ESPN to Show Drone Racing

ESPN has often shown more than unusual choices when it comes to its schedule, with them beginning to show the DOTA 2 tournaments two years ago, even when their boss said the eSports were not a sport. In the latest change to their schedule, ESPN is looking to show drone racing within the year.

Announcing a partnership with the international drone racing association (IDRA) on Wednesday, ESPN is looking to stream drone races online starting off in August with the US National Drone Racing Championship in New York. Streamed via ESPN3 live, the footage will then be edited to a one-hour special to be streamed on one of ESPNS’s TV channels.

Unlike with other sports, drone racing can be viewed from two perspectives, both the view following the drone and the view that its pilot gets to see, provided via a first person camera mounted on the front. With ESPN also carrying the 2016 World Drone Racing Champion in Hawaii in October, ESPN accredited this uptake to the “unprecedented rise in popularity” of the event, even saying it may go alongside NASCAR and Formula 1 as the “next behemoth racing sport”.

With drone racing having its first champion courtesy of the Drone Prix that was hosted in Dubai earlier this year, drone racing contests are appearing all around the world as people look to race their drones and show off their skills as the next generation of racers!

New Assetto Corsa Console Trailer Has Been Unleashed

Racing simulators including rFactor 2, Grand Prix 4, Race 07, iRacing and loads more usually remain exclusive to the PC platform. This is because the complex physics models require significant processing power and racing enthusiasts demand a stable minimum frame-rate of 60. If a simulator suddenly drops below this, it can impact on your racing line and ability to nail the fastest possible lap. Another reason why many of these games never come to consoles revolves around cost. Sim racers can spend over $1000 on wheel setups, modded frames, seats and other equipment to enhance the immersion factor. While some console players use wheels, it’s nowhere near as prevalent.

Some time ago, Kunos Simulazioni launched the final version of Assetto Corsa after being part of Valve’s Early Access programme. Prior to the release of the earlier versions, I quickly became mesmerized by Assetto Corsa’s in-game footage and fell in love with the exceptional graphical fidelity. I was lucky enough to be sent an early copy of the game and try out the physics model using various setups. Without going into too much information, I honestly believe Assetto Corsa is one of the best simulators ever produced and easily worth the asking price. It’s challenging but fair and has a progressive physics model to help players of various skill levels.

In a rather surprising move, Kunos Simulazioni announced the upcoming release of the game on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. This is absolutely brilliant news for sim racing fans wanting to enjoy Assetto Corsa on a modest setup. It’s quite rare to see this kind of accessibility in a racing simulator. Today, the company unveiled the latest console trailer entitled ‘Engineered to Perfection’:

Even if you only have a passing interest in motorsport, I’d recommend checking out the video to see why there’s so much excitement surrounding this game.

Automobilista Pulled From Steam Due To Copyright Claim

We all like community content, giving us everything from new maps and worlds to explore to little details like a new weapon or car design. Sadly when it comes to games, something inside the game can often lead to disagreements and arguments, something that seems to have resulted in Automobilista pulled from Steam.

Posting on their forum, Reiza shared the news that they were pulling their game from Steam:

“As is known, Automobilista packages a variety of officially licensed cars and brands alongside fictionalized, originally created content. The claim in question does not make any specific reference to content present in Automobilista supposedly in infringement of the party’s copyright—until it does, our belief is that it has no merit.

We have already taken the appropriate measures to resolve the issue ASAP, but in accordance to Valve’s policy, the process may take a few days to be completed.”

The takedown may be part of Steam policy, but if you won’t mention what copyright is being breached or how it’s hard to see the claim doing anything but resulting in the game being removed from Steam for a few days.With the game featuring both official content sponsored by company,

With the game featuring both official content sponsored by the companies behind the cars, to community created content it will be hard to find out what content has caused the copyright claim if any.

Sony Shuts Down Driveclub Developer

Driveclub was originally designed to offer an expansive world brimming with detail which showcased the PlayStation 4’s graphical capabilities. Even though the game’s visuals are absolutely incredible with some of the best weather effects I’ve seen, it wasn’t enough to keep the creator, Evolution Studios in business. Today, Sony announced that the studio will close and released a statement which reads:

“Regular reviews take place throughout SCE Worldwide Studios, ensuring that the resources that we have in such a competitive landscape can create and produce high quality, innovative and commercially viable projects.
As part of this process we have reviewed and assessed all current projects and plans for the short and medium term and have decided to make some changes to the European studios structure.
As a result, it has been decided that Evolution Studio will close.
It is regrettable that this decision will lead to compulsory redundancies. We accept that this decision will mean that we risk losing high calibre staff but by focusing on other Studios that already have exciting new projects in development we believe we will be in a stronger position going forward and able to offer the best possible content of the highest quality for our consumers.
Where possible we will try to reallocate people onto other projects. If appropriate opportunities are not possible within the company, we will assist staff in any way we can, including speaking with local employers and with other development companies.
Evolution has been an important part of SCE Worldwide Studios for over 10 years – working on ground-breaking racing titles like WRC, Motorstorm and DRIVECLUB.
This decision should not take anything away from the great work that Evolution has produced.”

Driveclub’s game director Paul Rustchynsky weighed in on the developer’s closure and said:

Evolution Studio’s community manager thanked fans for their continued support and released a touching message:

This is a major blow for the gaming industry and I hope those affected can find similar roles in another studio very soon. Clearly, the game’s turbulent development process which consisted of the PlayStation Plus version being canned had a major impact on profitability.

