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Gaming:The WTF World of Wikipedia - 15 unbelievable "tr in Business and Industry in Gaming, Media, Web, IT and Computing
You. Your friends and family. Your classmates and coworkers. In thebrave new world of the internet, everybody has power. Information isinteractive, knowledge is collaborative and history is open source. Thenerdy kid next door has just as much influence as a high schoolteacher; the dorky dude at the comic book shop has just as much voiceas a college professor.
Problem is, the nerds and dorks tend to have a lot morefree time - and passion - than the teachers and professors. The endresult? A hilariously skewed, terrifyingly twisted view of the world inwhich all the wrong things are deemed "important" and worthy of seriousacademic discussion.
Here are 15 mind-boggling examples.

See what we mean? When the deadliest, costliest war in the history of mankind has been trumped by a videogame franchise about that war,you know something's off. One involved over 50 countries and took over70 million lives; the other involves button mashing and tea bagging.
On an encouraging note, we did have to add all the Call of Dutygames' individual pages together to reach the crazy number above. On adiscouraging note, we didn't have to add Call of Duty 4 and itsnon-WWII setting, which would have brought the total word count to aneven crazier 18,927.
Oh, and on a simply ridiculous note? Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare beats "modern warfare"... 5,858 to 2,873.
Also less important than Call of Duty!
American Revolutionary War = 8,078
American Civil War = 11,729
English Civil War = 8,030
Napoleonic Wars = 7,951
Hundred Years' War = 7,992
War on Terrorism = 10,674
War on Drugs = 7,628
Cold War = 10,117
• "War" = 9,233
While the magic menagerie of super-powered, frilly-maned, sparkly-eyed, rosy-cheeked wonder beasts might make for slightly more exciting cards than a Three of Spades, the emphasis here is still extremely wonky.
Poker has been around for longer than anyone can remember... the Pokemon Trading Card Game was invented in 1996. Poker has created millionaires and forced bankruptcy... the Pokemon Trading Card Game might have resulted in some lost lunch money and a temper tantrum or two.
Also less important than Pokemon Trading Cards!
Baseball cards = 4,686
Blackjack = 5,228
Roulette = 5,492
Checkers = 2,326
Pool (Billiards) = 621
Bowling = 407
Wheel of Fortune = 4,521
• "Trade" = 3,038
• "Games" = 2,830

Before you get the wrong impression, no, the Master Chief does not win in a Wikipedia matchup against George W. Bush... though his approval ratings are undoubtedly higher.
The truly astounding thing, however, is that he does emerge victorious against not one, not two, but TENof this country's past commanders in chief. Yes, 23% of the men whohelped make the United States the strongest nation on Earth are easilydefeated by a fictional and faceless videogame character who barelyknows how to speak and takes orders from a naked hologram. Go America!
The orange word count above is an average taken from the USPresidents beaten by the Master Chief. Here's the full, patheticbreakdown:
Leaders of the Free World less important than Master Chief!
James Monroe = 2,820
(5th President)
John Quincy Adams = 3,457
(6th President)
John Tyler = 3,431
(10th President)
Zachary Taylor = 2,235
(12th President)
Millard Fillmore = 3,631
(13th President)
Franklin Pierce = 4,203
(14th President)
James Buchanan = 3,888
(15th President)
Rutherford B. Hayes = 2,686
(19th President)
James A. Garfield = 3,915
(20th President)
Chester A. Arthur = 3,078
(21st President)
          
                   
     


In the future, when Captain Kirk is battling tribbles and Data islearning how to love, this lopsided comparison will make completesense. Why wouldn't the entries for the glorious Starship Enterprise dwarf that for a dusty museum piece like the automobile? We expect the pages for hoverboards, robot maids, personal time machines and giant laser death rays to do the same.

For the present, though, why does a make-believe spaceship deserve more words than the planet's principal mode oftransportation? Also, why does that make-believe space ship deserve noless than nine separate pages, including unique entries for six different models of the NCC-1701? Seriously?!

Also less important than the Starship Enterprise!

Planes = 5,132
Trains = 2,850
Boats = 1,884
Bicycles = 5,112
Motorcycles = 5,446
Shoes = 3,241
Lunar rovers = 1,844
Space shuttles = 6,217
Space stations = 1,830
Outer space = 3,000







You think Hideo Kojima's cut scenes are long? Try reading Leo Tolstoy's epic tome. War and Peace waspublished in four books over five years, covers nearly a decade ofhistory and includes more than 1,400 pages, more than 560,000 words andmore than 3 million characters. It's generally considered one of thelongest novels - hell, one of the longest things - of all time.

Somehow, though, the writers on Wikipedia managed to summarize thewhole plot in 1,922 words. Well done! Now we'd be really impressed ifyou guys could squeeze the plot of a single damn videogame - even therambling old man that is Metal Gear Solid 4 - into less than 2,548 words.

The top numbers (in orange) are for the entire entries.The numbers in the preceding paragraph, as well as the list below, arefor the subsections entitled "plot," "story," or "synopsis."

Also less important than Metal Gear Solid 4!
(by plot, story or synopsis)


Romeo and Juliet = 770
Hamlet = 780
Moby Dick = 845
Of Mice and Men = 288
A Tale of Two Cities = 1,341
Atlas Shrugged = 673
The Hobbit = 465
Citizen Kane = 430
Casablanca = 834
Chinatown = 854







We won't get jealous and play the competition card here. EGM isimportant, a veritable titan of the industry with a massive and devotedfollowing. Many of us here at GamesRadar include ourselves in that camp.

But come on... do the latest screenshots of Chun-Li'sthighs really carry more weight than the 2008 election? Do you reallyneed to know the review score for Turok more than you need to know thereasons for the recession? Is the dropping price of the PS3 morecritical than the rising price of gasoline?

Yes, Electronic Gaming Monthly - and any videogame publication - is totally worthy of 4,429 words. We just wish that Time and other vital news sources received the same attention.

Also less important than EGM!

Newsweek = 1,393
USA Today = 2,685
National Geographic = 1,949
The New Yorker = 3,874
The Washington Post = 2,449
CNN = 4,281
Fox News = 3,758
• "Magazines" = 842
• "Newspapers" = 3,537
GamesRadar = 201







We love, love, love the soundtracks to Final Fantasy... but someone put way, way, way too much effort into this Wikipedia page. The intro alone is nearly 700 words, lengthier than the entries for many singers, bands and genres. Rock and roll, the biggest genre of them all, doesn't stand a chance.

Of course, the vastness of the web was made to hold such exceedinglyniche minutiae, but even the fan who owns all of these compilationalbums probably agrees that they could have fit onto the page forgeneral Final Fantasy music. Unless that fan is the one who wrote this obsessive love letter to begin with...

Also less important than obscure Final Fantasy music!

Beethoven = 6,268
Mozart = 6,331
Frank Sinatra = 5,743
Kelly Clarkson = 5,849
Amy Winehouse = 7,269
Rihanna = 2,977
Kanye West = 4,713
Jay-Z = 6,658
Nirvana = 4,157
Radiohead = 6,495



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Jeffrey Dahmer was a cannibal, Charles Manson was a deranged cultleader and John Wayne Gacy, worst of all, dressed up like a friggin'clown. Yet the complete list of these horrible, horrible murderers -together with dozens of depraved others - is apparently about 3,000words less significant than the list of Maverick boss characters in the Mega Man X series.

And that's compared to the list of serial killers by country. Look up the list of serial killers by number of victims andthe difference grows to 6,000. Go ahead and add the two lists togetherif you want - at 8,000 words total, they still fall short of the sheerterror and infamy inspired by Cyber Peacock, Blizzard Buffalo,Overdrive Ostrich and Armored Armadillo. Ooh, we're getting chills justthinking about them!


Above: The true face of evil







Let's be honest. Who doesn't love Gardulla the Hut? Who didn't havea poster of Cole Fardreamer or Elan Sleazebaggano hanging on theirbedroom wall as a kid? Who wouldn't beg their parents to buy them thatKlaatu action figure for the holidays?

Qwi Xux, Plo Koon, 2-1B, Chief Chirpa, Yarna D'al Gargan, BaronSoontir Fel, Meewalh, Oola, Commander Cody, Baron Soontir Fel, TraskUlgo, Gartogg, Wam "Blam" Lufba and, of course, little Windy... all ofthem are forever entwined in our dreams and imaginations.

Clearly, the list of minor characters in the Star Wars universe should be seven times as large as the page on the Founding Fathers of the United States. Clearly.

Also more important than the Founding Fathers!

