GDC 2006: Day One fires up gaming fans, price tags, and physics

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GDC 2006: Day One fires up gaming fans, price tags, and physics

San Jose (CA) – Day One of the Game Developers Conference here saw a very different world come to fruition, as the word that used to mean “no fun” in high school – physics – become the watchword of the day. Two competing approaches to physics in gaming, Ageia’s Physx boards and Nvidia SLI, vied for the spotlight as the “must see” demos.

Basic Sony Network Platform for PS3 confirmed free-of-charge

Phil Harrison, President of Sony Computer Entertainment, didn’t disappoint PlayStation fans, confirming for his audience that PlayStation 3 will launch in November 2006. Along with partner developers, Harrison presented new demos of the new console’s graphics and physics capabilities, to the oohs and ahhs of the crowd. One demo showed dozens of soldiers being blown up and flying realistically across the screen. Read more…

Nvidia fills some holes by releasing 7300, 7600 GPUs, acquiring Hybrid

Nvidia launched two new cards; the 7300 LE and 7600 GS. Priced at $129 to $149, the cards are aimed at cost-conscious consumers, some of whom may not be gamers. Both can accelerate H.264 video encoding. Two 7600 GS cards can be paired up in SLI mode. While some may question why Nvidia would roll out mid-level cards, a recent survey of more than half a million Steam users shows that many game players don’t have the top tier line of cards. Read more…

Dell fires up $10,000 enthusiast PC

If you have $10,000 lying around (we wish we did), Dell has a computer for you. Back in January, Dell showed off a quad SLI system that many thought would never really be produced commercially. Now, Dell officially launched the XPS 600 Renegade, complete with a ten-grand price tag. This limited edition machine features hand-painted flames on the case, a 4.26 GHz Intel Pentium D 965 Extreme Edition CPU, and four GeForce 7900 GTX video cards in quad SLI mode. Read more…

Ageia announces “PhysX” physics processor

Ageia showed off its PhysX physics processing unit (PPU) boards to Tom’s Hardware Guide’s Darren Polkowski. The dedicated board accelerates physics processing, which leads to more realistic games and faster frame rates. BFG and Asus are expected to make cards available in the second quarter with Ageia processors on-board for around $100 to $400 each. Initially the cards will only be available in special systems from Dell, Alienware and Falcon Northwest. Read more…

Serious game designer takes on politicians, corporate America and abortion

Robert Wright, Managing Editor of TwitchGuru, interviewed Ian Bogost, a game designer and professor at Georgia Tech University, about his views on politics and “anti-advertisement” in games. Bogost helped develop “The Howard Dean for Iowa” video game, and also a parody that makes fun of FedEx Kinko’s stores. Games have traditionally shunned political overtones, but Bogost thinks that they can create meaningful conversation. Read more…

TG Daily preview: Game Developers Conference 2006

In our preview article, we outlined the major technologies to keep an eye for at GDC. In addition we predicted that both the Sony PlayStation 3 and Nintendo keynotes would give some newsworthy information. Read more…


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