Maximum PC - Gaming http://www.maximumpc.com/articles/22/feed en Nvidia Announces Android 5.0 Lollipop Coming to Shield Tablet, Valve Bundle, and GRID Streaming http://www.maximumpc.com/nvidia_announces_android_50_lollipop_coming_shield_tablet_valve_bundle_grid_streaming_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u166440/nv_shield_tablet_green_box_bundle.jpg" alt="Shield Tablet Green Box bundle" title="Shield Tablet Green Box bundle" width="200" height="131" style="float: right;" />Half-Life 2: Episode One optimized for Shield</h3> <p>Owners of Nvidia’s Shield Tablet will be in for a surprise soon. <strong>Nvidia is releasing a major software update and new capabilities for the Shield Tablet</strong> which will involve upgrading its OS to Android 5.0 Lollipop, refreshing the handheld’s apps, and introducing the company’s new GRID on-demand gaming service.</p> <p>The Shield Tablet, which features Nvidia’s 192-core Tegra K1 chip, will receive an update that will allow the tablet to make use of Android 5.0 Lollipop later this month. Aside from a new interface with improved app performance, the update will also update the device’s painting software Dabbler app that will offer support for layers and additional stylus functionality. Nvidia also plans to update the Shield Hub as well, which gives users the ability to stream their PC games over the internet to the Shield Tablet.&nbsp;</p> <p>Half-Life 2: Episode One will be making its way to the tablet and will be free for those who purchase the 32GB, LTE-enabled version of the Shield Tablet as part of the “Green Box” bundle which includes Half-Life 2 and Portal for $399. Joining the roster of Shield-optimized games, available through Google Play, are four new games; Pure Pool, Strike Suit Zero, Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath, and Turbo Dismount.</p> <p>Nvidia also revealed that its GRID game streaming service is also coming to Shield Tablets. The service comes with 20 triple-A games that includes Batman: Arkham City, Psychonauts, and Borderlands 2 with the company promising that new games will be forthcoming every week. The GRID service will be free on the Shield Tablet and Shield portable until June 30, 2015. According to Nvidia, GRID will be available in North America this month and become available for western Europe in December and Asia next year.&nbsp;</p> <p>If you are curious about the Shield Tablet, and would like to know what we thought of it, then be sure to check out our <a title="MPC Shield Table Review" href="http://www.maximumpc.com/nvidia_shield_tablet_review_2014" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">review</span></a>.&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Follow Sean on&nbsp;<a title="SeanDKnight Google+" href="https://plus.google.com/+SeanKnightD?rel=author" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Google+</span></a>, <a title="SeanDKnight's Twitter" href="https://twitter.com/SeanDKnight" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Twitter</span></a>, and <a title="SeanDKnight Facebook" href="https://www.facebook.com/seandknight" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Facebook</span></a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/nvidia_announces_android_50_lollipop_coming_shield_tablet_valve_bundle_grid_streaming_2014#comments Green Box bundle nvidia Nvidia shield tablet shield shield tablet shield tablet software update Valve Bundle Gaming News Thu, 13 Nov 2014 04:51:54 +0000 Sean D Knight 28900 at http://www.maximumpc.com 44 Pictures that Defined BlizzCon 2014 http://www.maximumpc.com/44_pictures_defined_blizzcon_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u154082/blizzcon_2014.jpg" alt="blizzcon 2014" title="blizzcon 2014" width="150" height="266" style="float: right;" />New games, awesome cosplay costumes, and more</h3> <p>BlizzCon 2014 marked the 8th annual event for Blizzard and it was arguably the company’s biggest one yet.&nbsp;</p> <p>After 17 years, the company finally revealed an entirely new, original IP in multiplayer team-based shooter <a title="overwatch" href="http://www.maximumpc.com/blizzard_announces_team-based_shooter_%E2%80%9Coverwatch%E2%80%9D" target="_blank">Overwatch</a>. In addition to that, we got to see more from other upcoming titles such as StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void and Blizzard’s MOBA, Heroes of the Storm.</p> <p>Of course, with a plethora of awesome PC games comes awesome PC hardware and we saw some really cool stuff from Intel, <a title="rosewill" href="http://www.maximumpc.com/blizzcon_2014_rosewill_intros_viper_atx_mid-tower_case_and_rgm_1100_gaming_mouse_video914" target="_blank">Rosewill</a>, <a title="turtle beach" href="http://www.maximumpc.com/blizzcon_2014_turtle_beach_offers_300_heroes_storm_official_headsets_early_sale_video800" target="_blank">Turtle Beach</a>, <a title="hp omen" href="http://www.maximumpc.com/blizzcon_2014_we_check_out_hp_omen_gaming_laptop_intels_booth_video_2014" target="_blank">HP</a>, <a title="steelseries" href="http://www.maximumpc.com/blizzcon_2014_steelseries_showcases_siberia_elite_world_warcraft_edition_headset_video220" target="_blank">SteelSeries</a>, <a title="lenovo" href="http://www.maximumpc.com/blizzcon_2014_we_go_eyes-_lenovo_horizon_2s_tabletop_aio_pc290" target="_blank">Lenovo</a>, <a title="gigabyte" href="http://www.maximumpc.com/blizzcon_2014_gigabyte_shows_new_brix_gaming_pc_and_top_tier_x99_motherboard_2014">Gigabyte</a>, and more.