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    PROJECTIONS, Episode 20: Lone Echo Review and VR Cover

    Jeremy and Norm review what we think is the first killer app for VR: Lone Echo and its multiplayer game Echo Arena. We discuss the narrative and gameplay mechanics that make this game so memorable, and its locomotion could be applied to other game genres. Plus, a review of VR Covers that make the Rift more comfortable to wear.

    PROJECTIONS, Episode 18: Marvel Powers United VR, Oculus Interview

    In this on-location episode, we attend a preview event to get hands-on time with Marvel Powers United VR, co-op brawler that lets you feel like a superhero. We chat with the game's developer and give initial impressions, and then sit down for a longer interview with Oculus' Nate Mitchell about the state of Rift.

    Making The Lich King Armor for Blizzard!

    Frank shows us his amazing Lich King armor that he made for Blizzard's Hearthstone Knights of the Frozen Throne expansion. This project allowed Frank and his team to take cosplay to a new level, combining clay sculpting, large-scale 3d printing, smoke effects, and chroming to make our jaws drop. Just look at that Frostmourne sword!

    Making a Star Wars Battlefront 2 Inferno Squad Helmet!

    Recently, we had the opportunity to make a replica prop helmet from EA's upcoming Star Wars Battlefront 2. Frank walks us through the steps to fabricate and finish it in his shop, based off of in-game reference. The Inferno Squad Commander helmet belongs to Iden Versio, played by actress Janina Gavankar, and we were able to surprise Janina with it at D23!

    PROJECTIONS, Episode 16: Echo Arena Open Beta

    Norm and Jeremy can't stop gushing about Lone Echo's beta for its multiplayer sports game, Echo Arena. Movement around the game's zero-gravity environments feels like a breakthrough for virtual reality, and there's surprising depth in the matches. Plus, Jeremy gives his impressions on Vindicta, a SteamVR shooter he played at E3.

    Microsoft's Project Scorpio is XBox One X

    At last year's E3 Microsoft teased the next chapter of Xbox, code named Project Scorpio. In the months following they continued to release more information, culminating in a deep technical dive two months ago. We finally have a name and face to put to that top of the line hardware. The Xbox One X will launch November 7th worldwide for $500.

    As a reminder, the Xbox One X is packing a custom Polaris based AMD GPU with 40 compute units running at 1172MHz, providing 6 teraflops of performance. The eight core CPU runs at 2.3GHz, there's 12GB of GDDR5 RAM, the memory bandwidth clocks in at 326GB/s to transfer those 4K textures, and it also includes a 1TB hard drive.

    The usual technical specs you see for a game console don't tell the entire story however. Every piece inside the Xbox One X is either custom made or fine tuned in order to achieve Microsoft's claim of native 4K gaming. A new GPU command processor has DirectX 12 built in, and drastically reduces the number of instructions the CPU must send the GPU by orders of magnitude creating a highly efficient system. Microsoft is allowing developers a variety of options for utilizing the One X's hardware. They most recently announced a bump to the available memory for games to 9GB, with only 3GB now reserved for the system. If a developer chooses to only use 8GB, that extra 1GB will be used as an additional level of cache.

    The design of the One X is a bit surprising in a number of ways. It's the smallest Xbox Microsoft has made, even smaller than the One S. That being said it's also very dense weighing 8.4 pounds, only a tenth less than the original Xbox. And for the first time since that original Xbox there are no ventilation holes in sight on top of the machine, giving it a clean look. Air is pulled in from the sides then exhausted out the back, and the cooling system utilizing a vapor chamber to keep temperatures in check. Microsoft's hardware engineers that work on Surface devices probably had a hand in designing this box.

    The Best Gaming Mouse for Most Gamers

    The right mouse can make the difference between a won or lost game where valuable skill points are on the line.

    After spending over 15 hours scouring the internet for gaming mouse reviews and with over a decade of competitive gaming experience, we feel comfortable recommending the Logitech G403 as the best gaming mouse for most people.

    The mouse has the best sensor on the market, solid buttons suited for MOBAs and FPS, a wired and an actually good wireless version, and a size and shape that will fit most hands. At $62 bucks for the wired and $80 for wireless, we feel the mouse is worth the higher-end price.

    Another great mouse that works for a large variety of games is the Razer DeathAdder Elite. The DeathAdder features an iconic ergonomic design, a responsive sensor and buttons also suited for MOBAs and FPS.

    The DeathAdder isn't the pick for a couple of reasons. The mouse is a little too large for the average hands and Razer has had a few build quality issues. Those two things put it just short of a recommendation in comparison to the solid Logitech G403.

    We felt comfortable picking a right handed mouse when factoring that 90% of the population is right-handed. A lot of left-handers use right handed mice anyway.

    No mouse is perfect — there's no such thing as one mouse fits all, so we've written a guide on what to look for and provided some alternatives for different priorities.

