Mirror’s Edge Catalyst System Requirements Revealed

Mirror’s Edge is one of the most inventive games in recent memory due to the enthralling first person perspective and intense parkour mechanics. Furthermore, you feel a sense of being vulnerable and have to rely on your evasion skills instead of traditional weaponry. Personally, I absolutely adore the Mirror’s Edge formula and cannot wait for its sequel, Mirror’s Edge Catalyst which is currently scheduled for release on May 24th in the US. EA has just released the minimum PC requirements prior to the game’s release:

MINIMUM:

  • OS: Windows® 7 64-Bit (use the latest Service Pack)
  • CPU: Intel i3-3250 / AMD FX-6350. (Note: Mirror’s Edge Catalyst requires at least 4 logical cores to run.)
  • RAM: 6 GB
  • HARD DRIVE: At least 25 GB of free space
  • VIDEO: NVIDIA GeForce® GTX 650 Ti 2GB or better / AMD Radeon R9 270x or better
  • INPUT: Keyboard and mouse, dual analogue controller

RECOMMENDED:

  • OS: Windows® 10 64-Bit (use the latest Service Pack)
  • CPU: Intel Core i7-3770 at 3.4 GHz / AMD FX-8350 at 4.0 GHz
  • RAM: 16 GB
  • HARD DRIVE: At least 25 GB of free space
  • VIDEO: NVIDIA GeForce® GTX 970 4GB or better / AMD Radeon R9 280x 3GB or better
  • INPUT: Keyboard and mouse, dual analogue controller

Most PC gamers with a relatively modern system should be able to play the game without any complications. However, quoted specifications rarely give an insight into a game’s optimization and there’s no information regarding the resolution used. On the other hand, 16GB of RAM is a large amount considering a large number of people are still using 8GB. As always, we will have a performance analysis report which outlines the frame-rate across various graphics cards.

Are you looking forward to Mirror’s Edge Catalyst?

Netflix Isn’t Against Offline Viewing

Netflix is a huge company, with price increases to help cover the increased traffic that people use with the HD streaming experience. In a recent call though Netflix may look at helping you watch those movies on the go while avoiding the data usage costs that come with offline viewing.

CEO Reed Hastings responded to questions about the possibility of letting its subscribers watch shows offline by saying that they would “keep an open mind on all this”. Part of the reason Hastings gives for this open approach is the “uneven set of networks” that Netflix is noticing as they expand to new areas of the world.

With Netflix’s Chief Product Officer, Neil Hunt, stating last year that they wouldn’t add the feature thanks to the “complexity [it brings] to your life”, directly followed by “with Amazon Prime”. Amazon Prime lets you download and stream shows, and with a new pricing model offering monthly subscriptions, Netflix may be changing their tone to help fight off the competition in the media streaming market.

With services like Sky Go, Amazon Prime and even BBC’s iPlayer letting you watch content offline, Netflix is one of the few services that doesn’t offer offline viewing, something that can often put people on or off services when their internet cuts out mid-show.

VAIO, Fujitsu and Toshiba PC Division Merger Stalls

With the PC market being increasingly commoditized, those firms without economies of scale are seeing their PC divisions are more of a liability than an asset. After being spun off from Sony nearly 3 years ago, VAIO entered talks with Fujitsu and Toshiba to merge their PC divisions together. Combined, the 3 would have challenged current Japanese market leader NEC Lenovo. Unfortunately, it appears that the talks have broken down for now.

The main breakdown in the negotiations was due to disagreements on how to merge assets. Japan Industrial Partners, the majority owner of VAIO, wanted to cut as much fat as possible during the merger. Fujitec on the other hand, wanted to keep as many of their current assets as possible and wanted to minimize restructuring. Toshiba seemed to be in no rush to close a deal even as their finances plunged even more into the red.

As the situation continues to deteriorate for the 3 firms, they may soon be back at the table to hammer out a deal. Combined, they would have over 30% of the domestic and just over 3% of the global market. That just might be enough to save them from disappearing. On their own though, they are unlikely to stand a chance of lasting any sustained period of time.

DOOM Will Not Be Locked to 60 FPS on PC – Glorious!

When it comes to the PC vs Console argument there is one topic that always seems to emerge no matter how the discussion starts, frames per second. With consoles having optimised programming and locked hardware many are locked to lower frame rates while PC users are often after a smoother experience at a higher frame rate. People who took part in the DOOM open beta were worried when they found the PC version had in fact been locked to 60 FPS, something the developers has now stated to reassure the crowds that DOOM will not be locked to 60 FPS on the PC.

The confirmation comes from the official DOOM twitter page, reassuring players that the game was only locked to 60 FPS for beta purposes, but at launch the game will enjoy unrestricted frames.

Releasing on May 13th the new game engine used to power the game, id Tech 6, also supports multi-GPU’s, meaning those graphics cards can let you enjoy unleashing hell in full graphical glory. With games like Dark Souls 3 getting warnings from their fans when Capcom, publisher for the game, stated that it would run at 30 FPS on PC (something which the Dark Souls twitter account quickly confirmed as misinformation), frames per second means a lot to some gamers, with the smoother experience often making or breaking their enjoyment with the game.

While you are waiting for the release of DOOM why not try converting your original DOOM game into 007 Goldeneye?

The Humble Telltale Bundle is an Adventure Fan’s Dream

Telltale games quickly became a legendary studio due to the release of iconic series including Sam & Max. The company’s ability to create memorable characters and a captivating story made the studio a firm favourite among adventure game aficionados. Traditionally, adventure titles revolve around point and click mechanics to merge items together, investigate the surrounding area or speak to various characters. In recent times, Telltale revolutionized the adventure genre and created their own new form of storytelling. The latest Telltale games offer an engaging narrative and alters the story based on your decisions during conversations. There’s not much puzzle solving involved or trying to fathom how to progress to the next section.

