Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 4th Jun 2012 21:30 UTC
Games The E3 is supposed to be all about gaming, but since you can only go so far with realistic renderings of bullets entering and exiting various body parts, Microsoft's keynote was more about expanding the Xbox ecosystem - with, among other things, Internet Explorer and SmartGlass. The latter is a service which allows you to use additional devices - tablets, smrtphones, PCs - as remote controls for your Xbox. IT goes much further than that though, while watching a TV show or a game, SmartGlass can show additional content (i.e., a map of Westeros while watching Game of Thrones), or pick up content where you left off. Pretty cool - and coming to iOS and Android as well, including the game integration. Yup, expect Office for iOS and Android to land soon.
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This is good news
by sukru on Mon 4th Jun 2012 23:03 UTC
sukru
Member since:
2006-11-19

I really wanted a large screen web browser. I hope they include flash support, so that I can access all my streaming TV content.

I already had some many issues with my Logitech Revue, and my PS3 is really slow and cumbersome in browsing. This will save me from hooking up the laptop all the time.

Reply Score: 4

RE: This is good news
by bassbeast on Tue 5th Jun 2012 04:21 UTC in reply to "This is good news"
bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

Why not just go HTPC? You can buy an E350 kit REAL cheap from places like Newegg where all you do is pop in a RAM chip and whatever HDD you want in the thing and you don't even have to buy an OS as there is a build of OpenELEC built just for the fusion chips that gives you the XBMC 10 foot interface and support for most wireless controllers.

Personally my customers usually buy the Win 7 HP version and pair it with the excellent Lenovo mini-keyboard, it has a trackball built into the handle that is REALLY smooth and the new AMD drivers give you full codec support and hardware acceleration for just about every major format out there, from flash to DivX. And unlike the consoles they are fully upgradable, everything from bluetooth to TV tuners for recording and pausing live TV.

So while HTPCs used to be strictly geeker toys frankly there has never been a better time to have one, the E350 is very low power, you can buy kit or prebuilt with just about any combo you want and unlike the consoles you can run just about anything you imagine as well as games. heck you can find tons of Youtube videos of guys playing everything from L4D to Crysis on theirs, but for most of my customers its strictly a kicking media center.

That's why I don't care for the consoles for surfing, too restrictive. Once you've used an HTPC everything else just feels handicapped. Its a shame they are so insane about DRM, as the current gen of consoles has some really nice hardware, but once they move on to the next gen I have a feeling most will just be gathering dust in a closet somewhere.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: This is good news
by ephracis on Tue 5th Jun 2012 13:38 UTC in reply to "RE: This is good news"
ephracis Member since:
2007-09-23

I just have a normal PC hooked into my TV and a standard wireless keyboard+mouse lying on the coffee table. Works perfectly. Have the default zoom in Chrome set to 175% and a slightly lower DPI setting in Windows 7.

This way I can surf, watch movies, use uTorrent, listen to music, write reports in Word, code in Visual Studio, edit HTML pages over SSH in Notepad++ and do fast math using the calculator, whatever I need.

The best part is when streaming TV shows and get the occasional ad saying "wouldn't you rather watch this on your large TV screen instead of your computer?".

Never liked the PS3 browser and I'll make a wild guess and say that the Xbox browser won't be to my liking either. Even if it can use Kinect for input.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: This is good news
by sukru on Tue 5th Jun 2012 18:29 UTC in reply to "RE: This is good news"
sukru Member since:
2006-11-19

Yes that might make sense.

It seems like E350 kits are currently ~$100 at NewEgg. For a complete system I would also need some RAM ($30-60), a good HDD ($100-200), a Logitech wireless keyboard ($30), and TV tuners (I have some extra, but normally they cost ~$40 a piece).

So my total cost could be around $300 for a capable system, which is much less than my older PC (I think it cost around $800).

Still, my Xbox is cheaper (I already have it), but I might consider this as an upgrade for the future.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: This is good news
by bassbeast on Thu 7th Jun 2012 03:25 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: This is good news"
bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

$200 for a hard drive? What are you planning on putting in the thing, a 200gb SSD? if you get the micro minis they take 2.5in drives so you can find a good 500Gb one of those for around $70 if you want the sales, personally I prefer the slightly larger models that will take a 3.5in which you can find a 1Tb for less than $90 if you look around.

