OCC TECH NEWS
February 20, 2014
The once handheld-exclusive Batman: Arkham spin-off, Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate, is making its way to PC and consoles. Referred to as the Deluxe Edition, Blackgate has been updated to support high-definition graphics and 5.1 surround sound, along with "a new map and hint system for improved navigation and objective tracking."
If you're not familiar with the Blackgate spin-off, it's a 2.5D take on the franchise with comic book style cutscenes and takes place shortly after the events of Batman: Arkham Origins. The combat is a little simplified from Batman: Arkham Origins, but it actually works quite well. For a better taste, you can view the announcement trailer below, along with some screenshots.
Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate - Deluxe Edition is coming to PC (Steam), PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Wii U on April 1, 2014 in North America for $19.99.
Source: Press Release
Officially announced by Microsoft, the Xbox One media remote will be heading to worldwide retail outlets for purchase in March of this year. The new remote allows users of the Xbox One to control various aspects of their television, receiver, and console. It also lets users control streaming media and Blu-ray video playback. A dedicated back button allows for simple navigation through menus found within the user interface of the Xbox One, and the exclusive OneGuide button provides quick access to movies and television shows. The Xbox One media remote features a silicone finish that is soft to the touch, as well as a motion activated backlight that illuminates the buttons located on the remote.
The new Xbox One media remote by Microsoft will retail for $24.99 ERP.
Source: Xbox Wire
When a new material is discovered, researchers work to determine its many properties, hoping to find something special. One such special property would be the ability to be made into a superconductor and transmit an electrical current without resistance. Researchers at the University of Vienna and other institutions have recently come up with a plan that may make graphene into a superconductor.
Graphene is an atom-thick sheet of carbon and was first discovered in 2004. Since then researchers have been studying it, trying to uncover its many characteristics and find ways to apply them. It is already very strong, light, and has extraordinary conductive properties, but it is not a superconductor. Other forms of carbon have been made into superconductors though, so the researchers worked at it and found that it should be possible to dope graphene with enough calcium atoms to induce superconductivity at about 1.5 K.
At such a low temperature, a graphene-based superconductor is not going to have much practical use. However, because of graphene's two-dimensional structure, it can be easily manipulated. As such, a graphene-based superconductor could be used as a tool to better study superconductivity, and perhaps help reproduce it in other materials.
Source: University of Vienna
February 19, 2014
It's never good to piss off your most ardent fans, but that's exactly what developer Creative Assembly did this week. On Monday, Creative Assembly released the Beasts of War DLC for Total War: ROME II, a DLC that adds seven new battlefield units at a $2.99 USD price tag. But one of those seven units is getting Creative Assembly a ton of backlash from the ROME II community.
It appears that the Camel Cataphracts were actually in the game prior to its September 2, 2013 release, spotted in a "Let's Play" video posted by Creative Assembly on August 22, 2013. After that was discovered, players found that Mercenary Naked Swords were also featured in the video, despite not being introduced into the game until the Caesar in Gaul DLC. With these two findings, ROME II players are now accusing Creative Assembly of holding back content with the intention of post-release, paid DLC.
With the official Total War forum blowing up with complaint posts, Eurogamer reached out to Creative Assembly for a response. Brand director Rob Bartholomew told Eurogamer that the issue with the units was due to a "misunderstanding of what's being shown combined with a marketing error which I certainly appreciate doesn't look good, but wasn't our intent to mislead." He goes on to say that the naming of the units in the Let's Play video was unfortunate, but they were not the same units included in the aforementioned DLC. The ones in the DLC "are essentially a different version following increased design, artwork and balancing to match the quality of the other units available."
Bartholomew did apologize to fans, saying that his marketing team should have "double-checked the likelihood of [the units] making it into the final game" before allowing them to appear in a video recording. He says that the team occasionally goes back to units they liked but didn't turn out good enough when it comes to units for DLC to see if they can be improved, and it just so happened that these units were two of them. Bartholomew said that because of this mishap, Creative Assembly has put checks in place that should prevent such things from happening again.
