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Computex 2012 - Walking through these halls in Nangang is crazy, there is almost too much to see, which is sometimes overwhelming. Then you meet some great guys over at the GeIL booth and they walk you through some of their gear. GEiL are just one division of a three-part company. GEiL covers the memory/storage side of things, Epic Gear covers peripherals such as keyboards, mice and mouse mats, then finally we have power supplies covered by Thortech.
First up we have shots of the Meduza mouse from Epic Gear, which felt great in my hand. The mouse mat under it has 8 layers and can flex back on itself and is an absolute joy to use. I noticed it felt smoother than most other mice I've used at Computex and asked the guy if the monitor was a 120Hz screen, which it was. Nice to see GEiL using a super-smooth 120Hz screen to their advantage with a smooth mouse and mouse mat combo.
The Meduza sports dual-sensors, one optical, one lazer for precision. This is great for those who switch between first-person shooters and MMOs, there is a toggle for 'optical', 'host', and 'laser'. Another surprise was their Compoxite mouse mat which is completely water-proof. This is great for those gamer rage sessions where you might accidentally spill a drink across your mouse mat.
While I was standing in line for a Nyko product hands-on, the booth next to me was advertising this new game called "NBA Baller Beats." They had big name basketball stars there to promote it, along with younger athletes. However, I am deeming this game idea among on of the worst I have ever seen.
It's another Guitar Hero/Rockband rip off, but with a twist. Instead of strumming when a symbol reaches a point on the screen, you have to dribble a real basketball. The company is billing this game as the first to track a real ball using Kinect. Let's take a moment to point out the stupidity in this.
First, numerous people have carpet where they have their consoles. Second, most parents have a rule about playing with balls inside. Third, if I'm going to dribble and play with a basketball, why wouldn't I just go outside and do it? So, while it is cool that it can track the basketball, it really is a terrible game idea.
What are your thoughts? Is this a game you would be interested in purchasing and playing?
Computex 2012 - We've just walked through AverMedia's booth here in the halls of Nangang at Computex, and their Game Capture HD device is definitely looking great. If you haven't seen AverMedia's Game Capture HD, it's a small device that can connect up to your gaming console and record footage with no delay or lag.
Of course, taking pictures is just as easy and you can also use those taken pictures and use them as your background on your PC or PlayStation 3. This means if you beat your friend or break a record, you could rub it in their face whenever they see you by using it as your background. Something else that caught our eye was AverMedia's Live Gamer HD.
Live Gamer HD is a PCI-Express based card that has a H.264 hardware encoder built in, meaning you can record gameplay without much strain on your CPU and other bits. Live Gamer HD sports both input and output, HDMI and DVI ports and a dedicated 'record' button for instant response. It captures video right up to 1080p@60 which is not too bad at all.
Razer is promoting their new Taipan gaming mouse this year at E3. This new mouse is an ambidextrous mouse which means that it is designed to be comfortable for both left-handed and right-handed users. They had roughly 10 stations set up using this mouse along with their Razer Blade gaming laptop.
I got a chance to mess around with it and it's both comfortable and good. The technical aspects explain why it is so good, but the comfort of it is not always guaranteed. The mouse operates at 8200dpi and features laser and optical sensors, along with Z-axis tracking and cutoff. The specs of the product are:
- Ambidextrous form factor
- 8200 dpi 4G Dual Sensor System
- Razer Synapse 2.0 enabled
- Nine (9) programmable Hyperesponse buttons
- 1000 Hz Ultrapolling/1 ms response time
- Up to 200 in. per sec./50 g acceleration
- 2.1 m/7 ft. braided fiber cable
- Approximate Size : 124 mm/4.88 in. (length) x 63 mm/2.48 in. (width) x 36 mm/1.42 in. (height)
- Approximate Weight: 95 g/0.21 lb.
It's time for another round of awards, this time based on my experiences from day 2. Once again, these are based solely on my opinion and are for fun only. But, they are also meant to allow you to gain a better insight into the trade show happenings. Without further ado, let's begin.
The biggest fail award goes to WeMade Entertainment. I got quite the chuckle out of this marketing mess-up, almost as much as Intel's "Actual Size" 2-foot Atom processor mess-up. This time, WeMade was showing off the "World's largest iPhone." What it should have said was "World's largest iPad." Take a look for yourself:
Nintendo wins a couple of awards. First, I'm giving them the award for most booth babes. I swear there was one at every single demo station, of which there were quite a few. More importantly, I am awarding Nintendo with the honor of having the best way to get people to go through their booth. In this case, they gave you a pin for the different attractions you went to in Nintendoland.
Qualcomm Atheros, who I got a chance to speak with at Alienware's booth, wins best gaming networking device. There will be a post dedicated to this technology, but it is enough to say that this is an online gaming game changer. Basically, it allows for packet prioritization and yields lower latency for game packets.
