4K on a budget: the GTX 970 experiment

about X hours ago from
4K on a budget: the GTX 970 experiment

Can Nvidia's now-discontinued GeForce GTX 970 successfully power a 4K ultra HD display on a range of challenging PC games? On the face of it, the notion sounds ludicrous - on a specs level we're severely constrained by memory capacity, bandwidth and of course, basic compute power. But consider this: the prices of 4K monitors and TVs are dropping like a stone, but relatively speaking, graphics hardware is holding its price. On a general level, we need more from our graphics hardware, and the GTX 970 is an excellent subject for our tests to see just how far mainstream GPUs can be pushed.

The choice of this particular video card is not coincidental. The GTX 970 is a sales phenomenon to the point where even though it was removed from sale some time ago, it's still the second most popular GPU in the Steam hardware survey, just ahead of its effective Pascal replacement, the GTX 1060. Overclock the GTX 970 and as long you're not bogged down by sub-optimal drivers, or held back by its lower memory allocation, its ballpark performance is on par with the 1060. Automatically, our test results here will apply to around 10.5 per cent of the current PC gaming market.

Watch: 8 games that will look instantly better on Xbox One X

about X hours ago from
Watch: 8 games that will look instantly better on Xbox One X

This week on Outside Xbox we returned from the videogaming promised land of E3, laden with video wares that can be found over on our YouTube channel. Though if you thought we would then just succumb to jet lag and spend the next seven days in blissful unconsciousness, think again.

Instead, this week we inspected the Xbox One X Enhanced program, which will update some older Xbox One games so they might benefit from the improved specs of the Xbox One X when the console launches on 7 November 2017.

When you've just dropped £500 on a new console, it's encouraging to know some of your existing library will be taking advantage of its power. Here are eight games that are going to look instantly better on Xbox One X.

Watch: The Crackdown game you never knew existed

about X hours ago from
Watch: The Crackdown game you never knew existed

Considering Crackdown 3 is one of the few platform exclusives that Microsoft has at the moment, its showing at E3 seemed rather muted. The short campaign trailer may have had a big dose of Terry Crews, but it was surprisingly light on destruction - a feature, it turns out, that's actually limited to its multiplayer portion only.

What you might not know though, is that in 1989 another game named Crackdown was released, and this one was all about blowing things up. The main aim of the game was to place multiple time-bombs in strategic locations around an evil scientists research facility before hot-footing it out of the exit before they all exploded.

In the latest episode of Games You Never Knew Existed, I take a detailed look at the Sega's System 24 classic, Crackdown. Touching on everything from the action-packed arcade original and the multi-load levels of the ZX Spectrum through to the difficulties in porting the home computer versions and the bizarre differences in the regional box art, there's plenty here to keep you entertained if you are a fan of video game history.

“I want to be seen as the best”

about X hours ago from
“I want to be seen as the best”

One of my favourite things about being a football fan is that the game isn't the only thing you hear about any more. The demands of a seemingly insatiable 24 hour news media has meant that journalists get the chance to tell stories that go beyond the sport itself.

In particular, I'm always fascinated by one to one player interviews. The chance to discover more about the game by talking to the people who take part in it beguiles me, particularly when interviews are as insightful as Sid Lowe's interview with Luis Suarez from 2012.

But while the player interview is a cornerstone of, say, football coverage, it is still something of a rarity in the world of eSports. So, after being invited by Konami to attend the final of the Pro Evolution Soccer (PES) League at the Emirates stadium in June, I took it upon myself to do something about it. 
I cornered one of the 16 entrants, 27 year old Eldridge O'Niel aka Oneill, to find out what makes him tick. And it's fair to say I learned a lot about what it's like trying to make a career in an industry that's still a long way from the top.

Nintendo New 2DS XL review

about X hours ago from
Nintendo New 2DS XL review

Six years since the 3DS first launched, Nintendo's New 2DS XL lets the handheld go out on a high. Forget the standard 2DS - a heavily stripped back version of the console released at a budget price - the 2DS XL is a very different beast. It includes almost all the features of the New 3DS XL, including its extra processing power and 256MB of RAM. You get the C-stick controls and ZL/ZR shoulder buttons as well, plus Amiibo NFC support. But as the name of the machine suggests, the obvious change is the complete removal of the auto-stereoscopic 3D display, and the head-tracking technology.

