The latest happenings from around the web - October 27th, 2011
- ASRock Z68 Extreme7 Gen3 Intel Motherboard @ Techwarelabs
- ASUS Crosshair V Formula 'Bulldozer' Motherboard @ Legit Reviews
- ASUS Intel X79 Motherboards - P9X79, TUF, WS and ROG Rampage IV Extreme @ Legit Reviews
- ECS A75F-A Black Deluxe @ Pureoverclock
- Zotac Z68ITX-B-E WiFi Supreme Motherboard @ HiTechLegion
- Foxconn A75M FM1 Motherboard @ Madshrimps
- Asus boss Jackie Hsu reveals X79 plans @ Kitguru
Do you like to have options? Enjoy portable gaming? Was looking forward to Sony's NGP, Vita? Well, games capable of saving directly to their own cartridges, won't offer gamers the option to save to an external cards. This means you will never receive a choice. Games that can save internally, will always do so.
Kotaku Japan also learned that you'll have to have a memory card in the Vita at startup to operate games that require external storage. Sony also told Kotaku Japan that in addition to save data, some games may use the memory card for DLC.
Disappointed? Hurt? Well, Sony have doen this before... but people were thinking that they might play the game differently with the Vita. People might have wanted to save a few dollars on not buying external memory, but you'll require this for DLC and the like. Frustrating? Yep!
Sony Online Entertainment's upcoming MMO/FPS hybrid, Planetside 2 is set to go insane on 'map' sizes (can we even call them maps now?). Planetside 2 is said to take a "Halo-esque" spin on its sci-fi universe, where it aims to combine the persistent world of an MMO, with the visceral, responsive mechanics of a first-person shooter. Planetside 2's creative director, Matt Higby talked about the staggering size of the new battlefields:
"We have enormous, enormous gameplay space," says Higby. Planetside 2's settings which are based on continents on the planet Auraxis, measure an insane eight kilometers square, with weapons capable of firing a full kilometer in distance. Higby continues saying "One of our largest development efforts on this project has been hand crafting every single area of those eight-by-eight kilometer continents".
In these eight-by-eight kilometer environments, three factions duke it out: The Terran Republic, The New Conglomerate and The Vanu Sovereignty. The battles are set to be epic, with Higby stating that "you're going to be fighting in battles sometimes when it's 200 people fighting against 30 people, because there's only 30 people defending that base and then suddenly 200 people log in from teh other ground and go do it".
Unofficial 11.9 CAP4 - Catalyst Application Profile, improves Battlefield 3 CrossFire scaling, stuttering issues
Note: This Catalyst Application Profile is not provided directly by AMD. Rage3D have posted their AMD Catalyst Application Profile - 11.9 CAP4. The new profiles added are great for the latest games, with improves such as:
Battlefield 3 - Provides great CrossFire scaling and resolves stuttering issues when running in CrossFire mode.
Deus Ex Missing Link: Improves CrossFire performance
F1 2011: Improves CrossFire performance
Dead Island: Improves CrossFire performance
Batman Arkham City (DX9 version): Improves CrossFire performance
NBA 2012: Disables CrossFire
The CAP's are compatible with Catalyst 10.2 and newer releases. It's great to see community work here, BF3 and CF issues being fixed so quick - you would think AMD would be on it quicker than a house on fire...
Initial reports of these are that they are great and give a huge improvement to AMD CrossFire users, let us know how you go!
Batman: Arkham City, one of 2011's most hyped games has done very well for itself. It was released last week for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 and has since then, shipped 4.6 million copies. All in a week! This is both a surprise, and not a surprise. It's a surprise because it has only launched on the consoles and has enjoyed successful shipping numbers.
For it not being a surprise, is because the first game, Batman: Arkham Asylum was a smash hit. Batman: Arkham City has received rave reviews for both versions (PS3 and Xbox 360) and looks to be one of the biggest sellers for 2011. I haven't played it yet, as I'm waiting for the PC version which launches in a little under two weeks time. The PC launch will only expand these numbers, so too will sales between now and the end of the year.
4.6 million copies shipped is a very good milestone for Batman: Arkham City as it makes it one of the (if not the most) successful comic-book-to-game adaption ever. Now all we need is a really good Superman game, and I'll be one super happy camper. Please, please make a great Superman game. Maybe the guys behind Batman and Just Cause should get together for it?
