Oculus Rift Launch Games and Prices Revealed

With the long-awaited release date of the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset just around the corner, Oculus VR has finally announced the pricing for the entire launch-day lineup of games. The news was reported from Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2016, with Oculus making the big reveal on the third day of the event.

The rift’s launch will be accompanied by thirty games that will officially support the headset from day-one. The list of games includes a number of well-known and popular games that will be integrating full integration for the headset, including Project Cars and the already revealed Elite: Dangerous. The prices are as varied as the games themselves too, ranging from $59.99 for the EVE Valkyrie Founder’s Pack down to a number of more budget $9.99 titles. This means that the value of the pre-order offer that included a copy of EVE Valkyrie saves any early buyers a decent sum.

The variety of games that are launching with the Rift is similar to the rest of the PC gaming industry, with established AAA titles billing high while smaller indie titles aim for more buyers at a far more modest price point. Having the honour of being one of the thirty Rift release titles should help those smaller developers along too.

The full listing can be seen below:

  • ADR1FT – $19.99
  • Adventure Time: Magic Man’s Head Games – $4.99
  • AirMech: Command – $39.99
  • Albino Lullaby – $9.99
  • Audio Arena – $9.99
  • Project Cars – $49.99
  • Chronos – $49.99
  • Darknet – $9.99
  • Dead Secret – $14.99
  • Defense Grid 2 Enhanced VR Edition – $29.99
  • Dreadhalls – $9.99
  • Elite Dangerous: Deluxe Edition – $59.99
  • Esper 2 – $9.99
  • EVE Valkyrie Founder’s Pack – $59.99
  • Fly to KUMA – $14.99
  • EVE Gunjack – $9.99
  • Herobound SC – $9.99
  • KeepTalking and Nobody Explodes – $14.99
  • Lucky’s Tale – Bundled
  • Omega Agent – $14.99
  • Radial G – $24.99
  • Rooms – $14.99
  • Shufflepuck Cantina Deluxe VR – $9.99
  • Smashing the Battle – $19.99
  • Vanishing of Ethan Carter – N/A
  • Vektron Revenge – $9.99
  • VR Tennis Online – $24.99
  • Pinball FX2 VR – $14.99
  • Blaze Rush – N/A
  • Windlands – $19.99

Tesla’s Model 3 Pricing Could Start From $25,000

Tesla Motors is an American automotive company which designs and manufactures a wide range of desirable electric cars. The company’s CEO, Elon Musk is hoping to bring electrics cars to the mainstream market with affordable pricing. Granted, this is probably going to be some time off, but at least that ambition is there for the future. So far, Tesla has released the Roadster, Model S, Model X and scheduled to launch the Model 3 in March this year. There’s been a great deal of media discussion regarding its price point and if the vehicle will face any hefty delays. In an interview with Bloomberg, Tesla spokeswoman Khobi Brooklyn confirmed the price and said:

“We can confirm it’s $35,000 before incentives,”

Brooklyn also dismissed rumours that the Model 3 would miss its launch target and proclaimed:

“The Model 3 is on time, and everyone is going to learn more about it at the end of March,”

“That’s when we’ve committed to talking about it and giving a really great update, and that’s what we’re going to do.”

According to analysis by Salim Morsy of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, Americans are willing to spend an average of $31,000 on a new car. While tax incentives vary between each state, any early adopters who purchase a model 3 can receive $7,500 federal income tax credit, bringing the price down to a maximum of $27,500. Please note, this only applies to the first 250,000 owners. On another note, certain states provide additional incentives to encourage motorists to adopt environmentally friendly electric cars. For example, residents in Colorado receive an additional $6000 in credit. Morsy predicts that the price drop to under $31,000 would increase the Tesla 3’s market by a staggering 50%!

However, some experts are concerned that the vehicle will miss its launch date, and might not arrive in large numbers until 2018. The problem here is the financial incentives could expire before consumers have a chance to purchase the vehicle. Hopefully, the production line runs smoothly and motorists can pick up the Tesla 3 for as little as $25,000.

Pricing and New Name Revealed for SteamOS Powered Handheld

Valve made a great choice when they allowed third party manufacturers to create SteamOS powered hardware, the same strategy behind Android and what most likely contributed to its huge market share. If Valve can pull off the same with SteamOS, that is something that only time will tell, but it looks great up until now.

We’ve previously seen a lot of known vendors presenting their SteamOS powered devices and we’ve also had a glimpse of the SteamBoy handheld gaming device. The SteamBoy is now officially unveiled under its new name, the portable Smach Zero Steam machine and it is going to start shipping by Q4 2016 with pre-orders starting November 10th, 2015.

