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As part of the ongoing launch troubles that SimCity has undergone, EA has announced that they will be shutting down some of the non-critical features of the game to help with server load and connectivity. Most of these features, ironically, are the ones that would require an always-on internet connection.
We are continuing to do everything we can to address the server issues. In the meantime, so that we can give you as good an experience as possible, we are in the process of deploying a hotfix to all servers. This includes various improvements and also disables a few non-critical gameplay features (leaderboards, achievements and region filters). Disabling these features will in no way affect your core gameplay experience.
EA is also adding servers to help with the load. They have said that customers can request a refund, though this didn't work out too well for at least one person who tried. We'll keep looking for SimCity news, hopefully of the variety that EA has fixed all of the problems. If you haven't picked up the game yet, you would be advised to hold off until the all-clear is given by EA.
We've already been greeted with the PlayStation 4 specs, and now it's edging closer to Microsoft's time of unveiling their next-gen Xbox. Gaming Capacity have spoken with a source, who has had hands-on time with the next-gen Xbox prototype, unveiling some new details. The source wanted to stay anonymous, stating the following in regards to testing:
Microsoft has the prototypes monitored under a microscope and an air tight confidentiality clause.
The source was able to unveil some details, which might surprise some:
- While no confirmation on an announcement date, E3 will be "Party Central" in the Xbox booth
- The new '720" will have 3x the processing speed of the current 360
- No hard release date but it looks like Holiday 2013
- 2 launch versions. 320 GB Arcade / 500 GB Pro. Exact pricing is unknown
- 1 TB HDD available as a separate purchase
- It will not include Blu-Ray
- No picture was available as prototype consoles are packaged in a 360 slim case to "avoid complications" about the design until announcement
- Tech Specs; AMD eight-core x64 1.6GHz CPU, Direct3d 11.x 800MHz GPU, and 8GB of DDR3 RAM
- Xbox Smartglass is still a feature in use
- No word on Kinect 2.0
- No word on "Immersive" technology being implemented
We should expect full details at E3 in June, so the wait isn't too long, folks.
Gamers across the world, myself included, are itching for the next-generation consoles to be released - but how many do Sony expect to ship this year? DigiTimes' latest piece comes from quoted sources at both the Foxconn and Pegatron manufacturing plants where the PS4 is being made, who have said that Sony's internal plans are to ship at least 16 million PS4s by the end of 2013.
DigiTimes' sources said that Sony have only just begun requesting quotes on the requisite components, and that mass component shipments in August would allow Sony to get the PlayStation 4 onto shelves by Christmas this year. If DigiTimes' sources are right, Sony are in the very beginning stages of industrial design, which could be problematic if something were to happen in the coming months.
16 million is a lot, but we have had nearly 10 years between consoles, and gamers are spending more than ever with DLC these days - so is it too much to ask for Sony to sell 16 million? What are your thoughts on the matter?
It's hard to believe that Garry's Mod has been out for seven years now, but Facepunch Studios' hit has made them a tidy sum of money. Garry's Mod creator, Garry Newman, took to his blog to say that since its release, the game has made "about $22 million dollars".
This may sound like a nice pile of money, but the creators are only entitled to "less than half" of that. Newman writes "The tax man gets a bunch of [the $22 million]. Then when we take money out of the company, the tax man gets a bunch of that too."
Garry's Mod is available through Steam on both Windows and Mac for $9.99, and we should expect a new PC game from Facepunch Studios, as Newman has "wanted to start work on for ages," he continues, "I don't really want to talk about it until we've got something more solid though."
For those looking to play on some of EA's SimCity servers, you might have found yourself out of luck earlier today. EA was forced to shut down Oceanic 1, NA East 1, and NA East 2 to apply patches that will hopefully fix connection and load issues that users have experienced since SimCity's launch yesterday.
The process started at 11:40a.m. PST for NA East 1 and NA East 2. At 12:14p.m., EA said they had powered on four new servers to meet demand. Ten minutes later, they brought Oceanic 1 back online for players to use. At 1:55p.m., EA turned NA East 2 back on for gamers. At the time of writing, NA East 1 is still offline for maintenance.
EA added at 2:18p.m. PST that they were applying the patches to EU West 1 and EU West 2. This likely means these servers are offline, though I can not confirm this as I don't have SimCity. You can keep an eye on EA's progress on their status post.
Valve continues to make the push for Linux gaming by releasing their fifth title to be compatible with the Linux operating system. Joining the ranks of 79 other games available through the newly released Steam for Linux client on Linux, Counter-Strike: Condition Zero pushes that count up to 80.
We have made Counter-Strike: Condition Zero available in Beta form on Linux, just go to your library list and double click the game to install.
Ah, Thief, a game I remember from the 90s as a huge leap in terms of stealth games. Now we're finally seeing a reboot of the franchise from Eidos Montreal who have been working on the Thief reboot for years, reports Game Informer.
The rebooted Thief will be released on the PS4 and PC, as well as other next-gen consoles. The above trailer doesn't show you much, but is more of a confirmation that we're to expect Thief. The new game will see series hero Garrett returning to Gothic, an industrial metropolis known as just the 'City'. We should hear more on the game soon now that it has been announced.
Those looking forward to the coming Valve Steam Box, you won't have to wait too much longer. Speaking with the BBC, Gabe Newell has said that they should be giving out some prototype Steam Boxes within three to four months. "We're working with partners trying to nail down how fast we can make it," Newell said.
We'll be giving out some prototypes to customers to gauge their reactions, I guess, in the next three to four months...
There are noise issues and heat issues and being able to [deal with] that while still offering a powerful enough gaming experience is the challenge in building it.
As an additional note, he added that a final controller design hasn't been decided. Valve is looking into the possibility of using sensors to measure the gamer's body metrics, such as heart rate, to judge engagement.
If you think of a game like Left For Dead - which was trying to put you into a sort of horror movie - if you don't change the experience of what the player is actually feeling then it stops being a horror game. So you need to actually be able to directly measure how aroused the player is - what their heart rate is, things like that - in order to offer them a new experience each time they play.
Though SimCity launched just in North America, the game is already experiencing issues. EA unlocked the game in their digital distribution client Origin, after which reports of problems started coming in. Reports of download failures, connection issues, and the game not unlocking have all been sent in by users.
We've started to get used to launch day jitters and problems with games that rely heavily on a server. For instance, we saw similar problems with Diablo III with users being unable to log in due to the server being down and the always-on DRM.
Users are having similar troubles, sometimes having to wait in excess of 30 minutes to get into the game, even when attempting to play on a private server. Further users are having troubles even downloading the game. After a small Origin download, the actual game downloads the required files, which is taking hours.
It's not clear why pre-loading of the game wasn't allowed. It likely would have saved at least some of the problems from happening. Even with launch day problems, SimCity is shaping up to be a good game.
Every month Steam releases a hardware survey that provides a look into the corner of the PC gaming industry that Steam occupies. February's numbers look fairly nominal until you notice that two percent of Steam users are now running Linux.
Two percent may seem like a small number, but when you consider that the Steam Linux client has only been available officially since the beginning of February, the "adoption" rate is actually higher than Windows 8. On top of that, when you factor in that there are roughly 100 games ported over to Linux on Steam and none of them include major titles like Borderlands 2, Far Cry 3, Skyrim, or even the GTA series, two percent is pretty large.
The survey also reveals that 1080p is the most used resolution, Direct X 11 holds 58% market share, and NVIDIA dominates the GPU stats with 52% market share. Finally Windows 7 64-bit still reigns king with 8GB of RAM being the norm.