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EA SPORTS FIFA World to Launch a New Game Engine Later This Year

Electronic Arts Inc. today announced that EA SPORTS FIFA World, a new free-to-play* game for PC, is set to launch a new game engine that will give fans an even better, more realistic, football experience. By removing the barriers of having access to a console or a high powered PC, EA SPORTS FIFA World brings the FIFA experience to more gaming and football fans around the globe. Available in 9 languages, fans with an average spec laptop or desktop PC and a broadband Internet connection can play a fun, free, authentic football game, driven by live content and featuring real players and real clubs from over 30 officially licensed leagues.

Since being announced at Gamescom 2013, EA SPORTS FIFA World has seen more than 3.5 million registrations from over 180 countries register to play the Beta, with over 45 million total matches played. Based on fan feedback, over 20 major updates have been made to the game, including gamepad and keyboard-only controls, as well as Accomplishments - a new feature that captures compelling storylines from the real world of football as they happen, challenging and rewarding fans to recreate and re-live these defining moments in EA SPORTS FIFA World.

Mad Catz Teams with EA and Respawn to Create Licensed Titanfall Peripherals

Mad Catz Interactive, Inc. announced today that it has entered into an agreement with Electronics Arts, Inc. (NASDAQ: EA) to create a range of Titanfall-branded gaming products. Expected to be in stores for the launch of Titanfall, the Titanfall-branded product range includes TRITTON gaming headsets, R.A.T. mice, S.T.R.I.K.E. keyboards, F.R.E.Q. gaming headsets and G.L.I.D.E. gaming surfaces.

"Titanfall has earned critical acclaim and won numerous awards, including Best of Show, Best Original Game, and Best Online Multiplayer at this year's E3 conference. Mad Catz is excited to bring a range of cutting-edge, innovative, Titanfall-branded products to gamers in connection with one of the most anticipated game launches in recent history," said Darren Richardson, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Mad Catz Interactive, Inc. "The Titanfall license builds on Mad Catz' strategy to align our product portfolio with AAA content that appeals to passionate gamers."

Battlefield 4 an AMD Gaming Evolved Title, Possibly Part of Upcoming Bundle

AMD revealed that EA's highly-anticipated online shooter, Battlefield 4, is an AMD Gaming Evolved title, in the run up to its GPU'14 event, slated for later today. It also hints at the possibility of Battlefield 4 being part of an upcoming "Never Settle" bundle that's exclusive to buyers of the Radeon R 200 series. What does this translate to in the real world? Radeon HD 7700 series and above, and the upcoming Radeon R 200 series, feature 100% support for DirectX 11.1, which Battlefield 4 is rumored to take advantage of, on PCs running Windows 8 (and above). It could translate to better performance or visual effects.

Battlefield 4 Running DirectX 11.1 Could Give Radeon HD 7000 an Edge

EA-DICE' upcoming online shooter Battlefield 4 will take advantage of DirectX 11.1 API, on PCs running Windows 8 and Windows 8.1. Running the game with DirectX 11.1 will have a positive performance impact compared to running it on DirectX 11.0, or on older operating systems like Windows 7 (which doesn't support DirectX 11.1). In the words of the technical director behind Frostbite, the underlying engine for Battlefield 4, "We use DX11.1, there are some optimizations in it (constant buffer offsets, dynamic buffers as SRVs) that we got in to the the API that improves CPU performance in our rendering when one runs with DX11.1." This could give Radeon HD 7000 series GPUs an edge over their GeForce competitors. GPUs based on NVIDIA's "Kepler" micro-architecture don't fully support DirectX 11.1. Incidentally, Battlefield 4 was just bagged and tagged by AMD for its future "Never Settle" bundle. Join the dots.
Sources: NextPowerUp, DSOGaming

All Frostbite 3 Titles Will Be Optimized For AMD Only

All Frostbite 3 Titles Will Be Optimized For AMD Only (Updated)

According to a report from IGN, EA and AMD have entered an agreement which sees the latter benefiting from exclusive rights to optimization for games based on EA's Frostbite 3 engine. Titles like Battlefield 4, Need for Speed Rivals and Mirror's Edge 2 are subject to this rumored accord between AMD and EA, but also many other current and future EA titles. Of course, this will not completely remove NVIDIA from the Frostbite 3 table, they will simply be absent from it until the actual launch takes place, meaning that pre-launch testing and driver optimization can only be done by AMD, leaving NVIDIA at a clear disadvantage.

