PlayStation 3 ends Xbox 360's streak at top of U.S. market

Published: Friday, October 18, 2013 @ 11:01 PM
Updated: Friday, October 18, 2013 @ 11:01 PM

For the first time in almost three years, the Xbox 360 is not the top-selling console in the U.S.

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Sony’s PS3 took the top spot in September, according to numbers released by marketing research company NPD Group. This is potentially a game-changing move for Sony, and it’s all thanks to, well, a game.

Rockstar’s “Grand Theft Auto V” has been shattering records since its release, not only becoming the best-selling video game in 24 hours, but also reaching the $1 billion milestone in just three days. (Via GamesIndustry International)

NPD reports sales of the PS3/GTA V bundle drove the console’s September success. An analyst for the company says, “The launch of Grand Theft Auto V this September was a much needed shot in the arm for the industry.” (Via Rockstar Games)

No pun intended, we think. But Sony’s good news isn’t to say its competitors are suffering. In fact, September was a good month for everyone in the games industry. 

The Verge reports sales of Nintendo’s Wii U more than tripled last month — also thanks in part to a bundle pack with “The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker”’s HD rerelease. And as of September, Microsoft has sold more than 80 million Xbox 360s worldwide. (Via NintendoMicrosoft)

But last month’s real gaming winner isn’t a graphics-packed home console. A writer for Time says: “[Nintendo’s] 3DS outsold everything, hardware-wise, for the fifth consecutive month … and with Pokémon X & Y demolishing sales records, it’s probably safe to assume the 3DS is a lock for October.”

The fight is far from over, though. Starting in November, there will be a new front in the console war.

Sony’s triumph comes just as it’s about to launch its next-generation PlayStation 4 Nov. 15. Microsoft’s new Xbox One will hit shelves a week later.

A writer for BGR thinks Sony’s one-week head start and its current momentum might be enough for the company to “string together a nice little streak of its own.”

Of course, GTA isn’t the only franchise with the power to shake things up in the industry. Microsoft has announced a new version of the popular “Halo” series will make its way to the Xbox One.

>>  See more at: Newsy.com

Is Facebook down? Users report problems worldwide

Published: Wednesday, October 11, 2017 @ 12:11 PM

5 Things About Facebook You Didn't Know You Could Do

Thousands of social media users across the globe reported that Facebook was down on Wednesday morning.

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Instagram users also reported problems with the photo sharing social media site starting around 11:05 a.m. EDT, according to downdetector.com, a website that tracks site issues.

Problems with Facebook first surfaced around 8:20 a.m. EDT, according to downdetector.com. A map compiled by the website showed reports were most prevalent in the United States, Europe and parts of South America.

(Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Apple iPhone X and iPhone 8: Everything you need to know

Published: Tuesday, September 12, 2017 @ 5:22 PM

Apple Unveils New iPhones

It’s September, and new iPhones are in the air. Apple invited the press to the Steve Jobs Theater on its new Cupertino, California, Apple Park campus Tuesday to show off the new products after a brief memorial to the theater’s namesake.  

iPhone X: A new, expensive iPhone

Apple finally unveiled the iPhone X, pronounced “iPhone Ten.”

“It is all screen,” Apple Vice President Phil Schiller said. “It is incredible to hold.”

The phone comes in space gray and silver. It is engineered to be water- and dust-resistant. 

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The screen is called Super Retina. It measures 5.8 inches diagonally with a 458 ppi pixel density, the highest ever in an iPhone. The Super OLED screen stretches edge to edge with minimal bezel on the front. It supports HDR vision and True Tone, which matches your screen coloring to your surroundings. 

CUPERTINO, CA - SEPTEMBER 12: The new iPhone X is displayed during an Apple special event at the Steve Jobs Theatre on the Apple Park campus on September 12, 2017 in Cupertino, California. Apple held their first special event at the new Apple Park campus where they announced the new iPhone 8, iPhone X and the Apple Watch Series 3.(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images/Getty Images)

The iPhone X wakes up when you pick it up or tap the screen, even when it’s turned off. To unlock the phone, users swipe up from the bottom. This gesture also acts as a virtual home button. If you swipe up from the bottom and pause without swiping all the way, it opens multitasking. 

Face ID

For security, the iPhone X will use  Face ID. The iPhone will recognize you using a bevy of sensors built into the front of the phone. Schiller claimed the system will work even in the dark. 

The new phones will have better cameras. Again, the 4.7-inch iPhone 8 will have one camera and the 5.5-inch 8 Plus will have two. Having two rear cameras allows the 8 Plus to have photography features such as portrait lighting, which adds portrait-style light and shadow to photos. The features will ship in beta this fall.

