New Nvidia Driver Optimizes Final Fantasy XV PC Port And Boosts PUBG Performance

A new Nvidia Game Ready driver is now out for download (version 391.01), and users of GeForce graphics cards get optimizations for the PC port of Final Fantasy XV, one of 2016’s biggest RPGs. In addition, Nvidia users should expect better performance for the incredibly popular battle royale game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. The upcoming first-person action game Warhammer: Vermintide 2 and the multiplayer phenomenon World Of Tanks 1.0 both get support for better optimization.

Final Fantasy XV will be one of the best-looking PC games to date, when it launches on March 6, thanks to the slew of Nvidia GameWorks graphics technologies: Flow, HairWorks, ShadowWorks, Turf Effects, and Voxel-based Ambient Occlusion (VXAO). There is also native support for resolutions up to 8K as well as HDR10 for much better brightness and colors. The GeForce Experience application provides support for Ansel, which allows for customizable in-game screenshots. Ansel lets players change the camera angle on the fly, add image filters, and even capture 360-degree screenshots that can be viewed in VR. The ShadowPlay Highlights feature is also integrated, which can automatically record gameplay footage for specific circumstances in the game such as certain summons, special achievements, and defeating powerful enemies.

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds continues to get optimizations; the new driver can give users of GTX 10-series cards up to a 7% boost in framerate. Nvidia conducted benchmarks with every card between the GTX 1050 and GTX 1080 Ti using a system equipped with an Intel Core i7-7820X CPU clocked at 3.6GHz and 32GB of DDR4 RAM at 2666MHz. The following chart outlines the performance improvements with driver 391.01 compared to the previous version:

Video Card 1920×1080 2560×1440 3840×2160
GTX 1050 7%
GTX 1060 (3GB) 5% 6%
GTX 1060 (6GB) 5% 6%
GTX 1070 5% 5% 6%
GTX 1070 Ti 4% 5% 6%
GTX 1080 3% 7% 7%
GTX 1080 Ti 5% 5% 7%

The new driver gets ahead of the March 8 release of Warhammer: Vermintide 2 to make sure the game runs as smoothly as possible at launch. Wargaming’s long-standing game World Of Tanks also gets technical updates and optimizations on top of the upcoming 1.0 overhaul that’s currently in beta.

As with every driver update comes a handful of smaller fixes. Here are a few of the issues ironed out in version 391.01:

  • BeamNG: Dynamic reflections flicker in the game.
  • Call of Duty WWII: Flickering shadows occur in the game.
  • NvfbcPluginWindow prevents Windows from shutting down.
  • Booting from a cold boot results in black screen on a multi-monitor system.
  • 3DVision: System shutdown time increases when Stereoscopic 3D is enabled.
  • Nvidia Control Panel: The Display->Adjust desktop color settings->Content type setting is reset to “Auto-selected” after rebooting the system.
  • GTX 980/1080 Ti: OpenGL program may crash when trying to map a buffer object.
  • GTX 965M: Drop in GPU performance occurs.

There are some known issues still present, and Nvidia points out that the following problems still exist:

  • Titan V: G-Sync displays may go blank when switching between different overclocked memory clocks multiple times.
  • GTX 780 Ti in SLI: There is no display output when connecting the DisplayPort and two DVI monitors.
  • GeForce Titan (Kepler-based): The OS fails after installing the graphics card on a Threadripper-enabled motherboard.
  • Pascal GPUs and Gears of War 4: Blue-screen crash may occur while playing the game.
  • GeForce GTX 1080 Ti and Doom: The game crashes due to the driver reverting to OpenGL 1.1 when HDR is enabled.

For more on Nvidia graphics cards, you can check out our GTX 1080 Ti review or GTX 1070 Ti review, two of the company’s latest cards. Now might be a bad time to buy a video card, however; read up on how cryptocurrency mining has affected video card prices. If you’re still on the fence about jumping into either of the games mentioned above, be sure to read our Final Fantasy XV review or PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds review.

DC’s Version of the Fantastic Four Debuts This Week

With dozens of comic books to choose from, let us show you which are the best coming out this week. Take a look at this list spotlighting our favorite comics that we know are money-well-spent and new books that look cool and are backed by some top-tier talent.

Once you check out our picks, head to the comments to let us know what you’ll be buying this week!

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Writer Jeff Lemire | Artists Ivan Reis, Joe Prado | Cover Ivan Reis (DC Comics)

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Tony Hawk Says He’s No Longer Working With Activision On His Iconic Skateboard Series

Legendary skateboarder Tony Hawk has weighed in the possibility of Pro Skater remasters–and the news isn’t exactly great for people hoping to see the franchise return. Posting on Twitter, Hawk pointed out that Activision owns the license to the Tony Hawk Pro Skater franchise, adding that he is no longer involved in discussions with the publisher.

