Gaming news summary for August 30, 2015
Welcome to the Game Replay, the thrice-weekly look at the wider world of gaming by the staff of MacNN. In today's edition, Rocket League for Mac and SteamOS announced, the HTC Vive will be limiting its release this year, more The Taken King details are released, and Borderlands starts its journey to the big screen.
Patent troll Acacia and Adaptix shot down in Judge Paul Grewal's ruling
US Magistrate Judge Paul Grewal has shut down a non-practicing entity, or patent troll, seeking to relaunch suits against cellphone manufacturers Sony, Amazon, and Apple, among others, over 4G patents. Patent aggregation company Acacia and subsidiary Adaptix has been denied further suits over new products launched by the companies using the same technology, with the judge saying that it must be satisfied with existing lawsuit results and patent agreements in place.
Gaming news summary for August 9, 2015
Welcome to the Game Replay, the thrice-weekly look at the wider world of gaming by the staff of MacNN. In today's edition, Square Enix prepares a Tomb Raider mobile game for release, action movie John Wick heads to VR, Valve offers refunds for a game that cannot be completed, and Vimeo is incorrectly served with takedown notices for videos featuring the title of gaming-related movie "Pixels."
Speculation about merger consideration by Asus
HTC is not entertaining the prospect of being acquired by Asus, following recent reports suggesting such a transaction could be on the way. The smartphone producer has been forced to comment following reported comments made by Asus chairman Johnny Shih about the potential purchase, but HTC claims it will not be considering any acquisition attempts by the computer manufacturer in the near future.
HTC, Mediatek partner on HTC One M9+, HTC One E9+
Electronista has had the opportunity to get hands on with the (so far) Asia-only HTC One M9+ and the HTC One E9+ while visiting the Mediatek booth at Computex Taipei. Mediatek, for the uninitiated, is a Taiwanese company that designs ARM-based chips that, up until recently, have been found more commonly in low-end or mid-range smartphones. Its latest chip, the Helio X10, its first truly high-end chip and is good enough to to go head-to-head with better known chips from Qualcomm and Samsung.
Faster processor, better display added to larger HTC One M9
HTC has launched an upgraded version of its flagship One M9, made specifically for China. At first glance, the HTC One M9+ looks similar to the normal version, but HTC has made quite a few improvements to the device, including increased specifications and a better screen, replacing the M9's five-inch 1080p display for a 5.2-inch version offering a resolution of 2560x1440.
Refresh of HTC One M8 destined for Europe with 13MP camera
HTC is giving potential owners of the One M9 smartphone an alternative option, by offering an altered version of its predecessor. Meant as a cheaper mid-range device, the One M8s is very similar to the One M8 in appearance, complete with a five-inch 1080p display and an aluminum unibody design, with the majority of changes not being immediately apparent.
Phablet-sized high-resolution display, plastic body expected in HTC launch
HTC has leaked a phablet-sized variant of its plastic One E9+ via its Chinese website. While the One E8 was launched shortly after the One M8 flagship last year as a similar device with a cheaper casing for Asian markets, the One E9+ takes a different route, opting for a larger and higher-resolution display as well as a few other changes in specification from the One M9.
Ex-CEO Peter Chou remaining in inventive role
Attempting to reverse sliding fortunes, electronics manufacturer HTC's board of directors has appointed co-founder Cher Wang as the company's new chief executive. She replaces Peter Chou, who is headed for a role as the leader of the company's new HTC Future Development lab, and will focus on future growth for the company. Over the last two years, Wang had been increasingly involved in the running of various aspects of the business.
HTC fitness tracker has built-in GPS tracking, connects to heart rate monitors
HTC revealed a third device at its Utopia in Progress event, alongside the One M9 and the Vive VR headset, a rumored fitness tracker which marks the company's first foray into wearable devices. The HTC Grip has been designed in partnership with sports clothing manufacturer Under Armour, with the tracker sending data to Under Armour Record for monitoring the wearer's progress.
Little known in terms of required specifications for PC, headset performance
Digital game delivery system developer Valve and electronics manufacturer HTC have unveiled their attempt at a virtual reality headset -- the HTC Vive. The system, shown at Barcelona's Mobile World Congress, will see two releases before the end of the year; a developer edition coming this month, and a consumer version shipping in time for the holiday season.
Physical design of HTC One M9 remains relatively unchanged from previous model
HTC has just used its Utopia in Progress event to launch the latest iteration in its One smartphone range. The HTC One M9 is similar to the earlier M7 and M8 devices, housing a 5-inch 1080p display in a familiar two-tone metal unibody design with front-mounted BoomSound speakers, though they now have Dolby Audio processing to provide 5.1-channel surround sound.
