Mass Effect Galaxy For The iPhone Released

Last night, EA rather stealthily released the stylish action mid-quel (sequel of sorts to Mass Effect yet prequel to Mass Effect 2) Mass Effect Galaxy for the iPhone and iPod Touch. The game follows Jacob Taylor as he fights to prevent humanity’s destruction at the hands of alien terrorists. Same old, same old.

However, the most intriguing part of the game, especially for Mass Effect fans, and anyone planning on jumping into the franchise with Mass Effect 2, is that the two of the main characters in Galaxy will make appearance in ME2. So if you’re looking for a little background info to gear you up for the next major console installment in the series, then you'll want to check out this game.

So far, I’ve heard that the controls are a bit clunky and overly simplistic, while the writing, story and cutscenes are very well done. But those views will obviously vary depending on the kind of player you are. If I end up dropping the $5 for it, I’ll chime back in, and let you know my take on it.

Anyone out there playing Mass Effect Galaxy right now? Thoughts?

Updated: Video available in higher quality and in one part for your convenience. ^_^

A Happy Friday indeed, says this bit of 18 minutes of StarCraft II goodness.

Blizzard's Battle Report video series for the long-awaited RTS StarCraft II has edged watching RTS-commentated matches closer to watching a World Cup game of soccer or high-speed chess. I've never been able to really watch friends play as I could never deal with the temptation of knocking them out of the chair commendeering the mouse and keyboard to do things for myself, however the commentary sure does a great job of keeping context to all the macro and micro events transpiring.

Enjoy the uncanny experience below. P.S. wtb beta key.

StarCraft 2 Battle Report Trailer

StarCraft II Battle Report #3 »

The iPhone 3GS comes with a few features you won't be getting through a software update on the iPhone 3G. They are:

  • Faster processor & upgraded graphics chipset.
  • Better camera with video support, auto-focus, auto-white balancing.
  • Voice command
  • Support for HSDPA 7.2MBit/s 3G (whenever AT&T actually gets around to rolling it out) 

The biggest feature, especially for those of you that play games on the iPhone, is the faster processor and upgraded graphics chip. What do I mean by faster? Watch this side-by-side comparison for loading Pop Cap's Peggle on a 3G and 3GS. It's a LOT faster on the 3GS.

iPhone 3G vs. iPhone 3GS Loading Time Comparison

iPhone 3G vs. iPhone 3GS Loading Time Comparison »

The 3GS is loaded up and taking shots before the 3G even finishes loading to the main menu. Additionally, the upgraded graphics chipset will support shaders that won't even run on the 3G. Whether or not developers decide to code games exclusively for the 3GS is another question, though.

What about the camera?

Read More »

Starcraft 2 logo

Nothing like starting off the day with a little “I’ll believe it when I see it” news.

Today’s entry comes via the DreamHack computer festival (apparently the “world’s largest” festival of its kind), where Press2Play.TV conducted an interview with two StarCraft 2 lead designers, Dustin Browder and Chris Sigaty. During said interview, in addition to talking extensively about the game’s campaign structure, mission types and music design, Sigaty said that Blizzard is aiming to release the long awaited sequel...wait for it...sometime this year. However, in typical developer fashion, Sigaty added that “We're not going to ship the game until it’s ready.” Well, obviously.

While I remain hopeful on behalf of all those diehard StarCraft fans out there, it would be mighty impressive if the game was actually released this year. Then again, I’m a big proponent of not hearing about games until they are a few months from being released (I’m over all this teasing a game that’s two years away from release nonsense), so we’ll see if Blizzard can pull something like that off with one of their most anticipated games ever.

What are the odds we’ll see StarCraft 2 by the end of the year?


John Kerry (And Other U.S. Senators) Hate AT&T's iPhone Exclusivity

While most of the G4tv.com staff spent time upgrading their iPhones to OS 3.0 with great excitement, it was revealed that a group of U.S. Senators sent a letter to the FCC complaining about the exclusivity agreement AT&T enjoys with Apple. The Senators are part of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. According to PC World:

"The letter, which is signed by Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.), and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), expresses concern that handset exclusivity arrangements may be anticompetitive and reducing consumer choice in the marketplace.

It's interesting to note that some concerns spelled out by the senators sound like they're a direct reaction to recent complaints over AT&T's status as the exclusive U.S. provider for Apple's iPhone. When last week Apple announced launch details for iPhone OS 3.0, AT&T was the target of scorn over delays to supporting the iPhone's new tethering and MMS capabilities. In the past, AT&T has also been accused of having spotty 3G coverage in rural areas."

Considering Apple's history of Machiavellian tactics, it wouldn't surprise me if it funded the letter and the actions behind it. (Just kidding.)

