Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Australian 360 Core Has Always Been the Price of a Wii

Damned Americans reporting on the 'news' without even fully understanding. No wonder their foreign policy sucks so much. The Xbox 360 core has always been for $399, the same price for a Wii in fact. Miyamoto lied to us Aussies when he said it would be cheaper than the Core 360, he tricked us! We pay about $327USD per Wii and 360. It has always been this way.

Why is it that engagdet reports this as news when it's wrong? Gah, damn you Americans, even your respected media outlets can't report the basics of foreign pricing yet you trust them with stuff about terrorists and war. Whatever happened to fact checking? Check your facts, you could have at least popped in one of our local Dick Smith Electronic stores.

Show some respect for our culture and sympathy for our over priced Wii's. Sheesh.

Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker Running @ 1600x1200, 8x AA, 16x AS

Lets not wait for the Wii's successor which will 'only' be able to upscale to 1080p (at best). Gekko, an up and coming GameCube emulator, is already going in game with some classic GC games and outputting crisp graphics while it's at it.

More can be found at Gekko's insider forums (Twilight Princess included).

Earlier Gekko media released (months ago, from when Gekko did not support high resolution graphics):

(The framerate is slightly lower than what you would encounter in real life given there is a recording overhead)

A Look Into Team Fortress 2's Graphics Shaders

Why this art style? How is it achieved? How does it work? Learn from the best!

It looks like more and more developers are looking into the real worlds artistic history, rather than just trying to imitate it. The reception both Bioshock and Team Fortress 2 are getting for their distinct art styles may be a sign of things to come. Maybe it will may even be the new World War 2... maybeee not.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Triple LCD Screen Setup Got You All Wet? Check This Out

While people are cheering and jeering over three LCD screen setups with Forza 2, some folks have decided to take it one step further with a Playstation 3 built right into a BMW M3 chassis for a vehicle simulator (of all things).

Yes the car moves left and right, the whole thing is built around the simulator itself, the only thing the chassis won't do is jump up in the air when the car is airborne or provide the G effects you would expect from driving around a higher performance vehicle.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Bioshock, Blending Elements From Half-Life and Deus Ex (Review Included)

If Bioshock is 'genetically enhanced' it's been enhanced with a fusion of Half-Life and Deus Ex genes. The developers aren't even hiding it, the intro sequence even mirrors that of the original Half-Life as you descend into Rapture. Though this game takes it one step further, not just above Half-Life and Deus Ex but for gaming in general by presenting choices that aren't necessarily dictated by point making but by emotions.

How are the water effects? Absoloutely stunning, just short of real-time water physics but more than likely as advanced as it's going to get this gen.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

New Killzone 2 Footage + Details

A nice developer walkthrough showcasing the graphics, presentation with developer commentary about 'making the best first person shooter', from the BBC no less.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Epic Wants Silicon Knights to Pay "in excess of $650,000"

All out assault from Epic here, they believe Silicon Knights is simply trying to get a quick cash back and even perhaps planning to license off its so-called 'UE3-Derived' 'Silicon Knights Engine'.
In a counter claim Epic says that Silicon Knights case carries 'no factual merit' and that the license Silicon Knights had bought was given at a 'substantial discount' since Silicon Knights had agreed to use UE3 in all their upcoming Playstation 3, Xbox 360 and PC titles (not the time to get into future Silicon Knights games).

It gets even messier, Epic stated that,

"This lawsuit is a cynical effort by SK to unlawfully enrich itself at the expense of Epic Games... After having exploited Epic's intellectual property to its advantage, SK now seeks to renege on its payment obligations under the License Agreement. It is SK, not Epic, that has engaged in deceit, infringement of Epic's intellectual property rights, breach of contract and unfair business practices."

Despite not fully understanding the legalities of the situation it is quite easy to see that Epic makes a very good point when saying that sabotaging Silicon Knights games would be counter productive to Epic because part of the license agreement includes royalties for the number of titles Silicon Knights sells,

"Moreover, SK's criticism of Epic makes no sense on its face. SK contends that Epic sabotaged SK's ability to develop video games with Epic's software engine. Epic's incentive, however, is for SK to develop as many successful games as possible with Epic's software engine... The more successful SK is, the more Epic receives... In short, SK's lawsuit is a pretense... The court should not countenance SK's conduct and should dismiss the complaint."

Silicon Knights laywer Chris Holland responded to Epics claims by essentially saying 'Epics claims have no merit'. In fact that was his only counter to questions of whether or not Silicon Knights was using UE3 code (essentially stealing it) for their own gain. Not too reassuring given the fact Silicon Knights has had full access to the UE3 engine code, something that has taken Epic games many years to create that Silicon Knights seems to have managed to have done in a fraction of the time.

It is kind of difficult drawing anything with substance besides opinions from Hollands statements,
"We believe strongly that our claims in our complaint will prevail and the damages Silicon Knights has suffered in connection with its original complaint are vastly more, millions of dollars more than what Epic claims its damages are in its counterclaim. They've set forth $650,000 and our claims will dwarf that substantially."

Right now Holland seems to be just throwing light jabs at Epic, well for Silicon Knights sake otherwise they might need a new lawyer...

VIA GameDaily

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

"Suck my little yellow balls Mr Ballmer" - Hiroshi Yamauchi

DISCLAIMER: The quote was not made by Hiroshi Yamauchi, it came from a fake Wired article from 2005. Find out more here.

