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ALL SSDS ARE NOT CREATED EQUAL

Deploying solid-state drives (SSDs) in the data center is a great way to boost application responsiveness and remove I/O bottlenecks in the storage layer. But today’s data centers face a mixed bag when it comes to storage workloads, and the answer isn’t always as simple as “add more speed.”

There are different kinds of speed to consider, namely sequential read/write and random read/write. And what’s more, data centers also need the endurance to handle tens of thousands (potentially millions and billions) of I/O transactions daily. So when you’re looking for the right storage device for your data center, the best-fit solution really depends on the type of workload.

To help us sort through the options, let’s examine a few specific use cases in data centers today: retail databases, online analytical processing (OLAP), virtualized servers, and machine-generated data.

Online retail sales databases help businesses deliver a seamless experience for customers while driving profitable e-commerce, tracking inventory, and forecasting sales trends. More and more consumers are making their purchases online, which ultimately drive demand for greater storage performance with heterogeneous read/write workloads.

• And then there’s big data analytics, which has been making waves in tech blogs for the past few years. Here’s a simplified description for the unacquainted: big data is the process of deciphering massive volumes of data in search of insights and previously unconsidered correlations that could lead to new efficiencies, process improvements, and even more competitive business models. Online analytical processing (OLAP) supports big data by enabling IT managers and data experts to answer multidimensional queries quickly and efficiently. Naturally, high volumes of data mean heavy workloads that put a lot of strain on storage.

• Let’s not forget cloud computing and the innovation that made it possible, virtualization. Virtualized servers run a single hypervisor that controls multiple simulated server environments, commonly referred to as virtual machines (VMs). IT managers can provision multiple VMs per physical server, making it possible to support multiple business units with varied needs. The challenge lies in staying nimble – the more VMs there are, the harder it is for storage to keep up.

• Finally, let’s consider machine-generated data. This is data that originates from any source without human intervention. It could derive from sensors in an electrical grid, manufacturing equipment on the factory floor, or log data from web servers and financial transactions.

What do all of these use cases have in common? When it comes to storage demands on the underlying hardware, they all generate mixed read and write-intensive workloads. In order to scale performance to meet growth or spikes, the storage layer needs to deliver both greater read and write speeds, not just one or the other.

Intel has developed a family of data center SSDs that are tailored to meet the needs of specific use cases like the ones we’ve gone over. Now data centers get exactly what they need out of their investments, and they don’t end up spending CAPEX on features and capabilities they may never use. For instance, the Intel® SSD DC S3610 Series delivers the performance needed to match mixed read/write intensive workloads – up to 550/520 MB/s sequential and 84,000/28,000 IOPS random read/write throughput across a 6 GB/s SATA connection.1

With the Intel® SSD DC S3610 Series, data centers also get the storage endurance they need. This SSD supports up to three drive writes per day, up to 10.6 petabytes written over the lifetime of the drive.2 Not only is it a good match for the examples discussed above, but it also features end-to-end data protection with 256-bit encryption and power loss data protection.3

Making the jump to SSDs is a big step, and a positive one for enhancing performance, but it can be a little nerve-wracking trying to find the best SSD for your workload. That’s why the lineup in the Intel® SSD Data Center Family is so great – it takes the anxiety out of choosing the right SSD. We’ve already done the legwork for you.

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Why I Bought A 4K TV… And (Maybe) You Should Too

4K TVs are cheaper than ever and Sky and Netflix are now ALL over 4K content… so is now the time to pull the trigger and get a 4K TV?

Not so long ago, say, 12-18 months, 4K TVs still felt a little like overkill. Most people – including this writer – were perfectly happy with their good ol’ 1080p HDTVs. They’re big enough, clear enough and, in some cases, or through Chromecast, smart enough to last for another couple of years – at the very least.

However, during this period all the big players began gearing up for the switch to 4K. Netflix got on board. Ditto Sky and other big media players from around the world. The reason? Umm… that’s where it gets a little murky, as tech trends, while inventive and great, are often done in order to just push things forward.

Tech companies like Samsung and Sony need to make money from new TVs and Sky and Netflix need new subscribers or USPs to separate them from their competitors. Content is always King. But after that things like picture quality come into play and once you’ve seen something in 4K, a football match, the F1 or a movie, for instance, going back to 1080p is noticeable.

Just as we’ve adjusted to larger phones, so too will we adjust to 4K. After a couple of years, it will replace 1080p and, before you know, everything you watch and all the games you play will be in 4K resolution. This is how technology trends happen. It’s not done over night… things happen slowly and then before you know it you’re one of the adopters and your old 1080p TV has been relegated to your kid’s room or a spare bedroom in your house.

I was kind of the fence about 4K TVs, but I pulled the trigger on one a month or so back. I didn’t spend a fortune and got a decent 4K TV at the size I wanted and so far I have no regrets about the purchase. Figuring I wouldn’t have to update it for at least five years, I didn’t mind spending £700 on mine. Unlike many people, I’m not afraid to admit that I use my TV a lot, whether for sports, gaming or watching movies and TV shows via Netflix, Sky or Amazon.

