Software en GameStop Blames Third Quarter Sales Decline on Delayed Assassin's Creed Unity Launch <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/gamestop_store.jpg" alt="GameStop Store" title="GameStop Store" width="228" height="152" style="float: right;" />GameStop sales slipped 0.7 percent in Q3</h3> <p>New and used games retailer GameStop reported its third quarter financial results this week, which fell below what analysts were expecting. <strong>GameStop's total global sales for Q3 came to $2.09 billion, a drop of 0.7 percent compared to the $2.11 billion in the same quarter a year ago</strong> and below the $2.2 billion analysts on average were predicting. As a result, GameStop's stock went into free-fall mode.</p> <p>Shares of GameStop are down more than 14 percent today with several hours still to go in the trading day. With today's plunge, GameStop's stock is down by around 25 percent since the beginning of the year when it was valued just shy of $50 per share.</p> <p>GameStop pointed the finger at the delayed release of Assassin's Creed Unity as the reason why topline and comparable store sales were negatively impacted.</p> <p>"Overall, most of our major product categories performed very well, but our third quarter results were impacted by Assassin’s Creed Unity moving out of October," <a href="" target="_blank">stated Paul Raines</a>, chief executive officer. "As we look at the holiday quarter, we are focused on relentlessly applying our competitive advantages: convenience, strong CRM, knowledgeable associates and value through our unique forms of currency, which include buy-sell-trade and the new PowerUp Rewards credit card, to deliver a successful quarter."</p> <p>In a post-earnings call with analysts and media, GameStop president Tony Bartel added that he'd like to see Microsoft and Sony issue price cuts for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 consoles, respectively.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> assassin's creed unity financial results games GameStop Software News Fri, 21 Nov 2014 16:12:56 +0000 Paul Lilly 28969 at Maniac Mansion Creators Reunite to Create a True Spiritual Successor, Thimbleweed Park <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/thimbleweed_park_floppy.jpg" alt="Thimbleweed Park Floppy" title="Thimbleweed Park Floppy" width="228" height="170" style="float: right;" />A new 1980s style point &amp; click adventure game</h3> <p>Many things retro end up coming back in style years after the fact, though what about old school adventure gaming? You know, the point &amp; click variety that was so popular in the 1980s and early 1990s with games like Maniac Mansion, Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders, and several others I recall playing on a Commodore 64, and then later on an IBM compatible 286 PC. Well, after years of waiting, I'm happy to report that <strong>Ron Gilbert and Gary Winnick have teamed up once more to create a point &amp; click adventure game called Thimbleweed Park</strong>.</p> <p>Currently a Kickstarter project seeking $375,000 in funding, Thimbleweed Park is described as the "true successor to Maniac Mansion and Monkey Island," a couple of franchises that occupied hours of my time many moons ago. It's also a brand new game, one that's being developed as a classic adventure title, a trait that might be lost on the modern gamer.</p> <p>However, I'd venture to guess that there are enough folks like myself who miss the simplicity of titles that Lucasfilm Games (and later, LucasArts) and Sierra were known for 'back in the day' before first person shooters stole the limelight, that it's likely to be fully funded. Already with 28 days to go, nearly 4,800 backers have pledged more than $172,000 to the project.</p> <p>"Thimbleweed Park is a game for true lovers of adventure games. This is a Kickstarter for fans who loved Maniac Mansion, Monkey Island, and everything else that made that era great. It strips away all the cruft built up over the years and is distilled down to what we loved about the genre," Gilbert and Winnick said.</p> <p>Specifically, it's about two washed up detectives tasked with investigating a dead body laying first first in a river just outside of town. You'll be able to switch between five playable characters at any time throughout "hours and hours of gameplay" en route to multiple endings.</p> <p>If you miss old school adventure gaming like I do, or simply want to see more of the project, head over to its <a href="" target="_blank">Kickstarter page</a>.