When it comes to technology we are often told about how quickly it is advancing, both in power and the level that we adapt it to our lifestyles. One such popular activity would be the games we play, going from 8-bit dungeon explorers to giant adventure games across stars and planets in virtual reality, but one game that many will remember is the classic called Counter-Strike 1.6, something you can now play on your phone.
Counter-Strike 1.6 was originally a mod of the original Half-Life game, introducing many to competitive multiplayer gameplay for the first time while others enjoyed the mods that let you turn the battle into a paintball party or even the custom maps like the Simpsons neighbourhood. Alibek Omarov apparently didn’t just want to enjoy that same feeling on his phone but wanted the full experience, original game and all.
Featured on his GitHub account under the handle a1batross, the CS16Client lets you install and play the original game on your phone, servers and all. Got a free minute on the way to work? Why not stop a terrorist bomb threat or see if you’ve still got the skill to perform a 360 no scope.
While controls seem a little complicated and clunky, it shouldn’t be hard to connect one of the many controller adaptors that you can now get for your phone to turn your experience into a full-on classic gaming experience.
The incredibly detailed worlds and superb character interactions in video games provides a wonderful distraction from the harsh reality of modern life. Furthermore, unfortunate individuals with long-term health conditions find video games cathartic and allows them to engage in an activity they thoroughly enjoy each day. This is absolute fantastic and it’s so inspiring to see disabled gamers play their favourite titles. Sadly, many physical conditions makes inputting commands a rather challenging exercise but there’s some great work being done by the charity Special Effect to help those affected.
Recently, Peter Byrne, a PlayStation 4 owner suffering from Cerebral Palsy contacted PlayStation Support to explain the problems he faced using the Dual Shock 4 controller. After sending the initial message, Mr Byrne was given the e-mail address of an employee named, Ajmal Alex Nawabi. After exchanging a number of e-mails, Nawabi told Byrne that he couldn’t help resolve his control issues but would send a PlayStation goodie bag as a gesture of their appreciation. To Byrne’s complete shock, the bag contained a custom-made controller:
“I figure I share this story with everyone because it is too good not to share! When I use the PlayStation 4 controller my game constantly pauses because my left hand hits the touchpad which is frustrating for me. Around two weeks ago, I decided to message PlayStation support and they gave this email address and said tell them my issue and wait for a response.
A man by the name of Alex Nawabi from PlayStation messaged me and told me he was taking my matter personally and not on behalf of PlayStation. I explained to him my problem with a controller as well as my condition of cerebral palsy. I even had to give him a visual of what my left hand looked like gripping the controller.
After a series of back and forth emails. Mr. Nawabi told me he was ordering some parts to come up with a solution for me. He emailed he last week saying that he tried to come up with a solution but it didn’t work. However, he would send me a PlayStation goodie box anyway. I received that box today and inside was the modified controller especially made for me and this letter. I honestly got choked up reading the letter as I did not expect anything like this to happen.
Mr. Nawabi really cared about my situation and did this on his own time to make my experience better. I honestly can’t thank him enough for everything he did for me. Thank you Mr. Nawabi it really means a lot too me!”
Here we can see the letter addressed to Mr Byrne describing the process when designing a new controller for his disability:
This is such a heart warming story and restores my faith in humanity somewhat. I have to give credit to Sony for going the extra mile and helping the most vulnerable individuals in society. Disabled people through no fault of their own often live a lonely existence. As a result, video games are so important to keep them entertained and enjoying life. Well done Sony, and I hope Mr Byrne enjoys upcoming games including Uncharted 4.
Earlier this week, a programmer, claiming to be in possession of the Nintendo NX dev kit, revealed photos purporting to be the controller for the new console (above), the design of which certainly matched a patent Nintendo filed last year, and the object itself appeared of a high build quality. The leaker – Frank Sandqvist, posting under the name kankki, Senior Project Lead, NX Hardware Design at Nintendo of Europe – has subsequently revealed on Friday morning that the controller is a fake, writing on NeoGAF:
“I made this fake. Let’s see if I just got myself banned.”
He then posted a link to a YouTube video, exposing how he created the fake controller:
Sandqvist – inspired by a similar hoax the previous week – created the black, button-less gamepad using a copy of the Nintendo controller patent, some nifty CAD skill, and a 3D printing lab. The printed body of the controller was then primed, painted, and decorated with a shiny front plate, shoulder wheels, and a ‘confidential property’ sticker. It sure seems like a lot of work for a hoax that lasted little more than a few days, but it certainly had some fooled.
“When I saw that Photoshopped/rendered white fake, I thought it looked quite easy to reproduce, albeit with a switched-off display,” Sandqvist told Digital Trends. “So that same night I started modeling it up in Autodesk Fusion 360. And I thought it would be interesting to see if I could fool the Internet. At the same time, I guess it could stand as a reminder to people that you can’t really believe these kind of leaks nowadays with the rise of 3D printing.”