Which one did I go for? I went with a 55in Sony BRAVIA HDR Ultra HD TV set, as the reviews were very good, I like Sony TVs, and it was reduced from £1002 to £779 on Amazon.

It was a little over budget but I didn’t mind paying the extra as the TV itself is bloody stunning and, as a benefit, it came with Android TV installed which, for a hardcore Android user like myself, was a nice little bonus.

Budget 4K TV Options?

There are multiple options at very low price points for 4K TVs, however, so if your budget doesn’t extend to £700 do not be put off – you still have plenty of options.

A good friend of mine recently spent less than £400 on a brand new 43in Hi Sense 4K TV which proves, even if you’re operating on a restrictive budget, you can still have excellent options.

I mean, just check out the specs and features for the HiSense 43 inch Widescreen 4K Smart LED TV:

  • Ultra HD 4K: Packing four times the number of pixels into the same screen sizes as traditional 1080 p
  • Smart TV: Instantly stream from BBC iPlayer, Netflix and YouTube
  • Freeview HD: Get the preferable TV channels in high definition
  • Slim and powerful high quality sound bar with dual build in subwoofers

And all for under £400! Not too shabby

How Did I Justify This Decision?

Simple: my old HDTV was getting a bit long in the tooth, was smaller than I would have liked, and I will definitely be buying the new PS4 once it’s available later this year. For this reason, it made ZERO sense to buy another 1080p HDTV because I could pick up a 4K TV for more or less the same price as I paid for my old one, which is now four years old.

I thought about it for awhile and looked at my options, after working out how much I wanted to spend. I know 4K content isn’t everywhere at present, but forward thinking tells me that in a very short space of time 4K will become the defacto way in which content is delivered by most big content providers. And I might as well be ready for when that happens, rather than buying a 1080p TV now and then feeling like I’m missing out in 18 months time.

Do You Need A 4K TV?

Potentially. The way I see it there are four simple types of user that are suited to 4K over 1080p right now. And these are as follows:

Gamers

If you’re a serious console gamer then a 4K TV makes a lot of sense. Both Sony and Microsoft will release their 4K-ready consoles later this year, meaning a slew of updated 4K gaming experiences will be available during 2017. As I said earlier, I’m definitely getting the new PS4 when it comes out and this was easily the biggest motivating factor behind my decision to invest in a new 4K TV.

Film Buffs

I love films and watch probably three or four a week – sometimes more. I used to use BlueRay a lot, but after the rise of Netflix, Amazon Film, and Google Play Movies, my usage went down. I preferred the convenience of downloading content versus buying physical copies. I’m also moving house soon and will likely pony-up for Sky Q as well in order to make the most of Sky’s movie offerings.

Sports Fans

Football. F1. Cricket. Rugby – all look amazing in 4K, and if you’re a proper fan that spends an entire weekend watching matches, races, or innings then a 4K starts to make a lot of sense, as sports is one of the best things EVER to see in 4K – especially F1!

Those With Ancient TV Sets

If you have a REALLY old TV set, one that perhaps isn’t even 1080p, then, you sir, have waited long enough! You’re due an update and when you do you might as well go for a 4K unit, as they’re around the same price as most top of line HDTVs now.

And while TVs are quite expensive, you have to put things into context. Most people get A LOT of milage out of their TV sets. I certainly do. And when you don’t really have to change it for half a decade, at the very least, what’s £600 for a new one in the grand scheme of things?

The way I sold it to myself was simple: I’d do a lot of work, save some cash and treat myself to a new TV set. I couldn’t just go out and by one, not on my wages, but the idea of playing games and watching F1 in 4K was enough to inspire me to pull my finger out. It took a few months but now I have one strapped to my wall it was all worth it.

Now I just need to save up for my next purchase: the PS4 Pro, which is due to land in November.

 

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Samsung’s Profits Drop By 30-Following Note 7 Disaster

Samsung’s profitability would take a hit after the unprecedented recall of its flagship smartphone was never in doubt. It is not a surprise that the company has announced its profit has sunk by 30-percent, following the debacle, to $4.5 billion from $6.4 billion just last quarter.

However, once you start talking about Samsung Mobile does the real picture become apparent. The profit of the division dried up by around 96-percent to just $87.8 million, not a figure you usually see associated with Samsung. This will also be worrying for the entire company as the mobile division is among the company’s top three, alongside semiconductors and displays.

“The Mobile business saw its earnings decrease significantly QoQ due to the effects of the discontinuation of the Galaxy Note7.”

This will hurt the company perhaps even more when you consider that the Note 7 had long been considered Samsung’s Holy Grail and was supposed to break all records upon its launch. However, soon after its release the phone appeared problematic, in a few instances causing even life-threatening accidents. It resulted in a recall and a bitter cancellation later, however, the wreckage is yet to be cleared while trust-building could take years.

