A rescue effort is currently underway to drill through 2,300 feet of dirt and rock to extract 33 Chilean miners trapped below the surface of the earth. The miners have been stuck underground since August 5, and in a worst case scenario, it could take up to three or four months to get them out.
In the meantime, supplies are being snaked through a four-inch wide tube, things like shampoo, hot-weather clothes that help remove sweat, aluminum bed frames, food, lots of water water, and Sony PSPs.
That's right, Sony PSPs are being shuttled to the trapped miners, who are forced to cope with the mental hell that comes from being confined in a dark and dungy area below the earth with no restrooms. Other items being whisked down the rescue shaft include flashlights, playing cards, MP3 players, mini-TV projector, recorded soccer games, and possibly a cable to provide electrical power, which sure would make charging those PSPs a heckuva lot easier.
"We have to make sure the miners are physically and psychologically fit," said Minister of Health Jaime Manalich. "If they lose their mental balance, it could create panic and violence down there, and that would be a huge catastrophe."
It's entirely up to you whether or not take advantage of Gran Turismo 5's hard drive installation for the PlayStation 3 when it ships in November. The upshot to doing so is that the game supposedly runs much faster, but at the cost of 10GB of potentially precious hard drive space.
In a question and answer session via his Twitter feed, Gran Turismo head Kazunori Yamauchi revealed that the game will only require 256MB of space to get up and running, but for those who want a "smooth play experience," it's going to cost 10GB of space.
How much smoother GT5 will run with a full install remains to be seen, but it's something to consider if you own an older generation PS3 with a measly 20GB hard drive attached.
Microsoft's newer, slimmer Xbox 360 250GB console is fast becoming old news, except that up until now, the software giant hasn't been particularly willing to detail the system-on-a-chip (SoC) that powers the device.
Details of the SoC were unveiled at the Hot Chips symposium yesterday, and it was there that Microsoft showed off the inner workings of the 45nm part produced by IBM and GlobalFoundries. Even if you're not a console gamer, you have to appreciate that this is essentially the first mass-market, desktop chip to squeeze a CPU, GPU, memory, and I/O logic onto a single unit.
Microsoft's new SoC boasts 372 million transistors, which would have been much more impressive five years ago when the Xbox 360 first debuted. The 45nm chip realizes a more than 60 percent power savings over the original 90nm chip from 2005 and measures 50 percent smaller.
One interesting thing about the new design is the inclusion of a "FSB Replacement" block. IBM/GlobalFoundries could have just connected the GPU and GPU with a low-latency internal connection, but doing so would have made the new Xbox 360 faster than previous versions. The FSB Replacement block actually adds latency to the mix and introduces a performance hit to keep the new model from outpacing older versions.
We have to hand it to Zachariah Perry, a 19-year-old sculpture student, blogger, and the man behind one of the coolest Iron Man Xbox 360 mods we've ever seen.
Perry took a standard Falcon HDMI-based Xbox 360 console and outfitted it with an Arc Reactor with bright white LEDs. "Also there is a ring of light around the outside of the Arc Reactor that mimics the ring of light around the power button," Perry explains in his eBay auction.
Completing the ensemble is a matching red controller and a 120GB hard drive with a "Stark Industries" label. Plenty more pics can be found on Perry's blog here.
We have to give props to Ed Fries, the former vice president of Microsoft's game publishing division, for going out and not only recreating Halo for the Atari 2600, but for putting together an actual cartridge that's playable on the legacy console so many gamers grew up with.
Halo 2600, as it's aptly called, made its debut at the Classic Gaming Expo in Las Vegas this past weekend. It all started off as a simple project to help learn the system, but Fries took it a giant step further by turning it into an actual game with the goal of creating it using no more than 4 kilobytes of data.
The finished game plays something like a cross between "Adventure" and "Berzerk." You control Master Chief through 64 rooms with different enemies to shoot and items to pick up, culminating in a final boss battle.
Good luck trying to add Halo 2600 to your collection, though, as only about 100 cartridges were produced. If all you want to do is play the game, you can do so online for free at www.halo2600.com.
Word all over the Web is that on September 29, 2010, Nintendo will finally reveal pricing details for its upcoming 3DS handheld gaming console, and also give it a release date. Or at least that's what everyone is reporting from all corners of cyber space. We did a little digging and it appears the source of this inside info is someone inside Bloomberg's Japan operations, who claims to have heard the news during a phone interview with Mr. Yasushi Hiroshi Minagawa, a Nintendo spokesman.
The big selling point of the 3DS is that it will produce glasses-free 3D visuals using some type of parallax barrier display technology. Other features include a motion sensor, a gyroscope that willl likely be used to adjust perspective in 3D landscapes, tilt-sensitive gameplay, and a persistent Wi-Fi connection capable of downloading games in the background.
While it looks like we'll have to wait until late September to find out exactly when the 3DS is coming, speculation has the release date pegged for sometime in the first quarter of 2011.
Maybe Microsoft isn't losing as much money on consoles as previously thought. According to news and rumor site Fudzilla, cost improvements for the Xbox 360 Slim have the Redmond giant making more money on its console than ever before, which could result in upcoming price cuts.
"According to our sources, it is likely that Microsoft will drop the prices of both the low-end and high-end models by as much as $50 next year," Fudzilla says. "It is already being suggested that the news could come as soon as E3 next year."
What's more, Fudzilla says its sources have also indicated a two-phase price drop for the Kinect. The first is rumored to come when Microsoft drops the Adventures pack-in title, and then another closer to the holiday shopping season in 2011.
All then attention right now is on Microsoft's revamped Xbox 360 console, which sports a sleek new design and runs both cooler and quieter. So can we also expect a redesigned Xbox 360 Arcade?
Word on the Web is that Microsoft is readying a new Xbox 360 Slim Arcade bundle that will up the storage ante to 4GB. It's not clear how that additional storage will be added, only that it won't be in the form of a hard drive. That leaves two options - increasing the embedded 512MB to 4GB, or supplementing it with a USB key.
The rumor mill also reports a small price drop could be forthcoming. New models might ship for $189 instead of $199, which isn't a whole lot of ducats, but still enticing considering the additional storage.
There has been quite a bit of speculation about a batch of new PS3 models -- CECH-2501 series -- that popped up in the FCC's database, and it appears we now have our answer. According to a press release put out by Sony Japan, the two new models consist of the 160GB "Classic White" and 320GB "Charcoal Black" consoles.
Both are molded from Sony's PS3 Slim form factor, and both are planned for release in Japan on Thursday, July 29. The Classic White unit will sell for 29,980 yen (about $342 USD), while the 320GB Charcoal Black will sell for 34,980 yen (about $400 USD).
In addition to the Classic White console, Sony said it plans to release a matching Dualshock 3 Wireless Controller and stand.
No word on when Sony plans to release any of these in the U.S. market.
True PC Gamers would define playing a first person shooter with a gamepad as blasphemy, but the creative folks over at Penguin United think they finally have a way to even the odds. The hefty but still portable "Eagle Eye" USB hub acts as an interface between the PS3 and any standard USB keyboard / mouse, finally bringing WASD gaming to the unwashed console masses.
The box itself will allow for a limited amount of customization if you need to change the key bindings a bit, but it's doubtful you'll be able to use the full spread of keys for messaging given the input limitations of the gamepad they are emulating. The company plans to ship the accessory later in the year for approximately $60, but it's unclear at this point if they have Sony's blessing, or if this will be an "unofficial" add-on.
Disbelievers can watch the Eagle Eye in action after the jump, along with a series of testimonials from the E3 show floor.