Last year AMD ran some rather successful game bundling promotions, so much so that Newegg awarded them an Eggie Award for Best Merchandising Campaign just a few days ago for their "Never Settle" game bundling campaign last year, and this year it looks like they intend to keep going with a good thing. Coming soon to a retailer/e-tailer near you will be the new Never Settle Reloaded gaming bundle.
What games this time? Well, it's looking like pretty much all the good ones I'm looking forward to in the next couple of months. First up is the reboot of an old classic from Capcom, Devil May Cry;
A bit too arcadey for my tastes, but it does look like a bit of a fun slash fest. Next up is an actual old favorite of mine, and one I'm really hoping Square Enix doesn't screw up; Tomb Raider 2013:
And no, I really don't know what the TOP SECRET dx11 effect is...but it's not for lack of trying to find out! More if/when I find it out...
Which brings us to the third game of the bundle, and it's one I'm looking forward to from Take Two; Bioshock Infinite:
Finally rounding out the bundle will be the biggest reason people use to upgrade for the coming year, Crysis 3:
Now not everyone buying a card gets every game, the way it breaks down is explained in the following slide:
Buy any 7900 series, get a copy of Crysis 3 and Bioshock infinite. Buy any 7800 series, get a copy of Bioshock Infinite and Tomb Raider 2013.
Well, at least that's how it's working in North America and most of Europe. In the Pacific Rim markets it's a bit different:
A 7900 still gets you Crysis 3 and Bioshock Infinite, but for a 7800 you now get Bioshock Infinite and Devil May Cry...apparently DMC is much bigger over there than Tomb Raider.
Now there are still two other bundles worth mentioning, one is a UK exclusive for the Asus Rog Ares II and the other is for any purchase of dual 7900 series GPUs. First up the Asus Rog Ares II, (which I still just drool over looking at...what a bloody monster!), and its exclusive offer:
Yup, you're reading that right. Buy an Asus Rog Ares II and AMD will give a copy of Crysis 3, Bioshock Infinite, Dirt Showdown, FarCry 3, Hitman Absolution, Sleeping Dogs, Deus Ex, and Nexuiz. A bit of overkill IMHO, but in a good way.
Finally we have something for anyone who picks up a couple of 7900 series cards, a six game bundle pack to show off all that new GPU horsey-power:
That's Crysis 3, Bioshock Infinite, Tomb Raider, FarCry 3, Hitman Absolution, an Sleeping Dogs for free with a double 7900 card purchase.
Now game bundles have never really influenced my choice in what card to buy, usually it's all down to what I can get on my budget; but I do find gaming bundles to be an excellent source of added value. If you were thinking about upgrading, it might be a good time...and with Crysis 3 coming soon who here can't say they've been thinking of upgrading? (Scary thing, I'm not really that big of a fan of Crysis' gameplay...but damn it I want it to run well on my rig! I know, it's a sickness...)
Also a quick hats off to AMD for their improved developer relations. A few years ago if someone told me they'd have had this many triple-A titles in their stable I would have laughed me arse off, it's nice to be proven wrong. My thanks to Antal, Devon, and Ritche for the briefing...and special thanks to Erika for arranging everything and putting up with all my stupid.
I'll be the first to admit that I'm not really into consoles, but this upcoming $99 Android based one has got me a bit excited! I like the idea of an open platform for a console, plus all the other things it'll be capable of doing. Check this bit out:
Have at it: It's easy to root (and rooting won't void your warranty). Everything opens with standard screws. Hardware hackers can create their own peripherals, and connect via USB or Bluetooth. You want our hardware design? Let us know. We might just give it to you. Surprise us!
HDMI connection to the TV, with support for up to 1080p HD
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth LE 4.0
USB 2.0 (one)
Wireless controller with standard controls (two analog sticks, d-pad, eight action buttons, a system button), a touchpad
That does not sound at all bad to me, doubly so if they can actually manage to charge only $99 for it! It's not in stone yet, but their kickstarter made its goal so it looks like they will be trying to make it starting August 1st. You can check out the kickstarter page here.
A sci-fi RPG with XCOM/Syndicate like combat. Three unusual heroes and a dog, use skills and tech implants to survive in an alien world
I don't know if y'all know Deano Calver or not; but he's been involved in a few games like Brink, Heavenly Sword, Sudeki, Silent Hill 2 PC, and Dreamland Chronicles : Freedom Ridge. And not just involved, but worked on in senior or lead positions. He's also a hell of a nice fellow who's not afraid to wear a tinfoil hat with a cat or two, I very much approve/love the guy.
I'd love to see this game idea of his come to fruition, if anyone can do anything to help or just to spread the word it'll be greatly appreciated. (And don't worry, I'm already bugging him about getting rid of rewarding the dog by giving it chocolate...he's a cat person, he didn't know!)
Please check it out and support it in any way you can, we need more unique games like this!
Not meaning to make light at all of the tragedy, it's out of my league I feel to even comment about it frankly, but this story by "an internet troll scholar" gave me a smile. It's a write-up about how 4chan is trying to frame 9gag for the Aurora tragedy entitled simply, "Oh Boy.". The story itself is a pretty good summary of the 4chan/9gag stuff, but 4chan found the comments and it's some new comedy gold being written over there if you don't mind some terrible taste in humor:
"Do you think the shootings was a plot devised by Joss Whedon in order to foil the box office numbers for TDKR? It seems like it worked, with premieres closing down and all."
"“Troll Scholar”? And she has a PhD? That’s fucking HILARIOUS.
