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Vastet Blog

500 Ghz processor? Wow.

So IBM and Georgia Tech have clocked a processor at 500 Ghz running in sub 451F temperatures. The same processor runs at about 350 Ghz in room temperatures. And, amazingly, this processor is silicone based. Meaning it's not going to cost more for materials than the average processor does, once production lines taking advantage of the technology are set up. BBC Source Georgia Tech article with technical information Don't get too excited though, since this isn't a PC processor. While the technology was originally designed for use in PC's, it was deemed too power consuming for practical use. Currently these processors are used primarily in communication. Though it's possible that with other technical advancement, and proper application, we could see 500 Ghz processors in PC's in about 10-15 years.

I choose Blu-ray.

Best place to start is with the past, and why I'm doing this. This writing will show how I've come to the conclusion that the new formats are coming regardless of what I and others want. Since they are at war with each other, I've also had to choose what side I support. Hence, the war itself is also covered, and the reasons to my choice of Blu-ray for my support. To be honest, I now have no choice but to move beyond VHS. I've resisted thus far, since there's nothing wrong with it. I have a few DVD's, but I'll not be buying any more of them since their end is already in sight. I'm not going to support the new formats immediately, by going out and getting a BD or HD-DVD player as well as a tonne of movies. But all the movies I get from now on will be next gen until the players come down in price and I can pick them up. A lot of people are mad that there is even a new generation of media coming to begin with. I can't say as I blame them, since I felt the same way when DVD was released. So did most people. But we got over it. And so will everyone who's mad this time around. The simple fact is that a High Definition player is a requirement. About 10% of North Americans can recieve a HD signal to their TV sets. 1 out of 38 Europeans are in the same boat. And in Japan, the number is far higher since the technology has been available for a few extra years. I was unable to find direct statistics showing the exact user base of HDTV's, but it is an expanding one. If I ever come across some info, I'll add it here. There are at least tens of millions of people with HDTV's that don't have a media player to take advantage of it. It's like having a colour TV, but your VCR only plays black and white. Not quite that dramatic, but still a comparable metaphor. That's one reason that the new media is required. The other reason is that DVD sales in North America have peaked. They are approaching that same peak in Europe. Asia is still a ways off, but retailers in North America don't care about Asian DVD player sales. They need something new to get people to buy. Everyone's forgotten that VHS lasted decades, and player sales were stable, if slow, for all that time. Retailers still made money because VCR's were a dime a dozen. Companies could produce them for pocket change. You could sell a VCR for $30 and still make profit easily. They are greedy, and they are demanding a new format. Their only saving grace is that it's needed. Well, not the only saving grace. Both HD-DVD and BD can have DVD's encoded on them. So they aren't just backwards compatible, they're forwards compatible too. I'm not sure how hard the industry will push sales on hybrid disks, but if they push hard enough then everyone will be building a library of next gen media even if they don't have the devices to use them to their maximum capabilities. By the time the average person buys a next gen player(3-5 years from now they should be cheap enough), that person will already have a hefty selection of High Def movies to watch on it. Yes, the sales will be slow for the first couple years. It'll be exactly the same as DVD was to start. But it's only going to be 3-5 years before the average BD and HD players are down to the $100-200 mark. HDTV's are dropping in price by leaps and bounds at the same time. Hovering over it all is the fact that sooner or later, SDTV will be an extinct signal. The move to HDTV is even being done on federal levels. When corporations and the government want something, they tend to get it. Now to cover the fact that a lot of people think the current switch isn't as dramatic as the last one. VHS were a pain to rewind, it's suggested. Even though it only took a couple of minutes and noone complained at the time(there were also rewinders that were cheap, did it faster than a VCR, and with less wear and tear on the VCR to boot). Certainly not a reason to re-purchase your entire collection. DVD players of the time didn't have a VCR within, so the implication was that all your movies were out of date. And even more of a blow to that argument, DVD's don't make things much faster. By the time