These cutbacks translate to a lower £130 price-tag, shaving a good £30-40 off the New 3DS XL, and less than half the price of a Nintendo Switch. For anyone itching to check out a huge catalogue of 3DS and DS games, and just aren't fussed about 3D, there's a lot to like - fundamentally, this is a well-built piece of kit. However, there are a couple of nitpicks too.

Jelly Deals roundup: Steam Summer Sale, Xbox Live Gold, free Overwatch loot boxes, and more

about X hours ago from
Jelly Deals roundup: Steam Summer Sale, Xbox Live Gold, free Overwatch loot boxes, and more

A note from the editor: Jelly Deals is a deals site launched by our parent company, Gamer Network, with a mission to find the best bargains out there. Look out for the Jelly Deals roundup of reduced-price games and kit every Saturday on Eurogamer.

Thanks largely to the start of the Steam Summer Sale, it's going to be a bit of a week for our collective bank accounts, so I'll be brief - we've got another batch of the week's best gaming deals and best tech deals and other lovely things like that. Let's get right to them and save precious Steam surfing time.

As usual, we've got deals that'll work in the UK, deals that'll work in the US and some deals that will work in both the UK and US, as well as presumably many other places. Let's get started.

In memory of Call of Duty's cyborgs

about X hours ago from
In memory of Call of Duty's cyborgs

Call of Duty has finally washed its hands of the far future, ejecting from Infinite Warfare's glistening cockpit and plunging headlong into the barbed wire thickets and bullet-churned foxholes of the 1940s. But given that Call of Duty is already the War To End All Wars, reshaping periods and places to fit its own, ageless and perpetually revisited strain of corridor shoot-out, what does heading back to World War 2 actually mean in practice? The resumed brownification of video game visuals aside, it means the end of the series' brief, torrid love affair with powered exoskeletons and cybernetic enhancements. Exosuits remain the fashion elsewhere - consider BioWare's Anthem, in which mechs surge like dolphins through the foliage of a collapsed Earth - and it's possible that 2018's Call of Duty (Black Ops 4, presumably) will stuff you back into a cyborg Onesie. But Sledgehammer's decision to clear the table of cybernetic enhancements is a pivotal moment for a trope that has given rise to some powerful experiments.

PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds makes $100m in 13 weeks

about X hours ago from
PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds makes $100m in 13 weeks

Battle Royale shooter PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds has amassed a stellar $100m in revenue since its Steam Early Access launch on 23rd March, developer Bluehole has announced.

In that time it's sold more than 4m copies.

Its player base has an interesting spread globally, with 24 per cent of its audience in the US, 19 per cent in China, six per cent in Germany, six per cent in Russia, 5.5 per cent in South Korea, 4.3 per cent in Japan, and only four per cent in the UK.

Monster Hunter Stories sets September release date in Europe

about X hours ago from
Monster Hunter Stories sets September release date in Europe

Monster Hunter Stories, the turn-based RPG spin-off of Capcom's popular action series, will make its western debut in Europe on 8th September.

A North American release is expected to follow later this year.

As the title suggests, Monster Hunter Stories is like Monster Hunter, but with a story. And turn-based combat. And cel-shaded graphics. In other words, it's not like Monster Hunter at all.

Hitman's penultimate Elusive Target launches today

about X hours ago from
Hitman's penultimate Elusive Target launches today

The Hitman reboot's first season has nearly come to an end with developer IO Interactive releasing its second to last Elusive Target today.

Available for 10 days, this Elusive Target is set in Hokkaido and it comes with a twist: you don't know who you're trying to kill and must discover this information on the field.

Better yet, if you choose to restart the mission (which you can only do if you've not completed any objectives), your target may be a completely different person. So you can't simply restart and go straight for the kill.