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Tuesday, Oct 29, 2019

EA Games Returning to Steam

After a couple of teases, Electronic Arts and Valve Announce they have kissed and made up, and that EA games are returning to Steam, where you will also be able to buy EA Access Subscriptions. They kick things off by offering pre-purchases of STAR WARS Jedi: Fallen Order on Steam. Here are the details on their reconciliation:
Today, Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA) and Valve announced a partnership to put EA games into the hands of players on Steam. EA Access will launch on Steam next spring, giving players another place to subscribe to a great collection of EA games and member benefits on PC. The first new EA game launching on Steam will arrive on November 15, when the eagerly anticipated title, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order™, debuts worldwide. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is available to pre-order on Steam beginning today.

“This is the start of an exciting partnership with Valve that will see us innovating for PC players around the world,” said Andrew Wilson, CEO of Electronic Arts. “Through our subscription, great games and more, we’re excited to bring players in the Steam and Origin communities together with access to the best games, whenever and wherever they want to play.”

“This is a good day for gamers,” said Valve’s Gabe Newell. “We’re excited to partner with EA to not only bring their great games and subscription service to Steam, but also to open up our communities to each other in an unprecedented way that will benefit players and developers around the world.”

EA Access will give subscribers access to a broad portfolio of EA games, valuable member benefits and discounts on full game purchases, expansions, in-game items and more. EA has been offering subscription services since 2014, and currently reaches players on the Xbox One, PlayStation®4 and Origin™ platforms.

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order™ - the new single player, third-person action adventure Star Wars™ game from Respawn and EA - launches to players worldwide on November 15, 2019. For more information on the game, visit https://www.ea.com/games/starwars/jedi-fallen-order. To pre-order the game on Steam, visit https://store.steampowered.com/app/1172380.

In the coming months, players on Steam will be able to play other games such as The Sims™ 4 and Unravel™ 2. Multiplayer games like Apex Legends™, FIFA 20 and Battlefield™ V will become available next year, and players on Origin and Steam will have the ability to play together.

Death Stranding Coming to PC

Kojima Productions tweets that Death Stranding will not be stranded on consoles, and that the action game will come to PC early next summer. Word is: "Furthermore, KOJIMA PRODUCTIONS is happy to announce that DEATH STRANDING will be coming to PC in early summer of 2020!!" For a description of Hideo Kojima's first game since his departure from Konami, we turn to the PS4 Death Stranding Listing, which also offers videos and screenshots:
Tomorrow Is In Your Hands
After the collapse of civilization, Sam Bridges must journey across a ravaged landscape crawling with otherworldly threats to save mankind from the brink of extinction. From legendary game creator Hideo Kojima comes an all-new, genre-defying experience for the PlayStation®4 system.

Starring Norman Reedus, Mads Mikkelsen, Léa Seydoux, and Lindsay Wagner.

A Journey to Reconnect a Fractured Society
In the near future, mysterious explosions have rocked the planet, setting off a series of supernatural events known as the Death Stranding. With spectral creatures plaguing the landscape, and the planet on the verge of a mass extinction, it’s up to Sam Bridges to journey across the ravaged wasteland and save mankind from impending annihilation.

Ghost Recon Breakpoint Overhaul Plans

A post from Ubisoft explains a "radical and immersive" overhaul they are working on for Ghost Recon Breakpoint (thanks VG247). Word is: "In line with this vision and the feedback we received, we are working on a more radical and immersive version of Ghost Recon Breakpoint. We also want to let you tailor your experience to the way you want to enjoy the game, since freedom of choice has always been part of the Ghost Recon DNA." Here's their assessment of the current state of the game that introduces the plan:
Our first priority is to improve the technical state of the game. We know many players had a difficult time with game bugs and unexpected stability issues at launch and we are making every effort possible to address these issues as soon as we can.

With Title Update 1.0.2, released on October 15, our team made numerous improvements to the game, focusing on the most pressing issues that could be addressed in this timeframe. We are working on further improvements that will be coming soon with TU1.0.3 in mid-November, including fixes on the Drone deployment, on changing the fire rate, on NVGs blocking crosshairs and on the Mission Completion notification pop-up.

Title Update 1.0.3.1, coming around end-November, will include further improvements and updates on the most pressing community feedback.

Flurry of Blizzard Departures

A post on Kotaku takes a look at Blizzard's plans for BlizzCon 2019. This is coming after a lot of bad publicity for the company that stretches back to last BlizzCon, and they recap the layoffs, protests, and more that have cost the company much of the goodwill they had generated over the years. They also reveal the company has suffered additional low-key, high-profile departures in the last year: "What hasn’t yet been reported is that a number of veteran Blizzard developers departed in the wake of those cancelations, including Dustin Browder, formerly director of Heroes of the Storm and lead designer of StarCraft II, Eric Dodds, formerly director of Hearthstone, and Jason Chayes, formerly production director of Hearthstone." Blizzard gave them the following statement about their plans for the convention:
BlizzCon has always been a place where we celebrate the passion and diversity of the Blizzard community, where we encourage and support the many creative and thoughtful ways attendees share and reflect their views and interests—and this year will be no different. We welcome open, constructive, and civil discussion of different perspectives at the show, and we do still plan to have fan Q&A at certain panels as we normally do.

The safety and security of our attendees is and has always been a top priority, and every year we iterate with new measures to bring our event even more up-to-date while doing everything we can to create a comfortable environment for everyone.

Everyone at Blizzard has been working very hard in the lead-up to BlizzCon. We appreciate all of the interest in learning about our potential plans for the show—we know we’re fortunate that people care enough about our games to actively seek out the latest details—and we’re all very much looking forward to seeing everyone and sharing our latest news.

