I can guarantee that no one saw this coming. Social media giant Facebook has just purchased Oculus, the company behind the VR-device Oculus Rift, for two billion dollars. That’s billion with a “b”, folks.
What do you guys think of this news? It’s certainly out of left field, that’s for sure. Is everyone making mountains out of molehills here? Should Oculus have consulted with their backers in some form first, or is this their right as an independent company? Go!
We’re sometimes hard on Nintendo around here, but it’s (for the most part) out of love for what Nintendo was and could be. The Wii U, Nintendo’s latest stab at relevance in the gaming world, has been met with a lack of enthusiasm embodied by abysmal sales.
So how does something like this happen? If you’ve ever wanted an inside look at the development process of an entire console, EuroGamer presented the latest in its series, The Secret Developers. The premise of this feature is that developers write candidly and anonymously about particular subjects. This edition of the Secret Developers just happens to focus on the genesis—and troubling development— of the Wii U by a major third party developer.
If there’s one way to mercilessly QA-test your new product, it’s by releasing it into the wild. Rest assured that, no matter how many man-hours your company put into testing a device, giving it to a million people will mean that any bugs, issues or glaring oversights will pop up in short order.
Since the Xbox One released on November 22, the gaming community has had plenty of time to fool around with it and figure out what it’s missing. A website called Xbox Feedback has sprung up where suggestions for future updates to Microsoft’s new console can be found.
Personally, I find the lack of some of what I would consider no-brainers (such as being able to check the battery charge on the home screen or the difficulties with party chat) pretty mind-boggling. Even though the Xbox 360 got bogged down with a UI that it was never really built to support, it still had a lot of user friendly tools and tricks. I personally appreciated the ability to set the controls to every game for inverted as a system-level option because I am a weirdo.
What do you guys think about Xbox Feedback? Any suggestions you would add to their current list? Do you think this website will actually gain any traction?
Launch titles for a new generation of consoles have a lot to live up to. They have to be discernibly different from the previous generation, look better, carry all sorts of bells and whistles and run smoothly.
Given that this is the first hardware refresh in eight long years, perhaps the expectations leading into this gen are too high. Some people might have been expecting 60 frames per second and 1080p on every game, but recently it came to light that the early games of this console cycle will rarely be hitting that mark.
In fact, Dead Rising 3 falls far below it, as Digital Foundry found out on behalf of Eurogamer. The Xbox One launch title runs at 720p and is supposed to be a consistent 30 fps, but sometimes it dips down to the lower twenties and high teens. The dip is especially noticeable in the large outdoor areas now that Dead Rising 3 is a contiguous open-world and boasts a larger variety of zombies than the previous titles.
Dead Rising 3 does have a crazy amount of effects like per-object motion blur (which the original game had as well, believe it or not) and seems to be a vast improvement over the performance the game displayed at E3, which was apparently choppy and tearing frames all over the place. It seems that Dead Rising 3 definitely puts the Xbox One through its paces.
What do you guys think? Did Dead Rising 3 promise what it can’t deliver? Did we expect too much going into this next generation of consoles? Is 1080p at 60 fps still another cycle off?
We’re back after a week break, but can you blame us? We needed time to digest Rockstar’s latest magnum opus, GTA 5. As you can imagine, a large portion of the cast is taken up by this game, but we only talk up to the first heist, so there’s not a huge risk of spoilers.
Other than that we talk Valve’s Steam announcements (outside of the Steam controller that hadn’t been revealed yet), I heap some love on Nintendo for the Wii U and Windwaker HD and the fact that Apple payed EA to give them the exclusive launch of Plants vs Zombies 2, and apparently that’s a big deal?
Anyways, you know the drill by now, listen, rate and come back next week (hopefully) for another installment of the GamerSushi Show!
