Spectrum: Interactive Media & Online Developer News

16 May 2005
Reported, written and edited by David Duberman
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Today's Headlines (details below)

--New Perforce Release Takes on Digital Content Creation
--ClearStory Releases ActiveMedia 6.0
--GarageGames Releases WarZone Demo

--Eovia Ships Hexagon, New 3D Modeler
--InfoSpace Brings 3D Mobile Gaming to 2D Handset Users

--Creative Announces New Audio Tech

--Siggraph 2005 Selects Outstanding Papers

--Activision Unveils E3 Lineup
--MS Launches Xbox 360
--Vivendi Universal Games Announces E3 Lineup
--EA Announces 2005 E3 Lineup
--Sony Announces New PSP Titles

--Ziff Davis Research Highlights Growth in Game Markets
--Report: More U.S. Adults Go Online

--Game Developers Conference Europe Announced

--About Spectrum



New Perforce Release Takes on Digital Content Creation

Perforce Software says the 2005.1 version of its software configuration-management system, coming later this month, lets users preview multiple versions of an image.

Perforce SCM tracks and manages source code and digital asset development for software- and game-production environments. New to Perforce with the 2005.1 release, a thumbnail viewer enables digital artists to see differences between an image they are modifying and any version of it that is stored in the Perforce repository.

The built-in thumbnail viewer provides a small version of each revision of an image stored in Perforce, as well as a scalable preview pane so that users can see any version at a larger size without opening the file. Supported image-file formats are: JPEG, PNG, GIF, BMP, PBM, MNG, PGM, PPM, XBM and XPM; a plug-in API is available for custom and proprietary formats.

The 2005.1 version also lets users set preferences for managing file access.



ClearStory Releases ActiveMedia 6.0

ClearStory Systems, Inc. last week released ActiveMedia 6.0, a J2EE digital asset management (DAM) software application. ActiveMedia 6.0 is built on ClearStory's Radiant Enterprise Media Server (EMS), a pure J2EE digital media engine.

The proliferation and expanded use of rich media such as video, flash, presentations, and graphics has outgrown the capabilities of most legacy DAM systems. The systems were simply not architected to support the scalability required for environments with high volume assets and large user counts. This expanded use of rich media requires a solution that can support a distributed enterprise with geographically dispersed workgroups.

ActiveMedia 6.0 offers an n-tier, pure J2EE design that supports the scalability requirements of modern DAM implementations. Its Web-based user interface supports global marketing implementations that require the management and consumption of content by teams around the world.

Enhanced features include a powerful metadata engine, a robust asset-level security model, and uncompromised functionality for managing complex video, multi-media graphics, compound documents and other rich media.



GarageGames Releases WarZone Demo

GarageGames last week released Tim Aste's WarZone demo for the Torque Game Engine (TGE). The demo's journey through a war-torn future showcases the Torque cross-platform development environment.

WarZone utilizes TGE version 1.4 features and third-party Torque Tools and content such as Torque ShowTool Pro, Torque LightingKit, Ragdoll Animation Pack, FF Digital: Urban Pack, Bravetree: Tank Pack and Tim Aste: Content Packs, all of which are for sale at www.garagegames.com.

The demo features such built-in features of the Torque Game Engine as:

The WarZone demo is available for download at GarageGames. The Torque Game Engine is available for licensing from GarageGames at $495 per commercial programmer seat.

The Torque Game Engine is a cross-platform, commercial-quality game engine with indoor/outdoor rendering engine, skeletal animation, drag-and-drop GUI creation, and a built-in world editor. TGE also features scripting, geometry, particle effects, and multi-player networking code.




Eovia Ships Hexagon, New 3D Modeler

Eovia, a developer and publisher of 3D animation, modeling, and rendering solutions, last week released new 3D modeling software named Hexagon.

