Ubisoft is at it again with an announcement that they will delay review copies of the game The Crew until launch day. Their justification for this is that there is no way to properly test the game with such a small group of people. On their blog they claim “it’s only possible to assess our game in its entirety with other real players in the world. And by other, we mean thousands and thousands and thousands of players – something that can’t be simulated with a handful of devs playing alongside the press.”
The PC Gaming market has not short supply of great gaming mice. There are so many these days that someone could get lost looking through them all. You can even go so far as to choose a mouse that works for the particular game type that you like. The problem is that once you get this great mouse home you might have to run it across a surface that is… less that optimal. Here in the mouse pad vertical there are a number of products, but not all are suited to gaming and not all fill fit every gaming style. Today we are looking at a pair of mouse pads that can offer you either precision or speed. These are part of Kingston’s new dive into the peripheral market and are call HyperX Skyn. Let’s see what they have for us.
One sad thing about the gaming world is the far too many great development studios seem to fade away and be absorbed by the big companies. If you look at the past we can see this repeated over and over again. One of the most recent to be assimilated is Irrational Games. This dev house was, in many ways, the spiritual successor of Looking Glass Studios who was responsible for the original System Shock and Thief. These two games gave us entirely new ways to move through a game world and have been the inspiration for a number of games since then.
Hey remember the group that launched the DDoS attack on Steam? Well they are back and have decided to make a little bit bigger of a statement than just throwing packets at a group of servers. This time they appear to have managed to grab a large number of user information from companies like Blizzard, Ubisoft and many others. They have taken this information and (unsurprisingly) dumped it to paste bin. If you do not know who we are talking about it is the DerpTrolling “hacker” group and they have been on a mission to shame just about every game publishing/distribution company on the planet.
The US patent system is broken. There is not really much more to say about that it is and has been broken for many years and probably will continue to be broken for many years to come. Now why am I bringing this up? Well in looking over the way patents are filed, processed, and approved you will find that there are a large number of patents that are essentially the same thing just with a little twist. This type of patent allows for someone to put a legal hold on a very broad concept and then comeback and sue someone at a later date. Over the last few years we have watched a number of companies work the system with this type of patent and worse.
The world of storage is evolving very quickly as the way PCs are built change. We have watched as the traditional single dive systems have given way to hybrid drives, multiple disk systems and even systems with additional cache in them. All of these measures are designed to give you more options for your system, but there is (at times) a limit to what can be done. This is typically the size of the drive. For years the typical disk was 3.5 inches and about ½ of what the common bay height was. With the original SSDs this dropped significantly and has been followed on by mSATA, mini-mSATA and now M.2. These offer high density storage in a very small package. Today we are checking out ADATA’s SP900NS38 256GB M.2 SATA SSD. Let’s see what kind of performance it offers shall we?
The world lives in fear of zero-day exploits although the average person does not even know it. A zero-day exploit is a bug or a flaw that has not been discovered by the developers yet, but is known to someone outside. This can be good guys, bad guys or other, but it is still a flaw that can be used to do harm to a computer system and no one has a patch for it yet. When the good guys (security researchers) know about them they work with companies to patch them. When the bad guys know about these things get very ugly indeed. But what happens if someone knows about one (or a bunch of them) and does not tell anyone at all?
The idea of hardcoding a flaw into a game to identify pirate is a pretty old one and one that has been used on more than one occasion. Ubisoft has done this with their most recent game Far Cry 4 by removing a control from the game. The control is the field of view (FOV) in the game. Apparently when the game was put out this control was missing and it was not given out until a patch that you can only get with a legally purchased copy of the game.
There is a misconception in the industry as a whole that “pirates” are inherently evil people and bent on nothing less than the destruction of civilized society. The fact that this sounds like the plot from a bad movie/game is probably not a coincidence. In Hollywood at least the way they portray piracy is right out of fantasy land from their numbers to their claims on how they are about keeping jobs. In the gaming industry it is often not the developers that worry about piracy, but the big distribution/publishing groups. They are very worried about the money they make and also follow the same line as Hollywood when talking about the effects of piracy on their business.
It seems that Ubisoft is trying to get out from under the stigma the bad launch of Assassin’s Creed Unity. After pushing what many are calling a half-baked game, they have made a few excuses and have also promised different patches to remedy the bugs including a day one patch that really did not do much to make things better. So what is Ubisoft pointing at now to remove blame from themselves? Well some of the choices are entertaining to say the least.