EA & Crytek Reveal Details Of Crysis 3: The Lost Island DLC

Grab your passports and get ready to suit up again outside of the New York City Liberty Dome, as EA and Crytek send the hunt for Rebel forces to the West Pacific in Crysis 3The Lost Island multiplayer DLC pack. Showcasing four new breath-taking maps two additional multiplayer modes, Frenzy and Possession, and deadly new weapons, Crysis 3: The Lost Island will be available starting June 4th for the Xbox 360 for 1200 Microsoft points, and the PlayStation 3 and PC for £11.99.

“The gameplay in the Crysis series has always been deeply connected to the unique environments in which the action takes place,” stated Cevat Yerli, CEO of Crytek. “By transporting players out of the Liberty Dome and into the Lost Island setting, we’re not only returning toCrysis’ spiritual roots, but also introducing fresh ways to play that provide Crysis 3 fans with genuinely game-changing new tactical options, game modes and weapons.”

In Crysis 3: The Lost Island, traces of a mysterious alien presence have been discovered on a small island in the Philippines 200 miles from Ling Shan. Rebel forces have been dispatched to destroy this unknown extraterrestrial entity before an elite CELL team has the chance to obtain it… by any means necessary.

Thank you EA and Crytek for this information www.crysis.com

Free-to-Play MMO “Dragon’s Prophet” Enters Open Beta In North America

The time to capture, train, ride and fight hundreds of unique dragons has arrived! Sony Online Entertainment LLC (SOE) announced that Dragon’s Prophet entered its Open Beta period in North America on the 30th May. Players journey through the beautiful, vast realm of Auratia to see if they have what it takes to become the next Dragon’s Prophet in the free-to-play, massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG).

“Whether they are terrorizing towns, serving as mighty companions, or swooping in to save the day, dragons unfailingly fascinate us, and pop culture’s interest in these mystical beasts has become insatiable,” said Todd Carson, Senior Producer of Dragon’s Prophet. “Dragon’s Prophet answers this community call for more dragons and is an extraordinary addition to the MMO fantasy genre, granting players access to hundreds of different types of dragons and offering a captivating combat system with high levels of customization — for characters and dragons alike!”

In Dragon’s Prophet players must choose from four distinct player classes – ranger, sorcerer, guardian or oracle — and band together to battle a variety of legendary creatures as they work to restore order to the land from the evil Black Dragon that has escaped his eternal prison, and is more dangerous than ever. Featuring an action-based combat system, Dragon’s Prophet gives players visceral battle action gameplay, with a higher degree of control and wider range of tactical options than traditional MMOs.

Developed by Runewaker Entertainment, creators of Runes of Magic, Dragon’s Prophet will begin Open Beta in North America later today and be available as a “Free-To-Play. Your Way.” title with optional content available for purchase to customize characters and weapons, and enhance gameplay experience on PC systems. Players will be able to continue with the character and in-game items earned through the commercial launch later this year.

Dragon’s Prophet open beta is live now to all who live in North America, this game looks really promising and given that it’s free, you have little excuse to not at least try it out.

Thank you sony for providing us with this information www.dragonsprophetthegame.com

ASUS Unveil PQ321 3840 by 2160 4K UHD Monitors


QuadHD or 4K is a monitor standard that will most definitely be adopted slowly by the market due to the high expense of producing 4K panels. If the adoption of 2560 by 1600 is anything to go by then we won’t see these become popular for at least another 5-10 years. Either way that hasn’t stopped ASUS pushing their display range forward with the addition of the 4K PQ321 monitor series.

The ASUS PQ321 line of monitors features both 39 inch and 31.5 inch models. These both support a 4K resolution of 3840 by 2160 and are LED backlit. They have an aspect ration of 16:9, a 140 pixels per inch (PPI) density and 10-bit RGB support. 

In addition the panel is IPS supporting 176 degree viewing angles both vertically and horizontally. Brightness is 350cd/m², the gray to gray response time is 8ms and the monitor is just 35mm thick at its thickest point. The ASUS PQ321 True 4K UHD Monitor features DisplayPort and American models offer dual-HDMI ports inputs with Picture-by-Picture support. There are Built-in 2W stereo speakers, the monitor is wall-mountable and the stand offers full height, swivel, and tilt adjustment.

Pricing and availability is not detailed by ASUS just yet, but they will be displaying both the 39.5″ and 31.5″ PQ321 displays at Computex 2013 next week.

Images courtesy of ASUS

NZ Courts Order FBI To Destroy Illegally Obtained Data In Megaupload Case

According to reports coming from New Zealand, the New Zealand courts have ruled that all data which the FBI acquired illegally from Kim Dotcom in the Megaupload case must be destroyed or returned. In addition the court has granted Kim Dotcom and his legal team full access to the evidence brought against him in the extradition case.

The High Court Justice Helen Winkelmann also ruled that the raid which took place on Kim Dotcom’s mansion was also illegal since the warrants were improperly issued and as a result a “A miscarriage of justice did result”, something quoted by Kim Dotcom on his Twitter.

Kim Dotcom’s extradition hearing is still scheduled for August and it is likely to be delayed more as the separate court investigation into the legality of the raid on his home further runs its course. Despite this, Kim Dotcom has won a major victory in proving several counts of illegality against the FBI and gaining access to the evidence being used against him. No doubt there is still a long and bumpy road ahead for Kim Dotcom and the deceased Megaupload.

What are your thoughts on these legal victories by Kim Dotcom?

Image courtesy of Kim Dotcom

EA Confirms It Will Remove Online Passes From Old Games

Two weeks ago we brought you the quite surprising news that EA was scrapping the online pass system for all of its games. However, we were unsure whether that meant old/current/new games would have the online passes scrapped. My educated guess would of been that new games and future releases would get the online pass system removed by according to an EA official confirmation all of their games that use the online pass will have it scrapped.

The move surprised quite a lot of people when EA took it, and now it appears they have laid out plans to gradually phase the online pass out. In the coming weeks EA will either remove the online pass from games via patches and updates or the company will make the passes free on the PlayStation Store, Xbox Live Marketplace and so on. Not many other details were given by the confirmation from EA but expect them to announce more details in the future such as a full list of affected games and what remedial actions will be used for those games to remove the online passes.

What are your thoughts on this story? Are you surprised to see EA going back to old games (in addition to new and current games) to remove their online passes?

