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Titanfall launched yesterday, a game that Microsoft was heavily invested in, but it looks like the company unfortunately experienced some issues during its launch with Xbox Live experiencing some serious downtime.
Microsoft's gaming network had gamers unable to sign into their consoles to play Respawn Entertainment's first game, a game that was quite the make-or-break it title for the company's next-gen console. Titanfall is a multiplayer-only game, which is another headache in itself, as all play with the game requires Xbox Live. The tutorial can't even be played without an Internet connection.
The official Xbox Support Twitter account has tweeted: "Thanks for your patience, Xbox Live is good to go! Try these specific steps to get back in the game now." So it looks like it's all good now, but it's not a first good step for Microsoft and Titanfall.
During next week's Philly Tech Week, Tetris will be played on the city's 29-story Cira Centre as screens. Frank Lee, a professor at Drexel University and founder of the school's Entrepreneurial Game Studio, is continuing what he did last year.
Last year, with the help of Brandywine Realty Trust, the company who owns the Cira Centre, played a special version of Pong on the side of the building. It happened during mid-April, when Philly Tech Week 2013 took place, setting a Guinness World Record for "Largest Architectural Video Game Display."
The massive game of Pong used 460 LEDs on one side of the building, taking up a giant 59,800 square feet of space. Lee's version of Tetris will take place on both the north- and south-facing walls of the building, expanding over a space of more than 100,000 square feet. Lee said in a press release: "One regret that I had was that we only used one side of the building. So it was only visible to half of the city. This year, I wanted to find a way to use all sides of the building and truly created an aesthetic of a unique and fleeting moment shared by all the people in Philadelphia."
This will all take place during Philly Tech Week 2014, which runs between April 4-12.
CD Projekt Red has some bad news for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, that it has been delayed until February 2015. The studio had originally pinned the release of the game for 2014, but the game is still in a technically "unfinished" state.
The delay comes at a time when the studio talked about other game studios bragging about the performance in their games when in an unfinished state, so maybe this delay has something to do with it. CD Projekt Red won't just release a game of this scale in an unfinished state, so some more time for the vast title is obviously needed, and welcomed.
The studio's official board members talked about the delay, saying they weren't happy with the game's overall quality and projected release date, as it wouldn't give them enough time to provide gamers with The Witcher 3 that the studio had originally envisioned: "We recently re-examined what we had achieved thus far, and faced a choice about the game's final release date. The decision we made was difficult, thoroughly considered, and ultimately clear and obvious."
Linux is getting another boost when it comes to mainstream gaming in the form of the CryEngine from Crytek. Next week during the 2014 Game Developers Conference, Crytek is expected to officially announce that it has successfully ported its CryEngine over to Linux, and will be updating Crysis 3 to run on SteamOS.
News that Crytek has been working on porting its game engine to Linux have been popping up since last July, and with major Linux and SteamOS announcements expected for next week during GDC it is only logical that the company make the announcement. We suspect that all three Crysis games will hit SteamOS as well as other games running on the CryEngine such as Ryse: Son of Rome, the Farcry series, Homefront 2 and even Star Citizen could arrive on Steam Machines everywhere thanks to this.
This morning, Microsoft released one of the most anticipated games of 2014 to the world. Titanfall has been described as Halo for the next generation of gamers, as well as Call of Duty evolved, and Microsoft is billing it as the best FPS to hit the Xbox One since launch. Everything did not go smoothly though, and the Electronic Arts distributed game experienced connection issues which prompted EA to issue a patch just hours after the the game launched.
Just minutes after the game went live, both PC players and Xbox One owners who had pre-loaded the game began to experience connection issues which saw them stuck on the "initializing screen." This issue is quite similar to what Diablo 3, Sim City and Battlefield 4 users experienced on launch day as well. Fortunately, EA issued a 380MB patch around 2AM that has seemed to fix the issue.
The issue is not related to EA's servers though as the game is the first to be hosted on Microsoft's Azure cloud servers, which is able to scale up based on the amount of load the system is experiencing. EA says that some of the issues stemmed from a network issue with those using Belkin routers, which is fixed by players opening some ports in the routers admin panel. Titanfall is available on Origin and Xbox Live for $59.99.
