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Apple Announces iPhone 4S

It stands to reason that Apple is working on the iPhone 5, but today's rumor-from-the-internet narrows down the release window. According to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, quoted by MacRumors, the iPhone 5 will be released in September and the iPad mini will debut later in the month.

"iPhone 5 to debut in September. But due to in-cell touch panel and casing yield rate limits, ability to offset older models' shipments decrease will be moderate," Kuo writes in a research note.

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HACKERS movieA team of US neuroscientists and cryptographers have created what might be the ultimate password system. Using gaming techniques and subconscious memory, the team proposes that it's possible to create passwords that people can use without actually knowing what they are. This would prevent anyone from coercing your password from you.

The easy way to explain how it works is through Guitar Hero. Imagine a semi-complicated GH song that has within it a 30-button "password" phrase. You practice your "song" a few times, learn the sequence subconsciously, then, when it comes time to log-in to your computer, you mimick a seemingly random series of button pushes, that contains, somewhere within it, your password.

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Tags: Tech, Videogames

PowerA Tech Preview -- Fus1on Tournament Controller, MoGa Mobile, And Medal Of Honor: Warfighter Controller

PowerA moved to step up its peripheral game in 2012, with a sharp new logo and look for its products. I got to spend some time checking out a few of its flagship offerings for later this year during a recent preview tour through New York and folks who take their gaming seriously definitely have some neat toys to look forward to.

Also in the realm of console controllers is the Fus1on, a high-end, tournament-friendly gamepad for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 that is meant to appeal to the eSports crowd. Backlit buttons complements the stylish matte black surface and analog sticks. A small button on the rear of the gamepad can be pressed to cycle the lighting through its five different color options.

The build quality is very nice with responsive, click-y face buttons, a well-defined D-pad, and a thick, braided 10-foot cord extending out from the back of the controller. There's also an included rubber cord management that can double as a bracelet when you've got the Fus1on plugged in. The high-quality build extends to the Fus1on's innards as well, with a metal mechanism under the hood offering more durability. It's the analog sticks and the shoulder buttons, however, which really help this controller's design stand out from the competition.

Seasoned gamers will immediately notice that both analog sticks are shorter than you would typically see on a first-party controller. The thumb grips at the top of each one are also wider, and slightly concave. Taken together, the tweaked analog stick design is meant to offer players more precise control over stick movements. It felt right to me, though some players do prefer more of a raised analog stick (see also: KontrolFreek).

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Ouya

The first game coming to crowd-sourced game console Ouya will be an "episodic prequel" to upcoming indie game Human Element.

The news came by way of Twitter, like all news. Robert Bowling, the president of Human Element developers Robotoki, tweeted the following earlier today:

"Excited to announce Human Element's episodic prequel as the first @playouya 1st Party title!"

According to Ouya's page, this mean Ouya gamers will get first access to the "ravaged world of his post-zombie-apocalyptic game, Human Element."

Ouya, a console that doesn't exist yet, has raised over $5 million dollars from Kickstarter, from gamers who are anxious to see if the system will truly bring  "innovation, experimentation, and creativity" back to gaming. Check out Ouya's Kickstarter page for more information on the machine.  For the record, Human Element is planned for release in 2015.

Ouya

I’ve never used Kickstarter before, but the temptation of the new Ouya got me to start weighing in the pros versus the cons of jumping into this foreign land.

I told myself it was out of some journalistic moral conflict, but the truth is that I’ve never really seen something that really piqued my interest. I couldn’t even justify jumping on the Double Fine bandwagon. Perhaps the price wasn’t right. But apparently, a $99 developer-friendly console is just what it took to become a crowd funder.

Will the Ouya fulfill promises and shake up the traditional business model for consoles? Let’s take a look.

The good – a world of possibilities…and a cool controller

At its core, the main draw to the Ouya is probably the price. Starting off at $99, the Ouya is cheaper by far than any of the current generation of consoles, including handhelds. From college students to families on a budget, the Ouya has already guaranteed itself a niche in the console market by principle of its cost alone. Ideally, it will become ubiquitous—not unlike the Wii, which used this same marketing technique to gain dominance over the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3—and developers won’t be able to ignore it.

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Tags: Features, Tech
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Clang

After hearing about Neal Stephenson’s amazing-sounding Kickstarter project for Clang – a realistic, peripheral-based sword fighting game – we got to thinking. Videogame history is absolutely littered with “non-traditional” peripherals.

From the more logical takes on racing wheels, flight sticks and even dancing pads to the more outrageous fishing rods and “sensor” devices, a great number of them have been, well, not so great.

