EndWar, a voice-controlled RTS hoping to finally end the war against finger-straining controller-based console RTSes, may soon be expanding its supply lines into PC territory. Even better, the news comes from a source PC gamers can't help but respect: former Total War dev Michael de Plater.
“Yeah,” he said, when asked if a PC version of EndWar is in the cards. “There’s no reason not to.”
"Console RTS. Crap. Next." Right? Wrong. de Plater, currently creative director on EndWar, continued:
“The stuff I worked on previously was Total War, which are PC games. In many ways, gameplay-wise, it’s a modern warfare, Tom Clancy version of Total War.”
We're not completely sold, but de Plater's words certainly put a damper on our parade of cynicism. Besides, we can't wait to talk a big game while simultaneously attempting to back it up -- and type up articles for your enjoyment, all at the same time. It'll be a nice excuse for our awfulabysmal unique RTS skills.
E-waste is a global concern that is being deliberated upon by many researchers, legislators, activists and jurists globally. It seems all these people – at least in the U.S. – have more to think about, as it has come to light that e-waste is piling along the U.S. coastline. The large number of ships that sink around the U.S. don’t drown alone, but they carry computers that leach hazardous chemicals with them. The number of sunken vessels around the U.S. coastline is estimated to be around 10,000.
Cnet's Crave blog reports that Logitech has rolled out yet another member of its low-end 500 series of Harmony universal remotes, the 510. According to Cnet, the 510, which retails for $99.99 but is widely available for less, is similar in its control design to the 550 ($129.99 MSRP), but only controls five devices, versus 15 for the 550.
Commenters at the Engadget blog have already spotted the 510 "in the wild" and have noted that the older 550 is less expensive at some stores and has a blue backlight (preferred by some to the 510's green backlight). Many users are noting that the Xbox 360-compatible Logitech Harmony remote is also a better deal than the 510, as it supports up to 12 devices (and you don't need to have an Xbox 360 to use it).
Logitech's official web page for the Harmony 510 is here, and you can find all of the US-market models listed here.
Fans of under $100 universal remotes, time to speak up. Is newer better, or are you hunting for the 550 while you can still get it? Join us after the jump for your chance to chime in.
We don't get excited about much these days. When all we could muster over Deus Ex 3 deets was a guarded "Neat," it began to dawn on us that we might be suffering from chronic peace of mind, and that made us kind of upset, but not really. Fortunately, the kings of inapproPriate capitaLization have alerted various media outlets that they plan to trot out their highly anticipated collaborative effort on October 21. It's been all but confirmed that the LucasArts-BioWare tango has birthed a Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic MMO. And we're totally stoked.
The invitation, stamped with both LucasArts and BioWare's respective logos, boasts that "The wait is over," and gives members of the press a come-hither look with promises of "the official unveiling of the game that's been rumored about for years."
Gamasutra notes that the public may not see the game until a few days after the unveiling, thanks to embargos. Even so, we're marking down the minutes until BioWare and LucasArts yank the curtain off their latest (final?) group project. We'll make sure to give you a heads-up when it happens, assuming our keyboard doesn't malfunction while it's floating in a puddle of our drool.
At this month’s Professional Developer Conference Microsoft will be handing out the software development kit for their Surface tabletop computer. In an announcement made on the PDC’s site, Robert Levy sates that attendees will be able to “learn how you can become a part of the expanding partner ecosystem for Microsoft Surface and leverage your existing investments in WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation) and Visual Studio to build engaging end user applications. Attendees will receive access to the Microsoft Surface SDK.”
This announcement comes as a sigh of relief to developers, who have been promised the SDK for some time now. The only known companies with access to the SDK are AT&T and Starwood hotels, whose projects are unknown. Microsoft has also been stating that the multitouch interface will be part of Windows 7, but is yet to detail how.
Let’s just hope that Chris Taylor and his boys get started on their version of Supreme Commander for the Surface ASAP!
RealNetworks has temporarily suspended the sale of its RealDVD software in accordance with Judge Marilyn Hall Patel’s request. The DVD copying tool is the bone of contention between the Motion Pictures Association of America (MPAA) and RealNetworks. The two are currently locked in a legal battle.
