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TweakTown News Posts - Page 4

Blizzard paves the way for Diablo II Remastered

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: 1 day, 22 hours ago

I have strong confidence that Blizzard won't mess up Diablo II: Remastered, and my worries have been allayed.

 

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When I first heard Blizzard plans to remaster classic games like Diablo II and StarCraft, I was very concerned. As a long-time D2 player, Blizzard's recent moves with Diablo III completely alienated me from the franchise. Gone were the best features that made Diablo II such a great game: chat screens, trading, 8-player co-op, and game room lobbies, all of which were facilitated via the original Battle.net framework. Of course, Diablo III uses the new revamped "Bnet 2.0" which gimps a lot of the features found in the classic service. I thought for sure Blizzard would completely change core Diablo II features if it ever remastered the game, simply because that's what it did with Diablo III.

 

But Blizzard has proven they understand how to remaster their old games without ruining them. StarCraft: Remastered uses the same Battle.net client as its original, and has cross-play with the classic PC RTS. The only thing Blizzard really changed was the graphics; everything else was left intact: lobbies, chat system, game rooms, it's all there. This gives me strong hope that Blizzard could do the same thing to Diablo II and revitalize one of the most compelling and enjoyable PC gaming experiences of my time.

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NASA astronaut sets a new record for time spent in space

By: Lana Jelic | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: 2 days ago

NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson has set yet another record. After becoming the first woman to command the Space Station in 2008, and the first woman to command the Station twice (on April 9th, 2017), she has now set the record for cumulative time spent in space by a US astronaut.

 

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At the moment of breaking the record, Whitson spent 534 days, 2 hours, and 49 minutes in space. And with the recent extension of her stay at the International Space Station, she will accumulate even more time. When she returns to Earth, she'll have spent more than 650 days in space, and decades supporting spaceflight from the ground.

 

Until now, the record-holder, when talking about the US astronauts, was Jeff Williams with 534 days, 2 hours and 48 minutes of cumulative time in space.

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Alien Isolation 2 might be in development

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: 2 days, 1 hour ago

Rumor has it Creative Assembly might be developing a sequel to 2014's notorious thriller Alien Isolation.

 

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According to Official PlayStation Magazine the devs at Creative Assembly could start earnest work on Alien Isolation 2. ''Our sources tell us that after work is finished on Halo Wars 2, a new Alien game may start development over at Alien Isolation dev Creative Assembly," reads a page in next month's issue of OPM. Halo Wars 2 has since shipped on Xbox One and PC, and SEGA has expressed interest

 

Creative Assembly recently expanded to almost 400 people after acquiring Crytek's Black Sea studio, the bulk of which worked on Halo Wars 2. However it's all up to SEGA whether or not Alien: Isolation 2 happens or not. The first game sold 2.11 million units in six months, which SEGA described as "weak".

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Samsung and Qualcomm negotiating over Snapdragon 845?

By: Lana Jelic | More News: CPU, APU & Chipsets | Posted: 2 days, 1 hour ago

Just as Samsung and Qualcomm have begun to ship the Galaxy S8 and S8+ which feature the Snapdragon 835, rumors have already begun to suggest a similar partnership for the Galaxy S9.

 

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The Snapdragon 845 is the next rumored SoC from Qualcomm that is expected to be announced this year and ship in devices next year.

 

While it is unknown whether Samsung will actually use the rumored Snapdragon 845, the two companies are reportedly in talks to determine exactly which models will ship with Snapdragon inside. Currently, the Snapdragon 835 is shipping in the Samsung Galaxy S8 in the United States, China, and Japan. Depending on how the talks go, we could see that existing relationship either expand or contract.

Continue reading 'Samsung and Qualcomm negotiating over Snapdragon 845?' (full post)

Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 takes 5 minutes to load on PS4

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: 2 days, 3 hours ago

Remember when Sony and Microsoft told us that installing game discs onto consoles would improve loading times? Well...that's only half true. Games like Bloodborne have poked holes in those assurances, and now the newly released Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 does the same. Even older ZX Spectrum games from the 80s loaded faster than Sniper Ghost Warrior 3.

 

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According to Eurogamer, Sniper Ghost Warrior 3's initial startup takes almost 5 minutes to load up on PS4. No, really. But there has to be a trade-off right? Certainly making gamers wait that long has some sort of positive effect on future loading times? Kind of...but the five-minute loading sequence triggers every time you cross one of the game's four main zones.

 

The devs at CI Games have issued a formal statement addressing the loading times. According to the devs, the huge starting load times allow for quicker fast-travel and checkpoint loading.

Continue reading 'Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 takes 5 minutes to load on PS4' (full post)

Blizzard working on new mobile games

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: 2 days, 16 hours ago

Blizzard is currently planning to ramp up its mobile games offering, and is hiring new engineers to power the platform's dev toolset.

 

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The news was gleaned from a new Blizzard job listing that calls for a software engineer for its mobile initiative. "Blizzard Entertainment is seeking a talented and enthusiastic software engineer to contribute to Blizzard's mobile gaming efforts," reads the listing. "In this role, you will create tools that will empower our talented designers and artists. The ideal candidate will be self-directed, and have proficiency with developing powerful tools and content creation pipelines."

