'Dark Souls III: The Fire Fades Edition' Comes To PlayStation 4, Xbox One, But Not PC

If you have yet to try Dark Souls III, Bandai Namco has a new bundle available for you. Dark Souls III: The Fire Fades Edition will come with the base game as well as the two batches of downloadable content (DLC) that came out months after the initial launch.

Dark Souls III came out a little more than a year ago on April 12, 2016. After six months of exploring the kingdom of Lothric, and dying countless times, From Software released the Ashes of Ariandel DLC in October, which included new weapons, gear, and magic powers on top of a new place to explore: the snowy tundra of Ariandel. The DLC also introduced Undead Matches that allowed you to fight other players in different arenas.

Another six months passed before the studio released the final piece of content with The Ringed City, where you traveled to the world’s end to prevent the Slave Knight Gael from taking the Dark Soul of Humanity. Similar to Ashes of Ariandel, this final DLC also included new enemies, weapons, and gear. Both DLC packs also added more details to the overall lore, which does take some effort to put together.

There is, however, one catch to the new variant: it’s available only for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One platforms for $50. If you’re on PC, you can still buy the game and accompanying DLC at the higher price of around $90 (if you purchased the Deluxe Edition, which included the Season Pass, it cost you around $85). We reached out to Bandai Namco on the availability of the bundle for PC and will update the story if there is a response.

Name Dark Souls III Dark Souls III: The Fire Fades Edition
Type Action/Adventure, RPG, Horror, Fantasy Action/Adventure, RPG, Horror, Fantasy
Developer From Software From Software
Publisher Bandai Namco Bandai Namco
Platforms PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Where To Buy
Release Date April 12, 2016 April 21, 2017

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HP Intros New ZBook Mobile Workstations With Updated CPUs And Graphics

HP unveiled updated models of its ZBook Mobile Workstations, bringing them up to 7th generation Intel Core CPUs and refreshing their GPUs. This component and design refresh also allows HP to offer its first “VR-ready” mobile workstation.

Along with the hardware updates, HP has worked to increase the security and manageability of its mobile workstation line. They support multi-factor authentication, integration with Microsoft SCCM, and now feature HP Surestart Gen3, which HP said is the world’s only self-healing BIOS. SureStart Gen3 keeps a copy of the BIOS securely encrypted on the motherboard and actively detects runtime intrusion, after which it will restore the BIOS to its custom state. HP supplies a Management Integration Kit plugin for Microsoft SCCM to facilitate remote management with its mobile workstations.

HP’s research has indicated that there is an increasing focus among decision makers on display quality and resolution even in mobile devices. Its response to this trend has been to try for higher-quality displays in the entry- and mid levels of its mobile workstations, and to have its HP Dreamcolor displays available for all of the high-end models.

All of the models also feature HP Fast Charge Technology that purports to charge the battery from 0-50% in only 30 minutes.

In addition to the ZBook 15u G4 introduced in January, HP is introducing the new ZBook Studio G4, the ZBook 17 G4, the ZBook 15 G4, and the ZBook 14u G4.

The Zbook 14u and its brother the 15u are workstation-class machines offering the reliability and capability of a workstation with the mobility of an Ultrabook. Both support 7th-generation Intel Core CPUs in the ULT range (the i5-7200u and 7300u, and the i7-7500u and i7-7600u) and either integrated Intel HD 620 graphics or discrete AMD FirePro W4190M graphics. Two memory slots support up to 32GB of DDR4-2133 non-ECC SDRAM SODIMMs, and the single 2.5” storage bay can support an HDD, SSD, or M.2 SSD in both SATA and Turbo Drive G2 PCIe NVMe flavors.

In between is the ZBook Studio G4. It’s a 15.6” compact, lightweight mobile workstation that is meant to balance mobility with power. Although only a half-pound heavier than the 15u, it’s supports quad-core mobile Intel processors as well as mobile Xeons–specifically, the i5-7300HQ and  i5-7440HQ, the i7-7700HQ and i7-7820HQ, and the E3-1535M v6 and E3-1505M v6.

When coupled with a mobile Xeon, this model also supports the use of ECC memory, and also support the use of 2,400MHz memory. You can select either Intel HD 630 graphics or an Nvidia Quadro M1200M with 4GB of dedicated GDDR5 memory on this model, and its added expansion options include two USB Type-C ports that are fully capable Thunderbolt 3 ports.

