NZXT, the company best know for its lineup of flashy enclosures, looks to expand its horizon by getting into the gaming peripheral market with its new Avatar mouse. The uniquely shaped rodent comes ready for both left and right handed gamers and sports a rubber grip to prevent slippage. NZXT says the "small, light form factor allows for faster and quicker movements," and the company bills the new mouse as being ergonomic.
The Avatar also comes equipped with a 7-button configuration and boasts a high 2600 DPI. Other features include:
40 inches/second max speed
15g max acceleration
6469 max fps
5.8MP per second
Up to 1000 USB reports per second
One of the more interesting marketing bullets, NZXT claims the 7 buttons will last for 5 million clicks, which sounds like a really, really long time. Available now, the new Avatar has been given an MSRP of $60, which works out to about $.000012 per click.
Gamers have enough trouble trying to come up with a game plan to beat pesky end bosses and single-handedly defeat armies of mutant soldiers. Saving often gives gamers an endless advantage and cheat codes can help in a pinch, but neither of these tactics will do any good against an increasing amount of real-life threats the online gaming scene.
More than just an annoyance, time spend in virtual worlds like Second Life can translate into real currency and it's attracted the attention of organized criminal gangs. According to security software vendor ESET (best known for its NOD32 Antivirus products), "high volumes of malware intended to steal passwords for online gaming and virtual worlds" have been detected since 2007, resulting in a "dramatic upsurge."
The alarming news comes courtesy of ESET's mid-yearly Global Threat Report, which focuses on broad trends in malware over the past six months. In addition to an upsurge in attacks against gamers, ESET notes that malicious software that tries to use the Windows Autorun facility to self-install from removable media continues to flourish.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, the company reports email bound malware is in "dramatic decline," at least when it comes to dirty attachments. Malicious URLs passed through email messages have taken the place of attachments.
Further reading to keep yourself (and your virtual self) protected:
You knew it would happen sooner or later, and now it has; a Wii controller knockoff for the PC. Sort of. Asus has dubbed its new Wii remote lookalike as the Eee Stick, "an easy-to-sue use yet highly versatile Plug and Play wireless controller for the PC platform that translates users' physical hand motions into corresponding movements onscreen."
Interestingly Asus has no plans of selling the Eee Stick as a standalone peripheral and will instead bundle the motion controller exclusively with select models of the Eee PC and the Eee Box. Huh? We don't understand it either, but Asus justifies the move by saying the Eee Stick is "perfect for gaming on-the-go."
The vibration capable controller connects via a 2.4GHz RF dongle with a broadcast range of 10m. Two AA batteries are required to power the Eee Stick, which Asus claims will provide up to three days (72 hours) of continuous play.
Will the Eee Stick entice potential customers to pick up an Eee PC or Eee Box, or is Asus making a mistake by not offering the controller as a standalone device?
The next time your Xbox Live opponent threatens to destroy you with their mind, he might actually mean it. The same holds true for the Sony Playstation 3 and Nintendo Wii consoles, as OCZ is considering bringing its Neural Impluse Actuator to all three major consoles.
In sci-fi fashion, the NIA interprets electrical signals from your brain to issue commands and so far the device is only available for PC gamers. But in a meeting with TechRadar, OCZ's director of marketing Tobias Brinkmann said his company is actively looking into porting the controller over to consoles.
"It's definitely something we are looking into," Brinkmann said. "The thing we think would be most cools is to get the NIA working with the Nintendo Wii - that would be good. But of course it would be great if we could get it working with all the consoles."
OCZ isn't the only company that sees a future in thought controls. Brinkmann claims that Microsoft once tried to aquire the NIA technology from OCZ, perhaps in an attempt to separate its Xbox 360 console from the PS3 and Wii.
Is mind control the next big thing? Post your thoughts below, or just think them.
Xbox Live is a major money-spinner for Microsoft's gaming division, one which both Sony and Nintendo envy. Sony is currently trying to replicate Live's success with its very own PSN service and the wide array of new additions to PSN might help Sony in its endeavor. One of the new additions happens to be the Playstation video downloading service, which is now live.
Users can rent or purchase SD or HD content from various leading TV and movie stables including Fox, MGM, Warner and Disney etc. TV videos begin at $1.99, while movie rentals and purchases begin at $2.99 and $9.99 respectively.
Several reports frequenting the internet seem to suggest that the service is not available in all regions/countries. But there is no word on this issue from Sony. Limited launch or not, Wedbush Morgan’s videogame analyst Michael Pachter believes that availability of videos on PSN can lure potential Apple TV owners towards the PS3.
After Microsoft had tantalized attendees with a few breathtaking glimpses of Gears of War 2 gameplay at its E3 2008 press conference, Microsoft devices division VP Don Mattrick took to the stage for the mandatory chest-thumping talk. He pompously announced that he expects Xbox 360 to trounce PS3 over the entire course of the current console cycle.
Then he triumphantly stated that Xbox Live had generated more than $1 billion in sales and dispersed 500 million pieces of content. Microsoft also announced that it has partnered with NBC and Universal who will now make their content available through the Xbox Live Marketplace.
Interestingly, Microsoft never made any statements regarding how it plans to wrest the no.1 spot from Nintendo. Has it relinquished all such hopes and desires? Have your say.
It looks like a partnership with Netflix isn't the only thing Microsoft has planned for its Xbox 360 console. Coming this fall, the Redmond company announced it will be giving the console a complete software face-lift.
And new it is. The updated Dashboard will sport 3D interface, including 3D avatars that will look familiar to anyone who's ever used a Nintendo Wii, and will be integrated into your GamerCard. New emphasis will be placed on the community with IM, video chat, photo sharing, and a nifty-looking 3D slide interface for the main Dashboard screen, along with an 8-people party system.
Unless a playable demo manages to leak onto the web like the trailer for the upcoming Max Payne movie did, Far Cry fans won't be catching a sneak hands-on peak of the hotly anticipated sequel, Far Cry 2. Slated for release sometime before Christmas, Ubisoft's first person shooter isn't being developed by the same team that conceived the original game, and will sport a new game engine. Because of the changes, gamers are holding their collective breaths on whether or not the follow-up can maintain the same appeal that made the first game such a surprise hit, but it looks like that won't be known until it ships.
Far Cry 2's creative director Clint Hocking explained the decision not to release a demo saying there's no way to offer a teaser without giving up a significant amount of game play. "I don't know too many people who are willing to give away a 12-hour game or free," Hocking said.
With all the crowing over Rockstar's hidden sexual content unlocked through the now infamous Hot Coffee mod, you'd have thought it was Vivid Entertainment and not Take-Two Interactive who published Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. As it turns out, most gamers weren't so offended after all, and it appears the lawyers were the ones looking to cash in more than anyone else. Why? Keep reading to find out.
Sony's decision to slap a Blu-ray player into its Playstation 3 console helped seal HD-DVD's fate as the modern day Betamax, but the costly hardware also helped contribute to a whopping $3 billion loss in hardware sales, according to a Kotaku report. Sony's fiscal 2008 annual report also pinpointed "the large-scale investment required during the development and introductory period" as a contributing factor. Throwing salt into the financial wound, the now ancient PS2 sold more hardware than the PS3 in fiscal 2008, and nearly three times as much software. Ouch.