Maximum PC - Gaming http://www.maximumpc.com/articles/22/feed en 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 Epic Games Releases Unreal Engine 4.5 with Major Updates http://www.maximumpc.com/epic_games_releases_unreal_engine_45_major_updates_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u166440/unreal_engine_4.5.png" alt="Unreal Engine 4.5" title="Unreal Engine 4.5" width="200" height="116" style="float: right;" />Over 40 new features and a new tutorial system</h3> <p>Good news for all of the aspiring video game developers out there. <strong>Epic Games has released Unreal Engine 4.5</strong>, a massive update for the game engine that includes over 40 new features, contributed by developers outside of Epic, along with a new tutorial system, game templates, and better support for mobile platforms and consoles.</p> <p>One of the newest, and biggest, features is automatic C++ hot reloading. Unreal Engine 4.5 will automatically apply the necessary C++ changes after a programmer has compiled the gameplay code from Visual Studio or Xcode. Additional new features include ray-traced shadows, a new dynamic shadowing method that traces a ray through mesh distance fields straight to the light, and screen-space subsurface scattering that allow programmers to create realistic skin materials and other effects. Upgrades to the engine’s UI and animation systems have also been made.</p> <p>A couple of templates have been added to the game engine as well. There is an advanced vehicle template, that can work with a VR headset, which shows a vehicle with double wishbone suspension and comes with a test track replete with terrain, ramps, and loops. For those who wish to program their game for controller support, Epic Games added in a new twin stick shooter blueprint template to help create fast-paced, top-down shooter games.</p> <p>The Unreal Engine’s tutorial system has also gone through an overhaul. The overhaul has done away with popup windows, features unobtrusive text bubbles over the editor to help walk a person through the interface elements and engine’s various features, and the editor will even alert a user about tutorials that haven’t been tried.&nbsp;</p> <p>For those of you who are interested, Epic Games has posted the full list of changes and additions that comes with Unreal Engine 4.5 on its <a title="UE4.5 Update list" href="https://forums.unrealengine.com/showthread.php?49302-Unreal-Engine-4-5-Released!" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">forums</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/epic_games_releases_unreal_engine_45_major_updates_2014#comments Epic Games Unreal Engine Unreal Engine 4.5 Gaming News Wed, 15 Oct 2014 00:09:15 +0000 Sean D Knight 28714 at http://www.maximumpc.com Maximum Debate: Is Microsoft’s $2.5 Billion Minecraft Acquisition Worth It? http://www.maximumpc.com/maximum_debate_microsoft%E2%80%99s_25_billion_minecraft_acquisition_worth_it_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u154082/dr_evil_billions.jpg" alt="Dr Evil meme" title="Dr Evil meme" width="250" height="186" style="float: right;" />Jimmy and Sean disagree on whether or not it was wise of Microsoft to purchase Mojang for $2.5 billion</h3> <p><span style="font-weight: normal;">Welcome to Maximum’s inaugural Maximum Debate article, a new opinion column where two Maximum PC editors duke it out over a specific topic. This time around, Online Managing Editor Jimmy Thang and Contributing Editor Sean Knight debate the merits of whether or not it was a good idea for Microsoft to purchase <a title="Minecraft" href="http://www.maximumpc.com/minecraft_beginners_guide_2014" target="_blank">Minecraft</a> developer Mojang for <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/its_official_microsoft_agrees_acquire_minecraft_maker_mojang_25_billion_2014" target="_blank">$2.5 billion dollars</a>.<br /></span><span style="font-weight: normal;"></span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: normal;">Read through the debate below and let us know where you stand by voting in our poll at the end of the article or by leaving a comment.&nbsp;</span></p> <h4>Sean's opening statement:&nbsp;</h4> <p>Microsoft’s recent acquisition of Minecraft developer Mojang has been the subject of many discussions lately. While the acquisition of Mojang is a good move on Microsoft’s part, the company paying <span style="color: #000000;">$2.5 billion</span> for the developer has surprised everyone. It’s a lot of money for a small developer with one successful game, so far, under its belt. But is Microsoft’s acquisition of Mojang worth it?</p> <p>I personally think that this deal is definitely worth it for the company. Not only is Minecraft a very popular title, but it has been downloaded 100 million times on the PC and, last we were told, had sold around 54 million units total over the various platforms it is on. It is a juggernaut that has captured the attention of not only older gamers, but the next generation of gamers, &nbsp;and there is no sign of its popularity waning anytime soon.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u166440/minecraft_004.jpg" alt="Minecraft Chickens" title="Minecraft Chickens" width="600" height="353" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Should we be counting our chickens yet?</strong></p> <h4><strong>Jimmy's opening statement:&nbsp;</strong></h4> <p>To put how much money 2.5 BILLION dollars into perspective, that’s roughly 2.5x the amount <a title="Amazon buys Twitch" href="http://www.maximumpc.com/amazon_acquires_twitch_rumors_say_acquisition_was_11_billion_2014" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Amazon</span></a> bought the world’s most popular game streaming website Twitch for (which some suggest is also too much). In general, if you were to ask me about all these massive tech buyouts, I’d say it’s unsustainable and is a bubble just waiting to burst, but that’s a different matter.