Formula E ‘Virtual Championship’ to Take Place on Forza 6

Not content in running only in the real world, Formula E, the racing series for specially designed electric cars, will be running a ‘virtual championship’ that will take the form of a month-long eSports tournament on the popular racing sim, Forza Motorsport 6. The event will begin next weekend and take place across four rounds, with the ending set to coincide with the end of Formula E’s second real-life season. The prize up for grabs will be a share of a pot of €15,000, awarded as part of the final weekend of the series’ season.

Formula E’s cars were already added to Forza 6 last year, shortly before the game’s release and have already gathered popularity due to a number of Formula E events that have been held in the game over the length of the season. These “Race Off” events took place in real life, inviting gamers, YouTube personalities and even the real world Formula E drivers together to face off against each other in the game.

Unlike those events, the new “Pro Series” will take place entirely virtually, with each round providing competitors with a week to run time trials using the Formula E cars. After the event starts on the 24th, players will be able to join a special rivals event from the in-game Xbox Live lobby and compete for the best laps. When the first round ends on March 31st, those with the 10 best laps will be chosen to participate in a virtual final on April 2nd. This format will repeat 3 more times, with the last round ending on June 2nd. The top 2 from each round’s final will then be invited to London to go head to head with each other for a share of the €15,000.

It is exciting to see Formula E becoming so invested in engaging in the virtual as well as the real and makes many of the more traditional racing series look even more outdated by comparison. With AI racing already in the works and now a virtual racing championship, what exciting new ideas will Formula E come up with next?

Tesla Model S to Feature in New All-Electric Racing Series

This week, Electric GT Holdings has announced the Electric GT World Series will be starting in 2017, with the company hoping to have 10 teams on the grid for its first season. Each team will be fielding 20 cars across 7 races during this opening season, and as a GT will only allow the teams to use production cars that are available for road use. As a result, all 20 cars will be the same: The Tesla Model S.

The version of the Model S that the teams will be using is specifically a near-production version of the now-discontinued Tesla Model S P85+. Compared to newer models of the popular electric sports car, the P85+was very much performance-designed. Packing 310 kilowatts of power and 443 pound-feet of torque, all delivered through one rear-wheel driving motor which was able to get from 0-60 in 2.8 seconds. The rear-wheel drive Model S was chosen over the all-wheel drive models as they would be less complex to maintain by the teams. The batteries in these vehicles also put Formula E cars to shame, able to carry a whopping 85 kWh compared to the 28 kWh of Formula E. Obviously under race conditions, the cars won’t maintain the 250 mile range claimed by Tesla on the road, but it should certainly allow them to compete on longer, faster tracks than those used for Formula E which mostly uses street circuits.

As far as modifications go, the teams will be running a mostly stock version of the P85+, with adjustments to some key places to be implemented in order to make them better in the race. The brakes and aerodynamics are being tweaked to improve grip and deceleration, while the suspension, brake cooling and steering will be strengthened, on top of a general weight reduction. Everything else under the hood will remain unchanged from the stock specification.

Electric GT Holdings is yet to announce a race calendar for the 2017 season, however, plans are already in place for the season to start in Europe, before moving on to North America and Asia. The tracks are, hopefully, to include a number of world-class circuits including Barcelona-Catalunya, Donnington Park, Nürburgring and hopefully many more famous motorsport locations.

World Drone Prix to be Hosted in Dubai This Month

Drones are amazing little devices. From flying in the air to underwater, people enjoy using them for a wide range of reasons, the most traditional of them being drone racing. With the creation of the Drone Racing League, it was only a matter of time before people went that one step further. This month it will go further in the form of the World Drone Prix, hosted in the sunny city of Dubai.

These drones won’t be your off the shelf variety, with speeds exceeding 62MPH the drones will be competing in qualifiers on March 7th and 8th before the final 32 will face off on the 11th and 12th.

The winning prize stands at $250,000, with a total cost of all the prizes coming to a million dollars.

With an introduction video putting a drone against a McLaren, you can see how keen they are to bring interest into the drone racing scene. The World Drone Prix will be streaming online, meaning if you can’t make it to Dubai in time you can still enjoy the event, and the site featured a very detailed FAQ section for anyone with ideas or queries about the next generation of racing.

Would you like to see Drone Racing? My question is when will Amazon enter their drone?

Forza Motorsport 6 Apex Coming to Windows 10 This Spring?

Microsoft has traditionally had a rocky relationship with PC gamers due to the horrendous Games for Windows Live DRM and focus on console exclusives. Over the last decade, the company has made numerous promises to adopt a more PC-friendly attitude and failed to deliver. This rightfully creates a great deal of skepticism because of the lack of Xbox IPs like Halo and Forza on the PC platform. Thankfully, Microsoft’s new management has woken up to the incredible rise of PC gaming and decided to adopt a more unified strategy. This means, games can launch on mobile, PC and Xbox with interplay via the Windows 10 operating system. Microsoft has hinted at bringing more Xbox games to PC, but they’ve really kept their main titles on Xbox to please the console demographic.

During a media event last week, the head of Xbox Phil Spencer outlined the company’s new attitude towards PC gaming and said:

“We are 100 percent committed to the PC-gaming space,”

“That is a long-term commitment from us.”

