GDC was all about the 3D engines and games- and none was so impressive as Crytek's passive 3D engine. I demoed at least 5 different passive and active 3D engines, and Crytek's shined more than any of them.
The Crytek section looked like a scene from Risky Business: GDC with all of the dudes wearing the Real 3D glasses, both spectating and playing. The camera really doesn't do it justice, but the 3D here is top of the line. And it would have to be, as the Crytek demo area was crowded from beginning to end of Friday's Expo.
Part of that is undoubtedly due to Crysis 2's environment within the game. Unlike a lot of FPS's these days, the surroundings in Crysis 2 are very subdued, and reactive rather than constantly shifting and moving. The player is immersed almost seamlessly within the action because of how easily accessible it is. Though the gameplay is enhanced, there are few 3D gimmicks here (flying random projectiles, unnecessary "gotcha" pop-ups, etc), which sets it apart from much of the 3D media out on the market now (Don't get me wrong, I know it was absolutely imperative that the Justin Beiber movie was in 3D).
The AR.Drone by Parrot might be the coolest video game ever, if you can even call it that. Imagine for a second that you could take the external camera on your iPhone and fly it around your backyard. Or your neighbor's backyard. Or have it follow you while you're on the 21 Bus going down Market Street in San Francisco. Now make the camera a bad-ass insectoid quadracopter. That's the AR.Drone.
While I was checking out 3dvia's 3D game development engine, I couldn't help but notice some reverberating techno dance music. I looked to my left and noticed the following:
Maybe it was the music, maybe it was the giant cage- I had to go check it out. I had heard a lot about the AR.Drone previously, but never seen it in person. I experience a moment of eager child-like euphoria as I realized there was no line, just spectators, and that I would be able to fly it like one of those annoying kiosk dudes in every mall in America- but I just as soon realized that they weren't allowing attendees to try it out. I spoke to the rep in French for a bit (no big deal) and he explained to me that the Moscone Center wireless was too spotty to let people test it out, and they had the Drone on automatic pilot. Damn you Moscone Center!
It seems a little late, but I'll be posting wrap up reviews and cool things we found on the Expo floor at last week's GDC, including video and more photos.
The Nintendo section was almost entirely devoted to showcasing the new 3DS. The active 3D engine was pretty impressive, and the 3DS has an adjustment slide that lets the user decide how much he or she enjoys it or finds it necessary (which for the most part, I didn't). No offense to the good people at Nintendo, I just find active 3D disorienting and just a tad bit gimmicky. Luckily, the 3DS didn't sacrifice or slack on any of the other features in the wake of 3D, and all I saw at the booth were wide eyes and smiles. My own eyes and smile were added to that mix when I tried out two of the augmented reality games that come preloaded on the system. Nintendo uses marker-based AR technology to run their games, launching the AR experiences from a small card (cARd? No? Okay, I'll stop) bearing the familiar Nintendo Question Mark logo. The user orients the 3DS camera toward the card until it recognizes it, and then a variety of things happen depending on what game you're playing.
From Research Triangle Park, just outside of Raleigh, North Carolina, Lenovo announced today its next generation of ultraportable laptops: The ThinkPad X220 Notebook and the X220 Convertible Tablet PC. Lenovo has given the tech consumer the option of purchasing a super-transforming-ultraportable device with detachable keyboard and trusty pen- or instead, you know, a regular notebook. The X220 is however far from standard as it brings with it a host of nifty features that will be sure to make 2010's Best-Selling Ultraportable Laptop a surefire success in 2011 (According to IDC Worlwide Quarterly PC Tracker, February 2011)
The spec sheets, which we've attached in the gallery at the end of the article, read almost the exact same- Lenovo has outdone their previous efforts in releasing an ultra ultra portable product in tandem with their notebook. The X220 Tablet is therefore quite remarkable in that it possesses almost the exact same external and internal hardware features as its less-transformable cousin, the main tradeoff being that the Tablet weighs in almost a pound heavier than its alternate (~3.88 lbs) with maximum 66% the battery life.
Since January 26th till March 5th thanks to our fabulous community and friends, we managed to donate $6,289.77 AUD to the victims of the Queensland floods.
Today a check was mailed off to the Premier's Disaster Relief Appeal and as promised, you can see a scanned copy of the check above. The Queensland government has already thanked us for the donation as we alerted them about the check that will be mailed once we knew the final amount.
Now, the moment you have been waiting for... the winner of the Aussie Flood Appeal Dream System. A hardcore computer gaming system valued at almost five thousand US dollars. Of course none of this would have been possible without the support of the generous companies who provided parts for the Dream System. Thanks again goes out to Corsair, GIGABYTE, Sapphire, Thermaltake, Western Digital and AVADirect. You guys are the best!
AMD has had the ride of a lifetime with the Radeon HD 5970, even today the dual-GPU 5-series card is still able to keep it's own against an onslaught of next-generation GPU technologies from not only themselves, but NVIDIA.
Enter, Radeon HD 6990. The GPU is a very power-hungry card crunching down on some serious 375W-TDP goodness but with its new vapor-chamber cooling system it also supports up to a get this, 450W of bench-pressing power! The card is mainly what was leaked a few weeks ago now, 2 x 1536 stream processors, 2 x 96 Texture Units, 2 x 32 ROPs, 830MHz core clock, 1.25GHz (5.0GHz data rate) GDDR5 memory, 2 x 256-bit memory bus, 2x2GB memory, and the best bit? A whopping 2 x 2.64B transitors... all packed neatly into a 40nm-process and with a price of $699.
Google have just announced the Google Maps Navigation (Beta) which now has the ability to automatically route you around traffic. With more than 35 million miles driven by Navigation users every day - this should save quite a few people, quite a lot of time.
There's nothing extra a Navigation user has to do, just enter in your destination and instead of Navigation automatically choosing the route that was fastest (without taking current traffic conditions into account), Navigation will now use Google's routing algorithms to current and historical traffic to select the fastest route from those alternates.
Western Digital has said that it has entered into an agreement with Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (Hitachi GST) to acquire them for approximately $4.3 billion in cash and stock. WD said on Monday that the acquisition will produce a customer-focused storage company with "significant operating scale, strong global talent and the industry's broadest product lineup backed by a rich technology portfolio".
The acquisition will also strengthen WD's position in the enterprise market, where businesses and consumers are moving their data to cloud-based solutions. Included in the agreement, WD will pay parent company Hitachi Ltd, $3.5 billion in cash and an additional 25 million WD common shares worth $750 million ($30.01 per share) as of March 4, 2011.
Owners of Bulletstorms "Epic Edition" get access to the Gears of War 3 beta coming on April 18 - those without Bulletstorm get access on April 25 if they pre-order Gears of War 3 at GameStop in either standard, limited or "epic" edition form.
The beta wraps up on May 15 giving players a month of multiplayer thrashing, there's a tonne of content to unlock in the beta. Below is a list of what is able to be unlocked to those who have access to the GoW3 beta.
It looks like NVIDIA are fans of the upcoming dual-GPU from AMD, the Radeon HD 6990. NVIDIA were approached at CeBit and were asked to pose in front of a camera with the Radeon HD 6990, which they agreed to, pearly whites included.
As the picture above shows, NVIDIA are in good spirits. This could mean a few things. They could be just smiling to get it out of the way, smiling because they know their product is better, or smiling in defeat. My guess is the NVIDIA's dual-GPU will be faster but at the use of much more power (400W+) where the HD 6990 should sit pretty at 300W and below.