Arrowhead Game Studios Announces HELLDIVERS For PC

Arrowhead has revealed that its latest game, Helldivers is now being released for PC via Steam! The PC release will include all three free expansions, up to and including Democracy Strikes Back. Additionally, DLC will also be available for purchase for PC users.

The action-packed game features top-down, co-op, twin-stick shooting and is perfect for 1-4 players. You can play single, multiplayer, local and online, with any combination of each, so there’s no excuse to not get stuck in with your friends.

“We are thrilled to be releasing Helldivers on PC our fourth game so far and for the platform which we first started developing games on. We have done our very best to ensure that the game will feel as good as possible when played on PC. With a wide range of graphic options, rebindable keys and an added text chat, we hope that we will meet the expectations which players have of a PC title. We have received so much support from the community already, and feel very happy and privileged to welcome new players into the Helldivers universe. I hope that many more people get the chance to experience Freedom, Liberty and Democracy for themselves!” said CEO and Game Director, Johan Pilestedt

Given their work on Magicka, The Showdown Effect and Gauntlet: Slayer Edition, Helldivers is shaping up nicely for PC and you can set your reminders for mid-December, when the game will finally launch on Steam in time for Christmas.

In Win Unveils Full-Tower 909 Chassis

In Win specializes in some of the most extravagant and unique chassis designs whilst offering premium-grade materials. Given the popularity of the 901 ITX and 904 ATX cases, In Win has decided to launch an enthusiast-friendly, full chassis called the 909. This features a 4mm aluminium alloy and 5mm tinted tempered glass panel to create an absolutely breathtaking aesthetic style. Furthermore, the chassis is equipped with a reversible USB 3.1 type-C connector and 3 traditional front USB 3.0 ports.   

There are other notable inclusions such as a magnetic aluminium dust filter, integrated lighting effects and support for 8 case fans. You can configure three 120mm or two 140mm fans in the rear chamber which provides exceptional airflow. Additionally, the bottom has ample room for two 120mm or 140mm fans while the front houses two 120/140mm fans. The rear chassis fan only allows for a single 120mm fan and not 140mm. This vast array of fan mounting options means it’s a wonderful case for water-cooling setups.    

For example, any radiator up to 360mm with a height under 60mm can be fixed in the rear chamber while the front supports 280mm with a maximum height of 35mm. On another note, a 240mm radiator with height up to 35mm can fit in the bottom while a single 120mm is available in the rear.

The chassis also incorporates separate hard drive and power supply chambers to maximize airflow and dissipate heat directly to the back through ventilation holes. This should lower the GPU and CPU temperatures as hot air is kept away from the PC’s vital components. Sadly, there isn’t a price as of yet, but the In Win 909 looks like a superb, premium-grade chassis.

Google Hosting Event on September 29th

Google has finalized the event date for its hardware launch presentation and already sent out invitations to members of the press. The event will take place on Tuesday September 29th and begin at 9AM PT. There’s a great deal of speculation regarding Google’s hardware announcements, but information suggests the main headline will be the latest Nexus 5. In theory, there could be two models, one from Hauwei and another from LG. The Nexus 6 is a beautiful handset, but the 5.9″ display is overkill for many users and cannot be comfortably held in one hand.

In theory, the Hauwei Nexus could be similar to the Honor 7 which integrates an astonishingly responsive fingerprint scanner. Other reveals could include a new Chromecast or audio streaming device. With the announcement of the revised Apple TV, it seems an appropriate time for Google to update their budget-friendly media streaming dongle. However, it will be interesting to see if the form factor or specifications have changed. On another note, it’s possible Google could discuss more about the company’s restructuring and Alphabet name. In terms of hardware, Google has a wide array of appetizing products and the Nexus line is bound to sell extremely well and receive a great deal of press coverage.

Do you own a Nexus handset? Are you looking forward to the new one?

Free Wi-Fi Hits the Streets of New York… In Bins?

A lot of companies were looking into providing free Wi-Fi, a project that seems to have been of big interest as of late. However, nobody would have predicted where free Wi-Fi would come from
on the streets of New York. Would you have thought that your regular street bin would also be an access point in the near future? I thought so.

