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Wired News 2006 Vaporware Awards 215

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the it's-that-time-of-year-again dept.
silentounce writes "Wired News has released the winners of its 9th annual Wired News Vaporware Awards. I won't list any of them in the summary because I don't want to spoil anyone's surprise. They have some interesting entries, one that is more a concept of a product than an actual product. I'm not sure how you can claim something is vaporware if it hasn't even been given a specific name or a developer yet, but apparently they think they can. "
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Wired News 2006 Vaporware Awards

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  • by Klaidas (981300) on Wednesday December 27, 2006 @01:04PM (#17378028)
    Hmmm... story vaporware?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 27, 2006 @01:06PM (#17378076)
    Here's the list of major accomplishments that have been achieved since they announced it back in 1997: http://duke.a-13.net/ [a-13.net]
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Thansal (999464)
      ha!

      that is an awsome list.
      # Over 75 games based in the MegaMan universe, and 12 games featuring MegaMan universe character cameos.
      # Over 50 games based in the Star Wars universe.
      # Mario has appeared in 58 different video games.


      Those are just fun statistics :D
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Bieeanda (961632)
      I just love that they claim that Prey enjoyed 'overwhelming success'. Given that it was almost as late, little more than silly gameplay gimmicks, and far, far shorter than the designers swore, I'd call it 'middling' at best.
  • Vaporware (Score:3, Insightful)

    by phoenixwade (997892) on Wednesday December 27, 2006 @01:08PM (#17378094)
    Is it just me? or is listing "Duke Nukem Forever" as number one yet again becoming a tired old joke?
    • by Dunbal (464142) on Wednesday December 27, 2006 @01:15PM (#17378210)
      tired old joke?

            Old jokes never tire on Slashdot, you insensitive clod!
    • Nah, Duke Nukem Forever is the king of vaporware. If the 3D Realms had just dropped the idea of Duke Nukem Forever then the joke would be old. However, they claim to still be developing it which is what makes it so damn funny. DKF should have gone the way of Team Fortress II and just let it die a silent death but 3D Realms continues to keep promising it.

      By the way I still want to play Team Fortress II.
      • Re:Vaporware (Score:5, Informative)

        by Thansal (999464) on Wednesday December 27, 2006 @01:37PM (#17378536)
        Actualy TF2 is currently slated for release with HL2:EP2 (I think that has a 2nd quarter '07 date, but I don't remember atm).

        The original TF2 was scrapped around the same time as HL2 started dev, but that was because they just compleatly restarted the project based on Source.
      • by jbrader (697703) <stillnotpynchon@gmail.com> on Wednesday December 27, 2006 @03:24PM (#17379882)
        My theory on DNF goes like this:

        They really are still working on it. Sometime in the near future they're going to release a demo and set a firm shipping date. We'll all play the demo and it'll so rad everyone will have a video game induced orgasm and toss out all their copies of the now obsolete Halo. The day before the actual release Jesus will return and send everyone off to their just reward, meaning no one will ever actually get to play the damn thing since video games are way to evil to be allowed in Heaven and way to fun to be allowed in Hell.

    • by anagama (611277)
      I'm beginning to suspect that DNF is a sort of subversive but brilliant form of promotion. It means that every time vaporware is mentioned, so is 3D Realms. This keeps the company name in the public mind and makes people interested in whatever they do make -- interested like gawkers at a bloody accident but interested nonetheless.
      • by AuMatar (183847)
        Exactly. Does anyone really think they're still working on it? Its gamings biggest joke, with 3DRealms laughing as much as we are.
    • by aclarke (307017)
      This is Slashdot, where we can all make tired old jokes. I should remind you, though, that in Korea only tired old people make jokes.
  • by IdleTime (561841) on Wednesday December 27, 2006 @01:08PM (#17378108) Journal
    It is already flying. Just because it is not in commercial use yet, doesn't make it vapor ware. Duke Nukem is.
    • by AKAImBatman (238306) * <akaimbatmanNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday December 27, 2006 @01:24PM (#17378356) Homepage Journal
      [A380] is already flying. Just because it is not in commercial use yet, doesn't make it vapor ware.

