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Well it has happened folks, Valve has made its third and final announcements of the week and unfortunately no mention of Half-Life 3 was made. We did, however, get a thorough rundown of the final piece of the puzzle to a unified Steam gaming experience for the living room.
The final announcement was centered around the all new Steam Controller, a very funky looking peripheral that features not one but two touch sensitive trackpads, an LCD-based touchscreen that doubles as a button, and multiple triggers / buttons. The new Steam Controller is said to work with every game in the Steam library, even the ones that were never designed to support a game pad. Valve says that they achieved this by tricking the game into thinking the controller is actually a mouse and keyboard.
We set out with a singular goal: bring the Steam experience, in its entirety, into the living-room. We knew how to build the user interface, we knew how to build a machine, and even an operating system. But that still left input - our biggest missing link. We realized early on that our goals required a new kind of input technology - one that could bridge the gap from the desk to the living room without compromises. So we spent a year experimenting with new approaches to input and we now believe we've arrived at something worth sharing and testing with you.
Rockstar Games has announced that those who wish to fast track their progress in GTA Online will have the option to purchase GTA$ via the in-game store. Rockstar says that the game and its economy were designed and balanced for those who will never buy extra GTA$.
Rockstar says that online players will earn in-game money much faster than in GTA V and that there will not be a shortage of cash to go around. The developer also warned of growing pains when the game launches. There may be bugs, performance decreases, and other issues as the servers are stress tested for the first time. Rockstar says that they will address these issues as they arise.
The last time I remember this technology being talked about was all the way back in the 90s with Quake III, but now we're here again thanks to Robert Space Industries' Star Citizen.
The game has passed $20 million in total crowdfunding, with the developer asking what the next stretch goal would be when it reaches $21 million. 87% of the voters asked for the counter to keep going, so RSI has been forced to add more stretch goals for its early backers, to enhance the game "in ways we had not originally deemed possible."
The new stretch goal is for $22 million, which would add a Facial Capture System, which RSI explains as "We've researched a technology that uses a series of cameras to capture real heads and import them into the game. This will let the team more easily create a variety of realistic characters. In addition, the technology is mobile enough to allow us to take it on the road and capture select fans during special events! You can learn more about this technology at Infinite-Realities."
Stainless Games' Carmageddon: Incarnation is hitting Steam through Early Access in Q1 2014, according to the developers website. The Early Access launch will see players able to purchase the game through several price points.
The standard package sees you receive everything the Kickstarter and PayPal backers who pledged $15 or more. But there is also a promotion to give away 99 free passes to the "Full Package" version of the game, which includes all updates and future downloadable content. A blog post on the official website reads:
Yes, Q1 2014 will see the launch of Carmageddon: Reincarnationon Steam. And Early Access means the World gets the game at the earliest opportunity, and we all get the benefit of feedback and community involvement as the game continues towards its ultimate destiny; To boldly go where no cow and granny mangling game has gone before!
AMD GPU14 - Dirt 3 is one of my favorite off-road racing games, and it still packs a punch in the graphics department. While the game itself is a little old to be showing off at a next-gen GPU launch event, demonstrating it running across three 4K resolution monitors from a pair of AMD Radeon R9 290X GPUs in Crossfire mode is pretty sweet.
Shawn Baker said that this demo really showed off how exciting 4K and next-generation graphics really are. He said that the game appeared crisper than ever, and the R9 290X GPUs really kept the frame rates high so things seemed seamless and smooth. We can not wait to get our hands on this technology and bring our readers comprehensive reviews and guides to multiple monitor 4K gaming.
AMD GPU14 - Star Citizen is one of those games that I hear everyone talking about, but I always forget to check out. Luckily, our Shawn Baker had the chance to stop by the Star Citizen booth at the AMD GPU14 Tech Event earlier this week and briefly preview the game's starship hanger.
Star Citizen was one of the first video games to be fully crowd-funded, raising more than $2 million during its Kickstarter campaign. The game's creator, Chris Roberts, is well known for developing the legendary Wing Commander, which was first released back in 1990. Roberts is documenting the entire development process, and is giving his Kickstarter backers access to each part of the game as it becomes available.
AMD GPU14 - Shortly after yesterday's keynote at the AMD GPU14 Tech Event, our own Shawn Baker had the chance to preview some cool games, of which Lichdom was the first. Lichdom is a magic spell crafting style game in which you are left to roam the realm that is filled with aggressive NPCs, ghosts, and monsters. Players can craft over a million different spells and then chain them together to create devastating and deadly combos.
Lichdom was being shown off at the event as it showcases all of AMD's new Radeon technology. The game utilizes effects such as TrueSound, Tress FX, and much more, and is developed by Xaviant, a company based out of Atlanta, Georgia. Lichdom is expected to release summer 2014, and being a major fan of games such as Skyrim, I will be first in line for my copy!
The Humble Bundle is back with the Humble Mobile Bundle 2, which offers up 6 games for mobile devices. As usual, you can choose just how much you donate to charity, and which games you receive. All of the titles are DRM-free, with some of them including soundtracks in the price which is quite the scoop. The following games are included in the Humble Mobile Bundle 2:
- Star Command (new to Android)
- Time Surfer (new to Android)
- Punch Quest
- Bloons TD 5
- Ravensword: Shadowlands
AMD GPU14 - As AMD was closing out its opening day keynote at its GPU14 event in Hawaii, EA took the opportunity to show off a never before seen demo of the single player level Angry Sea in the upcoming Battlefield 4 game. The level is split between a battle on a sinking aircraft carrier and then, as the ship sinks, combat is switched to the sea and attack boats.
"Entertainment is not a one-size-fits-all world!" That is the opening line to Steams second big announcement this week. Today valve announced "Steam Hardware", something we were all expecting in some form or another. The company says that it wants customers go to choose the hardware that makes sense for them, and that they are working with multiple partners to bring a variety of Steam game machines to the market in 2014.
All of the machines will run SteamOS, and will be tailored to fit an individual's personal needs, such as powerful hardware, or a quiet gaming experience. Valve did not say who its hardware partners were, but did say that there will be several devices launched in 2014. The biggest announcement however is about will be building its own prototype in which it will give to 300 lucky Steam users free of charge for testing.
"While these products are still in development, we need your help. As always, we believe the best way to ensure that the right products are getting made is to let people try them out and then make changes as we go. We have designed a high-performance prototype that's optimized for gaming, for the living room, and for Steam. Of course, it's also completely upgradable and open.This year we're shipping just 300 of these boxes to Steam users, free of charge, for testing. You can make yourself eligible to get one."