Bigbelly is a company based in Massachusetts who deals with waste management. Their first project was to put in place ‘smart’ bins that would signal when they are full or become smelly, so the latter would have more priority and be taken care of swiftly and efficiently. However, the company seems to have an even bigger project up their sleeve.

The company apparently teamed up with Downtown Alliance to place Wi-Fi hotspots inside the bins. This means that New York residents will have free Wi-Fi on the streets, thanks to their bins! Tests were performed daily and the results came as a big success. They say that the hotspots are able to hold a lot of simultaneous connections, the size of a small business, with speeds of 50 to 75 Mbps. Another amazing thing about the free Wi-Fi providing smart bins is that they do not get interference from radio towers or other wireless access points, since they are placed at ground level.

The project may give free Wi-Fi to citizens, but it may help do even more. It is said that the smart bins would help the government collect data about waste management or display public service announcements and alerts. Tests will still be performed throughout the year to make sure that nothing major crops up, but the project does seem a great success and the company is now looking to expand the project even further, provided that sponsors are found and willing to help the project financially. So what is your take on this? Let us know in the comments below.

Thank you The Huffington Post for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of UC Santa Barbara Department of Geography

First Look at the New DOOM Game, All 3 Seconds of it.

Gamers of a certain generation will have fond memories of the original DOOM game. It introduced another reason to have a PC other than mundane office tasks. After that, multiple sequels and remakes keep the DOOM name alive today.

In December of 1993, the original was released and millions of players enjoyed traversing the corridors killing 2D monsters in a 3D world.  Things progressed nicely, the visuals improved over time and the games stayed popular. The last iteration of DOOM that was released was DOOM 3 BFG Edition.  This was a remake of DOOM 3 with the addition of enhanced graphics, improved sound and more gory horror effects.  This version also included a checkpoint style save system that was a welcomed addition.

All this was back in October of 2012 and nothing much has been seen since. Until now. The new game will be unveiled at Bethesda’s E3 showcase on the 14th of June.  The game was first announced in 2008 with a multitude of ups and downs, not to mention a change of publisher and bouncing back from being scrapped. This time maybe it will actually get released.

To keep all you DOOM fan’s interests piqued, here is a whole 3 seconds of gameplay from the upcoming game.

 

Apple Posts Invites to “Spring Forward” Event on March 9th

Apple has just posted invites to journalists announcing a “Spring forward” event on March 9th. It will take place at the Yerba Buena Arts Center in San Francisco, a venue used for countless Apple events.

While there are no further details at this time, it’s believed that the event will focus on the Apple Watch, among other things. The name, “Spring forward”, is an obvious nod to time, considering that the clocks go forward on Sunday, March 8th (in the US). The Apple Watch is due out in April, so it’s understood that Apple will likely reveal more about the new device and announce more details concerning its launch.

While the event could solely focus on the watch, it’s not uncommon for the company to make other announcements at such events. For the last few months, we’ve seen rumours concerning a new redesigned MacBook Air – a product said to be ready for early 2015. We’ve also heard about an ‘iPad Pro’ with a larger screen, but this is more likely to arrive in the later half of the year.

Source: The Verge

Toshiba to Unveil Wide Range of Next-Generation Innovations at CES

Toshiba will celebrate their 50th anniversary in the US market next year, and they’re starting that out with showcasing their newest products and vision for the future at the Consumers Electronics Show (CES), January 6th to 9th 2015.

There will be a wide variety of storage solution on display, but the focus seems to be on wireless transmissions this year. This includes products with TransfertJet technology, a close proximity wireless transfer technology, NFC, and Bluetooth smart applications with NFC tag functions. But also FlashAir, a wireless LAN SD memory card that removes the need for card readers and instead uses your wireless connection. The latest line of SSDs, portable hard discs and SD cards will be on display too, of course.

Healthcare gadgets are one of the new big things, and Toshiba will be part of that wave as well. They’ll be presenting their new Wearable Wristband Fitness Tracker, a biosensor device that allows users to take a total approach to managing daily exercise, sleep and diet. Silmee is also mentioned as helpful in disease prevention and care work by enabling analysis of autonomic nerve activity, but I don’t know if that is a wristband device or comes in another shape or form.

As new inventions, there will be a showcase for Toshiba Glass, a B2B solution that enables quick retrieval of manuals and other information while doing maintenance and logistics work away from a computer. A lifelike robot named ChihiraAico will be there as well as body scanning technologies for cloth fitting and much more. An image processor for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) with improved performance during night time with focus on pedestrians recognition will also be presented.

