With 64-player maps, exquisite textures, amazing physics, and tessellation that consoles can only dream of, PC gaming is undergoing a renaissance.
Wasn’t it just four years ago that the pundits and game media gathered in wake, made a few pithy quips about graphics and soundcard drivers, and poured their 40‑ouncers over the grave of PC gaming? Well guess what, baby—PC gaming ain’t dead by a long shot. In fact, there’s a strong argument that PC gaming is not only alive and well, it’s thriving and poised to dominate consoles.
Don’t believe us? Battlefield 3, one of the most anticipated launches of the year, only offers 64-player goodness to those on the PC, and tweaks the frak out of PC-only graphics that make game consoles look like peddlers of VGA output in a 1080p world. Smash a window in Batman: Arkham City on a PC with PhysX support, and you’re rewarded with glass particles flying everywhere—just as if you threw a thug through a plate glass window in real life. Do that on a console, and you’re rewarded with a pathetic tinkle.
Let’s not even talk about The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, which has enhanced textures and graphics on the PC that its developer, Bethesda, says will “melt your face.” And hell, we haven’t even gotten to the PC-only titles of Star Wars: The Old Republic, Dota 2, and Diablo III, or the free-to-play phenomenon and MMOs.
So are we seeing a resurgence of PC gaming, or are we just fooling ourselves? To find out, read our report on whether “real” gaming has returned. Then read our reviews of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Batman: Arkham City, two of the latest games to celebrate what PCs uniquely offer; and finally, take a gander at our list of the 10 best free PC games online. If we are fooling ourselves about a PC gaming comeback, we’re having a kick-ass time of it.
Capcom on Thursday said that Resident Evil 6 is in full development and scheduled for release on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation game consoles on November 20, 2012, "with a PC version to follow." The newest installment in the popular zombie franchise takes place ten years since the Raccoon City incident and will see Leon and Chris come together for the first time. They will also be joined by new characters, Capcom says.
For as popular as the Xbox 360 is, Microsoft's been notoriously slow to certify game updates to be rolled out via its Xbox Live service, a constant source of frustration for developers and gamers alike. That's reportedly going to change when Minecraft is ported over to Xbox Live Arcade, which could very well end up being the first game to tout frequent and constant updates.
Talk to any thirty-something who grew up playing Atari and NES, and he'll tell you today's games have made gamers soft. Ever tried beating Adventure on Level 3? Or the original MegaMan? Don't even get us started on Silver Surfer or Battletoads. That's not to say there aren't any tough games out there today, but Irrational Games clearly feels gamers are in need of a good old fashioned ass kicking, hence the introduction of a '1999 Mode' in BioShock Infinite. It's intended for "gamers who long for the days of games that demanded more of the player," Irrational Games says.
The Internet community is like one big Encyclopedia Brown, always solving mysteries with barely any information to work with. Just ask Eidos Montreal. After posting a handful of job listings outlining some mystery projects, a curious Web user tried to sniff out intel on what the company was working on, and while he has yet to uncover what secret projects the company has up its sleeve, he did uncover some juicy tidbits about the upcoming Thief 4 game.
Take-Two Interactive today announced that Rockstar Games now expects to launch Max Payne 3 for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 game consoles on May 15, 2012 in North America and three days later internationally. PC gamers will join the fun on May 29, 2012 in North America and June 1, 2012 internationally. The new release dates represent a two-month delay compared to the originally slated launch in March 2012, which is minor in length but falls at a time just after Take-Two's fiscal fourth quarter comes to a close.
BioWare's Community Coordinator, Chris Priestly, is letting Mass Effect fans know that if they plan on helping Commander Shepard save the planet from Reapers, they'll have to go about it without using their Steam accounts. Mass Effect 3 will require interacting with EA's Origin platform and will be available for purchase through Origin and select digital download services not owned by Valve.
CD Projekt Red has called off its witch hunt for…. pirates, and in an open letter to the community is asking for forgiveness. Just in-case you missed the back story, CD Projekt Red is the development studio behind The Witcher 2, and about one month ago, set off on a campaign to hunt down everyone they suspected of pirating the game. Making pirates cough up cash for stolen software sounds reasonable enough; the real controversy was in the tactics they used to collect. Threatening letters asking for money in exchange for legal immunity might have sounded like a great idea to a bunch of cash strapped PC exclusive developers, however in the real world we often give this strategy a different name, extortion.
Microsoft could barely contain its obvious giddiness that comes from owning the best selling current-generation console in the U.S. for all of 2011. Citing figures obtained from The NPD Group, Microsoft says Xbox 360 sales outpaced both Sony's PlayStation 3 and Nintendo's Wii consoles (both jockeying for position in second place) by more than 2.7 million units.
In some ways the Internet is like the digital equivalent of truth serum. It forces people to fess up and spill the beans on their shenanigans, because in some cases, their tricks are caught on video and uploaded to the Web for all the world to see. This happened to Intel at CES when Mooly Eden, general manager of Intel's PC client group, was caught faking a DirectX 11 graphics demo on an Ivy Bridge Ultrabook.