Ubisoft Massive Proclaims: “PC Is Incredibly Important To Us”

Ubisoft is guilty of making disparaging comments about the PC platform including remarks which brandish the audience as pirates. Not only that, Ubisoft has consistently treated the PC as an afterthought and released games in a buggy, unoptimized state. As a result, the PC community is very suspicious of any Ubisoft release and wary that the game might not live up to their marketing prowess. However, early reports indicate The Division is prioritizing the PC version and implementing multi-GPU support, HBAO+, an uncapped framerate and high resolution monitors. Additionally, Creative Director Magnus Jansén released the following statement to Rock, Paper, Shotgun on The Division and outlined the importance of the PC platform:

“PC is incredibly important to us. There are plenty of incentives to do a good PC version. Personally it’s important – a I play on PC whenever I can and I want the thing they play at home to be the best possible version. That is not to be underestimated as a driving force. Secondly, both of the studios, Massive and Red Storm started out on PC so it’s a matter of pride, or heritage and pedigree if you will. We feel kind of ashamed if we don’t do the PC version really well. It really is something that we care about.”

“We’re a very technical studio as well. Sweden is a very technical country – we’re good at infrastructure and design, and a lot of our staff come from the old demoscene as well. There’s a lot of that heritage in the Swedish dev community and that is true here at Massive as well. It comes very natural to us. The engine, Snowdrop, enables the artists to do all of that great UI work and makes it relatively easy to expose all of those options on PC.”

Clearly, the developer seems very passionate towards the PC, and it’s great to see. However, the proof will be when the game actually comes out and we hear reports from users on a wide range of hardware configurations. I’m cautiously optimistic, as surely they wouldn’t praise the platform so much if the game has performance related problems.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Comes with Over 200 Hours of Gameplay

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is already known as a massive and ambitious project, having the same characteristics lead to it being delayed several times now. But how can we imagine the immensity of the game world in real-world time? Well, the answer seems to come from the title’s developers, having them state that its size can be measured in well over 200 hours of gameplay.

“Hard to say,” said developer Damien Monnier on Twitter in response to a fan’s question about just how long the game might last. “If you do everything, I’d say 200+ hours.”

The title is undoubtedly coming with a lot of content, but as with any other title that is yet to be released, the numbers should be taken with a pinch of salt. A lot of developers made claim of their title’s world size in recent years, but some of them really didn’t turn out as described.

A good example of a massive game world that eventually amounts to nothing more than simple, boring side-quests and endless hours of roaming around is Dragon Age: Inquisition. Whether The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will have a more Skyrim approach, we just have to wait and see.

Thank you Gamingbolt for providing us with this information

COUGAR Releases QBX Advanced Compact Gaming Case

COUGAR announced the arrival of their new QBX chassis, a compact and advanced case create to accommodate great hardware without compromising size or cooling abilities. The QBX only measures 178 x 260 x 368 mm but still allows you to mount 350mm long high-end graphics cards, five hard disks (both HDD and SSD), a slim ODD, 140mm long ATX PSU, and comes with front USB 3.0 ports.

Such massive amount of hardware options also needs proper cooling, often an issue in compact cases. The COUGAR QBX solves this by allowing up to 7 fans to be installed as well as water cooling with radiators up to 240mm. The PSU is also mounted to have an independent airflow so that doesn’t interfere with the rest of the cooling.

The new COUGAR QBX will be available starting in late April, sadly no word on pricing yet.

Thanks to COUGAR for providing us with this information

MGS: Ground Zeroes Specifications Released, GTX 980 Tri-SLI Setup Teased

Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes is set for release around the 18th of December on PC, seeing marketing be ramped up worldwide by Konami in preparation. Given this news, we’ve come across information that Komani Japan has been displaying MGS to the public at an amazing 4K resolution, run through a three-way GTX980 SLI set-up with the CPU and RAM for this system is unknown however.

Earlier this year, the PC specifications were leaked to the public thanks to STEAM making an error. If you’re looking to run the name (in normal resolution) for yourself, you’re going to need at to have the following tech in your rig at a minimum:

  • OS: Windows Vista
  • CPU: Intel Core i5 (2.7 GHz) quad-core
  • RAM: 4GB
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650

We’ve been scouring the internet trying to find a picture of this Tri-SLI, 4k resolution set-up for MGS by Konami but have so far come up blank. If you have any sources, please feel free to send them through to us via a PM to our Facebook page or simply reply in the comments with the information. From looking at the pre-release videos and promotion by Konami, the graphics for this game seem certainly reasonable for the utilization of an i5 and GTX 650, so here’s only hoping that Ubisoft can take some notes in the optimization department for their latest AC: Unity dramatic release.

