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.
Boutique system builder iBuyPower on Thursday announced a interesting piece of proprietary software called "MAGIC," or "Multi-touch Advanced Gaming Interface and Control." The software was developed in-house, and according to iBuyPower, it allows users to play any game under the sun with multi-touch controls.
"Mutli-touch is one of the fastest growing PC gaming interfaces," said Darren Su, Executive Vice President of iBuyPower. "Our motivation behind creating the Multi-touch Advanced Gaming Interface and Control -- MAGIC -- is to instantly expand compatibility of multi-touch interfaces to nearly every application you can imagine."
So how does MAGIC work its, er, magic? As iBuyPower explains, MAGIC links multi-touch gestures to pre-existing in-game commands, and is really a fancy way of emulating commands by mapping mouse clicks or keystrokes. MAGIC supports the use of profiles, as well as Tap, Pan (Drag), Rotate, and 2 Finger Tap actions.
Ready for the best part? iBuyPower is giving MAGIC away as a free download.
The Psyko 5.1 takes the idea of 5.1 surround sound in a gaming headset to its logical extreme. Not content with using two drivers to simulate 5.1 surround sound, the Psyko 5.1 actually packs seven drivers into the headset; five for directional sound, and two for bass. The Psyko isn’t the first headset with that many drivers, but the way it uses them to achieve its surround-sound effect is truly unique.
It’s a bit complicated to explain, but we’ll try: When gaming on a traditional surround-sound system, when a sound is played on the front-right speaker, the sound from that speaker hits your right ear a millisecond before your left ear, from the front. With the Psyko 5.1 headset, the same bullet sound would also be played primarily on the front-right speaker, except that now it’s located on the right half of the headband. The sound then travels through an acoustic channel, and is piped into the front of both ear chambers. Because the sound originates on the right side of the band, it hits your right ear first, producing the same effect as a physical speaker. Sound from the rear speakers works the same way, but is piped into the back of the ear chambers.
For those of you hoping to score Nintendo's upcoming 3DS handheld console in time for the holidays, you better have a backup gift to add to your wish list. Addressing rumors suggesting an October launch, Nintendo said not to expect the 3DS until 2011.
"Nintendo 3DS will not be arriving in 2010. 3DS won't be appearing until next year," said Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime.
Reggie's comments came during a taping of the Late Night with Jimmy Fallon talk show and clarify what Nintendo has said all along, which is that the 3DS would ship before March 31, 2011. How much earlier remains to be seen, and given the early hype, it's possible Nintendo could push the release date back to buy some time to line up more supply.
Nintendo's 3DS console has been making headlines because of its ability to produce 3D images without requiring the viewer to don a pair of stereoscopic glasses.
Acer's Predator series have consistently bucked traditional case design and instead have taken aim at gamers with an aggressive styling, and the latest Predator AG7750 is no exception.
"Designed to conquer and destroy, the Aspire Predator boasts a rugged, intimidating chassis as well as super power and speed," said Steve Smith, senior business manager of consumer desktops for Acer America. "It’s a smoking hot gaming rig delivering eye-popping graphics and dynamic audio for a jaw dropping experience that will fire up even hard core gamers. Plus, plenty of room for future upgrades will assist gamers in their quest to reign supreme in the new world order."
Announced today and already available for order online, the AG7750 sells for $2,000 and comes equipped with an Intel Core i7 930 processor, 12GB of DDR3-1333 RAM, 1.5TB hard drive, Nvidia GeForce GTX 470 graphics card, DVD writer, onboard 7.1-channel audio, dual Gigabit Ethernet ports, multi-card reader, a generous 11 USB 2.0 ports (5 front, 6 rear), eSATA, Firewire, HDMI, and Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit.
We had a feeling this was coming, and now it's official. With the launch of the new, slimmer Xbox 360 console, Microsoft went the sensible route and trimmed $50 off the price of the current-gen Arcade and Elite models, which now run $149 and $249, respectively.
The price cuts apply to Limited Edition consoles too, such as Modern Warfare 2, Splinter Cell, and Final Fantasy XIII bundles. These packages now cost $349 instead of $399, assuming you can find a vendor who still has these in stock (and it's not too difficult just yet).
According to Fudzilla, the price cuts are just the beginning. Citing un-named sources, the news and rumor site claims Microsoft will soon discontinue the older Xbox 360 consoles and push just the new slim version, which will likely come in bundles of their own.