German online store posts supposed images, details of next HTC flagship
The next in the series of HTC's flagship smartphones has been subject to a major leak over the weekend, one week before its reveal at Mobile World Congress. Promotional renders of the HTC One M9 have been spotted on the pages of German retailer Cyberport before being removed, with accompanying specifications claiming it to have a five-inch 1080p-resolution display.
Leak points to changes with UltraPixel camera system in next HTC flagship
The follow-up to the HTC One M8 looks a lot like its predecessor, according to the latest alleged leak. Surfacing shortly after the company revealed it would be holding an event at Mobile World Congress, photographs for what is believed to be called the HTC One M9 has surfaced, with the codenamed-Hima smartphone having relatively few external changes.
HTC smartwatch said to share data with Under Armour fitness platform
HTC may join Samsung in launching a wearable at Mobile World Congress in March alongside a new flagship. Though lacking in detail, a report claims the smartwatch will take advantage of a partnership between HTC and Under Armour, with the wrist-based tracker connecting to the sports apparel brand's own fitness service for health and fitness tracking.
Barcelona event in March could be launch of new HTC flagship smartphone
HTC may use an event at Mobile World Congress at the beginning of March to launch a new flagship smartphone. The manufacturer has issued invitations to members of the media for an event taking place the evening before the Barcelona-based show starts, with the invitation giving relatively few clues as to what HTC will reveal to the press.
HTC adds YouTube streaming to RE Camera for Android today, iOS later this quarter
HTC has added the ability to stream from its Re Camera to YouTube. An app update for the camera will enable the live streaming to the video service while it is paired to a smartphone, with users able to sign into their YouTube account from within the app to create public and private live streams. While Android users can download the update from today via Google Play, iOS users will have to wait until later this quarter to be able to stream from the action camera.
HTC Desire 826 has front 4MP Ultrapixel camera, rear 13MP sensor
HTC's first two smartphone launches of the year have landed at CES, both within the Desire range. The Desire 320 is an entry-level device for emerging markets, while the Desire 826 is a mid-ranged smartphone which is the first Desire from the manufacturer to ship with Android Lollipop installed straight from the factory.
Original manufacturing, design partner claims Beats mislead on contract severance
Electronics company Monster, known for its high-priced HDMI cables and car audio gear, has filed suit against now-Apple-owned Beats and its founders, Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine, as well as former Beats partner HTC, claiming that Beats and HTC misled the company when it bought back enough shares of itself through the HTC investment to sever its contract for headphone partnership with Monster. The lawsuit does not directly involve Apple, but does revolve around the possibility that Beats knew when it left Monster that it was going to be acquired.
Cellphone makers asked to make data more secure regardless
Taiwan's National Communications Commission has issued a report clearing a variety of companies of breaking local data privacy laws, according to Reuters. The organization says that all 12 of the previously-implicated cellphone brands -- including Apple, Huawei, Samsung, LG, Sony, ZTE, and Xiaomi -- are in the clear, despite Xiaomi being the impetus for the investigation. In August, Xiaomi apologized and promised to make changes after a Finnish security firm discovered Xiaomi software was collecting address book data without permission.
Will collect royalties from parties such as Cisco and Google
(Updated with correct purchase price, lawsuit settlements) A subsidiary of San Francisco-based RPX Corporation, RPX Clearinghouse, is buying patent assets held by the Apple-led Rockstar Consortium, according to an announcement. Rockstar was formed by Apple, BlackBerry, Ericsson, Microsoft, and Sony in 2011 in order to buy some 6,000 patents in the wake of Nortel's bankruptcy. Although roughly 2,000 of the patents have already been separately distributed, RPX has entered into a deal in which it will receive license payments from a syndicate of over 30 companies, such as Cisco and Google.
Follow-up to HTC Desire 610 packs 64-bit processor, 5-inch 720p display
HTC is continuing its support for the mid-range smartphone market, by extending its Desire line in the United Kingdom and parts of Europe. The Desire 620 is the successor to the Desire 610 launched at Mobile World Congress in February this year, and will be driven by a 64-bit quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor clocked at 1.2GHz, along with 1GB of RAM.
Apple, Samsung, HTC among identified parties
Taiwan's National Communications Commission has found 12 cellphone makers to be violating the country's Personal Information Protection Act, according to the Wall Street Journal. PIPA covers the "collection, processing and use of personal information"; the NCC has yet to say exactly how the companies broke regulations, but does explain that it discovered the issue while investigating charges that Chinese firm Xiaomi was collecting and transmitting user data without permission.
HTC Desire Eye exclusive to AT&T, discount available for RE camera
The HTC Desire Eye will be exclusive to AT&T in the United States, the carrier has revealed. The smartphone, complete with a front-facing 13-megapixel camera with dual LED flash, will go on sale from November 7th priced at $549.99 off-contract, $149.99 with a two-year contract, $22.92 per month under AT&T Next 18, or $27.50 per month on AT&T Next 12. Customers buying the Desire EYE on-contract will also be able to acquire the RE camera at a discount, saving $50 off the $199 sticker price.
