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Hardware

Nintendo sleep monitor  photo
Nintendo sleep monitor

Nintendo nixes plans to watch you sleep


Still into 'Quality of Life' field
Feb 04
// Steven Hansen
Nintendo no longer wants to watch you sleep and -- wait, did he write "nixes" in reference to shelved new Nintendo hardware ideas while the new Nintendo console is being referred to as the "NX"? What a clever writer, that fel...
Gray blue PS4 photo
Gray blue PS4

This limited-edition Uncharted 4 PS4 is $400


That controller, though
Feb 04
// Jordan Devore
Sony is preparing a limited-edition 500GB PlayStation 4 bundle in time for the release of Uncharted 4 on April 26, 2016. The console is gray blue, with a touch of gold lettering on the front that says "Sic Parvis Magna" (grea...

Review: COUGAR 450M Optical Gaming Mouse

Feb 04 // Joe Parlock
Product: COUGAR 450M Optical Gaming Mouse Manufacturer: Cougar Input: One USB 2.0+ Port MSRP: $49.90 First, the numbers. With a maximum of 5000 DPI and a polling rate of up to 1000 Hz, the 450M is fantastically sensitive and responsive. Adequate mouse sensitivity is down to personal taste to an extent, but with that 5000 DPI maximum, I severely doubt anyone is going to find this thing too slow. I played about an hour of Far Cry 4 on it, and noticed absolutely no delay between me and the movement on-screen, which is great.  Using Cougar’s UIX software, the 450M can support up to three different profiles that can contain everything from three DPI settings, which can be swapped between using the on-the-fly DPI switch button, to the more advanced settings like angle snapping, lift distance, and polling rate. The amount of control you’re given over how the mouse works is utterly fantastic, and the UI is easy enough that I was able to get it up and running just how I like it within a couple of minutes. There are four extra macro buttons, two on either side, which can be bound to any function you like in UIX. Personally, I have my top left button bound to my screenshot key, and my bottom left bound to a particularly handy ‘sniper’ function, which lowers your sensitivity and allow you to line up shots more easily while it’s held. I’ve seen this as its own advertised feature with a dedicated button on other mice before, so seeing it simply thrown in as an optional extra for any of those four buttons sure is nice. The thing that surprised me the most, though, is how comfortable the 450M is to hold. I have the dubious luck of having huge ham hands, and so far I’ve very few problems with how the mouse sits. It’s big enough for me to comfortably hold it in a full palm grip without my fingers peeking out over the top of the buttons, which is something I’ve never been able to say about a mouse before. The easy-grip texture on the flanks of the mouse aren’t rough enough to be uncomfortable, but provide just enough grip to make sure your hands don’t slip during gaming. Unfortunately, there are three minor negative points which do take away from the comfort somewhat. Firstly, the glossy finish of the mouse means that people with clammier hands may have trouble getting a decent, comfortable hold on it after a while. It also means if you’re a stickler for clean peripherals, you’ll be forever wiping off finger and handprints from it. Secondly, the mouse is pretty dang thin, meaning the sides of my hand couldn’t get enough lift off of my coarse mouse mat and would wind up rubbing up against it. If you have smaller hands, this might not be a problem, but I would’ve liked the mouse to be a bit wider just to reduce the contact area between my hand and the desk. Lastly, the extra macro buttons on either side of the mouse are placed slightly too far forward for me. I have to stretch to hit the top button on either side, which can be uncomfortable if they’re bound to a function I need to use regularly or kept held during gameplay. None of these are major, deal-breaking problems, but they’re things that also could’ve been easily avoided during the design process. Build quality is a bit of a mixed bag, and is honestly where most of my complaints about the 450M lie. It’s not all bad, of course. The Omicron Micro switches under the buttons are really responsive and 'clicky,' with absolutely no smushing feeling when pressing them. The mouse wheel is also one of the best I’ve ever seen, with it being coated in chunky tire-style rubber. The wheel isn’t set inside the mouse, but occupies a gap in between the two buttons, which makes it easy to clean from all angles. I never thought I’d give so many words to something as nondescript as a mouse wheel, but this one is seriously nice. Unfortunately, the 450M feels more cheaply made than others in this price range that I’ve used, being made out of lightweight and glossy plastics that aren’t as resilient looking as I would’ve liked. For £40-50, I would want something strong and chunky that I know would last many intense gaming sessions, but I just don’t think the 450M would be able to stand the test of time. The Cougar 