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96 Don DeLillo, Niall Griffiths


105 Designshop, MalaLeigh

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99 Safe Area Gomde 102 Moulin Rouge, Ring 0 p; 106 Opal Lounge

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_ 103 8804, Louis Theroux 109 Clubbing in Barcelona

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GAMES XBOX if! ’:",+.t,". 5‘235}{!, 31?: O...

h, how the games industry laughed. Microsoft? A games console? The producers of Windows, the number one depressant in the world, bringing joy and excitement to people‘s homes? Sides were split, pants were peed and everyone returned to await Sony’s second coming with the P82. Then Microsoft bought up every top class games company. The giggling subsided. The P82 sold well yet failed to deliver. Brows were .4 -' s ’-, g I. furrowed. Console statistics and early . " E .- .- V V . ot’gn AU“ 3 screenshots appeared. Heads nodded in x ' "" "" “'“ """ grudging approval. Then a playable XBox arrived and the industry began to salivate. It was a ' " perfect first person shooter. Halo looks beautiful, plays like a wacky idea but, like all wacky ideas, it looked dream and will be the game that sells the most XBoxes. Games like it might just succeed. And now the XBox a like Amped, a fantastic snowboarding title, Munch ’s Odysee, a has hit our stores. platform game that gently massages the senses and Dead Or First impressions are that Microsoft has Alive 3, fast, fluid fighting that looks gorgeous, will also be must- succeeded in creating the ugliest console to have titles at launch. date. Slightly smaller than a VCR, the chunk ' However, not everything is rosy with the XBox. Apart from the black box will not win any design awards. y ugliness factor it is quite expensive, with a steep retail price of However, it’s what’s inside that counts, and here £299.99. There have been complaints that the controllers are the XBox comes into its own. Basically, the unwieldy and the hard drive/internet connection might support XBox will be a PC under your telly. The the release of unfinished games, with companies issuing patches microprocessor, graphics card and hard drive, a first for consoles, are to correct problems. Not to mention that the PS2 is now hitting its stride identical to those in your home computer. ‘Big wows!‘ you say? Well, and the Nintendo GameCube is due in May. because the XBox is wholly dedicated to gaming, devoid of the clutter of Add that up, sprinkle a little ‘we hate Bill Gates’ into the mix and the Windows or any installed software, it runs at breakneck speed, challenging XBox has its work cutout. Then again, has Bill Gates ever failed? There is a the very best PC you could build today. 80 ‘Big wows!’ indeed. pot of money behind the XBox, ensuring it gets heavy backing for a long But it is this PC-ness that gives the XBox a real edge over its time. Only an idiot, or a Sony chairman, would bet against it.

competitors. Games developers can utilise all their PC experience to Which leaves you with a choice. Stick two fingers up to the UberGeek

produce killer titles rather than battling to get to grips with unfamiliar and buy a P82. Become a gaming extremist and wait for the GameCube. Or

architecture, a problem that has dogged the PS2. This means that the swallow your pride, ignore the naysayers and snobs, save up your hard

launch titles rival, if not ass-whip, the current P82 catalogue. earned and buy the most exciting thing to happen in the console market And what launch titles they are. Chief among them is Halo, a simply since PlayStation. (Iain Davidson)