Archived News:

Wednesday, Jan 09, 2019

The Division 2 Blows Off Steam; Specs Revealed

Ubisoft offers system specifications and new details for Tom Clancy's The Division 2, their upcoming open-world online shooter. They also announce the game is now available for preorder from the Epic Games Store and the Ubisoft Store, a brief list of etailers that noticeably excludes Steam. Sure enough, Polygon confirms that at this time Ubisoft has no plans to sell the game on Steam, presumably to avoid a higher royalty rate. A Ubisoft representative replied to their inquiry thusly: "We have no plans currently on releasing Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 on Steam." Those who do preorder the game will get access to a private beta, and those who do not still have a chance to be selected to participate if they register here. They illustrate the news with a PC features overview trailer where the developers show off the game and discuss its PC cred. Word is: "The Division 2 is rolling towards its March 15 release date, and the development team at Ubisoft Massive has fully optimized the game for PC. The PC version of the game includes a host of features, including uncapped frame rate, uncapped display resolution, full UI and HUD customization, multiscreen and widescreen support, variable refresh rate support, and HDR support." They offer four levels of system specifications:

Minimum – 1080p | 30 FPS

  • OS: Windows 7 | 8 | 10
  • CPU: AMD FX-6350 | Intel Core I5-2500K
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • GPU: AMD Radeon R9 270 | Nvidia Geforce GTX 670
  • VRAM: 2 GB
  • DIRECT X: DirectX 11 | 12

Recommended – 1080p | 60 FPS

  • OS: Windows 7 | 8 | 10
  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 1500X | Intel Core I7-4790
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • GPU: AMD RX 480 | Nvidia Geforce GTX 970
  • VRAM: 4 GB
  • DIRECT X: DirectX 11 | 12

High – 1440p | 60 FPS

  • OS: Windows 7 | 8 | 10
  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 1700 | Intel Core I7-6700K
  • RAM: 16 GB
  • GPU: AMD RX Vega 56 | Nvidia Geforce GTX 1070
  • VRAM: 8 GB
  • DIRECT X: DirectX 11 | 12

Elite – 4K | 60 FPS

  • OS: Windows 7 | 8 | 10
  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 2700X | Intel Core I9-7900X
  • RAM: 16 GB
  • GPU: AMD Radeon VII | Nvidia Geforce RTX 2080 TI
  • VRAM: 11 GB
  • DIRECT X: DirectX 11 | 12

Continue here to read the full story.

AMD Radeon VII Graphics Cards Next Month

At CES today, AMD unveiled new Radeon VII graphics cards coming next month, reports AnandTech, who say these high-end 7nm Vega-based cards will run you about $699 USD starting February 7th. Here's part of their take on this:
Today’s announcement is interesting in that it’s just as much about technology as it is the 3D chess that is the market positioning fights between AMD and NVIDIA. Technically AMD isn’t announcing any new GPUs here – regular readers will correctly guess that we’re talking about Vega 20 – but the situation in the high-end market has played out such that there’s now a window for AMD to bring their cutting-edge Vega 20 GPU to the consumer market, and this is a window AMD is looking to take full advantage of.

At a high level then, the Radeon VII employs a slightly cut down version of AMD’s Vega 20 GPU. With 60 of 64 CUs enabled, it actually has a few less CUs than AMD’s previous flagship, the Radeon RX Vega 64, but it makes up for the loss with much higher clockspeeds and a much more powerful memory and pixel throughput backend. As a result, AMD says that the Radeon VII should beat their former flagship by anywhere between 20% and 42% depending on the game (with an overall average of 29%), which on paper would be just enough to put the card in spitting distance of NVIDIA’s RTX 2080, and making it a viable and competitive 4K gaming card.

Pumped BMX Pro Next Month

Are you pumped? Pumped enough to go pro? Then you're set for Pumped BMX Pro, a new sequel to Pumped BMX + that's set to pump (*clap!*) you up on February 7th for Windows, Xbox One, and Switch. This "momentum-based BMX freestyler" is from one-man studio Yeah Us! Games, and word is the sequel "takes the action to the next level with a beautiful new look, a fresh new physics engine and more content than ever before." This trailer gets down with the radness, and here are some details:
Choose from 15 riders with pre-designed bikes, or come up with your own in the easy to use bike creator. Once you’re ready to hit the tracks, get creative with more than 40 trick options and combo your way through over 60 insane levels, maintaining your flow to ensure you reach the next obstacle wheels first instead of face first. For the best riders out there, there are over 200 challenges to beat. Have you got what it takes to go pro? High score chasers can compete on the global leaderboards, to see if they can thrash at the same level as the best riders in the world!
Continue here to read the full story.

