Sam writes "A former Ubisoft exec believes that Sony will not be able to combat piracy on the PlayStation 3, which was recently hacked. Martin Walfisz, former CEO of Ubisoft subsidiary Ubisoft Massive, was a key player in developing Ubisoft's new DRM technologies. Since playing pirated games doesn't require a modchip, his argument is that Sony won't be able to easily detect hacked consoles. Sony's only possible solution is to revise the PS3 hardware itself, which would be a very costly process. Changing the hardware could possibly work for new console sales, though there would be the problem of backwards compatibility with the already-released games. Furthermore, current users would still be able to run pirated copies on current hardware." An anonymous reader adds commentary from PS3 hacker Mathieu Hervais about Sony's legal posturing.
Torrentfreak reports that after calculating download frequency for pirated copies of popular video games, Call of Duty: Black Ops has won the dubious honor of being the most pirated game of 2010. The PC version of the game was torrented roughly 4,270,000 times, and the Xbox 360 version was downloaded an additional 930,000 times. (The most pirated Wii game was Super Mario Galaxy 2, and Dante's Inferno somehow managed to accrue the most downloads of Xbox 360 games.) Fortunately for Activision, the game has still made over $1 billion in sales, and its 20,000,000+ players have racked up over 600,000,000 man-hours of play time since the game's launch in early November.
An anonymous reader writes "Blizzard has released the Mac client of the StarCraft II multiplayer beta. If you already have an invite for the PC beta, the Mac client is available under your Battle.net account." A recent patch also added a map editor to the StarCraft II beta, which has already led to some interesting projects.
Citing massive growth in their user base ("25 million users, 1000+ games, 12 billion player minutes per month, and 75 billion Steam client minutes per month"), Valve unveiled a revamped UI for Steam on Tuesday, opening the beta test to anyone who wants to try it out. There are many changes, and an increased focus on social features: "Right from within your own game Library, you can now track which of your friends plays each game or invite them to play one with you. Before you've even bought a game, knowing whether your friends play it is one of the most useful pieces of information to have. So on the store homepage, there's a new listing of what your friends have bought or played lately." Tracking games and achievements have both gotten simpler, and Valve has dropped the Internet Explorer rendering engine in favor of WebKit. An enterprising user also found files that may indicate the existence of an OS X Steam client.
An anonymous reader writes "Over the last two months I ported Quake 3 to Android as a hobby project. It only took a few days to get the game working. More time was spent on tweaking the game experience. Right now the game runs at 25fps on a Motorola Milestone/Droid. 'Normally when you compile C/C++ code using the Android NDK, the compiler targets a generic ARMv5 CPU which uses software floating-point. Without any optimizations and audio Quake 3 runs at 22fps. Since Quake 3 uses a lot of floating-point calculations, I tried a better C-compiler (GCC 4.4.0 from Android GIT) which supports modern CPUs and Neon SIMD instructions. Quake 3 optimized for Cortex-A8 with Neon is about 15% faster without audio and 35% with audio compared to the generic ARMv5 build. Most likely the performance improvement compared to the ARMv5 build is not that big because the system libraries of the Milestone have been compiled with FPU support, so sin/cos/log/.. take advantage of the FPU.''
Giant Bomb notes that Obsidian Entertainment has officially stopped work on the Aliens RPG they had been working on. In a post on their forums, an Obsidian employee confirmed rumors that development was no longer underway, and Sega later indicated that they were looking do so something else with the IP. "The Aliens franchise offers us so much content to choose from that we feel it important to take a step back and carefully consider the type of game we want to release." Aliens: Colonial Marines appears to still be in development, though it won't be out this year.
Joachim writes: "andLinux is a complete Ubuntu Linux system running seamlessly in Windows 2000 based systems (2000, XP, 2003, Vista, 7; 32-bit versions only). It's not just for development and runs almost all Linux applications without modification. The Beta 2 release includes Ubuntu Jaunty, KDE 4, some bugfixes, and several great new features!"
Link to Original Source
Link to Original Source
An anonymous reader writes: Google first released Chrome 2 beta mid-March, featuring updated WebKit and V8 engines and minor nice-to-haves but otherwise no major new features. Two months later, Google is proclaiming this beta release a finished 2.0 product. Being an avid Chrome fan, I honestly expected more from Chrome 2. This release should have been called Chrome 1.5, at best, although speed gains and bug fixes make it worthwhile upgrade. However, motivation behind Chrome 2 is primarily the marketing one, rather than enhancing the user experience with substantial new features.
Fast loaders replaced Commodore's ROM routines, which were incredibly inefficient, with custom code that was uploaded the disk drive and dramatically reduced loading times.
cyrus_zuo writes with this month's round-up of independent game reviews. Leading the pack is World of Goo, a popular puzzle game in which you build structures to get blobs of goo from one place to another. "WoG could have zero personality and still be a good game, but on top of the tremendous technical execution, you are presented with a quirky and odd world that teems with character. WoG has a style all its own and the flair and dynamics of the world just add to the pleasure of losing time with the game." Also scoring high were action RPG Mount & Blade and the third release in the Strong Bad series.
The NYTimes reports that Atlantic is the first major label to report getting a majority of its revenue from digital sales, not CDs. Analysts say that Atlantic is out in front — the industry as a whole isn't expected to hit the 50% mark until 2011. By 2013, music industry revenues will be 37% down from their 1999 levels (when Napster arrived on the scene), according to Forrester. "'It's not at all clear that digital economics can make up for the drop in physical,' said John Rose, a former executive at EMI ... Instead, the music industry is now hoping to find growth from a variety of other revenue streams it has not always had access to, like concert ticket sales and merchandise from artist tours. ... In virtually all... corners of the media world, executives are fighting to hold onto as much of their old business as possible while transitioning to digital — a difficult process that NBC Universal's chief executive ... has described as 'trading analog dollars for digital pennies.'"