A marginal silver lining among the debris could be the continued success of the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge phones, complemented by the growing sales in the mid-tier through Galaxy A and J series. Things are likely to turn much “more normal” come fourth quarter.

It is not a surprise that the company’s co-chief executive J.K. Shin has issued an apology for how the Note 7 release panned out, adding his company’s priority remains gaining the shareholder trust back. After announcing the company’s lowest profit in eight years, one could expect nothing else.

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The new MacBook Pro looks and feels so good it’s unreal

I’m sold on the Touch Bar

The new MacBook Pro is here — literally available for preorder today — and I’ve just tried it. The best thing I can say about is simple: everything about it looks and feels so good I almost didn’t believe it.

We’ll start with the marquee feature, the Touch Bar. What you might not have gathered from the keynote is that it has a matte finish, which makes the buttons on it somehow feel a little more physical. It’s bright, but not so bright that it distracts — it seems to be about on par with the brightness of the backlit keyboard.

THE TOUCH BAR LOOKS REALLY GOOD, THE SCREEN LOOKS INCREDIBLE

I have questions about whether or not all these changing function buttons will be comprehensible, but in my brief time with them they all made sense to me. There’s no haptic feedback on them, unfortunately, but obviously they all worked perfectly. That included quickly applying filters in Photos and sorting emails in Mail.

 I also rearranged buttons (you can find the option in a menu) and it worked, well, as advertised. What’s neat about dragging buttons down from the screen to the Touch Bar is that you can keep moving them with the mouse on the second screen.

The most important button when you’ve got music playing is the “Play/Pause” button, at least in my humble opinion. And when the Touch Bar is busy being used for application-specific stuff, it’s stone-cold not there. But Apple added a more permanent music options button over on the right, so you can always tap it to get to your music transport controls.

One last neat thing on the Touch Bar: you can tap-and-hold on a bunch of buttons to get to functions faster. Long-press on Reply and you can slide over to Reply-All. Same for other buttons like volume control.

 Touch ID worked — though of course I couldn’t try it myself. I’m told the MacBook Pro now automatically powers on when you open it and that holding down the Touch ID button will turn the computer off (the Apple rep here didn’t want to show me that, though).

YOU MIGHT NOT LIKE THE KEYBOARD, BUT I DO

The keyboard is almost identical to the butterfly keyboard found on the tiny MacBook. That’s going to cause some people to grind their teeth, but I think it’s great and easy to type on — and I do think the keys might have sightly better travel, but don’t hold me to that. In any case, I expect that this will be a sore spot for some people.

The trackpad is absolutely massive, so much so that Apple had better make sure it has its palm-rejection software perfect, because your palms are going to be resting on this thing all the time. The screen is, of course, beautiful — and it’s funny to note that a beautiful Retina Display is basically table stakes now.

MacBook Pro 2016 hands-on photos

As for weight, well, it feels like a three-pound laptop. It’s certainly not impossibly light like the MacBook, but it feels a fair bit lighter than any previous MacBook Pro. It makes me realize that a lot of what makes a laptop feel lighter than it is is the wedge shape, which this device obviously doesn’t have. What it does seem to have are vents on both the left and right on the bottom — they’re part of Apple’s new thermal management system.

Yes, there is a regular 3.5mm headphone jack.

You’ll also find 4 Thunderbolt / USB-C ports. This is another thing that’s likely to cause people some consternation — but I’m here to tell you that everything is going to be fine. Now that Apple is selling a whole series of laptops that only use USB-C, the number of cables and accessories is going to skyrocket. Those dongles are going to be annoying, yes, but way less annoying than they are with the iPhone 7 — most people I know carry a laptop around in a bag, after all, and bags have pockets.

MacBook Pro 2016 hands-on photos

Getting down to hard numbers, the 13-inch model starts at $1,499 for a basic model with no Touch Bar, two USB-C ports, a 2.0GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor, and a 256GB SSD. Go up to $1,799, and you add in the Touch Bar, two more USB-C ports, and a 2.9GHz Core i5 processor, with the 13-inch model topping out at $2,899 for a maximum spec of a 3.3GHz dual-core i7, 1TB SSD, and 16GB of RAM.

All of the 15-inch models include the Touch Bar, and start at $2,399 for the base 2.6GHz quad-core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD, and an 2GB AMD Radeon Pro 450 graphics card. Prices max out at a whopping $4,299 for the most powerful MacBook Pro that Apple will sell you, with a 2.9GHz quad-core i7, 2TB SSD for storage, 4GB Radeon Pro 460, and 16GB of RAM.

The budget 13-inch model is available for purchase today to ship sometime next week, while the Touch Bar models can be ordered now but won’t ship until later in November.