Display-wise the Zbook Studio can also take up to a 4k UHD Dreamcolor display. To keep its compactness, the Studio only has an M.2 slot and not a full 2.5” drive bay. The ZBook Studio is designed to give a balance between the lightness and compactness of the Ultrabook models and the performance of the ZBook 15 and 17. HP said the ZBook Studio model is popular with people who need to do work while actually mobile.

ZBook 14u G4 ZBook 15u G4 ZBook Studio G4
Processor Options  i5-7200u, 7300u,i7-7500u, i7-7600u i5-7300HQ, i5-7440HQ,   i7-7700HQ, i7-7820HQ, Xeon E3-1535M v6, E3-1505M v6
Memory Options 2 DDR4-2133 SODIMMs, up to 32 GB 2 DDR4-2400 SODIMMs, up to 32 GB
Graphics Options integrated Intel HD 620, discreteAMD FirePro™ W4190M Intel HD 630 graphics, Nvidia Quadro M1200M
Display Options 14″ diagonal HD SVA anti-glare (1366 x 768); 14″ diagonal FHD SVA anti-glare (1920 x 1080); 14″ diagonal FHD SVA anti-glare touch screen (1920 x 1080); 14″ diagonal
FHD UWVA anti-glare (1920 x 1080)
15.6″ diagonal FHD SVA anti-glare (1920 x 1080); 15.6″ diagonal FHD UWVA anti-glare (1920 x 1080); 15.6″ diagonal FHD SVA anti-glare touch screen (1920 x 1080);
15.6″ diagonal UHD UWVA anti-glare (3840 x 2160)
15.6″ diagonal FHD UWVA IPS anti-glare (1920 x 1080); 15.6″ diagonal UHD UWVA IPS anti-glare (3840 x 2160); 15.6″ diagonal UHD DreamColor UWVA IPS anti-glare
(3840 x 2160); 15.6″ diagonal FHD UWVA IPS touch screen (1920 x 1080)
Storage Options 1 TB HDD
up to 512 GB SSD
up to 1 TB M.2 Turbo Drive G2 PCIe KVMe SSD
1 M.2/ 1 2.5”
up to 1 TB M.2 Turbo Drive G2 PCIe KVMe SSD
up to 512 GB M.2 SATA SSD
2 M.2
Ports 1 USB 3.0 (charging);1 USB 3.0; 1 USB 3.1 Gen 1, 1 VGA, 1 DisplayPort 1.2; 1 headphone/microphone combo, 1 RJ-45, 1 Smart card reader; 1 SD media reader 1 USB 3.0 (charging), 1 USB 3.1 Gen 1, 1 USB 3.0, 1 DisplayPort™, 1 VGA, 1 headphone/microphone combo, 1 RJ-45, 1 Smart card reader; 1 SD media reader Left side: 1 RJ-45, 2 USB 3.0, 1 USB 3.0 (charging)
2 USB Type-C™ (Thunderbolt™ 3, DisplayPort™ 1.2, USB 3.1); 1 HDMI 1.4,  1 headphone/microphone combo
Networking Intel Gigabit Ethernet
Intel Wireless-AC 8265
Optional Mobile Broadband
Battery 3-cell, 51 Wh 4-cell, 64 Wh or 8-cell, 92 Wh
Dimensions 13.3 x 9.3 x 0.87 in 15.09 x 10.1 x 0.78 in 14.76 x 10.04 x 0.71 in
Weight (base) 3.61 lb 4.18 lb 4.6 lb
Price N/a (available this summer) $1,079.00 (available now) $1,399.00 (available now)

The ZBook 15 G4 takes a step up in performance from the ZBook Studio. While supporting the same selection of processors, it has four SODIMM slots instead of two, doubling its memory capacity to 64GB of ECC or non-ECC memory, depending on processor selection. This model has a much wider variety of GPU selection, offering AMD’s Radeon Pro WX 4150 and Nvidia’s Quadro M620, Quadro M1200, and Quadro M2200. 

Two drive bays allow an additional HDD or SSD, and it has two PCIe M.2 slots. The increased capability of the ZBook 15 also means increased weight, at almost a pound more than the ZBook Studio. HP has stated that the Zbook 15 is the current top selling mobile workstation.

