EVGA Showcase High-end AMP & DAC @ CES 2016

CES 2016: EVGA are taking a dive into the world of high-end desktop audio this year, as they demonstrated the prototype of their next-gen audio card! As you can see, we’ve go ta range of high-end gold caps on there, for squeeky clean power delivery, as well as an on-board AMP and DAC. It also looks like the DAC chips are interchangeable, although I’m not sure if that is going to be a remaining feature on the retail product, it would be nice for the enthusiast user to have that option.

The demo units and I can’t stress that enough, those red boxes are just that, demo units for the cards external USB version. They sounded absolutely fantastic, and the clarity and power delivery is up there with the best and you can bet we’ll be pushing this card to the limit as soon as retail samples are available. With a signal to noise ratio of 130Db, Japanese Rubycon caps, Italian made resistors and a little help from Audio Note on the design front, it’s no wonder they’re sounding great.

Are you a fan of high-end audio equipment, or are you happy with the on-board audio from your desktop? Let us know in the comments section below.

Rise of the Tomb Raider PC Release Date Announced

The Tomb Raider series is one of those classic gaming franchises which has a huge consumer following, titles ranging from the early days of both The Sega Saturn and also the PS1 all the way through to the latest incarnation of the series “Rise of the Tomb Raider on the Xbox One next-gen console. Talking of the aforementioned “Rise” title, new details have been announced for this version of the game for the PC Platform.

So, what are the details? Rise of the Tomb Raider will be officially released on PC on January 28th 2016 and has been announced by Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics. The game will support 4K resolution and will be able to provide players with a stunning experience.

Rise of The Tomb raider will also be available through both physical and also online retailers which include Steam etc. There will also be various editions of the game and this will include a standard edition that will be priced at $59.99 dollars (£40.91), a Digital Deluxe Edition that will feature the game and its DLC pass for $89.99 dollars (£61.37) and a collector’s edition.

On the subject of the collector’s edition, below is an image to illustrate this, it will feature a Digital Deluxe version and a 12-inch Lara Croft statue, replicas of Lara’s journal and jade necklace and a steel case. It will be priced at $149.99 dollars (£102.28) and It will be also available at Square Enix’s online store, and yes I understand the irony of an image stating January 29th.

Other information includes the notion that it will be fully compatible with Windows 10 and the US edition has also been given an “M” rating, this means that the game might include elements such as intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language. The minimum specs which have been confirmed by Square Enix for the PC version are as follows,

Rise of the Tomb Raider PC Minimum Specifications:

  • OS: Windows 7 64bit
  • Processor: Intel Core i3-2100 or AMD equivalent
  • GPU: NVIDIA GTX 650 2 GB or AMD HD7770 2 GB
  • RAM: 6 GB
  • HD Space: 25 GB
  • DirectX: DirectX 11
  • Input: Mouse + Keyboard

Image courtesy of gearnuke

Spencer “Fully Expects” There Will be a Next Xbox Generation

Love them or hate them, consoles have been around for decades, proven to be massively profitable when done right and they’re not going anywhere anytime soon. Sony and Microsoft have put on a good battle this last couple of years with their current generation of consoles, but as is always the case with the technology market, people are already starting to wonder “what comes next?”

When asked on Twitter, Microsoft’s Phil Spencer said “I fully expect there will be” another generation of Xbox consoles. This isn’t that big of a surprise, but there has been some doubt over Microsoft’s place in the market in the coming years. The Xbox One launch was nothing short of a disaster, but they quickly started singing a different tune to give consumers more of what they want, which so far seems to be paying off.

Microsoft is certainly focusing on the Xbox One right now and I wouldn’t get your hopes up for a new console anytime soon, as this console generation has barely gotten started. My guess would be to save your next-gen console money for some time around 2020.

Minecraft:Story Mode Details Released

TellTales games have grown very popular over the past few years very well-known with their work with the walking dead series and the wolf among us, and now they chosen to give Minecraft the episodic choice treatment.

A trailer debuting the first real look at the block choice making game, more information will be shown at Minecon 2015 in London to detail what the game actually is all about. the trailer doesn’t have any gameplay elements but does give us a small peek at what the story is going to be based around.

The game will be releasing for android and last gen and current gen consoles IOS, and PC.

It will be very interesting to see how telltales can include a story in a video game that doesn’t really have a story of its own it just opens for endless possibilities as Minecraft is really all about your own adventure and creativity. the trailer shows us that the game will follow a small group of characters or players guessing from the trailer there are points in the game where you given choices to craft and even steal choices that will be pivotal points in the story mode.

Hopefull,y TellTales can deliver a story and experience that will be fun and tear inducing as their known for

Are you interested in a Minecraft Telltales game?

Thank you androidcentral for providing us with this information

Unreal Engine 4 Real Time Images

An Unreal Engine forum member ‘koola’ has uploaded two screenshots from his latest project, the two images look incredibly mind-blowing most photo realistic we have seen to date, this is a very good show of visual quality that will be found in games in the close future.

