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Valve has started its Steam Summer Sale today, which runs from June 19 to June 30. There are some great games on sale, with 14 hours or so left on games like Far Cry 3 which is down from $29.95 to $7.48 (or 75% off) and The Witcher 2 with 80% off, down from $19.99 to just $3.99. These deals change every day, so keep checking back for the latest sales.
There are also flash sales which change every 8 hours, where for the next 8 or so hours, Half-Life 2 is just $2.49 down from $9.99 - but you'd be crazy to not already own that, right? Anno 2070 is enjoying 75% off, dropping from its original price of $34.95 to just $8.73.
It looks like $500 million doesn't buy much these days, with Destiny locked at 30FPS on all consoles. The makers of Halo, Bungie, are behind the new franchise, which will reach the Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3 and PS4 later on September 9.
But even with the increased horsepower found in the next generation consoles, they'll still be locked at 30FPS - but will contain graphical advantages. Destiny's Senior Environment Artist, Jason Sussman, said during an interview with VentureBeat: "It's a lot of different things. I could get really technical, but I'd bore you to death. A lot has to do with performance. We're cross-platform, so we had to be very delicate with all four consoles, making sure they have the same experience, that it looks as good as it possibly can on all these consoles. A lot goes into that, from geometry to textures to post effects to particles to how many players you get on the screen. We're always balancing that out to make sure everyone gets the same experience".
Destiny isn't the only game to be locked at 30FPS on next-gen consoles, with Ubisoft's The Division being locked at 30FPS, too. But don't even get us started on the problems with Ubisoft, as Far Cry 4 doesn't look like it will be any special on the PC, and Watch Dogs has already been gimped on the PC, big time.
After being out for a while now, Ubisoft is only just now rolling out a patch to Watch Dogs - something that PC gamers should receive in the next few days, while PS4 gamers get it today, and Xbox gamers receiving it sometime next week.
But now I have a question: will TheWorse/E3 2012 mod still work after this patch? Ubisoft has already alienated and pissed off the PC gaming community with its deliberate gimping of Watch Dogs on PC, but this would just be yet another strike against the publisher. Hopefully the mod still works, so gamers get an even more stable game with bug fixes, with better graphics than they had before.
A new video game controller has turned up aiming not at the iPhone like most of the controllers we see, but at the iPad mini. The controller is called the Gamevice and it is an MFi controller from Wikipad. The company also makes a popular game controller for Android products.
The Gamevice will land later this year with no pricing or exact date for launch confirmed. iPad mini gamers will get two joysticks with one on each side of the tablet and a D-pad on the left side. The right side of the controller has four buttons with a pair of other buttons on each side of the controller.
Ubisoft is in a massive web of trouble right now, with Watch Dogs on PC gimped - to possibly make it not stand out from the next-gen console versions - and now a promise that Far Cry 4 on next-gen consoles will be 'equal' to Ultra High settings on a PC. How can Ubisoft's week get worse? The slightly older news that its upcoming open-world title The Division will be locked to 30FPS.
The reason? Massive Entertainment, the studio developing The Division, didn't want to trade graphic fidelity for frame rate. Massive Entertainment's Managing Director, David Polfeldt, explained the reasoning behind the 30FPS target: "I think we're shooting for 30fps because it's a trade-off, right? Graphical fidelity and immersion are more important to us than the frame rate. If we go for [60fps], we'll have to make a trade-off on fidelity and other things. But because we want to have very, very complex destruction and extremely detailed environments; a complete weather system, full day/night cycle...at some point you have to make up your mind: where do you invest? And for us, it's going to be 30fps".
Massive's Ryan Barnard also talked with OXM, where he said: "We are at the point where we're focusing on making sure that we have the graphical quality we want across all consoles. Of course, [we have] our partnership with Xbox and all the exclusive content - I don't know when we're going to be talking about the details on that, but there will be goodies for our Xbox customers that they will very much enjoy for The Division".
Well, Ubisoft has said that Far Cry 4 on the PS4 and Xbox One will be equal to that of the PC version set on Ultra High settings. This means that Far Cry 4 won't look that great (for a big budget, AAA title released in 2014 on next-gen platforms) or the PC version will be gimped, like Watch Dogs was most obviously.
