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Nintendo 3DS XL

Posted by Ub3rG33k on Aug 16, 2012 in 3DS, Nintendo

For some reason, the 3DS didn’t really bother me, granted I was intrigued at ‘glasses free’ 3D when I saw it announced way back at E3 2010, but unlike more gaming gadgets, I didn’t go for a day one purchase.
Roll on a year, and the announcement of the 3DS XL, again I wasn’t too bothered, to be honest I have a DSLite and a Wii and can’t remember the last time I switched either of them on.
Then a couple of weeks ago more and more of the midlifegamer community started to buy 3DS’s and exchange friends codes , I suddenly got the urge to buy one, and unfortunately when I get the urge to buy something, it tends to be on the forefront of my mind until I actually buy it. I then listened to an episode of the midlifegamer podcast, on which one of the hosts discussed the fun time he was having with his new 3DS XL and I was sold and ordered one.

Now the stupid thing is, I’m about to embark on a year long challenge where I’m not allowed to buy a game, which is quite honestly going to be hell. As you can imagine, deciding which platform to buy for when it comes to Birthdays and Christmas is going to be a hard decision.

Ok, so history over, and today it turned up. The first thing to note is this is huge in comparison to my old DSLite, however wasn’t really shocked as this apparently has a 90% bigger screen. For some reason I went for the Red and Black version, it just seemed to look better, I one point I did have the Blue one in my basket, but changed.

My previous experience of the Nintendo handheld interface was on the DSLite, and lets be honest it was rather basic, so seeing this new shiny UI was a sight for sore eyes. Still to this day, I think the Wii has the best user experiences on all the current generation consoles, it’s clean, easy to use and very user friendly, and Nintendo have brought that to the 3DS XL (I’m assuming the 3DS also).

One thing that I really like about the software is the ‘Activity Log’. Somebody who used Google Latitude and Foursquare to track my real world movements, and 5 different gaming sites to track my gaming time and achievements/trophies….being able to track the time I use the device gave me a happy little twinge.

The console has a couple of camera, a front facing, and 2 at the rear to allow you to take 3D pictures and up to 10 minutes worth of video in 3D. I’ve had a quick play, and actually quite like what I’m seeing. My assumption is that these can only be played back on another 3DS, but I’m sure Google will be my friend.

With the 3DS there are a handful of augmented reality games that use the camera, which are ok. I got something similar with the PSVita, I played them all once then didn’t really go back to them either.

As expected with a newer handheld, the Nintendo store is available for you to download some old school titles, which is good if you want to go back to the GameBoy slot has been removed. I did however have this slot available on my DSLite and never used it.

Now the fun stuff, (and how Sony should have done it instead of using the terrible ‘Near’ service), when you fire up the 3DS, you’re asked to create your Mii, very much like you do on the Wii. Once created this becomes your avatar, which I’m assuming can/will be used in games, however the cool bit is this avatar represents you in the StreetPass. I’ve not been out and about with it yet, but from what I understand, if I’ve got my 3DS with me, and it’s in standby mode, and I’m in the vicinity of another 3DS, they will automatically talk to each other and offer a friends request. Again, if I understand correctly, you can only have 10 ‘friends request’ queued up, but once accepted, these will become other avatars within your games.

I would like to point out that if you have a Wii, and like me you spent many evening creating Mii characters, you can transfer these to the 3DS. I currently have , Beavis and Butthead, and many random Star Trek, Star Wars, Matrix, Simpons and Red Dwarf cast members running around my Mii Plaza.

Finally, the 3DS does have an integrated web browsers, which is…ok, however nowhere near as smooth or as usable as on my iPhone, so don’t really see me using it very much, it also seems to take far too long to render the pages.

As it stands, I’ve not actually played a game on it, as I’ve been too busy exploring the device and setting it up, but I’ll post what I think of the games on my gaming site.

All in all, a cracking device, not sure how long it’ll be before the honeymoon period wears off and it’s sat on my shelf next to my DSLite, PSP and PSVita, but so far so good.

As always, unboxing pictures below, and a great unboxing and instructional video from Oli.

Accessory kit, 3DS and charger In the box The Box Content Out of the box ...and open The case The Accessory kit

Just so you can get a size comparison, below is an image of the 3DS and PSVita together….yup, it’s huge!

