Category Archives: News

Apple announces new iMacs, Mac Pro, 27″ Cinema Display, Magic Trackpad

As has been rumoured for some time, Apple has today announced a slew of product updates and entirely new products. I am so excited because I have been waiting for a Mac Pro refresh for a while (along with the iMac).

imacsUpdated iMacs featuring new Intel Core i3, i5 & i7 processors

The iMacs received an update, with overall cosmetics remaining unchanged, but under the hood are a new range of Intel processors from the entry-level Core i3 right up to a newer Core i7 with Hyper Threading. New graphics processors are also present in the form of the ATI Radeon HD 4670 (21.5″ only) and 5670 (21.5″ & 27″) with 256MB GDDR3 and 512MB GDDR5 memory respectively. The top-end quad-core specification 27″ iMac is configured with an ATI Radeon HD 5750 with 1GB GDDR5. Like the Mac Pro, SSD drives are now also available as a CTO option.

12-core Mac Pro with 2TB SSD drives CTO option

Mac ProApple’s Mac Pro powerhouse computers had been starved of an update, but finally got a healthy refresh with new processor configurations including the new “Westmere” Intel Xeon processors, running at up to 2.93GHz in a dual processor configuration with 6 cores each, deliver up to 12 cores.

Hard drive options now include, for the first in an Apple desktop, SSD drives, with configuration options allowing up to four 512GB SSD drives. Apple has posted test results showing SSD’s outperforming 7200RPM HDD’s by up to twice the speed, although it hasn’t posted any comparable results against 15,400RPM SAS HDD’s.

27″ LED-backlit Cinema Display

Cinema DisplayBased on the same IPS panel as used in the current generation iMac, a new 27″ Cinema Display has been announced for a September shipping date, and features the same style housing as the existing 24″ LED Cinema Display. With a 2560×1600 resolution which almost matches the 30″ Cinema Display, the new 27″ Cinema Display is Apple’s first standalone monitor to feature a 16:9 aspect ratio, compared to the previous 16:10 offerings.

Like the 24″ Cinema Display, the new 27″ monitor also features built-in iSight camera, microphone, speakers including subwoofer, and utilises the industry-standard Mini DisplayPort. The connections also include a MagSafe adaptor for charging Macbook models via the monitor’s power source.

Magic TrackpadMagic Trackpad

Another entirely new product, the Magic Trackpad is Apple’s offering to desktop users of a trackpad, just like the ones found on Macbook models, so that desktop warriors can take advantage of multi-touch gestures too, like their mobile-using counterparts.

The new Magic Trackpad is 80% larger than standard trackpads found on Macbooks, and the whole pad area acts as a mouse button click too. The design is based on the same structure as the Apple Bluetooth keyboard.
Combined with useful 3rd party tools such as BetterTouchTool (based on the MultiClutch project), the Magic Trackpad could add a nice new ‘touch’ to desktop Macs… pun intended. Sorry.

Written By Nick Miller of http://www.nickmiller.co.cc

New James bond game

I proved it once and I can prove it again Bigbondfan (more likely know as BBF08 now) has nothing on me, I own every bond game since goldeneye even the terrible goldeneye: rouge agent. Now this game is next on my list… with improved graphics and hand-to-hand combat system this game should live up to expectations.

Called James Bond 007: Blood Stone, this new bond game looks amazing with the teaser trailer I viewed about three minutes before writing this blog post. It features Daniel Craig’s voice (and looks of course) as Bond unlike Adam Croasdell that was previously rumoured, the game also features Judi Dench and Joss Stone (whom also performs the title song) in this totally original story made especially for Blood Stone.

The trailer also implies there will be loads of diving modes/missions within this game which could backfire bad like on the Agent under fire game but I’m hoping its more like Nightfire game where the driving mission were a pleasure. Blood Stone will also include 16 player multiplayer which hopefully would be a lot better than quantum of solace’s passable attempt and fingers crossed Activision would have listened to players and will include a split screen mode.

More lush looking images below…

P.S. expect a review from me of this Video game shortly after release.

