The Kinect can see, but the ability to see objects is different from the ability to recognize objects. You and I, with our eyes and brains that work so effectively, can see a water bottle of pretty much any size, shape, color, or material, and recognize what it's for. But a Kinect is not as smart as we are, and needs a hand to get to our level. That's where you come in.
The promise of OnLive always seemed crazy: graphics-intensive major games are offloaded to remote servers and streamed to any device with an adequate internet connection. That means, yeah, Crysis on an iPad. We've been impressed with the service in the past, despite its catalog and availability issues, because it's just such an amazing, futuristic idea, but the service crashed a few weeks ago--and crashed hard. The Verge has a great account of how the most exciting company in gaming lost it all--read it here.
We've said it before, but our favorite application for 3-D--really, the only venue in which we don't hate it--is gaming. Nintendo just released the 3DS XL, basically a bigger version of the glasses-free 3DS we reviewed here, and it's great. Here's why.
Trackpads have been a remarkably simple solution to what could've been a complicated problem: translating the mouse to a laptop. But pushing that technology any further requires some lateral thinking, and the next dimension laptops might venture into is detecting pressure from your fingers, which would open the door for a larger set of commands. It would change how we navigate, and we might be almost there.
Imaginary creatures rule the universes of various video games, maybe none more notably than the fantastical beasts you can create all by yourself in "Spore." Ever wonder if your two-headed, seven-eyed four-legged dinosaur-thing would be able to stand up? New software developed at Harvard will make it real for you, making a new computer model and constructing a physical animal-thing with a 3-D printer.
Here's a true story: a few years ago, given an Xbox 360 for testing purposes, I went to the Gamestop to get a new game. I like games, but I don't like games with guns or sports, because I don't particularly like guns or sports in real life, either. The guy at the Gamestop was absolutely flummoxed by my request for an Xbox game with neither. He ended up recommending the game version of the movie G-Force, which is a movie for children featuring talking CGI guinea pigs.
Violence in games is widespread, largely because violence triggers certain pleasure points in our brains. But what if we could study the brain to figure out exactly where and why--and what else could produce the same reaction?
Yesterday at E3, the gaming industry's biggest American conference, Nintendo showed up with a 30-minute video updating their upcoming Wii U console--there have been some minor changes, like the move from touch-sensitive circle-pads to real joysticks, but the biggest change is that Nintendo seems to have finally heard of the internet.
Sniper Elite V2's hyper-realistic, surgically accurate KillCam feature takes you inside your victim's body to see precisely how your bullet will end his life. Will gamers embrace the gore, or is the KillCam a step over the line?
The creators of Sniper Elite V2, a third-person World War II shooter released this week, know that the success of a modern video game comes down to the details. They worked closely with historians to nail the feel of 1945 Berlin, all the way down to the pattern of the wallpaper inside a typical German home. The typeface on the Nazi propaganda littering the crumbling virtual urban streets is Antiqua, the preferred font of the Reich.
But the primary subject of research for the team was more, shall we say, internal: what happens when a sniper's bullet enters a human body? They consulted medical experts, ex-military snipers, photography of real-life gunshot victims and x-rays of bone fractures, gathering a mountain of data and funneling it through the incredibly powerful software and hardware used to create today's videogames. The final result: a realistic simulation, rendered on the fly, that they call the "KillCam," in which the camera follows a bullet as it leaves the sniper's gun, flies through the air, hits its mark, and invades the body--with all the bone-crushing, organ-bursting, blood-spewing destruction that entails.