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Oculus Rift Crescent Bay prototype hands-on: experiencing true VR presence for the first time

Wes Fenlon at

Wow. I thought I had experienced virtual reality before I put on Oculus VR’s new prototype Crescent Bay headset. I put on the original Rift when it was still a duct-taped prototype. I’ve played game demos on the higher resolution Crystal Cove prototype, which added positional tracking, and the polished version that is now shipping as DK2. Every one was amazing: an experience with a technology that was clearly on the cusp of changing gaming as we know it. Putting on Oculus VR’s Crescent Bay is a different experience altogether. Those previous headsets were just shadows of virtual reality, simulacra that asked you to fool your brain into believing in the magic. In some of the Crystal Cove demos, I found myself having to remind my brain that this wasn’t real, because all my senses were telling me otherwise.

In their keynotes at Oculus Connect, the brains behind Oculus kept talking about “presence”—what it takes to create total immersion in virtual reality. It sounded like a buzzword to me, until I strapped Crescent Bay onto my face, placed its integrated earpieces over my ears, and stood on the ledge of a skyscraper looking out over a virtual steampunk cityscape. I looked down, tried to step off the ledge, and my body recoiled. I was there.


Oculus Rift 'Crescent Bay' prototype unveiled, a "massive leap" over DK2

Tyler Wilde at

This isn't the consumer version of the Oculus Rift VR headset, but according to Oculus, it's another big step closer. This morning at Oculus Connect, company CEO Brendan Iribe revealed the Crescent Bay prototype, which he says is "a massive leap" over the currently available Oculus Rift DK2.


The Best Free Games of the Week

Tom Sykes at

Chambers. Adventure. Perfectly timed jumping. A demon-run video shop. A bunny girl fighting robots. These are some of the things that lie in store in this week's FREEGAMESAPALOOZA, which as ever is brought to you by our good friends at Soylent Green. Soylent Green—Live Life Your Way. Soylent Green—Turns Out It's Made Out Of People. Enjoy!


Saturday Crapshoot: Fountain Of Dreams

Richard Cobbett at

Every week, Richard Cobbett rolls the dice to bring you an obscure slice of gaming history, from lost gems to weapons grade atrocities. This week, another chance to enter a post-apocalyptic wasteland, but one that soon turned into a mere Bidet Of Nightmares. Drink of it at your own risk.

So, this week saw the long-awaited release of Wasteland 2, where 'long awaited' is measured more in decades than the couple of years that it's been in development. Luckily, it's good. It's very good. Depending on who you ask though, there already was a sequel to Wasteland, only a year or so after the first one came out. Now, to be clear, the list of people who will tell you that is very small indeed. Not the original Wasteland team, which didn't work on it, not Wasteland fans, who generally try to forget it, and not even publisher EA, which originally did tried to hold it up as a proper sequel, but was apparently convinced of its folly after three ghosts showed up to slap some goddamn sense into it.

Despite that though, the lineage is obvious, and you'd think the thirst for a new Wasteland game would make anything even inspired by it worth a little hardcore fan fondness. How bad could it be that it was politely carved out of history almost as soon as it landed? Well, let's find out!

Though I think we can assume the answer is "Very, very bad."

Ryse: Son of Rome PC gameplay video — max settings at 2560x1440 on LPC

PC Gamer at

Come one, come all to see an Xbox One launch game running at 1440p! We recently got a preview build of Ryse: Son of Rome's PC port, so Tyler went through the introductory level with the graphics settings maxed (minus supersampling, but come on). It's pretty, isn't it?


The week's highs and lows in PC gaming

Tim Clark at

Each week PC Gamer’s writers take gaseous form and co-mingle until they achieve the perfect ratio of opinion-to-outrage. Here are the results…


The PC Gamer Show episode 6: Due Process, Oculus Rift DK2, and a fond farewell

PC Gamer at

It's The PC Gamer Show! In episode six, Evan and Tyler play indie tactical shooter Due Process, Andy subjects the office to Cyberspace on the Oculus Rift DK2, and we say goodbye to a friend.


Dawn of War retrospective: ten years of war in the 41st millennium

Tom Senior at

The Wraithlord is a twelve-foot tall monster crafted from psychic bone, imbued with the spirit of an ancient warrior who exists to only to kill. The Space Marine Captain is the champion of a barely-human warrior caste who runs around in power armour that compounds his ridiculous strength. When these two meet on a battlefield, something messy and exciting ought to happen.


Wasteland 2 review

Cory Banks at

There's a mad monk up ahead. He's wearing little more than rags, his body hunches over with a great burden. His face is twisted and warped. Behind him is a woman with a small pack; ahead of him is a gnarly raider.

My guide through the dusty canyon cautions me against interfering as the raider demands the woman's goods. She begs him to stop, for both their sakes, but it's too late for that. The hunchback monk, a disciple devoted to the nuclear god Titan and The Great Glow, sworn to protect his charge.

He rushes forward, shouting a prayer, and then detonates the small warhead he carries. A mushroom cloud emerges from the blinding light, vaporizing the monk and the raider. The woman, however, now lays legless before me.

