User Control Panel
Search iVirtua
Advanced/Tag Search...
Search Users...
What is iVirtua Exclusive Community?
  • An exclusive gaming industry community targeted to, and designed for Professionals, Businesses and Students in the sectors and industries of Gaming, New Media and the Web, all closely related with it's Business and Industry.
  • A Rich content driven service including articles, contributed discussion, news, reviews, networking, downloads, and debate.
  • We strive to cater for cultural influencers, technology decision makers, early adopters and business leaders in the gaming industry.
  • A medium to share your or contribute your ideas, experiences, questions and point of view or network with other colleagues here at iVirtua Community.
Guest's Communication
Live Chat
Teamspeak (VOIP) Audio Conference
Private Messages
Check your Private Messages
Themes
Choose an iVirtua Community theme to reflect your interests...
Business Theme
India/Arabic Theme

Gaming Theme
iVirtua Recommends
Fly Emirates Advertising
907 results for money
Over 160 games for the iPhone, reveals Jobs in Gaming
Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO, has revealed that over 160 games will beavailable to download for the iPhone upon launch of the devices AppStore, in a phone call with the New York Times.
Intotal 500 applications will be available when the store launches in theUS today, 25 per cent of which will be free, 90 per cent will be soldfor less than USD 9.99 and one third of the applications will be games.
Jobs also revealed that that Apple doesn't plan to make much money offof the applications, including games, by giving developers a 70 percent cut of the sales.
                   
"We are not trying to be business partners," said Jobs.
Posted by Editorial Team Mon Jul 14, 2008 12:33 pm
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



Email this article          
Bookmark          
                    
Bookmark this Article                    
Close                                   
               
Digg.com Del.icio.us Reddit.com                              
Facebook Slashdot.org Google Bookmarks                              
N4G Stumbleupon.com Fark.com                                             
                                   
               
                    

                    
Email this Article
                    
Close
                                        
                    
                         
                              
To:
                                                       
                         
                              
                                                                 
                              
                                   
Invalid Email
                              
                         
                    
                    
                         
                              
From:
                                                       
                         
                              
                                                                 
                              
                                   
Invalid Email
                              
                         
                    
                    
                         
                              
Comment:
                              
                                                           

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    
                    
               
          
          
          
                   
            


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
Build a DX10 rig for under £176 in Hardware, Internet, Networking, Comms and Security
To add onto this:

I would not recommend anyone to get a quad core for gaming.  I have a socket 939 Operteron 180, a 2.4GHz dual core with 2mb of L2 cache.  I got it for $170, which is not bad for a dual core Opteron.  You may say "That thing sucks you couldn't do any good gaming on it".  Well apparently, with my 7900GT, I played the Crysis demo with medium-high settings (physics were maxed as far as I remember)  and with a 25-45 framerate, my cpu usage stayed below 90%.  Now, if my video card were not the downfall, it is possible my cpu would reach 100% but if I had a better video card, I probably would be using a better cpu as well.  My point is, even a 2.4ghz dual core is good enough to play crysis, so those "know-it-alls" who get their precious 2.8ghz quad core intels have not only wasted a ton of money but have more performance than they'll really need.
Posted by schmidtbag Thu Jul 10, 2008 1:49 pm
The Hardcore Niche - The changing Videogame market in Gaming
The video game market is changing incrediblyquickly right now, probably at the fastest rate since the big crash ofthe mid-1980s.
Not only is the market expanding to include women and casual gamersonce again, the definition of what constitutes a game is expanding. Iwouldn't say it’s expanding within the minds of game developers, but itis expanding in the context of the mass media and mass consumers, andthat’s who drives the market in the first place.
As sick to death as we all are of talking about microtransactions,free-to-play MMOs, and casual online spaces, the advent of these thingsis changing the game landscape for good, whether we like it or not.
    
Interactive Media - At Face Value
The lines between an online community portal and an MMO are blurredto the point of being indistinguishable. Consider the numbers — Audition Online has tens of millions of users worldwide, and a dedicated TV show in Vietnam. Kart Rider has tens of millions of users. Ditto Habbo Hotel and Club Penguin.
Traditional games - like most people reading this are developingtoday - may never be able to reach that large of an audience. Our gamesare too focused, too hardcore, and bear too much of the stereotype of“gamer.”
                         
