Go 8 Bit – A Show About Video Games Hosted By Dara O’Briain

Video gaming has come a long way in recent years. Traditionally it was something you did at an arcade, with people playing games for hours after hours trying to beat the top score. The games then came home, with people being able to enjoy their frustration and enjoyment in private, then they went back to being public with streamers and tournaments bringing e-sports to the whole world. Dara O’Briain looks to continue this by bringing some of the games back to your TV screen.

With a few exceptions, shows about video games have rarely taken off. An example of this can be found back in 2003 when BBC Two released the series Time Commanders. Putting people into historic battles using Rome: Total War while military specialists would compare their tactics to the actual tactics used in the battle. People prefer to play games rather than watch them.

These days people prefer to play games rather than watch them, but comedian Dara O’Briain latest show, Go 8 Bit, could change that by giving two teams give rounds to complete against one another. Ranging from classic games like Pac-Man and Pong to more modern games (I doubt we will get to see them play Mortal Kombat) the series could inspire people to watch and even play some classics.

In addition to the video games “larger-than-life game-inspired physical challenges” could be included as part of the show. We are thinking paintballing on CS:GO inspired maps and a few laps the studio in Mario Kart themed boxes.

Would you watch the show? Who would you like to see take part in the competitions?

Lian Li Announces PC-7N Classic Mid-Tower Chassis

Lian Li’s newly announced PC-7N chassis comes with a classic and minimalistic look on the outside, but quite a few improvements on the inside. The new PC-7N includes an improved and customizable storage rack for drives, tool-less building features, and great clearances in a lightweight chassis.

As a mid-tower chassis, the PC-7N can hold the most common sized ATX or mATX motherboards. Clearance is a factor in this chassis and you can easily mount CPU coolers with a height up to 170mm and graphics cards as long as 370mm without hard disk trays mounted in front of the card. With trays, you can still mount cards with a length up to 250mm.

Lian Li built the PC-7n with tool-less mounting options for easy installation. The chassis comes with four drive trays included which all are fitted with vibration-dampening rubber washers. Each of the trays can be installed in one of the eight available slots and they’ll be directly cooled by the two front intake fans. The drive trays are secured by a removable aluminum arm that in itself is secured by a thumbscrew. You can also add up to two 5.25-inch drives to this chassis and those trays also feature tool-less installation.

Cooling wise the PC-7N has the basic features and nothing out of the norm. You get two front intake 120mm fans and one rear 120mm exhaust fan. The front intake and the PSU area both have dust filters to help keep your system as clean on the inside as possible. There’s also basic water cooling support for those that wish a liquid cooled setup. The front allows for radiators with a size up to 140mm x 280mm x 60mm and the rear also features liquid cooling grommets.

There is plenty of space for the PSU due to the clean internal build which allows you to mount PSUs with a length of up to 270mm. That should be plenty for even the most powerful power supplies on the market. You also get eight expansion slots for easy setup with up to four dual-slot cards, and a front panel with audio and USB 3.0 ports.

The PC-7N is scheduled for an availability at the end of March and it will be available in two colours. The manufacturer suggested retail price is set to £84.90.

Feature Highlights

  • Customizable modular drive rack
  • Fits four 3.5” HDDs or 2.5” SSDs
  • Water cooling: up to 140mmx280mmx60mm on internal bracket
  • Removable front panel and mesh filter; two 120mm intake fans, one 120mm exhaust fan
  • Accommodates VGA cards up to 370mm long
  • Accommodates CPU coolers up to 170mm tall
  • Accommodates PSUs up to 270mm long
  • MSRP: £84.90
  • Availability: End of March

Atari to Launch Classic Game Compilation on Steam

Atari is one of the most iconic names in video game history and popularized the concept of interchangeable cartridges on a home console. Way back in 1977, Atari launched the Atari VCS which eventually become known as the 2600 after 1982. The system featured 128 bytes of RAM, an 8-bit MOS 6507 CPU running at 1.19 MHz and had a huge range of controllers. While the games look extremely primitive by modern standards, they were revolutionary in the early 1980s and helped establish the video game industry as a credible form of entertainment. Unfortunately, Atari struggled in their later years and couldn’t compete with SEGA or Nintendo. For example, the Atari Jaguar’s bulky controller, and poor software library made it a disaster.

Atari is now owned by French company, Infogrames and hasn’t really published anything of note. The only real exception which comes to mind is Test Drive Unlimited. Nevertheless, a new compilation is coming to Steam entitled, Atari Vault which includes a number of legendary games! The press release reads:

“Including 100 iconic, fan-favorite games like Asteroids®, Centipede®, Missile Command®, Tempest®, Warlords®, and many more,Atari Vault enables fans to relive the classic gaming experience in the modern age, with an upgraded user interface, the addition of online and local multiplayer options, and Steam Controller support that provides significantly improved precision control. For the first time ever, fans from around the world can challenge other players on Steam Leaderboards and compete for arcade supremacy – all while rocking out to the games’ original 70’s and 80’s soundtracks. Atari Vault is under development by Code Mystics, and will launch in Spring 2016.”

