The story of the Duke, the Xbox pad that existed because it had to

about X hours ago from
The story of the Duke, the Xbox pad that existed because it had to

Denise Chaudhari had never touched a gamepad before stepping onto Microsoft's campus as a contractor. The first woman to join the Xbox team, Chaudhari had studied ergonomics and industrial design at the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design but didn't have any experience with joysticks. That's part of why Xbox's Jim Stewart was so excited to bring her on board: Her ideas wouldn't be based on preconceived notions of what a gamepad had to be.

Live the startup 'dream' in the ‘Silicon Valley’ VR Hacker Hostel

about X hours ago from
Live the startup 'dream' in the ‘Silicon Valley’ VR Hacker Hostel

If you've enjoyed HBO's Silicon Valley over the last four seasons, chances are you're keyed in to the same tech and startup scenes that the show satires. Which means you might have an HTC Vive, which is the platform of choice for the upcoming VR experience based on the show. If you want to roam around the suburban "startup incubator" where the Pied Piper team makes the magic happen, Silicon Valley VR: Inside The Hacker Hostel is coming soon to HTC's headset.

'Guacamelee! 2' blends a Mexican fairytale with wild, flashy action

about X hours ago from
'Guacamelee! 2' blends a Mexican fairytale with wild, flashy action

Good sequels are hard to make, especially if your first product was considered a hit by gamers and critics alike. That's a predicament that developer DrinkBox Studios is about to face with Guacamelee 2!, the followup to its beat-em-up, Mexican wrestler-themed game from 2014. But, I'm happy to report that the sequel may be even better than the original, thanks to an improved graphics engine and characters who are more robust (and powerful) than before. I played it at GDC 2018 and it didn't leave anything to be desired, at least based on the 30 minutes or so I spent with all the new features.

OptiTrack Active VR makes for a more mobile zombiepocalypse

about X hours ago from
OptiTrack Active VR makes for a more mobile zombiepocalypse

My biggest qualm with many home VR experiences involves how I move about in-game. Using a controller for locomotion -- whether its a Doom VR-style teleportation mechanism or using a thumbstick a la Farpoint VR -- dramatically reduces the immersiveness of the gameplay and reminds me that I'm really just wearing a screen on my face. But with the Active VR system from OptiTrack, players will soon be able to move around in the game the same way they do in real life: by moving their feet.

Red Bull built an underground eSports bar in London

about X hours ago from
Red Bull built an underground eSports bar in London

London's Red Bull Gaming Sphere has everything you would expect from an eSports venue: neon-strewn PCs, large TVs, chunky headsets and the latest Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft consoles. But this isn't a stadium designed to compete with the Gfinity Arena or ESL's Studio 1 in Leicester. There are no seats, for instance, beyond a few cube-shaped blocks scattered in front of a 190-inch wall-mounted TV. It's something else, a strange hybrid of eSports arcade and Twitch-friendly streaming studio. The hardware inside is undoubtedly impressive, but on opening night few are sure what it's actually for.

Hands-on with the sci-fi game that falls apart as you play

about X hours ago from
Hands-on with the sci-fi game that falls apart as you play

You're never going to play Clunker Junker in your living room or on your desktop PC, no matter how many GPUs it has. Hardware is the issue here, but it's not a matter of processing power -- Clunker Junker requires two LED-adorned arm cranks, plus four crates with glowing lights and doors that come crashing down when they're unlatched during gameplay. The game itself, to be fair, runs on a laptop, but that's about as traditional as this thing gets.