System integrator iBUYPOWER, peripheral maker Logitech, motherboard maker ASUS, and Riot games joined forces to aid UCI in opening its new eSports arena. The venue makes UCI the first top 200 public school with an eSports program, and opens the door for its participation in collegiate eSports tournaments. To our knowledge, there are presently nine other US universities with eSports programs that may allow for future 10-way contests at a collegiate level.
The university's arena hosted CLG Red & Blue teams, Immortals, and Selfless this weekend, alongside manufacturers nVidia, NZXT, ADATA, and iBUYPOWER. The venue contains sixty systems – a split between mITX Revolt 2 boxes and ATX NZXT N450 boxes – with Intel i7-6700K CPUs and GTX 1080 FE GPUs. Logitech has equipped each box with a G410 TKL keyboard, G303 mouse, and G430 headset, ASUS provided the Z170 motherboards, and iBUYPOWER did the system assembly (and provision of the Revolt 2).
As we reported on August 4, the Class Action lawsuit against nVidia has been settled in courts. The final payout amount is pending approval (full resolution by December, in theory), but owners of the GTX 970 may now submit claims to retrieve a $30 payment per GTX 970 purchased, should those owners feel entitled to the funds.
Claims can be filed on the GTX 970 Settlement website. The claim filing deadline is November 30, 2016, with the final approval hearing scheduled for December 7, 2016. Claims must be filed before the deadline and will not be paid out until after the final approval hearing goes through.
The recently popular German-based Denuvo Anti-Tampering software has provided some safety for game developers, though we've found it cumbersome at times. Denuvo has been used for several of the biggest recent game releases, including Doom, Mirror's Edge, and Just Cause 3. A Bulgarian hacker known only as "Voksi" discovered a workaround method through Steam that allowed for a full game, such as Doom, to be spoofed as a different game's free demo, also available through Steam. Steam quickly closed the loophole, but it is unclear if the Denuvo software itself has been cracked or simply reworked through the loophole, as only one fully cracked Denuvo game was released out of the loophole. Until now, Denuvo has remained the most impenetrable DRM gaming software in recent history. While this is an incredible feat, Denuvo can also affect legitimate users in a negative way (as all DRM seems to do).
Prominent GPU and CPU company AMD has recently released its financial results for the second quarter of 2016. In the past, AMD has struggled to stay out of the red financially, and the results today aren’t very different, but AMD has improved its posture over 1Q16.
As seen in the table below, AMD’s revenue has grown from $823 million to $1.027 billion, rivaling revenue of 1Q15. The net loss is a net loss of $40 million, up from a net loss of $109 million in 1Q16, and $180 million in 1Q15. Similarly, the operating loss for 2Q16 is $8 million, compared to Q1’s $68 million and 1Q15’s $137 million. This change is primarily due to lower operating expenses and layoffs.
Intel and AMD dominated the entire CPU market in the 90s and early 2000s, but ARM-based SOCs have taken a large chunk of their business. The ARM architecture and RISC instruction set is used in almost every phone today and can be found in Chromebooks, tablets, TVs, and servers.
ARM is a unique company as it licenses its patents to technology companies to use for a fee; in turn, ARM often receives royalties from these deals. The company actually doesn’t make any physical CPUs like Intel and AMD, so almost all of its money comes from patent deals with other companies to take its designs and create SOCs, which are then put into tablets, phones, or other products.
Steam's hardware survey reports a +1.57% increase month-over-month in Windows 10 64-bit adoption, marking a growth trend favoring the move to DirectX 12. Presently, the major Dx12-ready titles include Rise of the Tomb Raider, Hitman, Ashes of the Singularity, and forthcoming Total War: Warhammer; you can learn about Warhammer's unique game engine technology over here.
In Steam's survey, Windows 7 is broken into just “Windows 7” and “Windows 7 64-bit,” the two totaling 41.43% of the users responding to the optional survey. The survey also breaks Windows 10 into a “64-bit” and an unspecified version, totaling 41.4% (or 40.01% for the specific 64-bit line-item).
Tabulated results are below:
NVidia's fiercely aggressive move to disallow Samsung's US smartphone sales was met with a return volley from Samsung, ultimately invalidating one of nVidia's patents. The two silicon megaliths have maintained ongoing battles in a number of courts; today marks a point of closure, as nVidia and Samsung have mutually agreed upon settlement of their respective actions.
A mysterious briefcase showed up at GN labs today, bearing the above blackened metal triangle. On the triangle is emblazoned a code, which we entered into the orderof10.com redemption page. The box is branded with a “10” enclosed by a triangle, the same as seen above. Entering the triangle's code into the webpage unlocked our “COMPUTE” piece (Leibniz); the rest of the pieces can be found here. We know that we've got COMPUTE, SlashGear's Chris Barr has Vision, Jack Pattillo of Rooster Teeth has a piece, and Devindra Hardawar of Engadget has a piece.
I tasked GN's Patrick Lathan with assisting in decoding the cryptic message. He's our “puzzle guy,” known recently for reviewing Johnathan Blow's The Witness, and has already made major progress that isn't contained in our below video.
We have updated this article with advancements below.
Software publisher and game development studio Bethesda has silently rolled-out its alpha version of the “Bethesda.net” launcher, posted alongside card game Elder Scrolls: Legends. Plans for the launcher are yet undisclosed and the store front isn't active, but a key code redemption link indicates that Bethesda will soon be moving product through its store.
This is not a departure from Steam (at least, not yet), but is almost certainly a move to bypass the revenue share with Valve. Bethesda isn't the first publisher to explore this route. EA's Origin took the more extreme approach, simultaneously launching its storefront and completely removing its games from Steam. Ubisoft's uPlay doesn't do this, but buying a Ubisoft title on Steam will invariably launch the uPlay launcher, which then requests a sign-in – and that game may request its own sign-in, in case two weren't enough. GOG Galaxy is perhaps the least offensive in its authentication practices and most neutral, but is still closely related to CD Projekt Red.
Industry analyst Newzoo reports that PC gaming is now projected to generate $31.9 billion in game software sales annually, or 32% of annual global games market revenue with +2.1% YoY growth. Its closest and longest competitor, console gaming, is projected to generate $29.0 billion in 2016 (29%) with a +4.5% YoY growth. Despite this growth pattern, both device categories are expected to stagnate in marketshare through 2019, their segments beset upon by mobile devices.
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