On Gear Live: Tidal Force Wave 5 headphones review


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DS Lite Rumble PackFor those gamers concerned about ruining the sleek lines of the DS Lite, but still want to have rumble in Metroid Prime: Hunters, it looks like Nintendo will have a DS Lite version of the rumble pack available. A poster on the NeoGAF forums who found the item on Nintendo of Japan’s online store. The pricing looks to be the same as the larger version, and hopefully this will show up in the US online store and shops alongside the US DS Lite when it appears in two weeks.

Read More | Nintendo of Japan via NeoGAF Forums

Gallery: DS Lite Gets Smaller Rumble Pack


LapboardIn a move that basically defines “rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic,” Infinium Labs announced that they are changing their name to Phantom Entertainment, Inc, according to a report from Gamasutra. In various SEC filings from the company, it appears that troubles are still mounting for the beleaguered would-be console manufacturer. Things must be bad for the company, to switch their name to one that basically defines a vaporware product. Even since scaling back operations to just produce the Phantom lapboard, their high profile CEO, Kevin Bacchus quit the company and is now suing for back wages. In addition, SEC filings also indicate that operations for the upcoming 12 month period are at risk, and without a substantial increase in funding, the company faces folding operations. Tied to this announcement, the company would like to increase its available public shares, further driving down the stock valuation. Suddenly, the current CEO’s motivations to allegedly attempt to shore up the stock value become more clear.

Read More | Gamasutra

Gallery: Infinium Labs Changes Name

CDVIn a recent news release, game developer CDV, announced that they are transitioning from using the controversial Starforce copy protection to the Tages system. CDV is most known for publishing strategy games for the PC, and will be publishing a turn-based strategy game for the Nintendo DS. Other companies that have moved away from Starforce copy protection include publisher JoWood, and Ubisoft, the largest publisher to date to ditch the infamous copy protection scheme. Starforce has been tagged with controversy for a while, mainly due to the allegations that the device driver installed will damage or slow the performance of its host machine, but also because of the aggressive way that the Starforce company defends itself against detractors. In any case, the bad publicity and public boycotts of Starforce games appears to be working, particularly against the smaller game development shops that can not afford to alienate their user base.

Read More | CDV Software Entertainment

Gallery: Developer CDV Abandons Starforce

DS LiteAccording to 4 color rebellion, a majority of online and brick-and-mortar stores have gone bundle only for DS Lite pre-orders. Checking Wal-Mart shows a bundle with a primarily useless set of third-party accessories, which seems okay, if a little slimey. Gamestop and Ebgames, though, are offering bundles only with New Super Mario Bros. or Brain Age. Which is okay, if you don’t already have a DS, but people looking at upgrading are stuck with bundles including games that they probably already own. Target.com offers a ton of bundles, some with horrible pack-in games. For online sales, apparently Best Buy is still allowing bundle-free DS Lite packages. The practice of console bundling is somewhat offensive for a couple of reasons: one, you usually get stuck with items that you normally wouldn’t purchase, but also two, you almost never save any money. Gamers that want to continue a bundle-free existence should skip past EB and Gamestop, and look for stores that allow individual purchases of items they actually want.

Read More | 4 color rebellion

Gallery: DS Lite Pre-Orders: Bundles Galore

WiiAccording to Infendo, there are reports that with the Wii will not be supporting digital optical audio on the console. This would match with Nintendo’s decision to not pursue HD gaming in this generation’s console offering. Instead, Nintendo will continue to focus on utilizing Dolby Pro Logic II, which encodes 5.1 channel audio support into a stereo output through a matrixing technique. A number of Gamecube games used this technique, including the US launch title, Star Wars: Rogue Squadron, and a few Playstation 2 titles had Pro Logic encoded output. While DPLII can be effective, it is not as clean of a solution as true Dolby Digital. Still, even if the Wii doesn’t support real-time Dolby Digital encoding of its output, it would have been nice to have a true digital audio solution, even if it meant simple PCM encoding of the sound.

Read More | Infendo

Gallery: Wii: Still No Digital Sound Output

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In case you missed the Peter Moore interview that was posted over at Gear Live, check it out by clicking above. Peter goes into detail on subjects like Lumines Live, the HD DVD drive, Xbox Live Vision camera, and more. Especially interesting are his thoughts on the PlayStation 3, and how Sony is using it as a juggernaut to push the Blu-Ray format.

