Posts Tagged ‘opinion’

Mass Effect Andromeda 04.12.2017 - 02.05.56.32

With Mass Effect: Andromeda, it’s a tricky thing to handle when pushing 4K specs on a mid-level graphics card. It’s not a baby, but it’s not racehorse either.

It’s getting to be an older rig now, with the high-end Devil’s Canyon Intel i7-4790K processor, 2x 8GB of RAM, Asus Z97-A board, and now a NVIDIA GTX 1060 6GB OC card (Asus Strix).

I’m dealing with the following specs:

Mass Effect Andromeda
~ PC ~ i7-4790K ~ 16GB RAM ~ GTX 1060 6GB OC ~ 4K graphics resolution~ Recorded at 3840 x 2160 ~ 4K Playback ~

I’ve found this is the best compromise – a middle ground between actually running 4K at a half-decent frame rate, whilst also looking pretty good.

 

Mass Effect Andromeda 05.15.2017 - 23.58.11.01

 

This is only a small part, but it’s the key balancing combination, I’ve found. The rest of the specs are generally Ultra, except for a couple of Highs.

 

 

 

 

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… Come Back, Mako – All Is Forgiven!

 

Project Overlord

 

Hammerhead(3)

 

Oh, Bioware – there are no words…

I had forgotten just how awful this was. Not the thing in and of itself – but that damned M44-Hammerhead. The flying Mako. Making the Mako look like it’s the best thing ever.  The controls are not terrible… Oh, no. That would be far too generous to call it that.

The hovercraft-tank hybrid thing is an absolute nightmare to control – I would have the Mako any day. This thing appears in two Mass Effect 2 DLCs – Firewalker and Overlord. Whoever designed it should never admit Hammerheadit for fear of being hit by thrown Xbox controllers – as people rage-chuck them about the world from attempting to play this game.

It was actually slightly (about 0.1%) easier to use with an Xbox 360 controller. Having built myself my shiny self-build rig, I got the PC edition of the Mass Effect Trilogy. Then – oh, so stupidly – spent even more money (although not that much, at least) on adding the Overlord DLC. I like the second half of it – and I like saving the character of David. But in the beginning it’s the biggest nightmare of all time in gameplay.

It’s one thing to make it hard. It’s entirely another to make it notoriously frustrating and impossible simply because the control-handing is impossible.

Now I’m trying to play it with Keyboard & Mouse and it’s turning out to be excessively difficult to manage simply because the handling is one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever tried to handle in a game.

 

Hammerhead_Vulcan.png

 

* NOTE TO SELF: *

  • The key command for “Exit Hammerhead” is not necessarily (F) – it is, in fact, programmed to use whatever was key binding was programmed in Mass Effect to return to the Normandy from the Mako, after exploring a planet.
  • The “Exit Hammerhead” command is the *same*  as the “Leave World” key command in Mass Effect [1]  > 

 

Bindings=( Name="Vehicle_Quit", Command="LeaveWorld" )

 

Exiting_Hammerhead_Code

 

My game is downloaded from EA Origins: The Bindings and other configurations are found in the Coalesced file.

The File is found in:

E:\Games\Mass Effect 2\BioGame\Config\PC\Cooked

~ (on Steam this file-path would be different) ~ 

 

* NOTE TO SELF [2]: *

When “Mining” for resources (the yellow circles, see pic), an important point is to hold down Ctrl whilst “Mining [Right Mouse] (mine is set to RM).

This is mainly for obtaining the Data Hound Achievement in it, as an extra mini-mission. Being able to “Mine” effectively is fairly important – and there’s also a couple of rather tight spots you can mine general mineral  resources from, too.

This stops the Hammerhead from flying off in whatever direction it pleases…

 

 Hammerhead_Mining.png

 

This could have gone a lot better… it’s almost like it’s trying (a little too hard…) to emulate its own themes Trying something new that goes horribly wrong; Pushing tech too far and failing miserably; Thinking it’s a good idea (in theory)… till you actually do it and it fails spectacularly; Emitting outrage from everyone when they’ve found out what you’ve done…

It’s quite a shame that the first half is right out of Satan’s Gaming Handbook – the rest of it is quite entertaining and very interesting… and dark. And creepy. And slightly terrifying at times. It’s not so hard to imagine such things actually happening. It’s not out of the realm of possibilities… unless, of course, it’s happened already… Nothing new under the sun and all that… Scary.

