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.

Gameloft cutting back on Android development

Gameloft scales back Android development.Android may finally be on the handset of your dreams, but it’s too late for mobile game developer Gameloft. The french developer said it has significantly cut its investment in the Android platform due to underwhelming revenues.

“It is not as neatly done as on the iPhone. Google has not been very good to entice customers to actually buy products. On Android nobody is making significant revenue,” said Gameloft’s finance director, Alexandre de Rochefort. There must be a bit of meaning lost in translation of the word “neatly” from french to english because I would hardly call the App Store neat. That’s not to say the decision doesn’t make sense.

According to Rochefort, Gameloft is selling 400 times the number of apps on the App Store as on Android devices. Obviously there are a lot of factors to consider, market share being prime among them. But even if market share were closer I’d imagine Gameloft would struggle with the number of different devices Android runs. With so much different hardware it’s just easier to design apps for the iPhone/iPod Touch and support them.

Source: Washington Post

No date for Diablo III means no time soon

Diablo III concept logo.For a while there I was hoping Blizzard would spring a holiday surprise on us and drop Diablo III just before the end of the year. I realize it would have been crazy – this season is already packed with blockbuster titles for every platform and Blizzard likes to be everyone’s primary focus when it launches a new game. It makes sense, then, that we won’t see the game this year. Or next. But probably the one after that.

Speaking with TechLand, Rob Pardo said Blizzard isn’t even approximating a release date yet. “We always announce all of our games too early,” he said. “We realize that and go, ‘You know what? Next time we’re not going to do that.’ And then we always fail at that. But I’d rather fail at that than fail at making the game great. I think it’s safe to say that, yeah, [Diablo III] is not going to be out next year.”

On the one hand you have to respect his position. It’s pointless to claim a release date if you’re just going to push it back again and again. On the other, though, it’s tough to see the point in talking so much about the game when we could be two years from release. The game already feels overdue, and it’s not like the gameplay or the graphics are so earth-shattering as to be considered even excellent in two years or more.

I’d call this the next Duke Nukem if it were anyone but Blizzard and anything but Diablo.

XBL’s Marc Whitten denies 1 million ban rumor

Xbox Live GM Marc Whitten.Xbox Live GM Marc Whitten had an interview with Venture Beat this week in which he talked a lot about policing the network’s 20 million subscribers. Whitten calls the banning process “a cat and mouse game,” and denied a recent rumor that Microsoft had banned a million users for playing on consoles that had been modified to play pirated software.

I cannot explain to you why people would think it was a million people. It wasn’t a million people. Check the veracity of that claim. It was one news source. I think we do a really good job understanding what people are doing on the system. That applies to intellectual property (piracy) and how we treat the community in terms of harassment. We are committed to making it better and better.

You hear that, pirates? Whitten is watching you. The rest of the interview is some boring talk about Facebook and Twitter integration. As for playing Facebook games on your Xbox, that’s probably not coming any time soon. Whitten said things will continue to mesh more and more closely, so it’s possible we’ll see full integration in the future. For the time being, Microsoft seems more than content just giving us access to social media over the console.

Source: Venture Beat

Nintendo turns to classics for holiday sales

Super Mario Kart single player.Nintendo’s made most of its money over the last five years by bucking the norm. That strategy has forced the company into a bit of a niche though, missing most of the blockbuster titles because of an underpowered system. That’s not going to stop it from making money this holiday season. Obviously the console will continue to sell well and Nintendo’s adding a few classic titles to the Virtual Console that are sure to pull in some cash. As Gamespot has it, you’ll be able to get Super Mario Kart, the original Pilotwings, and Super Smash Bros. by the end of the year.

You can get your mitts on Super Mario Kart starting this Monday for 800 Wii points ($8). There’s no word yet on the other titles, but I’d guess they’ll run about the same. I’m most excited for Super Mario Bros out of the three. Pilotwings was more of a technical victory than a great game to me, and Super Mario Kart, though classic, just doesn’t hold a lot of replay for me. Those original Smash Bros. levels, on the other hand, are something I’d just hate to miss.

Source: Gamespot

British government agency to recruit through Xbox Live

British GCHQ Xbox Live recruitment.I’ve often wished that my gaming skills would land me a swanky job (they kind of have, being that I write here), as I’m guessing a lot of gamers have. The British government wants to grant that wish, and it’s using Xbox Live to do a little recruiting. According the UK’s Guardian, the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) will be running ads in Call of Duty (presumably MW2), Left 4 Dead 2 and Assassin’s Creed II to try to attract “quick-thinking 18- to 34-year-olds to its ranks.”

Not only will the agency be running ads, it will be using the games to monitor a players teamwork, problem-solving skills, and mental acuity. To be honest, I think the old GCHQ could use a mental acuity test. This thing sounds great from the inside, but for the people who have to monitor the candidates of this job hunt, it will probably be a nightmare. Imagine all of the dreck you’d have to swim through just to find a decent, motivated candidate. No offense, gamers, but we come from all walks of life, and my guess is that the pool of players has a similar thoughtless-blob-to-productive-genius ratio to the rest of the world.

The GCHQ sees it differently, though. “…the fact remains that many potential candidates remain unaware of GCHQ and what we do. Using video on Xbox LIVE helps carry our message to the right people in a creative and innovative manner.” Whatever you say, spokeswoman. Just don’t put me on the search committee.

Source: Guardian

Related Posts