Archive for August, 2005

Bizarre Creations Interview – PGR3

The video game I’m most looking forward to on Microsoft’s Xbox 360 is Project Gotham Racing 3 by Bizarre Creations. So anytime a new screenshot or video is released, I immediately check it out to see if there’s anything new to it or if it’s just plain cool.

Well C&VG were lucky enough to secure an interview with Bizarre about the game.

They’re shooting for 80 cars in the game. They figure that’s enough variety to satisfy everyone, and it’s not so much that you won’t get lost in the plethora of options. They noticed how most gamers enjoyed playing supercars and put some emphasis there, but still have five classes of cars. Personally, I could do without the sport utility class, as I never liked racing those potatos on wheels. It was interesting to note that each car takes months for the video game artist (or artists?) to create.

Track-wise, there will be fewer cities to careen about in with reckless abandon. (I love video games!) But they have a great new feature that allows you to create your own path through a city, and save it off as a track.

They’ve also revamped the kudos system a bit so that the computer analyzes your moves to determine how great they really were. The crowd will then react accordingly. Personally, I don’t care much about kudos since they eviscerated them in multiplayer PGR2. Hopefully they’ll make them accessible to multiplayer gamers again.

Unfortunately, as soon as talk came to multiplayer, they immediately started off on Xbox Live. I don’t play the game Xbox Live. I play it at Todd’s place with a few of our friends. Gotham TV will show the best Xbox Live PGR3 players competing in events and more. It looks like tournaments will be a big feature of the game.

Obviously, Bizarre thinks highly of HD gaming, and of course PGR3 will be an HD game. I really look forward to playing it.



J Allard Interview

When Microsoft announced the dual SKU approach for the Xbox 360, with the Core system priced at $299 and the useful system priced at $399, the resulting cacophony would have defeaned any attempt to clear up any misunderstandings. So with infinitely wise timing, J Allard of Microsoft let himself be interviewed just the other day to firm up in everyone’s minds why two SKU were introduced at those prices with their respective feature lists. And my friends over at have a transcript.

A couple things that I found interesting:

The A/V cables included in the $399 package will offer both component and composite connections. So you can hook up the Xbox 360 to an HDTV or to a normal SD TV (although with the inferior-to-S-Video composite connection).

Mr. Allard also took great pains to emphasize that developers will be using the optional HDD to cache data, speed load times, and generally do all that good fun stuff the HDD was used for in the original Xbox. But of course, he has to say that, doesn’t he?

The $299 SKU option is pretty useless, and Mr. Allard almost concedes the fact. But he points out that it targets a different market than the hardcore gamer. Microsoft hopes to bring new gamers into its fold, and hopes the $299 will reach out and touch them. A lot of the interview was spent on this point.

And lastly, you can stream SD and HD content from a Media-Centre enabled PC. Yay!

Gaming-360J Allard Chat

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More on the Cell Processor has an interview with Dr. Peter Hofstee, a lead engineer from the Cell design team, about the powerful Cell processor to be used in Sony’s upcoming PS3.

The Cell started off as a high-level conversation between CEO-level operatives at Sony and IBM. In the summer of 2000, along with Toshiba, they started hammering out what would become the Cell processor. Here are the two most interesting questions in the short interview:

OPM: How is the multicore design different from just having multiple processors?

PH: We felt we had to do something about the phenomenon known as the memory wall. In the last 20 years, microprocessors have gotten faster by a factor of 1,000, but the memory latency, or the amount of time it takes for memory to keep up with the processor, hasn’t changed. It’s like a bucket brigade with 100 people between you and the water, but because you can only get five buckets going, that immediately tells you that it’s going to be inefficient. For Cell, what we did was use a technique [to make the process much more efficient].

OPM: Is there a point of comparison for the power of the Cell processor?

PH: If you just look at the eight synergistic processors on the chip and the power core as well, on media applications, each of these processors can outperform a PC processor. We usually see a factor-of-10 performance advantage against PC processors, but if you’re doing something with a more traditional workload, then you probably won’t see that type of performance improvement.


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Gran Turismo 5 in 2007?

According to a Croatian car magazine, the PS3 video game Gran Turismo 5 will be released in 2007. It is rumoured to have 100 times the detail of its PS2 brother, GT4.

And, well, that’s about it!


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