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Microsoft Surface Studio PC announced for $2,999, coming this holiday

The ‘world’s thinnest LCD monitor’ inside a PC built for creativity

Microsoft’s Surface family has officially expanded to include the desktop. The company just announced the Surface Studio at today’s event in New York City. It will be available “in limited quantities” this holiday for $2,999, $3,499, or $4,199, depending on hardware options. Preorders begin today, and the Studio will also be showcased in Microsoft retail stores ahead of its release. “We totally believe that Surface changes the way you produce, the way you create, the way you learn,” said Panos Panay, who leads Microsoft’s devices team. “The product I’m going to show you is all of that — but it’s one step further. It’s going to seem familiar, but it’s going to feel different.”

He then unveiled the Studio, with an all-in-one form factor touted as having the “world’s thinnest LCD monitor ever built” at 12.5mm. That touchscreen display is contained in a forged aluminum enclosure and measures 28 inches across. The display outputs 13.5 million pixels, according to Panay, which is 63 percent more than a 4K television. “It’s got the best screen in its class,” Panay said.

The Surface Studio supports expanded color output – critical for photographers, videographers, and designers. Microsoft refers to this as “TrueColor.” The display has a 3:2 aspect ratio with 192 pixels per inch. It’s powered by Intel’s 6th generation processors and, graphics-wise, has an Nvidia GTX 980M GPU in the premium model, with a 965M in the lower-priced configurations. The Studio’s hinge allows for the display to be adjusted to a 20-degree orientation that’s convenient for drawing or marking up Word documents. “These chrome arms were meant to completely fade into the background,” said Panay.

Hands-on: Microsoft’s Surface Studio is a stunning desktop computer

The Studio supports a variety of peripherals including the Surface Pen and a new radial accessory, the Surface Dial, that can be placed directly on the Studio to trigger menus and other features like adjusting volume, screen brightness, or scrolling through a document. There’s also built-in palm rejection for the touchscreen, allowing users to avoid false inputs and interact with the Studio comfortably. Its base has numerous connectivity options: audio, SD card, Mini DisplayPort, ethernet, and 4 USB 3.0 ports. There’s also a built in microphone array, making it easy to activate Cortana, the built-in Windows 10 assistant, from across the room.

Microsoft’s main push with the Surface Studio is all about creativity, with a huge focus on 3D. Its unveiling comes alongside the announcement of the Windows 10 Creators Update. The Creators Update aims to make creating 3D content quick and easy for the company’s millions of Windows 10 users. It’ll include the biggest-ever update to the classic Paint app, now called Paint 3D, and more updates are on the way — including for apps in the Office suite. “Over the next year, you will see us integrate 3D across our most popular Microsoft applications,” said Megan Saunders.

Microsoft’s hardware division is ramping up its direct competition with numerous Windows PC vendors. It’s also taking on Apple’s iMac, a popular desktop option among creative professionals. Apple is expected to update the iMac line sometime in the coming months. “Every now and then in pursuing our mission, we see the opportunity to create a new category of device,” said Microsoft’s Windows VP Terry Myerson. “We seize these moments to create something so much more than a product.” The full specs for Surface Studio are as follows:

  • Display: 28-inch 4500 x 3000 PixelSense LCD (192 PPI), 3:2 aspect ratio, Adobe sRGB and DCI-P color settings, 10-point multitouch
  • Processor: sixth-generation Intel Core i5 or Core i7
  • Storage: 1TB or 2TB hybrid drive
  • Memory: 8GB, 16GB, or 32GB of RAM
  • Graphics: GeForce GTX 965M 2GB (in Core i5 Studio) or GTX 980M 4GB (in Core i7 Studio)
  • I/O: 4 USB 3.0 (one high power), 3.5mm headphone jack, SD card slot, Ethernet, Mini DisplayPort
  • Wireless: 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0
  • Cameras: 5MP front camera with Windows Hello support, 1080p video rear camera
  • Sound: Stereo 2.1 Dolby audio
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Another Samsung device caught fire and it’s not the Note 7 this time

When it rains, it pours. Against the backdrop of the recent exploding Note 7 debacle, another Samsung device has caught on fire – but this time it’s the Galaxy S7 Edge.

An anonymous source working for “one of the big” US wireless carriers claims a customer brought in a fatally damaged S7 Edge, insisting the phone blew up while charging, Phone Arena reports.

The incident occurred last week after the S7 owner left the phone to power up overnight, using the original charger provided by Samsung. According to the source, the customer in question received the handset two weeks ago as a replacement to his new Note 7.

Worryingly, this isn’t the first explosion involving a faulty Galaxy S7.

Last month, a construction worker from Ohio sued Samsung after his S7 device blew up in his pants, causing severe burns to his leg. Prior to that, another S7 owner claimed his phone burst into flames as it was charging overnight.

Despite facing a lot of heat for its recent fire-catching Note 7 misadventures, Samsung still managed to stay afloat in its last quarter. However, another line of exploding Samsung devices could be a blow the South Korean giant cannot recover from.

