Slave to the Game

Filling you in on the oddball gaming news

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It was 9 months ago that you may have heard of PSP Home Control 1.0 a clever hack that involved using the PSP to control the DVD player, Tivo, and lighting of a house. Since then lots of progress has been made in the world of PSP hacking, and with the recent release of Lua Player .15, there is now an easy way to talk via wifi to other networked devices.

This has sparked new development ideas for integrating the PSP to allow it to control other devices. This time it is not a home A/V system that is being controlled, but a heavily modified, "ElecTrick" 1994 Honda Civic hachback .

The PSP can control several features of the car including, turning left/right, gas pedal, brakes, horn, opening and closing of the doors, headlights, volume and blinkers.

The car features an Electric motor developed by the guys at Metra Electronics. All of the wiring and several of the car's internal components are manufactured by Tsunami. At the heart of the car's control interface is the Aurora Multimedia WACI NX IP Based Control System. There is an Aurora IBZ-1040W 10.4" touchpanel mounted into the dash of the car along with an analog joystick for driving. The main interface for the car's controls was written in Macromedia Flash and can be taken for a 'test drive' here:
http://www.waciworld.com/psp_controlled_car/flash_interface.htm

The car hosts 21 TV screens including 2 20" LCD's that hang from the back hatch of the car, fed content from 6 DVD players and 2 cameras which can be routed to any screen from the wifi interface.


Future enhancements include integrating video streaming hardware (Aurora's NX Stream) into the car to allow streaming video from the camera mounted on the front of the car to the PSP. This will allow us to see where the car is going when we're driving it.

Yes, you read that correctly, we are going to attempt to drive this car remotely from the PSP. As a safety precaution we have an override switch which will cut off control from the PSP and apply the brakes, just in case something does not go as planned. A video will be posted shortly after CES once we get the car to a nice empty parking lot to test it.



All of this will be on display at the 2006 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in the Metra Booth (Booth #3406 in the North Hall), and the car will be traveling across the country to make it's stops at other car shows throughout the year. Bookmark this page for updated information including video clips, and schedule information for other shows the car will be appearing at.

Master Chief is now forever enshrined in Madame Tussauds Wax Museum in Las Vegas. Other such wax statues have been made of the likes of Elvis, Princess Diana, and Britney Spears.

For those of you who are lame to the point that you don't know who Master Chief is, he's the plasma-ray packing protagonist in Microsoft's forthcoming Halo 3 videogame.

The "life-sized" figure of Master Chief was unveiled at a ceremony at the famed museum on the Strip last week. The wax version of the futuristic soldier stands an impressive 7-foot, 2-inches tall. That beats by an inch what was until now the museum's tallest resident -- a statue of NBA star Shaquille O'Neal.

There's just something about a Shaq-dwarfing sized statue of Master Chief that comes off as completely badass to me.

Not only is Master Chief the biggest bastard in the museum, he's also the first videogame character to be enshrined in a wax museum, according to Tussauds officials.

The event is the latest indication that Halo 3, set to debut on September 25th for the Xbox 360 console, will smash sales records for game discs. Internet retailers such as Amazon.com, Walmart.com, and BestBuy.com have taken more than a million pre-orders for the first person shooter.

Master Chief is a biologically enhanced soldier who has to blast his way through a futuristic, 3-D landscape to survive and accomplish missions. Version 3 of the game, developed by Bungie Studios and published by Microsoft, features a host of new levels, weapons, vehicles, and level types.

Most retailers are selling the title for around $60. A special "Legendary Edition" sells for about $130 and includes a helmet-style case, bonus discs, and collector's art.

Psh, $70 extra basically for a helmet that can't actually be put on? MAYBE if the helmet could be worn, not in public mind you... definitely..not in public... MAYBE then I would shell out a little extra cash for the collector's edition. I sure as hell wouldn't pay $70 for it though. For $70 they better throw in a 7'2 wax Master Chief statue.

Microsoft is also planning to introduce a special Halo 3 version of the Xbox 360 that's emblazoned in the same green and gold colors sported by Master Chief.

The special Halo 3 xbox 360 is a cool idea... cool and ugly as hell all at once. Maybe it's just me but the colors just don't work well together on a console. But then again people went crazy over other ugly consoles like the pokemon n64... the thought alone makes me shudder.