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?

NVIDIA GeForce 358.50 WHQL Driver Released for Star Wars: Battlefront

The Latest NVIDIA GeForce 358.50 WHQL Driver has been released, bringing with it a new GeForce Game Ready driver for the Beta release of Star Wars: Battlefront, which includes new features and functionality for the GameWorks VR SDK, and support for the latest OpenGL ARB extensions and OpenGL ES 3.2.

Highlights from the NVIDIA GeForce 358.50 WHQL driver release notes include:

GameWorks VR Support
Updated driver support for the GameWorks VR SDK, adding VR SLI enhancements and bug fixes.

Gaming Technology
Supports OpenGL 2015 ARB extensions and OpenGL ES 3.2.

Windows 10
-Added SLI support for ShadowPlay and GameStream.
-Added Stereo support for DirectX 12 SLI and 3D Surround.

NVIDIA Control Panel
3D Settings->Manage 3D Settings page: Added controls for forcing the use of the integrated graphics processor or the NVIDIA GPU on Optimus notebooks.

Application SLI Profiles
Added or updated the following SLI profiles:
• Layers of Fear – DirectX 11 SLI profile added
• Miscreated – DirectX 11 SLI profile added
• Trainz: A New Era – DirectX 11 SLI profile added
• Zui Zhong Bing Qi – DirectX 11 SLI profile added

3D Vision Profiles
Added or updated the following 3DV profiles:
• The Moonlight Blade – Fair
• The Park – Not recommended
• Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide – Fair

3D Compatibility Mode Profiles
These games must be run in DirectX 10/11 mode to see improvements and are not compatible with 3D Vision Surround mode. 
Added or updated the following compatibility mode profiles:
• Mad Max – Excellent
• Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain – Excellent
• Total War: Arena – Excellent

Software Modules
• NView – version 146.78 c
• HD Audio Driver – version 1.3.34.3
• NVIDIA PhysX System Software – version 9.15.0428
• GeForce Experience – version 2.5.14.5
• CUDA – version 7.5

The NVIDIA GeForce 358.50 WHQL driver can be downloaded here.

Image courtesy of WCCFTech.

tvOS Will Bring Plex Support to Apple TV

Following Apple’s unveiling of the tvOS platform, we can reveal that Apple TV will be getting support for popular media streaming system Plex. The release of tvOS beta and the tvOS Software Development Kit (SDK) means that Plex can finally develop a version of its software for Apple TV.

Plex co-founder Scott Olechowski told ITWorld, “We are very excited to have a crack at bringing our users Apple TV. It’s been a long requested platform and we’re excited to work on it. We want it, our users want it… and we’re anxiously awaiting the tvOS developer beta info, so we can finally dig in.”

When asked if anything might prevent Plex from being compatible with Apple TV, Olechowski replied, “There is no question we will be able to offer Plex on the platform. There are multiple ways to go about it, based on the tvOS SDK we now have access to. We are now evaluating the best path for Plex and will begin work in earnest once we have evaluated the options. The ability to access great and proven iOS frameworks on the device is great for developers like us — we know the stuff is solid and will perform really well. Our goal is to enable people to enjoy Plex on the hardware platforms of their choice, and there is no doubt this will be a top platform for us.”

Olechowski, though, refuses to put a timescale on the development of Plex for Apple TV, adding, “Of course we have started digging in and looking at it, but we have some bigger questions to answer before we can set any expectations.”

Thank you ITWorld for providing us with this information.

Improved Apple Watch SDK Will Drastically Improve Third-Party Apps

It has been common knowledge that Apple would release a native SDK for the all new Apple Watch, something developers can get their hands on to make more useful applications than the default Apple applications.

Apple is going to provide a beta version of the SDK a week after its Worldwide Developer Conference keynote on June 8, which means that we’ll probably get more information about it during the keynote. A final version will be distributed in the fall, which is when we’ll hope to begin seeing our first native watch apps from developers.

While WatchKit applications and Glances are at the moment, limited and mostly static screens that rely entirely on the connected iPhone for processing, native third-party apps should be a bit more flexible. Apple say that native apps will be able to access the watch’s sensors (which would hopefully include the heart rate sensor, accelerometer, gyroscope, and barometer) and the Digital Crown, and that the native SDK would include more tools for game developers. Game developers are already experimenting with WatchKit, of course, but it seems that Apple’s limitations are proving challenging

What we don’t know is whether native apps will be able to function when out of range of the paired iPhone or keep data on the watch’s internal storage, something that Apple’s first-party applications support to varying degrees.

