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Toyota and Suzuki Announce Electric Car Partnership

Toyota and Suzuki have announced a partnership to produce electrified vehicles for the world's markets. The two companies had been considering the terms of a collaboration involving electrified cars since 2017. Toyota brings its Toyota Hybrid System (THS), hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) components such as engines and batteries, and new electrified platforms such as the RAV4 and Corolla Wagon to Suzuki. Suzuki will use its strengths to supply small car platforms to Toyota for India, allow Toyota to adopt and manufacture newly developed Suzuki engines for small compact cars, and OEM supply Toyota with Suzuki's India-produced cars for the African market. The two companies will continue to compete against each other.

"When it comes to vehicle electrification, which is expected to make further inroads, hybrid technologies are seen as playing a huge role in many markets, as from before. Widespread acceptance is necessary for electrified vehicles to be able to contribute to Earth's environment. Through our new agreement, we look forward to the wider use of hybrid technologies, not only in India and Europe, but around the world. At the same time, we believe that the expansion of our business partnership with Suzuki-from the mutual supply of vehicles and powertrains to the domains of development and production-will help give us the competitive edge we will need to survive this once-in-a-century period of profound transformation. We intend to strengthen the competitiveness of both our companies by applying our strong points and learning from each other."

Posted by cageymaru March 20, 2019 1:48 PM (CDT)

Google Partners with AMD for Google Stadia Game Streaming Service

Google has selected AMD as its partner for the Google Stadia game streaming service. Google will use high-performance, custom AMD Radeon datacenter GPUs for its Vulkan and Linux-based Google Stadia. AMD noted how its commitment to open-source AMD Linux drivers would allow Google and its development partners to inspect the code and understand exactly how the driver works, enabling them to better optimize their applications to interface with AMD Radeon GPUs. AMD supplies other tools such as the AMD Radeon GPU Profiler (RGP) that allows developers to identify timing issues that might lead to optimizations. The Google Stadia service will feature game streams with resolutions up to 4K HDR 60 FPS. Google announced a 2019 launch time for the game streaming service.

Streaming graphics-rich games to millions of users on demand and from the cloud requires ultra high-performance processing capabilities to minimize latency and maximize game performance. It also requires advanced technologies to tackle unique datacenter challenges, including security, manageability, and scalability. The AMD graphics architecture supports a wide range of today's gaming platforms -- from PCs to major game consoles -- enabling developers to optimize their games for a single GPU architecture and extend these benefits across multiple platforms which now include large-scale cloud gaming platforms.

Posted by cageymaru March 19, 2019 4:41 PM (CDT)

Obsidian Employee is Remaking Star Wars Dark Forces

Jason Lewis, a professional senior environment artist at Obsidian, is reportedly porting the environments of Star Wars Dark Forces to Unreal Engine 4 as a passion project. While port looks significantly better than the 1995 FPS, to say the last, it doesn't feature any shootable enemies yet. If you want to try it out, you should get it while the download link is still up, as Disney has a history of taking down similiar projects (like the KOTOR port to Unreal Engine 4) .

Download the project here before Disney makes it disappear... Thanks so much for watching everyone, and I look forward to seeing you on the battlefield!

Posted by alphaatlas March 18, 2019 11:05 AM (CDT)

Ubisoft Will Prevent Third-Party Digital Stores from Selling "The Division 2" after Release

According to a statement issued by Gamesplanet, Ubisoft and Epic Games have decided to ban third-party game-key vendors from selling The Division 2 after its official release. Post March 15, the title will only be available for purchase on Uplay and the Epic Games Store, so fans who want to save a bit of money may want to visit their preferred vendor straight away. The Division 2 will have a 50GB day-one patch for disc buyers, and the PS4 version weighs in at 100GB.

Needless to say that we are against this anti-consumer move from both Ubisoft and Epic Games. It’s one thing securing a game to launch exclusively on your launcher but to prevent all third-party digital stores from selling keys? That’s a new low in our opinion. Bad move Epic Games, especially when your boss, Tim Sweeney, was whining about UWP and how anti-consumer it was compared to Win32.