Thanks to Toshiba for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of CNET and Toshiba

Netflix Launching in Australia, New Zealand in March 2015

Australians are going ballistic over social media right now – Netflix has just announced via their media center that they will be launching their services in Australia and New Zealand coming March 15. One of my friends posting just recently on their Facebook page the exact (censored) status of: “Holy mother f***g s**t batman!!!! NETFLIX IS COMING TO AUSTRALIA !!”

Self-claimed as the “World’s Leading Internet Television Network to Offer Original Series, Movies, Documentaries, Stand-Up Comedy Specials and TV Shows for Low Monthly Price”, those outside of Australia (and some within) might not realize that most Aussies have been using Netflix already for months – through utilizing VPN software. For those who aren’t aware, in simple terms – a VPN will fool someone into thinking that you reside in a country of choice, in this case Australians will install their VPN and set it to the United States therefore making Netflix servers think they reside in the US and therefore enabling them to use their services.

A major issue that comes with Netflix opening locally is that of pricing. Australians have become used to paying a ‘premium’ for re-released product. If you take a look at gaming prices for example, a ‘standard edition’ of an A+++ publisher release can easily cost us $110 per console game and $100 per PC edition – this is comparative to around $60 US in the States. What does that say for Netflix pricing? Recently Netflix has upped their US price by $1, to $8.99 per month, comparing this to an estimated price of $15+ AU per month (and more for our New Zealand brothers).

One more issue comes in the form of rights ownership. Australian cable company Foxtel own the rights to many publishing companies material, including the popular HBO series – Game of Thrones. It’s unsure if Netflix will be able to work around this issue due to them being US-based and an online service, only time will tell.

Even if Aussies have to pay a premium service price of $15 AU for Netflix’s local offering, it’s still better than the $25 per month (on 12 month contract) offered by Foxtel. I knew there was a reason my parents always wanted to stick with ‘Free-TV’.

Image courtesy of Netflix

Google’s Nexus 9 and Nexus 6 expected to Launch Tomorrow

Exciting news for Android smart phone and tablet fans – Forbes is reporting that Google’s HTC constructed Nexus 9 and Motorola built Nexus 6 will be launching tomorrow, and are expected to be the first devices running the new Android L operating system.

The tablet – codenamed the HTC Volantis, will be made available for pre-order on the 17th of October – and is said to be going on sale from November the 3rd. Forbes’ source has let loose that Google was originally intending on hosting an official launch event for the device – but decided against such after the company was still hard at work on tweaking and optimising Android L. As such, the Nexus 9 and 6 will be announced through a blog post from Google.

On the specification frontier, the Nexus 9 is expected to be packing Nvidia’s Kepler GPU, an 8.9 inch 2048×1440 display as well as a 64 bit dual-core CPU. On the front face, sources are reporting a 3MP camera – with the main rear shooter clocking in at 8MP. Pricing of the tablet isn’t going to be cheap – with reports stating that the 16GB model will start at $399 USD and ramping up to $499 USD for the 32GB LTE version. Good news however, is that the Nexus 9 is said to include expandable memory – so those wanting to save money this festive season can breathe a sigh of relief.

Over on the smart phone side of things, the new Nexus 6 is expected to look extremely similar to the design of the new Moto X (2014). The Nexus 6 is said to include a gigantic 5.92 inch display – which may in fact be too large for many. Sources have indicated that Motorola’s had to move the volume adjustment and screen lock buttons down the device to allow for a more manageable experience. Pricing and models haven’t yet been leaked for the Nexus 6.

Stay tuned to eTeknix – as tomorrow’s shaping up to be a big day for Mountain View and the Android operating system.

Thanks to Forbes for providing us with this information.

ROCCAT Launched New Mini-Site and Announced 3 New Exciting Products

ROCCAT has launched a new demo site and announced three new products. When loading the site you’re presented with a demo reading: “We’ve Innovated. We’ve improved on the industry concepts, and made out mark. Now it’s time for ROCCAT to blaze a brand new trail. We are ROCCAT Studios, and we are future ready”

Scrolling down the site we’re presented with a bunch of slogans: “ROCCAT’s new design philosophy are the definition of adaptability. From the foundational superstructure that encases our technology, to the ergonomic human layer that tactilely connects gamers with out peripherals, adaptive functionality is out first priority. That is what future ready means.” But after all that, we get to the good stuff.

