Today's Gaming Round-Up has more gob-smackin' trash talk than a night on Xbox Live -- and only half as many "Your mom" jokes per volume. Whether it's Bethesda flipping chairs in Diablo III's direction, a Pultizer Prize-winner saying GTA ain't so great, or Treyarch, well, apologizing, you'll have plenty to argue about after clicking past the break.
Perhaps no other country takes gaming as seriously as China, and no other company pushes gaming peripherals as hard as Razer, who arguably drove the once niche market into the mainstream sector with the introduction of its Boomslang mouse back in 2000. It seems only natural for the two to court each other, no matter what Paula Abdul sang about back before she, well, never mind.
For its part, Razer's making its interests known and will play suitor to Chinese gamers with the announcement of the Aurantia keyboard. Built exclusively for Chinese gamers and co-developed with XioFeng "Sky" Li from China's Team World Elite, the entry-level keyboard offers a bevy of customizable options, including:
104 programmable keys with macro capabilities
Three additional keys for 'gaming mode,' 'profile switching,' and 'mute' functions
10 customizable software profiles with on-the-fly switching
A detachable non-slip wrist rest and backlit keys round out the feature-set. Sound familiar? It should, because glossing over the spec sheet and available pics, the Aurantia bears more than a just a striking resemblance to the Razer Lycosa; save for what appears to be a slightly lowered keyset on the Lycosa, the two keyboards seem to share much of the same DNA and could pass as peripheral twins. Quick, what's the Chinese term for déjà vu?
Everyone, I have huge news! Diablo III was announced. With the Internet drooling and licking its chops in eager anticipation of Blizzard's latest devil-puncher, I figured you wouldn't be needing me today. However, gaming news moves with blinding speed, and there is life after Blizzard's Big Day. Thus, I've brought you all kinds of stories -- and only one or two of them are about Blizzard. Promise! Jump past the break to read all about it.
We’re at a point in history when, if gamers are to maintain credibility, we need to acknowledge both the good and bad in our passion. Grand Theft Childhood ($25, Simon & Schuster) by Lawrence Kutner and Cheryl K. Olson is a fair and comprehensive study of games and violence, and we would do well to pay attention to its conclusions.
Nvidia is preparing to roll out full support for hardware accelerated physics on its high end graphics cards including the 9800 & 200 series. New beta drivers which enable this functionality can now be found using the advanced driver search tool. Version 177.39 installs PhysX drivers that will enable the graphics card to emulate Ageia hardware. Physics acceleration is part of Nvidia’s new CUDA initiative aimed at convincing gamers that graphics hardware is more capable and valuable then CPU’s. Games of note that currently support PhysX include Gears of War, Mass Effect, Rainbow Six Vegas, and Unreal Tournament 3. The list of supported titles is expected to grow exponentially as Nvidia rolls this feature out to older hardware in the coming months.
Hit the jump to learn how to really put PhysX to the test.
Prepare thy frozen orbs. Blizzard unveiled one additional feature at this year's Worldwide Invitational to absolutely no fanfare whatsoever. The company of the hour has now updated its direct-download service to include both Diablo II and Diablo II: Lord of Destruction. Simply head on over to the Blizzard store, search your closet for the old CD box, and input the accompanying key. You'll unlock the ability to download both Windows and Mac versions of the game as many times as you desire. And the store itself now keeps track of your CD key.
Blizzard has officially announced its long anticipated sequel in the Diablo franchise to great fanfare at the Worldwide Invitational Event in Paris. This finally puts to rest the flurry of rumors that Diablo would be the next Blizzard property to enter the MMO arena. Blizzard’s decision to return to it’s roots is a pretty safe bet, but early game play footage reveals that this new iteration of the cult classic is far more then just a simple graphical update.
Click through to the jump to learn more about the game play and technical changes you can expect.
Today, I had an epiphany: E3 is going to be a snooze-fest. Blizzard is making their big announcement tomorrow, most every PC game at the show will just be a high-res console port, and apparently Half-Life 2 Episode 3 won't even have a presence. Soon after, however, I stumbled over a piece that lightly patted me on the shoulder and assuaged all of my fears. Jump past the break for said piece and its bionic arm -- plus more!
Microsoft has once again furnished proof of the abysmal levels of concern it has for Xbox 360 owners and their plethora of console related woes. It took MS a whole year to come up with a fix for the flawed Xbox Live Arcade DRM.
Gamers who upgraded their console or replaced it – for obvious reasons – could not play the arcade titles, they had previously bought, while offline. They had to be online to play the games. But MS has eventually made amends and fixed the flawed DRM in form of an online tool. Is Xbox 360 the most flawed gadget of the last gazillion years? A ‘yes’ would not be taken as an exaggeration if you have endured a “Red Ring of Death.”
Buoyed by the early promise of its ATI Radeon HD 4850 card, AMD expects its discrete graphics card market share to reach 40% in Q3, 2008 up from 30% at the beginning of this year. The performance-oriented HD 4850 is an absolute steal for $199 and most industry watchers expect it to tear into the market held by $200-300 card.
The launch of the HD 4850 left Nvidia with no choice but to drop the price of its GeForce 9800 GTX+ from $229 to $199. But when AMD decides to cut Radeon HD 4850’ price – a long way off – sales will get a huge boost.