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Monday, August 7, 2006



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Apple Unveils Mac Pro Desktop
11:52 AM | Tuncer Deniz | 28 comments

Today at WWDC 2006, Apple announced the Mac Pro, an Intel-based desktop Mac that completes the transition to Intel. The new Mac Pro features a quad Xeon, 64-bit desktop workstation featuring two new Dual-Core Intel Xeon processors running up to 3.0 GHz and a new system architecture that delivers up to twice the performance of the Power Mac G5 Quad.

Here's more from the announcement:

The new Mac Pro features the new Dual-Core Intel Xeon 5100 series processor based on the revolutionary Intel Core microarchitecture, delivering breakthrough performance and power efficiency. The new Mac Pro is up to twice as fast as the Power Mac G5 Quad running industry standard benchmarks and features two Dual-Core Intel Xeon processors running up to 3.0 GHz, each with 4MB of shared L2 cache and independent 1.33 GHz front-side buses. With 667 MHz DDR2 fully-buffered memory, the Mac Pro also boasts a 256-bit wide memory architecture for amazing bandwidth.

With more than 4.9 million possible configurations, the Mac Pro delivers unprecedented customization to meet even the most demanding performance, expansion and storage needs. The newly redesigned Mac Pro features an all new, direct attach storage solution for cable free, snap in installation of up to four 500GB Serial ATA hard drives for a total of 2TB of internal storage—the most ever on a Mac—and support for two optical drives to simultaneously read and/or write to CDs and DVDs. Every Mac Pro includes three full-length PCI Express expansion slots and one double-wide PCI Express graphics slot to support high-powered, double-wide graphics cards without sacrificing multiple slots. Providing quick and convenient access to connect the most popular external devices, the front panel of the Mac Pro includes a FireWire® 800 port, a FireWire 400 port and two USB 2.0 ports with additional FireWire 800, FireWire 400 and three USB 2.0 ports on the back panel. Mac Pro also includes dual Gigabit Ethernet ports, optical digital input and output, analog audio input and output, and optional built-in support for AirPort® Extreme and Bluetooth 2.0+EDR.

Every Mac Pro comes standard with the NVIDIA GeForce 7300 GT with 256MB of video memory, providing built-in support for dual-displays and Apple’s 30-inch Cinema HD Display. The ATI Radeon X1900 XT and the NVIDIA Quadro FX 4500, both with 512MB of video memory, are available as build to order options and provide built-in support for up to two 30-inch Apple Cinema HD Displays. The Quadro FX 4500 also includes a stereo 3D port to connect goggles for stereo-in-a-window applications and is ideal for the most demanding animation, special effects and scientific visualization applications. The Mac Pro supports up to four PCI Express graphics cards to drive up to eight displays at once for advanced visualization and large display walls.

The Mac Pro is shipping today with the standard prebuilt configuration, including two 2.66 GHz Dual-Core Intel Xeon processors and priced at $2,499 (US), through the Apple Store.

The Mac Pro, with a suggested retail price of $2,499 (US), includes:

• two 2.66 GHz Dual-Core Intel Xeon processors;
• 1GB of 667 MHz DDR2 fully-buffered ECC memory expandable up to 16GB;
• NVIDIA GeForce 7300 GT with 256MB of GDDR2 SDRAM;
• 250GB Serial ATA (3Gb/s) hard drive running at 7200 rpm;
• 16x SuperDrive™ with double-layer support (DVD+R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW);
four PCI Express slots: one double-wide graphics slot and three full-length expansion slots; and
• ships with Mighty Mouse and Apple Keyboard.

In addition to the standard configuration, the Mac Pro offers more than 4.9 million build-to-order options including: two 2.0 GHz or 3.0 GHz Dual-Core Intel Xeon processors; up to 16GB of 667 MHz DDR2 fully-buffered ECC memory; up to four 500GB Serial ATA hard drives running at 7200 rpm; up to two 16x SuperDrives with double-layer support; ATI Radeon X1900 XT and NVIDIA Quadro FX 4500 graphics cards, both with 512MB of GDDR3 SDRAM; AirPort Extreme module, Bluetooth 2.0+EDR module; Apple USB Modem; Apple Wireless Keyboard and Apple wireless Mighty Mouse; Mac OS X Server Tiger; Apple Xsan; and Apple Fibre Channel PCI Express Card.

Apple


Macgamestore: WingNuts 2 Boxed Version Available
5:43 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

The boxed version of WingNuts 2 is now available through Macgamestore.com. A digital download version of the game was released on Macgamestore a few weeks ago. Both versions are available for $29.95.