 

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LG X Power with 5.3-inch display, 4100mAh battery, 4G VoLTE launched in India

LG has launched X Power, its latest smartphone in the ‘X series’ in India with support for 4G VoLTE and 4100mAh battery with fast charging technology PE+ that allows to fully charge the phone in just 1.8 hours. It was introduced back in June, has a 5.3-inch HD display, is powered by a 1.3GHz quad-core MT6735M processor and runs on Android 6.0 (Marshmallow). It has a 13-megapixel rear camera with LED flash and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera.

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Even with a huge battery, it is just 7.9mm thick  and weighs just 139 grams. You can also charge other smartphones from the X Power by using USB OTG.

LG X Power specifications

  • 5.3-inch (1280×720 pixels) HD In-cell Touch display
  • 1.3GHz Quad-Core MediaTek MT6735M processor with Mali-T720 GPU
  • 2GB LPDDR3 RAM, 16GB internal memory, expandable memory with microSD
  • Android 6.0 (Marshmallow)
  • Dual SIM
  • 13MP rear camera with LED Flash, f/2.2 aperture
  • 5MP front-facing camera, f/2.4 aperture
  • Dimensions: 148.9 x 74.9 x 7.9mm; Weight: 139g
  • 4G VoLTE, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS
  • 4100mAh battery with fast charging

The LG X Power comes in Black and Gold colors.

Commenting on the launch, Amit Gujral, Marketing Head- LG Mobiles, said:

We are relentless in our pursuit to ensure that all our products enable peoples’ life to become easier, efficient and help them work smarter. Today in India, we all are witnessing the 4G LTE evolution at a very fast pace and this technology brings the excessive use of videos, music, streaming etc., which are battery consumption intensive features. Keeping in view of consumer’s needs, LG XPower brings huge 4,100mAh battery that runs longer under heavy multimedia use. With OTG support LG X Power increases the simplicity of content sharing from/to a smartphone. With the launch of the LG X power smartphone, we hope to scale up the innovation level in the smartphone segment and continue to delight consumers.

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Back to Black

Meet Layal Nadar, Dubai born and raised fashion designer and founder of LAYAL. The brand  is the city’s latest ready to wear collection for style connoisseurs in the region.

Derived from Layal’s own get-ready routine, her inspiration for the label is taken from the eternal “I don’t know what to wear” struggle that women all over can relate to. Whether it be for a day or night look, clothes can be confusing and there is no meticulous way of planning outfits ahead of time.

That being said, Layal’s goal for her brand new ready to wear label is to make things simple and chic. Her personally designed and worn ‘twin set’ outfits can be mixed and matched and also worn as singular, statement pieces.

Layal’s signature look is all black twin-set from her latest collection – simple yet mysterious!

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layal nader dubai fashion designer

layal nader dubai fashion designer

layal nader dubai fashion designer

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Neonode AirBar – Give any laptop a touch screen

AirBar is a lean element that is magnetically fixed at the base of display of your system (PC or Laptop). When affixed and plugged into the USB port a sensor is triggered and begin to emanate hidden light to perceive user’s touch and gestures. Actions like zooming, scrolling, swiping and pinching can be performed by the users and with these actions the user can network with their devices. One of the best advantages of AirBar is that it is a portable solution which means you can use it anywhere – anytime without the pain of sticking at one place and using it. Another super cool feature of this solution is that it can be used with fingers, gloves, long fingernails and even paintbrushes.
All thanks to Neonode’s zForce AIR™ technology, for getting their hands on and building this portable solution, which can be used for all sorts of cool stuff. The magnetic strip is attached to the bottom of your system and is super easy to take off when you don’t want to work.  AirBar reflects invisible light on the screen of the device. When you touch the screen this breaks light and you can actually interact with your device.

Why should you get an AirBar?
If you want a touch screen for your laptop then this is definitely the best choice for you, because sitting in front of your non touch screen and swiping it around is just too cliché.

Some Irresistible Features
Use Windows gesture
Pinch, swipe, zoom and scroll away

Touch Without Touch Screen
Touch without glare and battery drain

Plug and Touch
Attach with a magnetic strip and plug in the USB Port

Works with Anything
Use your fingers, brush or gloves. It works

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Meet The Nintendo Switch: Nintendo’s NEXT BIG THING – Coming March 2017

We take a look at Nintendo’s next BIG THING — The Nintendo Switch

As promised, Nintendo has gone live on October 20 with its big reveal of the much-anticipated and heavily rumoured Nintendo NX console, and first and foremost it isn’t called the Nintendo NX at all, instead it will retail as the Nintendo Switch. Importantly, the name is significant as it relates to some of the key functionality and features of the new console, but we’ll get to that shortly.

Nintendo also confirmed that the new console will arrive in March 2017. The announcement was accompanied by a preview trailer showcasing much of what we can expect from the Nintendo Switch console, and indeed, many of the earlier rumours have proven correct. We’ll embed the trailer below so you can see exactly what we’re talking about.

So, as you can see, the big deal here is that the Nintendo Switch, as per earlier rumours, does indeed straddle the line between home console and gaming portable, allowing gamers to literally pick up their current game and walk out the house with it via a nifty combination of a cartridge system, a dock, and both modular controllers and a display panel.