Sadly, there’s no information regarding price, but I cannot imagine it will be too expensive given the library’s age and ability to emulate Atari games so easily. While I’m a huge fan of retro games, it can be quite difficult to look past the graphics on old school Atari classics, because they have aged quite poorly.

Image courtesy of 8-bitcentral

Doom is Now Fully Playable Using Fallout 4’s PipBoy

Fallout 4’s passionate community is already creating a host of innovative mods to improve the user-interface. While these alterations are incredibly useful, the ability to play Doom on a Pip Boy is certainly one of the most intriguing creations. Once the mod has been installed, you can enjoy Doom in all its glory through a retro green art style which is quite reminiscent of the original Nintendo Game Boy. In theory, this shouldn’t be taken down for copyright reasons because you can download a version of Doom under the Shareware license.

Honestly, Bethesda should have included this by default as a hidden Easter egg. Although, perhaps the idea never crossed their mind. If you want to give the Doom mod a try, please visit here. Thankfully, the install process is fairly painless and shouldn’t pose a problem:

  • Goto C:\Users\USERNAME\Documents\My Games\Fallout4
  • Open Fallout4.ini
  • Scroll to sResourceDataDirsFinal and add “PROGRAMS\, SOUND\” to the end of the line comma included.
  • Enjoy.

Doom on a Pip Boy isn’t the definitive version but it’s an excellent mod which deserves some attention. Even more impressive, this is supposedly the creator’s first mod. Although, I’m unsure if that relates to Fallout 4 mods or modding in general. Now it’s time to ditch that calculator or Apple Watch version of Doom, and play it on a Pip Boy!

Impossible Creatures Re-Released On Steam

In recent years, both new games and old have been appearing online in re-releases and remastering. With the shutdown of services like GameSpy many have transferred their systems to use newer services, such as those provided by Steam. These games include classics like Age of Empires 2 and Age of Mythology, but more recently another classic has appeared on Steam, Impossible Creatures.

In Impossible creatures, the player use typical real-time strategy (RTS) to build units to conquer land, sea and air, while building up resources, research and defences. One twist, in Impossible Creatures, as the name suggests is that your army will not only consist of people but also an array of creatures that combine the DNA of 50 of Earth’s majestic wildlife. Pictured below is just one of the creatures, the speed of a cheetah and the claws of a scorpion creates a nasty pack of creatures that can quickly sprint and squeeze your enemies defences.

By combining DNA of creatures for their heads, bodies, legs, tails and even wings you can create small armies or giant behemoths.

With modding support and multiplayer re-implemented for a smooth online experience you could soon be playing with your friends to conquer the world with an army of tiger sharks (literally tigers with a sharks head) or even a flying whale (we’ve seen it, it is awesome). With steam friends and cloud support you can bring in your friends for the battle and with the remastered systems enjoy the classic all over again, or for the first time.

If you like the sound of a monster army, check out the game here.

Sony To Cease Betamax Sales After 40 Years

Betamax was pioneered by Sony in the 1970s and utilized a magnetic tape to offer mainstream recording functionality. Initially, Sony tried to dominate the market and make Betamax the industry standard. However, JVC had other ideas and decided to make their own tape recorder called VHS. By 1980, the VHS format accounted for 60% of the North American market and signified the demise of Betamax.

Despite this, Sony’s failed format continued to sell reasonably well in Japan and can still be procured today. Although, Sony announced that Betamax sales will officially end in March 2016. It might surprise people in the west that old formats like Betamax are popular in Japan. Although, ancient electronics and retro games are often seen in various second-hand stores, and the “junk” section can contain broken Betamax players.

It’s important to remember how long the PlayStation 2 was in production throughout Japan. 40 years is a healthy lifespan given the format’s utter failure. I’m personally sad to see any piece of technology being retired, but it’s very niche in 2015. Modern media revolves around streaming which means dedicated players could become obsolete soon. Of course, 4K Blu-Rays could help prolong the lifespan of optical media, but its fate is sealed.

Are you still using VHS tapes? Perhaps, you’re a fan of the mighty LaserDisc format!

Image source

New Star Trek Series Coming in 2017

I’ve watched every series of Star Trek barring Enterprise numerous times and feel it’s an integral part of my childhood. The engaging stories, wonderful characters and morality provides an insight into what the world could be like if humans worked together in harmony. In 2015, clearly that’s an idealistic sentiment. Whatever the case, I can easily re-watch Star Trek The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, The Original Series and Voyager without ever getting bored with the stories. To be honest, I’ve probably done an entire run through of TNG at least 8 times.

