MSI's Beat It tournaments have been going strong since 2010 when the company saw the need to bring professional games together to compete in a professional gaming tournament series. Since then, hundreds of tournaments have taken place, and thousands of gamers have competed at the highest level of professional gaming.
This weekend MSI is hosting the Beat It 2013 Grand Finals in Beijing, China at the Shijingshan Stadium. More than 17 international CS:GO champion teams, and 85 players join this fantastic eSports tournament. Two of these teams, Fnatic and NearlyGod, are sponsored by MSI, and are geared up with the best hardware in the industry to go head to head with the best gamers in the world.
Champions will take home $10,000 and five MSI GE70 high-end gaming laptops equipped with WD SSHDs. MSI is the first mainstream system company to ship 1 TB WD Black SSHDs in notebooks, taking mobile gaming storage to a whole new level of play. The second and third place each will get $7,000 and $5,000 cash prizes.
According to the official In-Home Streaming group on Steam, a beta test of the feature is "coming soon". Gamers who are interested in testing out this new feature can join the group, which will put them into the pool of users Valve will choose in the near future.
Local game streaming might not sound like much, but it is a key part of SteamOS, as it streams games from your Steam-enabled PC. Valve wants PCs that are powerful enough to host game sessions, which is what this beta testing will most likely involve. There's currently no hardware requirements, but the Half-Life developer has said: "There is a huge variety in home hardware and network configurations, and we would like your help in learning about what works best."
One of the bigger factors of local game streaming, and its beta testing, will be networking performance. Wired Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) will obviously be the best way of doing things, but Wi-Fi networks are getting mighty impressive. You can be sure we'll be doing a bunch of testing on SteamOS over GbE and Wi-Fi when we get our hands on the OS.
Gran Turismo 6 isn't even here yet, but there's already talk of Gran Turismo 7 - you weren't surprised, were you? - with Polyphony Digital teasing, but stating that they won't take forever.
GT creator, Kazunori Yamauchi told Top Gear: "We don't want to take too long on Gran Turismo 7. Best-case scenario? Next year. In GT6 we really had to tune the software 100 per cent to maximise the PS3's architecture, but of course the PS4's hardware is much better, so I think the overall quality of the game across the board will be boosted when you come to play it."
If we do indeed see GT7 released this close to GT6, I think we'll see it as a PS4 exclusive. If there was a game that would sell PS4 consoles, it would definitely be a next-gen Gran Turismo game. Our own Chris Ramseyer will be excited to hear this news, I can almost hear his wallet screaming now.
Telltale Games' The Walking Dead has been quite popular, but now it is rumored that the developer is working on a game based around Game of Thrones. The news is coming from an IGN report that cites multiple unnamed sources.
We don't know if the rumored game would be based on George R.R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire novels, or the huge hit on HBO. During a recent Reddit Q&A, Telltale Games' co-founder, Dan Connors, said that the developer is "working on a few licenses that definitely fall into our dream IP scenario and we can't wait to announce those."
The PS4 is on the market, and the Xbox One drops in barely 24 hours, but where is Crystal Dynamics' reboot of Tomb Raider? Well, Square Enix isn't telling us just yet, but a representative with the company told IGN that we will know more about it next month.
The rep said: "it's so hard to keep a secret these days. We appreciate all of the enthusiasm, however we don't have any details to share just yet. That said, we highly recommend you keep an eye on any major gaming events happening in early December." It will be interesting to see Tomb Raider on the next-gen consoles, since both of them are based on AMD designs, will we see TressFX hair?
Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls is inching closer to release, and the closer we get, Blizzard is actually opening up the beta program for the upcoming expansion.
The developer is inviting "valued media contacts" and 3,000 of Diablo 3's most active players, at least those who have opted into the beta through Battle.net. Better yet, the beta invitation doesn't include an NDA, which means we should expect a bunch of press, videos, pictures and more on Reaper of souls. The beta will include the full game, minus the final boss battle, which is great for beta players.
If there's one game that should be on all PC gamers' calendars, it needs to be Star Citizen. The crowdfunded game from the gaming god himself, Chris Roberts, has reached an incredible $28 million in funding.
Thanks to hitting the $28 million goal, a new ship has been unveiled, the Mustang personal spacecraft. With the introduction of the Mustang, there'll now be two starter ships for Star Citizen's to get into the game with, joining the Aurora spacecraft. Now that the $28 million stretch goal has been met, the developer is doing something different with the next goal.
Cloud Imperium Games' latest blog post on the Roberts Space Industries website says that they are always asked where the extra funding from stretch goals goes... well, every dollar goes toward hiring new talent to build Star Citizen, as well as giving the team better development tools, and expanding the talent outside of the studio itself. The new stretch goal is now $31 million, where gamers can decide which ship will be introduced when it hits the new goal.