Companies are normally quite protective over their property and designs. This often leads to people creating modifications and designs that are often a little rough around the edges. If you are a fan of the Steam controller then you won’t have this problem as you can now download the Stream Controllers designs for free on Steam.
The Steam controller was released in October last year and provides support for select games and lets you customise it a little. The difference here though is that you can download the computer-aided design (CAD) files to help you in creating your own custom controllers.
People were modifying the controller way before these files were released, with a Reddit thread featuring some of the mods people have made (a thread that is sure to explode thanks to 3D printers and the CAD files).
With two variations of the battery door already created and shared by valve on the download page (both can store and carry your wireless receiver for you), the ideas will surely just keep coming as players change the shape and design to increase comfort and add more features.
What would you add to your favourite controller? A drinks holder or maybe you’d like to try out a different button layout? Can this be anything but a good move for gamers and the creators of the Steam Controller alike? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below
When it comes to competitive play every advantage is a huge one, when money’s on the line people will do everything to get an edge which is why the controller vs mouse debate has been at the heart of competitive play for years. Nacon is positive that their new controller which change this and allow controllers to go toe to toe with mouse and keyboard users.
Controllers allow for you to move fluidly in two axis with the left joystick and the right joystick allowing simple and smooth movements. PC users have a problem in this respect with the mouse and keyboard combination allowing smoother, quicker and sharper actions using the mouse but more analogue and sudden movement with the keyboard.
Nacon’s new controller is set up to combat this by being built for the PC and offering the precision and customization in its button mapping, joystick responses, sensitivity and dead zones. Initial views of the controller also reveal rear paddles, similar to those that are found on the Xbox Elite pad. The paddles, in this case, are limited to just two, compared to the Elite pad’s four.
Can a controller keep up with the mouse and keyboard user or will there be a time when controllers are the only thing you need to play a game? Leave us your thoughts in the comments.
Many people love to play games in bed, combining the fun of gaming and the comfort of your bed. What if you could even do away with that hard plastic controller and play games in full comfort? Enter Pillo, a game controller that is also a pillow which allows gamers to play by squeezing, hugging and pressing on the device.
The controller has been on show at Game Developers Conference as part of the innovative Alt.Ctrl.GDC booth. In this booth, gone are games controlled by the increasingly complex common controllers and in their place are games that use a variety of brilliant and crazy methods of control, including giant cranks, a telephone switchboard and pillows.
Pillo itself has been in development for some time and already has a number of games that can be played using it. As well as being comfortable, Pillo is also social, with controllers coming in pairs and the repertoire of games available to be played using in are multiplayer affairs. This gives people who are often intimidated or confused by the complexity of video games a fun activity to play with friends and family, both fun and old, using an interface that is all too familiar, hugging a soft object.
While Pillo is not yet complete, pre-orders for the first generation of the device are currently open in a number of forms, from a Lite pack to be played on PC to packs including 4 Pillo controllers and the Pillo console and even a development kit. Those interested in this unusual way to play can pre-order Pillo here, with the consumer packs starting at € 295.
Following the news that Nintendo is to cease production of the Wii U later this year – suggesting that its next console, the NX, is to be revealed imminently – possible pictures of the system’s new controller have been revealed on reddit. Now, this wouldn’t be the first Nintendo-related hoax (Nintendo Cross, anyone?), but these photos do match the patent that Nintendo filed last year for a potential new gamepad. Whether that makes these pictures more or less suspicious is for you to decide:
According to perkele37, who posted the two photos of the supposed controller (as part of the NX dev kit) to reddit:
Only the upper ‘nubs’ of the two analogue sticks move. The stick itself remains static, with perkele37 saying that “the bottom part is static, kind of like the circle pad, but it moves along the bottom ‘sphere’.”;
In the place of shoulder buttons are two rollers, which “feel and look pretty much identical to a mouse scroll-wheel.” Perkele37 adds that the feature may not make it to the final design;
The device features haptic feedback – “like Apple’s ‘Taptic’ engine,” rather than a rumble – which is said to replace conventional buttons;
On the bottom of the controller is a 3.5mm headphone jack.
It hasn’t been long since they revealed their Future Lab program, a research and development-focused part of the company that would show off its prototypes in order to get input from the public. At SXSW, the department showed off some of their first prototypes including the rumored “Project N” wearable device.
N can be described as a neck-worn version of the Amazon Echo, admittedly with a few extra features. Like most voice-activated digital assistants, it is triggered by a phrase, in this case, “Listen up Arc!” and will await your commands, as well as synchronizing with a mobile phone for location data. Currently, it is able to tell you the weather, give you local news, local restaurant info as well as taking a photograph via a built-in camera that is hidden when not in use. It can even play audio back to the wearer in a limited zone around their head using directional speakers on the device though the quality isn’t excellent. For better audio quality, the Future Lab has you covered, offering “open-ear earphones”, which move the driver out of the way of the ear canal, providing audio through a small tube into the ear while also allowing external sound to be heard.
