PS3s are the backbone of DoD supercomputers

PS3 is running the DoD.Who feels safe? Well, when you look at the numbers behind the decision, you might. The DoD has decided the PS3 is good enough to purchase 2,200 to add to the 336-unit PS3 cluster in use by the USAF.

With respect to cell processors, a single 1U server configured with two 3.2GHz cell processors can cost up to $8K while two Sony PS3s cost approximately $600. Though a single 3.2 GHz cell processor can deliver over 200 GFLOPS, whereas the Sony PS3 configuration delivers approximately 150 GFLOPS, the approximately tenfold cost difference per GFLOP makes the Sony PS3 the only viable technology for HPC applications.

Gotta admit, it makes good sense, and as a taxpayer in this fine country I’m relieved to hear that some thought goes into the ways we spend a couple hundred grand. Thank god for that recent price cut.

Source: Ars Technica

Social media update reaches millions of Xbox Live users

Facebook on Xbox Live.Microsoft’s latest update for Xbox Live added Facebok and Twitter integration to the service, a feature that is reportedly reaching millions of Xbox Live subscribers. Microsoft’s official usage stats for the first week show that two million users logged in to Facebook accounts, with another half million creating new accounts. The first statistic isn’t so surprising – two million users is roughly ten percent of all Xbox Live subscribers – but I found the second pretty shocking.

The two million users stat is sort of pointless because just about anyone forced to download the update will give it a shot once. And why not log in so that you don’t have to later on? To me, though, the service is too stripped down to use often, and Facebook pictures are rarely the sorts of things that need to be viewed on a TV screen, but that’s just me.

Microsoft didn’t give any data regarding Twitter adoption, other than to say that the service has received tweets from almost every region where Xbox Live is present. Color me unimpressed.

Source: CNet

DSi LL outsells PSPgo

DSi LL next to a normal DSi.The DSi LL launched in Japan two days ago and is already reporting strong sales. According to Famitsu publisher Enterbrain, the plus-size version of the Nintendo DSi moved more than 103,000 units on the first day.

Those aren’t incredible sales, but they’re good for a cosmetic update of the popular handheld. The DSi’s original launch sold 170,000 units in the same amount of time in Japan. The PSPgo, which like the DSi LL is more of a cosmetic update, sold just 28,000 units in that same amount of time in Japan.

There’s still no word on the DSi XL launch date for the US (first quarter 2010 is all I’ve heard), but I’d imagine sales here will remain strong. The fact that the system comes with three games pre-installed is nice, and in the case of handhelds, most people prefer a larger screen.

Today marks World of Warcraft’s fifth anniversary

First look at Orgrimmar.Today Blizzard’s World of Warcraft turned five. Though not the first game of its kind, it’s certainly the runaway hit of the MMO genre, only likely to be dethroned by Blizzard’s next massively multiplayer project.

The game launched on this same date in 2004, marking the 10th anniversary of the Warcraft franchise. Since then it has sold nearly 9 million copies in the US, added two expansions, and has a third on the way. The numbers are mind-blowing, especially when you consider the subscriber base that plunks down as much as $15/month for access to the ever-changing world.

Let’s avoid the “pathetic waste of time/best game evar” debate to simply consider the impact WoW has had on the industry. Pretenders to the MMO throne are usually long dead by five years, and the ones that survive are top-heavy ghost towns where only the zealous continue to play. By contrast, WoW has continued to grow and expand around the globe, attracting attention even from people who could care less about the game. The sheer number of man-hours invested in the game is no doubt staggering, and something I’d really like to see when Blizzard finally shuts down the servers.

So here’s to WoW and all the fun we’ve had in Azeroth. Now, who wants to buy my account?

Bayonetta comes to the West next week

Bayonetta.Today Sega officially confirmed that we would see the stateside and European release of the Bayonetta demo. In case you’ve been living under a rock, Bayonetta is that crazy hair witch game that pulled a rare perfect score from review site Famitsu. The demo will release on the Playstation Network and Xbox Live next Wednesday.

The game will finally be available for purchase on January 5th in the US and the 8th or 10th depending where you live in Europe. I’m interested to see just how good the game is. Positive reviews are always nice, but I rarely find action games as interesting as other genres. I’m also curious whether the PS3 version has been cleaned up at all. Early reviews claimed the graphics and framerate were noticeably behind the Xbox 360 version.

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