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During the GPU14 event in Hawaii a few weeks back, AMD touted its new Mantle API as being the great unifier between consoles and PCs and would allow more pc games to see "console like performance and optimization." This really struck a nerve with many PC gamers as they feel that the consoles should catch up to the faster PC gaming market rather than the PC being dumbed down to console levels.
Many of us in the industry assumed that this meant that Sony and Microsoft would be using the Mantle API to power its consoles which run AMD APU processors. Unfortunately that does not appear to be the case. In a recent blogpost, Microsoft said that its upcoming Xbox One console will not run AMD's Mantle API, but would feature the company's own Direct 3D 11.2 API. Additionally, AMD has also pointed out that Mantle will actually be exclusive to the PC.
Microsoft has just posted a video that gives us insight to how the friend system will work in the new Xbox One ecosystem. Microsoft says that users will be able to add over 1000 friends now and that all of your Xbox 360 friends will be automatically imported. The coolest new feature is however, the ability to simply "follow" other players.
Following a player is quite simple and requires a player to set up sharing in their settings. If players follow each other then they can mutually see each others status updates, games that are being played, and even see notifications of when that user begins watching TV. A Twitter-like feed is available to help you keep up with what all your friends are doing in real-time. There is a lot more to the new system and the video above will clue you in on it all.
Nintendo has just launched its budget-friendly handheld gaming console, the Nintendo 2DS. The 3D top screen featured on the 3DS is gone and the device does not fold up like its predecessor. Along with the deleted screen and hinges, the 2DS also managed to delete quite a chunk of cash off of its price as well.
The Nintendo 2DS is capable of playing all 3DS games and features a 400x240-pixel top screen while the bottom screen is a unimpressive 320x240-pixel display. The 2DS features an included stylus, 4GB SD card, 1300mAh battery and a "3D" Camera. Wi-Fi connectivity is present as is the ability to download and store games. Nintendo's 2DS will retail at a pricing point of $130 which is $40 less than the 3DS and a whopping $70 less than the 3DS XL.
Sales of Nintendo's Wii U saw a drastic boost after The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker was released. A new report from Nintendo Life says that the company saw an increase in hardware sales of more than 685% in the UK alone. This proves Nintendo's longtime stance that games sell hardware and not vice versa.
UK head of marketing for Nintendo, James Honeywell said: "We have long believed that software sells hardware and it's great to see that reaffirmed this week with an uplift of Wii U hardware sales to coincide with the launch of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD."
Valve have teased us quite a bit in the last couple of weeks with its unveiling of the Steam Box, Steam OS and Steam Machines, with the latter being announced with NVIDIA GPUs.
Most thought that the Steam Machines would run AMD GPUs too - like myself - but this wasn't full confirmed, leaving many to believe that maybe, just maybe, NVIDIA had secured a very tight contract with Valve. The Half-Life developer has come out and confirmed that the Steam Machines would indeed support the three primary graphics vendors today.
Valve spokesperson, Doug Lombardi, said: "Last week, we posted some technical specs of our first wave of Steam Machine prototypes. Although the graphics hardware that we've selected for the first wave of prototypes is a variety of NVIDIA cards, that is not an indication that Steam Machines are NVIDIA-only. In 2014, there will be Steam Machines commercially available with graphics hardware made by AMD, NVIDIA, and Intel. Valve has worked closely together with all three of these companies on optimizing their hardware for SteamOS, and will continue to do so into the foreseeable future."
One of the biggest differences between the PS4 and the Xbox One is that the latter includes the Kinect camera, where the former includes no camera at all. But, Sony did consider selling the PS4 with a camera for $400, according to a report by the Australian Business Spectator.
Sony found an issue with losing too much money integrating a camera into the PS4 setup, with Sony Computer Entertainment President and Group CEO, Andy House, telling Business Spectator that "the vast majority of the audience that we speak to tells us that their primary wish is for the full controller interface and there's not necessarily a huge emphasis being placed on camera interaction."
So it seems that Sony thinks its consumers aren't going to be missing out on too much without the camera, and I tend to agree.
Mad Catz has announced M.O.J.O. which is its Android-based micro-console, coming in at a price of $249.99. It is powered by NVIDIA's more-than-capable Tegra 4, which is the same SoC found in NVIDIA's Shield handheld console.
M.O.J.O.'s specs aren't too bad at all, with the NVIDIA Tegra 4 being the heart and soul, but we also find 2GB of RAM, 16GB of on-board flash storage with a microSD card for expandable storage, all the way up to 128GB I might a dd. We will hear more information on M.O.J.O. closer to its December 10 release date.
During a recent interview with Famitsu, Tekken producer Katsuhiro Harada of Namco Bandai talked about the future of PlayStation and its network capabilities and of course, cloud services.
Harada said: "I think in the future, it will be a contest of services instead of hardware. When there's the PS5, it will probably be just a controller and a monitor. Then, the thing that will be left is the name of the service." Personally, I don't think we'll see a PS5 in the way that most think we'll see one, but maybe a smaller, less capable console with more of the computational and rendering side being done on the cloud - heavily compressed - and sent back to your 'console' or device at home.
What do you think? A PlayStation 5 that isn't a normal console.
Many PC gamers have used Microsoft's Xbox 360 Controller for years, and up until now those who wish to use a Sony DualShock 3 controller had to resort to using third party drivers to get things working correctly. In a recent tweet, Sony Computer Entertainment President, Shuhei Yoshida, confirmed that the DualShock 4 controller will work on PC out of the box.
Specifically, the controllers analog joysticks and buttons will work, but the more advanced features like the touchpad, lightbar, and speaker will not work on the PC without someone developing third party drivers. Yoshida said that we will have to wait to find out whether the DualShock 4 will be recognized as a generic gaming controller, or if Windows will be able to tell if it is a PS3 controller, which would be handy for games that are ported to the PS4.
If a newly released poll is any indication of current market trends, Sony's PlayStation 4 is more desired as a holiday gift than its rival, Microsoft's Xbox One. Reuters recently commissioned Ipsos to conduct a poll on which next-generation console consumers would purchase during the holiday season.
The poll consisted of almost 1300 people, of which 26 percent said that they would be purchasing a PS4 in preparation for the holidays this year. Only 15 percent said that they would be purchasing an Xbox One. When Reuters broke the poll down to age demographics, a whopping 41 percent of those under 40 years of age said they would buy a PS4, while only 27 percent indicated that they would be picking up an Xbox One. No info was given on how many people indicated that they would buy both consoles.