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Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Apple Reveals New PowerBook G4 LineUp
10:06 AM | Johan HansÚn | Comment on this story

At his keynote at Apple Expo in Paris, Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced a new lineup of their highly acclaimed PowerBook G4 computers. The largest change came to the 15-inch PowerBook that left its old Titanium case behind and got a new Aluminum look with the top model boosting the same type of backlit keyboard that was introduced with the 17-inch PowerBook earlier this year. The 15-inch PowerBook are available with either a 1 GHz or a 1.25 GHz G4 Processor. The 12-inch and the 17-inch PowerBooks received a speed boost and are now at 1 GHz and 1.33 GHz respectively.

Besides faster processors, the memory cap has been improved as well, now the 12-inch PowerBook has a maximum of 1.25 GB 266MHz DDR RAM while the 15-inch and 17-inch PowerBooks max out at 2 GB 333MHz DDR RAM. And if this wasn't enough, Apple also offers new graphic chips in all 3 models. The 12-inch PowerBook is now equipped with a 32MB nVidia GeForce FX Go 5200 and the 15-inch and 17-inch with a 64MB ATI Mobility Radeon 9600. As for connections, all PowerBooks now feature USB 2.0 technology, all models have one FireWire 400 port while the 15-inch and 17-inch models have one FireWire 800 port as well. As for networking capabilities, all models have built-in Bluetooth, the 15-inch and 17-inch have been equipped with gigabit ethernet and the 1.25 GHz 15-inch model and the 17-inch models has built-in AirPort Extreme. All other models are AirPort Extreme Ready.

The HD storage has increased as well, from 40 GB at the 12" Models to 60 GB at the 1 GHz 15-inch model and 80 GB at the 1.25 GHz 15-inch and the 17-inch model. Prices range from $1,599 for the 12-inch model with Combo Drive to $2,999 for the 17-inch model.

Steve Jobs also announced a Wireless Keyboard and Wireless Mouse, both using Bluetooth technology. Both the keyboard and the mouse have a design similar to the Pro Keyboard and Pro Mouse, with the obvious lack of cables. Both products cost $69 each and require a Mac with system 10.2.6 or later to work.

Apple Expo Paris 2003
Apple PowerBook Lineup
Apple Wireless Keyboard and Mouse

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Combat Mission: Afrika Korps Q&A
10:47 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

Specialised war gaming website has just published a new interview with's Martin van Balkom to discuss issues regarding their upcoming expansion pack Combat Mission: Afrika Korps.

The two page spread covers game design issues and some of the challenges the designers faced as bringing an entirely new field of operations to the Combat Mission game environment. Of great interest to players is Battlefront's use of a newly-improved gaming engine:

WG: Will any of the improvements developed for Combat Mission: Afrika Korps be available in patches to Combat Mission: Beyond Overlord or Combat Mission: Barbarossa to Berlin?

MB: No, because CMAK is not a simple "patch" to the existing CM engine. It really is a new game, with new underlying core mechanics, that are not easily ported to the previous two titles. None of the existing scenarios and battles and mods for CMBO and CMBB would work with the CMAK engine, besides the fact that it would take months to generate such a patch file. We are eventually going to revisit the Western and Eastern Fronts after finishing the new engine we're currently working on as well. Expected timeframe: a couple of years I would guess.

A simultaneous release of both the Windows and Mac versions of the game is still expected before the end of 2003. As with the previous versions of the game, however, CM:AK will not be playable in OS X or even the Classic environment - gamers will need to boot their machines in OS 9 to enjoy the new title.

Combat Mission: Afrika Korps Q&A
Combat Mission: Afrika Korps
Buy Combat Mission: Afrika Korps

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Halo for the PC Goes Gold
10:42 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Bungie Studios and Gearbox Software yesterday announced that Halo for Windows had gone gold and is scheduled to hit the shelves on September 30th.

Here's more from the official PR:

In the distant future, the fate of mankind hangs in the balance as a fierce alien faction known as the Covenant pursue the fleeing Earth forces to the ancient ring-world Halo. As the legendary cyborg super-soldier Master Chief, you must battle to unravel the mysteries of Halo and save humanity from the ruthless Covenant threat.

Halo, the critically acclaimed best-selling Xbox game, is coming to Windows gamers for the first time with new exclusive features, including online multiplayer support, new maps, vehicles and weapons. Halo is optimized for the PC with the precision offered by the mouse-and-keyboard and full support for high-end hardware including graphic resolutions up to 1600 by 1200 and beyond. Halo's online multiplayer feature will enable players to battle it out with fellow gamers worldwide in a variety of individual and team-based games. Halo for Windows was developed by Gearbox Software in conjunction with Bungie Studios.

Halo for the Macintosh is currently in development and will be released by MacSoft. No release date has been set yet.

