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Original Xbox Game Phantom Dust Re-Releases Today - Available for Free

The original Xbox's Phantum Dust was an original, striking game, which carved itself a cult following for its original gameplay. The re-release has had a troubled development, being downgraded from full remake towards a remaster of sorts, though Microsoft says the game's assets will scale up with your system up to 4K resolution. One interesting tidbit regarding this re-release is that the original game's source-code was apparently nowhere to be found, and Microsoft thus had to reverse engineer the engine so as to be able to carry this re-release torch forward. Interesting that Microsoft would go to all this work for a game it is now releasing for free. Looks like the Redmond company really is looking out after its image in gamers' eyes.

The game is now available for the Xbox One and Windows 10 platforms, through Microsoft's UWP. This might sour the release for some of you, but why not give it a go? It's free, and it's kind of a throwback Tuesday - and the game is only 3.4 GB in size, so you won't have to be staring at Microsoft's storefront for that long. Phantom Dust is an Xbox Play Anywhere title (with cross-play between Windows 10 and Xbox One,) complete with progression syncing and roaming in-app purchases (so, Microsoft is looking to recoup some of the investment made on bringing this game back from the dead.) The game's ability system revolves around deck building mechanics, with each card representing a different skill in your character's load-out, which you can customize as you see fit.

Source: Twitter

StarCraft Available For Free From Blizzard, Nearly 20 Years After Launch

In 1998, I wasn't a StarCraft guy. My Packard Bell 486DX 8MB wonder that my parents refused to upgrade couldn't run it. That thing wouldn't do a merciful "fall-on-its-sword" act like all the other Packard Bells in the neighborhood either. The thing insisted on surviving until almost 2004 when my parents finally took it to the dump. I personally, got out of that hell in 2001 when I built my own system with an Athlon Thunderbird 1Ghz chip and a lofty 512MBs of ram, but StarCraft was never really my thing.

Now, the jokes on you, suckers, cause I can download it for free!

CRYORIG to Provide Free AM4 Upgrade Kits

In response to AMD's soon to be released Ryzen CPU and AM4 platform, PC thermal solution brand CRYORIG will be providing free AM4 upgrade kits soon after the official release of AMD Ryzen CPUs. All users of existing AMD-supported products will be able to apply for the free upgrade kits, and native AM4 mounting kits will start hitting the markets after the official CPU release.

CRYORIG will provide all existing users and new owners of AMD supported products the new AM4 kit totally free of charge. Existing eligible products include: R1 Universal/Ultimate, C1, H5 Universal/Ultimate, H7, H7 Quad Lumi, M9a, C7, A40, A40 Ultimate and A80. Users will only need to provide the following information: proof of purchase of the CRYORIG product (or product registration number), and a proof of purchase of an AMD Ryzen or AM4 CPU or Motherboard. The necessary info just needs to be sent to CRYORIG support email-box "support@cryorig.com" and the kit will be sent directly to the provided address. Local distributors and select channels will also have these kits available.

Phanteks Announces Free AM4 Upgrade Kits

Phanteks, the award-winning thermal cooling and chassis manufacturer today announced that they would distribute free AM4 upgrade kits to their customers. Owners of Phanteks' CPU Coolers that want to be able to use their coolers with the new AM4 socket can now receive a free upgrade kit

Phanteks AM4 upgrade kit will allow for full compatibility with the new AMD AM4 Socket. Starting January 25th, 2017, customers that have Phanteks CPU coolers can contact their service team to receive their free upgrade kit, for which they'll need to provide a copy of the purchase invoice, a copy of the purchase invoice of an AMD motherboard or AMD processor, and e-mail those to Phanteks' customer support team. All future Phanteks cooler products will include the required AMD AM4 mounting bracket.

AM4 Socket Compatibility: be quiet! Announces Free Upgrade Kits

be quiet!, the market leader in PC power supplies in Germany for ten consecutive years, is committed to its high level of customer support. Today the company announces the availability of free AM4 upgrade kits to their customers. Owners of current be quiet! CPU coolers switching to AMD's new socket will not have to retire their reliable and proven coolers. Thanks to an elaborate product design, installing the coolers on the new platform will be straightforward and very similar to previous sockets.

All be quiet! CPU coolers that can currently be mounted to the AMD retention module already support socket AM4 CPUs, including the Pure Rock, Pure Rock Slim and Shadow Rock LP coolers.