Image courtesy of EA

GeoCaching The New Hunt

Have you heard of GeoCaching? I had never heard about it, until a couple of days ago. It is kind of like a treasure hunt for the outdoors that require us to use different technologies that many of us carry with us every day. Our cell phones, though there is other cool equipment that we could use to aid us in our hunts.

GeoCaching is an interesting game that can be really simple or just the opposite, extremely difficult. Typically a GeoCache is a small waterproof container that has a logbook where other GeoCachers write their name and the date they found the cache. Some caches contain objects in the container, which the finder is able to trade for something of equal value. Once the person is done signing and trading, they replace the container where they found it, and move onto the next cache.

A cache could be as small as a bag containing a single piece of paper for a log, or larger such as an ammunition box, which could contain trinkets (generally of low value).

Everyone is welcome to join in on the fun of GeoCaching, which can be a ton of fun. If you decide to try it out, be aware of your surroundings. Be courteous of those who setup the cache, this is intended to be a fun game for all to play.

Things you might want to bring with you, a pencil or pen to sign the log, small trinkets for trade, a gps device (such as a cell phone), a good pair of shoes, a walking stick, yourself. The more difficult the cache the more tools you might want to bring with you, such as a rope, working gloves, etc.

To read more on GeoCaching check out www.geocaching.com

Razer Announces Worlds Thinnest Gaming Laptop

“The Razer Blade is the worlds thinnest gaming laptop”

For Gamers By Gamers

If you’re a gamer you are most likely going to be interested in Razer USA! Razer has announced their newest addition to their family. Today they showed off their new Razer Blade Netbook, a beautiful, and elegant machine designed for gamers on the go. A little over a week ago Razer announced that they would be showing off their newest product, giving us a simple clue. “THINNER THAN A DIME – 30 MAY 2013”. I waited all day for their release, assuming it would be a new laptop, and I was right. Well half right. Today they announced two products, one of which I will tell you about in this article. This newest computer is the thinnest laptop in the world.

 If you’re big on gaming, then you are probably familiar with Razer gaming peripherals, perhaps you are even aware of their gaming tablet and laptops. Keeping up with today’s technology is one of my favorite things to do, and today has been a big day, I awaited Razer to announce their newest addition to the family. They have been advertising for the past couple of weeks that their newest device is going to be thinner than the dimension of a U.S. dime .071 inches.

It baffled me, but I came to the conclusion that the new announcement had to be for one of two different pieces of equipment. The Blade at the time was the thinnest laptop, thinner than any other laptop on the market at .088 inches. The next piece of equipment that is really thin, is Razer’s Edge the first gaming tablet, which is .80 much thicker than the Blade.  Anticipating the announcement I believe that Razer was going to bring us a new laptop, as the sizes seemed to match up. Though I wasn’t thinking that it would be as thin as it is.

The World’s Thinnest Gaming Laptop, with a thickness of only .061 inches, it is thinner than the diameter of a dime. The screen is not a large screen, only measuring in at 14-inches, though it is an HD+ screen designed to bring the user awesome 1600 x 900 resolution! Featuring an NVIDIA GTX 765M GPU, you will be able to play the most current games.

If you are a mobile gamer, than this laptop is most likely what your heart has always desired, portability paired with the latest and greatest technologies available!


Price: Starts at $1,799

Razerzone.com – Pre-Order June 3
United States and Canada only

Product features:
• Future 4th gen Intel® Core&tradel processor (formerly codename ´Haswell´)
• 8 GB Onboard Memory (DDR3L – 1600 MHz)
• NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 765M (2 GB GDDR5) & Intel HD4600
• Windows® 8 64 Bit
• 128 GB SSD, with optional 256/512 GB SSD (mSATA)
• Qualcomm® Killer NIC N1202 (802.11a/b/g/n + Bluetooth® 4.0)
• 14.0 in. HD+ 16:9 Ratio, 1600 x 900, with LED backlight
• Built-in stereo speakers
• 3.5 mm audio microphone/headphone combo jack
• Array microphone
• (3x) USB 3.0 port (SuperSpeed)
• HDMI 1.4a audio and video output
• Dolby® Home Theater® v4
• 7.1 Codec support (via HDMI)
• Built-in full HD webcam (1.3 MP)
• Compact 150 W Power Adapter
• Built-in 70 Wh Rechargeable lithium ion polymer battery
• Razer Anti-Ghosting Keyboard (with adjustable backlight)
• Razer Synapse 2.0 Enabled
• Kensington Lock
• 13.6 in. / 345 mm (Width) x 0.66 in. / 16.8 mm (Height) x 9.3 in. / 235 mm (Depth)
• 4.135 lbs. / 1.876 kg


Mad Catz Equips New Headsets With AM3D Audio Enhancement Technology

Mad Catz Interactive are well known in the gaming industry for some of the coolest peripherals around, not only in terms of style but also well known for their high end performance and build quality, so what better way to improve on their designs than to bring support for yet another high end and very cool feature! Today saw Mad Catz announce an agreement with AM3D to utilize AM3D Audio Enhancement Technology across a new range of GameSmart enabled wireless Gaming Headsets.

AM3D Audio Enhancement Technology will enable wireless GameSmart headsets to deliver precision surround sound audio over Bluetooth. AM3D Virtual Surround Sound is based on binaural synthesis using head-related transfer functions (HRTF) to create virtual sound sources, providing an accurate audio sound stage during gaming.

With a 2.0 channel input (stereo or multi-channel down-mix), the signal is enhanced to produce a multi-channel-like surround sound signal, delivering profound surround sound perception and an enhanced center; optimum for gaming as well as movie and music playback.

Darren Richardson, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Mad Catz Interactive, Inc. stated, “We believe the audio technology provided by AM3D will prove ideal for use in gaming applications, allowing us to deliver precision surround sound via Bluetooth on our GameSmart range of mobile accessories.”

“AM3D is pleased to partner with Mad Catz as both companies are very passionate about improving the gaming experience with superior sound,” stated Jacob N. Andersen, Senior Vice President, AM3D A/S.

Virtual 3D can often be a mixed affair in terms of quality, but if this is anywhere near as good as the FREQ7 then you can colour me interested.

