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Valve has begun sending out invitations to Steam in-home game streaming, which will allow gamers to stream any game from one PC to another, as long as both PCs are on the same network.
This might not mean much to those who have Steam at home, but when Steam Machines roll in, this will be a very big feature. You can have your massive Steam library on your main PC, and simply stream whatever game you want to play to your freshly unpacked Steam Machine. This will save transferring tens of gigabytes of data across, or worse, re-downloading those massive games.
Gaming PC company CyberPowerPC has teamed up with pro gaming team Complexity Gaming, aiming to promote eSports to a wider audience. CyberPowerPC will be able to use the pro gamers to develop and test out prototype hardware that can later be released to the consumer market. In exchange, CyberPowerPC will provide the team with new custom gaming rigs for use in practice and during live tournaments.
"Complexity Gaming is one of the most respected eSports franchises in the world," said Eric Cheung, CyberPower CEO, in a statement.
Professional gaming is a very niche market, but can develop a strong following among avid gamers and PC enthusiasts. Complexity specializes in Counterstrike: Global Offensive, Starcraft II, and Call of Duty, with frequent tournament wins throughout the year.
Riot Games is hoping its latest patch for League of Legends will entice more gamers to the game. League of Legends has reached version 4.1, and from here on out, Riot is setting up a "stable roster of free champions" for new gamers.
Chris Tom, who handles Player Relations and Communications for Riot, said: "These champions were picked because of how easy they can be learned and how enjoyable most new players find them." These changes are coming "at a later date", with the patch introducing refinements and tweaks to the way champions, items and maps work.
EA's digital distribution service, Origin, saw some massive playtime during 2013: over 61 billion hours to be precise. EA released an infographic with all of the game-playing goodness inside.
We now know that there are over 50 million registered accounts, with 22 million on mobile platforms. All Origin users combined see nearly 159 million Origin achievements unlocked, and close to 300 million chat sessions over 2013. This comes at just the right time, as we only just heard about Steam's numbers, which are equally as impressive.
Steam Dev Days has kicked off, with announcements flowing - we just heard that Alienware will launch its Steam Machine in September - but now we're hearing about some massive growth on Steam.
Over the past three months, Valve has seen an additional 10 million users join Steam, which has seen its total user base climb from 65 million to 75 million users. Breaking this down into geographical locations, 41% of sales come from the US, and 40% from Europe. Russia and Brazil's markets grew the most year-over-year, with Russia's market increasing 128%, and Brazil's market 75%.
What about the Steam mobile app? Well, that has a total of 7 million people using it, and a split of 55% and 45% for Android, and iOS, respectively.
Bugbear Entertainment's Next Car Game was removed from Kickstarter, but that doesn't mean the game isn't arriving at all. Next Car Game has just pulled up on Steam Early Access, and is available with a 17% discount off its regular $29.99 price.
There are two different versions, the regular version for $29.99 or the Digital Deluxe Edition for $44.99. Both versions are discounted, with the Digital Deluxe Edition enjoying 22% off, reducing it from $44.99 to just $34.99. The Digital Deluxe Edition comes with Next Car Game's soundtrack, a special car, and wallpapers.
An interesting thing has occurred on the Internet, and once again, on Reddit. Gabe Newell, the overlord of PC gaming, oh, and Valve, has promised an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Reddit, if over $500,000 in donations are made to a hospital for The Heart of Racing.
Newell confirmed the news himself under his Reddit handle of 'GabeNewellBellevue'. Newell said: "I'll do an AMA once we hit $500K in donations to the hospital. How's that?" If there was any AMA to end all AMAs, it would be one from Gabe Newell himself. We all know the question that needs answering most: when will we see/hear about Half-Life 3?
When Valve announced the Steam Controller, many in the PC gaming world emitted a sigh of relief upon hearing that a dedicated next-gen PC gaming controller was being created. The controller featured out-of-this-world touch pads and even a center placed touchscreen that would be able to display custom buttons and functions.
Unfortunately, today two game developers have tweeted from the Steam Developer Days Conference that Valve has decided to remove the touchscreen all together and replace it with buttons. The reason being is that the touchscreen distracted gamers too much and Valve wants its users to focus on the big screen in front of them, not the small one on the controller. Additionally, the gamepad's buttons have been reconfigured into a diamond pattern for better backwards compatibility with older games.
Gaming peripheral company ROCCAT released its Siru ultra-thin gaming mouse pad, measuring less than one millimeter thick. The ROCCAT Siru uses a non-slip backing so the mouse pad won't slide around and promises a reliable, immovable surface that gamers can depend on.
The Siru mouse pad measures 13.25" x 9.84" x 0.01", so it's almost invisible when placed next to the keyboard. The thin profile allows the mouse to sit at the same level as the desktop, which should provide a fast surface able to give gamers accurate, fast movements.
Gamers tend to upgrade PC hardware, mice, keyboards and headphones - but the mouse pad is typically overlooked - though ROCCAT, Razer, Logitech, and other companies have a variety of different mouse pads to choose from.
We reported yesterday that EA finally announced an offline mode for its SimCity reboot - something I think is too little, too late - but the update is at least here now. But, it took EA quite some time to get it here.
The developer has explained how much work it did to provide offline mode in SimCity, where Lead Engineer, Simon Fox, explains: "The original creative vision for SimCity was to make a game where every action had an effect on other cities in your region. As such, we engineered the game to meet this vision, setting up the player's PC (client) to communicate all of its information to the servers. That means that our entire architecture was written to support this, from the way that the simulation works to the way that you communicate across a region of cities. So yes, while someone was able to remove the 'time check' shortly after launch, they were unable to perform key actions like communicating with other cities that they had created locally, or with the rest of their region(s), or even saving the current state of their cities."
Fox says it took over six months of coding to get here, which is a massive effort for the developer. Fox continues: "My team did, however, see a path forward towards Offline, one that would maintain the integrity of the simulation. Lucy once said that Offline wouldn't be possible 'without a significant amount of engineering work,' and she's right. By the time we're finished we will have spent over 6 ½ months working to write and rewrite core parts of the game to get this to work. Even things that seem trivial, like the way that cities are saved and loaded, had to be completely reworked in order to make this feature function correctly."