AMD to Give Away Civilization VI with Radeon RX 480

AMD is readying a new graphics card promotion for Holiday 2016. The company is planning to give away game keys to "Sid Meier's Civilization VI" with both the 4 GB and 8 GB variants of its Radeon RX 480 graphics cards. Available through participating retailers, and in select markets, the promotion will be applicable to both the reference and custom-design graphics cards. Sapphire, for example, is giving away keys to the game with both its NITRO+ and reference-design RX 480 cards. Purchase receipts for the cards will come with special promotion codes that can be redeemed on the AMD Rewards website to enable the game directly to your Steam account. The 6th edition of the smash-hit turn-based strategy game, "Civilization VI" takes advantage of DirectX 12 through its latest patch, the Radeon RX 480 meets or exceeds its recommended system requirements.

AMD Never Settle Space Edition Rewards Program Goes Live

AMD announced the latest addition to its Never Settle rewards program, which rewards gamers with free games for purchasing new AMD Radeon graphics cards. Never Settle Space Edition, as its name might suggest, adds four space-themed games to choose from, including Alien: Isolation, Star Citizen (an in-game AMD Radeon themed ship), Space Run, and Habitat. The four add to the 27 games you can choose from as your Radeon Rewards, depending on the card you buy.

AMD Energizes "Never Settle Forever"

AMD today announced a refresh of "Never Settle Forever", the popular game bundle program for AMD Radeon products. Starting today, the "Never Settle Forever" promotion will be available to a wider range of AMD Radeon graphics cards, spanning the R7 Series graphics to the ultra-enthusiast AMD Radeon R9 295X2 graphics card. For the first time ever, the "Never Settle Forever" program will be rolled out to AMD's entry-level graphics products: the AMD Radeon R7 250X, R7 250 and R7 240 GPUs.

AMD's "Never Settle Forever" is dedicated to letting gamers select from a strong line-up of in-demand games as a reward for choosing AMD Radeon graphics. Users will receive up to three choices of free games when they redeem their AMD Radeon Reward coupon. The actual number of available choices will vary by Rewards tier: Gold, Silver or Bronze.

NVIDIA Springs Ahead with New GeForce Game Bundles

Tired of shoveling snow? Want to beat the winter blahs? How about ushering in the start of spring with two new exciting game bundles from NVIDIA? Starting today, gamers who purchase select NVIDIA GeForce GTX desktop GPUs and GeForce GTX-powered notebooks can take advantage of two new bundle offerings, a redeemable code for DAYLIGHT or $150 of in-game currency for Heroes of Newerth, Path of Exile, and Warface.

DAYLIGHT, a procedurally-generated psychological thriller from Zombie Studios, is also the world's first game built on Unreal Engine 4. Featuring NVIDIA PhysX technology for an interactive, immersive nightmare, DAYLIGHT will scare the pants off you as you explore an abandoned hospital with only your cell phone for illumination. Purchasers of GeForce GTX TITAN graphics cards, as well as GTX 780 Ti, 780, 770, 760, 690, 680, 670, 660 Ti and 660, will receive a redemption code for DAYLIGHT, which will be activated on April 11, 2014, the day the game launches.

ASUSTOR Launches Live Demo Site for ADM 2.0

ASUSTOR Inc. , a leading innovator and provider of network storage solutions, has announced today the launch of a new live demo site for users to test ASUSTOR Data Master (ADM) 2.0, the latest version of ASUSTOR's in-house developed NAS operating system. The ADM 2.0 live demo will allow users to experience ASUSTOR's intuitive software first hand before making any purchasing decisions. ADM 2.0 features an array of new and innovative features along with all-new mobile apps, AiMaster and AiData, which will allow users to truly experience the convenience of cloud computing while on the go.

NVIDIA Announces New Free to Play Bundle

NVIDIA today announced a new promotion that will give gamers a total of $75 of in-game currencies to a trio of the hottest free-to-play games: Warframe, Neverwinter and Marvel Heroes. The promotion, which is applicable for new purchases of notebook PCs featuring GeForce 700M-series GPUs or desktop GeForce GTX 650 GPUs, starts today and will run throughout the rest of the year.

