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Games Software Entertainment Hardware Linux

Turn Your New Opteron Into A One-Game Console 350

An anonymous reader writes "A new 64-bit Linux CD can instantly turn an AMD Opteron-equipped PC into the ultimate gaming console, according to Super Computer Inc. (SCI). The company has created a distribution of the popular America's Army multi-player strategy game on a bootable Linux CD, that it says was developed in partnership with AMD, nVidia, and the US Army."
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Turn Your New Opteron Into A One-Game Console

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  • by proj_2501 ( 78149 ) <> on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @11:50AM (#7103935) Journal
    How much is an Opteron system? How much is a GameCube?
  • by SnowDeath ( 157414 ) <> on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @11:51AM (#7103945) Homepage
    Uh, yes, yes they did. In fact, I wouldn't be suprised if this new CD is just a rip of Gentoo's AA Live CD
  • Why? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @11:54AM (#7103993)
    Why in the world would anyone WANT to do this? Sounds like a major step backwards, having to reboot your machine to play a game.
  • Using Linux for a CD-ROM bootable game is no simple thing. It assumes full and excellent detection of hardware: graphics, sounds,...

    I see the future and it looks like this: a bootable Linux CD with my choice of applications, and a USB dongle with my /home. Need new software? Download a new ISO, burn it. Take any PC (office, home, cybercafe), insert CD, boot, insert dongle, work/play.

    It is a revolutionary way of using PCs. And only possible (AFAICS) with Linux and the kind of support provided by Knoppix et al.

    I predict 12 months before bootable Linux CDs become a completely standard model for games and application distribution, and 24 months before Microsoft attempt an imitation.

    Just love it...
  • by evslin ( 612024 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @11:56AM (#7104023)
    ... the game isn't any good.
  • by efatapo ( 567889 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @11:58AM (#7104040)
    ...are missing the point. This isn't a permanent change to your computer it's a way to get the best performance for your games. You're not turning a $2000 machine into a $150 toy you're maxing out your machine for a certain task. How often are you multi-tasking while playing a game like America's Army? Not often. When you're playing a game best to get all of the potential of your machine focused on putting out the most frames per second, most textured and anti-aliased pixels, and least lag. End of story...

    Except that I will say this sounds like a cool idea and I will definitely give it a shot.

    ~Dan []
  • by utexaspunk ( 527541 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @11:59AM (#7104045)
    by the fact that your tax dollars (if you live in the US) are going to create a game which simulates basic training? it's one thing if a private company wants to do it, but don't do it with my money! the basic training exercises were specifically designed to desensitize soldiers' human instinct not to kill people after studies post-WWII found that many soldiers never fired their weapons. it's one thing if a private company wants to do it, but i don't want to pay to train kids to kill. how long before we have another columbine-type scenario where the kids have learned team combat tactics from playing these kinds of games and are far more successful?
  • To be realistic... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by LaserBeams ( 412546 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @12:00PM (#7104062)
    This would make it very easy to play games places that you aren't supposed to be playing games. School computer labs for instance, where the networks are good, and the computers are great, and... they use them for MS Word. Or cube farms.

    Now, all that's needed is a hotkey to eject the CD and kill the machine in case Someone approaches...
  • by hakalugi ( 162528 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @12:01PM (#7104065)
    On my network (a school) /hda (c:) is the default boot device. And a bios 'admin' PW is req'd to change that. I can't think of a cybercafe, library, public spot, kinko's where that's not the case.

    If this is a threat to MS, watch them exert pressure on the pc manufacturers to change the default boot device (and maybe even put in a pw) for home users !

  • by Davak ( 526912 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @12:01PM (#7104066) Homepage
    I thought the days of this crap was over. Am I the only one old enough to remember games that required you to reboot from DOS into the game? What a pain!

    Now, granted... this fine for the game makers to include this as an option. That way if you can't get the game running any other way, you can always just boot into it. However, please don't start making this the only way to get into the games.

    Please let those days die.

  • by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <> on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @12:01PM (#7104068) Homepage Journal
    Yes, the 64 bit technology will enable the PC platform to say "W3 H4V3 32-B1T! W3 R L33T!"