The specifications aren’t anything that will blow us away, but it’s decent. You get a 5-inch touch screen with a 720p resolution, 4GB RAM, and 32GB storage space. It is also possible to expand the storage with the use of SD cards. It features Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 4G LTE connectivity and also an HDMI output for gaming on a bigger screen. There wasn’t any word on what CPU it will use.

Smach, the company behind the device, is confident that it is enough to deliver a great experience in popular games such as Dota2, Half-Life 2, and Civilization V. I question the last one, especially in a late-game on a huge map full of cities and land improvements.

The good news is the price and the Smach Zero can be pre-ordered through the company’s website for $299, but not until November 10th. That is about the price of a “normal” smartphone – and it’s pretty much just that, except that it’s loaded with SteamOS and has the added controls on each side.

Thank You UberGizmo for providing us with this information

iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus Prices Leaked

Apple is right on schedule with their yearly release of a new smartphone and this year it will be the iPhone 6S duo that consists of the 6S and 6S Plus. The launch is set for September which is Apple’s normal time for their smartphones. Apple’s iPhone 6 has seen a massive popularity and Apple’s profit has skyrocketed thanks to it, but they aren’t resting on that.

The new flagship fruit phone will come with a row of upgrades where the most prominent probably will be the Force Touch feedback feature which already is used in the MacBooks and Apple Watch.

The news today is the leak on the pricing and as you might have expected, it will not come cheap. But Apple fans don’t seem to mind the price, so that shouldn’t not hinder the success of the phone. The leak comes from Apple’s supply sources in Hong Kong and the prices are converted from Chinese RMB.

The iPhone 6S will see a similar price to the iPhone 6 where the 32GB is said to retail at $850, the 64GB for $980 and there will also be an all-new 128GB version without a price set. The 32 GB iPhone 6S Plus will apparently be coming with a retail price of $980, the 64GB variant with a price tag of $1110 and the 128 GB iPhone 6S Plus for $1254.

Thank You WCCFtech for providing us with this information

Ubisoft Gives Explanation For Console Game High Digital Price

The online stores for consoles have some inconsistencies and finally one of the big publishers is giving us some answers. Ubisoft reported their Q1 results today during a conference call with one of their investors to discuss the financials and it’s more than $60 million in digital sales. An analyst asked the question that a lot of gamers have been wondering, why do digital games cost so much more than the physical version on consoles?

An example would be if you were to go and buy the disk copy of Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed: Unity for the Playstation 4, here is the price you would pay at example Amazon

And here is what you’d pay for the digital copy:

As you can see that is nearly double the amount for a download, Ubisoft Chief executive officer Yves Guillemot explained why that is.

“Digital games don’t react as fast on console as they do on PC,” said Guillemot. “What we can say is that when games are older than one year, digital is a lot more dynamic on console because there are less units in stores. It’s a new business and new trend.”

Keeping pressure on physical sales is the main goal for Ubisoft.

“We want to get rid of the stocks in stores before lowering the price on digital,” said Guillemot.

To put it short the extra £20+ that you’re paying for downloading a game is for inventory management for the publisher. In order to keep retailers happy so they don’t regret ordering huge amounts of orders for an Ubisoft game and it ensures they will order big orders in the future.

Thankfully, Guillemot suspects that this scenario will only be temporary as it will only last as long as the physical copy is the dominant way to purchase video games for consoles Xbox One and Playstation 4.

Do you buy your games digitally or retail?

Thank you VBGAMESBEAT for providing us with this information

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X Pre-Order Pricing Appears Online

The eagerly anticipated Radeon R9 Fury X from AMD is almost here. The card packs 4GB of the innovative HBM memory and promises impressive performance that could pave the way for an impressive future from AMD. Now, we already know that the official MSRP of the graphics card was expected to be around $649, but as with recent rumours about production troubles and even AMD cutting back on review samples, it seems the price is already starting to creep up. Quantity limitations mean that stock is in short supply and in some regions it’s no doubt going to be shorter than others, with a rumoured 30,000 units being made available globally at launch.

The first listings to show up online show the new Sapphire and Powercolor cards, with prices ranging from $670 up to a whopping $889; it’s worth reminding you that these are the same card, just a different sticker on the box for each brand. Supply and demand is about to kick in hard and I wouldn’t be surprised when we see $1000+ resale prices cropping up on sites like eBay.

The Fury X is due to launch tomorrow and we expect it’ll be a battle to the shopping basket for those trying to get a cut of the first wave of stock, so if you want one and you can’t wait till later in the year, get your trigger finger, and possibly your credit card, good and ready.

Thank you WCCFTech for providing us with this information.