Nintendo hasn’t had the best couple of years and analysts see the Nintendo Switch as the company’s last-ditch attempt at making a hugely successful console. I for one am very impressed by the overall concept of the device; I love the fact you can take it apart and play it anywhere as well as on your TV. The applications for this are immense. From a developer prospective, it’s also HUGE. Ditto VR.

“Nintendo Switch allows gamers the freedom to play however they like,” said Reggie Fils-Aime, president and chief operating officer of Nintendo of America. “It gives game developers new abilities to bring their creative visions to life by opening up the concept of gaming without boundaries.”

We couldn’t help but chuckle a bit as Nintendo appears to be encouraging “responsible” dog ownership, by taking your massive dog to the park off the lead and ignoring it while playing your portable! Likewise Nintendo seems to think its cool to rock up at a party and make everyone play your games.

The CEO of UK video game retailer GAME, Martyn Gibbs, speaking to God Is A Gamer, has waded in on the Nintendo Switch announcement, offering up his thoughts on the platform and what it means for the future.

“As today’s teaser video demonstrates, the SWITCH is another example of Nintendo differentiating its gaming experiences to appeal to a broad array of gamers. Nintendo has consistently developed home consoles and handheld gaming to see its beloved and engaging games and characters deliver ultimate fun and enjoyment. SWITCH is clearly taking some of the best features of handheld and home consoles and merging them into a fantastic new way to play. We will be bringing more details to our customers as soon as possible.”

Marketing peculiarities aside, what we’re looking at here does look very cool and revolutionary at the same time. This is the first time the “pick up your game and turn it portable” issue has been tackled with any kind of practical real-world application. What’s more, the graphical quality aboard the portable component looks to be very high, and the myriad ways in which the setup facilitates multiplayer gaming is reassuring.

We also catch a glimpse that Skyrim (probably the remastered version) is apparently coming to the Nintendo Switch, along with new Mario titles (including Mario Kart), a new NBA game, and The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild.

The preview also emphasises Nintendo’s interest in professional gaming towards the end of the video, as we see competition teams practicing with the portable component before taking part in a big stadium contest in front of hordes of fans.

Nintendo NX Price: How Much Will It Cost?

Nintendo remained tight-lipped about the pricing for the Nintendo Switch. But a few sources have chimed in with their projections for how much the Nintendo Switch will cost once it lands in March 2017:

“In the US,” reports TR, “the only indication we’ve had on price has come from credit-rating agency Macquarie, which thinks the console could retail for between $300 and $350. “The agency took this price as an indication that the console might struggle, since it’s a price that’s comparatively higher than what we’ve come to expect from Nintendo in the past.”

We’ll continue developing this article with new information. Below you can see all the pre-reveal rumours of the Nintendo Switch, as the Ninetndo NX, to see how they compare to the device showcased in the new video preview.

In a lengthy interview with SumZero Joshua Kennedy of Sonian Capital Management outlines his assessment of the company at large, what the future holds for Nintendo and whether or not the mysterious NX is enough to change the company’s fortunes in 2016/17. Interestingly, Kennedy believes the market “doesn’t understand Nintendo” and this has resulted in the company’s “mispriced” stock value.

“There is a confluence of factors that has led to Nintendo getting mispriced in the past, and I think it is a pattern we’re seeing again today,” said Kennedy. “The first factor is the cyclicality of their hardware business; sales are very strong when they have a hit console or handheld. Software sales are pro-cyclical, so it is a real peak-and-valley sales pattern. The second factor is the company is extremely circumspect about sharing its plans for new products, so it leaves investors, competitors, and fans to speculate about what’s coming next for Nintendo, particularly when sales are at a trough because the old cycle has ended.”

On the subject of the NX, Kennedy added: “the NX is likely to replace both Wii U and DS at the same time. There has been considerable speculation that the controller will be a standalone handheld device that you can take with you on the go. Think for a moment how problematic and inefficient it has been for Nintendo to have two different hardware platforms for the last several years. They have to develop separate games for both, third-party developers are reluctant to develop because the audience is split in two, plus there are two hardware teams, two support teams, etc. Simply by consolidating into one platform, which management has said in the past is a desirable goal, could be a win for Nintendo.”

Nintendo NX LEAKS Big Time on Reddit

Reddit, the source of all things interesting on the web, has just got one hell of a scoop on the Nintendo NX via one of its members who claims to work in retail. Here’s the full break-down of what was said, including pricing, release dates and specs and hardware:

Marketing

  • “Interact with your game on the go.” phrase seen on a poster.
  • Strong co-branding effort with a Mario launch title on many posters.
  • Console is currently set to launch with least 4 titles on deck.
  • Stores should be receiving demo units around February.
  • Base price point seems to be sitting at $299.99
  • Bundle
  • The NX is currently set to have a bundle option.
  • The contents of this bundle is currently unknown.
  • Bundle price is currently sitting at $399.99

Packaging

  • The packaging for the NX will be slightly larger than the Wii U’s packaging.
  • The packaging is relatively clean and simple and is similar to the Wii U in terms of package design.
  • The color scheme for the packaging is white and blue (compared to the Wii U’s blue and black).
  • The packaging still says “NX” however there is still no indication if this is a placeholder or the final name.
  • The areas of the packaging that would usually depict the hardware were blurred and redacted by Nintendo in attempt to keep it hidden.

