Posts Tagged ‘gaming’

Release the Beast!

February 5, 2010

Any gaming gizmo that can bring you back to the sheer innocent joy of heading to an arcade as a kid is alright by me (though maybe that’s due to my personal peak of gameplay being at around six years old, ever since it’s been one giant collection of uncoordinated losses) and with that in mind, the Hori Real Arcade Pro Premium VLX arcade stick looks like the absolute business.

Essentially it’s like you’ve tried to nick an arcade unit but only managed to get away with the control panel. Okay, it’s a bit of beast, we’ll give you that – and it should clock in at around €240 when it reaches here – but the impracticality of it is part of its charm. The dead leg will be worth it!



How to: Games in 3D

January 27, 2010

Now that Avatar has pushed us into a world where 3D cinema is suddenly something we’re not only hearing about, but apparently going to see in droves, it seems like it might be a good time to talk about the options for anyone who wants to give gaming in 3D a go.

Left 4 Dead is just one of a surprising number of 3D capable games 🙂

It’s a relatively simple setup, but it does take a little trying to get there. Of course, there is a bit of getting your hands dirty with your registry, and you could do any amount of damage while you’re in there (and we can’t take any responsibility for that) but the payoff is that there are plenty of games out there already that you can play in 3D.

For those who might want to try it out, there are a couple of options. The first is to go for Nvidia’s 3D vision arrangement, which weighs in at €150.

The other is a little cheaper, but we’ll say right now that this one only works for Nvidia, so if you’re using an ATI card you’re a little out of luck, sadly. You could also have trouble is you’re using a 64-bit OS; we’ve only tested it on Vista 32bit, but there are plenty of people out there who claim to have it all running well under 64-bit.

This is a surprisingly old one, and it’s been floating around since early last year, but it’s a hack that people aren’t entirely aware of. The games that we’ve tried it for are just Left 4 Dead and Team Fortress 2, since those are the ones that we had access to while we were playing with our software that support it, but there are plenty of games that support 3D viewing, including Assassin’s Creed, Batman: Arkham Asylum, Resident Evil 5, and a bundle of others – including just about any game that runs on the source engine since Episode 2.


Interview – Prof Anil Kokaram: The Oscar Winner

January 22, 2010

Prof Anil Kokaram is currently an associate professor at the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering at Trinity College though you may have heard of him due to his Oscar win at the Scientific and Technical Academy Awards in 2007. Kokaram found himself winging his way to an LA awards ceremony to celebrate his win due to his work as a consultant with The Foundry, a the UK-based firm which is one of the world’s top names in visual effects for post production.

Anil with his award, "I keep it beside the desk at home"

He gained his Oscar for his work on the Furnace tool set; a visual effects and image-processing software, part of which was Kokaram’s winning idea of ‘the inbetweener’, that, in his own words, “is the concept of trying to make pictures in between existing pictures”. Over the last decade, it’s been used on such films as The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, The Matrix Trilogy, Batman Begins, Fantastic Four, King Kong, Casino Royale, Superman Returns, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe and X-Men 3 The Last Stand. Furnace can also remove characters from scenes, or indeed add them in if needed as well as being capable of restoring old footage. Not too shabby.


OnLive Beta Shows off Remote Gaming

January 21, 2010

Gamers have been excited about the idea of OnLive for a while now, since the proposed subscription service would essentially allow for high-end performance without the cost.

It certainly looks the part alright...

Essentially, what OnLive offers is a service by which users pay to have remote access to a system playing whatever game it is they want to play. The simplest example is that if someone wanted to play a game like Dragon Age, they could do so simply by plugging the OnLive hardware into their TV and let the service handle the network magic needed to mediate the experience between the pad in the player’s hands and the Xbox 360 or PS3 off in the ether somewhere.


All in the Mind for Gamers

January 21, 2010

If you’re a committed but frankly useless gamer there may be an underlying reason. Your brain is broken. Okay, it’s not broken, but the make up of it may well determine the success of your on-screen antics. are reporting that researchers can predict your performance on a video game “simply by measuring the volume of specific structures in your brain”.

Brainiac... rumoured to be awesome at 'Uncharted 2: Among Thieves'

The report comes in the wake of a new study in the journal Cerebral Cortex which found that “nearly a quarter of the variability in achievement seen among men and women trained on a new video game could be predicted by measuring the volume of three structures in their brains”.


Nvidia CEO Says PC has Lost its Magic

January 20, 2010

Nvidia’s CEO stated in a recent interview that he feels the PC has “lost its magic” as the platform has matured, with newer hardware no longer offering the same massive shifts it once did.

In the recent BBC interview, Nvidia’s CEO, Jen-Hsun Huang, was fairly frank and forthright about the state not only of the industry, but also the way we relate to PCs on an individual level and how Nvidia got to where it is today. It’s certainly an interesting look into the mind of a man with a lot of influence over the shape of the industry today. He talks openly about some of Nvidia’s darker days, saying that,


Ivor Novello Awards Introduce Games Score Gong

January 20, 2010

Gaming’s cultural footprint is often a topic for debate these days but if there’s a sure sign that people in supposedly high places are no longer dismissing the industry as something for kids or wastrels it’s the news that the prestigious Ivor Novello Awards, which celebrate excellence in music composition, have confirmed plans to recognise video game scores for the first time.

Ivor Novello, once sentenced to eight weeks in prison for misuse of petrol coupons

According to The Times, the awards ceremony will this year include a ‘Best Original Video Game Score’ category to acknowledge the growing sophistication in game soundtracks. “The Ivors has always sought to reflect the ever-changing world of songwriting and composing,” said Mark Fishlock, a member of the selection committee.


PC Game Sales ‘All Digital by 2011’?

January 15, 2010

It seems that the plight of those forced to go to the back corner of most gaming stores to find some decent PC titles has been recognised by those in industry at last. In response to this problem, 1C Company – the leading publisher and distributor of computer games in Eastern and Central Europe – has predicted that by early next year, “PC games will be sold completely via digital”.

Will all PC titles – such as Alien Shooter – be sold via digital this time next year?

Making the noise for 1C was their international publishing director, Darryl Still, and he lays the blame for this course of action at the feet of retailers whose handling of PC games have been more than a little disappointing for those in the industry. “Retail,” he said, “is forcing PC games out.”


Modern Warfare 2 Passes $1 Billion Mark

January 14, 2010

While 2009 was hardly a vintage year business-wise for the gaming industry, this week has seen the announcement by Activision Blizzard Inc that sales of its blockbuster title Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 have exceeded $1 billion worldwide.

Modern Warfare 2 passed the billion dollar barrier with ease

That’s the tally since the launch of the game in mid-November last year and Activision Blizzard chief executive, Bobby Kotick took a break from lighting cigars with hundred bills to tell the word that: “There are only a handful of entertainment properties that have ever reached the $1 billion mark, which illustrates the power of the Call of Duty franchise and the mass appeal of this game.”


80% Publishers Readying for Natal

January 12, 2010

Microsoft has revealed that up to 80% of publishers are already signed and on board for its upcoming motion control system, codenamed Project Natal.

According to Microsoft’s Robbie Bach, president of the company’s entertainment and devices division, it’s working hard to ensure solid uptake for Natal among those who will actually be releasing games for the device. Bach went into some detail when he was speaking to CBC News during this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) when he explained that,

“Part of the reason we showed Natal at E3 – which is actually a bit risky to be honest because it’s a new technology, very cutting edge and relatively early in its development- is that we wanted third-party publishers to know that it was real and we wanted them to have developer kits and to get them working on it.”