Samsung’s Galaxy S20 series is going official in just a few short weeks and this week we’ve learned pretty much all there is to learn about the entire collection. Today, another Galaxy S20 leak details the full specs on all three main models.
What’s familiar with all three variants? Samsung is using a centered punch-hole design with a 20:9, 3200x1440p 120Hz AMOLED panel of varying sizes. All three variants also share Android 10 pre-installed, IP68 water resistance, 128GB of base storage with microSD, and, at least with these variants, an Exynos 990 chipset. In most regions, though, we’re expecting a Snapdragon 865. This spec sheet doesn’t mention RAM, but previous rumors place the Ultra with up to 16GB.
What’s different? Let’s talk about the standard Galaxy S20 first. The smallest of the three, this device still packs a 6.2-inch display, a slight jump up from the S10’s 6.1-inch panel. The S20 carries dimensions of 152x68x7.8mm, not too different from the S10. There’s also a 12MP main camera, 64MP telephoto camera with 3x optical zoom, and 12MP ultra-wide camera. Samsung is apparently using these sensors to craft up to 30x digital zoom and offering 8K video recording. There’s also a 10MP front camera with 4K video. A 4,000 mAh battery rounds out the spec sheet.
The Galaxy S20+ carries a similar spec sheet. It has the same set of cameras but adds a ToF sensor to the mix as well. There’s also a larger 4,500 mAh battery to power the 6.7-inch display. As pictured below, the S20+ is quite a bit larger than the S10+ with dimensions of 162x74x7.8mm. By comparison, S10+ measured in at 157.6×74.1×7.8mm.
Finally, there’s the S20 Ultra which is, as previously detailed, is absolutely ridiculous. It has a 6.9-inch display, 167x76x8.8mm body, and a much more elaborate camera array. There’s a 40MP front-facing camera and, on the back, a 108MP primary camera, 48MP telephoto camera with 10x optical zoom, 12MP ultra-wide and a ToF sensor too. Samsung is using this array to create 100x digital zoom. Rounding things out is a 5,000 mAh battery which is, again, pretty ridiculous.
What do you think of the Galaxy S20’s leak specs? Drop a comment below and let us know! The Galaxy S20 goes official on February 11th.
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Google teasing Nest product launch annoucement for July 13 – MobileSyrup
Google’s Nest Twitter account is teasing “something special” is coming on July 13th, which could likely be about the company’s upcoming smart speaker.
There have been several reports about Google’s upcoming smart speaker codenamed ‘Prince,’ as it recently appeared on the FCC’s website. Google itself also released images of the device a few days ago, which indicated that a launch was imminent.
It’s possible that Google plans to reveal more details about the speaker, or maybe announce more Nest products. However, it’s important to note that there haven’t been any rumours or leaks about other Nest products.
Take a deep breath and prepare. Something special is coming this Monday. pic.twitter.com/EV850z5bU7
— Google Nest (@googlenest) July 11, 2020
The original Google Home smart speaker launched back in 2017 in Canada after the smart speaker released in the U.S. in 2016. It was recently marked as “no longer available” in the Google Store, which indicated that it has been discontinued.
Images suggest that the speaker takes on a similar aesthetic to the Nest Mini with an all-fabric design. It will reportedly also have larger drivers, which should contribute to improved audio quality.
The speaker also sports a physical mute switch like the Nest Mini instead of the button on the original Google Home. Google seems to have changed up the plug as well, getting rid of the nifty hidden plug seen on the original Google Home for something that just plugs into the back of the speaker.
We’ll likely hear more about the device and its availability quite soon.
Nintendo's Brutal Mario Game. Shigeru Miyamoto and his team were… | by James Burns | SUPERJUMP | Jul, 2020 – Medium
Shigeru Miyamoto and his team made a “kaizo” game long before fan hacks emerged
Have you ever heard of a kaizo game? The concept is pretty straightforward. Players take an existing game — including its assets, like character sprites — and “remix” them to build eye-wateringly difficult levels. There’s a whole culture around kaizo games. If you’re curious, I highly recommend checking out Josh Bycer’s fantastic piece on the topic.