Remember the U-Force? What about the “rocker” chairs of the 90s? Let’s not even talk about the “peripherals” involved in Boong-Ga Boong-Ga, a Japanese arcade game that tasked players with shoving a finger into an arcade… behind. The history of gaming is littered with wacky, unwieldy devices that are now taking up space in basements across the world.

But that’s certainly not true of all of the weirder and wilder input devices we’ve used over the years. Each of the following peripherals proves that sometimes, if they’re done right, outlandish and expensive pieces of plastic can truly enhance a game experience.

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Tags: Features, Tech

Google Glass Games Wish List

SwiderMan

Posted July 5, 2012 - By Matt Swider

Google Glass Games Wish List

Google Glass video games don’t exist just yet, but these futuristic glasses and similar head-mounted displays have us thinking about a potential games list. It turns out that there are more than a few of our favorite franchises that would look good in the cutting-edge specs that make our heads look anything but. We already found a bunch of ways that Google Glass could change video games thanks to its personalized viewing experience and sensors like accelerometers, a gyroscope, and compass.

Now let’s meet the first IP we’d want to see in a game-focused iteration of Google’s HMDs.

Battlefield 5

Battlefield for Google Glass was one of the first franchises we thought would work well as an augmented reality FPS game. Apparently, we weren’t the only ones with EA’s Call of Duty-rival on the mind when we saw the Google Glass demo. “There is aCanal,” an Israeli pair of YouTube parody producers, went a step further by simulating what Battlefield would look like through the lens of Google Glass in this Battlefield 5 video.

The Google Glass wearer in this Battlefield 5 parody uses an abandoned warehouse lot to “load Battlefield,” arm himself to the teeth with invisible guns, and shoot imaginary enemy soldiers as if they were right there in front of him. After sneaking up on an enemy with a knife, the video is capped off with an airstrike in the distance.

The Battlefield 5 video is clever and well made, even if its gameplay mechanics remain as realistic as the enemy soldiers. But clearly, gamers armed with nothing more than video cameras and Final Cut are thinking, and hopefully developers are getting just as inspired.

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Google Glass

Google Glass was demoed at this week’s Google I/O conference, proving that while jetpacks, hoverboards, and flying cars are still not on the horizon, wearing a pair of cyborg glasses is just a few shorts months away. Google co-founder Sergey Brin announced the price as $1,500 and a release window of early 2013 for the first developer prototype, Google Glass Explorer Edition. Gaming wasn’t a part of the demo and the first iteration of Google Glass doesn’t seem ready to take on much more than data, chat, photo and video capturing capabilities. Of course, that hasn’t stopped us from spec-ulating about how Project Glass could impact the world of video games as a head-mounted display (HMD).

Call of Duty

“See The Whites Of Their Eyes” In First-Person Shooters


HMD devices like Google Glass and FPS games are a natural fit, so much so that one developer known for being a pioneer is already working on this winning combo. John Carmack demoed the Oculus Rift to us at E3 2012, showing off Doom 3 BFG Edition in conjunction with his own homebrew HMD and an Xbox 360 controller. This virtual reality headset really gives you a more immersive first-person shooter experience and it’s supposed to cost only $500 as a DIY kit, according to Carmack.

Google Glass, although significantly more expensive than Carmack’s Oculus Rift, could be designed to provide a similar 90-degree FPS gaming experience and do it with sleeker frames. On top of that personalized viewing experience, its accelerometers, gyroscope, compass and “other sensors onboard” could lend the Google device to other functions tied to gaming that aid or eliminate the need for a controller.

"Don't fire until you see the whites of their eyes," the unattributed famous quote of the American Revolutionary War, would take on new meaning as you literally come eye-to-eye with enemies. Seeing their facial expressions in a Call of Duty or Battlefield game and having it be so close to your own face would be unforgettable. In an instant, Google Glass would enable the FPS genre to take on a more personal, war simulation-like gameplay.

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AbleGamers

Today, we’re looking at two pieces of technology that help to bridge the gap between the disabled community and those of their fellow gamers, the XIM Edge and Adroit Switchblade.

We live in an amazing age of development in gaming, where worlds come to life at our very fingertips. While some may struggle to reach into our virtual realms, gaming accessories have made it easier for those with certain disadvantages to enjoy the games that we often take for granted. As we’ve seen already this week, developers struggle to meet the needs of every gamer wanting to play their game, but accessories help to bridge this divide by meeting the needs of the individual.