 

NeoGAF's Nirolak posits that the new game could be related to Overwatch, and that makes sense, as Blizzard typically ties in its key IPs with its mobile-based titles. Blizzard's mobile gaming arm has been quite stagnant, but interestingly enough it actually released a StarCraft mobile game called Supply Depot 2. If the mobile game isn't Overwatch related, it could be attached to Heroes of the Storm via a mobile-based spinoff. Expect these mobile games to feature the industry's lucrative microtransaction-based sales platform, and to tie into their respective IPs in some form.

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GALAX GTX 1080 Ti EXOC White: dual-slot GTX 1080 Ti

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Video Cards | Posted: 2 days, 18 hours ago

GALAX has just unleashed its awesomely styled GeForce GTX 1080 EXOC White Edition graphics card, with GALAX's custom GTX 1080 Ti arriving as a smaller dual-slot design.

 

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The company has opted for a dual-fan cooling solution with LEDs, with GALAX using two heat sinks and five copper heat pipes, as well as a full cover backplate.

 

GALAX overclocks the GTX 1080 Ti EXOC to 1531/1645MHz, but the company is using NVIDIA's own reference PCB, but you should be able to hit 2GHz without a problem.

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The Division receives loadout feature in PTR patch

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: 2 days, 19 hours ago

Ubisoft is continuing to improve the experience for The Division players, with the company preparing its new v1.6.1 patch that will include the new loadouts feature, something that wasn't expected this early, but has been dragged up to May.

 

 

There are also two free expansions coming this year, but the first one won't drop until late July or August, but the new loadouts feature will make it into the v1.6.1 patch that's due next month - and is available right now in the Public Test Server (PTR). The new feature will let you "store up to six different character configurations, with each loadout reflecting the weapons, gear, skills, talents and mods you had equipped when you hit 'save'. You can swap between loadouts pretty much instantly from the menu, and pick from a established list of names ('Marksman', 'Assault' etc.) to help you remember which is which", reports PC Gamer.

 

The patch notes on The Division's upcoming v1.6.1 patch can be read here.

CliffyB: AAA games in a 'weird spot', VR in '80s' period

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: 2 days, 20 hours ago

Cliff Bleszinski is preparing his own new game with Lawbreakers under his studio Boss Key Productions, but he is known for his work in developing Unreal and Gears of War, talked at the recent Dubrovnik's Reboot Develop 2017 saying that AAA games of today cost too much to make.

 

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We know that game development costs are ridiculously high, with CliffyB saying: "$60 is still a lot of money to ask people for. And to ask them to make that bet multiple times per year? Gamers are picky, they're smart. This is a nearly unsustainable model, unless you're an Activision, 2K or a Sony". He even went as far to compare it to the restaurant scene in the US, saying: "They're not bad, they're not great, they're just there".

 

CliffyB said that this sees game developers wanting to imitate successful games or franchises, because big AAA developers can't afford for their game to fail. Instead of near guaranteed failure in the big AAA leagues, CliffyB said that developers could do something he calls AA game development, adding: "Games that look and play great but pick their battles in terms of budget and marketing".

 

This is definitely something I agree with, especially when you look at the recent success of PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds - or even the massive giants like League of Legends, CS:GO, DOTA2, or Overwatch. Apart from Overwatch, there's no huge $60+ investment (or $100+ in the case of Premium/Season Passes) but near unlimited fun.

Continue reading 'CliffyB: AAA games in a 'weird spot', VR in '80s' period' (full post)

GDDR6 is coming to high-end GPUs in early 2018

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Video Cards | Posted: 2 days, 22 hours ago

SK Hynix has just teased the world saying that they're pushing out their new GDDR6 RAM, with up to 16Gbps of bandwidth - a massive increase from the already huge 11Gbps available on the GDDR5X that NVIDIA has on its new GeForce GTX 1080 Ti, and its refreshed GTX 1080 with 11Gbps.

 

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In the PR statement, SK Hynix said: "SK Hynix Inc.today introduced the world's fastest 2Znm 8Gb(Gigabit) GDDR6(Graphics DDR6) DRAM. The product operates with an I/O data rate of 16Gbps(Gigabits per second) per pin, which is the industry's fastest. With a forthcoming high-end graphics card of 384-bit I/Os, this DRAM processes up to 768GB(Gigabytes) of graphics data per second. SK Hynix has been planning to mass produce the product for a client to release high-end graphics card by early 2018 equipped with high performance GDDR6 DRAMs".

 

GDDR6 will be a replacement for GDDR5 and GDDR5X, with SK Hynix "collaborating with a core graphics chipset client to timely mass produce the GDDR6 for the upcoming market demands". I'd say that the core graphics chipset client is NVIDIA, and that their new GDDR6-based graphics cards that I talked about in this report on the purported GeForce GTX 20 series, led by the GTX 2080.

 

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Now, for the tech nuts - you'll notice that SK Hynix has the "world's fastest 2Znm 8Gb(Gigabit)" GDDR6 DRAM, and as you can see on the chart above, we've come a long way in 10 years.

 

NVIDIA could name the new cards as the GTX 11 series, but I think the large jump in performance will see them replacing the '1' of the GTX 10 series, with '2', and then '3', and so on. This would result in the Volta-based GDDR6/HBM2-based graphics cards as GTX 20 series, then GTX 30 series, and so on. Nothing is confirmed so far, but it would make sense. What do you think NVIDIA will call their new cards?

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