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16761  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / It's Official: KOTOR II is HALO 2's Daddee on: January 13, 2005, 10:47:35 PM
Quote from: "Sparhawk"
Quote
Halo1 was one of my most anticipated titles for PC FPS.


Incorrect. It was the most anticipated PC/MAC RTS before it was ever a FPS.


Regardless of it's original concept /design, the game *is* an FPS and my statement is not incorrect.  I don't anticipate RTS games, so I don't really mind the change. <shrug> And really, Halo is a Marathon game. (which were first person shooters)

My statement still stands.
KOTOR 2 is a smelly pile of poo.
16762  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Who will die in 2005? on: January 13, 2005, 03:27:23 AM
I'm no good at predictions, but I think Harrison Ford may have a plane accident, and Jar Jar binks will step in as Indiana Jones for the final one.

Big Jake, I just saw your sig, and I've got one question:

"At Least Doom3 was playable right out of the box."

But why would you *want* to? I'm just teasin... Black is my favorite colour too. slywink
16763  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / It's Official: KOTOR II is HALO 2's Daddee on: January 13, 2005, 03:11:47 AM
Quote from: "Sepiche"
Actually every single one of those games I mentioned IS light years ahead of Halo 2 in gameplay... IN MY OPINION. smile

s


Now *that* is a cop-out. You stated it as fact, and change it to opinion like we were all retard for thinking otherwise.

Halo1 was one of my most anticipated titles for PC FPS. Ever. It switched to console, and I went for it. As a hard-core PC gamer starting at about ~1987 (within the last 5 years I was hosting 30+ person lan parties in my basement). Halo1 took me, hook line and sinker. Can any of the games you mentioned let you play in an immersive co-op mode? Are they well-balanced and fast-paced with a solid graphics/sounds/control/physics/fun factor?

Tribes Vengeance is an empty shell; worse than UT2K4. It is soulless and barren. Tribes was a great game, but it was never as engaging as the Rainbow 6 line (PC) or Ghost Recon (PC).

Day of Defeat was still standing on the shoulders of Half-Life and what it brought to the table. Single player? No. DoD:Source? Puhleez. Sell me a product I already own with a new engine. Same thing with Counterstrike. I'm done with shooting the radio and then sniping down the alley. In 1998.

Battlefield was by far the ugliest game I've seen in some time. There were a lot of people who loved it and I don't begrudge them that. I never got into it; it seemed unpolished and a whole lot of not-fun.

Vampires is a FPRPG. Not an FPS. That's like saying Lego Racing is better than Sim Copter. Well, they both have a third person view in vehicles, right?

The list of "FPS games off the top of your head" contains a fair amount of legacy titles (not "todays games") and some you either haven't played or aren't really in the same category. We're comparing apples to oranges and complaining there isn't enough citrus in the apple category. Or that these apples don't taste as good as the ones in them good old days.

Back on topic.

KOTOR2 is a big pile of smelly poo.
16764  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Resident Evil 4 Impressions on: January 13, 2005, 02:45:38 AM
Quote from: "farley2k"
After 10 minutes of play at Best Buy all I can say is - it is beautiful, but why can't they get the controls right?

I also wanted to find a way to run but I couldn't.  Maybe it exisits, if I had a manual I could tell but I just had a few minutes with the game.


100% correct. I'm not a big RE fan, and after playing an hour of it, I'm glad I only rented it.

I'm playing it on my 30" widescreen (proscan) and it is VERY pretty. And gruesome. Pretty gruesome, I guess. I cannot get past the controls though. I don't know what it is with Nintendo games and stationary gameplay (Metroid, for example). Their AAA titles (IMHO) generally have poor controls and require a deeper understanding of how fingers DON'T work to get it to do what you want it to do.

If they offered a better angle (the sloped angle of the gun versus your perspective can be misleading a LOT of the time).Since he's actually STOPPING to take aim we should have the benefit of a true scope sight.

As to running, hold the B button with no triggers pressed.

If you love survivor horror or previous RE games, this is a must. If you've never tried it before and are old hat at FPS games, I'd strongly recommend renting this title first. Or be prepared to pay for a replacement controller and at least 1 sheet of drywall.
16765  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / It's Official: KOTOR II is HALO 2's Daddee on: January 12, 2005, 07:18:12 PM
Quote from: "ChrisGwinn"
If you have a widescreen monitor, HL2 will run widescreen.  Just in case you were wondering.


Yeah. I don't have 51" worth of space on my desk for what I'm playin' Halo2 on.. or Sith lords for that matter. slywink I know there are some nice gaming rigs out there; they generally cost more than a low-mid home theatre. biggrin
16766  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / It's Official: KOTOR II is HALO 2's Daddee on: January 11, 2005, 10:43:41 PM
Quote from: "Sepiche"
Obviously Halo 2 has a nice multiplayer portion, and runs well on it's console, but nothing IMHO about the gameplay is innovative.  Compare it to any reasonably good PC FPS and it's lightyears behind the curve.

s


Lets see, the 4 big FPS games of 2004 :

Halflife2 - MOTS. Fun online, single player was (for me) a single trip. Grav gun enhancement; graphics are impressive and the game was done right.
Everything else is the same. Hell, the multiplayer portions are fundimentally identical to games we were playing 7 years ago. Counter-strike Source? Nice, but not really innovative.
Doom3  -I got through it, but it was NOT fun. Tripolectometronic Bootstrapbumped Vertile Shadelighting so we can enjoy BLACK. Yeah. No other improvements.
UT2k4   - It's like a sports game that gets updated every year. Headshot, Headshot. Rampage. *yawn* Monster Kill. I own it; it collects dust. Added vehicles; Halo1 had them. Tribes had them; no big advancement here.  It's online community keeps this afloat, and it is the defacto FPS shooter.
Far Cry - once you get past the jungle idea, it's a linear shooter that has you following a preset path (or you can sit in jungle by yourself, your call). Played the demo, played the retail for a couple hours at a buddies place; no big deal. I didn't see advancement beyond MOTS.

