This week in games: The film Groundhog Day gets a VR sequel, Creative Assembly teases a new shooter

Well they were a few days late for Groundhog Day, but the Bill Murray film Groundhog Day is getting a sequel. The weird part? It’s in virtual reality, and is being developed by Tequila Works.

That news, plus free copies of Axiom Verge, Kabal’s triumphant return to Mortal Kombat, Creative Assembly breaking free from strategy games once again, a Sekiro story trailer, Two Point Hospital gets an interiors overhaul, and more. This is gaming news for February 4 to 8.

On the verge

Looking for this week’s free game rations? It’s Axiom Verge, a Metroid-style game from a few years back. Great sci-fi look, great soundtrack, and it’s decently fun to boot. It’s part of Epic’s “Please come use our storefront” giveaway, so you’ll need to create an Epic account to take advantage. Assuming you’re okay with that? It’s yours to keep forever.

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from PCWorld http://bit.ly/2MWiX4N

HTC reveals two new VR headsets, the untethered Vive Cosmos and gaze-tracking Vive Pro Eye

A few months back we went to look at HTC’s new Vive Focus, a clunky standalone headset that stumbled through all the demos we tried. It didn’t impress us much, to say the least—and that was a shame, because HTC needs something to counter Oculus’s upcoming standalone Quest headset. Much as we love PCs here at PCWorld, the Quest’s slick wireless VR is impressive enough that we’ve already hypothesized it “could be the VR headset moving forward.”

Luckily HTC gets a second try. At CES, HTC hosted a small press conference that revealed multiple new pieces of hardware: The Vive Cosmos and Vive Pro Eye. Details on both were skimpy, but perhaps HTC’s finally landed upon a proper Oculus Quest competitor.

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from PCWorld http://bit.ly/2H07Ybi

What the ambitious Mad Box console implies about the future of gaming

“The most powerful console ever built.” No, I’m not talking about Microsoft’s Xbox One X. That’s old news at this point. We’re looking towards the future now, to the so-called Mad Box, a new console announced by Project CARS developer Slightly Mad Studios this week. CEO Ian Bell promises the Mad Box will run games at 4K resolution and 60 frames per second, with full support for the major virtual reality headsets—thus the “most powerful console” comment.

And he promises it will ship in three-ish years, for a price comparable to other next-gen consoles—which raises the question, what will those next-gen consoles look like? What does the Mad Box tell us, if anything, about the PlayStation 5 and whatever Microsoft’s next Xbox is named? What features will be important? And, in turn, what effect will that have on the PC?

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from PCWorld http://bit.ly/2Fg4hN5

CES 2019: The PC gear and smart home tech we can’t wait to see

More than 4,400 exhibitors showed off their hardware at CES 2018. That’s a lot of gadgets, and the show can become an unmanageable circus if you don’t enter with a game plan—and that counts for people following the action at home, as well. To give you a little head start, here’s our cheat sheet on what to look for at CES 2019. We’re focusing solely on PC gear, home entertainment and smart home gadgets—because that’s our bread and butter at PCWorld and TechHive.

AMD’s 7nm CPUs, including Ryzen 2

It’s pretty easy to predict what AMD will be revealing at CES—because the company has already told us. AMD chief executive Lisa Su will host a keynote address on Wednesday, Jan. 9 where she’ll talk up the company’s 2019 plans to “catapult computing, gaming, and visualization technologies forward with the world’s first 7nm high-performance CPUs and GPUs.” You can expect demos covering the future of gaming, entertainment and virtual reality.

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from PCWorld http://bit.ly/2F6PtQv

Whirlwind FX VortX review: The PC’s first “environmental simulator” is just hot air for now

“Immersion.” It’s become a meaningless buzzword in video games because it represents a dream. We might scoff when it’s applied to the latest Battlefield or whatever, but “Immersion” remains a driving force in the industry. We want to feel like we’re there, like these digital worlds are real. In virtual reality we speak of “Presence,” which is really just immersion by another name. But at a fundamental level, games play much the same in 2018 as they did in 1998: We sit at a PC with a mouse and keyboard and watch images on a screen.

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from PCWorld https://ift.tt/2B4KhIw

HTC Vive Focus hands-on impressions: No-PC, no-wires VR at a too-steep price

In 2016 I defended the HTC Vive’s hefty $800 price tag. Sure, it was $200 more than the Oculus Rift, but it was also the only virtual reality headset (at the time) to nail room-scale and hand-tracking. Then earlier this year I defended the Vive Pro’s $1,100 price. Sure, it’s outrageous and ostentatious and nobody should pay for it, but the Vive Pro is also the best VR headset on the market today, bar none.

But on Thursday HTC announced its standalone Vive Focus headset is coming stateside with a list price of $599, and well, that’s pure hubris with slick standalone rival Oculus Quest ready to debut at $399 early next year.

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from PCWorld https://ift.tt/2QvpLat