A month has passed since the official unveiling of the Galaxy S6 and now everybody seems to be boiling with excitement about the next big thing from Samsung, the Galaxy Note 5. Its predecessor, the Galaxy Note 4 was one of the best (if not the best) releases of 2014 and it was the first step for Samsung when it comes to premium phones. Although Samsung had tried being premium with the Galaxy Alpha and even with the Galaxy S5 a bit, it didn’t manage to truly make users say: now that’s what I call a nice phone! until they released the Samsung Galaxy Note 4. The impressive display, specs and features, not to mention the upgraded S Pen made the Note 4 one of the favorites of the year, right up there next to the iPhone 6 Plus and LG G3. That was a good start, followed up with the great Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge but fans seem to be much more excited to see the Galaxy Note 5 already.
The Galaxy Note 5 release date is expected in September, during the next IFA maybe, so we do have a lot of time to speculate about what novelties this phone will bring to the smartphone market. With the Galaxy Note 4 getting such good responses to the large, 5.7 inch QHD Super AMOLED panel, the Galaxy Note 5 display will most likely borrow from that design language and technology and put out an even better display. Rumor has it that while Sharp is manufacturing their new 4K smartphone display, Samsung is hard at work on their own 4K display, which will end up on the Galaxy Note 5/ Even though there are not many fans of the 4K smartphone display, Samsung might just turn the tide with the Galaxy Note 5. The way in which Samsung has improved their display- and battery technology for the Galaxy S6 will definitely pay off when engineering the Galaxy Note 5, so we’re looking forward to a device with at least a 2 day battery life and great performance. The Galaxy Note 4 was already in the top 5 when it comes to battery life, right after the Sony Xperia Z3, so that’s where Samsung should end up being with the Note 5 as well if they know what fans really want.
The Galaxy Note 4 got the newest processor from Qualcomm onboard, making the Note 4 the most up-to-date and future-proof device when it was launched. A similar scenario comes to mind when thinking about the Galaxy Note 5 and speculation is fueled by the new rumors about Samsung and Qualcomm working together on the next few Snapdragon chipsets. Various news reports say that Samsung will be manufacturing the Snapdragon 815 and the Snapdragon 820 for the next big launch season in the Fall. That certainly means that if rumors are true, the Galaxy Note 5 performance will be off the charts with either of these chipsets. If Samsung won’t be manufacturing the Snapdragon chipsets, the most likely scenario involves a new Exynos CPU for the Galaxy Note 5, which sounds equally exciting.
Samsung really went all-out for the Galaxy S6 camera and proved that smartphone cameras can be close to DSLRs in delivery. That being said, the Galaxy Note 5 should definitely be improved in the camera department. Although almost all Galaxy Note 4 users were more than happy with the Galaxy Note 4 camera, there’s always room for improvement, especially now, when everybody is trying to be a photographer. I mean that in the friendliest sense possible: everybody wants to be able to create great photos without having to splurge on high-end camera equipment. For Instagram or Facebook, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that people want good cameras in their smartphones and Samsung is listening to them. The Galaxy Note 5 camera should end up being a similar sensor to what we got on the Note 4, but with upgraded features, better OIS and maybe some extra features like optical zoom or a Xenon flash, although the latter doesn’t seem very likely. We’re thinking a 20 MP camera with an improved sensor and maybe even an added depth-sensor in there. The front camera isn’t that interesting, but we think Samsung will bump that up to 8 MP, too.
Seeing as the South Korean company has been focusing on smartphone design a lot lately, expectations regarding the Galaxy Note 5 design are pretty high. The metal chassis is definitely a keeper, but if the company listens to feedback, they might renounce the glass back panel which is currently a fingerprint magnet that needs some skinning. A more texturized, leathery material seems to be pretty popular when it comes to smartphone back panels, so that’s our guess as to what type of premium design the company will choose for the Galaxy Note 5. The problem with leather is that it wears and tears pretty fast, so the other option would be using industrial materials as seen on the Motorola Droid Turbo. Maybe some kevlar back panel or even the texturized carbon-fiber weave-like panel of the Droid Turbo could serve as inspiration pieces. One thing we know for sure: the fingerprint and heart rate sensors are staying, and so are the metal details.
One thing is for sure: the Galaxy Note 5 will be pretty awesome. If we look at the way in which manufacturers are moving forward with design and engineering, there is nothing but sass coming our way in the future. You can’t always judge by current trends, but Samsung seems to have hit the sweet spot and it would be a shame if they moved away from a design element (or elements) that consumers seem to be really enjoying. As such, the Galaxy Note 5 will most likely be launched in another Edge variant, which will be a blend between the Galaxy Note Edge and the Galaxy S6 Edge in our minds. We’re definitely very curious, but we’ve nothing but rumors to go by right now. We’ll keep you up to date as soon as Samsung or some neat execs spill some beans about the upcoming flagship.
