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.
In what ranked as a poor month in overall console sales, analyst group NPD reports Microsoft's Xbox 360 outsold Nintendo's Wii console in February. In doing so, the Xbox 360 claimed the top spot in U.S. monthly sales, a feat it hasn't achieved in over two years.
Despite Microsoft's strong showing, it was a pretty bad month for consoles. Combined sales for software, hardware, and peripherals came out to $1.26 billion, with console sales slumping 20 percent to $426 million.
"Honestly, I had expected the industry to perform somewhat better this month," said Anita Frazier, a games analyst at NPD.
Not surprisingly, Nintendo's DS dominated the handheld gaming space, selling 613,200 units compared to Sony selling 133,400 PlayStation Portable units.
As for the games people are playing, Take 2's "Bioshock 2" topped the sales chart with 750,000 copies across all platforms, and 562,900 for the Xbox 360. "New Super Mario Bros." came in second with 555,600 units, and "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2" slipped into third place with 667,100 units, now the third best selling game of all time with lifetime sales approaching 10 million units.
What happens if you take Nintendo's Wii remote and nunchuck and paint them black, streamline the controllers, and cut the tail? You get Sony's PlayStation Move motion controller and sub-controller.
Instead of a sensor bar, the PlayStation Move platform relies on the PlayStation Eye camera to help "deliver an innovative and highly immersive experience." The camera purports to detect precise movement, angle, and even how far away the player is from the console.
As for the motion controller itself, it includes a three-axis gyroscope, a three-axis accelerometer, and a terrestrial magnetic field sensor, as well as a color-changing field sensor that the camera uses to track movement. According to Sony, this combination allows for both fast and subtle motion.
Kotaku has put together a handy list outlining the differences between the PlayStation Move and Nintendo's Wii remote (see here), including fewer buttons, "a smarter controller," and no wire between the motion- and sub-controller.
Sony says it will launch the new controllers worldwide this fall, but didn't offer up any pricing info.
After months of doubt followed by more months of nothing, OnLive’s finally back in the limelight. During this week’s Game Developer’s Conference, the streaming videogame service finally deployed its landing gear with a June 17 release date. Now then, onto the potentially – depending on how long the service lasts – million dollar question: how hard is it gonna hit your pocketbook?
Well, honestly, that part’s got us a bit worried. The on-demand platform carries a $15 subscription fee, which would be fine on its own. Unfortunately, you’ll also have to pay for individual games, which could definitely get pricey in a hurry. So far, actual prices for launch titles – which include Assassin’s Creed II, Metro 2033 and Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands – haven’t been announced, but they’ll apparently be “competitive.”
Thankfully, there’ll also be an “a la carte” rental service for use with some games. Which, combined with the subscription fee, sounds a bit like GameTap’s Gold service – only without that crucial little “unlimited access” bit. But let’s be honest here: OnLive’s servers aren’t going to pay for themselves. And you’ll be getting a suite of social networking features for your rapidly dwindling buck, so… yeah, it’s still a whole lot of money.
Meanwhile, when competing service Gaikai launches, it’s going to be free-to-play and ad-based. Unless OnLive’s got some crazy tech-based tricks up its sleeve that put it head-and-shoulders above Gaikai quality-wise, we just don’t see ourselves subscribing. How about you?
Get ready to toss your gaming console out a window. Well, maybe not, but according to Imagination Technologies you might be carrying a phone as powerful as a PS3 in three years. Imagination makes the PowerVR mobile graphics chips found in phones like the iPhone and the Droid among others. The chips are licensed to hardware makers that must incorporate them into hardware. This takes about three years from start to finish. That bit about the PS3 level graphics? They know because they’re developing that chip right now.
Imagination claims that this level of performance will be possible with the usage of multiple processing units. In theory, three to four can be added to a phone without causing too much more power draw. Current PowerVR chips have the theoretical potential to do hardware accelerated Flash and GPGPU computing. Imagination say that internal tests have shown a 300% increase in Flash performance when hardware accelerated. Yeah, we’ll take that.
Let’s hope that Imagination Technologies was being straight here. Of course, much of this relies on hardware makers using the chips. But if the near future holds 720p gaming on our mobile phones, flying cars and jetpacks can’t be far behind… right?
There are two things we think of when we hear the word “supercomputer.” The first is the failed 1970s NBC show Supercomputer (now available on DVD from Shinehart Wigs). The other is a massive room full of HAL9000-like scary boxes just two MIPS away from declaring thermal nuclear war on humanity.
So, what was Gateway thinking when it decided to call its FX6831 a Gaming Super-computer? This is, after all, just a simple desktop housing a single 2.8GHz Core i7-860. Surely, that’s not the stuff of supercomputing, is it? OK, we know that in January, Fabrice Bellard used a single Core i7 to smash a record set by, umm, a supercomputer for calculating pi. Still, Gateway’s gone way over the line, right?