Bungie Studios
Westlake Interactive
Halo: Combat Evolved

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New World Of Warcraft Screens Posted
10:27 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

Blizzard Entertainment has revealed two new screenshots of their upcoming massively multiplayer release, World Of Warcraft.

The screenshots, which are somewhat strangely reminiscent of the beach scenes in Giants: Citizen Kabuto, feature a hunting scene in one, and a Horde warrior standing outside its castle. Navigate through the links below in order to check out the shots for yourself.

With the Beta stage of the game's development approaching in October, word on the street is to expect a combined Windows/Mac release in the first quarter of 2004. Keep checking in with IMG as we'll keep you posted of the game's progress.

World Of Warcraft New Screenshots
Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft
Buy World of Warcraft

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Shadowbane Terms of Use Updated
10:06 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

The folks at Ubisoft recently made an interesting update to their Terms of Use agreement in regards to their MMORPG Shadowbane. Being added to the list of frowned-upon behavior is a new rule regarding the sale of characters or related items:

Users may not "Sell or distribute, outside of the game, any element of the games including without limitation game's characters, names, weapons, objects, skills, virtual currency and other features."
The update, currently being discussed in the Shadowbane forms, has received mixed reactions, with some feeling it to be unnecessary and unfair, while others applauding Ubisoft's decision. Those interested in seeing the full Terms of Use document can find a copy online at

Shadowbane - Terms of Use Agreement Updated
Wolfpack Studios

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NASCAR 2003 PC Patch, Mac Status
10:06 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

A forum posting made at MACAR Red Line Racing League confirms that a patch recently released for the PC version of Nascar 2003 is currently in the hands of programmers for conversion to the Mac. In response to a query concerning the status of the patch, an Aspyr representative sent the following:

We have received the patch and it's currently with the programmer. We've collected information from people who have reported the skipping problem and the programmer is aware of it. I don't know if a fix for it will be included in the next update or when that will be ready.
In the meantime, those interested in seeing some of the changes brought about by the patch, at least on the PC side, can find a copy of the associated readme file through the included link below.

Patch for 03
NASCAR« Racing 2003 Season PATCH README - PC Version
Aspyr Media
Westlake Interactive
Nascar Racing 2003
Buy Nascar Racing 2003

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Redline Status Update
10:06 AM | Johan HansÚn | Comment on this story

Ambrosia Software has posted a new status update on their upcoming 3D racing game Redline, letting us know how the progress for this title goes. Besides warning that the progress on Redline will go slow this month due to a vacation in Poland and a move to Berlin, there is also a list of improvements in the latest build of the game:

From the update:

  • fixed a performance problem in shadow rendering code.
  • added code to dynamically load textures of the web.
  • improved texture quality handling.
  • added an option to enable the high-quality shadows.. Maybe current high-end systems are capable of displaying them with good frame rates.
  • nicer display of headlights
  • To read the full update and maybe catch up on the older ones as well, head over to the Redline Progress Log with help of the link provided below.

    Ambrosia Software
    Ambrosia Software: Redline Progress Log

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    X-Plane Updated to 7.10
    10:06 AM | Tim Morgan | Comment on this story

    Laminar Research, the prolific developers of the ever-evolving general-aviation flight simulator X-Plane, has updated their flagship product to version 7.10. The update, free for all owners of X-Plane 7.0, has a wealth of new features, only some of which are detailed here.

    Version 7.10 introduces two new types of aircraft turboprops: free turbine and fixed shaft, as well as more accurate reproduction of aircraft electrical systems. All of this is done in conjunction with X-Plane's new FAA certification. A comprehensive list of all the new features can be found at the X-Plane website, as well as a download for both owners of X-Plane and those wanting to try a demo.

    In conjunction with a recent Popular Science article featuring X-Plane, developer Austin Meyer is offering the software packages for half-price until the end of September. The game can be purchased with global scenery covering the Earth and optionally Mars.

    X-Plane is a realistic and extensible non-combat flight simulator with a wealth of unusual features, allowing pilots to take a large variety of planes up to the sky, into outer space, or around Mars.

    Laminar Research
    X-Plane 7
    Download X-Plane 7.10 (140MB)
    Buy X-Plane 7

    Mac Games News for Monday, September 15, 2003

    IMG Store: Free Game Offers Updated!12:06 PM
    IMG Reviews Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne11:41 AM
    Apple Posts James Bond 007: Nightfire Trailer10:46 AM
    Feral To Announce Two New Games At Apple Expo10:15 AM
    Westlake Interactive Video Roundup10:09 AM
    Grizzly for Mac OS X9:39 AM
    Halo PC Complete?9:39 AM
    Northland Demo Released9:39 AM
    Puzzle Pirates Status With New OS X Java9:39 AM
    View all of the Mac games news for Monday, September 15, 2003 on one page

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