OCZ is no stranger in the world of gaming and computers with their strong portfolio of solid state drives and it is this group that is partially responsible for OCZ’s success, simply by buying their products. OCZ wants to give back to those and have launched a new mini-site dedicated to gamers and streamers.
The new mini-site is simply called OCZ Gaming and the slogan “what moves me”. The answer to that is without a doubt gaming for a lot of our readers, which makes it worth to check this site out. Especially if you are a Twitch streamer that doesn’t have an SSD sponsor yet.
OCZ has started a streamer sponsor program and best of all, it is real easy to sign up and apply for it. There is but one rule really, you can’t have an SSD sponsor from another company. That’s fair, right? There are four different sponsor tiers that will give different awards starting from a single OCZ Vector 180 SSD and to a lot more. There are some details on what has to be fulfilled for each of the tiers, but it is definitely worth checking out if you are a Twitch game-streamer. All you need to do to apply is to fill out a little form on the OCZ Gamers mini-site.
On the OCZ Gaming site, you’ll also find videos with system builds and wallpapers for your desktop to show off your OCZ pride. There are contests and giveaways too as well SSD guides so you pick the right drive for your setup.
A big part of PC gaming is located around the Steam platform, there is no getting around that. To meet the gamers where they are, OCZ also launched a Steam Group. The group already has over 1200 members, so it is off to a very good start.
It’s always interesting when people release studies on video games and even more interestingly their users. While asking people for their opinions and ideas in polls may not be the best way to get accurate figures, it’s always interesting to see what people come back with. This time, the interesting figure is the number of console owners, or rather the number that identified themselves as female.
From the Pew Research Centre, the study looked at device owners, and what demographics they fit into. For example, they calculated that over 80% of 18-49-year-olds had a smartphone, with around 45% of U.S. adults owning a tablet (up from only 10% back in 2011).
Computer owners range at around 74% of U.S. Men, with 71% of Women stating they owned a computer, with 42% of women stating they own a console (described as “e.g. Xbox or Playstation“), a whole 5% above the stereotype of male gamers (who sit at a mere 37%). Dedicated portable gaming devices sit at 14% for each gender, with devices like the PSP and Sega Genesis (yes that was included in the category of portable gaming devices), while MP3 players still have roughly 40% ownership within the U.S. (38% and 42% for Men and Women respectively).
With roughly 3.7% margin of error stated on the gender, and up to 2.6% stated as the error in calculating the percentage of U.S. adults in whole, are there any figures that have surprised you or did you expect something different for any of the figures?
It’s not uncommon for the mainstream media to produce inaccurate pieces typecasting video gamers and being completely out of touch. However, a recent article by CNN has to be the most ludicrous example I’ve ever seen which includes insulting, inaccurate claims in the heading. Unbelievably, the article is entitled, “Video games aren’t just for anitisocial nerds!” to outline the financial success of the video gaming industry. This amount of incompetence and shamefully lazy writing emphasizes the sort of content typically seen on CNN. It’s quite laughable considering studies show the average gamer is in the 30-40 age bracket, and multiplayer/co-op titles are incredibly popular.
To make matters worse, the article goes on to say:
“If you think that the only people who play video games are a bunch of underemployed loners sitting in their parents’ basement, think again.”
I’m completely flabbergasted by the audacity of CNN’s lies and derogatory comments. Video games are played by a huge amount of the population across various ages, genders, and socioeconomic backgrounds. The concept that the industry is a multi-billion dollar success story and grossed more than the film industry from a niche audience alone is ridiculous. Obviously, CNN sees gaming’s new and interactive media as a threat and is trying once again to discredit it. However, all they have done is expose their own bias.
I could write a 2000 word essay disproving these claims, but CNN is an ancient, judgmental piece of media which doesn’t deserve much attention. While I have brought this story to attention, it’s only to outline how cringeworthy many of the mainstream media outlets are. In an era where Reddit, Twitter and community media becomes more important, traditional news sources try to do anything to hold onto power.
