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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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Alienware's new Steam Box looks goooooood


But we don't know what's in it yet
Jan 06
// Dale North
They're not talking price or specs yet, but they are showing off the tiny form factor of the Alienware Steam Box. This thing is gorgeous in person with its glossy finish and lighting. It's hand sized, with rubber footing and ...
Intel's 3D cameras photo
Intel's 3D cameras

Intel pushing Kinect-like 3D cameras with new computers


Let the NSA build 3D models of you!
Jan 06
// Steven Hansen
Intel is pushing a 3D camera as part of its focus on "perceptual computing," technology like voice recognition, facial recognition, and gesture control, CNET reports. Partnerships with manufacturers like Acer, Asus, Dell, Fuj...
Deadpan photo
Deadpan

The best joke at Sony's CES conference that no one got


BUT I DID. I LAUGHED AND LAUGHED.
Jan 06
// Steven Hansen
During Sony's CES press conference, Sony Electronics President and COO Mike Fasulo went on about the newest resolution buzzword, 4K. 4K movies, 4K cameras, 4K Netflix streaming, 401Ks, 4 K9 units ripping apart a violent offen...
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Valve unveils 14 new Steam Box machines


The full list
Jan 06
// Dale North
We're at Valve's CES press conference tonight, where Gabe Newell just unveiled 13 Steam Boxes. They literally ripped the covers off of 13 under-lit pedestals where each of the new boxes are displayed for attending press. Make...
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CyberPowerPC's customizable Steam Machine starts at $499


Two models starting at $499, $699
Jan 06
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Today is Steam Machine reveal day, and our latest look is at CyberPowerPC's line. Revealed at the Consumer Electronic Show 2014, the PC maker is going to have two customizable models available in the second half of 2014. Both...
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Control your Dish DVR with new PS3 and PS4 apps


Virtual Joey
Jan 06
// Dale North
Dish Network announced today at CES that applications are coming to PS3 and PS4 that will give users control of their Hopper Whole-Whome HD DVR. Set to release this spring, their Virtual Joey will give users the same experien...
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Destructoid's CES coverage starts now


Stick with us this week
Jan 06
// Dale North
CES coverage on Destructoid kicks off now. We've already seen a Steam Box or two as well as some crazy 4k monitors, and the show hasn't even started yet. For gamers, the real show starts tonight with Valve's press conference,...

A closer look at Digital Storm's Bolt II Steam Box

Jan 06 // Dale North
This little box is dense, packed full of goodies to make for one hell of a machine for gaming. This particular one sports an i7 4700, 16GB of ram, and Nvidia's GTX 780. This should run...well, whatever. This would be a little bit above the $1,500 price point.  A 240mm liquid cooler will support just about any CPU you can put in there, even with aggressive overclocking. It's cool but not noisy -- thank the big fans for that.  That skinny bar at the bottom is the power supply, available in both 500 and 700 watt configurations. That should support whatever you'd like to put in this box right now. Though the Bolt II is small and elegantly designed, you can still get in it and change out what you'd like. All the places marked "Removable" are just that, including the hard drive cage (2 full sized or 4 SSD drives), cooling system, and GPU bracket.  This box is vented everywhere -- sides, top, back, GPU, and more. Their custom fan control module will let you change all the fan speeds, monitor temperature, and even control LED lighting.  Laying horizontally, this thing looks like a nice fit for the living room. It's small, but there are no compromises to worry about as far as performance is concerned. It will come in black or white, but custom colors and even a cool carbon fiber look will be available for full customization. Yes, you can build your own box, or look for a cheaper solution. But the idea with the Bolt II is a premium product. Digital Storm has 4k gaming in mind. Their thinking is along the lines of: if PC gaming is really "master race" territory, why go sub par with a cheap box?   
Digital Storm Steam Box photo
Mmm. Innards
Digital Storm showed us their newly announced Steam Machine this morning in a pre-CES meeting. Their Bolt II is small, sleek, premium option for those wanting to get into what Valve is putting down. This particular offering supports both Steam OS and Windows 8 to give you the best of both worlds.  Me likey.

