Age of Empires IV announced!

Holy shit Age of Empires IV has just been announced by Microsoft at Gamescom. That’s not all! Relic Entertainment is developing the game with them (Company of Heroes, Dawn of War RTS series). Check out the launch trailer below.

Here is what Microsoft said:

At gamescom 2017, we celebrated the 20-year anniversary of the Age of Empires franchise, shared some exciting news on Age of Empires: Definitive Edition and announced our plans for a brand-new title – Age of Empires IV. In case you missed it, the full broadcast is available to watch online, with our top news listed below.

Trailer on YouTube:

Source: Xbox.com

Windows 10 Game Mode explained, coming around April

Say what you want about Windows 10 but I can’t wait for this one! Microsoft wants Windows 10 to be “the best gaming operating system ever,” and Game Mode is about to come out in around a month or two with the Creators Update.

At first gamers speculated Game Mode would only affect Universal Windows Apps. That’s not the case: Microsoft plans to make the games you buy from Steam or GOG or other platforms run better, too.

“Game Mode will work both with UWP games as well as Win32-based games,” Kevin Gammill, a partner group program manager for Xbox, told PC Gamer in an interview on Tuesday.

“I will say that it’s likely that we’ll be able to eke out a little bit more performance on the UWP side with some games, essentially because of the way Win32’s architected vs. the way UWP’s architected. Specifically, there’s no way at the platform level to really know where a game starts and stops…. You could have a number of Windows services running, we don’t know if that’s part of the game or not, that the game’s calling into. UWP is more of a contained package, and you know where it starts and stops. Knowing what the contained package is may be of some extra benefit, may be slightly better than Win32 from a performance perspective. But no question, Game Mode can see huge perf benefits for both Win32 and UWP.

Game Mode focuses on the two pieces of hardware you’d likely expect: your CPU and GPU. Gammill explained that when you run a game, it’s naturally given a percentage of the GPU cycles, while the background gets another percentage. “At the platform level we can tweak that,” he said. Turn Game Mode on, and when a game is in the foreground, “we’re going to bias GPU cycles to your game, versus the background pass,” he explained.

“If you have Lightroom in the background doing some kind of math-intensive, GPU-intensive conversion, and that’s taking up a lot of cycles, and then you have your game in the foreground, and all of a sudden you give your game what was—and I’ll make these numbers up—90% of your GPU [and increase that] up to 98%, Lightroom running in the background will slow down. That may seem like an obvious statement, but some people don’t think it all the way through.”

What Game Mode is doing with the CPU is a bit more complicated. Microsoft is tackling “thread contention,” which you can think of as every service and application on your PC vying for processor time and resources (eg, L1/L2/L3 cache) to complete its task.

“Depending on your machine configuration, what software you have running on the machines, what system services you have running, you could have threads running across all your cores making the machine relatively hot,” Gammill said. “And then when you have a game running on top of that, depending on how the game is architected, sometimes those threads can contend from a resource perspective with what’s going on in the system. So essentially what we’re doing with Game Mode is allocating a number of threads that will be for the game only, and the rest of the threads for the system only.”

Gammill said that in working on thread contingencies, they’ve been able to make performance more consistent. Games don’t have to contend with other services running on the same threads, so when the game suddenly needs more CPU power—perhaps due to a spike in AI-driven enemies on screen—it has plenty of headroom.

At launch, Game Mode will be easy to turn on and off through the Game Bar (Windows key + G, if you have it enabled through the Xbox app). Microsoft is also working on a whitelist of games that will benefit from Game Mode, which it’s filling out by testing on a variety of systems. Eventually, Game Mode will be able to switch on automatically when it detects one of those games, but the whitelist will start out empty in the upcoming Windows Insider build.

Microsoft stressed several times that this is just the beginning for Game Mode, and that performance should improve as the team continues to iterate on it. “This is not one of those features where we ship it, we high five, and move on,” Gammill said. “This is one of those features where this is really phase one, and we want it to get better after we ship the Creators update. Not only waiting for the next big Windows release, but as the Creators update continues to mature in the marketplace as well.”

Source: PC Gamer

Microsoft will use Steam to sell Windows games

I think they have finally realized that selling games on their own, buggy, slow and unpopular Windows Store is a really bad idea. They have changed their mind and said that they will be selling their PC games on Steam, maybe including those titles that have Xbox Play Anywhere (buy once on console, play on PC too) thing?

Gears of War 4

Phil Spencer, head of the Xbox team at Microsoft, was talking on GameSpot stream during the E3. He said:

“I don’t think Valve’s hurt by not having Microsoft’s first-party games in their store right now. They’re doing incredibly well.”

Accordingly, Spencer said that Microsoft:

“Microsoft will ship games on Steam again.”

I don’t know about you guys but I would be more than happy to play Gears of War 4 in coop with friends on Steam! The employee did not say which games would be sold on Steam, nor when they would appear.

