Gaming news summary for April 22, 2015
The Game Replay is a twice-weekly look at the wider world of gaming by the staff of MacNN and Electronista, noting a few of the major stories in the industry from earlier this week. Today's story collection includes incoming Xbox One changes, Gearbox Software's loss of the Borderlands creator, and more Halo content
Mad Catz adds 4K support, Ouya app to Mojo game console
Game peripheral producer Mad Catz has rolled out an update to its Mojo Android game console, adding support for 4K-resolution output of games and apps to compatible high-resolution televisions. The update also introduces Ouya Everywhere, giving the device access to hundreds of games hosted on the competing gaming platform, as well as allowing more games and apps on Google Play to be downloaded to the console.
Dedicated media keys, backlighting in small-scale keyboard
Mad Catz has announced a new mobile keyboard in its line of GameSmart gaming peripherals. The Strike M takes the design of earlier keyboards in the range, scales it down to a device with a tablet-sized footprint, and introduces Bluetooth connectivity so it can be used with various smartphones, tablets, or micro consoles such as the company's own Mojo.
Streaming PC games to Android console could happen after launch
Mad Catz is working with Nvidia to add its GameStream technology to the M.O.J.O. Android game console. The device, shipping on December 10th, could see the same in-home game streaming technology used in the Nvidia Shield handheld console added to the low-cost Android device shortly after it goes on sale.
Tegra 4 game console to use Google Play, other stores for apps
Game peripheral producer Mad Catz has revealed that it will be releasing its Android-powered game console on December 10. The M.O.J.O Micro-Console is able to display Android apps and games on a television, with apps downloaded from Google Play, rather than the platform-specific store approach favored by competitors GameStick and Ouya.
F.R.E.Q.4D to provide 'actual physical sensation' to game audio
Mad Catz revealed four gaming headsets and a new keyboard at E3, alongside its earlier Project M.O.J.O. game console announcement. The Tritton Kunai Universal headset is designed for both consoles and PCs, the F.R.E.Q.4D, Tritton Pro+, and Tritton Kunai are meant just for computers, and the S.T.R.I.K.E 3 keyboard offers the feel of mechanical keys, and backlighting.
Tegra 4 confirmed, Nvidia Shield streaming technology on board
Game peripherals producer Mad Catz has provided more information about its Android-based micro-console. Project M.O.J.O. has been confirmed as being powered by an Nvidia Tegra 4 system-on-chip, will be supplied with the C.T.R.L.R. game controller, and takes up a smaller footprint than its direct competition, the Kickstarter-funded Ouya.
Mad Catz enters the nascent Android mobile CPU-based console segment
Gaming company Mad Catz has announced that it is developing an Android-based “micro console” that will build on its Android-ready gaming GameSmart peripherals. The company has revealed that its GameSmart accessories will be compatible with Nvidia Tegra-powered devices in a hook-up with the graphics and mobile chip-maker. Although Mad Catz has not publicly announced any specifications for the Project M.O.J.O, the just-announced partnership with Nvidia has led to speculation that the new console will be powered by an Nividia Tegra 4 system-on-a-chip.
Switchable 5.1, 7.1-channel audio, software-driven EQ
Mad Catz has opened up pre-orders for its surround sound gaming headset. The F.R.E.Q.7 shares a similar angular design of its predecessor, the F.R.E.Q 5, but offers gamers an upgrade from standard stereo to both 5.1 channel stereo and 7.1 surround sound, through a combination of Dolby Headphone Technology and Dolby Pro Logic IIx.
Tritton Pro gaming headset brings virtual surround sound to PS3, Xbox 360
Mad Catz has began offering its Tritton Pro True 5.1 Surround Sound Headset in five countries on Friday, including the Canada, France, Germany, the UK, and the US. The headset is compatible with Sony's PS3 and Microsoft Xbox 360 in North America but can also be used with PCs and Macs in Europe, though what the difference is and why they can't also be used on computers in North America isn't clear. It does offer virtual 5.1-channel surround sound no matter where they're purchased, however, making them especially valuable to hard-core first-person shooters where they may be able to hear enemies coming before they see them.
Includes 21 function keys, modular design
Mad Catz has revealed a new multi-section keyboard in its gaming peripheral line. The Strike 5 Professional Gaming Keyboard closely resembles the Strike 7 keyboard, with a similar collection of separate modules combined into one package. The control module loses the TFT LCD touchscreen of the Strike 7 in favor of an OLED display, which allows for control over macros and out-of-game functions, while also monitoring in-game events.
NEC confirms Ivy Bridge processors in LaVie Z ultrabook
NEC has released specifications for its previously announced ultrabook PC, the LaVie Z. The 2.2-pound notebook with the 13.3-inch display will have the choice of either an i5-2.6GHz or i7-3GHz Ivy Bridge processor, all fitting inside the previously-noted lithium-magnesium alloy enclosure. The LaVie Z is still scheduled to come out this summer in Japan, but NEC hasn't said if it will bring the ultrabook to other markets.
Sony Walkman docks out in Japan in June
Sony will be releasing two new Walkman docks in Japan on June 9. The CMT-V70B and CMT-V50 will dock with the Sony Walkman range of personal media players, with the V07B variant allowing Bluetooth streaming. Both docks are 5.4 inches thick, have FM/AM radio tuners, and will be available in five different colors. Price is not currently known.
