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News articles search results by Prairie Wolfe


American McGee's Alice: We're All Mad Here

0 comments Prairie Wolfe - Nov 23, 00 12:22am (PST) Like Share

American McGee's long awaited psychedelic interpretation of Lewis Carroll's Alice has gone gold and is expected to be available on December 6th.

When polite, civilized Alice invites herself to the Mad Hatter's Tea Party, she is confronted with this rather puzzling riddle:
(Oh good, said Alice to herself, We shall have some fun now)

"Why is a raven like a writing desk?"

Why indeed. Poor little Alice scratched her head and thought hard, for the unfortunate creature was not exactly the brightest bauble on the tree...

Perhaps that elusive conundrum proved too much for our sweet heroine. Shortly after Wonderland, Alice checked herself into a mental asylum. Now, no longer a prepubescent teen, an older, more street wise Alice stands for no nonsense. Off with their heads, she would, with her new weapons, remnants of her idyllic childhood.

American McGee's Alice has gone gold. To illustrate the vision of this dazzling and enchanting game, imagine Disney's sugar plum Alice turned on her head. Now arm this queer creature with a variety of dangerous toys and send her back to Wonderland to kill the Red Queen. But the dreamworld that Alice knew as a child is nothing as she left it. With familiar characters such as the Cheshire Cat, the White Rabbit and Tweedledum and Tweedledee scattered throughout the game like chess pieces on an overturned chessboard, American McGee's Alice revisits Lewis Carroll's wit and satire in ways perhaps truer to the author than any reproduction to date.

Based on the Quake III engine, Alice's stunning and innovative visuals combine with Nine Inch Nails member Chris Vrenna's gothic Victorian soundtrack to create an unforgettable nightmare.

What better way to spend the holiday season?

Descend the rabbit hole on December 6th.

Visit EA's Official Alice site here

 
 

Snap Like a Professional; Save Like a Scrooge

0 comments Prairie Wolfe - Nov 07, 00 12:08am (PST) Like Share

Umax's AstraCam 1800 will make one heck of a stocking stuffer.

Recently I visited a camera swap meet and was privy to a gymnasium cluttered with SLRs (Single Lens Reflex Cameras) that nobody wanted. Canons, Nikons, Minoltas, you name them--dirt cheap too! And I realized that although mechanical cameras are still very useful and versatile, they are no longer the darling of the professionals. Sure, amateurs like me still oogle over built-in light meters and flash synchronization. But how can those features compete with instant previewing and resolution selection? That's why (I'm digressing) UMAX's AstraCam 1800 is exciting news. Finally, I can snap like a professional but not shell out bills like one.

At the suggested retail price of $199, the AstraCam 1800 is an affordable mega-pixel digital camera.
Here is the press release:

PRESS RELEASE
UMAX Technologies, Inc. has significantly raised the bar for affordable mega-pixel digital cameras with the debut of its AstraCam 1800. This exceptional value in digital imaging brings high-quality 1.3-million pixel resolution and true CCD clarity to the general consumer "point and shoot" market.

The AstraCam 1800 captures images that can be reproduced with photo quality on prints up to 5" x 7". Images are stored on a reusable SmartMedia card, which can be replaced on the fly, much like a roll of film. The camera's convenient features include an efficient power management system for extended battery life, "plug and go" USB hookup, and NTSC video-out jack for viewing photos on standard television sets. Bundled software includes Adobe PhotoDeluxe Home Edition (full version), a step-by-step program for creating calendars, greeting cards and brochures; NewSoft Mr. Photo desktop management system; UMAX VistaShuttle (PC only) for creating electronic greeting cards; and UMAX PhotoStudio TWAIN camera interface.

"Even our own engineers were initially skeptical that this kind of quality could be made available at this unprecedented price point," said Michael Weizer, product marketing manager at UMAX Technologies. "The AstraCam 1800 is a high-quality digital camera, combining detail-rich image capture with point-and-click ease-of-use. When teamed with a quality color printer, it can generate photo-realistic prints."

