Our Deal of the Day today is the Dell Home - Sony Playstation 3 80GB Game Console Blu-ray Player for only $299 Shipped FREE!.
Offer: Still one of the best Blu-ray players on the market and hey, it plays some pretty good games too. It comes with a 80GB removable hard drive and 256MB of RAM. I don't know if you can even call it a gaming system anymore. It's more like a multimedia gaming blu-ray music wifi device!
According to an article at PCGamesHardware it looks like MS is learning to play the game with game developers. DirectX 11 will be easy for devs to port their existing DX10 and 10.1 game engines over to.
A developer at DICE said that the porting of the Frostbite Engine was done in about three hours with very little effort. About the only thing needed was search for and replace relevant code in the engine.
They also noted that CPU load should be decreased
Read more here.
At the beginning of the porting progress the developer had to face a cross platform engine (PC, Xbox 360, PS3) with an exclusive DirectX 10 rendering path that had DX 10.0 and DX 10.1 features. The actual port of the Engine from DirectX 10 to DirectX 11 was done in three hours said Anderson. Searching and replacing the relevant parts inside the code required the most time.
Since currently there is no DirectX 11 hardware or appropriate development software, the Frostbite Engine was equipped with a switch inside the compiler that can be changed to DirectX 10 or DirectX 11. The developers at DICE are certain that the CPU load during API calls can be reduced noticeably with DirectX 11 drivers. Among other things the Frostbite DirectX 11 Engine offers HDR texture compression, Compute Shader and hardware tessellation for characters and terrain.
Sony's let loose a new PS3 update, bringing the firmware up to V2.70.
Perhaps one of the most sought after features that has been added is the ability to have text chat conversations with friends. Conversations will be able to be carried out between you and up to 15 other people and you can take part in three chat rooms at once. Chatting is available both in and out of game, and the conversation can be carried on even when switching between the two.
The friends list has also received an update. You can now sort the list either by online status, or alphabetically. Sony upped the file size limit on attachment files and you can now send files up to 3MB in size instead of 1MB.
Two other features included in the update have been talked about on the PS3 forums quite a bit as well. You can now backup video content purchased for the PS3, saving it on an external drive. You can also now synchronize PSP video with the PS3, allowing you to view the content on your television.
PureOC says that Razer and Valve are teaming up to develop a new FPS titles HellRazer.
HellRazer will be a squad-based tactial co-op FPS. The plot of the game centers around a deadly virus breating containment in a lab and turning everyone into "aggressive beings which need to kill other beings in order to survive." Sounds innova.... nevermind.
What is new is that Razer is working on an intuitive game controller that is slated to be the first true 1:1 motion senstion and gesture recognition controller. It sounds like Razer wants to bring some of the Wii's succes to the PC, so it will probably be similar to the Wii Remote in use, but function with more precision. The new controller has been dubbed the Razer Anaconda.
"Razer is extending its vision by partnering up with Valve on this exciting new collaborative project. For the first time, PC gamers will be able to experience a more integrated, immersive gameplay in a first-person shooter game, said Razer president Robert "Razerguy" Krakoff."
Gabe Newell, president and co-founder of Valve, said "We envision great possibilities for this project. Having a dedicated game controller for this game would help heighten the entire gaming experience and be a solid benchmark for future titles."
Our Deal of the Day today is the XBox 360 Elite RE5 Edition for only $325.59 Shipped FREE from Dell Home.
Offer: Get this awesome bundle from Dell! It's the RED edition XBox 360 Elite Resident Evil5 console bundle that comes with the red console, red controller, cables, 120GB hard drive, a headset and the Resident Evil 5 game! Use coupon code: Z0WPL1J0CC3W47 to get 20% off!
Bigfoot, makers of the Killer NIC, have announced the Killer Xeno, the company's next-generation NIC for gamers.
The Xeno has more memory, an upgrade network processing unit (NPU), and integrated audio for hardware accelerated voice-chat. The Xeno will work with TeamSpeak, Vivox, and Mumble and is an answer to the most requested feature requested by online gamers.
Bigfoot has also teamed up with Dell and EVGA who will both provide the card to consumers. EVGA will ship it under their own name while Alienware will be the first exclusive PC OEM to ship the Killer Xeno Pro.
The full press release can be read here.
"EVGA, from the beginning, has embraced intelligent innovation and leadership
within our product philosophy," said Andrew Han, EVGA president and CEO. "By partnering with Bigfoot Networks, EVGA can now offer the Killer Xeno Pro to members of the VGA community. In particular, this new product will greatly improve the immersive experience and competitive edge for online gamers. Addressing our customers' real-time networking needs and empowering them with new products is made possible with Bigfoot's Killer Xeno technology."
