Nvidia's Tegra platform continues to woo big-name customers, most recently attracting Nintendo, who reportedly is in talks with Nvidia to provide some extra oomph for its next-gen DS handheld console.
The deal marks a win-win situation for both involved. For Nvidia's part, no other handheld console would put Tegra in more hands, courtesy of the DS's 68.3 percent worldwide market share. And for Nintendo, tapping into Tegra gives the company's console a power boost sure to be well received by consumers and developers alike.
Until more details are released, we can only speculate on what the next DS might be like, but it's at least feasible that on top of the added muscle, it will also sport backwards compatibility with the existing DS library, assuming Theo Valich's sources prove reliable.
What will also be interesting to watch is how this relationship between Nintendo and Nvidia plays out in the home console market. Might Nvidia replace ATI as the graphics vendor of choice in whatever supersedes the Wii? We'll have to wait to find out.
We're all about PC gaming first and foremost, but we also can't ignore the console wars, which have been heating up in a big way lately. Hot on the heels of a $100 price cut to the Xbox 360 Elite, Microsoft is now offering an additional $50 mail-in-rebate. That brings the price down to $250 for a console that was selling for $400 not that long ago.
Purchases must be made between September 22 and October 5, 2009 to qualify. Then just head over to the Xbox 360 Elite Console rebate site, enter 49710555 as your password, and fill out the online form. As with any mail-in-rebates, be sure to pay close attention to the instructions, and get your paperwork and UPC mailed in and postmarked no later than November 20, 2009.
If you're lucky, you can score an even better deal by buying through Dell and using the 15 percent off coupon code (6FWJ247J1P44CK). Tax still applies, but shipping is free, and after all is said in done, you'll have scored an Xbox 360 Elite for about $220. Stock comes and goes, so only the most patient penny pinchers need apply.
If you ask a gun enthusiast why he needs that M4 SOPMOD to hunt squirrel, you’re asking the wrong question. It’s not that the average squirrel in the Adirondacks is on PCP and likely to require two magazines to put down; it’s that the M4 SOPMOD is a fine and uniquely crafted weapon regardless of whether it ever sees action worthy of its true potential. So, please, don’t ask us why you’d want to spend $200 on a keyboard with up to 36 macros available across 12 programmable macro keys (recordable on the fly from the keyboard itself), customizable keyboard backlighting, and even a 320x240 color display. If you’re a gamer, understand that you’re buying more power than you may ever need, but absolutely should have.
The key action is cush and quiet (preferred by most gamers and characteristic of Logitech’s boards), and the plastic is smooth yet never slippery beneath sweaty digits. The keyboard itself includes a hardware switch to disable the Windows key, and both macro and function keys are slightly elevated for easier nailing. We appreciate the slightly larger than usual Mute button below the media control keys to the upper right, and love the barrel-style volume control (if only it were reprogrammable for use as a scrubber or dial).
Today’s graphics cards can barely handle one 30-inch monitor in gaming. Pushing around 2560x1600 pixels is a challenge for current-generation GPUs. While it’s true that each new generation of graphics cards can push performance, we weren’t quite prepared for the preview AMD gave us of its upcoming DirectX 11–capable graphics hardware.
AMD ushered us into its Sunnyvale, CA, test lab, where it had a high-end system set up with a single graphics card. AMD would only disclose that the card had a single GPU, and was one of the company’s upcoming DirectX 11–capable chips—nothing about the amount of video RAM, clock speeds, or anything else. This particular graphics card also sported six DisplayPort connectors. Attached to each DisplayPort connector was a 30-inch Dell display. The whole affair was configured as a single, 7680x3200 monitor. That's 24.6 megapixels!
Sure, you say, you can hook up six monitors and run Windows… but can it do 3D?
Best known for its case and cooling products, Cooler Master this week announced its first mouse, the Sentinel Advance. Not an entry-level product, Cooler Master claims the professional-grade Sentinel is two years in the making.
The biggest standout on the feature list is the super sensitive 5600 DPI sensor, which CM says is the result of using twin lasers, Doppler Effect processing, and real-time tracking technology (as opposed to software prediction).
