Microsoft is acquiring ZeniMax Media - parent company of Bethesda. Yeah, let that one sink in. Bethesda Game Studios, id Software, ZeniMax Online Studios, Arkane, MachineGames, Tango Gameworks, Alpha Dog, and Roundhouse Studios are all set to become a part of the Xbox Game Studios family.
No doubt this is major, perhaps the biggest and most surprising gaming news story and acquisition we've seen in years. As part of the announcement, Phil Spencer, Head of Xbox took to Xbox Wire to formally welcome Bethesda.
As one of the largest, most critically acclaimed, privately held game developers and publishers in the world, Bethesda is an incredibly talented group of 2,300 people worldwide who make up some of the most accomplished creative studios in our industry across Bethesda Softworks, Bethesda Game Studios, id Software, ZeniMax Online Studios, Arkane, MachineGames, Tango Gameworks, Alpha Dog, and Roundhouse Studios. These are the teams responsible for franchises like The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Wolfenstein, DOOM, Dishonored, Prey, Quake, Starfield and many more.
Bethesda’s games have always had a special place on Xbox and in the hearts of millions of gamers around the world. Our teams have a close and storied history working together, from the amazing first DOOM, and its id Tech engine, innovating games on PCs to Bethesda bringing their first console game to the original Xbox, the groundbreaking The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. Over the years I’ve had many deep conversations with the creative leaders at Bethesda on the future of gaming and we’ve long shared similar visions for the opportunities for creators and their games to reach more players in more ways.
Just as they took the bold first steps to bring The Elder Scrolls franchise to the original Xbox, Bethesda were early supporters of Xbox Game Pass, bringing their games to new audiences across devices and have been actively investing in new gaming technology like cloud streaming of games. We will be adding Bethesda’s iconic franchises to Xbox Game Pass for console and PC. One of the things that has me most excited is seeing the roadmap with Bethesda’s future games, some announced and many unannounced, to Xbox console and PC including Starfield, the highly anticipated, new space epic currently in development by Bethesda Game Studios.
As per above we've got confirmation that all Bethesda titles will make their way to Xbox Game Pass. Which really, is now ridiculously good value for gamers -- and something that will make both the Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X pretty hard to resist in the years to come. That said it leaves a big question mark surrounding the PlayStation 5 exclusivity deals surrounding Arkane's Deathloop and Tango Gameworks' Ghostwire: Tokyo.
Phil is also alluding to perhaps one of the most anticipated and mysterious RPG's in years -- Starfield, from Bethesda Game Studios -- becoming a PC and Xbox exclusive. Which probably means the same for The Elder Scrolls VI.
Today is a landmark step in our journey together and I’m incredibly energized by what this step means for Xbox.
Please join me in welcoming all of our friends at Bethesda to Team Xbox.
No doubt Phil, no doubt. This is huge -- and in all honesty will take a while to process. The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, DOOM, Wolfenstein. Yeah, these are now Xbox franchises.
Thanks to the lovely people at Blizzard Entertainment we've got 50 x World of Warcraft: Shadowlands beta keys to give away to Aussies! Giving you the chance to check out Shadowlands before its official release on October 27, the eighth expansion for Blizzard Entertainment’s acclaimed massively multiplayer online role-playing game.
Entry is simple, choose your Covenant. But, you'll have to tell us why. Hit the image or link below to enter.
Covering the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 launch has been both a pleasure and more than a little intense. Testing three GPUs extensively is no small feat, especially when you've only got a limited number of days to do exactly that. But at the end of the day what I've learned is the the RTX 3080 is a 4K beast. And with the ZOTAC GeForce RTX 3080 Trinity priced in-line with NVIDIA's own Founders Edition it's a great choice for those looking for a more traditional design.
And a card that can also keep things cool and quiet why it lets you play DOOM Eternal.
When it comes to 4K gaming the ZOTAC GeForce RTX 3080 Trinity performs an impressive 33% faster on average than the RTX 2080 Ti, with the direct result leading to actually hitting and maintaining 60fps in a title like Horizon Zero Dawn and the always demanding Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. This is important because even though games have been playable at 4K on PCs for a while (though the sweet spot is still 1440p) compromises have to be made to visual quality to hit higher frame-rates. It’s one thing to support 4K it’s another to get these sorts of numbers.
With Death Stranding, Forza Horizon 4, and DOOM Eternal hitting well into the triple digit range it’s worth mentioning that with HDMI 2.1 support on the RTX 3080 is perfect for a large TV that supports 4K 120Hz gaming.
