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Microsoft begins work on the next-generation Xbox

Anthony Garreffa | Gaming | Tue, Mar 8 2011 6:50 PM CST

I find this one a bit strange, Microsoft are only hiring people now for work on the next-gen Xbox? Surely they'd have R&D constantly going before the Xbox 360 was even finished, but anyway, on with the news. Microsoft has reportedly begun recruiting hardware engineers to work on the next-gen console.

Microsoft begins work on the next-generation Xbox | TweakTown.com

Microsoft have yet to have confirmed the news, but have advertised three job positions on LinkedIn with each position looking for people to work on designing new console architectures. The roles currently being advertised include Graphics Hardware Architect, Senior Architect and Performance Engineer for the Xbox Console Architecture Group and Senior Hardware Design Verification Engineer. Quite the mouthful.

Continue reading: Microsoft begins work on the next-generation Xbox (full post)

GDC 2011 Wrap Up: Crytek & Crysis 2 Clearly Most Popular 3D, Bulletstorm Gets FPS Blue Ribbon

Trak Lord | Gaming | Tue, Mar 8 2011 4:20 PM CST

GDC was all about the 3D engines and games- and none was so impressive as Crytek's passive 3D engine. I demoed at least 5 different passive and active 3D engines, and Crytek's shined more than any of them.

The Crytek section looked like a scene from Risky Business: GDC with all of the dudes wearing the Real 3D glasses, both spectating and playing. The camera really doesn't do it justice, but the 3D here is top of the line. And it would have to be, as the Crytek demo area was crowded from beginning to end of Friday's Expo.

GDC 2011 Wrap Up: Crytek & Crysis 2 Clearly Most Popular 3D,  Bulletstorm Gets FPS Blue Ribbon 22 | TweakTown.com

Part of that is undoubtedly due to Crysis 2's environment within the game. Unlike a lot of FPS's these days, the surroundings in Crysis 2 are very subdued, and reactive rather than constantly shifting and moving. The player is immersed almost seamlessly within the action because of how easily accessible it is. Though the gameplay is enhanced, there are few 3D gimmicks here (flying random projectiles, unnecessary "gotcha" pop-ups, etc), which sets it apart from much of the 3D media out on the market now (Don't get me wrong, I know it was absolutely imperative that the Justin Beiber movie was in 3D).

Continue reading: GDC 2011 Wrap Up: Crytek & Crysis 2 Clearly Most Popular 3D, Bulletstorm Gets FPS Blue Ribbon (full post)

GDC 2011 Wrap Up: Parrot's AR.Drone Flies High

Trak Lord | Drones | Tue, Mar 8 2011 3:12 PM CST

The AR.Drone by Parrot might be the coolest video game ever, if you can even call it that. Imagine for a second that you could take the external camera on your iPhone and fly it around your backyard. Or your neighbor's backyard. Or have it follow you while you're on the 21 Bus going down Market Street in San Francisco. Now make the camera a bad-ass insectoid quadracopter. That's the AR.Drone.

While I was checking out 3dvia's 3D game development engine, I couldn't help but notice some reverberating techno dance music. I looked to my left and noticed the following:

GDC 2011 Wrap Up: Parrot's AR.Drone Flies High 24 | TweakTown.com

Maybe it was the music, maybe it was the giant cage- I had to go check it out. I had heard a lot about the AR.Drone previously, but never seen it in person. I experience a moment of eager child-like euphoria as I realized there was no line, just spectators, and that I would be able to fly it like one of those annoying kiosk dudes in every mall in America- but I just as soon realized that they weren't allowing attendees to try it out. I spoke to the rep in French for a bit (no big deal) and he explained to me that the Moscone Center wireless was too spotty to let people test it out, and they had the Drone on automatic pilot. Damn you Moscone Center!

Continue reading: GDC 2011 Wrap Up: Parrot's AR.Drone Flies High (full post)

GDC 2011 Expo Wrap Up: Hands on Nintendo 3DS AR

Trak Lord | Gaming | Tue, Mar 8 2011 2:00 PM CST

It seems a little late, but I'll be posting wrap up reviews and cool things we found on the Expo floor at last week's GDC, including video and more photos.

GDC 2011 Expo Wrap Up: Hands on Nintendo 3DS AR 01 | TweakTown.com

The Nintendo section was almost entirely devoted to showcasing the new 3DS. The active 3D engine was pretty impressive, and the 3DS has an adjustment slide that lets the user decide how much he or she enjoys it or finds it necessary (which for the most part, I didn't). No offense to the good people at Nintendo, I just find active 3D disorienting and just a tad bit gimmicky. Luckily, the 3DS didn't sacrifice or slack on any of the other features in the wake of 3D, and all I saw at the booth were wide eyes and smiles. My own eyes and smile were added to that mix when I tried out two of the augmented reality games that come preloaded on the system. Nintendo uses marker-based AR technology to run their games, launching the AR experiences from a small card (cARd? No? Okay, I'll stop) bearing the familiar Nintendo Question Mark logo. The user orients the 3DS camera toward the card until it recognizes it, and then a variety of things happen depending on what game you're playing.

