The ‘cloud’ has been a buzzword in the games industry for a while now. Although, in theory, it’s a brilliant idea, it’s not a concept that has ever really gained mainstream traction. From pioneers OnLive to current services such as Playstation Now and GeForce Now, cloud-based gaming is still in its infancy.
French startup Blade is hoping to buck this trend with their ‘Shadow’ subscription service, which is now available for the first time in America. Their unique selling point is that they don’t want to help you stream games. They want to help you stream an entire virtual PC, and an absolute powerhouse at that.
The thinking behind it is fairly simple. Blade wants to help people that don’t have the money or space to splash out on serious hardware. Instead of spending $2,000 on a new rig, why not just rent your own for a monthly fee?
By signing up to Shadow, you’ll get your own virtual PC, ready to go wherever you have a screen and a decent internet connection. The impressive part? You’re not sharing anything with anyone else. Each and every paying customer will get their own setup. The Shadow service currently offers a full Windows 10 PC fitted with an Intel Xeon CPU running four cores, 12 GB of DDR4 RAM and 256 GB of storage. Their graphics solution isn’t anything to sniff at either. For your money, you’ll get the equivalent of a GeForce 1080 with 16GB of video memory.
Blade even handle upgrades, constantly improving their offering as technology advances. Asher Kagan, president and co-founder of Blade, touched on this in a recent interview with Polygon:
“The idea is that the user will never need to care about the hardware anymore“.
The Shadow service originally launched in France in 2016 and quickly reached capacity with 5,000 subscribers. Since its inception, other countries have steadily followed including Belgium and Switzerland. Now, as we enter 2018, Shadow is finally landing on American soil. California, to be exact. Initial backers are estimated to receive the service as of February with more and more data centres rolling the service out nationwide throughout the year.
Obviously, building an infrastructure that can initially handle and then maintain cloud-based computing at scale is expensive. As a result, Shadow isn’t cheap. With the lowest priced plan setting you back $35 / month for a year, you’re looking at around £420 to rent a PC for 12 months. Regardless, Blade is confident that their plan is ideal for those who want to sidestep a large initial cost.
At this point, you’re probably asking how this all works for you sitting at home. There are essentially two ways to go about it. Either you grab the app on whichever screen you’re looking to use (this could be a Smart TV, low-end desktop PC, Mac or even your phone) or you opt for the official Shadow Box. As you’d expect, the Shadow experience varies depending on the screen and the quality of your Internet connection. With this in mind, it’s entirely possible that you could stick a controller into your Smart TV or MacBook and play the latest games at 4K as long as you have the bandwidth to back it up.
The Shadow Box is the second option. This dedicated local console is a basic hub, with several USB ports, display ports and room for an Ethernet cable. Acting as a replacement for a dedicated PC, the Shadow Box is the purest way to experience the service. Any peripherals you plug into the box will appear as accessories on your virtual PC, just as it would with a physical desktop. This slick looking box is also the only way to achieve the maximum framerate, 144Hz/1080p.
Naturally, because your Shadow PC is yours, you can essentially do what you like with it. You can download any games you own from popular stores such as Steam, GOG or Origin and play them as you usually would. Software can be downloaded and used as long as it doesn’t break the terms and conditions (which forbids things such as cryptocurrency mining).
Security is another major concern that Blade wants to address. The company itself has stated that they cannot access any user uploaded data, outside of the hosting and sharing that allows the platform to run. With each virtual PC essentially its own walled garden, they’re confident that network security will be equally as tight.
All in all, Shadow is an intriguing prospect. Although it has seen excellent success in Europe, cracking America is a different ballgame. With vastly different internet speeds, a larger prospective user base and much more land to cover, achieving similar success in the US will be a real test for Blade and the Shadow service.
Cyberpunk 2077 2.0 Patch Notes: Massive PS5 Update Now Available!
The crucial Cyberpunk 2077 Update 2.0 is now available on PS5. A massive, game-changing patch at 17GB. Completely redesigned systems and countless smaller changes make the gameplay more refined.
We’re not just copying CD Projekt Red’s marketing. We got early access to Update 2.0 and have been playing with it for weeks. In our extensive Hands On article, we said it’s a great patch that improves Cyberpunk 2077. A long time coming!
CDPR released 2.0’s full patch notes, which are massive. Read them below.
Patch notes for Cyberpunk 2077 2.0
New Police System
- The NCPD will chase you when you commit a crime, whether on foot or in a vehicle.
