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Havok photo

Intel is selling Havok to Microsoft

Floppy bodies
Oct 02
// Jordan Devore
Microsoft is purchasing physics engine maker Havok from Intel for an undisclosed sum. The company confirmed with IGN that the technology will continue to be licensed to "the broad AAA games industry," including companies maki...
Microsoft photo

Ex-Xbox boss: 'I think there will be another generation' of consoles

But what would it look like?
Sep 08
// Vikki Blake
Former Xbox boss, Robbie Bach, believes that there will be another generation of consoles... but they probably won't look, or operate, much like they do today.  Talking to Geekwire, Bach -- who was head of Xbox for ...
Weird engine tests photo
Weird engine tests

Mario, but completely covered in fur thanks to Unreal 4

More weird engine tests
Jul 07
// Steven Hansen
Do you remember how many Super Mario Bros. recreations littered LittleBigPlanet? Mario is iconic. He is video games. So it's not surprising folks messing around in Unreal Engine 4 continue to use the model. It's more fun in ...
AI photo

Our mechanical overlords have mastered Mario

Praise be to MarI/O, father of Archos
Jun 18
// Joe Parlock
This is how it starts, I fucking know it. First it’s cute little tricks like playing football. Then it’s some actually kind of impressive stuff like this AI who has managed to learn and beat a Mario level in 34 tr...

Summer Lesson photo
Summer Lesson

Summer Lesson looks like everything I want from virtual reality right now

S-sign me up?
Jun 17
// Josh Tolentino
OK, real talk: That headline makes me sound like a giant creeper because, in case you didn't know, Summer Lesson is a Sony Morpheus-based tech demo that involves you just sitting beside a girl, listening to her, an...

Halt and Catch Fire explores the early days of online gaming

May 28 // Alessandro Fillari
[embed]292774:58672:0[/embed] Twenty months after the end of season one in 1985, the lead characters have essentially moved on from work on PCs and plan on striking out into something new. After the launch of the Giant, the PC they spent all of the first season building, Joe McMillan (Lee Pace) seeks to rebuild his life after ultimately compromising on his vision for what the future of computers could be, and realizing that his methods of success have harmed others. His number two, Gordon Clark (Scoot McNairy), struggles to find direction after departing Cardiff Electric, and Cameron Howe (Mackenzie Davis) and Donna Clarke (Kerry Bishé) have been hard at work on their new start-up company Mutiny, an online gaming network running on the Commodore 64 platform. With users paying a monthly fee to play multiple titles online with a community of gamers, they seek to expand the company and plan to change the way people seek entertainment and communicate with others. Much like the last season, Halt and Catch Fire's attention to detail and faithfulness to the era is as strong as ever. Focusing on the early stages of the consumer version of what we now know as the Internet, there's a lot of ground to cover for a start-up that deals with the state of online gaming. Though there were other (real) online PC services that offered gaming and many other functions around 1985 -- such as Prodigy, CompuServe, and Quantum Link (now known as AOL) -- the fictional Mutiny of HACF is a service that exclusively streams games to users. With such titles as Tank Battle, Checkers, Chess, and Backgammon serving as the basics, much of their attention towards game creation is focused on a title known as Parallax, a MUD (Multi User Dungeon) RPG series that spans multiple chapters. Looking back, the 1980s was a strange time for games. With the console video game market in a crisis, arcades serving as a hub for social interaction and competitive gaming, and the home PC audience gradually expanding, it's certainly a far cry from what we experience now in the present. What I really like from these episodes so far is that we're seeing a sense of  uncertainty during the time. Given that this is set post-video game console crash, games on cartridges are often regarded by characters as inferior to the offerings and potential of PC gaming. During one of my favorite scenes, the coders at Mutiny are discussing what game to work on next, with one of the new hires suggesting that they focus on technical innovation rather than game creation, as the former usually gives rise to the later. [embed]292774:58671:0[/embed] It's interesting to see a television series focus not only on game development, but the building of an online community during 1980s. Let alone doing it in a way that actually depicts realism, and quite frankly, honesty for what the gaming audience is all about. I watch a lot of television. I'm quite used to seeing different programs spout out random catchphrases and obligatory references to popular games in order to connect with gamers. But the brilliant thing about Halt and Catch Fire is that it not only features characters who are hardcore gamers, but they use their passion as the fuel for their creative endeavors. And that is refreshing to see on a television series. I was a big admirer of the first season, and though it felt a bit uneven and had some pacing issues, it definitely showed potential to become something great. And I can safely say that its potential is finally being realized in its second outing. I was impressed with the beginning of this season, and though I may be biased because it's got a deep focus on gaming, I feel that the new change of scenery, and a new focus, has given the series a much needed rejuvenation. It sure feels much more energetic and hipper because of it. If you haven't seen the show yet, the first season is available now on Netflix, and its second season is set to debut May 31 on AMC. If you're interested in the creation of technology, and hearing a bumping soundtrack to go along with it, then I highly recommend giving it a watch. Also, this series has by far the coolest TV intro ever. That alone is enough to deserve it your attention.
Halt and Catch Fire photo
The thing that gets us to the thing
In case you couldn't tell, the 1980s is having a bit of comeback. With so many games and films (Kung Fury is out today!) seeking to emulate the vibrant and lively era, there's plenty of people out there feeling nostalgic for ... photo