Other prototypes on show include two types of projectors. The first is a touch screen projector intended to be mounted above tables which turns them into interactive surfaces able to be controlled in 3 dimensions. The second was an aimable projector that can be directed to any point along a wall using a black wand-like device. The projector even contained an array of speakers able to make it sound like the source was the location that the image was projected.
Lastly was a controller with inbuilt advanced haptic feedback. The demo on show was simply a ball viewed through a touchscreen, however when the controller was tilted and turned, the user can “feel” the ball move around as if it really existed inside the device. While less exciting than the other prototypes, it seems like a solid choice for a feature to integrate into the next Playstation controller.
It is great to see a technology company willing to show off their prototypes so early on in their development, and the future of any of these products isn’t assured and may rest in the hands of the feedback they receive. We can only begin to dream what crazy technology Sony will dream up next.
PDP are one of the biggest aftermarket peripheral brands around, having had great success with products such as the AfterGlow controllers for Xbox and PlayStation, now they’re back again with another great addition, this time exclusively for the PlayStation 4. Sony’s latest console is a great hub for home entertainment, offering a fantastic Blu-Ray player, as well as a host of multimedia applications such as Amazon Prime, iPlayer, PlayStation Video and Plex, but there’s been one glaring omission from the setup; a remote control.
The PlayStation 3 had a Bluetooth remote for ages, so it was expected that one would be made available at the console launch, or at least very close to it, but nothing came to light. Now, all this time after release, PDP has stepped in to make the officially licenced controller and while it almost feels like too little too late, I’m sure many of you are happy to see that a remote has finally been made available! The question is, is the control any good?
“Enjoy the convenience of having one remote to instantly control the endless entertainment options of your PlayStation®4. Want quick and easy access to all your favorite TV shows, movies, music, and videos? Coordinate everything with the officially licensed Universal Media Remote for PS4 and manage up to 4 devices—PS4, Set Top Box, TV, and Audio Receiver. Whether you’re listening to music, watching a video, or settling down with Netflix for the night, the Universal Media Remote for PS4 puts you in control right from the comfort of your couch.”
All the features you could hope for are here too, as you can not only control the PlayStation 4, but also up to three additional devices such as your cable box, surround sound and more, meaning the PDP controller has the potential to be the only remote you’ll need to pick up for movie night. It also promises additional support for many of the multimedia applications that are available on the PS4, which is certainly a big benefit overall.
Intuitive Control: Enjoy a convenient way to navigate and control your PlayStation® 4 system with ease.
Command up to Four Devices: Control your PS4system and up to three additional devices, including a TV, cable box and audio receiver.
Connects via Bluetooth: Uses Bluetooth to control your PS4 system.
Dedicated PS4 Buttons: Includes the most important buttons for navigating system menus and apps including the Action buttons (triangle, circle, cross, and square), Share, Options, and PS buttons.
App Control: At launch, the Universal Media Remote will be fully compatible with the following apps on PS4, with more to come later:
Blu-ray Disc Player
DIRECTV NFL Sunday Ticket
NBA GAME TIME
The packaging is nicely designed and shows off that official product badge proudly. PDP have a small logo on there, but overall this looks pretty much like a Sony branded package.
Again, we see that it has support for PS4 via Bluetooth, as well as other devices via IR.
In the box, you’ll find a simple multi-language user manual.
There’s not a lot here that isn’t obvious, but for setting up other devices to the control, you’ll likely need to read the booklet. Either way, it’s all fairly straightforward.
The Powerglove is one of the most infamous peripherals in gaming history, slated for being both imprecise and hard to use. 27 years later, it looks like Sony is taking a shot at the same kind of controller, as patent filings by Sony have been found that cover a “glove interface object” for use in controlling VR environments without the need for a traditional controller. The system includes a finger-tracking flex sensor, a contact sensor that can detect when a user touches a physical object and communications systems to allow it to interface with a VR headset.
Of course, Sony already have a motion tracking controller that can be used with the Playstation VR system, Playstation Move, which was released back in 2010. This new system even evokes some memory of the Move in the supplied diagrams of the system, including an illuminated “trackable object” attached to the wrists similar to the glowing ball attached to the Move. These systems take it one step further, however, allowing users to interact with both physical and virtual objects more intuitively than the Move, where the hand was restricted to grasping the controller while the filing for this new technology states that “users collaborating may use their gloves to touch objects, move objects, interface with surfaces, press on objects, squeeze objects, toss objects, make gesture actions or motions, or the like.”
This patent is far from new, either, as while it was only published by the US Patent and Trademark Office last week, the date of the original filing was October 17, 2014, quite soon after Sony unveiled the PlayStation VR as Project Morpheus. Of course, while this does mean that Sony has had plenty of time to develop the system alongside PlayStation VR, there is no guarantee if or when it will be realized. It would be great to see whether Sony can realize the potential that the Powerglove promised so many years ago and with so much of the industry focusing on VR right now, we can only hope it happens.