Thank you to Ars Technica for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of Ars Technica

Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide Gets Better Optimization Software

What are we missing from today’s games? We have the hardware, they seem to match the recommended specs sheet, but we still don’t see that framerate we are hoping to achieve during gameplay. Why? I’ll tell you why. It’s all about optimization and how the game is made to use your hardware.

Fatshark, developer of Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide, looks to agree with this and licensed Umbra’s SDK to add some extra real-time graphics improvement to its title. Fatshark’s upcoming title is based on Autodesk’s Stingray engine and with Umbra’s software, they hope to achieve better visibility optimizations.

Umbra’s software looks to be an advanced Ambient Occlusion technology and if you’re not familiar with the latter, it means that it helps the engine process and render only the objects you see on your screen. That means everything that does not fit in your screen is not rendered, thus improving performance. Pretty neat, eh?

We previously came across Fatshark’s title about a month ago and it did show some promise with its 4 player co-op gameplay. Now add Umbra’s optimization to the mix and you might see something worth talking about once it gets released. Not satisfied? Watch the trailer below then.

Thank you DSOGaming for providing us with this information

Developer Creates Web Browser for Apple Watch

Comex, the brains behind JailBreakMe and a former Apple Intern, has worked out a way to hack the Apple watch to get a web browser to run on the device.

Comex has posted a short video demonstrating how he has been able to get the Google home page to render on the wrist-bound device. Apple, for obvious reasons, has not added Safari onto the device. The video does make it clear that navigating pages on such a tiny screen is near impossible.

More importantly though, the video lets us know that it is possible to get the apple watch to run 3rd party code and possible the first step to a full jailbreak? Comex has made no promises to release the details of the hack.

The fact that it brings up the copy|define option when he touches the screen gives an amusing insight into the OS on the apple watch. Currently running Watch OS 1.0 which is a version of the popular IOS 8.2 with a custom front layer to make it show the devices UI called Carousel.

Comex also shows the watch presenting the dictionary view on his Twitter feed.

Apple have stated that a native SDK is in the works, which will allow the rest of the development community to create more apps for the watch.

Thank you to 9to5mac for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of redmondpie

Windows 10 Apps to Be Easily Compatible With Any Interface

With Windows 10 being Microsoft’s biggest project to date, the company is working toward making the user experience as universal as possible for all the devices that will run it. This includes mobile devices, desktops, and consoles, enabling a feature set that works anywhere it’s accessed. Microsoft rolled out the SDK preview for Windows 10 on Monday, giving developers to start updating and creating apps for Windows 10 platform. Despite the release, the process won’t be so immediately accomplished, but those developers in the Windows Insider program will have the best chance getting started.

There are many new app elements that developers have access to in the preview. One of the more intriguing elements is called Adaptive UX, a user interface that can adapt to any screen, smartphone to desktop screens alike. By adding this to their apps, developers will easily prepare for the update from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10.

Another new element will allow apps to determine how the user is interfacing with it, and  adapt the user experience accordingly. This feature will be more useful with  laptops and tablets that feature both touchscreen ability or keyboard and mouse inputs. When using one or the other, the app will sense which is being used and adjust the interface appropriately. One feature more geared toward the developers, new API contracts which tell them what Windows features are available on which devices, thus being able to modify code “at runtime to deliver user experiences that feel right on the device it’s being run on.”

Source: BGR

Microsoft Making It Easier for Devs to Program for Xbox One

OSome Studio’s Mathieu has recently made an interesting statement regarding development complexity for the Xbox One. Fremont, who has worked with OSome Studio in developing the console-based White Night title, said that the PlayStation 4 is a powerful console indeed, which is nothing new since all game devs prefer Sony’s platform more than Microsoft’s alternative.

However, he added that the Xbox One is easier to program for. Now here is where the controversy begins, since it was previously known that Microsoft’s console has been a nightmare for devs. While the PlayStation 4’s unified GDDR5 memory makes it easier for devs to take full advantage if its performance, The Xbox One comes with slower DDR3 memory combined with a small amount of ESRAM.

Taking full advantage of the ESRAM is known to be a true challenge and this is why developers will always choose the PlayStation 4 over the Xbox One anytime. But Microsoft may have made it easier for developers to tap into the ESRAM resource with updated Xbox One SDKs, which is great since we now can expect a lot of titles being released for Microsoft’s console without the hassle of building the game on the platform.

