The Witcher 2: Enhanced Edition - CG Vid
Xbox 720 Rumors: Blu-Ray Support
According to unnamed sources gathered by Kotaku, the next-gen Xbox will support Blu-Ray discs as well as DVDs, will be up to eight times as powerful as the current Xbox 360, will feature smaller controllers, and will launch with a new version of the Kinect. That's the good news. The bad news: The console will supposedly not allow gamers to play used games.
Sony's PlayStation 3 currently supports Blu-Ray, which can contain 25 or 50GB of data compared to DVD's 9GB.
But that disc detail could be far less impactful to the next generation of game consoles than the assertion I've heard from one reliable industry source that Microsoft intends to incorporate some sort of anti-used game system as part of their so-called Xbox 720.
It's not clear if that means that the system wouldn't play used games or how such a set-up would work. Obvious approaches I'm theorizing here like linking a copy of a game to a specific Xbox Live account could seemingly be foiled by used-game owners who would keep their system offline. My source wasn't sure how Microsoft intended to implement any anti-used game system in the new machine.
A push in any way by Microsoft against used games would likely be cheered from publishers sick of seeing retailers like GameStop crow about their revenues from the sale of used games. But it could potentially anger consumers who rely on buying cheaply-sold used games or even pass games to relatives or friends.
One source familiar with Microsoft's plans for the new Xbox said Microsoft plans to ship their new Xbox with a new version of its red-hot Kinect hands-free sensor system. The new Kinect would contain an on-board processor, a feature originally intended for the first Kinect. That processor would enable a new Kinect to more effectively detect users' motions.
AMD Radeon 7000 Leo Technology Demo Download
The Leo demo showcases a real-time, DirectX 11 based lighting pipeline that is designed to allow for rendering scenes made of arbitrarily complex materials (including transparencies), multiple lighting models, and minimal restrictions on the number of lights that can be used -- all while supporting hardware MSAA and efficient memory usage.
Specifically, this demo uses DirectCompute to cull and manage lights in a scene. The end result is a per-pixel or per-tile list of lights that forward-render based shaders use for lighting each pixel. This technique also allows for adding one bounce global illumination effects by spawning virtual point light sources where light strikes a surface.
Finally, the lighting in this demo is physically based in that it is fully HDR and the material and reflection models take advantage of the ALU power of the AMD Radeon HD 7900 GPU to calculate physically accurate light and surface interactions (multiple BRDF equations, realistic use of index of refraction, absorption based on wavelength for metals, etc).
DiRT Showdown - Nevada 8 Ball Gameplay Trailer
Intel 2013 Haswell Processor Pictured ?
Intel is making good progress with next year
ASUS Kinect Integrated laptops
ASUS is working on a series of notebooks with integrated Kinect functionality. The Daily reports ASUS has created Kinect-enabled notebooks:
We had a chance to check out a pair of prototypes incorporating Kinect sensors over the last few days. The devices, which at first glance appear to be Asus netbooks running Windows 8, feature an array of small sensors stretching over the top of the screen where the webcam would normally be. At the bottom of the display is a set of what appear to be LEDs.
A source at Microsoft has confirmed that the devices are indeed official prototypes of laptops featuring a Kinect sensor. In terms of functionality, there are hundreds of different ways that motion control could be leveraged in a portable. Gaming has the most obvious applications, but a Kinect-enabled laptop could also toggle between programs with the wave of a hand, or media controls could be tweaked with the wag of a finger. What
Power Ethernet PE Socket gets intgrated into wall socket
Power Ethernet reveals the PE Socket, a new Powerline networking product that has been integrated directly into an electrical socket. The PE Socket features one power socket and four Ethernet network ports in a single wall outlet. The product is currently only available in the UK, and pricing is pretty high at
Google Earth gets Improved
Google has published Google Earth 6.2. This new release offers a seamless globe, as the search giant devised a way to harmonize aerial photography taken on different dates and under different lighting and weather conditions. The new rendering method delivers a harmonious landscape rather than a stitchery patchwork of different images.
Additionally, Google Earth 6.2 also offers new Google+ features and search improvements. Full details at the Google Blog.
The Google Earth globe is made from a mosaic of satellite and aerial photographs taken on different dates and under different lighting and weather conditions. Because of this variance, views of the Earth from high altitude can sometimes appear patchy.
ASUS Transformer Prime Review
Ever since the first Android tablets arrived a year or two ago things have been developing fast. ODMs and chip designers jumped onto the bandwagon fast as PC sales are declining, and much like the initial netbook market, the tablet market is on the rise.
We test the The quad-core Tegra 3 based Eee Pad Transformer Prime, an unbelievable product. Fast, thin and huge in specs, but sure... very expensive.
Read the article right here.
