June Gaming News, Steam Goodies and More!

The Midagedgamer Monthly Wrapup for June 2013

This week:

Let’s start off with a little Steam News…

If you can remember what you were doing in 1995 (assuming of course that you weren’t in diapers) then there should be at least some small memory of a game that was groundbreaking yet overshadowed by its contemporaries.

Around the time Doom was driving the office network guys nuts and 3D gaming still looked like a first person version of Donkey Kong there was Apogee’s “Rise of the Triad. ”  Known for, the then new, level- on-level design (that made Unreal Tournament possible),  dynamic lighting and destructible in-game objects it foreshadowed features we now take for granted in an FPS.

But it was never as popular as its rivals Doom, Quake and eventually Unreal.  Ironically, all of them benefitted from Triad’s many firsts.

So who cares, it’s an old game but wait.  Due out July 31st on Steam, Rise of the Triad is back and it’s been updated.  Mind you, the screenshots and game videos aren’t exactly ground breaking and look like something from a decade ago.  Still, if you enjoyed the original and wish you could play it in Windows 7 your wish may have been granted.  Both Single and Multiplayer (but no co-op) game modes are available.

Steam is offering a pre-order of the game for $14.99 with a 4-pack available for $44.99.  Both of those offers include the Apogee Throwback pack consisting of 4 classic games in addition to Triad.

So Steam’s Summer Sale hasn’t happened yet but you know it’s coming.  It usually follows the latest installment of Killing Floor’s Summer Sideshow.  This year’s installment is entitled “Pier of Pain” and the entire game can be played for free till July 11th.  But at 3,99 why not just pick it up.  It’s good old zombie blasting fun without any of the commitment.  Well aside from the new “Objective mode” but this is Killing Floor not Battlefield 3.  So try it out, pick it up and start shootin’ and scootin’.

Seems Steam has all the news this week especially if you’re into retro gaming.  Is Final Fantasy your thing? Then the release of Final Fantasy 7 for $11.99 may be right up your alley.  It’s available now and that’s all that’s worth saying about it.

Now let’s take a look at the month behind us…

June was actually a fairly quiet month except for E3.  We finally got concrete details on the next generation of consoles from Sony and Microsoft and a few surprises as well.

E3 finally gave us the price for the Xbox 1, $499 and in a surprise move $399 for the PS4.  It also showed us the power of public opinion when Microsoft reversed its official position on DRM for the XBOX 1 but only after Sony touted its much more relaxed DRM and secondary game market position.

That move and the $100 price drop at the last minute before E3 made the PS4 the apple of the console gamers’ eye, for now.

The price, however, may be more than they planned for when the PS4 finally hits the retail outlets.  Seems Sony’s price cut came at the expense of the camera bundle.  Roughly the equivalent of the Microsoft Kinect Sony may have thrown a wrench into its developer network and its customers.  If most PS4 titles end up requiring the camera, consumers will end up having to pay the extra $100 anyway.  At least the games won’t be any more expensive.  Both companies committed to the current consoles $60 price point.

Xbox 1 will cost you $500, the PS4 will be $100 less than that

Microsoft reversed Xbox 1 DRM policy

If the gaming news was a little slow the hardware news wasn’t.

June saw the release of two new discrete and one mobile GPU from Nvidia (the 780, 760 and 780M respectively)

Intel finally released the first Haswell CPUs .  With better power efficiency and performance Haswell PGA designs are the new darlings of the enthusiast market even if the processors are actually very much in the mainstream.  Unfortunately Intel has decided to continue the practice of limiting features of K series processors that started with Ivy Bridge. Related posts below…




Finally in the department of “Why???”

Nvidia released Shield and priced it at $299.  The new android based game device/controller may be the greatest product in search of a market to show up in the last decade.  Time will tell if Nvidia’s read the tea leaves correctly.

So pretty much E3 and hardware dominated the news in June.   So far, July seems to be focused on retro games and an impending Steam sale.

Should be fun.

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