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AMD started shipping the Phenom II X4 earlier this year and will now refresh the lineup with two new processors: the Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition and Phenom II X4 945. Both processors are modestly priced, with the Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition at $245, and the Phenom II X4 945 at $225.
The 955 Black Edition and the 945 are clocked at 3.2GHz and 3.0GHz, respectively. Black Edition processors have unlocked multipliers to make overclocking easier for PC enthusiasts. The processors differ only in clock speed, and have identical specifications otherwise. The Phenom II X4 processors will come with 64K of L1 instruction and 64K of L1 data cache per core (512KB total L1 per processor), 512KB of L2 data cache per core (2MB total L2 per processor), and will also have a shared 6MB L3 cache.
The two new processors are based on AMD's AM3 socket but will also work in most AM2+ motherboards. Because they support both sockets, the processors also support both DDR2 and DDR3 memory, respectively found in AM2+ and AM3 socket based motherboards. Using DDR2 the processors will have 17.1GB/s of memory bandwidth, and using DDR3 the bandwidth jumps up to 21.1GB/s. Older Phenom II X4 processors, like the 940 Black Edition and the 920, use AMD's AM2+ socket.
AMD also bundles the Fusion and Overdrive utilities with the processors. Fusion helps to improve gaming performance by disabling scores of Windows services and slightly overclocking the entire system. AMD's Overdrive utility helps to automatically overclock the system and lets users apply those settings on an application-specific level.
The initial Phenom II X4 processors launched with higher prices than these new processors and proved to be great values. Like the processors before them, the Phenom II X4 955 and 945 will likely make for cheap and easy upgrades for owners of existing AM2+ platforms, while at the same time leaving the door open for an AM3 upgrade later down the road.
There's pricing and then there's egregious pricing. It's plainly obvious to anyone who's ever used a computer that the Xbox 360 120GB Hard Drive upgrade kit could stand to have a better price point. Even the Xbox 360 60GB drive and the 512MB Memory Unit need price makeovers. Other blogs visited the topic almost a year ago, and since then prices have dropped -- just not nearly enough. A quick wander over to Best Buy shows the 120GB kit sitting pretty at $150, the 60GB drive lingers around $100, and the 512MB Memory Unit sits at $50.
Browse over to NewEgg and a conventional 120GB laptop drive now sits in the $45 price range. To be fair we should compare laptop drives with external enclosures to get a closer comparison, and even then we're only up to $70 and the drives are in the 250GB to 320GB range. The 500GB external laptop drives are $110. The pricing delta is even starker when we switch over to flash memory kits. You can easily find 8GB flash drives for $15, and 2GB flash drives go for as little as $5. Assuming we could divide up the 2GB flash drive into four equal parts, we're sitting at $1.25 for 512MB. Microsoft's 512MB Memory Unit costs a meager forty times more than the going rate.
Come on, kicking up the hard drive size to 250GB or 320GB would probably make people happier, and at the same time not add much to the cost of the product. And who knows, if the Memory Unit cost $5 instead of $50, they might actually sell a truckload of them.
Late yesterday Sony announced what was in store for the PS3 in the upcoming version 2.70 firmware update. The new additions mainly deal with a new Text Chat feature. The new feature lets you join up to three different chat rooms at the same time. You'll be able to type to your friends using the on-screen keyboard, the Wireless Keypad, or via a compatible keyboard. Each chat room will support up to sixteen people, and you can stay in them while you play games.
Sony revamped the friends list on the XrossMediaBar to complement the new Text Chat feature. You'll now be able to sort friends by online status and send them files up to 3MB in size.
You'll also be able to backup videos purchased from the PlayStation Store to an external hard drive. In a bid to keep things simple for users, Sony will now allow users to transfer PSP video purchases to the PS3 for playback.
Sony didn't announce a firm date for the update, but we don't imagine it will be too far off.
ed - The update is available now.
