Sandisk‘s Sansa TakeTV product aims to make it super simple to view videos from your PC on your television. It comes with a 4 or 8GB flash drive, a dock, a remote control, and a power cable - that’s all you need. Drag and drop files onto the drive from your Windows, Mac, or Linux computer, take the USB stick and dock it, and you are ready to watch. We feature the TakeTV in this episode of Unboxing Live.
Let us know what you think, or what you want us to unbox next!
Read More | SanDisk Sansa TakeTV
Okay, we know that since Apple released the iPhone, you’ve all been wanting to modify it to do your bidding. Over on the OS X side of things, we have iFuntastic, which provides a slick GUI interface for modding your device. New to the Windows side of things is iBrickr. iBrickr is the Windows application that makes it dead simple to modify your iPhone, add and manage custom ringtones, and install third-party applications. We give you a full tutorial of how it all works in this episode.
Read More | iBrickr
With Call of Duty 4, series creator Infinity Ward is determined to change a lot of things. Aside from the obvious temporal leap forward from World War II to the present, the game is set to provide us with a pretty unique multiplayer offering. Imagine a game that offers a variety of character and equipment upgrades as you gain combat experience. Sounds like an RPG, doesn’t it? In fact, what we have here is a unique blend of shooter and RPG elements that gives players the chance to create a custom supersoldier as they improve.
Although Call of Duty 4 is still a shooter like many others, its multiplayer modes are slated to include a bevy of opportunites to earn skill points. These points may be earned via straight kills, assists, or headshots, as well as by more unorthodox means such as by killing a foe through a wall or even taking a dive off a building. These points will lead to promotions through the military ranks and the availability of new weapons, more powerful ammo, or unique tactical advantages. For example, you may be able to automatically drop a live grenade at your feet whenever you’re killed. In order to keep players from getting too powerful, some of the more devastating upgrades will feature drawbacks designed to level the field somewhat. This level of customization looks like an exciting new direction for the genre that should allow each player to build a character suited to his or her own style. Combined with a variety of new maps and gameplay modes, Call of Duty 4 could be a winner with tons of variety. We can expect a playable beta version later this month, and the game itself is scheduled for a November release. Keep an eye out for it!
Read More | Gamespot
Finally, Bungie’s Marathon. The game that was arguably better than Doom back in the day, but got little no attention because it was released only on Macs. (That’s what they get.) Marathon: Durandal, however, is actually the sequel to the original Marathon which saw a release on both Windows and Mac. The XBLA port was developed by Freeverse, and includes a variety of features that will make it worth its 800 Microsoft Point price tag – HD graphics, Xbox Live play, and co-op.
Spyglass Board Games has been heavily anticipated by many gamers, as for 400 Microsoft Points you get a sweet package of Chess, Checkers, Mancala and Reversi, all with Xbox Live Vision Camera support.
Both games will be available this Wednesday on Xbox Live Arcade.
Legendary Pictures’ website has listed Diablo as a title under their “In Development” section. The same guys who brought you 300 and are also working on a big-screen adaptation of World of Warcraft are apparently set to send you to Hell.
We’re praying that this isn’t going to be based directly upon either of the Diablo games, which – when you really look at what they boil down to – essentially offer up the gameplay equivalent of Windows. Now don’t get me wrong – I spent thousands of hours playing Diablo II, taking part in more Baal runs than I wish to recall. But it’s just not the sort of thing that you make a movie out of.
But at least there’s more promise for a real plot here than there is in the WoW movie – there’s quite a lot of Diablo backstory, and a number of novels out there based upon the games (which, sadly, one of which I have actually read. While it hasn’t been revealed, WoW is an open-world game, whereas Diablo follows a tight narrative. Regardless, hopefully these monster series of Blizzard’s are done justice. Just keep Uwe Boll far away, and they’ve got a shot.
