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Archive for the ‘gaming’ Category

Crysis 2 teaser video, live from Times Square

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Crytek and EA showed this teaser trailer (not coincidentally) at NYC’s Times Square hoping to build momentum for the upcoming shooter. More details are expected in the next day or so, see sosnewyork.com.

Updated (and official) HD trailers from the link above:

Written by Julio Franco

April 8th, 2010 at 4:34 am

Posted in blog,gaming,video

New Super Mario Bros. Wii trailer shows off more gameplay

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I was one of those lured by the Wii’s innovative gameplay proposition when the console was launched. If you recall how that went, demand was incessant and Nintendo was barely able to stock enough units during its first year. In fact, I had to buy my console at a premium from eBay.

Looking back, I can’t believe I went to those extremes for a console that is now basically collecting dust after the Wii Sports novelty wore off and after I got my fair share of Super Mario Bros. and Punch Out nostalgia sessions. Long story short, the Wii is now my wife’s console but this could be getting me back for more…

The trailer above was just released and shows new gameplay elements for the upcoming New Super Mario Bros. Wii slated for release this November.

Written by Julio Franco

August 22nd, 2009 at 4:51 am

Why even pay for software? A declaration against poorly implemented DRM

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I’m guessing you wouldn’t usually expect me to make a post like this, but seriously, where is the incentive to pay for software these days? Yes, it is unfortunate how millions of people pirate software nowadays, but by now it has to be clear that there is little to nothing that can be done about it.

Those that can afford to buy software generally do pay for it, but I have found the hard way that it isn’t always worth it, and this is becoming truer as time goes on thanks to poorly implemented DRM (Digital Rights Management).

When Microsoft released Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit it was rather pricey, but I still went out and purchased two copies right away – one for me and one for testing. Although I have paid for the software I’m extremely tempted to avoid the genuine activation and simply crack it. But why would I do such a thing for software that I have paid good money for? Well, it’s simple. Because of the large number of people that pirate Windows, Microsoft has felt compelled to punish the suckers that actually buy it.

Hateful DRM practices jeopardize the end-user experience

Hateful DRM practices jeopardize the end-user experience

Every time I change a major piece of hardware I end up with a warning message informing me that I have two days to reactivate my copy of Windows. Okay, that’s not so bad. Just click re-activate then shall we. Hang on, that didn’t work, and now I have to ring the Microsoft support center based on India and try to communicate a 60+ digit code to someone I can barely understand. After that process is done I can finally use my computer again. Yay! Well… at least until I need to change/upgrade something again.

The alternative is to run a 20 second patch that removes the Microsoft activation altogether, meaning that I will never be inconvenienced again when upgrading, an inconvenience I apparently paid good money for. Again, the options: to pay for software that is going to have you pulling your hair out every time you change something, or get it for free without any of the catches.

Over the years the countless re-activations of my computers has not only improved my Indian accent, but also simply become a way of life.

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Written by Julio Franco

February 6th, 2009 at 3:41 am

No Windows 7 drivers yet? Try using Vista’s

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If you’re holding back from testing your copy of Windows 7 because you’re not sure what to do as far as device drivers are concerned, there is something you ought to know (if for some reason you didn’t until this point). Under the hood, Windows 7 is essentially the same as Windows Vista and as such Vista drivers will work just fine a majority of the time.

So, head to your hardware manufacturer’s website and download the latest drivers available for Windows Vista – we also keep a healthy catalog of the latest drivers for graphics cards and other devices in our own drivers section.

After downloading the drivers, run the installation setup and follow the prompts as if you would any other time. If you are presented with any errors due to compatibility, cancel the installation, right click the on the install package’s .exe and choose “Troubleshoot Compatibility”.

troubleshoot-1

This will present you with a “Program Compatibility” wizard of sorts, which is a bit more friendly than on previous version of Windows.

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Written by Matthew DeCarlo

February 4th, 2009 at 4:49 am

Crysis Warhead No Intro Fix

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Quick and dirty, I have modified the original Crysis no intro fix for the recently released Warhead which has 2 more intro screens that unlike the original game are not skippable as far as I know. Almost as annoying as forcing your paying customers that DRM crap. And while at that, I should mention the DRM is pretty decent in Warhead, not requiring you to put the DVD in the drive each time you want to play.

Click here to download the patch, unrar it into the games installation directory at: \Game\Localized\Video and then run remove.intro.crysis.warhead.bat

The only thing it does is renaming all files beginning with “Trailer” so you might as well just delete them all and be done with it ;)

Written by Per Hansson

September 19th, 2008 at 12:48 pm

Why every guy should buy their girlfriend Wii Fit

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Nintendo Wii + Hot chick = viral video. It was only a matter of time…


Written by Julio Franco

May 29th, 2008 at 4:56 am

Posted in blog,gaming,the web,video

Interesting poll results on PC gaming and sales

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When time came to think about a new topic for TechSpot’s biweekly poll, I thought that doing something about the state of PC gaming and how sales are being generated was very timely considering the many recent headlines about just that…

The results have been very surprising to an extent:

tspollfeb08.gif

The poll is not over yet and we are not closing it until later on, but there are a few things that I wanted to point out based on the results already in from 3,000+ voters:

+ First big shock, 30% are not PC gamers. Wow. So, TechSpot is about more than just PC gaming, I get that ;). But still quite a large number of people that are simply stating, “no, we are not here for the games.” And to be completely clear about it, this doesn’t imply that these people are gaming on consoles either.
Even when I consider myself a PC gaming evangelist, I have to admit I’m very happy to see this trend going on here, as it describes in part a prominent future outlook for TechSpot with or without gaming built into the equation… it’s also about the technology, the hardware, and the innovation on the field.