Thank you NextPowerUp for providing us with this information

Microsoft Releases Xbox One SDK to App Developers

Microsoft has announced that it is opening the software development kit (SDK) for the Xbox One to app developers, in an effort to unify with the upcoming Windows 10 operating system.

Phil Spencer, Head of Xbox, revealed the news at GDC 2015 in San Francisco on Wednesday, telling the audience that the Xbox One SDK is already being used by a handful of developers and that it will soon be made available to more. Driven by Microsoft’s desire for cross-platform unity, the SDK will allow apps and games created for Windows to be ported to Xbox One.

“This SDK will provide access to the vast majority of Xbox Live services currently available on Xbox One, under a shared set of APIs, integrated with the Windows Store,” a post on Microsoft’s Xbox Wire blog reads.

Microsoft says it wants to make Xbox Live accessible to developers of all sizes, and wants to facilitate greater interaction between developers and the gaming community.

Source: Reseller News

Xbox One Software Development Kit Leaked

A Hacker group called H4LT has obtained and leaked the Xbox One software development kit (SDK), allowing home developers to create their own homebrew software for the Microsoft console.

In a short interview with The TechGame, H4LT claim, “We leaked it to the community because if something is shared then […] progress is achieved faster than alone. […] The SDK will basically allow the community to reverse and open doors towards homebrew applications being present on the Xbox One.”

Though H4LT says “there is no definite exploit,” the group hopes that coders with Windows 8 experience will crack it soon.

Source: Yahoo! Games

Developers: Apple Releases WatchKit SDK

Developers! This is your chance to jump on the bandwagon before everybody else has even noticed its arrival.

If you have absolutely no idea what I’m rambling on about, well let’s just say that Apple has finally introduced the WatchKit SDK to iOS developers, allowing them come up with apps for the new device due out next year.

We can expect to see thousands of developers unleashing their creativity upon the new device, with many who did so for the iPhone and the iPad creating multibillion dollar businesses in the process. This sort of opportunity, where developers essentially receive a new, untapped market, only comes around every 5 or 6 years.

So head on over to developer.apple.com/watchkit to get everything you need to get started.

For the rest of us none developers, the new documentation has slowly been revealing some interesting tidbits about the Apple Watch, such as the fact we now know the two resolutions of the different watch sizes – 272×340 and 312×390, that’s a very high ‘Retina’ pixel density.

Source: 9to5Mac

Let the Saints Row IV Modding Commence

We’ve already seen the new standalone expansion to Saints Row IV, named Gat out of Hell, as well as the Saints Row IV: Re-elected console exclusive. But that wasn’t all the Saints developer team, Volition, had to announce during PAX Prime this weekend.

The official modding SDK for Saints Row IV has been released and opens up for the possibility of a lot of new gaming mayhems to enjoy. There already are some fan made mods around ranging from the obligatory nude mod over first-person view for both walking and driving all the way to skateboards skins and climate modifications, and everything in between. So this isn’t entirely new.

New new official SDK however offers up a lot more possibilities, and also in an easier form. We’ve already seen what the modding community can do in such games as Grand Theft Auto IV and Skyrim, just to name two, so it will be really interesting to see what the skilled people around the web will come up with for this game.

Thank you joystiq for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Volition.

Oculus SDK 0.4.0 Beta Released, Includes Display Option that Reduces Latency

After delaying its firs batch of Oculus Rift DK2 in order to fix some last-minute bugs, the Oculus VR team has now released the new Oculus SDK 0.4.0 beta, bundled with positional tracking support, Runtime package and other significant features.

Oculus VR is said to have released a few preview SDK builds for their new VR headset up until now. However, the improvements added to the preview builds did not include support for the Rift DK2 tracking feature. The new Oculus SDK 0.4.0 is the first build to support a ‘beta’ tag for the feature, giving developers the ability to start playing around and updating their games and software for all features offered by the DK2.

The Oculus SDK 0.4.0 patch highlights are as following:

  • Added DK2 Positional Tracking support.
  • Introduced Oculus Runtime that is installed separately from the SDK. Runtime package includes the Oculus Config Utility, service and drivers.
  • Introduced Oculus Display Driver under Windows that routes rendering output directly to the headset, with an option of mirroring it in a window.
  • Added Health and Safety Warning screen that should be displayed on application start-up.

