Microsoft Will Stop Pestering You About Win 10 Soon

Microsoft’s increasingly underhand attempts to make the entire world upgrade to Windows 10 whether it wants to or not are, in theory, coming to an end this Summer. From regular, irritating nagging to quietly dumping several gigabytes’ worth of speculative install files onto your hard drive to even performing the upgrade unbidden if you don’t intervene in time, MS’s determination to have a huge installbase number to wave around have pissed off a great many people. Come July 29th, though, they should be finally giving up.

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Why Intel Quitting Smartphones Matters For PC Gaming

And lo it came to pass on the 29th day of the fourth month (or thereabouts) in the year of some or other lord from antiquity 2016 that Intel did verily smite the Atom processor. Well, mostly. More specifically, what Intel has announced is effectively the end of its ambitions to get into smartphones. It has cancelled a number of future chips designed to achieve that end. You might very well wonder what this has to do with PC gaming. Immediately and directly, naff all. But in the longer term it could be critical and it involves the very meaning of PC gaming. Allow me to explain.

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Cheap SSDs? It’s All About The Brand

You might think you’re a person. Wrong. Like each and every one of us, you are a brand. So says Stephen Colbert and who am I to argue? I haven’t quite finalised the specifics for the impending launch of my own one-of-a-kind curated Lairdstyle offering, but in the meantime, I do have a serious point to make about brands. When it comes to SSDs, brands matter. Especially cheap SSDs. This week, I’ll not only explain why but also give you an easy option for a stoopid-cheap SSD that’s actually rather good. I even bought one myself. With my own money. I know, right? So, if you need a cheap SSD for your gaming rig, read on.

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Revive Lets Rift Games Run On Vive

Cybersoftware made specifically for the Oculus Rift may end up playable on HTC Vive too, thanks to fancy technological wrangling. Available now is the Revive Compatibility Layer, described as “a proof-of-concept compatibility layer between the Oculus SDK and OpenVR”. We can get technical later but, basically, the Rift platformer Lucky’s Tale and the Oculus DreamDeck demo collection can run on Vive through this software. Possibly other things. Possibly even more things as development continues.

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The First Must-Have VR App: Virtual Desktop

VR, be it Vive, be it Oculus Rift or something else, is currently primarily discussed in terms of games, but given that what we’re fundamentally talking about is a new paradigm for computer displays, that’s hardly the be all and end all of it. There may well be various applications of VR in other fields – medical, scientific, tourism, military, porn, to name but a few – but general desktop computing is something that pretty much all of us have in common.

A question which has occurred to me since almost the earliest days of this stuff has been “can I use VR goggles instead of a monitor?” Less physical space but more virtual space, and the possibility of doing Minority Report-y things with the operating system. Virtual Desktop is the first attempt at meaningfully answering that question, and it’s about as essential a VR application as there is right now – but it also demonstrates why the technology just isn’t quite there yet.

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HTC Insists Vive Deliveries On Track Despite Complaints

Lately there’s been no small amount of worry that folk who pre-ordered Valve & HTC’s future-goggles weren’t likely to get them at the predicted time – which, for the first-wave of adopters, should be any day now. With reports of payments being automatically cancelled, deliveries being delayed and express shipping add-ons defaulting back to economy, folk were getting shaky – especially as the more definite delays to Oculus Rift shipments had set something of a precedent. The future might be here, but getting it into a cardboard box and onto a lorry is another matter entirely, it seems.

HTC have now broken cover about the problems, attempting to clear things up and reassure people that they’re not looking at major delays.
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2016 Awesomeness: Nvidia’s New Pascal Graphics

If it was a car it would be a gold-wrapped, kleptocrat-owned Bugatti Veyron ostentatiously double parked outside a Knightsbridge hotel. It’s still bloated, it’s still overly complex and you still can’t afford it. But it’s a graphics chip and a harbinger of things you might actually be able to buy. I give you Nvidia’s new Pascal GP100, a 15.3 billion transistor beast and the beginnings of that 2016 awesomeness I promised for the new year. In other words, if you’re thinking of buying a new graphics card, you might want to hold fire. Meanwhile, Intel has also taken the wraps off a massive new chip you can’t afford and the final piece the Laird Gaming Dungeon™: Driver Edition has arrived. Yup, I’m liking 2016.

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