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Big Iron: E3 2009 - The Year Hardware Yawned

Apparently, there's some big event of some sort happening in Los Angeles this week. Supposed to be a huge deal in the video game industry, something like that? Lots of news? Anyone know what all the fuss is about?

BI just keeps seeing poorly-lit phone-cam pictures of hotel rooms from Callaham's Twitter feed and snarky IM's from our head honcho about how long the line at Starbucks is.

Why, yes, BI wasn't able to make it to the E3 party (apologies to the fine folks at $Unspecified_Vendor, at whose party we were not able to cause chaos the likes of which would be spoken of in hushed tones for decades to come; maybe next year). Truthfully, we're not actually bitter about it. Given the flood of news that's been coming from this year's edition of the expo, hardware, especially for anyone not using a console and/or prone to waving things around, seems to be pretty much an afterthought.

Well, there was a particularly festive flight sim joystick. Thank you, Logitech.
Quick, name the last really big news in PC gaming hardware that wasn't the i7.

We'll wait.

As far as upcoming hardware toys, there just isn't a whole lot of buzz, either. The Alienware M17x laptop does look very, very interesting -- featuring a pair of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 280M GPUs SLI to create what Alienware touts as the "Universe's most powerful laptop computer." Frankly, BI thinks the Tribbles are probably kicking octuple-SLI ultraportables, but they haven't returned our calls.

Beyond the bragging-rights level graphics, the M17x rap sheet does contain a few rather festive line items, including an optional Intel C2Q Mobile CPU (factory-overclocked), up to 8GB DDR3 @ 1333MHz, and either a 1TB 7200RPM mechanical HDD or 512GB worth of SSD (in RAID 0). To make use of the extra graphics horsepower, there's an optional screen sporting WUXGA 1200p (1920 x 1200) resolution.

As a longtime laptop hater, this is the sort of parts list that, well, begins to give us doubts. Currently slated for a September debut, we hope to have one of these to abuse here in our orbital lab a later this summer.

We will give them this, as well -- the new logo is quite sufficiently bad-ass.

And, really, that's all E3 has thrown at us PC folks, hardware-wise. Nintendo is making waves with movement-tracking games for the DS, as well as EA Active for the Wii, and the "there's an app for that" iPhone gang has turned their favorite toy into a self-activated AIM HERE device (okay, not really; it's a GPS app for joggers to track their route and performance).


No, that is _not_ his hair. Rafe Brox spends his days wielding a phone in one hand and a screwdriver in the other. When not causing friends and enemies alike to /facepalm electronically, he can be found extolling the virtues of the weird peripherals in his life, from kettlebells to the Trackman Wheel. Those of you wishing to inflict or solicit hardware and gaming geekery in person can catch him volunteering at Dragon*Con. If you also share an unhealthy passion for PC hardware or know a good place he can get help for this addiction, the target coordinates are rafe.brox AT weblogsinc DOT com.

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