Subject: General Tech, Cases and Cooling | April 5, 2012 - 03:47 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: vengeance, headset, gaming, corsair, case
Corsair announced today that a new wireless headset and gaming PC case would be joining the ranks of the existing Vengeance lineup of headsets and keyboards. Making their initial debut at PAX East this weekend, the new Vengeance 2000 wireless headset and Vengeance C70 Case will be available for purchase later this year.
The Vengeance 2000 is Corsair’s latest headset that takes the brushed aluminum, 50mm drivers, and microfiber ear cups of the Vengeance 1500, adds some blue and white accents and then cuts the cord. In pace of the USB cord, Corsair utilizes 2.4 GHz wireless to deliver 5.1 and 7.1 virtual surround sound up to 40 feet away and with a battery life of 10 hours. The headset further features a noise canceling microphone and battery that can be recharged via micro USB cable.
From the wording of the press release, it sounds like the charging cable will only act as a power cable -- meaning it will not make the headset wired. The wireless 2.4GHz radio may be problematic for gamers living in areas with lots of 2.4GHz interference (like an apartment building with lots of WiFi devices and microwaves), and in that case the wired Vengeance 1500 would be a better choice. (We are attempting to verify the wireless only aspects and will update the article if we receive a response). Update: Corsair has clarified to us that the headset is always wireless -- the USB cable is only used for charging and firmware flashing.
Arriving with two carrying handles and an ammo box aesthetic, the Vengeance C70 is ready for the war against heat with space for up to 240mm radiators (they suggest the H100) on the top and bottom or 10 total case fans. The case further features a steel front panel, eight PCI-E slots, and two removable hard drive cages with space for three 2.5” or 3.5” drives (for a total of six hard drives). The PCI-E slots and other internals use standard Philips head screws.
The Vengeance C70 will be available in three colors: Military Green, Arctic White, Gunmetal Black. The external of the the case features large mesh grills over the fan areas. The front of the case features a honeycomb mesh for up to two fans, three 5.25” drive bays, and -- along the top -- two large buttons for power and reset with the power being the large red button (which would be difficult to resist pressing all the time). It also houses microphone and headphone jacks, and two USB 3.0 ports. All three C70 cases have two carrying handles on the top that fold down into recessed parts of the case when not being used.
The two new Vengeance entrants will be available this summer. The C70 will be available for purchase soonest -- as early as May -- with an MSRP of $139 USD. Meanwhile, the Vengeance 2000 wireless headset has an MSRP of $149 USD and will be available in June. More information on Corsair’s entire Vengeance gaming lineup is available here.
Subject: General Tech | April 4, 2012 - 01:34 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: gaming, diablo iii
While we cannot offer you a way to get into the beta, it is possible to show off a game play movie made by Slashdot, or two. The release of this gaming is fast approaching with just over a month to the May 15th release date ... assuming no more delays occur. From the video we learn that the developers have made the stats autolevel so that players do not have to worry about breaking their character with poor stat choices. Many skills will be tied to the equipment you are wearing and so will not be a permanent choice, swapping your equipment will change your skills. Hopefully Slashdot is right when they state the developers spent a lot of time toning down the tedium and raising the level of fun.
"It's been almost four years since Diablo 3 was announced, and its development began years earlier. Its predecessors helped define the action RPG genre, so anticipation is high among fans of the franchise. The game has undergone closed beta testing since September, and a lot has changed since then. Now that Blizzard has settled on May 15th as a release date, we thought this would be a good time to take a look at the state of the game as it currently exists. These two videos show actual gameplay of the various classes, explain the skill and rune systems, take a look at the auction house, and go over many of the other changes since the beginning of development."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- THQ fires 118 developers, shifts focus of Warhammer 40K MMO to single-player @ Ars Technica
- Microsoft Flight (Free-to-Play) PC Review @ eTeknix
- Armored Core V @ The Inquirer
- Wot I Think: Legend Of Grimrock @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN!
- Hands On: Borderlands 2 @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN!