Minor Star Wars droids = 10,105
Minor Star Wars villains = 9,648
Minor Star Wars bounty hunters = 5,236
Minor Sonic the Hedgehog characters = 12,595
Minor Mortal Kombat characters = 6,286
Minor StarCraft characters = 5,640
Minor One Piece characters = 17,446
Minor Sailor Moon characters = 7,251
Minor Gundam Wing mobile suits = 3,584
Minor recurring characters in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine = 5,097

Heed our warning - Wikipedia is only the beginning. Soon, textbookswill have entire chapters devoted to fairies and fishmen. Languagestudents will learn Goron instead of Greek. History class will forgothe Romans for the Rito, while anthropology discards the Spanish andSwedish for the Subrosians and Skull Kids.

Nonsense, you say? Tell that to the 730 million residents of Europe, whose deep and diverse ethnic backgrounds just got pwned by a bunch of elves, gnomes, talking twigs, golden frogs and mutant chickens.
Oh yeah, and Tingle.

Also more important than the population of Europe!

Elder Scroll races = 8,489
Pokemon types = 4,362
Final Fantasy monsters = 6,637
Halo aliens = 5,478
Middle-earth orcs = 4,845
Fictional cats = 10,248
Fictional dragons = 8,651
(there are non-fictional dragons?)





No surprises here. After all, Superman (10,641 words) has been known to survive a nuclear explosion... inside his own ass. And Batman (10,818 words) invented his own damn brand of shark repellent Bat spray!

Obviously, these guys are far superior to the rest of us. End of discussion.



Above: Holy sardine!






Both the fictional Umbrella Corporation and the real world National Human Genome Research Institute studythe mysteries of genetics. Both engage in the cutting edge field ofbiomedical engineering. Both are located in small towns. Both haveseemingly harmless, yet somehow creepy names. Both have seeminglyvague, yet somehow menacing logos.

Wait a second - are these two organizations actuallyone and the same?! Has Umbrella been a front all along, a clever ployto distract us from the true zombie overlords? We knew that tiny word count seemed suspicious...


Above: Oh shit.






According to Wikipedia, Kirby is "a small, pink, spherical creature with large red feet."

Exactly. Done. Enough said. Oh, if only that were the case...instead, that is merely the first sentence of a 1,512 word subsectionentitled Characteristics, which goes on to describe - in disturbinglydetailed sub-subsections - the Personality, Abilities and Species of Kirby. Yes, species.

The dog hasan overall longer page, sure, but the fact that Kirby's"characteristics" actually overcome those of man's best friend isabsolutely insane. They shouldn't even be close.








                              

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    
                    
               
          
          
          
                   
            


As expected, Jesus whoops Mario byquite a large margin in total Wikipedia word count. In a miraculousturn of events, however, Mario's Legacy section is actually longer thanJesus' Legacy. Yes, you heard right - a pixelated plumber is consideredto have had a bigger impact on the world than the central figure ofChristianity and, to some, the physical embodiment of God. Wow.

Then again... Jesus can walk on water and heal the sick,but Mario can shoot fireballs out of his hands and turn into a raccoon.Jesus has an awesome beard, but Mario's got a super sweet mustache.Jesus ushered in much of modern religion, but Mario ushered in much ofmodern gaming. Both can come back from the dead, though to be fair,Jesus only did that once.

Dunno, seems like a tie to us





Also less important than Mario's legacy!


Albert Einstein's legacy = 153• John F. Kennedy's legacy = 436• Susan B. Anthony's legacy = 252• Princess Diana's legacy = 196• The Wright brothers' legacy = 175• Mother Teresa's influence in the world = 117






At last, we reach the ultimate showdown. In this corner, we have God, who Wikipedia describes as:

"... the principal or sole deity in religion..."
"...the creator and overseer of the universe..."
"... omnipotent and eternal..."
"... the source of all moral obligation, and the greatest conceivable being existent..."

His opponent? Knuckles of Sonic the Hedgehog fame, who Wikipedia describes as:

"... a red, teenage, anthropomorphic echidna..."
"... the fourth most popular character in the series..."
"... shy around girls..."

And, uh, yeah. How did this guy beat God by more than 4,000 words again? Well, to reach Knuckles' number, we did have to add two pages together, one for his game character and one for his comic character. To level the playing field, we should probably give God the Bible or something, right? Of course, we'll also have to give Knuckles his comic books and two videogames (Knuckles Chaotix and Sonic & Knuckles) to keep things even...




Damn! Sorry God - you lose again. Looks like we have a new omnipotentoverseer in the universe... or at least in the strange, silly, scaryand seriously skewed universe that is Wikipedia.
Posted by Editorial Team Mon Jul 14, 2008 12:21 pm
30 Most Anticipated Games of E3 in Gaming
30. Rise of the Argonauts (PS3, X360, PS3)
Publisher: Codemasters
Developer: Liquid Entertainment
Est. Release Date: Sep 2008
Officially Announced for E3: Yes

Anaction RPG that promises to be way more action than RPG, Rise of theArgonauts has a winning mythological premise and lots of little designtouches that keep the game looking fresh. Take the Argo—the ship oflegend will act as a seafaring headquarters from which your recruitedArgonauts will provide support. There is also a “deed” system that willincrease Jason’s abilities via the acquisition of Xbox LiveAchievement-like trophies. So it’s bursting with interesting ideas, andit’s all running on the reliable Unreal Engine 3—this could be thesleeper hit of the year.


29. High School Musical 3: Senior Year Dance (PC, Wii, PS2, NDS, X360)
Publisher: Disney Interactive
Developer: TBA
Est. Release Date: Holiday 2008
Officially Announced for E3: Yes

Considerthis your representative sample of licensed games that promise to sellgangbusters regardless of quality or media reaction. And High SchoolMusical 3 is likely to be the biggest game of its breed this year: themovie of the same name is the first time this children’s blockbusterfranchise will see a theatrical release, meaning the marketing for theproperty is likely to be even more inescapable than usual. Beyond theusual niceties of rhythm games—coop and competitive modes, mechanicsspecific to each system’s control scheme—it will have the songs fromHigh School Musical movies past and present. That last one is almostcertainly the only feature the game needs to add another million insales to the franchise’s life-to-date count.

28. Borderlands (PC, X360, PS3)
Publisher: 2K Games
Developer: Gearbox Software
Est. Release Date: 2009
Officially Announced for E3: Yes

Capabledeveloper Gearbox has never swung for the fences with quite as muchgusto as with Borderlands. The fact that the game is original IP isn’teven the half of it—it also promises a procedural item creation systemthat will provide this sci-fi first-person shooter over half a millionweapons. If that’s not enough, Borderlands also shares some ambitionswith big-budget role playing games: the world will be expansive,character growth and classes comes standard, and missions and sidequests will populate the landscape. Borderlands has all the earmarks ofa breakout hit, and its scope should easily take the breath away fromboth shooter and science fiction fans.

27. Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe (X360, PS3)
Publisher: Midway
Developer: Midway
Est. Release Date: Holiday 2008
Officially Announced for E3: Yes

Goingon the title alone, Mortal Kombat Vs DC Universe feels a decade late,like it should have been slugging it out with Marvel Vs Capcom for thequarters of 90s teenagers. But it’s actually a better idea,commercially, in 2008—now the game can ride the tide of successfulcomic book film blockbusters. It can pull from the years of soliddesign work and franchise reputation rebuilding that culminated inMortal Kombat: Armageddon. And with an anticipated ESRB rating of T forTeen, there’re no retail hurdles to keep the adolescent maledemographic from eating this up with a spoon.

26. S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky (PC)
Publisher: Deep Silver
Developer: GSC Game World
Est. Release Date: Aug 29, 2008
Officially Announced for E3: Yes

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.:Shadow of Chernobyl was hardly the biggest first-person shooter of 2007in the west. But it posted platinum-level sales in Eastern Europe,where its freeform gameplay and mythos steeped in Russia’s uniquescience fiction struck a strong chord. With little similar competitionin the region, its sequel Clear Sky should do well for itself therealso. Which isn’t to say the rest of the world shouldn’t (or won’t)give it a go as well—Clear Sky will add a tactical, squad-based turfwar to the already eccentric proceedings, and should be just as curiousand interesting a beast as its predecessor.

