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TweakTown News Posts - Page 57

The PlayStation 3 isn't getting left out, gets a new update to 4.80

By: Jeff Williams | More News: Gaming Consoles | Posted: Apr 20, 2016 4:04 pm

Though the PlayStation 4 is nearly half through it's life, Sony isn't quite done with supporting the PS3 just yet and have issued another update to the aging console for those the no doubt sizable amount of people who still own and play it. Update 4.80 is available either through as a manually installed .pup file or via auto-update.




The update is more of a stability update than anything else, with not mention of any included features or specific fixes that it might address. The last update, firmware 4.76 which was released in January of 2016, was also more of a general stability update with the only other mentioned feature being the discontinuation of support for Facebook integration.


There are still a surprising amount of PS3's in the wild that are actually being used. They are still a viable platform for consuming media and even for playing games. The back catalog of great games is rather large and the ability to play more PSOne classics or PS2-era games via backward compatibility is much appreciated, though that's coming to the PS4 slowly but surely. It is, however, nice to see Sony take the time to address any latent issues in the older console because it likely still sells for them now that they're profitable to manufacture for them. The PlayStation 2 lived on well after the PS3 was released in the guise of a smaller device, which sold well in Japan and in the west. It's a natural move, there are plenty of great games to still play on the PS3 even.

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The Xbox 360 is being discontinued

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: Apr 20, 2016 3:24 pm

It's official--the Xbox 360 is done. Microsoft will no longer manufacture new Xbox 360 consoles, so existing inventory is all we have left.




Microsoft today announced that it will be discontinuing the Xbox 360 console, choosing the tenth anniversary to reveal the upsetting news. Microsoft really does have a weird way of celebrating a whole decade of gaming, don't they?


"Xbox 360 means a lot to everyone in Microsoft. And while we've had an amazing run, the realities of manufacturing a product over a decade old are starting to creep up on us. Which is why we have made the decision to stop manufacturing new Xbox 360 consoles. We will continue to sell existing inventory of Xbox 360 consoles, with availability varying by country."

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Maingear's new 15-inch mobile workstation combines Xeons and Maxwell

By: Jeff Williams | More News: Computer Systems | Posted: Apr 20, 2016 3:06 pm

Maingear just added a new 15-inch portable workstation to their lineup of portable powerhouses. The new Pulse 15 Pro combines NVIDIA's Quadro M2000M professional graphics with Intel's mobile Xeon's to make for a very productive, yet thin, mobile workstation.




Maingear has stuffed a lot of fast technology into a very small package with the new Pulse 15 Pro. It's only .75-inches thick but has an Intel Xeon E3-1505M running at 2.6GHz installed with up to 16GB of ECC enabled DDR4-2133MHz RAM and can have up to two Samsung 950 Pro NVMe enabled M.2 drives in RAID 0 for some insane read and write speeds. The shining star, of course, is the Quadro M2000M with 4GB of RAM with 640 CUDA cores capable of accelerating any OpenCL or CUDA workload you might run across. That can drive up to a 4K (2160P) IPS screen. As with all of Maingears products, you can choose from a variety of paint schemes where they apply automotive grade paint to the top cover. This all starts at a $2549.


The idea is that content creators and professionals of all types can use this to properly edit 4K video while on the go. It's also quite useful for anyone that needs a bit of power and the safety of ECC memory. "The Pulse 15 Pro will offer even the most demanding creative professional, with incredible processing power, blazing speed and impeccable graphics performance," said Wallace Santos, CEO and Founder of MAINGEAR. "With 4K video so easily accessible, even some of the most powerful machines can 'hiccup' when rendering it, however we've built this new workstation to effortlessly power through it."

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Netflix says VPN ban uproar is 'inconsequential'

By: Sean Ridgeley | More News: Online Video | Posted: Apr 20, 2016 3:03 pm

Back in January, Netflix began getting serious about cracking down on VPN users, which utilize various software to gain access to other countries' broader catalogues. It made good on its word which has since prompted over 40,000 people to sign a petition demanding the company back off. Despite this, it's not concerned, calling the uproar 'inconsequential' in its earnings call this week.




"It's a very small but quite vocal minority," said CEO Reed Hastings. "So it's really inconsequential to us, as you could see in the Q1 results."


That said, Netflix sympathizes strongly with that minority, having stated publicly many times it eventually wants all of its content to be globally available, thus eliminating the demand for VPNs among its users.

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Consoles have to adapt and evolve to keep up, says Oddworld dev

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: Apr 20, 2016 2:32 pm

The console generation cycle is changing. The days of a new console every 5-7 years are long gone. Now we have iterative mid-cycle upgrades built on existing hardware, with consoles evolving more rapidly and dramatically than they ever have before. According to Oddworld developer Lorne Lanning, this new cycle is a necessity if Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo want to stay competitive.



Sony's new upgraded PlayStation 4.5 console is proof that the console market is changing. To stay relevant and keep up the constantly shifting world of tech, Sony and Microsoft have to adapt. Sony's doing this with the PS4.5, and Microsoft is also experimenting with new Xbox hardware. As such, Oddworld developer Lorne Lanning says that Sony's plan makes sense and that consoles will need to change to stay competitive against other gaming platforms like mobile phones.


"I asked Shu[hei Yoshida] a question...I asked him 'so what's the PS5 look like?' And he said 'you mean IF.' And I was like whoa...He said 'Yeah, it's an if.' He didn't give me a clear answer, but he's hinting at '[Sony] needs to be more agile, and none of us knows what the future holds. So how do we adapt to that fast?' I think that's the right way to think about it. And the idea that you're going to release a piece of technology that lasts for seven years into the future...I think that's less and less viable. Even though generations of platforms seem to last longer, the problem is that, eventually, is that mobiles are going to get more powerful than consoles..."

