Archive for the ‘Technology and Software’ Category

More High Definition DVD Metrics

all the price and quality speculation aside, what’s the main reason hd-dvd is going to prevail as the new format?  simple.

it’s name.

blu-ray is a fancy, non-descriptive fluff name.  while, it’s battling to explain what it is to consumers, hd-dvd doesn’t need to.  it gets to ride off the simplicity of its name.

stop and think about it. 

if you’re in the market for an high definition dvd player, what are you going to search for?  yes — hd dvd.  what are you going to find?  hd-dvd.  what are the best buy people going to sell you when you ask for “hd dvd?”  yep.  “hd-dvd.”


High Definition DVD Formats

so. let me get this straight — you want to pay $200 more for a console with games that look the same because it plays a movie format that looks the same with similar features but has 2/3 the titles?

cheapest blu-ray player on amazon?

Samsung BD-P1000 Blu-Ray Disc Player
Price: $714.99
Sales rank: 2044
Rating: 2.5 stars

cheapest hd-dvd player on amazon?

Price: $438.88
Sales rank: 405
Rating: 4.5 stars

notice the sales rank part?  and the ratings?  yeah. the people are speaking with their wallets, guys. the “format war” is already on its way out. you know why those “average third party” sales are lower for blu-ray? used discs.

jeezus, but the ps3 is looking like a stupid proposition.


tools + creativity + sharing

linerider is user created content at its best.


Export Controls

uh. not that i’m an expert, but, with the ps3 being a “super computer” and all, what about those hairy, two little words: export controls. i mean, sure, they can have an xbox or a ps2, but, dude! the ps3? it’s used by nasa!

“Hans noted that his PowerPoint slide discussing comprehensive sanctions sent someone to jail as a result of an indirect export to Iran.”

i bet that “indirect” export was a ps3 preorder! damn the ABSOLUTE POWER of the ps3!


The Best Thing About the PS3/P

i’m a big fan of foss — but, really. who isn’t? homebrew? rad. nwn mods?  hl mods?  xna?  all awesome.  the offline value of the ps3? i saw the quake 3 thing the other day, but this one kicks ass.

just like the psp but subsidized!

…which reminds me. can you handheld developers make more games for the psp? the ds is cool and all, but, dammit, the psp is just sexy.


Tracking PS3 Defect Issues #4 – Bluetooth Controllers

so, since this is technically a series, i suppose it’s my duty to report these playstation 3 freakshow things when they popup.  bluetooth connectivity for controllers.  btw, sony’s gonna want to offer some wired controllers here pretty quick.

the funny thing about this tho?  i have a draft post from august titled “bluetooth bummer” that is really just a few notes on why bluetooth is bad for mission critical connectivity in a wifi saturated area.  i got busy and never found the time to flesh it out.

basically, it comes down to: spectrum hopping is good.  sharing is bad.  there’s a reason microsoft didn’t go with an off-the-shelf technology for their controllers — this is it.  they don’t need to obey all the bluetooth sig rules.  (disclaimer: i work/worked for a company who was a co-creator of bluetooth)

i mean, really, raise your hand if you hate your bluetooth mouse. *raises hand*  i got rid of that thing the week after i got it.

anyway, probably my favorite snippet of text from that whole article?  the little sony-drone in the comments.

I had it happen a few times during my SP Resistence jaunt, i would be running along and then id try to turn it something and id just keep running straight for like 5 seconds until the controller resynced.

It even got me killed one time, but overall not that bad.

… not that bad.  for microsoft and nintendo, that is.


Procedural Textures

you guys know how much i think procedural techniques are going to revolutionize game development.  here’s another example where these guys are making textures 90% smaller.

We recently published a widely debated news story about one company’s claim that its new texturing process will make games 70% smaller. That company is called Allegorithmic and the technology the guys there are developing is designed to keep texture quality standards as high as they are now, whilst making the size of the texture files 90% smaller. The key to all this? A little thing called procedural textures.

i guess that means a dvd9 disc can hold … what? … a procedural 90 gigs of textures?  oh, and, since they are all automated-funky-cool, there’s less artist time involved in applying them.  hmm.  less time means it’s cheaper.  less assets on the disc mean it’ll fit on standard dvd (just think about the killer arcade titles!).  less assets on the disc also mean vanishing load times.  we need blu-ray for games why?

math ftw.  bloat ftl.


Another Link to the Past

i just remembered that i posted this bit about iptv on the 360 back in february too. retro-fun!


Valve’s Multithreaded Programming

the guys over at valve are the shit. they’ve apparently figured out a hybrid threading model (combining coarse and fine-grained threading) to actually pull some crazy power out of those multi-core processors.

In one demo, over 500 tiny critters maneuvered around fire and complex obstacles, even tipping over a crate with their combined weight (physics calculations can also be multithreaded). The demo was run on a 2.6GHz Kentsfield CPU with four cores and 2GB of RAM. On a single-core 3.2 GHz Pentium 4, fewer than 100 critters could run around at the same frame rate, which looked much less impressive.

yeah. they are pulling mostly linear power out of it. so, it’s actually like having 4 processors instead of one.

what else has a killer multi-core-crazy processor in it?

As far as console ports go, Gabe mentioned that Valve is already putting their hybrid threading technology to good use for their Xbox 360 projects, but could not comment about its applicability to the PS3 as they were not doing any PS3 ports themselves and had no PS3 systems in their building at the time. One of the Valve programmers did mention that the PS3’s architecture is not quite as suited to their frameworks due to its asymmetric approach and the fact that the SPU (Synergistic Processing Units) could not directly access main memory.

it’s a bummer the ps3 hardware designers can design ce products but not “computers” and for sure not well enough to know what needs to happen for software over the next 5 to 10 years to unlock this “potential” they’re always flailing about.

how long before the other commercial engines start working through this stuff. mad ups for valve.


UPDATE:  i should note, too, that the above “demo” is a 2.6 GHz processor with 4 simultaneous threads.  note that it “roasts” a single threaded 3.2 GHz processor.  since i didn’t explicitly state it, the xbox 360 has 6 (not 4) threads running at 3.2 GHz (not 2.6 GHz).  so, basically, better than all of the above in their pc demo.

The Lame XBL Video Announcement

am i the only one not excited about the new xbox live video offerings on the marketplace? it’s just a bunch of limited, over-priced, inconvenient movies and tv that you can record with your media center pc and watch on your xbox anyway.

and, you have to “buy” the tv shows? that’s the stupidest thing i’ve ever heard. sure, i’ll buy a full season on dvd without commercials. you know what? i get the whole season, in one big chunk for 1/2 the price of take-forever-piecemeal-downloaded versions on marketplace.

no. give us the tv shows for the 14-day period — with commercials — for free. that’s the way to do it. not this stupid pay-more-for-less crap.

oh, and speaking of asshats, wtf is wrong with sony? here’s their rebuttal:

PlayStation 3’s content is designed for everyone to enjoy right out of the box, no matter which configuration you purchase. We would never shut anyone out of the entertainment experience because they didn’t have the money to buy the top of the line system

i thought karraker was supposed to fix this shit!

look, man. i know you’re all excited about “fighting back,” but, make sense when you do. for the love of god — your “bargain” system is still $100 more expensive than your competitor’s top of the line system. you have absolutely no credibility to bag on anybody over price — ever. period.