it's loaded the DVD, gone through all the unskippable warnings that you could skip on a VHS tape, and selected play, you've spent about as much time as it took to rewind a tape. What advantage? Scene selection is touted as an advantage, even though people watch whole movies instead of pieces of them. Advantage yes, not significant however. Extra features are another factor mentioned, even though those first appeared on VHS even before Sony, Phillips, Toshiba, and others combined their forces to get DVD going. DVD's usually have more features, and they are easier to access, but that's because hollywood wanted people to grab DVD's to begin with. Features will likely get even larger in the future. Picture quality was improved, but it's improved even more so this time around. Only those who haven't seen a HDTV at work can suggest otherwise. People even have the amusing tendancy to attempt to suggest that DVD's are more durable than VHS tapes were, which is laughable. The tape in a VHS cartridge was protected, wheras the DVD surface is exposed to the elements. Perhaps the DVD is indeed more durable than the tape itself, but the DVD won't last half as long when exposed to the reality of use. And while a tape could be repaired for free and with ease, a damaged DVD only recently was repairable, and in many cases costs hundreds to take advantage of. So there was certainly advantages, but not huge ones that made everyone instantly hop onto DVD. The next gen has some advantages of it's own however. One of which is the disk space. Such an increase in disk space allows corporations to do more with their movies. It's needed first for the HD signal. DVD's don't have enough room for HD movies. Second, it allows hollywood to put more versions of a movie on one disk, so they don't have to tie up a production line for this country, and one for that. They can have all or at least most lines all doing one disc coding. Another advantage is for TV series box sets. Instead of buying season 1 of a series and getting 4+ disks to watch it on, you only have to deal with one disc. The size expansion is even more useful in industry. 30-50-200 GB > 10 GB for any company that keeps records, has a lot of file transfers off of networks, shipping, and more. Sciences, maths, history, record keeping, and a dozen other fields of work will adopt the new formats very quickly. There's really no such thing as too much room on a disk in industry. One of the new formats is also very durable. Anti-scratch material Durabis, developed by TDK, allows one to take scissors to a disk, and it'll still work fine. The final part of this segment will cover HVD. It's a new format that's about 2-4 years behind BR and HD-DVD. It blows HD-DVD's capacity completely off the map, and has about 5 times BR's space. Cool. But no use for it in Hollywood. Not until HDTV's are on the way out for whatever the next display will be at least. Their TB of space is irrelevant to the movie industry. Both the formats currently being released have more than enough room for Hollywood, and are both thousands of dollars cheaper than HVD. HVD will however be very useful in industry and research. Now that I've covered that the change is inescapable, it's on to the format war itself. I'll just pick a random factor and start with that. The launches of the players: Blu-ray was launched first in Japan, and HD-DVD was launched first in North America. First in Japan tends to mean more than first in N/A, simply because the average person is more technologically inclined in Japan. That advantage dries up real fast if you wait too long to launch in North America however, since there's a bigger population to work with. Not an issue in this case. BD and HD-DVD players both made it to all markets within a close enough period to render timing irrelevant. Advantage: Neither really. It'll be awhile before either takes hold en masse. The respective launch dates really would only matter if they were a year or more apart. The name: Really it's irrelevant. Some people have tried to suggest that having HD and DVD in the name is an advantage for HD-DVD. It's really not. These people have never considered the fact that not every media has held the same name as the media player. It's hardly an industry standard. You didn't put VCR's into VCR players to watch on VCR-TV's. You put VHS into VCR's to watch on TV. And for every person that automatically thinks of HDTV when seeing HD-DVD's, there's another who thinks that HD-DVD is a slightly enhanced version of DVD, while Blu-Ray is a brand new and more useful technology. Advantage: Both are equal. Cost: The cheapest HD-DVD players are about half the price of the cheapest BR players, until the PS3 launches anyway. At which point the two players will be at about the same price range. It's unclear exactly if either will gain a clear advantage in price by the time the war heats up. Costs of setting up a BD production line are a bit more than that of an HD-DVD line. But the higher capacity on BD allows for