Disney’s Imagineers have been working hard to retool the Florida theme park’s famous Haunted Mansion ride and now it’s finally ready for the public at large to experience the newly installed frights. If you’ve been on the ride before, you should know that in the ride’s final moments (spoiler alert) ghostly figures appear next to you in the Doom Buggy through the magic of mirroring. Disney decided to upgrade this portion of the ride by making things a bit more interactive. The hitchhiking ghosts referred to as Ezra, Gus, and Phineas not only appear in your cart but they can now rip off passengers’ heads, blow them up like one would with a balloon, and send it flying in the air and it eventually lands back on the shoulders of the unsuspecting passenger. Disney pulls off the neat trick in grand fashion and you can sneak a peek at it in the video above. Obviously little justice is served here, so you ought to check it out first-hand the next time you visit the Magic Kingdom.
On Tuesday Apple refreshed their Macbook Pro line, at long last. The 15.4 inch and 17 inch models now have 2010 Intel processors; the 13 inch model is sticking with Intel Core 2 Duo (2.4GHz/2.53 GHz). The 15.4 inch MBP can be puchased with a Core i5 (2.4 GHz/2.53 GHz) or Core i7 (2.66 GHz) processor, while the 17 inch MBP can be configured with this i5 (2.53 GHz) and i7 (2.66GHz). The 15 and 17 inch models got fitted with the NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M (256MB/512MB); the 13 incher’s got the NVIDIA GeForce 320M integrated graphics.
The GeForce GT 330M features “automatic graphics switching technology” a process whereby the computer automatically switches between using the integrated and discrete graphics. Apple describes how it works: it “switches graphics processors on the fly to give you performance when you need it (when you’re playing the latest 3D game, for example) and better battery efficiency when you don’t (such as when you’re reading email). MacBook Pro transfers the workload between the powerful discrete NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M graphics processor and integrated Intel HD Graphics so seamlessly, you won’t even notice.” That last part there is key; the user never has to worry about toggling on/off a graphics card. Depending on what type of application you’re using, it’s all done on the fly.
All MBPs come standard with 4GB of RAM and a hard drive (250GB for 13 inch, 320GB/500GB for 15 & 17 inch). There’s an option to swap out the HD for a solid state drive (128GB/256GB/512GB) on all models. Battery life on the 13 inch remains at 10 hours, while the 15 & 17 inch models will manage 8 to 9 hours on a single charge. There are three display options for the 15 inch: Glossy Widescreen (1440×900), Hi-Res Glossy Widescreen (1680×1050), and Hi-Res Antiglare Widescreen (1680×1050). The 17 inch comes with a 1920×1200 display, with glossy and antiglare options.
The unibody enclosure, ports and all, have stayed the same. The only new addition is one that cannot be seen, only touched: the multitouch trackpad now supports inertial scrolling, “an intuitive way to scroll through large photo libraries, lengthy documents and long web sites” just like you’re used to on the iPhone.
The 13 inch MBP starts at $1,199; the 15 inch base price has jumped $100 to $1,799; and the 17 inch starts at $2,299. They are all available to purchase today. Apple’s online store says all 15 & 17 inch models ship within 24 hours, but give the 13 inch 2-3 days to ship.
Long overdue, but they’re finally here. Faster processors, better graphics chips, new customizations. Here’s the deal: if you purchased a MBP within the last year, stick with that you got; if it’s been longer than that and you’ve been waiting for the new Intel processors to hit the MBP with bated breath, go for it. Look after the break for the full list of specs and customization options.
We knew it was coming but now it’s getting official. SCEA’s John Koller spills the beans: This summer, two firmware updates will transform the PlayStation 3 into a 3D Blu-ray and 3D gaming machine:
3D is a major part of our initiatives in 2010 and we’re currently developing 3D stereoscopic games to come in conjunction with the launch of Sony’s 3D compatible BRAVIA LCD TV in summer 2010. The amazing thing about the PS3′s technology is that all PS3 units that exist in homes and markets will be able to play 3D stereoscopic games as well as 3D BD movies through separate firmware upgrades – something that other platforms are unable to do. We’ll be announcing actual game titles separately later, but we think that 3D stereoscopic gaming has a ton of potential, particularly in placing consumers within the actual experience.
Today Apple performed its yearly upgrade to its iMac desktop line (among other things). Apple also introduced a brand new product as well! Let’s dive right into it, shall we?