Slightly smaller HTC Desire 820 mini reduces screen size, downgrades internals
A smaller version of the HTC Desire 820, launched at IFA last month, has gone on sale in China. The Desire 820 mini switches out the 5.5-inch 720p display of the original device for a slightly smaller five-inch version, though it keeps the same resolution, and in a similar manner to other "mini" versions of existing smartphones, this version also has marginally downgraded internal components within its two-tone plastic frame.
Android software updates for more manufacturers revealed
More manufacturers have revealed which of its devices will be getting the upgrade to Android Lollipop in the future. Nvidia, HTC, and Sony have all confirmed their support for Android 5.0, though a rumor suggests that Google's own Nexus 7 Wi-Fi and Nexus 10 will be the earliest existing Nexus devices to gain the software update.
Nexus 9 uses 8.9-inch 2048x1536 display, HTC BoomSound front speakers
At the same time as launching the Nexus 6, Google revealed its new larger-sized tablet. The 8mm-thick Nexus 9, produced by HTC, is equipped with an 8.9-inch IPS LCD screen with a 4:3 aspect ratio, a resolution of 2048x1536, and Gorilla Glass 3 protection, housed in a casing with a soft-grip backing and a brushed-metal trim.
Variant of HTC One M8 has higher-resolution rear camera, retains other specifications
A version of the HTC One M8 spotted before the launch of the Desire Eye will be going on sale in China this month. The HTC One M8 Eye is effectively the same as the original smartphone, except the rear 4-megapixel Ultrapixel camera has been replaced by a larger 13-megapixel sensor, though it still retains the Duo Camera system and associated depth-related functionality.
Highlight reel app opens to more devices, iPhone version due soon
HTC has made its Zoe highlight video creation app available to a wider number of Android devices, after the phone producer fully launched the app earlier today. Announced during the Double Exposure event, the venue for the HTC Desire Eye and the Re Camera launches, HTC also revealed it is working on a version of the app specifically for iOS devices.
Re camera brings features like a one-button approach, capacitive touch activation
During HTC's "Double Exposure" event in New York, that mixed elements of fashion together with technology, the company unveiled its entry into the consumer video camera market. The Re Camera, which was the previously rumored to be a sports camera from the company, takes a different approach for consumers by making it easier to pick up a camera and start shooting.
Identical cameras, flash on front and rear of HTC Desire Eye
HTC has used its "Double Exposure" event to launch its selfie-friendly smartphone, just as previously rumored. The HTC Desire Eye features identical 13-megapixel cameras on the front and back, along with a dual LED flash for each side, with the smartphone putting both image sensors to good use with a number of new camera-related software additions.
Delayed HTC smartwatch held back to make it more 'compelling' to use
A smartwatch will not be making an appearance at today's HTC launch event, according to a report. The manufacturer is apparently holding off from launching its own wearable device until sometime next year, though comments from high-level employees seem to suggest the reason behind the delay is more case of perfectionism rather than too much competition.
Rumored HTC-produced Nexus 9 may be squarer than earlier devices
Rumors about a HTC-produced Nexus tablet are not continuing to snowball, with two new sources suggesting such a device is on the way. An image on Twitter allegedly shows the back of the fabled tablet, while a separate report stemming from an FCC filing suggests the display could have a slightly different aspect ratio compared to earlier Nexus devices.
Desire Eye reappears with high-resolution front camera, front flash
The recently-leaked image of the alleged HTC Desire Eye smartphone may be incorrect, another image leak suggests. A smartphone said to be the Desire Eye is pictured sharing the same design language as the Desire 820, unlike the HTC One M8-based version found on a Chinese regulator website last week, and though the appearance is different, the high-resolution camera rumor remains almost the same.
Lower profit still an improvement for HTC compared to Q3 2013 loss
HTC has managed to continue its current financial form in its latest quarterly results, but not by much. In its most recent report, HTC earned revenues of NT$41.86 billion ($1.4 billion), down from the NT$65.06 billion it earned in the previous quarter, but the smartphone manufacturer managed to receive a net profit of NT$640 million ($21.0 million), again down from the NT$2.26 billion from last quarter.
Chinese regulator listings show new HTC One variant images
Another variant of the HTC One (M8) smartphone has apparently surfaced in TENAA filings in China. The device, said to be called the HTC One (M8) Eye, appears to have the same list of specifications as the flagship, though it appears HTC will be combining the Duo Camera from the M8 with the higher-resolution rear camera from the HTC One E8.
Rumored HTC camera may have wide angle lens, slow-motion abilities
HTC has started to tease the launch of a new device at a New York "Double Exposure" event on October 8th, with the device likely to be an action camera in a similar style to the GoPro range. A video and a teaser site strongly hint at some form of camera, with each showing video shot from an action camera below water and mounted to a bicycle moving through traffic.
