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By Jessica Brown On 30 Oct, 2017 At 01:32 PM | Categorized As Featured, Interviews, PC Games, ROG News, ROG Tech | With 0 Comments

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Cloud-based gaming is an idea that has been tossed around for a little while now, but Parsec is hoping to make low-latency, high-quality gaming a reality on almost any device you own. Parsec’s customized software will allow you to connect to your own PC and stream your library of games to almost anything while also allowing you to share your own PC for this purpose with friends and family. Yet, beyond this, it also allows you to build your own “virtual computer” by buying usage hours on a supercomputer owned by either Amazon or Paperspace and thus have a high-end gaming experience without having to own a high-end PC.

Is it too good to be true? How does it all come together?

Parsec’s CEO Benjy Boxer was kind enough to answer some of my questions on this and more!

Q: Whenever I hear bold statements about how someone’s cloud-gaming platform will be able to rival an in-home gaming PC experience I admittedly become a bit skeptical. What is it that makes Parsec different in this space that would make this promise more able to be fulfilled?

Benjy Boxer: At Parsec, we don’t actually believe that our software can rival your in-home gaming experience. However, our goal is to provide casual gamers (those who spend less than 8 hours a week gaming) with the ability to experience PC gaming without having to invest in expensive hardware. You can save substantial money playing this way and depending on your games and perception to lag, not feel much of a difference versus a PC at home.

Some gamers may not notice a significant difference when using Parsec, but that depends on your game and distance from the cloud machine. We feel very strongly that we have made the right decisions to deliver the lowest latency possible for streaming games over the internet – we built our own networking protocol to reduce latency further. With that being said, Parsec is not like other cloud gaming companies. We offer a streaming software and platform that can be used on any gaming PC. So if you have your gaming PC at home, you can remotely access it. Perhaps more importantly, you can invite friends to co-play games or watch you play games for virtual hangouts and reliving the old days of couch gaming. Parsec is great for people who have gaming PCs because it gives them the power to do new things like co-play.

Q: NVIDIA has been doing something similar with GeForce now for a little bit, but their PC/Mac pricing scheme seems a bit aggressive. Also, they seem to have two distinct platforms, one being for computers and the other for their NVIDIA Shield. Did this inspire your vision with Parsec, making it more universal for users?

Benjy Boxer: We were inspired to build Parsec based on this blog post. It gave us the idea that it may actually be possible to stream games with low enough latency if you were to build software specifically for that purpose. We were not seeking to build a cloud gaming product, and we don’t think Parsec is a cloud gaming product like Geforce Now. We think of Parsec as a platform for accessing your games and playing games with your friends. Now, if you don’t have a gaming PC, you can rent one from one of our providers (AWS and Paperspace) and then connect to it via Parsec. But you can also connect to your home PC using Parsec or invite friends to connect and play games with you.

 

Q: When it comes to streaming games, even over a local network, input lag is a real concern. You already have whatever input lag exists between your controller/keyboard and your display, and this gets compounded by transmitting over a network. What would the average input lag be playing a game through Parsec and, if you can share this, what is it that keeps it as low as possible?

Benjy Boxer: Here’s some testing we’ve done:

From our testing, Parsec does not add more than one frame of lag on top of the lag the game engine already adds when it’s running on the computer. There will also be lag introduced by the ping between two machines. We’ve worked really hard to reduce our latency and have built custom networking code and our own capture, encode, decode, render pipeline.

Q: To follow up with the previous question, obviously a little input lag is just fine and most gamers won’t notice it. However, for those competitive gamers playing very fast-paced games, will Parsec be a viable option or will they need to stick to the more traditional, in-home route of gaming?

Benjy Boxer: We have lots of people winning games on PUBG, Overwatch, and other shooting games. That being said, I would assume that competitive gamers will never stream from a remote device – every millisecond matters. It’s like many professional musicians will never switch to Spotify because the minute sound differences matter, but for the casual gamer, it’s probably not going to be noticeable just like the casual listener to music is totally cool with streaming music.

Q: There’s no question that, despite what marketing and salespeople would like us to believe, 1080p is still the mainstream video format. However, with more people moving up to 1440p or 4K displays, does Parsec have a long-term plan to eventually supporting 1440p/4K gaming for those with the network to handle it?