OnLive was the hot topic for GDC. The company stirred more than a few pots with claims of HDTV quality gaming on a console that could hide under a DVD. We had the chance to sit down with OnLive's CEO Steve Perlman to get a few more answers about how the service might play out and how it behaves under different sets of conditions. His answers shed more light on how the system will work. Check out the video to see what Perlman has to say about bandwidth concerns, energy usage, the achievements system, spectating, and more.
Head here for the HD stream.
Crytek came to GDC 2009 with a demo of CryENGINE 3. The new engine runs across the PC, Xbox 360 and PS3, in a bid to make development cycles cheaper, better, and faster for themselves as well as their licensees. Additionally, the engine will run on future consoles by using simple internal updates, so developers only have to worry about making the game, not porting it. An updated what you see is what you play (WYSIWYP) toolset allows developers to edit in real time across all three supported platforms. CryENGINE 3 contains numerous updates that developers can take advantage of: destructible environments, cloth simulations, hundreds of light sources, a real time soft particle system, real time dynamic global illumination, motion blur, depth of field, natural lighting, soft shadows, and a whole host of additional features.
We came away quite surprised. The demo we saw was running on the Xbox 360, and honestly, the game looked roughly about as good as Crysis with high quality settings. The environments looked stunning with dynamic light sources coming from every single direction and advanced water effects that reacted to gun fire, explosions, and even incoming rain. We're looking forward to seeing what kinds of games developers build on the console with CryENGINE 3.
Motion-based gaming without controllers is coming - again. We've seen various iterations of the technology, like Eye Toy, over the years but it's never really caught on. Softkinetic thinks they've got the technology nailed to the wall now. They've even had a working version of their equipment running a game at the Colt's stadium in Indianapolis. As one would expect, the game is football related and has the player act as the quarterback. You use one arm to target and the other to throw a football. We got to try out the game and it's remarkably intuitive and reactive. A few seconds in front of the screen had us throwing balls down field. Unfortunately we didn't complete any passes, apparently even the most reactive system can't compensate for a lack of talent.
A 3D camera, that looks like a fancy webcam, records your motions, which then get translated into onscreen movement. By using a 3D camera, Softkinetic is able to accurately position the user in the room. Actions such as walking, jumping, leaning, tilting, running, kicking, punching and more work quite accurately. In a rather impressive looking demo, Softkinetic showed us just how many points of data the system recorded. From our point of view, about the only thing the camera couldn't detect was finger movement. We saw a few test games that involved goal tending in soccer, kicking a ball, and even a Super Mario-esque platformer. At the moment the camera system incurs anywhere between 10 to 15 milliseconds of lag. The delay is noticeable, but Softkinetic stated that once retail units are built the lag should drop considerably.
Softkinetic representatives stated that the system isn't quite ready for retail. They surmise that consumers will probably see it in homes by 2010. Aside from gaming uses, Softkinetic mentioned that the technology works very well for gesture based interaction with TVs, which were demonstrated at this years CES in January.
Motion-based control is coming to the Xbox 360. We initially thought Microsoft would be the first to the table but PDP beat them to the punch. The Gametrak Freedom from PDP will offer wireless motion-based controls using Microsoft's proprietary wireless protocol. The Gametrak uses a 3D ultrasonic transducer and a three axis accelerometer to detect motion. You'll also find a trigger on the under side, as well as the 360's familiar four button configuration and a D-pad.
Unlike Nintendo's solution, which uses one point of detection, the Gametrak uses two sensor bars that sit on opposite sides of the TV. Up to four wireless Gametrak's will work with the sensors. PDP claims that the added sensor in conjunction with the Gametrak's motion sensing technologies give the Gametrak accuracy to within 2mm of movement.
We got to briefly try out the Gametrak Freedom with Squeeballs, a game that PDP will bundle with the controller. Squeeballs is basically a variety/party game like Warioware, with elements of Cooking Mama thrown in for good measure. The controller certainly felt accurate, and we didn't find it overly sensitive. Moving laterally while rotating the controller to twist onscreen objects actually worked without a super jittery feel. PDP says we should expect the controller out in the fall bundled with Squeeballs for about $70 to $75.