AMD have invested an undisclosed amount of money into BlueStacks, a "venture-back firm" whose software allows Android apps to run "fast and full-screen" on Windows 7. I posted about BlueStacks earlier this month, and now we have AMD helping them. AMD aren't just helping them financially, either:
AMD and BlueStacks are collaborating to optimize the BlueStacks App Player for Windows software for use with tablet and notebook PCs powered by AMD APUs with AMD VISION technology. With this combination of BlueStacks software and AMD technology, consumers will be able to access their favorite Android apps on virtually any AMD-powered Windows-based device, including more than 200,000 apps currently available in the Android Market.
Jon Peddie Research says that the PC gaming hardware market will continue to grow at a rate of 11-percent from now until at least 2014. These figures are based on the fact that over 250 million game-capable PCs will ship in 2011 alone, compared to only 230 million PS3, Wii and Xbox 360 consoles (combined) have shipped since 2005.
The PC gaming market will generate $19 billion in sales in 2011, with estimates that half a billion people regularly play PC games. New markets such as social networking and mobile gaming on tablets and smartphones are continuing the threaten the PC's gaming reputation, a phenomenon that senior gaming analyst Ted Pollack noted in his research.
We are starting to see mobile computers dig into the sales of low end PCs a bit. Consequently this has actually increased the average gaming purchase motivation for mainstream desktops and notebooks because some people with very low computing requirements have been taken out of the denominator, and the potential customer base for desktops and notebooks is more concentrated due to their superior performance in graphically intense applications.
Nokia's CEO, Stephen Elop, teased the codename "Sea Ray" phone in the middle of the year, which looked just like a Nokia N9. Today, Sea Ray has been unveiled as the Nokia Lumia 800 and we get to see how Windows and Nokia gel together, according to Elop, it's the "first real Windows Phone".
Nokia's Lumia 800 sports a single-core Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8255 1.4GHz processor, 16GB of internal storage, a curved 3.7-inch ClearBlack AMOLED screen framed by a black, cyan or magenta case with individually drilled speaker holes, a dedicated camera button for the f/2.2 Carl Zeiss Tessar lens, 512MB of internal memory, 12.1mm-thick frame and a 1450mAh battery that is said to be good for approximately 9.5 hours of 3G talk time. Software wise, we have Windows Phone Mango, and the Lumia 800 comes packed with a free 25GB SkyDrive account, as well as Nokia Drive, a free turn-by-turn voice navigation program, a first for any Windows Phone.
Filling out the Lumia 800 we have Nokia Music with Mix Radio, which is a global service with no subscriptions or log-ins required for "hundreds of channels of locally-relevant music", and an ESPN Sports Hub, three programs not found on any other Windows Phone 7-powered device.
For those of you in the know, you'd know that Mainstream Media is a mostly controlled medium. If they were to tell the real news, then most politicians, presidents, members of Congress and more, would all be thrown in jail. But, instead, the money from powerful people is used to gain control and influence within the power of politics. The same goes for news. This is where Anonymous steps in with something they're calling "Operation Fox Hunt".
Anonymous promise an all-out attack on the Fox News website as retaliation for the network's unjust attack on protesters with the Occupy Wall Street movement. In the YouTube clip, the digitized voice says:
Since they will not stop ridiculing the occupiers, we will simply shut them down. Fox News, your time has come . . . Operation Fox Hunt. November 5th. May the hunt begin.
November 5 is already a day chosen by members of the Occupy Wall Street movement as a practical holiday, with "Operation Cashback" expected to occur on Nov. 5 across the world. Under Operation Cashback, demonstrators are asked to close bank across across the world, and move money out of large banks and into smaller, local credit unions. This has already happened in the US, with an attempt at closing accounts at a Lower Manhattan-based Citibank earlier this month which resulted in an arrest of several occupies.
Project Dolphin Solar Farm - the name Apple have given for its solar farm that will power its massive data center in Maiden, North Carolina. It will reportedly be built on 171 acres of land across the street from Apple's planned $1 billion data center, which has the code name Project Dolphin, but is now called iDataCenter. iDataCenter is said to server Apple's cloud-based service, iCloud.
This is the first time Apple has opted for clean power and greener data centers, as Greenpeace estimated that Apple source only 6-percent of the power for its data centers from clean power (which is the worst on Greenpeace's list) and gave Apple a big, fat "F" for its decisions to build its data centers in areas with little clean power. Funnily enough, North Carolina has one of the dirtiest electrical grids in America, with 61-percent of the power coming from coal, and 31-percent from nuclear.
But, it's one of the cheapest when it comes to the price of power, something Apple may have liked when deciding to build its data center there.