25. Star Wars: The Force Unleashed (PS3, X360, Wii, PS2, PSP, NDS)
Publisher: LucasArts
Developer: LucasArts
Est. Release Date: Sep 2008
Officially Announced for E3: No, but it might as well be

TheForce Unleashed could well be the biggest project to bear the Star Warsfranchise name since Episode III ended the franchise’s non-animatedtheatrical run. Every Star Wars fan has been curious about the periodright before the Original Trilogy when Darth Vader had his run of thegalaxy; Force Unleashed promises to capture this period from theperspective of the Dark Side, using exciting new technologies torealistically render bot the AI and the Force itself. If the persistentrumors are true, this could well be the last project completely builtby LucasArts’ internal studio—but in that case, it will be one heck ofa send-off that a lot of Star Wars fans will experience.


24. Beyond Good and Evil 2 (PS3, X360)
Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Ubisoft Montpellier (likely)
Est. Release Date: TBA
Officially Announced for E3: No

Allthat’s known about Beyond Good and Evil 2 is that it’s currently beingworked on by Ubisoft premier designer Michel Ancel. But in this case,that’s more than enough—Ancel’s resume does include perennial hitRayman and (naturally) the first Beyond Good and Evil, after all. Andthe first Beyond Good and Evil is particularly beloved. The smallaudience that played it has been talking about it ever since, praisingits varied gameplay and realistic, strong female protagonist Jade. Sothe sequel is exciting, and though its commercial success is by nomeans assured it’s possible that maybe the adult gaming audience isfinally ready for this franchise.


23. Lock’s Quest (NDS)
Publisher: THQ
Developer: 5th Cell
Est. Release Date: Fall 2008
Officially Announced for E3: Yes

2007’sbiggest surprise sales blockbuster was a little DS game called Drawn toLife, built by a little mobile developer called 5th Cell. That gamegave the independent studio a reputation for creating innovations withstrong market appeal, and it could cement that reputation with Lock’sQuest, a curious RTS/Action/RPG/minigame hybrid with cute graphics,quick thrills and a world that can be completely remodeled by theplayer. In other words, it has a lot of elements that appeal across awide variety of gaming demographics, as well as a lot of ambition. Ifthis one lives up to its potential, it would be great to see it succeed.


22. Puzzle Quest: Galactrix (PC, X360, NDS)
Publisher: D3 Publisher of America
Developer: Infinite Interactive
Est. Release Date: Fall 2008
Officially Announced for E3: Yes

Lastyear’s Puzzle Quest combined the most addictive parts of the casual“match three” puzzle game with the most addictive parts of RPGcharacter development, a powerful cocktail that murdered productivityand sold in huge numbers. There’s no reason this follow-up shouldn’tcontinue in that trend—it’s still a match three puzzle game (this timemore Collapse than Bejeweled), it still has those all-important RPGelements, and it’s being built by the same studio. The only differences(besides the science fiction setting) all look like improvements.There’s an element of strategy gaming. Players can enhance not justtheir character, but also their spacecraft. Downloadable content willabound. It all sounds like a game that players will itch to play afterthe first hit.


21. Crysis: Warhead (PC)
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: Crysis
Est. Release Date: Fall 2008
Officially Announced for E3: Yes

Allegedlythe last PC exclusive from the bastion of PC gaming high technology,Crytek’s side story to 2007’s Crysis looks every bit as graphicallydazzling as its predecessor. It also promises to be a moremarket-friendly title (a tall order considering Crysis’ million-sellingstatus); Warhead provides a less strategic, more bombastic run-and-gunaffair compared to the original Crysis. And with a year of hardwareadvancements in between Crysis and Crysis: Warhead, that more widelyappealing design will find that a lot more people have the rigs toactually run it well. And who knows? If Warhead does manage to findthat perfect balance, perhaps Crytek will stick to their PC-exclusivestomping grounds for a while longer.

20. Tomb Raider Underworld (Wii, PS2, PS3, X360, PC, NDS)
Publisher: Eidos
Developer: Crystal Dynamics
Est. Release Date: Holiday 2008
Officially Announced for E3: Yes

It’sbeen a few years since Crystal Dynamics took the Tomb Raider franchiseand reinvigorated it with Legend. But it’s really with Underworld thatthe series’ previous mistakes have been taken to heart. Rather thanrest the game on its laurels again, Underworld is a creation that lookstoward with the new; the game engine is all new, the way the worldinteracts with Lara is more realistic, combat now has melee and willflow fluidly into the puzzle mechanics. And if that wasn’t enough toguarantee sales, Lara has a motorcycle now too.


19. Sonic Unleashed (Wii, PS2, PS3, X360)
Publisher: SEGA
Developer: Sonic Team/Dimps
Est. Release Date: Holiday 2008
Officially Announced for E3: No

Thesedays it feels like SEGA promises the moon with every Sonic title, tothe point where it’s hard to fall for it anymore. Take Sonic Unleashed;it’s promise of a revamped, re-invented Sonic echoes the promises SEGAmade before this generation’s first Sonic the Hedgehog hit the Xbox 360with a sad plop. And yet, franchise sales have never followed the samecurve as the blue blur’s review scores. This is mostly because ofSonic’s strong appeal to the child market, but on some level thegraying Genesis owner wants to believe what we’re told, that this nextSonic really will reclaim the glory days. Anyway, Sonic Unleashed. It’srunning on a new engine and has some 2D environments. It’ll sell, andas for the rest of it? Here’s hoping.


18. MadWorld (Wii)
Publisher: SEGA
Developer: Platinum Games
Est. Release Date: 2009
Officially Announced for E3: No

PlatinumGames, formerly Seeds, formerly Clover Studios, isn’t known for makingcommercial hits. No, that team is known more for making instant,beloved classics. Okami certainly, but Viewtiful Joe is in there aswell, and the only people who remember God Hand these days love it toabsolute death. MadWorld, a blood-soaked black and white Wii exclusive,feels like a return to the playful, experimentation that made this teamfamous. Will it sell? Well, it’s nice to think that just maybe, thistime, the market has caught up to what Platinum is doing.


17. Animal Crossing Wii (Wii)
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Nintendo
Est. Release Date: TBA
Officially Announced for E3: No

Asof this writing, Animal Crossing Wii still exists as a hopeful glimmerin the eye of the gaming public. Nintendo hasn’t said anything at allabout it yet, though almost all speculation says that it exists andwill be announced soon—and if that’s the case, E3 is as good a place toshowcase it as any. It’s a completely believable theory. Nintendo’sChristmas lineup is currently a complete mystery, and Animal Crossing,already a surprise hit on GameCube and DS, is such a good fit for thecasual Wii-loving audience it’s startling it’s not on the systemalready.


16. Left 4 Dead (PC, X360)
Publisher: Valve Software
Developer: Turtle Rock Studios
Est. Release Date: Holiday 2008
Officially Announced for E3: Yes

Valvedoesn’t release duds, and it doesn’t buy teams that can’t deliver. Sothe fact that it purchased Turtle Rock Studios and have put a greatdeal of PR muscle behind Left 4 Dead speaks volumes as to how good thisgame could be. The game has a completely innovative, yet highly marketfriendly hook in its “four survivors must cooperate to survive thezombie horde” premise, though players of a less polite persuasion canalso take up the role of a super-powered zombie. This could very wellbe the next major online phenomenon, like Team Fortress 2 before it.


15. Resistance 2 (PS3)
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Developer: Insomniac Games
Est. Release Date: Holiday 2008
Officially Announced for E3: Yes

Thefirst Resistance was the big win for the PlayStation 3 at launch, butResistance 2 looks set to spin that good first impression into anempire. Resistance 2 pushes the game out of London to the morerelatable (in the US, anyway) environs of the United States. A goodmove, but not as good as the massive 60-man multiplayer that the gamepromises. That’s fantastic scale for an online console game; add onsome more focused, objective-oriented teamplay and Resistance 2 is agood contender for gamer’s next networked obsession.


14. Killzone 2 (PS3)
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Developer: Guerilla Games
Est. Release Date: 2009
Officially Announced for E3: Yes

Threeyears on and Killzone 2 is still trying to shake off its disastrous“showing” at E3 2005. Admittedly the team at Guerilla has done a finejob of actually approaching the target in that first badly marketed“target render,” with more recent previews showing the game asappropriately attractive and bombastic for its high position in Sony’sportfolio. But it still needs a big floor to show off, and it needs aman to say “in-game graphics” about one thousand times in front of somehuge HD Killzone if it wants to really nail the market. E3 historicallyhas had some very big floors.


