Memories of Gaming 1997-2003

I remember very well when I tried to run Carmageddon 1 on my AMD 486 DX-4 100 Mhz and the game was a slide-show. Quickly after that I jumped to my AMD K6-2 266 Mhz with 128 MB of RAM and a Diamond Ste...

State of the Lan Party II

Many who built their own systems also owned an Alienware because of its unique look and upgradability. In the end some will always swear by their own hand built rig, but custom company systems have ea...

Left Behind: Alienware’s Legacy Problem

Any transition is difficult and it is expected that there will be growing or in this case merging pains. You must also understand that in the gaming world it is common to hear many more complaints tha...

State of the LAN Party I

The LAN party allowed me to meet great new people and make lifelong friends. In fact, if it was not for the LAN party I would not have become an Alienware employee. It was at that LAN that I learned h...

Things an Old School Gamer should remember

To keep it simple we will classify an old school gamer as someone who has been gaming from the time of the Atari 2600 to the release of the Playstation one and all the computer innovations in-between....

Atari Box Art

Art is definitely the correct term to use because that’s what they were art, not screenshots. I do not think this was done to mislead the customer, but let’s be honest the artwork and the game alm...

Ubisoft DRM: Q & A

Ubisoft talks about their new DRM that forces gamers to always be online to play many of their games....

Not So Jolly Roger

Piracy is once again back in the headlines, for several reasons. The latest DRM for PC games from Ubi Soft has been heavily satirised by the web cartoonists. The industry has also released figures sho...

Reprinted

Gamers recently heard rumours that Nintendo’s Metroid Prime Trilogy for the Wii was being discontinued, in that no new copies would be printed. The rumour was soon strongly denied, but it did highli...

The Death of Customer Service – The new Lemon law

We all know whether we buy a two hundred dollar notebook or a seven thousand dollar gaming system we expect a product that works as advertised. Often in my time working with computers I have heard peo...

Refinement

Hollywood does it all the time – take an old movie from one or two generations ago, cast young actors, hype the remake and put out something that is vaguely satisfying. Unfortunately the video game ...

Review of 2009

It’s traditional to round up what has been happening at the end of the year, and to take a look forward at what is coming next. So here are some of my highlights of the gaming year....

Three Horse Race

Every year there is a major race on for the consumers’ money. And this winter is no different. So what is the form guide for the runners going into the race, and what are the odds on a new leader?...

Recipe for success

Infinity Ward are the chefs, and they have been toiling away in Activision’s kitchen to send out a perfect dish for Christmas 2009 – Modern Warfare 2. But what is the recipe for success?...

Not Buying It

As the year turns towards autumn and gamers minds’ turn to the big new releases, there are several things I am not buying. The most obvious is Modern Warfare 2: Call Of Duty. It will probably turn o...

Get Together

Next weekend I’m off to Manchester, for two reasons. I’m going to spend most of the weekend in a pub, although I will take some time out on the Sunday to go around an exhibition at the Urbis centr...

Redesign Rejection

There were rumours about Sony redesigning its hardware in the run-up to E3, and they proved to be true. The PSP without a UMD drive emerged, but the slimline PS3 (not PSThree, that would be too hideou...

Are games too cheap?

I’ve been shopping this week – both online and in my local town – and something is troubling me. There are too many cheap games on the shelves, and some of the deals just seem too good to be tru...

The Retail Experience

So, I did my bit to boost the economy by buying an Xbox 360. I’ve never been an early adopter of a new console (a subject I will return to in a future column, I imagine) but I judged this was the ri...

Sealed with Hatred

Packaging. There are times when you appreciate it, and there are times when you hate it. The games industry has a long history of unusual packaging, but that’s not what this column is about. No, thi...

Sailing

The recent Piratebay trial has highlighted the issue of software piracy once more. The eagerly anticipated Spore from Will Wright was available to download very soon after its release, and thousands t...

Just Push Play

I’ve just completed Guitar Hero Aerosmith on the PS2, and it got me thinking about the whole Guitar Hero (and Rock Band) series. What started out as a novelty arcade game with Konami’s Guitar Frea...

What Gamers Want

Everyone loves a good metaphor in a column. You get to say “I get it” and the columnist gets to say “That's a clever bit of writing”. So, what strained, pureed and mashed line of thought am I ...