</p> <p>Off the top of my head, I’d say there’s really only three current gaming franchises that are perhaps worth that pretty penny moving forward: League of Legends, Dota 2, and the World of Warcraft. Like Minecraft, all those aforementioned games have a large player base, but unlike the Mojang-developed title, they are cash cows that consistently bring in revenue via either a monthly subscription or micro-transactions. They are, for the most part, rock solid revenue generators. As Minecraft stands right now, you spend $20-something bucks and you’re all set. I would imagine Microsoft will try to monetize the game further with micro-transactions, but considering that most of the Minecraft audience isn’t used to that business model, an abrupt shift could be off putting and hurt the existing community. Furthermore, how do we know that Minecraft hasn’t hit critical mass and reached saturation? While you could also say that of the other aforementioned games I've mentioned, I’d argue that they’re still safer bets considering they bring in a constant barrage of money via micro-transactions each month from huge user bases. &nbsp;</p> <p>That’s not to say that Minecraft isn’t a cash cow in its own right. Considering the game has sold 54 million copies to date across all platforms, it’s certainly also in a league of its own. But when you crunch the numbers, there's still a steep hill to climb in making $2.5 billion moving forward.</p> <p>Considering the game sells for $27 (with the mobile and console versions being significantly cheaper, but we’ll disregard that), total revenue equates to around $1.4 billion in a best-case scenario. This is no small chunk of change, mind you, but that’s still more than $1 billion shy of what Microsoft paid for the developer, and roughly the amount Microsoft had to lay down to resolve that nasty <a title="Red Ring of Death" href="http://news.cnet.com/Microsoft-to-extend-Xbox-360-warranty,-take-1-billion-hit/2100-1014_3-6195058.html" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">red ring catastrophe</span></a> with the Xbox 360. And again, who’s to say that Minecraft hasn’t already reached critical mass?</p> <p>I can understand why Microsoft would want Mojang and Minecraft, but in my humble opinion, they should take a lesson on learning how to buy low to sell high.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u166440/minecraft_055.jpg" alt="Minecraft Storm" title="Minecraft Storm" width="600" height="361" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>A storm is brewing over this debate</strong></p> <h4><span style="font-size: 1.17em;">Sean's rebuttal:</span></h4> <p>Minecraft is far from reaching critical mass. There is still a huge market for it on PCs, consoles, and mobile devices. It’s safe to say that Minecraft has been a cash cow for Mojang as well. In addition to selling the game, there are <a title="LEGO Minecraft sets" href="http://www.maximumpc.com/article/news/lego_minecraft_micro_world_available_preorder" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">LEGO Minecraft sets</span></a> and a variety of merchandise such as plushies, hoodies, foam pickaxes, keychains, stickers, cups, caps, and more. On consoles, there are texture packs that are being sold to gamers and even themed-texture packs for games such as Halo. As for mobile devices, the pocket edition is in the Top 10 apps for both Android and iOS devices on a consistent basis. So imagine if Microsoft were to start offering mobile users texture packs for sale?</p> <p>But Microsoft could take things even further. Just look at its Halo franchise. That franchise has had a webseries, will have a live TV series debuting later this year, and a Halo channel that will be launching soon. A Halo channel dedicated solely to Halo! So I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw something similar with Minecraft from cartoons to, as crazy as it sounds, a movie.&nbsp;</p> <p>Minecraft may not have a story, but this game is appealing to a ton of kids. Kids who tend to go on YouTube to watch Let’s Play and Minecraft-related videos. That is the target audience Microsoft will, presumedly, focus on. An audience that will continue to grow unless Microsoft screws things up.&nbsp;</p> <p>We also have to look at China, now that Microsoft’s Xbox One has just launched there since the country’s <a title="Console ban lifted in China" href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/video-games/video-game-news/10555370/China-lifts-14-year-ban-on-foreign-games-consoles.html" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">14-year ban</span></a> on consoles has been lifted. So far, there are only 10 games available for the Xbox One in China and titles such as Halo are not among them due to Chinese regulators being wary of violent games. This means that Minecraft could easily be brought over to the Chinese market.</p> <p>I also believe that Minecraft is the equivalent of Nintendo’s Mario and LEGOs rolled into one. For many, Mario was the gaming icon for a generation of gamers while LEGO continues to be relevant and profitable because it appeals to the imagination of children. Minecraft is this generation’s Mario and could have the endurance similar of that to the LEGO brand. Microsoft just needs to be smart and continue to cultivate the audience that has grown around Mojang and Minecraft.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u166440/minecraft_002.jpg" alt="Minecraft lake" title="Minecraft lake" width="600" height="352" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Does the deal provide endless possibilities?