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Friday, March 22, 2002

ATI Ships the Radeon 8500
8:46 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

ATI's Stan Ossias gave IMG a call this morning to let us know that the Radeon 8500 Mac Edition has officially begun shipping. The Radeon 8500 retail graphics board for the Mac features a core clock speed of 250 MHz and a memory clock speed of 275 MHz as well as 64 MB of DDR memory:

We started shipping a couple of day ago but we wanted to hold off on the official announcement until they actually got into stores. We are also going to be releasing updated drivers early next week that will support full screen anti-aliasing and offers improved OpenGL support.
The Radeon 85000 Mac Edition includes the following features:

  • TRUFORM, ATI's innovative rendering technology that helps deliver smooth and natural 3D images in a performance-efficient manner;

  • SMOOTHVISION, ATI's FSAA (Full Scene Anti-Aliasing) technology, designed to minimize jagged edges and smooth images;

  • SMARTSHADER, ATI's advanced programmable pixel and vertex shader technology is also enabled in the GPU's hardware, allowing for more complex and realistic texture and lighting effects without sacrificing performance;

  • HYPER Z II, a next-generation memory bandwidth saving technology that boosts rendering performance by 20 percent;

  • CHARISMA ENGINE II, which supports transform, clipping and lighting (T & L) at 62.5 million triangles/second peak processing capability;

  • PIXEL TAPESTRY II, the RADEON 8500's 3D rendering engine, which uses four rendering pipelines to process an incredible 2 gigatexels per second for incredibly high fill rates in 32-bit color at high resolutions; and

  • VIDEO IMMERSION II, a second-generation technology that enables integration of industry-leading digital video features, including DVD (digital versatile disc) video playback and advanced de-interlacing algorithms for unprecedented video quality.

The AGP card, which is compatible with both Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X, is an ideal replacement for older, factory-installed graphics cards in Power Mac computers. It also features multiple display capability, supporting a variety of combinations of output through DVI-I, VGA, and TV-out connectors.

Be on the lookout for our review of the ATI Radeon 8500 Mac Edition soon. In the meantime, be sure to check out our preview.

IMG Preview: Radeon 8500 AGP
Radeon 8500 AGP

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In Other News: GDC, Oz, Knight Rider, & More
12:03 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

In other news are shorter stories where anything goes. It includes game updates, not-so-game related stuff, and more. Help us out by sending us your news tips!

Gaming News

GeForce4 Titantium delayed in BTO — A story on MacNN says that Apple is having problems building Power Macs with GeForce4 Titanium cards. "The Apple Store is offering users the option to receive a Power Mac G4 with a GeForce4 MX graphics card now and receive a nVidia GeForce4 Titanium when it becomes available at a later date (allowing users to keep the GeForce4 MX at no extra cost)."

Initial Game Developers Conference Photos — Some photos from GDC at Macsonly.com.

Bungie's Matt Soell on Phoenix — "We won't be issuing any press releases regarding Phoenix (whatever its real name turns out to be) for a while yet, but I did want to confirm that the story on Gamer's Logik is totally untrue, fake, bogus, bereft of fact, etc. Phoenix has nothing to do with mechs and definitely nothing to do with the MechWarrior franchise. Phoenix is still a fantasy game, and while I suppose one could make the case that mechs qualify as 'fantastic' they're not 'fantasy' in the genre-specific sense, and they definitely don't appear in Phoenix."

American McGee Talks Oz — "Oz, as he says, will be a dark and twisted tale of the Wizard of Oz, much like he did with Alice in Wonderland. After Alice he formed a new company, Carbon 6. In about 2 months time they will be 70-80% done with the design and programming on the project will begin. Oh, and PETER GABREIL will be providing the music to the game. Due to Alice's lack of gameplay, American will put more attention to gameplay but will not sacrifice the amazing art style seen in Alice."

Neverwinter Nights Interview — Can't get enough of Neverwinter Nights? Here's another interview with BioWare's joint-CEO Greg Zeschuk.

The Making of Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds — Wanna see how a Star Wars game is made? There are five movies in QuickTime format that give you a glimpse. Battlegrounds will be published by Aspyr Media soon.

Oldschool MacGamer launches — "Today MacGamer is proud to launch a new column, entitled Oldschool MacGamer. Every Friday from here on in we'll get a look at a more 'classic' Mac game which might not be so readily available now but, in its day, was the bomb diggity."

