The Midaged Gamer Report for 5-10-2013
A new Wolfenstein, Star Wars by EA? AMD's erupting, OUYA and Ghosts!
If you know who B.J.Blazkowicz is then you're going to want to know about this next bit of news. Wolfenstein is coming back and this time it's coming from Bethesda. It's called Wolfenstein:The New Order and is described as an action-adventure shooter. That's generally accepted as code for an FPS with lots of cut scenes.
The developer, MachineGames, is comprised largely of former Starbreeze studios alumni responsible for such games as The chronicles of Riddick, Syndicate and Payday the Heist. The game is set in 1960 against a backdrop of a world where the Nazis won the second world war. As the hero, it's your responsibility to do something about it. Unfortunately, you're going to be doing it all by yourself as MachineGames has confirmed that the game will not contain multiplayer play modes. Kind of a letdown after Enemy Territory.
Look for Wolfenstein to be released around Christmas and will be available for PC, XBox 360 and PS3. The trailer looks great but so do most Bethesda trailers. The other concern is that the studio, MachineGames, other work hasn't been exactly triple-A and there's no word on the game engine being used. Watch for further developments as it gets closer to launch.
You're a psycho...
Or at least you could be if you play Borderlands 2 and pick up the latest DLC next week (May 14). The sixth and apparently final character class is based on the psycho NPC and goes by the name of Krieg. Just think of the fun you could have as a crazed madman charging at enemies like a crazed hyena. That's exactly what the way you'll want to play him as well since his character perks are based on his outgoing personality.
The DLC will be available May 14th for 9.99 or 800 Microsoft points. You may want to see if Steam has a deal on it as well.
EA's got the rights to develop Star Wars games after making a deal with Disney shortly after they shut down Lucasarts video game publishing operations. EA developers Dice and Visceral will do the heavy lifting which hopefully means using the Frostbite 3.0 engine.
The danger is EA showing out great looking games with a lousy story like Battlefield 3. Good Star Wars games always have a good storyline. That's something EA doesn't have a great track record with. See Mass Effect 3, Battlefield 3 and Medal of Honor Warfighter for examples.
AMD's got plans for you Nvidia. They plan to come out swinging with an entirely new GPU family called Volcanic Islands whose members will be named after islands in the Pacific ocean. Rumored to be due out late this year which likely means Q1 2014 if history holds. It appears that the new family shares nothing with the previous Southern Islands architecture. Instead there will be separate parallel and serial processing units much like AMD's APU designs. Why the wait if the roadblocks are in place and we already know Nvidia's plans for the 700 series?
Where the Nvidia 700 series is essentially a rebranding of the existing 600 series with some tweaks, AMD's designs are completely new. It's also speculated that AMD is waiting for their 20nm process to be ready at the TSMC foundry where the chips will be made. AMD's current GPUs run hotter primarily because of the 28nm process. It's hoped that new architecture and a 20nm process can correct that. That and a driver that actually works with crossfire would be nice too. They'd better get it right if they want to avoid Volcanic Islands becoming the GPU's with the most appropriate namesake.
In what is likely to be taken as the first indication that Intel hates PC enthusiasts as much as Sony hates second hand Playstation games... It appears (albeit unconfirmed by the company) that the top end of the next generation of Intel Core processors (Haswell) will only be available in the soldered on BGA package.
The new processors come in the form of the 4770R, 4670R and 4570R or just the "R" processors, all of them BGA only. BGA packages are primarily designed for small form factor PC's and laptops such as ultrabooks found primarily in OEM designs. Truth be told the "R" in the designation means updated onboard graphics capability supposedly 3 times better than current HD4000 designs.
Enthusiasts usually don't care about integrated graphics and there will still be LGA socketed designs including a 4770K but the top end but it's not the very top anymore. It also means that the DIY enthusiast is going to have less to choose from when they're building a system. Those who care about integrated graphics and replaceable CPU's won't get the updated graphics core (HD52xx). Instead they'll be stuck with the HD4600.
The price of processor on board designs could also drive up the price of performance oriented ultrabooks and OEM pc's which leaves little room for a discrete graphics option. That means fewer choices for everyone no matter if they're a DIY type or not.
If you're excited about the new Ouya console I've got good news and bad news. The good news is that the company has received an additional 15 million in funding from companies like Nvidia and venture capital firms. The bad news is that the June 4th launch has been pushed back to June 25th reportedly to more adequately meet customer demand.
The company is also gaining a new board member in the person of Bing Gordon, former EA Chief creative officer (1998-2008.) Gordon also served in other roles with EA since its 1982 founding. If you like SimCity (before the current one)Need for Speed or Madden football you can thank this guy. Long story short, he knows the gaming business and doesn't get involved with losers. That probably explains why he got out of EA when he did.
According to the USA Today, it's pretty rare for a crowd funded startup to catch the attention of venture capital firms not to mention a major player in the graphics market. It's not that surprising, however, considering the company already had 8.6 million in funding exclusively from potential customers. It's a pretty safe bet in my view. I mean, how many startups can claim a customer base before their product even launches?
Are you afraid of ghosts?
Well if they take the form of another Call of Duty game then you can count on it showing up around the same time the new XBOX and PS4 launch. It's called Call of Duty: Ghosts and is set in the future but using current weaponry. Activision has turned once again to Infinity Ward for development duties after they handled the previous Modern Warfare titles. Hmm, sounds kind of like that other game that's coming out around the same time. Battle Lawn 4 or something like that.
In any case there'll be a demonstration of it at the XBOX reveal on May 21st. The game is supposed to officially launch on November 5th and will be available for PC and current and upcoming Microsoft and Sony consoles. Price is in the $60 range on pre-order, of course.