At one time a niche market largely dominated by Razer and, to some extent, Logitech, gaming peripherals have become big sellers, prompting a crowded field of contestants all competing for your pieces of eight. It's about to get a little more crowded, as Thermaltake jumps into the fray with its upcoming Tt Esports line.
One of the first products in the Tt Esports line will be Thermaltake's Challenger Gaming Keyboard, a rugged looking plank with up to 18 macro keys, an anti-ghost key function, 32KB of onboard memory, integrated USB ports, gold-plated USB connector, and a handful of red caps in case you want to highlight the WASD and arrow keys. It's also the first keyboard to come with a cooling fan, which plugs into either side of the plank.
Thermaltake is also launching a mouse with adjustable weights. It looks attractive enough, but there are currently no other specs to share, such as laser sensitivity and the sort.
Fudzilla snapped a ton pics, which you can check out here.
AVADirect this week announced the availability of the Clevo X8100 SLI laptop, calling it the "world's most powerful i7 SLI gaming notebook" on the planet. Judging by the spec sheet, AVADirect might be spot on.
The Clevo X1800 boasts a generous 18.4-inch full HD (1920x1080) display, but it's the hardware underneath the hood that's most impressive. Buyers can configure up to a Core i7 920XM processor, one or two Nvidia GTX 285M graphic chips, up to 8GB of DDR3-1333 memory, and up to 3 hard drives or SSDs in a RAID 0 or 1 array. Other specs include 3 USB 2.0 ports, Firewire, an eSATA port, HDMI output, a 7-in-1 memory card reader, 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, 2.0MP webcam and of course Windows 7.
"If you recall, June of 2009 we began to sell the Clevo M980NU. It was a Core 2 Duo based notebook with GTX 280's in SLI. It was a very exciting time for us as a boutique builder, because nobody out there had that type of product on the market. Now, we have the same chassis used by Clevo and a mobile Core i7 processor. Not only will this reduce bottleneck within the notebook, but increase performance up to 50%. Given the nature of it's size and power I can easily suggest the Clevo X8100 notebook for a desktop replacement. There is nothing like raw, mobile gaming power at the tip of your fingers." says Misha Troshin, CMO and co-owner of AVADirect.
Pricing starts at $2,500, which buys a Core i7 720QM processor, Nvidia GTX 285M graphics, 2GB of DDR3-1066 memory, 320GB hard drive, and Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit.
SteelSeries, makers of “professional gaming gear”, have used CeBIT as the launching platform for a new keyboard, the 6Gv2, and headset, the 7H.
The 6Gv2 keyboard is modeled after SteelSeries’s award-winning 7G. It is designed with 18-karat gold-plated mechanical no-click switches, which SteelSeries says will offer quicker reaction times, advance key combinations, and more “Actions Per Minute.” The 6Gv2 has a buffer system created specifically for gaming, and an “anti-ghosting” feature that allows users in first person shooters (FPS) to move, crouch, aim, fire, and even check the scoreboard--all at the same time. Built in are media controls, allowing quick access to audio controls. Unlike the 7G, the 6Gv2 has no audio ports, USB ports, or removable plastic hand-rest.
The 7H headset features 50mm drivers with over-the-ear cups that SteelSeries says will deliver a “clean soundscape of high, low and mid tones from background, mood setting sounds in MMO games to 3D positional alerts in FPS games.” The 7H comes with two ear cup options: leather, for maximum sound isolation, or cloth, so you can better communicate with teammates. It has a retractable, uni-directional microphone in the left ear cup, and has built-in volume and microphone controls. 7H comes with standard miniplugs or a USB connector. The USB version comes with optimized sound profiles, as well as customizable environmental settings. For easy storage the 7H can be dismantled into four pieces.
The 6Gv2 keyboard retails for $99.99, while the 7H headset retails for $119.99, with the USB version going for $149.99. All are available for pre-sale at Amazon.
Microsoft's Project Natal looks to make air guitar a bona fide gaming skill, as well as all kinds of gestures applicable to a "controller-free gaming and entertainment experience." But before Natal can get to that point, developers have to resolve a potentially crippling issue with latency, says news and rumor site Fudzilla.
Citing sources who "wish to remain nameless," Fudzilla says Natal's sensor-based control scheme could suffer from lag as much as .08 seconds to .12 seconds, most often hovering around .10 seconds. That might not sound like much, but it's enough to create tracking problems for fast paced titles.
Keep in mind that Natal hasn't shipped yet so there's still plenty of time to iron this and any other bugs out. Playing the part of Pessimistic Patty, Fudzilla says even while development continues, "it is doubtful that [the lag issue] will be able to totally be eliminated." Our take? We'll reserve judgment until the thing actually ships.