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This is a discussion on Game Tech News within the Electronics forums, part of the Non-Related Discussion category; Microsoft has spent the past few years trying to rebuild the Xbox franchise and compete effectively with Sony in the ...

          
   
  1. #641
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    Microsoft has spent the past few years trying to rebuild the Xbox



    Microsoft has spent the past few years trying to rebuild the Xbox franchise and compete effectively with Sony in the console wars. With the Xbox One X launched, the company is considering another problem with its lineup: a distinct lack of third-party exclusives.

    That’s the word from Polygon, which notes that the Xbox One remains far behind the PS4 in terms of total units shipped (VGChartz reports 36.4M Xbox One sales to-date, compared with 73.6M PS4 sales). The Xbox One X outsold the PS4 in December in the United States, at least, but the Switch sold more than either.

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    DDR4 Scaling and the Ryzen 5 2400G



    Ever since AMD launched its first APU family, it’s been clear that faster RAM had a significant impact on performance. With the Ryzen 5 2400G, the potential impact of faster DDR4 could be even more significant. The CPU-GPU interconnect system uses AMD’s Infinity Fabric as well, and Infinity Fabric’s clock is directly tied to DRAM clock.

    We decided to put the Ryzen 5 2400G to work at both DDR4-2133 and DDR4-3200 to see how much performance improved from using faster RAM. Normally, such a shift would also incur a hefty financial penalty, since RAM is typically priced by performance binning. In any given era, you’ll find a fairly flat area under the price curve — in this case, we would expect the slowest DDR4 (2133) to be priced quite similarly to moderately quicker RAM, like DDR4-2667 or DDR4-2933. Then the price curve would bend upwards at an increasing rate. If DDR4-3200 was 15 percent more expensive than DDR4-2667, we’d expect DDR4-3866 to be 30-40 percent more expensive than DDR4-3200 (all numbers are approximate).

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    Modder Wires Iconic 1970 TV Up for Modern PC, Console Gaming



    The 1970s were a deeply confusing time. Formica countertops were everywhere, shag carpet was popular, dark wood paneling (combined with shag carpeting) conspired to make the interior of every home a place where visible light went to die, and virtually every consumer product came in either vague pastels or eye-searing colors that could drive a cat to frenzy.

    Evaluated by the decorating standards of the day, the JVC Videosphere is a brilliant piece of hardware. It’s a TV built into a space helmet, modeled on the astronaut uniforms shown in 2001: A Space Odyssey. Designed as a portable TV, the Videosphere came with its own portable carrying chain (shown below) and could be wired up with a 12V cable plugged into a cigarette lighter. Some early versions came with a rechargeable battery pack as well. Now a hardware modder in the UK has demonstrated how one of these TVs can be wired up for modern gaming — and that’s impressive, for several reasons.

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    Blizzard Drops New Warcraft III Patch, Tourney, as Rumors of a Remaster Spread



    Warcraft III is widely considered to be one of the best real-time strategy (RTS) games ever produced, and fans clamored for a Warcraft IV for many years (and some still do). Blizzard has been silent on the idea, but it just released a patch for a 16 year-old game and announced a tournament in the first Warcraft III International. There are rumors in the air of a new remaster edition and a fair bit of excitement at the prospect.

    To understand why fans are cheering, it’s useful to retrospectively check out Warcraft III. The game’s visual design was much improved over Starcraft and it was the first game in the Warcraft series to introduce meaningful differentiation between the races. In Warcraft 1 and 2, units were identical save for some difference in spells. In Warcraft III, each of the four races had its own unique characteristics.

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    Final Fantasy XV is Coming to PC



    More than a year after its console debut, Square Enix is finally getting around to releasing Final Fantasy XV on the PC. True 4K support will be available when the game launches on March 6, so this is our opportunity for a version without compromise, right? Right?!

    When XV was released in 2016, the Xbox One, PS4, and PS4 Pro versions all had their own unique quirks. The eventual Xbox One X patch was a nice step up, but it still lacked the fit and finish that we hoped for. So, how is it going to hold up on the PC?

    Over at the Digital Foundry, the team has analyzed the pre-release FFXV benchmarking program, and they found some significant performance concerns – especially on AMD cards. Square Enix is using Nvidia’s GameWorks, and that causes a performance penalty that’s hard to excuse. On a GTX 1060, DF found that GameWorks drops the average frame rate by about 11fps. On the RX 580? It’s closer to a 20fps difference – gross.

    Even worse, an overclocked GTX 1080 Ti with everything turned on can’t even deliver a perfect 1080p60. That’s wildly disappointing to hear, but there is some hope. This benchmark app doesn’t really offer much in the way of tweaking, but Square Enix promises the final version will offer more options. If you’re willing to make graphical compromises, hitting a perfect 60fps will likely be in reach.

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    Nvidia Working on New Cryptocurrency GPUs



    If you’ve wanted to buy a consumer GPU these past few months, you’ve had nothing but tough choices to make. Current high-end cards from AMD and Nvidia are badly overpriced thanks to ongoing pressure from the cryptocurrency market. It’s a complex situation with a lot of moving parts, but the PC market, generally speaking, isn’t used to these kinds of shortages. There’s news that Nvidia is prepping some crypto-focused cards that could take pressure off the mainstream market — but it’s only going to work if the market remains relatively tame.
    The specs on the Inno3D P102-100 units, according to Cryptomining-blog, are as follows:

    • CUDA Cores: 3200
    • Base Clock: 1582 MHz
    • Memory Clock: 11 Gbps
    • Physical Memory Size: 5 GB
    • Memory Type: GDDR5X
    • Memory Interface Width: 320-bit
    • Memory Bandwidth: 400 GB/s
    • Bus Support: PCIe Gen1 x4
    • Card Size: 21.5 cm length, 12.5 cm height, dual slot
    • Max TDP: 250 Watt
    • Power Connectors: 2x 8-pin PCI-E

    Since the blog mentions a PCIe Gen 1 x4 bus connection and that’s rather clearly not an x4 bus above, presumably the card is designed to be an x4 electrical connection rather than an x16 (there’s no problem with doing this on PCIe). The GP102 chip, by the way, corresponds with the GTX 1080 Ti, albeit a trimmed configuration of 3,200 CUDA cores instead of 3,584 cores.