E3 2016 Press Conference time zones!

The E3 starts today guys, in case you have no idea when, here are the time zones for the following days!

E3 SteamUnpowered Table

EA E3 2016 conference times – Sunday June 12th

  • Europe: 10pm (CEST)
  • West Coast US: 1pm (PDT)
  • East Coast US: 4pm (EDT)

Bethesda E3 2016 conference times – Sunday June 12th

  • Europe: 4.00am (CEST, Monday)
  • West Coast US: 7.00pm (PDT, Sunday)
  • East Coast US: 10.00pm (EDT, Sunday)

Microsoft E3 2016 conference times – Monday June 13th

  • Europe: 6.30pm (CEST)
  • West Coast US: 9.30am (PDT)
  • East Coast US: 12.30pm (EDT)

PC Gaming Show E3 2016 conference times – Monday June 13th

  • Europe: 8:30pm (CEST)
  • West Coast US: 11.30am (PDT)
  • East Coast US: 2:30pm (EDT)

Ubisoft E3 2015 conference times – Monday June 13th

  • Europe: 10pm (CEST)
  • West Coast US: 1pm (PDT)
  • East Coast US: 4pm (EDT)

Sony E3 2016 conference times – Tuesday June 14th

  • Europe: 3am (CEST, Tuesday)
  • West Coast US: 6pm (PDT, Monday)
  • East Coast US: 9pm (EDT, Monday)

Nintendo E3 2016 conference times – Tuesday June 14th

  • Europe: 6pm (CEST)
  • West Coast US: 9am (PDT)
  • East Coast US: 12pm (EDT)

Windows Store: 10 Days of 10 Cent Deals

A nice offer from Microsoft just in time for the release of their new Lumia phones – 950 and 950XL – and Windows 10 November update!

Windows Store

Some good game deals, including:

  • Hitman Go
  • Rayman Fiesta Run
  • Hydro Thunder Hurricane (full port of the X360 game, been a day one exclusive on the Windows store)
  • Riptide GP2 (same as version on Steam)
  • Angry Birds Space/Star Wars (zero IAPs unlike Android/iOS versions)

This deal is only offered in the US and Canada. However, you can easily switch to the US store. Steps as follows:

On your Windows 10 PC or notebook:

Windows Key > Type “Region” > Click “Region (Control Panel)” > Location > United States.

On your Windows 10 Mobile phone:

Go to Settings app > Time & Language > Region > Country > United States.

To actually purchase something add your PayPal address or your VISA/MasterCard and a random US address.

There are also some movies to rent (in both HD and SD, you can download or stream them) for only $0.10. You have 14 days to start watching it and then 48 hours once you start the movie.

Did you upgrade to Windows 10 yet?

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By | 2016-10-14T13:49:22+00:00 November 22nd 11:22, 2015|Categories: Deals, Games, News, Windows Store|Tags: , , , , |1 Comment

Poll Time: Did you upgrade to Windows 10?

Hello! Windows 10 came out yesterday. I’m wondering if you guys updated to Windows 10 yet?

I have and I’ve been using it since October 2014 as a Windows Insider. It really is a good piece of software and has some really cool features but it still needs some work. I’ve also switched to Lumia 640 which is also running Windows 10 (beta) at the moment. It’s really nice to have the full experience although the phone beta still needs some bug fixes. Also I can’t stop playing this… vote below!

Windows 10 Continuum

Did you upgrade to Windows 10?

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Windows 10 is going to kick ass

Here’s a quick post about Windows 10 conference. They have showed a lot of goodies on it. First of all Windows 10 is going to be free for current Windows 7 and Windows 8 users. But only for the first year after that you will have to pay for the system. How much? I have no idea. It won’t be subscription based as people speculated earlier, that’s good – it was confirmed after the conference.

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Finally, they have made the system apps unified. It basically means that the apps will be consistent through out all the platforms – phones, tablets and computers running Windows 10. You can see how it looks like on the screenshots below.

They have improved the looks since the last technical preview. Looks fucking nice if you ask me:

Windows 10 Conference Screenshot January 2015

And for the first time you will be able to stream your Xbox One games to your PC or tablet which could be pretty awesome, so if you have Xbox One you can launch it on your tablet, notebook or PC.

The Xbox App looks pretty sweet. It acts sort of like Steam and Facebook combined. You can even sync that with your Xbox One and see your games on the list and of course stream them to your PC or tablet. Check out these screenshots:

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Microsoft also said that there is not a single problem with Steam running on Windows 10 and the guy even played some Civilization Beyond Earth for a bit.

Another cool thing is the HoloLens, imagine playing Minecraft like this:

So will this be a failure just like Windows 8? I really doubt it. They have changed the whole policy in their company it seems. It’s all about users and their ideas this time. Remember if you are using Windows 10 leave them ideas and report bugs through that nice little feedback app.