While still an unconfirmed rumor, AMD refused to deny it in a reply to Ryan Shrout's query regarding the story. AMD's reply below.
"It makes sense that game developers would focus on AMD hardware with AMD hardware being the backbone of the next console generation. At this time, though, our relationship with EA is exclusively focused on Battlefield 4 and its hardware optimizations for AMD CPUs, GPUs and APUs."

AMD Updates its Never Settle Bundle

AMD updated its "Never Settle" game bundles for all graphics card models upwards of Radeon HD 7700 series. The update adds a game to each of the three product families - HD 7700, HD 7800, and HD 7900 series. The offer covers new purchases made after the 15th of May. Buyers of single-GPU HD 7900 series graphics cards no longer have to choose between Crysis and Tomb Raider; while buyers of HD 7800 series get Crysis 3 Hunter Edition. In essence, single-GPU HD 7900 and HD 7800 series buyers get the same bundles.

You get Crysis 3 Hunter Edition, Bioshock: Infinite, Tomb Raider (2013), and FarCry 3: Blood Dragon; with both single-GPU Radeon HD 7900 series, and Radeon HD 7800 series. Buyers of Radeon HD 7700 series will get an addition, too, Tomb Raider (2013). This is a limited offer that runs while supplies last, covers only new purchases made after May 15, and only targets North America, EMEA, Australia, and New Zealand.

Acer Announces New B6 and V6 Series Displays

Acer America is now offering its Acer B6 and V6 Series LED-backlit displays combining smart ergonomics and eco-conscious materials for both professional customers and consumers in Canada. The new monitors offer a thinner body than the prior generation and a wide array of models in various screen sizes, which feature a vertical alignment (VA) or twisted nematic (TN) panel depending on model.

The Acer V6 Series value line of displays focused on offering great quality at a good price is available in 19- to 24-inch screen sizes. The B6 Series premium line ranges in screen sizes from 22- to 27-inches and boasts a multi-function ergonomic stand, dual speakers and on select models, USB 3.0 with power-off charging for smartphones and other digital devices.

Monster Teams Up with EA SPORTS to Launch Gaming and Music Headphone

Monster, the world leader in high-performance personal audio, is proud to announce it is entering the gaming accessories space with the breakthrough EA SPORTS MVP Carbon by Monster headphone. Jointly developed with EA SPORTS, a label of Electronic Arts Inc., a global leader in digital interactive entertainment, the new EA SPORTS MVP Carbon by Monster headphone (SRP: $269.95) is the first-ever collaboration between a game developer and a headphone manufacturer that offers an unprecedented level of immersive sonic gameplay – just the way the game developers intended. Follow Monster during CES at #MonsterCES and the EA headphones launch at #PlayLoud.

Crysis 3 PC System Requirements Detailed

The seemingly age-old question 'Will it run Crysis?' is back with a vengeance as EA has provided the system requirements for the third installment of Crytek's first-person shooter. Set for a February 2013 release, Crysis 3 'demands' the following:

Minimum
  • Windows Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8
  • DirectX 11 graphics card with 1 GB Video RAM
  • Dual core CPU
  • 2 GB Memory (3 GB on Vista)
  • Example 1 (Nvidia/Intel):
  • o Nvidia GTS 450
    o Intel Core2 Duo 2.4 GHz (E6600)
  • Example 2 (AMD):
  • o AMD Radeon HD5770
    o AMD Athlon64 X2 2.7 GHz (5200+)

DICE Debuts Battlefield 3: Aftermath Digital Expansion Pack

DICE, an Electronic Arts Inc. studio, today announced that Battlefield 3: Aftermath, the fourth digital expansion pack for Battlefield 3, is now available for all Battlefield 3 Premium members on the PlayStation 3 computer entertainment system.

Battlefield 3: Aftermath provides a new brand of carnage to urban combat delivering four new maps in a vertical and horizontal setting, depicting a continuing struggle for supremacy and survival amongst Iran's post-earthquake devastation. G4TV even said, "DICE continues to play with Battlefield 3's multiplayer action in creative ways with its downloadable content releases. Aftermath is shaping up to be the most unique of the bunch by far."

