The Mobile World Congress kicked off today, with plenty of new smartphones and tablets expected to be unveiled during the show. One of the biggest names in the market, Samsung, started things off with a bang, as it officially announced the Galaxy S5 smartphone. If you get flashbacks to the Galaxy S4 and SIII when looking at the S5, you aren't alone. Samsung is sticking with the same rounded rectangle shape on the outside (just with an improved back for extra grip), however it's all the interior components that really set this new flagship phone apart. The S5 features a 5.1-inch, 1920x1080 Super AMOLED display (slightly larger than the S4's 5-inch screen), is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor (faster CPU, GPU, and memory bus speeds), and runs Android 4.4.2, albeit with Samsung's TouchWiz skin on top.
Samsung has outfitted the Galaxy S5 with 2GB of RAM, either 16 or 32GB of storage that can be expanded to 128GB via microSD, and 802.11ac MIMO for download speeds up to 867MBps. The Category 4 LTE can do 150Mbps down and 50Mbps, provided your carrier is even capable of those speeds. You can even download over WiFi and LTE at the same time for even faster speeds, just try not to blow past your monthly data allotment in a single sitting. Bluetooth 4.0 and NFC are included on the S5, as is an IR blaster to control your Samsung TV. A 2800mAh battery powers the whole thing, with up to ten hours of Internet browsing on LTE and 12 hours of video playback promised. Charging the phone is handled via a micro-USB 3.0 port, just like the one on the Galaxy Note 3.
A 16-megapixel camera with LED flash sits on the rear, while a 2-megapixel one sits up front. Samsung has outfitted the camera with a hybrid autofocus lens and an improved image sensor, with the company promising a 0.3 second autofocus time and "advanced HDR" capabilities. The camera interface itself has been revamped, so hopefully that means an even easier time taking pictures. Next to the rear camera's LED flash is a heartbeat sensor; just hold your finger over it and see what your heartbeat is after a workout or run (or other activities).
Samsung's Galaxy S5 is scheduled to arrive April 11 in the U.S., but no word on which carriers (probably all the major ones) or at what price. It'll come in black, blue, gold, and white, with other "designer colors" and patterns arriving later.
When Bananasaurus_Rex completed a record-setting 3,105,850-point run in Spelunky last week, I was rather impressed. It seems Spelunky creator Derek Yu was also impressed because he didn't think a score of over three million was even possible. In fact, he was so confident, prior to a recent patch, the game would detect you as a cheater if you submitted a score over three million. As Yu so eloquently put it, "He [Bananasaurus_Rex] achieved the impossible!"
The cap was set at three million because at the time, the world record on Xbox was "something like 2 million [and] getting another million seemed pretty far-fetched." Luckily for Bananasaurus_Rex, that cap no longer exists. As if breaking a world record in such a difficult game wasn't impressive enough, achieving something that even the game's creator thought couldn't be done just makes it an even greater feat.
Intel announced a trio of products this morning at the Mobile World Conference 2014 in Barcelona, Spain. The Atom Z34 and Z35 systems-on-a-chip are also known under the Merrifield and Moorefield code names, respectively. The 22nm tri-gate transistors are paired with the Power VR Series 6 integrated graphics chipsets to create power efficient devices for use in Android smartphones. Merrifield features a number of improvements over previous mobile chips from Intel including "higher peak clock speed, an architecture with out-of-order execution and 64-bit compatibility, faster integrated graphics processor programmable with the OpenCL and RenderScript APIs, support for LPDDR3 memory, an improved image signal processor, and a brand-new video signal processor that supports hardware VP8 encoding and decoding." Moorefield offers an additional two cores, support for faster memory, and higher resolution displays. According to Intel, the two chips compared favorably to the Apple A7 and Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 in a number of benchmarks. Rounding out the announcement from Intel is the XMM 7260 LTE modem that offers transfer speeds up to 300 Mb/s.
Thermaltake is releasing wireless charging stations for a number of Samsung devices through the LUXA2 line of products. Consumers will be able to use the TX-P1 and TX-200 devices to recharge Galaxy S3 and S4 and Note 2 and 3 devices. The two devices pack 5000 mAh of power to spare and will begin to charge your device as soon as it is placed on the charger. Some mobile devices are already compatible with the charging stations while others will require an additional charging receiver. The TX-P1 has an MSRP of $64.95, the TX-200 will cost $69.95, and the receiver will cost $9.99.
Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z is not the Ninja Gaiden game from our youth – it's an over-the-top, insanely brutal hack-and-slash game infused with dark comedy, mature content, and a dose of Quentin Tarantino DNA. Yaiba is to Ninja Gaiden what Blood Dragon is to Far Cry 3 – a ridiculous spin-off that must have been conceived during a night of heavy drinking.
The Yaiba demo shown at E3 2013 ended with a giant two-headed zombie baby stumbling into view. Now publisher Tecmo Koei has released a new Combat Trailer and screenshots that show off this abomination known as The Terrible Two – and apparently there can be more than one! One of the features of the game is using body parts of your defeated enemies as weapons, and defeating The Terrible Two allows you to brandish its Shoulder Blade as a giant club. The Combat Trailer definitely captures the chaotic, over-the-top atmosphere quite well.
Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z comes to PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 on March 21, 2014.
Muscles are a critical part of our lives, as they are what provide the force and power to move about our world. Recreating that ability has been proving difficult though, as motors and engines can be too large, and artificial muscles can be expensive to produce. Researchers across the world, including those at that University of British Columbia, have recently developed an artificial muscle that utilizes materials commonly found in fishing lines and thread.
Artificial muscles have to have the ability to expand and contract, producing so much force in the process, similar to our natural muscles. Metal wires and carbon nanotubes have been used before to make artificial muscles, but both materials can be difficult to work with and expensive to produce, making them less-than-ideal. What the researchers developed is instead based on fibers of polyethylene and nylon, which have been twisted into tight coils. To make them expand and contract, the researchers had to change their temperature, which can be accomplished with an electrical heating element. Compared to a human muscle of equal size, it can lift objects 100 times heavier.
Being a common material, artificial muscles based on this material could be cheaper and easily deployed. Potential applications include robots as well as low-cost devices to assist those of reduced mobility.
Wolfenstein: The New Order is still three months away from release, but several members of the gaming press got some hands-on time with the game last week. All Games Beta has not only compiled a list linking to each site, but also collected all the screenshots and artwork. As such, we get to enjoy some intense screenshots, along with some highly impressive character models.
Wolfenstein: The New Order is coming to PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 on May 20, 2014.
With the recent release of BlackBerry Messenger 2.0 earlier this month, BlackBerry is showing that it is fully committed to supporting its free messaging application across multiple devices. Currently, BlackBerry Messenger is available for BlackBerry, Android, and iOS devices. A new announcement made by BlackBerry at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona notes that the messaging application will be coming to Windows Phone devices this summer. Users of the Windows Phone operating system will be able to download BlackBerry Messenger through the Windows Store. The application will allow for free voice calls over Wi-Fi or a mobile data connection with BlackBerry Messenger contacts, provide chat capabilities with one other person or groups of up to 50 individuals, and more.
Also announced by BlackBerry is that the messaging application will be available for the Nokia X once it officially launches.
Although Titanfall experienced a server resolution bug within its beta release, the title has been amazingly popular with gamers ever since its initial announcement. Microsoft has just announced a new limited time bundle for its Xbox One gaming console that will undoubtedly increase the awareness of Titanfall as a major title. In partnership with Respawn Entertainment and Electronic Arts, an Xbox One Titanfall Special Edition Bundle will be available for purchase starting March 11, 2014. The newly announced bundle will offer gamers the standard Xbox One console, Kinect sensor, wireless controller, and chat headset, but will also include one free month of Xbox Live Gold along with a download code for a digital copy of Titanfall.
Microsoft has announced that the limited time Titanfall bundle will be available from select retailers for $499.99 ERP, which represents a stellar value for consumers looking to purchase an Xbox One.
"Blood is Family. Blood is Power. Blood is Everything." That's the message behind the official launch trailer for Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2, the sequel to the highly acclaimed re-imagining of the Castlevania franchise. Considering you play as Dracula, the theme of blood shouldn't be too surprising.
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 launches tomorrow (February 25) for PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360.
Seagate, a world leader in storage technology, has revealed its latest hard drive offering for video surveillance systems, the seventh-generation Surveillance HDD. The newest update to the surveillance hard drive is engineered to support the storing and accessing video year-round, while keeping up with the high write workloads that surveillance systems require. Seagate ensures that any video resolution used by video surveillance systems is supported as well. The drive features rotational vibration sensors, which enables it to perform reliably in a multi-drive system. The Surveillance HDD supports up to 32 channels, as well as flexibility to scale with a surveillance system. Seagate provides a 1 million hour MTBF rating and has engineered the drive for low heat emissions and low power consumption.
