Google and Samsung have forged a beautiful partnership, with consumer devices that often go up against rival Apple in the smartphone market. But while Samsung’s efforts in the world of Windows seem to be dissipating, their entry into Google’s tech environments is only beginning to escalate, especially with the introduction of the Chromebook (2012 Model), the latest Chromebook running Google’s cloud-based OS, from Samsung.
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If you’ve ever fancied an Afterglow controller or if you’ve ever purchased DS styluses shaped like Star Wars lightsabers, then you’re probably a fan of or have at least heard of Power A, an accessory company responsible for producing gaming accessories under some of the most familiar licenses: Pokémon, Zelda, Lego, Star Wars, and now Batman. Behind closed doors at the Power A booth at E3, Steve Cherrier of Step-3 and John Moore, VP of Power A demonstrated several of their upcoming products that will be available for purchase in the near future.
Any third-party controller that improves on a console’s proprietary offering is OK in my book. Nyko’s Raven series of wireless controllers for the PlayStation 3 do this and more, at least in most areas, and even offer Sony fans a tantalizing way to ferry over 360 fans to Sony’s media behemoth – a PS3 controller with the layout of a 360 controller. Available in both Standard (DualShock layout) and Alternate (Xbox 360 layout) designs, the Raven is a formidable third-party alternative to the standard-issue Sony choices in terms of design and the way the controller feels while gaming, but it does possess a few hiccups that may make those strapped for cash think twice before committing.
Few issues with the Xbox 306’s standard-issue controller have plagued gamers like its finicky, hard-to-press directional pad (d-pad). Originally a grey circular “button” rather than separate directions, its long been the bane of fighting enthusiasts’ existence on Microsoft’s more-than-capable console, as well as Netflix fans navigating through queues. Or anyone who wishes for a bit more precision than the analog sticks offer. Or any game that relies heavily on 8-directional digital controls, such as classics or re-imagined classics available on the Xbox Live Arcade. I think you know where I’m going with this, and that’s why I’m always happy to see companies looking to rectify such a game-crashing design flaw.
It used to take several floppy disks, a chunk of time, and a whole lot of patience to get a PC game up and running. Even as CDs and DVDs improved load times, there was still the matter of configuring a myriad of settings to ensure your game of choice would even load up correctly. I’ve been through it all, and even though a large portion of my roots lie in PC gaming, the accessibility and ease of console gaming is a huge draw for me. Now, in the age of Netflix and streaming media-on-demand, PC games can be purchased, rented, and enjoyed in a matter of moments thanks to cloud-based video game streaming service OnLive and, for those who prefer their gaming on HDTVs, the OnLive Microconsole TV Adapter.