Personally, I hate all the exclusives and subsidies that are prevalent in the American mobile-phone market. I wish things were more open, like in numerous Asian and European countries. I think the iPhone is a damn impressive piece of consumer of electronics, but I also think AT&T's network is a damn piece of excrement. AT&T's service is so poor in the areas I work, play, and visit that there's no way I'd get an iPhone...as long as it's exclusive to that network.

Read More »

Tags: Apple, iPhone, Tech

Video Streaming Comes To MLB iPhone App

Assuming you’ve been able to successfully validate your iPhone after the 3.0 firmware update, you will be thrilled to know that Major League Baseball is now offering live video streaming of out of market games over WiFi and 3G. The new service was recently added to the MLB.com At Bat 2009 app, available now on the App Store for $9.99.

When the video service officially starts tomorrow, it will offer one to two live streaming games per day, but as Business Insider reports, MLB will eventually make available every out of market game. Now, you won’t be able to watch local games (i.e. Bostonians can’t watch the Red Sox), but you can always listen to the audio stream in those cases.

This restriction is kind of a bummer for fans who love their local teams (then again, you could just watch the game on television), but for anyone not living in the city where their favorite team plays, the addition of video streaming to this already amazing app is sure to cause many a joy coma.

Anyone out there planning on buying the app now that it supports live video streaming?


Tags: Apple, iPhone, Sports

iPhone 3GS

Annoyed that you aren't eligible for the iPhone 3GS upgrade pricing of $199 and $299 for the 16GB and 32GB models, respectively? You might be in luck!

AT&T has decided to extend this price to those eligible for a device upgrade in July, August, and September. The pricing should be available to qualifying customers as of tomorrow. Good thing the pre-orders are sold out, right?

I, unfortunately, am not up for an upgrade until December. Guess I'll be waiting.

Click through for the statement from AT&T.

Read More »

Tags: Apple, iPhone, Tech

iPhone OS 3.0 Now Available

Attention iPhone and iPod Touch users: iPhone OS 3.0 is now available and ready for an update-filled adventure. Just connect your device, load up iTunes (version 8.2 required), and check for updates. It should download, unpack, and install.

Once you get it up and running, be sure to let us know what you think of the new OS and your favorite new feature. I'm excited for Apple's Universal Push system, which will increase connectivity for supported apps by notifying you of any pending messages or updates.

You can check out Apple's list of features here.

Tags: Apple, iPhone, Tech

This is easily one of the coolest things you’ll see all day. It’s the Zeemote JS1 Bluetooth controller being used to play a game on an iPhone. As PocketGamer points out, this kind of accessory and peripheral support is one of the  most exciting new features of the iPhone 3.0 software, as it has the potential to provide an entirely new level of control for games and applications. As long as I can use it with my tip calculator, I'm all for it.

What iPhone games would you most like to play using a Bluetooth controller?

Source via TheiPhoneBlog

Doom Resurrection Trailer »

Sometime in the next few weeks, two, count ‘em two, Doom games will be released for the iPhone. Last month, id tech god John Carmack confirmed that an iPhone version of his classic FPS would be released this month, complete with polished graphics and WiFi multiplayer support. And if that wasn’t enough Doom goodness for you, a second game, Doom Resurrection, is also heading to the App Store shortly.

Sporting eight stages, four difficulty levels and five hours of gameplay, Resurrection, developed by Escalation Studios, is expected to make a major splash thanks to its graphical capabilities, and has even been referred to as “one of the true next-generation games on the iPhone” by VentureBeat. This is due largely to the fact that the game uses many assets (textures, weapons, enemies, etc.) from the tech-heavy Doom 3 to give it a level of graphical quality that players aren’t used to seeing on the iPhone.

Sadly though, as IGN reports, FPS fans will be none-too-pleased to hear that Resurrection is not a free roaming affair. Rather, it’s an on-rails game, with players simply being able to aim and shoot, while the game moves you from position to position. Fortunately, the classic Doom will also be available in case on-rails isn’t your thing. While Doom doesn’t have a firm release date yet, Resurrection is expected to be released next week.

Anyone out there planning on picking up both Doom games? If not, which one are you planning to pick up?

Source. Source

iPhone Re-Download Warning

Update: These messages are part of Apple's security system for preventing people from logging into other iTunes accounts and re-downloading applications that their friends have purchased. You will not have to pay for re-downloading apps that you've purchased.

A few iPhone and iPod Touch users have received a cryptic message on their devices while trying to re-download certain free applications over-the-air (Edge/3G/WiFi). One such application, Google Mobile, is completely free and will not charge a user even after popping up the warning message, but the functionality for re-charging seems to be in place.

