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Minecraft has turned into a cultural phenomena. A rather simple game with basic graphics has taken the world by storm and now the creator of Minecraft is looking to follow that success up with a new game called Scrolls. The game has received an official trailer and inital release date. First, the trailer:
The initial beta will kick off on June 3, offering players early access to the game, much like Mojang did with Minecraft. The game is quite a bit different than Minecraft. Minecraft is a open-world game, while scrolls is quite a bit like Magic: The Gathering in that it is a digital collectible card game.
We will definitely be following Scrolls to see how it does just how addictive it is. Now that you've watched the trailer, we want to know what you think about the game. Is it something that you would play? Let us know!
Why EA's CTO got it wrong - follow up on about next-gen consoles being a step ahead of current-gen gaming PC's
Yesterday I wrote an article on EA's CTO Rajat Teneja who said that the upcoming next-generation consoles are "a generation ahead of the highest end PC on the market." The article received massive feedback on Facebook, Twitter, and even made the front page of Reddit. I want to use my last article of the week to explain why I feel Teneja got it wrong.
Several commenters were very quick to point out that the APU has a speed advantage over discrete GPU's as the APU does not have to send data over a PCIe bus then back to the CPU, which adds massive latency. While it is true, I must point out that no AMD APU on the market, or being rumored, can come close to the benchmark scores put up by even one generation old flagship GPU's, such as the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680. The massive number of cores combined with large amounts of RAM are just not feasible for an APU.
APU's really shine when it comes to mid-level performance in laptops, and productivity machines where the power consumption and extreme performance levels of a discrete GPU are not warranted. Don't get me wrong here, I am an AMD fan boy from way back and have to admit that I do like the APU architecture.
Microsoft planning to sell 25 million more Xbox 360's over next five years, says "Huge Announcement" at E3 will help
Hot on the heels of its underwhelming Xbox One announcement, Microsoft has stated that it plans to continue Xbox 360 sales for the next five years with a 25 million unit sales goal for the period. With sales totaling 77.2 million units to date, that means the company will have to sell 1.25 million units per quarter until 2018.
This announcement comes via an interview with Xbox's Interactive Entertainment Business Senior VP, Yusuf Mehdi. While current sales numbers may be able to sustain those goals, Redmond is going to have trouble pushing that many units once US, UK and Asian markets see the release of the Xbox One. The company plans to bolster 360 sales with a "Huge Announcement" at the upcoming 2013 E3 show, according to the report.
Microsoft Game Studios executive Phil Spencer recently told GameSpot:
"I think the Xbox 360 is going to be very vibrant for many years. In fact, we have a huge, I think it's huge, Xbox 360 announcement for E3 that I keep wanting to talk about, but I can't. I think it will surprise people. I loved what we did last year with Minecraft; bring Minecraft to the box; six million units later it's kind of a beast. I think there's a lot of life in the Xbox 360 for years to come."
Bungie's new game is getting closer to being in our hands, so what better way to tease everyone before it is shown off at E3 next month? You debut a new live-action trailer directed by the man behind Iron Man 1 and 2, Jon Favreau.
The Destiny trailer also features Revolution and Breaking Bad star Giancarlo Esposito. The trailer, above, shows off a huge CGI space marine who has a gigantic gatling gun. No gameplay footage is shown off, but we should see that at E3.
Microsoft says Xbox One backwards compatibility would be 'really backwards' - what are Microsoft smoking?!
We've already had an idiotic statement by EA saying that the PS4 and Xbox One are generation ahead of the fastest gaming PC's, but now we have Microsoft saying that backwards compatibility on consoles is... backwards.
Microsoft Interactive Entertainment president, Don Mattrick, talked to the Wall Street Journal stating that there are no plans for any form of backwards compatibility on the Xbox One, where he says "if you're backwards compatible, you're really backwards". Mattrick has said that only 5% of customers play titles on a new system, and because of this, the thought of backwards compatibility was thrown away.
I don't see why Microsoft build up a multi-billion-dollar industry around the Xbox 360 (without thinking of the Xbox) and then throw all of those consumers to the side for the next-gen console. If they wanted to look like the good guy here, and they really need to right now with the various holes in their ship (Windows 8, Surface, PC sales), then they would've included full backwards compatibility for their entire Xbox 360 library.
We've looked at the specifications between the next-gen consoles, the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, but it looks like the PS4 might come out as the graphical champion. The PS4 features 50% more graphical horsepower than Microsoft's Xbox One, which is a huge advantage for Sony.
