The gloves are off from team red, as AMD accuses Nvidia’s Gameworks of being tragic and damaging to the graphics card industry. Nvidia GameWorks is a toolset of exclusive visual effects and graphical effects designed to take advantage of GeForce hardware. It includes real-time hair physics, dynamically affect smoke effects, and dynamic clothing, among other effects.
The catch is, Nvidia’s GameWorks is designed to work best with its own hardware, to the detriment of AMD’s range of graphics cards. Nvidia works with a number of games publishers and developers to work the Gameworks effects in, but AMD’s gaming scientist Richard Huddy reckons this is to the detriment of game performance.
Final Fantasy's march onto PC continues apace with the news that Final Fantasy Type-0 HD will be coming to Steam on August 14th. Final Fantasy Type-0 HD is a spruced up remake of the PSP original, and one that's been given a further lick of paint with PC exclusive graphics features and enhancements. Bizarrely, pre-ordering yourself a copy will net you a DOTA 2 bonus in the shape of a class zero Moogle ward. Perhaps most tragically of all, you'll also get an 'exclusive loading screen'. Yippee.
Anyway, enough of that, because Final Fantasy Type-0 HD is actually a pretty fine spin-off. It centres on a group of students from an elite military academy, known as Class Zero. They're tasked with fending off the neighbouring Empire, through action-based combat. To see whether you're rig is ready for its final fantasy, check out the official Final Fantasy Type-0 HD system requirements.
In a bit of a head-scratching move, OUYA founder Julie Uhrman has confirmed the recent reports that high-end peripheral manufacturer Razer has bought the company out. Razer has obviously seen some worth in the ill-fated micro-console, which rose to prominence as an early Kickstarter success.
The deal is reportedly in the region of $1 billion, which boggles the mind a little. It’s Razer’s first ever acquisition. The purchase includes the OUYA software assets, as well as its technical and developer relations teams, so there’s sure to be some smart minds there. The plan is for Razer to roll its OUYA acquisition into its own Forge TV - an Android TV gaming console which is planned to work in conjunction with the Razer Cortex games platform.
Nvida’s latest gaming bundle is the upcoming Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Users who buy one of a range of newer graphics cards from qualifying stores will get a copy of Hideo Kojima’s eagerly-anticipated open-world stealth sequel.
If you’ve been privy to the eye-popping pre-order prices for The Phantom Pain, this could be a great deal. Coming in at a recommended retail price of £59.99, that’s quite a chunk you’re ‘saving’ picking up at GTX 900 series graphics card. Let’s just hope it goes a little better than that ill-fated Batman: Arkham Knight deal…
Intel’s Skylake drops in a matter of weeks, and we’re finally beginning to get some concrete details of what we can expect from the micro-architecture redesign. According to new slides released by Intel, we can hope to see general performance gains in the region of 10-20% in comparison to Broadwell, and even further gains over Haswell.
The slides give us a breakdown of many of the basic Skylake features we can look forward to, as well as the advancements over Broadwell. In addition to the CPU performance boosts, we can also anticipate roughly 30% longer battery life and up to 41% faster integrated graphics.
Hot on the heels of Nvidia's GTX 950 news, AMD’s have reportedly begun shipping Radeon R9 Nano graphics cards to retail. The launch for the tiny high-end graphics card is planned for August. This is the first time we’ve heard anything other than a vague Q3 2015 date, and it seems as if retailers are beginning to receive their stock, with the first screenshots creeping out.
While we’re still waiting on official benchmark results for AMD’s Radeon R9 Nano, it’s undoubtedly an impressive card. Measuring just six inches, the Nano is designed with small form factor builds in mind. AMD has previously claimed we’re looking at performance that narrowly exceeds the R9 290X, however at around half of the power draw.
According to the latest reports, Nvidia is preparing to launch the lower-tier GeForce GTX 950 in just under a month’s time, on August 17th. At the moment the lowest-end 900-series GeForce graphics card you can pick up is the $200 GTX 960, but this is all set to change.
The last entry-tier graphics cards we saw from Nvidia were the GeForce GTX 750 and the GTX 750 Ti, early last year. The latter card was the first from Nvidia to built on the Maxwell architecture, and it proved a compelling purchase when comparing price to performance. The GeForce GTX 950 will be an evolution of this; second-generation Maxwell based on the GM206 core architecture.
Euro Truck Simulator 2 was one of the surprise breakout hits of the simulation genre. It seems we can't just resist turning on the radio, winding the window down, and getting down to some trucking. However, nowhere is quite so synonymous with long-distance trucking as the good ol' US of A. Enter stage left - American Truck Simulator 2015.
ATS 2015 promises to be everything you loved about Euro Truck Sim, but cruising across the vast expanse of North America. Route 66, Big Sur, East Coast, West Coast; you name it, you can carry heavy goods on it via an articulated lorry. Dodgy diners and copious amounts of coffee sadly not included. If you want to get stuck into the VR dream come true, then make sure your big rig's up to the job with the American Truck Simulator 2015 system requirements.
Intel’s Skylake CPUs are just around the corner, and MSI has revealed its range of Intel Z170 Gaming motherboards set to support the upcoming chipset. Created with gaming firmly in mind, the MSI Z170A Gaming motherboards promise to pack in high-end performance with plenty of features.
A total of three motherboards are coming our way from MSI, all designed to support the Intel Core i5 and Core i7 Skylake S processors on the LGA1151 socket. These comprise the Z170A Gaming M5, the Z170A Gaming M7, and the Z170A Gaming M9 ACK, each targeted at different areas of the market.
When the Oculus Rift was announced it stood alone. Finally technology had married up with ambition, and virtual reality had become a genuine possibility. Fast forward two years and the Oculus Rift is just one of a crowded rabble of VR headsets. Everyone’s getting in on the action, and it can be a confusing experience knowing which one to get - or wait for.
The vast majority of VR headsets aren’t even out yet, with just Google Cardboard and Samsung Gear VR the only widespread commercial head-mounted displays. By early 2016 they’ll joined by a host of others though, including Sony’s Project Morpheus, HTC and Valve’s Vive, and of course the Oculus Rift. To help you out, here’s a complete rundown of the virtual reality headsets coming your way.