The AstraCam 1800 offers optical resolution at 1280 x 960 dpi, with software interpolation to 1600 x 1200 dpi. Output is in JPEG format. Other features include:

4MB SmartMedia memory card
USB connectivity
3-mode automatic flash
Automatic white balance

Compatible with Windows 98, 2000, ME or Mac OS 8.6 or above, the camera is now available for a suggested retail price of $199. For further information, contact UMAX at (510) 651-4000 or visit http://www.umax.com.

Visit the product page of the AstraCam 1800 at UMAX's website.
Categories: Digital Imaging
 
 

Get In The Game--Literally

0 comments Prairie Wolfe - Nov 04, 00 8:13pm (PST) Like Share

Head to select Babbage stores if you want to be in Quake III.

I know that there are some of you out there who have a difficult time distinguishing between the real world and Quake 3 (yes, yes, I'm such a slammer), especially when your best friends are the high-fragging bots. To further blur those lines, Babbage will debut later this month a "Q Clone Generator" that allows you to be your likeness. Whoa. Hold on. So if it looks like me and acts like me and has my name written all over it, is it me?

The "Q Clone Generator" is a 3D scanning booth that produces, through multiple digital cameras set up at different angles, a high-resolution digital scan of a person. The model can then be edited and used as a skin in a variety of 3D first-person shooter games, like Quake 3.

Created by 3Q, the "Q Clone Generator" will show up in San Jose, California, Dallas, and Seattle. Git yer bus passes out.
 
 

Driver 2 Gone Gold

0 comments Prairie Wolfe - Nov 04, 00 7:40pm (PST) Like Share

Expect Reflections Interactive's vehicle action game on shelves November 14th.

Infogrames has announced the completion of Driver 2 for the PlayStation. Developed by Reflections Interactive, Driver 2 features a return of the main character, Tanner. Players will swerve through 4 cities as Tanner, attempting to foil the underworld's diabolic plans. Driver 2 boasts realistic car handling, damage modeling, and real-world physics. New features include foot missions, a dual player mode, and enhanced cut scenes.

Driver 2 will be released on November 14.

Infogrames is reporting that retail orders for the game have exceeded 1.2 million so far. Driver 2 is expected to surpass the success of the original.

Click here for additional screenshots.

 
 

Conquest: Frontier Wars Cancelled

0 comments Prairie Wolfe - Nov 04, 00 7:21pm (PST) Like Share

Microsoft doesn't think the RTS from Digital Anvil is up to snuff with its quality standards. Ouch.

Microsoft has decided to cancel its contract to publish Digital Anvil's "Conquest: Frontier Wars". The anticipated space RTS from the independent Austin, Texas-based PC game developer is a mere few weeks from completion. Microsoft justified the unfortunate decision as a quality-control measure:
"Microsoft has decided not to publish Conquest. Microsoft had high aspirations for the game, and it simply did not progress as they had hoped it would. Keeping in line with their goal of delivering only top-quality games that deliver a fresh and immersive experience, they decided to stop work on Conquest and place the development team on other projects."


Conquest: Frontier Wars is a 3D fleet-based RTS in which players control one of three unique races and colonize as much of the galaxy as possible. Set in the year 2151, the game features a multiple-system universe with up to 16 maps for multiplayer and skirmish battles, a high level of AI that allows for the management of individual units, a system of supply lines, and special weapon attacks.

Microsoft has agreed to allow Digital Anvil to pursue another publisher for Conquest: Frontier Wars. A demo will be available shortly.

Digital Anvil is currently also developing Loose Cannon, Freelancer, and Freelancer Online.

Visit Digital Anvil's website.
 
 

Escape From Monkey Island Gone Gold

0 comments Prairie Wolfe - Oct 28, 00 6:14pm (PST) Like Share

LucasArts' swashbuckling adventure is more fun than a barrel of monkeys (?)

LucasArts has announced the completion of Escape From Monkey Island, the fourth and latest installment in their swashbuckling adventure series.

"Loaded with side-splitting humor and more monkeys than the three previous Monkey games combined," (so the site claims) Escape From Monkey Island features a return of familiar characters from the previous games as well as an enhanced version of the Grim Fandango engine. Expected it to arrive in stores the week of November 6.

Visit the official site here.

Click here for additional screenshots.