Koola has previously delivered some über realistic real-time architectural visualization using the unreal engine 4. taking advantages that unreal can offer such as accessibility and power, the results of his work have wowed his colleagues and garnered attention the international press and also the Unreal Team themselves at epic. earlier this year Koola became the very first recipient of the inaugural innovative project designed in Unreal Engine 4.

Another notable project that will be using Unreal Engine 4 is the gorgeous abstention, a new survival horror tittle that will take inspiration from horror greats such as the resident evil series and Eternal Darkness and silent hill, Fan can expect a real mix of mental and horror elements with intense gameplay. An acclaimed game development studio Dontnod and the publisher Focus home Interactive announced Vampyr a new role-playing game powered by the Unreal engine 4, the game is set to release on play station 4, Xbox one and the PC.

Developers are always pushing the boundaries with the photo-realism with video games and this is definitely pushing the thresholds of true photorealistic visuals in a game engine.

Do you look forward to playing video games using the Unreal Engine 4?

Thank you WCCFTECH for providing us with this information

A Next-Gen Battery for Mobile Devices Is in the Works at Google X Labs

Reports have indicated that a four person team inside Google X labs have switched from testing batteries back in 2013 to actually looking into technology for creating a new and improved version.

The group is said to be led by former Apple battery expert, Dr. Ramesh Bhardwaj, and formed back in 2012. One concept the group is said to be looking into is solid-state batteries, which are made by replacing the liquid chemicals with a solid current-inducing alternative. This is said to lead to smaller and safer batteries which can be produced in thin layers.

While the batteries are being designed for powering mobile devices, Google is said to also be looking into using the battery concept to power human body implants. Google is also not the only company to be working on futuristic batteries, but whoever comes up with the long-lasting, affordable, safer and smaller alternative to the current ones will be able to dominate the consumer market.

Thank you Phonearena for providing us with this information

Has Grand Theft Auto 5 Been Delayed Until 2015?

Reports are coming in that Grand Theft Auto 5 may miss it’s late 2014 release date for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. The exactly release date has yet to be revealed and this late in the year, especially given that E3 and Gamecom are now behind us, alarm bells are starting to ring that the game is delayed.

“If it’s gonna be this year, you want to build the hype up a good few months before the game comes out, and there isn’t much of the year left,” said James Jarvis, producer and editor at CVG. “If the previews don’t happen really soon, there’s a possibility we won’t be seeing ‘GTA 5’ on new-gen, Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC, until next year.”

Rockstar know how to build hype up for their games, they’ll “leak” information, play the social media game, have previews, gameplay footage and more as they build up to the reveal date of their game and at the moment there really isn’t a lot of this happening.

Delays are expected on a game of this size, there is a lot of work to go over and there are plenty of new tweaks and features being added to the game, especially the PC release, to make this more than just another HD re-buff of a last gen release.

[youtube width=”800″ height=”450″]http://youtu.be/HBbE1HClId0?list=UUFiHjGyrJux8Rt4e6mUPU-w[/youtube]

Thank you IBTimes for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of IBTimes.

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Spec List Is the Same as Ghosts

Hmm now correct me if I’m wrong but the term ‘Next Generation’ means better all-round quality games, am I right? So with the developers of Advanced Warfare saying “Next Generation” about every 4 seconds in every trailer why hasn’t the spec list changed from that of Ghosts? Surely with a “new Next Generation engine” they would be able to push higher res textures, more particles, models on screen etc which would make the game more demanding and require more powerful hardware to run it smoothly. Not according to the spec lists, they are identical, nothing has changed, so it makes you wonder, how “Next Gen” is it really?

The same thing happened with Ghosts, all this talk about a “Next Gen engine and active fish AI” and then when it came out it looked like every other Call of Duty. So what could they have done to actually improve this years CoD? I for one hope they have actually tried and stopped reusing models from 5 year old games, I saw the digger from Modern Warfare 1 in Ghosts and just sighed. From what I’ve seen about Advanced Warfare is that it does look better and the animation looks better too, this is by watching some of the campaign footage they released. Going by this I would advise people to just hold back on the pre-order until launch or the multiplayer reveal, which is getting close now.

Thanks to Tweaktown for supplying us with this information.

Images courtesy of Tweaktown.

Sleeping Dogs Is Getting a next-Gen Upgrade

This seems to be the trend nowadays for the games industry, taking an old game, applying higher res textures, better sound and taking advantage of the new hardware that is on offer to the developers. We have seen this before with Square Enix making the Definitive edition with Tomb Raider, a game I personally, highly enjoyed playing on my PlayStation 4. Now as Sleeping Dogs is from Square Enix the Sleeping Dogs next gen upgrade will also be called it’s Definitive Edition, this will include 24, yes 24, DLC packs which values at $85 so you’re getting a lot of content for the price you pay. For those who pre-order the game will launch with a limited edition art book and a boxed copy of the upgraded game.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7c3ppv_pVMw[/youtube]

The game will have upgraded textures, improved gameplay, audio and more. It has been confirmed that it will run at 1080p on both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, hooray! No comment about the frame rate though, if they can get Tomb Raider to run at 60fps at 1080p then I’m sure it’ll be the same with Sleeping Dogs.