The iPhone 8 starts at $699 for 64 GB of storage. iPhone 8 Plus starts at $799. Preorders begin Friday. Phones will be released Sept. 22.

New Apple Watch with LTE data

Apple Watch Series 3 was announced; it has Long Term Evolution, or LTE, built in. The watch, by having its own data connection, allows users to get texts and stream Apple Music without an external data connection. There is no word on how much this feature will affect battery life.

Related: Apple unveils iPhone X, iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus

The new watch model includes a faster processor that supports conversations with Siri. There will be an altimeter -- most useful for skiing and snowboarding -- and a W2 chip for AirPods. 

Despite all this, Apple claims the Series 3 is just “two sheets of paper” thicker than previous models. 

Apple also showed off watchOS 4, the newest operating system for its wearable. WatchOS 4 adds more health-focused features, such as notifying you when your heart rate becomes irregular but you don’t appear to be working out. 

The new Apple Watch is $399 with cellular service and $329 without. Orders begin on Friday, and watches are available on Sept. 22. 

Apple TV 4K

Apple pushed a refreshed version of its set-top box, Apple TV. This version will support 4K resolution for videos. 

It will support high dynamic range videos, or HDR. HDR videos show more detail across different lighting amounts within one shot. 

The TV app, available on iOS and Apple TV, will support live news and sports. 

The new Apple TV is $179, or $199 for more storage. Preorders start Friday, and it launches on Sept. 22. 

iOS 11 details and release date

The iOS 11 will include something called animojis. These are emojis whose faces move to match your expressions. These can be sent to people over iMessage. 

The iOS 11 will release on Sept. 19. 

How to watch the speech

On its website, Apple has a recap of the event, introducing the new products, which was the first from Steve Jobs Theater.

Apple iPhone X and 8 event: How much it costs, when it ships, what features it will have

Published: Tuesday, September 12, 2017 @ 4:46 PM

Apple Unveils New iPhones

It’s September, and new iPhones are in the air. Apple invited the press to the Steve Jobs Theater on its new Apple Park campus Tuesday to show off the new products after a brief memorial to the theater’s namesake.

iPhone X: A new, expensive iPhone

Apple finally unveiled the iPhone X (pronounced “ten,” it appears to be a Roman numeral). 

“It is all screen,” Apple vice president Phil Schiller said. “It is incredible to hold.”

The phone comes in space gray and silver. It is engineered to be water- and dust-resistant. 

The screen classified as “Super Retina.” It is 5.8 inches diagonally with a 458 pixels-per-inch density, the highest ever in an iPhone. The Super OLED screen stretches edge to edge with minimal bezel on the front. It supports HDR vision and True Tone, which adjusts your screen coloring based on your surroundings. 

The iPhone X wakes up when you pick it up or tap the screen, even when the phone is locked and the screen off. To unlock the phone, users swipe up from the bottom. This gesture also acts as a virtual home button since the physical circle button is gone. If you swipe up from the bottom and pause without swiping all the way, it opens multitasking. 

For security, the iPhone X will use Face ID. Your iPhone will recognize you using a bevy of sensors built into the front of the phone. Schiller claimed the system will work even in the dark or after you change your hair or clothing.. 

Face ID on iPhone X failed in its first public demo, but it may not be its fault

Published: Tuesday, September 12, 2017 @ 4:47 PM

Apple Unveils New iPhones

Sharp-eyed viewers of the Apple press conference announcing the iPhone X noticed a small hiccup on stage. When Apple Vice President Craig Federighi came on stage to demo Face ID, it failed. 

According to Apple’s presentation, Face ID uses several sensors on the front of the iPhone X to read the user’s face, recognize them and unlock the phone. Previous presenter Phil Schiller said the feature would even work in the dark with an infrared camera. 

However, when Federighi tried to unlock the demo iPhone with his face, it did not work. He picked up the backup demo iPhone, saying, “Let’s go to backup here.” 

This phrase was immediately mocked by Twitter, as things are when they fail in literally their first public demonstration. 

However, that failure may not be the fault of Face ID. The Verge pointed out the phone showed the message, “Your passcode is required to enable Face ID.” A similar message is shown when an iPhone with Touch ID is rebooted - the phone makes the user enter the full password at least once before it accepts biometric security. 

Face ID may not have failed. What may have happened is the demo iPhone was rebooted before the show and needed the full passcode to be input before Face ID would work again. 

Still, it was an awkward moment for a company trying to sell the public on a new form of biometric security in place of the longstanding (and proved reliable quantity) Touch ID.