Posted by Megalith March 10, 2019 12:05 PM (CDT)

Nvidia Adds Metro Exodus to RTX Bundle

In an attempt to tempt those in the market for an new GPU, Nvidia just launched the "RTX Triple Threat" game bundle with what may be the best RTX-enabled game to date. Nvidia's previous "Game On Bundle" gave buyers Battlefield V and Anthem for free, but starting today, anyone who buys a RTX 2080 or 2080 TI will get Metro Exodus as well. RTX 2070 and 2060 buyers will get to pick 1 of the 3 games, but sadly, the recently released 1660 TI isn't part of this particular bundle.
Pre-built desktops and laptops are covered by the deal as well, and the terms and conditions mention that the deal will be good until at least April 4, 2019. Several games that previously advertised RTX support still haven't received patches to enable it, while others are coming closer to release, so I suspect Nvidia will offer bundles with a larger variety of RTX-enabled games later this year. But, as we've noted, Metro Exodus is one of the best examples of Nvidia's raytracing and DLSS technology to date, and the developers are improving it with every update. Update 3/6/2019: We previously reported that RTX 2070 and 2060 buyers get 2 out of the 3 games, but Nvidia's terms say they only get to pick a single game. Discussion
Posted by alphaatlas March 05, 2019 12:49 PM (CST)

Nanoparticle Experiment: Humans Could Get X-Men "Super Vision" to See in the Dark

Chinese and US scientists have performed a successful experiment giving mice the ability to see infrared light after injecting them with nanoparticles, and they suggest human vision could be modified in the same way, allowing people to detect a wider spectrum of colors. "Current infrared technology allows the user to see heat emitted from animals, but its effectiveness is hampered by bulky batteries and interference from visible light."

Lead researcher Dr Tian Xue said the applications include military use and could be adapted to treat people who are colour blind and can’t detect red. "We believe this technology will also work in human eyes, not only for generating super vision but also for therapeutic solutions in human red colour vision deficits," said Dr Xue. "This is an exciting subject because the technology we made possible here could eventually enable human beings to see beyond our natural capabilities."

Posted by Megalith March 03, 2019 11:40 AM (CST)

Accountants Threw a DOOM Themed Office Party

DualShockers spotted a video (which presumably shot up Youtube's popularity rankings through an earlier /r/gaming post) of LPL Financial throwing a DOOM themed Halloween office party. Whoever these "accountants" are, they're clearly psyched up for the upcoming release of DOOM Eternal. We haven't heard much about the next big DOOM release this year, but Bethesda did show off some gameplay at QuakeCon last year.

I bet you some office know-it-all cried out "Can someone turn the lights back on, I can't see my keyboard to do some work here!" Would an office really be an office without at least one of these types of people... Whoever organized this Doomed office had to be a fan of the game given how precise they are with the supplies that are scattered around - even adding in a Medikit, ammo, and other items in the hall for effect. Apparently, this specific company does this on each floor of the building with a different theme every year.

Posted by alphaatlas March 01, 2019 9:38 AM (CST)

Metro Exodus Update Sharpens DLSS

While DLSS generally improves performance in the handful of games that support it, some users have found that it can make games appear excessively blurry. But 4A Games released a patch for Metro Exodus last week which, among other things, includes "DLSS fixes and improvements to sharpness," as well as "RTX fixes and optimization" and various performance and stability improvements. Over the weekend, a number of YouTubers put DLSS performance to the test, and generally, they found a noticeable sharpness improvement over the previous patch. WccftechTV, for example, looked at the same scenes they tested pre-patch, and found that they were noticeably less blurry than the ones post patch, while Hardware Unboxed notes that some artifacts are still present. In my (admittedly limited) experience upscaling videos and textures with neural networks, I still get the same sort of of shimmering and "line" or "wave" artifacts after plenty tweaking, but these problems do seem to be something that Nvidia can minimize over time.

Metro Exodus has been updated to support improvements to the DLSS function, but is it really better or does DLSS still mean Doesn't Look Super Sharp?

Posted by alphaatlas February 25, 2019 12:10 PM (CST)

Denuvo 5.6, Used in Metro Exodus, Has Been Cracked in Five Days

The latest version of Denuvo didn’t last long: hackers have managed to crack version 5.6 in five days, opening recent releases such as Metro Exodus and Far Cry New Dawn to pirates. Gamers are calling on Deep Silver/4A Games and Ubisoft to remove the anti-tamper tech, as it is obsolete and may potentially reduce performance. Hackers have also managed to crack Microsoft’s UWP protection for Crackdown 3.

