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Hunt: Showdown Shows off Quickplay in New Trailer

Crytek just pushed the Hunt: Showdown 4.0 update out, and one of the headlining features is the new Quickplay game mode. The developers say the mode is designed for solo hunters, who drop in 10 player games and race to close four Rifts. New rounds start with a free hunter, and the first player to close four rifts is marked with a bounty. Check out the trailer for the new game mode below:
Crytek also added a number of daily and weekly challenges, and introduced some "Quality of Life" gunplay changes, like faster animations for switching guns, throwing grenades, and aiming down sights. Quickplay details, as well as the various other features and bug fixes, are worth checking out in the full change log. Discussion
Posted by alphaatlas December 13, 2018 11:42 AM (CST)

Monster Hunter World: Iceborne Expansion Has Been Announced

Capcom has announced a new Monster Hunter World expansion set for release in 2019. Monster Hunter World: Iceborne will come to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in the autumn of 2019 with the PC release to follow. The paid DLC will feature winter themes, but Capcom isn't willing to discuss more at this time. Some of the limited timed event monsters like Kulve Taroth are coming back to the game as a harder variant called arch-tempered monsters. Even Geralt of Rivia from the Witcher series has a cameo appearance in the game. A limited trial version of the game is coming to consoles.

So to reiterate, we're working on a massive expansion to MH:W, including new environments, new monsters, a new quest difficulty rank, new moves, and much more. This is a paid expansion and will be delivered as DLC, so you can seamlessly transition from Monster Hunter: World into Monster Hunter World: Iceborne. We'll have more details in spring 2019, but for now our target release window is set to autumn 2019 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Details on the release timeframe for the PC version are still in the works, but we'll be sure to let you know ASAP.

Posted by cageymaru December 10, 2018 11:05 AM (CST)

Streaming Is on a Collision Course with ISP Data Caps

Cisco’s latest study is showing that internet usage continues to rise, the majority of which comprises video: "75 percent of global internet traffic was video last year, up from 63 percent just two years earlier." Those figures are expected to grow with the increasing adoption of data-heavy services such as 4K Netflix streaming, but there’s a problem: ISPs will be unlikely to grow their caps in response, as UHD video could be a lucrative opportunity for overage fees.

Comcast didn’t respond to Motherboard’s request for comment on whether the company plans to relax usage limits to accommodate this growth. As it stands, Comcast imposes a terabyte usage cap on all of its service areas except the Northeast, where broadband competition is slightly more intense. Users can avoid such limits entirely if they pay an additional $50 per month.

Posted by Megalith December 02, 2018 9:20 PM (CST)

Hunt: Showdown 3.0 Update is Live

Hunt: Showdown's 3.0 Update went live today. The headline feature of this patch is the new Lawson Delta map, which has officially entered beta status and should be available in the mission selection menu. Other highlights include a skill-based matchmaking system, a movement inertia system which should stop cheesy ADAD dodging, anti-teaming measures to make lobbies fair, weapon looting from dead players, and Nvidia Highlights support, along with a number of bug fixes and improvements. Crytek already uploaded a trailer for the new map last month, and they went into a little more detail in the dev diary below:

With this update, we are introducing a number of core changes to player movement to counter some of the more dominant strategies players have come up with to dodge bullets or make it easier to charge in for a melee attack. Some of the changes might feel a bit sluggish at first and will require players to get used to them over a couple of games. We have tried to strike a good balance between the necessity of adding inertia to player movement, while at the same time keeping the feeling and walking speeds the same. Players can still perform the same trick jumps, quickly peak out of cover, or dash around the world as they are used to. Tell us what you think and if you feel these changes work or what you would like to see changed!

Posted by alphaatlas November 15, 2018 8:06 AM (CST)

Music Engineer Analyzes Music Streaming Service Quality to His Original Master

Wytse Gerichhausen from White Sea Studios has conducted a scientific analysis of the original master file for Hibshi - Missing U (feat. Rochelle), one of his music tracks that he personally mixed and mastered, to the same song on Apple Music, Spotify, Tidal and YouTube. He then recorded the song from each streaming service as a WAV file and normalized the levels because music services lower the volume of the music. Next he used a combination of A/B testing and phase swapping to compare the differences in the WAV files. The phase swapping allows the viewer to hear the "missing" information from the track that was either compressed or skipped over by the algorithms used by music streaming services. Tidal won by retaining 99.9% of the quality in the engineer's opinion. Spotify High and Low came next. Apple Music and YouTube came in dead last as both significantly altered the music. He then questioned why he can stream 4K video, but a simple audio file has to be compressed to the point where the quality is completely lost.

Isn't this a little bit over-exaggerated? Isn't this a bit too much like, like too much into the details? Yes, and no. So first of all if you compare them both with each other the details are pretty small. But our ears have a special feature built into them and that is that they can make up for mistakes in audio. Pretty easy. Pretty simple. The thing is that if your ears are correcting a lot for the audio that they are hearing, they are getting tired sooner. And this is bad news for listeners, but also for artists because we don't want people to get tired of our music. Or do we? That's what happening with streaming services.

Posted by cageymaru November 09, 2018 2:39 PM (CST)

Comcast is Allegedly Developing a Video Streaming Aggregator

Citing "people, who asked not to be named because the internal discussions are private," CNBC reports that Comcast is working on a new product that aggregates multiple streaming services like Netflix, Amazon, and YouTube together. That may sound like a Roku, Shield, or any number of existing streaming platforms, but apparently, the product isn't a "direct competitor" to devices like that. There's no word on when the device will come to market, or how much it will cost, but one has to appreciate the irony of a Comcast subsidiary breaking a Comcast leak.