</strong></p> <h4>Jimmy's rebuttal:&nbsp;</h4> <p>While it is debateable whether or not Minecraft has reached critical mass, Mojang did lose its prominent founder <a title="Notch leaves Mojang" href="http://notch.net/2014/09/im-leaving-mojang/" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Markus “Notch” Persson</span></a>, which would be akin to the Mario franchise losing Shigeru Miyamoto (game designer behind Mario and Zelda). In other words, it’s a big blow to the franchise. And without Notch’s presence, who’s to say Microsoft won’t screw the franchise up? After all, they turned Rare from the beloved developer of Goldeneye to an average developer making <a title="rare xbox" href="http://www.metacritic.com/search/all/kinect%20sports/results" target="_blank">mediocre Kinect games</a>.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u166440/goldeneye_box.jpg" alt="GoldenEye Box" title="GoldenEye Box" width="333" height="233" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>&nbsp;Before Microsoft bought Rare</strong></p> <p>In regards to your comments about them being able to push Xbox Ones in China, I highly doubt it will have much of an impact unfortunately due to the high amount of piracy that happens there.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u166440/kinect_sports.jpg" alt="Kinect Sports" title="Kinect Sports" width="500" height="500" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>After Microsoft bought Rare</strong></p> <p>Moreover, if Minecraft falters, they have no other established IPs to rely on considering Mojang has ever only made one game. Talk about putting all your eggs in one basket. When Activision acquired Blizzard, at least they got WoW, StarCraft, and Diablo.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u166440/minecraft_foam_sword.jpg" alt="Minecraft foam sword" title="Minecraft foam sword" width="500" height="500" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Do these swords look like they are worth $2.5 billion to you?</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;">And sure, they can try to make a Minecraft TV show (though I find that a little challenging considering, as you mentioned, there is no story to Minecraft) and they’ll continue to sell Minecraft foam axes and whatnot, but call me skeptical, but I don’t think they’ll be able to sell $2.5 billion worth of it.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>That's what we think anyways, what do you think? Vote in the poll below!</strong></p> <form action="http://poll.pollcode.com/65138185" method="post"> <div style="background-color: #eeeeee; padding: 2px; width: 175px; font-family: Arial; font-size: small; color: #000000; box-shadow: 0px 0px 5px #888;"> <div style="padding:2px 0px 4px 2px;"><strong>Do you think Microsoft purchasing Mojang for $2.5 billion was a good deal?</strong></div> <p><input id="answer651381851" style="float:left;" name="answer" type="radio" value="1" /><label style="float: left; width: 150px;" for="answer651381851">A) Yes, I think it was a good deal</label><input id="answer651381852" style="float:left;" name="answer" type="radio" value="2" /><label style="float: left; width: 150px;" for="answer651381852">B) No, I don't think it's a good deal</label><br /> <div style="padding:3px;"><input type="submit" value=" Vote " />&nbsp;<input name="view" type="submit" value=" View " /></div> <div style="font-size:10px">pollcode.com <a href="http://pollcode.com/">free polls</a></div> </p></div> </form> http://www.maximumpc.com/maximum_debate_microsoft%E2%80%99s_25_billion_minecraft_acquisition_worth_it_2014#comments debate Markus Persson maximum pc. $2.5 billion microsoft Microsoft acquires Mojang minecraft Mojang Notch Gaming Features Fri, 03 Oct 2014 19:25:33 +0000 Sean D Knight and Jimmy Thang 28655 at http://www.maximumpc.com No BS Podcast #233: The Episode with SteelSeries http://www.maximumpc.com/no_bs_podcast_233_episode_steelseries <!--paging_filter--><h3>SteelSeries talks gaming headsets, mechanical keyboards, gaming mice, and more!</h3> <p>SteelSeries wanted to drop by to show off its latest <a title="siberia headsets" href="http://www.maximumpc.com/steelseries_extends_headset_portfolio_siberia_family_starting_60_2014" target="_blank">Sibera gaming headsets</a> so we thought we would round them up in the podcast room to talk about that and more. In addition to headset talk, on <a title="no bs podcast 233" href="http://dl.maximumpc.com/maxpc_233_20140930.mp3" target="_blank"><strong>episode 233 of the No BS Podcast</strong></a>, we discuss mechanical keyboards, wired/wireless gaming mice, the possibility of future Steam Machine peripherals, potential VR controllers, and much more.&nbsp;</p> <p><iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/9STj4_SLDLY" width="620" height="349" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>As we’ve stated before, the old podcast format isn’t going anywhere, but we want the Maximum PC No BS Podcast to be the place where all the coolest PC industry insiders come. Are there any guests/companies that you would like to have on the show? Let us know in the comments below!