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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.
Not too long ago some gamers started to report that their copies of the hotly anticipated game Titanfall had started to show up early. That left many gamers wondering if they played the game early if they would face a ban. Titanfall developer Respawn said that as long as the players didn't stream game play or post videos they would not be banned for playing early.
It appears that Respawn is having a bit of a second though, at least for some PC gamers. Respawn head Vince Zampella recently tweeted that some PC gamers may face a ban for playing early. These gamers specifically are ones that are using some sort of workaround on the PC to activate the game.
The workaround was originally posted on reddit. The thread has now been taken down. The announcement came after one gamer tweeted at Zampella asking if using the workaround would result in a ban.
Ubisoft's upcoming open-world action game, Watch Dogs, was the topic of a recent livestream by the studio, where the company answered some fan questions. These questions included why the game was delayed, and how the drop-in multiplayer will work.
Danny Belanger, Watch Dogs' Lead Game Designer, said that players who weren't interested in unexpected drop ins from other gamers can turn the function off completely. Belanger said: "All the online activities are just part of the menu. They're a choice. But if someone is not into that .... they can totally turn it off."
One of the big reasons behind not wanting people jumping into your game is that they can hack you, where Belanger explains: "There's also something important called the shield. If someone comes into your game, they can't come in right after so you can't be spammed in that way - unless you become aggressive and you start going into other people's games. Then you really become available. But it's just a player choice in the end."
Titanfall is currently in the hands of some lucky people who were able to nab the Respawn Entertainment shooter before its retail launch, where the Xbox One versions of the game requiring a huge 840MB day one patch.
Once Titanfall is open to all, the 840MB patch is going to be downloaded by hundreds of thousands of gamers simultaneously, which will most likely stress the Xbox Live servers - but hopefully not. Titanfall's day one patch isn't as big as Dead Rising 3's stupidly large 13GB patch, but an 840MB day one patch is still a big downloading pill to swallow.
Portal is a big fan favorite for gamers, but the news of a Portal board game should set gamers wallets itching to come out of their pockets. Valve is working with Cryptozoic on the board game that should hit shelves before the year is up.
The game is still in development, so right now it doesn't have a final name - for now, it is being called "Portal: Uncooperative Cake Acquisition Game." The Portal-based board game will pit two to four players against each other as Aperture test subjects, where they'll be dumped into various testing environments trying to kill their opponents' pawns, or their own.
Players can team up and take on another, more powerful player on the board. We will have more information on the Portal board game as it arrives.