The demise of PC gaming and its impending doom is a common misnomer which doesn’t reflect how well the platform is doing financially and in terms of total players. For example, earlier this month Steam managed to hit an astonishing figure of 12 million concurrent users. According to a NeoGAF thread, the most played title during the peak period was Dota 2, with 940,373 concurrent players. New research from SuperData has tracked the total revenue by platform and makes for some very interesting reading. As you can see, the top 10 console revenue results pale in comparison to the PC and exemplifies how profitable the platform is. Unbelievably, League of Legends managed to amass $1,628 million during 2015, which is more than four times the amount from Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare.
Not only that, the top PC results actually outperformed the mobile sector, which is a surprise given the financial benefits via microtransactions. So what do these numbers actually mean? While the console market is still more popular, it’s not as financially successful and PC gaming revenues continue to rise at an impressive rate. The yearly research explains:
“Despite a heavy industry focus on mobile gaming, the combined earnings of digital PC games for the top titles came in higher, totaling $6.3B in sales compared to $6.18B for mobile. PC-based gaming–consisting of free-to-play MMOs, subscription-based games like World of Warcraft, social games and PC downloadable games–earns over $32 billion annually, well above the $25.1 billion generated by mobile games. Three of the year’s top five digital PC games (Grand Theft Auto V, Fallout 4 and The Witcher 3) were released in 2015, indicating that PC gamers have made significant progress transitioning to purchasing games digitally.”
Clearly, the modern gaming scene has changed substantially and the PC is a very profitable platform. Furthermore, this is down to an increased player base which illustrates how promising the future is for PC gaming as a leading platform.
The games industry is the same as any other market when it comes to analysing the performance of titles, consoles and revenue with the aim of finding trends in consumer preferences and company performance. GfK Entertainment has made a wide range of information available concerning the shape of the UK gaming scene in 2015 via trade paper MCV, the results are quite interesting and I have conveyed a snapshot below,
First up is the total revenue for 2015, as you can see below it shows there has been a slight decrease in all categories except that of gaming accessories, which have seen a rise in overall revenue.
2015 total revenue – £2,112,750,781 (2014: £2.3bn)
Entertainment Software – £927,663,843 (2014: £948 Million)
Next up is the software market percentage share by console (units) stats, these convey a picture of the PS4 dominating the UK scene with a market share of 36.3%, Microsoft’s Xbox One is second while the ageing last gen Xbox 360 is third, not surprisingly, the PlayStation Vita does not fare as well.
PlayStation 4 – 36.3%
Microsoft Xbox One – 29.7%
Microsoft Xbox 360 – 12.5%
PlayStation 3 – 7.1%
Nintendo 3DS – 4.8%
PC – 3.6%
Nintendo Wii U – 3.5%
Nintendo Wii – 1.0%
Nintendo DS – 0.7%
PlayStation Vita – 0.7%
Others – 0.1%
Next is the software market share by console (Revenue). As you can see, the PlayStation 4 is again the winner with a substantial slice of 41.6%, second is again not surprisingly the Xbox One followed by the Xbox 360 in third.
PlayStation 4 – 41.6%
Microsoft Xbox One – 34.1%
Microsoft Xbox 360 – 9.0%
PlayStation 3 – 4.9%
Nintendo 3DS – 3.7%
Nintendo Wii U – 3.2%
PC – 2.3%
Nintendo Wii – 0.5%
PlayStation Vita – 0.4%
Nintendo DS – 0.2%
Others – 0.1%
Next up is the software market share by publisher (revenue) top 10, as you can see Electronic Arts (EA) is not far off having twice the market share from second place; Activision Blizzard.
Electronic Arts – 23.3%
Activision Blizzard – 14.0%
Warner Bros – 9.9%
Take – Two 7.4%
Bethesda – 7.1%
Ubisoft – 6.7%
Nintendo – 5.7%
Microsoft – 5.2%
Sony Computer Entertainment – 4.9%
Bandai Namco Entertainment – 3.5%
Next up is a combined look at the top-selling games for all formats within 2015, this shows that FIFA 16 is the number one selling title on the PS4, Xbox One, PS3 and Xbox 360. This is what you would expect when you consider the release date of this title compared to that of say Fallout 4. It makes me chuckle to think that the highest selling game in terms of units for the PC is The Sims 4 followed by Football Manager 2016 and 2015.
Last up is the top 20 physical games of 2015 for all formats, the list is 50, but, I did not want to go on forever.
FIFA 16 (EA)
2. Call Of Duty: Black Ops III (Activision Blizzard)
3. Fallout 4 (Bethesda)
4. Star Wars: Battlefront (EA)
5. Grand Theft Auto V (Take-Two)
6. Batman: Arkham Knight (Warner Bros.)
7. FIFA 15 (EA)
8. Call Of Duty: Advanced Warfare (Activision Blizzard)
9. Assassin’s Creed Syndicate (Ubisoft)
10. Lego Jurassic World (Warner Bros.)
11. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (Bandai Namco)
12. Battlefield Hardline (EA)
13. Minecraft: Xbox 360 and Xbox One Edition (Microsoft)
14. Minecraft: Story Mode (Telltale Games)
15. Halo 5: Guardians (Microsoft)
16. Minecraft: PlayStation 3, 4, and Vita Edition (Sony)
17. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (Konami)
18. Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection (Sony)
19. Dying Light (Warner Bros.)
20. The Elder Scrolls Online (Bethesda)
Picking the right gaming mouse can be a tricky task as there are virtually countless brands on the market offering a staggeringly huge range of mice in seemingly every shape, colour, size and budget you can think of, so where do you even get started?
We’ve had a dig around for some of our favourite gaming mice, albeit with a slight focus on more recent models, giving you a good impression of what’s currently available on the market and with any luck, help you find the one that is right for you. Of course, which is best is a matter of personal opinion, one may have a better sensor, but you may prefer the look or grip of another, it’s about finding what’s best for you and your requirements.