13. Fable 2 (X360)
Publisher: Microsoft
Developer: Lionhead Studios
Est. Release Date: Oct 2008
Officially Announced for E3: Yes

Alot on Fable 2 is already known, and most of it is interesting on avariety of levels. There’s the in-game dog, a character ofunconditional love that will act as the player’s anchor to the game’sworld. There’s the Pub Games, a series of Xbox Live Arcade titles thatwill act as both encapsulated products and previews for the bigrelease. Then there’s the gay marriage, pregnant adventuring, and allmanner of family matters to deal with in the game as well. It’s a gamethat promises to push boundaries and break some of the medium’s moreridiculous unnecessary taboos. Considering the success of the originalGable, it’s likely many people will choose to experience this moveforward—surely a good thing.


12. Command and Conquer: Red Alert 3 (PC, X360)
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: EA Los Angeles
Est. Release Date: Holiday 2008
Officially Announced for E3: Yes

RedAlert’s Cold War gone hot is one of the most beloved scenarios is allof strategy gaming, and the franchise’s long seven year absence makesthis game even more exciting and desirable. And by adding thepseudo-Japanese Empire of the Rising Sun faction the festivities geteven more campy and strange, complete with towering mecha, psychicschoolgirls and parachuting bears. So it’s got a lot of hooks for boththe longtime fan and sugar-crazed newcomer alike.


11. Far Cry 2 (PC, X360, PS3)
Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Est. Release Date: Holiday 2008
Officially Announced for E3: No

FarCry 2 has found a unique gaming setting in the jungles, savannahs andtowns of Africa, and it plans on giving the player a lot of thatsetting – 50 square kilometers, to be precise. Plenty of new gameplayelements will make themselves known as the player crosses that expanse:some wounds have to be treated with field medicine (ie. fishing abullet out with a knife) and brush fires can be started, only to bewhipped up realistically by wind. Far Cry 2 is an underutilized brandmoving to an underutilized setting while adding multiple newinnovations, making it an extremely strong contender in the hardcoreshooter market.
10. Prince of Persia (X360, PS3)
Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Est. Release Date: Holiday 2008
Officially Announced for E3: No

Princeof Persia: The Sands of Time was one of the last generation’s definingmoments, so it would have been easy for Ubisoft to just build astandard sequel on the successes of its previous trilogy. The fact thatthis is not the case, that the series is instead being rebooted with anincredible hand-painted aesthetic and open world, show a strongdedication to making the Prince one of the most lasting and importantfranchises in gaming (though the big budget movie helps on that scoreas well). While previous PoP titles did sell well, after theblockbuster success of Assassin’s Creed, the timing is perfect for thePrince to really make it big.


9. Final Fantasy XIII (PS3)
Publisher: Square Enix
Developer: Square Enix
Est. Release Date: TBD
Officially Announced for E3: Yes

Sinceclosing the door on the last console genre, Square Enix has relied onhandheld games and Wii side stories alone. If the publisher’s lastfiscal statement said anything, it was that’s no way for a company tolive—so while Square Enix has some other interesting console games inthe pipe, it needs to bring its megaton franchise back into the publiceye. It’s not surprising that Final Fantasy XIII will show up in someform at E3—and regardless of what form it takes or what the game lookslike now, it could certainly steal the show if it tried.


8. Street Fighter IV (PC, X360, PS3)
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Capcom/Dimps
Est. Release Date: 2009
Officially Announced for E3: Yes

Atworst, this is a surprise come back of one of gaming’s most iconicfranchises. At best, this could be the surprise come back of agenre—certainly if anything could revive a flagging fighting gamefield, a new numbered entry in its greatest series would be the thingto do it. Perhaps the best sign that this game knows what it will taketo succeed is its reverence to Street Fighter II—all of the charactersfrom that game will return, and the gameplay mirrors the measured paceof that early entry. Considering versions of SFII still sell in strongnumbers, it’s easy to see how this strategy could succeed on the market.


7. Rock Band 2 (X360, PS3, PS2, Wii)
Publisher: MTV Games
Developer: Harmonix
Est. Release Date: Sep 2008 (X360 timed exclusive, with other versions to follow)
Officially Announced for E3: Yes

Nomatter what other companies say, the fast-paced game of catch-up thathas gripped the music genre says one thing louder: the four-piece RockBand is the standard for the field. And while little is known about itat this point, what is known proves that Harmonix hasn’t lost the plotwith Rock Band 2. Sticking to its “platform” guns, the game will befully backwards compatible—with old DLC, with old instruments, theworks. And while user-created content is not a go this time, there arecertainly things about the game yet to be announced—you don’t want tomiss this one at the show.


6. LittleBigPlanet (PS3)
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Developer: Media Molecule
Est. Release Date: Oct 2008
Officially Announced for E3: Yes

Despiteseemingly constant delays, LittleBigPlanet remains one of the mostunique products in Sony’s first-party arsenal. The idea of a game thatlives and dies by the content created by its users has been triedbefore in first-person shooters, but LittleBigPlanet, with its lovelytextured graphics and universal, non-violent charm wants to be muchmore—the YouTube of games perhaps, or the Legos of the 21st century. Ofall the games that could bring PlayStation 3 to the mass market, thisremains the best hope.


5. Halo Wars (X360)
Publisher: Microsoft
Developer: Ensemble Studios/Bungie
Est. Release Date: Oct 2008
Officially Announced for E3: Yes

HaloWars is more than just the next title from Microsoft to have the Haloname. It’s also more than the first Halo project not spearheaded byBungie. Halo Wars wants to be a revolution in real-time strategy, aconsole exclusive built from the ground up for a console controller—inother words, Halo Wars wants to do for real-time strategy what Halo didfor first-person shooters. If it succeeds, it could crack wide open thenascent console RTS market as gamers try it based on the franchisealone. It’s been reported that the game will be playable by the mediaat E3, so the show should give a much better idea as to how itssucceeding.


4. Spore (PC, Mac)
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: Maxis
Est. Release Date: Sep 7, 2008
Officially Announced for E3: Yes

It’scertainly something that even after the seemingly endless amount ofwords typed about Spore, even though it’s appeared in publications asnon-game centric as The New Yorker, even though the wait for the gamehas been years long and interminable, almost everyone who knows aboutit is still excited at its promise. And after the success of therecently released Creature Creator, that excitement is still mounting.Will Wright’s SimEverything could very well the next big thing, tossingaside silly ideas like “demographics” and just appealing to everyoneeverywhere. In other words, the next Sims.


3. Gears of War 2 (X360)
Publisher: Microsoft
Developer: Epic Games
Est. Release Date: Nov 2008
Officially Announced for E3: Yes

Gearsof War 2 is a lot of things. To the gamer, it is epic, the sequel tothe game that dominated man hours spent on Xbox Live for most of 2007.To developers, it’s the new baseline, as every new Epic game has cometo represent the state of the art for the now industry standard UnrealEngine 3. In both regards Gears of War 2 looks great. A fewimprovements to the constantly evolving engine have already been shown,and most gamers agree that new mechanics like martyrdom and the “meatshield” look like fantastic fun. Gears of War is already one of thisgeneration’s emblematic franchises, so it will be great to see how thesequel goes about cementing that status.


2. Resident Evil 5 (X360, PS3)
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Capcom
Est. Release Date: 2009
Officially Announced for E3: Yes

RE5is not even close to a retail release, and yet it’s already one of themost interesting topics in the industry. It brings with it the highlyrespected pedigree of Resident Evil 4, hands-down one of the best gamesof the last generation, and will probably sell strongly to the audiencethat loved, or even heard about, that game. Yet it’s also mired incontroversy over some concerns regarding racism. So it’s a projectthat’s walking many tightropes of expectation, and there’s potentialfor huge success or massive failure here. As a result this E3 could bethe most important public showing for RE5 until its release—it shouldbe fascinating.