WingNuts 2 takes you on a fantastic journey to over 30 real, (and not so real), locations and time periods as you hunt Baron Von Schtopwatch and the mysterious "Raina".

Play through time as you encounter enemies from the 1920s into the distant future. With over 100 real world aircraft, helicopters, blimps, tanks, ships and submarines, you'll never run out of things to shoot!

To check out either version, follow the link below.

Macgamestore: WingNuts 2 (boxed)
Macgamestore: WingNuts 2 (digital download)


Apple Previews Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard
12:03 PM | Tuncer Deniz | 1 comment

Apple today previewed Mac OS X version 10.5 Leopard, the sixth major version of Mac OS X, to its third party developers at WWDC 2006. Leopard, which scheduled to ship in spring 2007, introduces new features such as Time Machine, a revolutionary new way to automatically back up and restore everything on your Mac, and Spaces, an entirely new way to instantly switch between groups of applications required for various tasks. Leopard also includes industry-first advancements in Mail and iChat, including Stationery, Notes and To Dos in Mail; and Photo Booth-style effects, the ability to “place” yourself in any photo or video as the backdrop for your chat, and live presentations of iPhoto slideshows, Keynote presentations and videos in iChat.

With its unique ability to let users travel back in time to find deleted files, applications, photos or other digital media, Time Machine is a revolutionary way to protect a consumer’s digital life. Time Machine automatically backs up everything on the Mac to an external hard drive or Mac OS X Server. In the event a file is lost, users can search back through time using an intuitive time-based visual display to find and then instantly restore the file. With one click, Time Machine can restore anything from a single file or photo to everything on a Mac.

Spaces is an intuitive new way to group applications required for a given task into a “space,” then instantly switch between different spaces to bring up the specific applications required for that given task. Users can get a bird’s eye view of all their Spaces and choose where they want to go next with just one keystroke or click of a mouse.

With Leopard’s iChat, Apple takes communicating with friends, family and colleagues to an entirely new level. iChat now makes video chats more fun with the ability to use Photo Booth effects and put images and videos in the background. iChat Screen Sharing enables users to share their desktops with others to work together in real time on an activity, such as editing an iPhoto book, or helping a buddy get the most out of their Mac. With iChat Theater, users can share an iPhoto slide show, a QuickTime® movie or a Keynote presentation within an iChat window.

Leopard’s Mail includes breakthrough new features that have never been seen before in a Mail application. Mail Stationery includes more than 30 customizable stationery designs to create stunning emails enriched with beautiful photos and graphics. Templates include photo collections, invitations, birthday cards and other greetings that look great when received on either a Mac or a PC. With Mail Notes, users can quickly jot down thoughts and ideas, add graphics and attachments and use the familiar Mail application to manage them like an email message. In addition, To Dos can be created from any email message or note and viewed in iCal® or sent to friends and colleagues. RSS news feeds now appear in Mail, allowing users to receive news in their inboxes, receive notifications when new stories appear and use Smart Mailboxes to organize news about the same topic in one place.

Additional features in Leopard include:

• full native 64-bit support that allows applications to take complete advantage of 64-bit processing while maintaining full performance and compatibility for existing 32-bit Mac OS X applications and drivers;
• enhancements to Boot Camp, Apple’s innovative technology that was previewed as a public beta in April 2006, making it possible to run Windows natively on Intel-based Macs;
• Front Row™, now available with all new Macs to play back digital content, including video Podcasts using the simple Apple remote*;
• Photo Booth, Apple’s fun-to-use application that lets users take quick snapshots with an iSight™ video camera, add entertaining visual effects with the touch of a button, and share them via email;
• iCal 3 with group calendaring capabilities, event drop box, and standards-based CalDAV support;
• improved Spotlight™ searching that’s even faster, provides richer previews, and lets users search across network mounted folders on other machines;
• a new Movies Dashboard widget for movie times and Web Clip for clipping any part of a web page as a live widget;
• new parental controls including curfews, time limits and remote administration;
• Core Animation, a new graphics technology that makes it easy to create stunning visual effects and animations;
• major enhancements in Universal Access, including improvements in VoiceOver, Apple’s built-in screen reader;
• security enhancements including anti-phishing protection in Mail and Safari™, and an automatic firewall that limits network resources available to an application; and
• new development tools, including Xcode® 3 with full 64-bit support, DashCode™, an easy way to create new Dashboard widgets without writing a line of code, and Xray, for optimizing application performance.

