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Thread: The Official "Console War" and Video Game Thread

  1. #2801
    Heroic Warrior IronAvatar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markatisu View Post
    -PS3 Cell processor is very difficult to program form thus costing more in development and requiring more time to create an outstanding game,
    Umm...I'll give my thoughts on why I believe that statement to be false, if anybody is happy to read through a very technical explanation.

    I think this whole "PS3 is hard to code for" thing is a total myth, having had a go at Cell programming myself on my PS3 linux install. The only thing that is REALLY lacking, is some seriously integrated tools to help ease the pain in the workflow when programming for the Cell.

    As I said...if anybody wants a more in depth explanation as to why I think harnessing the Cell isn't so hard, then just say the word, and I will.

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  2. #2802
    Super Powered Mod! markatisu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IronAvatar View Post
    Umm...I'll give my thoughts on why I believe that statement to be false, if anybody is happy to read through a very technical explanation.

    I think this whole "PS3 is hard to code for" thing is a total myth, having had a go at Cell programming myself on my PS3 linux install. The only thing that is REALLY lacking, is some seriously integrated tools to help ease the pain in the workflow when programming for the Cell.
    I would love to hear it (you can pm if you dont want to post)!

    And I agree, I think a lot of studios/game media are using it as an excuse so they can find acceptance in porting crap games to the Wii (using PS2 engines and tacked on controls) to make some quick money and at the same time releasing essentially PC games on the 360 and get a nice bonus for doing so exclusively (like Rockstar did by making the GTAIV episode content only 360 exclusive for $50mil).
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  3. #2803
    Loco Motu Vato ehenyo's Avatar
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    I don't believe that PS3 myth either. I think M$ created this perception by making it easier to port games between PC and Xbox. But, if you had to develop only for each of the consoles, I believe there would be an equal level of coding difficulty --- the only difference would be the amount of time you'd need to put in to make the graphics better on higher-end systems.
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  4. #2804
    Heroic Warrior IronAvatar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markatisu View Post
    I would love to hear it (you can pm if you dont want to post)!
    Ok, I will make a public post about it, but not right now. I've just gotten back from watching the preview showing of Transformers (it's not out in Austria until nest week) and so I'm a bit tired right now. I have a busy week ahead of me, but I'll do it in the next few days (may actually post a link to an html page depending on how many images I need to make etc.)

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  5. #2805
    Heroic Warrior GR81's Avatar
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    GR81 says:

    For those interested in Canada
    Amazon.ca got

    Mario party 8
    Super paper mario
    Spiderman 3

    for $39.99$ (free shipping) instead of the normal $59.99
    GR81 says : You're role... read what GR81 writes!!!

  6. #2806
    Loco Motu Vato ehenyo's Avatar
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    By the way, Fry's and EB/Gamestop have a deal where $5 gets you a preorder for the new Medal of Honor that includes a free full copy of Battlefield 2.
    If Jack Bauer was on Lost, everything would have been solved in 24 hours!

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  7. #2807
    Super Powered Mod! markatisu's Avatar
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    GTA IV Delayed till Spring 2008

    And here I thought Nintendo would be the ones delaying their big hits

    Take-Two is reducing its fiscal 2007 guidance primarily to reflect the movement of the launch of Grand Theft Auto IV for the PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system and the Xbox 360™ video game and entertainment system from the fourth quarter of fiscal 2007 to fiscal 2008, due to additional development time required to complete the title. The title is now planned for release in the Company’s second quarter of fiscal 2008
    http://www.gta4.net/news/index.php
    http://ir.take2games.com/ReleaseDeta...leaseID=258238

    Lair also delayed a few weeks till September
    http://ps3.ign.com/articles/810/810027p1.html
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  8. #2808
    The Horde Guru of Gaming D-Day V1's Avatar
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    Thats gonna anger a lot of people. This is the first GTA game I was actually thinking about getting
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  9. #2809
    Super Powered Mod! markatisu's Avatar
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    The PSN added some things for PS3 owners

    -Darkness Demo
    -Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter Demo
    -Blast Factor expansion pack
    -Trailers (Get Smart and some others)
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  10. #2810
    He-Man's PR: No Comment hemanrep's Avatar
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    I was looking forward to GTA IV. I guess I'm not too upset since my wallet will have a little more breathing room...there were (and still are) way too many AAA titles to get this holiday season. I kind of wish it Ratchet or some other game. First half of 2008 is looking to be a pretty exciting time for gamers with Metal Gear, GTA, and Mario Kart coming out!

