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  1. Why next-gen consoles shouldn't focus on 'true 4K' "In the wake of E3, Sony sent over high quality 4K versions of their trailers, allowing us to get a closer, more granular look at how PlayStation 4 Pro is set deliver the next wave of first-party exclusives for owners of ultra HD displays. Technologies like checkerboarding and temporal injection persist and in all cases, the results are impressive. And that's a good thing, as these techniques - or evolved versions of them - are likely to be a component of games designed for the next generation of consoles. By extension, what that also means is that marketing a new PlayStation or Xbox as a 'true 4K' console, or pushing developers to maximise pixel-counts first and foremost, may not be the best idea. So, why should this be the case? After all, 1080p resolution effectively became the standard for the PlayStation 4 generation, a 1:1 pixel match for the majority of the displays the consoles were connected to - and by the time PS5 arrives, 4K will be the new standard. Indeed, in terms of what TVs are available on store shelves, it already is. But this introduces the uncomfortable reality that we'll be looking at the biggest gen-on-gen increase in pixel-count since the transition from PS1 to PS2. Gigantic generational leaps in graphical power were commonplace in the early years of the 21st century, but these days, the gains are more slender. And that's a problem bearing in mind how vast a leap 4K actually is - a jump entirely at odds with increases in resolution seen in almost every prior console generation. Indeed, boosts to pixel count have actually been reducing gen-on-gen as a general trend for over a decade now. PS2 to PS3 saw the jump to high definition, but this still represented a circa 3x boost to the amount of pixels the GPU needed to drive the display. And moving forward to the present day, PS4's 1080p standard represented a 2.25x increase over the PS3's 720p. Were the same increase applied in the next transition, we'd be targeting a 2880x1620 resolution - a mere 56 per cent of the area demanded by our 4K flat panels. Based on the power of the GPUs AMD has delivered and what its roadmaps for future products hint at, a 6x increase in graphics power over PlayStation 4 is conceivable for a next-gen console - 8x at a real stretch, and this ballpark increase in processing power is the general threshold that typically defines a gen-on-gen leap in console performance. However, when looking at prior transitions, the danger in prioritising 'true 4K' across the board is that too much of those extra GPU resources will be spent painting pixels, with not enough power dedicated to providing an actual leap in graphical fidelity - the stuff that actually matters in defining new experiences associated with a new wave of console hardware. In the meantime, let's also put the GPU into context with what we should expect from the rest of the system. We can reasonably assume that the new wave of consoles will feature far more capable CPUs than the current machines - indeed, Xbox chief Phil Spencer has already talked about next-gen as a rebalancing between CPU and GPU power, opening the door to 60fps and perhaps support for 120Hz displays. If we are to assume that today's 30fps PS4 Pro experiences are tomorrow's PS5 60fps titles, doubling frame-rate ensure that a good chunk of the extra GPU power is already spoken for, even before we've looked at boosting resolution or introducing additional features that genuinely provide a generational leap in visual quality or features. Ryzen could also be deployed on simulating far more realistic, more immersive worlds at 30fps - but even then, it'll still need GPU resources to render them, power that won't be available if too much of the graphics core is put to work on servicing the 8.3m pixels on a 4K screen. With all of this in mind, looking at Sony's latest 'smart upscaling' techniques gives us a valuable insight into the ways that developers of next-gen games can still deliver a proper generational leap without expending too much in the way of GPU power on pixel-pushing. In taking a look at the 4K outputs offered by the likes of Death Stranding, Spider-Man, Ghost of Tsushima and The Last of Us Part 2, it's clear that the foundations are there to ensure that next-gen can actually mean next-gen in terms of that boost to visual quality we really want to see. Insomniac's temporal injection technique does a phenomenal job of transforming native 1440p rendering into a presentation worthy of a 4K screen (Ubisoft's For Honor and Bluepoint's Shadow of the Colossus are similarly impressive) while the checkerboarding techniques of Guerrilla Games are second to none. Meanwhile, The Last of Us Part 2 reminds us that temporal stability and an almost complete removal of aliasing go a long way in delivering excellent image quality and that core resolution is only one component in what makes for a great-looking game. TLOU2 is a 1440p game and doubtless it would look cleaner running at a higher resolution, but there's no denying that you can see where the GPU power is going and that the trade is obviously worthwhile. It's also worth taking a look at Guerrilla Games and Kojima Productions' presentation on the Decima Engine, which outlines how 2160p output is achieved, along with quality examples showing the base console's 1080p image, a prospective Pro 1512p output (the highest the team could push native resolution) along with the checkerboard result. Stacked up against an actual 