The game will be launching October 10 on Xbox One, PS4 and PC.

Thanks to Tweaktown for supplying us with this information.

Image courtesy of Tweaktown.

Get Ready for Next-Gen Water Balloon Fights!

Firstly, this isn’t a video game I’m talking about, it’s real life. When was the last time you had a water balloon fight? For me personally it was years and years ago but I still remember the fun times I had soaking other people in a fury of different coloured water bombs *sigh*, good times indeed. Anyway if you have children or just behave like a big kid then this is the product you need!

This is Tinnuss Enterprises’ Bunch O Balloons and it looks to revolutionize water balloon fights, revolutionize you say!? Yes, this beast can fill up to 100 balloons a minute and even fill 37 balloon simultaneously. The real time waster in any water balloon fight, as we all know, is having to tie each balloon up which can take forever, not with Bunch O Ballons, it even ties all 37 balloons at the same time with just a shake of your hand! . Bunch O Balloons has been a Kickstarter project with an initial goal of just $10,000 but after the internet caught a glimpse of the future of balloon warfare their target was smashed completely and the project has now raised over $690,000. Just incredible, it may be one of the most successful Kickstarter projects ever.

Bunch O Balloons is set to launch September 2015, if you want to get your hands on some, you need to back the project.

Thanks to Tweaktown for supplying us with this information.

Images courtesy of Tweaktown.

FM2+ Socket Is Here For At Least Another Two Years

It is hardly uncommon knowledge that AMD like to get as much use out of their sockets as possible, and their latest FM2+ socket looks set to stick with us until at least 2016 without any major changes. Their newer desktop and APU processors rely on this socket and it’s great news that AMD don’t chop and change their socket types very often, as it means you can get extended use out of your motherboard, while still enjoying the benefits of upgrading your CPU/APU each year.

Yet even for AMD the delay on upgrading from FM2+ stands out a little more than most and it is being attributed to things such as DDR4 memory proliferation and AMD’s “project Fast-Forward” which aims to put high-bandwidth memory right into the APU die, something that should help their integrated APU graphics hardware get past memory bottlenecks, but something we likely won’t see now until 2016 and beyond, once DDR4 prices fall.

AMD’s Carrizo APU is set to use FM2+ and will be targeted at low-TDP devices such as notebooks and tablets, which will feature their next-gen Excavator micro-architecture, so it looks like FM2+ is here to stay, what comes next is anyone’s guess.

Thank you TechPowerUp for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of TechPowerUp.

Ubisoft Locks The Division’s Framerate at 30FPS, Graphical Fidelity to be More Important

Ubisoft apparently wants to stand out from the crowd by adding complexity and graphical definition to its titles. The company seems to focus more on delivering an immersive gameplay in world ‘full of life’.

For example, Watch Dogs has been delayed after the launch of Grand Theft Auto V in order to add more complex detail to be able to compete with Rockstar’s title. Far Cry 4 has also been announced to deliver the same ‘Ultra High’ graphical complexity on next-gen consoles as on PCs. The latest announcement points to the same graphical fidelity being applied to Ubisoft’s upcoming title, namely The Division.

However, nothing comes without some drawbacks. In order to deliver the aforementioned graphics, performance cuts need to be made. And this apparently will be noticeable in terms of framerate capabilities. This is the case of The Division, where it has been announced that the title will have its FPS counter locked at 30.

Massive Entertainment’s Managing Director, David Polfeldt, made a comment regarding the reason of locking The Division’s framerate at 30 and not upping it to a smooth 60 as gamers would like to see in every title they play.

I think we’re shooting for 30fps because it’s a trade-off, right? Graphical fidelity and immersion are more important to us than the frame rate. If we go for [60fps], we’ll have to make a trade-off on fidelity and other things. But because we want to have very, very complex destruction and extremely detailed environments; a complete weather system, full day/night cycle…at some point you have to make up your mind: where do you invest? And for us, it’s going to be 30fps”.

Although the framerate will be quite low, the graphical complexity and ‘complex destruction’, in addition to all the sweet features such as the weather system and day/nigh cycle could compensate. However, this requires a lot of optimisation in order to maintain the designated framerate when ‘all hell breaks loose’ during massive combat scenarios.

Thank you TweakTown for providing us with this information

Rockstar Promises GTA V PC Will Be Truly Next-Gen

I’ve avoided buying Grand Theft Auto V simply because there wasn’t a doubt in my mind that the game would be ported to PC eventually, I wanted my first experience of this title to be one of pure awesomeness, and to help me justify my efforts on building a new high-end gaming PC.

