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Valve Index — It was the best of VR, it was the worst of VR

Tags: gaming

Valve Index VR

Despite the giant “Not available in your country” splashed all over its launch page when viewed by us plebeian Aussies, Valve have in fact made their first official VR headset available for pre-order.

The whole kit and caboodle well set you back US$999, which certainly ain’t cheap when you compare that to yesterday’s newly announced Oculus S at US$399 from Facebook but the Index is a whole lot more VR machine. Or is it?

The Index despite having cameras mounted on its mask aren’t there for inside-out tracking like the Oculus S, they’re there to provide passthrough of the environment to the wearer, meaning that you’ll still be sticking up sensors around the room so it can tell where you are.

The Index too makes use of an older tech for its display, opting for an LCD panel instead of the shiny new darling of the display world, OLED. Their reasoning behind this is the ability to ramp up its refresh rate running the larger 1440 x 1600 per eye displays at 120Hz and currently testing pushing that further to 144Hz.

Another bonus of the Index’s display system is a much larger field of vision said to be 20 degrees larger than its 3rd party step bro the HTC Vive. This varies however as a result of the headset being about to adjust based on the distance between your eyes.

Reportedly, the Index is one fo the most comfortable and best at preventing light leakage even whilst the user is wearing glasses and can function with two base stations to cover a large 10m x 10m space.

You are still tethered (as you are with the Oculus S) and it will require setup, placing the base stations in the corners of the room as well as a beefy PC behind it all to power those high res displays.

Source: Valve Index

Sony reveal PS5 details ahead of notable E3 absence

Tags: gaming, tech

Don’t expect it anytime in 2019, but the next PlayStation console is well on its way—and it’s packing ray-tracing support and a loadtime-killing solid-state hard drive.

The console wars are about to fire up for another generation kids.

With E3 just over a month away and details of one of Microsoft’s new consoles coming out less than 24 hours ago Sony have deemed it time to offer an exclusive to Wired detailing just how fantastic their yet to be named (it’ll be the PS5) console is going to be.

Mark Cerny, the PS4’s system architect cum game designer (he’s behind Knack & Marble Madness – one of those was good) is returning to spearhead the PR train revealing details most people could’ve surmised themselves.

The new PS5 will include backwards compatibility, a true first for the Sony console, 8K support (if you can throw A$10k at a TV), an AMD Ryzen 7nm Zen 2 based CPU as well as an AMD Radeon Navi GPU, a new 3D audio system and faster SSD system (probably PCIe 4.0 based) that was demonstrated loading a previously 15 second long section of last year’s Spider-Man in 0.8 seconds.

It seems like one of the major points Cerny was making centred around the new console’s ray-tracing abilities that he attributes to only being available in US$10k+ systems and a first for consoles when it comes to the PS5. Raytracing is a hard sell and something that engine makers will need to incorporate and support, which I’m sure Sony are working hard on to achieve, but just ask Nvidia how well that marketing tactic has gone with their RTX 20 Series launched last year. (Spoiler alert – not well)

Lastly the console is definitely not coming out until 2020 and even then not likely until October/November for the holidays. It will still have some form of physical media and for those of you thinking Death Stranding is coming out soon, they make a strong point it’s likely to be a PS5 launch title but you’ll get a shittier PS4 version as well to make you want to upgrade.

Source: Exclusive: What to Expect From Sony’s Next-Gen PlayStation

PlayStation will finally let you change that gamertag you regret choosing

Tags: gaming

We’re excited to announce that the online ID change feature on PSN is officially launching to all PlayStation 4 owners later today.

It’s taken eight years but Sony will finally let you change that PSN ID you chose back in high school and have regretted for the past half a decade or so.

The first change is free but after that it’ll set you back A$13.99 (or A$6.99 for PS+ members).

While I’m glad I can continue to consolidate my ID’s across all platforms I think the bigger take away from this is that if after eight years of constant pressure from their customers can bring change there’s still (potentially) hope for Twitter to add an edit button.

More information and details about what you can and can’t do with the ID change are available on the PlayStation blog.

Google unveils game streaming service: Stadia

Tags: gaming, tech

Google CEO Sundar Pichai […] introduced the Stadia service during a special keynote at GDC this morning. Describing it as a platform for everyone, Pichai talked up Google’s ambitions to stream games to all types of devices.

The service, which is notably NOT coming to Australia when it launches later this year, will allow gamers to stream AAA titles to a slew devices ranging from your laptop or PC to a Chromecast connected TV.

Announced just a couple weeks after Microsoft’s xCloud project, “Stadia” is an almost identical product with added lofty statements such as 4K, 60fps, HDR surround at launch and an expectation to hit 8K 120fps down the road.

Stadia will make use of Google’s vast data centre & cloud network, which it hopes will give it an edge in the race to cloud console streaming war that is now heavily ramping up.