PDP will also release the Smart Stylus 1 for the Nintendo DS. The Smart Stylus 1 has the ability to vibrate to indicate explosions among other things. The stylus is wireless and currently uses the GBA port to communicate with the DS. A single AAA battery powers the Smart Stylus 1. PDP is currently in talks with Nintendo to get approval for a DS cartridge version to make the device compatible with the DSi. PDP will bundle the Smart Stylus with a DS version of Squeeballs for $35 this fall. PDP is also hard at work to make the Smart Stylus 2 - a stylus that incorporates vibration, lights, sound and motion sensing capabilities.
OnLive threw the gaming world into a tizzy this last Tuesday, and since then other names started crawling out of the woodwork. In case you haven't heard, OnLive just announced a subscription-based streaming games service. The company claims that by using either a web plugin, or their MicroConsole, you will be able to run the newest PC games at HDTV resolutions with no downloads, and all on the most pathetic of computer hardware. We have a detailed look at the service in our feature over here .
If that wasn't astounding enough, David Perry of Acclaim (formerly of Shiny Entertainment) runs out and says me too! His company, an outfit by the name of GaiKai, just popped into public existence. Apparently he was planning on holding out until E3. Gaikai offers a similar service, except without the MicroConsole aspect that OnLive has(or at least until Perry says they have a little box as well). GaiKai calls their service Streaming Worlds and it only requires a web browser with Flash installed.
Then, we spoke with Jules Urbach, CEO of OTOY and Lightwave. His company basically offers up cloud computing (the technology behind these services) to the highest bidder. This essentially makes them a mercenary computing outfit of sorts, that has the side benefit of being able to stream games as well. In our conversation with him, he stated that his company is in talks with publishers and a whole host of other outfits that want to use the service.
If you're confused, you're not alone. All of these companies have a ways to go before we see them at a consumer level. There's a million questions out there and few answers to go with them. Now I'm just waiting for Valve to announce that Steam will henceforth be known as Stream. We've still got one more day - it could happen.
Laptops recently overtook desktops in overall sales. The trend has been pointing in that direction a long time, but the tide finally shifted. All the companies see the writing on the wall and respond accordingly. Nvidia's doing its part by releasing three new mobile graphics chips - the GeForce GTX 280M, GeForce GTX 260M, and GeForce GTS 160M. The company kept things simple in the nomenclature department, but I'm sure if we wait a few months we'll see the usual slurry of GT, GS, and G monikers.
Built on a 55nm process, the new chips share many of the same features as the company's flagship desktop GPU, the GeForce 280 GTX. Once on a mobile platform the chips have to be pared down considerably due to power and heat constraints. The GeForce 280M, 260M, and 160M each have 128, 112, and 64 cores respectively. By comparison the flagship GeForce 280 GTX found on the desktop has 240 cores. Each of the mobile chips has 1GB of GDDR3 RAM. According to Nvidia, the new mobile chips should outperform the prior generation of mobile chips by 20 to 60 percent depending upon the game. On a performance per watt basis, the new chips provide a 20 to 30 percent improvement over the prior generation.
Good ol' Major Nelson has a public service announcement up regarding Microsoft's Windows Live ID and Gamertag dormancy/cancellation policies. The post reads like a problem off of the LSAT - lots of contingencies, and interrelated account policies that sound confusing. Here's the original text:
In the rare case that you DO NOT sign in to Xbox.com or another website that uses Windows LIVE ID (like Hotmail) it is possible that your Windows LIVE ID expires (goes dormant.) An Xbox LIVE Gamertag is unrecoverable from the system only when the associated Windows Live ID has become dormant and the Gamertag has been deleted from all Xbox 360 consoles.
Members with dormant Windows Live IDs can continue to enjoy the benefits of their Xbox LIVE Gamertags on their Xbox 360 consoles, including earning Achievements; however, they will not be able to use their expired Windows Live IDs for activities such as account management on Xbox.com.
