StarCraft II.

StarCraft II is the ultimate competitive real-time strategy game, and the sequel to the hit original, StarCraft. The game will include three completely distinct and balanced races, the Protoss, Terran, and Zerg, which have been overhauled and re-imagined with a number of new units for each, as well as new tricks for some of the classic units that are returning.

At this point, it’s too early to provide an initial estimate on the release date. As with all Blizzard games, we will take as much time as needed to ensure the game is as fun, balanced, and polished as possible.

I’ll stop now and let you check out the site, it’s amazing

www.starcraft2.com

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GeForce 9600 GT 512MB.

The GeForce 9600 GT 512MB comes with 64 stream processors, double the number found in the GeForce 8600 GTS but not quite as many as in the original GeForce 8800 GTS 320MB. To make up for the shortfall in stream processors, Nvidia gave the GeForce 9600 GT quicker clock speeds, pairing the 650MHz core clock with a speedy 1.62GHz shader clock. The 512MB of GDDR3 memory has an effective speed of 1.8GHz. Nvidia states that the card uses 95W of power and recommends a 400W power supply for the standard GeForce 9600 GT 512MB.

  GeForce 9600 GT GeForce 8800 GTS 320MB GeForce 8600 GTS
Price $169-$189 $220 $135
DirectX DirectX 10, SM4 DirectX 10, SM4 DirectX 10, SM4
Core Speed 650MHz 500MHz 675MHz
Stream Processors 64 96 32
Shader Speed 1.62GHz 1.2GHz 1.45GHz
Memory 512MB 320MB 256MB
Memory Speed 900MHz (1.8GHz GDDR3) 800MHz (1.6GHz GDDR3) 1GHz (2GHz GDDR3)
Memory Interface 256-bit 320-bit 128-bit

A worker at Nvidia said that the performance of the 9600 Gt is almost double than the previous 8600 Gt, and after some benchmarks have been done he seems to be right.

The GeForce 9600 GT 512MB performs spectacularly for a card in the mainstream category. It thoroughly trounced prior-generation parts like the GeForce 8600 GTS and Radeon HD 2600 XT, outperformed the more expensive Radeon HD 3870 in Crysis and Call of Duty 4, and waltzed past the comparably priced Radeon HD 3850 in all of our tests. The GeForce 9600 GT didn’t beat the GeForce 8800 GT 512MB card or XFX GeForce 8800 GTS 320MB XXX Edition, which is considerably more expensive and overclocked.

Crysis runs quite well at medium detail levels. NVIDIA cards have historically held an advantage in Crysis, and the 9600GT proves true to this record. All of the cards in question maintain playable framerates, though the 8600GTS is still choppy at times. Relative performance rankings remain identical when we shift to high quality testing, but the performance hit is quite significant. Of the various cards we tested, only the 8800GT and 9600GT maintain semi-playable framerates. As for the 8600 GTS, again, there’s not much to say when a card’s performance could almost be charted in seconds-per-frame instead of frames-per-second.

The 9600 GT returned a markedly higher minimum framerate than the 8800 GT, even when repeatedly tested. I suspect this may be the result of further driver optimizations.

The competition in this price range is fierce, as ATI just announced price cuts for both of their competing GPUs. Choosing a video card got a little harder, as it depends on how the price war plays out. Regardless of card, you win. Lower prices and higher performance doesn’t exactly hurt the consumer.

Source: http://www.gamespot.com

Gears of War 2.

Epic Games are working hard on this next big hit: Gears of war 2. It should be out in November this year and it was anounced only on Xbox 360.
No PC version was announced but I am hoping for some change in this direction.
I can’t imagine the impact that this game will have on the market after Gears of War was sold in 4.5 million copies worldwide.
The trailer looks awesome.

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Counter-Strike Online.

Counter-Strike Online is a remake of Counter-Strike: Condition Zero targeted towards Asia’s gaming market. It is being developed by Nexon Corporation with oversight from license-holder Valve Corporation. Unlike most of Valve’s games, Counter-Strike Online will not require Steam to play.

