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In an exciting gaming-related piece of news, Epic Games has announced that their upcoming Unreal Engine 4 will come with support for Oculus VR's upcoming Oculus Rift VR headset. Oculus Rift is seen as a holy grail gaming device and the future of gaming. From personal experience, Oculus Rift is quite epic.
By including Oculus Rift support in Unreal Engine 4, Epic Games is making it easier for game developers to include support for the virtual reality headset. The easier it is to include, the more likely it is that developers will include support. Unreal Engine 4 will also come with support for various other middlewares:
- Audiokinetic - Wwise
- Autodesk - Autodesk Gameware
- Donya Labs - Simplygon
- Geomerics- Enlighten
- IDV - SpeedTree for Games
- Intel - Intel Threading Building Blocks (TBB)
- NaturalMotion - morpheme and euphoria
- NVIDIA - PhysX and APEX
- Oculus VR - Oculus Rift
- RAD Game Tools - Bink Video and Telemetry Performance Visualizer
- RealD - RealD Developer Kit (RDK)
- Umbra Software - Umbra 3
- Xoreax - IncrediBuild-XGE
This morning, Amazon has announced the launch of a new Indie Games Store that features more than 400 titles from at least 100 independent game developers. This new addition comes at a time when the Indie game market couldn't be any hotter with promotions like The Humble Bundle and Steam pushing indie games hard.
A representative from Amazon has told TweakTown that the new storefront has several features aimed at helping indie game developers get discovered, such as the Indie Gamers Choice Program, where to indie games go head-to-head for gamers' votes.
Another interesting feature is the Indie Spotlight which features Bios and Q&As that offer insight into the developers behind great independent games. A new Indie developer Spotlight will be released every Thursday and to kick things off Amazon has featured Mike Roush and Alex Neuse from Gaijin Games, the developers behind the BIT.TRIP series.
To celebrate the launch of this new storefront, Amazon is offering several deals throughout the month of June on PC, Mac, and browser-based games. The deals include $9.99 game bundles, 75 percent off select titles, and three free pre-selected titles on any purchase made from the Indie Game Store during the months of June and July. You can head over to Source #1 below to check out all the great indie games.
With the new Xbox One just around the corner and the upcoming Xbox TV series directed by Steven Spielberg announced, Halo fans have been eagerly awaiting news on the next installment in the Halo game series. Today were finding out that game is here... Well, sort of.
Unfortunately, the next Halo game is not for the Xbox One, but rather for Windows Phone and Windows 8 touch-enabled devices. Halo: Spartan Assault, developed by 343 Studios, appears to be a top-down RTS style shooter. While this is sure to disappoint some fans, it is only natural for Microsoft to try and capitalize on Halo's popularity by bringing a version to touchscreen devices.
"In a nutshell, it's a top-down twin stick arcade-style action shooter," explained Dan Ayoub, executive producer at 343 Industries. "Really, [its] a brand new way to play Halo." The game does appear to be a major part of the Halo timeline and fills in the gaps between Halo 3 and Halo 4. The game will also have a companion comic book series called Halo Initiation which further details the saga of Sarah Palmer.
343's Kevin Grace:
What we've got right now has been designed for a single player experience. There are multiplayer components in the challenges and leader boards -- so you can challenge your friends and get that level of interaction -- but for this story and this particular game, it's just single player.
Metro: Last Light is doing incredibly well, has shifted more units in a week than the original game did in three months
It looks like Metro: Last Light is turning into a success, with both digital and US retail sales doing extremely well. Deep Silver, the publisher of Metro: Last Light, haven't provided exact numbers, but have noted that across all platforms Metro: Last Light is on, the game has sold more copies in one week than Metro 2033 did in three months.
Not only that, but in the United States, Last Light has sold more retail copies in the first week than its predecessor has managed since it was released three years ago. Metro: Last Light has stood on top of the charts for the past four weeks in a row in the UK, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and France.
Have you played Metro: Last Light? This news of its success makes me think I should play it.
Crysis 3 is getting its first DLC pack in the form of The Lost Island, a new multiplayer DLC pack that brings four new maps, two new gameplay modes, and an unspecified number of new weapons. The DLC will be available for the PLayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC on June 4 for just $14.99, or 1,200 Microsoft Points, if you use Xbox.
Crytek CEO Cevat Yerli:
The gameplay in the Crysis series has always been deeply connected to the unique environments in which the action takes place. By transporting players out of the Liberty Dome and into the Lost Island setting, we're not only returning to Crysis' spiritual roots, but also introducing fresh ways to play that provide Crysis 3 fans with genuinely game-changing new tactical options, game modes and weapons.