For more on Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, follow the link below to go to the official web site.

Apple: Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard Preview



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CityScape For Mac Announced, Trailer Released
7:43 AM | Tuncer Deniz | 2 comments

Outside The Box Software has released a teaser trailer of their upcoming game, CityScape Battle. A multiplayer aerial combat game which focuses on team play, the game uses cell-shaded graphics for a unique look and feel.

CityScape Battle currently has a tentative fall release and will be available for the PC and Mac. In the meantime, be sure to check out the teaser trailer of the game.

CityScape Battle Teaser Trailer (6.5MB)
Outside The Box Software


Tennis Elbow Released for Mac
7:19 AM | Anthony Wang | Comment on this story

Mana Games has released Tennis Elbow a 2D tennis game for the Mac. A free demo for Mac OS X is available and allows you to play the shareware version for 21 days. The full version is available for purchase for $19.95.

Created by tennis fans, which are regular ranked players, Tennis Elbow Mac is a tennis game with a fun, realistic gameplay.

Tennis Elbow is the only tennis game that will give you such an impression to be on the court, and will make you feel the emotions of the match with such realism : you will be conquered by the ultra-realistic ball trajectories, the artificial intelligence replicating the players' behaviour with precision, and the complete range of shots and game situations.

Its intuitive gameplay will let you easily control the player and the ball, and even if you're not a tennis fan, you will have a lot of pleasure and fun to run and strike balls all around the court!

To check out Tennis Elbow, follow the link below.

MGF: Download Tennis Elbow
Mana Games


Dylo's Adventure for Mac Released
6:56 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

South Winds Games has announced the release of their for game, Dylo's Adventure. The game is an action platform game that harkens back to the very great platform era.

Dylo is a dinosaur and his prehistoric homeworld is under attack from alien invaders. Their purpose is simple, to build an amusement park. However, in order to do so they must first remove those pesky dinos wandering around on the surface. So it is up to Dylo to save the day. Jump, run, and duck through dozens of levels as Dylo uses the technology of the time to combat villainous aliens, animals, and treacherous terrain. The graphics and play are child safe, but the challenge of Dylo’s Adventure can challenge even the most hardened dino warriors.
Dylo's Adventure is released as shareware for $19.95. To download a free Dylo's Adventure demo, follow the link below.

MGF: Dylo's Adventure 1.0
South Winds Games



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Apple Games Features DropTeam
6:38 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Apple's Games section has posted a new feature, this time dealing with DropTeam. The Sci-Fi themed action title drops players into futuristic mechanized combat with the goal of conquering as many planets as possible. Apple's feature offers a review of the game and a look at the game's storyline.

DropTeam places you in command of one of the two sides battling for control of the many planets in the game. From the tactical display, you assess the situation and decide which units to deploy, giving them orders and creating waypoints for their movements. You then take control of one of the units on the surface, moving it to intercept the enemy. If it’s destroyed, simply select another unit to deploy and try again. A word of caution: don’t place units too close to the enemy, or they might shoot down the dropship before it can deliver its cargo.

The world where the battle takes place also dictates your strategy. Some are verdant, Earth-like planets with structures left behind by the previous inhabitants, which can provide you with additional resources if you capture them. Others, however, offer nothing but a radioactive wasteland or pools of fiery lava or sheets of slick ice.

Gravity and atmosphere also varies, forcing you to alter how and where you deploy your units and what type of weaponry you employ. For example, high gravity and dense atmosphere will slow down your projectiles, forcing you to get closer to the enemy before firing. High gravity also makes vehicles and tanks more difficult to control and will cause them to more easily slide down slopes, sometimes with catastrophic effects.

To check out the rest of the Apple Games feature head over to the page listed below.

Apple Games: DropTeam Feature
Battlefront.com
DropTeam


Germs Reviewed
6:30 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

The Slacker's Guide recently reviewed Germs, an addictive puzzle game from Factor Software. In Germs players must clear the gameboard by matching like-colored gems. The Slacker's Guide recommended the game to anyone looking for a fun alternative to more complex game offerings.

From the review:

As the levels progress, the challenge increases. Obstacles such as thumb tacks and erasers find their way onto the tile board, constricting space to work with while germs drop onto the Petri dish that much faster. Power-ups such as weapons that clone germs to a certain color or eliminate a given color help things along while variable germs increase the explosion created by matching like-colored germs to remove them.