1. Fallout 3 (PC, X360, PS3)
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Developer: Bethesda Softworks
Est. Release Date: Oct 2008
Officially Announced for E3: Yes

Fallout3 shows great evolutionary leaps every time it’s displayed for publicviewing, with recent revelations—the childhood simulating charactercreator, the 500 endings—being particularly fascinating. Now that it’scoming precariously close to its announced release date, this E3 shouldrepresent the game’s biggest showing yet. If there are any surprisesleft in the title to announce, expect them to get announced at somepoint during the week. But even if there aren’t, Fallout 3 has alreadyproven itself to be a sprawling, ambitious project that anyone in thegaming audience would wait to spend more time with.
Posted by Editorial Team Tue Jul 08, 2008 7:55 am
CrossfireX: 2560x1600 gameplay becomes a reality in Hardware, Internet, Networking, Comms and Security
“AMD ATI Radeon4850/4870 CrossfireX” review at Guru3D. Hilbert’s lost it again – high poweredgraphics have that effect on him... Anyway, what’s come to light, lately, isthe high power consumption of the 4800 series (now double-up on the cards andimagine), and the irregular driver performance. You can see a broad spectrum ofresults, but when Hilbert gets CrossfireX to work, it works great. But do putthings in perspective when reading: with the latest generation of graphics cardsworking in dual-GPU setups, you’ll be looking at buying a 30-inch LCD for2560x1600 gameplay.Readit here.
XS Reviews is cracking open the Zalman GS1000 computer case, targeted at justabout anyone who wants to build a supercomputer at home. It supports E-ATX andvery long PCI cards and has hot-swappable bays for HDDs. Lots of space inside,if you’re “just” using a standard ATX mobo, but the panels are a bit dodgy,thinks the author. Not a snip at £100, but if Zalman could swap out those panelswith something better, they’d have a winner.Readon.
A few years ago we were hack-napped off to a press conference abroad just tosee how Philips would conquer the world of mobile telephony. Some 18 monthslater, Philips withdrew from the market, unable to compete with the big namesand (our personal opinion) mostly due to their utterly rubbish user interface.Now Philips is reviving the brand (Xenium 9@9) in China with the brand new X800.ePrice in Taiwan has the review. The X800 is a full touchscreen design (no, youwon’t have nightmares about the old Xeniums) and it looks like something out ofHTC’s workshop, to be honest. Careful when reading the page, it didn’t play nicewithGooglenglish,but you’ll get the gist (and the photos).
Andrew at Tweak Town took some time to write a guide on how to replace theheatspreaders on your RAM. Naturally it’s one of the warranty-voiding themes,but if you’re in need of improving cooling, it’s a necessary evil. Andrewsoutlines three basic methods to do this (hot, cold, lukewarm), but it all comesdown to be REALLY careful with sharp metallic objects in close proximity of aPCB.Letloose the mad aussie scientist in you.
T-break had a party with the ECS P45T-A Black Edition. ECS isn’t really knownas a top grade mobo maker, but it doesn’t fall behind the competition featurewise with this one. The board supports Crossfire, but it’ll break down the lanesinto 2x8 as per the P45 specs, but when you try your hand at an overclock, Abbasthinks you’ll be left wanting. The “Black Edition” brings to mind ideas ofmodding, overclocking and serious tweaking. That isn’t the case, it seems. Goodprice, tho’.Readon.
Tosh has hit the Portégè brand with its shrink ray and launched the G810.It’s no longer a notebook, as it were, it’s a Windows Mobile 6.0 smartphone witheverything touchscreen. It’s targeted at the same market as the HTC TouchCruise, but you really can’t avoid comparing the details with the iPhone. It’sHSDPA enabled and even includes GPS functionality. The only real thing goingagainst it is the slow speed of the image capture (slow flash, we guess). $550will buy you one.Readthe review here.
Hardware Zone is gobsmacked by Gigabyte’s most extreme P45 mobo – the aptlynamed GA-EP45T-EXTREME. This board has it all, it seems, even a waterblock onthe northbridge that runs liquid cooling to the southbridge and the rows ofcapacitors. It also allows you to stick in 3 ATI cards and is populated by abevy of LEDs that alert you about your overclocking misdeeds. It’s only apreview, butit’stasty.
Posted by Editorial Team Tue Jul 08, 2008 7:42 am
Laptop pricing continues to fall in the UK in Hardware, Internet, Networking, Comms and Security
Costs of PCs in the UK are set to continue to fall, according to the latest market reports from analysts at IDC.
Thenew IDC report states: "The UK PC market demonstrated solid performancein 1Q08, as overall PC shipments for the quarter reached more than 3.25million units, an increase of 14.3 per cent year-on-year."
Thenotebook market continues to grow at a healthy rate, growing "by a veryhealthy 41.8 per cent, thanks to renewals, further expansion of theinstalled base to new buyers, and multiple-equipment purchases."
The end of the Desktop?
Many users are now choosing to replace their old desktop PCs with new, affordable laptops.
"Demandfor notebooks, stimulated by fierce vendor competition and aggressivepricing, will remain a key engine for growth throughout the year," saidLucie Jichova, research analyst for IDC's EMEA PC research group.
"Economicpressure will continue to drive cautious spending behavior, but thearrival of low-cost ultraportables, increasing traction of telcobundles, and mobile solutions in the business space, will maintainstrong momentum in the notebook market in the second half of the year."
Cheap laptops for all
Thereallly promising news for UK consumers is that the price of laptops isgoing to continue heading in the right direction – downwards.
"Consumersare going to benefit from attractive notebook offers as competitionamong vendors in the retail channel intensifies," states the IDC report.
"Recently,we have seen an introduction of affordable ultraportable PCs, whichhave been very well received by consumers. IDC expects that these basicsurfing devices will continue to sell extremely well throughout 2008."
Posted by Editorial Team Tue Jul 01, 2008 7:04 am
Revealed: Sony's future plans for PS3, PSP and TV in Business and Industry in Gaming, Media, Web, IT and Computing
"This is not your father's Sony", sums up what Howard Stringer has done at Sony since taking over the reins in 2005.
TheWales-born CEO was underlining the challenge that the company now facesin the digital age, as he led the Japanese giant's corporate strategybriefing in Tokyo today.
In the absence of any attention-grabbingnew hardware announcements, most headlines are likely to go to Sony'spledge to increase revenues in the PC, Blu-ray-related and componentsbusinesses.
Game plan
Stringer said thatSony would build these into "trillion-yen businesses" by FY2010,putting them alongside the core business units of TVs, digital imaging,gaming and mobile phones. One trillion yen is currently worth around£4.7 billion.
Although gaming is a traditional Sony strength, thedivision is mired in red ink after the costly development and launch ofthe PlayStation 3. Addressing that, the CEO promised to bring it toprofit by March next year.
Stringer also outlined plans to investclose to £9 billion in new technology in a concerted drive to becomethe world leader in LCD televisions within three years. Beyond that,the assembled execs wouldn't be drawn on precise numbers or revenuetargets.
Mobile content
Although he didn't address recent speculation about the possibility of a PSP phone or the stability of the Sony Ericsson joint venturethat produces mobile phones, Stringer did emphasise that such handsetswould continue to be sold and that "Sony music and pictures content[would be] embedded in all key Sony Ericsson product lines."
As expected, there was no discussion on life after Blu-ray– the so-called 'death of disk'. However, a hint of how quickly onlinedistribution will move centre-stage came in the news that SonyPictures' summer blockbuster, Hancock, will be made available exclusively to all internet-connect Bravia televisions in the US before its DVD release.
Movie download service
The movie theme resurfaced in a presentation from Kaz Hirai, the president of Sony Computer Entertainment, with the news that the long-anticipated film download service would finally reach the online PlayStation Network this year.
Hiraiconfirmed that US users would get first crack at PS3 movie downloads inlate summer, with Europe and Japan to follow by year's end. He addedthat full details would be announced at E3 in LA next month and thatboth standard- and high-definition titles would be available.
       
Virtual world
Warmingto the theme, Hirai added, "Please expect more from our evolvingPlayStation business." That evolution will also include themuch-delayed PlayStation Home virtual world, which Hirai demonstrated,along with new dynamic in-game advertisements that change according tothe context.
The littlest PlayStation also featured prominently,with the PSP being positioned as an interactive extension of the PS3console, as well as a tool for accessing the PlayStation Store for gamedownloads and, possibly, feature films at some undisclosed point.
Hirai's presentation concluded with something of a surprise in a new network service called Life With PlayStation.The rough demo showed a view of the Earth from space, which rotated toreveal location-related news items, reminiscent of similar services onNintendo's Wii.
Innovator and creator
Returningto the podium to sum up, Stringer emphasised his firm's creative skillsand took aim at a company many see as having inherited the Sony mantleas innovator supreme.
"We have products to get excited about [including] OLED TVs, Rolly, CyberShot smile detection and the new Bravias.
"Appleis a boutique company, but we're a large conglomerate. We recently cameout number one in a poll by Incite on innovative companies, just aheadof Apple. I rest my case."
Whether or not that's overstating thecase, Stringer's confidence in the once-troubled company is almosttangible, leaving little room for doubt that Sony is back and that itmeans business.
Posted by Editorial Team Mon Jun 30, 2008 6:41 am
Game review: Crisis Core in Gaming
Fanboys may be ready to fight to the death for their console of choice, but a new survey by Forrester shows that nearly half of all Europeans play computer games on multiple platforms, with the PC still the favourite for gaming.
Forrester'ssurvey into gaming reveals some interesting facts about gaming inEurope, including the fact that nearly three quarters (73%) ofEuropeans with access to an internet connection play some form ofcomputer games.
60% of those polled declared the PC as theirplatform of choice, with twice as many people playing games on adesktop PC (49%) than do on a laptop (23%).
One third of onlineEuropeans play their video games on consoles – although 41% have aconsole in their household – suggesting that many consoles are for thekids, or lay dormant for long periods.
There is good news forhandhelds such as the Sony PSP and Nintendo DS, along with theburgeoning mobile phone gaming markets, with 20% of consumers using theformer and 27% using their phones for gaming – a combined share of 47%and second only behind desktop PCs.
Interestingly, 43% of those polled played games on more than one platform.
PlayStation 2 still dominant
Thepowerhouse of the last decade of gaming – Sony' s PlayStation 2 isstill the dominant player in its sector owned by 60% of those with aconsole. The PlayStation 3 holds a seven per cent share, still some waybehind the original PlayStation One which has 14%.
The Xbox 360is also a little behind its successor the Xbox – but only a singlepercentage point divides Microsoft's consoles, with the former on 11%and the original 12%.
Second to the PlayStation 2 lies theNintendo DS handheld with 26% and Nintendo also takes the third andfourth spots with the older Game Boy (17%) and their smash hit Wii(16%).
Just less than one in ten console owners had non-specified consoles, which presumable embraces the likes of Sega's Dreamcast.
  