&nbsp;</p> <p>And it wouldn’t be Blizzcon without some of the best cosplay costumes you’ve ever seen. &nbsp;We’ve taken a bunch of pictures of these cosplayers and can't quite recognize all of them so if you know any that we don't, feel free to let us know in the comments below!</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://www.maximumpc.com/44_pictures_defined_blizzcon_2014#comments blizzcon 2014 cosplay costume diablo heroes of the storm maximum pc overwatch StarCraft Warcraft Gaming News Features Mon, 10 Nov 2014 23:25:45 +0000 Jimmy Thang 28865 at http://www.maximumpc.com Blizzcon 2014: Gigabyte Shows New Brix Gaming PC and Top-Tier X99 Motherboard [Video] http://www.maximumpc.com/blizzcon_2014_gigabyte_shows_new_brix_gaming_pc_and_top_tier_x99_motherboard_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u166440/x99_ga_motherboard.jpg" alt="X99 Motherboard" title="X99 Motherboard" width="200" height="129" style="float: right;" />It’s not all about the games and cosplay</h3> <p>Blizzcon isn’t just a convention that revolves around all things Blizzard, such as the developer’s recently announced FPS game <a title="Overwatch article" href="http://www.maximumpc.com/blizzard_announces_team-based_shooter_%E2%80%9Coverwatch%E2%80%9D" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Overwatch</span></a>.&nbsp; Vendors and manufacturers, such as <strong>Gigabyte,</strong> are also there to advertise their products. Maximum PC online managing editor Jimmy Thang took the time to visit the Gigabyte booth, where he got to see the new model of the Brix Gaming PC kit and check out the topitier x99 motherboard.</p> <p>The Brix Gaming PC kit was revealed <a title="Brix Gaming" href="http://www.maximumpc.com/gigabyte_adds_gaming_mini_pc_brix_family311" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">back in June</span></a>, and the i5 processor model was released back in September. Jimmy was able to speak to a Gigabyte representative who showed him the yet-to-be-released Brix Gaming kit with an i7 processor and Nvidia GTX 760 GPU. Unlike the i5 model's green color, the i7 version will come in black and is expected to be out during late November or sometime in December.</p> <p>Be sure to watch the video to learn more:</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/5WDmVGTS_KM?list=UUdLWXfNqKICJBpE8jVMm6_w" width="600" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p style="text-align: left;">Jimmy Thang also got to look at the GA-X99 Gaming G1 WIFI motherboard, which was one of three new X99 chipset mobos that was announced <a title="X99 motherboards" href="http://www.maximumpc.com/take_sneak_peek_three_upcoming_gigabyte_motherboards_haswell-e_2014" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">back in August</span></a>. This is the top-tier mobo, and features a heatsink that lights up and blinks with the beat of your music. The lights will also pulsate on and off, and can of course be turned off if you aren't into that flashing lights thing. It also sports the LGA 2011 socket-v3 socket for Haswell-E processors and is the first generation to have DDR4 memory support.&nbsp;</p> <p>The GA-X99 Gaming G1 WIFI is expected to sell for around $350 and is currently available online.</p> <p>For additional details, check out the video:</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/PsE1B53H1kQ?list=UUdLWXfNqKICJBpE8jVMm6_w" width="600" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Follow Sean on&nbsp;<a title="SeanDKnight Google+" href="https://plus.google.com/+SeanKnightD?rel=author" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Google+</span></a>, <a title="SeanDKnight's Twitter" href="https://twitter.com/SeanDKnight" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Twitter</span></a>, and <a title="SeanDKnight Facebook" href="https://www.facebook.com/seandknight" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Facebook</span></a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/blizzcon_2014_gigabyte_shows_new_brix_gaming_pc_and_top_tier_x99_motherboard_2014#comments Brix Gaming PC gigabyte Hardware X99 Motherboard Gaming News Motherboards Sun, 09 Nov 2014 02:49:03 +0000 Sean D Knight and Jimmy Thang 28866 at http://www.maximumpc.com Blizzard Announces Team-based Shooter “Overwatch” http://www.maximumpc.com/blizzard_announces_team-based_shooter_%E2%80%9Coverwatch%E2%80%9D <!--paging_filter--><h3><span style="font-weight: normal;">We go hands-on with Blizzard’s take at Team Fortress</span></h3> <p>Blizzard may have canceled <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/blizzard_kills_titan_mmo_7_years_development_2014">Titan</a>, but today it revealed that the company hasn’t given up on trying to create a first-person shooter by revealing <a title="overwatch" href="http://us.battle.net/overwatch/en/" target="_blank">Overwatch</a>. Overwatch is being pitched as a team-based multiplayer shooter. In short, it’s basically Blizzard’s take on Valve’s popular <a title="TF2" href="http://www.maximumpc.com/article/gaming/tf2_f2p_team_fortress_2_goes_free--play" target="_blank">Team Fortress 2</a> shooter.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><img src="/files/u154082/reaper-screenshot-002.2hbaf.jpg" alt="reaper" title="reaper" width="620" height="355" /></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Meet the Reaper</strong></p> <p>The new IP takes place on Earth approximately 60 years in the future. Blizzard said it had been dying to do a highly fictionalized version of the future of Earth, but said they wanted to do it in the relatively near future.