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Beyond Co-Op, January 29th through February 4th
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Beyond Co-Op, January 29th through February 4th

Welcome to Beyond Co-Op, a weekly piece that talks about industry stories that may or may not be related to co-op gaming.  We like to take a look around the industry and see what news and links may interest you in the world fo gaming.

- Max Payne 3 Dated, Trailer
- THQ's Financial Woes, Sitting on a Pile of UDraw Tablets
-  Valve Games now on Impulse
- Cannon Fodder 3 Trailer Discovered
-  Creative announces new Sound Blaster Recon 3D


Max Payne 3 Dated

Rockstar Games have announced the release date for Max Payne 3. The 360 and PS3 versions of the game will be released on May 15, while the PC version will be out a couple weeks later, on May 29.  This is the first Max Payne game in almost 10 years.



THQ's Financial Woes, Sitting on a Pile of UDraw Tablets

THQ is having some serious financial issues right now, including but not limited to, facing de-listing on the stock market if their stock price can't get back above $1.  While the 55 million dollar loss they just posted is pretty huge, and the 210 jobs they just cut is pretty depressing, the biggest problem they currently have is over 1.2 million unsold UDraw tablets.  The failed peripheral has cost the company dearly and is forcing them to rethink certain brands.  One of which is the Warhammer 40k MMO, an expensive investment to get up off the ground, and a huge risk if it fails.  To offset this, THQ is looking for a partner for the game which is already very deep into development.


Valve Games Now on Impulse

Impulse is now owned by Gamestop, no longer a Stardock joint, which probably has a lot to do with the following bit of information.  Valve's game catalog can now be purchased on the digital distribution service.  Ironically, the games all still require Steam to play - so why you'd purchase them on one DD platform to launch another DD platform is beyond me.


This is a Cannon Fodder 3 Trailer

Oh man, look at this cuddly toy in the jungle I found.   Rock Paper Shotgun has dug up a trailer (and binary) for an unreleased, unannounced version of Cannon Fodder 3.  A sequel to the classic PC game would be a dream come true to many folks.  The trailer looks to remain true to its roots, though there's numerous sci-fi elements added to the game.  

Source: Rock, Paper, Shotgun



 Creative announces new Sound Blaster Recon 3D

I'll be honest, it's been a long time since I've bought a sound card for my PC.  But the specs on Creative Labs newest card has be drooling.  The PCI express card comes in three flavors of various prices ranges but all support swanky things like THX, auto volume enhancements, and many other features you'd find in top end home receivers.

THX TruStudio Pro – Featured in Every Sound Blaster Recon3D
•       The THX TruStudio Pro Crystalizer™ enhances in-game sound, music and movies by restoring low and high end frequency curves lost to compression
•       THX TruStudio Pro Surround™ delivers a 360 degree surround sound gaming experience so gamers can hear sounds clearly from the front, back, above and below
•       THX TruStudio Pro Smart Volume™ addresses the problem of abrupt volume level changes in games, music and movies by intelligently applying gain and attenuation to deliver consistent volume levels
•       THX TruStudio Pro Dialog Plus™ enhances voices in games and movies for clearer dialog, allowing listener to hear the dialog over the rest of sound track and over ambient noise in the listening environment
•       THX TruStudio Pro Bass™ fills in the missing low frequency tones and give the extra impact for a better entertainment experience.

CrystalVoice is comprised of:
•       Acoustic Echo Cancellation - Eliminates echoes and enables whoever is speaking to listen to the other party clearly. Echoes are a common problem present in voice communication systems that disrupts conversations by making it difficult to hear the other party
•       Focus - Beam-forming creates a zone and suppresses noise outside it to enable whoever is speaking to be heard with amazing clarity. Multiple microphones are used to focus, enhance voice, and eliminate sounds outside the zone
•       Noise Reduction - Enables who is speaking to be heard clearly over background noise by constantly monitoring the environment and eliminate the unwanted noise that interferes with the conversation
•       Smart Volume - Automatically adjusts the loudness of a voice to maintain a consistent volume level. This makes it convenient for the speaker to converse normally, regardless of whether the speaker is close to or far away from the microphone
•        FX™ - Enables alteration of voice with a variety of effects, which can be used to enhance the tone of a voice, create interesting accents, or enable someone to sound like a completely different person