With help from Steven Spohn Editor-in-Chief at AbleGamers, here are the products that you need to know about if you know someone in your life that use a helping hand getting into gaming.

Adroit Switchblade

Adroit Switchblade

As mentioned in previous articles, the Adroit Switchblade comes from the collaboration between AbleGamers Foundation and Evil Controllers, and was first unveiled during the Gamers Doing Good panel at PAX 2011. What looks like a mass of switches for most is surely a lifesaver to others in need of a controller that won’t break the bank.

With a wide variety of programmable ports, the Adroit Switchblade adjusts to the needs of the user, not the other way around. Even small movements can register as button presses or more given the profile changer that allows the user to switch the button configuration with very little effort. Switches that signal for action buttons change to shoulder buttons or for a different configuration with a simple movement. Adaptation is the key component that makes Adroit one of the top controllers in its class.

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Google Glass Price And Release Date Revealed

Google has priced "Project Glass," the amazing net-connected eyeglasses the company first demoed back in April. The augmented-reality glasses will cost $1,500 and will ship early next year. It's available for pre-order now. The future is now... or at least in 2013.

When I first heard about Google's glasses, I was pretty skeptical, but then I checked out the video below, and within a minute, I was a true believer.

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Google Tablet Announced -- Meet The Nexus Seven

Technology company Google has announced a tablet, the Nexus Seven. 

The device will retail for $199, and features a seven-inch diagonal screen, significantly smaller than the iPad's 10-incher. It's actually exactly the same size as a Kindle Fire, probably the most well-known low-end tablet.

The device weighs 0.75 pound, compared with the Kindle Fire's 0.9 pound and the iPad's 1.44 pounds. So, almost half the weight of an iPad... and less than half the price as well: An iPad retails for $499.

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Tags: Mobile, Tech
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Hori's PlayStation 3 Fighting EDGE fight stick is a top-of-the-line piece of tech. It's got a simple, sleek design, excellent, responsive buttons, and great touch screen options. In the video below, Blair Herter and Morgan Webb go in-depth with the exquisite stick and find that it's perfect for every rich fighting game fan.

HORI PS3 Fighting EDGE Fight Stick »


You can get a Hori Fighting EDGE Fight Stick of your own at Hori's website.

 

This week on Tech Junkies we got to check out Rosewill's RHTS-8206 USB Connector 5.1 Channel Gaming Headset with Vibration. Rosewill's a relatively new company who has the idea to bring quality hardware and affordable prices together.

If there's one thing that makes the RHTS-8206 stand out above any other gaming headset (other than its ridiculously long name), it's the sound quality. With 5.1 surround sound, 6 precision speakers and 2 subwoofers built in to the cans, on top of the explosive vibration technology that makes you feel like you're in the game, we were very impressed with how great every game and song sounded. Check out our full video review below.

Rosewill Vibrating Gaming Headset Review »



Even though the set's kind of heavy, it was still comfortable after hours of wear thanks to its noise isolation leather ear cusions and adjustable headband. The cups fold up for easy storage if you want to take them on the go.

The Rosewill RHTS-8206 also has a remote attached to the cord for easy control over what you're listening to. You can also use the remote to mute yourself or others, and to set one of three vibration settings.

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VIZIO Co-Star Will Offer OnLive Gaming

VIZIO has announced the VIZIO Co-Star Stream Player, the first stream player to offer video games on demand through OnLive.

The VIZIO Co-Star is capable of combining live and streaming entertainment into one. This means users will have access to thousands of apps and full screen web browsing via Google Chrome with Adobe Flash and HTML 5 support. The remote control features a full keyboard on the back, for better web browsing.  The real kicker is the ability to stream games through OnLive without interrupting what you're already watching, though. Pretty slick.

The Co-Star will only set you back $100, but I have to ask:  With the variety of things already out there that stream subscription content to your TV, do you see any use in Vizio's machine? Do you want one? 

Tags: Tech, Videogames

Microsoft Makes SmartGlass SDK Available To Developers

In a rare piece of non-Nintendo news this morning we have Microsoft officially making the software development kit for its upcoming SmartGlass feature available to the Microsoft Game Developer Network (via Joystiq). All members can grab a copy of the SDK and start tinkering right now with the tools it offers, as described during Microsoft's E3 2012 press conference.

For those who missed it, SmartGlass is a new feature coming to Xbox 360 that allows developers to create supplemental software for their games that runs on a second screen, such as a tablet or smartphone. Examples shown during the presser include checking out maps in Halo 4 and using a tablet's touch screen to hand-draw play patterns in Madden NFL 13.

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