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Best Reasons PS3 Is Going to Kick Butt in '08

800°
367w 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

100°
367w 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°
367w 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...
 

2008 IGF Audience Award Voting Is Underway

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367w ago - Everyone has an online game that they love to play. There is Everyday Shooter, fl0w, and Super Stardust HD, just to name a few. But, did you know that all of these games have something very important in common? You guessed it -- they were all made by independent game developers!

It's games like these that help the gaming industry help stand apart from its counterparts into something that absolutely indulges ones senses and imaginations. And thankfully, you can show your support to these very talented individuals by participating in the 10th Annual Independent Games Festival! How, you ask? Why, they just so happen to have an Audience Award that needs people like you to help decide which of the 11 games up for the award you like the most! Please participate by clicking on the link at the top of this article.

My favorite game out of the bunch? Why, Battleships Forever, of course! The perfect blend of simple mechanics and RTS gameplay help make it stand out the most in my opinion. Please share with us which game you think should win!
 

Report: PS3 comback, shallow Wii, tepid portables in '08

50°
367w ago - According to IGN GamerMetrics, which monitors the traffic patterns of some 15 million hardcore gamers, the PlayStation 3 is "poised to make a run" in 2008 thanks to strong interest in Metal Gear Solid 4, Killzone 2, Devil May Cry 4, and LittleBigPlanet, three of which are exclusive.

"The combined interest in upcoming PlayStation 3 software pulled the PS3 even with the Xbox 360," reads the report, "which suggests that Sony could be on the verge of its long awaited comeback."

With regards to Nintendo, the stat-tracking ninjas at GamerMetrics predict another banner year for company thanks to Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Mario Kart Wii, and Wii Fit, but that the "Wii software lineup still lacks depth."

And gamers hoping for fewer sequels and more fun on the go may be sad to learn that established franchises will continue to dominate and there will be a "relative lull for DS and PSP" games in 2008, says the report.

There's always next year...
 
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