While we were still bumming about the PC snub EA delivered with its Battlefield 3 tournament, we ran across an interview with Adam Badowski, the development director at CD Projeckt – i.e., the makers of The Witcher 2. All the DLC for The Witcher 2 is supplied absolutely free, no strings attached. CDP would like to make DLC free for owners of the upcoming Xbox 360 version of the game as well, but Microsoft just won’t let them.
It’s a fact: Justin’s Long’s smarmy “I’m a Mac” jackassery doesn’t sit well with the PC crowd. As it turns out, the patronizing hipster persona worn so well by Long in those commercials might not have been an entirely fictional creation. Could he have been the personification of the members of Apple’s board? Probably not, but Google Chairman Eric Schmidt doesn’t paint a pretty picture of his stint as an Apple director.
Every geek knows who Bill Gates is, but just who is the man behind the legend? In an uncharacteristically candid interview with the UK’s Daily Mail, he describes not just his family life, but what he plans to do with his personal fortune. It might sound like an easy question to someone like you and me, but if you actually stop and think about what you would do with $56 billion (after making $28 billion in charitable donations), you’ll begin to appreciate why it’s not so cut and dry.
Hit the jump to read our summarized version, including what he tells his kids when they ask for an iPad.
Google recently unveiled its pilot netbook for the Chrome OS, the Cr-48 (check out our hands-on preview here), which basically lives entirely on the cloud. In the future, Google hopes you will, too.
"I think it depends on the user and the user's behavior," Google product management director, Caesar Sengupta, said in an interview with SearchEngineLand. He was asked if he sees cloud-based machines taking the place of Windows- and Mac-based computers.
"In the long term and the fullness of time, absolutely. I think we will have failed if this doesn't become your default way of computing," Sengupta said.
That's a bold goal, one that's probably a bit unrealistic given how popular current non cloud-based OSes are. Nevertheless, Sengupta points out that "hundreds of millions of users" already live on the web, and "for many of these users, this will replace their machines immediately, especially as Web apps get better."
So what do you think, is cloud computing the end game for computing nirvana?
Never let it be said the life of a videogame developer is easy. In an interview with Develop Online, Bioware founders Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk talked about what they've been up to lately and a handful of other topics, but one of the most interesting answers came when asked what disappoints them about the games industry today.
"There's too many games released today," Muzyka complained. "It's interesting, because it's very, very busy, it makes it very hard as a player to keep up. The releases clump up -- even though that is changing a little bit.
"For us, we have to play our games, play competitor's games, play other relevant games, and play the handful of games we just really want to play more of and finish. I try and play two or three hours a night, but that's hard it's not enough."
Rough life, eh? You can read the full interview here.
Thrills, drama, a long grind, and a twist ending—these are the sorts of things you normally expect from a videogame. They are not what you expect from the story behind a game. But then, Duke Nukem isn’t any ordinary game, and the saga of its development has been anything but normal. For more than 13 years, the gaming world’s been waiting for Duke, and now the end is in sight. But first, let's review what's happened until now.
It all started back in 1996, with Duke Nukem riding high. The game for which he was known, Duke Nukem 3D, was a megaton hit, and gamers clung to the cocksure hero’s every machismo-laden word. He was, quite literally, the king. He was on top of the world. Then in 1997, the follow-up, Duke Nukem Forever, was announced and, shockingly enough, it was all downhill from there. Duke disappeared. Year after year passed, and short of a few quick glimpses of the game, Duke was a disappointing no-show. His once-loyal fan base declared him dead. Anticipation rotted and festered, boiling over into angry cynicism.
The nail in Duke’s supposed coffin, however, came in the form of developer 3D Realms closing up shop in 2009 and a subsequent lawsuit from publisher Take-Two Interactive. And then everything went silent. Game Over. Continue? 5... 4… 3… 2… 1…
But wait! At the last second, Borderlands developer Gearbox Software stepped in and saved the day. Now, Duke Nukem Forever’s back on track and—get this—it’s actually going to come out this time. So, how’s the game? Who’s in charge now? After more than a decade of waiting, will it all be worth it?
We traveled deep into the heart of Texas—to Gearbox’s only-slightly evil lair—for three interviews with the men responsible for the past, present, and future of Duke Nukem. We’ll tell you what they have to say about the legendary franchise and we’ll share the details of our hands-on experience with the upcoming game. Yes, Duke fans, it’s safe to dream again.