The new Surveillance HDD by Seagate is offered in a 3.5-inch form factor while providing up to 4TB of storage.
COUGAR has released its new GX V3 series power supplies that are targeted towards gamers and high-performance computer owners. The new power supplies incorporate a black coating along with a gold vent grill while also using minimal space within a computer chassis. COUGAR has ensured that GX V3 series power supplies are fully compliant with the 80-PLUS Gold standard, which allows the power supply units to feature peak efficiency of up to 93 percent. Efficiency is further emphasized, as the power supplies are ENERGY STAR 5.0 compliant and are also compliant with the latest Eco-Friendly EuP regulation, known as ErP Lot6 2013. COUGAR has implemented Rapid Switch Technology, DC to DC technology, and a CLC filter design, all which enhance the overall stability and efficiency of the GX V3 power supply series. The modular cabling system that is featured with the new GX V3 series utilizes flat cables, which provides less air flow restriction than traditional cabling and helps simplify installation.
The COUGAR GX V3 series power supplies are available in 600, 800, and 1050 watt models and MSRP for $109, $149, and $189, respectfully.
The backbone of the Internet is comprised in large part by lasers and optical fiber, as optical communication can transmit prodigious amounts of data rapidly and efficiently. As the world demands greater bandwidth though, the technology is approaching its limits. Researchers at the California Institute of Technology however, have developed a new laser which could potentially increase optical data transmission rates by orders of magnitudes.
For forty years, distributed-feedback semiconductor (S-DFB) lasers have been used to send the optical signals along the cables. The reason it was first used and continued to be used is its spectral purity. The light it produced was very near a single frequency, and the more pure the light is, the faster digital bits can be transmitted. Unfortunately part of the laser's design limited its spectral purity, and while it was satisfactory in the past, it may not be in the future. The problem was that the III-V semiconductors used to produce the light also absorbed some of it, which degrades the spectral purity. The Caltech researchers have found that this absorption can be prevented by adding a layer of silicon to act as a concentrator. The silicon will pull the light away from the III-V semiconductor, but will not absorb the light itself.
This new laser could reduce the spread of frequencies to be 20 times narrower than that of the S-DFB lasers in use today. Such an improvement could greatly help the Internet keep pace with our demands for higher speed.
According to Eurogamer, the mastermind behind DayZ, Dean Hall, will be leaving Bohemia Interactive and stepping down as leader on DayZ by the end fo the year. His plan is to go back to his home country of New Zealand and start his own studio, though there is some flexibility in his schedule if the DayZ team needs him to stay on longer.
Hall explains that he's "really good at risk-taking and making other people take risks," and he can explain something to the point of talking people up a ledge and over it. The problem, as he sees it, is that a person like that is eventually bad to have around - that eventually someone like that in a leadership role will "be a disaster for the project." That being said, Hall will always be involved with DayZ; he's not walking away from it completely, he'll simply step down from a leadership role.
As for what Hall plans to produce with his as-yet-unformed new studio back in New Zealand, he told Eurogamer that he "has three game ideas written already, [...] plus another two that need more work." Ultimately, he'll be chasing after the elusive "perfect multiplayer experience," which he admits DayZ is not. He's fascinated by multiplayer games and very interested in survival games, so he says a lot of his current ideas have "similar DNA" to DayZ. I'm sure whatever his future studio produces, DayZ fans will support him.
Last week, the news broke that Facebook had purchased WhatsApp for a whopping $19 billion. Today, WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum said the company will be adding voice calls to its app in the second quarter of this year. Whether this was already in the works prior to the Facebook deal is unknown, but regardless, this is big news for both sides.
With over 450 million users worldwide, WhatsApp's free mobile messaging service has already dealt a blow to the telecommunications industry, which has tried to keep text messaging more expensive than it should be. Speaking at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona today, Koum said that, "We are driven by the mission that people should be able to stay in touch anywhere and affordably. Our goal is to be on every mobile phone in the world." He also said that the acquisition by Facebook will not alter the roadmap and there will be no advertising added to the service.
We're into the final week of February, and there's a few reviews for you to check out to help get it started. The 2013 edition of the Razer DeathAdder 4G gets put to the test, so you can see just what all is improved on one of Razer's most popular mice. We also have a look at the recently released game Banished, which offers a pretty unique take on the city-building genre. Lastly the Antec AMP Pulse wireless mobile headphones are reviewed, which could be the perfect item to pair with your smartphone.