You might describe me as a Star Trek addict, and that is certainly true. From nowhere, CBS have announced a brand new series which premiers in January 2017! I am trying to keep calm, but this is incredibly exciting. However, the big caveat is US residents can only access the series through a subscription:

“The new series will blast off with a special preview broadcast on the CBS Television Network. The premiere episode and all subsequent first-run episodes will then be available exclusively in the United States on CBS All Access, the Network’s digital subscription video on demand and live streaming service.”

https://twitter.com/StarTrek/status/661211904405147653/photo/1

It’s an interesting move to broadcast the episodes on a streaming service but restricting its availability to US citizens is appalling. Why not offer Europeans the same subscription service too? CBS need to wake up and realize that Star Trek fans come from all over the world. Additionally, region locking broadcasts only encourages piracy and the new series will be littered all over torrent sites for people to access in and out of the USA. As a result, they should allow everyone to access it and the older Star Trek catalog for a flat fee.

David Stapf, President at CBS Television Studios described the announcement and said:

“There is no better time to give Star Trek fans a new series than on the heels of the original show’s 50th anniversary celebration,”  

“Everyone here has great respect for this storied franchise, and we’re excited to launch its next television chapter in the creative mind and skilled hands of Alex Kurtzman, someone who knows this world and its audience intimately.”

I’m really torn on the new Star Trek series because I’m desperate to watch it but fairly shocked that CBS continue to lock their streaming service on a geographical basis. Don’t get me wrong, it’s going to be broadcast throughout the world, but I’d love the option to access a dedicated Star Trek streaming service instead.

Unofficial Service Pack Released For Windows 98 SE

With all the press coverage regarding Windows 10, it’s very easy to forget Microsoft’s roots and how their operating systems evolved over time. Windows 98: Second Edition holds a lot of nostalgic memories due to its multi-user network configuration and extended peripheral support. Rather surprisingly, the OS never received an official Service Pack unlike Windows 2000, XP, Vista, 7 and 8. However, an unofficial Service Pack has just been released which collects all of the Windows Updates and a number of minor tweaks. Here is a complete rundown of the installation process and changes:

Requirements:

  • Minimum 64 MB of RAM for Main Updates.
  • 160 MB free hard disk space for (ALL) options.

Installation Guide:

  1. Install Windows 98 Second Edition (with or without 98lite).*
  2. Install all drivers for your hardware.
  3. Install Internet Explorer (any version).*
  4. Install latest DirectX 9c.*
  5. Install latest Service Pack 3.x (Main Updates).*
  6. Install optional components of Service Pack 3.x.*
  7. Install MS Office.*
  8. Install KernelEx, 98SE2ME, Revolution Pack.*
    [* = Optional]

Changelog 3.47:

  • Minor Bug Fixes
  • Updated 5 fonts (ARIALN.TTF, ARIALNB.TTF, ARIALNBI.TTF, ARIALNI.TTF, ARIBLK.TTF) Office XP SP3
  • Updated GDIPLUS.DLL 5.2.6002.23746 Windows XP SP3

While technology moves forward at a rapid rate, it’s always vital to have a sense of history so future generations can understand how software and hardware developed over the years.

Thank you OlderGeeks for providing us with this information.

Duke Nukem Lawsuit Is Officially Over as All Sides Release Statements

Duke Nukem was one of the really popular FPS games back in the 90s and also had a reboot a couple of years ago with Duke Nukem forever. It was never really a game for me despite being a good game, it was just too colourful for someone as me coming from a heavy Wolfenstein, Terminator Rampage, Doom, and Quake environment. Even though the Forever game didn’t take off as some had hoped, it was a great game too and a future Duke Nukem game was set in motion in 2014 called Duke Nukem Survivor and later Duke Nukem: Mass Destruction..

However, those plans got scrapped as it came out that the legal grounds for the intellectual property weren’t clear and the project got renamed into Bombshell and pretty much any reference to Duke Nukem got removed from the game. It all turned into a large round of lawsuits that were settled back in May, but it isn’t until now that the three companies involved have issued public statements on the matter. Interceptor, the company behind Bombshell, had obtained permission for the new Duke Nukem project from the original developers, 3D Realms. But it turned out that 3D Realms didn’t own the rights to it at all, Gearbox did.

Long story short, Gearbox owns the right to the Duke Nukem franchise, Interceptor is working on Bombshell, and 3D Realms stand back as the original developers of the Duke Nukem game but with no involvement in the newer games. You can read the full statements below:

Joint Statement by Gearbox Software, 3D Realms and Interceptor Entertainment

Gearbox Software, 3D Realms and Interceptor Entertainment have resolved their differences; the parties have voluntarily ended all litigation between them.

From Mike Nielsen (3D Realms CEO): “When Interceptor acquired a license to develop ‘Duke Nukem Mass Destruction’ (‘Duke Nukem Survivor’) from 3D Realms, we did so in good faith and were not aware of any conflict. We never intended to cause any harm to Gearbox or Duke, which is why we immediately ceased development after Gearbox reached out. To secure the future of Duke, 3D Realms has agreed with Gearbox that a single home serves the IP best. And as big Duke fans, we’re excited to see what Gearbox has in store for the ‘King.’ As for our own games, we’re eager to complete development of the ‘Bombshell’ game and get it in the hands of our fans.”

