console en Alienware Alpha Review <!--paging_filter--><h3>A great console-sized PC stuck in the alpha stage</h3> <p>As great as PC gaming is, let’s face it, when it comes to gaming in the living room, consoles have the PC beat. Alienware and the Steam Machines were supposed to change that, but considering <a title="steam machine delayed" href="" target="_blank">Valve delayed its hardware initiative</a>, Alienware decided to releases its box early as a small Windows 8.1 PC, dubbed the <a href=""><strong>Alienware Alpha</strong></a>. While the PC does an admirable job of attacking the PC’s problem areas in the living room, as the name implies, it’s still (unfortunately) in a bit of an alpha stage.</p> <p>The chassis is black and small. Measuring 2.1x7.8x7.8 inches, the Alpha is closest in size to Nintendo’s Wii U console. At 4.5 pounds, Alienware’s little PC is also extremely portable. We had an easy time lugging it around to friends’ apartments with four controllers inside a backpack. Speaking of controllers, the unit comes with a black wireless Xbox 360 controller.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u154082/alienware-alpha-1920.jpg" alt="alienware alpha review" title="alienware alpha review" width="620" height="349" /></p> <p>Ports on the Alpha include two USB 3.0, three USB 2.0, one S/PDIF, and two HDMI (one for output and another for input). It is a little disappointing that there isn’t an analog headset port, but Alienware told us it was one concession it had to make to produce such a small form factor.</p> <p>The box’s aesthetics aren’t very flashy. It’s got some sharp angles, akin to Alienware’s gaming laptops, a glowing triangular LED, and a glowing Alienware power button. You can also customize the LEDs through Alienware’s UI. Overall, it will look nice sitting next to your TV.</p> <p>Inside the box, the Alpha is running a mobile GPU based on Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 860M, which was the same graphics card used in the <a title="hp omen" href="" target="_blank">HP Omen</a> gaming laptop we reviewed last month. Since this box has such a unique setup, the Omen seemed like the fairest candidate for a zero point to test against. Its GPU runs at 1,020MHz and has 2GB of GDDR5 VRAM clocked at 1,253MHz. Compared to our ZP, however, the Alpha’s performance was a disappointing 11 percent slower in our Metro: Last Light and 3DMark 11 benchmarks. It did perform 7 percent better in BioShock Infinite, however. Overall, the Alpha is nowhere near the most powerful gaming PC out there, but it should be able to run most AAA games on medium to high settings. It will, at the very least, be competitive with the next-gen consoles.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u154082/alpha_tv.jpg" alt="alpha tv" title="alpha tv" width="620" height="342" /></p> <p>One aspect of the Alpha that we feel isn’t up to snuff is system RAM; our unit only offered what we feel is a minimal 4GB. Sure, the majority of games should run fine on 4GB, but that’s beginning to change with newer titles. We think Alienware should up the Alpha’s base RAM to 8GB. Luckily, you can upgrade the RAM to 8GB, though you’ll need laptop RAM to do so.</p> <p>You can also upgrade the storage with any 2.5-inch drive. If you’re like us, you’ll really want to do this. Our unit came with a 500GB 5,400rpm hard drive, which was embarrassingly slow. It took the Alpha one minute and 35 seconds to boot up, and then another 35 seconds to boot up into Steam Big Picture Mode. If you’re loading a really big game, it’s only going to lengthen the wait.</p> <p>At the heart of the console is the Alpha’s i3-4310QT CPU. Despite the box’s size, it’s actually a quad-core desktop CPU running at 2.9GHz. You can upgrade this to a quad-core i7, too. And you may want to, considering this i3 gets beat up by 30–54 percent compared to the HP Omen’s mobile i7-4710HQ processor. While dual-core CPUs are fine for the majority of games, for a little more future-proofing, we would have preferred at least a quad-core i5 chip.</p> <p>Of course, the hardware means very little if the software isn’t properly optimized to take over the living room. While the Alpha is running Windows 8.1 underneath, Alienware has wrapped its own user interface around it, which you can navigate with a controller. The Alpha UI also allows you to launch directly into Steam Big Picture Mode, which comes pre-installed. Because some Steam games only offer partial controller support, Alienware has done some super-nifty software tweaks to allow you to use an Xbox controller like a mouse in a pinch. You can do this by pressing down on all four shoulder buttons and pressing down on the left stick. This will allow you to navigate past any pop-up window boxes.