Weapons

There are 9 new weapons available in Counter-Strike Online, in addition to the “classic” weapons featured in the original Counter-Strike: Condition Zero. Additional weapons include shotguns, new submachine guns and assault rifles.

Some of the new rifles also feature a “barrel change” system. When the player selects the other configuration of the weapon, the player changes the barrel and turn the weapon between a semi-automatic marksman rifle and the normal assault rifle.

Maps

There are several new maps available in Counter-Strike Online.

  • Tunnel – The first official death match map in Counter-Strike, The map is small with many structural obstacles put in place.
Screenshot of the CS_Camouflage map

Screenshot of the CS_Camouflage map

  • Camouflage – A small hostage rescue map, set in a two story building.
  • Camouflage 2 – A rebalanced version of Camouflage.
  • REX – A Demolition map set in a laboratory with both bomb sites located on the second floor.
  • Player Models

  • There are 10 new player models available in Counter-Strike Online, 5 for each team.
  • Terrorists
  • Phoenix Connexion
  • Elite Crew
  • Arctic Avengers
  • Guerilla Warfare
  • Midwest Militia
  • Red Beret Condittiere
  • Asia Red Army
  • National Liberation Campaign
  • Vigilante Corps

Counter-Terrorists

  • SEAL Team 6
  • GSG-9
  • SAS
  • GIGN
  • SPETSNAZ
  • South Korean 707
  • Taiwanese Police special forces(SOZO)
  • Chinese Devil Squad(Magui)
  • Japanese SAT

1.2 patch for Crysis on its way.

Fixed potential server exploit that could cause servers to crash.
Added mouse wheel scrolling support for server browser.
Fixed an issue where in unarmed mode, the character’s arms will suddenly reappear and disappear when picking up and dropping an object.
Added new effects for vehicle shattering after being frozen.
C4 will now stick to doors correctly.
Added new grenade indicator icon.
Adjusted explosion radius of grenade launcher to be more efficient vs. players.
Added check for players riding on vehicles while not seated to prevent them being killed.
Tweaked damage for players hit by vehicles at lower speeds.
Adjusted wall collision damage for civilian car.
Improved AI machinegun handling (both stationary and mounted machineguns on vehicles).

Grand teft auto 4 – April 29 2008.

LATEST ONLINE PREVIEWS

Recently, websites all across the gaming universe were treated to a sneak-preview of Grand Theft Auto IV.  Here is what some of the most renowned among them had to say:

“Grand Theft Auto IV is looking fantastic at this point…We, for one, can’t wait for its release.” – IGN

“It’s time to start getting excited for GTA IV because it’s going to be one of the biggest games in 2008.” – Gamepro.com

“Rockstar’s defining moment.” – 1up

“As far as the visuals go, it should go without saying that the game is looking pretty slick on the Xbox 360 with the environments continuing to gain a sexy layer of polish.” – GameSpot

“What we’ve been shown so far not only meets our expectations for a next-gen GTA, but completely surpassed them.” – GameTrailersThe official website is online http://www.rockstargames.com/IV/

Gaming mouse.

Although consoles may have brought the first-person shooter genre into the living room (and are now working on doing the same thing to real-time strategy games), that doesn’t mean the PC is in any danger of running out of excellent fast-paced games to play. And while you may be able to hook up your Xbox 360 controller to your PC and use it to play those games, most PC gamers will want to find a trusty mouse and keyboard combo for the most precise gaming experience.

Luckily, there are plenty of mice on the market that are dedicated to gaming. The past few months have seen a number of strong gaming mice released. With features like macro recording, interchangeable mouse feet, and the ever-important glowing LEDs, these mice all have a boatload of features that will hopefully improve your gaming experience. Unfortunately, most of these mice are also going to be fairly expensive, so GameSpot’s editors took the time to get our hands on four of the latest and greatest gaming mice and give each of them a whirl.

We’re not going to give these mice a rating; instead, this roundup is intended to give you an overview of the different features and ergonomics of each mouse. Just keep in mind that it’s worth tracking down a mouse to try for yourself before plunking down a Benjamin on it; most big-box electronic stores should have these mice in stock and will hopefully have display models out so that you can go hands-on with them yourself.

