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Can I Interest You in Single Player Experiences? Respawn's Jedi: Fallen Order is EA's Fastest-Selling Star Wars Game Ever

There has always been something to be said about single-player experiences - most players just seem to prefer a strong single-player game to full-on multiplayer games. EA, LucasArts and Respawn Entertainment have now come out of the woodwork regarding the latest Star Wars release in the form of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen order, and it seems the game is shipping in no small amounts worldwide. The partners announced that this game has cemented itself as the fastest-selling digital launch for a Star Wars game in its first two weeks. And concurrently, EA has said this is the fastest selling PC-game for the company (in all distribution formats) in these same two weeks.

Of course, one needs to remember that fastest, highest-selling doesn't automatically make the game the most grossing Star Wars release. It's likely that Star Wars games with a more multiplayer-focused DNA (such as Battlefront I and Battlefront II from DICE) will gross more in their lifetime than Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order ever will. That said, it goes to show what an original storytelling experience set in a beloved franchise can achieve. Read on after the break for the comments from all developing parties.

AMD Releases Radeon Software Adrenalin 19.11.2

AMD Thursday released its latest version of Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition. Version 19.11.2 beta is the second release for the month of November 2019, and comes with optimization for "Star Wars Jedi: The Fallen Order." The driver also addresses a bug with certain map areas or cities in "Player Unknown's Battlegrounds" (PUBG) intermittently experiencing stuttering or performance loss. Grab the drivers from the link below.
DOWNLOAD: AMD Radeon Software Adrenalin 19.11.2

NVIDIA Releases GeForce 441.20 WHQL Drivers

NVIDIA today posted GeForce 441.20 WHQL software. The drivers come game-ready for "Star Wars Jedi: The Fallen Order," and "Stormland." This includes SLI support for the latest Star Wars game. NVIDIA also introduced support for CUDA 10.2 compute API. The list of G-Sync compatible monitors has been expanded with three more displays. Among the issues addressed with this release are geometry corruption on GTX 900-series "Maxwell" GPUs with "Red Dead Redemption" in Vulkan; G-Sync getting disengaged when V-Sync is disabled in "Red Dead Redemption." Vulkan-related errors with "The Surge" have also been fixed. There's also a surprising bug-fix, "Quake 3 Arena" appearing washed-out when color-depth is set to 16-bit. Performance drops with "CS: GO" have also been addressed. Grab the driver from the link below.
DOWNLOAD: NVIDIA GeForce 441.20 WHQL Drivers

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order System Requirements Outed

The upcoming single-player Star Wars Jedi: Fallen order will be a tall calling for Respawn. Few franchises are as loved as Star Wars, and this one will definitely leave a mark in the company's legacy. It's unlikely EA will "pull an EA" on the studio even if it flops, though: Apex Legends remains an incredibly successful release form Respawn Entertainment, and it should be enough to hold EA's reins - at least for a while.

The system requirements for the highly-awaited, story-driven single-player game have been outed, and they're in the usual side of things. Minimum requirements call for an AMD FX-6100 or an Intel Core i3-3220, paired with 8 GB of RAM and an AMD Radeon HD 7750 or NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 - alongside 65 GB of storage. The recommended specs are relatively standard as well, and nothing to throw users in an upgrade fit... We're looking at an AMD AMD Ryzen 7 1700 or an Intel i7-6700K, 16 GB of system RAM, An AMD RX Vega 56 or NVIDIA GTX 1070 graphics cards. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order drops on November 15th.

AMD Releases Radeon Software Adrenalin 19.7.2 Drivers

AMD late Tuesday posted its latest version of Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition. Version 19.7.2 adds optimization for "GEARS 5" beta. It fixes a number of issues, beginning with Facebook being unavailable with Radeon ReLive. "Star Wars Battlefront II" textures appearing pixellated or blurry with the DirectX 11 API has also been fixed. Radeon Overlay flickering in DirectX 9 apps with Radeon Image Sharpening enabled, is fixed. Valve Index HMD experiencing flickering when launching SteamVR on machines with Radeon RX 5700-series graphics cards, is fixed.

