Rugby League, headphones and Street Fighter arcade stick,

Thursday March 30, 2006
NRL Rugby League 2 for Xbox
This brand new rugby league game will hit stores very soon for around $100.

Charles says that the commentary, grounds, players and sound in the game are all lifelike, just like a TV broadcast. Nine league host Andrew Voss even does the commentary.

An exciting feature is that players can compete against each other over the Internet using the Xbox Live service. Charles says that you can play in your lounge room against a friend on the other side of the suburb or the other side of the world.

The game boasts 'rag-doll' physics. This means that the movements, tackles and tumbles of the players appear very realistic, with animations articulating body movements very accurately.

Street Fighter arcade stick
The Street Fighter arcade stick captures the look of the old-school arcade game machines found at the corner milk bar or local arcade in the '80s.

No need to shovel 20-cent coins in here, the Street Fighter arcade stick connects to your PlayStation 2 or Xbox to bring the arcade vibe into your living room

Charles says the device has a very tough design, with large colourful buttons that are great for young kids. Because the controller works with any video game on Xbox or PlayStation 2, you can add a new dimension to your favourite games by plugging in the arcade stick.

At $149, it's a fun addition to a gamer's living room.

Noise-cancelling headphones
Charles says that noise-cancelling headphone technology continues to improve, with new products not only more effectively reducing surrounding noise, but doing so at lower prices.

The Rolls Royce of noise-cancelling headphones is the Bose model that Charles demonstrated on the show. At $600, they are at the top end of the pricing scale, however there are lower-priced alternatives starting from around $80 that give a similar result.

Charles says noise-reduction headphones are still mostly used for airplane travel, to reduce the background drone of the engines. More recently, other areas of low frequency noise have also been reduced, such as the sound of air conditioners and refrigerators. They will even help in a noisy office.

As these types of headphones use batteries, Charles says it's very important to find out what the battery life is, especially if you're going to be using them on a long international flight. A good set of headphones should operate for about 30 hours on one set of batteries.

Comfort is also extremely important, so pop a set on your head before making your purchase.

Keep watching Today for more tech talk with Charles Brown every Thursday. Catch his podcast or radio program too. Check out www.cybershack.com for more information.

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