This has spawned a number of highly successful releases including The Walking Dead, The Wolf Among Us and Tales from the Borderlands. It also inspired the creators of Life is Strange, which is one of the greatest games I’ve ever seen. The latest Humble Bundle includes a number of the company’s games at ridiculously low prices. The opening tier includes Back to the Future: The Game, Sam & Max: Devil’s Playhouse, Poker Night at the Inventory, Puzzle Agent 1 & 2 and The Walking Dead Season 1. This costs a mere $1 and offers exceptional value. The Walking Dead Season One on its own will keep you entertained for some time due to its gripping story.

The next tier comes with The Walking Dead: 400 days, The Wolf Among Us, Poker Night 2, Tales from the Borderlands and there’s more games to come very soon. Honestly, I would recommend paying the extra for this option because Tales from the Borderlands is hilarious and contains some of the best writing I’ve encountered in a video game. The final package which requires a payment of $12 or more is bundled with Games of Thrones and The Walking Dead Season 2. These are another highlight and well worth the asking price.

How To Make Titanfall 2 Better – Mechs With Swords!

We all love video games which stretch the imagination and add a new form of combat to the mix, be that controlling drones to spot your prey before they see you or having echo goggles to locate the biggest threat before you’ve even left your cardboard box, Titanfall did the opposite. Rather than going small, Titanfall wanted to make combat bigger, and it did so by introducing giant mechs, so how will Titanfall 2 beat this? Mechs with Swords!

Titanfall had two battlegrounds mixed into one, the fast and agile pilots running for cover amongst the giant towering Mech suits that seemed to rain down on the battlefield. When it came to combat you would often find yourself preparing a volley of rounds only to have a shield deflect them back at you, a fate which often caused pilots and mechs alike to fall, so the natural inclusion of swords will topple the shields kill count in classic mecha style!

With Titanfall 2 also offering a campaign mode, something that was sorely missing from the original, players can expect to enjoy the chaos on PC, Xbox One, and PS4.  With the original game suffering from a post-release drop in players, let us hope that Respawn, its creators, and masterminds, are able to keep the game running longer so more are able to enjoy the mecha battles that they will always crave for.

Final Fantasy IX PC Version Requires Android SDK

Final Fantasy IX is often regarded as one of the series’ greatest games and became a real showcase of the PlayStation One’s ability to offer deep, enriching gameplay. Of course, it’s usually overshadowed by Final Fantasy VII but this shouldn’t detract from the new skill system and captivating story. Historically, Final Fantasy games have predominately adopted a console focus and very few titles initially released on the PC platform. However, the dramatic rise of mobile gaming and PC encouraged Square Enix to port these games after seeing the possibility of enhance sales.

The latest entry to arrive on Steam is Final Fantasy IX and the company has just released the game’s plug-ins disclosure. Unbelievably, the PC version requires the Android SDK to run as well as the Autobuilder license:

Plugin Licenses

In order to play FINAL FANTASY IX it is necessary to download and install a software installer program and certain third-party plugins. The installer software incorporates certain third-party plug-ins, which are governed by the open source licenses and other provisions ascribed to them below. The application of these licenses is limited strictly only to the plugins to which they are stated expressly to apply:

Android Support Library / Android SDK Terms and Conditions, Apache License 2.0

Android Support Library

http://developer.android.com/tools/sdk/ndk/index.html

Android SDK

http://developer.android.com/sdk/index.html

Terms and Conditions

http://developer.android.com/sdk/terms.html

Copyright (C) 2005-2013 The Android Open Source Project

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the “License”); you may not use this file except in compliance with the License. You may obtain a copy of the License at

http://www.apache.org/licenses/LICENSE-2.0

Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software distributed under the License is distributed on an “AS IS” BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied. See the License for the specific language governing permissions and limitations under the License.

As expected due to the game’s age, the system requirements are extremely low:

MINIMUM:

    • OS: Vista /7/8/8.1/10
    • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo 2GHz or higher
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 8600GTS or ATI Radeon HD4650 or higher
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Storage: 7 GB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectSound® compatible sound card(DirectX®9.0c or later)

RECOMMENDED:

    • OS: Windows 7/8/8.1/10 (32bit / 64bit)
    • Processor: Core i5 2520 2.5GHz or better
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Storage: 20 GB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectSound® compatible sound card(DirectX®9.0c or later)
 Are you looking forward to playing Final Fantasy IX on PC?

More ‘Technically Developed’ FF XV PC Version Being Considered

The Final Fantasy series is one of the most iconic creations in video game history and continues to attract a very passionate following. Unfortunately, the latest entries haven’t really been noteworthy or lived up to the original’s magical formula. Despite this, they are still a visual treat and took the previous consoles to their technical limits. Of course, the Final Fantasy franchise has strong roots in the console market and many of the games didn’t initially have a PC version.

Thankfully, the influx of obscure Japanese games and willingness from publishers to unleash JRPGs on the PC platform makes the notion of console exclusives less prevalent. Some time ago, Final Fantasy XIII, XIII-2 and XIII Lightning returns came to Steam with enhanced visuals and an improved frame-rate. The next game in the series, Final Fantasy XV isn’t coming to PC, however this could change in the near future.

Hajime Tabata said in an interview with JeuxVideo which was translated via a Reddit post:

“I’m quite positive about the idea of developing a PC version, but I would like to make a very different project if possible. The reason I’m interested is that a PC version would propel the game to another technical level. I have in mind a version of Final Fantasy XV that is more technically developed. This version could incorporate things that we were forced to abandon because of the limitations of home consoles. With the PC, this would be an opportunity to release a version far superior in terms of quality and tech. That said, if we choose to develop this project, the development will start from scratch by doing research of what would be the best technology to use. It might not be a simple port of the console version.”

While the current consoles are capable of running Final Fantasy XV, it might not fulfil the development team’s full artistic vision. Perhaps, a PC version in the future without any technical constraints could feature smoother gameplay and 4K support. Also, when the PC version is being made, it’s likely to be launched on new consoles with greatly improved hardware.