Statement by Frederik Schreiber (Interceptor)

I’m really happy that the lawsuit between Gearbox, 3DR, and Interceptor has come to an end. Right now, I, along with my Interceptor colleagues, are busy making the finishing touches on “Bombshell.” We can’t wait until you guys can play it!

Now that the lawsuit is over, I’d like to say a few things about my history with Gearbox, and hopefully clear some things up. I’ve been a huge Duke fan for many years, and the original Duke Nukem 3D was a big influence on me and my career in this industry that I love.

I want to express my deepest gratitude to Gearbox for allowing me to work on Duke Nukem Reloaded. I decided to cease production of Reloaded in 2011 to establish Interceptor and work on Rise of the Triad.

I want to make it clear now, once and for all – It was my own decision to pull the plug on Duke Nukem Reloaded, even though we were fully allowed to continue development. I respect Gearbox for supporting a young developer, and I’m glad we can now put this behind us.

I look forward to completing development on “Bombshell” and-as a long-time fan of Duke-I’m excited to see what Gearbox has in store for the ‘King’!

Statement by Gearbox

Gearbox Software has voluntarily ended its litigation against Interceptor Entertainment and 3D Realms, and wishes to keep the terms of its settlement confidential except to confirm that Gearbox Software is the full and rightful owner of the Duke Nukem franchise.

Gearbox Software appreciates the sentiments from Interceptor and 3D Realms’ representatives. Gearbox Software President Randy Pitchford said, “I genuinely appreciate Mr. Nielsen’s and Mr. Schreiber’s statement and sincerely offer my best wishes to Interceptor Entertainment and 3D Realms towards their future success and, as someone who was part of the 3D Realms team when Bombshell was first imagined, I am excited to see what they have in store for us with their game.

Thank You GamesIndustry for providing us with this information

Classic Gaming Commercials Were Awesome!

Modern video games are usually advertised with endless bullshots (photoshopped screenshots), or “not actual in-game footage” montages that are full of action, even if the game isn’t. Of course, things weren’t always this way and in fact, some of the older adverts were often far worse than their modern counterparts for embellishing the truth of the game. Of course, one thing about the original adverts from my own youth, is that they’re full of retro charm and often so bad that you can’t help but grin at how amusing they were and still are.

Just looks at this one from the 1976 Radio Shack TV Scoreboard. It was terrible, but at least they had the confidence to show it actually being used, something you rarely see in modern adverts.

https://youtu.be/6quqAff5fO8

Or this bonkers advert for a Wiresless NES controller, they may have embellished the levels of immersion a little bit (see: A lot).

Of course, you could always fight Mike Tyson in Punchout, even better if you have a massive video wall of old school TV’s.

https://youtu.be/N8OSCB1qYMk

Or get ready for the future with this Sega Mega Drive advert from 1992. Again, maybe the hammed up the excitement a little bit, even if the Mega Drive was freaking epic.

Then again, the Mega Drive did have “BLAST PROCESSING!” and Nintendo didn’t! Sing along “You can’t do this on Nintendo!” And you thought the console war was intense these days!

Or you could buy the Sony Bagel Toaster for £299 and a Deadly Doughnut to put in it for just £44.99. Wait, WUT? Then again, Sony have long been masters of strange advertisements.

How about “HEEEY! You look like a real jerk!” from the old 1983 Pole Position Atari advert? Be careful though “it’ll leave skid marks on your soul!”

https://youtu.be/kiEj4RNpYME

Actually, now that I think about it, old video game advertisements were awesome! Then again, some modern trailers haven’t lost that ludicrous magic of giving us no real impression of what the game is actually like.

https://youtu.be/4wIZp_E2CxQ

And let’s not forget that banned Xbox commercial, which is pretty intense to say the least, but damn was it a cool, if somewhat disturbing, advertisement. Credit to them for thinking completely out of the box on that one.

Feel free to share some of your favourites in the comments section or on our Facebook wall and we’ll share them out with the eTeknix community.

Sony Pictures Announces Future Movie Line Up

Who doesn’t love a good film? Going from an everyday boy or girl to a hero saving the world, or why not have a hero plagued by their demons? Either way you look at it, we as a species love getting engrossed in good book, a great game or an amazing movie. We all know that a good film can never be replaced and the more we watch the more we want to see. For these reasons, I present to you the recently announced release dates for 16 Sony Pictures films!

