GameSentral Rewind #023: June 9, 2015

Editor’s Note: This is the GameSentral Rewind, a daily recap of the top gaming headlines.

First Steam Machines coming October 16, hitting store shelves Nov. 10

alienware_steam_machine

The first wave of Steam Machines, the console-like computers designed to run Valve’s Steam distribution platform and its range of games, will come to some pre-orderers on October 16th, and will hit stores on November 10th, according to Valve. The Steam Controller and Steam Link will launch on the same day.

Alienware and CyberPower will be the first to release their machines in this program.

All Steam Machines run SteamOS, a Linux distro that uses Steam’s big picture mode interface. While Steam Machines will be limited to play only games that are Linux compatible, the systems can stream any game purchased on Steam by streaming it from a local Windows or Mac computer. Valve is also working to add direct Linux support to as many games as possible. At launch, between 1,000 and 1,200 games will be supported natively, according to Dell and Valve.

The Steam Machines will start at $449, the Steam controller will sell for $49, and the Steam Link, which connects any TV to your PC, Mac, or Steam Machine wirelessly will also sell for $49.

Alienware’s Steam Machine will be available in four configurations, ranging from $449 to $749. Everything but the graphics chip, which is built into the motherboard, is user upgradable on the systems. The custom built perform perform on the same level as a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M, according to Dell.

Here’s the breakdown for each configuration.

$449

  • Intel Core i3-4130T DC processor
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX GPU with 2GB GDDR5
  • 4GB RAM
  • 500GB 7200RPM hard drive
  • 11 wireless
  • Steam Controller

$549

  • Same processor as above
  • Same GPU
  • 8GB RAM
  • 1TB 7200RPM hard drive
  • Same Wireless
  • Steam Controller

$649

  • Intel Core i5-4950T QC
  • Same GPU
  • Same RAM as $549
  • Same hard drive as $549
  • 11ac Wireless
  • Steam Controller

$749

  • Intel Core i7-4765T QC
  • Same GPU
  • Same RAM as $549
  • Same hard drive as $549
  • Same Wireless as $549
  • Steam Controller

“We have collaborated for years with Valve and GameStop to develop a platform with the best content, the best performance, and the best value compared to anything else on the market. Finally, with this preorder, we have the chance to address the building anticipation for the latest and greatest gaming system.”

-Frank Azor, Alienware, XPS general manager

Customers can preorder the Alienware Steam Machine, Steam Controller, and Steam Link now from GameStop or Steam.

EB Games, Micromania, and GAME UK will also pre-sell the Steam Link and Steam controller, according to Valve.

CyberPower is taking pre-orders now on its site.

“Buying computers can be a very complex process with the variety of hardware and software options available. We think offering machines which are optimized for Steam will be very helpful to our customers.

“We expect to carry some of the Steam Machines in stores and many more online. As always, our customer demand will tell us what the exact mix should be.

“We think offering standardized machines could help expand the market to customers who have been reluctant to try PC gaming before now because of its complexity. As a general rule, we welcome any innovation in gaming, because we believe this helps bring more and better choices to our customers.”

-Michael Turner, GameStop director of merchandising

“We are super curious to find out which products customers try first, what their experiences are, and how that learning can help is continue to expand their Steam experience in the days and years following launch. Our goal is to expand Steam’s capabilities beyond the desktop.”

-DJ Powers, Valve

NBA 2K16 is a Spike Lee production: 2K Sports

nba-2k16

NBA 2K16’s MyCareer mode will be written and directed by filmmaker Spike Lee, according to publisher 2K Sports.

The game’s campaign centers on a fictional player named Frequency Vibrations, according to Lee, and tells the story of “the trials and tribulations of life on a big stages with the money, fame, temptations, family members, the press, fans, all that stuff.”

“Spike was really receptive when I first met with him. He actually said to us, ‘It’s about time I worked with 2K.’ He loves basketball, and this is a new frontier for him.”

-Jeff Thomas, Visual Concepts vice president of sports development

NBA 2K16’s career mode will maintain the E for Everyone ESRB rating that its 2K series has had to this point.

