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    by Published on August 12th, 2019 19:51

    Grand Theft Auto V has been a hype-fest ever since the gaming community got wind of its release prior to September 2013. Everyone was excited to see what the developers, Rockstar, would do as the Grand Theft Auto series continued to improve with each new instalment. Before launch, we learned that instead of one protagonist, we’d be getting three playable main characters as well as be able to roam around their largest map to date. Everyone able to buy the 18-rated game was hyped for its release, and then, after launch, they all indulged in the free-roam around the fictitious area of Los Santos as well as the superb story.

    Grand Theft Auto V was one of the most highly anticipated games of this decade, and despite the trailer not showing much and being released in 2011, it still racked up over 58 million views on YouTube.
    But the excitement was set to continue post-campaign, with the online multiplayer game mode Grand Theft Auto Online launching two weeks after the game’s release. At first, it was a mess. Many people struggled to get into the game mode when it was first opened due to the huge number of players trying to get online to play. The game mode was also relatively sparse, with the highly anticipated chance to perform heists online with friends not being an option from day one. Eventually, Rockstar ironed out the issues with GTA Online, going on to add a heists mode in March 2015.
    Through continued updates such as this, GTA V has remained relevant – almost entirely due to its online play – clocking in as the best-selling entertainment product of all-time across all mediums in November 2018, generating $6 billion in sales of units and most likely in-game microtransactions. Ever since passing this whopping milestone last year and following the release of another Rockstar game, Red Dead Redemption 2, the developers have continued to add free updates to the game, with the most recent even eclipsing the popularity of the long-awaited heists.

    The Diamond Casino & Resort is open for business!

    Alluding to the story while showing flashes of card games, slot machines, and prizes, the trailer for The Diamond Casino & Resort dropped five days before the DLC’s official launch to the excitement of many players.
    For months, gamers read articles about data-mine results and teases from Rockstar about the opening of the casino in GTA Online and finally, on 23 July, players got exactly what they hoped for. The casino floor of the Diamond Casino & Resort boasts many classic casino games, including blackjack, roulette, three-card poker, and numerous slot machines based on GTA lore. Then there’s also a virtual horse racing track for players to bet on virtual horses in the digital GTA casino. As well as these games, players can also indulge in a daily free spin on the Lucky Wheel to win prizes like casino chips, cash, or a supercar.
    On top of the casino games, players will also be able to sign up to the casino via standard or VIP memberships with escalating statuses which unlock vehicles as they progress with the DLC’s missions. Then there’s also the prospect of owning a piece of the Diamond Casino & Resort by getting a fully customisable penthouse suite. With the penthouse and the VIP membership, players gain access to many extras, such as exclusive lounges, a private spa, high-limit casino gaming tables, and the stunning rooftop infinity pool.
    The launch of this DLC has been massive for the already gargantuan game, reportedly bringing in the largest number of players to the game ever. Considering the game was launched in 2013 to huge sales, it’s incredible that it still has such a massive draw in 2019 for this free update. However, as has often been the case with the GTA franchise, this latest update hasn’t come without its controversies.

    Using real-world money to gamble in the GTA casino

    A video creator on YouTube did the maths to uncover how much one would have to spend to buy every item in GTA Online, as of July 2018, with the total coming to GTA$1.2 billion, or 150 Megaladon Shark Cards, which would cost $15,000 (£12,370) in real-world money.
    A controversy has arisen surrounding the opening of the Diamond Casino & Resort in GTA Online due to players effectively being able to gamble with real money. GTA Online has always enabled players to top up their balance of in-game currency by paying real money, via microtransactions, into the game. To do this, players purchase Shark Cards, with the lowest value conversion being the Red Shark Cash Card which costs £1.99 for GTA$100,000.
    To quell a lot of the potential backlash from people being able to convert real money into in-game money via Shark Cards for the purposes of gambling, Rockstar did install a cap at the Diamond Casino & Resort. During each in-game day, which lasts around 48 minutes of real-world time, players are capped to converting GTA$20,000 into casino chips. With premium membership, however, that cap rises to GTA$50,000. It has been calculated that per in-game day, a player could only convert £1 ...
    by Published on August 7th, 2019 19:41
    Article Preview

    How Casinos & Video Slots Are Boosting Mobile Gaming
    For many people, mobile devices are now the platform of choice for gaming. Traditional gamers may despair at the rise of social gaming via Apple and Android devices but the fact is, an enormous number of people only play games on their phones or tablets.

    Money talks

    One of the big drivers is the rise in popularity of video slots and casino games. For some people, the chance to win some cash makes these games more appealing than traditional video games. In fact, there is still a big divide in those who play traditional video games for fun and those who play casino or poker games for cash. What’s more, casino games and slots can be easily played on mobile devices without detracting from the gaming experience. People can play anytime from wherever they are.