2160p render with 16x super-sampling (!), Guerrilla's engineers get very close in terms of replicating detail, only compromising on sharpness - a topic the team discussed with Digital Foundry previously. If Guerrilla can produce this kind of image quality and 'bang for the buck' on PS4 Pro, just think about the enhanced techniques it could deliver with more powerful hardware. And let's remember that these results are achieved with relatively slight hardware resources. To scale effectively from 1080p rendering to PS4 Pro's 4K output with only a 2.3x boost to compute, a 24 per cent increase in bandwidth and just an extra 512MB of RAM is a remarkable achievement. It's also worth remembering that what we're seeing today in terms of smart upscaling solutions may only be an intermediate step in the journey, with improved techniques to come. After all, PS4 Pro's checkerboarding is based in part on reprojection techniques first seen in the multiplayer segment of Killzone Shadow Fall, which extrapolated a 1920x1080 output from a native framebuffer based on half that pixel count. With the experience gained from Pro development combined with more lavish GPU resources, more bandwidth and more RAM, we should expect even more in the generation to come. Of course, the main challenge facing the platform holders here is ensuring that the kind of results seen from Sony first-parties is accessible across the board to all developers. Pro was initially designed to offer 4K display support to game-makers without the requirement for a lot of development time. However, great checkerboarding solutions from the likes of Guerrilla Games and Housemarque (seriously, check out Resogun on PS4 Pro) took months to properly implement. Meanwhile, too many Pro titles have simply stuck to pushing native resolution to 1440p or thereabouts, while Xbox One X has delivered the power to push more games more closely to native 4K. It turned out that pure horsepower was easier to work with than the implementation of these smart upscaling techniques and that's something that needs to be addressed. As Mark Cerny and his Sony team continue to architect PlayStation 5, that's an outstanding issue that we hope to see addressed. As a proof of concept, the engineering team can look back on PS4 Pro as a genuine success in terms of disrupting the relationship between output resolution and the GPU power required to get the job done. In fact, many of the techniques pioneered on for PlayStation 4 Pro ended up being deployed on Xbox One X in a range of titles, demonstrating that even when you do have a significant power advantage, technologies like checkerboarding and temporal super-sampling do have a role to play, in addition to more established techniques like dynamic resolution scaling. The question is whether the platform holders should invest more silicon in bespoke hardware - like the Pro's id buffer - or to continue to leave the work to developers. 4K displays will be the standard within the lifespan of PlayStation 5, so as difficult as it may be in terms of engine integration, further hardware support at the silicon level could pay dividends. So, does this mean that we're advocating that no next-gen games should run at 4K? Obviously not. Take the Forza Motorsport franchise, for example. Turn 10 prides itself on running at native resolution. It believes that precision, clean lines and a pristine presentation are a crucial part of the series' DNA - it's key to the developer's vision for the game. But similar to 60fps rendering in the current generation, it's a design goal built into the technology at a very early stage of development and compromises are made. But equally, this generation has also seen many studios move to a more photo-realistic, filmic aesthetic and as Spider-Man and The Last of Us Part 2 demonstrate in particular, the importance of native rendering resolution isn't so pronounced - and this kind of aesthetic can integrate beautifully with smart upscaling techniques. The big takeaway here from my point of view is clear - next-gen hardware design and marketing shouldn't really be defined by native resolution. It was a key point of differentiation for Microsoft with Xbox One X, for a product very much aimed at a hardcore niche looking to get the best out of their expensive new TV purchases - but the new wave of machines will need the mainstream appeal that propelled PlayStation 4 to over 80 million sales. The display upgrade in itself is no longer the focus of the experience and 4K screens can be addressed more efficiently without the need to focus on native resolution rendering. And that in turn opens the door to a more profound question: just what is next-gen? What are the new ideas that'll shift new hardware? It'll be fascinating to see what Sony and Microsoft come up with, but it'll almost certainly be the case that to achieve these goals, technologies like checkerboarding, temporal super-sampling and dynamic resolution will have a big part to play."
  2. Just pick a number 1-50 whoever is closest or guesses it by 5pm pt gets their choice of any game up to $60 Go!
  3. Eurogamer interviewed Ben Wanat, who was creative director of Dead Space and is now creative director at Crystal Dynamics, and he shared some of his insights into what Dead Space 4 would've been like.
  4. We might as well get Day One Patch Version 2.0/Bad Cartridge Version 3.0 off to the right start with a giveaway! This one is gonna have one rule though: in order to be eligible, you gotta have an avatar! So get one and post in this thread to participate!
