Hardcore PC gaming enthusiasts may be waiting for the long-delayed, next-gen graphics processors due later this year, but AMD, Nvidia, and their hardware partners still have perfectly potent graphics cards to sell in the meantime.To entice would-be graphics-card buyers off the fence, both camps are bundling their high-end GPUs with free copies of hotly anticipated PC games. Naturally, the games utilize graphics technology developed in close partnership with the graphics giants.
AMD beat Nvidia out of the gate by announcing a Hitman bundle late Tuesday evening. The game just held a closed beta over last weekend, and as we said in our hands-on Hitman preview, it features thrilling sandbox-esque assassination missions similar to the ones that caused hordes of gamers to fall head over heels in love with Hitman: Blood Money back in the day—a return to glory that the series badly needs after Hitman: Absolution largely fell flat.
Hitman’s part of the AMD Gaming Evolved program. It’ll take advantage of the Asynchonous Shaders found in most Radeon graphics cards released since 2012 for enhanced DirectX 12 performance. The game will also offer support for AMD’s Eyefinity, ultrawide monitors, and super-sample anti-aliasing, all of which were implemented with AMD’s help. No wonder the company’s bundling Hitman with Radeon R9 390/390X graphics cards, and 6- and 8-core FX processors through April 30.
Nvidia, meanwhile, announced Wednesday morning that it’ll be bundling the just-as-hotly-anticipated Tom Clancy's The Division with GTX 970, 980, and 980 Ti graphics cards, as well as new laptops powered by the GTX 970M and up. That game’s holding an open beta of its own this weekend; I played the closed beta a few weeks back and it felt like a grittier, more realistic third-person take on the Borderlands formula, set in post-apocalyptic New York. The amount of content was limited in the beta, but what was there was a blast.
The Division bakes in Nvidia’s GameWorks tech, specifically ShadowWorks for Nvidia HBAO+, and Percentage Closer Soft Shadows, which adds a more realistic look by softening shadows the further away they fall from the source. It was implemented in Grand Theft Auto V to stellar effect.
Nvidia’s bundling the game with the aforementioned GPUs through March 21, and you can redeem your Division code until April 30—or until supplies run out.
Hitman launches on March 11, while The Division hits the streets on March 8, so you won’t have long to wait if you decide to grab a new graphics card and cash in on these offers. Fingers crossed that the games wind up being good!