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Video shows R.U.S.E. playable via new Kinect hack


Sales of R.U.S.E didn't exactly make its publisher Ubisoft very happy but the recent WWII "deception and trickery" based RTS game did have one thing that made it unique among the rest of the PC game crowd. It was made to natively support the multi-touch features of Microsoft's Windows 7 OS. If you had a compatible monitor you could play the game by touching the units on the screen instead of the mouse and keyboard set up.

Now someone has posted up a new YouTube video showing off a new third party hack for the Xbox 360's Kinect motion sensing camera controller that seems to show R.U.S.E. as playable via not multi-touch but no touch at all. There's no word on when or even if this program will be released to the public but it should be interesting to see if playing the game this way would really compete with the normal keyboard-mouse combo.

Steam hardware survey shows less use of Windows XP among gamers

The install base of Windows XP-based PCs among users of Steam has dropped considerable in just the past few months. The operating system, which is over 10 years old, is now used by only 25 percent or so of Steam users, according to the PC game download site's latest survey figures. That's down from over 33 percent of Steam users from the result of July's survey.

Windows 7, especially in its 64-bit version, is the current king of the hill with over 35 percent of Steam users having the OS installed and its expected that the percentage will continue to grow as more PC gamers update their systems. That's good for people who want to play games that will only run on DirectX 10 or DirectX 11. This weekend some web site spotted info that was actually first announced last summer. Battlefield 3, which will use a new version of developer Digital lllusions' Frostbite Engine, will be a DirectX 10-11 exclusive. That means Windows XP and its DirectX 9 API won't be able to run the game when it comes out in late 2011.

Feature: The Next Decade of PC Gaming

As 2010 draws to a close, we look back and marvel at how far PC gaming has come over the past decade. The start of the new millennium brought technology and trends that will resonate for years to come. So we take this opportunity to examine some of those technology trends and see how they might grow over or fizzle out over the next ten years. Here are our predictions of what PC gaming might look like in 2020.

GoG.com holds weekend sale and improves Windows 7 compatiblity

GoG.com is holding its usual weekend sales event now and the DRM-free PC game web site is offering four adventure games for 50 percent off their normal GoG.com price for the next few days. You can get The Journeyman Project 2 for just $2.99, while The Longest Journey, Tex Murphy The Pandora Directive and Sanitarium are on sale for $4.99 each.

GoG.com has also announced as part of its continuing 14 day holiday reveal event that it has been making more progress on making its older games work with the Windows 7 operating system. Today it announced that two of its games, Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura and Myst: Masterpiece Edition, now can be run with both the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows 7. Folks who have already bought the games can redownload and install them on the new OS.

New Mass Effect 2 DLC PC file recalled (it's full of zeros; no kidding) [Update]

If you have yet to download the newly released Mass Effect 2 DLC, Lair of the Shadow Broker, you might want to hold off for a bit. Some folks who have tried to install the downloadable expansion to the BioWare developed sci-fi RPG title that have Windows 7 64-bit operating systems installed have been hit with compatibility errors.

Our own reviewer for the DLC encountered this error when he tried to install it on his PC and the Mass Effect 2 message boards are now filled with posts from PC gamers who have encountered the same error. We will update this post when we get some info from BioWare on this issue.

Update: BioWare's Chris Priestly has made a message board post basically saying the dev team is aware of the issue and is working on fixing it.

Update 2: Priestly has written another message board post stating that the incorrect PC DLC file has been removed from the download section. People who downloaded the faulty file (which is 1.5 Gigs of zeros; no, we are not kidding) will not be charged again when the correct file is back up. Priestly states, "We do not have a more accurate eta for the correct PC DLC, but when we do I will let you know."

iBUYPOWER's MAGIC software turns any PC game into a multi-touch title

There's been a lot of talk about different interfaces for playing games. One of them is something that you can get right now; the ability to touch a screen to manipulate units, give commands and more. Now gaming PC maker iBUYPOWER has created a special software tool that, if you have the right hardware, will allow you to turn any game into one that supports touch screen manipulation.

The software, called MAGIC, allows players to create profiles for each game and then play them with any multi-touch supported monitor or laptop. The software can be downloaded for free at the iBUYPOWER web site. It does require Windows 7 and of course you have to have a multi-touch product for it to work (which, not so oddly, iBUYPOWER sells). You can check out a video of the software being used to play a game of Supreme Commander 2 after the jump:

Rumor: Windows 8 to get PC game download store?

Windows 7 may have launched less than a year ago but the gang at Microsoft is already at work on its next PC operating system, called (for want of something better) Windows 8. Our sister site Engadget managed to get some mock-up designs for Windows 8 and it looks like one of them shows what appears to be some kind of downloadable software tool for games.

We have to emphasize that the mock ups are labeled "Windows 8 Discussion -- this is not a plan of record" so while Microsoft may be considering some kind of downloadable software store for Windows 8 it may or may not make the final cut. However with the success of Apple's iTunes and its ability to download movies, music and apps quickly you have to think that Microsoft is at least considering some kind of option that would do the same for Windows apps. At the moment there's no word on when Windows 8 would be available.

Rumor: Is Microsoft prepping for more PC game publishing news this year?

A few weeks ago, Microsoft announced their first major PC retail game release in three years when it revealed its plans to port the upcoming Xbox 360 RPG Fable III to the PC platform. But was this announcement a one-off deal or is something else in the works that singles a new direction for PC game publishing for Microsoft?

Kotaku reports that according to what they say is an internal Microsoft Q&A memo for Fable III for use by spokespersons, the official stance seems to be that the Fable III PC announcement is not a one-off special. The article quotes the Q&A as saying, "Windows 7 is a world-class gaming platform, and you can bet Microsoft has a vested interest in using it as a platform for amazing first party content. "Fable III" on Windows as well as Xbox 360 this holiday is a great first step, and we'll have more news for you later this summer." Could this mean we could see other Xbox 360 first party games like Halo: Reach and Gears of War 3 coming to the PC or perhaps a PC exclusive title announcement? It would see the answer is, "Stay tuned."

Rumor: Solitare and other free Windows games to get Live support?

They are the games that come installed with every version of Microsoft's Windows operating system. You know the ones; Solitare, Minesweeper and many others that can be very addictive, especially if you use your PC in a boring office cubicle. Now our sister site Joystiq is reporting on a rumor that all of these free games (including Chess, Checkers, Spades, Hearts, Backgammon, Purple Place, Spider Solitaire and Freecell) may be getting a future upgrade. This update will supposedly give the games support for Games For Windows Live features. That includes stuff like Achievements, leaderboards and online chat.

The rumor is based on a tip given to the web site from an anonymous but reportedly reliable source. There's no word on when the update will be made to these games. There's also no word if these games will be update just for Windows 7 users or if they will also be handled with earlier Windows versions.

Download: Aliens vs Predator ATI Catalyst 10.2 Driver Hotfix Patch

This patch for the ATI Catalyst drivers addresses an issue with Aliens vs Predator where the game would hang or freeze when switching to DirectX 11 graphics from within the game using the ATI Radon HD 4700 and 4800 series video cards. It also resolves an issue when mouse cursor becomes enlarged at random while using Windows 7.

Download ATI Catalyst 10.2 Hotfix Patch (112 MB)
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