Its Press Wednesday, and today we’re looking at some more announcements from companies all over the world regarding new stuff that you can buy from them later this year, starting off with…

Ezio’s Digital Cinema-4k (4096 x 2160) 36″ monitor

With a screen size of 36.4 inches, LED backlighting and a massive, massive resolution, Ezio looks set to be the first of the many companies that will support the new H.265 standard set to be ratified next year.

The screen supports up to 278 trillion colour combinations, an excellent brightness ratio of 700cd/m2 and a contrast ratio of 1000:1. The response time of 8ms is less than enviable for gaming, but I expect this to feature an IPS panel for better colour quality and accuracy. Ezio’s monster went on sale in Japan earlier last year with a retail price of R257,397, so those of you with deep pockets may be able to afford one.

Razer Hydra Motion Controller

The Hydra is a pair of Wii-like motion sensitive controls for PC gamers who yearn to have that kind of thing, and currently retails for around R1000 in various online stores. Designed with internals leeched from an Xbox controller, the Hydra features two wires controllers with separate joysticks and several buttons on each for various controls that can be individually assigned. There are also trigger buttons on the rear of the controller and the bundle comes with a base station that sits on top of your desk and connects via USB to your computer.

Razer has so far partnered with Valve to add support for their popular titles. Portal 2, Left for Dead 2, Half-Life 2, Team Fortress 2, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and DOTA2 will feature full integration and motion support. More titles are expected to follow and Razer touts the Hydra as a natural replacement for the mouse and keyboard in first-person shooters.


Xbox Durango/720 packs a 16-core PowerPC Processor

I haven’t seen the PowerPC name since the Apple iMac days when they came inside the desktops that looked like television sets. There’s been another set of leaks by “confirmed sources” that say dev kits for Durango have a 16-core processor and a graphics card based on AMD’s Pitcairn graphics design. While you might doubt the core count, its actually quite plausible.

Experts have been saying that Kinect 2 might require up to four cores to track players, one for each participant. Another core would be assigned to the OS, which is again rumored to be based on Windows 8 (this I don’t doubt one bit, makes all the sense in the world), another core for DRM and DVD/Blu-Ray protection decoding and that leaves ten to play with. Its worth remembering that IBM’s Cell design for the PS3 featured eight cores and was in fact a proper PowerPC design all on its own with a few exceptions. Considering Microsoft’s move to stay with the PowerPC camp, it may make multi-platform development that much easier of both consoles support the same standard. Sony’s Orbis might very well boast an AMD APU, so things are going to be very interesting indeed.

Games on the Durango and Playstation Orbis are expected to be heavily multi-threaded, allowing for console games to rival their desktop counterparts in performance. Console to PC ports may also use current multi-core CPUs better and we’ll see some fanboys drawing back their arguments that ports don’t use their hardware as they expected. Note that while dev kits are meant to be like the real thing, what we could land up with in 2013 will be a very different beast.

Sapphire entering the motherboard market

I’ve never seen a Sapphire motherboard before, so I guess this is news to all of us. The graphics giant is set to enter the market with a Intel Z77-based board to support Intel’s Sandy Bridge, Sandy Bridge-E and Ivy Bridge processors.

Sapphire’s first foray will be a full-sized ATX board with four PCI Express 3.0 slots, a dual-channel memory controller, four USB 3.0 ports, SATA 6GB/s ports and 32GB Max memory. Also  standard are start and reset buttons, a handy BIOS reset button and digital debug display, as well as an extensive UEFI BIOS. No details on pricing have been revealed yet, but Sapphire is expected to launch this product to market within three weeks.


New Macbooks expected to launch this month

For you Apple fans, the Cupertino company has apparently winded down production of the 2011 Macbook design and is expected to release the new design this month as retailers across America complain of a weakened supply.

Apple is expected to concentrate on the 15″ model at launch with supply of the 13″ model evening out roughly a month after launch. The new Macbooks are expected to follow the lead of the Air, foregoing a DVD drive and launching with either a SSD or mechanical 320GB drive as storage options. Also expected are processors based on Intel’s Ivy Bridge design with improved integrated graphics in the form of the HD4000. Discrete options are available and the Radeon HD7000 Pitcairn family is a fan favourite as Apple’s GPU of choice.

Apple fans who don’t have the cash to shell out for a Pro model might find that the ageing entry-level Macbook might be finally getting the refresh it deserves. With Ivy bridge, Apple might be readying a new entry-level Macbook based on older Sandy Bridge processors and will price it below the Air.

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