2012 is set to come to a close in just a few hours, and we are just in time with our annual top 10 list of the most-watched Gear Live video episodes. Over the past year, as expected, there was a bunch of Apple gear that made the list, and it's dominated by smartphones and tablets, with the exception of two Monster headphones, a look at the Boeing 787, and a USB 3.0 hard drive.
Elgato has stepped into the game capture card market with its Game Capture HD device. Connecting through HDMI, high-definition video can be captured at up to 1080p (after a recent update) on either your Windows or Mac computer. One of the biggest draws to this product is that it’s a self-powered, external capture card allowing use a laptop to capture from the comfort of your living room.
The Game Capture HD was designed to be used with all of your favorite gaming consoles and has even been updated to work directly with the newly released Wii U. As an avid Playstation gamer, the only “issue” with in in Sony’s HDCP protection with HDMI connections. Elgato has us covered though and provides a special AV cable that runs into the PS3’s multi-port to capture HD gameplay and audio. While the Game Capture HD was created with game consoles in mind, any non-HDCP protected devices with HDMI outs can be captured, including iOS devices and computers.
Stereo headsets have been a part of computer gaming and theater experiences for years but they’ve recently started making the cross into the living room with gaming consoles. Turtle Beach has been a leader in the gaming headsets and have released a number of headsets that work with the Xbox 360 or the Playstation 3. The EAR FORCE PX5 is a wireless Dolby 7.1 Surround Sound headset that works with both.
Upon opening the PX5, I was surprised to see they had included not only the receiver, wireless surround sound headset, and detachable microphone, but also an optical cable and and others to get going. The included optical cable is very thin and feels a bit on the cheap side but the quality of sound it provides in my case was the same as a more expensive cable, but I do fear that moving it around too much may break the cable. The receiver includes an optical in and out port, standard red/white RCA jacks, a port for a wired headset in case you are playing with a friend and finally the DC power port.
Are you ready to usher in the arrival of the next-generation consoles? Nintendo is, as it's released the Wii U, today's pick in our 2012 Holiday Gift Guide. There are two configurations of Wii U available: a $299 white base model that packs in 8GB of storage, and a $349 Deluxe black bundle that has 32GB of storage and the NintendoLand game.
Both versions include the Wii U console, a WiiPad, sensor bar, AC adapters, and HDMI cable. If you opt for the Deluxe set, you'll also get a play stand, charging stand, and console stand.
The current Wii remotes and nunchuks are fully compatible with the Wii U console.
Read More | Wii U
If you're not familiar with the SmartGlass second-screen app for Microsoft's Xbox 360, it is an app that seeks to improve user viewing experience by connecting the 360 console to smartphones and tablets. Sports fans might be in for a new reason to download the app if they haven't already, as Microsoft is bringing SmartGlass functionality to it's ESPN and NBA Game Time apps, as well as a new Sports Picks app.
From the SmartGlass app for iOS, Android, and Windows, you will be able to navigate the content from the apps directly from the tablet or smartphone. SmartGlass also brings more interaction to the viewing experience, such as allowing competition between friends to see who is most knowledgeable about whatever they're watching, with the chance to be featured in a global leader board.
There’s no question that it’s been a momentous year at Microsoft. The company introduced the world to Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8, announced its family of Surface PCs, showcased a new version of Microsoft Office and released “Halo 4,” keeping up a steady rhythm of advancements across its most popular products for individuals and businesses throughout the year. - Microsoft
Read More | Microsoft
When you think of education, Electronic Arts probably isn't the first company to come to mind. But for the publisher Pearson, EA is exactly the kind of role model it's looking for in remodeling Pearson for a digitized age.
Speaking to GigaOm, chief product officer Luyen Chou revealed his intent for his company to become an "Electronic Arts for education." Chou enumerated, detailing the struggle to keep up with the times, and getting "high-quality, interactive digital learning experiences" into classrooms.
"Digital studios, animators, illustrators, producers, 3D artists – we need to build that capacity within instructional companies like Pearson and we need the whole end-to-end supply chain to the take that from the studio to the actual users,” Chou said. “The folks that have done that well are the EAs of the world, digital studios. That’s not a core competency for companies like Pearson.”
Pearson's lately been busy acquiring a massive amount in the way of pushing toward an interactive education company, spending $1.6 billion on acquisitions alone.
Read More | GigaOm
The Microsoft Store has a bunch of great Cyber Monday deals today, and we figured we'd help highlight some of the best. If you're looking for a Windows 8 tablet, PC, or cheap Xbox 360 and PC games for you or a loved one, check these deals out:
- Save $100 on Acer Iconia
- Save $200 on Asus Vivobook S400
- Save $250 on Vizio 14" ultrabook
- Save over $100 on Xbox 360 250GB Kinect Sports Joy Ride bundle
- Xbox 360 and PC games discounted to $9.99
Read More | Microsoft Store Cyber Monday Deals
Target is following up its Black Friday deals week with Cyber Monday Deals Week. All week long, Target will be featuring some killer deals in its Cyber Week section, and we're already seeing some nice discounts, particularly on video games and consumer electronics. Here's a sampling:
- Westinghouse 46" 1080p LCD HDTV - $379.99
- Save 25% on all Dyson vacuums
- Acer Aspire One - $199.99
- Nikon COOLPIX S3300 - $79.99
- Buy one, get one 50% off on select video games
Read More | Target Cyber Monday & Cyber Week sales
Now that Thanksgiving is over, the holiday shopping season is in full swing. Video games are always a hot item, with kids and adults alike wanting to get in on the action. We've put together eith different video game-related gifts that you pick pick up for your loved ones this holiday season, and we did our best to find something for everybody, starting with the Xbox 360 4GB Kinect holiday bundle. If you know someone who doesn't yet have an Xbox 360, then this is the one to get. They get the Kinect accessory included in the box, along with Disneyland Adventures and Kinect Adventures, two fun games. You can pick this one up for $249.99. Read on for the rest of our list!
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