    PROJECTIONS, Episode 5: Horror in Virtual Reality

    Jeremy and Norm discuss the effectiveness of horror and tension in virtual reality experiences, and how developers have tapped into VR for both cheap and immersive thrills. Plus, we playtest the narrative horror game Wilson's Heart and share our impressions!

    What You Should Know about Nintendo Switch

    Back in October, Nintendo released a three and a half minute video showing off their new hybrid console, the Switch, but were scant on details. In Nintendo's first live press conference in years they announced the release date, March 3rd, price, $300, and much more.

    In what was undoubtedly a very Japanese presentation, for better and worse, Nintendo's President Tatsumi Kimishima, Producer Yoshiaki Koizumi, and a few others shared more details on Nintendo's latest hardware. In the box you'll get the Switch console, two Joy-Con controllers in either grey or Neon Blue (left) and Neon Red (right), the TV dock, the Joy-Con grip, two straps for the Joy-Con controllers, an AC adapter, and an HDMI cable.

    The Switch has a battery life range of 2.5 hours to 6.5 hours, depending on what you're doing. If you're playing Zelda on the go it'll be about 3 hours. Thankfully there is a USB-C port on the bottom, so you can plug in a portable battery pack for more juice. The 6.2 inch 1280x720 screen of the Switch is capacitive, but nothing was said about how it can be used. It also has 32GB of built in storage and a slot for microSDXC cards.

    Nintendo will sell additional Joy-Con controllers at $80 for a pair, or $50 individually. Another Joy-Con grip can be had for $30, and the new Pro Controller will run you $70. Ouch.

    Hands-On: TPCast Wireless VR for HTC Vive

    We go hands-on with TPCast, the wireless upgrade accessory for the HTC Vive virtual reality headset. Here are our early impressions, along with insight learned about the device's wireless range, ergonomics, and expected battery life from TPCast's co-founder. This might have been our favorite thing at CES 2017!

    Hands-On: HTC Vive Tracker and Deluxe Audio Strap

    We go hands-on with HTC's new Vive Tracker, which allows developers to make positionally-tracked wireless accessories for Virtual Reality. We test tracked rifles, baseball bats, and even a firehose. Plus, we put on HTC's new Deluxe Audio Strap, which makes the Vive much more comfortable to wear.

    Razer's "Project Valerie" 3-Screen Gaming Laptop Prototype

    We check out Razer's Project Valerie, a concept gaming laptop that has three 17-inch 4K screens built into its chassis. Running an Nvidia GTX 1080, we see Battlefield One running across all three displays and chat with Razer about why they built this insane prototype.

    Tested: HP Omen 17 Gaming Laptop

    We've been testing the HP Omen 17, the first laptop we've tested running on Nvidia's GeForce GTX 1070--a full powered Pascal GPU. That means this is truly a desktop replacement: a portable powerhouse that can run full roomscale virtual reality off of just one AC power outlet. But there are some tradeoffs that allow this fast gaming PC to be priced at just $1500.

    Tested: Oculus Touch VR Controller

    They're finally here! Norm and Jeremy test and review the Oculus Touch virtual reality controllers, which bring motion-tracked hand presence to the Oculus Rift VR headset. Here's how Touch compares with the Vive and PSVR controllers in tracking, features, and ergonomics. Plus, we discuss the launch lineup of games and Touch content.

    Making Murloc Costumes for BlizzCon 2016!

    We stop by Frank's shop to learn about a secret project he's been working on for this year's BlizzCon! Frank and his team made two Murloc costumes, and walk us through the whole process of sculpting, molding, painting, and dressing up these creatures to meet fans and spread the word about Hearthstone's newest expansion.

    Here is Nintendo's Switch Hybrid Console, Due March 2017

    In an age where it's nigh impossible to keep a new product secret, the Nintendo Switch, previously known by its codename NX, was generally a known quantity. In a short video released by Nintendo, we can finally see this new hybrid console in action, coming March 2017.

    The device itself is essentially a tablet, with a screen size of around 7 inches. On either side are the Joy-Con controllers and they have a fairly traditional layout. Unlike the Razer Edge, these controllers are naturally integrated with the Switch. Physical games will come on carts, and are inserted into the top via a covered port.

    Whether you're on the go or at home, the controllers can slide off the device and be used wirelessly. They can still act as one controller this way, and there will even be a controller shell, the Joy-Con Grip, available for the Joy-Cons to slide into. Or, they can function independently for multiplayer games, kind of like a smaller Wii Remote. Wait, this is a tablet, isn't it? How will you hold it if you're using the controllers detached? POW, kickstand.

    The Switch also doubles as Nintendo's new home console. Included is a dock with various ports that the tablet slides into. This dock covers the screen of the Switch, so this isn't like the Wii U. You won't have a game displaying on your TV and still interact with the screen on the tablet. You can then detach the Joy-Con controllers as previously mentioned, or use the new Pro Controller that Nintendo will also sell.