Category Archives: Tech

Microsoft: Xbox One GPU speed increased since E3

Microsoft have increased the GPU speed of the Xbox One, as well as some additions to the console.

Today, on the Major Nelson podcast, Microsoft vice president Marc Whitten spoke about some of the changes and additions they have been making to the Xbox One development kits since the Electronic Entertainment Expo.

“This is the time, and this is the thing I think people are going to see as we get into Gamescom and people get their first look at new things since E3,” said Whitten. “This is the time where developers have the final dev kits in their hands, they’re really working closely with us on how things have come together. There’s some things that have really started to come together quite well.”

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“Since E3, an example is that we’ve dropped in what we internally call our mono driver,” Whitten added. “It’s our graphics driver that really is 100 percent optimised for the Xbox One hardware. You start with the base [DirectX] driver, and then you take out all parts that don’t look like Xbox One and you add in everything that really optimises that experience. Almost all of our content partners have really picked it up now, and I think it’s made a really nice improvement.”

“This is the time where we’ve gone from the theory of how the hardware works–what do we think the yield is going to look like, what is the thermal envelope, how do things come together–to really having them in our hands. That’s the time where you start tweaking the knobs. Either your theory was right dead on, or you were a little too conservative, or you were a little too aggressive. It’s actually been really good news for us, and an example of that is we’ve tweaked up the clock speed on our GPU from 800mhz to 853mhz.”

Microsoft hasn’t lost focus, we should be excited

“I know the tech technically exists, but having it–entertainment and gaming–all integrated and in one place is really great.”

When Microsoft announced the original Xbox, it envisioned a device as “the center of the living room.” Fast-forward to the Xbox One announcement, everything seems to be in place.

But, many have already mentioned the #XboxReveal event as a “beginning of the end” for Microsoft, stating that it has “lost focus.” However, believe it or not, that was never the purpose of a Microsoft gaming console. Microsoft has always wanted its consoles to be the ultimate “all-in-one” entertainment machine with outstanding content.

8774876542 db448971d8 o Microsoft hasnt lost focus, we should be excited
With that being said, I completely understand the outcry from the Xbox fan base. But, this doesn’t mean the Xbox isn’t about gaming. Microsoft has always been about creating and delivering content–anything to keep players and consumers interested in its console.

“I know the tech technically exists, but having it–entertainment and gaming–all integrated and in one place is really great,” said an interested costumer about the Xbox One. It’s with this statement; I bring you the reason behind the #XboxReveal event.

However, the real statement here is: “Why would the hardcore gamer be interested in a TV/Xbox console?” Because, at its core, the Xbox One is an extremely powerful gaming device. And I believe that’s what many of us missed throughout the event. Think of it this way: this press conference was primarily about the upcoming long-rumored Apple vs. Microsoft war for living rooms. In fact, that’s what Apple news blogs have been talking about since the X1 reveal. E3 will be about console wars.

Microsoft introduces Xbox One

8774876542 db448971d8 o Microsoft introduces Xbox One

It’s finally official.

Microsoft have announced the Xbox One, the “future” of gaming and the next Xbox. The next-generation platform is expected to launch later this year, and is boasted to be an “all-in-one experience” that pushes the boundaries of realism.

“Xbox One is designed to deliver a whole new generation of blockbuster games, television and entertainment in a powerful, all-in-one device,” said Microsoft president Don Mattrick. “Our unique, modern architecture brings simplicity to the living room and, for the first time ever, the ability to instantly switch across your games and entertainment.”

Nintendo centralizes, blending hardware development

Nintendo is centralizing its hardware development. According to a Nikkei report, Nintendo plans to merge both its console and handheld divisions into one with the investment of $340 million in a new Kyoto development facility.

The structural shift is intended to speed up hardware development on both sides, and introduce a mechanism that will allow both the 3DS and WiiU to coexist in the same space.

CES 2013: Nvidia Announces A New Gaming Handheld

original 1 CES 2013: Nvidia Announces A New Gaming Handheld

Out of left field, Nvidia announced a dedicated gaming handheld, of all things.

Code-named Nvidia Shield, Nvidia announced the device at its CES press conference. The device features lithium batteries that have 38 hours of battery life with a clamshell design, and is based on the Terga 4 mobile chip.

Nvidia Shield is an Android-based device. In addition to an HDMI port, the system also has a micro SD slot, micro USB slot and a headphone jack. On the controller itself is a HD touch screen that is based on a clamshell design.

As well as Android apps and games, The Shield will also allow gamers to access games installed on their home PC for play on the Shield’s screen.

 CES 2013: Nvidia Announces A New Gaming Handheld

Star Wars: The Old Republic Expands In Spring 2013

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BioWare’s free-to-play MMORPG, Star Wars: The Old Republic, will be getting its first proper expansion pack in spring 2013, said a post on the game’s official website.

The expansion, entitled Rise of the Hutt Cartel, introduces a new set of story missions, on a new planet named Makeb and a five-level boost to the level cap — upping the ceiling to 55. However, the final release date isn’t set.

Why Neon Alley Impressed Me

236023 AnimePS3 300x169 Why Neon Alley Impressed MeRecently, Viz Media took a leap into the streaming business with Neon Alley, an amine streaming application available on the PlayStation Network. And, thanks of some black market business deals, I got an extended look with the application and to say the least, I was absolutely surprised.

First and foremost, Neon Alley is an application dedicated to a small market of avid anime watchers on the PlayStation Network. I believe that Viz Media’s planning to expand the service, but right now they’re just testing the waters; building a following on PSN with the application before going onto bigger things.

“I mean, they even play Death Note! What more do you want from ANY anime channel.”

Anyway, during my time with the application, I could tell that the product was in the beginning stage. It was noticeable because there wasn’t any episode viewable in high definition, atleast during the time view it. It’s not to knock the service in any shape or form — it’s better then stretching the episode to fit the screen. That being said, there’s nothing that could be said about the quality other than that it will get better with time.

My only real knock on the application is that its only available on PSN. Neon Alley is prefect for multiple devices, preferably any mobile device. It just seems that having to jump start your PlayStation 3 just to watch this Neon Alley is a bit of a task. But, that seems to be the ideals of the person watching it.

Anyway, I’m not going to talk about the price because well everyone has a different financially situation, but for level of content that you’re getting $6.99 shouldn’t keep you back from subscribing to the application. That being said, Neon Alley isn’t the Netflix amine application. However, what it is, is entertainment at the hardcore level. I mean, they even play Death Note!

 Why Neon Alley Impressed Me

Halo 4 is banning users across Xbox Live [Update]

343 Industries have posted a notice on Twitter, for those who are playing Halo 4 early, that a “technical glitch” is causing players to be banned across Xbox Live.

People affected by the ban not only include people who have gained access to the game legally, but also illegally. 343 Industries along with Microsoft are working on fixing the problem as we speak.

“Some folks playing Halo 4 today were banned in-game on accident. Technical glitch. We’re working on the fix and so sorry for the error,” read a tweet on the official Halo Waypoint Twitter feed.

Update: Microsoft have fixed the problem. 

DayZ on consoles is “a nature progression”

dayz DayZ on consoles is a nature progression

At one of the Eurogamer Expo development sessions, Bohemia Interactive lead designer Dean Hall commented about the standalone version of DayZ coming to consoles.

“I believe, that all comes down to how many sales we need to make it viable,” said Hall when questioned about taking DayZ beyond just the PC. Hall then adds that “it is a nature progression” in the sense of the expansion of any product.