The tides are turning. Over the last few years, the technology industry sung with praises and predictions on virtual reality. The past year, however, tides have begun to shift. While VR remains prohibitively expensive and still wanting in the kind of experiences gamers crave, Augmented Reality is becoming the head-mounted hope for mainstream saturation.
Today, we’re taking a look at one of the first major consumer AR products with Lenovo Star Wars: Jedi Challenges. The set marries exciting technology with exciting IP, but is it enough to justify the $199 MSRP?
MSRP: $199.99 ($169.99 on Amazon as of this writing)
- Dimensions: 315.5mm x 47.2mm
- Weight: 275g
- Buttons: Power, Activation Matrix, Control Button
- Battery: Micro-USB Rechargable
Lenovo Mirage AR Headset
- Dimensions: 209.2mm x 83.4mm x 154.8mm
- Weight: 477g
- Buttons: Select, Cancel, Menu
- Camera: Dual motion tracking cameras
- Battery: Micro-USB Rechargable
- Dimensions: 94.1mm x 76.7mm
- Weight: 117g
- Buttons: Power/color switch
- AA batteries (x2) required
- Connection: Bluetooth connection to phone
- Languages: English, German, Japanese, French, Spanish
The set comes in a large box that doubles as a storage container when the headset and isn’t in use. Everything is nicely packaged, but especially the lightsaber which rests in a nice foam cut-out just under the top half of the box. The unboxing experience is befittingly premium for a product such as this.
The attention to detail on the lightsaber is impressive. It’s a loving recreation of Luke’s lightsaber from A New Hope. The top illuminates white or blue to indicate when it’s paired with your phone. In-game, pressing the side buttons causes the blade to rise up with the iconic sound effect; if you’re a Star Wars fan, it’s beyond neat.
Subject: Graphics Cards | November 17, 2017 - 02:08 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: titan xp, Star Wars, nvidia, jedi order, jedi, geforce, galactic empire, empire
NVIDIA has a coup on its hands this holiday. With the release of Battlefront II today and The Last Jedi next month, a new series of Titan Xp cards is available that will make Star Wars fans giggle with excitement! This is the same Titan Xp performance we expect but with a completely new external design and style, available in both a red-themed Galactic Empire version and a green-themed Jedi Order option.
Check out the video above for the unboxing and my thoughts as I swoon over them...
If you want some more pictures of the goods, I have them here as well.
Do note - though it's hard to recommend a $1200 graphics card to many people, these cards almost seem like a steal considering they are priced at the same cost as the standard Titan Xp models. I know that the price for these custom shrouds in short runs was not cheap, so its almost like NVIDIA is giving Star Wars that double as PC enthusiasts a little gift for the holidays.
Okay, that might be a stretch... But come on, look how awesome these graphics cards look!!
We are working up a full system build (time for my personal upgrade!) with these two GPUs and will have a build log of that up before Christmas. Don't worry, we plan on properly presenting this hardware through an all-glass chassis!
Subject: General Tech | November 17, 2017 - 12:56 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Star Wars, Special Edition Yoga 920, Lenovo, Kaby Lake R
The specifications of the Star Wars Special Edition Yoga 920 are good but that is obviously not why most will purchase it, or the new Titan Xp for that matter. Inside is a Kaby Lake R Core i7-8550U, 16GB of DDR4-2400 and 512 GB PCIe M.2 SSD, but it is of course what is etched on the Gorilla Glass exterior that counts. According to TechARP it will be released soon in Malaysia this December, hopefully soon to arrive in North America as well. There is a premium to be able to use the Force however, the current price is a bit over $2000.
"The Star Wars Special Edition Yoga 920 will be available in two designs - one for the Galactic Empire, and one for the Rebel Alliance!"
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- HTC prepares Ultra HD VR HMD for 2018 @ DigiTimes
- Intel unveils new modems in bid to fuel 5G adoption @ The Inquirer
- Intel-Micron scrap the summer diet, enlarge 3D XPoint mem DIMM fab @ The Register
- iOS 11 'Is Still Just Buggy as Hell' @ Slashdot
- Intel drags Xeon Phi Knights Hill chips out back... two shots heard @ The Register
- Secretlab Titan Chair @ TechPowerUp
Subject: Graphics Cards | November 7, 2017 - 02:04 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Star Wars, nvidia, titan xp, disney
Priced at $1200, you can choose to power your gaming rig with either the light side of the Force or the dark side. NVIDIA have announced two new Titan Xp GPUs, one battle scarred and lightsaber green representing the Rebel Alliance and a pristine black card which glows a familiar red. It would seem that they are a bit behind the times as neither of those organizations exist in the current Star Wars timeline but that doesn't make them any less attractive to fans.
