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TweakTown News Posts - Page 85

AMD announces it has an estimated 83% share of global VR system market

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Virtual & Augmented Reality | Posted: Mar 14, 2016 4:46 pm

GDC 2016 - AMD has announced that it has made strides in the VR market already, with Yahoo finance reporting that AMD is powering an estimated 83% of the global VR market. AMD only just announced minutes ago that it powered the new Sulon Q headset.




This number includes the PlayStation VR, with the PS4 powered by AMD technology. When it comes to the PC side of things, AMD is partnering with both Oculus and HTC for the Rift and Vive respectively, with the company ensuring the Radeon ecosystem is ready to rock and roll when these headsets launch in the next month.


Later today, AMD will be displaying its Polaris 10 GPU running on Valve's Aperture Science Robot Repair demo, which is powered by the HTC Vive. AMD's Polaris 10 GPU is powered by the exciting new 14nm FinFET process, featuring support for both DX12 and VR - and includes HDR monitor support, and impressive performance-per-watt numbers.

AMD powers a new 'spatially aware' VR/AR headset, partnered with Sulon

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Virtual & Augmented Reality | Posted: Mar 14, 2016 4:35 pm

GDC 2016 - AMD's commitment to VR is pretty damn strong, with the company announcing a partnership with Sulon Technologies for a new "spatially aware" head-mounted display. The new Sulon Q is powered by AMD technology, and will blend the world's of VR and AR.



AMD explains the Sulon Q as the "first and only all-in-one, tether-free, 'wear and play' spatially aware headset for VR and AR". The description for the Sulon Q reads: "When you experience augmented reality the Sulon way, your physical world is not replaced, its enhanced. Everywhere you look your full field of view is the physical world you know, seamlessly augmented with new realities. It s the best of both world's, literally".


The Sulon Q is powered by an AMD FX-8800P processor with Radeon R7 graphics that will make use of AMD's GCN architecture. Sulon Technolgoies CEO, Dhan Balachand explains: "The full performance of 4 compute cores and 8 GPU cores are unlocked through a revolutionary Heterogeneous System Architecture (HSA), enabling the cores to share memory to work together for dramatic performance and efficiency. The result is a solution that is optimized for modern workloads and media formats, capable of driving the latest graphics APIs including DirectX 12 and Vulkan, and able to render stunning video game console-quality visuals on a beautiful 2560x1440 OLED display".

Continue reading 'AMD powers a new 'spatially aware' VR/AR headset, partnered with Sulon' (full post)

AMD rumored to tease next-gen Polaris 10 GPU later today

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Video Cards | Posted: Mar 14, 2016 4:09 pm

GDC 2016 - Just as I'm getting ready to leave my Airbnb accommodation and pick up my GDC pass, and then later in the afternoon head to AMD's Capsaicin event - the company will reportedly be teasing its Polaris 10 GPU at the event, running on a SteamVR benchmark.




The company will be unveiling its new Radeon Pro Duo video card during the event, with it based on two Fiji GPUs offering 12TFlops of performance - making it the perfect card for VR and 4K gaming. AMD will be using the next-gen Polaris 10 GPU running on Valve's Aperture Science Robot Repair which will be powered by the HTC Vive Pre headset.


Polaris 10 looks like the same GPU showed off at CES 2016 and the RTG event in Sonoma in December, which will compete against the likes of GeForce GTX 950. The Polaris 10 will be an entry-level/mainstream part based on the 14nm FinFET process with GCN 4.0 enhancements. As for availability, it should launch in mid-2016 right around the time of Computex - so expect plenty of new entry-level/mainstream laptops to be powered by Polaris 10.


AMD is livestreaming its Capsaicin event which kicks off today at 4PM PST, which you can check out here.

Qualcomm is releasing their own VR SDK for the Snapdragon 820

By: Jeff Williams | More News: Virtual & Augmented Reality | Posted: Mar 14, 2016 3:53 pm

You might already be potentially experiencing some of the best mobile VR on a Qualcomm chipset. It's inevitable with the kind of market share that they enjoy, but they want to make sure that the 3D enabled apps that you're using have the chance to be the absolute best when paired with the Snapdragon 820 with their new VR SDK.




Virtual and augmented reality are becoming more and more complex works of art, taking advantage of the creativity of their creators, becoming vivid abstractions of our minds eye. Btu all of that requires processing power, and access to the underlying hardware in easy to use, low-overhead ways. To do that we need SDK's that allow for that. That's precisesly what Qualcomm's new VR SDK sets out to do. Allow VR app and content creators to design into their apps the ability to take advantage of the inherent advantages of their processor.


One of the most important aspects is the reduction in latency from what's being rendered and what you see. If there's too much, speaking in the realm of milliseconds here, then it can cause a huge disconnect and contribute to motion sickness. Using the SDK provides a nice and healthy 50% decrease in latency compared to not using it. They've also allowed lower-level access to the DPS and have built-in lens correction functions. Another great feature of the SDK is a native way to generate menus and other overlays in apps so that they can actually be rendered correctly.

Continue reading 'Qualcomm is releasing their own VR SDK for the Snapdragon 820' (full post)

Light up your bathroom with the IllumiBowl

By: TweakTown Deals | More News: Deals | Posted: Mar 14, 2016 3:10 pm



Going to the bathroom in the middle of the night in the dark is something Morning You usually regrets. But turning on the light makes it that much harder to fall back asleep and get back to your dream about being BFFs with George Clooney. Get the best of both world's-the IllumiBowl toilet night light is $16.99 at TweakTown Deals.


Just snap the night light to the rim and it'll automatically turn on when you walk into the bathroom. Choose from eight different colors and patterns to add a little party to your pee break, either rotating between the eight or setting it to your favorite. Either way, you'll have enough light not to miss the bowl...and not so much light that you toss and turn the rest of the night.


