NVIDIA SHIELD: WHAT ELSE COULD YOU ASK FOR?


On Tuesday night at the Game Developers Conference, Nvidia, one of the world’s most popular GPU manufactures, released a surprising new product. For years the company has been working on this unit, and somehow in the age of product leaks Nvidia managed to keep this a complete secret until their press conference on Tuesday.

The announcement, led by Nvidia’s leather-bound co-founder, president and CEO Jen-Hsun Huang broke down the reveal into three categories, television, game console, and super computing. Ultimately the Shield would incorporate all three of these ideas.

4K Android TV

First television. The Shield runs on Android TV, one of only a few devises that do this, but unlike other devices this is the first Android TV set that can stream at 4K! Not only will your Google Play Movies stream at 4K, but so will apps like YouTube!

Second game console. Nvidia didn’t just set out to make a higher-end Chromecast, they set out to do much more. So not only can you stream your Android TV at 4K but you can play your Android games as well, not just the games you’d play on your phone, but games specifically tailored for this console; games including Half Life 2, (Ep.1 and Ep. 2), Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, Telltale’s Game of Thrones and Walking Dead series, Knights of the Old Republic, and a whole list more, with more on the way. But the ultimate question for gaming and graphics is will it run Crysis 3? YES! And at 1080p 30fps with multiplayer support!. The console will have 50+ games when it launches in May. You may ask though, how can it perform this well? Nvidia designed a special chip to allow for this performance. The Tegra X1, a 256 Maxwell Core 3GB GPU, with roughly twice the performance of an Xbox 360, all in unit a size of a small novel.

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Lastly super computer. Shield not only runs games natively at 1080p, but thanks to Nvidia’s GRID system, you’ll be able to stream computer quality games from Nvidia’s cloud and play at 1080p 60fps. Thanks to Nvidia’s super computer network all of the performance of the game is done from their own servers. All of the graphics rendering is going to be done on their super powerful, super-fast computers and beamed directly to you with as little delay as possible. This means you’ll be able to purchase Batman: Arkham Origins, and within one minute be streaming the game in 1080p 60fps all from this tiny console. No need to invest $1000+ on a PC gaming rig, let Nvidia’s supercomputer do all the computing for you.

Lastly you may ask with all the power this thing has it must cost as much as a new game console cost, $399, maybe? Wrong. The beauty of the Shield is it only costs $199, with game controller included! Granted the Grid’s premium service does cost (price not revealed yet) there will be a basic service that’s free. Whether that means you won’t have access to certain games on the free service, or your stream quality will be less (say 720p 30fps vs 1080p 60fps), it may be well worth it when you consider you’re saving $200 by not purchasing an Xbox One.

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If you’re looking into getting a console but don’t want to spend the money on an Xbox One or Playstation 4, the Nvidia Shield may be the perfect solution for you. Or even if you’re a PC gamer and don’t want to spend the money in updated your PC to run new, graphics and processor heavy games, the Nvidia may be the perfect solution for you, too.

The Shield releases in May for $199. That gives you plenty of time to put aside part of your paychecks to buy this console. I know I’m tempted.

Images Courtesy: Nvidia, Gizmodo

For more tech news and nerd talk, listen to Tex’s all new show, Talking While Distracted every Monday morning at 7am, like on KSSU.com

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Assassin’s Creed Unity: A French Kiss (Review)


November 11, 2014 sees the release of Assassin’s Creed Unity, the seventh title in the Assassin’s Creed saga. Like the previous games before it, this one takes place in a famous location at a famous time; Paris during the French Revolution. You’ll continue the saga playing as Arno Dorian, a French orphan who builds his way up the ranks of the Assassin’s Brotherhood.