</p> <div> <p><a title="Download Maximum PC Podcast #233 MP3" href="http://dl.maximumpc.com/maxpc_233_20140930.mp3" target="_blank"><img src="/files/u160416/rss-audiomp3.png" width="80" height="15" /></a>&nbsp;<a title="Maximum PC Podcast RSS Feed" href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/maximumpc/1337" target="_blank"><img src="/files/u160416/chicklet_rss-2_0.png" width="80" height="15" /></a>&nbsp;<a href="https://itunes.apple.com/podcast/maximum-pc-no-bs-podcast/id213247824"><img src="/files/u160416/chicklet_itunes.gif" alt="Subscribe to Maximum PC Podcast on iTunes" title="Subscribe to Maximum PC Podcast on iTunes" width="80" height="15" /></a></p> <h4 style="margin: 0px 0px 5px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 19px; vertical-align: baseline; letter-spacing: -0.05em; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-weight: normal; color: #990000;">Subscribe to the magazine for only 99 cents an issue:</h4> <h5><a title="Subscribe to Maximum PC Magazine" href="https://w1.buysub.com/pubs/IM/MAX/MAX_subscriptionpage.jsp?cds_page_id=63027" target="_blank">In print</a></h5> <h5><a title="Subcribe to Maximum PC Magazine on Zinio" href="https://www.zinio.com/checkout/publisher/?productId=500663614" target="_blank">On Zinio</a></h5> <h5><a title="Subscribe to Maximum PC Magazine on Google Play" href="https://play.google.com/store/newsstand/details/Maximum_PC?id=CAoww6lU&amp;hl=en" target="_blank">On Google Play</a></h5> <h5><a title="Subcribe to Maximum PC Magazine on iTunes" href="http://goo.gl/UIkW4" target="_blank">On iTunes</a></h5> <h5><a title="Subscribe to Maximum PC Magazine on Amazon Kindle" href="http://www.amazon.com/Maximum-PC/dp/B005XD5144/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1406326197">On the Amazon Kindle Store</a></h5> <h5><a title="Subcribe to Maximum PC Magazine on Your Nook" href="http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/maximum-pc-future-us-future-publishing/1119741259" target="_blank">On the Barnes &amp; Noble Nook Store</a></h5> <h4 style="margin: 0px 0px 5px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 19px; vertical-align: baseline; letter-spacing: -0.05em; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-weight: normal; color: #990000;">Stalk us in a number of ways:</h4> <p>Become a fan&nbsp;<a title="Maximum PC Facebook page" href="https://www.facebook.com/maximumpc" target="_blank">on Facebook</a></p> <p>Follow us&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/maximumpc" target="_blank">on Twitter</a></p> <p>Subscribe to us&nbsp;<a title="Maximum PC Youtube page" href="https://www.youtube.com/user/MaximumPCMag" target="_blank">on Youtube</a></p> <p>Subscribe&nbsp;<a title="Maximum PC RSS Feed" href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/maximumpc/1337">to our RSS feed</a></p> <p>Subscribe&nbsp;<a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/maximum-pc-no-bs-podcast/id213247824" target="_blank">to the podcast on iTunes</a></p> <p>email us at:&nbsp;<a href="mailto:maximumpcpodcast@gmail.com">maximumpcpodcast AT gmail DOT com</a></p> <p>Leave us a voicemail at 877-404-1337 x1337</p> </div> http://www.maximumpc.com/no_bs_podcast_233_episode_steelseries#comments 233 gaming mouse headset maximum pc mechanical keyboard No BS Podcast steelseries Gaming News No BS Podcast Tue, 30 Sep 2014 19:27:09 +0000 The Maximum PC Staff 28639 at http://www.maximumpc.com Graphics Analysis: Metro Games Stock vs Metro Redux Versions http://www.maximumpc.com/should_you_buy_metro_redux_bundle_2014 <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/files/u166440/4a_games_logo.jpg" alt="4A Games" title="4A Games" width="200" height="174" style="float: right;" /></p> <h3>We compare the Metro game series to its visually updated counterparts</h3> <p>If you are a fan of single-player FPS games, then you should check out the Metro series. Metro 2033, based on the novel by Russian author Dmitry Glukhovsky, was developed by 4A Games and released in 2010 while its sequel, Metro: Last Light, came out last year. Both survival-horror games are set in post-apocalyptic Moscow where survivors of the nuclear fallout live within the underground metro system.</p> <p>It's a bleak setting where ammunition is your currency, which makes for some interesting dilemmas at times.&nbsp;</p> <p><iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/Ow-EOZbP3Rc" width="620" height="349" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Check out our video comparison comparing the stock version of the Metro series with its Redux counterparts above.</strong></p> <p>But is it worth purchasing the Redux Bundle if you already have the original games? We took the time to compare the original with its Redux counterparts to help you find out.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u166440/metro_ll_comparison_004.jpg" alt="Metro LL 004" title="Metro LL 004" width="600" height="336" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Sit back, grab a drink, and please don't shoot us</strong></p> <p>We gave both games good scores with <a title="MPC Metro 2033 Review" href="http://www.maximumpc.com/article/reviews/metro_2033_review" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Metro 2033</span></a> earning seven out of 10 and <a title="MPC Metro: Last Light Review" href="http://www.maximumpc.com/metro_last_light_review_2013" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Metro: Last Light</span></a> receiving an eight. But even so, on August 26, 4A Games released re-mastered editions of both games for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC platforms. Metro 2033 Redux is a rebuilt and upgraded version of the original game that takes advantage of the latest 4A Engine. For Metro: Last Light Redux, 4A Games said that it made some tweaks and included all of the DLC released for the game, along with new features and gameplay modes.</p> <p>Curious as to how much of a visual upgrade both Redux versions have received, we compared the original games to its Redux counterparts. To do that, we used our personal PC which was equipped with an AMD Phenom II X4 965 processer, 8GB of RAM, and a Nvidia GeForce GTX 780. Our overall goal was to evaluate the look of both versions and discuss how they performed relative to each other. We also made sure to run each game at the same settings, where possible, so that we would get consistent results. See our settings in the image below.