Archive for the ‘Hardware’ Category


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March 28
2014

The Nintendo 2DS, Now in Peach Pink!

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noa2ds3ds_01
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[Update: Turns out the fancy white and gold Disney Magical World 3DS XL will be coming to the US after all, exclusively at Walmart. Original article is as follows:]

Nintendo loves to make special edition handhelds as special treats for their dedicated fans. There’s the Pikachu one, the Animal Crossing one, the Pokemon XY ones, and the Luigi one. Oh and that Zelda one. There’s also all the ones that only ever got released in Japan because….Nintendo. (One day Tony Tony Chopper-3DS, one day)

Today they’ve announced the first ever special edition of the Nintendo 2DS to celebrate the release of Disney Magical World. And it’s pink!

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March 27
2014

Oculus Rift and Project Morpheus: Yes, but are they sexy?

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Oculus Rift Dev Kit 2 and Project Morpheus, impressive devices for an emerging medium, but would you wear them?
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Long before Buddy Cole went undercover as a Canadian on the Colbert Report, he delivered sermons from an eponymous gay bar. Portrayed by Scott Thompson on The Kids In The Hall over 20 years ago, Buddy purred and mused over how virtual reality would be integrated in our lives. VR to him had very much the same effect as sitting too close to the television. “But then,” Buddy cautioned us, “there’s no hat.” He smiled and stroked a black and silver sequined helmet with a matching glove.

Flash-forward to this past week and the newfound competition between Sony and Oculus VR, we now have a glimpse of the future of gaming (and a whole lot of other stuff, too). Both Oculus Rift and Project Morpheus are headsets sans the traditional haptic gloves of the VR pioneer Jaron Lanier days. Both promise content in an emerging medium that’s 30 years in the making. But, would you be caught dead in them?

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January 13
2014

Valve Releases Third-Party Steam Box Prototypes

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Steam Machine
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Last week at CES, Valve finally released 13 different third-party versions of their upcoming console, the Steam Machine. The console itself is an incredible idea, giving players access to Valve’s massive library of almost 10,000 games, new and old, on a single console. The funky new controller, which promises to be just as effective as the traditional keyboard-and-mouse setup, is a major selling point to ensure that the games don’t just technically function but are actually playable. One would think that with such promising technology on the horizon combined with ever-increasing consumer sensitivity to aesthetics in their gadgets that the consoles would be sights to behold. And they are…sort of…in the way that a Thor costume made of a garbage bag with old AOL CDs glued to the front is a sight to behold. Let’s take a look-see… MORE >>

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September 2
2013

Nintendo 2DS: Third Time’s The Charm

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red1
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Moments after the Nintendo 2DS was announced, gamers immediately hurled their usual vitriol at Nintendo. Most mocked it; calling it a “toy” that heralded Nintendo’s doom. So, this is exactly what they said about the Wii U, Nintendo 3DS and Wii. In fairness, the Nintendo 2DS’ design is unexpected and polarizing. It came out of nowhere and dropped the familiar clamshell design that Nintendo used for their handhelds since they introduced the dual-screens. However, this device is aimed at a demographic of gamers who haven’t even entered the market: kids and casual gamers. Therefore, Nintendo needed to lower the barrier to entry without compromising the 3DS gaming experience. The result was budget hardware that’s surprisingly a joy to use.

Barely 48 hours after its announcement, Nintendo had demo units of the 2DS on floor at PAX in their Handheld Lounge. I got several long minutes playing with the device. After adjusting to its new design during a level of New Super Mario Bros. 2, I was surprised by how comfortable it is to hold. The narrow bottom and wide top fit naturally into your palms and provide a suitable amount of space at the top for your index fingers to rest. Your thumbs hover precisely above the analog stick/d-pad and ABXY buttons. Just like with a tablet, the device disappears and you’re immersed in the content. While designed to meet a specifically low budget, none of the buttons or materials felt cheap. Buttons all click exactly as you’d expect from a Nintendo handheld. The home button and volume slider do require some effort to get at, but again this device was designed for kids — and adults that won’t be bothered by it. Other people that tried out the device did so out of curiosity but walked away genuinely impressed.

The Nintendo 2DS is an important step in Nintendo growing their handheld audience. It’s not for everyone. When the Nintendo 3DS XL was first released, I didn’t hesitate to upgrade immediately because the buttons and screens were too small for me. This was still true with the Nintendo 2DS, but that’s a personal preference. With the original Nintendo 3DS at $169, the Nintendo 3DS XL at $199 and now the Nintendo 2DS at $129, the company won’t be able to keep enough on store shelves this holiday season. The Nintendo 2DS will charm your pants off the moment you pick it up.

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August 28
2013

The 2DS Isn’t For You, And That’s Okay.

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22dskid
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Today Nintendo surprised the entire world with the least expected thing ever: The Nintendo 2DS. The new handheld is a redesigned 3DS, sans 3D functionality (but still capable of playing all 3DS games), being offered for a lower price point. Nintendo says that the new handheld is being made with a very young demographic in mind, as an entry level gaming device.

The vast majority of the internet has been less than receptive to Nintendo’s new toy, calling it ugly, questioning its necessity, and the rest of your expected entitled reactionary gamer nonsense.

But here’s the thing: It’s not for you. So calm down.

More than that, I actually think the device is quite clever. Here’s why.

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2013

The Nintendo 3DS Now In 2D! Seriously

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2DS
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Did you hear? Nintendo is releasing a new handheld gaming system! Today on their official YouTube channel, Big N has put up a trailer for the next iteration of their 3DS portable console, and it’s called….the 2DS.

Yes, really.

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June 14
2013

Xboned: XB1 Owners Not Allowed To File Class Action Lawsuits

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XboxOne
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International Business Times has reported that one of the terms and conditions for people buying the Xbox One is:

  • Terms include binding arbitration with class action waiver to resolve disputes.

What this means is that if you and other users have a problem with Microsoft’s new console then you cannot band together for a class action lawsuit, much like what happened when the Xbox 360 disc drive was destroying discs, and when massive numbers of users were banned for having modified consoles even if those “modifications” were just a result of fixing a broken DVD drive, and when people were  being double-billed for their Live! subscriptions, and when Microsoft covered up the failure rates of the 360 console. Instead, the legal options that Xbox One owners will have are to either take Microsoft to court one-on-one – may the man with more of the high-priced lawyers win – or to engage in arbitration.

Arbitration is one of the worst deals to be offered to consumers on any front in any situation. What happens in arbitration is that the wronged consumer, in lieu of going into a court battle, can attempt to settle disputes with the company through an arbitrator. An arbitrator who is selected by the company and goes through a process with no legal rules or objections. In other words, it’s a like having Smithers settle a dispute between you and Mr. Burns.

By this point it is clear that Microsoft hates you, actively. Yes, you, consumer who wants to give them money to play video games. They don’t like you as you are a burden, the obstacle between them and your money. The opinion they have of you is that you are some dupe who should give them your cash, be grateful for the privilege of owning anything they deign to toss your way, and then scuttle away into the dark and bother them no more.

Microsoft, if I might offer a suggestion: if you hate consumers so much, then you might want to get out of the business of production.