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Quakecon 2005 – Day 2

Day 2 brings even more news, action, and fun from Grapevine TX at Quakecon 2005. Check out some news about some of the latest gaming hardware to make you drool through the holiday season.

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Day two of Quakecon has been been an eventful one for us as we got inside looks at Doom the movie, met with vendors, toured the booths, and saw the tournaments bring out the real competition.

First looks at the Doom were impressive as the realism and likeness to the game were amazing. The movie is even complete with a two to three minute sequence of monster destroying in first person. All attendees were also given looks into the making of movie with plenty of pictures of the making of the monsters. From the trailer they showed the movie will contain plenty of action, blood and violence so leave the kids at home for this one.

Our main focus today, other than gaming, was to meet with the vendors and hear about their upcoming products. Razer, the company with the high performance input devices will have their Copperhead 2000 dpi lazer mouse available for order early September. We had a chance to test it out in a round of UT 2004 and the mouse is both comfortable and smooth, not to mention more accurate than other mouse available. To top it off it just looks sweet.

Later we met AMD and were able to hear about where they were headed with the products. Most of it has been released such as their move to DDR2 some time next year, more cores per chip, and more dual processor offerings at lower price levels. More interesting is the ongoing effort by AMD to educate the non-enthusiast about their products how much they appreciate the enthusiast community for helping on that front. While nothing overly exciting is in the immediate future we were asked what a dual core FX processor would look like. A card up the sleeve? We sure hope so.

Thanks to Creative for lunch and details on their new X-FI audio processor that is forty times more powerful than the current Audigy 2 processors and a much improved CMSS 3D system enabling you to not just hear the action in 2D space, but in life like 3D space. Creative continues to raise the bar for what is considered high quality audio.

Quakecon 2005 – Day 2 cont.


Among the booths we toured a company called Ageia demonstrated the most interesting product, the PhysX processor. If you have not heard about this product, the aim is offload the physics processing from the video card and the processor to this dedicated physics processor. By doing this the number of interactive objects in a game multiples. The demo they showed had 7,000 rigid objects (rocks) falling from the sky onto a hill. Without the card the demo just crawled, but once switched onto the card it became perfectly smooth and all the rocks bounced and rolled as they would in the real world. We were quite amazing with increased amount of interaction that becomes possible with this processor. Think HL2 interaction, but with 7,000 pop cans on a shelf instead of one. It is due out before the end of the year and under $300 in time for the first four games that will take advantage of this hardware, but the card will not be required for games that use the engine, only if you want the full experience.

Other attractions in the vendor area include a look a bunch of games due out shortly including Quake 4. From the demos it is going to by far be the best fast paced multi player game with graphics like Doom 3 and Mech Warrior like vehicles. If you liked the previous Quake games this one will surely be your favorite.

Day two was jam packed with plenty of information on products to put on your wish list. Check back tomorrow for a wrap-up of events of day 3 at Quakecon.


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