What remains to be seen, however, is if Apple will ever actually do this or leave it up to the application developer. Maybe it's pressure put on by AT&T to cut down on 3G usage wherever they can?

Either way, this is just a hint that something like this could happen, but it isn't something to get worked up about at this time. In that case, let's just get worked up again about AT&T and how terrible they are being with the iPhone. I'm generally of the opinion that all cell providers in the US lag behind carriers in Japan and Europe in speed and features, but AT&T has never been bad about locking down phone features. I hope they can deploy that 4G network fast enough for Apple before Verizon snatches the iPhone 4G out from under AT&T.



iPhone 3GS Specs Posted Then Removed From T-Mobile Netherlands Website

Well, that lasted longer than expected. Just a day after it was discovered that T-Mobile Netherlands had posted the double secret specs of Apple’s upcoming iPhone 3GS, the information, like many a woodland creature foolish enough to cross Kirstie Alley’s path, has vanished.

The site had previously posted that the new iPhone sported 256MB of RAM, twice that of the original iPhone, and a 600MHz processor, which is a shade under 200MHz more than the previous iPhone models. The processor number is particularly significant, given that it puts the iPhone ahead of the second-generation iPod Touch as well as matches the speed of the recently released Palm Pre. And the added RAM will no doubt please many a graphics whore, as well as anyone aching for a snappier iPhone experience.

Now, if you look at the T-Mobile site today, you’ll notice that the aforementioned secret specs are no longer displayed. Fortunately, the spring-footed folks over at Wired’s Gadget Lab were able to grab a screenshot of the posted specs. Of course, I have a picture hanging on my wall of Bigfoot and Nessie playing backgammon, so what does that tell you?

Given that Apple is obviously refusing to discuss the specs at this time, we’ll just have to wait until the new iPhone is released next week to see what it’s packing under its shiny hood.


Tags: Apple, iPhone, Tech

Apple Announces New iPhone 3GS, Old iPhone 3G Reduced To $99

The newly announced iPhone 3GS has a fancy new graphics processor that supports OpenGL ES 2.0 and 1.1. The old & busted version in the iPhone 3G caps out at 1.1. What does this mean? Well, it could mean that new games could be programmed exclusively for the 3GS.

Unfortunately, as Engadget notes, applications designed to support 2.0 cannot run on phones that only support 1.1 and Apple has already set the precedent for splitting apps between the iPhone and iPod Touch (for applications that require a phone, for example).

In fact, in the software development kit (SDK) for iPhone OS 3.0, which will launch two days before and ship on the iPhone 3GS, contains the following reference to OpenGL ES 2.0 and 1.1:

"When designing your OpenGL ES application, the first question you must answer is whether your application will support OpenGL ES 1.1, OpenGL ES 2.0, or both... Your application should target OpenGL ES 1.1 if you want to support all iPhones and iPod touches."

It would be really lame to split the platform this early, but I'm too busy being pissed at AT&T for not allowing iPhone 3G owners to upgrade to the 3GS for the discounted price to be mad at Apple right now.


G4 Specials presents a look at the life and legacy of Steve Jobs, the man who is responsible for the global phenomenon that is Apple. From the Lisa to the Macintosh to the iPod to the iPhone, the world runs on the products and with the ethic that Jobs has developed, starting with a creation in his garage in the 70's.

Please enjoy the special in this bite-sized edition of the show, and help us celebrate Jobs's creations.


G4 Specials: Steve Jobs - Part 1 »

Read More »

Steve Jobs G4 SpecialIt’s been a big week for Apple. During the first day of the Word Wide Developers Conference yesterday, the mighty Mac-sters revealed a new iPhone, a new MacBook and new details about its Snow Leopard OS update (For an in-depth look, check out TheFeed's WWDC first day round up).

Really, the only thing missing was CEO Steve Jobs and his mystical black turtleneck. However, it seems that Apple will be seeing him soon enough, as the company has now confirmed that Jobs will be returning to his old gig by the end of this month.

When Jobs stepped down back in January due to health issues, he had said that he planned to return to the company in June. The Wall Street Journal reported last week that sources at Apple had revealed that Jobs was on track to return at that time, but as the Telegraph reports, it wasn’t until today that those speculations were confirmed by Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide product marketing and WWDC keynote speaker Phil Schiller.

Given that Jobs has apparently been involved in most of Apple’s current projects during his hiatus, it should be a fairly smooth transition once he returns in earnest. Maybe he can convince the company to put some pressure on AT&T to give iPhone users MMS and tethering support when the OS 3.0 launches next week. Am I right, people?


Tags: Apple, iPhone


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