For the most part, we tend to steer clear of totally bogus tech stories on April Fools' Day, though it's not always easy separating fact from fiction. Crazy things happen all the time, and since April Fools' fell on a Monday this time around, traditionally one of the busiest news days of the week, it was even more challenging discerning between factual and phony announcements.
It's also part of the fun. For example, is Scope's brilliantly conceived bacon flavored mouthwash a real thing? That's a good question to ask Maximum PC Deputy Editor Gordon Mah Ung if you decide to rent him for a day to help with his legal woes (while you're at it, ask him what became of the "Bitchin' fast! 3D 2000" graphics card featured in the September 1999 issue of the magazine). That's but one example of many, and rather than skip over them all, we've put together a gallery of our favorite faux announcements.
What are conventions without cosplay? Freaking boring! We spent last weekend having a blast at PAX East, and found no shortage of cool get-ups to drop our jaws at. The dedication, time, and craft that these folks put into their outfits is formidable, as we learned first-hand in Boston. Take a look through and see some amazing costumes that range from hulking space marines to a gender-bending Batman! Or should that be Batwoman? Either way, check out the gallery below!
At PAX East, indie games booths often lack the flair and sheer bombast of the imposing fortresses that the AAA games inhabit. But venture inside and you’ll often find games that boast more sheer imagination and passion than what major studios are producing. We took it upon ourselves to dive headfirst into the bass-booming, fanboy-shrieking, awesome-stuff-riddled show floor to find the coolest indie games. Take a gander through the gallery below to see what caught our eyes.
Love or hate Windows 8, you have to give Microsoft credit for its tenacity. Most companies would’ve tucked their tail between their legs and run home crying after the disaster that was Zune, but Microsoft doubled down to bring a better-than-before effort rebranded as Xbox Music to its Live Tile-equipped ecosystem. With unlimited music streaming and the ability to buy individual tracks, Xbox Music looks like a hit on the Surface. (Get it?) But how does the new contender stack up to Spotify?
Note: This article was originally featured in the January 2013 issue of the magazine.
PC adventure games have seen a much-needed resurgence in the past couple of years, attracting newer audiences and developers who wish to get in on the fun. With renewed interest in the once-forgotten genre, we're seeing sequels to cult classic, new tales with familiar heroes, and in the case of some newcomers, those who dare to push the boundaries of convention. Going beyond simple detective stories, murder mysteries, and real-world trappings is welcome, and while we have a handful of modern examples doing so, the edgiest games were found in the genre's formative years. Some hardly made sense. Others ended up weirding out or offending and alienating audiences completely. We're celebrating the oddities of twenty of the strangest PC adventure games ever. Let's get weird.
Attention, would-be cord cutters: If you’re going to tell the cable man to shove it, you’re going to want a full-featured media center app to make browsing your digital movies, music, and pictures as pretty and painless as possible. Two of the top no-cost contenders are the open-source XBMC and Plex, a partly proprietary fork of XBMC that focuses on streaming media to multiple devices. Which is the blockbuster and which is the dud? Let’s find out.
Note: This article first appeared in the December issue of the magazine.
Most power users would be perfectly willing to upgrade to Windows 8 if it weren’t for two things—the tile-based “Metro” interface and the missing Start button. While Metro is like a rash in that you eventually get used to it, we can’t imagine getting used to the lack of a Start button. It’s too bad Microsoft didn’t give us the option of using both features, but fortunately, two third-party utilities do. If you want the speed of Windows 8 and your old buddy the Start menu, one of these utilities belongs on your system. Let’s find out which one.
Note: This head-to-head feature appeared in the Holiday 2012 issue of the magazine.
Dream Machine 2012 is the PC utopia we all long for
Conventional wisdom says that PC performance doesn’t matter anymore. That’s because the average consumer, the average gamer, and the average PC jockey can’t tell the difference between a slow POS machine and a fast one. Well guess what, baby? That’s a bunch of crap.
Some people believe piracy has no negative effect on sales. I am not one of those people. So I sympathize with EA's desire to combat piracy with SimCity. However, I do not believe that requiring users to always be connected to EA's servers to be the best solution to the problem, especially when those servers come crashing down and prevent honest customers from playing legitimate copies of their game.