Saturday is here and it's a great time to catch up on all the stories you might have missed this week. We take a look at the recently announced HTC One M9, meet Samsung's Galaxy S6 and S6 edge and dig into Nintendo's complicated relationship with indie game makers. All that and more can be found below.
HTC One M9 preview: A battle between polish and progress
It looks the same. That's the impression you'd probably get looking at the HTC One M9 for the first time. Thing is, HTC knows it's got a good thing going with its high-end One design and just didn't feel like a full-on revolution was necessary in 2015... maybe to the consternation of some of its activist fans. So what's new, if not the M9's aesthetic? Quite a bit, really, and not all of it great.
Meet Samsung's Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge
The design of the Galaxy S5 left a bit to be desired. Over the past year, Samsung has come to the realization that it needs to pare down and push a few more envelopes, a philosophy that begat weird, arguably wonderful experiments like the Note Edge. So, Samsung, it's been a year – how far have you come? We have our answer. Meet the Galaxy S6 and the S6 edge.
HTC's design lead on the One M9, criticism and the promise of VR
The story of HTC's recent fortunes is one of the more bizarre tales in modern technology. What other company releases award-winning flagship after award-winning flagship, only to see revenues and market share drop? For a while, HTC's phones truly stood out in terms of design and build quality (since 2012 there's been the One X, the One M7 and the One M8). The One M9 represents another iterative step forward for HTC, in a product cycle that has (debatably) seen rivals Apple and Samsung make huge leaps forward.
It's complicated: Nintendo's relationship with indie gaming
Independent games are a cornerstone of Sony's PlayStation 4 messaging, and a contributing factor to the system's blockbuster success. They are not for Nintendo - neither for the Wii U, nor the 3DS. An unsurprising strategy given the Japanese company's reliance on Mario and Zelda, its familiar, first-party franchises. And yet, independent games have had a presence on the company's digital software channel, the eShop, for almost a decade.
State of VR: Sony's Project Morpheus in 2015
Sony showed off it's new and improved Project Morpheus VR headset at GDC. How does the experience compare to when we last had a chance to use it? Well, one of our editors banged into a real wall while trying to avoid a shark. Ouch!
Steam Machines are coming this fall and this is what they look like
Steam Machines. Maybe you've heard of them. They're Valve's oft-talked about, rarely seen in the wild solution for streaming PC games to the fancy HDTV in your living room. And at GDC this week, the company brought us closer to the promise of that commercial reality with a display of all the various units you're likely to see hit retail by November of this year.
HTC's Vive made me believe in VR
I am in the Matrix. Or rather, I am in that same expanse of infinite white space that was also Neo's training grounds in the movie. Hexagonal tiles appear underneath, randomly rising and falling around me. With trepidation, I step forward, slowly walking across the field of unstable tiles, trying to get a feel of this strange new land. Suddenly, I come up against a grid wall. It seems the space isn't so infinite after all.
Sony has a new flagship tablet to fight the iPad Air 2
2014 was an odd year for Sony. Can you think of another company that released five flagship products in a single year? We're talking the Xperia Z2, the Z3, the Z3 Compact, the Z2 Tablet, the Z3 Tablet Compact. That's an awful lot of Z's. At MWC in Barcelona, it's leaving its flagship phones be, and bringing a new full-sized tablet - the Xperia Z4 Tablet - and the mid-range Xperia M4 Aqua.
SanDisk stuffs 200GB into a microSD card for your phone
If a 128GB microSD card just isn't big enough to put your media collection on your phone, don't worry - SanDisk is coming to your rescue. It just unveiled a whopping 200GB card (the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I card Premium Edition, to be exact) that makes just about anything else seem puny.
One of gaming's most used engines is now free
When the last generation of game consoles (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii) ruled the roost, the Unreal Engine was both ubiquitous and costly. The latest iteration of the popular game engine, Unreal Engine 4, is widely used, but has taken a sideline to free offerings from the likes of Unity. The engine's maker, Epic Games, isn't sitting idly by and letting the competition take over, though: Unreal Engine 4 is now free for all to use.