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Subject: Editorial | November 8, 2012 - 12:56 AM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: stealth, space sim, games
There are two types of games that are near and dear to my heart which have been sadly lacking recently, stealth FPSes and space sims, which seems to be changing. Until very recently the best way to solve your stealth fetish was to take advantage of the compatibility patches for Thief 2 or to play Thief: The Dark Mod, neither new releases nor officially sanctioned. Deus Ex:HR had some stealth elements depending on how you wanted to play it but for the most part it was a straight out superpower shooter. The release of Dishonored was a good start, while it is another superpower shooter it is one with far more emphasis on stealth, both in the powers you can gain and utilize as well as the fighting mechanics which ensure your death if you attract too many enemies at the same time. Next to come is a game entitled Abduction, which is being built on CryEngine 3 and as you can see by the trailer it is very much focused on dark places to hide, proper shadows for you to keep track of guards with, silent take downs and a silenced pistol for those who run out of patience and need turn off a light or to drop someone quickly. Sound also plays a part, over and above the AI swarming gun shots, for instance the instruction to run and let the sound cause a distraction. Also worth checking out is Hitman, again a game which incorporates stealth as a major gameplay mechanic and not just an option in some missions.
Space Sim fans have long been bemoaning the early demise of the FreeSpace series, for as much fun as the incredible X series is, it is far more than a space shooter and that can turn many fans off. Babylon 5: I've Found Her is an amazing free game which has continued to receive updates and new missions, however it uses Newtonian physics which can be difficult to get used to and frustrating to some players. Also recently released was the Wing Commander Saga, more than just a remake of Wing Commander 3 while still incorporating many of the assets which made that game special then and still does today.
The creator of Wing Commander, Chris Roberts, also had an announcement for space sim fans who have long been awaiting his return to game design. He is currently working on a monstrous space game in two forms, a single player version called Squadron 42 and a online multiplayer version with a fully perpetual universe with an accompanying story arc reminiscent of the fall of Rome called Star Citizen. While both games will essentially be the same, the online version will obviously not evolve in the same way as the single player version since once you let player characters near your campaign you might as well toss your carefully planned story arc out the window as it will not survive contact with those stubborn, misguided fools (to put it politely).
If that is not enough to send a tingle down your spine then perhaps the possible return of another old friend will. If David Braben has his way, Elite will be making a comeback and as his Kickstarter already has over £300,000 in backing. Not only was this an incredible game to play, they were the first to develop procedural generation of a game world or universe in this case. How else could they fit 8 galaxies each with 256 planets onto a Cassette, Floppy disk or Cartridge and then run it on an 8-bit computer? Now imagine what those twistedly gifted minds can do with today's 64bit OSes and the GPU power available to them. Jameson never had it so good, even after upgrading his docking computer so as to no longer have to manually match rotation with space stations!
It is a damn fine time to be a PC gamer who likes a little variation in the types of games they play ... now I wonder if that X-Com squaddie is healed up enough to go on another mission yet?
Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Systems | October 26, 2012 - 06:46 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: windows 8, video, system build, live
Today at 3pm EDT we are going to be doing a live stream of a system build and Windows 8 installation on our PC Perspective Live! page. Won't you come and join us?
UPDATE: Did you miss the event? Well then, we have you covered with the replay of the two and a half hour stream right here!
Sorry, no, I won't be doing it blindfolded this time...
If you are looking to learn how to build a PC, how the Windows 8 setup goes along with initial Windows 8 experiences, or just want to hang out during a lazy Friday, click on the link above or on the flashing radio tower to the left and join us!!
Subject: Editorial, Storage | October 25, 2012 - 12:26 AM | Allyn Malventano
Tagged: hybrid, fusion drive, fusion, apple
Dubbed 'Fusion Drive', this tech enables the late 2012 Mac Mini and iMac models to have a pseudo-hybrid drive. There's been a lot of speculation today on just how this technology will work, but I've cut through the chaff to try and shed some proper light on just how this new thing works, and how it is so different than any other 'hybrid' solution out there.
