In a recent r/IAmA, computer innovator Bill Gates was asked if he believed technology was making human beings less intelligent.
“Technology is not making people less intelligent,” said Gates.
“If you just look at the complexity people like in Entertainment you can see a big change over my lifetime. Technology is letting people get their questions answered better so they stay more curious. It makes it easier to know a lot of topics which turns out to be pretty important to contribute to solving complex problems.”
Gates then went on to talk about Microsoft’s latest invention the Hololens, and how he believes, in a few more years, there would be software that would really make it a reality.
“The Hololens is pretty amazing. Microsoft has put a lot into the chips and the software. It is the start of virtual reality. Continue reading
Phil Spencer head of Xbox has revealed that Microsoft knew about DirectX 12 when designing the Xbox One.
This is interesting news because it could possibly vindicate Microsoft for alot of its technical moves on the console. However, it doesn’t mean everything will dramatically improve graphically on the console.
“On the DX12 question, I was asked early on by people if DX12 is gonna dramatically change the graphics capabilities of Xbox One and I said it wouldn’t,” said Spencer back in November. Continue reading
At the live Windows 10 event, Microsoft detailed DirectX 12 API.
DirectX 12 is said to give more control to developers, with more complexity and better frame rate performance in comparison to its predecessor DirectX 11, said Microsoft’s Phil Spencer.
Spencer also stated that DirectX 12 is said to cut the power consumption in half, allowing developers to create “amazing scenes on screens.” He also added that DirectX 12 enables more mobile devices to run “high-end” mobile games.
Spencer also mentioned that Unreal Engine 4 and Unity already support DirectX 12, and that developers are already developing with it.
At the annual State of the Union Address, President Barrack Obama encouraged legislation that would give companies more tools to combat cyber threats.
The proposal follows a number of cyber attacks on Target, Staples and most recently Sony Pictures–an attack which North Korea took credit.
“No foreign nation, no hacker, should be able to shut down our networks, steal our trade secrets, or invade the privacy of American families, especially our kids,” said President Obama.
“We are making sure our government integrates intelligence to combat cyber threats, just as we have done to combat terrorism. And tonight, I urge this Congress to finally pass the legislation we need to better meet the evolving threat of cyber-attacks, combat identity theft, and protect our children’s information.” Continue reading
Eidos Montreal, known for Thief and Deus Ex: Human Revolution, have unveiled its brand new engine called Dawn Engine, a “state of the art game engine that will be the cornerstone to the development of the Deus Ex Universe projects at the studio.”
Based on a a heavily modified version of IO Interactive’s Glacier 2 engine, which was used to develop Hitman Absolution, the Dawn Engine features improved rendering capabilities, real-time physics, and advanced artificial intelligence programming.
“The technology behind any game is a key component in ensuring that gamers are able to develop both an emotional and visceral connection to what they are experiencing within the game world,” said David Anfossi studio head at Eidos-Montréal.
“We’ve worked tirelessly over the last few years developing this engine, building upon and improving both the visual and immersive artistry in our games. We truly believe that our engine will help us to strengthen both the gameplay and storytelling experiences we strive to create.”
In conjunction to the Windows 10 reveal event held in January, Microsoft also plans on showcasing changes to the Xbox One dashboard that are more in-line with Windows 10.
According to Microsoft Product Reviews, the rumored dashboard update would feature the ability to run Universal apps on the console. Even thought its just a rumor at this point, Microsoft is expected to release a statement regarding this event sometime in December.
Major Nelson said recently that Microsoft would be ramping down the severity of November and Decembers updates for the Holidays. So, it could be more that possible that Microsoft would indeed be working on something else under the hood.
Carl Ledbetter, the man behind the team that designed the Xbox One, recently responded to claims that the console is too bulky. In a recent interview, Ledbetter explained the design choice and why he believes it had to be bulky.
“Everybody gets frustrated, because what we want is for everything to be wafer thin, not get hot and just be a snap to put together,” Ledbetter told MCV. “But the reality is that there are very real issues around cooling when you’re pushing some number of watts in the processor, therefore the thing has to have some size to it. There’s always an interesting dynamic between engineering and design, and constraints around performance.”
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.”
“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.”
“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.
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.