The case will come up for hearing in the U.S. District Court in San Francisco on Tuesday. Judge Marilyn Hall Patel will be hearing the matter. Although most MPC readers are in favor of DVD copying, they have very little sympathy for RealDVD due to its encryption features and $30 price tag.
So you’re enjoying watching the baseball playoffs in HD, are you? Well, imagine yourself in the next 10 years watching these same playoffs in 3D. Dr. Nasser Peyghambarian (say that three times fast) of the University of Arizona is claiming that this could be possible, all thanks to hologram technology.
Dr. Peyghambarian, the chair of photonics and lasers at the University of Arizona’s Optical Sciences department claims that his crack team of scientists have broken a barrier by creating the first updatable three-dimensional displays with memory. "This is a prerequisite for any type of moving holographic technology. The way it works presently is not suitable for 3-D images," said Peyghambarian.
In order to create a television that’s capable of displaying 3D images they’ll need to create displays that can update multiple times per second, whereas they’ve only created displays that can update on a minute-by-minute basis.
Dr. Peyghambarian’s team has been hard at work on the technology since 1990, and believes that now that this breakthrough has been made the rest of the essentials will soon follow. "It took us a while to make that first breakthrough, but as soon as you have the first element of it working the rest often comes more rapidly," he said. "What we are doing now is trying to make the model better. What we showed is just one color, what we are doing now is trying to use three colors. The original display was four inches by four inches and now we're going for something at least as big as a computer screen."
There is some criticism though. Justin Lawrence, an authority on Electric Engineering at Bangor University in Wales said that while small steps are being made on technology like 3D holograms, but he can’t see it being available within the next ten years. "It's one thing to demonstrate something in a lab but it's another thing to be able to produce it cheaply and efficiently enough to distribute it to the mass market," said Lawrence.
A study by market research firm In-Stat has found that our dependence on wires is rapidly waning with the rise in the sales of embedded Wi-Fi devices. The study pegged the sale of embedded Wi-Fi devices around the world at 294 million units in 2007. It expects the figure to leapfrog to 1 billion by 2012.
According to the study, Wi-Fi enabled cell phones will usurp PCs as the most popular (largest) category of Wi-Fi devices. Even digital TVs are expected to interact with a wide gamut of devices using Wi-Fi in the imminent future. As Wi-Fi marches towards ubiquity, there are some compatibility and security issues that need to be addressed urgently.
Yesterday Google unveiled YouTube’s brand new theater view and dimming function, both dead ringers for the prospect of HD video. With the new theater view, users will be able to watch videos in a widened, dimmed format that will make whatever video they’re watching the main focus of the screen, much like Hulu’s “lower lights” feature.
Theater view provides a nice break from YouTube’s plethora of ads and “what you should watch” next suggestion boxes, all without making the video fit the screen and turn what was a watchable video into a pixilated mass.
The theater view provided by YouTube currently fills the extra space on the sides of the video with red curtains. Given the HD prospect of the theater view, there’s a good chance that this will be used to make room for 16:9 videos. And if that’s not enough for you, last week YouTube’s upload limit was changed to 1GB, convinced?
Now, we just need Tay Zonday to make a HD version of Chocolate Rain, and this will really catch on.
Asus may have led the charge into the netbook arena with its Eee PC lineup, but MSI's Wind has proved an extremely popular low-cost alternative in what continues to emerge as a prominent market. MSI sees the potential and will look to make a hard push in the coming months.
In an interview with Laptopmag.com, MSI's director of U.S. sales Andy Tung spoke openly about MSI's upcoming plans. Tung says the next generation Wind (U120) will focus on the business segment, not only in component selection but in appearance as well. To that end, the U120 will trade the U100's round corners for a "more square-like look," which Tung equates to a ThinkPad design. On the hardware front, the U120 will feature a 10-inch screen, HDD and SSD storage options, 3.5G connectivity, and Windows XP for a sub-$600 price tag.
Tung also indicated that MSI plans to bring its Wind Desktop to the U.S. market, which will go head-to-head against Asus' Eee Box. No time frame was given, but it's reasonable to expect it will come sooner rather than later, given MSI's aggressive push. Best Buy today announced it would start selling MSI's Wind U100 in its brick-and-mortar stores, a move that not only puts increased emphasis on North American sales, but will help the company with brand recognition as the netbook market continues to gain traction.