MWSF: Aspyr Announces Call of Duty
7:24 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story
Aspyr today kicked off Macworld Expo San Francisco by announcing that it will be porting and publishing the Mac version of Call of Duty, a World War II first person shooter. The game is currently being developed by Aspyr's internal development team and has already reached the first playable stage. Aspyr also announced that Call of Duty is scheduled to be released in April.
Here's a bit more info on the game:
Call of Duty delivers the gritty realism and cinematic intensity of World War II's epic battlefield moments like never before - through the eyes of citizen soldiers and unsung heroes from an alliance of countries who together helped shape the course of modern history.IMG will be meeting with Aspyr today at Macworld Expo San Francisco and we'll be sure to bring you more on this exciting announcement.
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Play through the chaos of battle as part of a well-trained squad, that lays down covering fire and pulls its wounded to safety. In addition to authentic squad movements and tactics, each soldier's distinct personality and training comes out on the battlefield.
No one soldier or nation single-handedly won the war. For the first time, Call of Duty captures the war from multiple perspectives, through the eyes of American, British and Russian soldiers. Battle through 24 missions spanning 4 interconnected historical campaigns. Take on mission objectives ranging from sabotage and all-out assault to stealth, vehicle combat and rescue. Authentic weapons, locations, vehicles and sounds of war all contribute to the realism, immersing you in the most intense World War II experience yet.
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MWSF: IMG Chats with Aspyr
5:17 PM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story
Continuing the rounds at MWSF, IMG had the opportunity to sit down with several members of Aspyr, including Glenda Adams, Brad Oliver, and Beth Oliver. Aspyr has had a terrific year, with one of their recent accomplishments being the shipment of 13 titles last quarter, including the much-wanted Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy.
Aspyr plans on producing even more this year. Chief among their recent announcements is the coming of Call of Duty, the WWII first-person shooter that has received critical acclaim on the PC side. We got a chance to look at a First Playable copy of this one, in which the player was put through a training mission designed to help familiarize the player with the controls. The multiplayer aspect is also up and running, and Aspyr estimates the current release date to be sometime around April.
Also shown was Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. The 3rd-person action title is also currently at First Playable and is being ported by Beenox. Other upcoming titles include Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell and Command & Conquer: Generals, both of which are slated for release sometime next quarter.
On the demo front, both Jedi Academy and Wakeboarding Unleashed demos will be out sometime in the next few weeks.
For those looking to run some dedicated Mac servers, Brad Oliver is working on one run entirely from the command line for Jedi Academy. He will also be looking into applying the work to other Quake III-based titles.
As for Aspyr's future, Glenda Adams notes that she is quite optimistic, pointing to the inclusion of an in-house development team as being one of the key points of success. Having this in-house development allows for greater control and flexibility over the porting process and allows Aspyr to sidestep legal issues that inevitably come up with dealing with a contracted porting house. One of the examples of this increased efficiency is Jedi Academy, which made it from start to finish in little over 6 weeks. Glenda also mentioned that Aspyr is looking to double their development team in the upcoming months in order to tackle an even greater number of titles.
Aspyr also intends to announce 3 more new titles over the course of MWSF. IMG will be sure to bring the news on these as soon as we hear word.
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MWSF: Harmon Multimedia Shows Off New Speakers
1:19 PM | Tim Morgan | Comment on this story
Harman Multimedia, creators of some of the most popular speaker systems for Macintosh, demonstrated its new line of Creature and SoundSticks speaker lines at MacWorld Expo. The new systems, dubbed Creature II and SoundSticks II, both follow in the tradition of their predecessors, offering 2.1 and 2.0 stereo sound in a sleek designer exterior.
The SoundSticks II, a three-piece multimedia system with a distinctive tall enclosure, now sports analog connectivity and touch volume control, as well as some improved DSP features, detailed in the press release from Harman Multimedia:
SoundSticks II employs a new computer-optimized multiband parametric equalization, which means listeners will experience clearer, cleaner sound and a more accurate reproduction of the artist's intent. Additionally, Harman's unique "capacitance touch" control buttons on the right satellite allow for direct access to volume control.
