Diwali 2016: Essential gear for your gaming needs

Diwali 2016: Essential gear for your gaming needs

If there was ever a time to justify spending unreasonable sums of money on your gaming setup, that time is now. Take advantage of ridiculous price drops as a result of overstocking, product phasing-out, and the annual bonfire of investor money by your friendly neighbourhood e-commerce website in the coming weeks. It also happens that we’ve got a handy list of essentials you should keep an eye out for, so pounce on some of deals available right now, or monitor the situation for imminent acquisition.

PlayStation Gold Wireless Stereo Headset

You will be surprised at the sheer utility value of these cans. Compatible with PlayStations 3 & 4, PS Vita (if you still happen to own one) as well as PC, the Gold headset will also serve you well if you choose to plug it into your smartphone with a 3.5mm stereo cable. It packs in console specific features, such as a way to adjust game and party chat volume, while sporting a handy “mute” button for when you’re crunching on Doritos.

PlayStation Gold Wireless Stereo Headset

PlayStation Gold Wireless Stereo Headset

Tritton Katana 7.1 Wireless HDMI Headset

Tritton Katana 7.1 Wireless HDMI Headset

It’s got an effective range of up to 15-20 metres, while sound quality is pretty good as well (let’s just say it’s par for its price). The only real downside is the build quality. While it is solid overall, the Gold isn’t built for prolonged rough use. It should serve you well if you take good care of it, however.

You can grab it on Amazon India for Rs.8,450 + shipping (marked 35% down from its retail price of Rs.12,999), or Amazon USA for Rs.7,000 including basic shipping and a customs duty deposit. But if you’re looking for a major audio upgrade, you might want to consider theTritton Katana 7.1 Wireless HDMI headset – just bear in mind that this presently doesn’t ship to India, so you’ll need someone from the USA to haul it here.

5-Port USB Hub for PS4

5-Port USB Hub for PS4

5-Port USB Hub for PS4

Sometimes convenience comes cheap. Take this unbranded, almost shady-looking Imported 5-in-1 USB Hub for Sony PS4 Playstation 4, for instance. A quick fix to the PS4’s “sorry, but not more than two USB ports for you!” problem at the inexpensive price of Rs.525 including shipping. It snaps on conveniently to the front of the console and will allow you the freedom of plugging in a few more devices. Pretty neat, and inexpensive enough to not to get mad if your smartphone takes a few hours longer to charge given the distribution of power to the additional USB ports.

Xbox One Elite Wireless Controller

Don’t be fooled by user reviews on retailer websites about this device being expensive, because the Xbox One Elite controller is priced on par with competing products such as Scufand Battlebeaver modded controllers. Yes, it’s nearly triple the price of a standard controller (in India, at least), but that’s because of its features. The Elite sports vastly superior build quality when compared to the stock gamepad, and comes with a carrying case, four paddles which can be remapped, six thumb sticks of varying height and two D-Pad options.

Xbox One Elite Controller

Xbox One Elite Controller

Adding to its customisability are trigger locks which allow for “hair” trigger pulls, as well as an app for both Xbox One and Windows 10 which allow for an insane level of customisation, storage of profiles and more.

What are the downsides? Well, complaints regarding price are not entirely unjustified. The Elite controller will cost you Rs.11,900, and if you intend to use it wirelessly on PC, that’s another Rs.3,299 for the wireless adapter. If your intention is to use it on your Xbox One exclusively, you’re probably better off with the Elite controller than something like a Scuf, which is similarly priced but infamous for its shoddy build quality and customer supports. Sorry PS4 players, there isn’t anything the Elite controller for you just yet.

Thumb stick grips

It’s not a secret that the Xbox One controller sports more durable thumb sticks than the DualShock 4. Infamous for the rubber grips’ high susceptibility to wear and tear (I’ve personally run through three controllers in three years) it is always best to protect these with some sort of third party covers or thumb stick grips.