Fanboys may be ready to fight to the death for their console of choice, but a new survey by Forrester shows that nearly half of all Europeans play computer games on multiple platforms, with the PC still the favourite for gaming.

Forrester's survey into gaming reveals some interesting facts about gaming in Europe, including the fact that nearly three quarters (73%) of Europeans with access to an internet connection play some form of computer games.

60% of those polled declared the PC as their platform of choice, with twice as many people playing games on a desktop PC (49%) than do on a laptop (23%).

One third of online Europeans play their video games on consoles – although 41% have a console in their household – suggesting that many consoles are for the kids, or lay dormant for long periods.

There is good news for handhelds such as the Sony PSP and Nintendo DS, along with the burgeoning mobile phone gaming markets, with 20% of consumers using the former and 27% using their phones for gaming – a combined share of 47% and second only behind desktop PCs.

Interestingly, 43% of those polled played games on more than one platform.

PlayStation 2 still dominant

The powerhouse of the last decade of gaming – Sony' s PlayStation 2 is still the dominant player in its sector owned by 60% of those with a console. The PlayStation 3 holds a seven per cent share, still some way behind the original PlayStation One which has 14%.

The Xbox 360 is also a little behind its successor the Xbox – but only a single percentage point divides Microsoft's consoles, with the former on 11% and the original 12%.

Second to the PlayStation 2 lies the Nintendo DS handheld with 26% and Nintendo also takes the third and fourth spots with the older Game Boy (17%) and their smash hit Wii (16%).

Just less than one in ten console owners had non-specified consoles, which presumable embraces the likes of Sega's Dreamcast.
Posted by Editorial Team Sun Jun 29, 2008 6:31 am
PC still dominates gaming in Gaming
Fanboys may be ready to fight to the death for their console of choice, but a new survey by Forrester shows that nearly half of all Europeans play computer games on multiple platforms, with the PC still the favourite for gaming.
Forrester'ssurvey into gaming reveals some interesting facts about gaming inEurope, including the fact that nearly three quarters (73%) ofEuropeans with access to an internet connection play some form ofcomputer games.
60% of those polled declared the PC as theirplatform of choice, with twice as many people playing games on adesktop PC (49%) than do on a laptop (23%).
One third of onlineEuropeans play their video games on consoles – although 41% have aconsole in their household – suggesting that many consoles are for thekids, or lay dormant for long periods.
There is good news forhandhelds such as the Sony PSP and Nintendo DS, along with theburgeoning mobile phone gaming markets, with 20% of consumers using theformer and 27% using their phones for gaming – a combined share of 47%and second only behind desktop PCs.
Interestingly, 43% of those polled played games on more than one platform.
PlayStation 2 still dominant
Thepowerhouse of the last decade of gaming – Sony' s PlayStation 2 isstill the dominant player in its sector owned by 60% of those with aconsole. The PlayStation 3 holds a seven per cent share, still some waybehind the original PlayStation One which has 14%.
The Xbox 360is also a little behind its successor the Xbox – but only a singlepercentage point divides Microsoft's consoles, with the former on 11%and the original 12%.
Second to the PlayStation 2 lies theNintendo DS handheld with 26% and Nintendo also takes the third andfourth spots with the older Game Boy (17%) and their smash hit Wii(16%).
Just less than one in ten console owners had non-specified consoles, which presumable embraces the likes of Sega's Dreamcast.
  
Fanboys may be ready to fight to the death for their console of choice, but a new survey by Forrester shows that nearly half of all Europeans play computer games on multiple platforms, with the PC still the favourite for gaming.

Forrester's survey into gaming reveals some interesting facts about gaming in Europe, including the fact that nearly three quarters (73%) of Europeans with access to an internet connection play some form of computer games.

60% of those polled declared the PC as their platform of choice, with twice as many people playing games on a desktop PC (49%) than do on a laptop (23%).

One third of online Europeans play their video games on consoles – although 41% have a console in their household – suggesting that many consoles are for the kids, or lay dormant for long periods.

There is good news for handhelds such as the Sony PSP and Nintendo DS, along with the burgeoning mobile phone gaming markets, with 20% of consumers using the former and 27% using their phones for gaming – a combined share of 47% and second only behind desktop PCs.

Interestingly, 43% of those polled played games on more than one platform.

PlayStation 2 still dominant

The powerhouse of the last decade of gaming – Sony' s PlayStation 2 is still the dominant player in its sector owned by 60% of those with a console. The PlayStation 3 holds a seven per cent share, still some way behind the original PlayStation One which has 14%.

The Xbox 360 is also a little behind its successor the Xbox – but only a single percentage point divides Microsoft's consoles, with the former on 11% and the original 12%.

Second to the PlayStation 2 lies the Nintendo DS handheld with 26% and Nintendo also takes the third and fourth spots with the older Game Boy (17%) and their smash hit Wii (16%).