The game will have three different covers featuring Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry, Houston Rockets shooting guard James Harden, and New Orleans Pelicans __ Anthony Davis, according to the AP.

NBA 2K16 will launch September 29th on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox 360, and Xbox One. However, those who pre-order the game will receive it September 25th, four days before its general release.

Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection hits PS4 October 9th in HD with photo mode

Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection will bring the first three Uncharted games to the PlayStation 4 on October 9th, as well as access to the Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End multiplayer beta.

The collection will include Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves and Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, all ported by Bluepoint Games, according to the PlayStation Blog.

All three games will be playable in 1080p and 60fps with better lighting, textures, and models, according to the story. They will also include a Photo Mode and new trophies.

If you pre-order the collection, you get the Nathan Drake Pack, which includes single player skins of Drake outfits as well as the Golden AK-47 and 92FS guns. If you pre-order the digital download from the PlayStation Store, you will also get an Uncharted: Nathan Drake Collection PS4 dynamic theme immediately afterwards.

Lucas joins Super Smash Bros. June 14 with Splatoon outfits

Lucas

Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U will add Mother 3’s Lucas to its rosters on June 14th, according to a tweet from Nintendo of America.

Players will be able to purchase Lucas at 11AM ET on that day for $3.99 on each system or $4.99 on both systems, according to the series’ website.

Splatoon-themed outfits for Miis will also arrive in the game on June 14th for $0.75 each, or $1.15 on both systems, according to the site.

Bad Juju Games files for bankruptcy

Bad Juju Games

Bad Juju Games, parent company of the Desura online games marketplace, has filed for bankruptcy, according to Gamasutra.

“I’m just shocked right now. Stunned. I had no idea this was coming.

“I asked Tony [Novak] for confirmation and all he could tell me was, ‘The lawyers have said I can’t say anything or answer any questions yet, but yes it’s true.’”

-Lisa Morrison, Bad Juju Games head of developer relations

Desura is still operational at this point and accepting payment for game codes.

Splatoon gets second free DLC weapon

Splatoon

Splatoon players can now add the Inkbrush weapon into their arsenals, according to Nintendo.

The Inkbrush is similar to a paint roller, but it’s quicker to use. It also includes Sprinklers and Inkstrikes to increase coverage.

Fallout 4 locations figured out in video

We now know where the fictitious landmarks in Fallout 4 lie within the city of Boston thanks to the YouTube video above.

For starters, the “Battery Tower” that appears in every shot of Boston in Fallout 4’s three-minute trailer has been pinpointed on the campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which has been referred to as “The Institute” in previous Fallout games.

Vault 111 was determined to be in Watertown’s Whitney Hill Park, west of Boston.

The roadside station housing powered armor, and the site of the nuclear blast was also figured out.

XCOM 2 devs explain why game is PC exclusive and won’t support gamepads at launch

xcom-2

XCOM 2 is a PC exclusive to help developer Firaxis Games optimize the game for computers, according to the studio in an IGN interview.

Firaxis had “very, very ambitious goals” for the game, according to XCOM 2 creative director Jake Solomon. In particular, the developers wanted to implement physically based rendering, better environmental destruction, and “high-fidelity characters and environments,” according to IGN. Procedurally generated maps were at the top of the list, as well as mod support, which wouldn’t be possible on consoles.

“To do that, we had to use all of our studio expertise … and our expertise here is PC. That’s our home, and that’s where we’re really comfortable.”

-Jake Solomon

The XCOM 2 development team is a “relatively small team for the size of the game,” according to lead producer Garth DeAngelis, and with just one platform to focus on, according to Solomon, Firaxis can design XCOM 2 for computers through and through.

XCOM 2 will be fully optimized for mouse and keyboard controls, and Firaxis will also provide tactical information with text. In fact, Firaxis is planning to launch XCOM 2 without gamepad support, according to IGN, but the studio will add it in eventually.

A Xbox One and PlayStation 4 port hasn’t been ruled out yet, according to Solomon, but that’s something Firaxis is “not even discussing yet.”

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