First, it's not a hybrid drive. The iMac or Mac Mini comes with an SSD and a HDD. Two individual SATA devices. Both devices appear as individual drives, even in Disk Utility. Where the magic happens is that OSX can be configured (and is pre-configured in these new systems) to combine the two drives into one drive that presents itself to the user as a single logical volume. The important point is that the drives are 'fused' together, not merged or mirrored. The SSD and HDD each have their own partition, and OSX can reach beneath the Fusion layer and shift files back and forth between the two as it sees fit. Frequently used apps and files can be shifted back and forth between the SSD and HDD, as seen in the below pic:
The biggest differences are in that since it's not a mirrored hybrid solution, where the SSD space is not available, and a failure of the HDD causes loss of all data. Fusion Drive combines the two volumes and *adds* the space together, and the apps or files will sit on either device (but not both). All files written go to the SSD first and are later shifted to the HDD in the background. This is actually a very smart way to handle things. The entire OSX install always stays on the SSD, so there is no concern of OS files 'rolling off' of the SSD cache, causing intermittent slowdowns. More (perhaps most) importantly, if the HDD fails on a Fusion Drive setup, OSX should theoretically just keep on chugging, albeit without access to the files or apps that were stored on the HDD. On the flip side, if the SSD were to fail, the HDD could simply be mounted in Target Mode under another Mac, and all files stored to that drive could then be recovered. Sure you won't get everything back in these scenarios, but it provides *much* more flexibility for data recovery, and it's worth repeating the fact that an HDD failure in any other hybrid solution results in the loss of ALL data.
A couple of other quick gotchas: You can still dual boot with boot camp under a Fusion Drive setup, but the boot camp partition will only be at the end of the HDD, not on the SSD. Windows will not only run slower because it's on the spinning disk, it will run slower because the latter portions of a HDD typically see about half of the throughput as compared to the start of that disk. Also, you are only allowed *one* additional (non-Fusion) partition on the HDD, which can be used for another OSX install *or* for the Boot Camp Windows install. Users who prefer to boot greater than two operating systems on their newer Mac will have to do so with Fusion Drive disabled.
More to follow as more data comes in. For now I'm only working off of the other speculation and the Apple Support Page on the matter.
Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Mobile | October 22, 2012 - 10:22 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: asus, vivo tab rt, tegra 3, nvidia, video, live
If you happen to be free tomorrow afternoon and would like to be one of the first to see the upcoming ASUS Vivo Tab RT based on the Windows RT operating system and the NVIDIA Tegra 3 SoC, you should set your calendar for 12pm PDT / 3pm EDT and join me on the PC Perspective Live! page.
While we won't have any insight on our long term experiences with the device at that time tomorrow, you can see our initial impressions and anything/everything that occurrs with our intial setup and usage!
If you have questions or thoughts on the device that you want addressed during the live stream, you can leave them here in our comments or hang around in our chat room during the event as well. We want this to be interactive so your input is requested!
Again, that is 12pm PDT / 3pm EDT at the PC Perspective Live! page.
Subject: Editorial, Graphics Cards | October 20, 2012 - 04:33 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: hitman, amd, extravalanza, hitman: absolution, video
We are at the first AMD ExtravaLANza today getting some hands on time with some cool new hardware as well as new games like Far Cry 3, Tomb Raider and Hitman: Absolution. We attended a session with the Hitman developer IO Interactive where some interesting information about the DX11 features. I recorded a video of the presentation for those interested in seeing it in its entirety.
The brand new Glacier2 engine has some impressive new features including:
- DX11 hardware tessellation on character models
- A global illumination engine using light propagation volumes
- AA options including FXAA and MSAA 2x-8x
- Eyefinity and HD3D
There is more, but you can hear it all in the video above. IO Interactive wanted to assure PC gamers that they are developing the game to be a first class PC title with higher quality imaging, controls and texture detail; this doesn't look to be a standard console port.
Subject: Editorial | October 19, 2012 - 05:07 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: deals, deal of the day
Today Only! Klipsch Energy RC Micro 5.0 Home Theater System Bundle for $279.99 plus free shipping @ TigerDirect (normally $800 – use coupon code WEV73894).