</p> <p>The Alpha isn’t perfect, however. One of the taglines Alienware is using for the Alpha is that it “combines the freedom of PC gaming with the ease of a console,” but the slogan doesn’t always ring true. We encountered some resolution issues. For instance, in Shadow of Mordor, it defaulted to 1280x1024 resolution on our 1080p TV and had no in-game option to adjust it to 1080p. Some games that allowed us to adjust the resolution ended up blacking out the screen when we cranked it up to 1080p. Meanwhile, some games would open up off-center in a windowed mode by default. When we tried to boot up Skyrim, it gave us an error message that read, “Failed to initialize renderer. Your display doesn’t support the selected resolution.”</p> <p>The consoles also allow you to watch Netflix, and the only real good way to do that on the Alpha at the moment is to boot it up to the desktop mode, but here you’ll need to have a keyboard/mouse plugged in. Because of that, we really recommend getting something like <a title="k400" href="" target="_blank">Logitech’s wireless K400 keyboard</a>, which pairs well with the Alpha.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u154082/alpha_010.png" alt="alpha review" title="alpha review" width="620" height="349" /></p> <p>Another area in which the consoles have at a little easier than PC gaming is that console gamers don’t have to tweak their settings. Nvidia has a solid workaround to this problem with its GeForce Experience, but unfortunately the Alpha does not support GeForce optimal playable settings, which is a shame considering many console noobs might not know which graphical knobs to twist.</p> <p>At $550, the Alpha certainly isn’t cheap, especially when you look at its specs and compare it to the consoles. And the Alpha has a bunch of little software hiccups to overcome. Despite these problems, however, when the Alpha works, it’s awesome. Steam has a surprising number of fun local co-op games like Broforce, SpeedRunners, and more. Alienware’s box does a great job of bringing PC games to the living room. Sure, you could build a cheaper, more powerful system, but Alienware has spent a decent amount of R&amp;D trying to solve the software/UI issues. Yes, the box is in a bit of an alpha stage right now and isn’t the console-killer it set out to be, but we hope that Alienware continues to make future iterations of the Alpha. As it stands, the Alpha is a good machine for the PC vet, but not a perfect solution for the console noob.</p> <p><strong>Alienware Alpha Specs</strong></p> <p><img src="/files/u154082/alienware_alpha_benchmarks.png" alt="alienware alpha benchmarks" title="alienware alpha benchmarks" width="620" height="373" /></p> <p><img src="/files/u154082/new_spec_chart.png" alt="alienware alpha specs" title="alienware alpha specs" width="615" height="249" /></p> alienware alpha review console Hardware small gaming pc steam machine Valve Windows Gaming News Reviews Mon, 26 Jan 2015 22:21:34 +0000 Jimmy Thang 29316 at CES 2015: Razer Announces Forge TV, a $100 Android-Powered Game Console - Now with Video! <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/razer_forge_tv.jpg" alt="Razer Forge TV" title="Razer Forge TV" width="228" height="157" style="float: right;" />Another attempt to get Android into the living room</h3> <p>You can always count on Razer to introduce a surprise product or two every year at the Consumer Electronics Show. Last year it was Project Christine, a modular PC concept that may one day become an actual consumer product. And this year? Well, <strong>Razer has multiple items on tap, including Forge TV</strong>, which it describes as a high-performance Android TV micro-console with a lofty goal.</p> <p>That lofty goal is to "bring hardcore PC gaming and Android gaming into the living room" through a new gaming ecosystem. The ecosystem in question consists of the following parts:</p> <ul> <li>Razer Forge TV micro-console</li> <li>Razer Cortex: Stream -- a proprietary streaming technology that's hardware agnostic and DX9 (or higher) compatible</li> <li>Razer Serval -- console style Bluetooth gaming controller</li> <li>Razer Turret -- wireless living room gaming mouse and lapboard</li> </ul> <p>"Razer Forge TV is a device that is able to bring together the most popular elements of an entertainment center," <a href="" target="_blank">says Min-Liang Tan</a>, Razer co-founder and CEO. "It powers popular music and movie apps and plays Android TV games that an entire family can enjoy. For the hardcore gaming audience, it will bring PC gaming to the couch. Razer Forge TV is what we see as the future of consoles."</p> <p>The Forge TV is the main component here, and it consists of a Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 quad-core Krait 450 CPU clocked at 2.5GHz, Adreno 420 GPU, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of built-in storage, Bluetooth 4.1 + HS, 802.11ac (2x2) Wi-Fi, and GbE LAN port, HDMI 1.4 output.