At the top of the HP ZBook Mobile Workstation line is the ZBook 17 G4. Building on its little brother, it adds even more expansion capability. It features an additional drive bay and three additional USB 3.0 ports, plus much expanded graphics capability. Starting from the integrated Intel HD 630 graphics, you can add  an AMD Radeon Pro WX 4170 or Nvidia Quadro M1200 or Quadro M2200, or a selection of Pascal-based Quadros (the Quadro P3000, Quadro P4000, or a Quadro P5000 with 16 GB of GDDR5 graphics memory).

In several of its configurations, the Zbook 17 G4 meets the qualifications for Nvidia’s VR Ready specification and should be good for both viewing and creating VR.

Of course, all the models have onboard Intel gigabit Ethernet and 802.11a/b/g/n/ac wireless. In addition, they have options for several different mobile broadband modules. Other common features include an integrated SD media reader, an integrated smart card reader (except the Zbook Studio G2), and an option for a fingerprint scanner. One notable common option that has disappeared from these systems as opposed to their G3 predecessors is they no longer have an option for Windows 7, attributable to the newer Kaby Lake processors they’re using.

ZBook 15 G4 ZBook 17 G4
Processor Options i5-7300HQ, i5-7440HQ,   i7-7700HQ, i7-7820HQ, Xeon E3-1535M v6, E3-1505M v6
Memory Options 4 DDR-2400 SODIMMs, up to 64 GB
Graphics Options integrated Intel HD 630
AMD’s Radeon Pro WX 4150
Nvidia Quadro M620 Quadro M1200, Quadro M2200
integrated Intel HD 630
AMD Radeon™ Pro WX 4170
Nvidia Quadro M1200, Quadro M2200, Quadro P3000, Quadro P4000,  Quadro P5000
Display Options 15.6″ diagonal FHD IPS anti-glare (1920 x 1080); 15.6″ diagonal UHD DreamColor IPS anti-glare (3840 x 2160); 15.6″ diagonal FHD IPS touch screen (1920 x 1080); 15.6″
diagonal FHD anti-glare (1920 x 1080)
17.3″ diagonal HD+ anti-glare (1600 x 900); 17.3″ diagonal FHD IPS anti-glare (1920 x 1080); 17.3″ diagonal FHD IPS touch screen (1920 x 1080); 17.3″ diagonal UHD
DreamColor IPS anti-glare (3840 X 2160)
Storage Options 1 TB HDD
up to 512 GB SSD
up to 1 TB M.2 Turbo Drive G2 PCIe KVMe SSD
2 M.2/ 1 2.5”
up to 512 GB SSD
up to 1 TB M.2 Turbo Drive G2 PCIe KVMe SSD
2 M.2/2 2.5”
Ports 1 RJ-45,3 USB 3.0 (charging), 1 VGA, 2 USB Type-C™ (Thunderbolt™ 3, DisplayPort™ 1.2, USB 3.1), 1 headphone/microphone combo
1 SD UHS-II flash media, 1 smart card reader
1 RJ-45; 1 USB 3.0 (charging),5 USB 3.0
Right side: 1 power connector, 2 USB Type-C™ (Thunderbolt™ 3, DisplayPort™ 1.2, USB 3.1); 1 HDMI 2.0, 1 headphone/microphone combo, 1 VGA
1 SD UHS-II flash media, 1 smart card reader
Networking Intel Gigabit Ethernet
Intel Wireless-AC 8265
Optional Mobile Broadband
Battery 9-cell, 90 Wh 9-cell, 96 Wh
Dimensions 15.2 x 10.4 x 1 in 16.5 x 11 x 1.3 in
Weight (base) 5.7 lb 6.9 lb
Price $1,419.00 (available now) $1,519.00 (available now)

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Oculus’ April Software Update Includes Better Three-Sensor Support, Extended Touch Compatibility

Oculus started rolling out the April update to its desktop software, Version 1.14, which embraces three-sensor configuration with a guided setup process and extends Touch support to gamepad-only games.

Oculus launched the Touch motion controllers in early December 2016, and the company has maintained a regular software update regiment ever since. Following the Touch release, many customers complained of tracking issues that resulted in poor experiences. Oculus committed to monthly updates to correct bugs promptly, and while it continues to improve tracking issues with each software update, the company is now moving its focus from two-sensor configurations to three-sensor configurations.