  11. #2811
    Movie Machine shigsy2003's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markatisu View Post
    GTA IV Delayed till Spring 2008
    Howdy

    Opps...you know I always thought that they launch date for this game was too good to be true. While I ain't going to get it and so am unaffected by this change it just seemed too Nintendo

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  12. #2812
    Loco Motu Vato ehenyo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markatisu View Post
    The PSN added some things for PS3 owners

    -Darkness Demo
    -Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter Demo
    -Blast Factor expansion pack
    -Trailers (Get Smart and some others)
    Sweet! I am going to have to download the demos.
    If Jack Bauer was on Lost, everything would have been solved in 24 hours!

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  13. #2813
    Super Powered Mod! markatisu's Avatar
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    Brawl's Adventure mode revealed to be fully done side scroller!







    Super Smash Bros. Brawl: The Subspace Emissary is a robust side-scrolling action game!

    - This is the Subspace Emissary! -

    More than anything, Smash Bros. is a competitive action game. People have been kind enough to praise its multiplayer, but we’ve never been able to create a fully fleshed out single-player game.

    This time, though, we’ve managed to create a complete side-scrolling action game. It’s storyline isn’t overwrought—it’s hastened along by a bunch of quick movies.

    The Adventure mode also emphasizes character development. You’ll see many famous characters persevering under the weight of their personal histories, shouldering their unique burdens... It’s really something you won’t see anywhere else.

    With so many wonderful characters appearing together, it’s like a dream action game. We’re putting tons of fighting spirit into making this game, so I hope you’re all looking forward to it.

    Oh, and this is all included in the same Game Disc, so rest easy.
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  14. #2814
    Almighty Dictator Skullface's Avatar
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    This space for rent, apparently.....

  15. #2815
    Super Powered Mod! markatisu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skullface View Post
    Tell me about it, I was already fully intent on getting GH3 Wii but this just adds icing to the cake.

    I dont have the amt of friends or spare cash to get Rock Band and utilize the Metallica albums so this is welcome news!
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  16. #2816
    Almighty Dictator Skullface's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markatisu View Post
    Tell me about it, I was already fully intent on getting GH3 Wii but this just adds icing to the cake.

    I dont have the amt of friends or spare cash to get Rock Band and utilize the Metallica albums so this is welcome news!
    Well, with RB getting Enter Sandman, I'm betting they'll get black album and after content, which I have no desire for. GH3 gets the better song, IMO, and hopefully they'll get some other tracks off the 1st 4 albums........

    I hope Activision/EA will host their own online servers, cuz I think everybody I know that's getting GH3/RB are getting them on different systems, and if I wanna play online co-op/battle against my buddy(ies), I don't want it not happening due to the fact he's getting, say the PS2 version of GH3, while I have the 360 version.......

    HOLY CRAP - I'm so gonna get spanked on this game......

    http://www.scorehero.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=20711
    Last edited by Skullface; August 3, 2007 at 02:15pm.
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  17. #2817
    Drinking Innocence TheDeviot's Avatar
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    Last edited by TheDeviot; August 3, 2007 at 11:54pm.
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  18. #2818
    Super Powered Mod! markatisu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDeviot View Post
    Carmack hints at Quake III Arena for DS/Wii[/URL]
    Now that would be nice! Doom 3 looked really nice on Xbox and the Wii can handle that power so coupled with tight controls and the direction of ID it could be a potentially great FPS on the Wii.
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  19. #2819
    Loco Motu Vato ehenyo's Avatar
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    Wow --- Quake Zero sounds very innovative. I would like to see how the web version of Quake III works... this is just amazing, and can actually alter the state of gaming (if done right.) I wonder if they were inspired by the shockwave/web version of half-life!!!
    http://necromanthus.com/Games/ShockWave/half-life.html
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  20. #2820
    Masta of da Fryin' Pan PanMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDeviot View Post
    And in bad news EA kiboshes Online Play for several games
    HERE
    Talk about forcing you to buy the newer games. That's ridiculous.
    My name is Pan . . . and I am the Man.

  21. #2821
    Heroic Warrior IronAvatar's Avatar
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    Why The PS3 Isn't so hard to code for after all

    As promised, a more in-depth look at my calls of "BS" for developers claiming that it's just "too hard" to get the most out of the Cell processor and hence, the PS3.

    I'm going to answer some common claims made by developers.

    1. There's not enough memory to fit data + code into SPU memory to make efficient use of them. It's just too hard!

    Before I give rebuff this claim, I'll explain a little bit about the Cell's special architecture.

    The Cell is made of many smaller processor elements, the most powerfull of which are the SPU's. There are eight SPU's on a single Cell processor, and each one as a 256k memory area allocated to it (actually...each SPU can access all of that memory. How it is split up between the units is up to the programmer and can change at any time).