 
 

Delta Force: Land Warrior Goes Gold

0 comments Prairie Wolfe - Oct 28, 00 5:57pm (PST) Like Share

NovaLogic's tactical title hits stores November 8th.

NovaLogic has anounced the completion of Delta Force: Land Warrior, their tactical action title also known as Delta Force 3. As the third installment in the series, Delta Force: Land Warrior features a brand new graphics engine that supports 3D accelerator cards.

In Delta Force: Land Warrior, players lead a team of elite soldiers through 30 counterterrorist missions. Each member of the 5 person squad specializes in an area--such as hostage rescues or tactical assaults.

In addition, Delta Force: Land Warrior features 7 multiplayer modes that support up to 50 players per game.

NovaLogic is both publishing and developing Delta Force: Land Warrior. The game is expected to hit shelves on November 8th.

 
 

Sacrifice Gone Gold

0 comments Prairie Wolfe - Oct 28, 00 5:43pm (PST) Like Share

Shiny Entertainment's RTS combines gods and monsters.

Shiny Entertainment has announced the completion of their 3D RTS, Sacrifice.

Billed as having "strong RPG elements", Sacrifice is a 1-4 player game in which players control wizards in a world ruled by the Five Gods: Pyro, God of Fire; Charnel, God of Death; Stratos, God of Air; James, God of Earth, and Persephone, Goddess of Life.

As a wizard, each player commands forces of minions made up of over 50 different kinds of fantastic and magical creatures, ranging from demons to dragons. In their battle against each other, wizards cast over 50 different spells that summon creatures, harness the elements, and create landscape deformations. Each time an enemy is killed, their soul is possessed by the victor for animating his/her minions.

Sacrifice takes place on vast, floating islands. While it is an RTS, Sacrifice emphasizes combat rather than resource management and technology trees. Through combat, players gain additional resources and new creatures and spells.

Sacrifice is published by Interplay.

Visit the official Sacrifice website here.

Click here for additional screenshots.

 
 

Ultra320 SCSI Technology Has Arrived

0 comments Prairie Wolfe - Oct 28, 00 4:00pm (PST) Like Share

Seagate is the first to demonstrate 320 Mbytes/sec data transfers.

PRESS RELEASE

Seagate Technology (NYSE:SEG) today announced that it has demonstrated Ultra320 SCSI disc drive technology that supports the industry proposals for the SPI-4 (Ultra320 SCSI) standard. The demonstration, conducted with a fully-integrated 320 Mbytes/sec SCSI initiator and target controller designed by Seagate, delivered data transfers at 320 Mbytes/sec and was accomplished with the same backplane and cabling used with the existing Ultra160 SCSI standard. Seagate tested numerous industry-leading Ultra160 systems to ensure interoperability between Ultra320 SCSI and Ultra160 SCSI. Ultra320 SCSI technology will enable businesses to move critical data with greater speed and reliability--a must for today’s booming Internet economy.

"This demonstration’s significance is not only in the fact that Seagate has furthered its technology leadership position, but that Seagate was able to show that Ultra320 SCSI can be implemented using existing infrastructures, including backplanes, cables, and terminators," said Tom Porter, executive vice president and chief technical officer, at Seagate Technology. "System integrators will appreciate this easy and cost-saving transition to Ultra320 SCSI, and we expect industry adoption to be rapid as a result."

Seagate Technology’s demonstration included the testing and implementation of the features found within the proposed ANSI standard. These include free-running clock, pre-compensation, training sequences, and cable deskewing. These features will help ensure that Ultra320 SCSI maintains interoperability and signal integrity in addition to increasing performance.

(Read the rest of the press release here.)
 
 

Defective Compaq Batteries

0 comments Prairie Wolfe - Oct 28, 00 3:50pm (PST) Like Share

A misplaced test pin causes a short circuit and a recall of 55,000 notebooks.

Listen up, current and prospective Compaq notebook owners...

The company is recalling its entire batch of Armanda E500 and V300 notebook batteries. Apparently, one lone battery that short circuited and caused smoke and damage to a notebook triggered the entire recall.

The defective batteries were manufactured between June 2 and July 10 of this year by Sony Corp, who reported the problem caused by a misdirected test pin that wasn't soldered to a printed circuit board inside the battery.

