Research group The Nielsen Company recently released a list of 2008’s 10 most played PC games, but seeing as how you’re probably still scraping bolded numbers off your monitor after you last careened into our listsanctum, we nearly skipped it. However, as it turns out, Nielsen’s runway strut contained a pretty interesting anomaly, so we want you to look at it.
Top 10 PC Game Titles in the U.S.
World of Warcraft (2004) / Blizzard Entertainment 671 Avg Minutes Played Per Week / 0.723% AU*
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (2007) / Infinity Ward 403 Avg Minutes Played Per Week / 0.163% AU*
Halo: Combat Evolved (2003) / Gearbox, Bungie 295 Avg Minutes Played Per Week / 0.092% AU*
The Sims (2000) / EA Maxis 213 Avg Minutes Played Per Week / 0.09% AU*
The Sims 2 (2004) / EA Maxis 291 Avg Minutes Played Per Week / 0.086% AU*
RuneScape (2001) / Jagex Ltd. 451 Avg Minutes Played Per Week / 0.084% AU*
Diablo II (2000) / Blizzard Entertainment 313 Avg Minutes Played Per Week / 0.065% AU*
Team Fortress 2 (2007) / Valve 371 Avg Minutes Played Per Week / 0.063% AU*
Counter-Strike (2000) / Valve 282 Avg Minutes Played Per Week / 0.062% AU*
Counter-Strike: Source (2004) / Valve 426 Avg Minutes Played Per Week / 0.061% AU*
*AU is the percent of PC Gamers playing title in the average minute. Data from Jan - Oct 2008.
Notice anything? Yep. Not a single game on the list was released in 2008 – except for maybe WoW: WotLK, but even then, this is telling sign of where PC gaming now needs to park its tuckus. Bottom line: Subscriptions and microtransactions. You’re welcome, industry. Our bill’s in the mail.
The Recording Industry Association of America has ended its controversial relationship with MediaSentry. RIAA had entrusted MediaSentry with the task of compiling evidence against internet users that inundated the internet by uploading loads of music.
Buoyed by evidence collected by MediaSentry, RIAA has taken around 35,000 internet users to court with accusations of copyright infringement and piracy. The methods that MediaSentry employed infuriated civil-rights activists galore, but the company remained brazen in its defense.
RIAA’s current decision follows its promise to cut down on lawsuits. However, RIAA is ready with a replacement and has reached an agreement with DtecNet Software APS to fill the void created by MediaSentry, which will now be killing time by assessing the popularity of entertainment websites.
Previously, Google’s Timeline View was only available to those that opted-in to an experiment with Google Labs, but it appears that several popular searches have been providing timelines in the run-of-the-mill search results.
According to Google, their News Archive “provides an easy way to search and explore historical archives. Users can search for events, people or ideas and see how they have been described over time. In addition to searching for the most relevant articles for their query, users can also see a historical overview of the results by browsing an automatically generated timeline.”
The advent of triple channel memory has opened the door to a whole new world of marketing jargon, including the latest windy kit from G.Skill dubbed 'Perfect Storm.'
Like A-Data's recently announced DDR3-2133X kit, G.Skill's Perfect Storm modules come with a funktastic looking two-fan active air cooling solution with blue LEDs, only G.Skill's kit calls for a much less frightening 1.65V compared to A-Data's 2.05V - 2.15V.
The 6-layer Perfect Storm series tout 7-8-7-20, 2T memory timings at DDR3-2000 (PC3-16000), and like all tri-channel modules are designed for Intel's X58 platform. G.Skill also claims "a rigorous, 100 percent hand-tested regime" for its new memory, which, in theory, means the kit should work out of the box with minimal futzing in the BIOS for those sometimes elusive compatibility settings.
G.Skill says its Perfect Storm series will be offered in both 3GB (3x1GB) and 6GB (3x2GB) capacities. No word yet on pricing or availability.
When Build 7000 of Windows 7 leaked onto the Internet recently, some bloggers speculated that Microsoft had deliberately leaked Build 7000. If that's the case, Redmond has some 'splainin' to do: numerous users have reported that Windows Media Player 12 (the media player included in Windows 7) corrupts some MP3 files.
Microsoft is aware of the bug and is working on a patch, but if you've decided not to wait for an official Beta 1 of Windows 7, what should you do in the meantime to protect your MP3 collection? Join us after the jump to learn how to protect your precious rips and purchased files - and for your chance to tell us if this has happened to you.