Just like their Hammerhead. Only that’s much, much scarier…

 

 

I’m coming in late to the world of Watch Dogs. I wasn’t sure what I was getting into  – reviews have been mixed and it seems like game-Marmite. Now I can see why…

First impressions? This is a very confused game and I am now even less surprised at the initial backlash than I was before. It’s trying too hard to be everything. I thought it was a hacking game. I hoped it was a hacking game. I’m a geek. But this geek is vastly disappointed. It was so promising at that E3 when it toted its bells and whistles about hacking Chicago and causing chaos or being its baseball-cap-toting version of Batman, all ready to swoop to the rescue.

But… no. It didn’t just leave it there and specialise. Instead, it just spreads itself a little bit too thin, trying to be everything to everyone and quite quickly getting nowhere. It’s a real shame.

 

Dave Ja Vous

They took too long. By the time the game came out, it had all been done before and better. And not even just in games – real life had superseded it, and both tech and hacking had moved on to bigger and better things. If you’re quite a big a gamer, you’ve played this game before in other skins (sans hacking), and in comparison to what we were lead to believe, the hacking immediately takes a backseat ride to everything else that’s “popular” in gaming styles, much to my great disappointment.

Straight away, you’re thrown into a stealth-action sequence. One that involves a tiny bit of hacking. Sort of. Then there’s also driving (which is not easy to do) and being asked to “evade the cops”… and doesn’t say how. As in where the boundaries are. Well, it kind of does, but it’s not obvious and you’re busy fleeing, so it’s hard to take stock. The driving was so impossible I gave up in the end and ran… then I managed to get away. Grand Theft Auto this is not. And it’s definitely not Forza, either.

By the time I get to the “hideout” (or “hovel of an apartment/server room”), have slept, then gone out to blue triangles to bust some side-mission “crime”, it’s screaming of Sleeping Dogs.  You can also scramble up and over things and run about in stealth… a la Assassin’s Creed… and when you’re driving you can listen to some god-awful music choices (Alice Cooper and Smashing Pumpkins notwithstanding) in your car whilst cruising about… and there’s a lot of driving. I wanted to hack, not drive. It’s Chicago and I can hack ATMs, bank accounts and computer systems – how is it I can’t just order a cab online and pay for it with someone else’s credit card account? Even your most mediocre criminalist or fraudster can do that, so how a master hacker has managed to overlook this is head-scratching. He doesn’t even have a cab app – just the one to get his car thieving friend to drop him a new ride to drive.

He looks so menacing... yet he's just so boring

He looks so menacing… Yet he’s just so boring!

Of course, the realism is that this game was being made in an age when these apps were just starting out and Über wasn’t around yet. This is the problem with basing things in future-tech… by the time you get it out, it’s old-tech and your ideas are already outdated. It doesn’t help when you push it back another 12 months, either.

Underneath all this gameplay there’s a thin thread of story clinging all of it together – but unfortunately it’s a little too thin. It barely asks you to even care. It should bring tears, given the subject matter, but I imagine that most of it just brings eye-roles. Aidan shows so much promise in being the dark, brooding, guilt-ridden, strong, avenging angel… but it’s not really executed at all. He’s pretty tedious, and I frankly would prefer to give him a coupon for a free trial of therapy rather than my time to play through his story. A story that’s clearly been created solely for shoe-horning (clumsily) into the game, to give it some focus and purpose. This is not a game that’s been created to tell the story, which is what I was hoping for. I like games where I’m asked to care. To invest. To save the world, or a person, or… whatever (is there anything else?). But given Aidan doesn’t seem to really care… it’s hard for me to. He’s just an angry person taking his guilt out on everyone around him… that’s something I’d rather walk away from, both in games and life. It’s just not healthy.

