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All posts by Hadlee Simons

  • Mario Kart 8 Deluxe: or how I shouted ‘bomb’ on a plane

    "Urgh! Bomb!" It was at this moment that I realised what I had shouted. On a plane from Johannesburg to Cape Town. Granted, I wasn't shouting at the top of my lungs and it was interspersed between cries of "blue shell!" and swear words, but it still made for a flustered moment a few seconds later. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe will do that to you. Hell, the entire series will do that to you. And when you're playing in split-screen with a fellow tech journalist on a plane, as hard as you try, there will be a rally of nasty words and exasperated cries. The...

  • ‘Google Home six times more likely to answer questions than Alexa’

    It seems like voice assistants are the new battleground, with Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon and Samsung all delivering services in this regard. But arguably the two most hyped products in the field right now are the Google Home and Amazon Echo speakers. Which one is more effective though? Well, marketing firm 360i has conducted research, finding that Google's product was six times more likely to answer your questions than Amazon's Alexa assistant inside the Echo. The firm used proprietary software, dubbed Voice Search Monitor (VSM), to pose questions to the speakers. And these weren't just one, two or a dozen questions...

  • SNES Classic is real: Star Fox 2 playable for first time

    We heard murmurings of a mini SNES console earlier this year, following the success of the mini NES. Now, Nintendo has officially taken the wraps off of the SNES Classic console. Much like the mini NES, we've got a miniature console in the same style as the original machine, as well as two SNES controllers. The console officially launches in the USA on 29 September and comes in at US$80. No word on a local release date or price just yet, but we've asked Core Group for more information. Still, a console lives and dies by its games, and the SNES had a...

  • iOS 11 beta preview is now available for all to download

    At its WWDC 2017 event, Apple released the developer preview of iOS 11 to... well... developers. It promised that everyday users would soon get in on the action as well, with that day finally coming. Those wanting to get in on the action can sign up via this link, but, it's worth noting that the beta nature means that you might experience crashes and general instability. As for features, iOS 11 brings a one-handed keyboard, ARKit for augmented reality, peer-to-peer payments via Apple Pay, a file explorer, a Do Not Disturb mode while driving and a new App Store. Apple fans can...

  • These video games will run at 4K/60fps on Xbox One X

    Microsoft's Xbox One X is easily the most powerful console ever produced, shaping up to be more capable than the PS4 Pro on paper (exclusives are another story though). At its E3 2017 presentation, Microsoft constantly touted games that were enhanced for Xbox One X, with Forza Motorsport 7 leading the way. Packing 4K resolution and 60 frames per second, Forza might be the most technically demanding console game around. But there are a few more titles offering 4K and 60fps on the new console... For one, we've got F1 2017, with Codemasters telling Gaming Bolt that it was targeting 4K and...

  • Sega Forever drops free retro games on Android, iOS

    Who doesn't like the idea of proper mobile ports of classic games? Super Mario Bros with touch controls and optional controller support? How about Crash Team Racing? Well, one major publisher has stepped up to the plate in the form of Sega, launching its Sega Forever programme. The company has tapped its back catalogue to deliver a slew of free retro games on Android and iOS. Expect Sega Master System, Mega Drive and Dreamcast games to receive the porting treatment. But will it be a lazy job or is there actually plenty of work going into them? Sega says the games...

  • Google Pixel 2: have specs been revealed?

    We all know that the Google Pixel 2 is coming, especially after the praise heaped on last year's models. But it seems like have our first leaks of the next-generation Pixel phones. According to XDA Developers, citing a source "familiar with the matter that spent time with at least one of these phones", there will indeed be two models available. The so-called Taimen variant is the XL version, packing a 6-inch AMOLED screen with a 1440p display -- ideal for VR then. The source adds that the display is made by LG, which lines up with earlier reports regarding Google and LG...

  • Interview: HMD Global CEO Arto Nummela

    "It was overwhelming. We went to the meetings and people are coming and hugging, (saying) 'thank god you are bringing Nokia back'." This was according to HMD Global CEO Arto Nummela, speaking to Gearburn at the Nokia/HMD launch event in Johannesburg. The event officially welcomes Nokia-branded smartphones, running Android, to South Africa, Nummela, a long-time Nokia veteran, said that they "couldn't find a country in the world" that was unwilling to bring Nokia smartphones back. The Nokia-branded Android phones are shaping up to be very promising phones in their own right. But the company also launched the Nokia 3310 reboot, coming to...

  • Interview: Mobile kingpin ARM on what’s next in 2018

    Whether it's the architecture or actual hardware, UK-based ARM powers the vast majority of smartphones around the world today. Its architecture is licensed by the likes of Apple (and well, everyone), while their CPU and GPU designs are used by everyone from Alcatel to ZTE. In fact, there's pretty much a 100% chance that you've got a phone using their technology in some form. The company has kept itself busy in recent months, revealing its two latest CPU cores. For starters, we've got the Cortex-A75 core, being the latest in a line of regularly updated heavyweight CPU cores. More importantly for cheaper...

  • After being dumped by Apple, Imagination puts self up for sale

    Imagination Technologies has supplied Apple with graphics hardware for years now, being responsible for the GPUs used in iPhones and iPads. However, news broke earlier this year that Apple was dumping the company to use its own in-house graphics hardware for future iPhones. The immediate effect of that news saw Imagination's shares tank by over 60%. But the saga doesn't end there, as Imagination has announced that it has put itself up for sale. In a press release on its website, the company notes that "over the last few weeks it has received interest from a number of parties for a potential...