Not all gaming keyboards are created equally. Some are full-size, some are TKL and then some are so compact, they’re to be used with just one hand, such as the Razer Orbweaver Chroma and Razer Tartarus Chroma we have in the eTeknix office today. For many games these days, you actually don’t need the full keyboard. Short of playing full-blown simulations games you can get away with a smaller key set, but don’t think that because it’s shorter on keys, that these two controllers don’t offer a huge amount of features, because they’ve got a lot to offer to you and your desktop gaming setup.
We’ve got both models in today to take a look at what they have to offer, the Orbweaver features twenty main keys and Razer’s own design mechanical green switches. The Tartarus features a membrane switch and fifteen main keys, offering a slightly more affordable solution, but still packing the bulk of the features of the more expensive model, such as Razer’s Chroma 16.8 million colour RGB lighting engine, an 8-way thumbpad, a pair of thumb switches, multiple profiles, macros, adjustable ergonomics and more!
Both devices are quite similar, with great specifications, so let’s jump right in and take a closer look at what they have to offer.
The packaging for both controllers is nicely designed, with a clear image on the front as well as a few of the main specifications. Of course, the Orbweaver also has the details about the Razer Mechanical switches, clearly highlighting it as the premium model of the two.
Around the back, a more detailed run down of the spec in multiple languages, but we’ll get them out the box and take a closer look ourselves.
In the box for the Orbweaver, you’ll find the hard-wired controller, as well as a small collection of documentation.
Finding the right gaming controller for your device can be tricky. There are a lot of options on the market and that number is growing every month. There’s the cheap aftermarket options and there are premium grade specialist controllers, plus everything else in between; it can be a bit of a minefield to navigate. The issue is made ever more complicated when it comes to Apple devices, as you have to find something that is compatible too, as we all know how strict Apple can be with their regulations, not that this is a bad thing for the consumer though if it means you get a fully compliant product.
Steelseries are no stranger to mobile device controllers, as we’ve seen in the past with their Stratus iOS controller. However, the Stratus was small and it was pretty darn expensive too, so what does the new one have to offer that’s so special? Well for starters, it’s bigger, more akin to a console controller, so it should feel right at home for most gamers. Then there’s the other perk, it’s competitively priced, and that should make your wallet feel a little safer too. With support for Apple TV, iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, it should fulfill all your iOS gaming needs and more. Obviously, the main one here is Apple TV, as Apple continue to move into the living room market and when you’re kicking back on the couch to play a few games, the Nimbus looks set to be the perfect partner for Apple TV.
“The SteelSeries Nimbus wireless controller lets you play hundreds of your favourite controller-supported games on your new Apple TV, iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. This full-sized controller’s ergonomic design is perfect for gaming. It gives you 40-plus hours of game play with just a quick charge using the Lightning connector, along with LED notifications, an easy-to-navigate menu button, and pressure-sensitive buttons for the most precise gaming controls.” – Apple Store
Pressure-sensitive buttons for precise gaming control
Console-style left and right analog triggers
Bluetooth 4.1 connectivity
Lithium-ion battery recharges via Lightning connector for 40-plus hours of gaming
Four LEDs display your player status during multiplayer gameplay
Colour-coded action buttons
Comfort and ergonomics of a full-sized controller
Bluetooth Compatibility: Bluetooth 4.0
Power: Lightning connector for charging
Batteries: Rechargeable Lithium-Ion
Height: 6.32 cm / 2.49 in.
Width: 15 cm / 5.91 in.
Weight: 242 g / 8.54 oz.
Length: 11 cm / 4.33 in.
The packaging is nicely designed, with a clear image of the controller on the front, showing off the main features, as well as a brief show of the overall device support.
Around the back, a few more specs such as the pressure sensitive d-pad, rechargeable battery, lightning connector and pressure sensitive buttons.
The side of the box has a more comprehensive run down of device support, and as you can see, it’s pretty versatile.
Aside from the right device, you’ll need to ensure you’ve got the right version of iOS (or above) for the controller to work.
One thing I always like to see, good packaging. The controller is very well protected in padded foam and the box should even double as a protective case when you need to store it away.
In the box, you’ll find the usual quick start guide, as well as a couple of stickers should you like showing off the branding a little.
Even with the accounting scandal 6 months behind it, Toshiba is still finding its actions limited by the fallout. As a result of discovering that profits from many divisions had been exaggerated, the Japanese conglomerate has been cutting out parts that it once thought were profitable but actually weren’t. The latest cut comes as the LSI (Large Scale Integration) segment of chip production is being sold off and funds diverted to support more NAND investment.
Part of the LSI division was already pawned off last year when Toshiba sold their imaging sensor business to rival Sony. The company is facing financial troubles after posting a massive loss last year and sees NAND as the best bet going forward. The Development Bank of Japan has reportedly shown interest in purchasing the LSI business. This means Toshiba will no longer manufacture controllers for things cars, fridges, home appliances and industrial machinery.