</p> <p><iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/dushZybUYnM" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>While the story won’t be a huge component when you play the game (Blizzard says it hopes to create additional narrative elements outside of the game with things like Youtube videos), the premise goes like this: 30 years prior to the game’s setting, evil robots take over and wreak havoc. Humanity then created an Overwatch strikeforce team, which dispatches the robots. Over the decades, however, the strikeforce team ceases to exist.</p> <p>While it sounds like a depressing scenario, Blizzard said that it wanted to create an upbeat environment, as it didn’t want levels to feel drab and dreary, which could get tiresome to play. The game certainly has a unique art style from what we’ve seen, kind of like a mixture of Disney meets Team Fortress with a dash of anime influence to it. One of the levels we saw also had a very BioShock vibe to it, albeit not as dark.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><img src="/files/u154082/mercy-screenshot-002.05epq.jpg" width="620" height="355" /></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Mercy doing her healing</strong></p> <p>Even though the game is pretty fast paced, Blizzard wants to provide non-twitch class characters with medic and engineer-like heroes. Blizzard says it wants to take a “less lethal” approach to the shooter, meaning that players will die less frequently than most other twitch-based shooters. In this regard, again, it definitely feels much more like TF2 than Counter Strike.</p> <p>Another thing that sets the game apart is that teams are composed of 6v6. Blizzard said teams larger than that got too chaotic in its testing, but that teams smaller than that put too much pressure on individual players to succeed, although the company admits that this balance mechanic could change with additional community testing.</p> <p>Like Team Fortress 2, Overwatch will not have a traditional deathmatch mode and will be an objective-driven game with modes like attack/defend, payload, and control points.&nbsp;</p> <p><iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/FqnKB22pOC0" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>While there are about a dozen characters to choose from right now, Blizzard says the game will have plenty more and that it will be character-driven as opposed to a class-based. Piggybacking on that notion is the fact that each player has multiple, unique special abilities, somewhat similar to characters in MOBAs. For instance, hero Tracer can teleport a short distance ahead by pressing Shift up to three times with about a one-second cool down period in between each, can throw a bomb by pressing Q, and can jump three seconds back in time (location and health) by pressing R.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><img src="/files/u154082/hanzo-screenshot-002.0f64o.jpg" width="620" height="355" /></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Hanzo using his bow</strong></p> <p>There’s a variety of other different characters with their own traits and attributes. The talking space-gorilla Winston and chivalrous knight Reinhardt are tanks that soak up damage and use a melee style of combat. Then there are damage dealers like the dual-pistol-wielding Reaper and rocket-launcher-carrying Pharah. And for the non-twitchy players, there’s Torbjorn, who’s basically the engineer of the game with his turrets, and Mercy, who’s the medic. Blizzard wants to make this game appeal to the non-shooter crowd as the company realizes that many of its loyal players don’t play FPS games.&nbsp;</p> <p>There are a bunch of other characters, and while the amount of characters can seem overwhelming, like TF2, Blizzard is encouraging players to switch up between lives. The idea is to pick the best character for the given scenario.</p> <p>Even in its early state, the game is really fun and feels quite polished. If you enjoy Team Fortress and are looking for Blizzard’s take on the genre, keep your eyes on Overwatch.&nbsp;</p> http://www.maximumpc.com/blizzard_announces_team-based_shooter_%E2%80%9Coverwatch%E2%80%9D#comments blizzard FPS overwatch Preview shooter team fortress 2 Valve Gaming News Sat, 08 Nov 2014 02:10:25 +0000 Jimmy Thang 28864 at http://www.maximumpc.com Ubisoft’s Upcoming PC Games Removed from Steam http://www.maximumpc.com/ubisoft%E2%80%99s_upcoming_pc_games_removed_steam_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3>Assassin's Creedy Unity, Far Cry4, and The Crew no longer available on Steam</h3> <p>Earlier today, PCGamesN noticed that Ubisoft’s upcoming games, such as Assassin's Creed Unity, had been removed from Steam’s U.K. store. However, it appears that <strong>Ubisoft has removed its upcoming games from Steam</strong> in the US as well.&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="/files/u166440/assassins_creed_unity.jpg" alt="Assassin's Creed Unity" title="Assassin's Creed Unity" width="200" height="113" style="float: right;" />In regards to the removal of its titles in the U.K. Ubisoft released a statement to <a title="PCGamesN" href="http://www.pcgamesn.com/assassins-creed-unity/ubisoft-s-new-games-arent-available-on-steam-in-the-uk-uk-customers-wishing-to-purchase-the-game-digitally-can-do-so-by-visiting-the-uplay-store" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">PCGamesN</span></a>, “We’ve been in discussions with Valve about Assassin’s Creed Unity but for the time being the game is not available via Steam in the UK.”