As you can see from the list below (and the image above), we’ve got quite a selection of great gaming mice at our disposal, and we’re confident that no matter which you choose, you’ll be very happy with it as these are all great products in their own respects. We’ve got a wide range of budgets covered too, from around £20 to well over £100! Let’s get on with the fun stuff and take a closer look at what each of these gaming mice has to offer!
CM Storm Xornet II
Ozone Argon Ocelote World
CM Storm Sentinel III
Logitech G502 Proteus Core
Corsair Scimitar RGB
TteSports Ventus X
G.Skill Ripjaws MX780
CM Storm Xornet II
A lightweight and compact mouse design that is well suited to fast-paced gameplay, the Xornet II is a great little gaming mouse. The compact design lends well to fingertip and claw grip play styles, making it a great weapon for twitchy FPS shooters, but it’s also very well suited to younger gamers who naturally have a smaller grip and hand size, so it’s a popular option for the Minecraft generation. The buttons are light and responsive too, which is great for frantic MOBA sessions.
With a smooth optical sensor, with three programmable DPI levels, as well as an adjustable lift-off height, fully programmable buttons and a little bit of full RGB flair, it’s a versatile tool for gaming and day-to-day desktop use, at a price that’s certainly attractive; it’s actually one of the cheapest in our round-up today.
Zowie has a very respectable reputation in the pro gaming scene, offering a range of mice that are loved by gamers at home and in the eSports industry. A lightweight and nimble design, as well as large slipmats, give the FK1 exceptional glide and agility, combined with comfortable ergonomics, responsive switches and a zero fuss design that lends well to competitive gameplay.
The flawless deployment of the Avago 3310 Optical Sensor is pixel perfect, something that’ll benefit both work and gameplay, but we find this mouse is at its absolute best in games like CS:GO and we’re certainly not the only gamers to think so.
There’s no desktop software, the DPI selector is on the base of the mouse, offering up 450/1150/2300DPI and the ergonomic left-and-right handed design can be toggled back and forth directly on the mouse, so no need to worry about setup, you can just plug it in and get right on with the action.
Another mouse with an eSports pedigree, the Ozone Argon is a great gaming mouse, but we like their special edition which was designed by legendary pro gamer Ocelote. Equipped with a pin point accurate Laser sensor, a switchable ambidextrous design, on the fly DPI switching, grippy side panels and 9 fully programmable buttons, the Argon has all the features you could likely ever need or want from a gaming mouse.
The stylish and lightweight design is certainly appealing, but you can also benefit from a weight tuning system that allows you to customise the glide and balance of the mouse to best suit your play style. While not the cheapest or most expensive mouse here today, you will struggle to find better value for money than what Ozone have to offer here.
Cooler master is the only brand we have in this list twice, so you can be certain that there’s a good reason for doing so. Their recently released Sentinel III is their latest and greatest Sentinel gaming mouse yet, with practically every aspect of the mouse having been improved upon, especially the build quality, without ruining what we loved about the original.
The Sentinel III ticks all the right boxes for a desktop mouse, with an accurate sensor, fully programmable buttons, comprehensive software, a built-in OLED display for DPI and profile readout, weight tuning system, on-board memory, full RGB lighting and more, making it as versatile for office work, as it is for competitive gaming; a solid all-round mouse.
There are a lot of things I can say about this mouse and every single on of them is positive. Without a doubt, the G502 is one of the best gaming mice in the world today and comes with all the latest features you would expect from a flagship gaming mouse.
Equipped with what may very well be the best sensor we’ve ever tested, the accuracy of the G502 is unmatched. With extensive customisation options available via the desktop software, 11 fully programmable buttons, a sniper mode button, on-board memory for saving your profiles, full RGB lighting, a weight tuning system, as well as the iconic unlockable scroll wheel that has been a popular feature for Logitech mice and so much more, there isn’t a thing that the G502 wouldn’t be perfect for.
It’s a little more expensive that some other options, but the saying that you get what you pay for rings loud and clear here, and I think it’ll be a long time before we see a better mouse on the market.
The world of MMO and RPG gaming can be quite demanding, with complex commands and more often than not, a control setup that uses virtually every key on the keyboard and mouse. The help gain more control and speed over the competition, the Scimitar deploys a fantastic mechanical keypad on the side of the mouse, giving you a frightening amount of flexibility for deploying macros, cooldown timers, shortcuts and more, giving you the edge over the competition when you’re in the middle of a complex raid mission.
On top of the monstrous amount of buttons, it’s also a fantastic looking mouse, with some of the coolest RGB lighting that you’ll find on any gaming mouse. Snappy and responsive switches, comprehensive software features, built-in memory and a fantastic sensor make the Scimitar a powerful weapon for control-intensive gaming.
One of the more affordable mice on our list today, the Ventus X is a great all-round mouse that may not have all of the crazy features of some of the products we’ve suggested so far, but it certainly has all the basics right.
A smooth sensor, snappy and response switches, comfortable ergonomics, a new grip coating and durable rubber grip side panels, weight tuning system, LED lighting, hand ventilation, macro engine and more make it suitable for a wide range of gaming and work applications, it also looks pretty stylish too.
The laser sensor may not be the highest grade on this list, but you’ll find it gives silky smooth results right across the range, giving you excellent accuracy. Combined with the effortless glide and tunable weight, it’s easy to use even after many hours of gaming.
G.Skill may be relatively new to the peripherals market, having spent years making award-winning memory products, but the MX780 is proof that they’re able to deliver the same relentless high-quality and performance in a new market. The MX780 is not only one of the best-looking mice we’ve ever seen, it’s also packed full of fantastic features, such as the removable side panels that allow you to tweak the ergonomics, or turn it from a right to left-handed mouse.
