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Now that both next-gen gaming consoles have been announced, EA has been issuing a flurry of press releases detailing games that we can expect on the consoles. Today's announcement sees Need for Speed Rivals coming to both the newly announced Xbox One and the PlayStation 4.
Need for Speed Rivals will make use of the Frostbite 3 game engine, allowing the game to use stunning graphics and continue to blur the line between virtual and real. The game is being developed by EA's newest studio, Ghost Games, and is being built with help from Criterion Games.
Need for Speed Rivals is bringing with it several new features, most interesting of which is AllDrive. The developers explain:
At the heart of Need for Speed Rivals is AllDrive, an innovative new online feature that allows gamers to seamlessly transition from playing alone to playing with friends, eliminating the line between single player and multiplayer. Players will have to keep one eye on their rearview mirror as friends will be able to enter and exit races on-the-fly, creating a world where no two events will ever be the same.
Gamers who pre-order Need for Speed Rivals will receive the NfS Rivals Ultimate Cop Pack for no additional cost. It brings an exclusive Nissan GT-R Black Edition cop car and various other exclusive items. To learn more, head over to Need for Speed's website.
EA Vice President says PS4 and Xbox One are a generation ahead of the current fastest gaming PC on the market
The entire world is talking about the upcoming PlayStation 4 and Xbox One at the moment, and rightfully so. It has been many years since we have had a console hardware refresh. Unfortunately some of those involved with the new console seem to have slipped into some sort of false reality.
In a comment on LinkedIn, Electronic Art's Vice President and CTO Rajat Teneja said that Xbox One and PlayStation 4 are "a generation ahead of the highest end PC on the market." He went on to say "The compute capabilities of these platforms and the data transfer speeds we can now bank on, essentially removes any notion of rationing of systems resources for our game engines. Our benchmarks on just the video and audio performance are 8-10 times superior to the current gen. gaming pc systems."
I am going to speculate that Mr. Teneja was speaking about the semi-custom AMD APU that is running in both systems, and that part of his rationing is based on both chips having Unified Memory Access.
Call me biased if you want, but if he seriously thinks that graphics performance is better on an APU based system compared a PC running an 8-core CPU, 32GB of RAM and NVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN, then it may be time for EA to seek out a new Chief Technology Officer.
SimCity's 4.0 update launches tomorrow and will include re-enabled features, new areas and additional fixes. After the update, global market prices now "dynamically" change, with region filters and leaderboards will be back.
The 4.0 update will also include some graphical, messaging and weather updates. The two new areas are Edgewater Bay which is a region with seven city sites in a single cluster, and the second new area is the SimCity Launch Park which is an area designed for fans that will be available exclusively for "early adopters".
During the Xbox One reveal, Infinity Ward were proud to show off their next-generation Call of Duty: Ghosts. The developer has come out today confirming that COD: Ghosts will be hitting the PS4, even though we already knew it would be reaching "next-generation platforms" when they announced it, the full confirmation is now here.
The announcement was made on Twitter, where Infinity Ward confirmed that both the PS3 and PS4 would see the next-gen FPS. According to Activision, Call of Duty: Ghosts "delivers a riveting all-new gameplay experience built on an entirely new story, setting and cast of characters, all powered by a new, next generation Call of Duty engine that redefines the series for the next generation".
I don't know about you, but I saw nothing that impressed me. I think Battlefield 4 looks far superior, and you know you're in a bad place when Infinity Ward have to brag about the detail on dogs and the ability to jump over obstacles, because you know, we don't have that already with Battlefield 3.
I was very underwhelmed with the Xbox One event, and even more so with Call of Duty: Ghosts. I expected it to launch up to the same playing field of Battlefield 4 (or even at least BF3) when it comes to graphics, but I was very disappointed.
I didn't watch the trailer again because I wasn't interested, but I've done some reading since and found that someone noticed there was a very big mistake when it came to Ghosts' lighting system. As you can see from the below image, the sun is to the right, and there are sun shafts to the left, indicating that the sun is beaming down from the left. Well, this is a huge problem as it shows that Infinity Ward have been creating Ghosts from the ground up, ready for next-gen consoles, with a fake trailer.
