As the October 14 release of Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, the next game in the popular series, gets closer NVIDIA has announced that it will bundle the game with select GPUs. The game will be found in GeForce GTX Titan, 780 Ti, 780, and 770 desktop GPUs. Gearbox President and CEO Randy Pitchford said, "If you have a high-end NVIDIA GPU, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel will offer higher fidelity and higher performance hardware-driven special effects including awesome weapon impacts, moon-shatteringly cool cryo explosions and ice particles, and cloth and fluid simulation that blows me away every time I see it." A full list of participating partners can be found on the NVIDIA website.
The RocketStor 6300 Series Adapters are the latest devices from HighPoint that use the Thunderbolt 2 interface. The devices provide an innovative take on Thunderbolt by integrating PCIe expansion directly into the product, eliminating the need for an additional component. The RocketStor 6328 offers a hardware Thunderbolt RAID adapter with support for up to eight SAS/SATA drives, up to twenty drives with a SATA port multiplier, and up to 128 wit a SAS port multiplier. It supports all common configurations of RAID and JBOD and versions of Mac OSX later than 10.9. The 6328L and 6324L offer quick solutions for upgrading existing Thunderbolt 2 solutions. These adapters are designed to support JBOD configurations and transfer speeds up to 20Gb/s. The 6328 has an MSRP of $699 while the 6328L and 6324L have prices of $399 and $299, respectively.
If we lived in a perfect world, waste products could be easily converted into something useful, but thanks to the laws of chemistry and physics, that is not how things work. Reactions the produce energy also produce waste products that are more stable than the reactants, to changing them back is a difficult process. Researchers at Brown University though have found that copper foam could be used as a catalyst to convert carbon dioxide into more useful chemicals.
It has already been demonstrated that copper is the best choice of catalyst for reducing CO2 into more useful hydrocarbons, but it is not always that efficient at it. One way to improve it is to use a rough copper surface, as this creates more sites for the chemical reactions to occur. The Brown researchers investigated how well copper foam, which was only developed in the past few years, would perform, as its many pores and channels should also serve for reaction sites.
When tested the foam was much more efficient at converting CO2 into formic acid, which is used to feed microbes, than planar copper. The researchers also found that small amounts of propylene were also created, which has never been reported before with copper. It appears this was the result of characteristics of the foam structure, which could mean copper foam could be tuned to deliver certain hydrocarbons in greater amounts.
Leaked roughly an hour early on Konami's official site, Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes and The Phantom Pain will both be making their way on Steam. While spin-off Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is on Steam, this will mark the first time the Metal Gear Solid series appears on the platform. Metal Gear Solid and Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty were both ported to PC, but are not currently available on Steam; MGSV pre-order bonuses maybe?
The official announcement of MGSV coming to Steam was made during Konami's live Gamescom Twitch stream around 230P ET, at the end of a gameplay demo of The Phantom Pain, where a box dropped on Snake and the camera turns to reveal the Steam logo. A release date has not been revealed, but Ground Zeroes will be available before The Phantom Pain. In addition to the announcement, thirteen new screenshots for The Phantom Pain were released, which can be seen below.
The Sims 4 is launching in three weeks, but you don't have to wait that long to get your hands on a piece of the game. Earlier today, Electronic Arts released The Sims 4 Create A Sim (CAS) Demo, available to download in the Origin client under the Free Games: Demos & Betas section. At roughly 1GB in size, the CAS Demo allows you to create detailed Sims with new emotions and unique personalities. When you're content with what you created, you can upload it to your Gallery and then, when The Sims 4 launches, you can download your creations directly into the game.
Some of you may have noticed that looking at water with polarized sunglasses can cause the water to change appearance, depending on the angle you look at it. The reason for this is that at a certain angle, the Brewster angle, the light reflecting off of the surface is polarized. Researchers at MIT have recently developed a way to manipulate the Brewster angle to create a material that will reflect light at every angle, but one.