Eovia Hexagon is designed for creating 3D models and realistic or imaginary characters, and the realization of technical objects. Working techniques include free polygonal modeling, subdivision surfaces, constructions, and handling of surfaces and volumes.

Reportedly suitable for organic modeling, Hexagon supports direct polygonal construction and surface subdivision tools, as well as 3D surface-creation tools such as generalized extrusions, hulls, and envelopes. It also offers extended 3D features including thicknesses, filleting, cuttings and 3D Booleans. Hexagon furthermore embodies Dynamic Geometry technology (editable construction tree), numeric parameter settings, and a texture-mapping module.

Hexagon was conceived and developed to complement other 3D applications such as Carrara, Eovia's complete 3D solution. Models created in Hexagon can be exported, including shading domains, for use in Carrara and other products supporting OBJ, 3DS or DXF.

Hexagon is available for both Macintosh OS X and Windows via the Eovia Webstore as an electronic download (ESD) with an introductory price of $169 USD until May 31, 2005.



InfoSpace Brings 3D Mobile Gaming to 2D Handset Users

InfoSpace Inc., a provider of mobile entertainment, last week introduced the Virtual 3D Simulator, a mobile engine said to bring a 3D game experience to 2D handsets. The technology uses 3D physical models for the playing environment rendered in software and stored as 2D artwork. InfoSpace's proprietary 3D physics and graphics engines then animate models in real time, mixing dynamically generated imagery with pre-rendered graphics.

InfoSpace is currently developing action/arcade games that utilize the Virtual 3D Simulator technology. The first of these games will be available this summer.




Creative Announces New Audio Tech

Creative Technology Ltd. last week announced two new audio technologies: the Xtreme Fidelity audio standard, and the Creative X-Fi Xtreme Fidelity audio processor. The combination of the two is said to provide improvements to the recording and playback of MP3 music, accelerate and improve PC game play, enhance listening experiences for movies, and improve audio creation.

Xtreme Fidelity combines of 24-bit audio, a minimum of 110db SNR, and the new CMSS (Creative Multi Speaker Surround) 3D headphone and surround speaker technology. Consumers will be able to upgrade existing CD and MP3 music to the Xtreme Fidelity standard using applications that can run on the Creative X-Fi Xtreme Fidelity audio processor.

The Creative X-Fi Xtreme Fidelity audio processor has more than 51 million transistors, and is capable of 10,000+ MIPS. The processor is reportedly 24 times more powerful than its predecessor, and is designed with multiple engines, so it can dynamically direct resources through a modular architecture to change the way audio is managed for applications. The processor provides modes optimized for experiences with MP3 music, gaming, movies and audio creation.

All CD music is in 16-bit resolution, which is typically compressed from an original 24-bit studio recording. When converting CD music to MP3 format, the music is compressed yet again. These types of compression result in a compromise of audio quality and clarity. The X-Fi processor drives new applications that can reportedly enhance MP3s by bringing them back to 24-bit quality, and allows the user to upgrade the music to multi-channel surround sound. Creative claims this enhancement enables MP3 music to sound better than it did on the original CD.




Siggraph 2005 Selects Outstanding Papers

The Siggraph 2005 Papers program is a forum for presenting research in computer graphics and interactive techniques. A total of 461 submissions were received by the deadline and 98 Papers were selected for presentation at Siggraph 2005.

The leading contributors to this year's Papers program include: Microsoft Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Stanford University, Mitsubishi Electric Research Labs, the University of Washington, Carnegie-Mellon University, California Institute of Technology, and ETH Zurich.

According to Markus Gross, Siggraph 2005 Papers chair from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, three major trends are surfacing in the research arena. The first is that graphics researchers are bringing reality into the computer. Complex lighting and shading models are becoming "data-driven" or based on samples from the real world. He concludes that this advancement, for instance, makes it possible to alter and simulate the appearance of human faces photo-realistically. Given this development, novel camera and acquisition devices have been created.