All the high-end features you would expect are here, RGB lighting, high-quality sensor and switches, weight tuning system and more, all topped off by the fantastic laser sensor, making this a great gaming mouse for a wide range of users, play styles and more.
The Tyon is an easy mouse for me to recommend, as it has been my mouse of choice for a year now and I’ve no intention of swapping it out anytime soon. The sensor is great, offering up to 8200 DPI and the rather fantastic software from Roccat is, in my opinion, the best on the market.
Customising the mouse with macros, RGB lighting effects, the sensor performance and more is easily done and with the addition of a dual switch fin on the top, a button on the wing, extra buttons next to the LMB and RMB, as well as an analogue thumb controller, the Tyon is an unrivaled mouse for FPS gaming; especially for games like Battlefield, where those extra buttons are great for controlling vehicles.
Razer is one of the most recognisable gaming brands in the world, proving a popular choice for gamers at home, as well as many members of the eSports community. Razer claimed their new Mamba mouse was one of the most advanced mice ever created and while it comes with the price tag to reflect this, it delivers on features and performance that help justify the investment.
Capable of being used wirelessly and wired, with incredible RGB lighting effects, a fully programmable button layout, one of the best sensors you could ever imagine on a mouse and so much more. Capable of performing at up to 16,000 DPI, there’s no doubt this sensor can provide you with everything you need and more. However, the best features, at least in my opinion, is the adjustable click responses on the left and right mouse buttons. Wants them fast and light or clicky and heavy? Not a problem, just turn the screw and get them just how you like them.
We’ve already seen the release of self-lacing Nikes and Pepsi Perfect to celebrate the recent Back to the Future Day (October 21st, 2015 – the date visited by Marty McFly and Doc Brown during Back to the Future II), and now, a little late, we have the opportunity to buy our very own self-drying jacket, similar to the one worn by Marty while posing as his own son in 2015:
A Kickstarter, launched by startup Falyon Wearable Tech, is seeking support for its Self-Drying Jacket, or SDJ-01, the special edition of which is styled on its fictional counterpart from Back to the Future II. Backers can get the BTTFII version of the jacket in return for a $159 pledge, with standard versions available for $10 dollars less.
The jacket’s drying power is powered by its built-in air amplifiers. Falyon describes the process:
“The air amplifiers are capable of redirecting air with extreme high pressure and flow at rates equal to or surpassing commercially available hair dryers. Despite their power, they are not exceptionally bulky or heavy, weighing about 4oz each. For comparison, an iPhone 6 weighs 4.55oz.
The air amplifiers function in the space between the jacket’s exterior and the inner lining. This serves to keep the high pressure air circulating in an enclosed space, maximizing the drying capability. This also ensures that the jacket dries from the inside out so the layers closest to your skin and clothes dry first.”
The time for holiday festivities is almost upon us and as the modern tradition of consumerism continues to grow, it becomes harder and harder to pick the right gifts for people every year, or perhaps it’s just me who struggles? Either way, we’ve sat around a Christmas fire, or just a general fire in November and December, getting into the gift buying state of mind and picked a range of our favourite products which we’ve reviewed here at eTeknix throughout 2015, as what better products to recommend than the ones we’ve had in our own hands and tested!
We’ve got a huge range of budgets covered here today, although I think it’s fair to assume that given we play around with graphics cards and a lot of enthusiast friendly products, there are some real wallet busters here too. Of course, you can use this guide to find some of the best products of the year to treat your family, friends and more, but there’s no reason why you couldn’t just spoil yourself too!
Rock Band 4 Band in a Box
Get ready to rock out this Christmas and no doubt many other days. Pick up the guitar, drum sticks, or just butcher your favourite song on the microphone. Rock Band 4 – Band in a Box is a fantastic gift and it’s a great thing to deploy at parties too, certainly beats the usual Karaoke chaos! It comes with the guitar, microphone, drums and the game for $249.99. To save costs, the standalone game with the guitar is just $129.99. In the UK, the Band in a Box is £219.99, while the guitar and game is just £109.99.
The Phanteks Enthoo Evolv ATX Mid-Tower chassis is by far my favourite chassis of 2015, it just oozes high quality inside and out, with capabilities for high-end water and air cooling and so much more. It is available from Overclockers UK for £139.99 and is available in both Gun Metal and black.
What a fantastic little chassis this is! Built from beautifully finished brushed aluminium and available in a wide range of colours, this would make a great gift for someone building a new gaming system this Christmas. The Raijintek Styx chassis is available from Overclockers UK for just £64.99.
Another expensive chassis on our list, but one of the best we’ve seen this year. If you’re wanting to build someone, or yourself, a gaming PC that not only looks great but is as silent as you could ever hope for, the Silent Base 800 Window is the way to go. It is available from most popular retailers for 149,90EUR/119 GBP/149,90 USD ex. VAT.
Corsair Strafe RGB MX Silent Red Mechanical Keyboard
Featuring the innovative Cherry MX Silent Switches, the Corsair Strafe RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is simply amazing to use. It’s packed full of features and is by far the quietest mech we’ve ever tested. A little expensive, but I’m sure anyone would be happy to unwrap this at Christmas. The Strafe is available for £139.99 from Overclockers UK, while the MX Red and the MX Brown are priced at £129.95. If you want the non-RGB version, you can find the MX Red and the MX Brown at £99.95 each.
Thermaltake Commander Gaming Gear Keyboard and Mouse Combo
The TteSports by Thermaltake Commander Keyboard and Mouse Combo is a great gift for Christmas, it’s affordable, has a nice range of features and you get a keyboard and a mouse in a single nice and tidy (and easy to wrap) box! With prices around £23.99 it’s hard to say no to such a great deal! Readers in the US can pick one of from Newegg for an equally impressive $29.99.
