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Microsoft Provides First Look at Xbox 360 Portfolio for 2008

Logitech Unveils Official Wheel of Gran Turismo for PS3

ASUS Unveils New Webcam-Equipped LCD Monitors

Microsoft Provides First Look at Xbox 360 Portfolio for 2008

Yesterday at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2008, Microsoft provided a glimpse at the year 2008 portfolio and officially announced the launch of "Gears of War 2," exclusively for Xbox 360 this November.

Epic Games's lead designer Cliff Bleszinski announced that the epic saga of Marcus Fenix and Delta Squad continues exclusively on the Xbox 360 this fall with "Gears of War 2." This sequel to the 4.5 million-selling "Gears of War" delves deeper into humanity's struggle for survival against the nightmarish Locust Horde, and promises to take high-definition visuals to a whole new level.

In addition, acclaimed developer Peter Molyneux of Lionhead Studios took the stage to showcase new multiplayer features for "Fable 2," introducing dynamic cooperative play, a first to the franchise. Molyneux also announced that later this year, and before the launch of "Fable 2," gamers can get a sneak peek at the game's world when the "Fable 2" pub games debut as a stand-alone download on Xbox LIVE Arcade. When "Fable 2" launches, gamers will have the ability to transfer currency earned in the pub games directly to their character in "Fable 2." This unique and first-of-its-kind experience, which can be found only on Xbox LIVE Arcade, will give the millions of "Fable" fans and gamers all around the globe the opportunity to jump into the "Fable 2" world with money already in the bank.

Tomonobu Itagaki also revealed new "Ninja Gaiden II" game-sharing features, including Ninja Cinema, which is enabled solely through Xbox LIVE allowing players to record and upload their best ninja moves to Xbox LIVE.

  • "Gears of War 2" (Epic Games). Continues the story of Marcus Fenix and Delta Squad in an epic saga of survival, loss and retribution. Developed by Epic Games exclusively for Xbox 360, "Gears of War 2" launches this November.
  • "Fable 2" (Lionhead Studios). In addition to the dynamic co-op mode unveiled onstage, Peter Molyneux also announced that Carbonated Games is bringing the "Fable 2" experience to Xbox LIVE Arcade. Before the game's launch, gamers will be able to get an early taste of the "Fable 2" experience and gain a head start on earning currency for use in "Fable 2" by playing "Fable 2"-themed pub games that will be downloadable via Xbox LIVE Arcade. The currency earned in these Xbox LIVE Arcade titles will enable players to purchase items in "Fable 2" when the game launches later this year.
  • "Ninja Gaiden II" (TECMO/Team NINJA). Tomonobu Itagaki debuted several new Xbox LIVE features of "Ninja Gaiden II," including the ability to capture and share videos of a player's glorious battles via the Ninja Cinema feature and upload them to Xbox LIVE. "Ninja Gaiden II" launches worldwide this June.
  • "Too Human" (Silicon Knights). Microsoft also showcased the epic action game from renowned Canadian developer Silicon Knights, "Too Human," at a media event before today's keynote address. In "Too Human," players are treated to a nonstop barrage of action powered by the seamless integration of melee and firearms combat, plus deep role-playing elements.

Each game also comes packed with Achievements, so Xbox LIVE members can help add to the more than 1 billion Achievements already unlocked on the service to date. And, as with the "Fable 2" pub games, downloadable content in Xbox LIVE Marketplace allows gamers the opportunity to customize and enhance their gameplay experiences. Since the service launched, Microsoft has seen more than $250 million in digital revenue from Xbox LIVE Marketplace through the purchase of more than 20 billion Microsoft Points.

Xbox LIVE members have been using a large portion of those Microsoft Points in Xbox LIVE Arcade, which is the premier destination for digitally distributed, high-definition original and classic games. The following titles represent a sample of games launching on Xbox LIVE Arcade in the near future from the world's leading independent developers:

  • "Braid" (Number None Inc.). Developed by Independent Games Festival Winner and experimental game designer Jonathan Blow, "Braid" is a platform experience that bends all the rules with the manipulation of time. "Braid" will launch this spring.
  • "Castle Crashers" (The Behemoth). "Castle Crashers" is the second title currently in development by award-winning independent developer The Behemoth, creator of "Alien Hominid HD." The role-playing game (RPG) adventure will let up to four players hack, slash and smash their way together through a visually stunning hand-drawn landscape. "Castle Crashes" launches this summer.
  • "Defense Grid: The Awakening" (Hidden Path Entertainment LLC). "Defense Grid: The Awakening" is the definitive tower defense game experience designed specifically for Xbox LIVE Arcade and launches this summer.
  • "Go! Go! Break Steady" (Little Boy Games). An Xbox LIVE Arcade exclusive, "Go! Go! Break Steady" is the debut title from independent developer Little Boy Games. The combination music and puzzle game combines break dancing with novel gameplay and launches this summer.
  • "Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness" (Hothead Games). The first video game collaboration between Penny Arcade creators Mike "Gabe" Krahulik and Jerry "Tycho" Holkins and legendary game designer Ron Gilbert, "Penny Arcade Adventures" is an RPG-adventure game set in a highly stylized 1920s universe filled with bizarre characters, outrageous combat and adult humor. The first episode of the game launches this summer.

Source: Microsoft

Logitech Unveils Official Wheel of Gran Turismo for PS3

Yesterday at the Game Developer's Conference (GDC), Logitech announced the Logitech Driving Force GT racing wheel, the official wheel of Gran Turismo. Featuring powerful force feedback and an innovative 24-position real-time adjustment dial for on-the-fly control of brake bias, traction and damper settings, the Logitech Driving Force GT is claimed to give gamers the most accurate and authentic PLAYSTATION3 racing experience.

