PC gaming isn’t dead; it’s merely waiting for the day conditions are finally right for its return. Like Jesus! However, it looks like Our Lord and Savior (or incarnation of your particular religion’s greatest evil – you know, whichever) is posting a Craig’s List bulletin searching for a new pal for Friday night card games, because PC gaming’s “return” is nigh.
Finally, someone – in this case, fractiously monikered gaming blog Rock Paper Shotgun – has conducted a semi-official survey of PC gamers’ buying habits. The result? RPS discovered that, of the 2,000 keyboard warriors interrogated, 93% have digitally purchased at least one PC game in the past 12 months, 71% bought more than four games digitally, and, through some flashy mathematics, that 47% of all PC purchases in 2008 were digital.
Assuming that RPS’ findings are more or less accurate, this means NPD’s figures would nearly need to be doubled before hitting the mark.
According to a recent study at the University of Rennes, Brittany, Brain Age’s mind workout is no better than playing Scrabble or completing Sudoku puzzles.
The study, which was conducted on a group of 67 10-year-old children, had four groups; the first two did a seven-week memory course using the Nintendo DS, the third group completed puzzles using just pencil and paper and the fourth group did no extra work outside of their school curriculum. According to the results, children who trained on the DS didn’t show any significant improvements in memory tests.
“The Nintendo DS is a technological jewel. As a game it’s fine, but it would be charlatanism to claim that it is a scientific test,” stated Alain Lieury, a professor of cognitive psychology at the University of Rennes.
Despite this research, it’s expected that Brain Age will still sell very well thanks to Nintendo’s clever marketing, and gigantic casual gamer crowd (many of whom will probably never see this study).
The Japanese are known for a lot of things: tremendously cruel game shows, an insane passion for Hello Kitty, and drunken karaoke. But now, adding to that extremely distinguished list, is their very own robocop.
The new robocop, codenamed T-34, has recently been unveiled by Tmusk Co. and Alacom Co. for use by police agencies and larger companies that need better nighttime surveillance. The T-34 can move at a blazing 6 MPH and will be controlled by a security guard on a remote control or a cell phone interface designed by the firms. Real time images of what the robot sees will be transmitted to the operator, even on their cell phone.
The robot’s means of taking out would-be intruders consists of throwing a net at them to subdue them. The robot’s extremely quiet nature makes it good for sneaking up on crooks.
Currently, no plans exist to bring the T-34 to the U.S.
B-list actors and Hollywood washouts taking refuge on YouTube may soon find competition from more talented (or at least more popular) A-list actors. According to The New York Times, the social video site is close to inking a deal with the William Morris Agency that would have the Hollywod talent agency putting its clients in made-for-web shoots.
The deal is not yet complete and neither YouTube or the William Morris Agency are commenting on the situation, but The New York Times claims to have talked with people close to the situation who say this is YouTube's most ambitious attempt to date to expand its video library with professional level content.
Should the deal go through, it remains to be seen how many prominent actors will show an interest in acting for YouTube, but it should be noted that the William Morris Agency represents the likes of Denzel Washington, Russell Crowe, Quentin Tarantino, and more, as well as famous producers and musicians.
Speculation around the chip suggests that it will be Intel’s Nehalem EP processor, a chip designed for dual-socket workstations and servers. The EP, which is scheduled for a release in early 2009, will use Intel’s Quick Path Interconnect, removing all need for a front-side bus and letting more data flow between the processor and the system. It will also feature an integrated memory controller.
Intel has come out about the rumor, stating that although they are presenting 16 papers at the Solid-State Circuits Conference, there is nothing more to share regarding a new Xeon processor. Should the chip be revealed, it will be Intel’s first eight-core processor.
According to statistics collected by Jon Peddie Research (JPR), GPU shipment numbers for Q4 2008 were just 72.35 million units. That represents a significant drop off from one year prior when GPU makers shipped 100.5 million units, and an even bigger drop from Q3 2008, which shipped 111.26 million GPUs.
All graphics vendors felt the pinch, but ATI appears to have been hit a little bit harder, giving up some market share to Nvidia. As of Q4 2008, Nvidia held a 31 percent share compared to ATI's 19 percent. Intel still bested them both with a leading 48 percent share of the market.