    Now...a program that is executed on a SPU must be in this 256k area, as the SPU's can't access main memory directly (this is done via the very fast DMA controller on each unit). You would be forgiven for thinking that the maximum size of a SPU program is 256k right?

    Wrong. The program code is just data as far as the SPU is concerend. If the program is larger than the amount of available SPU memory, then it just loads the program in chuncks and executes them. Which funnily enough, is exactly the same way that your PC's processor works, so the programmer doesn't have to worry too much about the memory size when writting code.

    Also...loading data in small chunks and processing it is not an issue either. I mentioned previously that each SPU has its own very fast interface between main memory and the local 256k memory. This interface allows each processing unit on the Cell to reach a peak substained read/write speed of 25.6GB/s, giving a total theoretical 230.4Gb/s read/write over the whole CPU. And the numbers are even higher with read-only operations.

    So the Cell can shift a lot of data around, and each unit can do this without interrupting the other units read/write operations.

    The amount of SPU memory is not an issue as far as I'm concerned, given the memory bandwidth and ease of use of each SPU.


    Writting SIMD code for the SPU's is hard!

    While there are some constraints you need to keep in mind (data alignment, out of step acceses) writting the code isn't as hard was you would think. No longer does the programmer have to stare blankly at some low-level assembler code like they did on the PS2 (I remember it all very well). Instead they can just write normal code to do specialised processes in C/C++ and the optimisation is handled by the compiler! Also, the process of using SIMD operations is made easier with the use of special keywords (called intrinsics) to say that "this value uses SIMD operations"

    Also...normal non-SPU specific code can be easily optimized to run on the SPU's by the compiler. In many cases, the SPU's can be actively executing code without any extra effort on the part of the programmer.

    Writting parallel code is hard, especially on the PS3!

    Yes, writting parallel code is hard. It takes a very large shift in perception on the part of the programmer to get used to a parallel processing environment. But there's nothing on the PS3 that makes it harder than it already is on say, the XBox 360.

    All the techniques you need to develop to make sure things happen in the right order and that processing units don't scramble up shared memory resources are exactly the same for the Xbox 360 and PS3.

    There's nothing about the PS3 that makes it any more difficult that trying to write a multi-threaded application on a PC. The only thing really different about the PS3, is that all of the units can access memory at the same time...unlike the 360's cores, or even the cores on a normal Intel or AMD processor.

    The rendering hardware is slow on the PS3!

    nVidia have always been a bit crap when it comes to supplyig fast memory on thier GPU's, so pixel shading IS severely crippled on the PS3. The sollution? Sort rendered objects by depth instead of material (render the one closest to you first, also known as a " reveresed Painters Algorithm")!

    That way you eliminate the number of duplicate pixels that are rendered, thus negating the issue with a low memory bandwidth.
    I must confess...I find it odd that so many developers have forgotten a technique that was being used before hardware accelerated 3D to solve a similar problem.


    These are just the main issues I hear being bandied about as to why it's hard to harness the power of the Cell processor. There are quite a few more, some of which are just plain ridiculous. I hope this has been informative...and if there are any questions, or more "PS3 is hard to code for" comments you want to know more about, then feel free to ask
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  22. #2822
    Drinking Innocence TheDeviot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IronAvatar View Post
    As promised, a more in-depth look at my calls of "BS" for developers claiming that it's just "too hard" to get the most out of the Cell processor and hence, the PS3.

    I'm going to answer some common claims made by developers.

    1. There's not enough memory to fit data + code into SPU memory to make efficient use of them. It's just too hard!

    Before I give rebuff this claim, I'll explain a little bit about the Cell's special architecture.

    The Cell is made of many smaller processor elements, the most powerfull of which are the SPU's. There are eight SPU's on a single Cell processor, and each one as a 256k memory area allocated to it (actually...each SPU can access all of that memory. How it is split up between the units is up to the programmer and can change at any time).

    Now...a program that is executed on a SPU must be in this 256k area, as the SPU's can't access main memory directly (this is done via the very fast DMA controller on each unit). You would be forgiven for thinking that the maximum size of a SPU program is 256k right?

    Wrong. The program code is just data as far as the SPU is concerend. If the program is larger than the amount of available SPU memory, then it just loads the program in chuncks and executes them. Which funnily enough, is exactly the same way that your PC's processor works, so the programmer doesn't have to worry too much about the memory size when writting code.

