Fully Charged: Mafia III announced, and Intel unveils ridiculously fast 3D memory

Here's the quick-hit tech news you need to get the day started

Mafia III

Mafia III announced

Rumoured for years but absent at E3 last month, 2K Games today announced that Mafia III is in development for unspecified platforms. Like earlier entries, it's likely to be an open-world crime simulator set in a past era, featuring period-appropriate content that gives it a unique feel.

Previous entry Mafia II was released in 2010 for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC to solidly positive reviews, and it looks like this new entry is being developed in collaboration between previous team 2K Czech and 2K's new Hangar 13 studio in California. 2K will premiere the first trailer next Wednesday, 5 August, and then share more later in the week at Gamescom.

[Source: Mafia III]

Intel's ultra-fast 3D memory

Intel's 3D XPoint memory

Intel and partner Micron Technology yesterday announced 3D XPoint memory technology, which they call the "first new memory category since the introduction of NAND flash in 1989." Without traditional transistors, the 3D checkerboard-style design potentially allows for much faster access and more storage to be house in the same amount of space.

According to the press release, it may be up to 1000 times faster than flash memory, which makes is usable for high-performance uses from "machine learning to real-time disease tracking and immersive 8K gaming." It sounds like Intel will start working with companies later this year, but it's not yet known when the tech will actually reach consumers.

[Source: Intel via The Verge]

Free Xbox games for August

Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes

August's free Games with Gold downloadable titles for Xbox Live Gold subscribers have been revealed. Xbox One owners will be able to grab Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes free all month (in advance of September's release of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain), while How to Survive: Storm Warning Edition will be available starting 16 August and extend until 15 September.

On Xbox 360, meanwhile, players can grab first-person shooter cult favorite Metro 2033 from 1-15 August, and then sequel Metro: Last Light from 16-31 August. Free games! Get 'em. And this is your last reminder to grab July's free Xbox One and 360 games, as well.

[Source: Major Nelson]

Amazon Launchpad debuts

Amazon Launchpad

Amazon wants to help find the next big thing, and as such, it's created Amazon Launchpad. The portal lets companies introduce their new and innovative products via custom-designed pages that sell the creators and their visions as much as the items themselves. And in some cases, they're long-lead pre-orders for items that won't actually ship for months.

While not a crowdfunding venture itself, Amazon has lassoed Indiegogo to have a storefront of its own, which lets top creators on the platform sell their wares via Amazon. For now, it doesn't seem to be available outside of the US at the moment, although Amazon's press release makes it sound like a global programme.

[Source: Amazon]