Screen size compared to the vita

 

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AverMedia Game Capture HD C281

Posted by Ub3rG33k on May 18, 2012 in PS3, Wii, XBOX 360

Many moons ago, myself and Tony (fellow Fictionshed founder) spent a some time attempting to find a way to record output from the Xbox for our ViperPilots project.

For episode 4 we planned to use the Halo 3 engine, as the capture/playback featue is awesome and gave us everything we need to create the episode, in a machinima Red vs Blue style. The only downside was attempting to get the video out of Halo, and onto the mac for it to be edited together. Bungie do offer a solution to this, however wanted this  to be Game agnostic.

When we initially looked, there were only a handful of solutions, and to be honest a little pricey, so we put the ViperPilots project on hold.

Jump forward to last Monday, I was involved in a Trials Evolution practice Tournament, whereby one of the member (Oli) was able to record the entire thing. After watching this back on YouTube, I was sold.

Please note, may contain strong language…as it’s one of the most frustrating games in the world !

The unit itself is quite clever, just pop in 2.5″ hard drive and your ready to go. The good thing is, with a 1TB drive, you can get over 250 hours worth of 1080i real time video, and who know how many screen shots.

As you can see from the below the device works by passing through the video, it has a universal console input (Xbox, PS3 and Wii), and then output to the TV via component cables, with no noticeable lag (if your running in real time mode)

The machine itself has a menu whereby you can view, edit delete all your previous recording, and manage the setting, however if you want to get the video onto a computer for you to edit there, simply plug in a USB stick and copy the file you want onto that.

One of the interesting features is the snapshot feature, this will allow you to play back a video in slow motion, frame be frame until you get the image you want, you can then capture this image in the full 1080 resolution.

All in all, this is a fantastic piece of kit, and I look forward to spamming YouTube with 100’s of hours of captured video.

As always, unboxing photos below.

AverMedia Game Capture HD C281 AverMedia Game Capture HD C281 AverMedia Game Capture HD C281 AverMedia Game Capture HD C281 AverMedia Game Capture HD C281 AverMedia Game Capture HD C281

as a Brucey Bonus, please find below Olis video unboxing….enjoy

 

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Apple TV 2 ? Apples Games Console ?

Posted by Ub3rG33k on Sep 30, 2010 in Apple, Brain Dump, iPhone, IPod Touch, Tech

At present, I’m awaiting delivery of my Apple TV (ETA Monday 4th October 2010).

I was thinking last night of the future of the Apple TV, and how this is could be a lot more than a TV, and might be Apples version of a Games Console.

Why you may ask ?

  • Ok, I’ve read on multiple blogs, that the device runs on a version of iOS 4.1, there should be no reason why games designed for the iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad shouldn’t be able to run on it.
  • Introduction of the Game Center, which is a cross device “Social Gaming platform”. Currently this only works on the iPod Touch and iPhone, but see no reason that this can’t also work on the Apple TV.
  • Rumours of a Apple TV App store, this would make it possible to download and buy your favorite games you have on your current devices, and play them on the big screen
  • The Apple TV has an internal 8Gb memory, don’t you think this is a little large just to host the Apple TV Front Row software. With the new Apple TV, all the media content is streaming only ?
  • The Apple TV has the A4 chip, and 256Mb of Ram, making it the same spec as the iPad
  • Epic Citedel. This demo looked amazing, it’s being pitched a online multiplayer experience, Could this be a launch title when the Game Center is switched on ?
  • iOS 4.2 was announced last month, this would finally bring multitasking to the iPad, over the air printing etc, I do wonder though, could these features also be coming to the Apple TV ?. I did also note, that during the keynotes on the 1st September 2010. The Apple TV was mentioned, but the only focus was on the size and price of the device, the software wasn’t touched on at all ?
  • I would assume that the controller for the Apple TV, would be any iThingy device, eg iPod Touch,  iPhone or iPad, and possibly work together like Nintendo attempted with the DS and Wii. If so, the iPhone 4 and iPod Touch 4G would make an awesome motion controller with the gyroscope

Anyway, these are all purely speculations, however there’s a lot of power in that little device, and it would be a shame if Apple didn’t do more with it that “just stream media”. If I’m right, I expect another Apple press conference some time before the launch of iOS4.2 in November

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