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NVIDIA Releases Game Ready 496.13 WHQL GeForce Graphics Driver, Support Removed for Windows 8.1/8/7 & Kepler

NVIDIA has today launched its 496.13 game-ready WHQL GeForce graphics driver with many improvements and changes. Starting with the naming, the company has jumped from the 472.12 WHQL version released on September 20th to the 496.xx naming released today. Such a significant increase in version naming is uncommon, and makes us wonder why the company decided to do it, probably in preparation for the Windows 11 branch of their drivers, which uses version 500.

Starting from release 496.13, NVIDIA has also removed support for Windows 8.1, Windows 8 and Windows 7. The last driver to support these operating systems is 472.12. This makes some sense, since between this release and today, Microsoft has launched their Windows 11 operating system. NVIDIA also trimmed more fat by removing support for the Kepler architecture, which was launched in 2012 and included models like GeForce GTX 780 Ti, GTX 780, GTX 770, GTX 760, GT 740, GT 730, GTX 690, GTX 680, GTX 670, GTX 660 Ti, GTX 660, GTX 650 Ti and GTX 630.

Update 15:57 UTC: Added confirmation from NVIDIA
Download NVIDIA GeForce Graphics Drivers 496.13 WHQL.

NVIDIA DLSS Gets Ported to 10 Additional Titles, Including the New Back 4 Blood Game

NVIDIA's Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) technology has been one of the main selling points of GeForce RTX graphics cards. With the broad adoption of the technology amongst many popular game titles, the gaming community has enjoyed the AI-powered upscaling technology that boosts frame-rate output and delivers better overall performance. Today, the company announced that DLSS arrived in 10 additional game titles, and those include today's release of Back 4 Blood, Baldur's Gate 3, Chivalry 2, Crysis Remastered Trilogy, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Sword and Fairy 7, and Swords of Legends Online.

With so many titles receiving the DLSS update, NVIDIA advertises using the latest GeForce driver to achieve the best possible performance in the listed games. If you are wondering just how much DLSS adds to the performance, in the newest Back 4 Blood title, RTX GPUs see a 46% boost in FPS. Similar performance gains translate to other labels that received the DLSS patch. You can expect to achieve more than double the number of frames in older titles like Alan Wake Remastered, Tomb Raider saga, and FIST.
For more information about performance at 4K resolution, please see the slides supplied by NVIDIA below.

Far Cry 3 Game is Free on Ubisoft Connect Platform

Ubisoft's Far Cry series has seen a lot of installments that were remembered as very good and enjoyable experiences. Today, Ubisoft decided to surprise new gamers and invite them over to the Far Cry series by offering PC gamers the ability to purchase Far Cry 3 free of charge. On Ubisoft's Connect PC platform, gamers can obtain their digital copy of Far Cry 3, and experience the open-world first-person shooter that the game represents. The offer, to obtain the game's digital copy, is already available and you should head over to Ubisoft's Connect platform here. It will expire on September 11th, just two days from now.

NVIDIA Releases Game-Ready GeForce 471.68 WHQL Graphics Drivers

NVIDIA has today decided to update the company's game-ready graphics drivers with the release of 471.68 WHQL. In the latest installment of the GeForce drivers, NVIDIA is bringing some much-needed support for the latest games. That includes the launch of Psychonauts 2, Naraka: Bladepoint, and Back 4 Blood Open Beta. These new games are now supported and are expected to be played on all GPUs from 3000 series to the older 500 series. As Naraka: Bladepoint game features NVIDIA's latest DLSS and Reflex technologies, this driver version is here to support it. Alongside game support, the new driver also adds support for seven new G-SYNC displays listed below. For a full list of changes, including bug fixes, please see the aforementioned list.
Download NVIDIA GeForce 471.68 WHQL Graphics Drivers.

AMD FSR FidelityFX Super Resolution is Coming to Xbox Consoles

Just a few days ago, we have reviewed AMD's FidelityFX Super Resolution technology, which represents an answer to NVIDIA's Deep Learning Super Sampling technology used to upscale images t certain resolutions. As the review predicted, AMD's presence in consoles like PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S must result in the integration of the technology in that field, not only the PC space. And today seems to be the day that Microsoft and AMD join forces to bring AMD's FSR technology to consoles. In the latest Xbox Game Development Kit preview, Microsoft is shipping AMD's FSR tech, giving game developers an easy way to integrate it into the games and thus manipulate resolution to give us the best possible frame rates.
Jason Ronald (Twitter)Excited to continue our close partnership with @AMD and see what game developers can do with FidelityFX Super Resolution, available to preview in our GDK today for @Windows, @Xbox Series X|S and #XboxOne consoles.