0:00 – 6:27 Intro
6:28 – 21:40 SteamOS, Steam Machines
21:42 – 26:58 Next Gen Transfers
26:59 – 31:09 Wii U and Wind Waker HD
31:10 – 37:25 EA and Apple “Non-troversy”
37:26 – 1:01:07 GTA 5
1:01:08 – 1:03:48 Outro
Now that Microsoft has sounded off this morning, it’s time for Sony to jump in with their own version of what the next generation of video gaming should look like. As these things tend to go, the conference had its share of highs, lows, hyperbole, hype and exciting moments. But most of all, some shots fired at Microsoft.
Before we start I wanted to note that all of the pictures in this article are linked to higher resolution versions.
As some of you may know, a few weeks ago I set out on a journey. My journey wasn’t very different from that of Frodo and Samwise when they set out from the Shire to take The One Ring to Mordor, and cast it into the fires of Mount Doom. But, instead of Sam I had Jeff, and instead of throwing a ring into some lava, I was researching, pricing out and building new gaming PCs. This marks the first new PC I’ve built for myself since 2007 when I put together what we lovingly refer to as the “Leet World PC.” The itch to build a new machine began when Steam released Big Picture Mode, and I started to really love the idea of having a 10-foot experience for my PC games.
The goals I had for this build:
Try to stay close to a $600 price point.
Find a smaller, good looking-case and quiet components since it will be in the living room.
Have playable frame rates in most games at 1080p with everything maxed.
Some of you might say, “Nick, you could’ve spent less money than that, and get basically the same performance if you had done ‘X’ thing.” And, you wouldn’t be wrong in that statement, but what you are forgetting is that I don’t care what you have to say. Yes, it’s true that if I would’ve gone with a different case (ATX/Mini ATX) I wouldn’t have been locked into paying more for a Mini ITX board, but the smooth lines and sexy curves of the BitFenix case were too much to pass up. Another limiting factor with Mini ITX was the lack of AMD motherboards available, so I chose to go Intel.
Since the Prodigy case has two USB 3.0 ports on the side, I wanted to find a board that had USB 3.0 headers, and the ASRock B75M-ITX fit the bill. Not only that, but it has two more USB 3.0 ports and an eSATA port on the back, so you can connect all the things. After deciding on the board, I needed a CPU. Since this was meant to be just a gaming machine, I felt that I could skimp here, and didn’t go for the PC-builder’s darling, the Intel i5. Instead, I opted for the i5’s little brother, the i3-3220, and it’s a great little dual-core hyper-threaded chip that won’t bottleneck the GPU, which is the most important part. I originally was going to only get 4GB of RAM since most games can’t address more than that, but it was almost the same price to go for 8GB, so I thought I’d future-proof the box a little bit.
The crown jewel of this build is the GPU. Yes, it’s not the best graphics card ever, but for under $200, you can’t do much better. ATI’s Radeon HD 7850 is already a pretty fast card, but HIS has over-clocked their IceQ Turbo to 1.0GHz. I also opted for 2GB of Video RAM, up from the standard 1GB, to help with anti-aliasing and texture detail at higher resolutions. Another nice thing about the HIS Ice Turbo is that it’s quiet… Really quiet. When I fired the machine up for the first time, I didn’t realize that it was on for a second. To go along with this beefy GPU, I picked up a 620 watt Antec PSU. Antec is one of the best names in power supplies, and this little guy delivers. It has more than enough connectors for HDD/GPU/fans, and is almost silent while running.
And now back to the good part…
If you are looking to build something similar, but maybe want to go a cheaper route, here are some options. First, you could build basically the same computer but with a cheaper case and motherboard. Also, if you are going to be running your games at 720p, something like a Radeon HD 7770 or NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 650 would suit your needs fine. One interesting solution, if you like the case or the ITX form factor, is to go AMD. Yes, earlier I said there was a lack of AMD boards for Mini ITX, but the one or two that there are, are FM2 socket. The FM2 socket is for AMD’s Trinity, formerly Vision, APUs which are a combo CPU/GPU on the same chip. I know what you are saying, “But Nick, integrated graphics suck,” and you used to be correct. The Trinity APU is the first solution that is actually a viable integrated graphics solution for gaming. I’ve seen playable frame rates from games like Sleeping Dogs at 720p using an AMD A10-5800K. This would obviously save you a lot, because you won’t have to buy a separate GPU, and if you want, in the future you can Crossfire it with a matching ATI GPU for more performance.