When Oculus announced the Touch controllers, the company intended to support forward facing 180-degree configurations, but it wasn’t talking about 360-degree tracking, and room-scale configurations like HTC and Valve were. By the time Oculus launched the Touch controllers, its tune had changed somewhat. The company announced at Oculus Connect 3 that Touch would support 360-degree and room-scale configurations if you purchase a third sensor. When the Touch controllers hit the market, however, those configurations were labeled experimental. You could configure the room with three or more sensors, but you were on your own if you ran into problems. Officially, Oculus supported two-sensor configurations. Semi-officially, the company supported three-sensor setups. More than three sensors is not advised.

With the release of version 1.14 of the Oculus desktop software, Oculus took a step closer to full official support. The new version of the desktop software includes a guided setup procedure for three-sensor configurations to help you get the best possible tracking. Version 1.14 automatically detects if you have three sensors plugged in and prompts you to run the three-sensor configuration if you do.

Oculus desktop software version 1.14 also improves the versatility of the Touch controllers. Once you have the new update installed, you’ll notice that some games which used to be gamepad-only titles now support Touch controllers. Oculus software 1.14 doesn’t magically enable motion controls in games that aren’t designed for them, but it does let you use the Touch controllers instead of a gamepad for input in the game. Oculus Touch controllers feature most of the buttons included on the Xbox One controllers, so the change makes sense, especially because the update maps the Touch controller’s buttons to emulate the Xbox One controller’s inputs. Gamepad games that support Touch will include a “Touch (as gamepad)” label.

Oculus rolls out its desktop software updates in a staggered release. Some people received the update late April 20, 2017, but it might be a few days before you see the update on your system. For more information, see the software release notes and Nate Mitchell’s announcement.

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HTC Announces First 'VR For Impact' Projects

HTC celebrated Earth Day by announcing the first VR for Impact grant recipients: SpaceVR, Tree, and The Extraordinary Honey Bee, all of which seek to change how you view the world.

VR for Impact debuted in January to help developers support the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals with new VR experiences. HTC said at the time that it would invest $10 million via the program to inspire devs to “improve awareness, education, and lead to action” to help address the “global issues the human race is facing.” The announcement certainly got some attention–HTC said it’s received more than 14,000 applications for the program.

All those applications were sifted through via an “extended vetting process” that led to these three programs becoming VR for Impact’s first grant recipients. Each project has a different focus: SpaceVR wants to let you explore beyond our planetary confines, Tree lets you feel what it’s like to be a tree in a rainforest, and The Extraordinary Honey Bee offers a look at how bee colonies are struggling to survive in our changing world and what that means for us humans.

HTC actually let the cat out of the bag earlier this week, when it announced that SpaceVR would be the first company to receive support via the VR for Impact program. That announcement was made during VRLA, when SpaceVR offered more information about its plan to shoot the Overview 1 satellite into space by hitching a ride to the International Space Station with SpaceX. (You can learn more about SpaceVR’s plans for Overview 1 in our report from VRLA.)

But the announcement for Tree and The Extraordinary Honey Bee still came as a surprise. Here’s what the company said about Tree:

Tree is a critically acclaimed virtual reality experience enhanced by haptic feedback to immerse viewers in the tragic fate that befalls a rainforest tree. The experience brings to light the harrowing realities of deforestation, one of the largest contributors to global warming. […] Tree is an official selection of Sundance Film Festival New Frontier and Tribeca Film Festival Immersive 2017.

HTC also shared a teaser trailer for The Extraordinary Honey Bee:

You can learn more about SpaceVR, Tree, and VR for Impact on their official websites. (The Extraordinary Honey Bee, which is a joint project between Häagen-Dazs, Reach Agency, and Spectacle, doesn’t appear to have a website.) HTC said all three of the projects will be available via its Viveport platform–which makes sense, considering it’s financially supporting their development–but it didn’t say when you’ll be able to experience any of the content for yourself.

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[Daily Deal] Get the JBL Flip 3 for less than £60

The JBL Flip 3 is a splash proof Bluetooth speaker. It can be connected to up to three devices to play music. You can even fill a room with music by connecting multiple JBL Connect enabled speakers together. Powered by a 3000 mAh rechargeable Li-ion battery the JBL Flip 3 offers up to 10 hours of continuous playtime. It also features built-in noise and echo cancelling speakerphone for conference calls. Get it for 59.99 with free delivery in the UK.