Bit of a mouthful for a headline, but it's all true. Equally, we were given access to the game's director in Ubisoft's Scott Phillips after having a few hours at the helm of the game ourselves.
This is one to keep a very keen eye on as we get closer to the busy Holiday period.
Here's a snippet:
It's an honour to be compared to such a great game,” enthuses Immortals’ director, Scott Phillips, when we ask about the clear worn sleeves of both Breath of the Wild and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. “Our team loves Zelda, you probably know we put an Easter Egg in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey by the way! Assassins Creed Odyssey was also an inspiration since we had just spent three years researching and immersing ourselves in ancient Greece.
“But beyond that, pretty much any open world game of the past five to 10 years has been an inspiration for us in some respect,” he adds. “As with any creative endeavour, we are inspired by everything around us and we all bring those inspirations together to create something new and different.”
When it comes to a new GPU series from NVIDIA the majority of the cards out there and in the various gaming PCs of the world come from its partners like MSI. And often partner cards improve things like cooling and performance over the Founders Editions, at least on the high end. Enter the MSI GeForce RTX 3080 Gaming X Trio, built like a Rolls Royce, cool, silent, and an OC beast.
As one of the first Ampere GPUs from MSI, the MSI GeForce RTX 3080 Gaming X Trio takes the route of using all of the architectural advances that come with NVIDIA’s new line-up to create a graphics card that is not only about keeping things cool, but offering up the sort of tools and features that would make any high-end PC extend its arms in a welcoming embrace. Translation, open up the case and throw out whatever was keeping the PCIE slot warm.
With double the CUDA Core count of the RTX 2080 Ti, thanks to NVIDIA following the “it’s smaller so let's put more of them in'' approach, Ampere is powerful. Throw in fast GDDR6X memory and bandwidth and support for PCIE Gen4, the story could just as easily become entirely focused on the power increase over the RTX 20 series. It’s a combination of the above, alongside the new RT Cores and Tensor Cores that provide the bigger picture.
The MSI GeForce RTX 3080 Gaming X Trio is entirely focused on leveraging the RTX 3080 architecture and putting it’s full power into the hands of gamers whilst keeping things both cool and quiet.
what happens when you put the Ampere-based NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Founders Edition head-to-head versus the Turing flagship, the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Founders Edition? NVIDIA’s previous generation beast that was out of the reach of most consumers thanks to its near $2,000 AUD price-tag.
It’s the title card we’ve all been waiting for, the graphics showdown between the RTX 2080 Ti and the RTX 3080.
The latest PlayStation 5 showcase streamed in the early hours of this morning, and alongside confirmation that God of War Ragnarok is due for release in 2021 we got dates and prices. With the PlayStation 5 Digital Edition arriving at $599.95 AUD and the PlayStation 5 (with Ultra HD Blu-ray) coming in at $749.95 AUD. Both launching November 12.
“Since we first announced our next generation console last year, we have received astounding support from developers and gaming fans all around the world, and it’s truly humbling,” said Jim Ryan, president and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment. “Now we are just a couple of months away from launching PS5, which will offer a new generation of experiences that go beyond players’ expectations of how games can look, feel, sound, and play. We can’t wait for our fans to experience for themselves the incredible speed, the heightened immersion and the breathtaking games on PS5 when we launch this November.”
The first-party launch titles are headlined by Insomniac's Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales which got the following extended and impressive ray-traced demo.
Here's the SIE Worldwide Studios launch titles (with local pricing):
Astro’s Playroom (Japan Studio) – pre-installed on PS5
Demon’s Souls (Bluepoint Games / Japan Studio) – $124.95 AUD (RRP)
Destruction AllStars (Lucid Games / XDEV) – $124.95 AUD (RRP)
Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales (Insomniac Games) – $94.95 AUD (RRP)
PULSE 3D wireless headset – with 3D audio support and dual noise-cancelling microphones $159.95 AUD (RRP)
HD Camera – with dual 1080p lenses for gamers to broadcast themselves along with their epic gameplay moments $99.95 AUD (RRP)
Media Remote – to navigate movies and streaming services with ease $49.95 AUD (RRP)
DualSense Charging Station – to conveniently charge two DualSense Wireless Controllers $49.95 AUD (RRP)
Pre-orders for both the PS5 Digital Edition and the PS5 (with Ultra HD Blu-ray) went live this morning at JB Hi-Fi, EB Games, direct via Sony, Amazon, and other retailers -- with many noting that launch stock has already sold out.