Does anyone remember the scandals shortly after the Playstation 4 and Xbox One was released, where developers such as Ubisoft appeared to be downgrading the quality of the game graphics on the PC releases of their games? Only for them to later release statements that contained sentences like “to enable a unified experience across all platforms.” Well, I certainly remember the aftermath where gamers were doing what gamers do best, voicing their opinions about it all over social media. Ubisoft, who seemed to often be one of the main culprits for digging themselves a nice tidy hole to lay down in, was getting bashed left right and center for exactly that controversy.
Just as we thought this phase was phased out, it seems that something appears to be fishy in the waters once more! At E3 2013 Metal Gear Solid Developer’s Konami showcased their new long-awaited game “Phantom Pain” and what a game it looked to! However, Sweet-FX modder Shagwan has demonstrated the graphical difference between the final release of Phantom Pain and the one that we were promised back at E3 2013 in a side by side comparison.
Check out the video below to view the comparison for yourself:
This certainly doesn’t appear to be such a major scandal as Watch Dog’s for example, but if the video above is a true representation then I for one would certainly suggest the theory of a graphical downgrade has some foundation.
So what’s there to be done about this? Well, apart from flooding to social media of course, Modder Shagwan has taken matters in their own hands and released a ReShade Present inspired by the trailer shown at E3 as shown below.
You can download this mod along with instructions on how to install it here.
Remember eTenix holds no responsibility for you modding your game so always back up those game files first. So what do you guys think, do you prefer the E3 graphics or the final release? Tell us in the comments below.
Shane Coffey, a 20-year-old American gamer who attacked a British woman in a chaotic knife attack, has been sentenced to a life sentence. After pleading guilty for attempted murder and grievous bodily harm, the American will have to serve at least eight-and-half-years.
Coffey was from Boston, Massachusetts, and broke into the 19-year-old woman, Farha Dowlut’s, home in Epsom, Surrey, on April 18, and then attacked her with a hunting knife. The victim’s 23-year-old brother was able to intervene to stop the attack before local police arrived.
Coffey and the victim first began communicating online when she was 14-years-old, and the blossoming relationship began to fizzle out after Coffey reportedly hacked her computer. He had her address because they exchanged several Christmas gifts with one another, and began chatting again in November 2013.
However, in March 2014, Dowlut told Coffey to “get out of her life,” and that is when the online relationship took a sinister turn – Coffeey already had a ticket booked for the UK, and passed through customs with cable ties, tape, and a hunting knife. Shortly thereafter, the attack took place, and the victim sustained cuts to her arms, legs and chest, along with post-traumatic stress from the incident.
“This case was extremely complex and involved a set of unusual circumstances which could never have been foreseen by the victims. Coffeey had previously been in contact with the two victims through online gaming. He persisted in harassing them even after they tried to break off communication and in April travelled to their address from America without their knowledge or invitation.”
Cooler Master has announced the much awaited Quick Fire Rapid-i, a backlit mechanical keyboard full of features, having unique lighting effects in a small tenkeyless form factor.
The keyboard is powered by a 32-bit ARM processor, incorporating 5 lighting modes and 5 brightness modes inside its Rapid-i’s ActiveLife Technology, contributing to the pristine aesthetics of the Quick Fire Rapid-i. Furthermore, the keyboard also permits the backlighting to brightly illuminate after each keystroke and fade softly after releasing the key and moving on to the next one.
The company also states that due to the Rapid-i’s 32-bit ARM processor, they will be able to add more features such as the above in future updates to further improve the user experience with a variety of operating features. The Quick Fire Rapid-i also features a soft-touch rubberized coating, giving it a smooth and clean aesthetic, along with laser-marked keycaps and non-glossy matte finish.
In terms of gaming features, the keyboard features a response time of 1ms along with Cherry MX Switches, providing gamers with the necessary consistency to be able to respond swiftly when engaged in their gaming sessions. Along with the N Key Rollover, gamers will be able to use as many keys as needed simultaneously to perform their in-game actions. There is also multimedia shortcuts support, allowing users to control media applications with ease.