"Bigfoot Networks' products are designed to provide the best experience for today's new generation of real-time network-dependent applications such as online gaming, voice chat and file sharing," said Bigfoot Networks CEO Michael Howse. "Our new high-volume distribution partnerships with Alienware and
EVGA will enable a wide variety of product implementations and price points for gamers and consumers worldwide."
Cooler Master has launched the Scout Gaming Chassis, an all black enclosure designed in close cooperation with the world's leading professional gaming teams and eSports organizers.
The Scout is all black, inside and out. Inside the solid steel body, is a 140mm front intake fan, as well as 140mm top and 120mm rear exhaust fans which provide accurate airflow to efficiently manage heat. The tinted windowed side panel has froom for another two 120mm fans should you want them.
It also comes with the unique StormGuard PCI bracket which allows you to route cable through the inside of the case, thus ensuring that your peripherals never come up missing if attending a LAN.
On top of the Scout are reinforced carrying handles to make the chassis mobile friendly. There is also an I/O panel up front that features eSATA, FireWire, HD Audio four USB2.0 ports, as well as an integrated LED-switch, letting you decide exactly when to show off the red lights and the menacing all black interior.
The full press release is available here.
Taipei, Taiwan, March, 2009 - Today, CM Storm is celebrating the deployment of the Scout™ true gaming chassis, created in close cooperation with the world's leading professional gaming teams and eSports organizers, including Kode5, Team Fnatic and mousesports. Like all gear developed in the CM Storm Labs, the Scout has been heavily injected with Storm Tactics™ to ensure complete Strength, Security, and Control to the discerning gamer.
Developed with elite engineering skills, and reinforced by the highest grade materials, your Storm gear will perform and deliver with unfailing reliability, letting you focus on your game and worry less about your hardware.
The gang over at Gaming Heaven has been taking another look behind the curtain, this time they have a preview of DiRT2.
It seems that Codemasters has gone some length to improve the game. DiRT was very popular and was a fun game to play, however the driving physics was always annoying to me (and to many that I know). However Codemasters have finally put a realistic driving physics setup in place that aims to give players the most realistic driving experience yet.
On the Graphics side things have been improved and we good enough to impress John Erikson even at the alpha stage.
Read more here at Gaming Heaven.
Codemasters were keen to explain that a lot of the development time has revolved around getting the cars to handle as realistically as possible. Dirt 2 has seen further development on the physics side which means the cars will respond differently than before. There is now a realistic model in place to analyse the weight placement on all four wheels and adjust handling accordingly, including traction. We didn't spend enough time with the game to be in a position to accurately detail how this system works but it is certainly promising and is set to offer the end user a more realistic racing mechanic.
For those graphics buffs amongst you, the Ego engine in Dirt 2 has received a considerable overhaul with a new rendering and lighting system that is designed to give numerous depth to the environments and the terrain. We aren't allowed to really detail this yet as it is a pre-Alpha build and there is plenty that Codemasters isn't speaking about yet. The environments do show promise and are impressive already even though we were told they are missing texture detail and certain lighting effects. The crowd implementation is also yet to be finalised but they looked quite realistic already in their alpha state. Codemasters detailed the future with water effects and particles and we can assure you guys that if you are really into your rally games that this is certain to impress. The cars get progressively dirtier and the damage model is also impressive and the widescreen wipers are needed to make visibility improve !
Our Download of the Day today is the Necrovision Game Demo.
NecroVisioN is a first-person shooter that takes places in a varied range of locations, from the horrific and bloody trenches of World War One, to secret labs and underground caverns plagued by gruesome undead creatures. You must battle through legions of German soldiers and hideous monsters, as you venture future into this terrible underworld.
Inspired by infamous horror writer H. P. Lovecraft, the story blends historically accurate locations and weapons, with nightmarish creations. As a result, players fight enemies using authentic World World One-era weapons, supernatural but powerful demon artifacts, vampire technology and when the action gets too close for comfort, a range of visceral melee moves.
This game includes the following features:
- Intense and explosive fights
- Huge boss battles
- Combat System + Spell System
- Mix of realistic and fantasy weapons, enemies, levels
- Interactive elements and simple riddles adding depth to the overall gameplay experience
We are very pleased to announce that Smooth Creations will soon begin selling a special Limited Edition TweakTown gaming system called "The Reaper".
Also teaming up with Corsair for its memory and Western Digital for its hard drives, there will be a total of 50 systems produced, each being numbered. The system will be on sale for two months.