Affected customers will be offered a replacement battery within 72 hours. To identify whether a particular model is affected, look at the date code and serial number located on the battery for TCGK 00001-10500, TCGK 20001-21800, TCGK 40001-83100 or TCHK 40001-44700.

Call 1-800-889-7613 or visit Compaq's site for more information.
Categories: Portable Computing
 
 

Mass PS2 Hysteria in North America

0 comments Prairie Wolfe - Oct 28, 00 3:26pm (PST) Like Share

Freudians tsk tsk as men, women and children wail "...all sold out!" in degenerate heaps in front of malls.

PlayStation 2 frothing-at-the-mouth frenzy has hit this side of the Pacific as the long-awaited release date of Sony's newest toy finally arrives.

Sales figures are undoubtedly so good, there are no units to be had. Snapped up gleefully (and smugly) by preorderers, the rest of us are left wrangling over the remainder of Sony's meagre 500,000 initial shipment of the PS2. Although the unit is retailing at US$299.99, Artful Dodgers around the net are auctioning off the second units they managed to filch on eBay and Yahoo! The Register is reporting that the bidding for one unit closed at $14,999(!) Absolutely stark raving mad.

More symptoms of hysteria were reported by PC Data, who listed Madden NFL 2001 and Namco's Tekken Tag Tournament as the fifth and eighth top selling video games (respectively) for the week--BEFORE the launch. During that week, PS2 software ate up 11% of the market.

So much for going out on Halloween.
Categories: Sony Consoles
 
 

73.9 GB of Monstrous Hitachi Hard Drive

0 comments Prairie Wolfe - Oct 28, 00 2:48pm (PST) Like Share

The Japanese giant's newest accomplishment will be available commercially in Q1 2001.

PRESS RELEASE

Leading the market in capacity and performance, Hitachi America, Ltd., a subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd., Tokyo, Japan, (NYSE: HIT), today announced the industry's highest capacity 1-inch high hard drive at 73.9 gigabytes (GB), the DK32DJ-72. This hard drive delivers two times the current storage capacity within a compact footprint, giving manufacturers the leading edge technology to build larger and more robust systems for network storage in less space.

The DK32DJ-72 hard drive will be commercially available in both SCSI and 2 Gb FCAL interfaces for Hitachi's OEM customers in Q1 2001.

The Hitachi DK32DJ-72 hard drive delivers this unprecedented increase in storage capacity within today's standard power consumption level of 11 watts. The DK32DJ-72 hard drive consumes 27 percent less power than today's 1.6-inch high 72 GB drives. Customers are able to easily incorporate the DK32DJ-72 hard drive into existing systems without re-engineering the drive chassis or modifying the power supply.

The DK32DJ-72 is the first Hitachi 3.5-inch drive to integrate technologies such as the super plane glass substrate and the head load/unload mechanism which have been used for several generations in the development of Hitachi's 2.5-inch hard disk drives. These enhancements enable reduced head flying height while improving stability and increasing non-operational shock resistance to 250 Gs. Customers also have the option to increase the drive's buffer to 16 MB - the industry's highest available capacity.

Raising the standard for overall functionality and performance, the DK32DJ-72 hard drive also sets the standard for low acoustics, operating below 4.0 bels. This feature, combined with the efficient power consumption and tremendous storage capacity ensure that this drive exceeds the needs of consumers working in data intensive work environments.

"As an innovator in storage technology, Hitachi is at the forefront of development, providing superior products for its customers," said Hal Malone, director of 3.5-inch HDD sales of Hitachi America, Ltd. "Hitachi continues to leverage its vast technical resources and set the pace for the storage industry with product milestones like the DK32DJ-72."

The DK32DJ-72 hard drive is ideal for applications that require intense data processing and network reliability such as SANs, network attached storage, RAIDs, and other high-end network requirements.

For more information....
Categories: Storage
 
 

Dell and the Decently Priced Inspiron 8000 Notebooks

0 comments Prairie Wolfe - Oct 28, 00 2:18pm (PST) Like Share

The newest series in Dell's Inspiron line features both DVD and CD-RW drives--at the same time (!)