The team at Rockstar are pulling out all the stops on this project, having already exceeded themselves with what is possible on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, they’re now promising “across-the-board graphical and technical improvements to deliver a stunning new level of detail. Increased draw distances, finer texture details, denser traffic, and enhanced resolutions”.

Gamers on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC will also be treated to new wildlife, an upgraded weather system, new damage effects and “an array of new details to discover”.

Not only that, but all the content, gameplay, weapons, jobs and more that has been released for the game so far will be available to the new editions too, but PC gamers will also get to reap the benefits of an exclusive video editor.

Thank you TweakTown for providing us with this information.

 

Sony Announces Specs for Project Morpheus VR Headset

With all the buzz regarding Virtual Reality gear, Oculus Rift seems to take the prime stag, having released a lot of information, plans and what consumers would expect from it once it will be released as a final product. However, there is still Sony’s Project Morpheus to take into account, but given that nothing but rumours were heard about it, focus was still on the Oculus Rift. That is, up until now.

Sony apparently has officially announced some of its VR headset specs, teasing fans with what should they expect when the manufacturer’s headset finally hits the market. The manufacturer apparently points to a 5″ panel, boasting a resolution of 1920×1080 pixels, 60 frames per second and a field of view of up to 100°, though most likely it will be 90° as a start.

However, considering that the headset will most likely be used for the PlayStation 4, things don’t quite add up. The majority of games for the next-gen consoles are not even playable on full HD, yet alone at a frequency as high as 60 Hz. Not to mention the FOV, which most likely will require a lot of processing power in order to render.

Anton Mikhailov, an engineer from the Magic Lab in the PlayStation R&D could shed some light on this problem with the following statement:

“Frame rate and latency should have really high priority, much more so than […] now when you make a game, you can sort of say, ‘Oh, I’m going to choose to do a 30fps game because it’s more cinematic,’ or whatever, or, ‘I’m going to cram more graphics into it. In VR, it’s not really a choice. You have to go at least 60, preferably higher. It’s kind of a new bar. There are new rules you should obey as a developer. Frame rate and latency are really, really important. […] There is definitely a graphical limit that you can’t go lower than”.

From the following statement, it seems that game developers are required to focus more on frame rate and smooth gameplay rather than detail. The question is whether virtual reality at the expense of stunning detail would really be worth it.

Thank you TweakTown for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of TweakTown

Sony Demoes Batman: Arkham Knight on PC

Rocksteady appears to have confirmed that the Batman: Arkham Knight demo was run on a PC. This is quite interesting, since everyone would have expected it to be demoed on a console, such as Xbox One or PlayStation 4.

However, the “This is a PC build.” sign apparently answered everyone’s questions about the platform on which it was running on. This is quite some good news for the PC gamers out there, since it would appear that the demo did not suffer from former Batman-related issues gamers have faced, such as stuttering side-effect.

Also, the Unreal Engine 3 version seems to have done the trick in terms of performance and graphical appeal. Since the demo was on PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 users should see similar if not the same type of graphics and feel for the game as well, given that the next-fen consoles are fairly similar to PC as announced some time ago.

Batman: Arkham Knight is said to be released worldwide on both Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC next year. Until then, fans can watch the demo presented in the video below.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6xrYb5oOC-U[/youtube]

Thank you DSOGaming for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of DSOGaming

Project CARS Video Released – PC Racing Games Have Never Looked Better

I’ve seen so many screenshots, trailers and demonstrations of Slightly Mad Studios upcoming racing title Project Cars that I’ve lost count. While I may have lost track of them all, I know one thing for certain, every time I see this game it looks significantly better than the last. There is no doubt about it, the studio and the semi-crowd-funded and crowd-developed nature of the game is paying off big time; the attention to detail is unlike anything else on the market right now.

The sweetest thing about Project CARS is that the PC is the lead development platform, although console ports are being developed alongside to ensure each platform gets the best version possible, but as you can see from the trailer, the PC edition is leaps and bounds ahead in terms of graphics (obviously).

The game is set to have support for everything from Oculus Rift to 4K monitors, so if you want to start saving up to really enjoy what is already one of the greatest racing games ever made, now would be a good time. The game is set for release this November on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Wii U and PC.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/zBLMscFP5ec[/youtube]

Haswell CPU Support For Series 8 MSI Motherboards

It looks like MSI is planning to make all Intel 8 series motherboards compatible with the next generation Intel Haswell CPU series which has been said to be released somewhere in the second quarter of this year.

Intel is panning to release a refreshed version of the Haswell CPU line early Q2 having it target the desktop line with over 20 new SKUs, followed by a new Series 9 chipset which will basically have higher clocked cores. The difference in performance stands anywhere between 100 and 200 MHz based on the CPU. A full detailed list of the supported CPUs can be viewed on MSI’s website here.