Everybody’s Gone to The Rapture PC Requirements Released

Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture is an enthralling adventure game set in the idyllic Shropshire countryside. Developed by The Chinese Room, the game was well received and praised for its gorgeous visual design. Furthermore, the accompanying soundtrack is sublime and greatly enhances the tense experience. Initially, Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture launched as an exclusive PlayStation 4 title and is now making it’s way to the PC platform. Here’s a brief synopsis of what the game entails in the developer’s own words:

“Deep within the Shropshire countryside, the village of Yaughton stands empty. Toys lie forgotten in the playground, the wind blows quarantine leaflets around the silent churchyard. Down on Appleton’s farm, crops rustle untended. The birds lie where they have fallen.

Strange voices haunt the radio waves as uncollected washing hangs listlessly on the line. The televisions are tuned to vacant channels. Above it all, the telescopes of the Observatory point out at dead stars and endless darkness. And someone remains behind, to try and unravel the mystery.
Immerse yourself in a rich, deep adventure from award-winning developer The Chinese Room and investigate the last days of Yaughton Valley. Uncover the traces of the vanished community; discover fragments of events and memories to piece together the mystery of the apocalypse.”

As with any new release on Steam, the developer has listed the game’s requirements listed below:

MINIMUM:

    • OS: 64-bit Windows 7, 64-bit Windows 8 (8.1) or 64-bit Windows 10
    • Processor: Intel Core i5-4570T 2.9 GHz / AMD FX-6100 3.3 GHz
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Ti / AMD Radeon HD 6850
    • DirectX: Version 11
    • Storage: 8 GB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX Compatible

RECOMMENDED:

    • OS: 64-bit Windows 10
    • Processor: Intel Core i7-4770S 3.1 GHz / AMD FX-8320 3.5 GHz
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 / AMD Radeon HD 7970
    • DirectX: Version 11
    • Storage: 8 GB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX Compatible

The minimum specification is fairly modest and should run on relatively modern systems.

PS4 Update Sneaks in Key New Features

While most people know that the new firmware update for PlayStation 4 allows gamers to remote play via Windows PC (but not Windows 7, sadly), Sony managed to sneak through a number of appealing new features that didn’t make the headlines, including support for 4TB external drives.

Thankfully, A reddit thread has emerged, detailing all the “tweaks” introduced by the update, from those advertised by Sony to ones discovered by PS4 owners during their own investigations:

Detailed Tweaks:

  1. User Scheduled/Created Events;
  2. Play Together button – easily invite people in your party to the same game;
  3. Friend online notifications can be turned on or off on a person to person basis;
  4. Appear offline;
  5. Remote play on PC/Mac;
  6. Dailymotion Live Support for streaming, etc;
  7. Teens (13-17) can now create their own accounts with limited access to play offline games, rather than having to use a sub-account;
  8. Easier to search for communities by text, language, time zone;
  9. You can now share OTHER people’s activities so your friend’s can see it too;
  10. Tweaks to messaging – you can see short replies to messages without jumping to a different screen;
  11. You can TAG other players when sharing video and screenshots (if you have your FB/Twitter permissions enabled, the tags will carry over to the sharing on those sites);
  12. You can check the status of PSN (this is a feature? just use the website…);
  13. USB music player is back;
  14. Improvements to PS+ (improvements to managing online storage and ability to see friends who play the same games as you).

Unannounced Tweaks:

  1. You can disable the screenshot on-screen notification (in Settings under Notifications) allowing you to take multiple screenshots in a row without the screenshot taken pop-up. The sound indicating the screenshot was taken still functions as normal;
  2. Life From PlayStation Improvements:
  • There’s a search field on the game list now. Previously you had to use the “global” search, that’d return matches for everything (pre-recorded, videos, screenshots) and not just live streams;
  • You can pin up to three games that will stay on the top of the list. I watch Bloodborne and DS2 streams all the time, now I don’t have to scroll down every time to find them;
  1. You can set a party member limit now. From 2-8 people;
  2. Issue with early PS4s and >2TB HDDs has (probably) been fixed.

Quantum Break Dev Investigating PC Version’s “Potential Issues”

Quantum Break was the catalyst which sparked Microsoft’s new plans to launch major Xbox One exclusives on their new Windows 10 store. The Universal Windows Platform is designed to bring PC gamers and console players together while offering an alternative to the Steam store. Unfortunately, the UWP’s launch has been pretty disastrous due to the lack of basic features including mod support, an uncapped frame-rate, ability to use frame-rate monitoring software and lots more! Thankfully, Microsoft acknowledged that it’s unacceptable and work needs to be done. However, why release it in such a state? Surely, that’s going to create a negative reputation and it would have been a better idea to delay the UWP’s release.

Not only that, the UWP games thus far have suffered from huge performance problems. For example, Gears of War: Ultimate Edition on launch was full of hitching and became unplayable on AMD graphics cards. The latest title, Quantum Break is an absolutely breathtaking game but the PC version features an abysmal level of optimization. As a result, it’s ridiculous challenging to even obtain 30 frames-per-second using a 1920×1080 monitor with extreme hardware. Increasing the resolution to 2560×1440 and 4K exacerbates these issues even further.

In a post on the NeoGAF forums, Remedy Entertainment head of PR, Thomas Puha reassured fans opting for the Windows version and said:

“We are monitoring the discussion and what is going on. I had written a longer response, but it’s just gonna be misunderstood etc, so what I will say is that, rest assured, lot of work went into the Win10 version and we are looking at the reactions now as well as potential issues.”

Remedy are also working on a bug which covers the screen with intermittent blinking lights. Apparently, this will be fixed in the latest patch. I’m honestly really surprised by the technical ineptitude of Quantum Break considering Remedy’s reputation and love for the PC platform. To me it suggests one clear notion, that the PC version was rushed and approved at the last possible moment.