You may also be interested in the following offers

Get the DOSS Bluetooth speaker for £26.99

The DOSS Touch is a 12W wireless Bluetooth speaker with sensitive touch controls and laser carving finish to play, pause, or skip your music as well as answering phone calls. It packs a 2200 mAh Li-Ion rechargeable battery for up to 12 hours of playtime with a 3-4 hours recharge with the included micro USB cable. You can listen to music from any Bluetooth enabled device or using the built-in microSD player. Get it for for just £26.99 with free delivery in the UK.

44% off the Devolo dLAN 500 Powerline Adapter

This dLAN adapter connects and integrates with your existing power line for maximum flexibility. Installation is easy, Just plug it, connect and set up your expanded home network. Forget the cables and enjoy Wi-Fi everywhere in your home. An additional device such as a Smart TV or game console, can be connected using the additional fast Ethernet connection. Get the Devolo dLAN 500 Powerline Adapter starter kit today for just £44.99 with free delivery in the UK.

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Insta360 Pro 8K Camera Now Available For Pre-Order

Insta360 opened pre-orders for its new Insta360 Pro camera that allows you to capture 360-degree videos at up to 8K resolution.

Saying that 360-degree videos have become increasingly popular over the last year would be an understatement. Streaming providers like YouTube and Vimeo have added support for 360-degree content; upstarts like Hubblo VR, Orah, and Vuze have released 360-degree (and in some cases stereoscopic) cameras; and tech juggernauts like Facebook and Samsung have embraced the format with their own platforms or cameras. It’s easier than ever to consume or create these immersive videos.

Insta360 has supported the expansion of 360-degree content with various cameras, accessories, and apps. Now its product catalog has expanded with the Insta360 Pro, which the company said in a press release was made to cram “best-in-class 360 and 360 3D imaging, a seamless live-streaming experience, and advanced real-time image stitching technology” into one device. It’s also supposed to go beyond 4K (3840 x 2160) with support for 8K (7680 x 3480) capture.

The Insta360 Pro can still capture at 4K resolutions. In fact, that’s what you’re going to see while you’re shooting or live-streaming. The 8K support is limited to photos and post-processing videos. Insta360 also limits 360-degree 3D videos–which offer depth in addition to letting you change a video’s perspective–to 6K (6400 x 6400) via post-processing stitching. The Insta360 Pro’s support for 8K is its maximum resolution, not its minimum or most common one.

Still, the camera does offer live-streaming, mobile apps, wired and wireless connections, and other features that should make recording high quality 360-degree videos easier. You can pre-order the Insta360 Pro on the company’s website now for $3,499, but Insta360 didn’t say when the product will start to ship. The camera’s full specs can be found on the Insta360 website.

If you’re interested in creating 360-degree content but don’t quite know where to begin, you might want to check out our three-part series on shooting, editing, and publishing these immersive videos. We used the Ricoh Theta S in that series, but most of our advice applies to 360-degree videos in general, so it could prove useful no matter what camera you buy.

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Use PowerPoint Photo Album to chronicle corporate or personal events

Those charming slideshows that people make for wedding couples to highlight their lives before the nuptials aren’t the only reason to use PowerPoint’s Photo Albums. Corporations create similar slideshows to celebrate or chronicle corporate events, then place them on the company’s Intranet for all the employees to enjoy. They also use Photo Album slideshows for kiosks, trade show booths, and other marketing events to showcase the company and its products.

PowerPoint makes this task super-easy with its intuitive menus and dialog screens that walk you through the process, prompting you for responses along the way. It all starts with the Photo Album button on the Ribbon menu under the Insert Tab. The following instructions explain this feature in detail.

Select photos

Image you work for a sports medicine company who wants to chronicle the company retreat for the corporate Intranet, and then use that same Photo Album slideshow for its kiosks in shopping malls across the country to advertise the benefits of exercise and fitness. With smartphones everywhere, there’s never a shortage of photographs. So, after all the pictures are uploaded to the company server, the first thing you must do is browse through the hundreds of options and select the best pictures for the project.

1. Create a folder called Corporate Retreat.

2. Copy 100 or so of the best-quality, image-appropriate photos into this folder.

3. Open a blank presentation in PowerPoint (don’t worry, this file will be discarded).

4. Select Insert > Photo Album > New Photo Album.

01 select insert photo album new photo album JD Sartain

5. On the Photo Album dialog screen, click the File/Disk button.