‘Fortnite:Battle Royale’ Tease Reveals Season 4 (And The Comet) Hit Tomorrow

It’s official, Fortnite Season 4 arrives tomorrow, along with a new battle pass, superhero theme and a comet slamming into the map somewhere.Desktop Screenshot 2018.05.01 -

Epic has posted one final teaser image to their Fortnite: Battle Royale social media sites after a week of updating a different image with glimpses at what appear to be new superhero and supervillain skins.

Today’s image is different, however. We have four figures in the foreground who appear to be looking down into a crater, presumably created after the comet hits the map. On first glance, I thought that these might be the new heroes/villains, but upon closer inspection, that is not the case, and Epic is keeping those skins under wraps until their official reveal tomorrow.

Of the four skins shown here, there are at least three that are already in the game. I believe the one the third from the right, the one with the glowing eyes, is not yet in the game, and may not be directly tied to the superhero theme, but another skin that might be introduced into the game on its own. Correct me if it’s already in the game and I just missed it.

There’s no longer any real debate about whether the comet will hit the map in Fortnite or not. It will. Many of these images have been teased with the phrase “brace for impact” and this image flat-out shows what appears to the lip of the crater.Comete_Fortnite

While most still believe that Tilted Towers is in the crosshair of the comet, recent leaks suggest that a more unused area like Dusty Depot is getting nuked instead, which honestly, makes quite a bit more sense. As for whether there will be something in the new crater other than just…a crater, that remains to be seen. Do these new superheroes/villains come from space? Will they have a spaceship we get to play around in and farm for exotic metal?fortnite-comet

I can’t praise Epic enough for how they’ve managed to create interest and hype around season 4 with this comet tease and the past week of reveals. For a game that essentially doesn’t have a story (the Battle Royale portion doesn’t, at least), it’s been a really fun time guessing at what’s coming, and the past week of mini-meteors slamming into the map has also been pretty great.

From the other teases, there should be at least four superhero/villain skins that you can farm in the Fortnite battle pass starting tomorrow, and we’ll have a closer look at them then, along with new back bling, gliders and everything else added.

At long last, the day has come. Soon we won’t be watching skies, but we’ll be watching a giant hole in the ground instead. Brace for impact, indeed.


EPIC reveals ‘SUPERHERO’ Theme for Fortnite Season 4

We’re only a few days out from Fortnite: Battle Royale’s Season 4, and Epic is keeping us on the hook. 2 days ago, we got a chance to look at what appeared to be one of the new skins coming with the new Battle Pass: a stern-faced, square-jawed fellow distinctly reminiscent of The Flash. Despite speculation on everything from aliens to dinosaurs, the teaser likely confirms a new superhero theme for Season 4, though that’s not 100% official yet. Yesterday, Epic showed off what looks like the second skin from the collection.Desktop Screenshot 2018.04.28 -

We can only see part of this new skin’s face, but it’s clearly in line with the superhero theme. It’s a woman with sharp features and bold eyebrows, as well as a piece of forehead ornamentation that is definitely not close enough to Wonder Woman’s Tiara to invite any kind of lawsuits, but definitely evocative nonetheless. And the graphic design, at least, doesn’t make the two look all that friendly.

What’s most interesting here is the different text that came with the two images. The first read “Battle. Adapt. Win,” indicating a sort of nihilistic, power-focused worldview from the male superhero depicted. The second reads “fight with honor,” which is clearly intended to stand as a contrast to the first message. Are these two figures at odds, I wonder?

The other option would be that these two heroes are on one side, and we’re about to get introduced to another. There are three days left before the end of Season 3, and that leaves room for two villains plus the wide reveal.

It points to some sort of conflict in my mind, and my guess is that’s how we’re going to kick off Season 4. It’s unclear if this would be traditional aliens or Marvel-style “hero aliens” coming in on that comet, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we end up with some sort of battle in the first few days of the season. After that, the season might be themed along the lines of some sort of grand conflict between heroes and villains.

How that conflict will manifest in-game is anybody’s guess, of course. The brilliance of the meteors right now is that they provide a notable infusion of drama without changing the game all that much beyond the occasional explosion: any depiction of grand, Earth-shaking conflict here needs to either be mostly aesthetic, confined to the skybox or largely carried out in social media videos. Regardless, Epic is doing a great job keeping the hype going, so stay tuned.