Twitch is reducing its delay for partners

Reduced by 500 years
May 14
// Joe Parlock
[Update: Turns out this applies to all streamers, and not just partners. This has been confirmed in a tweet from the Twitch PR director.] Hey, Twitch streamers! Remember those glorious days a few years ago when the delay on ...
Xbox One photo
Xbox One

Xbox founder thinks Sony is winning the console war

Has Sony "won by a nose"?
May 04
// Vikki Blake
Ed Fries -- part of the original team that created the first Xbox way back in 2001 -- thinks that Sony's PlayStation 4 is leading the current-gen console war "by a nose." Fries added that while Microsoft had slashed prices re...
Square x Soft photo
Square x Soft

Final Fantasy XV dev put together this DirectX 12 tech demo for Microsoft

Square x Soft
May 01
// Steven Hansen
It's so weird how many computer companies and developers had or have the word "soft" in their names. Squaresoft, Microsoft, Ubisoft. It's like a menagerie of Pau Gasols out here am I right folks. I put together some words in...
Witcher beard photo
Witcher beard

Geralt will grow a beard while you play The Witcher 3

Mar 23
// Jordan Devore
Some would call beard growth in videogames insignificant -- a waste of time. They would be wrong. As spotted in the NeoGAF recap of German gaming magazine's factoid-filled coverage of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, pro...
SteelSeries Sentry photo
SteelSeries Sentry

I couldn't trick the eye-tracking tech in Assassin's Creed Rogue

Say 'trick the eye-tracking tech' five times fast
Mar 06
// Brett Makedonski
Whenever I get my hands on new technology, my first inclination is to try to break it. Well, not the way Fred Durst likes to break stuff, but to see if I can expose any hiccups in the design. Going into a demo for the SteelSe...
A 4K Ouya photo
A 4K Ouya

New Nvidia Shield is a $200 Android console

A 4K Ouya
Mar 03
// Steven Hansen
Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang has announced the company's own sort of Ouya/Amazon Fire TV, the "world's first 4K Android TV console," the Tegra X1-powered Nvidia Shield. Not to be confused with Nvidia's recent Nvidia Shield. It i...
GDC news photo
GDC news

Sony's virtual reality hat Morpheus coming to PlayStation 4 in 2016

Slick new GDC prototype
Mar 03
// Steven Hansen
In the last month or so, invitations to various virtual reality headset demonstrations have made up a huge chunk of my inbox. GDC is into virtual reality.  I worry someone will pull some garish box out of their bag this ...
AC Rogue on PC photo
AC Rogue on PC

Assassin's Creed Rogue's PC port will be first triple-A game to use eye-tracking

Made possible by SteelSeries Sentry
Feb 05
// Brett Makedonski
When Assassin's Creed Rogue comes to PC later this spring, players will be able to take advantage of some optional tech that, in a sense, won't restrict their field of vision to the confines of their screen; in fact, it...
Crazy tech demo photo
Crazy tech demo

Unreal 4 can help make some ridiculously photo realistic apartments

Can I live here? It must still be cheaper than San Francisco
Jan 27
// Steven Hansen
3D artist and level designer Benoît Dereau, who has previously worked on Dishonored, has made one of the most impressive Unreal Engine 4 tech demos I've seen, as far as photo realism goes. It makes PT lo...

You saw Microsoft's crazy hologram headset, right?

Jan 21 // Jordan Devore
[embed]286513:56976:0[/embed] It's unlikely that the end consumer product will exactly match the ambition of this concept video but, even if Microsoft gets partway there with HoloLens, we're one step closer to The Future as envisioned by Hollywood. One step closer to becoming Tony Stark. What a time to be alive. Other gaming-related announcements were made during the Windows 10 event: Microsoft is working on an Xbox app with Xbox Live-style social functionality and Achievements. Sure, why not? We'll be able to stream Xbox One games through our local network to a Windows 10 PC or tablet. "[M]any Xbox One accessories will work interchangeably on the console and PC (with more on the way)," says the company. Xbox One's recording/editing/sharing Game DVR software will be a part of Windows 10 "whether [you're] on Xbox Live, Steam, or other services." Fable Legends will release on Xbox One and Windows 10 simultaneously and the game supports cross-platform play. (Remember Shadowrun 2007?) This represents "just the first of the major game franchises from Microsoft Studios coming to Windows 10." DirectX 12 is a Windows 10 exclusive. My graphics card just got another wrinkle. Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 users can upgrade to Windows 10 for free for the first year. And finally, Cortana -- she's here to stay as a personal assistant. Yay?
Holograms! photo
HoloLens, DirectX 12, and actual Microsoft Studios games on PC
Earlier today, Microsoft held a Windows 10 event. My stream kept dying, but I posted about the Battletoads shirt worn by head of Xbox Phil Spencer during his segment about gaming. Much of the event was uninteresting or irrele...

