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WTU Episode #361 - Microsoft Finally Into Social Networking

We have just posted up Episode #361 of Weekly Tech Update. In this episode we are discussing Sony is the E3 winner this year, your Twitter account is probably for sale and Microsoft buys a social network for $26 Billion. Check out those and lots more tech stories at the links below.


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Sony's Press Event in 7 Minutes

If you are wanting to catch up on E3 coverage, but can't find the time to watch all the press events, you can watch a condensed version of the Sony Press event. They took a few hours of gameplay, announcements and a lot of hype and crammed it into a seven minute video. That's much better. Of course you will probably miss some little details, but if you want the highlights, it doesn't get much better than this.

On the heels of Microsoft's big press event yesterday, Sony followed with a showcase of its own at E3. While the company didn't discuss that new console we know is coming, it did reveal that the PS VR would launch this fall. Staying true to form, there was a truckload of game news, ranging from the return of God of War, a new take on Spider-Man and Hideo Kojima's new title that features Norman Reedus in his birthday suit.

Source: Engadget

Cool Video of the Day

In this video, they crush / cut / explode soda cans with electromagnets. Why? Because, science!


Xbox One Gets Permanent Drop to $279

While Microsoft's new Xbox One Slim received a fair bit of press for it's smaller (40%) size, and the fact that it is slightly more powerful, the other news from the Microsoft hardware camp is that the original larger Xbox One has a price drop to $279. This is only a $20 drop from the sale price, but Micorosoft claims that this is the new "low" price. Not a bad price for a new console for sure.

This isn't entirely surprising; Microsoft announced that the Xbox One S Launch Edition, with a 2TB hard drive, will go on sale this summer priced at $399; the Microsoft Store currently states that it will be released on August 31. But it also said that two more affordable models - a 1TB version priced at $349, and a 500GB model for $299 - will go on sale later, so it makes sense that the older Xbox One would fall in price.

Source: Neowin

OnePlus 3 is Here

OnePlus is one of the newest members to the cell phone race and back when the OnePlus 1 was new we didn't know if the company would make it to their second generation. Here we are at Gen 3.5 and they have come a long way. Out of the box, this is probably one of the best phones money can buy for almost any price and this one is a mere $399. According to sources, it's the best phone money can buy for $399.

Make no mistake: The competition is even fiercer than ever, but OnePlus is trying to meet the challenge. Best of all, that pain-in-the-ass invite system is finally gone. Suffice to say, this year's launch is a big deal for OnePlus, and it's only fitting that the OnePlus 3 mostly represents this young company at its best. Indeed, right now you'd be hard-pressed to find any other phone this good for this price.

Source: Engadget

Games Perform Better on Xbox One S

Microsoft has launched the Xbox One S - and it appears that their are some hardware improvements other than 4K video playback. This is pretty interesting, but this is a stop-gap until next year when a new, seriously upgraded Xbox One ships. It will be interesting to see how companies code games for the Xbox One S and how it will impact performance on the first-generation Xbox One.

Gears of War 4 employs a dynamic resolution system that tweaks the game's rendering resolution in both single-player and multiplayer to maintain its target frame rate in each mode (30 frames per second and 60 fps, respectively). According to Fergusson, the Xbox One S has additional raw GPU and CPU power compared to the Xbox One, and The Coalition's engineers have been able to take advantage of that to reduce the frequency of frame rate or resolution penalties in more demanding sections of the game.

Source: Polygon

Halo Wars 2 Release Date & Beta

Halo Wars received an update today with Halo Wars 2 and while the game isn't revolutionary, the fact is that it is the first "Wars" on the Xbox One. This game follows the campaign of UNSC Captain Cutter and they are not battleing the Covenant. They have a new enemy this time around called "The Banished". It looks interesting but not as immersive as the entire Halo world in my opinion.

Not only will Halo Wars 2 come to Xbox One and Windows 10, but a beta is going live today, following Microsoft's E3 press conference. Xbox gamers will be able to try out the in-development Halo Wars 2 for an entire week. The beta is set to conclude June 20.


Source: Neowin

Sony Won E3 This Year?

With E3 is full swing, it appears that Sony has won E3 with all their games. While Microsoft focued mainly on hardware customization and a slightly more powerful - albeit slimmer console, Sony has pushed hard with a big lineup of games, updates and VR. While I don't think VR won E3 at all, the reality is that they pushed hard with developers and consoles are a means to an end - playing games. Well done Sony.

People who love games, unsurprisingly, felt catered to by Sony, and in return declared the console maker their champion. And so, like a prizefighter with a proven routine, Sony has focused on games every year since. Remasters like last year’s Final Fantasy VII. Surprise games like this year’s Spider-Man. Beautifully rendered indie games, VR games, sequels and new properties.

Source: TheVerge

Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Nintendo is showing off a few games today at E3 and the Legend of Zelda has a new installment that is perhaps the biggest world that Nintendo has ever created. This game looks pretty interesting, but the reality is that the graphics are very last generation. At this point, we haven't heard anything about the Nintendo NX, so we will have to just be happy with a few updated games.


Microsoft gets LinkedIn

Microsoft has just announced that they are getting into the social media game in a big way with plans to acquire LinkedIn for a cool $26.2 Billion dollars. It sounds like LinkedIn's CEO will stay on and report to Microsoft's CEO Satya Nadella for the time being. This acquisition is the first major purchase with Satya Nadella at the helm and the biggest since Microsoft's gong show of an acquisition of Nokia's smartphone business. The Verge has more details

Microsoft is announcing today that it plans to acquire LinkedIn for $26.2 billion. Microsoft’s deal to acquire the work-focused social networking giant is an all-cash transaction, and it will value LinkedIn’s shares at $196 each. Microsoft says LinkedIn will retain its own brand and independence, and existing CEO Jeff Weiner will remain and report directly to Satya Nadella.

"The LinkedIn team has grown a fantastic business centered on connecting the world’s professionals," Nadella said. "Together we can accelerate the growth of LinkedIn, as well as Microsoft Office 365 and Dynamics as we seek to empower every person and organization on the planet." Microsoft is planning to close its acquisition later this year, and the deal has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies.

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