Update: *Waves hand in front of your face* This is apparently just a big misunderstanding. EA told Shacknews that "no statements have been made about the Star Wars business model," and that Ricitiello's statement was misunderstood. Thus, we can't really know how EA will sink its hooks into your wallet until February rolls around. So yeah, these droids? Totally not the one's you've been searching for.
Subscription fees, as we've discussed at length, are the beginning of a slippery slope down Blizzard's single, mega-games' throats, but microtransactions might be a different a story. Most titles that take up the little big label offer their services for free (or a small nominal fee), hoping that you'll drop a few coins into their cup at some point in the future. And if EA has its way, Star Wars: The Old Republic will be one such game.
"We are continuing to stick to the plan relative to building out our direct-to-consumer models which include microtransactions and subscriptions," said EA CEO John Riccitiello in a recent conference call. "The recent launch of Warhammer [Online] is a great example of that."
"Other initiatives we've announced, for example [the] Star Wars online MMO, are mid-session games which are microtransaction-based," he continued. "You'll be hearing more about those in the February [conference] call."
This announcement certainly seems to suggest that BioWare's galaxy far, far away won't take subscription fees as a viable method of payment, though Riccitiello didn't go so far as to completely rule them out.
Regardless, the potential accessibility of a "free" MMO combined with the production values and gameplay of a Scrooge McDuck-level big-budget game could very well melt the Lich King right off his frozen (and likely very uncomfortable) throne -- probably ending all productivity as we know it.
tl;dr: Looks like the Mayan Apocalypse might be coming early this existence. Neat!
Yuck. It's one thing to give the spotlight over to piracy and other dirty deeds on a bi-daily basis, but after seeing it all culminate, well, we're going to need to lie down for a little while.
Torrent-tracking blog TorrentFreak recently scoured the undersides of gaming's most illicit tables, putting together a list of piracy's greatest hits. The bottom line: Spore, as expected, took home the golden failboat ticket, while three of EA's other titles made the top five.
Meanwhile, big names like Call of Duty 4, Fallout 3, and Far Cry 2 also felt significant disturbances in their sales. Check out the full list below:
Spore / 1,700,000 / Sept. 2008
The Sims 2 / 1,150,000 / Sept. 2004
Assassins Creed / 1,070,000 / Nov. 2007
Crysis / 940,000 / Nov. 2007
Command & Conquer 3 / 860,000 / Mar. 2007
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare / 830,000 / Nov. 2007
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas / 740,000 / Jun. 2005
Fallout 3 / 645,000 / Oct. 2008
Far Cry 2 / 585,000 / Oct. 2008
Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 / 470,000 / Oct. 2008
Remember kids, only you can prevent PC game piracy. Otherwise, we'll light you on fire. Don't mess with us. We're crazy.
It wasn’t too long ago that YouTube began testing out their HD capabilities. And now, just a few short weeks later they’ve released a fully capable HD feature on their site.
Bear in mind that this isn’t the “watch in high quality” button that many of you have been seeing lately, but there’s an actual “watch in HD” button available for many videos on the popular video-sharing site.
The quality of the videos is easily up to par with other sites offering the same feature, such as Vimeo, and this finally catapults YouTube into the HD ring.
Should you be interested in streaming some of the new HD content make sure that your ISP is up to par – you’ll need a high-speed connection in order to watch these babies smoothly.
CNet's Ina Fried reports that Microsoft's Windows Vista Ultimate Product (RED), a special version of Windows Vista Ultimate Edition, previously available only bundled with certain Dell PC models, will be available at retail starting later this month. Part of the proceeds from Microsoft's Product (RED) go to help the Product (RED) charity fight AIDS in Africa.
Microsoft's Product (RED) edition of Windows Vista Ultimate features, of course, a special Product (RED) package, and is also outfitted with an exclusive DreamScene animated wallpaper, as well as an exclusive screensaver, wallpapers and gadgets.
Not in the market for the Product (RED) edition of Windows Vista Ultimate right now? To find out other ways you can shop and help the fight, join us after the jump.
The Department of Optics at the University of Granada has recently revealed a new technique that provides the means to identify the difference between a bootlegged CD and one made industrially (other than checking if the top has “Workout Mix” written in Sharpie).
At a base level, they’re simply checking out the light diffraction from the surface of the CD. Ideally, it’ll be noticeably different between a CD made at home and made at the factory. In fact they’re so confident with the process, they’ve filed for a patent.