               
Right now, Halo 3, Grand Theft Auto IV, and World of Warcraftare considered our blockbuster titles, and flagships for the industryin popular culture. But when you think about it, it’s still justshooting aliens, playing gang banger, and swinging your sword in theforest.
Boiled down to their essentials those things appeal to a verylimited group of people, and the complexity of game controls preventseven blockbuster movie attendees, whom we should be attracting, fromplaying these things.
At least, that’s the common line. But is that really the case? Doaliens, wizards, and soldiers really make a piece of entertainmentinaccessible? Many millions of people went to see the Iron Man movieover the past two months, and a large percentage of them have probablynever picked up a comic book in their lives.
Why is it that people will go see The Lord of the Rings' movies, but many of them will not play the games?
The Real Mass Market
It’s common knowledge that game controllers are intimidating, thatconsoles have a certain stigma to them, and that most mass marketconsumers consider games to be either a waste of time, or activelydetrimental.
These can all be debated until the end of time, but the perceptionexists, and either that has to change (Nintendo is doing good workthere), or we have to change. Otherwise we’ll end up with acomparatively small fraction of a growing market.
Will it be possible to make a game like Assassin’s Creed or BioShockin 2015? It’s already becoming difficult to justify large budgets forsingle-player experiences, and it stands to reason that it will getmore difficult as time goes on. What does that mean for developers ofthese games? What happens to the concept of a game auteur?
One possibility is for these hardcore games to essentially becomethe art-house cinema of the video game world, which would be odd, asthat’s a role currently filled by indie titles.
Interestingly, never has the film/game analogy worked less well than it does currently. In the PS2 era, you could correlate Grand Theft Auto III with a movie blockbuster, and Ico with an art-house film.
But now, in terms of scope, money, and global social impact, Kart Rider or Club Penguin would be that blockbuster, and Call of Duty 4 would be the art-house equivalent, though content- and budget-wise Call of Duty 4 is much more your traditional blockbuster material. Something seems awry there.
The fact is, these simple-to-play social experiences are here.They’re growing in popularity, they’re dwarfing our multi-milliondollar projects that sell through to 5 million people at max, and theycost a fraction of the price to make.
With the market expanding as it is, and the dollars going wherethey’re going, the $20 million budget bestselling console title oftoday is going to be the hardcore niche title of tomorrow, art-house ornot. Unless development costs get significantly lower, it seems we havean online future to look forward to.
New Things Are Stupid
To wit: online games are taking over, and I, curmudgeon that I am, don’t really like it.
Certainly there will always be the hardcore players that will wantthat deeper experience. There’s no doubt about that. But the questionis: in an industry where we’re getting our asses kicked financially byweb developers, of all people, who will pay us to make it?
Posted by Editorial Team Tue Jul 08, 2008 7:55 am
Build a DX10 rig for under £176 in Hardware, Internet, Networking, Comms and Security
We like big explosions, the bigger the better, in fact.
Wealso like smoke effects, water ripples, dappled lighting filteringthrough jungle canopies and creeping up silently behind people, beforemurdering them with our bare hands. But enough about our weekendpastimes…
What we really like are the fantastic visuals that DX10 gaming offers.
If you listen to most people, they will tell you that you need a quad-core, DDR3, triple-SLI setup to play Crysis. The sort of setup that requires you to remortgage your house to own. These people are wrong, and we're going to show you why.
We'vepreviously demonstrated how to build a DX10 setup for just under £300,a not unreasonable amount that should be within the reach of mostpeople. But what if you just blew all your money on a sordid weekend inAmsterdam, and you've resorted to scrambling under the sofa for loosechange? Would you believe us if we told you that it's possible to builda DX10-capable rig for well under £200? Well, it's true.
Ofcourse you can't connect it to a 22-inch wide screen monitor withoutthe frame rates plummetting, but if you're on that tight a budget, abig monitor is probably the least of your concerns.
Wheneveryou work to such a tight budget, something has to give and this projectwill be no exception. We need to prioritise in certain areas, whileothers can be largely ignored.
Yes, a case is important to stopyour gear being an untidy heap of electronics on the floor, but reallyyou just need a metal box to screw things onto. Optical drives are dirtcheap, and with memory stick capacities being what they are, hardlyanyone burns DVDs, so we only need a DVD ROM.
It also means noquad-core and no SLI. But dual-core chips are surprisingly cheap, andwe'll see just how well a budget DX10 card performs. Don't forget thatif you have any parts available from an existing PC, such as cases anddrives, you can reuse them and put the money towards a higher-end CPUor graphics card.


       
Case and PSU
Ifyou want a well-designed case, with plenty of fans, numerous ports andplenty of upgradability, then it's easily possible to spend more thanour entire budget on such a beast.
Likewise, if you want a 1KwPSU that supports the likes of SLI, then it's going to cost a fairamount of cash. At the other end of the spectrum is the all-in-one caseand PSU deal. We found one for just £26, which includes a 400W PSU.
Thismay not sound like a lot of power, but it's more than enough to run oursetup. When spending such a small amount of money on a case, you'dexpect it to be quite horrific, but it's surprisingly well featured. Ithas a matt-black finish, which helps on the looks front, and the frontpanel has USB and audio ports.
Most of the internals can befitted without the need for a screwdriver, and it even has a lockingside panel. Sure, it isn't the best-looking or quietest case we've everseen, but for this sort of money, we're not complaining.
The result?
As the most basic DX10 card available from NVIDIA, it comes as no surprise that the performance of the 8400 is not the best.
However,at £20 it still does pretty well, as long as you keep the resolutionrealistic. Okay, not everyone wants to play at 800x600, or even1024x768, but then you shouldn't be so cheap, should you?
Surprisingly, Crysis gave some of the best results, although BioShock achieves the best framerates of all. Using the Optimal settings button, Crysisdid set all the detail level to low, but the results still lookedpretty good. However, if you're going to be realistic about playingDirectX10 games, then you are going to have to find a little more moneyin your budget.
Hooking the 9600GT up to our budget CPU workedabsolute miracles, and at around £70 extra is an absolute steal. Notonly could we turn the detail right up, but we could run a higherresolution and still get twice the frame rates of the 8400GS.
Surprisingly,adding a high-end quadcore CPU doesn't give much of an increase, witheither the 8400 or 9600GT. In conjunction with the 8400Gs, the Phemom9550 does give you some extra fps over the Athlon X2 4400+, but withwhen it comes to the 9600GT, the difference over the 4400+ setup ismarginal.
So, if you want the best performance, and can spend alittle extra, buying the 9600GT is the logical choice. You know itmakes sense.
Posted by Editorial Team Tue Jul 08, 2008 7:47 am
Valve hacker of Steam Cyber cafes caught by police in Gaming
A man who hacked into a third partyValve file server and stole the credit card numbers of Steam Cyber Caféusers has been caught by Dutch police.


The hacker, who went by the onlinehandle MaddoxX, managed to break into a server containing credit cardinformation, transaction amounts, Valve's bank balance and data thatallowed the creation of counterfeit Cyber Café websites.

MaddoxX posted the information on a website, but didn't use the information for personal gain. According to ShackNews, he posted a message that said: "We also don't want money from VALVe, we want a simple message on their site."

Despite making a moral standing on that occasion, the Dutch Ministry ofthe Interior said that the 20 year old hacker had managed to "burn 13million Euros playing poker online and shopping for notebooks, flatscreens and MP3 players." Based on that, we're guessing he wasn't asmorally resolute every time he came across personal data.

