It's been a while since I last had opportunity to take on a Windows Server-based NAS server, such as the Acer Aspire EasyStore or HP's MediaSmart series. And now when Microsoft fanboys are starting to worry that the company has abandoned the NAS server market, LaCie has announced its first network storage server that's based on an NAS-specific operating system (OS) from the software giant, the 5big Storage Server.
For all the accomplishments of the video game industry, there are still barriers that interactive entertainment has yet to break. Many games look fantastic and play well, but with few if any exceptions, there remains a stubborn wall between the player/observer and the characters in the game world (sometimes linked to the evolving "Are games art?" debate). There are many symptoms of this phenomenon, from stiff animation to stilted dialogue to unconvincing voiceover work, and the situation now is only marginally better than it was when I started writing about games more than a decade ago (many players can name a handful of choice performances, but these are the rare exception, rather than the rule).
Coming closest, in recent memory at least, to bridging that gap (which is much deeper than the typical explanation of an "uncanny valley" between near-photographic images and reality) is L.A. Noire, a gritty detective story set in 1940s Los Angeles. The combination of careful writing (much rarer in interactive entertainment than it should be), a cast of competent professional actors, and a few bits of new technology, puts the game leaps and bounds past the typical action/adventure experience, where it usually feels like most in-game conversations exist only to push the kind of dull exposition that would make David Mamet's head spin.
I've criticized some of my otherwise favorite games for this very problem, saying of Dragon Age, for example, that the game was buried under uptight, wooden characterizations that come off like the dated, stagy delivery of an old fantasy film. Arguably among recent games the inventive detective thriller Heavy Rain probably came closest to surmounting these obstacles--or at least bravely attempting to.
So, why is effective storytelling, as seen in television programs such as "Mad Men" or "The Wire", such a difficult task for video games, where paradoxically nearly any setting, character, or event imaginable is just a few keyboard strokes away for an able team of programmers and artists? … Read more
Tune in to today's episode of preGame for an extended demo of the 1940s thrilling crime drama L.A. Noire. We'll play nearly an entire case to give you an idea of what all three types of gameplay include, and how to make your way through investigations, interrogations, and more.
Need more coverage of Rockstar Games' blockbuster? Make sure to read our review on Crave.
Want to be a part of our live taping? Make sure you head to http://cnet.com/live/pregame every Tuesday at 4 p.m. EDT.
Got an idea for preGame? E-mail us! … Read more
What a week for video game news! As PSN outages continue to plague PlayStation 3s, Sony has finally declared the incident a "compromise of personal information" and a "malicious act." Does this mean our credit card info has been tossed into the Internet void? Nevermind that, we just want to be able to play Mortal Kombat online again.
Last night's Tribeca Film Festival screening of L.A. Noire marked the first time a video game was spotlighted at the big event. Jeff was there for the screening and Q&A that preceded; plus he'll give us some thoughts on an entire case he played a few weeks ago.
Since Nintendo has confirmed that the successor to the Wii will debut at E3 2011 and go on sale next year, we'll play an interesting voicemail that speculates on how players will interact with the new console.… Read more
We have Mark Milian as a guest on today's episode. He's a tech reporter for CNN.com, which means he'll spend half of the show fielding questions from Wilson about Anderson Cooper. We also chat about the future of micro-blogging, and, of course, we have to grill him about his "Hottie of the Week" achievement last year.The 404 Digest for Episode 798 Mark Milian wins 081978's 'Hottie of the Week.' UberMedia said to be planning a social network to compete with Twitter. Final Cut Pro X unveiled. Add Mark on Twitter. Episode 798 Subscribe in iTunes (audio) | Subscribe in iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS Video… Read more
Despite all the warnings about using a cell phone behind the wheel, many drivers, especially younger ones, still seem to be clueless about the danger, or willing to risk it anyway.
A majority of 63 percent of people under 30 admitted to using a cell phone while driving in the past 30 days, according to the results of a poll released yesterday by Consumer Reports as part of a story for its April issue. Further, 30 percent of those also said they texted behind the wheel during the same period.
Those numbers compare with 41 percent of those over 30 … Read more
Just how many subscribers have ditched AT&T since the carrier lost its exclusive hold on the iPhone to Verizon?
AT&T is mum on specific numbers, but a top executive has offered this hazy assessment: the company isn't surprised by the level of defections.
Speaking yesterday at a Morgan Stanley technology conference in San Francisco, Ralph de la Vega, head of AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets, said his company hasn't seen any surprises in customer defections and that "everything is pretty much within our expectations," according to a Webcast of his … Read more
Intel announced a completely new I/O peripheral protocol today called Thunderbolt, which had previously gone by the code name Light Peak. In a nutshell, Thunderbolt is a superfast peripheral standard with the speed of 10Gbps (1.25GBps) and almost no overhead. This means devices can be connected at a real-word throughput speed of around 1.25GBps. Thunderbolt is compatible with DisplayPort 1.1 and later.
Currently, the technology is available only in Apple's new MacBook Pro (which comes with one Thunderbolt port) and can be used only with DisplayPort devices, such as Apple's Cinema display. But that will change soon.
Today, LaCie announced an external hard drive, the LaCie Little Big Disk, that will be one of the first storage devices to support Thunderbolt technology. A prototype of the drive was used at the Intel demo today. The Little Big Disk has two solid-state drives inside.
The drive comes with two Thunderbolt ports and can be used to daisy-chain with other Thunderbolt-enabled devices, such as a display or additional storage device.… Read more
A serious complication has just emerged for Google's plan for high-quality, patent-free, open-source video on the Web--but Google also revealed plans today to try to counteract it.
MPEG LA, an organization that licenses video-related patents related to a variety of standards, has formally requested for patent owners to inform them of patents they believe Google's VP8 technology uses.
In "offer[ing] to facilitate development of a joint license to provide coverage under essential patents," MPEG LA is taking a major step toward actually offering such a license.
That might reassure some players who are interested in … Read more
Choosing strategies based on what you believe to be long-term benefits is generally a good idea when running a business, but if you manage to alienate the world in the process, the long term may become irrelevant.
It was hard to miss the response that accompanied Google's announcement earlier this week that it no longer planned to support the H.264 codec for the HTML5 video tag in its Chrome browser in order to focus on the WebM technology. Depending on what you read, Google is either evil, brilliant, hypocritical, cunning, principled, or confused in dropping support for H.264, … Read more