How Many Idiots Will Plug Random USB Drives into Their Computer?

You’d have to be stupid to pick up a random USB drive off the ground and connect it into your PC, right? If the answer is yes (which it is), then there’s a whole lot of dunces out there wilfully putting their computer security at risk. A new study by researchers from the University of Illinois, the University of Michigan, and Google has revealed that at least half of people will pick up a foreign USD drive they find and use it.

As told in a paper titled “Users Really Do Plug in USB Drives They Find” [PDF], the researchers investigated “the anecdotal belief that end users will pick up and plug in USB flash drives they find by completing a controlled experiment in which we drop 297 flash drives on a large university campus.” The results found “that the attack is effective with an estimated success rate of 45–98% and expeditious with the first drive connected in less than six minutes.”

297 test USB drives were dropped at random locations around the University of Illinois’ Urbana Champaign campus. 98% of these drives were moved from their drop location, with 48% plugging them into their computers and opening the files stored on it.

“It’s easy to laugh at these attacks, but the scary thing is that they work—and that’s something that needs to be addressed,” lead researcher Matt Tischer told Vice Motherboard.

68% of those who used the USB drives admitted that they took no precautions when using the USB device when questioned afterwards.

“I trust my macbook to be a good defense against viruses,” said one of the USB users, while another confessed, “I sacrificed a university computer.”

Viruses should be the least people’s worries: last year, we reported on the Killer USBs, versions 1.0 and 2.0, a pair of flash drives designed to fry any computer into which it is plugged.

“There are no easy solutions to these problems, but they will certainly extend beyond simply the technical to include a deeper understanding of the social, behavioral, and economic factors that affect human behavior,” Tischer added. “There is a difference between warning users that a particular action is dangerous and convincing them to actually avoid it. We need to close that gap.”

Harmonix Claims Rock Band 4’s PC Audience is Too Small

Earlier today, we reported on the news that Rock Band’s 4 Fig campaign had ended and only managed to amass 52 percent of the whopping $1.5 million target. Since then, Harmonix has released a final update explaining why they believe the crowdfunding campaign wasn’t a successful venture and said:

“How do we feel about the end of the campaign? Disappointed, obviously. There’s no shortage of people at Harmonix who love Rock Band, and some of us got extra excited at the prospect of bringing back RBN, and even more about getting the chance to expose RB to a brand new audience.”

“But at the same time we learned exactly what we needed to learn: there doesn’t seem to be enough of an audience to make Rock Band for PC a viable project for us right now. We’re committed to supporting and improving RB4 on consoles. To be clear, we raised nearly $800,000 via backers and investors; it’s an impressive showing of support from our community and for our brand. But as an independent developer we have to be careful about how much money and development time we risk on a project we’re not sure has a big enough audience, and crowdfunding allowed us to (among other things)* judge the market fit for Rock Band PC.”

According to Harmonix, the main reason for failing to reach the funding target was due to a lack of enthusiasm in the PC market. At first glance, this seems a little bit rash and trying to blame consumers for not investing. There’s a huge array of reasons why PC players were sceptical of backing the project. Firstly, the $1.5 million target is quite substantial and might have deterred people from backing smaller amounts. Even though Harmonix is now an independent company and no longer associated with Viacom/MTV, it’s difficult to shake off the past business arrangements. By this, I mean consumers don’t perceive Harmonix as a cash strapped company struggling to pay for development costs. On another note, why did the company decide to use Fig instead of Kickstarter?

To be fair, Harmonix has directly addressed the key questions about their funding campaign in the latest update and it’s well worth reading before making your own opinion.

Thank you to RobotBrush for providing us with this information:

Do you think Harmonix has a valid point, or are they blaming consumers for being wary of their crowdfunding project?

Hitman PC Patch 1.03 Enhances DirectX 12 Performance

The Hitman franchise quickly became a firm favourite with stealth aficionados due to the tense takedowns and open world environments. Even though Hitman Absolution felt a little out-of-place, the game’s core mechanics were solid and provided an excellent experience. Its sequel was originally intended to be a standard full price release but this was quickly changed to suit an episodic business model. This sudden alteration raised concerns about the game’s content and value proposition. However, the reception for the first episode was overwhelmingly positive and looks like it helped improve the overall pacing.

Today, the latest Hitman patch has been released which includes a number of performance enhancements using the DirectX 12 render. This is vital because the DirectX 12 option created some performance issues on numerous setups. There’s also new challenges and a host of other content in the 1.03 update. Here is the changelog in full:

General game improvements

  • The Vampire Magician Challenge Pack : 10 new challenges that were inspired by how our community have been playing the game.
  • Continued improvements to load times: The improvements will be most notable when loading The Showstopper mission in Paris and we’re already working on improving all loading times even more.
  • Improved responsiveness for in-game menus and image loading: We’ve implemented an image caching system that will improve responsiveness and loading times for all images in the game menu.
  • Fixed issues with scoring: Primarily, this fixes an issue that resulted in many players earning a “0 second” time bonus and an incorrect score of 210,000. A leaderboard reset will be implemented at a later date.
  • Continued improvements to connectivity: Server stability improvements.

PC-specific improvements

General gameplay

  • Prompts for dumping a body now appear, regardless of the positioning of the game camera, both in Showstopper and Final Test missions.
  • 47 no longer drops a body immediately after starting to drag it.
  • Unnoticed kills or subdue will no longer trigger a brief “compromised” state. This previously caused players to fail the ‘never spotted’ reward.
  • The ‘visibly armed’ warning is now always shown when 47 is carrying a large weapon on his back.
  • The light rig (Showstopper) and life raft (Freeform Training) can now be reliably dropped using explosives.
  • Opportunities in Showstopper and Final Test have been made more consistent.
  • Fixed an issue where the first few seconds of the game would appear to run at double speed.