The product isn't quite a direct competitor to Roku or Apple TV because it won't allow customers access to hundreds of apps, including streaming TV bundles like AT&T's DirecTV Now or Dish's Sling. Those services are direct competitors to Comcast's video bundle, and Comcast wouldn't be able to push its own video service to its broadband-only customers if it allowed them access to those bundled OTT services. Comcast hasn't decided the exact number of apps that will be accessible through the device, said the people. Rather, Comcast wants the device to be the hub to the connected home, they said. In addition to aggregating streaming apps, the device will also allow customers to control anything that's connected to the Internet, including thermostats and smart-locks. Comcast will be marketing the product to Internet-only customers, said the people.

Posted by alphaatlas November 08, 2018 9:29 AM (CST)

FilmStruck Subscription-Streaming Service to Shut Down

Indie, arthouse, and classic film fans suffered a significant loss this week, as Turner and Warner Bros. Digital Networks announced FilmStruck would be shut down next month. The service was highbrow and featured careful curation, offering an impressive library of classic titles (e.g., Citizen Kane, Seven Samurai) that drew hardcore film buffs. "All current FilmStruck subscribers will receive an email with details about your account and the refund process as applicable."

FilmStruck offered a lineup of some 1,800 contemporary and classic arthouse, indie, foreign and cult films and also was the exclusive internet-streaming home to the Criterion Collection of movies. Earlier this year, it added Warner Bros.’ library of classic films; WB shut down the Warner Archive service and migrated customers over to FilmStruck. The service was priced at $10.99 per month with access to the Criterion Collection library, and $6.99 monthly without it.

Posted by Megalith October 28, 2018 3:10 PM (CDT)

Get Monster Hunter: World for Free When Purchasing Select NVIDIA Video Cards

NVIDIA is offering a copy of the smash PC worldwide hit game Monster Hunter: World for free to purchasers of select video cards. The game will be bundled with qualifying GeForce GTX 1070 Ti, 1070, or 1060 graphics card.

For a limited time, buy a GeForce GTX Get Monster Hunter: World. In Monster Hunter: World, you'll hunt gigantic monsters in amazing landscapes while crafting epic weapons to take on even bigger, badder beasts. Upgrade your weaponry with a GeForce GTX 10 Series-powered graphics card, and enjoy the ultimate hunting experience.

Posted by cageymaru October 24, 2018 12:27 PM (CDT)

Watch the Hunt Showdown 3.0 Developer Livestream

The Hunt Showdown 3.0 update is coming soon. Among other things, the update will introduce quickplay, for getting in and out of games faster. On top of that, the devs are teasing a new map, which is set to launch at Twitchcon. Check out the developer live stream below:
Posted by alphaatlas October 18, 2018 10:21 AM (CDT)

Microsoft Announces xCloud Game Streaming Service

Today, Microsoft officially announced Project xCloud, an Xbox game streaming service. Microsoft says they've built out custom hardware in their Azure datacenters to enable "compatibility with existing and future Xbox games." A video on Microsoft's blog shows off the new blade servers, which they will deploy all over the world. Microsoft says they're already testing xCloud on phones and tablets paired with Bluetooth Xbox Wireless Controllers, and that they are developing touch-based input for specific games. There's no firm release date for the service, but Microsoft states that more information is coming soon. claims that Microsoft is working on a streaming-only Xbox console, but there's no official word on that yet.

Developers and researchers at Microsoft Research are creating ways to combat latency through advances in networking topology, and video encoding and decoding. Project xCloud will have the capability to make game streaming possible on 4G networks and will dynamically scale to push against the outer limits of what’s possible on 5G networks as they roll out globally. Currently, the test experience is running at 10 megabits per second. Our goal is to deliver high-quality experiences at the lowest possible bitrate that work across the widest possible networks, taking into consideration the uniqueness of every device and network. We are looking forward to learning with you during our public trials next year and sharing more details as we continue on this journey to the future of gaming with you at the center. Stay tuned!

Posted by alphaatlas October 08, 2018 9:40 AM (CDT)

Netflix Dominates the Video Streaming Statistics for the World

The latest Global Internet Phenomena Report from Sandvine details how much downstream bandwidth popular video streaming services use in proportion to the entirety of the internet. The first interesting statistic is that Netflix uses 15% of the downstream bandwidth in the world and 19.1% in the USA. Amazon Prime Video actually uses more downstream bandwidth than YouTube, and the worldwide usage to stream video is 57.7% of the overall downstream bandwidth used.

Netflix remains the 800-pound gorilla of the streaming world: Video from the service consumes a significant 15% of all internet bandwidth globally, the most of any single application. That's according to the latest Global Internet Phenomena Report from Sandvine, a vendor of bandwidth-management systems. Netflix was followed by HTTP media streams, representing 13.1% of all downstream traffic; YouTube (11.4%); web browsing (7.8%); and MPEG transport streams (4.4%).

Posted by cageymaru October 02, 2018 7:00 PM (CDT)

Apple Says No to Sex and Violence for Its Streaming Service

"No Sex Please, We’re Apple." The WSJ is reporting that Apple’s upcoming streaming service will be strictly family-friendly, shying away from gratuitous sex, profanity, or violence. The programming will even try to stay away from political and religious subjects. Some employees say it’s just an expensive version of NBC.

WSJ notes that Tim Cook said the company’s Vital Signs show -- based on Dr. Dre’s life -- was "too violent" after watching it a year ago. "Apple can’t show this," the report mentions. That’s not all. Bryan Fuller, the showrunner for Apple’s reboot of Steven Spielberg’s Amazing Stories, left the firm earlier in the year after a major conflict over Apple’s focus on family-friendly content.

Posted by Megalith September 23, 2018 9:50 AM (CDT)