Category: Game Hardware
Engadget: We’d imagine come November 13th, the above will be the scene inside many a PS3 owner’s house. That’s when Sony’s hot little 24-inch PlayStation 3D display will officially be available in the US, Canada, Europe and parts of Asia. Sony took to its US PlayStation Blog today with the news, along with a lengthy FAQ to keep your GAS at bay in the meantime. (more…)
Engadget: Challenging Sony’s PlayStation 3D display, LG’s new LW980T “Dual Play” TV lets Xbox users see two different views on the same screen — ditching the standard split gaming view. Spotted this week at IFA, the technology requires a pair of snazzy all-right / all-left passive specs and a compatible 3D Xbox game to get two different 2D perspectives on one TV. (more…)
BBC Technology News: Microsoft has sold more than 10 million Kinect sensor systems since launch on 4 November and – according to Guinness World Records – is the fastest-selling consumer electronics device on record.
The sales figures outstrip those of both Apple’s iPhone and iPad when launched, Guinness said.
Kinect is an infrared camera add-on for Microsoft’s Xbox 360 games console that allows it to track body movements. Rory Cellan-Jones reports.
Gizmag: Retailers, hotels and real estate agents have been using aromas to entice us to part with our cash for years now and there have even been a few attempts to transmit smells via the internet and mobile phones. California-based company Scent Sciences is now looking to bring an olfactory dimension to computer games with its ScentScape personal digital scent delivery system.
Scent Sciences’ President and CEO, Bill Wiles, told Gizmag the ScentScape system uses a combination of hardware, software & algorithms and chemistry – all covered by patents – to produce the smells. The system consists of a unit that plugs into a PC or gaming console via USB and generates smells using scent cartridges.
Each cartridge provides 20 basic scents and last about 200 hours, depending on personal use. The scents come in standard, which produce a range of more general smells, or media-specific versions to suit particular games, with smell strength controlled via a “volume control”.
Wiles says that gamers will also be able to use the company’s SDK along with the ScentEditor application to create their own scent-enabled games. Players will even be able to share the code they have created with other gamers who have their own ScentScape system to allow them to enjoy their creation.
Similarly, the ScentScape system and ScentScape Editor can be used to add smells to home videos. Specific themed cartridges such as holiday, summer, ocean, etc. will also be available for this purpose, along with special cartridges for aromatherapy and other applications.
Scent Sciences was showing its ScentScape system at CES 2011 and will be introducing the ScentScape Gaming Suite at the Game Developers Conference 2011 in February, where it will be continuing talks with game and game platform developers regarding building ScentScape capabilities into games. Wiles says the company will also work with the game developers to develop scent cartridges to suit their particular games.
Scent Sciences plans to begin shipments of the ScentScape Gaming Suite later this year at a price yet to be announced.
Electronista: OnLive has launched its MicroConsole first seen in beta form earlier this year. The MicroConsole TV adapter connects to both your wired broadband connection and your TV allowing games to be ‘delivered’ instantly over the internet. The selling point of this console is that it theoretically never needs to be upgraded as the games are run server side, and not locally.
This means that the latest generation can always be delivered, bandwidth permitting with little or no lag. The system runs silently and delivers gaming in 1080p at 60fps over HDMI 1.3. Surround sound capability is expected in a firmware update next month. The update should also bring support for Bluetooth headsets so gamers can do in-gaming chatting.
The concept should also appeal to game developers as it takes out the middleman, prevents piracy and effectively stops games from being resold at the expense of consumers buying and paying for a new game at the full price. Games can be hired for 3-day or 5-day passes. Alternatively, console owners can purchase a Full PlayPass allowing them to have permanent access to the game.
The OnLive website is currently taking pre-orders for the device at $99, which includes a free game. Shipments are expected to start December 2.
3D Radar: Sony believes that people looking at what console to buy should take into consideration that the PlayStation 3 is ‘futureproofed in terms of 3D.’
Speaking at TechRadar at a John Lewis event, Sony’s Mick Hocking, senior director at SCEE, is keen to get the message out that the PS3 is becoming 3D ready for free, so that anyone with the console and a 3D Ready TV can take advantage.
