Good news for Digital Rights Management fans, and particularly for those who take masochistic pleasure in filling their machines with SecuROM-protected titles. Electronic Arts, the company who caused an internet uproar over its custom SecuROM implementation on Spore, has released a SecuROM de-authorization tool.
"Certain EA PC games with SecuROM digital rights management technology allow users to concurrently 'authorize' up to five computers at the same time to play the games, EA states. "Users can then play the game on any authorized computer they choose. If your EA PC game was released after May 2008 and has a machine authorization limit, you can now manage your computer authorizations using EA De-Authorization Tools!"
The De-Authorization Management Tool scans your PC to automatically detect games released after May 2008 with machine authorization limits. You can then download the game-specific de-authorization tool(s) to de-authorize your PC and free up a slot. Alternately, you can skip the scanning and jump straight to the appropriate tool if you already know which games are eligible (see list here).
Thoughts on EA's new tool? Hit the jump and sound off.
Crytek boss Cevat Yerli’s desire to be the Miss Cleo of the videogame world is becoming a tad transparent. First, he conjured up visions of the next console generation’s arrival in his crystal ball, and now, he’s predicting that Cloud gaming services like OnLive won’t be viable until – at the earliest – 2013.
"We had our research in 2005 on this subject but we stopped around 2007 because we had doubts about economics of scale. But that was at a time when bandwidth was more expensive," he said.
"We saw that by 2013 - 2015 with the development of bandwidths and household connections worldwide that it might become more viable then."
So why was Crytek’s computer-crippling shooter Crysis plastered all over OnLive’s demo screens at last week’s GDC? Apparently, that was out of Crytek’s hands.
"We're not involved, we just allowed Crysis to be tested on it," he said. "It will be interesting to see how it happens under millions of users. Let's say more than a few hundred users, how it will behave.”
Sounds like he’s really raining on Cloud’s parade. Yeah, we got nothing.
“We're happy to announce to the gaming community that as of today, April 1st, 2009, FileFront is a completely independent company again and is no longer part of Ziff Davis Media. All previously suspended services should be active and working again. We thank Ziff Davis Media for their cooperation and willingness to keep the site and community alive,” reads a message from FileFront’s founders.
FileFront also made it excessively clear that its brush with death was in no way an April Fool’s joke – despite the fact that the download service popped out of its casket during the least productive “work day” of the entire year.
So! Since April Fool’s seems to have somehow acquired the ability to – on a whim – resurrect Ziff Davis gaming properties, does this mean EGM also once more walks among the living? Please?
MSI adds to its mobile gaming line with the release of its GX733 laptop, a 17-inch notebook that will hold particular appeal to the AMD faithful. That's because the GX733 has been built around AMD's Turion X2 Ultra dual-core mobile CPU.
For those of you still reading, other specs include up to 4GB of DDR2-667 or 800 RAM, ATI's Mobility Radeon HD 4670 graphics with a 512MB GDDR3 frame buffer, 4.1 audio, up to 500GB of hard drive storage, optional Blu-ray drive, 4-in-1 card reader, 2MP webcam, three USB 2.0 ports plus an eSATA+USB combo port, HDMI, and Windows Vista Home Premium.
To make things a little more interesting, the GX733 also comes equipped with MSI's Turbo Drive Engine Technology. When in AC mode, users can tap the turbo button above the keyboard to increase the speed of the CPU and "also the computer may run smoother and to the best of its abilities."
No word yet on price or availability, though judging by the specs, we're expecting 'affordable' and 'soon.'
If you're only using your $500 PlayStation 3 for console gaming, you're missing out on half of its hidden versatility: the ability to upgrade into a fully functional PC! Inside that shiny plastic shell resides some decent computing silicon, just waiting to be released from its undeserved console shackles. And while Windows Vista and OSX are no-goes due to legal issues, there's no reason at all not to dual boot into a perfectly serviceable Linux platform when the need arises.
The installation process is fairly straightforward, and the hard drive is easily upgradeable if you don't mind spending a little extra cash on the side. And while Ubuntu for PlayStation has a few functional limitations, you can find myriad excellent applications for you to enjoy from the comfort of your own living room, including VLC for encoded video playback, Amarok to blast your digital music library, and some classic SNES emulation software that you can play using your PS3's Sixaxis or Dualshock controller. This guide will show you how to do all of the above, so let's get started!
Doing the impossible can certainly score you all manner of fame and publicity, but as online gaming service OnLive has recently proven, merely alluding to the fact that you intend to do the impossible can earn just as many ears. Last week, after hearing about the service only a few days prior, gamers looked on with a mix of horror and grim satisfaction as OnLive’s big talker received his first stern talking-to, courtesy of Eurogamer’s Richard Leadbetter.
Now, though, OnLive CEO Steve Perlman is firing back. Check out his retorts below.
Problem #1: Servers are too expensive.
“Regarding server costs, [Leadbetter] does not understand server economics. It doesn’t matter how many subscribers you have per server. It matters how much revenue you earn per server.… OnLive servers earn many dollars per user each month (many orders of magnitude more than a CPM-based business), and when one user is offline, another user is online, so even a server that is only serving one user at a time (e.g. for Crysis), is reused by many users each month.”
