Sega to Support Modding of Games via Steam Workshop

Steam used to hold a collection of games, both old and new, but with its constant updates and the ability to download the games on any internet connected PC, people love the new choices they’ve been given. This love only grows when you give them back a childhood classic, which for many are centered around the games that the Sega Mega Drive offered them, and Sega wants this to grow by supporting not just the games on Steam but also the modified versions that will be shared via Steam Workshop.

Steam Workshop is the user content sharing part of Steam, letting you add mods and tweaks that include the likes of replacing dragons with trains or a new map for your army to conquer. In this respect support for user-created content will be supported by Sega alongside the new Sega Mega Drive Classics Hub being released on Steam on April 28th.

Clearly designed for a VR generation, the hub will include the system being placed in a bedroom, much like the ones where you first encountered the games. With graphical enhancement filters, full controller and keyboard support and “spot-on emulation” listed in the release, you can replay Golden Axe, Altered Beast, Ecco and even Columns just like you did when you were younger.

SEGA Teasing Classic IP Revival

SEGA, it’s no secret that they’re working on a new game, being one of the world’s long-standing studios, they’re hardly going to be doing anything else right now! However, what their upcoming game is remains to be seen, but they’re already teasing that it may be something pretty special.

SEGA has a huge catalogue of games behind them, spanning many gaming generations right back to the Sega Master System console that went head to head with the original NES. So the prospect of them bringing back an old IP in their new game is certainly an interesting one, but it doesn’t give us much of a clue as to what it could be. We’ve already had a few HD remakes over the year, as well as a fair few Sonic games, and a bunch of spin-offs here, there and everywhere. However, with this year being Sonic’s 25th year on this Earth, he does seem a likely candidate once again.

Sega posted on Twitter and Facebook “If you’re a fan of the classics, you’ll definitely want to tune in tomorrow for our new game announcement.” although their posts have now been removed, but not before getting enough people’s attention.

Rumours are suggesting an announcement today from Sega regarding the new game, so we shouldn’t have long to wait, but what game are you hoping to see Sega produce again? Would you like to see that game done with an HD makeover, a simple re-release, complete remake or even just a sequel? Personally, I’d like to see them bring back something like Streets of Rage, as we haven’t had a lot of games like that in recent years, at least not outside of the Indie gaming scene.

Come on SEGA, make this a good one and not another kart game, please!

Super Mario Overhaul Comes to Sonic Generations on PC

Sonic’s reputation has been abysmal in the last decade and categorically failed to live up to the iconic Megadrive/Genesis titles. SEGA released a number of atrocious Sonic games such as Sonic Boom, but there are two fairly recent hidden gems. Sonic & SEGA All-Star Racing Transformed is a magical kart racer and the closest the PC has come to its own version of Mario Kart.  On another note, Sonic Generations perfectly reproduced the addicting Sonic physics and contained a host of visually diverse levels. It’s one of the best platformers I’ve ever played and well worth a look!

One of the PC’s greatest attributes is the modding community which prolongs each game’s lifespan way beyond its launch period. While some mods are designed to make silly changes, others can dramatically alter the core gameplay. Yesterday, YouTube channel Daku Neko released a mod entitled, Super Mario Generations. In the creators own words the mod:

“… includes, but not limited to, new rivals from the Mario universe, new music, new HUD and anything else pertaining to raster graphics.”

“And, of course, sound effect edits.”

“Luigi is also included for those who love the King-of-Second-Bananas. Yoshi was originally planned to be playable; unfortunately, we didn’t open the door, get on the floor, or even walk the dinosaur.”

Obviously, this isn’t endorsed by SEGA or Nintendo, so I presume it could be removed fairly soon. Additionally, the developer is asking let’s players to seek permission before making content as monetization of videos is a legal problem. For those of you interested in giving it a try here’s the full instructions and download link:

“Install like you would any other Generations mod. Normally, the directory is C:\Program Files(x86)\Steam\Steamapps\common\Sonic Generations\mods. SonicGMI is paramount if you want to play this mod. You may also pack the files into CPKs if you run into GMI’s infamous loading loop glitch (advanced users only).”

“If you have do not have SonicGMI, or do not understand why it’s required, please refer to this page

Download Super Mario Generations here.

Sonic Lost World Coming to PC

Sonic the Hedgehog is one of gaming’s most recognizable characters and helped to establish the Megadrive/Genesis as a viable alternative to the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. The combination of blisteringly fast action and colorful graphics created a wonderful arcade experience and still holds up remarkably well in 2015. Sadly, Sonic’s reputation has become pretty woeful in recent years due to a variety of terrible games, designed to cash in on people’s nostalgia. However, there are criminally overlooked exceptions such as All Star Racing Transformed which is the best kart-racing game I’ve ever played on PC.

