In today's news roundup:

  • ARM is claiming that the new version of its Mail GPU which is expected to make its debut in 18 months time will reportedly boast performance levels that make it ideal for use in full-sized video game consoles like the Xbox and the PlayStation;
  • Intel has introduced a new processor for use in notebooks, and it comes in the form of an entry-level, ultra-low voltage, Celeron-branded processor known as the M 857;
  • Word has it that the "awesome" announcement which Facebook is intending to make this week will be centered around a possible partnership with Skype that will see the world's mosy popular online social networking website bringing video chat functionality to its users;
  • In what must be an extremely unusual move for a proprietary software developer like Microsoft, the Redmond giant has announced that it will be open-sourcing the code which it uses to collect WiFi access point data so that users can rest assured that the company has not been snooping on its consumers' right to privacy;
  • Sony Computer Entertainment has announced that the Japanese PlayStation Network will resume services on July 6 together with Qriocity services, and
  • Aksys Games has claimed that it plans to release the Japanese RPG game known as Fate/Extra, which is a traditional dungeon-crawler set in the same mystical-high-school universe as the visual novel Fate/stay night , for the PSP in North America later this year, 

Hardware news

3R System L-900 V.REX F8 PC Case Review @ Real World Labs
Description: Although the latest L-900 V.REX F8 midi tower by 3R System features the same noise killer 2 anti-vibration 3.5inch drive cage as its larger brothers, space for graphics cards up to 280mm in length and can be outfitted with a total of eight 120mm fans its best feature is its extremely tempting price tag.

ASUS ENGT 440 Review @ ocaholic
Description: With the ENGT440 ASUS has NVIDIA's low end product in its portfolio that is a bit faster than the GT 440 and comes with ASUS' own PCB design. This card is based on Fermi's architecture which has been fully reworked for the entry level. Nevertheless we're curious how this thing will perform in our benchmark parcours.

AMD A8-3850 (Llano) APU Video Performance Examined
Description: The other day when we saw the A-Series APU launch from AMD we had in depth look at the A8-3850 APU while also covering the new chipset associated with it. If you haven't already looked at it, I recommend you do head on over and check out our launch Llano coverage. As we mentioned in the launch, though, the video performance of the new A-Series APU is so important that we wanted to do more than just give you a benchmark or two and leave it at that. Instead, we wanted to do a large dedicated article on it which will help us finally wrap up our final thoughts not just on the A8-3850, but the Llano platform on a whole.

Super Flower Golden King Platinum 550W @ Hardwareoverclock.com
Description: Hardwareoverclock.com has just posted another PSU review. Last week we have taken a look at the Super Flower Golden King Platinum 550W. The Golden King is one of the first power supplies with the Platinum Certification, 90% 92% 89% Efficiency.

ARM aims at consoles
Description: Chipmaker ARM is has told the Inquirer that a new Mali GPU design due out in 18 months will be ideal for console graphics on mobiles.

Intel updates its CPU offer, adds ultra-low voltage Celeron 857
Description: July has started pretty slow in terms of Intel processor releases as the Santa Clara-based company only introduced one new chip yesterday, an entry-level ultra-low voltage model for mobile PCs called Celeron M 857.


Consumer Electronics and Software news

Creative Sound Blaster Tactic3D Sigma Review @ Vortez
Description: Creative have been strong name within the world of audio for over 20 years. The Sound Blaster brand has an extensive portfolio of products within it – spanning many years and achieving the highest of accolades. Anyone within the community that hasn’t heard of Sound Blaster is spending too much time on their Mac. Creative’s most recent product launch under the Sound Blaster brand is the Tactic3D headset.

Facebook reportedly taking Skype relationship further with video chat
Description: It looks like that “awesome” announcement next week by Facebook won’t be about an iPad app or an HTML5 platform. TechCrunch is reporting that Facebook will announce next week that it will be partnering with Skype to bring video chat to its users.

Virgin America and Google offer Chromebook 'test flights'
Description: In an effort to educate the masses about its new portable computing platform, Google has struck a deal with Virgin America that will see Chromebooks trialled by passengers on selected flights in the U.S.

Microsoft open sources code to calm WiFi snooping fears
Description: Proprietary software developer Microsoft has taken the unusual step of open sourcing code that it uses to collect WiFi access point data in a bid to calm privacy fears.

A.C.Ryan PlayON!HD 2 FullHD Network Media Player Review @ Real World Labs
Description: The latest PlayON!HD 2 FullHD Network Media Player by A.C.Ryan is the way to go for anyone out to buy an medium sized unit with a list of impressive features such as USB 3.0 to PC connection, 3.5inch EZ Drive tray, card reader, support for almost every available media format and the most user friendly GUI in the market.

Zune Originals shut down, humans revert to being average and uncreative
Description: Hard to believe that Microsoft's been offering consumers the ability to customize their Zune purchases for the better part of four years now, but as they say, all unbelievable things must one day face reality. Er, something to that effect. Without so much as a heads-up, the designers in Redmond have apparently decided to shutter the Zune Originals storefront. As of this weekend, no new orders for highly personalized Zunes are being taken, with interested Earthlings encouraged to throw creativity to the wind and opt for a mass produced alternative within Best Buy or Walmart…


Gaming news

Japanese PlayStation Store To Return This Week
Description: Japanese PlayStation Store was left out in the cold while other countries in different regions have been restored their various online capabilities. Now, there is good news. Sony Computer Entertainment has announced that the Japanese PlayStation Network will resume services on July 6 together with Qriocity services.

Japan's Fate/Extra fights its way to North America
Description: Aksys Games is stepping up to publish Japanese RPG Fate/Extra on PSP in North America later this year, following previous publisher Marvelous Entertainment's announcement it would be cutting costs in 2011. Fate/Extra is a traditional dungeon-crawler set in the same mystical-high-school universe as the visual novel Fate/stay night, both from developer Type-Moon.