One of the most fascinating elements of kaizo games is the concept of a kaizo trap. The idea is that the designer sets up a particularly nasty obstacle that the player will trigger with little to no forewarning. It’s often the case that these traps are aimed squarely at players who attempt to take the easiest path through a level. I think of it as a kind of contrapasso, which makes it all the more delightfully fiendish.
Most people would probably think of kaizo games as setting out to achieve the exact opposite of what games generally aim for. For the most part, video game designers try to carefully balance difficulty. Challenge is important, but overwhelmingly punishing difficulty (where, for instance, players routinely encounter unavoidable deaths) is usually a sign of poor game design. Kaizo games avoid the “poor game design” moniker because they are deliberately designed to inflict maximum pain, and players understand this when diving in.
Aside from the specific mechanical traits that make a kaizo game, well…kaizo, there’s another important ingredient at play: it’s the fans taking an established game and “hacking” it in order to turn it into the equivalent of running uphill during a landslide.
But what happens when a prominent, family-friendly game company converts one of its most iconic, beloved titles into a heinous meat grinder?
That’s exactly what Nintendo did in 1986, when they released Super Mario Bros. 2 on the Famicom Disk System in Japan.
The story behind Super Mario Bros. 2 is fascinating and there are many wonderful documentaries on the internet that dive into quite some detail on the topic. For now, though, I’ll give you the crash course.
Super Mario Bros. was released in 1985 and became a global phenomenon. Nintendo wanted to rapidly follow it up with a sequel, which was due to be released on the Famicom Disk System (an attachment for the Famicom console that played games on special re-writeable disks). There was a feeling that many Japanese players had already mastered Super Mario Bros., and therefore needed a more challenging sequel. Nintendo marketed Super Mario Bros. 2 as being “for super players”. Unfortunately, the game was so brutal that Nintendo of America didn’t want to publish it (leading to another title — Doki Doki Panic — being retrofitted to become Super Mario Bros. 2 in western markets). The “real” Super Mario Bros. 2 would eventually be released in western markets as part of the 1993 Super Mario All-Stars compilation for Super Nintendo. On the compilation, it would become known as Super Mario Bros. The Lost Levels.
Let me just say: I’m a huge Mario fan. And I’m pretty damn good at Mario games, if I do say so myself. But I’ve never beaten Super Mario Bros. 2 — not until recently, that is. The ability to play this game as part of the Nintendo Switch Online NES catalogue (with those sweet, sweet save states) has been a literal game-changer for me.
I always knew Super Mario Bros. 2 was difficult. What I didn’t really appreciate until my latest play through is just how blatantly treacherous Nintendo’s designers could really be. This game is full of dark patterns that strike at the heart of Nintendo’s own Mario rulebook. This is, in part, what makes Super Mario Bros. 2 so much fun to play. It’s as though the Mario team got utterly ruined on sake after a haywire office party, said fuck it, and took a match to the million-seller they’d only just shipped.
Let’s start with the most well-known change: the poison mushroom. This little bastard appears right away in World 1–1. Sure, it looks like the recently-paroled cousin of the regular super mushroom upon close inspection. But if you’ve just arrived here from the first game, your instinct will be to pick up whatever looks like a “power up”. Doing so is the equivalent of absent-mindedly putting your hand on a hot stove: after recoiling from the sting, you’ll immediately be on a more careful and deliberate footing.
Don’t worry, though: the poison mushroom is just the beginning of the fuckery. How about World 3–1’s backwards warp pipe? Just like the original game, you will find warp pipes at various points and some of them will certainly propel you forward to later worlds. World 3–1 is a masterclass in psychological warfare. You find the springboard right before the flagpole. As you fly right over said flagpole, you just know you’re in for some Nintendo magic. How exciting! Sure enough, you’ll eventually stumble upon a warp pipe. Then you realise it’s a World 1 warp pipe and you have no way of avoiding it (other than falling into the pit and losing a life). It’s like someone asking you to taste some delicious cake batter from a wooden spoon…only to smack you in the teeth with the same spoon a moment later.
