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AMD's Mantle is coming, and when it comes, it should really shake up the performance for Radeon users in Battlefield 4. AMD have said it'll drive 45% more performance in Battlefield 4 when compared to DirectX 11.
AMD said at CES 2014: "It's up to 45% faster than the original version on this same hardware." The big thing we have to take away from this is, if AMD can deliver a 45% performance improvement from Mantle, what is NVIDIA going to do? You can rest assured, as soon as the Mantle update is released, I'll be re-running my SAPPHIRE Radeon R9 290X Tri-X GPUs in CrossFire at 4K, and my triple 1440p setup (4320x2560 and 7680x1440).
CES 2014 - The Oculus Rift isn't ready for the big time yet, and even if it were, there's no AAA first-party games available for it. Well, it looks like the virtual reality outfit is looking to change this in multiple ways.
Oculus VR has told Engadget that it is looking to create lots of content for the Rift, where it will constantly talk with developers on making Rift-related content, but it will also build some content in-house, too. Oculus said: "When we catch on to a nugget that seems like it should become a full experience, we may end up doing it ourselves. We may end up putting it out and working with a third-party studio that does. We've actually started to engage with third-party studios like that through the relations group, the publishing group, as well as our own development."
Remember that the creator of Doom and Quake, John Carmack, is on-board, so could we expect the true next-generation leap in games from Oculus VR? I've said it before, and I'll say it again: the future of gaming and technology will begin its first big leap with Oculus Rift.
Hardware and software maker Plextor is showing off a line of new solid state drivers, including the M6e M.2 PCI-e and HHHL PCI-e video card, custom designed for PC gamers and serious users. The SSD has read/write speeds of up to 770/625 MB/s and random read/write speeds of up to 105K/100K IOPS, Plextor proudly boasts.
The drive is available now with storage capacities of 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB, though pricing wasn't released.
"Plextor has built a close relationship with the gaming community, so it is natural that we're the first to provide an SSD that meets its specific needs," said Zhang Yaping, Plextor M6e Product Manager, in a statement. "Modern games push systems to their limits; by getting data from storage to the video card and into RAM fast, even under heavy load, the M6e makes the gameplay experience smoother and better. We've also optimized the M6e to perform smoothly with a large variety of games so it's suitable for use by all types of players."
SSDs can significantly outpace read speeds of traditional HDDs, and are becoming extremely popular among gamers. Plextor isn't the only manufacturer dedicated to flash memory, so there will be great consumer choices in the future.
Gaming hardware company Mad Catz announced the R.A.T. Tournament Edition gaming mouse designed for professional and competitive gamers. An improved Phillips Doppler Laser with up to 8200dpi provides fast response and modified weight provides better performance than the original R.A.T. gaming mouse. Mad Catz also removed the horizontal scroll wheel and increased size of the sniper button, and an adjustable lift-off height calibration for gamers with extremely fast reflexes.
"We launched our original R.A.T. line of gaming mice four years ago, and we're pleased to continue expanding this highly successful range with the announcement of the Tournament Edition model," said Darren Richardson, Mad Catz CEO, in a statement. "The R.A.T. is another example of our ongoing commitment to building high performance hardware for the passionate gaming community."
Mad Catz didn't publicly mention a release date and possible price point, but should be available later this year. The gaming market has a large number of companies vying for a limited market, but Mad Catz always has been known for unique designs on its custom products.
Respawn Entertainment's upcoming Titanfall has been capped in terms of its multiplayer battles, with company co-founder Vince Zampella announcing that Titanfall will have a cap of 12 players - meaning that we'll see 6v6 battles only.
Zampella wrote: "6v6 is max player count. Turned out to be the best balance with AI for us. That's humans only count. There are lots of AI, everyone can have a Titan in follow or guard mode too." It had been previously reported that we could expect a maximum of six players per side, but not confirmed. Now we have the official confirmation from one of the company's co-founders, which means the disappointment, or excitement, can begin.
EVGA introduced the TORQ X10 gaming mouse during the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2014, featuring a custom laser mouse with a carbon fiber surface, adjustable frame, 512KB memory, weight control system, and 9 programmable buttons. TORQ X10 provides up to 8200 DPI and includes modified drivers that provide button setting assignments.
EVGA hasn't publicly confirmed a release date or pricing on its inaugural gaming mouse.
This is the company's first gaming mouse, but known among gamers and PC enthusiasts, this is a move that could work out for EVGA. The only downside is the sheer number of gaming-specific companies that are producing innovative gaming mice, keyboards, and other peripherals that EVGA has less working knowledge of.
We haven't heard much at all about another Halo game, even with all of the Xbox One launches around the world, but now the software giant is letting out a tiny tease, to get gamers excited.
The news is coming from a tweet from Rob Semsey, Xbox PR Manager, who tweeted: "Rest assured your next Halo journey WILL begin in 2014. #staycalm". It's quite the tease, but what should we expect? A new Halo game that will be featured on both the Xbox 360 and Xbox One? A true next generation Xbox One exclusive? Who knows at this point.
CES 2014 - If there's one thing I don't like about not being at CES 2014, it's that Gabe Newell was there, talking about all things Steam. This includes Steam Machines, Steam Controllers, Steam itself and its users, and much more.
The Valve god himself, GabeN, took the stage and talked about Steam's 62% year-over-year revenue growth, as well as the 65 million and counting user accounts on Steam. Newell also said that Valve will be producing Steam Controllers in-house, but it will also see other companies making their own controllers, which is a nice turn of events.
Newell said that Valve has around 250 titles running on SteamOS, and that the beta users are reporting good things about it so far. One interesting thing to take away from Newell's talk at CES 2014, is that they're not pushing companies to release Steam Controllers, or Steam Machines - and he has no firm dates on when to expect them. Instead, he said that he sees Valve's role in all of this as an enabler in this process, and that if people want to know when the Steam Machines are coming, to ask the hardware makers themselves.
The Microsoft Xbox One game console is a hot seller for Microsoft, as the company has sold three million units in what little time it was available before the end of the year. As expected, the United States was a major influencer in Microsoft's success, where the company typically outperforms Sony and Nintendo.
"It's been incredible to see Xbox One selling at a record-setting pace for Xbox, and we were honored to see Xbox One become the fastest-selling console in the U.S. during our launch month in November," said Yusuf Mehdi, Xbox Corporate VP of Strategy and Marketing, in a press release. "Since our launch, demand for Xbox One has been strong, selling out throughout the holidays at most retailers worldwide."
This is a major victory for the Xbox One, as Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo remain locked in a battle to attract console gamers. Racking up three million units sold in six weeks is a great indicator that gamers are throwing their support behind Microsoft's next-generation console. The full scope of the console wars will be telling when a tech analyst group compares sales figures for both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 game consoles.
Boutique gaming company Feenix launched its Autore gaming keyboard during the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2014, providing a high-end mechanical keyboard to make typing faster while reducing physical fatigue. Based from Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey, the Autore features lightweight keycaps providing an easy-to-click button that is responsive - and a polyurethane layer ontop of the aluminum coating helps defend against spills.
"Our goal was to create an intelligent product for a very intelligent market," said Ashkon Shayani, Feenix Creative Director, in a press statement. "The Autore offers the fastest possible reaction times and features top quality workmanship that we know gamers will appreciate."
Razer and Logitech typically are best known among gamers, but companies such as Feenix continue to build relationships with gamers. The company's products, especially mice and keyboard, cost more than rival gaming products - but the quality and innovation is top notch.
The Feenix Autore is available now and has a $163 starting price point.