RGB mechanical keyboards are everywhere this year, but the XTi from Cooler Master is my personal favourite so far. It’s no-fuss and bold design is great for home and office, gaming or work, with the added bonus that it’s incredibly durable and has some of the nicest lighting tones I’ve seen so far, even if it does only allow for a mixture of red and blue! You can pick up the XTi from Box for just £134, although there’s also a deal that includes a free mouse here!
The Gaming Scimitar RGB MOBA/MMO Gaming Mouse is packed full of features that will put a smile on any PC gamers face. With RGB lighting, excellent performance and a customisable keypad on the side, it’s one of the best mice we’ve ever tested. better yet, it’s only £69.95 from Overclockers UK.
The Logitech G502 is a prime example of how great a gaming mouse can truly be. This is without a doubt the best mouse sensor we’ve ever tested and the rest of the mouse isn’t exactly lacking in features either. I’d be tempted to buy this one for myself this Christmas, but you could always treat someone else with it too. It’s available directly from the Logitech website (with free shipping) for just £69.99.
A relatively new entry on the peripherals market, the G.Skills MX780 is a fantastic gaming mouse, with a switchable left or right handed grip that makes it ideal for a wide range of gamers. With a retail price of just $59.99 it is exceptional value for a Christmas gift, and given its spec, it’ll go head to head with many of the best mice on the market.
We were absolutely blown away by the Corsair Void series, some of the best sounding, most comfortable and best-looking headsets we’ve ever seen! They would make a great gift, but be careful, if you try them out before you give them away, you may want to keep them. The Corsair Void USB 7.1 RGB Headset is available from Overclockers UK for just £79.99. This is £10 cheaper than the Wireless headset which is £89.99, I prefer the wireless and think it’s not much more to pay for the extra tech, but you’re own preferences will obviously determine which model you prefer.
Eager to get the best of the best gaming headset for you or your loved one? Then make no exception, the Astro A40 TR Headset with Mix Amp Pro is the way to go. This is one that’s sure to leave a dent in your wallet, but as the old saying goes, you get what you pay for. Available from the Astro store for £200, plus around £48 for the optional Mod Kit, the Astro is expensive, but the sound quality, features and comfortable fit are priceless.
SSD prices are dropping constantly and there really has never been a better time to invest. If it’s for your own system, you can give yourself a great upgrade without spending a fortune, but the smaller drive sizes make excellent gifts to those who could do with a performance upgrade on their system. The Crucial BX200 comes with an MSRP of £234.49 ($299.99) for the 960GB model and £66.49 ($84.99) and £116.99 ($149.99) for the smaller 240GB and 480GB models, plus the small boxes are super easy to wrap up as a gift.
Give the gift of a connected home this Christmas, from streaming your movies around the house, to backing up those important files, there are a lot of benefits to owning a NAS. Not the cheapest of gifts, but it’s one of those products where if you buy cheap, you’ll likely regret it in the long run. The QNAP’s TS-251 Turbo NAS can be found at NewEgg for $384.99, at Scan UK for £295.32, or through Geizhals starting at €284.
AMD have created a mighty powerhouse with the R9 380X and the Sapphire Nitro is one of the finest examples. It’s fast, sleek and affordable, more than enough power for 1080P ultra gaming, or 1440p high gaming, making it a great addition to anyone who wants the latest PC games for Christmas. The Sapphire Nitro R9 380X is currently available from OverclockersUK for £199.99. NeweggUS currently has this card listed for $229.99.
Spend a little more, get a lot more, the GTX 970 is a superb card, but one that may be getting a little expensive for those looking for a Christmas gift. With enough power to play anything on the market and even delve into high-end resolutions, it’s a strong contender for something to put under the Christmas tree, or even put on your own wish list. The Gainward Phoenix GTX 970 is currently available in the UK from SCAN for £273.56 and for an estimated $360 in the US.
It wouldn’t be Christmas if we couldn’t all hope and dream, but the Gigabyte G1 Gaming GTX 980Ti is currently one of the best cards on the market and we would be crazy not to suggest the best of the best. Available in the UK for the £599.99 it’s certainly not cheap, although we’ve seen some great deals bringing it down below £500, so it’s best to shop around. Just imagine the look on your partners face when they unwrap this monster on Christmas day!
Getting a little more back to reality and reasonable prices, DDR4 memory is dropping in price quite nicely now. It was super expensive at launch, but now you’ll often find DDR4 kits at equal or lower prices to their DDR3 equivalents. That makes them a great upgrade for Christmas, but make sure you have a DDR4 motherboard to go with it!
Snapped up a 4K TV in the Black Friday deals? The Nvidia Shield Console is the most powerful Android device on the market, and it’s the perfect media player for Plex, 4K content on Netflix and more. Even better, it’s also a very powerful gaming system, with many AAA games available to play, as well as game streaming features that will leave you wondering why this device doesn’t cost more than £149.99! You can buy the Shield TV and accessories directly from Nvidia here.
Think someone could do with a cooling upgrade for their system, or perhaps even parts towards a new system build this Christmas? Treat them to an AIO water cooler and they’ll be able to reduce the noise from their system and unlock its overclocking potential! The Thermaltake Water 3.0 Extreme S is a little expensive, but it’s still a competitively priced AIO at just £81.98 and would make a great gift, especially if you’re just going to treat yourself.
The Atlas is one of the coolest coolers we’ve seen this year, a tiny form factor with big performance and virtually silent acoustics. Building a system for someone or upgrading your own, this is one cooler you’ll want to consider and given that it’s available from Overclockers UK for a very reasonable £42.95, it’s another great addition to our buying guide.
Need a premium cooler but don’t want to pay a premium price this Christmas? The be quiet! Shadow Rock Slim is more affordable, but still packs some impressive performance figures. It’s available from Scan.co.uk for just £30.52 + shipping here in the UK and from Amazon.com for $49.90 + $9.80 shipping in the US.
