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Sep
27
2017

Atari reveal first information about Ataribox’s specs

The Atari Logo and registered trademark

The Atari Logo

Atari raised a number of eyebrows earlier this year when it suddenly announced it was getting back into the hardware game and working on a brand new console, called the Steambox. Teaser trailers, a preview of the console's planned appearance, and a statement from the company – emphasising that they were "taking things slowly" and revealing information gradually to ensure they get everything right – soon followed; but it's fair to say that we still don't know much about exactly WHAT the Ataribox is… that is, until today.

In a newsletter to subscribers, Atari has finally let loose some information on exactly what the Ataribox is planned to be. The console will be based on PC hardware and offer "a full PC experience for the TV, bringing you streaming, applications, social, browsing, music, and more", as well as the games. The system will run a customised, lightweight Linux distribution "with a customized, easy-to-use user interface", not unlike a Steambox.

Atari explained the decision to use Linux with the following statement:

Most TV devices have closed systems and content stores. Linux lets us be more open; you can access & customise the OS, & you can access games you've bought from other content platforms (if compatible with the OS and HW).

On the topic of games, Atari have confirmed that the console will come preloaded both with classic Atari titles, and with current-generation titles "from a range of studios". The company hopes to reveal information on the titles in the coming weeks.

Atari's announcement also put heavy emphasis on the company's desire to have the Atari community "be part of this launch. We want you to have early access, grab special editions (& pricing) and to have you as active partners in the rollout of Ataribox." To this extent, the company has announced that the console will undergo an IndieGoGo crowdfunding campaign, planned to launch "very soon". Atari claim that the Ataribox is currently planned to retail for an expected price range of $249-$299, depending on "specific editions and memory configurations". Fans fawning over the previously-announced Atari 2600-homaging wood-based design will also be pleased to hear that this edition of the console will be made with "real wood".

The Ataribox is planned to ship in late Spring 2018. We'll have more news as it gets revealed.

Digiprove sealThis informative article has been Digiproved © 2017
Acknowledgements: Atari Logo and some quoted text (C) Atari
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    Previous Articles


    Jun
    26
    2017

    Nintendo confirm SNES-flavoured sequel to Nintendo Classic Mini line

    Nintendo made waves last year when, near the holiday season, it released the NES Classic Mini – a miniaturised facsimile of the original Nintendo Entertainment System, with 30 classic games built-in. Though the console was only available for a few months – with most selling out – before being discontinued by Nintendo as a "limited edition product", even before its discontinuation, rumours were swirling about a potential sequel based on the NES's successor console, the Super Nintendo Entertainment System – often shortened to "Super NES" or just "SNES".

    Well fans, the wait is over. Nintendo has confirmed the rumours, announcing that a SNES-flavoured sequel IS indeed in production and will be hitting European and American Nintendo fans very soon!

    Official banner showing off the European Super Nintendo Entertainment System, courtesy Nintendo UK.

    Like the NES Classic Mini, the Nintendo Classic Mini: Super Nintendo Entertainment System is a miniaturised replica of the Super NES console, seemingly with the localised styling for its region. For us Europeans, that means the sleek and svelte curved chassis embellished on its top-right corner with the four-colour Super NES emblem; Americans will receive the blocky, squarish design with purple buttons that was released in that region. It's not yet clear if the controllers – of which two will be included in every pack – will follow suit. Also included in the package will be a HDMI cable, allowing the classic games to be enjoyed in Full HD for the first time; and a USB cable for power. Annoyingly, the European package will NOT include an AC Adaptor in the box, meaning that if you don't have a powered USB port on your TV, you will need to pay extra for an adaptor to plug it into the mains.

