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  • Hisense HS-X1 review: a smartphone you might as well call a tablet

    Whenever I'm called to pick up a new phone for review, I expect to find something small, economical and light. These are, after all, fairly standard smartphone traits. Not so this time. The Hisense X1 is enormous, and picking it up for the first time I asked a question that I would soon get from other people time and time again. "Is this really a phone?" Indeed, with a 6.8" screen the X1 looks more like a tablet. Hisense might describe it as a phone but it’s so large you can call it what you like: a tablet, a phone...

  • Mozilla to offer $25 Firefox OS-powered smartphones by year-end

    While Google's Android and Apple's iOS compete at the higher spectrum of the smartphone market, Mozilla is aiming a little lower. So low, in fact, that its planning to sell a US$25 Firefox OS smartphone in India and Indonesia before this year ends, according to WSJ. This price largely undercuts the retail price of most feature phones, an indication that Mozilla hopes to capitalise on emerging markets' massive smartphone boom. Rather than marketing their OS for high end phones competing with Android and iOS, it plans to embrace low income adopters, a market area largely forgotten my smartphone manufacturers. Mozilla will...

  • Prepare your face: this Kickstarter gadget lets you 3D print icing and Nutella

    Ever thought your icing gun was just not enough? Wished for more precise placings in your Nutella art? Well, you can now dream bigger -- thanks to a new extruder attachment, it'll be easier than ever to print paste-like substances. It's called the Discov3ry and it's a universal extruder that will fit with existing desktop 3D printers on the market (like the popular Makerbot) and allow them to print materials like silicon, icing, Nutella, wood filler, ceramics and polyurethane. It's currently raising funds over on Kickstarter, where it has already passed its 30 000 Canadian dollar goal by more than...

  • 3 hidden gems of E3 2014: Mario Maker, Axiom Verge, Nidhogg

    Mario Maker, Axiom Verge and Nidhogg are our picks for the least-known, but best games of E3 2014. Each title is the personification of gaming itself and knows how to make its players smile. Amidst million-dollar games are sweet, gentle titles which grab you by the heartstrings. These are three of our fondest: Mario Maker (Wii U) What do you get when you combine Mario Paint with Super Mario? This game. Mario Maker is so succinct in its presentation that it requires no explanation at all from the game (there are screen tips, but those are only for the Angry...

  • Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, 3DS is Nintendo’s golden brawler

    Cult-like worship is nothing new for Masahiro Sakurai, oddball creator and luminary genius responsible for Nintendo's Super Smash Bros. and Kirby, a living pink ball of bubblegum dreams. This quiet, mystical man commands a room of hundreds who've gathered to hear how his latest games, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS will redefine their lives. We took part in an exclusive Nintendo invitational where Sakurai revealed some exclusive details for what is surely Nintendo's shining moment for 2014. For those unfamiliar with Super Smash Bros. imagine every popular Nintendo character -- Mario, Samus from Metroid, Pikachu, Kid Icarus -- beating the...

  • 6 mobile games for playing in short bursts

    Even though the world is littered with gaming enthusiasts, not all of them are blessed with enough time to sink into the more long-winded titles available to us. Thankfully, this problem hasn’t gone unnoticed and there are numerous games that one can play in short bursts to achieve that illusive gaming fix. So I've gone searching for those illusive smartphone games that are perfect for playing in short bursts. John Madrun Developer: Happy Magenta Platforms: iOS John Madrun is a simple, retro side-scroller where you play as, yes you’ve guessed it, John. Our lead character is embroiled in some kind of conspiracy...

  • Alienware’s Windows-based Alpha to join Xbox One, PS4 in console war

    Alienware, Dell's enthusiast division, has announced that its Alpha gaming machine will not launch with SteamOS as initially planned, but instead with Windows 8.1 booting into a Steam interface. The Xbox One and PS4 competitor was unveiled in January at CES 2014 with the cheapest Alpha retailing at US$549 once launched. Initially, the device was to run Valve's modified version of Debian dubbed SteamOS, but Alienware has grown impatient citing Valve's companion peripheral's constant delays. The platform's predicted release date is now 2015. The developers at Alienware has now decided to go with a proven and trusted platform in Windows 8.1,...

  • Alien Isolation preview: fangs for the memories

    Alien Isolation (I was privy to the alpha build) did something that games rarely do: it scared me. And not because of the choppy framerate or fuzzy controls. No, Alien Isolation genuinely made me fearful of what lurked in the shadows. Armed with an Xbox One controller and a noise-cancellation headset, I was plunged into a world that slicked sweat across my brow. As I said earlier, I played the alpha which set me loose in a deadly playground with only a small set of objectives and one main task, to avoid the deadliest xenomorph in science fiction. I...

  • Ori and the Blind Forest preview: spirited away

    As an Xbox One exclusive game, this sublime Metroid-style adventure is going to make many PS4 owners Microsoft-green with envy. Ori and the Blind Forest looks to be an incredible adventure and in the scant 20-minute demo with the game, I fell in love. The introduction sets a gentle tone and evokes Miyazaki's classics like Spirited Away and My Neighbour Totoro with the type of childish glee many games have sadly lacked. Whatever happened to exploration, delight and thrilling puzzles? The answer is Ori and the Blind Forest. Ori and the Blind Forest is going to be a touching game,...

  • Bayonetta 2 hands-on preview: outrageous witching

    I have a special relationship with Bayonetta. Not in the creepy stalker way (I promise), but I'm rather attached to the character who is a kick-ass, near-invulnerable death machine with the moves of a sadistic ballet dancer. Bayonetta 1 was one of the most fun, bombastic games for the Xbox 360 and because Bayonetta 2 lands exclusively on the Wii U -- a strange choice of platform indeed -- many of us won't be experiencing this mad-combo witches adventure. But I did, and it's still as excellent, oddball and maniac as the original. I must admit, I haven't played much Wii U but the...