Source: MI6.co.uk

The 92nd Review of – Ski Air Mix

Hi, before I start this review I would like to say that I’m thinking of doing these type of reviews as a “regular” feature. Anyway back to the game review…

The video game I am about to review today is called Ski Air Mix, (sounds thrilling doesn’t it) for the PlayStation one. I don’t really know how I got this game but I think it was in a bundle of some sort with many of my other cheap PS1 games which will most likely gain there own spots on this blog, you can tell the type of games that will cost less than the CD that they are printed on when you see the words Pocket Price on the label (I’m guessing this is a company because all my bad PS1 games have this little label on but I am too lazy to check)

So as I vaguely remembered this game I know what I was going to be in for, and started up the game once again. Man I love the that old sound of the PS1 boot. Oh and If your wondering why It looks like I am trying to fill up space in this review, its because I am the game is really that dull. There is not much too it all you do in the game is slide down a snow covered hill and that’s it.

Graphics:

I have now found the lead for my camera so you no longer have to take my word on it. The graphics are terrible sure they may look okay on viddler but that little video player is not exactly a decent 32” TV. Zooming past badly texturized rocks and trees at around three frames a second makes you want to accidentally leave the disc in a microwave if you get what I mean.

You can’t even see where the track sides are half of the time, you can however choose the course track and costume before playing but its utterly pointless, the tracks seem almost identical only with different corners to throw you off course and a different colored house now and then. And the costumes are just to change the colour of the block that sort of resembles a man figure. For this abomination the graphics are only going to get a 2/10.

Sound:

If you haven’t watched the gameplay clip I suggest you do so now before reading the rest of this review. Saw it? Good. The sound is even worse than the graphics with a “boo” every time you jump on a high point and a “cuhuh” every time you hit the side of the track (unfortunately not heard in the youtube video). I will give the sound guy some credit though because he made it possible to play your disc in a normal CD player and listen to the same repetitive tracks over and over again no mater how far away you are from the PlayStation. And because repetition makes everything more fun I am going to give the sound a 4/10 just because I can. PS that’s not my camera making that horrid white noise its the game.

Gameplay:

You may have thought this game couldn’t be any worse and you would be wrong the controls are very simple you have your left and right buttons on the D-pad, the X button to jump and the up button to crouch (although this is never needed). Seems simple enough but only the game decides when you actually press the buttons not you so you spend most of your time shouting “turn, turn!, %[email protected]*$&! TURN!” at the screen hoping that the game would hear you and actually make use of the buttons you press (or at this point smashing). Because of the game never paying attention to you you can actually play levels without ever touching the controller, as you are always on a hill your character will eventually make its way down to the bottom and to the end of the level. Its even worse with split-screen because its the exact same single player experience but only doubled, which means its guaranteed your eyes and ears will hate you for the rest of the day. Only 1/10 for the gameplay because I am not going to give any game minus points.

One thing I found amusing:

I don’t know if you noticed but the circle button is actually to select (which confused me twice trying to play this game) but unlike nearly every other game made in the world the controls say the circle button is to decide not to confirm of select, just decide.

Final score:

I would recommend buying this game just to destroy it so no one else has to suffer but other than that Ski Air Mix gets a final score of 2.5/10.

So thanks for reading this review and don’t forget to post a comment below or in the forums, the more you comment the more I will review and you may even get me on my old dance mat again in the future.

Storage Homemade 16TB NAS dwarfs the competition with insane build quality (video)

From the man that brought you the OS Xbox Pro and the Cinematograph HD comes… a cockpit canopy filled with hard drives? Not quite. Meet the Black Dwarf, a custom network-attached-storage device from the mind of video editor Will Urbina, packing 16TB of RAID 5 magnetic media and a 1.66GHz Atom N270 CPU into a completely hand-built Lexan, aluminum and steel enclosure. Urbina says the Dwarf writes at 88MB per second and reads at a fantastic 266MB per second, making the shuttlecraft-shaped 12.7TB array nearly as speedy as an SSD but with massive capacity and some redundancy to boot. As usual, the DIY guru shot a professional time-lapse video of his entire build process, and this one’s not to be missed — it showcases some pretty spiffy camerawork as well as the man’s welding skills. See sparks fly after the break.

http://www.nickmiller.co.cc/?p=358

Apple renaming Mac OS X?