Get the IllumiBowl toilet night light for $16.99 at TweakTown Deals.

New Gears of War: Ultimate Edition patch incoming, finally fixed

By: Jeff Williams | More News: Gaming | Posted: Mar 14, 2016 3:07 pm

Gears of War: Ultimate Edition for the PC got off to a pretty bad start when it was released at the beginning of the month. It was a complete mess for AMD cards and a slightly smaller mess for NVIDIA cards. DirectX 12 was there, but it didn't quite provide the performance boost that we thought, and expected, it would. But a new patch coming out soon should prove to fix quite a few of the more worse problems.




This new update will include a lot of performance optimizations, tweak Ambient Occlusion and disable mouse smoothing, some of the most requested additions to the game. Unfortunately, if you have a 60Hz monitor, you're still limited to the up to 60FPS, even with V-sync turned off. At the moment they're working on a fix for that. And they're also looking into adding an FPS counter into the game since very few external solutions support UWP or even being available in DirectX 12. FRAPS, a popular solution, doesn't work in DX12 enabled games, for example.


The most important fix in the patch are the performance enhancements, and under-the-hood changes they've made so that AMD cards don't result in a whole screen of graphical artefacts or other strange occurrences. Now it'll actually be playable, even if it's limited to the refresh rate of your monitor. And at least a smooth constant 60FPS is acceptable for playing, if not really for showing off.

Continue reading 'New Gears of War: Ultimate Edition patch incoming, finally fixed' (full post)

Star Fox Zero will have an invincible mode for beginners to explore

By: Jeff Williams | More News: Gaming | Posted: Mar 14, 2016 2:13 pm

Star Fox Zero for the Wii U is going to cater to the beginning gamer in all of us, allowing you to activate an in-game invincibility mode to let you get used to the controls and help you become more proficient without the worry that death can cause.




Shigeru Miyamoto, a designer from Nintendo, was asked by Time whether or not some Nintendo games tended to coddle players in certain situations. He responded that they aren't simply making the game easier, but are making some challenges more fun for those that otherwise could be overwhelmed by them. There's no sense in having a game that can't be fun for a wider audience. Younger gamers in particular, might benefit from having a bit of assistance once in awhile. And they don't want to lower the hurdle, so to speak, but just make it more accessible.


Invincibility will come from a difficulty level that allows a special Arwing that you can obtain so you can familiarize yourselves with the levels. He didn't quite go into detail as to how that would work, but higher difficulty levels will likely feature better rewards. But for the more hardcore player, they also seem to be adding in even higher difficulty modes as well.

Continue reading 'Star Fox Zero will have an invincible mode for beginners to explore' (full post)

Microsoft no longer accepting Bitcoin as a viable payment method

By: Jeff Williams | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Mar 14, 2016 1:28 pm

Microsoft was one of the first major companies to accept a digital cryptocurrency as a valid payment method for their wares on the Windows app store. Though it wasn't a mainstream currency, they saw the growth potential, and wanted to give customers a wealth of choices. But they've recently decided to remove Bitcoin from their list of payment methods that are accepted.




If you happen to have a balance of Bitcoin in your wallet already, you can use those at the Microsoft Store or App store, though you can't refill the internal wallet with more Bitcoin nor can you get a refund if you wanted to get those out. That seems to indicate that the infrastructure used to process Bitcoin no longer happen to be in place. You were able to use them for any Microsoft branded store.


This is another bold move considering they were advocates of choice in 2014, and this escape from the market is quite the shock. Though there are probably practical reasons as to why they did so. Microsoft hasn't announced why they made the decision though we've reached out for comment.

Ubisoft is even more serious about cheaters in Rainbow Six Siege

By: Jeff Williams | More News: Gaming | Posted: Mar 14, 2016 12:29 pm

Ubisoft is getting tired of the rampant cheating that seems to happen in Rainbow Six Siege. They've already released one patch that took care of a lot of latent exploits in the various levels, and it also made it possible to report people for alleged cheating. But that doesn't seem to have been enough. Now they're expanding their criteria when looking for cheaters in their game. So cheaters beware.




To help to prevent cheating on the scale that it already seems to exist, they're implementing new algorithms to identify cheaters. That algorithm looks at how you play, where you aim compared to where the bullet seems to strike and so on. They're becoming much more strict in their effort. And if you've been identified as a cheater mid-game, you're immediately pulled from the game and given a temporary suspension. There's no word whether punishments will become worse as more instances are found, or if there's the possibility of banning you from the game completely.


Cheating is an issue in any kind of game but games of a competitive nature that have a rank structure attract more due to the want, or perceived need, to be the absolute highest even with the absence of skill. And of course, that can potentially ruin the game for others, who want to play it within their skill level amongst those that are like-minded. It can be incredibly frustrating playing against those that are using assistance. It's a bit easier to be more strict with Rainbow Six Siege being purely a multiplayer competitive experience. It's great to see them wield that ban-hammer a bit more surely.

Lil Wayne and Wesley Snipes star in Samsung's ads for the Galaxy S7

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Mar 14, 2016 7:26 am

If you didn't already know, Samsung has launched their new Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge smartphones, as well as the refreshed Gear VR - and well, they have three new ads that star Lil Wayne and Wesley Snipes.




In the ads, Lil Wayne is using the Galaxy S7 while he deliberately pours champagne all over it, and then dunks it into a fish tank. In the second video, Wesley Snipes proves his acting chops by saying "cool" and then extends his range considerably more, by saying "very cool".



In the third ad, Lil Wayne helps give birth to a baby elephant - yeah, that happens.

Continue reading 'Lil Wayne and Wesley Snipes star in Samsung's ads for the Galaxy S7' (full post)