The first new product they introduce to us is the ROCCAT Nyth MMO Gaming mouse. The Nyth is not the typical MMO mouse with just the usual high amount of programmable buttons needed for MMO gaming. All those buttons are fully modular and can not only be changed around to your liking but can also be custom designed and printed by yourself using a 3D printer.

The second product announced via the mini site is a new keyboard, the ROCCAT Skeltr. A gaming keyboard with complete smart device integration, promised to fit all sizes. The rail and smartphone holster at the back allow for position adjustment and rotation, to fit every need. The keyboard also offers the by now defaults of customized back-lighting, a bunch of macro keys you can assign to your likings, USB ports and audio jacks.

The Skeltr keyboard has build-in Bluetooth technology to connect directly to your phone. With the dedicated call button and use of the build-in headset connectors, there won’t be any need to remove the phone from the holster to make calls. Even for chatting and texting there won’t be any need to remove it, as the keyboard can take over and do that too.

 

The third and last product introduced is a smartphone app and driver system called ROCCAT Swarm. A unified driver compatible across all gaming-relevant platforms, or so it promises, that keeps track of your ROCCAT products and giving you instant access to their settings via the phone display. Since it’s also running on your PC, it knows what programs and apps you use and can provide feature specific options to those as well.

The demo page ends with the slogan “and we’re only getting started”, hinting more exiting new products in the future. You can head over to future-ready.roccat.org and check out the demo site yourself, to get the full experience.

Thank you ROCCAT for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of ROCCAT

ASUS Announces a Whole List of New Gaming Accessories

ASUS is expanding on their Strix brand and not just with one or two new products. We see 5 new products aimed at the hardcore gamers: A new optical mouse, a mechanical keyboard, a headset and two new mouse pads.

Following the recent launches of the Strix Pro gaming headset and Strix R9 280 and GTX 780 graphic cards, ASUS are completing their Strix gaming-gear line-up that “sharpens gamers’ hearing and places everything under their control”.

Strix DSP gaming headset

The Strix DSP is a multi-platform gaming headset that comes with massive 60mm neodymium-magnet drivers and full-size hexagonal ear cushions. The environmental-noise-cancellation (ENC) technology used is said to filter out up to 90% of external noise. The headset is also fold-able for easy transport

The USB plug-and-play audio station that’s part of the Strix DSP package provides true 3D surround sound with Dolby® Headphone and Dolby Pro Logic® IIx technologies and with native 7.1-channel audio to virtual 7.1 surround sound process. It also has what I think is an amazing feature, a dedicated speaker jack and switch so you don’t need to fumble around with software settings.

The compatible is announced with PCs, Macs, the PlayStation® 4 games console and many smartphones and tablets.

Strix Claw

The Strix Claw is a 5000 DPI 8 button optical gaming mouse aimed at first-person-shooter gamers. It is using high-quality Omron D2F-01F switches and the DPI is adjustable down to 50 DPI steps. For serious snipers it also has a so called DPI Clutch to instantly reduce the sensitivity for getting that head shot every time.

It has 64KB on-board memory to remember gaming profiles and a small LED indicator for DPI status information.

Strix Tactic Pro

The Strix Tactic Pro is a new mechanical gaming keyboard, available with MX red (light no click), blue (light with click), brown (heavy with click) or black (heavy no click) keys that are rated for 50 million keystrokes.

To prevent ghosting the Strix Tactic Pro features N-Key Rollover with a switch to go back to 6-Key Rollover if needed. You have 13 dedicated macro keys at your disposal and you can chose to reassign F1 to F8 as well, giving you a total of 21 macro keys at your disposal. The keyboard supports both on-the-fly macro recording as well as with the bundled software.

In common with Strix Claw, Strix Pro offers a choice of software or plug-and-play hardware modes, enabling advanced personalization and easy installation for gaming on the go.


Strix Glider Control and Glide Speed

Not every game style benefits from the same surface, so ASUS have made two new mouse pads to work with both optical and laser mice. Both new mouse-pads are manufactured with fray-resistant edges for durability.

