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.
When I first started covering the computer world the most common resolution was 640x680 with the hard core gamers getting 800x600. The dream of the day, which some called the golden age of gaming, was 1600x1200 with around 30Fps. Now the dream is “photo realistic” resolutions without the need for heavy anti-aliasing and texture filtering. Even in the mobile world this is becoming a bigger issue with retina displays on the Apple side of the world and 3 and 4k screens on the PC side.
Although there is enough news about the new iPhones and iOS8 already we thought we would finally chime in since there are now around six separate stories about the new device from Apple. We are seeing everything from high cellular usage to the phones bending in someone’s pocket. Apple, to their credit actually rushed out a fix for many of these issues… sadly the fix appears to make things worse.
A new report from security research firm, Aspect Security confirms what we have been saying for years: developers simply do not know how to secure their applications. In a recent study where a group of developers were asked questions on security Aspect found that about 80% of them did not know how to protect sensitive data. This is something that we have found in our experience in dealing with vendors and other application developers.
As the title of this article suggests there is another new video on the internet that claims to show the Windows 9 menu and how it all works. The appearance of the video comes on the heels of more than one alleged screen shot and some other items that have leaked from Microsoft themselves. As we all know Microsoft has a lot riding on the next version of Windows simply because of the lack of consumer acceptance that Windows 8.x has had.
Over the past few months there have been more than a few articles about Crytek and its financial stability. We have heard many rumors including one that claimed they (Crytek) were unable to pay their employees. These rumors have come from multiple sources and appear to be backed up by more than a few key players leaving the company.
Network and application security are big deals and big business these days. It seems that a day does not pass that you hear about a new breach, exploit, hack or something. This sad state has prompted a few companies to actually look outside their organizations for help and offer bug bounties to individual researchers that find holes in applications and hardware. These bounties can be quite the incentive to get people to tear into your application looking for exploits, but even more important than rewards is having a clear method to report problems and a team that actually responds to them when they are found.
Have you ever been in one of those situations where nothing you say will make things better? You know what we are talking about, you made the initial comment and now… well you just can’t fix it. This is about where Ubisoft is at the moment. After a developer and an art director made the claim that adding in playable female characters into Assassin’s Creed Unity, they have been trying to make things better and only making them worse.
Although the concept of Virtual Reality (VR) is nothing new, there has always been something of a roadblock for this technology. That roadblock is money, if you do not have the money for the hardware and the programing APIs you are not going to develop for it. This is pretty much the fate of any technology that is stuck in the hands of a few large companies. Just look at 3D, we do not see 3D as more prevalent in gaming and movies because of cost.
Ubisoft dumbing down Watchdogs for PC, Crytek losing money, game devs claiming next gen consoles will match the graphical look of the PC on Ultra: all of these are interesting signs to a troubling possibility. Is the gaming industry moving away from the PC and focusing on the close environment of the console? From some of the information and the items we listed above it would seem so. Is this a trend of the future? Or is this simply what the industry does whenever they see new consoles hit the market?