Winter CES 1996

Picture depicting the improvement in polygon circles by the new 3-D accelerators.

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Diamond's Edge 3D Board (left), Virtua Fighter Remix for the PC (right)

3-D is the name of the game anymore, and the new 3-D accelerators for PC's are becoming very popular. The two leaders are Creative Lab's 3-D Blaster, and Diamond Multi-media's Edge 3-D. With the support of Sega already, Sony announced that they will be supporting the 3-D accelerators with the new games that they will be dual releasing on the PlayStation and PC CD-ROM. However, their are multiple accelerators around already -- and not all will be supported. Although Creative Labs has a big name for standards, their card stands a good chance of not receiving the support from companies looking for performance. This is one of the cards that will not be supported by Sony ... Simply because "[the Glint chip set] is too slow." The Creative card uses the old Glint chip set, and is not available for the PCI bus architecture. Diamond's Nvidia chip set, however, has lots of support coming, and I expect to see most games supporting it in the future.

Microsoft will also be one of the driving forces in 3-D support. Microsoft's DirectX for Windows95 is leading the game development frenzy, and the developers are waiting for the Microsoft Direct 3-D engine which will standardize 3-D support. The only drawback to this is a rumored further delay in Direct 3-D to August.

US Robotics has a new modem that should interest gamers everywhere. Their new Voice Data modems allow you to connect to your friend at a 28.8, and still talk voice on the same line. Nothing like taunting your friend as you pump him full of lead in a Doom battle. Several other companies also had simultaneous voice modems which promises to keep prices down.

The new Aura speaker cushion

Remember Aura, the guys behind the pounding chest speaker? They're back with some nice new models. One is a unit that bolts to the floor and promises to shake everything to pieces designed for theatre use, and a new "speaker cushion" even the deaf will get great enjoyment by feeling the music.

The Memorex name comes to PC gaming, with N.TK distribution

The large Memorex name will be used to sell rebundled software at discount rates through the new distribution company N.TK. Most software will be released at $7.95 a title, or $14.95 for a pack of three titles.

New SpaceBall 3D joystick for the PC, and console systems.
Spacetec IMC released a new version of their Spaceball Avenger joystick, which gives you six directions of freedom of control, making games like Decent very easy to use. The new controller, SpaceBall Avenger II, will be out immediately for the PC and mid 1996 for the 32-bit and 64-bit console systems.

CatFight for the PC

Atlantean Interactive Games is taking a step forward in female fighting games with Cat Fight. This game features some of the most gory fighting sequences that you've ever seen.

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NCAA Championship Basketball on the PC

GTE Entertainment is bringing NCAA Championship Basketball to the PC. The graphics look excellent, and 64 NCAA Division 1 teams and home court arenas are featured. The game will also support modem play.

The CES show rounded out with an indcredible demonstration of DVD -- the new CD-ROM video format that promises to store 8.5 GB on a CD, and include some pretty incredible video compression engines. With Sony, Matsushita, Toshiba, and other big names (55 in all) supporting this new format, it will be something to watch in the near future.

Even if CES wasn't what it was before, Game Zero will still be bringing you the latest, most accurate video gaming news anywhere -- so stay tuned! Until later, this is the Ferrari Man signing off.

Go to the third part of our WCES coverage

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