The Midagedgamer Report for 12-7-2012
Steam officially rolls out Big Picture, Intel and AMD profess love for sockets, Your new Nintendo nanny and more!
Well it's happened again, yet another multi-gigabyte download for BF3 on Origin. Just ahead of the launch of the Aftermath DLC the 3.8 Gigabyte download showed up Monday whether you planned on purchasing it or not. This may be very convenient for EA but it seems a bit ridiculous to be filling up hard drives with content you'll never use. Trust me, it's more than a client update and a few interface tweaks. Nice that I get all the pain but none of the benefits of a Premium membership.
If you're on a PC and like to game on your big screen but aren't ready to move to the dark side (consoles) you may want to check out "Big Picture." Available via the steam client, "Big Picture" allows you to access all your Steam content plus Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, Reddit and Yahoo. The interface is similar to those found on consoles and web connected TV's and is easier to navigate with a game controller than the regular Steam client. This may be a preview of the rumored Steam console user interface. A smart marketing move that would make the transition from all those "evil" Windows PC's to Gabe's new hardware all the easier. The only problem with that is that all the interesting stuff is on Windows!
According to new numbers, Black Ops 2 has grossed 1 Billion dollars in the 15 days since its launch. There's no explanation for the slow start that had initial sales down 20% over its predecessor but it may have something to do with the much hyped but ultimately overpriced and disappointing launch of Medal of Honor Warfighter. With a $60 price tag it's likely wary consumers adopted a "wait and see" approach to the game.
If you suddenly see all the game studios move to the UK in the next year you can point to the recent passing of a 25% tax reduction on game developers in the UK. The move is said to be an attempt to make the UK more attractive to investment in "creative industries." which include film and television. Currently the UK rates 4th behind countries like Canada in the number of workers employed by the game industry.
Here's something from the department of the obvious..
Microsoft's Windows 8 is more popular than MAC on Steam. Considering the comparatively limited selection of triple-A game titles available on the MAC that's not a surprise. By rank, Windows 7, XP and Vista still come out ahead of Windows 8, however.
With the leaked roadmap last week all signs pointed to the eventual demise of the socketed Intel CPU in the near future. I still don't believe the enthusiast offerings will completely go away but just in case, AMD has announced that they will supported socketed CPU's for the foreseeable future. AMD claims..
"...But for the desktop market, and the enthusiasts with whom AMD has built its brand, we understand what matters to them and how we can continue to bring better value and a better experience."
That's all well and good but I'm afraid I have to parrot an opinion already expressed by other sites. That being, that AMD's focus on the "value" market has already caused them to cede the performance/enthusiast crown to Intel which makes them a less than attractive alternative should the BGA form factor take over. To truly regain the market, their products will have to be able to compete with the Best Intel has to offer in any form factor.
Speaking of AMD...
There's a strong rumor that AMD is looking to release a new family of RADEON GPU's under the 8000 series moniker and they've already given a name to their next dual GPU offering, The 8990. The more mainstream high end part is being called the 8970. Specs show that both cards will have 6 to 12 GB of memory (per GPU), die sizes of 400mm, 2560 shaders (per GPU) 48 ROP's (per GPU) and 384 bit memory bus size. The 8970 will have 322 GB/sec bandwidth and the 8990 600 GB/sec. Expect the family to eventually match the current 7000 series cards. The first cards in the new family were due out this quarter but Q1 2013 is reportedly more realistic.
In related news early Thursday morning Intel has reportedly committed to CPU sockets for the "foreseeable" future in response to the reports of the BGA takeover.
"Intel remains committed to the growing desktop enthusiast and channel markets, and will continue to offer socketed parts in the LGA package for the foreseeable future for our customers and the Enthusiast DIY market. However, Intel cannot comment on specific long-term product roadmap plans at this time, but will disclose more details later per our normal communication process”
Wait till the body's cold before the funeral folks...
The next version of the hardware abuse and wasted resources that is Crysis, Crysis 3 is scheduled for release on February 19th in the U.S. and the 22nd in Europe. Along with this announcement comes news that Albert Hughes known for such cinematic high water marks such as Menace 2 society and Dead Presidents, will be producing a cinematic video series for the game. I guess Quentin Tarantino wasn't available.
If you're a regular League of Legends player and your tired of your feelings getting hurt by pimpled faced adolescents and middle aged men with no sex life, Riot Games has come to your rescue. They've deployed a new "anti-troll" unit headed by a neuroscientist and a psychologist. In an interview with Gamasutra, Travis George, lead producer for the game said,
"We've experienced it all ourselves. But we actually sat down and said, 'how do we actually more tangibly understand how bad the impact is, or what the impact is, or understand the problem more?'
"We actually have built a team around this. We call it, lovingly, the Player Behavior and Justice Team. There are a lot of really talented folks on that team, including two PhDs. One's a cognitive neuroscientist and one's a behavioral psychologist."
He said that the science team "can help develop models for how we track and trend what we call 'player behavior'".
"We've actually developed specific trends, and our own set of metrics that we look at for measuring what percentage of times we think that players will encounter a negative experience in a game, and how severe that negative experience is,"
If you've got your shiny new WiiU and want to take a walk on the "Wild Side" you best restrict your wanderings between 11PM and 3AM. If you're in Europe that is. Nintendo sent out an email this week informing WiiU users that games rated PEGI 18 (Europe's ESRB equivalent) would only be accessible from 11PM to 3AM.
"Dear customer, we would like to let you know that Nintendo has always aimed to offer gameplay experiences suited to all age groups, observing carefully all the relevant regulations regarding content access that are present in the various European countries."We have thus decided to restrict the access to content which is unsuitable to minors (PEGI) to the 11pm - 3am time window."
Looks like you'll have to miss some sleep if you want to get some time in on Left for Dead or Mass Effect 3. The nanny state's gone corporate it seems. There's a link to the list of PEGI 18 rated games below.