The Creature II, available in white and gray, has also been redesigned, offering new features on both the inside and out:
The JBL Creature II audio system incorporates the latest in "Odyssey" transducer technology and JBL's legendary speaker performance to produce crisp midrange tonality and a stunning level of bass response. Featuring a proprietary industrial design, the Creature audio system boasts a small footprint and soft-touch tactile controls. The Creature audio system can also recall the volume setting in use when the computer was last shut down, and utilizes an elegant user interface. This product is available in white and gray, and both models' satellite speakers "glow" from the bottom.
The SoundSticks II system is available with a suggested retail price of $199.95; the Creature II, $99.95. Be sure to look out for more information as the IMG staff gets a firsthand look at Harmon Multimedia's latest offerings. Harman Multimedia produces speaker systems under the monikers Harman Kardon, Infinity, and JBL.
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Apple Introduces iPod mini, New iLife Suite
1:16 PM | Lucian Fong | Comment on this story
Apple CEO Steve Jobs kicked off the new year by announcing several new product during his keynote speech at MacWorld San Francisco. The new iPod mini was the last surprise of the morning and certainly the most anticipated. Intended to break into the high-end flash player market, the iPod mini will have 4 GB of storage (or about 1,000 songs) and come in five different colors (silver, gold, pink, blue or green) on its anodized aluminim finish. Additionally, the enclosure only measures 3.6" x 2.0" x 0.5" and weighs 3.5 ounces, smaller than many cellular phones. The iPod mini will cost $249 USD and is compatible with Mac and Windows computers. It is expected to be available in the U.S. in February and worldwide in April.
Apple also announced two iPod accessories: an armband for the iPod mini and in-ear headphones, which will retail for $29 USD and $39 USD, respectively. Lastly, the 10 GB iPod was replaced by a 15 GB model, while keeping the same price of $299 USD.
Steve Jobs demonstrated the new iLife suite, dubbed iLife '04. The $49 USD ($29 for education customers) package includes iTunes 4, iMovie 4, iDVD 4, iPhoto 4, and a brand new music composing application — Garage Band. With the help of pop musician John Mayer, Jobs — who claimed he was not musically inclined — showed how easy it was to create, record, and edit music tracks. He also unvield a companion package to Garage Band, the $99 Jam Pack, which adds 2,000 loops, 100 software instruments, and 15 guitar amps. Both will be widely available on January 16.
A brief demonstration of Final Cut Express 2.0 also given. The new version is based largely on Final Cut Pro 4, and features real-time compositing and effects, an enhanced user interface, real-time color correction tools, and enhanced audio editing capabilities. Final Cut Express 2.0 is available immediately for $299 USD and $99 to users who purchased version 1.0.
In keeping with music theme of the keynote, Jobs revealed that over two million iPods, including 770,000 in the fourth quarter of 2003, have been sold since their introduction two years ago. The iTunes Music Store, now featuring over 500,000 songs and a new classical selection, has also been wildly successful. Over 30 million songs have been sold, with one anonymous person purchasing nearly $30,000 worth.
Despite the focus on consumer products, developers and professional customers were also treated to new Xserve G5s and an updated Xserve RAID. The 1U rack-mount servers will be available in single and dual 2.0 GHz G5 models, configurable with up to 8 GB of PC3200 ECC memory and 750 GB of storage via three hot-plug Serial ATA drive modules. There are three standard Xserve configurations, priced at $2,999 USD, $3,999 USD, and a $2,999 USD cluster node.
PR: Apple Introduces iPod mini
PR: Over Two Million iPods Sold
PR: Apple Announces iLife ‘04
PR: Apple Introduces Jam Pack
PR: Apple Introduces Xserve G5
PR: Apple Unveils New Xserve RAID Storage System
PR: Apple Introduces Final Cut Express 2
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MWSF: Bionicle The Game for Mac OS X
9:41 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story
At the beginning of this morning's Macworld Expo keynote address, Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced an OS X version of Lego's Bionicle The Game. The title was recently released for the major consoles and now brings the action of Lego's popular animated movie to the Mac.
