Archive for the ‘ Games ’ Category

Final Rage gameplay video released to whet your appetite

id Software and Zenimax have today released the 6th and final gameplay preview video for Rage. This one is called Jackal Canyon: Recover the Decrypter and you can watch it below.

What this final trailer shows off more than anything is the sheer scale the game is played on. A corridor run-and-gun this certainly is not. You travel great distances at high speed in vehicles and then carry out gun fights across large canyons and up multiple-story buildings, all without a load screen in sight. 90% of the enemy fights in this trailer happen at distance, with you having to figure out where many of the enemies shooting at you are hiding before taking them out with a sniper rifle or rocket weapon of some sort.

While I am hoping for some classic close-quarters action too, something the previous gameplay videos have alluded too, I like this departure from the id norm and the embracing of scale because Carmack’s engine has allowed it to happen.

The size of the areas you are traveling around, coupled with the quality of the visuals, make it clear why Rage is shipping on 3 discs and needs such a big hard drive install. I also think we’re in for a long game in terms of playthrough time as Tim Willits has stated you don’t need to revisit areas on those second and third discs.

If this Jackal Canyon video is just part of one mission, you can see how this game has the potential to be huge.

Check out the video below as a reminder why you put that pre-order down for this game. Ragesees a release on October 7.


Intel’s latest graphics driver boasts 37 percent 3D gaming performance gain

If you own a high-end graphics card then you know that applying the latest graphics driver update is probably going to give your games a bit of a performance boost as well as sort out a few bugs. What kind of performance gain you see depends on the games and the age of the card, but a single-digit percentage gain is most likely.

Intel also has to release graphics driver updates for the chips it sells that include an integrated graphics solution. For example, the latest Sandy Bridge Core processors with Intel HD Graphics 3000 integrated. What we didn’t expect to see is the latest version of Intel’s drivers boasting as much as 37 percent 3D gaming performance gain in a certain Blizzard-developed title.

That’s exactly what Intel is claiming though, with the release notes accompanying driver versions and listing substantial performance gains for six popular titles. Here’s the games and claimed frames-per-second gain you should experience:

  • Starcraft 2: Wings of Liberty – Devil’s Playground – 37% gain
  • Dawn of War: Chaos Rising – 29% gain
  • Battlefield: Bad Company 2 – 28% gain
  • Supreme Commander 2 – 16% gain
  • DIRT 2 – 12% gain
  • Resident Evil 5 (Benchmark) – 10% gain

The reference machine used to log those gains was an Intel Core-i7-2677M running at 1.8GHz on an Intel 6 Series Chipset coupled with 4GB RAM and Hitachi 320 hard drive. The Intel graphics and Media Control Panel Power Plan was set to “Plugged In, Balance” and the games were all running on low settings.

The new drivers also fix an issue with HDMI monitor connections crashing machines intermittently, and rendering artifacts have been resolved in a long list of titles. Any games using OpenGL should also see some performance improvements due to a new extension, performance optimizations, and a few fixes.

One thing is clear, if you run a version of Intel’s HD Graphics solution then it’s definitely worth updating your drivers if you use your laptop for gaming or anything involving 3D rendering.

Read more at the Intel Graphics Media Accelerator Driver page and associated release notes (PDF), via Hot Hardware

Adobe Flash Player 11, AIR 3 to arrive next month

Today, we’re excited to announce that Adobe Flash Player 11 and AIR 3 will be launching in early October. These milestone releases introduce the next generation of the technologies that deliver stunning content and apps to over a billion people — across screens including Android, iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry PlayBook, Windows, Mac, and connected TV devices — pushing the boundaries of what’s possible on the web.

Flash Player 11 and AIR 3 take these even further by introducing Stage 3D, a new architecture for hardware accelerated graphics rendering that delivers 1000x faster rendering performance over Flash Player 10. It enables new classes of console-quality games and immersive apps, such as Tanki Online and Zombie Tycoon (see videos below). Stage 3D enables content that efficiently animate millions of objects on screen, smoothly rendered at 60 frames per second — the result is fluid, cinematic app and game experiences. Additionally, these releases deliver new features to support theater-quality HD video, native 64-bit optimizations, high-quality HD video conferencing, and a powerful, flexible architecture for leveraging native device and platform capabilities. We’re turning the dial up.

More at Adobe

Asus Wavi Xtion motion controller goes on sale in China next month

The Xbox 360′s Kinect sensor was a big reason Microsoft reported such a strong first quarter this year. Its motion sensing kung fu proved to be a hit with living room gamers, chalking up more than 2.4 million sales in the first three months of 2011 alone.

But Microsoft doesn’t hold the key to the Kinect sensor — that belongs to a company calledPrimeSense, who specializes in natural user interfaces or natural interaction (NI), as they call it. PrimeSense was named one of the year’s most innovative companies by MIT and its motion sensing tech received a nod for being one of the world’s most important emerging technologies. Continue reading

Crysis 1 ‘remastered’ for Xbox 360 and PS3

Two months after a console version of Crysis was spotted in a ratings database, Crytek has announced a “remastered” version of the original Crysis for Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network this October. Though Crysis 2 hit Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 as well, the 2007 original was only ever released on PC. Continue reading

PS Vita launches December 17 in Japan, battery life and data plan pricing revealed

Sony has used the Tokyo Game Show 2011 (TGS) to reveal the final release date for the PS Vita in Japan. If you live in Sony’s home territory you can expect to pick one up on December 17. That’s if you can brave the expected queues and midnight launch, of course.

The price of the hardware has been set at around $390 for the 3G version and $325 for the WiFi-only model. Don’t expect those prices to be as high when the Vita launches in the U.S. though, I’d guess at $300/$350 if I was pushed for a prediction. Unfortunately, the only time frame we have for a U.S. and European launch is early 2012.

The cost of the Vita doesn’t end after that initial purchase if you choose the 3G option, and Sony has teamed up with network operator NTT DoCoMo to provide a 3G service. It seems this service will be offered in the form of  “prepaid data plans.” Continue reading

Google Chrome 14 goes stable, Native Client apps including ScummVM hit the Web Store

Google Chrome’s short release cycle mean there aren’t always big changes to report from one version to the next. With the arrival of Chrome 14, however, there’s one major addition that could make a very big difference in the kinds of apps you see in the Chrome Web Store. Native Client has finally gone stable.

If you’re not familiar with it, Native Client (or NaCl) allows Google Chrome to execute native application code inside the browser. Native code run via NaCl has the potential to offer serious performance gains over what Chrome can typically run — apps created with pure web code like HTML, JavaScript, and CSS. To give you an idea what Native Client is capable of, one of Google’s earliest demos was a Quake port running inside Chrome. Continue reading

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