If it isn’t clear by now, the day of cryptocurrency is upon us. Despite a bumpy start to 2018, ‘miners’ all over the world are still building rigs with the industry-leading desktop GPUs. No one could have predicted the crisis that cryptocurrency would cause for PC gaming.
As gamers will know, keeping a gaming desktop up-to-date requires regular upgrades in the form of solid-state drives, processors and, perhaps most importantly, video cards. Unfortunately, video cards are the main source of power for mining rigs to complete their equations and generate currency over time.
The popularity of cryptocurrency mining has risen the demand for top-level and mid-level graphics cards through the roof. Those gamers looking to purchase their cards for the legitimate purpose — gaming — are the ones paying the price. In some cases, major retailers are getting away with charging more than double the suggested retail price for cards of all varieties.
It will be interesting to see how card manufacturers react to the growing shortage. They’ve already implored retailers to limit miners from buying several cards in one visit, but the numbers don’t lie: Micro Center and similar retailers have no incentive to make any change at all. In fact, doing so would be a deliberate assault on their bottom lines. Any regulations set against mining-specific purchases must be put into play by NVIDIA and AMD.
At large, the worst possible outcome would be a premature ending of the current PC gaming ‘golden age’ we’ve enjoyed for the past two years. Unreasonable prices could send gamers right back to consoles. Though not even as powerful as mid-level gaming PCs, consoles come with the benefit of staying at a consistent price.
This morning marked the end of the Sea of Thieves closed beta. The week players spent with the game saw its fair share of bugs and server crashes, but it’s hard not to feel the beta was a massive success. At one point, the game had over 250,000 viewers on Twitch.
The question now is how much additional content the game’s full release will feature. Despite the technical marvel Sea of Thieves already is, some players felt the beta was a bit light on content. Aside from invigorating PvP battles against other crews, the beta only featured quests that send you off to collect hidden treasure on the game’s various islands.
Rare has promised all kinds of content upon the game’s full release, but, for better or worse, the final game will play out a lot like the beta already has. The main draw of Sea of Thieves is the way its rugged sandbox nature that promotes an entirely different play session every time you log in. No two voyages will feel the same.
Still, the game’s public first impression brought in a number of naysayers. Some people are saying that despite how much fun Sea of Thieves can be, it may have trouble building a solid player base. The main reason? The game is much more fun with three of your friends. In fact, playing alone puts you at a severe disadvantage.
Whether you were a fan of the Sea of Thieves closed beta or not, the game’s release date of March 20th is a day to keep an eye on. As other sandbox games have done before it, this is a title that could explode into the next big thing. Depending on how Rare navigates their pre-launch situation, Microsoft may finally have its next big exclusive.
Global PC shipments have been declining according to Garnter, for a fifth year, which means it is a 3.7% year-to-year drop for the fourth quarter of 2016. The consistent decline is happening despite laptop makers who are working to make hardware improvements like battery life. Laptops now have better battery life. There is a clear drop in numbers, but four of the six lead manufacturers saw an increase, manufacturers such as Lenovo or HP, maintaining first and second spots. Dell and Apple also increased their profits, since Apple updated it’s MacBook Pro line for the first time in years. Asus and Acer meanwhile, both happened on notable declines seeing an 18.8 percent drop.
But in the U.S. we see numbers such as a drop with Asus of 48.3%, although in the others category, it was an 18.8 % drop. PC Gaming however, has made a comeback in 2017 if these numbers were from 2016. Popularity results from e-sports, custom built laptops, and faster software releases. http://www.dailyherald.com/business/20170923/move-over-consoles-pc-gaming-is-back<The best PC games of the year are Divinity, Original Sin 2. The Best Expansion winner was XCOM 2 War of the Chosen, the Best Strategy Game was Total War, Warhammer 2. The Best Platformer was Hollow Knight along with the best Breakout Game, which is Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds. The Best Setting winner was Tacoma, The Best Co-Op Game is Destiny 2. The Best Comedy Game was West Of Loathing. The Best Story was What Remains of Edith Finch, and finally, the best action game was Nier: Automata. This year PCs have gotten faster, which makes playing computer games easier. If you want gaming desktops, you will see pricing differences, the top computer for gaming is Alienware Aurora R6.
The answer is simple: mathematical! Adventure Time is one of the hottest entertainment properties in the world, at least if you are a teenager, and the IP has been longing for a high-quality video game adaptation. With nigh infinite imagination, a great Adventure Time game has been a long time coming. Bandai Namco must have heard the collective yearning of fans everywhere, because it was recently announced that the property would be getting an open-world game: Adventure Time: Pirates of the Enchiridion. This will be the most ambitious Adventure Time-related property that has ever been released and we are all in on the fun.