The specifications are familiar, a Pascal-based GP102 GPU, with 3840 CUDA cores @ 1.6GHz, and 12GB of GDDR5X memory running at 11.4Gbps. The look is very unique however, so if you are a big fan of Star Wars then this might just be something you want to consider. The full PR and launch movie are just below.
Tatooine, Outer Rim Territory—NVIDIA has announced two new collector’s edition NVIDIA TITAN Xp GPUs created for the ultimate Star Wars fan. The new Jedi Order™ and Galactic Empire™ editions of the NVIDIA TITAN Xp have been crafted to reflect the look and feel of the Star Wars galaxy.
These new Star Wars collector’s edition GPUs pay homage to the light side/dark side dichotomy, and contain hints of the Star Wars galaxy, such as the hilt of Luke Skywalker's lightsaber and light panels reminiscent of the Death Star.
The Jedi Order GPU simulates the wear and tear and battle-worn finish of many items used by the Rebel Alliance, resulting from its diecast aluminum cover being subjected to an extensive, corrosive salt spray.
Conversely, the Galactic Empire GPU’s finish features simple, clean lines, emulating the high-end, orderly nature of the resource-rich Empire.
Both versions have multiple windowed areas to showcase internals and lighting, evoking each faction’s lightsabers, green and red, respectively. The finishes of both versions took over a year to perfect.
The retail box packaging also pays homage to the light and dark sides of the Force, with the Jedi Order edition bathed in white, and the Galactic Empire edition bathed in black.
Exclusive Pre-Order Access for GeForce Experience Users
GeForce Experience users get exclusive pre-order access to purchase(1) the Jedi Order and Galactic Empire TITAN Xp editions before the cards are broadly available in mid-November. Starting tomorrow, GeForce Experience users can purchase one card of each design by using their log-in credentials in the NVIDIA store.
Power! Unlimited Power!
The Jedi Order and Galactic Empire TITAN Xp GPUs use the NVIDIA Pascal-based GP102 GPU, each with 3,840 CUDA cores running at 1.6GHz and 12GB of GDDR5X memory running at 11.4Gbps.
Their staggering 12TFLOPs of processing power under the hood allows Star Wars fans to play any of today’s most cutting-edge titles at the highest resolution with the highest detail quality turned on.
Priced at $1,200, each edition also includes a collectible electroformed metal badge containing the insignia of their preferred alliance.
Subject: General Tech | November 1, 2017 - 03:28 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Star Wars, visceral, ea, gaming, Ragtag
EA revealed something which those of us who follow the industry have known for sometime; they are not in the business of selling games, instead they offer 'games as a service'. What that translates into is a business model that has no interest in selling a game that they cannot continue to milk income from for a long time after its release. This specifically impacts single player games, as one cannot attempt to turn them into the next big eSports title and not many people are willing to shell out extra cash for horse armour. That attitude created an incredibly unfriendly work environment and lead to issues with employee retention as well as resources for the development of the game. EA responded to Kotaku, who researched the fall of Ragtag and Visceral with a statement containing absolutely nothing, which you can read here.
This is an example of the changing attitude of several large game development companies, who are not satisfied with the income from a games release nor additional income from DLC and who instead want every game they release to be a permanent source of income. How exactly one is supposed to have the time to play one game for as long envision so and to keep purchasing new releases which are also intended to be continually played is unclear.
Thankfully there are holdouts such as Paradox and Creative Assembly who find ways to extend the life of older games and make money at it; without the expectation that you buy a new game, along with DLC and add-ons every single year as well as continue to play last years model.
