Author Archive

Rock Band Revived

Thursday, March 5th, 2015


No-longer affiliated with MTV, Harmonix’s Rock Band 4 ships later this year. Mad Catz is making the instruments and old DLC will be compatible. Most likely just from one console generation to another as opposed to cross manufacturer. They’re working on instrument backwards compatibility. No Wii version. That Penny Arcade guitar is possibly the most hideous peripheral I’ve ever seen.

Rocksmith still seems more interesting to me, though it isn’t a party game at all.

Steam Link

Wednesday, March 4th, 2015

Steam Link

Also shipping this November for $50 is Steam Link, a dedicated streaming box for your TV that’ll have USB ports so you can plug in any controller, not just the Steam Controller.

There was a product page on Steam for this which had some renders of the Link but it appears to be pulled. Google has a cached version.

Not much to look at.

Valve’s SteamVR and Steam Controller Hands On

Wednesday, March 4th, 2015

Ben Kuchera got a chance to try Valve’s Steam VR headset system using the just announced Vive hardware from HTC as well as an updated version of the controller for Steam Machines.

On the VR System:

The hardware is clearly a work in progress, and the fit and finish needs to be improved substantially before launch. The two controllers, one held in each hand, feature buttons on the grips; they feature triggers too, and a touchpad on the front that also works as a button. It’s an intense amount of hardware. We were told that to run the demos we were playing, you’d need a high-end video card and a very competitive gaming PC. Nothing about this sounds like a mass media product.

So that’s the bad news. The good news is that the hardware is incredibly fucking cool.

Read the rest of his article, his experience there sounds fantastic. Mark “Gaming Jesus” MacDonald also described the Steam VR experience Valve was demonstrating last year on this week’s Giant Bombcast.

On the controller:

The Steam controller is a big part of what makes a Steam Machine a Steam Machine; we were told that running SteamOS and being packaged with the controller were two of the main things that need to be included to use that branding. The controller itself has gone through a number of revisions, but we were able to use what Valve is calling the final version during GDC.

The old Steam Controller given out at dev days was obviously a stepping stone to get somewhere else, I haven’t used it in months, and I can’t wait to try this new one. It’s particularly interesting how this newer iteration has the exact same X/Y/A/B button layout down to the color as the Xbox One controller. It’ll be $50 when it’s released this November. No price on theVive yet.

Metal Gear Solid V to Ship September 1st; PC version Delayed

Wednesday, March 4th, 2015

Mgstpp cheken01

Kojima’s Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain will be delayed until the 15th of September for PC via Steam, which is where I’m getting it. PS3, 360, PS4, Xbox One will get it a few weeks earlier on the 1st of September.

17 Minutes of Firewatch

Monday, March 2nd, 2015

IGN has 17 minutes of gameplay video from Campo Santo’s Firewatch.. They also have a public demo available this Friday if you’re in town for some conference.

Unreal Engine 4 Goes Free

Monday, March 2nd, 2015

Tim Sweeney:

Unreal Engine 4 is now available to everyone for free, and all future updates will be free!

You can download the engine and use it for everything from game development, education, architecture, and visualization to VR, film and animation. When you ship a game or application, you pay a 5% royalty on gross revenue after the first $3,000 per product, per quarter. It’s a simple arrangement in which we succeed only when you succeed.

That sound you hear in the distance is the founders of Crytek and Unity crying.

Valve’s VR Headset Announcement

Sunday, March 1st, 2015

HTC and Valve announced the HTC Vive today, a headset similar to the Oculus Rift. The differences are in the head tracking, a slight increase to resolution compared to the Oculus Rift DK2, and a custom game controller.

Similar to the VR room demo Valve had at Steam Dev Days, the HTC Vive will have tracking for your location relative to the physical room you’re in. The VR room demo used something similar to QR codes printed out on the walls to do this, the HTC Vive uses SteamVR base stations. The SteamVR demo at dev days was super impressive when I got to try it, and kind of ruined the experience of trying the Oculus Rift. Nothing on the Rift could match the feeling of scale I got from the SteamVR demo. It must be even more impressive on this new hardware.

Developer kit ships this spring, user version late in the year. Between this, Oculus, Nvidia announcing something soon, and Sony’s headset, some standard API will need to emerge to support all of them and I bet that’s what Valve will focus on fixing.

Ryan Gordon on SteamLUG Podcast

Saturday, February 28th, 2015

The creator of many good things, Ryan Gordon, recently made an appearance on the SteamLUG podcast. Tune in for the talk of how Linux gaming is doing. Keep listening for exactly how to use your Steam Controller in the event of an emergency.

Pebble Time

Saturday, February 28th, 2015

I love watches and although previously I didn’t think the features were compelling enough for an iOS user, the only smartwatch I would have gotten was the Pebble.  Their first device, the Pebble Watch, struck me as fun and playful. Their follow-up, the Pebble Steel, looked kind of terrible with a huge logo on the face.

With perfect timing before the Apple Watch launch, Pebble have started a bizarre crowdfunding campaign for the next iteration, the Pebble Time which has an enhanced interface that is also coming to the original Pebble watches as well as a color e-paper screen which is exclusive to this new model.

I called this campaign bizarre because this product looks finished and without the need for community feedback during development or funding because this is an established business with millions of investor funds, it doesn’t seem kosher for Pebble to return to crowdfunding as if they were a new company establishing a new product.

One other odd thing about this campaign. In the video Pebble have this message:

Works with iPhone, Samsung, and Android

Has Samsung divorced themselves so far from Android in the way they market their devices?

Nobody is as good at smart watches as Pebble is right now, but with Apple’s March 9th announcement coming up it will be interesting to see if the Pebble Time crowdfunding backers keep their money in the project. It’s their option to back out any time before the March 27th Kickstarter deadline. The Apple Watch has a higher price tag, but the Pebble Time’s unique interface style and longer battery life is very compelling. If I were using an Android device as my primary phone, I’d get a Pebble in a second.

République Remastered

Thursday, February 26th, 2015


After the Peter Molyenux’s Godus fiasco, you would be forgiven for concluding that crowdfunding is just a string of failures. There are a lot of great games that have actually shipped after being funded. Originally for iOS devices, the crew at Camouflaj just put out the PC and Mac OS X version of their kickstarted stealth survival game, République.

It’ll be interesting to see how the PC version turned out given the unique control scheme on iOS where you did not directly control the protagonist, Hope. Instead, you swiped the touchscreen to control surveillance cameras and could pause the game at any time to utilize hacking tools, scan the environment, and give Hope directions on where to go so that she won’t be seen by the patrolling guards while she is stuck in some kind of insane totalitarian regime.

Get it on Steam, gog, or Humble.