    The less sleek, but still attractive US Edition of the SNES Classic Mini, alongside its controllers (courtesy Nintendo of America)

    But what about the games? While the SNES Classic Mini will feature a smaller software library to its predecessor – containing just 21 games compared to the NES Mini's 30, the titles on offer still give a diverse range of single- and multi-player games comprising many of the original console's favourite titles. All but one of these titles will be available straight off the bat, and all of the titles will be based on their original 60Hz American releases – even in the European edition. For example, Contra III: The Alien Wars, which was remade in Europe as Super Probotector: Alien Rebels, will go back to the original US version for both region's consoles. Star Fox (originally released as Starwing in Europe) and Final Fantasy III (which is actually Final Fantasy VI in the original Japanese numbering scheme, as the actual 3-5 were not released in US originally) also keep their US names.

    Games available from the start:

    • Contra III: The Alien Wars
    • Donkey Kong Country
    • EarthBound
    • Final Fantasy III
    • F-ZERO
    • Kirby Super Star
    • Kirby's Dream Course
    • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
    • Mega Man X
    • SECRET of MANA
    • Star Fox
    • Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting
    • Super Castlevania IV
    • Super Ghouls'n Ghosts
    • Super Mario Kart
    • Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
    • Super Mario World
    • Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island
    • Super Metroid
    • Super Punch-Out!!

    While all the games listed above are available out of the box, Nintendo has also tucked in one final tasty treat. By playing one level of Star Fox, a twenty-first, exclusive game will be unlocked: Star Fox 2! This sequel to the original Star Fox, also originally intended for the SNES, was cancelled just prior to its original launch in all regions, and although it has since been leaked and made available illegally online as a ROM, the game has never been officially released by Nintendo – until now!

    The SNES Classic Edition will hit both Europe and America on September 29, 2017 with a suggested retail price of $79.99 in America; while Nintendo UK has it listed at £69.99 at time of writing. Other European prices are still to be confirmed.

    Jun
    06
    2017

    Pokémon Direct 6/6/2017 Roundup: Ultra Sun and Moon, Gold and Silver, Pokkén Tournament DX

    The official logo for the Pokémon franchise internationally

    As is customary for Nintendo, overnight fans of Pokémon were surprised by the sudden announcement of a Pokémon Direct scheduled for 3pm British time today, with the promise of news of “future entries in the franchise”. Lasting just 8 minutes, the Pokémon Direct was a short and sweet affair, making three major announcements without going into detail about any of them – but here’s a summary of what we DID see.

    Pokkén Tournament DX

    As many people likely expected, Nintendo is bringing a Pokémon game to the Switch, although it’s not a main series RPG as many had hoped. Following in the footsteps of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, another of the most popular games on the Wii U, Pokkén Tournament, is coming to the Switch in an upgraded form. Pokkén Tournament DX will be bringing the popular Tekken-inspired Pokémon beat-em-up to the Switch on September 22, 2017, augmenting the original 14-Pokémon cast (and two additional alternative forms) with additional characters such as Darkrai, Scizor, Empoleon, Croagunk, and Decidueye. Three-on-three team battles are also being introduced to the DX release, alongside online ranked matches and friend-only group fights.

    Gold and Silver on Virtual Console

    On the same day, Nintendo will also be re-releasing the second generation of Pokémon games, Pokémon Gold and Silver, to the 3DS Virtual Console. The last Pokémon games before the modern GBA and DS era, Gold and Silver allowed players to traverse both Kanto and Johto on their hunt to catch all 251 Pokémon across both regions and beat the 16 gyms. Famously remade for the DS as HeartGold and SoulSilver with many enhancements, the original games will now be re-introduced to the modern generation as eShop exclusives on September 22, 2017; and like the Red, Blue and Yellow Virtual Console releases, will also support Pokémon Bank, allowing you to import your Pokémon into Sun and Moon to bring them to the latest Generation. Check out the announcement trailer below:

    Pokémon Direct 6/6/2017 Roundup: Ultra Sun and Moon, Gold and Silver, Pokkén Tournament DX" /> Pokémon Direct 6/6/2017 Roundup: Ultra Sun and Moon, Gold and Silver, Pokkén Tournament DX" />

    Unlike the original games, there is no word yet as to whether transfers between the Red/Blue/Yellow VC releases and that of Gold and Silver will be possible – but we wouldn’t put it past Nintendo to have thought of this too, so watch this space for updates.