They have also announced Fable Legends to have cross platform gameplay between Xbox One and PC players and of course the PC version of the game to come out soon:

Poll Time: Your thoughts on Windows 9?

We all know by now that Windows 8.1 (on desktops and laptops without touchscreens) was a disaster. It simply sucked. However, Windows 9 conference is taking place in less than a week, unfortunately no live stream is going to be there, so we can’t be sure that Windows 9 beta is coming out on that day or not – September 30th that is. For now we only know this:

September 30th Windows 9 BETA Microsoft

Are you at all excited about the new system? Do you plan on switching from Windows 7? Latest rumor is that it will only support 64-bit machines and all GUI elements will support screens with resolution bigger than 4K – no more pixelated icons! Vote in poll below!

Windows 9?

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The biggest highlights of the new OS are of course the comeback of Start Menu, but it has been redesigned and now it supports the metro apps that you can pin. The metro start screen is gone along with other useless touch screen elements. Metro apps will launch in windowed mode on desktops which is nice as well. And the last cool feature is the notification bar (not seen on the screenshot below) which will inform you about all things that happen in the system (new messages, calendar events etc.).

windows-9-start

By | 2016-10-14T13:50:35+00:00 September 24th 06:49, 2014|Categories: Entertainment, News, Polls & Quizes, Software, Windows Store|Tags: , , , , , , , , |2 Comments

E3: Amazing experience for the first time ever! WTF

That was sarcasm indeed. Are you watching the E3 right now? Have you seen Xbox and EA conference? Microsoft didn’t show anything good (a Halo remake? really? that’s it? no PC love?), EA had some good moments with Sims 4, the new Dragon Age and possibly another Mass Effect game – skipping all that sport games, not into that.

And by the way why the fuck are the guys on SPIKE TV talking about every single title like it’s a 10/10 game before it even went out. I hate it that those hosts on the E3 show are all about to orgasm from the amount of “amazing” games they’re showing. I know it’s money but come on!!!

E3 POOPFERENCE

But seriously Battlefield Hardline looks like another copy of Battlefield in some concrete crappy city with shiny streets and shit. Oh and speaking of street new Criterion Games title looks awesome!

Now waiting for Ubisoft. Will give another crappy report.

Are you watching E3 2014?

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BTW Origin seems to be down thanks to the Battlefield Hardline beta annoucement on E3… games are gone from players lists and orders don’t come thourgh (got The Sims 3 expansion few minutes ago and it says it’s “pending”…).

New Xbox to be announced at May event?

Microsoft may be announcing the new Xbox in May.

According to The Verge, Microsoft is planning to hold an Xbox event on May 21 to announce its next console, and will unveil the device at the E3 in June. The tech blog cites “sources familiar with Microsoft’s Xbox plans”.

Xbox new

The next Xbox may be based on Windows 8, The Verge reports. There are no other details on what the console might feature or possible prices.

Microsoft’s competitors have already announced or released next-generation consoles. Nintendo released the Wii U — successor to the Wii — in the fall of 2012. Sony announced the PlayStation 4 console on Feb. 20, but has yet to release a sale date, or even show what the console looks like.

The Xbox 360 has consistently been the most popular console in the United States, for about 25 consecutive months. The device originally went on sale in November 2005 and retailed for about $300 to $400.

New Xbox might have a smiliar price tag depending on different editions of the device and subscription costs.

Source: The Verge

By | 2016-10-14T13:52:22+00:00 April 8th 19:31, 2013|Categories: Entertainment, Games, News, Xbox 360|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments

Microsoft doesn’t consider Valve as competition

Valve finally prepares to roll out prototypes for its Steam Box in as little as four months. During a talk at Microsoft’s TechForum conference earlier this week (via The Verge), Microsoft’s head of Interactive Entertainment Business Don Mattrick – that’s “Xbox boss” – said a simple “no” in response to being asked if he considers Valve a competitor.

Thankfully, Mattrick keeps his respect just as high as his confidence, stating he admires Valve boss Gabe Newell and the studio’s drive for “doing some innovative stuff.” He indicates fellow tech and gaming giants Sony, Nintendo, Apple, and Google represent a “richer scale of products and things being brought to market.”

Do you think Valve could crash Xbox, PlayStation and other consoles in the future?

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Newell shared his own take on Steam Box’s stiffest competition back in January, citing Apple’s similar living-room ambitions as “the biggest challenge” facing the project. “I think that there’s a scenario where we see sort of a dumbed-down living room platform emerging,” he said. “I think Apple rolls the console guys really easily. The question is can we make enough progress in the PC space to establish ourselves there, and also figure out better ways of addressing mobile before Apple takes over the living room?”

Steam Big Picture

Source: PC Gamer