- The types of units in pursuit and their behavior will depend on your NCPD Wanted Level. These chases can include various NCPD vehicles, roadblocks and MaxTac swooping in with AVs.
- The NCPD will now be present in the world, actively patrolling the streets of Night City. Officers working at crime scenes will now also engage in pursuits.
- You can now hear NCPD radio chatter through the radio.
- It’s now possible to quickhack NCPD officers.
- Added the option to engage in combat while driving a vehicle from either first-person or third-person perspective. While driving, you can use pistols, submachine guns and health items. Some vehicles come equipped with mounted weapons. Melee combat is possible on motorcycles.
- Vehicle tires can now be shot or slashed.
- Introduced new Perks that unlock a variety of vehicle-related abilities such as quickhacking vehicles, increasing collision damage, boosting vehicle weaponry, allowing the use of Sandevistan and Kerenzikov cyberware, and the ability to exit moving vehicles quickly and stylishly.
- Vehicles vary in durability. Vehicles equipped with CrystalDome technology receive additional protection.
- You can now encounter AI-driven and randomized chases between different factions in a given district.
Combat AI Enhancements
We made numerous improvements to enemy AI, including:
- Various enhancements to enemy netrunner AI.
- Improved NPC reactions to grenades and their use of grenades.
- Improved NPC reaction time when flanked.
- Faster detection by enemies when you’re walking or sprinting.
- Enemies equipped with Sandevistan cyberware will now activate it to counter a player who uses their own.
- Enemies that don’t hear a silenced weapon but do notice the bullet impact will now properly investigate the source of the gunshot.
- Made improvements for scenarios where a group of NPCs can join another group in combat against you.
- Added Perks to expand netrunning capabilities. For example, a new Overclock mode allows you to upload quickhacks by consuming Health if you have insufficient RAM. You can also acquire the ability to queue multiple quickhacks on a single enemy.
- Rebalanced RAM costs.
- Rebalanced damage and upload time. Changed the effects of some quickhacks.
- Removed the option to use Breach Protocol on enemies.
- Health Items and grenades now have a limited number of charges that recharge over time after being used.
- Stamina is no longer drained outside of combat for actions like sprinting, sliding and jumping. Stamina is drained when firing ranged weapons or attacking with melee weapons. Stamina cost varies by weapon.
- Improved the Aim Assist feature.
- Rebalanced the base game’s main boss fights.
- Introduced Armor Penetration for the base game’s main bosses.
- Removed the one-hit kill protection from civilians.
PERKS & SKILLS
- A complete Perk tree overhaul. These trees now contain fewer perks, but impact gameplay in a more meaningful way. Progressing in a given Perk tree will allow you to unlock special abilities such as Overclock mode for netrunners, Bolt shots for Tech weapons, the Adrenaline Rush ability for Body-focused character builds, and so on. Because we introduced extensive changes to the Perk system, your spent Perk points on existing playthroughs have been refunded. You can also choose to reset your Attributes once. Feel free to redistribute these Perk and Attribute points to suit your preferred playstyle before you continue playing.
- We merged the previous Skills into five new ones – Headhunter, Netrunner, Shinobi, Solo, Engineer. These are not restricted by their corresponding Attribute’s level. On existing playthroughs, your progression on old skills has been transferred to their new counterparts. Skills unlock new passive buffs every 5 levels, and can be leveled up to a max of 60.
- Removed the option to reset all Perks at once. Instead, it is now possible to refund each Perk individually for free.
- Introduced new kinds of progression shards: Attribute Shards, Carrying Capacity Shards and Cyberware Capacity Shards.
- Armor is now provided primarily by cyberware. As a result, clothing’s purpose is mostly cosmetic. Clothing items no longer have mod slots, and only some items provide bonuses.
- The number of cyberware implants your body can handle is now determined by your Cyberware Capacity.
- Cyberware implants are now Attuned to specific Attributes – the higher the Attribute, the stronger the stat bonus.
- You can now upgrade cyberware on the ripperdoc screen.
- Some Cyberware slots can be unlocked by acquiring specific Perks.
- Added multiple new kinds of Cyberware.
- Visiting ripperdocs is now more immersive. When getting cyberware installed, you sit on an operating chair and experience different animations depending on the type of implant.
- Added a side quest introducing the new cyberware system for players who load an older save on the 2.0 update.
- Changed the unique effects of some Iconic weapons to better reflect their distinctive features.
- The “first equip” animation can now be triggered at any time.
– PlayStation: double tap △ while the weapon is holstered.
- Added smoke grenades.
- Added new melee weapon Finishers.
- You can now find a Thermal Katana in the game.