A second trend is the increasingly sophisticated simulation of physics. Gross points out that various papers deal with simulation of the complex interaction of media, such as liquids, smoke, or gas, and solid materials. He also notes that various innovations make physics simulations interactive and real time on personal computers.

"This is very important for the development of more realistic games and will be supported by novel hardware architectures and processing units to be released by the industry very soon," stated Gross. "In particular, novel chip generations and physics processing units will accelerate computations in computer games."

He concludes that a third trend points toward advanced image and video processing. Specifically, the public will soon experience a variety of methods for panoramic stitching of videos, 3D photo creation, and intelligent and user-friendly editing of video. According to Gross, such methods will soon become tools the public utilizes to take their home videos to an entirely new level.

A few highlights from the Siggraph 2005 Papers program:

Capturing reality deals with novel methods to bring reality into the computer by acquiring complex shape and appearance information from real world objects. This allows for unprecedented realism and novel effects in visual simulation.

Performance relighting and reflectance transformation with time-multiplexed illumination: Andreas Wenger, Andrew Gardner, Chris Tchou, Jonas Unger, Tim Hawkins, Paul Debevec; University of Southern California, Institute for Creative Technologies

SCAPE: Shape Completion and Animation of People: Dragomir Anguelov, Praveen Srinivasan, Daphne Koller, Sebastian Thrun, Jim Rodgers; Stanford University; James Davis, University of California, Santa Cruz

High-Performance Imaging Using Large Camera Arrays: Bennett Wilburn, Stanford University; Neel Joshi, University of California, San Diego; Vaibhav Vaish, Eino-Ville Talvala, Emilio Antunez, Adam Barth, Andrew Adams, Mark Horowitz, Marc Levoy, Stanford University

The following deal with physically based simulations of the complex interaction of media, such as liquids, smoke, and solids. They permit the simulation of novel and even more stunning visual effects and might become tools to enhance the visual experience in second but next-generation computer games.

A Vortex Particle Method for Smoke, Water, and Explosions: Andrew Selle, Stanford University and Intel Corporation; Nick Rasmussen, Industrial Light & Magic; Ronald Fedkiw, Stanford University and Industrial Light & Magic

Discontinuous Fluids: Jeong-Mo Hong, Chang-Hun Kim, Korea University

Water Drops on Surfaces: Huamin Wang, Peter J. Mucha, Greg Turk, Georgia Institute of Technology

Meshless Deformations Based on Shape Matching: Matthias Muller, Bruno Heidelberger, NovodeX/Eidgenossische Technische Hochschule Zurich; Matthias Teschner, Universitat Freiburg; Markus Gross, Eidgenossische Technische Hochschule Zurich

This year, we experience a renaissance of ray-tracing algorithms and architectures. Such prototypes encourage designers of graphics hardware to rethink the way they define the graphics pipeline.

Soft Shadow Volumes for Ray Tracing: Samuli Laine, Helsinki University of Technology; Timo Aila, Helsinki University of Technology and Hybrid Graphics Ltd.; Ulf Assarsson, ARTIS, INRIA, and Illuminate Labs Ltd.; Jaakko Lehtinen, Helsinki University of Technology and Remedy Entertainment Ltd.; Tomas Akenine-Moller, Lunds universitet

RPU: A Programmable Ray Processing Unit for Realtime Ray Tracing: Sven Woop, Jorg Schmittler, Philipp Slusallek, Universitat des Saarlandes

We will see advanced methods for panoramic stitching of videos, for making pictures three-dimensional, and for intelligent and user-friendly editing of video. Such methods might soon become tools people will utilize to edit their latest home videos.