"The demos weren’t enough. Former Visceral employees don’t know when EA made the decision to shut down their studio, but on October 17, 2017, it became official. Visceral, which employed around 80 people, was no more."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Steam introduces digital gift cards and a lot of hassle @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Halloween sale ends soon! Now with 300+ deals up to -90% • Get a FREE game when you spend 15 USD @ GOG
- Old Battlefield games re-killed after EA’s legal warning @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Super Mario Odyssey review: Mario’s densest, deepest adventure yet @ Ars Technica
- I love Kingdom Come: Deliverance’s skill trees @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Humble Jumbo Bundle
- Spelunky 2 is happening @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds ‘on track’ for v1.0 release in Dec @ HEXUS
- A Look At GPU Performance In Destiny 2: 1080p, 1440p, Ultrawide & 4K @ Techgage
- Wot I Think: Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
Subject: General Tech | October 4, 2017 - 02:06 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: gaming, Star Wars, Star Wars Battlefront 2, gamespy
We lost access to the original Star Wars Battlefront 2 back in 2014 when Gamespy's servers were shut down but thanks to a dedicated group of fans and support from Disney the game is once again playable. There are some issues currently, from servers not responding to deadly lag but there is a team working to resolve the issues. From the trailer released earlier this week, linked below, we can see that the new version about to be released is nowhere near as disappointing as the reboot of 2015. There will be far more maps, vehicle and heroes in the new game but we have yet to see if it will match the fun that was the original. Hopefully it will, but it won't match the current price of $4 on GoG.
"Battlefront 2's online relaunch doesn't seem to be going entirely smoothly for everyone, though. The game's Steam forums are currently clogged with threads such as Online is back but I can t [sic] play it, Can't join any servers, Multiplayer crashing and Insane server lag."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- EA shares lengthy Star Wars Battlefront II trailer @ HEXUS
- How hitting a game cartridge unlocks gaming’s weirdest Easter egg @ Ars Technica
- Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization announced @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Cuphead is the prettiest game to make you throw your controller @ Ars Technica
- Red Dead Redemption 2 trailer introduces its cowboy @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Humble Stardock Bundle
- Dawn of War 3 removes Skulls, unlocks doctrines & elites @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Project CARS 2 PC & VR performance evaluation – the Red vs. the Green Team @ BabelTechReviews
- Battlestar Galactic Deadlock is the sci-fi strategy game I’d have killed for in 2005 @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Vintage spaceship FPS-RTS Allegiance free on Steam @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
Subject: Mobile | August 31, 2017 - 03:30 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: Yoga 920, Yoga 720, yoga, watchband, Star Wars, notebook, Lenovo, laptop, ips, Gorilla Glass, digitizer, Active Pen 2, 4k, 2-in-1
The Yoga 920 is Lenovo’s new “flagship consumer 2-in-1”, and features 8th-generation quad-core processor and a big emphasis on voice control with what Lenovo describes as “far-field microphones for Cortana which will recognizes voice commands in standby mode and from up to 4 meters away”.
There is also optional digitizer/pen capability with the Yoga 920, featuring Lenovo’s Active Pen 2:
“In the case of the Yoga 920, an optional Lenovo Active Pen 2 with 4,096 levels of pen sensitivity dramatically expands the creative and cross-application potential of the PC. Offering pen-on-paper precision designed to give you no discernible lag, the Lenovo Active Pen 2 with Windows Ink lets you sketch and paint original schematics or annotate existing graphics and documents on the fly. Working on a presentation? Use the pen’s shortcut button to open and check email for any last-minute contributions from the team, sketch them into the presentation, add some color and annotations, then send – all without setting down the pen.”
The display is ‘nearly bezel-less’ and offers a 13.9-inch 4K IPS panel. The familiar ‘watchband’ hinge is back for this new model, and the machine is quite thin at 13.95 mm (0.55 inches), weighing in at 3.02 lbs.
Special Star Wars designs are also going to be available with the Yoga 920, as Lenovo explains:
“We are particularly excited to bring to customers limited edition Gorilla Glass cover designs: Yoga 920 Vibes, Star Wars Special Edition Yoga 920 Rebel Alliance and Star Wars Special Edition Yoga 920 Galactic Empire.”
The Yoga 720 is a compact 12-inch design which will be offered at a significantly lower price than the 920, and it is also digitizer/pen capable and offers a fingerprint reader as well.
The Yoga 920 will be offered with a starting price of $1329.99, while the Yoga 720 will start at $649.99.