There’s a whole lot more to contend with in Super Mario Bros. 2. Some jumps are physically impossible unless you first find a hidden block in the environment to leap from. Even then, some of these blocks are high enough that you can’t easily jump on them from a standing start — it’s necessary to get a good run up, leap on the hidden block, and then leap across the impossible chasm.
Later in the game, you’ll encounter powerful gusts of wind that violently propel Mario across the screen while in mid-air. I found World 7–3 particularly challenging. In order to navigate through the level you need to use springboards while dealing with the wind gusts. Because the springboards propel Mario up “above” the visible are of the level, it’s incredibly difficult to know where he’ll land when he eventually comes back down.
Although it’s filled with devious twists and turns, I am being slightly hyperbolic when I suggest that it’s a kaizo game. There’s nothing here that’s inherently unfair; nothing that leaves the player with no recourse. Rather, Super Mario Bros. 2 is a clear indication that Miyamoto and co. understand their own creation down to the pixel. They know exactly what skills you had to master in the original game, and the expectations you established based on that game’s rules. The deliberate violation of these rules in the sequel doesn’t imply that Nintendo abandoned all sense and structure. Rather, your muscle memory is used against you in an effort to shake you from complacency. It’s almost like being forced to write with your opposite hand — the basic rules of writing are the same, but you can’t entirely fall back on what you already know. You’re pushed back into a growth mindset, where knowledge is again replaced with curiosity. For this reason, I’d say Super Mario Bros. 2 is great to dive into right after you’ve finished Super Mario Bros. Playing both back-to-back will further sharpen your appreciation of the sequel.
Remember, too: if you’ve never played Super Mario Bros. 2 then you will die and this will likely be a repeated occurrence. This is why playing the original version with limited lives is extremely tricky. But if you’re playing on Nintendo Switch, don’t be ashamed to take advantage of those save states. They make the game accessible enough to work your way through without entirely dulling the (good) pain.
Two of Ubisoft’s most powerful execs resign in wake of sexual misconduct scandal – Video Games Chronicle
Two of Ubisoft” href=”https://www.videogameschronicle.com/companies/ubisoft/”>Ubisoft’s most powerful executives have resigned in the wake of the sexual misconduct scandal at the company.
Chief Creative Officer Serge Hascoët, who oversaw all of the company’s games as head of its influential editorial team, has resigned from his position. It’s not clear if he will also leave the company.
Yannis Mallat, MD of Ubisoft’s Canadian studios, has stepped down from his role and left the company. Mallat established Ubisoft’s leading Montreal studio as the proudcer of Prince of Persia: Sands of Time.
Ubisoft said that “the recent allegations that have come to light in Canada against multiple employees make it impossible for [Mallat] to continue in this position.”
Additionally, Ubisoft said it would be appointing a new Global Head of HR to replace Cécile Cornet, who has decided to step down from this role. In parallel, the Company said it’s restructuring its HR team “in order to adapt it to the new challenges of the video game industry.”
The suspensions follow a recent wave of allegations made against people in the games industry.
Executives Tommy Francois and Maxime Beland” href=”https://www.videogameschronicle.com/people/maxime-beland/”>Maxime Béland were put on administrative leave, along with several other employees. Béland later resigned.
The developments overshadow Ubisoft’s E3-style digital showcase, which is set to take place on Sunday and offer updates on its latest games.
CEO Yves Guillemot said in a statement: “Ubisoft has fallen short in its obligation to guarantee a safe and inclusive workplace environment for its employees. This is unacceptable, as toxic behaviors are in direct contrast to values on which I have never compromised — and never will.
“I am committed to implementing profound changes across the Company to improve and strengthen our workplace culture.
“Moving forward, as we collectively embark on a path leading to a better Ubisoft, it is my expectation that leaders across the Company manage their teams with the utmost respect. I also expect them to work to drive the change we need, always thinking of what is best for Ubisoft and all its employees.”
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