Halo2 - A straightforward shooter with (what I found to be)an engaging story, a terrific selling record and a very active online gaming community(very impressive for a pay-to-play service). Added vehicle jacking, dual wielding, and melee weapon. Nothing truly revolutionary, but impressive that they managed to keep the game balanced. As to physics, play Halo1 and watch how your character reacts to driving. He rolls forwards when stopping, and gets pinned back while accelerating. Halo2 added to that level of detail in more than just physics. Listen to the marines, check out the talents actors and actresses that helped voice the game.

You can chalk it up to MOTS, but MOTS is not "lightyears behind". That's not even a reasonable statement. Given the list above, Halo2 is in with it's peers. Just because it doesn't have a keyboard / mouse interface doesn't make it subpar. Widescreen on a nice set blows away the tunnelvision a monitor offers, and a controller is a middleground compromise between the mediocre controls of a keyboard and the fluid controls of the mouse. Oh, and if you want to play it with kbd/mouse, go visit http://www.lik-sang.com and ask em for a Smart-Joy frag. I've tried it, it works.

But this thread isn't about HALO2 VS. PC FPS, or PC elitism. It's about KOTOR2 being Halo2's Daddee. Drunken embarrassing step-father, maybe. He's a nice guy at first, but wait till you get to know him.

KOTOR brand name has held substantial value; #1 was game of the year for a lot of the critics out there. KOTOR2 had clout coming to market; they didn't live up to it. Oh, I can see the effort is there, but this one came out half-baked to make a christmas rush. That's not to say other games (including H2) don't face the same challenges, but I mean REALLY. They already had the engine and only had to tweak it. Obsidian didn't add much else to it other than a more complex workbench and some jedi classes and weapon forms. I'd also put forth that they added a story, but since the whole thing isn't there, and not all Tab "A"s fit into their Slot "B"s, it's a choose-your-own-adventure book with the a third of the pages ripped out.

Maybe Obsidian is happy with their game; I am not. I'm a pre-order kind of guy and unless they can convince me otherwise, KOTOR3 will wait until I'm confident I won't be getting another rotten Tootsie Pop.
16767  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / It's Official: KOTOR II is HALO 2's Daddee on: January 11, 2005, 10:22:26 PM
Quote from: "Stardrifter"
I'm glad I'm not experiencing any of the "technical issues" with the game that purge and others are having.  I know I'm only on Telos but I have already logged over 30hrs with zero problems.  The load times between "areas" doesn't bother me either.  They are only about 20 seconds long, give or take a few seconds.

My biggest worry right now is hoping and praying a KOTOR 3 is in the planning stages.
 biggrin



It gets worse as it goes. Like I said, I loved this game initially. 4 planets in I still loved the game, but had a few crashes. Some advice: Save often.

Oh, and the plotlines are fine while it's still simple (and Telos is still simple).
16768  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: It's Official: KOTOR II is HALO 2's Daddee on: January 11, 2005, 04:27:00 PM
Quote from: "ATB"
[Halo2]had among the worst endings in my gaming experience.

Some have said that KOTOR II's ending is bad...but, at this stage, that seems inconceivable.  I'll find out when I get there...but that may be a while. [...] HALO2 is pwned by KOTOR II


Yeah. Uhm, where to begin.

Halo2 is a middlepiece storyline with twists and innovation. Ambitious in nature, and pushing the absolute limit of a GeForce3.5 on a 700mHz processor. Bungie worked their damnedest with the hardware to deliver as much as possible; they have no reason to apologize.

KOTOR2, for me, was worse than Fable. At least Lionhead had the guts to apologize for what they wanted to give us but had to leave out. Plus, they built their engine.

Obsidian takes the full working engine and breaks it. KOTOR2 freezes, crashes, has MAJOR SHOWSTOPPING BUGS such as being able to cast heal (or any support function like Force Shield) and if you time it right, you can execute any attack WHILE the animation is showing you heal, and your very next move will do BOTH at the same time (Flurry of Blows + Master Heal in 1 round = Damned near unstoppable) The thing is, you may have already triggered this bug accidentally, especially if you don't use any autopause function.

Excessively long load times, conversation thread failures, accidental item duping, messed up storyline threads and plot holes big enough to throw a mule through *really* hurts this game.  First you start wondering why they show you plot stuff that no one acknowledges in normal conversation to where you get railroaded for the end section.

Basically, the last 1/4 of the game horrible. It's like you've just gotten to the middle of a tootsie pop to discover the fudge has been replaced with dogshit and vinegar.

If you want to keep loving this game play until you *know* who's behind the dark side. Then stop, start over, and go to the same point. Seriously, I freakin' loved the game for the first while. <sigh> KOTOR2 has fallen to the dark side.
16769  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / WoW - The Rogue Class on: January 11, 2005, 01:53:18 PM
Quote from: "Koz"
Well you don't want to primarily lean on SS in a dagger build, but you still use the skill heavily. Only SS and gouge give CPs during normal fighting (you can't BS without stunning in some fashion), and gouge has a longish cooldown (especially with no points in the talent), so even a dagger build is going to use quite a few SS's.


