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Wednesday, May 22, 2002

Breakthrough in Cross-Platform Game Delivery
9:20 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

At the Electronic Entertainment Expo, TransGaming Technologies and Transitive Technologies will be unveiling a game-porting technology that can allow Windows-based x86 games to be simultaneously released onto multiple platforms including Mac OS X, PlayStation 2, set-top boxes, PDAs and wireless devices.

Transitive has have developed a technology called Dynamite that allows binary code compiled for one CPU architecture to run on another, completely different CPU architecture. The technology offers proprietary algorithms for optimizing the code to run at near native performance or even better. All of the translation and optimization is completely transparent to the user. The application will function exactly as expected with no awareness that Dynamite is even executing in the background.

Transgaming has developed a Windows compatibility layer that allows Win32 APIs to run on top of UNIX and X-Windows. Using this technology, Transgaming was able to shipp an optimized Linux version of The Sims in just eight weeks after receiving source code.

Here's more from the press release:

Vikas Gupta, President and COO of TransGaming stated, "Our portability technology allows applications originally designed for PCs to run seamlessly and transparently on alternate platforms without the need for an expensive and time-consuming overhaul of the source code. What other companies can accomplish in two years of re-engineering, our technology can accomplish within two months." Gupta made this announcement to game developers and publishers at the 2002 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), here.

"We are delighted to collaborate with TransGaming to expand their product market," says John Graham, Transitive's President and CEO. "It is a clear example of how Transitive's translation and optimization product, Dynamite, allows developers to migrate content to other platforms, reducing their costs and giving consumers wider choice and access to content."
TransGaming and Transitive have developed a technology that allows portability faster, cheaper, and better than anyone else. "Imagine being able to release an award-winning game on the PC, Mac, and PlayStation 2 simultaneously." Mr. Gupta remarked. "The solution leverages the large investment made in product development, marketing and content, while realizing deep market penetration for a fraction of the cost of developing for each platform independently. Now imagine taking games to set-top boxes, wireless and PDA devices."

IMG is heading to E3 and we'll be sure to bring you more about this exciting new technology in the coming days.

Transitive Tecnologies

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IMG Reviews the CH Pro Throttle USB
12:48 PM | Sean Smith | Comment on this story

Inside Mac Games has published a review by Tim Morgan of the Pro Throttle USB from CH Products:

Asking many casual gamers regarding the necessity of a separate throttle unit for flight sims will typically yield the answer, "What’s the point?" Most mid-range controllers today have a small built-in throttle control that offers acceptable control for the vast majority of casual gamers. Serious flight-sim enthusiasts, however, could not imagine easily controlling a virtual aircraft without a large, weighty, and versatile throttle unit.

Separate throttle units are more realistic and offer an additional platform on which controls, buttons, and hats can be mounted. Currently, only two advanced options are available for Macintosh gamers: the Saitek X36 and the CH Pro Throttle USB.

The CH Pro Throttle USB completes the ultra-high-end lineup from CH Products, and like the other advanced offerings, this throttle offers customers with a myriad of hats and other controls. This unmatched versatility can prove useful in increasingly complex flight sims, helping weekend air warriors exert the finest control over their complex aircraft without removing their hands from the crucial stick and throttle. In addition, the throttle carries the CH name, which to many Mac users means stability and outstanding compatibility. I took the time to examine if the CH Pro Throttle lives up to these lofty goals....

For the rest of Morgan's detailed review, follow the link below.

IMG Review: Pro Throttle USB
Pro Throttle

GameSpy Checks Out DOOM III
11:41 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Gamespy has posted a first look at id Software's DOOM III. The first look is based on an 11 minute presentation being showed off at the Electronic Entertainment Expo, which starts today in Los Angeles.

Here's a snippet from the first look:

One of the first things to understand about DOOM III is that it's not being designed as your typical first-person shooter, where atmosphere often takes a back seat to the action. The game will take a more deliberate pace, to allow gamers to soak in the atmosphere. "One of the design goals of the game is to terrify people," Stratton explains, "we're setting up scenarios to scare people." The demonstration contains a number of moments that illustrate this point, including one where your character is checking out his reflection in a mirror … and you suddenly spot another creature off to the side, rapidly charging your way.

While id isn't planning on giving away the entire plot of the game anytime soon, here's what we know so far: DOOM III is basically a "retelling" of the original DOOM, with many of the same characters and themes, and even some returning weapons. Most of the game is set on Mars, where you're a marine recently stationed at the Union Aerospace Corporation, a company with strong military ties doing experimentation with teleportation technology. It seems a few people at the UAC don't exactly have everyone's best interests at heart, and after a betrayal, things quickly descend into chaos, with members of the facility being possessed and turned into zombies. This is where you come in - as one quote from the demonstration put it, "only one man stands between hell and earth... you."

In related news, CNN has posted some four new screenshots of DOOM III. Be sure to check them out.

GameSpy's DOOM III First Look
Doom III Screenshots
id Software
Buy DOOM 3

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Deus Ex Movie in the Works
10:39 AM | Vern Xiong | Comment on this story

Columbia Pictures has recently announced a that they have the rights to produce a new Sci-fi action film based on the popular PC and Mac game Deus Ex from Eidos Interactive. The movie will be produced by Laura Ziskin who recently produced Spider-Man for the studio.