    Also...loading data in small chunks and processing it is not an issue either. I mentioned previously that each SPU has its own very fast interface between main memory and the local 256k memory. This interface allows each processing unit on the Cell to reach a peak substained read/write speed of 25.6GB/s, giving a total theoretical 230.4Gb/s read/write over the whole CPU. And the numbers are even higher with read-only operations.

    So the Cell can shift a lot of data around, and each unit can do this without interrupting the other units read/write operations.

    The amount of SPU memory is not an issue as far as I'm concerned, given the memory bandwidth and ease of use of each SPU.


    Writting SIMD code for the SPU's is hard!

    While there are some constraints you need to keep in mind (data alignment, out of step acceses) writting the code isn't as hard was you would think. No longer does the programmer have to stare blankly at some low-level assembler code like they did on the PS2 (I remember it all very well). Instead they can just write normal code to do specialised processes in C/C++ and the optimisation is handled by the compiler! Also, the process of using SIMD operations is made easier with the use of special keywords (called intrinsics) to say that "this value uses SIMD operations"

    Also...normal non-SPU specific code can be easily optimized to run on the SPU's by the compiler. In many cases, the SPU's can be actively executing code without any extra effort on the part of the programmer.

    Writting parallel code is hard, especially on the PS3!

    Yes, writting parallel code is hard. It takes a very large shift in perception on the part of the programmer to get used to a parallel processing environment. But there's nothing on the PS3 that makes it harder than it already is on say, the XBox 360.

    All the techniques you need to develop to make sure things happen in the right order and that processing units don't scramble up shared memory resources are exactly the same for the Xbox 360 and PS3.

    There's nothing about the PS3 that makes it any more difficult that trying to write a multi-threaded application on a PC. The only thing really different about the PS3, is that all of the units can access memory at the same time...unlike the 360's cores, or even the cores on a normal Intel or AMD processor.

    The rendering hardware is slow on the PS3!

    nVidia have always been a bit crap when it comes to supplyig fast memory on thier GPU's, so pixel shading IS severely crippled on the PS3. The sollution? Sort rendered objects by depth instead of material (render the one closest to you first, also known as a " reveresed Painters Algorithm")!

    That way you eliminate the number of duplicate pixels that are rendered, thus negating the issue with a low memory bandwidth.
    I must confess...I find it odd that so many developers have forgotten a technique that was being used before hardware accelerated 3D to solve a similar problem.


    These are just the main issues I hear being bandied about as to why it's hard to harness the power of the Cell processor. There are quite a few more, some of which are just plain ridiculous. I hope this has been informative...and if there are any questions, or more "PS3 is hard to code for" comments you want to know more about, then feel free to ask
    I don't doubt that the stories are "Exaggerated". But there must be some truths to tales of every platforms perceived shortcomings. And I think in this Gen one can't make an entirely level comparison because of architectural differences. The 360 has 3 cores that supposedly run faster than some of the cores on the PS3 (Correct me if I'm wrong), but the extra PS3 cores level the playing field if used properly. I'm also pretty sure Mark Rein said there is a smaller amount of RAM to work with on the PS3 which is why they advise PC modders not to make hellahuge maps for the PS3 when UT3 hits. The Wii certainly cannot do what the other two consoles do, but the motion sensors seem to have been done right by the Big N, and if Metroid Prime 3 is any indication, it can hold it's own for the time being graphically. In the PC gaming sector Intel, And AMD's designs are still a bit different even though they come to the same conclusions. Personally I do like Nvidia better than ATI because I've always had an easy time with drivers with Nvidia cards.
    That said I've preferred the AMD processors over the last few years despite the fact intel took back the performance crown.
    I'm intrigued about AMD's next processor because it's not only going to have multiple cores, but 4 ati gpu cores on it too if my memory serves me right. But now I've begun to ramble.
    Since you know more about the architecture being a programmer than I do being a mere tech, and Gamer perhaps you could break down the architecture of each platform, give the pros, and cons from a programmer perspective, end user perspective etc.
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  23. #2823
    Heroic Warrior IronAvatar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDeviot View Post
    I don't doubt that the stories are "Exaggerated". But there must be some truths to tales of every platforms perceived shortcomings. And I think in this Gen one can't make an entirely level comparison because of architectural differences. The 360 has 3 cores that supposedly run faster than some of the cores on the PS3 (Correct me if I'm wrong),
    All of the cores on the PS3 run at the same speed. Plus, the PowerPC cores in the 360 have had the fancy branch prediction hardware and out-of-order-execution hardware removed, making them very poor performing when executing general purpose code.

    I'm also pretty sure Mark Rein said there is a smaller amount of RAM to work with on the PS3 which is why they advise PC modders not to make hellahuge maps for the PS3 when UT3 hits.
    There is a tiny little bit of truth to what Reign says. The 360 has 1Gb of memory that can be freely paritioned between texture storage and general purpose usage.

