Author - boothby

Elite Dangerous Minimum PC Specs for SteamVR

BuggyPOI

December 4, 2015 – The Elite Dangerous: Horizons beta is available now; Horizons is the new season of expansions for Elite Dangerous, beginning with Planetary Landings, (which you can try now in the beta.

When Horizons exits beta and releases on PC, ALL Elite Dangerous users will receive a free update that adds SteamVR support to the game. Everyone gets this, whether they have Horizons or not.

(As a side note, Beta SteamVR support is available now in the Elite Dangerous Horizons beta if you’d like to try it.)

The minimum spec for running Elite Dangerous in SteamVR is as follows:

  •  OS: Windows 7/8/10 64 bit
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-3770K Quad Core CPU or better / AMD FX 4350 Quad Core CPU or better
  • Memory: 16 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Nvidia GTX 980 with 4GB or better
  • Network: Broadband Internet Connection
  • Hard Drive: 8 GB available space

Skychaser DLC Released for Microsoft Flight Simulator X: Steam Edition

Skychaser Screenshot (1)

CHATHAM, Kent – Dec. 3, 2015 – Dovetail Games, the multi-award-winning simulation developer and publisher, today released Skychaser, a brand-new aerobatic expansion pack for Microsoft Flight Simulator X: Steam Edition.

The Skychaser expansion pack includes an exclusive Extra 330SC stunt aircraft created by established flight simulation developer IRIS Flight Simulation Software, accurately modeled down to the finest details, including a fully functional cockpit with authentic audio captured from a real-life engine. The aircraft, which is fast and agile and has dominated four real-life World Aerobatic Championships, will also feature six exclusively designed custom paint schemes, making this a prized addition to your virtual fleet.

Featuring four nail-biting challenges by acclaimed mission developer Jane Whittaker, Skychaser will build your aerobatic skills and test them to the max.

Gold Coast Cruisin’

Giving you an opportunity to familiarize yourself with the Extra as you fly from Brisbane, Australia along the Queensland coast before landing at Gold Coast Airport. Put your precision to the test as you maneuver through this harrowing trial.

Canyon Challenge

Taking you over the peaks and through the crevasses of Yosemite National Park, you will need to perform high-speed aerobatic maneuvers down narrow, winding valleys, over steep mountaintops and other unpredictable terrain. Expect sudden twists and turns, vertical climbs, and sudden dives on this rollercoaster ride of a course.

Skychaser Screenshot (4)

Snowdonia

Set amidst the Welsh mountains in the UK, this is a course where you must demonstrate your mastery of the Extra 330SC by clinging to the sides of mountains whilst flying at high speeds, mere feet above the surface of lakes. This mission is unforgiving with a fast and frenetic pace.

Low Level

Starting at Half Moon Bay Airport in San Francisco and flying along the edge of the Pacific Ocean to a landing at Shelter Cove, you will soar over the Golden Gate Bridge and marvel at the spectacular scenery of the Sierra Nevada range. To complete this mission, you must fly the entire course at top speed and under 500ft. Are your low level aerobatic skills up for the challenge?

Skychaser is now available exclusively via Steam for $19.99 or bought together with FSX: Steam Edition for $39.99.

Microsoft Flight Simulator X: Steam Edition delivers an authentically accurate aviation experience for simulation enthusiasts and those with a passion for all things flight. The game is available now on Windows PC via Steam. For further information, please visit www.dovetailgames.com or https://fsxinsider.com/.

Great American Comic Convention Las Vegas this Weekend

GACCLV

Las Vegas, NV – November 2, 2015 — On December 5th & 6th in Las Vegas, an all-star group of comic book creators, including 7 Eisner Award winners and several more Eisner nominees, will be coming to the Sports Center of Las Vegas for the inaugural Great American Comic Convention!  Special Guest Creators include Tim Bradstreet, Tommy Castillo, Howard Chaykin, Darwyn Cooke, Tony Harris, Bob McLeod, Terry Moore, Graham Nolan, James Robinson, Joe Rubinstein, Frank Tieri, Billy Tucci, Len Wein, Bernie Wrightson & Mike Zeck.