 

Old Dog, Old Tricks:

This could have been an amazing game. A game-changer, like it was promised it would be. It was a novel idea at the time it was announced… but now, it just seems old. That they’re playing catch-up. It promised to be futuristic when it was announced, but unfortunately that idea was positively historic by the time it hit the shelves. Hacking things with cell phones? There’s probably a five-year-old that’s done all that with his Mommy’s old iPhone 5 already.

Feels like this is all there is to it...

Feels like this is all there is to it…

Watch Dogs is simply an open-city driving/action/crime game. It’s also fairly simplistic, formulaic, and… unfortunately… boring. Disappointing. It’s got a bit of hacking, but it’s rubbish hacking – he’s supposed to be the best, but in your hands he’s reduced to watching CCTV, fiddling the traffic lights and stealing from ATMs… not exactly what I was hoping for, playing as a world-class hacker. Even I could probably do all that, if I cared to try hard enough to do it. Hacking a military plane coming for the city and divert it from killing thousands of innocent people… that’s the hacking story I want to take part in. Not watching CCTV on my iPhone, then stealing someone else’s money while they’re too busy yelling at other people about the crash I caused by fiddling the traffic lights.

From the beginning, it seemed to focus on the action. There was minor stealth hacking at the beginning, but then straight into an all-out car chase. From there it’s just searching for people and things to hack, and the odd crime to intervene in. There’s some gun-work, and you can have a shoot-out with the cops if you care to. Somewhere in between, there’s a trace of a storyline where it becomes immediately clear Aidan is someone with his anger and guilt turned inwards and only carnage was and destruction was going to placate it. Family was ignored, and he was deliberately a lone wolf. Not so much broody, strong, and endearing, as deeply sulky, guilt-ridden, and in desperate need of some psychotherapy and a meditation retreat.

This game could have been brilliant if it had been released in the manner they showed at E3 and at that time… But it’s not “groundbreaking” as was promised, and in fact it’s no longer even innovative. Instead, my feeling is that it’s more like Sleeping Dogs, The Hacking Edition. Count the things it has in common… then of course just link that all back to GTA, because that’s where they all began.

I’ve got Sleeping Dogs. I’ve played Sleeping Dogs. I don’t really want to play what is virtually the same game again, just it’s because it’s got a slightly different name.

It was a bad idea to push it back to make sure it was ready for all the platforms ever – it released on every console available, and they spent too long making it viable for them all. By the time we saw it, it was old. Now, it’s even more so, and therefore feels almost archaic, because we know quite well a half-decent twelve-year-old hacker could hack more things than some traffic lights, bollards and the ATM machines. Whilst Aidan is busy playing with CCTV of Chicago, said twelve-year-old is probably busy hacking into the Pentagon and aiming satellites so he can finally watch that TV series that’s only being shown in another county beamed straight to his own dish…

 

You Can Believe What You Read In The Media…

I came into this game full of hope it was more than what I had seen in the gaming media… but it turns out that really is what it’s like. It’s mundane, disorientated, confused, directionless, and the main character is as dull as dishwater. It’s a well-built game, executed well if you focus on the graphics and gameplay quality (there are no glitches, the engine flows well, everything works and it looks nice). But without really putting the character and story front and centre in the game, strong and well-rounded, there really is no need whatsoever to get on with doing anything else in the game – unless you actually like driving around and stopping minor crimes. Or causing chaos and indulging in dangerous police chases (but then you’ve already got GTA for that). Then you’re all good to go.

Instead of something groundbreaking, what Ubisoft ended up offering was an “OK” game with nice graphics and easy handling (I’m ignoring the driving… it’s for the best to completely ignore the driving…) – and that’s probably fine if you haven’t played GTA or any riff on that “open-city driving/crime” genre. If you have, then you’ve basically just seen it all before, and it feels done.

The fact that everything  in it felt like it’s been lifted almost wholesale out of Sleeping Dogs crashed any deal in it for me. Sleeping Dogs had a good story, interesting plot twists, and sometimes quite shocking scened – and that really helped me want to see how it plays out. The main character was interesting, dynamic and was invested in what he was doing. In this one, the character barely has any character and seems only intent on taking out his guilt and anger on people. Occasionally, he might stop a crime… if he can be bothered to tear himself away from being very angry and hacking the traffic lights.

