Microsoft has released its tweaked and refined Xbox One S console, but now that it's here, we know that the GPU inside of the new Xbox One S console is actually faster than the one in the current Xbox One unit.
The new Xbox One S not only features its GPU clocked at 914MHz, compared to the 853MHz on the Xbox One. On a more technical side of things, Microsoft has used a new APU from AMD that is made on the 16nm FinFET process in the Xbox One S, down from the 28nm APU found in the Xbox One.
The new 16nm APU is clocked 7% faster than the 28nm APU inside of the Xbox One, improving the maximum compute performance and with the increased ESRAM bandwidth, we have a slightly faster console. The additional performance from the 7% overclock on the GPU will result in games that feature an unlocked framerate, or GPU-limited games where performance suffers on the Xbox One, the new Xbox One S will have less FPS drops, and a smoother gaming experience.
Sony has been limping through the last few years on a crutch it calls its PlayStation division, which according to Sony's Q1 2016 financial report, is still the case. During Q1 2016, Sony's operating profits dropped 42% year-over-year to $546 million with $15.66 billion in sales for the three-month period.
Sony said the "significant decrease" in sales is because of the stronger yen and a 33.7% drop in sales for Sony smartphones. The company notes weak results in its semiconductors business, with a "significant decrease" because of it, with $132 million in expenses after the mid-April earthquake that hit Kumamoto, Japan.
The PlayStation division continues to do good business, with $3.21 billion in sales for Q1 2016 - an increase of 14.5% year-over-year. Sony attributes the "significant increase" in sales of its PlayStation division to the sales of PlayStation games. We've seen the release of Uncharted 4 which sold over 2.7 million copies in its launch week, becoming the fastest-selling first-party PS4 game yet.
It looks like Nintendo is not far away from revealing its NX console, with reports from major gaming sites to release their articles on NX "soon", according to Nintendo insider Emily Rogers.
Rogers took to Twitter, saying: "Also, I don't know what the price of this thing will be. It sounds expensive, but I hope it's not". Rogers added: "You will see some more NX reports coming out from other sites soon. Major sites. Not Nintendo fan sites".
According to my industry sources, NVIDIA will be powering the Nintendo NX with a Pascal-based Tegra processor. NVIDIA hasn't announced or even teased a Pascal-based Tegra processor yet, but we should find out exactly what NVIDIA has in store for Nintendo's next-gen console very soon.
Microsoft has dropped the price of its Xbox One 500GB console, with a new limited price of $249. It looks like Microsoft wants to get rid of as many Xbox One consoles ahead of the Xbox One S launch.
The new $249 deal includes your choice of four games: Forza Motorsport 6, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, or Rare Replay. This is not the first, or even second time that Microsoft has dropped the price of the Xbox One, but now the third price drop on its current-gen Xbox One console.
Microsoft is set to launch the Xbox One S on August 2 in the US, Europe and Australia with 2TB of storage for $399. There will also be a 500GB and 1TB model, with prices of $299 and $349, respectively. There's no ETA on the 500GB and 1TB Xbox One S consoles just yet.
There are plenty of gamers who wished Microsoft made a portable Xbox, but now we have a reason why there was never a portable Xbox created: because Microsoft couldn't focus enough on something that could've been "Xboy".
During an interview with IGN, former Xbox boss Robbie Bach said that Microsoft had plans for a portable Xbox, but couldn't provide enough resources or the attention required to make the project a reality. Instead, the team dedicated all of their efforts into the Xbox 360.
Bach said: "There were definitely drawings", adding that it wasn't always referred to as "Xboy". Bach added that resources were limited, and Microsoft wanted to "play in [the handheld] part of the ecosystem, [but] we just couldn't focus. We just did not have the bandwidth".
He added that the Xbox team decided against it, and that was the best decision for the company. But if we look at the way mobile gaming has taken off in the years since the release of the Xbox 360, one can only imagine how a well-done portable Xbox could've dominated the market, and especially Sony with its PSP.
Nintendo has reconfirmed its March 2017 release for the next-gen NX console in its latest annual report, detailing the R&D activities for the future.
Nintendo talked about quite a lot, but it detailed its hardware development, where the Japanese gaming giant said that it's devoted to the development of Nintendo NX. Nintendo teases that NX will feature a "brand new concept" and will be released in March 2017.
