GameStop pulls Deus Ex: Human Revolution From Shelves

Subject: General Tech | August 25, 2011 - 02:06 PM |
Tagged: PC, gaming, deus ex 3

Yesterday the news broke that GameStop had opened new copies of Deus Ex: Human Revolution PC games, and removed OnLive coupons before selling the games as new. Today, Ars Technica reports that the brick and mortar game retailer has responded to the backlash by taking their ball and going home (as the expression goes) by pulling all copies of Deus Ex: Human Revolution from store shelves.

According to a screenshot of an email posted by GameLife (shown below), GameStop has sent out an email to employees to pull all Regular PC Edition of Deus EX: Human Revolution, and place them in storage to be returned to the vendor in the future. The company further stated that the reason for pulling the copies of the game is due to the included OnLive coupon competing with their own Spawn Labs Gaming Division. “We are returning all copies of the PC regular edition to the vendor in agreement with Square Enix.”

Fortunately, any customers who had the game reserved will still be able to purchase the game if they still wished to. Returns of the game will also be honored for those with a receipt.

deus-ex-update-660x495.jpg

While this move has been supported (publicly) by Square Enix, it is sure to only further enrage customers, and result in bad PR. The issue for most customers is not the removal of the free OnLive coupon included in the package in and of itself, but the fact that GameStop represented these games and new and unopened to customers. When customers found out that their new games, which they paid a new premium price for, were actually opened (and had materials removed) prior to them purchasing them many were understandably displeased over the mis-communication.

While pulling all copies is well within the companies right, as is removing the coupons (so long as the games are not then advertised and sold as new and unopened) it is not going to help calm the waters. It is hardly my place to suggest to the company how they conduct opertions; however, as a consumer I feel that they should know their practice and recent reactions are a bit unnvering.  Do you think GameStop is handling the situation correctly? What would you like to see the company do to assuage its customers?

Source: Ars Technica

AMD Names Rory P. Read President and CEO

Subject: General Tech | August 25, 2011 - 12:14 PM |
Tagged:

After 8 months without a CEO, AMD has finally made a choice and allowed Thomas Seifert to step back into the role of Senior VP and CFO, which he has stated was his preferred role in the company.  The new CEO is Rory Read, who comes from the role of COO and President of Lenovo, the company made famous by taking over IBM's hardware business at the end of 1994 for $1.75 billion.   Rory presided over Lenovo for the past year and was with the company in other roles for a period of 5 years, following a 23 year career at IBM.  The 2009-2010 year for Lenovo has seen growth that took them to acquire their largest share of the PC market ever, a fact which should reassure anyone worried about his management abilities.

Lenovo is an odd beast, with their teeth further into the design process than some of their competitors.  Those familiar with ThinkPads may have encountered the pricing of replacement parts, as in some cases a generic part will not fit.  The same goes for ThinkCenters and their obnoxiously proprietary PSUs.  That does not mean that he will bring that type of philosophy with him to AMD; it belongs to a system retailer not a hardware manufacturer.  Instead try and focus on the fact that while running a company that is targeted at a niche market, he shoved the competition to the side and took his company further than it ever had been.

Also, some guy in a turtleneck side stepped from CEO to chairman.

RR_photo_hires.jpeg

"SUNNYVALE, CA, Aug 25, 2011 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) -- AMD (NYSE: AMD) announced that its Board of Directors has appointed Rory P. Read, 49, President and Chief Executive Officer of AMD, effective today. Mr. Read has also been appointed to the Company's board of directors.

Read joins AMD from Lenovo Group, Ltd., where he was most recently President and Chief Operating Officer responsible for leading day-to-day global operations while overseeing the development and implementation of the company's growth strategy."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: AMD

AntiBumpday 8/24/2011: Party collapsed from low HP?

Subject: General Tech | August 25, 2011 - 02:32 AM |
Tagged: bumpday

Last week we saw HP announce the end of the WebOS hardware development during their end-of-quarter investor conference call. Last week also saw the most ridiculous bump, so old that names on the forum even fail to be recognized. There is only one way to cancel a division by zero: let us push it to the limit with the world’s shortest bumpday!

