Archive for the 'Gaming' Category

DIY Component to VGA Adapter

component to vga adapter

The way I connect my Xbox 360 to my LCD Screen, is using Elgato’s EyeTV Hybrid tuner and the EyeTV software. This works fine, however the picture produced is only SD. I wasn’t happy with the way the picture looked, especially on my 17″ Dell Monitor. I looked around the net and I found a page with lots of details on the wiring on how to connect a component (PbPrY) to a VGA out. After spending lots of time working out what pins go where and stripping all the cables, connecting them all together, it ended up not working. I double checked the leads with a multimeter, and everything was fine, all the cables were connected the right way. My Dell screen just showed: “Error: Cannot display input mode”.
I searched over the internet, and I found the problem was listed on the original page I visited. The problem is, the cable doesn’t convert the PbPrY signal to a VGA, it just hooks it up to the VGA. This means your input device has to support component input, which my LCD obviously didn’t. Converting the signal is much more complicated and requires IC’s and software. All that work for nothing! I even cut my finger! Let’s hope I can put the cable to good use somehow else.

The Logitech MX Revolution: Review

logitech mx revolution
Score: star star star star (4/5)

Sadly this isn’t the Nintendo Revolution. It is however a brand new, and fantastic mouse! It’s fast, responsive and uses a laser. The best feature though, not including the fact that it’s cordless, is its scroll wheel. This is a unique wheel which can do both the normal ‘click to click’ mode and a free scroll mode. The free scroll mode allows the wheel to spin on its own for easy navigation where you have lots of pages. It truly is very ergonomic. You can also change it so that after a certain speed, it will automatically change from click to click, to free scroll mode. I use this all the time, and I love it!

I have been using it for around a week now, and is much better than the Mighty Mouse. I got rid of it after the scroll wheel failing me, and after trying to fix it numerous times (and replaced by Apple once, after which it worked for a while). I have configured the thmub button to turn on expose, and the forward and back buttons move through the tabs in Safari. The supposed ‘search’ button I didn’t have a need for, so I re-routed it to skip to the next new news item in NetNewsWire. When I press down on the scroll wheel, it triggers the desktop in expose. One minor annoyance, is that you can’t actually set Expose functions. You have to set it to a key (ie, I use F8, and F10) which you then change in OS X’s Keyboard System preferences pane to activate Expose, or whatever you want it to do. This does have the added benefit, that in any application, you can customise any of its shorcuts to a button. Another neat feature, is that you can customise these settings on an per application basis. So one click may trigger forward tab in Safari, but that same could activate the Cut tool in Photoshop, or something similar.

Click on to read the rest of the review, or to see the unboxing photos, go to the flickr page.
Continue reading ‘The Logitech MX Revolution: Review’

Gaming News in Review: Part 2

xbox hd-dvd

Part deux of the gaming news round-up over the last few weeks.

  • Could the Wii not support game saves to SD memory cards? According to the manual it is, but not according to the console itself. That’s what Joystiq found out. Lets hope Nintendo fix this in time for the release, as we wouldn’t want to replay an entire game when at your friends house, do we? [link]
  • Engadget’s Wii software walkthrough video and gameplay walkthrough videos allow you to see what it would be like if you owned a Wii. Shortly it will come true for a lot of people, or at least we hope.
  • Microsoft revealed the HD download service for US Xbox 360 owners. These will allow you to download 720p HD TV shows from CBS, Comedy Central VH1 and more. Deleted TV shows can be re-downloaded for free in either HD or SD. Movies are ‘rent-only’, whereby you have two weeks to watch a movie, but after you start watching, you have 24 hours to finish the film. After that the film will no longer play. During the 24-hours, you can watch the film an unlimited number of times. [link]
  • Engadget open the retail version of the Xbox 360 HD-DVD player and have a play around with it, naturally with tons of photos (above) [link]
  • The PS3 gets dismantled before it is even in circulation. The four part videos take you through a detailed disassemblement of the PS3 showing the CPU, heatsink, the blu-ray drive, etc. [part 1] [part 2] [part 3] [part 4]
  • PS3 kiosk is a fake! The PS3 behind the glass in retail outlets are not even functional, no, it seems that Sony may be scared of the PS3 overheating or exploding, so they placed a separate version enclosed in the kiosk. The actual console is very well ventilated to make sure the heat dissipates as much as possible. My, my… [link]
  • Size comparison of the Wii, the PS3 and the Xbox 360. The PS3 is the largest, and the Wii is the smallest (though it’s not like we didn’t know that) [link]
  • The Xbox 360 HD-DVD player is fully functional in PC’s. Hook it up using the USB, and some Toshiba drivers you can not only view the files on the HD-DVD, but if your PC can handle it, it can also play back the movie. Nice. What’s more, the Mac recognises the drive instantaneously without any drivers, but there is no software to playback the video. Oh well! [link]
  • A DVD ‘enhanced’ version of the Wii will be released to the US and Japan in the 2nd half of 2007. The current Wii’s contain the DVD drive, however they do not have the software capable to play movies. The most likely reason for not including the software, is to avoid licencing fees which would increase the price of the console. [link]

