Technology news and commentary by the staff

Archive for September, 2007

Games for Windows, where is my Halo 3?

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I must admit I’m a console gamer on a very limited basis. I have owned a PS2 for years but for the most part I have limited myself to a handful of what I consider great games, beginning with the Pro Evolution Soccer/Winning Eleven franchise.

It wasn’t until recently that I got myself an Xbox 360 to go along my new HDTV, and man was I impressed. The fact that I started up by booting the Bioshock demo probably added to the experience, but even with the gorgeous graphics that can now be had using new high-def TVs, I did not buy Bioshock (for the 360), and I’m yet to decide if I will jump ship on either Gears of War or Microsoft’s recently released Halo 3. The fact is, I still feel much more comfortable playing shooters on my PC, for that same reason I went and bought the Orange Box so I could get some TF2 beta action.

Now, you will excuse my rambling, but back to where I wanted to go with this post… Microsoft’s Games for Windows initiative is great, I mean, at least it’s something! But you will want to think again if you believe the software giant is really committed to PC gamers. I find it ridiculous and even insulting that Halo 2 was released for the PC just three months ago when the console version was launched back in November 2004!

I’m pretty sure PC game sales wouldn’t cannibalize those of the Xbox, and because both platforms have so much in common, I’m also sure a really committed team of developers would have been able to bring a Windows version in no time if they wished to.

It’s not that we desperately need Halo 3 for Windows. The PC without a doubt has received and will continue receiving a number of AAA titles by the end of the year (Crysis, anyone?), but looking at Microsoft’s Games for Windows efforts, they could do so much better.

Written by Julio Franco

September 26th, 2007 at 10:13 pm

Posted in gaming,microsoft

Facebook and other ‘social’ sites

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It’s been a long time coming that I wanted to voice off regarding these whole social media movement, but until now there was no blog to do it. This comes right after reading the latest news on Facebook on TS’ frontpage…
Facebook is hot these days, as is social networking. But then again there’s no question to be asked, 1) Facebook has still to prove how viable its business is from a financial point of view, and 2) Until then, it’s a very overvalued company (at $10B?) that is benefiting from the online advertising wars created by Google, Yahoo and Microsoft.

As a site that relies on advertising to pay the bills, TechSpot also benefits from a bonanza in online advertising, but nobody wants a bubble either. Those guys at Silicon Valley are going like crazy looking for the next big thing, the next Google. The problem is they won’t find it, and then what will happen?

Just recently there was a startup conference organized by TC (another site that has benefited greatly from this investing madness). The conference proved to be extremely popular on web 2.0 circles, and while I did recognize some very unique and creative ideas from the projects shown there, still for some start-ups (which were supposed to be picked as the best of the best), I had no remedy but go “ok, but what is it that you do?” Only time will tell, we just don’t want another dot com bubble.

Written by Julio Franco

September 25th, 2007 at 6:32 pm

Posted in advertising,the web

The blog is back…

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For the last month or so I have struggled with a bunch of ideas I wanted to get out of my head. TechSpot’s frontpage was not the place to do so (especially with the awesome real news coverage we are getting these days from Justin and Jose), and I don’t think I want to open a separate site just to blog about “my stuff”… after all at least half of what I wanted to write about is related to the site and/or computers, so I think I will settle once again with my idea of a WordPress installation neatly placed on TechSpot’s server.

Before opening to the public again I will see what new templates and add-ons I can get for WP and try to integrate TS headlines, that should become useful down the road as content is added here and who knows, maybe we can get something really useful cooking here.

Written by Julio Franco

September 16th, 2007 at 3:27 am

Posted in blog