Logitech's latest racing wheel was meticulously designed by Logitech and Polyphony Digital, the developer of the Gran Turismo series. The companies worked together to add the unique real-time adjustment dial, a first for force feedback wheels, allowing people to fine tune the car's balance by adjusting the brake bias, traction control and damper settings. Now Gran Turismo drivers can have precise control over the car's setup to achieve maximum performance.

Logitech's newest force feedback wheel simulates understeer, oversteer, and traction loss with frightening accuracy. While the full-size gas and brake pedals deliver precise throttle and brake response, racers can use either the sequential stick shift or the wheel-mounted paddles to race through gears. The wheel also features a large 27.9 cm (11-inch) wheel with rubber-overmould rim, providing exceptional comfort and control.

The Logitech Driving Force GT turns 900 degrees lock-to-lock allowing drivers to navigate hairpin turns with greater accuracy. And with anti-backlash gearing, there is no slack in the steering response, making any race a smooth, realistic experience. In the centre of the 27.9 cm (11-inch) wheel, the Driving Force GT features an illuminated horn button with the official Gran Turismo logo. Using the authentic sounds of the car being driven, racers can quickly alert other cars when they are approaching fast. Or when playing online, people can simply use the horn to taunt other players as they speed by.

The Logitech Driving Force GT wheel is engineered for use with Gran Turismo 5 Prologue on PS3, which will be available on Blu-ray Disc (BD) and as a download on the PLAYSTATIONNetwork in North America on April 17 and in Europe on March 28. The Logitech Driving Force GT wheel is also compatible with Gran Turismo3 and Gran Turismo4 on the PlayStation2 computer entertainment system.

The Logitech Driving Force GT wheel is expected to be available in the U.S. and Europe beginning in May. The suggested retail price is $149.99 (U.S.).

Source: Logitech

ASUS Unveils New Webcam-Equipped LCD Monitors

ASUS has outlined plans to bring in a new collection of built-in webcam LCD monitors in 19" W, 22" W, 24" W and bigger sizes. THe 24"W ASUS MK241H LCD monitor features native HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) support for Full HD 1080p video playback; and has a built-in 1.3 Mega-pixel webcam and array microphones. It also utilizes the exclusive Color Rich Technology for enhanced higher-color-gamut video performance with 130% extra color space.

The MK241H is equipped with 1920x1200 (WUXGA) 16:10 high-resolution panels and a HDMI connection and allows delivery of multi-channel audio and uncompressed digital video through a single cable for full HD 1080p video playback of PS3, XBOX360 and Blu-ray / HD DVD players.

The MK241H is claimed to be the world's first 24"W LCD monitor with built-in complete video-conference facilities that include a built-in rotatable 1.3 mega-pixel webcam, a MIC-Array device, stereo speakers and a earphone jack.

What's more, both the build-in webcam and the microphones are plug-and-play, and there isn't a need to install extra drivers. Also, the adoption of the MIC-Array Technology combines the functions of beam forming, ambient noise suppression and acoustic echo cancellation. The novelty is supplied with ASUS' bonus imaging software, LifeFrame2, to capture, store, edit and manage photos, videos, and voices with ease.

The MK241H adopts various ASUS exclusive technologies, which include: Color Rich Technology for higher-color-gamut video performance with 130% extra color space; the user-friendly Aspect Control function to allow users to select a preferred display mode among Full, 4:3 and 1:1(dot-to-dot) for true-to-life Full HD 1080p gaming or movie watching without any data loss or image distortion; Trace Free Technology that delivers 2ms Quick Response Time (gray-to-gray) for smooth video display without any ghosting; ASCR (ASUS Smart Contrast Ratio) Technology that automatically adjusts the luminance of the backlight for better displays according to the image contents, and improves the contrast ratio to 3000:1; and Splendid Video Intelligence Technology, which delivers optimized video performance with intelligent color, brightness, contrast and sharpness corrections, as well as 5 video preset modes and 3 skin-tone selections to suit the users' preferences.

ASUS also offers a 22"W variant in the form of the ASUS MK221H, which is also equipped with integrated video/audio conference facilities and a HDMI connection, and incorporates 5000:1 high contrast ratio (ASCR) to deliver clearer and sharper image displays.


Model Name MK241H MK221H/S
Display 24" 16:10 Wide-screen 22" 16:10 Wide-screen
Resolution 1920x1200 WUXGA 1680x1050 WSXGA+
Brightness(max.) 450nits 300 nits
Contrast Ratio(max.) 3000:1 (ASCR ON) 5000:1 (ASCR ON)
Viewing Angle 170°(H) /160°(V) Wide Viewing Angle 170°(H) /160°(V) Wide Viewing Angle
Response Time 2ms (gray-to-gray) 2ms (gray-to-gray)
Webcam(built-in) 1.3 Mega-pixel Webcam with MIC-Array (rotatable) 1.3 Mega-pixel Webcam with MIC-Array (rotatable)
Speakers 2W x 2 Stereo, RMS 2W x 2 Stereo, RMS
Inputs/ Outputs - HDMI, D-Sub, DVI-D
- Earphone Jack
- Audio-out Jack
- HDMI(MK221H), DVI-D(MK221H), D-Sub,
- Earphone Jack
- Audio-out Jack
Special Features - Color Rich Technology (130% extra color saturation)
- Splendid™ Video Intelligence Technology
- HDCP support
- Aspect Ratio Control (Full/ 4:3/ 1:1)
- Cable Management Design
- Microsoft Windows Vista Compliance (Premium)
- Splendid™ Video Intelligence Technology
- HDCP support (MK221H)
- Aspect Ratio Control (Full/ 4:3)
- Cable Management Design
- Best Compatibility with Graphics Card
- Microsoft Windows Vista Compliance (Premium)

Source: ASUS

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