SteamVR Tracking 2.0 Set For CES 2018 Demo

SteamVR Tracking 2.0 Set For CES 2018 Demo

With CES 2018 well underway, Valve is getting ready to show off SteamVR tracking 2.0.

CES 2018 attendees will be able to see SteamVR tracking for the first time this week, in the HTC Vive booth. The SteamVR 2.0 update will employ new sensor technology, they will allow for the ability to link up to four base stations in a single space, along with an increase in the tracking range, covering areas up to 10×10 metres.

The new tracking technology is expected to ship with commercial devices later this year, which allow 2.0 base stations to be smaller, and more efficient. SteamVR Tracking was first introduced with the HTC Vice, since then, over 1000 licensees have signed up, all incorporating SteamVR tracking technology into their VR systems and devices.

It will be interesting to see the direction PC based VR goes in 2018.


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Pixels & Ink Podcast #275: The Shape of Bitcoin

Pixels & Ink Podcast #275: The Shape of Bitcoin

This week, Brendan, Phil, and Lisa are joined by CGMagazine’s Senior PC Hardware Editor, Cole Watson to get some first impressions on the iPhone X and AMD’s latest contribution to pro gaming rigs, the Radeon Vega 56.

Read morePixels & Ink Podcast #275: The Shape of Bitcoin

Steam Ends Bitcoin Support

Valve Implements Additional Changes to Steam User Reviews

Steam will no longer support Bitcoin as a payment method as a result of “high fees and volatility”, Valve announced Wednesday.

“In the past few months we’ve seen an increase in the volatility in the value of Bitcoin and a significant increase in the fees to process transactions on the Bitcoin network,” Valve said in a post on Steam. “For example, transaction fees that are charged to the customer by the Bitcoin network have skyrocketed this year, topping out at close to $20 a transaction last week (compared to roughly $0.20 when we initially enabled Bitcoin). Unfortunately, Valve has no control over the amount of the fee. These fees result in unreasonably high costs for purchasing games when paying with Bitcoin. The high transaction fees cause even greater problems when the value of Bitcoin itself drops dramatically.”

The open source cryptocurrency has seen its value increase dramatically throughout 2017, beginning the year valued at roughly $1,000 USD and reaching a new high of $12,000 USD this week.

Valve explained that the value of Bitcoin is only guaranteed for a certain period of time, and if a transaction is not completed with the time frame, the amount of Bitcoin needed for the transaction can change. While these discrepancies are normally refunded or require an additional payment from the customer when using a more traditional currency, the high transaction fees associated with Bitcoin make these solutions unfeasible.

“At this point, it has become untenable to support Bitcoin as a payment option. We may re-evaluate whether Bitcoin makes sense for us and for the Steam community at a later date.”

Valve originally added support for Bitcoin for Steam purchases in 2016 in a partnership with bitpay.


Liked this article and want to read more like it? Check out Fight of Gods Developer, Publisher, and Valve Comment on Malaysia Steam Block!

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VVVVVV (Switch) Review: Save Your Crew

VVVVVV (Switch) Review: Save Your Crew

All the way back in 2010, VVVVVV was responsible for a pretty magical evening. Released in January, an odd month that most bigger games stay away from, Terry Cavanagh nonchalantly dropped his 20th major release—at 51, this guy keeps himself busy—and it wormed its way into my heart as one of my favourite platformers to date. Not much has changed in its move to the Switch, but it’s still worth playing all the same.

VVVVVV (Switch) Review: Save Your Crew 5
VVVVVV (Switch) – gameplay image via NIcalis and Nintendo

For those who haven’t partaken in the madness that is VVVVVV yet, the premise and the actual gameplay are as simple as can be. You’re in control of Captain Viridian, who is charged with saving his crew across uncharted space in an alternate dimension. To accomplish this herculean task, you’ll be moving and swapping gravity. Yep, that’s literally four buttons for movement and one for flipping back and forth.

Almost nothing, including the storyline, actually matters. VVVVVV is actually an elaborate series of challenge rooms, separated by checkpoints, themes, and different musical tracks to differentiate them. As you move into a new area with a unique crewmember, you’ll encounter new concepts that turn the flip mechanic on its head, more enemies, or even more pointed challenges.

VVVVVV (Switch) Review: Save Your Crew 4
VVVVVV (Switch) – gameplay image via NIcalis and Nintendo

It’s tough. Odds are you’ll die at least a hundred times before curtain call, but the very tight checkpoints—most of which don’t eclipse more than 30 seconds of playtime—will help you stay sane. It’s not the most difficult platformer on the planet if you’re used to it, but there are a handful of really tricky and wonderfully designed sections that will challenge your wits and reaction time. Concepts are dished out in such rapid succession that just as you start to grow tired of one section you’ll be introduced to something new entirely in a few minutes.

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VVVVVV (Switch) – gameplay image via NIcalis and Nintendo

Its chiptune soundtrack, especially during the more intense challenges, haunts and soothes me to this day. But the thing that really stuck in my mind was its wonderful art style, which regales us of a simpler time when the Commodore 64 was king. All the while, the soft, concise visual style eases you in. It’s not going to wow people who aren’t into the retro motif, but even if your eyes are strained at the sight of it, you can’t argue that it gets the job done and doesn’t screw around. When all is said and done, the frame rate is consistent, and you aren’t going to be screwing up jumps because of the engine.

