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By Jessica Brown On 18 Jan, 2018 At 11:58 AM | Categorized As ROG News | With 0 Comments

No GravatarThe Super Nintendo is making another comeback thanks to the fine folks at Analogue, who will begin shipping their new “Super Nt” console sometime next month.

The Super Nt prides itself on being built on an FPGA (an actual circuit) as opposed to making use of emulation techniques. As such, you’ll be able to play all of your Super Nintendo and Super Famicom (yes, it features full playability across all NTSC and PAL systems!) games on actual hardware, with 100% accuracy to boot. The system makes use of an HDMI port to deliver an actual 1080p (“Full HD”) signal to your TV, rather than sending a traditional low-resolution image that has to be stretched by the TV itself. This results in supremely sharp pixels that make for a pleasant viewing experience on a modern TV. The system is also compatible with the wireless controllers from 8bitdo, so you won’t find yourself tethered to the TV anymore!

Analogue’s Super Nt begins shipping in February 2018 and will cost $189.99. They are taking pre-orders now!

The company also makes the “Nt Mini,” which will run NES and Famicom cartridges as well as actual Famicom Disk System disks, but that one will set you back a whopping $499.99!

By Jessica Brown On 11 Jan, 2018 At 10:13 AM | Categorized As ROG News, ROG Tech | With 0 Comments

No GravatarGood news for all you retrogamers out there: CES isn’t always about making bold strides into the future.

Hyperkin has just unveiled what it’s tentatively calling the “Ultra Game Boy” and is it ever a treat for those who are really into the classics. This new piece of hardware won’t come with any built-in titles (it is a third-party item, after all), but it will feature the ability to play all of your favorites on a brand-new device, sparing your old Game Boy from additional wear and tear. The device features an aluminum body, a built-in battery that can go for up to six hours, a USB-C charge port, stereo speakers, and left and right audio output ports. And if that isn’t enough to win you over, the Ultra Game Boy features a backlit screen, no longer requiring you to sit under a lamp or buy one of those clunky light attachments for gaming in the dark. The system will feature the traditional volume and contrast wheels, but it will also feature a new third wheel that can adjust the color of the backlight all the way through the RGB spectrum.

Of course, you’ll have to bring your own cartridges to the experience, but the Ultra Game Boy will breathe some new life into these classics. While it’s possible that the device will also be able to play Game Boy Color games, we’ll have to wait for more details about that.

The Ultra Game Boy is set to release sometime in the late summer of this year and should be just under $100. Stay tuned for more details as they become available!

By Jessica Brown On 10 Jan, 2018 At 08:04 AM | Categorized As ROG News, ROG Tech | With 0 Comments

No GravatarThrough a partnership with Asus, Acer, and HP, NVIDIA will be bringing their Big Format Gaming Displays (BFGD) to the masses…Well, those in the masses that can afford them!

These large displays are to accommodate PC gamers that are tired of gaming on “small” gaming monitors, but who don’t want to pick up a big 4K TV to game on because they feel like it will be a downgrade in features. The BFGDs are meant to meet them in the middle, offering high-end monitor quality features mixed with the benefit of a massive display size seen in larger consumer TVs.

Here’s what you’ll get if you can afford one of these behemoth displays:

  • 65″ screen size
  • 4K resolution (3840×2160)
  • 120 Hz native refresh rate
  • NVIDIA G-Sync technology
  • Low Input Latency
  • PC-tuned HDR
  • DCI-P3 color gamut with Quantum Dot technology
  • 1,000 nit peak brightness
  • Integrated NVIDIA Shield

There’s no official word on what the price of these screens will be, but don’t count on them being very affordable.

Meanwhile, if you’re seeking a large-format PC display but don’t want to splurge on something like this, it looks like TCL may have some viable alternatives (featuring full Dolby Vision support and low input lag) to consider in their upcoming 6 and 5 Series 4K TVs.