Perhaps one of the cruelest surprises of the game but the thing that makes your play style advance where needed is the requirement for larger match patterns (a 2x2 configuration becomes 3x3, which demands additional planning and better forecasting). It's this kind of change that makes Germs simultaneously surprising and fun. The sole complaint to be made focuses on the selection code to choose the pieces and make a move. Oddly defined, this takes a combination of a deft mouse hand, patience and luck. Factor Software has made a terrific game otherwise and if they could pin this bug down, the player base would be that much happier.

To read the rest of the review head over to the Mac Observer site listed below.

The Slacker's Guide: Germs Review
Germs
Factor Software


Carmack QuakeCon Comments
6:30 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Gamespy recently posted a collection of John Carmack's comments from the keynote lecture at the QuakeCon 2006 event. The article covers a variety of issues including id Software's next game, Carmack's reaction to the AMD/ATI merger, and the release of Quake III's sourcecode.

5. Carmack was concerned over whether he and id might have had released the Quake III source code too soon.

For years, John Carmack and id Software have been big supporters of open-sourcing code from previous projects, but Carmack expressed some concern over whether the Quake III source code might have been made available too soon, citing two major exploits that came to light shortly after the source-code release last year. In taking a poll of the audience on hand, however, the crowd was overwhelmingly behind the release of the code, even though it led to some multiplayer cheats.

Carmack's reaction: "OK, I'm happy now."

6. Carmack is still enjoying programming for the mobile platform, and highly recommends it as a starting point for beginning programmers.

"The cell phone platform stuff has been really pretty fun," said Carmack on his side projects developing cell phone games. "I look at that and think, 'This would have been such a cool environment to learn programming and game development on.'"

"I tell people now, if you want a professional programmer, programming something on the cell phone might be a really good way to start, because you can just do it in Java, and you don't have to learn DX9 to get stuff on the screen. I look back at how I learned programming on an Apple II; there was a lot of benefit to being able to write a couple-of-pages program to see stuff happen on the screen that you really don't get with PC development nowadays."

The full list of comments is available at the Gamespy page linked below.

Gamespy: Carmack At QuakeCon
id Software


MacFun Gaming Web Site Launches
6:29 AM | IMG News | 1 comment

Freeverse has taken the wraps off MacFun.com, a casual gaming portal dedicated to Mac users. Here's more from the official press release:

The site was created to provide a community where Mac gamers worldwide can find high-quality, highly entertaining, and highly addictive games for their Macs, all in one place. Offering an impressive range of family-friendly puzzle, strategy, word, arcade, and card games, MacFun.com offers downloadable fun for every taste, with an eye toward emerging Mac games.

As the name implies, MacFun.com is focused solely on the needs and interests of Mac users of every age and skill level. Offering the best casual games from the top developers, MacFun will be the destination of choice for quick, clever and affordable entertainment. Dozens of the best casual Mac games are available today on MacFun.com, with plans for a regular stream of new games to be added. In the coming weeks, MacFun.com will also be introducing community-building features.

For more on MacFun, follow the link below.

MacFun



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The State Of Shadowbane
6:25 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

Stray Bullet Games has posted the latest State of Shadowbane article, this time dealing with the future of the MMORPG title. In addition to patches, Stray Bullet plans to focus on Shadowbane's strengths. Future changes will include improved player vs. player combat, more emphasis on the skill of players rather than the skills of characters, and adjustments to "buff" durations.

Another change I am looking at is in making the player actually pay attention more to the game screen, and not just bang a few buttons. Being aware of your surroundings is essential in combat. There are some current mechanics and features I consider “crutches,” things that make auto pilot fighting too easy. Some of them have been around a long time, and we’re so used to that many will be against the changes without even trying them out. For instance, we will be removing all non-allies and group members from the Local Map; the only players you see on it are Nation, Guild, and Group members. In addition, we are looking at removing the slash command /target, causing players to actually find their target instead of just running an attack script they made 10 minutes before going into battle.

Madness, you say? Let me reassure you of a few things.

Changes like these will be extensively evaluated on the Test Server before they ever go live. They may not work as well as we hope; if they don’t we’ll keep them off live until they do. In Patch 16 we ended up holding one of my favorite features because they just didn’t work as we’d hoped. Then again, the radar and targeting changes just might make combat more interactive and enjoyable.
To read the rest of the article click on the link below.