Report reaffirms rumors of HTC Nexus 9 development
Google's HTC-produced Nexus tablet has reappeared in another report, alleging its existence. Sources of Wall Street Journal claim that HTC has been selected over other manufacturers to create the device, as suggested by previous rumors, with the report also stating that the tablet will have a nine-inch display, matching earlier leaked legal filings from Nvidia directly naming a device called the Nexus 9.
Action camera allegedly being produced by HTC
HTC may be looking into producing a camera, as it attempts to fix its financial standing, a report claims. The smartphone manufacturer is said to be working on its own action camera, similar to those produced by GoPro, with the camera believed to have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, allowing it to work with both Android and iOS devices.
Lack of AT&T exclusivity of budget Fire Phone in US allegedly at issue
AT&T may have prevented Amazon from creating a second, lower-cost smartphone, according to a report. The retailer was apparently working with HTC on such a device, but the carrier was apparently unhappy with the terms of the partnership, wanting exclusivity of both devices in the United States, rather than just of the higher-specification Fire Phone.
Legal filing on Nvidia website pulled following HTC tablet name leak
Nvidia may have inadvertently confirmed the existence of a HTC-produced Nexus tablet. A legal filing by the chip producer names the tablet as the "HTC Nexus 9", something which matches earlier leaks pointing towards a tablet codenamed Flounder and the T1, with the document also suggesting it will be introduced in the next few months.
Mid-ranged HTC Desire 820 has 13MP rear camera, 8MP front imaging sensor
HTC launched its second 64-bit device at IFA, following the Desire 510 launched last month. The Desire 820 could be considered the successor to the Desire 816 and will be shipping with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 onboard, a 1.5GHz octa-core processor capable of 64-bit processing, something which could aid its performance when the next version of Android is released.
HTC Desire 510 includes Snapdragon 410 capable of 32-bit, 64-bit processing
HTC has launched an entry-level Desire-branded smartphone capable of 64-bit processing. The Desire 510 uses the Qualcomm Snapdragon 410, a quad-core processor clocked at 1.2GHz, and though it will initially run as a 32-bit processor initially, HTC may enable its 64-bit processing once Android L starts to roll out to consumer devices in the future.
Device named Flounder according to Wi-Fi Alliance certification, comes in three models
More information has come to the surface regarding HTC's rumored T1 tablet. On top of South Korean regulators passing a device with the 0P82100 model number, the Wi-Fi Alliance has also approved a device under the same identifier. The Wi-Fi Alliance shows that the tablet is named Flounder, according to the firmware version on the device.
Windows Phone version of HTC One M8 uses same specifications as Android original
HTC has launched the Windows Phone version of its One M8 flagship at an event in New York. The HTC One (M8) for Windows is a metal-clad smartphone with the same specifications as the Android original, including an identical five-inch 1080p display, quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor clocked at 2.3GHz, 2GB of RAM, and 32GB of expandable storage.
HTC One M8 for Windows Phone shares physical appearance with Android model
Images for what is believed to be the Windows Phone equivalent of the HTC One M8 have leaked, showing what could be HTC's latest foray onto the platform. Said to be called the One M8 for Windows, the displayed smartphone appears to be identical in physical construction to the Android version of the device, except for a Windows Phone logo on the back.
HTC allegedly moving into app business with Zoe, more apps on the way
HTC is preparing to release some of its apps on Google Play, for use on other non-HTC devices, according to a report. Starting with the Zoe video app later this week, the 260-employee strong HTC Creative Labs unit will apparently bring more of the HTC-specific apps to the online store, as the company attempts to use its software knowledge to try and improve its financial outlook.
Twin leaks point to two HTC smartphone launches in coming months
A pair of leaks for HTC smartphones have surfaced, for Android and Windows Phone devices. One leak includes photographs of the A11, a variant in the Desire range said to use a 64-bit system-on-chip, while another appears to reiterate earlier rumored specifications for a version of the HTC One M8 running on Windows Phone instead of Android.
Leaks suggest 64-bit Tegra processor in rumored HTC-produced Nexus tablet
Multiple leaks suggest HTC's rumored tablet is still on the way, and could be announced soon. Codenamed T1, but previously named as Volantis and Flounder, the device is believed to be a new Nexus tablet, possibly the Nexus 8 or Nexus 9, with the device apparently spotted on South Korean communications regulator RRA's website passing certification.
Waterproofing, higher-resolution Duo Camera in Japan-specific HTC Butterfly J
A new version of the HTC One M8 for the Japanese market has been announced by local carrier KDDI. The HTC J Butterfly manages to hold on to the majority of the One M8's specifications, including its five-inch 1080p display, but stems down the same route as the One E8 in having a plastic body, with the Japan-specific smartphone also having a few more minor changes.