One way AMD has been able to stay in the game, so to speak, is by focusing on graphics performance. It's been a point of emphasis ever since the chip designer acquired ATI, and especially since the introduction of APUs (Accelerated Processing Units). The emphasis on graphics and gaming in general was on display at CES, where AMD showed off a controller accessory for 10-inch tablets and a Nano PC running FIFA 14.
Demoing the newest Oculus Rift prototype with positional tracking
Excitement continues to build over Oculus Rift, the virtual reality headset that raised a whopping $2.4 million on Kickstarter. Jimmy had an opportunity to try out the latest prototype, which trades the LED screen for OLED and has an external camera to support positional tracking. In other words, Oculus Rift now looks better and also knows when you're leaning in for a closer look at an object.
Gigabyte's over-the-top marketing for its newly created Aorus brand is a bit cringe worthy at times (check out the Aorus "About Us" page), but it's introductory X7 laptop is a different story. After you wade through the marketing hype, what you'll find is a slim and light SLI gaming laptop with two Nvidia GeForce GTX 765M GPUs inside. According to Aorus, it's the thinnest and lightest GTX SLI laptop in the world.
Sennheiser is a name most audio enthusiasts are already familiar with, though it's not all that often that the German maker of audio gear specifically targets gamers. Now with the help of Io-Interactive (part of the Square Enix group and creator of games like Hitman and Kane & Lynch), Sennheiser has gamers directly in its sights with its new G4ME ZERO and G4ME ONE headsets.
A Steam Machine that would look right at home in an A/V rack
One of the reasons why Valve is pushing its Steam Machine platform is to get PC gamers into their living rooms, hence the prep work that went into Big Picture mode and the wireless Steam Controller. Going along with that theme, boutique builder Origin PC announced plans to launch a pair of Steam Machine "Chronos" systems built in a small form factor (SFF) chassis that will have no trouble blending into a typical home theater setup.
Steam Machine announcements are coming in pretty fast and furious, though not all systems are created the same. Enter Zotac, a specialist in mini PC configurations best known for its Zbox line, which is previewing a Zbox Steam Machine slated to arrive in the second half of this year. Details are few and far between, though Zotac says its Steam Machine will ship in an all-black 3rd generation Zbox chassis with orange lighting intended to give it an aggressive and sporty aesthetic.
Sylish Steam Machine configurations are slated for the second half of 2014
Let's kick off the week with some good news, shall we? CyberPowerPC just flipped us a note announcing a pair of Steam Machine configurations that come complete with a Steam Controller and Steam OS, and the cost of entry starts at just $499, the same MSRP as Microsoft's Xbox One console. Pretty snazzy, right? Well, the bad news is that you'll have to wait until the second half of the 2014 before you can buy one - drats!
Just when you thought virtual reality might be dead, here came the Oculus Rift, a VR headset that raised nearly $2.5 million on Kickstarter. The Oculus Rift has sparked excitement among gamers and developers alike, prompting other device makers to jump on board the little bandwagon that could (virtual reality). At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, ace reporter and Maximum PC Online Managing Editor Jimmy Thang spent a few minutes viewing a demo of the PrioVR suit, a motion control system that doesn't use any cameras.
Peripheral maker plans to show some love to PC gamers
PC gaming is not only alive and well as we kickstart a brand new year, it's also the primary focus of some peripheral makers. That includes Roccat, a company based out of Germany that's been increasing its focus on the U.S. market with a variety of hardware aimed at gamers. At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas next week, Roccat will showcase a number of new gaming products.
Feeling a little nostalgic now that we're looking ahead to another new year? Are you looking back to those golden years of childhood where you might have received an Atari 2600 or one of many other fabulous video game consoles? You don't have to wallow in your nostalgia alone! The Internet Archive (via TechHive) has brought forth the Internet Archive Console Living Room, a collection of in-browser emulators so you can enjoy gaming from yesteryear.