That sound you hear is the vault door opening after centuries of neglect. With a hiss the door slides and inside, at long last, sites the Fallout 4 system requirements. We're a shade over four weeks away from yet another mammoth RPG preparing to steal away our lives. Sensationally revealed in the run up to E3, we've only had to wait five months for it to hit stores.
Bethesda reckon it's going to be bigger, better, more complex and sprawling than any Fallout before it. It's undeniably one of the most anticipated games this holiday season. Before you put on your Pip-Boy and step out into the wastelands though, it's time to find out whether your gaming rig is as useful as an irradiated bottle of Nuka Cola, or a VATS headshot master, with the official Fallout 4 system requirements.
If you’ve been keeping track of VR, and Valve and HTC’s Vive in particular, you’ll know it’s not necessarily cheap to set up. All signs point to the HTC Vive being the most expensive of the bunch, but it’s also going to be the trickiest to set up. The reason Valve reckon you’re going to pick up an HTC Vive ahead of the rest is because of room scale VR.
This basically maps out a virtual reality environment into a room. The ideal size is 4.5m square, which is about 15 feet by 15 feet. This entire area needs to be clear of obstructions, but once it’s mapped out you’ll be able to walk about it and interact with things. This all sounds great in theory, but not everyone’s going to have the room to get the HTC Vive up and running. It’s clearly something playing on Valve’s mind, as it’s published a new survey asking fans about room scale VR and where they’re going to set their HTC Vive up.
Microsoft took its HoloLens augmented reality headset out for a spin yesterday during its hardware conference. It’s always looked like a nice piece of experimental kit that would take years to arrive, but Microsoft surprised us all and announced the first dev kits will be available early next year. Compared to the early Oculus Rift development kits however, the Hololens comes with a far steeper price tag that will put it out of buying range for most curious gamers.
Scheduled to arrive in the first quarter of 2016, Hololens dev kits will set you back a cool $3000. Devs can submit their application for a kit now, which comes with the completely untethered headset utilising sensors to map the environment around you. Microsoft also demonstrated its gaming capabilities during the event, showcasing the robot-battling Project X-Ray.
After the train wreck that was Batman: Arkham Knight on PC you’d think Nvidia would be doing everything it can to ensure its next bundled in game wasn’t a total disaster. Which makes it all the more curious to see Nvidia announce new game bundles of Rainbow Six Siege and Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, packed in with GeForce GTX 970, GeForce GTX 980 and GeForce GTX 980 Ti GPUs until early 2016.
It’s the latter game which will raise a few eyebrows. Early reports are suggesting Syndicate could be every bit as buggy as Assassin’s Creed Unity was last year, so it’s not exactly the strongest candidate to show off your shiny new graphics card. Whatever the case, those who pick up one of the three Nvidia GPUs will be able to choose between AC: Syndicate and Rainbow Six: Siege. Codes will be sent out when the games are released, which is November 19th and December 1st respectively.
Retail stores' ouroboros-like cannibalising of themselves continues apace with the news that ‘Steam Sections’ are being placed in stores across North America and the UK. In these new sections gamers will be able to pick up Steam hardware like the Steam Controller, Steam Link, and a select number of Steam Machines. Before heading home, connecting it to Valve’s digital store and never heading back into the brick and mortar shop again.
It smacks of desperate times, desperate measures for stores, which are attempting to stave off the ever-increasing threat of digital downloads but stocking whatever they can to bring punters in. For Valve however it’s a big win, and it’s one step closer to parity in the public’s perception of consoles and PCs. Once you can head on in and pick up a PC gaming device as easily as a console, we’re bound to see an influx of console gamers.
Every so often a game comes along that is designed to absolutely spank even high-end PCs. We didn't expect the Frostbite 3-powered Star Wars Battlefront to be that game but it turns out it is. If you were holding out hope of playing DICE's multiplayer shooter, set to whip Star Wars fans into a midichlorian-fuelled frenzy ahead of Episode VII: The Force Awakens, then it may be time for that upgrade you've been holding out on.
Despite Star Wars Battlefront's 40-player cap coming in some way below the 64-player behemoth that is Battlefield 4, what we've got here our the most demanding system requirements we've seen for a game yet. Perhaps Darth Vader was given a job at DICE HQ. So check your bank balance, compare your rig to Battlefront 3's demands here on GD, and check out the official Star Wars: Battlefront system requirements.
AC Syndicate is likely to have a fairly massive PC hard drive footprint. With a 40GB file size revealed over on the XBox One Store.
This is around the same sort of hard drive space that last years Assassins Creed Unity used. Which makes sense, seeing as they share a similar build structure and graphics engine.
The latest CPUs by Intel, codenamed Skylake, are cutting their way through the market worldwide. Being the first CPUs to support DDR4 RAM, this series can be considered a revolutionary leap forward.
That said, however, there is a potential problem on the horizon. We are likely to experience a complete lack of future support towards DDR3 RAM sticks. Some motherboard manufacturers still offer motherboards which require DDR3 sticks and then there are motherboards which require DDR4 sticks but never both at once on the same motherboard.
It wasn’t that long ago when 2GB VRAM seemed an absurd amount. At the tail end of the last generation of consoles, gaming PCs were many, many times more powerful, and if you had a whopping 2GB of GDDR5 memory it felt like you’d be set for years to come.
As it turns out this anything but the case, and the consoles' generational leap has had a knock-on effect to amount of video memory we need in our graphics cards. The use of unified memory in the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One has had an impact as well, giving game developers 8GB of GDDR5 memory to do with as they please, whether as VRAM or high-speed system memory. We as PC gamers are also seeing our expectations rise, pushing for 1440p or 4K gaming and even beyond.
The season of the big games is upon us and the holidays are fast approaching. As PC gamers we often slip a PC hardware component or two into our holiday present wish list. A little stick of memory here, 3.5 inches of SSD there. And Pow!, we are back in the PC gaming...err...game? Anyway, with a few choice upgrades, we can sometimes start to play the latest games again, like a boss. Do people still say that?
In preparation for the holidays 2015, I asked our main GD hardware guru, dear Pip, to spend some time searching for all the components for the best rig today. I gave him a hypothetical $1000 US budget. To keep it a little easier, he was to use Amazon.com or Newegg.com. If you are in the market for a nicely priced rig or certain components then his findings below will help guide you towards a choice upgrade for your own PC, without breaking your bank.