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Microsoft is reportedly preparing for new hardware to be unveiled during E3 2016 next month, as well as a "new standard controller that ships with the Xbox One", reports Thurrott.
The new standard controller will have a similar physical look to the current design, but it will arrive in a new color. Microsoft currently ships a black controller with the Xbox One, but will reportedly change it up with a mid-cycle refresh to help sagging sales. The big news here is that Microsoft is wanting to continue its work on interactions between the Xbox One and PC thanks to Windows 10, where the company wants to make Windows 10 on the desktop and Xbox One a "killer combination". The company is hoping to really squeeze the ecosystem to create completely unique experiences for games, that happen to be on other platforms.
But the even bigger news is that Microsoft has "something else up its sleeve", but it's a "much bigger deal" than the new controller reports Thurrott. I'm expecting for the company to pounce down hard at E3 2016 and announce a new Xbox with a VR headset, working directly with AMD and this is what AMD also has up its sleeve. The PS4K and PSVR are going to seriously chomp into Microsoft's sales, and the news of Nintendo leveraging a Pascal-based Tegra processor from NVIDIA for their Nintendo NX console is super exciting - but right now, what does Microsoft have to fight it? Nothing... and that's why a huge next-gen reveal at E3 2016 makes perfect sense.
Exclusive: Up until now, everything we've heard on the next-gen consoles is that AMD will have APUs inside all of them. The Nintendo NX was meant to be powered by an AMD design, but according to our sources, Nintendo is working with NVIDIA and will use a Pascal-based Tegra chip inside of their next-gen Nintendo NX console.
I've been sitting on this story for a little while now, but it has been backed up by another source - who has said that NVIDIA will be providing a Pascal-based Tegra processor for Nintendo's next-gen console. First, Nintendo working with NVIDIA is a big, big deal. The GameCube was powered by the Flipper GPU provided by ATI at the time, after which the insanely popular Wii console was powered by another ATI design: "Hollywood". Hollywood was a 90nm chip, with two dies powering it.
Moving onto the Wii U, where Nintendo used a custom multi-chip module (MCM) developed by AMD, IBM and Renesas (as well as Nintendo IRD and Nintendo Technology Development). The GPU itself is the GX2, which was designed by AMD, and is based on the older R600/R700 architecture and clocked at 550MHz. It's older in the tooth now, so the use of a Pascal-based Tegra processor is interesting, and exciting. NVIDIA's current Maxwell-powered Tegra X1 processor can handle 4K output, and 1080p 60FPS gaming without a problem.
If you're familiar with my personal opinion on consoles, you'll know that I think they've had a negative impact on PC gaming and technology in general - so to hear EA's Chief Competition Officer, Peter Moore, ringing in the death of consoles. Hell. Yes.
Moore told The Daily Orange: "I'm not sure there will be consoles, as we know them anymore. Games will be accessed by streaming technology, so we don't need hardware intermediaries in between the two. If you and I want to play Battlefield 12 against each other, we'll just jump into a game via whatever monitor we happen to have in our homes. It'll be on a chip, rather than in a box".
Moore added that the PS4 and Xbox One are "well set up to advance as technologies does", simply blowing my mind. I don't know how they can advance, when they can barely handle 720p at 30FPS, but hey - what do I know. I think we'll see consoles begin to disappear, as games can be streamed online or from your smartphone - especially if we begin thinking, 5-10-20 years from now.
We all know how ridiculously successful the Wii was for Nintendo, but what about its successor? The Wii U was a console that didn't find its place in the market, but now GameStop CEO Paul Raines has come in and really slammed Nintendo.
Raines said that the Wii U was "disappointing to everybody, including them [Nintendo]". He said that Nintendo still has the power to "break records", and that each time a new Pokemon event takes place, GameStop sees a huge surge in business.
Raines has big hopes for NX, adding: "Nintendo is interesting in that they really are able to keep things as quiet as they can for a while. NX sounds exciting. We're looking forward to it. They're very innovative in everything that they do. I hope that they come out with something exciting and innovative".
UPDATE: EA has officially confirmed the Battlefield 5 world premiere event set for Friday, May 6 at 4PM EST.
Battlefield 5, which is reportedly set in the World War II era, will see its world premiere on Friday, May 6.
Multiple German sites like Play3.de claim Battlefield 5 will be unveiled on Friday, May 6: "The future of Battlefield is coming up and you are invited to the world premiere. On May 6, we will reveal the next milestone in the Battlefield franchise. Come and meet our creative team at DICE. See the trailer before it's revealed online, get a peek at additional content that will not be released online and go behind the scenes aby attending a developer panel. After the presentation wraps, you're welcome to stay for cocktails and a group screening of the World Premiere on Twitch live from London."
reads the invite found on Battlefieldforum.net.
This will likely be a closed reveal for the press, but PCGames.de says that EA will live stream the Battlefield 5 reveal on Twitch, and multiple publications will post up their NDA'd preview impressions. EA is also expected to launch a Battlefield 5 teaser today, according to industry insider Shinobi602.
@kevcampbell You can.— shinobi602 (@shinobi602) April 29, 2016
That original statement might have been a slight bit premature, even if it might seem somewhat natural to discontinue the last-generation if the new one has both backwards compatibility and is about the same price as the outgoing console. The Wii U will live on for some time, though the president of Nintendo, Tatsumi Kimishima, said that they could cease manufacturing the Wii U by March 2018.
The old system still has some life left in it despite it being of the "older" variety. The third-party game selection might not be the best, but the first party games could still be enough to draw in new customers until then, likely at a reduced price point after the NX officially releases. They have even forecasted that they'll be shipping 800K Wii U's this year, even though they shipped 3.26 million last year. It's possible that number might actually be higher in reality, even.
AMD has just talked about its recent earnings with investors, where the chipmaker teased the existence of the next-gen Xbox, as well as the upcoming beefier PlayStation 'Neo' console from Sony - oh, and the next-gen Nintendo NX console. AMD is everywhere when it comes to custom chips powering next-gen consoles.
Lisa Su, the CEO of AMD, said during the earnings call that the semi-custom contract wins were in the gaming sector. Su continued, saying that "semi-custom business and gaming" will be the "larger driver" of Q2's revenue growth. She told reporters: "If you think about the semi-custom business in the past few years, the third quarter is always the peak. It will be the peak this year, as well, but we're starting some of the ramping in the second quarter as we build to the stronger third quarter".
Now, ramping up in Q2 for a stronger Q3 could mean that we see next-gen consoles revealed at E3 2016 (which takes place in late Q2) while the release of these consoles would happen in the holidays - closer to Q3. Su was asked who was purchasing the semi-custom designs, to which she said: "I don't believe we've gone through any detail about what those wins are. I'd prefer to let that come out as our customers are ready to launch".
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.
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.
We only recently reported that Nintendo's next-gen console would be faster than the PS4 by a 'noticeable amount', but what APU or GPU would be powering the NX console? An AMD chip, of course.
AMD is powering all of the consoles right now, with APUs inside of the PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Wii U. The next-gen Nintendo NX console being powered by an APU or GPU from AMD comes as no surprise, but it'll be interesting if it's powered by their next-gen 14nm Polaris architecture.
During the RTG event in Sonoma late last year, I actually asked AMD that question - whether their new GPU would power any next-gen consoles. AMD said they couldn't elaborate, but it makes sense. 14nm provides a cooler operating system, with an improved punch in performance, and less power draw - another notch on the belt of reduced heat, and noise.