“Forget 9gag, forget 4chan, forget anything related to the internet. Be in the real world with this one.”
I agree. Forget aalllll about 4chan and 9gag."
"...I’ll have you know I graduated top of my class in the Navy Seals, and I’ve been involved in numerous secret raids on Al-Quaeda, and I have over 300 confirmed kills. I am trained in gorilla warfare and I’m the top sniper in the entire US armed forces. You are nothing to me but just another target. I will wipe you the fuck out with precision the likes of which has never been seen before on this Earth, mark my fucking words. You think you can get away with saying that shit to me over the Internet? Think again, fucker. As we speak I am contacting my secret network of spies across the USA and your IP is being traced right now so you better prepare for the storm, maggot. The storm that wipes out the pathetic little thing you call your life. You’re fucking dead, kid. I can be anywhere, anytime, and I can kill you in over seven hundred ways, and that’s just with my bare hands. Not only am I extensively trained in unarmed combat, but I have access to the entire arsenal of the United States Marine Corps and I will use it to its full extent to wipe your miserable ass off the face of the continent, you little shit...."
Most of 'em are a lot less safe for work, but it's a bit of a smile none the less. Go read for yourself if interested.
It was bound to happen sooner rather than later, but it seems as though we might just be on the cusp of a new generation of games consoles...
Ubisoft Montreal is hard at work on 'target boxes' based on the intended specifications of Microsoft’s Xbox 360 successor, according to an Edge source. Delivery of the first iteration of genuine devkits, running custom hardware, is expected to reach studios before Christmas, and all signs point to the finalised console arriving at retail in late 2012.
Ubisoft’s teams are said to be working on PCs containing off-the-shelf components provided by Microsoft, and it’s our understanding that several other major developers, including certain EA studios, are also in possession of these target boxes. While our source was unable to share precise specifications, it is believed that AMD is providing the bespoke GPU solution for Microsoft’s console. A Ubisoft spokesperson said: "We do not comment on rumour and speculation."
We can also reveal that one major Sony-owned studio has now ceased PlayStation 3 development, its entire focus having shifted to the console’s successor. The studio is also said to have been involved in the development process of the graphics technology adopted by Sony’s new hardware.
Have you been waiting for the release of Intel's new high-end, Sandy Bridge derivative, platform before planning your next upgrade? Sandy Bridge E is now hear, boasting a new motherboard chipset to support it and bringing six-core CPUs to the desktop on Intel's side of the game. Check out the coverage of both motherboard chipset and CPUs below.
At the recent GeForce LAN 6 event in San Francisco, DICE's visual architect Johan Andersson was afforded the time to give a behind the scenes keynote speech discussing Battlefield 3, and more specifically its graphics engine, citing the history and evolution of the Battlefield series in graphical terms as he goes.
This speech is now available in full online courtesy of NVIDIA - if you're interested in what he has to say, check out the full keynote here or via the embedded video below!
We've been waiting to see it in action for a while, but AMD's latest CPU architecture, codenamed "Bulldozer", is finally here via the launch of a number of CPUs. Needless to say, reviews are focusing upon the company's new flagship offering, that being the eight-core FX-8150. Check out the comprehensive list of reviews below to see how it stacks up.
It's branded the AMD FX processor and it's only available in a single die configuration. Measuring 315mm2 and weighing in at around 2 billion transistors (that's nearly GPU-sized fellas), Bulldozer isn't that much smaller than existing 45nm 6-core Phenom II designs despite being built on Global Foundries' 32nm SOI process. Both die area and transistor count are up significantly over Sandy Bridge, which on Intel's 32nm HKMG process is only 1.16B transistors with a die size of 216mm2. This is one big chip.
Architecturally Bulldozer is a significant departure from anything we've ever seen before. We'll go into greater detail later on in this piece, but the building block in AMD's latest architecture is the Bulldozer module. Each module features two integer cores and a shared floating point core. FP hardware is larger and used less frequently in desktop (and server workloads), so AMD decided to share it between every two cores rather than offer a 1:1 ratio between int/fp cores on Bulldozer. AMD advertises Bulldozer based FX parts based on the number of integer cores. Thus a two module Bulldozer CPU, has four integer cores (and 2 FP cores) and is thus sold as a quad-core CPU. A four module Bulldozer part with eight integer cores is called an eight-core CPU.
Unless you've been living under a rock you'll doubtless have heard at least a little bit about Battlefield 3, and indeed you may well be aware of a multi-player beta released this week. So, how does this behemoth of an FPS perform and look?
All of our testing was done on the "Operation Metro" map as it was the only one publicly available on the first day of the beta. Rumors are circulating that soon the second map will open with 64 player support and vehicles so we are going to keep an eye on that for sure and see if performance is drastically affected.
There were two sections of the Metro map though that had very different performance characteristics and thus we tested them independently. Of three main areas on the map, the first starts in a larger outdoor area, the second takes place inside tunnels of a subway while the third returns outside in a more cityscape style design. My testing differentiated between the first outdoor section as being the most GPU intensive while the indoor section was much easier on the graphics card. You will see results for both map areas on the following pages.
Also, just to get as many different cards in as we could with the limited amount of time in a day, we ran all of our testing at 1920x1200 resolution and at Ultra quality settings.
PC Perspective has the analysis in full. Meanwhile, if you're trying to get your system ready for this beta yourself, then both AMD and NVIDIA have new driver releases with optimising performance for Battlefield 3 specifically in mind.