In one months time, you’ll be able to get your hands on the 5th installment of the MGS series, so if your rig isn’t up to scratch it’s time to get upgrading.

Image courtesy of Gamespot

Mental Millet: 1.62 Million Phone Orders in 72 hours

Chinese phone company and electricity provider Millet have just reported that after 72 hours of continuous operation, they’ve dispatched over 1.62 million total units of their new phone release amounting to a total sales amount of $254.5m USD. This shipping figure doesn’t include their TV orders processed in the same time frame according to technical director Wang Haizhou as announced today to the Chinese public via Weibo. He’s also stated that they will be in constant contact with the courier company, ensuring all users receive their phones as fast and efficiently as possible.

Unfortunately due to this being a Chinese-only brand, it’s quite hard to find any information about the phone, the company or release schedule/information. Comparing this to iPhone sales over the same time period which sat at 10 million devices – 1.62 million by Millet is certainly nothing shabby for a one-country project.

Many users reportedly begun receiving their brand-new Millet phones in the early hours of the 73rd hour onward as Millet’s couriers seem to have been keeping their word. If you’re capable of having a read, here’s their official Weibo release as published by Wang Haizhou.

Information and images courtesy of MyDrivers

GIGABYTE Launch Crazy WaterForce Tri-SLI GTX 980

Maybe you’re interested in rendering Pixar’s next animation or run Crysis release number nine on seven different monitors. If so, GIGABYTE has just released a product you might be interested in.

They’ve announced their new GeForce GTX 980 WaterForce Tri-SLI product, incorporating three beastly GTX 980 graphics cards cooled by three 120 x 120mm radiators all linked in a water cooling loop.

Each of these three cards are coming out of the factory pre-overclocked to 1228MHz, with abilities to accelerate this to 1329MHZ, coupled by a memory frequency of 7000MHz. The massive water cooling device is said to be the main focus of this product, offering the ability to have each fans RPM and the total coolant pressure controlled fully through a front LCD panel installed on the device. The WaterForce obviously cannot be sat within any standard casing due to its size, so GIGABYTE has kindly suggested you layer it on the top, or maybe stick it to the side.

Alongside the basic system pictured at the top of this article, you’ll also receive a custom SLI-bridge, video card jack (to hold them in place) and a 5.25-inch front panel bezel in order to run your tubing externally.

Unfortunately, there is no expected release date or announced product pricing for this new flagship product, but looking at it shows it’s obviously not one built for your standard consumer. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen companies provide massive external cooling solutions to our products, but it’s not often you see them coupled with video cards out of the factory along with all the pre-cabling work done for you.

We’d love to get our hands on this to test, so if you’re listening GIGABYTE – we’re open for business!

Images courtesy of Mydrivers

Apple’s New iOS 8 Update – Too Big to Download?

If you’re currently rocking a 16GB iPhone, then we’ve got some bad news for you. Today, Apple released their iOS 8 update providing users with a massive 1.6GB download and a total of 5.8GB once installed.

Obviously there’s been a large public outcry, especially with those who own smaller capacity iPhones such as the 16GB variant – people have been forced to delete their photos, music and other apps or media simply to make room for the iOS update.

So what can you do if you’re stuck in this situation? Thankfully if you’ve got a computer nearby, there is a little leeway that can be had.

Simply plug in your iPhone or iPad to your PC or Mac and use iTunes to update your mobile device though your computer. This will save your phone a bit of space (the 1.6GB download) but overall won’t save you the pain of a 5.8GB install size. Instead of deleting all of your media, you can also back up some files on your Apple iCloud online storage platform.

Both of these handy tips are nice for those with suitable internet, unfortunately for users without access to a computer or living in an internet-poor country such as Australia – we provide our deepest condolences (I live here).

Android users are expected to run rampant over social media in the weeks following this update, most likely preaching their platform and the quite often utilized Android phone ability to install an SD card into their devices. Unfortunately for Apple fanatics, there’s nothing much you can do other than grit your teeth and wait for all of this to blow over.

To see if you need to do this update, head to your “Settings” menu, select “General” and tap “Software Update”.

Image courtesy of NewsComAu

Chinese Employees Protest Microsoft’s Mass Layoffs

Hundreds of employees from Microsoft’s Nokia division protested with banners and shouted slogans against Microsoft’s recently announced layoffs. Up to 12.500 of the 18.000 people that will be let go come from the Nokia division, so it is no surprise that they are unhappy.