To Wrap it Up
After the blood, sweat and tears I ended up with a pretty sweet little machine. She is quieter than the XBox 360 it sits next to, prettier than the PS3 on the other side, and more powerful than either. I loaded up a couple Steam games, and they look gorgeous at 1080p on the 50″ plasma. But, as happy as I am with the little black box, the dream of being able to just fire up your PC and start playing is not quite there yet. Consoles are still hands down more user-friendly. I had issues with Big Picture not auto loading, stability in games and not being able to dismiss alerts without a keyboard and mouse. Overall, I’m incredibly happy with the purchase, and wouldn’t change a thing, but this whole experience has really showed that unfortunately, Big Picture is not ready for prime time quite yet.
1. These are the prices I paid at the time. The cost of parts can fluctuate wildly, so your mileage may vary.↵ 2. The BitFenix name and logo inspired the names of the PCs: Jean-Grey (White) and Dark-Phoenix (Black).↵ 3. ATI Radeon HD 7850s are factory clocked to 860MHz.↵ 4. I have cut myself at some point during every build I’ve ever done, and this was no exception.↵
It’s almost here and the excitement surrounding it is palpable: on Wednesday, February 20th at 3PM PST/ 6PM EST, Sony will unveil “The Future of Playstation” and the masses are teeming with anticipation. Although I was initially expecting this press conference to be a huge letdown by having it turn out to be a new model of the PS Vita or something regarding Playstation Plus, all signs seemingly point to the PS4.
Hola, Sushians. If you can’t tell, we’ve been on a bit of a break due to the holidays and the fact that most gaming news has ground to a halt. On top of that, we’re actually busy playing tons of games for a change (XCOM, you have my heart), so that we can vote on our Top 10 Games of 2012 list and also because games are amazing.
On top of clearing out a backlog (which has been made impossible due to the Steam sale), one of my goals over the holiday season was to finally purchase an adapter of some sort so I could play certain PC games with a 360 controller. While I enjoy a keyboard and mouse for shooters and RTS style games, there are a number of gametypes I’d prefer to use my 360 controller for — to the point where I wasn’t purchasing some great deals on games because I didn’t want to play with a keyboard and mouse.
Well, I finally made the plunge into the PC gaming world, courtesy of my PC Guru: Nick the Beard. I am quite happy with the performance of my machine, which Nick priced out for me and built himself in a rather impressive amount of time. I have him a budget of $600, which also paid for shipping from California to Florida and I think I got quite the bargain. Of course, everything you see below might as well be written in Klingon because I don’t understand a damn bit of it. But I know you guys would be interested to see what I am working with so check it out below:
Intel 3.1GHz Core i3-2100 CPU
BioStar H61MGC Mobo
Sapphire Radeon HD 6670 1GB GPU
G.Skill 4GB DDR3 1333 RAM
Samsung 1TB 7200RPM HDD
Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
I am already playing Counterstrike: GO and might jump into Diablo 3 sometime in the future. I might also pick up DayZ when it becomes a stand-alone game. I am going to take my time and probably stick to PC exclusives, but it’s nice to have the option to play something on the PC if I so desire. Also, totally getting SimCity in 2013. So add me on Steam: Edgewalker.
What other PC games should I have on my radar, either past, present or future? And let’s see your PC specs…CS…GO!
The next generation is a notion we’ve been chasing for a while now, but after an absences from this year’s E3, it’s starting to look like it’s further off than previously thought. Even though we won’t be getting out hands on next gen consoles for at least another year, developers are certainly tooling around with the development kits of tomorrow. One of the biggest names in dev tools is Epic Game’s Unreal Engine, and GT.TV had a beefy look at its fourth iteration.
The Unreal Engine is really versatile and many games we play are powered by it so I’m really looking forward to seeing what it will back when the next generation hits. What do you guys think about the Unreal Engine 4?