</p> <p>In addition to gaming on the Forge TV, users will have access to other types of apps and will be able to interact with the console through their mobile devices, including iOS, Android, Chromebook, Windows, and more.</p> <p>Forge TV will be available in the first quarter for $100, or $150 bundled with a Serval controller.</p> <h3>EDIT</h3> <p>We now have video of Razer speaking about its Forge TV. Check it out!</p> <p><iframe src="//" width="620" height="349" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> android ces2015 console Forge TV Gaming Hardware micro-console razer News Thu, 08 Jan 2015 20:30:23 +0000 Paul Lilly 29212 at Ralph H. Baer, Father of Video Games, Dies at 92 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/ralph_baer_george_bush.jpg" alt="Ralph H. Baer and George W. Bush" title="Ralph H. Baer and George W. Bush" width="228" height="205" style="float: right;" />A gaming legend passes away</h3> <p>If you play video games at home, you have Ralph H. Baer in part to thank for that. For those of you who are not familiar with the name, Baer was a video game pioneer who led the development team that created the Magnavox Odyssey, the first commercial home game console with a mere 40 transistors and 40 diodes. Sadly, <strong>Ralph H. Baer died last Saturday at his home in Manchester, New Hampshire, at the age of 92</strong>.</p> <p>Remarkably, Baer was still tinkering and inventing right up until his death. However, he's best known for his contributions to early gaming and helping create an industry that's now estimated to be worth over $90 billion. It all started with the Odyssey, which set in motion being able to play games at home.</p> <p>Not long after, Atari debuted Pong, the first arcade video game. Magnavox ended up suing Atari, claiming that Pong was too similar to a tennis game for the Odyssey. Atari settled the suit for $700,000 and became Odyssey's second licensee, <em>The New York Times</em> <a href="" target="_blank">reports</a>. Magnavox would go on to sue several other companies over the next two decades, winning over $100 million.</p> <h3><img src="/files/u69/odyssey.jpg" alt="Magnavox Odyssey" title="Magnavox Odyssey" width="620" height="278" /></h3> <p>Baer, who testified in most of the lawsuits, amassed more than 150 U.S. and foreign patents for a range of inventions that include talking doormats and greeting cards. He also co-invented the iconic Simon game with Howard Morrison</p> <p>"Coming up with novel ideas and converting them into real products has always been as natural as breathing for me," Baer wrote in his 2005 autobiography, Videogames: In the Beginning.</p> <p>Baer is survived by his two sons, James and Mark; his daughter, Nancy Baer; and four grandchildren.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> console games magnavox odyssey Ralph H. Baer Software News Mon, 08 Dec 2014 18:35:45 +0000 Paul Lilly 29051 at Microsoft Now Offering $50 Discount on Xbox One <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="" alt="Xbox One" title="Xbox One" width="228" height="157" style="float: right;" /></h3> <h3>Holiday season offer applies to both console and bundles</h3> <p>Sony’s Playstation 4 has been continuously outselling Microsoft’s Xbox One ever since the two eighth generation consoles first went on sale in November 2013. Even Microsoft’s decision to offer the Xbox One sans the Kinect has been largely ineffective in reversing this trend. Things are so bad for Microsoft that during the latest quarter the PS4 comfortably outsold both the Xbox One and Xbox 360. Under the circumstances, it is going to take <strong>something special from Microsoft to turn the corner during the holiday season. <br /></strong></p> <p>Microsoft’s idea of special is a $50 holiday discount — at least in the United States. As it announced last month, the company has now begun offering a $50 discount on the Xbox One, whether sold alone or as part of a bundle. This means that the cheapest Xbox One SKU is now just $350. According to Major Nelson, the special pricing, scheduled to run through January 3, 2015, is now available from Amazon, BestBuy, Walmart, Microsoft Store and Gamestop.</p> <p><em>Follow Pulkit on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a></em></p> console discount Gaming holiday 2014 microsoft xbox one News Mon, 03 Nov 2014 05:10:55 +0000 Pulkit Chandna 28827 at iBuyPower Now Taking Pre-Orders for $399 SBX Console <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/ibuypower_sbx.jpg" alt="iBuyPower SBX" title="iBuyPower SBX" width="228" height="154" style="float: right;" />Built for PC gaming and entertainment, but don't call it a PC</h3> <p>Valve kind of dropped the ball on the whole Steam Machine initiative when it decided to delay the platform's official launch until next year so that it could have additional time to tweak the controller. The fallout from that decision is that third-party hardware partners are left holding Steam Machine designs that are ready to go now. What's a company to do? Drop the Steam Machine nomenclature and roll with what you have. <strong>For iBuyPower, that means announcing the SBX Entertainment System</strong>.