Origin has announced another new gaming machine and this time out the little PC is very compact and can still be fitted with powerful hardware. The machine is a micro-tower PC that measures 4" w x 15" h x 13.75" d. The PC can be placed on a desk in vertical or horizontal orientations.
Like most of the highly customizable PCs that Origin offers, the Chronos micro-tower rig has many options. It can be had with up to an ASUS Mini-ITX Maximus VI Impact mainboard. Despite the small size of the PC, it can be fitted with a big and powerful NVIDIA video card.
Origin offers up to an NVIDIA GeForce Titan GTX Black video card. If you like the idea of overclocking, but don't want to mess with the settings yourself, Origin will also overclock the CPU and GPU for you.
Michał Krzemiński, the Senior Art Producer at CD Projekt RED, the studio behind The Witcher 3, has some interesting things to say when it comes to next-gen consoles and games.
He was asked about next-gen tech and RPG titles, where he talked about the on-going 'resolution war' that we are seeing roll out in front of our eyes thanks to the Xbox One and PS4. Krzemiński said: "If you're asking me to throw a rock in the PS4 vs. Xbox One resolution war, I won't. The game is not finished and talking about resolutions, framerates and min. specs (for PC) is, I think, pointless. Everything can change during the optimization process at the end of development. Rest assured, we're working our butts off make The Witcher 3 run and feel equally awesome on every platform."
Krzemiński was asked if there's anything that the next-gen hardware has allowed CD Projekt RED to do that might not have been possible on the previous generation consoles, to which he said: "There's no one specific thing that next-gens allowed us to do. There's a whole ton of them. Essentially, the game can look mind-blowing, we've got seamless gameplay with no loading screens (almost everything is streamed during gameplay, cutscenes etc.), we can add visual effects unavailable to us before because of performance issues and so on, the list is huge. All this constitutes a giant, lush open world with a myriad of things to do, quests, adventures, monster hunts, events and so on."
As a game that was meant to be a launch title for the PlayStation 4, Evolution Studios' racing game has just been delayed. PlayStation Software Product Development boss, Scott Rhode, told IGN that DriveClub has "gone back to the drawing board."
DriveClub was meant to be a launch title for the PS4, but was delayed at the start of the year, and removed as a PS4 launch title when Sony launched its console in Japan. Rhode told IGN that Sony is "willing to kinda eat that [cost]" when it comes to pushing back a big title like DriveClub. Rhode continued: "What I will say is that it all comes back to that fundamental principle, and that's that we want to build great games."
He added: "And we really don't want to release a game before it's ready. And sometimes, this happens in the normal course of business, where we think we're on track to deliver what we think is going to be a great game, and when we get closer, we realize that we'd be doing everyone a disservice if we shipped it before it was ready."
Titanfall is nearly here, where we have information on the resolution it will run at on the Xbox One: 1408x792 or 792p. This is the launch resolution, but Lead Engineer on the game Richard Baker confirmed the news with Digital Foundry.
Titanfall on the Xbox One will run at 792 at 60FPS, with Baker explaining that Titanfall is "likely to increase resolution after we ship," though day-one players will be locked at 792p." He continued: "We've been experimenting with making it higher and lower. We're going to experiment. The target is either 1080p non-anti-aliased or 900p with FXAA. We're trying to optimize... we don't want to give up anything for higher res. So far we're not 100 per cent happy with any of the options, we're still working on it."
There should be a patch that arrives soon that will bump it from 792p to 900p, still shy of the 1080p that the Xbox One is capable of. On the PC, it will be able to drive up to 4K and beyond. Remember to have 48GB free on your HDD or SSD if you're installing it on your PC, as Titanfall requires quite the mammoth amount of hard drive space.
Valve says that it will now let developers set their own pricing on games they sell through Steam, something the company has had strict control over in the past. Word first came of the change in policy via a Reddit user named "Sharkiller," who leaked the information from Steam's private developer forums.
The new policy allows developers to set fixed week-long promotions as well as custom promotions that set a percentage off of the price for up to two weeks at the time. Users can also now set the full price of their game to their liking which could lead to pricing wars between developers and extra savings in the pockets of consumers.