IslandGamers-Technology And Gaming Info

February 28, 2007

Xbox360 – Mass Effect fits on one disc!

Filed under: Xbox360 — Ramajay @ 1:31 pm

They thought it could never be done, but Mass Effect has managed to fit on just one DVD for the Xbox 360. Mass Effect is a true Next Generation title featuring incredible graphics, extensive music scores and a wide open world for gamers to explore. The game is done in the vein of Knights of The old Republic…only better *chuckle* 🙂 .

One has to wonder, if with a bit of effort developers are able to fit games within the 8GB limits of our standard DVD media, do we really need so called High Definition media such as HD-DVD and BluRay for gaming? The only DVD-based game that I have played recently which came on multiple DVDs is Flight Simulator X, and this was because it contained scenery for nearly the entire planet.

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February 25, 2007

PC Games- Nvidia posts Optimal Flight Simulator X Graphics Settings

Filed under: Nvidia, PC Games — Ramajay @ 6:58 am

Nivida has begun a series posting optimal graphics settings for various Nvidia Graphics cards in a few games.

I found it to be fairly useful at adjusting the notoriously resource hungry Flight Simulator X title.

Find the FSX specs here

They also have settings for Dark Messiah, Battlefield 2142 and  Roboblitz.

February 23, 2007

Internet Explorer – 7 best IE7 Add-Ons

Filed under: IE — Ramajay @ 1:37 am

Wired is running a story that describes the 7 best Internet Explorer 7 Add-Ons. The two that seem the most useful to me are the spell checker and the inline-search tool.

Google- Google opens Personalised Page to 3rd Party Tools!

Filed under: Google — Ramajay @ 1:21 am

For those that have a personalised page at www.google.com/ig we have good news! Google now allows you to install third party plugins!

There’s a whole new world out there for personalisation, as there are small gadgets that cover everything from small games such as defender, tetris and blackjack to Task Lists and blog aggregators. One company that’s churning out these gadgets is www.labpixies.com . I just loaded a bunch of them onto my google personal page making it even more useful as my homepage 🙂

Gaming-Mercenaries 2 to ship for PC, Xbox360,PS2 and PS3

Filed under: PC Games, Sony PS2, Sony PS3, Xbox360 — Ramajay @ 1:16 am

Electronic Arts and Pandemic Studios today announced that Mercenaries 2: World in Flames, will ship simultaneously on four platforms worldwide – the Xbox 360, PlayStation 2, PLAYSTATION 3 and PC – in holiday 2007.”

Mercenaries was a really fun game in which you played a mercenary working for various factions in an open ended ‘sandbox’ type world. You could call in helicopter drops of supplies and weapons with money earned from missions, which you obtained from each faction. As you completed missions for a particular faction, the other factions attitudes toward you would change with some becoming hostile, and others friendly depending on which of their members you wiped out. Gameplay was engaging and the excitement of sniping a pilot and hopping into the cockpit of his helicopter was something that should be experienced at least once in gaming.

February 22, 2007

Apple- Apple and Cisco make nice, iPhone is a go.

Filed under: Apple — Ramajay @ 12:43 pm

Apple and Cisco have come to a settlement over the iPhone Trademark. Cisco agreed to allow Apple to use the iPhone moniker in exchange for pursuing wide ranging interoperability between their products. Does this mean that Cisco will be the one and only 3rd Party developer for the iPhone? We’ll have to wait and see what the babble-speak means after the iPhone launches later this year 🙂

The companies said Apple will be allowed to use the name for its sleek new multimedia device in exchange for exploring wide-ranging “interoperability” between the companies’ products in the areas of security, consumer and business communications.

