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.

Spintires Removed From Steam

Ever felt like going off-road and bringing that large truck of yours into the wilderness to enjoy the outdoors? Spintires looked to do just that giving you the ability to enjoy an off-road driving experience based in Russia. The game may be no more though as it has now been pulled from Steam, with issues between the creator and the publisher, causing more than a few little bumps in its development.

The creator, Pavel Zagrebelnyj, came out last week and stated that he was still owed money by the publisher, the UK-based publisher company Oovee. Oovee state that while they are late their accounts are still filed, meaning that Zagrebelnyj would soon receive his money.

That may not be enough though as the game has experienced a recent slew of bugs and malfunctions. These have in fact been due to timebombs, certain pieces of code that go off after certain amounts of time or set dates. The time bombs were supposedly created by Zagrebelnyj, but have since been patched by a user with unofficial fixes.

Oovees are keen to deny any speculation that it may have been due to international sabotage, claiming to have been working with Pavel since the bugs were discovered.

With no option to buy the game on Steam, users may be disappointed as the signs point to development ending on this game and a sour relationship between the creator and publisher for what could have been an interesting game.

Squadron 42 Reveals Voice Actors And Footage

Star Citizen is not only one of the most crowd funded games in history but is easily one of the most anticipated, with the ability to go from piloting a ship and ordering your friends to pilot the ships turrets to boarding and fighting your way through someone else’s ship as a group, eventually taking it over. Piloting, trading and boarding, Star Citizen looks to be an all-encompassing space game. While we await this game we shouldn’t forget the single player campaign, titled Squadron 42, and I doubt after the recent revelations regarding it, we will be able to forget it again.

Set for a release in 2016, Squadron 42 will see its players take the role of a UEE Navy combat pilot, letting you fight both in space and on land as you build everything from your character to the relationships you have with others characters aboard a large Capital Ship.

To bring life to the story, Star Citizen has hired none other than Gary Oldman, Mark Hamil, Gillian Anderso and Andy Serkis among some of many to bring life to the universe. If you were wondering just how awesome that would make the game, find Gary Oldman’s character, Admiral Bishop, explaining the world you are about to fly into.

Thank you DSOGaming for the information.

Image courtesy of Roberts Space Industries.

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?

Forza Motorsport 6 Has Gone Gold! Demo Coming September 1st

Forza Motorsport 6 is speeding into the homes of Xbox One racing enthusiasts extremely soon and heralded as the “best racing game” during Gamescom 2015. In two weeks, Forza Motosport 6 will be available to download for owners of the Ultimate Edition and consumers opting for the standard version will gain access 5 days later. Turn 10 Studios has scheduled a demo for September 1st to whet your appetite and revolves around the iconic Ford GT. Rather surprisingly, downloading the demo allows you to keep this vehicle and use it in the full game for free.

As an authentic racing simulator, it’s imperative to hone the physics system, and create a smooth, realistic experience. Forza Motorsport 6 runs at a native resolution of 1920×1080 and 60fps. As a result, the driving is extremely fluid whilst emphasizing the Xbox One’s visual capabilities. In total, there are 460 cars to choose from and the latest additions include:

2015 Mercedes-AMG GT S
1979 BMW #6 BMW Motorsport M1 Procar
2015 Volvo S60 Polestar
2014 Audi #45 Flying Lizard Motorsports R8 LMS ultra
2014 BMW #5 Ebay Motors 125i M Sport
2014 Chevrolet #3 Corvette Racing Corvette C7.R
2015 Jaguar XKR-S GT
1976 Lotus #5 Team Lotus 77
1969 Lola #10 Simoniz Special T163
2014 Ferrari California T

The full 460 car list is available via Forzamotorsport.net and there’s bound to be something to suit even the most die-hard motorsport aficionados. Personally, I was fairly disappointed with the complete lack of content in Forza Motorsport 5 and hope this was due to time constraints surrounding the Xbox One’s launch. Over the years, Forza has established itself as a superb racing game and not just a clone of Gran Turismo. In fact, Forza’s physics model, interior renders and engine noises are vastly superior to Gran Turismo’s latest efforts.

