Yeah I know, it’s an old new, but considering that we are talking about a text adventure dating back to 28 years ago a few months more or less aren’t of so much difference. Moreover Zork isn’t only ready to return on the web with a permanent on-line multiplayer adventure but also on ScummVM, adventurers’ preferred virtual machine that recently grew rich with part of the videogaming universe ascribable to the mythologic adventure created in the mists of time by four MIT hackers.
Maybe the bolt from the blue of the Chrome launch didn’t brought an awful market share figure to the newcomer, but the convulsions and the undoubted evolutive acceleration set off by the release of the made-in-Google browser are reverberating with increasing strength on the new war to control the access port to the worldwide network. Currently numbers are still on Mozilla’s and its red panda side, but in future things will become more complicated when Google will have played one of its best cards to turn Chrome from an oddity for few into a conquering force for the mainstream market.
If there is something on which one can rely on so that the movie adaptation of Prince of Persia videogame saga won’t end up being an indecorous shame is the direct involvement of game designer, screenwriter, director and story-teller Jordan Mechner. Who like me has grown up with the myth of platform/adventure games, and with the PoP one in particular, certainly thinks with a mixture of terror and hope about May 28, 2010, the release date of the film that could be the first to act as a worthy continuation of a genuine videogaming archetype on the big screen.
Replying to the speculations of analyst Mike Hickey, which forecasted the marketing of a cheaper PlayStation 3 edition without the costly embedded Blu-ray drive, Sony was resolute in specifying that the simple idea would be absurd and would kill “the backbone” of the console because games are built just upon the BD format. “Blu-ray will always be part of PS3“, Sony says, but the market environment and the slow, too much slow growth of high definition disks sales allow to easily predict the fact that within the years to come such model will be only valid for the videogames of the Japanese console and very little more.
Conficker/Downup/Downadup/Kido malware, Symantec writes in the first edition of The Downadup Codex, “is, to date, one of the most complex worms in the history of malicious code“. At first spread through a flaw within the Windows Server service, the threat has grown immensely because of a combination of elements that facilitated its diffusion and drove the IT industry to unite in the attempt to block its further proliferation.
Like the legendary bird rises again from its ashes, the most important site of abandonware recently sunk into the oblivion of disconnection is preparing to return to life thanks to the joined efforts of enthusiasts and experts and with consent of its original caretaker, which announces the start of the revival project and apologizes for having been absent so much time to let such a precious resource for classic videogaming die from starvation.
If it’s true that the publishers’ preferred period to launch videogame blockbusters is the month of December, the last remnants of this winter are no less for triple-A releases and delivery of interesting stuff taken from games in development. Be it viral videos, screenshots, trailers or making-of, the nice thing of a videogaming industry that surpassed Hollywood in size is that there is always something to talk about and the hype machine works at full blast without any halt.
There is some uncertainty on which will be the one, between Sony Optiarc and Lite-On, to market the first drive of such kind, but the fact is that DVD burners will once again exceed the maximum write speed limit going from 22x to 24x. Both companies will release the new optical drives between March and May, and though in practice the speed difference isn’t amazing at all, the new breakthrough shows that firms continue to invest in a technology with a surprisingly long life.
“PS2 emulation is a complex task“, as it can be read on the about page of PCSX2, but it isn’t an impossible task as demonstrated by the advancements achieved during time by the only software currently able to replicate the most successful Sony console (a hit enduring even today) with an accuracy level that is enough to run a good number of commercial games. PCSX2 emulates the PS2 on PC, and the last release of the emulator delivered in these days, version 0.9.6, once again confirms that a group of talented and passionate coders is generally much more capable of achieving such kind of objectives than a multinational investing billions of euros and obtaining in return results embarrassing at least.
The classics, by definition, never go out of fashion, let alone if they are the graphic adventures of past decades. And the preferred tool of true adventurers is ScummVM, a software that works as an interpreter between data files of such adventures and modern operating systems. After 6 months since the release of version 0.12.0, in these days developers have delivered a new main release of the virtual machine, which includes novelties both for the interface and supported games.
Maybe the arcade version will not be officially sold outside Japan, as Capcom confirmed some time ago, but certainly Street Fighter IV in the Xbox 360 and PS3 editions is scoring more than gratifying results in the first weeks of sales. Released between the 12th and 20th of February on the aforementioned home consoles, the new incarnation of the PvP beat’em up par excellence has sold better than expected by the Japanese software house, and hopes are high for the next PC version too for which there finally is the release time.
Alerted by the inexorable advancing of the next digital dark age, the European academy started a preservation plan for digital contents and artefacts with great ambitions. The KEEP (Keeping Emulation Environments Portable) project considers with particular care videogames and intends to create what has been defined the first “general purpose” emulator, capable of providing access to obsolete media and formats for nowadays and future generations.