17.3" Dell Inspiron 17R Special Edition 17.3" 1080p Core i7 "Ivy Bridge" Laptop for $949.99 with free shipping @ Dell (normally $1,138.99 – use coupon code J$WNJV54BQ3N4Q).
Dell Vostro 470 Core i7 Desktop w/ 8GB RAM, 1TB Hard Drive for $779.99 with Free Shipping @ Dell (normally $1,119.00 – use coupon code 909$K?5V4?C2LP).
Dell XPS 8500 Core i7 "Ivy Bridge" Desktop w/ 2TB Hard Drive for $699.99 with Free Shipping @ Dell (normally $1,119.00 – use coupon code V48PR?HP99J3D?).
OCZ Vertex Plus R2 2.5" SATA 3Gb/s 120GB SSD for $60 with shipping (normally $110 - Use this form).
Iomega Helium 500GB USB 2.0 Portable Hard Drive for $50 with free shipping @ NewEgg (normally $100 - Use coupon code EMCJNJB47).
VisionTek Radeon HD 7970 3GB GDDR5 Video Card for $360 with free shipping @ NewEgg (normally $450 - Use coupon code VISTEK).
Linksys EA6500 Smart Wireless-AC Dual-Band Gigabit Router for $194 with free shipping @ BuyDig (normally $220 - Use coupon code DigFallSave5).
Sharper Image Set of 2 Battling RC Choppers for $84.99 @ Sharper Image (normally $99.99 – use coupon codeENT2010).
Sharper Image App-Controlled Car for $74.99 @ Sharper Image (normally $89.99 – use coupon codeENT2010).
Subject: Editorial, General Tech | October 19, 2012 - 12:09 AM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: contest, video, giveaway, amd, llano, APU
In a self-serving attempt to increase awareness about the PC Perspective YouTube channel, we are running another contest where you can win one of four AMD Llano A8-3870K APUs simply by leaving a comment and being a subscriber.
That's right, there are two steps:
We'll pick our winners on October 24th! Good luck!
Subject: Editorial | October 18, 2012 - 05:00 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: deals, deal of the day
Crucial M4 2.5" 256GB SATA 6Gb/s SSD for $180 with free shipping@ TigerDirect (normally $250 - Use coupon code DigFallSave5).
EVGA GeForce GTX 550 Ti 1GB Memory Video Card for $90 with free shipping @ NewEgg (normally $135 - Use this form).
EVGA GeForce GTX 650 1GB GDDR5 Video Card for $99.99 with shipping @ TigerDirect (normally $110 - Use this form).
Cooler Master Elite 371 ATX Mid-Tower Case for $20 plus shipping @ TigerDirect (normally $45 - Use this form).
Sharper Image HD Camcorder Watch for $154.99 @ Sharper Image (normally $169.99 – use coupon codeENT2010).
Subject: Editorial | October 17, 2012 - 06:50 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: deals, deal of the day
Pre-order: Microsoft Windows 8 + $30 Amazon Credit for $69.99 @ Amazon (normally $199.99).
Dell Vostro 270s Core i5 Ivy Bridge Slim Tower Desktop for $529.00 with free shipping @ Dell (normally $849.00 - use coupon code W9D06J14FX10WM).
Intel 330 Series 2.5" 180GB SATA 6Gb/s SSD for $99.99 plus shipping @ TigerDirect (normally $170 - use this form).
Corsair Vengeance 2000 Wireless 7.1 Gaming Headset for $100 with free shipping @ NewEgg (normally $150 - Use coupon code EMCJNJD73 and Usethis form).
Sony MDRV55 DJ Style Headphones for $85 with free shipping @ Dell (normally $100 - Use coupon code 7BRL7?2ZDK?H4G).
Nike+ Fuelband for $149 plus free shipping @ Nike (normally $249).
Panasonic ES-RT51-S Wet/Dry Pivoting Head Shaver for $39.99 plus free shipping @ NewEgg (normally $79.99 – use coupon codeEMCJNJD222).