    Crossover expected

    Despite the divide, it is expected that there could be a crossover between the two genres in the future as casino developers look to bring elements of gameplay and strategy into their titles to make them even more engaging; and video game developers adopt elements of the risk and reward features that make casino games and slots so attractive. This could revolutionise the way we think of gaming in the future.

    Incentives to play

    Casino and video slots games are appealing because you can pick them up and put them down whenever you want. You can spin some slots or play table games in just a few seconds making them perfect to play on the go. With so many people living busy lives with little spare time, they provide instant entertainment with little effort. What’s more, many companies will offer good incentives the first time a player signs up. For example, the latest Betfair promotions include up to £100 in bonuses and 25 free spins.
    Traditional video games and casino games are not mutually exclusive. There have been non-cash casino and poker games available on video consoles for years, and poker even featured in the Red Dead Redemption games. But there is a big difference in playing for fun and playing for cash. And while many video gamers may also play mobile casino games, the two genres still feel very separate.

    A glimpse into the future

    In the future, we could see a scenario where video games offer a pay-to-play model with cash prizes for achieving certain goals or where casino developers incorporate more gameplay into their titles to attract traditional gamers. There has been scepticism as to whether video gamers would pay to play such games but the amount of money spent on consoles and equipment, and the historic evidence of pay-to-play arcades suggests otherwise. Gamers are happy to part with cash if the product is top quality.
    The move towards the gamification of casino, poker and video games could help those companies attract a whole new audience to the world of mobile gaming.

    by Published on August 1st, 2019 22:27
    1. Categories:
    2. Sega Dreamcast News

    Redream v1.4.0 is released. Redream (originally called Dreavm) is a work in progress emulator for the SEGA Dreamcast.

    Redream Changelog:
    New app icon.
    New animated background in user interface.
    PowerVR DMA support (Sonic Shuffle, Simple2000 Series).
    PowerVR fog support.
    32-bit support for Android.
    GL ES 3.x support for Android.
    AArch32 and AArch64 JITs for Android.
    Built in fps counter.
    Automatic frame skipping.
    Reset binds option in input menu.
    Support for Nintendo Switch Joy Cons.
    Automatic library directory scanning.
    Touch screen suppport.
    Virtual gamepad input device.
    Save state support.

    Mac builds are now distributed as app bundles.
    Mac builds now write out internal files to ~/Library/Application Support/redream.
    Make options save before shutting down in the off-chance that there's a crash during shutdown.
    Improved per-strip accuracy.
    Optimized texture conversion routines.
    Lowered per-pixel requirement to GL 4.3+ / GL ES 3.2+.
    Improved framebuffer presentation accuracy and raw framebuffer write detection.
    Numerous rendering performance improvements as a result of Android optimizations.
    Improved AMD rendering performance when using per-pixel sorting. RX 480 at 1440p x 64 layers improved from ~50 fps to ~190 fps in Sonic Adventure main menu.
    Avoid persisting the pc to the context as frequently.
    Avoid persisting the cycle count to the context as frequently.
    Avoid unnecessary page permission changes when applying memory watches.
    Inline hot MMIO paths.
    Inline constants during code compilation.
    Added constant materialization optimization pass.
    Reduce register pressure in MACL / MACW operations.
    Use floating-point instructions for floating-point data transfers to reduce redundant SH4 context accesses.
    Run at a fixed 60hz in the UI.
    Improved indexing of disc box art.
    Raised maximum input devices to 32.
    Refactored virtual memory system to work with only a 29-bit address space.
    Filter out single-session CDIs in the UI which require a boot disc to use.
    Improved frame pacing and performance by tightening up the audio and video sync.
    Turbo button is now a toggle.

    SLEEP instruction not waking correctly (Psyvariar 2, Shikigami no Shiro II).
    Linux build unnecessarily linking with optional libraries (libXinerama, etc).
    Linux build using the incorrect directory for internal files when using a symlink.
    Mac build flashing on startup when fullscreen.
    More robust self-modifying code detection (Shenmue, Shenmue II).
    More robust culling of degenerate vertices (Wacky Races, Soul Calibur, Headhunter).
    Artifacts along the 1-pixel edge of the viewport in some games.
    Garbage data outside of the viewport in games attempting to compensate for overscan.
    Numerous HLE BIOS issues (MSR, 2K sports games).
    Corrected TOC for GDI and CHD disc images, fixes missing audio tracks in BIOS music player (MDK2).
    Crash when the texture cache reset mid-game in libraries with more than 512 games.
    Incorrect polygon winding for background plane (MDK2).
    Geist Force hanging during intro.
    Jet Set Radio crashing during graffiti free paint.
    Pro Pinball Trilogy hanging on boot.
    Monaco Grand Prix hang on startup.
    NHL 2K2 hanging in the main menu.
    NHL 2K2 pause menu rendering.
    Slave Zero failing to boot.
    Toe Jam and Earl crash on startup.
    Audio clicking in Sonic Adventure menus.
    Music in MDK2 and Stupid Invaders not playing.
    Music in Maken X cutting out during intro and beeping.
    Music in Walt Disney World Quest not pausing in menus.
    Music in Test Drive Le Mans going off the rails after ~10 minutes of play. ...
    by Published on July 31st, 2019 20:07
    1. Categories:
    2. Sega Dreamcast News

