Oct 28

Sony Announces A New PS3 Console With A Larger Hard Drive, But Higher Price

Well Sony, this was certainly something that I expected to see now that the new Xbox Slim has launched.

Potential console shoppers this holiday season will be able to pick up a new model PS3 that now comes with 320 GB of hard drive storage. The cost of entry for this system?? $350 US, only $50 more than the 160 GB model.

Sony’s largest hard drive yet. What would YOU do with the extra space?

“The digital distribution trend is undeniably gaining momentum, and we here at PlayStation are committed to providing you with the hardware you need to support as much downloadable media as possible,” Sony stated in a blog post. “The 320GB PS3 system, which will retail for $349.99, has the largest storage capacity of any next-gen console and will continue to provide the same high-quality gaming that PlayStation fans have come to expect. For only $50 more, you get twice the storage capacity of the 160GB system.”

Now, in my opinion $350 can be a decent chunk of change to shell out for a console, but if you’re already shelling out $300 for a PS3, might as well go big or go home. What do you guys think? Is it worth the cost of entry? Let me know in the comment section.

-BlackIce

Want to buy a PlayStation 3 320GB System with PlayStation Move Bundle or PlayStation 3 160 GB?

Check them out at Amazon.com!

Oct 28

PSP 2 And The Rumored PSP Phone – Possibly The Same Device?

Tom’s Guide has posted a link speaking about the much-rumored PSP Phone prototype and the upcoming PSP 2 possibly being the same device. Of course, Sony continues to neither deny nor confirm the rumors.
If the photos that the Engadget blog leaked out are any indication, this thing looks kinda meh to me, but that sometimes happens in the case of prototypes.

Seems a bit plain looking, but if it is a prototype, hopefully the looks will improve. (Pic Source: CNN)

Check out the article over @ Tom’s Guide US. Let me know what you think in the comment section!

Oct 27

Review: Darksiders (PC)

Some people say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. If that truly is the case, then games like Devil May Cry and God of War must be blushing up a storm right now. So, even though Darksiders imitates other games, is it still worth the price of admission? Is it a decent console port, or another steaming pile of mediocrity? Let’s find out, shall we?

Man, just what are you looking at? Do you need something?

Here’s the basic premise of Darksiders. You are War, one of the apocalyptic Four Horsemen and you are sent to Earth to control the chaos of a battle that has broken out between the forces of Heaven and Hell. Well, as usual in these situations, things go wrong and War is blamed. After demanding a chance to set things right, he’s sent back to Earth to find the one responsible and restore the balance between the two warring factions. So, we’ve heard the story before, but what makes the difference here is that the developer Vigil Games brings a bit of polish to the story and characters of this game. Especially nice since this is their first release, and I’m hoping its not their last.

The game imports a lot of its combat stylings from games such God of War and Devil May Cry, but in this regard it works out relatively well. The combos flow relatively smoothly from one to the next, and the finishing animations are excellent. Of course, it wouldn’t be a very fun game without ways to improve your killing spree. Vulgrim, the demon merchant, provides War with upgrades, new combos, whole new weapons, and items such as health when you purchase them with the souls you’ve collected.

Ah, the only way to fly…

Now, you can’t have a game about good and evil without both sides. Sooo…..

Here’s the good…

The graphics themselves aren’t bad, though they certainly are a console port. There are parts when the graphics are great, the animations are nice, and the sound of course thumps in the right places. Loading times on the PC, of course are a plus over the console versions, although installation does take a bit of time. The game itself takes up a large amount of storage space on your PC, around 13-15 GB, since it does come on multiple DVDs. But with most gaming PCs these days, that kind of space shouldn’t be a problem. The frame rate is smooth, at least as I tested it on my rig with an Intel i7 920 combined with a Radeon 5850 1GB video card. That in itself, speaks volumes to me, as some games ported to PC have been abysmal in the optimization department, such as GTA IV.

And Here’s the bad…

Now, being a console port, this game does suffer from some things that are prevalent in quite a few console ports. The graphics, while great, could still use more options for tweaking on the PC. There’s just simply not enough choices for tweaking here. While it does stand alright on its own merits, more could have been done to harness the power of today’s DX11 powered video cards.

Secondly, there is still a bit of laziness to the porting of the control scheme. There is support for the Xbox 360 controller for PC out of the box, but not much else. Of course you can attempt to use the keyboard and mouse, but for a game like this, it certainly isn’t the BEST option out there. The game can certainly induce some hand cramping after trying to manage the various magic keyboard shortcuts that this game uses. Suffice it to say, not the most intuitive option. And why the lack of support for other controllers and options to remap the buttons? Not all of us use a 360 controller on our PCs (usually I use my Saitek P2500), and the lack of options here are a pain, although I’ve sat through worse ports.

Dude, you SOOOO need a mint or Tic-Tac or something…Help me out here, would ya?

So, what’s the verdict?

Well, even though its a console port, I’ve played worst ones. The gameplay, while a bit derivative, brings a lot of the excellent qualities of other games, such as the open world exploration of GTA, the combat and combo system of Devil May Cry, and a decent enough backstory to move things along.

