While we had a previous poll and some thoughts and speculation on the next Xbox here at Armchair Arcade (among many other thoughts from staff and other commenters), it's now time to discuss the reality from today's #XboxReveal, with Microsoft the last of the three to play its next generation hand. As you no doubt already know, Nintendo's Wii U is struggling mightily, while Sony's PS4 has a lot of positive buzz so far and will be released around the same time as the new Xbox (Xbox One). With all that said, let's take a look at what was just unveiled.
On May 10th I got the chance to take a look at the soon to be available TEK807D Android Gaming Handheld. I take a look at the JXD S7300 and the Archos Gamepad for comparison and show what's better in this new TEK807D device. This video is a hardware overview and a look at the specs as well as seeing the device in action in a sneak preview of it. It is going to be sold in various places in the world under a different brand name. Yet inside the device is the same. Sellers can brand the unit and customize how the specs are. Like a rear viewing camera, battery size etc. It's expected to launch in Europe this summer for €150 or under $200 US.
Read more about the hardware specs below.
Hot on the heels of Amiga Forever Essentials for Android, Cloanto has just released the latest "2013" versions of their popular and easy-to-use Amiga Forever and C64 Forever emulators. This is great news for old and new fans of the greatest Commodore platforms, including all versions of the Amiga series (inclusive of the CDTV and CD32), and most of the 8-bit line, including PET, VIC 20, C-64/128, and C-16/Plus4. Around here, it's among our absolute favorite emulation packages and used as pack-ins with various devices, including the MCC, so you know it has to be great.
The full press release details are below, along with all the links to the various packages available:
In anticipation of our upcoming book for CRC Press/Taylor & Francis Group, CoCo: The Colorful History of Tandy’s Underdog Computer, my co-author, Boisy Pitre, has started a new series of blog posts that will (very slowly) lift the veil on some interesting stuff that we discovered during the course of our research. He's doing it in the form of series of puzzles. You can read the first posting, or clue, to the first mystery, here. Enjoy!
For all the Tandy/Radio Shack Color Computer (CoCo) fans out there, don't forget that this coming weekend is The 22nd Annual "Last" Chicago CoCoFEST! You can get more info on the festivities here. It's been a good year for the CoCo and it's only going to get better, so this event will definitely be worth attending for those who can.
Paul, aka @prode81 on Twitter, has made available one of the first Pebble watch apps, a nifty Web browser-based watch face generator. The link is here, and it's a simple, but great way to experiment with your own Pebble watch without knowing a lick of programming. Check the image below to see how the Armchair Arcade watch face turned out, plus you can scan the QR code with your phone to put it on your own Pebble. If you like Paul's work, don't forget to donate!
Our friends over at Cloanto have just released Amiga Forever Essentials for Android. It's a tremendous package on the PC and we'll definitely be checking out this interesting new Android version. The press release:
I have some great news for fans of The Walking Dead series and MaximumRD, YouTube star and longtime friend of Armchair Arcade. Last week, Rob was contacted by Sharon Bialy, who casts for the series. In an upcoming episode entitled "Mr. Goo's Castle," the characters must penetrate the lair of a psychopath named Cole E. Coe, who has boobytrapped an entire Canadian shopping mall, using the attract mode of arcade machines to lure in zombies. He dresses his undead prisoners as booth babes to lure innocent gamer survivors--who apparently can't tell the difference between live women and zombies provided they're wearing tight-fitting outfits and bodypaint. The nerds who survive are captured and then subjected to vicious retrogaming-related challenges that the Governor was never sick enough to come up with. These range from jumping over alligators and swinging on vines to escaping the clutches of zombies dressed as smurfs. You don't want to know what he's set up for the "Burgertime" room. It's terrifying stuff.
Apparently, Coe was a retrogamer before the turn who claims he is actually happier now, since there are much fewer new games coming out to distract him from his true passion of making grisly YouTube videos of carnage and death.
Congratulations to Rob! I can't to see his rendering of Cole E. Coe and watch how Rick and co. manage to escape his dastardly clutches.
Although we've been following the developments of Hyperkin's upcoming RETRON 4 closely, Slashdot reports that the company has surprised everyone by going straight to the RETRON 5. Hyperkin has had a spotty history at best of promising the moon and stars with their modern consoles that play classic cartridges, i.e., often falling down on compatibility and emulation, but it looks like they're determined to finally nail it, publicly stating they want 100% compatibility. The RETRON 5 can play the actual cartridges for nine systems, with transparent NTSC and PAL support: Famicom, NES, SNES, Super Famicom, Genesis, Mega Drive, Game Boy Advance, Game Boy Color, and the Game Boy. Hyperkin hasn't ruled out support for other platforms, pending parts, and it's certainly easy enough to imagine scenarios where systems like the Sega Master System and Game Gear would work just as well with the right adapters. In any case, even if it's just those nine systems/four system families, that's still a mighty versatile single console, particularly since you can update the firmware.
In terms of controls, the system will come with two nice looking six button bluetooth controllers (in fact, the d-pad looks a lot like the superb control found on SNK's Neo Geo Pocket Color), which can be charged with the console's USB port, but there are also six controller ports to use any combination of classic controllers in any combination of system modes, meaning two NES, two SNES, and two Genesis controller ports, and the ability to say, use an SNES controller for Genesis or NES games, as just one example (this includes full user configurable button remapping in all modes). Video is upscaled 720p over HDMI (composite audio/video is also supported for older televisions), with all kinds of options to support different aspect ratios and other video modes as the user desires, plus Hyperkin has claimed that all kinds of technological wizardry is in place to make these standard definition systems look and sound the way they're supposed to on modern high definition displays. Finally, of the remaining key features among a laundry list of them, the console will also allow users to create save states, support auto-save for when the system is suddenly turned off, offer a "cheat menu" (built-in Game Genie/Action Replay support?), and also offer "Manual & Passive Overclocking," which means both slowdown and fast-forward at any time (perfect for those overly chatty text-bubble-based classic games).
Obviously, all of that is a lot to promise, particularly at a sub-$100 price point, but we'll certainly be waiting anxiously for the official release after June to put this potential flying unicorn through its paces. Check out the video presentation for the RETRON 5 at the Midwest Gaming Classic below: