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Finding Game Bargains Made Easy with Razer Cortex

Razer, the world leader in entertainment devices and software, today announced a new platform to its suite of software products: Razer Cortex, a free software gaming application from which players can discover new game titles at the lowest prices, launch their games while boosting computer performance, back up save games and record in-game footage.

Razer Cortex features include:
  • Razer Cortex: Deals - Pay less for more of your favorite games with Razer's unique downloadable game price comparison engine. Game Booster - Enhance your PC's gaming performance with the popular boosting utilities from Razer Game Booster incorporated into Razer Cortex.
  • Save Game Manager - Automatically back up save games to the cloud and never lose a save game again.
  • Screen Capture Gallery - Immortalize your gaming moments with the touch of a hotkey.

SPEEDLINK Unveils New Gaming Peripherals at Gamescom

At this year's gamescom in Cologne, Germany, SPEEDLINK will again be focusing on dedicated gaming accessories. It'll also be presenting not just one, but two new mice: the PRIME Z-DW and KUDOS Z-9. Last year the German company presented its first complete gaming line-up - this year the focus is on new innovative products for gamers.

PRIME Z-DW Double Wheel - For even more commands
The second scroll wheel turns the new PRIME Z-DW into a truly innovative weapon. Besides the programmable buttons the additional scroll wheel can also be fully customised with many performance-enhancing assignments such as powerful commands and complex macro sequences using the accompanying software.

How Will the PC Gaming Markets Do In 2014?

The old year has passed by us now, that would be 2013 for those not keeping track, and now the gaming analysts are setting their sights on exactly how they think that the PC gaming market will perform in 2014. It's a pretty foregone conclusion that PC gaming is dead. Wait! That must have been a Freudian slip, I meant to say PC gaming is doing very well, it's just that no one can seem to pin down exactly how well it will do in the coming year. Let's take a look at some of the numbers that the people who get paid to try and forecast these things are putting out, and then see what you think.

Duke Nukem 3D: Megaton Edition gets Online Deathmatch and Coop Modes

Hail to the King, Baby! PC gamers, which include all you Mac and Linux folks, can get your game on as the most recent update for Duke Nukem 3D: Megaton Edition now brings both online multiplayer deathmatch (Duke Match) and a cooperative online mode for up to eight players to the first-person shooter. The game also now supports cross-platform play on the PC, Mac and Linux versions.

Duke Nukem 3D: Megaton Edition includes the Duke Nukem 3D: Atomic Edition, which is all four officially released episodes, Duke Caribbean: Life's a Beach, Duke it Out in D.C, Duke: Nuclear Winter, and the classic version of Duke Nukem 3D which runs in DOSBox.

NVIDIA and Ubisoft Form Gaming Alliance for This Fall's Hottest Games

NVIDIA today announced an alliance with Ubisoft to offer PC gamers the best gaming experiences possible for Ubisoft's biggest fall titles, including Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Blacklist, Assassins Creed IV Black Flag and Watch Dogs.

NVIDIA's developer technology team is working closely with Ubisoft's development studios on incorporating graphics technology innovations to create game worlds that deliver new heights of realism and immersion. One example is NVIDIA TXAA antialiasing, which provides Hollywood-levels of smooth animation, soft shadows, HBAO+ (horizon-based ambient occlusion) and advanced DX11 tessellation.

World Cyber Games Partners With Korean Air, NVIDIA and Seagate

World Cyber Games, Inc. (WCG), the recognized blue chip leader for international video game competitions, announced the partnership with Korean Air, NVIDIA and Seagate (alphabetical order).

As the leaders of each industry, Korean Air joined the WCG sponsor line as the festival sponsor, and NVIDIA and Seagate as the official sponsor to provide various services at the WCG 2012 Grand Final which will be held in Kunshan, China from November 29th to December 2nd.

Need for Speed Most Wanted Races on to Retail Shelves Today

Make trouble for the cops, for your friends or just for fun! Electronic Arts Inc. and Criterion Games today announced that the latest entry in the critically-acclaimed Need for Speed franchise, Need for Speed Most Wanted, is now available at retail stores and on Origin.com in North America.

After shattering franchise records with a total of 43 award nominations and winning the prestigious Best Racing Game award at this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), from the E3 Game Critics, Need for Speed Most Wanted is poised for global success. In Spain, Official PlayStation Magazine awarded Most Wanted with a 9.4/10 and called it, "the best online multiplayer experience ever." Game Informer, in North America, gave Most Wanted a 9/10 and described the action as an "exhilarating experience." Edge Magazine, in the UK, also awarded Most Wanted a 9/10 and credited the game for setting a "new standard in open world driving games."

AMD AppZone Brings Graphics-Accelerated Windows and Android Apps to PCs Worldwide

AMD today announced the launch of AMD AppZone, an online showcase for applications and games accelerated by AMD Radeon graphics processing units (GPUs) and AMD accelerated processing units (APUs). In addition to featuring some of the most recognizable PC games and productivity apps, consumers can now download and seamlessly run popular Android apps on AMD-based PCs running Windows thanks to a collaboration with BlueStacks to enable the AMD AppZone Player.

Powered by BlueStacks' award-winning technology, the AMD AppZone Player brings thousands of Android apps to the millions of AMD-powered tablets, notebooks, all-in-one and desktop PCs worldwide. In addition, consumers can automatically sync their AppZone apps with Android-based devices via BlueStacks Cloud Connect, a cloud-based service that enables a Windows-based PC to become an extension of an Android mobile device and vice versa.

Unreal Engine 4 PC Exclusive: Fortnite

Epic Games' Fortnite will be the company's first game to take advantage of Unreal Engine 4. Debuted at the Spike TV Video Game Awards, the cartoony action title is being described as "a co-op sandbox survival game," with building at the core of the game. "Everything you find allows you to build and improve your structure," producer Tanya Jessen told an audience at a Comic-Con panel. Given that no current console can run Unreal Engine 4, the game will be exclusive to PC. According to The Verge, Epic's Cliff Bleszinski told the audience: "This is a PC designed game, shipping exclusively on the PC."

Fortnite will be available in 2013.

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."

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.

Borderlands 2 Special Editions Detailed

Borderlands 2 is a big fall release for both 2K Games and Gearbox, timed to hit just when you might be getting sick of grabbing loot from a certain other game. And as a big fall release, it's getting a few special editions, because of course it is. Today 2K and Gearbox detailed the two special editions of the game and the goodies stashed within. The "Deluxe Vault Hunter's Collector's Edition" ($99.99) includes a Marcus bobblehead, a hardbound art book, sticker set, map of Pandora, digital comic download code, and bonus in-game DLC. If you want to go bigger, the "Ultimate Loot Chest Limited Edition ($149.99) includes those items, plus a scaled replica of a red loot chest, steel book case, creatures ID chart, lithograph postcard set, field notes from Sir Hammerlock, a cloth map of Pandora, and a numbered certificate of authenticity.

As previously reported on Shacknews, pre-orders of either special edition will get access to the "Borderlands 2 Premiere Club," which nets you downloads of the Gearbox Gun Pack for extra weapons, a Golden Key to open a chest with a rare item in the Golden Sanctuary, the Vault Hunter's Relic to boost abilities, and the already announced Mechromancer class. Pre-ordering the standard edition will get you the Mechromancer as well, and 2K again reiterated that it will be post-launch content.

Source: Shacknews

Company of Heroes 2 Invades the Eastern Front

THQ Inc. today announced that a sequel to its critically acclaimed strategy game Company of Heroes is scheduled to be taking gamers to the frozen frontlines of war in Russia in early 2013.

As a true sequel, this game moves the battle away from the common Western Front focus of World War II and refocuses on some of history’s most brutal and devastating conflicts on the Eastern Front, challenging players to take command of the iconic Red Army and repel the Nazi invaders from the very gates of Moscow.

Leisure Suit Larry Kickstarter Ends With $673k

Apparently a remake of the classic Leisure Suit Larry is in the works. Kickstarter is being instrumental in bringing back games playing on nostalgia, from Tim Schafer adventure games and cyberpunk to post-apocalyptic RPGs and, ah, wank jokes. The campaign to fan-fund Leisure Suit Larry HD, a remake of Al Lowe's sleazy adventure game wrapped up yesterday at $673,602, having passed its goal of $500,000 last week. $655,182 was raised directly through Kickstarter, with the rest coming from Paypal.

While the Kickstarter's now closed, Paypal donations are still open so that total's ticking slowly upwards. However, LSL fell short of its second funding goal. Replay Games was gunning for $750,000, hoping to add new speech, puzzles, cutscenes locations, minigames, "girls" and more if it hit that mark. Still they got close, so one imagines Larry's adventure may be fleshed out a little.Leisure Suit Larry HD is coming to PC, Mac, and Android and iOS devices. The remake was actually announced back in October 2011, to be funded the regular way, but when that fell through they turned to fans.