</p> <p>“In the meantime, UK customers wishing to purchase the game digitally can do so by visiting the Uplay store, our retail partners or other digital distributors,” the statement continued.”</p> <p>While the statement addresses Assassin’s Creed Unity in the U.K., it does not explain why this was done and why, later on, all three upcoming games, which includes Far Cry 4 and The Crew, appear to have been pulled from Steam on a global level. So far, both Valve and Ubisoft have yet to release an official statement about when, or if, the games will be available or what will happen to the consumers who have pre-ordered any of the affected games on Steam.</p> <p>The sudden removal of these games is reminiscent of when Electronic Arts decided to pull its games from Steam and make them Origin-exclusive. The result of that meant that fans of the Mass Effect series, for example, would only be able to play <a title="Mass Effect 3 Origin only" href="http://www.maximumpc.com/article/news/electronic_arts_shun_steam_mass_effect_3_release" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Mass Effect 3</span></a> on Origin while the first two games are still available on Steam.</p> <p>Assassin’s Creed Unity is scheduled to be released next week on November 11, Far Cray 4 on November 18, and The Crew on December 2. Whether or not these titles will be put back on Steam prior to their various launch dates has yet to be revealed.</p> <p>Is this a tactic by Ubisoft to wrangle some kind of deal out of Valve? Or does this mean that all future Ubisoft titles will only be available on Uplay from now on? Let us know what you think in the comments below.</p> <p><em>Follow Sean on&nbsp;<a title="SeanDKnight Google+" href="https://plus.google.com/+SeanKnightD?rel=author" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Google+</span></a>, <a title="SeanDKnight's Twitter" href="https://twitter.com/SeanDKnight" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Twitter</span></a>, and <a title="SeanDKnight Facebook" href="https://www.facebook.com/seandknight" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Facebook</span></a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/ubisoft%E2%80%99s_upcoming_pc_games_removed_steam_2014#comments Assassins Creed Unity far cry 4 Steam the crew ubisoft Valve Gaming News Fri, 07 Nov 2014 01:25:27 +0000 Sean D Knight 28857 at http://www.maximumpc.com Minecraft Developer Mojang Officially Owned by Microsoft http://www.maximumpc.com/minecraft_developer_mojang_officially_owned_microsoft_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u166440/minecraft_001.jpg" alt="Minecraft" title="Minecraft" width="200" height="120" style="float: right;" />Welcome to the Microsoft fold Mojang</h3> <p>Whether you thought it was a great deal or not, <strong>Microsoft has announced that its acquisition of Minecraft developer Mojang is now official</strong>. Back in September, it was announced that Microsoft would purchase Mojang for <a title="Microsoft Mojang Deal" href="http://www.maximumpc.com/its_official_microsoft_agrees_acquire_minecraft_maker_mojang_25_billion_2014" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">$2.5 billion</span></a>. A decision that generated some discussions as to <a title="Maximum Debate" href="http://www.maximumpc.com/maximum_debate_microsoft%E2%80%99s_25_billion_minecraft_acquisition_worth_it_2014" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">whether or not this was a good deal</span></a> for Microsoft.</p> <p>&nbsp;“It’s official, today we welcome Mojang to the Microsoft Studios family, “said Microsoft head of Xbox Phil Spencer on his <a title="Phil Spencer Twitter account" href="https://twitter.com/XboxP3/status/530368089418784768" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Twitter account</span></a>. “We’re excited for the possibilities ahead w/the Minecraft community.”</p> <p>No sooner was the deal first announced several months back when it was revealed that there was already a version of <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/minecraft_beginners_guide_2014" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Minecraft</span></a> for the <a title="Minecraft for Windows Phones" href="http://www.maximumpc.com/effort_port_minecraft_windows_phone_already_underway877" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Windows Phones</span></a> being developed. However, following the acquisition announcement, many consumers were concerned that Microsoft owning the popular IP could lead to a discontinuation of support for its various versions on competing platforms. A concern Spencer addressed at the time by saying, “Minecraft is one of the most popular franchises of all time. W are going to maintain Minecraft and its community in all the ways people love today, with a commitment to nurture and grow it long into the future.”</p> <p>However, while Microsoft is acquiring the company, the game’s creator Markus “Notch” Persson,” along with two co-founders of Mojang, are leaving. According to his&nbsp;<a title="Notch blog post" href="http://notch.net/2014/09/im-leaving-mojang/" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">blog post</span></a>, Notch explained, “It’s not about the money. It’s about my sanity.”