Placing their bet in the NAND industry does make a lot of sense along with partner SanDisk, they among the elite 4 in NAND production. Their LSI business has just been costing them tons of money and marketshare isn’t that great. With purchases like OCZ, Toshiba stands a much better chance with NAND as the flash storage continues to grow in volume. It is unknown at this time if Toshiba will retain control of their chip production for their SSD controllers.
Some like PC, some like Console. People choose different platforms for different reasons, but the creators behind the ever popular PC gaming platform Steam came up with an idea to bridge the gap. Enter Steam machines, a combination of PC and Console, which meant that you could play games like you were on a console but you could upgrade it like a PC. So why not grab your controllers and play on the latest SteamOS version.
Steam OS is based on the popular operating system Linux. One of the main selling points behind Linux is that it is open source. Open source is when software is freely available in both the finished product and the code that builds it up. This means that you are able to see how it works and add functionality as you wish.
The latest update, 2.60, for SteamOS features not only security patches and updates to the Linux system as a whole but options for an extra controller. The Xbox One Elite controller features a variety of buttons, including some hidden underneath, where your hands naturally rest while holding a controller. If you feel up for giving the controller a spin on SteamOS you now can but sadly only if its wired.
If this wasn’t enough why not check out its new Bluetooth support. Being able to connect a range of devices through Bluetooth you could soon be playing with Playstation 4 controllers and headsets without a wire in sight!
While updates will help the platform, SteamOS recently took a hit when it was revealed that it played games worse than Windows 10 did. We might see that changing soon and with updates coming out more and more it might be worth retesting that comparison soon.
CES 2016: We’re here at the Steelseries suite in Las Vegas, and the first thing to catch our attention in their lovely new Nimbus controller. Equipped with all the features that you would expect from a modern gaming controller. It’s obviously quite similar to many other popular controllers, but familiarity with the button layout is no bad thing. The ergonomics are very comfortable and it comes with support for all the latest and greatest Apple devices, perfect for playing on your TV, iPad and more.
Large trigger around the back are great for ergonomics and they have a really nice throw and grip to them.
We’ve got the Nimbus in the eTeknix office, so expect a full review of this great new controller very soon.
Originally planned to be released in the first half of 2016, Oculus VR have announced that they have pushed the release date of their unique VR controller, the Oculus Touch into the second half of 2016 with pre-orders being made available closer to the release date.
In a blog post on the topic, the Facebook-owned company revealed that the delays to the touch were to allow them to refine the design and incorporate new features into the controller. They wish to make use of advances in ergonomics to make the Touch more comfortable and natural. Other changes should increase the reliability and allow for improvements in hand-pose recognition.
Delaying the public release of the Touch will also allow for Oculus to increase their amount of pre-production runs, which should hopefully allow for more games to support the controller at its release as well as allowing Oculus to get feedback on the controller and its software support.
Overall, Oculus believe that the delays to their controller “will produce an even better product, one that will set the bar for VR input.” They went on to say that they “promise Touch will be worth the wait.” Thankfully for those awaiting the release of the Oculus Rift, its release date will be unaffected by the delays to the Touch.
The upcoming Nintendo NX is shaping up to be a strange beast, at least if a patent for the devices controller are anything to go by. If industry rumours are anything to go by, we know it’s going to be powerful, although with two, going on three years, between the NX and the current crop of games consoles, Nintendo have an advantage of more GPU powerful hardware per dollar to work with. Although, let’s be honest, it doesn’t take a flipping rocket scientist to guess that it’ll be powered by some kind of AMD/GPU/APU hybrid, AMD has that market sealed up pretty tight.
The new patent filings don’t fill me with confidence that Nintendo is learning from this past mistakes. The patent covers a controller which has a display on it, with two holes, most likely to allow for analogue sticks to pass through it. This is a much more refined object compared to the gargantuan Wii U tablet controller, and given that this looks like a relatively normal controller shape, it’s certainly a step in the right direction. What worries me is that Nintendo are likely still pushing into the gimmick end of the spectrum. The price of this controller could be high, limiting it to one per console, like we had with the Wii U tablet controller.
The tech sounds awesome, but the real world applications could cause a lot of headaches that you just won’t have with a simple plug and play controller. If Nintendo wants to capture the hardcore gaming crowd from their rivals, or multi-platform titles, it’s something they’ll need to address. Of course, I’m speculating on a rumour, so take it all with a pinch or three of salt.
If this is the real controller, it’s a huge improvement over the days of waving your arms, so that’s a good start.
The Nvidia Shield TV is here at last, the much-anticipated successor to the already feature packed and exciting line of Android-powered Nvidia gaming devices. The original Shield is a great little hand-held, and we’ve tested it extensively since it was released, pushing the limits of what can be done with it, just check out the links below to see more. Then we have the Shield Tablet, a mini powerhouse of mobile gaming that still dominates the mobile gaming market for Android, in my opinion at least. Now we’ve got the Shield TV, a set-top box packed with some of the latest and greatest Nvidia mobile hardware, promising greater performance than any previous Shield devices, and more than any other competing devices on the market.
