Author - cgonz

Corsair VOID Surround Dolby 7.1 USB Gaming Headset Review

Retailing for about $80 dollars, Corsair’s VOID Surround Dolby 7.1 USB gaming headset is the mid-tier option in their line of headphones. Featuring wired connectivity of lower-end models with the DOLBY 7.1 USB adapter of the higher-end ones, it is always interesting to see how a company will balance features vs. MSRP in these situations. Thankfully, Corsair has done a masterful job of providing a quality product at a price point that will not break your proverbial bank.

Externally, the Corsair VOID Surround features volume and mute controls on the left ear cup as well as a boom microphone. Its ear cups are contoured to fit more in-line with the shape of the human ear and they are very comfortable. That being said, I found the overall headset fit slightly more snug than usual – but I should add to this that I have a big head. If you have an average-sized human head, you should be okay.

void-surround-box

Internally, each ear cup houses a 50mm neodymium driver that produces a good audio output that is very clear, if not a bit bassy at higher volumes. What is important to remember about the Corsair VOID Surround is that it is basically a sub-one hundred dollar stereo headset. What adds leaps and bounds to the audio quality is the included Dolby 7.1 USB dongle. When using this dongle and the Corsair Utility Engine (CUE) software suite, you can tweak your sound profile quite a bit and the virtual surround sound is quite convincing. You can tweak the scale of the surround sound and overall sound levels with the equalizer and it has some nice presets like “Movie Theater” and “FPS Competition” that are really good at providing audio benefits to  specific types of activities.

Technical specifications

[ezcol_1half]Headphones

  • Frequency Response: 20Hz to 20kHz
  • Impedance: 32k Ohms @ 1kHz
  • Sensitivity: 107dB (+/-3dB)
  • Drivers: 50mm
  • Connector: 4-pole 3.5mm

[/ezcol_1half] [ezcol_1half_end]Microphone

  • Type: Unidirectional noise-cancelling with adjustable, rotating boom
  • Impedance: 2.2k Ohms
  • Frequency Response: 100Hz to 10kHz
  • Sensitivity: -38dB (+/-3dB)

[/ezcol_1half_end]

This biggest issue with the Corsair VOID Surround Dolby 7.1 USB gaming headset lies in its boom microphone. It isn’t very adjustable and has more “pop” than I am used to on my gaming headset microphones. I would have also liked to have seen Corsair add a way to remove the microphone entirely in situations where game chat is not necessary or desired. It would have been nice for them to add a slightly better pop filter (if there is one at all on the unit) to the boom microphone.

void-surround-usb-dongle

Overall, the Corsair VOID Surround Dolby 7.1 USB gaming headset is a fine mid-tier gaming headset option with decent audio quality for a model in its price point. When coupled with the Dolby 7.1 USB dongle, however, the audio experience is elevated quite a bit. You can even plug other headphones into the Dolby 7.1 USB dongle which further adds to the versatility of this package. The Corsair VOID Surround Dolby 7.1 USB gaming headset retails for $79.99 and is available now at various online retailers.

Official Corsair Product Page

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Ubisoft Announces Assasin’s Creed Pre-Order Bonuses

Today Ubisoft announced that consumers who pre-order Assassin’s Creed Revelations for the Xbox 360 entertainment system or the PlayStation 3 at GameStop will automatically receive a free upgrade to the Assassin’s Creed Revelations Signature Edition.

The Signature Edition of the game includes:
•       A bonus singleplayer gameplay mission
•       An exclusive multiplayer character
•       Weapons capacity upgrades
•       An animated short film based on the “Assassin’s Creed” universe
•       An “Assassin’s Creed Revelations” original game score soundtrack

Players who pre-order Assassin’s Creed Revelations for the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 at Best Buy will receive an exclusive multiplayer character.

Additionally, Ubisoft has released an Assassin’s Creed Revelations collection for the Xbox 360 entertainment system, allowing gamers to customize their Xbox Avatars with themed Avatar props for the upcoming blockbuster title.

The Assassin’s Creed Revelations collection includes:

•       Codex (prop)
•       Desmond Black Hoodie (male and female)
•       Eagle (pet)
•       Ezio Outfit (male and female)
•       The Bombardier Outfit (male and female)
•       The Guardian Outfit (male and female)
•       The Sentinel Outfit (male and female)
•       The Vanguard Outfit (female only)

Finally, during E3, Ubisoft will release a limited edition E3 avatar collection in celebration of its 25th anniversary featuring some of the biggest Ubisoft franchises. This limited edition collection will only be available for two weeks starting on June 7, including:

•       Assassin’s Creed Revelations
o       Desmond T-shirt (male and female)
o       Yusuf Tazim Outfit (male and female)
•       Driver San Francisco
o       Driver SF R/C Car (prop)
o       Tanner’s Outfit (male and female)
•       Ghost Recon Future Soldier
o       Ghost Recon Future Soldier Outfit (male and female)
o       Ghost Drone (prop)
•       Just Dance 3
o       Just Dance 3 Outfit (female only)
o       Just Dance 3 Logo Long-sleeve T-shirt (male and female)
•       Rayman Origins
o       Rayman Hoodie (male and female)
o       Globox T-shirt (male and female)

 

Hands on with Centipede: Infestation

During my time at the Atari booth, I had the chance to play both the Warlords and Centipede reboots.  I used to love playing Centipede as a kid at the arcade, and Centipede: Infestation definitely keeps the nostalgia alive while giving the game a modern flair.

Centipede: Infestation is being developed for the Nintendo Wii and 3DS, and features isometric 3/4 view game play, though each map is no larger than what you see on the screen.  Each level starts out with swarms of minor bugs (like, Left4Dead-type swarms) followed by a boss fight with a centipede.

