Sony Open to Considering Cross Platform Play

One of the biggest dreams of gamers has been cross-platform play, being able to play with friends on all different platforms. Shortly after Microsoft expanded some Xbox One titles to Windows 10 PCs, the software giant dropped a major bombshell, that they would allow Xbox One titles to have crossplay, provided their competitors allow it. Now Sony has responded and has said they are open to considering the idea.

Sony’s statements on the issue have been vague and hard to understand for now. In a statement to Gamespot, the company had this to say: “PlayStation has been supporting cross-platform play between PC on several software titles starting with Final Fantasy 11 on PS2 and PC back in 2002. We would be happy to have the conversation with any publishers or developers who are interested in cross-platform play”

While it appears to say that Sony is open to talks about allowing cross-play, it doesn’t really say that Sony will allow it. From the sounds of it, Sony is a bit wary of allowing unfettered cross-platform play, wanting to look at it on a game by game basis. It may well be that Sony is holding their cards close to see how Microsoft will react. Rejecting Microsoft may look bad but opening up things too much risks losing some PSN users. On the other hand, the PS4 could also gain some users leaving the Xbox and the 2 consoles still continue to cater to different audiences today.

Microsoft to Allow Cross Platform Gaming

Microsoft is announcing a massive new feature for all Xbox owners today, Cross-platform gaming! The giant tech corporation has been hinting at the addition of this for the past few years and today it seems to have become reality. PS4, Xbox One and Windows 10 will be able to support the new feature, providing Sony and others partake. The feature will be dependent on game developers incorporating it into their game releases, chances are this will become a very large part of the releases we have ahead of us for the rest of this year.

Microsoft has confirmed that Rocket League will be one of the first games to take advantage of the new feature between Xbox One and PC players, with an open invitation to other networks such as Nintendo’s own platform, utilised on their Wii and DS products.

This change could reshape gaming’s future for the better, people who don’t have gaming rigs but own consoles can play games with others on PC’s. I think that’s awesome! Currently, you are restricted to playing games released for your platform. Opening up cross-platform networking capabilities will remove a big restriction in console gaming. Although it may open up a conversation around which titles should allow PC gamers to play against console gamers, a mouse and keyboard still have some huge advantages on most fps games so could cause for some interesting challenges for the game developers.

ASUS Strix 2.0 Multi-Platform Gaming Headset Review

Introduction


It’s been almost a year since we put the feature-packed ASUS STRIX DSP Gaming Headset through its paces, and it certainly did well in our review. The latest from ASUS, the STRIX 2.0 may not have as many features as its big brother, but with a more affordable price and multi-format support, it’s certainly an attractive option for those looking for a new gaming headset, so we’re eager to see what it can do.

Picking the right headset can make or break your gaming experience, not to mention they can also be great for general multimedia use. The STRIX 2.0 is equipped with support for PC/MAC, mobile devices and PlayStation 4, although in all fairness it’s also widely compatible with a lot of things, so long as the have a 3.5mm jack. It’s certainly great if you game on multiple devices, and this setup could save you money as you wouldn’t need to buy multiple headsets.

“STRIX 2.0 is powered by 60 mm neodymium-magnet drivers to deliver punchy, high-fidelity sound. In addition to providing fantastic gaming audio, STRIX 2.0 is a great way to enjoy listening to music. Connect STRIX 2.0 to your desktop, laptop, PS4 or smart device and experience superb sound with brilliant details and punchy bass from games, music, and more.”

The hardware certainly seems promising, with a pair of powerful 60mm neodymium drivers, which are quite simply massive for any headset, so I’m expecting some good bass performance here. There’s also a uni-directional boom microphone, which is also fully detachable should you not need it.

The packaging for the STRIX 2.0 is absolutely massive, the box looks big enough to house two of these headsets. There’s a large window section showing off one of the ear cups of the headset, as well as a few major specifications dotted on the front of the packaging.

Around the back, more details about the 60mm drivers, dual microphones and cross-platform support.

In the box, you’ll find the quick start guide, warranty information, a detachable boom microphone, as well as some good quality braided adaptor cables for PC and mobile devices.

Inateck HB4009 3-Port USB 3.0 Hub With MagicPort for KM Switch and Sharing

Introduction


Have you ever found yourself in the situation that you have run out of USB ports? Maybe your sick and tired or switching your hub from system to system depending on where you need? Or how nice would it be to use the same keyboard and mouse on multiple computers and just switch the target when needed?

If you could answer yes to just one of those things, then one Inateck’s latest products might be just the right match for you. The Inateck HB4009 USB 3.0 3-port hub with Magic Port can do all of the above and a little more.

