gaming gurus alike have forecast the end of portal gaming as we know it. “Oh no! Smartphones are taking over the gaming market! Whatever will Nintendo do?”

The narrative about the demise of portable gaming has persisted since before the iPhone’s release and continues with last month’s release of Sony’s PlayStation Vita. Industry analysts cited the lower cost and high popularity of the iPhone as a death knell for portable gaming with its dedicated devices and $40 games. The truth is, mobile gaming and portable gaming are really two different markets and cross-pollinate more than people like to think.

iOS and Android games have exploded into their own market. Angry Birds is a genre defining cultural phenomenon. How many Words With Friends games do you have open right now? The market for free/chap, easy-to-play, casual experiences is booming and there is no better place to play those games than on a smartphone or tablet. But that’s slowly changing.

The mobile gaming development community designs games for rapid consumption on mobile devices. Sony has had trouble in the past with regurgitations of console experiences on handhelds, which doesn’t work well all the time; only a small segment of society want to play a 40 hour RPG on their bus rides. As a result, mobile developers oftentimes cut their teeth in the iOS/Android market and then use their mobile acumen to design games for the 3DS or Vita that are more robust but distinctly portable experiences.

The sales figures on the PS Vita – 1.2 million worldwide as of Feb. 2012 – are impressive by portable standards, though not as staggering as smartphone sales. Comparing the PS Vita to the 3DS makes sense, while comparing either device to a smartphone doesn’t. They’re essentially different platforms with different abilities and different properties.

Mobile gaming hits a different market of consumers than portable gaming. Sure, the two overlap to a point, but the people who buy an iPhone or an Android do so to have a phone and a mobile device first. How many consumers rush out and purchase an iPhone 4S for an Angry Birds update? The games on these platforms are just an added bonus and not the reason to purchase the device in the first place.

The market for portable consoles is controlled by other desires. Buyers want the newest launch titles and the depth of gameplay that most mobile games lack, according to Brendan Sinclair from GameSpot. They want buttons for their games, not inaccurate touchscreens! They buy the platform that supports the titles they want to play — exclusive titles in many cases. If players want the newest Mario game they need to buy a 3DS and many are more than willing to shell out the cash. Of course it’s not the same number of people who will spend 99 cents on an iPhone game they might play once and never look at again. The mindsets behind the purchases are totally different.

The numbers behind the failure of the handheld gaming consoles don’t stack up either. The original DS beat the Gameboy as the highest selling portable console in U.S. history (51 million sold). In the first year of its life the 3DS sold 4.5 million units in the U.S. alone. There’s little doubt it won’t beat the original DS in terms of sales in the long run, but it’s unrealistic to think it could. Not to mention, the ‘failure’ is more of a moderate success. It doesn’t mean the end of portable gaming but rather a shift, according to Eric Caolli of Tiny Cartridge.

The mobile market is already cornering the casual crowd, while the market for systems like the PS Vita and 3DS is moving to a smaller base, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing for dedicated gamers. It means Nintendo might stop mucking up their systems with third-party stinkers and get back to some solid titles for once. If portable gaming has to ‘die’ for that to happen, I hope the zombie corpse that comes back has some cool games on it.