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With a massive outburst of complaints surrounding the web in recent times with regards to an obvious high failure rate of XBOX 360 gaming consoles (estimated to be as high as 33 percent), it's good to see Microsoft finally respond in a humble manner about the reliability issues that plague them.
They've announced a short time ago that they are prepared to wear a massive $1 Billion charge in order to extend the warranty on all XBOX 360 consoles from one to three years.
You can get the full scoop over at the Dailytech folks.
By several metrics, the Xbox 360 is the most successful console so far of this generation. Despite the startling pace of the Wii, the Xbox 360 still has the most consoles sold worldwide and the longest list of games and exclusives. For a gamer looking for online-enabled high-definition gaming today, the Xbox 360 appears to satisfy those needs.
One often overlooked factor when considering a console purchase is reliability, an area that is apparently where the Xbox 360 falls short. Anecdotal evidence is heavily pointing to Microsoft's latest console as being significantly more prone to failure than what consumers are accustomed to.
Nathan over at TTGamer has spent some time checking out one of the latest FPS titles to hit the shelves for the XBOX 360, "The Darkness" from publisher 2KGames. Due to the lack of mouse support, a lot of people tend to steer away from FPS based games on their console, especially if they have a decent PC that's up to the task. However, reading over Nathan's experience with the game there is a good chance it could convert one from this line of thought.
It is said this particular FPS combines a unique form of gameplay with a very immersive and interesting storyline. Needless to say if you're already an FPS fan and spend countless hrs on your 360, this title appears to be an absolute must-have.
Let me admit something off the bat right now - FPS gaming on the consoles has never been a favourite of mine. After playing FPS's heavily on the PC for years, I could never get past the controls and general rigidity associated with console FPS games in comparison to the PC. I knew that if I really gave a console FPS a fair go I'd probably get used to the controls in time and warm up to the idea slightly, but to be honest, I never really found a FPS on the console that either didn't have a PC port which was better, or if it was console exclusive, wasn't replaceable for a better recently released PC FPS anyway. That is until I got my hands on 2KGames' latest release, The Darkness.
The PG221 22-inch gaming monitor from Asus was announced earlier today and it has some rather interesting features that set it apart from your average 22-inch LCD display. It has a resolution of 1,680x1,050 which is pretty much the norm for a display this size and Asus has coated it with a reflective coating. This is not to everyone's liking, but it is great for high contrast stuff like games and video.
But it's the rest of the specifications that makes this display interesting, it has a built in pair of 5W speakers and a small 15W subwoofer hanging off the stand. This isn't the first time we've seen this from Asus, but it keeps things neat and tidy if you don't have a lot of desk space for a set of speakers.
The features don't stop here though, as Asus has made sure that this display will work with more than just a computer, as it had an HDCP compliant DVI connector, D-Sub, component, composite and S-Video inputs, as well as two sets of RCA audio inputs. This means that you can hook up your games console to it, or a DVD player or just about anything else that's compatible with one of the input options.
The PG211 also has a built in USB hub with three USB 2.0 ports located on the left side. Finally it has a 1.3Mega pixel web camera built in and you can tilt this to make it face the right way. Although it might not appeal to everyone, the PG211 features touch sensitive controls and the colour of the front panel can be changed.
Click here for more information about the Asus PG211
Look Out! Here comes the Spiderman! This time hitting next gen gaming platforms. Simon over at TTGamer checks it out on the XBOX360 to see if Spidey's looking better than ever, and unfortunately he discovers a number of shortcomings with the game, not to say a real Spiderman buff wont get hours of web slinging enjoyment out of it.
Activision has really found a solid partner in Marvel as this is a company which is focused on expanding its brands and has had much success over the past decade expanding its comic books into movie form. Activision has been there every step of the way producing two quality Spiderman titles so far, but there was a worry that three of the same just may have been too much. This has become the case it would seem because 3 doesn't really do anything different than the other two. Sure, it's on a next generation platform, but that's not enough for the game to reach the heady heights of its predecessors.
If you read our MSI PC2008 story then you'll already be aware that MSI was planning to release a range of gaming laptops. Well, it seems like MSI had a few more surprises to come as the GX610 was recently announced and it's not a Centrino Duo machine, instead it's powered by an AMD Turion64 X2 processor. The most interesting feature of this particular notebook is the graphics chip, as this is one of the first machines to have one of the new AMD Mbility Radeon HD 2600 graphics chip in it. MSI has fitted 256MB of GDDR3 graphics RAM and thanks to AMD's Hyper Memory technology, the HD 2600 GPU can access the system memory if it needs more.
The GX610 also has a 15.4-inch display with 1,280x800 resolution. The chipset also comes from AMD in the shape of the RX690 northbridge and the SB600 southbridge. Further features consists of up to 4GB of RAM, a 5-in-1 card reader, HDMI and a total weight of 2.6kg with the 6 cell battery. The W, A, S, D keys have been highlighted on the keyboard to make it easier to find the keys for gamers and the GX610 also offers 5.1-channel headphone output. MSI didn't specify the processor speed, but two different SKU's will be available, the GX610 Extreme Edition and the GX610 Professional Edition, where the Extreme Edition is the top of the range model and it should ship with 4GB of RAM as standard.