Normally when light comes to the boundary of two materials with different refractive indices, it will be mostly reflected, but at the Brewster angle, only some of the light is reflected, with the rest passing through. What the MIT researchers have done is created a photonic crystal that has a very narrow band of angles that will allow light to pass through it. Basically it is a mirror at all but a single angle, its Brewster angle, when it becomes transparent. To create this crystal, the researchers actually stacked one hundred photonic crystals with alternating refractive indices.
There are a number of potential uses for this angular selectivity, including privacy filters, light detectors, telescopes, and even solar power. As sunlight strikes a solar panel, it will heat up and radiate out some of the energy, but with an angular selective layer on top, the sunlight could be let through while the radiated energy is reflected back to the absorber.
Newegg has announced that it has officially expanded to six new markets, which include India, Ireland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, and Singapore. Although these countries do feature physical stores that electronics and personal computer components can be purchased from, Newegg is looking to gain customers within these regions by offering low prices and quality support. Shipping does pose an issue for the company, as it is currently shipping products purchased from the six new markets from the United States. However, Newegg did note that it will set up a physical presence within these new markets if local demand is strong enough, which should limit the cost of shipping that customers within these countries currently face.
Cooler Master, a leading provider of computer chassis, power supplies, and CPU coolers, has announced its latest improvement to its support system known as CM FanZone. CM FanZone incorporates new and improved ticket and live chat systems, aimed at delivering optimal support to Cooler Master customers. CM FanZone also provides members with some interesting exclusives, such as special deals, private chat boards, tutorials, and news on the latest Cooler Master products.
Available today, the reworked support systems found within CM FanZone truly make receiving quality support from Cooler Master as easy as possible.
Dragon Age: Inquisition isn't the only thing brewing at BioWare. After weeks of teasers, BioWare and Electronic Arts have unveiled the studio's brand new game, a "4v1 story-driven online action RPG" called Shadow Realms. Set in a constantly evolving world where modern meets fantasy, "four heroes adventure against another player-controlled enemy, a malevolent force called The Shadowlord, in dynamic 4v1 co-op missions, ensuring that no two battles are ever the same." Interestingly, the narrative will be released episodically, allowing players to experience and influence the story-driven adventures as a community, which BioWare compares to a great TV series playing out over time.
The gameplay of Shadow Realms is supposed to resemble classic pen and paper RPGs, such as Dungeons and Dragons. BioWare feels that developers, including itself, have done a good job in the past of capturing the character creation, character progression, and combat of those classic adventures, but have failed to capture the essence of "playing together with friends in both co-op and opposition in real time." That's the idea behind having the antagonist, The Shadowlord, be controlled by a player, essentially filling the role of Dungeon Master (DM). Keeping in line with DMs in pen and paper games, The Shadowlord interacts and sees the world in a similar way to the hero players, but with better tactical knowledge. The Shadowlord can set traps, cast spells, summon monsters, and yes, even control monsters directly with a third-person, over-the-shoulder camera and control scheme.
To combat The Shadowlord, there are currently six hero classes to choose from: Warrior, Assassin, Wizard, Cleric, Ranger, and Warlock. You can check the Class Overview page to read a brief description of each, but suffice it to say that each class can be customized to your liking with various abilities, weaponry, and equipment. The game's setting is actually two-fold: modern day Earth and the parallel world of Embra. Players will indeed get to fight their way through both. The official site has a great, in-depth DevBlog entry on the Lore for the game, but here's a very brief synopsis taken from the press release:
In Shadow Realms, Modern Heroes on Earth are being awakened and recruited, because of magical powers they never knew they had, to fight in a new and dangerous war against the Shadow Legions of Embra. The Shadow Legions, who have been battling on Embra for years against the members of the Radiant Empires, have gained new strength with the coming of a powerful, unknown force that we call the Shadowlords. And, they have just figured out how to leave Embra and invade Earth.
