Subject: General Tech | October 19, 2011 - 01:02 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: gaming, bethesda, elder scrolls, skyrim
For those anxiously awaiting the arrival of the next instalment of the Elder Scrolls, Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN has something you might want to see. Not one, not two, but three whole previews of the game as one of their lucky reviewers plays through a few hours of the game. This latest instalment features our hapless previewer sneaking around in a cave full of bandits in the hopes of determining if that object he saw in the corner of the cave was indeed an anvil. Did he succeed? Read on to find out.
"Last week, I played three hours of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, at my leisure and free to go and do whatever I could. I’m telling a series of anecdotes based on what I saw and did; here’s the first, here is the second and below is the cowardly third."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- "I think they're mad": Inside a 48 hour battle to build the best video game @ Ars Technica
- Star Wars: The Old Republic flashpoint, warzone details announced @ Ars Technica
- Battlefield 3: Desktop PC Platform Recharged @ Benchmark Reviews
- A Look at Beamdog's PC Game Digital Distribution Service @ Techgage
- Ace Combat: Assault Horizon @ HEXUS
- Wot I Think: Might & Magic Heroes VI @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Monumental: Kairo @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Week in gaming: indie developer offices, Forza 4 review, Aliens: Infestation @ Ars Technica
- Rage Against the (Benchmark) Machine @ AnandTech
- Skylanders: a toy-based RPG for kids (that adults will love) @ Ars Technica
- FIFA 12 PlayStation 3 @ Tweaktown
- Forza Motorsport 4 Review @ Tech-Review
Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Graphics Cards | September 22, 2011 - 02:26 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: skyrim, rage, pc gaming, diablo iii, consoles, battlefield 3, batman
During a conference call with NVIDIA this week some interesting information from DFC Intelligence, "a strategic market research and consulting firm focused on interactive entertainment and the emerging video game, online game, interactive entertainment and portable game markets" according to their webiste, was revealed that paints the world of PC gaming in a much more positive light than previously expected. By anyone's account, the coming fall and winter release schedules are going to be packed with fantastic releases:
Several of these games, including DOTA 2, Diablo III and The Old Republic are going to be PC-only titles with others (like Battlefield 3, RAGE and Skyrim) that will without question look better and play better on the PC. This sets up a great time for hardware companies like NVIDIA and AMD to sell system upgrades in order to maximize user experience in these titles.
And while most gaming pundits have been telling us for years that PC gaming is dying, the report from DFC tells a different story:
Based on revenue alone, estimates show PC gaming to surpass the sales of console games by 2014 with steady growth. How can this be? Have you stopped by your local Gamestop or Best Buy and seen the shelf space devoted to PC games compared to that devoted to the Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and Wii?
Here is the key and it is something we have always suspected but haven't really been able to nail down: packaged sales are dying while digital distribution methods and new monetary game mechanics are increasing. Because the industry's most prolific digital sales platform is notoriously tight with sales numbers (Valve's Steam), we have to depend on third party reports from DFC and others. According to this chart, the digital sales of gaming on the PC are skyrocketing and will take PC revenues past consoles in just a few years time.
One note here: this does NOT just include downloaded games in the traditional sense. Instead, new pay models like the monthly subscriptions of World of Warcraft and "free to play" models that charge for upgrades and additional features are really going to be pushing the industry forward. Looking at titles like League of Legends that claims 15 million PC gamers worldwide and others like World of Tanks and World of Planes, this trend is growing and though it differs from the "traditional" PC gaming mentality, it appears to be dominating our future.
Many a PC gamer has lamented about the "console port" generation of games and this graph demonstrates how the power of the PC and the power of the current generation of consoles have diverged over the years. By NVIDIA's estimates we are now about 8-9x the performance level of the Xbox 360 when compared to the GTX 580 that currently sells for about $450. But if you look at the quality difference between something like Deus Ex: Human Revolution on the PC and the consoles, you do NOT see anything close to that kind of improvement. Game developers have always had their hands tied by having to develop for the lowest common platform and while the PC market (when dominant) meant an upgrade cycle of 2-3 years we are now hitting a 6th year of static console gaming power.
If we want to see games that look like THIS, a screenshot from the Unreal Engine Samaritan demo, then we need to boost the baseline and soon.
But the numbers that DFC Intelligence provided give hope to those die-hards in the enthusiast and PC gaming community that with the expanding reach and positive growth of the PC market as a whole, developers will see this as their chance to move the medium forward beyond the status quo.
Last week we were in Dallas, Texas covering Quakecon 2011 as well as hosting our very own PC Perspective Hardware Workshop. While we had over 1100 attendees at the event and had a blast judging the case mod contest, one of the highlights of the event is always getting to sit down with John Carmack and pick his brain about topics of interest. We got about 30 minutes of John's time over the weekend and pestered him with questions about the GPU hardware race, how Intel's intergrated graphics (and AMD Fusion) fit in the future of PCs, the continuing debate about ray tracing, rasterization, voxels and infinite detail engines, key technologies for PC gamers like multi-display engines and a lot more!
One of our most read articles of all time was our previous interview with Carmack that focused a lot more on the ray tracing and rasterization debate. If you never read that, much of it is still very relevant today and is worth reading over.
This year though John has come full circle on several things including ray tracing, GPGPU workloads and even the advantages that console hardware has over PC gaming hardware.
Introduction, 20 years of id Software, Skyrim, Prey 2
To commemorate 20 years in the gaming industry, several senior members of id Software came together for a “20 Years of id Software” panel to relive some of the history and mystery surrounding the company. John Carmack, Todd Hollenshead, Kevin Cloud and Tim Willits gave Quakecon gamers a fresh and candid look at id Software's humble beginnings and an in-depth view of their philsophies on PC, console, and mobile gaming.
During the question and answer session, the panel was asked about their advice and opinions on becoming an artist and programmer and their vision of the future of PC and console gaming. At the end of the panel discussion, the id Software team thanked the Quake community for their continued support as well as the Quakecon volunteers for their commitment to making the annual event a success every year.
One pleasant surprise was having G4TV’s Morgan Webb as the panel moderator for the event. Webb was her usual smart and sassy self and helped make the event fun and lively for everyone. Overall, the event was very engaging and we got to see the id Software team in a different light that most gamers don't get to see from today's game developers.