MSI has also announced that it will have support for the new Haswell lineup on all its existing Series 8 motherboards, spanning from gaming, to overclocking and even multimedia motherboards. MSI’s gaming motherboards have a distinctive black and red design, along with a dragon motif, coming with exclusive MSI tech such as Audio Boost and Killer Gigabit Ethernet card.

The overclocking line however has a yellow and black design, undergoing rigorous testing conditions at MSI’s testing labs. Even more, an MSI overclocking board was used in setting the world record for CPU frequency, which is at 7.14 GHz, in addition to also having Military Class 4 components which boosts the longevity of the board and ensures stability even in the most extreme conditions.

Whatever it may be, MSI is keen on having its name on the top of the list when it comes to motherboard support and quality, whether you are just looking to play and get the most suitable experience out of your PC, or looking to go beyond and stress out your specs to their limits with overclocking.

Thank you VR-Zone for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of MSI

Sledgehammer’s Call of Duty Development Focusing On PS4 And Xbox One

In a recent interview with IGN, Activision Publishing’s CEO, Eric Hirshberg, confirmed that Sledgehammer’s upcoming Call of Duty game is being developed primarily for Xbox One and PlayStation 4, will be heading to the next-gen platforms later this year.

“Sledgehammer is approaching this as a next-gen-first development,” says Hirshberg. “Obviously in the console-transition year, anyone who developed a cross-generational game last year had to deal with the fact that the technology of the next-gen platforms was still coming into focus and changing quite a bit during the development process…. Now that we have the next-gen hardware out in the marketplace and solid, that is our primary development.”

The transition to the new consoles has certainly happened a lot quicker than was expected, or that any other format prior to this new generation of consoles. However, with great hardware came a distinct lack of killer software and it’s up to developers like Sledgehammer to prove what they can do with the new consoles.

Details are a little thin on the ground about the new game, but it’s Call of Duty, so one can expect a first person shooter with a military theme and competitive multiplayer content. Activision expect Sledgehammer’s Call of Duty to be different from what Infinity Ward and Treyarch are doing, but it’ll no doubt have many of the regular traits.

The real good news is that while Call of Duty has been lacking in the quality department, having three studios now developing games for the series means a longer development cycle for each entry into the series, lets hope that the extra time is put to good use improving the game and hopefully give them time to innovate.

“we’ve got more capabilities than ever before to play with and we want to make sure our developers have the time to innovate, iterate, to bring the best creative vision and the most possible polish to each and every game.”

So there you have it, more Call of Duty titles in development that ever before, with each spending a little longer in development and three studios putting their unique touches on the games. Only time will tell if this is good news or bad news.

Thank you IGN for providing us with this information.

Xbox One Update Scheduled For February 11, To Bring Support for USB Keyboard

When Microsoft launched the Xbox in November last year, Microsoft’s next-gen console performed better than expected. The company saw 3.9 million units being shipped to retail stores all around the world. Now, Microsoft can start improving it, and the changes are likely to be seen sooner than expected.

The Xbox one will see a few features added later on, as well as regular updates for security and other minor fixes. A upadate is reportedly scheduled for February 11, having Marc Whitten, Chief Product Officer, reveal that it will feature “behind-the-scenes updates”, helping developers in building applications and games for the console, along with an interesting improvement.

Whitten says that the update will also include a Kinect voice commands improvement, making them more fluid and responsive. Does it have something to do with the Cortana news floating around for Windows Phone? Maybe so, but don’t expect to hear her voice in your console now. Although, some improvements might be seen in the upcoming April update for Windows Phone personal assistant as well.

Other features consist of the ability to see and manage storage space on the console, as users will be able to find out exactly how much storage their content is taking up. The ability to control installed line-ups will be included as well, making download queries much easier, My Games and My Apps will be displayed in separate lists, an addition of a boot progress indicator to help track updates as they load, and these are just a few of what’s to come next.

One addition is quite mentionable though. The new update also brings support for USB keyboard to Xbox one. Is Microsoft aiming to bring PC gamers to the console area? All we need now is a mouse support.

Thank you Ubergizmo for providing us with this information

Microsoft Offer To ‘Ditch’ Your Old PS3 With A New Xbox One

Tired of your PlayStation3? How about your old Xbox 360? Have you thought of upgrading to an Xbox One but haven’t been able to ‘ditch’ your old console? Well you’re in luck, because Microsoft apparently has an offer to take your worn-out console off your hands.

Microsoft has stepped up its marketing recently. In promotional emails, the software giant is offering $100 towards an Xbox One when people “ditch” Sony’s PlayStation 3. The trade-in deal is only available at Microsoft’s retail stores in the US, and it applies to the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 S, or Xbox 360 E. The promotion reduces the $100 gap, and brings the Xbox One price down to the same $399 as the PlayStation 4. Given a base model PS3 retails for around $200 right now, it’s not a bad offer if you have a slightly aging PlayStation 3.

