Gaming news summary for July 21, 2015
Welcome to the Game Replay, a thrice-weekly look at the wider world of gaming by the staff of MacNN. In today's edition, Star Wars KOTOR II: The Sith Lords makes its way to Mac ten years after launch, Microsoft faces a class action suit over an Xbox 360 flaw, and an interim patch for Batman: Arkham Knight on PC will be coming next month.
Console staffer dips his toes in the PC Gaming world
Over the last few years, many gamers have been wrapped up in what the press has dubbed the "console wars." Wade into any gaming Internet forum, and you will surely find a host of people arguing between the dominance of the Xbox One, PS4, or in some cases, maybe even the Wii U. Now look a little closer, and you may find a fourth party hovering around the arguments as it has done for a number of console generations: PC gaming.
PC gaming made elegant
When it comes to PC gaming, there are two basic routes you can take. You can choose to purchase a built-to-order machine from one of the many boutique gaming companies, or you can hunt down the necessary parts and do everything yourself. While many opt for the latter route, there is undoubtedly a market of gamers who would rather have everything put together for them. Origin PC has taken notice of this market and -- thanks to products like the mid-tower Millennium -- has managed to make a respected name for itself in the industry. Several weeks ago, we were lucky enough to receive a Millennium tower from Origin, and have spent some time putting through its paces. Our particular review build was priced at nearly $4,000, and includes some of the latest and greatest in PC components, including an Intel Core i7 4790k and dual Nvidia GeForce GTX 980s. Read all about our experience with this powerful gaming PC in our full review.
Strange Origin account purchases, account activity reports surface on Reddit
A number of users of EA's Origin service have reportedly discovered their accounts have been accessed by unauthorized persons. Reddit users have complained about mystery purchases and other related activities conducted from their account without their knowledge, though it appears EA doesn't believe it to be down to an intrusion of its servers.
Origin PC to offer Intel Core i7 'Haswell E' processors to Millenium, Genesis desktops
Origin PC has announced that the new Intel Core i7 "Haswell-E" processors are available within its Genesis and Millennium desktops. The eight-core Intel Core i7 Extreme Edition processor is based on 22nm Haswell-E microarchitecture, and features support for the latest in DDR4 memory, as well as Intel Turbo Boost technology 2.0 and Hyper-Threading technology, both of which aim to improve performance. The processors include in PC Genesis and Millennium desktops are also Thunderbolt 2-ready. More information can be found via Origin PC regarding specs comparisons.
Both services unavailable for a period of time during holiday sales
Shortly after the arrival of the new year, online gaming powerhouses Electronic Arts plus Valve's Steam suffered from an array of denial of service (DoS) attacks. For a period of time, EA's Origin service was completely inaccessible, preventing players from playing EA games or accessing the storefront. Steam's authentication server and store also went down for an hour in the middle of its now-complete holiday sale. Both services are now fully restored.
Notebook offers dual GPUs, Haswell processors, five storage drive options
Origin PC has launched its new high-performance notebook aimed at enthusiasts and mobile gamers, one with support for dual Nvidia GeForce GTX graphics cards. The EON17-SLX desktop replacement is able to use the two cards in SLI for optimum mobile graphics performance, and works in tandem with a fourth-gen Intel Haswell mobile processor.
EA offers customers refunds for games bought through Origin store
EA has started to offer refunds for EA-published games bought through its digital marketplace, something that competitor Steam is yet to offer. Customers buying and downloading games through Origin have up to 24 hours from the first launch of the game, or seven days from the original purchase, to return the titles for a full refund. The Origin Great Game Guarantee, going live in 20 countries, will not apply to extra downloadable content.
New models can have up to five storage devices internal
Origin PC announced today the availability of its "next-generation" EON17-S and EON15-S high-performance laptops. Featuring an exclusive updated top-panel laptop design, Intel fourth generation mobile processors, mSATA storage drives with RAID support, next generation Nvidia GeForce GTX 700M series and support for the new Nvidia Quadro K1000M graphics cards, the company says that the EON17-S and EON15-S offers mobile technology "for gamers, artists, enthusiasts and professionals."
Maxis Sim City server problems continue, EA offers free game
Electronic Arts and Maxis launched the newest iteration in the venerable Sim City series earlier this week. While initially praised for its accomplishments and integration with other players by previewing media, the game was marred by monumental server and connectivity issues. Since launch, Electronic Arts claims to have brought on 150 percent more server capacity, as well as shutting down some in-game functions to lighten the server load, but the problems persist. Electronic Arts is offering a free title to people who register the game prior to March 18. The issue, and a similar issue with Diablo 3 emphasize a disturbing trend in gaming -- the requirement to log into remote servers like EA's Origin service to play the game, even in single-player.