Source: Shacknews

iPad Mini Rumors Get Louder, Video Games Industry Echos Them

To capitalize on its dominant iPad brand, and offer devices at untapped price-points, Apple is said to be working on a smaller variant, so far referred to as "iPad Mini". This little fellow will pack a smaller 7.85-inch screen compared to the 9.7-inch screen on standard-sized iPad. The fresh round of rumors were supported by sources in the video games industry, who tend to be aware of upcoming iPad products, since it's a gaming platform with sizable reach. The iPad Mini could start at a staggering price of US $199, and is headed for a Q3, 2012 release.

Source: CVG

Tobacco-Style Warning on Video Games Proposed by US Bill

Shacknews is reporting that once again, video games are being used for a spot of political grandstanding, and in a familiar way. Not for the first time, a bipartisan pair of US congressmen have introduced a bill that would require almost every video game box to bear a warning label reading, "WARNING: Exposure to violent video games has been linked to aggressive behavior." Should the the Violence in Video Games Labeling Act, H. R. 4204, somehow pass, it'd require the warning be placed "in a clear and conspicuous location on the packaging" of every game rated by the ESRB, except for those rated EC (Early Childhood). It makes no distinction for a game's actual content, so the warning would be slapped on Mortal Kombat and Imagine: Party Babyz alike. "The video game industry has a responsibility to parents, families and to consumers — to inform them of the potentially damaging content that is often found in their products," chief sponsor Joe Baca (D-CA) said, reported by The Hill. "They have repeatedly failed to live up to this responsibility." Co-sponsor Frank Wolf (R-VA) chimed in, "Just as we warn smokers of the health consequences of tobacco, we should warn parents - and children - about the growing scientific evidence demonstrating a relationship between violent video games and violent behavior."

Lucid DynamiX to Free System Limitations of High Performance PC Games

LucidLogix (Lucid), GPU virtualization software leaders, today announced DynamiX, a unique software implementation that will allow selected formerly unplayable high-performance games to be enjoyed on mainstream and low-end laptops and Ultrabooks equipped with only an integrated GPU. A free trial version that initially expands the playability of the game The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim on a variety of notebooks is immediately available for download.

"With DynamiX, a single embedded GPU is all you will need to enjoy your favorite high-performance titles on most new notebooks without reducing display resolution or minimizing game performance settings," said Offir Remez, Lucid co-founder and president. "We are offering this FREE trial beta version as a proof-of-concept, while working to provide DynamiX for more games. Try it and tell us what you think!"

SEGA to Offer Top Games on Origin

Electronic Arts (EA) Inc. announced today that SEGA will bring its most popular PC game titles to Origin, EA's direct-to-consumer gaming platform. SEGA's Total War Shogun 2: Fall of the Samurai is now available for pre-order to PC gamers on Origin.

In addition to SEGA, other new publishers joining Origin today include Team 17 Software Limited, Rebellion, Kalypso Media Digital Ltd. and more, bringing the number of game publishers and developers on Origin to 35 partners. PC downloadable titles from each of these partners will be available on Origin in the coming months.

Ubisoft Server Maintenance To Render Always-Online DRM Games Unplayable

Next week, Ubisoft will be performing large-scale server maintenance, which could see its DRM-handling go offline. It would directly impact some games that are designed to work with Ubisoft's infamous "Always-Online" DRM, which requires gamers to be connected to the internet when playing games enabled with it. Tom Clancy’s HAWX 2, Might & Magic: Heroes 6 and The Settlers 7 will be unplayable during the course of maintenance. Bigger titles such as Assassin’s Creed: Revelations and Driver: San Francisco, however, will stay online for the duration of the switch-over. Ubisoft is loathed for its hyper-strict DRM that requires you to ping their DRM servers every few moments to reassure them you're not a pirate. It is even known to limit activations to your graphics card. This is yet another example where DRM only ends up hurting legitimate users more than piracy.

Source: PC Gamer

Origin Expands Games Catalog, DRM-Free Evangelist Joins DRM Scheme

Origin is the fledgling online download account-based DRM service from Electronic Arts launched last June, that is home to Battlefield 3. To compete effectively against other similar services, the industry-leading Steam in particular, it must offer more content. To this end, Origin has added 11 publishers to its portfolio, reports CVG. These are Trion Worlds, Robot Entertainment, Freebird Games, Recoil Games, Autumn Games, 1C Company, inXile entertainment, Paradox Interactive, Core Learning Ltd, N3V Games and CD Projekt RED. That last one is interesting, because CD Projekt RED owns and runs www.gog.com, the website dedicated to selling DRM-free games.