State Of Shadowbane
Stray Bullet Games
Ubisoft
Wolfpack Studios
Shadowbane


IMG's WWDC 2006 Chat (Updated Live)
6:00 AM | Tuncer Deniz | 14 comments

WWDC 2006 kicks off today with Steve Jobs' keynote at 10 AM Pacific. Apple will be showing the first ever public demonstration of Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard. And according to various rumor sites, Apple will be unveiling new desktop pro systems featuring Intel chips. Join us at 10 AM Pacific/1 PM Eastern at IMG Chat to talk about the keynote, Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, and any other announcements Apple might have up its sleeve.

To join IMG Chat, simply head to the IMG Chat and click on the "123 Flash Chat" banner on the page to launch IMG Chat. Once the chat page opens, you can login is as a guest or register an account, then login to the chat.

We will be also updating live on this page with up to the minute news from the keynote:

12:25 - Mac OS X 10.5 will ship in the of Spring 2007. Developer preview with Xcode 3.0 is now available.
12:20 - iChat in Leopard will be enhanced and will feature photo booth effects, invisible mode, multi-logins, tab interface, backgrounds, animated buddy icons and more.
12:10 - Dashboard will also see many improvements including a developer tool called Dashcode for devs to design widgets. A feature called Web Clip wil allow users to make any part of a web page into a widget.
12:00 - Mail will also be improved with stationary (html mail templates), notes, to do's, and more.
10:57 - Universal access is improved for users with physical disabilities. Braille support aded, closed captioning to QuickTime, and VoiceOver has improved text-to-speech for clearer voice.
10:54 - Core Animation will allow devs to create animations for apps. Specify start, goal, and keyframes.
10:48 - 10.5's Spotlight will be improved to search other Macs (if you have permission). New advanced search for file types, etc.
10:46 - 10.5 will have virtual desktops allowing you to have multiple desktops. Group different applications on different desktops to organize work, etc.
10:43 - Boot Camp will ship as part of Leopard. Over half a million downloads of Boot Camp beta.
10:40 - Time Machine will feature a visual navigation system to restore documents or even entire drives from a specific time or date.
10:35 - 10.5 will sport a new feature called Time Machine, which will automatically back up you Mac. Update a file, and that file is backed up to an HD or server.
10:30 - Steve Jobs talks about Mac OS X 10.5. 10.5 will support 64 bit applications and feature 32-bit legacy support without emulation.
10:27 - New Xserver will ship in October and start $3000 for a dual core 2.6 GHz, 1 GB RAM, 80 GB HD configuration. Up to 1 million BTO options
10:24 - Apple announces a new Intel-based xserve, which is 5 times faster than the previous xserve.
10:21 - Single base config will be $2499 for a 2.6 GHz machine. BTO options can add up to dual-core 3 GHz, 16 GB of ram, more storage, ATI X1900 or NVIDIA FX 4500.
10:19 - Outside case is the same but inside has been redesigned.
10:17 - 4 PCI Express slots, double wide graphics slot, and second optical drive.
10:13 - Up to 2x speed increase in real world apps. Mac Pro has space for up to 4 hard disks for a total or 2 terrabytes of storage.
10:11 - Up to 3 GHz, 4 MB L2 Cache, 64 bit, 128 bit vector engine. 1.6 to 2.1 times faster than Quad G5.
10:09 - Apple says goodbye to the Power Mac line by introducing the Mac Pro, which uses Intel's Woodcrest chipset.
10:07 - Last quarter results...1.3 million Macs sold. 3/4 of Macs sold are Intel based.
10:06 - 17 million visitors to apple stores. 50 percent of purchasers are new to Mac.
10:05 - Jobs announces they they have 4200 registered attendees from 48 countries at WWDC 2006, largest ever.
10:00 - Steve Jobs takes the stage.


IMG Chat
Apple


Mac Games News for Friday, August 4, 2006

Macgamestore: Mah Jong Quest Digital Download Released3:34 PM
THQ Releases Cars Universal Binary Patch3:21 PM
Apple Posts News Hot Deals3:16 PM
IMG Interviews TransGaming9:31 AM
Aspyr Releases Quake 4 Demo9:27 AM
And Round Again Brings Loop Building To Macs7:02 AM
Macworld Magazine Cuts Back On Game Coverage7:02 AM
Aspyr's July Newsletter7:01 AM
Escapist 56: When The Online World And Real Life Collide7:01 AM
IMG Podcast Episode 31 Released6:00 AM
IMG Podcast LIVE! Today6:00 AM
 
View all of the Mac games news for Friday, August 4, 2006 on one page


Recent Mac Games News

Thursday, August 3, 2006
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