Continue reading: GDC 2011 Expo Wrap Up: Hands on Nintendo 3DS AR (full post)

Lenovo Announces Next Gen Ultraportables: ThinkPad X220 Laptop, X220 Convertible Tablet for April

Trak Lord | Laptops | Tue, Mar 8 2011 5:05 AM CST

From Research Triangle Park, just outside of Raleigh, North Carolina, Lenovo announced today its next generation of ultraportable laptops: The ThinkPad X220 Notebook and the X220 Convertible Tablet PC. Lenovo has given the tech consumer the option of purchasing a super-transforming-ultraportable device with detachable keyboard and trusty pen- or instead, you know, a regular notebook. The X220 is however far from standard as it brings with it a host of nifty features that will be sure to make 2010's Best-Selling Ultraportable Laptop a surefire success in 2011 (According to IDC Worlwide Quarterly PC Tracker, February 2011)

Lenovo Announces Next Gen Ultraportables: ThinkPad X220 Laptop, X220 Convertible Tablet for April 22 | TweakTown.com

The spec sheets, which we've attached in the gallery at the end of the article, read almost the exact same- Lenovo has outdone their previous efforts in releasing an ultra ultra portable product in tandem with their notebook. The X220 Tablet is therefore quite remarkable in that it possesses almost the exact same external and internal hardware features as its less-transformable cousin, the main tradeoff being that the Tablet weighs in almost a pound heavier than its alternate (~3.88 lbs) with maximum 66% the battery life.

Continue reading: Lenovo Announces Next Gen Ultraportables: ThinkPad X220 Laptop, X220 Convertible Tablet for April (full post)

Aussie Flood Appeal Dream System - The Winner!

Cameron Wilmot | Computer Systems | Tue, Mar 8 2011 4:08 AM CST

Since January 26th till March 5th thanks to our fabulous community and friends, we managed to donate $6,289.77 AUD to the victims of the Queensland floods.

Aussie Flood Appeal Dream System - The Winner! 02 | TweakTown.com

Today a check was mailed off to the Premier's Disaster Relief Appeal and as promised, you can see a scanned copy of the check above. The Queensland government has already thanked us for the donation as we alerted them about the check that will be mailed once we knew the final amount.

Aussie Flood Appeal Dream System - The Winner! 01 | TweakTown.com

Now, the moment you have been waiting for... the winner of the Aussie Flood Appeal Dream System. A hardcore computer gaming system valued at almost five thousand US dollars. Of course none of this would have been possible without the support of the generous companies who provided parts for the Dream System. Thanks again goes out to Corsair, GIGABYTE, Sapphire, Thermaltake, Western Digital and AVADirect. You guys are the best!

Continue reading: Aussie Flood Appeal Dream System - The Winner! (full post)

WD acquires Hitachi GST for a cool $4.3 billion

Anthony Garreffa | Storage | Mon, Mar 7 2011 6:28 PM CST

Western Digital has said that it has entered into an agreement with Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (Hitachi GST) to acquire them for approximately $4.3 billion in cash and stock. WD said on Monday that the acquisition will produce a customer-focused storage company with "significant operating scale, strong global talent and the industry's broadest product lineup backed by a rich technology portfolio".

WD acquires Hitachi GST for a cool $4.3 billion | TweakTown.com

The acquisition will also strengthen WD's position in the enterprise market, where businesses and consumers are moving their data to cloud-based solutions. Included in the agreement, WD will pay parent company Hitachi Ltd, $3.5 billion in cash and an additional 25 million WD common shares worth $750 million ($30.01 per share) as of March 4, 2011.

Continue reading: WD acquires Hitachi GST for a cool $4.3 billion (full post)

Gears of War 3 beta starts April 18

Anthony Garreffa | Gaming | Mon, Mar 7 2011 6:20 PM CST

Owners of Bulletstorms "Epic Edition" get access to the Gears of War 3 beta coming on April 18 - those without Bulletstorm get access on April 25 if they pre-order Gears of War 3 at GameStop in either standard, limited or "epic" edition form.

Gears of War 3 beta starts April 18 | TweakTown.com

The beta wraps up on May 15 giving players a month of multiplayer thrashing, there's a tonne of content to unlock in the beta. Below is a list of what is able to be unlocked to those who have access to the GoW3 beta.

Continue reading: Gears of War 3 beta starts April 18 (full post)

NVIDIA pose with the Radeon HD 6990

Anthony Garreffa | Video Cards | Mon, Mar 7 2011 6:12 PM CST

It looks like NVIDIA are fans of the upcoming dual-GPU from AMD, the Radeon HD 6990. NVIDIA were approached at CeBit and were asked to pose in front of a camera with the Radeon HD 6990, which they agreed to, pearly whites included.

NVIDIA pose with the Radeon HD 6990 | TweakTown.com

As the picture above shows, NVIDIA are in good spirits. This could mean a few things. They could be just smiling to get it out of the way, smiling because they know their product is better, or smiling in defeat. My guess is the NVIDIA's dual-GPU will be faster but at the use of much more power (400W+) where the HD 6990 should sit pretty at 300W and below.

Continue reading: NVIDIA pose with the Radeon HD 6990 (full post)

Google's Face(book) Gets a Makeover: "Profiles" Review

Trak Lord | Networking | Mon, Mar 7 2011 12:41 PM CST

Almost two years ago, Google launched a rather mundane attempt to compete with social media juggernaut Facebook. If you weren't reading about how detrimental social media is to your brain and your sense of morality (which you probably, and ironically found on your Twitter or Facebook news feeds), you may have caught this somewhat underwhelming SEO boost to your social network two Aprils ago.

Google's Face(book) Gets a Makeover:

This past Thursday, Google announced it had enhanced its Profiles section. I think we all remember what happened the last time Google created a social service that duplicated an existing one, but 8.5 million reminders of their mistake will hopefully avert anything similar this time.

Google users that decide to participate will notice that their profiles will update automatically as new features become available. For the time being, the page looks almost identical to a watered-down Facebook Profile page- but is that necessarily a bad thing?

Continue reading: Google's Face(book) Gets a Makeover: "Profiles" Review (full post)

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