The nice thing about doing it with either is you can totally upgrade once the price of drives plummet again (man I can't wait until i can grab 2Tb drives for $70 a piece like i did right before the flood) by either sticking the new drive in an external case or simply copy the old drive to the new and use the old drive in an external. you can find nice external cases on Amazon for less than $10 that work great, its pretty much my SOP now when a customer comes in for a HDD upgrade that I put the old in an external, makes a great movie or backup drive.

But I can tell you these E350 and E450 units are great, they sip power, are easy to silently cool, the new AMD codecs give you hardware acceleration for all the major formats, and it'll even do some gaming if you are so inclined, especially great with Steam and the new Indie games. and believe me once you have a full blown HTPC connected to your widescreen you won't want to go back to consoles, they are just too restricted. With the E series units you can do anything you can do with a regular PC, no hassles, from internet TV to chat to streaming media, it does any task you want it to do VERY well, heck I've even built them for use as basic office PCs and running most office programs they do great, just a wonderful little cheap chip.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: This is good news
by sukru on Thu 7th Jun 2012 12:10 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: This is good news"
sukru Member since:
2006-11-19

Sorry, last time I checked HDD prices, 2TB was more than $200. It seems like they going down to before flood pricing (slowly) - more like $120 now.

Anyways, I just sold my Logitech Revue. I might really jump on this. Thanks for the suggestion.

Edited 2012-06-07 12:11 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: This is good news
by bassbeast on Fri 8th Jun 2012 06:25 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: This is good news"
bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

You are welcome and if you are in the states sign up for the Tiger and Newegg emails. they often will get into little "price wars" with each other over the emails so you can score some REALLY good deals. just today i got one from newegg with a $109 2Tb internal and $99 for a 2Tb external so it looks like by the end of summer prices will be back down.

If you get one just remember that since the APU uses system RAM for video not to get the really slow RAM as it'll hurt GPU performance. I'd look at the 1333MHz RAM, it seems to be the best bang for the buck ATM. I can tell you though that those E350 chips are just great, low power and heat but better performance than an Atom+ION combo, just perfect for a nice cheap HTPC.

Anyway if you decide to get one be sure to download the latest AMD drivers AND the latest XCode codec pack from AMD if you are using windows, that will give you hardware acceleration for all the major formats including flash and DivX and offloading decode to the GPU really makes the E series chips snappy.

Reply Score: 2

Project Glass vs Wii-U controller
by WorknMan on Tue 5th Jun 2012 18:20 UTC
WorknMan
Member since:
2005-11-13

I was listening to a podcast yesterday that suggested Nintendo should be shaking in their boots, because the Xbox will be able to do this gen with project glass what Nintendo's next-gen console is aiming to do. But, let me ask you this... besides the problem of not being built into the console (so less games will support it), how the f**k are you going to interface with a tablet or phone while playing a game, when you have a controller in your hands already? This is why Nintendo built it right into the controller.

That said, I couldn't give a rat's ass about Nintendo's controller either. Oh great, now I can select inventory right on the controller without having an inventory screen. But I'm still playing the same shit as last gen, so what difference does it make ;)

Reply Score: 1

tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

besides the problem of not being built into the console (so less games will support it), how the f**k are you going to interface with a tablet or phone while playing a game, when you have a controller in your hands already? This is why Nintendo built it right into the controller.


There will be more than one kind of controller. Your phone, your WP8 device will become a controller. Which is far better than what Nintendo is trying to do (I smell Nintendo FAIL coming).

Reply Score: 2

WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

There will be more than one kind of controller. Your phone, your WP8 device will become a controller.


Ah yeah, cuz we know how well touch screen controls work without an analog stick and buttons ;)

Reply Score: 1

tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

"There will be more than one kind of controller. Your phone, your WP8 device will become a controller.


Ah yeah, cuz we know how well touch screen controls work without an analog stick and buttons ;)
"

You apparently aren't aware of how many people use touchscreens to play games every day...