450M Gaming Mouse is really nice in a lot of ways: it’s comfortable, responsive, and has a vast array of customisable settings. It’s just a shame that there are definite areas for improvement, mostly in the build quality. The mouse is the peripheral which gets the most use, so making sure you have one that both feels good and won’t die on you is important. If you spot this on even a slight discount somewhere, I can wholeheartedly recommend you pick one up. At the price range it’s normally at, there are probably better alternatives out there. [This review is based on retail hardware provided by the manufacturer.] Using Cougar’s UIX software, the 450M can support up to three different profiles that can contain everything from three DPI settings, with can be swapped between using the on-the-fly DPI switch button, to the more advanced settings like angle snapping, lift distance and polling rate. The amount of control you’re given over how the mouse works is utterly fantastic, and the UI is easy enough that I was able to get up and running just how it like it within a couple of minutes. There are four extra macro buttons, two on either side, which can be bound to any function you like in UIX. Personally, I have my top left button bound to my screenshot key, and my bottom left bound to a particularly handy ‘sniper’ function, which lowers your sensitivity and allow you to line up shots more easily while it’s held. I’ve seen this as its own advertised feature with a dedicated button on other mice before, so seeing it simply thrown in as an optional extra for any of those four buttons sure is nice. The thing that surprised me the most, though, is how incredibly comfortable the 450M is to hold. I have the dubious luck of having huge ham hands, and so far I’ve very few problems with how the mouse sits.  It’s big enough for me to comfortably hold it in a full palm grip without my fingers peeking out over the top of the buttons, which is something I’ve never been able to say about a mouse before. The easy-grip texture on the flanks of the mouse aren’t rough enough to be uncomfortable, but provide just enough grip to make sure your hands don’t slip during gaming. Unfortunately, there are three minor negative points which do take away from the comfort somewhat. Firstly, the glossy finish of the mouse means that people with clammier hands may have trouble getting a decent, comfortable hold on it after a while. It also means if you’re a stickler for clean peripherals, you’ll be forever whipping off finger and handprints from it. Secondly, the mouse is pretty dang thin, meaning the sides of my hand couldn’t get enough lift off of my coarse mouse mat and would wind up rubbing up against it. If you have smaller hands this might not be a problem, but I would’ve liked the mouse to be a bit wider just to reduce the contact area between my hand and the desk. Lastly, the extra macro buttons on either side of the mouse are placed slightly too far forward for me. I have to stretch to hit the top button on either side, which can be uncomfortable if they’re bound to a function I need to use regularly or kept held during gameplay like. None of these are major, deal-breaking problems, but they’re things that also could’ve been easily avoided during the design process. Build quality is a bit of a mixed bag, and is honestly where most of my complaints about the 450M lie. It’s not all bad, of course. The buttons are responsive and ‘clicky’, with absolutely no ‘smush’ when pressing them. The mouse wheel is also one of the best I’ve ever seen, with it being coated in chunky tire-style rubber. The wheel isn’t set inside the mouse, but occupies a gap in between the two buttons, which makes it easy to clean from all angles. I never thought I’d give so many words to something as nondescript as a mouse wheel, but this one is seriously nice. Unfortunately, the 450M feels more cheaply made than others in this price range that I’ve used, being made out of lightweight and glossy plastics that aren’t as resilient looking as I would’ve liked. For £40-50 I would want something strong and chunky that I know would last many intense gaming sessions, but I just don’t think the 450M would be able to stand the test of time. The Cougar 450M Gaming Mouse is really nice in a lot of ways: it’s comfortable, responsive, and has a vast array of customisable settings. It’s just a shame that there are definite areas for improvement, mostly in the build quality. The mouse is the peripheral which gets the most use, so making sure you have one that both feels good and won’t die on you is incredibly important.  If you spot this on even a slight discount somewhere, I can whole-heartedly recommend you pick one up. At the price range it’s normally at, there are probably better alternatives out there.
Gaming Mice photo
Feels a bit flimsy, but works great
I’ve never had much luck with gaming mice; either there’s too many moving parts and I break it, or the shape doesn’t fit my hands and feels uncomfortable to use. So when I got Cougar’s 450M ambidextrou...