While paid DLC always has some detractors, it's important to note that not only did ROME II ship with the most units of any previous Total War game, but Creative Assembly is also very accommodating to the mod community. In fact, the studio often leaves unused placeholder assets in the game data, knowing modders like to tinker and have access to such things.
As long as you feel you got your money's worth out of a game at launch, post-release DLC shouldn't bother you. I doubt many people bought ROME II just because they saw Camel Cataphracts in that Let's Play video – and if they did, the complaints would have come a lot sooner.
Although the ability to use NFC for a purchase has existed for quite some time now in the form of Google Wallet and Isis, many credit card companies have been hesitant to offer their own competing service. That soon may change however, as MasterCard and Visa are currently working on trials that would help incorporate NFC payments for the two credit card giants. Both entities would use a new feature found in Android 4.4, known as Host Card Emulation. The technology allows credit card information to pass directly to a payment terminal through a smartphone without any information being locally stored.
The specification, at this point in time, is in the process of being finalized. Sometime in the first half of this year, MasterCard and Visa are expected to provide more details on the implementation of NFC payments, using Host Card Emulation found in Android KitKat.
PhiSix, a company that specializes in three-dimensional modeling of clothing, has been acquired by eBay for an undisclosed amount. PhiSix is a computer graphics company that is able to take patterns and photos of clothing and turn them into three-dimensional models, which can then be placed upon virtual men and women. The goal of this process is to show how clothes, such as jeans, shirts, and dresses, naturally fit on a human body. eBay is hoping to use the technology to its advantage in order to reduces its costs associated with product returns. By implementing the technology developed by PhiSix, eBay plans to allow customers to view how clothes would fit their body as long as accurate measurements are provided.
One of the largest messaging services, WhatsApp, has officially been purchased by Facebook, which is one of the most popular social networking sites available. The purchase will allow WhatsApp to stay independent from Facebook and its messenger application, though the purchase agreement will allow the WhatsApp application to be available to more users than ever. The Facebook founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, stated that the business integration will broaden the ability for the WhatsApp team to make the world more connected. Additionally, WhatsApp co-founder and CEO, Jan Koum, noted that the company is honored to partner with an entity like Facebook.
The purchase agreement of WhatsApp by Facebook is valued at $16 billion in cash and stock, and also provides an additional $3 billion in restricted stock units that will be secured four years after closing.
Yes, it's that time again! If you've been following along, Path of Exile: Sacrifice of the Vaal was announced last Friday, followed by two teaser screenshots (one and two). Developer Grinding Gear Games has kept the daily teaser screenshot trend alive with number three today.
This time around, the screenshot "takes place in the Mud Flats and shows several elements [Grinding Gear] can't discuss in detail until after next week's press tour." Unlike the previous two screenshots, uncovering this one's secrets takes a little bit more digging. The screenshot focuses on a unique ring called Blackheart Iron Ring. As with the first teaser, this item is corrupted, but there's no white socket this time around. Instead, looking up the unique item in the Path of Exile Wiki reveals that the top attribute has changed. This is most likely the result of the corruption, though we still don't know what negative effect corruption will have.
The other aspect of the screenshot that may not be so obvious if you have not played, is the red hue and swirls at the end of the dock. The original announcement stated how "even areas of Wraeclast itself" could become corrupted, so this is likely one of those areas. Of course, because the inventory screen conveniently blocks the view, we do not know just what that means, though it's likely the corrupted ring was found by defeating some rare creature within that area. Or not; I'm just speculating.
The last "secret" I would have never noticed if not for the keen eyes of some Path of Exile forum members (credit goes to Gjohny for noticing it first). See the blue gem in the upper right corner of the player stash? Well that's clearly the Fireball gem, except that it's tinted red instead of its normal golden color. Perhaps that's what happens to corrupted gems?
Sacrifice of the Vaal goes live March 5, 2014; but there's (unfortunately?) still plenty of time for Grinding Gear to continue to tease us.
