Tag Archives: gaming

Stern Pinball launches new titles for iconic pinball fun @ CES 2021



Stern Pinball Led ZeppelinZach Sharpe, Director of Marketing at Stern Pinball, joined us at CES 2021 to tell us about some of their newest machines and what makes them stand out in the arcade market. Stern Pinball, Inc. (“SPI”) is the oldest and largest designer and manufacturer of arcade-quality pinball games on the planet, churning out eye-catching pinball machines for more than 30 years.

Pinball is the universal language of fun, says Sharpe, bridging generations and cultures across decades. For 2021, Stern Pinball released some iconic titles including Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Stranger Things, Avengers, and their amazing Led Zeppelin, complete with Immigrant Song and 9 other songs, which took years to acquire the rights to use in the game.

SPI offers a full line of commercial and consumer pinball games, merchandise, parts, and accessories that are sold to pinball operators, enthusiasts, and fans around the globe. Each of their cornerstone titles is available in Pro, Premium, and Limited Edition models. Pro is the coin-operated machines players will typically find in bars and arcades. Premium and Limited Edition models are found more commonly in private collections and typically feature a few more moving parts, such as the Electric Magic Device found in the Led-Zeppelin machine. The device rises from the floor of the machine and features a spinner and ball capture that literally changes the whole trajectory of a game.

The Premium and LE models also incorporate an Expression Lighting System with nearly 100 intelligent LEDs that simulate a graphic equalizer choreographed to the music. With their new Spike 2 technology, the machines are also easier to maintain and repair, with less complexity, fewer components to break and easy serviceability.

Visit the company’s website to see the full collection of SPI machines, as well as to access their Pinball Locator so you can find Stern Pinball machines out in the wild to play.

Interview by Christopher Jordan of The Talking Sound.

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Blacknut has a huge catalog of cloud streaming games @ CES 2021



Blacknut cloud gaming platformThere is no doubt that the future of gaming has a big place for cloud streaming services. There have been a number of companies, including Microsoft and Google, who have gotten in on the game. However, there seems to be a lot of question over the stability of and the commitment to these platforms. One company that is showing both stability and commitment is Blacknut.

The company has taken a very similar approach to Microsoft, in that the service is a monthly fee and includes all of the games in the catalog. The games in the catalog have no ads and no in-game purchases. Your game state is stored in the cloud, meaning that you can start your game on your phone and continue it on the computer, or vice versa. But, how many games are available? Currently, the service offers over 400 games with n ew games added weekly.

The catalog is also very diverse. There is a large collection of Japanese games with anime styling, such as BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger. There are a lot of racing games, from big name franchises like Asphalt, Gravel, and MotoGP. And, there are weird games, like Overcooked and Farming Simulator 19. There is definitely something for everyone.

The service also has a strong focus on families. On your single subscription, you can create up to 5 profiles, so everyone has their progress separately. There are also parental controls, disabling access during certain times and limiting access to games with certain ratings.

Blacknut is available now for $15.99 per month, with a 50% discount for your first three months with discount code WELCOME3M21. You can play games on Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, Fire TV, and Google TV. To learn more about the platform, browse the catalog of games, and start your subscription, head over to the Blacknut website.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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Impulse Neuro-Controller makes you faster when gaming @ CES 2021



Impulse Neuro-ControllerFor gamers, one of the most important things is controlling your timing. Every fraction of a second in response time can be the difference between getting the shot or getting shot. Gamers go out of their way to find just the right mouse and keyboard to be able to speed up their reaction times ever so slightly. But, as Avram always says, you can also speed up the slowest part of your computer – you. One way to accomplish this is with Impulse Neuro-Controller from Brink Bionics.

The Impulse is a fingerless glove that works with your existing gaming mouse to improve reaction times. Rather than waiting for you to click, it literally reads your mind and acts early. It is able to read your impulses (hence the name) from your hand using biosignals. Using an AI algorithm, the glove is able to learn your behaviors and act on them ahead of time.

Just like any bio-feedback device, it takes some time to train. Everyone reacts differently to different stimuli. For example, if you are training a brain control headband, you need to determine certain things to think about and map those thought patterns to specific actions. With the Impulse, you simply set it up for training and plan like normal. The system is able to read your biosignals and connect them with your actions on the computer. Once the connections are made, it is able to work ahead of you to produce results before you are able to click.

The Impulse Neuro-Controller is ideal for players of first-person shooters, real-time strategies, multiplayer online battle arenas, and more. To learn more about Impulse and Brink Bionics, you can head over to their website, which currently takes you to their Indiegogo page, which has a lot of additional information.

