MS Ixnays DX X for XP

Oh, sorry, too many acronyms?

An article at Next Generation has confirmation that MS will not be releasing DirectX 10 on XP, something they’d previously…well…at least indicated they would do. What does this mean? Well, for one thing, uptake of the DX10 features, so far best shown off in Crysis will be slower than it would be otherwise. The more troubling implication, from a consumer point of view at least, is the forced upgrade to Vista if you want to play any DX10 game like Crysis.

Full Story at Next Generation

Eurogamer Pontificates on GT HD

Digital Displacement readers already know my feelings on Sony’s somewhat lame GT demo at E3, but now Eurogamer are giving theirs. They’re a bit more forgiving than I was…

As a tech demo, which is surely all it was, GT HD demonstrated as much marketing as technical savvy. Accepting praise was easy, while any criticism was easily offset by a simple shrug – it’s just a demo after all. And there’s a sense that if this is just small steps for Polyphony, the larger ones taken by Gran Turismo next-gen could be anything. We’d love to see proper pie-in-the-sky features, like deformable gravel traps in line with the persistent terrain of MotorStorm and SEGA Rally next-gen, and it’s not hard to imagine this stuff is being debated back home in Japan. Along with, you know, imaginative ideas.

Full Story at Eurogamer

GTR Won’t Work Under Vista?

As if we all needed another reason to hate Starforce, an article at ExtremeTech (seen over at 1up.com) has the skinny on a number of games that, at least as of now, work and don’t work under the Beta 2 version of Windows Vista. Vista, as you probably know, is Microsoft’s next Holy Grail operating system, promising a smoothly polished UI and a successor to DirectX that should do great things. (If you’re not familiar with Vista, check out the piece I wrote on Vista’s promise for gamers for GGL.)

According to this new article, most games seem to run just fine, if somewhat slower. However, anything with Starforce crashed and burned. While GTR wasn’t specifically tested, it’s safe to assume it would have as well. Surely Starforce will come up with some sort of solution prior to Vista’s planned launch next spring, but only time will tell how intrusive that solution will be.

Full Article at ExtremeTech

BTCC Mod for TOCA/Pro Race Driver

UPDATE 4/18/2007: Rather sadly I received an e-mail from this mod’s creator requesting that I take this coverage down due to complaints from the BTCC. Obviously the BTCC has to protect their interests, but this is an unfortunate thing, and perhaps a bad sign of things to come as motorsports become more aware of their presence in the simming community. Check the link below for more information on what’s up:

Former Project Website

Xbox 360 Dashboard Update Detailed

Rumors have abounded for a few weeks now, and Eurogamer have the full details on what exactly will be delivered, including the ability to queue up and resume downloads, new Marketplace categories, 16x FF and Rewind while watching videos, and the ability to force the Xbox to boot to the dashboard rather than straight into whatever game is sitting in the tray.

Full Story at Eurogamer

If you’d like to get a little better view into the update, as seen over at Evil Avatar, GameVideos.com has a 20 minute overview.

Video at GameVideos.com

Jodie Kidd Struts on Live

Jodie Kidd + Maserati

Fans of Top Gear’s Star in a Reasonably Priced Car segment, or fans of the fashion industry, will recognize this very tall British model. Jodie Kidd, pictured above pretending to be Daisy Duke (though Ms. Duke would likely have had no idea how to pronounce Maserati), will be appearing on Xbox Live this Tuesday from 5:30 – 7:00 pm GMT. Her Xbox Live screen name will be…wait for it…Jodie Kidd. No word on the color of her chosen car just yet.

Continue Reading

Test Drive Unlimited’s Ford Lineup Analyzed

As they did prior to the release of PGR3, Team Xbox going through the marques for Test Drive Unlimited. This week it’s Ford, predictably showing off the GT along with a few Mustang models.

Ford is an American original. The company revolutionized the way that cars were built, driven and perceived. The list of models that Ford has turned out over the years is as long as the company’s rich history and nearly all models are instantly recognizable to people in America and abroad. Now in Test Drive Unlimited, you have the chance to drive some of America’s most classic, reliable cars through some of Hawaii’s most beautiful highways.

Full Article at Team Xbox

ALMS Gives you Wings

Flying Aston

As seen over at Autoblog and on the North American Subaru Impreza Owners Club, some pictures have been circulating of an amazing flying ALMS Aston Martin that flew a total of 142 feet in the air before gently dropping back into a sand trap seemingly none the worse for wear.

You can watch a video of the incident over at YouTube. Sadly, no in-car audio commentary was provided, but I’d expect it’d either sound something like “Bloody heeeeeeell!” or “Wheeeeee!”

Some Wii Launch Info Revealed

No real details yet, but Nintendo’s dropping a few nuggets of info.

REDMOND, Wash., May 25 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Following its
overwhelming debut at E3 2006, Nintendo today announced the current fiscal
year unit shipment forecast for its new home game system, Wii(TM). Nintendo
also confirmed that the price of the Wii system, which incorporates unique
freehand control, will not exceed $250 in America, or 25,000 yen in Japan. The
company plans to ship 6 million systems to retailers around the world between
its launch in the fourth quarter of 2006 and the end of its fiscal year on
March 31, 2007.

The question on my mind is does “will not exceed $250” mean $249.99, or will they default to their $199.99 price point they’ve always used on new consoles?

Forza 2 Interview

Forza Motorsport 2

The UK’s Official Xbox Mag has posted an interview with Dan Greenawalt, designer of Forza 2.

What difference has the Xbox 360 made to the physics and graphics?

Dan Greenawalt:
Now that we’re on Xbox 360 we can do 60 frames per second and keeping the physics at the same speed as the first game. In fact, for some key areas we’re increasing the speed of our physics. That’s where this all ties back into Sebring. It’s not the most visually impressive track – it’s kinda flat – but the track surface has all these little ruts and steps in the concrete that put incredible pressure on the physics engine. As a physics geek that’s what got me excited because I knew we were going to be beating the hell out of the cars and they’d be rocking all over the place. So it was kind of a strategic choice to show off the complexity of our physics, but it’s also great fun to drive!