</p> <p>Mojang now joins the list of Microsoft’s internal studios which includes 343 Industries, Black Tusk Studios, and Rare. At last count, Minecraft has sold around 54 million units across total across the &nbsp;Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Andoid, iOS, and PC platforms.</p> <p><em>Follow Sean on&nbsp;<a title="SeanDKnight Google+" href="https://plus.google.com/+SeanKnightD?rel=author" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Google+</span></a>, <a title="SeanDKnight's Twitter" href="https://twitter.com/SeanDKnight" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Twitter</span></a>, and <a title="SeanDKnight Facebook" href="https://www.facebook.com/seandknight" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Facebook</span></a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/minecraft_developer_mojang_officially_owned_microsoft_2014#comments Markus Notch Persson microsoft minecraft Mojang windows phone xbox Gaming News Fri, 07 Nov 2014 00:03:19 +0000 Sean D Knight 28856 at http://www.maximumpc.com AMD's Mantle vs DirectX: The Benchmarks http://www.maximumpc.com/pitting_amd%E2%80%99s_mantle_against_direct3d_11_2014 <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/files/u166440/pvzgw_001.jpg" alt="PvZGW" title="PvZGW" width="200" height="113" style="float: right;" /></p> <h3>How does Mantle stack up against DirectX in certain games? Find out here!</h3> <p>AMD has been partnering up with as many video game developers as it can to incorporate its Mantle API. From Crytek to Robert Space Industries, AMD is slowly making the rounds. Games such as Battlefield 4 and Thief allow users to switch from DirectX to Mantle while other games are expected to incorporate the API at some point.</p> <p>With Mantle, AMD claims that it boosts a game’s performance for both low and high-end GPUs. Albeit, when it comes to high-end GPUs, the boost isn't as big. Curious, we decided to see how well Mantle stacks up to DirectX by playing games that support it. For now, there is only a small selection of games: Battlefield 4, Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare, Thief, and the latest Mantle introduction, Sniper Elite 3.&nbsp;</p> <p>In order to get the best results, we made sure, when possible, to benchmark the same section of each game with the same graphics settings. For the testing we used a PC with an AMD Phenom II X4 965 processer, 8GB of RAM, and an AMD Radeon R9 280 graphics card.&nbsp;</p> <h3> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u166440/bf4_001.jpg" alt="Battlefield 4" title="Battlefield 4" width="600" height="338" /></p> </h3> <p>To help us record our results, we had to rely on benchmark demos or in-game benchmarking tools. Normally, we would use FRAPs, which would record real-time FPS and then provide us with the minimum, maximum, and average numbers, but the problem is that FRAPs is programmed for DirectX 11 and does not support Mantle just yet. The only software that will show FPS numbers is D3DGear. Unfortunately, it doesn’t record results like FRAPs does.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Luckily, most of the games that support Mantle come equipped with either their own benchmarking demo or benchmarking tools. With that said, let's take a look at the benchmarks!</p> <h3><span style="color: #000000;">Battlefield 4 DirectX 11 vs Mantle</span></h3> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u166440/bf4_avg_fps_001.jpg" alt="BF4 fps chart" title="BF4 fps chart" width="600" height="338" style="text-align: center;" /></p> <p>First up was Electronic Arts’ Battlefield 4. We cranked the graphics settings up to High at 1920x1080 resolution, and then ran the same section of the game across both APIs. We decided to compare the first 30 minutes of the singleplayer campaign to use as our test scenario. We felt that Chapter 1 of BF4's singleplayer campaign was a good test as it went from an urban setting to more wide open vistas filled with gunfire, explosions, and fire to put both APIs through their paces.</p> <p>Looking at the graph, you can see that there was a difference between both playthroughs. For the most part, both tests went smoothly though, with Mantle, we experienced some brief stutter in the gameplay. Despite that, Mantle still pulled ahead with an 11.8FPS advantage between it and DirectX 11.&nbsp;</p> <h3><span style="color: #000000;">Sniper Elite 3 DirectX 11 vs Mantle</span></h3> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u166440/sn3_avg_fps_001.jpg" alt="Sniper Elite 3" title="Sniper Elite 3" width="600" height="293" /></p> <p>Sniper Elite 3 was recently updated to support Mantle and with it came a new benchmark demo. With settings on Ultra at 1920x1080 resolution, we launched the demo. The demo is set up to showcase many of the game’s various scenes. It was replete with long distance views, lighting and shadows, close-up views of objects and terrain, a truck full of enemy NPCs with the wheels kicking up dirt, capped off with an exploding vehicle blowing up in slow motion.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u166440/sniper_elite_3_001.jpg" alt="Sniper Elite 3 001" title="Sniper Elite 3 001" width="600" height="338" /></p> <p>But as we saw with Battlefield 4, Mantle had a slighter higher average FPS than DirectX 11 with a 13.6 FPS advantage.