Showstopper

  • Novikov will no longer get stuck in an infinite loop during the Rare Scoop opportunity. This would happen if the player gets Max Decker to call Novikov whilst he is on his way to the interview.
  • Novikov will no longer talk to Dalia on the phone when she has already been eliminated.
  • Fixed a rare issue that made the “In Seine” challenge impossible to complete. This would happen when the Private Meeting opportunity overlapped with Novikov on stage at the Fashion Show.
  • Fixed an issue where the Showstopper mission could not be completed if the player calls Dalia during the Fireworks show whilst disguised as Helmut Kruger.

Crash Fixes

  • Fixed various crash issues that could occur when doing the following: loading a new stage in Escalation Contracts, loading the game or after exploding a gas cylinder.
  • Fixed a crash that occurred when shooting at the target in Freeform training during the “Searching” state.
  • Fixed many other crash issues that were occurring during gameplay.

Options

  • Added an option to the game launcher that allows players to override the ‘default memory safeguards’ and allow them to use any available resolution and graphic quality settings.
  • Increased resolution cap for players with 3gb graphics cards from 1920×1200 to 2560×1600.

DX12

  • DX12 shader and pipeline cache now included in all Steam builds.
  • Fixed a graphical issue with transparent windows on DX12.
  • Improved vertex colours on DX12.

Misc.

  • Briefings for Featured Contracts can now be viewed at the planning stage.
  • The ‘Contract Assassin’ achievement can now be completed.
  • The mouse cursor is now always visible on the ‘Load Game’ menu.
  • Fixed an issue where the game would get stuck at 12% loading between the Prologue missions.
  • Fixed a rare issue where players were asked to (re)download the Showstopper mission.

Hardware

  • Fixed a rare issue where the game was switching between controller and keyboard controls, due to detecting specific hardware as a ‘game controller’.

Massive Free Expansion Hits Black Desert Online

The visually stunning Korean MMO that is Black Desert Online just keeps on getting better and better. Aside from the fact that it already has one of the most in-depth and visual impressive character creation systems we’ve ever seen, as well as a rich world and booming in-game economy, the developers have now released the first of many expansions for the BDO universe.

The free “Mediah” update clocks in at a modest 2GB, and while that doesn’t sound like a lot, it adds more than a thousand new quests to the world! And if that wasn’t enough, you’ll find massive boss fights, such as the one against Kzarka, with hundreds of players capable of joining that single fight alone. There’s a new 40v40 PvP instance on Crimson Battlefield, and if that wasn’t enough, which it is, you’ll also find new weapons, armour, enchanted equipment and more for higher level players.

  • + World size increased by 30%
  • + Over 1,000 new quests
  • + Kzarka – An enormous boss that can take on hundreds of players at a time
  • + New guild missions, including special bosses that drop formidable weapons
  • + Crimson Battlefield – Instanced 40v40 skirmishes that players can queue for in groups of five or solo
  • + New weapons and more powerful armor set
  • + Craftable Alchemy Stones allow players to apply Attack, Defense, or Life bonuses to their equipment

The games developers, Pearl Abyss, aren’t stopping here either, teasing that new expansions will be coming thick and fast. Keep an eye on the horizon for ocean-based adventuring, allowing exploration above and below the waves, trading ships and even naval warfare. In short, Black Desert Online is already one of the most interesting MMOs out there and it just keeps on getting better in more ways than one.

“Daum Games today announced that Black Desert Online will be expanded with the huge Mediah region, tons of new quests, fierce bosses, and more as early as tomorrow, March 30. With the Mediah Expansion, players can rise to new levels of power and achieve greatness like never before.” – BDO

Oculus Home Sales Are Final – Despite EU Law

Buying the Oculus Rift is something that’s been stuck with its own issues recently, but I guess that is to be expected of any major hardware launch. However, it seems there’s a bit of a legal grey area buying content for the Rift, especially for those of us who live within the EU. Oculus Home, the digital store for supplying VR-ready titles, has declared that “all sales are final” when it comes to their refund policy.

So what does this mean? Well, if you buy a game, good luck getting your money back if you’re unhappy with the purchase and while for many, this won’t be an issue, it does fly in the face of laws in the EU that give consumers a right to a refund. The terms state that “All software purchases from the Oculus Store are final, and unless required by local law, no refunds will be provided.” and it’s that last part that causes problems, as the Oculus ToS section 4.11 states that “if you are located in the EU, you consent that the supply of the digital content may begin immediately following the completion of your purchase and you acknowledge that you therefore will lose any statutory rights you may have to withdraw and receive a refund.”

European Consumer Rights directives state that you have a 14-day cooling off period for any digital goods purchased, but you won’t get that right if you accept the terms of Oculus Home. Of course, Oculus aren’t the only ones doing this and even Valve walk a fine line here. However, Stream does offer a system for refunds that’s relatively in-line with the law, albeit it’s a fairly new feature to their service.

Oculus Home is already shutting out consumers from using other stores, such as Steam, to purchase their VR games, and they’re offering stricter ToS on top, not what I would call consumer-friendly at all and something we hope they improve on soon.

Microsoft Will “Never Force” Gamers to Compete Cross Platform says Phil Spencer

It is a growing trend amongst games to consider the inclusion of cross-platform play between PC and the current consoles. Even Microsoft’s own Windows Universal Platform and potential plans to make the Xbox One upgradable is making the line between the PC and console fuzzier than ever. Despite this, the head of Xbox, Phil Spencer wants to make sure that there are differences between the platforms.

Speaking at Microsoft Build’s keynote, Spencer explained that just because a number of games are coming to both the Xbox and the PC, doesn’t mean that there will be any kind of requirement forcing all games to be multi-platform between the PC and Xbox. He also explained that he wants to make sure that players using different control methods for their game won’t be forced to play against others using a different method.

“I’ll never force somebody in our games whose playing with a controller or a mouse and keyboard to play against somebody with a different control scheme,” he said. “Mouse and keyboard rotation speed is faster than controller. We know that, you’ll lose.”