While the specifications are still being confirmed, at this stage the system will ship with an Intel Core i7 940 processor, 6GB DDR3 from Corsair and two GeForce 280 GTX cards in SLI. At this stage, the MSRP is looking to be around $2600 USD. Full details will be confirmed once the press release goes out.
Smooth Creations created a video presentation of the TweakTown Reaper gaming system which you can see below:
We will update you with more details as they come in.
Our Deal of the Day today is the Just Cause game for XBOX 360 - Just $9.99 Shipped Free from Buy.com!.
Offer: In Just Cause, you take on the role of the flamboyant Rico Rodriguez - a specialist in regime change. The island of San Esperito is suspected of stockpiling WMDs and it's your job to negate the threat to world peace.
This little tropical paradise is about to implode as various factions vie for power. Play the island's factions off against one another; incite a rebellion among the masses; or build alliances with rebel forces and drug cartels.
If you were a fan of Antec's Nine Hundred gaming chassis, you'll love the new Nine Hundred Two which the company has announced today.
With superior cooling characteristics being the main focus for improvement, the Nine Hundred two includes a perforated front bezel design for maximized air intake (assisted by two front mounted 120mm TriCool blue LEd fans) as well as a top-mounted 200mm Big Boy exhaust fan and rear mounted 120mm TriCool fan.
Other features of the chassis include nine 5.25" drive bays with six 3.5" brackets for HDDs, bottom-placed PSU mount, built-in washable air filters and via its front mounted I/O panel, 2x USB 2.0, 1 x eSATA and both audio in and outputs.
Another nice touch Antec has made with the Nine Hundred Two is the full black finish both outside and in. Dimensions of the case are 49.3 (H) x 21.8 (W) x 47.2 (D), with a weight of 13.1KG. Pricing is said to be around the ballpark of $160 USD.
For further information, you can find the official PR here.
Antec, the global leader in high-performance computer components and accessories for the gaming, PC upgrade and Do-It-Yourself markets, has announced that it is launching the Nine Hundred Two, the latest update to Antec's line of high-performance gaming cases. The Nine Hundred Two includes new enhancements designed specifically for hardcore gamers, such as increased cooling and maximized airflow. The Nine Hundred Two is designed to provide maximum cooling for gaming systems, which are known for exuding greater amounts of heat.
Razer has unleashed a real treat for gamers today; well, two treats. Now on display at CES is the new Razer Mamba gaming mouse and Carcharias headset.
Looking over the Mamba, this is decked out with a highly impressive feature-set that's sure to have most any gamer pleased. It sports a long detachable braided cord and can be operated wirelessly if desired. Either way, it's said to be completely lag free with a 1000Hz Ultrapolling / 1ms response rate, 5600DPI Razer Precision 3.5G laser sensor and boasts up to 200 inches per second / 50g acceleration.
While off the cord, the battery lasts around 14 hrs under continuous use or around 72 hours for average usage. Both battery life and DPI stage indicators reside on the mouse to keep you in the know.
The mouse is far from cheap, but a mouse of this calibre could never be expected to sell as a bargain. If you want one you'll need to pay around $130 US and it can be purchased now at the Razerzone website.
Shifting focus to the new Carcharias headset, Razer has ultimately designed this with comfort and audio clarity in mind. Interchangeable earpads allow for a better, custom fit and the head band is fully adjustable, whilst the circumaural shape of the cones provide full over the ear positioning.
For the audiophiles who can decipher the following, the drivers are 40mm with neodymium magnets, input power of 200 mW and run a frequency response of 20 - 20,000 Hz and impedance of 32 at 1KHz. The microphone has a signal-to-noise ratio of 50dB and the headset connects via a 3 meter cable with dual 3.5mm jacks for the headphones and mic.
Pricing on the Carcharias comes in at $80US and can also be purchased at the Razerzone website.
For further information, read the full announcement here folks.
Las Vegas, NV - January 8, 2009 - Today, at the Consumer Electronics Show, Razer™ unveiled a cutting edge of gaming peripherals including the Razer Mamba™, a high precision wireless laser gaming mouse, and the Razer Carcharias™, a circumaural audio headset. Product demonstrations will be held at the South Hall, meeting room 35166.
This new suite of Razer products will give gamers the competitive edge and allow for enhanced game play for longer periods of time. With an emphasis on product design and a focus on proprietary Razer technologies, these latest products will help gamers amplify performance levels with faster response times, increased precision and offer unique design features.
