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MKX controller photo
MKX controller

PDP's Mortal Kombat X pad looks like a SEGA Genesis controller


Decent looking fight stick alternative
Jan 09
// Steven Hansen
I've always wanted a fight stick more for arcade nostalgia than any legitimate fighting game purposes. This gamepad from PDP, specifically designed for Mortal Kombat X, elicits some nostalgia as well, as it's basically an as...
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CES expands to Asia with a new tradeshow in Shanghai


Launching May 2015
Jul 17
// Dale North
The Consumer Electronic Show is one of my favorite events. It was Destructoid's very first trade show, and we've been back every year we've been in business. While not necessarily a videogame trade show, it still brings us bi...
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4K TVs that feature PlayStation Now coming this June


Ranging from $2,099 to $24,999
Apr 17
// Dale North
Gaikai-based PS3 game streaming service PlayStation Now was just revealed at this year's CES, and now it's making its way into the first television sets. If you've been shopping for a new TV, here are the details on which Son...

GameFace VR photo
GameFace VR

Oculus Rift has some competition: meet GameFace


Yes, they do say 'Get your GameFace on'
Jan 14
// Darren Nakamura
Back in 2012 we first heard about the vision of Oculus Rift: to make virtual reality a relevant conversation again by bringing the technology up to today's standards, with low-latency head tracking for optimal immersion. Sinc...

ViviTouch: The future of feedback

Jan 13 // Dale North
Bayer MaterialScience created a super thin film that either shrinks up or expands depending on the charge sent through it. This Electroactive Polymer is weird-looking when it moves -- kind of like a muscle flexing. It looks entirely organic, like some science fiction stuff. A row of three or more of these segments and a bit of circuitry make up ViviTouch's actuators, replacing bigger motors and and their weights. This little board can fit in just about anything, from phones and tablets to their cases to game controllers and accessories. Simply attach a flat weight on top and you have a very capable alternative to vibration motors. Amazingly, this flat sliver of tech can do so much more than its predecessors. Unlike motors, they don't have to spin up or down to react. I saw naked actuators react to receiving a charge in a few examples -- their reaction time is practically instant. The main benefit of ViviTouch's actuators is that it can create movement so fast and fine that it can convey countless different types of feelings. Instead of the standard vibration motor oscillations, these actuators are able to play out their own kind of feel waveforms. Any vibration tech can do heartbeats or explosions, but ViviTouch has the ability to convey subtle things like a ball rolling against wood, or a car's gears shifting. Other side benefits of the technology have these actuators being completely silent and highly energy efficient.  I felt a full range of these sensations in a series of demos. All of them had me wondering why ViviTouch technology wasn't already in all of our gaming devices already. While the flat actuator on its own was interesting enough,  other smaller ones shown to me during a CES demo last week really had my imagination going. Flat, circular actuators topped thumbsticks on an Xbox 360 controller, while longer ones lined the edges of the trigger buttons. They're able to send different feel waveforms to each of the actuators. Imagine having the rumble of a tank localized to only your fingertips, while the vibration of turrets are felt in your trigger fingers. The feedback is so fine and fast that you can feel that each gun has its own kind of feedback. ViviTouch even has a developer tool that easily lets game makers apply feedback profiles to each of these actuator pads. Looking like a basic musical sequencer, like Apple GarageBand, this tool lets developers simply drag and drop pre-programmed feedback waveforms to one of the four feedback channels of the timeline. In other words, implementing this superior type of feedback would be pretty easy. And the uses go beyond controllers. I played a labyrinth-style ball rolling game on a mobile phone and could feel every roll, bump, and drop of the steel ball. Even touchscreens can benefit. I tried a demo that used smaller actuators that were placed along the edges of a touch panel. The feedback is fast and responsive enough that it could be used to give players a sort of virtual button press feedback. A new set of Mad Catz headphones have ViviTouch actuators built in. I felt tank treads rolling uphill, and gunfire vibrations had convincing pressure coming through the earpads onto the side of my head. There are even applications for audio outside of gaming. I tried on a set of modified Audio Technica ATH-M50 headphones that had bass frequencies being conveyed through feedback. The sensation was like having a subwoofer added to the standard drivers -- very impressive stuff. As strange as it sounds, artificial muscle could change the way we play games.  Let's hope that ViviTouch technology is on its way to replacing motor-based feedback.
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Artificial muscle brings a new kind of rumble
You know how controller rumble works right now, don't you? In most controllers you'll find a couple of motors that spin weights. These spin up when you're supposed to feel the rumble effect, and then begin spinning down when ...