With the full console pricing in line with the Xbox Series X, no doubt the decision of which platform to choose (or both) will come down to games and services and to compete with Xbox Game Pass Sony has announced a new PlayStation Plus Collection that will feature PS4 games like Batman Arkham Knight, Bloodborne, Fallout 4, God of War, Monster Hunter: World, and more as a bonus to all PS Plus members. To play on their PS5 consoles.
Well, it's here - our full NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Founder's Edition review. NVIDIA's RTX 30 series debut, which we put to the test at 4K and 1440p across a wide range range of games. And we get it to trace a few rays too. The results? Well, that headline should give you an idea of how it stacks up against the RTX 2080 and even the RTX 2080 Ti.
Any review or deep dive into a new piece of tech, especially a graphics card, is an ambient occlusionary tale full of whimsical numbers, charts, and talk about frames, games, and names. Like Ampere, Turing, and GDDR6X. Which we’ll get too – that is if you can resist the temptation to scroll. Go on, resist.
The RTX 3080 story is nuanced, varied, but always impressive. A true crank-up-the-details 4K powerhouse, the sort of generational leap that might arrive after three or four years -- let alone two.
Okay, okay. For the impatient ones out there the RTX 3080 is around 36% faster than the RTX 2080 Ti (the previous $2,000 AUD flagship from NVIDIA) when it comes to 4K game performance. And, it’s 50-60% faster when you factor in ray-tracing. It blows the RTX 2080 SUPER, the 3080’s like-for-like comparison in terms of price-point and naming, away.
The hardest part of this post is to 'news' it. Or as Kosta and I like to refer to them: "newsie". Ultimately it still feels selfish and self-indulgent. But, in reality, I need it and needed to do it. This is a story about how the recent remaster of both Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 and 2 guided me out of a mental funk, because each session is just two-minutes long.
For amplification, I wrote the linked article below fighting against invisible demons; it took my all to get through it. I was shaking and on-tracked in my goal, but invisible walls just kept emerging from the invisible ground. You know those dreams where when you're trying to run away from a danger, but you feel like you're running in concrete shoes? That was me, all day yesterday. Only awake, and not dreaming.
Here's a snippet:
I fell readily into the camp of “games can’t fix me”, largely because games is my job. But, really, they’re designed as an escape in a fictional narrative sense, or as a reason to beat up on someone else with the outcome meaning, maybe, nothing. In essence, games are a distraction. I put almost 1000 hours into The Witcher 3, and that other zero is not a typo, I just lost myself in it, but could I use such a game to self-medicate my PTSD? Nah.
How Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 helped me this morning is that it’s an ever-rewarding experience and you gain from it. That gain and time limit to gain is unique in modern gaming, and stood out. It gave me immediate purpose and helped me realise goals and the effort to achieve them. I mean, at the end of the day, I wrote this. But wouldn’t have been able to without the game.
The raffle at this stage covers the Founder Edition models, as in NVIDIA's own GeForce RTX 3080, GeForce RTX 3090, and GeForce RTX 3070. No word if partner cards from the likes of MSI or GIGABYTE will be affected, but since its announcement the demand and interest in NVIDIA's RTX 30 series has been, well, insane.
With the Founders Editions catching the eye of many due to their striking and stylish design, one that promises improvements in cooling and overall noise. The RTX 3080 Founders Edition has quickly become one of the most anticipated bits of tech for 2020.
Which is no small feat considering that we're also on the cusp of a new generation of high-end consoles.
Initially the Founders Editions were not going to make their way here, but then NVIDIA heard the outcry from Aussies wanting to purchase one of the cards on launch. The good news is they're coming, the bad news is that to keep access fair the single supplier with limited stock -- Mwave -- will be holding a raffle over the next couple of days to let people express interest and win the chance to purchase an NVIDIA branded RTX 3080, 3090 or 3070.
Due to overwhelming demand for the upcoming GEFORCE RTX 30-Series Founders Edition, we're hosting an online raffle to provide an equal chance for customers wishing to purchase the cards. T&Cs Apply.
In a statement to Press Start, Mwave confirmed the demand has been huge. “After a huge response from the local community for the Founders Edition, NVIDIA has arranged a limited amount of stock for the region. MWAVE will be hosting an online raffle to provide a fair go for every fan keen to get an opportunity to own the cards.”
In that it's a real treasure hunt with 10 consoles up for grabs. The "X Marks the Spot" promotion continues Telstra's ever-growing relationship with Xbox in Australia that also includes the "Xbox All Access" pre-order campaign.