In this episode of Unboxing Live, we break out one of the limited run Windows Vista Starter Kits. These are the kits Microsoft gave out at CES 2007, as well as many Windows Vista launch events. We show off everything that’s inside the box (mouse pads, video games, USB flash drives), and then give it away!
Let us know what you think, or what you want us to unbox next!
Typically when I download an Xbox Live Arcade game, I know right away whether or not it’s something that I’ll play for three minutes and delete, or if it’s something that’ll sit on my hard drive awaiting me to plunk down however many Microsoft Points it costs to own it. Soltrio Solitaire is one of those games I expected to delete right away. I mean, it’s just solitaire. Albeit, 18 different kinds of solitaire, but that doesn’t change the fact that this is something I’ve played enough of as I waste time on my computer. So I played a game of regular old Solitaire (which is apparently called Klondike – who knew?) and enjoyed it, and decided to try another type. Then I noticed that I was playing over and over and over. I quickly snatched up the full version so that I could attempt to climb the leaderboards and try out some of the game’s other features.
After a ridiculous number of games played (including time spent willingly playing this over the Halo 3 beta), I can safely say that if you’re a fan of card games, you should pick up Soltrio. Casual fans with short attention spans or graphic whores need look elsewhere – this is clearly aimed and successfully works as the type of game that sucks in anyone that can appreciate the depth of a card game.
We went out to Parallels headquarters right outside Seattle to talk to Ben Rudolph, and to get a first-hand look at Parallels 3.0. Ben walks us through all of the new features of the latest release of the vastly popular OS X virtualization software, including 3D GPU support, SmartSelect, and Snapshots. If you have been waiting for something truly excellent to enhance your computing experience, this may very well be it.
Alex St. John, CEO of online game publisher Wild Tangent, recently talked with Dean Takahashi at Mercury News about casual gaming, Vista, and a little about the Wii, but most of the interview seems to focus on a withering criticism of Vista. St. John has long made his feelings known about the things he feels are broken in the gaming support in Vista, but here he seems to go into a little more depth. Some of the stuff isn’t that shocking – it’s fairly well known that there is generally a performance hit when gaming in Vista. Gamers don’t really get any benefits from DirectX 10 right now without content to support it, and of course St. John goes after the standard Microsoft criticisms of code bloat and memory footprint.
Beyond that, St. John’s big criticism is that the security mechanisms and parental controls, in his opinion, are horribly poorly thought out and implemented. St. John claims that Wild Tangent had to do tons of work to make sure that their online platform worked correctly in Vista, and very few of the competing online providers did the same, resulting in a broken experience for most casual gamers.
Interestingly, Microsoft sent a response to the interview, but the email from Microsoft reads more like a general “feel good” press release about how they worked with developers and families to come up with the solution in Vista, while countering none of the issues that St. John raised. St. John is saying that the implementation is broken, and Microsoft’s response basically seems to be “we talked to a lot of people and tried really, really hard” which in itself seems to be an indictment of Microsoft’s development process.
Read More | Mercury News
So, Halo 2 for Windows Vista is launching on May 8, 2007, and we have been able to spend some time reviewing the title. Since everyone is familiar with Halo 2, we felt a full review wasn’t in order. Instead, we wanted to clue you in on the ten best improvements we experienced while reviewing the game. These ten features raise the bar for Halo as a whole, and may be a foreshadowing of things to come in Halo 3:
Achievements: If you are looking for something fun that adds another level of fun and challenge to the Halo 2 world, this is it. We have said it before, and we will say it again - Microsoft hit a gold mine with the notion of achievements. No sooner than when we finished a multiplayer deathmatch did we rack up a total of three achievements. Meleeing five people from behind (and thusly earning the Ninja achievement) was nice, but Meleeing someone who already had the Ninja achievement (and thus earning the Flaming Ninja achievement) was even better. We have the achievement to prove it. For those wondering, yes, the achievements you earn in Halo 2 for Vista (or any other Games for Windows game) is counted towards your Xbox Gamerscore.