Greetings NAGacites, and thank you for coming back for This Week In Gaming. Unless, of course, you’re scrolling straight past this, in which case I retract my thank you and wish a swarm of bees on your genitals instead. This week we’re talking a slimmer and cooler Xbox One, Oculus Rift, female gamers outnumbering men and YouTube makes a much needed improvement.
AMD has been working hard at the Xbox One CPU, and have managed to come up with a processor that is smaller, cheaper and cooler than the current one.
It’s also likely faster, according to the manufacturer. While the old CPU was a bulky 28nm (meaning every transistor is a rather large 28 thousand-millionths of a meter), the new hotness is only 20nm.
What does this mean for consumers? It opens the door on a possible “slim” Xbox One, in the style we’ve seen with the previous generation consoles.
Not only is the CPU itself a lot cheaper to manufacture, it being smaller and cooler means cost reductions in the rest of the console manufacturing as well. Keep an eye out for a better, cheaper console in the future – although when that might come is hard to say, Microsoft is looking at making other improvements as well, possibly to the RAM.
In a column this week I lamented the fact that YouTube displays videos in 30fps, meaning that showing off the superiority of 60fps is harder to do using that medium.
However, the site now supports playback at 60fps (on Chrome only, for now), which will make gaming videos and such look a whole lot better. For now, you can check out this footage of Uncharted 3 running at 60fps (despite the actual game being capped at 30).
Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg said this week that in order to be “meaningful”, Oculus Rift will need to sell 50 to 100 million units. So, no big deal then.
Zuckerberg isn’t completely delusional though, saying that he believes it would take several years and a few cycles of the Rift to get that kind of uptake. Playing the long game then, I guess he’s got time – he’s what, 17 now?
Zuckerberg has already said he thinks the Rift is destined for much more than my games, a sentiment I echoed – I think ultimately this isn’t going to be anything more than a niche gaming device.
So NAGlings, can the Rift pull those kinds of numbers or has Zuckerberg been smoking whatever kinds of illegal substances several billion dollars can buy?
Women in gaming is a hot topic right now, but many believe that female gamers make up a tiny percentage of the total, unless you’re counting crap like Farmville and Candy Crush.
While it may true that women play more social/casual games than men, new research shows that in the US, women play more PC games than men – by a hair, with 50.2 percent of the total.
Again, this isn’t casual crap – in fact, women play more RPGs than men do. Predictably, the macho segment plays more FPS games, but not as much as you might think – we only beat the fairer sex with 66 percent.
Female gamers are a reality – women are playing games, and lots of them.
Oh, DriveClub. Back in the news again, this time to tell everyone that the “majority of players” can now actually get online and race.
Ouch. Pretty damned poor form for weeks after launch, and again I’m left asking myself if this couldn’t have been easily prevented with a little more money and a little more effort.
Or a lot of those things, but whatever, having a game that’s unplayable for this long is just unacceptable. Not even mentioning the PS Plus version.
Actually, scrap that – let’s mention that. After weeks of postponement and promises they’re working on it, Sony’s big cheese Shuhei Yoshida has come out and said that the game is postponed until further notice.
In his words, the road to launch has been “a little rocky” (lol) and they just don’t have a time frame right now. Pretty disappointing end to the saga for a lot of impatient fans, but hey, you can always buy the game and hope you’re part of the “majority” that can actually play it.
The Evil Within got a lot of flak for releasing a PC version with a 30fps cap, but the developer has this week released a patch which will let gamers “toggle” between a 30 and 60fps cap.
It’s nice to get a frame rate that should have been in the original release and all, but why are they still essentially forcing players to have vertical sync turned on?
The game reportedly manages to crank out 60fps now without the same game-breaking glitches as before, but I still just can’t understand why they won’t let people run the game at whatever frame rate they want. Feels fishy to me, honestly. What say you, NAG collective?
Destiny has been suffering from a few bugs and glitches itself, and also just got patched.
Unfortunately, that patch appears to have done more harm than good. According to a host of angry gamers across the interwebs, players are still experiencing a bevy of issues. Oops?
As you all know I had a mouse and keyboard in my tiny, useless hands before my first birthday, so I can’t comment too much on Destiny-related bugs. Have any of you been experiencing problems?
Assassin’s Creed Unity got a new trailer this week, crazily jumping from the French Revolution to World War 2. There’s all kinds of gun and parkour actions as well, sweet!
More AAA action; our first proper look at Far Cry 4’s competitive multiplayer, Battles of Kyrat. What does it feature? Watch the video, ya lazy bastards.
Not to be outdone, Activision have thrown some more money at Call of Duty Advanced Warfare, this time in the form of a live-action trailer. It’s directed by hotshot Hollywood man Peter Berg as well – no Kevin Spacey though.
Finally we have a launch trailer for Halo 2 Anniversary, showing off some of the game’s brand new cutscenes. So pwetty.
Best of NAG
Let’s kick things off with a bit of hate, shall we? Rick de Klerk talks Hatred this week, and questions whether there’s any value to be garnered from the much-maligned, controversial game.
Moving on to some actual real hate, I dedicated my column space this week to talking about the battle between 30 and 60fps, and why I’m very uncomfortable with us accepting 30fps as the new standard.
It feels like we’re pretty inundated with driving games at the moment, is there room for one more? Project Cars hopes so, and Wesley Fick seems pretty impressed with the latest trailer. Check it out.
Last, and least least (so, most?) is the latest issue of the NAG magazine which is totally available right now. You can see the dapper cover and get a glimpse of what’s inside right over here.