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Jump Festa 2008 Report

50°
349w ago - Square Enix shows new Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts, plus lots more.

Bitter December cold. Check. Chance of rain. Check. Over an hour on a train packed with families on their one outing of the season. Check. Thousands of way-too-excited Japanese kids running around with their faces glued to their DS systems and their Blue Dragon cards, bumping into everyone over four feet tall along the way. Check...mate?

We really should hate attending the Jump Festa videogame and comic show. But the promise of Square Enix titles making their playable debut is way too much to pass up, so every year we take the hour-long train ride out to the Makuhari Messe convention center in Chiba and try our best to keep our manners and refrain from stepping on one of these little tornadoes and/or knocking out their parents for not keeping them on a leash. Ahem.

At this year's event, open to the public on Saturday and Sunday, Square Enix was once again the main attraction for the videogame crowd. With the promise of playable debuts for the Final Fantasy fighting game for PSP, Final Fantasy: Dissidia, the new DS Kingdom Hearts, Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days, and the new mobile Final Fantasy IV spinoff, Final Fantasy IV: The After, we were expecting to spend the whole day waiting in line at the one booth -- but thankfully...
 

Clinton Would Crack Down on Computer-Generated Cartoon Sex

100°
349w ago - Hillary Clinton is still outraged that Rockstar Games left a sexually-themed mini game nestled in its best-selling Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas in 2005.

You'll recall the kerfuffle when the deactivated love scene was found buried in the code for the otherwise wholesome car jacking, cop-killing shooter. The unfinished mini-game featured clothed characters simulating sex acts. To access the scene, randy teens had to download and install a special patch developed by a Dutch coder, expending more effort than it takes to find real, human adult content on the web.

That all led some cynics to suspect Clinton of grandstanding when she called a press conference to denounce Rockstar and demand a Federal Trade Commission investigation into San Andreas. The ESRB re-rated the game to AO for "adults only," raising the minimum age of purchase from 17 to 18 years old -- a crucial year in which a teen develops the necessary psychological defenses to resist the Siren song of polygon porn.

But in a response to a questionnaire from the watchdog group Common Sense Media, Clinton reveals today that she still sees the affair as a victory for child safety. She describe her introduction of the doomed Family Entertainment Protection Act as a response to the "illicit" sexual content in San Andreas, and says, as...
 

PlayStation 3: Third Party Support

50°
349w ago - With a $399 price tag and some heavy hitters like Burnout Paradise and Metal Gear Solid 4, now is the time to purchase a PS3!

Videos can be seen below:








 

Windows XP SP3 RC Is Now Available For Download

50°
349w ago - Microsoft had just added the much anticipated Service Pack 3 Release Candidate ( The closest stage of software development to the final version) for the Windows XP Operating System ( OS ) to their download center last night. The Windows XP SP3 RC is now available for all Windows XP users, and it seems that even those with ehem.... " Un-Genuine " Windows XP OS installed in their systems can also download and install the RC, but I'm not quite sure about that, since mine is genuine.

The SP3 RC was in private testing for quite sometime, and now that Microsoft had moved it to public testing, I think Microsoft is very confident with The RC's integrity, otherwise they wouldn't had released it to the public. And I also think that it is almost guaranteed that Microsoft will release the SP3's Final Version at the early next year.

During the SP3 RC's private testing, many testers claimed that the RC brought about 10% performance boost to their Windows XP systems, something that Microsoft still has not officially confirm and publicize. If you ask me, I would say that Microsoft does not want people to have a renewed interest on the last generation Windows XP, now that Microsoft is busy trying to get more people to use it's latest but not very well received Windows Vista.

Beside the performance...
 

Hands-On With PS3 Blu-ray Profile 1.1 and Resident Evil: Extinction

50°
349w ago - This past Tuesday, Sony released the latest Playstation 3 firmware upgrade highlighted by much-coveted Blu-ray Profile 1.1. Rushing to download the firmware isn't of much use until January 1 when the first Profile 1.1 Blu-ray Discs arrive in stores. That is, unless you get one of the discs early. Which is exactly what we did with Resident Evil: Extinction.

I was a bit stressed for time last night so providing a full review of Resident Evil: Extinction is still a couple days off. I did watch the film, and it looks and sounds fantastic, as expected. But I was most interested in how the picture-in-picture Profile 1.1 functionality would work, both in terms of how it was presented and how Playstation 3 handled it.

Activating picture-in-picture on Resident Evil: Extinction is identical to turning on a commentary track; you simply click it on in the special features and then fire up the movie. The actual picture-in-picture window will appear intermittently in any one of the four screen corners displaying either sketches or full video and audio.

Unfortunately I don't think Sony took full advantage of the two separate audio and video streams. If they did, then they need to include an instruction manual in the future because I couldn't figure it out.

When the picture-in-picture turns...
 
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