SpeedTree photo

Congrats on the Academy Award, SpeedTree

We were rooting for you
Jan 13
// Jordan Devore
Do you ever take a moment to stop and admire the scenery? Too often are we focused on mindlessly pushing forward to the next objective to notice the little details. Foliage, man. Take it in. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts...
Nvidia grass tech demo photo
Nvidia grass tech demo

Nvidia's new grass tech demo is pretty neat

Like watching grass grow
Oct 27
// Darren Nakamura
Okay, I mostly wanted to write this story because grass behavior is stereotypically one of the dullest things out there, right next to watching paint dry. But to be honest, the tech demo above is actually pretty cool. I can ...

Apple announces the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus

Sep 09
// Dale North
Tim Cook called it the "biggest advancement in iPhone." We called it the worst of their long history of poorly kept secrets.  Two sizes: both the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus were announced this morning at Apple's pres...
Samsung photo

Here's the more expensive version of Google Cardboard from Samsung

Samsung's new VR headset will be a lot pricier than cardboard
Aug 14
// Brittany Vincent
Samsung has announced that it will be showing its rumored virtual reality headset, codenamed "Project Moonlight," at its upcoming product event show in early September where it is widely expected to also announce the Galaxy N...
Epic Games UK photo
Epic Games UK

Epic Games UK set up to work on Unreal Engine 4

Formerly Pitbull Studio
Aug 05
// Jordan Devore
Most of us won't recognize Pitbull Studio by name, but the company has worked with Epic Games in the past on Gears of War: Judgment and, most notably, Unreal Engine 4. Now, the two are further extending their partnership as P...

CES expands to Asia with a new tradeshow in Shanghai

Launching May 2015
Jul 17
// Dale North
The Consumer Electronic Show is one of my favorite events. It was Destructoid's very first trade show, and we've been back every year we've been in business. While not necessarily a videogame trade show, it still brings us bi...

Microsoft layoffs cut 18,000 workers

Nokia division hit hard
Jul 17
// Dale North
Microsoft says that they're working to realign their workforce, with the first step being a large scale workforce reduction of up to 18,000 jobs. They say that the vast majority of the jobs that will be eliminated will happen...
Samsung photo

Here's Samsung's bid at entering the VR market

It's all red
Jul 09
// Brittany Vincent
A new leaked image of Samsung's entry into the VR headset arena is making its rounds on the internet today. Known as Gear VR, it's poised to implement software co-developed by Rift creator Oculus, with screens and additional ...

Razer micro console powered by Android TV revealed at Google I/O

Gaming focused, affordable
Jun 25
// Dale North
A new product, a Razer "micro-console" powered by Android TV, was shown as part of the keynote at Google I/O today. This is a device that will stream games and other content to televisions. Razer says that it will be priced t...

Microsoft acquires cloud-computing company GreenButton

High-performance cloud tech
May 02
// Dale North
Microsoft has acquired a high-performance cloud-computing company named GreenButton today. The two companies have worked together in the past, with GreenButton also providing services to HP, Amazon, and others. But TechCrunch...
ZeniMax vs. Oculus VR photo
ZeniMax vs. Oculus VR

ZeniMax seeking compensation over the Oculus Rift

Asserts Carmack worked on IP while at id that went into the headset
May 01
// Jordan Devore
id Software parent company ZeniMax Media has sent a "formal notice of its legal rights" to Oculus VR and Facebook over intellectual property worked on by chief technology officer John Carmack while he was still at id that Zen...
Windows photo

Windows Start Menu slated to return in the near future

Just like starting over
Apr 24
// Brittany Vincent
In a marked change of pace for typical Windows releases, Terry Myerson, head of Microsoft’s Windows and Xbox software division, demonstrated a prototype build of a hybridized Start Menu. Combining the classic function ...

Grush, the gaming toothbrush

This is a thing
Apr 23
// Dale North
I have this thing about breath. I'm not so concerned about those that just had coffee or ate roasted garlic. It's more about the people with the breath that lets you know that they just don't bother to brush. That breath. Th...

