Time for a Link-stravaganza

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Long time, no post. That doesn't mean nothing's been going on - quite the opposite. I started my job on the 2nd, and am well on my way to figuring out all the finer points of my position of Technology Associate. It keeps me busy and gets me up in the morning, so those are good things. No more sleeping in and not getting much done. And yet, I've managed to accumulate just as many links on my desktop. It's unstoppable! So, I hope everyone had a great holiday season and a happy new year, and let's get on with the linkage.

The funny:
10 Things to do With That Xbox 360 Power Brick - From 1UP.com, more making fun of the random piece of the new Xbox's hardware since there's nothing else to make fun of.

Chuck Norris Facts - A phenomenon not to be missed.

Mock endorsement of Finnish president is no joke - From USAToday.com, this article shows how some Finns aren't happy about Conan O'Brien comparing his likeness to the current president. "Why do I support Tarja Halonen? Because she's got the total package: a dynamic personality, a quick mind, and most importantly — my good looks." Conan rocks. It's amazing how much weight an American carries in a foreign country...I can't think of many shows from other countries that are affecting me...although I could be wrong.

Facebook prank on police - From Boing Boing, a nice story where kids used the educated version of Myspace to fool their campus police into crashing an alcohol-free party. (Of course, this was after they were busted once.)

Newscaster goes crazy playing Guitar Hero - I guess they can be a little more lax when doing the news for Sacramento...check out the groupies on the floor. Crazyness.


Digital Press - "Digital Press Online is dedicated to the "Pac-rats" among video gamers... short attention spans, library-sized collections, consoles precariously wired in spider-web fashion... Sound like you? Check around - we cover just about everything "retro" including Atari, Intellivision, ColecoVision, Vectrex, Odyssey, Nintendo, and Sega Master System as well as all of the most recent consoles."

NPR's text andventurer revealed! - Apparently someone on NPR dropped an old text-adventure reference, and someone got it. I sure didn't, my first computer was a 486.


Bill Gates Webcasts - Archives of previous Bill Gates keynotes and speeches,including most recently, the 2006 CES keynote, including some goodies about Windows Vista and the announcement that there will be an external HD-DVD drive for the Xbox 360.

Other cool stuff:

Top 10 little-known science stories of 2005 - From ZDNet, here's a list of a bunch of interesting stories from controlling the speed of light to how dangerous our pillows really are.

Abika.com - Some crazy looking background check website.

And after the break...a copy of what was originally on this page, before it was removed for some reason or another. Explains a bit about why the PS3 might not be all it's supposed to be.

All of this has been copied from the original post, which has since been deleted - but thanks to Google's cache, lives on.

I’ve spent some time the past year developing for the PS3. Actually it was a cinematic demo to be shown at e3 in 2005 at a closed door viewing.


I was one of the few artists selected to work on it for the demo. My job was primarily asset creation. I was creating assets to populate the path where our camera would be flying during the demo. The company I work for is also working on a launch title that I am quite familiar with. In short, I’ve spent some time around the PS3 and or the teams developing for it.

I’ve really had to sit here and think for a long time about what my first comment about the PS3 would be. Will I say, its GREAT or will I give it two thumbs down. Well my immediate impression of the PS3 is…where is it? Seriously, where is it? They have a case, a controller and a dev kit. But the system still doesn’t even exist. So what is there to say? We received one of 5 PS3 dev kits in the United States some time ago. Several companies in the US as well as companies over seas were given the daunting task of creating a demo in less than 9 weeks on a first generation dev kit. Now I’ll be honest with you. What most companies do is fake the entire demo. I mean they come up with some great visuals and neat tricks and scripted events. In the end however, its not a real time demo and its not running ON the actual box. We were the only company to my knowledge that showed something that ran it live on the box. Even then it was a scripted event. You could not pause the camera and fly around the scene. So if you saw the demo once, you saw it again the exact same way the second time. Also this was on a brutally early dev box. You could always tell where the PS3 dev box was because it’s the room that had the f-bomb coming out of it half the day.

Lots of time has passed since that demo and the dev box has gone from a totally jimmy rigged computer and box of parts about the size of a small child, to a much more realistic size. Although its still the size of a normal pc. I have been pretty excited about the whole cell processing thing. I am not a very technical person but my understanding of it was pretty clear. (Multiple processors to handle individual events in parallel). Sounds pretty good to me! To hear people talk, you’d thing that a processor revolution was about to happen. So I’ve been pretty excited to say the least. Now in my opinion it doesn’t matter how good the PS3 is. If the XBOX 360 is better, then it doesn’t really matter how the cell processors work or how good they say it is. Realistically one of them will be better over all. Now I’ve spoken with people who are on the technical side of the PS3. I’ve also talked with people on the technical side of the XBOX 360. The consistent comment I am hearing from people on my end is, “The XBOX 360 is better”. They are saying that it is capable of just doing more. (shrugs) Now take that for what its worth. If you watch all the videos on the PS3 they will say how much more powerful it is than the XBOX and vice versa. Im just telling you what I am hearing. They proceeded to go into a lot of technical info that I don’t understand. So I just nod.

The game that we are creating for a launch title is a “just get it out” title in my opinion. It doesn’t look next generation. I don’t see how anyone could debate otherwise. It looks good. But it looks good for a game that has come out in the last couple years or so. I mean we are talking about a box that will be with us for the next 5+ years! In 5 years will the games we are making today look good? The only way for that to be possible is if the new games coming out for the PS3 are drastically improved. So good that they can stand the test of time until the next system comes out. We’ve all seen Gears of War for the xbox 360. If that even looks half as good when it comes out then I’ll be floored! The game we are making isn’t even in the same league as Gears of War. In fact there are many current games out that look just as good and are using the exact same specs. So, on our end we are either not pushing the bar or were just trying to “get a title out”. To be fair, this is a business. Sometimes you have to treat it as a business and not make the best title you can. The best title you can make usually costs 20-40million dollars/3 start overs and 4 years of your life. You just cant do that every time out. Its impossible. Our game just keeps getting moved back….and back…..and back…..and back. Again, where is the box? Where is the final system? When is it coming out? No one knows and in the mean time people in the industry are starting to get just a little salty. I mean I was at e3 2005 and PS3 was almost no where to be seen.

In closing, I started of VERY excited about the PS3. I was very confident that it was going to just destroy the XBOX 360 just on the name SONY alone. The more time that goes by the more I am becoming doubtful. Everything I’ve developed or seen developed has yet to be “next gen”. The poly counts are not really any higher, im not seeing sub surface scattering, im not seeing much HDR lighting. (or they are faking it and not really doing it), I’m not seeing next gen fluid dynamics or object dynamics. I suspect that you’ll be able to have more dynamic objects in a scene than before. But im not seeing games doing this yet. We dont have a controller, there is no network code and there is no box. Its still the size of a normal PC. Oh well, at least they have normal maps. Although I’m over the normal maps fad ok everyone!

I’m confident that the PS3 will have a few “crazy” games that show it off to its potential. But I would expect the full capabilities of the box to not show up until the system has been released PUBLICALLY for over a year. This is the extra time the developers will need with a FINAL system to truly make next gen games.

Interesting. What do you have to hide, Sony? You'll just work your gamers into a frenzy with hype and games that are still a year or two away, and don't forget added functionality to your console that could be a technology that won't even catch on. Freakin video games industry.

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This page contains a single entry by Nate published on January 18, 2006 8:48 PM.

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