</p> <h3><span style="color: #000000;">Thief DirectX 11 vs Mantle</span></h3> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u166440/thief_avg_fps_001.jpg" alt="Thief fps Chart" title="Thief fps Chart" width="600" height="386" /></p> <p>Unlike the previous games we have tested, which all took place in broad daylight, Thief's game features a lot of nighttime excursions. We set the graphics to Ultra High at 1920x1080 resolution and took to the rooftops, An interesting thing about this game is that it comes with its own benchmarking system designed to compare both APIs.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u166440/thief_screenshot_001.jpg" alt="Thief screenshot 001" title="Thief screenshot 001" width="600" height="321" style="text-align: center;" /></p> <p>So we ran the benchmark for DirectX 11 and Mantle. the demo is a sequence that runs through the town at night, while it is raining, with various NPCs walking around and interacting with each other. It is a simple enough sequence that was able to put both APIs through their paces. And, just like the previous two games, Mantle scored higher than DirectX 11 with an 11.5 FPS advantage.</p> <h3><span style="color: #000000;">Star Swarm DirectX 11 vs Mantle</span></h3> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u166440/swarm_screenshot_001.jpg" alt="Swarm Stress Test" title="Swarm Stress Test" width="600" height="304" style="text-align: center;" /></p> <p>Now if you want to really stress test both APIs, then definitely take advantage of the Star Swarm Stress Test. It is a free, real-time demo from Oxide Games that showcases the developer's Nitrous engine. Set in space, Star Swarm pitches thousands of fighters and ships into constant combat. For the demo, there were around 4,000 ships constantly firing lasers, exploding, and more.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u166440/star_swarm_stress_test_benchmarks_002.jpg" alt="Star Swarm Benchmarks" title="Star Swarm Benchmarks" width="600" height="392" /></p> <p>The demo itself lasts for six minutes and we made sure to have the resolution set to 1920x1080 and the graphics on its highest setting which was labeled Extreme. And it certainly lived up to that name. Star Swarm made both APIs struggle and have convulsions. When the camera panned around to show thousands of ships fighting simultaneously, the FPS dropped into the single digits and the game slowed to an unbearable crawl.&nbsp;</p> <p>But as you can see from the results, Mantle was able to handle the stress test better than DirectX 11 with a 16.3fps advantage.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u166440/pvz_2014-10-07_19-12-56-09.jpg" alt="PvZ Garden Warfare" title="PvZ Garden Warfare" width="600" height="338" /></p> <p>Now we come to Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare. Unfortunately, while the rest of the games include their own in-game benchmarking tools, PvZ does not. So there is no way to accurately gain any results when we run it with Mantle. Until PopCap Games adds in some benchmarking tools, or software like FRAPs finally supports Mantle, we will have to skip it for now and come back to it later.</p> <p>The same goes for future games that will support Mantle. We’ll be testing them and updating our story here so stay tuned for more games and more results!</p> <p><span style="font-style: italic;">Follow Sean on&nbsp;</span><a style="font-style: italic;" title="SeanDKnight Google+" href="https://plus.google.com/+SeanKnightD?rel=author" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Google+</span></a><span style="font-style: italic;">, </span><a style="font-style: italic;" title="SeanDKnight's Twitter" href="https://twitter.com/SeanDKnight" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Twitter</span></a><span style="font-style: italic;">, and </span><a style="font-style: italic;" title="SeanDKnight Facebook" href="https://www.facebook.com/seandknight" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Facebook</span></a></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/pitting_amd%E2%80%99s_mantle_against_direct3d_11_2014#comments amd battlefield 4 Direct3D 11 mantle Mantle API Mantle benchmarks Plants vs Zombies Garden Warfare thief Gaming Features Mon, 03 Nov 2014 23:38:19 +0000 Sean D Knight 28641 at http://www.maximumpc.com Star Wars Games X-Wing and Tie Fighter Lands on GOG.com http://www.maximumpc.com/star_wars_games_x-wing_and_tie_fighter_lands_gogcom_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u166440/star_wars_x_wing.jpg" alt="X-Wing" title="X-Wing" width="200" height="125" style="float: right;" />Time to go back and relive some classic gaming moments</h3> <p>Back in October 2012, Disney acquired Lucasfilm from George Lucas for <a title="Disney acquires Lucasfilm" href="http://www.maximumpc.com/article/news/disney_acquires_lucasfilm_405_billion_plans_new_star_wars_movie" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">$4.05 billion</span></a> which was met with some enthusiasm. Then in April 2013, five months after the acquisition, Disney announced that it had <a title="LucasArts shut down" href="http://www.maximumpc.com/article/news/disney_shuts_down_lucasarts_shifts_licensing_model2013" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">shut down LucasArts</span></a>, leaving many to wonder what would happen to the developer’s backlog of classic games. Today, we now know what is happening. <strong>Disney Interactive has teamed-up with GOG.com and will bring over 20 classic LucasArts titles</strong> in the coming months.