It will be interesting to see whether this crack will impact the game’s sales and whether gamers will download the pirated version in order to immaturely show Deep Silver their displeasure over the Steam/Epic Store controversy. As always, we strongly suggest supporting the developers for their hard work. If you are not interested in a game, there is no point at all downloading a pirated version of it!

Posted by Megalith February 24, 2019 4:05 PM (CST)

Digital Foundry Analyzes Metro Exodus's Visual Fidelity

While many reviews have already dug into the technical aspects of 4A Games' newest Metro title, Digital Foundry recently posted a video showing how all that fancy tech actually impacts the in-game experience. Like many other games and benchmarks, Metro Exodus is pretty and demanding, but DF points out that those visuals do an excellent job of making the game feel immersive, as opposed to coming off as gimmicky features. The particle effects, for example, really contribute to Metro's moody atmosphere, while little touches like a remarkably detailed first person body view and the conspicuously detailed shadow it casts all make the game feel realistic. Check out the video on Metro Exodus's immersiveness below, or read Eurogamer's lengthy interview with 4A programmer Ben Archard and CTO Oles Shishkovstov if you're more interested in the technical aspects.

The open world maps are completely different to the enclosed tunnels maps of the other games. Environments are larger and have way more objects in them, visible out to a much greater distance. It is therefore a lot harder to cull objects from both update and render. Objects much further away still need to update and animate. In the tunnels you could mostly cull an object in the next room so that only its AI was active, and then start updating animations and effects when it became visible, but the open world makes that a lot trickier... So, a good chunk of that extra time is spent with updating more AIs and more particles and more physics objects, but also a good chunk of time is spent feeding the GPU the extra stuff it is going to render. We do parallelise it where we can. The engine is built around a multithreaded task system. Entities such as AIs or vehicles, update in their own tasks. Each shadowed light, for example, performs its own frustum-clipped gather for the objects it needs to render in a separate task. This gather is very much akin to the gathering process for the main camera, only repeated many times throughout the scene for each light. All of that needs to be completed before the respective deferred and shadow map passes can begin (at the start of the frame).

Posted by alphaatlas February 18, 2019 10:26 AM (CST)

Metro Exodus Is Now Being Review Bombed on Metacritic

On the off chance Deep Silver hasn’t regretted making Metro Exodus an Epic Games Store exclusive yet, gamers have now taken to popular review-aggregate Metacritic to voice their displeasure by review bombing the post-apocalyptic title. The exclusivity was certainly a hasty decision, as physical copies of the game still feature the Steam logo, just hidden under a sticker.

The Metacritic review-bombing is the latest episode in a long saga of animosity between Steam users and "Exodus" developer 4A Games. 4A Games did initially solicit pre-orders for the game on Steam, and abruptly stopped its sales late-January. Those who had pre-ordered would continue to receive the game and its updates. 4A muddied the waters further by responding to initial criticism from Steam users by threatening to desert the PC platform as a whole, inviting more bile from some really angry gamers.

Posted by Megalith February 17, 2019 3:10 PM (CST)

Russia to Disconnect from the Internet as Part of a Planned Test

In order to test how the country would fare against "foreign aggression to disconnect the country from the rest of the internet," Russia will soon undergo an experiment that temporarily separates it from the global internet and isolates all information to Runet, the country’s own internet space. The trial involves the re-routing of all Russian internet traffic by domestic firms to exchange points approved by telecom watchdog Roskomnazor, ensuring traffic stays between Russian users and is not "re-routed uselessly through servers abroad, where it could be intercepted." Critics fear Russia's actual intention is the creation of a "Great Firewall" for cracking down on freedom of information.

The Russian government has been working on this project for years. In 2017, Russian officials said they plan to route 95 percent of all internet traffic locally by 2020. Authorities have even built a local backup of the Domain Name System (DNS), which they first tested in 2014, and again in 2018, and which will now be a major component of the Runet when ISPs plan to disconnect the country from the rest of the world. Russia's response comes as NATO countries announced several times that they were mulling a stronger response to cyber attacks, of which Russia is constantly accused of carrying out.

Posted by Megalith February 16, 2019 9:45 AM (CST)