Computer Graphics World

September/October 2013

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Wacom Offers Devices Maxon Updates Cinema 4D to R15 Maxon is now offering its Cinema 4D Release 15 (R15), a milestone release of its flagship 3D motion graphics, visual effects, painting, and rendering software application. R15 is marked by new features and 3D workflow enhancements to modeling, text creation, digital sculpting, and advanced rendering optimization, including all-new network rendering. Customers with an active Maxon Service Agreement (MSA) that was valid through September 3, 2013 will receive an automatic upgrade. Release 15 is available for both Mac OS X and Windows.  During the past several weeks, Wacom has unveiled new offerings and capabilities to its product line. The Bamboo Pad is Wacom's latest solution for adding navigation gestures as well as drawing and handwriting capabilities to a typical, everyday PC or Mac. Once plugged into any Windows 8 (or Windows 7) operated laptop or desktop computer, Bamboo Pad delivers a more natural navigation experience to the user. Bamboo Pad wireless ($79) and wired ($49) models will ship soon.  Also, Wacom extended the creative experience from the desktop to a mobile environment with the new Cintiq Companion line of tablets. The Cintiq Companion runs Windows 8 and full versions of creative software, while the Cintiq Companion Hybrid is a traditional Cintiq when plugged into a Mac or PC, but when used as a mobile device, works as a stand-alone Android tablet for light sketching and creative processes with suitable apps. The Cintiq Companion Hybrid models are priced at $1,499 for the 16gb and $1,599 for the 32gb. The Cintiq Companion models are offered at $1,999 for the Windows 8 with 256gb SSD and $2,499 for the Windows 8 Pro with 512gb SSD. The Cintiq Companion models are scheduled to appear at the Wacom eStore in October. Global PC Gaming Hardware Sales Shrug Off Decline In a challenged PC market, one user group is standing firm against the winds of change blowing many casual computer users to the "good enough" mindset behind sales of tablets and cloud computing devices: PC gamers.  PC gamers continue to buy and build with a fervency that could be compared to motorcycle, 4X4, and sports car enthusiasts – always looking for more speed, power, utility, and handling. Jon Peddie, president of JPR, says, "Not only is gaming becoming an even more important purchasing influence of PC sales due to the offloading of more basic functionality to smart devices, but we are forecasting growth in the most expensive discrete graphics products. We are also impressed with the embedded graphics offerings this generation and going forward. " Ted Pollak, senior gaming analyst at JPR, says, "The effect that key titles have on hardware sales is phenomenal. Enthusiast PC gamers embrace content creation and modding, so when titles like Bohemia Interactive's ARMA 3 are in the pipeline, we start to see anticipatory hardware sales. In fact, we are estimating over $800 million of PC builds influenced primarily by this title. A major component of this situation is that many games are placing increasing demands on the CPU. The result is that swapping out the graphics add-in board is not enough this time around and gamers are building (and ordering) overclocked PCs from the ground up. " JPR believes that PCs have an advantage for casual gaming as X86 tablets expand the market, and new powerful CPUs with built-in graphics have opened the door to the living room. On the high end of the spectrum, nothing can surpass PCs at this point in time because they can run ultra-high-resolution graphics better than any other platform. Because consoles have display restrictions and forgiving couch-based control input, they just can't compete with the PC's precision and power. "The Worldwide PC Gaming Hardware Market" report series by Jon Peddie Research covers 33 countries, notebooks, desktops, DIY, and accessories, and comes in three versions: Enthusiast, Performance, and Mainstream, with each version selling for $7 ,500 and the set of three for $15,000. C G W S e p t e mb e r / O c t o b er 2 013 ■ 5

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