      The X-33 flew as well, but that was total vaporware. Until someone accepts delivery of an A380, it will remain as vaporware as Airbus continues to delay shipments in order to "work out the bugs".
      • by east coast (590680) on Wednesday December 27, 2006 @02:10PM (#17378932)
        I hate to bust your bubble but I just got my A380 delivered yesterday. It's sweet.
      • by Richard_at_work (517087) <richardprice.gmail@com> on Wednesday December 27, 2006 @02:20PM (#17379044)
        Actually the X-33 never flew, the project was cancelled when the prototype was 85% complete.

        The A380 is not vapourware - its in production, the delays are due to production problems and not technical issues with the concept itself. Infact, the A380 delays are the perfect example of incompatabilities in IT based projects - different parts were designed with different versions of the CATIA system, leading to problems with the wiring bundles that Airbus are sorting out now.

        Airlines also disagree with you - two airlines (Singapore and Qantas) placed followon orders to their originals this year, even before they had the first one delivered, so that says something about confidence in the aircraft.
      • by iocat (572367)
        I was in Vancouver recently, and as we touched down, I was like "OMGWTF is that giant plane, it looks like an A380." And then the pilot was like "everyone look out the left window, it's an A380!!" and he sounded really excited. So, it's no more vaporware than the Tupolev TU-144 [wikipedia.org] is/was. It's a real plane alright, just not yet one in mass production.
    • Most of the list isn't vaporware. For example SEDs really exist, people have seen them in operation (and are impressed with what they see). However that doesn't change the fact that from a consumer standpoint, they are vaporware. They were promised, they haven't been delivered. I can't go out and buy one.

      Likewise I'm sure that DNF exists in some form, I'm sure that they haven't just been doing nothing all this time. However it's not out, and thus is vapour.
    • by fermion (181285)
      Moving from a few prototypes to full scale production is the definition of vaporware. This is exactly what is happening with the A380. They have a plane, but they can't build it full scale to deliver.

      And the saga has been going on long enough to be compare with Duke Nukem, especially since no one seriously expected the next version. The A380 should have been delivered mid 2005. Now 8 months later they have apparently have a delivery of date of late 2007, with full production apparently delayed until

  • Duke (Score:4, Funny)

    by tedgyz (515156) * on Wednesday December 27, 2006 @01:10PM (#17378136) Homepage
    Yes, Duke Nukem Never is still there. It is eligible for a lifetime achievement award.

    Move along. Next article.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Dunbal (464142)
      Duke Nukem Never is still there. It is eligible for a lifetime achievement award.

            It already has ONE a lifetime achievement award!
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward
        That's "WON", you illiterate turd.
    • Re:Duke (Score:4, Funny)

      by bndnchrs (1044108) <bndnchrs@gmail.com> on Wednesday December 27, 2006 @01:14PM (#17378190)
      Read the article. Lifetime achievement was three years ago. We are now awarding Picasso-esque posthumous medals of success. or something like that
      • by tedgyz (515156) *
        Actually, I did RTFA. I just didn't comprehend. :-)
      • Read the article. Lifetime achievement was three years ago. We are now awarding Picasso-esque posthumous medals of success. or something like that
        No... in this context, that would have to wait until after it's released...
    • I am betting they are waiting for PC that can render 1080p screen in POVRay full detail at at least 30 times a second that way when the system is released they will have a game that fully utilizes the system.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by AuMatar (183847)
        Unless they run it on a PS3. Because nothing will ever fully utalize the resources of a PS3.
  • Airbus A380 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Timesprout (579035) on Wednesday December 27, 2006 @01:12PM (#17378168)
    Vapour? Have you seen the size of the fucking thing? Anyway its been built, tested and approved for flight. Yes there are difficulties but they will possibly make it a white elephant, but certainly not vapourware.
    • by hey (83763)
      If it every crashes there will be quite a lot of vapour.
      • Especially if it crashes into the Wired News offices. It could be a new type of vapour, ironic vapour.
    • Vapored (Score:3, Insightful)

      by fm6 (162816)

      Yes there's a prototype for the A380. There's also a demo for Spore. But until Airbus figures out how to insert those 300 miles of wiring, the prototype is meaningless. Without any wiring, a jetliner is just a ... I want to say "big doorstop" but somehow that's not right.

      You do sort of have a point. "Vaporware" originally described products that never got beyond the Breathless Announcement, and were usually created solely to stifle interest in competing products. Only one or two products on the Wired list

      • Yes there's a prototype for the A380.