Developer Grinding Gear Games has released a fourth teaser screenshot for Path of Exile: Sacrifice of the Vaal, which was taken from one of the new Challenge Leagues, Ambush. There's not much to the screenshot except for a giant, glowing-blue safe. What mystical items lurk inside? Well, it wouldn't be much of a teaser if Grinding Gear told us, now would it?
Along with the screenshot, Grinding Gear also linked to a new corrupted item type: maps! Yes, apparently maps can be corrupted as well, and while we still don't know what negative side effects corruption has, it appears the positive effect on maps is an increase in the number of attributes. The particular map linked is called Forgotten Secrets Shore Map.
If you're just tuning in to all this Sacrifice of the Vaal madness, here's a recap of everything that's been teased and unveiled thus far:
Back in the beginning of the month, Jessica Merizan, Lead Community Manager at BioWare Edmonton-Montreal, announced that that studio will be releasing Dragon Age: Inquisition Character Kits periodically in the coming months. These character kits provide highly detailed and descriptive looks at characters featured in the game, with the goal of making life a little easier for artists, cosplayers, etc.
BioWare smartly started with one of the most popular Dragon Age characters, Morrigan. This week, BioWare brings us not one, but two new character kits: Cassandra Pentaghast and Varric Tethras. Both characters first appeared in Dragon Age II and both have been confirmed as companions in Dragon Age: Inquisition. You can view all the images below, but be sure to check the source blog entry for the PDF files.
Dragon Age: Inquisition is set to release for PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 in Q3 2014.
I'm not normally impressed by video game world records, but maybe it's the fact that I cannot even beat Spelunky once – let alone access the secret Hell levels housing the "true boss" – that leads me to truly envy the new Spelunky world record holder, Bananasaurus_Rex. If it was just a name appearing on a leaderboard, it wouldn't mean much, but that's not the case – he actually streamed the feat on Twitch.
Bananasaurus_Rex is actually a fairly famous Spelunky pro, if you follow that type of thing. He was "the first person to ever complete the elusive solo eggplant run," and he was "the first Spelunky player to kill the ghost," which had previously been thought to be unkillable. The most impressive part of Bananasaurus_Rex's runs is not necessarily the world records or world firsts, but rather the ease in which he plays. If you ever played Spelunky, watch just a little bit of the video below and you'll likely be amazed at how fast he moves and navigates the levels, as if he's not playing one of the most grueling and frustrating Roguelikes in modern gaming.
If you want to see the record-breaking moment, skip to around the 7:19:00 mark – yes, the run took more than seven hours. Keep in mind that watching that moment (or a bulk of the video) contains spoilers if you're like me and never even saw the Hell level, let alone got to the final boss. But let's be honest – you're never going to get there on on your own.
While just a few days ago it was reported that Sony has sold more than 5.3 million PlayStation 4 consoles worldwide since its November launch, that number is surely going to see a huge spike over the weekend. The reason is simple – the PlayStation 4 is finally out in Japan. Yes, despite Sony being a Japanese-based company, Japan had to wait longer than any other major sales region.
It's not all bad though – not only has the system had a chance to mature a little, but to make up for the delay, Sony has included Knack with every system purchase (at least for the initial run). The launch also happens to coincide with the PS4 beta of Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn, which went live worldwide today. Of course, no launch would be complete without a launch trailer:
In case you're curious about the title of the video, the Japanese text translates to "Out today!"
While the full reveal is still a week away, developer Grinding Gear Games updated its "promotional image" for the mini-expansion, detailing the "specific areas that SotV improves, including a reveal of a new currency item and the names of the new challenge leagues." The details are as follows:
Wraeclast's Deadliest Enemy: Queen Atziri
A Threatened Land: Secret Corrupted Areas
Temptation and Sacrifice: The Vaal Orb
Power and Corruption: Vaal Skill Gems
New Challenge League: Ambush
New Hardcore Challenge League: Invasion
Free For All PVP: The Sarn Arena
Let the Blood Flow: Improved Cut-throat Mode
Relics of the Past: New Unique Items
Presumably, the Vaal Orb is the aforementioned "new currency item" and how you can intentionally corrupt items. As for the Vaal Skill Gems, Grinding Gear posted a ten-second teaser from its internal testing that seems to show off a Corrupted Cyclone, which appears to suck enemies and objects to the player, instead of the player having to move.
