CES 2015: the Sharp Aquos Crystal X makes it’s international debut

The front profile
The front profile

Sharp reveals a high performance version of their latest line of smartphones, the Sharp Aquos Crystal X at CES 2015.

The back profile
The back profile

After a surprise appearance in the US market with the Aquos Crystal under SPRINT telco in America, it’s edgeless, almost zero bezel display becomes the salient notable feature. Now the Japanese company is launching a beefier, more impressive version. It doesn’t come as too much of a surprise considering Sharp is one of the top manufacturers of LCD for titans like Apple. In Japan, Sharp models are pretty much famous for their ultra-thin bezels.

Side profile
Side profile, red coloured version

The model features a 5.5-inch screen with 1080 x 1920 pixel resolution, VoLTE, Harmon Kardon sound system, quad-core 2.3GHz Snapdragon 801 CPU, 2GB RAM, 16GB internal memory and a 2610mAh battery. The camera is a standard 13MP back with LED flash with a 1.2MP front camera.

Dimensions wise it is comes in at around 139 x 73 x 11mm, which is quite compact in comparison to other high end flagship models currently in the market, like the LG G3 which measures around 146.3 x 74.6 x 8.9 mm.

The Aquos Crystal X runs on Android KitKat right out of the box and is available in 3 colours – black, white and red/pink. So far, Sharp hasn’t indicated if they going to release this model in US or anywhere in the world for that matter. In Japan, the phone has been in the market since 13 December 2014.

Check out their rather unique Japan advertisement below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPG4Vn5ku4Y

Source: Ars Technica , PhoneArena & Sharp Japan

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Guild Wars 2 might be getting a major expansion

Heart of Thorns logo
Heart of Thorns logo

We are suspecting Guild Wars 2 developer, NCSoft preparing to unleash a new expansion, Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns. The first hints were spotted by the fans of the game when news of the name already patented in United States Patent and Trademark office.

So far, we only have a teaser, a logo and many speculations about what is to come as the game developers promise spill the beans at PAX South in 24 January 2015 soon.

Players of Guild Wars 2 that have already passed the living story arc in Point of No Return got the first glimpse of the upcoming Heart of Thorns in the teaser.

Not only that, NCSoft released updates for the Point of No Return arc –  new loot, game tweaks, bug fixes and balancing for character classes to name a few. Players can check it out at their official site.

Now for the major spoiler, don’t click this if you haven’t already finished the current story:

[spoiler title=’Major spoiler’ collapse_link=’true’]

Players who completed the game will discover that the evil dragon Mordermoth (who is the big bad boss in the game) happens to be the creator of Sylvari, the race of plant like people. This is a major plot twist since the Sylvari are one of the five playable races in Guild Wars 2. Which means the Sylvari players are supposed to be serving this evil dragon, not fighting against it.[/spoiler]

End of spoiler.

Things are getting interesting in the world of Guild Wars 2.

Source: Polygon

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Date for live action Ghost in the Shell is set

Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
Please, don't screw up this one
Please, don’t screw up this one

Walt Disney Pictures has set a date for the live action adaptation of Ghost in the Shell, the famous and iconic Japanese cyberpunk sci-fi franchise created by Masamune Shirow. The film, directed by Rupert Sanders will be hacking the silver screen on 14 April 2017, one week after Guillermo de Toro’s mecha versus monster flick, Pacific Rim 2 hits the cinemas.

Rupert Sanders directed Snow White and the Huntsmen back in 2012, while Avi Arad and Steven Paul will be producers of the much awaited movie. William Wheeler (The Reluctant Fundamentalist) will be writing the script treatment for the film.

Recently Scarlett Johansson agreed to take the main role in the movie, but there’s no confirmation yet on the other cast members nor what the movie premise will be. It won’t be a surprise if the original Japanese flavour will be adapted and replaced with American sensibilities and tastes.

We can only hope that Hollywood will do it right.

Source: Deadline

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CES 2015: Sony next gen of Bravia TV is impressively thin

The next gen Sony Bravia 4K TV
The next gen Sony Bravia 4K TV

Sony is gunning for thinner and thinner TVs, with the unveiling of Sony Bravia XBR X900C 4K Ultra HD, it looks like this is one of the thinnest yet. Available in 3 sizes – 55, 65 and 75-inches, it was recently shown off at CES 2015 with the model scheduled to hit the market in first quarter of the year.

The thickness of iPhone 6 versus the Sony Bravia 4K
The thickness of iPhone 6 versus the Sony Bravia 4K

Measuring in at around 4.9mm which is incredibly thin (check out the comparison photo for an idea just how skinny it is), but that’s not the end of it. It is capable of 3840×2160 display with new 4K Processor X1 which Sony claims it improves colour, clarity and contrast plus enhances 4K content streams. The TRILUMINOS display has been tweaked to reproduce the best shades of primary colours of red, green and aqua blue. To ensure further picture quality, the series is also equipped with X-tended Dynamic Range contrast enhancement which gives peak brightness of LED with true black quality that used to be associated with Plasma.

The software is Android based which allows access to software enhancements with voice activated search feature via remote. Users can even go in PlayStation Now to stream full PS3 games over the cloud minus the console. All you need is the controller.

However, there is no news if Sony will market this model in rest of the world besides USA and Japan and there’s currently no word on pricing either.

