Intel and ESL have been partnered for 17 years now, but are now taking it to the next level with the Intel Grand Slam, the latest CS:GO championship.
Intel will provide all of the gaming PCs to each player and team, with Senior VP and General Manager of the Client Computing Group at Intel, Gregory Bryant, saying: "Intel's involvement in esports and the gaming community has spanned more than 15 years, and we're always looking for ways to take the player and fan experience to the next level. In this next phase of our long-time partnership with ESL, we're investing in the development of future esports stars, further expanding our global footprint with the Intel Extreme Masters circuit, and exploring fresh formats like the Intel Grand Slam that we announced today".
The massive competition itself is the new Intel Grand Slam for CS:GO, with an additional $1 million for any team that manages to stop the Intel Grand Slam winner. The game is split into a few factors: with an additional $1 million being offered to the team that wins 4 of the last ten $200,000 events between DreamHack and ESL. The first Intel Grand Slam event takes place during ESL One Cologne 2017, which takes place between 7-9 of July.
ARK: Survival Evolved is another super-hot game on the PC right now, but it has been enjoying some love on both the Xbox One and PS4 over the last few months, and now that the new Xbox One X is out the developer has some words to say.
Studio Wildcard's Jesse Rapczak was recently on the E3 2017 Live Show with Geoff Keighley, where he said that they're aiming for 60FPS on Xbox One X, and that 60FPS was "not possible" on the PS4 Pro. PS4 Pro users can run 60FPS, but only at 720p where we'll see ARK running at 1080p 60FPS on close to Epic settings on Xbox One X. During the interview, Rapczak said: "It's amazing. It's basically like Epic settings on PC, we're targeting 60FPS. We recently introduced variable frame rate, but on Xbox One X with the extra horsepower, you'll notice less variation in your frame rate even in busy situations".
Rapczak added: ":The PS4 Pro also has improved frame rate when compared to PS4. Before the XB1X, it was the best console version of ARK, but it's hard to argue with that 6 teraflops [laughs]. Having the same frame rate in our game isn't really possible, there are a couple reasons for that: the XB1X not only has a faster CPU than PS4 Pro, it also has a lot more RAM. I'd say there's a 50% performance difference".
Ubisoft has had a huge show at E3 this year, displaying their slew of games, but one of the most anticipated would have to be Far Cry 5. The company released a new Far Cry 5 gameplay trailer, which we've embedded below.
The trailer explains your sniper, Grace Armstrong, and your air support with Nick Rye in Far Cry 5, with some impressive tricks up their sleeves. Far Cry 5 takes the adventure to the United States, landing you in Hope County, Montana. Once you arrive, Ubisoft explains: "incites the cult to violently seize control of the region, you must rise up and spark the fires of resistance to liberate a besieged community". There's also a new trailer that Ubisoft calls 'Amazing Grace', something they released at E3 2017.
Ubisoft also announced the upcoming Far Cry 5 Collector's Edition, which will include:
The Hope County, MT Collector's Case is available for pre-order exclusively from the Ubisoft Store. In addition to the Gold Edition of Far Cry 5 - which includes the Season Pass for access to future expansions, as well as a Digital Deluxe Pack that adds new vehicles, weapons, and outfits - the Collector's Case includes a Deer Skull Trophy that measures 17.72 inches (45cm) wide, an exclusive Steelbook case, the official Far Cry 5 soundtrack, and a double-sided tourist map of Hope County.
E3 2017 - Ubisoft's new Rabbids and Mario cross-over looks like tons of fun. Here's why I'm looking forward to the game!
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle leaked ahead of E3 and drew lots of criticism from gamers. But as it turns out, the cross-over is actually pretty impressive-looking. Not only is the game bright and vibrant, hearkening back to the unique cartoony graphics of the Wii U, but it incorporates a surprising level of strategem. In many ways, this Ubisoft Mario game looks like Final Fantasy Mario mixed with XCOM Mario Party, and I can't wait to play it.
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle has been in development for more than three years, and the goal of the game was to "try and make a Mario game that hasn't ever been made before," and I think Ubisoft succeeded. The game has a nice layer of tactical strategy to it with a turn-based tactical adventure focus with multiple party members like Peach, Yoshi, Mario and Luigi--and their Rabbid dopplegangers. In fact, it has two modes: explore mode, which has players running around various areas, and battle mode, which has players duking it out in XCOM-like RTS combat.
E3 2017 - Forza Motorsport 7 will run at native 4K 60FPS on Microsoft's new $499 Xbox One X console without even using full GPU power.
Microsoft has confirmed Forza Motorsport 7 runs at a "rock solid" 4K 60FPS on the new high-end Xbox One X console, but now Turn10 revealed something else: Forza 7 actually hits 4K 60FPS without even using the console's full GPU power.
The developers told Destructoid that Forza 7's native 4K 60FPS performance uses 70% of Xbox One X's highly customized Polaris-based 6TFLOP GPU, with 30% power left over. This isn't particularly surprising, as the same developer was able to hit native 4K 60FPS at Ultra PC equivalent settings in Forza 6: Apex with 88% GPU usage.
E3 2017 - After 15 years of waiting, Ubisoft today announced Beyond Good and Evil 2 is still alive and showcased the game with an incredible new trailer.