Just less than one in ten console owners had non-specified consoles, which presumable embraces the likes of Sega's Dreamcast.
Posted by Editorial Team Sun Jun 29, 2008 6:30 am
UK01, New UK mobile carrier: own GSM spectrum, wi-fi hospots in Entertainment, Film and Music, Mobile devices and media
UK01 claims to be a real GSM operator, and has just signed a dealwith Spectrum Interactive to put its GSM base stations into phonekiosks run by the Wi-Fi hotspot operator, establishing a few hundredlocations from which UK01 customers will be able to make, and receive,calls.
Behind UK01 is a company called Mapesbury Communications Ltd, whoseCEO Magnus Kelly said in a statement that "this agreement is animportant milestone, as it accelerates our ability to launch the UK's6th mobile phone network".
The spectrum used for UK01's network is around 1800MHz, so withinthe operating band of most mobile handsets, but the operator's licenceis only for low-power deployments which will have very limited range -so customers won't be able to wander far from the kiosk bearing theUK01 service mark.They'll also have to manually select the UK01 network, as the companyapparently has no roaming agreements with other operators to provideadditional coverage.
The lack of roaming is unsurprising, as Mapesbury only paid around£77,000 for the limited-power licence. To get into the door of a realoperator you'd need at least a billion quid's worth of spectrum.
UK01 is much more like a Wi-Fi hotspot operation, and the deal withSpectrum Interactive underlines that. Punters seeing the service markmight decide to switch to UK01 for a cheaper tariff, as long as theyhang around nearby, though the company might like to remember PhonePoint, Phone Zone and Rabbit as similar services that crashed andburned.
The spectrum was part of Ofcom's first spectrum auction, and thenewly-formed regulator imagined it might be used for private networksor operator in-fill, both of which are being deployed by otherlicensees. The use of 1800MHz prevents 3G data services (3G is stillcorralled at 2.1GHz), so it's EDGE at best, though UK01 hasn'tannounced any kind of data service as yet.
We tried to speak to Mapesbury Communications to ask whether UK01intends to expand its network, but we were told that the only chap whocould help us was Mr Kelly, the CEO, and he's not around today. Sowe're left to speculate.
Posted by Editorial Team Mon Jun 23, 2008 5:48 pm
LATEST FORCAST: Global games industry set for massive growth in Business and Industry in Gaming, Media, Web, IT and Computing
The latest forecast for the growthof the global games industry shows that the next four years are boomyears, with a growth of $41.9 billion in global sales last year to apredicted $68.3 billion in 2012.
The PricewaterhouseCoopers data is drawn from the forthcoming Global Entertainment and Media Outlook: 2008-2012 report.
Console games up
Consolegames are predicted to grow by 6.9 percent annually, going from salesof $24.9 billion last year to $34.7 billion in 2012.
Online andwireless games are predicted to have the fastest rate of growth overthe next four years (16.9 per cent and 19 per cent, respectively), withthe in-game advertising industry also predicted to reap massive rewardsin the coming years, going from the $1 billion level in 2007 to $2.3billion in 2012.
"That's phenomenal growth," PwC partner StefanieKane told Reuters, "especially considering that in-game advertisingonly works with certain kinds of games, sports being a primary example."
PC games down
OfflinePC gaming is the only gaming sector predicted to fall in terms ofrevenue growth from $3.8 billion last year to $3.6 billion in 2012.
PricewaterhouseCoopers report lists the following factors that feed into the rapid growth of the games industry over the next four years:
* mobile phones capable of downloading games with sophisticated graphics and displaying them on relatively large screens;
* an online market driven by the increased penetration of broadband households;
*the increasing popularity of massively multi-player online games thatearn revenue through subscription fees and micro-transactions.
Posted by Editorial Team Thu Jun 19, 2008 4:06 pm
Nokia opens Download Store - browse and buy software in Entertainment, Film and Music, Mobile devices and media
The PC Download Store was supposed to be the desktop equivalent ofthe "Download" application pre-installed on every S60 phone from Nokia.Download supposedly offers content from providers such as Amazon andJamster, though the former only features an application that loadstheir mobile home page, while the latter flaunts a range of items,though they're all just the first step onto their subscription service.
tile++; document.write('\x3Cscript src="http://ad.uk.doubleclick.net/adj/reg.comms.4159/mobile;cta='+cta+';ctb='+ctb+';ctc='+ctc+';sc='+sc+';cid='+cid+';'+RegExCats+GetVCs()+'pid='+RegId+RegDT+';'+RegKW+';test='+test+';pf='+RegPF+';dcove=d;tile='+tile+';sz=336x280;ord=' + rand + '?" type="text/javascript">\x3C\/script>'); <ahref="http://ad.uk.doubleclick.net/jump/reg.comms.4159/mobile;dcove=d;sz=336x280;ord=PGKfNdRk6jgAABNCQZoAAADr?"target="_blank"><imgsrc="http://ad.uk.doubleclick.net/ad/reg.comms.4159/mobile;dcove=d;sz=336x280;ord=PGKfNdRk6jgAABNCQZoAAADr?"width="336" height="280" border="0" alt="" />
In that context the Nokia Download Store is a comparable service.Originally envisaged as a PC application for downloading and managingapplications and tightly integrated with Nokia's PC Suitesynchronisation software, PC Download Store is now an online softwareemporium.

Or so it would appear, except that all the software on offer ismarked as "Try For Free", with no pricing information on the site atall. Even that would be tolerable if the software offered really wasavailable for trial, but try to download an application and as soon asit's installed you'll be asked to send a premium-rate text to pay forit.
So we now have N-Gage for games, Ovi for music and maps, forapplications and maps PC Download and MOSH for community stuff: whosays Nokia's on-line strategy is hopelessly confused?
Posted by Editorial Team Tue Jun 17, 2008 5:20 am
Two UK gaming industry pioneers in Queen's Birthday Honours in Business and Industry in Gaming, Media, Web, IT and Computing
Britain's video games industry received a tribute with the award ofCBEs to David and Richard Darling in the Queen's birthday honours list.The two brothers built Codemasters - responsible for such hits as ColinMcRae Rally and Sensible Soccer - into a global force. Although theysold out last year, their company is one of the reasons Britain's videogames industry is among the strongest in the world, despite most of ithaving being taken over by foreign firms. News of the honours coincidedwith Grand Theft Auto, also developed in the UK, retaining its No 1slot in the US charts for the second month running. This helped the USgames market, including consoles, to a 37% sales increase over a yearago, a potent symbol of resilience. The Darling brothers will begrateful for their CBEs, but would have been even more delighted ifrecognition had taken a tangible form. The UK games sector is facing anexodus of talent to other countries offering tax incentives,particularly Canada. If companies relocating to Quebec can claim taxcredits of up to 30% of payroll costs, small wonder they are migratingin swarms. The industry is lobbying the government to invest in a UKsuccess story to prevent the exodus and secure it for the future. Butsubsidising industry is too "old Labour" for this government. Insteadit is planning to complain to the World Trade Organisation, a procedurethat could take years. By then, if no action is taken, it could lookmore like a case of Grand Theft Industry.


Two of the pioneers of the UK video games industry have been recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours.
Quote:

David and Richard Darling, co-founders of game developers Codemasters,were both made Commanders of the Order of the British Empire (CBE).
They built up their company from a bedroom enterprise into one of the best known games developers in the world.
The firm is behind well established titles including the Colin McRae Rally series and Sensible Soccer.<!-- E SF -->
More recently the firm has ventured into online games, releasing Lord of the Rings Online.
"For over 20 years David and Richard led Codemasters as itbecame one of the video game industry's great British success stories,"said Rod Cousens, present head of Codemasters.
"Their drive and passion for creating the best in interactiveentertainment will always be part of the industry's heritage and thisrecognition is well deserved."
The brothers sold their stake in the company in 2007 after 21 years at the firm.



Quote:

The two brothers started their first company - Galactic Software- in 1982, followed by a stint writing for Mastertronic, a publisher oflow-cost computer software.<!-- S IIMA -->               
<!-- E IIMA -->
In 1986 they set up Codemasters, along with their father Jim. Theirfirst title was BMX simulator, released in the company's founding year.
There followed a series of simulator titles including jet ski, flight and even fruit machine games.
Many of these were written for the computer of the moment - the ZXspectrum - although they also produced titles for the BBC Micro, AcornElectron and Amstrad CPC.
The brothers were famous for putting ringing endorsements of their games on the packaging.
"Dizzy's Treasure Island is brilliant - it's like a real cartoon but with amazing gameplay," read one.
These were usually quotes from the creators of the game or the Darlingbrothers themselves. The Treasure Island quote was by David Darling,for example.
Practices like this drew equal measures of mirth and criticism from the games press of the time.
But the company gained even greater notoriety when it developed aseries of unlicensed games for Nintendo's Entertainment System.
The titles, published by controversial company Camerica, bypassed theconsole's so-called "lock-out chip", designed to prevent unofficialproducts being played.
Titles included the Quattro Series, Ultimate Stuntman and the best-selling Micro Machines.
The company has continued to grow and now produces games for all three major consoles, PCs, handheld devices and mobile phones.
In 2005 the company was crowned the world's leading independently owned video games developer by Develop Magazine.
The brothers left two years later to work on other projects.
They were honoured for their "services to the computer games industry".
Posted by Editorial Team Tue Jun 17, 2008 5:10 am
iVirtua 2008 Summer Gaming festival and event guide in Gaming
While not quite as ridiculously packed as this year's music festival calendar (my pick of the bunch, by the way, is Truck, featuring the Lemonheads performing the wholeof It's A Shame About Ray), the line-up of big videogame events isgrowing, both in terms of size and diversity. So here's a quick guide,just in case you find yourself with a free weekend and a desire to play- and learn about - lots of lovely new titles...
NLGD Festival of Games
Utrecht, Netherlands
June 14-21

You'll have to be quick to catch this busy event, combiningconference, workshops, expo and career fair. Like E3, it's mostlytargeted at industry professionals, but students can gain access tomost of the programme. Highlights include talks by Shinichiro Kasama,Senior General Manager at Taito, who'll discuss the evolution of theSpace Invaders and Chris Swain, co-founder and director of the EA GameInnovation Lab. Interestingly, they're also running a multiplayer location-based mobile gaming tournament, based around footie title, Navball.
Game developers Conference Paris
Paris, France
June 23,24

50 sessions, 70 speakers and possibly the only games event of thesummer with its own art exhibition, the Parisian arm of the renownedGDC series is another industry-aimed combination of expo andkeynote-stuffed conference. Blizzard's VP of Game Design, Rob Pardo,and Media Molecule's Mark Healey and Alex Evans are among the talkers.
E3
Santa Monica, USA
July 11-13