Thank you Mad Catz for providing us with this information

Humble Weekly Sale: May 30th Edition


If you follow HumbleBundle.com and all of their sales, then you most likely already know about this week Humble Weekly Sale. This is an amazing bundle of games, eight in total. The bundle of games is from Telltale games, and have given Humble Bundle the opportunity to host an awesome sale. As with almost all of HumbleBundle sales this will be a “Name Your Price” event. Featuring many irresistible games, I am excited to inform you of the listing which includes

  • Back to the Future: The Game (all 5 episodes)
  • Sam & Max: Devil’s Playhouse (all 5 episodes)
  • Poker Night at the Inventory
  • Hector: Badge of Carnage! (all 3 episodes)
  • Puzzle Agent 1 & 2
  • Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Adventures (Windows Only, all 4 episodes)

If you beat the average sale price on the bundle you will also receive , you will also receive The Walking Dead (all 5 episodes).

Pay what you want. Pay anything you want to receive seven awesome games. Pay $1 or more and you’ll also get Steam keys. Beat the average and we’ll also throw in a Steam key for The Walking Dead!

If you are interested in more bundles like this one, check out their website every week www.humblebundle.com to check out new and exciting deals offered!

Microsoft Releases Details Of Windows 8.1 Update

It was meant to herald the future of operating systems, embracing desktop, touch and mobile simultaneously. But the truth is Windows 8 has been very poorly received with criticisms abounding about how user-UNfriendly it is, how it has been designed predominantly for touchscreen and that no one can find that darned ‘Start button’.

In fact, the operating system has been the subject of such disdain that there were calls for it to be replaced straight away with Windows 7.1. That was never going to happen; too many units from too many hardware manufacturers were already in the channel, the advertising and marketing juggernaut had already left and there were fears from inside the Microsoft camp that such a move would have irreparably damaged the company (don’t forget, RIM was the biggest business handset manufacturer until the Blackberry messenger service fell over in 2011).

Nevertheless, extremely poor sales of the standalone operating system (i.e. not pre-installed on hardware) has provided insight into public reaction; Windows 7 is still available and is still selling. There are also reports that people who buy Windows 8 hardware are opting to ‘downgrade’ to Windows 7, calling Windows 8 ‘unusable’.

But today, a new article appeared on the Windows blog detailing the changes that have been made in the Windows 8.1 release. No mention is made of any user backlash but some new/ improved features do address notable concerns – customisation, personalisation, improved searching (including aggregated global search results using the Bing search engine), improved apps and App Store, plus better mouse and keyboard functionality are all addressed in the statement.

Many people will see this as bowing to popular demand, others will see it as a complete U-turn and Microsoft admitting they have made some horrendous errors of judgement but, in truth, if you want a ubiquitous operating systems where your experience will be similar regardless of the device you’re using, then hasn’t Microsoft been brave in attempting to push touch, desktop and mobile closer together? The 8.1 update is, to all intents and purposes, a sign that it may be one of the biggest and most successful brands, but it is not so arrogant as to ignore criticisms and feedback from the public and businesses alike.

More information is promised in the coming weeks ahead of the 8.1 release.

Oh, and the ‘Start button’? Well…


MadCatz M.O.U.S.9 Bluetooth Mouse Review

Today we’ll be taking a look at the latest mouse from Mad Catz, the Bluetooth enabled M.O.U.S.9 that is set to take the highly respected world of Mad Catz peripherals into the world of wireless tech.

Mad Catz are well regarded for making some of the finest gaming mice on the market, especially with their MMO and RAT ranges, and while they may not be to every ones taste in terms of design there is no doubt in my mind that they are unique, cool and pack some serious performance, but one does not normally associate such things with Bluetooth and a wireless mouse, so where does the MOUS9 fit into all this?

There has always been demand for wireless technology when it comes to PC’s and keyboards and mice are no different, but there is rarely anything exciting about them as gamers tend to shy away from wireless technology due to risk of input lag, so manufacturers generally don’t invest into much research on the tech and just put out (for the most part) fairly boring wireless peripherals, just look at the world of wireless keyboards to see what I mean.

Mad Catz have taken the unique styling of their gaming mice and no doubt some of the technology behind them too and fitted it our with Bluetooth technology, although before we get too ahead of ourselves, this isn’t designed to be a hardcore gaming mouse, the specs below tell us that much and I’m going to be looking for robust all round performance, not eSports grade accuracy, can’t judge something for not being something it wasn’t made to be.

  • DPI: 990
  • Acceleration: Up to 8g
  • Polling Rate: 125 Hz
  • Tracking Speed: Up to 0.8m/sec
  • Programmable Buttons: 10
  • Connectivity: USB Nano Dongle
  • Wireless Range: Up to 330ft / 10m
  • Power: 1x AA Battery (included)

The Mous9 comes in a compact perspex box that gives us a great view of the mouse its self but it’s also  very compact and presentable. As you can see on the front it tells us the mouse is both Mac and PC compatible via it’s Bluetooth Smart technology, it’s worth pointing out that there are no wired options for this mouse.

The box breaks open and you can see the mouse is secured on the case with a pull tab and clip, behind that we have a blue box that houses a few extra items.

Ok a few was an understatement and this little box hides several leaflets, instruction manuals, warrant information, some cool stickers, a cool little carry pouch and a battery, more than I expect and certainly everything you need to get you started.

Starting on the left side we see the Mous9 keeps many of the RAT / MMO mouse traits that Mad Catz are known for. the back palm rest can be extended out to provide a better fit for your hand, behind that we have a soft rubber coated horizontal scroll wheel and below that you have your standard back / forward switches and finally a button that drops your DPI to a configurable setting when held, a nice feature for FPS gaming or tricky Photoshop work.

Toward the front of the mouse we see that Mad Catz have fitted the mouse with what looks like the diffuser off the front of a race car, which looks very cool in my opinion. The main controls are made up of the left and right mouse buttons, a toggle switch in the middle and a really nice feeling, rubber coated and notched scroll wheel, there is also an extra button on the left wing, but we’ll see that better in a moment.

At the rear of the mouse there is a cylinder shaped chamber that houses the battery, this can be accessed via the round cap at the rear of the mouse and while it is out of the way when using the mouse, changing the battery feels awful, the cover is made from really cheap feeling plastic and I fear that cover may be susceptible to damage if you’re not careful with it.