    Ultra Sun and Moon

    Perhaps the biggest announcement of all though is the reveal of the next main series titles. On November 17, 2017 Nintendo will release to Pokémon fans worldwide Pokémon Ultra Sun and Moon, promising new monsters not found in the original releases and a different story, along with new features that, according to the video, “will allow you to enjoy your adventure even more, making this truly an ‘ultra’ title”. Details were scarce, with only ten seconds of footage shown, but there is a strong suggestion that the new titles will be a sequel/upgrade to the current generation Sun and Moon games, in a similar fashion to how Pokémon Black and White were later followed up by Pokémon Black Version 2 and Pokémon White Version 2 (commonly referred to by fans as Black 2 and White 2).

    No doubt by now you’ll be wanting to watch these other announcements yourself as well, so enjoy the official announcement trailer below; and don’t forget to check back here for all your latest Pokémon and other gaming news!

    Pokémon Direct 6/6/2017 Roundup: Ultra Sun and Moon, Gold and Silver, Pokkén Tournament DX" /> Pokémon Direct 6/6/2017 Roundup: Ultra Sun and Moon, Gold and Silver, Pokkén Tournament DX" />
    Jun
    06
    2017

    Welcome to our new server!

    Technically Motivated has completed its transition to its brand new high-performance server. If you are reading this post, you are now reaching us from our new home.

    The increased performance of our new server means that web pages should now load faster, and new comments, Forum Posts and so on should submit quicker than before. Updated back-end software should also enable us to enhance the site more than ever before in the future. For now though, you can just continue to enjoy the same old TM you’ve come to love, just in a faster and better-performing package 🙂

    Unfortunately, we do have some bad news to report. In the process of moving over to our new server, our previous email inbox, which is actually hosted separately by our hosting provider, was not transferred. While we have subsequently set up the email address again and you will once again be able to continue to communicate with us via the on-site contact form or directly at webmaster[at]technicallymotivated[dot]com, unfortunately any previous email correspondence from prior to the server move has been lost. We humbly apologise for this inconvenience and will strive to recover whatever we can.

    Thanks for everyone’s patience during the server move and subsequent downtime; and I hope you will continue to enjoy being a part of Technically Motivated – the Technology Blog for everyone. Our Motivation Is Highlighting Tech Innovation.

    May
    30
    2017

    Important: Upcoming Server Move

    Within the next few hours, Technically Motivated will be moving to a brand new server as part of a complete migration of all WPS Interactive and sister sites and services. During this time, Technically Motivated’s site and email may become briefly unavailable.

    We will post a further announcement once the move has fully completed. Until this time, if you find yourself unable to reach our website or send us any email, please try again later. We humbly apologise for any inconvenience caused.

    Apr
    11
    2017

    Privacy Conscious? Don’t Be Too Hasty To Download Windows 10 Creator’s Update

    A white Windows 10 Logo on a blue background

    The wait is nearly over for Windows users. On April 11th, the long-awaited "Creators Update" will launch for Windows 10, bringing with it such useful features as a new "night light" mode that reduces the amount of blue light emitted by your screen so that you an sleep better; a new Windows Defender Security Centre, where users can tweak their security options in one place; and a Game Mode for better performance while gaming among lots of other tweaks. People who do not want to wait for the update to be offered to them through Windows Update can get ahead of the game by downloading Microsoft's upgrade tool to apply the update right now – but a recent report suggests privacy-conscious users may want to hold off from jumping on the bandwagon early.

    According to an article by Tom's Hardware, which has been backed up by numerous less patient users, Microsoft's Windows 10 Update Assistant may not honour your Privacy Settings if you use it to upgrade to the Creators Update yourself. Instead, the Assistant tries to use default settings – whether or not you choose to upgrade or clean install the new version – meaning that if you changed your privacy settings when you installed Windows 10 and subsequently use the Assistant, you may need to keep a close eye on just what is being set, or you may find Windows suddenly gathering more data about you than you originally intended.