Fans will be able to get their X-Men merchandise signed by the co-creator of Wolverine, Storm, Nightcrawler, Colossus & many other fan favorites… comics legend and Eisner Hall of Famer Len Wein!  Doors open at 10am on Saturday, Dec. 5th.

Weekend passes are available online at gacclv.com for just $35, free for children 12 & under with an accompanying adult. Cosplayers welcome and panels to be announced.

D23 Expands Membership Perks and Events in 2016

d23-expo-2015-171 copy

BURBANK, Calif. – December 1, 2015 In 2016, D23: The Official Disney Fan Club will expand member events with more experiences on the East Coast and new twists on current favorites.

  • D23 BEHIND-THE-SCENES EXPERIENCES: In 2015, D23 Members had the opportunity to explore hidden Disney gems—such as the Animation Research Library—while hearing stories from Disney luminaries such as Walt Disney Archives founder Dave Smith and animator Andreas Deja. In 2016, D23 will bring back this popular event with incredible guests and new locations, while adding even more surprises and a special gift.
  • SCREENINGS ON THE DISNEY STUDIO LOT AND AT WALT DISNEY WORLD RESORT: In 2016, D23 will once again offer special screenings on both coasts of Disney favorites including Alice in Wonderland, Finding Nemo, and Bedknobs and Broomsticks. Plus, to celebrate the 75th anniversary of The Reluctant Dragon, D23 will hold a special screening event on the Studio lot including special guests, picture spots, and more surprises.
  • D23’S LUNCH WITH A DISNEY LEGEND: Following a year that included exclusive luncheons with such luminaries as former Imagineer Orlando Ferrante and voice actress Kathryn Beaumont, D23 will be bringing back the popular event series on the Walt Disney Studios lot, as well as adding events on the East Coast. The first event will be at Walt Disney World Resort with Disney Legend Charlie Ridgway, who helped open Walt Disney World, Epcot Center, and Disneyland Paris.
  • D23 DAY AT THE WALT DISNEY STUDIOS AND ARCHIVES: D23 Gold Member-exclusive tours of the historic Studio lot and Walt Disney Archives in Burbank return, highlighting historic moments from Disney film, television, and theme parks—and in 2016 we will be enhancing the experience with a very special new location to be announced soon.
  • ADVANCE SCREENINGS: This year, D23 Members were able to attend previews of Cinderella and Inside Out in cities such as New York, Orlando, Chicago, San Francisco, and Philadelphia. Next year, in partnership with The Walt Disney Studios, D23 will screen a selection of upcoming releases. And for those guests who may not live in the cities where movies are screened, D23 Gold Members across the country will be selected at random to receive complimentary movie passes, which will be included in issues of Disney twenty-three, D23’s quarterly publication.
  • D23 MEMBER NIGHTS AT NEWSIES—ON TOUR: Disney fans are cheering for the Tony® Award-winning Newsies, now on tour. In 2016, guests in Salt Lake City, Portland, and other cities around the country are invited to see the show with premium seats on special nights and a talk-back with the cast following the show.
  • MEMBER MIXERS AROUND THE COUNTRY: After giving members a peek at the reimagined Disney Stores in Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, and Kentucky, in 2016, Disney Store will once again invite D23 Members for exclusive mornings of shopping, discounts, games, and goodies. Also this past year, D23 held mixers including Breakfast on Broadway in New York and Never Had a Friend Like D23 events to celebrate Aladdin in Phoenix, Sacramento, and Seattle. Look for more mixers in cities around the country in 2016.
  • MICKEY’S OF GLENDALE: The Walt Disney Imagineering employee store will once again offer shopping opportunities to D23 Gold Members at Walt Disney World Resort and in Southern California. Guests will be able to peruse collectibles and pick up official Imagineering merchandise. Dates to be announced in 2016.
  • D23 DISNEY FANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONBEAUTY AND THE BEAST: Following D23’s first “Home Edition” of Fanniversary, celebrating the 60th anniversary of Lady and the Tramp, D23 in 2016 will bring fans around the world unprecedented behind-the-scenes access to the spectacular, Academy Award®-winning animated feature Beauty and the Beast, which celebrates its 25th anniversary next year.
  • SIGNATURE EVENTS: Look for the return of some favorites, including SIP & SCREAM (a Halloween twist on D23’s Sip & Stroll event at Walt Disney World in the fall), as well as special holiday events on both the East and West Coasts. More details will be announced in 2016.

