Gaming

Sega vs. Nintendo

A Modern Man’s Guide to Retro Gaming

Nostalgia makes the original Sonic an appealing option for summer fun, but tracking down a Sega Genesis is easier said than done. We provide a few modern workarounds to help you play your favorite retro titles from the NES, SNES, Nintendo 64, Sega Master System, Dreamcast and Saturn.

Lots of light, and a little smoke

Tested: Amazon Fire TV

Amazon's Fire TV provides the best experience of any streaming device for consumers who've spent more than a few paychecks on the company's media ecosystem. No question about it: if you live and die by Amazon Prime Instant Video, buy the Fire TV and rejoice. But what if you aren't a card-carrying member of the Bezos fan club? We found a comfy couch and tested it out.

Play Through

Tested: Playing through Monument Valley

Since 2010, several iOS games have tried to match Infinity Blade's incredible combination of artistry and narrative, our favorites being The Room and Superbrothers: Sword and Sworcery EP. On April 3rd, 2014, a new challenger stepped into the arena: Monument Valley, an M.C. Escher-inspired puzzle game made by indie developers ustwogames.

Everything you want, and more

Touch Down: Inside the Evolution of Tablets

We imagined tablets long before they ever found their way into our daily lives -- maybe that's why they fit in so quickly. But don't let their prominent science fiction legacy mislead you: there's plenty of innovation still to be had. In fact, the category is already evolving at breakneck speed, thanks largely to the breakthroughs in processing technology being made by companies like Intel. But don't just take our word for it. Check out the video above to see just how far tablets have come and where they're headed tomorrow.

Release the Titans

Redefining the Single Player Experience… With Robots

Titanfall starts with some 1960s stock footage of rockets. There is a voiceover. From what we can understand, a group called the militia is battling a group called the IMC. Then we're in the game, running on walls, and that stuff doesn't matter anymore. This is Titanfall's big bet: that players, so intent on shooting really big weapons at really big robots, won't care that the game lacks any sort of discernible plot or campaign. And it works -- to an extent.

Three Amateur Gamers Play for 14 Hours Straight

Testing the Xbox One

From the Archives: Three GP staffers, all casual gamers, tested the Xbox One for over 14 hours straight and came away with a severe lack of sleep and plenty of strong first impressions. Addicted? Clearly. Here's what they remember.

Alien Chess

Red Bull Battle Grounds and the Rise of eSports

We visit Red Bull Battle Grounds, a two-day tournament in which eight of the world’s best Starcraft II players send angry virtual military units across a digital landscape to destroy their enemy’s virtual bases. Does this event (and the many others like it) signal a shift in gaming's social legitimacy? Read on for an exploration and a photo essay of the event.

Three Amateur Gamers Play for 14 Hours Straight

Tested: Xbox One

The Xbox One ($500), which comes out Friday, promises to be more entertaining, more immersive and more addictive than its predecessors. But how much more entertaining? Will all aspects of the game-rendering, movie-playing, internet-surfing, friend-connecting, shopping-enabling entertainment system pull their weight? Will the games serve as playable works of art? How much more immersive could they be? Will the Kinect 2.0 build upon the groundbreaking recognition technology of its predecessor? Will the machine seamlessly integrate all our disparate media and create a monster -- an addictive one? Perhaps the last question is the most important, but really, at its current MSRP of $500, they all are. Three GP staffers, all casual gamers, had the chance to test the Xbox One this weekend, and, in general, it lived up to expectations. We played it for over 14 hours straight; we came away with a severe lack of sleep and plenty of strong first impressions. Addicted? Clearly. Here's what we remember.

Game On

Xbox One

Backed by critically acclaimed exclusives, strong third-party support and the most popular online multiplayer component available, the Xbox 360 undeniably won the current-gen console war. The system resonated most with casual and hardcore audiences because of Microsoft’s popular Xbox Live service. Gamers found themselves drawn into a virtual universe where they could download popular titles from an overly populated digital marketplace, stream multimedia services like Netflix and Hulu and interact with players across the globe. In Live's do-it-all mentality, Microsoft discovered the central core for its next generation console: The Xbox One ($500).

