San Diego Comic-Con is just getting started, but it's already packed with cool things to delight our inner fanboys and -girls. We're here repping our parent company at the Future US booth (#4445, if you're in the neighborhood), which features a one-of-a-kind zombie-proof 2013 Hyundai Elantra schemed up by Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman himself. Nothing in that previous sentence was a joke, by the way. We actually have a zombie-proof Elantra at our booth. It has spikes. And a hydraulic cannon.
Pretty sure this thing ain't street legal.
Anyway, we took a break to wander the show floor before the wall-to-wall crush of fans and cosplayers and cosplaying fans that is Thursday and Friday at Comic-Con, and we saw some cool things. What kind of cool things? This kind:
Want a little bit more Autobot in your PC’s life? While everybody was busy making a big deal out of Habro’s trademark lawsuit against the Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime – ourselves included – another manufacturer quietly showed off some Transformer-related PC hardware of its own, and these components look like they may actually be licensed! Late last week, ASRock plopped concept pics of Optimus Prime- and Bumblebee-branded X79 mobos up on its Facebook page.
Razer isn't new to movie tie-ins by any means, having released an assortment of Tron-themed gaming gear. Now it's Transformers' turn to tango with Razer with a range of Transformers 3 peripherals, including themed DeathAdder mice in four different colors, themed dual-sided Vespula mouse mat, and customized laptop sleeves.
Last week was just full of surprises. (RIP, all.) Thankfully, though, one shining, heroic force swooped in to save the world from snowballing into complete unpredictability. That final bastion of normalcy – that conqueror of chaos -- was, of course, Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen.
The film – which starred explosions, Shia Labeouf, and explosions (but unfortunately, not Shia Labeouf exploding) – defiantly dodged negative reviews, negative word of mouth, and a near-negative Metacritic score to gross $112,000,000 in its opening weekend. Yep – nothing like a vapid, needless summer blockbuster to restore your faith in the world by destroying your faith in humanity. The movie’s success, though? Not surprising in the least. It’s a loud, action-packed film with more carnage than meaningful dialog. It’s simple, easily digested cheese. People eat that stuff up.
But then, no one expected Transformers to tug at our heartstrings and revolutionize storytelling as we know it. That’d just be silly; I mean, it’s a movie about robots fighting. Clearly, all eyes here are focused on the action – no time to roll them at the plot.
So then, how come we often expect tear-jerking, thought-provoking tales from big-budget videogames with premises nearly as dramatically inhospitable as Transformers? Why do we expect triple-A videogames – which, at this point, are quickly sneaking into movie territory in terms of development costs – to mold angry men, gunfire, and shrapnel into spellbinding tales when our prior buying tastes (see, for instance: Transformers) have shown that all we want is a loose thread to hold the action together? Especially when other story genres (you know, anything that's not action) lend themselves far better to interesting plots, untethered by the need for a five-minute shootout every six minutes?
Guaranteed to help close the deal during your next video conference (just maybe not in your favor), you can now transform your mug to that of Optimus Prime without investing in any head gear. It's all made possible through the wonders of augmented reality, with a little help from www.weareautobots.com.
The Active X applet takes over your webcam and goes to work using face and eye detection to render a 3D head of Optimus Prime around your noggin. It's just like all those other parlor tricks that shipped with your webcam's software, only prancing around as Optimus Prime is a little cooler than wearing a digital pirate patch or bobbing up and down with a fish face.
The Tripticon laser mouse isn't nearly as awesome as the Ravage USB flash drive, nor does it look particularly ergonomic. And at only 800 dpi, there's not much more here than meets the eye. But it is another Decepticon peripheral for your PC, which makes us wonder where the Autobots have been hiding (here's one!)
At last count, BigBadToyStore.com was offering almost half a dozen Transformer peripherals, the coolest of which just might be the Blaster USB hub (hey, another Autobot!).
Catch the full lineup here, then hit the jump and tell us which one is your favorite.
The last time you saw Ravage, he was transforming from a demon cat into a mini-cassette, but that's no way to lie inconspicuous in the modern era. Not to worry though, because Soundwave's minion has managed to avoid obsolescence by now transforming into a 2GB USB thumb drive.
That's just cool, albeit pricey. You can pre-order the drive now for $43 (ships in September), and toss in another $2 to upgrade to "Collector's Grade,' which guarantees packaging to be 90 percent mint or better. That could come into play when, decades from now, your grandkids ask you what the hell a USB thumb drive is.
It's not always easy debating the merits of a Mac versus a PC, especially if you're a Mac user. Things tend to get ugly rather quickly, and before you know it, Mac users are telling us to shut our damn pie-holes, in which we, the PC users, respond by calling our Mac brethren whiny losers before laying the smack down.
But while both sides present intelligent arguments such as the ones above, supplemented with entertaining commercials with celebrity OS pitchmen, the real question remains: If Macs and PCs could become Transformers, which side would win in a fight?
Digital media designer Nick Greenlee is glad that you asked and has created a wicked sick high definition video of a Mac and PC going head to head. Motion capture animation, HDRI, and 3D compositing galore, Greenlee's short film won Best Compositing at Artimation 2008.
Check it out here, then post your smack talk below.