GameTrailers Shuts Down After 13 Years

GameTrailers was a very popular video game website which specialized in unique previews, reviews, recorded footage and HD trailers. The website had a very passionate community and became involved in uploading community content. Sadly, this wasn’t enough to keep the site running due to advent of Twitch, YouTube and other video services. Despite operating for 13 years, GameTrailers is now officially over, and all the staff members have lost their jobs. GameTrailers’ Editor-in-Chief, Brandon Jones made the announcement on Twitter and thanked fans for their long-term support:

Clearly, the site found it extremely difficult to retain a large audience as trailers were posted on YouTube by leading publishers. Additionally, the advent of NeoGAF, Reddit and other popular forums probably contributed to their demise. It’s extraordinarily difficult to run a video games website and keep paying the bills. Perhaps, AdBlock had a major effect to the site’s revenue. Whatever the case, GameTrailers is the latest website to be removed, and follows the likes of CVG. According to Associate Editor Ben Moore, the team only heard about the site’s closure hours before it went public:

“Hi everyone, Ben here. I just wanted to confirm that GameTrailers is shutting down officially today. Everyone is being let go. We all found out mere hours ago, so we’re still reeling a bit. Sincerely, thank you all for the tremendous support.”

This a shocking way to treat employees who worked for over 13 years at a company. It’s uncertain if the ex-employees will move to other websites, or even stay in the industry. The rise of streaming and YouTube celebrities has really made traditional gaming sites seem from a different, bygone era. Who knows which site will be next, but in many cases, it looks inevitable.

Are you sad to see the end of GameTrailers?

Image courtesy of Polygon

Gran Turismo Sport Concept Art Leaked

Gran Turismo revolutionized the racing genre on consoles due to the enticing career mode, superb car selection and advanced physics model. Sadly, in recent years, the series has floundered and struggled to compete with Forza’s yearly release cycle. Additionally, Gran Turismo 5 was a major disappointment and I didn’t really find Gran Turismo 6 enjoyable either. Strangely enough, Gran Turismo 6 doesn’t pose any challenge in terms of the license events, or competition from the AI. In an ideal world, Polyphony Digital should have released Gran Turismo 7 as a PlayStation 4 launch title, but this didn’t happen and their projects usually take a long time to complete.

Thankfully, Gran Turismo Sport was announced some time ago during the Paris Games Week although we don’t know what this will actually entail. Apparently, it’s not a small demo of Gran Turismo 7 like earlier concept titles and should provide a fulfilling experience. According to Website GTPlanet, the Gran Turismo offices contained concept art on the wall during the Christmas period of the upcoming game! Super GT drivers Kohei Hirate and Satoshi Motoyama, and Toyota’s Masashi Honda publicly unveiled the images which are listed below:

There is still some speculation regarding the authenticity of some of the images, as they look photo-realistic. I’m pretty sceptical about the snapshot with trees in the background but perhaps the studio has found a way to implement satellite images into the render. However, this is very unlikely and wishful thinking. Whatever the case, I cannot wait to see Gran Turismo Sport and hope it provides the stopgap needed to please racing fans before the release of Gran Turismo 7.

This Ford Designed Xbox One Controller is Seriously Cool!

A Ford designed Xbox One controller you say? What kind of madness is this! OK, first things first, this isn’t a real controller, it’s a marketing stunt, but I’m already twitching at my wallet hoping that it becomes a reality, because this may be the coolest Xbox One controller yet!

The mock-up of the new controller is based around the new Elite controller, which features the flappy paddles on the back. However, this controller has been tweaked even further to make it the ultimate racing controller, short of investing in a full set of wheel and pedals, of course.

The left analog stick has been tweaked with a curved head, giving it wings on the left and right edges to mimic the Ford GT wheel shape, making is more suitable for left and right adjustments, since up and down bare little relevance in steering a car; this should give your thumb excellent grip for those tight corners. If that wasn’t enough, the rear triggers have been replaced with racing pedals, which in themselves look freaking awesome. The housing of the controller is made from carbon fiber, making it super strong and lightweight, and the rear panel has been made transparent like the engine cover on the new Ford GT.