Source: Official Site
A fast processor is useless if it cannot quickly access data, which is why CPUs have local caches built in, so the cores have the data they want right there. Unfortunately while the speed of processors has increased, their ability to communicate with their caches has not kept pace. Researchers at MIT though have developed two means to more intelligent use the caches, and thus improve performance.
Multi-core chips sport caches at multiple levels; one level holds caches with each core and another holds data for the entire processor to access. The protocol for storing data follows a principle of spatiotemporal locality, which assumes if a core accesses a piece of data once, it will likely request it again, and will likely request data near it in the main memory as well. While this has been working well for some time, there are some cases where it fails, such as when the data a core is working on exceeds its local storage. One of the MIT proposals would have that data shared between the local cache and the last-level-cache (LLC), which serves the entire chip. The data will also not be unnecessarily swapped around. If multiple cores need access to the same data, that data will then be stored in the LLC instead of the local caches, which will require constant updating.
The other caching method proposed would change how the LLC is treated. Instead of using it as a single memory bank, with data only stored in it once and spread out, it would be copied to blocks near the cores that need it. This will increase performance for those situations when multiple cores need access to the same data infrequently.
Though these are separate methods, the researchers are working on how to integrate them both into the same chip. As both require actively monitoring a processor's operation though, more circuitry will have to be added, about five-percent the size of the LLC. As transistors keep shrinking though, and communication becomes more important, chip-space is less crucial a concern.
Most discrete graphics cards are made for gamers, who wants to get the best visual experience when gaming. That was the reason AMD started its "Never Settle" bundles. So people actually had some games to play, when they had spent so much money on the graphics cards. Now AMD is ready with another promotion for gamers. Called the AMD Rewards, it is a program that allows Radeon and AMD APU owners to earn points, which in turn can be spent on graphics cards, games, GameFly subscriptions and various gaming equipment, such as Gunnar Glasses and Astro gaming headsets.
In order to obtain the points, the user must download the Gaming Evolved application that keeps games optimized by adjust the graphical settings to suit the user's hardware. The user can also use the software to broadcast games to Twitch, take screenshots, and more. Once the app is installed, all that needs to be done is to play games, and the points should start to accumulate.
Google has announced plans to bring its super fast fiber Internet to up to 34 additional cities, adding to current installations in Kansas City, MO; Provo, Utah; and Austin, TX. The new installations will be centered around a number of metro areas across the country including Atlanta, GA; San Jose, CA; San Antonio, TX; Portland, OR; and Nashville, TN. Google plans to reveal which cities will be selected to receive Google Fiber by the end of the year, and will work with those cities to determine compatibility. Some conditions that will be evaluated by Google include "a detailed study of local factors that could affect construction, like topography (e.g., hills, flood zones), housing density and the condition of local infrastructure," and "maps of existing conduit, water, gas and electricity lines so that we can plan where to place fiber. They’ll also help us find ways to access existing infrastructure—like utility poles—so we don’t unnecessarily dig up streets or have to put up a new pole next to an existing one."
Valve first teased Free to Play, a documentary about the early stages of Dota 2 and The International, before The International 3. An early look at the movie was given to attendees of The International 3 and much of what I read about it was very positive. Valve has been quiet about the movie since then, but today announced a March 19th release date. It will be available for free on Steam with a Competitor Pack available for purchase with a portion of the proceeds going to players featured in the film. Gamers will get several in-game items to go with their purchase including item sets for Pudge, Doom, and Sven. Personally I can't wait to give Valve more of my money to support the effort that went into this.
Although Sacred Citadel was released early last year, it's been over five years since the last true Sacred game was released, Sacred 2. Today, publisher Deep Silver has finally officially announced a proper sequel, Sacred 3. Sacred 3 will go back to the franchise's hack-and-slash, action-RPG roots and feature "drop in, drop out cooperative multiplayer for both offline (2 players) and online (4 players) play." Remy van Leeuwen, Brand Manager of Deep Silver, said that creating a "seamless online and offline co-op experience" has been the paramount development goal for Sacred 3.