Those familiar with the burgeoning franchise will be excited to see the game, which sports action/adventure mix with a deep plotline. Here's a quick snippet from the game's site:
In a time before time, in a world you've only imagined, a shadow has been cast, six heroes have been chosen and the greatest of all challenges has been laid down. With the awesome elemental powers of the Toa at your fingertips, it has fallen to you to defeat Makuta and return the island of Mata Nui to light. Be the Toa - Live out the Legend...For more on Bionicle, check out the site. There's no word yet on a precise release date or publisher, but stay tuned to IMG for the latest as Macworld continues.
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MacWorld Keynote Coverage in IMG Chat
8:32 AM | Lucian Fong | Comment on this story
Apple CEO Steve Jobs is scheduled to deliver his keynote address at MacWorld San Francisco on Tuesday, January 6 at 9 AM PST. Moderators in IMG's IRC channel will be providing live coverage of the event for modem users and people who may not be able to access the live stream.
For more information on how to join IMG Chat, visit the IMG Chat homepage.
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MacSoft Debuts UT2004 at Macworld Expo
6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story
MacSoft today announced they will begin showing Unreal Tournament 2004 at the Macworld Expo in San Francisco. This will be the first Mac showing of the title and is among the first chances for the general gaming public--Mac or PC--to give the game a try.
Unreal Tournament 2004 boasts many new features over its predecesors including new playable races, more gameplay modes, and the much-touted lineup of drivable vehicles. Here's a clip from the official press release with more information:
“Once again, Epic is showing their fantastic commitment to the Mac platform by giving the Mac community one of the first chances to fly a Manta, drive a Scorpion, or experience the gorgeous outdoor worlds of Unreal Tournament 2004,” according to Destineer President Peter Tamte.Stay tuned to IMG for the latest from the show floor later today, including a run-down of Unreal Tournament 2004.
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The sequel to last year’s hugely popular Unreal Tournament 2003, UT04 takes gladiator combat to a new level with the addition of land and air vehicles, an arsenal of new weaponry (including mines, rocket-propelled grenades and stationary gun turrets), daunting new arenas, epic battlefields and the challenge of the Assault and Onslaught game types.
Unreal Tournament 2004 also adds the UnrealTV broadcast system, which allows hundreds of people to log on and watch famous combatants duke it out, and the return of the mighty Skaarj as a playable race.
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UT2003 Mod Winner Q&A
6:00 AM | Alvaro Radigales | Comment on this story
About half a month after the announcement of the Make Something Unreal Contest (MSCU) phase one winners, the community-run web site BeyondUnreal has managed to interview the makers of the state-of-the-art creations that made it to the end of this event.
The interviews, featured in a two-page article, comprehend the five mod teams that won the first phase of the contest, with the exception of the one-man team responsible for Face Off, who sadly was not available for questioning.
Here is a brief snip from BeyondUnreal's interview with the Conquest Marines team, as quoted from the article:
Can you briefly describe the atmosphere of your mod?For the full article and the four complete interviews, be sure to check BeyondUnreal through the link provided below. For those preferring a first-hand impression, the five featured mods are available for download at the same web site.
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Our aim in creating Conquest Marines was simply to produce a mod that was team oriented and fun to play. The basic idea is two sides fighting it out with a bunch of different weapons, inventory items and vehicles to make it more interesting. We don't have any set rules on the way things should work so we're trying things out as we go - sometimes it works well and sometimes it doesn't but we're always willing to give something a try and equally take it out or change it if it we think we can make it better.
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MSUC Phase 1 Winners Round-Up
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Xenquin Software Zaps OS X
6:00 AM | Chris Stein | Comment on this story
Xenguin Software has announced the release of its newest shareware puzzle game, Zap. Zap features two modes of play: Normal mode and Strategy Mode. Both involve lighting up light bulbs to stop a nuclear power plant from exploding, but strategy mode introduces batteries which raises the limited power level of the plant.
Here is more back-story from Xenguin's website:
You are one of the engineers working at the local power plant. Being new to this work, you are always given the lousiest jobs, from polishing door knobs to solving tricky situations, and this day is no exception to that.Xenguin software is the publisher of other shareware titles, such as Eldorado, Elasticity and Column Forge. Zap is available for download at the link below and has a 30-day free trial and costs $15 to register.
You noticed suddenly that energy levels are rising dangerously high, and the power plant is about to blow unless someone rearranges the control circuits to release the extra current. As everybody else has already fled, you are left alone to face the challenge of saving the power plant.
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