| 2 days ago
| 2 days ago
Half-Life 2. Counterstrike: Source. Team Fortress 2. Left 4 Dead. Portal. Besides being developed by Valve, what else do those games share? They all run on the company's Source Engine that's been used since the first two released 11 years ago. Well, Valve has a new engine coming, officially, and it's aptly dubbed Source 2. Valve says that the focus of the engine this time 'round is "increasing creator productivity." The idea is to democratize game development and make it easier for amateurs (and budding indies) to use the toolset and enable them to, as Valve tells it, participate in the creation and development of their favorite games. In fact, the company specifically calls out the importance of user-generated content as a reason for making the engine easier to work with, which, undoubtedly plays into the millions of dollars its paying out to Steam Workshop creators.
Valve continues to put console gaming in its crosshairs with news that a dozen new Steam Machines are hitting this November. Prices aren't concrete, but the company promises higher performance than game consoles starting at "the same price point." What's more, new units from Alienware and Falcon Northwest are on display at this year's Game Developers Conference, with the latter showing off Unreal Tournament running on a 4K monitor.
Don't miss out on all the latest from GDC 2015! Follow along at our events page right here.
We already saw the new Vive virtual reality headset that Valve and HTC are working on, but they're not stopping there. Hardware engineer Alan Yates says that its Lighthouse room-scale tracking system brings the "high-resolution, high-speed tracking" that you need for a quality VR experience. According to Yates, the system is cheap enough to integrate into TVs, monitors, headsets, input devices or mobile devices. There's not a lot of detail on what exactly it includes, but it sounds a lot like the extra LEDs Sony just revealed on its new Project Morpheus prototype, and its PS Move controller. Those let the system track it with a camera to see how the wearer is moving in greater detail. Valve will make Lighthouse available to hardware manufacturers "freely," and we'll probably be looking for VR-ready stickers on our next TV or monitor.
Don't miss out on all the latest from GDC 2015! Follow along at our events page here.
I just used Sony's newest version of the PlayStation 4 virtual reality headset, Project Morpheus. Rather, I should say that I just faced down a burly, British would-be-torturer before being whisked away to a first-person gunfight in a well-appointed London manor. That's "The London Heist," one of the new demos from Sony's London Studio being shown off this week at GDC 2015. It's intense, and demonstrative of the new prototype's upped specs.
People really like the PlayStation 4. How many, though? Over 20 million. As of March 1st, Sony says that it's sold through (not shipped, sold) 20.2 million of its latest console. It's going to be hard to judge just how far Sony's ahead of chief rival Microsoft and the Xbox One, however, until the latter releases numbers of it own. And, with a dearth of killer exclusive games, it's going to be interesting to see how long Sony can maintain this lead.
Sony's PlayStation 4-powered virtual reality headset, Project Morpheus, has new specs and a slightly different look (seen above). Okay, it doesn't look that different. What's new? For one, the screen resolution is improved: it's now 1,920 x RGB x 1,080. The refresh rate is doubled from last year at 120Hz, and the new 5.7-inch screen also has a higher field of view (nearly 100 degrees). Oh right! It's got a new, bigger screen at 5.7 inches! But you already guessed that. Further upping the specs is lower latency, now under 18 milliseconds.
Most importantly, the unit will launch at retail in "the first half of 2016." That's... kinda soon? Almost?
No one refers to video games as their "stories." Games tend to have a whole lot of sequels but they're hardly suited for serialized storytelling over a long period of time. Super Mario Bros. doesn't keep a thread running General Hospital style; the medium's just not built for soap opera. With the exception of Resident Evil, of course. For nearly 20 years, Resident Evil's absurd storyline has stayed intact: an unbroken string of evil corporations, bio-terrorism and the cheesiest one-liners this side of a Marmaduke comic strip. Unfortunately, Claire Redfield, one of its best heroines, has been out of the spotlight for 15 years. Now she's back and JXE Streams is looking back on her stories.
CyberPowerPC's original Steam Machine plans didn't amount to much (the company ultimately turned them into Windows boxes), but it's back again for another round. Its recently established Syber division has revealed that it will launch no less than six SteamOS computers this fall. The system builder isn't saying much about its new living room gaming rigs at the moment, but it'll give Game Developers Conference guests a sneak peek at three systems: the Mini, Mercury and Switch.
Congratulations PS4 owners / HBO Go users, your long wait is over and the app is ready for your console. It's been over a year since HBO and Sony announced it was coming to the PlayStation 3 and 4, and one day shy of a year since it arrived on PS3. That wait apparently wasn't long enough for everyone though, as Comcast is the lone provider that won't let its subscribers log in via the new app. Otherwise, system owners can download the app today and activate it online, all with plenty of time to catch up before the next season of Game of Thrones hits, or HBO opens up its non-cable subscription options. HBO and Comcast aren't entirely out of sync though, as HBO and Cinemax's live channels came to the Xfinity TV Go streaming apps today, and in other premium channel news Dish Network customers have access to Showtime Anytime.