</p> <p>"What we really wanted to do was make an impact in the living room. We wanted to really show the world that the power of desktop gaming machine can be experienced in the living room in a totally seamless way," said Darren Su, Co-founder and VP of iBuyPower. "All preconceptions of what entertainment in the living room should and can be, are out the door."</p> <p>Let's cut the crap and get straight to the point -- the SBX is, for all intents and purposes, a PC in console digs. However, iBuyPower doesn't want you to view it like every other desktop that's out there.</p> <p>"All aspects of design and hardware are optimized for a gaming experience that sheds away legacy PC overhead. Make no mistake about it, this is not a PC," iBuyPower says.</p> <p>Alrighty then. Whatever you decided to call it, you can configure the SBX to boot directly into Steam Big Picture mode, or any other configuration. The system handles games, media, streaming, and more. It's also Steam OS ready, iBuyPower says.</p> <p>Pricing starts at $399, which gets you the SBX Raw. That includes an AMD Athlon 740 CPU, 4GB of DDR3-1600 memory, Radeon R7 250X graphics card, 500GB hard drive, 802.11ac, and 3-year warranty. You'll have to add your own operating system.</p> <p>The $459 configuration tosses in an Xbox 360 controller, while the $549 SBX Plus adds both the controller and Windows 8.1. Finally, there's a $699 model that doubles the RAM to 8GB and swaps out the 500GB HDD for a 1TB HDD. It too comes with an Xbox 360 controller and Windows 8.1.</p> <p>All four configurations are <a href="" target="_blank">available to pre-order now</a>.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> console Gaming Hardware ibuypower OEM rigs SBX News Thu, 09 Oct 2014 18:03:19 +0000 Paul Lilly 28693 at Bad PC Ports Need to Go Away: Dead Rising 3 Edition <!--paging_filter--><h3>Column: Now I know why they call it the Apocalypse Edition</h3> <p>PC games are buggy, and console games just work right out of the box – that’s at least the stigma that console gamers place on the PC. The truth is that PC gaming is <a title="pc gaming" href="" target="_blank">miles ahead of the consoles</a>, but I do have to admit that that there are grains of truth to the stigma.</p> <p>When Dead Rising 3 launched on the PC on September 5th, I encouraged my console-playing friend to play the game cooperatively with me on Steam. So we both got on Skype and fired it up. Immediately upon booting it up, however, I noticed the astonishingly long load times. To be fair, I did install it on my hard drive as opposed to my SSD, but these boot times were abnormally long and my friend noticed the same on his machine. The long boot times would be the least of my problems with the game, however. When I actually got into the game, something was definitely not right, and I'm not talking about the game's impending zombie apocalypse. It felt like I was playing more of a slideshow than a game. The framerate performance was terrible, which I thought was odd considering I was playing on my high-end i7 rig coupled with a GeForce GTX Titan. Sure I was trying to run the game maxed out, but considering I was using a $1,000 GPU on what essentially is a console port, max settings should have been a cakewalk.&nbsp;</p> <h3 style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u154082/dead_rising_3_pc_port.jpg" width="460" height="215" /></h3> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>More like "Dead Rising 3: Bad Port Edition"</strong></p> <p>And my friend’s more humble PC equipped with a modest 560 Ti GPU? Well, it started sweating bullets on medium. “This is why I’m not into PC gaming,” my friend exclaimed. The comment stung a little and we both decided to tone down our graphics settings. I noticed a bump in performance when I ran the game at medium settings, but it still ran like crap. Upon doing some research, I found out that Capcom had capped the game to run at 30FPS. D’oh! Contrary to what console gamers might say, 30FPS is not enough, and friends don't let friends play at 30FPS.