Having a mix of modern day Earth and a fantasy world allows BioWare to mix the familiar with the absurd, which should provide for some unique enemies, environments, and encounters. You can sign up for the Closed Alpha at the official site, which is currently planned for this Fall. Shadow Realms is strictly planned for PC; at least for now. Gamers have embraced the 4v1 gameplay of Evolve, but that's a mostly competitive setting; it'll be interesting to see how 4v1 is embraced in a more story-driven adventure. In the meantime, check out the impressive concept art and screenshots below.
ZOTAC, a global innovator and manufacturer of graphics cards, has today announced a silenced version of its GeForce GTX 750 graphics card, the ZOTAC GeForce GTX 750 ZONE Edition. This graphics card incorporates an exclusive dual slot fan-less heatsink that provides cool and quite operation, ensuring its success when used in an application such as an HTPC. Although the card makes use of passive cooling, it still delivers the performance of an overclocked GeForce GTX 750. The ZOTAC GeForce GTX 750 ZONE Edition feature a core clock of 1033MHz that is capable of boosting its speeds to 1111MHz, 512 processor cores, and 1GB of GDDR5 video memory clocked at 5000MHz. The latest ZOTAC card also features DL-DVI, HDMI, and DisplayPort video outputs.
Thermaltake, a leader in computer chassis, thermal solutions, and power supply units, has just launched its latest product line, the Toughpower DPS G series. The new power supply units range from 450W up to 1050W and feature 80 PLUS Gold certification, making them suitable for any application. The Toughpower DPS G series also comes with a powerful single +12V rail, a fully modular cabling design, and 100 percent Japanese brand capacitors. A unique feature of the Toughpower DPS G series is the ability to work with Thermaltake’s DPSApp software, which allows users to monitor power consumption, efficiency, fan speed, temperature, and voltage, as well as calculate electricity cost. The DPSApp software can even provide usage patterns that can be saved in databases, while allowing users to share power usage results through various social networking platforms.
Dragon Age: Inqusition has been in development since 2011 and man is it looking good. With Gamescom upon us, most big games are getting new trailers, and Dragon Age: Inquisition is no exception. The trailer, entitled "The Enemy of Thedas", discusses some of the backstory for the game and shows some truly unique and grotesque enemies, alongside some great magic.
Dragon Age: Inquisition will launch on November 18 in North America and November 21 in Europe for PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360. The Standard Edition costs $59.99 for all platforms, while a Deluxe Edition is available for $69.99 and includes the following bonus content: Flames of the Inquisition Armor, Flames of the Inquisition Armored Mount, Skyhold Throne, Red Hart Halla, Bog Unicorn, and the digital soundtrack. Pre-ordering either version grants you some nice fiery weapons from the Flames of the Inquisition Arsenal.
When news broke yesterday that Rise of the Tomb Raider would be coming exclusively to Xbox, Holiday 2015, fans of the long-standing, formerly multi-platform series were understandably angry. Most people (namely, not Xbox fanboys) assumed it was merely a timed exclusive, but the exact wording of the statements from both Microsoft and Crystal Dynamics left us scratching our heads. Eurogamer reached out to Microsoft's Phil Spencer, head of the Xbox division, to learn the truth, and he was surprisingly rather open about the whole thing:
I get the reaction I see. If I'm a PlayStation person all of a sudden I feel like, the franchise has gone. I didn't buy the IP. I didn't buy the studio. It's not mine. Where this thing will go over time, just like Dead Rising or Ryse, we'll see what happens with the game. I don't own every iteration of Tomb Raider. [...]
I have Tomb Raider shipping next holiday exclusively on Xbox. It is Xbox 360 and Xbox One. I'm not trying to fake anybody out in terms of where this thing is. What they do with the franchise in the long run is not mine. I don't control it. So all I can talk about is the deal I have. I don't know where else Tomb Raider goes.