</p> <p><iframe src="" width="620" height="465" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"> </iframe></p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> adventure games kickstarter maniac mansion Software thimbleweed park News Wed, 19 Nov 2014 20:24:22 +0000 Paul Lilly 28960 at Game Developer Hands Out Steam Codes to Pirates <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/thiswarofmine.jpg" alt="This War of Mine" title="This War of Mine" width="228" height="166" style="float: right;" />Good or bad idea?</h3> <p>11 Bit Studios, the developer behind This War of Mine, has been hanging around The Pirate Bay lately, though not because it's looking to get anyone in trouble for pirating its game. Instead, <strong>11 Bit Studios is handing out Steam codes to gamers who would otherwise pirate This War of Mine</strong>, an unorthodox strategy that it hopes will win the company a loyal following and buy it some goodwill.</p> <p>Rather than stand on a soapbox and berate gamers for pirating the company's software, 11 Bit Studios' PR person Karol Zajaczkowski showed some understanding towards the less nefarious reasons why a person would steal a title to begin with.</p> <p>"We are really happy to hear that you like our game. They prove that spending 2 years on it was worth it. I would like to say thank you to everyone who decided to buy the game and support us - because of that we'll be able to develop TWoM further and create even better games in the future," Zajaczkowski stated in the comments section of the most torrented version of This War of Mine. "If because of some reasons you can't buy the game, it's ok. We know life, and we know that sometimes it's just not possible. Here are some codes for the Steam copy of the game, so some of you can take a look at it. And if you like the game after spending a few hours in, then just spread the word, and you'll help us a lot."</p> <p>The gesture didn't go unappreciated by <em>The Pirate Bay</em> community.</p> <p>"You are willing to risk 190€ so people can have a legal copy of your game and play it as everyone else should. Screw this torrent. It is my next goal to save some money for a Steam copy of your product of 2 years of hard work. You certainly deserve it," one person commented.</p> <p>"I bought the game when I saw it on Twitch on Day 1. Two of my friends pirated it, and then I saw your comment. Bought two copies for those two friends. You guys ARE talented, hope to see more games like this in the future," another person wrote.</p> <p>This War of Mine is a survival game from the perspective of civilians trying to survive in a besieged city. It runs <a href="" target="_blank">$20 on Steam</a> and has garnered generally favorable reviews around the web -- our sister site <em>PCGamer</em> scored it <a href="" target="_blank">80 out of 100</a>.</p> <p>That said, do you think it's appropriate for game developers and studios to hand out free codes on pirating hangouts, or do you view it as rewarding bad behavior? Sound out in the comments section below!</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> 11 Bit Studios games piracy Software Steam This War of Mine News Wed, 19 Nov 2014 18:18:47 +0000 Paul Lilly 28959 at Windows 10’s OneDrive Changes Draw User Ire <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="" alt="Microsoft OneDrive in Windows 10" title="Microsoft OneDrive in Windows 10" width="228" height="164" style="float: right;" /></h3> <h3>Latest technical preview build changes the way OneDrive files get synced</h3> <p>The latest Windows 10 technical preview build rolled out this past Wednesday with a number of changes supposedly inspired by user feedback (or, as the the company put it on the <a href="" target="_blank">Windows Blog</a>, by user “awesomeness”). User feedback may very well have inspired most of the <strong>changes contained in Build 9879</strong>, but the removal of the “smart files” feature from OneDrive does not appear to be one of them, at least going by the amount of&nbsp; flak it has drawn over the past few days from Windows Insider Program members.</p> <p>Introduced as part of Windows 8.1 when OneDrive was still called SkyDrive, <a href="" target="_blank">smart files</a> are placeholders that contain thumbnails and metadata of OnDrive files not available locally. This gives the user a panoptic view of their OneDrive file system, with all OneDrive files and folders, including even those with no local copies, being visible offline.</p> <p>Despite its all too obvious usefulness, the feature has fallen out of favor with the Windows 10 development team and is nowhere to be found in the latest test build of the upcoming operating system. However, the <a href="" target="_blank">move hasn’t gone down too well with many Windows 10 Technical Preview users</a> who want the company to bring the feature back post-haste.