Xbox 360 Most Popular Games Of 2011

Microsoft has revealed the top 20 most popular games played on the Xbox 360 in 2011 based on numbers of unique users logged into Xbox LIVE (Silver and Gold members). Note that this gives a different result to the total playtime for a particular game, which has not been disclosed here. Unsurprisingly, the Call of Duty series dominates the chart, but what is sure to irk CoD detractors, but make fans very happy, is that a massive five of those positions are taken up by CoD – that's 25% of the rankings. Even CoD4: Modern Warfare which was released way back in 2007 sits at a very respectable number 14. However, top games Battlefield 3 and Skyrim did very well nonetheless, sitting at five and six respectively, with only Halo beating them at number 4. Can you guess which CoD game hit the top spot before looking at the chart?

Big Dollars Not Enough? SOPA Support Continues To Wither Away

The draconian internet censorship bill, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) being lobbied for by wealthy big media corporations (mostly fronted by the RIAA/MPAA, News Corporation and the like) and currently being debated in Congress is still losing support wherever one turns. A week ago, we reported that GoDaddy initially supported it, but soon changed its mind as it immediately began to haemorrhage customers. Now, it turns out that many video games companies are also coming out against it and with no pressure against them required.

The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) is the game industry's trade association and stands firmly behind the much-despised bill, which means that the gaming industry as a whole is deemed to support SOPA. However, while some members openly support it, others just won't say so publically and some of its members actively do not support it, having made official statements to this effect. Here are just three of them:

The Most Pirated Games of 2011

Today Kotaku is reporting the top 5 games pirated for major platforms this year according to TorrentFreak. As usual the PC platform is the most guilty almost doubling in pirated copies then its competitors.

Some of the titles listed are not surprising but the lack of a certain title filled with dragon slaying is. Why Skyrim didn't make the top five is anyone's guess. Either Steam is in fact the most user friendly DRM or people just love Skyrim. Either way this is just a small glimpse into the world of pirated software.

Top Five Pirated PC Games

1. Crysis 2 (3,920,000) (March 2011)
2. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (3,650,000) (November 2011)
3. Battlefield 3 (3,510,000) (October 2011)
4. FIFA 12 (3,390,000) (September 2011)
5. Portal 2 (3,240,000) (April 2011)Source: Kotaku

Christmas Special: The PC Technology of 2011

Welcome to the TechPowerUp 2011 PC technology Christmas special. We hope that you will enjoy reading it while tucking into your turkey, Christmas presents and a little too much wine... In this article, we go through the technology of 2011 that has had the most significance, the most impact and was generally the most talked about. It's not necessarily the best tech of 2011 which is the most significant though, since lemons can be just as significant as the ground-breakers in how they fail to deliver - and the backlash that goes with it.

January: Intel Sandy Bridge i5 & i7

Released on January 9th, the new Intel Core i5 & i7 processors were based on Intel's second generation Core architecture built on a 32 nm production process (HEXUS review). They included an IGP (Integrated Graphics Processor) physically on the same piece of silicon along with HyperThreading. These new dual and quad core processors soundly beat all previous generations of Intel processors in terms of processing performance, heat, power use, features and left AMD in the dust. Therefore, Intel badly needed some competition from AMD and unless you have been living under a rock, you will know how that turned out in October with the launch of Bulldozer. Sandy Bridge was a sound win and is generally considered to be the only architecture worth considering at this point. The i5-2500K is currently at the sweet spot of price/performance. It comes at a stock speed of 3.3 GHz, but typically overclocks to an amazing 4.5 - 5 GHz with a decent air cooler and without too much difficulty in getting there. Models in the budget i3 range were released at various times later. See this Wikipedia article for details.

Steam Forums Get Nailed By Hackers

Valve, a company that operates solely online, takes its security pretty seriously and has a good reputation in this area. However, at the time of writing, its Steam forums are down, having suffered a hack attack earlier today. Visit the forums now and you see a message saying "The Steam Forums are temporarily offline for maintenance. Your patience is appreciated." This attack was apparently done by hackers who want to offer free game cheats (but one should be wary of stealthy malware payloads) since before the forums were taken down, they had planted this message:
Ever wanted to dominate the servers you play on with guaranteed results, but you were too afraid to cheat because of ban risks?
The rest of the message then recommends a website where one can obtain all sorts of illegal game cheats, hack tools and porn. Some Steam forum users even received an email with this text, such as this NeoGAF user. There's no indication that any user's account information has been compromised. However, if you haven’t yet set up Steam Guard, now is a good time to do so, along with changing your password when the forums come back online. Also, be sure to use different a password for every login. Of course, many other gaming forums have been hacked in the past and just this year saw many hacks against such big names as Nintendo, Sega, BioWare, Epic Games and of course Sony, which was hacked many times over in protest at their business practices, such as removing the OtherOS feature from their PS3 console.

Source: 1up.com
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