Fully Charged: See 30 minutes of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, plus Blackberry’s phablet and Nokia’s slick Android launcher

Finish the week strong by starting the day with our tech roundup

Here’s a half-hour of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain gameplay

Konami took an odd tact with its E3 showing this year, essentially closing off its show floor space into a private theater for one of the only games that could warrant such a move: Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. And for those who weren’t lucky enough to attend last week, you can now watch the nearly 30-minute gameplay demo above, thanks to a livestream event held yesterday.

The Phantom Pain offers up a huge open world experience, with the environment slated to be 200x larger than that of this past spring’s compact prequel, Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes. It’s a pretty amazing demo, and one that helps show how Konami is getting around the issues that an open setting provide to a stealth experience.

Otherwise, in typical series fashion, there’s plenty of action, melodrama, and humor found within the half-hour guided demo—which is running on a PlayStation 4 and happens to look pretty amazing. No current release date has been announced, but The Phantom Pain is also in the works for Xbox One, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360.

[Source: IGN]

READ MORE: E3 2014 — all of the biggest news

More after the break...

BlackBerry is releasing a square-screened phablet

Bet you didn’t see this one coming. In addition to the upcoming Classic model (the Q20), which hearkens back to when the company had popular devices, BlackBerry is planning to release a huge-looking, square-screened phone called the Passport.

It features a 4.5in screen running at 1440x1440, and while a 4.5in display at 16:9 is commonplace, the square dimension here makes for a very wide handset. And there’s a physical keyboard scrunched in tightly below the display, giving it an oddly-proportioned look to boot.

Just check out CEO John Chen holding that thing (via David Friend)! It’s expected out in September, so we’ll hopefully hear more about what makes this pocket-unfriendly option a worthwhile entry into the market before then.

[Sources: The Verge, Twitter]

READ MORE: BlackBerry goes back to its roots with the Q20 smartphone

Nokia releases the slick Z Launcher for Android

Microsoft acquired Nokia’s existing mobile efforts earlier this year, but there’s still some phone-focused talent left at the Finnish company—and if yesterday’s release of an Android launcher is any indication, they seem interested in trying their hand at something new.

The Z Launcher—available now in a limited pre-beta release—is a predictive option that learns from the apps you use and people you interact with, using that info to better present you with the choices you want at the right times of day. And if you need to pull up something that’s not shown, you can simply draw the first letter of the word or name and a list will appear.

In its pre-beta state, the Z Launcher has only been tested on a handful of phones, such as the Galaxy S3/4/5, as well as the Nexus 5 running Android 4.1+, and tablet use isn’t recommended as of now. So perhaps it’s not quite ready for primetime, but even so, it already looks like a really helpful and attractive choice. Interesting move, Nokia.

[Source: Z Launcher]

READ MORE: 11 Nokia phones that changed the world (and 9 crazy ones that entertained us along the way)

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