Set for release in 2016 and 2017 (yes we all know how flimsy release dates can be) and even a 2019 release date, the films are as followes:

  • Money Monster – 8/4/16
  • The Shallows – 24/6/16
  • Ghostbusters – 15/7/16
  • Patient Zero – 2/9/16
  • The Magnificent Seven – 23/9/16
  • Underworld 5 – 21/10/16
  • Passengers – 21/12/16
  • Jumanji – 25/12/16
  • The Dark Tower – 13/1/17
  • Resident Evil Movie 6 – 27/1/17
  • Bad Boys 3 – 17/2/17
  • Baby Driver – 17/3/17
  • Barbie – 2/6/17
  • Uncharted – 30/6/17
  • The Lamb – 8/12/17
  • Bad Boys 4 – 3/7/19

*Dates have been converted to English format of Day/Month/Year from original listing

With such a list of films, ranging from remakes such as Ghostbusters, this time featuring a female team of ghostbuster hunting the things that go bump in the night and the remake of a personal favourite, Jumanji, which is slated for a 2016 Christmas Day release. Going all the way to continuing series such as Bad Boys 3 and Bad Boys 4, then even Underworld 5 and even a new Resident Evil Movie.

With so many good films coming out, how many of you are going to have to dust off that cinema bag and pack for the big screen experience?

Thank you Sony Pictures for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Gizmodo.

New Tomorrowland Teaser Brings Back Memories

The brand new teaser for the Tomorrowland movie is sure to stir up some old memories and emotions if you grew up watching the Disney Channel or classic Disney programming. The short video features George Clooney and some of the people behind the movie discussing the history of Tomorrowland, the classic Disney attraction.

The quick exploration of the history behind Tomorrowland and Walt Disney’s visions of the future give a quick foundation on what the new movie is being based on. There is no doubt that the attraction is a great basis for a movie as it is part of the childhoods of many generations of kids and adults who have visited the attraction or watched Disney programming. The glimpses of what the visions of the future were back in the 1955 when the attraction first opened at Disneyland. There are now five different Tomorrowland attractions at Disney Parks around the world, with a sixth being built at Shanghai Disneyland Park.

Having grown up watching classic Disney programming on the Disney Channel in the late ’80s and early ’90s it stirs up a lot of great memories. It is surprising that I am looking forward to a PG-rated movie, but I am sure there are many adults doing the same. They even will be using their children as an excuse to go see the movie, an excuse that I can’t use unfortunately.

Thank you Paleofuture for providing us with this information 

Image courtesy of Discovering The Magic Kingdom

PlayStation TV Price Drops to £45 in the UK

While Sony’s PlayStation 4 console is doing very well in terms of selling figures, it looks like its little brother, the PlayStation TV, is not going on the same path as its big brother. The PlayStation TV is an interesting concept, having the console play some PlayStation Vita, PSP and classic PlayStation games.

The best feature for this little console is its Remote Play, but a £84.99 price is a good enough reason to say no, especially if you just want to stream your PlayStation 4 games around the house. The PlayStation TV has been available in the UK for over three months now and even if it did not stand up to Sony’s expectation, the company still sees a lot of potential in it. This is why Sony has adjusted the price to £44.99.

While the price cut is huge, it’s still a long-shot for it to gain a lot of popularity overnight, even if the PlayStation TV sells with a voucher for three PlayStation Vita games. It will remain to be seen if the mini-console will get the appreciation Sony expects after this price cut.

Thank you Endgadget for providing us with this information

Brutal Doom Mod Gets Awesome New Update (Video)

One thing I love about the PC modding community is that they simply never stop. Doom was one of the first PC games I ever played and thanks to the work of modder ‘SGtMarkIV’ I’m going to be playing it again very soon.

The latest update to the Brutal Doom mod adds improved gore effects, new rotation sprites, a redesigned shotgun and more. Enough of the details though, because the video really does speak for itself.

Thank you Brutal Doom for providing us with this information.

BlackBerry Classic Officially Released

BlackBerry has finally released the Classic – a device the company has been talking about for a long, long time. Well now we finally have everything we need to know about this little blast from the past.

The device comes with a 720 x 720 pixel, 3.5-inch touchscreen, with 2GB of RAM and a rather dated 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm processor. Above its full qwerty keyboard and its display, there is a 2-megapixel camera, with an 8-megapixel camera on the rear. There’s also 16GB of expandable storage onboard. It also runs the BlackBerry 10 OS, with support for native Android apps.

The device, which is available now for $449, has been targeted at business users whom a number still rely on old BlackBerrys (including the Commander in Chief) to plough through those millions of e-mails with that beloved physical keyboard.

We shall have to see whether this explosion of smartphone nostalgia is enough of a fix for BlackBerry’s troubles.

Source: The Verge

Old iPods Are Selling for $90,000

Earlier this year, Apple stopped producing the trusty old iPod Classic – what was the only remaining iPod with any resemblance to the legendary original. This particular model was very popular with music fans, as it featured a massive hard drive allowing the very biggest music aficionados to carry their entire libraries with them.

So it’s understandable that demand has grown for eBay sales of the device, but perhaps not too understandable to find that one iPod has sold for $90,000. That particular sale involved the ‘U2 iPod’, a special model released in 2004 in collaboration with the band. It featured a special black and red colour scheme, as well as engravings of the signatures of U2 band members. The model sold on eBay was a “rare” factory sealed UK model. The one if the image above is currently going for $5,000.

