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PC gamers' expectations helping spur evolution in gaming industry

The gaming market is a multi-billion-dollar industry and most of the attention is directed towards game consoles, but PC gaming has enjoyed a resurgence over the past few years. A recent study found 37 percent of U.S. residents nine years old and older play PC games for an average of 6.4 hours per week, separated into the following categories: Casual, Light Core, and Heavy Core.

 

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The Casual gamers enjoy non-core games, while Light Core gamers play less than five hours per week, and Heavy Core gamers play five or more hours per week. Digital game downloads have also helped shake up the PC gaming industry, as Steam and similar platforms offer gamers the chance to play demoes, view trailers, and download entire games without a physical disc.

 

"Consumers' expectations may be the greatest barrier to maximizing spending in the PC gaming space," said Liam Callahan, NPD Group analyst, in a press statement. "Since half of PC gamers who play digital and/or physical games on the computer are expecting there to always be a sale right around the corner, publishers and retailers alike need to better manage these expectations."

GTA V on PC rumored to be the lead platform for refreshed version

Grand Theft Auto V is expected on PC soon, but the latest rumor is that Rockstar Games has been working on GTA V for PC since 2012. This news comes from a leak for GTA V's internal builds, with the PS4 and Xbox One not mentioned in these logs.

 

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If this is true, it means that the PC version of GTA V could be the lead platform. With the new version of Grand Theft Auto V coming soon to the Xbox One, PS4 and PC after close to a year of being exclusive to the previous-generation consoles, the PC being the lead platform would be some good news for Rockstar Games' open-world title.

Batman: Arkham Knight release date announced: June 2, 2015

Warner Bros. and DC have announced the release date for Batman: Arkham Knight, with June 2, 2015 to see two special editions released. The first is the Limited Edition, but the second sounds a bit nicer: Batmobile Edition. Both of the special editions will be made in limited quantities across the US, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.

 

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The Limited Edition provides an art book, SteelBook case and game disc, the Arkham Knight #0 comic, and exclusive skin pack with three The New 52 skins, and a Batman memorial statue. The Limited Edition will set back gamers $144 for the PS4 and Xbox One version, but on the PC, and limited to the European, Australian and New Zealand gamers, it will be priced at $120.

 

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For $200, the Batmobile Edition is limited to consoles, and comes with everything that the Limited Edition version offered, but removes the memorial statue and replaces it with a transforming Batmobile statue.

ESPN president says eSports "not a sport," has no interest

Amazon recently purchased videogame streaming service Twitch for $1 billion, and ESPN President John Skipper doesn't have any current interest in promoting "eSports" in the near future. Although ESPN is still known for mainstream sports, the broadcaster has shown everything from bowling and darts to bass fishing and poker.

 

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"It's not a sport - it's a competition," Skipper recently said. "Chess is as competition. Checkers is a competition. Mostly, I'm interested in doing real sports."

 

There is money that could be generated from streaming eSports, with 2.4 billion hours of eSports footage watched online in 2013, according to an HIS Technology report. The growing market could have an estimated $300 million value by 2018. Ironically, ESPN and Valve partnered to stream the Dota 2 world championship tournament on ESPN 3, the online and Web-based branch.

Destiny on Xbox 360, PS3 has limited time upgrade to current-gen

When Destiny launches on the 9th of September on the Xbox 360 and PS3, gamers who purchased it will have a limited window to upgrade their last-generation copies to current-generation consoles.

 

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Activision and Bungie have announced a "digital upgrade" for Destiny, that will see Xbox 360 and PS3 gamers moving over to the Xbox One and PS4 with their copies of Destiny, for a limited time. We should see the end date for this migration offer on January 15, 2015, so you've got a decent chunk of time to upgrade and keep your copy of Destiny for the new consoles.

 

Better yet, when you move over from the previous-gen consoles to the current-gen with your copy of Destiny, any season passes, DLC and whatever else you've collected along the way will make the trip to your new console.

Russian documentary shows Western WW1 propoganda, uses TF2 poster

A documentary on Western, state-run propaganda used during World War I is being shown on Russia's Channel One, where the doco used a fan-drawn poster from Team Fortress 2.

 

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The poster was drawn during a publicity campaign back in 2009 when TF2 was rolling out with a new update, which saw a backstory for the conflict between two of its classes: Soldier and Demoman. The posted itself says "Join Team Demoman TODAY" instead of the usual "Join the Marines" that the posters would've said all that time ago. Blogger Nikita Likhacehev spotted the posted in the documentary, which has now ended up being reported about online.

Pirated copies of The Sims 4 makes things a pixelated mess

The Sims 4 has now been launched, and as you can imagine, there are pirated copies being downloaded. The pirated versions of The Sims 4 has seen EA use some anti-piracy measures, where the pirated version of The Sims 4 seeing a massive injection of pixels, making it look like a retro mess.

 

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The pixels kick in when a Sim steps into the shower, or gets naked for whatever reason. But the pirated versions of the game will see pixels continue to expand and blur, where it will eventually cover the entire screen. The results? What you see in the screenshot above. EA has had many customers already complain on The Sims 4's official forums about their "broken" copy of the game, but EA has said that they have no plans to help these customers enjoy their pirated version of the game, and to just purchase the legit copy if they don't like their pixelated experience.

Xbox One exclusive Ryse: Son of Rome comes to PC on October 10

Until now, Ryse: Son of Rome has been an Xbox One exclusive, but Crytek's game will be hitting the PC on October 10. It will be priced at $39.99 for those who pre-order it through their local retailer, or Steam, where they'll receive an exclusive digital copy of the official soundtrack.

 

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Ryse: Son of Rome will arrive on the PC with all of its downloadable content, as well as support for resolutions of up to 4K. When it comes to the digital version of the game, Crytek will be taking care of it, while Deep Silver will be looking after the retail release. Carl Jones, director of business development at Crytek says: "We are bringing the Ryse experience to PC, with 4K resolution support."

 

Jones continues: "4K gaming is another leap in graphics quality for PC gamers and Ryse is the perfect showcase for what's now possible in high-end PC games. We've given our team the opportunity to show what Cryengine can really achieve, without compromising quality, thanks to the incredible hardware available now to PC gamers. Ryse will be a benchmark PC graphics showcase this year and probably for a long time in future. Our community asked for a Ryse PC version, and we have the means and technology to deliver this title with the highest quality possible."

Epic Games announces Unreal Engine 4 is free for schools, universities

Epic Games has just announced that educational organizations, such as schools and universities, can gain access to Unreal Engine 4 for faculty and students, right here, for free.

 

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General manager of Unreal Engine, Ray Davis, says: "Nothing is stopping students from honing the skills needed to enter the range of fields using Unreal Engine technology, from entertainment software and film to visualization, healthcare simulation and military training. Students who know Unreal Engine technology have a huge advantage when it comes to job placement."

Project Cars will slide onto gamers' rigs on November 18

Project Cars is one of the best-looking games in development right now, with a confirmed release date for gamers across the world of November 18. Project Cars will be released on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.

 

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A huge crowd-sourcing campaign took place, with Slightly Mad Studios explaining Project Cars as "the most authentic, beautiful, intense and technically-advanced racing game on the planet." Nintendo Wii U owners will also receive the game, but it won't be happening until next year.

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