VVVVVV (Switch) Review: Save Your Crew
VVVVVV (Switch) – gameplay image via NIcalis and Nintendo

Here’s the bad news—VVVVVV is over far too soon. Clocking in at just a few hours, I found myself wanting more as the credits rolled, which is a shame as there were still more risks that could have been taken, or added in over the years as various ports have come to light. For me, looking for collectables isn’t exactly in the spirit of the game—it’s more about direct challenges than exploration—and playing the same few unlockable modes on the Switch isn’t really doing it for me.

No, I’d rather just boot up VVVVVV all over again and just play from the start, which I can thankfully do now with the brand a new co-op feature on the Switch. Although the game wasn’t designed for it some levels kind of just play out in support of it—for example, if there are two possible routes to proceed, each player can take one—the notion of introducing this classic to someone else really speaks to me.

VVVVVV (Switch) Review: Save Your Crew 2
VVVVVV (Switch) – gameplay image via NIcalis and Nintendo

Terry Cavanagh has had many opportunities to splash VVVVVV with a new coat of paint over the last seven years, but even if its myriad ports haven’t added much, they sell themselves at this point. Captain Viridian and his adventures are timeless.


Liked this article and want to read more like it? Check out more of Chris Carter’s  reviews, such as Tokyo 42 and Preacher Season 2!

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CGMagazine is Canada’s premiere comics and gaming magazine. Subscribe today to get the best of CGM delivered right to your door! Never miss when a new issue goes live by subscribing to our newsletter! Signing up gives you exclusive entry into our contest pool. Sign up once, you’ll have a chance to win! Sign up today!

RiME (Switch) Review – This is One Port your Boat Should Avoid

RiME (Switch) Review - This is One Port your Boat Should Avoid

RiME is the touching tale of a boy that wakes up on a beach with no clear recognition of how he got there. He sets off on a journey that has him following a friendly fox and a mysterious figure in a red cloak through ruins, towers, and even under water all while solving puzzles along the way.

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RiME (Switch) – gameplay image via Tequila Works and Grey Box

Puzzles mostly consist of sliding boxes, jumping and climbing walls, and a few that make use of shadows and perspective. Otherwise you’re just following a fox that annoyingly barks at you until you go where it wants. There isn’t anything in the way of combat, which works due to game’s focus on the journey through set pieces while taking in a story. Nothing in RiME reinvents the wheel or does anything we haven’t seen before for the most part, and that is okay, if a bit boring.

It’s a cute and touching game that feels like a very personal piece of art and expression for the developers. However, unlike most games where I wish I could have played them on the Nintendo Switch, I wish I’d played this one anywhere else thanks to an awful port job.

While RiME is known to have some framerate issues on other consoles and on PC, those versions can run at 60FPS or more whereas the Nintendo Switch version rarely stays at a stable 30FPS with lots of hitching and stuttering. It’s so bad that I didn’t bother doing anything but head straight to the next objective, completely avoiding exploring the world for optional collectibles; something I’d normally do when time allows.

RiME (Switch) Review - This is One Port your Boat Should Avoid 8
RiME (Switch) – gameplay image via Tequila Works and Grey Box

Graphically speaking RiME looks about as good as it does elsewhere—which is to say not all that impressive but still colourful and stylized. That said, there is one level that had me making my way through ghost infested water caves that were so dark I could just barely see enough to make it through while playing on my TV. Also, there were moments where my character’s feet weren’t touching the ground when they should be and other graphical inaccuracies.

RiME (Switch) Review - This is One Port your Boat Should Avoid
RiME (Switch) – gameplay image via Tequila Works and Grey Box

Having such a shoddy port is a shame since RiME seems like an all right but unoriginal game. The price is definitely a bit steep at $29.99 USD, especially considering it only lasts around six hours and the collectibles don’t seem to do much other than give you alternate costumes and grant in-game achievements, which were added for this version since the Switch lacks a native system.

If you’re thinking about playing RiME, I urge you to do so elsewhere and at a price point you’re comfortable with. The Nintendo Switch version is not up to par, even being released six months after the original. It’s short, it’s sweet, it’s unoriginal, and this port is utterly disappointing. Even with a solid port job I couldn’t see myself giving RiME anything better than a 6.5 to begin with.

RiME (Switch) Review - This is One Port your Boat Should Avoid 2
RiME (Switch) – gameplay image via Tequila Works and Grey Box

A retail version of the game reviewed was provided by the publisher. You can find additional information about CGMagazine’s ethics and review policies and procedures here.


Liked this article and want to read more like it? Check out more of Jed Whitaker’s reviews, such as Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinity, Spelunker Party!, and Golf Story!

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CGMagazine is Canada’s premiere comics and gaming magazine. Subscribe today to get the best of CGM delivered right to your door! Never miss when a new issue goes live by subscribing to our newsletter! Signing up gives you exclusive entry into our contest pool. Sign up once, you’ll have a chance to win! Sign up today!