        Theres one prototype and 6 production airframes that have flown to date, and another 5 airframes that are awaiting spare capacity at the Hamburg cabin assembly line so that they can fly there.

        It may be a screwed up project, but its far from vapourware.
        • by k_187 (61692)
          And I'm sure there are builds of Duke Nukem Forever floating about somewhere. Its vapor until its ships to customers.
      • by Lars T. (470328)

        Yes there's a prototype for the A380. There's also a demo for Spore. But until Airbus figures out how to insert those 300 miles of wiring, the prototype is meaningless. Without any wiring, a jetliner is just a ... I want to say "big doorstop" but somehow that's not right.

        So why do the A380s that are flying manage without all that cable?
        • So why do the A380s that are flying manage without all that cable?

          Prototypes can do without on-board entertainment systems while production machines cannot. Imagine flying to Singapore without Julia Roberts! The horrors!!

  • by MECC (8478) *
    The A380 is flying. Far from a spruce goose.

    • by peragrin (659227)
      the spruce goose flew though. It wasn't official because it hadn't been cleared for flight but it did fly.

      The A380 is just on perpetual back order.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Blakey Rat (99501)
      The Spruce Goose flew, also. (Well, kindof... it proved it could take off, at least.) But neither airliner was delivered to any customers, therefore, they are both vaporware.
  • Vaporware? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by El Lobo (994537)
    Hmmm... the word vaporware was used to describe a product that NEVER WILL be relleased and was just speculation... Those lists are describing products that often are late. Last year both Vista and IE7 made the list and guess what? They are out!

    So many of those products may be "lateware" but not vaporware. Hell, even Duke Nukem may be out some day AFAIK.

    • by Dunbal (464142) on Wednesday December 27, 2006 @01:18PM (#17378260)
      Hell, even Duke Nukem may be out some day AFAIK.

            Aww come on, now you're pushing it, man!
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by arth1 (260657)

      Hmmm... the word vaporware was used to describe a product that NEVER WILL be relleased and was just speculation... Those lists are describing products that often are late. Last year both Vista and IE7 made the list and guess what? They are out!

      Due to the lack of clairvoyance in the media industry, it's hard to tell beforehand which products will never be released. So the working definition of vaporware is a product that was promised a certain time, but wasn't release. Many delayed products get canned, som

      • If a product is branded as vaporware but eventually is released, it simply means that the product was incorrectly classified, no working definition is required, the correct one works just fine.
        • Battlecruiser 3000AD was the definitive piece of PC "vapourware" until Duke Nukem Forever came along. It was eventually kicked out the door by the publisher, against the programmer's wishes. Had the programmer had his way, it would probably have stayed in development in perpetuity.

          Thus in modern terms, it is considered "correct" to use vapourware for a product that has not been delivered according to promises. Especially if new promises are continually made and broken. i.e. "Battlecruiser 3000AD was vapourw
          • "Thus in modern terms, it is considered "correct" to use vapourware for a product that has not been delivered according to promises. Especially if new promises are continually made and broken. i.e. "Battlecruiser 3000AD was vapourware for seven years!""

            I think the motivation for this "modern" view is partially political. It has allowed Vista to be labled as vaporware even though there was really no doubt that MS was going to release it eventually.
    • Well, since my crystal sphere was in the laundry last year, I couldn't predict what would be finished before the year's over. So sorry.

      Seriously, products that are announced for years without any measurable progress to show that there is actually something being done to get them to gold status deserve the award. I'm not so sure about the A380, and maybe Vista didn't really qualify either. But there are hands-down examples that deserve that award, like DNF. It might ship, finally, one day, after the apocalyp
  • I think the developers of DNF have been using these [wikipedia.org] maybe a little too much.

    TLF
  • by MasterC (70492) <cmlburnett@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Wednesday December 27, 2006 @01:18PM (#17378254) Homepage
    I like ruining surprises (uh, ok, whatever Mr. Story Poster) and I hate multi-page stories. Wikipedia links provided for the fun of it

    • KDE4 missed the list, but I am betting on it for next years list.
      • KDE4 missed the list, but I am betting on it for next years list.