Voted the best F2P game at PAX East 2013, Warframe is a co-op third-person online action game set in an evolving sci-fi world. Featuring the incredible NVIDIA PhysX technology, players control ancient warriors in a war with the Grineer (bad guys). With over three million registered users, gamers can join friends in player-vs-enemy raids across the solar system and master the power of the Warframes. $25 of in-game currency gives players the opportunity to shop in the marketplace and gain new gear quickly such as a new supercharged Warframe with an inventory slot, a sentinel pet to aid in battle, mod-packs to instantly upgrade gear, void key packs to gain access to rare missions, as well as other boosters or revives.

Chromium-Based Opera 15 Has Arrived

With the travel season just around the corner, the Scandinavian browser-maker Opera Software today released the final version of its all-new Opera for Windows and Mac, debuting with a fresh look and completely new features.

If you were to visit every website in the web for just one second each, you would need over 20 years of non-stop browsing to see them all. It's pretty much the same amount of time you would need to spend a week in every city with more than half a million habitants worldwide. You may never get to visit all of these cool places, but, with the new Opera browser, surfing through an ocean of inspiring web content is now easier than ever.

Buffalo Ships High Capacity DriveStation DDR USB Hard Drive

Buffalo Technology, a global leader in the design, development and manufacturing of wired and wireless networking and network and direct attached storage solutions, today announced that its DriveStation DDR, a high performance external USB 3.0 hard drive with 1 GB DDR3 RAM cache for accelerated transfer speeds, is available for purchase today at select retail partners. Ideal for a variety of users including tech enthusiasts, digital photographers and videographers and media buffs, DriveStation DDR offers extremely fast file transfers, comparable to SSD, with the high capacity and value of a traditional external HDD device.

The DriveStation DDR utilizes Buffalo's MegaCache Accelerator, a 1 GB DDR3 RAM cache system, to greatly accelerate file transfer rates, notably outperforming other USB 3.0 hard drives. Compared to a standard USB 3.0 hard drive, the 1 GB DRAM cache of the MegaCache system efficiently caches data as it's transferred to automatically boost performance for transfer speeds up to 408 MB/s, 2.3x faster than USB 3.0 hard drives and more than 10x faster than USB 2.0.

ZOTAC Announces StreamBox and RAIDbox Storage Enclosures

ZOTAC International, a global innovator and leading manufacturer of graphics cards, mainboards and mini-PCs, today embarks on a new era of digital media sharing with the StreamBox and RAIDbox accessories that eases sharing digital audio, video and image files. The ZOTAC StreamBox bridges the gap between mobile devices and television sets to enable easy broadcasting of audio, video and image files from Android smartphones, tablets and notebooks via the industry standard DLNA protocol. Display mirroring capabilities are available for select Android mobile devices via Miracast compatibility.

"We focused on making the ZOTAC StreamBox easy to use for users of all skill levels. All a user needs to do is connect to the ZOTAC StreamBox via WiFi and launch a DLNA-compatible application such as the free Realtek AirFun app and begin sharing your music, movies and images," said Carsten Berger, senior director, ZOTAC International. "Advanced users can take advantage of screen mirroring features found on select devices too."

AMD "Never Settle" Bundle Returns with New AAA Titles

AMD stumped PC gamers last October by announcing its first Never Settle game bundle that sees its various AIB partners bundle 2~4 AAA game titles with their performance-thru-extreme segment graphics cards. In a bid to overcome post-X'mas slump, and build the brand in the run up to summer, the company released its Never Settle Reloaded bundles.

Based around games that launch within Q1, the bundle covers four new AAA titles: Tomb Raider (2013); Bioshock Infinite, DMC: Devil May Cry (2013); and Crysis 3. That's right, one of the biggest PC games of this season will be freely distributed with AMD Radeon graphics cards. Those buying a single Radeon HD 7900 series graphics card get Crysis 3 and Bioshock Infinite; a single Radeon HD 7800 series card gets you Bioshock Infinite and Tomb Raider (2013).

ASUS ROG and Ubisoft Present Digital Download Bonus Game Promotion

Welcoming the busiest time of the year for gamers, ASUS ROG is proud to offer buyers of participating products a bonus game in collaboration with Ubisoft. Select ROG motherboards, desktops, audio cards, and headsets are taking part in the promotion, as well as specific ASUS graphics cards. All deliver the best gaming hardware in their respective segments, driven by exclusive innovation and careful attention to the needs of gamers. As the leading makers of performance PC gaming hardware, ROG and ASUS offer superior products now made even better with attractive bonus games from one of the largest video game publishers.
World's leading gaming gear now bundled with best-selling and innovative games

The exclusive campaign adds further incentive to invest in the best. Participating products include select ROG motherboards, desktops, audio cards, and headsets, plus several ASUS graphics cards. All bear the ROG and ASUS passion for top-echelon performance, aggressive design, and gamer-focused features. Customers receive an exclusive Ubisoft digital game download code, which can be used at the ASUS UBIShop promotion page to redeem one of the five games specified in this press release. The promotion and its dedicated page will go live October 31, 2012.