lower costs in the programming department, since you can put every language and every feature to ever be put with the movie on a single disk. As the technologies improve, you'll be able to put an entire movie series, say the 6 x 2.2 hour Star Wars, on Blu-ray. The movies prices are about the same, maybe a few cents different here and there. Nothing significant at the moment. Advantage: HD-DVD has a slight advantage for the first while, but Blu-ray could very easily match them in all departments by the time the price matters. Durability: Here's where things change fairly significantly. Ever had a scratched disc? Movie starts skipping at one scene? Song starts skipping in the middle? HD-DVD isn't going to change that. Blu-ray will. If left on their own, BD would be significantly easy to damage, since the code is on the very bottom of the layers of disc. HD-DVD is basically like normal DVD's today, with the code in the middle of the layers of disc. The difference maker is TDK's innovation: Durabis. It makes disc surfaces nearly indestructible. I've seen people take steel wool to them and they still work, yet fingerprints can often make a DVD skip. TDK exclusively supports Blu-ray, so HD-DVD is not seeing this disc protection. Advantage: Blu-ray. Disc Capacity: This is a one liner: Blu-ray has multiple times the capacity of HD-DVD. That's almost all that needs to be said. Apparently the BRA have encountered difficulties mass producing double layer(50GB) discs. If this is not overcome over the next couple of months, it could be a big problem. The association has already got 50GB, 100GB, and 200GB discs working, they just don't have them reliable enough to mass produce. Advantage: HD-DVD has a slight current advantage, but if production problems are solved quickly, Blu-ray will quickly recover any ground lost and a bit more with it. Read Speeds: Data transfer rate (data) HD-DVD: 36.55Mbps (1x) BD: 36.55Mbps (1x) Data transfer rate (video/audio) HD-DVD: 36.0Mbps (1x) BD: 54.0Mbps (1.5x) Advantage: Blu-ray has a slight advantage. PS3/XBox 360: Blu-ray comes standard in every PS3. Even if the system flops horribly, that's going to be at least 20 million BD players handed out to consumers. If the PS3 does as well as previous PS systems, then we're looking at closer to 100 million BD players thrown into the market. That's a significant push towards BD becoming standard. The 360 will also support a new format, it's choice being HD-DVD. The difference is that it will only be as an accessory, sold seperately from the system. No accessory has ever sold very well. Probably the only accessory to even approach console sales would be memory cards. No matter how many systems the 360 ends up selling, only a fraction of them will have an accompanying HD-DVD player. Advantage: Blu-ray. Direct Support: Blu-ray has Sony, Phillips, and Mitsush!ta(damn censor..) as primary contributors, with JVC and TDK both having contributed exclusive content. HD-DVD has Toshiba and NEC as primary contributors. Advantage: Blu-ray. Support: Seven of the eight major movie studios have already announced titles for Blu-ray, including Warner, Paramount, Fox, Disney, Sony, MGM and Lionsgate. HD-DVD only has support from Warner, Paramount and Universal. Advantage: Blu-ray. Microsoft: Is really not that big of an issue. They won't be able to do more than offer a HD-DVD drive accessory to the 360, which won't have a lot of sales. And if MS were to package later 360's with the drive, all the early adoptors would basically be punished for not having the drive. Sega showed what happens when you punish your fan base: It abandons you. They can't make their Windows incompatible with BD, regardless of how many HD-DVD supporters suggest otherwise. It would invite anti-trust law suits at the least. Picture Quality: At this time HD-DVD has a bit of an advantage over BD. The aforementioned dual-layer mass production problems(the ending of which would end this issue instantly) make it so that while they continue to use the MPEG 2 codec(something they can choose to end whenever they wish to), the discs don't have enough space to hit HD-DVD's level. This issue could be solved at any given time, bringing both discs to equal footing. So while HD-DVD has an advantage for now, it could end at any moment. When both formats have hit their maximum potential, in time for mass markets, they will both look about equal, and be better than today. Advantage: HD-DVD has a temporary advantage. Every advantage(one for certain) that HD-DVD has over BD could dry up by November. Yet BD's advantages will last longer than that. Exclusive support from companies will take longer than a couple of months to change, regardless of which format sells better. And in the end tally, BD has more advantages to start with. It's also more future proof, as it has much longer reaching potential than HD-DVD does. -------------------------------------------------------------------- Beyond some spelling and time sensitive issues, this is now complete.