Hawk, 49, went on to say that he “would be happy” to take on the challenge of creating new Pro Skater games “for newer systems.” But unfortunately for fans, Hawk acknowledged that he lacks the skills or authority (due to Activision calling the shots) to do so.

The Birdman also said he has no power to revive the servers for older Pro Skater games, including potentially Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5. People reported online that the game’s online servers were reportedly switched off sometime in the last year. Without the online functionality, the skateboarding title lacks core features on what was already a very hard-to-recommend experience.

In 2012, Activision released Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD, which features levels from earlier entries in the series. No other high-definition remakes have come since. As a company, Activision has said it is open to making more remasters after Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy performed so well, though whether or not a new Tony Hawk remaster is among these remains to be seen.

2015’s Pro Skater 5 is the latest entry in the long-running series that debuted in 1999, and no new titles have been announced. The news that Hawk is no longer involved with the franchise is probably not what fans want to hear, though as always, things could change. We have contacted Activision in an attempt to get more details on what the company’s plans for the franchise going forward may be.

In January last year, Hawk teased that he was working on a new skateboarding game without Activision.

New Overwatch Tease May Show Off Next Hero’s Weapon

Blizzard continues to share tidbits related to Overwatch. Speculation surrounding the first of these teases pointed to all of this leading to the reveal of the game’s next hero; if that’s the case, the newest teaser image may give us a glimpse at the tools he or she will have at their disposal.

On the official Overwatch Twitter account, the quote “I’ll knock some sense into you!” was published–complete with quotations marks–along with the image below. It shows the schematics for some kind of tool named Slaga v3.0. It looks as if it may be some kind of pickaxe that converts into a hammer not unlike Reinhardt’s.

There are various other details hidden in there, like some (possibly Swedish) text about different materials on a tablet-like device in the bottom right, that fans will undoubtedly attempt to dig into. Perhaps more notably, the bottom of the image shows a mouse toy and what looks like a cat’s paw swiping at it from just out of frame. It could be nothing or just a small glimpse of a backstory where someone (perhaps Tobjorn or his daughter, Brigitte) owns a cat, but it’s hard not to think of the so-called Jetpack Cat, a character Blizzard recently considered for inclusion in the game but ultimately decided was too extreme.

No Caption Provided

This tease follows one that consisted of an “after-action” report for something called Operation White Dome. It describes an incident involving Torbjörn, Reinhardt, and someone named Private First Class Emre Sariogulu. Subsequently, we got to see a letter Torbjörn wrote to his wife. How this latest piece of the puzzle fits together with those remains to be seen, but it presumably won’t be the last, assuming this is all leading to some kind of announcement. As shared on Reddit, some fans believe the aforementioned Brigitte is the new character.

Blizzard previously stated that it is already playtesting a new Overwatch hero, though it has shared no details about it. Game director Jeff Kaplan did, however, say that the character is “very needed.”

Oscars 2018: When And How To Watch On TV And Online

The Academy Awards are the biggest night in Hollywood, and with movies like Get Out and The Shape of Water nominated for best picture, this year’s ceremony could be one of the most interesting of all time. Where can you watch the Oscars, though?

Thankfully, there are a number of ways to check out the ceremony, whether you have a TV or not. Not only will the Oscars air on broadcast TV and stream online, but the show will also be available on demand once it’s complete.

Below, take a look at every way you can watch the 90th Academy Awards. Before the ceremony, you can also use this guide to find out where to watch every movie up for an Oscar this year, along with each of the nominees.

When and where to watch the Oscars live

The 90th Academy Awards take place on Sunday, March 4. The red carpet kicks off at 5 PM ET, with the ceremony itself beginning at 8 PM ET.

The show, which will be hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, is being broadcast live on ABC. If you aren’t at a TV, though, never fear. Not only will streaming TV services like Sling, YouTube TV, DirecTV, and PlayStation Vue be airing ABC’s feed of the show, the ceremony will also stream live on ABC Go and the ABC app.

Where to watch the Oscars on demand

The day after the ceremony, the telecast will be available on demand from ABC–through its normal TV services, along with streaming TV plans. That’s not the only way to watch it, though. Hulu will stream both the awards show and the red carpet special.

Legends of Tomorrow: Jax Returning for Season 3 Finale

After a four-month absence, Jefferson “Jax” Jackson is returning to DC’s Legends of Tomorrow for the Season 3 finale.

ComicBook.com reports former series regular Franz Drameh will reprise his role as one half of Firestorm. The Season 3 finale will air in April on The CW.

Warning: “Crisis on Earth-X” Arrowverse crossover event spoilers follow.

Jax formed Firestorm with Professor Martin Stein (Victor Garber), who died during the “Crisis on Earth-X” story arc. Jax survived, but lost his powers. The character tried to remain with the team, but left during the midseason finale “Beebo the God of War.”