Perhaps I have misunderstood the game, but so far nothing stands out about it. Apart from the fact it’s a GTA/Sleeping Dogs clone with some hacking in it. They spread the game too thin, in gameplay, game style(s), and in the platform releases. Trying to please everyone will always please nobody. Somebody please tell game-makers this obvious fact, because they just don’t seem to get it…

I think maybe I’ll just go and play Sleeping Dogs instead…

 

The Elder Scrolls Online is now out, and after a break away from Tamriel, it made me interested in returning to Skyrim once again to remember what all the Elder Scrolls fuss was all about.

 

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim was the game for me back on 11 November 2011… That date of 11.11.11. was one of the most exciting ones in my gaming life (later to be joined by learning that Mass Effect 3 was to be released around the time of my birthday a year later). I preordered it well in advance (paying full price despite no preorder extras, and even added the enormous guide book, all whilst jumping up and down with glee), waited on tenterhooks, and then – to my joy – actually received it a day early through the post. I then proceeded to downloaded all the DLCs as they came out — Dawnguard, Hearthfire, Dragonborn — and spent a very long time single-mindedly playing the game to death with a dedication that my employers could only dream of getting from me!

Two characters and an astounding grand total of well over 500 hours of gameplay later (I shit you not, I checked — 350+ hours for first and 150+ for second… and that doesn’t include the times I’ve had to reload after accidentally killing my horse/dog/follower. I knew I had no life!), I’m still playing it and enjoying it. I have recently picked it up once again, after a few months of respite — having playing the pants off a whole load of other games to take a break from it (specifically replying the entire Mass Effect Trilogy once again). After all this time, and playing a whole load of other games, I am still exceptionally impressed with TESV: Skyrim. I have the Xbox 360 version and it’s easily the most impressive game I have for my console. It is beautiful, vast, impressive, never-ending, sprawling — and there is never less than at least 20 quests waiting in my list (not including the miscellanies ones!). One thing the land of Skyrim is not, is boring — there is always something to do, and the one possible negativity is that there is too much to do!

 

 

Back In The Saddle… Literally!

Once I started to get the hang of the rather complicated controller mapping and menus again, I was quite away again enjoying the Nordic sandbox Bethesta created. I was fighting in the Dawnguard with my vampire follower, riding my horse, and trying to build one of my new houses as part of the Hearthfire DLC, whilst planning on getting myself a new little family to play with and greet me when I came home from those long days of wandering Skyrim and slaying dragons with my horse, dog, and chosen follower.

Everything else was exactly how I remembered it. The detail, colour, use of light indoors and outdoors, the change in weather… it is all still beautiful and outstanding — even now, having played it so much, it still does not cease to amaze me, and I still love just sitting and watching it. The music is also something that still holds me captive: Each bard’s song is simple and medieval, relevant for the premise of the game. Each music piece played in-game is beautiful enough that I can sit and listen to it as it plays, and I still love the grand theme tune, Dovahkiin.

The NPCs are also just as odd as I recalled, and they are still as irritating and random as I remembered them to be (having beaten the ass off an Elder Dragon that had come to invade Falkreath, the guards had the gall to walk past with a snide remark of, “Guard might get nervous, a woman approaches with her weapon drawn…” — I mean come on… seriously? I just killed a damned dragon that was about to eat your head, it would be questionable if I didn’t have it drawn!), and the dragons are just as inconvenient when they come swooping in without warning, particularly when after you’ve eaten their soul no one bothers to clean up the bones left behind… However, all this is also part of its charm. When everything looks this gorgeous, detailed and vivid, it really doesn’t matter about the idiosyncrasies of the simple NPCs that lived their simple lives in their simple towns. The game is still so fantastically impressive and all and any such things can easily be entirely forgiven, simply seen just as part of the world created. It’s just the ways of the Nordic life of Skyrim. I guess all the way up here in the northern cold region of Tamriel, they’re just not that smart…

 

 

Life as Dovahkiin

Skyrim Travel Poster

The life of a Dragonborn is as easy or hard as you want it to be. You can do as little or as much as you want, and you can be anything you want to be. It’s pretty awesome to have such a free reign on your in-game life and I thoroughly enjoy making what I want of it. What you can most definitely count on, though, is that there is always plenty to do and enough ways to go about doing it. It reminds me so completely of the days I used to get all my dolls and play make-believe with them all over my bedroom, garden, lounge, or wherever else I wanted to go, where only my imagination was the limit. In Skyrim, I get to do it on a big TV with gorgeous graphics and an entire country to do it in, which is very cool and very fun.