Gaming headphones photo
Gaming headphones

Premium audio brands get into gaming headsets at CES


Several new sets debut at CES
Jan 10
// Dale North
The business of gaming audio is growing so fast that the makers of many premium audio product brands are throwing their hats into the ring. Several new gaming headsets debuted at CES 2014, with entries from top names like Aud...

Oculus Rift makes a huge leap with Crystal Cove prototype

Jan 10 // Dale North
A new demo uses Epic's Unreal Engine to show a tower defense game that you can look over and down into. And when I say down into, I mean that you can physically look down and lean forward as you watch the action a game board where your button presses trigger shots to hold back the attackers on your tower. And where you could always turn your head freely look around the environment with previous Oculus prototypes, this new one lets you move your whole body freely to change your view. I was able to lean at the waist sideways to sort of look around the side of the game table.  Being able to make such a natural movement to change my virtual view really had an impact. Imagine being able to lean to avoid fire or dodge a punch in a virtual world. Being able to use your body to react to something your eyes are seeing is a level of immersion that we're just not used to yet. I hope they play with more along these lines in future demos, as it really impresses. This new trick uses a camera that reads markers on Crystal Cove's front plate to track the wearer's movements. Oculus boss Brendan Iribe told us that this addition adds three more dimensions of movement to the already existing motion sensing capabilities. The combined effect of the old and new tracking abilities makes Crystal Cove so much more impactful than any demo we've experienced before. Another demo took CCP's incredible space cockpit fighter Eve Valkyrie and made it even more entertaining than the last time we saw it. In a game where barrel rolls in deep space are the norm, motion blurring and delayed action are the last thing you'd want to see. The low persistence upgrade of Crystal Cove let me move my head and body freely in the virtual cockpit to target enemy ships without seeing blurry smearing of the visuals. Floating text in the cockpit dash was crystal clear, even when moving my head back and forth. This alone made for a massive improvement over the already outstanding version of Eve Valkyrie we saw at gamescom last year. But the new positional tracking made it even better. Instead of having to turn my head in unnatural positions, I was now able to move my body more naturally to look around the cockpit during dogfights. I immediately felt immersed and connected, and this allowed me to complete the dogfight mission with a total victory. Comparing with past demos, it looks like the improvements to Oculus Rift's tech have made an already great experience even more enjoyable and effective. Valkyrie was already one of the coolest things I experienced in 2013, but with Crystal Cove's new tech, it looks cleaner, moves better, is much more responsive, and is way less disorienting.  Again, I'm happy to have the privilege of watching Oculus Rift continually improve as time goes by. Looking back, it has changed so much even since last CES, and these new changes are a huge leap forward. At the rate they're going, I think we're in for a treat. I can't wait to see what they do next.
Oculus Rift photo
Hands-on with new prototype impresses
We've been following Oculus Rift since its very beginnings. We were honored to be one of the first to play with one of the earliest prototypes, demonstrated by none other than John Carmack himself. Last year's CES was Oc...

Shaq Fu photo
Shaq Fu

Shaq promises that Shaq Fu 2 is 'coming soon'


And he might have actually been serious
Jan 09
// Jordan Devore
Shaquille O'Neal is at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show, which makes me happy. What makes me even happier, however, is that when jokingly asked by GamerFitNation if we'd ever get to see a sequel to 1994's Shaq Fu, he said ...
PlayStation Now photo
PlayStation Now

10 things you need to know about PlayStation Now


PlayStation Now you see me
Jan 09
// Steven Hansen
Sony delivered details on its Gaikai-based game streaming service, PlayStation Now, at CES. This PlayStation Access overview sums up the most useful tidbits we know about the service at this time, According to Dale, it alrea...
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This gaming subwoofer is the bomb


