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This is a discussion on New Gadgets within the Electronics forums, part of the Non-Related Discussion category; Origin’s Neuron desktops target the high-end of the boutique gaming computer market. These deceptive systems have a fairly plain appearance, ...

      
   
  1. #131
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    Origin Neuron (2019) Review



    Origin’s Neuron desktops target the high-end of the boutique gaming computer market. These deceptive systems have a fairly plain appearance, but they come packed with the fastest CPUs and GPUs available and compete with the likes of MSI’s Trident X and Corsair’s One i160 gaming desktops. Although the Neuron is well made and offers excellent performance, its may tag may be a bit more than you bargained for.

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    Microsoft: Xbox Next Will Bring Faster Load Times, 60fps, Backward Compatibility



    The next console generation is less than 18 months away, and Microsoft is starting to share a little more information about what it’s prioritizing for the next generation of Xbox consoles. Playability, load times, and backward compatibility for controllers and software are all top priorities for Redmond with the launch of Xbox Next.

    “I think the area that we really want to focus on next-generation is frame rate and playability of the games,” Spencer told Gamespot:
    Ensuring that the games load incredibly fast, ensuring that the game is running at the highest frame rate possible. We’re also the Windows company, so we see the work that goes on [for] PC and the work that developers are doing. People love 60 frames-per-second games, so getting games to run at 4K 60 [fps] I think will be a real design goal for us.
    The thing that’s interesting is, this generation, we’ve really focused on 4K visuals and how we bring both movies through 4K Blu-ray and video streaming, and with Xbox One X allowing games to run at 4K visuals will make really strong visual enhancements next generation. But playability is probably the bigger focus for us this generation. How fast do [games] load? Do I feel like I can get into the game as fast as possible and while it’s playing? How does it feel? Does this game both look and feel like no other game that I’ve seen? That’s our target.”
    This is more or less what ET predicted earlier this year. 60fps is a much more realistic target for the Xbox Next than the 240fps rumor that was going around. Despite various vague statements that the Xbox Next will support 8K, Spencer sensibly makes no mention of it as a gaming resolution target. There’s no chance a 2020 console will have a GPU powerful enough to support this resolution and we’re glad to see the company pivoting towards an emphasis on other aspects of gaming.

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    Microsoft Makes It Easier to Bring DirectX 12 Games to Windows 7



    When Microsoft launched Windows 10, it made its stance on DirectX 12 clear: Windows 10 would be the only OS that supported the company’s latest API, period. For years, the company stuck to this stance. Then, earlier this year, Microsoft announced that one game — World of Warcraft — would be allowed to take advantage of the DX12 API while running Windows 7.

    The reason for this allowance? Probably China. World of Warcraft has always had a huge Chinese following, and Blizzard’s decision to add DX12 support to WoW was a significant step for both the developer and the API. Now, Microsoft has announced that it’s expanding this program. In a short blog post pointing an array of API documents, Microsoft notes:
    We have received warm welcome from the gaming community, and we continued to work with several game studios to further evaluate this work. To better support game developers at larger scales, we are publishing the following resources to allow game developers to run their DirectX 12 games on Windows 7.
    The development guidance document for how to move DX12 to Windows 7 actually contains some useful information on how difficult it is to get games running under the older OS and what the differences are between the two. Microsoft states:
    We only ported the D3D12 runtime to Windows 7. Therefore, the difference of Graphics Kernel found on Windows 7 still requires some game code changes, mainly around the presentation code path, use of monitored fences, and memory residency management (all of which will be detailed below). Early adopters reported from a few days to two weeks of work to have their D3D12 games up and running on Windows 7, though the actual engineering work required for your game may vary.
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    New 3DMark Benchmark

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    One of the new features baked into DirectX 12 is support for variable-rate shading, also known as coarse-grained shading. The idea behind variable-rate shading is simple: In the vast majority of 3D games, the player doesn’t pay equal attention to everything on-screen. As far as the GPU is concerned, however, every pixel on-screen is typically shaded at the same rate. VRS / CGS allows the shader work being done for a single pixel to be scaled across larger groups of pixels; Intel demoed this feature during its Architecture Day last year, showing off a 22 as well as a 44 grid block.