Let us start with the basics. You get a small 3-port USB 3.0 hub, allowing you to connect all your high-speed storage devices at once, even when you’re out of onboard connectors. The HG4009 is a USB hub and as such supports what it is connected to, including UASP for maximized transfer speeds and full utilization of the 5Gbps USB 3.0 capabilities.

But this isn’t an ordinary USB hub, far from it. The HB4009 it features the Magic Port on the end of the device, and it carries that name with a good right. Instead of being a port to connect another device, it’s a port to connect it to another computer – at the same time.

Whether the two connected systems run Windows or Mac OS, the Inateck HB4009 connects to them all. It can even connect to OTG enabled Android devices. Smartphones and tablets lack the normal USB port to connect it, so Inateck included an OTG adapter, converting the normal USB connector to a micro version.

The advanced functions, meaning everything besides the USB hub itself, do require software or drivers. Thanks to the design of the hub, it has an internal storage where all this is located.

The MacKMLink software allows you to switch keyboard and mouse between your Windows and Mac systems and the VirtualLink will provide you with a link and QR code to download the Android app. It’s a simple way to include it all in one package without the users needing to have an optical drive to install from or having to download drivers and carry around all the time. Take the hub with you and you have what you need to use it.

The MacKMLink software doesn’t just allow you to switch your keyboard and mouse from one system to another, it also allows you to share the clipboard and copy files from one system to another without the need for an extra network connection.

The hub itself is made from grey plastic and the USB ports themselves are metallic gilded for long-term usage. The gold-plated USB connectors should last a lot of plugging.

A really cool thing about the KM switch is that the keyboard and mouse don’t need to be connected to the hub itself. It will simply take over the control, when you want it to, of the already connected devices. You can use either mouse or keyboard from either connected system. This is awesome.

CryEngine Gets Support for Linux and SteamOS

It seems that the recent shift in the game engine market strategy is now forcing everyone licensing their own engines to comply with the times. CryTek is known for its CryEngine development platform and we all know the Crysis titles. However, the CryEngine is also licensed to other developers who want to make their games based on the latter engine.

Up until now, the CryEngine was focusing only on the Windows operating system and DirectX. But as times change and competition grows stronger, the company made a few changes. They announced that starting with CryEngine 3.8.1, developers can now ship their titles for the Linux operating system, as well as the upcoming SteamOS.

However, developers still need to do a bit of work to get them to work on the Linux OS. But this marks the beginning of a whole new CryEngine and future AAA graphics for Linux. In addition to the latter, OpenGL support will not necessarily restrict titles to be shipped for just Linux and SteamOS. We could even see support for Mac, Android, PlayStation and possibly even Nintendo.

In the end, a lot of support is now offered in engines to help developers port games. While we won’t see the same support in in-house engines, publicly available game engines such as CryEngine, Unreal Engine 4 and Unity 5 seem to start making cross-platform development a priority.

Thank you PCWorld for providing us with this information

Windows 10 on the Xbox One Sometime After Summer

Microsoft Windows is very popular. Whether you are a fan of the operating system or not, you have probably used some version of Windows. In fact, a lot of you will be using it to read this article right now. From some time after summer you will be able to run your Xbox One on Windows 10.

Microsoft’s vision for Windows 10 has always been one of many devices with one operating system.  They scrapped Windows Phone and Windows RT and are now just having Windows 10 replace them all. Windows is used on the Xbox One as we speak, it’s what runs the app environment, but next the plan is to have your Xbox One upgrade to Windows 10.

For a while now Microsoft has made available an Xbox app for Windows. Allowing you to chat with your Xbox friends, connect with your console and of course, checking that you still have more gamerscore than your 10 year old nephew.

With Windows 10 still in development for all the platforms, the Xbox version will be no different and be introduced as a beta. It was tweeted by Xbox boss Phil Spencer that this was coming “post-summer.”

Of course, this is quite vague, but I am sure there will be more news at E3 in June.  Details are still vague at what changes this will make to the Xbox One, but with the PC version of Fable Legends’ players being able to play against Xbox One players, the introduction of Windows 10 could only be good news for cross platform rivalry.

Thank you Microsoft News  for providing us with this information.

Microsoft Xbox One Price Drop Now Official

Have you postponed your Xbox upgrade lately? Well, its high time to get your shopping mood on! It seems Microsoft has just lowered its Xbox One price to £299.99 on its official Xbox One store in the UK.