At level 18 solo'ing, I will either ambush or backstab (1 cp); take 3 seconds of stabbing (meter fills), gouge (+1), hold A and E for a second (strafes to the back of the monster), Backstab (+1), take another 3 seconds of stabbing, drop an SS (+1) and then a gouge (+1) and before the gouge wears off my energy is high enough to drop a max Evis.

I'm liking the daggers; got a sword in my second hand.

I truly haven't decided on a spec' yet; I've only got 2 points assigned right now (1 in improved evisc, 1 in remorseless... both were assigned accidentally while I was just looking.) I'm not spending a gold to have those two cleared out while I try to decide.
16770  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / MechAssault2 - Online in 2 hours (10pm CST) Tonight! on: January 10, 2005, 07:23:18 AM
WoW sucked me in. Cripes it's good.
16771  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Jade Empire on: January 10, 2005, 07:21:04 AM
Quote from: "Devil"
I'm agreeing with LE!!! :shock:


Happened to me once too, Devil.

::Purge hands Devil a bar of soap and points to the sink::

Go. Wash. Now. The burning will subside in a few hours.
16772  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Finished KotoR2 - And I want my freaking 30 hours back!!!! on: January 10, 2005, 07:15:47 AM
Quote
1. The Ebon Hawk was dented and very clearly damaged in the cutscenes on Malachor V, but suddenly all the dents were gone and it could save me? I felt like I was watching a bad Dukes of Hazzard episode where they do a jump, the General Lee is damaged, and then in the next scene the car is fine!


Commando. Smashed and dented yellow porsche; perfect porsche. repeat.

You and I took the same path, and yes, I'd have to say that, without a doubt that the ending was worse than the lucas starwars 2.0

Half baked is too much credit; they forgot the freakin' eggs in the recipe. It was like I was enjoying the magic and splendor of having all of these choices (and since we now knew that it was Revan's ship and the ebon hawk was voicelocked but I had Hk47 who could dupe it) and the fact that the game was supposed to touch ALL worlds affected by both wars, that there was going to be a second set of planets unlocked.

The bond was never explained. All of a sudden Kreia (who we suppose was the ONLY person to have her powers severed by the jedi council) was Darth Traya (instead of her being a much more interesting balance / neutral player).

I already started the evil side (remaining neutral, starting nar shadaa this time to get Mira and THEN go evil as possible).

The game feels so much smaller the second time. so limited; so incomplete.

Due to the lack of forsight from either the developer or publisher (B is generally to blame over A) Bioware's going to look like gold with Jade Empire.

Hell, they could crap in the DVD case and it still might rank higher.
16773  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / WoW - Should I bother? on: January 07, 2005, 07:25:48 PM
Quote from: "RPGHero"
That is one thing I have to say about WOW that it gets right, especially compared to FFXI which I also loved.  FFXI keeps you POOR.  Not just a little broke, POOR.  Granted there was an auction house and other ways to make money, but you just never had that much actual cash on you.  In other games, the money is either completely worthless or too hard to get.  In WOW you always seem to have an appropriate amount for equipment and other stuff for your level.  Even though you lost some money on repairs I'm sure you were able to replace it quickly.  I think that this is one thing that WOW does right.


I had a Mithra NIN in FFXI: tell me about it. Uetsusemi is DAMNED expensive. And 900gil PER shuriken? Puhleeze. They miss 50% of the time. When I bought 200 Axes for 30 copper yesterday I almost crapped myself.

Shopkeeper: "Cough up the 30 copper, and you can have 200 of these. I know I'm charging a lot, but hey, I love these throwing axes."
Me: "What are these, gold-inlaid with porcelain carrying case editions? I dunno, 30 coppers... that's like what, 6 ruined pelts? S'way too expensive, man."
Shopkeeper: "thats the price, take it or leave it."
Me: "yeah, I guess. How often do they hit?"
Shopkeeper: "Most of the time, depending on your skill"
[ me swallows tongue, buys axes, leaves ]
Shopkeeper: "Sucker... Those were only worth 25 copper"
Me: "Sucker... in FFXI I'd have paid 4gold 2silver 80copper for this many."
16774  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / WoW - Should I bother? on: January 07, 2005, 07:16:48 PM
Quote from: "DCW"
Get the best price you can for your CE, then buy a standard version and try the game out. You'll be a couple of bucks further ahead that way.


I got CE cheap, (read my first post) about $35US.

I'm in the game now, Whisperwind - Alliance - Stabbetty - Night Elf Rogue. (see WoW user thread; I've added it in the right format). biggrin
16775  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / MechAssault2 Game impressions (WARNING - Spoilers) on: January 07, 2005, 07:13:22 PM
Quote from: "Punisher"
No, no, don't heal the turret, heal the VTOL. Hover over the launch pad and defend from there. When the mechs attack, stay there and keep firing at them. alternate fire between all mechs so they keep their attention on you. While this is going on, keep hitting the button to grab health. You will constantly heal the VTOL and never die.


I understand that; I was explaining that I didn't even know how to pick up stuff or that you could actually heal structures before... I play MP a lot, and I'm generally relegated to the VTOL (as I'm really good at it).
16776  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / WoW- Server and Player lists READ FIRST POST on: January 07, 2005, 08:42:15 AM
Purge,Whisperwind,Alliance,Stabbetty,Rogue,NightElf,[none_yet],Leather
16777  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Jade Empire on: January 07, 2005, 08:30:40 AM
Quote from: "Devil"
IN!