Protesters held banners and shouted slogans against “Microsoft’s hostile takeover and violent layoffs” for five hours until “they had sore throats,” said the employee who participated in the demonstration and so declined to be identified.

The protesters would convene on Friday afternoon, today, to present and discuss their demands with the company. The protests took place at a Beijing research center and factory employing 2,400 people.

This is just the latest in a string of troubles for the U.S. software giant in China, only this week four Microsoft offices were raided by Chinese authorities as part of an ongoing anti-monopoly investigation.

Thank you Reuters for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of IT News

24 Year Old Man Allegedly Scammed Apple out of $310k

The 24-year-old Sharron Laverne Parrish Jr. of Tampa, scammed one of the biggest tech-companies in the world, not once but 42 times, totalling a massive $309,768, according to federal court records. A Secret Service criminal complaint charges Parrish with wire fraud, alleging that he tricked Apple clerks in 16 states into accepting meaningless override codes. He is accused of hitting the Brandon store twice, along with stores in Orlando, Wellington and Boca Raton.

If a credit or debit card gets declined and the customer protests that funds should be available, a call to the card issuer can override the permission. But Parrish didn’t call his bank to get the code, he just pretended to and gave the clerks a fake one.

“It does not actually matter what code the merchant types into the terminal,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Jersey stated publicly in February after a similar case there. “Any combination of digits will override the denial.” It just has to be the right amount of numbers. The New Jersey case led to a three-year prison sentence for Temeshia McDonald, 29, who defrauded Victoria’s Secret, Banana Republic and other retailers out of $557,690. She was ordered to pay restitution.

Karisse Hendrick, program manager for the Americas at the Seattle-based Merchant Risk Council, said businesses have to weigh customer convenience against liability. And, typically, front line staff at brick-and-mortar stores are thinking more about pleasing customers than about fraud. But the store clerk should be the one who places a call for authorization, she said.

Merchants can wind up liable for charges if they override a denial. That was the case with Parrish’s transaction at the Apple store in Brandon on Jan. 18, 2013, according to the court record. “Because Apple employees overrode the initial declination against the instructions of Chase Bank, Apple, not the financial institution, suffered the loss as a result of this fraudulent transaction,” agent Halliwell wrote.

Parrish was also accused of trying to defraud a car rental company and a hotel in Seattle. But much of his activity took place at Apple stores.

Thank you Tampa Bay Times for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of Tampa Bay Times

ESPN to Air 10 Million USD Dota 2 Gaming Tournament

As released today, Valve has announced ESPN will be showing live coverage of their 10 million dollar electronic sports tournament, simply labeled ‘The International’.

The International has been run yearly since 2011, with Valve pitting 1.6 million dollars of funded prize pool in recent times. To help increase this incentive, Valve pitched it to their Dota2 community for further support. For $10 USD, any player can purchase a ‘compendium‘ which delivers $2.50 into the prize pool directly and also give the user a bunch of in-game items, skins and benefits. Doing the math, this means roughly 8.4 million was raised directly from the communities donation, with a ton more going directly to the game manufacturer.

Currently, the International has just finished its playoff stages and has come up with a final eight teams all fighting for the trophy. As according the Valves press release, ESPN are now set get in on the action:

“Valve today announced that coverage of The International Dota 2 Championships will be presented in collaboration with ESPN on its live multi-screen sports network, ESPN3. In addition, an exclusive show previewing the final match will be presented on ESPN2 on Sunday at 8:30 pm Pacific. Live access to ESPN2 is also available on digital platforms via WatchESPN.” Steampowered

Valves Erik Johnson commented on the partnership:

“From the success of the Compendium to the collaboration with ESPN, this year’s International really demonstrates how much competitive gaming has grown to rival traditional sports. We believe the teams have also pushed to a new level of play this year and will further demonstrate the incredible advances made across this tournament since it first began three short years ago.” Steampowered

This is huge news for the eSports community, whom are always pushing for their favorite pastime (or in some cases, occupation) to be pushed into the mainstream-media spotlight. Another positive note is that this years 10 million dollar prize pool is a massive jump to that of 2013, which grossed only 2.8 million in comparison. This may be just the push that eSports needs to make its way into more homes.

Wondering how this 10 million dollar prize pool matches up with ‘regular’ sporting events? Thanks to Tournament.com we’ve had it laid out easily for us.

For those who don’t have the ability to watch on ESPN, Twitch.tv will be running multiple online streams of the finals.

Is there anything else valve have up their sleeve? We’re waiting with twitching anticipation for any further announcements.

Image courtesy of Gosu Gamers