Sadly, they’re a bit late. For many of us, the CD boat has sailed and this technology is generations behind. But, there might be some of you out there that still prefer your music in disc form, and to that I say kudos.
In the coming days and years the uses for multitouch will only grow, some will act as innovative new pieces of technology that the world will benefit from, and then there will be others that lack practical use. This is the latter.
While the PQ-DVD made app (the same folks responsible for the iPod video conversion software) looks like a Microsoft Surface made just for synching media to and from an iPod (because it is), it just doesn’t look useful. The tasks, while pretty, would be far easier to complete with the traditional mouse and keyboard.
Admittedly, the software is easy on the eyes – nobody’s questioning that. But ultimately, this is a party trick. Sure it’s cool to show off when people are around, and you might use it once or twice when you’re home alone, but you and I both know that there are far easier ways of opening that bottle of beer than with your molars.
OCZ's making a pitch for its new Slate Series ExpressCard, a storage expansion drive the company claims is better suited than USB flash devices and external hard drives.
Compatible with USB 2.0
18 MB/sec read
12.5 MB/sec write
Voltage: 2.7V - 3.6V
The new ExpressCard storage drives aren't going to win any speed crowns, so OCZ is touting convenience and low power consumption over alternative backup solutions. Users who don't like to lug around external hard drives or who are prone to bumping into USB keys sticking out of a notebook may find appeal in an ExpressCard that stays put and out of the way.
Specific pricing and availability has not yet been announced, though OCZ did say its new Slate Series will come in 8GB, 16GB, and 32GB capacities.
Intel’s most recent processor roadmap, released earlier this week, reveals their plans for technology extending all the way into the 32-nanometer realm.
The roadmap reveals some new codenames for the world to gawk at, including Medfield, which is slated for 2010, and it’s predecessor, Pineview, which should be on its way for a 2009 release. The two processors are still based on 45-nanometer technology, much like today’s Atom processor.
Pineview might be housing Intel’s own graphics processing technology, right on the chip.
The Medfield chip would be part of a new generation that includes the processor, memory controller, multimedia functions and I/O into a single chip. It’s also reported that battery life of netbooks that include the chips will have their battery lives drastically increased.
We're not sure what else AMD can do at this point to turn its fortunes around, save for releasing a Core i7 killer. Since sitting at the top of the performance hill with its Athlon 64 architecture, AMD has been on a steady downward fall and has tried everything to get back on track. Job cuts, a new CEO, internal reorganization, and even branching off into separate design and manufacturing companies. The end result? AMD is still struggling to make a buck.
This time its the sluggish global economy to blame, but the reason hardly seems to matter. No matter what the culprit, investors have to be feeling the pinch from AMD's recent fourth-quarter revenue estimates, which is down a whopping 25 percent. The company's third-quarter revenue sat at $1.59 billion, and Q4 is on target to drop to $1.19 billion. Ouch.
AMD isn't the only one going through tough times, but according to Endpoint Technologies Associates analyst Roger Kay, "AMD is proportionately more relieant on consumers than Intel. It's not good for Intel. How could it be good for AMD?"
One has to wonder just how long AMD can keep posting disappointing numbers, regardless of the reason.
Adobe's come up with a new tool that could ultimately change the way you look at web browsing. As it stands now, glimpsing back in time means honing your Google-fu, with no real efficient way of looking at a particular page or subject by date. Adobe's Zoetrope tool changes all that.
Of course, you can already go back in time using projects like the Internet Archive, but Zoetrope makes such methods seem rudimentary by comparison. With Zoetrope, a user can look back hours, days, or months by pulling on a scrollbar at the bottom of any given webpage. And that's just the beginning. By drawing a selection box over any part of a particular page - like stock prices, for example - Zoetrope makes it possible to scroll back in time just on the selected portion while the rest of the page remains the same. From there, you can make multiple selections, link them together, and turn them into graphs. Let's say Nvidia just announced a price drop on one of its videocards. Using Zoetrope, you could head over to Newegg and highlight one or more cards, then scroll back in time and quickly determine if price drops are few and far between or fairly consistent.
A description really doesn't do the technology justice, and thankfully Technology Review has posted a video of the nifty tool in action. Check it out, then hit the jump and tell us what you think.