TextureMontage: Seamless Texturing of Arbitrary Surfaces From Multiple Images: Kun Zhou, Xi Wang, Microsoft Research Asia; Yiying Tong, Mathieu Desbrun, California Institute of Technology; Baining Guo, Heung-Yeung Shum, Microsoft Research Asia;

Defocus Video Matting: Morgan McGuire, Brown University; Wojciech Matusik, Hanspeter Pfister, Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories (MERL); John F. Hughes, Brown University; Fredo Durand, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory

Automatic Photo Pop-Up: Derek Hoiem, Alexei Efros, Martial Hebert, Carnegie Mellon University

Panoramic Video Textures: Aseem Agarwala Ke, Colin Zheng, University of Washington; Chris Pal, University of Massachusetts Amherst; Maneesh Agrawala, Michael F. Cohen, Microsoft Research; Brian Curless, University of Washington; David H. Salesin, University of Washington & Microsoft Research; Richard Szeliski, Microsoft Research

Novel fundamental insights are also a facet of many of these sessions; in particular the following contribution provides an in-depth analysis.

A Frequency Analysis of Light Transport: Fredo Durand, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory; Nicolas Holzschuch, Cyril Soler, ARTIS, GRAVIR/IMAG - INRIA; Eric Chan, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory; Francois X. Sillion, ARTIS, GRAVIR/IMAG - INRIA

The Siggraph 2005 Papers Program opens 1 August at 8:30 am and closes 4 August at 5:30 pm. Also, a special, comprehensive preview of all the Papers is on 31 July at 6:00 pm. For complete details visit http://www.siggraph.org/s2005/main.php?f=conference&p=papers .

Siggraph 2005 will bring nearly 30,000 computer graphics and interactive technology professionals from six continents to Los Angeles for the week-long conference, 31 July - 4 August. A comprehensive technical program and special events focusing on research, art, animation, games, interactivity, and the Web are planned. Siggraph 2005 includes a three-day exhibition of products and services for the computer graphics and interactive marketplace from 2-4 August 2005.



Activision Unveils E3 Lineup

Activision's game lineup at this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo, taking place at the Los Angeles Convention Center May 18-20, includes titles based on such brands as Marvel's Spider-Man, Fantastic 4, X-Men, and Shrek, new installments in Activision's Tony Hawk and Call of Duty franchises, id Software's Quake 4, and The Movies from Peter Molyneux's Lionhead Studios.

The lineup includes:



MS Launches Xbox 360

Even with the surfeit of coverage elsewhere, we'd be remiss in not at least mentioning last week's glitter-strewn launch of the Xbox 360, expected in stores by the holidays. We'll keep it short:

Launch lineup: 2K Sports' "NBA 2K6"; Activision Publishing Inc.'s "Call of Duty 2" and "Tony Hawk's American Wasteland", along with id Software's "QUAKE 4"; Electronic Arts' "Madden NFL 06," "Need for Speed Most Wanted" and "Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 06"; Majesco Entertainment's "The Darkness"; Microsoft Game Studios' "Perfect Dark: Zero," "Kameo: Elements of Power," "Project Gotham Racing 3" and "Gears of War"; THQ Inc.'s "Saint's Row"; and Ubisoft Entertainment's "Ghost Recon 3."

Tech: a teraflop of system-floating point performance, a three-core PowerPC-based CPU, a custom ATI graphics processor, 512 MB, hi-def output.

Also: built-in progressive-scan DVD movie, CD music and photo playback support. MP3 players, digital cameras, and Windows XP-based PCs with Universal Serial Bus (USB) 2.0 ports can plug into an Xbox 360 system to stream music and photos. Built-in Media Center Extender functionality lets the unit access recorded TV and digital movies, music, video and photos stored on networked Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005-based PCs.



Vivendi Universal Games Announces E3 Lineup

Vivendi Universal Games (VU Games) last week announced its multi-platform product lineup for the 2005 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3):

StarCraft: Ghost is a tactical-action console game set in Blizzard's StarCraft universe. Players take part in the struggle for galactic domination as Nova, a deadly Ghost operative in the employ of the Terran Dominion. In a series of story-driven missions, Nova engages in infiltration operations and planetary battles. To complete Nova's mission objectives, players must execute tactical decisions while mastering an arsenal of weaponry and psionic abilities.