As you may or may not have heard, CES is coming up, and there will be plenty of big name vendors there. That includes MSI, who has recently announced their full 2009 lineup, which is chock-full of new goodies!
First up, their netbook announcements! Thanks to the success of the Wind U100, MSI is planning to release a U115 and U120 to compliment the previous model. The U115 sports the option of being the first netbook capable of simultaneously running an SSD and an HDD. The U120 will be the power user’s option, designed for being portable without sacrificing performance.
They’ll also be offering 16”, 19” and 22” versions of their new All-In-One Wind at CES. It’ll feature an Intel Atom processor, which will allow it to consume a fraction of the power that a 250W PC does. The All-In-One will also feature a nice 16:9 display.
Finally, the gaming notebooks will be expanded to include the (deep breath) GT725, GT727, GT627 and the GX420. Reportedly, the GT725 and GT727 are capable of breaking 10,000 3D Marks.
While unfortunately most of this information is pretty broad (thank you, press releases!) CES will provide us a great opportunity to check out these new toys and find out more about them. Who knows, with any luck we’ll be able to figure out exactly what’s under the hood and how much they’ll cost!
As digital music stores become more common and convenient, the age of the compact disc as the preferred medium is coming to a close. In fact, according to year-end sales figures released by The Nielsen Co., sales of CDs are down a whopping 20 percent.
The sales of physical discs have dropped from 450.5 million in 2007 to only 362.6 million in 2008. And during this time, digital album sales made a gigantic jump of 32 percent over their previous year’s sales.
Apple’s iTunes music store has been particularly successful, having broken the 1 billion song mark with 1.07 billion sold. Along with this, their sales went up 27 percent over the previous year.
Chinese news and review site ExPreview.com claims to have the skinny on Nvidia's upcoming GT212 GPU, which is being positioned to replace the company's GT200 series (GTX260/280). The site says Nvidia's 40nm GT212 will ship with 384 stream processors, up from 240 on the GT200. Texture mapping units (TMUs) will also be bumped up from 80 to 96 on the new part.
Interestingly, ExPreview says Nvidia will slash the memory bus interface from 512-bit to 256-bit, which the GPU maker plans to offset by using GDDR5 memory running at a higher frequency. The GT212 will also come with 1.8 billion transistors, compared to the 1.4 billion found on the GT200, ExPreview says. And with a die area measuring 300mm^2, the site expects power consumption will be "reduced greatly."
Stay tuned, as more information on Nvidia's upcoming flagship GPU will likely be forthcoming during this year's CES.
Let's face it, web developers. Even if you're the most devoted fan of Firefox, Opera, or Safari, the 800-pound gorilla in the room is still Internet Explorer. Like IE or hate it, your pages had better work properly with it. Unfortunately, you can only have one version of IE running on a test PC at a time...or can you?
Add Virtual PC 2007 SP1 to your Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows Server 2003 or 2008 box, and install your choice of Windows XP SP3+IE6, Windows XP SP3+IE7, Windows XP+IE8 Beta 2, or Windows Vista+IE7 in VHD format. Now, it's easy to find out which pages make a particular flavor of IE gag, and you can switch between IE versions running in different VMs with the click of a mouse. For more Virtual PC downloads, including release notes, click here.
These disk images work until April 2009, so you have plenty of time to work out page glitches. Not developing websites? No problem! Try them anyway.
With CES kicking off later this week, expect a deluge of nifty product and technology announcements, not all of which will ever see the light of day. One that likely will, however, is a joint collaboration between Intel and Adobe to extend the Flash platform over to your living TV using Intel's Media Processor CE 3100.
"The Intel® Media Processor CE 3100 is a highly integrated solution that provides a powerful, yet flexible technology foundation that will bring to life the high-definition capabilities of Adobe Flash," said William O. Leszinske Jr., general manager of Intel's Digital Home Group. "Our effort with Adobe is poised to accelerate a rich, yet relevant Internet experience on the TV that will provide consumers with access to a growing number of Flash based applications that will ultimately be enjoyed across a number of screens seamlessly, from the laptop to a MID and now the TV."
Intel said it plans to ship the first CE3100 devices with support for an optimized implementation of Adobe Flash Lite by the middle of 2009 at the very latest. Should that happen, it would be a boon to streaming content providers like Hulu and could help bring online streaming videos on living room TVs into the mainstream.