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Wednesday, January 29, 2003

Apple Previews Master of Orion III
7:39 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Following up on the recent announcement of Master of Orion III's Gold status, Apple has posted a preview of this title. The preview, which includes quotes from Quicksilver President Bill Fisher, takes a look at some of MOO3's features, methods of gameplay, and backstory.

Also looked at are the seven species available in the game, with each species being subdivided into several races. Here's a clip on the Meklar, classified as a Cybernetik Species:

They call themselves the 'Pure Ones' because they have completely shed biological matter and evolved into a race of free-thinking machines. They look down on all flesh-based races and hate the Cynoid because they have not become 'pure' yet.
As the Mac port was closely tied to the PC release, we should be seeing this title soon. In the meantime, those interested in more information are encouraged to check out Apple's preview.

Apple - Master of Orion III Preview
Quicksilver Software
Master of Orion III
Buy Master of Orion III

Click to enlarge
IMG Reviews Logitech's Cordless Trackman Wheel
5:19 PM | Lucian Fong | Comment on this story

IMG has reviewed the Cordless Trackman Wheel, a mainstay in Logitech's lineup of trackballs. Retailing for $60 ($40 for the corded version), the Trackman Wheel sports thumb-driven cursor movement using a well-proven optical ball along with a standard complement of mouse-style buttons. Here is an excerpt from the review:

Cursor tracking on the TrackMan Wheel is sensitive and responsive, thanks to the optical nature of the mechanism. Day-to-day activities using the unit were transparent after only a short honeymoon period (I normally use a fingertip-driven trackball). The scroll wheel is in a good position for either the first or second finger, and it has a nice no-slip rubber feel.
The review covers both the corded and cordless versions, so read the rest of it for more information.

IMG Review: Logitech Cordless Trackman Wheel
Cordless Trackman Wheel

Click to enlarge
IMG Store: Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 Ships Thursday
11:18 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

The IMG Store is will begin shipping Aspyr's Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 starting tomorrow (Thursday, January 30th). MacGames CD subscribers can pre-order it for just $36 while non-subscribers can pick it up for just $39.

Tony Hawk, the legend of skateboarding, brings you into his world yet again with even more cement shredding action than ever before! Go high flying through some of the coolest skateparks in the world. Pull insane tricks and bails, but beware of the pedestrians and cars along the streets. You may not be able to live like the legend, but now you can skate like him!


  • All new online play lets you go head to head or share with friends around the world.
  • Multiplayer Modes: all the old favorites plus three new team based online games- Capture the flag, Control the Zone and Keep Away.
  • Skate as the legendary Tony Hawk or choose from 12 other pro skaters
  • 10 Massive Living Levels that are amazingly realistic.
  • Now more tricks than ever, including the revert and flatland tricks like the handstand manual.
  • An enhanced Create-A-Skater feature to customize the look of your player by choosing female or kid skaters and add sunglasses, hair, elbow pads, tattoos and more!
  • Skate some of the most popular real-world locations including Skater's Island in Middleton, RI, Los Angeles, Canada skate camp, Tokyo and Paris.

    System Requirements
  • MacOS 9.1 or later, Mac OS X 10.1 or later
  • PowerMac G3/G4, iMac/eMac, PowerBook G4, or iBook
  • 450mhz processor or faster
  • 128MB RAM plus virtual memory (256MB under OS X)
  • 700MB hard drive space
  • 3D Graphics Acceleration required (Minimum of ATI Radeon or NVIDIA GeForce series card)
  • 32 MB of video memory

    To pre-order Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3, head over to the IMG Store. To learn more about the game, be sure to check out our extensive preview.

    IMG Preview: Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3
    Aspyr Media
    Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3

    Parsec Goes Open-Source
    11:15 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    The Parsec project team has announced that after years of internal development, this space shooter will be made open source. This is an effort to alleviate some of the pressure on the members, who up to this point have been working on it in their spare time.

    The cross-platform game runs on Windows, Linux, as well as the Mac OS X. The hope has always been that it will one day bloom into a full massively multiplayer online freeware game, and now with the help of the Parsec community, it might attain this goal.

