Have you turned on your Xbox 360 console today? If so, you may have noticed that you're now able to save data to removable USB memory drives, just as Microsoft promised a couple of weeks ago.
In early May, you'll be able to snag Microsoft's own-branded memory sticks from outlets like Gamestop, but the question is whether you'd even want to in the first place. According to Gamestop's pre-order pricing, an 8GB memory stick will run you $40, while you can expect to pay $70 for a 16GB flash drive. The good news here is that you can use any USB flash drive, "so long as you're aware that the maximum amount of data moved or stored is 16GB on any one device," Kotaku reports.
Microsoft has been aggressively upping the storage ante for its Xbox 360 console of late. Two weeks ago, the Redmond outfit released a 250GB standalone hard drive with transfer kit after previously saying the company had no plans to do so. Could Blu-ray be next? Don't hold your breath.
iBuyPower is hoping to attract touchy-feely gamers with its new Battalion Touch CZ-11 notebook. The CZ-11 is the second in a line of new multi-touch notebooks from iBuyPower, while the Battalion series are the only multi-touch gaming laptops in the world, the OEM claims.
"Multi-touch is one of the fastest growing PC gaming interfaces," said Darren Su, Executive Vice President of iBuyPower. "Pairing those capabilities with a Core i7 processor, high definition LCD, and graphics card allows the CZ-11 to meet the mobile gaming needs of almost any user."
The CZ-11 sports a 15.6-inch full HD (1920x1080) LCD display, Intel Core i7 720QM mobile processor, 4GB of DDR3 memory, ATI Radeon HD 5650 graphics, 500GB hard drive, optional Blu-ray, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, 3-in-1 card reader, 6-cell battery, and Windows 7 Home Premium.
Pricing starts at $1,100, or $1,300 as configured above.
With Fermi cards now street legal, PC makers are scrambling to convince you to buy a system from them using the new GPUs. Almost immediately after the announcement, CyberPower updated their build options with the Black Pearl, Black Mamba Fang Series and Gamer Xtreme 3D. All of these PCs have the option for Fermi cards. Not to be outdone, Origin PC announced options for the Fermi cards in their line of Genesis desktops.
If you have expensive tastes, Maingear has you covered with their monster $6000 SHIFT desktop with a Tri-SLI configuration of Fermi GPUs. If you only need two massively expensive cards in SLI, Digital Storm has a $5000 rig with two GTX 480s. That’s still nothing the sneeze at.
These are obviously prebuilt systems, and many early adopters prefer the DIY route. Are you planning to buy a Fermi card? If cost is a concern, where would the price point have to be for you to bite?
You won't find many serious gamers attempting to frag their opponents with $10 rodent, and one of the main reasons why is because these blue-light specials just don't offer the high DPI sensitivity that gaming grade mice do. But do you really need an ultra-high DPI?
"Technology has progressed to a level where you can move your mouse, say, one inch on your desk, and your cursor will move 2 or 3 times your screen length," said Kim Rom, the CMO of SteelSeries. "That doesn't make you more precise or accurate; I would argue that it does exactly the opposite. A higher DPI in a mouse doesn't offer a lot of value, and it is not a benchmark for how precise or awesome the mouse is. It's simply a measure of sensitivity."
Rom's comments ruffled a few feathers, including those at Razer.
"I think gamers care about DPI and I do think the term makes sense for today's mice," said Robert Krakoff, President of Razer. "We pioneered this industry back in 1999 when we came out with the first gaming mouse offering 2000 DPI -- at that time gamers were told by our competitors that 800 DPI was enough. Now people are saying 1600 DPI is enough, just like there were 'purists' who believed in silent movies, black and white TV, or perhaps film rather than digital cameras. By the way, I could discuss CD versus vinyl for days."
So could we, but maybe another time. The issue at hand is how important a high DPI really is, and while Razer sees it as very important, Krakoff does acknowledge that "one size does not fit all," meaning some prefer a higher sensitivity while others want a lower DPI.
So who's right? Is there even a right or wrong answer? Hit the jump and sound off!
We've been hearing rumors that Microsoft would make available a standalone 250GB hard drive for its Xbox 360 console, even though it was just over a month ago that Xbox Live Product Manager Aaron Greenber denied any plans to offer the larger unit outside of special bundles. Greenbrier apparently didn't get the memo.
"Make sure you have enough space for the content you love," Microsoft announced on the Xbox 360 Dashboard. "The 250GB Hard Drive is the perfect storage option for your Xbox 360 Console, with plenty of space to hold all your downloaded games, movies, television shows, music, and more. Purchase one today at a participating retailer or visit http://www.xbox.com/accessories for more information."
We did just that, and sure enough, the standalone drive is now available for purchase. The 250GB upgrade comes with a data transfer kit so you won't have to worry about losing your saved data, and is also packed with HD game demos, videos, and an assortment of Xbox LIVE Arcade game trials - in other words, console crapware.