KontrolFreeks Thumb Grips

KontrolFreeks Thumb Grips

KontrolFreeks should be your first choice. In addition to protection from wear and tear, these serve as controller aids—potentially improving your accuracy in a shooter, allow for more fluid movement in a sports game or transform your controller into a trendy work of art. The only problem is that these can be a little too pricey in India (your best bet would be to order them in the States), but you could always settle for cheap alternatives such as theseOrb thumb grips or a generic set.

Elgato Game Capture HD60

Elgato Game Captured HD60

Elgato Game Captured HD60

“I make YouTube videos of video games” is apparently an appropriate response in 2016 to the question “Are you a doctor or a lawyer?”. Your astonishing good looks, lovable personality and mad gameplay skills might not be all that’s required, however. The in-built DVRs on both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are sufficient for basic recording at 1080p/30fps, but this not good enough if you’re looking to produce good YouTube content or make your name as a Twitch streamer. Enter Elgato, a company which has literally conquered the video capture card market over the last few years.

The Elgato Game Capture HD60 is a great USB based capture device ideal for recording and streaming. You will require a PC for recording, of course, but the device comes built-in streaming for Twitch & YouTube. You can either pick this up in India for around Rs.19,000 or on Amazon USA for Rs.7,000 less (includes shipping + customs duties). The USB based HD60 is one-upped by the PCIe based HD60 Pro, however, particularly if you’re looking at real time monitoring and livestream recording.

PC Gear

Okay, you guys already know what you want, but we want to give a shout out to some of our favourite gear and accessories. Flight and space simmers should definitely look at picking up the Saitek X52 Flight Control System for Rs.9,990 (after a 17% discount), or if on a budget, Logitech’s Extreme 3D Pro Joystick for around three grand. Not to mention your flying skills in Battlefield 1 will improve dramatically with a superior input device.

Roccat Apuri

Roccat Apuri

Saitek X52 Flight Control System

Saitek X52 Flight Control System

Mouse wires can be annoying, and the Roccat Apuri is a sci-fi looking mouse bungee which comes with added benefit of four USB ports for around Rs.3,000. You could always just pick up something generic for a sixth of the Apuri’s asking price if on a budget.

Zowie FK1

Zowie FK1

Mice and keyboards can be hard to recommend since it comes down to personal taste, preference and ergonomics. But here’s a quick rundown of which gear is popular among professional e-sports teams across various games. In terms of mice, the Logitech G9X(Rs.4,999) sees a lot of play in the Starcraft II professional circuit, while the Zowie FK1(Rs.7,171) is pretty popular among Counter-Strike GO and Overwatch players. More of a MOBA fan? The Razer DeathAdder Chroma (Rs.4,299) and SteelSeries’ Sensei and Rival mice are all equally popular in the professional League of Legends and DOTA 2 scene.

Razer BlackWidow Ultimate

Razer BlackWidow Ultimate



It’s hard to go wrong with any mechanical keyboard, but the Razer BlackWidow Ultimate is just great all-round. And ff it’s a display you’re after, the BenQ XL2430T and ASUS VG24QEare good high-end options (in and around the Rs.30,000 price range) used by professional gamers, while the BenQ RL2455HM is a solid budget console and PC monitor under Rs.15,000.

[Source:-Tech 2]

Beedi tycoon Nisham threatens brothers using mobile phones from jail

Kerala beedi tycoon, Kerala beedi, Kerala beedi mafia, Muhammad Nisham, Kerala Beedi gangster

Beedi tycoon Muhammed Nisham, convicted for killing a security guard by beating him and ramming his Hummer SUV into him, has allegedly threatened his brothers from jail using his mobile phone. Two of his brothers have filed a complaint before the Thrissur Rural Superintendent of Police, R Nishantini, alleging that Nisham had threatened them from Central jail in Kannur, where he is lodged, by calling from his mobile phone.

Meanwhile, media reports claimed that Nisham frequently gets in touch with his business associates, wife and other relatives, using mobile phones. Top police sources said the matter would be looked up by the Director General of Police, Prisons.