When asked how long the duration is, Spencer said he can't answer that, just like he can't divulge how much Microsoft paid to make it happen; it's a business deal between Microsoft and Square Enix. Many people are thinking that the exclusivity is for that Holiday 2015 period, and that the PC and PlayStation 4 versions will arrive Q1 2016. That seems a bit soon, plus doesn't account for the high likelihood of a delay. By the time Dead Rising 3 arrives on PC, it'll be roughly ten months after the Xbox One release. Ryse: Son of Rome doesn't have an exact PC release date yet, but it'll likely be close to a year after the Xbox One release. Hopefully PC and PlayStation 4 gamers won't have to wait that long for Rise of the Tomb Raider, but don't hold your breath.
Twitter has just announced, after months of feedback from users and brands, that video advertisements have been implemented into timelines of its users. The video advertisements, which are currently implemented in a beta form and are featured as Promoted Video, are similar to those featured on Facebook. The largest difference is that Twitter video advertisements do not play automatically, as they require user interaction. This is not only a plus for users who do not want to be bombarded with advertisements upon logging into the social networking service, but also for advertisers, as they only get charged when a user starts playing the advertisement. According to David Regan, the Senior Product Manager of TV and Video at Twitter, "The overall goal is to bring more video into our users’ timelines to create a richer and more engaging Twitter."
Metal oxides are very common materials on Earth, as is water, yet the interactions between them are not well understood. We do know enough to use metal oxides as catalysts for reactions involving water, but exactly what happens is not completely known. Researchers at the University of Wisconsin, Madison however have recently made a discovery that should shed some light on the mechanisms though.
It is somewhat easy to understand how water interacts with metals, as metals can be very homogenous. Once oxygen is added though, defects can be present in the oxide layer and affect the chemical processes by allowing hydroxyls to form. Using scanning tunneling microscopy and some quantum mechanics, the researchers were able to identify the chemical structures and atoms at the defect sites. The results indicate that when the metal oxide surface is smooth and free of defects, amorphous networks of water molecules form, but when there are defects and hydroxyls, the water molecules take on a more ordered structure.
The next step is to learn how these water structures interact with other materials, and that could lead to better metal-oxide catalysts. It could also lead to advances in geochemistry and atmospheric chemistry, wherever similar processes occur.
The middle of the week is here, and we have a couple of items for you to check out to get through the day. The MSI Z97 Gaming 9 AC motherboard gets put to the test to see how the company's top tier model stacks up to the competition. That "AC" part of its name means it carries 802.11ac WiFi built right in, so you're already getting the fastest wireless connection with it. Our other item for the day is the BitFenix Neos computer case, a budget-friendly case that doesn't skimp on the features.
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment (WBIE) and Monolith Productions has released a new Story Trailer for Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, entitled "Sauron's Servants". The trailer gives a little more insight into the background of protagonist Talion, who was forced to watch as Sauron's servants, The Black Captains, murdered his wife and son. This video is perfectly safe to watch even if you've avoided learning the identity of the wraith.
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is releasing on September 30 in North America and October 3 in Europe for Windows PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360.
Ubisoft released a new Assassin's Creed Unity trailer for Gamescom today, entitled "Paris Horizon". It takes a decidedly different approach than prior trailers, with no violence to speak of, simply beautiful Parisian backdrops.
Assassin's Creed Unity will release on October 28, 2014, for Windows PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.
Biostar is adding to its Hi-Fi line of motherboards with a new board powered by the Intel Z97 chipset, the Hi-Fi Z97Z7. The board features several in-house Biostar technologies including "Hi-Fi technology, Golden Plated Audio Connectors, 8 Phase Power Design and Super Conductive Heat sinks." It also includes all of the connectors you could possibly need including 4K HDMI, USB 3.0, DVI, and Gigabit LAN.