Other goodies include customizable macros and scripts, LED colors and light effects, a modular weight system, 64k internal firmware ROM for saving your settings, and even an OLED screen for displaying customized clan logos or whatever else you want your rodent to show off.
Whether you lost your license for racking up too many points for speeding and reckless driving or just can't stand to be anywhere else other than behind the wheel, Logitech has you covered. The gaming peripheral company today announced the G27 Racing Wheel, which it says is "designed to deliver the definitive sim racing experience."
For three Benjamins, the G27 will have you gripping tight corners and feeling the road courtesy of a dual-motor force feedback mechanism. A hand-stitched leather wheel helps justify the cost of admission, as does a six-speed gated shifter complimented by a new LED RPM/shift indicator. Other features include steel-constructed gas, brake, and clutch pedals, and more programmable buttons than the G25.
Logitech says the G27 will be available in the U.S. and Europe sometime in September and will work with both PCs and the Playstation 3.
DirectX 11 which will debut with the release of Windows 7 is arguably a pretty big deal. The new APIs will enjoy a much larger installed base than its predecessor thanks to backwards compatibility with Vista, and graphical improvements that were teased in DirectX 10 should see a pretty significant performance boost. With the release of Windows 7 nearly upon us, many have been holding off on GPU upgrades until the DX11 parts to start rolling off the line, and this time it appears AMD will beat Nvidia out of the gate with its “Evergreen” series.
This hunch was further re-enforced by a live hands on demonstration provided to PC Perspective at QuakeCon showing a working DX11 graphics card in action. The GPU code named “Future Card” was running several live DirectX 11 SDK simulations, but even more impressive was its ability to launch and run existing DirectX 9 titles. Its one thing to show a tech demo, but it’s even more impressive to prove you have a fully functional card.
It looks like the Radeon HD 5000 series will among the first DX11 cards on the market, and AMD could well be on track for a late 2009 release. Is the race to DirectX 11 a battle Nvidia can afford to lose?
Samsung has faced a lot of adversity when it comes to getting their fancy new SSDs to consumers. While they’re responsible for producing nearly half of the NAND flash in SSDs sold, they can’t seem to sell their own boxes.
That’s why they’re aiming their sights on the gamer crowd. According to Jim Elliott, Vice President of Memory Marketing for Samsung, “In addition to processing power, advanced graphic cards and high-resolution monitors, gamers want a fast storage drive for reduced loading times and faster game performance. Our 256GB SSD provides much better overall performance than conventional HDDs, as well as longer battery life for the notebook gamer. Clearly, all PC gamers will benefit from the blistering speeds and dazzling photorealism enabled by the Samsung 256GB SSD.”
Sure, the SSDs do cost a pretty penny, but if there’s any crowd that will pay a premium for the latest piece of hardware that will give them a competitive edge, it’s gamers. No official word yet as to when we can expect the adverts.
Remember when computer cases were little more than boring beige rectangular boxes with a single fan? My how the landscape has changed since then, as evidenced by NZXT's newest chassis, the M59.
Aimed at gamers, the M59 sports a funky aesthetic even by today's standards, which will probably appeal to the target audience. But looking beyond the exterior facade, NZXT claims exceptional airflow by way of 5 "powerful" fans, however only two are included (side 120mm LED and rear 120mm).
In what's becoming an increasingly popular trend, the M59 boasts an all-black interior, as well the prerequisite side panel window. Other features include pre-drilled watercooling holes, punched holes in the motherboard tray for quick CPU bracket removal, space for two SSD drives, and "space that is especially designed to fit longer 10-inch cards."
The mid-tower chassis will be available in August at an MSRP of $60.
Finally, here’s a 3D gaming solution that doesn’t send us headfirst into a vomit bag. GeForce 3D Vision is Nvidia’s attempt to revive stereoscopic 3D, a century-old technology that has never been implemented successfully in PC gaming (despite many headache-inducing efforts in the late ’90s). Along with wireless shutter glasses and an IR emitter, this $200 kit comes with the promise that you’ll be able to enhance your existing library of DirectX games by turning them into true 3D experiences—if you’re running a GeForce 8800 GT or better videocard. And for the most part, the promise is delivered —but not without some serious issues.