Bumpday2.png

Palm, point on the dolphin where HP Touchpad you.

Less than a week ago, discussion about HP’s future was pushed to our forums from a source that was not us.  We will overlook the short-sightedness, of course, as they were no doubt too busy short-selling HP stock. For those shareholders unlucky enough to ride the wave they ended up more washed-up than HP has been in the last 6 years. We shall ignore the cross-Atlantic cruise missiles and end with the hope of a new Destruction Derby or Wipeout game on the PC. Mmm -- nostalgia.

Source: PCPer Forums

Deus Ex gives beautiful performance on cards costing less than $250

Subject: General Tech | August 24, 2011 - 12:24 PM |
Tagged: gaming, deus ex

[H]ard|OCP received a preview of Deus Ex and we at PC Perspective might be jealous but we will still give a nod to them for putting together a preview of the performance you can expect.  Using a base of an ASUS P6T6 WS Revolution, a Core i7 920 overclocked to 3.6GHz, and 6GB of Corsair DDR3-1600, they tested a GTX 580 and GTX 570 and an HD 6970 and HD 6950.  The good news is that even the unmodded HD 6950 could play at an average above 30fps with every option at maximum at a resolution of 2560x1600, AMD's cards using MLAA and NVIDIA utilizing FXAA.  That is great news for those with a single monitor and single GPU setup, but Deus Ex is able to accept up to 5 monitors in EyeFinity or NVIDIA Surround which means you did not waste your money.

See what happens when you don't render tessellated water underground and turn concrete barriers into works of art Crytek?

H_Quality.png

"We secured an advance copy of Deus Ex: Human Revolution so that we could show our readers how the game will perform when it launches later today. We've given it a quick once-over with four different video cards. We have a full run-down of the game coming after it officially launches, but this is here to whet your appetites now!"

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Gaming

Source: [H]ard|OCP

We now know about NVIDIA's New Years presents

Subject: General Tech | August 24, 2011 - 11:09 AM |
Tagged: nvidia, fermi, kepler, leak

There is good news and bad news out of SemiAccurate about NVIDIA today.  The bad news is that the chips are all Fermi, they have simply been shrunk to 28nm from 40nm.  That makes the idea of mobile variants arriving first very probable with the respectably low TDP shown on the leaked chart.  There at the bottom, in the row with the most question marks are the higher powered chips.   The good news is that the list is incomplete, there is more in store for consumers in the same time frame.  They will likely be 40nm but they will definitely not be Kepler chips.

semiacc_Nvidia_mobile_GPUs.png

"What does Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) have coming up for the post-Christmas GPU line? You have heard a lot about the 28nm parts, and here is what you will be seeing.

The short story is this, Nvidia is putting out a bunch of Fermi shrinks on 28nm, and you will likely see the mobile variants first. They are as follows, with some information a bit blurred to protect the exact sub-species of mole involved."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: SemiAccurate

Crytek releases an epic competitor to UDK, CryENGINE 3 Free

Subject: General Tech | August 24, 2011 - 02:36 AM |
Tagged: crysis, CryENGINE 3, crytek, epic, udk, unreal, sdk

There exists a common thought that developing a game is a relaxed experience involving playing all day. Creating games is really a difficult experience; the majority of entry-level jobs consist of creating trees and rocks for the latest Nickelodeon or Disney movie tie-in for 80-hour weeks on end. While there exist some levels of exceptions to that rule and some people who do not mind that lifestyle there is quite a bit of churn in the industry as people simply burn out. Outside the typical distribution chains there exists the independent movement similar to that seen in the 90’s where smaller companies can publish with a much lower overhead now thanks in majority to the internet. For those who wish to develop their own smaller titles there exists many options with Crytek adding one more to the ring; CryENGINE 3 has gone free for non-commercial use with royalty options for commercial applications.

crymod.png

The little engine that cryed is getting the royaltyment

CryENGINE 3, like the UDK, does not include native source code access (full game-code access though) which is to be expected from a modern commercial engine: there are likely quite a few sections of the source code that Crytek cannot legally release to the public because it was written by other individuals and companies. Also as should be expected from an engine like this, regular updates are promised including an update to allow the same DirectX 11 features as was recently patched into Crysis 2 to make your jersey barriers look stunningly lifelike.