AMD Releases Radeon Software Adrenalin 2020 Edition 21.5.1 Drivers

AMD has today updated its Radeon Software Adrenalin 2020 Edition version 21.5.1 drivers, bringing many features on board as well as fixing a lot of issues that have appeared in the past. Starting with support for the Resident Evil Village PC game, AMD promises to deliver up to 13% better frame rate at 4K maximum settings, while using the Radeon RX 6800 XT graphics card. The comparison was conducted with a reference to the previous driver, 21.4.1, which didn't allow the card to reach as high FPS as it is now possible with the proper support for the game. Another game that is added to the support list is Metro Exodus PC Enhanced Edition. Some fixes have been implemented, as the incorrect performance metrics that may have incorrectly reported temperatures on Ryzen 5 1600 series processors. For a detailed list of bug fixes, please take a look at the list below.
DOWNLOAD: AMD Radeon Software Adrenalin 2020 Edition 21.5.1

Epic Games Announces $1 Billion Funding Round

Today Epic Games announced that it completed a $1 billion round of funding, which will allow the company to support future growth opportunities. Epic's equity valuation is now $28.7 billion.

This round includes an additional $200M strategic investment from Sony Group Corporation, which builds on the already close relationship between the two companies and reinforces their shared mission to advance the state of the art in technology, entertainment, and socially-connected online services. Other investment partners include Appaloosa, Baillie Gifford, Fidelity Management & Research Company LLC, GIC, funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan Board, funds and accounts managed by BlackRock, Park West, KKR, AllianceBernstein, Altimeter, Franklin Templeton and Luxor Capital. Epic continues to have only a single class of common stock outstanding and CEO Tim Sweeney remains the controlling shareholder of the company.

Nintendo Game Boy Modded to Mine Bitcoin

Nintendo's Game Boy handheld console was launched in 1989, making it 32 years old. Being widely regarded as the icon of handheld gaming, it was sold in millions and has been copied countless times. However, with some spare time and a crazy mind, the console has been modified to mine Bitcoin cryptocurrency. Yes, you are reading that right. An 8-bit console is mining the biggest and the most valuable cryptocurrency. An electronics enthusiast named "stacksmashing" has set himself a difficult task - to prove that the console can mine some Bitcoin, at any possible rate. And he has managed to prove it is possible, although with some modifications.

Given that the console lacks any connectivity options to the outside world due to its age, the modder had to use SPI (Serial Peripheral Interface) to connect the Game Boy with the Raspberry Pi, which had the task of connecting the Game Boy to the internet to mine some Bitcoin. Using the custom 8-bit Sharp LR35902 processor running at 4.19 MHz, the console is naturally not very powerful. Thus, it can not do any meaningful mining and to compare it to modern mining ASICs is just silly. However, it is interesting to see proof of concept and get to see some engineering fun. For more information, please check out the YouTube video here.

Silver Rain Games Inks Major Deal With Electronic Arts

Silver Rain Games, an interactive entertainment development studio co-founded by BAFTA-nominated actor and producer Abubakar Salim has signed a major deal with Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA) EA Originals Label, which is dedicated to elevating bold independent studios. EA Originals will provide funding for the up-and coming studio's unannounced IP, as well as guidance and support in the team's journey to bring a fresh perspective to games and to the industry.

Silver Rain, which is based in the U.K., was co-founded in December 2019 by Salim, best known for his role on HBO's hit show Raised by Wolves, alongside Melissa Phillips, who will lead as Head of Studio, who previously worked as the BAFTA Games Programme manager on BAFTA Games programs and events. The company was launched with the intent to generate thought-provoking and innovative games and content across different mediums of entertainment. Since its inception late last year, the studio has quickly grown to approximately 20 staff members, who all currently work remotely.

Apple Subpoenas Valve for Steam's Data on 346 Games

Apple and Epic Games have had quite a turbulent history of legal issues in the past year. Fortnite, the world's biggest battle royale game, got removed from the Apple store because its developer, Epic Games, had refused to comply to store rules. If a developer is listing a game on the Apple store, all in-game payments must be processed through Apple, with the company taking a 30% tax cut for it. Epic Games didn't like that idea too much, so the company just used an external system that gave players the option to pay for in-game goods using different ways. However, that represented non-compliance to Apple store guidelines, and Apple took the Fortnite game down.