Researchers Prove How They Can Stop a Corvette with a Simple Text Message

Since a couple of hackers found a way to remotely control a Crysler, we’ve heard a lot of similar successful attempts on other vehicles. The latest comes from researchers over at the University of California, who have taken an interest in third-party devices coupled to the TCUs.

The TCUs are directly linked to a vehicle’s Controller Area Network bus, who sends and receives messages from all systems. The thing is that TCUs also have a SIM card to send data back to the manufacturer or insurance companies. This is how the researchers were able to discover, target and compromise a Corvette’s systems with just a simple text message.

The researchers made a two-staged attack, first by updating the device’s software, then making use of funnel commands which could be sent directly to the CAN bus. They were able to prove on a Corvette that they can remotely start the windshield wipers and ally the breaks while the car was moving.

In the researchers’ paper, they state that finding mobile numbers for TCU SIMs is fairly easy, having assigned numbers that start with the 566 area code. They also said that the TCUs are not cryptographically signed, allowing them to install the malicious software update without the TCU knowing and that TCU NAND flash units share the same SSH key, allowing hackers to use it on other TCUs.

Thank you PCWorld for providing us with this information

Project CARS Wii U Version Has Been Cancelled

Slightly Mad Studios has confirmed the cancellation of Project CARS on the Wii U after numerous delays affecting the development schedule. This isn’t a surprising revelation given the graphical fidelity and horsepower required to run the game at a decent resolution. The Wii U is severely underpowered by today’s standards which resulted in a lack of third party support. We should give credit to Slightly Mad Studios though for attempting to release the game whilst most AAA publishers disregarded the Wii U immediately after the Xbox One and PS4 launch. The studio’s creative director, Andy Tudor, issued a personal apology and argued the port was no longer a viable possibility:

“Despite much perseverance on the Wii U version of Project Cars, we will no longer be actively pursuing development on it as the quality does not meet our own high standards nor our intended vision for the title on this platform,”

“We eagerly look forward to any announcement of further hardware from Nintendo but right now Project Cars is simply too much for Wii U despite our very best efforts.”

“Apologies to our Nintendo fans out there that have been waiting for further news on this but we have no desire to release a product that isn’t at the very least comparable with our highest-rated versions on other platforms.”

“We optimistically look forward therefore to what the future may hold.”

While expected, it is a very disappointing move and the studio might release Project CARS or Project CARS 2 on a future Nintendo system. However, many publishers have shared similar intentions which rarely come to fruition. Why? Nintendo doesn’t focus a console’s life cycle based on compute power. The Wii U’s successor, codename NX, already has rumours circulating about its lack of graphical prowess. For example, a reliable source close to Nintendo hinted that the NX would be less powerful than the PlayStation 4. Additionally, there is no chance whatsoever of Project CARS suddenly appearing on the NX anytime soon. There have been no reports of development kits which suggests the NX’s core line-up might be some time off. Many users suspect the console will arrive in 2016, but I feel 2017 makes a lot more sense.

The head of Slightly Mad Studios is a rather colourful character and hasn’t broken the news in a PR-friendly manner. On the official site’s forum, he said,

“Yup, and if you need to pass this on, we really dislike Nintendo users.”

It’s difficult to deduce if this remark was made in an ironic fashion, but it looks aggressive, and could be taken on face value. Furthermore, Nintendo fans are a passionate bunch and rightfully adore the company’s history.  This attitude is very bizarre as the Wii U gamepad could have been used to perhaps show a circuit layout or contain touch controls to make pit requests. I really hope Nintendo targets widespread 3rd party support and don’t rely solely on their own IPs.

Thank you GameSpot for providing us with this information.