As a devout player of video games and a fan of Nintendo’s flagship franchises I feel it is my duty to remind our dear readers of something they may have forgotten ever existed: the GameCube. Now the reason I say that you may have forgotten it is because it never really left. It’s still there, collecting dust like it did before, only now in the form of a Wii. The GameCube is a SHAPESHIFTER!
Seriously though, this month marks the 10th anniversary of the GameCube in North America (my favorite of all the Americas) and I thought we should pause and reflect on the system that confirmed Nintendo had lost its freaking mind. We weren’t sure if the Nintendo 64 was an anomaly or the way of the future for the Big N, but when we caught our first glimpse of the GameCube and its WTF controller, well I think we all called our local mental hospital and asked if it was possible to check in an entire corporation. (Same thing happened this year with Netflix. And the answer is no, you can’t. And I thought corporations were people, too!)
But the GameCube did have its moments of greatness. Pikmin, for instance. Resident Evil 4, Metroid Prime and The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker rank amongst my favorite games of all time to this very day. Even if Super Mario Sunshine wasn’t up to the usual standard of amazing associated with the plucky plumber, it was still a damn good game. And who can forget about Eternal Darkness and the mind games that it played with you?
So what are your fondest memories of the GameCube? What games stood out for you?
Gears of War 3 launches today, which means it’s finally upon us. The Gaming Season That Must Not Be Named. I bid all of you my best wishes as you meet the challenges of the next few months headlong. As for me, I’m already looking forward into October. At the risk of sounding like the world’s biggest Battlefield 3 fan site, I thought I’d post a couple of updates I saw floating around the Web this morning.
First: a multiplayer beta for the game starts next week across XBox 360, PS3 and PC. Looks like it’s going to cover the Operation Metro map.
It’s a sad thing, but sometimes we lose our precious gaming hardware through the cruel machinations of an uncaring universe. I know the pain of lending a GameBoy to a friend only to have it returned minus an intact screen and case, or felt the sting of seeing all my game discs laid out bare in the hot afternoon soon, or resting upon the heat dispersal vent for the Xbox 360.
I’ve never had anything really truly horrible happen to me aside from the aforementioned GameBoy incident, but I do know of a computer that has melted not once, but twice. The first time my friend booted up his PC only to be greeted with an unfamiliar beeping noise was a harrowing experience, and when it happened again recently, we knew the device was toast. In both cases, it had been the video cards that had melted; they were originally in a RAID configuration, but over the six years of that computer’s life span, they both bit the dust.
As is so often the case here on GamerSushi, I bring this topic up because I was wondering if any of you have a similar story, or perhaps worse. Ever throw your Wiimote into the TV, or cracked a controller in a fit of rage? Let us know in the comments, you crazy kids.
I’ve done this a couple of times before, but since I just upgraded my PC last week, I figured it was time to do so again. You know, just because.
The PC upgrade comes courtesy of Nick, who priced out a few of these parts for me. I gave him a $500 limit (before the OS and HDD) and he came through pretty well, I think. The result is a new PC that isn’t the fastest thing out there by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s a far sight better than the 6 year old machine I’ve been using, without breaking the bank. I doubt I’d be able to run the Unreal 3 Samaritan demo on it in a couple of years, but still.
Here’s what’s under the hood, minus the power supply:
It scored a 3300 on the 3D Mark 11 demo, which is about standard. Like I said, nothing special, but not bad for coming in under $500 bucks. So far, I’m really happy with everything, and I really can’t wait to start digging into some more PC games in the months to come. I’ve already got Shogun 2 on the docket as well as Magicka, and as soon as PSN gets back online I’m going to link my Steam account and play through Portal 2 on it as well. Also on the menu: Starcraft 2 and Civilization V. And Battlefield 3, whenever it drops.
Any other recommendations for me that are strictly PC fares? What are your PC specs? Go!