That said, he wants to leave it up to the developers in regards to the available control methods and cross-platform support in their games. Exactly how these cross-play restrictions will be placed based on control scheme is currently hard to tell, with controllers already an option for many PC games and the Xbox One already confirmed to be getting support for mouse and keyboard controls in the future.

Square Enix Considering “Higher Spec” Version of Final Fantasy XV for PC

While Square Enix has not yet confirmed that its forthcoming JRPG epic Final Fantasy XV will arrive on PC, it seems that, if it does, it will be a “higher spec” version running on DirectX 12. The current version of the game, due out for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 later this year, was built using DirectX 11 “generation tech.”

“The DX11 generation tech used for #FFXV is for console only,” a Tweet from the official Final Fantasy XV Twitter account reads. “Once FFXV is out on console we may look at a higher spec version for PC.”

Whether this “higher spec” PC version of the game actually see the light of day is yet to be decided, though, despite admissions from Square Enix that it is “aware of the big call for a PC version.”

“Unfortunately we weren’t able to do simultaneous development on a PC and console version for XV,” FFXV Director Hajime Tabata told Engadget. “We had to focus on the console version and our goal was to maximize, optimize everything for the HD consoles. Once that’s done, then we will definitely take a good, hard look at PC and what we need to do, and consider all our options. But right now we aren’t decided, we’re still considering a lot of things.”

The free Platinum Demo of Final Fantasy XV is available for download on PS4 and Xbox One now.

Microsoft UWP Will Help More Xbox Exclusives Arrive on PC

Microsoft’s Universal Windows Platform (UWP) program – an effort to unify Windows PCs with Xbox One, amongst other platforms – may have been branded a “sneaky manoeuvre” by Epic Games founder Tim Sweeney, but the company has revealed that its new UWP ecosystem will mean more Xbox One games will see concurrent release for PC.

During the keynote at the annual Microsoft Build conference, Xbox Chief Phil Spencer told the audience that the shared UWP code between PC and Xbox One will allow games developed for either platform to be ported to the other with ease.

“We’ve said from the start, we want Xbox One to be a great place for games, and also a great place for developers of all sizes, so you can create new games and application experiences,” Spencer said.

The Universal Windows Platform effectively means that writing code for one UWP platform automatically makes a game, app, or piece of software compatible with any and all systems that fall under the UWP banner. Windows 10 and Cortana have already started to roll out for Xbox One, while Quantum Break is due to hit both Windows 10 and Xbox One next week, which seems to be just the start of Microsoft’s overarching plan.

“With the Universal Windows Platform we’re able to drive it at 4K and 60 frames a second, the highest fidelity we’ve ever delivered,” Chris Tector, Senior Software Architect for Turn 10, said later. “The universal aspect that’s a real true promise for us is the ability to write our code once. We’re still going to tailor that experience so that it’s the best thing you can get on Xbox, the best thing you can get on PC.”

“But what it means is it’s reduced the development time for us and that really surfaces not only in the code that we write, but also the toolset that we get to use,” Tector added. “And that’s the thing that’s going to grow the most over time. Our goal as a first party is to make sure that platform that everyone’s running on is the best one they can deliver games on.”

Turn 10 Creative Director Dan Greenawalt agreed with his colleague, saying, “The Universal Windows Platform is great for the game developers and gamers alike. It’s going to become even more powerful as a way of delivering amazing experiences across all of the devices in the Windows ecosystem.”

 

 

 

HyperX Cloud Revolver Pro Gaming Headset Review

Introduction


HyperX is one of the most instantly recognisable brands in the PC market today, and that’s no surprise given that they have produced many fantastic quality memory products that are in countless systems around the world. They took a dive into the world of peripherals a few years ago, releasing their much-praised Cloud headset, and later their Cloud II. Now HyperX is back again with what is set to be their greatest headset to date, the HyperX Cloud Revolver.

Studio-grade sound stage for a competitive edge.

“HyperX Cloud RevolverTM has a wider audio range that creates depth and width for improved audio precision. Get the competitive edge by hearing your opponents’ location more accurately, even when they’re further away. Re-engineered audio pro les create a larger sound stage that’s ideal for FPS and open-environment gameplay and for a concert hall-like experience when listening to music.” – HyperX

Equipped with high-performance 50mm drivers, HyperX memory foam padding, a detachable noise-cancellation microphone, multi-platform support and TeamSpeak, Discord, Skype, Ventrilo, Mumble and RaidCall certification, the HyperX Cloud Revolver is one of the best equipped headsets you’ll find, so let’s jump right in and take a closer look at what it has to offer.

Specifications

Headphone

  • Driver dynamic, 50mm with neodymium magnets
  • Type circumaural, closed back
  • Frequency response 12Hz–28,000 Hz
  • impedance 30 Ω
  • Sound pressure level 104.5dBSPL/mW at 1kHz
  • THD < 2%
  • Input power rated 30mW, maximum 500mW
  • Weight 360g
  • Weight w/ mic 376g
  • Cable length and type headset (1m) + audio control box (2m)
  • Connection headset – 3.5mm plug (4 pole) + audio control box – 3.5mm stereo and mic plugs

Microphone

  • Element electret condenser microphone
  • Polar pattern uni-directional, noise-cancelling
  • Frequency response 50Hz–18,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity -40dBV (0dB=1V/Pa,1kHz)

The packaging is nicely designed, with a great image of the headset on the front, as well as a quick rundown of the main features and supported devices.

Around the back, a quick rundown of the steel frame design, control box, detachable microphone and more.

The box has a slip cover, behind which you’ll find a durable presentation box.

In the box, you’ll find extensive foam padding with the headset stored nice and snug in the middle, as well as the control box.

Finally, you’ll find the control box comes with dual 3.5mm gold-plated headers, and a small in-line controller. There’s also a fully detachable noise-cancelling microphone with a durable boom and a good-sized head.