    Remember, just about the only way Atari's Jaguar made any sales at all was pretending to be 64 bit. (It does handle some 64 bit data, but whether that really makes it 64 bit is a debate which could rage eternally.) Nintendo 64? Ooh, it's 64 bit! It's a baby SGI!

  • by arkanes ( 521690 ) <> on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @12:08PM (#7104132) Homepage
    The entire develpment and support cycle for the creation of the game, plus maintaining the servers, paying artists, EVERYTHING, is a tiny fraction of the cost of one (1) fighter jet. Or tank. It might be as much as 4 or 5 jeeps. It's probably a tiny fraction of the cost that the Army spends on maintaing and opening recruiting offices, and sending flyers to high school seniors. Get some perspective, here. If you're going to be bothered about what your tax dollars do, you've got alot more options. For example, far more of it goes to ACTUALLY killing people, rather than simulating killing people.
  • by Bun ( 34387 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @12:08PM (#7104135)
    There is already a gaming OS focussed on by the majority of PC game developers. It's called "Windows"
  • by uberdave ( 526529 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @12:09PM (#7104144) Homepage
    Well, given that the alternative is to buy *BOTH* a $2000 PC AND a $150 toy, I'd rather just spend the $2000.
  • by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <> on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @12:16PM (#7104212) Homepage Journal
    On the contrary, as a gamer I think that spending tax money on the creation of a game is far superior than spending it on a toilet seat. At the usual rate of government spending, I'd say that one toilet seat equals one video game. (Or in the case of America's army, one video game, equals one toilet seat, ha ha. Actually, it's a decent game.) In a nation in which the military specifies that invididual nuts must come in their own box with padding - padding! - just because they go on a fighter jet, I have no problem with the military paying for game development.

    Besides, maybe the game will teach some kids who would not get along well to avoid joining the military, and get others who would enjoy it and would fit well to join. That can only save us money and increase efficiency. So in the end, it may be a win, even from a purely financial standpoint.

    As for training kids to kill, I think we've seen that the ability to blow people up with grenade launchers in games does not translate directly into being able to plug a bunch of kids with your dad's hunting rifle.

  • by Wakko Warner ( 324 ) * on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @12:37PM (#7104444) Homepage Journal
    I predict 12 months before bootable Linux CDs become a completely standard model for games and application distribution

    I predict the entire computer gaming and applications industry will not follow your lead. Just a hunch, but it seems slightly beyond farfetched to think that anyone who sells software for money would consider a bootable Linux CD the ideal method of application distribution. It's especially farfetched to think they'd drop everything they're doing and begin selling their products this way.

    - A.P.
  • by Svartalf ( 2997 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @12:49PM (#7104573) Homepage
    Just because the game is bundled with the OS, doesn't mean you can't get it un-bundled as well, or that you couldn't get it to work outside of the CD.

    It's a good thing, just not as good as it could be.

    As it stands, it may bring a few players over that would have otherwise stayed away from a Linux version or port of their products.
  • by PainKilleR-CE ( 597083 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @01:07PM (#7104779)
    hmm when I played TFC excessively, I generally ran Roger Wilco (for voice comms), at least one IRC client, the game itself, sometimes an MP3 player, and whichever external server browser I was using at the time (gamespy early on, ASE later). That was on a day where I didn't have a half dozen other things going on, or wasn't running a league.

    Sure, I stripped the OS down quite a bit when I initially set it up, to the point where I sometimes have to enable rather mundane functions to do other things, but overall the game is not the only thing running that matters to me, as the player of the game.

    The place I could really see something like this going over pretty well, though, would be a LAN party, where you could have a few of these around for people that don't have the game, so they don't have to mess with installation and everything else. Of course, that would limit it pretty much to games that you don't have to pay a license for each copy on, such as America's Army.
  • Re:Well gee (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TwistedKestrel ( 550054 ) <> on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @01:09PM (#7104795) Journal
    I think a lot of people here are missing the point of this CD. This is something for tired Opteron owners waiting for x86-64 specific software, this is not a long-term "solution" by any means. This is so you can just stick in your computer, and try out a common application under something 64 bit, so people who shelled out the moneh can test drive their new systems.
  • by The Lynxpro ( 657990 ) < minus poet> on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @01:11PM (#7104816)
    "by the fact that your tax dollars (if you live in the US) are going to create a game which simulates basic training? it's one thing if a private company wants to do it, but don't do it with my money!"