Alright rumor mongers, here’s your chance to salivate a little bit…
You may have already heard, but the big rumor going around on the tubes these days is that Nintendo has a shiny new console that they’re going to announce at E3, with a launch date of 2012. Speculation kicked up earlier this week when rumors went around that the Wii is getting a price drop come May. While I ignored these rumblings at first, they’ve kicked up another notch in the last couple of days.
Other sources have gone on to claim that it will use motion sensing capabilities of some sort, most likely comparable to the Wii, although some are saying it will use a Kinect-ish camera. Still, others are saying this big change in Nintendo’s mindset is a bid to recapture the hardcore market. The question remains, though: did they wait too long?
So, what do you guys think of all this? Normally, I would just ignore it, but honestly, Game Informer and IGN typically don’t get involved in the wild rumor mongering that other gaming blogs gain all of their hits from. In fact, Game Informer is one of the few legit journalism outfits left in gaming, in my opinion.
Would you guys be excited about a new Nintendo console? Go!
Once again, get your flame suits on, and make sure to seal them up extra tight. I’m predicting a lot of heat in these comments.
In the ongoing super-friendly and always well-mannered debate of PC enthusiasts versus console lovers, both sides constantly engage one another in only the finest of rebuttals and, yes, even buttals. However, Maximum PC has just launched a new salvo against the console in a new article titled 12 Ways Consoles Are Hurting PC Gaming. Not to editorialize too much, but I’m surprised the author didn’t pull a muscle from all the stretching he did in the piece.
While he raises quite a few issues that gaming in general is facing, I think it’s kind of hard to peg all of these on the rise of consoles. Dumbed down sequels? In some cases, perhaps, but that’s going to happen as developers try to make their games have a wider appeal, on PCs and consoles alike. See: Counter-Strike: Source. He also makes some noise about auto saving and bad control schemes, as well.
Anyway, check it out and see if you agree. My question is this: have consoles made gaming better on the whole, or deteriorated it? I don’t mean just from your perspective, but as a whole? I think there are interesting arguments to make on both sides. Go!
GDC 11 happened last week, and it seems that one of the highlights of the show was when Epic demoed its next gen ambitions behind closed doors. The demonstration ran in real time and had a Blade Runner-esque feel to it, astounding gaming press viewers who went on to report about it on their respective sites.
As impressive as the screenshots are, I couldn’t help but think that Crytek essentially does the same kind of thing now with its various iterations of CryEngine. And wouldn’t you know it: Crytek confirmed its awesomeness with a brand new CryEngine 3 video demonstration.
If there was a way to display the face I made when I saw this demo via text, I would have just pasted it here and not bothered with any kind of setup. Seriously, just watch it. Then we can drool together in the comments.
If you PC gamers were unaware, 3DMark 11 dropped today with a few versions for you to try out on your fancy machines and see how it stacks up in today’s market. Strangely enough, the last time I attempted a PC benchmark was all the way back around 2002 or 2003, back when I was still into the whole PC gaming scene. As I’ve said on numerous occasions, the rig I’m working on right now was built in 2005, so I imagine my benchmark leaves quite a bit to be desired.
Here’s a video of the test from version 11 in all of its glory and fidelity:
For those of you that are super serious about the whole benchmarking thing, there are a couple of advanced versions of 3DMark 11 for you to grab, including one professional installment that will cost you $995 big ones. I don’t know anyone that hardcore about it, but there you go. For the rest of us normal dudes, the free version should suffice.
Did anyone else try this out? What was your score? Go!
It’s the first week of December, so we’re bringing a brand new edition of the GamerSushi Show, back in our shorter and more frequent format. If we can keep rolling with this, you should see one of these bad boys each and every week.
In this edition, we cover a whole slew of topics, including a brief look back at 2010, and a look forward at the titles we’re going to be playing in an effort to close the year out strong. We also tackle the release of Epic Mickey, one of the Wii’s new flagship titles, and discuss the game’s virtues and a couple of its shortcomings, including third person video game cameras and why it seems so hard for developers to get it right. After that we tackle a new game from Nick (which Anthony dominates) and then take a look at Game Informer’s list of 30 Characters that Defined a Decade.