September 30, 2004

Apple Power Mac G5 Dual 2.5Ghz Review

Ars has an in-depth review of the top of the line Power Mac G5 Dual processor 2.5ghz desktop. They like it overall with its speed, snazzy liquid cooling system, and case. The downsides are $3,000 price tag, weak graphics card (ATI 9600XT), and limited drive bays (3).

I would love to have one though. The new start-up feature that copies over all your applications, settings, and documents from your old Mac is brilliant.

September 29, 2004

Half-life 2 Package Details

HLFallout got an email from the head Valve outlining the different Half-life 2 packages which will go for sale on Steam next week. The following is from the original email: The Steam offers will be available for purchase next week. Those who purchase via Steam, will receive the final version of Counter-Strike: Source immediately. Half-Life 2 and other games in the Steam offerings will be made available to purchasers upon their release. Retail Box 1. Standard Edition: Half-Life 2, Counter-Strike: Source Note: Ships on six CDs. Three different box designs will be made available at launch (cover characters change on the different designs: one is Gordon, one is Alyx, and the third is the Gman). 2. Collector's Edition: Half-Life 2, Counter-Strike: Source, Half-Life 1: Source, T-shirt, Prima book sampler. Note: This version will contain the games on a DVD. Steam Offerings 1. "Bronze": Half-Life 2*, Counter-Strike: Source *(To be made available upon product's release) 2. "Silver": Half-Life 2*, Counter-Strike: Source, Half-Life 1: Source*, Day of Defeat: Source*, Valve's back catalog currently available on Steam 3. "Gold": Half-Life 2*, Counter-Strike: Source, Half-Life 1: Source*, Day of Defeat: Source*, Valve's back catalog currently available on Steam, Complete Strategy Guide from Prima Games, 3 different posters, hat, postcard, stickers, Soundtrack CD, Chance to win a trip to Valve! Read

PSP Movies and Coverage at TGS 2004

You have to check out the awesome Sony PSP game movies from the Tokyo Game Show 2004. Gran Turismo 4 looks absolutely delicious on the new handheld. Euro Gamer has coverage of the E3-like event. They love the screen which is visible from all angles and the added MP3 player capability. EA also announced they will have a Tiger Woods and Need for Speed game at launch. The big questions on everyone's mind are what the battery life is going to be and the starting price point? With Nintendo DS coming out at $149, Sony need to keep the price in the $200-250 price range to compete. [Discuss]

September 28, 2004

Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II 16.7 megapixels

Canon announced the EOS-1Ds Mark II which shoots 16.7 megapixel shots at up to 4 frames per second. The camera also comes with built-in WiFi 802.11b, which lets you upload pictures on-the-go. Not too shabby for $8000 U.S. This puts Canon at the forefront of digital camera design, where the company has been for years. You have to love the huge upward slope of technological advances in the digital camera industry vs. PCs of late. Read

Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War Demo

Relic, creator of the real-time strategy classic Homeworld, recently released Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War. I spent a few hours last night playing with the free demo and I must say I was very impressed. The game is an interesting combination of Command & Conquer Red Alert, Starcraft, and Warcraft in terms of gameplay and graphics. It's worth a try if you're a RTS fan. Link

MSN TV 2 Review

For your grandparents, MSN TV 2 Internet player maybe be their ticket to the online information highway (gotta love Al Gore for invented it). Engadget has a good review, although stating it might be better just to spend $200 more for a cheap PC that can do more than internet and email on television. $200 for the Thomson hardware and $22/month subscription fee isn't cheap. Read [Thanks Laura]

Sims 2 Review

The 40 million unit franchise of franchises has launched and Ars has the review. EA has already announced Sims 2 has sold more than 1 million copies in 10 days, the fastest selling PC game in the company's history. Although it isn't my cup of tea, the new game seems to have improved over the last series with less micro-managment and more emphasis on fun and story-telling.

September 25, 2004

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas Official Trailer

The new official trailer for Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is out with Welcome to the Jungle soundtrack from Guns N' Roses. I love the scene where he hastily slides off his bike. Let the hype begin. Watch

September 23, 2004

More Evidence Google Working on a Browser

Remember our post few days ago speculating that Google has grand plans for a web services network computer and Google based web browser? Well if you do a WHOIS search on, the owner comes up as Google Inc. First Gmail, now Gbrowser. Registrant: Google Inc. (DOM-1278108) 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway Mountain View CA 94043 Domain Name: Read

Valve Survey Details

Valve, creator of the popular Half-life series and Counterstrike, posted the latest results of their Steam-powered survey. With a sample size of 377,743, it's fascinating to see what kind of machines online Counterstrikers have: 52% 256-512 megabytes of RAM 19% 2.0-2.3 ghz CPU 12% GeForce4 MX graphics card 11% ATI 9800 series graphics card 90% Windows XP OS 52% Intel CPU 48% AMD CPU 37% 1024 pixel display width Read