Apple and Samsung Reportedly Planning to Ditch SIM Cards

Apple, Samsung and a number of other leading telecom companies are poised to revolutionize mobile networking with a brand new E-SIM card. The embedded SIM is a more versatile system which allows you to instantly switch between different mobile operators. Traditionally, SIM cards transferred data from a particular carrier and you had to swap between physical cards to access different networks. While the E-SIM isn’t removable, there’s no need for this technology considering it’s extremely easy to assign a new network. However, I’m not sure if this will apply to acquiring a new number from an existing network by changing from one tariff to another.

According to the Financial Times, AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, Etisalat, Hutchison Whampoa, Orange, Telefónica and Vodafone are all expected to support this move and if more parties follow, then the death of the traditional SIM might be closer than first expected. Personally, I foresee E-SIMs as a supplementary device and not something to replace traditional cards in the short-term. The amount of customers using older handsets with basic SIMs, Nano SIMs and Micro SIMs means the roll-out could take some time. Although, that doesn’t stop brand new devices from utilizing this superior form of technology.

Another possible problem revolves around phone upgrades. If your number is assigned to a handset, what happens if you want to sell your device on eBay and buy a better model? What if the phone becomes defective? Perhaps, networks will assign each number to an IMEI and disable it when transferring to a new handset.

Thank you The Next Web for providing us with this information.

Everywhere Sim Uses All Four Major UK Networks

Tired of having a poor signal on your mobile? For those who live in rural areas in the UK, signal issues can be tiresome, while those in built-up areas benefit from the fastest speeds, you may be struggling to find a single bar on your signal strength.

A Lancashire-based start-up may finally have the solution you’ve been waiting for. The company uses the O2 network as its home network, but thanks to deals with EE, Three and Vodafone, the sim allows your phone to jump to whichever network has the strongest signal at that time. The downside is that for now, it could be a little expensive if you use your device a lot, plus you’re only going to be limited to 3G services for now. However, if you’re having signal troubles, this could be a vital lifeline for you.

The basic pay-as-you-go sim will cost you 5p per minute for calls, 5p per SMS text message and 5p per megabyte of data. The costs remain the same regardless of which of the four major networks your phone is connected to. However, the sim cannot swap networks mid-call, so it’s best to see if it’s on the best network before you start dialing.

The service is still in its infancy, but it’ll be interesting to see how its services and more importantly, its tariffs, mature over time.

Globalgig and D-Link Team up to Bring 4G Router into Your Home

Globalgig and D-Link have released a new router based on 4G technology to give you the ability to have multiple devices connected wherever you might be. The D-Link DWR-922 comes with the standard cable, NDN and ADSL ports to connect to the internet traditionally, but it also features a SIM slot for a 4G mobile data SIM should you wish to run it off 4G entirely.

It is said that D-Link will be selling the router along with a Globalgig 4G SIM and $30 starting credit through its website. While Globalgig offers fast 4G internet through its Optus’ 4G network in Australia, it also has some great deals through its flat-rate 3G mobile broadband net access in 84 countries. Tariffs for roaming stretch from $20 for 250m and up to $70 for 5GB.

Staying connected in today’s era is something everybody is trying to achieve, and with the D-Link DWR-922, users won’t have to rely on a hotel or other venue for internet when travelling abroad. D-Link is selling the router bundled with a Globalgig SIM and $30 starter credit for 5GB of 4G in Australia and 1GB abroad for $249.95.

Thank you Gizmodo for providing us with this information

Android 5.1 Officially Announced

Google first announced that Android 5.1 is coming on Android One, giving a lot of reference to the software and stating that it is targeting developing countries. Now, the company has officially announced Android 5.1 via the Android blog .

At first glance, the latest Android seems to bring minor updates. However, Google states that it will be serving to “improves stability and performance” over 5.0. Aside from the latter, Android 5.1 also comes with support for multiple SIM slots and HD voice, along with a new security feature named Device Protection.

Google’s Device Protection feature seems to be working similar to Apple’s security measure, having it in place in case the phone is lost and stolen. Users are required to sign into their Google accounts to unlock the device and the protection survives even if the handset suffers a factory reset.