The Strix Glide Control is finished with a premium heavy-weave fabric, providing a textured surface for games that require fine control and absolute precision.

Strix Glide Speed is made for game-play that needs fast, efficient movement, with a fine-weave finish that allows the mouse to glide swiftly across the entire pad with zero hindrance.

Thank you ASUS ROG for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of ASUS ROG.

Facebook Outage Lasts Around 30 Minutes, Prevents Millions of Users from Connecting

The popular social media network known as Facebook appears to have been down for most users today. Reports were coming in from Europe, with countries such as Belgium, UK, France, Romania and others, as well as other countries from Asia and possibly the US.

Facebook users wanting to connect to the social media website or mobile applications such as the Facebook or Facebook Messenger application have noticed that the service was down and a “Connecting” notification constantly being present, indicating that the applications were attempting to reach Facebook’s servers, but were unable to do so.

Users wanting to connect to the website version were greeted with the following message:

Reports started to come in a few minutes after the outage, which appears to have started occurring at 08:50 UK time. Hundreds or even millions of users who noticed the outage started tweeting on about it, generating a small worldwide panic. However, questions regarding the cause of the outage is still unknown.

After roughly 30 minus, the service appears to have been resorted. Even so, users are still awaiting an explanation for today’s outage from Facebook officials. Until now, no official announcement regarding the cause of the outage has been made.

Update:
I appears that TechCrunch have contacted Facebook to shed some light on what exactly happened that took the network down worldwide. A Facebook spokesperson apparently told TechCrunch that they have experienced an ‘issue’ which led to the worldwide outage, without going into more details about what the ‘issue’ was exactly. The full statement can be seen below:

“Earlier this morning, we experienced an issue that prevented people from posting to Facebook for a brief period of time. We resolved the issue quickly, and we are now back to 100%. We’re sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused.”

Plextor M6S Availability In Q2 Announced

Following the announcement of the new M6 series of solid state drives during IFA last year, Plextor have been busy working away behind the scenes to get the range ready for launch. On top of this they have been continuously tweaking and tuning the three M6 lines in order to optimise their performance and increase reliability. Earlier in the year the M6e was announce – a PCI Express mounted M.2 drive that takes performance to levels that a traditional SATA connection is simply not able to offer. Keep an eye out on eTeknix as I have a full review on the 512GB model this drive coming up very shortly.

The next step for Plextor is the mainstream consumer SATA based M6S and today Plextor have announced that the drives will be available to buy during the second quarter of this year in capacities ranging from 128GB right up to 512GB. Like the rest of the M6 range, the 7mm thin drive packs a Marvell 88SS9182-BNP2 controller along with an array of Toshiba 19nm NAND. Performance wise users can expect to see speeds of up to 520MB/s read and 440MB/s write on offer along with random IOPS figures of 94k read and 80k write to suit.

What’s more the M6 series drives are focussed on the cost of owner ship with reduced power consumption being just one of the key elements that Plextor thought about when they designed the drives. Following in the footsteps of my review on the M5 Pro Xtreme in the early part of the year, along with my experience of the M6e as you’ll soon see, I’ve got a good set of hopes and aspirations for this drive and what it has to offer to the SATA based group of users.

Source & image courtesy of Plextor

EVE: Valkyrie Said To Be The First Published Game For Oculus Rift

It appears that EVE: Valkyrie is not just a concept demo for the Oculus Rift VR headset, having it be declared as an exclusive launch title. Oculus Rift team has announced that it will enter into a co-publishing agreement with developer CCP Games to make its space dogfighter one of the Rift’s first AAA “made-for-VR” games.

It does not come as a surprise that Oculus and CCP have decided to work together in making EVE: Valkyrie an exclusive title. CCP has been working closely with Oculus since the time it was in its early Kickstarter days.

When EVE: Valkyrie has been announced in August last year, it seemed that the game was developed for the VR headset. Also, the announcement that the game would be standalone and not an addon for EVE: Online, it strongly backed the rumors about the Oculus dedication.

Together with the previous information, the team has also mentioned a release date sometime this year when it was first announced. Together with vague rumor about the Oculus Rift headset being released somewhere this year, it would only make sense for the game to be exclusively made for the VR headset.

