Gaming

An Analogue Super Nt for Playing SNES Carts

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An Analogue Super Nt for Playing SNES Carts

Nintendo might already offer an official miniature Super Nintendo console, but more serious retro gaming fans get a second option from Analogue-- the Super Nt, a recreation able to play game cartridges of old.

The Super Nt promises to be superior to the SNES Mini, since it does not use emulation to play retro games. Instead it uses a complete FPGA (field-programmable gate array) promising to "preserve videogame history, with the respect it deserves" while pushing 1080p 60Hz visuals compatible with modern HDTVs. In addition fans also get features such as scanlines and aspect ratio preservation, as well as 48kHz 16-bit stereo audio.

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Microsoft Opens Xbox One X Preorders

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Microsoft Opens Xbox One X Preorders

The pre-Gamescom 2017 Microsoft press conference has the company open preorders for the upcoming Xbox One X with a special edition of the console-- the Project Scorpio Edition.

Named after the machine's original code name, the Project Scorpio Edition has a custom gradient design on the exterior, together with the Project Scorpio branding stamped on the controller and console. Meanwhile the retail packaging features a giant X reminiscent of the original Xbox.

However one has to keep in mind the Scorpio Edition is identical to the regular Xbox One X-- it is simply something special for the fans and early adopters.

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An All Controller for All Games

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An All Controller for All Games

Startup Digital Depth claims to have a solution for the control of multiple game systems-- the All Controller, a device one can describe as a universal remote only for game consoles.

The All Controller is similar in design to the Xbox One controller, if with a small display set in the centre. The makers claim it works with a wide range of machines, including PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Switch and Wii U, as well as PCs, Macs, iDevices and Android devices. This variety of compatible hardware is where the display comes in, since it allows users to set up the controller accordingly.

Thus, to connect the All Controller to an iPhone, one needs to load up the appropriate pre-loaded driver via the display, before selecting the controller from the iOS Bluetooth settings. Connection to consoles requires the plugging in of an included USB dongle, before loading the driver.

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Atari Returns to Game Consoles

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Atari Returns to Game Consoles

Here's for unexpected comebacks-- following the E3 2017 tease of a "brand new Atari product," the once iconic games company reveals the Ataribox, a console featuring a look reminiscent of classic Atari hardware.

Described in an announcement newsletter to fans as "a new product that stays true to our heritage while appealing to both old and new fans of Atari," little is actually known about the Ataribox. As mentioned earlier, the design is inspired by old Atari machines and complete with wood paneling, ribbed lines and raised back. It will come in either wood or black/red finishes.

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Nintendo Follows NES Classic With SNES

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Nintendo Follows NES Classic With SNES

After the runaways success that was the NES Classic Nintendo presents a 16-bit sequel-- the Nintendo Classic Mini: Super Nintendo Entertainment System, a palm-size version of the legendary games machine.

Released in Europe back in 1992 (nearly 2 years after it first hit the Japanese market), the SNES is considered as the home of some the greatest games of all time. These include classics such as Super Mario World, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Super Mario Kart, Super Metroid and F-Zero. The miniature rerelease has all those titles built-in, together with the likes of Final Fantasy III, EarthBound and Street Fighter II.

In total the SNES Classic contains 21 games, one of which was actually never released-- Star Fox 2, the sequel to Star Fox (aka Starwing in Europe), a shoot 'em up one can also find in the machine. Like the NES Classic, the SNES Classic connects to modern TVs via HDMI, a USB cable provides power and a pair of wired controllers is included.

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Microsoft Presents Xbox One X

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Microsoft Presents Xbox One X

E3 2017 has Microsoft detail the next iteration of the Xbox games console-- the Xbox One X, a 4K-capable machine described as "the world's most powerful console."

First announced back at E3 2016 as "Project Scorpio," the Xbox One X (not to be confused with the Xbox One S, the more compact version of the Xbox One) promises to be more powerful than the Sony take on the 4K-capable consoles, the PlayStation 4 Pro. How so? Microsoft says it carries a custom 8-core AMD CPU clocked at 2.3GHz, a 6 teraflop GPU clocked at 1.17GHz and 12GB of GDDR5 video RAM. In comparison, the PS4 Pro has a 4.2 teraflop GPU.

