hardware

Sea of Thieves’ official controller is pure pirate gold

Excited about Sea of Thieves coming to Xbox One and PC this March? Excited enough that you’re already putting together your pirate cosplay outfit for launch day and have a nearby kiddie pool filled with water to make any loved ones “walk the plank?” Well now you can fully accessorize with the pre-order of the official Sea of Thieves Xbox controller.

The controller will become available on February 15th and can be purchased for £64.99 or about $85. Sure, it’s pricey, but it does have a really neat glow-in-the-dark design (we particularly like the compass-style analog stick and the single gold “tooth” trigger) and is wireless. It can be used for both console and Windows 10 PCs.

Sure, it’s a bit of hardware fluff, but the existence of an official Sea of Thieves controller is yet another sign of how seriously Microsoft is taking the launch of this game by throwing its weight behind it. Smooth sailing ahead!

Source: Microsoft via Eurogamer

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Saga of Lucimia doesn’t have minimum specs for its testing, but it also does

There are no minimum specs listed for Saga of Lucimia’s early access test starting on December 22nd. That’s because no work has really yet been done on optimization, much less testing, so the general consensus on “how low can this run” hasn’t yet been established. But that doesn’t mean that there are no limitations; as the latest video explains, the game does still require a certain amount of hardware to run cleanly.

It’s a short video, but if you’re in a rush, the even shorter version is that the game is playable at lower framerates on a GTX 960M card and should be smooth and lovely on a GTX 1060. Those of you with older video cards should not assume that the game won’t run even on the lowest settings, but… you might want to prepare for that eventuality. Check out the video below for more discussion and a demonstration on the aforementioned two-year-old card.

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The Daily Grind: What gaming mouse do you use for MMORPGs?

A couple of months ago, I went on a tear desperately trying to find a new mouse both for work and for MMOs and general gaming. My mouse was great in its day as it’s the perfect size for my hands (they’re small) and my wrists (they’re prone to serious pain). But it’s old now, the drivers don’t function properly with Windows 10, the plastic is eroding away, and the replacement model is terrible. And honestly, it wasn’t a gaming mouse.

I ended up with a Roccat Lua, which basically falls into the “cheap and good enough in a pinch” category, but it’s still too long for my hand, and it doesn’t have extra buttons, which I reaaaaaalllly want back — they’re indispensable when playing MMOs. There’s no way I could play, say, a respectable healer in an MMO without at least a thumb and top button.

I thought I’d make today’s Daily Grind pull double duty: I want to hear all about the mice you guys use for MMO gaming — brag away! — and hopefully get some ideas for other brands and models I might try. What gaming mouse do you use for MMORPGs? What makes it so great?

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Best Buy is pulling Oculus demo stations

The best hope for VR headsets to move units is indisputably in the field of demonstrations. That’s really always been the hope that the technology has relied upon, that if you can get people to try out the technology they’ll want to buy it. Unfortunately for Oculus, it appears that demo stations haven’t been enough, as Best Buy locations are reportedly packing up and removing 200 of its 500 Oculus demo stations. Business Insider reports that this comes after several of the stations went days with no one even trying the station.

Obviously, this comes in the midst of a bad year for the VR headset outfit, following a number of other issues including a recent loss in court against Bethesda. The official statement from Oculus is that this is due to “seasonal changes,” but that seems like a rather transparent bit of damage control under the circumstances. Sales of the unit apparently tapered off sharply after the holidays, so it remains to be seen if the remaining demo stations might start moving enough units to justify their presence.

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Check out a test drive of DayZ’s new rendering engine

You remember DayZ, don’t you? It’s not the only survival sandbox on the market any longer, but it’s still in early access and being refined over time. And its newest refinement should prove to be a treat for the eyes, as the game is testing a new rendering engine to make performance smoother and the landscape more attractive on a whole. Sure, the game’s central conceit is that “beautiful” is “not having a zombie gnaw on your throat,” but it’s the principle of the thing.

While the framerate does drop a bit in the video below due to the reality of recording footage, it’s a less severe drop than on the current live client. No word yet on when the new renderer will go live, but take a look at what it’s capable of and you may very well wish that the answer were “yesterday” — unless you’re a big fan of rain accidentally clipping through roofs, we all have our preferences.

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EVE Online welcomes back lapsed accounts to test its new server hardware

You remember that EVE Online is testing out some new hardware for its live servers, yes? Awesome. Because you’re invited to take part in the testing. Yes, you, right there in the audience, without an active account for EVE at the moment. You are invited to test the hardware for free. It’s not much of a stress test if you aren’t stressing the servers, right?

All right, it might not specifically be you invited for the testing. The test is open to anyone who has had an active EVE Online account as far back as January of 2014, so you can’t test out the new server tech if you’ve never played or stopped playing a long time ago. Still, the important thing is that lapsed players get to jump in on the action, so that should be fun.

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PlanetSide 2 discontinues support for 32-bit client

The shift to widespread use of 64-bit operating hardware and systems is a good thing in many ways; for one thing, it means that we don’t need to hear quite as much about the Year 2038 Problem. But it does have downsides for those using older hardware, as PlanetSide 2 has demonstrated. With the game’s next update, the 32-bit client will no longer be officially supported, thus placing those on older machines out of the game.

According to the post announcing that support will be discontinued, a minority of players still use the 32-bit client, so the development team clearly feels it will have a minimal impact. Still, it means that some players will be locked out of the game. Whether or not it’s a necessary price for the ongoing march of technology is left as an exercise for the reader.

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The Daily Grind: Have bugs ever killed your enthusiasm for an MMO?

With a sale on Steam and a bit of curiosity, I decided that I would pick up and play some Fallout 3 over the weekend. Unfortunately, the description of the game didn’t include the important bit of information that the game will randomly crash on a regular basis, meaning that of my playtime in the game thus far, I’d estimate that at least half of it has been erased by the game crashing. Over and over. With no regard for what I’m doing.

I’m well aware the game isn’t an MMO (there are several signs, like the fact that it’s offline), but even so, I know there are people who have had technical issues so severe that games have been written off not for game mechanics but for simple unplayability. Has this happened to you? Have your attempts to play an MMO been met with so many crashes and bugs that playing became too irritating to continue?

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