Inaddition to the Valve incident, he is also being charged with hackinghis way into an Activision server and downloading an unfinished copy ofEnemy Territory: Quake Wars. Which, if nothing else, is not the gameyou want to get caught hacking for.
Posted by Editorial Team Tue Jul 01, 2008 7:06 am
Top 10 most vital people-powered technologies - FEATURE in General Discussion, including Off Topic, Current Affairs
Linux
Thedaddy of people power, this open source operating system owes prettymuch everything to the massive community of users and developers who'vebuilt it, broken it, put it back together again and added all sorts ofgoodies.
The penguin logo unites a truly incredible group oftalented people, from driver developers to desktop designers, advocatesto application builders.
Firefox
Even people who think that Linux is a character in the Peanutscartoon know about Firefox. What makes it special isn't the open sourcecommunity that created and maintain it, however; It's the efforts ofthe developer community whose extensions make Firefox the Swiss ArmyKnife of the internet.
Whether you want to block annoying ads,keep track of interesting sites or just stay up to date with footieresults from around the world, if you can imagine it, there's almostcertainly an extension that does it.
Half-Life 2
This month we've mostly been playing Minerva, Adam Foster's excellent mod for Half-Life 2 (http://developer.valvesoftware.com/wiki/MINERVA). Modders have been creating new stories since the days of Doom, and a quick look around Moddb (www.moddb.com) uncovers stacks of mods for your favourite PC games.
Smartdevelopers - such as Half-Life's Valve - know that mods make theirgames even more attractive, so the firms make modding as easy andaccessible as possible.
Xbox
Is your original Xbox gathering dust in the loft? Why not dust it down and turn it into a fully-fledged media centre?
While Microsoft blabs about the 360's multimedia features, the talented team at the Xbox Media Center project (www.xboxmediacenter.com)can turn an ageing original Xbox into a multimedia marvel (although ifyou don't fancy modding your console, steer clear - XBMC only works onhacked machines).
Job done, they're turning their attention to other platforms: a Linux version of the software is in development.
TiVo
Thecommunity that's sprung up around the TiVo digital video recorder(www.tivocommunity.com) is a thing of wonder, with users offering eachother advice, commenting on the company and fiddling with its products- often in ways that would give film and TV studios heart attacks.


       
While TiVo claims not to encourageor discourage the hacking community, it's pretty obvious that thehacking community makes the product even more attractive to tech-heads- and hackers' ideas often turn up in the official product, such aswhen the community found and fixed a date problem in older TiVo boxes.
iPhone
iPhonehackers aren't just trying to free the phone for use on any network.They've found ways to turn your existing tunes into ringtones withoutpaying for them all over again, created all kinds of add-onapplications and best of all, found a way to change the truly horriblefont on the Notes screen.
PlayStation Portable
Sonydoesn't like it - recent firmware updates mean that unless you've gotan older PSP, your options are limited - but thanks to Homebrew (www.psp-homebrew.eu)you can add all kinds of goodies to the device. There are loads,including customisers, emulators, chat programs and GPS software.
Overclocking
Changingchips' clock speeds and hoping they wouldn't set your house on fireused to be a shadowy pursuit that tech firms frowned upon. Thenhardware firms realised that overclockers had money as well as PCs toburn.
Now, motherboard makers often provide everything a speeddemon needs, either in the motherboard BIOS or on the driver CD, andgraphics card firms are keen too. For example, ATI actively encouragesoverclockers to ramp up their Radeons.
Windows Media Center
Microsoft'smedia system is pretty nifty, but it's niftier still when you tweak ituntil it squeaks. Microsoft knows this, which is why it happily linksto two independent community sites: the Media Center-specific GreenButton (thegreenbutton.com), and the general audio-visual AVS Forum(www.avsforum.com/avs-vb).
The software giant also has its own community site (www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/expertzone/communities/mediacenter.mspx), where media center experts share their top tips.
Web apps
Firms who make it easy to interact with their online apps have createda massive community of developers. Google Maps has been adapted toprovide maps of speed cameras (http://spod.cx/speedcameras.shtml) and to create flight simulators (http://www.isoma.net/games/goggles.html), while keen developers have created software for apps such as Google Mail and Flickr.
You'll also find useful and useless apps alike on social networks such as Facebook.
Posted by Editorial Team Mon Jun 30, 2008 6:31 am
£299.99: iPhone 3G PAYG UK price announced in Entertainment, Film and Music, Mobile devices and media
UK pricing of Apple's pay as you go3G iPhone was posted on to O2's UK website today and then promptlytaken down again, but not before some eagle-eyed bloggers got a sneakyglimpse of the pricing.
It seems that if you want to purchase acontract-free 3G iPhone, you are going to cough up a pretty penny forone. An 8GB Apple iPhone 3G will cost customers £299.99, while themeatier 16GB version will be available in 02 stores for £359.99.
The package
Notonly do you get an iPhone for this price, but O2 and Apple are alsothrowing in 6 months of unlimited WiFi hotspot access and web browsing.This is, of course, subject to 'excessive use policy'. At the end ofthe six months, the unlimited web browsing and WiFi access will costusers £10 a month.
As with all O2 PAYG accounts, the tariffchosen will decide the price of your calls, so buying more top-up amonth means cheaper calls and vice versa.
This PAYG offer will be available until 31 December 2008.
So, £299.99 plus for a phone: is it worth spending all this money to not be tied to a contract?
Posted by Editorial Team Mon Jun 30, 2008 6:26 am
Why the PC is the future (from VALVE) [FEATURE] in Gaming
When Valve summoned a handful of US and UK journalists to itsSeattle headquarters at the end of last month, it promised to talkabout the future of Steam, its digital distribution system. That itdid, revealing the ambitious Steam Cloud service for remote storage of game data, and boasting that it would soon be making more money selling games digitally, all the while remaining untroubled by piracy.
Valvemastermind Gabe Newell and his cohorts had an ulterior motive forbringing reporters together, however, and unusually for an ulteriormotive, it wasn't a wholly self-interested one. It was this: toevangelise the PC as the games platform of the future.
"Thisreally should be done by a company like Intel or Microsoft, somebodywho's a lot more central to the PC," says Newell, pointing out thatcompanies like Blizzard, PopCap and GameTap would have just as much tosay as Valve about how PC gaming is leading innovation in technology,business models, and community-building. But, notwithstandingMicrosoft's occasional promotionof Games For Windows - an initiative Newell refrains from attackingdirectly, but exudes disdain for - that support has not beenforthcoming.
Where console platforms have merciless andwell-funded PR armies poised to combat any criticism, negative storiesabout the PC - mostly publishers, or developers like Crtyek,complaining of rampant piracy and flat sales - run unimpeded. Salesdata that focuses solely on boxed copies sold at retail appear to backthem up. Valve has had enough. "There's a perception problem," saysNewell. "The stories that are getting written are not reflecting whatis really going on."



