Before yesterday's firmware update, the PlayStation 3 couldn't upscale standard-definition DVDs to high-def resolutions--a once high-end feature that's now built-in to nearly all DVD players with HDMI outputs. But what's the real benefit of upscaling (or upconverting, as it's also known)? Despite some of the marketing hype claiming that upscaling will make your DVDs appear in true high-def quality, the increase in picture quality will never come close to matching that of native HD material (HDTV broadcasts, HD DVD, and Blu-ray). Moreover, the video quality improvement is completely dependent on how good the upscaling and … Read more
Slowly but surely, Sony's beginning to unlock more and more of that multimedia horsepower under the hood of the PlayStation 3. The 1.80 firmware upgrade--available as an automatic download to PS3s everywhere--adds a variety of features to the console, most of which bolster the system's AV prowess. The main upgrades are as follows:upscaling of games and DVDs: DVD movies, PlayStation 1 and PlayStation 2 games can now be upscaled to HD resolutions up to 1080p (games can upscale via component or HDMI, while DVDs are only upconverted via HDMI). streaming of digital media to PS3 via … Read more
Tonight is the season finale of Lost, and although I'm excited to see what happens, I'm also certain the show will leave us will an unbearable cliffhanger. I felt like rioting at the end of last season. How dare ABC toy with our emotions like this?
The game looks pretty cool and challenging, actually. It has 27 levels, weapons, wild animals, … Read more
Sony said Wednesday that it is considering putting out a new version of its struggling PlayStation 3 game console in the United States with an 80GB hard drive. That's the storage capacity that will come on the South Korean version of the PS3.
To date, the PS3 has come with a 60GB hard drive. A 20GB version was discontinued in the United States but still sells in Japan.
According to the Associated Press, Sony Computer Entertainment representative Satoshi Fukuoka said that the company is thinking about adapting the storage capacities of the PS3 for different regions.
"Increasing capacity … Read more
Japan's Tomy is making little plastic replicas of American birds that, in an interesting cultural twist, will sing with an American accent. Northern Cardinal, American Goldfinch, you name it. Tokyomango says they're "touch sensory," meaning that the song begins as soon as the bird is handled. (I still like Tomy for the corny basketball-suspended-in-water games it made eons ago.)
Before you invest in one of these plastic twerps, you'll want to select the proper birdsong to match your mood or decor. Check out real calls at Whatbird.com or the best American bird sound library … Read more
The "Megatouch Elite Edge Ion" may sound like a Sharper Image air filter, but the prosaically named machine could make game arcades look like the floor of the Bellagio. (OK, maybe the Flamingo.)
Although it resembles those irritatingly chipper video slots that feature dozens of ways to empty your wallet with every spin, the Megatouch is designed to play all types of non-gambling games--102, to be exact--ranging from trivia to sports, according to Chip Chick. It even has a joystick to go along with its touch screen, something you won't find among the nickel slots in … Read more
We've given Dell a hard time in the past for not keeping its alleged gaming rigs up to date, but the new XPS 720 H2C looks once again like the real deal. We say "once again" because the original 710 model won an Editors' Choice award back in January. With this new version, Dell addressed many of the complaints we had about the first model, and even expanded on some features. We don't want to crown anything before getting our hands on it, but on paper the 720 looks tough to beat. It costs $6,000 (… Read more
We finally got around to testing out CellFactor: Revolution for ourselves this week. To recap, CellFactor is a free downloadable game designed to show-off those fancy Ageia PhysX cards we're sure at least two or three of you may have purchased for your gaming PCs.
CellFactor is basically a straightforward fragfest, either with bots or with real players over a LAN. You can choose from three difference character types, but we spent all of our time with the Bishop character, whose psi-powers seemed best suited to trying out the advanced physics.
We definitely experienced some ooh and ahh moments … Read more
Talk about whistling past the graveyard.
An Australian video game designer has caused a major uproar Down Under with his creation of a game based on the Virginia Tech massacre.
Called V-Tech Rampage, the game has several levels of "stealth and murder," reports The Sydney Morning Herald.
But what really is causing the kerfuffle--as if the game itself wasn't in bad enough taste--is that its designer, Ryan Lambourn, says he will take the game down from his Web site only if the public comes up with a $2,000 payoff.
For another grand, he'll apologize.
"… Read more
It's been six months since PC gamers have been able to get their hands on Nvidia's GeForce 8000-series of 3D graphics cards, and this week saw the launch of ATI's own Radeon HD 2900 XT. All of these cards are DirectX 10 ready, which means they'll be able to play the next-generation, Vista gaming titles as soon as they're out. Today, thanks to the DirectX 10 demo of Capcom's Lost Planet, we finally get some software to put that next-gen hardware to work.
You'll need Windows Vista, and either an Nvidia GeForce 8000 … Read more