- Added new weapon mods and reworked some existing ones. Once installed in a weapon, mods are irreplaceable.
- All obsolete weapon mods will be removed from the game. In their place you will find new, random weapon mods in your backpack. The quality of any mods added this way depends on your level.
- Removed the silencer slot from Revolvers.
- Removed the scope slot from Light Machine Guns.
- Implemented a new way to craft weapon mods. To craft a mod, you must first have 2 mods of lower quality.
- Expanded the stash wall in V’s apartment to display all of the Iconic weapons from the base game.
- NPC vehicles can now switch lanes to avoid obstacles.
- Pedestrians will now try to avoid running into moving vehicles.
- NPC drivers are now better at avoiding you when you are on foot.
- Improved braking, acceleration and suspension of cars in traffic.
- Some NPCs now might react aggressively when you hijack their vehicle.
- Various improvements to traffic density depending on time of day and night, resulting in more realistic traffic behavior.
- Driving with a quest-related NPC in your vehicle no longer disables traffic in the occupied lane, resulting in the feeling of a busier city.
- Fixers will no longer text you about vehicles up for sale. You now purchase vehicles via the AUTOFIXER netpage on V’s computer or by using terminals located in gas stations and repair shops throughout Night City. To find these, enable the new Autofixer filter on the world map. Vehicles are sorted by manufacturer. The vehicles equipped with built-in weaponry have photos marked with a special icon. As you earn more Street Cred, you will unlock more vehicles for purchase.
- Added new user settings to help configure vehicle camera and controls. You can now also choose between three different third-person camera distances when driving a vehicle.
- Added a new “Driving” category and Driving Manual to the Database.
We implemented various changes and tweaks to vehicle performance and handling:
- New speed-sensitive steering applies to most vehicles. The max turn speed and radius adapts to different vehicle speeds better than before.
- All engines have torque curves now, which reflect the engine’s character and any power modifiers (e.g., supercharger, turbo, hybrid, etc.). Some adjustments and balancing have been made to vehicle acceleration and top speeds.
- Conducted a full pass on adjustments to braking force. For slower vehicles it has been dramatically increased, and all stopping distances were measured and adjusted as necessary.
- All vehicles react better to rough terrain and impacts with curbs, meridians, etc. Vehicles feel “heavier” now, as we have improved how we apply gravity as the suspension moves.
- Many vehicles were fully retuned or their tuning was heavily revised.
- Multiple other small improvements.
BALANCE & ECONOMY
- All NPCs now scale to your level. Enemy difficulty is no longer dependent on what area of Night City you’re in.
- Enemies will have different tiers depending on the faction they belong to.
- Some NPC archetypes will feature Low, Medium or High armor.
- All resistances for regular NPCs have been removed.
- Rebalanced game difficulty to increase the challenge at higher difficulties.
- Weapons now scale damage based on their Tier.
- The damage for Smart weapons has been lowered, but they now benefit from dedicated Perks.
- Loot now scales to your level.
- Removed excessive findable loot in the game, such as loot that distracts from scenes and quest locations.
- NPCs no longer drop clothing.
Crafting & Upgrading
- Crafting and upgrading now require only one type of component instead of multiple types.
- Replaced old rarity levels (Common, Uncommon, Rare, Epic, Legendary) with Tiers (from Tier 1 to 5++).
- Apart from cyberware, now only Iconic weapons can be upgraded. They gain a higher Tier with each upgrade.
- You can now access the Wardrobe feature through clothing vendors.
- Vendor stocks scale with your level, expanding as you reach a new Tier.
- Updated vendor stocks so that each has a more distinctive theme and specialization.
- Vendors no longer sell quickhack and crafting components.
- Adjusted the prices of weapons, cyberware, apartments, clothing and more.
New Radio Stations
- 89.7 Growl FM features songs created by our community. The DJ, Ash, is voiced by Sasha Grey.
- Impulse 99.9 features a completely new set of songs remixed by Idris Elba.
- 107.5 Dark Star is a new station for electronic music.
- The Quest Journal now has a new, cleaner look. Jobs are located in separate tabs, depending on type. The distance to each quest marker is now displayed in the Journal.
- Added the option to untrack a quest in the Journal.
- Overhauled the phone UI to be more intuitive.
- Revamped Perk and Cyberware menus.
- Simplified item tooltips. The most important stats are now represented by bars to make comparison easier.
- The minimap will now zoom out dynamically depending on your speed.
- Updated the minimap to better serve the situation around you. Vision cones will not be visible unless a given NPC reacts to your actions or engages in combat.