    The PS3 in the other hand has 512MB of main RAM, and then 512MB of video RAM. Unoike the XB360, you also have to reserve some of that 512Mb of VRAM for setting up your frame and depth buffers. But this really isn't a problem, as most 3D video hardware has worked like this for the last 12 years.

    Mark Reign's comments about texture sizes have much more to do with the limitations of Unreal Engine 3, than the PS3. It's a pretty straight forward job to actually stream texture data from disc into VRAM. But the complexity of the UE3 system (and I know this from experience) means that data streaming is a real pain. And also, what streaming there is in UE3 is very slow right now.

    I suggest you look at Silicon Knight's current law suit against Epic as an example of just how problematic UE3 is on console right now, and as to why you shouldn't trust Mark Reign.
    (don't get me wrong...I like Mark personaly...he is a nice guy, really enthusiastic about making games and is always very generous when it comes to treating folks to dinner).

    You can read about the Silicon Knights law suit here


    The Wii certainly cannot do what the other two consoles do, but the motion sensors seem to have been done right by the Big N, and if Metroid Prime 3 is any indication, it can hold it's own for the time being graphically.
    Meh. Nintendo have all but won the current console war, if we're talking about the numbers of units sold. It's just a shame that they're not selling that many Wii games right now.


    Since you know more about the architecture being a programmer than I do being a mere tech, and Gamer perhaps you could break down the architecture of each platform, give the pros, and cons from a programmer perspective, end user perspective etc.
    PC architecture is a real mess as far as I'm concerned, and Intel have had a big hand in allowing things to become that way. I'll give thoughts on it if you like, but that's for another time. Right now, I have to run to the bakery as it;s mny turn to do breakfast this morning
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  24. #2824
    Super Powered Mod! markatisu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IronAvatar View Post
    Meh. Nintendo have all but won the current console war, if we're talking about the numbers of units sold. It's just a shame that they're not selling that many Wii games right now.
    The saddest part about that statement is that nobody is selling many games.

    Outside of the multiplatform games like Marvel UA, The PS3 has two million sellers (Motostorm and Resistance), Xbox 360 has a handful (Lost Planet, Gears of War) and Nintendo has the largest set in under 1 years time (Zelda TP, Super Paper Mario, Mario Party, Red Steel, Rayman Raving Rabids, Wii Play).

    But all in all the "next-gen" systems are not selling nearly at the rate of the PS2 software.

    I just wish that a lot of the early Wii stuff was not just ports, I mean the least publishers could have done was made games using already established gamecube engines. Then again the Gamecube really did not have a lot of third party support so I guess there may have not been too many publishers with good GC games lying around to rehash

    I did find something amazing yesterday, Mario Party 8 was panned across the board by all game sites and most of us gamers who have played MP 1-7.

    Well yesterday I found out that to someone who has never played Mario Party and has an SDTV (Standard TV not HD) that Mario Party 8 is an incredible game.

    My brother has a regular old Apex 27" TV with composite input (yellow,red,white) and he bought Mario Party 8. We put it in, the graphics did not both me at all (due mainly to the fact he was using 4:3 which if you have 16:9 you know that MP8 puts borders on the sides). The animations were good, the character models looked good, and it seemed really polished....unlike how places like ign.com ranted on and on.

    The controls could have used some work, there were some questionable choices as far as how they could have excellently utilized the wiimote but opted not to. But he was having a blast playing it and therefore so was I. I can now see why it broke 1 million in sales, given that a large chunk of Wii owners have never had the MP1-7 experience, this game was a smash hit.

    And as a gamer I was loving it, because there is nothing better than to have the people you are playing with be into it.
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  25. #2825
    Drinking Innocence TheDeviot's Avatar
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    Here's an interview with Epic with more info on UT3, and UE3 licensing

    Markatisu, My Sister bought MP8. When we all went to visit I was probably the only one who didn't care for it. But then I've never been an MP fan. I just don't like the randomness of it. I like to shape my own victories. Even if I win every minigame, somehow I lose at the end when other players get random stars.
    There's a funny Penny Arcade strip that mirrors my sentiments, but I can't post it here being there's an F bomb.

    I don't think reviewers were that harsh. 5 or 6 out of 10 simply means it's average. Series veterans will like it, people who don't eat sleep breathe the hobby may find fun in it, regular gamers may want to wait for a price drop. If it is anything less than 5 That says "Don't bother "
    The Deviot
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    "No matter how hot you think they are, Someone. Somewhere. Is tired of their crap."

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