    Grow up. I don't want to pay for Social Security because GenX won't be getting anything lavish as that, but I still have to pay for it. I don't want to pay for murderers on death row for 20 years, but I have to pay for it. I don't want to pay for lazy people with fake disabilities robbing our safety net, but I pay for it. Maybe you should write Osama or some of the other people we pay our taxes to the military to protect us from for some generous health care options. I'm sure he'd truly respect your pacifist beliefs just as much as he professes his loathing of socialists and other so-called infidels. Or say Mr. Hussein who some people around the world claim we illegally removed from power. I'm sure he'd thank you by introducing you to one of his industrial sized plastic shredders as a token of appreciation.

    As for America's Army, its a great way to train basics to people interested in the Army experience in the leisure of their own home. When our country was founded (and before that, with the colonies and the homeland aka the United Kingdom), every able bodied man and teen were expected to be trained to protect their homes via the militia experience. Would you prefer the States offer militia training? Switzerland does. Would that make you shut up? How about compulsory military service when you turn 18, like how Greece, Russia, and Israel all require? And what about the fact that America's Army is rated M for Mature, meaning it is meant for 17 year olds and up, which is the very age someone can be recruited into the U.S. Military? Compare that with television commercials for the military that any child can watch on television, monitored or unmonitored? Doesn't that bother you more?

    Video games have a long history of being dual-use technology. Atari's "Battlezone" (the first arcade tank simulator) impressed the U.S. Army so much they asked Atari to make some modified versions of it for training purposes back in 1980. The game was designed to be fun; it was not meant to be a pro-military tool. Atari did jump at the contract, and they did make one of the creators of the game modify it for the Army's needs before he quit. But the history of man being inhuman to his fellow man long predates the arrival of movies, television, and videogames. U.S. soldiers shooting children on the Trail of Tears happened long before "Pong" hit the scene in 1972.

    Columbine was the fermentation of years of bullying two intelligent misfits who finally cracked and unleashed their own personal demons upon their tormenters and others who failed to prevent their debasement amongst their peers. It is not related to them bowling or how they loved to play *Doom* or listen to Marilyn Manson. Do you want to ban Pac-Man because it might promote cannibalism?

    Ergo, your argument is null and void.

  • This is not the only way to get the games though! It's just a way that will allow the game to perform at it's peak, without legacy OS options using any of your CPU or memory. You can still download and install the game for free, but then you have to worry more about overhead. I think this is a really neat way to get more people interested in Linux, since they're starting to see they can get these kick ass Linux live cd's (Knoppix, Gentoo games, etc.), but they may notice an utter lack of any form of Windows live cd's out there. Seems something cool is happening, and there are too many people around here that whine and drag their feet. This isn't about limitations, it's about expanded possibilities! Be happy!
  • by Polo ( 30659 ) * on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @03:33PM (#7106700) Homepage
    This is great for kids. Give them the cd, they put it in the computer and play lots of games. And they never screw up the computer.
  • by NanoGator ( 522640 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @06:20PM (#7108547) Homepage Journal
    " When you're playing a game best to get all of the potential of your machine focused on putting out the most frames per second, most textured and anti-aliased pixels, and least lag. End of story..."

    Why is that when anybody ever says "end of story", it never is the end of story? I should sic Lionel Hutz on your ass.

    You'll see some FPS improvement, maybe. But you'll also see less bearable issues. How do you patch it? How do you install a new driver that makes things go faster or more stable? How do you justify the time lost rebooting the machine by getting another 2 fps? How do you go about using other programs such as Roger Wilco to talkk to your team mates? Etc.

    Sorry, I don't share the 'cool factor' here because PC based architecture is too varied from machine to machine. If they were all the same generic build, then yeah I'd be on your side here. But no, too many different machines, too much can go wrong. That's why us gamers like having a common OS with an API like OpenGL or DirectX. If your hardware works with those two APIs, then the game should (theoretically) work, no need to tell the game what kind of sound card you have.

    So no, not end of story. Piece of advice, when something seems so gosh darn simple to you, it's not because everybody in the world is a fucking moron, it's because you're missing information that they have.

The rich get rich, and the poor get poorer. The haves get more, the have-nots die.