It is important to note that an Xbox LIVE Gamertag is unrecoverable from the system only when the associated Windows Live ID has become dormant and the Gamertag has been deleted from all Xbox 360 consoles.
What you can do to prevent having any problems:
We recommend that people log into their Windows Live ID on Xbox.com or Xbox LIVE Marketplace on the Web at least once every four months.
What we're doing:
We are actively working on an update that will allow you to link your Gamertag to a new Windows Live ID if one becomes dormant.Our translation - Your Xbox Live Gamertag is safe unless you delete it from your console. Don't worry about logging in every month or so to keep it active. Nothing will happen to it. The Windows Live ID, on the other hand, suffers from the Hotmail affliction. Use it or lose it. Log in at least once every four months to keep Microsoft happy. In the case that you've tied your Windows Live ID to your Gamertag and let the Windows Live ID go dormant, you won't be able to do any online account management or tie your Gamertag to a new Windows Live ID. Microsoft is addressing that last bit as we speak. That should be it, unless we missed a point in there. Carry on.
The Nintendo DSi will finally hit American soil. Japan got to play with the DSi last November and they've been gobbling it up since. The DSi marks the third incarnation of the DS, and probably the most drastic change to date. Nintendo's upcoming handheld system includes new hardware functionality, new software, and an updated menu system, in addition to several physical design changes. We detailed the upgrades and changes in a feature during the Japanese launch. Expect to find blue and black colored DSi's in stores on April 5th with an MSRP $169.99.
Nintendo representatives recently showed up to trot out the US version of the DSi. It's basically identical to the Japanese version except it has an English menu system. Unlike the last time around, we could actually read and explore the menu and options. In particular, we got a better look at the main menu, camera, and sound options.
Nintendo went well out of its way to make the dual camera system interesting to use. Using either the internal or external camera, you can take pictures and manipulate them on the fly using ten different software based lenses with options like: distort, mirror, color swap, frame and more. We actually had a decent bit of fun fiddling with live shots by pulling noses out like Pinnochio or enlarging eyes like anime characters. A built-in slide show feature lets you display your shots, and you have the option of moving the shots off the DSi via the SD card. Picture files will save as the ubiquitous jpg format and should be accessible by all computers.
The DSi's mirror lens lets you take kaleidoscopic pictures. Hippy time!
Bland looking fruit is considerably more satisfying. When we played around with the color swap setting, we found it worked well on strong colors like bright green or red.
Satisfy those furry urges by using the mischief lens. You might remember that my counterpart James Yu took pictures of himself in a similar getup for our previous DSi feature. He liked the look so much he comes to work with whiskers on daily basis.
The sound recorder function lets you record up to 18 ten-second clips, and lets you play around with them using a stylus. Moving up and down the colored arrows lets you raise and lower the pitch. Traveling along the horizontal axis slows down and speeds up the playback. You can also loop the sound and A-B loop a specific part of it.
A separate section of the audio program lets you modify sounds with filters that make you sound like you've sucked the helium out of a balloon, turned into a parrot, or stood in front of a fan. Each one of the options has multiple underlying settings you can choose from. We found the options easy to navigate and entertaining to use.
The DSi also includes support for music playback, although you can only use AAC files(you'll have to convert MP3s). The top screen has a few audio visualizers you can choose from, and the bottom half gives you the option to tweak playback using a variety of filters. Like the sound clips, you can also speed up, slow down, and raise and lower the pitch. Music playback works with the console shut closed, but you'll need to have a headset plugged in, otherwise the DSi goes to sleep.
The DSi's new menu system considerably improves upon the original. By default you'll boot into the menu screen, from there you'll initially be able to choose between Settings, DS card, Camera, Music, DSiShop, Network, and PictoChat. More icons will appear once you pop in games or download applications from the DSiShop. You can also rearrange the layout by dragging around the icons with the stylus. For all those folks that forget to recharge their consoles - you'll also be able to change brightness settings to increase battery life without having to reset the console anymore.