Playing this game just never gets old. One of the biggest reasons for this is that it just never stays the same. Even just having to reload an area can bring a completely different scenario with it. These random events were something I had somehow forgotten all about, and I was taken by surprise a few times by it at the start. Somehow, it had completely slipped my mind that most encounters and the like were not scripted or set in stone, but instead ran by some kind of algorithms in the system. Reloading a save would make certain people or creatures vanish, and others seemingly attack from nowhere — something I had to get used to all over again, which once again upped my esteem for this game. You cannot have the same game twice with Skyrim — or even the same re-load. The exception is the the few scripted encounters where you’ll find certain people, creatures, or items in certain places when following certain quests. But even then, when following the same quests, you do not get the same experience twice.

This is what makes Skyrim so repayable, even nearly two years after first buying it. The wonder it creates is still there, even though I’ve played it to death. The sandbox element of it means it can just never gets repetitive. My Skyrim guide looks more like a well-worn textbook for a Master’s Degree than a simple game guide, with its notes stuffed inside, post-its scattered over pages and bookmarking important areas (this is because I have no patience for looking things up via the index!). I still know and remember where everywhere and everything is, know how to navigate the towns, cities, and Reaches, I love my horse, love my dog, look after my family and housecarls, … So I’ve already probably played it far too much! Of course, this is testament to the great game that Bethesta has made. It never gets old, and the familiarity makes it feel more and more like home, that I live there, that I get to make up whatever stories I want. It’s Minecraft, but without the blocks. There is a skeleton story of a kind in the “main mission”, but it’s thin and you really can even make of that what you will. That is my favourite thing about it — it’s my own game and no one at Bethesta has even tried to tell me how to play. I’m not restricted by anything, and that is what makes this game has to be my ultimate favourite (so far, at least.. There’s a whole new generation to go now!).

 

 

The Game of a Generation

If you have never played Skyrim… Well, I have sympathy for you to have missed this gem! It’s an inspired game that is a never-ending sandbox with never-ending quests, random creatures and meetings, and has stats on everything, including Bunnies Slaughtered (…just who is that evil?!… poor bunnies…) — and where you can have played over 350 hours of it and still be nowhere near completing it.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has to be the most amazing game created for the last generation. It’s vision was inspired, the quality is incredible, and it is a world that is truly immense. It is quite literally the never-ending story that just keeps on going. Just like I will keep going. Because it is simply just too awesome a game to stop playing!

 

One Just Does Not Stop Playing Skyrim

 

 

Girls love headshots too… It’s not just boys. And by “headshots” I don’t mean those Photoshopped glammed-up pictures you get just before you go to your singing/acting/dancing/prancing/showing off auditions. I mean the ones where you put a bullet into an AI enemy brain and they stay down, a puff of mist emitting from their brains, just before getting Xbox Achievement for making 100 of them. They’re way more fun!

For some reason – known to stereotype alone – it’s assumed girls don’t like games. So I rather like the fact that I was actually introduced to gaming by two girls. Ironically I wasn’t even vaguely interested in games when I was young. It was my little sister who ended up with the latest PlayStation incarnation in her bedroom and all the games, and I played hers – but nothing caught my attention. Then came a rather awesome game called Eternal Darkness, on the Nintendo GameCube, shown to me by my girlfriend. She wanted to prove games weren’t all about bouncing Marios – and I realised games could be more than bits of floating pixel platforms for gorillas, hedgehogs and plumbers. I was introduced to a different style of game, where there was a real story, realistic characters, and looked pretty close to a movie you played the leading role in. I never really looked back.

Now, a proud owner of an original Xbox 360 for oh-so-many years, I have the magazines, visit the game-sites, and follow them on Twitter. I’m a Gold Member of Xbox Live and particularly attached to my Game store Reward card. I love single-player RPGs, preferring fantasy and open world games.  Skyrim, Oblivion, Dragon Age, Mass Effect, The Witcher – even the Albion-based Fable series – are now all huge favourites of mine. And yet, I’m a girl.

