Few things are as universally awesome as a cheap keyboard or drum machine. As a child of the '80s, I can vividly remember the first time I got my hands on a toy Casio keyboard and spent the afternoon sampling obscenities into the built-in microphone and playing through all the different preset sounds (I can still hear the Casio demo song in my head).
The Stylophone Beatbox ($25) is a retro music toy of a slightly different breed than my Casio, fusing together the design of a 1967 Stylophone pocket synthesizer with the sampled percussion layout of a modern day Akai MPC or Roland HandSonic.
However you choose to categorize it, the Stylophone Beatbox is exactly the sort of weird, noisy, cheap piece of tech I go nuts for. It's surprisingly sophisticated, too, allowing you to record loops of sounds, route in an MP3 player, and even adjust pitch and tempo. Check out some clever demo videos after the break.… Read more
Sony's announcement this week of a PS3 edition of the first two PS2 God of War games, called God of War Collection, was exciting--unless you already own both games.
With 720p HD support added in, however, it raises a serious question: will backward-compatibility be a relic of video game days gone by? With the PS3 no longer able to play PS2 games, fans will be ever more reliant on re-releases and virtual console titles to resell them the greatest hits of the last generation.
As long as the old re-releases are lovingly upscaled to HD and given some extra … Read more
While we wait for the big-screen adaptation of Halo to hopefully come out in the next couple of years, we must wonder about the real-life looks video games of yore may have taken. Modern games already look like awesome high-definition movies, but what about their heavily pixelated predecessors?
German photographer Patrick Runte has taken on the idea and has come up with some fairly funny recreations of old 4-bit video games as they would have looked in real life. The games adapted include Tetris, Pac-Man, and of course Pong. He even goes off the grid just a tad to bring us a pinball recreation. Rad.
Runte's a good photographer and there are many more (not so geeky) images on his site. In the meantime, check out a couple more of his game shots after the jump.
This week has been a hot one here in Seattle and a fun one at Crave. We've covered Blu-ray players that cost more than laptops as well as cheap laptops with Blu-ray players included. We don't have any idea what's going on either.
Technically speaking, the iPhone is a popular e-book reader, but it still has its flaws. Case in point, a vulnerability in iPhone software could allow hackers to take control of the device via a text message. … Read more
It used to be that playing classic, out-of-print PC games required you to find shady download sites or old dusty retail boxes on eBay, then hope that your ancient Windows 3.1 game would work under XP or Vista.
One of the most welcome recent developments in gaming is the relatively sudden availability of a huge back catalog of classic games, across multiple platforms.
Like classic films finally being released on DVD, you can now play great (and not-so-great) games from the '80s and '90s via the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Nintendo Wii, as well as on your PC … Read more
Blenders are like toasters in that they are icons of the kitchen. As such, they enjoy a wide range of options and designs not normally reserved for simple appliances. However, a quick search reveals that--like toasters--when choosing a model design, options abound. As a result, both appliances share an interesting fate in the eyes of the consumer: the appliance needs to not only pass as a quality machine, but also make us feel as if the design transports us somewhere or to a different time. That's not to say we don't shop for other appliances based on the … Read more
I am currently writing this on my second MacBook Pro. I'm also waiting for a call on my third iPhone while watching "Star Trek" on my second HDTV from my third Xbox 360. Technology today seems to fizzle out or become redundant quickly. But it wasn't always like that.
In fact, the BBC recently tracked down a 73-year-old TV set that still works and is believed to be the oldest working television in Britain. It's tuned to but one built-in channel--the BBC, as it was the only channel available in England when the set was … Read more
As a gaming system, the iPhone has had its share of praises and attacks, but it's hard to challenge the appeal of retro titles on the system. With a perfect version of Myst under its belt, the iPhone's gone one better with a release of The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition that launched last night on iTunes.
For those who don't remember, The Secret of Monkey Island is perhaps one of the most celebrated graphic adventures in the once-popular genre. Originally released in 1990, there were three other sequels released, the last in 2000. LucasArts once … Read more
Oh, GBM, you've been hiding. In a plastic drawer, under some socks and a 60GB iPod, you lay upside down next to your coiled-up charger. I admit I've ignored you in recent years, what with the Nintendo DS Lite and iPhone (and sometimes PSP) vying for my mobile attention. Your little plastic case, and the Game Boy Advance cartridges you played, were overlooked.
Recently, though, I pulled you out again. It all happened because the Nintendo DSi, while an excellent handheld, cannot play GBA cartridges anymore. To play Super Mario Bros. 3, I needed your services. Removing you from the gear drawer, I was impressed that you still seemed small. Smaller, in fact, than any of my other gadgets, except for the iPod Shuffle. You make the iPhone seem bulky. While your screen is miniature, it still looks bright and crisp compared with any other handheld screen. Even more amazingly, the battery still worked when I turned you on. I can't even recall another gadget whose battery has lasted that long in disuse.
The Game Boy Micro was Nintendo's attempt at a Game Boy swan song.… Read more