For developers who want to read more about what the new version bring, the full patch notes can be found over at the Oculus Rift Developer Center. It is said that the new SDK is only available for Windows-based systems, having Unity as the only game engine integrated with the new build. Epic Games is not far behind, having the company currently building Oculus integration directly into their Unreal Engine 4.

Macintosh and Linux users are said to still be waiting on the ‘coming soon’ bench, as the sections listed in the Developer Guide state. In addition, Oculus seems to have updated their Best Practice Guide, Oculus User Guide and Health and Safety Warning with a new section on positional tracking. Also, Andres Hernandez, Oculus VR’s Community Manager, states that the new SDK includes a new display option which reportedly reduces latency.

Thank you Road to VR for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Road to VR

First Image of the Google Android TV Game Controller Discovered

The Android L developer preview build is out in the wild for the Nexus 5 and second-gen Nexus 7. Developers have already ripped it apart to tweak apps and other features into the firmware, but those who dug a little deeper have even found images of the yet to be revealed Google game controller that could be used with Google powered TVs and devices.

“The directory they were found in is: ‘sdk\samples\android-L\androidtv\visual-game-controller\res\drawable-xxhdpi,’” Reddit userbedofgoatturds wrote. “Reverse image search tells me that this is completely new, just thought I’d get it out there.”

It is strange that Google haven’t said more about the controller so far, given that they used a console controller on state at I/O 2014 when demoing Android TV and that details are inside the SDK for Android L.

Now it also looks like the developers who attended the conference have been given Android TV dev kits which came complete with the controller found in the SDK. One user has even published a picture of the controller on Google+, so perhaps we’ll be hearing a lot more about this new controller very soon.

Thank you BGR for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of BGR.

Epic Games Preps ‘Cool Surprises’ for Unreal Engine 4

Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 4 received a lot of appreciation when it was first released, having its presence grow as it entered the VR community recently. The company has added support for Oculus Rift a few months ago, followed by the more recent Project Morpheus VR headset integration. The company has also stated that it will provide constant updates to the tool set and will improve support regularly

However, nobody seems to know what will happen later on. The question arose when the developer stated that some ‘cool surprises’ are planned in the following months. Nick Whiting, Lead Engine Programmer, revealed that the company has something special prepared in the future, but it seems his statement was vague. He has emphasized that some “cool suprirses in the coming months in the VR scene.”

Looking at the company’s announcements, Epic Games will be releasing the Couch Knight demo next month at the same time as Oculus Rift launches its second development kit, namely the DK2. This could mean that Epic Games would release a fully fledged video game with support for both Oculus Rift and Project Morpheus. On the other hand, Epic Games might use the timing in order to tease the development tools at hand. Nevertheless, whatever it might relate to, it will most certainly be ‘Epic’.

Thank you VRFocus for providing us with this information
Images courtesy of VRFocus

Windows Phone 8.1 SDK Starts Shipping To Select Developers

While Windows Phone 8.1 comes closer to being officially announced in April, developers are acknowledging they are receiving invitations from Microsoft to try out the Windows Phone 8.1 Development Kit (SDK) to start planning and building application based on the new Windows-based operating system.

Microsoft has been criticized in the past for keeping its SKD secret from developers and they haven’t officially acknowledged Windows Phone 8.1 yet either. The Verge have been able to talk via a Skype conference with Microsoft officials, stating that ‘select partners’ are starting to receive the WP 8.1 SDK and they plan to fully detail the product at the Build developer conference in April.

Reports say that Microsoft is not planning to discuss WP 8.1 until the Build conference, though they are said to be planning a conference about it on February 28th in London, where business customers will be presented with roadmap updates and technical briefing. Microsoft is said that built-in enterprise feature packs will be available in the new OS, including a VPN feature.

There have been leaked images of the new Windows Phone 8.1 Notification Center, which does look quite useful and nice, but we have to see it in action before an opinion can be given to the new feature. Aside from the notification center, Microsoft is said to add additional features alongside some major API changes, along with a voice-based “Cortana” personal assistant will ship with Windows Phone 8.1, improvements to volume controls, a feature to mirror Windows Phone screens to TVs or monitors, and access to quick settings from the new Action Center.

Thank you The Verge for providing us with this information

Google Ban Porn Apps For Chromecast

Got a naughty theme for your latest app on Chromecast, then we’re sorry to tell you that Google will be telling you to cover up, or get out as they rule that there will not be any porn based apps allowed on Chromecast. This rule extends to all adult based apps, so the planned Playboy TV app will no longer be heading to the service.