Nevertheless, the general picture is quite bleak and the series is in dire need for something fresh. Some time ago, SEGA decided to launch a Wii-U exclusive Sonic game, entitled Sonic Lost World. The idea was to harness the Wii U’s tablet controller and dual-screen functionality. Unfortunately, the Wii U’s extremely poor hardware sales resulted in pitiful units sold for this particular title and also received fairly lukewarm reviews. As a result, SEGA has used their infinite wisdom to launch the game on PC with a release date of November 2nd.

From a technical standpoint, Sonic Lost World implements Steam Cloud saves, achievements, controller support and plays at 60 frames-per-second. Additionally, if the launcher is similar to Sonic Generation, it should support a wide array of high resolutions from 21:9 to 4K. Currently, the price is set at £19.99 in the UK which seems reasonable enough. However, please note, this isn’t a return to form for Team Sonic but it’s always neat to see former exclusives come to the PC.

Here is a complete rundown of the minimum and recommend specification:

MINIMUM:

    • OS: Microsoft Windows 7 / 8 / 10
    • Processor: Intel Pentium Dual-Core T4200 (2×2.0GHz) or AMD equivalent
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Intel Core i5 @ 2.66 GHz / AMD Phenom II X4 @ 3.0 GHz
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Hard Drive: 8 GB available space
    • Sound Card: Sound: 9.0c compatible.
    • Additional Notes: Memory: 2GB RAM (XP)/3GB RAM (Windows 7 / Vista)

RECOMMENDED:

    • OS: Microsoft Windows 7
    • Processor: Intel Core i5 @ 2.66 GHz / AMD Phenom II X4 @ 3.0 GHz
    • Memory: 3 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 (1GB) / ATI Radeon HD 5850 (1GB)
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Hard Drive: 8 GB available space
    • Sound Card: Sound: 9.0c compatible.

Which Sonic game is your favourite and why?

Researchers Prove That Drones Can Be Disabled Using the Right Sound Frequency

Researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) in Daejon, South Korea, seem to have found an easy way to take out drones from the sky using ‘the right sound’. They explained that some components inside drones are vulnerable to certain frequencies, so with the right one, you can disable them.

One of the researchers stated that components such as gyroscopes have been made to resonate with sound above the audible spectrum, but some of them are still in the audible spectrum, which makes them vulnerable to interference. In an experiment, they used a speaker attached to a drone and connected to a laptop via Wi-Fi. When the right sound was played through the speaker, the drone dived down and crashed.

Of course, you won’t be able to physically attach a speaker to a drone in most cases if you want to make it crash, but this proves that sounds can be used to crash drones. Other experiments involved attaching a speaker to a police shield and making a sonic wall, but without the proper high-tech equipment to keep aim on the drone while it spirals out of control, it is useless.

The conclusion is that drone enthusiasts shouldn’t worry about it, unless your neighbour silently attached a speaker to your drone. Using high-tech sound disruptors, as far as I know, is illegal in most countries, so if you’re not piloting a high-tech military drone, you should be fine.

Thank you PCWorld for providing us with this information

‘Concord 2’ Hypersonic Airbus Being Developed!

Airbus are known for their giant airplanes, and it’s not hard to know why, as they’re used all over the world to transport people and materials. Their new design hopes to improve on that by allowing them to travel at speeds of up to four and a half times the speed of sound!

To summarise this, travelling to New York from London currently takes seven to eight hours, with the new airbus design the flight would take a single hour. Flights from Paris to San Fransico and Tokyo to Los Angeles would take a mere three hours, saving people and companies time which they often don’t have lying around (or sitting) in the air.

The airplane will be a little different from your normal flight. designed to take off vertically thanks to some engines mounted underneath the jet is designed to climb vertically until it’s almost at the speed of sound. After this, it relies on rocket motors to carry it up to 100,000 feet before finally allowing the ramjets to push it to a final speed of Mach 4.5.

The design is similar to a lot of high-speed military jets, and even has some resemblance to the concord, a jet which was not allowed to operate over land due to the worry that it would cause a sonic boom. The new crafts design is built to limit not only the noise it creates but also the sonic booms, thereby hoping to allow it to travel in more populated areas without the restrictions set on the concord.

With only twenty seats on each jet, the chances are the tickets will be highly priced and the onboard entertainment short. Who wants a meal with their flight anyway?

Thank you Tech Sport for the information and the image. 