Tomorrow is the last day of E3, so I will close it out with a best-of-show post. Until then, look for more detailed posts about the products and games shown.
I got a chance to check out some new technology by ViviTouch. This new vibrator technology has no moving parts yet provides firm and varying vibration. As opposed to traditional vibrators, the technology demonstrated by ViviTouch allows for directional vibrations which improves the feel of the game's vibrations.
ViviTouch installed the technology into an Xbox 360 controller and I got a chance to play with it for a little while. Let's put it this way: I tried to steal it. Not literally, of course, but I did ask them where I could buy one almost immediately after picking it up. Currently, there is no solution on the market.
In addition to the Xbox controller, they had installed the technology into a pair of headphones. The technology, which was turned off by pressing a button on the side, seemed to increase the quality of the sound. Human hearing is done by vibrations, so having the headphones vibrate puts those vibrations directly into the bones of the ear.
ViviTouch is hoping to get Microsoft and others to implement the technology in their products, so hopefully we will see it on the market soon. Until then, we will have to rely on the old, traditional vibration technology. Shame.
Nintendo is really pushing the whole WiiU thing at this E3. Their massive booth is almost entirely dedicated to the WiiU with many different demo stations demoing many different games. They had an interesting way of getting people to try out all 5 different "attractions" in Nintendoland: They gave a pin after you played the attraction hands-on.
I've spent a good hour with the WiiU now and can give you some idea of how it is. The tablet controller works much better than I previously thought it would. Players really only need to watch the tablet controller's screen in most instances. The TV provides a different view for those watching the game.
Since the tablet can display a completely different screen than the TV, it allows some forms of competitive play that would not be possible without it. For instance, in Luigi's Ghost Mansion, the player with the tablet plays as the ghost, and the rest of the players use a regular Wii controller to walk around hunting the ghost. You can see the obvious issues if everyone were watching the same screen.
I asked one of the demo people to hold up the tablet for a picture and they asked that the actual console be present in the picture of the tablet controller, but they didn't specify that it had to take up a large portion of the picture.
Some Australians have developed a gun controller that is compatible with the Xbox 360, PS3, and PC and doesn't rely on a sensor bar. The device keeps all of the buttons present on the Xbox/PS3 controller, just in a somewhat different layout. The right half of the controller moves to the back as the gun grip, and the left half moves to the front as a foregrip.
The only button, or rather stick, missing is the one typical for looking. Instead, that motion is done by physically moving the gun around. It comes with a bit of a learning curve (trust me, I tried!), but I believe it could make shooters easier in the long run. It definitely makes them more fun to watch.
A few of the buttons' placements seems a bit odd, but I'm sure with a little getting used to, that feeling would go away. Pricing in the US is said to $149 when it launches.
A new game from Boldai aims to make game programming accessible to everyone by allowing users to design and program games without any sort of technical knowledge. Blocksworld allows players to drag and drop blocks and then program them to do things through a drag-and-drop interface. The graphics are simple and so is what you can do, but I imagine the game could be fun.
There are currently 938 open free beta slots, so if you would like to check it out, sign up on Blockworld's website. The game features 4 main parts: build, play, share, and remix. First, players build an object, or anything really, by dragging different LEGO-like blocks into place. Once the blocks are in place, colors, textures, and custom behaviors can be added.
Once a player is content with the design, they then press play and watch the object or simulation come alive. The creations are basically endless in variety. Once happy with a design, the user can share it on Blocksworld.com, Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks so that everyone can marvel at your creativity.
Finally, the game features something called Remix. This feature allows users to download other people's creations and "trash it, tweak it, improve it and share your remix." The cool part is that the system keeps track of the remix history. I haven't gotten a chance to play with it aside from a 5 minute demo at E3, but I will be signing up for the beta. Check out the trailer below.
Sitting in the media lounge on an unreliable internet connection, I managed to catch bits and pieces of Nintendo's press conference. What I gathered is that Nintendo is really relying on the new WiiU to make a resurgence into the market. But, from what I saw, the WiiU isn't shaping up to be a system for hardcore gamers.
I know that Nintendo has never targeted the hardcore gamer market and I think that is why they are faltering. True, the new tablet controller offers interesting uses that will be able to find a niche market like the original Wii did, but I'm not quite sure how easy it will be to manipulate the controller and pay attention to two screens will be.
Additionally, the press conference seemed staged. I realize that almost all conferences are planned in advance, but that doesn't mean they have to seem like it. I was disappointed with the portions I managed to catch. Furthermore, there were no really interesting pieces of news, other than the WiiU. I will be going hands on the WiiU tomorrow once the show floor opens again.