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The misery for console gamers stretched into a second day, following a suspected distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack launched by the Lizard Squad hacking group. Microsoft Xbox Live is working, sort of, with some gaming functionality still limited - and Sony PlayStation's online service is still reportedly down.
As frustration continues to mount, especially towards Sony, it would appear the Lizard Squad's efforts to disrupt Christmas - with millions of console gamers expected to boot up their Xbox One or PS4 consoles for the first time, or load new games - was a success for the hacker group.
Despite Kim Dotcom providing lifetime vouchers to his MegaPrivacy cloud storage service to Lizard Squad members, Microsoft and Sony still struggled to resolve network problems following the DDoS attacks.
Valve kicked off its annual Steam Holiday Sales a few days ago, with today's sales including Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham for $20.09, 33% down from its original price of $29.99.
Other sales today include Football Manager 2015, Planetary Annihilation, Contagion, South Park: The Stick of Truth, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, Democracy 3, Trainfever, and GRID: Autosport. The sales continue through to January 2, 2015.
Techland was aiming for 1080p 60FPS for their upcoming zombie survival shooter 'Dying Light' but the developer has locked things in at 30FPS instead, something that the developer says will provide a "perfectly smooth, gameplay-tailored performance."
The developer has said that a stable 30FPS is better than a varying frame rate, especially for a game where you jump between rooftops, climb buildings and more. Techland has said that the development team considers a consistent frame rate is better for the in-game environments of Dying Light. When talking with GamingBolt, the Lead Game Designer of Dying Light, Maciej Binkowski, would be 1080p 30FPS for both the PS4 and Xbox One.
He reiterated the fact that Dying Light is 30FPS on both consoles, saying "Yes. They're both locked at 30 FPS. We did so much testing and optimizing and eventually came to the conclusion that we needed to lock at 30 FPS to ensure a smooth, fluid experience." Binkowski also mentioned that Dying Light will feature a Subpixel Morphological Anti-Aliasing (SMAA) T2X solution, something that will smooth out the graphics in the game, which should hide the various jaggies. He added "We're using SMAA T2X according to our super brainy hardware guys. That's all I know."
The Xbox One is one of the hottest consoles on the market, and Kinect technology is one of the best features. The Kinect, which comes standard with Xbox One, has many more applications than just gaming. In fact, it's being used for some amazing things. Here are just a few of its additional capabilities.
With the use of Kinect recognition, Microsoft has revolutionized the way people exercise. Taking advantage of all the amazing fitness programs available on the Xbox, you can train and exercise right at home with the help of some amazing professionals; and the Kinect can help you with everything from making sure you have the right posture and form during your workout, to monitoring your pulse, temperature and other vital statistics. It can even help you record how many calories you have burned by tracking the movement of your body and temperature change on your skin. In a Samsung article, Santa Barbara fitness instructor Alexandra Williams advises taking a minimalist approach to your workout gear and equipment. So, by using the Kinect as your overall tracking device, it is easy to keep track of your overall health and fitness program.
The dawn of the new era of gaming is breaking on the horizon. The rise of cloud gaming has promised a future where all game rendering and processing is handled in a remote datacenter and merely streamed to the user. The new consoles have started a partial transition to this new future of gaming, but it seems that the future is now. Sony and Samsung's newest TV's in 2015 will feature an integrated app that will allow users to play games from the PlayStation Now service, but without a console.
All the viewer needs is a DualShock controller and the app. An initial library of 200 PS3 games will be available. Integrating this service into smart TV's could foreshadow a world without consoles, but there are a few caveats. Streaming high-quality content always comes with bandwidth and latency concerns, making a solid internet connection a must. Any loss of internet will end the gaming session, but the game will be saved to the cloud.
It will be interesting to see how the systems operate when hundreds of thousands, and millions, begin to use these new TV's. The early games are notably from the PS3, and not the PS4. There are likely a few reasons. PS4 games require more computation and have better graphics, so it might not be feasible at this point to process all of that data for millions of users at a remote location, let alone provide the bandwidth to stream it with acceptable performance.
