Mass Effect 3 gone gold
The wait for Mass Effect 3 is nearing its end. Today, BioWare announced via Twitter that Mass Effect 3 has gone gold, ahead of its March 6 debut date for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC.
After an awesome effort by our team, I'm proud to announce #MassEffect3 is officially GOLD! Many surprises await you - this week and beyond.
Far Cry 3 Details: Open World, Stealth, Ambushes
A good amount of Far Cry 3 details have been shared by Gaming Everything, originating from the latest edition of Edge Magazine, which details the protagonist, game mechanics, and the title's open ended mission structure. Far Cry 3 has a suggested release for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC sometime in March.
- When you pause Far Cry 3, you'll see regular menu options
- There is also "a blobby, butterfly-winged shadow of a Rorschach ink blot fill the screen, with peeks of lush foliage visible between splotches of darkness"
- Open-ended combat
- Plan bouts with enemies well before you face off
- You may decide to charge in for a frontal attack, hang back and snipe enemies from a distance, or place C4 on the side of a jeep and send it to an enemy encampment
- Freedom is tied to the story
- Unlike Far Cry 2��s "hard-edged political cynicism", Far Cry 3 is "a focus on the personal, charting one man's spiral into violence, and quite possibly madness, on an archipelago where everyone else seems to have a head start"
- One mission is "a hallucinatory push through an island's underground caves"
- In this mission, protagonist Jason Brody is injured and is searching for a doctor
- Brody heads up a slope and encounters a wooden house; Dr. Earnhardt is inside
- The doctor quickly administers an injection; he's also "rambling to himself in a jittery, dreamy fashion"
- Earnhardt asks Brody to gather some mushrooms from a cave system nearby
- No shooting in this mission
- Platforming/exploration instead
- "Brody makes running jumps over precarious drops which can only be accessed through an underwater tunnel at the bottom of a cliff"
- There are crumbling handholds
- Things become unpredictable as you head into the caves' depths
- "Colors begin to saturate before changing hue entirely. Perspective becomes unreliable, and objects that appear within reach one moment suddenly shrink from view."
- Brody looks at his hands that are "leaving ephemeral trails as they move through the air"
- Cave appears to be reshaping: walls become floors when he tries to climb them, plants pop up randomly
- Eventually Brody locates the mushrooms; setting has become night
- "Far Cry 3 isn't going to be quite this psychedelic, but the scene clearly demonstrates the preoccupation with mental states that runs throughout the game"
- Dr Earnhardt is crazy while the island's enemies are unstable as well
- Brody is beginning to lose his grip
- Although Brody was your typical guy on holiday with friends/his girlfriend, he is now thrown into a situation "that threatens to send him off rails"
- Players will have to contend with native fauna and domesticated animals
- Dev. team wanted the game "to be emotional and raw"
- Insanity was a word that came up often in early meetings
- Producer Dan Hay: "When we really felt like we captured it was when we got Vaas. That's when the word ��insanity' crystallized for us"
- There are numerous villains in addition to Vaas
- Vaas is "a sociopath, and very nearly a psychopath"
- You'll hear Dr. Earnhardt muttering about him
- Guards seem to hint at a respect that's built on fear
- Vaas's voice actor, Michael Mando, had auditioned for the role of a more typical villain who was six-foot-six, 300 pounds, stoic/series, and unemotional
- Mando's audition was completely opposite of what the team was looking for, and didn't land the job
- Even so, Mando's agent called him three weeks later and told him that Ubisoft was willing to make a character based on the audition he did because they liked it so much
- "There are hints that Vaas will be more than just a two-dimensional threat"
- Ubisoft doesn't think of Vaas as a sociopath/villain; he has a lot of pain, and "everything's just an extension of that"
- Not clear if Vaas is the one holding Brody's loved ones captive
- Next part of the demo involves Brody being sent in to interfere with Vaas' communications
- He has to shut down Medusa, the radio tower of a beached cargo ship