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Gear Live Podcast SurveyIMPORTANT: We are surveying the viewers of our show to see what it is that people like, and more importantly, what they don’t like. It is anonymous, and just takes a couple of minutes. If you have the time, we would appreciate it! As always, feel free to let us know what you think in the comments.

Gallery: E3 2006: Peter Moore Interview

According to Gamesindustry.biz, retailers are hinting at pricing for the Xbox 360 HD DVD drive, and the pricing should make the console bundled with the HD DVD drive competitive with the rumored launch pricing of the Playstation 3. UK pricing is rumored to be around 130 GBP, making a US-based competitive price more likely than not. Since the UK pricing at current exchange rates prices the console at roughly a 30% premium over the US price, assuming the UK numbers are correct, this would make the cost of the HD DVD in the US around $200; certainly a competitive bundle with the low end PS3. This would place the premium US bundle plus the HD DVD drive at around the same price as the high end Playstation 3, however, without any current support for HDMI, and nothing official on the horizon, this would leave Xbox 360 consumers with a crippled HD DVD solution versus the full Blu-Ray plus HDMI PS3 offering. $200 for a HD DVD solution, that at this time at least, doesn’t offer a path to full HD resolution on content protected HD DVDs seems like a lot, and probably won’t convert many of the HD DVD early adopters to the format. A price significantly higher than $200 in the US would probably mean that there would be a lot of HD DVD expansion units sitting on shelves.

Read More | Gamesindustry.biz

Gallery: UK Hints on Xbox 360 HD DVD

Nintendo Wii

Sure, you’ve seen shots of the Nintendo Wii before, but here are some fresh from E3.  Note the sensor bar for the Wii Controller, and the Zapper concept which takes a standard controller and gives it an easier to use form-factor for shooting games.  Also of note is the Classic style which will come in handy for Virtual Console games.  If you’re not familiar with Virtual Console, think of it as all of your old Nintendo favorites reincarnated for the Wii and available for download.

The unofficial word in the Nintendo booth is that most, if not all, of the Wii units available for play are merely mock-ups.  A Nintendo representative did tell us that there were “a few working Wii systems”, but declined to mention if any of them were present at the E3 booth.

Wii Sensor Bar

Click to continue reading Wii Hardware Pics, Empty Shells And More

Gallery: Wii Hardware Pics, Empty Shells And More

Classic Controller
One of the forum members on Maxconsole.net found some images of the Wii controller and the actions it supports, as well as the new Wii Classic Controller.

The site shows some of the Wii controller stuff that is already known, including the pointer, shake, rumble, and sound functions, but also shows off the Classic Controller.

The new Classic Controller has a d-pad, and two analog sticks, but the arrangement of the buttons is more like a PS2 controller, while the shape is the ovoid shape of the classic Super Nintendo joypad. The controller has a wire, unfortunately, but there are enough buttons to handle standard NES, Super Nintendo, and Nintendo 64 games. The button layout may be a little weird for Gamecube games, but standard Gamecube controllers can be connected to the Wii, so this shouldn’t be that big of a deal.

[The Classic controller actually plugs into the nunchuk port on the Wii’s standard controller. And the second analog stick acts as the C-button control set for N64 games. We had a chance to play with it, and it actually works stunningly well.—Chris Cardinal]

Read More | Nintendo.co.jp via Maxconsole.net

Gallery: Nintendo of Japan Shows Classic Controller

Logitech G25

If you’re a fan of racing games for the PC, you may have watched in envy as Logitech released their Driving Force Pro for the PS2.  The Driving Force Pro featured 900-degree wheel rotation with force feedback, a sequential stick shifter and gas/brake pedals.  To alleviate your jealousy, Logitech is introducing their G25 Racing Wheel that will work not only for the PC, but for the PS2 as well.

Like the Driving Force Pro, the G25 also features 900-degree wheel rotation which equates into 2-1/2 turns lock-to-lock for a true to life experience.  A gated 6-speed shifter with clutch pedal, pneumatic brake pedal, 11-inch leather-wrapped steering wheel, and stainless steel paddle shifters round out the package.  For games that don’t support the 6-speed shifter, a selection knob will easily allow you to switch it into sequential mode.

The G25 Racing Wheel will be available in October with a list price of $299 USD.

Gallery: Logitech G25 Racing Wheel