Nvidia announces $2,999 Titan V, ‘the most powerful PC GPU ever created’

It seems like Nvidia announces the fastest GPU in history multiple times a year, and that’s exactly what’s happened again today; the Titan V is “the most powerful PC GPU ever created,” in Nvidia’s words. It represents a more significant leap than most products that have made that claim, however, as it’s the first consumer-grade GPU based around Nvidia’s new Volta architecture.

That said, a liberal definition of the word “consumer” is in order here — the Titan V sells for $2,999 and is focused around AI and scientific simulation processing. Nvidia claims 110 teraflops of performance from its 21.1 billion transistors, with 12GB of HBM2 memory, 5120 CUDA cores, and 640 “tensor cores” that are said to offer up to 9x the deep-learning performance of its predecessor.

Also it comes in gold and black, which looks pretty cool.

“Our vision for Volta was to push the outer limits of high performance computing and AI. We broke new ground with its new processor architecture, instructions, numerical formats, memory architecture and processor links,” Nvidia founder and CEO Jensen Huang says in a statement. “With Titan V, we are putting Volta into the hands of researchers and scientists all over the world. I can’t wait to see their breakthrough discoveries.”

There’s no word on when Volta might make its way into more attainable gaming-focused GPUs. Nvidia’s current Pascal architecture was introduced over a year and a half ago with the GTX 1080, which still remains one of the best gaming GPUs available — only really topped in performance by its turbocharged successor, the GTX 1080 Ti. Volta GPUs will be a lot more expensive for Nvidia to produce, so the company may want to ride out the Pascal wave as long as it can.

The Titan V is available today and is limited to two per customer.


All the latest news and rumours about GTA 6

Given the sheer quantity of sales Rockstar’s crime series commands, the prospect of GTA 6 is less a question of ‘if’, than ‘when’. Right, so when? We’re coming up to a period when the gap between entries suggests a new Grand Theft Auto could be around the corner, relatively speaking. The realistic view, however, is that we’re highly unlikely to see GTA 6 in 2018.

Now that Red Dead Redemption 2 has been announced, it’s pretty certain Rockstar will likely want to dedicate next year to its Wild West series. But with Red Dead Redemption 2 out of the way, the path would be clear for a return to present-day crime action. With that in mind, here’s everything we know (and guess) so far about GTA 6.

GTA 6: Release date

If the previous Grand Theft Auto release timeline is anything to go by, we can expect a gap of around four or five years between GTA 5 and GTA 6GTA: San Andreas came out in 2004, GTA 4 came out in 2008, while GTA 5 came out in 2013. That would hint at a potential release in 2018.

The problem is, Rockstar recently announced Red Dead Redemption 2, due to launch in Spring 2018. As both RDR2 and GTA 6 will be open-world adventures, it would make sense for the company not to want to rush one out after the other. So while a late-2018 launch is possible, a much more probable time frame would be a GTA 6 release in 2019 or even 2020. 

GTA 6: Where will it be set?

While Rockstar has yet to make any official announcements surrounding GTA 6, there have been some subtle hints which sort of show that the game might be in development, at least in an early stage. There have been a number of mutterings that Rockstar could be considering locations outside of America – even a return to London following 1999’s Grand Theft Auto: London 1969 mission pack for the original game.

Water has been thrown on that particular fire thanks to a 2013 interview with The Guardian, which suggests the game won’t be set in London. “I think for us, my gut feeling is, GTA London was cool for the time, but games were more limited then,” said Rockstar’s Dan Houser. “These days I think we would love to set a game in the UK, set in London, whatever, but I don’t know if it would be a GTA game. I think there are plenty of great stories we could tell about the UK, great environments to showcase, great gameplay mechanics that could have a UK bent to them – I just don’t think it would be a GTA necessarily.”

Given that GTA has build itself around satirising American culture, we think it’s safe to assume the next game will stick to the ol’ US of A. There are even reports that Rockstar could be setting out to recreate a map that spans the entirety of the country, not just one city. Driving game The Crew offered players a condensed version of the US to navigate, so it could be that Rockstar wants to do something of similar scope. That said, there’s a big difference between county-spanning highways and the detailed environments seen in GTA 6. We’d prefer to see something with depth, rather than senseless grandeur.   

GTA 6: Who will you play?