After learning that Americans don't understand the concepts of loyalty or honor and rather think that offering bucket loads of money can get you anywhere Hiroshi Yamauchi (then Nintendo President) put it plainly. He stood up and said it, "Suck my little yellow balls Mr Ballmer" in English [source: February 2005 Issue of Wired Magazine]. Perhaps he stayed up all night revising it to know exactly how to say it. Now you know why Microsoft never bought out Nintendo when entering the console market.

The guy was (is) crazy, his upbringing is ample proof, spoiled little bugger from the start (check his Wiki to see), he became president of the company by default. Used to having his own way he literally said such things as "[People who play RPGs are] depressed gamers who like to sit alone in their dark rooms and play slow games." out of spite when Square dumped Nintendo for Sony.

Most people believe that Nintendo started off as a taxi company and went onto the 'love hotel' industry however that's false. Hiroshi actually headed up these two businesses before he was made president of Nintendo. Nintendo up until that time was a trading card company and initially remained as such under his control.

He went nuts (more so than usual) when given control of the company firing off his own relatives (under his Grandfathers permission) so that he could run the company with no challenges. He was the first and last stop for approval making before a product went into market. That isn't to say he was a terrible decision maker or made bad judgements, his instincts tended to be pretty good. After all he did recognize Miyamoto's talents and had Donkey Kong released in the US to amazing success.

Another one of his rather specific instincts was the concept of the 'console for games'. That is to say he wanted consoles to exist for games, be sold cheap but be fun to play. He also believed it was software that sold consoles, as he says:
"(people) do not play with the game machine itself. They play with the software,
and they are forced to purchase a game machine in order to use the software.
Therefore the price of the machine should be as cheap as possible."
Perhaps the Game Cube isn't the best example of this given it possessed a number of glaring holes, however the direction he took the company in proved supremely true, the Wii itself is a testament of his philosophy back before the Game Cube even started and while it took the collective creativity of his successor and the designer (whose skills he recognized years ago) it was ultimately his philosophy that drove the company back to the undisputed top of the industry.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Tech-5 Video Walkthrough

Tech 5 is showing off some amazing 3D graphics, up there with the likes of UE3 powered games and Crysis. But whats most surprising is that iD is even planning on hitting the 60fps sweetspot with their latest game, 'RAGE', on both the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360!

For those counting down the doom of the Xbox 360 with the new fangled texture streaming, well, if having two DVDs is much worse than one Blu-Ray disc then you have a small victory.

Direct Links:

Engine Exploration
Walk Through Part 1
Walk Through Part 2

Engine Exploration:

Walk Through:

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Nintendo Stock Goes Up and Up

You wondering how much Nintendo is gaining from its recent success? You wonder why Nintendo is ignoring 'hardcore' gamers? Same reason.

VIA Shamoozal

iD Games Cometh to Steam

In a not so surprising Move iD has put up its entire catalogue (and back catalogue) of games on Steam. From Doom 3 all the way back to Commander Keen iD has been very thorough, more than likely motivated by the idea of having less piracy. Of course being able to charge $5 for their classics is always a plus for both them and the older gamer.

Prices start at $5 for games like Commander Keen, Wolfenstein 3D, Quake 1. The best deals would definitely be the 'iD Super Pack' which is all the games on the Steam Store (virtually every game iD has created) for $62.95, or the Quake super pack with every Quake game and expansion (except for 4) for just $26.95.
Thinks are looking good for digital distribution.

Quake Arena Coming to DS

It's official as official can be as it has come from the mouth of John Carmack speaking at QuakeCon. Quake Arena DS is 'in the works' and may very well become a reality... with a few minor quirks.

First of all he doesn't want it to be like Metroid Prime Hunters, namely no touchscreen and more restrictive like the original Doom. This is a bit of a shame as after maybe an hour with Metroid Prime Hunters the controls felt second nature and despite the learning curve Quake shouldn't be dumbed down for an audience that wants responsive and deep controls.

As of now details are scarce, no word online or not, just that Carmack wants it to be a simple game 'conceptually' so maybe it would be better off labeling this as 'Doom with Quake 2.5 graphics'.


Friday, August 3, 2007

Analyst Assumptions Wrong

Perhaps even equal and opposite, Analyst Michael Pachter believes Rockstar has delayed the release of Grand Theft Auto IV because it is struggling with development on the PlayStation 3 however Rockstar has never said anything to that effect. In fact what Rockstar has said once in the past is the Xbox 360 is giving them development problems.

Further more Michael speculates there is some contract that obliges Take-Two to release GTAIV on both the 360 and Playstation 3 simultaneously, however odds are the contract asks GTA4 release on the 360 at the sametime with the Playstation 3 because up until Petere Moore announced the simultaneous launch it was accepted that it would be a timed Playstation 3 exclusive. The contract probably read 'will release on the day it is released on any other platform'.

Furthermore Michael emphasizes that it's just speculation he says 'we think' twice before stating his major opinions:
"We think it is likely that the Rockstar team had difficulty
in building an exceptionally complicated game for the PS3, and failed to
recognise how far away from completion the game truly was until recently"
"We think it is also likely that Take-Two had a contractual
commitment to Sony that it would not favour competitor Microsoft by launching
the Xbox 360 version of GTA IV prior to launching the PS3 version, and believe
that any delay of the PS3 version necessitated a delay of the Xbox 360
He has no sources and he's an analyst, his opinion may not have any more credibility of that of the average fanboy with a college education. Maybe he's right, maybe he isn't, but either way he's speculating as much as anyone.

Rage Debut Trailer

Finally, after skimping out on a proper public E3 appearance iD has shown off a real trailer for their next-gen (and a half) game.