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Alone in the Dark for PS3

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362w ago - When it comes to cutting edge trouser-spoilers, Resident Evil is still the daddy. Continually bending the rules of survival horror, the fourth game in the series was not only one of the best games on PS2, but probably one of the best games ever made.

And yet... while they could certainly lay claim to propelling horror gaming forward with arse-clenching frightfests like RE Nemesis, Capcom can't claim to have invented the genre. That honour goes to Alone in the Dark, originally developed by Infogrames, which squeaked out in impressively spooksome form as a PC game - and then 3DO conversion - back in 1992, a full four years ahead of RE.

But in classic horror movie fashion, Alone in the Dark isn't just back from the dead, it's back bigger, better and more dangerous than ever. The fifth game in the series, developed by Test Drive Unlimited coders Eden and penciled in for a March release, is a hugely ambitious, brain-hurtingly large-scale ghost story.

You play Edward Carnby, paranormal 'tec and - in his present guise, at least - lawyer-baiting twin of ex-Kylie squeeze, Olivier Martinez. The story, penned by Sleepers writer Lorenzo Carcetera, has been sealed off like a crime scene, so how Carnby (who, according to Eden, is the same Carnby that turned up in the original Alone in the...
 

How Strong Are Wii's Legs?

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362w ago - Sooner, rather than later, third-party publishers are going to abandon the Wii, predicted Yankee Group Director Mike Goodman -- or least throw resources toward other platforms as well. When price points for other consoles come down, gamers are going to move in their direction.

New stats confirm what many holiday shoppers already knew: Nintendo's Wii was the most popular game console of the season, with 1.35 million flying off shelves. Its popularity provided a huge boost to the industry, said the NPD Group, which issued the report.

In 2007, the video game industry hauled in a record US$17.9 billion in sales, 43 percent higher than the $12.5 billion record set in 2006.

December, in particular, was a great month for the industry, with Microsoft and Sony also benefiting from consumers' avid interest in gaming. In December, 1.26 million units of Xbox 360 and close to 800,000 units of PlayStation 3 were sold.

All together, U.S. sales of video game hardware and software rose 28 percent in December compared with the 2006 sales stats.

Breaking It Down

Not surprisingly, given the cult status it has attained, the Wii proved to be the most popular game console in the U.S. in 2007, selling nearly 6.3 million units. Gamers purchased 4.6 million Xbox 360 units last...
 

Best Reasons PS3 Is Going to Kick Butt in '08

800°
362w ago - The 360 blew it's load last year and now it's the Playstation 3's turn. Only a few weeks into the new year and the PS3 has quickly become THE system for gamers to own. A couple of us here at the Pail sat down and figured out how and why the PS3 is going to kick ass in 2008.

Blu-ray Movies

You could say that it's all Warner's fault. With their announcement of going exclusively to Blu-ray, Paramount and Universal started shifting in their chairs. Now the two companies are using their escape clause to leave HD-DVD behind; and all hope for HD-DVD with them. Blu-ray is now the unofficial winner of the hi-def movie format war. Sony was taking a risk on putting a blu-ray player in the PS3, and it paid off.

Blu-ray Games

Blu-ray discs aren't just used for movies. The PS3 game discs also use the format. This allows developers to store more content on the disc. With all the hi-def graphics and audio gamers are demanding now, more storage space is key. The Xbox 360 developers are hampered by the fact they can only put content on a regular DVD. The folks over at Ninja Theory have said they would not have been able to make the game fit on a regular DVD. Now some 360 devs have said they may need to cache content on the hard drive just to have the game look and feel the way they want....
 

A Wii warm-up hones surgical skills

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362w ago - YOU might think it a bad idea for trainee surgeons to play games on the Nintendo Wii when they should be studying, but it might be time well spent.

Kanav Kahol and Marshall Smith of the Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center in Phoenix, Arizona, have found that surgical residents performed better during simulated surgery after playing on the Wii console. They put it down to the console's novel "Wiimote" control system, which allows players to direct on-screen action using a wireless wand that detects acceleration in three dimensions.

Now they are designing Wii software that will accurately simulate surgical procedures. A training platform based on the console, which costs about $250, might be more practical for trainee surgeons in the developing world than traditional virtual training tools, which typically cost a great deal more.

To test how the Wii affected surgical skill, the researchers asked eight trainee doctors to play it for an hour before performing a virtual surgery. They used a training tool called ProMIS, which simulates a patient's body in 3D and tracks the surgeon's movements as they operate. They fed the movements to an algorithm which scores the virtual surgeon on a range of factors. Wii-playing residents scored 48 per cent higher on tool control and performance than those without...
 

Contact lenses with circuits, lights a possible platform for superhuman vision

50°
362w ago - Movie characters from the Terminator to the Bionic Woman use bionic eyes to zoom in on far-off scenes, have useful facts pop into their field of view, or create virtual crosshairs. Off the screen, virtual displays have been proposed for more practical purposes -- visual aids to help vision-impaired people, holographic driving control panels and even as a way to surf the Web on the go.

The device to make this happen may be familiar. Engineers at the University of Washington have for the first time used manufacturing techniques at microscopic scales to combine a flexible, biologically safe contact lens with an imprinted electronic circuit and lights.

"Looking through a completed lens, you would see what the display is generating superimposed on the world outside," said Babak Parviz, a UW assistant professor of electrical engineering. "This is a very small step toward that goal, but I think it's extremely promising." The results were presented today at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers' international conference on Micro Electro Mechanical Systems by Harvey Ho, a former graduate student of Parviz's now working at Sandia National Laboratories in Livermore, Calif. Other co-authors are Ehsan Saeedi and Samuel Kim in the UW's electrical engineering department and Tueng Shen in the UW Medical...
 
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