MSI Offering Free Assassin's Creed III Download with GeForce GTX 650 Ti Cards

Leading mainboard and graphics card maker MSI is now offering the full version of the latest "Assassin's Creed III" game for download with every GTX 650 Ti graphics card (N650TI PE 1GD5/OC and N650Ti-1GD5/OC). The new game from Ubisoft has been for three years in development. The new game engine delivers revolutionary visual effects, realistic character models and advanced computer AI to take the Assassin's Creed series to new and stunning heights. Assassin's Creed III is set against the American War of Independence. History takes a different turn here with all new heroes, a wide array of gaming elements and life like scenery.

When combined with the extraordinary performance of the GTX 650 TI, the player can take the role of a master assassin and fight their way through the revolutionary battlefields. Along the way, they will witness the truth behind the conspiracy of the American War of Independence, explore the realistic Colonial world within the game and experience the smooth combat effects.

OUYA: A Hacker-Friendly Android Console

A new Kickstarter project is making waves, by proposing an open-source, hacker-friendly platform using Android as its backbone. "OUYA" merges the "satisfying" experience of a console with the developer-friendly nature of the Android marketplace. The project is seeking nearly a million dollars in funds, but it's already managed to reach more than half its lofty goal within just a day. The project's goal is $950,000, a figure it's likely to hit. It's been less than a day, and it's hit more than $590,000. That's no doubt because the higher dollar amounts, $95 and $99, offer the console itself as a reward. So far, the project hasn't outlined any stretch goals, but they seem likely. The funding will go towards converting the prototype to production models with approvals from regulatory agencies, development kits, production orders, and possibly some first-party game development. It also claims that games will be required to offer a free element, be it a demo or the full game with microtransactions. OUYA has already specified its technical specs, including a Tegra3 quad-core processor, 1 GB of RAM, 8 GB of flash storage, an HDMI connection, and Android 4.0. The controller looks fairly standard for consoles, with eight action buttons, two analog sticks, a D-pad, and the addition of a touch pad.

Source: Shacknews

DOTA 2: Free to Play Confirmed

Valve, creators of best-selling game franchises (such as Counter-Strike, Half-Life, Left 4 Dead, Portal, and Team Fortress) and leading technologies (such as Steam and Source), today confirmed that Dota 2 will be free to play and announced the Dota Store in preparation for the game's release.

Upon its opening, the Dota Store will offer items created by Valve and members of the community that may be used immediately and carried over after the public launch of the game. Early Access to the game is not required to purchase items before launch. However, gamers may get into the game now by purchasing the Dota 2 Early Access Bundle of items.

MechWarrior Online Early Access Program Detailed

MechWarrior Online is beginning its closed beta this week, and developer Piranha Games and Infinite Game Publishing have announced a "founder's program" to give eager players early access to the game. The founder's program is being called "Operation Inception," and it will go on sale June 19. Players can buy one of two tiers of early access, which will grant separate rewards. The $30 Veteran Founder's Package gives you $40 of in-game currency, a one-month premium membership for bonus XP and C-Bills, a Founder's Tag to set you apart, and early access to the game and Founder's assets on July 17. If you want to shell out more for the $60 Elite Founder's Package, you'll get a special "Founder's BattleMech" which boosts earned C-Bills for life, $80 of in-game currency, a two-month premium membership, and the founder's tag and early access.

The prices are about on-par for a retail game. However, for those who don't mind waiting, the game will be free-to-play when it fully launches. A release date is unannounced so far, but it probably won't be too far behind the early access July 17 date. You can still register for beta access and reserve your pilot name at the official site.