The latest additions to the Super Talent next generation form factor (NGFF) solid state drives use the M.2 connector. The drives are targeted at embedded and mobile applications that require "internally mounted high performance" storage. The NGFF DX1 is capable of read and write speeds up to 480MB/s and 400MB/s, respectively. VP of Engineering Shimon Chen described the drives saying, "Super Talent's NGFF SSDs are used extensively in today's rapidly expanding ultra-lightweight computing sector. The small form factor and high performance speeds make them a highly sought after storage solution for mobile computing."
Earlier today, Sony released a PlayStation 4 demo for a horror game simply called P.T., calling it an "interactive teaser." Well it turns out that the demo wasn't actually for some game called P.T., but rather a new Silent Hill. The reveal occurs at the end of the demo, if you can survive that long. Twitch user SoapyWarpig streamed the demo, with the reveal coming around the 1:16:00 mark. The end of the demo shows a character walking through the streets of an abandoned city before cutting away to reveal the names of Hideo Kojima and Guillermo del Toro. After cutting back to the character, he turns around to reveal a near-perfect rendering of The Walking Dead's Norman Reedus, followed by the game name reveal of Silent Hills (yes, with an "s").
While the Silent Hill series started as a PlayStation exclusive, subsequent entries have been multi-platform releases. No word on whether Silent Hills will be a PlayStation 4 exclusive or not, but after the announcement of Rise of the Tomb Raider's Xbox One exclusivity, nothing would surprise me.
Ever since the PlayStation Vita TV was announced for Japan and subsequently released last November, Sony fans in other regions have been eagerly waiting news of its worldwide availability. During Sony's E3 2014 Press Conference, the company finally announced the device for North America and Europe, changing the name to PlayStation TV for those regions. At the time, it was simply given a vague Fall 2014 release date, but during today's Gamescom Conference, Sony finally announced the exact date: PlayStation TV will be launching on October 14 in North America and November 14 in Europe.
The PlayStation TV will support Vita games, PlayStation Now, Remote Play, PS1 classics, and digital PSP games, and will output to 720p, 1080i, or 480p. It will will carry an MSRP of USD$99/€99, but a USD$139 bundle will also be available in North America that includes a DualShock 3 controller, an 8GB memory card, and HDMI cable, and a copy of The LEGO Movie: Videogame. No word on whether that bundle will be available in Europe, but that region's €99 package will apparently come with vouchers for three games: Worms Revolution Extreme, Velocity Ultra, and OlliOlli. It's unclear whether those will be included with the North American versions, but that seems unlikely.
Many consider graphene to be a wonder material, with its amazing electrical, optical, and mechanical characteristics. For that reason it is being investigated for many uses, including in supercapacitors. As reported by the American Chemical Society, graphene may soon have a serious competitor for supercapacitor electrodes from hemp.
Before we get too far, it is worth stating that it is not hemp, but a cousin of the plant that can be turned into a drug. The researchers decided to investigate hemp bast fibers, from the inner bark of the plant, to see if they could be processed into a form of carbon similar to graphene. Graphene already makes an ideal electrode for supercapacitors, but is expensive to make. A hemp-based alternative would be less expensive, especially bast as it is typically discarded by the industries that use hemp to manufacture products. What the researchers found is that if the fibers were heated to over 350 ºF and then heat with more intense heat, what material was left would exfoliate useable carbon nanosheets.
When the researchers tested the electrodes with an ionic liquid electrolyte, they found that they can match and even surpass graphene electrodes. It already supplied two to three times the energy density of modern supercapacitors at 12 Watt-hours per kilogram, and has an operating temperature range from freezing to 200 ºF.
Unveiled during Microsoft's E3 2014 Press Conference, Ori and the Blind Forest is a 2.5D Metroidvania platformer with absolutely gorgeous visuals. Players control the titular Ori, a white guardian spirit, who needs to explore the forest and find his adoptive mother who was captured by an evil owl, Kuro. Though Ori can merely run and jump, you eventually come across this blue orb named Sein who can attack enemies. As you'd expect from the Metroidvania sub-genre, the game features an explorable, open world and new abilities to acquire along the way for both Ori and Sein. Developer Moon Studios says Ori has weighty platforming like Super Meat Boy and Mario, art like Rayman and Child of Light, and story like The Iron Giant and The Lion King. Some huge sources of inspiration indeed.
