Sunday, April 20, 2008

Wii games to look like Xbox360 or PS3 titles

Wii games can look as good as Xbox360 or PlayStation3 games, US developer High Voltage Software (´The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy´, ´Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude´) claims.

In an exclusive IGN interview, Eric Nofsinger, the studio´s Chief Creative Officer, found some strong words.

Most of the games on the Wii look like crap. We want to change that, so we've invested heavily in our Wii tech over the past year. We have real-time normal mapping, reflection and refraction, post process full screen effects, real-time shadows, projected lights and textures, specularity and fresnel effects, emissive and iridescent materials, interactive water, morphing, and much more all running with a rock solid frame rate on the Wii.

Our goal is to be the most technically innovative Wii developer on the planet. (...) With Conduit, we are trying to make a Wii game that looks like a 360 title.

The studio announced the development of a First Person Shooter called ´The Conduit´ and showed off their dedicated Wii engine called Quantum3 in a technology demo.

The IGN article describes the technical details of the engine:

It allows the developer to create graphic effects normally seen on other consoles with vertex and pixel shaders – specifically, dynamic bump-mapping (via tangent space normals or embossing), reflection and refraction (via real-time cube or spherical environmental maps), light / shadow maps, projected texture lights, specular and Fresnel effects, emissive and iridescent materials, advanced alpha blends, light beams / shafts, gloss and detail mapping, seamless resource streaming, projected shadows, heat distortion and motion blur, interactive water with dual-wave channels and complex surface effects, animated textures, and more.

As you remember, I broke the news that Nintendo´s new console would be underpowered compared to the other two competitors. Since then, most of us came to accept the fact that Wii games will not be on par with the competition in terms of visuals.

However, only two months ago Factor 5´s Julian Eggebrecht claimed that their graphics engine for Wii "does everything that the PS3 did and then some."

Is it really possible that Wii graphics become indistinguishable from PS3 and Xbox360 graphics, when compared at standard resolutions? I am still hesitant, since Eggebrecht may simply have been promising too much, while High Voltage Software has yet to publish a high-profile, blockbuster game. The tech demo does look very impressive, though, and that is the least we can expect of future Wii titles.

EDIT The first gameplay trailer for ´The Conduit´ has been released and the shooter looks very promising indeed. Take a look:

Source: IGN
Thanks to: Some Guy, Tactics

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

´Grand Theft Auto´ coming to DS

´Grand Theft Auto´ is coming to the Nintendo DS, I can exclusively reveal. The latest rumours regarding this title are, however, wrong in a number of respects.

French gaming news site Game-Class has posted images which apparently show a retailer´s list with the following entry:

Title: GTA IV
Platform: DS
Genre: Action
Release: 15/06/2008

Here is the image:

My inside sources have confirmed that this story is not true. ´Grand Theft Auto IV´ will never be released on the DS. However, an installment of the ´Grand Theft Auto´ series will make it to the DS. This title is still in an early development stage, though. A launch date of June is illusory. My guess is that we will have to wait until next year.

I can say no more than that. Just remember that I exclusively revealed that Rockstar´s ´Table Tennis´ was in the works for Wii.

While we are on the subject of ´GTA IV´, by the way, noone has yet revealed which celebrity voices over DJ Karl from the game´s K109 - The Studio radio station. Highlight the next sentence if you don´t want to take a guess yourself. DJ Karl is actually German fashion guru Karl Lagerfeld.

Also, I have to ask you for a little more patience regarding my in-depth article on ´Crossbeam Studios´. I am waiting for some company documents I requested from the Illinois Secretary of State. The article is almost finished, it should be up in a few days.

Source: Game-Class
Thanks to: Joystiq, GoNintendo