Radeon WattMan auto-tuning global settings not applying per-game has also been fixed. WattMan showing max values instead of increased values in auto-tuning results screen has also been fixed. The WattMan memory clock gauge now correctly auto-updates. Texture corruption on enemy models in "Doom" (2016) has been fixed. A bug that caused Radeon display drivers to fail to uninstall in hybrid graphics configurations has been fixed. Grab the drivers from the link below.

DOWNLOAD: AMD Radeon Software Adrenalin 19.7.2

EA Expands Its Subscription Service to PlayStation 4

Today, Electronic Arts Inc. announced that it is bringing EA Access to the PlayStation 4 (PS4 ) system. Starting this July, players can sign-up for a monthly subscription (MSRP $4.99), or an annual subscription (MSRP $29.99) through PlayStation Store. With the addition of the PlayStation 4 console to the already existing membership services on Xbox One and PC via Origin , EA now offers its subscription services on more platforms than any other publisher.

As we continue to invest in digital and subscription services, bringing great games to even more players across more platforms is an exciting opportunity for everyone," said Matt Bilbey, Executive VP of Strategic Growth. "Our goal is to give players more choice to try and play our games wherever and however they choose, and we're happy to bring EA Access to PlayStation 4."

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is EA's New Single-Player Star Wars Game Releasing Nov, 2019

We knew it was coming, and were patiently waiting for more news on a new IP from Electronic Arts based on the Star Wars license they have.. not made the best use of to date. Handed to developers Respawn Entertainment, who are on a high from Apex Legends and have shown how to create a new IP franchise for single- and mult-player gaming with Titanfall, the new single-player focused game is titled Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. Respawn and EA shared more details on the game yesterday as part of the Star Wars celebration event in Chicago, and let us know that the central character is a Jedi padawan, Cal Kestis, who survived Order 66 and the destruction of most of the Jedi order.

Cal Kestis turns to scavenging on the planet Braka while hiding from the Sith empire, in a move that will no doubt draw comparisons to Disney's new numbered film trilogy. With merchandise no doubt a factor, we will also see a new droid companion called BD-1, as seen in the images below. Given the nature of the protagonist being a padawan trainee, there will also be a Jedi knight who will accompany the player as a mentor. Combat will involve strategy, as per Respawn, with the player needing to employ abilities and spatial movement to make the most of the situation. Enemy units will include the Purge Troopers, a melee-focused variant of the Storm Troopers, who have already appeared in the Star Wars Extended Universe before as specialized units dedicated to hunting down survivors of Order 66. EA and Respawn were both quick to reveal this will be a single-player only game with no microtransactions, and the game releases on PC and consoles on November 15, 2019. While we wait for more details, no doubt coming near E3 or closer to debut, here's a reveal trailer to hold you till then.

NVIDIA Also Releases Tech Demos for RTX: Star Wars, Atomic Heart, Justice Available for Download

We've seen NVIDIA's move to provide RTX effects on older, non-RT capable hardware today being met with what the company was certainly expecting: a cry of dismay from users that now get to see exactly what their non-Turing NVIDIA hardware is capable of. The move from NVIDIA could be framed as a way to democratize access to RTX effects via Windows DXR, enabling users of its GTX 1600 and 1000 series of GPUs to take a look at the benefits of raytracing; but also as an upgrade incentive for those that now see how their performance is lacking without the new specialized Turing cores to handle the added burden.

Whatever your side of the fence on that issue, however, NVIDIA has provided users with one more raytraced joy today. Three of them, in fact, in the form of three previously-shown tech demos. The Star Wars tech demo (download) is the most well known, certainly, with its studies on reflections on Captain Phasma's breastplate. Atomic Heart (download) is another one that makes use of RTX for reflections and shadows, while Justice (download) adds caustics to that equation. If you have a Turing graphics card, you can test these demos in their full glory, with added DLSS for improved performance. If you're on Pascal, you won't have that performance-enhancing mode available, and will have to slog it through software computations. Follow the embedded links for our direct downloads of these tech demos.

