8th Gen side by side

By Mike on 8:26 pm

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With the Xbox One being announced this week, we've finally rounded out the list of eighth generation consoles. Here's a side by side comparison of specs for the Wii U, PS4, and Xbox One.

Updated June 19th, 2013

Xbox One Playstation 4 Wii U
CPU AMD "Jaguar" 8-core APU, x86-64 AMD “Jaguar” 8-core APU, x86-64 IBM Espresso, tri-core at 1.24ghz, PowerPC based
Graphics Custom AMD GPU, 1.23 TFLOPS peak performance, 768 GPU cores AMD Radeon APU capable of 1.84 TFLOPS peak performance, 1152 GPU cores AMD Latte, 550mhz, based on AMD Radeon HD 4000 series*
Memory 8GB DDR3-2133 with 5GB available to games 63GB/s bandwidth on 256-bit bus / 32mb eSRAM 102GB/s  8GB GDDR5 at 5500mhz,  176GB/s bandwidth on 256-bit bus 2GB DDR3-1600, 12.8GB/s Bandwidth, 1gb reserved for OS
Disc Drive Blu-ray Blu-ray Proprietary Wii U Optical Disc, 25GB capacity
Internal Storage 500GB, non upgradable 500 GB, upgradable 8GB / 32GB Flash
External storage External USB drives Unknown SD card or external USB hard drive
Connectivity USB 3.0, built in WiFi Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11n WiFi, USB 3.0, Bluetooth 2.1 802.11n WiFi, USB 2.0, sensor bar port
AV Outputs HDMI; supports up to 1080p and 4K HDMI, Optical; supports up to 1080p for games and 4K for video HDMI, analogue AV Multi Out; supports up to 1080p
Operating System Xbox OS, modified Windows 8 Kernel Playstation 4 OS HOME
Controller Xbox One Controller, 1080p Kinect DualShock 4, Playstation 4 Eye, Playstation Move, PS Vita Wii U GamePad with touch screen, Pro Controller, Wii Remote, Balance Board, Classic Controller, 3DS
Backwards Compatibility No Partially. PS3 games will be streamed via Gaikai.  Yes, can play Wii games
Online and Entertainment Services Xbox Live, Live TV, Cloud. Xbox Live Gold required for online play Playstation Network, Gaikai cloud service, Netflix, Hulu, RedBox Instant. Playstation Plus required for online play. Nintendo Network, eShop, Miiverse, Tvii, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon
Requires Internet Connection One time, for initial setup of console No No
Supports pre-owned games Yes, no restrictions Yes, no restrictions Yes, no restrictions
Supports save states, instant on, background downloads and updates Yes Yes No
Launch Price $499 $399 $299 and $349

*Unconfirmed/Rumoured. These specs are only rumoured but will most likely be part of the final design.

For comparison purposes, here's last generation's specs.

Xbox 360 Playstation 3 Wii
CPU 3.2GHz IBM Xenon tri-core, based on Power PC 970 3.2Ghz IBM Cell Broadband Engine Processor, 1 PPE, 6 SPE cores IBM Broadway 32-bit, 729mhz single core. 2.9GFLOPS peak performance
Graphics AMD Xenos 500mhz, based on AMD Radeon X1800 series nVidia RSX 550mhz based on GeForce 7800 series AMD Hollywood, 243mhz
Memory 512mb GDDR3 clocked at 700mhz, shared between CPU and GPU 512MB XDRAM clocked at 3.2ghz, split into two separate 256mb blocks for system and graphics 88MB GDDR3 shared between system and graphics
Disc Drive DVD Blu-ray Proprietary Wii Optical Disc 8.54GB capacity, GameCube Disc
Internal Storage None to 320GB, hard drive or flash, user upgradable with proprietary hard drive modules 20GB – 500GB 2.5 inch hard drive, user upgradable 512MB internal Flash
External storage Supports external USB flash and hard drives Flash cards (early models), external USB drives, limits on ability to store games SD Card, GameCube Memory Card
Connectivity 10/100 Ethernet, USB 2.0, IR receiver. 802.11n WiFi can be added via a USB dongle, WiFi built in to later S models 802.11G WiFi, Gigabit Ethernet, USB 2.0, Bluetooth 2.0 802.11G WiFi, USB 2.0, Bluetooth
AV Outputs Analogue output, optical audio, HDMI added to later models; supports up to 1080p, most games 720p HDMI, Optical, analogue AV output; supports up to 1080p, most games 720p Analogue AV Multi Out; supports up to 480p
Operating System Xbox 360 Dashboard XrossMedia Bar Wii Menu
Controller Wired Xbox 360 Controller, Wireless controller, racing wheel, Kinect SixAxis, DualShock 3, Playstation Move, Playstation Eye Wii Remote and nunchuck, Balance Board, GameCube Controller, Classic Controller, Nintendo DS
Backwards Compatibility Partial, supports some but not all original Xbox games Yes, Playstation, PS2 supported only on early models Yes, GameCube
Online Services Xbox Live Playstation Network Nintendo Wi-Fii Connection, WiiConnect24, Wii Shop Channel
Requires Internet Connection No No No
Supports pre-owned games Yes Yes Yes
Launch Price $300 Core / $400 20Gb Premium $499 20GB / $599 60GB $250 US