At the moment, one hit from a bug equals instant death, though Centipede: Infestation is still pre-alpha, and the developer I spoke with claimed they were exploring the option of a health bar.

The player can obtain upgraded weapons, as well as set up turrets in a way that gives the game a tower defense feel.  Overall, for a casual game, it looks fun, and I’m excited to learn more!

TITLE OVERVIEW:

Play as Max, the hero and bug slayer, who must defend Maisy, a girl whose gardens bring life back to the wasteland that the planet has now become. Squash giant mutated centipedes, spiders, beetles, grubs, caterpillars, moths, and more. Lay waste to these mutated bugs with weapons such as the Lightning Orb Gun, Nuke Cannon, Freezethrower, Mine Launcher, and more. Use the bodies of dead bugs to craft new defenses and power-ups like turret guns and barricades, or just crush them with your mighty stomp!

Save Maisy… save the future!

KEY FEATURES:

  • Reimagined version of the classic gaming franchise designed specifically for the Nintendo Wii and 3DS
  • Explore an expansive new world with 7 environments, 40 stages and 5 boss battles
  • Choose from over 20 different weapons and power-ups to battle against more than 20 different types of bugs
  • Immersive storyline filled with a variety of gameplay and intrigue
  • Team up with a friend to kill even more bugs with 2 player co-op multiplayer
  • Unique “street pass” feature for 3DS – Unique content shared between passing Nintendo 3DS units

Hands On With Atari’s Warlords!

During my time at the Atari booth, I had the chance to play both the Warlords and Centipede reboots.  While I had an Atari 2600 growing up, Warlords was not among my titles, so this was my first experience with the IP.   I have to admit that Warlords requires some pretty intense multi-tasking.  While apparently simple in design (I played the game in top-down mode, though you can switch to an 3/4 view which I liked much better), you have to swing a shield to protect your castle from 8 fireballs that are floating around the board, and even being ricocheted your way by enemy castles.  Each castle is at one of the four corners of a square, and in the center, you also control a knight who can acquire power ups and repairs to your castle walls.  Let me tell you, controlling both the knight AND the shield protecting your walls was no easy task!

There is no specific release date for Warlords, but we’re hearing Summer 2011 for both the Xbox and PS3.

More information from Atari below:

GAME OVERVIEW

Show no mercy and take no prisoners as you fight to the death for title of the almighty Warlord.  Defend your castle from mischievous minions and ferocious fireballs spun from the mouth of a maniacal dragon in this whimsical reinvention of the beloved classic.  In the ultimate battle of speed, strategy and survival, command your troops with shrewdness and skill to capture control points, collect power-ups and destroy the other warring factions!

KEY FEATURES

  • Protect the stronghold! Defend your castle walls from the destruction of fast-flying fireballs with your mighty shield.  Move the shield around the perimeter of your castle with precision and speed to deflect the fireballs or grab onto and charge fireballs to release even more devastating attacks back at your opponents.
  • Multiple local/online game modes sweeten the quest for power and allow for cooperative and competitive battles with up to 4 players.  Select the faction of your choice and engage in a number of competitive variations, including co-op siege mode, 2v2 or classic free-for-all battles.
  • Rally your troops and pit them against your foes. Your loyal posse brings a layer of depth and replayability to every battle, and can be sent off to capture control points, gather power-ups to immobilize your enemies or bolster your defenses.  Manage your troops wisely to gain the battlefield advantage!

Preview of Atari’s Upcoming MMO Tera

Earlier today, I had a chance to get some hands-on time with Atari’s upcoming MMO Tera.  Tera was originally developed for the South Korean market, and the developers are making a push for the Western world.

Tera is new IP, and features a zone-less world spanning several continents and nations.  While there is no launch date locally, the game is live in Korea, where the current level cap is 58.  Tera’s developers made an effort to keep the user-interface simple and small to engross the player with the world.

Combat is a click-to-slash system requiring 100% of a player’s focus to defeat enemies.  Dungeons are instanced, with sets appearing every eight levels or so, starting with level twenty.

What sets Tera apart from other MMOs is that the high end game is very political, and not in the internal-catty way MMO guilds can sometimes be.  No, the Tera developers gave high end players the ability to RULE their respective nations.  Rulers can impose taxes, hold events, and even “silence” players who annoy them.  The office of ruler is obtained following either a popular vote, or trial by combat.

I asked my contact if one nation had the ability to invade another and the response I received was a wink, followed by “We’re not announcing anything about that yet.”

I take that as a yes!

Preview of Dark Souls

Greetings Shogunites!  I was lucky enough to get some private time with the developers for Dark Souls, NAMCO BANDAI’s upcoming “spiritual successor” to Demon Souls.  The playable build  they had on the floor was compiled especially for E3, and it definitely has the Demon Souls feel to it.

The player begins the game as a tortured soul, a person cursed with being undead.  The goal:  to lift the curse, of course!  Unfortunately, you seem to have been caught and locked away, so step 1 is to escape the dungeon.  You can select one of six classes, and we were shown the “sun knight” (names for the sunburst on his shield) though that name may change once the game gets closer to release.

Demon Souls had a reputation for being incredibly difficult, and the developers prided themselves in making Dark Souls even more so.  That said, defeating major enemies is more akin to solving a puzzle, rather than getting lucky in combat.  In the portion of the game shown to us, the player came up against an armored rhinoceros- like creature that was covered in plate armor.   The only place the creature was unarmored was its … ahem… hind quarters.  The player had to get behind the rhinobeast and ram his sword up the beasties butthole!  I’m pretty sure that would take down just about anything.

Graphics were detailed, though certainly not cutting edge.  Dark Souls will be released October 4, 2011 for the Xbox and PS3.