He also acknowledged Microsoft’s poor reputation and admitted:

“We know we have a lot to prove,”

Even more astounding, The Seattle Times leaked information about an upcoming announcement from Microsoft regarding the Forza series. According to this source, Microsoft will launch a free-to-play version of Forza Motorsport 6 on the Windows Store this spring. The new game entitled, Forza Motorsport 6: Apex will probably adopt optional microtransactions to acquire money faster so you can purchase vehicles in a quick manner. I really hope Microsoft doesn’t try to charge for individual circuits though and offer a barebones package. I absolutely adore the Forza series and it’s the main reason why I purchased an Xbox 360 back in the day. However, the free-to-play aspect does bother me somewhat, and I worry about the game’s business model.

A greater concern is, Microsoft thinks they can port over free-to-play versions of their most popular franchises. Hopefully, this isn’t the case because it wouldn’t be a good move to make PC gamers trust them.

DriveClub Update Brings The Race To Scotland

DriveClub looks to be an amazing racing game, with everything from a McLaren 650S throttling down the road to Suzuki bikes coming in a future DLC. The game looks to have something for everyone, and with companies like Nissan mistaking gameplay for real-life, the graphics are jaw dropping. That said a game is not made by graphics alone and initial reviews saw DriveClub lacking with missing or broken features following a delay. Let’s hope the latest update brings more people into the fold for the game.

The latest update for DriveClub features a new map, based in an old Scottish Town (unsurprisingly called Scotland’s Old Town) is available in three variants to give you a bit of choice.

If the extra map wasn’t enough there is a break from the arcade tradition of the game with the addition of the hardcore mode. Meant to bring a more challenging experience, selecting this option gives you breaks that lock and your tires will scream out if you try to perform some of the more ambitious driving moves.

With an update like this the game now has two feelings, but with players often wanting to seek out new ways to drive faster, is a game mode that makes them slow down a good option? With the new game mode sharing the same leaderboard as the normal mode, you’ll find it a challenge to get your times anywhere near high enough to get near the top.

Podracing Mod for Halo 5 Isn’t Perfect but a Lot of Fun

Star Wars is an awesome book and movie series and one of the things that a lot of people would love to experience from the series besides the light sabers are the pod racers. I’m also sure that most agree that it was also one of the best things in Phantom Menace. Up until now there hasn’t been much in that direction for us gamers, sure there was the Podracing game for N64, but that’s about it. Luckily there are a lot of games that feature a great modding ability and where fans can are able to create their own pod racing games.

Modder CaptainDireWolf must be one of the people besides me that love the idea of pod racing and thanks to Halo 5’s Forge Map tools he created an almost working mod. While the mod is buggy and doesn’t fully work as a racing game, it’s still a great idea, fun to watch, and the video below is at least worth to watch.

The designer created a playable, yet limited, pod racing multiplayer mode that reminds us a lot of the Star Wars Episode 1: Podracer game for the N64. You’re able to use multiple pod racers in this mod called Boonta Eve, but you can’t really win the game. You can kill your enemies or you can just enjoy the fun of the race. One of the problems arises when you die, you can’t respawn with a racer again. All in all, it’s very simple, but that’s due to the limitations of Halo 5 more than anything else.

While this isn’t the ideal mod nor the best platform to make it on, I hope that it will inspire someone else to create a proper pod racing mod in another game, a game that is more suited for a racing mod like this. I would surely like a fun and fastpaced pod racing game for PC and I’m sure that I’m not the only one.

Need For Speed: Most Wanted is Now Free For a Limited Time

EA has a poor reputation among the gaming community due to the implementation of DLC, microtransactions, pre-order bonuses and other anti-consumer initiatives. Furthermore, their behaviour resulted in the demise of various franchises including Dead Space and Medal of Honor. This is a crying shame because the Dead Space series originally evoked such a tense, atmospheric feel and eventually went onto become a generic third-person action game. On another note, EA decided to make their games exclusive to the Origin digital distribution service and gamers could no longer use their favourite client, Steam. Consumers are quite vocal in their distaste for the Origin system and prefer to have a huge catalogue of games in one client.

Arguably, there’s some logic in EA’s decision because they didn’t want to accept Valve’s cut for selling games on the Steam service. Although, I do wonder if the company would still be making more money on Steam due to the significantly higher user base. Whatever the case, Origin isn’t a terrible system and includes a number of interesting features such as the Great Game Guarantee. This allows the end-user to acquire a refund incase the game doesn’t meet their expectations or run properly. Every so often, EA also launches a promotion entitled, ‘On The House’ which grants access to a major release for FREE! The latest game to be added to the promotion is Need For Speed: Most Wanted.

While it’s technically part of the Need For Speed series, the game really is a modernized version of Burnout Paradise. This isn’t surprising as it’s made by Criterion Games, one of the most iconic racing developers ever created. Need For Speed: Most Wanted isn’t the best game I’ve played but it’s certainly a lot of fun hurtling around corners and avoiding oncoming traffic. Please be aware the promotion can end quite abruptly as shown by the recent Jade Empire deal.

