Gears of War 2 scheduled for November release
Get set for a great year of shoot 'em ups
Microsoft has officially announced that the Xbox 360 sequel to the popular shooter Gears of War will launch in November of this year.
Much of the Xbox 360's first year success was dependent on Epic's Gears of War. It proved much more than just substitute until Halo 3 arrived and really showed the gaming quality that the console could deliver. In fact, many still favour Marcus Fenix over Master Chief Petty Officer John-117.
Microsoft will be counting on Epic even more now this year. Halo 3 and Mass Effect are out there and the PlayStation 3 is finally picking up momentum - as quite frankly, we all knew it would - with Killzone 2, LittleBigPlanet and of course Metal Gear Solid 4 on the way. So the eyes of all Xbox 360 owners are on Gears of War 2 for salvation. Of course everyone will be treated to the forthcoming Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 this year as well, but that's multi-format.
Details of the Gears of War sequel are sketchy, and no screen shots are available as yet. However, according to US magazine Gamepro, in addition to the mandatory graphic boost, the most significant improvements will be in the multiplayer mode, with the possibility of four-player co-op, a better matchmaking system, more game modes and better ranking.
Given that Metal Gear Solid 4 is (according to the last report) due in March - delayed from November last year, we'd have thought Gears of War 2 might have been launched a little sooner than November, but at least it will give us something worthwhile to do with our time, instead of watching all the God-awful television that's on around Christmas time.
@ Geekworthy Andy Worth
Dude....highly geeky arguments, on a tech news site? Who'd have thunk it?
I mean seriously, a tech site with comments and you're surprised by geeky comments?
OK, seriously, FPS games are FPS games. I haven't seen anything significantly different in basic concept or game play going from Halo to Halo2 and then Halo3. Not to mention that to my untrained eye Quake and Doom are pretty much 'samey' these days. It's like all the FPS games based on the Unreal Engine. They all have a familiarity about them. To me it looks like UT3 is the mothership, and the rest of the games are merely scripted mods. But then I'm not a huge fan of the FPS genre. The only FPS game I still have in my library is the original Doom/Doom2 games and they are pretty much the same as each other. Of course they did rather remake the mold that Wolfenstien broke.
I'm sure that people would say the same about racing games, however Burnout Paradise is not GT5, nor will it ever be. MotorStorm is a very different animal, and if Codemasters ever come back with another of the excellent TOCA series of games it will be different again.
The huge number of FPS games and their associated sequels is simply depressing. People bitch about Madden being recycled from year to year. How is that any different from all the contemporary military FPS games, the stealth fps games, the WWII fps games and the futuristic space marine fps games? At least with Madden they have new uniforms from time to time, new player names and stats and roster changes. They do have an excuse to refresh (no excuse for charging $50 every time for a game that sees very little in the way of code changing though - should go to a subscription service for roster/player/team updates).
Ah, I appear to have strayed from the topic, back to the geekiness. As far as I am concerned with game console hardware I am looking at the hardware as a hardware geek. A certain group of console fanboys will consider my opinions to make me a fanboy for another console. I don't care. The only think I am looking at in such discussions is an honest appraisal of the performance of the hardware. I consider Cell to be one of the best CPU designs of the current computing era. That doesn't make everything else bad, of course. I have to admit I hate seeing fanboy discussions of console power. Generally those debates involve people who don't understand the technology, throwing around glib statements about the performance of one system verses another. Sometimes I feel like correcting them.
To be honest, I looked at the trailer for Killzone 2 and wasn't really impressed. There are very few FPS games I do find impressive if I'm honest. People went mad over Halo, but I saw it as nothing better than a slightly above average game, coming from a background of PC gaming. I must admit to owning and enjoying COD4 but that's the only FPS I've spent money on for console.
Although it's not a comparable title (in terms of style of game) I would think that MS are more worried about the effect the likes of Gran Turismo 5 will have, assuming it ever arrives and some of the other exclusives arriving on PS3 this year.
As for the long (and highly geeky) arguments about "which console is more powerful", I think I speak for the majority when I say that we don't really care. I've played both, they're both good in their own right and there's very little between them graphically.
Oh get over yourselves
All you bloody "my console whups you console" prats.
If you want 360 exclusives and content, buy a 360. If you want PS3 exclusives and content, buy a PS3.
If you want both, buy both.
If you can't afford both, stop f-kin squeeling in our ears covering up your bitterness with the "my console is better" twoddle, and save your pocket money until you can buy the other one as well.
Just go away and leave the better informed adults to it please.
@AC regarding Cell
Not sure where you get your thoughts on the Cell, but you're wrong in many ways.
Cell BE was designed pretty much for the PS3. Yes it's a great HPC platform, yes it can crunch huge amounts of data, but at it's heart it's a multi-media monster.
The SPEs are SIMD RISC processors that are capable of high speed single precision operation and operate best on streams of data. The internal architecture of Cell is designed to facilitate monstrously large bandwidth between the SPEs, the PPC core and the memory controller. The SPEs are actually capable RISC processors in their own right, each with 256KB of local storage - not cache, it's a local memory structure available only to the SPE it's tied to. You're incorrect to characterize the SPEs as if they were simply special purpose FP units, they are far more flexible than that.
All of Cell's cores run at the 3.2GHz core frequency, as does the internal bus that links the SPEs and PPC core. The bandwidth between processor cores inside the Cell is truly huge, the theoretical maximum is around 300GB/second, though the practical limit appears to be about 200GB/second. The memory interface on the Cell allows the memory to run effectively at the same speed as the processor so that the XDR memory that is paired to the Cell effectively runs at 3.2GHz. SPEs can't access memory directly as their local memory store is their memory, however they do not require the PPC code to access memory for them. The 64-bit virtual memory addresses that the SPEs use are passed directly to a memory controller and a DMA operation is performed for the SPE. The PPC core has nothing to do with it. The SPEs operate independently, they are loaded with a program and run their program, the PPC core doesn't spend time house keeping for the SPEs, they do it themselves.
The way you discussed the differences in data between a scientific application and a game are just plain wrong. You said "each 'core' in the cell can crunch through the portions of data it's best at dealing with" What? The PPC core is a general purpose core with it's own FP capabilities. The SPEs are SIMD/RISC processors which are identical to each other. You also said "When it comes to a game however, the data to be processed isn't static and is constantly changing depending on the players actions the PS3 has to go through the task of deciding what data can be processed by what SPU and churning data out to that SPU." That's rubbish. The PS3 is not the PPC core on the Cell, nor does the PPC core have to be constantly tending to the SPEs like a mother hen. If a developer who only thinks of the SPEs as special purpose FP units comes along and uses them in that way, then your 'model' could match how that programmer handles things. However, that is not a limitation of the architecture it's a limitation of the programmer. If an SPE is handling collision detection (for example), it can do it on it's own without any coordination from the 'PS3'. A programmer who uses the SPEs as processors in their own right will do things very differently, and gain huge benefits by doing so.
PS3 was always designed as a gaming system, you're completely wrong to say otherwise. Cell BE was designed for the PS3, the two literally go hand in hand.
So i'm the only one that didn't like it?
I feel kind of isolated....Oh well.