If Vigil Games had only added support for more controller types, or had mapped out the controls on the keyboard a bit better. I still think it is worth the playtime, especially now that its cheaper than the initial console version price. Just be aware that if you don’t have a 360 Controller for Windows, then its a bit harder to swallow. If you’re a PC gamer, this give this game some consideration, especially if you’re looking for something else after God of War or Devil May Cry. I think you’ll enjoy it.

-BlackIce

Verdict: BUY

Interested? Buy Darksiders for PS3, Xbox 360, or PC from Amazon.com!

Oct 27

Here come the holiday price cuts, but will it help the PSP Go?

In the usual fashion, console makers will cut prices over the holiday seasons to spark buying interest for the company’s console hardware. Sony has announced price cuts in the U.S. and Japan for its much ailing PSP Go handheld system for the upcoming holiday season.

Looks fancy and plays nice, but people still aren’t interested. Will a holiday price cut spark some interest??

This comes as not much of a surprise after Nintendo announced that its 3D-capable portable  would miss the holiday season this year and would not be available until sometime next year. But the million dollar question is: Will anyone pick one up at the new price of $199??

So far the PSP Go hasn’t revolutionized the world since in launched back in 2009. While the system’s appearance could be called “sleek and sexy”, UI issues as well as issues obtaining digital content still remains a clunky affair. Downloading can still take a long time, especially on slower connections, and if you drop connection, your download progress isn’t saved. As an owner of a older PSP model with a larger screen and the capability to run UMDs, I also questioned the merits of this system. It still seems to be a case of paying more money for less product. Perhaps that’s a shared mentality that has contributed to the less than stellar sales thus far.

The general attitude of consumers toward the PSP Go? (Pic Source: Ars Technica)

With the announced price cut of $50, there is certainly potential for this action to spark some increased sales during the holiday. With the lack of sales for the Go, Sony could certainly use it. But with the price still being more than Nintendo’s most expensive DS version, the DSi XL, and the new hotly anticipated 3DS launch just around the corner in March, how much can this help?

Leave some comments in the comment section, and let us know your opinion on the subject. 

-BlackIce

Want to buy? Get a PSPgo – Piano Black or a PSPgo – Pearl White @ Amazon.com!

Oct 26

Catalyst Hotfix 10.10c drivers!

AMD has just released new hotfix drivers for all the Radeon owners out there! Make sure you pick them up, if you need them. Grab them from the link here. Here’s a quickie list of the new fixes:

  • OpenGL 4.1 beta support
  • Support for the new Morphological Anti-Aliasing feature
  •  Dead Rising 2 – Crossfire profile (Resolves negative scaling)
  • Performance optimizations for systems with a Radeon HD 6870 and HD 6850
  • Aliens versus Predator performance enhancements
  • Star Craft 2 performance enhancements
  • OpenGL performance enhancements
  • Crossfire Performance Improvement for: Metro 2033, F1 2011 – (Direct X9 version) and Fallout New Vegas

Oct 26

Review: Xbox 360 Slim Halo Reach Edition

xbox-360-slim-blackWell folks. Let me comment a bit on my personal history with the Xbox 360. I was an early adopter and bought my FIRST one just slightly after launch. It was the “Xenon” model, aka LOUD, noisy, and it didn’t have wireless built in or a HDMI port. However, it worked flawlessly for almost 3 years or so, until the day after the new Xbox Experience dashboard launched. After the download went perfectly and I spent some time playing around with the updated dashboard, I shut the machine off. The next day, the console failed miserably with a weird video error, although sound and everything else continued to work. EPIC FAIL.
Continue reading

Oct 26

And So It Begins!

cropped-sparkle.jpgWell, here we go. My first attempt at an adult gaming blog. I’ll be posting various information of interest here that I find from around the web, and of course offer some of my own insights from a gamer standpoint.

As technology is always moving forward, I’ll not only be reviewing PC games and hardware that I find interesting, but of course I’ve got to include the Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Nintendo Wii, and even some handheld and cell phone games (the last one probably not so much.)

So, bear with me as time goes on, and hopefully things will get rocking. I’ll be looking to post my first bit of information, covering my first review of gaming hardware on this blog in a day or two. Anyone want to see what the new Xbox 360 Slim Limited Edition (with Halo: Reach, of course) looks like? That and I’ll be posting some quickie game reviews, looking at games like Mafia 2 and Darksiders. (both on PC)

So stick around, things could get interesting! And of course, be sure to check out the Gamer-Tech chat room, which is running 24 hours a day, of course.

Or, if you’ve got your own IRC client, such as mIRC, X-Chat, kvIRC, etc, you can point your IRC client over to:

  • irc.geekshed.net
  • Port 6667

and look for the #Gamer-Tech channel. Pop in and say hi! And if you’ve got something you’d like me to review or preview, comments, or positive criticisms please fire off an email to me at TheGamerTech@gmail.com.

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