Top selling PC Games week ending 29 November
There's a lot of shifting on the PC games sales this week. This is the NPD chart detailing the best selling PC games in the USA for the week ending November 29. Blizzard's MMO expansion pack World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King still hit the number one spot for the week, which proves that Blizzard fans still want their game no matter what the price. What a great deal that is for sure.
BioShock is actually back in the top 4 thanks to it's 11 USD sales price.
- World Of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King Expansion Pack (Activision Blizzard) - $38
- The Sims 2 Double Deluxe - Electronic Arts - $14
- Spore - Electronic Arts - $47
- Bioshock - 2K Games ( Take 2) - $11
- The Sims 2 Deluxe - Electronic Arts - $6
- Left 4 Dead - Electronic Arts - $46
- Call Of Duty: World At War - (Activision Blizzard) - $50
- Assassin's Creed: Director's Cut Edition - Ubisoft - $11
- World Of Warcraft: Battle Chest - (Activision Blizzard) - $25
- The Sims 2 Apartment Life Expansion Pack - Electronic Arts- $20
Microsoft fixes 28 flaws - 6 critical
MS08-070: Critical - Titled "Vulnerabilities in Visual Basic 6.0 Runtime Extended Files (ActiveX Controls) Could Allow Remote Code Execution (932349)", this bulletin affects the Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0 Runtime Extended Files; all supported editions of Microsoft Visual Studio .Net 2002, Microsoft Visual Studio .Net 2003, Microsoft Visual FoxPro 8.0, Microsoft Visual FoxPro 9.0, Microsoft Office Project 2003, and Microsoft Office Project 2007.
MS08-071: Critical - Titled "Vulnerabilities in GDI Could Allow Remote Code Execution (956802)", this bulletin is rated critical for all supported editions of Microsoft Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, and Windows Server 2008. Microsoft says "exploitation of either of these vulnerabilities could allow remote code execution if a user opens a specially crafted WMF image file. An attacker who successfully exploited these vulnerabilities could take complete control of an affected system. An attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights.
MS08-072: Critical - Titled "Vulnerabilities in Microsoft Office Word Could Allow Remote Code Execution (957173)," this bulletin is rated critical for supported editions of Microsoft Office Word 2000 and Microsoft Office Outlook 2007. For supported editions of Microsoft Office Word 2002, Microsoft Office Word 2003, Microsoft Office Word 2007, Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack, Microsoft Office Word Viewer 2003, Microsoft Works 8, Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac, Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac, and Open XML File Format Converter for Mac, this security update is rated important. Microsoft says this bulletin resolves "eight privately reported vulnerabilities in Microsoft Office Word and Microsoft Office Outlook that could allow remote code execution if a user opens a specially crafted Word or Rich Text Format (RTF) file. An attacker who successfully exploited these vulnerabilities could take complete control of an affected system. An attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights."
MS08-073: Critical - Titled "Cumulative Security Update for Internet Explorer (958215)", this bulletin is rated critical for Internet Explorer 5.01 and Internet Explorer 6 Service Pack 1, running on Microsoft Windows 2000; Internet Explorer 6 running on Windows XP; and Internet Explorer 7. For Internet Explorer 6 running on Windows Server 2003, this security update is rated "moderate." Microsoft says the vulnerabilities could allow remote code execution if a user views a specially crafted Web page using Internet Explorer.
MS08-074: Critical - Titled "Vulnerabilities in Microsoft Office Excel Could Allow Remote Code Execution (959070)." This bulletin is rated critical for all supported editions of Microsoft Office Excel 2000. For all supported editions of Microsoft Office Excel 2002, Microsoft Office Excel 2003, Microsoft Office Excel Viewer 2003, Microsoft Office Excel 2007, Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack, Microsoft Office Excel Viewer, Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac, Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac, and Open XML File Format Converter for Mac, this security update is rated important. For Internet Explorer 6 running on Windows Server 2003, this security update is rated moderate. Microsoft says if a user opens a specially crafted Excel file an attacker could exploit these vulnerabilities and take complete control of an affected system.