Now of course this case concerns a special edition iPod, so it isn’t too surprising it got that much money. However, more common older iPods are still selling for 4 figure sums, alongside the final ‘classic’ iPod fetching double its original price.

Think you might have an old iPod laying around the house somewhere? Get it on eBay, you might just make a small fortune.

Source: Mashable

Apple’s iPod Classic is No More

But wait, there’s more! As we’re all busy “running around like a headless chicken” over Apples announced release of the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 plus, iWatch and Apple Pay – a very special and original Apple innovation has slipped into the shadows.

When searching for a MP3 player for myself in 2010, I had the tough task of finding an alternative that meant I could store copious amounts of data wrapped up into a suitable interface. Now, I’m no Apple fanboy (currently Galaxy S4 user), but the iPod Classic was the only thing I could find at the time to suit my needs. Unfortunately, the old 256mb pen drive sticks of yesteryear would no longer ‘cut the mustard’.

Fast-forward to September 2014 and take a second to look at Apples iPod section, and can you see what’s missing? No official statement has been seen from Apple about this as of yet, but it seems that they are just planning to kill the iPod classic off silently without causing a stir. This marks the end of an era, gone but not forgotten.

So that now begs the question, if you’re still looking for a dedicated MP3 player with large scale capacity and a screen to boot, what are your options. Or is the age of the MP3 player dead as phones now reign supreme?

Cover image courtesy of Apple

Museums Classic Arcade Machines Restored With Help of Community

The UK Computer Museum in Cambridge plays home to a vast amount of classic arcade units and while many museums would never dream of restoring their items to new condition, this isn’t your average museum. The team recently decided to try and resurrect a bunch old arcade units that haven’t seen action in at least 17 years and many of them are much older than that, or have suffered heavy use until that point.

Among the pack are Space Invaders, Asteroids, Tempest, Xevious, Alien Syndrome, Centipede and more. Organiser Phillip Riscombe-Burton put a post on forums to call for help in fixing the machines, to which several volunteers answered and have already found temporary fixes for five of the eight dead machines, although they’ve said they’ll continue their work until all the machines are fully restored.

Mr Riscombe-Burton invites any members down to the museum to not only check out the exhibits and play the games there, but to also help contribute their engineering knowledge on how to get these dead ones back to life. Either way it sounds like a pretty fun place, as there aren’t many museums where you can touch the exhibits, let alone try fix them.

Thank you BBC for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of BBC.

GOG.com Celebrates End Of The Year With “Let’s Party Promo!”

Legend of Grimrock

GOG.com’s community has had their say: each day, over the entire run of the DRM-free Winter Sale, users voted to chose which of two daily game bundles would get an up to 80% discount. Like in any epic battle, there were some triumphant winners and there were some unfortunate losers. To make it all better the DRM-free digital distributor gives gamers one last chance in 2013 to get all the games from the bundles that lost in the community deal vote. During the Let’s Party Promo! all the games that didn’t get picked by the community are available with discounts up to 80%. The ongoing deal lasts for the next 48 hours, until 2 January 9:59 PM GMT.

The bundles include timeless gems from almost every genre! RPG fans, depending on their preference, can get their hands on CRPG juggernaut Ultima series; immerse themselves into one of the most complex stories ever told in Wizardry 6, 7, and 8; or they can try the new incarnation of grid-based RPG with Legend of Grimrock. For the more action-oriented gamers space shooter Strike Suit Zero or the immortal Strike Commander will definitely be worth picking up, while jump-scare lovers are sure to enjoy the horrors of Slender: The Arrival, Penumbra, and Knock-Knock.

2013 saw GOG.com release a myriad of quality titles new and old, for PC and Mac, start offering episodic games and season passes, as well as introduce a 30 Day Worldwide Money Back Guarantee. A great year is coming to an end and GOG.com promises surprises galore in 2014 with big website changes and a couple of game-changing projects in store.

Thank you GOG for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of GOG.

Internet Archive To Start Preserving Classic Console Games

All oldies but goldies games have been made possible to play on modern computers with the help of emulators, and they are part of gaming history too. The Internet Archive, a non-profit organization with the purpose of building a freely accessible internet library, is now taking it a step further by adding web versions of classic 70’s and 80’s video games to its collection. It will mark an expansion of its Historical Software Collection and will come in the way of the Console Living Room beta, which lets users play hundreds of classic titles from the Atari 2600, Atari 7800, ColecoVision, Astrocade, and Magnavox Odyssey.

Technical issues are still present with the emulation, so you might have to wait a bit more until roaming around this virtual archive. Not only is there still gaps in the game collection, the audio is reportedly not working as of yet. Some are criticizing the free-to-play Console Living Room beta, and rightfully so, as it does not appear to be on par with existing emulators. Having said that, it is still early and it likely won’t be long before the folks over at the Internet Archive have this thing complete and running smoothly.

There are several games available for each of the above mentioned systems despite the technicality faults, and for those of you willing to give it a try, you can head over to the Console Living Room page.