So why am I bringing it up now? Developer Moon Studios has released some new screenshots for Gamescom, which can be seen below. No new trailer (yet?), so here's the E3 Debut Trailer:
Ori and the Blind Forest is coming to PC and Xbox One in Fall 2014, with an Xbox 360 version to follow in 2015.
Danish indie studio Full Control has announced a new standalone edition of Space Hulk, entitled Space Hulk: Ascension. Ascension will take the foundation laid out in 2013's Space Hulk and add in RPG elements, Genestealer variations, new mechanics, new weaponry, and a new Space Marine chapter. The game will feature over 100 missions spread across three campaigns, along with all new flash missions – "opportunistic mini-missions encountered as you explore the deep unknowns of the Space Hulk that can yield a tactical advantage or be a deadly trap."
Space Hulk: Ascension will be coming to Windows, Mac, and Linux in Q4 2014. Existing Space Hulk owners will receive some sort of loyalty discount, but the exact details have not been divulged. This should not be confused with the first-person shooter Space Hulk: Deathwing, being developed by an entirely different studio.
Microsoft dropped a bombshell at its Gamescom Conference when it announced Rise of the Tomb Raider as an Xbox One exclusive, angering many gamers. But on the bright side, if you're thinking of making the jump to the console, there will be three new Xbox One bundles to choose from, depending on your region, all available for pre-order starting today.
First up is the Xbox One Limited Edition "Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare" Bundle, launching November 3 for $499/£429.99/€499.99 at select retailers. It features a massive 1TB hard drive (the biggest ever in a console) and a custom console, controller and Limited Edition exoskeleton, as well as a digital copy of the Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Day Zero Edition. The Day Zero Edition features early access to the game a day early with Double XP that day, two bonus weapons (AK-12G Assault Rifle and CROSSBOW-B2), and the Advanced Arsenal pack (Bullet Brass Exoskeleton and EM1 Quantum directed energy weapon).
The second bundle is the Xbox One Special Edition "Sunset Overdrive" Bundle, launching October 28 for $399/£349.99/€399.99 at select retailers. It features a "sleek white" console and wireless controller, and a digital copy of Sunset Overdrive with all Day One Edition in-game content, including the Nothin' but the Hits gun, a custom Fizzie outfit, and the Hardcore! Hammer.
Lastly is the "FIFA15" Bundle, launching September 25 exclusively in Europe for £349.99/€399.99. It includes the console and controller, a 14-day Live trial, HDMI cable, Chat Headset, a digital token for FIFA 15, and an Ultimate Team Legends Gold Pack. "Ultimate Team Legends are available only on Xbox, and the Legends Gold Pack offers an increased chance in finding an ultra-rare Legendary player for your Ultimate Team." An Xbox 360 FIFA 15 bundle will also launch in Europe the same day.
Even though everybody has a brain (though we may not all use them) it is one of the least understood organs to the human body. We simply do not know how it responds to many stimuli and finding out is not easy to do in a living person. Researchers at Tufts University have recently created a 3D model of brain tissue that could possibly be used for the very research it is hard or impossible to do safely.
The model is a modular design comprised of a scaffold of cast silk protein, a collagen gel matrix, and cortical neurons from rats. The silk began as disks that had a hole punched in them to form a doughnut, and then neurons were seeded into each doughnut before being stacked to resemble the layers of the neocortex. The assembly was then immersed in the collagen gel, which allowed axons to connect the neurons between the layers. The resulting model had the structural support for the network connectivity needed for brain activity and was viable for an impressive nine weeks.
One of the tests the researchers put the model through was dropping a weight on it. The model reacted to the trauma similar to how actual brain cells do, by releasing a neurotransmitter associated with brain damage and even electrical hyperactivity, like what is observed in brain cells after trauma.