You want figures? There are 260 million online PC gamers, a marketthat dwarfs the install base of any console platform, online oroffline. Each year, 255 million new PCs are made; not all of them forgaming, it's true, but Newell argues that the enormous capitalinvestment and economies of scale involved in this huge market ensurethat PCs remain at the cutting edge of hardware development, andconsoles their "stepchildren", in connectivity and graphics technologyespecially. Meanwhile, Valve's business development guru, JasonHoltman, notes that without the pressure of cyclical hardware cycles,PC gaming projects - he points to Steam as an example - can groworganically, over long periods of time, and with no ceiling whatsoeverto their potential audiences.

More pertinent, perhaps, are thefigures directly relating to games revenue that the retail charts -admittedly a stale procession of Sims expansions and under-performingconsole ports - don't pick up. "If you look into the future, there's animportant transition that's about to happen, and it's going to happenon the PC first," says Newell.

At its heart, he explains, is a shift from viewing games as aphysical product, to viewing them as a service - something that is alsohappening in other entertainment media. Digital distribution is part ofthat; more fluid and varied forms of game development, with games thatchange and engage their communities of players over time, are another;as is, naturally, the persistence and subscription (or otherwise)revenues of MMO games. None of this is reflected in the sales chartsanalysts, executives - and gamers - obsess over.
Valve sees 200per cent growth in these alternative channels - not just Steam, butincluding the likes of cyber-cafes as well - versus less than 10 percent in bricks-and-mortar shop sales. Steam has a 15 million-strongplayer-base with 1.25 million peak concurrent users, and 191 per centannual growth; none too far off a console platform in itself. The PCcasual games market, driven by the likes of PopCap, has gone from nextto nothing to USD 1.5 billion dollar industry in under ten years, andhas doubled in size in just three. Perhaps most surprisingly, Valve hasfound that digital distribution doesn't cannibalise retail sales - infact, a free Day of Defeat weekend on Steam created more new retailsales than online ones.


And then there is the game that many claim has been the death of PCgaming, but that Valve sees as its greatest success story, and itsfuture. "Until recently, the fact that World of Warcraft was generating120 million dollars in gross revenue on a monthly basis was completelyoff the books," Newell says. "Essentially, [Blizzard is] creating a newIron Man every month, in terms of the gross revenue they're generatingas a studio. Any movie studio would be shouting about that from therooftops. But it was essentially invisible."
Newell thinks thatWOW is "arguably the most valuable entertainment franchise in any mediaright now", and also believes, rightly, that it could only ever havehappened on the PC. He also tips his hat to South Korea's Nexxon forits enormous success with free-to-play, microtransaction-driven gameslike Kart Rider and Maple Story, soon to be aped by EA's BattlefieldHeroes.

There is another reason for the gulf between theperception and the reality of the games market, Valve thinks, and it'sa geographical and linguistic one. The dominance of the Englishlanguage gives the US and UK games markets, where the PC is weakest,undue prominence. In several major Western markets - notably Germanyand the Nordic countries - the PC performs much better. What's more, inthe emerging markets of China, Korea and Russia, where gaming is seeingunprecedented, explosive growth, console install bases are negligible,and the PC is king. Valve thinks that there's a silent majority ofglobal gamers who are skipping the console era entirely, the way thesedeveloping nations already skipped dial-up internet.

Steam isavailable in 21 languages for this reason, and Valve reckons that itsspeedy localisation and lack of physical distribution is an effectivecounter to the piracy common in these markets. It's also allowing Valveto get games to players in regions traditional channels don't support."PC's are everywhere in the world," says Holtman simply. "PC's are thesame all over the world. All of sudden, if you can open up emergingmarkets and go somewhere like Russia or South East Asia, you've goneway further than you can go with a closed console. There are 17 millionPC gaming customers in Russia alone."

A key shift in this brave new world of games as services rather thanproducts - and one that runs contrary to the traditional image of PCgaming - is a move away from graphical fidelity being the yardstick ofprogress. "As a company that's really proud of the job we do withgraphics it's funny to say this," Newell says, "but we get a betterreturn right now by focusing on those features and technologies thatare about community, about connecting people together."
He citeseasy uploading of gameplay videos to YouTube as a bigger source ofentertainment value than marginal improvements in graphics. "I thinkthat people thinking about how to generate web hits on their serversare a lot closer to the right mentality for what's going to besuccessful in entertainment going forward, than somebody that's used tohaving conversations about how to get end caps at Best Buy."
Therevolution in distribution and business models also offers a major newopportunity for smaller games - and smaller games developers - tothrive. The demands of retail - the logistical problems of gettingboxes to shops, and the budgetary drain of huge marketing campaigns -mean that bigger is necessarily better in the traditional games market.
Notso on Steam and its equivalents, says Valve, pointing to the hugesuccess of indie darling Audiosurf, as well as its own Portal. "As youmove away from that huge first weekend, big blockbuster mentality,"says Newell, "you're getting back to an area where smaller and smallergroups can connect with customers. I think you're going to find thatthe enjoyment of being in the game industry as a developer on the PC isa lot greater than outside of it."

He's backed up by an actual indie, Audiosurf creator Dylan Fitterer.This one-man development, created without financial backing -impossible on consoles, due to the cost of development kits - was thebest-selling game on Steam full-stop at its release, outclassing manybig-budget titles. "I didn't have to ask anybody if I could release it,except for my wife," Fitterer says. "It took a few years, and I waspretty darn tired by the time it was ready. Something likecertifications? No thanks." He also points out the tight limitations ofconsole servers versus PC servers for online gaming; Audiosurf'sscoreboard for every song ever recorded would be out of the question ona closed platform.
Holtman argues that Steam and Steamworks - thesuite of free tools it offers - revolutionise the environment fordevelopers and publishers. The auto-updating system means that a gamecan be developed right up to release and beyond. It eases painfulcrunch times, and allows game makers to respond to their audiences,publishers to develop their titles as continuously evolving franchisesrather than finite products.
"All of a sudden, PC games becomethis thing that's reliable and up-to-date," says Holtman. Team Fortress2 designer Robin Walker weighs in, noting that the PC version of theshooter has had no less than 53 updates since its release last year -something that certification cost and time have prohibited for onconsole - and that this "ship continuously" ethos is a key component tothe success of the best multiplayer titles. Steam, he says, makes thatprocess fast and transparent.
"I don't want anyone between me andmy customers," says Walker. "I want to write code today and I want allmy customers running it tomorrow." Possible on the PC - Steam inparticular, naturally. Not possible on consoles. For his part, Fittereradded achievements to Audiosurf in a total of two days. This constantiteration creates a feedback loop between developer and customer that,reckons Walker, can only improve the quality of the game. "The more Italk to my customers, the better my decisions will be. Without a systemof talking to my customers, I will make bad decisions."