Source: CryDev

The Sharkoon glides again

Subject: General Tech | August 23, 2011 - 12:56 PM |
Tagged: mouse, sharkoon, input, fireglider

Once you get over the name, the Sharkoon Fireglider turns out to be a decent mouse.  7 buttons of which 6 are programmable, 6 DPI settings with a colour indicator and weight which is adjustable all put it in the same league as other gaming mice.  XS Reviews found the mouse comfortable to use and the software to be easy to figure out as well.  See the review in full here.

XS_sharkoon.jpg

"The Sharkoon Fireglider is the most tragically whimsical name I’ve ever heard a mouse being given. When your friends ask you, “So, what mouse are you using?”, the answer “Sharkoon Fireglider” is not one you can give with a straight face. Don’t bring up its slogan either, “Procure the best advantage possible with the SHARKOON FireGlider!” That’s right, “procure” it."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: XSReviews

Be careful the next time you hit Download.com

Subject: General Tech | August 23, 2011 - 11:28 AM |
Tagged: freeware, bloatware, download

In a move similar to the one that made Adobe so popular, Download.com no longer lets you just download your desired file, instead you must first install their downloader software.  Download.com and Cnet are no longer as popular as they once were, but were still a good repository for freeware and trialware.  Now you need to install their software to get at the programs you want and it is even better than you might think, you will get the software you want as well as a brand new toolbar and changes to your home page and default search engine.  Thankfully it is opt out, but for many people who are not paying attention, installing the next piece of software from Cnet will also involve uninstalling a toolbar and switching your browsers defaults back to what you chose for yourself.  The only good news is that programs won't get the wrapper until the next time the version is updated.  Catch the reaction at Slashdot.

rage-face.jpg

"At Download.com, page designs have been repeatedly tweaked over the years to push its updater software (now called TechTracker), TrialPay offers, and the site's mailing list. Bothersome, perhaps, but certainly not inexcusable. They've got to make money off the site somehow, after all, and banner ads don't always do the job. Now, things have taken a turn for the worse: Cnet has begun wrapping downloads in its own proprietary installer. Not only will this cause the reputation of free, legitimate software to be tarred by Cnet's bloatware toolbars, homepage changes, and new default search engines — but Cnet is even claiming that their installer wrapping is 'for the users.'"

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: Slashdot

Will Windows 8 be for the tablet or the ultrabook?

Subject: General Tech | August 22, 2011 - 11:56 AM |
Tagged: ultrabook, tablet, windows 8, microsoft, Intel

Two contrasting opinions appeared this morning on the internet, concerned with not only the future of mobile computing in a possibly post-PC market but also touching on the impact Microsoft's Windows 8 could have on that choice.  DigiTimes has a report from Wistron, an original design manufacturer based in Taiwan, which is concerned with the ultrabook.  They see the coming year as dominated by the contentious ultrabook platform which Intel has been talking up recently.  The company managed US$21.1B in revenue last year, so they are neither a small player nor uninformed about the industry.  That does leave one wondering how they plan on making a profit if the bill of materials is as high as some manufacturers have claimed.  Still, that is where the manufacturer sees Windows 8 making the most difference to the market.

Ars Technica sees a different path for Microsoft to take, one that would be very different from the theory discussed by DigiTimes and very different from anything Microsoft has previously done.  In this article, Ars suggests that the PC market is at a standstill because we have hit a post-PC market thanks to the tablet.  While Microsoft has always considered the tablet to be a PC in a different form factor, Apple and other successful tablet marketers have visualized a completely different model.  While Apple may have taken it to the most extreme, with no visible OS nor even a USB connector so you can transfer files directly from a camera or thumbdrive, nor hook up a wired peripheral.  Other manufacturers have taken a less extreme approach but still hide the OS and have removed associated tasks like driver installation.  That is very different from Microsoft's version of a tablet or phone which runs a trimmed down but still very recognizable OS and tends not to sell very well.