PC gaming steps into the living room

Don’t Blow off Steam: A Deeper Look at Valve’s Steam Platform

This afternoon PC game service provider and developer Valve announced that Steam -- their game platform for PC, Mac and Linux computers -- surpassed 65 million accounts. What might be more impressive than a user base equivalent to the population of France is that Steam is still relatively unknown. Despite being significantly larger than Xbox Live and its 48 million subscribers (approximately Ukraine), Steam has never quite enjoyed the same limelight as other major consoles. Quietly though, Steam has become the go-to for PC gaming. 65 million users later, Steam is making a concerted push into the living room -- and you can bet Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo are watching with apprehension.

Hacking away gaming precedents

Preview: Watch Dogs and Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag

I watch from behind a dumpster as the man with the government employee wife saddles up to the gangster. It's not a smart move. The gangster calls him a snitch, pulls out a bat. Warnings flash on my readout: crime probability 40%, now 55%, now simply "imminent" as the gangster cocks the bat and the man cowers. I step forward while whipping out my pistol and the gangster hoofs it, sprinting to a nearby vehicle and burning rubber through a red light. This is not real-life vigilante justice: it's a hands-on sneak preview of Watch Dogs (and Assassin's Creed IV).

Gentlemen, start your graphics engines

Drive By Wire: 5 Best Racing Games

You grew up on Mario Kart, but that's just it -- you've grown up. But... not entirely. You still want to grip a controller and curse at a screen and burn rubber without having to see (real) flashing lights in the rearview. You want risk life and limb in the pursuit of speed -- but not actually, you know, risk life and limb. Stretch your thumbs and be prepared to make up for the drudgery of that godawful commute this morning: here are the best racing games for most every platform.

Brace for Betas

High Scorers: 5 Video Games Worth Waiting For

Walk into any amazon.com these days and you'll be confronted with an incredibly massive library of video games; a new field of consoles (see sidebar below) just adds to the melee. How do you sort the Grand Theft Autos from the ExtremePaintbrawls*? We took a look at the crop of upcoming games for both current-gen and next-gen consoles and found the games you should be looking forward to.

One for All

Breakdown: Xbox One

Ambiguous branding aside (trade you my Xbox 1 for your Xbox One!), we're predicting the Xbox 360's singular successor to be a hit. The just-unveiled console's first looks are rolling in, and though we haven't gotten our paws on it yet, our Master Chief Covenant-killin' senses are tingling. We break down the 360's successor.

Don't call it a video game

iRacing: the Best Racing Simulator Out There

You’re sitting on the grid at Road America in a classic Lotus 79. The red turns green and you light ‘em up. Accelerating hard down the front straight, you dice for racing room with two or three dozen other drivers around the world before pouring into turn one. Yep, you read that right. Those other drivers aren’t FROM around the world, they ARE around the world. This is internet racing on iRacing.com

Above its Station

Sony PlayStation 4: It’s Out There, Now What?

There's no doubt about it: Sony's Fourth Generation PlayStation has a hell of a lot to live up to. Sony's video game rock star has absolutely shaped the gaming world, and the tech world in general, leading the way through three iterations of gaming domination, DVDs, Blu-rays and a massive library of titles. But today's gaming market is a whole different beast. At an introduction event Wednesday, Sony revealed some of what's to come in the new console, though quite a bit was (maddeningly) kept under wraps.

Still running

Temple Run 2

What could you have possibly done to make the monkey so mad? Temple Run 2 (free), much like its predecessor, is insanely addictive and madly difficult. Yes, you’re still fleeing through a sparse, badly maintained network of paths, using your fingers to slide, leap, turn and tilt. These sorts of games have a definitively juvenile...

PC gaming in the palm of your hand

Nvidia Project Shield

Taking the iconic mantra “think different” to a whole new level, Nvidia — a company known for the graphics chips powering some of the best hardware on the market — has released what we think is either one of the coolest or zaniest releases at CES: Nvidia Project Shield. Either way you cut it, the...