Sony's Project Morpheus: An impressive first showing

Mar 20 // Dale North
Headset impressions We admired the headset before strapping it onto our heads. Sony's version of VR looks bigger and heavier than Rift, but it certainly doesn't feel heavy when wearing it. Trying out Oculus' second development kit this week, I thought that it felt a little heavy on my face and nose. Sony has engineered a solution that has a couple of straps letting the back of the head do the holding, keeping the weight off the nose and cheekbones. An elastic band gets you started, but a secondary plastic band with clickable tightening points does most of the work. It's pretty comfortable, and removing it doesn't mess up your hair as much as Rift does. Morpheus looks pretty slick with its glossy white finish and black matte trim. The colored lights that it uses for tracking are also attractive. But for as slick as it looks off, I can't say that it looks cool on anyone I've seen wearing it. And, of course, you won't see any of the design or trim work when you're using it. The Deep Sony's London Studios have built a really impressive demo that has users deep diving the ocean in a shark cage. My nervous giggles and head darts turned into full-on uncomfortable blurts of laughter as a large shark circled around my cage, breaking it down piece by piece with its terrifying mouth. After the first few shark attacks, looking down and to my left, I noticed that my character had started bleeding a bit, with clouds of red starting to seep up from my body. It was fun, and not unlike a theme park experience. Though The Deep was limited on the interactivity front, it's easily the most visually impressive VR demo I've experienced. The clarity of the 3D effect, the quality of the demo assets, and the level of immersion were all very high. It looked less like a demo and more like a full-on VR game. The Deep was also one of the most immersive VR demos I've tried. Having to sit and wait as the cage descended kept me tense, and knowing that I only had a flare gun to defend myself made it that much worse. A DualShock 4 controller held in one hand let me freely aim and fire the flare gun, and its tracking of my movements with it was spot-on. Excellent head and body tracking tech also let me turn my head in any direction and even turn fully around to follow the shark as he circled my cage. I drew back in fear at the shark's final attack, and I could see and feel my avatar's body drawing back with me.  The Castle While The Deep was limited in control, The Castle let me go all-out with two PlayStation Move controllers. Situated in front of a knight dummy, I was able to use my virtual hands to punch, push, pull, and otherwise manipulate it through the Move controllers, with completely accurate 1:1 control. Later, I was able to draw a sword from my side to cut at it. I tried grabbing the dummy's head with one hand (by gripping the Move's trigger) and lopping it off with the other using a sword, and liked it so much that I dismembered several more dummies before continuing. Just being in this virtual world and looking around was quite the experience. Even simple parts of it, like trying to pick up a sword, just missing, and then trying to catch it as it falls, feels impressively immersive. I saw that I was standing on a grate in front of a castle, and I tried walking forward a few steps to get a better look. I looked down and saw the moat that lied below that grate and felt a real sense of vertigo, and I felt my knees catching. This looked and felt very realistic! As the demo continued, I was able to take hold of a crossbow and shoot at dummies and other targets in the world. By holding up a PS Move controller and squeezing the trigger, I easily took targets out. I found it interesting that I could draw the controller close to my face and close one eye to get a better look through the crossbow's crosshairs.  The demo wrapped up with one of my shots aggravating what I thought was a statue of a huge dragon. It came alive and devoured me. Seeing my virtual head going into its massive mouth was pretty freaky. EVE: Valkyrie While we've seen CCP's EVE: Valkyrie before, the Project Morpheus build is easily the best version we've seen. It looks more fleshed out visually, and there's much more polish in its interfaces and assets. It also feels more like a game now than it ever has. Flying around space requires more work, and taking down enemy ships requires more hits. Enemies have hit points, and they're more than happy to dodge your missiles and come back at you while you're trying to avoid asteroid collisions. Even in its unfinished state, running on this non-final prototype kit, I'd happily buy Project Morpheus as is to play more of EVE: Valkyrie.  Impressions: Sony has had a very strong first showing for their Project Morpheus VR platform. It's clear that they've been working behind the scenes for some time now, and that this offering isn't just a me-too product. Overall, I've been more impressed with what I've seen right out of the gate than I have with any of the numerous Oculus Rift showings I've attended. The device looks better, fits better, and seems to have more immersive and higher-quality demos to share.  Oculus Rift still wins on resolution, and there is less motion blur in their latest kit, though. And they have what seems like all the brain power in the world at their disposal to figure out any issues that might come up otherwise. But both companies still have a long way to go before they have a final product. They have to build the final kit, come up with compelling experiences, and meet a price point that gamers can accept before VR will become a reality.
Sony VR hands-on photo
First hands-on at GDC
Sony choose GDC as its coming out party for its virtual reality platform, Project Morpheus. The goal was to build interest at a show where just about every developer in the industry is in attendance. And from the look of the ...

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