Well, I guess this is adieu then Lara. The news from Gamescom today that Rise Of The Tomb Raider will launch “exclusively on Xbox” next year means that, at best, PC gamers will have to wait out whatever window of time Microsoft’s money hat has paid for. Irritating, but nothing we’re not used to. More troubling is the suggestion that this is actually a lifetime exclusive. If that is the case (and I strongly suspect it isn’t), then it would represent one of the dumbest partnership deals I can recall.
Like it or not, gamepads have become an important part of PC gaming. Can you imagine playing Super Meat Boy or Street Fighter IV without one? The 360 controller has been PC Gamer’s go-to for years now, but yesterday Microsoft finally released Windows drivers for the Xbox One pad. I've spent the morning testing it out on a variety of games, which is both an excuse to spend my Friday playing games and an opportunity to tell you if it’s worth upgrading or not. Everyone wins!
The Xbox 360 pad has long since been adopted by the PC. It's there for us whenever we need to pummel our opponents in a two-player fighting game, or when we buy a shoddily ported third-person action game in some Steam sale. Or when we load up Watch Dogs, briefly forget its keyboard-based driving controls are an atrocity, and mistakenly attempt to use them. It's become an essential peripheral.
Can the Xbox One pad be clutched as warmly to our Windows-based bosoms? Microsoft are hoping it can. They've just released the official PC drivers needed to get it running.
Four months after the launch of the console, Microsoft still hasn't released a PC driver for the Xbox One controller. Someone else has finally done it for them. With a few caveats, YouTube user Lucas Assis has uploaded video instructions and a driver that will make your Xbox One controller work with your PC. The video is 11 minutes long, so it’s not exactly a plug and play solution, but if you really like the Xbox One controller this will get it talking to your PC.
Windows 8 hasn't exactly been a stunning success. Fewer than 12 percent of PCs run Windows 8 or 8.1, compared with 47 percent for Windows 7 and 29 percent for XP. It's still more than Mac OS X and Vista combined, but that's small consolation. So we're already looking forward to Windows 9, which will hopefully continue the tradition—firmly entrenched in both Windows and Star Trek chronology—of coming out with something good every other try. (Galaxy Quest counts as one of the good Star Treks, by the way.)
Windows 9, codenamed Threshold, is still at least a year away. Sourcey-types peg it at April 2015, so there's plenty of time for Microsoft to release something that's fully baked to make up for the melange of awesome and not-awesome that is Windows 8. So with that, here are our demands for Windows 9.
Valve is nipping at your heels, Microsoft. It's time to pay attention to PC gamers again.
There’s nothing PC gamers love quite as much as a good rumor. We had a bunch of Fallout 4 speculation crop up over the weekend, and some doomsayers are claiming the end of the world will be brought about by a freakishly powerful rig cobbled together by mad scientists. Now the skies of Star Citizen are falling because someone spotted a PlayStation 4 dev kit in a picture posted by the developers. Taking to the community forums, creator Chris Roberts addressed rumors that Star Citizen would be dumbed down for console release—and destroyed them.
Microsoft’s investment in PC gaming has felt half-hearted over the past several years. It locked Halo 2 and Gears of Wars into the now waning Games for Windows Live ecosystem, and it’s become abundantly clear that Microsoft is leaving video games up to the Xbox division. However, a recent interview between Microsoft and AusGamers reveals that Corporate Vice President of Microsoft Studios Phil Spencer is open to the idea of cross platform play between the Xbox One and PCs.
Nvidia is suddenly all over the news this week, announcing that it's working with the new SteamOS and boasting about how much more powerful PCs are than consoles. Given that Nvidia was skipped over for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, it's understandable that it wants PC gamers to know it loves us very, very much.
Yes, at launch, you won't be able to plug an Xbox One controller into your PC and have it just work. According to Microsoft, in a quick chat with VentureBeat, new software has “to be written and optimised for the PC.”
While they look very similar Microsoft states that the two controllers don’t really share the same technology at their hearts. The Big M’s spokesmen cite a new wireless protocol “and additional features like Impulse triggers” as why they’re only going to be compatible with the Xbox One from launch. They do expect to be able to get the controllers working across the range of PC games which supported the ever-popular Xbox 360 controller some time next year.
