Taking a trip to 'Hawaii' just got a bit more affordable
Competition is fierce in the graphics card market, and while we've seen AMD and Nvidia duke it out with bundled game offers, it's the price wars that truly get our attention. Speaking of which, Nvidia certainly got AMD's attention when it launched Maxwell during the company's GAME24 event, which saw the release of the GeForce GTX 970 and GTX 980 for $329 and $549, respectively (MSRPs). AMD has just responded by cutting the price of its Radeon R9 290 and 290X Hawaii cards.
MSI may release a slower and less expensive version of the GeForce GTX 970
Nvidia has a winning architecture on its hands with Maxwell, and as we've seen in benchmarks, both the GeForce GTX 970 and GTX 980 are fine graphics cards. As is typically the case, Nvidia's third-party partners have taken to customizing the reference designs with their own cooling solutions and factory overclocks, though interestingly MSI appears to be preparing a Lite Edition of the GeForce GTX 970.
Nvidia earlier this month launched a 24 hour celebration of PC gaming called GAME24. In addition to being the first GAME24 of (hopefully) many more to come, it was also the first live streamed 24-hour global celebration of PC gaming. By the numbers, it was a success -- GAME24 attracted more than 1.3 million gamers from nearly 150 countries who tuned into the live stream to see tech talks, a 24-hour modding competition, and more.
For those of you who've been waiting for Nvidia to start shipping its Shield gaming tablet with 32GB of on-board storage and 4G LTE connectivity baked in, the wait is now over -- you can order the Shield 32GB LTE gaming tablet for $399 direct from Nvidia's website. That's twice as much storage as the 16GB model, plus you get LTE connectivity in addition to Wi-Fi access, additions that come at a $100 premium.
Roccat on Tuesday announced the global availability of its "Tyon All Action Gaming" mouse (just "Tyon" from here on out), which unlike any previous mouse you've ever owned, it brings a dorsal fin design to the LAN party. According to Roccat, the Tyon represents an evolution of the gaming mouse and is a "true game changer." In other words, the hype is strong with this one.
Asus has been winning over gamers with its Republic of Gamers (ROG) line of laptops, some of which sport aggressive designs. Others, like the new Asus G551 and G771 gaming laptops, feature a more traditional aesthetic with an emphasis on quiet cooling -- Asus describes the scheme as an "almost-silent cooling system" that efficiently removes heat with minimal fan noise.
One of my favorite mice of all time is Razer's original DeathAdder. Back before I wore the thing out, it felt comfortable, was lightweight and responsive, and didn't overburden me with too many buttons. Just an all-around solid mouse that Razer claims is still the best-selling gaming rodent since it was released in 2006. Fast forward to today and the original is now better than ever -- Razer just announced the DeathAdder Chroma, essentially a tweaked version of the original with a higher DPI and fancy lights.
German peripherals maker Roccat just added the Kave XTD Stereo to its growing line of audio peripherals, along with a combat themed version that it's calling Kave XTD Stereo Military. Other than the color scheme, these two headsets are the same -- both sport 50mm neodymium magnet drivers shoved inside padded earcups. According to Roccat, these are ultra-lightweight but durable headsets.
Oculus making steady progress on road to consumer Rift
At its two-day Oculus Connect developer conference in Los Angeles this week, Facebook-owned Oculus VR introduced a new, improved version of its Rift virtual reality head mounted display (HMD). Called Crescent Bay, this latest prototype packs a number of improvements over the DK2 model. These improvements, the company says, are enough to ensure a level of immersion “that’s impossible to achieve with DK2.”