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  • Nov 30 / 2010
  • 0
Geek Stuff

Microsoft Xbox 360 Kinect Sets Sales Record

Good morning and evening everyone!

I’ve just stumbled across this article on the BBC Technology website which confirmed that the Microsoft Xbox 360 Kinect has set a new sales record selling 2.5 million units within its first 25 days. With the Kinect being on sale in 60,000 shops across 38 countries, Microsoft have confirmed that they are on target to meet their sales target of 5 millions units by Christmas.

In other news, Microsoft have released a statement regarding programmers who are writing software for the Kinect.

The director of incubation for the Xbox at Microsoft Alex Kipman said “Hacking would mean that someone got to our algorithms that sit on the side of the Xbox and was able to actually use them, which hasn’t happened. Or it means that you put a device between the sensor and the Xbox for means of cheating, which also has not happened…What has happened is someone wrote an open-source driver for PCs that essentially opens the USB connection, which we didn’t protect by design, and reads the inputs from the sensor”. When asked if anyone would “get in trouble” for writing such code or finding other uses for the Kinect camera, Kipman had a direct answer: “Nope. Absolutely not”. (Source: Gamespot)

Check this video out which I found on Youtube of two programmers and the software they have written to create hand puppets using the Kinect.

Before I go, I would like to congratulate Microsoft on setting the sales record and I actually can’t wait to play with the device…maybe I should add an Xbox 360 Kinect bundle to my Christmas list…I’ll consolidate the Gadget Decider and see what the outcome is!

Until next time, take care!
Andy Singh

  • Nov 30 / 2010
  • 2
Games

Review: Gran Turismo 5

Good afternoon people!

After much playing time over the weekend, I can finally bring to you a short review of Gran Turismo 5.

What’s so different?
Unlike previous versions of the game, Gran Turismo 5 allows users to play online against other Playstation 3 users; and also the major cool thing about the game is there are over 2000+ cars with further downloads being made available in the near future.

First Impressions
In a nutshell – outstanding! When the games FMV started, I had goosebumps (literally!). With the movie starting in space and gradually coming down into a pit garage, the game lets you hear the soundtrack which any car fanatic loves – the sound of a beautiful V8 engine.

After the first 10 seconds, my smile was SO wide that the 2012 Olympic committee contacted me to ask if they could use my mouth in the 100m hurdles! After the starting movie the game introduced its vast collection of cars and tracks from the past, present and future.

The First Race
After much deliberation I opted to take my first dream car, the Ferrari F40, out on the Trial Mountain track….3-2-1-GO!! With the background music turned down and the car sound effects on full, the sheer noise of the car when I pulled away from the starting grid was like a punch from Mike Tyson – breathtaking!

With the track being from the very first Gran Turismo which I mastered, I thought taking the F40 round would be easy…..WRONG!! I’ve heard this new edition of Gran Turismo is as realistic as they come and there not wrong. Touch a bit of grass when coming in or out of a corner, the car will test your car control; get your braking wrong in a corner, your gone; putting it simply, if you think you can throw the car into corners like other games, your wrong. It’s either perfect or not!

GT Career – the First Car!
With only 20,000 credits to spend on a first car, I went around the various dealers and discovered I only buy a new Daihatsu….that wasn’t going to happen! Thankfully there is a list of used cars which ranged from the very first 60+ bhp Fiat 500 to a low mileage Maserati; but because it was my first car, I was only allowed to by a Level 0 car (I’ll explain more later). Now your thinking your options are going to be along lines of the 60+ bhp Fiat 500 or the Daihatsu I mentioned earlier; but no your wrong because for 17,500 credits I bought a 187bhp Misubishi FTO.

After a car wash and a change of oil, I entered the Sunday Cup with my FTO and absolutely blew everyone away! After a few races, I made the credits back which I spent on the car and looking to purchase something better. Great car to start your GT career.

The Licenses
Like previous editions of the game, Gran Turismo has it’s range of licenses starting from the simple B license right up to International A license. I managed to complete the B license really quickly, and even managing to get a Gold in one of the tests. Completing the B license allowed me to enter races which had better prize money when compared to the vintage ‘Sunday Cup’. I highly recommend anyone who is yet to start their career mode to complete as many of the licenses first before going out to race because remember the ‘levels’ I was talking about earlier? Well you accumulate level credits after each successful license test. Get gold and you get triple, get silver and you get double, get bronze and you don’t get anything extra.

