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AMD Unveils LiquidVR Initiative at GDC 2015

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San Francisco, Calif. – 3/3/2015Today, at the Game Developer Conference in San Francisco, AMD (NASDAQ: AMD) announced an initiative to deliver the best possible VR experience for developers and users through new AMD technologies and partnerships. The first output of AMD’s initiative is LiquidVR™, a set of innovative technologies focused on enabling exceptional VR content development for AMD hardware, improved comfort in VR applications by facilitating performance, and plug-and-play compatibility with VR headsets. The upcoming LiquidVR SDK makes a number of technologies available which help address obstacles in content, comfort and compatibility that together take the industry a major step closer to true, life-like presence across all VR games, applications, and experiences.

In virtual reality, the concept of ‘presence’ is described as the perception of being physically present in a simulated, nonphysical world in a way that fully immerses the user. A key obstacle to achieving presence is addressing motion-to-photon latency, the time between when a user moves their head and when his or her eye sees an updated image reflecting that new position. Minimizing motion-to-photon latency is critical to achieving both presence and comfort, two key elements of great VR.

Reducing latency involves the entire processing pipeline, from the GPU, to the application, to the display technology in the headset. AMD GPU software and hardware subsystems are a major part of improving that latency equation, and with LiquidVR™, AMD is helping to solve the challenge by bringing smooth, liquid-like motion and responsiveness to developers and content creators for life-like presence in VR environments powered by AMD hardware.

“Achieving presence in a virtual world continues to be one of the most important elements to delivering amazing VR,” said Brendan Iribe, CEO of Oculus. “We’re excited to have AMD working with us on their part of the latency equation, introducing support for new features like asynchronous timewarp and late latching, and compatibility improvements that ensure that Oculus’ users have a great experience on AMD hardware.”

“Content, comfort, and compatibility are the cornerstones of our focus on VR at AMD and we’re taking a big step in all three areas with the introduction of LiquidVR™ today. With LiquidVR we’re collaborating with the ecosystem to unlock solutions to some of the toughest challenges in VR and giving the keys to developers of VR content so that they can bring exceptional new experiences to life,” said Raja Koduri, corporate vice president, Visual Computing, AMD. “AMD will continue to collaborate closely with the VR ecosystem to deliver new LiquidVR technologies that aim to make the virtual world every bit as accurate as the real world.”

Significant features of version 1.0 of the LiquidVR SDK include:

  • Async Shaders for smooth head-tracking enabling Hardware-Accelerated Time Warp, a technology that uses updated information on a user’s head position after a frame has been rendered and then warps the image to reflect the new viewpoint just before sending it to a VR headset, effectively minimizing latency between when a user turns their head and what appears on screen.
  • Affinity Multi-GPU for scalable rendering, a technology that allows multiple GPUs to work together to improve frame rates in VR applications by allowing them to assign work to run on specific GPUs. Each GPU renders the viewpoint from one eye, and then composites the outputs into a single stereo 3D image. With this technology, multi-GPU configurations become ideal for high performance VR rendering, delivering high frame rates for a smoother experience.
  • Latest data latch for smooth head-tracking, a programming mechanism that helps get head tracking data from the head-mounted display to the GPU as quickly as possible by binding data as close to real-time as possible, practically eliminating any API overhead and removing latency.
  • Direct-to-display for intuitively attaching VR headsets, to deliver a seamless plug-and-play virtual reality experience from an AMD Radeon™ graphics card to a connected VR headset, while enabling features such as booting directly to the display or using extended display features within Windows.

AMD released the alpha version of LiquidVR SDK 1.0 to registered developers today.

Supporting Resources

Knott’s Berry Farm Unveils 2015 Boysenberry Festival Details

Berry Market Tasting

BUENA PARK, CA (February 2015) – This spring, celebrate Knott’s delicious roots during its Boysenberry Festival harvested in the theme park’s historic Ghost Town. The 16-day festival returns with an unforgettable lineup of exquisite Boysenberry Bites, dazzling entertainment, gourmet food and the Wine and Craft Brew Tasting Garden, plus the limited time return of the classic Bear-y Tales characters in a pie making kitchen, and more!

