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Project Spark loses Spark Time microtransactions, introduces Spark Premium

In previous versions of Project Spark, players were allotted 40 minutes of free Spark Time every day. Spark Time, despite its perky name, was limiting: you could only play user-made levels built with paid content you hadn’t purchased or features…
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Humble Mobile Bundle 4: Catan, Badland Premium, Breach & Clear

Humble Mobile Bundle 4 includes six Android games – for now – with four priced at “whatever you want,” and two for “more than the average.” The four games up for grabs are Catan, Vector, Riptide GP2 and Zombie Gunship. The two behind the average…
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Feenix Takes Gaming Audio In A Different Direction With $350 Premium Headset

The names Astro, Turtle Beach, Logitech, and Tritton are well known to any gamer that has shopped for a PC headset. Feenix’s new Aria is a departure from the designs and features we’ve seen in other products, including an approach to service that is becoming rare in any industry.

The Aria features 50mm drivers (which can generate stereo and Dolby ProLogic as well as full simulated surround sound), but the company promises that the bass isn’t over emphasized (something that typically happens with larger drivers). The acoustic chamber and outer cups are made from Japanese pine wood. 

Feenix uses memory foam for the earcups covered by leather (rather than cloth or leatherette). The microphone is also a divergence from the norm. Instead of using a boom, the Aria sports a clip-on, unidirectional microphone.

The Aria’s cable terminates in a 3.5mm headphone plug, but also comes with a larger 6.3mm stereo jack adapter and a USB adapter. In addition to the Aria, purchasers are assigned a personal account manager and lifetime support. You can pre-order the device from Feenix’s website.

 

Our Take
The Feenix Aria is aesthetically pleasing, but at $ 349, that’s not enough. The price point is at the top of the gaming headset category, and without being able to listen to game audio through them, we’re left to comment on the design choices rather than the performance.

If you’re in the market for a PC gaming headset and have money to spare, it would be worth seeking out an opportunity to try these. The wood acoustic chambers and clip-on microphone make the Aria unique among Feenix’s competitors. The return policy offers a very short window though, so if you’re taking the plunge, be ready to put them through testing as soon as you get them.

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Battlefield 4 Second Assault out now for Premium members

The Second Assault DLC for Battlefield 4 is now available on PC via Origin as well as PS4 and PS3 for Premium members, and should arrive tomorrow on Xbox 360. The DLC first launched with the game on Xbox One, and is free with the $ 50 Premium…
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Reader Discussion: What Premium Gaming Peripherals (If Any) Do You Use?

High-end video game peripherals are big business. Are there any that you insist on using?

For console gamers, the standard controller tends to be the best option, but that hasn't prevented companies from trying to make their own. Fight sticks for fighting games and flight sticks for flight games are popular, as well as fancy headsets for online communication in the age of online multiplayer.

PC gamers have even more options with fancy keyboards and high-precision weighted mice. Then there are things that don't necessarily plug into your gaming setup that still fall under the umbrella of gaming peripherals like Gunnar glasses.

I have a nice mouse that I use for both work and gaming, and I also really like the thumbpads that you can add to controller control sticks to raise them a little higher. I don't know if the latter actually makes me a better gamer, but it does make it feel a little better in my hand. What about you? Are there any premium gaming peripherals that you like to use?

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Battlefield 4 Premium double XP event today, AMD ‘Mantle’ update this month

A recently delayed Battlefield 4 double XP event for Premium members has been rescheduled. Originally supposed to take place on December 30, the new date for the event is … today. It began at 8am ET this morning and will run for a total of 58 …
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Double XP event delayed for Battlefield 4 Premium members

A double XP event for Battlefield 4 Premium members has been delayed, according to an alert posted on the Battlefield forums. Originally slated to take place yesterday, the event has been “postponed” and will “run at a later date.” Unfortunately, …
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Blog: For the holidays, the premium mobile app strikes back

Examining what he calls the “Christmas Paid Spike,” Plague, Inc. developer James Vaughan explores the reasons premium games rocket upward in sales during the holidays. …


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EA And DICE Release China Rising Map Pack For Premium Members, PS4 Patch Delayed

Battlefield 4 has had its share of problems across platforms. Despite that, EA and DICE are rolling out the first map pack. China Rising is available now for those that purchased the $ 50 Premium upgrade.

The China Rising pack includes four maps: Silk Road, with giant sand dunes; Altai Range, land and air battle for control of the mountains; Guilin Peaks, focused on close-quarter fighting in caves; and Dragon Pass, a reimagining of Battlefield 2's Dragon Valley map. The pack will be available for non-Premium members on December 17 for $ 14.99.

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Unfortunately, the news isn't all good. The promised PlayStation 4 update that was supposed to go live today has been delayed. "The PS4 game update that was originally meant to go live Dec 3 is undergoing some additional testing and will be rescheduled for a later date." DICE says. "We will get back with final details as soon as we have verification that the update is good to go."

This patch is designed to eliminate a few problems, including unintended one-hit kills, missing sound on video capture, and crashes due to having too many friends. No news is available yet on further fixes to stability and server-browser issues.

As we reported following the last patch, the game still experiences crashes and server-browser errors. For those hoping for a patch to the party system, which doesn't allow pre-game grouping, that won't be coming. According to EA and DICE, that system is working as intended.

[Source: Battlefield]

Our Take
EA and DICE had problems with Battlefield 3's launch, and it's disappointing that two years weren't enough time to developer netcode and server infrastructure that work. I do not recommend purchasing a Premium membership until the game is working properly. Don't throw good money after bad.

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Major League Gaming launches premium video streaming service

Looking to catch the Twitch wave, eSports network Major League Gaming has announced the launch of its own premium video streaming hub, MLG.TV. …


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