- Improved D-pad navigation in menus.
- You can now change the HUD safe zone. This option is available in Settings → Interface.
- Multiple UI fixes for widescreens.
- You can now preview clothing and weapons not only at vendors, but also in your inventory.
- The indicators that show the status of active cyberware are now displayed on your HUD.
- Beat on the Brat: The Glen – Fixed an issue where it wasn’t possible to draw fists when the fight started.
- Blistering Love – Fixed an issue where the parked car despawned after talking to Rogue in front of the Afterlife.
- Cyberpsycho Sighting: Bloody Ritual – Fixed an issue where Zaria’s body could get stuck underground after defeating her.
- Forward to Death – The forces defending the gate of the construction site now properly attack V.
- Gig: Serious Side Effects – Fixed an issue where it wasn’t possible to deposit the beta acid at the Drop Point.
- I Fought The Law – Fixed an issue where it was possible to get stuck in the Red Queen’s Race after completing the quest.
- Queen of the Highway – Fixed an issue where it wasn’t possible to complete the “Talk to Panam.” objective on older saves.
- Spellbound – It’s now possible to steal the data from R3n0’s computer if you don’t have a cyberdeck.
- We Gotta Live Together – Fixed an issue where an invisible wall made it impossible to return to the camp on the Basilisk.
STABILITY AND PERFORMANCE
Multiple fixes and improvements related to stability and optimization.
- Added Trauma Drama, an arcade mini game that offers a chance to win special rewards.
- Added more secrets to be discovered in Night City.
- Added some small scenes to the game, including some conversations with Johnny Silverhand when visiting V’s apartment in Megabuilding H10.
- You can now change tattoos at ripperdocs.
- You can now choose between three Control Schemes for controllers: Classic, Dynamic and Alternative.
- Apartments will now give smaller buffs.
- Updated the Characters tab in the Database to include more side characters.
- Added new niches to the Columbarium.
- Added Ukrainian text localization.
- Changed the target upscaling resolution on Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 in Performance Mode from dynamic 4k to dynamic 1800p for improved performance and image quality.
Will Update 2.0 bring you back to Night City?
Solar Souls-Like Enotria: The Last Song Performs in 2024
Souls-like Enotria: The Last Song is scheduled for PS5 release in Spring 2024. The spin this time? Enotria escapes darkness into a folkloric Italian sunlit world. This is a technical showcase trailer, and while the art direction and environment are good, combat animations should be tightened before launch.
The Canovaccio, a twisted, eternal play, freezes the world. Maskless Ones control their own fate because they have no predetermined role in this charade. Destroying the fearsome Authors will free this world and give you their fallen Masks, enabling new play styles.
Thoughts on Enotria: The Last Song? Is there enough to keep you interested, or are you tired of this prolific subgenre?
Not Playable in PS5’s Rebirth: Final Fantasy 7’s Coolest Companions
Square Enix has confirmed to IGN that everyone’s favorite edgy gunslinger will be an AI companion in Final Fantasy VII Rebirth and not fully playable, like Red XIII in Final Fantasy VII Remake. Cid, the chain-smoking pilot, is elusive, hard to define, and cool.
Naturally, Red XIII and Cait Sith (who we don’t remember being cool) will be playable. The Intergrade standalone expansion confirmed Yuffie’s playability and deeper story integration (she was an optional ally before). Even Sepiroth will be playable briefly.
Zack Fair’s role is expanded in this reimagining of a classic video game story, according to Rebirth producer Yoshinori Kitase: “We see him at the end of Remake, which is different from the original title. Zack will appear in a new Rebirth episode with more of him than in the Remake. I can’t say much more because I want players to play and experience it.”
While Square Enix may be saving the best for last, Vincent and Cid will fight alongside the party, albeit AI-controlled. Which FFVII companions do you prefer?
- Gadgets8 years ago
Why the Nexus 7 is still a good tablet in 2015
- Mobile Devices8 years ago
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs Galaxy Note 5: is there room for improvement?
- Editorials8 years ago
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 – How bad updates prevent people from enjoying their phones
- Mobile Devices8 years ago
Nexus 5 2015 and Android M born to be together
- Gaming8 years ago
New Teaser For Five Nights At Freddy’s 4
- Mobile Devices8 years ago
Google not releasing Android M to Nexus 7
- Gadgets9 years ago
Moto G Android 5.0.2 Lollipop still has a memory leak bug
- Mobile Devices8 years ago
Nexus 7 2015: Huawei and Google changing the game