        They slipped a little on the technical preview, but work is progressing. There's a lot on the plate to get to KDE4--mainly under the hood to port everything over to QT4. However, I understand this will open the door for more cross-platform KDE apps (KOffice, Konqueror, etc. running natively in Windows & OSX). They're aiming for a mid-2007 release, but there's still a ways to go and I wouldn't be surprised if it slipped to late '07/ear

        • by strider44 (650833)
          Add to this that the frameworks (the majority of the work) are getting towards being completed. I've been following KDE4's development and I can't really understand why so many people think that it's stalled. Mostly their argument involves KDE 4's technical preview being ugly or unusable. Obviously they've never done any software development - the interface is the last thing to come into fruition - like the top of an iceberg, how is the interface going to work if the code under it hasn't been written?
  • I can't believe that Duke Nukem Forever knocked Windows Vista for the MIA award. For five years we were promised all these wonderful technologies that would be part of Windows Vista and the only thing that's coming out next month is a Windows XP upgrade.
    • Technically, Vista is being released. It just won't be the product it was promised to be. So on a techincality, it is off the list.
    • and the only thing that's coming out next month is a Windows XP upgrade.
      You keep using that word. I don't think it means what you think it means.
  • Misread (Score:3, Funny)

    by Rob Carr (780861) on Wednesday December 27, 2006 @01:24PM (#17378354) Homepage Journal
    I thought the one item on the list read Skype Sybian.

    I bet it would sell....

    • In usability testing, engineers developing the Skype Sybian found that female users always forgot what they were going to say and only about 10% of male users were interested in trying the product.

    • I'll see your Skype Sybian, and raise you:

      A Sybian controlled like Alek's Christmas lights [komar.org]. That would rule, until it gets Slashdotted and the porn stars start dying.

      Probably best for this one to be a hoax...
  • by acroyear (5882) <jws-slashdot@javaclientcookbook.net> on Wednesday December 27, 2006 @01:25PM (#17378372) Homepage Journal
    I'm still waiting on that one... ...of course it doesn't really matter much since iTunes is in control of the audio-for-sale and video-for-sale market these days. DIVx-based AVIs are becoming the default for "free" video content, particularly from Europe.

    As I wrote before here, WMP for Linux was meant as a strategic move to scare content owners away from the open-sourcing of Real Networks' player and codecs, by promising WMP-based DRM for the Linux market. It seemed to work, but rather than go to WMP (which had technical issues as shown by early BootlegTV downloads from the DGM record label (King Crimson)), they held off until iTunes set the new DRM standard. M$'s been behind ever since.
    • iTunes may be the largest player in the paid download media department, but that shouldn't stop others from making their offerings. Given that iTunes purchases don't directly play on most phones, PDAs and such, the market should be wide open. eMusic and Magnatune do offer legal sales of non-encrypted tracks.
    • by StikyPad (445176)
      Divx is the old standard, we're migrating to H.264 now. Keep up!
      • by acroyear (5882)
        When the Doctor Who episodes on bittorrent change, I'll get a new codec. For now, that's all I use it for - getting the doctor whos from Britain 'cause i'm not willing to wait for sci-fi to catch up.
  • by Vengie (533896)
    I'm actually thinking that DNF will win *despite* being released -- and two or three successive years. It's too embedded in the culture at this point. How else can you describe the archetype of vaporware? [The obvious justification is that the /real/ DNF, i.e. the one promised since 97, will not have shipped. Even if DNF wins, the spirit of DNF can live on.]

    I can see the meme already: "This is what DNF should have been" for new game demos....
  • Evolution - NOT (Score:2, Interesting)

    In Wright's Spore, which is being developed by Maxis, the player guides a species through the grand process of evolution -- from a single-cell organism to star-hopping superbeings. Everything the user creates will be compiled into a giant database and shared among all the game's online players.

    Evolution is defined as unguided. The above is a description of Intelligent Design, not evolution. The player is essentially the god of a universe built via Theistic Evolution, and every game play decision is a mi

    • "In a game based on true Evolution, you would just watch everything unfold randomly according to the game rules after perhaps tweaking some initial conditions (you are allowed some Initial Design of the rules / state at the Big Bang, since that doesn't involve any god/world interaction)."

      And that is a game how? And it is "loosely" based on evolution, things you eat and how you behave determine some of the outcomes. Obviously it's more complex than that, but it is not just entirely designing. With your l
    • by Thansal (999464)
      Now that owuld be an awsome mod for Spore.

      just have some way for the creatures to develope based on what problems they encountered. No it would not be "real" evoloution, but it would be awsome to watch.
    • Sure, but who'd play that? Mix'n stir, then let it explode and wait a few billion years.