The new DSi costs a bit more than the DS Lite, but it certainly comes with its fair share of new features. Nintendo also mentioned that we should be on the lookout for even more features as we get closer to the console's launch.
Razer products have style. Starting with the Boomslang from years ago, the company always kept an eye on form, presentation, and functionality. The Mako 2.1 speaker system doesn't veer away from the company's roots in the least. Like other Razer products, the Mako has looks to kill and sound quality to match. Priced at $399, the Mako doesn't exactly sit alongside budget computer speaker setups, but it more than justifies the price tag.
Simple, refined, and understated the Mako satellites sit easily on your desk, happy not to make a nuisance of themselves. The two matte-black, bowl-shaped speakers sit low enough to plunk down directly underneath an LCD should space be a concern. The downward firing design of the satellites makes them great for desks. By using a table to reflect off of, the sound becomes more diffuse, which makes it harder to obfuscate. Consequently you get a fuller sound across the room rather than just directly in front of you.The subwoofer looks like a large black mushroom on the floor, acting as the central point for all connections as well as the source of bass.
Unlike most speakers, you won't find binding posts on the backs of these speakers. A simple CAT5 connector replaces the archaic red and black screw posts. Setup is pretty much foolproof when you don't have to worry about wire polarity anymore. That goes doubly so for a bi-amped setup like the Mako. Separate amplifiers located in the subwoofer power the tweeter and woofer of each speaker. By using discrete amplifiers for each speaker component Razer ensured accurate component level power adjustments via their Class HD amplifiers. The amplifiers are actually a modified form of Class D amps, tweaked to give high efficiency and lower noise levels.
For Razer, even something as mundane as a volume knob can be point of distinction. Shaped like a shiny black puck, you won't find a single button on the device. The entire UI is touch based and lights up with soft blue glow. Dial up the volume to ridiculous levels and you'll enter red LED territory. Hold your finger down on the logo to turn the set on and off. You'll also find connections for headphones and a line-in on the side of hub.
Razer sent over a few development mockup shots of the Mako. It's interesting to see how the product evolved over time and what design decisions the company made in the end. Somewhere along the way, Razer ditched the buttons and high gloss finish. Looking at the finished product, we'd have to say they made the right changes.
The sound quality is stellar. Crisp, detailed treble. Bass that's not overly boomy. You don't get deep visceral bass that rattles your rib cage, but for that you're going to have to get something considerably more sizable. The 120Hz subwoofer crossover is noticeable, but it's not much of a problem if you keep the subwoofer close to the satellites to minimize sound localization issues. We're kind of bummed that the set didn't have any digital inputs, Razer indicated that they considered adding the functionality but decided against until MP3 players start to come with them. Outside of that, the Mako didn't disappoint in the least. It's a great addition to an office space or bedroom.
Eric Lempel, Sony director of PlayStation Network Operations, has just updated the official Sony PlayStation Blog with information about the PlayStation 3 firmware 2.60 update coming tomorrow. The update will include Divx 3.11 video playback support, "guest access" to the PlayStation Store that allows non-members to browse the store, and a new Photo Gallery application.
"The key feature is a new Photo Gallery application, which delivers a suite of tools for sorting through and displaying your digital photo collection. Digital pictures can be organized in groups according to various criteria, including the camera used to take the photos, the event date and time, colors in the photos, as well as the number, ages, or facial expressions of the people pictured. You can also create slideshows set to music and build photo playlists with an easy-to-use interface."
Check out the official blog post for a video demo of the new Photo Gallery application.
We just met with Mad Catz's Alex Verrey here in our San Francisco offices to get hands-on with the Mad Catz Street Fighter IV product line-up and to find out what makes them special.