In 50 Cent: Bulletproof, 50 Cent takes on dangerous crime families, uncovering an international conspiracy. The title feature new songs from 50 Cent recorded exclusively for the game, plus a sound studio mode in which gamers can mix and match new original freestyles. Scheduled for release in fall 2005 for PS2 and Xbox, and in spring 2006 for PSP.

Scarface: The World is Yours: Players take the role of ruthless gangster Tony Montana. Feature screenwriter David McKenna has created an original event-driven storyline that leads the player through a sordid and violent underworld. Scheduled for release in 2006 for PS2, Xbox, PC, and a next generation console.

F.E.A.R. (First Encounter Assault Recon): first-person, paranormal action thriller. Scheduled for release in fall 2005 for PC.

Crash Tag Team Racing: Players will be able to fuse two cars together on the fly to form a super vehicle outfitted with a turret gun. Players can continue their adventures on foot with out-of-car action, allowing them to traverse an amusement park-like world where they can interact with other characters, collect items and complete mini-missions. Scheduled for release in fall 2005 for PS2, Xbox, GameCube, Nintendo DS, PSP.

The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction: players can jump anywhere, climb anything and smash everything, even entire buildings. Players create Hulk-powered weapons from almost anything they can rip out of the environment, unlock new moves to battle a variety of enemies in boss fights, and experience free-roaming non-mission and side-mission gameplay. Scheduled for release in August 2005 for PS2, Xbox, and GameCube.



EA Announces 2005 E3 Lineup

Electronic Arts brings the upcoming EA its broadest array of titles in the company's 23-year history. The EA Sports lineup, details of which this report will forego, is complemented by an array of new games including Need for Speed, The Sims, Battlefield and Burnout. Will Wright's next project, Spore, also will be at the show by appointment only.

Aside from sports, EA delivers 14 games ranging from new titles on current franchises to new franchises, making their debut as videogames. EA titles will be available on various game consoles and the PC including Xbox, PS2, PSP handheld system, Nintendo DS, and PC.

Batman Begins -- Launching day-and-date with the film on June 15, the video game challenges gamers to step into the shadows of Gotham's perilous criminal underworld as DC Comics' legendary Dark Knight, and use fear as their ultimate weapon. The game's voiceover cast includes Christian Bale (Bruce Wayne/Batman), Michael Caine (Alfred Pennyworth), Liam Neeson (Henri Ducard), Katie Holmes (Rachel Dawes), Cillian Murphy (Dr. Jonathan Crane), Tom Wilkinson (Carmine Falcone), and Morgan Freeman (Lucius Fox). available on PS2, Xbox, Nintendo GameCube and Game Boy Advance.

Battlefield 2 -- brings Battlefield 1942 into the modern era with enhanced team play and technologically advanced vehicles and weapons systems. Character growth allows players to rise through the ranks and attain the ultimate rank of general. Enhanced team play features allow players to enter the action on the front lines as part of a formal squad, or work behind the scenes in Commander Mode to direct the strategic assaults of their teammates. Players can take control of the game's 30+ vehicles to engage in conflicts with up to 64 players. Scheduled to ship in June 2005 for the PC.

Battlefield 2: Modern Combat -- coming for PS2 and Xbox this fall, includes single-player mode plus multiplayer action for up to 24 players in online battles.

BLACK -- first-person shooter from Criterion Software Ltd. will be shown behind closed doors in the EA booth. The game casts the player as an unstoppable, unaccountable and untraceable covert operative fighting a against terror in eastern Europe, for PS2 and Xbox.