“NVIDIA SHIELD is an amazing Ultra HD streaming media player, delivering incredible resolution in favorite apps like Netflix 4K and YouTube 4K, YouTube, KODI (XBMC), and PLEX. Vivid 10-bit color and rich Dolby 7.1 surround sound make this a true home theater experience. Or plug your headphones into your SHIELD controller or SHIELD remote for a private listening experience.” said Nvidia
Equipped with the powerful new Nvidia Tegra X1 processor, which features an impressive 256-core GPU and 3GB of RAM, offers up 4K capability, support for a huge range of video and audio formats, 16GB of storage, high-speed networking and so much more; I’m amazed this little box only costs £149.99!
“Explore a world of entertainment, powered by Android TV. Tap into Google Play for a huge, dynamic selection of movies, TV shows, and apps. Say “Oscar-winning movies” or “launch Netflix” and let Google’s advanced voice commands do the work for you. Get personalized recommendations on your home screen. Even cast a show or pictures to your TV from your PC, Android, or iOS device with built-in Google Cast. SHIELD makes it fast and easy.” Said Nvidia
Equipped with a range of cool apps as standard, you’ll also find Shield Hub, Nvidia GRID and more, so there’s no doubt that this is going to be a multimedia powerhouse right out of the box.
The packaging is nice and tidy, with a good image of the Shield on the front, as well as the main spec; such as this being the 16GB model.
Around the back, we can see it’s powered by Android TV, supports voice search, 4K and gaming.
As a nice bonus, we also have the Shield remote, an optional £39.99 accessory.
The remote is super sleek, with a nice mixture of brushed aluminium finishes and a few simple buttons. The microphone button lights up in green when pressed and theirs a microphone at the top for voice controls.
At the base, a small micro-USB recharging port and a 3.5mm jack for headsets/headphones.
And finally, a brushed aluminium back.
It fits nicely in your hand and the control buttons are simple enough, a directional D-pad with a central select button, as well as a back and ok button below that.
Opening up the box, everything is very nicely packaged.
There’s a modular plug for international users, HDMI cable, micro USB cable, Shield controller and a support guide.
Video games can do a lot of things. You can play them with your friends while sitting on the sofa, or play with people on other side of the world. You can sit down at a party and sing your favourite songs while your friends play the music, or conquer an entire world on your own. One thing that some people find rewarding is playing games with the ones they care about the most, be that their friends or family. Eli Jewett is one of the latter, playing games with his dad who recently wanted to play Skyrim. There was one problem, though, his dad can only use his right hand.
Chris Hepburn has a post that is known for allowing people to request a controller mapping for certain games. Jewett saw this and requested a one-handed profile for Skyrim using the Steam controller. Hepburn was asked by GameSpot why he decided to take up this request and Detailed in the video below, the end result was a combination of motion and physical controls such as mapping movement to the tilt sensor while looking around was done via the right track pad.
“The son wanted his dad to play Skyrim! Enough said. Who wouldn’t want their dad to share Skyrim with them?” asked Hepburn. “We’ve all played Skyrim and this guy’s dad wants to try it. Had to make it at that point.”
While he has yet to test the profile Jewetts father launched Skyrim after being told about the creation hopefully a game he will be able to enjoy soon. Hepburn has stated that he would go back and change the profile over and over until Jewetts dad is comfortable with it, while Hepbrun is going to take on more profile requests, such as one for a woman who has arthritis and cannot use her thumbs. “Valve are the real innovators here. They gave us the tools to help each other” Hepbrun added.
This is the gaming community that I enjoy being a part of, one where you not only enjoy playing with your friends and family but are also willing to help out others so they can share in that enjoyment.
Building a PC can be a fairly simple task, most of the parts to together in a format that’s no less complex than a Lego set. Of course, picking the right components, putting them together in the best way and getting the best performance out of them, that’s where a little more effort is sometimes needed. One thing that can be quite easy is picking a bunch of great hardware, but keeping it running cool, quiet and efficiently, that’s a whole different ball game. Your chassis comes with fans, most likely that your CPU cooler does too, be that a water or air cooling solution, your GPU no doubt has fans and the list goes on. One thing you’ll be familiar with about fans, other than the fact that they blow air, is that they can often get a little noisy, especially when your system is running a little hot.
NZXT had great success with their GRID fan controller, a simple device that hooks up multiple fans and gives you control over their RPM via some desktop software. The new GRID+ V2 follows the same concept, but this time the unit is even better than before. Being able to take control of your fans is a great addition to your setup, as it allows you to turn them down to a whisper when watching movies or performing less intensive tasks. However, when you’re gaming, overclocking and more, being able to dial-up the fans to a suitable level gives you more control over the airflow, noise and hopefully the performance of your system.