Like the game, the film will be set in the year 2052 as the world confronts the threat of a world killing disease, an economic collapse and the threat of global terrorism. The world's hope falls on JC Denton, a highly-trained, nano-technology enhanced counter-terrorist who is sworn to protect the government. But as he unravels one conspiracy after another, he must decide between continuing to serve the government or overthrowing it.

"With the brand awareness of the title and a fantastically conceived hero at the core of this film, we feel we can develop Deus Ex as a potential franchise for the studio," said Peter Schlessel, President of Production for Columbia Pictures.

"Eidos is thrilled to partner with Columbia," said Eidos Vice President of Marketing, Paul Baldwin. "Deus Ex is one of our top franchises, and we look forward to seeing it come to life with a top of the line studio like Columbia."

Columbia Pictures - Sony
Eidos Interactive
Ion Storm
Deus Ex
Aspyr Media
Westlake Interactive
More news about Deus Ex Movie

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Details on WarCraft III Limited Packaging
9:20 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Blizzard recently sent along details about the limited edition box art to be available for the first run of WarCraft III. While the inner contents for all will be the same, the outer packaging will reflect one of the four different races in WarCraft III, done specially by Blizzard artists. Here's more from the company:

For the initial shipment only, Warcraft(R) III: Reign of Chaos(TM) will be available in four different limited-edition box covers. Painted by Blizzard artists, each box features a different battle-hardened warrior from each of Warcraft III's four mighty races. Other than the cover, the contents of each box are identical. Following the initial shipment, Warcraft III will continue to be available in one box cover only.

All four game boxes will be available online and from various retailers worldwide when Warcraft III is released this summer.

If you haven't yet gotten your pre-order in for WarCraft III, be sure to do so now. The IMG store has both the standard and collector's editions available for everyone to order.

WarCraft III Limited Packaging
Blizzard Entertainment
WarCraft III
Buy WarCraft III

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Kohan II Announced for PC
9:20 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

The E3 announcements have begun to fly, and GameSpot has word from TimeGate Studios that a sequel will be coming for their hit RTS series, Kohan II. While this may seem like non-news for Mac gamers, who have yet to see any of the Kohan games on the platform, last month IMG revealed a plan to do so was in the works, according to a Kohan representative:

We are working diligently on closing a deal to bring all current and future Kohan games to the Mac platform. Please stay tuned to our website as we should be making the announcement soon.
While there is no further word yet on where this relationship with a Mac publisher stands, you can bet IMG reporters will be trying to track down answers at E3 this week.

Kohan II looks to continue where the original Kohan: Immortal Sovereigns left off, though they will be moving to the fully 3D NetImmerse engine. The intelligent strategy found in the original should only be improved, according to GameSpot's report:

Kohan II will have a number of other improvements over the original game. Kohan: Immortal Sovereigns was widely praised for the way it automated unit management: like other real-time strategy games, players created huge armies, but they'd fall into formation and let players focus on using their armies effectively. The sequel will still let players organize their armies into companies, but it will also let players create smaller groups, or "short companies," which can be used for smaller, more tactical skirmishes. But ultimately, you'll fight epic battles with huge regiments, just as in the original game. But unlike Immortal Sovereigns, in Kohan II, you'll be able to choose both a different playable race (for a total of five) and a different faction (from a total of four), each of which has unique abilities and bonuses, which should help give the game considerable replay value.
For more on Kohan II, have a look at the quick preview at GameSpot. Also check out TimeGate's web site for more information on Kohan, and stay tuned for any new information on a possible Mac version of either from IMG.

IMG News: Kohan Games Coming to the Mac?
GameSpot: Kohan II Unveiled
Timegate Studios

Full Throttle Sequel Revealed
9:20 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Fans of classic LucasArts games will be very excited to hear a sequel to Full Throttle should be coming out sometime next year. While the game was only announced for the PC, Mac users should keep in mind the current good standing between LucasArts and Mac publishers like Aspyr Media, with new games like Escape from Monkey Island and Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds.

Full Throttle 2 looks to continue the adventures of Ben, leader of the biker gang the Polekats. Here's a clip from the press release:

Full Throttle, one of the most loved classic adventures from LucasArts Entertainment Company LLC, returns in a long awaited action packed sequel for next generation consoles and PC in 2003. The follow up to the award winning game from 1995 will once again feature one of LucasArts' most popular and enduring characters, the swaggering outlaw biker Ben, leader of a renegade motorcycle gang called the Polecats. The free wheeling action-adventure will offer a humorous original story, furious bare knuckle fighting, and the thrill of high speed biking.

"Full Throttle is one of LucasArts' greatest and most beloved original games," says Simon Jeffery, president of LucasArts. "We can't think of a better brand or character to lead LucasArts' charge into a new era of original game development. Ben so perfectly symbolizes our legacy and yet has just the right mix of attitude and edge to appeal to a new generation of game players."

It's very interesting to see LucasArts reviving some of their older (but still much loves) works. Stay tuned to IMG for any new information on the possibility of a Mac version of Full Throttle in the future.

Full Throttle Sequel Press Release

Mac Games News for Tuesday, May 21, 2002

Apple Updates iBook1:40 PM
IGN Mac Launched12:59 PM
DX2: Invisible War Announced for the PC12:27 PM
Fighter Squadron, Starfleet Command II Scrapped12:17 PM
Apple's Hot Date with Mr. Wright9:10 AM
Civilization III: Play the World Movies and Screenshots9:10 AM
MacPlay Announces Freedom Force9:10 AM
X-Plane 6.16 Released9:10 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Tuesday, May 21, 2002 on one page

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