AMD 300 Series GPU Pricing Leaked

With the launch of AMD’s Radeon 300 series GPU imminent, some pricing and specification details have leaked out. Sweclockers was able to find a leak detailing the pricing for a large number of 300 series GPU. Somewhat unexpectedly, the prices quoted by Sweclockers are a bit higher than the prices the original chips launched at. However, once we take away the VAT which is 25% in Sweden, the prices are much more reasonable, especially once you consider the current street price. The table below is after conversion from SEK to USD and with VAT subtracted.

At $480 the 390X is about $65 cheaper than the 290X was at launch a few years. It’s still about $100 more than the current street price for some 290X models, but once you consider the 8GB of VRAM, it’s about right for 290X 8GB. The same is true of the 390 as it’s nearly $100 more than the 290, but it does come with an extra 4GB of VRAM. Moving onto Tonga, the two R9 380 variants are priced competitively considering their VRAM endowment. The R9 370 4GB is interesting as it’ll be rare that it can make use of that extra 2GB of VRAM though the 2GB model is priced decently. Bonaire is pretty much where we expect to be.

Overall, pricing isn’t all that novel, with AMD preferring to slot in their new series into the current pricing market. Deal hunters will be disappointed as it’s unveiled that there won’t be any revolutionary changes in card pricing this generation. With only a short period till the real launch of the cards, those looking to buy soon are well advised to wait, either to pick up cheap last gen cards or snag a new one. Whether or not this will be enough to help AMD start growing market share remains to be seen. As this is an unconfirmed leak, it’s best to take the pricing with a grain of salt but the data largely checks in.

Oculus Rift Price Bomb Dropped by CEO

The most anticipated gaming hardware of possibly the decade has been flaunted in front of consumers since early development. What hasn’t been so widely shared is the price; which is seemly odd considering how close the release is.

Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe dropped the biggest hint, stating that a Rift headset and a computer powerful enough to drive it would cost in the region of $1,500 (£1,000). “We are looking at an ‘all-in’ price, if you have to go out and actually need to buy a new computer and you’re going to buy the Rift … at most you should be in that $1,500 range,” Iribe stated at the Re/code conference.

We know what the specifications are, so what about prices. If we use OverclockersUK for current prices and work out the remaining cost for the headset.

  • NVIDIA GTX 970 / AMD 290 equivalent or greater
  • Intel i5-4590 equivalent or greater
  • 8GB+ RAM
  • Compatible HDMI 1.3 video output
  • 2x USB 3.0 ports
  • Windows 7 SP1 or newer

A quick price tot up, using the cheapest non-stated products such as the motherboard, comes in at around $900 (£600). This leaves a pretty healthy $600 (£400) for the rift itself. This may come as a shock considering the most recent price estimate in September 2014 was between $200 to $400; does this new price include possible inflation or possibly the hiring out to an external company for product? I guess we will find out in a few months.

I can’t wait for the Oculus Rift now, I recently tried the newest Crescent Bay unit and I was very impressed. What are your thoughts on the pricing? Let us know in the comments.

Thank you to ArsTechnica for providing us with this information.

Amazon Home Services Now Available in Major US Cities

31

Amazon’s new Home Services options are now available in the US to “major” cities in 41 states. The service lets customers shop for professional services locally from Amazon in categories from tech support to home maintenance.

Amazon rolled out the brand new Home Services, where customers can purchase anything from appliance repair to goats to graze a field. The services are hand-picked professionals by Amazon and offer up front pricing. The job is only paid for when it is done so customer satisfaction should be high and the likelihood of contractors cutting corners will be low. The amount of services offered will vary greatly from city to city, with the largest cities likely having a lot more options than smaller ones.

Source: Engadget

China Apple Store Randomly Dominated by 1 Yuan Applications

$0.16 US, £0.10 GBP, $0.19 AUD or 1 yuan isn’t rather large amount of money – but it seems to be just enough for these app developers.

As ITHome reported, one morning they woke up and all of a sudden a ton of applications we’re listed at the low price of 1 yuan. There has been no official release from Apple as to why this change has been put into place, but it is rumored that it is to draw more ‘genuine’ users – seeing many previously free apps adopt the 1 yuan strategy along some big name offerings.

Some reports claim that this 1 yuan (3 yuan for some applications, too) implementation may succeed in fostering more genuine users, with less bot downloads – but may also draw people toward jail-breaking their phones in order to install them for free either way. Only time will tell however as this is all a big guess.

Some large scale applications have also implemented the 1 yuan method, seeing games such as Plague Inc., Limbo, Fire of God Vegas: Prometheus Rising among many other well developed mobile platform games being listed for the almost-nothing price. This may mean mean that more ‘freemium’ models will be implemented – seeing users be able to purchase in game points, gold or experience for real life money, alongside seeing them sit through annoying ads unless they pay $5 US or so to have them removed permanently.