I was on MacRumors and I stumbled upon an article saying that Apple was considering renaming the famous Mac OS X. I was like “Holy Shiz!?!? What is Apple thinking???”. The plan that I read was that they wanted it to be re-branded as “iOS”. With the launch on the new iPhone 4 and the new iOS 4.0, It seems to have sparked ideas in Apple Developer’s minds. Personally I think it is because the ran out of good sounding “cat” names for any new operating systems to come, but I don’t know the exact reason.

See the Article:

Hardmac reports that it has heard that Apple is considering rebranding Mac OS X under the new “iOS” name recently rolled out as a replacement for “iPhone OS”. The change would serve as a means for uniting Apple’s operating systems under a single naming scheme with multiple flavors.

They are currently thinking of using iOS as the default naming/branding of Apple OS. We would then have iOS desktop, iOS server and iOS mobile. The final decision is not taken yet, however, the proposal seems to be well supported by the high management, it would give a better exposure and unity to Apple OS platforms while making communication easier.
Such a change could facilitate branding and marketing if Apple were to release touchscreen-enabled Macs running an “iOS mobile” layer on top of the traditional Mac OS X.

While the “i” naming scheme has become synonymous with Apple’s mobile devices, it obviously has its origins in the iMac, introduced in 1998 and carried along through multiple iterations to today’s desktop computer still bearing the same name. A tighter marketing integration of Apple’s traditional Mac operating system and mobile operating system could help Apple position itself for a future where lines between computing environments continue to blur.

http://www.nickmiller.co.cc/?p=402

PSP go with free games

Okay, some of you may have already noticed from other sources but I think it could mean big news especially with E3 just around the corner.

If you register your PSP Go before November using the Playstation website you can get ten games at no extra cost, let me say (write?) that again… You get 10 games for free!

The games aren’t bad either quite a few of them are some of the best you can own for the PSP system, they are as follows:

  • LittleBigPlanet
  • MotorStorm Arctic Edge
  • Need for Speed Shift
  • Assassins Creed: Bloodlines
  • Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories
  • Gran Turismo
  • James Cameron’s Avatar: The Game
  • Pursuit Force: Extreme Justice
  • 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa
  • Wipeout Pure

Not too shabby, some great games there im sure you will agree. but why just now, why didn’t Sony do this offer earlier to shift some more PSP Go’s at launch? I have a theory and that is that I think Sony Computer Entertainment are going to announce something big at E3. Not necessarily a “PSP2″ system but I do think it will have something to do with the Playstation Portable.

my advice would be if your thinking about getting a PSP and you don’t already own one, get a PSP Go but if you have a PSP already don’t bother, you probably own half (if not more) of the games stated above. Also this offer is for the AE, AU, GB, IE, NZ only, USA on the other hand only get three games so…

[source: http://blog.eu.playstation.com/2010/06/01/buy-a-new-pspgo-and-get-10-free-games/]

what’s your thoughts? leave a comment below or post in the Forums.

Splinter Cell Conviction for iPhone Released


The highly-acclaimed Splinter Cell series has been sating players’ appetites for stealthy kills for the better part of a decade now, with its latest iteration hitting consoles last month. Luckily for handheld gamers, they can now download a pocket-sized version of that game for the iPhone and iPod Touch. So how does it stack up against its App Store competition?

Pretty well. Gameloft is almost in a league of their own, since they’re one of the only companies pumping out big-budget iPhone titles on a regular basis. Splinter Cell Conviction is undeniably a high quality game, but it’s not quite up to the level of their last release, Zombie Infection, for a few reasons.

Buy now.
Source: SlideToPlay.

X2 Soccer 2010 released – The best iPhone soccer game


The very long awaited X2 Soccer 2010 is arguably the best soccergame on the iPhone. It has the best graphics, animations, AI and controls. Which beats FIFA 10 and RealSoccer 2010.

X2 Soccer 2010 has over 150 club teams to choose from in 10 different leagues, plus international teams from all over the world. This includes U.S. Major League Soccer, Spanish, English, French, Italian, German leagues and more. There are a vast amount of more teams than last years version to play with.