</p> <p>To be fair to Capcom, apparently the company did warn PC gamers that the game would be locked to 30FPS prior to Dead Rising 3’s launch, but still, a warning does not excuse a crime. That’s like someone telling you, “Sorry, but I’m going to punch you” right before punching you. In other words, it doesn’t really help. The straight truth of the matter is that Dead Rising 3 on the PC is a lazy port, and trust us when we say we know a thing or two about a bad port as we’ve done a roundup of <a title="bad pc port" href="" target="_blank">the worst offenders</a>. At this point, we’d have to say Dead Rising 3 is a dead ringer to be on that list (see what I did there?).</p> <p>On the brightside, yes, there is an easy .ini fix to remove the 30FPS cap, but even Capcom advises against this because the company suggest that users 1)might need really beefy hardware and 2) it could potentially cause “<a title="dead rising issues" href="" target="_blank">issues</a>.” Furthermore, I’m personally a little afraid that the tweak might conflict with a future update down the road. In addition, this fan-made patch reinforces the negative stereotype that PC gamers need to manually tweak their games just to play them properly. The least Capcom could have done here is to include an in-game menu option to remove the 30FPS limit with perhaps a warning that it might cause some instability on lower-end systems. After all, if we’re smart enough to choose PC gaming, we’re smart enough to toggle a menu switch. In addition, some of us do in fact have super beefy hardware and would like the option to use it on an occasion such as this. *cough*</p> <p>Terrible performance issues aside, Dead Rising’s framerate is hardly the most pressing issue with the game at the moment. When my friend and I were slugging our way through the co-op campaign, the game crashed on me multiple times and booted my friend out of the online instance as well. I was hoping to play the game all night with my buddy, to show him the joys of Steam and PC gaming, but after four game crashes in an hour, even I had to admit defeat.</p> <p>Over the next few days, I found out that my situation was not an isolated incident and that <a title="game crashes" href="" target="_blank">TONS of users are reporting game crashes</a>. To Capcom’s credit, the company has acknowledged the crashes and are attempting to do something about it, but only time will tell if this specific matter gets resolved.&nbsp;</p> <p>I haven’t given up on Dead Rising 3 and was able to enjoy the game, well, at least from the little that I was able to play of it, but I’d much prefer to return to the zombie apocalypse when the bugs are ironed out. Because really, who likes fighting bugs and zombies at the same time?</p> <p>However, the bigger thing I want to say to Capcom and other game developers is this: PLEASE STOP THE LAZY PC PORTS! These buggy, unoptimized ports do nothing to bolster the sales of your games. But more importantly,&nbsp;your rush job gives PC gaming an undue bad rep.</p> 30 bad port console crash crashes crashing dead rising 3 framerate locked pc Steam Gaming News Features Fri, 12 Sep 2014 22:39:09 +0000 Jimmy Thang 28530 at Watch Today's Teenagers Experience the Original Nintendo (NES) for the First Time <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/teen_nintendo.jpg" alt="Teen NES" title="Teen NES" width="228" height="164" style="float: right;" />Caution: Watching this video will make you feel old</h3> <p>We don't know whether to laugh or cry at the collective reactions of a group of a teenagers who were presented an original Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) to play with, so we did a little of both. <strong>The Fine Brothers, producers of the "Kids React to..." web series, posted a 9-minute video titled "Teens React To Nintendo (NES)"</strong> in which they group of teens first take guesses as to what the contraption is.</p> <p>Several recognized it as an NES, others did not, with one of the teens asking if it's a projector. Another said it looked like a brick. They then had to figure out how to get it working and were taught the age-old technique of blowing into a cartridge when it would fail to load.</p> <p>"This controller sucks, this is the least comfortable controller ever," one of the teens proclaims after losing a life in Super Mario Bros. Another teen disagreed and said she likes that there's just two buttons "because I get really confused with the big controllers with A, B, X, Y."</p> <p>Check it out below:</p> <p><iframe src="//" width="620" height="349" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> console games Hardware NES nintendo News Tue, 09 Sep 2014 18:15:17 +0000 Paul Lilly 28508 at Falcon Northwest Tiki Z Video Walkthrough <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u154082/tiki_z.png" alt="tiki z" title="tiki z" width="250" height="169" style="float: right;" />Nvidia’s Titan Z in a console-sized PC case</h3> <p>Small form factor PCs are sexy, especially when you’ve got sexy specs like Falcon Northwest’s Tiki Z. In the video below, Gordon walks you through the Tiki Z’s components which include Nvidia’s Titan Z. That’s right, you’ve essentially got two Titan Blacks crammed into a PC the size of a console. If that weren’t enough, it also has a 600-watt PSU, 4TB HDD, 2 SSDs in RAID 0, an overclocked Devil’s Canyon CPU, 8GB of RAM, and a Blu-ray burner.