Interview by Christopher Jordan of The Talking Sound.

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Tovertafel brings joyful play to late-stage dementia patients @ CES 2021



Tovertafel interactive gamesSjoerd Wennekes is the co-founder of Tover, a Dutch company that specializes in interactive games for people with severe cognitive disabilities, and he joined us at CES 2021 to tell us about their signature product, Tovertafel.

Tovertafel, or Magic Table, is an interactive gaming system for people with late-stage dementia or other cognitive impairments. Using a ceiling-mounted projector equipped with computer hardware and sensors, the device projects images onto any existing table in a care facility, creating simple interactive games for life enrichment. The games are played by touching the projected images, for instance, the action of swiping away projected autumn leaves or bouncing the image of beach ball back and forth between one another.

Tovertafel is a care home-friendly system, requiring no connections to external computers, or any sophisticated installation process. The ceiling-mounted device has a wide-angle lens with an adjustable projection field that can be used on any size table. Family members or staff can easily use the remote and get right to playing together without the need for special instructions.

While the projection technology is not new, how Tover utilizes it is unique. The company focuses on late-stage dementia patients who lack the ability to activate themselves, those typically living in long term care facilities who are often subject to apathy – the total lack of feeling and emotions which is the primary cause of death in dementia patients. Tovertafel games are designed to stimulate the portions of the brain that are not damaged by diseases like Alzheimer’s so that even people in the last stages of dementia can experience some joyful quality of life.

Care professionals utilizing the system have noted that patients playing Tovertafel games are more physically active, engage in more social activity, and seem to experience more joy and less sadness while playing with the Magic Table. They’ve also found the system improves the relationship between caregivers and residents and increases happiness for care professionals, family members, and friends alike.

Tovertafel is used in over 5000 cognitive care facilities in 12 countries. The company is launching in North America this spring.

Visit the company’s website to learn more.

Interview by Christopher Jordan of The Talking Sound.

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Future Seating wants to improve the way you spend your time @ CES 2021



X-Chair and Mavix Gaming chairsThe quality of the desk chair you use is incredibly important. We use them for work, for gaming, and even for downtime. However, too often, the chairs we use are really poor quality, or have been around too long (just ask Pam on The Office). But, now that many of us are working from home, we have the ability to choose our own chairs, and Future Seating has two lines designed to improve your life – X-Chair and Mavix Gaming.

X-Chair is a brand that has been around for a while and is focused on the office. The X-HMT is the model we were introduced to in the conversation. This chair sports a number of features designed to make the experience better. This desk chair offers massage capabilities, which are intended to maintain proper blood flow. You can use two levels of intensity, depending on how you feel. You can also choose between constant and variable modes. It also has therapeutic heating technologies, intended to relax muscles.

Mavix is a new brand and aimed at the gaming market. The company has taken all of its learnings from X-Chair and applied them to the Mavix line. It’s important because there are some capabilities that gamers might need that an office worker won’t. For example, Mavix chairs have the ability to lock the wheels. This is because physical reactions to in-game actions can cause problems in games. In addition, all models feature adjustable back, lumbar, seat depth, head and neck support, and tension recline, plus a cooling seating surface.

Chairs from both of the Future Seating brands, X-Chair and Mavix, are available now, with models ranging in price, depending on additional features. You can also get a variety of styles and colors. The company sells through its X-Chair and Mavix Gaming websites, and tries to ship product immediately upon order.

Interview by Christopher Jordan of The Talking Sound.

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Hero Trainer brings the only fitness reward app for gamers @ CES 2021



Hero Trainer exercise rewardsA lot of people hear the word “gamer” and picture of a certain kind of person in their mind. But contrary to popular belief, the world of gaming is actually quite vast and getting more diverse all the time. There are so many different types of video games that there truly is something for everyone. Games for kids that expand their creativity and problem-solving abilities, games for sports lovers that immerses them right in with their favorite teams, first-person shooter games that let you get your Rambo on, and yes… even character-based games that the grown-ups enjoy way more than they ever imagined that they would. Hero Trainer wants to help change that misconception.

As a gamer himself, Yash Jain wanted to find a way to bring the elements of fitness, community, and rewards to the world of gaming. The result is truly invigorating. Yash founded Hero Trainer, a free mobile app where users can earn rewards in their favorite video games by simply exercising. That’s right, earn in-game rewards and even gift cards for use in dozens of video games (on your PC, Xbox, PlayStation, and Nintendo) just for walking. He came up with the idea after realizing that even when he had a decent fitness streak going, he would end up losing motivation for various reasons and ultimately fall short of his own fitness goals. Like so many others, video games ranked higher on his list of interests than fitness, so he came up with the idea of merging the two. And what better incentive than offering gaming currency for steps taken.