WRC 5 eSports Competition Hidden Behind DLC Paywall

Italian developer, Milestone produced a number of officially licensed world rally games which left racing aficionados disappointed due to the sub-par graphics, synthetic audio design and lacklustre career mode. Eventually, the company lost the WRC license and decided to work with rallying legend, Sébastien Loeb. The latest WRC game was created by Kylotonn, formerly known as 4X Studios. Unfortunately, this release has received a fairly mixed reception with the general consensus describing the game as competent but no match for Codemasters’ DIRT Rally. In a press release, the company outlined their plans to create a highly competitive eSports scene. However, as astounding as this might seem, they are going to charge players to compete in any eSports event. The press release reads:

“Players just need to download one of the eSports Pack (the first DLC that is currently available is priced at $7.99/£6.49) to get access to the dedicated stages of each rally. From this moment, practise is unlimited but during the rally weekends, they will have only one opportunity each day to record their best time (from Thursday to Sunday noon). On Sunday afternoon, the ESL crew will invite the best drivers for a Sunday tournament which will be broadcast on Twitch. At the end of this Sunday Tournament, the best 3 drivers on each platform will gain their access to the semi-final and to the grand Finale. See the calendar below for more details.”

To access an eSport event, you have to pay $7.99/£6.49 for one of the eSport packs in addition to the base game. This is unbelievable and bound to destroy any hopes of creating a large online community. It’s also quite insulting and I cannot believe they have attempted to charge for competitive play. Clearly, many publishers are looking for new avenues to make money, but it’s occurring at the expense of player engagement.

Sébastien Loeb Rally Evo System Requirements Revealed

The PC platform has always been home to a wealth of exhilarating rallying games including Richard Burns Rally, the original DIRT and WRC. Furthermore, Codemasters recently returned to their traditional roots and created DIRT Rally, a fiendishly difficult simulator which requires skill, and stage memorization. Another developer, Milestone held the WRC rights for some time and created a number of officially licensed games. However, many users became disgruntled with the iterative yearly updates, poor performance and lacklustre graphics. As a company, they’ve always promised to deliver, and consistently improving, but it’s been at a slower pace than most racing fans expected.

Despite losing the expensive WRC license, Milestone decided to partner with the most successful rally driver in history, Sébastien Loeb. It’s hard to imagine but Loeb won the WRC a record 9 times in a row which I honestly think will never be matched. Judging from the screenshots released so far, the game looks quite good but it’s always going to depend on the physics model. I’ve learnt to be quite pessimistic with Milestone games as they’ve never really matched my expectations. Today, the studio released a demo which you can easily download from Steam and the system requirements:

MINIMUM:

    • OS: Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit / Windows 8 / Windows 8.1 / Windows 10
    • Processor: Intel Core2 Quad Q6600 @ 2.40GHz / AMD A6-3670K 2,7 GHz
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Gigabyte GF GTX 660Ti / Radeon R9 270X
    • DirectX: Version 10
    • Storage: 30 GB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX compatible

RECOMMENDED:

    • OS: Windows 7 / Windows 8 / Windows Pro 8.1 / Windows 10
    • Processor: Intel Core i5-4690K 3.5GHz / AMD FX-6300 Six-Core
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 / Radeon R9 290
    • DirectX: Version 11

As expected, the minimum requirements are fairly modest and should run on a wide array of systems. Also, the 30GB install isn’t a major inconvenience compared to many recent games surpassing 50GB.  In terms of the recommend specification, you will need a pretty decent graphics card, and it’s quite confusing to see the GTX 960 and R9 290 being grouped together as equivalents. Ideally, I’d prefer developers to provide a resolution for each set of requirements so the consumer can make an accurate decision if the game will work well on their hardware.

BIOSTAR Introduces Racing Series Motherboards

We’ve mostly seen BIOSTAR motherboards in the HiFi series lately with their characteristic piano styled heatsinks, but BIOSTAR’s next generation of motherboards come with a new theme: Racing. The first motherboards in the new BIOSTAR Racing series are the Z170GT7, H170GT3, and B150GT5 where the names already reveal the chipsets used: Z170, H170, and B150 respectively.

BIOSTAR is mostly known as a budget manufacturer, but they use some high-quality components as these new motherboards also prove. They come with Super Durable Ferrite chokes for high-quality power delivery to vital components, Super Durable Solid Caps for longer-lasting performance, and DUAL BIOS that guarantees resilient motherboard operation if the BIOS should fail. All three come with Intel LAN and the storage options include the new and faster SATA-Express and PCI-e M.2 slots for use with the newest storage drives on the market.

Just because these boards don’t come in the HiFi series, doesn’t mean that the Racing series doesn’t have good audio components and they also come with BIOSTAR’s signature HI-FI audio experience. The motherboards feature an I/O Armor to give the system a better look and also comes with customizable LED effects. You expand your chassis and increase the lighting abilities thanks to the onboard 5050-header for LED strips and then control it via the included VIVID LED DJ.

Besides what I’ve already mentioned, you get a new 100 series motherboard with the features that this brings along, such as plenty of USB connections from 2.0 to 3.1, Intel i217 LAN, plenty of storage connectivity, and four DDR4 DIMM slots along with BIOSTAR’s BIO-Remote 2 and online BIOS update functions that both are extremely useful.

The new BIOSTAR Racing Series is built on what they call the BIOSTAR 6+ Experience and it is composed out of six main features: Speed+, Audio+, Video+, Durable+, Protection+ and DIY+. All things that matter.