Th 250GB standalone drive sells for $130, while the 120GB has been cut to $100.
There's never been a better time to be an enthusiast. Most hardware is at an all time low, at least in terms of bang for the buck, and it doesn't take a hefty investment to build an all-around workhorse. Where does that leave the ultra-high end segment, particularly gamers?
According to Jon Peddie Research (JPR), some 46 percent of the dollars spent on PC gaming hardware were directed toward what the firm calls the "Enthusiast class." These are the dudes that shop only top-shelf products and don't think twice about spending a grand on a CPU or splurging on a pair of videocards, speedy SSDs, specialized gaming grade mice, and other related components.
By 2013, however, JPR says these folks will lose market share to the "Performance" and "Mainstream" classes from 46 percent to 35 percent of dollars spent. Why so?
"PC hardware has caught up to most of the software and people are able to play computationally intensive games on Performance level systems," explains Ted Pollack, Video Game Industry Analyst for JPR. "Performance systems now even support high resolution for all but the most demanding simulation and FPSs. The frequency of DirectX updates is also driving some people toward mid-range GPUs."
Even so, JPR says the high end will always be a good market, even as it loses ground to more pedestrian parts. According to JPR, despite the expected loss in market share, the Enthusiast class will still grow overall, from $9.5 billion to almost $12.5 billion in 2013.
What class do you fall into? Hit the jump and tell us the kind of hardware you're most likely to buy.
LucidLogix has managed to pull in an additional $8 million of venture capital to continue developing its multi-GPU Hydra products. A Lucid representative said the cash would be used to both accelerate adoption of Hydra, and do new R&D on multi-GPU products. Lucid also took the opportunity to remind us that a new version of the Hydra driver is on the way.
The Hydra system is s system on a chip (SoC) that allows a PC to accept two different GPUs and make use of them for scalable 3D graphics. So instead of needing two identical Nvida cards for SLI, you can use any models (even an ATI card) and see a performance benefit. The upcoming driver update will add DX11 support as well as support for up to three GPUs.
MSI is currently integrating the Hydra SoC into their motherboards and expects to release several mid-range options in the coming months. If this technology takes off, you may never have to wonder what to do with your old video card again, you could just keep using it.
This generation of gaming consoles is all about minor hardware revisions. The Sony PS3 has already slimmed down and dropped a few hundred dollars from its price, but now it looks like the Xbox 360 may be up next. A leaked pic of what purports to be a new motherboard for the console was posted to a Chinese forum. The board is significantly smaller which hopefully means a more svelte console.
The board looks much smaller than the current version, and appears to have a CPU/GPU combo chip. There’s also an extra SATA port present. We’re apt to believe the authenticity of this board seeing as Microsoft is currently hiring a Motherboard Design Engineer to “implement and verify the motherboard and other various sub-system boards that make up the XBOX 360 product line.”
We don’t know if this hardware revision will come with a price cut, but don’t bet on it. The Xbox managed to beat out the Wii in monthly sales for the first time last month. The PS3 had no choice but to drop in price to be competitive. Would a smaller, cooler console with a few extra goodies get you to drop some cash for a new 360?
Well hi giggly hey, Razer, if Ned Flanders were a gamer, this might be the happiest day of his life. That's because Razer just announced the first gaming grade mouse designed specifically for left-handed fraggers - son of a diddly!
"Leftie gamers have long been requesting that we develop a gaming grade mouse that is designed exclusively for the left-handed gaming community and we really value the feedback we receive from our fans," said Robert 'Razerguy' Krakoff, president, Razer USA. "Not many gamers know this, but I am a southpaw myself and feel truly excited to have a mouse that fits perfectly in my left hand. There is really no substitute for gaming with your naturally dominant hand."
Before right-handed gamers cry foul, this isn't an entirely brand new model, but a left-handed version of the popular DeathAdder gaming mouse. As such, lefties get the same benefits of their right-handed brethren, including a 3500dpi 3.5G infrared sensor, 1000Hz ultrapolling, 1ms response, on-the-fly sensitivity adjustments, five programmable buttons (including two on the right side), and everything else you remember about the Death Adder.
Razer has the DeathAdder for lefties on backorder for $60.
While addressing a bunch of gaming geeks at this years Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco, PlayStation researcher Anton Mikahilov made some pretty big claims about Sony's upcoming PlayStation Move motion controller.
Much of the demonstration revolved around the controller's level of precision. According to Mikahilov, the PlayStation Eye can track the Move's movements down to about one millimeter in the X and Y planes. To prove he wasn't blowing smoke up everyone's tailpipes, he zoomed down to the pixel level.
On the Z plane, the Move's level of precision is about one centimeter, and as Mikahilov twisted the controller, he noted that the PlayStation Eye could detect rotation to the degree level.
So what does it all mean? Translated in manner we can better identify with, Mikahilov says they've been able to use the motion controller to control the PC version of StarCraft.