Thoughts on strategies and flaws of the big 3.

Console strategies: Nintendo: Innovate, be cheap, sneak in under the radar of Microsoft and Sony to sell consoles to owners of Microsoft and Sony systems, with the hope of pitting them against each other while Nintendo sweeps up everyone who has the bigger systems. Launch with Zelda: A sure-fire killer APP. Also launch with the largest old school library ever offered, effectively gaining $$ on games that haven't needed much if any work for 0-20 odd years. Microsoft: Get out early, undercut primary competitions price, gain exclusives, steal away exclusives from competitors: Primarily to be MS exclusive, but multi-console launches are vastly preferable to getting a game 3 years later. Be a long road, but at the end, hopefully they're in the lead. Sony: Keep the PS2 so alive that gamers don't necessarily need a PS3 right away. Lowers stress for shipping on launch, and subsequent months. Also allows Sony to float the PS3 for a year or so until they really buckle down and drop the price to stay competitive. Sony's looking at a 10 year window for this system, and they aren't in a rush. Be the most powerful, as they didn't like being the least powerful last gen(made them miss some kick ass titles). Include Blu-Ray in the hopes of expanding it's user base faster than HD-DVD's can go(that much is near certain). Flaws. Nintendo: Not really a Next Gen system. It's a GC with slightly more powerful hardware than a GC, and a couple controller innovations that might or might not completely take off. That makes it by far the cheapest console, though the year delay until launch after Microsoft might come and bite them in the ass. If the 360 core console sees a price drop to within the Wii price range, Nintendo will lose potential sales as a result. Microsoft: Launch was the biggest flaw. I understand the need to get the system out fast, but Sony's E3 conference proved it a waste of energy. The 360 would have been cheaper anyway, so Microsoft might as well have waited a couple months in order to ensure that launch was near flawless. They could have saved a significant amount of money as well, seeing as how manufacturing costs have to have dropped by now. Every console they sold might have lost a bit less money. And yet, the 5 mil+ console sale lead is a definate requirement if Microsoft wants to pass Sony. Sony: Price is definately the biggest flaw. Other than Canadians(he he), everyone will be paying about $200 US more for the PS3 than they did with the PS2. Having the premium PS3 cost $200 US more than the premium 360 is also not very smart. If their strategy works it might not matter, but there's no guaranteees that anyone's strategy will work the way they intend it to. And the simple fact is that Sony might have won last gen on three points: First out(of the survivors anyway), cheaper than the most expensive, PS name recognition/contributions/total dominance of previous gen. Some may say the titles did it, but those three points led to the titles that came.

Sony's controller didn't copy Nintendo's

Not surprisingly, all the Sheep have recently gone on their standard: I think they copied, but they didn't, but I'll whine anyway rants. http://sony.gamerfeed.com/gf/news/4815/ Sony has been working on this for awhile. If anything, Nintendo copied Sony. Not the other way around.

The Nintendo Wii....

"I'll start off by saying I wished Nintendo could have made an appearance, but they've been too quiet to make fools of themselves lately...."Vastet
Source Damnit, I knew I should have waited a few more days. It was only a matter of time before Nintendo joined the club. :(

Japan, racist?

I've noticed a trend amongst Lemmings in the forums recently. Calling the Japanese racist simply because they don't support the XBox franchise like Sony and Nintendo's franchises are supported. I wrote this in a post where such foolishness was reaching an extreme, then later thought it was so well written that I'd post it here. -------------------------------------------------------------------- Japan is no more or less racist than any other country in general. I'd go as far as to say the US has a more general racist/predjudiced attitude than Japan(though they both have their moments). Saying they don't buy the XBox because they don't like Americans is just stupid to an extreme. Lets take a rational look at the situation shall we? Fact: Japan is more technologically advanced than 99% of the world at any randomly chosen time. Result: Casuals tend to believe Japanese products are technologically superior to other products. There is no racism here, it's simply a fact that the casuals depend on. There are exceptions, but what casual notes the odd exception to the rule? Fact: Japan loves rpg games, and quirky games. Fact: The XBox franchise is lacking in these genres, though it's doing better than it used to be. Result: The XBox won't get as many sales due to a smaller library of games that are enjoyed by the culture compared to it's competitors. Fact: Japan has known Sony and Nintendo both as big names for a good 20+ years. Fact: Japan has known the name of Microsoft since at most about 10-15 years, with only 10 of those as a big name. Only 5 as a console gaming company. Result: Sony and Nintendo enjoy more name recognition and trust than Microsoft. Fact: Microsoft has a horrible reputation for bugs regarding it's Windows software, as evidenced by a recent Windows update causing the vast majority of all HP PC's crashing shortly thereafter. Result: People don't tend to trust Microsoft. This is one of the reasons I believe they haven't gained as much ground in North America and Europe as they might have, not to mention Japan. Sony can lie about a feature, then not bring it out. Who did it hurt? Nobody but the fan boys. Microsoft screws up your PC and causes a fatal error in your HDD thanks to not sufficiently testing their security update. 20 GB of info gone forever. Dozens of companies are paralyzed until someone figures out how to fix it(usually Microsoft is not the first to develop a patch, though sometimes they pull it off). Which one of these issues are you more likely to remember five years down the road? I probably just wasted my fingers for some of the Lemmings, but perhaps others will see the reality.