The question becomes one of design incompatibility; if Microsoft wants to release a Windows 8 which emulates the successful tablet OSes of the competition it will have to design something so different from their past OSes that it would be unrecognizable as a PC.  In order to hide the OS and offload applications onto the cloud to make a perfect tablet the design choices would limit the effectiveness of Win8 as a PC OS.  On the flip side, if they choose to design for the Ultrabook, risky in that we still have yet to hear the end of the pricing issues, the OS will be much lighter than previous versions but will still have a recognizable file system, the ability to update or customize drivers and all the other features common to netbooks through laptops.  It will however not be a successful tablet OS, as history has shown with the failures of Microsoft's tablets and phones, some of which died before every being released.

The one thing that they can't do is try to make Windows 8 do both service as a laptop and a tablet OS.  If they go that way, users on both sides of the divide will likely lose as you end up with an OS not customizable enough to do duty on a more powerful notebook or desktop.  As well, it will have an interface which is similar to previous attempts by Microsoft to sell tablets which to this date have all failed against the competition.

windows-8-start-screen.jpg

"The launch of ultrabooks and Microsoft's Windows 8 OS will serve as growth drivers for the notebook industry in 2012, according to Simon Lin, chairman of Taiwan-based notebook ODM Wistron.

Shipments of ultrabooks will account for 10-20% of Wistron's total notebook shipments in 2012, Lin estimated.

 

Despite current economic turbulence touched off by debt issues in Europe and the US, Wistron's target to ship 30 million notebooks in 2011 remains unchanged, said Lin, who added that notebook Wistron's shipments will grow by a single-digit rate sequentially in the third and fourth quarters.

However, the company has slashed its LCD TV shipment target for the year to 8.5 million units, from 10 million units projected previously, while also scaling down the target for mobile devices from 10-12 million units to nine million.

Wistron has reported net profits of NT$4.5 billion (US$154.77 million) for the first half of 2011, down 20.44% from a year earlier. The earnings translated into an EPS of NT$2.28 for the six-month period."

 

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: DigiTimes

Intel returns to upgrade cards for more of their crippled parts

Subject: General Tech, Processors | August 20, 2011 - 02:34 PM |
Tagged: upgrade, Intel

It has almost been a complete year since Intel decided to sell $50 upgrade cards for their processors. Ryan noted that the cost of upgrade between the two processors was just $15 (at the time) which made the $35 premium over just outright purchasing the higher-end CPU seem quite ludicrous. Whether or not you agree with Intel’s methodology is somewhat irrelevant to Intel however as they have relaunched and expanded their initiative to include three SKUs.

intelupgrade.jpg

DLCpu: Cash for cache!

Ryan was deliberately trying to pose the issue in question-form because it really is business as usual when it comes to hardware companies to artificially lock down higher SKUs for a lower price-point. The one thing he did not mention was that this upgrade seems to be designed primarily for processors included in the purchase of a retail PC where the user might not have had the choice of which processor to include.

As for this upgrade cycle there are three processors that qualify for the upgrade: the Pentium G622 can be upgraded to the Pentium G693, receiving a clock-rate boost; the Core i3-2102 can be upgraded to the Core i3-2153, receiving a clock-rate boost; the Core i3-2312M can be upgraded to the Core i3-2393M, receiving both a clock-rate boost as well as extra unlocked cache. There is no word on if each SKU would have its own upgrade card or even the cost of upgrading apart from the nebulous “affordable”. Performance is expected to increase approximately 10-25% depending on which part you upgrade and what task is being pushed upon it, the Pentium seeing the largest boost due to this unlock.

Do you agree with this initiative?

Source: Intel