Energy XStream M-21 speaker system
Jan 09
// Dale North
This is the bomb, son! No, really. You are looking at the subwoofer of the Energy XStream M-21 speaker system. That bass be blowin' up, son! This is a 2.1 speaker system designed for gaming, with both the speakers and sub lo...
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Wowzers! Final Fantasy XIV A Realm Reborn running at 4K


Want
Jan 09
// Dale North
Panasonic's CES booth has the Final Fantasy XIV A Realm Reborn benchmark running at 4K. It's running butter smooth on this huge 50-something inch screen. Flawless. They can't tell me what specifically is running this other than Nvidia GTX GPUs. Titans are a safe bet, of course. It's... beautiful. I play this game on a laptop. Hmmph.
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The best PC desktop speakers we found at CES 2014


Can I borrow some money?
Jan 09
// Dale North
PC desktop speakers usually suck. Most of the ones you see in electronics stores center around a particle board subwoofer and satellite speakers that remind me (and sometimes sound like) the cups with string tied to them that...
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Eyes-on with Gunnar's Intercept Color collection


Deal with it
Jan 09
// Dale North
Hey, who is that cool-looking mothertrucker over there in the blue-framed glasses? Oh, that's me in a mirror, wearing Gunnar's new Intercept Color Collection gaming eyewear.  I went eyes-on at with these at CES this week...
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Seconded: Another thumbs up for SteelSeries' H Wireless


Loooong-range
Jan 09
// Dale North
I know that we brought you a full review of the SteelSeries H Wireless headset a few days back, but after trying them out at CES today I wanted to say a bit more about them. Chris did a fine job, but I liked these so much tha...
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You're going to want Nvidia's G-SYNC


When it's cheaper, and if you use Nvidia GPUs
Jan 09
// Dale North
We've known about Nvidia’s G-Sync tech for a bit, but seeing how it performs first hand at CES today has moved the purchase of new compatible hardware up my priority list by quite a bit. Nvidia had several of the newly ...
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Here is racing on three 4K screens


Hot damn
Jan 08
// Dale North
At Nvidia's CES booth, Project Cars is running on 3 4K screens here -- 4K surround, if you will. That means you're seeing 11,520 by 2,160, or 1.5 billion pixels per second! I gave it a spin on an Origin PC running quad-SLI, u...
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Nyko shows off their first nex-gen accessories


Double your DualShock4 battery life
Jan 08
// Dale North
We met with Nyko today at CES to get a look at their first accessories for next-gen consoles.  The PS4 gets an Intercooler this spring, with the price set at around $25. Just like Nyko's PS3 version, the PS4 Intercooler ...
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Up close and personal with Razer's Project Christine


And some details on how it works
Jan 08
// Dale North
At CES today, Razer snuck us in to get a closer look at their newly unveiled modular PC concept, which they've codenamed Project Christine. We got to talk to them about how this odd looking tower of blocks would work, and then we got to get up close to take some pictures.  I got in trouble for touching it!
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DTOID News coming to you from an alleyway
Whoa, it's 2014! What do you know! Well, here's what we know: Sony has detailed PlayStation Now, the Gaikai streaming plan, Valve has showed off fourteen different Steam Boxes and Dale got to play with that funky new controll...