A wing sticks out to the left of the LMB and this provides you with a third mouse button that is easily accessed yet still out of the way enough to prevent accidental clicks, the right side of the mouse features an ergonomic panel that gives you a good gripping point and while this does provide a good resting position for your hand, it also allows for easy lifting of the mouse as you can really get a hold of it thanks to its unique shape.

The bolted on panel look of the Mous9 looks fantastic and it’s one of the trademarks of Mad Catz mice and you can literally see through the mouse panel gaps in certain places.

The logo on the back adds some nice style and there are a soft touch and slightly gripped feel the mouse panels that help you keep a firm and comfortable hold on it.

The underside looks pretty awesome too and is divided up by 6 small Teflon slip mats, a metal chassis, the laser sensor, a power on/off switch and a nicely hidden USB dongle.

A perfect sneaky storage place for the Bluetooth dongle that uses a push/click push/pop mechanism to keep it safely in place.

Setup & installation

Setup was plug and play, but the real good stuff requires you to download two small files from the Mad Catz website, the Mous9 driver and the Mous9 software, having both of these installed allows you to fully customise the mouse settings and configurations.

A simple drag and drop system allows you to tailor each button to your liking, it couldn’t be much easier to set up the basic functions but you can also create custom buttons should you need them.

The battery life indication is at an enthusiastic 1 year! I don’t really have time to test this of course, that would be crazy but since the mouse only features a single LED indication and it’s not especially high in terms of performance, I have to assume it’s not wasting much power.

On this page you can adjust how much the sniper button slows the mouse when the button is held, as well as configure what button the horizontal scroll wheel controls, but surprisingly you cannot change DPI and this is locked at 990DPI, there is however a shortcut that takes you to Windows Mouse Control Panel to change the pointer speed and for more people, that is more than enough configuration.


The first issue with wireless tech is input lag and after a few tests I found the Mous9 has 20ms lag compared to a wired solution, with the Roccat Kone XTD scoring 254.2 average.

I performed a prediction test and couldn’t find any issues here, but the same could no be said about acceleration. Regardless of pointer speed settings I found quite considerable acceleration when turning in any FPS, things are ok at slow movement speeds, but if you make any sudden jolts in direction you may over shoot your turning, unless of course you like acceleration. This is typically something that will bother enthusiast FPS players more than it would an MMO player. Liftoff height wasn’t adjustable either but it’s set at a tidy area that appears to be just over 1mm and that’s pretty good in my opinion.

The mouse may not be equipped like the MMO7 or RAT7 to take on gaming at an enthusiast level, but it’s still an absolute joy to use none the less and it’s perfectly competent for playing League of Legends, The Witcher II and Battlefield 3 (my personal gaming choices for the week) and I can’t say it’s let me down, because it just hasn’t. The sniper button is nice, but I did miss the lack of DPI settings in Battlefield 3.

The real joy for this mouse is in day-to-day tasks, from browsing the web, doing work in Photoshop and other applications where the ergonomics of the mouse really make for a pleasurable experience. I often find my desk can become very busy very quickly when reviewing and having a wireless mouse that never lost signal once, not even at a range of 21ft, became a nice advantage as I often use my PC via a 15m HDMI cable so I can throw things up on the big screen.

Final Thoughts

It’s not the best mouse I’ve ever used, not by a long shot as I still personally prefer a wired solution over wireless and that’s fine, because that is my personal taste and it’s what works best for my system and my personal requirements, but that will not be true for everyone.

There is a large part of the market that isn’t bothered about eSports, or about high DPI mouse settings, in fact some people will never want to care about DPI settings, polling rates, or anything technical, they just want a brand they like, offering the features they understand and they want the build quality to be the best they can afford, something Mad Catz are clearly aware of.

This mouse could have been so much more but then we run into technical limitations of Bluetooth and batteries, sure you can have higher DPI but that would put the price of the sensor up, make transmitting the data quick enough more difficult, use more battery and you still wouldn’t address the issue with extra lag, so for this mouse 990 DPI is somewhat of a sweet spot between performance and power usage and for a large portion of the market this isn’t nothing to be ashamed off because the mouse feels snappy and precise, more so that any other wireless mouse I’ve used.

The build quality is 2nd to none and Mad Catz have used a mixture of high quality plastics and metals for the chassis and casing, plus the unique style that the Mad Catz brand has become known for not only looks great, but it also offers some very nice ergonomics and customisation options that make it very easy to use.

Little features such as the extending palm rest, the snug little hide for the USB dongle, plug and play compatibility, easy to use software with a drag and drop interface, a handy carry pouch are just some of the features I love about this mouse and while it’s gaming performance isn’t incredible it’s certainly better than most and it’s nothing to worry about when you consider that this mouse is a solid performer in day-to-day tasks too, as some extreme mice can be a nightmare to live with outside of a gaming environment, that simply isn’t the case here.

I still feel it’s worthy of our editors choice award, I would happily buy one of these today had I the need for a wireless mouse, it really is a joy to work with. Yet I must admit that Mad Catz need to improve the battery compartment cover in a future revision as for this price range there should be nothing that feels “cheap” about the build.



Rumour: AMD GCN 2.0 “Curacao” and “Hainan” GPU’s Coming Q3

Thanks to a sneaky leak it looks like AMD could be set to release not one, but two next-generation graphics cards according to XBitLabs, due for release in Q3 and both based on the new GCN 2.0 architecture. These two cards consist of the code named Curacao and Hainan cores and should be heading to sweet talk the enthusiast and high-end gaming markets.

According to a report on Chiphell the new graphics cards will pack a few new features such as 4 asynchronous computing engines (ACEs), three geometry engines and more stream processors, but since these cards (Curacao and Hainan) are still part of the Sea Island GPU range, they do not feature heterogeneous compute capabilities.

It’s expected that the cards will still be manufactured with 28nm technology, given that AMDs manufacturing partner Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. doesn’t start using 20nm fabs until Q4.

Curacao XT GPU (expected hardware spec)

  • 2304 Stream Processors
  • 36 Compute Units
  • 144 Texture Units
  • 48 Render Back Ends
  • 384bit Memory Controller

Hainan GPU (expected hardware spec)

  • 1792 Stream Processors
  • 28 Compute Units
  • 112 Texture Units
  • 32 Render Back Ends
  • 256-bit Memory Controller

Both will feature a similar front end to the current 7900 / 7800 cards, with 4 asynchronous computing engines, 3 geometry engines, command processor, global data share etc.