    reicast is a multi-platform Dreamcast emulator. The project is currently in Alpha, usability, performance and stability issues are to be expected. Cortex-A9 dualcore, 1ghz+ is the minimum hardware for decent speeds.

    Reicast r19.07.4 Changelog: ...
    by Published on July 30th, 2019 20:24
    1. Categories:
    2. Genesis News
    Article Preview

    • If you're in Europe, you're going to have to wait just a little while longer for the Sega Mega Drive Mini. Sega has delayed the release of their classic mini console by two weeks, citing "unavoidable logistical challenges". Now, the system will launch on October 4th, while North America will receive the Genesis Mini on September 19th. Also included in the delay are any Middle Eastern territories. When the Mega Drive Mini does release, it'll come with 42 different games, such as Sonic 1 and 2, Shining Force, Road Rash 2, Castle of Illusion, a never before released port of Darius, Comix Zone, and more, along with two controllers.

      Full list of Genesis Mini games
      Sonic The Hedgehog
      Ecco The Dolphin
      Castlevania: The New Generation
      Space Harrier 2
      Shining Force
      Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine
      ToeJam & Earl
      Comix Zone
      Altered Beast
      Gunstar Heroes
      Castle Of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse
      World Of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse And Donald Duck
      Thunder Force III
      Super Fantasy Zone
      Shinobi III
      Streets Of Rage II
      Earthworm Jim
      Sonic The Hedgehog 2
      Probotector Landstalker
      Mega Man: The Wily Wars
      Street Fighter II: Special Champion Edition
      Ghouls ‘n Ghosts Alex Kidd In The Enchanted Castle
      Story Of Thor
      Golden Axe
      Phantasy Star IV: The End Of The Millennium
      Sonic The Hedgehog Spinball
      Wonder Boy In Monster World
      Road Rash II
      Virtua Fighter 2
      Alisia Dragoon
      Kid Chameleon
      Monster World IV
      Eternal Champions
      Dynamite Headdy
      Light Crusader

    by Published on July 29th, 2019 21:40
    1. Categories:
    2. PC News

    This week has been quite a busy one for PC gaming. From Microsoft’s new Flight Simulator to aliens touching down in Arma 3, we’re going to cover a few of the biggest PC gaming stories this week.

    Microsoft Flight Simulator

    It’s been a little while since Microsoft announced their new flight simulator game and players across the globe are excited about this one. Flight Simulators have captivated the minds of many a player over the years, but we haven’t really seen a new one kick up a storm until this announcement. The last game to make this huge of a wave was Flight Simulator X: Steam Edition back 5 years ago.

    Flight Simulator’s insider program kicks off next month, allowing players to preview the game early, and some people are very excited to get their hands on this.
    In the meantime, check out our virgin games sign up codes to fill up your procrastination time!

    Arma 3: First Contact

    Arma 3’s new DLC, First Contact, is here for players to delve into. And this one comes with a twist. Aliens!
    Arma hasn’t seen something like this anywhere in the series before, so that makes this an interesting feature released by Bohemia. In the new DLC you’ll be put to the test against the impending alien invasion featuring UFO’s, Alien Tech and more.

    Cyberpunk 2077

    Cyberpunk 2077 has been in the news a lot recently, especially since the E3 presentation featuring the one and only Keanu Reeves. This week, CD Projekt Red, the developers of the game have talked about player features and freedom.
    Regardless of which version of the game you pick up, or if you pre-order it, all players will have the same experience and in game content across the board.

    Projekt Red are no stranger to fleshed out and content-filled games, so we’ll be looking out for this one when it releases in April 2020.

    DayZ SurviverGamez

    DayZ is a game that has surrounded much controversy. Being in development for over 6 years it’s hard to still have belief that the game will ever be finished.
    Players this week have had the chance to build a new experience in the game as developers Bohemia announced they would be creating a Battle Royale gamemode, previously a player-ran competition known as The SurviverGamez.

    The gamemode, although not released to the entire playerbase and uncertain if it will be a standalone game in itself, is accessible to players that signed up to have closed alpha access. Players who have played the gamemode express the nostalgia that they feel when playing the game, reminding them of the pre 2013 days playing the Arma 2 iteration of the mod.

