The Linux Steambox Cometh – A new franchise model for ‘console’ gaming

And lo, the promised land hove into view, and the future looked brighter for PC games. First there was the Steam gamepad/controller, then there was the Steam linux beta, after that followed Steam big-picture for a console style interface on HDTV’s, now the final piece of the puzzle falls into place that ties them all logically together. Console hardware. Who will make it, what will it contain, and how will you buy it?

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Valve will retail their ‘own’ hardware, it will contain standard PC hardware and software, and you’ll find 3rd party licensed versions.

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AMD has confirmed that they won the WiiU – What about the Xbox720 and PS4?

Q – Why do consoles massively outperform their PC equivalent hardware?

A – Because they use a streamlined software stack and optimised hardware.

Let’s ignore the former for it doesn’t tell us anything interesting, for while every real console (i.e. not ouyu), will seek optimised software and hardware only the latter will help us with the big questions. Consoles are machines specifically designed to pump out graphics so the determining factor will be the GPU, and from a console vendors perspective what is the prime consideration when choosing a GPU?

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Price/performance. A combination of the number of transistors and their clock speed.

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Nokia N9 UK Availability On Contract – It is up to the carriers.

In response to an enterprising fellow on the maemo forums who asked Stephen Elop about N9 availability in the UK, this blog thought it would try and sharpen up the response by sending off another email asking specifically about carrier availability.

Mr Elop very obligingly replied.

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Meego/Harmattan – A willfully misunderstood platform.

Huzzah! The Nokia N9 has finally arrived in a genuinely consumer-oriented package. Granted, it is not step-five-of-five given the February 11th announcement to abandon Meego as Nokia’s smartphone future, but it is getting rave reviews even from the likes of engadget -  usually the first to take a pop at Nokia’s hubris in pursuing alternatives to Android/Apple. The problem the N9 faces is that in editorials up and down the land there exists the question; why get excited about an abandoned platform sat on an orphaned handset. Fair question, the N9 must persuade on merit that it is a proposition with value. This blog takes no issue with that, what it does wish to raise to prominence is the false meme of disaster that has arisen from people who are too busy hyper-ventilating over an emotional calamity to engage brain and sieve facts.

Having grown bored with pointing out the same facts to the emotionally incontinent, over and over again, here is a FAQ:

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Nintendo Wii2 And The AMD Contribution – Just how much of a contribution?

The interwebs have been alive with rumours that Nintendo will announce a next-gen Wii console at E3 in June, and further fuel has now been added to the fire via official confirmation from Nintendo themselves. The rumours have focused on a funky new controller design featuring an embedded 6.2″ touch-screen and traditional controls, but also noted that it will be more powerful than current-gen consoles from Microsoft and Sony. No kidding, the PS3 and 360 are ancient, it would be hard not to make a console more powerful than these prettily packaged antiques!

That does not mean that there isn’t interesting speculation to be done about what’s inside however.

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Opensuse And 2011 As The Year Of Linux – Does 11.4 make the grade?

This blogger has long been a fan of Linux in general, and opensuse in particular, using it regularly since Novell sent me a ‘developer’ version of Suse 9.1 back in the year dot. I use Gentoo on a daily basis at work, and have numerous friends who use and recommend Ubuntu. Why have I stuck with opensuse over the years? Well, it is a KDE centric distro and I prefer a lot of KDE apps, YAST has always been an excellent way for non-technical me to do basic system administration, and it was commercially backed distro so it has traditionally had that extra ‘polish’ that makes it stand out from the many other worthy community distributions.

Why do I go into this extended brief on my history with, and affection for, opensuse?

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The Ipod Nano As Part Of The Family – Responding to push notifications

The Ipod Nano could be so much more. While it is a lovely personal media player in its own right, Apple has created a family of larger devices which are (becoming) less portable, so wouldn’t it be nice if the Nano could receive push-notifications and provide basic interaction with its larger kin?

For some reason they haven’t done this so far, but will they in future?

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Nokia & Microsoft – And what it means for QT and MeeGo.

This post has been filed under politics for a reason; because it is widely believed that there can only be three mainstream smartphone ecosystems, in addition to niche platforms such as RIM, and with Android and Apple IOS occupying two of those positions the race to be the third depends massively on the perception of momentum. Consumers and developers will follow the perceived trend, and so creating a vision for where your platform will go is as much an art of political manoeuvre as it is a science of engineering prowess.

Nokia want to be (a part of) that third platform and they didn’t have confidence that MeeGo could take them there.

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