</p> <p>In its defense, Microsoft says it was never “happy with how we built placeholders, and we got clear feedback that some customers were confused (for example, with files not being available when offline), and that some applications didn’t work well with placeholders and that sync reliability was not where we needed it to be.”</p> <p>“The changes we made [in Windows 10 build 9879] are significant. We didn’t just “turn off” placeholders – we’re making fundamental improvements to how Sync works, focusing on reliability in all scenarios, bringing together OneDrive and OneDrive for Business in one sync engine, and making sure we have a model that can scale to unlimited storage,” the company said in response to growing calls for placeholders to be returned, adding that this move is part of a lengthy improvement process that could eventually see the company bring back “key features of placeholders.”</p> <p><em>Image Credit: Windows Blog</em></p> <p><em>Follow Pulkit on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a></em></p> build 9879 onedrive smart files Software windows 10 windows 10 technical preview News Mon, 17 Nov 2014 01:05:57 +0000 Pulkit Chandna 28936 at Microsoft's Promises a Windows 10 Update for All Lumia Windows Phone 8 Devices <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/lumia_1520.jpg" alt="Lumia 1520" title="Lumia 1520" width="228" height="249" style="float: right;" />No Lumia Windows Phone 8 device left behind</h3> <p>This time around, <strong>Microsoft isn't repeating its past mistake and will instead do Lumia phone customers a solid by committing to a Windows 10 update for all Lumia Windows Phone 8 handsets</strong>. Microsoft made the promise in response to a customer's question on Twitter. The customer said he was interested in buying a Lumia 930 phone but wanted to know if it would get the update to Windows 10.</p> <p>"We plan to upgrade all Windows Phone 8 devices to Windows 10," <a href="" target="_blank">Microsoft responded</a>, with a smiling emoticon for good measures.</p> <p>It's not clear when Windows 10 will be finished and ready for deployment, though it's nice to know beforehand that Microsoft won't leave its customer base out in the cold a second time. Microsoft made that mistake when it announced that Windows Phone 7 owners wouldn't be getting an upgrade to Windows Phone 8 due to a kernel change (to Windows NT).</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> lumia microsoft mobile operating system OS Software windows 10 windows 8 News Fri, 14 Nov 2014 21:11:00 +0000 Paul Lilly 28930 at Microsoft's 'Skype for Web' Plugin Lets You Make Calls in Your Browser <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/skype_for_web.jpg" alt="Skype for Web" title="Skype for Web" width="228" height="123" style="float: right;" />Make browser-based calls via Skype using a new plugin</h3> <p>If for whatever reason you don't want to download and install Skype to your PC but are still interested in making calls through the service, you now can (or soon will be able to). <strong>Microsoft today introduced Skype for Web, a beta plugin that allows you to make Skype calls from your browser</strong> without having the download and install the full software package. You can also use it to send and receive chat messages.</p> <p>"Skype for Web makes it quicker and easier than ever before to connect with friends, family and colleagues around the world, for free – directly from," Microsoft announced in a <a href="" target="_blank">blog post</a>. "It’s perfect if you prefer using the web rather than an app: perhaps you’re sitting at a computer that doesn’t already have Skype downloaded. Or maybe you’re on the go and using an internet café or hotel computer whilst on vacation where you can’t download Skype at all. Using Skype for Web makes it more convenient to get to your conversations."</p> <p>At present, Microsoft says Skype for Web works with Internet Explorer, Chrome (on Windows only), Firefox, and Safari web browsers. It may also work on alternative browsers, though these are the ones Microsoft has tested for functionality.</p> <p>Microsoft's slow playing the roll out, similar to how Google does with its new services (like Inbox by Gmail). For right now, Skype for Web is being made available to a "small number of existing and new users" before gradually rolling out to a worldwide audience in the coming months. To see if you've been chosen, look for an invite when you sign in to your Skype account on</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> browser microsoft plugin Skype skype for web Software VOIP News Fri, 14 Nov 2014 16:45:06 +0000 Paul Lilly 28924 at Humble Jumbo Bundle Offers Four Copies of Insurgency <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/insurgency.jpg" alt="Insurgency" title="Insurgency" width="228" height="154" style="float: right;" />More gaming goodness</h3> <p>It's a good week to be a PC gamer, isn't it? just kicked off its <a href="" target="_blank">autumn sale</a> with deep discounts and free games, and if you still want to add to your collection, the <strong>Humble Jumbo Bundle 3 gets you a handful of titles, including four copies of Insurgency</strong> -- one for you to keep and three to share with others. Talk about good timing now that the holiday shopping season is virtually upon us!