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Nvidia's G-SYNC kills screen tearing and stuttering


First monitors debut at CES this week
Jan 06
// Dale North
Monitor makers will be showing off their new models that support Nvidia's new G-SYNC technology here at CES this week. This tech synchronizes the monitor refresh rate with the GPU's rendering to make problems like tearing and...
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Steam Machine: 12 partners are making machines so far


Alienware listed among them
Jan 06
// Dale North
CES 2014 is the big coming out party for Valve's Steam Machines. I'm seeing one bright and early tomorrow morning here in Las Vegas, coming from Digital Storm. Later tomorrow evening I'll be attending Valve's press conference...
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Nvidia's Tegra K1 GPU has 192 cores, can match Xbox 360


'Next-gen graphics capabilities'
Jan 06
// Dale North
Nvidia kicks off CES with their new mobile processor, dubbed the Tegra K1. This super chip features first 192-core GPU based on the Kepler architecture, powered by DirectX 11, and supporting Unreal Engine 4 and OpenGL 4.4. T...
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Digital Storm's Valve-approved Steam Machine teased


$1,469, launches at CES next month
Dec 11
// Dale North
Digital Storm says that they have the first liquid-cooled Valve-approved Steam Machine ready to show at CES next month. The PC maker says that they're not trying to compete with console pricing at all, and are going after gra...
Steam Machines photo
Steam Machines

Valve to announce first run of Steam Machines at CES 2014


Machines from many partners
Nov 05
// Brett Makedonski
Time sure flies when you're having fun. It seems like not all that long ago that we were marveling at the Xi3 Piston at CES 2013 and wondering if it would be the first "Steam Box". Now we're already knocking on the door to 20...
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Valve's Steam Machine prototype looks like a cable box


But it's on the inside that counts
Nov 04
// Dale North
[Update: The Verge has some sexy box and controller shots as well as a hands-on for you to read over. Engadget also sticks their face inside the machine.] Look at these new pictures of Valve's Steam Machine prototypes. The Se...
Sony CEO CES keynote photo
Sony CEO CES keynote

Sony CEO Kaz Hirai delivering CES opening keynote


Ridge Racer!
Oct 24
// Steven Hansen
CES isn't until after Christmas. January, in fact. But we seem to be in the habit of preparing for holidays months in advance, so put away your Christmas lights and pull out your CES 4K LEDs because it's late October and Chri...
Tegra 4 photo
Tegra 4

CES: Blood Sword, an impressive Nvidia Tegra 4 showcase


Console-quality visuals
Jan 11
// Dale North
Nvidia announced the Tegra 4 mobile processor here at CES this week, and they were using a name game called Blood Sword to show it off.  With this kind of power under the hood it's easy to forget you're playing a mobile ...