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You’ll continue the always unique parkour action that every previous game had, which is somewhat frightening to me. With the introduction of the first game, I immediately fell in love with the franchise but how many real dynamic changes can you make to a game. The last few games fell short, in my opinion, though I did buy and play through them all. The only thing that kept me around is the basic concept of the game; allow the player to seamlessly and effortlessly travel and explore through massive historical locations. The true beauty of these games, to me, is that ability, and that’s why I’m quite excited to play this game. This will be the first true next-gen developed Assassin’s Creed. Developers didn’t have to worry about down-scaling for the older consoles. In essence, this allowed for a much more massive, immersive and detailed world than ever before. Unity will allow the player to explore not only the exterior locations of Paris, but also the interior of many buildings as well! For all the things that I love about Assassin’s Creed, there is one thing I hate. In the beginning of the franchise it was an interesting concept, but every sense it’s been to heavily introduced in the subsequent games. Throughout the game, the story constantly pulls me back into present time, the time of Abstergo Industries and the modern-day templar. If the series could all together leave that alone and stick to the historical exploration, I’d love it even more. By forcing me to walk through the some office building at the beginning of chapters just pulls me out of the place I want to explore most, and it pulls my attention away from the game as a whole.image2

Let’s hope Unity stays true to the immersion this series can offer. With an even more massive map, Unit will allow you to explore (and get lost) more than ever before. Working on the next-gen platforms, Assassin’s Creed Unity will hopefully be a step in the righ directions for next-gen AC games to come.

NOTE: If the game stays in the Paris during the 18th century, don’t expect to be parkouring up the Eiffel Tower; it wasn’t built for another hundred years. But don’t be too sad, an almost 1:1 scale Notre Dame will be in the game and there are guillotines!image3

But will it be good enough to pull me away from playing hours of Halo: The Master Chief Collection? We’ll have to wait and see.

Images Courtesy of Ubisoft

Assassin’s Creed Unit is released on Xbox One, PS4 and PC on November 11, 2014.

If you like what you see, and wanna hear more of this and other nerdy topics, Listen to the The Matt & Tex Show, LIVE every Monday at 5:00pm on KSSU.com.

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Previously Unseen Space Shuttle Concept Art


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Note: These images may in fact have been seen, but nowhere on the internet can I find all of them. So if they’re not on the internet, they are now!

 I recently found these handful of concept prints in an old scrapbook my dad had made when he was younger. The magnificent prints looked more like Star Wars and 2001: A Space Odyssey than the space shuttle that I know and love. Never really thinking much about them, I put them back in the book and let them be. For whatever reason (probably because I’m watching Cosmos) I went back and found these old prints again and decided to ask my dad where they came from.

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“Voices” by Phantogram: Album Review


phantogram

I can’t say enough good things about Phantogram‘s new album Voices. In recent years there have been albums I have been dying to get released and every time my expectations seemed to be too high, and every time I have been disappointed. Once I got my hands on Voices I immediately fell in love. It brought me back to the first time I had discovered this band. At the studio I am often asked to choose my favorite songs from an album I’m reviewing and with this album I just can’t pick two or three. Every time I hear the album I love each song more and more.

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Why I’m Buying an XBOX ONE Instead


versus-consoles

On November 15, Sony’s Playstation 4, and on November 22, Microsoft’s XBOX ONE, will be released in the US. The dilemma between which console to buy hits millions of gamers from all around the world. Including this one. For some, this decision is easy. For many, this decision is the PS4. Not a single person I asked, from my fellow DJs at KSSU to my coworkers, said they were buying the XBOX ONE (except my co-host, TEX). For about a week, the over-all push from gamers to go to the PS4 almost convinced me to get, but then I remembered why I currently own an XBOX 360.

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“I’m Going Home Now”: Felix Baumgartner, The Worlds Fastest Man


“I’m going home now.”
These were the last words of Felix Baumgartner before he jumped 128,100ft (24.3 miles) to Earth. On October 14, 2012 Felix reached a top speed of an astonishing 833.9 miles per hour, becoming the first man to not only reach but surpass the speed of sound by maxing out at Mach 1.24. In comparison, a Boeing 747 passenger plane’s cruising speed is around 550 mph.

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A Dream Come True


Today I witnessed one of the greatest events of my life so far. An historic event that will never be scene again, and a moment I will never forget.

Let me take you back to where it all began. I’m in junior high school at the time, 7th to be specific. It’s just a normal afternoon and I’m walking home from school. I get home and immediately turn on the TV and what happens next shaped me into the nerd that I am today.

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