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Project Scorpio Specs Revealed

Project Scorpio: Console Gaming's Next Big Step

Microsoft recently claimed that their upcoming console code named "Project Scorpio" is the most powerful console on the planet. A recent report from Digital Foundry seemingly supports this claim by showing off the internal specs of the upcoming hardware.

To start, the console contains 12 GB of RAM, which is currently 50 percent more than both the Xbox One and Playstation 4. The memory being used is GDDR5, the type that is seen in the PS4 now and more powerful than the current Xbox One's DDR3. The memory bandwidth has also been improved, Project Scorpio's transfer speed is 326 GB's which even faster than PS4 Pro's speed of 218 GB's.

The new console's graphical power is contained in a new System on Chip (SoC) deemed the Scorpio Engine. This new chip was designed in conjunction with AMD and contains 40 customized compute units that clock in at 1172 MHz. Scorpio's GPU is about 4.6 more powerful than the Xbox One's, which comes out to about 6 teraflops of performance.

MORE POWER

Project Scorpio also contains eight custom x86 CPU cores that clock at 2.3 GHz. This is faster than Xbox One's eight 1.75 GHz Jaguar cores and almost equal to PS4's similar cores that run at 2.1 GHz.

Finally, the new console will include a 1 TB hard drive and will support 4K Ultra HD Blu-Rays, which are the same discs Xbox One S can use. This is better than the standard Xbox One, PS4, and PS4 Pro that can only support standard Blu-Ray.

This console sounds amazing and we can't wait to get our hands on one. Hopefully with Project Scorpio's ability to run at a consistent 60 FPS and at 4K to boot, this piece of hardware is a console gamers dream. Gigamax will be watching the developments of this console very closely, so don't forget to keep checking back for more updates.

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Battlefield 1 | Campaign

Battlefield 1

EA DICE did something incredible with Battlefield 1. This gritty, action packed first person shooter is something that will be remembered. The campaign offers an immersive and cinematic experience that truly feels like you’re fighting for your life. Gigs and Mack wanted to bring you in on some of this action. Below you will find the GIgamax Battlefield 1 Playlist.

Battlefield 1, battlefield, bf1, gaming, new games, new releases, video games, battlefield game, playstation, xbox one, shooter, first person,

From the campaign to scores of heart stopping multiplayer action, the Battlefield 1 Playlist has it all. Be sure to check back for all the latest updates as Gigs and Mack will be constantly adding new content as time goes on. EA DICE continues to release new DLC and updates and the Gigamax crew couldn’t be happier. As the game continues to evolve, you can be sure Gigs and Mack will continue to play Battlefield 1.

 

We hope you all enjoy our peak at Battlefield 1 Campaign and Multiplayer. If you want more, consistent and exciting gameplay of the latest games, make sure you subscribe to keep up with the action. GIGAMAX on YouTube

Thank you all so much for taking the time to join us at Gigamax Games!

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Virtual Reality: The Next Frontier

Virtual Reality has always been an eluding dream for gamers of all kinds. We had some novelty VR experiences out there, at Disney, Arcades and other attractions. They were cool, exciting, but the user had little to no control over their experience in that interactive digital world. These past couple years has finally broke that trend, letting VR users explore and open and interactive world. Many of the systems out there, Oculus, Vive even cheaper versions like Google Cardboard was this technologies segway into the consumer market. The virtual world was nearly upon us.

VR gaming offers the user an experience that was next to impossible to achieve without this incredible technology. The first time I put on my Playstation VR and became completely immersed in the gaming world, I was shocked and bewildered. I fell in love with this incredible way to game. The second I unboxed my Playstation VR I knew it was going to be something mindblowing. It looked like a fighter jet helmet when you first opened that slick packaging it came in. (This really doesn’t have anything to do with the system or the technology, but the box it came it is something to note. It was a sleek white box and to open it, you pushed the top back and it kind of looked like a treasure chest. The only thing that would have made it cooler would be a light shining up and “ahhh” was sang when it opened.)

PSVR - Impression

The first game I played on the VR was “No Man’s Sky”, before you look it up, no, it is not VR compatible. But playing non-VR games on Playstation VR is still an experience. It opens the game screen up inside the visor, basically acting like a personal IMAX theater. I purchased my VR at the midnight release and had work early in the morning so I started the download of Eve Valkyrie(a Playstation VR compatible game) and wanted to at least try the thing out before I went to bed, so ‘No Man’s Sky” was my go-to.