Source: Sony USA
Image Credit: Stuff.TV

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Nike’s self lacing sneakers might hit 2015 soon

The iconic scene from the movie
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Remember the Hendo hoverboard that got many Back to the Future fans jumping for joy last year? Now, Nike is racing against time to produce the same self lacing sneakers that is seen in the movie, Back to the Future. According to the Nike’s innovation chief Tinkler Hatfield, the shoes will come around “11 and two-thirds months left in 2015,” which means 2 months after Marty McFly arrives in 2015 according to the movie chronology.

Nike has already patented the design, and will have a limited release with LED equipped shoe design minus the self lacing technology for the Micheal J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research back in 2011. The effort raised US$6 million.

However, Nike is keeping mum about the pricing and actual release date so far. It is often said that art often imitates life, but in this case, it is the reverse. Is it practical or not? Some people might feel it is just too complicated for a simple task.

Source: IFL Science & NikeKicks

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Vagabond manga set to resume soon

Vagabond's Musashi
Vagabond’s Musashi

Takehiko Inoue, the famous mangaka who gave the world series like Slam Dunk! and Great Teacher Onizuka is set to resume his current serialization of Vagabond, a story about Japan’s most iconic and famous kensai (sword saint). It will be the 323rd chapter of the manga which will be published in Kodansha’s Morning magazine’s 9th issue on 29 January 2015. Even the mangaka ruefully admitted that is “has been a while” since the last chapter was published about a year ago. His Twitter confirms the news here:

The plan to resume the serialization was originally made around June 2014 after it was halted in Febuary 2014. However, it got delayed again for an unspecified reason.

The manga is an action, adventure, historical and chambara (samurai) manga that started around 23 March 1999. Based on a fictionalized story written by Eiji Yoshikawa’s novel about Miyamoto Musashi, the manga has 37 tankubon volumes so far. Currently, the story is on the post Yoshioka War arc.

Vagabond won Grand Prize for manga at the Japan Media Arts Festival 2000 and the Kodansha Manga Award in the general category the same year. Two years later, it then won the Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize.  The manga is licensed by Viz Media USA and has been nominated for the 2003 Eisner Award for the Best Writer/Artist category. So far, 82 million copies have been sold worldwide.

Via Official Site

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Plastic Memories: Coming Soon!

Key visual for Plastic Memories
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Dogakobo has just given us a preview of the upcoming TV anime series, Plastic Memories. So far, the synopsis is quite sparse, but so far we know it is set in a near future and focuses on a slice of life type story of a female robot themed around “encounters and separations”. An android manufacturer, SA Corporation developed a very lifelike android known as Giftia but met with an unexpected ethical issue when the androids were nearing the end of their service life. A new employee, Tsukasa Mizugaki teams up with one such android, Giftia Isla to retrieve the “dying androids”.

Second Visual Key
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Latest issue of Dengeki G showcased two new key visuals for series. One of them is showing a clumsy Isla which might be a large hint on what kind of character she would be.

First Visual Key
First Magazine Visual Key
Second Visual Key
Second Magazine Visual Key

Written by Naotaka Hayashi,  famous for Steins;Gate and features character design by okiura who did illustrations for the Infinite Stratos light novels. The series will be directed by Yoshiyuki Fujiwara (Ao no Exorcist, GJ-bu) and  producer Chiaki Nakajima (Higashi no Eden, GJ-bu) The tweet announcing the new series can be seen below:

No announcement yet on casting or date of airing, but the official character designs are already out.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LlwzkLARyZ4

Source & Images: Home Site

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Check out the latest trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron

We can barely wait for the movie, and now we get another fine treat as the counter winds down to launch day; a brand new Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer!

On top of getting to see more of the Hulkbuster armour in action (with liberal helpings of the Hulk of course) the usual dramatic character monologues and Nick Fury with his customary angry glint in his eye. Black Widow is stepping into a fight with even bigger guns and Thor doesn’t look all too happy with Tony Stark because of Ultron. The action flick is looking extremely promising already.

Avengers: Age of Ultron is the most anticipated movie this year and shall be hitting the cinemas soon on 1 May 2015 .

Via Marvel Entertainment

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Arslan Senki gets second trailer

Second key visual
Second key visual

The official website for Arslan Senki or The Heroic Legend of Arslan has began streaming their second TV commercial for the anime few days ago. The anime will be an adaptation of Arakawa Hiromu’s (Full Metal Alchemist, Silver Spoon) manga of the same name, which was an adaptation of Tanaka Yoshiki’s original novel series. The novel has been adapted into anime before during the 90s so this version is pretty much considered a reboot of the novel.

The site has also released a new visual key for the upcoming series which is highly anticipated by fans thanks to mangaka’s name. Directed by Abe Noriyuki (Bleach, Yu Yu Hakusho) with composition of the series fell to Uezu Makoto who did Akame ga Kill! and key animation will be done by Ogiso Shingo (Anohana)

To recap what is the series all about – Arslan Senki or The Heroic Legend of Arslan  is a Japanese fantasy novel series written by Tanaka Yoshiki. Tanaka began writing the series in 1986, and the series saw it’s latest volume way back in 2008. There are currently 14 novels and one side story published so far. It was adapted into a manga by Nakamura Chisato in 1991, but the manga caught up to the novels in 1998 and goes for it’s very own original ending. In 2013, it received yet another manga reboot, this time illustrated by Arakawa Hiromu. The new manga is serialized in the Bessatsu Shounen Magazine. It was also developed into a short film and a 6 part unfinished OVA (only 4 parts were released).

The series will be gracing TVs in Spring 2015.

Via Official Site

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