Welcome to Legit Reviews' coverage of the second day of the 2010 Electronic Entertainment Expo, better known as E3. In the recent past, new hardware at E3 has been a challenge to find. Sure, the "Big Three" (Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft) keep us engaged by releasing modifications to their existing consoles. For instance, a new color for the existing Nintendo Wii, or making Sony's PlayStation or Microsoft's Xbox slightly thinner with slight modifications to the processor and fan. There are always tweaks to the consoles. What we were looking for was real, honest-to-goodness PC hardware goodness.
This year we saw a lot of new software releases as a result of Sony and Microsoft's entering in the motion control arena with their announcements of the Sony PlayStation Move and Microsoft Kinect. We covered these two releases in our last report from the E3 floor and even shot some interesting video to show this new technology in use. Today, however, we wanted to concentrate on how the PC Gamer was represented at E3.
The crowds were still big in the hall as Day Two of the Expo kicked off. Today, as in the past, the doors opened up even earlier than they did on opening day. We headed straight over to the Dell/Alienware booth to check out what they had. When we got there we were not disappointed!
Alienware's Updated M11x
We got over to the Dell/Alienware Booth to get an exclusive tour of their new and improved products for 2010. By far one of the most impressive things we saw was the new 11-inch Gaming Laptop - the Alienware M11x.
The M11x is a 4.4 pound powerhouse that can come equipped with a Intel Core i7 and NVIDIA 1GB GeForce GT335M. The 11-inch display can give resolutions of up to 1366x768 - or 720p for you home theater nuts. The laptop we saw came equipped with 8GB DDR3 memory and a 256GB Solid State Drive. Now people don't really have to make a choice between small form factor or small performance. After playing with the Alienware M11x, I really was ready to take this one home.
Check out this video as we take a closer look at Alienware's M11x, M15x, M17x, and Area 51 ALX gaming computers:
As you can tell from our interview, Alienware has some great new products available now and even their older products have new tricks to stay ahead of the competition. Here are a couple of pictures of Alienware's Thermal control software. Notice how you can even control the active ventilation on the Area 51 ALX chassis. Pretty cool! (Get it, I said, 'cool'....never mind...)
Finally, here is a gamer enjoying Mafia 2.
Bigfoot Networks Shows off the Killer 2100
We ran into some old friends on the floor of the 2010 E3 Expo - Bigfoot Networks! Bigfoot was on the floor showing off their latest gaming network card, the Killer 2100. We were able to hear a very nice presentation of what this gaming card is all about.
When we evaluated the original Bigfoot Gaming NIC, we had mixed feelings mostly because if it's higher-than-normal price (~$230). Even for the performance gain in gaming and multitasking PC operations, it was hard to justify this cost. With the new Killer 2100 priced at a more affordable $130, we think this will make the technology more available to your average gamer.
We asked Bigfoot why there was this huge price break in this newer and faster product, and they were very upfront and told us that they have a better handle on the NIC design and technology is better now than when it was just a few years back.
Here is a closer look at the Killer 2100 Online Gaming PC Monitor. It provides live intelligence on the your online gaming PCs network health. It is designed to give you complete control of all programs that use your bandwidth and thus allows you to keep your PC at maximum performance.
Promising up to 10-times faster connections, we really can't wait to get our hands on the $129 Killer 2100 for testing as it looks like it will complement not only the hard-core gamers out there, but those of us who like to multitask in our home or office environment.
An Exclusive Look at Razor's Onza Controller
Although Razor didn't have a booth on the floor, they were meeting exclusively with certain media. We've seen Razer products in the past and know they are serious about their level of hardware development for serious gamers. There products are solid and are supported by very good tech support and warranties. Legit Reviews was lucky enough to talk to a developer about their upcoming controller, the Razer Onza.
We also learned that the Razer and Blizzard Entertainment partnership is going very smoothly and everything is on course to release their first StarCraft II gaming peripherals.
The Razer Spectre StarCraft II Gaming mouse is expected to carry a price tag of $79.99 and will be released sometime in Q3 2010.