Subject: Editorial, General Tech | October 17, 2012 - 07:35 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Minecraft, far cry 3, crossover
Ubisoft crafted an olive branch for their PC gaming fans, and Mojang’s fans too…
Far Cry 3 might be coming to North America in early December but Ubisoft thinks you might need something to tide you over until then. Of course, Assassin’s Creed III could have held us over if it were launching alongside its console brethren but - oh never mind. I guess I should cut Ubisoft some slack. They probably did not have a whole lot of Olive planks for the Olive branches. I mean they probably had to spend four on the crafting table alone and then there was that creeper so Ubisoft totally needed that wood sword.
Lost? Oh! Where are my manners?
In an effort to promote the release of Far Cry 3 for the PC - a simultaneous release with the other platforms - Ubisoft created a Minecraft mod team. The order: create a map in Minecraft themed like Far Cry 3.
Get my agent! I want to star in an Indie PC cross-over mod too! One with pigs!
Machine for Pigs? I’m having a hard time remembering that… but if you say it is popular…
The team consists of Michael Lambert with Axel Janssen and Yohann Delcourt providing texture work. Michael, known as Sacr3 to the Minecraft community, made a name for himself with his large city build, Novax. He replied to a comment on his World Trade Center video three months ago when confronted about his activity:
I'm working on something big right now, i'll get back to this map once i'm done my other project.
I would say so.
So I buried the lead long enough - what is the mod about? The environment is themed and textured based on the aesthetic of the game. Accompanying the custom map are a new set of weapons and tools with themes rooted in the game. You will be able to find Vaas, Citra, and the protagonist Jason all in Minecraft style along with 50 Easter Eggs. If anything it is an interesting tactic to draw brand recognition especially with such a PC-centric strategy. I am guessing Ubisoft knows where their brand has been tarnished most and especially wants to recover it with the Far Cry property. Well done Ubisoft.
The mod is expected to be released on October 26 at their official Far Cry website.
Subject: Editorial | October 16, 2012 - 06:54 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: deals, deal of the day
Netgear NeoTV NTV300 1080p Wireless Media Player for $49.99 @ Dell (normally $59.99).
14" Dell Inspiron 14z slim Core i3 Aluminum Laptop + Adobe Elements 9 Bundle for $349.99 with free shipping @ Dell (normally $599.99 - use $150 coupon code JLB0XQGQ8B6DDC).
Dell XPS 8500 Core i7 "Ivy Bridge" Desktop w/ 2TB Hard Drive for $799.00 with free shipping @ Dell (normally $999.00 - use $100 coupon code V48PR?HP99J3D?).
HP ENVY 23-1050t 23" Core i5 Ivy Bridge All-in-one PC for $899.99 with free shipping @ HP (normally $1,099.99 - use $50 coupon code SAVE50LOGIC).
Logitech Rechargeable Wireless Touchpad T650 w/ Windows 8 Multi-touch Navigation for $67.99 with free shipping @ Dell (normally $79.99 - use coupon code 7BRL7?2ZDK?H4G)
27" Planar PX2710MW 1080p 2ms LCD Monitor for $209.99 with Free Shipping @ Dell (normally $469.99).
Intel 330 Series 2.5" 180GB SATA 6Gb/s SSD for $150 @ TigerDirect (normally $170).
Star Wars Darth Maul Electronic Helmet for $13.00 @ Target (normally $27.99).
Sharper Image Magic Wand Remote Control for $74.99 @ Sharper Image (normally $89.99 – use coupon codeENT2010).
Subject: Editorial, General Tech | October 15, 2012 - 05:33 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: deals, deal of the day
Sharper Image Video Photo Chopper for $84.99 @ Sharper Image (normally $99.99 - use $15 coupon code ENT2010).
13.3" Dell Inspiron 13z Core i5 Ivy Bridge Laptop for $629.24 with free shipping @ Dell (normally $838.99 - use $150 coupon code ?$QNC1?HSKNR9F).
Dell Vostro 270 Core i5 Ivy Bridge Desktop for $499.00 with free shipping @ Dell (normally $849.00 - use $50 coupon code W9D06J14FX10WM).