Love your music on the go, when you’re out at the park, or anywhere for that matter? The Mercury box offers up a huge sound from such a tiny box. Built from aluminium and featuring a waterproof design, it’s one of the best mobile speakers on the market, great for listening to music wherever you are! Available from Amazon.com for just $48.99 and readers in the UK can get it from Amazon.co.uk for £49.99.
The perfect stocking filler, a 10,000 mAh mobile battery. This has enough juice to charge most mobiles several times, and it’ll even recharge high-end devices such as iPads with ease too. Perfect for travelling, and best of all, it’s super lightweight and affordable. The power bank is £13.99/$14.99/€15.99 and you can order it directly from OnePlus.
Nothing says I love you like a kick-ass gaming PC. Of course, budgets vary wildly from hundreds to even thousands of pounds/dollars, but that’s the joy of buying a PC, or building your own, there’s so much to choose from! With so many awesome system integrators around these days, you can’t go far wrong. Chillblast, CyberPower, PC Specialist, Vibox, Freshtech or Overclockers UK.
Gaming in the living room? Why not invest in a CyberPower Syber Steambox! Prices start at £485 and go right up to £1905, giving you a great choice to suit your needs, and your budget.
A whole lot of gaming for not a lot of money from Chillblast, with their very competitive Fusion NightHawk, a great option for those looking for their first gaming PC at just £599.
Another mid-budget powerhouse, this time from Vibox with their Element X. At just £649, this MSI R9 380 and AMD FX-6300 powered computer is great for gaming and would make a great gift this Christmas.
Time to bring out the big gun’s and really treat yourself? Or perhaps you just want your friend or family member to open a present they’ll never forget? The FreshTech Solutions Stealth Gaming PC is an absolute beast, powered by some of today’s latest and greatest hardware. Of course, it’s not cheap at £1412, but this is not your run of the mill gaming PC.
There were some games back in the 90s that stood out from the rest and we often talk about DOOM, Wolfenstein, Age of Empires, and all of Sid Meier’s creations as some of the cornerstones that created our current gaming worlds, but one game shouldn’t be forgotten and that is Descent. Descent took a new approach and moved 3D shooters into a new situation by adding two more directions that you could move in and gave us full 360-degree rotation in all directions.
That was back in 1995 and I personally spent many hours of my life back then playing just this game, so it’s a real joy to see a new Descent being launched on Steam’s Early Access program, Descent Underground. The game launched on the platform yesterday, 20 years after the original game, and to celebrate this there is 17% discount on the title until the 29th of October. Currently, the early access game can be had for €23.23 instead of the normal €27.99 price.
A true first person shooter deserves all six degrees of freedom. Fight through twisting tunnels & vast caverns where the concepts of up and down mean nothing and danger lurks around every corner. This is Descent: Underground!
We’re blasting the full-freedom shooter Descent into the 21st Century with next-generation gaming technology built on Unreal Engine 4!
Descent Underground is both a modernization of the original gameplay as well as a prequel to the already existing series. The original game mechanics are preserved and early testers confirm that it feels like the original game to play. That’s something that means everything when a classic is revived into the modern times. Arcade style combat and a tightly twisting map design should make for both an entertaining and challenging gameplay.
The new Descent Underground was also showcased in combination with an Oculus Rift, which should take a game like this to the next level and help a lot when you have to navigate and fight in all directions. Multiplayer and Single player storyline are both in the vision for this game, but remember that it’s still early access.
Target Open Day 2015: Akasa have a great reputation in the component market for their coolers and chassis, but their latest ranges are certainly better than ever! Their new NUC passive cooled chassis are super sleek and offer a wide range of usage options, from digital advertising, to HTPC use and so much more in-between. What really caught my eye, aside from their range of high-end air coolers, was this stunning NUC passive cooled chassis with a DVD drive, it’s something I’ve never seen before and it’s a perfect addition to these compact and energy efficient systems, as it opens up a world of possibilities for using this is a media centre, or in places where you need to display media for professional purposes. We’re already in talks with Akasa for a review sample and hope to take a much closer look at this in the not too distant future.
Target Open Day 2015: Kingston are one of the best known names in this industry, providing a huge range of storage products, as well as a few gaming products that have won virtually countless awards; a fair few from us here at eTeknix too. Since this is a B2B event, there isn’t much new, but there’s certainly some cool products on show, such as the Cloud II gaming headset, one of the best gaming headsets available today! As well as their still crazy expensive 1TB USB 3.0 flashdrive, should you absolutely need so much data on your keyring, it’s still the better part of £700!
There is of course their M.2 and PCI storage drives, which offer blazing fast speed, albeit for a premium price, but if you want the best, then you’re going to have to pay for it.
It’s certainly an interesting looking unit and if you’re tired of waiting for your games to load, then you’re going to love having one of these in your system.
There’s still more to see from today’s show, so stay tuned for a few more updates!
Target Open Day 2015: Here I am at the Club3D booth at today’s event and while I must admit I was very happy to see their beat a pro gamer challenge, I wasn’t so thrilled when I scored zero kills to 9 deaths in the latest Unreal Tournament beta… I guess that’s why he’s the pro; humbling to say the least. Moving on, we’ve got a lot of cool products from Club3D today, starting off, they’ve got a Fury X powering their gaming systems and while we’ve seen them before, it was still nice to sit down and have a few games on one myself, smooth frame rates all round I’m happy to report.
Now onto the big stuff, MST hubs and connectivity is becoming one of the best things about Club 3D, from hooking up multiple monitors via DP, HDMI or USB, to linking USB ports and other connectors for docking ultra books, they’ve got it covered with their extensive range of connectivity products.
The big star of the show, or should I say the little star of the show, the Nano! It’s one of the few in the world I actually know of, so I’m surprised to have seen one in the wild like this. It’s incredibly small, rather lightweight too and unfortunately, I wasn’t allowed to take it away and test it… doh!
