The smell of gun powder hangs in the air, and E3's off to leisurely, jogging start. Since news is spewing out of the California-based trade show like lava from an active volcano, I'm going to focus on bigger stories that will appeal to Maximum PC users' more-refined palettes. So, with that said, read more to find out all about Portal's early return, Duke Nukem's new trilogy, and much, much more.
After Microsoft had tantalized attendees with a few breathtaking glimpses of Gears of War 2 gameplay at its E3 2008 press conference, Microsoft devices division VP Don Mattrick took to the stage for the mandatory chest-thumping talk. He pompously announced that he expects Xbox 360 to trounce PS3 over the entire course of the current console cycle.
Then he triumphantly stated that Xbox Live had generated more than $1 billion in sales and dispersed 500 million pieces of content. Microsoft also announced that it has partnered with NBC and Universal who will now make their content available through the Xbox Live Marketplace.
Interestingly, Microsoft never made any statements regarding how it plans to wrest the no.1 spot from Nintendo. Has it relinquished all such hopes and desires? Have your say.
With gamers increasingly voicing their concerns about the Guitar Hero series becoming monotonous, all eyes are now on the second installment of the Rock Band series. Harmonix and MTV Games gave away the full Rock Band 2 track list at the ongoing E3. The game’s disc will come with 84 tracks and 20 songs will be released as downloadable content or dlc. Additionally, gamers will be able to import their on-disc and downloaded Rock Band 1 tracks to Rock Band 2. Tracks from the who’s who of the rockosphere populate the list. Make the jump for the entire list. Make the jump for the list.
Just for you, because you're awesome: new screenshots from two of our most highly-anticipated PC games of the year. Spore and Left4Dead look much more polished and graphically improved since we've last seen them. In the case of Left4Dead, all the character models have been revamped as well. The L4D screens don't actually show the new character design. For a peek at those, you'll have to hit up our liveblog of the EA press conference.
Attackers are exploiting the threat using specially designed websites that hideously download malicious code. Since the ActiveX control bears Microsoft's digital signature, those users who have rated MS to be a trustworthy software publisher in their IE settings might very quietly have their systems compromised
Microsoft hasn’t come up with a fix for this bug yet. Though Microsoft says that attacks are targeted and not widespread, you are advised to breeze through the terse list of suggested actions posted by Microsoft and mitigate the risk.
It looks like a partnership with Netflix isn't the only thing Microsoft has planned for its Xbox 360 console. Coming this fall, the Redmond company announced it will be giving the console a complete software face-lift.
And new it is. The updated Dashboard will sport 3D interface, including 3D avatars that will look familiar to anyone who's ever used a Nintendo Wii, and will be integrated into your GamerCard. New emphasis will be placed on the community with IM, video chat, photo sharing, and a nifty-looking 3D slide interface for the main Dashboard screen, along with an 8-people party system.
The console wars just got a whole hell of a lot more interesting. Earlier today at E3, Microsoft and Netflix announced an exclusive partnership that will give Xbox 360 owners the ability to stream movies and TV episodes included with their Netflix subscription to their living room TV set. The new service will launch in late fall and be available to LIVE Gold members who are also Netflix subscribers at no additional cost.
The partnership with Microsoft not only comes as a bonus to existing Xbox 360 owners, who prior to the update had to either buy a $99 set-top player through Roku or deal with unofficial (and buggy) workarounds, but also presents potential console owners a compelling incentive to pick up an Xbox 360 over the Blu-ray capable Playstation 3.
It is normally not in your best interests to send your camera – or any other beloved gadget – for a toss. But you can take that liberty with the appositely named Flee camera. The camera is designed to click still images at definite intervals when tossed in the air. Flee incorporates an aerodynamically fashioned tail, which stabilizes it mid-air. It can beam images to any Bluetooth-enabled device. Very little is currently known about this acrobatic concept camera designed by Turkish designer Hakan Bogazpinar.
Microsoft has long offered hardware compatibility information for different versions of Windows, including Windows Vista. Remember the Hardware Compatibility List (HCL)? Until now, though, Microsoft has dropped the ball on making software compatibility easy to determine. With a renewed emphasis on marketing and customer satisfaction this summer, Microsoft has now created an easy-to-use one-stop shop for determining which hardware and software products will work with Windows Vista, the Windows Vista Compatibility Center.
For a quick tour of the WVCC, and to learn how you can make it even better, see us after the jump.
Eastman Kodak has released its first 50MP image sensor, the KAF-50100, shattering the megapixel count of its previous KAF-39000 model. The KAF-50100 produces 150MB image files, and provides resolution capable of distingishing an object the size of a laptop computer within a 1.5 mile field of view, such as an aerial photo. The sensor is the same physical size (48mm x 36mm) as its previous 39 megapixel model. This is twice the size of the 24mm x 36mm sensor used by full-frame DSLR cameras based on 35mm designs, such as Canon's EOS 5D, and achieves its higher MP count by using Kodak's new TRUESENSE 6.0 micron full frame CCD Technology platform. The image sensor has an 8176 x 6132 pixel array. It's designed for DSLR cameras, but don't expect to see cameras using it at your local big-box electronics store.
To find out more about who's putting this mammoth resolution to work first, join us after the break.