27" Planar PX2710MW 1080p 2ms LCD Monitor for $209.99 with free shipping @ Dell (normally $469.00).
27" LG E2742V-BN 1080p LED-Backlit Monitor for $260 with free shipping @ NewEgg (normally $370 - use coupon code EMCYTZT2353)
OCZ Agility 4 512GB SATA 6Gb/s SSD for $340 @ Tiger Direct (normally $360 - Use this form).
Samsung 830 Series 256GB 2.5" SATA 6Gb/s SSD for $160 with free shipping @ NewEgg (normally $200 - use coupon code EMCYTZT2359).
OCZ Agility 4 128GB SATA 6Gb/s SSD for $80 with free shipping @ NewEgg (normally $220 Use this form).
XFX Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card + Free PC Game for $142 with free shipping @ NewEgg (normally $180 - Use coupon code HARDOCP1X1XC and Use this form).
Subject: Editorial | October 12, 2012 - 07:34 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: deals, deal of the day
256GB OCZ Agility 4 SATA 6Gb/s 2.5" SSD for $140 @ TigerDirect | Originally $199 | Use this form.
15.6" Dell Inspiron 15R Special Edition 1080p Core i7 Laptop for $849.99 with free shipping @ Dell (normally $1,139.99 - use $150 coupon code QH3XW509GT$BBL).
13.3" HP ENVY Spectre XT 13t-2000 Core i5 "Ivy Bridge" Ultrabook for $849.99 with free shipping @ HP (normally $1,000.00 - use $150 coupon code NB9301).
Dell Vostro 470 "Ivy Bridge" Core i5 Desktop for $499.00 with free shipping @ Dell (normally $599.00 - use $50 coupon code W9D06J14FX10WM).
Cisco WVC210 Wireless-G Security IP Camera for $123.49 @ Cisco (normally $299.99 - use 5% coupon code HSDISH5).
Subject: Editorial | October 11, 2012 - 06:53 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: deals, deal of the day
Linksys App-Enabled Wireless N600 Dual-Band Gigabit Router Refurbished (EA2700) for $42.74 with Free Shipping@ Cisco (normally $120 - use coupon code HSDISH5).
14" Dell Alienware m14x r2 Core i7 Ivy Bridge Gaming Laptop for $1,049.00 with free shipping @ Dell (normally $1,100.00 - use $50 coupon code 9Q057LWVMPGG41).
Alienware X51 Core i7 "Ivy Bridge" mini Gaming PC w/ 2TB Hard Drive, GeForce GTX 555 for $1,049.00 with free shipping @ Dell (normally $1,200.00 - use $50 coupon code 9Q057LWVMPGG41).
Dell Inspiron 660s Dual-core Slim Tower w/ Logitech MK550 Wireless Keyboard + Mouse for $336.75 with free shipping @ Dell (normally $449.00 - use 25% coupon code ?$QNC1?HSKNR9F).
Corsair Force Series 3 240GB SSD for $140 with free shipping @ NewEgg (normally $200 - Use this form).
Antec Nine Hundred Two V3 Black Steel Computer Case for $70 with free shipping @ NewEgg (normally $120 - Use coupon code EMCYTZT2330 and Use this form).
XFX Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card + Free PC Game for $142 with free shipping @ NewEgg (normally $180 - Use coupon code HARDOCP1X1XC and Use this form)..
Red Beam Laser Pointer Keychain for $0.99 plus free shipping @ Meritline (normally $2.99 – use coupon codeMLCK110RNL1).
Logitech H800 Wireless Headset for $30 plus shipping @ TigerDirect (normally $100 - Use this form).
Subject: Editorial | October 10, 2012 - 06:45 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: deals, deal of the day
Intel 520 Series 2.5" SATA III 240GB SSD for $169.99 with Free Shipping@ TigerDirect (normally $240 - use $30 mail-in rebate).
15.6" Asus A54C-TB91 Pentium Dual-Core Laptop for $349.99 @ TigerDirect (normally $369.99).
14" Dell Inspiron 14z Core i7 Ivy Bridge Ultrabook w/ 8GB RAM, 32GB SSD for $897.74 with free shipping @ Dell (normally $1,188.99 - use 25% coupon code ?$QNC1?HSKNR9F).