With Voodoo now under HP's wing we've been seeing some interesting gaming oriented systems introduced at the desktop and portable levels that continue to show what Voodoo does best, innovation. Another which is in the works and will be showcased in just a few days at CES (in prototype form); the HP/Voodoo Firefly, a gaming notebook that houses a rich feature-set with exclusive touches.
laptopmag have come through with the goods early on, getting some hands-on time with the notebook and sharing with us their thoughts along with plenty of pics.
Going over some of the main features, it comprises a 17" LCD running a native res of 1920x1200 and a smaller 4" screen (800x600) is also mounted underneath to serve the purpose of a HUD, secondary utility display or some such. There's a night vision webcam embedded, whilst the keyboard is illuminated and a track-pad is placed to the right side.
Deeper inside is a Core 2 Extreme QX series processor clocked at 2.4GHz, 4GB of memory and two ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3870 GPUs running in Crossfire. Storage wise, it comes equipped with two 250GB HDDs in RAID 0 and a Blu-ray drive is included. Audio comes in the form of Creative's SB X-Fi Xtreme Audio solution with Dolby Digital output.
The icing on the cake can be seen on the exterior with the use of light etching/imprints. Head over here to see what laptopmag thought of it as a whole.
After you have recovered a little from your New Year's Celebration You might want to head over to Theo Valich's Blog.
He has a very interesting read on the direction computer and peripheral companies are headed. He penned this as a sort of response to a Blog entry by Rahul Sood from Voodoo HP. Sood declaims (in his blog entry) that the high-end PC is dead while pitching Voodo's upcoming Blackbird 003 which is a small and neat little device.
Read Theo's article here.
Read Sood's Blog entry here.
Last night, I was preparing myself for departure into the world of dreams for couple of hours, when I got the nod that good friend Rahul Sood of Voodoo HP fame posted something interesting on his blog. I ventured to his site and read a good written article that delivers a fine and solid message. Wrong one, I am afraid.
Based on his article, which speaks about the death of high-end PC computers (neatly, some years after Rahul sold his own boutique PC manufacturer to HP for a large sum of dead presidents), the world is going to evolve into small and neat things. And that is a nice pitch to launch a product like the upcoming Blackbird 003, as insinuated in a follow-up post.
And this is where it hit me. The perception of human species is that we're an exclusive kind. One cannot co-exist with another, starting in kindergartens, throughout school, rivalry between brothers/sisters in a family or nations - does not matter, we all think of ourselves as God/Allah/Manitou-given right to exterminate the opponent because "we're better". However, when we look at the world in general, we see that everything is inclusive, even our position in the food chain. We cannot be different, because we would belong to a different position in the food chain, not on top of it. We are predators (Orca the killer whale is also a mammal, so don't pull that argument that we're cute as dolphins), we take all the best qualities, them being good or bad, and use them for our own interests. However, we do not cancel each other out. It is the competition that drives us to the best or worst of our potentials, and it does not matter who comes second, it is the matter of who makes the best product, that being your performance in a family, or a company.
BFG Tech has let us know it plans to showcase its first full system at CES early next year. This isn't your typical high-powered gaming system, either. BFG has gone all out with an innovative touch screen LCD interface along with maintainance-free liquid cooling and unprecedented in-home setup and maintainance servicing.
The new BFG rig is a high-performance gaming/home theater system that offers a refined, sophisticated appearance while still providing true enthusiast-level performance.
You will be able to see BFG's new system on display at the MGM Grand, beginning Thursday 01/08 through Saturday 01/10.
This past week or so, we asked our readers which game they would be playing these holidays.
We had a total of 2999 votes and again the results were not super conclusive. Even though it had a late start, it turns out 483 of our readers can't wait to kick back and play Fallout 3. Second place goes to Call of Duty: World at War with a close 411 votes. Third goes to Left 4 Dead and forth goes to Far Cry 2 - the full results can be found here.
In our latest poll, we want to know your thoughts on the proposed Australian government plans to filter the Internet of Australian citizens and residents.
Please go here to vote!
Pro Vs. GI Joe and Activision are are teaming up with the USO to allow troop stationed at Camp Virginia in Kuwait a chance to play Call of Duty World at War online against the players on the Cleveland Browns football team.
The event will also have live links for family members of the troops to watch and share in the event.
Read the Press Release here.
Troops stationed overseas will test their skills today in one of this year's hottest new video games from Activision, Call of Duty®: World at War. Pro vs. GI Joe, the USO, and the Cleveland Browns are teaming up with Activision Publishing, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI) for a series of online matches featuring the newest installment of the blockbuster Call of Duty® series against numerous troops stationed at Camp Virginia in Kuwait. Participating troops will also link-up via webcam and members of their families will be on-hand to share in the moment.
