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.


Heat Signature gains music and art direction, draws closer to becoming a game

Shaun Prescott at

Heat Signature looked promising, albeit barebones, when this lengthy gameplay demonstration released last month, but now Tom Francis (Gunpoint, former PC Gamer scholar) has recruited two composers and an artist to flesh out the space stealth game. Compare the image above with the video here and you'll basically see magic happening.


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.


Why Halo: Master Chief Collection isn't coming to PC (for now)

Shaun Prescott at

Sure, it's an outrage that Halo is a consistent no-show on PC nowadays, but why? Theories abound - both conspiratorial and otherwise - but according to 343 Industries executive producer Dan Ayoub it's simply a matter of resources. Speaking to Kotaku, he says no amount of similiarities between the hardware architecture of the Xbox One and a typical PC can allow for a simple transition. And besides: the studio's focus is entirely on Xbox One at present.


Shadow of Mordor interview: lore, exploration and keeping up appearances

Shaun Prescott at

One thing is for sure: there are a lot of games based in Middle-Earth. In the last five years alone there have been twelve across platforms ranging smartphones, consoles and PC. It's obviously a lucrative property, but as a video game it's never reached the heights of say, the Arkham series.


Road Redemption roars out onto Steam Early Access

Andy Chalk at

Road Rash was a fundamentally ridiculous game about hyper-violent motorcycle races in which victory could be achieved either by being faster than your opponents, or by pushing them into oncoming traffic at 120 miles per hour. That's a good description of Road Redemption too, a "spiritual successor" that blasted through Kickstarter and Steam Greenlight last year, and is now available on Steam Early Access.

Hellraid developers show off 20 minutes of monster murder in new gameplay video

Andy Chalk at

Techland recently took to Twitch.tv for a lengthy session of Hellraid that covered the entirety of the game's first level. Did you miss it? Not to worry, because the whole thing is now up on YouTube.


Minecraft composer releases 0x10c tracks, muses on Notch's departure from Mojang

Andy Chalk at

Remember 0x10c? It was supposed to be Markus "Notch" Persson's follow-up to the mega-hit Minecraft, but development ground to a halt in early 2013 and in August of that year Notch confirmed that he'd abandoned it completely. But it wasn't entirely unfinished when he pulled the plug, and earlier this week Minecraft composer Daniel Rosenfeld released two audio tracks he'd written for the game to Bandcamp. He also offered some insights into why Persson ultimately chose to walk away from Mojang and Minecraft.


A newbie plays Dwarf Fortress: Ep. 10

Wes Fenlon at

In episode 10 of PC Gamer's Dwarf Fortress series, two dwarves lie critically injured from elf attacks while Wes and Will try to coax Chief Medical Dwarf Urvad into saving their lives.


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.


Grimoire FPS studio responds to Grimoire: Heralds of the Winged Exemplar trademark dispute

Andy Chalk at

Grimoire, a multiplayer FPS with MOBA elements based on spellcasting rather than guns, turned up on Kickstarter earlier this week, and it's well on the way to achieving its modest goal of $42,000. But the project hit a bump in the road a couple days ago when Cleve Blakemore, the man behind the infamous Grimoire: Heralds of the Winged Exemplar, turned up in the comments section and started threatening trademark trouble.


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.

Blitzkrieg 3 announced, due out early next year

Phil Savage at

Re-announced, that should be. Blitzkrieg 3 was originally announced last year, with a trailer and everything. Not much else happened between then and now, though, so it's been announced again. The classic real-time tactics series will return next year with a sequel that claims to blend both single and multiplayer.


Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel exhaustively explained in nine-minute trailer

Phil Savage at

Before watching this trailer, all I knew about Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel was a) it was more Borderlands, b) it was set on the moon, and c) it had a silly name. Now, I feel like I know everything about it—mostly because an excitable man spent the last nine minutes shouting at me.


Spacebase DF-9 to leave Early Access next month, future content development halted

Phil Savage at

Double Fine's Spacebase DF-9, the space-based base construction and management sim, will leave Steam's Early Access next month. Double Fine announced the release window alongside a a small list of planned features for the for the 1.0 update. A little too small, perhaps, as many were expecting the studio to develop more content for the game. That now won't happen, with the studio instead planning to release the source code to the community.


The Crew trailer shows more social features, overuses the word crew

Phil Savage at

Thanks to this trailer, the word crew has lost all meaning to me. It's just an ugly syllable, hanging twisted in the air. The breaking point was the line, "now it's time to take down a rival crew or two, in the crew versus crew PvP." On the plus side, there are some nice driving activities on display.


League of Legends Worlds 2014 trailer is a dramatic way to launch a tournament

Phil Savage at

You know about e-sports tournaments. Maybe you've even watched an e-sports tournament. But have you seen an e-sports tournament depicted through an earnest, slightly silly, but, if I'm honest, pretty great anime-styled trailer? If not, get ready to, because Riot has released this audacious opener for the 2014 League of Legends World Championship.


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.


Metal Gear Collection 2014 isn't coming to PC, because it's a fashion line

Shaun Prescott at

Well I suppose you could drape the Metal Gear Collection 2014 over your rig, but if you were holding out hope for a software announcement during Hideo Kojima’s Tokyo Games Show appearance today then you’re out of luck. The Metal Gear Collection 2014 is not a retrospective collection of every Metal Gear game released, but instead a fancy new fashion line.