CES: This is how Tomb Raider does multiplayer

Jan 11 // Dale North
Tomb Raider (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 [previewed])Developer: Crystal DynamicsPublisher: Square EnixRelease: March 5, 2013 I got a taste of what they've been working on in a mode called Rescue. Lara and her friends make up team Survivor [Keep on survivin'!], and it's their job to run out in the wilds of the island they're stranded on and find medpacks to bring back to camp. Meanwhile, the Scavengers are there to protect what they have scavenged, and will do anything they need to do so. This mode has the survivors trying to bring back five medpacks while the scavengers are trying to kill 25 survivors -- first to meet their respective goal wins the match. The match balance is interesting as there are completely different elements to each side. For example, the scavengers are... well, scavengers, so they have much more firepower, making survivors easier to take down. Survivors? Not so much in the firepower department. They can down an enemy with weapons, but a close-range melee attack is required for a proper kill. Thankfully smashing in faces with a pickaxe is fun. On the other hand, survivors can equip a bow, and in the right hands, it can be quite scary with its power to kill cleanly and quietly. [embed]241994:46296[/embed] The level we played in, called Chasm, has plenty of interesting obstacles to keep this Rescue mode lively. Zip lines are everywhere, letting players quickly slide between levels to try to avoid enemy fire. One group has a device that actually lets them ascend zip lines! There are also many traps to set for the enemy (or yourself, accidentally), including snares that will have you hanging upside down with a misstep. The spike trap is absolutely brutal -- walk through a rope and two sides of wooden, sharpened spikes come together to crush you into a bloody mess.  The most interesting feature of the Chasm map is a sandstorm that infrequently blows through it. Being on the right side gives you an unfair advantage, letting you see your teammates and enemies clearly, while the other side sees nothing but sand, leaving them shooting blind or running for cover. These storms almost always turned the tide in the several matches I played. In fact, many of the matches were very tight, which says a lot about the balance that Eidos Montreal was able to achieve. While I wasn't performing at the top of my game, I found Tomb Raider's multiplayer to be enjoyable. I joked that I was "flying and dying" -- meaning that I'd take a zip line right into danger. On the ground, it felt like what you'd expect from a third-person action game's multiplayer. But in the air, whether it be from jumping from heights, or coming down zip lines, it felt unique. There are a lot of opportunities for jumping, grabbing, hanging, and climbing, which gave these matches a very Tomb Raider feel. If that was the goal, well done. We'd have to play more Tomb Raider multiplayer to make a call, but from this first session, in this one map, I'd say that they're doing good things. We know there will be the standard Team Deathmatch (from experience -- it's fine, but not as fun as Rescue), but I'm looking forward to some of the more creative stuff that I know Eidos Montreal can come up with.  Tomb Raider comes zipping down the line -- multiplayer and all -- on March 5, 2013.
Tomb Raider multiplayer photo
Bows, zip lines, and pickaxes
Multiplayer in Tomb Raider? What the hell, right? As strange as it sounds, it was pretty easy to get into here at a preview event during CES 2013. The characters and locales come straight out of Tomb Raider's single-player, t...

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CES: Even better: Afterglow headset sees new improvements


Still has pretty lights
Jan 11
// Dale North
We reviewed and really liked PDP's Afterglow wireless headset last year, mostly for its excellent sound quality and pricing. We liked that it worked with all consoles and mobile devices, too. Really, the only thing we didn't ...