Waiting for LE to make his way in here to trash it... :wink:

look up. One post. Seriously, do you even READ these messages, Devil? retard


Just kiddin'... looks like LE beat you to it. He starts off on a "KOTOR failed me" tone, and swings into the counterbalance of "well maybe if it can walk on water I might pick it up for the PC... maybe". slywink I enjoyed the combat system in KOTOR, and if this one's the same I would love it. Apparently it's a lot different, so there's some hope for people who didn't like the d20 turn-based combat.

The xbox flavor might sour it for LE, but I for one can't WAIT for this title to come out (console preferred).

KOTOR2 was a bigger disappointment to me than KOTOR (which I loved 110 hours worth of), due to the buggy nature of the game, coupled with a mardi gras worth of loose ends*. I respect Obsidian, they just didn't deliver the full package... same engine, worse performance over KOTOR, and way too many moments where you're going over and over the same conversation threads desperately trying to get someone to trigger the conversation piece needed that you've already discussed with another char. Worse yet is the forgetfulness of the characters.

I trust Bioware to get it right the first time; from what I understand I won't be regretting my pre-order. biggrin


*=see GGW volumes 1 through 48 (inclusive)
16778  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / MechAssault2 - Online in 2 hours (10pm CST) Tonight! on: January 07, 2005, 02:01:57 AM
Look for Purge and Mikagami!!
16779  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Lightsaber in Kotor 2 on: January 06, 2005, 09:05:31 PM
Quote from: "El Guapo"
Well, it wasn't so bad for me, but now the game is crashing everytime I go to a specific location (the jungle camp on Onderon).  This is kind of annoying, as it renders me unable to advance in the game.  Anyone got any ideas as to how I might fix this?


Yes. Reload the savegame, and make sure none of your chars are waiting to level up. That seemed to reduce my occurrances greatly.
16780  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / PRESS RELEASE - Bill Gates CES Keynote address. on: January 06, 2005, 06:25:08 PM
PRESS RELEASE
Gates Showcases Technology Breakthroughs, Alliances and Market Momentum That Bring Microsoft's Digital Lifestyle Vision to Life


CES Keynote Features Consumer-Focused Innovations in Music, Photos, Movies, Television, Gaming and Communications; and New Alliances With Industry Leaders Including MTV Networks, TiVo and BellSouth

LAS VEGAS - Jan. 5, 2005 - In his keynote address at 2005 International CES, Microsoft Corp. Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates outlined his vision for the digital lifestyle and demonstrated a broad range of innovations that will enhance the lives of millions of people worldwide. Underscoring the importance of choice and flexibility in bringing the digital lifestyle into the mainstream, Gates showcased innovations in digital music, photos, television and movies, gaming, and communications, and showed how Microsoft and its partners are leading the industry in bringing to life the experiences consumers want.

"We are at the forefront in making broad technology investments and delivering breakthroughs that bring the digital lifestyle into the mainstream," Gates said. "Our strategy is to deliver great software and a platform for partner innovation, so consumers can choose from a vast array of devices and services that work together seamlessly and suit the way they live."

Gates unveiled groundbreaking new alliances that utilize the power and flexibility of Windows® to make consumers' digital experiences richer and more personal. Among his announcements were these:


An agreement with MTV Networks (MTVN) that will create new ways for consumers to access MTV content through a variety of digital entertainment products. As part of this agreement, MTV intends to launch a new PlaysForSure TM -compliant MTVN digital music service with portable subscription capabilities.


New digital music and video devices that expand Microsoft's PlaysForSure logo program to more than 50 currently verified devices and seven online services, ranging from small, low-cost, flash-based players to full-featured hard-disk-based units and forthcoming network-connected high-definition televisions (HDTVs) and DVD players. Gates also announced that 90 million copies of Windows Media® Player 10 have been downloaded since its launch in October.


Continued momentum around interactive entertainment, with Media Center PC sales doubling year over year, surpassing 1.4 million units globally and growing by 40 percent in just three months


An agreement with BellSouth Corp. to test next-generation TV services using Microsoft® TV IPTV Edition


Strong momentum for the Xbox® system, with industry-leading sales for the 2004 holiday season, and expected sales of more than 20 million consoles by July 2005. The "Halo® 2" game generated $125 million in revenue in its first weekend of availability, surpassing the biggest opening weekend in box-office history, for "Spiderman," which generated just under $115 million.


A new collaboration with TiVo Inc. that will enable TiVo subscribers to easily transfer their recorded TV content from a standalone TiVo Series 2 standalone digital video recorder to their Windows XP-based and Media Center PCs, Windows Mobile TM -based Portable Media Centers, Pocket PCs or Smartphones using new TiVoToGo software

Gates also demonstrated the Nikon D2X digital camera with integrated 802.11 wireless networking capabilities, and two devices that use Windows Media Connect to extend the reach of digital content: a new connected HDTV from Digitrex for access to digital media in the home, and a DVD player-recorder and digital video recorder (DVR) from LG Electronics Inc. that can access music, photos and video from Windows XP-based PCs.

Capitalizing on the theme of entertainment experiences, this year's opening address was hosted by late-night talk-show personality Conan O'Brien and webcast live to millions of viewers on Microsoft.com.

Extending the Reach of Digital Media

Gates underscored Microsoft's differentiated approach to delivering the digital lifestyle: "Great software can bring consumers a vast array of devices and services that all work together seamlessly." He showcased how new digital music players from Archos Inc., iRiver, Samsung Electronics America and Gateway Inc. expand the company's PlaysForSure logo program to more than 50 currently verified devices, ranging from small, low-cost, flash-based players to full-featured, hard-disk-based units, network-connected HDTVs and DVD players. Gates also announced that consumers have downloaded 90 million copies of Windows Media Player 10 - the equivalent of eight downloads per second since its launch in October.

