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Monday, September 8, 2003

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Apple Boosts iMac to 1.25GHz G4
9:37 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Apple has quietly upgraded their best-selling line of consumer flat-panel iMac computers today with faster processors and newer graphics chipsets. The 17" model features a 1.25GHz G4 processor for $1,799, while the 15" sports 1GHz G4 for $1,299. The former is powered by NVIDIA's GeForceFX 5200 Ultra, while the graphics chip of the latter remains unchanged. Interestingly enough, the new iMac comes bundled with two games: Aspyr's Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4 and Ambrosia's Deimos Rising.

Other additions include 256MB of DDR memory now running at 333MHz as well as supporting the faster USB 2.0 standard. Here's a full list of features:

15-inch LCD
1 GHz PowerPC G4 processor with Velocity Engine(TM);
256MB of 333 MHz DDR SDRAM;
32x Combo DVD-ROM/CD-RW optical drive;
NVIDIA GeForce4 MX graphics processor with 32MB video memory;
two FireWire 400 and three USB 2.0 ports;
internal support for AirPort Extreme wireless networking and Bluetooth;
80GB Ultra ATA/100 hard drive running at 7200 rpm; and
Apple Pro Speakers.

17-inch widescreen LCD
1.25 GHz PowerPC G4 processor with Velocity Engine;
256MB of 333 MHz DDR SDRAM;
4x SuperDrive(TM) DVD-R/CD-RW optical drive;
NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 Ultra graphics processor with 64MB video memory;
two FireWire 400 and three USB 2.0 ports;
internal support for AirPort Extreme wireless networking and Bluetooth;
80GB Ultra ATA/100 hard drive running at 7200 rpm; and
Apple Pro Speakers.

For more information, head on over to Apple's site. Obviously the faster processors and graphics cards will be much welcomed by those gaming on these consumer units.

Apple Announces Faster iMacs
Apple iMac

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IMG Reviews Feral's Warrior Kings
12:39 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

IMG has posted a review of Feral's Warrior Kings, their recently-released 3D strategy game. Here's a clip from the review:

But perhaps the most original feature is the introduction of supply lines. Instead of just controlling the typical single village, it is possible in this game to have several villages, each with its own group of peasants out farming materials for your use. But for the food and lumber to be of any value to a player, they have to be transported back to the player’s main castle. This means that carts, which carry the materials, are key targets in the game. Disrupt your opponent’s supply lines -- or better yet, kill the cart’s driver and hijack the materials for your own use -- and you can really throw a wrench into a previously smooth operation. I love this idea and imagine that it may well be incorporated into many future RTS games.
Be sure to check out the entire review by following the link below.

IMG Review: Warrior Kings
Feral Interactive
Warrior Kings
Buy Warrior Kings

The Gamesome Mac Talks with LittleWing Pinball
9:37 AM | Sean Smith | Comment on this story

On tonight's broadcast of The Gamesome Mac, the weekly Mac gaming radio program, hosts Sean Smith and Omaha Sternberg talk with Reiko and Yoshikatsu Fujita of Japan's LittleWing Pinball.

Reiko and Yoshikatsu are the team of artist and programmer who as LittleWing have developed so many exquisite pinball simulations on the Mac, among the finest on any platform. From their Mac-only Tristan in 1992 to their seventh title, 2002's Jinni Zeala, LittleWing's games have won for themselves a legion of devoted fans with their beautiful graphics, realistic physics, addictive gameplay, and engaging humor.

(Just last week, LittleWing's groundbreaking, Mac-first pinball games from 1993 and 1994, Crystal Caliburn and Loony Labyrinth, were Carbonized for Mac OS X.)

Sean and Omaha will also offer Mac gaming news, reviews, and commentary, and together with their guests will take questions live from listeners in The Gamesome Mac's chat room.

The Gamesome Mac can be heard live on MacRadio from 6 to 8 pm Pacific Time, 9 to 11 pm Eastern (Tuesday from 0100 to 0300 UTC), and on demand thereafter. You can tune in at The Gamesome Mac's web page, where you'll also find archives of past broadcasts. QuickTime 5 or 6 and a 28 kbps or faster Internet connection are required.

The Gamesome Mac

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Shadowbane Status Update
9:37 AM | Johan Hansén | Comment on this story

Wolfpack Studios have posted an update on the current work on their popular MMORPG Shadowbane. Besides a preview of new features in the upcoming patch, improved perfomance and stability is being mentioned as well.

From the update:

First and foremost our main focus has been maintaining the stability of the service. We have made great strides in this area of the game since March. Even though we still have a ways to go yet, our server uptime has been extremely good and our login server issues are a thing of the past. In the past two months we have also made considerable improvements on the memory usage of the game, and as a result we have seen a noticeable decline in lag spikes. We know they still occur from time to time but we are not sitting complacent on this issue. We are continuing to monitor latency and look for potential optimizations we can make to improve our performance.
To read the full update, head over to the official Shadowbane site. If you still haven't played Shadowbane, remember that Ubi Soft is offering a 10-day free trial. Both links are provided below.

Wolfpack Studios
Shadowbane Status Update
Shadowbane Free Trial

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WoW Interview and New Screenshots
9:37 AM | Mike Apps | Comment on this story

The unofficial World of Warcraft site recently got a chance to chat with Jeff Green of Computer Gaming World about World of Warcraft, Blizzard's upcoming Massively Multiplayer Online RPG. Green recently had the chance to try out the game, and he gives some insight into the various different aspects of it.

Here's a snippet from the interview: you able to customize the stats of a new character or are they set for all beginning class and race combinations?
Jeff Green:All the stats were predetermined when we first created the characters--it's part of their design philosophy that they don't want newbies getting stuck tweaking numbers before even playing. But you hit those first few level ups very early, so the number-tweaking begins fairly rapidly. As I said in the article, it reminded me a lot of Diablo II in that way.
To check out the full interview, follow the provided link below. Blizzard also has put up several new WoW screenshots, which you can check out by following the appropriate link below.

WoW Interview
New WoW Screenshots
Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft
Buy World of Warcraft

Mac Games News for Friday, September 5, 2003

Northland For The Mac Goes Gold10:42 AM
Shadowbane Free Trial: Mac Version Now Available10:16 AM
Egoboo for OS X10:14 AM
Feral Announces Ghost Master for Mac10:14 AM
Frozen Throne Bonus Map Available10:14 AM
NWN 1.32 Beta Patch10:14 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Friday, September 5, 2003 on one page

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