Zippy Wizard: Dota 2 Beta Adds Vulkan Support

This doesn't illustrate anything in particular. I didn't want to use any of our older Dota 2 screens so I spectated a random match. Look at all those wizards.

Vulkan is the new big exciting Thing That Might Make Your Games Run Faster Without You Having To Buy A New Graphics Card Or Anything, Jeremy recently explained in slightly more technical detail, and now Dota 2 [official site] supports the new graphics API too. In beta. And it might not make a difference for you. Or may be worse. If you want to be on the bleeding edge of technology (a phrase which always makes me think of eXistenZ and meatcomputers), you can now download and try Dota 2’s Vulkan beta.

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Oculus Rift Update Prevents Playing Rift Games on Vive

Last month, Alice reported on a hack that could let HTC Vive users sneak into the Oculus Rift party and play some of their exclusive games including Lucky’s Tale and Oculus Dreamdeck. But last week Oculus rolled out a new update with “platform integrity checks” that had supposedly ended Vive’s party crashing ways — until this weekend when the developer of Revive responded with an update of their own focused on bypassing that DRM.

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My Driving Sim Story, Part 1: Firing Up The Playseat

What was I expecting when I set out on this driving-sim adventure? I’m not sure, but it wasn’t this. If the logistical complexities of doing driving sims properly caught me out a little, the initial experience is completely off the map. But I’m finally up and running thanks to the arrival of a Playseat seatpod thingie and I’ve had something akin to my own Matrix moment… Read the rest of this entry »

I Have A Mouse Problem

I suppose I am a bit of a mouse enthusiast. Not in the ‘5000000 dots per inch sensor, engraved LED skull and crossbones design” sort of way, because I am neither a competitive gamer or a 14-year-old boy. It’s more of a wider interest in how the same essential concept – a plastic lump we move around on a desk in order to move a cursor – can be evolved, occasionally with a side order of aesthetic interest. I see something I like the shape of, or, sometimes, buy the marketing BS of, and suddenly I become obsessed with owning it, and certain that it is the answer to any number of imagined control and comfort woes.

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Nvidia’s New GeForce GTX 1080 Graphics

Hate to say I told you so. Or rather, I don’t and so I’m going to gloat. Contrary to numerous comment protestations, Nvidia’s 2016 graphics awesomeness has begun in the shape of its new GeForce GTX 1080 and 1070 cards. Based on the new Pascal architecture and teensy 16nm transistors, the new GPUs are exactly as expected. And yet also quite different. Meanwhile, AMD has dropped some hints regards the shape of Radeons to come. It all adds up to an exciting summer for PC graphics and a very good reason to put your GPU purchases on temporary hold, especially if VR is your bag… Read the rest of this entry »

Windows 10 UWP Now Supports Uncapped Framerates

Whether the Universal Windows Platform is salvation or damnation, destroyer or redeemer, or something difficult-to-categorise and not-quite-as-much-hyperbolic-fun in the middle there, it is at least now a bit better for games. Microsoft this week issued a Windows 10 update giving UWP support for unlocked framerates and adaptive sync tech like Nvidia’s G-Sync and AMD’s Freesync, which were pretty big absences. Not many games are built on UWP yet, mostly Microsoft-published stuff like Quantum Break and Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, but if we’re to see more of UWP in the future… and that’s where the doomsaying comes in. Ah, I’ll explain that in a minute.

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Flash Bang Wallop! Nvidia Ansel’s Screenshot Tools

Nvidia have unveiled their next top-end GPU, the GeForce GTX 1080, which they say can draw lots of really nice pictures really fast. Look, I’m sure Jeremy and his Week in Tech will have more to say about that soon, but what’s interesting to me is the software they announced alongside it. Nvidia Ansel will let people take fancier screenshots, pausing the action to rearrange the camera, apply effects, take ultra-high-res snaps, make 360-degree panoramas compatible with VR goggles, and so on. Support for Ansel is coming to Nvidia GPUs for games including The Witcher 3, The Witness, and No Man’s Sky, and it’ll work on many cards older than the 1080 too.

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