Devices and services that bear the PlaysForSure logo help take the complexity and uncertainty out of digital media, effortlessly playing the digital audio and video consumers want, including more than 1 million tracks available on the MSN® Music service, as well as other online stores currently available in the Windows Media Player 10 Digital Media Mall.

In the area of digital memories, Gates and O'Brien showed how the Windows platform is enabling seamless experiences by unveiling Nikon's new D2X digital camera. In a demonstration, O'Brien took photos and wirelessly transferred them to a Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005-based PC and then to a Windows Mobile-based Smartphone.

The Digital Lifestyle, Built on Windows Innovation

In his keynote address, Gates showed how the power and versatility of the Windows platform is making it possible to create PCs and consumer electronics devices that seamlessly bring together all aspects of the digital lifestyle. Noting the increased convergence of PC and TV technologies, Gates unveiled new Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005-based PCs from Alienware Corp., HP, Niveus Media Inc., Stack 9 Systems Corp. and Ricavision International Inc. that provide access to consumers' favorite TV shows as well as their photos, music and video, and advanced functionality such as Imaging Science Foundation-certified HDTV. He announced a forthcoming DVD recorder and DVR from LG Electronics, built on Windows CE, that enables consumers to record and burn DVDs of their favorite shows and share content with their Windows XP-based and Windows XP Media Center Edition-based PCs. Gates then demonstrated advanced universal remote controls from Royal Philips Electronics, Niveus and Logitech International SA that control Media Center PCs as well as consumers' existing home theater equipment.

To further show how the capabilities of Windows can enhance the devices people use today, Gates demonstrated the first network-connected television designed to support playback of music and video from online stores with the PlaysForSure logo. The new 46-inch LCD HDTV from Digitrex uses Windows Media Connect and Windows Media Digital Rights Management 10 to stream digital photos and personal media from any Windows XP-based PC, as well as download and subscription music and video from PlaysForSure online stores. He noted that this new type of TV design also is being evaluated by Pioneer for its HD plasma displays, and that these kinds of innovations are creating new opportunities for consumer electronics companies and extending the reach and choice of digital media for consumers.

The Future of Television, Rolling Out Today

Gates then focused on the tremendous potential of Internet protocol-based TV (IPTV) services, and noted how Microsoft TV IPTV Edition software is providing a platform for network operators worldwide to deliver next-generation pay-TV services. This powerful software provides the video platform for operators to offer their subscribers integrated video, voice, data and mobile services that are not available on today's TV distribution platforms.

Gates announced that BellSouth has joined the growing list of customers, including SBC Communications Inc., Bell Canada and several leading telecommunications operators worldwide, that will trial IPTV services powered by Microsoft TV software.

In addition, SBC Services recently announced an agreement with Microsoft, valued at more than $400 million over 10 years, to license and deploy Microsoft TV IPTV Edition to millions of its subscribers. Lea Ann Champion, executive vice president, SBC IP Operations & Services, took the stage to demonstrate a number of the features this software will make possible, including HD programming, DVR features, video on demand and multiple picture-in-picture capabilities.

New Content, More Choices - at Home and on the Go

The tremendous growth in devices has been matched by an expanding range of audio and video content, as Gates demonstrated through a number of announcements and alliances. He highlighted the new collaboration between Microsoft and TiVo that will enable customers using a TiVo Series 2 standalone digital video recorder and new TiVoToGo software to easily transfer recorded TV content to their Windows XP-based PCs. TiVo expects that within 60 days, consumers also will be able to transfer the same content from the PC to Windows Mobile devices, including Portable Media Centers, Smartphones and Pocket PCs. TiVo announced that it expects its standalone TiVo Series 2 subscribers to have access to the software within 60 days.

"We share Microsoft's excitement about the possibilities for digital entertainment," said Mike Ramsay, chief executive officer of TiVo. "When we launched TiVo, it changed the way people enjoyed their favorite shows - from prime time to anytime. When Microsoft launched Portable Media Centers, it gave people the ability to take them on the go. This gives our customers the best of both worlds - to have their favorite programming available wherever and whenever they want it."

Gates then announced a groundbreaking agreement with MTV Networks to collaborate on long-term digital media initiatives that will create new ways for consumers to access content - including from MTV, VH1, CMT and Comedy Central - through a variety of digital entertainment products and scenarios. As part of the agreement, MTV will target its content offerings to Media Center PCs and Portable Media Centers and intends to launch a new PlaysForSure-compliant MTVN digital music service with portable subscription capabilities, available in the Windows Media 10 Digital Media Mall.

"MTV Networks shares Microsoft's vision for making it easier for consumers to get the entertainment and information they want, and this agreement is a major step toward that goal," said Judy McGrath, chairman and CEO of MTV Networks. "Using Microsoft's technology, we'll be able to give our consumers a deeper, more connected experience by providing them with the ability to enjoy MTV, VH1, CMT and Comedy Central content whenever and wherever they choose."

Gates then highlighted the new MSN Video Downloads service, which provides a single source for sports, news and entertainment content for Portable Media Centers and other Windows Mobile-based devices, including daily video downloads from a wide range of leading content providers including MSNBC, CNBC, FOX Sports, HGTV, Cookie Jar Entertainment and IFILM Corp. MSN Video Downloads (http://video.msn.com/downloads ) has launched a preview of the service offering both free and premium memberships, and the site is expected to launch in final form within a few months.