Update February 26th 07:50 UTC: In thecourt hearing on Wednesday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas S. Hixson ordered that Apple's subpoena was considered valid. Valve's lawyers urged the judge to not force the company to produce the requested data, however, Apple's lawyers have said that the request is doable and the company is only requesting data on a few hundred games, and it could have been worse by requesting data on over 30000 games instead.

NVIDIA's DLSS 2.0 is Easily Integrated into Unreal Engine 4.26 and Gives Big Performance Gains

When NVIDIA launched the second iteration of its Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) technique used to upscale lower resolutions using deep learning, everyone was impressed by the quality of the rendering it is putting out. However, have you ever wondered how it all looks from the developer side of things? Usually, games need millions of lines of code and even some small features are not so easy to implement. Today, thanks to Tom Looman, a game developer working with Unreal Engine, we have found out just how the integration process of DLSS 2.0 looks like, and how big are the performance benefits coming from it.

Inthe blog post, you can take a look at the example game shown by the developer. The integration with Unreal Engine 4.26 is easy, as it just requires that you compile your project with a special UE4 RTX branch, and you need to apply your AppID which you can apply for at NVIDIA's website. Right now you are probably wondering how is performance looking like. Well, the baseline for the result was TXAA sampling techniques used in the game demo. The DLSS 2.0 has managed to bring anywhere from 60-180% increase in frame rate, depending on the scene. These are rather impressive numbers and it goes to show just how well NVIDIA has managed to build its DLSS 2.0 technology. For a full overview, please refer to the blog post.

NVIDIA Expands GeForce NOW Game Streaming Service to Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Australia

NVIDIA has today announced the expansion of its GeForce NOW game streaming service to Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Australia. The company has worked closely with telecommunication providers to ensure that the streaming service is working well and now they can deliver even more gamers a chance to play their favorite games in the cloud. NVIDIA stated that: "It also offers an opportunity for the world's leading telecommunications firms to deliver high-quality, low-latency PC gaming to nearly any device from the cloud. These partners form the GeForce NOW Alliance, a partnership of operators using RTX Servers and NVIDIA cloud-gaming software to expand and improve cloud gaming globally."

As a reminder, the GeForce NOW is a game streaming service that "brings real-time raytracing to today's biggest blockbusters to underpowered PCs, Macs, Chromebooks, Android and iOS devices." You can access a wide range of games from almost any device and play as much as you like.

XPG Launches SPECTRIX S20G PCIe Gen3x4 M.2 2280 Solid State Drive

XPG, a fast-growing provider of systems, components, and peripherals for Gamers, Esports Pros, and Tech Enthusiasts, today announces the XPG SPECTRIX S20G PCIe Gen3x4 M.2 2280 solid state drive (SSD). The SPECTRIX S20G is an SSD built with form and performance in mind with its distinct x-shaped RBG lighting and excellent read/write speeds.

The XPG SPECTRIX S20G is a gaming SSD through and through and its styling reflects this. It sports a distinctive and prominent x-shaped RGB design that outshines the competition. The RGB light effects can be customized via software. What's more, a hairline-brushed finish gives the SSD a formidable yet elegant look that will intimidate and impress.

NVIDIA Updates Cyberpunk 2077, Minecraft RTX, and 4 More Games with DLSS

NVIDIA's Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) technology uses advanced methods to offload sampling in games to the Tensor Cores, dedicated AI processors that are present on all of the GeForce RTX cards, including the prior Turing generation and now Ampere. NVIDIA promises that the inclusion of DLSS is promising to deliver up to a 40% performance boost, or even more. Today, the company has announced that DLSS is getting support in Cyberpunk 2077, Minecraft RTX, Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord, CRSED: F.O.A.D., Scavengers, and Moonlight Blade. The inclusion of these titles is now making NVIDIA's DLSS technology present in a total of 32 titles, which is no small feat for new technology.
Below, you can see the company provided charts about the performance of DLSS inclusion in the new titles, except the Cyberpunk 2077.
Update: The Cyberpunk 2077 performance numbers were leaked (thanks to kayjay010101 on TechPowerUp Forums), and you can check them out as well.

