Subject: Graphics Cards | February 2, 2013 - 02:30 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: tomb raider, never settle reloaded, never settle, Crysis 3, bundle, bioshock infinite, bioshock, amd
You might remember over the holiday season of 2012 that AMD had a simply amazing bundle of games to entice PC gamers to choose purchasing Radeon graphics cards instead of GeForce. That bundle included Medal of Honor, Sleeping Dogs, Hitman: Absolution and Far Cry 3. We were stoked to see that kind of comittment to the gamer and even did a set of three game streams with AMD on each games' release.
Well after a behind-the-scenes battle that was finally decided just about two weeks ago, AMD is ready to announce the "Never Settle Reloaded" bundle that might actually be MORE impressive based on the games included.
First up is the reboot of Tomb Raider, a fresh look at the Lara Croft character that I got to get hands on at an event in Toronto last year. Due out on March 5th, the visuals in this game are damn good.
Bioshock infinite is the third game in the acclaimed series and has a few DirectCompute additions to the game engine code. Release is set on March 26th.
DMC Devil May Cry is included for the APAC region (instead of Tomb Raider).
And the biggest name in the bundle is no doubt Crysis 3 - a game that many PC gamers have been looking forward to and one that promises to push gaming performance on high-end GPUs to their limits. I was playing this on a GTX 680 recently (the MP beta) and couldn't get more than 40 FPS at 1080p and Ultra settings.
So how doese the bundle break down?
If you buy a single Radeon HD 7970 or HD 7950 you'll be able to get keys for both Crysis 3 and Bioshock Infinite, completely free! HD 7800 series buyers will get both Bioshock Infinite and Tomb Raider.
Just to make things MORE interesting, if you invest in a set of HD 7900 cards for CrossFire, or even a dual-GPU HD 7900 card like the Devil 13, you'll get Crysis 3, Bioshock Infinite, Tomb Raider, Far Cry 3, Hitman: Absolution and Sleeping Dogs. That is 6 full PC games worth at least $300 that you'll get keys for just for picking AMD's Radeon cards over NVIDIA's GeForce.
A not-so-subtle jab at the competition...
So there you have it, the Never Settle Reloaded bundle. This iteration doesn't include anything for HD 7700 series cards but I think most enthusiasts are going to stay in the HD 7850 and above range of options anyway.
NVIDIA has definitely fallen behind when it comes to these kinds of deals for PC gamers and I want to know what YOU think - do these bundles affect your purchasing decision? We heard from AMD that at least one major reseller of PC hardware saw an "order of magnitude" increase in sales during the holiday season with the original Never Settle bundle and they even won a Newegg award for best marketing campaign.
Get ready for game streams again as well - we'll be hosting a few of them in February and March with more hardware and game keys to give away!
UPDATE: These deals are live right now! You can find a list of the HD 7970 cards at Newegg.com, starting at just $379 and even the HD 7950 cards starting at $295 that come with Crysis 3 and Bioshock Infinite keys! If you are looking more in the HD 7800 series range, you can find HD 7870s starting at just $209 with Bioshock and Tomb Raider keys!
Subject: General Tech | January 15, 2013 - 02:17 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: pc gaming, interview, bioshock infinite
Despite the yearly proclamations of death, PC gaming is still alive and kicking. 2012 saw a number of developers put more emphasis back on the PC in multi-platform development schedules. It seems that Irrational Games also realizes the advantages of the PC platform with Bioshock Infinite. In an interview with Ken Levine and Chris Kline of Irrational Games, the developers told IGN what the company is doing to develop the PC version of the game. While they encountered several issues during development of the first Bioshock, Irrational Games is giving Bioshock Infinite its own team of on-call programmers to develop the PC version.
Reportedly, the developers underestimated the time and effort required to develop the first Bioshock game using DirectX 10 technology and a PC-optimized UI. In the interview with IGN, Irrational Games’ Technical Director Chris Kline stated that “this time around things were done differently.” Irrational Game has a team of programmers, artists, designers, and UI specialists dedicated to the PC development track along with the team working on the console versions.
The PC version of Bioshock Infinite will be able to take full advantage of the higher-end hardware in computers. The game will come on 3 discs and feature:
- Additional objects and particles versus consoles
- Longer viewing distances
- Higher quality textures
- High precision color buffer
DirectX 11 features:
- Contact hardening shadows
- HD ambient occlusion
- Diffusion depth of field
- Compute Shader
- FXAA using Shader Model 5
According to the developers, medium quality settings on the PC will be equivalent to the console versions of the game. From there, the PC will have high, very high, and ultra settings that will further ramp up visual quality beyond what the current generation of consoles are capable of. Specifically, the PC system requirements for Bioshock Infinite are as follows:
|Component||Minimum Requirements||Recommended Requirements|
|CPU||Intel Core 2 Duo @ 2.4GHz or AMD Athlon X2 @ 2.7GHz||Quad-core processor|
|GPU||ATI Radeon HD 3870 or NVIDIA 8800GT||AMD Radeon HD 6950 or NVIDIA GTX 560|
|HDD||20GB free||30GB free|
|Sound Card||DirectX Compatible||DirectX Compatible|
|Operating System||Windows Vista Service Pack 2 (32-bit)||Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (64-bit)|
It is refreshing to see developers respect the gaming platform that starting it all and is driving the industry (in hardware at least), and take PC gaming seriously. Here's hoping Bioshock Infinite is a success. Considering it is due out on March 26th, 2013 gamers do not have long to wait to find out how well the PC version was done.
IGN has the full interview with Chris Kline and Kevin Levine that is worth reading to find out the developers stance on the future of PC gaming, the Oculus Rift, and even Valve's upcoming Steam Box!