</p> <p>In addition to the Insurgency pack, you get Tesla Effect: A Tex Murphy Adventure and Always Sometimes Monsters. And if you share a copy of Insurgency, you'll unlock Full Mojo Rampage.</p> <p>At the time of this writing, you can add GRID 2, Blackguards, Euro Track Simulator, and some unnamed games by paying more than the average of $6.10. Shell out $12 or more and you'll also receive Saints Row IV. And if you're into soundtracks, a few of those are available as well.</p> <p>Interested? If so, head over to the <a href="" target="_blank">Humble Bundle website</a> and name your price.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> games humble bundle insurgency Software News Thu, 13 Nov 2014 18:12:04 +0000 Paul Lilly 28903 at Bitdefender Offers Free Adware Removal Tool for Windows PCs <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/bitdefender_adware_removal_tool.jpg" alt="Bitdefender Adware Removal Tool" title="Bitdefender Adware Removal Tool" width="228" height="177" style="float: right;" />Free tool promises to bust a cap in uninvited browser add-ons and other adware</h3> <p>We've praised Bitdefender's Internet Security software on more than one occasion, as it typically performs well in our annual antivirus roundups. The company also offers a <a href="" target="_blank">free antivirus solution</a> for those who don't need a full fledged security suite, and adding to its pro bono portfolio, <strong>Bitdefender just launched a free tool to scan for and rid your system of various kinds of adware</strong>.</p> <p>The new tool is supposed to eliminate annoying apps, adaware, toolbars, and other unwanted browser add-ons, acting as supplementary protection to whichever antivirus solution you're running. It's a nice idea, given that so many installers try to sneak adware onto PCs these days.</p> <p>Do you really need it? That depends on your surfing habits, among other things. Citing a study published by Virus Bulletin, Bitdefender says one in three ad networks may serve malvertising. The research also revealed that almost 7 percent of advertising landing pages were misleading by doling out malware or tricking users with fraud, spam, and phishing tactics.</p> <p>"We decided to use our expertise to create our own adware removal tool, and to offer full-range protection against the whole series of adware-related threats," Bitdefender Senior Product Manager Jonas Selkala <a href="" target="_blank">said</a>. "The tool is backed-up by our #1 awarded anti-malware technologies. It helps users reclaim their computers, by keeping the apps they like, and getting rid of the numerous programs that bug them."</p> <p>The tool scans for things like Adware.SwiftBrowse and Adware.BrowseFox, to name just two. If it finds anything, it will ask your permission before deleting the offending program(s). It also looks for keylogger software and other cruft.</p> <p>We gave the tool a test run and it didn't find anything (no surprise -- we ran it on a somewhat mission critical system). And while it did hit us with an offer for 6 months of Bitdefender Internet Security, we like that it didn't generate misleading findings as a scare tactic into upgrading. As far as we can tell, there's nothing dubious here, just a free program that does what it says (how refreshing is that?).</p> <p>The free tool works with Windows XP on up -- you can grab it <a href="" target="_blank">here</a>.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> adware bitdefender Security Software toolbars News Thu, 13 Nov 2014 15:57:53 +0000 Paul Lilly 28901 at Microsoft Gives Office 365 Subscribers "Clutter" to De-Clutter Outlook <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/clutter.jpg" alt="Clutter" title="Clutter" width="228" height="178" style="float: right;" />De-cluttering your inbox</h3> <p><strong>Microsoft this week started rolling out Clutter to Office 365 business customers</strong> to help them better manage their emails. Previously known as Delve, Microsoft's Clutter tool uses machine learning to de-clutter your inbox by moving lower priority messages into a dedicated folder. In theory, what gets left behind are more urgent emails that need your immediate attention.