Source: Shacknews

Wolfenstein 3D Celebrates 20th Anniversary with a Browser Edition

This month is the 20th Anniversary of Wolfenstein 3D. To celebrate id Software and Bethesda have given us all a free browser-based version of its seminal shooter. John Carmack has also given a director's commentary, full of the usual fascinating Carmackchat. You can play the snazzy HTML 5 version of Wolf 3D if you're browsing in Firefox 10, Chrome 16, Internet Explorer 9, Safari 5, or newer. Fingers crossed that your work computer is updated vaguely frequently. id Software got distracted by Doom and Quake after the release of a Wolf 3D prequel, but the series returned in 2001 with Return to Castle Wolfenstein from Grey Matter and Nerve Software. Splash Damage followed this with the superb free multiplayer spin-off Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory, then the last entry in the series was Raven's Wolfenstein in 2009. The iOS version is also going temporarily free in the App Store some time later today. Here is the Link

Source: Shacknews

Borderlands 2 Developer Already Detailing DLC

According to Kotaku and Shack News, Borderlands 2 developer Gearbox Software is already working on DLC before the game is even released. What can you expect? A new character class. At a PAX East panel this past weekend, the developer showed conceptual images for a new Mechromancer class. The class will be available to everyone when the DLC hits 60-90 days after the game hits shelves, but it will be free to those that pre-order the game, according to Kotaku. Gearbox also detailed two special editions for the game. The first will be the "Deluxe Vault Hunters Edition" for $99, completed with a bobble-head doll of game narrator and weapons dealer Marcus Kincaid. The second will be the "Ultimate Loot Chest Edition," which offers a Borderlands 2-style loot chest, sans hydraulics. Finally, the Gearbox gang tossed out Easter eggs with codes inside, redeemable at a special website, that allowed attendees to compete to potentially insert their names into Borderlands 2 or Aliens: Colonial Marines as an Easter egg.

Source: ShackNewsKotaku

EVE Online Players Can Use In-Game Currency to Pay For Graphics Cards

Joystiq is reporting that CCP Games, the developer behind EVE Online, has struck a deal with NVIDIA for players to use in-game currency -- PLEX -- to purchase GeForce 560 GTX graphics cards, which run almost $200 at retail. That's fake money for real items, folks. NVIDIA and CCP will start by selling 100 graphics cards (limit one per EVE account) to test the demand. After CCP announced its NVIDIA deal, the in-game price of PLEX jumped "significantly," CCP said. PLEX (Pilot License Extension) is an in-game currency that can be used to pay for 30-day EVE subscriptions. PLEX can be purchased with ISK, EVE's main currency that can be earned throughout the game, meaning some dedicated players end up with a free subscription each month. Now they may end up with a "free" graphics card as well.

Source: Joystiq

Report: PC Gaming On The Rise

This may not be a surprise to the PC enthusiast community but, the PC gaming market has never been healthier, according to a report from the not-for-profit consortium PC Gaming Alliance (PCGA). The report claims that in 2011, the industry reached a global record $18.6 billion, a growth of 15 percent over the prior year. The report cites burgeoning foreign markets and social games as large factors in the findings. The results of the PCGA's third annual "Horizons" research report found that China is growing at almost twice the rate of the global market, bringing in $6 billion for a total growth of 27 percent. The US, UK, Korea, Japan, and Germany saw increased revenue of 11%, by comparison. Asian companies, in general, are noted for spurring on sales in their markets.

The report also cites Zynga and Nexon (of MapleStory fame) as frontrunners in the PC space. Zynga in particular doubled its revenue to roughly $1.1 billion, putting it on-par with Nexon. Zynga and the German company Bigpoint were noted for pushing the free-to-play model, already popular in Asian territories, into North America and Europe. The report also notes the movers and shakers of big-budget PC games from the western market, like Star Wars: The Old Republic and Rift, along with multiplatform titles like Battlefield 3 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. Looking forward, the report speculates that the industry will grow to $25.5 billion (37 percent increase) by 2015, thanks to increased broadband penetration and digital delivery. The report is from a PC gaming coalition with a vested interest in trumpeting the industry's health, but even so, the rumors of PC's death have greatly exaggerated.Source: Shacknews

The Document Foundation announces LibreOffice 3.5

The Document Foundation announces LibreOffice 3.5, the third major release of "the best free office suite ever", which shows to end users the improvements derived from the development strategy adopted since September 2010. LibreOffice 3.5 derives from the combined effort of full time hackers - the largest group of experienced OOo code developers - and volunteer hackers, coordinated by the Engineering Steering Committee.

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