- When 'Free-to-Play' Becomes a Money Game @ Techgage
- Ridge Racer Unbounded (XBOX 360) Review @ HardwareHeaven
- Devil May Cry HD Collection (XBOX 360) Game Review @ HardwareHeaven
Subject: General Tech | March 28, 2012 - 02:04 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: mass effect 3, gaming
[H]ard|OCP set out to see just how much you can get from Mass Effect 3 with a powerful GPU. On the test bench from AMD was an HD 7970 and a 7950 while from NVIDIA a GTX 580 and 570 were tested. All were tested at 2560x1600 with FXAA, 16X AF and Dynamic Shadows, with MLA enabled on the AMD cards and every single card provided more than adequate performance. Since that went so well, they dropped down to an HD 7870, 7850 and 7770 from AMD and a GTX 560 Ti with only the HD 7770 having to reduce settings at 2560x1600. Obviously this game was designed by the Anti-Bay; with the emphasis on story and not pretty explosions.
"The final instalment in the Mass Effect saga has arrived to give gamers their sci-fi war and romance fixes. But does the game offer hardware enthusiasts anything? Does it have any cutting edge technology to make our high-dollar video cards worthwhile? Does it make us glad we spent our hard-earned dollars upgrading or does it leave us flat?"
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Total War: Shogun 2 - Fall of the Samurai (PC) Game Review @ HardwareHeaven
- Blacklight Retribution (Beta) PC Review @ eTeknix
- Max Payne 3's Multiplayer In Motion @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN!
- Firaxis Talk XCOM, Redux: Bases, Ammo, Skills Explained @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN!
- CAPCOM Digital Collection (XBOX 360) Game Review @ HardwareHeaven
- Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13 (XBOX 360) Game Review @ HardwareHeaven
Subject: General Tech | March 21, 2012 - 04:04 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: gaming, wing commander, mod
There is some incredible news for those of you who have purchased old Wing Commander games from GOG, as well as those of you who've though about it but prefer the memories of the game they've already formed. A group of modders has taken the engine behind FreeSpace 2 and created Wing Commander Saga, which spans a time period from just before the beginning of Wing Commander 3 and takes you through to the end of the Terran-Kilrathi War. On top of the vastly improved graphics and features like autopilot are dozens of cinematics throughout the game, thousands of lines of original dialog and large scale fleet battles. Do not despair if this is the first you are hearing about it for the release date is tomorrow! Check out Wing Commander Saga: The Darkest Dawn here.
"Any old-school PC gamer worth his salt has spent some time dogfighting in space in Wing Commander, or at least is familiar with the series that first took flight in 1990. Heck, even Mark Hamill (better known as Luke Skywalker) lent his voice acting talents to the third installment, Wing Commander III: Heart of the Tiger. If you have fond memories of flying through space in the 1990s, you'll be happy to know that fans of the franchise are nearly finished with a massive followup."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- APB Reloaded (Free-to-Play) PC Review @ eTeknix
- Dare we believe it? Blizzard locks in May 15 launch date for Diablo 3 @ Ars Technica
- Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition to give first two games a modern update @ Ars Technica
- Why, That Must Be Another Far Cry 3 Trailer @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City (XBOX 360) Game Review @ HardwareHeaven
- Twisted Metal (PS3) Game Review @ HardwareHeaven
- Rayman Origins (PS Vita) Game Review @ HardwareHeaven
- umines: Electronic Symphony PlayStation Vita @ Tweaktwon
- Mass Effect 3 Xbox 360 @ Kitguru
- XBOX720 and PS4 Consoles Revive PC Gaming @ Benchmark Reviews
Subject: General Tech | March 14, 2012 - 02:46 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Mechwarrior, gaming
Though not a single player game in any sense of the word, MechWarrior has finally come back to the PC in the form of a free to play online game. Think of it as a large Solaris VII Arena where two teams of 12 mechs compete for domination. You don't have to restrict yourself to assault mechs either, as effective scouting with smaller mechs will net you the same experience awards as blowing the leg off of an opposing mech. For those who want a more persistent experience you can join a mercenary company or if you prefer to just jump into battle like Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN had the chance to do then jump into a cockpit and lay waste to your enemies in the newest implementation of the Crytek 3 engine.