"Kill me," she croaks. And I do, but not before I take her scrap.


Nvidia GTX 980 tested: SLI, 4K, and single-GPU benchmarks and impressions

Wes Fenlon at

The Nvidia GTX 980 is here—as in, Nvidia has announced it, you'll be able to buy one soon, and it's also physically here in the PC Gamer offices. I've been playing games on the GTX 980 and benchmarking the card with the help of Maximum PC. We've put our cards together to test dual-GPU SLI performance and thrown the 980s up against a 4K monitor to see how they compare to the GTX 780 Ti, Radeon R9 290X, and other top-of-the-line graphics cards.

The big question: is the Nvidia GTX 980 worth its $550 price tag? According to our benchmarks, absolutely.


Nvidia announces GTX 980 and GTX 970 "Maxwell" graphics cards for $550 and $329: here are their new features

Wes Fenlon at

At Nvidia Editor's Day last week, Nvidia pulled the shroud off its fresh top-of-the-line graphics cards running on the new Maxwell architecture: the $550 GTX 980 and the $329 GTX 970. Nvidia called Maxwell "the most advanced GPU ever built," but you can say that about almost every new generation of graphics hardware. More importantly, Nvidia also called Maxwell the most power-efficient GPU ever built, and that is a big deal: it delivers twice the performance per watt as Kepler, the architecture used in the 600 and 700 series cards. I've been testing a reference GTX 980 Nvidia sent, and you can read about my thoughts on the card and see our benchmarks—including dual-980 SLI benchmarks—right here.

This article is about all the new technology Nvidia is rolling out with Maxwell: a new anti-aliasing algorithm called MFAA, new lighting called Voxel Global Illumination, native downsampling support called Dynamic Super Resolution, and DirectX12.


Nvidia's Game24 livestream event is live, tune in here

Evan Lahti at

Nvidia's just kicked off Game24, a 24-hour, multi-city livestream event that they've labeled a "PC gaming holiday." I'm in attendance at Hangar 8 in Santa Monica, California for the start of broadcast.


World of Warcraft expansions expected to arrive more quickly in the future, Blizzard says

Andy Chalk at

Blizzard may not expect World of Warcraft to grow again in the future, but that doesn't mean it's giving up on the game. In fact, Tom Chilton, lead game designer at Blizzard, says the studio has actually expanded the game's development team over the past couple of years.


Final Fantasy XIII confirmed for PC, releasing next month

Phil Savage at

Earlier this week, a Steam logo found on Square Enix's Final Fantasy XIII Trilogy page prompted theories of an impending PC release. Those theories have proven corrent, as Square Enix has today confirmed that the entire trilogy will be released on PC by Spring, 2015. The first game, Final Fantasy XIII, will launch on 9 October for £11/$16.


Three Lane Highway: exploring the expensive e-sports hype trailers of tomorrow

Chris Thursten at

Three Lane Highway is Chris' weekly column about Dota 2.

Today I watched a very dramatic and slick and expensive-looking trailer for League of Legends' Worlds 2014 tournament. I thought about it in relation to the game of my own preference, and how I spent part of July in a basketball stadium getting really worked up about international wizard conflict. I've written about the narratives that surround the rise of e-sports before. Today, for these reasons and despite many others, I felt compelled to do so in the form of a science fiction press release.

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain to come in 2015, new gameplay footage released

Shaun Prescott at

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain will release in 2015, Hideo Kojima has confirmed at Tokyo Games Show. No release window was indicated, though it's fair to guess we'll see it during the usual October / November rush. More exciting is the release of some new gameplay footage, along with a short trailer.


League of Legends Worlds 2014 - Taiwan group stage breakdown

PC Gamer at

Riot Games' 2014 League of Legends World Championship is about to begin, drawing in 16 teams from across the world for a final end-of-year bout. This year, the tournament's split into three parts: eight-team group stages each in Taiwan and Singapore, a quarterfinal showdown in Busan, South Korea, and a climatic semifinal and grand final in the capital city of Seoul.


Show Us Your Rig: Elder Scrolls Online designer Nick Konkle

PC Gamer at

Nick Konkle, Lead Gameplay Designer of The Elder Scrolls Online, is similar to many of the other developers we’ve featured on Show Us Your Rig by having three different computers. However, Nick ups the ante by cramming them all onto a single desk. He was kind enough to take the time and show off his set-up, including that one monitor he just can’t bear to part with.


Alien: Isolation's Survivor mode detailed, trailered

Phil Savage at

Alien: Isolation is a tense, atmospheric game about being hunted by a deadly and intelligent predator. That makes Survivor mode a weird proposition. It's a series of standalone challenges, pitting you against not just Alien's Xenomorph, but also time, skill and leaderboards. In a new video, Creative Assembly explains their thinking.


The Evil Within trailer features classical music, long walks

Phil Savage at

"This is nice," I think, as a man limps and stumbles through a corridor. That's the power of Debussy for you. Clair de Lune can make anything seem serene. Don't worry, it doesn't last. By the time the barbed wire and tentacle faces show up, this The Evil Within trailer has all gone a bit industrial.