Google have released their Chromecast  SDK for developers, but along side it comes their updated Terms of Service, which developers have to agree to  before they can make their apps Chromecast compatible, and one of the most important rules in the ToS is that there can be no explicit content.

It’s kind of a pointless exercise in many ways though, why Google can’t just setup an age wall for part of the Chrome store is beyond me. Even though the Playboy app may not be coming to Chromecast for direct streaming, users can still open the Chrome browser and navigate to it.

Thank you Gigaom for providing us with this information.

Chromecast Developer Restrictions Lifted With New SDK, To Make It Available Abroad Soon

Google has officially announced the release of the Google Cast SDK, allowing developers to integrate the Chromecast in their Android, iOS and web applications. Rishi Chandra, Chromecast MP, said that their “opportunity set is fairly large”, mentioning that he could see millions of mobile apps and websites adding support for the Google Cast.

When it first came out nine months ago, it had limited support available, along with a few select apps allowed on the platform, such as Pandora, HBO Go and Hulu Plus. Google also made a preview available for the SDK in order to give developers a taste of how to build their own apps on the platform, but did not allow them to publish their apps.

The newly released SDK offer developers simple ways to just beam a photo to the TV screen, without the need of integrated casting capabilities and the ability to build it from scratch. Chandra said that he will also want to see developers go further with developing new tech with the new SDK, having mentioning multiplayer gaming.

Google has also made some changes to the SDK, being part of the Google Play Services framwork now. This means that an Android update will no be required to get Chromecast applications on the platform, something that consist with Google’s efforts to make fragmentation less of an issue with Android.

We can see from the above that Google wants to really expand the Chromecast this year, attempting to fill it with apps and widening its Android grasp. Also, Mario Queiroz, VP of Production at Google, stated that Google is looking to make Chromecast available abroad soon.

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

Leaked Presentation Reveals Source Engine 2.0, Half-Life 3 In The Works?

Rumors are that leaked screenshots of the Source 2.0 engine have surfaced from an allegedly confidential Valve Powerpoint presentation. Seems that the screenshots were posted by a reliable source, Neogaf user “CBOAT”, giving them some credibility.

We can see that this is an updated version of the Plantation level from the Left 4 Dead 2 campaign Swamp Fever. From the powerpoint document, we see the screenshots demonstrate the increase in detail that is possible with the Source 2 engine which includes enhanced foliage, improved lighting and shadow effects, among other things.

One of the slides outlines some of the redesigned tools and workflow of the engine. Unfortunately, some of the slide is cut off, however we can see a powerful GUI front end for content authoring that can be extended with custom and pre-game assets, a browser for quickly finding, managing and editing assets and automatic compiling of content.

It is known for some time now that Valve has been working on a follow-up to the original Source engine a CEO Gabe Newell revealed as much back in 2012. At the time, he said Valve would launch the engine when they had a promising enough game for it.

There are no indications as to what game might be in the slides, but we hope for Half Life 3. Other options could include Left 4 Dead 3 or perhaps even a completely new series but with any luck, we’ll see the engine debut sometime this year.

Thank you Tech Spot for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Neogaf

Havok Takes Project Anarchy Out Of Beta

Havok has announced that it has released the first full release of Project Anarchy. Project Anarchy is an end-to-end mobile game development engine which includes Autodesk’s Scaleform for free, full Tizen OS support and other additional features.

Project Anarchy includes Havok’s Vision Engine together with access to Havok’s industry-leading suite of Physics, Animation and AI tools as used in cutting-edge franchises such as Skyrim, Halo, Assassin’s Creed, and Uncharted. With features like an extensible C++ architecture, a flexible asset management system, advanced Lua debugging, rapid prototyping with the vSceneViewer functionality, full integration with fmod and Autodesk Scaleform, and customizable game samples and tutorials, Project Anarchy offers game developers the ability to quickly iterate on their ideas and create incredible gaming experiences.

The free engine also includes a new packaging tool for application data management, expanded rapid prototyping through both Lua binding extensions and support for a new vSceneViewer mobile app.

Havok has also announced more details on the Project Anarchy PC Exporter upgrade. The exporter will allow game developers to use the Project Anarchy toolset to create their mobile game and then release those projects on PC. The exporter is expected to ship in the first quarter of 2014 and will be priced at $499 / €369 / £311 per seat.

Thank you NextPowerUp for providing us with this information