Virtually a Reality

Kickstarter: Oculus Rift Virtual Reality Headset

Virtual Reality (VR) gaming headsets have long sported a gimmicky “TRON” feel, but the Oculus Rift Virtual Reality Headset bucks that trend. It’s a head mounted display that actually works well in gameplay, and it’s receiving a lot of attention from big names in gaming. Oh, and it’s already raised six times its $250,000 pledge...

Mischief managed

Sony Wonderbook

If you’re considering sneaking some Adderall into your favorite kid’s midday snack, you should take a peek at the Sony Wonderbook first. Recently unveiled at E3, the educational tool is an augmented reality pad consisting of only 12 pages that leverage the PS3’s PlayStation Eye camera to create the ultimate version of the pop-up book...

The Hulk to your Smartphone's Bruce Banner

Clamcase Clambook

If your penchant for gaming, music and web surfing through your smartphone is a 10/10, then you might want to put a tickler in your calendar for this holiday season in anticipation of the Clamcase Clambook. With nary a hint of Macbook Air (ahem), the Clambook is as thin as the day is long and...

Get your head in the game

NeuroSky MindWave Mobile Headset

Futuristic “bio-sensor” company NeuroSky has finally perfected what Professor X was born with — a brainwave scanning headset that can read your mind. Parts of it, at least. Designed for playing iOS and Android games, the MindWave Mobile headset ($130) can’t tell you what your enemies are thinking, but it can detect your levels of...

Breakthroughs: NaturalMotion Euphoria Gaming Engine

The earliest video games like NIMROD, tic-tac-toe, Tennis for Two and Spacewar! were more like pet hobbies by MIT genius tinkerers than a mainstream entertainment discovery. They were born in the 1950s and 60s, out of basic radar display technology and consisted of an analog interface and vector-drawn dots. It wasn’t until the early 70s...

Ready for Round Two?

Batman: Arkham City

While Christopher Nolan certainly deserves the lion’s share of credit for molding the caped crusader into his 21st century, cash-raining form, the impact of game developer Rocksteady on Batman’s recent popularity can’t be downplayed. Batman: Arkham Asylum was slathered with praise in the video game community, leaving the follow up title, Arkham City, with some...

Formula Two?

Xbox 360 Wireless Speed Wheel

Though most diehard driving gamers will find the action of the new Microsoft Xbox 360 Wireless Speed Wheel ($60) a bit lacking due to the rather conspicuous absence of a steering column, brake/gas pedals and a shift knob, it certainly caters to those who prefer their seating arrangements in the extreme couch potato position. Lightweight,...

Wii for U, and U for Wii

Nintendo Wii U

Nintendo has just announced the successor to its wildly popular and family friendly Wii system today at E3 — called the Wii U. If the name didn’t clue you in, essentially Nintendo hopes they’ve built a console gaming experience that’s highly entertaining for the entire family and individual gamers. To pull this off, the new...

Third Time to Harm

Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds

Hold onto your quarter rolls. After a decade of waiting, Marvel vs.Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds will be release on February 15th, making its way to living rooms on either Xbox 360 or PS3. Old standby’s like Ryu and Wolverine have returned to throw down with over 30 new characters from both the Marvel...

Slice through competition

Razer Onza

Motion gamers: Shake, rattle and roll to your hearts content–but most still rely on the analog controller as their weapon of choice. Microsoft recently released an updated version of the 360 controller–now with a less blister inducing D-pad, but it’s Razer that has upped the stakes in the quest for the perfect console controller. Available...

D for "About Damn Time"

Xbox 360 Controller With Twist-Up D-pad

Sure, the new Xbox Wireless Controller with Twist D-pad ($65) features a smooth matte silver finish along with spiffy monochrome buttons, but it’s the new transforming D-pad that gives our hadouken launching fingers pause. With a simple twist, the D-pad’s directional bars rise a 1/4″ to give traditional gamers (especially fighting games) new found life...