A release date for the title has not been officially announced yet, though CCP Games should reveal one later on. But it most surely be strongly connected with the Oculus Rift release date. So we will just have to wait and see when a release date for one of them will be revealed to know (roughly) when the other will be launched as well.

Thank you Endgadget for providing us with this information
Image and video courtesy of Endgadget

Sony Xperia Z2 Expected To Be Revealed Early Next Year

Sony has had some acceptable devices released this year, spanning from the Z model all the way to the Z1. Though none of them were considered as a big success, it might at least have been a lesson for the future. Now there are rumors of a new Sony handset, the Xperia Z2, and the question is will this be the handset that will make Sony proud? Given the recent failures to grab the attention of most smartphone users, Sony had time to analyse the market and might now have something up its sleeves.

The Z2 is said to be the successor of the Z1 handset, using the same IGZO display panel. It is rumored to have a 5.2-inch display, boasting a Snapdragon 800 CPU and run on the Android KitKat operating system out of the box. Sony will also have the same 20-megapixels camera installed on the Z2, though we are hoping on more improvements on the Z2 model.

Sony should make the announcement official at CES or MWC since they are the first events of 2014 and are right around the corner, but there is also the possibility of Sony to make it official right before we pass into the following year.

Thank you Chip Loco for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Chip Loco

Oculus Rift Not Needed for EVE Valkyrie


Hilmar Petersson, CEO of CCP announced that people were playing without Oculus Rift since there was a limited number going around at the development studio. When asked if the game could launch with both VR and non-VR versions he replied: “It could be a game like that, absolutely.”

Being a stand-alone version and only a multiplayer, not interacting with the EVE universe as much as Dust 514 does, the game may see versions on quite a few platforms, including current and next gen consoles.

However it’s to early to be saying anything definitively one way or another. The game isn’t due out until sometime next year, possibly around the time the consumer version of Oculus Rift gets released. What there is to point out is that the VR experience is “the core” of what Valkyrie is trying to achieve.

The Valkyrie idea grew out of a tech demo that turned heads internally and then turned heads externally when it was shared at the Eve FanFest. Now the game is currently being shaped by a team of 20 CCP members from Newcastle, led by former senior producer of Mirror’s Edge, a “somewhat of an expert in tight, motion sickness-inducing gameplay” as Petersson stated.

The game is announced to be released in 2014 and could be a major turnaround to how MMO and gaming alike is experienced.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KmNQEiJUthc[/youtube]

Thank you NextPowerUp and Eurogamer for providing us with this information.

Image and video courtesy of NextPowerUp.

Battlefield 4 News At Tonights Xbox Event

DICE just can’t contain their excitement and with Microsoft’s event just hours away they have let slip that there will be some Battlefield 4 news very soon. Of course by very soon they mean today and by today, they mean at the Microsoft event and this will likely be EA’s big reveal at the event and one that is likely to put Microsoft on firm ground with hardcore FPS fans.

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/Battlefield/status/336589476417634304″]

According to industry sources that announcement is definitely today and while it’s a little sneaky that DICE have let the cat out of the bag on this one, we expect to see a lot of these teasers throughout the course of today as everyone involved will want to make sure that as many gamers and potential customers are watching the event, otherwise whats the point in having a show in the first place.

There is plenty of speculation about this reveal, it could just be something from the games multiplayer, or it could be exclusive Xbox content for the game, either way it’s going to be worth tuning in as both Call of Duty and Battlefield on the same bill should make for something truly spectacular.

Well keep you posted on further developments on the Xbox event throughout the day, be sure to check back for all the latest.

Gran Turismo 6 Announcement Coming Next Week

Something made me feel like an old gamer today and while I’m not exactly having a mid life crisis or anything I was still amazed to find out that Gran Turismo was 15 years old this year, given that I remember snapping up the original game when it was launched on the PlayStation 1 back in 1998. Yet even as a long standing fan of the series, I hated GT5 with a passion, it was an incredible achievement for Polyphony digital but compared to Forza 3 and 4 I found it immensely boring, can GT6 fix that and bring some fresh bloody into the series?

With the 15 year celebration kicking off at Silverstone on May 15th, Kazunori Yamachi, Gran Turismo series designer is said to be speaking about the franchise and its future, officially announcing Gran Turismo 6 in the process and its release date for the PlayStation 3.

