Microsoft announced plans to launch the new Kinect for Windows hardware and accompanying software for PCs on February 1, 2012 in a dozen countries, including the United States, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, and the United Kingdom. It will run $249 and be available in limited quantities at first, which means you'll have to be on the ball if you're looking to score one in time for Valentine's Day.
For those of you who prefer not to roll your own gaming machines and would rather have a boutique system builder do it for your, Maingear, based out of New Jersey, announced it has begun equipping its Shift and F131 rigs with AMD's new Radeon HD 7950 and 7970 graphics cards (check out our performance preview of the 7970 here), and will soon be offering them in its Vybe series.
Aesop tried to teach us that slow and steady wins the race and he used a turtle to drive the point home. That's cute, but out here in the real world, companies are blitzing the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) with pre-show announcements quick as can be, and that includes Turtle Beach, which unveiled a bunch of new products spanning wireless, mobile, and Dolby Surround Sound technologies.
For whatever reason, we envision the "god of war" being bigger than 15.6 inches, but let's not fault MSI for being excited about its new GT685 gaming laptop and calling it such. With a traditional screen size in tow, the GT685 has the chops to be a desktop replacement, and could even be a desktop killer depending on how it's spec'd out. Let's have a look at what it brings to the table.
The economy being what it is, companies are quickly figuring out consumers don't have the same kind of disposable income to toss around as they used to. Nintendo caught on fairly fast after launching its 3DS console for $250, prompting the game maker to take a mulligan and readjust the price to $170. Here we are nine months later and the 3DS has notched over 4 million unit sales.
Sony found itself scrambling to explain away early complaints lodged against its PlayStation Vita handheld console and quickly denied there exists a widespread issue of any kind. Not quickly enough. Following a flurry of sales during its first two days of sales in Japan, interest in the PlayStation Vita appears to have dropped sharply.
U.S. consumers spent in the neighborhood of $4.2 billion on gaming hardware, software, content, and accessories in the third quarter of 2011, an enormous amount of cash on its own, but down 11 percent compared to the same quarter one year ago, according to data released in NPD Group's U.S. Games Market Dynamics report. There are some interesting trends taking place when breaking down game related spending.
Three cheers to Bethesda, who finally rolled out a small patch for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim on the PC through Steam that shows big love for gamers rocking more than 2GB of RAM. The Skyrim 1.3.10 patch adds "support for 4-Gigabyte Tuning," otherwise known as Large Address Aware. Lack of LAA support made third-party mods like "4GB Skyrim" popular (as featured in PC Gamer's "Skyrim Mods: the 20 best so far").
So much for a smooth roll out. Sony launched its PlayStation Vita handheld console in Japan over the weekend and is already being inundated with phone calls from frustrated gamers dialing in to complain about various issues from system crashes and lockups, to unresponsive touchscreens. The number of complaints doesn't bode well for the Vita.
The company responsible for Farmville, Mafia Wars, and several other popular social games is finding out that nothing's guaranteed in the second coming of the dot-com bubble. Zynga shares began trading today, and at first, it looked as though Zynga would follow in the footsteps of Groupon, LinkedIn, and other social sites that have gone public and exploded on the stock market.