Thank you Tech Spot for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Wikipedia

Elite Announce Recreation Of Sinclair ZX Spectrum

The recreated Sinclair ZX Spectrum will be a Bluetooth keyboard, initially for iOS and subsequently for Android and Windows phones and tablets (as well as for PCs and Macs), in the form-factor of a 48K Sinclair ZX Spectrum. It will be known as the Bluetooth ZX Spectrum. The Bluetooth ZX Spectrum will connect wirelessly to, for example, an iPad and in turn to a TV via Apple Airplay.

This is a great way to relive some classic gaming and of course coding moments from back when things were less about DLC and more about awful loading noises, games on cartridges and tapes, typing our code from magazines for hours on end to get a free game and all that other crazy nonsense that the Spectrum was great at.

“By default, when used in conjunction with the simultaneously released and separately sold Bluetooth ZX Spectrum apps, available from the iTunes App Store and subsequently from the Google Play, Amazon App Store and Windows Store, the Bluetooth ZX Spectrum will provide authentic rubber-key play-control over a comprehensive catalogue of 100% original, officially licenced, paid-for Bluetooth ZX Spectrum games (and more) via a secure App Store environment. Either at launch or sometime later, the Bluetooth ZX Spectrum will also be ‘backwardly compatible’ with the existing and separately sold, ‘ZX Spectrum: Elite Collection’ apps, either by default or perhaps via an in-app purchase from within those apps.”

You can read more about the existing ZX Spectrum: Elite Collection apps for iOS devices here and here. Meanwhile you can check out the just launched Kickstarter for the new Bluetooth ZX Spectrum here.

Thank you Elite for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Elite.

8 3D Sega Classics Will Be Heading To The Nintendo 3DS This Year

Sega have just announced details for their highly anticipated 3D remake of some of their arcade classics, such as Ecco The Dolphin for the Nintendo 3DS. Each of these titles will be priced at a pretty reasonable $5.99/€4.99/£4.49 and they will all be available for download in the Nintendo eShop on Nintendo 3DS. Release dates for the titles are as follows:

  • 3D Space Harrier – 11/28/2013
  • 3D Super Hang-On – 11/28/2013
  • 3D Sonic The Hedgehog – 12/5/2013
  • 3D Altered Beast – 12/5/2013
  • 3D Ecco the Dolphin – 12/12/2013
  • 3D Galaxy Force II – 12/12/2013
  • 3D Shinobi III – 12/19/2013
  • 3D Streets of Rage – 12/19/2013

“These games were completely re-built to offer a robust 3D experience that offers more modern gameplay while still keeping true to the original,” commented John Cheng, President and COO, SEGA of America. “We look forward to bringing these classic SEGA titles to Nintendo 3DS for fans – both old and new.”

Many of these games have been ported to new formats over the years but as far as I am concerned there is never need of an excuse to replay Sony, Ecco, Streets of Rage or in fact any of these titles! And if Sega do a good job on the graphics then these could very well be some nice bargains to enjoy of the holiday season.

Thank you Sega for providing us with this information.

3D Reimagining Of Mickey Mouse “Castle Of Illusion” Now Available For Digital Download

SEGA of America Inc. and Disney Interactive today announced Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse, the 3D reimagining of the original 1991 SEGA Genesis classic is now available for download. Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse is available worldwide for digital download today for PlayStation Network, Xbox Live and Windows PC for $14.99USD/£ 9.99/€14.99.

“We enjoyed working closely with Disney Interactive to update this classic title,” said John Cheng, President and COO, SEGA of America. Whether they played the original on the SEGA Genesis or just discovering it for the first time, we really hope the fans will find our re-imagining of Castle of Illusion a magical experience.”

Mickey Mouse returns to star in a magical Disney adventure with all-new HD graphics and gameplay. Experience a world of enchantment as Castle of Illusion brings Mickey and his world to life. When the evil witch Mizrabel kidnaps Minnie, it’s up to Mickey to brave the dangers of the Castle of Illusion and journey through five fantastical worlds to rescue Minnie. Gather your courage and take on hordes of rebellious toys, traverse enchanted forests and navigate mazes of living books to save Minnie from Mizrabel’s evil clutches.

This was easily the greatest Micky game ever made in my opinion and one of my all time favourite Mega Drive / Genesis games, will you be playing this latest release of the platforming classic?

Thank you SEGA for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of SEGA.

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.

Minimum:

  • 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

Recommended:

  • 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.

16 Bit Arena Now On Sale

A new game called 16 Bit Arena is now available on six stores- Amazon.com, GreenManGaming.com (soon), Desura.com, ShinyLoot.com, IndieCity.com, and IndieVania.com- and has been submitted to Steam through its Greenlight process as well.

This game is certainly something a little different and personally I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy for some hardcore classic style gaming, surely I’m not the only one, do we have any eTeknix fans picking up this little gem?

