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Sony Playstation Vita 3G

Posted by Ub3rG33k on Feb 22, 2012 in PS Vita, Tech

I’m a sucker for new shiny, so obviously the Vita has been on my radar since it was announce, the thought of having home console graphics and functionality on the move sounds like a great idea, however it’s more of a curiosity than a necessity.

Now, I’ve been beating myself up about this console, I’ve had it on pre-order 3 times from 3 different places, and jumped from the 3G model, to just wi-fi and back to 3G. The cancellations haven’t  been down to the deals or price, I just kept talking myself out of it. I currently have every other console (excluding the 3DS) and an increasing pile of shame (pile of unplayed/unfinished games), so I found it hard to justify a new console, especially one with the pricetag that this system comes with. Finally last week, (after spending many evening researching, adding to basket, then talking myself out of it) I decided….what the hell..and ordered the 3G model.

The reason I went for the 3G model was that in the UK, the Vita isn’t locked to a network so you can add any sim card, however if you do top up a fiver on the supplied Vodafone 3G sim card, you get Wipeout 2048 for free. The assumption is, that the GPS functionality won’t work if your out and about with only the wi-fi version, which I’m assuming will get used for location based games and applications. Once I’ve burnt through the 250Mb from Vodafone, I’ll put in one of my 3Gb over 3 month Three sim cards. These can be found on fleabay for as little as £7.

So, the device itself. The first thing to note is the weight and size of this thing, it is larger than the PSP, however feels roughly the same weight, which I’m surprised at.

The screen is gorgeous, the 5″ OLED screen is a massive improvement over the PSP and the touchscreen is very responsive. I’ve not really had a rear touch screen, however what I’ve used seems as responsive as the front.

The 2nd thumbstick is a god send and a much welcome addition, they are a little slacker than I expected but I’m sure I’ll get used to it. I’ve recently been playing Resistance: Retribution on the PSP, and that game really needed the 2nd thumbstick, using the buttons as a right thumbstick hurt the thumb, good thing is, it was bought from the PSN store, so I can download and play it on the Vita.

The front and rear cameras seem reasonable, they’re never going to replace my normal camera, but definitely fit for purpose for some of the augmented reality games I’ve seen on the horizon.

Finally, the in built browser isn’t bad at all. I really struggled with the browser on the PSP, even though it worked, I found it very hard to use, the browser however works really well. Not sure it’s quite as good as the browser on the iPhone, but still a good usable browser.

It seems I was able to bag myself a decent deal, so good infact that it’s been removed from the site. For just shy of £300 I got the following

PlayStation Vita Console Bundle 3G
Uncharted: Golden Abyss
8GB Memory Card
Pre-Order Pack

and I guess you can also include Wipeout 2048 for a fiver.

Right now, there’s little more I can tell you about thePS Vita, but over the coming weeks and months I’d no doubt be blogging about at games over at my gaming site D5120.com 

As always, unboxing pics below

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Apple TV 2nd Generation

Posted by Ub3rG33k on Oct 4, 2010 in Apple, Films, Tech

So today my Apple TV (2nd Generation) turned up, and I have to say I’m pretty impressed.

Anybody who knows me or has been reading these my post, will know that over the last couple of years, I’ve become an Apple fan boy I’ve gradually replaced my MP3 player, my phone, my PCs and even my entire network with Apple products, and as time has gone by, I’ve organised my entire music collection to be “iTunes friendly”.

I’ve been toying with the idea of an Apple TV for a while now, and very nearly bought one of the 1 generation ones about 2 months ago.

I’ve been using a piece of software on my MacMini called MediaLink, to stream my iTunes content to my PS3, which to be honest has been working pretty well, apart from the fact that it won’t play DRM media.

So the announcement was made early in September that a new Apple TV would be out shortly, so me being me ordered one.

So what’s it like ?

Now this is the first time I’ve used an Apple TV, so some of the features I’m raving about, might have been in the first generation.

First of all, it’s size, this thing is tiny, it literally fits in the palm of my hand.

The device has a very small white light on the front, the flashes with the remote press. The rear has a USB port, a HDMI port, power port and an optical output.

Setup, as with any Apple product was painless, plugged it in, selected my language, added my apple ID and that was it, good to go.

So what is an Apple TV ?

Basically, it’s a device which allows you to stream content from the web, and a PC or Mac which is running iTunes home sharing (please note, you have to have iTunes 10 installed for it to be picked up)

The main menu gives you a few options.

Movies, and then the sub menu of Top Movies, Genres, Search and in Theaters.