Star Wars Game Jedi: Fallen Order to Be Officially Revealed April 13th

If you've been clamoring, silently or not so silently, for a new story-driven Star Wars game, you're in luck. The Respawn-developed Star Wars game Jedi: Fallen Order is set for a reveal on April 13th. That doesn't mean the game is launching anywhere close to that slice of time, mind you; it's likely EA is just starting up the hype machine for the game, as it usually does. A fall release is expected, nonetheless, which means that Respawn was working in two very disparate game experiences a the same time - this really should speak to that studios' ingenuity.

Respawn has wrapped up their silent, ninja-like development of Apex Legends to a full game release, and is on cruise mode when it comes to the games' support. Provided they keep adding features - and raking in the money from all that hard work in what has quickly become one of the video game hits of recent times - the company's efforts can now certainly be focused solely on the Star Wars story-driven game. The announcement came straight from EA's Star Wars Twitter account, and the reveal is set for the Star Wars Celebration in Chicago. Some tidbits about the games' setting are delivered, such as that you're a "Padawan who survives Order 66" and you explore "the universe in a time after the fall of the Jedi Order". Whether "exploring the universe" is overly enthusiastic jargon for an on-rails experience or code for a somewhat emergent/open world game system remains to be seen, but it's Star Wars. The budget is big, and Respawn has developed great games.

Uncharted Series' Amy Hennig Confirms Leaving EA Back in January, Starts Her Own Indie Studio

After EA shuttered Visceral Studios, who where working on a new, linear, single-player Star Wars videogame, Amy Hennig's situation never was cleared up by the publisher. Doubts remained on whether the developer, best known for her work at Naughty Dog with the Uncharted series, was still attached, in any capacity, to the newly-pivoted development of the aforementioned Star Wars videogame in EA Vancouver. Now, at the Gamelab conference in Barcelone, the air has been cleared: Amy Hennig has confirmed she hasn't been working with EA since January of this year. And the linear, single-player experience she was developing has been shelved by EA.

Hennig says that she is staying independent, now, and is in the process of setting up her own indie studio - and is likely taking a VR spin with her next creations. We wish her all the best, and hope that the indie liberty gives her enough room - and funds - to develop that dying breed of videogames that is the solo kind. Meanwhile, Henig's also confirmed that EA Vancouver's pivoting of the Star Wars videogame is reworking it into a - can you guess? - open world approach that is barely recognizable from her own work - so it does seem a game in the likes of Destiny and Anthem will be the end product.

Lucasfilm Rumored to Ditch EA for a New Game Publisher

Rumors are going around that Lucasfilm isn't too happy with how the Star Wars franchise is turning out since they handed the license on a silver platter over to Electronic Arts in 2013. Up to now, EA has produced a total of two titles under the Star Wars: Battlefront sub-series. Their first Star Wars: Battlefront game was released in 2015 and many considered it a reboot of the previous games. Regardless, Star Wars: Battlefront (2015) was highly criticized for its lack of a single-player campaign. EA's solution to keep die-hard Star Wars fans happy was to release a multitude of free expansions and paid DLC packs to add more content to the game. And then came Star Wars: Battlefront II in 2017, a sequel that received even harsher backlash because of the over aggressive loot-crate system that was implemented into the game. In an attempt to put out the fire, EA temporarily eliminated the microtransactions.

Then, to make matters even worse, EA closed Visceral Games last year. The studio was working on the single-player driven Star Wars: Project Ragtag title, but apparently it didn't fit into EA's business model so they decided to pull the plug. With all that has occurred, EA's relationship with Lucasfilm hangs on a thin thread right now. The gaming giant's lackluster record of releasing two games in a five year period allegedly forced Lucasfilm to explore other options. Ubisoft and Activision were the two big names that have been mentioned so far. If the rumors were true, who would you rather have working on the next Star Wars game?