&nbsp;</p> <p>Did we mention that it looks beautiful and is custom-painted? The one drawback? This thing costs $7,500! Watch the video below for more details.</p> <p><iframe src="//" width="620" height="349" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> console devils canyon falcon northwest tiki z MPCTV nvidia geforce titan z sff Small Form Factor Features Wed, 27 Aug 2014 21:24:07 +0000 The Maximum PC Staff 28430 at Alienware Alpha PC Game Console is Now Available to Pre-Order in the U.S. <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/alienware_alpha_angled.jpg" alt="Alienware Alpha" title="Alienware Alpha" width="228" height="154" style="float: right;" />Configurations start at $549</h3> <p>In an alternate reality, Dell is launching its <a href="">Alienware Alpha</a> PC game console as its official Steam Machine. In this world, however, Valve threw a wrench into every OEM's plans by delaying the launch of its Steam Machine platform until next year, as it wanted more time to tweak its Steam Controller. Fair enough, though not all system builders are willing to put their PC console plans on hold. Enter <strong>Alienware, which today announced it's taking pre-orders for its Alpha console</strong>.</p> <p>"Gamers can now secure their gateway to the entire Steam library on a system that was engineered to provide an immersive PC gaming experience, custom-tailored for the living room," Alienware said. "The Alienware Alpha merges the open ecosystem and flexibility of PC gaming with the ease-of-use and intuitive interface of consoles. This enables gamers to choose what and how they want to play, whether it’s a competitive online FPS with the bundled Microsoft Xbox 360 wireless controller for Windows, or having their friends bring their controllers of choice for a fragfest in the newest indie side scroller."</p> <p>Systems start at $549, though you can configure a higher priced machine with more potent hardware. That includes the availability of Intel Core i7 processor options, 8GB of RAM, 1TB of storage, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and Nvidia Maxwell-based GPU options. All systems come with a Microsoft Xbox 360 controller to boot.</p> <p>As an added bonus, Alienware Alpha machines will also come bundled with Payday 2, Magicka, Magicka: Dungeons and Daemons DLC, and Gauntlet Helm.</p> <p>Alienware Alpha systems will ship in November, just as <a href="">previously promised</a>.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> alienware alpha console dell Gaming Hardware OEM rigs News Tue, 12 Aug 2014 14:49:36 +0000 Paul Lilly 28331 at Microsoft Squashes $350 Xbox One Rumor <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/xbox_one_controller.jpg" alt="Xbox One Controller" title="Xbox One Controller" width="228" height="153" style="float: right;" />That ad you saw for a €349.99 Xbox One? It was posted in error, Microsoft says</h3> <p>Console gamers had reason to be excited when an online ad depicted the Xbox One getting a price cut to €349.99, which hinted at a global price cut. Unfortunately, that excitement was short lived. <strong>Microsoft threw a wet blanket on the rumor and confirmed with our sister site, <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Tech Radar</em></a>, that the Xbox One listing with a reduced price was made "in error"</strong> and that it doesn't have any current plans to lower the price.</p> <p>Microsoft already lowered the price of the Xbox One this year by removing the Kinect motion control sensor as a mandatory part of the package. In doing so, Microsoft has been able to offer the standalone console for $399 instead of $499, putting it on par with Sony's PlayStation 4.</p> <p>There have also been rumors that Microsoft will release some Xbox One bundles in the near future, including one on August 26th that will package Madden NFL 25 with the $399 Xbox One.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> console games Hardware microsoft xbox one News Thu, 07 Aug 2014 17:38:00 +0000 Paul Lilly 28309 at Bragging Rights: PC Gaming Market Maintains Sales Lead Over Consoles <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/dream_machine_2013.jpg" alt="Dream Machine 2013" title="Dream Machine 2013" width="228" height="152" style="float: right;" />PC gaming hardware is a $21.5 billion market</h3> <p>At the end of the day, we realize it doesn't matter if you get your gaming fix on a PC, console, tablet, or whatever -- we'll fist bump any gamer, regardless of platform. That said, we're of course partial to PC gaming ourselves, and as it turns out, our platform of choice is still the dominant one. According to Jon Peddie Research (JPR), the <strong>PC gaming hardware market is more than twice as large as the console gaming hardware market</strong>.