However, if Microsoft is hoping this latest promotion will tempt PlayStation 3 owners by reducing the Xbox One cost, it might find that Sony console owners simply keep their old PS3 and pay $399 for a PlayStation 4. But don’t stop and think about it if you are interested, because Microsoft has it on a limited offer basis. The reported date on Microsoft’s official site states that the offer is valid between January 23rd and March 2nd, 2014. So hurry up and take your console if you think you are considering a next-gen.

Thank you The Verge for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of The Verge

UK All-Format Gaming Charts – Week Ending 28 December 2013

Another week and another busy week for the UK all-format gaming charts. One things is for certain this month, next-gen consoles are off to a rock solid start and while many will be debating who the winner is, truth is Sony and Microsoft are both winning in their own respects and it’s a promising start for the games industry as we enter 2014.  The new consoles have helped along game sales too and with 11 of the top twenty games being available on Xbox One or PlayStation 4 in one respect or another, and three of them being exclusively next-gen (Knack, Forza 5 & Dead Rising 3) its clear that software sales are doing well.

Still amazed this week to see that Aliens: Colonial Marines is back in the charts, it returned to 20th place last week and is still there this week, seriously, who is buying this game? Collect-em-all family fun is still going strong with Disney Infinity and Skylanders: Swap Force and will keep up all heavily indebted to publishers for at least another few months with a steady release of new characters.

Lego Marvel has dropped down to 7th place to make way for both Grand Theft Auto V and Need For Speed: Rivals, but beyond that we see that the big four, Battlefield, Assassin’s Creed IV, Call of Duty: Ghosts and Fifa 14 remain in the same spots as the previous week, showing some clear Christmas favourites for the holiday season.

POS.  TITLE  PUBLISHER  LAST
WEEK 
1 FIFA 14 EA SPORTS 1
2 CALL OF DUTY: GHOSTS ACTIVISION 2
3 ASSASSIN’S CREED IV: BLACK FLAG UBISOFT 3
4 BATTLEFIELD 4 EA GAMES 4
5 GRAND THEFT AUTO V ROCKSTAR 6
6 NEED FOR SPEED: RIVALS EA GAMES 8
7 LEGO MARVEL SUPER HEROES WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE 5
8 JUST DANCE 2014 UBISOFT 7
9 MINECRAFT: XBOX 360 EDITION MICROSOFT 10
10 GRAN TURISMO 6 SONY COMPUTER ENT. 11
11 BATMAN: ARKHAM ORIGINS WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE 12
12 WWE 2K14 2K SPORTS 14
13 FORZA MOTORSPORT 5 MICROSOFT 15
14 KILLZONE: SHADOW FALL SONY COMPUTER ENT. 9
15 SKYLANDERS SWAP FORCE SKYLANDERS 13
16 KNACK SONY COMPUTER ENT. 18
17 FOOTBALL MANAGER 2014 SEGA 18
18 DISNEY INFINITY DISNEY INFINITY 16
19 DEAD RISING 3 MICROSOFT 18
20 ALIENS: COLONIAL MARINES SEGA 20

What games did you pick up this Christmas, been hitting the chart toppers or bargain hunting in this months massive Steam sale?

Official Announcement Made For A PC Version Of Upcoming Tom Clancy Title, The Division

The Division is an upcoming renown MMO from Ubisoft and Massive Entertainment, which runs the state of the art Snowdrop Engine. It just happens that during a Reddit Q&A, the developer talked about the PC version of the game. Yes, there will be a PC version as well it seems. But wait, there’s more! It seems that the PC version will not be treated as a “porting”, but very much like a “full-fledged” game.

“As you know, Massive has its roots in PC development. We are working hard and we want to make sure that we have a very high quality experience on PC. You can be sure that our PC version won’t be a port, but a full-fledged, optimized version! We want to create the best game possible regardless of what platform you play on.” Massive stated at the Reddit Q&A.

This is some incredibly exciting news, as the PC version should look the best out of every platform The Division is released on. I bet everyone is excited, especially since this is the first official news about a PC version in the works. For those who are unaware, The Division was known as a Next-Gen exclusive up until now. But not anymore!

Thank you TweakTown for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of GamingBolt

Warhorse Studios To Release Kingdom Come: Deliverance On PC And Next-Gen Consoles

Nearly 18 months after its inception, independent video game development house Warhorse Studios have announced details of its debut title, Kingdom Come: Deliverance. Coming to PC and next-gen consoles in 2015 the game is an open world  action-adventure role-playing game featuring blockbuster production values, a nonlinear story and revolutionary, first-person melee combat.

Leveraging decades of combined experience in AAA game development, including titles in the Mafia, Crysis, ArmA and Operation Flashpoint franchises, the creative talent powering Warhorse Studios is well-versed in pushing the boundaries of RPG storytelling in sprawling, immersive environments.

“The team’s ambition for Kingdom Come: Deliverance is growing this ever-maturing sandbox genre in a believable, real-world context and scope,” remarked studio Creative Director Dan Vávra. “To that end, we’re harnessing CryENGINE 3, nonlinear narrative, varied freedom in character progression, and a consequence-laden living world in ways that have never been possible until now.”