MS08-075: Critical - Titled "Vulnerabilities in Windows Search Could Allow Remote Code Execution (959349)" This bulletin is rated critical for all supported editions of Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008. Microsoft says that "these vulnerabilities could allow remote code execution if a user opens and saves a specially crafted saved-search file within Windows Explorer or if a user clicks a specially crafted search URL. An attacker who successfully exploited these vulnerabilities could take complete control of an affected system."
Cooler Master Limited Edition Black Label Systems now official
Cooler master now oficialorizored (great word eh ?) a special edition Cosmos CPU Cooler last week, that was just a teaser; the company has revealed the full plan of a complete Black Label Limited Edition package. With Worldwide availability of only 500 sets intended for limited production, the Black Label will include a pure black Cosmos chassis, a black Hyper Z600 CPU cooler and a black PSU power supply. Each chassis gets a unique laser-etching identity serialized from 1 to 500.
The owner of this limited edition sets will entitle to a membership of the Black Label Lounge, enjoys exclusive privileges like VIP event invitations, supports, news and interactions with club members. The Black Label Limited Edition set has a recommended price tag of $599 or 499 Euro.
Jays launches its first c-JAYS over-ear headphones
Headphone manufacturer Jays has launched the c-JAYS, its first external headphones with numerous adapters to make them compatible with a variety of popular consumer electronics. The headphones can otherwise be customized to users' tastes with three, differently-sized included foam ear cushions. The headphones feature an Elastic Multi Layer (EML), 1.6-inch (40mm) speaker diaphragm for good sound isolation with a Neodymium magnet at their core. The c-JAYS' sensitivity is rated at 99 dB at 1kHz, while frequency response ranges from 20Hz to 20kHz.
The c-JAYS are also meant to be portable, and feature a folding glass fiber-reinforced nylon construction with extendable arms and two different types of joints. A carrying case is also included. For sound delivery that is claimed to be 100 percent free of cross crystal distortions, Jays used single crystal copper wires and 3mm TPE coatings for the headphone cable. The standard cable is nearly 24 inches (60cm) long, with a near 28-inch (70cm) long extension provided as well. Jays also includes gold-plated adapter plugs that fit the original iPhone and new 3G version, as well as a large 6.3mm jack for use with home theater audio receivers.
The c-JAYS, available in black or white, are now available and priced at the equivalent of nearly $120 in the UK.
LaCie and Noctua unveil silent external RAID enclosure
LaCie and one of our favorite coolers Noctua teamed up to develop "acoustically optimized" RAID storage solutions. The LaCie 4big Quadra and LaCie 5big Network four and five-bay external storage systems feature the Noctua NF-P12 fan. According to the firms, the noise emission of these new storage units is, on average, 40 percent lower compared to their predecessors. LaCie 4big Quadra and LaCie 5big Network are available via LaCie's specialized dealer network at suggested retail prices starting at $849.
"LaCie always seeks to combine class-leading performance with design and ergonomics", said Olivier Mirloup, LaCie Hard Disk Solutions Business Unit Manager. "Offering capacities up to 6TB and 7.5TB respectively and a versatile hot-swap feature, LaCie 4big Quadra and LaCie 5big Network support seven RAID modes for optimal performance and data protection. Furthermore, we wanted our products to become the reference in terms of quietness for professional storage. That's why we've chosen Noctua's award-winning NF-P12 fan for cooling, and we are very proud of the result. It's a vast improvement."
Designed to enhance working environments, LaCie 4big Quadra and LaCie 5big Network are up to 15dB quieter than their predecessors. Thanks to the psycho-acoustically optimised Noctua NF-P12 fan with Vortex-Control Notches, the LaCie 4big Quadra and LaCie 5big Network also feature an acoustic profile that's much more pleasant to the ear, making them ideal for AV workstations and SMB offices that value the comfort of quiet working environments.
"Our NF-P12 fan is tailor-made for high-impedance applications like storage solutions and we're proud to count LaCie among our industrial partners who make use of our technologies and know-how in order to improve the acoustics of their products", says Mag. Roland Mossig, Noctua CEO. "Both LaCie and Noctua stand for premium quality products and we're confident that LaCie 4big Quadra and LaCie 5big Network mark the beginning of a long and fruitful cooperation that pushes the envelope in quiet, first class storage solutions."