If Infinity Ward were trying to impress their fans, I understand, but one would think the company is big enough they don't need to use graphical tricks to impress. Why not just make their graphics engine great, instead of trying to fake it.
Once again we ask, what are you thinking Microsoft? The latest Xbox One news is that Microsoft will not be allowing Indie developers to self-publish titles to Xbox Live Arcade. Instead, they'lll be required to make a deal with Microsoft Game Studios or a third-party publisher.
Indie developers will be able to continue publishing to the Xbox Live Indie Games, but most see that market as a dead-zone. Microsoft appears to be continuing its rather unfriendly approach to indie games and indie developers. Matt Botty, general manager of Redmond Game Studios and Platforms, says that there could be some experimentation for this generation:
I would also expect that for this new generation, that we're going to continue to explore new business models and new ways of surfacing content. But Microsoft Studios is a publisher that works with a wide range of partners, as do a lot of other people, to bring digital content to the box.
It's worth noting that this policy runs in stark contrast to Sony's. Sony is actively pursuing indie games for the upcoming PlayStation 4. Maybe this is what has Notch and other indie developers upset?
Yesterday's Xbox One announcement did little to impress most of the tech community. We were expecting to see truly innovative things like IllumiRoom, and much higher graphics quality levels than what Microsoft delivered.
Independent game developers such as Minecraft's Markus "Notch" Persson said that "I tried to get excited about the Xbox One, but failed.". Developer of Super Meat Boy, Tommy Refenes chimed in with his thoughts as well. "So as someone who doesn't play Forza or any EA Sports games and already has a computer hooked up to my TV, what does Xbox One offer me?"
With big name Indie developers turning their nose up at the new console, and the majority of the tech world appearing to be quite unimpressed, it leaves one to wonder what was Microsoft thinking? Of course, there are just as many of the non-techies who want to do nothing more than play FIFA and Madden, and still be able to watch TV, with just a shout of one's voice.
Last night we bought you a live blog of the Microsoft Xbox One event, where we shared some details at the time of the specifications of Microsoft's next-gen console. Now we have some more details, not all, but more details on their console, which we'll show you below:
- CPU: 8-core custom-built processor by Microsoft
- GPU: DirectX 11.1 GPU with 32MB of embedded memory
- RAM: 8GB of DDR3 RAM
- Storage: 500GB
- Optical Drive: Blu-ray/DVD combo drive
- I/O: USB 3.0
- Communications: Ethernet, Wi-Fi 802.11n & Wi-Fi Direct
- Connectivity: HDMI input and output, 1080p and 4K support, Optical output
- Controller: Xbox One controller with redesigned directional pad
- Motion Control: Next-gen Kinect camera, with 250,000-pixel infrared depth sensor and 1080p camera
- Price: TBA
- Availability: Later this year
The new Xbox One is quite the machine, especially its new Kinect sensor. The Kinect sensor, which is now included and a required part of the Xbox, will respond to voice commands, even when off. It was pretty cool when the Xbox One turned on simply by saying "Xbox on."
But then reality set in. This means that the Xbox is always listening to you, even when off. It has the ability to understand and process what you're saying when the device is off. And this is where the privacy concerns set it. Now, let's be clear: We aren't saying Microsoft is recording everything that the Xbox One hears, but it isn't out of the realm of possibility.
We highly doubt that Microsoft would ever use the Kinect to spy on consumers. We're more worried about a possible virus or malicious actor gaining access to the Kinect sensors that will be on every Xbox One. After all, the new Xbox uses a PC architecture and runs a Windows kernel so it's not beyond the realm of possibility that this could happen.
We'll have to wait until some more information is made available by Microsoft, but this does give me reason to hold off on purchasing a new Xbox One.
If you followed our Live Coverage of the Xbox One reveal, you'll know that I was quite excited by Call of Duty: Ghosts, specifically the inclusion of dogs. During the Xbox event, Activision/Infinity Ward showed of the world premiere trailer for Call of Duty: Ghosts. That trailer has now been published to YouTube:
Pre-orders were also put up with the trailer at Call of Duty's website. As expected, the game will set you back right around $60, which is the going rate for an Xbox 360 game. Pre-orders for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 version are not currently available.
Watch the trailer above and let us know what you think of the game!