2013’s Tomb Raider Released for Free to Google Stadia Subscribers
Google are rolling out the big guns to try and quickly entice as many new subscribers as possible to Stadia, its cloud-based gaming service. From the start of December, Stadia Pro members are able to access the definitive edition of 2013’s Tomb Raider for free, with this game being significant as the first title of a rebooted Lara Croft trilogy.
Google will be hoping that the allure of the Tomb Raider name proves influential in attracting more gamers to the service. The Verge makes note of key information about Stadia Pro; currently, all Stadia users are classed as Pro, but an official Pro subscription will be launched next year alongside a free tier of membership.
The launch of Tomb Raider as a free game for Stadia users frustrated those who had already splashed out on the Lara Croft adventure, although Google adopted the generous position of refunding those users. The arrival of the Tomb Raider franchise on Stadia, particularly as a flagship free game, is testament to its status as one of the great gaming series.
Wherever Croft goes from here, she will do so on all of the cutting-edge consoles – from Stadia to the eventual PS5. However, the Tomb Raider brand has also shown a versatility that has seen Croft appear in different forms on an eclectic range of platforms.
Tomb Raider: The Action Adventure – DVD
Remember interactive DVD games? This may seem like an alien concept to modern gamers, but in 2006 it was a viable alternative for those without a console. The Action Adventure was tailored for those who had never owned a PlayStation and were therefore unfamiliar with the Croft character.
Players use their remote control to navigate through the action, which follows a similar plot to 2003’s The Angel of Darkness. The game also incorporated rudimentary ways to save the game or to earn bonus points. You can even still purchase the DVD via Amazon if you’re keen to try out a one-of-a-kind Croft experience.
Tomb Raider – Online slot
Microgaming’s Tomb Raider is one of the slots that are eligible for the jackpot city pokies welcome offer for new players, with users being able to access the game through the casino’s browser site as well as on iOS and Android. The slot has the typical level of quality that is synonymous with the Microgaming name, with this 15-payline video slot using Croft and the Tomb Raider logo as key symbols.
While it may not operate in the same first-person way as traditional Tomb Raider games, the overall design of the slot ensures that there is the classic Croft sense of adventure to the gameplay. This is arguably the most successful slot based on a video game character, largely because of Croft’s universal appeal.
Lara Croft: Reflections – iOS
This game is not necessarily novel because it was only released on iOS, with many Tomb Raider games also available on this platform. However, it definitely deserves a mention because of its card-battle nature. The standard adventure themes of the Tomb Raider series were converted into a card-playing format, where players simulated battling enemies and discovering artifacts.
The servers for Reflections shut down in 2014, but the game is further proof of the versatility of the Croft character. It seems inevitable that 2013’s Tomb Raider will receive a third sequel, one that will be available on all the major consoles. Croft will also surely continue to branch out from PlayStation and Stadia to appear in a variety of games that offer a twist on the classic Tomb Raider formula.
RISE OF AZSHARA: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW
Since the implementation of Patch 8.2 was made in World of Warcraft last June 25, 2019, the long-running MMORPG has been riding a wave of fan hysteria, culminating in the official release of the much-awaited Rise of Azshara. It’s a massive addition to the game—containing two new never-before-seen zones to earn WoW gold, a new raid, a massive dungeon to explore, and many more. Players are now able to fly around the Battle of Azeroth zones, collect exclusive pets to the two new areas, and collect essences. Truly, the time has come for the dawn of a new Azerothian age. The Rise of Azshara update is perceived as a godsend by many players for the failed expansion Battle of Azeroth expansion. We’ll be talking about everything you need to know about this update and more concerning the added features. With this patch already released, it’s only a matter of time before the WoW Classic update will be up next!
What is Rise of Azshara?
The Rise of Azshara update is part of the Battle of Azeroth expansion and is the patch following Tides of Vengeance. The expansion has been problematic for players due to the overarching lore down to the Warfronts and Azerith system. The update promises the address these issues. Some of the major highlights include the Heart of Azeroth Essence system, faction questlines for Taurens and Gnomes, as well as new mounts to collect.
What Are the Two New Zones?
There are two outdoor zones to explore: Nazjatar and Mechagon. Nazjatar is the captal city of the naga that is a large zone where there are a lot of new story quests, allies to meet, and rewards to earn. In Nazjatar, you can have a Bodyguard to accompany you, unlock and participate in Mrrl’s Trading Game to get unique rewards, participate in zone events, and many more. There’s also a new form of Gear exclusive in Nazjaar called the Benthic Gear. The Benthic Gear is similar to that of the Legion’s Relinquished Gear and Mist of Pandaria’s Timeless Gear. All Benthic Gear will have predetermined stats and provides additional bonus effects while on Nazjatar.