BIOSTAR didn’t reveal any pricing at this time but expect them to be cheaper than the average board in the same categories. Sadly there weren’t more photos provided and the official product pages haven’t launched yet, but I’m sure that we’ll see a lot more on these board during CES 2016.

Gran Turismo Sport Concept Art Leaked

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

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

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

Jaguar to Join Formula E in 2016

Formula E is very much the up-and-coming motorsport. It may never be able to steal the spotlight from its petrol-powered big brother, Formula 1, but it’s certainly drawing attention in recent times. Firstly  with its announcement two weeks back that it was planning a driver-less “Roborace” championship for self-driving cars, but now famous luxury car manufacturer, Jaguar, are getting in on the action with a plan to join the championship next season.

Many key automotive manufacturers already have some involvement in the motorsport, entering partnerships with existing Formula E teams to provide them with electric power units and other components. Jaguar’s entry into the sport has been made possible due to the exit of the Trulli Formula E team following disappointing results in their first two seasons.

In order to make their entry into the sport, Jaguar is partnering with Williams Advanced Engineering (who are related to the Williams F1 team). The two companies have shown greatness together before, collaborating on Jaguar’s C-X75 supercar and with Williams’ experience in the sport, as the battery provider for all the cars on the field, the result could be spectacular.

This could be a kick-off event for Jaguar to develop electric road cars too, with Jaguar Land Rover’s engineering director, Nick Rogers going on record stating that “Jaguar Land Rover’s made no secret about the fact that we will make electric vehicles.” “Formula E will give us a unique opportunity to further our development of electrification technologies,” said Rogers.

It is definitely a very exciting time for both motorsport and car enthusiasts. Many purists may believe that the petrol engine is the only way, but only time will tell what exciting racing Jaguar could bring to Formula E, and how they will pair their great sport and luxury cars with the modern electric engine for the road.

Image credit to Jaguar Land Rover

Win an MSI GE62 and Limited Edition GT Omega Gaming Chair!

As one competition ends, we’re right back and ready to rock with an even bigger one! We’ve teamed up with the awesome people at MSI and GT Omega Racing to give you all a chance to win an incredible prize bundle. Not only can you win a powerful gaming notebook, but you’ll also get a comfy gaming chair to sit in too!

The MSI GE62 is well equipped, featuring a 15.6″ display, Core i7 processor, GTX 960M graphics, SteelSeries keyboard and so much more; this is a great device for gaming at home and on the go. The GT Omega Racing Chair is a little special too, featuring a custom MSI theme that’s so rare, you can’t actually buy one anywhere, making this competition that little bit more exciting.

We want to say a massive thank you to both MSI and GT Omega for putting up these prizes. I’m sure you’re all eager to win, so hit up the link below and get your entries in. Good luck!

ENTER HERE

Formula E Announces Driverless Championship

Formula E has become quite popular since its 2014 debut season and renowned for incredible racing which is all too often absent from modern Formula One. The field contains electric high-powered vehicles and provides an insight into the future of motorsport. The organization is also preparing for a new series involving driverless cars tackling the world’s toughest circuits at breakneck speeds. Formula E’s chief executive Alejandro Agag said:

“Roborace is an open challenge to the most innovative scientific and technology-focused companies in the world,”

Furthermore, a financial backer of the project, Denis Sverdlov described the announcement with a great deal of enthusiasm:

“We passionately believe that, in the future, all of the world’s vehicles will be assisted by AI and powered by electricity, thus improving the environment and road safety.”

“Roborace is a celebration of revolutionary technology and innovation that humanity has achieved in that area so far.”

Vehicle technology is progressing at such a rapid pace and it will be fascinating to see how AI drivers compete in a world championship event. Additionally, removing the human element and danger allows the cars to progress around corners at greater speeds. I cannot wait to see the championship unfold and uncertain how the series is going to be conducted in terms of TV coverage.

Would you feel comfortable in an automated vehicle?

The Humble Codemasters Bundle is Awesome!

Humble Bundle often discounts a number of enticing games and allows you to choose what percentage of the money goes to charity. Recently, the company expanded the amount of charities you can donate to which helps funds a cause close to your heart. The latest bundle incorporates a huge amount of Codemasters games at rock bottom prices. The $1 or more tier includes Grid 2 + Drift Pack, DIRT Showdown, Overlord, Operation Flashpoint Complete, Hospital Tycoon and Colin McRae Rally. Sadly, GRID 2 is a poor sequel and doesn’t live up to its iconic predecessor. Additionally, DIRT Showdown tries to emulate Flatout and just ends up being very annoying, and rather lackluster.

On another note, Colin McRae Rally is a mobile port and doesn’t really honor the original series. However, the Operating Flashpoint games are surprisingly good and very difficult. If you beat the average, it also comes with GRID Autosport, Overlord II, Overlord Raising Hell, GRID 2 Spa-Francorchamps Track Pack and more! GRID Autosport is miles better than GRID 2 in terms of physics and career mode but it’s still not as good as the original title.

Finally, if you pay more than $15, the pack includes GRID Autoport Season Pass, Dirt 3 Complete Edition and GRID 2 DLC pack. This is certainly worth the extra for DIRT 3 Complete given the huge selection of vehicles, tracks and superb handling model. The game was originally criticized for its horrible DLC model, but at least all of the extra content is included and you no longer have to deal with Games For Windows Live!