PlayStation Now hands-on impressions

Jan 07 // Dale North
What's neat about the particular Bravia television I tried The Last of Us on was that it features Bluetooth connectivity so that the DualShock 3 controllers can connect directly. Being a connected TV is what enables it to support PS Now. There's no other kind of background magic going on. I suspect that the bigger the TV, the more you'll be bothered by the compression artifacts that this streaming tech causes. This 60-inch 4K set showed some blurry blobs in a Beyond:Two Souls cutscene. The darker scenes of The Last of Us also seemed to block out a bit. It's not necessarily harder to see your way around, but the dark colors don't do the tech any favors. Those seeking out find details and bright colors will be a bit disappointed. But we're nowhere near deal breaker territory here. God of War: Ascension looked great, even right up on the screen. And it's not like Beyond and The Last of Us looked bad. It looks just as you'd except -- like a streaming game. When you boil it all down, you're probably not looking for streaming evidence why you're playing. Or at least you shouldn't be. With the Vita, you’ll have to work hard to find visual issues. The small screen does streaming play a lot of favors. It's hard to see the loss of detail, and the hit to color isn't as severe. Puppeteer looked really nice, and I think I'd rather play The Last of Us on the Vita after trying the two side by side. God of War: Ascension looked good enough that I forgot I was playing a streaming game. I don't know that I could say the same thing about the Bravia setup. More importantly, everything I tried played wonderfully. Both the Vita and Bravia setups played well enough that there's really nothing to talk about here. It is actually easy to not be impressed because it works exactly as you'd expect. Responsive, lag free, and totally without incident -- flawless. It remains to be seen if we'll see as respectable performance over wireless and Internet connections. And we have yet to try mobile and tablet play. I feel like, no matter the situation, Gaikai's tech will be good enough for me to enjoy all of the old PlayStation RPGs via PS Now. Action and arcade may not fare as well. We'll see. A closed beta for Now will kick off at the end of the month. Launch date, cost, and other details are further off.
PS Now impressions photo
Both Vita and Bravia TV
Sony set up a media mixer today outside of CES to let us get a better look at PlayStation Now, their new streaming technology they announced this morning. The same games were available on the Vita and Bravia television demo stations: God of War: Ascension, Puppeteer, The Last of Us, and Beyond: Two Souls.

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New version of Oculus Rift features positional tracking


Plus AMOLED display
Jan 07
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
The latest model of the Oculus Rift is on display at CES this week. We'll be getting some hands-on time later this week, but in the mean time Wired shares the newest features of the device. The biggest thing is that the head-...

Razer wants to reinvent the gaming PC as we know it

Jan 07 // Hamza CTZ Aziz
[embed]268603:52122:0[/embed]
Modular gaming PC photo
The world's most modular PC
I'll give you a second to take in the image of Razer's new modular PC concept. Project Christine is a "revolutionary new concept design that will change the way users view PCs." Basically, the system will allow for anyone to ...

PlayStation Now photo
Backwards compatibility arrives this summer in the US
Revealed by Sony Computer Entertainment CEO Andrew House at CES 2014, the company's Gaikai-powered cloud gaming service is called PlayStation Now, and it's coming sooner than anticipated -- this summer in the United States. T...

PS Now hands-on photo
PS Now hands-on

PlayStation Now really works!


First hands-on from CES
Jan 07
// Dale North
I just had my first hands on with the newly announced PlayStation Now streaming service here at CES 2014, and I'm here to tell you that it seems to work beautifully.
PS4 photo
PS4

Sony sold 4.2 million PS4s as of December 28


Here we go...
Jan 07
// Jordan Devore
And here we are. For those who wanted something to compare the Xbox One's three million sales in 2013 against, Sony has come out with the PlayStation 4 figures for last year. Announced by Sony Computer Entertainment CEO Andre...
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A gallery of the new Steam Machines


From last night's unveiling
Jan 07
// Dale North
Valve unveiled 14 Steam Machines at their CES press conference this past evening. After Gabe Newell gave us the rundown, we had a chance to get up close with some of the new models. Here is a gallery of the new machines we sa...
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HipShotDot puts a red dot right on your screen


Never lose sight of your... sight
Jan 07
// Dale North
I thought something was wrong with a television I came across at CES tonight. There was a big red dot right in the center of a screen, like a really bright bad pixel. At second glance I noticed that a game of Call of Duty Gho...
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Maingear's Spark Steam Machine is tiny


No price listed yet, but it's small!
Jan 06
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Maingear's entry to the Steam Machine market is the small form factor Spark. The system weighs less than one pound, and is smaller than a DVD case. Dimension wise, it's 4.5” width, 4.23 depth, and 2.34” in height....