</p> <p>JPR defines PC gaming hardware as personal computers, upgrades, and peripherals used for gaming. With that mind, the PC gaming hardware market stands at $21.5 billion, which is big enough to lap the console gaming hardware market, and then some.</p> <p>"We continue to see a shift in casual console customers moving to mobile. While this is also occurring in the lower end PC gaming world, more money is being directed to mid and high range PC builds and upgrades by gamers," <a href="" target="_blank">says Ted Pollak</a>, Senior Gaming Analyst at JPR. "Committed PC gamers are generally not interested in pure content consumption platforms. They are power users and pay thousands for the ability to play games at very high settings and then do business, video/photo editing, content creation and other tasks with maximum horsepower at their disposal in a desktop ergonomic environment."</p> <p>Moving beyond dollars and cents, the PC platform has an obvious power advantage. If you assemble a machine with an enthusiast grade CPU, high end GPU, SSD, and fast memory, it will "absolutely trounce the computing power and gaming capabilities of the newest console generation," Jon Peddie says. And he's right. While the newest consoles are still pushing pixels at 1080p, high end (and ultra expensive) PC platforms are pushing the envelope at 4K.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> computer console Gaming Hardware Jon Peddie Research jpr pc News Tue, 22 Jul 2014 17:40:27 +0000 Paul Lilly 28214 at LeapFrog's LeapTV Console Will Get Your Kids Moving to Educational Content <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/leaptv.jpg" alt="LeapFrog LeapTV" title="LeapFrog LeapTV" width="228" height="227" style="float: right;" />An active gaming console for little kids</h3> <p>LeapFrog, the company behind the popular LeapPad for kids, once again has the little ones in mind with its new LeapTV console. Billed as the first educational, active video gaming system, LeapTV was designed from the ground up for kids ages three to eight years old. LeapFrog's grand vision is to change the way kids learn by combining activity and movement with educational curriculum.</p> <p>LeapTV comes with a specially designed game controller that's been molded for small hands and is suitable for limited dexterity. Classic game play is possible in its regular configuration, but with the press of a button, it transforms into a motion controller and LED pointer. There's also a motion controlling camera that puts kids in the game.</p> <p>"It is shocking that less than one percent of the tens of thousands of video game titles are rated appropriate for children under the age of six years. We know that young children want to experience new ways to play through technology earlier than ever, but parents quickly discover that there are very few solutions that are developmentally appropriate or educational for young children," <a href=";p=irol-newsArticle&amp;ID=1947644" target="_blank">said Dr. Jody Sherman LeVos</a>, director of LeapFrog's Learning Team. "At LeapFrog, we built LeapTV from the ground up to make it the best first video gaming experience for children. From the simple user interface to the innovative controller with a built-in 'hint' button and a world-class Learning Library all designed or approved by our Learning experts, LeapTV gets children's minds and bodies moving while engaging in learning fun."</p> <p>LeapTV offers up access to over 100 game cartridges, game downloads, and videos designed by LeapFrog's team of gaming and learning experts. The console itself has 16GB of built-in memory and Wi-Fi connectivity.</p> <p>LeapFrong says its LeapTV system will be available this holiday shopping season for $150 MSRP; game cartridges will run $30 MSRP.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> console education games leapfrog leaptv News Wed, 16 Jul 2014 15:40:24 +0000 Paul Lilly 28174 at Microsoft Entices Last Gen Console Owners with $75 Credit to Upgrade to Xbox One <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/xbox_promotion.jpg" alt="Xbox Promotion" title="Xbox Promotion" width="228" height="131" style="float: right;" />The upgrade pot just got sweetened</h3> <p>Are you clinging tight to your Xbox 360 console? Microsoft hopes to loosen your grip with an upgrade offer that it's been sending out to some last generation console owners in hopes that they'll upgrade to an Xbox One.