MWC: Qualcomm Unviels Ultrasonic Fingerprint Scanner

At Mobile World Congress, Qualcomm is showing off Sense ID, a new technology that brings ultrasonic fingerprint scanning to mobile devices. The main advantage of ultrasonic fingerprint scanning is that because it uses sound waves, it doesn’t require direct contact with your finger. This means the ultrasonic sensor can be underneath the device’s front cover glass or potentially underneath the display itself. Now fingerprint scanners aren’t breaking news in the mobile market. Previous iterations include the iPhone 5S with Touch ID. This system, along with all current scanners, require physical interaction with the scanner; pretty annoying if it’s cold and you have gloves on. Golves are a pretty extreme example, the scanner could be made unusable by even water, lotion or dirt; so dry clean hands all round.

This new ultrasonic scanner uses high-frequency sound waves to scan your finger, penetrating relatively large obstacles, like the aforementioned gloves scenario. This scanner uses similar technology to that in the medical sector, just not as powerful, yet. This means that the scanner could potentially scan deeper than just the top layer of skin and retrieve even more biometric data.

“At Mobile World Congress, Qualcomm is showing off a prototype smartphone with Sense ID beneath the front cover glass. When I asked whether Sense ID could be placed beneath the display—so that you could scan your finger by simply placing it on the screen, just like in all the movies—I got a noncommittal response that is best transcribed as “I don’t see why not.””

Now Qualcomm can’t take all the credit here, back in 2013 the company acquired Ultra-Scan; who already had a similar technology developed for use by the US government. Now that may sound a little alarming, the US government seem to want to harvest as much data as possible, but Qualcomm has made clear that your biometric data is secured to the device via its hardware-level SecureMSM tech; no cloud data snatching here.

Sense ID is compatible with all recent Snapdragon SoCs, including the upcoming Snapdragon 820, but there aren’t any immediate products being released with this technology, the earliest indication is Q3 2015.

Thanks to ArsTechnica for supplying this information.

Cancelled Sonic 3D Game Made Playable

The 1990s was an incredible period of transition in the video game world. For the early part of the decade, Nintendo had been working on its ‘Project Reality’ with SGI, in its attempt to bring “photorealistic” 3D graphics to consoles. Sony became a newcomer to the console market, with similar ambitions. Nintendo’s efforts later became the legendary and history-making Super Mario 64 on the Nintendo 64 and Sony’s the cult-classic Crash Bandicoot on the original PlayStation.

Meanwhile, struggling Sega was wondering how to fight back. The company was developing a game called Sonic X-treme that was to be Sega’s first fully 3D Sonic game. However, it was not to be. It’s development was not at all free from trouble, with the title eventually being cancelled.

Fortunately, a copy of the unfinished game was discovered in 2006, and now, fans have joined together to release a version that can run on Windows. Be warned though, it really is nowhere near finished. The ‘game’ is essentially a playable demo, one not free from bugs. The video below however, helps us to get an idea of what Sonic-equivalant of Super Mario 64 may have looked like.

Source: The Verge

Sonic Boom Announced, New Game, TV Show & Toys For The Speedy Hedgehog

Great news for Sonic fans as SEGA have announced Sonic Boom, a fresh take on the Sonic universe that will include a new game, toys and CG animated television series. Personally I washed my hands with Sonic a while back, the games got worse and worse over the years, with the exception of the HD one they did. My son on the other hand will be happy to hear there is a new game and cartoon on the way!

Sonic and his pals have been tweaked and redesigned for the new series, and the game will be heading exclusively to Wii U and 3DS, which will hopefully give Nintendo the little boost they need right now. The game will serves as a prequel to the accompanying TV series and will features all the usual stars; Sony, Tails, Knuckles and Amy Rose.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/U0a7-1wdDuw[/youtube]

The Cartoon will be heading to Cartoon Network for the 2014/15 season, run for 52 episodes or around 11 minutes each. Expect the toys and merchandise to be your usual wide range of semi-collectables.

Hiroyuki Miyazaki, SEGA chief content officer for Sonic, said “SEGA is constantly looking to feed the appetite of Sonic fans, new and existing alike. The various pieces of the Sonic Boom project, such as its unique look, mix of comedy, and action and its focus on the whole ensemble with Sonic as the star, offer another exciting part of that universe for people to explore and enjoy.  It will be at once familiar but also new.”

With rumours floating around about a new Sonic game for PS4 / Xbox one for 2015, we can only assume that may also have something to do with this series, however SEGA have been quick to deny such things.

Thank you IGN for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of IGN.

Sega: Spectrum, A New World Of Entertainment

 

Admit it, when you see the single word SEGA you can’t help but chime in with their sing-song of the name. Okay, you might be able to, but when I see it, I NEED TO DO IT! SEGA! Rumors are spreading, and like a California wildfire, Sega is going to bring us an announcement? A new game? A new console? Or are they going to do as they say and bring us “A New World of Entertainment.”