First, I looked around at the world of this alien planet., a bit disappointed I was still playing in 2D. I walked around a little bit, with each step becoming a little more amazed by this technology that was strapped around my head. Before long, my character wandered off a cliff and plummeted into the water below. Instinctively I threw my hands up, controller goes flying, thinking I’m actually falling off a damn cliff.

My first run of a VR compatible game was right after work the day of release. Valkyrie was downloaded and I was ready for my first go at a true Virtual Reality experience. It was everything I could have imagined and more. I was completely immersed in this world filled with spaceships and enemy threats,. The first mission had me flying this incredible craft through the void of space and I was watching my hands minic my controls as this spaceship pilot. I saw my shoulders, the inside of my craft from every angle, and tracking targets to the left and right of me with my eyes and head., It truly made me feel as though I was in this craft, billions of miles away flying through space. As cool as it was, I do have to admit there are areas which the technology and games need to improve.

Limitations vs. Functionality

The Playstation VR functioned great, easy to set up and delivered an extremely thrilling Virtual Reality experience. However, the resolution was something that threw me off at first. I was a bit confused, expecting to see a 1080p screen in front of my eyes and instead saw this slightly pixilated, holographic world that surrounded me. When I say ‘slightly pixilated’ I am more referring to the way a holographic playing card looks when you shift it to perform its action. It was strange and took a little time to get used to. Yet, after putting a few hours in, I completely forgot about the slight imperfection in the screens resolution.

There is one thing I need from my Playstation VR that it just can't deliver on, a full fledged single-player adventure game. Granted, it has been only a few weeks since the hardware became available to the masses. Resident Evil 7 is something to look forward to, but the games that are coming out which have VR aspects are usually only available on some levels. Call of Duty Infinite Warfare, Tomb Raider, Battlefront just to name a few games that are coming out with VR missions. But these are really the only things that I have against Playstation VR, other than that it’s a good buy.

Thank you all so much for reading, hope you enjoyed my impression of Playstation VR and Virtual Reality gaming in general. We as gamers have come so far and the technology only continues to get cooler. Can’t wait to see how this technology progresses in the next few years. In all honestly, the next few months have a lot in store as well. Check back soon for more reviews, tech and industry news!

We Happy Few – Stay Happy

Author: @Joystickfox
Find more from her here! Kitsuga.com

 

*Disclaimer time: We Happy Few is early access, and so it’s not a complete game. Compulsion Games has said that it is “feature complete” but the story has been held back so that players can get a feel for the game in early access. *

We Happy Few, is one of those games that was destined to be disappointing right out of the gate. After a stellar showing at E3, and a whole lot of media hype, the early access quietly launched in July of this year. From the first showing at E3, you would not be remiss to think this is a game with a strong story, about a repressed 1960s England full of censorship and happy pills. You might, however, be disappointed with the story. Under that happy cherry opening segment lies a fairly robust survival game backed up with solid mechanics and an amply stimulating sandbox world, but the story will have to be really strong to stand up on its own. Permadeath can make things frustrating when you get a run of bad luck, but you can always turn it off. Based on the Beta, this isn’t a story driven game in any sense of the word. To be fair, the game may have story at some point, and the developers have put the bones of a story in, but as of now We Happy Few is just missing reasons for its objectives, something I’m sure can be added later on.

So what do you get with this game? A robust survival-based game, set in a fun world of 1960s England full of interesting things to explore and find and craft. If you haven’t seen the intro video from E3, here. That should give you a pretty feeling for what the game looks like. Visually, it accurately captures the atmosphere of the 60s. Bright colors and plastic things abound, and the early bright environments in the beginning of the game stand in stark contrast to the first game play area, which is mostly gritty and a muted earth tone.

I was surprised to find this was a survival game, as the E3 trailer made it look like more of a story driven sort of game narrative based action. The game has plenty of action, but as of now, there is no story beyond that introduction you see in that video. That doesn’t mean there isn’t more to understand about the world, just that in terms of narration and other story based elements, the developers are holding that back for now. What you get for story is a whole lot of flavor. if you stop to read the text in the intro section for example, you get an understanding of the happiness drug, as well as a frame narrative and some story background. In case you don’t want to read it, I’ll summarize: WWII is over, the allies lost, Britain is a colony of Germany. To combat sadness, a drug has been invented to keep people happy. This pill is the “joy” we heard about in the trailer, and seems to be a main plot point of the game. Those who refuse to take their joy are called “downers” and exiled to a rundown part of the city.

