Hardware

GN contributor Patrick Lathan wrote his review of the GX Gaming "Deathtaker" almost exactly one year ago. GX Gaming is a business unit of Genius, a large manufacturer in the East, and was the company's first attempt at breaking into the US market with gaming peripherals. I recently regrouped with Patrick to talk about a new mouse review (stay tuned for that) when he mentioned a couple issues that had arisen with the Deathtaker.

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We do our best to review products extensively (I even take the mice apart) and in a timely manner, so unfortunately it's simply impossible to get more than 1-2 months on a device before we put the review up. Occasionally editors and writers like Patrick will continue to use the mouse going forward, depending on how much they like the particular device; Patrick has about a year of use on the Deathtaker, priced at around $50 MSRP, and recently updated me on its endurance. For reference, I also decided to stick with the GX Gaming Gila that I previously reviewed and have about a year of use on that one, though it's a bit higher grade than the Deathtaker. We'll talk about that one next.

AMD announced Monday their upcoming plans for "SkyBridge," due to come out in 2015, and customized AMD/ARM cores ("K12") due in 2016. The 2014 road map AMD laid-out is promising across mobility and x86 applications (more on the latter in a future post). AMD is the first company that is minimizing costs by having a single motherboard for both ARM and x86 architecture, giving more potential reach for consumers and sticking with AMD's effort to let buyers keep their board upon upgrading CPUs. AMD has always owned a bit of a niche market (except the days when they dominated with the Athlon 64), but they are expanding their strategy to one of differentiation from the norms of semiconductors.

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Following our Assassin's Creed 4 graphics technology analysis, nVidia has announced their 2013 holiday season video card game bundles. From October 28th through the holiday season, GTX 660 & 760 purchasers receive a free copy of Splinter Cell: Blacklist, Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag, and $50 off of the SHIELD. Any system builders purchasing a GTX 770, 780, or Titan video card will also receive Batman: Arkham Origins and $100 off of nVidia's SHIELD.

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The timing for this advancement in augmented reality is particularly convenient, given our content plan to publish a large virtual reality article in the next day or two. Ramping into this article, though, we'll talk briefly about Technical Illusions' castAR glasses.

cast-AR-sliderThe castAR system uses light and holography to produce an interactive, real-world 3D projection.

As opposed to the Oculus Rift, a virtual reality head-mounted display (HMD) that enhances gaming experiences by improving player immersion, castAR takes the augmented reality approach. Augmented & Virtual Reality are similar in their dedication to immersion and fidelity, but differentiate themselves in implementation; AR devices generally augment the real world (already used in psychiatry and psychology), while VR tends to stick with digitally-rendered environments.

Up until castAR, there wasn't a whole lot out there in terms of modern AR on the consumer-level. Technical Illusions' kickstarter video offers insight as to what the pair of glasses could be used for, showing two of its developers playing chess in "real life" without use of any physical pieces:

FORCED Game Tournament Features PC Hardware Prizes

By Published October 07, 2013 at 1:31 am

If you recall our coverage of the indie game "Forced" back when it was still in beta/alpha stages, the game is focused on fast-paced-yet-tactical action combat in an arena-like setting.

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Built around gladiatorial co-operative 4-player combat, teams of players (or solo acts) venture into an arena, slay hordes of monstrosities, and utilize a unique "spirit mentor" object to trigger interactive objects. The Spirit Mentor follows players around with a tap of the space bar, but can be firmly planted in one place with another tap; this can be used to set up triggers, like planting the Spirit Mentor in one region, then tapping space to have it fly through objects on the map (like healing statues).

Intro to Forced aside, Beta Dwarf—the team behind the game—has announced its partnership with Alienware, SteelSeries, and Intel to host a tournament featuring more than $10,000 in prizes. The prizes include SSDs, keyboards, mice, and other hardware.

Cyanide Studio—the same team behind the Game of Thrones game, DungeonBowl, and Blood Bowl—has been hard at work on a new tactical combat game for the PC, Arklash: Legacy. This fantasy game's been underway for a while now, but we've patiently awaited more screenshots and deeper information before making any posts about it.

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In a recent press release, the team explained that the "heart of Arklash: Legacy's gameplay" is tactical combat, stating:

Since we spoiled the official GTX 780 and GTX 770 specs just about a month ago, the biggest recurring question on the forums has been "should I wait for the GTX 760 / 760 Ti for a build?" It's for good reason, and was actually nVidia's focal point for the recent press conference: The X60 series of GTX cards hits a "sweet spot" for gaming system builders, often ranked firmly in between enthusiast-class cards and budget-class cards.

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"[According to the] Steam Hardware Survey, the 60-Series is one of the most popular weapons of choice for gamers," we were told by nVidia representative Chris Daniels. "We're going beyond the standard performance-tuning and eye candy in games and really looking at the entire experience and optimizing around PC gaming," he noted, referencing GFE, ShadowPlay, and nVidia's Shield project.

X60 is nVidia's true mid-range, offering both a relatively high processing output and affordable price-point; it's not quite what you'd get out of a GTX X70 card, but for mainstream gamers, there's really not much immediate need for more than current gen X60 cards. Ever. That's been true for several generations now, and it looks like it'll continue to be that way.

In this quick write-up, we'll cover nVidia's GTX 760 specs, MSRP, release date, and some preliminary benchmarks vs. the 7950 & GTX 560. A bit lower down, I'll debunk some of the jumping-the-gun myths around the web that there "won't be any more GTX cards this year."

Let's hit the official 760 specs first.

NVidia's handheld not-a-console gaming interface, formerly Project Shield, has received its finalized release date, a new price, and feel-good marketing approach.

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The company said in a public release that Shield can be expected on June 27th for a buck under $300, noting: "We've heard from thousands of gamers that if the price was $299, we'd have a home run. So we're changing the price of SHIELD to $299."

Fair. And probably true -- any more than that is pushing the cost of a GTX 770.

Welcome to another edition of Mik's Picks! I took a little time off for summer, but am back with more gaming hardware deals for upcoming PC builds. I found a fan controller, 1TB HDD, CPU liquid cooler, two great monitors, and a deal on a budget GPU. Without further ado, let's get to the picks.

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One week after the official GTX 780 and ShadowPlay announcement, nVidia's next big embargo has finally lifted, and this time, it's for the GTX 770.

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Let's cut to the info you all want: Below, we'll explore the GTX 770's specifications, release date, pricing, memory bandwidth, and 770 vs. 780 benchmarks.

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