Microsoft and Intel’s Project Evo Ups the PC Game

2016-12-28-03

Microsoft and Intel on Wednesday announced Project Evo, their highly anticipated collaboration to create the next generation of personal computers. The project aims to expand on new advances in artificial intelligence, mixed reality, advanced security and gaming.

Terry Myerson, executive vice president of the Windows and Devices Group at Microsoft, unveiled some of Project Evo’s ambitious plans at the Windows Hardware Engineering Community (WinHEC) event in Shenzhen, China.

Through the collaboration, the companies will push the boundaries of a personal computer’s capabilities in the near future, he said. Technologies under development include far-field speech and wake-on-voice enabled through Cortana, biometrics and voice authentication in Windows Hello, spacial audio, and HDR support for gaming.

Project Evo — particularly its expanded use of Cortana — invites comparisons to the digital assistant tools found in Amazon Echo and Google Home, standalone speakers that use Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant respectively. Though their capabilities differ, each uses voice communications to interact with the automated home.

However, Project Evo seems geared toward making the personal computer into a much more sophisticated device — one that can be accessed and operated in ways never before seen.

Microsoft and Intel’s Project Evo Ups the PC Game

New Apple Products Have the Right Gaming Stuff

2016-09-21-09

Apple is making a bid to attract gaming fans to the more powerful graphics and processing power embedded in its new iPhone 7 and Apple Watch Series 2 products.

The iPhone 7, which became available on Friday, features the new A10 Fusion chip — the most powerful ever in a smartphone, according to the company. The CPU fuses two high-performance cores that run twice as fast as the iPhone 6 with much more efficient use of battery power. The phone’s improved graphics performance makes it suitable for more intensive gaming.

In a surprise appearance at the Apple event, Nintendo Creative Fellow Shigeru Miyamoto (pictured above), the legendary game designer behind the Donkey Kong and Super Mario franchises, introduced Super Mario Run — the first mobile version of the iconic game, which will make its debut on iPhone 7.

“We want as many people as possible all around the world to be able to enjoy playing as Mario,” he told the audience through a translator.

Smartphone makers often use mobile games as a way to showcase the latest advances in hardware and performance capabilities, noted Jack Kent, director of operators and mobile media at IHS Markit. However, the jury is still out on how much gaming apps influence new sales.

“A more common hardware feature that drives new smartphone purchases is the camera — which Apple devoted a lot of attention to at its launch event,” Kent told TechNewsWorld.

Game developers likely will have a wait-and-see attitude about writing new apps for the iPhone 7 and Apple Watch, said Lewis Ward, research director for gaming at IDC.

“It’s always a chicken-or-egg issue for third-party developers. The new tech is sexy, and you want to take advantage of the available enhancements,” he told TechNewsWorld, “but the installed base starts off so small that you’d blow a hole in your foot — or at least your P&L statement — if you developed a game that ran on the latest iPhone or Apple Watch.

New Apple Products Have the Right Gaming Stuff