Speaking of waving things around in your hand (see previous news post), Microsoft has made official the rebadging of Project Natal to Kinect.
Details are still pouring in as E3 gets set to kick off, but a little more was revealed during a Kinect-themed 45-minute theatrical performance by Cirque du Soleil. Most of the new info involved upcoming game titles which, according to USA Today, will include:
Kinectimals: train and play with 20 different types of virtual cats, includng a lion, cheetah, and tiger
Joyride: a racing game where users will position their hands around an imaginary steering wheel
Kinect Sports: six sports games to choose from, including boxing, bowling, volleyball, track and field, soccer, and table tennis
Kinect Adventures: river rafting game
Dance Central: an MTV Games project involving full-body dancing without the need for a controller
Star Wars: probably will involve light saber duels
"For lots of people, that controller is a barrier," says creative director Kudo Tsunoda. "We set out to make a new control paradigm where anybody can get in and play, without having to read the instructions or learn a complicated set of controls."
Kinect's built-in camera will employ facial and voice recognition. You'll be able to control Netflix menus with hand gestures, as well as fast forward though a recorded TV program just by waving your arm about.
Pricing, release date, and other details have yet to be disclosed, though we suspect to know a lot more as the day goes on.
Boutique system vendor Origin PC introduces what the company claims is the world's first customizable 3D gaming laptop, the EON15-3D. Sure, there are other 3D laptops to choose from, but according to Origin, none that can be fully custom tailored to Joe Sixpack's liking.
Starting out at $1,950, the 15-inch EON15-3D features Core i5 and i7 processors, Nvidia's GeForce GTX 285M GPUs, Blu-ray burners, up to 8GB of DDR3-1333 memory, up to 750GB of hard drive space, SSD options, programmable gaming buttons, touch sensitive access buttons, HDMI out, and Windows 7software.
Like it or not, 3D gaming (and movie watching) still requires wearing a pair of dorky glasses, at least as far as the mainstream is concerned, and the EON15-3D is no exception. Accompanying the 3D-capable display is a pair of wireless Nvidia 3D Vision active-shutter glasses.
Vegas odds has this one as most likely a pricing error, but what I stumbled upon yesterday -- and apparently I wasn't the only one -- was a PlayStation 3 console listed as "starting at $199.99" on Sony's 3D portal. Could it really be so?
Not likely, though not completely out of the question either. Clicking through revealed no such console priced for just two Benjamins, and when I woke up this morning, I found that Sony had gone back and changed the price to $299.99, seemingly closing the case on this one.
It's worth noting, however, that E3 kicks off next week, and if Sony were to introduce a 'budget' PS3 console, that would be the time to do it. Admittedly unlikely, it's at least conceivable that someone on Sony's Web team inadvertently jumped the gun, much like Microsoft recently did with the Zune HD 64GB.
As it stands, Sony's PS3 is available in only two main storage flavors, 120GB for $300 and 250GB for $350. Sony also just recently pushed out a 3D firmware update applicable to all PS3 consoles, so while it has a feature advantage over both the Wii and Xbox 360, both units can be had for as low as $200.
Around this time last month, Valve officially opened up its Steam platform to the Mac community, and in doing so helped chip away at the argument that Macs suck for gaming. What they also did was reveal some interesting statistics about the machines their users are running.
As Steampowered forum member and Mac user "90rmbrown" points out, "facts are facts," and according to the latest Steam Hardware Survey, the average Steam gamer running an Apple computer has a beefier system than those running a Windows-based PC, at least in some areas. Mac users, for example, have more RAM (4GB vs 2GB) on average, while half of those running a Mac have an Internet connection of 2Mbps or higher, compared to 28 percent of PC users. Mac users are also more likely to have a dual-core processor running at 2.3GHz to 2.69GHz, or higher.
Before you whip out the pitchforks and light the torches, there are some things to note here. The sample size of Mac users is significantly smaller than that of PC users, so the hardware breakdown is dubious at best. And where it really counts for gaming -- in the graphics department -- PC gamers have more video RAM, and probably beefier videocards as well.
So what can we take from all this? As Sean Portnoy at ZDNet writes, PC gamers are still getting by with older hardware, while the early influx of Mac users with refreshed hardware could benefit from better graphics. Other than that, there isn't a whole lot to say -- we'll still take a PC over a Mac any day, especially when it comes to gaming.
What hardware are you running? Hit the jump and post your specs.