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.
It's an interesting world where global video game industry revenue out-grosses that of the incumbent movie and music entertainment industries. In an unprecedented cross-over, Valve today announced its partnership with Lionsgate (NYSE: LGFO) to bring “more than 100 movies” to Steam. Among the selection is the Hunger Games series, Ender's Game, and the Saw series. From our first look, we're only seeing 70 total films – but there are supposedly at least 31 more on the way.
Riot Games caught attention recently for providing some support to collegiate eSports programs, but system integrator iBUYPOWER has done a lot of the heavy lifting for three collegiate eSports stadia. iBUYPOWER’s most recent venture pairs the SI with the University of California, Irvine (UCI) and will be IBP’s most expansive collegiate eSports partnership yet. This time, the gaming center will be open to the public. In addition to providing 80 PCs to the college, iBUYPOWER is providing financial support for UCI’s gaming club and logistical / build guidance on the venue. The SI is helping to cover the fees of renovating 3500 sq. ft. of the Student Center into an eSports Arena that will be open to the public.
Video on demand has become ubiquitous. Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and even ISP-bound options offer some form of movies or TV in exchange for service charges. It is no longer the “future of TV” – it is TV. This is the reality of the modern, cable-cutter era, and it is only a matter of time until all traditional cable services are axed in favor of streamed-via-internet options. Cable television will die.
The same could be true for gaming. The data is bigger, the latency demands are greater – but these problems are conquerable and will only diminish as high-speed internet proliferates. Input latency is the most critical. The time from button-press to photon-on-screen dictates whether a game is playable; it's more significant even than frametimes. Long poll times or slow frame encode/decode will create a mismatch between the player's actions and the perceived outcome, resulting in frustration that we've all experienced at some point with server lag in traditional gaming.
Epic Games made the most of the its stage at GDC 2016. In the company's “State of Unreal” panel, CEO Tim Sweeney packed in as much news in as he could – an empowered battle against CryEngine's latest announcements. The success of the latest iteration of the Unreal Engine was a focus point; according to Sweeney, Unreal Engine 4 now has over 1.5 million users, and the seven largest franchises on the engine have generated over $1 billion in sales each.
The Unreal Engine news wasn't limited to larges titles, though. Last year, Epic announced a grant for indie developers using the Unreal Engine and, not to be outdone by CryEngine's $1 million indie fund, Epic increased their grant from $800,000 to $1.2 million. Epic is additionally partnering with HTC and Valve to bring 500 Vive units to indie developers to increase the development of VR titles.
Steam today launched the pre-order for their collaboration project with HTC -- the HTC Vive for SteamVR. Those who pre-order get the whole kit-and-caboodle -- the headset, sensors, and controllers -- and a few extra throw-in games. We’ve covered Valve’s VR multiple times, going so far as to explain the “how it works” in-depth here, and we’ve talked about our opinion of the whole thing.
In a short-fused statement on reddit yesterday, Valve CEO Gabe Newell called James “2GD” Harding “an ass,” then went on to say “as long as we're firing people, we are also firing the production company.”
This was all in response to Valve's newest DOTA2 event, the $3 million Shanghai Major tournament. As with all Valve events in recorded history, the Shanghai Major experienced several production delays and slow-downs that forced on-camera personality and veteran TV host '2GD' to buy time, entertaining the audience during between-match pauses. 2GD has been popular among the DOTA2 community since his time hosting the second TI event, but is also known for stints with MTV, SkyNews, and his own game studio. Shockingly for fans viewing the live event, 2GD was seemingly spontaneously fired mid-cast. The commentator released little information to fans pursuant to an agreement with Valve to “put it on ice” and resolve matters privately.
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