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u166440/metro_2033_settings_002.jpg" alt="Metro 2033 Settings" title="Metro 2033 Settings" width="600" height="233" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Left: Metro 2033 settings - Right: Metro 2033 Redux settings</strong></p> <p>All four games were run in 1080p and quality set to "Very High," which is the highest setting for the Metro games. Mindful of those who may not have the best GPU out there, we kept SSAA to ensure good performance. However, Metro 2033 was a little tricky since we had to make sure that it was running DirectX 11 to keep it on par with the Redux version (recommended settings for the Redux edition requires a DX11-compliant GPU). Gamma settings were also kept the same at the default level.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u166440/metro_ll_settings_001.jpg" alt="Metro LL Settings" title="Metro LL Settings" width="600" height="232" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Left: Metro: Last Light - Right: Metro: Last Light Redux</strong></p> <p>With Metro: Last Light and Redux, it was much simpler to keep the settings as similar as possible since there has only been about a one year gap between both titles. That, and there were not a lot of options to tweak.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u166440/metro_2033_comparison_002b.jpg" alt="Metro 2033 Comparison 001" title="Metro 2033 Comparison 001" width="600" height="408" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>4A Games changed character models and even sequences for Metro 2033</strong></p> <p>It should come as little surprise to anyone that we saw a huge improvement when we played both versions of Metro 2033. The Redux version was not only a vast improvement with sharper graphics, but also featured enhanced visuals, tweaked gameplay, reworked environments, better lighting, re-worked character models, new animations, and better enemy AI. Suffice it to say, the differences really showed in the visuals.</p> <p>We also saw a noticeable difference when it came to performance, but in a suprisingly pleasant way. We discovered that the Redux version averages a higher framerate than the original. For example, in our experiential test, traveling through the market in Metro 2033 averaged 83FPS while the Redux version of the same location averaged a higher 95FPS. Given that the recommended specs for the remastered edition requires 4GB RAM and DirectX 11 or higher compared to the original’s requirement of 2GB RAM and DirectX 10 or higher, it seems that 4A Games has done a great job of not only upgrading the game, but optimizing it to use higher-end hardware as well. This was something that was needed since some of the complaints about Metro 2033 involved it being a poorly-optimized resource hog.</p> <p>As you can see in the next image, Metro 2033 Redux features different character models, sharper textures, and brighter lighting compared to the original 2010 game. In Redux, there is also a bit of lens flare and the goggles, which your character must wear when he ventures outside, has distinct drops of water on the edges rather than this weird blurry liquid effect in the original game.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a title="Metro 2033 comparison GIF" href="http://gifmaker.cc/PlayGIFAnimation.php?folder=2014092401e3EmUCBkS67tKlhUawZyk7&amp;file=output_vMH7dQ.gif" target="_blank"><img src="/files/u166440/metro_2033_comparison_003a.jpg" alt="Metro 2033 comparison" title="Metro 2033 comparison" width="600" height="335" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Click Image for an animated GIF comparing Metro 2033</strong></p> <p>But while we are impressed at the large improvements that were made for Metro 2033, Metro: Last Light is another matter. Rather than Metro: Last Light Redux being an all-out remastered edition, think of it as more of a Game of the Year edition. It’s great that all the DLC is bundled with the game, as well as additional content, but there are hardly any visual differences between the original and Redux version’s graphics that we are able to discern except that the Redux version looks a little brighter.</p> <p>Even the average FPS count isn’t that different between each version. Both Metro: Last Light and Redux averaged around 80FPS when we compared the first 25 minutes of the game with each other. The original ended up averaging 82FPS and the Redux edition 86FPS which, given we ran a purely experiential test, is within the margin of error.&nbsp;</p> <p>Take a look at the following image and you tell us if there is any visual differences between the two versions.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a title="Metro LL Comparison GIF" href="http://gifmaker.cc/PlayGIFAnimation.php?folder=2014092402uyTcULxKzA9KB0kWAUgR5f&amp;file=output_YJ9NlT.gif" target="_blank"><img src="/files/u166440/metro_ll_comparison_001a.jpg" alt="Metro LL Comparison" title="Metro LL Comparison" width="600" height="326" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Click image for an animated GIF comparing Metro: Last Light</strong></p> <h3>Benchmarks:</h3> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u166440/metro_chart_002.jpg" alt="Metro Chart" title="Metro Chart" width="600" height="371" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Here is the chart showing you the average FPS recorded of all four games side-by-side</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;">As stated earlier, the biggest difference was seen between Metro 2033 and its Redux counterparts thanks to the latest 4A Engine, graphics upgrade, and optimization. Meanwhile, the difference between Metro: Last Light and the Redux version was nominal considering not much had been changed between either version.