Intel SB with disabled GPU confirmed by Gigabyte
Earlier last year we reported that Intel had plans to release a trio of Sandy Bridge processors that would come with their built-in GPUs disabled. Now, almost a month after this initial report, Gigabyte has confirmed the existence of these chips.
The three chips are the Core i5-2380P, Core i5-2450P and a somewhat older acquaintance of ours, the Core i5-2550K.
With a base clock of 3.1GHz and a maximum Turbo Speed of 3.4GHz, the Core i5-2380P greatly resembles the Core i5-2400, sans the integrated GPU of course. The Core i5-2450P on the other hand is a bit odd as both of its 3.2GHz base and 3.5GHz Turbo frequencies are 100MHz lower than those of the Core i5-2500.
Last but certainly not least, is the Core i5-2550K which, as we speculated at the beginning of December, has 100MHz higher base and Turbo frequencies than the current i5-2500K, which means that this will run at 3.4/3.8GHz.
All three models have 6MB cache, but none of them has VT-d or TXT support, a feature all previous non-K SKUs in the Core i5 family supported. Hyper-Threading won
Ultrasone Signature PRO Headphones
Ultrasone introduced Signature PRO, the first model in a select range of "made in Germany" headphones for discerning music lovers and professional users. The handcrafted headphones are based on the company's more than 20 years development expertise and, with patented technologies such as S-Logic Plus, offer an impressively detailed sound experience. Designed as a closed system, the first model in the Signature range will appeal to musicians, sound engineers and hi-fi lovers in equal measure. With its classical design and high-quality materials, the Signature PRO boasts and excellent sound experience combined with a stylish look, inspired from their Edition 9 headphones.
The Signature PRO uses a 40-millimetre titanium-plated sound transducer developed in-house. With a frequency range of 8 Hz to 42 kHz, it reproduces more than the entire range of human hearing. Clear audio sound, a detailed midrange and precise low-range frequency reproduction ensure rarely heard audio excellence. The decentralized arrangement of the sound transducers within the ear cup creates a pleasant spatial sound. Thanks to a 'broader' stereo platform, all signals in the panorama can be particularly well located. The S-Logic Plus technology that has been patented all over the world also ensures an outstanding depth of sound: this gives musicians and sound engineers a perfect feeling for their mix, and music lovers experience their favourite tracks exactly as intended by the respective artists. The closed design principle supports S-Logic Plus with a precise and present low frequency range.
The Signature glass nameplates on both ear cups are a visual highlight that blends harmoniously into the form of the headphones. The high-quality black leather and the special soft-touch coating ensure a pleasant, firm grip and are what give the Signature PRO its visual appeal.
"With the new Signature range, we are closing the gap between our high-quality PRO headphones and the exclusive models in the Edition range", explains Michael Zirkel, COO of Ultrasone AG. "The Signature range is aimed at a quality-conscious consumer group comprising of both professional users and music lovers. As with our Edition models, it is extremely important to us that Signature is "made in Germany" and the headphones are manufactured here in Tutzing."
Ultrasone has developed a new headband system that ensures comfortable listening even after long periods of use. In addition to special upholstery that follows the shape of the head, the ear-cup pads and head pad are covered with Ethiopian sheep's leather. The advantage of this extremely high-quality material is its tremendous robustness, as well as the fact that it does not perish, even after years of heavy use. Weighing in at 300 grams, despite its more complex construction, the Signature PRO is no heavier than conventional headphones.
Ultrasone has paid particular attention to the headphone cabling: thanks to a bayonet fastening on the left ear cup, the cable can be exchanged in a flash. The headphones come with two high-quality Neutrik connectors: a 1.5m cable with a 3.5 mm gold-plated jack and a 3.0m cable with a gold-plated 6.3 mm stereo jack. By including a cable with a 3.5 mm connector, Ultrasone is taking account of the fact that more and more professional users are working directly with a notebook without an external sound solution.
- S-Logic Plus technology
- Dynamic principle, closed
- Frequency range 8 - 42,000 Hz
- Impedance 32 Ohm
- Sound pressure level 98 dB
- ULE technology, MU Metal bufferboard, field emission in accordance with ULE standard
- 40 mm titanium-plated driver
- Magnet: NdFeB
- Weight: 300 g
- Includes transportation case
- 2 detachable cords with B-lock connection:
3.0 m straight cable with gold-plated 6.3 mm Neutrik plug
1.5 m straight cable with gold-plated 3.5 mm Neutrik plug/angled
The Ultrasone Signature PRO headphones are available now for $1,299 with a specially built case for transport and storage. Further Signature models are planned for 2012.
