Gary: No I'm hollering about the lifting of Sony's court injunction against Connectix
Wait, you're telling me I can have Krispy Kreme delivered 24 hours?
Randy: Go Connectix! Finally Connectix can sell and more importantly update their truly awesome product, Virtual Game Station.
Gary: No back to the doughnuts, man! For the love of God! Go back to the part about the doughnuts!
Randy: If anybody out there hasn't checked out Virtual Game Station yet, run, don't walk to the Connectix On-line Store and grab a copy. For months while Connectix has been waiting for the injunction to be lifted, they have not been able to produce any more retail copies of this great PlayStation emulator. I guess Sony just doesn't get it that they stand to make money by selling their games to Mac users. And worse Connectix has not been able to release an update since last March when they announced update 1.2. Since the February 10th reversal of Sony's court injunction the folks over at Connectix have been so happy about the judges' decision they are selling copies of VGS for a special price, a scant $29.95!
Gary: Tell me about the doughnuts or else I shall KILL you!!!!
Randy: Connectix has always made fantastic products. Programs like Virtual PC, Ram Doubler, Speed Doubler and Surf Express Deluxe are among some of the most popular software titles for the Macintosh.
Gary: Going into DOUGHNUT FUELED RAGE!! CAN'T CONTROL RAGE!!
Randy: But for me the best program they ever wrote is Virtual Game Station. While VGS doesn't play every Sony PlayStation game out there. It does play most of them, and the game play is every bit as good as a real PlayStation console.
Hey are you okay? You look a little red and puffy. You want one of my doughnuts?
Gary: MUST SMASH Oooooooh Sprinkles!
Randy: Knock yourself out there chief.
Gary: Rage calming sprinkles soothing. Returning to slothfulness aahhhhhhh.
Randy: You look much better now. Care to contribute to the column there my friend?
Gary: Mmm, uh yeah. While doughnuts are always tasty and often harshly addictive, the taste can be substantially improved with the addition of the common multicolored sprinkle.
Randy: Uh, Gary, I was really meaning contribute to the topic at hand? The reversals of Sony's court injunction against Connectix's product Virtual Game Station.
Gary: Oh yeah, that's good with sprinkles too!
Randy: Why do I even try?
Gary: Since Connectix can now release updates I have a wish list of improvements I hope to see in version 1.3.
Randy: Or ,possibly, version 2.0.
Gary: I'll take an upgrade however they want to dish it out. First and foremost I'd like to see support for a wider variety of video hardware including full support for ATI's current drivers, and specifically support for 3dfx cards. Since 3dfx cards are fast becoming some of the most popular gaming cards on the Mac market it would be nice to have VGS be able to support it.
Randy: Hear, hear! I still have my old ATI Xclaim video card with it's RAGE IIe video chipset in my Umax s900 just to keep support for VGS. I would love to yank out that card and just run VGS through my VooDoo2 card. I vote for this improvement as well.
Gary: Next I would like to see some form of antialiasing added in. Since the graphics for PlayStation games are made for TV sets they are designed at a much lower resolution than video games designed for display on a standard computer monitor. This means that when you play a PlayStation game on your Mac the jaggies that were unnoticeable on your television screen stand out on your high resolution computer monitor.
I would love some full screen antialiasing to smooth out those artifacts.
Randy: I'm with you so far two for two on these ideas. While the graphics do translate incredibly well from the console to the Mac, some smoothing to those jaggies would be welcome.
That might be a tall order technically though. Connectix has done a great job of maintaining the quality of the gaming experience using Virtual Game Station. Fog and atmospheric effects display beautifully when played on a Mac. However all rendering is done via software. Virtual Game Station doesn't support any 3D hardware rendering. But to push full screen antialiasing during game play would bring VGS to it's knees without hardware graphics support. I have heard that the new VooDoo 4 and 5 cards from 3dfx will bring support for features like full screen antialiasing. I don't even know if ATI's RAGE 128 card can support that kind of effect.
Gary: Hey, it's just a wish list. I don't want to go into all the technical detail stuff. I didn't start poking you in the head when you predicted Apple would start offering multi-button mice.
Randy: That still could happen!
Gary: Yes it could. And I could be launching the next space shuttle mission out of my butt.
Randy: Suddenly I just lost the childhood urge I had to grow up and become an astronaut.
Gary: My last humble request would be for more titles to be playable with VGS. Don't get me wrong. Connectix's current list of compatible games is huge. And there are other games which aren't even on the list that work great with VGS. There are some great VGS fan sites, like Macs Only's CVGS Watchpage, Emulation.net's PSX page and VGS Heaven that dedicate huge sections to reviews and test of PlayStation titles above and beyond what Connectix site has posted.
Randy: I think this request is one everybody wants. I personally would like to see European and Japanese PlayStation titles supported. I know US PlayStation consoles can be modified with a chip to play overseas titles. I hope Connectix can do it via their software.
Gary: But regardless of our upgrade wish list for VGS we just want to say, "Congratulations to Connectix!"
Randy: Pip pip cheerio and all that kind of stuff, old boy! Virtual Game Station is a must have gaming product and it's good to have it back on the market.
Gary: Pip pip? Who are you, Author Teacher?
Randy: I'm just saying it's the single biggest expansion to Mac gaming that has come along in the last half a decade.
Gary: That's right Mr. Fish n Chips, suddenly Mac gamers have the huge library of Sony Playstation titles at there command.
Randy: Mac users can now play incredible action/adventure titles like Metal Gear Solid before they come out for Winblows.
Metal Gear Solid rocks on your Mac with VGS!
Gary: Or Final Fantasy VII and the chilling Resident Evil-The Directors Cut!
Final Fantasy VII running on Virtual Game Station.
Randy: Supreme racers like Gran Turismo, Need For Speed II or Twisted Metal 3.
Gran Turismo running like silk on a Macintosh!
Gary: Sports titles like NBA Jam Extreme or VR Baseball 97.
Randy: Or several of the mucho fantastico Star Wars games like Star Wars: Masters of Teras Kasi or Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.
Gary: Are we going to keep naming titles all the way to the end of the column?
Randy: Why not. Killer combat games like Tekken 3 or the creepy Nightmare Creatures.
Nightmare Creatures lets the blood fly on VGS.
Gary: Fun food service games like Mr. Fish n Chips and the Incredibly Merciless Brain Punch.
Randy: Awesome arcade games like Rayman and Doughnut Boy Gary the Fried Bread Junky.
Gary: Oh yeah. How about titles like Chicken Leg Randyman in Loserland.
Randy: But that's not as much fun as the game, Gary the Big Headed Guy with the thing and the I got nothing there.
Gary: Yeah we're reaching pretty hard. Just end it.
Gary: Just stop typing.
Gary: No see. You typed that. That's not what we call "stopping."
Randy: Hey Gary, stop yelling or it will never end.
Gary: DOUGHNUT FUELED RAGE RISING!
Gary Randazzo and Randy Soare are the co-founders of IWS Interactive, a New York based game developer for Macintosh. The IWS in IWS Interactive stands for Idiots With Sticks. How that came about is a long and boring story, but suffice it to say that at four in the morning, it seemed like a good idea.
The demo for IWS Interactive's upcoming mystery-adventure game, Manhattan Apartment Hunter, has recently been released to rave reviews. The Idiots have been into gaming on Apple computers even before the Mac was around. Does anyone remember Choplifter on the Apple IIe? (Boy, we know we do.) Now, they are committed to help ensure that the Mac remains the premiere gaming platform on the planet.
You can email your comment and suggestions to Randy at , and Gary at .