Poking fun at Microsoft and Sony

I'll start off by saying I wished Nintendo could have made an appearance, but they've been too quiet to make fools of themselves lately.... Some might say this is a little bit old. Well, I was waiting for inspiration to strike so I could truly laugh at this properly. Every now and then you hear some strange things coming from the words of executives. Sometimes it's ego, sometimes it's hype. Sometimes there's really no figuring it out at all. Lets first look at Microsoft. Back in March, Microsoft said, and I quote" " We've blasted out of the gate with the greatest launch in the history of video games and we're keeping our eyes squarely fixed on today and on the Xbox 360 road ahead" Greatest launch in history? How's that for ego? Now I won't say it's the greatest failure of a launch in history, but even the greatest Microsoft supporters are not impressed with it. It is by no means the greatest in history. An abyssmal lack of systems available on launch. A continuing abyssmal lack of systems even 5 months later today. And about as complete a flop as is even possible in one of the three biggest territories in gaming: Japan. I really wonder what they were smoking... Ah, that was amusing. But we can't forget good old Ken Kutaragi, now can we? Whatever Microsoft was smoking, apparently Ken went to the source for a stronger version. "At the PlayStation Business Briefing 2006, bossman Ken Kutaragi claimed that games have gone from 8-bit to 16-bit planes, PS3 games are “live” and the console’s concept is “4D.”" Say what? *Head spins* Ok. I can think of four seperate ways to translate this comment. None of which heralds anything new(percievable at least) in gaming at all. Not even anything new to the PlayStation franchise. First, in general 4D is the dimension represented by time. It can mean something else if you're talking to the right people, but I'll deal with that later. There are three ways I can think of time affecting gaming. The first is the way time has always affected gaming, dating back farther than the first Mario Bros. game. The fact that time simply exists. Without time, obviously you couldn't game. Some games even showed a timer, representing time's passing. The second is more complicated. But fortunately simplistic to explain to many people with a simple example: The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask.A game at which you travel through a three day time period. Some things are available on some days, etc. Prince of Persia can also be used as an example to an extent. The ability to reverse time a few moments so you can succeed in a task instead of get slaughtered. These features may have been around before those games, but it was the PlayStation/Nintendo 64/Sega Saturn generation that it really started to take off in. The third is barely a valid differential, since it really only expands on the second. But instead of travelling through time at will, time simply advances as it does normally. An example: Something might be available if you're there at a specific time on a specific day, but if you wait until the next day or maybe even an hour later it may never be available again(or you'll have to wait until the same time the next day, variations on this). To this day, the only games I'm aware of using a feature like this are MMO's(GTA uses an extremely dumbed down version of it however, if you need another example). And not even a lot of them have adopted it. Final Fantasy XI uses it I'm told. This feature is still relatively unseen in gaming, and while I don't know exactly when it showed up, I know it was at least by the time FFXI launched a few years ago. FFXI being on the PS2, it can't be a new feature to the PlayStation line. The last possibility I can think of for 4D is a fourth physical dimension(hypercube for those of you aware of the concept, those of you who aren't can google hypercube if interested). The problem with this is even if the PS3 were capable of producing such a thing, we are literally incapable of percieving it. So it can't give the PS3 any advantage over it's competition. So basically, Ken said nothing new is coming to gaming, disguised in a claim that something new was coming to gaming.