  • Xbox Elite Wireless Controller is a one-off design exercise from the Xbox Hardware team inspired by the Ford GT and the release of Forza Motorsport 6 which features the Ford GT on the cover.
  • Carbon Fiber case parts create rigidity and lightness in the controller, the same way it is used on the GT chassis.
  • Custom metallic paint job matched to Ford’s specifications.
  • Left thumbstick shape inspired by the GT steering wheel and angled towards the player for a more ergonomic experience. A horizontal movement limiter also ensures efficiency and accuracy in steering.
  • Custom paddles inspired by the steering column paddles shifters on the GT. Program them on your Xbox One to shift up, down and even to engage the clutch.
  • See through battery door and custom battery pack inspired by the engine compartment and EcoBoost V6 engine.
  • Cutaway brake and accelerator triggers reveal the impulse motors that give Forza Motorsport 6 its realistic feel.

Now all we need is for them to actually make it, although given the Elite controller is already pretty darn expensive, I would expect this carbon fiber equipped beast to be a bit of a wallet buster.

Sony Announces Gran Turismo Sport for PlayStation 4

Gran Turismo is an iconic racing series which has sadly lost its way in the last few iterations. The PlayStation 1 titles were groundbreaking and revolutionized career-based simulator games on consoles. Polyphony Digital constructed a superb physics model, engine noises and wonderful custom circuits. Sadly, Gran Turismo 5 and 6 fell way below my expectations and suffered from frame drops and sub-par engine sounds.

Honestly, Forza has taken the mantle of being the definitive console racer but this could change with the release of Gran Turismo 7. After a long wait, we finally know the next Gran Turismo game will be Gran Turismo Sport. This isn’t the next major game in the series but a side project. In an interview with Eurogamer, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe’s president and CEO Jim Ryan said:

“We’re not announcing Gran Turismo 7 at this stage,”

“Fair to say [series director Kazunori Yamauchi] has been making these games for some considerable time now. I think it’s reasonable to assume that something else might come down the road. Is it a Prologue? No, I think it’ll be more than that.

“The old days, when the games were offline, the experience was defined by what’s on the disc. You had a distinction between a Prologue and a full GT, it was very stark. When the game becomes more of an online connected experience, that distinction blurs. This will be much more than a Prologue type experience.”

I’m pleased to see another Gran Turismo arriving relatively soon, but I hope the game isn’t a glorified demo to showcase Gran Turismo 7’s visuals. Only time will tell, but the trailer footage looks quite impressive.

Two Gran Turismo Players Compete in Real Race and Win

Two of the best Gran Turismo players out there were recruited by a racing academy and ended up winning an endurance race in Australia this weekend.

Wolfgang Reip and Florian Strauss are members of the Gran Turismo academy – set up by Sony, Polyphony Digital and Nissan to encourage GT players to hone their driving talents in real cars. The pair formed part of the winning team that won the Bathurst 12 Hour race in New South Wales on 8th February.

The third driver in the team, Katsumasa Chiyo, who was not a graduate of the Gran Turismo Academy, posted the best time of all the team members, and even lapped two cars on the penultimate lap. The three competitors drove an RJN Motorsport Nissan GTR-35.

Source: Polygon

Oculus Rift Configuration Guide – Simulation Gaming

Introduction


The Oculus Rift is one of the hottest gadgets on the tech market right now. Sure the hardware isn’t ready for consumers just yet, but we’ve been lucky enough to get our hands on the Oculus Rift DK2 (Development Kit 2). We already reviewed the basic hardware and features of the Oculus Rift, but also I want to take a more in-depth look into some of the experiences available on the rift; starting with Simulation style games.

Many of you will have an image of plug and play features that allow you to strap an Oculus Rift to your face then start gaming, unfortunately that’s currently not the reality. Setting up games for the Oculus Rift can be a hit and miss experience, hopefully I can help smooth out a few of these issues for you. This article is as much a review for those thinking about investing in the technology, as it is an Oculus Rift configuration guide for those who already own it.

Simulation-style games are a big market for PC gaming, so I’ve picked out a few of my favourites (that also have VR support). Of course, Star Conflict isn’t exactly a common sim-game, but there aren’t exactly rules excluding it.