Cool concept, right? But how does it work? It’s actually so EZ! Simply download the app from either the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store and let your wearables and smartphone do the rest. Steps are counted and transferred into Hero Trainer from both the Apple Health and Google Fit apps. The currency that you accrue for spending is called Aura and you earn 1 Aura for every 1,000 steps you take. Rack up that Aura and redeem rewards in the Marketplace. Vendors include Riot Games, the Steam Store, Blizzard Entertainment, Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo eShop, Google Play, and Apple. We can’t think of a better reason to stop camping and go AFK for a nice long walk.

As an added layer of motivation, Hero Trainer goes a step further by adding that gaming element to the app itself. Each user has their own character in the app that grows stronger as they walk. If that weren’t exciting enough, you can also team up with friends, in Guilds, and compete in seasons that are about 8 weeks long. Depending upon where your Guild ranks, you can earn even more points to spend in the marketplace. As you can imagine, this concept is quite intriguing for us here at PLUGHITZ Live, as we have been known to dabble in a game or two from time to time. And, not to brag, but we’re quite the team, especially when we’re on the road at tech conventions.

So, whether you’re badass in Call of Duty, a tank in League of Legends, or reached the Koopa Troopa Cup in Mario Kart Tour, you can only benefit from using the Hero Trainer app. To get more information and download the app, click here and use our Referral Code – BAO8. Our PLUGHITZ Live Guild looks forward to seeing you there.

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad.

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SwiftPoint Z is an Award-Winning Gaming Mouse at CES



SwiftPoint logoFor most computer users, a mouse is a pretty boring input device that has probably two buttons and maybe a click wheel installed. But there’s a whole world of high-end computer mice out there, many of them aimed at the gaming market.

Todd spoke with Grant from SwiftPoint about his company’s latest gaming mouse known simply as Z. SwiftPoint’s Z Mouse has more buttons than a typical mouse, allowing for up to 50 different click-based actions. Z Mouse has a built-in gyroscope that makes it easy to control things like pitch and yaw used in flight-sim games, replacing the need for a joystick or other type of controller. Z Mouse is being brought to market thru a successful Kickstarter campaign. Once the campaign is fulfilled, the mouse is expected to make it to the retail market in March of this year, where it’ll retail for $229.

Todd Cochrane is the host of the twice-weekly Geek News Central Podcast at GeekNewsCentral.com.

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Razer’s Project Valerie Triple Screen Laptop at CES



One of the best things about motor shows are the preposterous concept cars that will never see the light of day and serve only to showcase the manufacturer’s technology. Razer are verging into this territory with a bonkers triple 4K screen laptop, codenamed Project Valerie, where the three screens combine to give a whopping resolution of 11520 x 2160. And get this….the screens will automatically expand and collapse – so cool. Aimed at the (very) serious gamer or esports player, it’s totally awesome and no doubt will have a price tag to match when (if?) it goes on sale.

Todd Cochrane is the host of the twice-weekly Geek News Central Podcast at GeekNewsCentral.com.

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Toast Brings a Natural Touch to Your Electronics



toast-wrap-xboxoneOutside of brands like Lumia, one of the things that is most bland about modern technology is the black, white and silver conformity of devices of all types. Matias Brecher founded Toast as a way to allow people to add some natural look to their electronics.

Starting with mobile phones, the company created real wood wraps in 4 different finishes. Since launch they added some laptops and tablets to heir lineup. This year, though, they are getting into the living room with wood wraps for your Xbox One and PlayStation 4 for only $29.99. You can even customize your wrapping with your logo, gamertag and more.

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DreamGear Marries Classic and Modern Gaming



dreamgear-retroWe’ve all encountered the plug-and-play classic videogame consoles in the mall or electronics stores. They usually show up around the holidays and bring classic games from Atari, Nintendo and more to a new generation, not to mention those who grew up with these games, by plugging directly into your television and having all of the games internal.

This year, dreamGEAR, who has made these types of devices for years, is bringing the concept to the mobile world. Instead of requiring a television to play, these new consoles resembleprevious handheld devices or even miniature arcade cabinets, and are capable of playing hundreds of games on the go.

Some of these consoles are available now with more to come in the near future.

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