Updated: GDC 2014: all the latest from this year’s gaming conference
GDC 2014: Day three
The Expo has kicked off to huge crowds of gaming enthusiasts, more developers and of course, industry bigwigs ready to woo and be wooed.
With the news of about Sony’s Project Morpheus right here
Virtual reality for all
In the meantime, the Immersive Technology Alliance opened its first meeting with clarification about Oculus’s recent departure.
However, various other VR companies were on hand like CastAR, Prio VR, Avegant, Middle VR, Epson, Vrelia, FPS Creator and Gameface Labs to show off hardware, tout the importance of VR software and discuss investors.
Despite the lack of an all-star VR name, the ITA seems to be in a good place with the current roster. Many of the companies are also hoping to find funding on Kickstarter, and perhaps the same fame that was thrusted on Oculus.
Unity 5 has also been announced. Unity is one of the most popular cross-platform engines and is now greatly improved.
Players can expect higher quality characters and environments thanks to better lighting and shading, meaning even more realistic graphics.
Falling in line with Epic’s recent move to add more browser gaming to Firefox, Unity is also working with Mozilla to make plugin-free gaming.
Microsoft hearts indie
The Xbox One and independent developer relationship got off to a rocky start, but Redmond has definitely been busy trying to win back the devs.
Calling this “the midst of a golden age of independent games,” Microsoft’s independent developers publishing arms, or ID@Xbox, dropped the news at GDC that 25 new titles will soon be available.
The titles originate from nine countries, and include newcomers such as It Draws a Red Box and FRU. Current “fan favorites” being brought to the Xbox One platform include Strike Suite Zero and Divekick.
Other indie titles include Nutjitsu, 1001 Spikes, Guacamelee Super Turbo Championship Edition (we’re partial to the name) and Riptide GP2.
Expect to hear more from Microsoft in the coming days about DirectX 12, SmartGlass and cross-screen apps.
GDC 2014: Day one
GDC 2014 is well underway and TechRadar is here in San Francisco to bring you all the news as it happens.
There will be news from the Oculus Rift team, Microsoft, Sony, Valve and more in the coming days but right now, we’ve got a few tidbits about the growing world of mobile gaming.
Gaming on the go
First up, there’s been quite a bit of talk about cross-platform gaming and it looks like Facebook is getting in on the game.
Facebook told TechRadar that its push for cross-platform game development is based at least in part on the company’s findings that cross-platform gaming monetize well.
A spokesperson declined to give specifics on cross-platform usage.
However, those who are fans of Facebook games can look forward to a big push for more social media games for both mobile and desktop browsers.
Google announced it is bringing turn-based and real-time multiplayer capabilities to iOS and Android devices.
More information will be released during a presentation on Tuesday but for now, we know that if developers include the service in their games, iOS and Android users will be able to play against each other.
Check back for more later on Wednesday when the show gets “properly” gets started. Until then, here’s what we’re expecting to see this week.
GDC 2014: Show floor speculation
From March 17- March 21, the San Francisco Moscone Center will play host to thousands of gaming industry professionals, aspiring developers and press alike for the 2014 Game Developers Conference.
The short answer? Plenty.
CES 2014 made sure to show off the Steam Machines and we’re betting there will be more face time with each unique box during GDC. We’re also putting our money down on seeing more virtual reality devices, indie games and perhaps sneak peeks of upcoming triple A titles.
For the long answer, check out our list below for more on what we expect to see during the conference.
Valve’s big year to continue
We’re hoping to see at least one Steam Machine in working order and ready for a full hands on at GDC.
With the latest news that the Controllers are seeing a total redesign, we probably won’t see the latest version up and running, but perhaps Valve will have renderings and mock ups on hand? We can hope.
Will we also see Valve’s virtual reality headset? It made appearances at the recent Steam Dev Days where attendees took it for a spin, but it seems the company has no plans to continue the project … or does it? We’ll find out at the conference.
Update: Valve’s Gabe Newell recently did an AMA on Reddit and teased several juicy details about all things Steam, including news about Half-Life 3 – there is no news.
However, Newell and co. seem to have big plans for Steam Music – as in it might look like Spotify or Pandora. Hopefully GDC will shed more light on it.
Additionally, Valve is still furiously working away on a budget Steam Box.
The engine that powers the Crysis games, CryEngine, is allegedly on its way to Linux – meaning devs working with CryEngine could easily hop on over to the Linux powered SteamOS.
Valve also just released shots of its new, redesigned Steam Controller and we’re betting it will be on hand during GDC, where we will of course get a hands on to see how it compares to the old one.
The reigning VR champ
Speaking of virtual reality, we’d be remiss to leave out the headset that everyone’s dying to get their hands on – the Oculus Rift.
YouTube : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7hyeUkB44IM
Only the developer kit is out and we’ve seen the Rift make a lot of progress; the Crystal Cove prototype thankfully includes positional head-tracking and low persistence, both of which help make the virtual reality experience even more immersive and addresses some users’ complaints, including motion blur-induced nausea.