“The message we are trying to get out there is that if you have a PlayStation 3 you don’t have to do anything it connects and downloads the firmware upgrade and it’s 3D ready,” Hocking told TechRadar.
“If you are going to choose a console then it’s future-proofed in terms of 3D.”
Adoption like HD
Hocking believes that adoption of 3D in the living room will be similar to the steady rise of HD, and believes that manufacturers and content providers will ensure that, this time, the technology will make a major impact.
“I think adoption is going to be like HD,” said Hocking, “But it delivers a lot more than HD and people need to see it to understand it.
“We think it’s going to bring a great deal to gaming and 3D games are here to stay now.
“3D’s been around for 180-odd years and its come and gone a few times, but now we have high-res technology, we have performance in the consoles and we can deliver content.
“Broadcasters, filmmakers, camera makers, camcorder manufacturers – they are all behind it because they see it as a way to sell more hardware.
“Content providers are incentivised to do it because they think ‘we have a new creative media to wow audiences’.”
Electronista: Sony in a quiet E3 move said it has developed an add-on audio system for the PS3 that provides surround sound for games, Blu-ray movies, and other stereoscopic 3D content. The ZVS1 soundbar connects to the PS3 by optical digital cable and provides virtual Dolby or DTS surround across a 2.1-channel system. It caters to gamers with a Night Mode to cut down on audio passing through the room but can put out up to 30W of sustained bass and 10W for each stereo channel.
The unit also has an analog input to connect other devices and has its own remote to control volume and settings independently of the PS3 or another host system. Sony expects to ship the device worldwide sometime in fall 2010. The expected US retail price is $199.
Tech-on: Toshiba Corp developed a headphone that is equipped with a brain-wave sensor and designed for consumer use.
The company exhibited the headphone at a press conference of the Continua Health Alliance, of which Toshiba is a member, Feb 17, 2010. The company expects the headphone to be used in the field of healthcare as a “device to visualize brain waves,” it said.
The headphone has a built-in Bluetooth unit and can be connected to a PC equipped with the Bluetooth dongle that comes with the headphone. By using accompanying software, “Brain-wave Visualizer,” measured data can be visualized. Specifically, it shows a diagram of brain waves and meters of a brain-wave level, concentration level and meditation level.
With the software, it is possible to check the user’s brain waves in real time and record them while he or she is listening music or watching video as well as to play a game by using brain waves. Read more…
BBC: A video-game that boasts rap artist Jay-Z amongst its advisors is hoping to capitalise on the popularity of music titles despite poor sales forecasts.
DJ Hero will be launched in the UK on Thursday and allows players to emulate their music-mixing idols. Its publishers hope it will emulate the success of Guitar Hero, the rock-based game that let users jam along to tracks using a guitar-shaped controller.
However, US games analysts believe the game will not sell as well as expected.
“We remain very cautious about the title’s prospects at launch,” Doug Creutz at analysts Cowen and Company said in a report.
“A survey of online retailers indicates a demand profile that is well below what we would have expected to see just a few days before launch for a title that was destined to be a big (or even modest) hit.”
The company has reduced its US sales estimates for the fourth quarter of the year from 1.6 million to 600,000 and its first year estimate from 2.5 million to 950,000.
“We still believe that DJ Hero will be an important part of Activision Blizzards music franchise strategy, but we think it may take a few versions of the game for it to reach its full market potential,” he wrote.
TechDigest: The recession has finally reached the stench filled bedrooms of ‘the gamer’, as gaming sales have plummeted to a nine-year-low.
It initially seemed that gaming was part of the select band of recession proof industries, as people holed away in their bedrooms playing Call Of Duty 4 as opposed to squandering money on such frivilous things as “a social life”.
But gaming sales plummeted 31% this year, down to $1.1 billion. Yes – down to. Console sales fell the most, at 38%, but this would make sence as their are, after all, only a finite number of viable gamers and this generation of consoles has been about for a while now.
Game sales also fell while the Xbox 360 actually managed to increase its sales in July.