      I'd feel like playing WoW again...
    • by OpenGLFan (56206)
      But if you're acting as an omnipotent outside force, experimenting with improvements on the organisms you've built, then you're saying . . . you're the God of Evolution!

      There are Gods of War, Gods of Harvest, Thunder Gods, why not a God of Evolution? Try tossing that into an Intelligent Design argument. That oughta stir that argument up.
    • Evolution is defined as unguided. The above is a description of Intelligent Design, not evolution.

      Geez. Don't be so dogmatic. ;-)

    • Evolution is defined as unguided. The above is a description of Intelligent Design, not evolution. The player is essentially the god of a universe built via Theistic Evolution...

      Why are you using the term "theistic evolution" after having redefined evolution to be exclusive of theistic influence? Your argument has just been made to fall flat on its face by your own use of the adjective "theistic" to describe a form of "evolution" in what would be an oxymoron under your terms.

      There's absolutely nothing wron
      • Why are you using the term "theistic evolution" after having redefined evolution to be exclusive of theistic influence? Your argument has just been made to fall flat on its face by your own use of the adjective "theistic" to describe a form of "evolution" in what would be an oxymoron under your terms.

        Because terms are qualified to create new terms - often opposed in meaning to the original word. The unqualified word "evolution" usually refers to a mix of natural selection and macro evolution - with perha

  • by jj00 (599158)
    When is the next version of the Palm OS coming out?
  • Please stop... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by thedarb (181754)
    Please stop posting Wired stories. We all already read Wired on a daily basis, just like we read Slashdot. Why post it here days after we've already read it? Just please stop doing it already.
    • I don't read Wired every day. I only go there if a /. article links to an interesting (to me) story or they happen to show up in a Google search result. So there.
    • by Wdomburg (141264)
      Erm, I never visit Wired directly, only when someone posts a link that looks potentially interesting.
  • Did anyone else read that as Sybian?

    Skype + Sybian = Teledildonics?
  • When Cartman went to the future to get his Wii, he played DNF on the current console systems they were using, really just ask Matt and Trey... :)
    C'monnnn, C'monnnnn...
  • At this point, it'll either be shit, or it will be sentient.
  • SED [wikipedia.org] made the list, but not my favorite, "I ain't buyin a TV until it's" OLED [wikipedia.org]
  • Wrong Aircraft (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AK Marc (707885) on Wednesday December 27, 2006 @04:08PM (#17380350)
    The Airbus is on the list but not the flying car? Moller's Skycar [moller.com] has been 2 years away from completed testing for the past 10+ years and has been in development for somewhere around 40 years. If any aircraft deserves to be on the list, it's that one.
  • Personally, I think Tivo should be given a special award. Not only have they not produced TivoToGo for the Mac, but a volunteer group has actually produced their own version of the software (TiVo Decode) while waiting for the official Tivo version.

    Worse, those new HiDef Tivos don't even support TivoToGo for Windows - so they've actually managed to go backwards in the past year.

    Me, bitter? Nah... :-)
  • They broke their own criteria by listing Duke Nukem Forever. From the beginning of the article:

    How about the final spec for 802.11n, the blazing-fast new Wi-Fi? While many hoped to see it finalized this year, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers has been saying not to expect anything until January 2007. No false promises, no Vaporware Award.

    Then about Duke: The company still has a message on its website saying that the game will be released "when it's done."

    It doesn't sound like they'

    • by Blakey Rat (99501)
      1) The awards are voted on by users.
      2) The Duke Nukem page didn't ALWAYS say "when it's done." They switched it to that after pushing back the release date about 4 times. It still counts.
  • The Sagrada Familia was started by Gaudi in 1880 and was finished in ... oh wait, they're still building it.
  • Wired says this about SED

    Then, in October, Toshiba said we'd have to wait until July 2007.

    An easy Google search 'toshiba sed release' gives press releases from last February and March [toshiba.co.jp] pushing the release date back to Q4'07. There's nothing in the October press releases about SED [toshiba.co.jp].

    But that doesn't make as interesting a story, I guess. You'd think this was a simple mistake except it's so easy to fact-check.

    What's happening in July 2007 is they're supposed to start mass production of the tubes. But you won't

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