Sony PlayStation VR May Make Its Way to PC

Over the years, there has been some hardware movement from consoles to PC, with things like the Xbox controllers moving over. In what might be the biggest hardware interoperability move, Sony is considering making the PlayStation VR work with PCs. This will allow gamers to use the upcoming VR headset on not only their PS4 but also their PC if they have one.

“Since PlayStation 4 shares a lot of its components with PCs, the possibility is there. At the moment we are focused on games and we are not ready to make any announcements at this stage, but I’d say there will be an expansion into various fields.”

The PlayStation VR currently sits a bit below the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, sporting a lower resolution display. However, the Sony display is significantly cheaper than its competitors and should still allow for an enjoyable VR gaming experience. It also sports a higher refresh rate at 120Hz, more than the usual 90Hz. Furthermore, there will be synergy between the PC and PS4, with users being able to enjoy a VR experience on both platforms with a single purchase.

Furthermore, there will be synergy between the PC and PS4, with users being able to enjoy a VR experience on both platforms with a single purchase. By expanding their potential market without having to do too much extra work, Sony will be able to invest more into VR with relatively lower risk.

SilverStone ES01 PCI-E Remote PC Switch Kit

Introduction


There are many forms of being lazy, or maybe we should rather call it an extra comfort feature that expands your abilities. Today I’m taking a closer look at SilverStone’s ES01 expansion card which allows you turn your PC on and off as well as reset it remotely. This can either be used as an extra security feature or as a simple addition to the already existing methods. The ES01 is available as both a PCI and a PCI-Express card, so you can make it work in almost any system. I’ll be taking a closer look at the PCI-Express x1 version today.

SilverStone’s ES01 is a convenient remote switch kit designed to wirelessly turn your computer on or off as well as reset it. It uses the existing 2.4GHz standard with RF wireless technology which is known to work great and offer a great range. The ES01 remote kit is rated for a range of up to 20 meters which is quite cool and allows you to work the magic from afar.

The adapter comes with an included Y-cable which ensures that your computer case’s own power and reset buttons can be used concurrently with the ES01. You normally wouldn’t want to rely purely on a remote for such a crucial function, and you don’t need to. However, at the same time the ES01 it can be used without connecting the Y-cable to the chassis buttons in order to add another level of security besides BIOS passwords and software solutions to which the ES01 can be a good alternative. It will mostly be users with computers located in hard to reach areas or systems with special usage scenarios that will find the ES01 remote switch kit to be very handy, but it is up to you how you’d like to use it.

The expansion card in itself is a low profile card and it isn’t very long either. It will easily fit into even the smallest chassis and comes with an included low-profile bracket too. All it takes is two screws to switch from the normal to the low-profile bracket, so that’s a job quickly done if needed.

The remote control uses a common CR2025 Lithium manganese button battery with a 3V voltage. It has a maximum measured EIRP of 3.76dBm and naturally operates on the 2.4GHz band. It is about the size that you would know from your car key with remote functionality, but weighs far less. It also comes with a convenient ring for attachment to key rings, backpacks, purses, and more.

Feature Highlights

  • Control your computer from anywhere in the room using 2.4GHz RF remote
  • 2.4GHz receiver PCI or PCI-E card included
  • Works as far away as twenty meter
  • Includes power / reset switch Y cable
  • Includes optional low profile expansion slot cover

Specifications

Package and Accessories

The SilverStone ES01 comes in a fairly simple package which is fitting for a simple device. The front teases the remote capabilities which doesn’t leave much left to the imaginations. You instantly know what it’s for.

The rear of the box contains the specifications and functionality in several languages. Everything extra that you might want to know before you make the purchase.

Inside the box, we find the add-in card with y-cable attached, a low-profile expansion slot bracket for use in SFF chassis, the remote control and battery for it as well as a small manual.

Ever Wanted to Make Your Own Wood PC Case? This Guy Did!

When you start thinking about what your new computer or laptop would be made out of, you start to think about maybe some black plastic or a nice silver metal feel. That isn’t for everyone though and sometimes you just want to do something different, like make a wooden PC.

When you think of PC’s you tend to think of metal or plastic, but one clever person who goes by the name of LouisVW decided that he wanted to build something that looks little more smooth and natural. If that wasn’t enough they’ve gone so far as to post how they built it from start to finish, a process that seems to only create something both simple and beautiful.

Starting from the plywood sheet shown above the project started, by creating grooves on the sides to fit in panels at a later date and then cutting out space for four fans, two at the top and two at the bottom.

Next came controllers for the fans and lighting, with the back panel and power supply soon making the wooden box look like an actual PC. Below you can find a gallery of some of the stages the computer went through, ultimately ending in the masterpiece you see below.

What do you think? Interested in giving it a try yourself? Check out the instructions here and tell remember to share your builds with us at eTeknix.

Nacon’s Controller Ready to Compete With Mouse and Keyboard

When it comes to competitive play every advantage is a huge one, when money’s on the line people will do everything to get an edge which is why the controller vs mouse debate has been at the heart of competitive play for years. Nacon is positive that their new controller which change this and allow controllers to go toe to toe with mouse and keyboard users.

Controllers allow for you to move fluidly in two axis with the left joystick and the right joystick allowing simple and smooth movements. PC users have a problem in this respect with the mouse and keyboard combination allowing smoother, quicker and sharper actions using the mouse but more analogue and sudden movement with the keyboard.

Nacon’s new controller is set up to combat this by being built for the PC and offering the precision and customization in its button mapping, joystick responses, sensitivity and dead zones. Initial views of the controller also reveal rear paddles, similar to those that are found on the Xbox Elite pad. The paddles, in this case, are limited to just two, compared to the Elite pad’s four.

Can a controller keep up with the mouse and keyboard user or will there be a time when controllers are the only thing you need to play a game? Leave us your thoughts in the comments.