Games can be played using either existing PC connectable controllers, mice, & keyboards or using Stadia’s own controller. The Stadia controller also doubles as a Google Assistant device and directly connects to the Stadia service via WiFi identifying whatever screen you’re playing on, meaning you can literally just pack the controller and take your gaming anywhere.

Game wise the only titles announced for the service are Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, which was used in the service’s beta, and Bethesda’s Doom Eternal.

No information is available as to the service’s cost at this stage but one thing is for sure and that’s the universal loathing of Google’s chosen name for the service.

Source: Google unveils Stadia cloud gaming service at GDC 2019 – The Verge

The end of “endgame” & gaming as a relationship

Tags: gaming

David Polfeldt - The Division 2

We made a conscious decision to rethink the live-phase. Instead of thinking of it as ‘games as a service’ we redefined it as ‘games as a relationship’.

Blatant self-promotion this one. Roast me if you will 🙂

Recently Ubisoft Australia gave me the amazing opportunity to interview Massive Entertainment managing director, David Polfeldt.

Developers of The Division franchise, Polfeldt talks about how the studio changed its entire development strategy after the release of the original and how their new relationship with gamers goes towards shaping the content they produce.

It was a fascinating chat and a great opportunity that I’m quite proud of.

Source: The End Of “Endgame” And Gaming As A Relationship

EA’s Apex Legends hits 25m meanwhile Anthem employs Neill Blomkamp to stay relevant

Tags: gaming

What were EA thinking?

Two studios with two different games and two vastly different marketing budgets releasing within days of one another. EA has cooked up some sort of David vs Goliath battle pitting two of its own studios, underdog Respawn and triple A story-tellers Bioware, against one another.

Why EA thought it would be a good idea to release the rock solid, stable and highly addictive behemoth that Apex Legends has become just weeks ahead of Anthem I’ll never know, but they have, and they did, so here we are.

Today in a continued effort to show off the millions being poured into the marketing budget of EA’s champion, Anthem, we get a live action trailer directed “from” Neill Blomkamp of District 9 fame. The trailer, produced by Blomkamp’s Oats Studio, is of course beautiful to look at but I fear leads the game further down a path already well trodden by Destiny’s shit-show of a storyline.

With that said Bioware are lauded to be the magicians of story telling in the gaming world so if anyone can make it work it should be them.

An exclusive look at The Division 2’s Dark Zone

Tags: gaming

If The Division was a McDonalds Big Mac, the Dark Zone would be its Special Sauce. The hybrid Player versus Environment versus Player (PvEvP) mode was the original’s crowning “jewel” and for those that dared enter, offered a world of intense high risk action and reward. The same rings true of its sequel, however, as I found out, it does so in a far more fair and enjoyable manner than ever before.

Yours truly, sent on a mission to check out The Division 2’s Dark Zone ahead of its release this upcoming March.

You can read my full preview over at Press Start and check out the three modes of gameplay I was given hands on with in the video above.

Source: We Played The Division 2’s Dark Zone And It’s Still Damn Intense

PlayStation wont be at E3 2019

Tags: gaming

Sony Interactive Entertainment […] won’t be hosting its annual press conference or showing up at all during next year’s massive E3 expo.

I can’t imagine an E3 without Sony. I’d say this is the beginning of the end for the gigantic gaming trade show but that already started when EA decided to take a major dump on them & open up their own thing next door.

Sony have also cancelled their “PlayStation Experience” event after four years and while this has absolutely nothing to do with their mammoth PS4 sales figures I wouldn’t be surprised if they were to announce another event in the months to come.

E3 is still on next year though and Nintendo, Xbox, Bethesda and others have confirmed they will be there. The question is, for how much longer?

Source: PlayStation Skipping E3 For First Time – Variety

Melbourne GTA Online cheat developer has home raided

Tags: australia, gaming

A gamer in Melbourne has had his assets frozen in connection with a cheat for Grand Theft Auto Online, raising questions about the reach of copyright law and the policing of online civility.

This is a cracking read & raises so many great discussion points around the reach of copyright, cheating in online games, profiting from selling cheat-enabling software and the stifling of the mod-ing community out of fear of legal action.

Spend the five minutes to read through, it’s an incredibly well written piece and well worth it.

Source: He Developed a Video Game Cheat. Then His Home Was Raided. – The New York Times

Get Destiny 2 on PC for FREE!

Tags: gaming

In celebration of one year of Destiny on Battle.net we want to gift you a copy of Destiny 2. Claim now before the offer expires on November 18, 2018.

 

That’s a pretty sweet deal. All you have to do is log into your Battle.net account and click the “Claim” button before November 18th and it will forever be there for you to play.

Even if you think Destiny isn’t your jam its definitely worth checking out, especially at that price!

Source: Blizzard Gifts