A motherboard aimed towards point-of-sale (POS) applications and kiosks was released by Gigabyte. The GA-J1900N-D3V motherboard will have several legacy options, such as a LPT parallel port, two RS232 serial COM ports, and a PCI slot, which are often used in that industry. It'll also have a newer mini-PCI Express 2.0 x1 slot, as well as two internal SATA connectors.
The J1900N-D3V is Gigabyte's newest and world's first mini-ITX motherboard powered by Intel's Celeron J1900 System-on-Chip (SoC). The J1900 is a passively cooled quad-core x86-64 processor clocked at 2 GHz with an integrated Intel HD Graphics 4000. The two DDR3 SO-DIMM slots on the motherboard can accept up to 8GB of dual-channel DDR3-1333 MHz memory. Rear I/O connectivity includes PS/2 ports, 6-channel HD audio, D-Sub and DVI display outputs, four USB 3.0 ports, and two gigabit Ethernet interfaces "that can withstand high electrostatic discharges [...] from common electrical surges and even direct lighting [sic] strikes." Pricing for Gigabyte's J1900N-D3V board is currently unknown.
G.SKILL, a leading manufacturer and designer in high performance memory, has recently announced that it has overclocked its Ripjaws SO-DIMM DDR3 RAM to new heights. By using a barebones ASRock M8 system, the Ripjaws, which run at 1.35V, were able to reach 2600MHz with in dual channel operation. Originally, the RAM is clocked at 2133MHz in an 8GB configuration that features a set of 4GB modules. With the Ripjaws SO-DIMM memory being marketed by G.SKILL as a solution for laptops and small form factor computers, it is reassuring that so much performance can be attained through the practice of overclocking.
Just days after publisher Deep Silver officially announced Sacred 3, according to German magazine PC Games, another one of its RPG series is coming back for a third go: Risen. Entitled Risen 3: Titan Lords, the game is apparently the cover story for the March 2014 issue of PC Games magazine. Technically it doesn't mention Deep Silver being the publisher, but Piranha Bytes returns as the developer, so it's likely Deep Silver is still involved.
Not much else is known at this time other than the cover story being a world exclusive unveil, which will detail some major changes from Risen 2, and of course contain screenshots. For now, all we have is the title of the game and a cover photo. Let the speculation begin!
UPDATE: Well it seems shortly after I published this article, AGB managed to acquire some awesome screenshots and concept art. And by "awesome," I mean the stuff nightmares are made from. As alluded to above, Risen 3 certainly is a major change from Risen 2, ditching the pirate theme and returning to more of a high-fantasy, middle ages theme.
Considering the success of Far Cry 3 (and the Blood Dragon spin-off), it should be no surprise that Far Cry 4 is most definitely in development. According to industry insider Superannuation, Far Cry 4 is set in "the Himalayas or adjacent locale." Oh, and it has "monsters."
Ubisoft has obviously declined to comment, but the apparent leak occurred on Twitter, with Superannuation tweeting two hours later, claiming the original tweet was meant as a direct message.
Far Cry 4 sounds super boring from the rumors. It's the third game more or less transposed to the Himalayas or adjacent locale + monsters(?)
Considering Ubisoft has already done the jungle, and desert thing, a snowy environment would certainly be a nice change, especially with some sweet weather effects and maleable snow a la Company of Heroes 2. The "monsters" rumor is a little more disturbing though. Excluding Blood Dragon, Ubisoft's Far Cry games have been steeped in at least some sense of realism. The original Far Cry, developed by Crytek, featured "monsters" known as Trigens, and they were arguably the worst part of the game – and by "arguably," I mean, if you don't agree, you obviously didn't play the otherwise exceptional game. That being said, one common "monster" associated with the Himalayas is the yeti, which could actually be kind of cool. Maybe yetis would be super rare and there will be a quest to track and hunt one down? I'd be okay with that.
Nevertheless, these rumors should be treated as such. There is absolutely no proof or confirmation of either of these things, not to mention plans can always change.
Amazon is set to release a new product before long, but it isn't a Kindle. No, this time Amazon is gearing up for an Android console or set-top box launch, with the latest pegging it as early as next month. It's not known whether Amazon's product will be a set-top box, like the earlierrumors said, or a game console à la the Ouya, like last month's rumor said. Considering we're a week removed from March, Amazon is definitely playing things close to its chest.