Free to Play Arcade Racer Wincars Racer About to Enter Beta Stage

A new game is on the horizon for fans of arcade racing games and multiplayer features without extreme advances for anyone. An even playing field with fun game mechanics, a fast paced arcade action, and multiplayer races for up to 8 players sounds like a lot of fun.

The new game is called Wincars Racer and is the first project from DragonJam Studios. The new studio is made up of former EA, Gameloft, and Rovio employees that worked on projects such as Skara and Roving Rouge. Best of all, it will be free to play when it gets released, but for now it will enter the closed beta phase.

Beta keys are handed out here and there, so keep your eyes open and you might be lucky to get in before the actual release. The game blends the instant fun from arcade racers with present-day strategic and competitive features.

The key is that there are no random power-ups or any other element that arbitrary unbalances the game. Wincars Racer introduces a special skills system (three per driver) which needs time to cool down or collecting coins in order to be used. This system is inspired in MOBA games and extends the strategic options that the player can control. Besides, all cars have a different driving style and performance for each circuit. The combinations of driver and car for each race are crucial. As well as trying and testing different strategies in each circuit, even modifying them in the middle of a race, observing the game and your rivals’ actions.

I dare to say in advance that this game will become highly popular, especially with other free to play racing games being a thing of the past. EA shut down World for example.

Features

  • Online multiplayer mode and Time Attack mode, for one player.
  • 11 cars with different driving styles with more than 120 alternative skins.
  • 6 drivers with a specific and unique skill.
  • Ten circuits with alternative routes to explore.
  • Friends system, chats, custom races, rankings and content updates.
  • OST by Javi Diez from rock act Mago de Oz.

The game itself will become available directly at wincarsracer.com with the closed beta launching next Wednesday the 18th November.

Sony Announces Gran Turismo Sport for PlayStation 4

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

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

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

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

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

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

Top 5 Racing Peripherals for PC

The PC contains a humongous selection of authentic racing simulators including iRacing, DIRT Rally, Assetto Corsa, Project CARS, rFactor and more! While the experience can be enjoyable with a traditional controller, it’s difficult to recreate the satisfaction and underlying feel from a dedicated wheel setup. Any mid-high end cockpit utilizing advanced force feedback and a smooth belt drive allows you to gauge the grip level and accurately adjust the steering with opposite lock.

In the racing sector, price relates to build quality which can make the purchasing process quite daunting. However, the investment is worth it when you factor in component reliability and time spent enjoying such an exhilarating experience. During the past few years, I’ve tested almost every sim racing product out there and compiled this list as a comprehensive buyer’s guide to the world of elite racing. To clarify, this isn’t designed to take financial value into account, and only outlines the best products available with an unlimited budget.


5: Thrustmaster TH8A Shifter

The majority of steering wheel bundles opt for paddle shifters instead of a traditional gearbox to save money and provide a more compact package. This isn’t a cause for concern if you stick to open-formula racing but many racing aficionados require a dedicated shifter in Rallying and other event types. Sadly, there isn’t a lot of choice on offer in this niche field and the only option I’m aware of is the Thrustmaster TH8A. Thankfully, the TH8A is an absolutely stunning piece of equipment and 90% of the build is construction from aluminum.

Additionally, the HallEffect AccuRate Technology utilizes a contactless magnetic sensor without any tact switch or potentiometer. This results in a reliable mechanism which doesn’t degrade over time. Other notable highlights include a reinforced mounting system, universal gear knob attachment and additional H-pattern shift plate. The TH8A’s staggering choice of high-end materials and responsive movement combines to make the best aftermarket shifter on the market. At £125.99 it’s an expensive proposition but well worth the money.


4: Logitech G27

In theory, the Logitech G27 is an end-of-line product and replaced by the G29. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth as the G29 is sold to overcome compatibility problems on the PlayStation 4 and doesn’t even include a shifter. The Logitech G27 offers an impeccable price to performance ratio and features extremely high build quality for the reasonable price between £159-239. The wheel rim contains a beautiful hand-stitched soft leather finish and strong metal frame. Additionally, there is an LED gear gauge and highly-responsive helical gears. Unfortunately, the mounting stand feels rather cheap but keeps the wheel in position well while eliminating unnecessary vibration. The force feedback is strong but the lacks the subtly of higher-end Thrustmaster models.

On another note, the weighted pedal set with clutch is superb and allows you to feel the resistance whilst braking. The shifter though is quite poorly made and utilizes a flimsy mount and horrible plastic gear knob. For the price though, it’s a welcome addition and adds to the value of this particular package. If you want to get into the racing scene without spending a fortune, the G27 is the only viable option and can be picked up on the cheap for around £150 via eBay.


3: Thrustmaster T500RS

The Thrustmaster T500RS perfectly balances the build quality, motion sensor and other features required without spending an absolute fortune. Thrustmaster is renowned for its marvelous dual-belt system which allows for a fluid, and joyous turning sensation up to 1080 degrees. Additionally, the force feedback produced by an industrial motor recreates even the smallest vibrations when running wide onto a rumble strip. The amount of nuances from the FFB motor is sublime and makes it relatively easy judge grip levels on and off the racing line.