This may not look like much, but it’s one of the best products I’ve seen today. It’s a docking bar for the new Macbook, which famously comes with a single connector for external devices.
As you can see, that problem is quickly solved and this soon to be released bar adds more ports than you’re ever likely to need, but it could be very handy for using your new Macbook in the office.
Target Open Day 2015: We’ve just stopped by the ASRock booth here at the famous B2B event in Leeds, and as you can see, ASRock have brought along a great range of motherboards to show off. As you’ve no doubt seen in quite a few of our recent motherboard reviews, ASRock are making some great solutions right now, from their cost effective and energy efficiency Braswell motherboards, which come with the CPU in a BGA socket, right up to their flagship Z170 gaming focused motherboards. There’s nothing especially new here, with the exception of the recently launched Z170 products, but it’s still great to see them out on show.
The Z170 PRo4 is a stunning beast, featuring that stark contrast of black and bronze finishes, a welcome break from the often black and red that we’ve seen time and time and time and time again. It’s also packing a mean punch in the audio department, as you can see from the DAC and solid caps in the bottom left of the board.
OK, so we’re back to the black and red stuff again, but I’ll let that one slide as the Fatal1ty series has long kept this theme and it works well with that crazy looking VRM heat sink at the top, perfect for helping this board take on some impressive overclocks.
The Extreme is designed similar to the Fatal1ty, but comes with that more fetching bronze. as well as a front panel add-on that gives you that much loved USB type-C connector!
The small, fast and super quiet BeeBox! A tiny form factor PC and these are quickly gaining in popularity due to their compact size and stylish looks; certainly a lot more manageable that a desktop chassis!
Target Open Day 2015: Genius are one of the most recognisable brands on the market, sure they’ve not pulled a lot in terms of high-end hardware, but they’ve proven time and time again that they can make cost effective solutions for almost every desktop peripheral you’re likely to need. They’ve got all their latest keyboards, headsets, speakers and more on show here at the B2B Target Open Day event, and I must admit that their gear is starting to improve.
Their new GX speakers look a little garish, but they’re not without their charms and they pack plenty of punch that will no doubt appeal to gamers.
A little more refined, the smaller GX speakers look pretty smart and have decent quality drivers for a low price. I would prefer an option to have pop-off covers on them, but overall these are pretty good desktop speakers.
their latest gaming keyboard features thumbster keys, as well as a range of quick launch, multimedia and macro controls. The chassis is a little wider than I would like, but overall, it’s a good looking keyboard and it’s pleasant to type on.
There’s a lot more to come from today’s show, so stay tuned for more!
Target Open Day 2015: Biostar are out in full force at today’s B2B event, showing off many of their latest motherboards, ranging from their low-cost, low-power integrated solutions, such as the J1900H2, right up to their new gaming series Z170 motherboards. There’s nothing particularly new here, but it’s still good to see them pushing their newest products here in the UK and we look forward to seeing more from them in the near future.
The TR970 Plus is certainly an eye catching design, on first glance, it’s a normal AMD motherboard, but there’s a strong focus on quality audio here, as you can see with the massive “HiFi” badge on the heat sink above the PCI connectors, as well as a DAC at the back.
As an added musical bonus, this stunning, albeit somewhat peculiar, keyboard themed VRM heat sink.
There’s a lot more to see here at today’s show, but I would certainly keep an eye out for these Biostar products hitting more retailers very soon.
Target Open Day 2015: There are lots of great products on display today at Target Open Day, including the latest range of Tenda modems and routers. While Tenda do make a lot of products for the B2B market, they’ve got some nice consumer models too, as you can see in the pictures below. Details were a little thin on the ground, but we can see their latest commercial products cover a wide range of solutions. There’s range of high-speed devices, power line adapters, switches, ceiling mounted routers and more! Of course, we’ll be taking a closer look at some of these in the near future and we look forward to testing them in upcoming reviews.
Target Open Day 2015: The event is in full swing today here in Leeds, offering a great gathering place for B2B deals in the tech industry. There’s a lot of cool stuff on show here today, but one thing that caught my attention was the Bitdefender Box, a simple and rather unassuming device that can be used to product your home network from external intrusion and more. This little white box simply connects to your home network via an RJ45 cable input and and RJ45 output, it will help protect your connected smart devices, such as TV, blu-ray player, consoles, Wi-Fi cameras and IOT devices.
It may not seem much, but protecting the data, video feeds, cameras, microphones and more in your home network is no bad thing and with hacking and virus attacks showing no signs of slowing down, it never hurts to play it safe. It’s a tiny unit too, so it’s going to blend into your home network with ease and shouldn’t get in the way.
Another fun demo, this tiny pocket PC, which connects directly to the displays HDMI socket. I’m sure you’ve seen a few of these on the market already, but they’re still super interesting and it’s not going to be much over £100, meaning you can have a highly portable and cost effective workstation that fits in your pocket.
There are a lot of manager games on the market from football to racing and everything in between, so why not a cricket manager game. And yes, there is one and the newest version of it will be released later today, Cricket Captain 2015.
“With the Australians in to town to take on England, one day international records falling daily and the launch of the all-new Cricket Captain 2015, this is set to be one of the most exciting cricket seasons for a decade.”
Cricket is a sport that is extremely popular in some parts of the world while other parts barely know it exists, so it is logical to assume that it will be a bigger hit some places than other. Britain, India, and Australia are markets where I’m sure it will find a lot of fans, and probably more.
The new Cricket Captain 2015 takes the experience to a new level and the game now includes Indian domestic club competitions, updated and expanded stats, a new and improved interface, updated 3D graphics, and a stack of other additions and improvements over the previous Cricket Captain games.