</p> <p>Clutter works its email management mojo by learning from your actions the types of emails you're most likely to ignore. Using that information, it then begins automatically moving less important messages out of sight as they arrive, though you can still access them any time you want.</p> <p>"It gets smarter over time, learning from your prior actions with similar messages, and assessing things like the type of content and even how you are addressed in the message," Microsoft explains in a <a href="" target="_blank">blog post</a>. "The Clutter experience is personalized to each individual and reflects an email experience that adapts to your actions and preferences without you having to do anything. The information Clutter learns from each user’s actions are only applied to that user’s experience and are not shared with anyone else."</p> <p>Though it's being rolled out right now, Clutter is disabled by default. You can turn it on as soon as it's available, and if you end up not liking how it works, you can turn it back off at any time.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> clutter email inbox microsoft office 365 office graph Outlook productivity Software News Wed, 12 Nov 2014 18:52:57 +0000 Paul Lilly 28895 at Kill Time Playing New Unreal Engine 4 WebGL and Maxwell Apollo 11 Demos <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/ue4_tower_defense.jpg" alt="UE4 Tower Defense Demo" title="UE4 Tower Defense Demo" width="228" height="130" style="float: right;" />Playing with Unreal Engine 4</h3> <p>Epic Games made the decision earlier this year to <a href="">offer up its Unreal Engine 4</a> to anyone and everyone for $19 per month (plus 5 percent of gross revenue resulting from any commercial products you build using UE4), affording game developers of any size and budget a chance to play with a complete and popular game engine. Wondering what you can do with it? To get a taste, <strong>there are two new UE4 demos available, one for HTML5 and the other for Nvidia's Maxwell GPUs</strong>.</p> <p>Starting with the HTML5 demo, it's a tower defense game exported from UE4 to the web. It was ported utilizing Emscripten, a tool that helps developers bring fully native applications to the web by compiling them to asm.js, a highly optimizable subset of JavaScript. In short, it's a fun way to kill some time when the boss isn't around, and it's leaps and bounds more advanced than Minesweeper. You can check it out at <a href="" target="_blank">Mozilla's Demo Studio</a>.</p> <p>The second demo is only for people running one of Nvidia's new Maxwell-based GeForce GTX 980 or GTX 970 graphics cards. It's a downloadable demo powered by UE4 and intended to show how light from the moon's surface illuminated Aldrin, which in turn Nvidia says proves the authenticity of photos taken from the moon landing.</p> <p>"View the scene with direct and indirect lighting; toggle on Armstrong to see how his spacesuit affects the play of light; shift the position of the sun or the camera; and adjust the camera exposure," Nvidia says.</p> <p>You can download the 470MB demo file <a href="!/apollo-11" target="_blank">here</a>.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> apoloo 11 games maxwell nvidia Software ue4 unreal engine 4 webgl News Tue, 11 Nov 2014 18:38:22 +0000 Paul Lilly 28888 at AMD Catalyst 14.11.1 Beta Driver Now Available to Download <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/radeon_graphics_ac.jpg" alt="Radeon Graphics Assassin's Creed Unity" title="Radeon Graphics Assassin's Creed Unity" width="228" height="192" style="float: right;" />Beta driver boosts performance in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare and Assassin's Creed Unity</h3> <p>AMD Radeon graphics card owners had to sit back and watch as Nvidia released not one, but two WHQL certified driver releases in less than a week, one of which included performance tweaks for <a href="">Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare</a> and the other adding <a href="">Assassin's Creed Unity</a> optimizations to the mix. If you've pitched a tent in AMD's camp, you can stop pounding sand now -- <strong>AMD's Catalyst 14.11.1 beta driver is now available</strong> with performance enhancements for both titles.</p> <p>The standard disclaimer applies -- this is beta software we're talking about, so it could be buggy. If you game on a mission critical machine or otherwise have an aversion to even small risks, sit back and wait for the gold driver release, it shouldn't be far behind.</p> <p>For everyone else, Catalyst 14.11.1 beta is supposed to net up to a 30 percent performance increase in CoD:AW with FXAA and lower game resolutions, as well as introduce a CrossFire Profile update for improved performance when running multiple GPUs. And in Assassin's Creed Unity, single GPU performance gets a performance bump, along with a CrossFire Profile of its own.