Cooler Master also added support for transporting the keyboard if needed, by simply removing the included USB cable and storing it with ease. Along with the keyboard’s ergonomic size and super-slim body, it makes transporting it an easy and fast process than normal mechanical keyboards.
The company has suggested a recommended price of €99 euro for the Quick Fire Rapid-i keyboard, though price and availability might vary depending on region.
Thank you Guru3D for providing us with this information Images courtesy of Guru3D
It is unbelievable, but the truth is that the plain old gamer can really make a scientific breakthrough. Scientists might ponder, think through logically, mathematically and even metaphysically about humanity’s unsolved problems, but it sometimes takes a little craziness and another point of view, of course, to get on track and find the key element in solving a problem. And this is where gamers come in.
It is reported that in 2011, people playing a game called Foldit, an online puzzle genre game about protein folding, solved the structure of an enzyme that caused an Aids-like disease in monkeys. Researchers began working on a solution 13 years before the game launched. The gamers, however, solved it in just about three weeks.
A little over a year, another group of gamers playing Planet Huners, a space exploration game, found a peculiar looking planet with four stars in its solar system. And since then, around 40 planets that could support life were found, all of which have been previously overlooked by astronomers.
When you first hear ‘gamer’ and ‘scientist’, you think that they are far apart. But when you look closely, both parties are looking for the same thing, either in a lab or at home on a screen. Both gamers and scientists are looking for the same thing, a pattern that matches, whether in logical puzzle games such as Candy Crush for example where you have to find the matching candy shape and color to destroy blocks and collect points, or in a scientific environment where you have to find a pattern in a DNA string that causes mutations or diseases.
“Our brains are geared up to recognise patterns,” says Erinma Ochu, a neuroscientist and Wellcome Trust Engagement Fellow at the University of Manchester, explaining why scientists are turning to gamers for help, “and we do it better than computers. This is a new way of working for scientists, but as long as they learn how to trust games developers to do what they do best – make great games – then they can have thousands of people from all around the world working on their data.”
However, don’t get this wrong, but not every gamer can become a scientist. Logical games are aimed to get your brain up and thinking about a solution to a basic problem explained in a graphical environment, a game. Gamers are known to have a keen eye for detail and come up with the simplest solution to a complex problem, hence the ‘new point of view’ that scientists want. Whereas a scientist who is being cooked up in a lab somewhere with complex problems and calculations on his mind tends to miss that simple solution.
Thank you The Guardian for providing us with this information
Mad Catz Interactive announced the R.A.T. Tournament Edition, a new mouse designed for the professional and competitive gaming community. Expected to ship early 2014 for PC and Mac, the R.A.T.TE has been designed to appeal to the e-sports professional. With a newly developed Phillips Doppler-laser sensor, the R.A.T. Tournament Edition provides reference quality tracking with speeds up to 8200 DPI.
Each feature of the R.A.T. Tournament Edition has been engineered for mobility, performance and precision. Weight has been reduced to decrease inertia; speed and resolution have been radically improved for faster reaction times, and programmable button mapping has been optimized for popular e-sports games. In addition, customizable attributes such as ‘Lift-Off’ height calibration and dynamic surface detection have been added to create the ideal mouse for professional gamers.
“We launched our original R.A.T. line of gaming mice four years ago, and we’re pleased to continue expanding this highly successful range with the announcement of the Tournament Edition model,” said Darren Richardson, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Mad Catz. “The R.A.T.TE is another example of our ongoing commitment to building high performance hardware for the passionate gaming community.”
Thank you Mad Catz for providing us with this information Images courtesy of Mad Catz
A report points out that most Chinese gamers still play on PC and not consoles or mobile devices as most gamers all around the world do. China’s video game industry is worth around $13 billion, which represents a 40% increase over the past 12 months.