By Jessica Brown On 10 Jan, 2018 At 07:19 AM | Categorized As ROG News, ROG Tech | With 0 Comments

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Ozobot, the makers of award-winning coding robots, announced that a major update is coming that will reward Evo users:

Effective immediately, Ozobot is rolling out a leveling system that tracks users’ progress and rewards them even when using Evo without a tablet or smartphone. [This update] enables the company to reward Evo users for all the innovative ways they play, create, and share using the robot.

The update will be available to demo at the company’s booth this week at CES in Las Vegas. Here’s what users can expect from this:

  • New Level System: “Users can now get rewarded for and level up from their activities with Evo, from playing with Evo’s Tricks, to choreographing music and lights, to coding. As users level up, they earn coins which they can spend on things like upgraded avatars.”
  • Upgraded Avatars
  • OzoBlockly Update: “The app’s OzoBlockly section now features six sample programs that have been coded to highlight what Evo can do.”
  • Unplugged Play: “The new level system connects physical play with digital technology. For example, when kids program Evo with Ozobot’s patented Color Codes, which let them code their robots using nothing more than paper and markers, Evo remembers their activities and automatically rewards them the next time they connect to the app.”
  • New Design, Sound Effects, and Music

For more information, be sure to visit Ozobot’s website (and if you happen to be at CES this year, stop by their booth!).

 

Source: PR Email

By Jessica Brown On 9 Jan, 2018 At 09:35 AM | Categorized As Featured, ROG News, ROG Tech | With 0 Comments

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With the Consumer Electronics Show just getting started in Las Vegas (the event runs January 9-12) we are already starting to get inundated with tons of pretty displays to ogle at. CES may be a lot of things, but it’s often all about extremes. Here, companies will showcase technology that is still a long ways off from ever becoming mainstream and, for those things that may be commercially available in the near future, they are often incredibly expensive. Many of the products shown off are things that most of us could only dream of owning, but at least the show affords people a glimpse of things to come. It’s also realistically about driving investor interest by showcasing various things these companies are working on in order to show that they are truly leaders in the industry.

That all said, though, CES also shows us some of the things that are going to be hitting the mainstream, even if they would be considered far less exciting than things like Samsung’s new 146 inch TV called “The Wall.”

Samsung is one of the companies that’s really taking off at CES already, showing off the aforementioned behemoth of a modular TV, but also demoing their new 8K Q9S TV (yes, you read that right: four times the resolution of a 4K TV!). At 7680×4320, the Q9S has an insanely high resolution, even for a panel of its size (85 inches). Also, it faces the issue of their being pretty much no 8K content available to view on it. That’s not a problem for Samsung, though, as they claim the TV’s “AI” is capable of smart scaling, learning from the various sources you feed it in order to get better at scaling almost any resolution up to its massive 8K native resolution, resulting in what they say will be an amazingly sharp viewing experience. Samsung has also spent a good deal of time talking about their MicroLED display technology – the company’s answer to LG’s popular high-end OLED displays that are capable of reaching ultra deep black levels. These MicroLEDs will also be able to turn off completely (much like an OLED display’s pixels can), resulting in very rich images as well.

Most of that stuff from Samsung is well beyond the true consumer market at this time, but thankfully companies like Hisense and TCL (both relative newcomers to the North American TV scene) have stepped up to fill in some gaps. Hisense will be offering a new lineup of 4K TVs sometime this year, ranging from the super high-end H10E TV (featuring a whopping 2,200 nits of peak brightness) all the way down to their more budget-friendly H8E and H6E displays. The top-of-the-line H10E will only come in a 75 inch variety, but will feature a massive 1,076 local dimming zones (to deliver life-like black levels), a 120Hz native display, and will use an Android TV system that works with Alexa and Google Home. The H9E+ has many of the same features, but lacks the quantum-dot color touted by the premium model. The more budget friendly models should also still be pretty excellent purchases, with options going up to 65-inches and featuring full HDR10 support.