LOOK AFTER THE BREAK FOR THE BREAKDOWN. (Click here for more…)
Guess who’s back, back again? Steve Jobs graciously owned the stage in San Fransisco on Thursday during the latest Apple keynote presentation. There was lots of discussion and reveals on the iTunes and iPod front. Let’s not waste any time and get right to it. Read on for all the juicy details of the keynote.
- iPhone OS 3.1
- Genius will now “automatically make recommendations from the App Store based on the applications you own.” Think of it as iTunes Genius for your music, but now for your purchased apps.
- Ringtones – over 30,000 ringtones available to purchase at $1.29 each. All four major record labels are on-board.
- 3.1 firmware update is a free download available now for iPhone and iPod touch owners (there is a $5 upgrade price for those iPod touch users who have not upgraded to 3.0)
- iTunes 9
- Features a cleaner, easier-to-navigate UI with a redesigned store
- Genius Mixes – Think of this as your own personal DJ spinning your favorite songs continuously. Genius Mixes takes your current music library and groups songs/artists/genres together for you to listen to; it’s like listening to your preferred radio station.
- Improved syncing – Now you have the option to manually sync exactly what you want (for example, you can sync specific artists, genres, albums, etc.)
- App organization – You can arrange your apps in iTunes. Plug in your iPhone or iPod touch and you get a visual copy of your home screen and your multiple pages; you simply drag and drop 1 or more apps at a time. This couldn’t be any simpler.
- Home Sharing – Allows you to “manage your family’s iTunes collection between computers in your home.” You can copy songs, movies, TV shows, etc. with up to 5 computers. For example, say you have 5 family members each with their own computer and iTunes accounts. Now you can all easily share your iTunes content by dragging and dropping other family members’ songs into your library. The files copy right over and viola–you now have songs in your library that originally resided in your brother’s music library.
- iTunes LP – Tools are now given to record labels and artists to create and distribute many album extras in their digital music albums. These extras include behind-the-scenes videos, photos, liner notes, lyrics, chronology of albums, credits, animations, and more. Although digital downloads will never be the same as buying a physical CD or record in a retail store, iTunes LP is a step in the right direction for those who have switched to digital music and who miss receiving the entire “album experience” you get when you purchase your favorite artist’s latest album.
- iTunes Extras (for movies) – Think of the extras you would find on a DVD; they will now be included when you purchase a movie from the iTunes Store
- Facebook and Twitter integration – You now have the option to share your favorite songs and artists with your friends on Facebook and Twitter. There is an embedded option that allows you to link a song, artist, or album information to your Facebook and Twitter accounts.
- iTunes 9 is available today as a free download
- iPod touch
- Lineup: $199 (8GB); $299 (32GB); $399 (64GB)
- cheaper and new storage capacity
- up to 50% faster; OpenGL|ES Version 2.0 (adds more realism in games)
- Publishers discuss upcoming games for the App Store – Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed II Discovery; Tapulous’s Riddim Ribbon (an awesome music game that incorporates racing and DJ control); Gameloft’s Nova; EA’s Madden NFL 10
- iPod classic
- Lineup: $250 (160GB) (holds 40,000 songs)
- Same price, capacity upgrade from 120GB
- iPod shuffle
- Lineup: $59 (2GB); $79 (4GB); $99 (4GB Special Edition in stainless steel, Apple Store exclusive)
- all new shiny colors: black, silver, pink, green, blue
- expand range of headphones with an adapter that will allow you to change volume/tracks
- new VoiceOver features ( reads statuses, like battery level)
- iPod nano
- Lineup: $149 (8GB) and $179 (16GB)
- all new colors in polished anodized aluminium: green, blue, purple, black, silver, pink, red, orange, yellow
- larger 2.2 inch display
- new included apps: FM radio, Voice Recorder, pedometer (syncs with Nike +)
- VIDEO CAMERA (the one more thing) – Integrated video camera; only shoots videos (no picture stills); VGA resolution (640×480); includes microphone and speaker
- iPod touch
Note: When asked why Apple did not include a video camera in the new iPod touch, Jobs responded: “Originally, we weren’t exactly sure how to market the Touch. Was it an iPhone without the phone? Was it a pocket computer? What happened was, what customers told us was, they started to see it as a game machine. We started to market it that way, and it just took off. And now what we really see is it’s the lowest-cost way to the App Store, and that’s the big draw. So what we were focused on is just reducing the price to $199. We don’t need to add new stuff. We need to get the price down where everyone can afford it.”
Check out the gallery below for some official press shots of the new products and services.
[Gallery images via Apple]