Radically downsized but still essential highlight of the gamescalendar, now marketed as an intimate networking and demo-ing event.You'll need to be an industry insider to gain access as it'sinvite-only, but if you manage it, you'll see lots of big Christmas and2009 titles. There's a consumer version later in the year - or you can keep up to date via the website.
Develop in Brighton
Brighton, England
July 29-31

Aimed at the development community and organised by the trademagazine of the same name, Develop is a popular industry shindig, basedaround a packed schedule of business and development sessions as wellas the main expo. There are over 90 guest speakers on the agenda,including David Braben (Frontier Developments), Damian Isla (BungieStudios) and Richard Lemarchand (Naughty Dog). Gamesblog will be there,too, hosting our own event - more on that later...
Edinburgh Interactive festival
Edinburgh, Scotland
August 10-12

A landmark event, drawing on the atmosphere of the Edinburgh International Festival,to provide a range of panel sessions, debates and games screenings aswell as a public exhibition area. With the backing of all three consolemanufacturers expect plenty of Triple A gaming action. You'll also getto see the latest projects developed for the University of Abertay'sannual Dare to Be Digital competition. A must for the cultured gamer.
Games Convention
Leipzig, Germany
August 20-24

Now that E3 has transmogrified into a diddy business expo, GC is thekey games event in the West, filling four halls and one outdoor area.185,000 visitors turned up last year and the organisers reckon morehave registered for the 2008 event. All the major publishers will beshowing of their big forthcoming titles, while events like the Germanfinals of the World Cyber Games and a case-modding contest add extraflavour.
Posted by Editorial Team Fri Jun 13, 2008 6:15 pm
iPhone goes Business / Enterprise, Blackberry goes consumer in Entertainment, Film and Music, Mobile devices and media
iPhone features showed off during the keynote include push email(Blackberry’s home turf) and support for Microsoft Exchange 2007 -making it a great alternative to businesses who’re bored of the currentincumbents.
RIM's Bold move
RIM, of course, is moving in the opposite direction. With the launch of the Blackberry Bold 9000 in May, it’s finally moving out of the cloistered corridors of enterprise towards a more consumer-oriented future.
Youonly have to examine the Blackberry Bold’s high-class design, 480 x 320pixel colour display and support for iTunes using Blackberry Media Syncto see how true that is.
And then there's the Blackberry Thunder- an iPhone rival with a rumoured full-face display instead of thescreen-and-physical-keyboard combo we've been used to with Blackberrydevices to date.
Of the two platforms, the Blackberry still verymuch has the edge for business users. It offers wider push email accessthan the iPhone, with support for IBM Lotus Domino and Novell Groupwareas well as Microsoft Exchange.
IM and third party apps
TheBlackberry also includes Instant Messaging - something the iPhone can’tyet do, despite iChat’s inclusion in OS X on the Mac.
AllBlackberries, of course, are also compatible with thousands ofthird-party applications aimed at business users, the Apple iPhone hashardly got started.
iPhone 3G vs Blackberry Bold
Specfor spec, the iPhone and Blackberry Bold 9000 are more or less par -both offer Wi-Fi , GPS and 3G (the Bold is the first Blackberry modelto do so).
The iPhone 3G beats the Bold hands-down when it comesto on-board storage though: you get a choice of either 8GB or 16GB onthe iPhone; the Blackberry Bold holds 1GB, plus a side-mounted SD cardslot.
The decider for many corporate types of course will be whattheir company chooses to give them. Businesses are still more likely topick a Blackberry for their employees,  but it’s the iPhone that manyof us would buy given a choice.
The real threat?
Intruth, the iPhone 3G and the Blackberry very distinct platforms thatcan easily find room to manoeuvre in the rapidly growing smartphonespace.
If anything the iPhone and Blackberry pose more of athreat to Windows Mobile, Palm and Symbian platforms than they do toeach other. We expect both to clean up in the coming months.
Posted by Editorial Team Fri Jun 13, 2008 6:13 pm
AMD delivers Xbox 360 graphics on handhelds in Hardware, Internet, Networking, Comms and Security
AMD claims that it can now achieve Xbox 360 quality graphics on a handheld system.
Engadgetreports that the company “has announced it has achieved Open GL ES 2.0mobile graphics technology compliance with hardware that cranks out thesame AMD Unified Shader Architecture as the Microsoft gaming console.”
AMD takes on Tegra
The new AMD graphics standard will go head to head with NVIDIA’s Tegra which also holds the promise of high-end gaming graphics on mobile and handheld platforms.
More mobile 360 rumours
Ofcourse, there has been ongoing rumour of a ‘mobile Xbox 360’ prettymuch since Microsoft launched the console, with Microsoft refusing tocomment on the constant speculation and rumour.
Might thislatest development mean that we could hear more on a mobile Xbox soonerrather than later? Who knows? Let (yet more) speculation and rumourbegin…
Posted by Editorial Team Fri Jun 13, 2008 5:46 pm
WWDC 08: Developer Demos Roundup in Apple
Appletook the wraps off version 2.0 of its iPhone firmware at WWDCtoday.But it didn't send thousands of iPhone owners scurrying away toclickon 'Check for Update' in iTunes.
The 2.0 firmware, and by associationthe new iPhone3G, are due to be rolled out worldwide on July 11.
Thenew iPhone 3G is undoubtedly theheadline act – it updates Apple'spioneering smartphone withtri-band HSDPA connectivity, GPS and improvedbattery life. If theiPhone was hard to beat before, it's even toughernow. But the new2.0 firmware that's being rolled out with it is equallyimportant.
Enterprise, SDK and 'new features'
Availableon both the 3G and original2G iPhones, version 2.0 adds a several newfeatures to the iPhoneplatform. There are those that we've alreadyseen: push email andcalendaring (via MS Exchange), Cisco VPN supportand downloadablethird-party applications via the forthcoming App Store.
And there are those features we didn'tsee coming: a pushnotification service, a scientific version of Calcand a nifty ContactSearch. These hardly make compelling front pagenews. Apple has improvedthe iPhone in very subtle ways.
When it hits on July 11, version2.0 ofthe iPhone firmware won't offer a major overhaul of theiconictouchscreen interface. Why should it? If it 'aint broke... AsSteveJobs explained in his keynote, there are three elements to theiPhone2.0 software – enterprise, the SDK and 'new features'.
SinceApple firstrevealed the iPhone 2.0 software back in early March, we'veknownabout its enterprise plans. Apple's support for MS Exchangewillenable the sort of push calendaring, push email, push contactsandremote wipe capabilities that businesses have been crying outfor.Ditto the built-in Cisco VPN client.
What we're reallyinterested in is thepersonal apps and games. With 250,000 softwaredeveloper kitsdownloaded since March, Jobs revealed that Apple hadadmitted 4,000applicants to its iPhone developer programme (from25,000applications).
With access to the iPhone's coreAPIs(shared with Mac OS X), plus its accelerometer, cameraandlocalisation features, we now have a better idea of what theiPhoneis capable of.
Super Monkey Ball for $9.99
Just as it did back in March, Segashowed off an updated cut of its GameCube favourite Super MonkeyBall.This game will be available on the App Store for $9.99 when itlaunchesin July. That's about £5 or £6 in UK money,although expect thereal-world exchange rate to be avoided in favourof $1=£1. At least it'sa lot less than the rumoured $25 pergame that was swirling around techwebsites pre-keynote.
In comparison, the rest of the earlyAppStore line-up at WWDC seems a little simplistic – anuninspiringselection of games, medical applications and prettied-upnews feeds. Butthere are some bright sparks.
The mobile version of TypePad,forexample, has been designed to tie in with the iPhone's camera,enablingyou to take shots and upload them to a website. Looptoffers a mix ofsocial networking with location-aware intelligence,while the AssociatedPress plans anapp that will map your whereabouts to deliver relevantnews.
Apple itself has developed a pushnotification service,designed to keep a persistent IP connectionopen that can notify you ofnew emails or instant messages. And itdoes this without the relevantapplications running in thebackground. It's a big deal, but pencilSeptember in your diary forthis one.
Like the iPhone 3G, the AppStoreshould launch on July 11th. 2G and 3G iPhone owners will be abletodownload apps less than 10MB over 2G/3G, Wi-Fi or via iTunes.Anythinggreater than 10MB will be limited to Wi-Fi connections anddownloads viaiTunes.
The 2.0 upgrade will be free for iPhoneusers, but it will cost iPod touch owners $9.95.
Posted by Editorial Team Tue Jun 10, 2008 4:03 am
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