</p> <p>However, we don’t have to wait a while for all of them. Six classic titles are now available on the digital distribution platform and are DRM-free. Gamers are able to purchase and play Star Wars: X-Wing Special Edition, Star Wars: Tie Fighter Special Edition, Sam &amp; Max Hit the Road, The Secret of Monkey Island, Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.&nbsp;</p> <p>This is the first time that X-Wing and Tie Fighter are available on any digital distribution platform and will cost $9.99 each. Star Wars: X-Wing Special Edition will include the Star Wars: X-Wing Collector’s CD-ROM and all of the Tour of Duty expansions while Star Wars: TIE Fighter Special Edition will come with the Defender of the Empire expansion.</p> <p>But the ride isn’t going to stop with these six titles. According to the <a title="GOG.com press release" href="http://www.gog.com/news/new_publisher_disney_interactivelucasfilm" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">press release</span></a>, more games will be on the way in the coming months though no specific names have been provided.&nbsp;</p> <p>What games are you hoping will be released on GOG.com over the coming months? Sound off in the comments below!</p> <p><em>Follow Sean on&nbsp;<a title="SeanDKnight Google+" href="https://plus.google.com/+SeanKnightD?rel=author" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Google+</span></a>, <a title="SeanDKnight's Twitter" href="https://twitter.com/SeanDKnight" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Twitter</span></a>, and <a title="SeanDKnight Facebook" href="https://www.facebook.com/seandknight" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Facebook</span></a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/star_wars_games_x-wing_and_tie_fighter_lands_gogcom_2014#comments classic games Disney Interactive gog.com LucasArts star wars tie fighter x-wing Gaming News Wed, 29 Oct 2014 00:57:20 +0000 Sean D Knight 28801 at http://www.maximumpc.com Game Pulled from Steam after Developer Tweets Gabe Newell Death Threat http://www.maximumpc.com/Game_pulled_steam_after_developer_tweets_Gabe_Newell_death_threat2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u166440/paranautical_activity_002.jpg" alt="Paranautical Activity" title="Paranautical Activity" width="200" height="202" style="float: right;" />Developer Mike Maulbeck announces resignation shortly after</h3> <p>It is not often that Valve will <a title="MPC Steam" href="http://www.maximumpc.com/steam_removes_defunct_game_user_libraries2013" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">pull a game</span></a> from its digital distribution platform Steam. However, <strong>Paranautical Activity was removed from Steam</strong> after Code Avarice co-owner Mike Maulbeck posted an angry tweet saying that he was going to kill Valve co-founder Gabe Newell.</p> <p>Maulbeck had posted a series of spiteful tweets at Valve following a posting error on Valve’s part that labeled Paranautical Activity as Early Access when it was, in fact, a finished product. Upon noticing the error Maulbeck, believing that this would “greatly cripple sales and confuse customers,” took to Twitter and called Valve “<a title="Maulbeck Twitter" href="https://twitter.com/SpooderW/status/524213891229052928" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">incompetent</span></a>,” referred to Steam as an “<a title="Maulbeck Tweet" href="https://twitter.com/SpooderW/status/524223737701208065" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">awful fucking monopoly</span></a>,” and then said in a <a title="Maulbeck deleted tweet" href="https://fbcdn-sphotos-h-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xpf1/v/t34.0-12/10553433_10204257820637506_7134146227407388445_n.jpg?oh=91cb4147cfaa034bb8be70def80573f6&amp;oe=54490285&amp;__gda__=1414086506_8225c2dd94edc08aae79c5390bce3be6" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">deleted tweet</span></a>, “I am going to kill gabe newell[sic]. He is going to die.”</p> <p>In response, Valve removed the fast-paced, roguelike FPS shooter from Steam and contacted the developer to inform Maulbeck that it would be closing down his Steam admin account and severing ties with the developer.&nbsp;</p> <p>"I have since obviously replied to them saying that I didn't mean what I said and pleaded that they consider the monopoly they have on the PC market before totally writing us off," Maulbeck said in an email he wrote to <a title="Polygon" href="http://www.polygon.com/2014/10/20/7024585/gabe-newell-death-threat-paranautical-activity-steam-valve" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Polygon</span></a>, "But let's be real. If they took the game off the store, they're fuckin sure about their decision. There's probably nothing to be done."</p> <p>Since then, Mike Maulbeck went on to announce that he has <a title="Maulbeck's departure" href="http://codeavarice.com/post/100592709238/mike-is-leaving-code-avarice" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">left Code Avarice</span></a> in a post on the developer’s website that states, “I’m really, deeply sorry that my short sighted, hot tempered actions resulted in not only my own dreams and aspirations being destroyed, but those of the entire team I worked with. I’m sorry that my statements made Valve and/or Gabe uncomfortable and upset (rightfully so).”</p> <p>Maulbeck went on to say that he has sold his half to Code Avarice co-owner Travis Pfenning and given up all rights on CA and its IPs.