Breaking the figures down, we see that 64% of the total, $8.7 billion in revenue, was made through client-based PC games, taking up the majority of the gaming market. Aside from PC games, browser games also gained a fairly large amount, namely $2 billion, followed by mobile games with $1.8 billion, and on last place we see social games, with less than $1 billion in revenue. Though the mobile games industry is fairly small, a lot of focus has been placed on it, and investments are being made in developing mobile games.
Companies that received a considerable amount of money to expand its mobile development includes Tencent (for WeChat), Chukong, and Yodo1. But developers are still struggling to figure how to distribute and monetize mobile games, while more than 500 million iOS and Android devices roam the streets of China, and the number is expected to increase to 800 million this year. The top-grossing Android games on the market are reported to generate between $5 million to $10 million each month.
Many developers are focusing on HTML5 for mobile games due to it being supported on all mobile operating systems, and therefore grasping a wider audience. But although the list of top developers in China is still dominated by foreign companies such as Electronic Arts, Gameloft and Glu, Chinese developers are catching up, having a 30% (or $7.8 billion in revenue) increase each year.
Thank you Techcrunch for providing us with this information
Kingston Technology has released its fastest-ever memory modules via its HyperX Division having a speed of 2,800MHz on the top-end Predator XMP Series, a nice addition to the Predator XMP series.
It is designed for gamers and overclockers and Kingston apparently believes is a requirement of those markets, the latest HyperX Predator XMP modules are available in speeds of up to 2,800MHz – the fastest Kingston has yet released. At those speeds, buyers of the flagship 8GB DDR3 kit, composed of 2 modules of 4GB, can expect a CAS latency of 12 – the trade-off required of bumping up the frequency of the modules.
‘We are proud to offer our flagship 2800MHz memory kits to overclockers, benchmarkers and system builders throughout the world,’ crowed Lawrence Yang, Kingston’s business manager for the HyperX division, at the unveiling. ‘Our HyperX engineers will continue working hard to improve high-speed yields to get faster product in the hands of our customers.’
The latest modules join the company’s existing HyperX Predator XMP family, the latest models of which include 1,866MHz at CL9 or CL10 (4GB or 8GB modules respectively) and 2,133MHz, 2,400MHz, and 2,666MHz at CL11 with only the highest-frequency 2,800MHz modules requiring a CAS latency of 12.
The company has only announced the singular 8GB dual-module kit for its 2,800MHz modules with no word of a 16GB dual- or quad-module kit in the works – the former being unlikely given the sacrifices typically made in producing such high-density memory modules. As usual, all modules in the HyperX Predator XMP range support Intel’s eXtreme Memory Profiles and include a lifetime warranty.
The pricing for the Kingston HyperX 8GB 2,800MHz kit is set at £191.21, a significant premium over the 2,400MHz version at £81.55.
With Haswell on a close horizon and Intel still holding the fort under close guard with regards to their 4th Generation chips, we’ve been seeing the lid slowly lift from each of the motherboard vendors on what their new boards will have to offer. Asus is next in line to show off some of their new boards from their Series , TUF (The Ultimate Force) and ROG (Republic of Gamers) lines and at each level they are offering up the best they can in terms of performance, user experiences, stability and upgrade paths.
Jackie Hsu, Corporate Vice President and General Manager of Worldwide Sales commented “ASUS possesses the best research and development expertise, and as always we are confident that we offer our customers the finest quality with these new motherboards. We’re including a variety of media-praised exclusive features with each model, and are proud to announce that we have the most comprehensive Z87 motherboard launch line-up, all available simultaneously”
On the bottom end of Asus’ new line-up is a completely re-branded set of Series boards. The most notable part of this re-brand is the drop of the blue and black colour scheme that we have come to know with Asus entry level boards – the new colour scheme is based around a two tone yellow/gold, but thankfully this is not a shiny gold which would be rather displeasing to the eye. Whilst there are a number of boards in the Series range, looking at both ends of the range, Asus have covered all the grounds when it comes to compatibility – something which we have seen previously on their Z77 boards of a similar level. Between this board is a number of models that make a transition from a board for more mainstream builds, offering all the Z87 features. These include the Z87-C, Z87-PRO, Z87-PLUS and the Z87I-Delux (a mini ITX offering).