First off, forget everything that you might remember about the cheap Mad Catz accessories from the PlayStation 2, Xbox, and GameCube days. All of Mad Catz's new Street Fighter IV controllers have tremendous build quality and feel terrific in hand. The company worked with Capcom and expert players to make sure that the sticks meet the standards of serious Street Fighter enthusiasts. Mad Catz also had to get the approval of Capcom Street Fighter IV producer Yoshinori Ono on aesthetics and controls, and he wasn't afraid to send the joysticks back for more work if the button layout wasn't correct or if the controls didn't feel right.
Playing with the Mad Catz Street Fighter IV FightStick Tournament Edition is as close to the arcade experience as you're going to get. The stick uses the exact same Sanwa joystick and buttons found in the actual Street Fighter IV arcade cabinets in Japan. You used to have to build your own stick or get someone in a fighting game forum to make one for you if you wanted a controller that used genuine arcade parts. The FightStick is also very easy to mod in case you wanted to change out the artwork or even swap in an American-style joystick and convex buttons.
Experienced players will appreciate several features on the stick. The designers placed the start and select buttons on the front part of the box well out of the way of the joystick and buttons to prevent any inadvertent mid-game pauses. The controller also has a lock switch that disables the turbo and, depending on platform, the Xbox Guide or PlayStation Home buttons. A lot of players like to bring their sticks with them when visiting friends or traveling to competitions so the Tournament Edition stick has a small compartment for cable storage.
The Tournament Edition stick will be available for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in the US on Feb. 17 for $149. The sticks aren't cross-console compatible but they will both work with the PC. Pre-orders have already sold out for the initial 3,000 unit launch allocation, but another shipment will arrive in late February according to Alex.
Mad Catz will also ship a regular Street Fighter IV Arcade FightStick for players looking for a more affordable joystick. The standard stick is smaller than the Tournament Edition and doesn't feature Sanwa hardware, but the joystick and buttons still feel great and you can't argue with the price. The PS3 version will retail for $69 and the Xbox 360 will sell for slightly more, $79, due to higher console licensing fees. The standard stick is as easy to mod as the Tournament Edition, so modders might want to pick up this model as a starter kit.
Ricardo sat down with Capcom's Seth Killian at CES last week to find out about the new Street Fighter IV sticks Mad Catz put together with the help of Capcom. Check out the video in case you missed it.
Keep your eye on the hardware blog. We'll have more on Mad Catz later this week!
That tiny circuit board is a Pico-ITX motherboard with an Intel Atom processor and an Nvidia GeForce 9400M GPU. It's a reference design featuring Nvidia's new Ion platform created for netbooks and small-form-factor (SFF) PCs. The problem with current netbooks is that almost all of them ship with Intel integrated graphics which makes them not so great for gaming. The GeForce 9400M isn't a powerhouse compared to discrete desktop graphics cards, but it's better than Intel's integrated stuff and good enough for games like World of Warcraft and Spore.
We saw several SFF Ion boxes on display at CES demonstrating the platform's high-definition video playback performance. Nvidia estimates that Ion-enabled netbook and SFF systems will retail for around $400 but no major system manufacturers have announced Ion-based systems yet. Perhaps Intel has something to do with that.
It took seven years but Razer finally has a wireless gaming mouse: the Razer Mamba. Razer founder Robert Krakoff told us that the company started planning for a wireless mouse as early as 2001, but "would only do it if the wireless one could perform as well as a wired one." Krakoff credits the firmware design team for figuring out how to do wireless with minimal latency. The Mamba offers a 1,000Hz polling rate in both 2.4GHz wireless and wired modes (you can plug in the cord when it's time to recharge). The Mamba looks similar to Razer's popular DeathAdder model, but it has a few ergonomic improvements and an upgraded 5600DPI laser engine. Other features include onboard memory for profile saves, Teflon feet, and a traditional charging dock for players that refuse to touch cords.
The retail box resembles a trophy stand that has the Mamba sitting in the center of the package. Please forgive the fingerprints on the case--conference attendees had all morning to fondle the box before we got the chance to take a picture. The mouse will be available next month for $129.
