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This is a discussion on Game Tech News within the Electronics forums, part of the Non-Related Discussion category; In September, Sony rolled out the PlayStation Now beta service to the PS3. The public beta has been available on ...

          
   
  1. #11
    Senior Member HiGame's Avatar
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    How does PlayStation Now on the PS3 compare to the PS4?


    In September, Sony rolled out the PlayStation Now beta service to the PS3. The public beta has been available on the PS4 for a while now, but this additional release spurred me to take another look at the service. This time, I wanted to test the latency on both the PS3 and PS4. The former is practically ancient technology in 2014, and it’s WiFi configuration tops out at 802.11g. I was curious if that would make a difference when it came down to streaming a game.

    Previously, I’ve written extensively regarding how PS Now feels shockingly responsive. Maybe I had extremely low expectations going in, but I’m consistently surprised at how well streamed games control over Sony’s service. If I play for more than a few minutes, I eventually forget completely about the crazy technology behind it, and just enjoy the game itself. I wanted to know more, though. The subjective “feel” test is undoubtedly important, but I wanted to know how well PS Now on PS3 stacked up to the experience on the PS4, so I began testing.



    Methodology


    To get an idea of how the PS3 and PS4 stand up against each other, I wanted to perform three tests on each platform. So, I decided to test the latency of a PS Now in-game menu over an ethernet connection, the latency of a PS Now in-game menu over WiFi, and the latency of the local main menu on each device.

    So, how am I estimating latency here? I don’t have access to high-end capture equipment, but I do have a video camera. I set up the shot with both my TV and controller in-frame, and then I hit “record.” From there, I pressed the D-pad ten times in a row, and then started the next test. I then imported the video to my computer, and counted the number of frames between a button press and a visual change on the screen.

    My camera only shoots at 30 fps, but that’s beside the point. I’m by no means attempting to do extremely precise measurements here — all I need are ballpark results. 33 millisecond units of measurement are perfectly fine for this specific test. After all, I’m trying to compare multiple results against each other — not trying to calculate the purest latency data in a vacuum. In any case, the exact amount of latency would differ drastically depending on the quality of your connection, the distance from Sony’s server farm, and your specific network environment. Diving any deeper on this seems like a huge waste of time since it would only apply to people with my exact setup.



    Results


    Across the board, the results were consistent with every test. With my set-up, it took roughly four frames (~115*milliseconds) for the screen to update on a wired connection on both platforms. Over WiFi, there was a tiny bit more latency at five frames (~150 milliseconds). For the local menu? One frame (0-33 milliseconds). The latency seems very consistent in my experience, and ultimately that makes even faster-paced games functional. As long as everything remains consistent, you can compensate quite effectively.



    Of course, these results shouldn’t be interpreted as gospel. I have a fiber internet connection, my router is only a few feet away from my consoles, I live in a relatively secluded area, and I had exclusive use of my home network during this test. If any part of the chain is sub-optimal for you, your gaming experience is bound to change on PS Now.

    All of that said, I was very pleased to see the PS3‘s performance match up with the PS4‘s. Even with the 802.11g limitation of the PS3, it worked surprisingly well over WiFi. A wired connection is obviously preferable for any kind of streaming, but it shouldn’t make that much of a difference as long as your signal is strong, and there isn’t too much interference in your area. If you’re packed into a crowded apartment building with dozens of WiFi access points, you’ll want to stick to a wired connection, but that’s a small price to pay for top-drawer game streaming.


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  2. #12
    Senior Member matfx's Avatar
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    Super Smash Bros. Launches on Wii U on November 21 in US, December 5 in Europe

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    After a long wait, the development team at Nintendo has finally announced that it plans to launch the Wii U version of Super Smash Bros. on November 21 in the United States and on December 5 in Europe, with gamers able to also get the new Amiibo figurines in late November on both major markets.
    Until then, fans of the series will be able to play the 3DS version of the title, which shares some characters but has different gameplay mechanics and a line-up that includes some different characters.

    The information comes from the official site of the game and from a trailer which has been apparently posted a bit earlier than the company expected.

    Rumors, including listing on online stores, have been talking about a November 21 launch date for Super Smash Bros. on the Wii U in the United States, but no one was expecting for Nintendo to introduce a two-week delay for the European market.

    Probably the move is designed to make sure that the company has enough copies to satisfy initial demand in North America before it needs to also deliver big shipments to another continent.

