Power users needn't worry, the desktop is alive and thriving!
These days you can't flip on the Internet without being bombarded by tablet and smartphone announcements. Hey, we love mobile just as much as the next geek, but we're also stoked when major players take time to shower some love on the desktop, which is what Intel did at the Game Developer Conference (GDC) today. One thing Intel unveiled today is an 8-core Haswell-E CPU.
It's been nearly three and a half years since Microsoft last released a major version of its DirectX API, followed by a few point releases between then and now. However, if you feared DirectX was essentially done, you can sigh a breath of relief knowing that's not the case. As a new DirectX 12 (DX12) Twitter account exclaims, "Rumors of our demise have been greatly exaggerated...." Not only that, but DX12 is only two weeks away.
A chronological gallery of conventions for all levels of geek!
If you've ever wanted to dress up as Batman or Harley Quinn and mingle with fellow cosplayers in full garb (and why wouldn't you want to?), don't worry, you're not alone. There's a convention for that -- several, in fact -- along with conventions for all levels of nerdery, places you can go and get your geek on with fellow science-fiction fanatics, movie buffs, or whatever it is you're into.
This week was the annual Game Developers Conference here in semi-sunny San Francisco. Many of the biggest names in PC (and console) gaming were here in town, so we went down to the show to have a look around. Keep reading for a gallery of some of the most interesting sights on the show floor and screenshots from some of the most beautiful, interesting, and downright bizarre games that we saw at GDC 2011!
Crytek’s CryENGINE has always been a fine looking game engine, but it’s been missing one thing. In case you haven’t guessed, that thing is 3D. We’re not sure anyone was really pushing for this, but at GDC 2010, Crytek will be showing off their new CryENGINE 3 with stereoscopic 3D.
The new engine is reputed to be near photorealism in its rendering. Crytek also plans to give developers a new tool called LiveCreate. This feature will allow game designers to work on, and play their CryENGINE 3 game for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 platforms at the same time.
Nvidia has also made some noise about the coming age of 3D, saying that 3D will be “all pervasive”. Some estimates peg the number of 3D enabled games in 2010 as high as 50. We don’t know if this whole 3D thing will take off, but CryENGINE 3 will probably still be really pretty in 2D. Are you waiting with bated breath for 3D gaming to hit the mainstream?
E3! E3! E3! There is seemingly nothing more important right now than checking out the latest iteration of some made-for-14-year-old-girls title at that big LA convention. Feh. You know what the worst thing about E3 is? It's not the lack of awkward-looking hot actors to stare at, nor is it the barrage of press meetings, demonstrations, and pomp and circumstance for less-than-stellar titles. The worst thing about E3 is that all the games you see there cost money. That's right. Cash. For every neat title you're seeing, there's a price tag attached at the end of the day. Want new graphics in a hot sequel? You'll pay for it. Want to blow up 255 of your closest console friends? Ask for your allowance early. Feel like waving your hand around to simulate an activity you can do in real life? Get a real-life job.
This week, I'm strolling down memory lane and profiling some of the best games from that other gaming conference in California. You know the one--good ol' GDC, or the Game Developers Conference. Each year, the Independent Games Festival takes up shop amidst the chaos of this convention and awards a host of independent (and often free) titles awards of various persuasions. There's a long list of contenders that come to the IGF every year: here's a list of five of the most interesting, enjoyable, and free titles I've found.
Click the jump to check out the cream of the freeware gaming crop!
Just how awesome is Intel's Core i7 architecture? According to Intel, Core i7 processors pack enough punch to supplant some of the graphics chores typically handled by GPUs from Nvidia and AMD.
"Learn how to easily add real-time 3D smoke, fog and other fluid simulations to your game without using up the GPU," Intel pitches to potential attendees on a webpage titled Intel at Game Developers Conference. "In this session, we will present the source code to a fluid simulator optimized for multi-core CPUs."
According to Tom R. Halfhill, an analyst at the Microprocessor Report and Maximum PC columnist, Intel might be seeking ways to make better use of its quad-core processors, though Halfhill said "I need to be convinced that a CPU can do those 3D effects better than a GPU can."
Dedicated graphics processors are typically better suited for high-end effects, but Jon Peddie, president of Jon Peddie Research (JPR) says there are exceptions. "Not all algorithms and processes map well to a GPU. You have to have a problem that is naturally parallel, and except for the rendering of, say, a water surface and subsurface and reflections, the wave motion equations will just fine on a CPU."
Maybe now you have that excuse you've been looking for to justify a quad-core upgrade.
This week, Dave, Gordon, and Andy talk tons about Maximum PC's self-created storage benchmark of complete awesomeness. We also preview all the sweet Game Developers Conference announcements (and rumors) for next week, and light the funeral pyre for HD-DVD. We hardly knew thee.