Xbox Leading the Way in Interactive Entertainment

Gates noted the continued momentum around Xbox and the Xbox Live TM service, announcing the industry-leading sales of the Xbox console for the critical 2004 holiday season in the United States, garnering a projected 40 percent market share for the months of November and December. The much-anticipated "Halo 2" title, launched Nov. 9, has sold more than 6.3 million copies to date, surpassing the sales to date of the first "Halo" title. "Halo 2"'s opening-day revenue of $125 million in the United States and Canada surpassed the biggest opening weekend in box-office history, for "Spiderman," which generated just under $115 million. The hot Xbox role-playing game title "Fable" also broke the 1 million sales mark in only two months.

Xbox Live experienced the highest activity levels ever, with more than 1 million unique users playing on the service and "Halo 2" gamers spending a record-breaking 69 million hours on the service to date - more than any other Xbox Live game.

Gates outlined three major trends driving the gaming phenomenon today: HDTV, ubiquitous broadband and wireless connectivity, and rich personalization. To demonstrate the latter point, he joined O'Brien to play "Forza Motorsport TM ," an auto racing game from Microsoft Game Studios scheduled to launch in April 2005. Gates and O'Brien raced through Manhattan in customized cars, showing off the title's immersive, engaging gaming experiences - and their lack of online driving skills.

Communication and Content on More Devices Every Day

Turning to communications and mobility, Gates highlighted that Microsoft Windows Mobile-based Smartphones are now available from 61 mobile operators in 28 countries and that 37 partners are shipping more than 25 Windows Mobile-based phone designs.

Gates demonstrated how the Windows Mobile-based Audiovox SMT5600 Smartphone can synchronize audio and video content using Windows Media Player 10, enabling users to play audio from subscription services and access video content from their PC. He also announced that Microsoft, Cingular Wireless LLC and Garmin International Inc. will deliver new consumer devices running Windows Mobile software this year, and that Ecast Inc., Universal Electronics Inc. and Akimbo Systems are shipping new consumer devices using Windows Embedded technology. Gates demonstrated prototype technology from Microsoft Research that enables users of Windows Mobile-based Smartphones to remotely browse and display photos stored on their home or office PC.

Gates then highlighted the momentum behind Microsoft's Smart Personal Objects Technology and Smart Watches for MSN Direct by introducing three new wristwatches from Fossil Inc. and Suunto, and alliances with Oregon Scientific Inc. and M.Z. Berger and Co. to develop alarm clocks featuring MSN Direct weather content. Gates also announced that the amount of content available to consumers has doubled since last year's launch, and noted expanded network coverage in metropolitan areas throughout the United States and Canada.

Gates concluded his keynote address by looking back at the year's amazing progress in consumer technologies and outlining a number of key trends that will shape the future of the consumer electronics industry. Noting the continued growth in storage capacity and network bandwidth, he predicted that individual devices will soon be able to store as much data as today's largest music services, and how ultrawideband networking will make it possible to create even more diverse and innovative smart devices.

"This holiday season was a milestone for Microsoft and its partners - we've seen how the power of software can enhance consumers' digital experiences, help ensure that they work together seamlessly, and offer people more choices than ever," Gates said. "The digital lifestyle is here to stay."

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


no xbox2.. not much on gaming, in general. Ah well. It's what was expected.
16781  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / What should I play next? on: January 06, 2005, 07:25:06 AM
Quote from: "Thin_J"
I would finish Chronicles of Riddick, and then play Ninja Gaiden, but that's apparantly just me...


I'm with you on that. Once Chronicle is done, it's DONE.
As to NJ, you actually get a sense of accomplishment with it... and it's so purdy.
16782  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Elektra on: January 05, 2005, 05:38:33 PM
Quote from: "Knightshade Dragon"
Yep, and they did suck.  For instance, Aliens Vs. Predator.  I was there opening day, and man...it did suck.


I found AvP to be better than any SNL movie, and frankly I was expecting crap, so when I got somthing slightly-better-than-crap I enjoyed it.

Oh god I hope this works for Electra.

As to Daehawks picture post...  retard drool
16783  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Help urgently needed-- how to uninstall a hosed RealPlay on: January 05, 2005, 05:33:15 PM
Quote from: "Papageno"
The install went wrong somehow, so I can't uninstall it the "official way" in Add/Remove Programs.   Is it enough to delete the directories and the files in them, then the registry keys for RealNetworks under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SOFTWARE ?  Will that exorcise this abomination from my computer?  Should I also uninstall and reinstall Firefox (the browser I was using at the time)?

Thanks in advance for any help.


Don't force it, get a bigger hammer. Time to reinstall windows. slywink
16784  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / *NOT* Sir Moleneux, Peter Moleneux, OBE on: January 04, 2005, 03:11:36 PM
Quote from: "whiteboyskim"
And how am I wrong for pointing at a lot of suck and laughing? biggrin


Allow me to point out "teh suck" in your news posting slywink (from firing squad/gamers.com)

Quote
Peter Molyneux, OBE  
Tuesday - January 4, 2005 05:18:00  
According to GI.biz, British game designer Peter Molyneux has been named Officer of the British Empire.

He isn't the first British game developer to be granted an OBE, however - Argonaut founder and keen entrepreneur Jez San is a previous recipient of the honour, which was instituted by King George V in 1917.
The New Year Honours are granted by the Queen on advice from the Prime Minister, who receives nominations from ministers or from members of the public, and are awarded for exceptional merit or service.