Ubisoft Montpellier has been developing Beyond Good and Evil 2 for quite some time now, and has spent the last three years diligently shaping the universe. The game is actually a prequel, and has a persistent seamless online universe to explore for gamers, strongly indicating it'll be built on Ubisoft's live services framework and offer multiplayer content for years to come.
Beyond Good and Evil is a "seamless online playground" that allows players to discover new worlds across a wide cosmos. "We've been working very hard just on the technology across three years time. Today we have a seamless online playground where we can travel across space at the speed of light. We can explore mysterious cities and discover unknown lands by ourselves or with friends. We want you to participate in the making of this great adventure," Beyond Good and Evil 2 designer Michel Ancel said.
E3 2017 - Every game played on an Xbox One X will indeed play better, but native 4K resolution and other enhancements aren't guaranteed. Here's how Xbox One X works.
Microsoft has said from the start that developers will have the freedom to do whatever they want with Xbox One X's beefy hardware. But that kind of freedom means that there's no guarantee that all existing games will play at native 4K on the new Xbox One X. Developers have to upgrade their games with native 4K textures and add in other enhancements that tap the console's highly customized AMD SoC. Essentially Microsoft is handling the Xbox One X's game enhancements very similar to how Sony handled its Forward Compatibility upgrades on the PS4 Pro: developer participation isn't mandatory, but certain devs have partnered up to bring optimized upgrades to their games.
To bring native 4K textures and upgrades to Xbox One games, Microsoft has created the Xbox One X Enhancement Program. From now on Xbox One games supporting native 4K upgrades will be stamped with a little "4K Enhanced" on their boxes, similar to Sony's PS4 games. Developers must choose to opt-in on upgrading their games with native 4K textures, HDR, and other enhancements to tap Xbox One X's hardware and push it to the limit. These upgrades will be sent out via digital patches and updates, like PS4 Pro games. If a game isn't upgraded, it'll still natively tap the console's power, but it won't be supercharged in the same way that Forza Motorsport 7 is by hitting native 4K 60FPS on the system; the games will be upscaled to 4K UHDTVs, leverage super-sampling in 1080p HDTVs, frame rates in games with dynamic resolution will be tighter, and the games will utilize Xbox One X's 9GB of GDDR5 RAM game allocation to as a cache buffer to improve loading times and more.
And here's something quite interesting: just because an Xbox One game gets upgraded to run better on Xbox One X doesn't mean it'll automatically run in native 4K. Remember, Microsoft gives devs the choice to use the X's power as they see fit, and this doesn't always translate to bringing huge 4K textures over. "All the [titles we showed at E3] are going to get upgraded with true 4K upgrades. You're going to see that from us, but also from our third party partners," Microsoft exec Aaron Greenberg said during an interview with Geoff Keighley. "So you're going to have an incredible lineup of games. New games, plus a lot of games you already own are going to be upgraded with Xbox One X enhancements, and the large majority of those you can expect to be in 4K."
E3 2017 - Machine Games' explosively awesome Wolfenstein game is getting a sequel, and it's better than ever.
After Destiny 2, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus is hands-down my most anticipated shooter for 2017. As I predicted way back when, Machine Games' new FPS takes place in Nazi-occupied America during the 1960's, showing us a unique alternate world set in the chaotic universe the devs have built.
The New Colossus is a direct sequel to 2013's The New Order, and features new weapons, characters, a new story, and tons of other goodies folded around thrilling grisly FPS action.
E3 2017 - Bethesda got into hot water with its new Creation Club program, which allows gamers to buy credits with real money to spend on extra content in Skyrim and Fallout 4. But the publisher has revealed new details about the initiative, clearing up some important facts.
Bethesda's new Creation Club program is less like paid mods, and is more like extra high-quality DLC snippets made internally from the studio themselves. The publisher says that the content sold on Creation Club aren't mods--they're high-quality pieces of content that must pass Q&A testing, including full Alpha and Beta phases. "Creation Club is a collection of all-new content for both Fallout 4 and Skyrim. It features new items, abilities, and gameplay created by Bethesda Games Studios and outside development partners including the best community creators. Creation Club content is fully curated and compatible with the main game and official add-ons," Bethesda says.
Yes, gamers will spend real money to buy credits on the Bethesda.net framework, and then use those credits to buy in-game content. Bethesda iterates that everything sold on the Creation Club storefront is developed by its own dev teams and outside dev partners including "the best community creators." The content will be regulated for quality and likely be protected against piracy, and will allow the top-tier mod-makers to make cash for their creations.
One of the hottest games right now is PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, which has sold over 3 million copies on the PC, with the new survival shooter game headed to consoles - an exclusive Microsoft scored for its Xbox One platform.
Battlegrounds' creator Brendan Greene announced the news during Microsoft's own E3 conference, as an Xbox One exclusive. PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds will be released "later this year" on Xbox, with Greene confirming Battlegrounds will have Xbox One X specific enhancements, but we don't know what they are just yet. With the game squeezing even the best PCs to their edges, it'll be interesting to see what it looks like, the render resolution and detail on the Xbox family of consoles - especially the new 4K-capable Xbox One X console.