gaming


MS has been pushing its games for windows campaign very hard , and quite a few Vista exclusive DX10 games have been announced and a couple of them are already on the shelves. A couple of months back i had written about Falling leaf systems , which has been trying to crack DX10 games so that they run on older versions of windows . Now it seems though that Razor 1911 , one of the oldest , most famous warez guys have beaten them to it by sucessfully releasing a cracked version of Shadowrun Vista which also runs on Windows XP.

Read a part of the NFO below

Release Notes
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Tired of waiting for Falling Leaf to produce drivers so that you can play
Shadowrun in XP? The wait is over, because Razor1911 already has the remedy!
Yes, you read right. This game will also function in Windows XP (following the
installation procedure below).
This release will work with bot matches and lan mp. If you want to play
online, buy the game!
Install Notes
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
1. Extract RARs
2. Install
3. Go into your installationfolder and delete the srsw_shadowrun.dll.
4. Copy srs_shadowrun.dll and srsx_shadowrun.dll to your installationfolder.
5. If you want the XP compatability, copy the files from the xp/ subdir to
your installationfolder.
6. If you want a shortcut on your desktop, this is the time to make one!
7. Play!
8. Have fun!
Razor 1911 Greetings



First the big news , BT and Sony computer entertainment Europe(SCEE) have signed a four year deal to transform the PSP by adding wireless broadband communications functions including high quality video and voice calls and instant messaging. At first, only PSP-to-PSP calls will be supported but this will be soon followed by the ability to support calls and messages between PSPs, computers, regular phones and mobiles. The service will first be introduced in the UK and the rest of Europe . Surprisingly no details were released on when the service will be available in the US which has a PSP user base of 7.4 million . I guess this is Sony’s answer to the Nintendo DS , which is set to break all sales records for a gaming hand held before its time runs out , but there are a hundred reasons why this strategy won’t work at least with the current avatar of the PSP . Here are my top 5 reasons

  • Anybody who’s seen or held the PSP knows how big it really is, with its large screen and dedicated gaming buttons , its not something you would want to be seen talking into.
  • There are already so many complaints about PSP’s battery life and with video and voice calls , its anybody’s guess how long the battery would last.
  • Video calls will need a cam , and with Wi-fi the new hardware coming into the PSP will have some implications on the size of the device , will it get bulkier or is Sony going to rethink their whole design strategy for the PSP and release it as a new model with the current PSP existing as a low price model.
  • The D pad and associated buttons cant be used for messaging , of course they know that , does that mean more buttons or or rather a small alphanumeric keypad . I think touchscreen would be better , what impact will that have on the cost and size of the next gen PSP.
  • Last but not the least, the cost. Just how much is this gaming device cum phone cum Wi-Fi internet device cum media player going to cost , not as much as the PS3 I hope 🙂

What could be done otherwise is to improve the PSP as what it was meant to be , a portable gaming and media device : improve the battery life , provide descent internal storage, better content delivery and for god’s sake drop that damn UMD drive.


I am a staunch supporter of Sony and I am appreciative of the fact that they have put in a lot of money and time to deliver a machine which is truly outstanding . Every day I read about the Cell B.E breaking new ground , proving again that the PS3 has a lot of horsepower which is currently underutilized . This is an argument I hear from the fanboys a lot , they say that the PS3 packs more power , has the next generation blu-ray drive and has the mother of all CPU’s in the Cell, and in the next two years it will kick everybody’s butt from the XBox360 to the Nintendo Wii and even HD-DVD . I seriously hope so because I wish well for the PS3 , but consider this ..
The PS2 currently has an install base of around 110 million and that is a monstrous number , if the PS3 had been launched alongside the Xbox 360 as a competing console in the same price range rather than a year later , The number of Xbox 360 ‘s sold would have been less than a million till date.I am sure 90% of the people who own an Xbox360 now have owned PS2’s before , and they bought their 360’s because there was nothing available in the market which could compete with it, If they had a better option from Sony they would have bought that. So was it a good decision to include the blu-ray player ? it would have been if Sony could deliver it on time and at the same price range of a 360 . but once they realized that it would not match the competition from the cost perspective and also would be late to the market , they should have gone with the standard dual layer DVD format , once they had the blu-ray diode mess sorted out they could have launched another version with the blu-ray for a higher price point . All this time without a competitor has given MS a good install base which third party developers just can’t neglect . If multiple platforms for DMC4 can move another 1 million units for Capcom then it makes sense to them financially, because in the end its all about the money .
Another factor is the cost .. here in India a PS3 costs Rs40000 ($1000) and an Xbox 360 basic costs Rs20000 ($500) , the difference is humongous , The consoles don’t sell in the millions here but if someone wants to buy one which one would it be ? any guesses !! . But I still have hope for the PS3 because all rumors point to a price drop of at least $100 , starting in June, the blue-violet laser diodes will only cost 900 yen to produce (about $8). Last year, the Blu-ray player itself was estimated to cost $125 — a good chunk of that was probably the diodes.
And that brings me to the last and most important factor – content , the DS sells far more than the superior PSP because it has excellent content available for it , the iPod sold 100 million because Apple has developed an entire ecosystem around the product , and likewise PS2 sold millions because of the content which came out for it over the years . When the demand for PS3 content increases , the PS3 will start to sell more.