The movie collection is huge, and everything I searched for came back with a result (kinda like the movie selection in iTunes)

The “in Theaters” option was essentially what you get on Apples trailer site, all the trailers for whats in the cinema right now.

The next tab is Internet, with the option of YouTube, Podcasts, MobileMe, Flickr and Radio.

The Youtube option will allow you to sign in and see your subscriptions.

The podcast option does what it says on the tin, it opens up the content as found in the iTunes store and splits them into Audio, Video or all. You can then “add to favourites”, which will let you know how many unwatched episodes you have, it also remembers your position which I thought was a good feature.

I don’t have a MobileMe account, but assume if I had, I would be able to stream from this.

The Flickr allows you to subscribe to public users and view their content. I can’t see a way of signing in, as this would be perfect as I’m a Flickr pro subscriber and have my entire photo collection hidden online, it would be nice to be able to access these.

Finally there’s the radio, which is the same content as the Radio tab in iTunes.

The next tab is Computers. Basically any machine that you have iTunes on (version 10 or above) with Home Sharing enabled, you can stream all you content from them.

Finally you have the settings tab, which you can…..well change the settings 🙂

2 interesting features in the settings are the AirPlay, and Remotes.

The Airplay allows you to use the Apple TV as an Airport Express, and the Remote option allows you to use you iPhone as a remote control. As your probably aware, the iPhone remote app has recently been upgraded to support the Apple TV. The app works with gesture controls, swipe left and right for fast forward and backward, tap to pause and play, and the godsend was being able to type in when searching. There is also flick up to get to chapter, and 2 finger left swipe to roll back 10 seconds, you can even move the onscreen content using this !

The AirPlay is pretty cool too, now granted, to play media from my Mac by selecting Computers > Mac Mini > Music > Album > Play or I also have the option to connect to my MacMini via the Apple Remote app, select the Album > Play > select the Apple TV as the speakers. This will not only output the audio to the Apple TV, but it will also display the album art and ID tag of the track being played.

Now I subscribe to a lot of podcasts, and it’s nice to see that if I’m looking at my Computers library, I then watch or listen to a podcast, this syncs back to the library. There was nothing more annoying than watching something using MediaLink, then having to Screenshare onto my MacMini to mark them as watched. This seems to be the same for Movies and TV too.

So far I’ve very happy with this device, and I guess I’ll be spending the next couple of months converting all my DVD’s to mp4 format and adding these to my iTunes library.

For anyone who uses iTunes for their media content, and if you have a spare £99, I suggest getting one of these.

As always, unboxing photos are below.

Apple TV Unboxing

Apple TV Unboxing

Apple TV Unboxing

Apple TV Unboxing

Apple TV Unboxing

Apple TV Unboxing

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My Midlife Crisis

Posted by Ub3rG33k on Jul 11, 2010 in Brain Dump

With the average life expectancy for men in the UK being approximately 70….at 35, it’s time to have my midlife crisis.

Some men, by a flash car, or start dating somebody half their age…..not me….I bought a Stormtrooper outfit. 🙂

Just a little bit of history. Myself and Antony (my co-host on the ScutterCast podcast) have talked for a while about how cool it would be to have a stormtrooper outfit….well today, that became reality.

The suites themselves are supplied by the company that supplies Jedi Robe, however due to collecting and buying 2 at once, we got a fantastic discount.

With the company not keeping boots in stock (due to the fact they would have to keep in multiple sizes), we bought them from an American company and had them shipped over. The company is called TK Boots, and again we got a huge discount for getting 2 pairs at once. The shoes are sold as “Disco shoes” and TK Boots are very careful not to mention anything Star Wars related…(I’m assuming this is to do with copyright reason) however if you read between the lines….you know what your buying 🙂

It’s been almost 30 years since the classic white ankle high boot has been seen on the dance floors of this planet. White boot mania has returned!

We did look at buying some official boots from CABoots, however they were out of stock, and didn’t look to get any until the end of the year. We then looked on eBay for some, but only found the “Elvis Style boot”, which were fine, but would be rejected if we decided to sign up for a garrison.

Below are the unboxing photo’s…..Why isn’t there one with me in the suite I hear you ask ?!?….Simple, it’s too bloody warm. I got as far as putting on the body sock and got far too warm, I’ll got back to it once it’s cooled down later tonight.

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edit 18/07/2010

I wasn’t happy having it stuck together with just velcro, it just seemed a little too loose, so decided to go with the glue gun and rivet gun approach. It took me around 7 hours yesterday to remove all the velcro, trim the suit to size, but I’m now really happy with the fit.

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I did however make a right mess !

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And below is the finished product 🙂

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