In the 1930s Walter Knott harvested the boysenberry, a cross between a loganberry, red raspberry and blackberry, and named the new berry after its originator Rudolph Boysen.  Today, all boysenberries in the world can trace their roots back to Knott’s Berry Farm. The Park will once again make delicious history with the debut of its very own farm-made Berry Market™ Boysenberry BBQ Sauce during the widely acclaimed Boysenberry Festival. During the food fest, the tangy, finger lickin’ good sauce will add the perfect flavor to ribs, BBQ chicken, chicken wings, and more. Other must try Boysenberry Bites include fried cheese curds paired with a spicy boysenberry dipping sauce, fish and chips sandwich with boysenberry tartar sauce, Boysenberry ICEE Floats, Boysenberry Frappuccino and Latte (served at the new Gourmet Coffee Hut which proudly serves Starbucks drinks), and more charbroiled treats cooked on open-air barbeques throughout the streets of the festival. Additional fee for tastings. Guests who want to take home the exquisite sauce can do so by stopping by the Berry Market, General Store in Ghost Town or by visiting knotts.com.

In honor of the delectable berry, guests can wine, dine, dance, and buy boysenberry inspired products throughout the winding streets of the Old West.  Festival entrances will feature rustic banners and oversized boysenberries, just ripe for taking that special photo. Walter & Cordelia Knott’s Original Roadside Boysenberry Stand will be recreated for the special event, from which guests can purchase authentic boysenberry plants. The Knott family sold freshly picked boysenberries from the original stand, and the rest, as they say, is history!

As part of the festival, the Wine and Craft Brew Garden, located inside of Ghost Town’s Wilderness Dance Hall, will feature an assortment of wine and craft brew labels, in addition to a variety of boysenberry inspired gourmet food that’s just bursting with flavor.   Just outside of the Dance Hall, towering sculpted topiaries provide shade during warm spring days and twinkle brighter than stars at night.

The Boysenberry Festival also features an extensive line up of live entertainment from sun up to sun down. At the heart of all of the excitement is Birdcage Square, located in front of the famous Birdcage Theatre. Here, a stage will be set for daily contests like pie eating, a pie walk, and Grandpa’s Boysenberry PJs Contest, where guests will race to stuff the oversized long johns with balloons. In the evening, the Square will have guests kicking up their heels with vine dancing, a down home jug band and dueling fiddlers and banjos!  At night, just inside of the Birdcage Theatre, things getkrazy when Krazy Kirk and the Hillbillies mount their toe tappin’, knee-slappin’, gut-bustin’ country comedy show that will have audiences clamoring for more!

New for 2015, right up the road from Birdcage Square, kids can join the classic Bear-y Tales characters in their very own pie making kitchen inside of Ghost Town’s Craft Barn. With the help of Razz Bear-y, Boysen Bear-y and the other Bear-y family members, each beautifully painted scene will follow the world famous boysenberry from field to blue ribbon winning pie! The pint sized chefs can also make their very own delightfully sweet boysenberry tarts complete with a crumble topping.Additional cost applies for tart making.

The iconic Charleston Circle fountain transforms into a beautiful floral fountain, adorned with colorful flowers and boysenberries creating an iconic centerpiece for the celebration.  Located in the Boardwalk area, the stunning monument will serve as a dramatic backdrop for two spectacular interactive shows.  Peanuts Party in the Park celebrates spring in a big way with infectious music, vibrant set design, and an invitation for the audience to be a part of the show! After sundown,Jammin’ in the Dark will transform the blooming circle into an immersive dance party complete with illuminated boysenberries, vines and LED lighting effects affixed to the Charleston fountain; DJ HowLy will spin the hottest dance music for all ages. The boysenberry celebration is almost too much fun to stomach!

