Platinum Games and Square Enix have been pretty cagey about Nier: Automata's PC release date and now we know why: piracy. The game likely won't release until an adequate DRM solution is found, and Square Enix may not go with Denuvo this time.
Nier: Automata's PS4 version is set to release in two days in Japan and March 7 in the West, but nor the publisher or devs have locked in a PC release date. The Steam port is still listed as "2017". In fact, any mention of the PC version is missing from the game's official North American site, the Japanese site, and even Platinum Games' official gamesite. This led many to believe the game may be cancelled on PC.
But Nier: Automata's game producer Yosuke Saito confirmed that the PC port is still happening. Saito goes on to say there may be a "slight delay" for the PC version until the team can find an adequate anti-piracy measure. Saito also wants to ensure the game runs smoothly on PC, claiming that "certain recent games" ran badly on the platform, and this isn't acceptable for Nier (Saito is likely talking about Mutants in Manhattan, which was locked to 30FPS on PC).
While gaming in handheld mode, Nintendo's new Switch console actually runs quite cool and only hits a max of 37C in demanding games like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.
While attending a Nintendo Switch event a Swedish gamer took some FLIR images of the system in handheld mode to see how hot the device gets. Considering the Switch can deliver dedicated on-the-go gaming, thermal heat mitigation is extremely important, and we're happy to report the device runs pretty cool. Thanks to recent teardowns we know the Switch is actively cooled by a fan system that works in tandem with an L-shaped heat sink, and, of course, the customized and highly efficient 20nm NVIDIA Tegra X1 chip.
Three games were shot with FLIR images: Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, which would be the more demanding of the three games, Snipperclips: Cut it Out Together!, and Splatoon 2. In all of these scenarios the Nintendo Switch was in handheld mode and being charged by a USB Type-C charger, so that means these temps could actually be cooler. Mario Kart 8 ran an average 25.2C and peaked at 37.6C; Snipperclips ran at about 24.3C on average and peaked at 35.7C; and Splatoon 2 hit an average temp of 21.2C and hit highest peak thermals of 35C.
Horizon Zero Dawn has been receiving some amazing compliments so far, and after Digital Foundry's analysis on the PlayStation exclusive, it looks like it's the best-looking PS4/PS4 Pro game to date.
The game maintains its 1080p resolution on the PS4, but the beefier PS4 Pro can run Horizon Zero Dawn at 4K - while performance, stays roughly the same. We're looking at a "near-locked and well-paced" 30FPS, with "very few drops below" 30FPS - with both of these drops in performance happening at the "same spots regardless of the console", which means we should see updates for Horizon Zero Dawn that will improve those dips in the near future.
Guerrilla Games harnessed the additional horsepower inside of the PS4 Pro to not only crank up the resolution to the non-native "checkerboard 4K presentation" - but the graphical detail is increased. There's higher antistrophic filtering and texture resolution on the PS4 Pro version of Horizon Zero Dawn. There will also be an update pushed out on day one for Horizon Zero Drawn that will offer a high-performance option.
The PS4 Pro version of Horizon Zero Dawn clearly looks better, with Digital Foundry providing some side-by-side comparisons of the PS4 and PS4 Pro versions.
A gamer recently bought a Nintendo Switch early and showed off the system's startup screens, revealing that the console-handheld hybrid only has approximately 25.9 GB of the advertised 32GB of onboard memory will be available for games, downloads, and screenshots.
The Nintendo Switch is supposed to come with 32GB of flash storage. However, as any tecchie will tell you, the advertised memory isn't what you actually get (and here's why).
Given that a 32GB flash drive will only actually have about 29.8 GB of usable space, we can assess the Nintendo Switch's customized operating system takes up about 4GB of space by default, leaving about ~26GB left over for gamers to use (29.8GB - 25.9GB = 3.9GB). To give you an idea of how much space this actually is let's say you plan to install Zelda: Breath of the Wild digitally on the Switch, which clocks in at 13.4GB. After installing that one game you'd have 12.5GB left over for other games--but fear not, Nintendo Switch games are rather minute!
GDC 2017 kicks off next week, with a big tease of Ghost Recon Wildlands and the terrain tools and technology video for the game.
The developer must be proud of its work into the terrain and landscapes of Wildlands, which do look absolutely amazing, and now we have a tease of what will come at GDC 2017. I'm going to be on the ground at the time, and have this session locked into my calendar.