Crystal Cove will most likely be on display at GDC but hopefully the folks at Oculus will have a bit more news to share – like when we’ll be able to dive into gaming at home.
Update: Virtual reality itself is making waves in the tech world; though various forms have been out and about for years now, it’s really starting to take off.
In fact, the Stereoscopic 3D Gaming Alliance has been freshly rebranded as the Immersive Technology Alliance (ITA). Aimed at delivering the magic of virtual reality to the masses, there are more than 20 companies listed including some familiar names – like Oculus VR and Electronic Arts – but also Virtuix, Panasonic, Epson and HDMI.
The ITA will hold a private session on March 18 which we’re attending to make sure you have all the details about the VR world.
Amazon – what?
Yup, Amazon. It’s one of the biggest e-commerce sites, and with the addition of Killer Instinct studio Double Helix, it seems the company wants to be even bigger.
The rumored Amazon console is also looking more and more likely, though it’s doubtful Amazon will actually unveil any hardware next month.
However, it’s possible the company will divulge information on its purchase and maybe reveal some nuggets about its plans for the gaming studio. We can’t imagine it’d pass up the chance to get game developers excited and on board if it’s plans do extend to gaming.
GDC 2014: Show floor speculation continued
Sony’s big, big plans
The PlayStation 4 has proven to be a huge hit but what’s Sony got up its sleeves now? Well, earlier in January Tony Clark, director of business development at Sony, tweeted, “This is such a MASSIVE year coming up! Lots on for #PS4 #PS3 #PSVita at #GDC #E3 #Gamescom and so much more! Exciting!”
The PS Vita Slim will naturally be a big talking point. Already out in other parts of the world, the Vita Slim is seeing a spring 2014 US release, so it’s obvious Sony will want a lot of buzz around the smaller – but still powerful – beauty.
In case you didn’t know, Sony also has its own virtual reality headset in the works. Well, it’s rumored to have one, but really it’s not surprising since the company already has the Sony HMZ-T1 Personal 3D Viewer, a device that has stayed in the shadows because of it’s huge price tag and lackluster abilities.
With the advent of more virtual reality headsets, Sony is definitely looking to improve and get in the game (pun intended) with a better head mounted display, and here’s hoping we’ll see something more solid at GDC.
Update: It looks like we actually will see a PS4 specific VR headset from Sony. We were tipped recently from a source who claims they’ve seen and even tried out the device – and were duly impressed. Exciting!
The recently announced Sony panels, “innovation at PlayStation” and “the future of gaming” on March 18 suggest the company might just have a thing or two to tell us, don’t you think?
YouTube : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CaYG6jPDDho
With other sources coming forward, it’s looking more and more like the VR set will pop up during GDC. Word of a prototype headset from Sony seems to be the latest in the mix.
The future of free to play games on Sony’s PS platforms will also be discussed – plus expect to hear more about new features for the PS4, PS3 and definitely more demos of PlayStation Now.
Microsoft looking to expand Live, and more
Like Sony, Microsoft already has its Xbox One out in the world. The question is, what’s next?
Judging from the panels Microsoft will be presenting, SmartGlass and cross-screen applications will be a major talking point.
Similarly, it seems the expansion of Xbox Live is in the books with Microsoft hoping devs will be able to better see Live’s capabilities and the “exciting opportunities” it affords.
Update: It looks like Microsoft is looking to update it’s DirectX API to DirectX 12 during one of its sessions.
DirectX: Evolving Microsoft’s Graphics Platform is probably where we’ll hear more info – though the panel description details how the company plans on delivering better tools to increase performance from “PC, tablet, phone and console.”
The panel will take place March 20.
Nintendo still alive and kickin’
Aside from an Animal Crossing presentation, Nintendo has a few interesting tidbits to share at GDC.
Though we probably won’t hear anything about the health platform initiative announced awhile ago, there will be a booth presentation by Manager of Business Development Dan Adelman.
The Wii U seems to be the main focus for Nintendo. The company will be touting eShop games for the device that were built with Unity, and the Nintendo Web Framework to draw in more developers to create games for the platform.
Indie games more popular than ever
Tech conferences are meccas for start ups, and it’s no different for indie devs. With the meteoric rise of many lesser-known gaming titles over the years, GDC 2014 will be a popular stomping ground for said developers as they try to woo and win over the crowd.
The Independent Games Festival awards is in its sixteenth year and will take place right before the GDC Choice Awards. The IGF has given away tons of money in support and recognition of the latest fantastic displays of indie game development.
Among the eight summits, Peter Molyneux is a big name attached to the Independent Summit. He ventured back to indie gaming in 2012 and will be giving a talk called “From Indie to AAA to Indie: The Rebirth of Design” on March 18 – where he will discuss his experiences in both types of studios.
Via: Audio feed