Burnout Revenge -- battle racing, currently in development for the PS2 and Xbox and ships this September. The Burnout series will also hit the PSP handheld system in September with Burnout Legends.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire -- will release in November in conjunction with the Warner Bros. Pictures film based on the fourth book, features cooperative play with up to two friends. Harry is selected as the fourth contestant in the dangerous Triwizard Tournament, in which each competitor must confront a dragon, rescue friends from the icy depths of the Black Lake, and navigate the twisting mysteries of a vast, dangerous maze. Will be available for PS2, PSP, Xbox, Nintendo GameCube, Nintendo DS, Game Boy Advance, and PC.

From Russia With Love -- Set in the original 60s Bond era, the game features movie-based missions as well as original sequences, a variety of gameplay including create your own Bond, vehicles, social multiplayer experiences, women, and classic, upgradeable weapons and gadgetry with modern mechanics. Sean Connery reprises his role as the dapper Mi6 agent in the retro-styled console title, coming this fall for PS2, Xbox and Nintendo GameCube.

Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects -- Pit Marvel characters against The Imperfects, a group of super heroes created collaboratively by Marvel, EA, and comic book industry talent, in duels to determine who is the most powerful. Coming this October for the PS2, Xbox, Nintendo GameCube, the Nintendo DS and PSP handheld.

Medal of Honor European Assault -- makes you the driving force in the struggle to liberate Europe. Available for PS2, Xbox, Nintendo GameCube this June.

Need for Speed Most Wanted -- Combines illicit street racing and tuner customization, developed in Vancouver, B.C. by EA Canada, coming for a next-generation console (guess which!) as well as the PS2, Xbox, Nintendo GameCube, Nintendo DS, Game Boy Advance, PSP handheld and PC this November.

The Godfather -- Carry out orders, earn respect, and rise through the ranks of the Corleone family. Take on missions in New York City, from mob hits and bank heists to drive-bys and extortion. Shipping this fall for Xbox, PS2, PC, PSP handheld, and on a next-generation system (gee, could it be X… … maybe!).

The Sims 2 -- Control your Sims through customizable locations, unique per platform, and recipes, clothing designs, potions, inventions, personal music tracks, and paintings. Available this fall for the PS2, Xbox, Nintendo GameCube, PSP handheld, Nintendo DS, and Game Boy Advance.

The Sims 2 Nightlife (PC) -- The second expansion pack lets players send their Sims out for a night out at downtown hotspots. Players can either head out for a romantic evening or have a crazy night with their friends for an ultimate night to remember. A new pleasure aspiration lets players focus on a life of fun including dates, nights of dancing, dining and more. Play the dating game with the new attraction system and see if your Sims have the chemistry they need to improve their love lives. New interactions include slow dances, footsies, longing gazes, and dip kisses. More than 125 new objects including a DJ booth, poker table, retro-chic bowling alley, photo booth, Karaoke Machine and more are included. Coming fall 2005 for the PC.

GoldenEye: Rogue Agent for the Nintendo DS -- First-person shooter features aspiring 00 agent dismissed from MI6 for reckless brutality, recruited by Auric Goldfinger in a war against Dr. No. Gamers outwit villainous rivals and battle it out in wireless multiplayer mayhem with up to seven other players using one cartridge. Players exploit multiple weapon combinations through the dual-wield gunplay system, or go head-to-head, melee-style, by taking enemies hostage or knocking them out with one punch. In the new-for-DS 'Virtual Training' mode, players sharpen their lethal edge by defeating Bond villains in order to earn upgrades for weaponry. Left and right-handed gameplay controls, plus stylus and thumb-pad play, take advantage of the platform's touch-screen capabilities. Scheduled to ship June 2005.



Sony Announces New PSP Titles

Sony Online Entertainment Inc. will distribute two new titles for the PSP portable entertainment system, GripShift and Frantix. The titles are scheduled to be available this fall.