Dates, ticketing information, and more D23 events will be announced throughout the year. Full details on D23’s lineup of 2016 special events can be found on the Fan Club’s website at www.D23.com/events. All events and dates are subject to change.

Current event calendar:

  • January 29: D23 Behind-the-Scenes Experience, TBA, Burbank, Calif.
  • February 20: Alice in Wonderland, Burbank, Calif.
  • March 18: Lunch with a Disney Legend: Charlie Ridgway, Walt Disney World Resort
  • March 19: Alice in Wonderland, Walt Disney World Resort
  • April 8: Lunch with a Disney Legend: TBA, Burbank, Calif.
  • April 9: D23 Day at The Walt Disney Studios and Archives, Burbank, Calif.
  • April 20: D23 Member Night at Newsies—On Tour, Portland, Ore.
  • May 21: Finding Nemo, Walt Disney World Resort
  • June 4: Finding Nemo, Burbank, Calif.
  • June 8: D23 Member Night at Newsies—On Tour, Salt Lake City, Utah
  • June 25: D23 Day at The Walt Disney Studios and Archives, Burbank, Calif.
  • July 18: D23 Behind-the-Scenes Experience, TBA, Burbank, Calif.
  • August 20: The Reluctant Dragon 75th anniversary screening event, Burbank, Calif.
  • September 23: Lunch with a Disney Legend: TBA, Walt Disney World Resort
  • September 24: Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Walt Disney World Resort
  • Fall: D23 Disney Fanniversary Celebration: Beauty and the Beast, more info coming in 2016
  • October 8: Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Burbank, Calif.
  • October 22: Sip & Scream, Walt Disney World Resort
  • November 18: Lunch with a Disney Legend: TBA, Burbank, Calif.
  • November 19: D23 Day at The Walt Disney Studios and Archives, Burbank, Calif.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Opening Date Announcement on Dec 8

Wizarding_World_of_Harry_Potter_Castle

Universal City, California, December 1, 2015 – “When will “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™” at Universal Studios Hollywood open?

This has been the #1 question asked since the theme park first announced that “Hogwarts is coming to Hollywood” in 2011.  The perennial question will soon have an answer and Universal Studios Hollywood is about to shed some light on it.

More information is available here:

WHEN:       Tuesday, December 8, 2015

TIME:         7AM PT / 10AM ET

WHERE: The Universal Studios YouTube Channel

For more information, visit the newly launched interactive website for a virtual tour of “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” and sign up for the latest news and information at www.universalstudioshollywood.com/harrypotter/signup.

Join the conversation online using #WizardingWorldHollywood. Like Universal Studios Hollywood on Facebook and follow @UniStudios on Instagram and Twitter.

Star Wars Battlefront – Battle of Jakku: Live from London TONIGHT

Star Wars Battlefront - Battle of Jakku

November 30, 2015Let’s play Star Wars™! Star Wars™ Battlefront™ – Battle of Jakku: Live from London (#StarWarsBattlefrontLondon) is taking place today, and will include the world premiere of The Battle of Jakku gameplay live streamed on Twitch. The below code can be used to embed the stream from the official EA Star Wars Twitch channel beginning at 11am PST / 2pm EST / 7pm GMT / 8pm CET:

Among the 40 player set up at Star Wars Battefront – Battle of Jakku: Live from London will be Ali-A, Vikkstar123 and JackFrags who will do battle on two maps set on Jakku as well as the debut of a new mode, Turning Point, a vast Star Wars Battlefront game mode for 40 players

The Battle of Jakku was created through a collaboration between DICE and Lucasfilm and takes place 29 years before Star Wars™: The Force Awakens™ in the aftermath of the Rebel victory in the Battle of Endor – the pivotal moment when the New Republic confronted key Imperial holdouts on a remote desert planet. Learn more here.