Razer also had its newly announced Carcharias headset on display at its CES booth. The Carcharias features the circum-aural earpiece design that we love because the earpieces sit over the ears instead of pressing down on them. The built-in microphone uses noise filtering to ensure that your teammates hear nothing except your sweet voice when you're barking out orders. The headset will be available later this month for $79.
We stopped by the Nyko suite at CES to get a closer look at the new Wand controller that Nyko announced yesterday. The three contacts you see below the expansion port allow the Wand to pass all the remote button functionality from an attached accessory to the main controller.
The expansion port allows accessories like this pistol prototype to bind buttons on the peripheral directly to buttons on the remote. Hitting the hammer button on the pistol will register as an A button press in-game, and the trigger is bound electronically to the B button instead of using a messy physical pass-through like the one used in Nyko's older PerfectShot gun peripheral.
Nyko made all of the buttons larger to make them easier to press and to further differentiate the Wand from the Wii Remote. The new directional pad looks a little crazy, but it feels nice and the inner-square makes it easier to hit the diagonals.
Nyko hasn't announced the MSRP for the Wand yet, but Chris Arbogast, Nyko director of marketing, told us that he expects the price to be somewhere in between $29 and $39.
Logitech's back in the mix with a full update of their of high-end G-series PC gaming peripherals: the G19 Gaming Keyboard, the G35 Headset and the G9x Gaming Mouse.
The G19 keyboard builds upon the already feature rich G15 keyboard with several key upgrades. The G19 features a full color 320x240 LCD display capable of displaying all sorts of gaming information and non-gaming related information including images and videos. Keyboard controls will let you switch out what's displayed on the screen while you're playing a game. The G19 also features twelve fully programmable keys, with up to three different presets per key. Two onboard USB 2.0 ports provide additional peripheral hookups.
Logitech's new G35 headset offers 7.1 surround sound thanks to second generation Dolby Headphone technology. Dolby Headphone allows headsets to very realistically simulate a full set of 7.1 home theater speakers. The built-in microphone comes with noise canceling technologies and gives players the ability to mask their real voice. Choose between six different preset voices including cyborg, mutant, giant,troll, alien, and the ever popular space squirrel. Built-in controls let you adjust the volume, microphone, surround sound and voice presets. The G35 also comes with three different size headbands to better accommodate various noggin sizes.
Sensitive just got more sensitiver, or something like that with the new Logitech G9x Gaming Mouse. The G9x sports a brand new laser sensor that has adjustable settings capable of sending the mouse from 200 to 5000 DPI on the fly. The G9x comes with two interchangeable mouse grips like the G9, but has more memory for up for five different user profiles. The G9x also has the prerequisite adjustable weight system and multi-colored LED lighting system.
The G9x mouse, G19 keyboard, and G35 headset will all be available in March with $99, $199, and $129 MSRPs, respectively.
Peripheral manufacturer Nyko has announced three new products for the Wii platform here at CES. The Wand (not to be confused with "a wand") leads the charge. It's Nyko's Wii Remote replacement device. Nyko's controller has the same motion-control, vibration, and built-in speaker capabilities as the Wii Remote, but it has a few changes such as oversized "1" and "2" buttons and a rubberized battery cover designed to improve usability. Nyko's also pretty excited about The Wand's accessory port because it's able to pass all of the Wii Remote buttons to an attached accessory. For example, the port would allow a pistol accessory to plug into the bottom of the controller and have all of the pistol buttons mapped electronically to buttons on the Wii Remote.
The two other (less exciting, but also less likely to draw lawsuits from Nintendo) products Nyko announced today are the Charge Station EX and Kama Charge Kit. The Charge Station EX is an updated version of the original Charge Station that now includes two LED bars to display battery charge levels.
The Kama Charge Kit is a peripheral stand that can charge a Wii Remote and a Wireless Kama controller. We didn't know that there were enough Kama owners out there to warrant a standalone charger, but it turns out that the Kama Charge Kit actually includes a Wireless Kama controller. All of the accessories Nyko announced today will be available this April.