</p> <p>If you've been noticing occasional corruption in CoD:AW while running CrossFire, Catalyst 14.11.1 beta should help with that as well.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Driver Download</a><br /><a href="" target="_blank">Release Notes</a></p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> 14.11.1 amd assassin's creed unity beta call of duty: advanced warfare catalyst driver games Software News Tue, 11 Nov 2014 18:00:00 +0000 Paul Lilly 28887 at First Patch for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is Coming Soon <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/kevin_spacey_patches_revised.jpg" alt="Kevin Spacey Patches" title="Kevin Spacey Patches" width="228" height="170" style="float: right;" />Kevin Spacey and company be buggin', yo!</h3> <p>This is one of those cases where it's not okay to shoot the messenger (is it ever?), but in case you were wondering, <strong>a patch for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is coming soon</strong>. Developer Sledgehammer Games says so, as does Captain Obvious, who points out that post-release patches for major titles are as common as post-releases patches for major titles (he's a smart one, that Captain Obvious).</p> <p>What's of more interest is exactly what the patch will fix. Here's a look:</p> <ul> <li>Prestige reset issues, including emblems and challenges.</li> <li>Adjustment to the in-game chat names notifications placement.</li> <li>Fix for weapon reloads counting as speed reloads in certain circumstances.</li> <li>Connectivity optimizations.</li> <li>Fix for stats accumulating towards leaderboards after prestiging.</li> <li>Adjustment to challenges to unlock Camos for weapons.</li> <li>Fix for round-based game modes, affecting Win/Loss ratios.</li> <li>Implemented ability to unlock eSports Rule options in Private Match.</li> </ul> <p>Some good stuff there, and as a bonus, there's even a canned response from Activision regarding the status of dedicated server support.</p> <p>"Advanced Warfare employs game servers hosted at data centers globally on all platforms and listen servers as part of our proprietary matchmaking system. Our goal is to ensure the best possible connection and greatest gameplay experience regardless of location and time of day," Activision said while speaking into a can.</p> <p>In exchange with putting up with some early bugs, Sledgehammer Games activated DoubleXP as a token of its appreciation, so enjoy that.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> call of duty: advanced warfare games patch sledgehammer Software News Mon, 10 Nov 2014 22:14:55 +0000 Paul Lilly 28878 at Ubisoft Reveals Minimum and Recommended PC Specs for Far Cry 4 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/far_cry_4_0.jpg" alt="Far Cry 4" title="Far Cry 4" width="228" height="176" style="float: right;" />Here's what you'll need to enter Kyrat</h3> <p>There's a vast open world coming your way later this month, and it's filled with monkeys and tigers and bears, oh my! We're of course talking about Kyrat, a fictional region in the Himalayas that serves as the setting for Ubisoft's forthcoming Far Cry 4. There will be lots of animals, enemies, weapons, and vehicles, but before you think about getting acquianted with any of them, <strong>here's a look at Far Cry 4's system requirements</strong>.</p> <p>Starting with the minimum set of specs you'll need, you're looking at the following:</p> <ul> <li>OS: Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8/8.1 (64-bit versions only)</li> <li>Processor: Intel Core i5 750 @ 2.5GHz or AMD Phenom II X4 955 @ 3.2GHz</li> <li>Memory: 4GB</li> <li>Video Card: Nvidia GeForce GTX 460 or AMD Radeon HD 5850 (1GB VRAM)</li> <li>DirectX: Version 11</li> <li>Hard Drive: 30GB available space</li> <li>Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c compatible sound card with latest drivers</li> </ul> <p>Nothing real earth shattering there. Now here's a look at what Ubisoft recommends (labeled as "Optimal"):</p> <ul> <li>OS: Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8/8.1 (64-bit versions only)</li> <li>Processor: Intel Core i5 2400S @ 2.5GHz or AMD FX-8350 @ 4GHz or better</li> <li>Memory: 8GB</li> <li>Video Card: Nvidia GeForce GTX 680 or AMD Radeon R9 290X or better (2GB VRAM)</li> <li>DirectX: Version 11</li> <li>Hard Drive: 30GB available space</li> <li>Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c compatible sound card with latest drivers</li> </ul> <p>Far Cry 4 is set to release on November 18 for PC, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation 4. If interesting, there's still time to <a href="" target="_blank">place your pre-order</a> and receive a free upgrade to the Limited Edition.