Review: Logitech G933 Artemis Spectrum Wireless Gaming Headset

Feb 03 // Laura Kate Dale
Product: Logitech G933 Artemis Spectrum Wireless Gaming HeadsetManufacturer: LogitechInput: One USB 2.0+ PortMSRP: $199.99/£169.99 So, let's talk a little about the design of the G933 first. The headset, black and slightly industrial in design, is incredibly comfortable to wear. Featuring rectangular ear cups that surround and encase the entire ear rather than sitting on the outer ear and a sturdy, padded headband, I found the headset very comfortable to wear for extended periods of time. The headset features a small strip of colour changing lights, which can be switched off using buttons on the headset if desired. Ear cups can be repositioned from the headband for head size, supporting surprisingly small and large extremes, and the ear cups also rotate to fit the head. The headset is quite bulky and does not feature any method of being folded which might make transporting cumbersome, but for a stay-at-home gaming headset it's very much was I was looking for. The included wireless dongle fits neatly inside one of the ear pieces when not in use, behind a well-designed magnetic panel. The included microphone also nicely folds away into the earpiece when not in use, making it less immediately obvious it's a gaming headset. [embed]338768:62113:0[/embed] It's important to note before we go any further that the G933 headset only works wirelessly on PC, with PS4, Xbox One, and mobile functions restricted to cabled connections. The headphones feature an auxiliary port for use with those other pieces of hardware, as well as a USB port for wired PC gaming and charging, alongside a host of buttons. The left ear piece hosts a dial for volume control, buttons mapped to audio profile presets, and a power button for using the headset wirelessly. All of the buttons were easy enough to find while wearing it. So, how is the quality when using this as a wired headset with a standard microphone lead? Extremely strong. The basic audio profile is tuned surprisingly well to both gaming and a variety of music genres. If you want to switch to something more bass or treble heavy, the hot keys on the headset do a really strong job of keeping pace. The high end of the volume is going to be loud enough for those of you looking to truly drown out the world, and the overall audio quality was exactly what I would expect out of a high-end pair of headphones. The advertised 7.1 surround sound worked perfectly out the box, and required no setup. Also, at the top end on volume, there was minimal audio leakage to those around me, which is reassuring. As for the wireless setup? Absolutely no noticeable drop in audio quality. Setting the headset up was as simple as plugging in the provided USB dongle and switching on the headset to switch the default audio output to the headset. It also has a surprisingly large wireless range, which is impressive for a device designed for a gaming setup. The headset lasted around eight hours on full volume with the coloured lights turned on, and almost four hours longer with the lights switched off. In terms of gaming specific audio, I tested the headset with Rise of the Tomb Raider, American Truck Simulator, and Tales from the Borderlands. In Tomb Raider, it did a great job of highlighting directional audio for gunshots, while keeping vocals at the front of the mix when needed. American Truck Simulator kept a nice base rumble going that was nice and distinct from the sound of the radio in my cab. Borderlands focused on vocals and sound effects in the mix, but without drowning out music. Overall, I was very impressed with its handling of multiple types of games. So far I have been nothing but positive, but I do have one notable drawback that holds the G933 from being a unanimous recommendation, and that is the quality of the inbuilt microphone. While it's certainly clear enough for you to be understood by other players, it has a decidedly hollow sound when used for voice chat or recording. It's likely not a deal breaker if you're just using it for in game chat, but it's certainly not a high-end microphone. As someone who regularly podcasts, it's not going to hold a candle to dedicated microphones. Overall, I am incredibly impressed by the G933 as a high-end wireless gaming headset. It held its own with every kind of audio I threw at it, it was comfortable, and it looks great. The fact audio quality is maintained wirelessly is a big pro for PC gamers, as is the surprisingly strong range on the headset. Just be aware the built-in mic won't blow anyone away. [This review is based on retail hardware provided by the manufacturer.]
Logitech photo
Music to my ears
I'm not going to lie, Logitech is not a name I've traditionally associated with quality equipment for a gaming setup. Realistically, the only time I tend to browse Logitech products is when I need a cheap basic keyboard or mo...


