Let's have a show of hands -- how many of you accessed Intel's AppUp center in the last week? Last month? Ever? We see a few of you out there, but not many, which is likely why Intel has decided to board up shop and move on to something else. The Santa Clara chip maker announced in a blog post that it's shutting down the AppUp center on March 11, 2014 so that it can focus on other things.
DICE to give away grenades and other virtual swag throughout the month of February
Nothing says you're sorry better than handing out free gifts -- you know, things like unlocked pistols and grenades, plus double XP opportunities and other virtual items. It's with that in mind that developer Dice is kicking off a Battlefield 4 Player Appreciation Month starting Saturday, February 1, 2014. Throughout the month, DICE will roll out "fun community missions" and give away free stuff.
Includes several new and improved 3D Vision profiles
Itching to try out some new graphics drivers? You're in luck, provided you own Nvidia hardware and don't mind tempting fate by installing beta code. That's because Nvidia has made available its new GeForce 334.67 beta drivers, which introduce a variety of new SLI and 3D Vision profiles. Nvidia also baked in the obligatory performance and system stability tweaks that typically accompany each new driver release.
Real or fake, these are some snazzy looking screenshots
The gaming community is abuzz with what are claimed to be leaked screenshots contained in a confidential PowerPoint presentation from Valve showing portions of Left 4 Dead 2 redrawn with the next generation Source 2.0 engine. While we'll temper our excitement until if or when Valve makes an official announcement, giving some credence to the leaked photos is that they were posted by Neogaf user "CBOAT" (crazy buttocks on a train), who despite the silly nickname has a history of leaking confidential information to the masses.
Rovio responds to reports of NSA taking advantage of leaky apps
Several news agencies on Monday reported that the National Security Agency and its U.K. counterpart (Britain's Government Communications Headquarters) have been working together to collect data from dozens of so-called "leaky" smartphone apps, including Rovio's popular Angry Birds game. Top secret documents claim these apps transmit all kinds of user information over the web, which spy agencies scoop up and store. Having been called out specifically by several reports, Rovio issued a statement denying it collaborates with any spying organization.
Microsoft Studios just acquired the rights to the Gears of War franchise from creator Epic Games, including rights to all existing and future titles, along with entertainment experiences and merchandise. Straight and to the point, all future releases will continue to be published by Microsoft Studios, which published previous Gears of Wars titles, ensuring the franchise remains exclusive to the Xbox.
Several months ago, AMD Product Manager Deveon Nekechuck boldly claimed that the Radeon R9 290X would be able to "ridicule" Nvidia's GeForce Titan graphics card when running Battlefield 4 with Mantle, AMD's new graphics API. It's worth noting that the R9 290 sports a smaller 438 square mm die compared to the Titan's 550 square mm GK110. Unfortunately for us and everyone else wanting to put that claim to the test, the Mantle patch for Battlefield 4 might be delayed once again.
Judging by some of the hysteria on Twitter and other social sites, the relatively brief outage of several Google services on Friday, including Gmail, nearly signaled the end of the world as we know it. Luckily for mankind, Google was able to restore its services within an hour, and much sooner for many users, thus narrowly dodging an apocalypse, though not before being hit with a stone that was thrown from Yahoo's glass house.
In case you missed it, Hewlett-Packard (HP) last week began advertising the return of Windows 7 desktops. The OEM said its decision to sell Windows 7 systems in a Windows 8 world was influenced by "popular demand," but what we found interesting is how aggressively the world's second largest PC maker promoted its Windows 7 machines. Was there more than meets the eye? HP today posted a blog further explaining its reasoning for bringing back Windows 7.
Pre-order pages suggest a GTA V release to PC is imminent
Rockstar Games has stubbornly kept any possible plans to release Grand Theft Auto V to the PC platform close to its vest, but if history tells us anything, a Windows port is coming. Need more proof? Just direct your browser to some overseas online retailer pages where GTA V for PC is being flaunted for pre-order. These aren't just sketchy vendors, either -- Amazon.de is currently accepting pre-orders for the unannounced port.