Tournament-ready and designed for StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, the Razer Spectre StarCraft II Gaming Mouse is a lightweight, five-button mouse designed to provide precision and control for RTS gamers. The Razer Spectre features the newly developed APM (Actions-Per-Minute) Lighting System with a multi-color LED that provides real-time performance feedback through changing lighting hues and adjustable mouse button force settings for optimal mouse click speed and control. Equipped with a powerful 5600dpi Razer Precision 3.5G laser sensor and a 1000Hz Ultrapolling 1 ms response time, the Razer Spectre StarCraft II Gaming Mouse gives gamers exactly what they are looking for in an RTS mouse.
Turtle Beach Gaming Headsets
Turtle Beach was showing off a very impressive collection of PC and Console peripherals. No, we aren't talking about the Turtle Beach Ambassador...she was actually very well versed in all things Turtle Beach (and incredibly nice, by the way!)
We actually interviewed one of the product developers and he showed us Turtle Beach's brand new Z2 PC Gaming Headset as well as the new Turtle Beach PBT Bluetooth Gaming Headset. We started our tour by looking at the Turtle Beach Ear Force DSS. The DSS gives any 'normal' stereo headset the ability to decode 7.1 channel Dolby surround. You can use it on your PC or your favorite console. Pretty sweet!
Due to hit in Q3 2010, my favorite piece of Turtle Tech was the Z2 Gaming Headset. Since so many people have more than one device they play games on in their home, many look for devices and peripherals that are versatile. The Z2 headsets can integrate with your existing next-gen console as well as your personal computer. They were extremely comfortable to wear and sounded incredibly.
Nyko Controlling Your Console
And what is an E3 Expo without the Nyko spokesmodels?? Who would want to find out? We do know this, E3 wouldn't be the same without the redheads in the plastic boots. Well done, Nyko, well done!
This year Nyko was all about making your console better. Nyko was showing off their latest controller for the Sony PlayStation 3 - the Raven. The Raven has a bunch of cool factors that any serious gamer will love. The controllers had a nice weight to them with a rubberized surface. These $35 controllers will hit later this summer.
Also shown were two charge stations for the Sony Move motion controllers. The Nyko charging docks will give you a faster charge than with your OEM Sony charger and looks much better! Both of these chargers will be released about the same time as when the Sony Move hits the streets.
Well, that's only a brief look at some of the hardware and peripheral companies who showd up Don't go too far as we have more pictures of *ahem* Vendor Ambassadors, as well as some other looks (and interviews) with hardware manufacturers on the 2010 E3 Expo floor!
Gunnar Optiks Phenom 3D Glasses
We headed off the E3 floor to go across to the Gunnar Optiks tour bus. I have to admit, these guys really know how to show off their products. The tour bus that they had featured an open deck on the top to catch some rays as well as plasma screens all over - including the outside!
We have seen Gunnar products in the past and have recognized them for their innovations in technology. The quality of the glasses and frames they have really is impressive. If you haven't seen any of their products before, be sure to check them out. They make eyewear for indoor and outdoor use, so all your basis will be covered when it comes to protecting your eyes.
Gunnar was sharing space with SteelSeries so we were able to talk to both about their upcoming products.
Gunnar is just launching a line of 3D glasses in their "3D Attache Collection". We tried out the Gunnar Phenoms and were blown away by how good they were compared to the "traditional" 3D glasses you get when you go to the movie theater.
SteelSeries Gaming Equipment
While chilling in the Gunnar Optiks Tour Bus, we were able to speak to one of the development heads at SteelSeries. For those that don't know, SteelSeries is a huge peripheral company that has been around since the early 1990's. Their focus is in designing and building products for the professional gamer. Up until recently, this meant building products for PC gaming. Now, however, they have a few products on the horizon for the Microsoft Xbox 360 platform. We asked them if they planned on developing any products for the Sony PlayStation and they said when they see more professional game competitions featuring the PS3, then they will make a move towards developing for that platform. Makes sense.
Take a look at our extended interview and an exclusive first-look at the SteelSeries Spectrum 5XB Gaming Headset. This headset will be released in Q3 2010 for the PC and Xbox 360 platforms. Pricing hasn't been made public as of yet, but I have to say that I was VERY impressed with the design and workmanship that went into these headsets.
Well, that wraps up our 2010 E3 Expo coverage live from the Los Angeles Convention Center.
Thanks again for hanging with us as we bring you what we thought were the highlights of E3. We'll be posting our booth babe article as soon as we get done editing all the images!