Sources: Wikipedia, Xbox, Sony, IGN, Kotaku, Anandtech

Digesting the Xbox One announcement

By Mike on 11:34 pm

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In case you were living under a rock, dear gamer, the new Xbox One was announced today. I must say I felt rather underwhelmed with Microsoft's presentation. Especially after Sony's strong showing back in March. Here's a peak and some commentary at what's coming up for the nextbox.

It has an odd name
When gamers refer to the Xbox One, they usually mean the original Xbox. Guess that well known fact went unnoticed at Redmond. It's a bit of an odd choice, and completely out of left field. Many figured it would be called the Infinity, which makes (ahem) infinitely more sense. Then again silly names can work sometimes. Just look at the Wii. Though I still think it's code name Revolution was cooler.

It will be out by the end of the year
Microsoft hasn't set a date but they did confirm it will launch by the end of 2013. Expect a November launch window in the run up to the holidays. That seems to be the norm these days.

We don't know how much it costs
Microsoft didn't say a word about pricing, or even if there would be different models to buy. With cable integration, we can speculate that this may be part of the much rumoured subsidization program. So far, Redmond is tight lipped on the subject.

Keep reading after the break more details on the Xbox One

Quick Tech: 3 Jailbreak Apps that should be in the App Store

By Mike on 1:52 pm

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Apple has hit 50 billion app downloads. Many more if you count all the unofficial apps that can be grabbed from Cydia on a jailbroken iPhone. Some of these are infinitely useful and belong in the realm of official status.

The brilliance of Flux is you never notice it working, yet it's becomes impossible to live without. As the sun sets, this app adjust the colour temperature of your display to a warmer hue. It's well known that bright white light in the evening causes eye strain and sleep problems. Flux makes using your iDevice at night a lot less stressful on the old peepers.

Have a problem with the 16GB iPad's lack of storage? No problem! Just pay $200 more for the 64GB version. What if that's still not enough? Say you have a huge movie and music collection, or you edit a lot of photos and videos on the go. Tough lucks. The iPad is one of the few high end tablets that doesn't officially support removable storage. Even Microsoft's craptastic Surface has a card slot. Thankfully there's iFile. It's a file browser for the iPad but it also lets you use the camera kit and an SD card to store whatever you want. Apple doesn't trust it's users to deeper into iOS's file system. However, it's hard to deny how useful something like this is.

Full control of you phone's settings from the notification menu. That's all you really need to know about BossPrefs. Adjust brightness, turn off cellular data and WiFi, or free up memory with one touch. Go in deeper to see memory and disk usage, and your IP address. It eliminated the kludge involved with adjusting basic settings, without using the settings app. Apple will never put a utility like this in the store, since it gives the user too much unsanctioned power. Though it's something that should be integrated into the next iOS.

Got some more jailbreak apps and tweaks you can't live with out, and want to see go official? Post them in the comments.