Oh man, I’m so looking forward to Mass Effect 2. I didn’t even know there was going to be a sequel to Mass Effect, but having read about it recently, I’m very much intrigued, although I hope they spend a bit more time optimizing it for the PC, though Mass Effect was one of the better Xbox to PC ports I’ve seen (certainly better than Halo 2 for Vista…*shudder*).
At any rate, the big news is the one minute teaser trailer. Have a look. (Spoilers abound after the break.)
I recently became aware of a website called GOG.com. It’s brand new and still in an early-access beta (it’s due to be opened up to everyone soon, I believe), but it looks freakin’ awesome. The idea is this: you can buy and download popular, classic PC games (think Descent, Fallout, Freespace 2), all guaranteed to work on Windows Vista or XP, and all DRM free. That’s right: no DRM. I suppose that’s not insanely attractive to most people, but to the people who hate to deal with installation limits (à la Spore), CD keys, or online verification servers, it’s a real kicker. I was able to wrangle an early-access key, so I’ve been checking the place out. I haven’t bought or downloaded anything, so I can’t report on how well that works, but I can say that the interface is snazzy, the selection is great (better than what you can find in the local gaming store’s bargain bin, that’s for sure), and the prices are very nice ($10 and under for pretty much everything).
It really looks like a good deal. I’m interested to see how much the game catalog there expands and how well things work out. Also, if anyone is really interested in scoping it out, I’ve got a beta key available to the first commenter who asks. Alternately, you can put your email in at the main site and hope they send you a key.
I used to like the Mac vs. PC ads on TV. They were funny at first. Now they just seem kind of…mean. Upgrade nightmares? Too many versions of Vista? Those are pretty low blows if you think about it.
For one thing, upgrading to any new operating system is painful. Newer OS’s require newer hardware. That’s a fact of life. I mean, it was the same way going from Mac OS 9 to Mac OS X. There are still many Mac users with OS 9 who couldn’t afford to upgrade to OS X due to–gasp!–hardware limitations. The funny thing is that if you lack the hardware necessary for Vista, you can simply buy new components and upgrade your existing PC. Can’t do that with a Mac. You’d have to buy a whole new one, and Macs aren’t exactly cheap.
The other bit about multiple versions of Vista is also kind of silly. The commercial for that one claims that Mac just has one version with everything. Windows does too: it’s called Ultimate. Of course, an upgrade version of Ultimate costs about $259 to the $129 OS X upgrade, which is quite a difference, but when you consider that you can install Vista Ultimate on any type of computer you want that has the hardware support (as opposed to OS X, which you can only install on those expensive Macs), as well as the extra features Ultimate packs (such as BitLocker hard drive encryption), I think it’s worth the extra cost.
Don’t get me wrong, Macs are good computers. But you can’t really compare them to PCs like Apple does. I could probably tear apart their points pretty easily, but that would be petty and I don’t want to waste my time. I’ll just suffice to say that my PC “just works” fine as it is. And it plays games. No such thing as a Mac gamer, is there? I rest my case.