In the 2013 Guardian interview, Houser also that Rockstar is open to the possibility of a playable female protagonist too, which would be a first for the series. “We didn’t really think about it this time [of GTA V],” he said. “That’s not to say that we couldn’t or we wouldn’t. This character set is just what came to us: it wasn’t, ‘we’ve got X and Y so we need Z,’ we weren’t trying to do it off a checklist – I don’t think that will ever give you something that’s believable or engaging.

“In the future, could we do a game with a lead female character? Of course. We just haven’t found the right game for it yet, but it’s one of the things that we always think about. It didn’t feel natural for this game but definitely for the right game in the future – with the right themes, it could be fantastic.” 

A female character would certainly be welcome, given their dearth in previous titles. We also loved the three distinct playable characters in Grand Theft Auto Vand would like to see this happen in the future, but perhaps they could expand on that, with the option to create your own character akin to the character creator in GTA Online. Of course, doing this would likely change the balance around scripted narrative. 

GTA 6: What will it look like?

We’d expect Grand Theft Auto 6 to be industry-leading in terms of visual fidelity and creating a believable world. We remember the first time we saw the announcement trailer for GTA 5 way back in October 2011 and were blown away by how good it looked, a feeling you may remember from GTA 4’s release back in 2008. Expect the same emotions when we see GTA 6 for the first time.

There’s also scope for Rockstar to push out something VR-related for GTA 6, although tacked-on virtual reality modes tend to be gimmicky and bit pants. Maybe a better option is a whole separate Rockstar title built from the group up around VR.

In terms of specifics, we don’t know anything about how the next GTA will look. Over the past few weeks there were murmurs of excitement in GTA 6-land, after an alleged stunt actor résumé surfaced, noting to a motion capture credit on none other than Grand Theft Auto 6. Several publications jumped on it, as evidence that production on the game is well underway, but the actor has since come out to deny it is his real CV.

“That isn’t my page, account or résumé,” Tim Neff told PCGamesN. “I don’t even know that website. I worked on GTA 5 a long time ago and haven’t done anything since. Sorry for the confusion. It seems I’m being trolled online really badly.”

The CV has since been notably reduced, leaving only some photos and bare-bones information. Following Neff’s account, it looks like the online CV was the work of some nefarious third party – for reasons that remain unclear. 

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Ryzen Pro: AMD takes on Intel on the corporate desktop, with one key omission

AMD today launched Ryzen Pro (styled “PRO” in AMD’s branding, but we’re not going to do that here), a series of processors designed for the corporate desktop. Close counterparts to the existing line of consumer-oriented Ryzen chips, the Pro parts are aimed at Intel’s vPro-compatible processors, which enable a number of additional administrative, security, and management capabilities.

Most of the regular Ryzen models have corresponding Pro versions, albeit topping out at a 1700X rather than the 1800 and 1800X of the consumer parts. This means that at the high end, there’s a couple of eight core, 16 thread parts, which is twice the number of cores and threads of comparable Intel chips.

In general, each Ryzen numbered series approximately corresponds to Intel’s numbering—Ryzen 7 against Core i7, and so on—but AMD is claiming some advantages over Intel. In particular, Intel doesn’t make any vPro-enabled i3-series processors. Even if your computational needs are modest, and an i3 is otherwise sufficient, you’ll have to step up to at least an i5 if you want vPro capabilities. Not so with Ryzen Pro; at the low end, AMD has a pair of Ryzen 3 Pro chips with just four cores and four threads each, operating at the same kind of price point as the two core, four thread i3, but with the same management and security capabilities as other Pro parts. Ryzen 3 Pros also have some amount of turbo boosting, which i3s don’t.

When pushed on what exactly those Pro features are, however, AMD is unclear. In the slides it prepared for the media, AMD listed features such as memory encryption, Secure Boot, and a firmware-integrated TPM as Ryzen Pro features. This is peculiar, though, because the regular Ryzen chips support Secure Boot and a firmware TPM. They also purport to support memory encryption, and at least some motherboard firmwares for Ryzen chips have settings for turning on this memory encryption. As such, these features don’t appear to be unique to Ryzen Pro.

The bigger difference seems to be in non-silicon features. The Pro CPUs have 3 year warranties, instead of the 12 months of the consumer parts; AMD also promises to manufacture the Pro parts for at least 24 months. This makes it much easier for enterprises to standardize on particular system configurations, safe in the knowledge that they’ll continue to be able to buy identical systems even over multi-year deployments.