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Everything We Wish We Knew About Kingdom Come: Deliverance Before We Started

Life in medieval Europe could be harsh, and the world of Kingdom Come: Deliverance, out now on PS4, Xbox One, and PC, takes that to heart. The first-person RPG transports players to 15th century Bohemia, amid a brutal civil war, and invests heavily in making gameplay a realistically tough experience. You could be forgiven for wanting to get a few pointers before jumping right in.

Combat and survival mechanics have a steep learning curve in Kingdom Come. While the game does allude to them, players are mostly left to figure out how things work on their own. From weapon choices to handling food to working around the game’s often frustrating save system, we’ve compiled some of the top tips to help you on your journey in the video above.

In GameSpot’s review of Kingdom Come, writer Brett Todd lauded the game for its “impressive and unflinching look at the medieval era that transports you inside the compelling story of a real person caught in the middle of a civil war.” He called it a “rare, memorable game,” with incredible attention to historical detail, lifelike quests, strong storytelling, and voice-acting and visuals that immerse you in the setting.

To see more of the game in action, check out our Kingdom Come: Deliverance discussion video where we talk about our experience playing the game and how it changed over time. To see more gameplay, watch us play through the opening portion of Kingdom Come to see the game’s combat system in action. You can also watch footage of us fleeing from a band of attackers on horseback and learning how to use a sword and bow for the first time.

Pokemon Go Players Can Catch A Special Pikachu For Pokemon Day

February 27 is Pokemon Day, and like last year, Niantic is celebrating the occasion by giving players a chance to capture a rare Pokemon in Pokemon Go. For the next few days, players will be able to encounter a special Pikachu, which will come with an exclusive move it cannot typically learn in the mobile game.

From now until 1 PM PT / 4 PM ET on February 28, players will have a chance to capture a Pikachu wearing a party hat, similar to the one available during last year’s Pokemon Day celebration. This time around, however, the party hat Pikachu will know the move Present. In addition to that, players will earn triple the usual amount of Stardust they receive for each special Pikachu they capture.

Pokemon Day coincides with the anniversary of the original Pokemon Red and Green versions, which first released in Japan on February 27, 1996. In addition to the special Pikachu in Pokemon Go, The Pokemon Company is commemorating the occasion by releasing a new Pikachu Talk app for Amazon Alexa and Google Home, which allows users to ask Pikachu questions and hear it respond in its signature voice.

Additionally, The Pokemon Company is releasing Snapchat filters based on the three starter Pokemon from the Kanto region. Special merchandise is also being added to the Pokemon Center online store, including Legendary Pokemon pin sets and a new Charizard gallery figure that will kick off a special line of larger Pokemon figures.

While not specifically a part of the Pokemon Day celebration, Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon players can also still pick up a free download code for Dialga and Palkia, the first two Legendaries being distributed as part of the Year of Legendary Pokemon promotion. Meanwhile, Pokemon Go players have another chance to capture the Legendary Pokemon Groudon and Kyogre, while Rayquaza will appear in Raid Battles until March 16.

The Biggest Movies to Watch in 2018

2017 was a great year for movies, but 2018 is shaping up to be even better. Black Panther has already become a critical and commercial phenomenon, and there are another two Marvel movies to look forward to. The second Star Wars spin-off arrives in the shape of Solo: A Star Wars Story, which will focus on the early adventures of the iconic space smuggler, and Tom Cruise returns as Ethan Hunt in the sixth Mission: Impossible movie, Fallout.

Beyond these big tentpole franchises, other crowd-pleasing favourites are set to return. There’s more dinosaur action in the Jurassic World sequel, two more films in the X-Men universe, and several movies from cinema’s busiest star, Dwayne Johnson. Lara Croft returns to the screen, the first of Sony’s Spider-Man spin-offs arrives in the shape of Venom, and we’ll find out if there’s life in the Predator franchise. So with another ten months of the year to go, here’s what to watch for in 2018…

Pokemon Day 2018 Celebrations Revealed

The Pokemon Company International has revealed its celebration plans for Pokemon Day 2018.

As part of the celebration, Pokemon Go players have the chance to catch a special Pikachu wearing a striped purple hat until February 28 at 1pm PT/4pm ET/1pm UK (March 1 at 8am AET). The Pikachu will know the move Present and provide triple the normal amount of Stardust when captured.

Pokemon Day commemorates the launch of the wildly successful franchise. Pokemon Red and Pokemon Green were released in Japan on February 27, 1996.

New Snapchat Lenses featuring Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Squirtle will also be available. The Bulbasaur Lens arrives today and will remain available for three days, after which it will be replaced by the Charmander Lens, which will then be replaced by the Squirtle Lens three days later. In addition, a variety of Pokemon stickers will debut on Pokemon Day.

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