Pre-Order Crysis 3 to Receive Free Digital Download of the Original Crysis Game

Electronic Arts Inc. and developer Crytek GmbH, today announced that fans who pre-order Crysis 3 will receive a free digital download copy of the original Crysis game for Xbox 360, PS3 or PC*. Lauded by GameSpot as "One of the greatest shooters ever made" and universally hailed upon its release for breaking new ground with jaw-dropping visuals, industry leading technology and sandbox gameplay, Crysis thrusts players into the middle of a global conflict between the U.S. and North Korea over a mysterious artifact that turns out to be extraterrestrial in nature. In Crysis, players are outfitted with the series signature Nanosuit and an arsenal of fully customizable weapons that provide a wide array of options not only for the games story missions but also every single objective and individual encounter. In addition, those that pre-order Crysis 3 will receive the Crysis 3 Hunter Edition, giving fans a head start in multiplayer with immediate access to the powerful new Predator bow and the Hunter Nanosuit module and more**.

Battlefield 4 Beta Confirmed with Warfighter LE Pre-Orders

EA has confirmed reports that a beta invite to Battlefield 4 will be included with pre-orders of the Medal of Honor: Warfighter Limited Edition. The announcement claims the Battlefield 4 beta will be available sometime in fall 2013, so you have a while to wait. EA points out that the two games are very different, but touts the shared heritage of the Frostbite engine. Yesterday, the rumors started churning from a leaked ad that promised the beta. Today you can actually order the Limited Edition from Origin, which costs $10 more than the standard edition.

Source: Shacknews

EA to go 100% Digital, Calls NPD 'Irrelevant'

EA has made a major push into PC digital distribution with Origin, and it seems to be paying off. Analysts have predicted that we're heading toward an all-digital age, and EA intends to speed up the process by actively moving toward that goal itself. "We'll continue to deliver games in whatever media formats make sense and as one ebbs and one starts to flow, we'll go in that direction," EA Games president Frank Gibeau said. "Ultimately Electronic Arts, at some point in the future - much like your question about streaming and cloud - we're going to be a 100% digital company, period. It's going to be there some day. It's inevitable." He also noted the problem that many in the industry have pointed out: our only measure of tracking sales numbers is through NPD, which tracks retail sales but has lagged behind on reporting digital numbers. Part of that is probably that the large digital marketplace Steam is reluctant to share its sales data, but it still creates a definite issue of incomplete data. "I think one of the problems with this industry right now is that people tend to look at it like they're looking at an elephant through a straw," he told GI.biz. "They only see a little parts of it and they're not looking at the total picture, right? Between Facebook, social, mobile, free to play on PC, Asia, consoles... it's a vibrant, growing, huge market. An occasional bad report from NPD, which measures a sliver of what's actually happening in gaming gives people an erroneous impression."

Battlefield 3 Premium Sells Over 800K Since Launch

While many scoffed at Battlefield 3's late-arriving competitor to Call of Duty Elite, it seems to have worked quite splendidly for the publisher. More than 800,000 players have signed up for Premium in its first two weeks of availability, EA Games' Patrick Soderlund revealed. Although Premium less a "service" like Elite and more of a DLC Season Pass, the $50 asking price does include a lot of content. Namely, Premium includes access to over $75 worth of content, making it a "value" for hardcore fans of the series. Speaking to USA Today, Soderlund said that "we are very pleased with the performance so far." When asked if this strategy is something EA will pursue with future games, he said: "We're actually only two weeks into it, so it's a little early to tell how this is going to pay off. It certainly it looks very promising right now."

Call of Duty Elite currently has over two million paying subscribers, a number which took about six months to reach.

Source: Shacknews

Lian Li Announces EATX Supported Chassis with Front Placed PSU - PC-V750

Lian-Li Industrial Co. Ltd, today announces a brushed aluminum EATX supported chassis with a front placed PSU – PC-V750. With the power supply placed in the front, the PC-V750 can hold the hardware that enthusiasts desire while keeping a smaller footprint.