The expression “kids say the darndest things” gets just about anyone under the age of 10 off the hook for bizarre remarks, but Microsoft PR is likely looking for someway to spin Steve Ballmer’s latest comments into this category as well following a recent interview at the Gartner Symposium. During the one-on-one with ZDnet’s Larry Dignan, Ballmer claimed that “the next version of Windows” was Microsoft’s “riskiest bet”. Given that such a large percentage of Microsoft’s revenue comes from Windows, this probably wasn’t the best thing to admit in a public forum, but his honesty certainly does give us lots to write about!
This begs the question, why is Steve so worried about Windows 8? ZDnet’s Mary Jo Foley speculated that it could be because Microsoft’s next operating system is rumored to be a radical departure from Windows 7, but since nothing has been officially confirmed by the company, we still have very little to go on. Leaked feature slides claim Windows 8 is going to be faster booting, have more advanced biometric security support, and maybe even an app store. Sure these are interesting features to a select few, but not exactly what most people would consider “risky”.
The more likely explanation is simply the natural fear built into Microsoft after the launch of Windows Vista. In many ways Vista failed because they tried to change core aspects of the operating system too quickly, and the compatibility problems caused a backlash that they are only now starting to recover from.
So should they make radical changes and risk another Vista? Or should they simply continue tweaking the UI and risk not making a compelling case to upgrade in two years time?
During its opening weekend, The Social Networkgrabbed the No. 1 spot and raked in $23 million. As you're undoubtedly aware, The Social Network is a dramatization about the founders of Facebook and how the site came into existence. Mark Zuckerberg's character, as portrayed by a brilliant performance from actor Jesse Eisenburg, wasn't exactly cast in a 'good guy' light. So how accurate is the movie?
"It's interesting what stuff they focused on getting right," Mark Zuckerberg said during a candid interview at the Y-combinator event over the weekend. "Like, every single shirt and fleece that I had in that movie is actually a shirt or fleece that I own."
His comment drew laughter from the crowd, but it wasn't all jokes. Zuckerberg said there was quite a bit the movie makers got wrong and "a bunch of random details that they got right." But one of the things that appeared to perturb Zuckerberg the most was the portrayal of a girlfriend at the beginning of the movie who ends up dumping him within the first few minutes of the flick. According to Zuckerberg, she doesn't exist, though he has been dumped before "in real life, a lot."
Zuckerberg also disputed the framing that he started Facebook to meet girls.
"[Movie makers] just can't wrap their heads around the idea that someone might build something because they like building things," Zuckerberg explains.
Steve Ballmer, the usually candid CEO of Microsoft, answered a variety of questions in a recent interview with CNet, though was mostly reserved on the topics that really matter. For example, when asked if Microsoft can slim down Windows enough to make a viable tablet that works as well as the iPad, Ballmer was vague and dodgy.
"I think probably the things of tomorrow are best left for tomorrow and the things of today are best discussed today. So today, I will focus on Windows Phone," Ballmer said.
He was equally esoteric when discussing whether or not Windows tablets and Windows Phone-based tablets can co-exist.
"I think when there is something to say we'll say it," Ballmer said.
On the topic of PCs, Ballmer was a bit more forthcoming. According to Ballmer, "Most forecasters have PCs up double digits and that's on a base that's 350 million," adding that "PCs have been healthy; they are growing."
On the surface, assuming the role of, say, a space captain, spell-slinging badass, or superhero who sees lasers and breathes blizzards sounds like just about the greatest thing ever. And yet, there is a videogame genre that basically says, “Ok, let's take those fantasies, grind them up, and sprinkle them in a blender with heaping helpings of boring.” It's the MMORPG, and Cryptic Studios head Jack Emmert – a man who's been behind the scenes on games like City of Heroes, Star Trek Online, and Champions Online – has had just about enough of it.
His solution? Neverwinter. Described as a “co-op RPG,” it aims to reach a hand inside that blender and pluck out the boredom while leaving behind the good stuff. And, we suppose, keep both its hands. Difficult, in this case, doesn't even begin to describe it.
So, how's it gonna work? Read all about it – straight from Emmert himself – after the break.