Sunday, December 27, 2009

GameHopper’s exclusive Arcade Stick sneak-peek part 1

GameHopper has been around in the Metro for quite awhile, letting players rent games for consoles, being a sort of local-version of US’ own GameFly.  Now GameHopper sets to redefine themselves again by releasing their own line of console accessories for gamers.

I was lucky enough to get a sneak peek of what they’ve been cookin behind the scenes; an exclusive Arcade Stick that’s custom-tailored for hardcore fighting game players out there. The unit I got to try out was a prototype for the PS3, but I’m extremely impressed nonetheless.



Here are some shots of the arcade stick itself.


The arcade stick upclose. Very nice touch really.


And here it is in action, sitting on my friend’s lap.

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And here’s a size comparison of the arcade stick with a 360 gamedisc box.

GameHopper’s exclusive Arcade Stick sneak-peek. part 2

The arcade stick itself was designed by a Street-Fighter enthusiast, who wants to get the same feel and response as that of the arcades. In his quest of finding the perfect arcade stick for his console, and after buying and trying literally everything there is in the market, he simply got fed up, and decided to make his OWN arcade stick.

According to the GameHopper rep I talked to, the creator of the arcade stick was such an enthusiast, that he researched the best possible button layouts, parts, plus adding his own tweaks to the design. And just like in the arcade, he wanted his arcade stick to be able to withstand great amounts of abuse from playing.

On my playtest, the GameHopper rep actually ENCOURAGED me to bang the product as bad as I can. He was that confident it wouldn’t tear off or break that easily. After almost 30-40 rounds of playing my impression of the arcade stick was nothing short but phenomenal. The arcade stick literally FEELS just as responsive and just as great as in the arcades itself. It’s that good!


The select, PS button, Start buttons are within reach and quite accessible, however the GameHopper rep told me that the designer plans to modify the button placement of those 3 and assign them to the side to avoid them being accidentally pressed during heated matches (which ironically happened on my playtest)


The face buttons are evenly placed, and is VERY RESPONSIVE. You won’t be having problems with these babies when the going gets tough.


Here’s a size comparison to a five peso coin.


And here’s the Mode & Turbo buttons on the top side of the box. Not too obtrusive, and can be accessed easily.

The unit itself is quite sturdy, and won’t move or budge when you set it down on a table and bang on it. Thus removes the need for suction cups or adhesives to ensure that the stick won’t move when you play.

The GameHopper rep told me that they will be redesigning the pad and give it a more sleeker faceplace and make the button labels easily readable, as well as other enhancements to make it even more better.

Overall, I must say I’m pretty impressed with GameHopper’s offering and I simply can’t wait to get my hands on the final design before it launches next year.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Polaroid A544 Review

You wanna own a digital camera, but you’re tight on budget? You want something that’s relatively inexpensive, but isn’t one of those cheapo brands that will breakdown easily? Well look no further, as I present to you, the Polaroid A544 Digital Camera:


For only Php 2,995 pesos you can get a 5MP (Megapixel) digicam that’s fairly capable in taking those everyday shots, and feels very well built for everyday use. I found these on sale as I was shopping at SM Sucat. I saw this on Picture City.


Well since this is my first review, I decided to review this little snazzy digicam for 2 reasons:

  1. I still can’t find any reviews for this particular Polaroid digicam model.
  2. And this is my first digicam that I personally bought for myself. (Not that I haven’t used other digicams in the past)

First off, I’m sure that some of you may recognize the brand Polaroid, but for those who don’t here’s a quick intro about the brand: Polaroid is known as the pioneer of the “instant photo” cameras where pictures are immediately printed from the camera itself right after being taken. It was wildly popular back in the day, and there are still some avid fans of the brand until now.

So anyway let’s move on with the review. Here’s my unboxing of the said unit:


The box definitely shows the key features of the product up front. Simple & clean.


As soon as you open the box, the camera sits right in the middle ready for you to use.


And here we have the contents of the package; the Polaroid A544 camera, a 2GB SD card, USB cable, User-manual with Warranty card (upto 1 year service warranty), Drivers CD with additional photo editing software & 2x AAA batteries (its already inside my camera)


Here’s the camera upfront. Not bad considering the price range. The build feels good & sturdy, while the overall weight of the camera is very light (with batteries included).


Here’s the camera’s back. It hosts a modest 2.5” LCD screen, and easy to use menu buttons. Fairly easy to use really.


The camera’s side. Hosts the USB slot, as well as lens focus.


The top part of the camera. Hosts the power button on the left, and the shutter button on the right.


And on the bottom part of the camera, it features the battery compartment door on the left, SD card slot in the middle, and a tripod slot on the right.

Here’s some quick specs of the said unit:

  • 5.0 MP (megapixel) resolution
  • 2.4” bright LCD display
  • 8X digital zoom
  • 32MB internal memory
  • SD card slot
  • USB slot (plug-and-play)
  • Uses 2x AAA batteries

And here are some of the features:

  • Captures 5MP still-pictures (saves them in JPEG format)
  • Takes video clips in AVI (upto a max of 1 hour running per clip)
  • SD/SDHC compatible (upto 16GB SDHC expandable memory)
  • Auto white balance settings
  • Electronic self-timer (perfect if you want to include yourself in a photo shoot)
  • Red-eye reduction & Auto fill flash
  • PictBridge compatible
  • PC & Mac compatible (plug-and-play)

It may not have the bells & whistles of other well-known digicams, but definitely not bad for the price. Now as for camera itself, its designed with simplicity in mind. This in turn may turn-off photography junkies out there, but for the average dude who’s on a budget; this is a definite winner. Here are some sample pics taken from my unit:









Crisp and clear, not bad if you ask me.

Now as for battery life, well it may get easily worn out within a day. Since it does use 2x AAA batteries, unlike those other rechargeable models out there, that can be a big drawback for some. I would highly suggest that you get rechargeable batteries as soon as you can for this as it does eat batteries easily.

Another problem I would have about the camera is that sometimes, pictures do come blurry. I dunno if that’s because I’m a lousy photographer, but still its not as “point and shoot” as I expect it to be.


  • The price. You got so much for such an amazingly low-price.
  • Easy to use controls. Its one of the easiest to use digicams I’ve tried.
  • Light, yet decently sturdy build.
  • Plug & play connectivity. For both PC & Mac.


  • Easily drains up 2x AAA batteries. Rechargeable batteries is highly recommended.
  • Pictures can sometimes be blurry, specially if you don’t focus well. Not exactly as “point and shoot” as I expected.


If you’re a newbie to digital photography and you simply want a decent digicam camera to get your hands on that wouldn’t hurt your budget, you can’t go wrong with the Polaroid A544.