Cloud gaming has become a bit of a dirty word these days. There have been plenty of people who have tried their hand at it over the years, promising high-end, lag-free gaming without the need for all that bulky, costly hardware, but most (*cough*Gaikai*cough*OnLive*cough*) have ended up on that age-old trash heap of crushed dreams and broken promises, their meagre uptake prompting them to disappear back into the ether almost as quickly as they appeared. This time, though, Nvidia might have finally cracked it, as the beta for their GeForce Now streaming service has finally arrived on PC in Europe and North America. It’s free, uses your very own game library and their respective cloud saves, and, whisper it, it’s actually pretty good. So rejoice all you laptop and creaking PC people whose rigs would probably faint at even the slightest suggestion of running something like Doom or Shadow of War at Ultra quality settings and 60fps. Your time in the gaming big leagues … [Read more...] about Nvidia’s GeForce Now PC beta is much better at cloud gaming than you think
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In true Dark Souls spirit, two bells were ominously tolled before the game's much-anticipated PC release. The first came via a Famitsu interview with series director Hidetaka Miyazaki, where it was inferred that the game would not be supporting the higher resolutions available on PC, and that there was absolutely no ambition within the team to improve on the visual quality seen in the console versions. Naturally, fans hoped the point on resolution in particular to be a translation mishap - a miswording, maybe - being as unlikely as it was for a high-profile PC game to ship with a fixed resolution. The second bell rang during a later interview with Eurogamer, where producer Daisuke Uchiyama admitted that optimising the game for PC was a process being met with limited success, and that it would strictly be an as-is duplication of the PS3 and 360 experience. That is, with all the frame-rate pitfalls as experienced before in boggy areas like Blight Town. Again, series enthusiasts … [Read more...] about Tech Comparison: Dark Souls PC
Completing the quintet, Kojima Productions ensures a feature-rich PC version of Metal Gear Solid 5 launches on cue - taking pride of place next to well-optimised PlayStation 4 and Xbox One editions. The Fox Engine is let loose here, with PC opening the gates to a very high preset in the graphics menu, while adding 'support' for 4K gameplay. But what tangible benefit do these enhancements bring over console, and what hardware do you need to get the best out of them? Of course, the game is already optimised well for 60fps on current-gen specs - both PS4 and Xbox One comfortably handing in a gorgeous open-world setting with only a few rough edges. Texture filtering quality falls short, and shadows can appear coarse, but it's a superb showing for Fox Engine in every other sense. Consoles hit a sweet spot in performance and visuals in this regard, and on PC, this close optimisation effort means we can strike a satisfying level of performance even on budget setups. Much of this hangs on … [Read more...] about 1080p60 and beyond: the best PC hardware for Metal Gear Solid 5
We're going to be reading - and indeed, probably writing - a lot about PC optimisation over the next few days, but for every negative, there tends to be a positive, and we wanted to show that key developers are pushing the boat out to bring us some decent PC work. When we looked at the computer version of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare in last week's Face-Off, we were impressed with the ease with which we could attain the 'proper' Call of Duty experience - 1080p at a highly consistent frame-rate with lavish quality settings. A typical enthusiast gaming PC - featuring something like a Core i5 quad-core processor paired with a £150 graphics card like the GTX 760 - is capable of excellent results. All of which made us wonder - how low can we go with PC hardware to get a 1080p experience equivalent to that offered by the PlayStation 4? In terms of raw computational power, a wealth of PC components have the better of the new wave of consoles, but actually finding multi-platform games … [Read more...] about Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare – PC performance done right?
