Gaming peripheral company ROCCAT released its Siru ultra-thin gaming mouse pad, measuring less than one millimeter thick. The ROCCAT Siru uses a non-slip backing so the mouse pad won't slide around and promises a reliable, immovable surface that gamers can depend on.
The Siru mouse pad measures 13.25" x 9.84" x 0.01", so it's almost invisible when placed next to the keyboard. The thin profile allows the mouse to sit at the same level as the desktop, which should provide a fast surface able to give gamers accurate, fast movements.
Gamers tend to upgrade PC hardware, mice, keyboards and headphones - but the mouse pad is typically overlooked - though ROCCAT, Razer, Logitech, and other companies have a variety of different mouse pads to choose from.
We reported yesterday that EA finally announced an offline mode for its SimCity reboot - something I think is too little, too late - but the update is at least here now. But, it took EA quite some time to get it here.
The developer has explained how much work it did to provide offline mode in SimCity, where Lead Engineer, Simon Fox, explains: "The original creative vision for SimCity was to make a game where every action had an effect on other cities in your region. As such, we engineered the game to meet this vision, setting up the player's PC (client) to communicate all of its information to the servers. That means that our entire architecture was written to support this, from the way that the simulation works to the way that you communicate across a region of cities. So yes, while someone was able to remove the 'time check' shortly after launch, they were unable to perform key actions like communicating with other cities that they had created locally, or with the rest of their region(s), or even saving the current state of their cities."
Fox says it took over six months of coding to get here, which is a massive effort for the developer. Fox continues: "My team did, however, see a path forward towards Offline, one that would maintain the integrity of the simulation. Lucy once said that Offline wouldn't be possible 'without a significant amount of engineering work,' and she's right. By the time we're finished we will have spent over 6 ½ months working to write and rewrite core parts of the game to get this to work. Even things that seem trivial, like the way that cities are saved and loaded, had to be completely reworked in order to make this feature function correctly."
A small update was pushed out by DICE for Battlefield 4 on the PC yesterday, which includes a bunch of stability, balancing and player spawning fixes. Stealth jets have also been tweaked, with a 25% increase in the amount of damage their cannons can do. A full list of fixes is below:
- Various fixes for improving general stability
- Fixed a memory leak issue occurring after level shutdowns, which could result in a out-of-memory crash in longer play sessions
- Additional fix for the "sound loop" deadlock when running High/Ultra graphics settings
- Added a warning for using Legacy AMD drivers that were out of date
- Fixed a player feedback timing issue where blood was appearing before other damage indicators, and before damage was actually done
- Fixed a bug where players' rank icons on the scoreboard would not be updated
- Fix for Asian users unable to start Battlefield 3 and Battlefield 4 on Windows 8.1
- Normalized repair rates across all vehicles. Vehicles with lower health points, like aircraft and transport vehicles, now repair more slowly than before
- Fixed problem with killer health in kill card not being correctly updated (showing 100% health even though the soldier was hurt)
- Fix for friendly marker not always showing when needed to, resulting in players shooting team members
- Fixed a bug where a M1 Abrams Coaxial HMG ammo box was occasionally blocking the driver's camera
- Increased damage by 25% for the Stealth Jet 20mm cannons.
- Stealth Jets now have more similar handling attributes to each other. F35 & J-20 are slightly more agile, Su-50 is less agile.
- Attack Jets now have more similar handling attributes to each other, and all 3 are now slightly less agile than earlier
- Fixed camera glitch when switching weapons while moving in crouch
- Fixed an occasional bug where players could experience intermittent engine sound dropouts when driving wheeled IFVs
- Fix for player spawning under the map when deploying on Lancang Dam
- Fixed flickering in map and minimap on Rogue Transmission and Operation Locker
After all of the disappointment Gearbox Software served up with Aliens: Colonial Marines, most gamers would not want to even hear the words "Aliens" and "game" in the same sentence, well, that is, until now.