Benjy Boxer: We already support 1440p at whatever refresh rate you want. We actually support up to 2k. It just takes a lot more bandwidth and can add latency to the encoder, which is why we mostly advertise 1080p. We’ll be able to push 4K when we add support for the h.265 codec.

Q: To follow up with Question 5, HDR is another thing that some pioneering gamers will care about (or at least games that support a 10-bit color space). Admittedly, only a few do this right now, but I imagine this will continue to change as time goes on. Will Parsec be able to handle rendering with higher color gamuts and HDR’s enhanced contrast? If not at 4K, perhaps at least HDR/wide-color at a scaled down 1080p?

Benjy Boxer: This isn’t something that we’re focused on right now. Generally speaking, more data means higher bandwidth requirements and higher strain on encoders and decoders. As the technology becomes viable and available to lots of people, we’ll work on making it possible. But it’s sort of a fight between codecs (h.264, h.265, v10) and bandwidth availability (up and down bandwidth).

Q: Personally, I’m someone that has a very high-end rig (i7 7700K, 32GB DDR4 3000, NVME SSD, GTX 1080 Ti), but the prospect of being able to game on any device is still alluring to me. Will there be any enthusiast options for gamers that don’t want to compromise on quality?

Benjy Boxer: Well, we really hope that you are able to use Parsec today from home and don’t feel like too much of the quality is lost when you access your gaming rig on another device or outside your home. We can’t claim it will be the same as sitting in front of that rig, but we’re working really hard to make it as close as possible if you have the right networking setup. Also, we hope you find value in inviting a friend watching you play or opting to co-op offline games, like Cuphead, with a friend online.

Q: Twitch, YouTube Gaming, and YouTube itself are very popular for Let’s Players and streamers. Obviously, streaming and recording footage at 1080p60 is a pretty demanding task for even a high-end computer, however people love sharing their gameplay online. Will Parsec have any features to allow this?

Benjy Boxer: Actually, a few streamers are doing this already. They get value in being able to play the game on the cloud machine, capture the Parsec window, and push that video directly up to Twitch from their local set up. This reduces tons of strain on the local gaming PC and lets the streamer use the local hardware for streaming and the cloud hardware for gaming. Here’s an example.

Q: As a follow-up to that, what about allowing these higher-end CPUs and GPUs to do some video encoding, for those wanting to put videos together for YouTube. Again, that’s a demanding and time-consuming task and one that people might like to offload onto a cloud system, even if they have a high end PC at home (as this would free it up to do other tasks, such as gaming!). Have you considered this?

Benjy Boxer: We will support that, and I think some streamers have figured out how to do that already. We’re going to release a video of streaming PUBG from a Raspberry Pi connected to a Parsec gaming rig in AWS. The only thing stopping us right now is that we don’t pass the computer’s camera and pass that data to the cloud machine. You need that to be a full streaming solution without requiring local hardware.

 

Thank you again for doing this interview.

By Kira Nance On 22 Feb, 2017 At 11:05 PM | Categorized As Conventions, PC Games, ROG News | With 0 Comments

No GravatarThe creative genius of John Smedley has found a new place to call home. Amazon Game Studio (AGS) announced the addition of a San Diego studio headed by none other than EverQuest co-creator John Smedley. AGS enthusiastically stated

“John’s pioneering work helped define the modern MMO, and his influence can be felt in thousands of games that followed. He helped create the blueprint for fusing massive game worlds with vibrant player communities, a vision that we share at Amazon Game Studios. That’s why we’re excited John has joined Amazon Games Studios to lead this new team.”

Smedley certainly does bring a wealth of experience to the growing company, as well as an incredible passion for game development. In 1988, after only two years attending San Diego State University, Smedley dropped out of college. “I was having too much fun making games” Smedley writes on his LinkedIn page. John Smedley spent well over a decade as the president of Sony Online Entertainment (EverQuest, PlanetSide, DC Universe Online), before overseeing the shift of SOE into Daybreak Game Company in 2015. Battling an extreme case of online harassment Smedley would leave Daybreak later that year. A mere three months after this departure Smedley announced the launch of Pixelmage Games, an indie studio that would close shorty after its first birthday.

AGS has quickly capitalized on this failed opportunity, gaining not only Smedley but a few familiar faces from the Pixelmage team as well. There has been no information regarding what project we will see from Smedley and his team first but AGS assures us they’ve got their noses to the grindstone,

“His team is already hard at work on an ambitious new project that taps into the power of the AWS Cloud and Twitch to connect players around the globe in a thrilling new game world.