Fight Tiger with Chicken

Wii Chicken Stick

The only downside to golfing on the Wii (well, besides not actually golfing) is the lack of realistic simulation. No, not in the game, but rather the controller. The Nintendo Wii Motion Plus provides control aplenty, but when it comes to recreating the feeling and motion of swinging an actual club, it falls short. Bad...

One Retro Gaming Device to Rule Them All

Retron 3 Video Gaming System

Video game technology has come a long way from the classic 8 and 16 bit systems many of us at Gear Patrol grew up playing. Despite all of the fancy motion controls, insane cinematic graphics, and online fragging wars these new systems have enabled though, sometimes it’s just nice to step back in time to...

Just One More Thing to Anticipate

Gran Turismo 5 Collector’s Edition

It’s still going to be several months (Nov. 2) before you can experience the latest edition of Sony’s premier racing title at home, but true fans with an obsession for memorabilia should look alive and pre-order this limited edition set now. Besides the game, this exclusive set features a 1:43 scale diecast 2009 Nissan GT-R...

Leaner, Meaner, and Back in Black

Xbox 360 Slim

The new Xbox 360 Slim ($300) has landed. A decidedly Alienware-ish looking console, the Xbox 360 Slim has called 1-800-Evil-Jenny and dropped the weight with a slimmer, glossy-black case design that features touch-sensitive buttons (sounds a bit like Xbox and PS3 have swapped designers), “whisper” quiet fan that generates less noise than its wind-tunnel predecessor,...

Back in Black

Nintendo Wii Black

Who doesn’t have a soft-spot for the Wii, or Nintendo for that matter? The fact that there are few impromptu party formulas better than Booze+Women+Wii (in that order) is likely to blame. Then again, we know you’ve always secretly wanted a Wii in black, especially one to better match your classic controller or better integrate...

This Ain't No Power Pad

PlayStation Move

We’re not sure how we feel about the glowing ball atop the new Sony PlayStation Move (can we use it as a flashlight in a pinch?), but we do know that Sony’s long awaited foray into motion control should prove interesting. Using a similar dual-controller setup as the Nintendo Wii, the PlayStation Move will be...

Not The Wavebird But We'll Take It

Nintendo Wii Classic Controller Pro

Mario Kart Wii is without peer. Four competitive friends + beer = hilarity. But Nintendo classics just aren’t the same with the rectangular Wii control stick (original Nintendo controller notwithstanding). File this one under last months news, but Nintendo recently answered the call with the Wii Classic Controller Pro ($20), and we finally got our...

The Apple. iPad. Seriously.

Apple iPad

The Apple iPad is here, and it’s both as much/little as people had hoped, expected, worried, drooled over, and even prayed for. The Apple Newton 2010 iPad ($499-$829) will arrive well equipped: 9.7″ (1024×768) IPS enabled Multi-Touch LED backlit display, 1GHz A4 processor, built-in speakers, Bluetooth, microphone, ambient light sensor, 720p video playback, fingerprint-resistant oleophobic...

Logitech Z323 Speakers

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: your laptop’s puny speakers simply won’t cut it. They’re not even good enough to aptly project the beeps and boops of your NES emulator, much less to accompany your iTunes library. That said, the venerable accessory players at Logitech offer several options to suit your auditory...

The Real (Virtual) Axe

Mad Catz Rock Band Fender Stratocaster

Rock Band and its main rival Guitar Hero are sort of a big deal, if you hadn’t heard already. For the most competitive faux rockers, the Mad Catz Fender Stratocaster is the ultimate Rock Band controller. Based on a legit Fender Strat body, it’s gotten the Dr. Frankenstein treatment, being reborn as the clear superior...

F*$%&@#! Finally

Netflix Streaming On PS3

After what seems like ages, it finally appears that Sony and Netflix have reached an agreement to bring the movie company’s glorious streaming service to over 9 million U.S. PS3 units in November. This is a major boon to current PS3 owners, as it finally provides a key service that the competing Xbox 360 has...