The result is a machine able to push 4K resolution visuals at 60fps, as well as HDR and Dolby Atmos support. Customers without a 4K TV should also get some visual improvements, since the Xbox One X can refine 1080p visuals further through supersampling. Also included in the machine are a UHD Blu-ray drive for 4K movies and 1TB storage.

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Switch Gets Crowdfunded Battery Case

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Switch Gets Crowdfunded Battery Case

The Nintendo Switch currently lacks an official solution for charging on the go, opening an opportunity for third parties such as InDemand Design and the SwitchCharge battery case.

The SwitchCharge is a fairly simple accessory, being a protective case with a built-in 12000mAh battery. It promises to add up to 12 hours of gaming time to the portable console. The battery uses high output to provide quick charging during use, while the case is built from "durable" ABS plastic to prevent drops and scratches.

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A Stream Deck for Streamers

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A Stream Deck for Streamers

Elgato announces a controller for streamers of all kinds-- the Stream Deck is a hardware device with 15 keys for users to access shortcuts to programs or features.

The Stream Deck connects to PCs via USB 2.0 and essentially is a miniature TV studio control board. Each of the 15 buttons has a tiny LCD display, allowing customisation with different icons for different functions. In total the Stream Deck handles up to 210 actions per configuration, since one can organise shortcuts into folders with the companion Stream Deck app.

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Nintendo Finds Early Success With Switch

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Nintendo Finds Early Success With Switch

It might be early days for the Switch, but so far the curious hybrid of tablet and console shows success-- so much so the Wall Street Journal reports Nintendo needs to double planned production in order to meet demand.

The Japanese company was supposedly going to make 8 million Switch units in fiscal 2017 (starting in April), but higher-than-expected sales have lead to a doubling of the figure to 16 million, unnamed supply chain sources claim. The WSJ adds the widely praised Zelda game sold 1.5m units in its first week, and sales for March 2017 can total up to 2.5m.

Such reports follow tweets by New York Times journalist Nick Wingfield, who says the Switch was the fastest selling Nintendo machine in the Americas, with launch title Zelda: Breath of the Wild as best selling standalone launch title.

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What Does the Future Hold for the Switch?

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What Does the Future Hold for the Switch?

March 2017 sees the next Nintendo games machine hit the market-- the strange tablet-console hybrid known as the Switch. Will the 127-year old Japanese company find success with the machine, or will it break it? Analysts are weighing in, and the predictions are, inevitably, varied.

First presented to the world through a slick announcement video on October 2016, the Switch is a machine of many parts. One can play it as one does a tablet or handheld console, but it can also be connected to a dock for home console gameplay on an HDTV. It has two controllers users can either connect to the tablet portion of the machine, use separately as Wii-style motion controllers or even use as single gamepads for 2-player action.

Whichever way one plays with it, the Switch is crucial for a Nintendo reeling from the commercial failure of the Wii U, whose global sales clock at just 13 million units during a 4-year lifespan. Will the Switch buck the trend? Analyst DFC Intelligence predicts Switch sales will reach 40m in 3 years-- behind Playstation 4 sales reaching 50m during the same timeframe, but ahead of the XBox One's 26m units sold.

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Thrustmaster Intros "Ultimate" TS-PC Racer Wheel

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Thrustmaster Intros

PC gaming accessory maker Thrustmaster announces the TS-PC Racer-- a racing game controller featuring an "open wheel" design together with a brushless 40W motor featuring embedded cooling.

According to the company, the motor generates "dynamic and powerful effects," with exceptional velocity manifested in all racing conditions, from long stall curves (STALL mode) to zigzags (DYNAMIC mode). The aforementioned embedded cooling ensures the motor maintains performance levels throughout quick successions of power demands with no overheating, as well as 50% more dynamic response and 4 times greater stall force compared with other Thrustmaster wheels.

Another addition is a new FOC (Field Oriented Control) algorithm controlling the HEART (HallEffect AccuRate Technology) system. In a few words, this ensures the motor responds swiftly to increased torque requirements, offsetting and preventing power losses. A final feature is an external TURBO power supply designed to provide continuous 40W power within a finless design.

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