The Mechagon, on the other hand, is a level 120 outdoor zone filled with junk-covered hills where you can meet or make all kinds of mechanical-like toys, minions, and equipment via the junkyard tinkering feature. A city that’s inhabited by gnomes and mechas, the Mechagon island zone is an idyllic place for smaller than average World of Warcraft characters. Here, you can try your hand at the new eight-boss dungeon on advanced or Mythic difficulty. You can also collect blueprints in order to make trinkets.
Protection for the Big and Itty Bitty Boys and Girls
Due to the success of Patch 8.1 where the Dwarf and Blood Elf armor was released, Blizzard has decided to add more for different races, this time for Gnomes and Tauren. If you have a character that’s one of these races, now’s the time! To unlock the armor, you’ll have to complete a questline with these following requirements:
- Gnomes and Taurens must be level 120
- Gnomes must be exalted with Gnomeregan
- Taurens must be exalted with Thunder Bluff
- Complete the Stay of Execution scenario
Is There Something For My Pets?
Today’s your lucky day because there’s a new Pet Dungeon that’s available! Stratholme is a pet dungeon that is similar to the ones that came before it—namely the Wailing Caverns, Deadmines, and Gnomeregan. You can do the dungeons in either Normal or Challenge mode, which will give out different rewards in turn. For the Challenge version, you’ll be rewarded with the Evil Wizard Hat which summons Minimancer. For the normal version, you’ll be given an Ultimate Battle Training Stone that will unlock a Manapoof Link to Stratholme.
Rise of Azshara will not just be competing with its other MMORPG competitor’s expansions (ex. Shadowbringers expansion for Final Fantasy 14), but with its own as well, that being WoW Classic. Overall, it’s a great redeemer for what’sotherwise known as one of the worst expansions that Blizzard ever released. There is a whole slew of things you can do to farm WoW gold and explore to the point that your head will spin just trying to figure out what to do first.
Games That Will Shape The Industry in 2019
As a gamer, it would be hard to deny that there are always exciting things happening in the gaming world. Whether it is a live stream hitting 10,000 followers or a game-breaking new grounds, there is always something going on in the gaming world. The year might already be half over, but there are still a lot of exciting things going on. Just look at the lineup of games that are still set to be released in the coming months. And, this is not to even mention everything that is going on with virtual reality, the Final Fantasy remake, or even Google’s new gaming platform.
Needless to say, there is so much going on in the gaming world it can make it hard to keep up. This is especially true is you are a cross-platform player trying to hold down a full-time job as well. Whatever your circumstances are, there are just some games that you can’t afford to miss. These are the games that you will learn about below.
Halo Infinite Brings Back Split-Scree Gaming
Do you remember when split-screen gaming used to be a thing? This was back on the Super Nintendo systems as well as the original PlayStations. Well, there is no denying that this long-time platform died and things changed greatly. However, it looks like this very platform is about to get a reboot. Not only is it about to get a reboot, but it is going to do so with one of the most popular and fanatical series of all time.
This would be Halo of course. The split-screen co-op was a platform that the Halo game built itself on, but as time went by it strayed. To see it come back into fruition will not only be reminiscent, but it will bring new, refreshing gameplay to the first-person genre that fans have grown to love over the years.
The Last Of Us: Part II Introduces Animation System & In-Game Storytelling
The original edition of this game was released over six years ago and it is still one of the most beloved games of all time. This is really easy to understand why, but the second edition of this game could turn the whole gaming industry upside down. The trailer for the game alone was impressive and certainly lived up to what fans have come to expect from this series, but what’s even more interesting and intriguing is what the director of the game had to say.
The director of this game said that they wanted to take very complicated systems that are random and make them deterministic. They want to show gamers specific things, but they also want them to experience them throughout the entirety of the gameplay. If the story, animation, and throat-slitting are anything like the trailer then fans are going to be in for more than a treat when the game hits shelves.
Just remember not to get too caught up in this game because sites like free pokies can help you find reliable and trustworthy online casinos where you can gamble with a potential to bring home cold, hard cash.
Death Stranding Introduces Indie Mentality
It was a huge blow for both Konami and fans when Hideo Kojima announced that he was leaving the company. His beloved Metal Gear Solid series had been keeping fans entertained and drawn to their screen for years. This is probably why his first featured release was so highly sought after. Even though Death Stranding wasn’t the Silent Hill game that fans had been longing for it certainly made its mark on the industry.
You combine this with the fact that both Norman Reedus and Benicio del Toro are on board and you are looking at a game that could make massive waves in the industry while helping Kojima make a name for himself as a video game producer.
Biomutant Lets Character Aesthetics Directly Influence Combat
It would be hard for any gamer to say that combat isn’t one of the best parts of any action game. And, this is why Biomutant could change the industry forever. Sure, the game doesn’t really offer anything that you haven’t seen before in terms of graphics and story, but it is the combat that will excel. Players can now alter everything from the main character’s weight to his fangs, all of which will affect the way the fight scenes play out.
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