We reported about it not long ago, but it looks like the new version 1.03 patch for Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag is on its way, and it will bring 1080p support to the PlayStation 4.
Associate Producer, Sylvain Trottier took to a blog, saying: "The most important part of this title update is not necessarily 1080p native resolution. It's the fact that even when we were done with the project, even when we were finished with the certification and everything else, even when most of the engineers had started to work on other projects - like we always do at Ubisoft -some of my engineers continued to work on Black Flag and they even developed a brand-new anti-aliasing technique."
This new AA technique will be featured on the Xbox One version of the game, which will launch on Friday.
Assassin's Creed has turned from a small IP, into something that really drove sales for current generation consoles, but now an Assassin's Creed IV designer has come out and talked up Watch Dogs.
AC IV designer, Jean-Sebastien Decant has said that Watch Dogs could be what defines the next-generation consoles, with the open-world game helping to define the new consoles, like Assassin's Creed did for the Xbox 360 and PS3. During an interview with Games Reactor, Decant said: "Watch Dogs is kind of showing us the path for the future. I think we're going toward a gaming place where the open world will be shared with other players. More and more. Socially speaking, but also maybe multiplayer stuff. And we will have to consider the open world much more like a platform that we could sustain for years."
Call of Duty: Ghost is a next-gen game in the sense that it is the latest game in the Call of Duty franchise, but it is not however next-gen in terms of technology. When Infinity Ward announced that the game would require 6GB of RAM to run on the PC, many gamers were left asking why the game would ever need 6GB of RAM to work on a PC.
It appears that the answer to that question is that it does not require and simply can not use up 6GB of RAM at its current texture levels. Today Infinity Ward released a new patch that removes the 6GB requirement, effectively confirming what everyone thought in the first place. The patch also introduces new eSports rules as well as a new "Broadcaster" mode that will allow gamers to record their gameplay in first-person, third-person and over-the-shoulder mode.
The world has been waiting for the announcement from Bethesda regarding Fallout 4, but it looks like those days are numbered. The developer has filed for a trademark application for Fallout 4 in Europe.
Of course, this doesn't mean it's going to happen, or we'll hear of something, but remember that IGN reported a teaser website that was uncovered by some keen-eyed Reddit users. Again, this doesn't completely prove the existence of Fallout 4, but it gives it more credit than nothing happening at all. We will have news of Fallout 4 as soon as it breaks.
Are video games causing the youth of today, and tomorrow, with behavioral or emotional problems in the future? Well, according to a huge new study of 11,000 kids, no, no it does not.
The University of Glasgow used surveys from mothers in a massive millennial survey to track behavior over time. The goal of this study was to see if there was any connection between screen time, and behavioral or emotional troubles in the future. The authors dived into the study wanting to use both TV and video games, arguing the point that there is a connection with attention disorders, anger and other problems that might be connected to both.
The researchers wanted to know if "games may have more powerful effects due to active user engagement, identification with characters and repeated rehearsal and reinforcement." Then, we have some key findings, where "exposure to video games had no effect on behavior, attention or emotional issues." The study also found that "neither television nor video games lead to attentional or emotional problems."
Sony has already sold 1 million PS4s, and is hoping to sell a total of 5 million units before March 2014, but Ubisoft is expecting even bigger things from the next-gen consoles.
Senior VP of Marketing and Sales for Ubisoft, Tony Key, recently said that Ubisoft's "feeling is the installed base of these machines will be much faster to take hold than previous generations" when discussing the PS4 and Xbox One during an interview with Games Industry International. When referring to the number of current generation consoles sold over the same period of time, Key said: "In the first couple of years, we expect double the installed based of previous generations. The reason why is: The last cycle was longer, so there's a lot of pent up demand."
Remember, Ubisoft has a few tricks up its sleeve, one of them being Watch Dogs, which was delayed into spring 2014, where he said: "Watch Dogs is designed to be a long-term brand for Ubisoft. We won't launch it until we know it's equaling the vision it can achieve."
Battlefield 4 players may have experienced an excessive amount of server disconnects over the past weekend, and while many may have attributed them to bugs released with the game, EA says that they were the result of a massive DDoS attack. A new report from Bit-Tech claims that an EA employee has confirmed that Battlefield 4 was targeted on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
While Battlefield 4 players have come to expect random server crashes, the number reported this weekend seemed to rise exponentially despite the fact that EA released an update around the same time that was said to fix the issues. It is still unknown who launched the denial of service attacks, or why they did it. The rep from EA did say that the company was working on preventing this from happening in the future, and they are continuing to work out bugs in-game that affect gameplay.