HP ENVY 17t-3200 3D 1080p Core i7 "Ivy Bridge" Quad-core Laptop w/ Blu-ray for $1,049.99 with free shipping @ HP (normally $1,849.99 - use $50 coupon code SAVE50LOGIC).
D-Link DIR-615 Wireless-N Router for $30 with free shipping @ NewEgg (normally $60 - Use coupon code EMCJNNF39).
50" Toshiba 50L2200 1080p LED HDTV for $674.00 with free shipping @ Beach Camera(normally $1000 - Use coupon code BCSurfnSave25).
60" Panasonic Viera TC-P60U50 1080p 600Hz Plasma HDTV for $898 @ Walmart (normally $1,200).
Yamaha RX-V373BL Digital A/V Receiver + Sony SAVS310 5.1 Speaker Package Bundle for $259.99 with free shipping @ TigerDirect (normally $559 - Use $100 mail-in rebate).
RoboCop Trilogy Blu-ray for $21.49 @ Amazon (normally $59.99).
Subject: Editorial | October 9, 2012 - 04:56 PM | PCPer Staff
Tagged: deals, deal of the day
15.6" Asus A54C-TB31 Core i3 Laptop for $379.99 with $8.96 shipping @ CompUSA (normally $449.99).
13.3" Dell Inspiron 13z Core i5 Ivy Bridge Laptop for $629.24 with free shipping @ Dell (normally $838.99 - use 25% coupon code ?$QNC1?HSKNR9F).
24" LG 5ms HDMI LED-Backlit Monitor (E2442V-BN) for $179.99 with free shipping @ NewEgg (normally $249.99 - use $20 coupon code EMCJNNA28).
Linksys E2500 Simultaneous Dual-Band Wireless-N Router (refurbished) for $33.24 with free shipping @ Cisco (normally $89.99 - use coupon code: HSDISH5).
Linksys WET610N Wireless-N Ethernet Bridge with Dual-Band for $56.99 with free shipping @ Cisco (normally $89.99 - use coupon code: HSDISH5).
46" Samsung UN46EH5300 1080p 120Hz LED HDTV + $150 Gift Card for $799.99 with free shipping @ Dell(normally $880 with no gift card).
Jamo S426HCS3 5pcs Home Theater Speaker System for $249 with free shipping @ TigerDirect (normally $500 - use coupon code FXQ72652).
Sharper Image Pocket Breathalyzer for $79.99 plus free shipping@ Sharper Image (normally $99.99 – use with coupon code AFFRSHP for free shipping).
Choken Bako Coin Eating Dog Piggy Bank for $9.99 plus free shipping @ Meritline (normally $14.99 – use coupon code MLCK108PNL1).
RoboCop Trilogy Blu-ray for $21.49 @ Amazon (normally $59.99).
Subject: Editorial, General Tech | October 1, 2012 - 05:36 PM | Chris Barbere
Tagged: editorial, ea, battlefield 3
You know, I used to love Electronic Arts. There was a time in my younger days where seeing their name emblazoned on a PC game box as I wandered the aisles of Electronics Boutique was all I needed to see to buy it. I can still remember the scrolling colors through the big "E C A" on my Commodore 64 as I anxiously waited for Bards Tale or Racing Destruction set to load. Ah...the good old days.
Sadly, that warm and fuzzy feeling is long gone, and over the years I've come to dislike just about everything about EA and what they've become. My most recent foray into the mess that is EA has killed any nostalgia I had for them. Let's walk through the fun.
I love the BattleField series of games, and have been an avid fan of them ever since the days of BF 1942. Some of my best memories of LAN parties were BF 1942. Whether it was driving like mad in a Jeep from one end of Wake Island to the other to try to stop a flag capture, or jumping into a T-34 in Kursk, it was about as much fun as I can recall having with a video game. Over the years I've picked up most of the BF incarnations and when Battlefield 3 came out, I picked up a copy on release day for my XBox. I generally like playing games on PC's over consoles, especially First Person Shooters, but I had a few friends that were playing on XBox and we all wanted to jump in and play together. Even though I'm awful using the controller to play, we had a blast, but after a few months we stopped playing.