- "It's a set-piece designed to show off the fact that, despite Far Cry 3��s madness theme, the game is still, in Hay's words, ��a shooter first'"
- Brody begins in the ocean, heads toward the beach, and quietly takes out a knife from a guard's back pocket
- He stabs him with the knife and follows this process for another guard
- With a third guard, he throws the knife into his skull (seen in the E3 demo)
- Since he's fairly close to the boat, Brody takes out binoculars so he can assess the situation
- Ubisoft is making the game with a "360 degree" design approach
- Each scenario will contain "stealthy, action-focused and creative approaches"
- "The sand is strewn with cover for those who wan an open-air gunfight, while stealthier players can hide within the exposed hold of another beached vessel as they move towards their goal"
- Reinforcements arrive in hovercraft on the beach
- There was one tester who found a hang-glider and approached the radio tower this way, which allowed him to avoid battle
- Another mission has Brody looking for a friend; he has to invade a ship
- More linear environment shown with fewer options, though it lets players experience "an ear-splitting shotgun at close quarters"
- Brody opens the hold doors, causing an explosive booby trap to flood the ship
- "His struggle to escape is the kind of scripted setpiece that makes up the entirety of games such as Call of Duty, and is more than a little reminiscent of a chapter of Uncharted 3��
- Hay: "It wasn't like we set out to make it on an island, but we wanted it to be a lawless frontier, we wanted it to be beautiful, all that stuff. The more we talked about it, and the kinds of experiences we wanted to have, the more we wanted the feeling of isolation."
- Game designer Andrea Zanni: "We have land animals and sea animals. They'll be there as threats, they'll be there for you to utilize �C you can go out into the jungle and go hunting, which is all part of Jason growing and surviving on the island. If you go deep into the jungle, you're going to have some encounters that may not be so pleasant. So they're a part of the ecology of the island, and really making the island this savage place for the player."
- You'll see a lizard during the cave mission
- There are sharks circling floating bodies after there is an explosion in the ship mission
- Hints from the team that there is a dark history to the archipelago
- Open-world designer Jamie Keen: "It's about making sure that the player is constantly feeling enabled by what you can do in the world and enabled by the world itself. You feel like the world' inviting you to make you feel like you constantly want to move through it, constantly want to know more about what's going on there. Recently, we put a mineshaft just on the way down to a lighthouse. And players heading to the lighthouse see it, and everyone just goes, ��Oh look, a mineshaft!' and they have to explore. We want to constantly surprise people [with] how much they're going to find when they do go exploring and follow their nose."
- No weapon degradation
Changes in version 0.5.9:
- Added support for AMD Radeon HD 7750 and HD 7770
- Added voltage monitoring for HD 7950 and HD 7970
- Fixed memory size readings for ATI cards with large VRAM
- Improved formula for NVIDIA ASIC Quality reading
- Added explanation text to ASIC quality window
- Fixed bug that caused updater to show up even though no update available, lagging GPU-Z.
- When multi-GPU setup detected, PCIe load test will recommend full screen
- Added board ID to BIOS version readout
- Added option to show sensor reading in GPU-Z title (click the arrow next to the sensor name)
- Refresh sensors in background now defaults to enabled
- Fixed release date for HD 7950
- Added PCI vendor Packard Bell
- Fix for ATI hardware access breaking on Catalyst 12.1
- Added fan RPM monitoring support on some ATI cards
- Added GF108 based GT 520, GTX 555 (non-mobile), GeForce 305M, 610M
MSI Radeon HD 7950 Twin Frozer III review
MSI can now be included in our line-up of R7950 reviews with a customized model. It is the TwinFrozr III version that clocks in at a nice 880 MHz on the graphics core with it's memory clocked default at an effective data rate of 5000 MHZ. It is locked and loaded with 3GB of graphics memory and dressed to impress.
The GPU empowering this graphics card was developed under codename "Tahiti PRO". Let's have a look at this Southern Island family member. Next page where we'll startup the technology overview first. Read the article right here.