Gaming News in Review: Part 1

the wii house

While I was unable to post during the last two weeks, there has been plenty of gaming news floating around, so be prepared for a awfully long post.

  • New Halo 3 Info: have revealed lots of new information about Halo 3. There will be three different editions of Halo 3, a standard, a collectors and a Legendary edition. New brute weapons, Spike Rifle and Spike Grenade. The Mongoose ATV, like the Warthog, however there is no turret. A new assault riffle as the starting weapon, Bungie hope to improve the tactics of the game, so it is more fair. Save multiplayer, and single player gameplay videos and watch them again. The left and right bumpers are being used as the reloading buttons for your weapons, so what happens with the X button now? [link]
  • PS3’s SIXAXIS controller is completely disassembled to reveal its innards. A layer by layer documentation takes you through the motion sensing parts, the non-replaceable battery, and the rest of the gadgetry. [link]
  • The Wii house of fun in London. SPOnG managed to take a look around Nintendo’s secret house which is kitted up with Wii gear, for the press. They took lots of photos and described their experience with the various games and such. Photo shown above. [link]
  • 70GB Hard drive for the Xbox 360 spotted. While the photo could be a fake, the most likely explanation is, Microsoft wants you to be able to store those Movie and Video downloads somewhere (currently for the US only, more in the next post) The video marketplace allows you to download various movies, tv shows and short films, some in HD, which obviously needs plenty of space. [link]
  • Sony fanboys hijack the Nintendo Wikipedia entry and cover it with “nintendo sucks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1”, for a mere few minutes, until the Wikipedia admins notice. “In the short moments before Wikipedia admins could get the correct page back up, the assailant successfully misled several would-be Nintendo fans to assume the company had gone out of business, then deciding to ‘switch teams.’ [sarcasm]” [link]
  • Engadget get down to business, and get hands on with their final production unit of the Wii. Plenty of high-res images of the unboxing, the console and all its accessories. What more could you want? [link]

I split down the post into two separate articles. It’s probably more helpful for the eye.

MacHeist Invites: Get it here

macheist invite

I have seven MacHeist invites to dish out, and I will hopefully get more soon. To those who are unaware, and have been sitting under a rock for the past few weeks, MacHeist is created by the founders of MyDreamApp. The idea is, you follow cryptic messages and use all your geek knowledge to complete various missions. At the end, you will receive a code to put into the MacHeist safe to unlock the freebies for that mission. Lots of different applications (Mac-only, duh!) will be available to unlock during the six different missions. The first mission has started, and is nearly over, and you unlock three pieces of software in total that amount to a saving of $40.95. I won’t give any spoilers, so if you are seriously interested, then leave your email in the comments below. I will try to send out the email as soon as possible. This is based on a first come first served basis.

Gaming News in Review

lik-sang logo

A lot of gaming news has happened while I was away, so I thought I’d summerise it all.

