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PhysX Cards

So, price info has been coming out for the BFG PhysX card. It should cost around $350. I am still not sure if I will be buying one of these or not. In a way, it seems somewhat pointless to buy a physics card. With today’s dual core processors and GPUs, I don’t see any problem with calculating physics on the CPU & GPU. Two processors with 4 threads are enough in my opinion, especially considering most game engines are still single threaded.

Then there is the issue of support. The PhysX cards only work for games that run AGEIA’s physics middleware. How many games will actually use it? Havok is by far the most commonly used physics middleware and if anything its support is growing. It is also worth mentioning that Havok has been talking about physics processing for the GPU for a while now. To me, it sounds like a much better idea then having a separate PPU for physics. I find it hard to suggest buying a physics card that will only work on select games. Can you imagine buying a video card that only worked on games that ran in OpenGL?

Then there is the fact that AGEIA’s physics middleware runs perfectly fine on the CPU. So you don’t even need the card to play games that use it. I would suggest waiting a good long time before buying one. I would like to see how much support this card actually gets, and how much of a performance boost you will actually find on a game running on dual cores.

One thing is for sure though, the demos do look sexy (just not $350 cool) and I am willing to bet those demos can run fine on a dual core processor if it took advantage of it. You can view one of the demos below. If it looks interesting, a slightly different (and a little bit cooler) high resolution version of that video can be found here.



Oblivion

Ok, so I am about 30 hours into the game and decided to write down my thoughts so far. The first word that comes to mind when trying to describe the game is “massive”. The world is so large and there are so many things to do its crazy. The world itself seems alive as you explore it. Everything from wildlife walking around, storm fronts that roll in, and people going about their daily lives creates a game world unlike anything before. The world is so beautifully crafted; it gives you a sense of awe just walking around.

I decided to create a warrior for my first time. I plan to play again as a mage or some other class that uses a lot of magic. The game would play a whole lot different depending on what class you are. My friend Tom has been playing a ton just as a master thief. He has already made a massive amount of money. I am sure he has made lots of progress in the thief’s guild as well. My other friend Jeff is playing as some magic class I believe. He is also getting pretty good with the bow, shooting people from a distance. My warrior prefers to get in close and cut up fools with his one handed glass sword while blocking with his shield. I have a few magic spells to back me up too.

From the start of the game there were many quests I could have done, and I did a good number of them. Right now I probably have more active quests then I have completed quests, and I plan to do every one of them. Each quest is completely unique and interesting. Not one of them has been boring so far, and they have all been worth doing. Getting quests feel natural. Some you get from overhearing dynamic NPC conversations while others (like the main storyline quests) are directly given to you by NPC characters.

The amount of dialog in this game is impressive. Absolutely everything is spoken (except for books) and the voice acting is excellent. The characters look great and have a good amount of facial expression. You can even tell how much someone likes just by paying attention at how they look at you.

So far, the main quest story line is excellent. There is a good set of well developed core characters and the quests are very fun to do. However, I have been spending most of my time doing side quests. I spent a good amount of time fighting in the arena and eventually became champion. It’s definitely worth it and I suggest everyone to give the arena a go. I have also been doing a lot of quests for the fighter’s guild as well as the mage’s guild.

I have also gone into a lot of cool dungeons that I randomly came across while walking around the beautifully rendered and animated forests. All of the dungeons are unique and have some pretty good loot to be found if you go looking for it. I have also closed quite a few oblivion gates and have gotten some pretty cool stones for it.

I think I am getting somewhat close to the end of the main quest, but I plan to be playing this game much longer even after I am done with the story. This is just one of those games that are fun to live in and go exploring. When I finally finish the game (well more like the main quest) I will post a review.

Oblivion is the best Xbox 360 game so far and is reason enough to buy the console. I can easily recommend this game to just about anyone.

If you want some more information on Oblivion, check the video below. It starts off with the E3 trailer of the game followed by a demo of the game with one of the developers narrating. It shows off everything from the forests and dungeons to how the impressive AI makes the world seem alive.

Also, if you have been playing this game, I would love to hear your impressions of it so far.



Huxley

After playing some more Planetside, I am really looking forward to the upcoming MMOFPS Huxley for the Xbox 360. It’s running on Unreal Engine 3 and looks absolutely amazing. Think of it like Planetside but with twitch gameplay like unreal tournament. It’s going to be awesome. First check out the E3 trailer and then check out this demo:



PlanetSide Reserves

So the reserves program is live now. You can now play for free for 12 months while the program runs. Of course you are limited in battle rank, but the game can still be a lot of fun at low levels. Here is how to join up.

The digital download version of PlanetSide is offered as a large single .zip file. It is recommended that WinZIP 8.1 or higher is used in unzipping the PlanetSide files. Please follow the directions below on how to download PlanetSide and begin the installation.

NOTE: Some downloads may be quite large and take significant time to save/download. These instructions are based on the assumption that the WinZIP application is already installed on your computer.

psreserves.zip (Left click this file or follow the below instructions to download the file)

Instructions

  1. Right-click on the file.
  2. Select “Save Target As”, “Save Link to Disk”, or “Save Link Target As” (depending on your browser)
  3. Select the appropriate destination on your hard drive.
  4. Once the file download has completed, right-click on the psreserves.zip icon.
  5. Scroll down the menu to the “WinZip” option. (A new menu will be expanded from the WinZip menu item.)
  6. Select “Extract to folder” and have WinZip extract the zip file to your current folder.

Now that you’ve downloaded:

  1. Double-click the Setup.exe file located in the psreserves folder you just extracted
  2. Click Next on the Welcome page
  3. Click Next on the Anti-Virus warning
  4. Agree to the license, then click Next
  5. Choose the location you want the game to be installed in, then click Next.
  6. When the installer is finished, click Next, and then Finish.
  7. DirectX 9.0c is needed to play PlanetSide. Please go to Microsoft’s DirectX download page, download the package there and install it.
  8. Reboot if prompted.

PlanetSide is now installed on your computer! Now you just need to set up your account.

  1. Double-click the PlanetSide shortcut on the desktop
  2. If you don’t have an existing Station Account, click Create a New Account
  3. Enter the required information, remembering to mark the checkbox acknowledging that you agree to the Terms of Service, then click on the Submit button
  4. Congratulations, you now have a Station Account and your account is now activated.
  5. Close Browser window and Log into the PlanetSide LaunchPad to play.


Bungie Tour

There is a cool (and extremely funny) video tour of Bungie’s new(ish) building. If you watched the Channel 9 interview with Mat Noguchi, then you have already seen some of their building. This new video tour from Bungie is so funny though, it’s worth watching just for the humor. Not to mention you see a lot more (and a lot more interesting stuff) in this tour then what you could see from the interview.

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