Links Golf Community's April Fool's Open — The Links Golf Community announce their newest tournament: March 25 through April 1, at the Bay Hill Club and Lodge (VGA Tour), 72 par, three rounds, stroke. Champ and Pro Division openings are available.

Game Updates

SkinShrinker 1.0
WarBirds III 032002
Only Mortal 1.0.6
NetHack 3.4

Anything Goes

Lab-grown fish chunks could feed space travelers — "Cooking up ways to feed explorers on long trips in space, scientists have coaxed chunks of fish meat to grow in the laboratory."

Scientists test first human cyborg — "A British university professor has been fitted with cyborg technology enabling his nervous system to be linked to a computer."

A Mac Box Worth Weight in Gold — "A lot of seemingly worthless items are auctioned on eBay every day. But perhaps taking the phenomenon to new heights, an empty cardboard box has just been auctioned for more than $500. The box dates from 1984 and contained one of the first Macintosh computers. The box was sold without the computer."

"Knight Rider": The Movie! — "Revolution Studios is gearing up to revive Knight Rider—NBC's cult hit 1980's action series featuring Hasselhoff as the titular crimefighter aided by his trusty talking Trans Am K.I.T.T.—for a potential big-screen franchise."

Dog Gets Donor's Pacemaker — "Before 80-year-old Dorothea Edwards died last month, she instructed her family to give her pacemaker to a patient who needed it. The recipient is doing fine. She's back on her feet — all four of them."

Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones early cut review — Contains lots of spoilers but the bottom line: it doesn't suck.

Picture of the Day

Ok, well, since it's Friday I thought we'd have some fun. In the upper right hand corner is a picture of my PowerBook G4 and if you look closely there's something there. The first person who posts in the Comments what it is wins a free copy of Escape from Monkey Island. I'm looking for two words.

The Final Word

Looks like our DNS issues with Macgamefiles.com have finally been resolved. I had to talk to a lady in the sales department at Dotster to finally get them to fix the DNS. Moral of the story: don't ever let your domain expire (if you bought it through Dotster). Speaking of MGF... we've got a nice surprise coming next week. And no, it's not a demo...

The Radeon 8500 is finally shipping. This is great news for Mac gamers. I'm really looking forward to playing with mine as soon as it arrives. Special kudos to Stan and Chris Bentley.

Here's an interesting tidbit. Although we just began to take pre-orders a few days ago, the Collector's Edition of Warcraft III is outselling the Standard edition by a margin of 10 to 1 in our IMG Store. I know it's a bit expensive, but I've been playing the beta of WC3 and it's worth every penny.

And finally... here's the Tuncer bonehead tip of the day. Don't ever, ever leave your iPod in your car where someone could see it, break into it, and STEAL IT. — Tuncer

Got a news story you'd like us to post? Email us at news@insidemacgames.com.

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IMG Posts Macworld Expo Tokyo Report
11:38 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

IMG has posted a report by Mark Cottam, president of MacPlay, from the floor of Macworld Expo Tokyo, which wraps up today (Saturday in Japan).

Here's an excerpt describing the Mac OS X Games Arcade, sponsored by Apple and ATI:

And now for the real excitement... The OS X Game Arcade — sponsored by Apple.

Once again, Apple has created the ultimate gaming environment for the Mac gamer by providing a fully equipped game arcade. Joining Apple for this inaugural journey in Japan are MacPlay, MacSoft, GraphSim, Feral Interactive, Aspyr, Ambrosia Software, and many other top publishers.

The Arcade has been packed with enthusiastic gamers waiting for a chance to play the best OS X games on the market, including such titles as Icewind Dale, Black & White, Myth III, Bejeweled, Civilization III, Harry Potter, and many, many more. It has not been unusual to find the crowd six to eight people deep, completely mesmerized by the incredible performance and quality that OS X offers the gamer. With an expected crowd of over 175,000 visitors, you can bet that gaming is getting a big boost in Japan thanks in large part to the Apple Games Arcade.

Follow the link below for the rest of Cottam's report and a gallery of photos from the show floor.

IMG Feature: Macworld Expo Tokyo Report
MWT 2002

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New Unreal Tournament 2003 Details
8:57 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

The Game Developers Conference is now fully underway and GameSpot is one of the first sites to bring the latest news from the event about the next-generation first-person shooter Unreal Tournament 2003 (previously known as Unreal Tournament II).