The racing game GripShift combines stunt driving and puzzle solving. Players race as one of six characters in souped-up, customizable vehicles as they stunt their way through twisting levels while collecting power-ups, avoiding traps, beating the clock, and challenging friends. Features include 100 levels of puzzle-like challenges, bonus games, and the ability to race solo or with up to three other players via the PSP system's built-in wireless feature. GripShift is being developed by Sidhe Interactive and co-published by Red Mile Entertainment.

Frantix is a character-based 3D puzzle-solving adventure. Developed by Killer Game, the game offers 150 levels, power pick-ups, and a diverse array of monsters and obstacles.

Killer Game is an independent developer of interactive entertainment software and has been working exclusively on Frantix since November 2003.




Ziff Davis Research Highlights Growth in Game Markets

According to recent studies by Ziff Davis Media Game Group, more than half of core gamers plan to purchase a new console in the next 12 months, and approximately 60% plan to purchase a portable or handheld device.

The studies further indicate that the videogame industry has entered the next adoption cycle and is poised for faster growth, as core gamers plan to purchase more consoles and games. According to one study, gamers plan to purchase five games within the first three months they buy a next-generation console.

Purchasing habits of the core gamer:

When deciding what portable gaming device to purchase, core gamers cite the following factors:

According to the studies, over 80% of core video gamers plan to purchase a peripheral in the next 12 months:

The 2005 Electronic Gaming Monthly and Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine reader studies were prepared by Ziff Davis Media Game Group and conducted by http://www.surveynetwork.com/, an independent market research firm. Two thousand five hundred people for each study were polled independently and randomly from December to January 2005.


Report: More U.S. Adults Go Online

The numbers of adults who are online at home, in the office, at school, library or other locations continue to grow, albeit at a somewhat slower rate. In the past eight months the number of online users has reached an estimated 163 million, a four percent increase. In addition, broadband use continues to grow rapidly - over half (54%) of adults who go online use broadband at home.

In research among 2,022 U.S. adults surveyed by telephone in February and April 2005, Harris Interactive found that 74 percent of adults are now online, up from 73 percent in the summer of 2004, 66 percent in the spring of 2002, 64 percent in 2001 and 57 percent in 2000. When Harris Interactive first began to track Internet use in 1995, only nine percent of adults reported they were online.

This recent growth in Internet penetration seems to be the result of increased Internet access at other locations though usage at home and work has also increased slightly. Adults who are online at a location other than their home or work rose to 21 percent up from 17 percent in 2004 and 16 percent in 2003. The proportion of adults who are now online at home has risen to 66 percent, up from 65 percent in 2004 and 61 percent in 2003. Those online at work have risen to 36 percent from 34 percent in 2004 and 31 percent in 2003.

By far the most striking change in the new Harris Interactive research is the big increase in those with broadband connections. In the spring of 2002 only 22 percent of adults who are online had broadband (including ISDN, cable, ADSL/DSL, T1 and T3 lines) connections. By October/December 2003, this had increased to 37 percent. It is now up to 54 percent of all those online.

As Internet penetration rises, the demographic profile of Internet users continues to look more like that of the nation as a whole. It is still true that more young than older people, and more affluent than low-income people, are online. But eight percent of those online are now age 65 or over (compared to 15% of all adults who are 65 or over), 38 percent of those online (compared to 47% of all adults) did not go to college and 16 percent have incomes of less than $25,000 (compared to 21% of all adults).




Game Developers Conference Europe Announced

The Game Developers Conference Europe (GDCE) will take place Tuesday, Aug. 30 through Thursday, Sept. 1, 2005 at London's Le Meridien Hotel. TIGA (The Independent Games Developers Association), an organization representing independent developers from the UK and Europe, is the premier sponsor of the event. GDCE is presented by the CMP Game Group, organizer of the Game Developers Conference and the Serious Games Summit D.C. as well as publisher of Game Developer Magazine and Gamasutra.com.

The GDCE conference program builds upon the Future Vision theme, recently unveiled at the 2005 Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco this past March. GDCE will focus on next-generation development.




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