    So there we have it, a few of the biggest news stories of PC gaming this week. From Aliens to Flying your very own 747, what are you most looking forward to in the months ahead?

    by Published on July 29th, 2019 20:46
    1. Categories:
    2. Android News,
    3. Nintendo Switch

    Android for the Nintendo Switch was originally teased back in February by Max Keller in a video showing a development build of Android Q (10.0) running on the device.
    This build had some issues such as no GPU acceleration and until June, nothing else was said. However, in June, ByLaws managed to get GPU acceleration working and from there onwards, work accelerated considerably. Now, a release has finally descended upon us and it can be downloaded from this XDA thread.
    This release is a ROM of Lineage OS 15.1 (ex-Cyanogen Mod) which is based on Android 8.1 Oreo.
    The vast majority of the Switch’s features such as WiFi, Bluetooth, GPU acceleration, the touchscreen, joycons and docking work although there are a few minor issues with the port namely:

    • When you plug in the charging cable, Android doesn’t detect the fact that device is charging but it’s still chargingBorderlands on the Switch is finally a reality thanks to Android!
    • WiFi may occasionally decide not to work; when this happens, a reboot is the way to go
    • Deep sleep doesn’t work so don’t expect amazing battery life
    • Docking may not work properly on first try so connect/disconnect the Switch a few times till you get a proper picture
    • Auto-rotation doesn’t work, joycons may not work properly in some apps and the FAT32 partition of the SD Card isn’t readable on macOS among other smaller issues

    With this ROM, you’ll not only be able to use your Nintendo Switch as an actual tablet (Horizon OS doesn’t do too well in this regard although homebrew has improved the situation) but you’ll also be able to play Android games that require Nvidia Tegra hardware such as Half-Life 2 and Borderlands so the Switch’s game library has just been expanded by quite a bit!

    XDA Thread for Android Port:–development/rom-switchroot-lineageos-15-1-t3951389 ...
    by Published on July 29th, 2019 20:23
    1. Categories:
    2. PS4,
    3. Xbox One

    The cloud partnership between Microsoft and Sony was "all driven by Sony," according to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.
    Speaking to Fortune, Nadella explained the origins of the partnership with Sony, which the two companies formed in May.
    "First of all, it's all driven by Sony," he said. "They looked at who are all their partners that they can trust. In fact, it turns out, even though we've competed, we've also partnered.
    "Basically and fundamentally the fact that we have a business model in the areas that they're partnering with us, where we're dependent on their success. So we will do the best job for them, whether it's in cloud or whether it's in AI or what have you, in order to make sure that Sony can succeed with their own IP creation."
    The partnership will influence Sony's games business, but Nadella also highlighted silicon chips and cameras as areas that "can use more cloud computing power."
    Historically, Sony and Microsoft have been rivals in the games market, but their partnership reflects a broad shift away from physical products and towards digital services.
    In a recent article, Rob Fahey speculated that these changes could signal the end of direct competition between Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo -- generally known as "the console war." ...
    by Published on July 25th, 2019 14:14
    1. Categories:
    2. Wii U News
    Article Preview

    • While the Nintendo Switch has more than outdone its predecessor, in terms of sales and popularity, the Wii U still lives on, as either an emulation box, or a console which to stream media from. Except, the latter of which is soon to take a hit, as Amazon is preparing to discontinue their Prime Video app on the console, according to emails that are being sent out to users. On September 26th, 2019, you'll no longer be able to watch Amazon video content on your Nintendo Wii U. Of course, Amazon, ever the entrepreneur, is offering a $25 credit towards buying a Fire TV Stick if you've used Prime Video on the Wii U recently, so you can keep watching your shows. Amazon Prime Video released on the Wii U's eShop the same year the system itself launched, back in 2012.

    by Published on July 23rd, 2019 16:30
    1. Categories:
    2. Playstation Vita News

    Bad news for the whole PS Vita scene. Sony has just stealthily dropped a new system update for the PS Vita: version 3.71. No official changelog is available at the moment, as Sony's website still lists 3.70 as the latest one, but it was clear since the beginning that the new firmware was aimed towards fixing exploits and security flaws as no new features were added. However, when scene member and console hacker TheFloW took an in-depth look at it, he found out that every single bug used by his Trinity exploit chain had been patched, making it impossible to run or port it over to the new system software.

    Given the circumstances, it should go without saying that users interested in running any kind of homebrew on their PS Vita should avoid updating at all costs. If you don't, you will have to wait until a completely new exploit comes out for 3.71 - if that ever happens. TheFloW recommends anyone running Trinity to downgrade to firmware 3.68 or lower, otherwise, you may be locked out of the exploit chain in the future. On the other hand, if you're already running Henkaku or h-encore, you can spoof your system version to 3.71 directly from your CFW's settings. ...

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