  5. Curious if we need to contact anybody else. @Bloodporne @maddux4163 Did you guys manage to make the move? Anyone else missing?
  6. Players in the Netherlands and Belgium “will be restricted from opening containers” following this week’s patch. This will prevent players in those countries from directly engaging with loot boxes, presumably in observance of Dutch and Belgian gambling law. Trading and Marketplace features have been re-enabled in the Netherlands, as well.
  7. Next game will not be revealed for some time and will not be at San Diego Comic-Con.. So we probably have to wait until E3 2019? Do you guys think it will be the next Superman game or something else? https://heroichollywood.com/rocksteady-games-superman-sdcc/
  8. Epic announced "a sweeping change" to the marketplace yesterday that will boost creators' take on their sales to 88 percent, a significantly above-standard rate increase that applies to all transactions going forward—and (this is the really good bit) to all previous transactions as well, all the way back to the launch of the UE Marketplace in 2014.
  9. https://www.npd.com/wps/portal/npd/us/blog/2018/video-game-industry-predictions-for-holiday-2018/ First, a summary of the bustling video game market: Now the predictions: Driven by the launches of Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu!, Pokemon: Let’s Go, Eevee! and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Nintendo Switch will be the best-selling console of the fourth quarter and year in unit sales. By year’s end, the time aligned installed base of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One will exceed that of the PlayStation 2 and Xbox by 6 percent and will be ahead of the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 by at least 30 percent. All three current generation consoles will each generate at least 4m units sold in 2018. Headset and gamepad sales will continue to show very strong growth rates through the rest of 2018, with high double-digit growth shown in the fourth quarter for both accessory types. Physical video game title release count will exceed 400 unique titles, finishing the year up at least 15 percent when compared to 2017. Physical video game software dollar sales will finish the year with growth of at least 8 percent when compared to a year ago, while digital full-game sales will continue to grow at double digit percentage rates.
  10. Now that it owns the IP, Kalypso says it will develop new Commandos games "for all platforms", as well as release "an extensive adaptation of the existing titles for contemporary technologies and platform
  11. Holy fuck. This is why Fortnite is easily the best BR game out there. The amount of support this game gets is insane. https://www.epicgames.com/fortnite/en-US/patch-notes/v5-0?sessionInvalidated=true There are quite a few things added and changed. I love that the progression stuff will no longer be tied to a single season and will now be based on XP, rather than season level. I had enough vbucks to buy the Season 5 Battle Pass, but gave them an extra $10 to get the Season 5 Battle Pass bundle. They earned my money.
  12. Dark Souls level design and tactical drunkenness meet in The Bard's Tale IV (PCGamesN) When designing new dungeon-based levels in games, there’s a single, inescapable shadow that looms over everything: Dark Souls. There’s no denying the impact game director Hidetaka Miyazaki has had on RPGs. Further evidence comes in the form of The Bard’s Tale IV: Barrows Deep, which, despite being from the other side of the roleplaying spectrum, owes some of its sensibilities to FromSoftware’s giant. The Bard’s Tale IV is a rough but compelling take on first-person puzzle-dungeons (RPS) I’ll be frank: The Bard’s Tale IV looks like what I’d expect to see if I found a DVD-ROM from 2005 with ‘Legend of Fantasy: Mages & Goblins’ scrawled on it. My every instinct, after the first few minutes with it, was to run screaming from its Bratz doll faces and onslaught of fol-de-rol. Books, covers and all that, though: underneath its soupy presentation, the first few hours of Wasteland 2/Torment: Wives Of Hans Gruber studio inXile’s latest act of Kickstarted ancient RPG necromancy are an enticing blend of roleplaying old and new, and of monster-bothering and puzzle-solving. The Bard’s Tale 4 is a boozy, sing-song world of fun (Polygon) The Bard’s Tale 4 feels like a work of love, celebrating the basic tenets of RPGdom, while providing a pleasing visual and auditory world appropriate to modern gaming. It demands a commitment to detail, and a taste for turn-based combat. But that’s what we all signed up for. I doubt those early access players will be disappointed. A few hours in, The Bard's Tale 4 is a captivating dungeon crawler (PC Gamer) Three hours into the beta of The Bard's Tale 4, I realized how late I'd stayed up puzzling my way through the labyrinth beneath a wizard's castle and thought: Damn, this is a really good dungeon. I was engrossed. For the first time, my surrounds were beautiful and fantastical: ethereal light from tall windows cutting through the haze, elaborate gilded statues lining the halls, secret passages rumbling open in innocuous stone walls. The puzzles were clever and quickly escalated from gimmes to satisfying headscratchers. While it takes a couple hours to get going, this feels like exactly the game I hoped The Bard's tale 4 would be: a proper dungeon crawler with a creative combat system that doesn't feel beholden to the past.