Reacting to the reports, Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala said it was a matter of concern that Nisham was getting VIP treatment in the prison. He also demanded stern action against officials who provided him “silent support”. Earlier, police had ordered a probe into allegations that special treatment was being provided by prison authorities to Nisham, who is serving 24 year imprisonment.Nisham had rammed his Hummer against security guard Chandrabose (51) after brutally beating him up as he was reportedly angry over the delay in opening the main gates of the posh residential complex ‘Shobha city’ in Thrissur in the early hours of January 29 last year.

[Source:-The Indian Express]

Over 2,200 stolen mobile phones, tablets recovered from duo

Over 2,200 stolen mobile phones and tablets were recovered by police from two persons, including a pawn broker, here on Saturday.

Notorious robber Praveen Kumar was arrested from Palavakkam area here and based on his information, Hanumanram, a pawn broker, was nabbed, police said.

Kumar was arrested based on a complaint from a man that he had robbed cash from him at knifepoint.

His arrest revealed he had robbed cash and cell phones from persons walking alone in East Coast Road and Rajiv Gandhi Salai area after threatening them by brandishing a knife, police said.

A total of five such cases were pending against Kumar, they said.

Kumar told police he sells the mobile phones to Hanumanram.

A total of 2,240 mobile phones, 10 tablets and a laptop were recovered from them, police said adding the duo were later remanded to custody.

[Source:-The indian Express]

Mobile phones banned from Cabinet meetings

Union Ministers Arun Jaitley and Venkaiah Naidu come out after a Union Cabinet meeting in New Delhi.

In a move aimed at checking any possibility of leakage of information through hacking of communication devices, Union Ministers have been asked not to carry mobile phones in Cabinet meetings.

The Cabinet Secretariat has recently issued a directive to private secretaries of the concerned ministers in this regard.

“It has been decided that smartphones/mobile phones will henceforth not be permitted inside the meeting venues of Cabinet/Cabinet Committees,” it said.

The private secretaries have been asked to appropriately brief the ministers on this.

The move assumes significance as security agencies have raised doubts over the security of mobile phones which are prone to hacking.

Official sources said the measure will ensure that the discussion, which is mostly sensitive, during cabinet meetings remains secret.

Such an instruction has been issued from the government for the first time.

Earlier, ministers were allowed to bring mobile phones with them which would be kept either on silent mode or preferably switched off.

[Source:-The Hindu]

Switch: Nintendo’s next-gen gaming console

Switch: Nintendo's next gaming console

Nintendo unveils next-gen gaming console ‘Switch’

Nintendo Co Ltd, the Kyoto-based games company, has unveiled its much-anticipated new video games console called Nintendo Switch, its first new gaming device in four years. The Nintendo Switch, is a new name that replaces the “NX” codename the company has been working under.

The company still considers console gaming to be the centre of its business, even as casual gaming has moved to smartphones and tablets. Nintendo managed to sell only 13 million Wii U consoles (its last console) since its launch in 2012, compared with 101 million sales of its predecessor, the Wii, launched in 2006, clearly indicating that Wii U flopped badly due to lack of must-have titles. Nintendo is now hoping that the Nintendo Switch, a combination home and mobile device will reverse its fortunes in the console market.

The Switch is the first games console to fully bridge the divide between home consoles such as the PlayStation and Xbox, and portable devices like Nintendo’s 3DS. It is a tablet-like device players can attach to a dock connected to the owner’s television, and can enjoy games at home with detachable “Joy-Con” controllers on each side. The Joy-Con controllers resemble small remotes, featuring a thumbstick and a variety of buttons. These can be taken off the screen and held in each hand, or serve as individual controllers for multiple players.

Gamers can use the Joy-Con controllers held together by a Joy-Con Grip accessory or use a different controller – known as the Switch Pro. All games will be playable whether on the go or at home.

