Almost all of you will be familiar with reddit.com, the self-proclaimed "front-page of the internet" and one of the web's largest aggregate networks. We regularly work with redditors to collect interview questions (see: Star Citizen interview with Chris Roberts), answer GPU or SSD questions, and generally get in the trenches with hardware and games.
The website attracts nearly 115 million unique visitors each month, with a significant portion of the demographic expressing interest in technology and gaming; for this reason, subreddits -- effectively user-managed sub-forums for individual topics -- arise to serve as a central hub for topic-specific news. For hardware and technology enthusiasts, the go-to subreddit for such information has been /r/Technology, largely for its accessible name; in fact, it was one of the first subreddits, and as a result was anointed a "default" subreddit by admins (official employees of Reddit). Default subreddits have their most popular submissions appear on the home page of Reddit, even if the site's visitors aren't logged in and haven't manually subscribed to the section.
Several generations of games spanning System Shock 2, Uplink, the Deus Ex franchise, and now Watch_Dogs have implemented hacking as a gameplay element for a greater cyberpunk-themed adventure. E. McNeil’s Darknet, initially a prototype called 'Ciess,' takes place entirely within a hacking GUI -- it's no after-thought here. McNeil is also bringing this world (and interface) to life on Oculus Rift. I spoke with McNeil at PAX East and got a brief hands-on preview with his cyberpunk project, Darknet.
The company behind the mid-range Phantom 530 and the innovative H440 -- one of our favorite cases -- has now announced an entry-level case at $70. NZXT's Phantom 240 mid-tower gaming enclosure will soon be available in white, shipping with a side window and admittedly odd curvature.
Let's take a look at NZXT's Phantom 240 specs, MSRP, included fans, and cable management options.
NVIDIA and AMD constantly go tit-for-tat on GPU + game bundles, each attempting to add that extra bit of value to sway buyers of new cards. How much that effects buying decisions is questionable, but I won't fight free games.
Anyway, we're keeping this one a lot quicker than previous AMD press conference write-ups. Here's the slide you care about:
It’s no secret that AMD recently has been posting losses. In fact, just two years ago, AMD reported massive losses of about $1 billion in an earnings report. This was the catalyst for layoffs and organizational “restructuring.” AMD’s (NASDAQ: AMD) large losses were not unique, though -- both Intel and AMD saw their stock price plummet in 4Q12. Rumors of PC death abounded, but the story wasn’t over quite yet.
In 2013, AMD had much lower losses of about $83 million. AMD may have overall losses this quarter (and already predicted them) but their $1.4B revenue for this quarter is a 28% increase over last year. Losses are down 86% from this time last year and the company even beat out analysts’ predictions; much of this can be attributed to the growth of APUs and console deals, though the largest portion of AMD’s profit comes from its GPU division. Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) also recently reported that they had a profit of $1.9B for 1Q14 that, when compared to the 4Q13 profit of $2.6B, seems numerically bad, though it still beat out analyst predictions for revenue and is above par for this part of the year.
We've been following Star Citizen fairly extensively since its 2012 campaign. As journalists, part of the job is "discovering" games before they make it big; I always task writers with dedicating some portion of our time at PAX to discovering indie games, the hope being that one goes mainstream after we've made it in the door early. I vividly remember Star Citizen hitting the $800,000 mark on Kickstarter and feeling like I'd missed the boat for journalistic success -- it was at the height of its campaign and everyone else had already started talking about it. Even still, we linked up with CIG CEO & Chairman Chris Roberts to discuss technology in-depth (lots of hardware conversation in that link), which had been entirely unexplored up until that point. It's still one of my favorite articles I've worked on, and much of that content remains relevant through today. Funny how much I've learned since then, too.
Months later, we caught up with Roberts at PAX East 2013 shortly before a discussion panel (filmed). Fast forward to July, and we found ourselves at the Cloud Imperium Games office in Santa Monica. At this point, Roberts' next major goal was $21 million; that'd allow him the freedom of ditching private investors in favor of crowd-sourcing the entire game, he told us, and it was no longer a pipe dream to do so. Everyone in the room knew the funding target was on the horizon, it was just a matter of when. I don't think any of us could have told you that Star Citizen would be sitting at $42 million -- more than double our July meeting -- less than a year later.