AMD Releases Radeon Software Adrenalin 17.12.2 Beta Drivers

AMD today released an update to their Radeon Software Adrenalin Drivers and software suite. Under the Beta label, the new version brings many resolved issues to the table, whilst listing some unresolved - but recognized as existent - issues behind it still. Some problems with AMD XConnect for hot-swapping external GPUs should be fixed, some areas of Star Wars: Battlefront II that were displaying graphics corruption should no longer do so, and your Netflix playback should finally let you chill without any kind of AMD-caused stuttering, among other quality of life improvements.

Look for the full patch notes after the break, and keep in mind you can download the latest AMD drivers right here on TPU. Just follow the link below.
DOWNLOAD: AMD Radeon Software Adrenalin 17.12.2 Beta

EA Bleeds $3.1 Billion in Stock Value Over Battlefront II Fiasco

Electronic Arts (EA) bled USD $3.1 billion (£2.3 billion) in stock value at the markets over the week, as the company scaled down its controversial loot-crate system deployed in "Star Wars: Battlefront II." The company is fighting a PR debacle as gamers complain of terrible pricing of the base-game, DLC, and an aggressive loot-crate system that's drawing the attention of government regulators around the world, who are threatening to impose gambling regulations against the game.

The concept of loot-crate is simple. You pay a seemingly small amount of money for a "mystery box" containing either something great (like weapon-attachments), or something of no tangible impact on gameplay (like skins). You're incentivized to buy more loot-crates in hope that you'll get something better. This becomes a gamble. In 2016, EA earned over $800 million in profits selling loot-crates among other micro-transactions, across various game franchises, such as Battlefield and Need for Speed. With EA scaling down several of its ancillary revenue models for the game, the studio's stock bled 8.5 percent month-to-date. Drew Crum, an analyst with investment firm Stifel also attributes underwhelming Black Friday sales of the game to EA's bear-hug.

AMD Releases Radeon Software Crimson ReLive 17.11.2

AMD today released the Radeon Software Crimson ReLive 17.11.2 beta software. The drivers come with launch-day optimization for "Star Wars: Battlefront II." The drivers also fix a handful issues related to Radeon ReLive game video capture/streaming software, in which chroma artifacts would show up on the screen, and an issue which caused recording to fail when switching between borderless fullscreen and fullscreen modes. The drivers also address WattMan issues, in which undervolted values wouldn't correctly apply on some "Polaris" (RX 400 and RX 500 series) GPUs, and underclocked GPU memory values not reflecting in the user-interface. Grab the drivers from the link below.
DOWNLOAD: AMD Radeon Software Crimson ReLive 17.11.2

The change-log follows.

Overwatch, Star Wars Battlefront II Loot Crates Under Gambling Scrutiny

According to Belgium's VTM Nieuws, the Chancellor Commission from that country has opened an investigation into both Overwatch and Star Wars Battlefront II loot crates, so as to rule whether or not these constitute gambling. Loot boxes being compared to gambling isn't a new debate, but up until now, a clear ruling that characterizes loot crates as such still hasn't made its way onto the courts or commissions that have been looking into these issues. That loot crates and other microtransactions are resounding successes in ever increasing monetization of game experiences is no secret: Digital River has released a report that stated microtransactions and the whole "Games as a Service" model has tripled the industry's value.

EA has been receiving a lot of flak for the way they implemented their loot boxing mechanics in Star Wars Battlefront II, which has led to repeated cycles of posturing, bullying, and ultimately some small steps backward for the company, regarding its initial stance on Battlefront II's specific implementation. Already has the company decreased costs for unlocking characters in-game, though some are reporting that for players to unlock everything the $60 game supposedly offers, they'd have to play it for at least 4,528 hours - or pony-up $2,100 to unlock all the base content.