During the annual report, Nintendo said: "With respect to hardware, Nintendo continuously investigates and undertakes research on fundamental technologies spanning data storage technology such as semiconductor memories, display technology such as liquid crystal displays, and electronic components, while it also carries out research and development activities to examine the applicability of various technologies including interfaces such as touch panels and sensors, wireless communication, networks and security to the field of home entertainment".
Prepare for the excitement, as the company added: "Nintendo is also devoted to the development of a gaming platform codenamed "NX" with a brand-new concept, which will be launched in March 2017 globally".
Nintendo is still quite secretive when it comes to its next-gen NX console, but that doesn't stop other companies from talking about it.
Ubisoft recently held its financial conference call for Q1 of its fiscal 2016/2017, where company CEO Yves Guillemot talked about Nintendo NX. He said that from what he's seen, the console is really great and that it's going to help the industry grow, as well as bring casual gamers back into the gaming industry.
We don't know much about the Nintendo NX console, but from what we do know, it'll be powered by an unannounced NVIDIA Tegra processor based on the Pascal architecture. We should expect Nintendo to release it in March 2017, which means we should see the company unveil it in the coming months leading up to the holiday season.
Microsoft could be ready to fight in a new way with its upcoming Xbox Scorpio console, which will be powered by a new semi-custom design from AMD, where we should see it featuring Polaris-based GPU cores. This power will unleash 4K gaming in the console space, which hasn't been done before - at least not by Sony or Microsoft.
Aaron Greenberg, the Head of Xbox Games Marketing has talked about Project Scorpio in his latest podcast, where he said that it's a really exciting project that has huge support from Microsoft partners like DICE and Bethesda, as well as Microsoft's own internal studios. Greenberg didn't say much that is new, but he did reiterate that Microsoft is serious about ushering in true 4K gaming.
I don't think we're going to see full 4K gaming on the new Xbox, but rather 1080p 60FPS gaming that is upscaled in a way that is better than anything we've seen previously. I wrote a report about AMD acquiring HiAlgo, a firm that works on upscaling technology that is actually very impressive.
Nintendo is riding the marketing wave of Pokemon GO right now, with the announcement of its NES Classic Edition. Nintendo's upcoming NES Classic Edition is a mini NES system with 30 built-in games, and it's going to sell like hotcakes with its $59.99 price.
The NES Classic Edition launches in November, and will connect to your TV through HDMI, and it'll also include a controller that will be designed to work just like the original NES controller. The new controller will also connect to a Wii Remote, which will allow you to play Virtual Console games on a Wii, or Wii U console.
The new NES Classic Edition will feature something we all wish the original NES did: multiple suspend points, which will mean you won't need to find passwords when you want to start playing a game again. Nintendo will be making its NES Classic Edition available on November 11 for just $59.99, with the 30 games included:
- Balloon Fight
- BUBBLE BOBBLE
- Castlevania II: Simon's Quest
- Donkey KongTM
- Donkey Kong Jr.
- DOUBLE DRAGON II: THE REVENGE
- Dr. Mario
- FINAL FANTASY
- GHOSTS'N GOBLINS
- Ice Climber
- Kid Icarus
- Kirby's Adventure
- Mario Bros.
- MEGA MAN 2
- NINJA GAIDEN
- Punch-Out!! Featuring Mr. Dream
- SUPER C
- Super Mario Bros.
- Super Mario Bros. 2
- Super Mario Bros. 3
- TECMO BOWL
- The Legend of Zelda
- Zelda II: The Adventure of Link
The Xbox business is looking pretty bright these days and has for some time, but it wasn't always roses. According to Xbox co-creator Ed Fries, at the initial proposal meeting Microsoft founder Bill gates started things off by throwing the Powerpoint deck from Fries' team on the table and saying, "This is a f***ing insult to everything I've done at this company."
Fries recalls in his retrospective interview with IGN that former Xbox executive James Allard was "in shock for a minute", and then himself stepped in only to be quickly shut down by Gates. Others attempted to reason with Gates but were unsuccessful, around which time then-CEO Steve Ballmer backed up Gates and stated the Xbox was financially unsustainable.