Marvel Cinematic Universe: Phase Two Artwork Revealed

wintersoldier

Walt Disney Studios and Marvel have revealed the artwork to accompany the Marvel Cinematic Universe: Phase Two collector’s edition movie box set – due out on December 8 only at Amazon.com.

About the MCU Phase Two Collection

The limited edition, 13-Disc Marvel Cinematic Universe: Phase Two Collection invites you to hold the greatest power in the cosmos in your grasp – an orb containing one of the legendary Infinity Stones! Plus Blu-ray 3D™, Blu-ray™ and Digital Copies of all Phase 2 films, in collectible packaging designed by artist Matt Ferguson. This set overflows with stunning Marvel memorabilia, including a gold-foiled page from the book of Dark Elves, an ancient drawing from the Morag vault, Avengers and S.T.R.I.K.E. uniform patches, a replica of the Tony Stark Tattoo from Marvel’s Iron Man 3, and much more!

Artwork Images

Universal Studios Hollywood Cel-Who-brates with 21 Days of Grinchmas

universal-studios-grinchmas

Universal City, California – November 24, 2015 It’s the most wonderful time of the year as Universal Studios HollywoodSM and Universal CityWalk® deck the halls for a wintry calendar of cool holiday activities at The Entertainment Capital of L.A.SM

A very, merry “GrinchmasTM” returns to Universal Studios Hollywood as the theme park celebrates the Who-lidays with The Grinch, his faithful dog Max and a roster of Whos from the town of Who-ville.

“Grinchmas” runs weekends on December 5-6 and 12-13, then continues daily from December 18, 2015 through January 3, 2016.

The Universal Plaza, an elaborate grand piazza at the heart of the theme park, will serve as the backdrop for the lighting of the towering “Grinchmas” tree – a whimsical centerpiece twisting and spiraling 60 feet above visitors and providing the ideal setting for merry holiday making memories, while The Grinch, his adorable dog Max and the Who-ville Whos entertain guests nearby with fun-filled photo opportunities.

As part of the fab-Who-lous event, Martha May Who-vier and the Who Dolls will take center stage by the “Grinchmas” tree performing energetic musical sets to usher in the Christmas season in style.  The Wholiday Singers—a hip boy-band ensemble—will perform nightly a cappella concerts featuring a mix of Christmas favorites and pop rock.

The spirited “Grinchmas” event will also capture guests’ imagination with a variety of inspiring activities designed to create long lasting memories. These include:

  • Who-ville Post Office – Visitors will have a chance to partake in the “Grow Your Heart 3 Sizes” campaign when they share their good deeds on a postcard and mail them to The Grinch. In return, Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P. and Random House Children’s Books, the publishers of Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, will pay it forward by donating a book to a child in need through First Book on behalf of the sender.
  • Trim up the Tree Lot – Guests can design and personalize their own “Grinchmas” ornaments to help decorate the venue’s other “Grinchmas” trees or take them home as a keepsake.
  • Who-bilicious Cookie Dec-Who-rating – Freshly baked, ginger bread and Christmas tree cookies will be available for purchase, and guests can create their very own amazing treats with an assortment of delectable frostings and tasty toppers.
  • Story Time with Cindy-Lou WhoCindy-Lou Who and her Who friends will gather guests of all ages – tall and small—for an engaging storytelling show of Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas, featuring special effects and audience participation.

The spirit of “Grinchmas” will also come to life aboard the world-famous behind-the-scenes Studio Tour with engaging performances by unforgettable Who-ville Whos re-enacting popular scenes and songs from the family favorite at the original film sets from the blockbuster film, “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”

Universal Studios Hollywood’s newly introduced Annual Passes add additional cheer to the holidays as special stocking stuffer gifts.  For more information or to purchase one of three new passes: the Gold Pass, the California Resident Plus Pass or the California Resident Pass, please visit www.UniversalStudiosHollywood.com/tickets.