Verdict
I may not have scratched the surface with this game but to put it plainly – IF YOU HAVEN’T GOT THE GAME, GET IT!

Thanks for reading guys and wishing you all the best for the week
Take Care
Andy Singh

  • Nov 27 / 2010
  • 0
Games

Call of Duty Black Ops: PS3 owners demanding refund

Good (early) morning guys and girls,

It’s about 12:50 am here in the UK and I’ve just had a lovely evening with my girlfriend, her flat mate and her partner playing board games. It bought back many memories of childhood which seems such a long time ago…man i’m old!!

Anyways I was browsing the ‘net before I attempt to go to sleep, I came across that PlayStation 3 owners of the much acclaimed game Call of Duty: Black Ops have demanded a refund from the publishers Activision due to the “sub-par graphics, buggy software” when compared to the Xbox 360 version.

Treyarch who previously developed Call of Duty World at War have been blamed for adding further functionality in the Xbox 360 version of the game than the Playstation 3. An example being Xbox 360 users are able to sign in to more than one account when playing in split screen whilst the Playstation 3 version only allows one. Further more, gamers argued that Treyarch “have created a unfinished, sloppy and degenerate game for the Playstation 3 console when the Playstation 3 has games that out shine the Call of Duty Franchise today.”

The petition holding 3,800+ signatures has been bought to (the developers) Treyarch attention but ultimately it will be down to Activision if the refunds to the angry gamers will be granted.

If you are a Playstation 3 Call of Duty Black Ops user, be sure to let me know of your thoughts. Are you happy with the game? If not, please feel free to share your views.

Happy COD’ing!
Andy Singh

  • Nov 26 / 2010
  • 0
Geek Stuff

Organic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED)

Hi guys and girls,

A very good friend and old work colleague of mine showed me a demonstration of OLED the other day and since then, I’ve been researching examples of the technology being incorporated into everyday devices.

OLED is the organic, carbon based, very different alternative to LED. How is it different? Glad you asked. Unlike regular LED displays OLED can bend and pierced without losing video feed. Putting it in perspective, picture bending your TV in half without breaking the screen and to top that off, piercing the screen without losing the video feed.

I found a cool video on Youtube of a guy demonstrating the wonders of OLED

With Christmas coming up my girlfriend is stuck to what to get me but I think I have solved that problem.

OLED Headphones
The wonders of OLED have been incorporated into a really cool set of headphones.

OLED Headphones

OLED Headphones

The really cool thing about these headphones is that when they are not in use, there completely clear; but when you start listening to your favourite song or watching a movie, a graphic display can be seen. Now the ultra cool thing about this gadget is that you are able to customise the headphone display to your name, the name of the song, or another cool display.

Before I go, I just wanted to let you guys know that I have been playing Gran Turismo 5 and first impressions are beyond what I was expecting. I’ve taken the Mercedes SLS and my very first dream car the Ferrari F40 around Trial Mountain (the track from GT1), bought an FTO as my first career car and completed the B license.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend!

Take care
Andy Singh

  • Nov 24 / 2010
  • 0
Games

Gran Turismo 5

Good afternoon ladies and gents!

Today is a VERY special day because after 5 years of waiting, Gran Turismo 5 was finally released for the PS3.

Gran Turismo has dominated the racing world since it’s first release in 1997 where the world was introduced to the series which set a very high bench mark in the racing genre. It has been a constant battle for the developers of the game to release the new instalment but with constant setbacks in production, Gran Turismo 5 was once labelled “the best racer which was never released” – this statement made me sad (no really it did. Why else would anyone buy a Playstation 3?) and left me thinking that I’ll have to be playing Need for Speed for the rest of my days.

Thankfully, the kind people at Game assured me that Gran Turismo 5 was going to be released in November 2010….but couldn’t gave me a date; though last week I the official launch date and my smile was wider than the Dartford Crossing.

After 5 years of waiting and countless hours dreaming about the game (yes I dream about games!), I was the 3rd person to purchase the game in Chatham; and because my love for the game is as much as my love for my girlfriend, I bought the limited edition Signature Pack.

I’ve attached a few pictures of the Gran Turismo Signature Edition pack and I’ll definitely post a review in a day or two of my first thoughts on the worlds best racing game.

Gran Turismo 5 Signature Edition

Gran Turismo 5 Signature Edition

GT5 Extras

GT5 Extras

All the best,
Andy Singh aka the crazy guy who woke up at 8am so he can buy the game when the Game store opened at 9

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