    The title is seen as the big launch which can boost sales of the Wii U home console all over the world and make it competitive with the Xbox One from Microsoft and the PlayStation 4 from Sony.
    Wii U versus 3DS
    The 3DS version of Super Smash Bros. was launched first on all markets because the amount of bugs that the Quality Assurance team had to deal with was very high and one of the titles needed to be prioritized.

    At the moment, the currently available version of the game has sold very well in Japan and will probably also do so in the West, where some stores have been reporting that they are running out of copies.

    Nintendo has said that it has carefully chosen the characters that are included in both titles and that the core mechanics have been redesigned in order to attract a wider number of players while also keeping long-term fans satisfied.

    For the first time, gamers can create their own custom fighters.

    Super Smash Bros. will also get a lot of support from the development team in the long term, with updates that are designed to fix any issues that the community finds and reports and downlodable content that can add new fighters.

    Super Smash Bros. for Wii U & amiibo - Trailer


  3. #13
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    Assassin’s Creed Unity locked to 900p @ 30 fps, due to Xbox One and PS4



    Ready for yet another Assassin’s Creed game? Too bad! Ubisoft is releasing Assassin’s Creed Unity on the Xbox One and PS4 later this year, but it might not be the next-gen experience you’ve been hoping for. A Ubisoft representative caused an internet uproar earlier this week when he explained that the game is currently limited to 900p at 30 fps on both consoles. Sub-1080p game releases are slightly disappointing in general, but the specific wording around this game lead many to believe that the PS4 edition is being intentionally hobbled for the sake of platform parity.

    In an interview at Video Gamer, Ubisoft’s Vincent Pontbriand explains the large amount of AI computation required for Assassin’s Creed Unity is what’s impacting performance the most. The CPU — not the GPU — is the bottleneck here. If that’s true, that certainly explains why both versions of the game are running at a lower resolution and frame rate. While the PS4 does have a superior GPU, both consoles are using very similar AMD Jaguar CPUs.



    The crux of the issue comes down to the way Pontbriand explained the limitations. Specifically, he said “We decided to lock [both versions] at the same specs to avoid all the debates and stuff.” To some, that was PR-speak for “The PS4 is being hobbled to make it look on par to the Xbox One version.” However, that doesn’t actually seem to be the case.

    In a statement made to Kotaku, a Ubisoft representative unambiguously states “We did not lower the specs for Assassin’s Creed Unity to account for any one system over the other.” Considering that Pontbriand claims in the original article that the engine could run at 100 fps on the current hardware if the bottleneck around AI computation wasn’t in the mix, I believe Ubisoft’s denial. This seems like a legitimate limitation of the CPUs in the current crop of consoles — not a back-room business deal.
    It is notable that it’s the relatively wimpy Jaguar CPU that’s being scrutinized, and not the usual my-GPU-is-bigger-than-yours argument that has dominated Xbox One/PS4 hardware*spec debate so far. If developers are already running into issues with complex CPU-limited tasks, then it doesn’t bode overly well for the rest of the eighth generation.

    Unfortunately, this seems to be a recurring issue for this generation of consoles. For many developers, there is a choice that has to be made between next-gen graphics or next-gen gameplay. Ubisoft is obviously willing to sacrifice frame rate and resolution in favor of drastically improved AI, but that seems to leave a bad taste in the mouths of many gamers and members of the enthusiast press. Frankly, it’s just disappointing to see so many games fail to hit 1080p60 in a world where 4K televisions and high frame rate video are proliferating so quickly.


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  4. #14
    Senior Member matfx's Avatar
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    Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Xbox One Digital Download Size Gets Revealed

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    The size of the digital download for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare has been revealed, less than a month before the game goes live.

    The reveal comes from Reddit user RpLayy, who noticed the game's listing on the Xbox One store, showing that the size of the digital download is no less than 45.84 GB.

    This seems to be the standard size for big releases these days and for the foreseeable future, which means that if you don't already own an external drive to help with your gaming needs, you would do well to start saving up for one, especially if you plan on getting multiple AAA blockbusters in the near future.

    The game's Season Pass also popped up on the store page, and the thing is priced at $50 / €39 / £35, the traditional rate, but for the time being, no information related to its content is available. However, as we inch even closer to launch, developer Sledgehammer Games is bound to reveal more.

    For the time being, the listing states that the Season Pass will grant buyers access to four "action-packed" downloadable content packs, to be released over the course of next year.