It’s certain exciting to speculate but I’m sure we’ll know more over the coming weeks and months as AMD ramp up the PR on these new cards, given the current 7xx launches at Nvidia, it’s clear that AMD needs to play a good hand and if the get the pricing right on these new cards we could see yet another exciting turn in the (seemingly) never ending graphic card race.

Skara Team Innovates Kickstarter Through ‘Pay by Tweet’ Innitiative

The team behind the start-up Skara—The Blade Remains are innovating more than just Multiplayer Online gaming. They are innovating the way start-ups get attention in social media by offering incentives for Facebook ‘likes’ and ‘retweets’ on Twitter.

“We realized there were lots of gamers out there who could help by telling their friends about us,” says Pablo Rodriguez, CEO of Skara, “So we wanted to recognize them by giving them some special access to Skara.”

Skara is currently campaigning on the crowdsourcing website Kickstarter to get the funding needed to launch its beta version by December 2013. Backers will in turn get special access to Skara, from chances to preview the game and Skara paraphernalia to privileged opportunities when the game goes live.

Now even gamers who can’t support the start-up through crowdfunding can get some special reward by using Facebook or Twitter to tell their friends about Skara. From its inception to its format, Skara has put a high premium on being highly artistic and uniquely social. It seeks to involve its players more than the average game, and for that reason it has opted for crowdsourced funding and this special recognition for social media attention.

A multiplatform MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) game, Skara pits five races against one another for domination of a world torn apart by cataclysmic events. Players must choose a race and faction and compete with one another on a global scale through live action fighting. Success is tracked with leader tables and honour points, which can be used to unlock special features. Skara aims to be the highest quality and most addictive F2P out there.



MIT Game Lab Releases Open Relativity, Experiment With Special Relativity

Students and researchers of the MIT Game Lab have released an open-source toolkit to simulate the visual effects of special relativity in games and graphics applications. Intended for game developers, educators and anyone interested in physics, OpenRelativity can help people create, test and share experiments to explore the effects of special relativity. By releasing the tool set as an open-source code library, interested developers can also create and distribute new games or simulations that feature the effects of traveling near the speed of light.

Why OpenRelativity?

Education can be assisted through the use of games and other interactive media, especially for topics that frequently are hard to understand and visualize. “The MIT Game Lab is built around this idea that play is extremely powerful, and one thing games are good at is giving people an intuitive grasp of complex scientific ideas,” says Philip Tan, creative director of the MIT Game Lab. The toolset can help educators create new demonstrations to provide an intuitive, useful understanding of a dense and complex topic. At the same time, these tools make the visually stunning effects of traveling near the speed of light available to game developers, increasing awareness about the topic to people who may have never encountered it.

OpenRelativity was developed as a tool to create A Slower Speed of Light, a game developed in conjunction with Gerd Kortemeyer, associate professor of physics education at Michigan State University (MSU), while he was a visiting professor at MIT. Kortemeyer says that he wanted to develop the game and tool in order to ask students, “What would it be like if relativity was part of your everyday life?”

Preliminary development occurred at Michigan State with his students. “What we developed at MSU was the foundation, a proof-of-concept, a functioning prototype,” Kortemeyer says. “At MIT, we were able to take the next step, developing a full-featured game and incorporating even more physics.” MIT undergraduates Zach Sherin and Ryan Cheu worked at the MIT Game Lab to adapt the MSU-developed technology for the Unity development environment. By being integrated into a common and well-supported game development environment such as Unity, OpenRelativity will allow a greater number of people access to a field that is often regarded as difficult to comprehend.

How it works

As Kortemeyer says, “The reason we do not experience relativity in everyday life is that light is so fast.” So when working with his students on the game and tool he asked, “Well, what if you just slow it down?” Both OpenRelativity and A Slower Speed of Light establish a counterfactual relationship between the game and the real world by making the speed of light variable, and more importantly, slow light down to the point of being the speed of walking. This allows the player to see the effects of special relativity at a scale closer to their experienced reality.

These effects, rendered in realtime to vertex accuracy, include the Doppler effect (red- and blue-shifting of visible light, and the shifting of infrared and ultraviolet light into the visible spectrum); the searchlight effect (increased brightness in the direction of travel); time dilation (differences in the perceived passage of time from the player and the outside world); Lorentz transformation (warping of space at near-light speeds); and the runtime effect (the ability to see objects as they were in the past, due to the travel time of light). By playing and making games using these visual effects in a realistic manner, Kordemeyer hopes “that people develop an intuition about relativity.”

People who use OpenRelativity in their projects are encouraged to be part of a community of physics explorers. Tan says he hopes that creators who use OpenRelativity “let us know about their projects so we can let other people who are interested in OpenRelativity find out about their projects.”

A Slower Speed of Light was recently included in the Research and Experimental Games Festival at Foundations of Digital Games 2013 held in Greece. A new beta has been released for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux which should address hardware issues some players have experienced.

Download OpenRelativity / Download A Slower Speed of Light


Source PR, image courtesy of MIT Game Lab

Rise of the Triad Coming to Steam, GOG.com and Green Man Gaming

Interceptor Entertainment and Apogee Software have just announce that Rise of the Triad – a reboot of the classic shooter of the same name, which is going to melt your brain and send the ooze exploding through your every orifice! Their words, not mine.

The game will be simultaneously making its way to Steam, GOG.com and Green Man Gaming when it launches this summer. To celebrate this monumental announcement of consumer freedom, the team has released another remake: the game’s cover artwork (see below). Check out this comparison of the 1995 original’s cover and the new hotness, brought to you through the wonders of modern technology.

And hey, no matter where you buy the game, you’ll be able to dive into the game’s multiplayer modes with everyone else, engage in cross-platform chat and more. That’s the beauty of DRM-free PC gaming and just one of many great reasons to get ready for Rise of the Triad 2013, along with the return of Dog Mode, crazy weaponry like the Excalibat, Shrooms Mode and so. Much. More.

System requirements have also been revealed, which you can check out below, although they’re fairly modest so you should have too much trouble getting the game to run.