It's a common misconception, particularly outside the UK, that the OBE, which stands for Officer of the British Empire, allows the recipient to be referred to as "Sir" - in fact, this distinction refers to the award of Knights Bachelor.



Check out the GamesIndustry.biz article. Tongue
16785  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / MechAssault2 Game impressions (WARNING - Spoilers) on: January 04, 2005, 04:58:58 AM
yeah, and send an invite to purge. biggrin

Multiplayer is the reason to own, not rent, this game.
16786  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Online Gaming and Taxation - your rights under assault on: January 03, 2005, 09:09:01 PM
If they have a blanket "Goods and Services" tax then it would apply. In Canada we have a nationwide Goods and Services Tax (GST) at 7%. <shrug> We have healthcare and Employment Insurance and Welfare and yadayadayada... it has always applied to any services that originate from inside canada. If the goods/services aren't available within the country then we don't pay tax on it.

If we have something shipped here they will charge us tax on it. We can put a claim in to get reimbursed if that product is not available here.

About a 15 years ago they introduced the GST, and the way they did it is WAY shadier than this little snafu. ninja

What to call a beach full of politicians buried upto their necks in sand?
Not enough sand.
16787  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Mechassault 2 - Conquest mode problem on: January 03, 2005, 09:03:20 PM
I still love the game man. I wouldn't say it's untested or unfinished, it's just not as polished as Ninja Gaiden (for example).
16788  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Why ConsoleGold is bad for my marriage... on: January 03, 2005, 09:01:46 PM
Kung Fu Chaos was fun... play it to unlock the multiplayer levels... this game is a fun party game.

uh, Ninja Gaiden, Otogi. I really liked Oddworld as a platformer... I dunno.  PoP ?

good luck deciding, buddy. You've got your work cut out for you. smile
16789  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / MechAssault2 Game impressions (WARNING - Spoilers) on: January 03, 2005, 09:35:41 AM
Man, I hate this game.
But I love it. Grr.

The multiplayer is a blast, but the single player is like a talented singer missing every key by one note. You just wanna yell "Dammit, try harder, it's almost perfect!!"

The sad thing is, it's not. The character interactions in this game are about as wooden as Dolph Lundgrens acting; no wait... worse. It's like Brute Force. The people are beautifully rendered to look exactly like people, and then the similarities end there. You remember the old puppet-animated Pinoccio show? You know, the one where he's jumping around saying he's got no strings... ah, good times. MA2 hopes to grow up and perform as well as that annoying effeminate puppet. :/

Onto gameplay : Well done, with 2 VERY frustrating levels.
[spoilahs coming!!]
There's one where you have to defend a communication tower from mechs and all you have is one VTOL and a stationary turret. I stepped down the difficulty to easy on this level, based on blood pressure. I was inventing new words to describe the act of shoving a fully decorated christmas tree up a designers rectum. Most of them contained a few 4letter words, and I won't repeat them. Oww Hole-y Night was probably the cleanest.  I digress.

Yeah, so you're supposed to first take out a bridge with the missiles on the turret (think redeemer rocket with less oomph). 2-3 does it, but then you have to kill 3-4 mechs that rush your position (Lackmans or something like that) and a couple tanks.  Since the missiles can be unwieldly to land the hit, you end up with at least one mech blowing up near you. Or your VTOL. Or the tower. Or the turret. It was worse than the Library in Halo.

Then there's the boss fight (in an armored suit).
Step 1 - crack his armored skull with normal plasma blasts to the face while picking up powerups that the VTOL drops. Dodge a slow seeking bolt and avoid raining shots and the obligatory stomp attack that makes you fall.

Step 2 - Now try to jack him to defeat force field over exposed brainpan.
Once jacked, try to launch a mortar shell (not 1, but 3) into his brain. While jumping. And avoiding unavoidable eye laser beams. And firebreath. And doublestomp. (he's tall enough that you almost exceed your jets to fly over him).And he chases you. And you can't get the goddamned mortar shot in. But you think you did. Over, and over and over... oh, and then he hits you with a stomp and laserbeams your ass before you get up and you die.

Step 3 - Finish pulling hair, and then head back to Step 1, my adventurous fellow. We'll be seeing you at step 3 in a minute or five.

I'd have more luck trying to breed a monkey with a chicken to produce natural "Chicken Fingers".

So I beat the bastard. Apparently the secret to getting a steady enough shot off is to boost as high as possible and then get hit with the laser beams which seem to hold you in one place. I had 3 direct hits for that jerk to fall. Oh, and them lasers don't tickle either. Make sure you've got some health nearby first.

I am never playing the single player campaign again. Ever.
16790  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Crimson Skies endgame question (possible spoilers) on: January 03, 2005, 09:08:41 AM
I used the wide german-looking plane (you get it from the cavern area). As to ignoring everything else and just hit the boss, repair station, wash-rinse-repeat.

Man, that was a long time ago... I got there right when it came out. (2003)  Haven't played it since.
16791  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Mechassault 2 - Conquest mode problem on: January 03, 2005, 09:07:18 AM
Quote from: "CeeKay"
You know it's so hard to guage what will go wrong with a game when it's released.. oh wait, this is an X-Box game Tongue

Seriously, you have to wonder how some of this stuff makes it through, especially with a stanardized platform like the X-Box.


Networking bugs are harder to predict and troubleshoot, although I have to say that we played it tonight for 4 hours and there was only one problem (teamplay count bug on host, he restarted and it's ok and never came back).

By teamplay I mean that on TDom (team domination) we had 12 people, 6 blue 6 red, and EVERYONEs said the same thing, but on the hosts machine it said 3 red 9 blue.

