Electronic Arts' infatuation with rival video game maker Take-Two Interactive have been anything but secret, nor has Take-Two's rejection. In late February, Take-Two publicly rejected EA's unsolicited takeover bid worth roughly $2 billion, a move Take-Two accused of being "opportunistic" with Grand Theft Auto IV nearing release. Not taking the rejection well, EA threatened with a hostile takeover in the following months, but has since backed down.
Now it appears the two game makers may be on the road to recovery, but unlike the previous spats, the current negotiations are being kept secret. According to EA's recent regulatory filing, both companies have signed a confidentiality agreement after agreeing to hold private talks about a potential transaction.
"As a result, EA does not intend to make any further announcements regarding the status of any discussions or negotiations with Take-Two unless and until discussions between EA and Take-Two have been terminated or such parties have entered into a transaction," EA wrote.
Rambus, the company most known for its rampage of patent lawsuits on all things memory, may soon be better known for something else. The company announced a Terabyte Bandwidth Initiative last year, in which it set a goal of developing a future memory architecture capable of delivering a terabyte per second of memory bandwidth to a single System-on-Chip (SoC), and Rambus showed at IDF that it's getting ever closer to that goal.
On display was a DRAM emulator pushing 16Gbps, a key hurdle in making a terabyte of bandwidth possible. However, the test chips were only single channel, putting a slight damper on the display. Still, if Rambus can bring to fruition its new memory architecture, which it looks to be well on its way to doing, it could usher in a new era of high performance memory products.
Sorry for the late notice, but we're going to be taking Maximum PC offline for an hour or so later this evening, starting around 9PM Pacific/midnight Eastern. If you're reading this, we're back. Woo! The good news is that we're taking the site down to upgrade the hardware (more on that later), which should result in snappier load times and less downtime, even when the site is running under extremely heavy loads. I'll be posting status updates on my Twitter, as I don't have much else to do during the migration. If you notice anything weird after the site comes back up, please post about it in the comments.
Life is full of shortcuts. Whether it's using connections to briskly bound up the corporate ladder, pumping out a term paper with the help of a less-than-legit online service, or simply cutting through the gas station instead of waiting for the stop light, there's always an easy way out. But no matter how much weight walking the path of least resistance may lift from your wearied shoulders, a nagging voice -- whether in your mind or from the mouth of an onlooker -- will tell you that you're cheating. "Everyone else worked to get where they are. Why can't you?" the voice asks. "You're doing it wrong, and you're only hurting yourself."
Videogames are, of course, loaded with such shortcuts, cheats, and "teh haxxors." And when a gamer admits to kicking their feet up and punching in the ol' Konami code, they're met with derision. "Wimp, wuss, lame" and the ever so fashionable "The developer didn't intend you to experience the game that way" readily come to mind.
Really though, is cheating that bad?
One of the most fascinating aspects of gaming is discovery. Games allow us to traverse fantastical worlds totally unlike our own, yet arguably with more tangible obstacles to keep us from seeing the sights. (Is "living for 21 years" a tangible obstacle?) For someone who can't play a game without hurriedly glancing at their watch every few minutes, cheats seem like the solution -- not the problem. Why drop two hours against a single foe when you can see more of the game world instead?
Frankly, I don't think a game's developers will begrudge you for it, either. You put money in their pockets and you're deriving enjoyment from the world they crafted. It may not be the straightforward, A-to-B path they wanted you to stroll down, but it's still an experience. And isn't that what games are about -- creating "stories" through our unique experiences?
So, do you approve of cheating? Have you been known to crack open the dev console and enter a few choice phrases, or will you sooner rage-quit a game than enter a code for a pithy 20 extra hit points?
Today's Roundup features the only variety of cheating about which I'll really hoot and holler, but that doesn't seem to hinder its unbridled success. Additionally, you'll find a couple of big-name game delays, and a discussion about how games compel us to keep playing. It's all after the break.
But as the tussle gets more cacophonic, netbook manufacturers will have to cut prices just to be heard by customers over the din. Richard Doherty, research director for a market research firm, Envisioneering, expects majority of netbooks to sell at $299 in the foreseeable future with the possibility of prices plummeting down to $249 by the holiday season.
According to speculation, the ban came after a popular pro-Tibetan album, Songs for Peace, went on sale on iTunes on August 8. On Friday, Apple acknowledged the sudden unavailability of iTunes in China and said that it was investigating the matter. However, it is not known whether or not access to iTunes has been resumed there.
There was always a disconcerting political undertone to the Beijing Olympic Games besides a few controversies in the middle. Nevertheless, it was a great show with some scintillating performances by some of the world’s best sportspersons. I choose to be apolitical but you are free to voice your unbridled opinions in the comments section.
This means that the Asus Eee PC 2G, 4G, 900, 900A, 904HD and 1000HD models are going to feature Celeron M processors. However, it needs to be mentioned that some of the above models already employ Celeron processors. By using the cheaper Celeron M processors Asus also intends to keep costs low. According to PC World, Intel expects to catch up with demand by Q3 2008.
Nvidia has been pretty hard on Larrabee, saying the multi-core CPU/GPU is wishful thinking. PC Pro reported that Andy Keane Andy Keane, Nvidia general manager of the GPU computing group had this to say;
"There's an incredible amount about Larrabee that's undefined," explained Keane, commenting on the specifications so far released. "You can't just say 'it's x86 so it's going to solve the massively parallel computing problem.'" He went on to say, "Look at the PC, With an OS they don't control, and applications coming from everywhere... to say arbitrarily that everything's going to scale to 32 cores seems to me to be a bit of a stretch."
John Montrym, chief architect for the Nvidia’s GT200 core, also thinks Intel is off about Larrabee’s real world performance, but conceded that, "Intel is not a stupid company," he conceded. "They've put a lot of people behind this, so clearly they believe it's viable. But the products on our roadmap are competitive to this thing, as they've painted it. And the reality is going to fall short of the optimistic way they've painted it."
He goes on to quote blogger and CPU architect, Peter Glaskowsky, "the 'large' Larrabee in 2010 will have roughly the same performance as a 2006 GPU from Nvidia or ATI."
I think Montrym was right, "Intel is not a stupid company". Will they really release a video solution that will perform so under par with contemporary GPUs? I find that hard to believe. Nvidia may be counting its chickens before they hatch.
Time will tell, and when Larrabee launches we will see who will be eating crow, Nvidia or Intel. Who do you think is right?
On the surface, things aren't looking very bright for Vudu, the IP-based streaming movie service. The company laid off 15-20 percent of its workforce, including Patrick Cosson, former VP of marketing. And if that weren't enough, dealers have been complaining that Vudu stopped answering voicemails and would only provide tech support through email.
But not to worry, says Mark Donnigan, national channel manager for Vudu. According to Donnigan, most of the allegations are wrong or misleading. Donnigan claims that the layoffs were normal for a startup that has seen such rapid expansion, adding "we just have to figure out how to get back on track in terms of spending." And while dealers are complaining of email-only support, Donnigan insists that isn't the case.
CEPro has three pages worth of allegations and rebuttals, leaving it anyone's guess as to what's really going on behind closed doors. What's yours?
Vudu just announced the hiring of Chris Watts, former Ebay financial exec, as Vudu's new CFO.
"Chris is going to play a critical role in developing financial strategies as we extend our retail presence, deepen relationships with AV resellers across the country, and expand the functionality of VUDU’s e-commerce platform,” said Mark Jung, CEO of VUDU. “Chris brings deep experience in translating business strategy into financial and operating plans and that will be immensely valuable to our company going forward.”