  • Star Conflict
  • Assetto Corsa
  • Life for Speed (LFS)
  • Euro Truck Simulator 2

Helping me in my gaming adventures, I will be using the follow extra hardware.

Essential Oculus Rift Setup Advice

If you experience judder or low fps, drop your games graphics settings down to low. If the game runs smoothly at this point, you know it’s your graphics settings and not the DK2 hardware. If you have judder at low settings you know the problem is with a different part of your setup. It’s often also good to start games with AA and AF disabled, enable them later if the game is running smooth. I can’t stress enough how much easier it is to just get the basics working first then build from there.

Go into your GPU configuration software, this will typically be Catalyst Control Centre or Nvidia Control Panel. Set all major graphics options to “let the application decide”. This is especially important for AA and AF settings. For most games you will need V-SYNC as “let the application decide”, but some games don’t detect this properly. If your game is experiencing judder, force VSYNC on and try again, else force off and try again. Some games have their own ways of handing VSYNC and conflicts can and will occur.

If your game is still not running smoothly, go to the GPU control panel, switch your desktop display to 75Hz (if it supports it). If you can’t do this at your current resolution, this will likely drop your monitors resolution lower to one that will support 75Hz (my monitor drops to 1280 x 1024). This will prevent VSYNC from confusing the DK2 as both the DK2 and your desktop will now be running at the same refresh rate (75Hz).

Multi GPU configurations have also been known to cause stutter, albeit in very rare circumstances. If nothing else works, try running the game on a single GPU.

Be sure to adjust your IPD, lens distance and lens type accordingly prior to use. These can make a vast improvement to the overall visual quality, but they will not have any effect on the frame rate of your game, just the overall visual quality.

I find that it is worth disabling GeForce Experience and AMD Gaming Evolved software. These programs are tailored to adjust your graphics settings to get the best performance and quality, which may overwrite the settings you’ve used to configure your games for the DK2.

All testing was done with the Oculus 0.4.3 SDK. Please make sure you have the latest graphics drivers and all updates installed for your games prior to trying to replicate any settings in this article.

Why Didn’t The iPhone 6 Ship with a Sapphire Screen?

For those of you who follow the tech news heavily, you’ll remember that over a year ago Apple signed on an agreement with GT Advanced Technologies – who were at the time a niche sapphire glass manufacturer. Sapphire glass would finally put a true leap forward in mobile screen technology, helping to curb the majority of scratched and cracked phone displays – but as soon as the contractual agreement was reached the relationship between the two companies soured and became a frenzy of problem after problem.

It turns out that Apple was originally interested in purchasing furnaces of it’s own to make the sapphire glass itself – but before it went ahead with the idea, Cupertino changed it’s mind and decided to streamline the process through GT. The Wall Street Journal’s report notes that the problem was is that GT wasn’t able to scale to Apple’s size and demand for the screens, and the two clashed heads over the large issue until it broke the smaller company. GT Advanced Technologies filed for bankruptcy early last month.

On top of this, the entire relationship was marred with incredible mistakes at almost every corner. Just days before the contract was signed between the two companies, GT produced 578 pounds of sapphire – with not even one ounce of the yield being usable. Apple as you’d expect from any large device maker, pushed hard for large scale production at low prices – which made profitability extremely difficult for GT over the span of operation with Apple. Things boiled over pretty horrendously, and the two companies met in court shortly after the release of the iPhone 6 – lacking a sapphire screen – and a bankrupt GT Advanced Technologies blaming Apple for their demise. It’s evident from reading through the Wall Street’s report that both companies have themselves to blame for the fallout.

Sapphire screens would be an incredible addition to any premium smartphone. But if this first major step from Apple is any indication of how difficult it is to try and produce a large panel of it in mass quality, having sapphire displays looks like it’s going to be a long way off.

Thanks to The Wall Street Journal for providing us with this information.

Thrustmaster Ferrari GT Cockpit 458 Steeling Wheel Review

Introduction


Gaming is a hobby and like most other hobbies, you can choose your own level of participation; do you just want to casually play games from time to time with a regular controller, or do you want to invest time and money in creating a really cool and more involving setup? Of course this can be an endless obsession; new computers, screens, seats, peripherals and more and while I’d love to go into creating a full setup, today I’ll be taking a look at the new Thrustmaster Ferrari GT Cockpit 458 Steeling Wheel, which promises a minimal fuss solution to improving the racing/driving sim aspects of your gaming setup.