<strong> For users who receive the message on their last generation console, they'll receive a $75 promotional code with the purchase of any Xbox One</strong> or Xbox One bundle.</p> <p>A screenshot of the promotion appears on a <a href="" target="_blank">forum post at <em>Neogaf</em></a>. According to the text, the code can be used for games, add-ons, movies, and more.</p> <p>Microsoft's been pulling all kinds of tricks out of its sleeve to make the Xbox One a more attractive option than the PlayStation 4. Earlier in the year, Microsoft rolled out a Xbox One with Titanfall and Kinect bundle, and more recently, the Redmond outfit has begun offering just the console itself (no Kinect sensor) for $399.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> console Gaming Hardware microsoft Xbox 360 xbox one News Tue, 08 Jul 2014 17:06:46 +0000 Paul Lilly 28129 at Rockstar Finally Confirms Grand Theft Auto V for PC, Coming Fall (Also to PS4 and Xbox One) <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/gta_v_2.jpg" alt="GTA V" title="GTA V" width="228" height="139" style="float: right;" />It's about flipping time!</h3> <p>Quick, pinch yourself to make sure this is really happening. After months and months of basically dodging questions about when Grand Theft Auto would release to PC, Rockstar Games finally acknowledged that it would happen, and even gave a general time frame. Announced at E3, <strong>Rockstar Games said GTA V will ship to PC this fall</strong>, along with versions for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles.</p> <p>These releases won't be simple ports from the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Instead, Rockstar promises that GTA V will take full advantage of the next generation console and PC hardware with "across-the-board graphical and technical improvements" for added detail. You can expect improvements such as increased draw distances, finer texture details, denser traffic, and enhanced resolutions.</p> <p>"The new generation upgrades also extend to Grand Theft Auto Online, an ever-evolving Grand Theft Auto universe. Rise through the criminal ranks by banding together to complete Jobs for cash, purchase properties, vehicles and character upgrades, compete in traditional competitive modes, or create your own content to play and share with the Grand Theft Auto community," <a href="" target="_blank">Rockstar says</a>.</p> <p style="text-align: left;"><iframe src="" width="620" height="348" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe></p> <p>Rockstar's release for PC and next gen consoles will also include all the content and gameplay that's been added to the original version since launch, including new jobs, weapons, vehicles, and so forth.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> console games Grand Theft Auto V gta v pc playstation 4 ps4 rockstar games Software xbox one News Tue, 10 Jun 2014 15:57:01 +0000 Paul Lilly 27976 at Hey Look, Portal and Half Life 2 Now Available on Nvidia Shield <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/hl2_portal.jpg" alt="Half Life 2 and Portal Shield" title="Half Life 2 and Portal Shield" width="228" height="107" style="float: right;" />Grab a Shield handheld console for $199 (for a limited time)</h3> <p>Nvidia keeps upping the ante for its promising Shield console in hopes that you'll put your chips in and cash out as a converted gamer. The latest attempt at making you take that leap is the addition of two popular titles -- as of today, <strong>Half Life 2 and Portal are both available to Shield owners in Google Play</strong>, Nvidia announced. Both run natively on Android, and according to Nvidia, the utmost care and attention was paid to every detail to ensure they both deliver the full PC experience.</p> <p>"Nvidia has done a remarkable job bringing both Half Life 2 and Portal to Shield," <a href="" target="_blank">said Doug Lombardi</a>, Vice President of Market at Valve. "We're playing both games here on our Shields and fans of both franchises can expect the same game play they've come to love on the PC."</p> <p>Half Life 2 and Portal join a growing catalog of Shield supported Android games, of which there are more than 300 available. The newest releases also come hot on the heels of a <a href="" target="_blank">recent update</a> that, among other things, added the ability to remote stream games.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Half Life 2</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">Portal</a> are both available now from Google Play for $9.99 each. And as previously announced, Shield is available for $199 for a limited time.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> console games half life 2 Hardware hl2 nvidia portal shield News Mon, 12 May 2014 14:55:01 +0000 Paul Lilly 27793 at