From the high-fantasy role playing of EverQuest, to the intense FPS action of Planetside, and the brutal survival sandbox of H1Z1, John is no stranger to bucking trends and creating unforgettable games. It’s early days, but we can’t wait to see what John and his team create, and share it with you.” 

In an email interview with GamesIndustry.biz Smedley voiced his eagerness “to do really big and ambitious games that just wouldn’t be possible without the amazing backend of AWS that’s easy to access thanks to Amazon Lumberyard.” Smedley also praised the utilization of Twitch, stressing the importance of connecting players and developers to truly better the industry.

By Wade Hinkle On 30 Sep, 2016 At 09:11 PM | Categorized As ROG News | With 0 Comments

No GravatarAmazon purchased Twitch for $970 million in cash just over two years ago, and since then we have been waiting to hear what would happen to the a live video-game-streaming site. Today, during the first day of TwitchCon 2016 the companies unveiled Twitch Prime among other features.

Twitch Prime goes hand-in-hand with Amazon Prime, costing $10.99 a month or $99 for the entire year. A subscriber will get all the benefits of Amazon Prime along with the benefits listed below:

  • Free Digital Games and Game LootTwitch Prime members will receive a consistently updated selection of free digital video games and in-game loot like skins, characters, and boosts from the most popular games on Twitch
  • Premium Twitch + Monthly Twitch Channel Subscription: Twitch Prime builds on the benefits of Twitch Turbo, Twitch’s original monthly subscription program, including ad-free Twitch viewing, custom emotes, special chat badges, and expanded chat colors. Plus, members receive one free Twitch channel subscription each month which is normally $4.99, to support their favorite streamer. When Twitch Prime members use these free channel subscriptions, the streamer is paid the same as if the member purchased the subscription separately.
  • Member Savings on New Release Games: Prime members will receive exclusive discounts on new-release physical games sold by Amazon during the pre-order period and for the first two weeks after launch. Members will also enjoy free Release Day Delivery on pre-order games, ensuring they get to play the latest games immediately at launch, without waiting in line.

 

Twitch Prime is currently available to all Amazon Prime members in the United States, Canada, UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain, including Prime Student members. Those who are already Amazon Prime subscriber, head over to http://twitchprime.com and subscribers can link the two accounts together to obtain the free items. For those who are not sure, Twitch is offering a free 30-day trial that can be signed up for here.

Other new features were also announced for Twitch channels, streamers and subscribers. Until now the only items that could be hosted on a channel was either the currently live streaming and stuff that were streamed previously through Twitch. As of today, now the channel owner will be able to upload their own gaming videos. Channel owners will also be able to award their loyal viewers through a special “tenure”-based badges. They can be rewarded for watching for 3, 6, 12, or 24 months. The stream channel owner can design their own badges, though this feature is not immediately available and will launch in three weeks.

 

Twitch also revealed that HTML5 support is rolling out today, this had been in beta testing for the last several months. Currently the video quality options is offered to revenue-sharing partners only, but the company hopes to open it to 3x as many non-partners within the next few months. Last but not least, as of today viewers will be able to clip, create and/or share clips from Twitch streams on iOS/Android devices, and a new clip-trimming feature will be arriving coming in mid-October.

To celebrate the launch of Twitch Prime, starting today through November 6, Twitch Prime members can receive Hearthstone’s new hero, Tyrande Whisperwind, along with a custom card pack. In October, a Twitch Prime branded skin from Smite, and a free copy of Streamline, a new game from Proletariat Studios.

Twitch has also partnered with the GameChanger Charity, an independent non-profit that raises money and creates life-changing experiences for children with terminal illnesses. Starting today, Friday, Sept. 30 through Wednesday, Oct. 5, Twitch will donate $100,000 to the GameChanger Charity for every 100,000 channel subscriptions made by Twitch viewers up to $1 million total. All subscriptions count, including those using the free channel subscription that comes with Twitch Prime.

No GravatarThe following is solely the opinion of the writer and not necessarily reflective of Real Otaku Gamer.