While we know that Google will be rolling out Android 5.1, we still do not know exactly when. However, AOSP and Nexus devices should be the first handsets to receive the latest update.

Thank you Arstechnica for providing us with this information

Snowden: US and UK Spies Hacked SIM Card Manufacturer

It’s been reported that spies from both the UK and the US hacked into a SIM card company. The information, once again coming from Edward Snowden, details efforts to steal codes that allowed the spies to eavesdrop on communications between phones and cell towers.

The company in question, Gemalto, produces SIM cards in 85 countries and chances are your SIM card was made by them. The hack provided the codes required to decrypt pretty much any communications between mobile phones.

With these stolen encryption keys, intelligence agencies can monitor mobile communications without seeking or receiving approval from telecom companies and foreign governments. Possessing the keys also sidesteps the need to get a warrant or a wiretap, while leaving no trace on the wireless provider’s network that the communications were intercepted. The Intercept

The hack is unprecedented as it meant that GCHQ and the NSA had essentially given themselves the ability to capture any mobile communications from the air. Gemalto says that they “take this publication very seriously”.

“We take this publication very seriously and will devote all resources necessary to fully investigate and understand the scope of such highly sophisticated techniques to try to obtain Sim card data,” – Gemalto

Source: BBC News

Speedlink Phantom Hawk Flight Stick Review

Introduction


Over the last few weeks I’ve been diving into the world of flying games, with everything from War Thunder to Star Citizen: Arena Commander taking up my time. While mouse and keyboard do a pretty reasonable job for flight sims, it’s a far cry from the real deal and can be a little cumbersome at the best of times. Control pads such as the Xbox 360 controller are a nice middle ground, they provide dual analogue sticks that are great for arcade style flying, but they lack the controls needed for more sim-friendly flying. This leaves only one option, a flight stick and that’s exactly what I’ll be testing today.

There are countless flight sticks out there to choose from, from several manufacturers such as MadCatz, Cyborg, Speedlink and more. It doesn’t take long to realise that if you want to get to grips with a realistic flight stick, you need to spend a fair amount of money. This is why I’ve chosen to put a budget friendly model through its paces, the Speedlink Phantom Hawk. It’s relatively cheap, with prices around £25 from most retailers, so I’m not expecting industry leading performance here. I am however eager to find out just how good it really is, despite its low price tag.

“Transform your desktop into a cockpit – the PHANTOM HAWK joystick makes flight simulation a true experience and adds authenticity to challenging missions. With throttle controller, three control dimensions and eight-way Coolie Hat sets you up for the races, spectacular dogfights and accurate rescue flights.” – Speedlink

It’s got all the major features you could hope for in a flight stick; an analogue stick, 8-way hat switch, throttle control, vibration feedback, D-Pad and 12 programmable buttons.

Features

  • Ergonomically designed flight stick with hand rest for right-handed use
  • Coolie Hat for an eight-way all-round visibility
  • Perfect grip on all surfaces thanks to especially strong suction discs
  • Progressive throttle controller
  • Twelve freely assignable digital fire buttons
  • Force vibration for the ultimate gaming experience
  • 4-way digital D-pad
  • Cable length: 2m
  • Dimensions: 185 × 185 × 240mm (W × D × H)

The packaging is nicely designed, with images and specifications clearly displayed around the box; handy for those looking at this item in a retail store.

In the box you will find everything you need; the controller, a driver install CD and a quick install guide.

Goat Simulator’s MMO Expansion Announced

Freaky, fun, fantastic and f’in crazy are usually the words I use to describe Coffee Stain Studio’s Goat Simulator to my friends when asked. Just when you thought that longevity of the game wasn’t quite there, today they’ve announced that later this month we’ll be seeing a free expansion named Goat MMO Simulator.