Intel 2012 Haswell CPUs get Improved Multi-Core Support
Intel has shed light on the fact that its next-generation 22nm processors based on the Haswell architecture will support Transactional Synchronization Extensions (TSX), a new instruction set designed to allow cores to work more efficiently together.
These new synchronization extensions (Intel TSX) are useful in shared-memory multithreaded applications that employ lock-based synchronization mechanisms. In a nutshell, Intel TSX provides a set of instruction set extensions that allow programmers to specify regions of code for transactional synchronization.
According to Intel, with transactional synchronization, the hardware can determine dynamically whether threads need to serialize through lock-protected critical sections, and perform serialization only when required.
From what we know at this point in time, the new TSX instruction set will be supported by all processors based on the Haswell architecture. Haswell is the code name used by Intel for Ivy Bridge's successor and this is expected to be launched in March-June 2013.
Compared to their predecessors, the chips will feature higher IPC performance, support for the AVX2 instruction set, and will also receive DirectX 11.1 support. With the introduction of Haswell, Intel plans to split its product range into two distinct groups.
The first group includes the company's desktop and notebook processors, while the latter is specially designed for Ultrabooks, and drops the usual 2-chip platform approach that Intel has been using for quite some time in favor of a system-on-a-chip (SoC) design.
Desktop CPUs will feature either two of four processing cores with TDPs of 35, 45, 65 or 95 Watt, and will include a dual-channel DDR3/DDR3L memory controller, as well as GT2 or GT1 integrated graphics cores.
Mobile chips will be available in the same dual or quad-core configurations, but pack the more powerful Intel GT3 GPU, while the memory controller only supports DDR3L DIMMs.
Jetway JNF9C-2600 Low-Profile Intel Cedar Trail
Thermalright Silver Arrow SB-E CPU Cooler
Thermalright announced the Silver Arrow SB-E, a new, high-end CPU cooler based on the Silver Arrow model introduced back in 2010.
The Silver Arrow SB-E features a dual tower/dual fan design and has eight (nickel-plated) 6 mm copper heatpipes (the old Arrow comes with four 8 mm pipes), a tweaked heatsink, two TY PWM fans - one 140 mm and one 150 mm (the SA packs two 140 mm spinners), and a mounting kit offering support for Intel LGA 2011 / 1366 / 1156 / 1155 / 775 and AMD AM2(+) / AM3(+) / FM1 processors.
The Silver Arrow SB-E also makes use of some more 'discrete' fan clips that won't interfere with taller memory modules. The cooler is expected to become available at the end of this month. No price tag was announced but it is on pre-order at about $103 / 78 Euro.
Intel Core i3-550 and i3-560 EOL This Year
Intel has decided on discontinuing two more 32 nm chips, the 3.2 GHz Core i3-550 and the 3.33 GHz i3-560. Released back in 2010, these 'old timers' will be available for new orders until June 29 and will continue shipping till December 7th (for the tray SKUs) or until supplies are depleted (boxed SKUs).
Spray-On Antenna Technology Shown at Google Conference
Star Trek Video Game Release Pending in 2013
aramount Pictures announced that Namco Bandai will be co-publishing the upcoming Star Trek co-op action game. The Star Trek game is set to arrive before the May 2013 launch of the next film. The combat game is centered on the adventures of Kirk and Spock, portrayed by Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto in the Abrams incarnation, as they pair up to defeat a shared -- and so-called "legendary" -- enemy, the companies said.
CERGY-PONTOISE, France. 10 February 2012 Paramount Pictures and leading video game publisher and developer NAMCO BANDAI Games Europe S.A.S. today announced the two companies have signed a deal for NAMCO BANDAI Games Inc. to co-publish and distribute the highly anticipated Star Trek video game worldwide during the first quarter of 2013 for all major home consoles and PC.
The action-packed combat game is set to launch the first quarter of 2013 prior to the May 17th theatrical release of the next Star Trek installment from director and producer J.J. Abrams. The game, through a license with CBS Consumer Products, is based on a stand-alone storyline that continues the adventure of iconic characters Kirk and Spock as they work together to stop a legendary enemy race bent on conquering the galaxy.