The game’s features are described as:

  • Fight in turn-based multiplayer battles up to 9v9 with the old school graphics you’ve been missing!
  • Enter battle as a Warrior, Mage, Rogue, or Healer of either gender, and use a card to transform into any of 16 characters, combining their stats and abilities with your class’s!
  • Elemental properties for every character; collect gems that let you choose yours, and cast its magic!
  • Gain Charge during battle to do more damage, boost specific stats, and more- or just save your turns for later and pummel an enemy all at once!
  • A rockingly awesome soundtrack!
  • Journey through eight intense Trials to gain cards and gems for use in the Arena!
  • Enjoy the 2-player tactical-RPG-style Card Game- a great additional game on its own, it lets you earn cards and gems too!
  • Site includes a webcomic, updated weekly, featuring the eight Paladins from the game!

With features like strategizing in large battles to the tune of real guitar accompanying retro graphics, this promises to be a very one-of-a-kind and just plain fun game.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/CIaq9tvnLQM[/youtube]
Official Homepage

1996 Was The Golden Year… For Gaming!

1996, the year football came home and Gazza thrilled at Wembley; the Spice Girls hit number one with Wannabe, Oasis played Knebworth; the nation was drinking alcopops, Take That and Charles and Diana went their separate ways and a buxom British icon called Lara Croft entered the homes, lads mags and imaginations of millions of Brits. Maybe that’s why 1996, the year the first ever Tomb Raider was released, has been voted the most memorable year for gaming by British gamers.

Retailer GAME asked 2,000 self-confessed console and PC aficionados to consider the biggest landmarks in the history of video gaming with 1996 voted the top vintage year. It was the year that saw Lara Croft become a household name and the release of seminal titles such as FIFA 96 (the first in the most successful football franchise to use real player names), Resident Evil, Tekken 2, Crash Bandicoot and Super Mario 64. Meanwhile the Nintendo Wii (15%) topped the poll as the best ever home gaming device of all-time ahead of the Playstation 3 (9%) and Xbox360 (10%) in a field of 25 including consoles and PCs such as the ZX Spectrum and Atari 2600.

Runner-up nostalgic gaming year was 2002, the year Rockstar games shocked and delighted gamers worldwide with Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. In fifth place was 1980, the landmark year Space Invaders appeared in homes on the Atari 2600 console and PacMan debuted in arcades causing mania, bunked school lessons and pocket money shortages among British teens.

In tenth place was 1975, which despite being beyond living memory for most gamers and a world away from 3D graphics, motion control and online gameplay, saw the release of the first ever home video game Pong; the bat and ball that started it all.

Top five years for gaming:

  • 1996 (14%): Tomb Raider and Crash Bandicoot on the PlayStation and Nintendo 64 launched. We were singing along to Baddiel and Skinner’s Three Lions and Brit Pop was at its height
  • 2002 (13%): Halo and Elder Scrolls III on the Xbox and Grand Theft Auto Vice City. BBC 6 Music arrived on our airwaves and Arsenal won the FA Cup
  • 1991 (12%): Street Fighter II and Super Mario World on SNES and Lemmings was out on the PC. It was the start of the Iraq war and the year Bryan Adams made history when (Everything I Do) I Do It For You entered its 15th successive week at number one
  • 1985 (11%): Super Mario Bros, Duck Hunt and Donkey Kong Jr on the NES and Ultima IV and Oregon Trail on the PC. It was the year Eastenders went on air and the mullet was considered the most desirable hairstyle for men and women alike
  • 1980 (10%): Pac-Man and Centipede in the arcade, Space Invaders on the Atari 2600 and Zork on the PC. It was the year John Lennon was shot dead and David Bowie was at number one with Ashes to Ashes

Craig Ting, Community Manager at GAME said: “It’s been brilliant fun looking back through the archive with the gamers of the UK and reminiscing on what a corker of a year 1996 was. It’s great to see that the classic games of yesterday strike a chord just as much as the latest releases.

We know how passionate the gaming community is and it just goes to show that no matter how old or new and advanced a game or console is, each individual has a strong attachment to their favourite games and the memories associated with them. We look forward to continuing to fuel that passion and share many more gaming moments into the future. With all the amazing developments in the pipeline for 2013 and beyond, there are likely to be many more golden years to come.”

Tom Butler, Social Media Editor for the UK’s largest games website, IGN.com commented “When you look back at some of the iconic titles released in 1996, it’s not hard to see why it topped the poll. With Tomb Raider, Resident Evil, and Crash Bandicoot, Super Mario 64, Pokemon Red & Green, Duke Nukem 3D, Diablo, and The Elder Scrolls II all out in the same year – 1996 was truly a vintage year for gamers.”

The top ten consoles of all time

1. Wii (15%)
2. Xbox 360 (10%)
3. Playstation 3 (9%)
4. Playstation 2 (8%)
5. Sega Mega Drive (7%)
6. Playstation 1 (6.5%)
7. Super Nintendo (6%)
8. Game Boy (5%)
9. N64 (4.5%)
10. Nintendo DS (4%)

I’ll sum this one up, the Wii at the top? really! Well on that bomb shell…