The implication is a striking one: sporadic, excessively controlledupdating means that console multiplayer games will never reach theheights of their PC counterparts. There is a counter-argument - that PCgames descend into a poorly-defined, indistinct mess of constantpatching - but it is effectively squashed by the fact that, if you lookfor a multiplayer game with the longevity and massive popularity of aWOW or a Counter-Strike on console, you won't find one (with the veryarguable exception of Halo).
Auto-updating is the reason Valvecreated Steam in the first place. It's the reason it now finds itselfin an odd position for a developer: semi-publisher, leadingdistributor, market analyst, agony uncle and technocrat - not tomention defender of a platform that's still being proclaimed dead, whenall signs point to the very opposite.
At the end of the day, PCgaming's health - and its trickiest challenge - comes down to a bottomline that even the format's detractors can't refute: there are just somany of the damn things. "We think the number of connected PC gamers weare selling our products to dwarf the current generation of consolesput together," states Newell. "There are tremendous opportunities infiguring out how to reach out to those customers.
Posted by Editorial Team Mon Jun 30, 2008 6:22 am
25 rarest Nintendo games ever in Gaming
We could've filled the entire list withantique Game & Watch titles alone (they're manna from heaven forcollectors), but for the sake of balance here's a list of some of themost valuable games across Nintendo's entire portfolio.


So before you throw out any 'junk' boxes from the loft, best check they don't contain any of these 25 rare classics.


Harvest Moon (SNES, US) - £60
The SNES version of Harvest Moon is still considered the best amongfans of the whimsy-heavy farming/courting sim. It doesn't come up veryoften on eBay, and when it does you can expect to pay at least £60 fora good boxed copy. The N64 version was released soon after, accountingfor the SNES game's initial lack of popularity.


Banjo-Tooie (SNES, PAL) - £60
Rare's first Banjo-Kazooie game was extremely popular, but Banjo 2 gotstuck in development and ended up coming out towards the end of theN64's lifespan. Although you may be able to pick up a copy cheaper, agood boxed version will set you back at least £50, and sealed copieshave been known to go for as much as £100. You'll probably see theseprices rise when more news of Banjo-Kazooie 3 on Xbox 360 emerges.


Dracula X (SNES, US) - £70
The final Castlevania game released on SNES wasn't as popular asprevious iterations, but the series has gained great cachet with gamersmore recently, especially since prices for Castlevania: Symphony Of TheNight skyrocketed on PS1. Dracula X is unlikely to go down in value.


Sin & Punishment (N64, jpn) - £70
While the version released on Virtual Console has adversely affectedthe original's price, this N64 classic is still a jewel in the crownfor any Nintendophile. This Treasure shooter was designed for the N64analogue stick and is always best played on its host hardware. A goodinvestment and a collectable game you'll actually bring out from timeto time.

<!--[bigpic]-->
Naruto: Clash of Ninja (GameCube, PAL) - £75
Although it's worth very little in America and Japan, the PAL releaseof Naruto Clash Of Ninja didn't see wide distribution and it's beenknown to fetch up to £75 on eBay. Expect other GameCube titles such asChibi-Robo and Baten Kaitos to increase in price because of theirlimited numbers.


Earthbound (SNES, US) - £80
This Japanese hit was released in the US but failed to make much of animpression. Now it's lauded for its RPG in-jokes and humorous take onAmerican culture. Again, rumours abound that EarthBound is to bere-released on Virtual Console, which may bring the price down on thisUS import.


Paper Mario (N64, PAL) - £80
Another rare PAL gem. Though Paper Mario continues to be one of themost popular titles on Wii's Virtual Console, collectors will stillfork out good money for this great mix of platforming and puzzling inits original guise. Until recently, copies of this SNES classic couldstill be found in many second-hand game stores.


Bakuretsu Muteki Bangaioh - (N64, jpn) - £80
If you thought the Dreamcast version of Bangai-O was good, you shouldcheck out the original N64 version with its sublime analogue controls.Only 10,000 copies were released in Japan and it's been going up inprice ever since. Find a mint, boxed copy and you'll have collectorsknocking your door down.


Chrono Trigger (SNES, US) - £90
Chrono Trigger isn't rare by any standards - indeed, thousands ofcopies are on the market. However, the game is so good, and has builtup such a reputation, that people are willing to pay upwards of £100for a sealed, boxed SNES copy. You can even get it as part of FinalFantasy Chronicles for PS1, but still the collectors pay big money forit. Rarity isn't really the main consideration, we guess.

<!--[bigpic]-->
Ninja Gaiden Trilogy (SNES, US) - £150
Even though this comprises all three of the Ninja Gaiden games releasedon NES with a graphical update, it didn't sell very well when it firstcame out in 1995. But since the next-generation Ninja Gaiden games werereleased, Tecmo's star has risen, enhancing the price of this cartconsiderably.


Final Fight 3 (SNES, PAL) - £180
The PAL version of Final Fight 3 is a hidden treasure waiting tohappen. Let's face it, unless you're a collector you're unlikely toknow its true value and this is your best chance of picking up a gem atthe local car boot sale. A naked cart is probably only worth £40, butif you can find a good boxed copy then you're likely to achieve £180 to£200. And it's a decent game, too, containing two extra characters inDean and Lucia Morgan.