Equipped with six fan headers, the Grid+ V2 should be able to drive all the fans in your system, and you could always invest in a couple of Y-splitters if you need to connect more per-channel. With up to 30W maximum output, the V2 shouldn’t have any trouble powering a whole bunch of fans.
The packaging is nicely designed, with just a simple image of the product and some branding on the front.
Around the back, we’ve got a slightly more detailed run down of the CAM software that is used to control the fans.
In the box, you’ll find a comprehensive setup guide. Honestly, it’s all pretty self-explanatory, but it certainly never hurts to have a helping hand.
In the box, you’ll also find a good selection of cables that you’ll need to set up the Grid+ V2. This includes a USB cable, Molex power cable, some handy cable ties and two 3-pin female to 4-pin/3-pin Y extension cables.
Finally, we’ve also got two dual-lock 3M velcro pads with adhesive backs.
Earlier this week we saw the launch of Steam Machines (at last!) and that means that Steam OS, the Steam Controller and more are all now fully out in the world and ready for people to use. To celebrate this, Warframe developer Digital Extremes have update their AAA Free-to-Play title to support it.
Tenno! We're excited to announce Steam Controller support now available for Warframe! Find out more here: https://t.co/PhKq5f2qgk
Warframe now supports the official Steam Controller, which is great news for those using it on PC or those who are using a Steam OS powered Steam Machine. Even cooler than that, the game now supports Steam Workshop, opening up the doors for a huge range of user-created content. Meanwhile, the developer is promising to tweak and update both of these new features based on player feedback.
“We’re always looking for new and exciting ways to support and encourage players’ interests in becoming more involved with Warframe,” said Rebecca Ford, Community Manager at Digital Extremes. “The quality level of this first round of beautifully created user-generated content from our Community is beyond impressive and is the beginning of what we hope will grow into a thriving resource for both creators and players. TennoGen truly delivers content made by Tenno, for Tenno.”
Gamers not as artistically inclined but interested in participating in the process are encouraged to vote on early submissions they’d like to see in Warframe on the official TennoGen Steam Workshop website.
For more details on the submission process for user-made TennoGen content, please visit the Steam Workshop FAQ on the officialWarframeforums.
Warframe is available for free download on PC, PS4 and Xbox One. To find out more about Warframe here.
To mark the OFFICIAL launch of Steam Machines, we’ve joined forces with the awesome people at Cyberpower to give away a Cyber Power Syber Steam Machine Vapor K worth £ 999 inc. VAT!
Included in the spec is the latest 6th Gen Intel Core i7, an NVIDIA GTX 970 4GB GPU, Steam OS and the groundbreaking Steam Controller. Full specifications here.
With such great gaming hardware, there is no doubt that someone is going to be very happy with this prize, giving you a super fast Steam Machine to play on this Christmas. If you’re ready to enter this fantastic competition, just hit up the link below. Good luck!
Thank you Cyberpower for providing us with this incredible prize!
It’s a day we’ve all been waiting for, the official launch date of the Steam hardware! For those that just wanted to wait for reviews before committing to purchase, it shouldn’t be long now. I’ve personally been eyeing up the Steam Controller as a viable alternative to the Xbox controllers with a more innovative interaction design.
Steam is the multi-platform gaming service that allows PC, Mac and Linux users to use the same service to download and play games and now they can do it wherever they are (assuming there is a strong internet connection). The hardware is split up into a Steam Controller, Steam Link and Steam Machines:
“Steam Controller — An innovative input device that allows you to play games from all genres, including traditional gamepad style games as well as games usually reserved for play with a mouse and keyboard. Steam Controllers are wireless, completely configurable, and available for a suggested retail price of $49.99/?54.99/£39.99/$59.99CAD.”
“Steam Link — The Steam Link allows Steam gamers to easily expand the range of their current gaming set up via their home network. Connecting any TV to your Steam host PC or Steam Machine, the Steam Link allows you to stream your games anywhere via your home network, and is available for a suggested retail price of $49.99/?54.99/£39.99/$59.99CAD.”
Sadly no video on the Steam Machines due to the diverse nature of each manufacturer.
“Steam Machines — Available from Alienware, Zotac, Cyberpower, and other manufacturers, Steam Machines can serve as a stand-alone device for enjoying the Steam gaming experience in one box, with more than 1,500 titles available for native play. In addition, Steam Machines have the ability to broadcast and receive In Home Streaming, allowing you to stream your games to a Steam Link, or receive a stream from another Steam Machine or PC. Steam Machines will vary in price, offering a range of hard drive sizes, graphics performance, and more. Starting at $449.99.”
The Steam Controller and Steam Link will be available direct from Steam and Amazon, while the Steam Machines are currently only available from the dedicated manufacturers website. More information on the products can be found on the official Steam Hardware website.
A Ford designed Xbox One controller you say? What kind of madness is this! OK, first things first, this isn’t a real controller, it’s a marketing stunt, but I’m already twitching at my wallet hoping that it becomes a reality, because this may be the coolest Xbox One controller yet!