Download: ATI Catalyst drivers 8.12 released
AMD has released the new Catalyst 8.12 display driver for Windows XP 32-bit, Windows XP 64-bit, Windows Media Center Edition, Windows Vista 32-bit and Windows Vista 64-bit. The new Catalyst 8.12 drivers, aside from performance improvements, enable ATI Stream technology. The new 8.12 ATI graphics drivers will supposedly fix problems in Grand Theft Auto IV PC, and are recommended for Prince of Persia '08. ATI Catalyst 8.12 Windows driver release include:
ATI Stream support:
With the release of ATI Catalyst 8.12 users can unlock the potential of accelerated applications enabling ATI Stream technology for millions of ATI Radeon
Super talent SSD reaches 230/170 MB per second
More news from the Solid State Drisk front today, Super Talent announced a new line of UltraDrive solid state drives (SSDs) that are twice as fast as the world
Black Friday sales drop
Despite the usual attention given to the Black Friday shopping rush, sales of home electronics actually dropped for the first time, the NPD Group says. Where sales during Thanksgiving week have typically grown significantly year over year and topped out at $2.2 billion in 2007, these sales actually dropped about 8.4 percent in 2008 to just over $2 billion for this year. The softened sales numbers are believed to stem both from less aggressive overall discounts as well as the failures of high-profile retailers, such as Circuit City and home theater-oriented outlet Tweeter.
The poor economic situation triggered by the US housing crisis is partly blamed for the decline, though researchers at NPD explain the drop as part of a fundamental shift for retailers away from depending on a single day or week of sales and more on evenly distributed sales throughout the year.
Online sales are widely believed to still be contributing to a drop in retail sales, as many in-store discounts are now either matched online or else countered by competing offers. Despite economic concerns, Apple had equal online and retail discounts that were both unexceptional versus past years and which have been matched by previous discounts from Amazon and similar online shops.
NPD also notes that some very specific categories saw an increase on Thanksgiving week, such as a 19 percent boost to the number of notebooks sold as well as an 18 percent boost to LCD TVs 30 inches and larger. Other categories like digital photo frames, GPS and plasma TVs also technically saw larger sales but failed to generate as much money as steep discounts took much of the price advantage away.
Intel, AMD and NVIDIA likely to do worse then expected this quarter
Although Intel and AMD both cut their fourth quarter 2008 revenues forecasts recently, with market demand remaining weak, market watchers believe the two CPU makers' performance may be even worse than predicted as digitimes reported.
Additionally, even though Nvidia has not yet announced any changes to its previous forecast, the company is also expected to see a worse-than-expected on-quarter revenues drop in the fourth quarter.
Intel recently reduced its fourth quarter revenues forecast to US$8.7-9.3 billion from of US$10.1-10.9 billion originally. But the market watchers estimate the amount should be even lower at only US$8.2-8.7 billion.
AMD has meanwhile adjusted its on-quarter revenues forecast to US$1.19 billion but according to the market watchers the amount will drop to US$1.05 billion.
Nvidia's on-quarter revenues decline is also expected to expand to reach 15-20% from the company's original forecast of 5% for its fiscal fourth quarter (November 2008 to January 2009), noted the market watchers.
Since all three makers are expected to see further drops in the first quarter of 2009, the makers may start another wave of workforce adjustment before the second quarter of 2009, added the market watchers.
Intel releases free Far Cry 2 bonus missions
FilePlanet is hosting two new bonus missions for Far Cry 2 PC, this is a free mission pack that was sponsored by Intel.
Mission 1: the Morrocan
This mission sends you into the most heavily guarded region of the Leboa-Sako territory. Hiding out at the old Legion fort is a Moroccan who might be able to help you locate the Jackal. Your objective is to locate him and find out what he knows.
Mission 2: the American
Your predecessor has tracked down the American informant to the Dogon village in the rocky northern ranges. Your objective: follow his trail and find out what the informant told him.
LCD prices going down hard
DigiTimes reports prices of LCD display panels are expected to drop yet another 6-9 percent this month. Panel makers expect prices will remain low for two more quarters.
Prices for LCD monitor panels have already dropped below cash cost levels and are estimated to drop even more in December by 6-9%, as LCD monitors already have a high market penetration rate and demand for desktops has been squeezed by notebooks, the sources explained.
