Daily Archives: 09/24/2011

“Star Wars: The Old Republic” release date announced

BioWare and Electronic Arts’ attempt to carve out a chunk of the MMO space, “Star Wars: The Old Republic” now has a release date.

Hmm, your anger betrays your focus, oddly cute Jedi padawan...

Announced during Eurogamer’s London Games Festival, the game is scheduled to debut in the US on December 20th and in Europe on December 22nd.  Each retail copy of the game will ship with a 30 day subscription that can be continued via an array of subscription plans.

Will this game persuade some of the 11.1 monthly subscribers of “World Of Warcraft” to try a new game or will it draw new players to the MMO genre?  Time will tell, but if any property has a universe expansive enough to appeal to a wide variety of players, it’s this one.  Mind you, it’s not the first time we’ve had a “Star Wars” MMO…

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Women in the “40K” universe – when did this happen? Why wasn’t I informed?

Via the magic of Google Fu comes a blog-post book review of a “Warhammer 40K” series that I wasn’t aware of until now – featuring a central female protagonist.

There's no gender divide on stomping down heretics, last that I heard...

I know, I know – What the actual Frak?

Arthur B over at Ferretbrain has more on Matthew Farrer’s ‘Enforcer’ trilogy.

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The Amazon tablet – out in November?

Slashgear have a story on one of the Autumn’s more geeky and eagerly awaited tech products – the Amazon tablet.

The upshot of which is that Amazon are holding an Apple-style press conference next week and not telling us yet just what they’re announcing.  So that means the much-rumoured Tablet is real and we’ll all get to see it for the first time next Wednesday. Probably.

via MacRumors.com

See.  It’s a thing.  A heavily re-purposed Android tablet, with Amazon branding and services integrated.  Sold at a loss to get to some of the punters who’d love an iPad but can’t afford (or don’t want to pay) the Apple Tax.  I guess that I’m in that latter group – I’d be happy to use a device purely for media, but I’m aware that it’s an absurd, first world luxury item and one that I don’t really need.  Would like to have, perhaps, but I don’t need it – the distinction there is key and is one that I don’t think a lot of people make.

As a bona-fide Amazon fan I confess to being eager to see what they come up with on Wednesday – I haven’t yet bought a Kindle as I still quite like the feel of a paperback and the physical media display impulse is strong within me (an arguable disorder not made any easier by the Black Library’s tendency to have neat illustrations on the spine of their paperbacks, each of which has a different chapter of Space Marines on it).

For example:

And, lo - did the Nerd Overlords at the Black Library figure out new ways to divest me of cash...

Physical Media still gets the job done in some respects – you can’t beat a good book jacket or a nice typeface. I can’t see myself making the jump to eBooks until the publishers figure out some way to provide ancillary benefits to the collector which induce them to collect in a digital format.

So, to sum up – Amazon are doing something or other on Wednesday and I’m a massive nerd.  I think that’s everything…


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“Doctor Who”, season six, episode 12, ‘Closing Time’

Why a sonic screwdriver? Why not a sonic spirit level, eh? Talk about utterly symbolic alien tech...

This week’s episode brings back James Corden as Craig, and hopefully manages to repeat the uncanny feat of Season Five’s “The Lodger” by making him as appealing and charming as he was during his first encounter with the Doctor.

I will endeavour to share my undeniably irrelevant and inconsequential views on the episode with you shortly – the similarly hopelessly devoted to “Who” might be interested to know that the official BBC site will have a prequel for next week’s season finale online shortly after “Closing Time” airs tonight.

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OnLive is now available in the UK. And why you should care…

Virtual, high-end PC gaming from your desktop, mobile device or tablet.

So, PC gaming service OnLive launched in the UK yesterday and it makes for an interesting service.  This is one of the first ‘Cloud’ gaming services to launch in Europe and gives you the chance to play high-end PC titles on your laptop, tablet or other mobile device via some high-tech compression algorithms. No need for a super-fast rig, bleeding-edge graphics card or capricious hard-drive – click the title on screen to play a demo, and if your broadband is beefy enough, you’re playing the PC version of “Deus Ex: Human Revolution”.

There’s no getting away from it – the experience feels positively science-fictional.  It shouldn’t work, but it bloody well does!  ‘How is this possible?’ was the phrase nipping about in my head as I demoed my way through “Trine” and looked at live play streams of “Warhammer 40K: Space Marine” and the aforementioned “Deus Ex”.  The video feed probably isn’t up to snuff for PC owners who have gear capable of running these titles at full resolution and top settings but they probably are not the demographic that this service is aimed at.  It’s akin to watching an HD YouTube stream that you can play.  It’s genuinely really weird and cool at the same time.

This is the kit that you plug in to use the system on a flat-screen TV.

You are greeted with the usual options for subscriptions and purchasing games on signing up, but there are a lot of free demos and membership is free.  It’s worth a try – just to have your mind.blown.

There are other options – semi-legendary developer Dave Perry is behind the browser-based gaming platform Gaikai, which promises that you can play Crytek’s “Crysis 2” in your browser using similar distributed processing and cloud-based tech.

Or ‘sorcery‘, as we should be calling it.  Wholly indistinguishable from magic, dudes and ladies, that’s what I’m saying.

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