Rooted within the Holy Roman Empire during the late Middle Ages, Kingdom Come: Deliverance promises a first-person seat to a harsh and brutal power struggle for the throne. As players traverse expansive, strikingly detailed locales, they’ll grapple with a range of period-accurate fighting techniques, horseback combat, open-field sieges, and large-scale battles, all while developing relationships and a reputation that will inform the greater story. Kingdom Come: Deliverance promises no magic, high fantasy or mythical overtones – it draws its inspiration instead from historically authentic characters, themes, and warfare.

Further details for Kingdom Come: Deliverance will be released on January 20th, 2014. With such a talented team behind the game we’ve got high hopes for this one and we’re certainly excited to hear news of a new IP in today’s current sequel loving market.

Thank you KingdomcomeRPG for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of KingdomcomeRPG.

Wink And Snap A Photo With Google Glass

Google Glass has updated software in its internet-linked eyewear to allow users to snap pictures by winking. The new feature, which promises to escalate privacy concerns already being voiced about the hi-tech gadget, came as one of an array of improvements. Google Glass posted on its Google+ social network page;

“We have got a new setting that lets you quickly and easily capture the moments you care about with a simple wink of the eye. We are starting with pictures, but just think about what else is possible.”

Notions put forth included Glass wearers some way paying for cab rides by winking at meters or paying for something in a shop with a blink. Other updates included letting owners lock eyewear so it can not be used unless a person knows the “handshake” of swipes and taps. The “Glassware” code powering the device was also modified to allow uploads directly to the Google-owned video sharing site YouTube.

“Glass is about helping you look up and experience the world around you without getting bogged down by technology,” Google said.

The hi-tech accoutrement lets wearers take pictures, record video, send messages or perform other tasks with touch controls or by speaking commands. It connects to the internet using Wi-Fi hot spots or being tethered to smartphones. Facebook, Twitter and major news organizations have already tailored apps for Google Glass, which has only been made available to developers and a limited selection of “explorers” who paid $1,500 each for the hi-tech eyewear. Envisioned uses range from practical tasks such as shopping or delivering local weather reports, to sharing real time video streams or playing augmented reality games, in which the world would be the board or platform.

Google has not made an announcement for a public release date for Google Glass, however speculation is that it will arrive around early 2014.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4EvNxWhskf8[/youtube]

Welcome to Google Glass, an insight on Google Glass’s settings and functions

Thank you News.com.au for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of AP 

NVIDIA States That PC Is Far Superior To Next-Gen Consoles

According to Nvidia, the PC platform is the perfect gaming machine ever made. According to Matt Wright, consumer sales manager at Nvidia, “The PC platform is far superior to any console when it comes to gaming.” and this isn’t the first time that Nvidia has compared PCs to consoles.

What NVIDIA is trying to achieve is draw users who haven’t yet decided what to buy as a gaming platform. Wright spoke about the company’s plan during an interview at MCV:

“We are proposing small form-factor PCs to be a viable alternative to the next-gen consoles. Enthusiast players want the ultimate games system and that is the PC. We want to make PC gaming as simple as possible and we think that it’s already becoming much more relevant and appealing to casual gamers.”

It seems that NVIDIA has recognized that complexity is a real issue that separates PC and console gaming. Some people prefer a cozy and simple environment for gaming, leading to the Console preference where you just insert the DVD in the console and just play. Whereas the PC is for more enthusiastic users where gaming and hardware preference intersect, giving users a wider approach in customizing the gear and performance to better suit the individual’s gaming needs.

Wright went on to speak about Steam’s influence on the market as well:

“Steam now has more users than Xbox Live. There is a whole new generation who grew up playing on PC with titles like Minecraft or World of Tanks. There’s a huge community who love playing their games on PC.”

Wright is making a comparison here between the generation who grew up with Nintendo and PlayStation and the generation who were drawn to the PC’s gaming approach, with games such as World of Warcraft and World of Tanks. Having all that said, there are still ups and downs when comparing PC to Console.

First of all, the main issue with PC is exclusivity. There are some games you just can’t get on PC. Grand Theft Auto 5 and Dead Rising 3 are some examples, two big titles that can only be played on a console. But when it comes to performance, the consoles are capped at 720p with 30 FPS, whereas PCs are not. Who wouldn’t enjoy a 4K experience with 16x anti-aliasing?

The main point, for PCs at least, is that security measures for games are practically non-existent and all PC games are inevitably being pirated, thus the console exclusivity appearing. NVIDIA has a point here, why restrict gaming on some platforms, especially PC, where consoles can also be modded and users can still play pirated versions on their consoles as well? Gaming enthusiasts should be able to play their favorite games on the best platform ever made, and that is the PC.