Gatherings & Competitions

Into the Black

Link of the Day: ASUS left us unsupervised with their water cooled graphics card... It's easier to get forgiveness than permission. Thanks Hypothermia.

Lovecraft's Untold Stories This Month

Blini Games announces January 31st is the official release date for Lovecraft's Untold Stories, their action/RPG/roguelite that's currently in Early Access on Steam. They say this will launch with localized support for English, Russian, and Spanish, with other languages to be added in the "near future" (they also note the Chinese version is also available separately on Steam). The official trailer shows off gameplay, and the announcement provides more background on this:
After a successful period of 6 months in Early Access, the game is now complete and ready for its full release. Follow the path of five different characters (the Detective, the Professor, the Ghoul, the Thief, and the Witch) in their adventures against the Great Old Ones, their minions, and their worshippers. Explore their different storylines inspired by Lovecraft's stories that cross randomly generated levels such as the hospital, the jungle or the port city, and look for the clues you need to face terrible foes like Dagon, Shub-Niggurath, Azathoth, Nyarlathotep, and Great Cthulhu.
Continue here to read the full story.

The Textorcist Next Month

Publisher Headup and developer Morbidware announce a February 14th release date for The Textorcist on Steam, so this mashup of a bullet hell shooter and a typing game is set to add some exorcism to the romance of Valentine's Day. You can see the game in action in the previously released announcement trailer. Here's word on this word game:
Life as an exorcist is hard: You get insulted, spit and puked at or even cursed - and this every single day. But Ray Bibbia, main protagonist of The Textorcist, takes it to the chin. As a private exorcist and certified badass he knows how to put demons back into their place.

On February 14th, Headup and Morbidware will open Rome's first Private Exorcist Agency and there's enough work waiting for him. In The Textorcist you only have to do two things: type and dodge. Sounds easy but proves much harder in practice. This game will put you to the limits of your cognitive and body coordination capacities. And it will bring you the great feeling of kicking some demon ass.

Your mission is to rid the world of every evil spirit and send them back to hell. You banish them by typing out the (un)holy passages from his exorcism book, down to the last letter.

Any spelling mistake you make will set you back; but to make things really interesting you also have to dodge your enemies' relentless bullet barrage at the same time. Welcome to (Bullet) Hell! But obviously this is still not enough of a challenge for you, which is why later on in the game the texts will be in Latin, as is proper for such a (un)holy man of the church as Ray Bibbia.

As first influencer gameplays have proven, the action-packed gameplay and its dark humour brings players tons of fun. Be one of the first to play this fresh hell of a game and don’t miss its exhilarating soundtrack, composed by GosT! So add The Textorcist to your Wishlist. Now.
Continue here to read the full story.

EVGA NU Audio Card Announced

EVGA announces the EVGA NU audio card, reminding us of the days when every gaming PC had a dedicated add-in card for audio (preferably both Ad Lib and SoundBlaster compatible). The EVGA NU is the outcome of a collaboration of Audio Note, a U.K. company with 30 years of experience in the high-end audio business. Those interested will not have to wait, as they say to expect these to be available one week from today on January 16th. Nowadays many are content to use the integrated audio on their computer's motherboard, so this video and the announcement tries to make the case for going beyond this:
With the EVGA NU Audio Card you can experience:

  • True Audio - Hear audio as it is
  • Lifelike Gaming - Improved and precise enemy detection, and increased immersion.
  • Studio and Audiophile Grade - Hear all the subtle sounds, emotional dialog, and powerful explosions to keep you on the edge of your seat.
  • Ambient RGB Lighting - Set the RGB lighting to match your mood, or use Audio Reactive Lighting options to let your audio control the effect.

A Completely Different Gaming and Multimedia Experience

High-quality audio is built on a simple premise: everything must be solid from start to finish. One weak link in the chain can turn a symphony into a cacophony. The NU Audio Card is designed to maximize the performance in every major component section:

  • Analog - Detail. Clarity. Reality.
    • The analog section is responsible for returning audio without distortion and fine-tuning the sound to ensure it remains as faithful to the source as possible.
  • Digital - From Source to Playback
    • The digital side of the EVGA NU Audio Card is responsible for processing your source audio at the preferred format or converting the audio to and from analog, without affecting the internal makeup of the source audio.
  • Power - Good Clean Power
    • Powered by Specialized Audio Note (UK), Ltd. audio-grade capacitors and audio-grade resistors, your audio remains noise- and distortion-free as it passes through to your choice of speakers or headphones.