Mossberg Loves iMac G5

The consumer electronics powerhouse review god of the Wall Street Journal gives the new all-in-one flat panel iMac G5 his blessing. Apple must be doing the YMCA happy dance right now. Walt extols the virtue of low pricing, however he doesn't consider that there isn't another Mac consumer desktop option outside the all-in-one format. You can get great Dell PCs for less that $500 these days. Read the snippet and review below: I am writing these words on the most elegant desktop computer I've ever used, a computer that is not only uncommonly beautiful but fast and powerful, virus-free and surprisingly affordable. Read

September 21, 2004

More Details on DS from Press Conference

Nintendo DS will come with a playable demo called Metroid Prime Hunters: First Hunt. The game will include a few levels and will be wirelessly enabled for up to 4 head-to-head action. Moreover the demo is different from the one shown at E3 with a different control scheme. Pictochat will be embedded in the DS hardware, which lets DS users wirelessly text message and share drawings with each other. The system marketing budget will be the biggest ever for Nintendo at $40M in the first six months. It will consist of TV, print ads, move trailers, and 12,000 retail kiosks. There will only be one color in the beginning - black/silver with more colors probably coming later in the future. No pricing set for software. Touchscreen, dual screens, wireless, and voice recognition are the main features Nintendo is trumping. The company expects all 120 games (20 in-house) in development will take advantage of some or all of these features. Battery life will be 6-10 hours.

Google Computer?

NYPost is reporting that Google is hiring developers with interesting backgrounds in browsers and user interfaces. This includes four people with Internet Explorer experience like Adam Bosworth, who was also involved in leading the Access database team. Joshua Block a developer of Sun's Java language is another hire. This leads one to speculate that Google may be working on a specialized browser or a network computer device using web services. Gmail already lets people have 1 gigabyte of storage with a personal search engine. It's not a stretch to think in the future we will be able to use that storage for basic word processing and document/digital media storage all through a Google user interface over a browser. Who needs an operating system? Who needs Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X? Read

Nintendo DS at $149

Nintendo issued a press release stating the launch price of DS will be $149 on November 21st. The company also raised their forecast for DS from 3.5M to 4M by March of 2005. $149 is a big surprise as most analysts and retail pre-order sites were in the $179 to $199 range. I will post more details later this morning after the Nintendo press conference. Sony responded by announcing a smaller re-designed version of the Playstation 2 which will launch on November 1st at $149. The PSTwo will be 25% smaller and 1/2 the weight of the original model. Read

September 17, 2004

Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow

The positive reviews are streaming in for this revolutionary computer digital film with live actors. Kind of like Who Framed Roger Rabbit, but in reverse. By now everyone knows the legend on how this novice filmaker, Kerry Conran, with no real experience in his spare time put together a 6 minute short film on his Macintosh using off-the-shelf software and some he programmed on his own to convince a producer to fund him for a $70M project. Now that was a mouthful for one of the most interesting stories of the year. Along the way they were able recruit Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Angelina Jolie to act in front of a blue screen. I'm looking forward to seeing this over the weekend. It has influences from Raiders of the Lost Ark, comic books, Metropolis, and King Kong with stylized imagery from the golden age of early Hollywood. So this guy named Kerry Conran goes into his garage and sits down at his Macintosh and creates six minutes of images to show what he's thinking about, and the next thing you know he's directing a movie starring Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law and Angelina Jolie. He must have been a good salesman. "He's a terrible salesman," Gwyneth Paltrow said. "He's shy and quiet." "We didn't meet him for nearly a month," Jude Law said. "Jon Avnet, who was producing the project, was the salesman." It must have been an amazing six minutes, I said. Rotten Tomatoes - Ebert Essay

September 15, 2004

XM Radio Online Comes Back

XM announced today a new service that will let users listen to its satellite radio channels from their computer through an internet connection. New users will pay $7.99 per month and current XM subscribers will pay an additional $3.99 per month. It is slated to launch in early October. This replaces the discontinued XM PC receiver and tries to copy Sirius radio which offers internet access to its channels for no extra fee. However Sirius costs $13/mo vs. XM's $10/mo, so the point is moot. XM is doing all it can to keep its lead with 2.1M subscribers, which is much more than Sirius. Read

September 08, 2004

Hyperbolic Burnout 3 Reviews

Game of the year? The best game of this generation? The best driving game ever? These are the kind of statements being made about Burnout 3: Takedown which came out today. I tried to pick one up at my local Gamestop and we re-buffed because I didn't have a copy reserved. Astute Electronic Arts was of course smart enough to buy the Criterion studio right before their best break-out title. It would be quite ironic with all the killer car games coming out this Christmas from Gran Turismo 4, Forza Motorsport, Midnight Club 3, Need for Speed Underground 2, and even GTA: San Adreas, if Burnout 3 takes them all down. IGN - Gamespot - Gamespy