tech

Is the New Nintendo 3DS worth the purchase? Early adopters in Japan share their thoughts

As its super-cutesy ad foretold, Nintendo launched its new and improved version of the 3DS here in Japan on October 11. Boasting features like a bigger, improved 3-D screen and extra buttons, yet retaining much its predecessor’s form factor, the portable appears to be more of an evolution than a revolution, but that didn’t mean people weren’t excited and looking forward to getting their hands on the new hardware.

As owners of the existing models of 3DS and 3DSLL, we aren’t really in the market for the new system quite yet, but were curious to hear what new adopters thought of the upgraded portable. Join us after the jump to find out whether the New Nintendo 3DS will be worth picking up when it launches in your country.

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Datel Japan reveals headphones with Game Boy-themed in-line mic, we reach for our Christmas list

Heads up, gamers and audiophiles! Datel Japan has just announced that its latest gaming hardware-themed accessory, dubbed the “Retro GB earphone mic”, will go on sale next month. And it is truly a thing of tremendous, geeky beauty.

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New Nintendo 3DS ad flaunts the incoming console’s spiffy new features 【Video】

With just a few weeks to go until its launch in Japan, Nintendo has begun streaming an introductory ad for its new, analogue nub-toting 3DS.

Check out the video in full after the jump.

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Japan Post upgrades customer service technology, downgrades it soon after

Although offering up high-tech features and services to their customers seems like an obviously good idea, businesses must always be wary of alienating the less technologically inclined. Such is the case with Japan Post (JP) who once had to come up with a low-tech solution to a high-tech problem.

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Automatic Skirt Lifting Vending Machine invented, humankind reaches new heights

You might say that the last great life-changing technological achievement was the development of portable devices like smartphones and tablets. However, it’s been a few years now and nothing truly new has come down the pike aside from making other everyday things “smart” like glasses or a watch.

Just in time, we now have a new device that may change the very fabric of society. It’s a vending machine that lifts up the skirt of a Hatsune Miku plush toy. It may not sound important right now, but that’s how these game-changers work. In a few years’ time all of our lives will revolve around this invention, so let’s take a moment to see how it works.

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Feel lame and old by watching kids react to a Nintendo Game Boy for the first time

In the latest episode of their popular “React” series, YouTubers The Fine Bros decided to give their group of tech-savvy kids none other than an original Nintendo Game Boy to see what they’d make of it. As you might expect, what with the portable console now being roughly 25 years old, many of the kids had absolutely no idea what it was, nor even how to turn the thing on.

So join us after the jump to see little kids fumbling to insert game cartridges, failing to find the power switch and saying things like “You have to actually press buttons” and “I kinda feel sad for the people in the past.”

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No console? No problem! Sony tests streaming video games direct to TV sets

Those of you who don’t immediately catch fire the second you step outdoors may not yet have heard of PlayStation Now. Essentially the video game equivalent of Netflix, the service is due to be rolled out on July 31 and will, in theory, allow PlayStation 4 owners to pay to stream and play a selection of PlayStation 1, 2 and 3 games without having to download them first, with all the processing being done in the cloud.

But Sony is not content with going after just existing PlayStation owners, oh no. As promised at the beginning of the year, the company is now starting beta trials of the game rental service for certain high-end Sony TVs. That’s right, even if you don’t own an actual PlayStation console you’ll soon be able to play PlayStation games.

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Oculus Rift will finally go on sale to consumers next year

An Oculus Rift virtual reality headset for consumers could go on sale next year, a company representative told Business Insider at Facebook’s F8 developer conference today.

Management at Oculus VR, the Irvine, Calif.-company that Facebook bought for $2 billion earlier this year, will be “disappointed” if it doesn’t have a headset available at retail for ordinary people by 2016, according to an Oculus spokesperson.

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REVIEW: Samsung’s new fitness gadget makes a sleek smartwatch

After releasing a critical dud last fall with its first major smartwatch release, the Galaxy Gear, Samsung surprised a lot of folks in the industry when it announced an attractive new entrant into the wearable computing category, the Gear Fit, just a few months later.

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I used the giant Samsung phone that Apple wants to kill — and I’m never going back to a tiny screen again

When I first started using Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3, almost everything about its enormous size annoyed me. I couldn’t text with one hand. It barely fit in my pocket, or didn’t at all. I felt silly holding it up to my ear to talk on the phone. It was the least subtle or elegant phone I’d ever seen.

Even my friends were horrified. I’d plop the Note onto a table or I’d whip it out to take a picture, and anyone I was hanging out with would double-take.

“What is that thing?!” they’d gasp.

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Newsflash: Sony unveils “Project Morpheus”, new virtual reality headset for PlayStation 4

Sony Computer Entertainment has just lifted the lid on brand new hardware at GDC 2014 in San Francisco: its own virtual reality headset for PlayStation 4, codenamed Project Morpheus.