Continue here to read the full story.

The Walking Dead Broken Toys Trailer

Skybound Games offers this trailer from The Walking Dead Final Season: "Broken Toys," the project formerly known as Telltale's The Walking Dead before Telltale died. As they explain, this paves the way for next week's release:
Skybound Games has just released a new trailer for "Broken Toys", the forthcoming Episode 3 in The Final Season of Telltale's The Walking Dead.

Broken Toys will release on January 15th on the Epic Games Store, Nintendo Switch, PS4, and Xbox One.

You can view the trailer, which includes a sneak peek at the Broken Toys narrative, on YouTube here:
Continue here to read the full story.

Star Trek Online Mirror of Discovery This Month

Perfect World Entertainment reminds us that Star Trek Online's ongoing mission is still underway after almost nine years with the announcement that a new Mirror of Discovery update is coming to the MMORPG two weeks from today on January 23rd. Here's an official teaser trailer along with word on the new content, which ties into Star Trek: Discovery:
When Mirror of Discovery launches later this month, fans will come face-to-face with Captain Killy (voiced by Mary Wiseman from the show), the ruthless leader of the Terran Empire’s I.S.S. Discovery and mirror version of everyone’s favorite Starfleet Cadet, Sylvia Tilly. Players will finally learn what happened to Killy and her crew after their Terran starship crossed into the Prime Universe while exploring new content, including two new Discovery-themed featured episodes, anniversary challenges and an update to the game’s Endeavors System.

Fans of Star Trek: Discovery may remember the episode “Despite Yourself,” when the U.S.S. Discovery and its crew were inexplicably warped into the Mirror Universe in the year 2256, while its counterpart, the I.S.S. Discovery, was believed to be destroyed by the Klingons at the same time. Mirror of Discovery opens in the year 2410, when Captains travel to the forest planet of Pahvo amidst an ion storm that transports a group of time travelling survivors from the I.S.S Discovery. This includes the one and only Captain Sylvia “Killy” Tilly (voiced by Mary Wiseman), the Terran ship’s ruthless leader who slaughtered her way to the top. This is an exciting moment for Star Trek: Discovery fans, as the real Killy was never seen on the show, except when she was imitated by her Prime self, Ensign Sylvia Tilly. Captains will now have the opportunity to meet the Slayer of Sorna Prime herself, while uncovering what really happened to the legendary Terran Crossfield-class starship that fateful day in 2256.

These events all transpire across two new featured episodes in Star Trek Online, “Para Pacem” and “The Illusion of Communication.” The missions allow Captains hailing from all of the game’s factions to explore the mysterious woods of Pahvo, while trying to stop Captain Killy from destroying the planet. Mirror of Discovery also brings back the Omega Molecule Stabilization event, in celebration of Star Trek Online’s 9th anniversary. Players can collect Omega particles scattered across the galaxy to earn the new T6 Vulcan Scout Ship, which was featured in Star Trek: Discovery. The update also introduces the new Personal Endeavors System, which offers players daily challenges to complete for account-wide performance boosts. A full list of features will be provided when Mirror of Discovery launches on PC January 23.
Continue here to read the full story.

Japanese Final Fantasy Digital Card Game Announced

SQUARE ENIX announces the Final Fantasy Digital Card Game, an upcoming CCG adaptation of their RPG series. The announcement is in Japanese, but Siliconera offers details in English, but they note that a version of the game for western territories has not been announced. Here's word from their coverage:
In Final Fantasy Digital Card Game you’ll make your own decks consisting of various characters from the Final Fantasy series as well as numerous summons in pixel art form.

There will be a closed beta test that takes place from January 18, 2019 to January 25. Its host, Yahoo! Japan, will accept closed beta test sign-ups until January 15. You can register here.

Final Fantasy Digital Card Game launches in Japan in 2019 for PC, iOS, and Android.

Morning Crowdfunding Roundup

Morning Previews

Hardware Reviews

  • Lynktec Bolt Smart Car Mount and Qi Wireless Charger on Big Bruin.
  • Corsair Harpoon RGB Wireless Mouse on TechPowerUp.
  • Corsair M65 RGB Elite Tunable FPS Gaming Mouse on TweakTown.
  • HONOR 10 Lite Smartphone on Tech ARP.
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 Founders Edition 6 GB Graphics Card on TechPowerUp.
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