Matrox Mura MPX
Matrox Graphics Inc. today announced that the Matrox Mura MPX video wall controller boards are HDCP (High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection) compliant, simplifying the work for AV Integrators seeking to enable copy protected content across Mura-driven video walls. Mura input/output boards facilitate HDCP interoperability by capturing high definition video signals from up to four HDCP sources and displaying the content on up to four HDCP-enabled displays. A video wall controller with up to six boards can support up to twenty-four inputs that are scaled, positioned and manipulated across twenty-four outputs. Designed for high-performance video walls, Mura MPX Series is suitable for a wide range of applications including corporate boardrooms, auditoriums, large venue events, digital signage, and mission-critical environments.
HDCP is an encrypted protocol used between video sources and video receivers to prevent unauthorized access to protected content. The world's first HDCP-compliant input/output video wall controller board, Mura MPX Series captures protected video content coming from digital cable or satellite set-top boxes, video streamers and Blu-ray Disc
Xbox 720 to ban second hand game sales?
Kotaku heard several rumors about Microsoft's next-gen console. The first one is that the new console will adopt Blu-ray, and the second one is that Microsoft is devising a plan to incorporate some sort of anti-used game system. Additionally, Kotaku also reports that the next Xbox will offer a new version of Kinect with an onboard processor.
It's not clear if that means that the system wouldn't play used games or how such a set-up would work. Obvious approaches
Xilence Black Hornet mid-tower
Xilence is now shipping the Black Hornet, a new mid-tower case that will retail for 89.90EUR. It has an all-black design with some red accents and offers most of the features you'd expect from a modern mid-tower for gamers.
Described as the 'little brother' of the Interceptor model, the Black Hornet measures 200 x 493 x 490 mm, is painted black both inside and out, and features a steel structure, a front I/O panel with USB 3.0 (x 2), eSATA (x 1) and HD Audio ports, a built-in SATA drive dock (it supports both 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch drives), and seven PCI slots.
Xilence's case has four exposed 5.25-inch bays, two 2.5-inch and four 3.5-inch internal drive bays, two hot-swap drive trays accessible through the front, and two built-in fans - one 120 mm spinner at the back and one 140 mm model with red LEDs in front.
Ghost Recon Online - Gameplay Teaser
Click here to sign up for the Ghost Recon Online UK closed beta.
Nvidia GK104 Kepler GPU Priced at $299 (230) ?
More and more rumors surface regarding NVIDIA's pending GeForce graphics processor release under codename kepler.
The GK104 GPU will be priced at $299 (about 230 EUR) as sources now claim, the sources being various Nvidia AIB partners.
From what we can tell this is only a preliminary price so Nvidia could change it a slightly until the final GK104 parts are shipped depending on chip volume and yields.
GK104 indicates the mid-range product (expected to perorm at current high-end level). Last week a Chinese publication claimed that the upcoming GK104 core would feature a 256-bit wide memory bus, which would be connected to 2GB of video buffer. While the shader count and operating clocks were not provided, the Thermal Design Power (TDP) of GK1104 cards seems to be set at 225W, which is quite close to the GTX 570 (219W).
AMD Moving to Tick-Tock model
Intel Corp.'s so-called "tick-tock" model of transitioning to new manufacturing processes and micro-architectures has proved to be very efficient in making Intel the maker of the highest-performance microprocessors. Apparently, its smaller rival Advanced Micro Devices is also plotting something similar, but a bit differently as Xbit is reporting today:
As it appears from AMD's documents observed by an X-bit labs reader (in the comments for this news-story), starting from Piledriver micro-architecture and going forward, AMD's Fusion accelerated processing units (chips that integrate both x86 and stream processing cores) will feature "reduced", or "early" micro-architectural feature-set, whereas central processing units (CPUs) based on new designs will feature "full" or "late" feature-set. As a result, x86 performance of the former will be lower than x86 performance of the latter.
AMD wants APUs to be released earlier than fully-fledged CPUs since they are aimed at broader segment of the market. Therefore, x86 cores of Fusion chips will sport "reduced" next-generation micro-architecture (and will fully support previous-gen features and capabilities) in order to cut their development time and reduce their die size. CPUs will come to market several months after APUs and will feature more advanced x86 cores that will support more new instructions and therefore will offer better x86 performance.
For example, only fully-fledged "late" Piledriver inside Viperfish (code-name of next-gen server/desktop die design, the successor of Orochi that powers FX and Opteron chips) will be able to execute numerous new instructions as well as will receive instructions per clock (IPC) increase. Even though reduced "early" Piledriver inside code-named Trinity APUs will be more advanced than the original Bulldozer, the x86 cores are projected to be slightly less efficient than those of the full Piledriver.
The "tick-tock"-like approach is expected to allow AMD to reduce time-to-market of its new products and ensure that innovations do not negatively affect yields. On the other hand, it will create difficulties for software makers who will have to take into account that x86 cores within one generation of APUs and CPUs are slightly different.
AMD did not comment on the news-story, but the company is projected to reveal more about its future plans at the forthcoming financial analyst day on the 2nd of February, 2012.