Terminology and Features

 

Every mouse will have certain technologies in common with the others, which makes it relatively easy to compare them based on their specifications. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to tell what all the terminology on a mouse’s specifications sheet means, so feel free to read this section if you’re clueless about what dpi is or what an inches-per-second rating means. We’ll also describe some of the common features that you may want or need in a gaming mouse.

Dots Per Inch (DPI): This term originated in the world of printers. Some companies use the term “counts per inch” instead, which is probably more accurate, but the two terms are interchangeable when it comes to mice. What it refers to is the fact that modern optical or laser mice use sensors that take an incredibly large number of pictures of the mousing surface underneath the mouse as it’s moved; the comparisons between these pictures will let the mouse know in which direction it’s moving and how quickly. A higher dpi setting will enable greater precision in your mouse and will also let you move the mouse cursor more quickly without moving the actual mouse a large distance.

If a mouse is rated at 400dpi, for instance, moving it one inch will cause the sensor to register 400 images, which will in turn move the mouse cursor 400 pixels across your screen. Turning that same mouse up to 4,000dpi will increase the number of images and in turn move the mouse 4,000 pixels across the screen.

Although early optical mice featured maximum settings of around 400 or 800 dots per inch, most current gaming mice will feature dpi settings of 3,200 or more. While higher is usually better, you’re not going to want to set your default dpi too high; anything above 2,000 or so will make your cursor move very quickly based on small inputs, which makes precision control rather difficult. (Many professional Counter-Strike gamers will use dpi settings of between 400 and 800 to ensure maximum precision with ranged weapons, for instance.)

All of the gaming mice in this roundup feature on-the-fly dpi switching, allowing you to flip a switch on the mouse to alternate between various dpi settings. For FPS games, you usually want to have a high dpi setting for using assault rifles or submachine guns, since they’re used at close range and you’ll need to track fast-moving targets. If you use sniper rifles, though, your targets are going to be farther away and probably moving less quickly across your screen; a low dpi setting will let you increase your precision and move the mouse less while you line up your shot.

Inches Per Second (IPS): Mice with optical or laser sensors will have a maximum speed at which they can be moved before their sensors lose their ability to track the movement. If you exceed the inches-per-second rating, your mouse cursor will begin to exhibit jerky movement or will simply skip across the screen. A high inches-per-second setting is especially important if you like to play with a low mouse sensitivity, because you’ll usually be moving your mouse very rapidly. Higher is better, but none of these mice should exhibit any problems based on their inches per second, except in cases where you’re moving the mouse extremely fast. Also keep in mind that your inches-per-second rating will usually depend on what kind of surface you mouse on.

Polling: Polling refers to the interaction between your computer’s operating system and the mouse. For the mouse’s movements to be converted into movement on your computer screen, the operating system needs to know that the mouse is moving. It does this by polling the mouse to see if any input is incoming. Most mice will send data back to the operating system at 500 hertz, or 500 times per second, but gaming mice will often have their polling rates set even higher, to 1,000 hertz. Higher is better, but you won’t always notice a huge difference between a 500 hertz mouse and one that runs at 1,000 hertz.

Onboard Profile Memory: Many gaming mice will have onboard memory. This is important if you tend to use a mouse on multiple computers, such as if you’re heading to a LAN party. Onboard memory will let you save your favorite settings, such as dpi and button bindings, on the mouse itself, allowing you to plug the mouse into a new computer and use those settings without having to reinstall the mouse software. If you use your mouse at a single computer, however, this feature won’t be very important to you, unless multiple people use the same mouse for gaming.

Weights: Some mice offer a weight system, where you can load various weights into a tray that slides into the mouse. This lets you customize the way the mouse feels when you move it around on your mousing surface. Some gamers no doubt find this to be a handy way to change the way a mouse feels if it’s uncomfortably light out of the box, but in most cases you should be able to adjust your mousing habits to the feel of a mouse whether or not it incorporates a weighting system. This may be an important feature if multiple people will be gaming on the same system and have different mousing preferences, however.

Source: http://www.gamespot.com – check this site for any gaming regarded questions