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    Logitech Packs All the RGB



    Logitech has been making PC speakers for many years, but none of them have had RGB lights in them. In this age of LEDs in mousepads, headphones, and keyboards, how are speakers so far behind? Logitech is looking to rectify this with the new G560 gaming speakers. They’ve got a lot of power, but also a lot of RGB. Isn’t that what you want in new speakers?

    The G560 is the first speaker setup from Logitech under its gaming-focused G brand. That’s usually reserved for keyboards, mice, and other gaming peripherals. This is a 2.1 audio setup with a pair of powered satellite speakers and a large standing subwoofer. The specs make the G560 look like a capable setup with peak power of 240 watts and RMS of 120 watts. They have DTS:X Ultra technology to simulate surround sound as well. There’s a full 10-band equalizer in the software settings so you can adjust the sound however you like.

    The LEDs are integrated with the satellites in four different “zones” on the front and back of each speaker. The LEDs are capable of displaying the standard 16.8 million RGB colors. The speakers support Bluetooth streaming, but most of the fancy lighting features require a connection to your computer over USB. There is support for a 3.5mm audio connection, but that limits what you can do. There’s a button on the speakers for quickly switching inputs, so you can have up to four devices connected at once (two BT, one 3.5mm, and one USB).

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    Unlocks All Battlefront 2 Heroes, Removes Pay-to-Win Mechanics



    EA has completely revamped Star Wars: Battlefront 2 as part of an effort to respond to longstanding player grievances and to remove the pay-to-win mechanics that destroyed the game’s reputation before it even hit store shelves last year.
    Where the first Battlefront was an enjoyable, if thin romp through a licensed galaxy far far away, EA promised the second game would deliver deeper play, more vehicles, multiple eras within the Star Wars universe, and a single-player campaign. It even promised to make expansions available to people who bought the base game without splitting the player base between those who shelled out more money for new maps and modes and those who didn’t. So far, so good.

    The enormous amount of negative publicity surrounding Battlefront 2 had a substantial impact on the game’s sales. EA initially reported 9 million sales compared with 10 million expected, but later corrected its own figure and reported approximately roughly 7 million sales. While that’s an excellent figure in its own right, it’s also roughly three million fewer copies than the studio expected.

    If Battlefront 2 is the kind of game you would have purchased if it hadn’t used pay-to-win microtransactions, there’s a strong argument for purchasing it now. Gamers unquestionably sent a message when they refused to buy the game in the first place. Picking up a copy now that the system is gone would tell EA that the problem really was the microtransaction system as opposed to the rest of the title. Of course, some will argue that EA doesn’t deserve a sale under any circumstances for having the gall to try this trick at all. Either way, EA’s decision to scrap pay-to-win microtransactions is a win for the BF2 player base and a lesson the company won’t soon forget — until it does. Despite the happy ending, we’re still talking about EA, after all.

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    Hands On With the HTC Vive Pro

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    Sales momentum in the consumer space for HTC’s Vive VR headset may have been disappointing over the last year. But the company has been doing some brisk business in enterprise applications thanks to its early presence in the market, room-scale tracking, and flexible SDK. From listening to its most active customers and developers, HTC has picked off a few of their most requested features and incorporated them into its new Vive Pro. I had a chance to demo one at Nvidia’s GTC 2018, and found a number of pretty nice improvements.

    The Vive Pro’s headline new feature is its improved resolution. At 1440 x 1600 for each eye, the Vive Pro offers nearly double the pixels of the current version (which is 1080 x 1200 per eye). This is noticeable when looking at surfaces with detailed reflections, or objects in the distance. For enterprise applications, the higher resolution will also help make labels and other text on dashboards and various other types of tools and equipment much easier to read. That will help the headset’s effectiveness in industrial scenarios. It’s still not like looking at a quality 4K monitor, but except for some less-visible screen-dooring, it would hold up okay detail-wise compared with a consumer-quality 1080p monitor.

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    Nvidia Ends Support for 32-bit Operating Systems



    Nvidia has announced that it will end support for 32-bit operating systems this month, including Windows 10. The company states:
    Game Ready Driver upgrades, including performance enhancements, new features, and bug fixes, will be available only on 64-bit operating systems. Critical security updates will be provided for 32-bit operating systems through January 2019… Software upgrades with new features, security updates, and bug fixes will be available only on Windows 64-bit operating systems. Existing features and services such as optimal game settings will continue to work on Windows 32-bit operating systems.
    This change is unlikely to impact many users. The last operating system to enjoy a larger 32-bit market share than 64-bit was Windows Vista. Beginning with Windows 7 in 2009, most machines went 64-bit. There have been exceptions for years — there are probably still a handful of low-end 32-bit netbook SKUs wandering around in various locations — but the Steam Hardware Survey suggests that usage of 32-bit Windows is fractional.

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    Last edited by HiGame; 04-10-2018 at 07:11 AM.
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