Panel prices for mainstream size notebooks are expected to see an 8% drop in December. The 37-inch segment is expected to see the largest price drop of 10% of all TV applications for the month, compared to 6-9% declines for other TV panel segments, the sources noted.
Sparkle releases 2 GB GeForce 9600 GT
Blimey .. I don't know what the heck Sparkle is thinking but apparantly they felt the need to release a 2 GB GeForce 9600 GT. The 1 GB versions, I can find myself in as there is some advantage to be found in higher AA leveles and DX10 games .. but 2 GB is pretty much a waste of money. Here's their PR skinny:
OCZ Technology Introduces Vertex Series Solid State Drive
OCZ launches a new MLC based SSD drive. The product boasts 200MB/sec read and 60MB/sec write speeds, and features a 64MB onboard cache which should help with small files (the bottleneck of SSDs) really well.
NVIDIA signs PhysX deal with EA and 2K Games
Both Electronic Arts and 2K Games have licensed PhysX technology from NVIDIA. So expect some nice titles to be PhysX supported in the next year or so. When you blow up stuff, you can see loads of scattered particles instead of a big texture doing weird stuff, fluid dynamics and other pretty cool stuff.
PhysX processing is solely used to delivering physical gaming environments. Some of the features it's capable of doing are:
- Explosions that cause dust and collateral debris
- Characters with complex, jointed geometries for more life-like motion and interaction
- Spectacular new weapons with incredible effects
- Cloth that drapes and tears the way you would expect it to
- Dense smoke & fog that billow around objects in motion
Ever considered how nice it would be to see a perfectly simulated waterfall? Or think of a girl walking around with her dress not static but dynamically moving along with her body. That's what Physics in games can do for you."PhysX is a great physics solution for the most popular platforms, and we're happy to make it available for EA's development teams worldwide,
OCZ announces a trio of ExpressCard flash-based storages
OCZ releases a new trio of ExpressCard Storage solution in the capacities of 8GB, 16Gb and 32GB configuration. The Slate series flash drives are compatible with Expresscard 34 standard, fit snugly inside your laptop and also works with the ubiquitous USB thanks to a secondary connection via an integrated mini-USB port.
32GB flash based storage is ok but slightly small in comparing to nowadays
Amazon to sell Microsoft Windows Vista (RED)
The software is available for pre-order now, priced at nearly $220, or $20 less than Microsoft's retail price for the regular Vista Ultimate operating system, but $70 more than Amazon's sale price of the software. Students can buy the software via Microsoft's Ultimate Steal site for $65.
AMD RS880 chipset details revealed
The colleagues over at Techpowerup found some details of the AMD RS880, a new low-end IGP chipset that will arrive in Q3 2009. The RS880 will be made on a 55nm process by TSMC and will be bundled with SB710 or SB800 southbridge chipsets. AMD processors finally get to address DDR3 memory on the new AM3 socket. Compatible processors under the Phenom II and Athlon X3, X4 banners that come in AM3 socket packages, will run initially on updated AMD 7-series chipset variants, and later be succeeded by the the company's RD890 and RS880 chipset cores. HKEPC compiled some information on the RS880 core logic. The "RS" prefix for AMD GPG chipsets mark the presence of integrated graphics. Based on the performance efficiency of the RSx80 dice, they're branded into the mainstream RSx80 product (eg: RS780 for AMD 780G), RSx80C for a value product (eg: RS780C for AMD 740G) and a high-end RSx80D (eg: in AMD 790GX).
The RS880 will use feature-set refresh, though will embed a rather dated RV620-class graphics processor. The IGP will have DirectX 10.1 API compliance. Specifications-wise it is identical to the RS780, both sport 40 stream processors, 8 texture address and 4 texture filtering units, though the core speed on the RS880 is expected to be significantly higher. The feature-set refresh, as stated earlier, includes support for Universal Video Decoder 2 (UVD-2), in addition to 100% hardware acceleration for VC-1, H.264 and MPEG-2 bitstream decoding. Also provided is video dynamic-contrast. The IGP supports HDMI with audio routing, and DisplayPort.