Fast forward to the other day and the PcPer crew decides they want to play BF3 after the recent podcast. I definitely can't pass up the option to get in on some Battlefield goodness, so even though I've already forked over $60 for the game and another $20 for the first expansion pack to EA on my XBox, I'm stuck with having to buy another copy of the game, just so I can play on a different platform. Off to Amazon and another $35 funnels into EA's coffers. Two hours and a 10 GB download later the install starts and up comes...
Ugh...Origin...really? I can understand why EA wants its own online game distribution system, but c'mon! I already have a ton of games through Steam and everything works without a hitch. Origin is a mess and I've had nothing but problems with it in the past. I dislike using it so much that I won't buy a game if I know I have to install and use Origin to play.
But I digress. I've already thrown another $35 at EA and we're going to play tonight, so I guess I'll just deal with it. Hoping to fire it up and get my keybindings setup and a little bit of practice in I double click on the BF3 icon and a browser window opens. What in the heck? A browser? Where's the game? I close the browser figuring something is wrong, double click on the game icon again and up pops the browser. Jeezalou. I struggle for a few minutes trying to remember my ID and password for EA's site and when I finally do get in I'm looking at my stats page for my soldier. My soldier on the XBox. Clicking through the menus I vainly try to find a button that will let me launch the game when I notice a little drop down arrow under my Soldier name that says "BF3 XBOX". Click on that and there's "BF3 PC". Seriously? I have to start over and lose all my unlocks? My google-fu finds that there's no way to merge the two, because apparently EA doesn't understand the concept of a shared database.
Regardless, I eventually find a button labeled "Quick Match" and here we go...
Holy batsnots, seriously? In this day and age, I can't play a AAA title video game on my PC because my default browser is 64-bit? Good lord! I really don't want to change my default browser just to play this game, so I end up having to fire up a 32 bit version of Internet Explorer, copy and paste the link into that just so I can try to launch the game. Error message doesn't pop up, but now I apparently need a few plugins. At this point I had to replace my keyboard as the head bashing knocked a few keys off. Once I get all the plugins installed I click on the "Quick Match" button again and...
Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Systems, Mobile | September 30, 2012 - 03:33 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Windows Store, windows 8, censorship
And by the way -- Windows Store will censor apps. More on that later.
So around the same time as my future of Windows editorial became published PC Mag published a related piece: Notch from Mojang outrages over certification for Windows Store. Mojang voiced his concerns for the platform and its attempts to “ruin the PC as an open platform.”
I have, and continue to, claim that Microsoft appears to want to close the Windows platform in a near-future revision of the platform. Once there is enough software available through Windows Update and Windows Store it seems highly likely that Microsoft will remove all other ways on to your device -- as they have done with Windows RT. The concept of a cross-device, controlled, and secure platform is just too tempting.
Loyal, but not stupid.
But backwards compatibility is not the only concern with going metro. Everything must be certified.
Indeed - as of the latest July 2012 certification requirements for Windows Store - Microsoft will predictably be censoring applications just as they do with the Xbox. Section 5.8 and 6.2 of the aforementioned certification requirements clearly state: applications must not contain excess or gratuitous profanity and applications must also not contain adult content. Of course this is aimed squarely at the various niches of adult
graphic novels (correction: I apparently meant visual novels, not graphic novels - but I'm sure those would not be let on the Windows Store either) and similarly themed interactive content and the message is clear: get out and stay out.
I can think of a couple of countries where that will not fly.
To be fair Microsoft has addressed the issue in the very same section with the following clause:
We understand that in some cases, apps provide a gateway to retail content, user generated content, or web based content. We classify those apps as either Storefront apps, whose primary function is to aggregate and sell third party media or apps, or Streaming apps, whose primary function is to aggregate and stream web-based images, music, video or other media content. In some cases, it may be acceptable for a Storefront or Streaming app to include some content that might otherwise be prohibited in a single purpose app.