Far Cry 4's Creative Director, Alex Hutchinson, talked with Major Nelson on his latest podcast, talking about the differences between current- and next-gen consoles. Hutchinson also talked about showing off how beautiful Far Cry 4 is on both next-gen consoles, and PCs, where he said: "We want the gameplay experience to be the same on all platforms so we're leaning on technical differences. Everything you see, whether it's the fur on the animals, the grass on the ground or the leaves on the trees. All these things are bumped up a huge amount in the next gen version".
We were one of the first media to post about Ubisoft deceiving gamers with the PC version to one of its biggest launches ever, Watch Dogs. There has been a mod created which makes the game look like it did back when it was first shown off at E3 2012.
Since then, we've seen Watch Dogs look worse when it was better shown in 2013, and then the delay was announced - pushing it over 6 months from its original launch date. There were obvious problems with the development of Watch Dogs, but why would Ubisoft hold back much more advanced graphics when compared to consoles and even next-gen consoles.
If you visit Reddit right now, and visit /r/pcmasterrace, you'll see some very disgruntled PC gamers - and rightly so. PC gamers seem to have been robbed by shafted.
Mario Kart 8 on its own is selling a buttload of copies, but the game has also helped Nintendo push more Wii U units than ever before. Nintendo has sold seen a huge 400% increase in Wii U sales since Mario Kart 8 launched. Mario Kart 8 is even helping Nintendo hurt Sony's sales of the PS4 in Japan.
Nintendo America boss Riggie Fils-Aime said during an interview with VentureBeat: "Mario Kart 8 has increased the sell-through of the Wii U hardware business by a factor of four. In the two weeks prior to the launch, versus what we've seen now following the launch, we're selling at a daily rate four times higher than where we were before".
I can attest to that, as I will be picking up a Wii U next week all because of the release of Mario Kart 8. I always said to myself that when Mario Kart went next-gen, I would buy it, so come back to TweakTown next week for our look at the Nintendo Wii U and Mario Kart 8!
Jibbed has posted on the NeoGAF forums, saying that "The Worse," who is the creator of the mod for Watch Dogs, has seen some huge improvements and locked away goodies within Ubisoft's open-world hacking title. He has discovered that Ubisoft has left "almost all of the shaders and improvements seen in 2012 and 2013 are still in the game files, such as the e3 2012 explosions". The mod, as it stands right now, includes some huge improvements, such as:
- Changes to the default fog values
- Enabled bokeh DOF for the main cameras
- Stuttering Improvements
- E3 2012 Bloom
- Performance Improvements
- Enabled Headlight Shadows
- LoD Changes
- Reflection changes
- Added 3 new cameras to the game(closer, normal, further)
- Rain changes(High quality rain drops, properly reacting to light, etc)
- Lighting changes(TESTING AND WIP)
- Civilians density changes
- And many more things.. SOON.
I think we're about to see a huge explosion on the Internet about this - on one hand, this is amazing for PC gamers - on the other hand, it would seem that Ubisoft deliberately gimped Watch Dogs on PC for what reason exactly? More sales on consoles? To not see the PC version look undeniably better than next-gen consoles? No matter the reason, this will not end well for Ubisoft - but it will end well for gamers, who can expect Watch Dogs to look even better.
The video game industry has great potential to push virtual reality even further, but Nintendo isn't in a big rush to force anything on its customers. As game developers also research VR internally, it's only a matter of time before Nintendo will have to take the surging technology seriously.
"for us, it's all about fun gameplay," said Reggie Fils-Aime, Nintendo America President, in a recent statement. "That's what we want. We want a fun, compelling experience. Right now, the technology isn't quite there yet, in our view. Certainly, [VR is] something we're looking at. We look at a wide range of technologies. When it's there and enables a fun experience, we'll be there, too."
It's not surprising to hear Nintendo is using a wait and see approach towards virtual reality - an expensive technology still in its infancy - while Sony and Microsoft test VR solutions. Ironically, the creator of Mario, Zelda and Donkey Kong, Shigeru Miyamoto, tested the Oculus Rift headset during the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) game conference.