EA Makes it Tougher to Cancel Battlefront 2 Pre-orders

EA is under fire for predatory pricing of DLC and add-ons for its upcoming "Star Wars: Battlefront 2" release. Gamers complain of the company effectively pricing it above $80 just to play as Darth Vader, and giving game reviewers a faster in-game content unlock progression, compared to paying gamers, misrepresenting the product. Pre-orders of the game can be cancelled and so gamers took to Reddit, and other forums, to distribute links to the pages on EA's website that let you easily cancel your pre-order. With pre-order cancellations gaining traction, EA pulled out its bag of dirty tricks.

The publisher has reportedly changed the way you cancel pre-orders. Instead of simply clicking on a web-based form to cancel your pre-order and get the reference number to your refund, you now have to speak with a sales agent via chat to cancel your order. Trouble is, that the process is bogged down by too many people trying to cancel their orders (due to a finite number of agents), and thus EA has effectively made it impossible for everyone who pre-ordered to cancel. Only those who can endure the long agent waiting queue to chat with an agent, can cancel their pre-orders, as the November 17 release-date (beyond which you can't cancel pre-orders), looms closer.

Which Future Starts with NVIDIA's Titan "Star Wars" Collector's Edition ?

NVIDIA has recently introduced a pair of special edition graphics cards of its fastest consumer GPU available at the moment: the GeForce GTX Titan Xp. The new cards, as you all know, have a Star Wars theme, ahead of the franchise's Episode VIII: The Last Jedi premiere in December. It would appear that these new designs - the Jedi Order and Galactic Empire editions - are simply re-skins of the already existing Titan Xp product, with added Red or Green LED colors according to your particular lean when it comes to The Force.

While these graphics cards certainly look the part - I'd say that the Galactic Empire edition is the better looking of the two, but that's neither here nor there - they likely signal the beginning of a trend. A trend where special edition graphics cards may move in to fill the void left by the absence of new products, while also allowing companies to re-purpose hitherto unsold inventory of a given graphics card.

NVIDIA Announces the TITAN Xp Star Wars Collectable Editions

NVIDIA has announced two new collector's edition NVIDIA TITAN Xp GPUs created for the ultimate Star Wars fan. The new Jedi Order and Galactic Empire editions of the NVIDIA TITAN Xp have been crafted to reflect the look and feel of the Star Wars galaxy.
These new Star Wars collector's edition GPUs pay homage to the light side/dark side dichotomy, and contain hints of the Star Wars galaxy, such as the hilt of Luke Skywalker's lightsaber and light panels reminiscent of the Death Star.

The Jedi Order GPU simulates the wear and tear and battle-worn finish of many items used by the Rebel Alliance, resulting from its diecast aluminum cover being subjected to an extensive, corrosive salt spray. Conversely, the Galactic Empire GPU's finish features simple, clean lines, emulating the high-end, orderly nature of the resource-rich Empire. Both versions have multiple windowed areas to showcase internals and lighting, evoking each faction's lightsabers, green and red, respectively. The finishes of both versions took over a year to perfect.

DICE Revamps Star Wars Battlefront II's Loot Crate Mechanics

We went into Star Wars Battlefront II with a goal to make the deepest, biggest Star Wars game you've ever played. That meant transporting you to all three eras and handing you a huge assortment of heroes, classes, and vehicles - as well as bringing tons of free post-launch content to all Star Wars Battlefront II players.

The Beta gave us a welcome chance to test all of our systems in action and tune things up for better balance. A few weeks back, we mentioned we were going to take another look at how the progression system works. After incorporating feedback from the Beta, we're happy to share our plans for launch.

EA Shutters Visceral Studios, Pivots on Unreleased Star Wars Game Design

The death knell is sounding in Visceral Games (creators of the Dead Space series), courtesy of EA. The publishing company has shuttered another one of its studios, and is looking to move employees from Visceral to what others remain. Apparently, the Star Wars game, which had a tentative release date for 2019, was shaping up as a "story-based, linear adventure game": not that much of a surprise, considering it was being helmed by Uncharted series veteran Amy Hennig. A development team from across EA Worldwide Studios will take over development, led by a team from EA Vancouver that was already working on the project.