AMD’s relative lack of product segmentation—extending the full range of features all the way down the line to the lowliest Ryzen 3 Pro—is certainly a welcome contrast to Intel’s segmented line-up and forced upsells. But there’s a big hurdle for the company to overcome in the corporate desktop space, especially when it comes to low-end parts: none of these chips have integrated GPUs. While the high-end Ryzen 7 Pro parts are likely to be used for high-end workloads with discrete GPUs, the mid-range Ryzen 5 Pros and low-end Ryzen 3 Pros are much less likely to justify that additional expense. Intel’s competing chips, in contrast, all come with an integrated GPU, enabling a range of small form factors, reduced power consumption, and lower bills of materials.

Ryzen chips with integrated GPUs will materialize eventually, but until they do, we feel that Ryzen Pro has something of an uphill battle ahead of it. Ryzen Pro systems should ship in the second half of this year; Ryzen Pro mobile parts will be released in the first half of 2018, with a full reveal due in late August.

Original link: https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2017/06/ryzen-pro-amd-takes-on-intel-on-the-corporate-desktop-with-one-key-omission/

Hold on to your wallets: The Core i9 reviews are in

After the leaks, the announcements, and the controversy, the Core i9 reviews we’ve been waiting for are here. The embargo has dropped on the gaming hardware sites that have been putting Intel’s newest processors through the ringer, and we can finally see that it’s not just all one elaborate Intel PR move.

You can and should read the comprehensive reviews from Anandtech and Tom’s Hardware, but the conclusion is simple: for $1,000, the new Intel i9-7900X is the most powerful consumer processor you can buy today. It’s also $1,000, which doesn’t sound like a bargain, but it’s a whole bunch cheaper than previous 10-core processors that Intel has sold.

The 7900X beasted the older Broadwell-E Core i7, the previous 10-core champion. That processor also cost $1,700, well above the $999 Intel is selling the 7900X for. \

But it’s not as simple as saying the Core i9 is a great deal: AMD’s new Ryzen chip has about 70% of the performance for half the price, and the cheaper $329 Ryzen has respectable scores for something a third of the price.

One thing to note, though, is that both AMD and Intel’s new chips score most of the improvement in the raw computing department. Video editing and compression will be much faster than previous generations, but when it comes to gaming, there’s barely any improvement. Some of that will come with time, as developers learn to use the advantages of the new multi-core processors, but these days, graphics cards have a much greater effect on gaming than a CPU. Anandtech recommends that “if you’re a gamer you should probably wait for the platform to mature a bit more and for the remaining gaming issues to be fixed before ordering anything.”

Tom’s Hardware paints a similar picture, with the verdict suggesting that “Intel’s Skylake-X-based Core i9-7900X weighs in with 10 Hyper-Threaded cores and architectural enhancements that benefit many workstation-class workloads, such as rendering and content creation. The processor struggles in some games compared to its predecessor, failing to match the Core i7-6950X in several titles.”

Conclusion: the Core i9 is a fantastic, “affordable” consumer-level processor for anyone who needs to crunch big computational challenges. For gamers, it’s probably not the massive step up you might’ve thought.

Original link: http://bgr.com/2017/06/19/intel-core-i9-review-vs-amd-benchmarks/

Microsoft Xbox One X vs Sony PS4 Pro: Which is the best 4K console?

Microsoft Xbox One X has been announced at E3 2017. We already know the internal specifications of the Xbox One X, which puts the console in direct competition with Sony’s PlayStation 4 Pro.  So which console are you planning to buy?

E3 2017, Xbox One X, PS4 Pro, Xbox One vs PS4 Pro

While the PS4 Pro doesn’t have the ability to render games in native 4K, it has the price advantage. So which console are you planning to buy?

Microsoft has announced its new Xbox home console – the Xbox One X. It’s claimed to be the most powerful console ever made and will be priced for $499 (or approx Rs 32,159).  We already know the internal specifications of the Xbox One X, which puts the console in direct competition with Sony’s PlayStation 4 Pro.

Both consoles are targeted at the hardcore community, unlike Nintendo Switch which is a hybrid machine, primarily caters to a wide audience of users. The PS4 Pro is out now, but the Xbox One X will only be made available in November. The Xbox One X’s biggest highlight is its support for 4K, while the console is also fully compatible with all previous Xbox One games and accessories. While the PS4 Pro doesn’t have the ability to render games in native 4K, it has the price advantage. So which console are you planning to buy? Xbox One X or PS4 Pro. Let’s find out in our comparison.

