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This is a discussion on Game Tech News within the Electronics forums, part of the Non-Related Discussion category; Sony is planning to launch the PlayStation 5 in time for the holiday season next year, but we know almost ...

      
   
  1. #731
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    This Is What the PlayStation 5 Controller Might Look Like

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    Sony is planning to launch the PlayStation 5 in time for the holiday season next year, but we know almost nothing about the console. The company has dropped a tidbit here and there, but it’s talked mostly about the controller. Now, we know what that controller might look like thanks to a Japanese patent filing. There are no huge surprises here, but there are some mysteries.

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    Facebook Will Now Use Oculus VR Data for Ads Just as Everyone Expected

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    Well, here it is. When Facebook bought Oculus, it assured users that it wouldn’t be using any data gathered via Oculus VR for advertising. It’s a question that’s come up again and again over the years, and it’s always been answered the same way: Oculus and Facebook do not and will not combine data…

    Except, now, they do. Oculus has announced changes to its privacy policy regarding how data is shared between Oculus and Facebook when you connect an Oculus Rift to your FB account. You are not required to connect your Oculus account to Facebook in order to use your Rift. Oculus’ FAQ claims that one reason for the tighter integration between the two companies is that Facebook wants to create more social experiences in VR, and the company is launching a new social platform for VR gamers to connect on Facebook. That’s not a terrible idea given that VR suffers from a limited player base, but it’s not an option I’d choose, personally. I’m more a fan of single-player games in the first place.

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    Microsoft’s Xbox Series X: Definitely More X’s Than the Leading Competitive Brand

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    Last night, Microsoft officially unveiled what we’ve been referring to as the Xbox Next (Project Scarlett). Anyone hoping for the sudden appearance of a coherent Xbox branding strategy had their hopes dashed — the follow-up to the Xbox One is the Xbox X Series. In one stroke, Microsoft has taken a commanding lead in the “most appearances of a rare Scrabble tile” category. Pity the PlayStation 5, with its predictable naming scheme!

    Snark aside, the best I can say for Xbox Series X is that it abbreviates agreeably to “Xbox SX” or “XSX.” Microsoft probably likes it because there’s no “Xbone” equivalent. I don’t like Xbox Series X for the same reason I didn’t like Apple Watch Edition: Changing the implied relationship between words can come off a little stilted, and “Series X” sounds a bit different than “Xbox One X.” It’s not unusual for a company to use “Series” as one signifier in a longer label, as in “Xbox Series X, Model 7.”

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    Microsoft’s Xbox Series X Just Ended the PC-Console War

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    On December 12, 2019, Microsoft announced the Xbox Series X, its next-generation game console. One of the major features of this new console is full backward-compatibility with the previous generation. Your titles will transfer. Xbox One controllers will work with the Xbox Series X, and Series X controllers will work with the Xbox One. All of this will arrive on Day 1, out of the box.

    With that announcement, Microsoft bridged the last fundamental gap between PC and console gaming. On the PC, we don’t talk about “generations” the same way that the console market does. The closest thing to a generation in the PC space is a Direct3D version, but the two have never been equivalent — modern PC games use a variety of APIs, including DirectX 11, DirectX 12, and Vulkan. Instead, we use touchstones like when a game came out relative to when a person bought their PC or graphics card. The reason we don’t talk about “generations” is that PCs have remained more-or-less backward-compatible with decades of software. The majority of PC titles from the past 15 years will still run on modern systems, but that same time period refers to at least three different console generations.

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    The Next-Generation ‘Xbox Series X’ Is Actually Just Called Xbox

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    When I covered the official name of the new Xbox from Microsoft, I poked a bit of gentle fun at the company for the odd shift from Xbox One to Xbox Series X. It turns out that the situation is a little weirder than I realized. The “Xbox Series X” framing is apparently wrong, and all the sites that claimed the next Xbox would be called “Series X” were wrong. The alternate way to read this — and the one my ego likes better if I’m being honest — is that Microsoft managed to collectively confuse most of the media into reporting the wrong name because it can’t figure out how to brand its own equipment in a way that doesn’t confuse people.

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    Warcraft III: Reforged Launches on January 28, 2020

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    Blizzard announced Warcraft III: Reforged just over a year ago, promising a 2019 release. Well, that’s not going to happen. However, we do have an official release date for the remastered game. It’s coming on January 28, 2020. It’s no Warcraft 4, but this classic game was due for a makeover.

    Warcraft III launched in 2002, which was seven long years after Warcraft II. That seemed like an unreasonably long wait at the time, but 17 years later, and there’s still no Warcraft 4. Nevertheless, Warcraft III delivered major advances in the real-time strategy genre. It was the first game in the Warcraft series to use 3D rendering, and the modding scene gave rise to Defense of the Ancients (DotA). That was arguably the first online battle arena game, a category that now includes the likes of League of Legends and Arena of Valor.

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    Nvidia and Asus Reveal First 360Hz G-Sync Gaming Monitor

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    Nvidia says a new generation of ultra-high refresh displays are coming, and Asus is on hand at CES with the first demo. The G-Sync Esports Displays will support 360Hz refresh, a significant increase over the previous top-of-the-line 240Hz technology. As the name implies, Nvidia is targeting professional and enthusiast Esports gamers with these displays, which will no doubt be very spendy.

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    Doom, Doom II Patched for 60fps, Quick Saves, and Megawad Support

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    Bethesda released updated versions of its classic Doom and Doom II earlier this year. At the time, the new versions of the classic game mostly got noticed for the initial mandatory login in order to play Doom or Doom II. Bethesda has brought out a major game patch for the titles and is making the updated Doom and Doom II available to anyone who wants to buy them, via the Bethesda.net launcher. The Steam version of the game has not been updated.

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    Half-Life Games Currently Free on Steam

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    There’s two pieces of Half-Life related news today. First of all, the Half-Life: Alyx dev team has posted an AMA on Reddit, and they actually give some intriguing answers to what sorts of changes and design rules Valve has followed in developing the game. For example, Half-Life: Alyx doesn’t use jumping much, partly because players don’t tend to like jumping in VR. Instead of relying on jumps, the game has a continuous mantling system and uses jumping rarely. Creatures respond to audio cues more than they used to, and a lot of work was spent on tuning environments to make them more “sonically interesting” to reward player exploration.

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    Warcraft 3: Reforged Is Generating More Anger Than Acclaim

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    When Blizzard announced and launched Starcraft Remastered, the fan and critical response was excellent. People were pleased with the product and quality of the remaster and Blizzard was commended for the work it did. When the company announced Warcraft 3: Reforged, it gave fans plenty to look forward to, including more dynamic cutscenes, significant art upgrades, and some lore tweaks to bring WC3 and TFT more into line with later lore established by World of Warcraft.
    It was, in short, a very different type of project than what Blizzard had announced with Starcraft, but it seemed like the team had some really good ideas for how to modernize an 18-year-old game.

    The dynamism of the camera is a fraction of what it was, and the overall level of improvement in the scene seems lower. The visual updates aren’t bad, Kotaku reports, tbut they really don’t matter much when you’re practically zoomed out the way you need to be to play the game. Unit animations also still apparently run at 30fps, regardless of game frame rate.

    The lack of any real “update” to what was originally billed as a more dramatic overhaul is only part of the problem. With Reforged, Blizzard decided to fuse the clients for Reforged and Warcraft 3 Classic. As a result, a heck of a lot of fundamental functionality just got removed from WC3, even for players who don’t even own Reforged. You can switch between Classic and Reforged graphics in the options menu, but since they use the same client, WC3 owners can’t access the other functions they used to have.

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