Shorter than most EATX supporting chassis, the 440mm (17.32”) tall PC-V750 can hold up to six 3.5” hard drives with hotswap capabilities in the HDD cage with one 2.5” at the bottom of the cage. Two more 2.5” drives can be installed if only four 3.5” drives are in the cage.

EA Starts Medal of Honor Charity for Fallen Soldiers

EA has started a new program to generate awareness and charitable contributions to fallen Special Operations soldiers, titled "Project Honor." The program is a marketing tie-in with the upcoming Medal of Honor Warfighter, but it's also planning some smart ways to benefit military charities. Various weapon and gear manufacturers will donate to the Navy SEAL Foundation and the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. Their products will be featured in Warfighter, and they'll also be selling Medal of Honor merchandise with 100% of the proceeds going to one of the listed charities. In addition, EA and Danger Close will be selling a "Military Edition" of the game made exclusively for active, reserve, and former US military. It includes the Limited Edition with some exclusive unlocks. If you fit that bill, you can check out the GovX site for ordering details.

"This partnership with EA and Medal of Honor will raise awareness on the work we do to help the families of fallen Special Operations warriors and facilitate contributions that help provide college scholarships for surviving children and financial assistance to families of severely wounded special operations warriors," said Special Operations Warrior Foundation president John T. Carney, Jr., in the announcement. "This is a great way to give back to some of our country’s greatest warriors."

Xbox Makes Entertainment More Amazing on Phone, PC, Tablet and TV

hat if your tablet or phone knew what you were watching on TV and presented bonus features without you having to lift a finger? What if you could use your tablet to draw up a play in EA SPORTS' "Madden NFL" and then perform it to perfection on your TV? What if you could control your favorite websites on the TV with a simple swipe, pinch or zoom on your tablet's touchscreen?

To kick-start the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), Microsoft Corp. today unveiled a bold new vision for enjoying entertainment at home and on the go with Xbox SmartGlass. Launching this year, Xbox SmartGlass is an application for Windows 8, Windows Phone, and other portable devices that connects phones, PCs and tablets with your Xbox 360 console to make your entertainment smarter, more interactive and more fun.(1) The intelligence of Xbox SmartGlass makes your entertainment more engaging, Web surfing more effortless, and playing games more immersive by delivering companion content and control to enhance your TV experience.

Razer Intros Battlefield 3 BlackShark Gaming Headset

Razer, the world leader in high-performance gaming hardware, today announced the addition of a custom headset to its Collector’s Edition gaming peripheral suite. Inspired by tactical aviator headsets and armed with total audio immersion, the Razer BlackShark delivers the full force aural intensity of Battlefield 3, EA and DICE’s military shooter masterwork, the fastest-selling game in EA history.

Battlefield 3 is the most physical, dynamic and progressive shooter experience on the market. Now with the Razer BlackShark, gamers will be able to take to the skies feeling like a genuine attack helicopter pilot with complete circumaural ear cups designed to facilitate an authentic auditory in-game experience. Razer’s superior sound-isolating technology blocks out undesirable ambient noises and, for moments of truce, the Razer BlackShark comes with a detachable boom microphone for use on-the-go.

EA-DICE Frostbite Titles in 2013 Will Require 64-bit Windows

While content-creation and media transcoding applications have transitioned to native x86-64 applications that can take advantage of large amounts of system and video memory, a similar transition by game developers has been rather slow. Very few PC games ship with 64-bit executables, as most games are ported from game consoles anyway, which have slim system requirements.

EA-DICE has been behind developing games that take advantage of the latest PC technologies (such as DirectX 11), and according to a lead developer and rendering architect with the studio, Johan Andersson, games that are driven by Frostbite engine, which are slated for 2013, will require 64-bit operating systems, these games will not run on 32-bit Windows, or in 32-bit mode, on 64-bit Windows, but with full-fledged 64-bit executables. The 64-bit address-space would allow games to take advantage of system memory over 4 GB, and more importantly, high amounts of video memory, as 2 GB and 3 GB become standard with performance-segment graphics cards.

