Xbox

Gravitas has been released!

Oliver Brown

Gravitas Gravitas is now available on the Xbox Live Marketplace for 80 MS points. An artillery game, somewhat akin to scorched earth, but in 2D, set in space and featuring different planets with gravity you have to slingshot your shots around. Primarily a multiplayer game supporting four local players it’s excellent for parties and an absolute bargain for $1. Although I may have a slightly biased opinion.

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Sky Player coming to UK Xboxes 27th October

Oliver Brown

Some time ago (at least a year or so) Sky launched Sky Player. Similar to iPlayer, it allows Sky subscribers to watch Sky content online. As of October 27th Sky Player will be available to UK Xbox 360 owners. This seems only slightly useful at best. If you already have a Sky subscription (and an Xbox Live Gold account) then Sky Player will be free. With it you’ll be able to view some of what is available on your Sky subscription with live as Video-on-Demand. Except for the possibility of getting Sky in another room, I don’t really see the point. If you don’t have a Sky subscription, things seem a little more worthwhile. Until you see the price*. The cheapest is £15 a month for a basic entertainment package. Adding Movies and Sports will set up back £41 a month. At those prices you might as well get a normal Sky subscription. The only other difference is at least you only have a month-to-month contract. There are some screenshots from Colin Jenson. *The pricing hasn’t been confirmed. The prices I’ve quoted is for the web based service. I can’t imagine the Xbox price beeing much different but I’d guess Microsoft might negotiate something a little less…

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Cross platform games on the PS3 and the Xbox 360

Oliver Brown

In case you didn’t know, the PS3 can run Linux. Not only that but it’s officially supported by Sony. You can download (for free) a utility to put a boot loader on to some media (most likely a hard-drive but memory cards, memory sticks and anything else the PS3 can read (and can hold 10Mb) are supported) and set it to boot “Other OS” (that’s what the menu says). There are already videos on the Internet of it running Fedora. Zac Bowling already has one running Mono, a task simplified by the fact that the cell processor appears as a PPC. So where does the Xbox 360 come into this? Well Microsoft are releasing something called XNA, a modified/extended version of the the .NET 2.0 run-time with emphasis on Managed DirectX that is available for Windows and the Xbox 360. A version of XNA called Mono.Xna that is built on top of the Tao framework is in development. The end result is that in theory, games developed using XNA will run on Windows, Linux, Macs, PS3’s and Xbox 360’s. A few problems still exist. The processor that the PS3 uses is rather strictly an in-order processor so most stuff that isn’t written specifically for that will run slowly (although video playback will be pretty zippy) and so far there is no hardware 3D support for an “Other OS” so XNA (if it were available now) would run slowly.

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