The image above appears to be from SEGA, a simple tease of an advertisement. At the top of the image there is Japanese lettering which gives us the words “A new world of entertainment.” Spectrum appears to be the name of the product that SEGA will be introducing to us, and they will be bringing us this announcement on June 12, 2013.

A post was found from shaowebb on Neogaf.com providing us with a simple image, which they commented

Searched and found nothing. Lock/mock if old.

Text translates to “A new world of entertainment.”

What is this thing? Arcade board maybe? Digital platform? I’m clueless here…

This could be anything really with no solid information we can only assume that they are going to bring us an announcement rather than releasing a new game, though they could be telling us about a new game.

Has SEGA been tight lipped and kept a huge secret for their next generation of console, I don’t think so. I believe that if SEGA were to be gearing up for a next generation console they would have been announcing it from the roof tops, then again, with the bust of Dreamcast maybe they are keeping shareholders in the dark. We will just have to wait and see.

source

Asus Unveil Their Z87 Lineup – Including Never Seen Before Models

With Haswell on a close horizon and Intel still holding the fort under close guard with regards to their 4th Generation chips, we’ve been seeing the lid slowly lift from each of the motherboard vendors on what their new boards will have to offer. Asus is next in line to show off some of their new boards from their Series , TUF (The Ultimate Force) and ROG (Republic of Gamers) lines and at each level they are offering up the best they can in terms of performance, user experiences, stability and upgrade paths.

Jackie Hsu, Corporate Vice President and General Manager of Worldwide Sales commented “ASUS possesses the best research and development expertise, and as always we are confident that we offer our customers the finest quality with these new motherboards. We’re including a variety of media-praised exclusive features with each model, and are proud to announce that we have the most comprehensive Z87 motherboard launch line-up, all available simultaneously”

On the bottom end of Asus’ new line-up is a completely re-branded set of Series boards. The most notable part of this re-brand is the drop of the blue and black colour scheme that we have come to know with Asus entry level boards – the new colour scheme is based around a two tone yellow/gold, but thankfully this is not a shiny gold which would be rather displeasing to the eye. Whilst there are a number of boards in the Series range, looking at both ends of the range, Asus have covered all the grounds when it comes to compatibility – something which we have seen previously on their Z77 boards of a similar level. Between this board is a number of models that make a transition from a board for more mainstream builds, offering all the Z87 features. These include the Z87-C, Z87-PRO, Z87-PLUS and the Z87I-Delux (a mini ITX offering).

Top top end of the Series range see native PCI fully replaced with PCIe amongst other subtle changes. All the new series boards will see the integration of Dual Intelligent Processors 4 with 4-way optimisation, DIGI+ Power Control, Fan Xpert 2 amongst other now offerings from Intel.

Moving up one stage and on to the TUF line of boards, this line only see some subtle changes with a full ATX board that in some respects looks very similar to the previous generation Z77 board. This is all because of the thermal armour that is laid across the PCB to keep the board as cool as possible and keep dust away from all empty slots with a series of Dust Defender plugs that fill empty ports. On the back of the PCB we see a new Fortifier metal plate that reinforces the PCB to prevent it warping whist in use and an airflow boosting valve design around the CPU power areas.

Making a fresh appearance to the TUF line-up is one of Asus’ many new boards. The Gryphon is a mATX version of the Sabertooth and like its bigger brother, it features all the same top quality components and features as well as the extended expected lifetime from its higher temperature tolerance. What is missing though is the thermal armour, however Asus will be supplying this separately and the two piece kit can be quickly mounted to the Gryphon’s PCB.

Top top of the new Z87 range is Asus’ top end ROG boards. These boards for a number of generations now have been renowned for their top end performance and overclocking abilities. New to the ROG line of boards and sitting mi-range is the HERO. This new board’s purpose is to offer mainstream the gamers the stepping stone into the ROG brand, but at a price point that is far more manageable compared to the flagship Maximus IV Extreme. As well as these two boards, Asus will also be launching an updated Maximus IV Gene and all these boards will feature Supreme FX audio as well as a new on-screen ‘Sonic-Radar’ that works as a viual overlay to any game to indicate the direction a proximity of a gun fire for example in a visual format.

The flagship Extreme board see a new overclocking tool, that unlike the previous generations OC-key is set to be far more user friendly and intuitive to use and alongside this in the Extreme box, users with find a 5.25″ drive bay adaptor to allow the OC Panel to operate as a fan control panel from the front of a case.