Space Invaders (Virtual Boy, jpn) - £200
A good boxed copy of Space Invaders on Virtual Boy can now fetch £200.It's notable because it's one of the better games on the system, and solong as you don't play it too much (giving yourself a much-warned-aboutmigraine) you'll get some fun out of it. Virtual Boy games have shot upin price in the last five years and this trend doesn't look likeabating. It may be a good investment for the future...

The Flintstones: Surprise at Dinosaur Peak (NES, US) - £200

As the NES drew to the end of its lifespan, publishers began releasingtheir games exclusively to game rental companies, bypassing traditionalgame shops. The Flintstones II is typical of this, and although it's alittle easier to track down in Europe than elsewhere, it can stilldemand high prices. United States copies can go for £200, thoughfinding ex-rental games in good condition is like finding a joke in anepisode of My Family.

<!--[bigpic]--> Starfox Super Weekend/Donkey Kong Country Competition Carts (SNES, US) - £200

These two separate carts were manufactured specifically for use inBlockbuster in-store competition promotions. Only about 2,500 were madeof each but they were initially sold off in stores for a knock-downprice. Because of their rarity you can expect to see them sell on eBayfor around £200, depending on what kind of condition they're in.


Rendering Ranger R2 (Super Famicom, JPN) - £200
This run-and-gun classic came from the makers of Turrican, so Lordknows why a game of such pedigree was only released in Japan. It'sunusual for a rare game in that it's actually very playable today. Acart-only copy might still sell for £80, but find it boxed and completeyou're looking at a sum of £200.

Fire Emblem Thracia 776 Collectors' pack (Super Famicom, JPN) - £200

Thracia may sound like a disease you'd pick up in a Bulgarian brothelbut this is actually a super-rare Fire Emblem collectors' pack. As itwas only released in Japan in limited numbers, you're unlikely to findit at the local car boot, but it shows that you should always keep youreye out for limited edition releases - and keep all the gubbins thatcomes with them.


Bubble Bath Babes (NES, US) - £250
Panesian was a company that produced several adult titles for the NES,including Peek-A-Boo Poker, Hot Slots and Bubble Bath Babes. Forobvious reasons the games didn't get Nintendo's seal of approval andended up being distributed via mail order catalogues or rental shelves,hence their scarcity. Interestingly, they didn't come in NES boxes butVHS-style cartons, so many are still undetected. The limited graphicsmake the sauciness factor rubbish, though.

<!--[bigpic]-->
Mountain Bike/Speed Racer Combo (SNES, US) - £300
This SNES combo underlines the fact that combining two or more gamesonto one cart for a limited print run is always going to have raritypotential. Good boxed copies have generally only come out of Nintendo'sown warehouses and if you can find one with the strange LifeFitnessBike peripheral then you're looking at a price in excess of £1,000.It's a cart that will always go up in value, but it's worth around £300today.


Myriad six in one (NES, US) - £350
This is the rarest unlicensed NES game and consists of six titles:Bookyman, Adam And Eve, Cosmos Cop, Magic Carpet 1001, Balloon Monsterand Porter. Its rarity is due to the fact that Myriad Games put outfewer than 1,000 carts and they were individually numbered. Gamescollectors speculate that there are only 100 left in existence, butonly 15 have ever surfaced.


Virtual Bowling (Virtual Boy, JPN) - £400
Only 22 games were ever released on Virtual Boy, although somecollectors believe there could be rare prototypes hidden away thatdidn't make it to retail. Virtual Bowling is actually a pretty goodbowling sim, offering practice and tournament modes, but the lack of asave battery means your scores are wiped when you switch off.Fortunately, passwords save the day. Not to be mistaken for Nester'sFunky Bowling, which is much more common.

<!--[bigpic]-->
Flagman (Game & Watch) - £450
There are plenty of rare Game & Watch titles we could have listed,including the obvious competition-only Super Mario Bros YM-901 (justtrips off the tongue), or the eminently collectable The Legend Of ZeldaGame & Watch, but it's likely to be the less well known titles thatwill surface down at your local flea market. A boxed Flagman could bagyou a small fortune.


Stadium Events (NES, US) - £500
Though common in PAL territories, Stadium Events is one of the NES'smost collectable games in America. Although it's a terribly averagefitness game, its value is due to Bandai printing a test run of thegame that was sold in Woolworths stores for a very short period beforeNintendo bought the rights. Rumours suggest there are only 10 completecopies on the market, and even unboxed Stadium Events carts can sellfor £400.


Virtual Lab (Virtual Boy, jpn) - £500
It's all too easy to look back on the Virtual Boy debacle and laugh,especially at the poor souls who thought it looked cool to wear a pairof heavy, red goggles and bellow, 'come on Mario, you can do it!'. Butwho's laughing now? Some Virtual Boy games are fetching massive prices,including this J-Wing developed Japanese puzzle game. The fact'Nintendo' is charmingly spelt 'Nintenndo' on the back of the box onlyadds to its value.


Balloon Fight Crystal (Game & Watch) - £600
This has to be one of the rarest Game & Watch titles, and boxed,good condition units have been known to fetch up to £600. Releasedtowards the end of the series' run for the Crystal Screen range,Balloon Fight's simple gameplay is reminiscent of Williams' Joust andhas since gone on to make an appearance in Animal Crossing.
Posted by Editorial Team Sun Jun 29, 2008 6:36 am
Mum designs screen protectors to protect TVs from Wiimotes in Gaming
A mother whose nine-year old sonwrecked a Plasma TV with a Wii Remote has developed a screen protectordesigned to prevent a similar catastrophe from occurring again.


The inspiration came when her son andhis cousin smashed up her telly while playing Wii Sports. "The end forour Plasma screen came just two days after we had won a Nintendo WiiConsole", she said to CVG.

"I was just walking into the roomand watched in horror as I saw a Nintendo Wii remote flying across theroom into the Plasma screen. Although it wasn't travelling very fast itsoon became apparent that the collision had broken the delicate surfaceof the Plasma screen."

After discovering that "many, manypeople" had experienced a similar problem, she developed a screenprotector to help save Plasma screens from flying Wii Remotes You cantake a look at what she came up with below or to the right.

Personally, we've never even seen anyone lose grip on a Wii Remote, letalone damage a TV with one. Mind you, none of us have kids (that weknow about).