    Packed with a new kind of action


    If you're wondering what you're getting for that hefty 45.84 GB download, well, Sledgehammer Games aim to revitalize the series by taking it in a different direction, just like Visceral Games is doing with the Battlefield series, in the upcoming Battlefield Hardline.

    While Hardline will shift from DICE's usual military-based action to an urban setting, focusing on playing cops and robbers, Advanced Warfare is a much more exciting departure from the Call of Duty series' usual setting, with its action taking place in the near future.

    This enabled Sledgehammer Games to toy around with the base package, and the introduction of many exciting technologies has spruced up multiplayer gameplay quite a bit. The annual installments in the series saw many people complaining that the action, although fun, was getting a bit stale, not warranting the serialization that publisher Activision decided to make the norm.

    A ton of exciting additions

    Apart from a huge pack of new tricks to pull off in multiplayer clashes, including jump boosts and side boosts, cloaking technology, multi-purpose hand-mounted rockets and grenades, the developer also intends to deliver a gripping story in the single-player campaign.

    The storyline won't feature the usual clear-cut heroes versus villains dynamic of previous episodes, but will instead explore a morally gray area where power subtly turns into abuse, and where former protectors slowly turn into oppressors.

    The engrossing story will be supported by performances by talented voice actors, with Kevin Spacey playing the role of Jonathan Irons, the game's main antagonist.

    Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is scheduled to come out on November 4 worldwide, headed to the PC, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 home consoles from Sony, and the Xbox 360 and Xbox One entertainment devices from Microsoft.

  5. #15
    Senior Member matfx's Avatar
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    Sony Will Be Selling PS4 Console To China By December

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    Bloomberg - Sony Corp plans to start packaging new video game consoles for the China market from December as it seeks to win sales in the world’s most populous nation after the end of a 14-year ban on the machines.

    Sony’s venture for China intends to package 200,000 consoles annually, according to a filing on the website of the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone. Masaki Tsukakoshi, a Tokyo-based spokesman for Sony Computer Entertainment Inc., confirmed the document’s authenticity and said actual production amounts may differ.

    Gaming is one of the few bright spots for Sony, which is headed for its sixth annual loss in seven years despite selling more than 10 million units of its PlayStation 4 console. Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) has already started selling its Xbox One in China, with a limited range of titles because of government restrictions.

    “There’s an opportunity” in China, said Atul Goyal, a Singapore-based analyst at Jefferies Group LLC. “But it remains to be seen if the upside is large or small.”

    Sony said it agreed to form two ventures with Shanghai Oriental Pearl Group Co. (600832) to start making and selling consoles after China lifted its ban, according to a filing by the China partner in May. Sony will have a 70 percent stake in one venture for hardware production and 49 percent in the other, for software sales and networks.

    “We have not disclosed the launch date in China yet,” Sony’s Tsukakoshi said.

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  6. #16
    Senior Member matfx's Avatar
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    Dragon Age: Inquisition PC System Requirements Revealed, Accessible to Most Gamers

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    The title will also be playable on home consoles

    The development team at BioWare and publisher Electronic Arts are ready to reveal the PC system requirements for the upcoming Dragon Age: Inquisition, allowing gamers to see how their configurations measure up and to maybe get in an upgrade before the November 18 launch date.

    According to the official site the minimum specification required for the role playing game powered by the Frostbite 3 engine are:

    Windows 7 or 8.1 64-bit

    AMD quad core CPU @ 2.5 GHz or Intel quad core CPU @ 2.0 GHz

    4 GB of RAM

    AMD Radeon HD 4870 or NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT with 512 MB RAM

    26 GB of free hard drive space

    DirectX 10

    The recommended system requirements include:

    Windows 7 or 8.1 64-bit

    AMD six core CPU @ 3.2 GHz or Intel quad core CPU @ 3.0 GHz

    8 GB of RAM

    AMD Radeon HD 7870 or R9 270 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 with 2 GB of RAM

    26 GB of free hard drive space

    DirectX 11

    A one time authentication also requires a connection to the Internet.

    Dragon Age: Inquisition can also be played on the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4 as well as last gen consoles and is the most important role playing launch of the year, a very ambitious title which aims to blend the complexity and the dynamics of previous entries in the series.