In the end, the everyone decides what’s the best option for him or her, whether it’s the console or PC. But having more and more restrictions on PCs will really affect the platform and user choice in terms of gaming, despite what NVIDIA is trying to prove here.

Thank you TechSpot for providing us with this information

Forget Watch Dogs, Peggle 2 Has Been Delayed!

OK so a tad sensationalist on the title there, but if you’ve played the first Peggle, you’ll know how addictive and fun the game can be. Now Peggle 2 joins the ranks of Watch Dogs and Drive Club as it is delayed from being a launch title on next-gen consoles.

The game was supposed to be a day one title for Xbox One but has now been pushed back a few weeks.

When speaking with GamesBeat, PopCap senior director of PR Garth Chouteau said that “But [it] will not launch day-and-date with the Xbox One — instead, it will become available a few weeks later in December.”

The exact new date hasn’t been revealed, but if you were looking forward to playing this one at release, then you’ll have to sit tight. But for now all we can do is hope that more games, big or small, don’t get any more delays so close to the launch window of the consoles.

Personally I’m more upset that Watch Dogs is delayed, as well as Drive Club, but it seems as we are now just weeks away the launch window titles grow fewer and fewer.

Thank you Dual Shockers for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Dual Shockers.

November 2013 Games Release Schedule (All Formats)

Next month is already shaping up to be one of the biggest months in gaming history, not only do we have the launch of two new consoles going head to head as we approach Christmas, but we also have all the games that come with it. Add to the the usual Christmas big hitters and the fact that current get consoles have never been so good in terms of releases. PC gaming is stronger than ever and even the WiiU and mobile platforms are doing really well. There may be fan boys among you, there may be members of the PC Master Race, but no matter what you choose, 2013 has been and continues to be a great year for gamers.

Just look at the list below, Battlefield 4, Assassin’s Creed IV, Call of Duty, Batman, XCOM, Fifa 14, Forza V, Ryse and more pack out the list for some serious gaming action across a great range of formats.

There are more games coming out next month that what is in this list, but we’ve cut out some junk, cleared out the cheap mobile gaming releases and focused on the things we think you’ll love. Either way, this next month is going to empty your wallet and if you’re saving for a next-gen console to play some of these on it’s certainly going to be an expensive end to the year.

Battlefield 4 X360 01/11/2013
WWE 2K14 PS3 – X360 01/11/2013
Angry Birds Star Wars 3DS – PS3 – Wii – X360 01/11/2013
Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag PS3 – X360 01/11/2013
Power Rangers MEGAFORCE 3DS 01/11/2013
SpongeBob SquarePants: Plankton’s Robotic Revenge DS 01/11/2013
Call of Duty: Ghosts PC – PS3 – PS4 – X360 05/11/2013
Zumba Fitness World Party Wii – WiiU – X360 05/11/2013
Batman: Arkham Origins WiiU 08/11/2013
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow Collection PS3 – X360 08/11/2013
Assassin’s Creed Heritage Collection PS3 – X360 08/11/2013
Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games WiiU 08/11/2013
Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy 3DS 08/11/2013
DuckTales Remastered PS3 – X360 12/11/2013
XCOM: Enemy Within Mac – PC – PS3 – X360 12/11/2013
Blood Knights Mac – PC- X360 13/11/2013
Chivalry: Deadliest Warrior PC 14/11/2013
Deadfall Adventures PC – X360 15/11/2013
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 3DS – DS – PC – PS3 – WiiU – X360 15/11/2013
Transformers Ultimate Autobots Edition DS 15/11/2013
Transformers Ultimate Battle Edition DS – Wii 15/11/2013
X Rebirth PC 15/11/2013
AquaPazza PS3 19/11/2013
FIFA 14 XO 19/11/2013
SimCity Villes de demain PC 19/11/2013
The Amazing Spider-Man PSV 19/11/2013
Rugby League Live 2 World Cup Edition PS3 – X360 21/11/2013
Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag PC – PS4 – WiiU – XO 22/11/2013
Need for Speed Rivals PC – PS3 – X360 22/11/2013
The Amazing Spider-Man Ultimate Edition PSV 22/11/2013
The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds 3DS 22/11/2013
Zumba Fitness World Party XO 22/11/2013
Zumba World Party Wii – WiiU – X360 22/11/2013
Injustice: Gods Among Us Ultimate Edition PC – PS3 – X360 29/11/2013
Super Mario 3D World WiiU 29/11/2013
Ben 10 Omniverse 2 3DS – PS3 – Wii – WiiU – X360 November
D4 XO November
Dead Rising 3 XO November
Forza Motorsport 5 XO November
Journey of a Roach MAC – PC November
Just Dance 2014 XO November
Kinect Sports Rivals XO November
LEGO Friends 3DS – DS November
Ryse: Son of Rome XO November
Saint Seiya Brave Soldiers PS3 November
Zoo Tycoon XO November

Which titles will you be picking up this month, or will you be holding off until prices come down before picking some of them up? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.