New 3DS XL photo
New 3DS XL

Europe is getting that Hyrule Edition New 3DS XL in March


Kept you waiting, huh?
Jan 21
// Jordan Devore
Just in time for Hyrule Warriors Legends, Nintendo is bringing the gorgeous New 3DS XL Hyrule Edition to Europe on March 24, 2016. (Though, again, the game isn't included. As per usual.) Are you still holding out for this mod...
Microsoft photo
Microsoft

Xbox 360 disc-scratch lawsuit appeal referred to Supreme Court


Just 0.4% of 360 owners had issues
Jan 20
// Vikki Blake
The Supreme Court will decide if Microsoft has a case to answer in regards to a class-action lawsuit that maintains Xbox 360 consoles were scratching discs as the result of a design defect. If this sounds familiar, it is - th...
New 3DS XL photo
New 3DS XL

This Fire Emblem New 3DS XL doesn't come with the game


Don't look at me like that, Corrin!
Jan 19
// Jordan Devore
Nintendo is bringing this lovely Fire Emblem Fates-themed New 3DS XL to North America on February 19, 2016 for $199.99. There are multiple versions of the upcoming RPG -- Birthright, Conquest, and then a third story, Revelati...
Sony VR photo
Sony VR

Is this how much the Sony VR system is going to cost?


Placeholder price or not? You decide!
Jan 19
// Vikki Blake
The PlayStation VR has been listed on three Swiss websites for sale around €450-€500. That’s roughly £342-£380, or $435-$544, depending upon where you are in the world.