It is a game with low requirements, all you need is Windows Vista or higher, 1GB of RAM and a graphics card that supports OpenGL 2.0. Recommended graphics card is an Intel HD 4000, AMD HD 5450 1GB, and a Nvidia GT220 1GB or better.
New and improved for Cricket Captain 2015:
Indian Domestic System: play as any one of 27 teams in all three formats.
Improved Australian Contracts: bidding between states and reserve overseas players.
Versus International Stats: career stats for each player against each country.
Enhanced Coaching: new fielding and wicket keeping coaching system.
Pitch Map and Beehive: additional graphical stats displays, giving you more information than ever on player performances.
Improved Match Engine: modeling aggression and changes to 1-day and first class games.
New Stadiums: five Australian and eight English international grounds.
Classic England vs Australia Scenarios: six series home or away.
Improved Fonts and Interface: refreshed interface and sharper graphics on all displays.
Improved 3D graphics: new rendering and lighting system, including depth of field, shadows, and animated crowds.
Complete Statistical Update: including every current player and new ‘all-time-greats’.
Sort by Column & Name Search in Player Records and Squad Views: including multiple sorts e.g. batting average and strike rate.
Save/Load for International Squads: Automatic saving and loading of International Squads for each match type make squad selection seamless.
2nd Team Data: separate 3-day, 1-day and 20 over team data to help you choose bespoke teams to best suit the format.
Batting Aggression Column: Personal and combined views now display batting aggression ratings making decisions even easier.
Keyboard Control System: including batting keyboard controls.
Additional Achievements and Leader-Boards.
Cloud-save: cross platform integration of Dropbox enables you to pick up any save from where you left off on any CC2015 enabled device.
Stay On-Line: accept on-line challenges while in single player mode.
With the phase 2 part of Avengers coming to a conclusion with Avengers: Age Of Ultron, we have been left wanting a little more Marvel movie action and of course Ant-Man is here! While he may be small, he packs quite a punch!
Ant-Man is the latest stand alone Marvel movie to be released, as the other beforehand have been building up to Age Of Ultron.
The trailer has plenty of action to boot and plenty of jokes and small hints of the Avengers. This trailer seems to make the Ant-Man movie seem a lot more entertaining and fun than the first one, the trailer shows off a lot of scenes of Ant-Man using his shrink ability having him dodge bullets and explosions and, of course, riding a toy train. Ant-man is coming to the UK and Ireland July 17th
Overall it’s nice to see more Marvel movies of lesser known characters as we’ve been exposed to mostly the Avengers and the individual Avengers own movies, a lot more characters are getting molded with their own show in the Marvel spotlight with characters like DareDevil being a success on Netflix and with the Fantastic Four movie to come out soon after Ant-Man
AMD released some awesome news earlier this week, they stunned us with a whopping range of 9, yes! Nine new graphics cards during E3 2015. At the top of the range there are 4 cards that will utilize the new Fijii gpu chip. Performance of any of the cards is under strict NDA until June 24th when the new Radeon R9 Fury X will be released. However AMD have released today some basic specs and features of the new tech.
One of the new features is the whopping 4GB of high bandwidth memory. AMD have released that the 4GB will be running at 500mhz on a 4096-bit wide bus. This means that at this clock speed it can hit a whopping 512GB/s in bandwidth!
The interesting part about this is that AMD is not going to let you overclock the memory on the cards when the first ones are released. AMD say that the new memory technology behind the Fiji architecture is too new and will provide more than enough bandwidth to use the cards at max utilization. This block by AMD may be lifted later on in the cards lifetime but for the time being it will only be the cards core clock that can be overclocked.
AMD have also compacted everything on the new cards as they have now joined the memory and the GPU itself into one large chip that sits on the board. I assume this is to help the card to get the phenomenal bandwidth that they state it can provide.
The AMD Radeon R9 Fury X video card is the top range single-GPU Fiji card. This card is said to be stuffed full with 4096 Stream Processors running at 1050MHz. The card will have 64 Compute Units, 256 Texture Units and 64 ROPs. The Compute performance is 8.6 TFLOPS! The texture fill-rate is 268.8 GT/s, and the pixel-fill rate is 67.2 GP/s. Pretty high specs for a card that uses around 275 watts under normal load; The Fiji architecture has taken nearly 7 years to develop and is the first GPU to utilize high bandwidth memory,
I find it very strange that AMD have restricted the ability to overclock the memory in the new chips, but maybe it’s for the best. What do you think? Let us know!
Thank you to Legit Reviews for providing us with this information.
E3 2015 is well underway now, and with Sony and Microsoft delivering killer keynote presentations earlier this week, we thought we would bring you a quick look at some of the other fun stuff happening in and around the event. There’s a huge amount of booths at the show, although that likely comes as no surprise. However, there’s no doubt that many of you are unable to make it to the event, so why not check out this gallery of the fun you could see at the show, and who knows, perhaps it’ll be enough to tempt you into booking up tickets for next years show!
If you were at E3, which booths and more importantly, given this is a gaming event after all, which games would you be most eager to check out? There’s still a few days left of the show, so no doubt we can expect a few more cool surprises from various developers and studios, so stay tuned and we’ll bring you the latest as soon as we have it.
Nope, I’m not trolling you, I’m really not. Sony on the other hand, might be trolling us all big time, but it’s unlikely that this is fake. The news landed in my inbox this morning that Final Fantasy VII was finally getting a HD remake and I have to admit, I said something I simply can’t repeat here.
The news broke on the official PlayStation Twitter account a few hours ago, leaving many members of the social site in absolutely shock. It’s been rumoured since the PlayStation 2 era, but this year, it’s really happening.
Oculus have something up their sleeves and the countdown for the special live event has almost reached zero. Nerds, geeks, and virtual reality fans are equally curious and anxious to see what they have planned and will present for us.
Luckily we don’t have to wait much longer as the event is about to go live. We will of course bring you all the hot news as they roll in.