"It’s been ten years since the last MechWarrior game. Which seems odd, since the idea of stomping around in giant robots is such a popular one. But now the license has been put in the hands of Piranha Games, and it’s going online, and MechWarrior Online is going free to play. I saw it in action at GDC, so read on for my report."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- SWTOR Free Weekend Trials Start Thursday @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Epic Citadel now available in a web browser near you @ The Tech Report
- Mass Effect 3 GPU & CPU Performance Test @ TechSpot
- New BioShock Infinite trailer discusses creation of creepy Handyman enemies @ Ars Technica
- Face To Face With Crytek: Warface Interview @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- First Look: Sins Of A Dark Age @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Bioshock Infinite will come out in late October @ The Inquirer
- Crusader Kings II Review @ Techgage
- Alan Wake @ Kitguru
- Unstoppable Gorg PC Review @ eTeknix
- All Zombies Must Die! (PC) Game Review @ HardwareHeaven
- EA reveals new Medal of Honor: Warfighter for October 23, BF3 DLC details @ Ars Technica
- Magicka PC Review @ eTeknix
- 10 Classic Computer RPGs @ PC Mag
- The State of DirectX 11 Gaming @ SemiAccurate
- Next-Gen Xbox Guide @ eTeknix
- Journey PlayStation 3 @ Tweaktown
- Street Fighter X Tekken (XBOX 360) Game Review @ HardwareHeaven
- SSX (PS3) Game Review @ HardwareHeaven
- Mass Effect 3 (ME3) Xbox 360 @ Tweaktown
- Binary Domain (XBOX 360) Game Review @ HardwareHeaven
- Virtua Tennis 4: World Tour Edition (VT4) PlayStation Vita @ Tweaktown
- Uncharted Golden Abyss (PS Vita) Game Review @ HardwareHeaven
- LUMINES Electronic Symphony (PS Vita) Game Review @ HardwareHeaven
- Jak and Daxter Collection (PS3) Game Review @ HardwareHeaven
Introduction, LAN Fest, Game Demos, Future of Gaming panel
Check out our video coverage of the SXSW Screenburn Arcade!
The 19th Annual South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Festival kicked off on Mar. 9 and wraps up Mar. 12 in Austin, Texas. While most of the event featured interactive workshops and panels of experts from within the web development and social media communities, I focused most of my efforts covering the SXSW Screenburn Arcade at the Palmer Event Center. This is where most of the PC and console gaming enthusiasts attending SXSW converged to watch pro gamers from the IGN Pro League battle in League of Legends, Starcraft II, and check out several game demos like Lollipop Chainsaw for the XBox 360 and Quantum Conundrum and FireFall for the PC.
Intel LAN Fest
I also had the opportunity to visit the Intel-sponsored, non-profit LANFest where event visitors could jump on one of their Alienware systems and play a variety of PC games like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Team Fortress 2, MineCraft, Half Life 2 Death Match, WArsaw, Alien Swarm, Portal, World of Tanks, and Left 4 Dead 2 . LAN participants paid a $5 donation to play, which helped raise funds that will be sent to the city of Bastrop, Texas that lost more than 400 homes because of wildfires last September. They also raffled off a new ASUS Ultrabook to raise money for the United Way non-profit organization.
Subject: Graphics Cards | March 8, 2012 - 03:41 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: nvidia, kepler, graphics card, gpu, GK104, gaming, 28nm
GDC 2012 is upon us, and in addition to the Samaritan demo and some gaming goodness, we spotted a leaked image over at Legit Reviews that is allegedly a photo of a production NVIDIA GTX 670 Ti graphics card.
The cooler looks to cover the whole PCB and be of the blower design, funneling hot air of the of the front of the card and out of the case. The connectors include two DVI, one HDMI, and one Display Port. Rumors suggest that the latest NVIDIA cards will be capable of multi-display (>2) from a single card much like AMD cards have been doing for some time.
Not a whole lot is known about the upcoming GK104 "Kepler" GPUs with a good deal of certainty, but we have reported on a few leaks including that the cards will have 2 GB of GDDR5 RAM on a 256 bit memory bus, and that the cards may just be coming out in May. Due to Epic using a working Kepler GPU in their Samaritan demo, that launch date does not sound too far fetched either. On the performance front, there are conflicting rumors; some rumors state that the cards will blow AMD out of the water and other people swear the cards will not be as powerful as the rumors suggest. I suppose we'll find out soon though!
Are you still waiting for NVIDIA's Kepler GPUs or have you jumped on the latest Radeon series?
Subject: General Tech | March 7, 2012 - 01:30 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: sales, record, pcga, PC, gaming
In two surprising bits of news, the PC gaming alliance is not only still alive and kicking, but their recent report indicates that the PC games industry saw record sales numbers in 2011. The consortium reported that worldwide PC game sales hit $18.6 billion last year, a year over year increased of 15%. The initial numbers definitely seem to suggest that PC gaming is nowhere near dead.
