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Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2 Is Coming Q1 2020

Paradox Interactive has announced Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2 is coming Q1 2020 onto consoles and PC. NVIDIA is the official graphics partner for the sequel to the cult classic and features such as real-time ray tracing and DLSS will be integrated into the game. The creative mind behind the memorable characters of the 2004 game, Brian Mitsoda, has returned as the Lead Narrative Designer for Bloodlines 2. Paradox Interactive has announced that the game will have support well past its launch date as free DLC for new factions. The game will be placed in Seattle's Dark Heart as players live out their vampire fantasies in a city filled with intriguing characters that are shaped by your choices. The combat is melee-focused and your character grows as you progress, but don't forget to uphold the Masquerade and guard your humanity ... or face the consequences.

"When Paradox announced they were acquiring the World of Darkness IP, I immediately started thinking about what it would be like to return to Vampire: The Masquerade. Our aim has been to carry on the signature themes that made Bloodlines unique - particularly its dark tone, atmosphere, and humor - and I think that fans of the original will love what we're doing with Bloodlines 2." - Brian Mitsoda

Discussion
Posted by cageymaru March 22, 2019 9:51 AM (CDT)

AMD Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition 19.3.3

The AMD Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition 19.3.3 driver has been released and it adds support for Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice and Generation Zero. Fixed issues include: Rainbow Six Siege may experience intermittent corruption or flickering on some game textures during gameplay. DOTA 2 VR may experience stutter on some HMD devices when using the Vulkan API.

Known Issues: Mouse cursors may disappear or move out of the boundary of the top of a display on AMD Ryzen Mobile Processors with Radeon Vega Graphics. Performance metrics overlay and Radeon WattMan gauges may experience inaccurate fluctuating readings on AMD Radeon VII.

Discussion
Posted by cageymaru March 20, 2019 4:51 PM (CDT)

Nvidia Skips Ampere at GTC 2019

Several news outlets seems to think Nvidia's GTC presentation was relatively longwinded and unexciting this year. The three-hour keynote reportedly featured some software announcements and a low power Jetson board, among other things, but didn't feature the 7nm Ampere GPUs many were expecting. EE Times says that the "unspoken message" at the presentation was that "Nvidia doesn't need to pre-announce a new and faster chip because it owns that software stack and channel today," and the emphasis on CUDA seemed to really drive that point home. However, in one of the more exciting parts of the presentation, Nvidia did highlight the Q2VKPT project we covered earlier this year. Nvidia's CEO seemed quite excited about the introduction of raytracing to Quake II, and they showed off some of the project's gameplay, which you can see below:

Presaging that future, Nvidia's chief scientist, Bill Dally, told reporters about a research project in optical chip-to-chip links. It targets throughput in terabits/second while drawing 2 picojoules/bit/s. In an initial implementation, 32 wavelengths will run at 12.5 Gbits/s each, with a move to 64 wavelengths doubling bandwidth in a follow-up generation. Dally predicted that copper links will start run out of gas as data rates approach 100 Gbits/s, already on many roadmaps for network switches. Progress in more power-efficient laser sources and ring resonators will enable the long-predicted shift, he said. If the future evolves as he believes, bleeding-edge GPUs may continue to skip an appearance at some Nvidia events. Attendees will have to hope that as the interconnects speed up, the keynotes don't get even longer.

Discussion
Posted by alphaatlas March 20, 2019 11:25 AM (CDT)

HP Announces HP Reverb Virtual Reality Headset: Professional Edition

HP has announced its latest virtual reality headset which is based on Window Mixed Reality (WMR.) The HP Reverb Virtual Reality Headset -- Professional Edition features a 2160 x 2160 panel per eye and 114-degree field of view. It has full Steam VR support and WMR's inside out tracking. The HP Reverb Virtual Reality Headset -- Pro Edition will be available for purchase in late-April for $649 and comes with a 1-year commercial warranty. The HP Reverb Virtual Reality Headset -- Consumer Edition costs $599 and will have a 1-year limited consumer warranty. Pro Edition price includes: HP VR Headset, 3.5m headset cable for desktop and mobile PCs, .6m headset cable for HP Z VR Backpack wearable VR PC (sold separately), 2 motion controllers, cleanable face cushion, 1 DisplayPort to mini-DisplayPort adapter. The consumer edition doesn't include the .6m headset cable or washable fabric face cushion.

"As the commercial VR segment is expected to grow to $34 billion by 2022, customers are seeking lifelike VR viewing to help open doors to new business opportunities in product design, training, and engineering," said Spike Huang, vice president and global lead of VR, HP Inc. "The time for commercial VR is now and adding HP Reverb to our broader virtual reality portfolio is an important step in addressing this growing market." "With more than 2,500 VR experiences available and counting, Windows Mixed Reality continues to serve as the home for cutting-edge innovations that are fundamentally changing the way we work and play," said Alex Kipman, Technical Fellow, Microsoft. "The HP Reverb headset is an amazing example of the type of innovation we are seeing take place as we push forward and bring the next era of computing -- the era of mixed reality - to the masses."