Check the rest of this short blurb over on MSNBC

ATI- New Catalyst Drivers ready

Filed under: ATI — Ramajay @ 6:53 am

ATI has released new Catalyst drivers for XP and Vista. They have addressed some of the performance issues with OpenGL games as well as a new version of their Catalyst Control Center for XP:

“Catalyst™ 7.2 introduces a brand new version of the Catalyst™ Control Center for Windows XP. The new Catalyst™ Control Center delivers a number of significant enhancements:

  • Significant performance gains; Catalyst™ Control Center start-up time has been substantially reduced, and overall responsiveness has improved.
  • Reduced system resource usage
  • New 3D preview which significantly improves the ability for users to understand the benefits of enabling the many Catalyst™ features of their ATI Radeon™ graphics accelerator
  • Increased stability
  • Native 32 and 64-bit support

Performance Improvements
Open GL performance improves for all ATI Radeon™ X1000 series products. Gains of up to 25% in Doom 3, 48% in Quake 4 and 21% in Prey can be seen on a variety of ATI Radeon™ X1000 cards. These performance gains are noticed under the Windows Vista operating system.”

Catalyst Control Center definitely needed optimising for startup and resource usage. To say that this little control panel was a resource hog is an understatement. We’ll look out for future reviews to see if the improvements are significant, although any performance improvement would be a step in the right direction for the CCC.

ATI – R600 Graphics Card Delayed Again.

Filed under: ATI — Ramajay @ 6:46 am

ATI’s next generation DX10 Graphics Card has been delayed again. Company spokesmen claim that this delay is to enable them to deliver a product line that will cater to a wider market segment. The cards are expected close to the end of June, which seems a long ways away for anyone who expected the cards next month. The benchmarks on the R600 chipset have reportedly been much higher than Nvidia’s 8800 series, but given Nvidia an almost half a year lead on the market is an odd move. The cards are supposedly ready to go, pending a few minor fixes that shouldn’t have taken an extra 4 months, but perhaps there are more problems with them currently than ATI wants to let on. Another school of thought is that the motherboard manufacturers dragged their feet on manufacturing enough of the new motherboards that support the seamless Crossfire implementation and also allow a third card to function as a physics/math processor.

DirectX 10 games aren’t expected until May or June, at the earliest, so ATI won’t miss that boat (we hope!). Additionally Nvidia has been having a lot of problems with Vista drivers as well as numerous glitches in Windows XP with their 8800 cards, these cards are apparently not working 100% with more than a few titles causing no end of frustration to Nvidia 8800 owners. Perhaps ATI too is experiencing Vista driver issues, although their latest Catalyst drivers are far ahead of Nvidia’s in performance, and wishes to iron out all the bugs before launching their DX10 lineup.

Whatever the reason, it isn’t news that computer enthusiasts wanted to hear, and some people may face a tough choice of upgrading or purchasing a new system now with an Nvidia 8800 GTX/GTS or waiting for an as yet unseen and untested ATI R600 card which is supposed to be better than the 8800.

PC Games- CryEngine 2, Vista’s Reason for Being

Filed under: PC Games — Ramajay @ 5:21 am

While the release dates of all DirectX10 titles have been pushed way back, the following clip reminds us what Vista’s raison d’être is:Gorgeous Gaming Graphics.

CryEngine 2 is the graphics engine that powers the upcoming First Person Shooter, Crysis.

Check the link to see the CryEngine 2 in all its glory

HDTV- High Def formats cracked

Filed under: Blu-Ray, HD-DVD, HDTV — Ramajay @ 3:36 am

Blu-Ray and HD-DVD copy protection has apparently been totally cracked, all the titles released thus far at any rate. The general processing key was uncovered by hackers at the Doom9 forums and allows for the full decryption of all movies released thus far. Both standards were made with the ability to revoke processing keys in the future both in software players and in hardware,but the finding proves that vulnerabilities do exist and it doesn’t take the enterprising hacker community that long to find them. When the millions spent developing and promoting this copy protection is weighed against the nebulous ‘piracy losses’ when will companies see that it just isn’t worth it?

Of course, very few people will want to sit through the 16Gb to 20GB downloads that an entire High Def movie will take, but that’s not the point is it 😉 .

During an interview, the hacker responsible who goes by the name of muslix64 said:

I'm just an upset customer. My efforts can be called "fair use enforcement"!

I wonder if anyone will even remember when we had Fair Use rights as consumers in a few years, and how many of those understand what it means.

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