Alan Wake PC - video preview
Message from Steam
Valve has posted an update on the Steam security breach that happened last November:
Dear Steam Users and Steam Forum Users:
We continue our investigation of last year's intrusion with the help of outside security experts. In my last note about this, I described how intruders had accessed our Steam database but we found no evidence that the intruders took information from that database. That is still the case.
Recently we learned that it is probable that the intruders obtained a copy of a backup file with information about Steam transactions between 2004 and 2008. This backup file contained user names, email addresses, encrypted billing addresses and encrypted credit card information. It did not include Steam passwords.
We do not have any evidence that the encrypted credit card numbers or billing addresses have been compromised. However as I said in November it's a good idea to watch your credit card activity and statements. And of course keeping Steam Guard on is a good idea as well.
We are still investigating and working with law enforcement authorities. Some state laws require a more formal notice of this incident so some of you will get that notice, but we wanted to update everyone with this new information now.
Diablo III -- You Will Die. We Promise!
AMD Radeon HD 7750 and 7770 Specs Surface
German based 3dcenter decided to post all specifications they could find on two pending graphics cards from AMD. Cape Verde, the entry level cards in the 7000 series. This information is now wide spread on the web.
The chip, built on the 28nm manufacturing process, is the cheapest of the GCN units in the Southern Islands family, even though it works at a clock speed of as much as 1 GHz. According to 3dcenter.de the Radeon HD 7750 adapter comes with 512 stream processors, plus clock speeds of 800 MHz for the GPU and 4.5 GHz for the memory.
Speaking of the memory, there is 1 GB of GDDR5 VRAM available, leading to a bandwidth of 72 GB/s (the interface is of 128 bits). Furthermore, the theoretical maximum SP throughput is of 819 Gflops (75% of the HD 7770). The Radeon HD 7770 board has the full 1 GHz GPU clock speed and 10 active CUs, albeit the same memory specification as above.
Meanwhile AMD is subscribing Verdetrol pills ...
Advanced Micro Devices has decided to use a rather unusual marketing tactic in order to raise awareness about its upcoming Cape Verde GPU and the Radeon HD 77xx video cards.
As this special website will be all too eager to show, the Sunnyvale, California-based company has begun sending pills to Internet websites.
They are not just any pills, though, but
Intel Chipset Software Installation 184.108.40.2069 download
The Intel Chipset Software Installation Utility revision 220.127.116.119 has been out a couple of weeks already actually, but most of us definitely missed out on it.
The Intel Chipset Software Installation Utility installs the Windows* INF files. The INF files inform the operating system how to properly configure the chipset for specific functionality, such as USB and core PCI.
LOTR-style epic battle in Skyrim video
With the help of some mods and console commands, Tyrannicon created The Great Battle of Skyrim. This epic battle features 500 Draugr, 200 skeletons, 500 Dwemer Warriors and a dragon. Hopefully, someone will turn this idea into a mod.
Cooler Master GeminII SF524 CPU Cooler
Cooler Master announced the GeminII SF524 CPU cooler. This model features the same specs as the GeminII S524 released in August except it comes equipped with a different fan, one that operates at 1300 RPM or 900 RPM when using the silent mode adapter (the S524 has a PWM fan going at 800 to 1800 RPM).
The GeminII SF524 measures 144 x 144 x 105 mm, it weights 592 grams, has five 6 mm copper heatpipes, and offers support for Intel LGA 1366 / 1156 / 1155 / 775 and AMD FM1 / AM3+ / AM3 / AM2+ / AM2 processors. The cooler can be found selling for 37 Euro.
Cooler Master CM 690 II Advanced Black and White review
The new updated Advanced model has a few other tweaks as well, as next to the seductive black/white interior, additional capacity, superb cooling system and user-friendly design there is a new front panel as well, this time around with USB 3.0, of course. Check out the full review right here.