Controller features customizable sticks & buttons
Mad Catz has brought out two new products at CES targeting serious gamers. The Major League Gaming (MLG) Pro Circuit Controller is a gaming component designed for Microsoft Xbox 360 or Sony PS3 tournament participants. The F.R.E.Q. 5 Pro Gaming Headset offers an over-the-ear stereo headset for pro gamers.
Mad Catz teases Cyborg MMO7 mouse due in January
Gaming peripherals maker Mad Catz has introduced its Cyborg MMO7 gaming mouse for PCs and Macs. Made for its namesake massively multiplayer online games, the mouse shares many design elements and tech specs with the existing Cyborg RAT Albino. It gives users access to 78 unique commands thanks to its thirteen action buttons and six programmable modes.
Trigger headset gets 40mm drivers, adjustments
Video gaming peripherals maker Mad Catz on Thursday began shipping its Trigger Stereo Headset under its Tritton brand for the Xbox 360. Co-branded with Microsoft, the headset sports two 40mm neodymium drivers. The boom for the microphone is flexible and adjustable.
Arcade stick enhances Xbox & PS3 game experience
Mad Catz has struck a deal with Namco Bandai to produce an arcade game stick targeting players of Namco's upcoming Soul Caliber V. The Soul Calibur V Arcade FightStick Soul Edition is another in Mad Catz's Tournament Edition series of fighting game controllers. The stick is designed for use with both Xbox 360 and PS3 consoles.
Mad Catz Detonator headset for XBox 360 ships
Mad Catz has began shipping its Detonator stereo gaming headset for the Xbox 360. Introduced in June, the headset is special because it's the first to be officially co-branded with Microsoft and integrates tightly with the Xbox 360. It's wired and connects to the Xbox thanks to an included USB adapter.
Mad Catz Cyborg RAT Albino mouse arrives
Mad Catz on Thursday shipped its first real turn at a special edition high-end gaming mouse. The Cyborg RAT Albino expands on the original RAT by using a 6,400DPI sensor with better tracking and its namesake white color. The new version is appropriately one of the first to ship with Mac support from the start and should give those on Steam or the Mac App Store full control over over their games.
Audio gear to be available when GoW3 ships
Mad Catz has set out plans to carry a series of licensed Gears of War 3 audio hardware for The Xbox 360. The game branded devices include a throat communicator and two headsets. They can be pre-ordered now through GameShark, Mad Catz's online store, and will be shipping when the Epic over-the-shoulder shooter, is released in September.
Mad Catz shows wireless Xbox 360 wheel early
Another gaming peripheral debut at E3 came from Mad Catz Interactive in the form of its new Wireless Force Feedback Wheel for the Xbox 360 system. The maker is quick to point out the wheel is compatible with all racing games, including the upcoming Forza Motorsport 4. It’s also wireless and has a range of 40 feet. The shifter is interchangeable to suit both right- and left-handed drivers, or they can opt to use the paddles.
Mad Catz signs exclusive deal with Microsoft
Gaming peripherals maker Mad Catz this week announced it has signed a deal with Microsoft that will see it become the exclusive provider of wireless headphones for the Xbox 360 gaming console. The range of licensed headphones will wear both Mad Catz' Tritton brand name as well as Microsoft's Xbox 360 labels. Co-branded wired stereo headphones are also part of the deal, though not exclusively.
Mad Catz shows Saitek-branded amBX keyboard
Philips' amBX lighting technology, promised for the PS3 gaming console, has made an appearance in a new Mad Catz keyboard. The lights on the keyboard match gaming effects, and they were meant to make for a more immersive gaming experience by also blowing air into a gamer's face at key points during a battle or race.
Saitek outs three pro-level flight sim controls
Gaming peripherals maker Saitek, owned by Mad Catz, has introduced three new add-ons to make PC flight simulator game experiences a lot more realistic. The controllers include the Throttle/Prop/Mixture axis TPM control panel, Backlit Information Panel (BIP, and the Combat Rudder Pedals. The pedals are made of alloy and plastic for durability, and center on a self-centering rudder axis that works with an adjustable dampener. The pedal angle is also adjustable.
Mad Catz to sell Rock Band 3 gear with MIDI hooks
Mad Catz unwrapped the final details of its whole instrument line for Rock Band 3. The headlining Wireless Keyboard Controller is now confirmed to not only handle 25 keys and two octaves of range but has MIDI support to work with computer audio editors and hardware like mixers. It can also double as a controller for the bass and regular guitars.
Harmonix to tie Rock Band 3 to 25-key instrument
The mystery controller for Rock Band 3 was revealed today to be a real keyboard. Although deliberately limited to 25 keys, the peripheral will work as a true MIDI keyboard and should theoretically work with computers depending on the version of the controller. The game's more realistic Pro mode should use all 25 keys and, according to USA Today, will pan across the screen to show all the notes.
Rock Band 3 keytar would come separately
The fifth Rock Band 3 instrument is a keytar, a historically reliable tipster mentioned this afternoon. The peripheral would permit piano and synth music but would still have the familiar guitar feel. It wouldn't, however, ship in any bundle with the game and would only be an option, much like most of the non-guitar instruments.
Mad Catz Wireless-N aids X360, PS3, PC
Mad Catz today dipped into networking with its own wireless bridge. Meant as an alternative to the official Xbox adapter, the Wireless-N Gaming Adapter takes the Ethernet connection from an Xbox 360, 20GB PlayStation 3 or any computer and turns it into an 802.11n Wi-Fi signal. The peripheral doesn't reach full 802.11n speeds but can still peak at 150Mbps.