Story stuff aside what this game really is a great survival game. After playing the game’s intro section I was set off into the open world to explore. Basically, you wake up in an old tube tunnel and go from there. This brief second tutorial has us collecting a few raw materials, doing a bit of crafting, and finishing your first “mission”. Then it’s out of the tunnel and on your own. Exiting the tunnel takes you to the dreary surface world, where other burned out “downers” like you make their home.

Like most survival games, you will need to pay attention to various meters in this game. In this case we manage 3 resources for living and a stamina meter. Yes there is combat in this game, but let’s talk about those meters first. Just like most survival games, We Happy Few starts you out with very few raw materials, so you have to immediately start looking for clean water, food, and weapons.

My biggest problem was finding a place to sleep. Sleep is a real resource here, and needs to be managed. After a short time, if you don’t sleep you end up not able to run or fight in an efficient manner. I had no trouble finding food and water, but finding a safe place to sleep was a serious issue. Food was pretty common, but a lot of it was spoiled, and could cause sickness. When sick, the player would not get anything on their hunger meter, and vomit the food up. Sickness can be countered by precious pills that are sprinkled throughout the map. These rare resources tend to only come with combat, so sadly being a peaceful gatherer doesn’t seem to be an option.

Let’s talk about that combat: It’s all Melee based (from what I could see), and it’s a very basic system. Weapons are primitive, like you might find in a destroyed town. The most powerful weapon I was able to find was a cricket bat, which was a one hit kill on most enemies. Other weapons included sticks, rocks, and a few other random items found around. Later, crafting can get you traps and other things to use for combat.

I found the crafting to be quite fun, and very in-depth. I hope they will add more recipes and more cooking later on, but for now it has enough to keep it interesting. You can craft a lot of basic things right now using simple base materials and this is important to surviving in the world you’re dropped into. The game’s starter area is quite well populated, and most people are docile until provoked. I did find a few hostile folks early on, and in some cases found myself straight-up murdered. Did I mention this game features Permadeath? Yeah, it does. So when you die, you gotta start all over again.

Timewise, folks should have no issue with the value they get for their game. I was able to map about 40% of the first map in my longest play through. Two hours of play and that was just 40% of the first area. This is going to be a large game, with many NPC’s and quests to do, in addition to the simple survival objectives.

The game creates a dilemma between wanting to explore and find raw resources, and wanting to stay close enough to home to not die. There are other games that have nailed this in the past, but as far as I can tell,We Happy Few is doing it in a vastly different way. The combat feels fast and fresh, the crafting isn’t cumbersome, and the permadeath keeps things interesting. If Compulsion can get a story shoehorned into this game without hurting the broad open world feel, this one is going to be a big hit.

We Happy Few is available in the steam early access program right now, and in the eshop from Microsoft and Sony.

 

Next-Gen Mobile Gaming: Which Phone Will Prevail

Before you say ‘a console’ lets remember how damn accessible our phones are and how amazing it would be if we could finally take serious gaming, mobile. This next generation of mobile phone technology is supposably the tech that will bring the new world of mobile gaming into fruition.

We’re not saying mobile games" alt="mobile games">mobile games aren’t already incredibly successful right now. The mobile phone video game industry is a $36.6 billion (with a B) a year industry already. What we’re implying is the ability to take console-like or near console-like gaming and push it down into your mobile phone. Mobile games have already taken a huge bite out of the leading mobile console, the Nintendo 3DS. Nintendo revised their annual sales projections for the 2015-2016 fiscal year and lowered their sales estimates for the 3DS to 6.6 million down from 7.6 million. Now that new mobile phones are promising such an incredible improvement to mobile gaming, it could have an even more dramatic impact on Nintendo’s 3DS sales.

Mobile Gaming:

The big three mobile phone generations have all recently been released or will be released soon: the iPhone 7, Samsung Galaxy Series 7 and Google’s new Pixel. These phones are supposedly able to process new mobile games that will absolutely blow our minds. “Cinematic gameplay experiences that were simply not possible before” is just one quote taken from the iPhone 7 reveal, describing a new title, ‘Ozbargain kingdom’. I do have to say Both the graphics and gameplay looked pretty sweet.