This expansion is said to dwell around “the faction warfare between goats and sheep” seeing you, the main hero, take the form of one of the following classes:

  • Warrior
  • Rogue
  • Magician
  • Hunter
  • Microwave

Said to include ‘dozens’ of quests and a level cap of 101 starting on November 20, it’s a ‘free DLC’ for those who already own the game on PC. In addition to this, we’ve told that Goat MMO Simulator will be available on Mac and Linux including full controller support.

Coming November 20, I’m going to forget that World of Warcraft is a thing – Please excuse me while I channel my inner microwave and start my real life preparations.. Time to call in sick to work!

Goat Simulator was released on STEAM earlier this year to a massive reception due to its crazy physics and outlandish humor, akin to somewhat of a “420 MLG Montage“, Goat Simulator is here to stay. If PC isn’t quite your thing, Goat Simulator has been released on iOS and Android with an Xbox One port on the way – although we haven’t heard if the MMO version is coming to these platforms (yet).

 

Image courtesy of GAMENGUIDE

Brand New Wargame Red Dragon Trailer Released

Eugen Systems have revealed a new video for their upcoming War-sim “Wargame Red Dragon” that blows the lid off many of the games new features. The real time strategy game series also reveals its new official website today alone with a brand new section dedicated to Wargame Red Dragon! Something that will give fan a local hub for up to date information as the game approaches its release date and beyond.

The new narrated trailer features NATO, the Warsaw Pact and the new coalitions available in game are opening hostilities. Everything is explained in detail: the new features such as the warships, the increased importance of landscape and water areas, the new Asian battleground, the new dynamic campaign. in brief, everything that we are waiting from this new Wargame.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/IoXwdVJIlk0[/youtube]

The game is already shaping up to be an absolute storm of action and the addition of 20 player online battles will no doubt result in some incredibly complicated and devastating battles, of course you’ll need to brush up on your military deployment tactics if you want to have a fighting chance as this series is well known to draw out enthusiastic players who pack a hefty knowledge of various scenarios and campaigns.

The new official website of Wargame Red Dragon explains in every details the new features offered by the game, while also giving loads of accurate information about all its gameplay mechanics with the help of loads of new screenshots. All you need or want to know, whether you’re new to Wargame or are a veteran player of European Escalation and AirLand Battle, is featured in there. The website is also the hub of the community: you will be able to follow in real time all the news concerning Wargame on social media, and the Devblog of developer Eugen Systems is regularly fed with exclusive information about the game and its development. The gallery of screenshots and videos also features a “Fan Videos” section, that will let you discover some of the best fan-made trailers and videos!

The game is set to launch of PC in Q2 this year.

Thank you Wargame RD for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of Wargame RD.

Breaking News: Sim City for Macintosh Pushed Back To August

SimCity’s senior producer Kip Katsarelis announced today vai the Sim City Blog that they will not be bringing SimCity to Mac users, yet, and not on June 11th either, as stated before. Mac users will not be able to play their version of SimCity until at least August, the new date has not yet been announced. Could this hurt sales, or promote them? Some Mac users may pull back their pre-order copies of SimCity because of this delay. Though I think that this may be a good thing, and I almost wish that they would have done this with the PC version. Katsarelis stated that the makers of SimCity “do not believe it is ready for primetime yet”.

Many users believe that PC was released to soon, with many glitches and other problems with the game. SimCity has changed their stance though for the Mac users, and want to make sure that they have a great experience. The developers of SimCity are opting to take more time in perfecting the game, pushing the game back a few weeks, at least that is what they are saying right now.

SimCity is still working of many fixes for the PC users and server fixes and will likely bring players Update number 5 which should be available in a couple of weeks. At the same time, work has already started for Update number 6, primarily focusing on residential, commercial and industrial improvements.

Sim City developers have been seeking feedback from their userbase on their forums, you are also able to see what they are working on by checking their “Currently in Development” thread.

As a bonus to all Mac fans, and as a thank you from SimCity, they will be giving the SimCity Launch Park to all who have purchased the mac version.

What are your thoughts on the pushback of the game? Let us know in the comments below.

Original image courtesy of SimCity.com