More exciting to me is TCL bringing back its very popular P series of TVs, now branded as the “TCL 6 Series.” The 6 Series will feature both 55 and 65 inch models, both of which come with three HDMI 2.0a ports (allowing for HDR support on every port), Dolby Vision and HDR10 support, enhanced contrast control zones, a new feature called “HDR Pro Gamma,” wide color gamut, and “240Hz Natural Motion.” TCL also says that a 5 Series will be available, featuring displays ranging from 45 to 65 inches, and offering essentially the same features, minus the sleek metal design the 6 Series will have. Both lines of TVs should start becoming available this spring and should make for some excellent options for those in the market for a higher-end display that’s easier on your wallet.

With CES having only just started, there’s plenty more mainstream (and insanely high-end!) stuff to look forward to!

By Jessica Brown On 18 Dec, 2017 At 08:20 AM | Categorized As Interviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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While Capcom obviously isn’t ready yet to outline any official plans for the Mega Man series beyond the recently announced Mega Man 11 (due out in late-2018), Game Informer recently conducted an interview with the game’s development team in which they pose, among others, questions about the potential for a Mega Man 12 as well as entries in the franchise’s other series.

The possibility for a Mega Man 12 would obviously depend on the success of Mega Man 11, but when asked about the potential for sequels, producer Kazuhiro Tsuchiya had this to say:

This is definitely not just a trial balloon, we’re definitely not experimenting. We don’t even have the bandwidth to experiment. This is all about pouring everything we have and everything we know into one project and making it happen. We’re using our prior experience and knowledge to strengthen ourselves and reach the next level. From the start of the project I’ve been saying, ‘Mega Man 11 needs to be a true resurrection of the franchise.’ I really want this title to be something that veterans can pick up and say, ‘Yes, Mega Man is finally back.’

When asked about possible future entries into the Mega Man X and Legends franchises, director Koji Oda said he is well aware that there’s interest:

I’m one of those people who thinks that actions speak louder than words. I could say all kinds of things, but at the end of the day, I’d like fans to see that we’re taking it seriously by starting to resurrect the brand in the way that we are and to continue to prove ourselves moving forward. I love reading survey data. It’s a great pastime, and I’m well aware that there is a voice out there that wants something new for games like Mega Man Legends and Battle Network.

Basically, it seems like the prevailing word is that any possible sequels or entries in other Mega Man series will depend heavily on the success (or failure) of Mega Man 11. This makes sense, of course, as ultimately this is a business and the company won’t want to pump money into a series that isn’t doing well. However, the good news is that they are well aware of the fact that there are fans out there that would most certainly love to buy and play these hypothetical games if they are indeed developed one day.

By Jessica Brown On 15 Dec, 2017 At 07:07 AM | Categorized As PC Games, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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My friends at IndieGala recently sent over their new “12 Days of Indie” Bundle which comes jam-packed with games, offering both a $1.00 option and a $$4.36. option. If you opt to just spend $1.00, you’ll get three odd-ball games I’ve never heard of: Molemen Must Die!Over 9000 Zombies!, and Zombo Buster Rising.

However, I’d highly recommend spending just a little bit more to unlock the rest of the games if for nothing else than to get two games: Ara Fell and Aritana and the Harpy’s Feather. Both of those games alone would cost you $19.99 at full price, and even then I’d highly recommend paying it to play them. Ara Fell is a fantastic 16-bit Japanese-style RPG that pays homage to games of the genre from the 1990s while offering a solid experience and a very enjoyable story. Meanwhile, Aritana and the Harpy’s Feather is a fantastic indie platformer from 2014 that reminds me a little bit of the Donkey Kong Country games while offering a unique tribal setting.

While I think Ara Fell and Aritana are reason enough to pick up this new bundle, here are the other games included that I haven’t mentioned here:

  • Zup!
  • Zup! 2
  • Miner Meltdown
  • Star Vikings Forever
  • The Deed Dynasty
  • Polycrusher
  • ClickRaid

You’ve still got plenty of time to pick up the “12 Days of Indie” Bundle, so if you’ve never played Ara Fell or Aritana this is a great opportunity to pick those two up (and some extras!) and an excellent discount!

