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Microsoft pacifies customers

Written by: Steven Setser


Welcome to the new academic year with a fresh edition of SpecTech. If you are new this year, welcome to VSU! SpecTech is all about keeping you up to speed with the rapid changing technology around us. I give the latest information on cell phones, tablets, computers and just about everything in between. I also occasionally review video games and mobile devices. So let’s get to it!

I need to clean up Microsoft’s confusion and explain their next-generation system, the Xbox One. First off, as of now, it will ship with the new Kinect, no ifs, ands or buts about it. Kinect will not be required to play your system though. Secondly, it will play used games, borrowed games or stolen games, just like the Xbox 360 does now. You will not have to check in every 24 hours to access the Cloud. Xbox One will, however, only play Xbox One games, so digital games from Xbox 360 will not transfer over. Other features of the Xbox One include watching TV through your cable box or DVR, using only your voice to control the system (Kinect required), signing in to anyone’s Xbox One while having access to all your games and ability to stream games live to Twitch. The Xbox One will be released this November with a 500GB hard drive for $499.

Since we are on the subject of games, let’s see what Sony is packing. The PlayStation 4 will be released on Nov. 15 with a $399 price tag for a 500GB hard drive. This does not include the PlayStation Eye that is required for some features. The new change to the PlayStation brand that a lot of people glossed over is that it is now required to have a PlayStation Plus account to play online. Sony seems to have a lot of devotion to indie games, so we will see how games sell between the PS4 and XB1.

Google and Motorola finally released a phone together—the Moto X. If ordered online, you can customize the backing and the ring around the camera lens, get it engraved and more. It has a 4.7 inch 720p screen with a rounded back to the phone. Google Now is baked right into the device, so you can talk to it without even holding your phone. It has a feature that will automatically show the time and date when you pull the phone out of your pocket. You can even open the camera app with just two twists of your wrist. The Moto X is available now online and in AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, U.S. Cellular and Verizon stores for $199 or $249.

It’s a phone! No, it’s a camera! No, it’s the Nokia Lumia 1020! If you are confused, just look up a picture of this phone; it looks like a point-and-shoot camera. Well, I guess it would have to since it has a whopping 41-megapixel camera. This thing takes beautiful photographs and even has manual controls. The internals are pretty average though, with a 720p screen, 32GB storage and 2GB RAM. The Nokia Lumia 1020 looks great, but it is only available at AT&T for $299.

That is it for this week, everyone. I’d like to leave with a weekly question: Will you buy an Xbox One or a PlayStation 4? Email your answers to smsetser@valdosta.edu and your answer could be in next week’s issue. Be sure to check out the SpecTech blog, which was updated over the summer at vsuspectech.blogspot.com.

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