CES: It's official: Your HDTV sucks now

Jan 11 // Dale North
So, do you need to upgrade to a 4K television now? As a gamer, no. Not yet. With these sets having four times the pixels of a 1080p set, they still have to figure out content delivery and storage. We've got some time to think things over still. While a PC gamer could connect a rig to a 4k set to take advantage of the huge bump in resolution, typical configurations won’t get great framerates at 3840 × 2160. Worse, none of the current consoles are able to take advantage of 4K’s display spec. Right now, the majority of games we see are still running at 720p. Outside of gaming, 4K content is lacking. There's less than a dozen Ultra HD movies ready right now. And while more are coming down the line, only one Asian television station is broadcasting 4K. Just like with the beginning of HD, there's not much in the way of compelling content yet; the nature footage and food close-ups will only entertain you for so long. Things will definitely improve soon, though. So why are we even talking about 4K yet? Well, it’s amazing. Ridiculous. Worthy of all the buzz. You hear this a lot, but it really is like looking into a glass pane at another world. The 8-megapixel video coming across demo sets here at CES pushed every tech desire button inside me. Watching some of the colorful, ultra detailed, almost unreal showcase content at CES had me wondering what I could sell to get one of these sets. But Sony's $24,999 asking price for one of their first sets, their 84-inch Ultra HD beast, snapped me back to reality quickly. Westinghouse has a 110-inch that they say they'll build to order, priced at $300,000. LG's 84-inch is a bargain at only about $17,000. Sony announced a new 56-inch set at their CES press conference that they claim will be "accessible." I'm guessing somewhere near $4,000.  The booths here at CES have 4K televisions in the most prominent locations of their setups, with the standard HD sets tucked away in the back. Just about every booth has that separation except Samsung, which has new HD models just behind glorious, eye-searing 90" and 110"(shown above) monsters. Just about everyone that watched the 4K sets for a bit and then turned around to see the HD ones behind them had something to say about how bad they looked in comparison. And they do. There's so much more of a difference that I would have ever imagined. I'd wager that critics of 4K haven't seen a set running proper 4K content yet. And if they have, I'd bet they haven't compared them to a HD set side by side. Don't get me started on the 8K set that had droves of gape-mouthed onlookers standing less than a foot away from the set to appreciate the fine detail captured by the only single camera in existence capable of recording footage of that resolution (shown below). One point the critics may have against 4K is the viewing-distance effect. Just about all of the manufacturers are showing showcase sets at 84 or 85 inches in diagonal, which are plenty big enough to appreciate the increased detail that they offer. But stand back a bit and some of the wow factor dims. If you have great eyesight, you can still see the increased fine detail from 10 feet back, but the other CES hot TV tech, OLED, is almost just as impressive with its colors, dynamic range, and clean images. Even that mind-blowing 8K television merely looked 'pretty' at a distance. Granted, not all living rooms are big enough to have viewers sitting 10 feet or more back, but consider the 4K television you'll eventually buy will probably be much smaller than these 85-inch sets. Shown above: Macro shot of fine detail of Sharp's 8K television Well, it doesn't matter. 4K is the new standard, and as scary as the prices sound now, and as unneeded as the technology seems now, these sets will be in our homes in due time. The question now is what will push 4K into relevance? Will it be movies? Streaming? The new generation of gaming consoles? The fabled Steam Box? I think gaming could really help get 4K going. While we still have no idea how we'll get our Ultra HD movies or television, playing PC games at such high resolutions is doable now. Some gamers are currently using 4K monitors to play really detailed, low framerate versions of their favorite games already. Nothing has to change in the way of content distribution either. While it's scary to think that we might one day have to wait for games with 4K assets to download to home consoles, it seems inevitable. With the high prices and uncertainty over content, only one thing is clear right now: your HDTV looks like shit. Sorry.
Your HDTV sucks photo
4K moves in
It is coming whether you want it or not, just like 3D did. (Well, that's a bad example.) This time it’s 4K television, and it’s the biggest thing at CES this year. Pushing the resolution up to double (or more) ove...

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CES: Get mechanical with ROCCAT Ryos gaming keyboards


Fully programmable lighting
Jan 11
// Dale North
For some gamers, only mechanical keyboards will do. If you’re one of these gamers, ROCCAT is aiming squarely at you with their new Ryos series of keyboards. I had a chance to check them out here at CES this week. What&r...
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CES: Browser-based U.S. PlayStation Store incoming


Way to take your sweet time
Jan 10
// Jordan Devore
Speaking to CNET at CES 2013, Sony Network Entertainment COO Shawn Layden shared the company's plan to launch a web version of the U.S. PlayStation Store later this month, something that probably should have been available in...
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CES: Snapshot, a Vita photo puzzle platformer


Say cheese!
Jan 10
// Dale North
Sony showed off Retro Affect's upcoming Vita/PS3 title Snapshot at CES this week. This nice-looking PC port uses photography as a puzzle element. A robot named Pic has a camera that he can use to snap pictures of objects in t...
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CES: Small but powerful: Hands-on with Razer Edge


Tablet-sized Windows 8 gaming rig
Jan 10
// Dale North
Remember Razer's Project Fiona from last year's CES? That's now an official product called Razer Edge, which is a tablet, PC, and console all wrapped up into one. Last year it was a Windows 7 screen with console-like controls...
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CES: Nyko fixes the sucky Wii U GamePad battery problem


Mind blown
Jan 10
// Dale North
Anyone that has a Wii U can tell you how much the battery life of the GamePad sucks. You'll get three hours if you're lucky, but it's usually less than that. Flip over the GamePad and open the battery port and you'll be surpr...

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