Smoothcreations are rather busy of late. Today they've just released yet another gaming system, this time it is a small form factor gaming PC desktop called "LANShark". And when they say small form factor, it is really just a small mid-size ATX case and not Shuttle XPC-like small.
It gets the usual hand painted Smoothcreations funky paint job with a menacing scary face on the side to show you mean business at your next LAN party.
LANShark is designed to be an affordable gaming system starting at around $1300 USD for the entry level version and while we didn't get any pricing details for the pro and extreme versions, we are pretty sure they'll cost a bomb.
The extreme version of the LANShark gets you among other unmentioned items, a pair of PowerColor 4870X2 H20 Special Edition graphics cards in Crossfire configuration. You can find more pictures and the press release, over here.
Intel is pulling out all the stops to get its Larrabee GPUs inside Microsoft's next-gen Xbox (Xbox 720) or another console, according to The Inquirer citing unnamed sources.
As rumours go this doesn't sound too off the mark. MS needs a graphics chip for the Xbox 720, and Intel, along with NVIDIA and AMD, will have suitable parts available. The bigger surprise would be that MS refused to even hear Intel's sales pitch.
But the Inq has gone further to say that Intel is doing everything it can to table an deal MS can't refuse, going so far as offering to do the engineering work on thermal design (hopefully ensuring we won't ever see a repeat of the RROD nightmare), and is even prepared to hand over the rights so that MS can get the chip manufactured at any fab it chooses.
This would give MS a significant advantage in the next-gen console war as it would allow the console maker to book as much fab capacity as it wanted ensuring there is never a shortage of consoles on shop shelves; or it could shop around for the cheapest fab deal, meaning lower production costs and the ability to undercut Sony and Nintendo in the event of a price war.
Overall a deal like this would be very attractive and it's unlikely either NV or AMD would be able to match it. So what's in it for Intel?
The main motivation behind all this for Intel is developer support. The PC graphics card installed base is dominated by NV with around 60% and AMD with 30% (according to the Valve Hardware Survey), and it's just basic economics that games developers will devote most of their resources to design and test their new titles on these two families of cards.
Unless Intel is prepared to put up cash to make it easy and/or worthwhile for developers to spend time writing a Larrabee code-path for their games with a program similar to NV's TWIMTBP, it's going to take a while before games optimised for Larrabee start appearing. At the same time it's going to be hard to recommend gamers rush out to spend their hard earned money on a Larrabee card if there isn't software to take advantage of it. Chicken and egg.
Intel getting Larrabee inside the Xbox 720, or one of the other next-gen consoles, would change this situation. Some developers my not be too happy about having to learn the peculiarities of the new hardware platform, but that won't stop them (see the reaction to the PS3 as an example) because the potential return on investment is much greater in the console market. The promise of being able to port those games over to the PC would be extra icing on the cake.
Overall this news sounds pretty good for gamers. If Larrabee doesn't get in at least one next gen-console, it's going to take a while before we see games that really take advantage of the new hardware except for a few Intel-backed titles. On the other hand, if this deal goes down, it could mean cheaper consoles, more competition in the PC graphics card market, and more games for the PC, even if they are mostly console ports at first.
In other news, Microsoft has announced price cuts for the Xbox 360 in the US market. Effective tomorrow (Sept 5), an Xbox Arcade bundle will set you back $199 USD (cheaper than the Nintendo Wii), the standard package with hard drive, headset etc. will cost $299, and the Elite bundle can be had for $399.
Toshiba has today taken the covers off its very impressive high-end 17-inch widescreen Qosmio X300 gaming notebook. It's a beast!
It is so high-end in fact that Tosh reckon it will PWNS the Gaming Battlefield. It does so with the help of a fast Intel Core 2 Duo processor T9400 which operates at 2.53GHz, 4GB DDR3 (2GB+2GB) operating at 1066MHz and NVIDIA GeForce 9800M GTX with 1GB GDDR3 running at 800MHz.
It comes with Windows Vista Ultimate 32-bit installed on its 200GB 7,200 RPM SATA master drive and it even includes a second 320GB 5,400 RPM SATA hard drive for storage. Its lovely 17-inch widescreen display uses WSXGA+ TruBrite technology for a maximum resolution of 1680 x 1050. It comes with enough connectors to sink a battleship, DVD burner, card reader, 5x harman/kardon speakers with sub woofer and a whole lot more.
For the full specifications and press release, head on over here to read more about this beast of a system! It is said to be available now at a recommended retail price of a scary $3,999 AUD including GST, with $200 AUD cash back, from selected retailers.