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Posts with tag switchblade

The Razer Switchblade concept slithers its way to GDC 2011

Razer was on hand at the Intel booth on the GDC expo floor with a sealed-off concept unit of the Razer Switchblade, the company's new small-form gaming PC. Travis Wannlund, Razer's global community manager, gave me the ins and outs of the hardware. The unit has a touchscreen to replace the pointer and also accepts a USB or Bluetooth mouse as an input device. The keyboard is made up of small LED screens that work as contextual keys, changing to ability keys with pictures, alphabetical keys, arrows, and more.

The Switchblade was cycling through games, showing off different context-sensitive key setups depending on the game. Quake Live placed down a row of abilities ranging from grenades and rockets, alongside buttons for walk and crouch. A WASD array also popped up, and presumably a mouse would facilitate the view space. I couldn't touch it, of course, as the machine was guarded by a nefarious plastic box, but it was there, working, and impressing the heck out of everyone who stopped by.

The Switchblade looks very promising, even in its concept stage, showing that Razer intends to push a whole lot of boundaries with its new little darling. It is almost as if the machine were built with the express purpose of playing a game like WoW on the go, with other games as an added bonus. Now we just have to watch and wait, hoping this little beauty goes from concept to production as soon as possible.

Filed under: Events, Hardware

Razer Switchblade mobile PC gaming concept unveiled


Not paying attention to the Consumer Electronics Show this year? You should be. Today, Razer revealed the Switchblade, its concept for a mobile PC gaming platform -- a PC gaming and multimedia device that fits in your hand.

Though this product is but a concept at the moment, Razer's vision for the Switchblade includes a 7-inch screen and a dynamic LCD keyboard. That is, the keys are clear, tactile buttons laid atop a dynamic LCD screen that will change depending on what game you're playing or what you're doing in the game. Imagine questing in World of Warcraft and jumping into a vehicle. Rather than your in-game UI changing, the keyboard's display itself would change to represent the vehicle's controls and abilities.

It's unlikely that a device like this could be used for long sessions of hardcore gaming -- even if the keyboard works perfectly, that's some serious eye strain -- but it could make PC gaming on the go a reality rather than the clunky kludges it's been thus far. Here's hoping this product actually hits the market.

[via Engadget]

Filed under: News items

Switchblade updates to version 3.0

We've covered Switchblade before (and even posted an impressions and interview about it), so odds are you've probably at least heard of the program, which allows you to play WoW and other PC games with a wired (or wireless with adapter) Xbox 360 controller. Blue Orb recently sent word that they updated the app to version 3.0, and along with the update came not only support for Guild Wars and Hellgate: London, but updates to the way WoW controls.

There are now presets that come with the program for each class, so the priest preset will play different from the warrior preset, and so on. The release notes also say that there is a "key capture" feature -- just press a key to bind it -- and there is also a number of "combo" and "game actions" features. You've got to be careful when running programs that line up sets of actions for you, however; we know from experience that Blizzard sometimes walks a fine line when using inputs that allow macros.

Switchblade is now available as a free download (the program itself is ad-supported) and an Xbox 360 controller (as well as downloadable software drivers from Microsoft) is required to use it.

Filed under: Patches, Odds and ends, Add-Ons, Classes, Hardware

WoW Insider's SwitchBlade impressions and Q&A


A while back, we posted this video of SwitchBlade, an application designed to let you use your Xbox 360 wired controller (or wireless controller with an extra adapter for PC) with World of Warcraft. I said that I'd give the software a test run, and even though all the holidays (and our other little enterprise) has delayed things quite a bit, here are my impressions on installation and after using the program to play WoW for a few hours.

We also got a chance to chat with the VP of Business Development for Blue Orb (the company that makes SwitchBlade), Aaron Levin, about how their software works, how they're making money from this free download, and what their plans are for the future. My impressions and the Q&A start right after the jump.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Odds and ends, PvP, Features, Guides, Interviews

Playing WoW with an Xbox 360 controller via Switchblade


We've seen WoW played with a Wii controller before, but this looks like a really serious effort to get the Xbox 360 controller compatible with our favorite MMO. A company called Blue Orb Software has released an app called Switchblade, a free download that lets you use your PC-enabled Xbox 360 controller specifically to play World of Warcraft.

Why would you want to do this? Their press release cites gamers "hooked on the console experience," and so their controller will let you play WoW console style. You can see the basic settings on their site-- it looks like the left and right triggers are used as toggles, turning the four action buttons into 12, and allowing you to use any icon on one of the action bars in WoW. Probably not quite versatile enough for running PvP, but for running daily quests and grinding, it looks just crazy enough to work.

The download is available through Xfire (and it looks like you need to download Xfire to get Switchblade), and the program should work with any wired Xbox 360 controller (if you have a wireless only, you'll have to buy an extra receiver from Microsoft). I think I've got a wired controller sitting around here somewhere, so I'll give it a try and get back to you on how it works. In the meantime, someone download it, and let us know in the comments-- is it worth installing this thing to play WoW with buttons and joysticks?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tricks, How-tos, Odds and ends, News items

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