There have been no announced plans as to if this will be released to the Western world, nor an official release from Apple regarding the subject. We will continue to report as more information comes to light.

Images courtesy of ITHome and Mobiloud

Sony Mobile China in Turmoil

Recent times have seen Sony’s Chinese Mobile branch go through a large amount of employee lay-offs and follow a similar suit to Samsung in losing ground to Chinese-based companies.

This news doesn’t come as a large shock, we’ve reported recently of Chinese-domestic brands like Millet selling 1.62 million phones over a non-stop 72 hour period, alongside news of the whole Chinese Mobile market being in a significant decline.

The main issue that these companies are facing is said to be due to their ‘premium’ pricing, as is seen through most big business offerings (see: Apple). The public are now seemingly refusing to spend the extra few hundred dollars to buy the big-brand’s latest tech, choosing to go for the much cheaper domestic option instead. As according to Chinese-based website MyDrivers however, this is largely Sony’s fault – claiming that these external competitors only helped accelerate their decline.

Alongside issues with their tight marketing budget, Sony is said to be going about pushing their phones in the wrong way. We’ve seen reports that Sony phone counters have disappeared in many main Chinese cities, they’ve been also expressing a lack of appreciation for the social media market and providing a lesser product mobile to their competitors. Sony have been said to believe their products will ‘sell themselves’ which, given the information you’re currently reading, is not true- they’re not Apple.

MyDrivers has also claimed that the local service for Sony’s tech offerings was poorly handled. Free applications given to Western consumers are often blocked by the high-security Chinese government, making the ‘premium’ purchase price for an Xperia Z mean that much less. Alongside this, there has been reports of major internal fighting within the Chinese company branch – all of this amounting for a poor sales showing year on year.

One other major issue that was pointed out is the pricing issues that Sony experienced with their Xperia Z. Being released at 4,999 yuan ($815 US), Sony decided to cut their price majorly after just one month down to 4,299 yuan ($700 US) and a further drop to 3699 yuan ($600 US) was seen just 30 days later. The issue here is that it cheapens Sony’s image – Can you imagine how mad you would be, purchasing a product on release for $815 US, only for it to be retailing for $200 US less in just 60 days time?

Sony is not giving up the fight for the Chinese market, we will report as the story develops.

Image courtesy of Chiphell

Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 & 980 Pricing Revealed

The Nvidia GeForce GTX 9xx series is almost here, but as with any new graphics card release, there are likely a fair few of you saving up some extra money for a new upgrade; the real challenge being that you’ve no idea how much money you need to save until about one week before the hardware launch.

The GTX 980 is the most powerful card in the 9xx series (so far), and prices are expected to start from $599; almost the same price as the current GeForce GTX 780 Ti. The GTX 970 is a much more affordable $399; a price that brings it very close to the GTX 780.

The pricing is interesting, as Nvidia clearly have high expectations of the new cards to price them so close to the 780 Ti and 780; keeping in mind that the 9xx cards have more VRAM and a greatly improved power consumption vs. their 7xx counterparts. The prices of the 980 and the 970 cards is also similar to the launch prices of the Radeon R9 290X and the R9 290 respectively, but the AMD cards have since seen reductions in price, so one would expect the Nvidia hardware to out perform these cards.

Are you willing to invest in the new range of Nvidia graphics cards, or will you be holding off on the upgrades until the prices come down?

Thank you 3DCenter for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of 3DCenter.

Apple and Google Are Accused Of Ripping Off Customers

Apple and its rival Google have been accused of ripping off consumers by charging a 1000% mark-up for extra storage on tablets. This does not come as a surprise, at least not on Apple’s side, where the company has been rumored to overcharge customers for years.

According to Fuzilla via Which, tablet manufacturers can buy Flash storage at a market price of £5.95 for 16GB. However, consumers who purchase a 32GB iPad Air will have to pay £80 more than they would for the 16GB version. Google charges an extra £70 to increase the memory on its Nexus 10 from 16GB to 32GB, and Amazon charges £40 for the same storage increase on its Kindle Fire HDX 8.9.

Which described the pricing as “outrageous” and advised potential customers to buy a tablet with an SD or microSD slot and add a memory card for a fraction of the cost. They also pointed out that the amount of storage space advertised with the device does not represent the amount of space available for the customer’s information stored on the flash drive.

To better describe the spacing advertised compared to the available space, an example was given such as the 16GB Samsung Galaxy Tab 3, which has only 10GB left for users’ files after the operating systems and built-in apps are taken into account.

Thank you “http://www.fudzilla.com/home/item/33185-apple-and-google-accused-of-ripping-off-customers”>Fudzilla for providing us with this information
Images courtesy of PC Advisory and DMX Zone