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> far cry 4 games pc Software ubisoft News Fri, 07 Nov 2014 18:22:44 +0000 Paul Lilly 28861 at Security Firm AVG Sees Rash of Suitors Emerge <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/avg_laptop.jpg" alt="AVG Laptop" title="AVG Laptop" width="228" height="149" style="float: right;" />Software security makers are suddenly hot acquisition targets</h3> <p>One of the names that always comes up when discussing free antivirus software is AVG Technologies. The company also offers a line of paid products for those who want more robust protection and features, and after 13 years in the business, has built up a market capitalization of around $930 million. AVG's also made itself attractive to suitors -- <strong>it's being reported that potential buyers have approached AVG</strong> amid a wave of deals for security software makers.</p> <p>Citing "people familiar with the matter," <em>The Wall Street Journal</em> <a href="" target="_blank">reports</a> that multiple private equity firms and at least one technology company have all approached AVG about a takeover. These are all unsolicited bids, and though nothing is imminent, if a deal does take place, it's likely to happen in the coming months.</p> <p>Security software is sexy right now, and AVG is a recognizable brand with quite a few assets. Indeed, AVG has been increasing its brand value through acquisitions of its own. It's an ongoing strategy, with AVG recently announcing plans to acquire mobile security outfit Location Labs as well as Normal Safeground, <em>WSJ</em> says.</p> <p>The play for security software is likely to intensify as cyber attacks increase in frequency and sophistication. And with AVG, it's a relatively affordable option, considering that Intel paid nearly $7.7 billion to <a href="" target="_blank">acquire McAfee</a>.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> antivirus AVG Security Software News Fri, 07 Nov 2014 16:05:11 +0000 Paul Lilly 28859 at You Won't Pay a Dime for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt's 16 Pieces of DLC <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/witcher_3.jpg" alt="The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt" title="The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt" width="228" height="149" style="float: right;" />Lots of DLC, and it will all be free!</h3> <p>If anyone in the gaming community deserves a virtual fist bump today, it's Marcin Iwiński, co-founder and joint CEO of CD Projekt Red. <strong>In an open letter to gamers, Iwiński revealed that there will be 16 pieces of DLC for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and that each one will be free</strong>. It doesn't matter what platform you buy the game for, nor do you have to pre-order the game or pick up a special edition to qualify for the free DLC.</p> <p>"We love games. We love collecting them, playing them, and everything connected to that experience. Every time we reach out for a new release, we expect to be taken care of. We expect support if we encounter any problems, we love updates constantly improving the experience, and we feel really special when we receive free content that gives us more than we initially paid for. It doesn’t have to be huge, it can be an awesome skin for a character, or an extra sword, or armor," <a href="" target="_blank">Iwiński said</a>.</p> <p>"Unfortunately this treatment is quite rare these days. As gamers, we nowadays have to hold on tight to our wallets, as surprisingly right after release, lots of tiny pieces of tempting content materialize with a steep price tag attached. Haven’t we just paid a lot of cash for a brand new game?," Iwiński continued.</p> <p>The first two pieces of DLC will drop as a bundle on February 25th and consist of the Temerian Armor Set (horse armor included) and a Beard and Hairstyle Set for Geralt. Following that, two-pack bundles of DLC will be published every week, starting with a new quest and an alternative look for on the game's main characters.</p> <p>Granted, this could be a gimmick consisting of mostly crappy add-ons, but if that's the case, the rapid release schedule will reveal as much soon enough. And since a pre-order isn't required, you can always wait a few weeks to see how things pan out if you're banking on the DLC putting you over the edge.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> cd projeckt red DLC games marcin iwinski Software the witcher 3: wild hunt News Thu, 06 Nov 2014 20:00:46 +0000 Paul Lilly 28854 at