Features and Specs

  • Games will be on cartridges
  • 4k streaming has been mentioned. – What this likely means is playback of content such as Netflix, etc. Not gameplay.
  • 1080p and 60fps are being used by the marketing teams in relation to gameplay on to the console portion. I’ve heard unconfirmed rumblings of 900p for the infamous hybrid part of the device.

Nintendo NX: Latest News

The Nintendo NX has been rumoured for a long while now and there’s been so much hype about it being the next BIG thing – something you must watch and are going to definitely want. But even though it’s been the talk of the town very little concrete information has emerged so far to give us any indication of WHAT the device ACTUALLY IS; what’s new, what should we actually be excited about?

As of July 26 it has all been revealed, it seems. Eurogamer, in an extensive report, claims to have heard from “a number of sources” and says it has confirmation about many details of the Nintendo NX device. The broad description is this; the Nintendo NX will be a handheld portable, a display with analogue controls either side of it, however, the controllers will detach to turn the device into a kind of tablet mode.

“On the move, NX will function as a high-powered handheld console with its own display. So far so normal – but here’s the twist: we’ve heard the screen is bookended by two controller sections on either side, which can be attached or detached as required,” states the report, with an accompanying image.

The report goes on to explain that when not being used as a portable, the Nintendo NX can connect up to a TV for use as a home console.

“A base unit, or dock station, is used to connect the brain of the NX – within the controller – to display on your TV.”

EG also confirms that the hardware will be powered by an Nvidia Tegra chipset, a fact revealed by Digital Foundry. It’s believed Nintendo may have brought its plans forward and will announce the console in September 2016. Information from some sources suggests the earlier claim of an Android software platform is not true, and that Nintendo has developed its own proprietary software for the console, which will support a game cartridge system; however, the cartridge support will be for an entirely new Nintendo NX design, so don’t go expecting backwards compatibilty with your NES, SNES, DS, or Gameboy. It’s thought that digital download will also be supported.

Nintendo NX Will NOT Debut At E3 2016 – WILL Launch In March 2017

Information regarding the Nintendo NX has been ethereal at best, one minute we know something, and the next it turns out its hogwash; there’s so much speculation and most of it is still up-in-the-air with little in the way of confirmation from either Nintendo itself or “in the know” sources. However, while earlier details suggested a launch inside 2016, possibly at the E3 expo, information has now come to light that this will not be happening, and we have apparent “confirmation” of a launch in Spring 2017, with March being pointed at in particular. Nintendo’s financial reports have now been published and within this report is mention of a “brand new concept” being launched in March 2017 and that’s a phrase we’ve heard before in association with the NX, so although the Nintendo NX isn’t fingered directly…well, there isn’t much else it could be really is there?

At the same time, Wall Street Journal personality Takashi Mochizuki took to Twitter to confirm that the Nintendo NX will not be heading to E3. He says Nintendo will of course be in attendance, but will be primarily promoting the new title in the Zelda franchise.

Confirmed Nintendo NX Games: Zelda and Just Dance

There are two games that have — sort of — been confirmed for the Nintendo NX: Zelda and Just Dance. Here’s what WIRED had to say about the prospect of both and what they mean for the NX’s gaming experience:

“Eiji Aonuma, producer of the Legend of Zelda series, told us that the saga’s new open-world entry, Breath of the Wild, will be the same experience whether you’re playing it on Wii U or NX. That shuts down any theory that NX is some wacky contraption like that patent Nintendo filed with joysticks poking up out of an oval-shaped screen. That doesn’t mean it’s only sticks and buttons, but it does mean it’s not an iPad.”

“We know this because Ubisoft has now announced the second known NX game, a version of its popular motion-controlled dancing game. But wait! Doesn’t that mean NX will have motion controls? Not necessarily, actually. The current console version of the game actually uses your cell phone as the controller, via a special app. So NX doesn’t necessarily have native motion controls.”

The Wii U is NOT DEAD

Nintendo, after word got out about it canceling production of the Wii U, got down from its high tower in order to address the press and inform them that they were wrong — Wii U production is NOT halting. It will continue producing the Wii U this quarter, the next quarter and for the foreseeable future as well.

The reason this caused such a stir was because many thought, once the news came out about Wii U production ending, that Nintendo was shoring up resources in order to prepare for the launch and/or release of the Nintendo NX console later on this year. But this is not the case, as Nintendo points out — so the NX remains shrouded in mystery.