I noticed this a few hours ago when I went to have a quick 5-minute game of Battlefield 4, that there is a large 1GB+ patch available. This patch will reportedly address many of the concerns gamers have, with crashes and server failures, and more.
There's some patch notes here you can skim over, but we should see a big fix in overall stability of BF4 for one. Secondly, network syncing problems should hopefully be fixed, which should have gamers smiling once again. DICE is aware of the issues, and is continuing to work around the clock to address them. DICE has also fixed some holes up on the server side of things, which should give more overall stability to BF4 multiplayer.
The People at Ubisoft shipped out Assassin's Creed Black flag at 900p to make sure the GPU and CPU ran the game at a consistent 30 frames per second. They will be sending an update to make the game native 1080p. The update will also include an anti-aliasing which will improve jagged edges in the graphics. Anti-aliasing will be available on both the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One. Ubisoft says the update will be available shortly after launch.
Community manager Gary Steinman: "Finishing the game at 900p gave the development team the extra room in terms of the GPU and CPU usage to ensure the frame rate never dips below 30 frames per second. The team then used the time between the ship date and the release to focus on a title update that could deliver native 1080p resolution on the PS4."
Blizzard's on-going issues with Diablo III are a big talking point amongst avid fans of the game, and the tech/gaming worlds in general because of its lack of offline mode. But now there's an interview between Rock Paper Shotgun and Lead Designer, Kevin Martens, who has some interesting things to say:
I don't think people necessarily remember how mad they were that they had an offline mode and online mode in Diablo II. People will be like, 'I wasn't mad!' But I was there at the time, and then I studied this for a living. It sucks when your friend or brother is online and he wants to join this game, but you realize you're an offline character and he's an online character, and there's no way to transfer over because offline characters can be hacked and hex-edited to hell and back, right?
This looks to be the reasoning behind the developer not pushing offline mode into Diablo III, but I'm sure they could find a way. What do you think? Are you a Diablo III player who wishes there was an offline mode? Let us know in the comments.
The PlayStation 4 has just launched, and just as I'm wondering why there's no system-seller, the Japanese giant goes and teases a new Uncharted game for the PS4.
There's absolutely nothing known about the game, other than Naughty Dog is back developing. But, we could expect a new Uncharted game that doesn't feature Nathan Drake, which would be a disappointment - unless it's done right, and it could revolutionize the franchise, hopefully. We should expect more in the coming months, hopefully some gameplay is shown off on the next generation hardware!
Bugbear Entertainment's Next Car Game is currently on Kickstarter, where it needs $350,000 in funds to get made. Currently, at the time of writing, it is sitting at only $70,111 - so get over there and pledge some of that cash!
Now, to tease the world, the developer has unleashed some in-game footage, with some awesome destruction shown off. Check out the video above, and tell me you're not impressed with that. This is pre-alpha footage, and that destruction would be some awesome fun in a multiplayer game with friends. Hopefully Bugbear can hit the $350,000 required, as it is one game that could be some amazing fun with friends.
The AMD APU13 conference is continuing on, with some new details about AMD's Mantle API. DICE's front man for the Frostbite engine, Johan Andersson, took the stage at the APU13 conference to talk about Mantle, and how it is going to be used extensively in Frostbite.
Andersson said that there would be a Mantle-powered version of Battlefield 4 released soon, something I'm excited to start testing on, and that there will be a bunch more games released under the Frostbite engine, that would be powered by Mantle. The biggest benefit to take away here is that Mantle has a lot less of an overhead to it, when compared to DirectX.
Jorjen Katsman, from Nixxes, the developer who is working on porting Thief to the PC, said that DirectX 11 has an overhead of around 40%, while Mantle has an overhead of just 8%. Katsman said that it's "not unrealistic that you'd get 20% additional GPU performance" with a Mantle-powered GPU.
There are currently 15 games in development that will support Mantle, which will include Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare, the Mirror's Edge prequel, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Star Citizen, Thief, and more. These are some of the biggest games coming soon, so it's an exciting time to be an AMD fan.
If you remember Myst, then you'll know who Cyan is, and you'll be excited for their upcoming game Obduction. The developer hit up Kickstarter for some crowdfunding for Obduction, to the tune of $1.1 million.
They reached it, and now it will go into production for an October 2015 release on Mac and Windows. I'm incredibly excited about the game, and I'm hoping that it reaches its stretch goal of $1.3 million, as that will include Oculus Rift support - something that would be absolutely mind blowing. It is something I've talked about (wanting a Myst-like game on the Rift) and something that I can't wait to play.
I've just made a pledge, and I can't wait to hopefully see this game hit $1.3 million in the next couple of days for that Oculus Rift support!