Discussion
Posted by cageymaru March 19, 2019 11:08 PM (CDT)

Real-Time Ray Tracing Support Comes to GeForce GTX GPUs and Game Engines

NVIDIA has announced that real-time ray tracing support is coming to GeForce GTX GPUs. This driver is scheduled to launch in April. GeForce GTX GPUs will execute ray traced effects on shader cores and support is extended to both Microsoft DXR and Vulkan APIs. NVIDIA reminds consumers that its GeForce RTX lineup of cards has dedicated ray tracing cores built directly into the GPU which deliver the ultimate ray tracing experience. GeForce RTX GPUs provide up to 2-3x faster ray tracing performance with a more visually immersive gaming environment than GPUs without dedicated ray tracing cores. NVIDIA GameWorks RTX is a comprehensive set of tools and rendering techniques that help game developers add ray tracing to games. Unreal Engine and Unity have announced that integrated real-time ray tracing support is being built into their engines.

Real-time ray tracing support from other first-party AAA game engines includes DICE/EA's Frostbite Engine, Remedy Entertainment's Northlight Engine and engines from Crystal Dynamics, Kingsoft, Netease and others. Quake II RTX -- uses ray tracing for all of the lighting in the game in a unified lighting algorithm called path tracing. The classic Quake II game was modified in the open source community to support ray tracing and NVIDIA's engineering team further enhanced it with improved graphics and physics. Quake II RTX is the first ray-traced game using NVIDIA VKRay, a Vulkan extension that allows any developer using Vulkan to add ray-traced effects to their games.

Discussion
Posted by cageymaru March 18, 2019 10:09 PM (CDT)

3DFX's Unreleased Rampage GPU Lives On in 2019

Before 3dfx was shut down, they started developing a "Rampage" GPU that never saw the light of day. Even though the Rampage cards didn't enter mass production, a couple of prototypes were made, and Oscar Barea and Martin Gamero Prieto got their hands on one for their upcoming book on the history of 3dfx. Now, footage of a living, breathing "Rampage 2000" GPU running Quake and other 3D titles for a couple of seconds has appeared on YouTube, suggesting that the company made at least partially functional drivers for the GPU before they went under. Check them out below:
Discussion
Posted by alphaatlas March 18, 2019 10:41 AM (CDT)

NVIDIA Could Tease Next-Gen 7nm Ampere at GTC 2019

It isn’t clear whether NVIDIA will have any surprises to share at next week’s GPU Technology Conference (GTC), but some speculate the company could reveal aspects of its next-generation architecture, "Ampere," which will purportedly be built on the 7nm node. TweakTown and TechSpot suggest it could be the right time to do so, as the luster of Volta and Turing continues to wear thin. The former predicts it won’t be a gaming part, however, suggesting "a new GPU architecture tease that will succeed Volta in the HPC/DL/AI market."

For now, NVIDIA has used the Ampere name for their future 7nm GPUs. If that's the case, the Ampere GPUs would bring power efficiency improvements, higher clock rates, and perhaps higher memory bandwidth. Now would be a good time for NVIDIA to make a big announcement, considering the company just had one of the worst fiscal quarters its ever had. Consumer and investor faith in the company is slipping, especially since the adoption of RTX technology has been much slower than expected.

Discussion
Posted by Megalith March 16, 2019 4:45 PM (CDT)

AMD Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition 19.3.2 Supports DX12 on Windows 7

The AMD Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition 19.3.2 driver has been released and it is optimized for Tom Clancy's The Division 2 and Sid Meier's Civilization VI: Gathering Storm. AMD Radeon VII owners should see a 4% performance uplift in Sid Meier's Civilization VI: Gathering Storm when compared to the 19.2.3 driver. This driver brings DirectX 12 to Windows 7 for supported game titles. AMD supports more Vulkan extensions in this driver. Fixed issues include: Radeon ReLive for VR may sometimes fail to install during Radeon Software installation. Fan curve may fail to switch to manual mode after the manual toggle is switched when fan curve is still set to default behavior. Changes made in Radeon WattMan settings via Radeon Overlay may sometimes not save or take effect once Radeon Overlay is closed.

Known issues include: Rainbow Six Siege may experience intermittent corruption or flickering on some game textures during gameplay. DOTA2 VR may experience stutter on some HMD devices when using the Vulkan API. Mouse cursors may disappear or move out of the boundary of the top of a display on AMD Ryzen Mobile Processors with Radeon Vega Graphics. Performance metrics overlay and Radeon WattMan gauges may experience inaccurate fluctuating readings on AMD Radeon VII.

