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Valve have teased us quite a bit in the last couple of weeks with its unveiling of the Steam Box, Steam OS and Steam Machines, with the latter being announced with NVIDIA GPUs.
Most thought that the Steam Machines would run AMD GPUs too - like myself - but this wasn't full confirmed, leaving many to believe that maybe, just maybe, NVIDIA had secured a very tight contract with Valve. The Half-Life developer has come out and confirmed that the Steam Machines would indeed support the three primary graphics vendors today.
Valve spokesperson, Doug Lombardi, said: "Last week, we posted some technical specs of our first wave of Steam Machine prototypes. Although the graphics hardware that we've selected for the first wave of prototypes is a variety of NVIDIA cards, that is not an indication that Steam Machines are NVIDIA-only. In 2014, there will be Steam Machines commercially available with graphics hardware made by AMD, NVIDIA, and Intel. Valve has worked closely together with all three of these companies on optimizing their hardware for SteamOS, and will continue to do so into the foreseeable future."
One of the biggest differences between the PS4 and the Xbox One is that the latter includes the Kinect camera, where the former includes no camera at all. But, Sony did consider selling the PS4 with a camera for $400, according to a report by the Australian Business Spectator.
Sony found an issue with losing too much money integrating a camera into the PS4 setup, with Sony Computer Entertainment President and Group CEO, Andy House, telling Business Spectator that "the vast majority of the audience that we speak to tells us that their primary wish is for the full controller interface and there's not necessarily a huge emphasis being placed on camera interaction."
So it seems that Sony thinks its consumers aren't going to be missing out on too much without the camera, and I tend to agree.
Mad Catz has announced M.O.J.O. which is its Android-based micro-console, coming in at a price of $249.99. It is powered by NVIDIA's more-than-capable Tegra 4, which is the same SoC found in NVIDIA's Shield handheld console.
M.O.J.O.'s specs aren't too bad at all, with the NVIDIA Tegra 4 being the heart and soul, but we also find 2GB of RAM, 16GB of on-board flash storage with a microSD card for expandable storage, all the way up to 128GB I might a dd. We will hear more information on M.O.J.O. closer to its December 10 release date.
During a recent interview with Famitsu, Tekken producer Katsuhiro Harada of Namco Bandai talked about the future of PlayStation and its network capabilities and of course, cloud services.
Harada said: "I think in the future, it will be a contest of services instead of hardware. When there's the PS5, it will probably be just a controller and a monitor. Then, the thing that will be left is the name of the service." Personally, I don't think we'll see a PS5 in the way that most think we'll see one, but maybe a smaller, less capable console with more of the computational and rendering side being done on the cloud - heavily compressed - and sent back to your 'console' or device at home.
What do you think? A PlayStation 5 that isn't a normal console.
Many PC gamers have used Microsoft's Xbox 360 Controller for years, and up until now those who wish to use a Sony DualShock 3 controller had to resort to using third party drivers to get things working correctly. In a recent tweet, Sony Computer Entertainment President, Shuhei Yoshida, confirmed that the DualShock 4 controller will work on PC out of the box.
Specifically, the controllers analog joysticks and buttons will work, but the more advanced features like the touchpad, lightbar, and speaker will not work on the PC without someone developing third party drivers. Yoshida said that we will have to wait to find out whether the DualShock 4 will be recognized as a generic gaming controller, or if Windows will be able to tell if it is a PS3 controller, which would be handy for games that are ported to the PS4.
If a newly released poll is any indication of current market trends, Sony's PlayStation 4 is more desired as a holiday gift than its rival, Microsoft's Xbox One. Reuters recently commissioned Ipsos to conduct a poll on which next-generation console consumers would purchase during the holiday season.
The poll consisted of almost 1300 people, of which 26 percent said that they would be purchasing a PS4 in preparation for the holidays this year. Only 15 percent said that they would be purchasing an Xbox One. When Reuters broke the poll down to age demographics, a whopping 41 percent of those under 40 years of age said they would buy a PS4, while only 27 percent indicated that they would be picking up an Xbox One. No info was given on how many people indicated that they would buy both consoles.
Grand Theft Auto V was a massive 18GB download on the PlayStation Store and while this might not mean much to us PC gamers using Steam, it bought the Japanese company's network to its knees with thousands upon thousands of people downloading it all at once.
Sony does not want a repeat of this, and has said it is fixing its digital download network before the PlayStation 4 launches. PlayStation UK boss, Fergal Gara, told Eurogamer: "There are big innovations in the PS4 to make it more attractive. We've done a lot of work on pre-delivering files. It's not perfect. It's not seamless."
Gara added that digital distribution is a "major area of focus" and investment for the company, which should calm most gamers' nerves.
This week has been quite packed with Valve-related news, with SteamOS, Steam Box, Steam Machines and the new Steam Controller. Now we have a company that was tied to Valve for the Steam Box, unveiling its new PISTON gaming console on Monday.
Xi3 has teased that "the wait is over" with the date 9/30/13 below it. We should expect the PISTON console to be a variation of the usual PISTON PCs, but in console form. We don't know exactly what to expect, but maybe this will be the first Steam Machine? Especially considering that Xi3 was who Valve reportedly chose to show off prototypes of the Steam Box in its early form.
Microsoft has announced that its Xbox team will take the Xbox One on a tour around the world, starting on October 1. If you're near one of these tour cities, you'll be able to see the Xbox One "through a series of experiential events."
You'll be able to get some hands-on time with Microsoft's next-gen console, as the Redmond-based giant will be bringing along seven (and possibly more) of its launch titles: Forza Motorsport 5, Ryse: Son of Rome, Killer Instinct, Dead Rising 3, Crimson Dragon, Max: Curse of the Brotherhood, and LocoCycle.
The company has called this tour the "Area One" tour, with the following cities and dates below:
- Philadelphia: 10.3-10.6
- Paris: 10.10-10.13
- Toronto: 10.10-10.13
- Chicago: 10.17-10.20
- Vienna: 10.17-10.20
- Atlanta: 10.24-10.27
- Dallas: 10.31-11.3
- Berlin: 10.31-11.3
- Phoenix: 11.7-11.10
- San Francisco: 11.14-11.17
- Dublin: 11.14-11.17
- Los Angeles: 11.21
- London: 11.21-11.24
According to Microsoft's Corporate Vice President, Phil Harrison, we won't be seeing any indie titles for the Xbox One this year. Indie games will launch for Microsoft's next-gen console sometime early next year.
Harrison told Games Industry International the news, saying that Microsoft has received "hundreds" of applications following its announcement of Independent Developers @ Xbox program. Those who are accepted into the program receive two free Xbox One developer kits, as well as becoming a registered Xbox One developer.
Even though there has been quite a lot of interest, Harrison doesn't think we'll see indie titles when the Xbox One launches in November. He goes on to say: "I don't think it's realistic to see a developer get the program and build a game and get it into the market on November 22. It's reasonable to expect in early 2014 we'll start seeing the first games come through."