Religious foolishness

godhandiscen wrote: Seriously, you sound very retarded when you compare any guy to God... i mean i thought that was for the retards that take a band fanatism too far, but now i keep seeing this in console fanatism and its sickening. Consoles and games are the product of a large team of people who give their best to produce the precious product you adore. The guys you idolize are used as an icon to help sell the product to lame people like you.... Sid Meier... Shigeru Miyamoto.... Kojima... Itagaki.... most of these dudes only supervise games and their work amounts to less of 10% of what a game really is. Now, reggie, j allard and kutaragi are even worse since their ideas and decisions are based on what big marketing teams and statistical analysis conclude. Bill Gates doesnt even lead microsoft since 2000... he step aside cuz he wanted to enjoy live. However he didnt make big news out of it because its better for the company to keep their fanbase thinking that their favorite nerd still rules. In short, everytime i see somebody comparing anybody to God, or thinking that a million dollard production will be awesome just cuz of one guy, this person is stupid. That only happens in movies, but not in games. Vastet wrote: Keep your false religion to yourself. cla1968 wrote: Please tell me how the author of this thread, is in any way talking about religion, or a belief in God. All he is saying, is that no one should be compared to God, & that any great game is created by a group of talented individuals, not just one person. The same goes for music & movies, & just about any other form of entertainment. Vastet wrote: Lets see. Godhandiscen said anyone comparing a man to "god" is retarded. That's a pretty obvious claim of religion right there. There's no harm in saying someone is a god. The word is fictional from the get go. cla1968 wrote: I didn't really want to get into a debate about God or religion, because this really isn't the place, but all of you atheists leave me no choice. I have one question I challenge anyone to answer, & no one has ever been able to answer. I don't want to talk about the Bible, or Science, or Evolution, just the existence of God, & the beginning of creation. If you don't believe in God or a supreme creator, then please tell me how anything exists. In other words how did everything come to be. Before their was anything, their was nothing. So, how did it happen? If their is no creator, then that means that everything created itself out of nothing. So, tell me how that could possibly happen, & we can end this debate about God right here & now. And, don't try to tell me about the Big Bang Theory, because that involves actual gases, molecules, particles, etc. Those are something, when I say nothing, I mean absolutely nothing, if your mind can even grasp the concept of nothingness. Vastet wrote: Why did there have to be a creation? Maybe everything has always been here. I should add to that since you gave me the window to. Since you can grasp the idea of nothingness, can you explain how your "god" somehow formed out of nothing itself? It's no less believable than the universe always being here in one form or another. cla1968 wrote: Ok, I will answer all of you at once. #1 Creation itself, tells you their is a creator. You can't have creation without a creator, everything has a beginning. The only thing that has always existed is God. Where God came from is anyones guess, if I could tell you that, then I would be God. But, the fact that we have creation, tells you that their is a creator. You can call him God, Allah, or the supreme creator, it doesn't matter. But, to be believe that everything created itself, out of nothing, is just pure ignorance. That is like saying a car or a house created itself, just because you didn't see who made it. And, no scientist can or ever will prove how something can create itself out of nothing, besides, even scientists can admit that the Universe had a beginning. Vastet wrote: #1 is a false point. You are using an unknown to prove an unknown, which is impossible. You cannot say the universe was created when the only thing pointing to that possibility are books written by men. As such, the rest of your argument falls apart. There is no need for a "god" when existance always existed. To suggest that everything created itself out of nothing is foolish obviously. And yet, to assume your "god" was able to create itself, as well as everything else, is even more ludicrous. To suggest that your "god" could have always existed without acknowledging the possibility that the universe itself always existed is the height of ignorance and arrogance.

Kids think adults shouldn't play games?

Microsoft1234 wrote: "im at the level where its funny to laugh at people who are possibly 18 and posting here." Vastet responded: 18+ have more right to post here then 18-. Didn't see you playing Tetris on launch. Or Mario 3. Kids trying to laugh at adults for playing games amuses me. I was owning people in Doom when people like you were still in diapers. http://www.gamespot.com/pages/forums/show_msgs.php?topic_id=24343081&msg_id=266613065