OCUK Releases Powerful Asteroid mITX Gaming System by 8Pack

When we here 8Pack, then we know that it is followed by something great and it is no different this time around. Overclockers UK introduced the new Asteroid Mini-ITX gaming system by 8Pack – an impressive and very powerful system. The all-new extreme mini PC is designed and built by Ian 8Pack Parry, one of the best-known overclockers in the world. The hardware has been handpicked and tuned for only the best experience.

The 8Pack Astroid isn’t just a powerful system, it is also a beautiful one with its black and red case. It is also built with hard-line tubing for the custom liquid cooling loop that gives it an even better over-all look. The PC is also supplied with a flight case as standard that has been manufactured for portability, allowing the user to also pack their peripherals with the PC.

So by now you’re probably curious what kind of hardware powers this tiny monster. At the heart, it has an Intel Core i7 6700K Skylake processor that has been overclocked to 4.7GHz and the base configuration comes with 8GB memory that has been overclocked to 3866MHz. The graphics part is covered by a Nvidia GTX 980Ti graphics card that also has been overclocked out of the box, in this case to 1450MHz or more. The operating system gets a 512GB solid state drive while there also is a 1TB SSD for files and your game collection. All this is powered by a 1000W 80Plus Titanium rated Super Flower power supply. Wow.

 

In every single 8Pack Asteroid gaming PC, there is always expert craftsmanship with cherry picked hardware and deep testing. With a setup like this, you won’t run into any bottlenecks and get maximum performance from the hardware without any compromise.

As with all Overclockers UK systems, you can also customize the specification away from the standard setup in order to get just the right match for your needs. While many might go for a memory upgrade, the rest is pretty much solid. So what will all this cost you, you might ask. It starts at £3989.99 which is a hefty sum, but it is also a hefty system.

Standard Specification:

  • Graphics Card: Nvidia GeForce GTX 980Ti overclocked (Option to upgrade to Titan X)
  • Memory: Team Group Xtreem 8GB 3866Mhz (Option to upgrade to 16GB 3733Mhz)
  • Processor: Intel Core i7 6700K overclocked to 4.7+
  • Storage: Two Samsung 850 Evo Series Solid State Drives. 512GB for OS, and 1TB for games
  • PSU: 1000W Superflower PSU
  • Case: Custom Parvum 8Pack Edition case with built in water cooling reservoir
  • Fan controller: Aquaero 5
  • Flight Case included

While the price of almost £4000 might have put you off a little bit, we got to remember that we don’t just buy the hardware here – this is a little piece of art and it comes with unparalleled support. As a customer of this system, you ‘ll be given 8Packs mobile phone number to contact him if there were any issues or support queries – labour free for 5 years. That isn’t a service that you’ll find anywhere else.

Below you’ll find a lot more images of this beautiful built system and all its details, so have fun drooling and imagining how great it would look on your desk right now.

SilentiumPC Introduces Regnum RG1 Chassis with Dual-Chamber

Building a system on a budget can be tricky in some areas such as the power supply where you shouldn’t skimp out and the chassis where it can be hard to find one you like for the money you have available. If you like it simple and effective while not costing much at the same time, then the newly introduced Regnum RG1 might be worth a closer look.

The Regnum RG1 features a simple and clean exterior, an internal dual chamber design for cable management and looks, and plenty of space for large hardware parts – and all that for less than £24.00.

The large main chamber in the Regnum RG1 offers plenty of space for full-sized ATX setups. The seven expansion slots provide the ability to mount plenty of add-in cards such as graphics card with a length up to 380mm. The CPU cooler can be up to 160mm high, but that’s only relevant if you go for an air-cooling setup. There is a surprisingly good cooling ability with support for up to six 120mm fans and large radiators too. One 120mm fan is installed by default at the rear, three 120mm fans can be mounted on the front, and another two can be mounted on the PSU shroud.

The large CPU cutout should make cooler installation easy and there are plenty of cable routing options. We don’t see the rubber grommets usually found in higher-end cases, but costs have to be cut somewhere to offer an ATX-sized chassis with these options at such a low price. It will still allow you to build a great looking and clean system.

Other than the seven rear expansion ports, the chassis offers two external 5.25-inch bays, but they share the space with the top fan mounts, so it is an either or there. You can install two 2.5-inch drives as well as two 3.5-inch drives, so you won’t run out of storage anytime soon. Especially not if you couple that with M.2 or PCIe storage options.

You also get two front-faced USB 3.0 ports, a headphone jack, and a microphone jack for easy connectivity. Overall, a nice package for a low cost. Speaking of costs, the Silentium PC Regnum RG1 with an MSRP inc. VAT that’s only set to 31.00 EUR or 23.90 GBP. The US price, excl tax, is set to $27.50.

Would you consider a low budget chassis like the Regnum RG1 with all its features in your next build, or will you rather go for a more premium-styled chassis?

Tekken 7 Could be Coming to PC

Games come with a choice, what platform do you get them on? With big releases coming out on several platforms at once, and some containing “exclusive” content, you are often required to choose the platform you see as the best for the game. With the revelation that Mortal Kombat XL won’t be coming to PC, the PC lacks a fighting game series with a history. Something Bandai Namco could solve with the rumours that Tekken 7 could be coming to PC.

All the way back in December, Katsuhiro Harada hinted at the possibility of a PC release for the Unreal Engine 4 game. Originally built for PC the Unreal engine has powered games over the years, from the Gears of War series to Batman Arkham City, meaning that a PC release for any games built using it should be easier than porting across a game that was specifically designed for consoles.

The latest fuel on the fire is a survey, that you can currently find here, that asks you quite simply do you want to see Tekken 7 on PC. We don’t know if there is a threshold that must be reached before Bandai Namco consider releasing Tekken 7 on PC but quite a few people will be interested in the concept. If you are one of them then sign away and hopefully we can make this happen.