If we did though and they broke our plasmascreen, we wouldn't invent a screen protector. Oh no, we'd pack themoff to brat camp spend their college money on a new TV.
Posted by Editorial Team Mon Jun 23, 2008 5:41 pm
Games could become 'little more than a marketing tool' in Business and Industry in Gaming, Media, Web, IT and Computing
Film Producer Todd Eckert has called for gamesdevelopers to avoid emulating the film industry, saying it runs therisk of being "co-opted".
Giving a speech at the GameHorizonconference, Eckert told attendees that games are on their way tobecoming the "greatest artistic medium" and should be wary of repeatingmistakes made by the film industry.
"Today, the greatestpotential for meaningful interaction between the entertainer and theentertained exists in videogames," he said.
                   
"Games shouldbecome the world's dominant medium...the film industry sees itself as afunnel channelling pop culture down the throats of the masses. For somereason the game industry still seems completely enamoured with the filmindustry. And if we're not careful we'll become like they are - littlemore than a marketing tool."
"We all have the responsibility tomake games the greatest artistic medium they can be and we can. I knowsome of you are here to make money, that's fine, but without thefundamental soul of the game the medium is nothing," Eckert added.
TheGameHorizon conference is taking place today in Newcastle, and hasattracted speakers such as Chris Satchell, Ian Livingstone, CharlesCecil, Tameem Antoniades and more.
Posted by Editorial Team Thu Jun 19, 2008 5:51 pm
Why Xbox Live isn't free in Gaming
Until recently, Microsoft could brag about how Live was by far themost feature-complete online service on any platform, with a unifiedFriends list, the best online shop, voice and video chat as standardand a consistent and stable online experience. But in recent monthsthere’s been a shift in the market, and even bigger changes are coming.Microsoft is the only player to charge for online play, and theirpolicy has landed some of the best online games on the 360... but as PCand PlayStation developers offer comparable features at no extra cost,the Gold subscription starts to lose its shine. The launch of the PC’sSteam Community late last year and promises made by Sony at January’sConsumer Electronics Show have placed Microsoft on the back foot, andhas all of us asking: what does your annual subscription pay for?
The Punters
It’s very simple math - you take the features offered by Xbox Live,subtract the features offered by Live Silver, and then subtract thefeatures Microsoft’s nearest competitor - the Playstation Network -offers for free, and whatever’s left is what Gold users get for theirannual fee.

In Microsoft’s own words, the perks of being a Gold subscriber are as follows:
1) Play your Xbox 360 multiplayer games online with the premiere online gaming service.
2) Use the brand new TrueSkill Matchmaking system to play againstopponents with similar skills, personalities, and gaming tastes.
3) Give player feedback to rate your teammates and opponents on theirsportsmanship, abilities, and conduct to influence matchmaking.
4) Play select original Xbox games online (the Xbox 360 Hard Drive is required).
5) Get access to exclusive Gold Member content.
6) Engage in video chat.
7) Enjoy all the Xbox Live Silver features.
Freed from PR-speak, points one, two and three are essentiallystandard functions of modern online play: multiplayer gaming, onlineranking and feedback systems, so we’ll consider them one point. Pointfour is available to Silver members and even to people without abroadband connection by downloading the CD from xbox.com. Fivepresumably refers to the demos which are available earlier for Goldsubscribers, but that’s really more a way of gimping Silver types thanrewarding Gold subscribers. Point six, we can’t argue with - video chatis limited to Gold - but as point seven demonstrates, Live Marketplace,Arcade games, DLC and auto-updates are available at no cost to Silvermembers.

We’ll kindly add to Microsoft’s list an eighth and ninth point -mass messaging is only available to Gold users, and Microsoft should bea little more proud of their unified Friends list and messenger whichmakes online gaming with friends such a complete pleasure.
So, with our non-scientific method, we’ve stripped Microsoft’s nine points down to just four:
1) Online play with standard features offered elsewhere.
2) Video chat.
3) Mass messaging.
4) Unified Friends list and messenger.
And of those four, Sony’s PSN offers one, two and three for nocharge to players. In effect, your subscription pays for... er, nothingmore than a list of 100 names you can pull up in any game.
Still, what you don’t see is that, unlike PSN, Live’s hosting -leaderboards, Matchmaking, the lot - are all run by Microsoft ratherthan by third parties. It means devs are more keen to go online on Xboxwhere the online play is paid for by you, rather than them, so - inthat sense, at least - Live’s hosting model makes for a more cohesiveand better supported service, but a model where the cost will always bepicked up on the gamer’s end.


The Developers
So long as the expense of running servers and matchmaking systemshas to be picked up by somebody, no online gaming service will ever betruly ‘free’. The cost of PSN and PC online gaming is typically pickedup by developers and publishers. CoD4, for example, runs on similarsystems on both console platforms, but is maintained by Microsoft onLive and by a dedicated third party company at Activision’s expense onPSN. Both play the same at your end and both work on a peer-to-peersystem with a matchmaking layer to link players up, but on Live you payfor that layer, and on PSN they pay.