I wouldn’t count the PS3 out because its an amazing piece of hardware and has had a good reception in most places it has launched , I won’t be surprised if it indeed emerges as the next gen leader

Don’t get your expectations very high , I know Halo 2 is a Vista exclusive and I know so is DX10, from the time we first heard about DX10 Microsoft has repeatedly said that it would be an integral part of Vista,and it could not be implemented onto any other operating system. The reason for this being the approach of DirectX 10 inside the Vista kernel, with a more console-style approach to hardware.
The Alky project intends to change all that , these guys have started Falling Leaf systems and their first release claims to be able to run a number of examples from the DirectX SDK on Windows XP.These libraries will allow the use of DirectX 10 games on platforms other than Microsoft Vista, and increase hardware compatibility even on Vista, by compiling the Geometry Shaders down to native machine code for execution where hardware isn’t capable of running it. The good news does not end here , they plan to port these games on to Mac-OS and Linux in the future. Sounds too good to be true ? If you are interested in the concept then join their sapling program which gives you access to some exclusive content in the months to come. A free for all preview build is available here complete with instructions on where to install the files and how to get started.

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I am a huge fan of video games and love to follow the progress of the gaming industry , I have been a follower since some punk kid named Bhargav introduced me to “The King of Fighters 96 ” in a shady video game parlor in New Delhi . I have played Arcade Games , PC games and to some extent I have played games on consoles too . I liked to play games on my phone too but it was the snake game on my Nokia 3250 which i had an eternity ago , since then I have moved on to a Sony Ericsson phone which supports java games , and from that day I have been looking for one decent game to play on it . Countless downloads and many frustrating hours later , I have realized that mobile games suck . Let me give you my top 3 reasons why..

1. The Screen size is too small : I have heard people complaining about the screen sizes on the DS and the PSP , please!! in comparison with mobile phone screens , The PSP screen is a golf course , and even if a large screen phone came about it is way more expensive than the PSP and the DS put together.
2. The games suck : It seems the mobile game industry has a game for every single movie which comes out and a game for every B grade movie or a pop star ( the Sameera Reddy game) , I am talking quality here.. There are no big names, no content delivery, Amazingly crappy graphics and sound, awful Controls and A thousand game developers developing 1000000000 games with absurd titles, maybe the hardware is not good enough but thats no excuse for the mess
3. The controls suck : Lets face it, the regular mobile phone alphanumeric keypad was meant for keying in numbers and with great difficulty it allows for some messaging too , and one thing it was not meant to do was to play games . if you put all the controls necessary for a good gaming experience on a phone it would look like a weapon straight out of star wars

What can be done ? Its very simple.. instead of developing mobile phones which can also support games, develop better gaming handhelds which  also support basic mobile phone features , I am sure a lot of people would support and buy something like that .
Please note that this is not meant for people who like playing Sudoku or some scrambled words game on their phones , I am speaking about the gamer who wants to kick a few alien asses when he’s on the move . As far as he is concerned mobile phone games just plain SUCK . If there is anyone who has a better story to tell about mobile phone games , convince me otherwise.

X360 black (not official)

I’ve been reading about this a lot , Rumors have been flying around for quite some time now about a possible upgrade to the 360’s hardware , No! Microsoft is not going to upgrade the 360’s core hardware capabilities but according to reports it will include a 120gb HDD, a built in HDMI port, comes in a black color theme and it maybe a few inches thinner than the original. Now the reported price tag is a little less positive, around 480-500 $ which brings it very close to the lower end version of the PS3, also the 120 GB hard drive will be sold separately for around 200$ .If these reports turn out to be true, I expect it to launch around the same time when the big titles for PS3 roll out, like MGS 4, DMC 4 and tekken PS3 . Microsoft clearly has its strategy all planned , They are robbing Sony of their exclusive titles , they have a bunch of exclusives on their side and Microsoft clearly has the advantage online with XBOX 360 live . Now its time for our friends at Sony to get their act together because if PS3 has to live up to to the expectations , then they need to start rolling out those Aces that they “say” they have up their sleeves.

The PCI Express Special Interest Group (SIG) has announced a new cabling standard which will allow PCI express cards to move out of the computer chassis , This will allow for products like an external graphics module which will link to your computer through a cable.
There are a lot of reasons one would want to do this, the first and foremost being cooling .If u have seen the new 8800GTX by Nvidia you would have noticed how big it actually is , now imagine two of these monsters in SLI in your box and with overclocking becoming more popular nowadays these cards tend to run quite hot, and cooling them becomes another issue , for such a configuration you would be better off opting for a water cooled solution rather than taking chances with cooling fans .
Another reason seems to be more of a gamer’s dream rather than reality but someday it might just turn out to be true, take for example quad SLI, which connects four graphics cards, in the future we may have an interface which connects say 6 or 8 cards , It would make more sense to move such a graphics unit away from the chassis and into a different box,rather than trying to squeeze in so many slots onto the main-board.
Asus has already demonstrated this technology for laptops at CES with the ASUS XG station and this is an excellent example of what the technology can do.

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