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Sony is currently hyping the return of virtual reality devices for gaming during an interview the upcoming b.tween 3D event, claiming that virtual reality could be the future of 3D content. Sony's Mike Hocking says "Another thing that's coming back which I'm very excited is the notion of virtual reality. You can see that we can now get back to where we really wanted to get with virtual reality in the 80's."
We've now got the power to do it, we've got the screen resolution to do it, we've got the processing power to update fast enough so we can have very immersive experiences on head-mounted displays in gaming in the not too distant future. Being in a virtual world where I can see my virtual hands or a virtual gun with all the things we can do in the gaming world is going to be absolutely amazing.
I'm looking forward to seeing how this pans out!
As promised Crytek have released the "DX11 Ultra Upgrade" patch for Crysis 2 and also the high-resolution texture pack is now available. The update intros DX11 as well as graphical improvements to not only the DX11 version of the game, but the stock DX9 version. There are three packs available, patch 1.9 enables DX11 support but there will be separate downloads on top of patch 1.9 in the form of "DirectX 11 Ultra Upgrade," DX11 Tessellation Pack," and "High Res Textures."
The DX11 patches will obviously give higher-fidelity visuals, but the patch also includes graphical and performance improvements under DX9. After the patch 1.9 is installed, DX9 users will gain real-time local reflections and contacts shadows. DX11-based gamers will gain hardware tessellation, parallax occlusion mapping along with various shadow, water, particle, depth of field and motion blur enhancements.
Huge news! Valve have just announced that Team Fortress 2 is now a free to play game, permanently. The game will solely be supported by in-game item purchases only. Team Fortress 2 was in the middle of a "free week", and has now become amazingly, absolutely, free!
Valve's Robin Walker said "We've been toying with the idea of making Team Fortress free-to-play ever since the Mann-conomy update, the data we got back from that update leads up to believe that TF2 would be more successful as a completely free product."
Team Bondi's 1940's themed crime thriller is making it's way to PC in the fall. The PC version is being developed by Rockstar Leeds and as of yet, does not have a concrete release date. Details on the game are out though, the PC version will feature customization such as keyboard remapping and gamepad functionality. It will also sport 3D compatibility, as well as increased fidelity and graphical enhancements versus the console variants.
I've played 30 or so minutes of the game and absolutely loved it, but now that I know it's coming out on PC with 3D support (!), I think I will wait and grab myself a copy via Steam. I'll keep you all posted on news of the PC release of L.A. Noire.
Gabe Newell spoke to Joystiq at the 2011 Games for Change Festival and gave some thoughts on the upcoming next-gen Nintendo console. Gabe said that the Wii U console "sort of fits better into the scalability in terms of graphics performance and CPU performance". He added that the advantages can help 'fit it' into Valve's own model for development scalability. I'm guessing this has something to do with the newly-released Intel Sandy Bridge-based tech, which is surprisingly powerful and when coded right (especially for a company like Valve) can help increase the minimum specs enormously.
What Gabe meant exactly is not known, but it looks like he would like to start (or has started?) developing a game for the Wii U. Will it be a new game, or a port of a current game we don't know. It could even be an exclusive for the Wii U. Nintendo's goals of winning the hearts of game developers is paying off, there's not many bigger than the Gabenator himself!
Duke Nukem Forever has so far received pretty 'meh' reviews, in this day and age people like to try before they buy and now with a demo of Duke Nukem Forever available, it gives you the choice to play it and make up your own mind. The demo is available to anyone with a Steam account and available right now! Go get some!
Just in time to make Crysis 2 relevant again, the DX11 patch is coming June 27. MyCrysis reveals that both the DX11-enabling 1.9 patch will also include the "High Res Texture packages" and will be available on Monday, June 27. The patch includes hardware tessellation support, which DX11 players will have to download. In order to see these spruced up textures, users will require 1GB of VRAM and a 64-bit OS.
The official change log is looking good;
Added Contact Shadows
Added DX11 benchmark level
Added DX11 support for Crysis 2 (the following features only work when downloading the optional DX11 package here):
id Software have their plate full right now, Rage is around the corner, Doom 4 begins work when Rage is finished and now the fresh off the press news of a Quake reboot is filling the dreams of PC-based FPS fans the world over. Eurogamer state there are "strong factions" inside id Software that are pushing for a return to the "bizarre, mixed up Cthulhu-ish Quake 1 world and rebooting in that direction."
We think that would be a more interesting direction than doing more Strogg stuff after Quake 4. . . . But we could do something pretty grand like that, that still tweaks the memory right in all of those ways, but is actually cohesive and plays with all of the strengths of the level we're at right now.
Battlefield 3 until now has been shown off on PC only and so far has looked absolutely incredible. Last night Jimmy Fallon debuted the first console footage of Battlefield 3 on the Playstation 3. Personally, I'm torn. Whilst it looks good for a console game, it looks god darn awful when compared to the PC version. But, as a PC-based gamer, this is actually great news as it shows DICE's commitment to PC gamers and it shows that having a PC is going to make this game absolutely mind blowing.
See what I mean? It's impressive for a console but you can clearly see the frame rate is lower, much more motion blur is seen and the general slow movement of the sticks on the PS3 controller are holding back flick aiming. But, for a console it does look very, very impressive! Everyone should be excited about this game!
DICE are rushing toward the finishing line with Battlefield 3 and to reiterate that it's heavily PC-focused, we have an interview from GameReactor from the Battlefield 3 Blog below. GameReactor talk to Lars Gustavsson, lead designer on Battlefield 3 and one of the original creators of the Battlefield series. In the interview, Lars mentions how important it is to release a polished game that'll stand the test of time like BF2 has, seven years.
He mentions that DICE are in it for the long run and is quoted saying:
We won't rest until it's utterly polished. You really need to get it solid so that, like Battlefield 2, it's being played 7 years after release. This summer we will play, play, play, be polishing and iterating - it's what makes it rock solid.
This is music to my ears!