By Jessica Brown On 7 Dec, 2017 At 04:26 PM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, Opinion, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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So, today I turned 33, which not only means that this is the start of the last year that I can rightly say that “I’m in my early-30s,” but it’s also given me an opportunity to reflect back on a lot of things. One of the things that I’ve thought about a lot lately though has been the evolution of gaming (and technology, for that matter) over the past 30+ years and the fact that while some things have evolved in a massive, almost unpredictable way over the years, other things remain constantly in style.

When I was born, the sun was finally setting on the era of Atari’s reign in home console gaming. The Nintendo Entertainment System would shortly be released in the United States and the way people thought about home games would effectively change forever. While Atari had focused more on short, arcade-like gaming experiences you could enjoy in little bursts, the NES delivered much longer and much more detailed gaming experiences. You could easily write a dissertation on how exactly the original Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda would go on to redefine and revitalize the gaming industry as a whole, but the fact that I could mention this in a sentence and you’d likely know exactly what I was referring to says an awful lot. When I first played The Legend of Zelda I was probably about three years old and I remember stumbling around, trying to figure out where to go and what I needed to do. Sometimes this left me a little frustrated, but I definitely remember being excited every time I uncovered some little secret. Sure, back then I wasn’t good at all and probably died a ton, but the experience was memorable and something I’ll never forget. The original Dragon Warrior was the first real RPG I ever played and I’m pretty sure some parts of it were a bit beyond my reading level at the time, yet part of me thinks that the desire to figure out what was going on in games like it (and later Final Fantasy II on the SNES) really encouraged me to press on and really helped my reading skills improve.

Most of my favorite game series had their genesis during this same time period. In addition to the games listed above, I was very fond of Castlevania, and pretty much all the NES Mega Man games. This is probably why today I am very excited every time I read about a new CastlevaniaZeldaFinal FantasySuper Mario, or Mega Man game. This is true even if sometimes they might be games I won’t get right away, because despite that there’s still this big nostalgia factor that kicks in when I see things like the recent announcement of Mega Man 11 for modern game consoles and the PC.

I didn’t necessarily get every game system that came out as I was growing up, but I did get a fair number of them. I remember getting the Super Nintendo for Christmas the year it came out, eventually getting a Sega Genesis, a Nintendo 64, the original PlayStation, and then later the Dreamcast and the GameCube. I also had other ones too like the Game Boy (and later GB Color and GB Advance), the Game Gear, and the Virtual Boy as well. Later on, in college, I also went out of my way to go back and pick up a Sega Master System (and a bunch of games!) and a Philips CD-i.

Over the years, certain aspects of my tastes in games and what I play them on have changed, though. For instance, when I was in college and had my first really capable laptop, I got a lot more into PC gaming. Part of this also probably stemmed from the fact that when you live in a dorm you have a lot less space to work with, so lugging around a bunch of consoles and games becomes a lot less practical for a while. Still, I usually always had at least one console from each subsequent generation of systems and quite often would favor Nintendo over the others if I were only to get one system. Later on, I came to appreciate the diversity that having a powerful PC would allow, letting me not only play games on very high settings (enjoying modern titles on a huge 4K HDR TV these days), but also serving as a media center, entertainment PC, and work station. This has also certainly been a boon in the past when I’ve been more into media production, such as gameplay videos.

It’s been interesting though to see that home gaming consoles have evolved in many ways into being “small gaming PCs” with some pretty impressive stats backing them up. This was something I predicted a while back, saying that I thought that the lines between a computer and a game console would slowly get a bit blurred. I also remember commenting that I thought the lines between a portable and a home-based console would also eventually start being blurred as technology both improved and shrunk over time, allowing you to fit some pretty impressive hardware into much smaller devices. In this way, the Nintendo Switch has surely met this prediction and in many ways exceeded any expectations I might have had for that kind of technology.

I know that it’s easy to look at an older generation of adults and think that they have become out of touch with the changes in the world around them, possibly because they are already set in their ways and prefer those things that are already familiar to them. In this respect, though, I hope I never stop trying new things and appreciating all the exciting changes that are going on around us. It is easy to get comfortable with what you already know and thus become stuck in a rut, but it’s often very refreshing and exciting to take a chance and try something totally new.

