Author - Jerry Paxton

Everquest Movie in the Works

Variety is reporting that Sony is proceeding with plans to turn the ancient old MMO Everquest into a movie. They have tasked ‘300’ writer Michael Gordon to write it. As a friend so observantly put it, ‘Shouldn’t they have made this like 10 years ago?’

Orange Box Release this Week

Joystiq is reporting that Valve’s Orange Box will be released this week for the Xbox 360 and PC platforms. The Orange Box is an anthology of five games: Team Fortress 2, Half-Life 2, Episode One, Episode Two, and Portal.

Microsoft Announces Holiday Xbox 360 Bundle

Engadget is reporting that Microsoft has announced a holiday Xbox 360 bundle. Both the Premium and Elite consoles can expect to find both Forza 2 and Marvel Ultimate Alliance  in their boxes at no added cost. This bundle should be available near the end of October but the date is not set in stone yet.

Saitek Pro Flight Yoke Review

The Pro Flight Yoke’s design is a thing of beauty. It’s dark molded plastic has a slightly ‘wet’ look, making it a much more sexy yoke than, say, the CH Products Flight Yoke. The grips are slightly contoured for your hands as well, making this yoke very comfortable to handle. The steel shaft helps make the action smooth and the increased spring force helps keep you from over controlling. The base has a large footprint, however, and we needed to make alot of space on our desk to mount it. In our unit, the buffer plate between the screw mount and the desk would pop off at certain times if it was not mounted just right. Additionally, unlike the CH Products’ yoke, the shaft does not emerge from the back of the base, it is kept internal which is a great feature. There is a built in lcd display which functions as a chronograph to time the legs of your flights and it doubles as a system time clock and a USB hub which is very nice on a cluttered desktop.

We tested our flight yoke on Microsoft’s Flight Sim X and Microsoft’s Flight Simulator 2004 using the standard USB mapping – we did not install the Saitek software. The remapping in both simulators was quick and easy – sometimes a bit daunting as the Pro Flight Yoke/Throttle Quadrants are loaded with switches and buttons. After setting up our axis and maps, we set up a free flight from a local airport. The throttle/mixture/propeller levers move smoothly and have a detent at the low end past 0%. The aileron and elevator actions of the yoke are VERY smooth and very realistic in feel. You can actually use the yoke with one hand, functionally! In contrast, you cannot do this with the CH Products yoke which requires two hands to operate the elevator axis. After flying in the pattern for several minutes whilst getting use to our control mappings we turned out to do some VFR exploring. The yoke and throttle quadrant consistently performed and was a pleasure to use. The increased spring tension helped keep me from over controlling my aircraft and the whole flight was a much improved experience than using a normal joystick or even CH Products flight yoke which, while good, cannot compare.

Bungie Discusses Leaving Microsoft

1up has posted the highlights of q&a with Bungie’s Community Lead Brian Jarrard.

From the article:
‘1UP: Is Bungie now contractually obliged to give Microsoft first-look on future titles, Halo-related or otherwise?

Jarrard: We aren’t at liberty to discuss the specifics of this business arrangement but suffice it to say that we look forward to continuing to work with Microsoft as a great partner and world class publisher.

1UP: For all the super fans: does this mean Bungie won’t work on whatever ‘Halo 4’ turns out to be?

Jarrard: Well we are already at work on another Halo game — I wouldn’t call it ‘Halo 4’, but it is based in the Halo Universe and represents a collaboration between Bungie and Peter Jackson. Halo 3 was definitely not the last Bungie Halo game.

1UP: And perhaps most importantly, this means we’re going to finally see some progress on Pimps at Sea, right?

Jarrard: Fortunately, Bungie LLC does retain ownership of the Pimps at Sea franchise so anything is possible! ‘

Mass Effect CE Goodies

1up has posted the contents of the collector’s edition of Mass Effect, the next BioWare RPG in the pipe. It will include a ‘Galactic Codex: Essentials’ book that sounds like it will serve as a sort of encyclopedia for the world of Mass Effect. There will also be an art book, and a 2nd DVD included with featurettes on the game’s art and storytelling.

Microsoft Confirms Bungie Split

Gamasutra is reporting that Microsoft has officially announced Bungie to be ‘on a path to become an independent company’.

Microsoft Game Studios president Shame Kim said that Microsoft would support Bungie’s ‘desire to return to its independent roots,’ but made clear that the move didn’t mean an end to the Halo franchise.

‘We will continue to invest in our Halo entertainment property with Bungie and other partners, such as Peter Jackson,’ said Kim, ‘on a new interactive series set in the Halo universe. We look forward to great success with Bungie as our long-term relationship continues to evolve through Halo-related titles and new IP created by Bungie.’