PNY Introduces XLR8 GeForce GTX 670 Graphics Card

PNY Technologies, Inc. ("PNY") today introduced the XLR8 GeForce GTX 670 2048MB GDDR5 graphics card. The GTX 670 delivers state-of-the-art features and technologies found only in the newest NVIDIA Kepler architecture to redefine smooth, seamless, lifelike gaming.

The PNY XLR8 GeForce GTX 670 was designed to produce faster, more power-efficient performance and is 30% faster than the previous generation graphics card. PNY will offer consumers a value-added bundle: the GTX 670 graphics card coupled with a PNY High Speed Thin HDMI Cable. The HDMI cable connects the GTX 670 directly to an HDTV or monitor for maximum high definition 1080p gaming.

Crytek Creating DirectX 11-like Graphics Effects for Crysis 3 on Xbox 360 and PS3

EA Crytek's blockbuster title for spring 2013, Crysis 3, promises to be equally visually intense for DirectX 11 PCs and consoles, not because the PC version will be running, strictly speaking, a "console-port", but that the console version will be running a "PC-port". Crytek is developing ways in which visual effects possible with DirectX 11 PC graphics hardware can be reproduced on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, by making the console hardware work in a way it's normally incapable of. This could be coming up with custom code for each new kind of visual effect.

EA Posts Crysis 3 Gameplay Trailer, Box Art

Following a juicy debut teaser, EA posted an even more engaging gameplay trailer. The trailer reveals the premise of the single-player campaign, where New York is overrun by the Ceph and vegetation, and is cordoned off from the rest of the world by a giant dome. Prophet lunges on a mission to take back the city. Towards the end of the 2 minute video, the box-art is revealed, with a bitter fact that you'll have to wait another year before being able to play it.

The trailer video follows.

Crysis 3 Debut Trailer Posted

Crysis 3 is real, and although you'll have to wait another year to be able to play it, Crytek began marketing it, and even accepting pre-orders. On Friday, it posted Crysis 3 Debut Trailer (the very first trailer), which reveals quite a bit of action going on, in the game, including the intriguing crossbow weapon. The trailer reveals a sci-fi post-apocalyptic setting in which a city is overrun by vegetation. The baddies appear to have a force-field around the city now. The teaser is just 15 seconds long. A (probably longer) gameplay trailer is slated for Tuesday, the 24th.

The Debut Trailer follows.

BioWare Announces Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut

BioWare, a Label of Electronic Arts Inc. announced Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut, a downloadable content pack that will expand upon the events at the end of the critically acclaimed Action RPG. Through additional cinematic sequences and epilogue scenes, the Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut will give fans seeking further clarity to the ending of Mass Effect 3 deeper insights into how their personal journey concludes. Coming this summer, the Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut will be available for download on the Xbox 360 videogame and entertainment system, PlayStation 3 computer entertainment system and PC for no extra charge (offer expires April 12, 2014).

"We are all incredibly proud of Mass Effect 3 and the work done by Casey Hudson and team," said Dr. Ray Muzyka, Co-Founder of BioWare and General Manager of EA's BioWare Label. "Since launch, we have had time to listen to the feedback from our most passionate fans and we are responding. With the Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut we think we have struck a good balance in delivering the answers players are looking for while maintaining the team's artistic vision for the end of this story arc in the Mass Effect universe."

EA is Consumerist's Worst Company in America for 2012

EA bagged another "achievement", Consumerist's Golden Poo Award for "worst company in America" for 2012. EA managed to beat Bank of America in getting there. Considering BoA has real potential to strip people of their savings, one can understand just how much of an effort EA put in winning this. Some might argue that EA and the video-games industry are too trivial compared to BoA and the finance industry, but this is exactly the argument that allows people to "ignore the complaints as companies like EA to nickel and dime consumers to death," according to Consumerist's consensus. People are particularly distraught with EA's practice of sandbagging game content and later selling it as DLCs that augment the main game, for a fee. Consumerist's "worst company in America" is an annual user-choice award given to companies with the worst business practices.

EA took the pains to respond to its achievement, by taunting The Consumerist for its choice of nominations for people to vote on, in a statement given to Kotaku.
We're sure that British Petroleum, AIG, Philip Morris, and Halliburton are all relieved they weren't nominated this year. We're going to continue making award-winning games and services played by more than 300 million people worldwide.

Source: The Consumerist, Kotaku
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