 

Amazon has recently begun to lock game sales on Amazon.com and Amazon UK to only Prime Members, including games like Grand Theft Auto 5, which is a consistent seller. This is one of the most anti consumer moves I have ever seen and is a terrible move, not just for video game fans but for consumers in general.

Amazon is essentially telling people that in order to have the right to purchase an item, they now have to purchase a membership to prime, with an annual fee just for the “privilege” of buying from them. I am scared that if this succeeds, it will spread and other retailers will begin subscription based purchases and this is not okay. I am a capitalist and am not ashamed of that in any way, but this goes beyond what is reasonable. One of the biggest online retailers in the world suddenly saying that you now have to pay a membership fee to buy from them, is an abuse of power and should not be tolerated.

Say someone has saved up for months to buy a game and they finally have a enough, only then they find out they need a membership subscription in order to buy the game, how do you think they would feel?  That is the question everyone who plays video games should ask. Gaming is an expensive hobby and we are being taken advantage of by Amazon and other retailers and that is not okay. Gamers have been treated badly by the press and now for retailers to do this is just pure and simple, a horrible move.  We are not a small group and if we make enough noise we can force change, We need to let Amazon know that we will not sit idly buy and let this happen.

Let this be a call to all gamers to make noise and demand a change of policy from Amazon. We can make a difference.

 

 

The above was solely the opinion of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of the rest of Real Otaku Gamer

By Jonathan Balofsky On 9 Mar, 2016 At 10:25 PM | Categorized As News, News, NINTENDO, ROG News | With 0 Comments

No Gravatarpokken france

 

Pokken Tournament has sold out on preorder on Amazon France. With the game a week and a half away from launch, this is a good sign for the game’s sales. With TPC, Nintendo And Bandai Namco creating a competitive scene for the game, Pokken Tournament looks to have a healthy life ahead of it. What about you all, will you be buying this game on Wii U? You can see the Amazon France sell listing showing the sell out here.

 

 

 

By otakuman5000 On 25 Jul, 2014 At 10:39 PM | Categorized As Comics/Manga, Company Spotlight, Featured, News, Reviews, Reviews | With 0 Comments

No GravatarComic books are one of the many joys in my life. Comics should be a joy in others’ as well. I am going to begin shooting off some recommendations every week or so. Not exactly a review, just a short description so you know why you should be reading.

My pick for this week? Deadly Class Volume 1: Reagan Youth. NOTE: some of the first issue will be spoiled, to cover the basic plot. Nothing past that should be.

DeadlyClassVol1-cover

  Property of Image Comics

It’s a witty, colorful book about a band of misfit friends attending a secret school for future generations of assassins called King Dominion’s School for the Deadly Arts. Rick Remender writes the book and does so extremely. He lets in humor, romance, and action into a lovely combination. The excellent writing is coupled with amazing art by Wesley Craig, and colors done by Lee Loughridge.

One of the most interesting aspects of the story is such a finely blended cast. The main character, Marcus, is a Nicaraguan orphan and the rest of his adventurous posse is composed of characters from across the globe. Every main character in the first major arc experience great development to get you really more interested in each character than perhaps any

The art compliments everything that is done in the story. From a car chase (rare in comics due to the difficulty of showing the true “action” due to static images), to fight scenes, to drug trips. The coloring and lettering stays on point throughout the first six issues.

Events occurring within the first six issues, all compiled in this one volume, leave the series with a lot of breathing room for story development. Remender’s writing is sure to continue to be as solid as it has been between this series and fellow Image series Black Science. This is definitely a solid choice for any fan of action or suspense to get into. Overall the comic brings everything one could hope for to the table.

The first volume is available on Amazon for a cool $9.99 here. You can always stop into your local comic shop as well and snag the trade. Maybe some other great titles as well. The series will pick back up in September so now is as good as a time as possible to pick up the trade and follow this great series. This is not a series you want to miss out on.