Review: Corsair STRAFE RGB MX Silent gaming keyboard

Jan 16 // Joe Parlock
[embed]334733:61890:0[/embed] Product: Corsair STRAFE RGB MX Cherry Silent Gaming KeyboardManufacturer: CorsairInput: 2x USB 2.0, or 1x USB 3.0MSRP: $159.99/£159.99 On first impressions, the STRAFE certainly looks the part of a £160 keyboard. With metal side plates, each key being brightly lit by a changeable colour LED, and a stylish wrist rest, it’s difficult to deny it’s a pretty keyboard that would fit well in any dedicated gaming rig. The major appeal of the STRAFE is its aesthetics. Downloading the Corsair Utility Engine will give users access to tinker with the lighting on every single individual key, or set profiles which can have some damn cool visual effects. Right now, every time I press a key, a ripple effect will spill multi-coloured lights all the way across my keyboard, which looks just lovely. And if the stock effects aren’t to your liking, you can also download user-made presets via Corsair's website. There are also practical uses for the lighting control, too. For example, there are presets highlighting the keys most often used with games, such as a WASD-lit preset for first-person shooters, or a QWER preset for MOBAs. It’s not going to give you a major advantage, but for anyone that dislikes the included physical keycaps (which I feel interfere with the aesthetics of the keyboard), these can provide much-appreciated alternatives. [embed]334733:61891:0[/embed] The keys themselves are awesome. Underneath them are Cherry MX Silent switches, which only launched a few months ago. The good thing about them is their low actuation point, which means you don’t have to press the key as far before the input is registered. For gaming, it feels quicker and more responsive than other switches. Seriously, gaming on this thing feels nice.  For typing, it can admittedly feel a bit sloppy and can result in more typing errors, but it’s a worthwhile trade-off for the extra control in-game . I don’t hear a notable difference between the Silent switches in the STRAFE RGB and the standard Cherry MX Reds in my old Corsair K90. I do hammer quite hard at my keys, though, so for more delicate users there might be a bit more of a difference. While gaming on the STRAFE feels great, which is the major concern with a gaming keyboard, there are two major problems that make me question whether it’s worth the asking price. Firstly, the build quality is inconsistent. The bit of the keyboard you most regularly use is of fantastic quality.The area where the keys sit feels great: it’s heavy, and the back plate is solid and non-flexing. Even if I try to bend it with my hands, there’s absolutely no give. The raised keys make cleaning easy, and the lights are incredibly bright and vibrant, with key labels will likely never fade.  Unfortunately, the bits you may consider ‘extras’ betray the quality of the main board. The wrist rest feels flimsy, and it doesn’t sit flat on my desk, meaning there was quite a bit of flexing involved whenever I put weight on it. Eventually, I had to unclip it and use an old third-party wrist rest, which is chunkier, but provides more support. The cable is also a problem: it’s not visibly braided (which is fine by me, but some people swear by braided cables for aesthetic reasons), and the way the USB inputs are arranged is potentially problematic. You either need plug both the USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 heads into USB 2.0 ports, or you can just plug into a single 3.0 port, leaving the spare 2.0 head flapping around the back of your computer. For cable management nuts, this can be pretty annoying, as it takes up precious space, at least if your PC is in a tight space like mine. This had me resorting to plugging the STRAFE into an external USB hub that was out of the way just to make sure I could fit other cables around the back of my PC. While this may sound like a minor issue, and it is, the STRAFE sits at a top-end price point, where I expect a bit more thought to have gone into the less immediately obvious aspects of the design. The problem that is a bigger deal for me personally is the lack of extra features. My older Corsair K90 retails almost £40 cheaper than the STRAFE RGB, but comes with both dedicated macro and media keys, which the STRAFE lacks. Having to hold down function keys to change the volume (like you see with standard laptop keyboards) was irritating, and in my experience didn’t register with some games like my old physical scrolling wheel did. It’s not a world-ending deal breaker, but it did screw with my workflow quite a bit having to use both hands to change the volume in-game. Overall, the Corsair STRAFE RGB MX Cherry Silent is a mixed bag. For everyday use, it's difficult to justify the price. It lacks some of the features I would’ve expected, and the build quality in some areas could be a lot better. But purely as a game controller, or if money isn’t a concern, the STRAFE is simply fantastic. Durable, responsive and stylish, if you use your gaming PC solely for gaming, then I highly recommend it. The Cherry MX Silent switches feel smooth, easy to use, and have the lifespan to survive many years of intensive gaming. This is the second Corsair keyboard I’ve used, and my response to both has been the same: impressed, but with caveats. [This review is based on retail hardware provided by the manufacturer.] Manufacturer: CorsairInput: 2x USB 2.0, or 1x USB 3.0MSRP: $159.99/£159.99 On first impressions, the STRAFE certainly looks the part of a £160 keyboard. With metal side plates, each key being brightly lit by a changeable colour LED, and a stylish wrist wrest, it’s difficult to deny that it’s a very pretty keyboard that’d fit well in any dedicated gaming rig. The big appeal of the STRAFE is an aesthetic one. Downloading the Corsair Utility Engine will give you access to tinker with the lighting on every single individual key, or set profiles which can have some really damn cool visual effects. Right now, every time I press a key, a ripple effect will spill multi-coloured lights all the way across my keyboard, and it looks just lovely. If the stock effects aren’t to your liking, you can also download quite a few user-made presets on the Corsair website too. There are also practical uses for the lighting control, too. For example, there are presets that highlight the keys most often used for various games, such as a WASD-lit preset for FPS, and a QWER preset for MOBAs. It’s not going to give you any major advantage, but for those who aren’t a fan of the included physical keycaps (which I felt interfered with the aesthetics of the keyboard), it’s a much-appreciated alternative. The keys themselves are awesome. Underneath them are Cherry MX Silent switches, which were only launched a few months ago. The good thing about them is their low actuation point, which means you don’t have to press the key as far before the input is registered. For gaming, it feels quick and responsive compared to both other switches and your standard membrane input on cheaper keyboards. Seriously, gaming on this thing feels nice.  For typing, it can admittedly feel a bit sloppy and can result in more typing errors, but for the extra control in-game, I reckon it’s a worthwhile trade-off. I don’t hear a notable difference between the Silent switches in the STRAFE RGB and the standard Cherry MX Reds in my old Corsair K90. I do hammer quite hard at my keys, though, so for more delicate users there might be a bit more of a difference. While gaming on the STRAFE feels great, which for a gaming keyboard is probably the main thing, there are two fairly major problems that make me question whether it’s worth the asking price. Firstly, the build quality is pretty inconsistent. The bit the actual keys sit on feels great: it’s heavy, and the back plate is solid and non-flexing. Even if I try to bend it with my hands, there’s absolutely no give. The raised keys make cleaning it easy, and the lights are incredibly bright and vibrant, with key labels that will never fade. The bit of the keyboard you most regularly use is of fantastic quality. Unfortunately, the bits which may be considered ‘extras’ betray the quality of the main board. The wrist-rest feels fairly flimsy, and it doesn’t sit flatly on my desk, meaning there is quite a bit of flexing when I put weight on it. I eventually had to unclip it and use my old third-party wrist-rest, which is chunkier and provides more support anyway. The cable can also be a problem too: it’s not visibly braided (which is fine by me, but some people swear on having braided cables for aesthetic reasons), and the way the USB inputs are arranged can be a problem. You either need plug both the USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 heads into USB 2.0 ports, or you plug just the 3.0 into a single 3.0 port, leaving the spare 2.0 head flapping around the back of your computer. For cable management nuts that can be annoying, and it can take up precious space if your PC is in a tight space like mine. I had to resort to plugging it into an external USB hub that was out of the way just to make sure I could fit other cables around the back of my PC. These may sound like minor things, and they are, but as the STRAFE sits at a top-end price point, I would’ve expected a bit more design to have gone into the less immediately obvious parts of it. My second problem is a bigger one for me personally, and that is the lack of extra features. My older Corsair K90 RRPs at almost £40 less than the STRAFE RGB, yet it comes with both dedicated macro and media keys, both things the STRAFE lacks. Having to hold down function keys to change the volume like a standard laptop keyboard was irritating, and I found it didn’t register in some games like my old physical scrolling wheel did. It’s not a world-ending deal breaker, but it did screw with my workflow quite a bit having to use both hands to change the volume in-game. Overall, the Corsair STRAFE RGB MX Cherry Silent is a mixed bag. For everyday use, I’m struggling to justify the price. It lacks some of the features I would’ve expected, and the build quality in some areas could be better. But purely as a game controller, or for those where money isn’t much of a concern for them? It’s simply fantastic. Durable, responsive and stylish, if you use your gaming PC solely for gaming, then I highly recommend it.  The Cherry MX Silent switches feel smooth, easy to use and have the lifespan to put up with many years of intensive gaming. This is the second Corsair keyboard I’ve used, and my response to both has been the same: impressed, but with caveats.
Gaming Keyboard photo
Solid, flashy, but not perfect
I spend most of my time doing one of two things: writing about games for you lovely lot, or playing games so I can then write about games for you lovely lot. Because of that, keyboards are important to me, and finding one tha...