Star Citizen Free Fly Weekend

The Roberts Space Industries Website announces the latest free fly weekend is underway for Star Citizen (thanks DSOGaming). Here's word on the latest chance to sample this space game first announced a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away:
Star Citizen is a massive multiplayer space sim that puts you at the center of a limitless universe full of breathless adventure and harrowing encounters.

Experience the white-knuckle thrill of space combat, discover the majesty of alien worlds, interact with fascinating characters, and build a life in the year 2949.

To begin your adventure, you would normally pledge for one of our starter packages, which gets you a user-friendly ship and game access. For a limited time however, we're giving prospective Citizens the chance to explore the universe and test out some of the most popular ships for free.

So, what are you waiting for, rookie? Jump into the cockpit, fire it up, and start exploring.

New NVIDIA GeForce Drivers

The GeForce Website now offers new Windows drivers for NVIDIA graphics cards. These offer support for reshade filters and their new GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER GPUs among other things:
Game Ready Drivers provide the best possible gaming experience for all major new releases, including Virtual Reality games. Prior to a new title launching, our driver team is working up until the last minute to ensure every performance tweak and bug fix is included for the best gameplay on day-1.

Gaming Technology
Adds support for GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER GPU
Adds support for image-sharpening from NVIDIA Control Panel
Adds support for G-SYNC compatibility with NVIDIA Ultra Low Latency Mode
Adds support for 7 new G-SYNC Compatible monitors
Adds support for ReShade filters within GeForce Experience

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order Launch Trailer

Here's the Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order – Launch Trailer. The clip offers the following short description: "The galaxy awaits as Cal Kestis embarks upon an epic journey in hopes of rebuilding the Jedi Order. Fight for your survival, explore the mysteries of a long-extinct civilization, and become a Jedi on November 15." Continue here to read the full story.

Need for Speed Heat Launch Trailer

The Need for Speed Heat Official Launch Trailer is also now available from EA. This includes a flashing image warning along with the following on what to expect from the launch of the new installment in the high-octane series:
Join the wave of over 100,000 players who have already received a unique and personalized NFS Heat Launch Trailer. Get yours by visiting https://www.ea.com/games/need-for-spe... before November 8th and watch your customized ride burn up the streets of Palm City.

In NFS Heat earn bank by day to create your perfect ride through sanctioned Speedhunters Showdown events. By night, enter illicit street races alongside your crew, earning rep and building heat. But stay ready – cops are waiting and not all of them play fair. The roads and the rides are endless in this twenty-four-hour street racer where only the fast are free to chase the line, risk everything and burn all limits.

This trailer was created using the innovative Need for Speed™ Heat Studio App - download now, collect all the available models, create your perfect ride and connect it to Need for Speed™ Heat.
Continue here to read the full story.

Steam Halloween Sale

The Steam Halloween Sale (plus events) is now underway to offers spooky savings. This also highlights the special activities that various games are offering to mark the occasion. Here's word:
The annual Steam Halloween Sale is on now thru November 1st at 10 am Pacific. Over 13,000 games are on sale, including top horror games as well as top sellers, VR experiences, and more. Many of the titles have also added special spooky modes for the event.

Hardware Reviews

Embargos? We don't need no stinking embargos!

  • ASUS GeForce GTX 1660 Super Phoenix on TechPowerUp.
  • ASUS GTX 1660 SUPER OC DUAL Graphics Card takes on the Red Devil RX 590 on BabelTech.
  • Creative Sound Blaster X3 on Windows Central. Thanks Neutronbeam.
  • GIGABYTE AORUS GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER OC on FPS Review.
  • Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1660 Super Gaming OC on TechPowerUp.
  • Gigabyte GTX 1660 SUPER GAMING OC on Guru3D.
  • Intel Core i9-9990XE CPU - All 14 Cores at 5.0 GHz on AnandTech. Thanks RedEye9.
  • MSI GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER GAMING X on Guru3D.
  • MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Super Gaming X on TechPowerUp.
  • MSI GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER GAMING X on TweakTown.
  • Nvidia GTX 1660 Super on PCGamesN.
  • Palit GeForce GTX 1660 Super GamingPro OC on TechPowerUp.
  • Palit GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER GamingPRO OC on Guru3D.
  • Thermaltake TOUGHRAM RGB DDR4-3200 16GB Dual Channel Memory Kit on TweakTown.
  • ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1660 Super AMP on TechPowerUp.
  • ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER AMP on Guru3D.

Out of the Blue

MrsBlue and I are now in the land of 14,000 lakes. There were no setbacks or issues, but with a couple of hours laid-over in Detroit this was basically an all day journey. But as I say, it went pretty smoothly, and we arrived safe and sound, so it all worked out fine. We're still rushing about, as the funeral is pretty early today. There are other obligations lined up after that, this may well be another one-update day, but I expect things to be much more normal by tomorrow.

Travelling Links: Thanks Ant.
Play: MathDoku.
Stories: Popeyes, looking for another sales bump, will bring back the chicken sandwich on Sunday. Thanks Neutronbeam.
Science: Is Crispr the Next Antibiotic? Thanks j.c.f.
Is A Diet That's Healthy For Us Also Better For The Planet? Most Of The Time, Yes. Thanks RedEye9.
Media: New Mandalorian trailer is Star Wars in the Wild West, with Werner Herzog. Thanks Neutronbeam.
The Snow Cruiser--Antarctica's Abandoned Behemoth.
Secret Air Force Space Plane Lands After More Than 2 Years In Orbit. Thanks RedEye9.
Follow-ups: Boeing chief to admit company made mistakes over 737 Max. Thanks RedEye9.
‘Star Wars’ Setback- ‘Game Of Thrones’ Duo Exit Lucasfilm Trilogy.
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