  • Sony sues games importer Lik-Sang out of existence. Sony originally filed a motion against Lik-Sang in August of 2005 for exporting PSP’s to the UK before the release of the console there. Just last week a high court judge in London ruled that the sales were illegal in Europe and blocked them, even though Lik-Sang argued they broke no Hong Kong laws.
    Last week, Pascal Clarysse, Marketing Manager of argued; “Fighting multiple lawsuits in different countries at the same time and paying high premiums to expensive lawyers is an overwhelming situation for a small company like Lik Sang. Launching separate court actions with separate claims and different judges is completely unnecessary, except for the fact that it helps reaching one single target: outspend Lik-Sang to death. Pay beyond.” [link]
  • Could there be a Xbox 360 Dashboard update waiting for us in a weeks time. Xbox Live’s Major Nelson mentioned on his podcast that he has been testing out the Xbox 360 Wireless Communicator on his development kit, which has “excellent” sound quality. Major Nelson goes on to say that “even if you went to the store today and bought it, you couldn’t use it until you have the fall upgrade to the dashboard.” With the Wireless communicator being released on 31st October, it makes us wonder whether the dashboard update would be released on or before the 31st; and that day is just looming. [link] Major Nelson’s Podcast, mentioned at around 1:16:30.
  • Sony has cleared up good and bad things about the PS3. Some of the postive notes are: HD Movies can be stored on and played directly from the hard drive, although codec support is yet unknown; Reports are that within 10 seconds of selecting the movie from the menu, its playing. The bad sides include: no HD cables in the box for definite; PS3 does not upconvert DVD’s, and will not enhance PS1/PS2 game’s graphics; no included remote, one can be bought separately for $24.99, and uses bluetooth not IR, so say goodbye to your universal remote. [link]

I’m going to MacExpo!

macexpo logo

I got back from Hungary at around midnight of Sunday. I would have posted news on Monday and yesterday, as it was awfully busy in the tech world, but my copy of Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter arrived in the posted. So I ended playing it pretty much all day. It is a fantastic game, but more on that in a separate post.
So while I was looking through my emails, I remembered that I had been given a free ticket to MacExpo which starts tomorrow. As it so happens, the rest of the family are going to London for shopping, so I’m going as well, but to MacExpo. I will be taking lots and lots of photos, and I will try to blog about most of them. This week will be really bust for me! My camera isn’t back from repair yet, so I’ll be taking pictures with my K800i phone. It has a superb camera, though it often shows up quite a lot of noise. I’m going to try to set up my Flickr account so that I can send photos from my phone to it, which it then should post onto my blog. Hopefully it all goes well.
Other than that I have not much else to say, I have got a lot of news lined up, which I will try to all post today.

Europe to get another PS3 delay? (false)

ps3 at psm

After all the problems that Sony has stuffed us with, you’d think they’d have learnt by now to get things sorted out in time for the launch. But apparently it seems they haven’t learned a thing. Not only is the PS3 already been delayed for us in Europe, but we are supposed to suffer another delay?
According to the Spanish gaming site MeriStation Ken Kutaragi recently admitted that supply problems for Japan and North America could force the European PS3 launch to be delayed until May. This would mean that the Japanese and Americans might have their PS3’s nearly six months before the rest of the world. This has not been verified yet, so take it with a grain of salt. It is also worthwhile to note that Kutaragi also supposedly said that Sony has not modified its European launch plans at this time.

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UPDATE: Sony has come out and denied this story. A Sony spokesperson told “Any reports of a further delay to the launch of the PS3 in Europe are categorically not true. We are still fully committed to a March 2007 launch date. Ken Kutaragi has not done any media briefings since the Tokyo Game Show, and the story is not true.” [link]

PS3 comes with composite cable and no high-def cables!

composite cable

It seems that Sony has decided to skimp with the cabling of the PS3. It has a blu-ray drive, the Cell processor and a HDMI port, everything needed to view High-def content, except the high-def cable. The latest issue of Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu reports on the cables that will be included with the Japanese version of the PS3. Those who buy 60 GB or 20 GB models will get a power cord, USB cable, ethernet cable and standard composite AV cable.
This is really disturbing. Sony are advertising the superiority over the 360 that it can play true 1080p high-def content, but it doesn’t even come with a high-def cable! Even the Xbox 360 comes with a basic component/composite combo. They could at least include it with the 60GB version. I am absolutely outraged! Even though I wouldn’t buy a PS3 anyway, but considering how Sony claim the PS3 to be better than the 360, and they skimp on ways like this, which doesn’t save much money anyway!

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Xbox 360 could get DivX support

360 divx

A Dutch Xbox 360 fan site (X-life) is reporting that Microsoft will be officially supporting the DivX and XviD formats within two months. This means that no 3rd party software will be needed to stream XviD and DivX files to the 360, and presumably, it also means that XviD encoded DVD’s will also be able to be played on the 360. However this is just a rumour so far, as it has not been confirmed by anyone else. The following excerpt, was translated from Dutch, during a Microsoft retailer training session.

After the event I had a short talk with the host and asked him whether there’d ever be support for DivX and Xvid playback. Much to my surprise, he started telling me that Microsoft is working hard to implement this and a firmware update is expected within 2 months allowing you to play DivX and Xvid directly on the 360.

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