Jim Vincent

Jim Vincent

About three blocks from our hotel during CES was a relatively new museum called "The National Atomic Testing Museum," associated with the Smithsonian. I popped down there with Patrick Stone for a quick visit as a break from CES and the carrion mobile device salesmen on the show floor.

Upon entering the museum, the first thing you see is a movie prop from the 1956 movie "Forbidden Planet." The robot ("Robbie," naturally) may be a reproduction, as there was no clear explanation except that it belonged to the original prop master Robert Kinoshita, who died at the age of 92 quite recently. It sets the mood for the atomic age when atomic testing around Las Vegas, home to CES, was extensive. Maybe that explains some of the mutants we saw shambling around the convention center. I still think that Forbidden Planet (based on Shakespeare's "The Tempest") is a great movie and worth a watch.

This week's news cycle was, unsurprisingly, dominated by the two major releases: Fallout 4 and Black Ops III, shipping within a few days of each other. We're anticipating a similar story to be true for next week's blockbuster Battlefront launch.

Big items for the week mostly include Fallout 4's concurrent user record on Steam, alongside its $750 million generated in 24 hours, and Black Ops III's $550 million 72-hour generation, a game which is expected to surpass $1B by the end of the year. Other items, for Battlefield players – not Front, but Field – the “Legacy Operations” DLC will release a free-to-download Dragon Valley remake, updated from Battlefield 2. Outside of the shooter world, Roller Coaster Tycoon World has been delayed into 2016, citing performance and usability/mechanical bugs, and Legacy of the Void has finally shipped to PCs globally.

The video recap, with a bit more detail, is available below:

The ever-increasing pile of computer hardware coming into our labs has been backing us up lately, as is usual for this time of year, and we've had to pull-on some additional help to clear the review inventory. As a part of this, we thought it would be a fun idea to start running a recurring “In the Lab” segment to provide a sneak peek to active hardware being tested. This content will provide some introductory technical coverage of the products, talk about testing methodology, concerns we're encountering, and initial thoughts, all before publication of the finalized reviews.

Out first episode overviews the Steam Link & Steam Controllers, for which our reviews go live next week, the Corsair VOID headset, MSI's B150A Gaming Pro motherboard, and some Skylake CPUs.

 

AMD's press conference was all Kaveri-land today, as presented by Senior Vice President Lisa Su, with no mention of FX at all.

amd-roadmapAMD Surround Gaming Roadmap.

AMD started with a demo of a 360-degree "holodeck-like” experience in their tent-dome, set up beside the press conference hall. None other than Star Trek Legend LeVar Burton demonstrated the technology in action. Burton’s experience as Geordie La Forge led him to comment that AMD was ‘less than 10 years’ from offering a "Holodeck" experience.

A new USB standard revision promises to introduce orientation-neutral USB connectors, finally eliminating the fumbling when attempting to plug in a USB device. The new USB 3.1 Type-C connectors will be thinner and can be connected to the socket in either direction, which has more implications than just convenience.

The thinner standard, the USB Promoter Group says, will enable still-smaller devices with high throughput potential. The Type-C connector standard will be approximately the size of USB2 micro-b connectors, as used for most camera-to-PC connections.

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