Continue reading 'Consoles have to adapt and evolve to keep up, says Oddworld dev' (full post)

Sony is unsure if there will ever be a true PlayStation 5 in the works

By: Jeff Williams | More News: Gaming Consoles | Posted: Apr 20, 2016 2:08 pm

Sony is apparently adamant about upgrading their current console, infusing it with more raw power to tap into so to have better looking games at potentially higher resolutions. But isn't that the same thing as simply creating a new console? One would think, but Sony isn't sure that there ever will be a true PlayStation 5 at all.




Back in February of 2015 it seems that a Lorne Lanning, a veteran in the gaming industry, was able to talk to the president of PlayStation, Shuhei Yoshida, at a private dinner following DICE 2015. The question was raised, rightfully, what a PlayStation 5 might just look like. Yoshida countered with an "if", meaning that such an idea was transitory at best. That answer could also have been technically specific, meaning that they were already working on the PS4.5, or Neo, at the time and that in the short-term there were no certainties regarding a specific generational increase.


Just as Microsoft's approach has changed to be more agile and flexible, so too has Sony realized that with PC hardware evolving at the rate it does, they also do to keep up and ensure playability and interest is maintained. Resolution is unfortunately a topic of great interest to gamers and a source of greater consternation, as of late. It does have an effect on how we experience playing, though perhaps not as great as some would have you believe. But if the two big console makers can't compete in terms of resolution, or in performance at those resolutions, then it could potentially lower their market share. More power also means access to other ways to experience gaming, such as AR, and VR as well as being able to have better looking games at more modest resolutions that play faster.

Continue reading 'Sony is unsure if there will ever be a true PlayStation 5 in the works' (full post)

Microsoft in unique position to disrupt Sony's console reign

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: Apr 20, 2016 1:30 pm

Microsoft is a very unique position to sweep in and topple Sony's mighty PlayStation empire--but it'll take lots of careful planning.




Remember back at E3 2013 when Don Mattrick revealed the always-online Xbox One with its non-shareable games? That event nearly demolished the Xbox brand altogether, and it's taken three years for the company to put the pieces back together. Sony won this current generation simply by doing the complete opposite of Microsoft and listening to its consumer base. Now the roles have been reversed--Sony's new PlayStation 4.5 is the company's pre-E3 2013 Xbox One, and Microsoft has found itself in a very advantageous position to steal this generation.


Microsoft has a singular advantage over Sony: the new Windows 10 Dev Mode. This new tool allows devs to make a single game that's playable on both PC and Xbox, alleviating the need for multiple ports. Sony's PlayStation 4.5, on the other hand, is a nightmare for devs because they now have to make two PS4 ports of every game, meaning multi-plat will need four ports (PS4, PS4.5, Xbox One, and PC). Every PS4 game released after October needs to have two versions--a PS4 and a PS4.5 flavor that supports 4K upscaling. As a result of this news, the new PS4.5 is pissing off lots of devs, and BioWare's co-founder even went so far as to say its a "gigantic pain in the ass".

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Peter Jackson thinks that AR is going to be a massive market one day

By: Jeff Williams | More News: Virtual & Augmented Reality | Posted: Apr 20, 2016 1:02 pm

Peter Jackson is incredibly excited about the prospect of bringing, mixed or augmented reality into the cinema sphere. He thinks it's going to be a huge market and add a lot of value to content. The problem is that it's also virgin territory, he says, which comes with its own set of challenges when trying to make it into something we actually want to watch, or play with. There's a lot of trial and error first before it's done right, and that's kind of scary for any filmmaker.




When you're the pioneers of any industry, whether it be in the form of genetically modifying snakes to develop the necessary organs to speak English or through exploring new computing options like quantum computing, there's always some type of resistance to the change you're trying to bring about. That might not be so with something like AR. It's a natural extension and one that we've been exposed to in various science fiction guises for decades now. "This mixed reality is not an extension of 3-D movies. It's something completely different," Jackson told Wired. "Once you can create the illusion of solid objects anywhere you want, you create new entertainment opportunities."


And really, AR is not necessarily new from a practical standpoint either. Games and other apps are already making use of the fact that modern phones and tablets have cameras and using those to display novel information or bring things to life. Ingress is a more modern game made in conjunction with Google by Niantic. It uses geolocation and AR to for its primary story-telling mechanism. PulzAR is a game fro the PS Vita that uses the built-in camera to create custom puzzles on top of real-life objects.

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Sony's new PlayStation Neo is pissing off lots of developers

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: Apr 20, 2016 12:47 pm

As Sony's new PlayStation 4.5 sports hardware upgrades to upscale 1080p games to 4K, gamers are pretty excited about the new console. Finally, we'll be able to hit native 1080p 60FPS in every game, along with light 4K gaming. Developers, on the other hand, aren't too happy about all the extra work they'll have to do.




In today's age of gaming, developers typically have to port games across three systems: PS4, Xbox One, and PC. With Sony's PlayStation 4.5 on the way, that number has been bumped by one. Reports say that all PS4 games made after October must have two versions: a PS4 version, and a new PS4.5 flavor. The new PS4.5 version also has to match the FPS of the base port. Even though the PS4.5 will likely be built on the same basic x86 architecture as the PS4, developers will still have to make tons of adjustments to add in 4K upscaling, on top of getting used to the new hardware.


"A trusted source tells me most developers are not happy with PS4.5, and having to develop around it. Extra cost, planning, other nonsense," says ex-IGN editor and KindaFunnyGames co-founder Colin Moriarty. Since Colin has tons of contacts in the industry, this is probably true. BioWare co-founder Greg Zeschuk mirrors the sentiment, saying that the PS4.5 will be a "gigantic pain in the ass" for developers.

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