The base is also vastly superior to the Logitech G27 and possibly the best integrated mount on any wheel I’ve tested. To put this into perspective, you could violently shake your desk around, and the wheel wouldn’t even slide by a millimeter. As a result, it’s the perfect wheel for consumers who don’t want to invest in a PlaySeat or custom cockpit. The pedals are another exemplary inclusion and attached to a realistic floor section. This improves your driving posture and adds a level of stability when suddenly applying the brake. The pedals portion alone is built from premium-grade hardware and only outclassed by the Fanatec ClubSport V2 or V3 set.

Prices of the T500RS can vary between £300-375 which is a significant step up from the Logitech G27. However, the materials, force feedback and dual-belt system makes it easily worth the extra money.


2: Fanatec Clubsport V3 Pedals

It’s difficult to accentuate how impressive the Fanatec ClubSport pedals are unless you’ve personally used them in a number of simulators. In basic terms, the V2 and V3 models are flawless and I cannot think of any improvements to make either product a more enticing proposition. Frankly, the V3 pedal kit is the best PC peripheral I’ve ever tested in terms of build quality and workmanship. So what makes them so special?

Firstly, the brake utilizes a custom-designed 90kg load cell sensor to precisely alter the amount of deceleration based on muscle tension. This degree of tension and overall feel mimics how a real-world vehicle applies the brake and create an unparalleled feel during harsh-braking phases. Furthermore, the D-shape pedal design, 12-bit resolution and adjustable stiffness allows you to create a configuration which suits your height and braking style. For example, you might want to alter the setup for left foot braking.

Other features include a vibration motor on the gas pedal to emulate wheelspin and oversteer. This selection of realistic parts is accompanied by three CNC-milled aluminum pedals and a steel frame. As you might expect, this level of expertise and authenticity comes at a fairly hefty price. The Clubsport V3 retails on its own for $300 but I would gladly pay around that as a proud owner of this hardware.


1: Fanatec Clubsport Base and Formula Carbon Rim

Finally, we come to the ultimate setup for a hardcore F1 enthusiast or sim-racing professional. The ClubSport Wheel Base weighs a monumental 4200 grams and constructed from CNC machined aluminum. Furthermore, the base mount is fully modular and supports various wheel rims from the Formula Carbon to the BMW M3 GT2. This amount of flexibility is rarely seen on wheel base setups except for some of the Thrustmaster models like the TX458. In this particular configuration, the Formula Carbon rim features an LED readout, gear meter, carbon fiber front and soft cushioned handles.

Moving back onto the base, Fanatec decided to allow for 900 degrees of rotation, a 500 Hz update rate, comprehensive cooling system, and brushless survo motor plus two vibration motors. This delivers a smooth and consistent motion and eliminates dead spots which can cause latency problems. Also, the DUAL HALL technology opts for two sensors, one mounted on the motor and another positioned on the axis to maintain maximum precision.

The drive belt is another highlight and made from premium ball bearings and European belts to produce realistic and incredibly detailed force-feedback response. Now we come onto the price, and if you’re from a nervous position look away now. The base is $599.95 while the wheel rim costs $249.95. If you’re seriously considering this setup, then the Clubsport V3 pedals are a must at $299.95. Overall, that is over $1000, and a huge amount of money. Although, the pioneering technology and German-engineering is second to none, so you really do get what you pay for.

Criterion Founders Producing Burnout Spiritual Successor

Three Fields is a development studio created in 2014 by Alex Ward and Fiona Sperry, the co-founders of the Burnout franchise. While the development studio isn’t a household name, Ward and Sperry’s previous collection of fast-paced, chaotic action results in some of the most intense racing games ever created. Additionally, the wild damage engine enthused a great deal of enthusiasm when tackling a wide variety of challenges. Sadly, there hasn’t been an official Burnout game for some time as EA focused on updates to the Need for Speed series. While Need for Speed: Most Wanted has nothing to do with the Burnout series by name, it seems like a toned down version of Burnout Paradise.

Thankfully, the team at Three Fields now has the capacity to make their own strategic decisions and decided to create a “spiritual successor” to a beloved racing game. It doesn’t take Sherlock Holmes to deduce which series the studio is referring to and I cannot wait to play the next Burnout game using a high-resolution and fun physics model.

The studio’s first priority is to complete a multiplayer sports game before work can begin on the next Burnout game. It will be interesting see what kind of multiplayer sports title this will be. Hopefully, the upcoming Burnout game will feature an expansive and engaging single player component.

It appears there’s still a great deal of discussion regarding which title the sequel will be based on. Perhaps, Three Fields is gauging the reaction from the community and will make their decision on this basis alone. Whatever the case, I cannot hold my excitement with the news of a new Burnout game which brings fun back into the Arcade racing genre.

What is your favourite Burnout game of all time?

Bugatti Conveys Real-Life Gran Turismo Car

This is fantastic, I mean it really is, oh right, article, Bugatti are synonymous with 1,200 horsepower supercars which even left Jeremy Clarkson speechless for a bit, until he attempted to insure it using a popular company. These cars are one of the most desirable for the rich and famous and command seven-figure price tags. But what happens if you cross a Bugatti with Gran Turismo?

Apparently this which is conveyed below, wow is the word here, the luxury car manufacturer unveiled a fantasy video game car at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The difference is this car is not made from pixels and polygons, but a real drivable version. The Bugatti Vision Gran Turismo is a model of car that appears in the popular Gran Turismo video game series. The real-life version is fully drivable but wasn’t designed to comply with government safety regulations, but it does fully integrate with the latest racing regulations. Not really that helpful if you’re caught speeding at 240 miles an hour on a country lane, not that you should anyway.