“In addition to providing single and multiplayer thrills at home, the Nintendo Switch system also enables gamers to play the same title wherever, whenever and with whomever they choose. The mobility of a handheld is now added to the power of a home gaming system to enable unprecedented new video game play styles,” Nintendo wrote in the video’s YouTube description.

Since the Nintendo 64 two decades ago, the Switch also brings back game cartridges, or “cards”, rather than discs for the first time on a home console.

Multiple consoles can also link together – two can connect when four people want to play two-to-a-screen, or four can connect together with each player using their own.

A promotional video released by Nintendo suggested that the Switch will have a strong lineup at launch with The Legend of Zelda, Super Mario, and Splatoon amongst the games lined up for the console. Further, dozens of publishers such as Activision Publishing Inc, Electronic Arts Inc and Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. are developing games for the device.

The console’s flexibility would allow developers to bring a variety of game styles, Nintendo said. The Switch is expected to launch in March 2017. However, there are no details on the pricing yet.

[Source:-Tech worm]

Here’s how gamers and analysts are reacting to Nintendo’s Switch

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch

Source: Business Wire

Nintendo’s long-awaited unveiling of its next-generation gaming system generated a lot of excitement in the gaming community this week, with both the company’s loyal fans and even some of the curmudgeonly jaded hardcore gamer audience celebrating the unveiling of Switch.

Some analysts, though, were underwhelmed by what they’ve seen so far.

“Unfortunately the ongoing gimmicky nature of their hardware configurations seems only to detract,” said Mike Hickey of The Benchmark Co. “At the moment, the Switch platform does not feel disruptive or desirable and way too gimmicky for a millennial to embrace.”

There are still a lot of unknowns about Switch. Besides the obvious gaps like pricing, exact release data and game launch lineup, one of the biggest questions centers around the battery life of the device. If the Switch is unable to run independently for more than three to four hours, those people cheering the system now could be howling in protest come March 2017, when it’s released.

It was concerns about battery life, in fact, that forced Nintendo to not offer Switch-like functionality with the Wii U, something the company debated as early as 2007, when it first began planning the follow-up to the Wii.

“During the roundtable discussions there were such arguments about should we make [the Wii U controller] capable of being a stand-alone system or should we make it work only with the [base console] system,” then-President Satoru Iwata said in 2011.

“We came to the conclusion that this controller is only going to show the images generated and processed by this hardware unit — and sent from the hardware unit wirelessly. That means sharper graphics. A battery couldn’t do that,” he said at the time.

It would seem Nintendo believes today’s batteries are, in fact, capable of doing that. But the world has changed dramatically in the past nine years. Mobile phones are omnipresent in society — and games are the most popular apps for those devices.

Demand for Nintendo’s 3DS handheld system (which launched in 2011), meanwhile, basically flatlined at the end of 2014. And Hickey said asking people to carry another gaming gadget with them could be a hard sell.

“They are fighting two combative smartphone-related player migrations: a casual console or ‘in-home’ gamer and/or a dedicated handheld gamer — both are under the gravitational pull to the smartphone/tablet,” said Hickey. “The value proposition for a dedicated casual console or a portable game device feel antiquated, so perhaps the idea of combining both markets was a compelling competitive positioning for Nintendo to follow.”

Billy Pidgeon, an independent analyst who covers the video game industry, is bullish on Switch, though. Ultimately, he said, it all comes down to the quality of the games — and with Nintendo’s rich history of titles that are fan and critical successes and the long list of publishers who have committed to support the system, Nintendo could have a compelling argument for Switch’s portability.

“Phone games have been pretty disappointing,” he said. “That’s not necessarily because of the processing capability, but because of the marketplace. People largely choose free-to-play games — and free to play is shackled creatively. … It’s not necessarily a satisfying experience.[Switch] is a different gaming experience and therefore it’s worth carrying around.”

(Pidgeon, though, does say he expects Switch’s sales numbers to fall short of those of Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony’s PlayStation 4.)

Switch is built as much, if not more, for at-home use, though. And Wedbush’s Michael Pachter notes the internal components of the console will be an key factor in how enthusiastic third-party publisher support will be post-launch.