  • OS:Windows XP 32-bit
  • Processor:2.4 GHz Dual Core Processor or Better
  • Memory:2 GB RAM
  • Graphics:ATI Radeon HD 3870 / NVIDIA 8800 GT
  • DirectX®:9.0
  • Hard Drive:5 GB HD space
  • Sound:DirectX Compatible


  • OS:Windows 7 64-bit
  • Processor:2.4 GHz Quad Core Processor or Better
  • Memory:4 GB RAM
  • Graphics:AMD Radeon HD 6950 / NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560
  • DirectX®:9.0
  • Hard Drive:5 GB HD space
  • Sound:DirectX Compatible

Thanks to riseofthetriad.net for this information.

Video Games: The Movie Break Kickstarter Targets, Time For Some Stretch Goals

Mediajuice Studios announced today that the Kickstarter campaign for its indie documentary film Video Games: The Movie has eclipsed its funding goal and will be able to complete post-production before its planned theatrical release.

Mediajuice reached its initial Kickstarter target of $60,000 in less than two weeks, and the money raised will be used to fund post-production on the film, to include editing, a musical score, motion graphics and the acquisition of licensed archival clips.

In addition to securing funding, Mediajuice has announced several new stretch goals including:

  • $80k: A celebrity voice over narration
  • $100k: Purchasing rights to use popular songs in the film
  • $120k: A musical score created by a famous band and/or composer

“Video Games: The Movie is about an industry that I grew up with and love, the video game industry. We want people to gain an understanding of our industry and we want to dispel many of the outlandish fallacies that currently plague it,” said Jeremy Snead, director of Video Games: The Movie and president of Mediajuice Studios. “The crowd funding route allowed us to go out to a community of like-minded people, who are as passionate about this industry as we are. We are eternally grateful to them for helping to bring this movie to the silver screen. Thank you.”

Directed by Jeremy Snead, Video Games: The Movie will tackle many of today’s hot button topics, including the questionable correlation between video games and violence, the exploration and elevation of video games as an art form, next-generation and future-generation gaming and the negative stereotypes that continue to plague the industry despite its popularity and commercial success.

Video Games: The Movie will future incisive interviews with the people who helped shaped the interactive entertainment industry, including Nolan Bushnell (founder of ATARI), Randy Pitchford, Cliff Bleszinski, and many others. At E3 2013, the Mediajuice team plans to capture additional industry interviews with a focus on international developers and next generation platforms.

Check out the official Kickstarter page here.

Image courtesy of Mediajuice Studios

Gigabyte GeForce GTX 770 OC WindForce 3x 2GB Graphics Card Review

With the release of the GTX 770 and the recent launch of the GTX 780, NVIDIA made on fundamental change to their cards over the GTX 690 and Titan. This change is one that may seem simple, but it is one that has a major role in the graphics market and for each of NVIDIA’s partners. This change is the grant to change the PCB layout and most importantly the cooling on the cards. When the GTX Titan was released, NVIDIA put a halt on any non reference designs and in effect the only alteration partners could make was to put a sticker with their name on the card.

The is not the case with the 700 series however, whilst the GTX 770 and GTX 780 used the exact same cooler as seen on Titan, manufacturers are now allowed to deviate from the reference design and put their own mark on their cards to set them apart from the competition. In Gigabyte’s case, the cooler of choice is WindForce and for a number of years now this has been at the forefront of their marketing campaigns.

With the release of the 770, Gigabyte are keen to show off the latest revision of their well known cooler, which now features a metal housing rather than the older plastic design. On top of this, Gigabyte have given the GK104 core the overclock treatment to take the 770 to the next level and let it stretch its legs a bit more.

When it comes to looking at this card, there is little more than the card in a box to look at as this is a review sample, meaning that Gigabyte have omitted the usual gubbins and accessories that we would normally see as part of a graphics card bundle.

NVIDIA GTX 770 2GB Graphics Card Review

Last week we saw the release of NVIDIA’s latest graphics range – namely the 700 series and its top model, the GTX 780. In many respects the GTX 780 brings a whole new level of performance to a greater audience and as I showed, there is only a small difference between the 780 and Titan on a single screen.

Working through the new 700 series line-up, NVIDIA are now lifting the lid on their next card, the GTX 770. Like the GTX 780, the GTX 770 has had many rumours surrounding its release and like the 780, these are all related to specifications, performance and most of all the GK104 core and a GTX 680. Like the GTX 780 I first of all want to put one of these rumours to rest and state the reason why. The one that I am referring to is the speculation that GTX680 owners would be able to turn their card into a GTX 770 through a BIOS update. Simply put this CANNOT be done. Whilst both cards share the same GK104 GPU core, there are a number of factors that lead to this impossibility. Like the 780 to Titan comparison, the GTX 770 has a slightly different revision of the GK104 core with varying number s of CUDA cores and texture units, however the most significant factor for the inability to ‘convert’ the GTX680 lies with the on-board memory.

One of NVIDIA’s major shouting points with the GTX770 is the inclusion of memory that runs at a whopping 7Gbps at stock, these are no overclocked ICs either, they are entirely new, so unless you have the ability to unsolder and resolder the ICs on to a GTX 680 as well as change the PCB layout slightly, there is no possibility of changing your card from one to the other.

China And U.S. To Discuss Cyber Attacks

When you use a computer that is connected to the internet, you leave a digital footprint wherever you might go. Even if it just notates your IP address. For the most part it isn’t a big deal for someone to leave their digital footprint, unless they are doing something that is breaking the law. Recently the United States has been being infiltrated by Chinese hackers, taking advantage of vulnerabilities in government computer systems.

The hackers are not hacking into systems and gaining access to simple records, or systems, but rather military systems which contain classified data. These Chinese hackers have been able to access more than twenty four weapon systems such as military aircraft. Though this is not a new topic, it is something that does need to be addressed.
Cyber security is important for any organization, and when your organization is an entire country it should be a top concern, U.S. President Obama will be meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in California next week and he will address the issue when the two leaders meet. Unfortunately, Obama’s is unable to stop these attacks on his own, he will need the help of the Chinese. If Obama presses the issue too strongly, the Chinese could take his diplomacy as a threat and could cause issues with importing and exporting within China’s borders.

We can only hope that these discussions go smoothly, and hopefully put a stop to these cyber attacks.


Child Vs. Google Glass, See What They See

Do you remember what it was like to be a child? I sure don’t, maybe bits and pieces. I haven’t thought much about how a child might see the world. A child always needing to look up at the people around them, and needing to run to keep up with the longer legs of an adult.

With Google Glass we are able to get a better perspective, and not only for children like we see in this video.