The clause functionally means: “Yeah we know web browsers cannot prevent themselves from surfing to the wrong side of the internet’s metaphorical tracks. This is not an excuse to ban them.” It also does not limit the censorship that Microsoft is clearly imposing.
And frankly the issue is not even with adult content; the issue is with the certification itself. We are at a point where Microsoft seems to want us to accept and migrate to their closed platform where everything is certified.
But what if future certification seriously limits or disables 3rd party modifications to software like attempted with Games for Windows Live? What if Microsoft decides to charge developers tens of thousands of dollars just to certify a patch? These are all serious issues to think about.
While you are thinking - consider a plan to simply ditch the Windows platform altogether and go with an open platform we can actually trust.
Subject: Editorial | September 17, 2012 - 10:32 PM | Josh Walrath
Tagged: ssd, Ryan Peterson, ocz, CMO, CEO, Alex Mei
OCZ started in a strip mall making heatsinks and fans in 2002. Not exactly an auspicious beginning to a company that now is a dominant force in the SSD industry. The guy that has helped the company make the massive jumps it has is Ryan Peterson. Today OCZ has announced his resignation. Alex Mei, current CMO (chief marketing officer) is taking over as interim CEO until a replacement can be found.
It is hard to believe that just 10 years ago OCZ sprang into existence. A few quick exposes from other tech sites revealed a small company that was situated in a strip mall. Back in those years there was some questionable marketing tactics that the company used to present themselves as a much larger organization than they actually were (their website showed large, modern buildings and automated memory manufacturing equipment- neither of which the company had). Through perseverance, decent technical support, and some really interesting products at a time where enthusiast style memory was starting to grow, the company thrived and expanded.
The memory market has softened, and seemingly OCZ was well aware of where the market was going. They transitioned from being a memory company to a full blown SSD manufacturer. Along the way they picked up Indilinx and are now finally starting to produce their first custom silicon. The company continued to grow, and at the head of it all was Ryan Peterson. Often known as a polarizing figure, he nonetheless helped to lead OCZ into a position of significance and authority when it came to SSD technology.
It seems that the recent downturn in the company’s profits, and the seeming failure of the sale to Seagate of the company, Ryan submitted his resignation and the board of OCZ accepted it. Not much else is included in the release, other than thanking Ryan for his dedication to the company and wishing him and his family the best of luck.
This must be a hard day for Ryan, as he was truly a driving force in taking OCZ from the strip mall to the high rise. Change is inevitable though, and rarely do we see CEO’s like AMD’s Jerry Sanders last for decades at the helm of a company. The market is changing, and perhaps OCZ needs a new vision. Still, OCZ is now synonymous with the growing SSD market, and their acquisition of Indilinx allows them some flexibility and differentiation in what is now a very crowded area. Their introduction of inexpensive “server” style PCI-E SSD devices was another milestone, and it provided an inexpensive (and powerful) solution that competed well with other much more costly products from companies such as FusionIO.
It will be very interesting to see where the company goes, but we wish Ryan the best of luck.
Subject: Editorial, Graphics Cards | September 17, 2012 - 06:23 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: pcper, nvidia, live, giveaway, contest, borderlands 2
I hope your day is going to be free tomorrow - we have some big stuff planned! In cooperation with NVIDIA, Gearbox and PC Perspective, we'll be hosting a multi-hour live streaming launch party for Borderlands 2! We'll be going over some of the unique PC-exclusive features, showing off gameplay in the crazy co-op mode and we'll have some giveaways for viewers as well including a pair of Zotac GeForce GTX 660 Ti cards!
Tomorrow, Sept 18th, from 4pm ET until at least 8pm ET, staff from PC Perspective and NVIDIA will be using our PC Perspective Live! channel to discuss and show off the new "shoot and loot" title from Gearbox.
Come join us to see Borderlands 2 in action, hang out with PC Perspective and NVIDIA reps and enter for a chance to win one of two Zotac GeForce GTX 660 Ti cards!
Be sure to set your calendars and join us for the Borderlands 2 launch live streaming celebration!!
- PC Perspective Live! channel - pcper.com/live
- Start time: 4pm ET / 1pm PT