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">So to those of you who don’t own any of the Metro games, we would recommend that you pick up the Metro bundle simply for the story, atmosphere, and the graphics. If you own Metro 2033 and appreciate high-quality graphics, then you should seriously consider picking up the Redux version. But if you own Metro: Last Light, then we would suggest refraining from purchasing its Redux counterpart unless you really want the DLC and extra content.&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/should_you_buy_metro_redux_bundle_2014#comments 4A Games Metro 2033 Metro 2033 Redux Metro Last Light Metro Last Light Redux Redux Bundle Redux editions Gaming News Features Fri, 26 Sep 2014 22:47:08 +0000 Sean D Knight 28612 at http://www.maximumpc.com Thinking of Cancelling Your DK2 Order for Cresent Bay? Think Again http://www.maximumpc.com/oculus_confirms_crescent_bay_prototype_isnt_sale_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3>Oculus confirms that Crescent Bay prototype isn't for sale&nbsp;&nbsp;</h3> <p>If you recently ordered an Oculus Rift development kit 2, but are still waiting for it to arrive, you might be wondering if Oculus will let you hold off on DK2 in favor of the newer, snazzier Crescent Bay prototype. At least, that’s a situation we found ourselves in.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u154082/oculus_prototype.jpg" alt="oculus rift prototype" title="oculus rift prototype" width="620" height="465" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Rumor has it that Oculus' Crescent Bay prototype is running a much sharper 1440p-resolution display</strong></p> <p>We placed our order for DK2 on August 13 and are still waiting for it to arrive, but after Oculus revealed that its <a title="crescent bay" href="http://www.maximumpc.com/new_%E2%80%98crescent_bay%E2%80%99_rift_prototype_impresses_better_display_360-degree_tracking" target="_blank">Crescent Bay headset</a> would feature 360-degree head tracking and a higher-resolution screen among other improvements at its Oculus Connect event this past weekend , we couldn’t help but feel a mixture of excitement and dismay at the same time. “Our DK2 order we placed over a month ago hasn’t arrived yet and they’ve already announced a new, better unit,” we immediately thought to ourselves. Quick to react, we hastily emailed Oculus’ customer support, “We were just wondering if it would be possible to hold out on receiving the DK2 in favor of the recently unveiled Crescent Bay prototype,” we asked, adding, “We would be willing to pay any differences as need be. Let us know if this is possible.”</p> <p>An Oculus support rep responded, “Unfortunately, the Crescent Bay prototype that was shown at Oculus Connect is not for sale. If you'd still like to cancel your order, I'd be happy to assist you. Simply reply to this email and I'll start the process.”</p> <p>So there you have it, Oculus confirmed that it has no current plans to sell the Crescent Bay prototype, at least not in its current incarnation. The good news is that if you'd like to cancel your DK2 order, Oculus is making that process easy. Those that are eager to get their hands on the more advanced headset will have to wait a little longer. Hopefully it will be worth the wait.&nbsp;</p> http://www.maximumpc.com/oculus_confirms_crescent_bay_prototype_isnt_sale_2014#comments cancel crescent bay dk2 headset oculus rift order prototype virtual reality vr Gaming News Tue, 23 Sep 2014 18:30:50 +0000 Jimmy Thang 28593 at http://www.maximumpc.com Valve Releases Steam Discovery Update, Steam Store Gets Revamped http://www.maximumpc.com/valve_releases_steam_discovery_update_steam_store_gets_revamped_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u166440/steam-logo.jpg" alt="Steam Logo" title="Steam Logo" width="200" height="200" style="float: right;" />Over 100 million active Steam accounts</h3> <p>While Steam is the largest digital distribution platform for video games, its store homepage presentation and search function has been in need of renovation for a while. And it has finally received one. <strong>Valve has launched the Steam Discovery Update</strong> that has improved the Steam Store’s appearance, made it easier to search for games, and adds a new Curator feature.</p> <p>"We have made great efforts to increase the number of titles we can publish on Steam, which means more choices for customers," said Valve UI designer Alden Kroll. "This update introduces multiple features and functionality to help customers explore Steam's growing catalog and find the games they are most interested in playing."</p> <p>Steam, which has over 100 million active accounts now, has become a bit of a chore to navigate when looking for new PC games to purchase. But with the Steam Discovery Update, it has that is no longer the case There are new filters that makes browsing through Steam’s catalog of 3,700 titles, 1,300 of which have been added over the last nine months according to Valve, easier. For example, users are now able to filter out games they already own, Early Access releases, and non-gaming software from their search results.</p> <p>Consumers will also have access to customization options that will show the products they would be interested in purchasing. In addition, users will receive recommendations based on their recent gameplay, past purchases, suggestions from friends, and recommendations from Curators.