Both consoles share the same AMD architecture, built on AMD's HD 7000 GCN architecture. Microsoft however, have opted for a different configuration of the GPU that includes just 12 Compute Units that provides 768 shader processors (SPs) or ALUs. Sony have powered ahead, cramming 18 Compute Units that provide a total of 1152 shader processors giving them a huge 50% lead in graphical performance.
When it comes to compute performance the PS4 is around 33% faster than the Xbox One with the PS4 capable of 1.84 TFLOPS compared to 1.23 TFLOPS on the Xbox One. Normally this would see the PS4 with better looking games, or games that aren't as efficient, but developers are working with the same AMD architecture between the consoles, so that won't be the case here. What I think we'll see is Microsoft have more tuning behind the scenes in terms of the operating system, so it might multi-task better, but the PS4 will have more grunt.
We've learned more about Grand Theft Auto V's upcoming special editions that will be available for pre-order. Rockstar is offering up two special editions: the Special edition and the Collector's edition. Both come with special features, though the Collector's edition is more expensive and features more perks.
The Special edition costs just $79.99 and comes with loads of special content. Gamers who opt for the Special edition will be provided with a SteelBook case, a blueprint map of Los Santos and Blaine County, a regeneration boost for each character's in-game special ability bar, extra challenges for the stunt plane, bonus outfits and tattoos, special deals at the in-game shops, and additional weapons.
The Collector's edition comes with even more. It includes everything the Special edition does and adds a unique outer box, a real life "security deposit bag", a New Era hat with the Los Santos logo, classic GTA characters for GTA Online, and a special garage with custom vehicles. It will set you back $149.99, or just under double that of the Special edition.
The game will be released September 17 and pre-orders are now available for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
Microsoft has announced that there will be a new Kinect sensor for Windows and an accompanying SDK released next year. The new Kinect sensor will be similar to the one recently announced for the Xbox One, which means we should see a 1080p camera, better skeletal tracking, and a new active IR.
Microsoft says that the new Kinect sensor will power "some exciting new Windows PC experiences." We can expect more information regarding the new Kinect for Windows at BUILD 2013, which takes place towards the end of June. Windows 8.1 will also be making an appearance at the BUILD conference in June.
Now that both next-gen gaming consoles have been announced, EA has been issuing a flurry of press releases detailing games that we can expect on the consoles. Today's announcement sees Need for Speed Rivals coming to both the newly announced Xbox One and the PlayStation 4.
Need for Speed Rivals will make use of the Frostbite 3 game engine, allowing the game to use stunning graphics and continue to blur the line between virtual and real. The game is being developed by EA's newest studio, Ghost Games, and is being built with help from Criterion Games.
Need for Speed Rivals is bringing with it several new features, most interesting of which is AllDrive. The developers explain:
At the heart of Need for Speed Rivals is AllDrive, an innovative new online feature that allows gamers to seamlessly transition from playing alone to playing with friends, eliminating the line between single player and multiplayer. Players will have to keep one eye on their rearview mirror as friends will be able to enter and exit races on-the-fly, creating a world where no two events will ever be the same.
Gamers who pre-order Need for Speed Rivals will receive the NfS Rivals Ultimate Cop Pack for no additional cost. It brings an exclusive Nissan GT-R Black Edition cop car and various other exclusive items. To learn more, head over to Need for Speed's website.
EA Vice President says PS4 and Xbox One are a generation ahead of the current fastest gaming PC on the market
The entire world is talking about the upcoming PlayStation 4 and Xbox One at the moment, and rightfully so. It has been many years since we have had a console hardware refresh. Unfortunately some of those involved with the new console seem to have slipped into some sort of false reality.
In a comment on LinkedIn, Electronic Art's Vice President and CTO Rajat Teneja said that Xbox One and PlayStation 4 are "a generation ahead of the highest end PC on the market." He went on to say "The compute capabilities of these platforms and the data transfer speeds we can now bank on, essentially removes any notion of rationing of systems resources for our game engines. Our benchmarks on just the video and audio performance are 8-10 times superior to the current gen. gaming pc systems."
I am going to speculate that Mr. Teneja was speaking about the semi-custom AMD APU that is running in both systems, and that part of his rationing is based on both chips having Unified Memory Access.
Call me biased if you want, but if he seriously thinks that graphics performance is better on an APU based system compared a PC running an 8-core CPU, 32GB of RAM and NVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN, then it may be time for EA to seek out a new Chief Technology Officer.