By: Alex Russo and Steve Dixon
Ultron is Unleashed in a New “Avengers” Trailer
You’ve probably seen the new Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer at this point. If you haven’t, you can check it out below. There is a lot to digest…some cool Scarlet-Witch-and-Quicksilver-in-action clips, the Avengers assembling in a fancy mid-air action shot, Captain America dropping a car off of an unusually high-up bridge, and our first look at Vision.
Oh, and a TON. OF. ULTRON. DRONES.
If the trailer did not satisfy your Marvelous desires, fret not. Several movie theaters across the United States will be showing all ten MCU films in the 24 hours leading up to the release of the much anticipated sequel. Yes, you read that correctly. All ten films. In a 24 hour span. Bathing, sleeping, and eating are for the weak at heart.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe is not the only place that saw a technological takeover. Earlier this week, the 2015 Game Developers Conference was held in San Francisco. While many spent the entirety of Monday and Tuesday holding their breath for a particular announcement that inevitably never came (*cough*), there were plenty of goodies that should have everyone excited.
Valve Announces…A Bunch of Things (Except Half-Life 3)
While the leadup and payoff to Valve’s presentation might not have been what fans expected, they did unveil the future of the Steam platform at GDC this year. First up on the list is, of course, their VR headset, called Vive. Valve has partnered with HTC to develop the headset, which, from early reports, sounds like it tracks your motion extremely well and eliminates motion sickness found in earlier VR prototypes.
In the world of streaming, Valve announced Steam Link, which is an Apple TV-like product that you can plug into any television and stream games from your PC. We’re hearing promises such as “1080p resolution at 60hz” with “low-latency”, which are claims we’ll have to see before believing.
More exciting is the announcement of Source 2. Valve’s original Source engine has been the building blocks for many, many classics over the last few years, starting with Counter Strike: Source in 2004, which was shortly followed by Half-Life 2. The engine is going to be free for everyone to use, with the hope of fostering an even larger development community.
VR announcement plus a new Source engine? We have our suspicions, Valve.
Unreal Engine 4 is Now Free
While we’re talking about game engines, Epic revealed that their own game development platform is now free for anyone to download and play around with. Unreal Engine 4, which previously relied on a monthly subscription service, has some pretty awesome tutorials if you are interested in checking it out, and is currently available now.
You know what else is free and also available now? Unreal Tournament. Epic games established when they announced the new UT that the game wouldn’t be “Free to play”, just simply, “Free.” You can download the pre-alpha now and get involved in shaping the future of the game by participating in forum discussions, or even developing your own maps, if you’re brave enough. Keep in mind that the game’s pre-alpha status means almost none of the textures are completed and the game is nowhere near completed. That said, it’s still already incredibly fun.
They unleashed a new trailer as well, which should wet your appetite while you wait for your download to complete:
Unity 5 is ALSO Free (Is This a Pattern or What?)
On the heels of Unreal Engine 4 is Unity, another game development platform that previously had a watered down free version available to aspiring game designers. The full version of Unity 5 will be available free of charge and is currently in beta.
Do you see a pattern here? We are about to enter a brand new generation of games, where content is coming straight from the players themselves. You no longer have to be tied to a multi-million dollar company to have access to the best tools on the market. Now you can make that “Game of Thrones” dating sim you always wanted.
“Count me in!”
Metal Gear Solid V Gets Release Date and Robot Arm
Earlier this week, we finally got a release date for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, as well as some info about the collector’s edition. The game will release on September 1st for consoles and September 15th for PC, because no game release would be complete without inducing a flame war between console peasants gamers and PC players.
The collector’s edition features a whole lot of shady DLC stuff for Metal Gear Online, as well as a map (?) and a half-scale replica of Snake’s robot arm (spoilers, we guess). This version is available for Xbox One and PS4 only.
We recently reviewed the opening act to MGSV, Ground Zeros, and we really liked it! Check it out!
Nvidia Announces Android Based Streaming Console; No One Cares
Nvidia hyped up their own conference with a presentation that was supposed to “change the future of gaming”. That apparently translates to “we built a console that can stream games,” which isn’t exactly what we had in mind. Oh well, manage expectations and all that.
The best part of Nvidia’s conference was a demo of the Shield Console streaming a bit of footage from The Witcher 3. It looks like it runs fairly well, too, so at least the tech seems to work in a controlled environment where both developers are present.
The tech company would later go on to present Tim Sweeney, founder of Epic games, with the first version of the Titan X, the new monstrous graphics card Nvidia plans on detailing more in their conference at GTC in another two weeks. Hold onto your wallets.
HBO Releases Streaming Service in a Month and Comcast is a Baby
You can do it. You can let go of your cable company now. Starting in April (that’s next month!), HBO is looking to offer a standalone streaming service called HBO Now for $15 a month. There are little details about the service as of yet, but it sounds like it could be what makes droves of people abandon cable.
The service, honestly, can’t come soon enough. In related news, the HBO Go app was released for the Playstation 4, with one notable exception. Comcast users will not be able to use the service because (and you’ll love this):
“HBO Go availability on PS3 (and some other devices) are business decisions and deal with business terms that have not yet been agreed to between the parties. Thanks for your continued patience.”
Not All Fun and Games
Harrison Ford recently wound up in the hospital after his plane crashed on a golf course. The vintage plane reportedly went down after the engine failed. Luckily, years of piloting the Millenium Falcon through asteroid fields had prepared Ford, who remained cool and was able to maneuver the craft down and prevent an even worse disaster. While admitted in critical condition, Ford is now stable and recovering well.
Snap Back to Reality
If robot uprisings, in-depth games, and space-smuggler crashes are too fanciful for you, then maybe you should look into the DC Cinematic Universe. This week, Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara was quoted as saying:
“The worlds of DC are very different. They’re steeped in realism, and they’re a little bit edgier than Marvel’s movies.”
Edgy, yes. To see Superman murder a man with his bare hands…they hit that “edgy” nail right on the head. But realism? They may have a harder time selling audiences on that one. Of course, there has only been one movie in the DCCU actually released that this point, so it’s not wise to jump to conclusions yet. But on the subject of franchises…
More News on Toy Story 4
The announcement about Toy Story 4’s development was met with mixed reactions. Some were excited to see Pixar revisiting a beloved franchise. Others were worried that a fourth installment would disrupt an otherwise perfect ending to Buzz and Woody’s adventure.
Pixar President Jim Morris satisfied both camps this week by announcing that the fourth installment would take place in the Toy Story universe, but would not focus on original group of playthings.
“It is not a continuation of the end of the story of Toy Story 3. The third movie was over in a beautiful way and completed a trilogy.”
Instead, this film will focus on newer characters and will have a balance of romance and comedy…yes, a plastic rom-com. It will focus on the toys themselves, rather than the relationship between toys and their owners. An interesting take, certainly. We are interested to see how this plays out on screen.
Yes, we have some updates for you as well.
On YouTube this week, we took a look at Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes, continued our playthrough of Metroid Prime, and binged watched the entire third season of House of Cards so we could give everyone our first TV Review.
Thanks for checking out T.W.I.N. If you’ve enjoyed, let us know! Stay nerdy, my friends.