While strolling the bustling streets of Ghost Town, guests can capture the moment and the memories at boysenberry themed stand-in cutouts, like wanted posters, a boysenberry farming family and more.  Festival goers can also watch special demonstrations including a chainsaw wood sculpting, glass blowing and blacksmithing.  While enjoying the festival, guests may meet Ghost Town’s mayor, Mayor Desmond Ryder and his lovely wife, Josephine.  From day to night, Ghost Town has never looked so lively.

Springtime fun has also taken root in Camp Snoopy, Fiesta Village and Boardwalk. During the limited-time event, the whole family can meet the Easter Beagle in his new home, blooming with colorful springtime décor, nestled inside of the recently rejuvenated Camp Snoopy area. The meet and greet location is the perfect place for shareable moments with the boisterous beagle and his friends – Charlie Brown, Lucy, Sally and Linus. In Camp Snoopy Theatre, Lucy’s Really BIG Spring Show will showcase the Peanuts pals singing, dancing, and celebrating springtime. The theater will be filled with the sweet sound of little ones as they singing-along to the to the show’s cheerful tunes! Guests don’t have to be experts at the cha-cha-cha to enjoy Salsa Dancing in Fiesta Village, where everyone can to take to the floor to the rhythmic beat of popular Latin dance music.

The Boysenberry Festival is included with admission to Knott’s Berry Farm, additional cost for food tasting experiences within the event, which also offers a full day of thrilling coasters and family fun rides, like the beautifully restored Calico Mine ride and the rejuvenated six-acre Camp Snoopy featuring three new rides.  Knott’s has extended hours from 10am to 10pm during the Festival March 28 – April 12, 2015 allowing guests extra time to take advantage of all of the limited-time offerings. For affordable year-round fun for everyone and to explore the all the Festival fun, Season Passes can be purchased online at knotts.com starting at $84 or with six easy installment payments of $14 now until April 12, 2015.

Join the conversation and share your day of boysenberry fun by using #KnottsSpring on Twitter and Instagram. For information about the day you plan to visit and available discounts, visit www.knotts.com, call (714) 220-5200, or download the Knott’s Berry Farm mobile app for your smartphone.

Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster Release Date

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LOS ANGELES (Mar. 2, 2015) – Two of the most beloved FINAL FANTASY® titles will be returning soon with today’s announcement by SQUARE ENIX® that it will be releasing FINAL FANTASY X/X-2 HD Remaster for the Playstation®4 computer entertainment system on May 12, 2015. This new North American version will include system-exclusive features and a special pre-order bonus item: an exclusive calendar featuring artwork by the acclaimed artist, Yoshitaka Amano, available at participating retailers and the Square Enix Online Store.

FINAL FANTASY X/X-2 HD Remaster brings together FINAL FANTASY X and FINAL FANTASY X-2, along with FINAL FANTASY X: Eternal Calm and FINAL FANTASY X-2: LAST MISSION, each originally exclusive to the Japanese market.

Key Features

  • Cross-Save Functionality – Players can transfer their save and continue their progress across the PlayStation®4 system, PlayStation®3 system, and the PlayStation®Vita handheld entertainment system. (PlayStation®3 and PlayStation®Vita versions sold separately.)
  • Ability to Switch Between Original and Remastered Soundtrack – Play FINAL FANTASY Xwith the beautifully remastered soundtrack or, new to the PlayStation®4 system version, switch back to the original classic tracks.
  • Remote play – Supported for the Playstation®Vita handheld entertainment system.

Mortal Kombat X Official Story Trailer

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Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and Netherrealm Studios have released the official story trailer for their upcoming Mortal Kombat X. The story, set 25 years after the events of the 2011 game Mortal Kombat. The game features characters directly descended from those of earlier titles. Characters like Cassie Cage (Daughter of Johnny Cage), Jacqueline Briggs (Daughter of Jax), and Takashi Takeda (son of Kenshi).