 

I suppose one reason it’s assumed boys prefer games is because they’re easier to please with more “typical” genres – guns and football pretty much hit all their spots head-on. I prefer good stories, good relationships/interaction, and very good reasons for those huge battle sequences; basically a more complicated story than Point ‘n’ Shoot. This story-based idea used to be more popular with the Point-and-Click PC games of old, though only two have ever really stood out even there (The Longest Journey and Dreamfall). Thankfully it’s now getting more common in console games. Perhaps it’s not that we’re adverse to shooting something’s head off (actually, I find it very cathartic to ram a Katana into somebody’s face when I’m having a bad day!) – it’s just that we like to be given a good reason to. Otherwise, why go to all that bother?

Improved quality in storytelling is surely a must to get us more interested. Girls seem to prefer becoming engrossed in a great story they can take the lead in – we are typically lovers of strong, interesting story-arcs. Too many games are based on testosterone-fuelled shoot-to-kill stats and hypersexuality of girls, which don’t tend to impress us – after all, we’re women not teenage boys. We need more than guns and boobs to keep us interested. Hiring more female writers would be a good answer – and it was inspiring to find the lead writer for the Tomb Raider reboot, giving Lara Croft a new voice, was Rhianna Pratchet. An accomplished games writer with a great writing heritage, she’s recreated Lara as a realistic young woman we could identify with. I somehow doubt a man could’ve managed it quite the same.

I expect one thing that is helping girls become more interested in games is character customisation, with male/female protagonist choices – because what woman prefers a man buffed up on steroids as their virtual avatar? Regardless of engrossing story, this makes a huge difference in how I connect with characters and immerse myself in games, especially RPGs. I enjoy identifying with the character and making them a part of myself… And I can hardly do that with Mr Buff-Muscles running about on-screen, grunting and yelling everywhere, can I?

 

Thankfully, with Social Networking, we now know there are lots of other girl-gamers out there. There’s apparently less than ever directly involved with making games and writing about them, though. But those that do fly the flag high and do a great job. With trail-blazing women such as Kiki Wolfkill – executive Producer of Halo 4 (http://www.bigissue.com/features/interviews/1680/kiki-wolfkill-gaming-viable-career-path-women) – and Jade Raymond – Head of Ubisoft Toronto and producer of the Assassin’s Creed franchise (http://www.computerandvideogames.com/343886/interviews/ubisofts-first-lady-jade-raymond-on-building-ubisoft-toronto/#) – standing in the limelight as beacons of “girl-power” in game production, there is great hope that the girl-pool in games is going to get bigger.

They’re inspirational and show there’s no real room for sexism in gaming – hopefully encouraging the next generation of female under-grads to consider choosing Programming and Gaming as their major choice when applying to UCAS.

 

 

Strong Female Characters in Games - No Naked Required

Strong Female Characters in Games – No Naked Required

I’ve noticed so many people commenting that iPhone 5 isn’t really any different from the other iPhones. OK, I can kind-of understand why… But it’s on a superficial level only.

Now, granted, it may not be a huge deviation from the iPhone 4S (although it is a much larger jump from the older iPhone handsets). It looks basically the same, except its been slightly elongated, and it feels about half the weight – another “criticism” I’ve heard (which I’ve been guilty of originally thinking myself) is that it feels so light it’s like a toy.

But still, it might just be worth your while taking another look at this little piece of loveliness.

 

Longer. Lighter. Faster: Better:

Longer, Shinier Screen:  This gives you 4 extra apps (or one extra line) on the screen of each page, but it also turns the iPhone into a “proper” widescreen handset, with a 16:9 ratio – just the same as your HD/3D flat screen at home. This means that you get to watch your TV shows and movies in the way they were meant to be seen – in Widescreen. Retina display and better colour definition, everything will look brighter and shinier than ever before – and it also has fingerprint-resistant coating, so there’s less smudging.