"The fourth quarter is usually a positive quarter for the computer industry," Dr. Jon Peddie said in a statement. "There has obviously been some inventory problems in the quarter as sales failed to live up to the optimistic expectations of the third quarter, 2008. Vendors were bracing for a slower than usual quarter due to economic factors, but performance this quarter was surprisingly low. Put simply, the market stalled in the fourth quarter."
Peddie noted a strong forecast for the second half of 2009, but cautioned that it would come after the worst Q1 and Q2 decline since 2000, DailyTech reports.
Can't afford an Ferrari that goes vroom vroom? Maybe you can get the same experience from one that goes ______(insert Vista's startup sound here). Acer says it's new Ferrari 1200 notebook "conveys the look and feel of a F1 racecar" with a "unique ventilation design that echoes the exhaust pipes of F1 cars." Plenty more comparisons are made in the press release, which you can read here.
Underneath the hood (or inside the chassis - it doesn't ship with a real hood) Acer opted to go with an AMD Turion X2 Ultra dual-core processor with 2MB cache and an AMD M780G chipset. Graphics are fueled with ATI's Radeon HD 3200, and the portable rig supports up to 4GB of DDR2 memory. A SATA hard drive, Acer's Bio-Protection fingerprint reader, and a 12.1-inch LCD display with LED backlighting round out the notable features.
Aesthetically, the Ferrari 1200 comes with a carbon-fiber cover with a wave pattern, "while the soft-touch coating and the velvety texture of the interior ensure ergonomic comfort." Even the touchpad comes decked out, constructed of anodized-metal to resemble the brake and acceleration pedals of the real deal.
With the New England Patriots having been unceremoniously knocked out of playoff contention in unprecedented fashion with an 11-5 record, most of you are probably so disgusted that you won't even bother to watch the Super Bowl. But for the rest of you, and particularly those of you planning to attend and watch the Cardinals finish off their storybook playoff run with one final (and one very shocking) victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers (that's right, I'm calling the Cardinals on this one) in person, Microsoft will be helping to keep you safe during the ensuing pandemonium.
NFL security VP Milton Ahlerich said earlier that Raymond James Stadium in Tampa will be "one of the safest locations you can possibly be" during the Super Bowl, which shows how confident he is in Microsoft's Surface. Security will be using Surface to coordinate security forces, giving them a display of a Microsoft Virtual Earth map of the entire region, along with the ability to quickly zoom and display a 3D image of the city with realtime resource tracking.
"We’re thrilled to be a part of the Super Bowl activities and supporting our long term customers here in Tampa," said Robert Wolf, President and CEO of E•SPONDER. "Our goal remains to provide the region’s first responders with easy-to-use, real-time collaboration tools to help protect the fans attending events throughout Super Bowl week and the game itself."
Intel, who last year showed it was really serious about netbooks when it purchased the netbook.com domain (probably much to the chagrin of Psion), just got a little bit more serious. The chip maker is working on its own netbook OS called "Moblin," which reached its first alpha release earlier this week.
Based on Linux, Moblin's alpha code is available for free to test the core Linux OS, boot processo, a new "Fastboot" feature, connectivity and networking, and more. To run it, you'll need an Intel Atom or Core 2 CPU with SSE3 instructions, integrated Intel graphics (915/945/965 - GMA-500 not supported), and one of a specific set of wired/wireless network adapters. So far, Intel said it has tested Moblin on a handful of popular netbooks, including the Acer Aspire One, Dell Mini 9, and the ever popular Asus Eee 901.
Intel did say to expect a heavy does of cosmetic changes to the UI between now and the final release, so what you see is not necessarily what you'll get. The company also warned "3D performance is known to be slow."
Learn more details and grab your download here, then hit the jump and tell us what you think about Intel making its own netbook OS.
ATI has just released its Catalyst 9.1 driver package, bringing full OpenGL 3.0 support to the table, a feature which was made available to Nvidia videocard owners for the first time a month ago. While Direct3D has emerged as a front runner for Windows gaming, it should be noted that OpenGL 3.0's features can be enabled on both XP and Vista, and also Linux and Mac OS.
As can be expected are a number of bug fixes with the new driver, but perhaps surprisingly to some, ATI's Catalyst 9.1 shares the love with Linux, an area long considered a weak spot. ATI says the new driver introduces support for Ubuntu 8.10, while also enabling Hybrid CrossFireX. Also in the driver's bag of open-source tricks is MultiView support, which can be enabled using single or multiple GPU configurations.