On stage come Brendon Iribe, the CEO of Oculus. The whole thing starts out with a history lesson about 2D and why VR will change everything. Nothing new, but something we’ve all been dreaming off for a long time.
It’s the Oculus Rift headset! The final version for consumers, no development kit anymore.
Computex 2015: When people think of G.Skill they think of high-end memory products, but how many of you knew they also make peripherals? Well, at this year’s show, G.Skill rocked up with their latest range of gaming keyboard, gaming mice and headsets. The hardware certainly looks great and is obviously targeted at a gaming audience.
Thir new keyboards come with range of cool RGB lighting effects, which as you know is a popular feature with many PC users these days. Their new mouse is adjustable, quite a lot similar to the MadCatz mouse, but still a great looking and feel product regardless.
We look forward to testing out this hardware in the near future and will bring you more information as soon as we have it.
Computex 2015: I don’t know where to start with this, Cooler Master blew my mind today and that’s no bad thing! At CES, Cooler Master had literally no knew products, as they were planning something big, today we found out what that was. Their new maker philosophy highlights everything that the company stands for, but now they’re turning you, the consumer, in to the maker you’ve always wanted to be.
Everything in their new range is modular, expandable, moddable, to an extent that we’ve literally never seen before. Their new chassis can be reconfigured extensively to meet your needs. The storage bays have dozens of configurations, there’s extensive cooling configuration options and more.
Then there’s their new cooler, which can be reconfigured, different fan configurations and more. Even the notebook cooler has mods, where you can add USB hubs, wrist rests, different fans and more!
Their new headset, however, is the star of the show, at least in my opinion. The drivers twist lock into place. Want a new sound? Unplug the drivers and lock in another set; I really can’t wait to test this feature out.
Cooler Master are also doing custom loop water cooling gear now too, so basically, no matter the configuration, not matter the requirements, the design, what ever you need, it seems Cooler Master has got you covered!
We’ll bring you more information and featured reviews in the very near future, so stay tuned.
To top off the day, Cooler Master even treated me to a maker beer! As well as allowing me to make my own Lego me, making me a maker too!
Computex 2015: Noctua has come out swinging at this year’s event. They’ve brought along their latest and greatest products, as well as a range of new and upcoming products.
Many of their existing products are quite popular, but as Noctua look to promote their new hardware, they’ve moved their old lines to the Redux category, which means they’ll keep manufacturing them and they’ll even be cheaper!
Their new prototype fan is particularly special, obviously it promises greatly improved performance, but look how tight those fan blades are from the frame! Virtually no space is wasted.
Their new U-type coolers, which will feature the new prototype fans once they are complete, now feature 6 heat pipes instead of five, improved layout for 100% ram compatibility in single fan mode, increased surface area of 50% for 120mm and 30% for 140mm and more improvements.
Here’s something cool, ANC fans! The fans use a small PCB at the back of the fan, as well as a microphone and a small magnet that can oscillate the fan blades like a speaker. This reduces the noise you can hear from the fan. There’s still a lot of development to be done, and the fans will no doubt be expensive, but the concept alone is pretty awesome.
Tired of that brown finish? How about some custom colour corners.
Skylake mounting kits, already available free of charge from Noctua!
Computex 2015: I’ve seen some incredible chassis in my time, but none compare to what we witnessed at the In Win booth this year. Their new H Tower is a behemoth of aluminium and electronics. At one moment it looks like something out of the Transformers, but via the accompanying mobile app, you can make this chassis open automatically. Four lasers draw a square around the chassis, a “keep clear” zone if you will, the side panels arch outwards, the motherboard tray raises up and rotates to lay flat above the chassis; like some kind of PC chassis/Aircraft carrier.
We’ve got a video uploading, so stand by for that. There’s no official price just yet, but estimates may be around the £1500 area. That sounds like a lot of money, because it is, but when you see this thing in action, you couldn’t imagine it being any cheaper.
Computex 2015: Aorus specialise in ultra high-end gaming gear, especially when it comes to making some of the fastest gaming notebooks in the world. However, with great gaming systems comes a need for great peripherals and Aorus don’t disappoint in that department.
First up, their gorgeous Thunder m7 gaming mouse, nothing new as it’s been out a while now, but still a great MMO gaming mouse.
The stunning Thunder K7, a modular gaming keyboard that its great for your ever changing gaming demands. The wrist rest snaps into place using magnets, but even cooler, so does the number pad. You can move it from the to the right and back again in a flash if you need to and it’s a great way of giving yourself a huge range of macro keys, or a TKL keyboard when you need one!
Computex 2015: While they may be better known for their memory products, G.Skill also has a great range of gaming peripherals. We stopped by their booth to check out some gorgeous looking RGB keyboards and mice. Their a little aggressive in terms of design for my taste, but I can see them making a great addition to many gaming setups.
The new mouse is nothing too fancy and no doubt shares a few design themes with the likes of MadCatz and a few others, but it still looks and feels pretty good and makes a nice match with the gaming keyboard.
The new headsets are what really got my attention. Funky built-in lighting that shows off the inner workings of the drivers, an auto-adjusting headband and great sound quality.
There’s two models available, a true 7.1 and a virtual surround model; obviously one is cheaper, but it depends on what kind of experience you’re looking for. They both sounded great to me, but I’m hoping to review them in the near future and really pick at the details.
Computex 2015: Have you ever heard of Bloody before? They may not have the most recognisable name in the world, but they’ve certainly got a good reputation in certain markets and after a quick visit to their booth, it’s easy to see why! Their range of keyboards and mice is certainly eye-catching, but we especially love the fully RGB mechanical keyboards, with their slim chassis, white frame and white key caps design. I’d love one of these in my office, it’s a welcome break from the often grey and black colour schemes we see.
Would you have one of these keyboards in your setup? Or are you more likely to stick with a brand you know?