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Intel wants Larrabee in Next Generation of Game Consoles

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323w ago - Computer chip giant Intel has told Develop that it hopes to convince console manufacturers that its Larrabee chip will be an ideal processor for their next generation of games hardware.

The Larrabee chip is a many-core processor that is primarily targeted at the graphics space but can also be used for other computing functions. It's Intel's latest cutting edge chip and has been in the works for some time.

Early engineering versions of the chip are expected to arrive later this year, while consumer products using the hardware will be available by 2010.

And speaking to us in an exclusive interview, Aaron Coday, manager of the EMEA visual computing group, said that Intel had been in the meantime working closely with a variety of games industry partners to work out what kind of next-generation GPU developers want - and that console manufacturers are next.

"We've been working with a lot of game developers. All of the input and design of Larrabee comes with the involvement of various software firms in the industry. It's very much driven by feedback from the industry, telling us the type of things they would like to do, and how can they do them," explained Coday.

"It's definitely something we would want to discuss with the console vendors, and hope...
 

Microsoft Equipt: The Beginning of Next-Generation Microsoft

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328w ago - When I was briefed on Microsoft Equipt a few days ago, I couldn't help but take this in context with Bill Gates' departure and reflect on the post-Gates Microsoft. For much of Microsoft's history, the company has been known primarily for two very successful products - Windows and Office.

Sometimes this connection has been less than positive. Back in 2000, I had a conversation with back then new Microsoft president Steve Ballmer and was fascinated that he believed that the market would eventually move to a subscription model. With Equipt, Microsoft takes its biggest step in this direction and it makes me wonder whether Windows will, or should, someday follow.

One of the problems with moving to a new concept like cloud computing is that you have to move your code base and the market has to be ready for the move at the same time. This means that an entrenched firm has to create a transitional product with elements in both the old and the new - I order to create time for the transition of the code base and to allow the installed base, in this case consumers, to make the switch to the new product.

Equipt is a transitional product. Part of the offering is traditional and that is the part you are likely most familiar with: Microsoft Office Home & Student. The software will now check...
 

Add HAZE to the Sub-HD Generation

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337w ago - As seems to be the norm this console generation, not all games can hit that elusive 720p HD resolution. First Halo 3, then GTA4 (PS3) and now the PS3 exclusive Haze.

As previously reported, a demo of Haze can be found on the Playstation Store, supporting 4 player co-op. Graphically it's solid, but what's most impressive is that it runs silky smooth. It runs at a locked 30fps, and even with a host of foliage and enemies on screen - it never dips.

Though there are more impressive looking games on the PS3, it's with Haze's gameplay and story that show off its true colours. (More on this in our upcoming preview of both the four player co-op and multiplayer modes.) Nonetheless, for Free Radical to achieve a solid PS3 engine with no loading throughout the game, they've had to make some concessions.

Qua51 of Beyond3d now confirms Haze's resolution to be 1024by576 with no anti-aliasing. That is, going by the demo, and there's yet to be a difference in resolution from a game's demo to its final release. At the end of the day, this is something we're going to have to get used to. If developers find they can put the saved power into a solid framerate, or better graphics - then should we really be complaining?

When we visited Free Radical at Sony's 3 Rooms earlier...
 

How 2008 will define the Wii, 360, and PS3 Generation

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342w ago - Each generation of consoles has made an advance in gaming unlike any other. For the N64/PS1 generation, it was the jump to 3D; for the Xbox/PS2/GC generation, it was online gameplay and sandbox games. But what about now?

Aside from prettier graphics, micro-transactions, and (arguably) motion control, what has defined this generation of consoles? The answer: nothing. Yet.

This year, however, that's going to change. 2008 will go down in gaming history as the year of user-created content's rise to prominence, with XNA and LittleBigPlanet leading the charge.

XNA was actually touted before the Xbox 360 had even made its star-studded debut on MTV. But regardless of its apparent age, the idea behind XNA has always been the same.

Through it, Microsoft wants to provide budding game designers and hobbyists with a method to realize their dreams. And now, with Microsoft's announcement that XNA-developed games will appear on Xbox Live for even the lowliest of gamers to play, XNA's true potential is beginning to show through.

LittleBigPlanet appears, at first blush, to be a traditional-style game. But first glances can be deceptive. The player guides a hilariously (googley-eyes are merely the beginning) customizable "sack-boy" through 2.5D platforming-focused stages. After a...
 

Video games: the next generation

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366w ago - The video games industry is obsessed with the phrase "next generation", but what does it actually mean? What can gamers expect from any game given that name?
It would be easy to dismiss the next generation gaming experience as simply eye candy.

The latest games all look great but the potential offered by the processing power of consoles such as the Xbox 360 and PS3 does not end there. They also give developers a wealth of new gameplay possibilities.

At Ubisoft's Montreal studio, a team of 300 designers, programmers and artists have spent four years developing Assassin's Creed, a next generation medieval action adventure.
 
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