+ The largest group of people (36%) still prefer to buy games at the store, hmm?

+ A minority of 7% buy games through digital distribution. I expected something in this range considering the many, many games not using this medium yet, however for a PC enthusiast site it could still be considered a low share. Personally, I don’t belong in this group either, although I bought the Orange Box through Steam, I still prefer to keep around my shiny box of Crysis and physical DVD just because…
This also gives some weight – even if minor – to the select few who pointed out a few weeks ago how PC game sales are not being measured correctly because those don’t include digital distribution. Agreed on that, also for non-hardcore casual games that are very much ignored despite of growing sales. The pain is still felt however when major development studios focus more on consoles than the PC.

+ 10% do online and boxed. Here’s where I stand, although for the Crysis case above I ran to the local BestBuy on the launch date.

+ 15% pirate games, most likely using BitTorrent. Thank you for your honesty! And no, we don’t collect your IP addresses or anything like that =)

Written by Julio Franco

February 21st, 2008 at 6:29 am

Untapping Wii’s hidden potential (video)

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Erik posted this on his NATW (News around the web) post yesterday, but in case you missed it, this is too cool to bypass just like that – see the video after my comments below…

In case you haven’t noticed, every week day we have in our frontpage the “News around the web” coverage with 4-5 hand picked items of interest that sometimes deviate from our usual news but are well worth a read. The post also features a “Five years ago in TechSpot” story from our archives, just to give you some perspective of the technology today. Then it’s all rounded up with reviews and articles from fellow websites.

Major thumbs up to Johnny Chung Lee for his creativity using Wii’s hardware. I wonder where did the millions spent in the PS3 and Xbox 360 go? Especially when the later is essentially a rebadged PC.

Written by Julio Franco

January 29th, 2008 at 3:17 pm

3dmarks per $

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The guys at Futuremark (developers of the popular 3dmark benchmark) emailed me late last week letting me know of the launch of a new service available through their YouGamers portal that gathers submitted benchmark results, system specs, and ultimately pricing information to build a table of the best values in videocard and processors.

There are obvious shortcomings inherent to the way data is being gathered (all user-submitted, 3dmark tested only, features are not considered), but from a quick glance I took to the stats, it’s at the very least an interesting thing to watch.

An obvious miss I thought was the “Best Bang for the Buck” graphics card where the GeForce 8600 GT is sitting on top, and we know this has never been a product of our particular choice, even when considering the price. But yet, the thing costs less than a hundred dollars nowadays, so perhaps we should revisit those budget choices. The quad-core CPU best value went to the Core 2 Quad Q6600, no surprises there, although it appears to be AMD Phenoms are not even getting listed yet.

You will be surprised when you see the Athlon 64 X2 3600+ getting the most CPU Marks per $, in fact all Athlon X2s were on top of Intel Core 2 Duos, which are generally better choices for gaming but perhaps this is not reflected as dramatically in 3dmark.

While there, I recommend you also check out statistics gathered for the most popular hardware used by 3dmark users in the past 12 months. Nvidia GeForce cards dominate 9 of the top 10 positions (#1 GeForce 8800 GTS 320MB/640MB), while the Core 2 Duo is also comfortably on top of the CPU chart.

Written by Julio Franco

January 28th, 2008 at 12:13 am

Motivations for an upgrade & Far Cry 2 eye candy video

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While I barely touched on the subject of high system requirements yesterday on my post about Vista and gaming, it got me thinking about my plans of upgrading my desktop system, where gaming Crysis is basically my only justification for upgrading an otherwise very responsive system. And I know what you are thinking, as TechSpot’s Executive Editor I must be running on the latest hardware out there but that is hardly the case, after all we are better off keeping all test hardware under the same roof (in this case, Steve’s roof!) so whenever we need to crunch some numbers and deliver the goods to you, it’s all handled as quickly as possible…

So, my last batch of major upgrades was over a year ago, when the Athlon X2 was still hip and so I’m running a 4400+ CPU with 2GB of memory on a speedy, but unfortunately very noisy 150GB Raptor HDD. Also just recently got to switch from an oldie GeForce 7800gt to a Radeon HD 3850, in fact I got two cards, but my SLI motherboard won’t let me run them in Crossfire. So, what’s the next step? Intel’s Core 2 Quad is my favorite route at the moment but I haven’t quite yet decided that, after all if my only motivation is gaming then a videocard upgrade should take precedence, but as you know both ATI and Nvidia will be playing the Multi-GPU card early this year which is not necessarily the GeForce 8800 Ultra we all wanted.

In the meantime I’m letting my plan unfold where I play Crysis as little and as slow as possible so when my upgrade finally comes, I still get to play it a bit with some more eye candy turned on :). Not to despair though, Far Cry 2 is up and coming, not to mention the wide number of good PC game releases we got last year, oh, and did you know Crysis is set to be a trilogy? Hopefully the sales will justify it.

Finally, here’s some Far Cry 2 video that recently hit the web:


Written by Julio Franco

January 25th, 2008 at 4:04 am

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