Another day has arrived, and with that comes some new reviews for you to check out. First up is a look at the new Intel Broadwell architecture and what it will mean for the processor world. Intel is moving to a 14nm process with Broadwell, with the tri-gate technology leading the way. We have another look at the ASUS ROG SWIFT PG278Q G-Sync monitor,a 27-inch model that should help make your games look smoother. Cooler Master's N600 case also gets put to the test to see how well it can help keep your components cool. Finally we have a look at various case accessories from Phanteks, including LED light strips, a PWM fan hub, and more.
Say it isn't so! During Microsoft's Gamescom Conference, the company dropped the bombshell that Rise of the Tomb Raider, coming Holiday 2015, is an Xbox One exclusive. Yes, Tomb Raider, a franchise that got its start on PC and the original PlayStation; a franchise that, when Crystal Dynamics took over development duties in 2006, was multi-platform (some games even appearing on Nintendo consoles); a franchise that was rebooted last year on PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 along with ports to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Yet somehow, this long-standing, third-party franchise that has always been multi-platform is now an exclusive to a single console? In a blog post to the "Tomb Raider Community", Darrell Gallagher, Crystal Dynamics Head of Studios, confirmed the news:
Tomb Raider in 2013 was a success due in large part to your continued support. Our goal has always been to deliver something truly special with Rise of the Tomb Raider. Today’s announcement with Microsoft is one step to help us put Tomb Raider on top of action adventure gaming. Our friends at Microsoft have always seen huge potential in Tomb Raider and have believed in our vision since our first unveil with them on their stage at E3 2011. We know they will get behind this game more than any support we have had from them in the past - we believe this will be a step to really forging the Tomb Raider brand as one of the biggest in gaming, with the help, belief and backing of a major partner like Microsoft.
So one has to wonder how much Microsoft paid for this exclusivity. Publisher Square Enix was initially disappointed with the sales performance of the 2013 Tomb Raider before it finally became profitable after almost ten months. Then in March of this year, a year after release, Crystal Dynamics reported that the Tomb Raider reboot was on course to become the best-selling game in the history of the franchise, surpassing six million units sold. What's Square Enix going to think when sales of the sequel are undoubtedly far less? Very odd decision indeed.
Unsurprisingly, this announcement is not sitting well with fans. Gallagher acts like having Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris on PC and PlayStation 4 shows that the studio isn't walking away from those consoles; but as fun as that game looks, it shares nothing with the Tomb Raider games other than a protagonist. And now the question is, will this Tomb Raider exclusivity announcement actually affect sales of the Lara Croft game? Why should angered PC and PS4 fans give Square Enix their money? Odds are that Rise of the Tomb Raider is merely a timed exclusive, but that's never actually stated; nor would that appease irate fans even if it was. I'd tell Square Enix, Crystal Dynamics, and Microsoft to prepare for the shitstorm that's about to ensue...but it's already begun.
Power bricks are part of the reality of many electronics, from game consoles to mobile devices, and they can come in many shapes and sizes. All serve a similar function though of converting power in one form to another, such as from AC to DC. This conversion process is not always simple and can actually cost energy, which is why researchers at MIT have been developing systems to improve the efficiency of power electronics.
One of the ways the researchers are working to improve performance is to increase the switching frequency of the devices. A higher frequency means less power needs to be buffered in capacitors, reducing their size and heat, and enables easier redirection of the energy, because it is working with less energy. The researchers built a prototype LED driver that uses higher frequencies and ceramic capacitors, instead of the more common electrolytic capacitors, and found it could also push a power density five to ten times more than current systems.
The researchers are also looking at ways to improve power systems at server farms. Currently the power coming in has to go through many stages before reaching the servers. By reducing the steps, such as making it all DC without converting to AC at any point, the efficiency could be increased, and potentially the system's ability to adapt to use.