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Valve's Dota 2 to drop support for 32-bit systems, DirectX 9, and OpenGL
by Pulasthi Ariyasinghe
The mega popular multiplayer battle arena game Dota 2 is dropping support for several aging technologies like 32-bit operating systems, DirectX 9, and others soon. Valve says the changes are needed to keep the game fresh and development streamlined.
While no exact schedule was shared, the planned changes will be rolling out to the game in the coming months, with Valve saying they are beneficial changes for both the game and the Source 2 engine powering it.
Here's what's planned:
Remove support for Dota on 32-bit systems. You will need to have a 64-bit machine and OS to run Dota. Remove support for DirectX 9. Customers using DirectX 9 will instead switch to DirectX 11. Remove support for OpenGL. Customers using OpenGL will instead switch to Vulkan. Remove support for macOS versions below 10.14. Remove support for XAudio (-xaudio) and switch to using SDL Audio (-sdlaudio). "For the vast majority of players, nothing will change when these changes are implemented," Valve says. Considering the complete number of users on Steam that use 32-bit operating systems is now under half a percent, the change shouldn't affect very many Dota 2 players. 32-bit specifically has been going away for a while now across the industry, with even Windows and graphics drivers of Nvidia and AMD phasing out support.
"Most players are already benefiting from the newer technologies, whether it's via larger content sizes, higher frame rates, better graphical fidelity, or cleaner sounding audio," the developer adds. "Removing these older technologies will let us streamline our development efforts as well as use the newer features of these APIs to provide an even better Dota experience."
The information was shared in a blog alongside details on The International tournament's ticket sales and in-game HUD updates for a better spectator experience. Find the full report here. Valve encouraged players still using the mentioned aging graphics APIs and audio systems to switch over to the newer versions now and report any bugs that show up.
By Usman Khan Lodhi
Valorant creator is releasing its own game launcher
by Usman Khan Lodhi
Like other game developers, Riot Games announced today that it's releasing a launcher for its games. This won't be a strictly new launcher, as the developer's games have been currently accessed using a limited version of the launcher. Going forward, users will be able to access all Riot Games' titles using a client in addition to dedicated pages for each game, which include news and events pertaining to them.
Starting September 20, the client will be initially available to most users, and all gamers will be able to access the software on October 4. This takes into consideration whether Riot Games is certain that the client is stable. Riot emphasized that existing shortcuts to games will continue to work, and the client won't significantly impact the drive space. In Riot's own words, there will also be an option "to clean up your desktop and only have one Riot Client launcher where all your favorite Riot games will live."
Riot Games also listed the reasons for releasing the launcher. It said that it wanted to save gamers the time they spend manually downloading or updating their games. Moreover, information specific to games like relevant news and updates should be available right where users most want it, the blog post read.
Riot Games has given a sneak peek of what the client will look like. Each game will have a dedicated landing page, which features relevant details. Pages will include cinematic backgrounds equipped with animations, previews of events, and relevant news while users install or patch the game.
By Asher Madan
Halo Infinite Brutes get much-needed makeover in leaked images
by Asher Madan
When the Halo Infinite campaign was shown off in 2020, a lot of gamers were disappointed by the lackluster visuals. The build we saw a year ago was an early version, but that didn't stop the above-posted image of a Brute — one of the alien species you encounter in the Halo franchise — from going viral and becoming a hilarious meme.
Craig the Brute lacked a lot of detail and it was clear 343 Industries needed to polish the visuals. Today, Twisted Voxel noted that someone posted pictures that show an updated look for Brutes due to appear in Halo Infinite. They showcase Master Chief standing on top of a dead Brute. However, this Brute has much more detail on his face like warpaint, more realistic wrinkles, and facial hair. You can take a look at the images below.
We still haven't seen any new gameplay from the campaign, but 343 Industries will probably release it soon given the fact that Halo Infinite is only a few months away. These changes are definitely a step in the right direction.
Halo Infinite will launch on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC on December 8, 2021. You can purchase it for $59.99 on the Microsoft Store, or play it through Xbox Game Pass if you're a subscriber.
By Asher Madan
Possible 500GB Xbox Series X|S Storage Expansion Card spotted at retailers
by Asher Madan
It's no secret that Xbox Series X|S games are massive, and the built-in 1TB or 500GB solid-state drives fill up quite quickly if you have titles like Call of Duty: Black Ops - Cold War installed. The game requires 136 GB on Xbox Series X|S and otherss like Marvel's Avengers are similar. In order to install more games, you need to purchase a Seagate Storage Expansion Card.
If you install Xbox Series X|S Optimized games on a traditional external hard drive, or another external solid-state drive that is readily available on the market, the console prompts you to transfer it to Internal Storage. In order to maintain performance, Xbox Series X|S need the speed provided by the built-in solid-state drive or the Storage Expansion Card.
Right now, there's only one 1TB Storage Expansion Card on the market that costs $219.99. However, that may be about to change. According to a report by Xboxsquad.fr, two French retailers — Innelec and Micromania — have listings for a 500GB Seagate model that may cost $149.99. This should give Xbox Series X|S owners a slightly more affordable option to increase storage space.
Keep in mind that these listings could've been made in error. We'll keep you posted as soon as we know more.
Titan Quest Anniversary and Jagged Alliance Gold are free to claim on Steam
by Pulasthi Ariyasinghe
THQ Nordic is turning 10 this year, and ahead of its games showcase tomorrow the publisher has begun two classic game giveaways. Titan Quest Anniversary Edition and Jagged Alliance Gold Edition are the titles available on the weeklong Steam store offer, with the rest of the company's catalog getting deep discounts across the board.
The 2016-released Titan Quest Anniversary Edition was a 10-year celebratory release of its own, bringing the Immortal Throne expansion and a whole load of improvements and bug fixes to the original hack and slash experience. Meanwhile, Jagged Alliance is the hit 1994-released turn-based tactics experience, with the Gold edition also bringing the Deadly Games spin-off.
Both Titan Quest Anniversary Edition and Jagged Alliance Gold Edition are available to claim via their Steam store pages until September 23. While not a freebie like that duo, Mimimi Games' acclaimed Desperados III is having a free weekend promotion right now as well.
As for THQ Nordic's games showcase, six new game announcements (one perhaps already leaked by Sony) with much-awaited reveals of new sequels and new IPs, as well as ELEX II footage, and more will be present there. Geoff Keighley is hosting the event, with it kicking off tomorrow, September 17, at 9pm CEST / 12pm PST / 8pm BST across YouTube, Twitch, and Steam.