This concept is powered by a turbocharged 16-cylinder engine which is capable of reaching top speeds in excess of 250 miles an hour, it’s a complex machine which Bugatti hope to offer a glimpse into the possibilities which exist within the new model which is currently being designed. Bugatti has so far sold 450 cars worldwide over the last decade, this does not sound like a respectable figure, but considering each supercar cost around the $1 million dollar mark, it’s forgivable.

It’s unlikely that I would be able to afford a car in my or the next 5 lifetimes, but it’s still noteworthy to keep up to date with the latest developments in automotive technology, especially if they look this fantastic.

Thank you cnn money for providing us with this information.

image courtesy of i.ytimg

Need For Speed Will Not Implement Microtransactions or Paid DLC

EA’s reputation among the gaming community is fairly atrocious due to launch day DLC, microtransactions, and killing off revered series such as Sim City. As a result, it’s expected to see these features implemented in any modern EA title. Rather surprisingly, the FAQ page for the upcoming Need for Speed game directly addresses people’s concerns and states:

“We plan to release a series of free content updates for Need for Speed. We currently have no plans for any paid DLC.”

“There will be no micro transactions.”

Could this really be the beginning of a new consumer-friendly strategy from EA? It’s far too early to tell, but I’m pleased to see this level of transparency from a leading AAA publisher. However, it’s important to remember that the latest Need for Speed game requires an internet connection. The concept behind this is to merge the single player and online portion into one experience. I’d personally like EA to consider an offline mode, so the game isn’t rendered useless when the servers are switched off in the future.

Putting these issues aside, I have to applaud EA as the retail release should be updated on a regular basis without the need for an expensive Season Pass. Of course, EA’s plans could change in the future, but this announcement makes Need for Speed a much more attractive proposition. Unfortunately, PC gamers will have to wait until Spring 2016 which is a significant delay compared to the console versions; perhaps this is to properly optimize the netcode or overall performance.

Do you think this is the start of a new EA?

Thrustmaster Announces Sub-£200 Premium Wheels

Thrustmaster has produced an assortment of astonishing sim-racing wheels including the Ferrari TX458 and T500RS which adopt a modular construction to easily replace the wheel rim, or add a gear-stick such as the all-metal TH8A. However, premium racing equipment is an expensive proposition and there isn’t many good, budget wheels on the market. The only real options that come to mind is the Logitech Driving Force GT and Thrustmaster T80 FFB. Thankfully, Thrustmaster has announced a replacement model called the T150 which adopts a much higher build quality due to the metal frame and paddle shifters.

The T150 also features 13 action buttons, a tactile D-Pad and textured rubber grips on the wheel rim to help adopt a fixed, solid posture whilst racing. Rather impressively, the wheel supports 1080 degree Force Feedback which contains Thrustmaster’s Immersion TouchSense technology. This is accompanied by a 12-bit resolution axis (4096 values), mixed belt-pulley and extremely smooth metal ball-bearing axis. To make the 270-1080 degrees of rotation even more fluid, Thrustmaster decided to implement a surprisingly premium belt-pulley.

Despite the T150 being a lower-end product, it supports a huge array of accessories. For example, you could upgrade the included pedal-set to a T3PA or T3PA-Pro if you really get into the sim-racing scene and want to improve your setup. This is a wonderful idea, as having to sell your old wheel and upgrade it to a new model can deter users to invest in full-racing rig.

The T150 and T150 Ferrari Edition will be available in October at a suggested retail price of £169.99. Please note the T150 is compatible with the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 and PC but doesn’t work on the Xbox One. Without using any hyperbole, I can confidently say this is an astonishing price given the build quality, motion sensor, complex force feedback and wealth of customizable to maintain your interest for many years to come.

Forza Motorsport 6 Trailer & Demo Released!

Forza Motorsport 6 is the latest addition to the highly-respected racing series from Turn 10 Studios and looks extremely impressive in terms of its graphical fidelity and handling model. Unfortunately, Forza Motosport 5 was a huge disappointment and characterized by a lack of content, and in-game microtransactions. Perhaps, Turn 10 had to work on a very tight schedule to release the game alongside the Xbox One. I’m fairly confident they now have the required resources and development period to create a proper sequel to Forza Motorsport 4.

After an arduous wait, Forza Motorsport 6 is just round the corner and you can now access the official demo today. As previously reported, the demo revolves around the iconic Ford GT and lets you store it in your garage for free! Forza Motorsport 6 contains 460 cars, dynamic weather system, a wealth of challenging circuits and comprehensive career mode. In the sim-simcade market, there is a lot of competition from Gran Turismo and Project Cars. However, Forza 6 from the launch trailer alone, impresses me a great deal. It’s a shame that Microsoft has no current plans to port the game onto PC.

From a technical perspective, Forza Motorsport 6 runs at a native resolution of 1920×1080 and fluid 60fps. As a huge racing fan, I find it difficult to resist buying an Xbox One just for Forza. It will be interesting to see if Microsoft ever releases the game on PC because I believe it could accumulate a professional scene.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0CXqEHMgiFg

Which is your favourite game from the Forza franchise?