Here's the deets as per our missed call message system:
Telstra confirmed its customers[i] will be able to pre-order an Xbox Series X or the newly announced Xbox Series S as part of its exclusive Xbox All Access package when pre-orders open in Australia on22 September, with no upfront payment required. To celebrate the impending arrival of the new family of Xbox consoles, Telstra today launched its X Marks the Spot promotion – giving Aussie gamers and internet sleuths the chance to be among the first to get their hands on the Xbox Series X when it lands later in the year.
Telstra has hidden ten Xbox Series X consoles in virtual locations for eagle-eyed fans to find, with one clue to each of the locations dropped on the promotion page. Each location will be revealed as it’s been found. The search is open to all Australian residents. The first ten hunters who successfully identify one of the virtual locations and the clue to that virtual location will get their hands on the equivalent of an Xbox All Access package from Telstra, including Xbox Series X as well as a 24-month membership to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. Terms and conditions apply, as set out on: https://tel.s.
Nathan Gumley, Telstra’s Principal for Gaming, said: “This is the moment millions of gamers around the world have been waiting years for – the arrival of the next generation of Xbox consoles. We know the wait has been hard, so we wanted to reward Aussie fans by giving them a jump on the pre-orders and put their detective skills to work tracking down our first ten Xbox Series X consoles in their virtual hiding spots. Wishing them all happy hunting!”
Xbox All Access: step into next-gen gaming with console plus Xbox Game Pass Ultimate
The first wave of Telstra’s Xbox All Access next-gen consoles will be available for customers to pre-order on 22 September via the Telstra website or in-store. Each package includes an Xbox console and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate membership. Customers will not be required to pay anything until the console arrives, after which there will be a $46 monthly payment when you stay connected for 24 months for the Xbox Series X package (min cost $1104 plus your existing plan charges) and $33 for Xbox Series S when you stay connected for 24 months (min cost $792 plus your existing plan charges).
With Xbox All Access you not only get the latest consoles, but also an instant library of over 100 high-quality games, with Xbox Game Studios titles available the same day as their global release.
With the GeForce RTX 3080 ($1,139.00 AUD) and GeForce RTX 3090 ($2,429.00 AUD) Founder Edition models to be made available for ANZ gamers via Mwave. Last week we reported that NVIDIA's Founder Edition models, with their cutting-edge and downright stylish look, weren't going to make it in time for launch. That is... to us here in Australia.
The good news, is that NVIDIA went all Obi-Wan and listened listened to all those voices crying out at once.
"After listening to the feedback from our loyal fans," NVIDIA writes in a statement provided to AusGamers. "We are excited to announce that we have been able to secure GeForce RTX 3080 (MSRP $1,139.00) and GeForce RTX 3090 (MSRP $2,429.00) Founders Edition Cards to be made available to our Australian and New Zealand customers."
NVIDIA expect considerable demand though, but has adding that the Geforce RTX 3080 will go up for sale Thursday the 17th of September at 11.00pm AEST and the GeForce RTX 3090 on Thursday the 24th of September at 11.00pm AEST. This means the Founders Editions to be made available alongside cards from partners like MSI, GIGABYTE, ASUS, and ZOTAC on launch day.
The Legion range from Lenovo is something that we've become big fans of in recent months -- thanks to the Lenovo Legion Y540 and Y740 -- and now this, the Lenovo Legion 5Pi. Which presents a premium version of the affordable 5i range, that still remains, well, affordable. And it's damn good.
Thanks to the bright and vibrant display, excellent build, great keyboard, and cutting-edge tech like NVIDIA Optimus. It's one of those rare gaming laptop where you feel like you're getting more than what the figure on the price-tag would have you believe. The GeForce GTX 1660 Ti model comes in at an under $2,000 AUD too. Impressive.
Here's a snippet from our review.
The revamped but somewhat similar design of the Lenovo Legion 5Pi pushes the price up a bit, but this premium revision of the Legion 5i (and the Y540 before it) sees a level-up in everything from the display to the underlying hardware to even the inclusion of fancy new tech like NVIDIA Optimus.
Which seamlessly switches back and forth between integrated graphics and the impressive NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 depending on the task.
That was one of the few sticking points we had with the Legion Y540, as the disabled integrated graphics affected overall battery life – until we went full sys-admin to re-enable it. In fact, the Lenovo Legion 5Pi just about feels like the engineers at Lenovo spent an evening or two going through all the reviews and seeing the feedback on forums and Reddit and deciding, yeah, let’s fix all of that. In the RTX 2060 model we tested, the Legion 5Pi also came packed with a sizable 80Wh battery to offer up hours of plug-free use.