A 17-inch widescreen model - the GX710 - with otherwise identical specs will also be released, although the screen will offer a higher resolution of 1,440x900.
EA took a big risk in deciding to create a game based around one of the world's biggest series of movies ever, if they were to stuff it up there would've been all hell to pay. But after having released it on pretty much every platform around (bar the PS3) it soon became obvious they'd done their homework and produced a very nicely matched atmosphere with awesome gameplay to boot.
Although late, the PS3 finally gets its turn and boy oh boy does it look the goods. Simon over at TTGamer checks it out in detail for us and quickly discovers that the PS3 version has some more bells and whistles added that none of the other platforms had.
For those who haven't seen the films, The Godfather revolves around Marlon Brando's Don character, head of the Corloeone family, which is one of many mafia families in 1930s New York city. The family has risen to the top and is the number one and most revered mafia family throughout the city, but there are a number of other rivals trying to take over and remove them for good.
EA has changed a few things about the story. First of all, you are you. You name the character, build them in terms of how they look and play through with your creation. The character you play is trying to avenge their father's death which occurs during the prelude to the game. Other than that, those who are familiar with the movies will see some of the most famous scenes play out and the most famous characters appear throughout.
If you've got a thing for decent tennis games you'll no doubt have tried several in the past only to have been let down significantly in the way of repetitive gameplay or general tackiness, chances are you'll take a liking to the latest installment of the Virtua Tennis series on the PS3.
Simon over at TTGamer has checked it out in detail and although it has its shortcomings, overall it looks to be a good solid pick up and play title.
The Dreamcast may have failed for SEGA but it did introduce a number of popular franchises to other platforms which are still going today. Virtua Tennis was one such franchise. It took the sport of tennis, a highly technical game, and turned it into one of the most pick up and play game experiences you will ever come across. SEGA basically skipped a generation from this franchise and while the PSP games have come and gone with success, a new VT has been craved for a long time. It's finally here on the next generation consoles and while it borrows heavily from other games, it still remains a stand out title on both the PS3 and 360.
Some up to date information about Asus next generation of Santa Rosa powered gaming notebooks has leaked out onto the web thanks to an Italian website. The new G1 and G2 gaming notebooks will have some really juicy specifications if this information is correct. Both machines seem to be powered by a new Core 2 Duo mobile T7500 which is clocked at 2.2GHz and has 4MB of L2 cache. This has been paired with 2GB of DDR2 memory and the P965M chipset. Both machines will have a 256MB GeForce Go 8600M graphics card, although no specifics of these cards where mentioned. The G1 will have a 15-inch widescreen display with a resolution of 1,680x1,050 while the G2 gets a 17-inch display with a resolution of 1,920x1,200.
Both machines will have SATA hard drives, the G1 should have a 160GB drive and the G2 a 200GB drive. Sadly it seems like these are only 5,400rpm drives, so not ideal for a gaming system. Other features include 802.11n wireless networking, Gigabit Ethernet, 1.3Mpixel web camera, integrated TV-tuner, Super Multi DVD writer, S/PDIF out, DVI, TV-out and Windows Vista Home Premium. It's great to see some decent DX10 gaming notebooks, but it seems like there is still some time before we'll see something really powerful, but it might be worth the wait if you're a serious mobile gamer.
You can find out some more information about these notebooks in Italian here
Yet another game review for the PS3 has been pumped out this week over at our new TTGamer website. Alex has spent a while bashin' it up in the latest addition to the Virtua Fighter series.
Does it hold up to or even surpass its already excellent reputation as one of the top fighting games around? Click here and find out.
There are two types of fans of console fighting games - those that treat them as a fun bit of button mashing, and want as much sparkly stuff as possible, and those who revel in games with strategic depth, learning intricate combination attacks and getting timing down to sub-animation frame times. Virtua Fighter has always appealed more to the latter crowd - while there's some fun to be had pitting a massive wrestler against a seemingly drunk Chinese chap, it's only in the hands of experts that said drunken chap will twirl around on his head, kicking seven shades of brown stuff out of the wrestler. Unless, of course, the wrestler is also being used by an expert, in which case it's anyone's fight.
DEAL OF THE DAY - DellHome - Logitech G5 Laser Gaming Mouse for ONLY $24.99 and Pharos Drive 140 Portable Handheld GPS for $239!
Deal of the Day details:
Offer: Awesome price on the Logitech G5 Laser Gaming Mouse since these guys usually at least cost $40. They also have another coupon that gives you the Pharos Drive 140 Portable Handheld GPS for only $239! Both of these coupons will begin at 6AM CDT and will expire on 5/10/07 12AM CDT or after 4000 redemptions for the gaming mouse, 500 redemptions for the GPS.