In Pirates of the Enchiridion, players will get to control any one of a number of different popular AT-related characters including Finn, BMO, Jake, and Marceline. Players will wander all over the Land of Ooo in order to discover different Kingdoms and recruit new players to their team. Finn and Jake get to traverse the suddenly flooded Land of Ooo in their special boat. While details are scarce at this point in time, we do know that Bandai Namco is trying to do something a little different. The goal in this open-world game will be to use detective skills, such as interrogations and clue finding, as well as ‘tactical combat’. There is also a progression system with light RPG elements.
Pirates of the Enchiridion will be released for all major consoles as well as PC some point in Spring of 2017. The developers of the game, Outright Games, are right now engaging in a naming competition that fans can partake in. The winner of the competition will have selected the name for Jake and Finn’s ship. If you’ve ever wanted to cement your name in Adventure Time history, now is the chance. All you need to do is head to the Facebook page for Outright Games in order to enter the competition. Who knows what the internet will come up with, but we’re excited to see it!
The World of Azeroth is about to get a whole lot cheerier. The team at Blizzard are making preparations to launch the big Christmas event for their flagship MMORPG, World of Warcraft. Every year we see World of Warcraft do something incredibly fun for the season so it’s nice to see Blizzard keep up the tradition. Curious to see what’s in store for your holiday MMO gaming? Keep on reading.
The first update that players will notice when they log in during the new event is the Feast of Winter Veil. This event brings about some much-needed Christmas cheer in the way of decorations everywhere. Going through the major cities will allow you to see that Ole Saint Nicholas has made his way all over Azeroth. You can see massive snow globes in Ironforge, Dalaran, and Ogrimmar in particularly.
Of course, no Holiday event is complete without the Abominable Greench making his return. Players will kit up in order to defeat the big baddy of the Holiday season and they’ll win rewards along the way. Gamers will also be able to get their hands on a special item, the Finely Tailored Holiday Hat. This special hat can only be found during dungeons and raids in Legion.
Updates aren’t just kept for the Christmas season, however. Toward the end of the month, there will be special New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day festivities to be seen all around the map. Players will be able to go to the largest capital cities in order to watch firework shows in the game with other players. There are also a slew of other more technical updates coming to the title that should help keep players satisfied with one of the most successful games of all time.
Ultimately, World of Warcraft is all about immersion so it is nice to see that Blizzard has kept up on their efforts to keep their playerbase entertained, even after all of these years.
While the games often play almost the same, PC gamers and gamers using a console are very separate groups of consumers. A major reason for that the controllers fro the two platforms are very different. But one major difference may be going away, if a report by the PC gaming web site VG24/7 is accurate.
The site noticed a press release put out by Microsoft Poland, which claimed the company was set to release a keyboard and mouse for the Xbox. The press release was quickly deleted, but just the mention of a new Xbox peripheral has been enough to spark the imagination of both PC and console gamers. If it is released, the new keyboard and mouse would blur the lines between the gaming platforms and open up new possibilities for player interaction in the booming eGamer sports leagues.
While some Xbox gamers are excited about the possibility of using a PC gamer control set-up, not everyone is eager to give up the current iconic Xbox controller. In fact, the Xbox controller is beginning to be used in a number of non-gaming situations. For instance, the United States Navy is planning to add Xbox controllers to some controls, because they work much better and are more functional than the ones developed by the military.
Despite the leaked press release, it’s not clear if Microsoft has really decided to release a commercially sold keyboard and mouse for the Xbox. The company has declined to comment on the release and no further information has surfaced publicly about the product. But just the hint of a release has energized the Xbox gaming community and an online petition requesting the release of the product has already gathered 35,000 signatures.
Video games and the holidays go together just as well as you would imagine. It’s always nice to see video game companies embrace the holiday spirit and Blizzard’s Overwatch was certainly not going to miss the party. We’ve already seen Blizzard focus on an entertaining Christmas themed release for World of Warcraft, now Overwatch gamers get to get in on the action. Blizzard will be returning last year’s Winter Wonderland event.
Fans worried about a retread of last year’s activities should exhale a sigh of relief. Overwatch’s new holiday event isn’t simply a retread of what happened last year. There are brand new skins available, only for a limited time, that is going to be insanely popular a few months from now — leaving gamers asking, “Hey, how do you get that?” While the new character skins are, of course, welcome there is more to enjoy. We’ve seen already that Blizzard has released a new holiday theme for the Black Forest as well as Hanamura and King’s Row.
Gamers who want to try out a holiday-themed event can take part in Mei’s Snowball Offensive Brawl. there is also a brand new event that hasn’t been seen by anyone, anywhere, ever: Mei’s Yeti Hunt. Blizzard has compared this event favorably with boss fights, saying that you’ll have five Meis taking on a single player. In this event, players will play as Mei as they hunt down a Winston player who is wearing a Yeti-themed skin. This Winston will travel around the map snagging his power-ups before blasting off into ‘Primal Rage Mode’. In this mode, the tables are turned and Winston gets to extract his vengeance by tracking down all of the Meis. Yeti Hunt isn’t a game mode that is meant to be taken seriously and more seen as a distraction from fierce competition. The new update will be available until January 1st.