The GameSpot report goes into detail about the new features of Unreal Tournament 2003, quoting Digital Extremes' James Schmalz on a number of topics like included models, revamped gameplay modes, and much more. Here's a clip that discusses the almost RPG-like character improvements:

UT 2003 will have about 50 unique characters with unique 3D models and skins, weapon preferences, and statistics—you'll be able to draft a team of these characters based on your own personal preference. All characters in UT 2003 will have three ability scores—accuracy, tactics, and agility—and over the course of the single-player game, your characters' (and your teammates') ability scores will increase based on their style of play. More aggressive characters that are always on the offensive may get a higher agility score, while more defensive characters that spend a good deal of time providing cover fire for teammates may increase their accuracy.
Check out the two-page article for more info on this game, which is expected to be a summer release on the PC. While no Mac version has yet been announced, it seems likely that the original UT's success on the platform would make it a safe bet for MacSoft. We'll keep you posted on any new information released about the title.

Digital Extremes
GameSpot: Unreal Tournament 2003 Hands-On
Buy Unreal Tournament 2003

Bubble Trouble X Progress Update
8:56 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Ambrosia Software's progress log for the Carbonization of Bubble Trouble was updated late yesterday with the latest word on its progress. Not only is this classic arcade game is coming to Mac OS X, it will include feature improvements and even a level editor. The latest log makes it sound like they are making good progress with the update already. Here's the full text from Alex Metcalf:

Version 1.2.0b5 update imminent, adding InputSprocket support, many bug fixes and enhancements, and other bells and whistles. Piranhas and starfish worried for their health.
Those unfamiliar with Bubble Trouble might want to check out the demo of the game for Classic Mac OS available at MacGameFiles.

Bubble Trouble
Bubble Trouble X Progess Log
MGF: Bubble Trouble 1.01 Demo (Classic Only)

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WarBirds III Mandatory Update to 03.20.02
8:46 AM | Tim Morgan | Comment on this story

iEntertainment, makers of WarBirds III, recently released a mandatory update bringing the multiplayer online World War II simulator to version 03.20.02.

The new version rolls in the changes made by the previous two non-mandatory updates, including, most notably, Mac OS X support. In addition, 03.20.02 adds some new features of its own:

  • New: Kaga and destroyer models/cockpits.
  • New: Macchi C205.
  • Tracer smoke texture separated out-now in the \textures folder.
  • Collisions will now not result in maneuver kills.
  • Added torp limits: Torps will fail if on entry to water:
    • Angle < -30deg
    • Speed < 385mph.
  • CM-Level commands:
    • NAVDRONES system setting: This controls who gets to issue .nav commands to drone boats, CVs & Ground Vehicles.

WarBirds III allows players around the world to participate in a persistent online universe set in Western Europe during the Second World War. The game's primary focus is air combat, but vehicle and ship support is slowly emerging.

IMG Review: WarBirds III
WarBirds III
Download 03.20.02 Update for OS 9 (41 MB)
Download 03.20.02 Update for OS X (43 MB)

IMG Ranks 15th in Best of Mac Web Poll
8:46 AM | Tristram Perry | Comment on this story

The results of Low End Mac's third Best of the Mac Web survey are in and Inside Mac Games finished strong at number 15. Over 50 independent Mac-focused web sites were evaluated by more than 4,000 readers of Low End Mac in the survey.

The highest ranked game-related site in the poll, IMG was also listed as the 24th "Best Known" site. The poll asked participants to evaluate only the web sites with which they were familiar. For everyone who voted, thank you—for those who didn't, the survey will run again this fall.

Low End Mac: Best of the Mac Web

Mac Games News for Thursday, March 21, 2002

New Battle.net Features for Warcraft III12:39 PM
In Other News: Warcraft III, Pong, iPod, & More12:22 PM
IMG Chats One-on-One with Glenda Adams12:07 PM
MacGamer Reviews EV Nova11:43 AM
Rumors of Bungie's Phoenix9:12 AM
Apple Announces iMac Price Hike8:23 AM
Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness Announced7:44 AM
Apple Unveils 23-inch Flat Panel6:00 AM
Two New Kids' Games from Plaid Banana6:00 AM
Warcraft III Q&A6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, March 21, 2002 on one page

Recent Mac Games News

Wednesday, March 20, 2002
Tuesday, March 19, 2002
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Thursday, March 14, 2002

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