It's often been said that both next-gen consoles are effectively based on mid-range PC technology, and as our recent tests indicate, matching or even exceeding current Xbox One or PS4 performance with modest PC components doesn't seem to be too difficult. But can we go one better? Can we build a PC that provides a quantifiably better, truly transformative experience? And can we do it at with a competitive budget? We've had some experience in constructing affordable games PCs. Back in June 2012, we put together the Digital Foundry PC - a £300 piece of hardware with around 4x the power of Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. We had a lot of fun with that kit, but across the months, its weaknesses became steadily more apparent. To put it simply, a dual-core CPU wouldn't cut it for 60fps gaming - not even at 720p, though 1080p30 was mostly fine. The new Digital Foundry PC acknowledges that an improved balance between CPU and GPU power is required, at the same time recognising that … [Read more...] about The next-gen Digital Foundry PC: chasing the 1080p60 dream
It's a busy week ahead for Digital Foundry, so unfortunately there was no time available to produce a new article for our Sunday slot. Instead, we're re-publishing our budget PC construction guide. Six months on, the Core i3/GTX 750 Ti combo continues to hand in a worthy PC gaming experience for not much money. We've also recently reviewed the new Skylake Core i3 - prices are a little high there right now, but the piece has some interesting observations about how to get more performance out of a budget processor - including the Haswell Core i3 featured in this piece. Expect to see more from this budget build in our upcoming articles.Building a capable gaming PC has never been easier - or indeed cheaper. There's a multitude of options of available, but we went into our own budget gaming build project with one objective in mind: to run the latest games well and to attempt to match the overall experience offered by the current generation of consoles. Could we match or even exceed … [Read more...] about The Digital Foundry 2015 budget gaming PC guide
GTA 5 on PC looks far from a knock-off port, which makes us feel quite a lot better about the lengthy wait.GTA 5 offers a variety of graphics options on PC, making it really very scalable. If you have a magnificent high-end gaming PC, you can really turn it up to 11.This is such a refreshing change from the quick and dirty console ports we’ve become used to, we’re you’re lucky if you can change the resolution and unlock the frame rate to suit your powerful rig.PCGamer has collected screenshots and details of all the graphics options screens as well as the mouse control options, which are likewise pretty robust. Head over there for all the details, or check the executive summary below:Video memory sliderIgnore suggested limits optionOptions for screen type, aspect ratio and refresh rate. DirectX Version Output monitor: 1-3 Anti-aliasing: FXAA, MSAA and Nvidia TXAA supported. Pause game on focus loss. Scaling bars for population density, population variety and distance … [Read more...] about GTA 5 PC supports a robust array of graphics options
A new installment of Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto franchise is always a major event, but Grand Theft Auto V is a game that just won’t stay out of the headlines, even a year and a half after it first released back in 2013. Having arrived at the end of the previous console generation, it made the leap to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in November 2014, bringing with it an ambitious new first-person mode that made for a whole different gaming experience. Now it’s about to cross another barrier and make its way to PC.It’s been a long time coming, having originally been slated to arrive at the same time as the next-gen console versions. Three delays later, GTA V is finally set to release on PC next week, on Tuesday, April 14. It’s going to be a bear too, requiring 65 gigs of hard disk space, minimum, and filling a whopping seven discs for those that grab a physical copy at retailers. It looks to be well worth the hefty … [Read more...] about ‘Grand Theft Auto 5’ PC Screens Look Amazing in 4K
"Dishonored 2," the sequel to the 2012 hit first-person RPG "Dishonored," is finally out for all next-gen platforms as of earlier this month. While everyone's having a lot of fun with the game, PC players had to deal with a number of issues with the game which developer Bethesda had to fix in a series of patches. The bugs were spotted as early as in the Early Access version of the game and had to be addressed for quite a while after its launch. "Dishonored 2" game director Harvey Smith, in a long and thorough interview with gaming site Glixel, discussed these post-launch bugs. He chalked all the issues, almost all of which they had never encountered in comprehensive testing of the game before release, up to different PC setups interacting in various ways with the game and its many possible settings. They ran "Dishonored 2" through extensive testing before it was released, and they were able to find and deal with the issues they saw, but there were bugs they didn't expect as well. … [Read more...] about ‘Dishonored 2’ News & Updates: Game Director Harvey Smith Speaks Out On PC Version Issues!
I’m always in the mood for something new, and it’s nice seeing a publisher who mostly focuses on mid-sized projects over big AAA games. Publisher Maximum Games announced Troll and I back during E3, but now they have a release date and trailer for it, along with some new details.In Troll and I you play as Otto, a man who is on the run from invading forces that has destroyed his village. While on the run he meets Troll, who is, well… a troll. A mythical giant who most people didn’t even believe was real. Now Otto and Troll need to team up to fight back against the invading evil.The game has you playing as both characters, switching between them as they fight. Troll has strong high damaging attacks fitting for his massive size, while Otto is better at quick melee attacks. You’ll be making combos utilizing both characters, and will also have them team up to solve puzzles and explore areas. While Troll and I can be played alone, you can also play the game in … [Read more...] about Troll and I Coming to Consoles and PC Early Next Year