Steam Controller first hands-on impressions

Jan 06 // Dale North
First off, those pads: Skimming your thumbs across the top of the controller pads has them working kind of like trackpads. That's really neat to experience at first. But the controller pads are so sensitive. Soooo sensitive. I suppose the resolution is great for shooters (one for camera, another for aim), but I had trouble getting a feel for the precision I needed in these games. Walking around in shooters felt pretty good, but when any kind of precision pointing was needed (read: actually shooting), I felt like my pants were down a bit.  The pads are one big disc, and when you press down in any one area, they work as a button. The problem is that you don't have a feel for where you're pressing. Of course, the controller's many buttons will let you remap to your heart's content, but the issue is that none of the alternatives fall directly underneath your thumb like we're used to. There are bindings to play with, which makes middle grid and grip buttons ripe for customization. In the bindings screen we saw that you could also select community-made bindings for your game. There were some creative combos mapped for Portal, I found. The typing wheel is neat, though I wouldn't call it intuitive. The left stick has you moving to pick one of several 4-letter zones, with confirmation for one of the four coming from what you do with the right pad. Click down on the north, south, east, or west directions to pick a letter. The UI was navigated by either the left pad, using it much like you would an analog stick on a console, or with the right pad, using it like a mouse, with one of the right triggers working like a mouse click. I found the latter method best for getting around the library. It's just like surfing the web and clicking links. But the UI is kind of messy, and there are too many buttons. Jumping into navigation cold turkey, I found myself completely lost in trying to figure out which buttons do what. If I had a few hours to get used to this controller, I'd be okay. I got used to Metro: Last Light and Portal enough to play them, but I never felt totally comfortable with them. I fared a bit better with platformers like Trine 2, though pointing took a bit to get used to. The bottom line for me is that it's weird not pressing something. A shape. Something I can feel. I want buttons under my left thumb. But, when that right pad is used as a mouse, it's great. This would be a dream for couch surfing. For the left pad, I think it would take a good long time before I got used to it as a d-pad or analog movement control. If there were some way to attach an optional stick to the left pad, that would be neat. The Steam Controller is a neat thing, and I definitely want one to play with. It does everything you need for PC gaming on your couch (save for fighting games, I'm guessing), so hats off to Valve for that. But I think it will take me a bit of time to get used to.
Steam Controller photo
Getting used to it
Valve had plenty of Steam controllers for press to try following their press conference tonight at CES. I gave it a spin with several games, with varying success. I also played around with the UI a bit. Read on for my first impressions. 

Steam Machine prices range from $499 to $6,000

Jan 06 // Hamza CTZ Aziz
Alienware - TBA Alternate - $1339CPU: Intel Core i5 4570Graphics: Gigabyte GTX 760RAM: 16GBStorage:1TB SSHD CyberPowerPC - $499+CPU: AMD/Intel Core i5 CPUGraphics: AMD Radeon R9 270/Nvidia GTX 760RAM: 8GBStorage: 500GB Digital Storm Bolt II - $2,584CPU: Intel Core i7 4770KGraphics: GTX 780 TiRAM: 16GBStorage: 1TB HDD + 120 GB SSD Falcon Northwest - $1,799 - $6000CPU: customizableGraphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX TitanRAM: 8 to 16 GBStorage: up to 6 TB Gigabyte Brix Pro - TBACPU: Intel Core i7-4770RGraphics: Intel Iris Pro 5200RAM: 2 x 4GBStorage: 1TB SATA 6GB/SATA iBuyPower - $499+CPU: Quad core AMD or IntelGraphics: Radeon GCN GraphicsRAM: 8GBStorage: 500GB+ Maingear - TBACPU: TBAGraphics: TBARAM: TBAStorage: TBA  Materiel.net - $1,098CPU: Intel Core i5 4440Graphics: MSI GeForce GTX 760 OCRAM: 8GBStorage: 8 GB + 1 TB SSHD Origin PC Chronos - TBACPU: Intel Core i7 4770K (3.9 to 4.6 GHz)Graphics: 2 x 6GB Nvidia GeForce GTX Titans Next SPA - TBACPU: Intel Core i5 Graphics: Nvidia GT 760RAM: 8GBStorage: 1TB Scan NC 10 - $1,090CPU: Intel Core i3 4000MGraphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 765MRAM: 8GBStorage: 500GB Webhallen - $1,499CPU: Intel Core i7Graphics: Nvidia GT 780RAM: 16GBStorage: 1TB SSHD Zotac - $599CPU: Intel Core (TBD) Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTXRAM: TBDStorage: TBD
Steam Machine photo
Prices and hardware specs detailed
Valve just revealed the full list of Steam Machine partners at their CES press conference today. All these PCs run the new SteamOS, and we have the prices for 12 of the 14 announced partner PCs along with some basic hardware ...


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