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MacEdition Pro News : May 15, 2003
Fun and games

by MacEdition Staff (feedback)

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In this issue

Tools of the trade

Logitech rolled out two new Mac-compatible joysticks aimed at the mid-ranged and entry-level users as it highlight of the E3 entertainment show, currently underway in Los Angeles.

The company showed off a new version of its Extreme 3D Pro, a twist-grip stick that features a dozen control buttons, an eight-way viewing hat switch, and a precision throttle. The stick will also feature a single centering spring to better handle stick movements with a greater degree of accuracy.

The company’s entry-level effort – the Attack 3 – will feature an ambidextrous design, making it useful to southpaws. The stick will have 11 programable control buttons and the single centering spring mechanism.

“We have designed these joysticks with great features that will satisfy the demands of a wide range of gamers – from casual action players to serious flight simulation enthusiasts,” said Fred Swan, Director of Marketing for Logitech’s Audio and Interactive Entertainment Business Unit. “We’ve put a lot of effort into ensuring that these products represent a clear step up from their predecessors in functionality and appearance.”

Pricing of the sticks was not made available at the time of the release.

All this and World War II

Aspyr announced it is shipping Medal of Honor Allied Assault, a expansion pack for the World War II simulator.

The Allied Assault expansion will focus on nine campaign scenarios from the D-Day invasion to the fall of Berlin with the player - acting as Sgt. Jack Barnes - guiding his troop. There are also 12 new multiplayer maps in the expansion pack, level editing tools and a utility to look up servers where the game is being hosted.

Staying true to all the gameplay features that made Medal of Honor Allied Assault one of the most acclaimed titles launched in 2002, Medal of Honor Allied Assault Spearhead will build on the success of that game and add new multiplayer gameplay modes, new soldiers including British and Soviet squads, new weapons, level editing tools, and an integrated server browser.

Medal of Honor Allied Assault will retail at US$39.95 and is rated for teenaged players.

Return of an old favorite

Ubi Soft Entertainment and Cyan Worlds are teaming up once again to provide yet another chapter to the well-played MYST saga.

The two companies are going to produce Uru: Ages Beyond MYST as a stand alone game while giving players the ability to take the adventure online.

“Uru is a revolutionary adventure game that takes the best qualities of the MYST franchise and makes them even better. The single-player experience will eclipse the beauty, grandeur and mind-challenging elements of previous titles. Plus, with the option to join a constantly updated, online universe, the adventure never has to end,” said Rand Miller, founder of Cyan Worlds. “From new machines and puzzles to special events and entirely new Ages, players will find more to do, more to see, and more to explore each time they return – and this time, they can discover everything with old and new friends.”

The online world will be subscription based and is intended to allow players to create neighborhoods, go on adventures with other players and use real-time voice chat to communicate with other players on the server. System requirements were not made available in the release, however the makers of the game hope to have on the shelves in time for Santa to stuff one in your stocking.

Past promses to be fulfilled

Those wandering around the E3 show floor might note another gaming name familiar to Mac users is making some waves.

Halo, the Bungie title that was supposed to transform Mac OS X into the ultimate gaming platform, but wound up being the showpiece for Microsoft’s Xbox, will be coming to a computer platform this summer.

Named “Game of the Year” by Electronic Gaming Monthly, IGN, EDGE and the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences, Halo, the best selling game on Xbox, makes its highly anticipated move to the PC, courtesy of Bungie and Gearbox Software. Halo, enhanced for play on the PC, contains all of the action-packed combat and thrilling gameplay that made the title a smash hit for video game fans everywhere. Armed with a brand new arsenal of weapons and vehicles, Halo delivers challenges and surprises, as well as intense online multiplayer competition exclusively for the PC, including new multiplayer maps.

The Mac version of the game will be produced by Destineer Studios and sold through its Mac Soft arm. Timing of the Mac release is unknown at present.

Symantec shuts the door

Finally Mac-using parents will have some direct input into which sites their children can and cannot view with the release of Norton Privacy Control, due out next month.

Symantec will be giving parents the power to block whichever sites they deem inappropriate through a custom list, rather than wait for a subscription provider to include those sites in a monthly update. Symantec will also provide monthly updates of URLs that should be blocked.

Norton Privacy Control will be incorporated in a new version of Symantec’s Internet Security suite, which will also include new versions of Personal Firewall, Antivirus and Aladdin's iClean.

Users of Internet Explorer will also appreciate the inclusion of ad-blocking technology in the program, knocking down those loathsome pop-up ads and time-wasting Java banner ads. In addition the program will feature safeguards against the transmission of sensitive data.

“With so many Mac users capitalizing on the recent explosion of Internet technology, Symantec’s goal is to help those users minimize the risk factors that could compromise personal safety and security online,” said Steve Cullen, senior vice president of Symantec Consumer and Client Product Delivery. “With Norton Internet Security 3.0 for Macintosh, Mac users will be able to do everything – from downloading music files to sharing digital photographs and shopping online – all with the peace of mind that comes with the kind of reliable protection that only Symantec can deliver.”

Norton Antivirus will also get a revision, giving the program the ability to scan and eradicate viri for both the Mac and Windows platforms. Another new feature being rolled into antivirus is the ability to quarantine infected files so they can be safely deleted without causing further damage.

Personal Firewall will be updated to include reporting features on attempts to access a system, discloser of files and volumes being shared and monitoring of both inbound and outbound connections.

Retail pricing on the suite is expected to be US$99, with upgrades being offered for US$30. The programs contained in the suite will also be available separately for US$69.

Looking for old ProNews segments? Check out our index at http://old.macedition.com/news/. Do you have news releases or tidbits of interest to the Macintosh professional? Send them to pronewsnotes@macedition.com.

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