Regardless of what this new product will be exactly, chances are high it will run Google's Android operating system to easily take advantange of Amazon's Appstore. However, there's no telling if the console/set-top box will use stock Android, the heavily modified Fire OS, or something else entirely. It's likely the price will be under $300, and considering Amazon recently acquired game developer Double Helix Games, maybe there will be a killer title on it before long.
The Mobile World Congress starts in a few days, so could we have an announcement made there or soon after? We'll just have to wait and see.
Thermaltake has announced its new series of CPU heatsinks, known as non-interference coolers. The new series, including models NiC L31 and NiC L32, focuses heavily on being compatible with all types of RAM including high-end and overclocked RAM which are generally taller than traditional modules. High performance RAM is incompatible with most other CPU coolers due to height restrictions by the heatsinks, but the new NiC series coolers by Thermaltake are able to provide enough clearance to support the RAM.
A total of three heat pipes, which are solid and measure in at 8mm, are used in order to cool the CPU effectively. The incorporated design features an aesthetically appealing look while providing an even dissipation surface. Thermaltake has implemented a PWM fan which allows users to control the fan speed from 500 RPM to 1800 RPM, providing both quite operation and performance. An additional fan can be added to the coolers, enabling even more heat dissipation, while still be optimized for compatibility with all types of RAM available.
It's the end of the second to last week of February, and we have some reviews to help kick off your weekend. There's the Gigabyte mITX Z87N-WIFI motherboard that carries a ton of features, yet a more affordable price tag to appeal to a large market. We have a review on the be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 3 low noise CPU cooler, which has a cooling capacity of 250W TDP. For some potential audio bliss, there's the SteelSeries Siberia Elite gaming headset, with its distinctive design and included USB sound card. Cooler Master's ROC tablet and notebook stand gets put to the test to see how well it functions. We have another cryptocurrency article, however this time looking at any increases NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 750 Ti can bring. Finishing up is a podcast looking back at all the latest news from the past week.
There are multiple physical theories and mechanics that influence the world around us, and some of them even compete with each other, in certain scenarios. For decades now, physicists have been questioning which theories form the basis of the Universe, but finally we may be drawing close to an answer. Researchers at MIT have recently devised a way to test and potentially close a loophole in Bell's inequality, which could indicate if the classical or quantum mechanics are the foundation of the Universe.
Bell's inequality was developed fifty years ago to address the disparity of classical and quantum mechanics, as it pertains to certain phenomenon, such as entanglement. Entanglement is when two particles become so strongly coupled that measuring one will immediately affect the other, no matter how separated they are. Bell's inequality would limit entanglement, if classical mechanics is at the heart of the Universe. Since it was developed, researchers have been testing it, and finding loopholes. One major loophole still remains, the so-called 'free will' loophole. According to this loophole, the particle detectors measuring the particles may be biased towards certain measurements, due to some shared causal past. Therefore, the detectors, and the scientists operating them do not truly have free will, as the particles is concerned.
What the MIT researchers have proposed is taking advantage of distant quasars to make the measurements. By selecting two quasars, which can be nearly the age of the Universe, on opposite sides of the visible Universe, one should be able to assume that they and the light they emit have not shared any information since the Universe was born. The light from these quasars would be used to determine the settings of the particle detectors, and after enough measurements it should be possible to say if the particles are more strongly entangled than classical mechanics allows, thus indicating the Universe is based on quantum mechanics. Usefully, the proposed experiment can be completed with current technology, so it could happen in a few years.
It has been known for awhile that PopCap Games' quirky multiplayer shooter Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare will have various customization options. Customizations and upgrades are unlocked via stickers, which are purchased with coins. Those coins can be earned by playing the game or purchased for real money. But surprisingly, those coin pack microtransactions will not be available at launch.
Speaking to GameSpot, producer Brian Lindley explained that following Garden Warfare's release, PopCap will "look at in-game metrics and player feedback to determine how best to move forward." PopCap had previously told Polygon "that players can earn an average of 15,000 to 18,000 per hour by playing the game," though it wasn't stated how many coins stickers cost. That being said, senior franchise marketing manager Gary Glay told Polygon that "everything is unlockable through gameplay," which is certainly a good thing. I think withholding microtransactions at launch is a smart move, as it'll show players that they can unlock in-game items simply by playing the game – not to mention it makes EA look less greedy.
Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare launches on Xbox One and Xbox 360 on February 25th, while the PC version is still listed with a vague "Spring 2014" release date. If you haven't watched the excellent live-action trailer, be sure to do so.