Xbox One X vs PS4 Pro – Processor, Graphics and  RAM

The Xbox One X is more powerful than the PS4 Pro in terms of processing output. The Xbox One X features six teraflops of processing power that runs at 2.3GHz, in comparison, the PlayStation 4 Pro offers four teraflops at 2.1Ghz.  The Xbox One X is paired with 12GB of GDDR5 memory, with 9GB unlocked for developers, more than that of the PS4 Pro’s 8GB of DDR5 memory. The CPU is also clocked a bit higher, improving the overall performance.Both consoles come with 1TB of storage by default.

Xbox One X vs PS4 Pro – Games, backward compatible and other media

As you might expect, the Xbox One X is superior to the PS4 Pro due to the increased GPU power and better memory performance. As a result, the Xbox One X is capable of play games in native 4K at 60 frames per second. By contrast, the PS4 Pro does offer upscaled content in 4K but the console can’t handle games at 60 fps.

Both the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X support existing PS4 and Xbox One titles. Microsoft said all Xbox One games will look better on the Xbox One X.  You will be able to play games either in Full HD, or play it in Ultra-HD resolution. While it’s true that both the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X are more powerful, there are no exclusive titles available on the consoles. The Xbox One X can play Ultra-HD Blu-ray disks, whereas the PS4 Pro can’t play 4K Blu-rays.

 E3 2017, Xbox One X, PS4 Pro, Xbox One vs PS4 ProThe PS4 Pro is out now, but the Xbox One X will only be made available in November.

Xbox One X vs PS4 Pro – Price and Conclusion 

At the moment you can pick up the PS4 Pro for around Rs 38,000. Most importantly the console is available in India. The Xbox One X will only hit the markets in November for $499 ( or approx Rs 32,159). We cannot guarantee whether Microsoft will bring the Xbox One X to India or not.

In terms of sheer raw power, the Xbox One X wins over the PlaytStation 4 Pro. Do keep in mind that the Xbox One X is more expensive to purchase. Also, you need to keep in mind that Sony has a robust lineup of exclusive and third-party games that Microsoft just can’t match.

Original link: http://indianexpress.com/article/technology/gaming/microsoft-xbox-one-x-vs-sony-ps4-pro-which-is-the-best-4k-console/

Are any of you interested in the upcoming Intel X299 platform?

First off, this is going to become quite confusing for people less familiar with computer hardware. Intel has Z270, AMD has X370, and now Intel is going to have X299, and AMD is going to have X399/X390. But I digress.

X299 is a bit interesting as it’s going to have two separate ranges of CPU’s: Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X.

Honestly the less interesting of the two, Kaby Lake-X will be limited to 4 cores and 8 threads, so basically you’re not getting an improvement over the standard Kaby Lake platform. In fact, it’s limited to 16 PCIe lanes and dual-channel memory, so besides maybe some extra USB and SATA ports versus the Z270 platform, I really don’t see what purpose Kaby Lake-X has. Maybe it’ll just have more power available to it for more stable overclocks? I’m not really sure.

Skylake-X, on the other hand, will be the next HEDT platform, and will now be expanded to include the first consumer 12 core, 24 thread CPU. It’ll also feature up to 44 PCIe lanes and quad-channel memory.

Of course the big question is price. I’d expect that the Kaby Lake-X chips would start around $350, because otherwise if they’re more expensive you might as well just get a 7700K. As for Skylake-X, who knows?

Taking past specs and pricing into account, I’d maybe expect the 7800K to be a 6-core for around $400, the 7850K to be an 8-core for around $600-$650, the 7900K to be a 10-core for around $1,000 and the 7950X to be a 12-core for around $1,700, following the 6000-series pricing.

Of course, Ryzen may convince Intel to drop their prices, considering that the 1700X and 1800X can obtain comparable performance to a 6900K for less than half the price. In that case, the prospective 7850K may drop to only around $500 to compete with the 1800X, but I honestly expect the 7900K and 7950X to stay at high pricing just because that’s what Intel has always done with their ultra-high end products. Although if AMD comes out with 10 or 12-core options on their X390/X399 platform that may influence Intel to drop the prices of those as well.

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