Ghost Recon Wildlands will be released on March 7 for the PC, PS4, and Xbox One.
NVIDIA is expected to unveil their GeForce GTX 1080 Ti graphics card during their event at GDC 2017 next week, but the GTX 1080 Ti has been teased... with Halo Wars 2.
Halo Wars 2 is coming soon, with Microsoft and developer THQ Nordic listing NVIDIA's unreleased and unannounced GeForce GTX 1080 Ti as the GPU of choice for Halo Wars 2's Ultra graphics requirements. We should expect NVIDIA's new GeForce GTX 1080 Ti to be a slightly gimped Titan X, which is not a bad thing - 3328 CUDA cores, 12GB of GDDR5X, and 10.8TFLOPs of performance - enough for Ultra settings in Halo Wars 2.
Microsoft is going to shake up the console space later this year with the 4K-capable Project Scorpio console, the fastest Xbox ever made - but Microsoft seems to have moved away from making PC gaming the best gaming platform there is.
Over the years this has happened, even with the release of DX12 and Vulkan, we haven't seen giant technological leaps and bounds from our increasingly faster hardware. But, Xbox boss Phil Spencer talked about Microsoft's commitment to PC gaming heading into the future, something he touched on during the Halo Wars 2 launch party.
Spencer hinted at PC exclusive games that haven't been announced yet, as well as upcoming Xbox One exclusives that will be unveiled in the coming months. We have Crackdown 3 on the way, which should be a big hit when it launches in a few months.
I admit I had my worries about BioWare's new Mass Effect: Andromeda game. But after watching the latest combat trailer, most of those worries were dispelled. The game's battle system is a breath of fresh air. The same way Dragon Age: Inquisition pushed the bar for its own franchise, ME: Andromeda does the same for Mass Effect. The latest game was built from scratch on DICE's advanced Frostbite 3 engine, and it clearly shows: this time around we have such massive freedom and flexibility that it genuinely feels like a next-gen sci-fi action game.
The battle formula for ME: Andromeda is incredible dynamic and is heavily action-based. But this time around players have even more freedom than before and can leverage their skills, abilities, and little tricks to unlock seriously satisfying combat. Players can mix and match tons of different skills: freeze an enemy with Cryo Blast and slam into them with jetpack acceleration to smash them to smithereens. In this article we'll highlight some of the reasons why the game's combat is so satisfying with visual GIFS.
Power skill combos are still in the mix, but now you'll be able to actually combine different strategies outside of those skills: jump high with your jetpack and hover in the air while firing off a devastating flak cannon shot, or teleport in close to slice and dice enemies with an Asari blade (yes, ME: Andromeda has swords!)
The Nintendo Switch has already been torn down, revealing some interesting things: a custom NVIDIA Tegra X1 chip that perfectly matches the second-gen Shield TV's 20nm Tegra X1 transistor count, and the possible confirmation that the handheld-console hybrid will use efficient DDR4 mobile RAM.
We already know the Nintendo Switch should use 4GB of unified shared RAM system memory, but until now we weren't exactly sure how fast or what grade of memory would be in the Switch. Now we might know. According to recent Switch teardowns spotted on Chinese site Tabao, two Samsung-made SDRAM modules were spotted on the system's PCB.
The pictures are very fuzzy, but the consensus is that the SDRAM modules are K4F2E304HBMGCH modules, which are described as "LPDDR4 DRAM Chip Mobile LPDDR4 DRAM 16G-Bit 512Mx32 1.8V 200-Pin FBGA." These particular Samsung LPDDR4 modules have a 16gigabit density, which is 2GB, and there are two of them totaling for 4GB of unified LPDDR4 memory. Samsung's website confirms these modules can have maximum frequencies of up to 2666MHz, however I think its likely the Switch's 4GB of unified LPDDR4 memory will be clocked at 1600MHz, and scroll down to find out why.
Horizon Zero Dawn is one of the most ancipated games of 2017, an exclusive to Sony's two consoles: the PS4 and faster PS4 Pro. On the beefier PS4 Pro, Horizon Zero Dawn runs at a locked 30FPS with no slowdowns.
The performance report is coming from some lucky gamers who got their hands-on a copy of Horizon Zero Dawn before its launch, with one gamer saying it is "technologically outstanding" on the PS4 Pro. The performance is "locked 30 even on Pro" and that he "didn't notice any slowdowns".