This man places google glass on his child, and allows us to get a slight glimpse at what a child might see, not with the vivid colors, or the loud sounds. We get to see the quality of the video that the Google Glass produces, and the quality of the microphone. Really, I was very impressed by the quality of both. I must ask though, why stop at having children wear Google Glass, we could strap it to our pets, and see what our pets see, among other things. I really can’t wait until I get the opportunity to test out Glass for myself, though I will most likely need to wait for quite awhile as the prices will most likely be quite high.

I can just imaging the possibilities for video and photographs with Glass, and that is just to scratch the surface of all the features that it will offer. I am still not sure about the screen size though, it seems so tiny. Are you ready for Google Glass? What are you looking forward to most from Google Glass?


Texas Protects Email Privacy With New Bill

The United States government keeps trying to do more and more with cyber-security. When I hear that a new bill is coming out, I immediately think that they are trying to take away more of our privacy. Every once in awhile we get to see the government protecting the people.

Of course I am one of those meticulous people, who like to make sure I have my facts straight, and a lot of the time it is difficult to verify, but with laws, it is really easy. There is a wall of text for this bill some of which has been edited out.

Texas bill (HB 2268)

Relating to search warrants issued in this state and other states for certain customer data, communications, and other related information held in electronic storage in this state and other states by providers of electronic communications services and remote computing services.

  1. INTRODUCED Mar 4, 2013
  2. PASSED HOUSE May 7, 2013
  3. PASSED SENATE May 22, 2013

The fourth step is for the governor of the State of Texas to sign or veto the bill. If they sign the bill, it will become law, if they veto the bill it will then go back to the drawing board.

Essentially it appears to be saying that email is going to be considered property, if we throw our email in the trash, does it then become fair game? Will email service providers give us the ability to “burn” our mail? Will the “LAW” have a loophole to get at our email without the proper paperwork?

This bill has moved fairly quickly, and I do not feel that it is right how bills are passed. The United States is a democracy, where the people get to decide and vote on what they want. Passing bills without a vote by the people places more of a dictatorship, in my humble opinion. Though this seems to be an update and more for protecting the people from the old law stating that emails over 180 days are able to be obtained by the “LAW” without proper procedure.


EVGA Announces GTX 780 Hydro Copper Series

The EVGA Geforce GTX 780 Hydro Copper series has been officially announced and with it comes two brand new GTX 780. The first is a standard water cooled GTX 780 Hydro copper and then we have a special edition called the GTX 780 Classified Hydro Copper.

Unfortunately EVGA have only spilled the beans on the standard GTX 780 Hydro Copper and we’ve no idea of the official specifications of the Classified Edition, although it would be a safe bet to assume is has some less modest overclocks applied, especially given that it draws it power from 8+8 pin PCIe power connections, yikes!

The GTX 780 Hydro Copper features 2304 CUDA cores, 3GB of GDDR5 memory, 780MHz base clock, 1033MHz boost clock, while the GDDR5 memory clocks in at 6008MHz and runs off of a 384 bit memory interface, making for a very exciting and powerful graphics card that should offer up some impressive cooling capabilities.

With a full cover water block on each card design, as well as swappable inlet / outlets, chrome plated C110 copper construction, custom compression 3/8″ and 1/” fittings and a customisable glowing EVGA logo, it’s safe to say that the Hydro Copper range is well equipped.

The cards are not yet ready to purchase, but the standard is listed at an eye watering $799.99.

Sega: Spectrum, A New World Of Entertainment


Admit it, when you see the single word SEGA you can’t help but chime in with their sing-song of the name. Okay, you might be able to, but when I see it, I NEED TO DO IT! SEGA! Rumors are spreading, and like a California wildfire, Sega is going to bring us an announcement? A new game? A new console? Or are they going to do as they say and bring us “A New World of Entertainment.”

The image above appears to be from SEGA, a simple tease of an advertisement. At the top of the image there is Japanese lettering which gives us the words “A new world of entertainment.” Spectrum appears to be the name of the product that SEGA will be introducing to us, and they will be bringing us this announcement on June 12, 2013.

A post was found from shaowebb on Neogaf.com providing us with a simple image, which they commented

Searched and found nothing. Lock/mock if old.

Text translates to “A new world of entertainment.”

What is this thing? Arcade board maybe? Digital platform? I’m clueless here…

This could be anything really with no solid information we can only assume that they are going to bring us an announcement rather than releasing a new game, though they could be telling us about a new game.

Has SEGA been tight lipped and kept a huge secret for their next generation of console, I don’t think so. I believe that if SEGA were to be gearing up for a next generation console they would have been announcing it from the roof tops, then again, with the bust of Dreamcast maybe they are keeping shareholders in the dark. We will just have to wait and see.


ADATA DashDrive Elite UE700 64GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive Review

We’ve had a lot of USB flash drives pass through our offices and deep down I have a soft spot for them. They are small devices than can pack a punch in terms of capacity and speed and lately we’ve seen a whole host of different designs that are exciting that market segment just a little bit.

Under the DashDrive branding, today the Elite UE700 64GB USB 3.0 drive from ADATA has graced us offering a stylish device with speed, high-performance and value at the heart of it. Coming in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB, you’ll be hard-pressed not to find the right model for you especially with the price points of £15, £30 and £50 respectively

Coming encased in stylish, brushed aluminium casing with leather strap allowing you to attach it to your keychain, you’ll be sure not to lose it when needed the most. Measuring in at 63 x 22 x 7mm and weighing a modest 11g, it certainly won’t weigh you down.

The design also features a nifty slide mechanism that locks the USB 3.0 connector into place when not in use, protecting it from dust and other foreign elements.

ADATA show the rated speeds at 200MB/s read and 100MB/s write for the 64GB models, though the lower capacity drives perform slightly slower with the 32GB having a 190MB/s read and 50MB/s write speed and the 16GB coming out with 155MB/s read and 25MB/s write speeds. Luckily we have the 64GB model with us today, so lets see how it performs in our own testing by booting up ATTO to get the ball rolling.

After we saw the drives theoretical max read and write speeds, we started up CrystalDiskMark to see if the UE700 flash drive could hit those rated speeds.

Performance on the 64GB model was bang on the money with 204MB/s read and 95MB/s write speeds in CrystalDiskMark and 203MB/s and 95MB/s in ATTO when looking at a 1024 block size.