Sacred 3 will see the return of several fan-favorite characters, such as the Seraphim, Ancarian, Khukuhru, and the Safiri, along with a new character, Malakhim. As we have come to expect out of an RPG, each character class features its own unique skills and weapons, which of course can be upgraded as you level up. One interesting addition to the game will be mission stats and online leaderboards, with the goal of driving competition both locally and online. I guess that's why the slogan for the game is, "Victory is Ours. Glory is Mine."
The announcement trailer seen below is simply a cinematic one, but it's still pretty sweet and alludes to some interesting abilities and enemies. That being said, the attached screenshots give a better indication of what to expect from the actual game.
Sacred 3 will launch this Summer for Windows PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360.
Source: Press Release
Kingdom Come: Deliverance has roughly one day left before its Kickstarter campaign ends, and though it already shattered its initial £300,000 goal, developer Warhorse Studios decided to do a roughly one-hour live stream of some gameplay yesterday. The first 40 minutes are based on the build shown to publishers when Warhorse was pitching the game last year. But despite its age and the fact that it was built with an older version of CryEngine than is currently being used, it still looks quite remarkable. If you don't have a full hour to spend watching out, I'll try and break down some key spots you may want to take notice of.
The inventory system and character sheet are shown just after the 17-minute mark. There are sixteen equippable slots and four weapon slots. When you browse items in a shop or in your inventory, your character model changes to reflect the clothes before purchasing/equipping. The other unique aspect of the character model is that items are layered on top of each other – and it's likely the technology that will be shared with the Star Citizen guys.
If you're interested in seeing combat, skip to around the 36-minute mark. The combat shown is using the older version and only has a few attacks, yet is already quite complex. The final build will feature up to 18 attacks with every weapon. This is certainly not your typical RPG combat system and require you to utilize a lot of different tactics to take down even a simple foe.
To see the newest build of the game, skip to around the 40-minute mark. Keep in mind that the game isn't set to release until some time in 2015, so even the current version of the game is quite an early build. No combat is shown in the current build, but you do get a taste of the highly detailed environment and some random livestock. The streamer also addresses a few questions and concerns at the end, which is worth a listen to if you've been on the fence.
As I said earlier, there's still roughly one day left in the Kickstarter campaign. The minimum pledge to grab a copy of the game is £15, which roughly translates to $24 USD, but there are quite a lot of other tiers if you want extras such as Early Access.
Source: Kickstarter Update
Last week, SanDisk unveiled its newest USB 3.0 flash drive, the SanDisk Extreme PRO. Unlike common USB 3.0 flash drives that max out at 100 MB/s, the SanDisk Extreme PRO USB 3.0 flash drive features SSD-like performance with read speeds up to 260 MB/s and write speeds up to 240 MB/s. That's up to 60 times faster than a standard USB 2.0 drive! These speeds allow transferring a full-length movie in mere seconds or thousands of photos in under 35 seconds. The data stored within are protected by the aluminum metal casing, and SanDisk's SecureAccess software provides 128-bit AES file encryption and password protection. The SanDisk Extreme PRO USB 3.0 Flash Drive only comes in a 128GB capacity and is already available with an MSRP of $199.99.
Source: Press Release
Opera Max, which is an application that uses server side compression in order to promote data savings for smartphone users making use of cellular coverage, is now available for users to download in a public beta form. The application takes on others, such as Onavo Extend, which also compress data for users. The data that is compressed by Opera Max must be unencrypted, and all data that is transferred through a smartphone which meets this requirement can be compressed for optimal data savings. Interested users can visit the Google Play Store to download the application, though once it is opened, Opera Max will notify users of how many others are waiting in a queue. As of now, Opera is slowly letting users have access to Opera Max as it revamps its servers to handle the additional load it expects from the new mobile data compression application.
It is worth noting that Opera Max is only available for users running Android 4.0 and higher on their smartphone.