Should e-sports be in the Olympics? Most people would think that idea sounds absolutely ridiculous, but it looks like a notable gaming executive wants to see pro athletes strut their stuff.
"Videogames are well positioned to be a spectator sport," said Rob Pardo, former Blizzard chief creative officer, during an interview on BBC 5 Live. "There's a very good argument for e-sports being in the Olympics. I think the way that you look at e-sports is that it's a very competitive skillset and you look at these professional gamers and the reflexes are lighting quick and their having to make very quick decisions on-the-fly."
Trying to have new sports added into the Olympic games is a tedious and difficult process, with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) making it hard for new games to be accepted. There is potential the IOC recognizes e-sports gaming as an Olympic sport, but that doesn't mean it will be welcomed into the games.
Telltale Games has announced the new Telltale Games Collection, which consists of The Walking Dead Seasons 1 and 2, The Wolf Among Us, Tales from the Borderlands, and the just-released Game of Thrones.
All of this arrives to your gaming doorstep for just $55 for Gold members on the Xbox One - representing a 50% cut for Xbox One gamers. There's no news from Telltale on whether the Telltale Games Collection will make it over to other platforms, but I'm sure it will... do you hope it does?
CD Projekt Red is pretty much finished on The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, with the developer prepared for its May 19, 2015 release. The developer has said that it has had more time since delaying the game from its original February 25, 2015 release date to the new May 19, 2015 date to get the game in much better working order.
When talking about the additional development time during an interview with Nerdacy, CD Projekt Red co-founder and CEO Marcin Iwinski said "We are removing the final bugs and still running optimization in various areas. What it will result in is a smoother and more engaging experience and, yes, the game looking better across all platforms. The content is locked, so no content changes are being made at this point. The scale of the open world in the Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is unprecedented, so fear not - there is enough gameplay to keep you playing for weeks."
There was also talk of a second playable character in the form of Ciri, to which Iwinski replied "Ciri is this living weapon everyone wants to get a piece of. She has this inner power that is key to stopping the Wild Hunt, but she also has some of her own demons to handle, so she won't allow to be controlled by anyone. We decided to introduce her as a playable character because it adds a lot to the narrative, and offers gamers a unique perspective on the story." He continued, adding "Having said that, Geralt is the main character whom you will be playing most of the time and he is the guy. We think that the introduction of Ciri as a playable character is a great way to allow gamers to see parts of the story from her perspective and make it even more personal."
Temple Run has been updated, which has the game transforming into a VR first-person runner, designed for the Samsung Gear VR Innovator Edition. Temple Run VR has players running forever on their quest to steal the idol from the eponymous temple.
In the latest version of the game, players will be dodging patches of snow and ice, crossing footbridges and jumping between cliffs... all in first-person, and in VR. Co-founder of Imangi Studios, Keith Shepherd said "We're thrilled to see this new virtual reality technology in the hands of consumers, and are inspired by the potential for new game experiences. It's been a pleasure working with Samsung and Oculus to bring Temple Run VR to life, and we can't wait to see what players think of the chase."
Valve's new End of the Line update for Team Fortress 2 has just evolved, with the latest Smissmas update. The Smissmas update includes a new mode called Mannpower, with some awesome new features in the form of nine power-up items that any class can use.The new update provides users with a grappling hook, which looks like it can be some serious fun. Check out the video below.
How does Mannpower work? Here's an explanation "It's an in-beta CTF-like game mode with grappling hooks and nine different types of powerups. Mannpower alters a few game rules. For one, random critical hits have been disabled. Additionally, teams won't be able to capture the enemy flag unless your flag is at your base. (When your flag is away from your base, you can touch it to instantly return it to base.) Mannpowers exist in the world and can be picked up by all classes. When picked up they add abilities and enhancements to the player carrying it. Mannpowers can be dropped at any time by hitting your dropitem key, and will drop automatically when the player carrying it is killed. Note that you can only carry one at a time, and that you can't take powerups into respawn rooms."
The video above shows off all of the new weapons that you have to choose from. Let us know what you think! It makes me want to get back into TF2.