With a massive selection of flash drives to choose from, we find them being aimed at different markets, for those wanting capacity and others wanting pure raw speed and performance, though the UE700 seems to signify both together.

The drive is certainly one of the best looking we’ve had grace us with its stylish, lightweight design and brushed aluminium finish, and performance is certainly a major highlight too, while offering some handy features at the same time. The slider mechanism that retracts the USB connector is a personal favourite as it alleviates the need for a cap or cover for when the drive is not in use and adds a unique style point to the product. The addition of the leather strap allows it to easily be attached to your keys, meaning the chance of losing it is dramatically decreased.

Value wise, it’s not the cheapest USB 3.0 flash drive on the market, though when you look at the performance on offer, it certainly is attractively priced, and coupling this with a lifetime warranty as standard, and the value behind the drive is raised quite dearly and at £50 it is worth recommending for those wanting a large capacity with good speeds, though based on the performance, we’d be inclined to recommend the 64GB model we had today, opposed to the smaller capacity 32GB and 16GB variants.

eTeknix Says: A a good looking, stylish unit that packs a punch when it comes to performance, putting it at the top of the stack, and while it’s not the cheapest on the market, when looking at price based on performance, it comes out top and you simply won’t go wrong with the UE700 64GB USB 3.0 flash drive.

ADATA DashDrive Elite UE700 64GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive

Thanks to ADATA for providing this review sample.

BAFTA Event To Reveal Games Journalism Prize Winners

A panel of journalism luminaries will reveal the winners of the inaugural Games Journalism Prize, sponsored by Thumbstar. The night will also feature discussions about the state of modern games journalism and the reveal of a charity eBook, containing the best of the nominated articles for the awards.

The ebook will be available for download at www.gamesjournalismprize.com, where donations to games industry charity GamesAid are also welcome. Nominations for the 2013 Prizes will also open on Wednesday.

The three prizes and Grand Prize were designed to find the best journalism and writing about video games, were judged by journalists and are non-profit and non-commercial. The prize has been set up as a non-profit organisation by an advisory committee of games journalism veterans.

The 2012 judging panel included an Orange Award winning writer, a political journalist, and a range of games journalism luminaries. A full list of the 2012 judges can be found on the site.

The 2013 prizes are open to all English language articles published during 2013 and the winners will be announced in 2014. Shortlisted nominees will be revealed throughout the year. The three prize categories are: Investigative Journalism, Criticism and Features / Miscellaneous.

Winning articles will be revealed alongside a new charity eBook including the best of the nominations.

Image courtesy of gamesjournalismprize.com

Antec Mobile Product Bundle Winners Announced

Not too long ago, we hosted a competition in partnership with Antec to give away five a.m.p bundles of their latest products from the range, and we had a lot of interest from people all over the world wanting to win one of these amazing bundles, but sadly there can only be one winner per bundle and we have randomly chosen 5 lucky readers as our winners.

The prizes were as follows:

  • 1st Prize: SP1 Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speaker + PowerUp 3000 Portable Charger
  • 2nd Prize: SP1 Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speaker
  • 3rd Prize: SP1 Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speaker
  • 4th Prize: Gain Bluetooth Receiver + dBs In-Ear Headphones
  • 5th Prize: iso Active Noise Canceling Wireless Bluetooth Headphones

The winners have been chosen as:

All winner(s) have been notified requesting address details for your prize(s) to be shipped out directly.

Gigabyte G1.Sniper 5 Motherboard Preview

Next up on our line-up of previews for the latest Intel based motherboards we find ourselves with another Gigabyte board in our presence.  You may have already seen some of the other Gigabyte previews that we’ve done in the past week including the Gigabyte G1.Sniper M5 which is the Micro-ATX version of what we have today; its big brother, the G1.Sniper 5.

The G1.Sniper 5 is part of the G1-Killer series of boards and is one of the top-end boards from Gigabyte with a full ATX form factor and a bundle load of features packed into it, so today gives us the chance to show our readers exactly what this top-spec board is all about. The only issue that we have is that we are of course bound by Intel’s NDA which is coming up very soon, and therefore we can’t mention anything to do with Intel or their new chipset or 4th generation CPU processors so please bare with us for the upcoming review of this board where we will be unleashing the benchmarks and performance results as well as showing how far this bad boy can go in terms of overclockability.

The G1.Sniper 5, just like its little brother incorporates the famous G1-Killer green and black colour scheme that it’s been made famous for. A black PCB is at the heart of this board with green accented components including the DIMM slots, PCI-Express lanes and of course the thermal heatsinks which also add some unique features that we’ve not seen on this range of boards before.

One thing you will notice is that the heatsink around the CPU socket has barbs for connecting watercooling loops to as well as an active fan solution to help keep the Phases nice and cool, especially when overclocking and pushing your hardware and mainly processor to the limits.

Covering the new Intel chipset (which for the moment will remain nameless) we find a low-profile G1-Killer heatsink with G1 series branding. The heatsink is powered allowing it to light up around the skull and its low-profile design causes no obstruction to longer PCI-Express expansion cards.

In typical fashion for our previews, we have a detailed video checking out the aesthetic design of the board as well as looking at the Gigabyte features, while not giving anything away in terms of Intel technology and features and of course we aren’t allowed to mention anything in terms of benchmarks and performance results, at least not for now.


If you’ve read my preview on the G1.Sniper M5, you’ll see that I’m a big fan of the colour scheme and design on the G1-Killer range of boards and have been since their introduction a couple of years ago and they have developed them in conjunction with what their consumer audience have told them and improved the overall design and features and this shows with the G1.Sniper 5 with its subtle branding and funky green colour scheme and with a feature set that is jam packed, you certainly won’t be disappointed.

Feature wise, we see some great potential for SLI and CrossFireX functionality which will see gamers smiling, as this board is aimed at them primarily with improved audio and LAN giving true gamers all of the special addons they need to be at the top of their game.

The bottom line is that anyone would be satisfied with this board, especially if they dabble in games or if they are a pro gaming player, and with the ability to watercool the CPU socket heatsinks with the addition of an active cooling solution with thanks to the fan, even overclockers will receive great results from this board too. For those wanting to watercool, the included barbs are going to add extra functionality and if you are clever and approach a company willing to match the green, you will have one amazing looking system at the end of the day.