    Those default settings encourage you to share your location and provide full diagnostic data to Microsoft to fix issues and improve future iterations of Windows 10. The default options also encourage enabling Cortana and receiving targeted ads rather than generic ones. The good news here is that Microsoft is being much more transparent about the data it collects – and when applying the Creators Update, the privacy options offer up clearer descriptions of what they do and the effects enabling or disabling them will have.

    If you're not looking forward to going back through all those checkboxes, however, Microsoft state that when the upgrade is made available through Windows Update some time during April 11th, existing privacy settings WILL be honoured. We'll know for sure if this is the case soon enough – but as always, it's wise to look before you leap.

    This article first appeared on Sanitarium.FM under the title Windows 10 Creators Edition Available Now – But Keep An Eye On Your Privacy Settings.

    Digiprove sealThis informative article has been Digiproved © 2017
    Acknowledgements: Windows 10 Logo Courtesy Microsoft / more...
    Some Rights Reserved
    Apr
    05
    2017

    IndieGoGo Review: Sobro Connected Coffee Table

    The humble coffee table. One of the most recognised pieces of furniture there is. Everyone's living room has one, I'd wager; and whether it's used to put your coffee and biscuits as you watch TV; as a decorative item; or as something to put your paperwork and other junk on, it's fair to say that they're not the most inspiring parts of a room or the most useful. Now, a New York-based firm called StoreBound thinks it's time the coffee table got a 21st-Century upgrade.

    A promotional picture for Sobro, showing off the product's uses and features

    "Designed for a digital lifestyle… the furniture of the future." Thus starts the IndieGoGo pitch for Sobro, a smart coffee table designed to support your connected lifestyle, which at the time of writing has already thrashed its modest $50,000 funding goal, raising $838,055 at the time of writing with a month of the campaign still to run. "We've elevated the coffee table from a piece of wood that props up unopened large-format books, to an all-in-one center that connects your powered up life."

    So what IS Sobro?

    Sobro's list of features include a Refrigerator Drawer, Bluetooth speakers, LED Lighting, both USB ports and actual electrical sockets, and more.

    A list of the features offered by a Sobro coffee table.

    At its heart, Sobro is a coffee table with an integrated refrigerator drawer, designed to allow you to keep beverages chilled and snacks fresh while still allowing you to use it as an actual surface like a regular table. There are also two side drawers, for storing items that don't need to be chilled. The top surface of this chunky furniture item is tempered glass, which StoreBound claims is durable and easy to clean, making coasters a thing of the past. But Sobro is more than just a glass-covered work-top with a fridge – this is a true techy delight.

    To the left and right sides, the Sobro is equipped with dual Bluetooth-connected speakers, allowing you to pump music into the room from any Bluetooth-connected device with a rich bass and high-quality sound. This can be combined with configurable LED lighting on the underside of the Sobro in order to create a real sense of atmosphere, or bring life to a party. Speaking of configuration, the bottom-right side of the Sobro's top surface features touch-sensitive controls, through which one can control the Sobro's audio, lights and drawer temperature; and its Bluetooth connections right from the tabletop – no need for a smartphone and companion app.

    Speaking of which, do you find that your smartphone or tablet runs out of juice far too quickly? The Sobro has you covered. With two USB ports on its side, the Sobro can charge two USB-powered devices at the same time. The Sobro also contains two standard power outlets, so even traditional electronics can be plugged in – why not keep your laptop plugged in while you use it? The Sobro gets all its power from a single plug which can be plugged into a wall socket and concealed underneath, allowing you to split a single socket into four separate power solutions.

    Sobro's dimensions

    StoreBound claim the Sobro’s dimensions and stylish appearance will allow it to fit in wherever you might normally find a coffee table.

