Wii U has last-gen Radeon inside, still more advanced than PS3 and Xbox 360

Wii U Crysis

Slowly, but surely, we’re starting to piece together what’s going on inside that mysterious white box known as the Wii U. IBM was a little coy about the multi-core CPU it was providing, but did tantalize us by mentioning the name “Watson” in describing some of its underlying tech. Now details about the custom Radeon GPU are starting to surface and, while certainly capable, it’s not exactly cutting edge. At its heart is a chip similar to the R770 found in AMD’s last-gen cards like the 4890 and, before you dismiss it, remember the PS3 and Xbox 360 are still capable of pumping out impressive visuals while packing five-year-old silicon (The 360 is essentially running a souped up ATI X1900). The custom core also supports Direct X 10.1 (Microsoft runs out of steam with Direct X 9) and Eyefinity-like multi-display tech for up to four SD video streams — though it’ll be up to Nintendo and developers to put that to good use. In case you’re still not convinced of the Wii U’s graphical prowess, Crytek has said its advanced CryEngine is “pretty much” up and running on Nintendo’s upcoming console — and, if it’s good enough for Crysis, it should be good enough for you.

Wii U has last-gen Radeon inside, still more advanced than PS3 and Xbox 360 originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 14 Jun 2011 12:24:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Elephant Quest is an addictive, deep platformer

elephantquest

When someone tells me about a “platformer”, my first thought is that it’s probably a simple game that mainly revolves around running and jumping around, with a minimal plot. [Play a Zelda game! -Ed]

Elephant Quest is one platformer that managed to prove me completely wrong. Yes, you do run and jump around, and you also shoot at stuff. But the game has much, much more going for it.

Basically, as you run, jump and shoot, you gain experience points and level up. Hitting Space brings you into an interface where you can convert your experience points into Charisma, Intelligence, Agility and Dexterity points. Once you’ve “specialized” your points, you then get to pick what exact skills you’d like to enhance in each field. For example, you could use your dexterity to enhance your weapons or increase your swiftness.

The game is played in a huge maze; you go through rooms using doors, and there’s a large map. As the name implies, there are quests you can take, too. For example, one quest had me searching all over the place for ten balloons.

The bottom line is that this is a surprisingly deep game that just might ensnare you for a good bit longer than you intended to play. Beware!

Elephant Quest is an addictive, deep platformer originally appeared on Download Squad on Fri, 25 Mar 2011 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: http://downloadsquad.switched.com/2011/03/25/elephant-quest-is-an-addictive-deep-platformer/

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BattlePaint is an addictive geometric shooter game

battlepaint

In BattlePaint, you play a cube. In fact, you’re not even a cube — just a square. But boy, are you fast! And you can shoot in all directions. That’s important, because there are baddies coming in from all over the place.

The “baddies” are swarms of other squares, in all sorts of pretty colors. They track you all over the screen, and you run around very quickly and just shoot, shoot, and shoot some more. If that doesn’t sound very emotionally deep, it’s because it isn’t. But it’s fun!

After you shoot a baddy, it splashes paint as it disappears. You need to skate across this blob of paint and “eat it up” to get points. This game is fast. It clocked in at around 60-70 FPS on my system, and was loads of fun to play. It does tend to insult you when you die, though, but don’t be offended — I don’t think it’s personal.

BattlePaint is an addictive geometric shooter game originally appeared on Download Squad on Wed, 09 Mar 2011 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: http://downloadsquad.switched.com/2011/03/09/battlepaint-is-an-addictive-geometric-shooter-game/

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The 8 Most Bizarre, Intriguing, and Otherwise Cool Documents the NSA Just Declassified [Secrecy]

It was spring cleaning time at the NSA, who dropped a staggering 50,000 pages of declassified documents into the hands of the National Archives. A lot’s on the mundane side—so here are the best looking eight: More »


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AI competition pits Ms. Pac-Man against ghosts in the Manichean struggle of our time (video)

While the world breathlessly awaits the Pac-Man reality TV show, the University of Essex held a programming competition starring that other yellow chomper. The Ms. Pac-Man vs. Ghost Team contest pitted 13 competitors from nine different countries against one another, to see who could create the most elusive Ms. Pac-Man or the wiliest ghost gang. The participants coded routines for the titular hero or Blinky, Pinky, Inky, and Sue, with organizers then running the programs against one another on the Java-based playing field. The highest single-game score went to Atif, who racked up 69240 points versus DarkRodry’s ghosts, while ghost team Legacy2TheReckoning held RandomMsPacMan to a mere 410 points. Another competition will take place in August, so limber up your coding fingers, Pac-Maniacs. In the meantime, strap on your headgear and cheer on your round yellow hero in the video below.