Trailer

Far Cry 4: Valley of the Yetis Gets Release Date

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SAN FRANCISCO – FEBRUARY 26, 2015 – Ubisoft® announced that Valley of the Yetis, new add-on content for Far Cry 4, will be released on March 10, 2015.

Players step back into the role of Ajay at the moment his helicopter crashes on a perilous Himalayan ridge. Stranded with no shelter, players must capture a camp and guard it from a mysterious cult who will return to reclaim their encampment. If players persevere, they will have more to fear than a stand-off against the cult, as yetis lurk in the shadows.

Players can take on Valley of the Yetis in single-player or with a friend in co-op as they fight to survive in the harsh Himalayan Mountains. While searching for a way out of the valley, they will unravel the mysteries behind the yetis.

Valley of the Yetis is available as part of the Far Cry 4 Season Pass or can be purchased separately. The Season Pass includes Valley of the Yetis as well as The Syringe, Escape from Durgesh Prison, the Hurk Deluxe Pack and Overrun.

Players can find more information on the Far Cry 4 Season Pass here: http://far-cry.ubi.com/en-US/buy/index.aspx#tcm152152012-4

For more information on Far Cry 4, please visit: farcrygame.com and facebook.com/farcry

For more information on the Community Activities, please visit: www.farcrygame.com/community

Slender: The Arrival Next-Gen Release Date

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Toronto, CANADA – February 26, 2015 – Independent game design team Blue Isle Studios announced today that the survival horror Slender: The Arrival is coming on March 24 to PlayStation®4, the computer entertainment system, and on March 25 to Xbox One, the all-in-one games and entertainment system from Microsoft via the ID@Xbox self-publishing program. The official video game adaptation of the internet phenomenon, Slender: The Arrival will send the most fearless gamers into panic as they unfold the twisted mystery in a dark, foreboding atmosphere and a story fraught with terror, paranoia and other-worldly forces.

Based on eye-witness accounts, The Slender Man is depicted as a thin, unnaturally tall man dressed in a black suit with a blank, featureless face. Now Slender: The Arrivalcomes to next-gen consoles with brand new story elements and extended levels that continue to unfold the Slender Man mythos. Players are enveloped in a world of sensory deprivation filled with haunting visions and audio cues that create a healthy dose of tension and paranoia.

In The Arrival’s all new storyline, Lauren is in search of her friend Kate, who recently has become increasingly obsessed with the folklore of Slender Man. Was Kate’s disappearance the work of Slender Man?  Use Kate’s forgotten flashlight to explore abandoned houses, creepy mines and dark forests to unravel the mystery – all the while being stalked by the menacing presence of Slender Man.

Developed in collaboration with Eric “Victor Surge” Knudson, creator of the paranormal phenomenon, and written by the creative team behind the Marble Hornets series,Slender: The Arrival is rated ‘T’ for Teen (Blood, Violence) and will release for $9.99 digital download on March 24 for PlayStation®4 and March 25 in the Xbox Games Store for Xbox One.

For more information, please visit www.slenderarrival.com, follow @BlueIsleStudios and ‘Like’ the game on Facebook.

Guild Wars 2 Getting First-Person View and More

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BELLEVUE, Wash. – February 26, 2015: ArenaNet™, publisher and developer of the acclaimed Guild Wars franchise, today announced changes coming to the camera system in Guild Wars 2. The update is delivering on a number of new features requested by fans including the highly anticipated option to use first-person POV in the game. The new features are slated to go live in-game on March 10.

ArenaNet will reveal details about the new camera system and give players their first glimpse of how it works in the game on the studio’s “Ready Up” livestream hosted by Josh Davis. The livestream is scheduled to take place at 12 p.m. PST tomorrow, February 27, on the official Guild Wars 2 Twitch channel. Immediately following “Ready Up,” more details about the system will be outlined in a blog post published on the Guild Wars 2 web site.

