Counting down to 2012, there are plenty of great releases within the tech, gaming, music and entertainment industry to look forward to. Let’s take a look at the top ten slices of awesome that 2012 will bring.
As this is a large post, it has been split up into two posts:
Type: Software/Operating System
Date: Q2/Q3 2012
I have always been a sucker for visuals and previews of Windows 8 definitely wow’d it for me. With a focus on minimalism and simplicity (styles that I am extremely fond of), Microsoft has made it obvious that usability is their main priority here. The start menus will be replaced by the start screens often found on Windows Phone which have been dubbed the new ‘Metro-style’ experience. Just like the majority of people who aren’t idiots in this world, I’m an advocate of Internet Explorer (IE) and as usual, IE10 will come packaged with Windows 8 – This time however, the Metro-based user interface will include an ‘immersive’ version of IE10. If this makes it easier to browse and merge websites with my desktop then I’m all up for it.
As can be seen, I’m mainly excited about the new interface. Though we have to be wary of the fact that this design-style was made for Windows Phone so until the final release of Windows 8, it will be difficult to determine whether Microsoft’s colourful new screens (where hopefully the palette does not include that awful eye-burning Blue) make our lives easier or just end up feeling clunky and annoying (a bad habit that Microsoft needs to get out of).
Type: Vehicle/Sports Coupe
Date: TBA 2012/2013
Since the Celica, Toyota hasn’t really come out with anything sporty. Heck, in the recent years, mid-ranged affordable Japanese sports coupes like the Toyota Supra, Honda S2000 and Honda Integra have not been released nor have these models been updated. The Mazda MX-5 has probably been one of the few that have gotten some facelifts recently but in my opinion that model needs a fresh updated. What has taken the place of these focus-on-speed machines? Hot Hatches. The Golf R and Renault Megane RS are great examples of this – Performance with added luxuries and convenience. I don’t dislike hatches, but they’re always lacking the sleek bodies I’ve related to ‘speed’ growing up.
Finally, through a joint development by Toyota and Subaru, the GT-86 will return as the new hot coupe based on the FT-86 concept designs. At 197 kW, it probably isn’t as impressive as a Golf R, but cars in this range weren’t big on taking down turbo cars (stock at least). I have to say the styling is extremely aggressive with a hint of class instead of the usual raw-power-look you get with the old Japanese coupes. Even the interior has a strong resemblance to a fighter jet plane’s cockpit.Then we get to the price, the GT-86 is rumoured to cost $40,000AUD-$55,000 after extras and so forth. This is where I we start to shake our heads in disapproval. Not because we’re cheap but for the following reasons.
With it’s current performance specs and predictable minimum interior features, this is a downright rip-off. Cars in this range are supposed to be famous for being affordable (because people usually spend more money modifying them anyway) and if the GT-86 costs this much, there are plenty of cars you can get at this price that would out-perform it in every way. So let’s all keep our fingers crossed that this car will be in $30,000 range it’s supposed to be in and I’ll get to post a review on driving this beauty next year!
Date: Q1 2012
We all know that Apple has been the monopoly of the mobile device market with their iPhones and iPads. I’m not a fanboy and yet I own an iPhone, iPad and Macbook Air. I just can’t get away from the iOS apps because my life is sort of dependent on them – I’m sure similar functionality exists on the Android market but I’m not an Android fanboy either so why should I go through the trouble of doing the research into the wide range of Android tablets, purchase a brand new tablet and then start anew with my app purchases? Yeah, so basically, I’ve been sucked in by the giant A and there’s really nothing wrong with it since their products are of great quality anyway (with the exception of Siri, ofcourse).
So with the iPad 3 rumoured to come out in Q1/2 next year, it’s perfect timing to upgrade my old iPad 1. Waste of money? Sure is – But I know I won’t be the only one. Features are still a blur at the moment with a lack of announcements but being the gadget freak I am, it probably won’t take much to persuade me into getting this. Unless the iPad 3 only adds a useless dysfunctional voice recognition system, I’m looking forward to adding this to my Apple catalogue and I’m sure there are plenty of folks in the same situation as I am.
Date: TBA 2012
In 2006, we were introduced to the breathtaking underwater city of Rapture in the first installment of BioShock. As we got through the game, we eventually unraveled the mysteries and history behind this spooky yet enchanting ghost city. Four years down the road, BioShock 2 gave players another opportunity to explore Rapture. As much as I regret this, I have not yet actually gotten a copy of the sequel and cannot comment too much on this. Yet to play the second installment and I can confidently say that I have always been fond of the BioShock series due to its uniqueness, steam-punk styled themes (which strongly appeal to me) and effective storytelling methods.
BioShock Infinite looks to add to the series what neither of the two games have ever done before: A prequel to the first BioShock and set in a civilisation that majestically floats across the skies. Airships from Final Fantasy can’t even come close to how impressive the imagery in BioShock Infinite looks. The plot will probably revolve around how Rapture was founded and built but for now I try to avoid reading too much and stick to the trailers so that I enjoy the shock and awe just like an everyday gamer.
Below is the Debut Trailer. For more trailers of this game, you can check out the game’s entry on GameTrailers.
Date: Throughout 2012
Tim Berling, better known today as Avicii, has been definitely growing in popularity over 2011 and is currently ranked #6 on the Top 100 DJs list. I admit I’m late to the bandwagon having been introduced to his music recently mid-2011. Most of you other audiophiles will know his music and anyone who has a friend who went to Stereosonic 2011 should too. Avicii has admitted to influences including Laidback Luke, Daft Punk and Steve Angello – Put these together and you have some very very sick music. Most of his popular tunes are progressive vocal house border-lining trance (with heavier beats). Anyone growing up to trance will be familiar with this mixture and newcomers alike will enjoy something fresh and not ‘in your face’ like most other house beats these days (especially with dutch house picking up in the mainstream).
Some of his popular songs that most of you should have heard of include Levels, Sunshine and Seeking Bromance. What makes Avicii stand out to me is that his beats aren’t too hard nor too soft meaning I’d be able to listen to them at a party and also fall asleep to them (kinda’ feels like I’m just describing trance now).
I look forward to listening to Avicii’s new works in 2012 though hopefully he doesn’t start trying to satisfy the general population and lose that unique flair. *cough* Guetta *cough*
Article continued in Top 10 Things to look forward to in 2012 (1~5)