And furthermore, this isn't just about games. It's about playing videos and browsing and watching TV and chatting and social interaction on a wide variety of controller devices. The scope is far larger than anything that Nintendo or Google or Apple are contemplating...

Reply Score: 3

tanzam75 Member since:
2011-05-19

But, let me ask you this... besides the problem of not being built into the console (so less games will support it), how the f**k are you going to interface with a tablet or phone while playing a game, when you have a controller in your hands already?


But if you're using Kinect, then you don't have a controller in your hands.

Reply Score: 1

zima Member since:
2005-07-06

But, let me ask you this... besides the problem of not being built into the console (so less games will support it)

MS Kinect (kinda resolving separate controller issue here; it also kinda stole the spotlight from previous Nintendo console) is also like that, also coming very late in its console life cycle. And it became, IIRC, the fastest selling console peripheral ever; enjoying quite good support.

Here, people often won't even need to buy anything...

Edited 2012-06-12 00:14 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Comment by ilovebeer
by ilovebeer on Thu 7th Jun 2012 15:51 UTC
ilovebeer
Member since:
2011-08-08

You can also get Intel Atom/Nvidia ION[2] systems for cheap as well, which work great as a dedicated HTPC. Also, Nvidia's hardware deinterlacers are the best and vdpau is widely supported.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by ilovebeer
by bassbeast on Fri 8th Jun 2012 06:51 UTC in reply to "Comment by ilovebeer"
bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

The problem with ION friend is this: Nvidia has already exited the chipset business so there won't be any updates to the hardware and who knows how long or how well they will continue to support the software now that they are already out of the market.

On the other hand not only are the AMD E series kits usually MUCH cheaper than the equivalent ION setup (currently Newegg has nice kits for AMD E350 starting at around $100, last i checked it was $60 more for an ION of equal power) but the E350 is an out of order CPU so MUCH faster for most day to day tasks than the Atom. you have to remember that you can't trust benchmarks unless they use GCC as the ICC to this day still runs the "cripple code" that will throw a non Intel chip X87 code instead of SSE enabled code paths.

Finally AMD with their latest update to the E series driver and codec pack have enabled acceleration for pretty much ALL the major formats, including Flash and DivX 5 whereas last i looked there was a much smaller set of codecs accelerated by the ION, and they have opened up their specs and hired devs to help the FOSS devs so its supported out of the box on many distros. if you want to use it as an HTPC OpenELEC has an XBMC based 10 foot UI and has a build just for Fusion.

Not saying ION isn't a good chip, just the opposite and if Nvidia wouldn't have had their access cut off by Intel (which i still haven't figured out why they haven't been investigated for antitrust after a move like that) the ION 3 would have probably been awesome, but if you buy it now you are buying a chip that is EOLed by its parent company and won't be getting nearly as much attention going forward for obvious reasons.

Its a shame, but Intel would rather not share sales for IGPs so that's pretty much the way it is.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by ilovebeer
by ilovebeer on Fri 8th Jun 2012 15:51 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by ilovebeer"
ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08

I've never paid more than $140 for my Intel Atom/Nvidia ION[2] systems (with 2-4GB ram, all installed on SDHC cards), though I do take advantage of MIR's and sales. I also don't care that ION is eol'ed because vdpau is already stable & widely supported on Windows and linux whereas vaapi is not, especially on linux. I know work is being done, slowly but surely, but with vdpau you're already past those growing pains. CPU speed is a non-issue on dedicated systems really. The GPU handles all the heavy lifting, my kernel compiles are done in 5-6 minutes, and I never notice CPU usages go above 10% in typical HTPC use. I haven't come across anything that the ION couldn't handle.

All that being said, I'm actually interested in getting an E350 just to see how it performs. I would also like to help vaapi become more stable & supported in linux as well. The one downside is the mediocre deinterlacers though. There may be workarounds for that as long as the paths exist and there's enough CPU to handle it (should be fine). I haven't kept up with linux xvba/vaapi though so my info could be outdated since it's been a few months from my last talk to devs about it.

I do have a Raspberry Pi I was going to start screwing around with but this honestly has more of my interest at the moment.

Reply Score: 2