Apparently, EA wasn't much enjoying the way the game was developing; usually, linear, story-based games don't lend themselves much for microtransactions or loot boxes, now do they? Citing "shifts in the marketplace", EA says that "It has become clear that to deliver an experience that players will want to come back to and enjoy for a long time to come, we needed to pivot the design," so that it "allows for more variety and player agency." All in all, this sounds much like Destiny, or upcoming Bioware game Anthem. But it will also certainly lend itself better to further monetization, considering how it's one of the industry's most important sources of revenue.

AMD Vega 10 3DMark Fire Strike Results Surface

Another day, another set of Vega results see the light of it. It would seem like this saga has been going on for ages, ever since we've seen AMD showcase its prototype Vega cards running Star Wars Battlefront (4K, Ultra settings at over 60 FPS) and Doom (4K, Vulcan render path at over 60 FPS on pre-production hardware). But with the lack of official information coming from AMD (let's hope this changes on May 16th), it would seem the company is content to see us hardware news sites jumping at every detail and offering free publicity.

This is known to be Vega because the device ID, 687F:C1, was spotted on AMD's own hands while running that Doom demo in 4K. The device clocks seem to be in line with previous leaks: a 1200 MHz core clock and 8GB of video memory running at 700 MHz memory clocks. With these clocks (which are expected to be extremely conservative when we take into account what we know of Vega), the Vega video card manages to deliver a 17,801 points graphics score, approximately 1,400 points more than your average Fury X, but some hundreds less than your average, current-generation GTX 1070. Remember: AMD's MI25 is expected to come in at 1,500 MHz core clocks, and this is a professional, passively-cooled graphics card. This means that unless AMD greatly overestimated the clock capability of its Vega cards, the consumer version of Vega will have necessarily higher clocks. But we'll stay here, waiting for some more details to pour our way, as always.

AMD Showcases its Ryzen CPUs Powering Their Upcoming Vega Architecture

At CES 2017, AMD set-up a demo room in which it showcased a PC powered by a Ryzen CPU and a Vega GPU playing Star Wars Battlefront at 60 FPS, reportedly at Ultra HD, with confirmed Ultra quality settings. Some sources do report that the frame rate at 4K Ultra settings occasionally dropped to 57 or 58 fps, but it still remains a strong showing from the company's upcoming Vega graphics architecture, as well as the prowess of its Ryzen CPUs.

AMD Releases Radeon Software Crimson Edition 15.12 WHQL

AMD released the WHQL-signed version of Radeon Software Crimson Edition 15.11.1 as the new 15.12 WHQL. It addresses a variety of game-specific issues, including rendering errors on Star Wars: Battlefront; bugs on Fallout 4; texture-compression issues with Just Cause 3; poor CrossFire performance with Call of Duty: Black Ops 3. It also addresses a critical issue in which the driver would either spool fan-speeds all the way up to 100% on load, or lock them down at 30%, causing certain GPUs to overheat. A variety of bugs specific to the Radeon Settings app were also addressed.

DOWNLOAD: AMD Radeon Software Crimson Edition 15.12 WHQL for Windows 10 64-bit | Windows 10 32-bit | Windows 8.1 64-bit | Windows 8.1 32-bit | Windows 7 64-bit | Windows 7 32-bit

AMD to Give Away Star Wars Battlefront with Radeon R9 Fury Series Graphics

AMD has a knack of pulling off some of the season's biggest game bundles, with its Never Settle Bundle legacy. The company is preparing to give away one of the season's biggest games, Star Wars Battlefront, with its Radeon R9 Fury graphics cards. Given away by participating retailers, purchases of the three cards will come with a voucher that can be redeemed on AMD website for an Origin key to the game. R9 Fury X and Nano are not included in this promotion.
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