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All posts by Pippa Tshabalala: Columnist

Pippa Tshabalala: Columnist
Pippa Tshabalala is the former presenter of The Verge -- South Africa's first locally produced TV show on videogames. She has a passion for all things gaming and tech related as well as a growing collection of tattoos. Based in Johannesburg, she is currently the On-Air Producer for Comedy Central, Nickelodeon and Nicktoons. Find her @unexpectedpippa on Twitter or at unexpectedpippa.co.za.
  • 5 seriously addictive and free Android games

    We all spend an inordinately large amount of time on our phones. I won't deny that I'm a big culprit here, if I'm not answering emails or browsing social media, I'm playing games on my phone. Yes I might have a problem, but it's undoubtedly exacerbated by games such as these. They're fun and incredibly addictive! While I have used iOS devices in the past, I've stuck to five seriously playable Android games for free in this piece. Some games are free for Android and other OSes, while other OS versions may include a small fee. I've been sure to note that little detail...

  • Virtual calamities: 5 of the worst virtual reality devices ever made

    2015 has been the year of virtual reality. The Oculus Rift, Sony Project Morpheus, Google Cardboard and the HTC Vive – these are all devices that have us on the edge of our seats in anticipation. Virtual Reality (VR) is not a new concept however, it’s been around in a variety of forms for a decade or two, just perhaps not always as, er… successful as it is now. Perhaps it was the technological limitations of hardware at the time, perhaps it was a marketing and/or consumer issue, however VR simply never took off in the consumer market and has...

  • ‘The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt’ is a dense, visual masterpiece

    This is not a full review. I say this right up front because I haven't quite finished playing The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and I really don't want to be giving a definitive answer to a series that I love so much and yet I haven't played to the nth degree. Why haven’t I finished it you might ask? Well, mainly because I'm taking my time savouring absolutely every little piece of the experience. And what an experience it is. I bought the PlayStation 4 Collector's Edition of this game – the first one I've bought in a while -- and...

  • What was the best next-gen console of 2014?

    If you had asked me in January which console would be the best performing of 2014, I might have hedged my bets, but in all honesty I would have been leaning towards the PS4. Sony handled the launch of its new next-gen console a million times better than Microsoft did the Xbox One. In fact Microsoft made so many mistakes and handled the PR so poorly when launching the Xbox One, that I did wonder if they would ever recover, in much the same way that Nintendo's Wii U underperformed in terms of sales. I am absolutely and wholeheartedly pleased to...

  • 10 iOS games that got us hooked in 2014

    Although for the most part I have long moved over to Android, I do still keep an iOS device handy almost exclusively for the purpose of playing games. Impractical perhaps, but there are so many games exclusive to that platform that I would be kicking myself if I missed out on any of them. There were some pretty awesome ones released in the last year (some of these are cross platform) and you need to download them now or run the risk of being, well... just lame. I'm aware that some of these were technically released in 2013, but since they were...

  • Slated for stardom: Gearburn’s top 6 tablets for Christmas 2014

    Tablets are an indispensable part of modern day living. We use them for entertainment, for business, for pretty much everything and during the festive period, chances are they'll be one of the top tech stocking fillers this year. Although devices like the iPad are often foremost in our minds, it is certainly not the only way to go when it comes to tablets. There are plenty of devices out there that offer an experience equally as good. But with this in mind, this doesn't mean that the iPad doesn't hold an exceptionally strong position in the market. More often than not it comes...

  • PlayStation TV review-in-brief: should you buy it?

    There's quite a bit of movement in the connected TV space, and console makers are zoning in on this phenomenon. Consoles are becoming the centre of the living room and as a result, home entertainment too. So those consoles that can stretch their non-gaming legs invariably trump those that don't. I'm talking about the Xbox One here, but Sony has launched something interesting for its PlayStation range that seems to get one over on its Microsoft rival -- the PlayStation TV, or PSTV for short. Judging by the name though and in light of the integrated TV abilities of the Xbox...

  • Beyond gameplay: 10 video game cinematics that’ll give you chills

    There is nothing quite like sitting down to play a game and being greeted by the most beautiful and epic cinematic sequence. One of my earliest memories of these are the Warcraft cutscenes, specifically Warcraft III, which was one of the standards held up as the pinnacle of awesome animation in my 3D Animation course at the time. Of course since then, epic cutscenes à la Warcraft have become a staple, and if there are no amazing cutscenes that hold you in suspense, have you sitting on the edge of your seat, well then, your game better have something amazing...

  • Altech Node review: spades of potential in a little black box

    If you're a television consumer at all, you'll have seen adverts for the new Altech Node. You may even be considering getting one. In a nutshell, it's a set-top box which plugs into your TV and gives you access to a multitude of interactive content and a variety of video on demand (or VoD) such as movies and television series. If you already have DStv and therefore a satellite dish, it's a pretty simply matter of connecting your satellite cable to your Node. Since they both point at the same satellite (Intelsat-20) you can run both your DStv and Node...

  • Round 1, fight: our top 10 MAME fighting games of all time

    Depending on your gaming preferences you will either feel a slight chill of excitement when hearing the word MAME or perhaps you’ll be wrinkling your brow in confusion. My personal proclivities tend towards the former, as I have a deep and abiding love for retro games. There are times when I love nothing more than firing up an emulator and playing a game from my childhood. Yup, we’re talking old school Eighties and Nineties games played on an emulator or Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator (MAME). The emulator was first released in 1997, but it now supports over seven thousand games. Honestly, there...