Details are still a bit slim, but we should find out more on June 4 when the DLC actually launches. It's worth noting that this multiplayer DLC actually has a story line to it. A mysterious alien presence has been detected on the island and you're there to destroy it. This story line likely ties in with the two new game modes.
Naughty Dog, the developer behind Uncharted and the soon to be released The Last of Us are planning three DLC packs for the latter title, with gamers being able to pre-order all of them right now for $19.99 with the game's season pass from the US PlayStation Store.
Other regions will receive The Last of Us digital edition and season pass pre-orders, but dates haven't been announced just yet. Season passes will also make their way to retailers when The Last of Us launches. If you purchase yourself a season pass, you'll receive the Day 1 bonus pack which includes in-game upgrades like increased crafting and healing speed, 9mm reload speed upgrade and a rifle clip capacity upgrade. There's also a 90-minute "Making of The Last of Us" documentary with the Day 1 bonus pack.
Out of the three DLC packs, one of them will include single player content with the other two packs concentrating on multiplayer content that will also include maps "and other expansions".
The Last of Us launches on the PlayStation 3 on June 14, 2013 and will be made available on the PlayStation Store on the same day.
I'm sure most of our gaming readers know what the HumbleBundle is, but I'll provide a brief explanation for the uninitiated. Users are able to buy the bundle of games for whatever price they'd like and select how it is distributed among charity, the developers, or the provider of HumbleBundles.
The latest HumbleBundle provides five games for any price: Little Inferno, Awesomenauts, Capsized, Thomas Was Alone, and Dear Esther. If you beat the average price--currently at $5.58 and only going up--you'll get two additional games for free: Hotline Miami and Proteus. Individually, the games would cost over $90.
Some interesting statistics so far:
- Total payments: $181,405.44
- Number of purchases: 32,528
- Average purchase: $5.58
- Average Windows: $5.10
- Average Mac: $6.76
- Average Linux: $8.81
I always love how the Linux users are usually the most generous, especially considering they are using a free operating system. Mac users are usually in the middle and Windows users are almost always the cheapest. Maybe they don't have any money left from buying the license key?
We've already seen some of the single player side of Battlefield 4, but what about the multiplayer side of things? DICE have announced that starting June 10, they'll be showing off live Battlefield 4 multiplayer demos at E3.
On June 10 at 1:00pm PDT during "The Download", EA will show off Battlefield 4's multiplayer reveal during EA's 2013 preview. We will learn at the time what is improved, what is new, and what we can expect from the next-generation first-person shooter from EA and DICE.
On the next day, June 11, we'll be greeted with live streaming multiplayer footage from the showroom floor of E3 itself, and during the three days of E3, you'll be able to tune in to see unscripted multiplayer footage, DICE developer insights and interviews with the community. Our own Trace Hagan will be at E3 to get some hands-on for us here at TweakTown.
Minecraft has turned into a cultural phenomena. A rather simple game with basic graphics has taken the world by storm and now the creator of Minecraft is looking to follow that success up with a new game called Scrolls. The game has received an official trailer and inital release date. First, the trailer:
The initial beta will kick off on June 3, offering players early access to the game, much like Mojang did with Minecraft. The game is quite a bit different than Minecraft. Minecraft is a open-world game, while scrolls is quite a bit like Magic: The Gathering in that it is a digital collectible card game.
We will definitely be following Scrolls to see how it does just how addictive it is. Now that you've watched the trailer, we want to know what you think about the game. Is it something that you would play? Let us know!
Why EA's CTO got it wrong - follow up on about next-gen consoles being a step ahead of current-gen gaming PC's
Yesterday I wrote an article on EA's CTO Rajat Teneja who said that the upcoming next-generation consoles are "a generation ahead of the highest end PC on the market." The article received massive feedback on Facebook, Twitter, and even made the front page of Reddit. I want to use my last article of the week to explain why I feel Teneja got it wrong.
Several commenters were very quick to point out that the APU has a speed advantage over discrete GPU's as the APU does not have to send data over a PCIe bus then back to the CPU, which adds massive latency. While it is true, I must point out that no AMD APU on the market, or being rumored, can come close to the benchmark scores put up by even one generation old flagship GPU's, such as the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680. The massive number of cores combined with large amounts of RAM are just not feasible for an APU.
APU's really shine when it comes to mid-level performance in laptops, and productivity machines where the power consumption and extreme performance levels of a discrete GPU are not warranted. Don't get me wrong here, I am an AMD fan boy from way back and have to admit that I do like the APU architecture.