“Grinchmas” is included in the price of theme park admission.  More information is available at www.UniversalStudiosHollywood.com.

The spirit of the season continues with a wintertime transformation of Universal CityWalk, beginning the day after Thanksgiving on Friday, November 27 through Friday, January 1, 2016.  A spectacular 40-foot tall Christmas tree will glisten with 200,000 LED icicles choreographed to the lights and sounds of the season in the “5 Towers” plaza. Santa Claus will make nightly appearances and offer special photo opportunities at “5 Towers,” plaza complete with evening hourly snow falls at the heart of CityWalk.  Visits from St. Nick, along with free concert performances and an eclectic ensemble of talented street performers will make CityWalk the ultimate L.A. holiday destination.  Admission to Universal CityWalk is free.

Sound Blaster X H5 Professional PC Gaming Headset Review

sound-blaster-x-h5-headset-promo-shot

Creative Labs continues its war to dominate the gaming audio market with the new Sound BlasterX line of gaming headsets. Ranging from the lower-end H3 headset going all the way to the high-end H7 7.1 channel surround sound headset, there is something for everyone in the Sound BlasterX line-up. We got the chance to take a look at the almost-top tier level headset, the Sound BlasterX H5. The Sound BlasterX H5 gaming headset features a stainless steel and black style that exudes classy aggression. The headset is capable of taking a lot of wear and coming back for more every time, thanks to its steel headband. I was actually shocked at just how flexible the steel headband is. You can twist it almost all the way around and the steel just bounces right back to shape. It also features faux leather ear cups that, while making my ears sweat slightly after long periods of use, provide ample comfort and a quiet gameplay session.

sound-blaster-x-h5-controls

Its boom microphone did a terrific job of carrying my voice to my comrades while we played Arma 3 and Romero’s Aftermath, and I was told from my cohorts that the mic seemed successful in filtering out a lot of the background noise floating around my office space. In fact, it sounded better to them than the dedicated desktop microphone I usually use for Skype calls, etc. It should be noted that the boom microphone is removable in case you do not require it.

Setting up the Sound BlasterX H5 for use is very simple – it comes with a 3.5mm splitter and also uses a 4 port 3.5mm plug. This allows you to plug the headset into your smartphone, PC, and even a PS4 game console! You also have the option of downloading and installing the Creative Labs Sound BlasterX Acoustic Engine Lite software that allows you to tweak your sound to your specifications. For the purposes of my review, I did not do this as I already have a Creative Labs software suite running thanks to my sound card.

sound-blaster-x-h5-box

The sound quality coming out of the Sound BlasterX H5 was excellent, and I could just as easily listen to my favorite songs while wearing this headset as I could taking on OPFOR in Arma 3. I heard no issues with high or low-end sounds while listening to my tunes and was happy it seemed to marry so well with my Creative Labs sound card. I could take advantage of most of my sound card’s options, such as the Crystalizer and Scout modes with no issue whatsoever. Its 50mm “FullSpectrum” neodymium drivers are up to the task and the ear cups are closed just enough to block out a decent amount of outside noise while still allowing you to hear some of whats going on around you.

Finally, I love that the Sound BlasterX H5 features a nylon, braided cable. This was all the rage a few years ago but has since petered out among peripheral makers. I loved this feature on headsets and am glad Creative Labs is bringing it back for the H5.

Overall, the Creative Labs Sound BlasterX H5 pro gaming headset is exactly what you would hope to get out of an analog, pro gaming headset. They have great sound quality, great construction, and a reliable microphone that actually filters out some background noise. It’s only real drawback is the $129.99 price point but headsets are getting more expensive these days. At least with the Sound BlasterX H5, you know your $129.99 is going towards a high quality product.

Sound BlasterX H5 on Amazon

[easyreview title=”Sound BlasterX H5 Professional PC Gaming Headset Review Score” cat1title=”Overall Score (out of 5)” cat1detail=”” cat1rating=”5″ ]