Continue reading AI competition pits Ms. Pac-Man against ghosts in the Manichean struggle of our time (video)

AI competition pits Ms. Pac-Man against ghosts in the Manichean struggle of our time (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 14 Jun 2011 19:20:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Line Grapefruit is a tricky Flash “path” game

linegrapefruit

Okay, see that snaking line coming in from the right on the screenshot? That’s you. And see those large round circles? Those are supposedly grapefruits, only they won’t sit still – they keep moving up and down and cutting across your path. And if you touch one, you die!

That’s what you have to deal with in Line Grapefruit. But that’s not all – you’re also on a time limit. In fact, you have a very limited amount of time to make it through the “path” (for lack of a better word). You need to snake your way through the winding trail without touching anything. The good news is that a grapefruit only kills you if it touches the end of the line – once you’ve made it past the grapefruit, nothing happens if it crosses the path you’ve made.

This is not an easy game, but it’s quite unique – I can’t recall seeing another game quite like it.

Line Grapefruit is a tricky Flash “path” game originally appeared on Download Squad on Fri, 01 Apr 2011 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: http://downloadsquad.switched.com/2011/04/01/line-grapefruit-is-a-tricky-flash-path-game/

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In Iceland, constitutions are written on Facebook

Ah, Iceland — home to the Blue Lagoon, Sigur Rós and, most recently, crowdsourced constitutionalism. With its economy still reeling from the 2009 financial crisis, the country has begun hammering away at a brand new constitution, and is asking its online citizenry for help. The draft is being prepared by a democratically elected, 25-member council, but any Icelanders with an internet connection can add their own suggestions, engage in online debates, or follow the proceedings in real-time on Facebook. All suggestions are moderated to weed out the really dumb ones (“FEWER VOLCANOES”), and those approved by the board will be directly added to the draft, due to be completed at the end of this month. It’s a fascinating social experiment, but one that could probably only happen in a place where nearly 90 percent of all households have a broadband connection, two-thirds of the entire population is on Facebook — meaning their politicians are always within poke’s reach.

In Iceland, constitutions are written on Facebook originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 14 Jun 2011 10:44:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: http://www.engadget.com/2011/06/14/in-iceland-constitutions-are-written-on-facebook/

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Cueboy Quest is an adorable 8-bit style physics game

cueboyquest

Yes, that’s right, I said adorable. Because Cueboy Quest really is!

You play an 8-bit cowboy whose goal on each level is to get to the door (and thus to the next level), but the door is often locked. To get it to open, you must shoot at one or more targets, and those targets aren’t always in your line of sight. For example, on one level the the target is a balloon which is stuck all the way at the other end of the screen. You must first nudge it free, and then watch it float up and try to shoot it before it floats clear off the screen. Your bullets are chunky pixels that have some weight – the have arcing trajectories, so you don’t always hit exactly where you aim.

There’s another level where you must jump on the balloon as it floats up, use it as a platform to get to the other end of the screen, and then turn to shoot it very quickly before it flies away. Each level is very short, and most of them are quite easy. And not only are the graphics 8-bit blocky, but they’re large too. Simply beautiful!

Cueboy Quest is an adorable 8-bit style physics game originally appeared on Download Squad on Tue, 22 Feb 2011 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: http://downloadsquad.switched.com/2011/02/22/cueboy-quest-is-an-adorable-8-bit-style-physics-game/

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Corel VideoStudio X4 giveaway

corelvideostudiox4giveaway

This morning, Corel released VideoStudio X4. We’ve already published a quick overview and hands-on of the application, and now is the moment you’ve all been waiting for: We’re giving away ten full licenses of this new version, each worth $99.99!

To enter our random draw, you just have to leave a comment. Full terms and conditions are after the break.

Continue reading Corel VideoStudio X4 giveaway

Corel VideoStudio X4 giveaway originally appeared on Download Squad on Tue, 22 Feb 2011 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: http://downloadsquad.switched.com/2011/02/22/corel-videostudio-x4-giveaway/

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Jailbreak iOS 4.3.1 on OS X or Windows with PwnageTool or Sn0wbreeze

iOS 4.3.1 jailbreakA jailbreak of iOS 4.3.1 is now possible with both PwnageTool on Mac, and Sn0wbreeze on Windows. RedmondPie — who else? — has some handy guides that you can follow for all iOS 4.3.1 devices on Windows, for iPhone 4 on OS X, iPad 1 on OS X, iPhone 3GS on OS X, and iPod touch 4G and 3G on OS X.

All iOS 4.3.1 jailbreaks are still tethered, meaning you’ll have to jailbreak your device after every reboot. An untethered jailbreak is slated for release sometime in the next week — but 4.3 was meant to have an untether, too, and that never emerged.

Maybe Apple’s updated security mechanisms will finally keep hackers at bay!

Jailbreak iOS 4.3.1 on OS X or Windows with PwnageTool or Sn0wbreeze originally appeared on Download Squad on Mon, 28 Mar 2011 06:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: http://downloadsquad.switched.com/2011/03/28/jailbreak-ios-4-3-1-on-os-x-or-windows-with-pwnagetool-or-sn0wbr/

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