    The site notes the source should be available by May of this year. Here's more on their intentions:

    This release will be the last official release of the original Parsec Project. It had been our intention to achieve a full-featured release including Internet game play in 2002. However, we were always doing this in our spare time, and since it is taking us too long to reach our original goal, we do not want to keep the Parsec community waiting any longer and have thus decided that it is time to change Parsec's development model to an open source approach.
    Stay tuned for more on the Parsec project, and if you're a developer with some free time, consider giving this new open-source title a look.

    The Parsec Project

    Game Sales For 2002 Break Record
    7:39 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

    According to numbers release by the Interactive Digital Software Association, the US entertainment software industry grew to a record-breaking 6.9 billion US dollars in 2002.

    According to Douglas Lowenstein, IDSA president, the increase in sales is due to a combination of factors from better and cheaper technology to an ever-growing user base:

    The record-breaking sales of computer and video games in 2002 will continue in the years ahead as more ground-breaking games are introduced, hardware prices come down, and the audience for games broadens and deepens. Indeed, we believe that 2003 will be the peak year of the current hardware cycle, with software sales surging at least 10% yet again, and perhaps considerably more depending on other external factors.
    Indeed, figures release by the IDSA illustrate the dramatic increase in the industry's popularity among adult American consumers - 56% of adults under the age of 45, 37% of 45 to 54 year olds, and even 26% of adults ages 55 to 64 indicated they would buy at least one computer or video game this year.

    While the news will please game developers, according to the IDSA's research, the news doesn't look so good for PC and Mac gamers. Sales figures for last year show that console games accounted for 5.5 billion dollars US worth of sales, while PC games sold a measily 1.4 billion dollars US in comparison.

    One obvious trend apparent from the 2002 data is that console software is capturing an even greater share of the market than ever before, accounting for 80% of industry software sales compared with 65% five years ago. Again, this is another reflection of the fact that the market for consoles is aging and broadening far beyond its original base of teenage boys.
    Although not stated in the IDSA's report, the fear amongst some in the industry is that the ever-growing increase in the popularity of console games might encourage further publishers to develop console-only titles and drop PC and Mac game software altogether.

    Also of note in the IDSA's report is the breakdown of game popularity demographics. In 2002, the most popular computer games were strategy games, which accounted for 27.4% of all computer game sales. In second place were children's games - 15.9%, then shooter games (11.5%), family entertainment titles (9.7%), followed by role-playing games (8%), sports titles (6.3%), racing games (4.4%), simulation titles (4.1%), and, finally, fighting games (0.1%).

    In comparison, console game players most often purchased action titles, sports games, racing titles, edutainment software, role-playing games, fighting games, first person shooters, and adventure games.

    Click to enlarge
    Interview with Will Wright
    7:39 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

    TechTV has posted a short interview with Will Wright, well-known game designer and an industry veteran. The focus of the interview is on his arguably most popular work, The Sims, and takes a look at the secrets behind his success:

    Oddly enough, 'The Sims' owed more inspiration to 'SimAnt' than anything else. We did 'SimAnt' and we tried to do it fairly realistically in the way ants behave. I was very impressed with the robustness of that behavior model.
    Also covered in the interview are how Wright got into developing games, his original career path, and how his Sims exhibit intelligence. A link to a video profiling Wright is also available.

    TechTV - The Man Behind 'The Sims'
    Aspyr Media
    Westlake Interactive
    The Sims
    Buy The Sims

    Mac Games News for Tuesday, January 28, 2003

    IMG Reviews Marble Blast1:51 PM
    IMG Ships MacGames DVD Volume 1 - 1011:19 AM
    Vendetta Status Update10:39 AM
    Apple's Power Mac Line Reaches 1.42GHz, Radeon 97009:48 AM
    Chamber of Secrets Set for February Release9:21 AM
    M-Audio Shipping Revolution 7.1, Beta Drivers Posted9:21 AM
    Neverwinter Nights Status Update9:21 AM
    View all of the Mac games news for Tuesday, January 28, 2003 on one page

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    Search for other Mac games news stories or browse our Mac Games News Archive.

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