Top top end of the Series range see native PCI fully replaced with PCIe amongst other subtle changes. All the new series boards will see the integration of Dual Intelligent Processors 4 with 4-way optimisation, DIGI+ Power Control, Fan Xpert 2 amongst other now offerings from Intel.
Moving up one stage and on to the TUF line of boards, this line only see some subtle changes with a full ATX board that in some respects looks very similar to the previous generation Z77 board. This is all because of the thermal armour that is laid across the PCB to keep the board as cool as possible and keep dust away from all empty slots with a series of Dust Defender plugs that fill empty ports. On the back of the PCB we see a new Fortifier metal plate that reinforces the PCB to prevent it warping whist in use and an airflow boosting valve design around the CPU power areas.
Making a fresh appearance to the TUF line-up is one of Asus’ many new boards. The Gryphon is a mATX version of the Sabertooth and like its bigger brother, it features all the same top quality components and features as well as the extended expected lifetime from its higher temperature tolerance. What is missing though is the thermal armour, however Asus will be supplying this separately and the two piece kit can be quickly mounted to the Gryphon’s PCB.
Top top of the new Z87 range is Asus’ top end ROG boards. These boards for a number of generations now have been renowned for their top end performance and overclocking abilities. New to the ROG line of boards and sitting mi-range is the HERO. This new board’s purpose is to offer mainstream the gamers the stepping stone into the ROG brand, but at a price point that is far more manageable compared to the flagship Maximus IV Extreme. As well as these two boards, Asus will also be launching an updated Maximus IV Gene and all these boards will feature Supreme FX audio as well as a new on-screen ‘Sonic-Radar’ that works as a viual overlay to any game to indicate the direction a proximity of a gun fire for example in a visual format.
The flagship Extreme board see a new overclocking tool, that unlike the previous generations OC-key is set to be far more user friendly and intuitive to use and alongside this in the Extreme box, users with find a 5.25″ drive bay adaptor to allow the OC Panel to operate as a fan control panel from the front of a case.
Ubisoft, a company behind well-known titles for multiple platforms such as Assassin’s Creed III and Far Cry 3, were heavily criticized by a lot of PC Gamers due to the controversial always-online anti-piracy protection.
To assure that it wasn’t their intention to alienate PC Gamers in any way, the company made a decision and recently stopped this practice. The company’s Uplay director Stephanie Perotti made a comment after listening very closely to gamer’s feedback:
“Announcing all these partners for Uplay and a wider choice of PC games, it shows our commitment to PC, and we want to improve out relationship with the PC community. We are always seeking to improve. We took a lot of that feedback on board. With every game on PC we are improving. Far Cry 3 and Assassin’s Creed III on PC were very high quality.”
Although many would deem this as a typical monotonous response from any company, Ubisoft have made sure that they back it up with actions that many gamers will begin to appreciate. The company said that they are looking forward to selling digital copies of their games via retailers like Steam, EA’s origin, Xbox Live, PSN, and even via the Nintendo eShop.
Making their games available to be bought via other online retailers, especially via Steam is a bold and a positive move that Ubisoft will ever make. but Perotti stated that it’s just another way to expose more content.
What about uPlay? Ubisoft’s digital store will also be selling games via third parties. As of now, 30 titles from third party vendors are on uPlay and more will be announced over the coming weeks and months.
On the bright side, it’s always appreciated that a game company keeps an eye on the feedback and criticisms of consumers and make changes accordingly, especially at times when many will deem an action as unjustified. While its not unheard of where a gaming company listens and alters their policy according to gamers’ demands, there are certain gaming companies out there that don’t listen to gamers, especially for PC and consoles. Will this trend have an effect on other brands to have more of a “2 way” communication structure and make actions speak louder than words? Only time will tell!