SOE does what Blizzardon't. The online-focused branch of Sony's empire is trying its darndest to wed console and PC MMOs with its upcoming title, The Agency. However, the bride and groom to be aren't exactly hitting it off.
First up, PC games are much more susceptible to hacks and 'sploits than their console brethren, and "Being able to manage that is no simple task," said Executive Producer Matt Wilson.
Second, the mouse-keyboard vs. controller feud continues to rage, and neither side seems interested in saluting the ol' white flag.
"We can do things to equalize them, whether that's aim assist on the console or other things on the PC, but when we've actually done focus group testing and so forth, you're always going to have the console players versus the PC players," Wilson noted.
However, the final hurdle is definitely the tallest. Wilson explained:
"MMOs live and die by their updates, and we need to be able to update our product frequently," says Wilson. "The console requires a certification process, while the PC does not. And so it's going to be really difficult for us to maintain that synchronization across both platforms, and make that work really easily with the value of the MMO."
Assuming that SOE satisfactorily solves all of these issues, would you even want to play a PC-PS3 MMO?
While Crockford says we need a new war, I'd argue that we've already got a dandy one going on right now: IE is being challenged by Mozilla Firefox, while Google Chrome has just entered the ring to go head-to-head with Opera and Apple Safari to fight for third place.
To find out why I think Browser War II is already on, and why it might turn out a lot better than the first war of the browsers, join us after the jump.
GameStop CEO Dan DeMatteo recently voiced his thoughts on digital game distribution's far-flung, jumpsuit-clad future -- even in the face of screaming success stories like Steam. Fortunately, David Perry, Shiny Entertainment founder and current CCO at Acclaim Games, speaking for everyone else currently residing in, on, or around earth, decided to cram some food for thought down DeMatteo's throat.
"I hate to think someone this powerful can put out this kind of nonsense in an interview, and confuse professional investors, that might have been interested in the digitally distributed future of the games business," he wrote. "Some developer (or publisher) pitching a digitally distributed strategy might have just been 'thrown under the bus' today by Mr. DeMatteo."
"This wave will be just like the disruption the camera industry experienced – you can hope 'digital' won't show up and keep selling film cameras, or you can embrace the future. Every major camera company alive today embraced the digital future. It's not like he or GameStop has any part in deciding where or when; the consumers will decide. Let's face it, he's running the shop that sells the film."
"If they want their company to still exist in 12-17 years, I'd go and buy STEAM from Gabe Newell, which technically can't exist yet as Gabe is clearly 12-17 years ahead of the curve," Perry concluded, also noting that 100% of Acclaim's digitally distributed games are profitable.
It is well known that T-Mobile will be launching the maiden Android-based phone, which in all likelihood would be the HTC Dream. Now, Reuters is reporting that the launch of the first Android device could be just a few weeks away. September 23rd might witness an official announcement from T-Mobile and Google – members of the Open Handset Alliance, according to the report, which is based on intel gained from two anonymous persons. After the launch of Android, Cell phone users will be spoilt for choice as far as mobile platforms are concerned.
Michael Arrington of Tech Crunch had a chance to talk to Marissa Mayer, Vice President of Search Product and User Experience at Google, about her “search is 90-95% solved” story in the LA times.
Mayer said in the original article that “Search is an unsolved problem. We have a good 90 to 95% of the solution, but there is a lot to go in the remaining 10%”. Mayer also alluded that Google still has some mountains to climb before its search has fully adapted to the internet and its growing trends, such as embedded video, maps, and electronic books. Arrington agrees that internet search is still “in its infancy.”
Mayer ended the conversation with saying that the ideal search engine is the user’s “best friend”; it should tailor answers to you based on preference and existing knowledge, and ask, “What do you want?” Hopefully, this is an indication of what’s to come to the Google search engine.
AMD appears to be targeting the low pricing sector with a vengeance. Earlier this week the chip maker released three new affordable tri-core processors and introduced some price cuts, and the company looks to be coming out with what it's calling an Ultra-Value Client (UVC) line.
AMD's UVC processors will only be available through OEMs, which will allow OEMs to better target emerging markets and basic PC usage with form factors optimized to fit their needs. But lest anyone get the wrong idea, AMD points out that UVC products will be aimed at more than just the netbook market and be capable of delivering traditional PC performance.
UVC processors will be compatible with AMD's AM2 socket and S1g1 notebook infrastructures. Specifically, the Athlon X2 3250e, which will be available in Q4 2008, will come clocked at 1.5GHz with 1MB of L2 cache and sport a 22W TDP rating. Available now, the Athlon 2650e comes clocked at 1.6GHz with 512KB of L2 cache and sips just 15W. Both processors are being positioned above Intel's Atom DT 230 processor in terms of performance, but they both also consume more power.
Is AMD correct in thinking OEMs and the netbook crowd will be willing to sacrifice battery life for better performance?
When developing Internet Explorer 8, Microsoft’s top priority wasn’t building the browser for speed, but making sure that the user interface was unlike any other.
During a press demonstration for Beta 2, Microsoft’s product marketing director, Stephani Kimmberlan, explained that the browser wasn’t built for performance benchmarking, and that it would be premature to run speed tests on the browser before its final release.
Kimmerlan also noted that the browser’s important features were “user-interface enhancements”; things like the Accelerators (a basic, right-click shortcut menu) are just part of the many ways IE8 automates near simple tasks for easier accessibility.
Microsoft also demonstrated the browser’s enhanced search box feature, adding that unlike Google’s Chrome, the search feature didn’t send any data back to home base.
Oops! Elsa, a supplier of Nvidia-based graphics cards, recently showed some slides during a press event outlining Nvidia's enthusiast product roadmap, one of which has been leaked and is spreading through the web. The slide appears to show Nvidia readying two new high end GPUs set to launch later this year and in Q1 '09.
The GT212 looks to replace the GTX280 on the top of the GPU food chain, with the GT206 replacing the GTX260. What's interesting about the new cards is that the naming schemes would appear to position them below the cards each one is replacing, but the leaked slide clearly shows both higher up on the performance scale. Speculation suggests the new cards will likely see a die shrink
The slide also shows another 9800GTX+ (HDV version) to be released this quarter, but like the others, specifics so far remain scarce.
Thanks to Toshiba, geeks will soon have reason to try and get on Santa's 'Good' list this holiday shopping season. The company's Storage Device Division (SDD) today announced what it claims is the world's first dual-platter 240GB 1.8-inch hard drive for use in portable media players, camcorders, and other gadgets. Toshiba also introduced a single-platter 120GB model.
The two new PATA hard drives take areal density up to an impressive 344 gigabits-per-square-inch. Toshiba said the feat was made possible using its fourth-generation perpendicular magnetic recording technology, which bodes well for future devices utilizing the 1.8-inch form factor.
In addition to offering a higher capacity, Toshiba said its 240GB drive comes optimized for power performance and offers a 33 percent overall improvement in energy consumption efficiency when compared to the company's previous generation two-platter 160GB drive.
No word yet on pricing or specific availability, though Toshiba did say its "new 1.8-inch HDDs will be incorporated into CE and mobile PC products shipping this holiday season."
Face it, activation is a failure. For power users who frequently upgrade their PCs, dialing in to reactivate the OS is beyond irritating. Instead, Microsoft must come up with a novel way to punish pirates without annoying its paying customers. (May we suggest displaying massive popup ads in pirate copies of Windows?) For legitimate customers, a realistic home-licensing program—buy one copy at full price, get four more upgrades for $50 to $100 each—would go a long way toward creating goodwill.