But let's break it down to specs and fine details. Let’s look at the phones and see what's inside to find out which of these next gen mobile phones are made with the gamer in mind. Below are the stats, side by side, and taken from the most advanced available model.

iPhone 7 Plus:

Storage: 256GB
Size & Weight: 6.21in x 3.07in / 6.63 ounces
Display: 5.5’’ Retina HD display; LED-backlit widescreen; 1920-by-1080-pixel resolution at 401pp; 1300:1 contrast ratio
‘Chip’: A10 Fusion chip with 64-bit architecture;’ Embedded M10 motion coprocessor’
(Skipping Camera Specs: We’re gaming at the moment)

The first thing that stands out is that massive hard drive, 256GB is pretty damn decent for a phone and around 3x as spacious as my first laptop. But there is no slot for an SD card, which could come in handy for gaming. The display is the same as the Samsung and Pixel as you’ll see below, but the phone is bigger than the Galaxy. This could actually be a plus for gaming because it gives you more to hold on to when the phone is flipped sideways. Resolution is great and Apple’s Chip’s have always been powerful. They’ve offered up some pretty big promises, specifically focused on gaming, which they assure the A10 can deliver.

Samsung Galaxy s7 Edge (Dual-SIM model):

Storage: 2 microSD cards up to 256GB card slots; 64GB hard drive - 4GB RAM
Size & Weight: 5.94 x 2.86 / 5.54oz
Display:5.5’’ Always-on Display Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors; 1440 x 2560 pixel resolution.
‘Chip’: Qualcomm MSM8996 Snapdragon 820 Exynos 8890 Octa

“MicroSD cards” is the first thing that stood out. This gives gamers some flexibility with their games. You can clear space or turn your phone into a designated gaming machine. This might be Samsung's big 1-Up over the iPhone when it comes to gaming. Their Always-on Display and 16M color limit seems like it won't hold up to the iPhone 7 Plus’, Retina HD display; LED-backlit widescreen.

Pixel XL:

Storage: 128GB
Size & Weight: 6in x 2.9in / 5.93 oz
Display:5.5 in, 2560x1440, 534 ppi - 4GB RAM
‘Chip’:2.15Hz + 1.6Hz quad-core Qulcomm Snapdragon 821

Google seems to have created a nice, sleek, and functional mobile phone. In what is a classic Google move, they seem to have designed their phone to perform the most common actions a smartphone performs. Can it play and stream video and audio? Check. Can it go online and quickly navigate the internet? Check. Email and other office functions? Check. Now as for gaming: maybe it’ll perform that function just as well. Think about Google’s search engine. It’s just a blank bar and a button (essentially, I’m just describing the main functions) and everyone knows how to use it. Even when Google first came out and the internet was still relatively new, there was a reason why Google took off and crushed the competition, because it was simple and user friendly and worked better than everything else.

Results:

Maybe Google will surprise us and create the most capable gaming phone just as they did with the search engine. Maybe after the Galaxy stops catching fire, the gaming experience will be superb. But even if the iPhone is the undoubted champ of the mobile phone industry, there’s one thing we need to see happen first: exquisite and engrossing mobile games — AAA quality that will be worth dropping over $20 on for this industry to really reach its pinnacle. Until the mobile game industry starts dropping AAA titles, it will be hard to see a discernible difference in the gaming quality of these impressive machines. I feel as though they are currently being underutilised in regard to gaming. These machines have some serious power behind them and the videogames on these phones should be a representation of that technology.

-Mack

Sources:

http://www.extremetech.com/gaming/223720-nintendos-3ds-sales-are-plummeting-the-nx-console-cant-come-fast-enough
http://www.apple.com/iphone-7/specs/
http://www.apple.com/apple-events/september-2016/
http://www.gsmarena.com/samsung_galaxy_s7_edge-7945.php\
http://www.gsmarena.com/samsung_galaxy_s7_edge-7945.php
https://www.cnet.com/products/google-pixel-xl-phone/preview/
http://venturebeat.com/2016/10/04/pixel-and-pixel-xl-specs-what-google-changed/

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