Discussion
Posted by cageymaru March 14, 2019 8:41 PM (CDT)

AMD Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition 19.3.1 Driver

The AMD Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition 19.3.1 driver has been released and it adds support for Devil May Cry 5. Vega 64 owners should see up to a 4% average performance uplift in Devil May Cry 5 at the 4K Ultra preset with the new driver. Fixed issues include: Radeon WattMan settings changes may intermittently not apply on AMD Radeon VII. Mouse lag or system slowdown is observed for extended periods of time with two or more displays connected and one display switched off. ACER KG251Q display may experience a black screen when connected via DisplayPort and enabled at 240hz. Video playback may become green or experience corruption when dragging the Movies and TV application to an HDR enabled display.

Known Issues: Rainbow Six Siege may experience intermittent corruption or flickering on some game textures during gameplay. Mouse cursors may disappear or move out of the boundary of the top of a display on AMD Ryzen Mobile Processors with Radeon Vega Graphics. Modifying memory clocks on Radeon VII in Radeon Wattman may intermittently result in memory clocks becoming locked at 800Mhz. Changes made in Radeon WattMan settings via Radeon Overlay may sometimes not save or take effect once Radeon Overlay is closed. Performance metrics overlay and Radeon WattMan gauges may experience inaccurate fluctuating readings on AMD Radeon VII. Some Mobile or Hybrid Graphics system configurations may intermittently experience green flicker when moving the mouse over YouTube videos in Chrome web browser.

Discussion
Posted by cageymaru March 06, 2019 3:23 PM (CST)

Microsoft to Announce Xbox One S "All Digital Edition" in April [Rumor]

Last year, Brad Sams of Thurrott leaked information detailing how Microsoft is expected to announce a Xbox One S without the disc drive. Now Jez Corden of Windows Central has heard that the console is coming and it will be called the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition. Preorders for the console are expected to begin in April 2019 with a May 7th release date. Hints of a Fortnite Edition console are gaining traction also. PC gamers shouldn't be sad as Brad Sams talks about Halo: The Master Chief Collection coming to PC possibly at E3 this year in the video below.

The disc-less Xbox One S would be a first for the company, offering fans the ability to ditch discs altogether and go all-in on digital game licenses. As Microsoft pushes for greater access to its game library via things like the Xbox Game Pass digital subscription and the incoming streaming service Project xCloud, dropping the disc drive from the "All-Digital Edition" should make it the cheapest Xbox console yet, although we have no word on pricing just yet or whether the console will see any design refinements beyond simply dropping the disc drive.

Discussion
Posted by cageymaru March 05, 2019 9:51 PM (CST)

Windows 10: New Study Shows Home Edition Users Are Baffled by Updates

With automatic updates being such a pain in the butt for Windows 10 users, UK researchers from the University College London sought to uncover precisely why with a study presented this week titled "In Control with No Control: Perceptions and Reality of Windows 10 Home Edition Update Features." They ended up constructing a detailed flow chart of Microsoft's update process, which was unsurprisingly very complex and revealed the two biggest issues: the "Active Hours" feature, and how often updates are delivered or the difference between monthly quality updates and semi-annual feature updates. The researchers’ biggest suggestion is that Windows should "obtain explicit permission for restarts consistently."

...among the 26 participants who were aware of the feature, 10 had not changed it from the default settings even though it clashed with their daily schedule. Not surprisingly, that resulted in about half of the survey respondents reporting that they had experienced unexpected restarts. The other noteworthy finding from the research is that users don't understand how often updates are delivered, nor do they appreciate the difference between monthly quality updates and semi-annual feature updates. That can lead to anxiety when an unexpected feature update takes well over an hour compared to the 12 minutes or less that a monthly cumulative update takes.

Discussion
Posted by Megalith March 02, 2019 1:15 PM (CST)

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Turing Specs Allegedly Leak: 1.4GHz Base Clock, 4GB GDDR5

Bangkok-based leaker APISAK (@TUM_APISAK) has posted a 3DMark screenshot revealing the alleged specs of NVIDIA’s upcoming GeForce GTX 1650 GPU, which will reportedly launch alongside the GTX 1660 in spring. The Turing-based card is listed with a 1,395MHz base clock and 1,560MHz boost clock, and 4GB of presumed GDDR5 memory: "Past leaks peg the memory bus at 128-bit, and with a 2,000MHz effective clock speed, that would give the card 128GB/s of memory bandwidth."

...we can reasonably surmise that this will be yet another Turing card that lacks RT and Tensor cores, which are what give GeForce RTX series cards their real-time ray tracing and Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) mojo. NVIDIA rightly recognized that gamers at large are waiting for both features to be more widely supported before investing in the necessary hardware. Hence why the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti exists -- it lacks those features and is the least expensive Turing card on the market.

Discussion
Posted by Megalith March 02, 2019 9:40 AM (CST)