Dell has launched the newest member of their Inspiron Notebook line, the Inspiron 8000. Headlined as the "Home Entertainment Center To Go," the 1.69" thick machine weighs in just under 8 pounds and features both a DVD and a CD-RW drive.

The basic model starts at $1,899 and utilizes a 600MHz Intel Celeron chip, 5GB hard drive, 64MB SDRAM, 8MB of video memory, and a 14.1-inch SXGA+ display.

More luxurious models based on the 600, 700, 800 or 850 MHz PIII chips have up to 32GB of hard drive, 32MB of video memory, and a 15-inch TFT display with 1400 X 1050 resolution.

And of course, there is everything in between.

The Inspiron 8000 Notebooks come in royal purple, golden yellow, Tahoe blue, storm grey and midnight grey panels. Joy.

Check out Dell's page for more information.
Categories: Portable Computing
 
 

JetFighter IV Gone Gold

0 comments Prairie Wolfe - Oct 21, 00 6:30pm (PST) Like Share

Mission Studios' combat flight simulator will ship on Halloween.

Take-Two Interactive's subsidiary, Mission Studios, has announced the completion of JetFighter IV: Fortress America.

The combat flight simulator features over 30 missions in which players defend America from the Russians and the Chinese. Playable jet fighters include the F-14 TomCat, F-22 Raptor, and F/A-18 SuperHornet--equipped with laser guided bombs, missles and the huge Vulcan Cannon.

JetFighter IV's hardware-accelerated graphics have four times the terrain detail of JetFighter III. Players can deathmatch or cooperate in multiplayer mode. Up to 16 pilots can compete on a LAN or over the Internet.

Expect the game to ship on Halloween (October 31st).

Visit the official page here.

 
 

TimeSplitters Gone Gold

0 comments Prairie Wolfe - Oct 21, 00 6:14pm (PST) Like Share

Inspired by John Woo, the action-shooter emphasizes multiplayer gameplay.

Eidos Interactive's daring first-person shooter for the PlayStation 2 has gone gold. Developed by Free Radical Design, TimeSplitters is an ingenious game encompassing three seemingly separate lines of narration set in three different time periods: 1935-1955, 1985-2000, and 2015-2035. The characters in each of these mini plots have always courageously battled their own enemies and struggled against their own strifes, unaware of each other's existence. But their actions have attracted a race of evil aliens, the TimeSplitters, who reside outside the space-time fabric. Now humankind must band together across time and space against the race who has until now controlled our fate.

Inspired by action-guru John Woo, TimeSplitters features 24 themed levels, over 55 unique playable characters, 8 gameplay modes, and four player arena matches.

Expect TimeSplitters to ship for the launch of the PlayStation 2 on October 26th.

Official TimeSplitters site.
 
 

The Devil Inside Gone Gold

0 comments Prairie Wolfe - Oct 21, 00 4:44pm (PST) Like Share

David Cooper is a Los Angeles journalist with a dark secret.

Take-Two Interactive has announced the completion of their 3D action shooter, The Devil Inside. Developed by France's Cryo and penned by the author of the Alone in the Dark series, The Devil Inside reveals the story of David Cooper, a journalist with the secret ability to transform into Deva--his evil female counterpart. In a plot that Jung would drool over, Cooper must investigate several crimes in a haunted house while his struggles with the living dead are broadcast live on a local cable television channel specializing in the esoteric. The host of the show, Jack T. Ripper, orchestrates the horrifying scenes for zealous audience members. Set on Halloween in Los Angeles, The Devil Inside features both first and third-person perspectives, and freeze-frame panning. Cooper must explore more than 100 different areas, and fight over 40 unique enemies with 20 different weapons at his(her) disposal--including a flame thrower, M16 rifle and psychic powers.

The Devil Inside is expected to hit shelves on October 31st (diabolical laughter).

Visit the official website for additional screenshots and information.

 
 

No One Lives Forever Goes Gold

0 comments Prairie Wolfe - Oct 21, 00 4:04pm (PST) Like Share

The first-person 3D shooter's Agent Cate Archer means business.