Valve Steam Box would consolize PC gaming
Valve Software is entering the console race by developing its own hardware platform, new rumors brought up early Saturday. The approach outlined by The Verge would have typical PC hardware with a Core i7, 8GB of RAM, and NVIDIA graphics, but it would serve as a fixed platform for three to four years. Developers would then target their games to the system, which as expected would use Steam as its primary way to get games.
Origin PC EON17-X notebook offers desktop go
Origin PC has debuted its latest desktop replacement gaming notebook, the EON17-X. The notebook is designed for serious gamers who are looking for a mobile gaming solution that can match or better many desktop gaming solutions. The device is fitted with Intel desktop Core i7 chips, with the fastest of three processor options an Intel Core i7-3960X six-core chip with a 15MB Cache clocked at 3.3 GHz that Turbo Boosts to 3.9GHz and also supports up to 32GB of RAM.
EA label president very impressed by Wii U
At an interview with EA Games Label President Frank Gibeau at E3, Games Industry learned [sub. required] the games publisher is very excited about the upcoming Nintendo Wii U console. Gibeau is especially impressed by the console's ability to reproduce HD graphics and access game experiences in what he describes as a completely novel way. He went on to say Nintendo's methods run parallel with what EA plans for its FIFA, Madden and game lineups.
Origin overclocks Eon17-S notebook to 4.5GHz
Origin PC on Monday began shipping its EON17-S gaming notebook with a CPU overclocked to 4.5GHz in Turbo Boost mode. The notebook was introduced in mid-February but now has overclocking that Origin said doesn't come at the cost of stability or durability. The 17.3-inch notebook offers a 1080p a display and Intel's second-generation Core i5 or Core i7 processors, but only the Extreme Edition Core i7-2920XM gets the ultimate overclock option, which hits about 4GHz without the Turbo Boost.
Ready for gaming with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 485M
ORIGIN PC has unveiled the EON 15-S and EON 17-S high-performance notebooks. The notebooks can be configured with Intelís second-generation Core i7 processors, with overclocking capability as well as the option NVIDIA GeForce GTX 485M graphics with 2GB of VRAM. The combination makes the EON 15-S and EON 17-S among the most powerful gaming notebooks currently on the market.
Origin EON17 gaming notebook coming mid-October
Origin has released its latest gaming notebook, the EON17. The 17.3-inch desktop replacement offers Intel's six-core 3.33GHz Core i7 CPU, as much as 24GB of RAM and dual 2GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480M GPUs in an SLI configuration. An HDMI 1.4 output is available for when 3D content needs to be displayed that's not possible with the notebook's own 1080p display.
Origin PC shows The Big One PC with Xbox 360
Origin PC has taken the wraps off its ultimate gaming PC, dubbed the The Big O. It's unique in having built-in slim Xbox 360 gaming console. Both the Xbox 360 and a Core i7 930 overclocked to 4.0GHz are liquid-cooled, and the base system gets 6GB of RAM. There are also two NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480 graphics cards with liquid cooling, and a Rampage III Extreme mainboard is hooked up to the flowing water system to ease overclocking.
Origin doubles its gaming notebooks with EON15
Origin has doubled its gaming notebook lineup by adding a 15.6-inch EON15 to the EON18, which was released late in February. Its LED-backlit screen has a 1080p resolution, and processor choices are solely high-end options with either a quad-core 1.6GHz or 1.73GHz Core i7. Graphics options include either a 1GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 285M or GTX 280M, and RAM varies between 4GB and 8GB.
EON18 gaming notebook officially launched
Origin's EON18 gaming notebook introduced in November is now on sale. The highly-customizable PC has an 18.4-inch display with a native 1080p resolution, while processor choices range from a 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo to an Extreme Edition 2GHz Core i7. Video involves either one or two GeForce GTX 280M or 285M chipsets, each with 1GB of RAM. Buyers can also specify up to 8GB of system RAM.
Origin outs gaming desktop PC, notebook
Origin PC on Tuesday introduced new customizable gaming PCs, with the Genesis desktop and 18.4-inch Eon18 notebook. The former can be had with a choice of processors, including a quad-core Intel Core i7 Extreme Edition 975 that's been overclocked to 4.2GHz. As a gaming PC, the former can also be equipped with up to three 1GB GeForce GTX 285 video cards.
Origin adds 750GB, 1TB external drives
Origin Storage has recently announced the addition of two new capacities to its Data Locker external hard drives, with reportedly industry first 1TB and 750GB versions. Like the existing 320GB and 500GB versions, the new drives feature AES hardware encryption and a six- to 18-digit PIN password. The drives have an LCD keypad for password input, and can dismount the drive, toggle keytones on or off or erase the drive.