Alien: Isolation is a completely different step in the Aliens-themed game direction, one that takes the Ridley Scott movie 'Alien', versus James Cameron's 'Aliens'. It's a survival horror game versus a first-person shooter, where you play Ellen Ripley's daughter, Amanda. In Alien: Isolation, there is no shooting, there is no crazy action, it's a survival horror game first and foremost.
Creative Assembly, the studio behind Alien: Isolation, has done some great work on the graphics engine, and especially the lightning - something you can get a taste of in the above videos. Alien: Isolation is due in fall 2014 on the Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS4, PS3 and PC.
Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition will arrive at the end of the month for the next-gen consoles, and below, we have a video which compares the game on the PS3 and PS4.
The game definitely looks better on the PS4, with some added graphical features thanks to the extra grunt inside of Sony's next-generation console. Executive Producer on Tomb Raider, Scot Amos, has said that it's more than just a facelift: "a lot of development work [was] put in to custom craft it for the new platforms."
After looking at the video, the PS4 version definitely looks better, but I still think it looks very low res. Either that, or there's no anti-aliasing used. One would think that with there being nearly a decade between machines, and much more processing grunt, the PS4 version would be running 1080p at 60FPS with the extra "custom craft" for the new platforms.
Team VVV has teased the world with a new 7-minute gameplay tease of its upcoming Project CARS, which includes some commentary from a team member that has been following, and playing the driving game since 2011.
The guy in the video uses a decent racing wheel, and uses a small picture-in-picture which shows off just how the game reacts to the steering wheel. The video shows off the newly released Brands Hatch track, and also includes shots from the first-person perspective, which can look hyper realistic at times.
The game is being played on a high-end PC with all of the graphic bells and whistles cranked to maximum. Of course, this title is still in early development, so it should only get better from here. Project CARS should be released later this year on the Xbox One, PS4, Wii U and PC.
Red Barrels' horror game, Outlast, will be free for PlayStation Plus users when the service debuts next month. It is locked to the PlayStation 4 only, and for PlayStation Plus subscribers obviously.
But, considering there are already a slew of discounted games, and a free copy of BioShock Infinite on offer, how can you skip on this? On Outlast's Facebook page, the news is confirmed, with a post reading: "Outlast will be free in February for all PlayStation Plus users (PS4 only)."
EA announced today that it would be adding a long awaited offline mode to SimCity nearly a year after the games launch. EA originally required the game to have an always online connection to contact EA's authentication servers. This requirement caused many issues with the game launching and rendered it unplayable for many.
The issues with the always online requirement caused many users to call for its removal, but EA refused to budge on the matter, but less than a year later, the company is saying that it will be issuing an update to bring an offline mode to the game. Unfortunately offline mode may have came a little to late as many of us have forgotten about the game entirely.
Now that Nintendo has some strong competition in the console space, its Wii U console will continue its downward spiral, but the same cannot be said for its handheld 3DS console.
The Japanese giant sold over 16 million physical and digital 3DS games in 2013, which represents a massive 45% year-over-year increase in sales. The 3DS family includes the 3DS, 3DS XL and 2DS, and in the US alone, the 3DS family sold over 11.5 million units. We had some great system-sellers in 2013, including the new Pokemon games, and The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds.
This year, the long-awaited Yoshi's New Island will be released, which should have Nintendo fans across the world pressing buttons for months on end.
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.
If we are to believe the Siliconera translation of a tweet by Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima, Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain's map is going to be ridiculously large.
So large, that it will be "hundreds of times larger" than Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes, the prologue to The Phantom Pain. Ground Zeroes' map will not feature real-time changes, such as a day and night cycle, with Kojima stating that each mission will offer different experiences. The translation reads: "GZ is both a prologue to the MGS5 story and, at the same time, a tutorial for a new MGS, which transitions to sneaking simulator."
Respawn Entertainment co-founder Vince Zampella has confirmed that Titanfall on the PC will not feature any mod support or map editor when it launches, but he did state that the company "will have to evaluate after launch".
This will come as disappointing, but not surprising news to most - with Titanfall hitting the Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC - skipping the PS4 - on March 11, 2014. The developer will be making a PS4 version of Titanfall, but not right away.