Fully Charged: Pikmin 4 is official and nearly done, and Samsung's next Tizen phone leaks

Load up on the morning's top tech news

Pikmin 3

Pikmin 4 nearly finished

Did you know that Nintendo's Pikmin 4 is officially in production? And did you also know that it's nearly finished? Yeah, both of those were surprises to us - and nearly everyone else, as well. Mario maestro Shigeru Miyamoto confirmed the news to Eurogamer in a July interview, which was embargoed for publishing until... a Monday in September?

"It's actually close to completion," said Miyamoto. "Pikmin teams are always working on the next one." Nintendo then confirmed the announcement to the site, saying, "We can confirm that Pikmin 4 is in development but that is all we can confirm at present."

Sort of curious, right? At this point, the biggest question mark is which platform the adorable strategy game will launch on. Pikmin 3 (shown)was a great fit for the Wii U, but Nintendo's "NX" console is supposed to be revealed next year. Still, the not-hugely-popular Pikmin could be a good late-era release for the Wii U before it sunsets - or an even better NX launch title that could open it up to an even wider audience.

[Sources: Eurogamer, Kotaku]

Samsung's next Tizen phone leaks

Samsung Z3 (left) and Z1

Samsung will continue its push to make more phones using its own Tizen operating system, seeing as it's doing well in developing markets. Here's a leaked photo of the incoming Samsung Z3, which will feature a 5in Super AMOLED display - a step up from the 4in screen of the budget Z1 (there's no Z2).

SamMobile cites an FCC listing that notes a 1280x720 resolution for the screen, with a quad-core 1.3Ghz Spreadtrum processor, 1.5GB RAM, 8MP back camera, 5MP front camera, dual-SIM support, and a 2,600mAh battery. It's likely to launch in India, Bangladesh, and Nepal at first, although prospects of a wider release remain unknown.

[Source: Tizen Cafe via SamMobile and SlashGear]

Apple amping up A.I. efforts

Siri in iOS 9

According to a report from Reuters, Apple is significantly expanding its team of artificial intelligence experts, aiming to hire at least 86 more employees who specialize in machine learning - that is, the use of algorithms to make predictions based on data.

Siri is expected to play a big role in this week's Apple event, both in terms of the smarter virtual assistant (thanks to the "Proactive functionality") in iOS 9 for the iPhone 6s and other devices, plus its expected appearance on the new Apple TV. All told, Siri could become a lot more useful in the near future, and Apple is apparently looking ahead to the next big A.I. advancements.

However, the report claims that some A.I. experts aren't that enthused about working for Apple, despite its immense resources and influence. Because Apple has tighter privacy standards in some respects than competitors like Google, it doesn't hold onto some user data for very long, which makes it difficult to study and analyze. Siri already seems less useful than Google Now in some respects, and it may be difficult for Apple to truly catch up without top talent - or the raw data needed.

[Source: Reuters]