Wolfenstein: The New Order was announced just prior to E3 2013 and when gameplay was shown at E3, I was blown away. Developer MachineGames calls it a "story-driven, first-person, action-adventure" game, completely ignoring the "shooter" moniker you initially think of when you think Wolfenstein. It's still a shooter at heart, but unlike the run-and-gun style of the original Wolfenstein games, this one will actually feature a compelling story. That's why I named The New Order my Best Shooter of E3 2013.
Today, publisher Bethesda Softworks finally announced a release date, accompanied by an exceptional gameplay trailer, entitled "BOOM BOOM." The New Order will be launching in North America on May 20, 2014 and in Europe on May 23, 2014; coming to PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360. Pre-ordering the game grants you access to the DOOM beta (previously referred to as Doom 4) – yes, the game that has been in development limbo since its original 2008 announcement.
As of now, it seems the only way to get a DOOM beta key is via a physical retail purchase, but hopefully that changes once digital pre-orders go live. It's also important to note that the DOOM beta will not begin on May 20, but rather "a later, yet-to-be announced date." That being said, hopefully this means that DOOM will at least be ready to be shown at E3 2014. Both The New Order and DOOM use an updated version of the id Tech 5 engine, last seen in the highly underrated RAGE.
Enjoy the BOOM BOOM trailer below, and if you want to see why I was so excited after E3, check out GameSpot's E3 2013 Stage Demo.
Source: Official Site
Graphene is an atom-thick sheet of carbon with extraordinary electrical characteristics. Many would like to see it used in electronics, but it lacks one important feature, a band gap. Researchers at the University of Luxemberg and other institutions have produced for the first time artificial graphene, which could potentially be engineered with whatever properties are desired.
While some of graphene's properties may come from the carbon it is made of, some do originate from its honeycomb structure. The researchers have recreated that structure but instead of carbon it is made of nanometer-sized, semiconducting crystals. By changing the structure and chemistry of those crystals it will be possible to change the properties of the larger material.
With the ability to tune artificial graphene's properties, this discovery could enable many new systems and technologies in the future that take advantage of the material's extraordinary properties.
Source: University of Luxemberg
We have just a few items for you to check out today, including another look at the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti. It's the first Maxwell part to be released, and it's a budget card that doesn't really perform like a budget card. We also have a review on the Scythe Ashura Shadow CPU cooler, which features a dark nickel plated coating to distinguish it from the non-Shadow version of the Ashura. We finish off today with a look at the ADATA PV100 4200mAh Power Bank to help keep your mobile devices running longer when you're away from home.
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti Benchmark Performance @ Benchmark Reviews
Scythe Ashura Shadow @ Frostytech
ADATA PV100 4200mAh Power Bank @ ThinkComputers
February 18, 2014
The Game Developers Conference's (GDC) second annual State of the Industry Survey has provided some interesting data on the direction the games industry is heading. The survey polled more than 2,600 North American game developers who attended GDC 2013, inquiring about "platform preference, crowdsourcing, team size, live streaming, localization and topics in-between." The most noteworthy results revolve around platform development and funding.
When asked "On which platform(s) do you anticipate your *next* game will be released? (Choose all that apply)", PC and smartphone/tablet development were the clear leaders, taking 52.04% and 50.63%, respectively. PlayStation 4 lead all consoles with 19.66%, narrowly beating out Xbox One's 16.95%, while the Wii U garnered only 4.42%, not even beating the PlayStation 3 (6.06%) or Xbox 360 (6.13%). Surprisingly, Nintendo's hit portable, the 3DS, only managed 1.90% compared to PlayStation Vita's 7.74%. Of course, it's important to note that only North American developers were polled and Nintendo clearly has a larger Japanese development contingent. Still, it's certainly telling.
While the industry leaning toward PC and smartphone/tablet development is probably not surprising – nor is the doom and gloom of the Wii U – the response to "Where does your funding come from? (Choose all that apply)" was quite interesting. A whopping 51.99% said they use their company's existing funds and 45.76% said they use personal funds. What may be a bit surprising is that only 10.77% said they have used crowdfunding, despite all those successful Kickstarter campaigns we've seen grab the headlines (like the current Kingdom Come: Deliverance).
