Move over, AirPlay, and keep your closed ecosystem and pricey adapters to yourself, Wi-Di; there's a new streaming display solution coming to town. The Wi-Fi Alliance plans on finalizing the Miracast wireless display standard in the next few months, enabling cord-and dongle-free streaming to monitors and TVs, and a big new partner just announced it was onboard: Nvidia. Even better, Big Green's bringing the Tegra 3 processor along for the ride, which could help to quickly spur adoption of the standard.
If you can sell an old CD when you're done with it, why can't you sell off an mp3 you no longer want, too? That very question is currently winding its way through the U.S. court system, but the European Union dished out a surprise ruling this week that says users have the right to resell their digitally downloaded software as they see fit, no matter what the original EULA or license says.
Despite its record-setting sales success, Diablo III has seen its fair share of criticism. Yesterday saw a damning new accusation leveled at Blizzard: several Battle.net and WineHQ forum users claimed that they'd been banned from the game simply for playing it on Linux, using Wine. The flames fanned rapidly, with the thread rapidly growing to over 45 pages in length in less than 20 hours. But is Blizzard really swatting the banhammer at Linux lovers?
Blizzard's decision to add a real-money auction house to Diablo III prompted the developer to force users to have an active Internet connection in order to play, to cut back on possible fraud. This has caused much consternation amongst gamers. Another fraud-protection scheme has generated a new wave of anger as digital Diablo downloaders have found their games nerfed until Blizzard verifies the payment, which takes anywhere from one to three days. To make matters worse, a bug in a recent update dumps downloaders into the "Starter Edition" of the game until verification occurs.
The head of EA's Origin may take issue with Steam selling games at a steep discount -- *cough* hypocritically *cough* -- but judging by a statement from his boss, he may not have to worry about being undercut at retail forever. No, David DeMartini isn't getting fired; EA COO Peter Moore just thinks that basically all games will be free to play in the next five to 10 years.
As PC enthusiasts you have every right to be skeptical of OnLive as a service, but let’s just say we are impressed beyond belief that it works at all. Nothing will ever beat the experience you get with a tricked out PC, however anyone who has fired up Crysis on a netbook and actually given the service a fair shake knows they’ve managed the impossible. It would seem Microsoft agrees, and actually considering buying the service before it got too dangerous.
FEAR THE BANHAMMER! That's always been the response to cheaters, modders and exploiters in online games. Screw around and you'll get the boot. Unfortunately, that means that someone who plopped down their hard earned cash to play the game no longer can (even if that person is a jerkface cheater). That's part of the reason why Rockstar's approach to cheating in Max Payne 3 is so awesome; rather than swinging the banhammer, the company will let cheaters keep on playing and cheating -- but only with each other.
WHEN LOOKING FOR a tagline that will easily sell a boatload of Acer Timeline M3 notebooks, it doesn’t take much more than: “an ultrabook that will play Battlefield 3 on Ultra setting.” And it’s true, too.
The Timeline M3 will indeed play BF3 on Ultra, provided you’re comfortable with 30 frames per second. That dips a bit below our thresholds for a shooter. We preferred playing Battlefield 3 on High, which gave us 50–60fps in online play. Granted, we were only playing at the 1366x768 native resolution of the machine’s 15.6-inch panel, but that’s pretty good for a so-called ultrabook.
We say so-called ultrabook because even though it’s within the very loose parameters set by Intel, a lot of people who encounter the Timeline M3 aren’t going to think this widescreen notebook is an ultrabook. Most people equate ultrabooks with PC clones of a MacBook Air. But the definition is broader. Ultrabooks must be within a certain height, run a certain proc, reach a certain battery life rating, and come out of hibernation in a certain amount of time. The Timeline is wide—just shy of 15 inches across—so wide that it has enough space for an optical drive. There’s even room in the Timeline to sport a 7mm, 2.5‑inch drive bay. Acer doesn’t use the bay, though, instead opting for a teeny-but-fast SATA 6Gb/s Lite-On SSD in mSATA trim. Storage hogs hoping to use both bays will be heartbroken—installing a drive in the 2.5-inch bay turned off the mSATA drive.
Meticulous detail, motion-controlled swords and PC exclusivity: that's what noted sci-fi and historical fiction author Neal Stephenson is bringing to the table if his arena-style blade-dueling game, Clang, meets its $500k funding goal. Stephenson, you see, is sick of seeing guns, guns and more guns in games and he -- with the help of Subutai, his Seattle-based media company -- wants to bring back old-school sword duels in virtual form, all powered by Razer's Hydra motion controller.
With all the launch-day DLC, upgradeable options, premium packs and "microtransactions" permeating games these days, sometimes it feels like the $60 you plunk down for a new game is just the down payment. Do microtransactions hurt less if the game is free to play to being with? Crytek's betting on just that; the company plans to go the Tribes: Ascend route and focus solely on F2P titles sometime in the future, after its current slate of big box games -- like Crysis 3 -- are finished and shipped.