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Fans of Xbox Live are soon going to have to dig a little deeper into their pockets to continue playing online. Starting November 1st, Xbox live is getting its first price increase in its eight year history.
In the United States, one-year Gold memberships are bumping up ten dollars to $59.99 USD. Monthly subscriptions will rise from $7.99 to $9.99, and three month subs will rise from $19.99 to $24.99. Microsoft is running a special deal right now for U.S. customers that will allow them to lock in a year for $39.99 to give them a little buffer before having to pay the higher price.
Years back when Sony launched the PS3 one executive made the prediction that the PS4 would probably not have a physical drive for disc games like the current PS3. After the massive fail that was the PSP Go and its download only catalog Sony has rightfully rethought the download only market.
Sony's Kaz Hirai has stated that the PS4 will have an optical drive and support physical media. He told MCV, "We do business in parts of the world where network infrastructure isn't as robust as one would hope." Hirai continued saying, "There's always going to be requirement for a business of our size and scope to have a physical medium. To think everything will be downloaded in two years, three years or even ten years from now is taking it a little bit to the extreme."
Both AMD and Intel have been talking about new CPU/GPU combination processors for a long time. When we first heard of the combination processors chipmakers were predicting that they would be the end of the discrete GPU. Whether that will play out remains to be seen, but I doubt it. We would have expected the first CPU/GPU hybrid to come from Intel or AMD, but Microsoft has beaten both to the punch.
Microsoft's Xbox 360 team unveiled the new SoC that will power the coming slim Xbox 360 250GB gaming console. The SoC is built by Global Foundries on the 45nm process and combines the GPU and the CPU onto one chip. The goal Microsoft had in mind was making the construction of the gaming console cheaper in an effort to eek all the profit it could out of the console.
If you are a PS3 fan in the UK that has been waiting to buy a new console for whatever the reason may be, you might want to start shopping now. Any geek knows that the time to get some good deals on hardware is when new replacements are announced and the old stuff is on clearance.
The current 120GB and 250GB PS3 consoles are being phased out according to reports in the UK. The consoles will be replaced with new 320GB and 160GB units. If you can live without that extra storage space, you may be able to find some closeout steals on existing consoles.
If you were so inclined, you could hack your PS3 right now to allow you to play games from the HDD or install homebrew software that you might want. The catch is that most of those hacking solutions involve opening up the case and voiding your warranty. That can be a big hassle for a lot of gamers.
A company called PS Jailbreak has announced a new hacking solution that doesn't require you to open up your PS3 or add any chips to the machine. It will work with the old fat PS3 and the new PS3 Slim as well. The device is a USB flash drive that you plug into the PS3. Once plugged in a GUI launches and walks you through the setup of the software.
I would bet that many gamers out there have seen the amBX setup that Philips unveiled a long time ago. The system had fans, lights, and speakers that were designed to increase your immersion in games by making the room glow the colors of the computer screen. The little fans would blow in your face when you flew or drove for more immersion as well.
Mad Catz is a big maker of gaming gear for consoles and for computers with the Saitek brand under its wing. Mad Catz has announced that it has some new gear coming that uses amBX technology. One of the products is a pair of lights that glow to match the game environment, which honestly seems boring.
A date has been set for the launch of Microsoft's Xbox 360 Kinect addon in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. It will hit shelves in these countries on November 10, just six days after the U.S. release and will carry a £130 price tag (in the UK specifically).
So there you have it; ample time to get your hands on one ahead of Christmas.
The Sony PS3 Slim has been on the market for a while now and if you have been waiting to buy one or to upgrade your existing fat console, this may be the time to do it. I know I am eyeing one of the new PS3 slim bundles after my first generation 60GB fat PS3 died a premature death recently. Sony is offering a free game bundle good now through August 21 if you buy directly from Sony online.
The games that you can choose from cost up to $59.99 on their own. Titles you can choose include MAG, Uncharted 2, White Knight Chronicles, MotorStorm Pacific Rift, Heavy Rain, and ModNation Racers. Those are all some of the better titles that have landed for the console in a while. The price for the bundle with any of those games is $299.99.
Activision is pulling out all the stops when it comes to the next installment in the Call of Duty franchise. The game publisher has already announced that it is investing more in the launch of Black Ops than it has ever invested in a game. Naturally COD: Black Ops will get the obligatory collectors editions for gamers to buy.
Typically, the collector's editions come with some stuff that is cool, but that stuff doesn't compel most of us to grab the special version of the game up. Things like free DLC, art books, and metal game tins don't really grab my attention. When you start throwing in sweet remote control cars though, my interest is piqued.
Rock 'Em Sock 'Em robots have been around since I was a little kid. My brother and I used to play them a lot and frequently you never knew who won because the heads would just pop up of their own accord.
A couple designers have cobbled together a high tech version of the game using an old school plastic game along with some servos and other gear to make a motion control version. The controls use Chronos watches packed with sensors.