Those in the modding community have likely not forgotten the recent fiasco over paid mods from the Steam Workshop. Met with derision, paid mods were nothing short of a flop. In a similar vein, but likely handled in a much better way, Nexus has a different method in mind for compensating its many mod developers.
Any mod developer can tell you the massive number of hours that go into crafting a great game mod. Combined with all the recurring maintenance and bug fixes to follow the release of most any moderately-sized mod, a mod developer can dump massive amounts of personal time into their creations. When released, a mod developer expects to see no monetary return for their work, as mods online are free.
Nexus Mods is a website that serves as a major platform for users to download the work of these mod developers. An article from Polygon by Owen S. Good (https://www.polygon.com/2017/12/20/16803278/nexus-mods-donations-pay-modders) outlines how, early next year, Nexus plans to compensate their modders with a new donation system.
Nexus, starting with a few thousand from their own coffers, will begin a donation pool that its user can donate to. This donation pool will be used to distribute “points” to the modders of the community based off the number of unique downloads the mod developer receives. Mr. Good explains a unique download, in this case, means the same user can download a dozen of a developer’s mods, but it would still count for only a single unique download. With points, mod developers can use their earnings in the Nexus Mods storefront, convert those points into Amazon gift cards, or transfer compensation to a PayPal account.
While it does not sound like Nexus’ system will cause mod developers to quit their day jobs, it does sound like a realistic way the greater modding community can give back to the folks who have spent so much time creating great content.
A new report put out by Gamers Industry shows that PC gaming is still extremely strong in the UK. According to this study, PC sales represented 28 percent of the global games market value in 2017.
Gamers Industry analysts say the PC gaming industry took in $32.3 billion in the past year. Even more impressive, PC gaming has grown by 1.4 percent year on year.
Analysts believe the number one reason for this massive increase in PC gaming has to do with online gaming platforms like Steam and GOG. Both of these platforms have made it easier for PC gamers to download high-quality games onto their computers.
Interestingly, it’s become increasingly rare for game developers to release console exclusive titles. Encouraged by the strong performance of PC sales, almost every video game publisher releases titles on both consoles and PCs today.
With this data in mind, it will become increasingly hard for gaming publishers to ignore the PC market in the future. Analysts say PC gamers have a bright future to look forward to.
Number one on Gamers Industry’s 2017 study was mobile gaming with 43 percent of the global games market value. Second place went to console gaming at 29 percent, just one percent higher than PC gaming.
In terms of sales, the number one gaming publisher in 2017 was Electronic Arts with 16.8 percent of all UK boxed sales. Second place went to Activision Blizzard with 15.6 percent of sales and third went to Japanese giant Nintendo with 11.2 percent.
Superhot VR was the top-selling game in the PC/VR gaming category with $2.56 million in revenue. Second place went to Arizona Sunshine ($2.4 million) and third went to Job Simulator ($2.36 million).
This study also analyzed what titles UK gamers were most excited about in the past year. The most widely covered game in the UK gaming news industry was Overwatch with over 56,000 published articles. Second place went to Destiny 2 and third went to Nintendo’s Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
Playing PC games on your work laptop or mobile phone may not be a thing of the far-flung future. A group called Parsec recently released software aimed at hooking an outside device, such as a Raspberry Pi 3 or Chromebook, to the hardware of your at-home desktop or console. This means playing high-end games on a device not normally capable of playing them.
Those with no dedicated gaming desktop or console to serve as home-streaming hardware aren’t out of luck. Parsec has an offering of cloud gaming servers which one can rent by the hour. The caveat to using these cloud gaming servers is one needs a much more impressive internet connection than if one where to stream from an at-home device.
As an article on the subject from Techcrunch.com by Brian Heater (https://techcrunch.com/2017/12/19/is-the-time-finally-right-for-platform-agnostic-cloud-gaming/) points out, attempting to use hardware via cloud is not a new concept. Mr. Heater notes that in 2010 OnLive was a group that attempted the very same thing. As noted in the article, Parsec believes the difference between OnLive’s attempt and their own is in the timing. With customers getting more bandwidth and the general technological progression of the last few years, Parsec believes the time is ripe for their software.
Another outlier to Parsec that may give it a boost is a unique capability of their program. Through their software, Parsec can make local multiplayer games capable of online multiplayer. Technical jargon aside, Parsec can create an online multiplayer environment between connected devices on their software without forcing game developers to go through and completely rewrite their code.
Herein lies the hidden, and perhaps lasting, value of Parsec. A handful of indie games, such as Scrap Galaxy, have already partnered with Parsec to bring their multiplayer online. This, of course, spells wider use of Parsec outside of mere home-hardware streaming, which may be the edge they need to succeed where OnLive failed.