It is unclear if or when the full report will be released to the public. GDC 2014 takes place in San Francisco, March 17-21.
Source: GDC Blog
The WeMo line of products from Belkin offers a number of devices used for home automation purposes. Researchers from IOActive recently discovered "multiple vulnerabilities in Belkin WeMo Home Automation devices that could affect over half a million users." Belkin hasn't addressed the issues yet and the researchers recommend "unplugging all devices from the affected WeMo products." Compromised devices could face a variety of attacks ranging in severity from constantly flashing a lamp to starting a fire. Another possible issue documented by IOActive could wreak havoc on more devices in the home, "Additionally, once an attacker has established a connection to a WeMo device within a victim's network; the device can be used as a foothold to attack other devices such as laptops, mobile phones, and attached network file storage."
Source: Network World
The Intel Xeon E7 v2 line of server CPUs will have up to 15 cores built on the Ivy Bridge architecture. The new chips are targeted at the most intense applications including "high-uptime servers with up to 32 sockets, which typically handle enterprise applications such as databases, analytics tools and enterprise resource planning (ERP) software." A number of improvements including increased memory throughput due to more data transfer lanes and up to 1.5TB of memory capacity per socket help to make these the most powerful server processors available from Intel. Intel will offer 20 varieties of the new Xeons that will run from 1.4GHz to 3.8GHz with power use ranging from 40W to 150W.
Source: PC World
There are a great number of people who have seen the Back to the Future movies, and many are aware that we're just a year away from when Marty McFly and Doc Brown travel into the future. While we're all still waiting on our hoverboards, Nike is taking us one step closer to another piece of technology from Back to the Future Part II: power laces. When Marty is in the year 2015, the shoes he wears automatically lace up to help get him ready faster. Now we'll soon have power laces of our own, as Nike designer Tinker Hatfield confirmed in a recent event that yes, power laces are due to arrive next year. Hatfield didn't say what shoe they'd appear on or anything of that sort, but at least Nike is trying to match the technology from the movie.
In 2011, Nike released a version of the shoes from Back to the Future Part II, but the power lacing technology wasn't ready then. Those shoes, dubbed Nike MAGs, were auctioned off to the tune of $6 million to help benefit the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research. There's no telling if Nike will follow suit again with the power laces, so we'll just have to wait and see. Now, all that's left is for Mattel to get that hoverboard working.
Source: Sole Collector
For those hoping Bethesda was going to announce Fallout 4 in the near future, I have bad news – we may have to wait longer than we thought. Speaking to Rock Paper Shotgun's Nathan Grayson, Bethesda game director Todd Howard said, "We don't [have a timeframe for our next game announcement], but I think its gonna be a while. We've gotten fairly used to all the questions and curiosity over the years. Everyone wants information. Right now, we're just trying to figure out which of our ideas are going to stick and finding an appropriate time to talk about it."
So if you're been following all the Fallout 4 rumors in our forum, it sadly seems like we won't find out the truth any time soon. That being said, "a while" is quite the vague timeframe and can mean different things to different people. In my opinion, four months is "a while," so maybe the official Fallout 4 announcement will come at E3 2014. Of course, that's just more speculation. The truth is, we just don't know, and it sounds like maybe even Bethesda doesn't know when the announcement will be either.
The good news for us PC gamers is that Howard sees the PC as "resurgent" and was very pleased by the huge success Skyrim enjoyed on the PC. With the new consoles being "very PC-like," he sees it opening up new avenues for him and his team going forward. Those new avenues are likely the source of the delay, but hopefully it will all be worth it in the end.
Source: Rock Paper Shotgun
Though we may not see them, we all rely on copper or aluminum wires to provide power to our homes. While these cables work well, people have searched for better solutions. Researchers at Rice University have recently found that fibers made of carbon nanotubes could be a viable replacement.