</p> <p>Steam Curators are the new “tastemakers,” as Valve puts it, of the Steam Community. Curators is another form of a Steam Community group capable of making recommendations that will show up on a follower’s homepage. To become a Curator, you will need to create your own Steam Community group or be an officer/moderator of one. Then make at least 10 recommendations on Steam in order to shop up on lists to other users that are searching for Curators to follow.</p> <p>So what do you think of the redesign? Do you like it or do you prefer the old layout? 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/valve_releases_steam_discovery_update_steam_store_gets_revamped_2014#comments Alden Kroll Steam Steam Curators Steam Discovery Update Steam homepage Valve Gaming News Tue, 23 Sep 2014 01:41:04 +0000 Sean D Knight 28588 at http://www.maximumpc.com Final Fantasy 13 Trilogy Coming to PC, First Game Arrives Next Month http://www.maximumpc.com/final_fantasy_13_trilogy_coming_pc_first_game_arrives_next_month_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u166440/final_fantasy_13.jpg" alt="FF13" title="FF13" width="200" height="113" style="float: right;" /></h3> <h3>The latest Final Fantasy titles coming to PC</h3> <p><a title="Square Enix announcement" href="http://na.square-enix.com/us/blog/final-fantasy-xiii-returns-windows-pc" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Square Enix</span></a> has slowly been bringing the Final Fantasy franchise to the PC platform. After re-releasing Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy VIII, the developer has been bringing some of the other older games in the franchise over. &nbsp;However,<strong> Square Enix has announced that the Final Fantasy XIII trilogy is coming to the PC platform</strong>.</p> <p>The first title in the popular JRPG series, released back in 2010 for consoles, is available for pre-order on <a title="Steam FF13 page" href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/292120/" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Steam</span></a> and Square Enix’s online store. Those wishing to pre-order Final Fantasy 13 through Steam will get a 10 percent discount for a price of $14.39 (regular price is $15.99). FF13 Steam trading cards will also be available to those who purchase it on Steam.&nbsp;</p> <p>Final Fantasy 13 will launch on October 9. However, Square Enix did not provide a specific release date, or price, for Final Fantasy 13-2 or Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy 13, the latest installment of the franchise which was released back in February, except that they will be available “later next spring.”</p> <p>Have you played any of the Final Fantasy games on PC and are you looking forward to playing Final Fantasy XIII? 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/final_fantasy_13_trilogy_coming_pc_first_game_arrives_next_month_2014#comments FF13 PC Final Fantasy 13 Final Fantasy 13 PC Final Fantasy XIII Square Enix Steam Gaming News Fri, 19 Sep 2014 00:17:25 +0000 Sean D Knight 28565 at http://www.maximumpc.com Bad PC Ports Need to Go Away: Dead Rising 3 Edition http://www.maximumpc.com/bad_pc_ports_need_go_away_dead_rising_3_edition_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3>Column: Now I know why they call it the Apocalypse Edition</h3> <p>PC games are buggy, and console games just work right out of the box – that’s at least the stigma that console gamers place on the PC. The truth is that PC gaming is <a title="pc gaming" href="http://www.intricworld.com/uploads/2/4/4/6/24467354/756791_orig.jpg" target="_blank">miles ahead of the consoles</a>, but I do have to admit that that there are grains of truth to the stigma.</p> <p>When Dead Rising 3 launched on the PC on September 5th, I encouraged my console-playing friend to play the game cooperatively with me on Steam. So we both got on Skype and fired it up. Immediately upon booting it up, however, I noticed the astonishingly long load times. To be fair, I did install it on my hard drive as opposed to my SSD, but these boot times were abnormally long and my friend noticed the same on his machine. The long boot times would be the least of my problems with the game, however. When I actually got into the game, something was definitely not right, and I'm not talking about the game's impending zombie apocalypse. It felt like I was playing more of a slideshow than a game. The framerate performance was terrible, which I thought was odd considering I was playing on my high-end i7 rig coupled with a GeForce GTX Titan. Sure I was trying to run the game maxed out, but considering I was using a $1,000 GPU on what essentially is a console port, max settings should have been a cakewalk.&nbsp;</p> <h3 style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u154082/dead_rising_3_pc_port.jpg" width="460" height="215" /></h3> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>More like "Dead Rising 3: Bad Port Edition"</strong></p> <p>And my friend’s more humble PC equipped with a modest 560 Ti GPU? Well, it started sweating bullets on medium. “This is why I’m not into PC gaming,” my friend exclaimed. The comment stung a little and we both decided to tone down our graphics settings. I noticed a bump in performance when I ran the game at medium settings, but it still ran like crap. Upon doing some research, I found out that Capcom had capped the game to run at 30FPS. D’oh! Contrary to what console gamers might say, 30FPS is not enough, and friends don't let friends play at 30FPS.