There are lots of great racing wheels on the market and it can be hard to define which one would be best suited to your needs and budget. The new model I have here today isn’t cheap at £169.99, but it’s still actually rather affordable for a premium wheel; I think it’s safe to say that this is a mid-budget product. At this level of investment, you’re going to be expecting something of quality, and the first part of that comes from the official Ferrari licence that Thrustmaster currently hold. The 458 Italia Edition steering wheel is modelled on, you guessed it, the real Ferrari 458 Italia steering wheel.

The wheel is very well equipped and features all of the basics you need to get you started for use on both PC and Xbox 360. One of the more unique and interesting aspects of this wheel is that it features an adjustable steering column which is fixed to the pedals, making this a one-piece unit with a heavy-duty carry handle; it can even be folded flat and stored out of the way, such as under a bed or in a cupboard.

  • Metal structure is fully adjustable in length and height, to adapt to all gamers (adults/children) and any type of seating (sofa/chair/armchair)
  • Foldable with carrying handle for quick and easy storage
  • Wide, weighted base (total weight of more than 10 kg) for optimal stability
  • Streamlined “Musetto” body in the style of the Ferrari 458 Scuderia Black
  • WHEEL: 7/10 exact replica of the wheel on the Ferrari F458
  • Ultra-precise wheel, featuring 16-bit precision (more than 65,000 values on the wheel’s steering)
  • Sequential Up & Down paddle shifters crafted of metal, for Ferrari GT-style driving
  • Manettino® dial: lets you change settings directly while driving in the game
  • XXL realistic wheel: 28 cm in diameter!
  • Grips with rubber texture for optimal comfort
  • Headset connector lets you chat online (headset not included)
  • 2 metal pedals built directly into the cockpit, for total stability
  • Metal pedals with long range of travel, inspired by the shape of the pedals on the Ferrari car
  • Brake pedal with progressive resistance
  • G.V.S. technology– High-precision
  • Exclusive “G.V.S. (Global Vibration System)” technology: allows for vibrations in games to be felt throughout the entire cockpit – including the wheel, steering column and pedal set

The packaging is huge, but this is a pretty big unit overall so that was to be expected. The carry handle hangs through the side of the box, allowing you to move it around a little easier; although it’s still not easy to carry around due to its overall weight.

Everything is nicely packaged in the interior, with protective foam, boxes and plastic around the important components to help keep them safe and scratch free during transit.

In the box you’ll find a couple of setup guides and a small collection of high quality screws and an Allen Key; these are needed to attach the wheel to the steering column.

Aerocool GT-A Midi-Tower Chassis Now Available

Aerocool are back once again with the latest entry in the GT chassis series. The new GT-A is a midi-tower focused at the gamer and DIY enthusiast market. The chassis comes pretty well equipped despite its moderate price tag, featuring a special top-panel docking station for 2.5″ / 3.5″ drives, a 2 channel fan controller, dual pre-installed and a spacious interior.

Two colour combinations are available, the first is the black and white and the other is the more aggressive looking red and black colour scheme. Both versions come with a window side-panel to allow a view of your system build.

The GT-A supports ATx, Micro-ATX and Mini-ITX motherboards, graphics card of up to 310mm and CPU coolers up to 165 millimeters. There are cable routing cut-outs, cpu cooler mounting cut-outs, tool free drive mounts, washable dust filters and more.

The new chassis are available immediately from most major retailers, with a MSRP of 67.90 EUR for the Black Edition and 69.90 EUR for the White Edition.

Thank you TechPowerUp for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of TechPowerUp.

AeroCool Reveal Their New GT & GT Advance Chassis

AeroCool Advanced Technologies are proving rather popular this week, not only have they just had a great success with the launch of the Dead Silence chassis which we recently, but also today announced the addition of two new value-for-money chassis to the GT product series. By introducing the GT and GT Advance chassis, AeroCool is able to complete the fresh GT series, which received great feedback from both end-users and media within a short time! Both GT and GT Advance PC cases are targeting Gamers with small budget, yet by the looks of it they still offer fantastic design like their big brothers GT-S and GT-R, while still packing plenty of features for a low price point.

