Archive for May, 2005

Henry gets the Golden Shoe

May 31st, 2005

Thierry Henry has won the Golden Shoe according to Arsenal.com. He shares this award for the top goalscorer in Europe with ex-Man United striker Diego Forlan, who is now playing with Villareal in Spain. This is Henry’s second piece of golden footwear, after he won the Golden Boot for top goalscorer in the Premiership this season with 25 goals.

Edu completes move to Valencia

May 31st, 2005

As confirmed on Arsenal.com, Edu has completed his move to Valencia, where he has signed a five year contract.

Arsenal release five players

May 31st, 2005

“Arsenal Football Club can confirm that Adam Birchall, Jordan Fowler, Danny Karbassiyoon, Frankie Simek and Olafur-Ingi Skulason are being released by the Club when their contracts expire this summer.”

Full article here at Arsenal.com.

Halo news roundup

May 26th, 2005

Bungie reports that Volume 2 of the Halo 2 Soundtrack has been mastered, so it should be available to purchase soon. They also have their E3 report up, and the lowdown on the latest Halo Humpday Challenge.

HBO have announced that they have opened their new Halo Cutscene Library. It only has the opening Pillar of Autumn cutscene so far, but hopefully it won’t be long before the full set of cutscenes are available for download.

The Halo Story Page has been updated by Jillybean. Mostly speculation regarding Forerunners/The Ark/Humans.

Liverpool win Champions League Final

May 26th, 2005

Liverpool last night won the Champions League Final in a penalty shootout with AC Milan. It was a thrilling game, with AC Milan dominating the first half, scoring inside the first minute, and then twice more to leave the score 3 – 0 at half time. Then Rafa Benitez changed his formation and brought on Didi Hamann, and Liverpool came back from the dead. A deft header by their captain Steven Gerrard, a strike from outside the box by Smicer, and a penalty scored on the rebound by Xabi Alonso brought the scousers level at 3 – 3 by full time to bring the match into extra time.

Both sides looked tired, and both Smicer and Carragher suffered from attacks of cramp during extra time, but the team in red held on. Milan nearly won the match at the death, as Shevchenko fired towards goal from a few yards out, but Dudek made a great save, only to pull off a miraculous follow up, as Shevchenko hit the rebound. No-one in the stadium could believe it, least of all Dudek!

The russian roulette that is the penalty shoot-out arrived, and Liverpool felt it was going to be their night as Milan’s first penalty taker sent his shot high over the bar. Dudek saved Pirlo’s weak attempt, but let another two in, while Liverpool had scored 3 out of their 4. It was now down to Shevchenko, who had to score to keep Milan in the match. Dudek dived to his right, while Shevchenko fired down the centre. However, Dudek managed to get a hand to the ball, and confirmed his position as Liverpool’s hero of the night.

It was a remarkable game, and Liverpool deserved to win after mounting a remarkable comeback. It remains to be seen whether UEFA will change the rules for next season’s Champions League and allow Liverpool into the competition to defend their title, despite failing to qualify through their domestic league position. The initial signs are not encouraging, with UEFA not budging on the issue according to the BBC. Liverpool can take some consolation in the fact that they get to keep the trophy, having won the competition in its various guises for the fifth time.

Ars Technica discusses details of the XBox 360’s Xenon processor

May 26th, 2005

Major Nelson points out this article on Ars Technica that delves into the innards of the Xenon processor which will power the XBox 360. The article talks mainly about procedural synthesis, which is essentially using the CPU to generate vertex data for the GPU in real-time based on higher-level descriptions of objects that take up less memory and take less time and bandwidth to move from main memory into the CPU. Perhaps this could be one reason for the recent lack of posts in Mat Noguchi’s blog, and Bungie are working their tools programmer hard to take full advantage of this feature for Halo 3?

Halo 3 vs PS3 – perhaps not

May 24th, 2005

HBO reports that Robbie Bach, Chief XBox Officer, has contradicted Bill Gates’ claim that the Playstation 3 will run into Halo 3 when the PS3 is launched next year. I liked this quote in particular from Robbie:

With all respect to Bill, I don’t run Bungie’s studio, and neither does he.

Xbox360.com has been updated

May 24th, 2005

The Xbox 360 web site has been updated. The interface is now more interactive and encourages you to explore and experiment.

Among the things that you can find include downloadable images of the console and the controller, as well as other promotional images. More interestingly there is a new video segment featuring J Allard that is similar to the OurColony video. Amongst the hyperbole, J Allard talks about user-created content, implying that all games will allow the user to customise aspects of the game – for example car paintjobs, skateboard designs, etc. Now, some games allow you to do this to some extent already, but perhaps J’s mention of designing your own levels gives a better idea of just how much control users will have. We will have to wait till this Christmas to see if the reality lives up to these expectations.

Neon lightsynth to be included in XBox 360

May 24th, 2005

The XBox 360 is to include the Neon lightsynth from Llamasoft – a name which might be familiar to gamers who grew up in the 1980s :) I believe that we got a preview of this in the MTV special, where there were large screens behind the bands that played in the show, and these screens showed images similar to the kind of visualisations you can get with Windows Media Player or iTunes – only much better! One intriguing aspect of Neon is that it can respond to controller input as well as music, so up to four people can “fly” it.

There’s a Neon demo movie you can download from the Llamasoft web site, and it does give some impression of what this can deliver. While the reaction of the images to the music was not all that obvious to me, it did hint at the graphical capability of the XBox 360.

Arsenal win the FA Cup 5-4 on penalties

May 22nd, 2005

Arsenal became the first team ever to win the FA Cup via a penalty shoot-out yesterday in Cardiff. Manchester United dominated the match and had several attempts on goal, including one put in the back of the net by Rio Ferdinand that was ruled outside. But for Jens Lehmann’s goalkeeping and a last-gasp goal-line header by Freddie Ljungberg, Arsenal would have been heading back to London with no silverware to show for this season. As it is, Alex Ferguson’s team can feel unlucky that they did not finish the game off, but Arsenal showed great resilience to hold them at bay for 120 minutes. A penalty shoot-out is a poor way to decide a match, but in the absence of a viable alternative, Arsene Wenger will be happy enough to accept the trophy.

Full match report here at Arsenal.com.