We don't like to get too partisan here on PC Gamer - let's face it, our allegiances are pretty clear. Not to mention the fact that no-one can deny that console gaming has had a particularly terrible couple of weeks. Who'd have thought that the still primarily discs-and-retail focussed platform would be the one the kill the concept of ownership dead?
But looking beyond Microsoft's actually-worse-than-Apple approach to digital ownership, has there been anything released so far about the generation of under-telly hardware that we can learn from over here in PC-land? Below is our e attempt to look past Microsoft's spectacular XBone goals and see if there's anything in the new machines worth emulating in all this talk about powerful cloud computing, GDDR 5 RAM and one-touch share controls.
Xbox One. PS4. What effect will the poster children of E3 2013 have on the future of PC Gaming? Will new hardware architecture mean more high-profile PC ports or—dare we say it—PC-led titles that are ported for consoles afterwards? Are Microsoft's touted 15 exclusive launch titles going to be anything we'd even want in the first place? Will the pull of the indie scene be enough to turn gamers away from hardware manufacturers that shun them? We chew on this, and feed you our analysis like a mother bird to her chicks.
The new consoles have the spotlight at E3 2013 this year, but what will the expo's many reveals, demos, hardware rollouts, and buzzwords mean for the PC? Is this even a show for us at all, with the focus on the brick and mortar retail market? We discuss the implications, and speculate on which of the big, all-star console titles will eventually make it to our corner of the gaming universe.
This week: We've seen the competition from the big three that the kids are calling "next gen." Evan, Tyler, and T.J. discuss what this means for the PC. CS: GO is getting a new mode that lets players evaluate one another. We get all meta and evaluate it. Plus: Diablo 3 one year later, listener questions, playlists, and more.
Chris, Tom Senior and Rich discuss Call of Juarez: Gunslinger, Metro: Last Light, spiders, Tomb Raider, and the Oculus Rift. We also have a bit of a think about the Xbox One and what it means for entertainment in general.
Former Microsoft Corporate VP and current EA Chief Technology Officer Rajat Taneja has claimed in a LinkedIn post (thanks, GamesIndustry) that the Xbox One and PS4's architectures are "a generation ahead of the highest end PC on the market."
You can't see my face right now, but it's contorted into an expression of bemused bewilderment. That's because of an interview by ShackNews with the excellently named Matt Booty, Microsoft's "general manager of Redmond Game Studios and Platforms". In it, he distances the company's Windows game strategy away from the perception of the "more traditional desktop PC game," heavily suggesting that the majority of the Xbox One's "15 exclusives" won't be arriving on Microsoft's other platform.
While the internet took cover from the barrage of Xbox One announcement news yesterday, some pertinent details for us PC gamers slowly rose to the surface of the TV-TV-Sports-Dog news conference. Among them were the release date for Battlefield 4, what the Xbox One might mean for PC gamers, and the hint that the Kinect 2.0 will eventually be available for Windows.
As part of last night's Xbox One reveal, EA introduced Ignite, the shiny new engine that'll power their next-gen sporting titles - including the upcoming FIFA 14. EA say Ignite will allow them to deliver better physics, AI and animation to the pitch. And after year upon year of minor iterations, a dramatic overhaul to the underlying EA Sports tech sounds rather exciting. Which makes it all the more annoying that the engine won't be coming to PC.
Microsoft’s Xbox One reveal this morning didn’t present any immediate or obvious implications for Our Dear Hobby. Conspicuously few games were shown during the debut of a new video game console, and no games were demonstrated live. Microsoft mostly spoke about the new utilities (Skype!), partnerships (NFL!), and living room takeover (Kinect!) we’ll expect from the Xbox One when it releases this year. From a technical perspective, 8 GB of RAM is the only concrete hardware spec Microsoft dropped.
The big finale at Microsoft's Xbox One reveal today was not Call of Duty: Ghosts. It was Call of Duty: Ghosts' instantly famous mo-capped dog. That's right, Ghosts will feature Peter Molyneux's essential invention: a dog companion to keep us company as we fight back against an oppressive someone. This is Call of Doggy. Collar Duty. The rex generation of gaming. I could go on, but I'll stop before you flea.