Ocluus drift photo
Ocluus drift

What virtual reality world is Oculus' founder living in?


Says VR will drive high-end PC sales
Jan 13
// Steven Hansen
Oculus founder Palmer Luckey was back on reddit this week with a second question and answer session, this time on reddit's subforum "PC Master Race." There he plays to the crowd, saying, "I started out my life as a console ga...
Oculus Rift photo
Oculus Rift

Oculus Rift boss: 'shipping a consumer product is more complex than janking out a dev kit'


Lucky for some
Jan 07
// Vikki Blake
Oculus Rift boss Palmer Luckey has apologised for suggesting that the VR product would cost “in the ballpark” of $350, admitting that he “handled the messaging poorly.” Responding to comments on a leng...
Oculus Rift photo
Oculus Rift

Oculus Rift dev kit backers are getting a free finalized Rift


This guy's face
Jan 05
// Jordan Devore
Ahead of Oculus Rift pre-orders opening tomorrow morning (price still TBA), Oculus has a nice surprise: the thousands of Kickstarter backers who pledged for a Rift Development Kit 1 will receive a free Kickstarter Edition Ocu...
Or don't, who cares photo
Or don't, who cares

Pre-order the Oculus Rift VR headset this week


Still no price or date
Jan 04
// Steven Hansen
We still do not know how much the impending Oculus Rift virtual reality headset will cost or when it will be released, but we might know soon. Oculus just announced that the Rift will be open for pre-order this week, January ...
Oculus Touch photo
Oculus Touch

The Oculus Rift's Touch controllers need more time


Now targeting the second half of 2016
Dec 31
// Jordan Devore
The Oculus Rift's Touch controllers already weren't going to make it in time for the virtual reality headset's launch, but now they're even further off. Oculus VR expects to ship Touch in "the second half of 2016," noting tha...
Oculus Rift photo
Oculus Rift

Oculus Rift comes with a cool 3D platformer


Lucky's Tale
Dec 30
// Jordan Devore
Lucky's Tale convinced me that 3D platformers can make terrific use of virtual reality. I had my doubts going in, thinking the game looked decent at best, but came away impressed. So did Brett. It's good news, then, that it's...
Alt.Ctrl.GDC 2016 photo
Alt.Ctrl.GDC 2016

Licking and sucking are just two ways you'll control games at GDC 2016


Crazy alternative control schemes!
Dec 29
// Jed Whitaker
The games lineup for GDC 2016's Alt.Ctrl.GDC showcase has been announced, and the control schemes sound crazy as heck, if not tasty.  Hello, Operator! has players acting as a telephone switchboard operator in the 1930s by physically connecting calls with patch cables. If there is any voice acting, I hope it is old-timey. I love the dialect of that era.
Super Nintendo Chalmers photo
Super Nintendo Chalmers

Super Nintendo Chalmers is the best thing I've seen all month


Better than Steamed Hams
Dec 21
// Chris Carter
Custom consoles are one of my favorite things in the gaming world, and this one is no exception. User rori3 shared his creation with an ominous post on reddit, noting that he had "Just finished [his] White Elephant Gift....
Why? photo
Why?

Coleco announces new cartridge-based console


Put it next to your Ouya in the trash
Dec 18
// Jed Whitaker
Are you old enough to remember the ColecoVision console from the '80s? Do you yearn for the days of old when games came on cartridges and everything had a nice physical manual? Do you often buy into new consoles announced wit...
AMD photo
AMD

AMD was so angry at Geralt's hair, it made an open-source graphics API for developers


A direct challenge to Nvidia's GameWorks
Dec 16
// Joe Parlock
Nvidia’s GameWorks is a widely used toolkit that allows developers to add fancy visual effects and cool physics simulations to their game without costing them too much development time. The toolkit has some awesome effe...
Why? photo
Why?