  13. FFS fucking hacks. https://www.pcgamer.com/code-vein-delayed-to-2019/ "Code Vein has received an enormous amount of positive feedback from eager fans who have received hands-on time with in-development versions of the game over the past nine months," says Hervé Hoerdt, Vice President of Marketing and Digital at Bandai Namco Europe. "Armed with knowledge of how well the game has already been received, we made the decision to postpone the release of Code Vein to further refine its gameplay in an effort to exceed the expectations fans already have of the title. It was a difficult decision to make, but we feel it is the correct one."
  14. Just to preempt any of you, Switch will not be part of this. I have handhelds that I love (Game Gear, Game Boy, Neo Geo Pocket: Colour) but I think we an all agree that DS Lite is H.O.A.T. A great library, backwards compatibility with the GBA and the library is pretty special. Even writing my non-words about it, makes me want to buy a new one (I last owned one in I think 2009) and indulge in some N64 level, 2 screen gaming.
  15. I guess there was some shit people didn't like about this most recent GW2 update some shit happened. So, there is this big as wall of text that I don't know if it is actually worth reading, but a GW2 partner and content creator named, Deroir responded to this with some decent criticism. And well, Jessica Price, an ArenaNet Narrative team member, did not like what he had to say. This is just the wall of text. Read it you want. Below is where the drama starts. This is where the drama starts. This is just a copy and paste from reddit. Deroir: Jessica Price: Deroir: This is the context for the linked tweet: Jessica Price: TL;DR: Long explanation how and why the PC in GW2 can't have many character traits (he has to be a "blank slate" for the player) by an ANet narrative dev. Someone disagrees and gets complained about. Well, the community got pissed at the dev for crying sexism and then she got fired, along with another person who defended her statements. https://en-forum.guildwars2.com/discussion/comment/586426#Comment_586426 I jacked all this shit from reddit so here the links. Article from TenTon Hammer. http://www.tentonhammer.com/news/guild-wars-2-lurches-to-yet-another-pr-nightmare
  16. I just recently started playing Shadow of War. I initially didn't buy it because I was scared off from all the loot box talk. Then I purchased it on a sale this spring and about a week ago finally dove in. I enjoyed the first game in the series. My thoughts so far - - I think the frequency of fighting the boss characters (whatever they are called) is a little too high. Early on I died several times because while I was fighting one - two more pop in to the fight. Early in the game you don't have the tools to fend off that many enemies. Which feeds directly into my second point. - I hate in games like this (batman series, AC series etc) that you start the game somehow forgetting or losing all of your abilities from the previous game. In this game they come up with a reason for not being able to dominate other characters until part 2, but that does not explain the loss of every other ability. It feels like the first quarter of all these games is playing through the exact same origin story again. Learning all the same abilities that you already earned in the previous game. I know for new players to the series it is a good introduction because there are a lot of things to know once you can do everything... but it really feels like filler when I'm slogging through it. -About the time that part 2 begins I really started to enjoy the game. Being assaulted by multiple bosses at once isn't a problem any longer it is more of a welcome challenge because I finally have the majority of tools available to me to handle crowds. I love attacking a group by using stealth and dominating all the archers in an area. I love the feel of the fights. They did a good job nailing the flow of fights. -Graphics are pretty good. Just came off playing Hellblade and it does not look quite as good as that - but very good. Also the variation in enemy type is great. I love all the different sizes and types of baddies to fight. Things have not gotten boring so far... but I have a ways to go yet. -If a problem exists with loot boxes I haven't run into it yet. From my understanding it is and end game issue and many of you said it isn't an issue at all so I guess I will see.
  17. AI agents continue to rack up wins in the video game world. Last week, OpenAI’s bots were playing Dota 2; this week, it’s Quake III, with a team of researchers from Google’s DeepMind subsidiary successfully training agents that can beat humans at a game of capture the flag.
  18. Graphics wise, available on Pro or X1X. Since we got the blu ray thread for Sporks new OLED, figured I needed a gaming thread for my new OLED coming soon. Need to know what games are really going to pop in 4K
  19. Here's a Metacritic list of the highest rated games of 2018. Here's a look at some well-known and lesser-known editors' picks on Metacritic as well.
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