Subject: General Tech | February 7, 2017 - 03:01 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: gaming, Star Wars, humble bundle
Do like Star Wars games, PCPer and Unicef? If so there is a Humble Bundle perfect for you running for the next two weeks. Depending on how much you pay you can get up to 15 games and an X-Wing verus TIE Fighter t-shirt, with a percentage of your purchase helping us to continue to provide the content you love. There is some overlap with previous bundles you may have picked up but for those of you missing KOTOR 1 or 2, The Force Unleashed 1 or 2, Shadows of the Empire or even the second Star Wars Battlefront game it is well worth the cost.
How can you resist that t-shirt?
May the Radeon be with You
In celebration of the release of The Force Awakens as well as the new Star Wars Battlefront game from DICE and EA, AMD sent over some hardware for us to use in a system build, targeted at getting users up and running in Battlefront with impressive quality and performance, but still on a reasonable budget. Pairing up an AMD processor, MSI motherboard, Sapphire GPU with a low cost chassis, SSD and more, the combined system includes a FreeSync monitor for around $1,200.
Holiday breaks are MADE for Star Wars Battlefront
Though the holiday is already here and you'd be hard pressed to build this system in time for it, I have a feeling that quite a few of our readers and viewers will find themselves with some cash and gift certificates in hand, just ITCHING for a place to invest in a new gaming PC.
The video above includes a list of components, the build process (in brief) and shows us getting our gaming on with Star Wars Battlefront. Interested in building a system similar the one above on your own? Here's the hardware breakdown.
|AMD Powered Star Wars Battlefront System|
|Processor||AMD FX-8370 - $197
Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO - $29
|Motherboard||MSI 990FXA Gaming - $137|
|Memory||AMD Radeon Memory DDR3-2400 - $79|
|Graphics Card||Sapphire NITRO Radeon R9 380X - $266|
|Storage||SanDisk Ultra II 240GB SSD - $79|
|Case||Corsair Carbide 300R - $68|
|Power Supply||Seasonic 600 watt 80 Plus - $69|
|Monitor||AOC G2460PF 1920x1080 144Hz FreeSync - $259|
|Total Price||Full System (without monitor) - Amazon.com - $924|
For under $1,000, plus another $250 or so for the AOC FreeSync capable 1080p monitor, you can have a complete gaming rig for your winter break. Let's detail some of the specific components.
AMD sent over the FX-8370 processor for our build, a 4-module / 8-core CPU that runs at 4.0 GHz, more than capable of handling any gaming work load you can toss at it. And if you need to do some transcoding, video work or, heaven forbid, school or productivity work, the FX-8370 has you covered there too.
For the motherboard AMD sent over the MSI 990FXA Gaming board, one of the newer AMD platforms that includes support for USB 3.1 so you'll have a good length of usability for future expansion. The Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO cooler was our selection to keep the FX-8370 running smoothly and 8GB of AMD Radeon DDR3-2133 memory is enough for the system to keep applications and the Windows 10 operating system happy.
Subject: Graphics Cards | November 9, 2015 - 01:44 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: nvidia, geforce, 358.91, fallout 4, Star Wars, battlefront, starcraft, legacy of the void
It's a huge month for PC gaming with the release of Bethesda's Fallout 4 and EA's Star Wars Battlefront likely to take up hours and hours of your (and my) time in the lead up to the holiday season. NVIDIA just passed over links to its latest "Game Ready" driver, version 358.91.
Fallout 4 is going to be impressive graphically
Here's the blurb from NVIDIA directly:
Continuing to fulfill our commitment to GeForce gamers to have them Game Ready for the top Holiday titles, today we released a new Game Ready driver. This Game Ready driver will get GeForce Gamers set-up for tomorrow’s release of Fallout 4, as well as Star Wars Battlefront, StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void. WHQLed and ready for the Fallout wasteland, driver version 358.91 will deliver the best experience for GeForce gamers in some of the holiday’s hottest titles.
Other than learning that NVIDIA considers "WHQLed" to be a verb now, this is good news for PC gamers looking to dive into the world of Fallout or take up arms against the Empire on the day of release. I honestly believe that these kinds of software updates and frequent driver improvements timed to major game releases is one of the biggest advantages that GeForce gamers have over Radeon users; though I hold out hope that the red team will get on the same cadence with one Raja Koduri in charge.