262w ago - Amidst talk that the PC's days as a major gaming platform could be counted blockbuster titles such as Assassin's Creed are welcome signs that show just the opposite.
Sadly, it is very likely that this game will be remembered for a controversy that dances around a strange decision to remove support for DirectX 10.1 and handed transferred an initial performance advantage for ATI's Radeon cards over to Nvidia. Did Nvidia have its hands in this one? We looked a bit closer to find out.
In the beginning, everything looked perfect. The DX10.1 API included in Assassin's Creed enabled Anti-Aliasing in a single pass, which allowed ATI Radeon HD 3000 hardware (which supports DX10.1) to flaunt a competitive advantage over Nvidia (which support only DX10.0).
But Assassin's Creed had problems. We noticed various reports citing stability issues such as widescreen scaling, camera loops and crashes - mostly on Nvidia hardware.
Ubisoft became aware of these complaints, which ultimately led to the announcement of a patch. According to Ubisoft Montreal, this patch will remove support for DX10.1 and exactly this result caused Internet forums to catch fire.
So, what is it that convinced Ubisoft to drop the DirectX 10.1 code path? Here is the official explanation:
262w ago - After a federal judge awarded the MPAA a summary judgment against former BitTorrent tracker TorrentSpy late last year, the only question left was how much it would end up costing TorrentSpy's admins.
We've got our answer, and it comes in the form of a staggering $110 million damage award, or $30,000 in statutory damages for each of the nearly 3,700 files in the MPAA's complaint.
The MPAA announced the award in a press release (PDF) earlier today.
"This substantial money judgment sends a strong message about the illegality of these sites," said Dan Glickman, Chairman and CEO of the MPAA. "The demise of TorrentSpy is a clear victory for the studios and demonstrates that such pirate sites will not be allowed to continue to operate without facing relentless litigation by copyright holders."
In addition to the damage award, TorrentSpy is also permanently enjoined against any future copyright infringement, a moot point given the fact that all that remains of the site is a farewell message citing a "hostile" legal climate in the US when it comes to user privacy and copyright.
TorrentSpy was sued by the MPAA in February 2006 and fought back with a countersuit...
262w ago - Mike is a 15 year old gamer who just picked up a copy of Gears of War. His mom is very strict about keeping Mike from playing mature-rated games, but his best friend let him borrow it for the weekend. When Mike gets home, he locks his door and turns down the volume on his television.
He puts in the game disc and instantly he is drawn to the online game mode. He puts on his headset and joins a game. He and his teammates discuss a strategy and then get to work. Mike decides to go to the sniper tower and try his hand at sniping.
He picks up the Longshot rifle and spots an enemy. He puts his cross hairs on his head, pulls the trigger and is rewarded with a gush of blood on his screen and not to mention the feeling of being a better player than his opponent. After a few hours Mike realizes it is ten o' clock so he turns off his system and decides to call it a night.
Most kids would leave the killing virtual, like Mike, but there are many people who believe that extremely violent games lead to teen violence and school shootings.
With today's technology, video games are becoming much more lifelike and graphical. More often than not the description on the back of games includes: intense violence, sexual content, drug reference, and blood and gore. Obviously this would not be a very...
263w ago - Blu-ray player sales are sucking wind as well they should. According to Cnet, sales of the DRM infected format players are dropping like rocks.
The not so bright people out there had expected sales to skyrocket once the format war was done, but it didn't. They thought was people would ignore the massive defects of Blu-ray and buy like the dumb sheep that they are, handcuffing themselves to the Sony bank account.
Surprise, it didn't happen. US consumers are still dumb sheep, but this time they are realizing what is being done to them and they aren't biting. Sony's hope of having 50% of disc sales this year be Blu-ray are more likely to happen because of falling DVD sales than rocketing Blu-ray.
The format has three problems, DRM infections, BD-J and greed. The greed part is obvious, Sony won the format war and are trying to charge people between 50 and 100% more for a product with marginally better quality. Sure, it looks better, and the 0.07% of people with 7.1 channel audio setups will be overjoyed, but for the rest, it is a small step at best over an upconverting DVD.
Are you going to buy the DVD version for $16.99 on new release sale or $29.99 for the BD? It doesn't take a genius to realize that the next iteration of Hollywood Formula #7 with Big Stars #3 and #8 isn't worth it....
263w ago - ATI said a few things about its new upcoming RV770 chips, and as we've said before you can expect RV770PRO with DDR3, RV770XT with DDR5 support and the top end, R700 aka (RV770X2) with two RV770XT chips in a dual-card configuration.
The new GPUs are 55nm and they are actually an architecture shrink chip with minor architectural changes. Of course, just as RV670, they do support DirectX 10.1 and at the same time, they will bring some significant performance improvements compared to the previous RV670 generation.
The new RV770 chip will also have great improvements in power consumption. The launch date is late Q2 2008, most likely June, but real volume availability is expected in early Q3 2008, probably July.
We still don't know the clocks or the official name.