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Sorry Japan, this Yoshi-themed 3DS XL is just for North America and Europe

Gamers outside of Japan were not doubt disappointed to learn that past limited editions of Nintendo’s popular 3DS portable console were not for sale outside of the company’s homeland, and are likely still sad that they missed out on the Mint White and Pikachu Yellow models that Japanese gamers snapped up in the blink of an eye. But we’re happy to report that for once it’s Japanese gamers who will be turning as green with envy as this Yoshi-emblazoned 3DS XL, as it is heading to North America and Europe only this month alongside the colourful new platformer Yoshi’s New Island.

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Want!!! Nintendo Famicom-themed earphones with in-line “controller” microphone unit coming soon

Heads up, gamers and fans of all things old-school! Video game accessory maker Datel Japan has announced a new pair of earphones modelled on none other than Nintendo’s classic Famicom (the NES in its native form) games console, complete with cable extender and an in-line mic designed to look exactly like the 8-bit console’s controller.

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Gorgeous photos of the Gear Fit, Samsung’s new fitness–minded smart watch

Samsung made a few product announcements today, including a new water-resistant phone, the Galaxy S5. But the coolest announcement of all may be its new fitness tracker, the Gear Fit.

The Gear Fit is entering a crowded market. Nike, Fitbit and Jawbone have been innovating on wearable fitness tech for years.

But the Gear Fit’s sleek design, curved glass, robust set of features and multi-color screen make it more alluring than any fitness device that’s currently available. The battery lasts 3 – 4 days.

We got our hands on the Gear Fit at the Mobile World Congress conference in Barcelona. It won’t be available until April 2014, but you can check out big beautiful pictures of it now.

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Artists use SD cards and Febreeze to create Japanese crests for the modern age

There’s a lot of art enmeshed in everyday Japanese life. From the pictographs of the kanji writing system to the aesthetics of traditional practices, it’s easy to take for granted the visual symbolism on which a lot of the culture is based. One of the most striking examples of Japanese design is the kamon, or family crest, used for centuries to signify a family name or clan and often seen on the sleeves of formal kimonos and ceramic roof tiles of traditional homes. It’s estimated that there are as many as 30,000 family crests in Japan, and while many Japanese would struggle to identify a large number of them, some crests, such as the chrysanthemum Imperial crest and the Tokugawa shogunate hollyhock design, are easy to identify.

Artists are now using the digital medium to create a number of new kamon to the delight of netizens nationwide. What makes these unique is the fact that the images inside the crest are not flowers or scenes of nature but more modern logos and tools familiar to us through advertising and the digital age. The crest above, for example, might look like a cross design made up of four stylised rectangles, but if you look closely you’ll see something more commonly used in digital cameras: SD memory cards. Featuring everything from Twitter logos to Febreeze bottles, these unique crests are perfect for the tribes of today.

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Chinese company to launch $50 headphones that don’t play music

Back in the early heyday of the iPod, its distinctive white in-ear headphones were blamed for a sharp rise in street robbery in London because they identified the wearer as having a fancy music player valuable enough to be worth stealing. If the newest product released by Shanghai-based company King Jim takes off, though, the next zombie-like commuter you see wearing headphones might not be able to listen to any music at all thanks to Digital Earplugs (Dijitaru Mimisen in Japanese). The new device looks just like regular white headphones, but they’re not for playing your favourite tunes. Quite the opposite, in fact.

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Rumour: Sony and major Chinese investor in talks re: bringing PlayStation 4 to China

It was perhaps inevitable that games industry giants should start taking an interest in China the moment the country’s laws changed, permitting the production and sale of video games consoles for the first time in almost a decade and a half, but tech sites and analysts in China are now suggesting that talks held late last year between the Shanghai Oriental Pearl Group and Japan’s Sony Corporation very likely herald the official arrival of PlayStation 4 in China.

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All I want for Christmas… is this awesome backlit Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles NES

Dear Santa,

I know it’s December 24, but is it too late to change my Christmas wish-list?

Let’s forget about the Power Rangers pyjamas I originally asked for, and we can put the Super Sonico hug pillow on hold this year. *This* is what I really want, and there’s only one of them in the whole world: a backlit Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles NES and four amazing controllers.

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New iPhone case looks like sea monster swallowed your phone

It may look like some CG monster out of Cloverfield, but the monstrosity above is actually a giant isopod, a type of crustacean that lives deep in the sea. Yes, that Pekinese-sized pill bug actually exists. And now, you can have an iPhone case that looks just like it!

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No more mangled tofu 【Video】

Apparently the destruction of soft silky tofu is so much of a problem that one company has developed a machine to replace the delicate task of handling tofu. No more will we have to worry about shaky cumbersome hands to package the jiggly white stuff. Yes, we can all rest easily knowing our tofu is safely in the hands of robots. Or maybe that is something we should fear.

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