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u166440/paranautical_activity.jpg" alt="Paranautical Activity Screenshot" title="Paranautical Activity Screenshot" width="600" height="337" /></p> <p>However, this isn’t the first time that Maulbeck has directed harsh words and criticism towards Valve and its Steam platform. Back in June 2013, both he and Pfenning criticized Valve when Paranautical Activity was rejected for publication. The reason for its rejection was that Code Avarice had signed a deal with Adult Swim after creating a Greenlight page first; a practice that Valve prohibited. In response to the rejection, both developers went on to say that Steam had a “monopoly on the market,” that “the indie community is being ignored” by Valve, and then went on to criticize other games that had been published on Steam.&nbsp;</p> <p>While Paranautical Activity is no longer available on Steam, its <a title="Paranautical Activity Greenlight Page" href="http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=93241332&amp;searchtext=paranautical" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Project Greenlight page</span></a> is still active.&nbsp;</p> <p>What do you think of this situation and was Valve justified in pulling the game from Steam? Sound off in the comments below!</p> <p><em>Follow Sean on&nbsp;<a title="SeanDKnight Google+" href="https://plus.google.com/+SeanKnightD?rel=author" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Google+</span></a>, <a title="SeanDKnight's Twitter" href="https://twitter.com/SeanDKnight" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Twitter</span></a>, and <a title="SeanDKnight Facebook" href="https://www.facebook.com/seandknight" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Facebook</span></a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/Game_pulled_steam_after_developer_tweets_Gabe_Newell_death_threat2014#comments Code Avarice Gabe Newell Mike Maulbeck Paranautical Activity Steam Valve Gaming News Wed, 22 Oct 2014 02:05:46 +0000 Sean D Knight 28761 at http://www.maximumpc.com AMD Claims its GPUs are Great at Tackling VR Latency http://www.maximumpc.com/amd_claims_its_gpus_are_great_tackling_vr_latency_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3>Looks like Nvidia isn't the only GPU company equipped to take on VR latency</h3> <p>While PC gamers are excited about the release of Nvidia’s <a title="980 review" href="http://www.maximumpc.com/nvidia_geforce_gtx_980_review2014" target="_blank">GeForce GTX 980</a> graphics card, it is the Oculus community that is gushing over the GPU. The 980 has become a darling of the VR community with Nvidia’s claims that the new Maxwell-architecture video card will cut latency by up to 50%. It also helps that Oculus VR used the GTX 980 on its systems at its inaugural <a title="oculus connect" href="http://www.maximumpc.com/new_%E2%80%98crescent_bay%E2%80%99_rift_prototype_impresses_better_display_360-degree_tracking" target="_blank">Oculus Connect</a>&nbsp;event held in September.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://international.download.nvidia.com/geforce-com/international/images/nvidia-virtual-reality-technology/nvidia-virtual-reality-latency-reduction-technology-640px.png" alt="Nvidia VR latency" title="Nvidia VR latency" width="640" height="358" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Nvidia claims that its GPU technology can potentially reduce latency from 50ms to a much more pleasant 25ms.&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>For the uninitiated, latency is a difficult challenge for VR companies like Oculus to solve because too much latency can lead to nausea–inducing head tracking and undesired motion blur, which detract from the experience.</p> <p>While this sounds like a big win for the green team and a missed opportunity for AMD, Oculus VR Software Architect Tom Forsyth told <a href="http://www.tomshardware.com/news/oculus-oculus-connect-vr-amd-nvidia,27729.html" target="_blank">Tom’s Hardware</a> that these technological capabilities were already in AMD graphics cards.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://international.download.nvidia.com/geforce-com/international/images/geforce-gtx-980-970-feature-article/vr-direct.png" alt="Nvidia" title="Nvidia" width="640" height="355" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Nvidia has been promoting the VR aspect of its new Maxwell GPUs</strong></p> <p>When we followed up with AMD to see if it could back up those claims, the company confirmed Forsyth’s assertion and told us, “In comments to Tom’s Hardware made by Oculus VR’s Tom Forsyth, AMD Radeon hardware already supports reduced-latency VR rendering through ‘asynchronous timewarp.’ Asynchronous timewarp can be exposed in AMD Radeon hardware via the Asynchronous Compute Engines (ACE), which can schedule and execute compute and display operations independently of the graphics queue. The ACE is a fundamental architectural building block of AMD Radeon GPUs utilizing the Graphics Core Next architecture.”</p> <p>While the jury is still out on which graphics-card company will provide the best GPUs for VR moving forward, it sounds like you shouldn’t count out AMD in the latency department just yet. We've got a DK2 on order, so expect more VR-related stories as soon as we get it in!</p> http://www.maximumpc.com/amd_claims_its_gpus_are_great_tackling_vr_latency_2014#comments amd asynchronous time warp gcn GeForce 980 graphics core next maximum pc nvidia oculus rift vr Gaming News Wed, 15 Oct 2014 17:57:21 +0000 Jimmy Thang 28724 at http://www.maximumpc.com