'3DS is here to stay,' says Nintendo


Sold more than PS4 and Xbox One combined
Dec 11
// Jed Whitaker
Nintendo's Scott Moffitt, the executive vice president of sales and marketing, said in an interview with The Washington Post that "Nintendo 3DS is here to stay. Let me throw out a number that might surprise you. So far, on a ...
Valve photo
Valve

Let's watch robots build Steam Controllers


They're our new overlords
Dec 10
// Jordan Devore
Ever wonder how controllers are made? Valve has put out a fascinating behind-the-scenes video showing the hard-working Aperture robots (yes, really!) that assemble Steam Controllers. It lacks the minutia of something like Ho...
Xbox PC adapter photo
Xbox PC adapter

Windows 7 now supports the Xbox One wireless controller adapter


Support added for Windows 8.1, too
Dec 10
// Jordan Devore
The Xbox One controller is terrific enough that I've considered dropping $25 on one of those wireless adapters for PC so I can use it beyond just Xbox gaming. But I haven't. Not yet! I'm still on Windows 7, despite Microsoft'...
Review: Gamevice photo
Review: Gamevice

Review: Gamevice for the iPhone


Like the Vita's controls for your iPhone
Dec 09
// Jed Whitaker
Mobile gaming is becoming closer and closer to console gaming, and with the line thinning the only thing missing is phones coming with dedicated controllers. That is where the Gamevice comes in, to try to fill that hole by turning your iPhone 6 into a fully-fledged gaming console. While it does the job well, it certainly isn't without some minor flaws.
Nintendo NX photo
Nintendo NX

Nintendo's president isn't sure what 'NX' means


Or where the name came from
Dec 03
// Jordan Devore
The next system from Nintendo, codename NX, may release next year and include both a console and a separate handheld unit. The company hasn't said much about it yet, so it's almost all vague promises and speculation based on...
Alienware photo
Alienware

One month later, the Alienware Steam Machine is still a nice accompaniment to the PC


But again, not a replacement
Dec 02
// Chris Carter
Back in October, I had the chance to test out the new Alienware Steam Machine's mid-range model (i3 Dual Core, 8GB DDR3, 1TB HDD), and was fairly pleased with the results. As the hardware manufacturer even noted before launch...
CronusMAX Plus photo
CronusMAX Plus

The CronusMAX Plus V3 allows interchangeable PS4, Xbox One, and Wii U controllers


I put it to the test
Nov 26
// Chris Carter
For weeks now, readers have been asking about the CronusMAX Plus. With its grand claims of using "almost any controller on any console," a lot of people wanted to know if it worked, especially given the pricey $50 price tag for what essentially amounted to a fancy dongle. After some initial issues, it ended up taking me by surprise at how well it worked.
Amazon photo
Amazon

Here are Amazon's Black Friday game deals


Looking for a bargain?
Nov 26
// Vikki Blake
Amazon has detailed what games will be discounted during its upcoming Black Friday promotion. While prices have yet to be disclosed, what we do have is a list of the games that will be on offer over the course of today, tomor...
PS Vita photo
PS Vita

That's a damn fine PlayStation Vita


Japan, though!
Nov 12
// Jordan Devore
I like this PlayStation Vita design even more than that metal slime PlayStation 4. They share a similar theme, but it's the little touches that matter -- the custom d-pad art, the liquid metal slime accessory for the headphone jack, the slick box the system comes in. All great.
Xbox One update photo
Xbox One update

The new Xbox One dashboard rolls out tonight


Backward compatibility to follow
Nov 11
// Jordan Devore
November is flying by me. It's nearly time for the new Xbox One dashboard update, and you know what that means: backward compatibility! The initial list of supported Xbox 360 games falls short of my expectations, but it'll im...
Deals photo
Deals

Steam Machines are out, so there's a game sale


The Steam Link sounds intriguing
Nov 10
// Jordan Devore
Today is a big hardware day for Valve. The Steam Controller ($49.99), Steam Link ($49.99), and Steam Machines (starting at $449.99) have officially launched in North America and Europe. Impressions of those devices have been ...

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