    Unfortunately, because the Sobro uses 110-Volt American-style outlets, the Sobro is currently only planned to ship to America and Canada. This restriction, however, doesn't seem to have hampered the product's reach, with the connected coffee table being backed by almost 1200 IndieGoGo users at the time of writing. Currently, a pledge of $649 or more will buy you one Sobro, but slots are already filling up and once 200 people have claimed this perk, the price will rise to $899 for everyone else. Even this, however is still a 40% saving on the product's expected retail price of $1499 – so if the sound of a connected coffee table appeals to you, and you live in the USA or Canada, don't miss your chance!

    Sobro on IndieGoGo

    This article first appeared on Sanitarium.FM

    Digiprove sealThis informative article has been Digiproved © 2017
    Acknowledgements: Pictures taken from Sobro's IndieGog more...
    Some Rights Reserved
    Feb
    23
    2017

    Join us on Discord!

    Because Technically Motivated is designed to be the technology blog everyone can understand and get involved with, whether it’s suggesting articles, leaving comments or just chatting; and because our aim is to keep on the pulse of the latest in technology, I’m always looking into new ways to allow our readers to interact with each other.

    In this vein, it is my pleasure to announce that Technically Motivated has now launched its own official Discord server! Now, by clicking on the “Discord” icon found to the right of every page; or by using our permanent quick invite link https://discord.gg/AndKNte, you can join in with a modern chat solution that lets you both text and voice chat with like-minded readers, visitors and contributors to Technically Motivated, with a variety of different channels for all sorts of different topics – whether it’s gaming, tech or general conversation. Be sure to also keep an eye on our #articles channel where you’ll get instant notifications on any new articles posted on Technically Motivated 😉

    I’m still setting up the Discord in some areas, but it’s already ready to go and anyone with a valid Discord account is welcome to join. Also, if you have any suggestions for new chat channels, do tell us in the comments, or by leaving a message for Techie Jinji directly on Discord. Enjoy!

    Jan
    30
    2017

    Pac-Man Creator and Founder of Namco passes away

    It was announced earlier today that the creator of Pac-Man and founder of Namco (now Namco Bandai Games Incorporated), Masaya Nakamura, has died at the ripe old age of 91. A major pioneer of early video games, without whom many Arcade stalwarts would not exist and who even companies like Nintendo owe a debt to, his life saw him go from humble beginnings to one of the most successful video game legacies in history.

    I ask everyone to join me in paying their respects. You can post your messages of tribute in the comments below, or on the Forum Thread I have created for the purpose.

    Jan
    21
    2017

    Need storage? Seagate 4TB Barracuda on Sale at Amazon and NewEgg

    While Solid State Drives may slowly be taking over the world of computer storage due to their fast speeds and lack of spinning parts, if you're looking to store lots of things – maybe you work in a job where regular backups are key, you edit videos a lot, or you're a heavy gamer – or you want reliability, there's still no better than a traditional Hard Drive. And now Seagate is making it easier to get lots of storage for very little outlay – how about 4 Terabytes for $105 (roughly £85.20)?

    That's how much Seagate's 4TB Barracuda drive is on sale for at Amazon's US site, and at NewEgg, which claims the price will stick until Wednesday. At a price that equates to roughly 2p ($0.03) a Gigabyte, this price pitches the Barracuda even cheaper than the cheapest SSDs.

    Take note that the Barracuda line is intended for "general purpose" storage, and thus doesn't have the highest speed when compared to more performance-focused lines like the Barracuda Pro. That said, when the drive is rated to deliver read and write speeds of 146MB/s on average, with a maximum sustained data rate of up to 180MB/s, in most general situations you're hardly going to complain. The 4TB model also sports 64MB of cache, meaning it should get going quickly for your more regular tasks; and also has a SATA 6Gbps interface.

    As of the time of writing, NewEgg is already out-of-stock, so be sure to act fast when the stock comes back if you want one!