The PCGA states that the rise in sales is due to increases in the Chinese PC games market and the rise in popularity of Free-to-Play games like TF2, Star Trek: Online, League of Legends, and World of Warcraft (which has a free component), and many others. The integration of some of the most popular Free to Play games into Valve's Steam store certainly didn't hurt either!
Further, the release of several big hit titles including Battlefield 3, Skyrim, Saints Row: The Third, and Portal 2, and Deus Ex: Human Revolution (my pick for PC Per Game of the Year) all contributed to the record sales numbers on the PC. According to the article, Asian publisher Tencent launched League of Legends and is now bringing in 11 million players (though it's likely that not all of those players are active and/or spend money on the service) and will be surpassing Activision as the company making the most money off of PC games. Zynga, the company behind many of the
annoying time sinks popular Facebook games, continued to rake in a boatload of money with 2011 revenue of $1.1 billion.
Not only did the PC gaming alliance report these positive numbers for 2011, but they predict that the PC games industry will continue to grow. As digital distribution systems catch on and broadband connections continue to improve and spread into new areas (though Verizon and AT&T aren't helping matters by stopping further roll outs of FIOS and Uverse), the PCGA predicts that the industry will grow to $25.5 billion, which would be a 37% rise in four years. If the growth rate continues in Asian markets and publishers continue to back down from DRM in favor of producing more titles that people want to buy, their predicted growth is certainly achievable. More information on the PCGA report can be found here along with the full press release here(PDF).
Subject: General Tech | February 29, 2012 - 09:53 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: gaming, business, blizzard
Blizzard recently announced that they analyzed their current business needs and have decided to perform a global reduction of their workforce to streamline operations. The bad news upfront is that this reduction in workforce entails the company letting go approximately 600 employees worldwide. They have stated that the majority of departments being cut are not related to the game development divisions
More specifically, they stated that 90% of the employee reductions will be from departments not related to game development. Also, they noted that the World of Warcraft (WoW) development team "will not be impacted." Blizzard believes that the cuts were a necessary part of decisions relating to a company with changing needs in an ever evolving industry. CEO and co-founder Mike Morhaime, stated that they are proud of the contributions those effected by the announcement have made for Blizzard and they "wish them well as they move forward."
Job cuts are never an easy decision, especially for the employees. I wish them all the best of luck in continuing their careers and other future endeavors.
Subject: General Tech | February 29, 2012 - 12:20 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: ea, gaming, syndicate, co-op
If Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN makes allusions to a My Little Pony game being more like Syndicate than the new FPS version recently released then you know there is a problem. The single player has changed from a top down view of a living city in which you go about nefariously manipulating circumstances to put your Syndicate at the top of the pile you are now a grunt running and gunning and fighting boss battles. The review was not entirely negative once they tried the co-op mode which allows up to four friends to take on the AI on maps which are won by fulfilling mission objectives as well as slaughtering your opponents. Bonus points for basing these maps on themes recognizable from the original versions of the game.
"They’re not entirely wrong, though it depends on the My Little Pony game. If it was squad-based game set in large, civilian-packed environments and documented a turf war between Ponies (presumably fought by throwing berries at each other or offering stern lessons on treating people nicely), it would certainly be a lot more like Syndicate than a first-person shooter with gigantic guns, infuriating boss fights, an underbaked psychic-hacking mechanic and a plot cobbled unegagingly together from over-familiar bits of The Bourne Identity, The Matrix, Robocop and Half-Life 2."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Diablo III: 20 Minutes of Game Play @ [H]ard|OCP
- Syndicate (PC) Game Review @ HardwareHeaven
- Syndicate @ Kitguru
- The Darkness II @ HardwareHeaven
- Darkness II @ Kitguru
- Bridge Constructor PC Review @ eTeknix
- Waving A Flag For Turn-Based Combat: The Banner Saga @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Die Nasty: Bigpoint’s A Game Of Thrones MMO @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Cloud Gaming: Microsoft Flight Is Out Today, Free @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- My first few hours with the PlayStation Vita
- FIFA Football (PS Vita) Game Review @ HardwareHeaven
- SEGA Virtua Tennis 4 World Tour Edition (PS Vita) Review @ HardwareHeave
- Uncharted: Golden Abyss (U:GA) PlayStation Vita @ Tweaktown
- Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 (PS Vita) Game Review @ HardwareHeaven