Live is a great deal for third parties then, but less so for gamers.On the plus side, it means Microsoft get the lion’s share ofonline-enabled games, with even the most low-rent of independentdevelopers able to support online matchmaking in their games. Meaning,overall, it makes online play in multi-format titles far more likely onthe 360.
But again, is it really $49.99/£39.99’s worth of bonus? The PC/PSNmodel - where publishers/developers run their own matchmaking systems -has worked for years and PC gamers have enjoyed cost-free gaming evenbefore the days of multiplayer Doom. Sega’s Dreamcast was arguably thefirst console to make a dent in the online space and managed to offeronline play in the majority of its titles at no cost. PlayStation isset to offer users everything Live does at no cost in the near future,Steam offers everything Live does in its supported games, and theWii... well, at least it’s free, eh?
THE TRUTH
Live’s best asset is that it allows even small developers to supportonline play - the value of which can’t possibly be denied. Without it,we’d never see online play in small-budget XBLA titles or evenmarginalised full-price games. The question to ask is whether or notthat’s worth the precious money from your pocket, on rotation, every 12months.
From the player’s end experience, Live is the leader, but it’shardly a full fifty bucks/forty-quid ahead of its competition. Themarket has changed since 2002 and so long as the PlayStation Networkand Steam Community threaten to match Live feature-for-feature, Liveneeds to be obviously better in some other way, especially in the UKwhere it costs a full fifteen quid more for a yearly subscription thanthe $50 (£25) cost over in the U.S.
At some point in the coming months, PSN will rob Live’s FriendsList, completing its mimicry of Microsoft’s system. It’s at that pointwhere questions must start to be asked of Live. It’s certainly easierfor developers, but as gamers, perhaps we should rightly expect just alittle more from our Gold subscription.
Posted by Editorial Team Thu Jun 19, 2008 2:38 pm
US teens get Game Camp in Hardware, Internet, Networking, Comms and Security
Me being the somewhat nerdy kid I am even find this taking it too far.  I'd like to know whose really THIS serious about gaming to spend that much money to go on some camp that they wouldn't be proud to say they've been to just so they can learn how to play a game better.  I would rather go to a lan party at most 75mi away playing a game I've never heard of (meaning, no skills) than this camp.
Posted by schmidtbag Sun Jun 15, 2008 7:33 pm
CoolIT’s latch-on liquid CPU cooler in Hardware, Internet, Networking, Comms and Security
Motherboards.org is reviewing CoolIT’s Eliminator Liquid CPU cooler and it’sso easy even your granny could hook it up. This piece of kit has everythingbuilt-in and you needn’t stick stuff outside the case. The whole unit justlatches onto your CPU socket (and weighs less than most high-end coolers) andall you need to do is screw it in and connect a power molex. Self-contained andeasy to setup – we weren’t expecting that. Downside? Don’t expect to daisychain stuff into the water cooler - it’s for the CPU and that’s about it.Coolit here.
German website Notebook Journal has managed to capture a Puma in the wild andput it to the test in the lab. It’s a pre-sample sample based on the Pumaplatform, with a ZM-84 (2.3GHz Turion X2 Ultra) and it uses an HD3400 part with256MB of DDR2. While specs aren’t final, the performance numbers do give us anidea of what to expect. In this case, the new Puma does outperform the previousTurions, but it still has a lot of catching up to do with Intel’s Core 2s. PowerXpress seems to be going well, tho’.Here forthe original, orherefor Googlenglish
Benchmark Reviews is poking around inside a Silverstone Kublai KL03B-W midtower case. Silverstone is usually known for its outrageously expensive HTPCcases, but now they seem to have taken the battle to the desktop PC’s arena.It’s spacious enough to handle even the freakiest of cooling setups, and you caneven stick a redundant PSU inside. It’s also very quiet, we hear... or not. Readabout the casehere.
Samsung is moving forward in its HD storage business with a couple of unitsbased on the F1_3D design. The company has sent off a 750GB and 1TB unit toSilent PC Review where Mike the Chin. They are both 32MB cache units and offeridentical read/write speeds – which pretty much sums up the review – identicalperformance through and through. Good performance, that is, and some pretty goodacoustics. The price is right, too...readit here.
OCC is testing the ZEROTherm Zen FZ120 CPU cooler; that’s a really tallheatpipe+cooler, but with a smaller fin surface to which they hook up a 120mmfan. It’s got a 4pin header, meaning you get PWM (a bit more control over thefan) and copper base and heatpipes. For $39.99 this seems pretty affordabletoo. The temps are pretty hot if you don’t plug in the fan, though. Catch thecoolerhere.
After Gigabyte’s slight mishap with Asus, the Gigaboys gave TweakTown a tourof the Nan Ping factory while they were attending Computex 2008. Now, it isn’tusual for manufacturers to let hacks like us take photos and vids of theirfactory’s entrails, but that was the case. So now you too can get an inkling onhow a P45 mobo comes into existence. It seems Gigabyte has put the Asus incidentbehind it.Catchthe tour here.
If you’re relatively new to the rat race and are trying to set up your owngaming rig on a budget, you might want to take a look at this articlehere.Bit-Tech, together with Scan, compiled an article on the subject. The secret isto find the right components, put them all together and then tweak them abit... that’s value for money. Cheap CPU... check. Cheap mobo... check. Cheapgraphics card... check. OC all round... check. Yes, that’s an E2160 running at2.9GHz with a 9600GT running at 775MHz (75MHz above spec) – the whole systemracked up a sub £400 bill at Scan. Not bad.
What do you get when your marketing department gets behind productdevelopment and forgets to talk to the engineers? An Intel DX48BT2. Why? Becauseit is the upper high-end of single-CPU desktop mobos, warranting the “Extreme”branding and it won’t let you overclock decently. That’s what XBit found out, atleast, and we can’t say it’s surprising. Despite Intel’s claims of being thegreatest chip show on Earth, they haven’t (or won’t) had the will the let youtake their CPUs to outrageously high OC values. Xbit considered it might be thecrappy BIOS (1521) but after a quickie update (1523) the OC problems were stillthere. No fun.Readabout the hole.
Posted by Editorial Team Fri Jun 13, 2008 5:14 pm
Page 1 of 61 Goto page 1, 2, 3 ... 59, 60, 61  Next
iVirtua Latest
Latest Discussion

Discuss...
Latest Articles and Reviews

Latest Downloads
Subscribe to the iVirtua Community RSS Feed
Use RSS and get automatically notified of new content and contributions on the iVirtua Community.


Tag Cloud
access amd announced applications author based beta building business card case company content cool core course cpu create data deal dec demo design desktop developers development digital download drive email feature features file files firefox flash free future gaming google graphics hardware help industry information intel internet iphone ipod jan launch linux lol love mac market media memory million mobile money movie music net nintendo nov nvidia oct office official online patch performance playing power price product program ps3 pst publish ram release released report rss sales screen search security sep server show size software sony source speed support technology thu tue update video vista war web website wii windows work working works xbox 360 2006 2007 2008

© 2006 - 2008 iVirtua Community (UK), Part of iVirtua Media Group, London (UK). Tel: 020 8144 7222

Terms of Service and Community RulesAdvertise or Affiliate with iVirtuaRSSPress Information and Media CoverageiVirtua Version 4PrivacyContact