App Store: X2 Soccer 2010, $6.99
You might check out the review

SEGA announces Sonic 4 for iPhone

SEGA announced yesterday they’re working on Sonic 4 for the iPhone. However it’s release date it’s delayed until late 2010 SEGA wants to ensure that they deliver the best Sonic experience as possible.

This Sonic release sadly enough isn’t 3D, but a 2D platformer, just like the old Sonic. Don’t think it’ll be a lame remake. Sonic 4 will be released for Wii, DS, PSP, PS3, 360 and I must admit the graphics look pretty good.

“The additional time will allow the Development Team to focus on ensuring overall high-quality throughout the game by continuing to tune, balance, and maintain the kind of polish that an important title like this demands, and ultimately providing fans with an unrivalled classic Sonic feel.”

You can see the trailer here. We’ll keep you updated.

Review: Bioshock 2

Holy mother of Jesus, I loved Bioshock. A game with a brilliantly crafted story, guns and quite possibly the most demented horrifying setting found in any game. It had atmosphere and was a brilliant game to play, the graphics were stunning, I don’t have a single complaint. So how does the sequel hold up?

To put it bluntly, fantastic. Sure it could never surpass the utter brilliance of the first game, but that is a near impossible task.  Seriously. It has the beautifully deranged atmosphere, the great first person gameplay. Essentially it’s the Bioshock package. It will become immediately evident that this game is extremely similar to the original. And to state that this is a fault would be a complete lie, I’ve heard countless reviewers complaining about how the game is too “much of the same stuff” yes it is. Why change what already worked perfectly?

Whilst it is a game that has very little changes from the first game there has been a view changes. Such as the ability to dual wield plasmids (Genetic weapons such as Thunder bolts or Telekinesis) and normal weaponry, this is a brilliant new addition to the game.  Whilst something so small may seem not worth a mention. I beg to differ, it makes the gameplay much more fast paced and can really help in the more intense of battles. Another addition is to participate in a protection sequence whilst your Little Sister harvests splicers. One of the biggest changes is the fact that you play as a Big Daddy, these are the enemies that constantly terrorise you throughout the first game (They still do so in the second game too :D) and to be honest this change isn’t noticeable aside from of-course the fact that you wield a giant drill (It only is really noticeable when story is being told)

One major factors that contributed to the first game in the series’s eerie atmosphere was the music, In this game isn’t an exception the music is very relevant. I personally do not actually like the music as it is old 1940′s styled music, yet is definitely not bad. Songs that are usually unbearable become oddly acceptable. Whilst there is something disturbed about listening to a song about a little Doggie as you shoot the hell out of splicers.

As mentioned before one of the resoundingly brilliant factors of the first game was the story. In the second game the story is brilliant, but don’t expect an even more epic tale than the first as surpassing such a great story would be difficult. And in the second game, it’s well just got a worse story. In typical Bioshock fashion the game is not told through cutscenes but through the scenery of levels and various audio diaries found throughout rapture. This in my opinion is a much more sophisticated and interesting way of telling a story, many games rely on cutscenes or text to tell a story, Bioshock relies on the player to explore and listen to all of the audio diaries to tell the story. It’s generally a much more realistic way to tell a story as investigation is required, and if the player decides that they don’t care about the story they can simply avoid the audio logs.

And now for the graphics. Meh is a suitable way to describe them, the original game had brilliant graphics and this game has good graphics. This is probably partially due to the change of the people who made the game, whilst the graphics are by no means bad, it annoys me that the first game had genuinely better graphics. Whilst it is a slight downgrade it is noticeable and is probably one of the worst things about this game.

You may notice I have made no mention of the multiplayer. That is because I have not properly played it and therefore can not pass fair judgement on it, all I can say is that is looks pretty cool!

To conclude this review I’m simply going to state that this game is brilliant. It may not be as good as it predecessor yet it still is an astonishing game, any first person shooter fan should definitely check the game out. Just remember to embrace yourself for one surreal adventure that wont ever leave your mind, Embrace yourself for a masterpiece as a game and an experience.