NVIDIA Releases Game Ready 456.55 WHQL Driver With Improved Stability of RTX 3000 Series Cards, Support for Star Wars: Squadrons

NVIDIA has today released the latest iteration of its Game Ready driver with the version number 456.55. Marked as a WHQL release, the driver is supposedly going to bring new advancements to the stability of the latest GeForce RTX 3000 series Ampere graphics cards. While the release notes don't officially mention anything on how it improves, it is already confirmed by a few Redditors that the new driver removes crashed experienced with the past version 456.38. In the latest revision, the support has been added for NVIDIA Reflex in Call of Duty: Warzone and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, as well as support for Star Wars: Squadrons game. Below is the link to the driver download page redirecting to NVIDIA's site, and in no time the TechPowerUp download page will be updated as well.
DOWNLOAD:NVIDIA GeForce 456.55 WHQL Game Ready Drivers

The change-log follows:

Enter the Gungeon & God's Trigger Currently Free on Epic Games Store

Enter the Gungeon is a bullet hell roguelike video game developed by Dodge Roll and published by Devolver Digital. The game was released for Windows, macOS, Linux, and PlayStation 4 in 2016 where it received critical acclaim and went on to release for Xbox One and Nintendo Switch in 2017. The game retails for 14.99 USD on Steam at the time of writing. God's Trigger is a violent action game released by One More Level and published by Techland Publishing. The game was released for Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One in 2018 to positive reviews. The two games are currently free to keep on the Epic Games Store for one week only.

The two games are now available to claim and will expire August 27th.

Fortnite Gets Kicked Out From Google and Apple App Stores, Epic Games Files a Lawsuit

Today, Epic Games has decided to file a lawsuit against both Apple and Google after both companies removed Fortnite form their platform app stores (Google Play and Apple App Store). Firstly, Apple has decided to remove the Fortnite app to form its App Store because the game violated the company's policy that all in-game payments must go through the Apple App Store system, instead of them being processed directly. That means that Apple can also apply its 30% cut on all the payments made in-game. After Apple has revoked the Fortnite app, Epic Games has decided to file a lawsuit that aims to fight the company's monopoly and make the iOS platform more developer-friendly. Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney said that Epic will not seek or accept any special deal that Apple may offer, but rather wants to fight for all developers.

Just hours after Apple decided to pull the Fortnite game from its App Store, Google has also removed the game from its Google Play Store. Google's Play Store policy about in-app payments says that all games must use Google Play in-app billing if they want to process payments, so Fortnite was pulled from it as well. In light of that move, Epic Games has also filed a lawsuit against Google on the same terms. The company wants to fight both Apple and Google in court and make them be more developer-friendly, especially Apple. We have to wait and see how the case progresses. Being that Apple is almost a $2 trillion company, it can surely afford lots of good lawyers, just as Google will. We want to express our support for Epic Games for going in the right direction, as we do need more open ecosystems.

Fall Guys Peaks as Fourth Most Played Game on Steam with 124,000 Active Players

Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout is the latest game from Mediatonic which launched to impressive levels of popularity this week. The game which is available on PS4 and Steam has recently overtaken Grand Theft Auto V to peak as the fourth most played game on Steam at 124,772 consecutive players before dropping back down to fifth. The casual multiplayer game has received mostly positive reviews on Steam but has faced various server issues over the last few days due to the unforeseen demand. Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout is now available on Steam here for 19.99 USD.

Epic Games Announces $1.78 Billion Funding Round

Epic Games today announced a $1.78 billion round of funding consisting of primary capital and secondary purchases from employee equity holders. Epic's post-money equity valuation is now $17.3 billion.

This round includes a previously announced $250 million strategic investment from Sony Corporation. Additional investment partners include Baillie Gifford, funds and accounts managed by BlackRock, Fidelity Management & Research Company LLC, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan Board, funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc., and David Tepper. Existing investors KKR and Smash Ventures also added to their 2018 investment. Following the closing of the funding round Epic will continue to have only a single class of common stock outstanding and will remain controlled by its founder and CEO, Tim Sweeney.

