The strengths of computer gaming are found at the extremes. It does two things very well: It enables hardcore users to get the best possible performance out of high-end games, and it allows small developers to deliver individualistic and quirky projects direct to users.
It can be sort of hard to review gaming mice. Problem is, all the major brands pretty much have it down—they make mice with excellent sensors, responsive hardware, and a set of feature that’s rapidly becoming an industry standard. They might have a couple of extra buttons here or there, or a superfluous LCD screen tucked away somewhere, but it’s been a long time since we’ve seen something actually revolutionary. Well, here you go.
This is the Cyborg R.A.T.7 from MadCatz. We’d seen early pictures of the mouse, and we had our doubts—to say it looked “gimmicky” is a bit of an understatement. Well, we’re very pleased to have been proven wrong. The R.A.T.7‘s futuristic stylings aren’t just for show—they’re a product of a startling number of customization options and features. We’re going to walk you through these features, one by one. When we’re through, we think you’ll understand why this is our new favorite gaming mouse.
Many in the tech community have long been anticipating the day that Apple's popular iPhone would be available on a carrier other than AT&T. As far as anyone knew, the exclusivity arrangement was set to expire this summer, paving the way for an iPhone on Verizon Wireless. But BroadPoint analyst Brian Marshall is now indicating that the great deal Apple got on 3G iPad data plans came at a cost; the extension of iPhone exclusivity.
According to Marshall, AT&T will get another 6 months of exclusivity with the new iPhone. He expects the phone to land on Verizon in the first quarter of 2011. The iPad plans are contract free, and in addition to the unlimited $30 plan, there is a cheaper 250MB $15 plan. Marshall believes AT&T was willing to agree to this in exchange for first crack at the new iPhone.
We will have to wait and see if Marshall's hunch is right, as none of the involved parties are talking. If the iPhone was available on Verizon instead of AT&T, would you jump on it?
If you were bummed like most of us that Intel’s shiny new P55 chipset didn’t include USB 3.0 and SATA 6.0 support, Asus's new U3S6 should make you happy.
For a mere 30 smackers, the U3S6 card gives you two USB 3.0 ports and two SATA 6.0 ports in a PCI-E card. The card has three primary components: an NEC D720200F1 USB 3.0 controller, a Marvell 88SE9123 SATA 6.0 controller, and a PLX PEX8613. The PLX part is the same chip the company uses on its SATA6 boards to helps ameliorate a problem with the P55 chipset.
More photos, details and our analysis after the jump!
Earlier this year, Thermaltake wowed us all with the announcement of the Level 10, a concept case designed in conjunction with BMW DesignWorks. Rather than a standard aluminum box, the Thermaltake Level 10 would incorporate a central pillar, with individual compartments hanging from it for the motherboard, PSU, optical drives, and hard drives. Here's a press shot of the Level 10.
The Level 10. It's high-concept! (click to embiggen)
We haven't heard much about the Level 10 since Computex in June; we were even a bit skeptical that such an outré case would ever come to market. But Friday morning we strolled into our secret lair to find an enormous box on our doorstep. Read on to find the first shots of the production Level 10, as well as features, pricing, and availability.
You've read our in-depth interview with the designer of the game, but here's a chance to you to get a clear look at the awesome zombie slaughterfest in Left4Dead. Valve has given us four exclusive screenshots from its upcoming multiplayer shooter, along with a detailed briefing explaining the graphical enhancements they've made to the game engine since acquiring Turtle Rock Studios. The new post-processed filmic effects and advanced shadow rendering makes the game look like nothing you've seen before. It sure doesn't look like Half-Life 2!
Click the jump for more exclusive screenshots and Source engine upgrade details!