May 24, 2007 The mobile phone's abilities remain vastly underused by the average owner; mobile applications have yet to really take root in our lives. But forward thinking companies like Finland's VTT realise the value of having a screen in every pocket that they can communicate with, and are moving to use the ubiquitous cell phone in creatively commercial ways. Their latest project is a real-time public transport information system operating in two of Finland's major cities.
May 22, 2007 Movie licensed games are typically horrible, and should be avoided at all costs. The precedent was set way back in 1982, when lengthy licensing negotiations left a single Atari programmer with just 5 weeks to conceive and develop the entire "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial" game. Despite being widely regarded as the worst game ever made, it sold 1.5 million copies - making it the eighth best selling game for the Atari 2600. For obvious reasons, countless movies have been turned into games since 1982, and a mere few gems like Goldeneye 007 and Star Wars Episode 1: Pod Racer have emerged from the noise. Did the developers of Spiderman 3 get enough development time to deliver a polished game in time for the movie? Our Games Editor has the full story.
May 22, 2007 Geometry Wars first appeared as a mini-game in Project Gotham Racing 2 for the Xbox, and much to the surprise of the developers, people loved it - enough to warrant a HD sequel on the Xbox 360. Geometry Wars: Evolved was the first game released on Xbox Live Arcade, and to this day remains the cheapest, and arguably, best game available on the service. Finally, Nintendo fans are set for a taste of the hellishly frantic action.
May 18, 2007 You may recall our enthusiasm last year when we reported on eballgames and its development of an interface between a real ball and ball games
– think of it as a CHI (Computer Human Interface) for any real world ball game and you’re close. Motion and speed sensors take your kick, throw or golf swing and play out the results on the big screen, for better or worse. The crowd will roar or express their disappointment, and the commentator gives you a pat on the back or a serve for missing. The ball goes into a net and is ready for the next player to have a go. It's simple, quick fun and it continually breaks records for drawing crowds wherever it is installed. Now the company has taken its VR sports simulator and developed it into a number of inflatable structures so the promotional killer-app can be quickly set up anywhere, indoors or outdoors. Eballgames
is already working on many different sports and is keen to discuss development opportunities with interested parties
. We see it as the ultimate Wii peripheral for kids that want to play ball games. Indeed, there’s plenty of opportunity for the development of remedial and skills development games using this technology.
May 11, 2007 It was only recently that we became properly aquainted with Guitar Hero 2
, but that doesn't mean we're any less excited about Activision's announcement of the third game in the series, Guitar Hero: Rocks the 80s. Details are scarce, but read on for a sneak peak at the tracklist.
May 4, 2007 One of the prime motive forces in computer technology is the gaming industry
. And by releasing the world’s fastest graphics processing unit, NVIDIA
has ensured that it is in the driving seat. Available on May 15, the GeForce 8800 Ultra is priced at US$829. Given that the graphics industry evolves extremely quickly, it is quite an achievement for a company to leapfrog its own performance milestones as NVIDIA has done with the GeForce 8 Series GPUs.
April 30, 2007 As you might imagine, we're surrounded with technology at the Gizmag office...and we thought we'd learned to do a pretty good job of soldiering on despite all the distractions the wired lifestyle brings. Alas, those times are over now, and we refer to the period as BG (Before Guitar Hero). For the uninitiated, Guitar Hero is rock and roll condensed into a video game, complete with plastic guitar controller and a drummer who always turns up to practice on time (and doesn't hit on your girlfriend). The original Playstation 2 game sold over one million units in its first year, and the sequel sold over 1.3 million units in 2006 - 800,000 in December alone - and it's hooked everyone from the neighbors seven-year-old to members of the prog-rock super-group Tool. Now it's here on the Xbox 360 in crisp 720p resolution with 10 additional tracks - if you've listened to guitar music at all in the last thirty years, read on for the full review, video and track list.
April19, 2007 It’s Ferrari
’s 60th birthday this year, and we’re pleased to report the company to be in extraordinarily good health. One of the most recognised brands on the planet, Ferrari’s name is synonymous with automotive performance, technological innovation, elegant form, and excellence in seemingly everything. On the racetrack, Ferrari has participated in every event in Formula one history, having won 23% of these races, with more race wins, fastest laps, pole positions and championships than any other marque. Formula One is the world’s most expensive sport by a fair margin – fielding a vaguely competitive car costs half a billion dollars a year, and several teams have spent a billion dollars in a year and still been embarrassed by the speed of Ferrari. Formula One is also the world’s most watched sporting event and the resultant brand recognition is enormous. Ferrari does not advertise but its marketing department is fittingly innovative in showcasing and developing the brand in many ways with the recent examples including a Ferrari theme park for grown ups in Abu Dhabi
, the worldwide Tour of Ferrari
, and dressing up a series of the world’s showcase buildings, including the world’s tallest building, Taipei's 508 metre 101 Tower. The anniversary celebrations have also spawned one of the world’s most outstanding adverts, not from Ferrari, but from its long-standing Formula One fuel partner Shell. Costing US$3.9 million, the two minute longform commercial involves a cavalcade of Ferrari’s most famous race cars driving flat-out through the streets Rome, Monaco, Rio, New York and Hong Kong and is yet another example of Antione Bardou-Jacquet
’s astonishing talent. He was previously best known for the Honda “Cog” commercial. The commercial can be seen here
– warn the neighbours, then turn up the speakers very loud for a wonderful experience.
April 14, 2007 When 14-year-old New Zealand schoolgirls Jenny Suo and Anna Devathasan handed in their surprising Science Fair project results in 2004, they hardly expected to strike a financial blow for the consumer, but that's exactly what happened when global pharmaceutical juggernaut GlaxoSmithKline
admitted to 15 charges of breaching the Fair Trading Act at the Auckland District Court earlier this month. The girls' project tested the vitamin C content of 8 different juices against the claimed amount on the packaging and were surprised to find that despite GSK's assertion that Ribena
contains 7 milligrams of Vitamin C per 100ml, they were able to find "no detectable level" of the vitamin. Go to it kids! Be inspired by Jenny and Anna and keep 'em honest.
April 12, 2007 Bizit Air Products
have come up with a fun idea - inflatable plastic balls with up to a 4.5 metre/15 foot diameter that can accomodate dancers, motorcycles, and even cars for a showstopping presentation that's hard to ignore. Fully sealed, the balls allow an occupant to walk on land, water, or even a sea of hands, all the while looking like they're trapped in a soap bubble.