Carbon nanotubes are known for their conductivity, so this discovery may not be too surprising, but it is when considering how many kinds of nanotubes there are. The best for conducting electricity are shaped like armchairs, but this variety is difficult to produce in bulk. Instead the researchers worked with nanotube fibers that are less conductive. To measure the nanotubes current carrying capacity, the researchers built a custom rig that charges a cable in a controlled environment until the heats causes it to break. What they found is that their nanotube fibers performed the best of any reported carbon-based fibers, but they still had worse resistivity than copper by an order of magnitude. However, because the nanotubes are so light, a cable of nanotubes, equal in mass to a copper cable, could carry four times as much current.
One of the researchers has suggested that because of how light the nanotube fibers are, one could potentially use them to power an aerial device from the ground. The fibers would be like a kite string, connecting the airborne device to a terrestrial power source.
Source: Rice University
With just two days to go until details are finally released for Path of Exile: Sacrifice of the Vaal, developer Grinding Gear Games has posted a second teaser screenshot. Aside from what appears to be a new quiver design, the major unveal is an "Unset Ring" laying on the ground with a blue square next to the name. For those unfamiliar with the game, that means the ring contains a blue socket, and indeed Grinding Gear's Chris confirmed it with a link to the actual item. The current version of the game does not contain any rings with sockets.
While the ring in the screenshot is vanilla, the Unset Ring is a base type, which means it can roll with attributes as well, or you can always craft the vanilla ones to make them into magic or rare rings. It is not stated whether you will be able to add sockets to non-socketed rings via crafting like you can with other pieces of equipment, but that seems likely. It's also obviously unclear whether the new sockets just apply to rings or if there will also be an Unset Necklace base type as well. If necklaces can roll with sockets with the release of Sacrifice of the Vaal, then that would leave belts as the only main equipment slot to be socket-less, unless those will also be getting them.
Remember, Sacrifice of the Vaal goes live March 5, 2014; but we should know more details this Thursday. You can find the first screenshot here.
Source: Official Site
Microsoft has introduced its new health and fitness application that ties into its search engine, Bing. Available for Windows Phone devices, the Bing Health & Fitness application provides workout videos, anatomy information, nutritional information, food journals, a symptom checker, and more. The application is meant to provide mobile users with the ability to maintain physical health through a multitude of different features while providing helpful information along the way. Since the application is available for other platforms besides Windows Phone, any users who owns multiple Windows 8 devices will find that information within the application will synchronize automatically.
Bing Health & Fitness is available for immediate download from the Windows Store and supports 50 different languages.
Source: PC Magazine
Chris Roberts, the mastermind behind Star Citizen, posted an interesting article on the Star Citizen site. He starts by simply informing Star Citizen backers of the Kingdom Come: Deliverance Kickstarter campaign, but then takes it into a rather surprising direction. Both games are being built with the CryEngine and Roberts was impressed by "the characters and outfits [he] saw working in-engine in the trailer." He reached out to the Kingdom Come team, Warhorse Studios, and now both studios will be sharing the work they've done with each other.
The games couldn't be more different – one's a space shooter, the other's a medieval RPG – but since the technology behind them is the same, both studios can benefit from one another. According to Roberts, "we will be sharing with them the tricks for working with CryEngine we've learned over the last 18 months and they will be letting us in on the secrets and the tech behind what they're doing!"
Kingdom Come creative director Dan Vavra has confirmed this collaboration in a Kickstarter update and the announcement comes accompanied by three new screenshots of Kingdom Come, which can be seen below. There is still roughly 50 hours to go in the Kingdom Come Kickstarter campaign, with it fast approaching the £900,000 stretch goal.
Source: Chris Roberts
Following news from The NDP Group concerning PlayStation 4 sales, Sony has revealed that it has sold 5.3 million PlayStation 4 gaming consoles worldwide as of February 8, 2014. The console is currently available in Europe, Latin American, North America, and other parts of Asia. While the console is undoubtedly popular internationally where it is available for purchase, it has seen a massive amount of support from consumers within the United States as it continues to compete against the Xbox One for marketplace.
The PlayStation 4 sales figures from Sony come just a few days before the console is set to launch within Japan on February 22, 2014.