There have been quite a few deals for the Xbox One on the UK market lately, the latest one coming from Asda and its Xbox One console bundle at just £249. However, the company now seems to be officially lowering the price tag below the £300, which in turn indicates that more attractive deals are on their way.

The Redmond giant is also teasing with future exclusive releases for its console on its webpage, including blockbusters such as Halo 5: Guardians, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Forza Motorsport 6, Fable Legends, and Quantum Break, all due to arrive late this year.

“There’s only one place to play the best exclusives and biggest blockbusters this year, like Halo 5: Guardians, Rise of the Tomb Raider, and Forza Motorsport 6. Experience the most advanced multiplayer on Xbox Live, powered by hundreds of thousands of servers that maximize performance. Quickly switch between games, live TV, and apps. And instantly resume your game where you left off.”

In addition to the latter, Microsoft is taking the opportunity to brag about its cross-platform gaming supports, stating that its console is “the only one where you can connect with friends and play across Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs”.

Additional technologies are also highlighted in the ad, such as the instant resume, the ability to stream Xbox One games to Windows 10 PCs or tables in your home, “the industry leading controller and revolutionary Kinect technology” and even its ability to provide users with constant features and enhancements.

Nevertheless, Microsoft has actually brought a sweet deal on the table and more are yet to come from retailers all around the UK. A similar approach has been made on the US market not too long ago, indicating that the price drop might not actually be for a limited time only.

Thank you Endgadget for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of Xbox UK

Microsoft Demos Windows 10 Apps Running on Xbox One

Microsoft has teased us with universally usable apps across all platforms since the introduction of Windows 10, but without any details of how it would work or look. That has finally changed now at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Microsoft’s technical lead for Windows universal apps, Kevin Gallo, demonstrated Windows 10 universal apps on Xbox One, but the showcase wasn’t so much about a specific app or tool but rather to demonstrate the scalable and adaptive user interface that Windows 10 will bring along. It will make it easier for universal apps to run across all platforms including PCs, phones, tablets, and TV screens via the Xbox One.

Microsoft will detail its further plans at the upcoming Build developer conference in April and we can then expect developers to start building their Xbox One apps over the summer.

Another thing revealed at the demonstration was Microsoft’s plans to use hosted web apps in Windows 10. While those would possess limitations, the backend that they would be built on, would also allow these to be easily ported to full universal apps that would run on all Windows 10 platforms.

Thanks to TheVerge for providing us with this information

Cross-Platform DDoS Botnet Warning Released By Security Researchers

A new DDoS Botnet has the ability to infect both Microsoft Windows along with Linux-based systems, according to the Poland Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT). Unlike many cyber-based attacks, this botnet is only interested in launching DDoS attacks to knock certain servers and websites offline.

The Linux-based botnet reportedly handles dropping servers, while the Windows-based botnet easily hijacked consumer PCs. “Most servers that are injected with these various scripts are then used for a variety of tasks, including DDoS, vulnerability scanning, and exploiting,” according to security expert Andre Dimino, in a blog post. “The mining of virtual currency is now often seen running in the background during the attacker’s ‘downtime.'”

Seeing DDoS attacks to turn zombie PCs into an effective botnet isn’t Earth-shattering news, but this cross-platform attack is relatively unique. As bitcoin mining and launching attacks to impact certain companies is easily done when using unsuspecting machines.

Thank you Tweak Town for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of itproportal.com

Thief Developers State That The Gap Between PC and Consoles Has Been Greatly Reduced

The developers at Eidos Montreal, having the Thief title in mind, state that the development gap has been greatly reduced between consoles and PC when it comes to the next-gen PS4 and Xbox One consoles. This is some great news, for both sides of the platforms, because it means that we should see fewer and fewer exclusive game titles coming in the future, since the exclusivity was mainly due to production cost of cross-platform development.

According to Thief art technical director, Jean-Normand Bucci, the gap between consoles and PC’s is much smaller in the newest generation. In an interview with DSO Gaming, Bucci spoke the following about the recent differences in PC and console:

“The new consoles are very strong, very powerful. They allow for much more than what a console gamer is used to. The gap between PC and next-gen has massively reduced for sure. The new consoles and high-end PC offer better frame rate, higher resolution, and many new features along with DX11 support.”

Although the battle between what is the best gaming platform between PC and consoles will still rage on between gamers, at least we all can get the same experience on whatever we choose to play on. And the developers are also happy because it doesn’t take nearly as many resources to cross-platform their works of art, and gamers benefit because they don’t have to worry about owning a specific system just to play a game they are interested in. Maybe we can see titles such as Grand Theft Auto 5 coming on PC soon enough as well.

Thank you Tech Spot for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Tech Spot