    8 Minutes of Dragon Age Inquisition Gameplay - Gamescom 2014


  7. #17
    Senior Member matfx's Avatar
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    Destiny Is Still Enjoyed by 3.2 Million Players Every Day

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    It’s been a month since developer Bungie released Destiny, the overhyped science fiction first-person shooter destined to become publisher Activision’s third multi-billion dollar franchise, joining the likes of Call of Duty and Skylanders.
    Since then, the publisher reports, players have been relentlessly exploring the Earth, the Moon, Venus and Mars, in spite of the game being criticized for its lack of compelling story or engaging and interesting gameplay, at least compared to gamers’ expectations.

    A lot of action

    Activision revealed that Destiny has 3.2 million daily players, who spend an average of three hours immersed into the futuristic world imagined by Bungie.

    “It’s been an incredible first month for Destiny,” said Pete Parsons, COO at Bungie. “Players are logging more hours per day then any game we have ever made, our servers have withstood millions of guardians experiencing Destiny and none of it would have been possible without our amazing community.”

    Along with other achievements and statistics, the developer revealed that the average Destiny player has logged into the game at least 21 times since launch, and that the game is played 1.8 times per day on average.

    Bungie also mentioned that in the past three weeks, Destiny had more active players than Halo 3 and Halo: Reach combined, for the entire time span of the two titles.

    And a lot more still to come

    The developer is committed to improving its customers experience, and the Iron Banner, the latest event hosted by Bungie, was criticized for not delivering on people’s expectations, and as such the company promised to fix things going forward.

    The main beef gamers had was with the fact that although the Iron Banner event was advertised as giving a shot at immortality to high-level players, it turned out to still make skill a big factor in the equation, which lead to a lot of low-level proficient gamers taking out hardcore looters with ease, which annoyed a portion of the game’s fanbase.

    The team explained that the main goal was to keep things somewhat balanced in the Crucible, and to offer raiders a palpable advantage, but not one that would be impossible to overcome, even for new characters.

    Bungie is grateful to its fans

    In any case, the numbers published by Bungie are impressive nonetheless, especially when you consider that people are still enjoying several hours of content each day, a month after the game’s release.

    The developer thanked its fans for building such a strong community and for the passion and enthusiasm with which they engage in playing the game, mentioning that just looking at the raw numbers made them feel like the journey was well worth the effort.

    Read more....

    Destiny is available for purchase on disc or via digital download on PlayStation®4, PlayStation®3, Xbox One and Xbox 360.The official website is here Destinythegame

    Official Destiny gameplay trailer


  8. #18
    Senior Member matfx's Avatar
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    Wii U's Big October Exclusive, Bayonetta 2, Gets a Demo Today

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    Wii U action game Bayonetta 2 is now just about two weeks away from launch, but you needn't wait any longer to try it out for yourself. Today's eShop update in North America and Europe brings with it a demo of Platinum Games' latest effort.

    Bayonetta 2 has been positioned as an important exclusive for Wii U--not on the tier of Super Smash Bros. or Mario Kart, but the sort of hardcore game Nintendo's platforms are often accused of not having enough of. Reviews out of Japan, where the game has now been available for several weeks, have been positive, though early sales were not especially strong.

    The original Bayonetta, which was also developed by Platinum, was released only on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Fortunately for those who have only owned Nintendo hardware--or those simply eager to replay a very good game--the game is packed in as a bonus with Bayonetta 2.

    For its part, Platinum is interested in working again with Nintendo, Bayonneta 2's publisher, in the future. "I feel that it's important to let your creativity flow and Nintendo has been able to provide us with the freedom to do what we had originally envisioned," director Yusuke Hashimoto said earlier this year.

    Bayonetta 2 launches in North America and Europe on October 24.

    Read more....

    Wii U - Bayonetta 2 Launch Trailer


  9. #19
    Senior Member matfx's Avatar
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    How Can Wii U Beat PS4, Xbox One? It's all About Content, Nintendo Exec Says

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    Nintendo executive says selling systems comes down to having compelling software.

    Nintendo's Wii dominated the last generation of consoles, selling 100 million units, compared to around 80 million each for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. But so far in this generation, the PlayStation 4's 7 million units sold is already ahead of the Wii U's latest confirmed sales figure of 6.17 million, despite Sony's console launching an entire year after Nintendo's. How can Nintendo improve its fortunes and come out on top this console generation? That's the question IGN put to Nintendo of America executive Reggie Fils-Aime during a recent interview.

    "It's all about content," Fils-Aime said. "For us, if you look back at what we were able to do during the Wii generation. What we're able to do with DS. What we're doing now with 3DS. It's about content. It's about content that widens the footprint for the platform. It's about content that drives the install base. And as we do that, guess what? People buy hardware."