When we started the game, 3 blues would spawn in our base, and if we killed them it told us we were teamkillers. We ended the game twice, and it started up the same every time. He powercycled his Xbox, and after that no wierd stuff.
16792  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Lightsaber in Kotor 2 on: January 02, 2005, 07:02:27 AM
Quote from: "Dimmona"
So does the Xbox version really have the horrible framerate/crashing problems that so many people are complaining about on other message boards?  I loved the Xbox version of KOTOR last year, but I'm wondering if I should hold off for the PC version on this one...


Yup. Korriban (in the cave section) hung on me 3 times, and I had it happen once in Enclave on Dantooine. Save often in these locations. smile

As to game time, I managed to take 80 hours on KOTOR1 light side, and 40 hrs on dark (I spent less time doing the nook-n-cranny search the second time around).

I'm about 45 hours into KOTOR2, (playing a model light Jedi Sentinel) and I can imagine having to play this game a few more times to get the different flavors.

You can't get your lightsaber on Telos; I got mine right after leaving (went to Korriban first). <shrug> I'll be heading to a different planet next time around, we'll see if that's why people complain about having to wait. biggrin I suspect the parts are going to be avail regardless of where you go though; as rebuilding HK-47 yielded duplicate parts I accumulated from different planets.
16793  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Crimson Skies endgame question (possible spoilers) on: January 02, 2005, 06:54:06 AM
I loved/hated that level.

The design was amazing, but I could never beat it.

I'd take out all the generators, fly in both sides and take out the fans, swoop down and take out one of the targets, and then I'd run out of time.

After 6 straight attempts (no timewasting either) I still kept losing based on it knocking over buildings.
16794  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / How many of you play opposite gender characters in MMORGS? on: January 01, 2005, 12:02:49 AM
1) Generally female characters are saddled with the "finesse" fighting style, which I often prefer over brute strength. (Mithra, for instance)

2) If I'm going to sink 5-20 hours per week looking at a digital butt, it ain't gonna be a Tauren male (or Galka) in a thong.

3) I dig chicks. I put posters up of well-done artwork and enjoy the female form. having a female character in a game isn't a representation of me to the rest of the world, it's a preference for my side of the screen. I don't give a flying rats ass what other people think. biggrin

4) Mithra NIN/THF named Stabbetty are cool. ninja In WoW, I shall too be named that and play a rogue... I'm hoping to find some old FFXI buddies that way.
16795  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / *NOT* Sir Moleneux, Peter Moleneux, OBE on: December 31, 2004, 06:57:06 PM
Quote from: "whiteboyskim"
So I was feeling mouthy this morning. biggrin Congratulations to him for the award, and it must feel pretty good to know everyone has to address you as Sir henceforth. smile


*this* morning??? Right, and Mr. Skunk says "Ooo, I seem to be a bit stinky this morning; how unusual."
16796  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / *NOT* Sir Moleneux, Peter Moleneux, OBE on: December 31, 2004, 04:34:52 PM
Quote
I'm going out on a limb here and guessing the Queen never played Black and White or Fable.


Despite WBS's little commentary there, I'm happy for the guy. He's brought a lot of innovation and "gone out" on limbs to try to bring new stuff to the world of gaming. We don't have any me-too FPS games coming out, and I for one enjoy the games he's put out. Not every song by Sir Elton John has been a chart-topper, but as to B&W and Fable, they've made more money than *I'll* ever see.

I'm guessing that he's received knighthood as he represents an ideal, and is an outstanding british game developer who has put his heart and soul into the work he does.  

Kudos to him.
16797  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / NT on: December 31, 2004, 12:27:05 AM
If I install my WoW monday, I can provide you a key. PM me if you still need one.
16798  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / WoW - Should I bother? on: December 31, 2004, 12:14:58 AM
Quote from: "Butterknife"
Aww, just play it.  You know you want to.  Heck, all of us are playing it, else we wouldn't be here talking about it.

Search your feelings, you know it to be true!


ninja searching.... searching...  :shock: Dammit.  :evil:

I will install it.... later. I guess. I don't wanna waste my free month on time I won't be able to play. next week (early) is most likely as I'm off all next week.

As to my playing style, I really did enjoy the level of escape that FFXI offered, and since you were forced to party it only made sense that linkshell people got to know each other. I wish I could still get in contact with some of my old FFXI buddies and link up with em on WoW
16799  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: WoW - Should I bother? on: December 31, 2004, 12:08:18 AM
Quote from: "-Lord Ebonstone-"
Only because 75% of the time with it was spent looking for a group, and the other 25% of the time was a sheer cliff of an exp grind worse than any MMORPG to date, barring the infamous Lineage 2.

World of Warcraft is approximately 200,000,000 times more enjoyable than the fetid trash FFXI was.


I think attitude played a role in getting into parties... I used to build 'em, and DAMN was I good at that. I didn't piss people off (and could be tolerant of annoying people). I left that game of 10 months with 2 people on my /blist.

The only place I had problems getting decent parties going was in Valkurm and Kazham; and that was only when the glut of PS2 people joined. I made some friends, had fun, and payed through the nose for it.

The level grind was, however, my reason for leaving.
16800  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Xbox Live renewal cards on: December 30, 2004, 10:30:50 PM
Quote from: "AgtFox"
As far as I know there is no expiration date on them.  I used mine months after I got it.  You can also check when your Xbox Live expires via the Xbox Live section of the menu.


you can use them anytime, it just extends the time (adds credit to your live account)

I did this when I got a second live kit (v3) for 30CAD (~25US)
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