“If [Switch’s components are] similar to PS4 and Xbox One, porting should be relatively easy and cost-efficient, which will mean that there should be high-profile third-party games available early on, increasing the system’s popularity,” he said.

If nothing else, the reveal of Switch certainly got people talking about Nintendo again. Online interest in the system seemed to be more U.S.-centric, according to data from audience insights platform Affinio. (The U.S. is, by far, the world’s largest market for video game sales.)

A search of Twitter conversations about Switch showed high interest among U.S. hardcore gamers and very high interest among U.S. Nintendo fans (especially those who are fanatical about “Super Smash Bros.”). Overall gamer interest, though, was only ranked in the “medium” category.

Japanese gamers and millennials, though, had low interest, said Affinio. And French gamers were at the low end of the medium category.

Investor interest seems muted as well so far. Nintendo’s American depositary receipts fell nearly 6 percent Friday.


Nintendo Announces New Gaming Device

The new Nintendo Switch gaming device was announced on Thursday.

This is What’s Trending Today.

Video game company Nintendo announced its newest portable gaming device on Thursday. It is called the Nintendo Switch. It lets users play games both at home on their televisions and while moving around.

The announcement came in the form of a video on Thursday morning.

People around the world played the video over 10 million times in the first day.

More than 100,000 people left comments. One person wrote: “This is the future of gaming right here!”

On Twitter, “Nintendo Switch” was the top trending topic around the world on Thursday. One Twitter user wrote “Nintendo switch is going to empty my wallet.”

Nintendo says the system will work for games from a variety of game designers. It will be available in March 2017.

Some of the game designers include Activision, Electronic Arts, Ubisoft and Bethesda Softworks. They are the makers of popular games like Assassin’s Creed, Fallout andCall of Duty.

The Switch offers gamers flexibility. They will be able to play games at home on a big-screen television, but also while they are away from home.

The video announcing the device showed people playing games at outdoor parties, on an airplane, at basketball courts and while sitting in a park.

Nintendo said more information about the Switch will be available closer to the release date.

I’m Dan Friedell.


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[Source:-Electronics weekly]

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Release Date News, Rumors: Gadget Ditched Over Exploding Battery Fiasco?

If the rumors are to be believed, there would be no more Samsung Galaxy Note 8 release date since the South Korean company halted production for the next flagship.

According to rumors, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 release date will be cancelled because of the scandal brought about by the exploding battery on the Note 7. To date, over $1 billion was already spent by the South Korean company for the recall alone.

Millions of dollars in potential losses are also expected considering that Samsung halted production on the Note 7 after the replacement units were also found to have defective batteries. If the rumors are true, this might be a case of the company cutting its losses and just moving on.

But Techno Buffalo claimed that the exploding batteries had nothing to do with the decision too chuck the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 out the window.

Instead, it’s the fact that Samsung will focus on releasing one flagship per year. If the rumors are true, that would be the Galaxy S8.

However, the website quoted somebody privy to the situation who claimed that Samsung already informed the suppliers about its plan to just focus on one flagship.

“For now, everything is up in the air about what Samsung will do to recover from the recent fiasco involving the Note 7,” the alleged insider claimed. “But it will certainly make changes to its current marketing strategy and product portfolio.”

Watch out for more Samsung Galaxy Note 8 release date, news and rumors which will be published here when they come along.


Watching This Old Pentax Camera Restoration Is Pure Gadget Zen

Old SLR’s have been usurped by their digital ancestors. But that doesn’t diminish their stature as mechanicals marvels as illustrated by this short video by a camera repair shop inHalifax, Nova Scotia.

This Pentax K1000, which sat on shelves from 1976 to 1996, undergoes an hours-long restoration in just a couple minutes. The video description says that the camera was actually a first edition, so it was the oldest of the old with four decades of built-up grime. But the process of unmasking this camera’s moving parts makes you appreciate it all the more.