That’s right, word has it that GT6 will be heading to PlayStation 3, not PlayStation 4 and this makes perfect sense given that PS3 has a huge install base of users and that means better sales for a franchise that requires such a huge financial investment to develop.

It’s also speculated that he could discuss PlayStation 4 and it’s no unlike Polyphony Digital to release “improved” editions of games on next-gen consoles. GT3 was basically a beefed up Gran Turismo 2 and the PlayStation 3 saw Gran Turismo HD too, so maybe we will see something on PlayStation 4 that will keep fans happy for a little while.

Either way, Sony & Microsoft will be making announcements over the next few weeks and while the next-gen consoles battle it out, smaller battles will break out between console exclusives and this one is between Gran Turismo and Forza, the two console racing giants of the gaming world.

Crystal Dynamics Announces PC Specs for Tomb Raider

Square Enix Ltd today announced that Tomb Raider developer, Crystal Dynamics, has released the system requirements for the PC version of the eagerly anticipated game; scheduled for release on March 5th 2013, in line with Xbox 360 and PS3. The PC version of Tomb Raider has been developed in tandem between Crystal Dynamics and long-time partner Nixxes; a collaboration that has spanned over a dozen PC titles and dates back fifteen years.

Jurjen Katsman, Director of Nixxes stated that: “The team at Crystal intended to make the game of their careers and we are extremely proud of the part we have played in the project’s development.”

Tomb Raider for PCs has been extensively optimized to heighten the gameplay experience; with the goal of taking advantage of the PC platform. Enhanced features include: full integration with Steamworks, increased detail tessellation, improved SSAO and post-filter effects, and very high resolution textures, shadows and cloths.

“AMD Graphics and Crystal Dynamics have partnered to capture the realism of one of video gaming’s most iconic characters, Lara Croft of the Tomb Raider franchise,” said Matt Skynner, corporate vice president and general manager, AMD Graphics. “By leveraging the power of AMD Radeon and Graphics Core Next, Lara and her environment have come to life like never before.”

Additionally, for PCs that are capable, the game will support AMD HD3D and AMD Eyefinity technologies, the latter of which allows up to six simultaneous displays off a single graphics card.

The game’s enhanced features on the PC version include:

General

  • Full integration with Steamworks to offer cloud storage for saves, multiplayer matchmaking, achievements, as well as automatic updates and new content.
  • Support for Steam Big Picture Mode.
  • Configurable mouse and keyboard support.
  • Gamepad support.

High-end graphics

  • Very high resolution textures with up to 16x the amount of data
  • Detail Tessellation to enhance the detail on many surfaces in the game
  • Higher quality shadows
  • High quality bokeh depth of field with near-blur
  • Tessellation algorithms used to smooth out geometry
  • Improved cloth, SSAO, quality wetness effects, and post-filter effects.
  • LOD quality is adjustable for better quality on higher-end machines.

Low-end graphics Crystal care about TR fans being able to run on older systems, unlike many other games they still support Windows XP. A lot of scalability options to suit a range of machines.

Darrell Gallagher, Studio Head of Crystal Dynamics commented: “With over a decade of experience working alongside AMD and Nixxes at Crystal Dynamics alone, we had rock solid partners on board to create a superb Tomb Raider experience for PC gamers around the world. At Crystal we approach each of our projects with the sole intention of creating the best possible consumer experience for that format, and we are proud to have worked alongside two great partners who hold the very same values.”

The full list of PC minimum and recommended system requirements is listed below:

Minimum system requirements for PC

  • Windows XP Service Pack 3, Windows Vista,7,8 (32bit/64bit)
  • DirectX 9 graphics card with 512Mb Video RAM:
  • AMD Radeon HD 2600 XT or above
  • Nvidia 8600 or above
  • Dual core CPU
  • AMD Athlon64 X2 2.1 Ghz (4050+)
  • Intel Core2 Duo 1.86 Ghz (E6300)
  • 1GB Memory (2GB on Vista)

Recommended system requirements for PC

  • Windows Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8
  • DirectX 11 graphics card with 1GB Video RAM:
  • AMD Radeon HD 4870
  • NVidia GTX 480
  • Quad core CPU:
  • AMD Phenom II X2 565
  • Intel Core i5-750
  • 4GB Memory

So is it time you went our and bought your self a new system for this new installment, or will you be happy with the components you have already?