Lately, I’ve been making much more of an effort to actually play and enjoy games because in recent years I was starting to feel like I was more of a collector and appreciator of games than I was a gamer. Often I would buy or get a game as a gift and really be excited about it, but life would get busy and I’d never get around to it or I’d always have one excuse or another for why I didn’t want to start a brand-new game just yet. Now, I see how massive my gaming backlog is, but I’m trying to approach it with a healthy and fresh mindset, aiming mainly to play things because I want to play them and just start enjoying them again.

Anyway, the past decades have certainly seen a lot of changes, and it’s fun to look back on them and reflect on how things have evolved. Thanks for dropping by and spending a little time with me as I’ve looked back on some of these things. Hopefully the coming years will see many more exciting advances that we will all enjoy together!

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Capcom just recently announced a slew of new things in honor of Mega Man’s 30th anniversary (wow, has it really been that long?), including Nintendo Switch ports of Mega Man Legacy Collection 1 and 2, new versions of Mega Man X1 through X8 on modern platforms, and something entirely new altogether: a brand-new Mega Man game!

The last mainstream entry into the series was back in 2010 with Mega Man 10. While Mega Man 10 was by no means a bad game (it was actually quite fun, really) and had some neat features to it (Bass being playable in his 8-bit form) it kind of felt derivative to me. In a lot of ways it felt like it was a quick attempt to capitalize off of the success and nostalgia brought about from 2008’s Mega Man 9, but other than a new story and new bosses (seeing the Rockman Killers brought back was really awesome!) the game felt like it had already been done before. Since Mega Man 9 had capitalized on being an NES-style 8-bit adventure, I had hoped that Mega Man 10 might have focused on the SNES style instead. Sadly, they decided to go with 8-bit for a second time.

Mega Man 9 was a lot more exciting for me when it first came out because it was the first real Mega Man game in the U.S. in quite some time. Mega Man 8 had been released back in January of 1997, so other than a Game Boy Advance port of Mega Man & Bass, it had been over ten years since we saw a main series entry. Also, the 8-bit style was perfect in MM9, really tugging on those nostalgia strings and giving gamers a sense of joy when playing the game. The bosses were really unique (with a female Robot Master for a change!), the soundtrack was great, and the game was difficult but fair.

Mega Man 11, which is set for release in late-2018, looks like it’s finally bringing the blue bomber into the modern era with a gorgeous 2.5D style to it. It reminds me of Might No. 9 but…Much better! There’s no word on the story just yet, but I have a sneaking suspicion that Dr. Wily is up to no good once again.

I’m left wondering if Mega Man 11 will usher in a new era for the iconic robot and his friends. Maybe if the game does well we will have the possibility of finally seeing a Mega Man X9 or at least finally getting some answers as to what happens between the two series of games. Regardless, I’m very happy to see that Capcom is putting its attention to this iconic series once again and that we may finally get some awesome original titles for a change rather than updated collections of previous adventures.

Now, the waiting game begins!

By Jessica Brown On 29 Nov, 2017 At 11:52 AM | Categorized As NINTENDO, ROG News, ROG Retro | With 0 Comments

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Yes, you read that right: two brand-new games for the original Nintendo Entertainment System!

Developer Mega Cat Studios has put a lot of their retro heart and soul into Creepy Brawlers and Justice Duel, two original titles built from the ground up to be played on an actual NES game console. Both recently released titles come with an actual box, instruction manual, and physical NES cartridge, giving you that same giddy feel you would have had getting that latest game you wanted for Christmas circa 1989.

Creepy Brawlers is like a horror-themed Punch-Out!! game with some really unique (and challenging!) twists to it while Justice Duel offers a quirky jousting game that allows up to four players to get in on the craziness!

It’s worth pointing out that Mega Cat Studios has been at this for a while now and their website offers a variety of original games of various genres on both the Nintendo Entertainment System and Sega Genesis/Mega-Drive.

If you’re looking for some unique gift ideas for retro-gamers this holiday season, you should definitely take a look at some of the unique, original titles that Mega Cat Studios has to offer!