AeroCool follows its product strategy by offering the GT and the GT Advance as both a black version with red front highlights and white version with blue highlight elements. GT and GT Advance chassis offer space for 120 and 140 mm case fans in the side panel, allowing improved cooling capabilities.

To assure sufficient airflow inside the GT and GT Advance Midi-Towers, space for up to three case fans has been allocated. AeroCool supplies both the chassis with one pre-installed 120 mm case fan (1.200 U/min, 36,4 CFM, 26,5 dBA) out of box! In case of the GT Advance, another silent 120 mm model (700 rpm, 23,20 CFM, 25,5 dBA) is located in the front, which is even illuminated.

On the inside, both value-for-money Midi-Tower chassis are offering plenty of space for high-end components. Gamers have the choice between the mainstream form-factors Micro-ATX and standard ATX when choosing the right motherboard. In regards to space for drives, enough space is provided for up to two 5,25 inch optical drives (or bay accessories such as fan controllers) as well as three 3,5 inch respectively one 2,5 inch and two 3,5 inch hard drives or SSDs. AeroCool built in a tool-free mounting mechanism for the 5,25 inch bays, to increase the convenience when mounting drives. In addition, CPU Coolers with a height of up to 15,8 cm and VGA cards with a total length of 29,3 cm are supported by the GT and GT Advance chassis. Great features, such as the special mounting area for backplate-based CPU coolers and pre-drilled holes for water-cooling pipes, have been implemented as well. To keep the dust outside of the chassis, one removable and washable dust filter is placed on the bottom of the chassis.

The I/O Ports are located in the front panel between the power and reset button. Both GT and GT Advance feature useful connectors, such as one Mic and headphone jack, as well as two USB ports! GT chassis utilizes two USB 2.0 ports, whereas the GT Advance comes with one USB 2.0 and one USB 3.0 port.

AeroCool GT and GT Advance chassis are available from e-tailers and retailers as of today. Suggested MSRP as following:

  • AeroCool GT White Edition: 25,00 EUR (excluding Taxes)
  • AeroCool GT Black Edition: 24,30 EUR (excluding Taxes)
  • AeroCool GT White Advance Edition: 29,00 EUR (excluding Taxes)
  • AeroCool GT Black Advance Edition: 25,00 EUR (excluding Taxes)

Thank you Aerocool for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of Aerocool.

Aerocool Strike-X GT Devil Red Edition Mid-Tower Review

It wasn’t long ago that we took a look at the Strike-X Xtreme mid-tower and here we are again with another Aerocool product, and this time we have the budget friendly Strike-X GT. There are no shortage of options at the more budget friendly end of the market and for around £50 you could pick and choose from a massive range of styles and features, certainly a lot more to choose from than there was a few years ago.

There is nothing wrong with having more choice on the market but with fierce competition in this part of the market you have to offer something unique to break through at retail, so it will be interesting to see what Aerocool have to offer us here today. So without further ado let’s get straight to the good stuff and see what the Strike-X GT can do.

The box is really brightly coloured and features a clear image of the chassis, albeit a misleading image! As it shows the chassis with LED fans mounted on the side panel and top panel, where as these are not included in the box.

The box contained a huge amount of extras, I found a stack of 5.25″ to 3.5 / 2.5″ adaptor trays, some cable ties, a wide selection of screws, bolts and washers and a user’s manual.

One the left you can see the top of the HDD brackets, on the right you can see the underside.

Enermax Goodies from Insomnia i48 Winners Announced

We ran a competition after we got back from Insomnia i48 involving some of the Enermax products we had used over that very weekend.

We had a lot of entries and over the last week, myself and the team sat down to choose all of the worthy candidates to win these amazing prizes. You can find the original competition page here.

After picking the successful and worth entries, we randomly picked two and are announcing those winners as Kyle Fraser and Meganium25.

Please join us in congratulating the winners and thanks to all of you who entered our competition.

All winner(s) have been contacted requesting address details for your prizes to be shipped out to you directly.