The mock-up of the new controller is based around the new Elite controller, which features the flappy paddles on the back. However, this controller has been tweaked even further to make it the ultimate racing controller, short of investing in a full set of wheel and pedals, of course.
The left analog stick has been tweaked with a curved head, giving it wings on the left and right edges to mimic the Ford GT wheel shape, making is more suitable for left and right adjustments, since up and down bare little relevance in steering a car; this should give your thumb excellent grip for those tight corners. If that wasn’t enough, the rear triggers have been replaced with racing pedals, which in themselves look freaking awesome. The housing of the controller is made from carbon fiber, making it super strong and lightweight, and the rear panel has been made transparent like the engine cover on the new Ford GT.
Xbox Elite Wireless Controller is a one-off design exercise from the Xbox Hardware team inspired by the Ford GT and the release of Forza Motorsport 6 which features the Ford GT on the cover.
Carbon Fiber case parts create rigidity and lightness in the controller, the same way it is used on the GT chassis.
Custom metallic paint job matched to Ford’s specifications.
Left thumbstick shape inspired by the GT steering wheel and angled towards the player for a more ergonomic experience. A horizontal movement limiter also ensures efficiency and accuracy in steering.
Custom paddles inspired by the steering column paddles shifters on the GT. Program them on your Xbox One to shift up, down and even to engage the clutch.
See through battery door and custom battery pack inspired by the engine compartment and EcoBoost V6 engine.
Cutaway brake and accelerator triggers reveal the impulse motors that give Forza Motorsport 6 its realistic feel.
Now all we need is for them to actually make it, although given the Elite controller is already pretty darn expensive, I would expect this carbon fiber equipped beast to be a bit of a wallet buster.
Are you a huge fan of the Nintendo Power Glove and wish that you could use it with your Android or iOS device? Well, that isn’t going to happen anytime soon without some electronics hacking on your part but we did see something that may be almost as good. Apotact Labs has brought its new Gest hand gesture controller to Kickstarter in order to fund the production of the device. At the time of writing, it is currently 130% funded with a delivery date about a year out. The Gest uses 15 sensors in each hand to gather data and then send it over a Bluetooth connection to a connected device.
To gather data, the Gest uses accelerometers, gyroscopes, and magnetometers. These may sound very familiar and they should because they are the same type of sensors that you can find in your smartphone or wearables. The ability to interact with different apps by just using your hands is a great idea but far from original so time will tell how well Apotact Labs has done with its implementation. Photoshop integration will be there on day one, but it is yet to be seen if it will actually improve workflow or just be a novelty. From the demonstration seen I think I could breeze through it a lot faster with a mouse and some keyboard shortcuts.
If you are interested in getting one you can still get the $149 early bird special for one controller, be fast as when those are gone the price jumps up to $175.
Microsoft has today started shipping the Xbox Wireless Adapter for Windows globally, allowing Xbox One controllers to be used with Windows 10 PCs, sans wires. Revealed back in June, Larry ‘Major Nelson’ Hryb, Microsoft’s Director of Programming for Xbox Live, announced the official release of the adapter on his Major Nelson blog.
“Starting today, we’ve started shipping the adapter to retailers in most markets around the world, including the U.S.,” Hryb wrote.
“With the Xbox Wireless Adapter for Windows,” he added, “you’ll simply plug the Adapter into the USB 2.0 or 3.0 port of your Windows 10 PC laptop or tablet and bind the Adapter to your Wireless Controller to enable the same gaming experience you’re used to on Xbox One, including in-game chat and high-quality stereo audio. The Xbox Wireless Adapter for Windows accommodates up to eight controllers per unit, and up to four chat headsets or two stereo headsets.”
The Xbox Wireless Adapter for Windows is available as part of a bundle with an Xbox One Wireless Controller, priced $79.95/£59.99 (though, it is already showing as ‘Sold Out’ or ‘Out of Stock’ from many stores), or as a standalone product for $24.99/£19.99 from the Microsoft Store and other major retailers.
Mad Catz released the C.T.R.L.R. controller a while ago and while it is a great controller for mobile gaming, it wasn’t the best when connected to a PC due to lack of the XInput compatibility. Instead, users were required to reconfigure and map buttons in complicated ways. But that is a thing of the past now as Mad Catz release a firmware and software update for just this controller adding that feature.
The C.T.R.L.R. is now truly a multi-format controller that you can connect to pretty much any devices thanks to the Bluetooth connection. Amazon Fire TV, M.O.J.O., and most other Android platform devices should work well with this controller, and now the same goes for Windows users.
The XInput protocol is widely recognized as the modern standard for PC controllers and is supported by the majority of today’s PC games. Starting now, owners of the C.T.R.L.R can download the free XInput update which will dramatically improve compatibility with PC games and remove the need for time-consuming button remapping. In addition, the XInput update will enable the C.T.R.L.R to be fully compatible with the Steam Big Picture service*, enabling users to play Steam’s library of games and navigate multimedia content on their big screen TV.