    Reggie said as people buy Wii U consoles, they'll talk with their friends about the "great experiences that they're having," and this will in turn lead to even more sales, he argued. He went on to suggest that though the Wii U has gotten off to a slower start than Nintendo might have wanted, it doesn't mean the console can't reach 100 million units sold someday.

    "That's what we did with the Wii. That's what we did with the DS on a global basis. That's what we're looking to do with both 3DS and Wii U, but it starts with content," Fils-Aime said. "And that's why, for us, at events like E3, our developers spend so much time talking about the content and how we're driving innovation there."

    Explaining why the Wii U may have gotten off to a slow start, Fils-Aime acknowledged that games like Super Mario 3D World, Wii Fit U, Pikmin 3, and The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD were all late to market. "These are all games that we wanted to launch earlier in the system's life," he said. As a result, Nintendo was unable to gather sufficient momentum.

    But this is now changing. Mario Kart 8 launched in late May and sold more than 2 million copies during its first month. The game also drove some "very nice momentum" for Nintendo's business overall, Fils-Aime said. Looking ahead, Nintendo will look to games like Bayonetta 2 and the new Super Smash Bros. game for continued growth. "We think it's this pace of product launch that we need to really drive momentum for Wii U," Fils-Aime said.

    But it's not just about games for Nintendo. The company will launch an ambitious toys-to-life initiative called amiibo later this year.

    Read more....

  10. #20
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    The best SSDs of 2014: A buyers guide


    When I sat down to write this article, I thought it would be straightforward: “Write an SSD guide,” my editor said. “Make some recommendations!” he said. What could be simpler?

    It turns out, quite a bit — but the good thing about getting hip-deep into a product segment is that I get to wade back out and describe the thinking process that ought to go into choosing an SSD. This guide is written for those of you who bought a small SSD back in 2008-2010 and are now looking for an upgrade, as well as those who are hopping in for the first time and are looking for a basic primer.

    What SSD should I buy? (The short answer)


    If you’re a consumer who wants a high-capacity drive with high performance and you’re comfortable applying a drive firmware patch, buy a Samsung 840 Evo. Buy nothing smaller than 256GB unless you’re absolutely sure you won’t need it. If you don’t want TLC NAND (more on what TLC is later) but you do want a cheap high-capacity drive that doesn’t skimp on performance, Crucial’s M550 1TB is a good alternative.



    Samsung 850 Pro SSD

    Even those of you looking for a simple answer should be aware that performance can vary significantly between drive families — the 840 Evo 1TB and M550 1TB are roughly the same speed, but the 840 Evo 256GB is much faster than the M550 256GB. More data on this is shown below.

    As of October 2014, and probably into 2015, if you want the highest performing drive money can buy today, buy a Samsung 850 Evo.

    SSDs: What’s changed (and what hasn’t)

    There have been several significant shifts in SSDs since the drives first began to hit the very top of the consumer market. First and foremost, prices have come down drastically. The cheapest SSDs are now close to 40 cents per gigabyte, while expensive high-performance drives are hitting around $1.

    Second, drive performance has both improved and become more consistent. Back in the dawn of the SSD era, it wasn’t unusual to find test cases (typically random read/writes) where certain SSDs would fall off a proverbial cliff. In severe cases, SSDs might even lag traditional mechanical hard drives.

    Third, SSD performance is hitting a significant wall. The SATA 6G interface that first debuted in 2010 is largely tapped — even modest drives are capable of saturating its 600MB/s (in practice, more like 550MB/s) in at least some tests. This is one reason why the manufacturer specs on two drives can be so similar, even when they perform quite differently in real-world tests.

    One critical factor to keep in mind when buying a modern SSD is that capacity and performance are often linked — but the size and significance of that link varies greatly. The following chart from Tech Report’s review of the Adata SP610 illustrates this very well.




    Look at Crucial’s M500 drive. At 240GB, it’s the slowest drive in TR’s data set. At 480GB, the same M500 family is nearly 60% faster. The M500 960GB variant is 11% faster yet, with the lowest overall price per GB. The M500 960GB is approximately 1.8x faster than the M500 240GB across Tech Report’s entire benchmark suite.

    Now, contrast that against the 840 Evo family. While there’s still a gap between top and bottom, the 250GB Evo ranks in at 800% of standard HDD speed, the 500GB drive is around 940%, and the 840 Evo is around 980%. The gap between the top and bottom products is perhaps 20% as opposed to 80%.


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