    In a blog post explaining the topic, Microsoft writes:
    VRS allows developers to selectively reduce the shading rate in areas of the frame where it won’t affect visual quality, letting them gain extra performance in their games. This is really exciting, because extra perf means increased framerates and lower-spec’d hardware being able to run better games than ever before.
    VRS also lets developers do the opposite: using an increased shading rate only in areas where it matters most, meaning even better visual quality in games.
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    Meet the PiS2: A PS2 Portable Built with a Raspberry Pi 2 Server

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    Redditor and modder darkwingmod has posted a video of his new, homemade Sony PS2 portable — which isn’t actually a thing Sony ever built, but after seeing this, possibly should have been. According to posts he’s made, the well-named “PiS2” is based on a Raspberry Pi 2 board connected to a PS2-to-HDMI output, which is connected to a 5.6-inch HDMI display.

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    Microsoft Is Accepting Sign-Ups for xCloud Game Streaming Preview

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    Numerous technology powerhouses are investing in game streaming services, not the least of which is Microsoft. The company has shown off its xCloud game streaming a few times, including one suspicious on-stage demo. Now, it’s gearing up for the first wave of beta players, and you can sign up for a chance to get one of those preview spots.
    As with other game streaming platforms, xCloud will render games on servers in the cloud. The video of that gameplay streams down to your phone, laptop, TV, or other devices. Your controller inputs go back up to the server, allowing you to play the game. Several companies have tried and failed to combat latency and bandwidth issues that plague game streaming, but the technology is finally getting there.

    Eventually, xCloud will support streaming a wide array of Xbox games to many different devices. However, Microsoft has opted to keep the preview extremely limited. In addition to only allowing a small number of gamers give xCloud a shot, Microsoft will only let them play a handful of titles. The preview will have Gears 5, Halo 5: Guardians, Killer Instinct, and Sea of Thieves. Microsoft wants to gather data on how people use the service and will expand the game selection over time.

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    AMD Announces New Budget RX 5500 GPU Family



    With the RX 5700 and 5700 XT in-market since June, it was inevitable that AMD would refresh the lower end of its product family. Big Navi may not drop until 2020, but there’s plenty of room at the lower end of the market for a major refresh cycle. Since 2016, AMD’s Polaris family of cards has anchored this market, but the company has maintained its competitive standing by slashing prices and competing on raw performance as opposed to power efficiency.

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    Nvidia Launches Game Studio to Bring Ray Tracing to More Retro Titles

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    Earlier this year, Nvidia launched a very old game into the modern era with an RTX-enhanced version of Quake II. The new version of the very old game was generally well-received. It helps that Quake II was an iconic title in its own right, with a shareware demo that allows anyone with an RTX GPU to download and experience the first few levels of the game without paying any money. Evidently this project worked well enough that Nvidia has now launched its own game studio, Lightspeed Studios, to focus on updating more retro games with ray tracing features. Nvidia has placed a job ad looking for an experienced game producer looking to lead the effort.

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    One for the Graveyard: Google Discontinues Daydream VR

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    Toss another body on the burn pile. During the same event in which it launched the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL, Google killed off the Daydream VR platform. Neither of the new devices is compatible with the Daydream VR and Google stopped selling the Daydream View today. According to Google, Daydream VR failed to catch on with consumers, as has smartphone VR in general.

    To be honest, the writing has been on the wall for Daydream for quite some time. The Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL don’t support it, Hulu dropped support last month, and Google shut down both the Spotlight Stories VR studio and the Daydream Play Movies application earlier this year. It also shut down Jump VR in June. Daydream was less than a month from its third birthday.

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    New Analogue FPGA Handheld Promises Flawless Retro Gaming

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    If you pay attention to the retro gaming scene, chances are you’ve heard of Analogue. The company builds gorgeous, FPGA-powered retro gaming systems that exploit the unique capabilities of FPGA hardware to deliver virtually perfect emulation. We say “virtually,” because with any emulated system there’s the possibility that a game might not play properly, but using an FPGA allows Analogue to build perfect replicas of the early CPUs that these systems used. This, in turn, drastically reduces the chance of an error or bug.
    Now, Analogue has announced a new product — one that might fill the gap left in the hearts of retro gaming lovers who have been wishing someone would release a handheld classic edition of an iconic gaming system. The $199 Analogue Pocket is an FPGA-handheld that supports games from the Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advance. Compatibility with other portable systems, including the Atari Lynx, Sega Game Gear, and Neo Geo Pocket Color is also planned, via cartridge adapters.

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