Changes and new features coming to the camera system include:

·         First-person Camera

Zooming in all the way will allow players to experience a first-person view. First-person mode is available while standing in place, walking, running, jumping, playing PvP and just about anything else. There aren’t any restrictions on where first-person can be used.

·         Field of View

A much requested feature, the field of view slider is a setting that will allow players to adjust how much can be seen in the game world. Players can use a slider to shrink or enlarge the field of view.

·         Position Slider

The Position Slider has been split into two different options, horizontal position and vertical position. The horizontal position slider will offset the camera to the left and right. An ‘over-the-shoulder’ view can be created as well to keep the center of the screen clear. The vertical position sets the maximum height the camera can go when the camera is at maximum distance from a character. The actual camera height will adjust the more you zoom in to ensure that your character is always on the screen.

·         Collision Sensitivity

When enabled, this setting will adjust how much stuff (trees, walls, rocks, etc.) needs to be between a player’s character and camera before the camera snaps in.

·         Character Height

No matter the race or size, the camera will now focus on a character’s head. This is going to give norn players a relatively taller feeling than their asura-playing friends. This change might affect players who frequent jumping puzzles, so to counteract this, there is an adjust camera to character height toggle. When unchecked, the camera will move to a consistent position above the character’s feet, regardless of how big or small the character is.

For up-to-date information on Guild Wars 2 please visit our website at www.guildwars2.com.

To sign up and follow our “Ready Up” and “Points of Interest” livestreams as well as partner programming on our Twitch channel, please visit www.twitch.tv/guildwars2.

The Evil Within: The Assignment Trailer and Release Date

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Bethesda Softworks and Tango Gameworks have announced that the first expansion to The Evil Within, titled “The Assignment”, will be out on March 10, 2015. They have also released a nifty and creepy trailer for the DLC, which you can see below. The Assignment will be followed up with The Evil Within: The Consequence later this Spring.

Trailer

The Great Horror Campout Presents Friday the 13th Screening

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Los Angeles, CA – February 20, 2015 The Great Horror Campout which debuted in 2013 as a 12-hour overnight immersive horror camping adventure is debuting it’s first outdoor horror movie night hosted by none other than the Great Horror Campout, Camp Headmaster.  The first event will featureFriday the 13th on March 13th, for $13 with an additional bonus of $13 OFF your Great Horror Campout ticket when you buy anytime until prior to the screening and use PROMO CODE: Friday.  All ticket proceeds will benefit Los Angeles Parks Foundation.

Positioned as “The Headmaster is getting bored waiting until the summer for Campout and wants to have a little fun now,” the tone of the movie night will be on brand with the Headmasters overly confident and comedically condescending demeanor.

Additionally, as you would expect coming from Ten Thirty One Productions, this won’t be your average movie night.  Moviegoers can expect a little something extra breathing in the woods around them that night as well as pre-movie festivities, prizes and great characters.

Guests are encouraged to pack picnic baskets and blankets and to come early to get into the spirit of being scared.

The Great Horror Campout’s “Movies Under The Stars” takes place on Griffith Parks Old Zoo Lawn. Doors open at 6pm. Tickets are $13 per person and limited in availability.  As an added benefit, Great Horror Campout will give you $13 off your ticket to their June Campout in Los Angeles when you buy your Great Horror Campout ticket by Friday the 13th and use PROMO CODE: Friday.

Hellmasters (the elite campers who have won the coveted title at a past Great Horror Campout) get a special “Buy One Get One” deal and also reserved seating when they arrive on site wearing their Hellmaster Sash. Lastly, in celebration of St. Patricks Day, any moviegoers wearing green will receive Great Horror Campout Merchandise FREE.

Tickets are expected to sell out quickly.  Get Tickets Now at http://www.greathorrorcampout.com/friday-the-13th/