Nintendo will no doubt unveil more details before or during this year’s E3 event, but in the meantime, here’s everything we know about the console so far – some of it little more than rumour, while other elements have a bit more substance to them.

It will unite Nintendo’s home and handheld markets

The Nintendo 3DS is even older than the Wii U, but Nintendo hasn’t announced a successor for it. Anyone who has been following the company since the ’90s will know this is very odd indeed; throughout the past few decades Nintendo has dominated the portable gaming arena, with its Game Boy and DS lines achieving the kind of sales that even Apple and Samsung would be jealous of. The 3DS hasn’t been as successful as Nintendo’s other portables, but has still shifted more than 50 million units worldwide – a very respectable figure when you consider that the rival PS Vita has apparently only managed around 4 million.

So why has Nintendo decided against producing another dedicated handheld games console when it has traditionally been so successful in this arena? Because the NX will apparently unite the two markets under one system. There are reports that the machine will ship in two SKUs: a home console and a portable machine. How these two will connect is not yet known, but some have speculated that you’ll play the same games on both. The idea is that you can play at home, then take the portable section out of the house with you and continue your progress. This presumably means that the handheld console produces visuals of a lesser quality than that of the home system, which – given reports that it rivals the PS4 in terms of power – should be potent enough to stake its claim on the next-gen market. Another theory is that the portable docks with the main unit, and therefore contains the “brains” of the console – the home unit will be little more than an interface which allows the unit to send video feed to your TV screen.

Whatever form the final hardware takes, it’s clear that Nintendo is willing to shelve its handheld ambitions in order to create a totally unified system. It has even combined its home and portable hardware divisions, which is as good an indication as any that the NX will straddle both arenas.

It’s going to be as powerful as current consoles

Nintendo’s SNES and N64 were seen as cutting-edge machines when they were released, offering immense technical strides over their rivals. However, since the Wii and DS era, Nintendo has taken a rather different approach to hardware. It has produced systems which are less powerful than their immediate competitors and has therefore been able to combine each one with innovative tech – touch control with the DS and motion control with the Wii – and still sell it at a competitive price.

With the Wii U adopting the same strategy but failing, there’s a good chance that Nintendo will aim to give the NX parity with the Xbox One and PS4 to ensure that it receives a steady stream of third-party titles – something the Wii U lacked. Again, much of this is up in the air at the moment – some rumours have suggested that it will be less powerful, while others have stated that developers are already talking about porting over existing PS4 games to the console. It’s hard to know what to believe without any firm evidence, but we do know that dev kits have been issued, so the idea of studios already working on conversions can hardly be dismissed.

Nintendo knows it has to play the power game this generation, as the Wii U has been left behind when it comes to really amazing third party releases. Nintendo fans love Nintendo games and these can only be played on Nintendo consoles, but they also like robust third-party support, and if you’ve only owned a Wii U this generation then you will have missed out on Grand Theft Auto V, Fallout 4, Dark Souls 2, Project CARS and Call of Duty: Black Ops III. That simply cannot happen again if Nintendo wants to claim a big share of the market. Giving developers the same amount of power they’re used to on Microsoft and Sony’s consoles is the only way to ensure that NX gets a steady stream of games. Without them, Nintendo could have another Wii U on its hands – a system with impeccable first-party support but a very small library overall. And Nintendo is in the unique position of not being behind the curve this time around – both Microsoft and Sony are hoping their new consoles will have long lifespans, so Nintendo can enter this particular hardware rare on level terms.

It could ship with a unique controller

Patents are a good way of seeing what companies are planning in their future tech, and one relating to Nintendo showcases a controller which has a screen covering its entire surface. Developed by Sharp, these “free form” displays have a wide range of uses, but in the case of Nintendo’s patent it would allow developers to alter the button layout at will, placing new touch-screen controls anywhere on the controller’s surface. It’s quite an out-there concept but the potential is obvious – you’d never be short of buttons again, that’s for sure.

It might not have an optional drive, and will use cloud power

Again, we’re in shady patent territory so these points are worth taking with a pinch of salt – like all patents, they might not necessarily happen. Documentation discovered online suggests that the NX could abandon an optical drive and go totally digital, which would be a bold move but would allow Nintendo to reduce the manufacturing cost of the unit as well as make the console smaller in size. The company already has a robust digital storefront in the form of the eShop on the Wii U and 3DS, and while the PS Vita has been a bit of a flop, it has proven that a console which purely favours downloads can still find an audience. Then there’s the obvious comparison with smartphones and tablets, neither of which have a physical delivery method for software. Digital-only is the future, but is the market ready for a digital-only home console? Perhaps NX will be the machine that answers that question.

On the subject of cloud computing, another patent claims that the machine could benefit from additional horsepower via remote servers. The idea would be that during especially intensive sections of a game, some of the processing load could be shared by cloud-based servers, which could make for more visually impressive games. The same patent also hints that “supplemental devices” could make the base console more powerful – if you’re old enough to recall the N64’s 4 MEG RAM expansion cart, you’re on the right lines.


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