“And lastly, the cost of a server is much less than a home gamer PC: we don’t have the case, disk drive, optical drive, etc. And we don’t have to worry about retail markup, customer service, etc.”
Problem #2: OnLive’s encoder can’t possibly run at 1000fps.
“He’s confusing compression latency (1ms) with frame time. The frame time is NOT 1ms (which would imply 1000 fps). It’s 16.7ms (which implies 60fps). Just as linear video compression time is much HIGHER latency than one frame time (e.g. 500ms latency does NOT imply a 2fps frame rate), interactive video compression is much LOWER latency that one frame time.”
Perlman also concluded by noting that many “top-tier game publishers” spent years behind the curtain with OnLive, verifying that their technology is more than just smoke and mirrors. Otherwise, one can infer, they wouldn’t have thrown their support behind OnLive in the first place.
Seems pretty air-tight to us. OnLive launches this fall. We’ll be there on day one, slurping down every last bit of pudding, searching tirelessly for the proof.
During a GDC panel last week, Blizzard designer Jeffery Kaplan claimed that WoW players tear into 16 million quests per day, as though possessed by some deep-seated, primal need for collection of tiny animal innards.
Since July 2009, Blizzard’s favorite fans have completed a grand total of 8,570,222,426 quests. Hemet Nesingwary must be a very happy man.
We’re going to go lie down now. Numbers shouldn’t be that large. It just isn’t natural.
And you thought the majority of today’s first-person shooters were only easy on the eyes. As it turns out, playing a fast-moving, state-of-the-art action game might be less like a warm glass of milk for your poor peepers, and more like a monolithic can of Monster.
According to a study conducted by Daphne Bavelier of the University of Rochester in New York, a few rounds of games like Call of Duty or Unreal Tournament may be enough to improve your eyes’ contrast sensitivity. Translated into the hip vernacular you kids have grown so accustomed to: Capping fools, punks, or whatever these are could save you from dying in a fire.
“People who used a video-game training program saw significant improvements in their ability to notice subtle differences in shades of gray, a finding that may help people who have trouble with night driving,” noted the study.
While undoubtedly cool, the study’s results were far from expected. Apparently, contrast sensitivity doesn’t typically undergo significant change without an alteration to the optics of the eye -- glasses or surgery, for example.
The games played by each group, for those interested, were Call of Duty 2 and Unreal Tournament 2004 for the “action” group, and The Sims 2 for the non-action group. The first group saw a 43 percent improvement in contrast sensitivity, while the second saw none – possibly due to blindness or some other malady that our cruel universe has chosen to afflict upon those who are not truly hardcore.
Don’t sit too close to the screen, huh? Oh how the tides have turned.
The PC Gaming Alliance has taken some heat over the years, both from the public, and the media as to what exactly they offer. Since their inception, PC Gaming hasn’t seen any demonstrable improvements in hardware standards, DRM, or really anything of note which could be traced back to the controversial group. They do however love studies, and they have prepared new state of the industry report to further beat the PC drum. According to Jon Peddie Research, sales of PC gaming hardware is the one bright spot in an otherwise dreary technology economy.
In Terms of year over year growth worldwide:
- Enthusiast PC’s sales have grown 9% - Performance PC’s sales have grown 19% - Mainstream PC’s sales have grown 21%
The result of this growth is a staggeringly large PC Gaming hardware market worth an estimated 20 billion dollars in 2008, and it is expected to grow to 34 billion by 2012. The report also suggests that PC Gaming is more recession proof then consoles because of the high cost barrier to entry. When you add up the cost of an HDTV as well as the console and accessories, it’s a big setback for a single purpose device. PC’s they argue, are more versatile and represent a better investment for cash strapped consumers. Also noted was the sharp rise in gaming notebook sales as compared to desktops.
“Don’t let the retail numbers fool you,” said Ted Pollak, co-author of the report. “Enthusiast PC gamers often latch onto one or two games that offer multiplayer and stick to these titles for years. Hardware is where they spend the big bucks. The retail numbers don’t capture the casual and digitally distributed games either. Retail figures are not an accurate barometer for the health of the PC gaming industry.”
So does this report have you convinced that all is well in the PC Gaming universe, or is everyone just playing Solitaire?
Both Gamestop and Amazon are making a bid for your used games with tantalizing promotions. For Gamestop's part, the used-game reseller has been running a tiered trade-in offer. Trade in at least 2 games and get 10 percent extra credit. That number doubles to 20 percent if trading in at least 4 games, and doubles once more to 40 percent if trading in at least 6 games. Naturally, the trade-ins must be in full working order and the offer is good towards games only.
Amazon, on the other hand, has begun a tiered offer of its own. Send the company two used titles and receive an additional $10 off select new releases, or send the company four games to receive $20 off. These credits are in addition to the Amazon.com Gift Card sellers receive when trading in used games. See here for a list of eligible new releases, which include titles like Halo Wars Limited, Resident Evil 5, MLB 09, Street Fighter IV, and a whole bunch more.
Amazon launched its trade-in store earlier this month with 1,500 eligible titles. The company foots the shipping bill when you send in your used games, then issues Amazon credit in the form of a Gift Card, which can be used anywhere on Amazon.com. A quick glance of eligible titles reveals slightly better trade-in pricing than Gamestop in many cases.