</p> <p>To be fair to Capcom, apparently the company did warn PC gamers that the game would be locked to 30FPS prior to Dead Rising 3’s launch, but still, a warning does not excuse a crime. That’s like someone telling you, “Sorry, but I’m going to punch you” right before punching you. In other words, it doesn’t really help. The straight truth of the matter is that Dead Rising 3 on the PC is a lazy port, and trust us when we say we know a thing or two about a bad port as we’ve done a roundup of <a title="bad pc port" href="http://www.maximumpc.com/worst_pc_ports_2014" target="_blank">the worst offenders</a>. At this point, we’d have to say Dead Rising 3 is a dead ringer to be on that list (see what I did there?).</p> <p>On the brightside, yes, there is an easy .ini fix to remove the 30FPS cap, but even Capcom advises against this because the company suggest that users 1)might need really beefy hardware and 2) it could potentially cause “<a title="dead rising issues" href="http://steamcommunity.com/app/265550/discussions/0/522730535829776687/" target="_blank">issues</a>.” Furthermore, I’m personally a little afraid that the tweak might conflict with a future update down the road. In addition, this fan-made patch reinforces the negative stereotype that PC gamers need to manually tweak their games just to play them properly. The least Capcom could have done here is to include an in-game menu option to remove the 30FPS limit with perhaps a warning that it might cause some instability on lower-end systems. After all, if we’re smart enough to choose PC gaming, we’re smart enough to toggle a menu switch. In addition, some of us do in fact have super beefy hardware and would like the option to use it on an occasion such as this. *cough*</p> <p>Terrible performance issues aside, Dead Rising’s framerate is hardly the most pressing issue with the game at the moment. When my friend and I were slugging our way through the co-op campaign, the game crashed on me multiple times and booted my friend out of the online instance as well. I was hoping to play the game all night with my buddy, to show him the joys of Steam and PC gaming, but after four game crashes in an hour, even I had to admit defeat.</p> <p>Over the next few days, I found out that my situation was not an isolated incident and that <a title="game crashes" href="http://steamcommunity.com/games/265550/announcements/detail/147813325104525261" target="_blank">TONS of users are reporting game crashes</a>. To Capcom’s credit, the company has acknowledged the crashes and are attempting to do something about it, but only time will tell if this specific matter gets resolved.&nbsp;</p> <p>I haven’t given up on Dead Rising 3 and was able to enjoy the game, well, at least from the little that I was able to play of it, but I’d much prefer to return to the zombie apocalypse when the bugs are ironed out. Because really, who likes fighting bugs and zombies at the same time?</p> <p>However, the bigger thing I want to say to Capcom and other game developers is this: PLEASE STOP THE LAZY PC PORTS! These buggy, unoptimized ports do nothing to bolster the sales of your games. But more importantly,&nbsp;your rush job gives PC gaming an undue bad rep.</p> http://www.maximumpc.com/bad_pc_ports_need_go_away_dead_rising_3_edition_2014#comments 30 bad port console crash crashes crashing dead rising 3 framerate locked pc Steam Gaming News Features Fri, 12 Sep 2014 22:39:09 +0000 Jimmy Thang 28530 at http://www.maximumpc.com The Top 20 Games We Want Remastered http://www.maximumpc.com/top_20_games_we_want_remastered_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3>Games worth replaying in HD</h3> <p>No matter how old you are, there will always be at least one game that you’ll want to revisit and play all over again. Maybe even more than once. What is it that makes you want to play again? Great gameplay, great story, or even a <a title="30 Best PC Game Soundtracks" href="http://www.maximumpc.com/article/features/30_best_pc_game_soundtracks_all_time" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">great soundtrack</span></a> are some of the factors that keeps a game on our minds. There is one other factor that helps to make a game memorable: the graphics. But sadly, as time marches on, the majority of games just can’t hold their own against the ever-increasing advancements in graphics technology. Inevitably, when we go back and play many of those games, we can’t help but cringe at how they look.</p> <p>Thankfully, there seems to be a bit of an HD renaissance happening for PC games these days. The recent announcement that <a title="MPC Grim Fandango" href="http://www.maximumpc.com/double_fine_confirms_grim_fandango_remake_headed_pc_2014" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Grim Fandango</span></a> is being remastered is certainly a reason to celebrate. And it's also nice we're getting an HD remake of GTA V. But these are but a few awesome games to be revisited. Other games, such as Age of Empires II, have been touched by the hand of HD. Then there is The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition, which was fully re-imagined with a remastered musical score, full voiceover, and new art style.&nbsp;</p> <p>So we decided to come up with a list of games, in chronological order by release date, that we would like to see remastered.&nbsp;</p> <p>Obviously, we are going to exclude a lot games. As a result of this, we would love to hear what games you think should be remastered and why. Please 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 <span style="color: #ff0000;"><a title="SeanDKnight Facebook" href="https://www.facebook.com/seandknight" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Facebook</span></a></span></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/top_20_games_we_want_remastered_2014#comments 20 games remastered remastered classic games remastered PC games Top 20 games remastered Gaming Features Fri, 05 Sep 2014 18:43:36 +0000 Sean D Knight 28372 at http://www.maximumpc.com