No GravatarRumors are fickle but, when they persist along with cohesive information leading it towards actual reality, they have a weird habit of becoming true. That being said images of Amazon’s wireless controller have been leaked to the interwebs by Dave Zatz of Zatz Not Funny! The rumors started to take form waaaaay back in April of last year by Bloomberg Businessweek Technology & Wall Street Journal when these two sites released information on Amazon’s future jump into streaming set-top boxes but, it all got more interesting when these images were released…

Microsoft Word - Foto externa_Controle Remotoamazon controller leak2Amazon controller leak3

These controllers are battery operated like its Step-Brother, the Ouya, while also, being infused with Bluetooth technology. One thing is for sure- I am elated with all these new-fangled console platforms coming to our palms in the future along with availability today. These images show plenty of buttons; you have your standard array of input controls. We also see some Android buttons too located in the center with the Back, Home & Menu buttons then down below with Rewind, Play/Pause & Fast Forward buttons. I like mobile gaming but, I believe Amazon is thinking more broadly with this one, when combined with past news of the online retail behemoth searching for AAA experienced developers over to them actually acquiring Double Helix the team behind multi-platform releases of Strider along with Xbox One’s Killer Instinct these bad boys are serious!

By otakuman5000 On 7 Mar, 2014 At 07:15 PM | Categorized As Animation, News, Otaku Music, ROG News, Television | With 0 Comments

No GravatarNews came about just a few days ago that Anime Limited has gained the license for the original soundtrack for the popular anime series Attack on Titan. The soundtrack contains 16 tracks, both inserts and background music, from the anime all composed by Hiroyuki Sawano, who has also composed songs for Gundam Unicorn, Guilty Crown and Kill la Kill. Songs include Attack On Titan, The Reluctant Heroes, Call Your Name, Eye-Water, Counter Attack-Mankind, and Rittaikidou.

We can expect a physical CD release later this summer, but as of right now, you can buy and download the entire soundtrack from all of the popular digital music stores, such as iTunes, Google Play, and Amazon.

[Source: Anime News Network]

 

No Gravatar…Thanks to Amazon Local!

I signed up for Amazon Local a few years back (and for those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s kind of like Groupon), and boy – it really did not disappoint!

I woke up one morning to an email saying “Access to Online Game Design Training for One Year” offered by the School of Interactive Design. As an editor looking to acquire as many skills in the gaming field as I can, I hopped on the deal right away. The good news for those of you who will need a little bit to recover from Christmas shopping is that this deal will be available for about another month (26 days from this date, actually).

mayaHere’s what you need to know about everything this will include:

  • One year’s worth of access to easy to understand tutorials on Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, Maya, Unity, and Game Salad.
  • On the voucher when you pay for the deal, it will say that you will not need to make any further purchases and that all software will be included an free. No, this does not include Photoshop and Illustrator. It includes Game Salad, Maya, and Unity. The videos will show you how and where to download these softwares from.
  • The voucher also says that buying this deal doesn’t register you for classes, and that you need to do this by April 18th, 2014. I called and inquired, and SoID (School of Interactive Design) said that Amazon won’t remove this verbiage and to disregard it.
  • This is not an online college where you have class times and homework. This is a laidback, go-at-your-own-pace type of thing. Makes it really convenient for most of us whose lives are hectic like mine.

My advice to anyone is to treat this like school. Practice, practice, practice. And take notes, because in a few years from now, you may forget how to use these programs.

How much will this run you, exactly? It will only cost you $99. Seriously? Yes, seriously.

Click here to head over to the website to get you on your way! Godspeed, and may the Force be with you!

 

By otakuman5000 On 20 Sep, 2013 At 06:44 AM | Categorized As International News, News, ROG News, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

No GravatarWith all of the Tokyo Game Show news that has come out this week, you would think you have heard everything going on. Well that might not be the case. While the news of the Microsoft Stock buyback program was announced, Real Otaku Gamer has heard that digital software for the Xbox One may be a part of that vision.

For starters, the digital downloads will have a set price when you buy them, just like things are now. In case you do not want to play the game anymore, you will have an option to sell the digital game back to Microsoft (though a service sponsored by a retailer) at a set price. Even better for the consumer, you can set the price of that software up to full retail price, but not below the set price. For example, If you buy Crimson Dragon, and you are not playing it anymore, you can sell it for lets say $8.99. You can then sell that game on this service for lets say, $15.99. That is part one of what we have heard.

Also, with the Xbox One you will be able to share your DLC/digital downloads with up to 10 friends. Which is a major step beyond the Family Share function as mention in previous Xbox One briefings. So you can share with more than the people in your house.

One more thing about selling back your used digital games. They way the games will be transferred is like this, the games will be stored on a server and once it is purchased, a download code will be issued.

Now this is not confirmed, but we will investigate this story as the launch of the console approaches. Updates will follow, so stay tuned.