Epic Games Announces Support for Cars in the Latest Fortnite Update

Today, on the official Twitter account of Fortnite game, Epic Games made an announcement that the game will receive an update on the 5th of August (tomorrow), that will bring some new features. Titled Joy Ride update, Epic Games promises that it will bring car support with it. In a tweet, the company says that "It's not just a name. It's a warning.", where it is referring to the Joy Ride update and the fact that it is going to change the gameplay dynamics of the game. So far, the only way to travel in-game on the ground was by foot, meaning that a car update will improve the speed of moving a lot. Let us know your thought on this update in the comments down below.
Fortinte Joy Ride Update

Battletoads Launching August 20th on Xbox, Windows 10, Xbox Game Pass, & Steam

Xbox has recently announced the official launch date for Battletoads to be August 20th. The new Battletoads game was first unveiled back at E3 2018 followed up with a gameplay trailer at E3 2019 and a playable demo at Microsoft's Xbox X019 convention. The release date announcement also came with a new trailer showcasing new gameplay and levels. This release will be the first new entry in the series in over 26 years with the last game Battletoads Arcade releasing in 1994. Battletoads will be available on Xbox, Windows 10, Xbox Game Pass, and Steam.
The Battletoads are back! Join Rash, Zitz and Pimple as they smash, stomp, drill, turbo bike, leap, shoot and generally be toadally awesome in their all-new, action-packed, multi-genre adventure of choreographed chaos!

EA's Move to Steam Makes its Games the Most Played on the Platform

EA has recently decided to break away from the exclusivity of its games on Origin game launches and started to offer some games on Valve's Steam gaming platform. The move has turned out to be quite substantial for EA and Valve just reported some big news. Out of the top 20 best-selling games on Steam for the month of July, EA games accounted for eight of them. This rather massive share is all thanks to the new markets EA opened themselves to. Without a doubt, Steam is still the world's biggest gaming platform, so it was a smart move to expand the availability of games to it. The financial gains follow as well. EA saw a massive 74% surge in PC revenue it is a quarterly report, all thanks to expansion to Steam.

Epic Games Joins GOG in the Goal to Deliver Universal Ownership of Digital Goods

Today owning digital copies of games is a real struggle. There are are many platforms that offer games to be purchased, and some games are platform-specific. Take a look at Fortnite for example. It is only available on the Epic Games platform and launcher, so you have to download and sign-up to that if you wish to play the game. The PC platform is currently struggling with that problem as there is no unified store where you can purchase all of your digital copies of games. That is the main reason why Good Old Games, called GOG shortly, has decided to invite Epic Games and make a universal launcher for all storefronts.

The GOG Galaxy 2.0 is a new storefront that aims to give gamers the ability to "Install and launch any PC game you own, no matter the platform." With Epic Games joining the platform, it is a matter of time before others join. Some are still resistant, however. Steam and Origin are still not okay with that idea and they are keeping it to themselves. It is interesting to see the development of this, and in the meantime, you can check out GOG Galaxy 2.0 here.

Microsoft Announces Xbox Series X Games Showcase Event

After Sony has showcased Unreal Engine 5 capabilities on the new PlayStation 5 console, there was a counterpart event missing from Microsoft. However, Microsoft has announced today that the company will host a live stream event on July 23rd. That is the date when Microsoft will host the event on YouTube and Twitch. Starting at 9 am PT time, the company will showcase the capabilities of the new Xbox Series X console. Possibly, Microsoft will show ray tracing and all the latest technology advancements with AMD's RDNA2 graphics card found inside the new console. What we can expect in terms of games is Halo Infinite and maybe new Forza and Gears of War games. Either way, we have to wait and find out on July 23rd.

Ubisoft Assassin's Creed: Valhalla Game Footage Leaks

Thanks to a discovery by TweakTown, we have obtained game footage pictures of the Ubisoft Assassin's Creed: Valhalla. While TweakTown does not share any video links due to respect for Ubisoft developers, we still get to see the medieval-themed Assassin's game. It is mostly resembling a Witcher 3 vibe, which is a good thing. Combining the gameplay of classic Assassin's Creed game with stunning visuals, the game is set to be a hit. Right off the bat, the game starts in a bloody and chaotic battle. On the battlefield, there is lots of equipment you can interact with, like a siege engine and battering rams. Being that the setting is a medieval one, there are of course castles that you need to overtake. Ubisoft may officially launch game footage at its Forward event on July 12th, when we could take a closer look at the upcoming game. For now, please check out the pictures below.
Assassins Creed: Valhalla Assassins Creed: Valhalla Assassins Creed: Valhalla Assassins Creed: Valhalla Assassins Creed: Valhalla
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