Different Feel: It’s lighter, but that’s not a bad thing – it’s actually quite a brilliant thing. This comes from a rather fabulous idea – to create the body out of perfectly-proportioned aluminium… That’s the same stuff that makes the MacBook Air and new MacBook Pro the lightest laptops around – so no wonder it feels as light as a feather. It also makes it rather difficult to damage – a great plus if you’re as klutzy as I am. And it makes it even easier to entertain yourself, which is definitely also a very good thing!

Faster Surfing: The iPhone 5 is 4G ready. 4G simply means “4th Generation” of mobile network, and will obviously still support 3G. 4G LTE (Long Term Evolution) is basically mobile Internet joining the ranks of home broadband – up to around 100mbps. This is newly being rolled out in the UK, with EE (the Orange/T-Mobile merged company, Everyone Everywhere) being the first provider. Over the next 18 months/2 years this should become as standard as 3G is now, allowing us all to live online and rely on our mobile networks much more than we can now. With this handset Apple is ensuring they, and their customers, are fully prepared for when your choice of network is ready to offer the better 4G option with a data package to suit. As always with Apple, they ensure they are instigating and remain ahead of the future, not just playing catchup.

 

The Hardware:

I Have The Power: The piece-de-resistance of their new catalogue of Cool New Stuff is quite probably their new processor chip. The A6 (as its called) is up to twice as fast as the A5 that sits in the iPhone 4S and is probably the best thing to happen to the iPhone. This is the new engine of the machine that powers its brain (if you like) and therefore you can play games, go through websites, launch and use apps [etc] twice as fast. If your older iPhone doesn’t work as well with the new iOS 6 system and its newly-updated apps, its probably because they’re now built to be used by this processor. The chip itself is also smaller – on of the main reasons the iPhone 5 is thinner – and it requires less battery power to use.

Controversial Charging: The one major change emitting scowling-faces from previous Apple-owners is the new Lightning Adapter. But this change is a really good thing. It’s now a tiny, magnetised, harder-to-break charging wire, and there’s no “right way round” for it to go – you can stick it any way you care to. It might make it incompatible with your current iPod docks, but this docking-system is nearly a decade old and Apple are quite clearly telling us it’s time to move on. They’re now strongly dictating that the way-forward for mobile music is AirPlay – using wifi and Bluetooth to stream music from any device into your speaker system. If you want to stick to using your dock, it’s currently about £25 to buy an adapter for the dock to fit your new iPhone 5 onto it.

 

Because I’m  Worth It:

Buying an Apple product is buying into a lifestyle – and it’s a futuristic one. Apple works hard to create the future norms, not trail helplessly after them. The iPhone 5 showed us what the next step for phones was to be, setting the president that all other phone manufacturers had to raise the bar to match. It re-designed the iPhone experience in small, but effective, ways – allowing it to be a better phone and entertainment system.

In getting any iPhone you’re brought into a great tech world to play in. With iPhone 5 you’re getting a better version of that experience and, thanks to its A6 chip, you get to do everything even faster and more efficiently. Apple seem to be simply perfecting their handset design even further, to make the Apple experience an even more enjoyable one.

It’s a cool gadget, on the most popular multi-media mobile platform (iOS), with all the mod-cons and cool tech you need – and the awesome apps and games to go with it. It might do everything iPhone 4S does… But it does them so much better. It also has so more to offer. This is definitely a phone for the future, and it’ll set you up all ready for when that future turns up… Which is round about now!

With Apple, you get what you pay for, and they are most definitely worth it.

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 – Here Comes The Science! –  

THE KEY SPECS

  • iOS 6 system
  • A6 Single-Core Processor
  • 4G ready
  • 8MP camera with Flash and 1080p (HD) video recording
  • Up to 8 hours of talk time and/or internet time on 3G
  • 720p iSight front-facing camera (with the lens now made from Sapphire crystal – so that’s one tough cookie to scratch)
  • Retina HD Display with 16:9 Ratio
  • Wifi 802.11 (dual band wifi, capable of running on up to 150mbps of wifi signal – good news if you’re in a fibre-optic area of broadband)
  • Bluetooth 4.0 (faster and better than the previous kind)
  • GPS

 

 

iPhone 5

iPhone 5

Apple - Think Different

Apple – Think Different