Fox Interactive has announced the completion of their first-person 3D shooter No One Lives Forever. With over 60 levels set around the globe, this sexy Bond spoof features deadly Agent Cate Archer, a sultry female operative bent on thwarting the world-dominating plans of the H.A.R.M. terrorist group. Set in the promiscuous 60's, Agent Archer will have at her disposal a variety of spy gadgets, weaponry, and vehicles, including a briefcase rocket launcher and a mechanical poodle. No One Lives Forever is developed by Monolith Productions and utilizes the LithTech 2.5 engine. The game is expected to hit shelves by early November.

Visit the official webpage here.

 
 

SegaNet Triumphs, not Tribulations

0 comments Prairie Wolfe - Oct 21, 00 3:22pm (PST) Like Share

SegaNet users hit the 100,000 mark and PC gamers face off against Dreamcast users in Quake III: Arena.

SegaNet, the high-speed online gaming network and ISP service for the Sega Dreamcast, is celebrating its 100,000th user. Launched in September, SegaNet offers aficionados online chat, contests, codes, and 3D multiplayer competition in a batch of newly available games such as NFL 2K1 and Qualke III: Arena. Sega reports that users are spending on average two hours a day logged onto the service via the 56K modem packaged with the Dreamcast. Soon to be released for SegaNet are NBA 2K1, Phantasy Star Online, Starlancer, and Tetris.

SegaNet service is $21.95 per month.

* * * * *


In other Sega news...

Think you're the master of the Quake III: Arena domain? Sure there ain't a quicker clicker and strafer on the server? Well, soon your sovereignty will be challenged by a new rival, the Dreamcast player. Sega has confirmed that PC gamers will soon be able to challenge Dreamcast gamers in head-to-head Quake III: Arena fragging on SegaNet servers. Although the PC's mouse and keyboard have the obvious advantage over the Dreamcast's gamepad, Sega intends to counteract with their own recently introduced mouse and keyboard option. The Dreamcast's Quake III: Arena will feature 14 new arena maps, all of which will be accessable to PC gamers in online play with Dreamcast players. SegaNet utilizes the Dreamcast's 56K modem. A soon-to-be-released Ethernet adapter will allow broadband connection.
 
 

730 MB of Pictures With Grandma

0 comments Prairie Wolfe - Oct 05, 00 6:17pm (PST) Like Share

The tiny iD Photo memory storage disc is a whomping 730 MB! That's 11,000 pictures with the people you luuuuv.

Sanyo Electric has unveiled the iD Photo memory storage disc for digital still cameras. Unlike other popular storage formats, which are based on memory chips, the new iD disc utilizes a 2-inch magneto-optical disc. Developed jointly by Sanyo, Olympus Optical and Hitachi Maxell, the iD disc offers 730 MB of storage space. This allows storage of approximately 11,000 pictures at VGA resolution (640 X 480). As of its December 8th launch in Japan, the iD disc will become the highest-capacity storage disc for digital still cameras. Current formats can accomodate 64 MB, with 128 MB cards soon to be launched.

To accompany the iD disc launch, Sanyo announces their new iD Photo-based digital still camera. The IDS-1000Z, or iD-Shot, is a 1.5 megapixel camera capable of recording video clips at 30 frames per second. In addition to three resolution choices, the iD-Shot will support both an IEEE 1394 port and a USB connector.

The iD-Shot will retail at $1480.

Read the Sanyo Press Release here.

Categories: Digital Imaging
 
 

Blue Laser, Red Laser

0 comments Prairie Wolfe - Oct 05, 00 5:50pm (PST) Like Share

Sony and Pioneer reveal a prototype blue-laser recorder.

According to the endearing folks over at PC World, Sony and Pioneer have unveiled a new state-of-the-art optical disc video recorder that is capable of storing up to 22.5 GB of data onto a standard optical disc. The secret? Apparently, this prototype recorder utilizes a blue laser as opposed to the industry-standard red laser. In the visual spectrum, blue light has a shorter wavelength than red light. Their lengths are measured in nanometers, miniscule units that are only visible to the human eye in multiple quantities. A blue light wavelength is 405 nanometers and a red light wavelength is 650 nanometers. As a result, the blue laser packs 5 times as much data onto an optical disc by storing it closer together.

The blue laser was purchased by Sony and Pioneer from Nichia Chemical Industries, one of two Japanese companies capable of producing the device.
Categories: Optical Storage
 
 
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