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TweakTown News Posts - Page 46

Xbox One X not sold at a profit, but that's okay

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jun 15, 2017 5:17 pm

E3 2017 - Microsoft exec Phil Spencer confirmed that the company isn't making a profit by selling the Xbox One X at $500.




Microsoft isn't making a profit on its new 4K-ready Xbox One X system, and that's okay. Console-makers typically don't make a profit on hardware, but the software and service ecosystem that powers the hardware. This has been true for Xbox for quite some time, especially after its cross-platform union with Windows 10 PCs, effectively turning Xbox into a service rather than a console platform. Microsoft's new $499 Xbox One X console is definitely the world's most powerful console to date with its 6TFLOPs GPU and native 4K gaming support, but the hardware is just the gateway to the real lucrative core of console gaming: software, live/subscription services, microtransactions, and other monetized content that spans a years-long tail.


In a recent interview with Business Insider, Xbox division head Phil Spencer confirmed that Microsoft isn't selling the $499 Xbox One X at a profit. Unless you're Sony, who's banked very hard on hardware sales with its 60 million strong PlayStation 4 userbase, software is typically more important than harwdare.


"I don't want to get into all the numbers, but in aggregate you should think about the hardware part of the console business is not the money-making part of the business. The money-making part is in selling games," Spencer said.

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Minecraft cross-play on Switch needs Xbox LIVE sign-in

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jun 15, 2017 4:20 pm

E3 2017 - Now we know why Sony refused cross-play with Microsoft's wholly-owned Minecraft game: it requires users to sign into an Xbox LIVE account.




Nintendo Switch's Minecraft cross-play hinges on one very important detail: you have to sign into an Xbox LIVE account even when playing on Nintendo's handheld Switch console hybrid. So even if you don't own an Xbox product, you'll have to make an Xbox LIVE account and sign to play online with other platforms.


As Mojang CEO Jonas Märtensson confirms, Minecraft is unified through all platforms via Xbox LIVE and requires sign-ins on all devices for cross-play--even the Nintendo Switch.


"We link together all platforms through Xbox Live. So you log in with your Xbox Live [also on the Switch]. It's also quite unique! But all those who are involved in this, all platform holders have been very pragmatic and understand that what we want to do is create a good experience for the players. So we needed a good system to get everyone together - and Xbox Live is a good system," Märtensson said in a recent interview with PressFire.

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Microsoft's Direct Reality will ensure HMD compatibility

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Virtual & Augmented Reality | Posted: Jun 15, 2017 3:28 pm

E3 2017 - Xbox division head Phil Spencer discusses what Microsoft's new Direct Reality trademark actually means.




Microsoft's recent "Direct Reality" had the VR world buzzing. Was this Microsoft's new buzzword for its cross-platform Mixed Reality initiate that spans consoles and PC? In actuality, Direct Reality is a lot like DirectX, and aims to make all HMDs natively plug-and-play compatible on Windows 10 with specific features that make things easy for HMD OEMs and developers. Xbox boss Phil Spencer confirmed details behind Direct Reality in a recent interview with Giant Bomb at E3 2017.


Giant Bomb's Jeff Gerstmann: "When I look at Direct Reality I think of DirectX helping a lot of different graphics cards talk to a lot of different software. Is Direct Reality going to be an easy way for people to make games for any VR headset without having to worry about things?"


"You're totally right," Xbox's Phil Spencer said.

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Samsung Galaxy Note7 FE should launch on July 30th

By: Lana Jelic | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jun 15, 2017 2:29 pm

A couple of days ago a South Korean report claimed that Samsung would release refurbished Galaxy Note7 on July 7th, but it seems that we will have to wait a bit longer.




According to the latest report, the Galaxy Note7 FE (Fan Edition) will be available starting July 30th in South Korea.


This means that the Note7 could have its return couple of weeks before the launch of its successor, the Note8, expected to be announced in August.

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AMD's next-gen Navi could be 40% faster than RX Vega

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Video Cards | Posted: Jun 15, 2017 12:12 pm

Globalfoundries has announced that it will have its next-gen 7nm FinFET technology begin hitting the production line in 1H 2018, providing up to 40% more performance to 7nm-based products, and more.




The company said that its new 7nm FinFET design kits are available right now, with "volume production" expected in 2H 2018, an exciting next 12 months ahead of us. The step down to 7nm will provide improvements at the transistor and process levels, with the 7LP tech beating expectations for performance, with over 40% more processing power and twice the area scaling than the current-gen 14nm FinFET node.


Globalfoundries is taking design orders from customers for its 7nm technology, in Saratoga County, N.Y. Senior VP of Globalfoundries, Gregg Bartlett, explains: "Our 7nm FinFET technology development is on track and we are seeing strong customer traction, with multiple product tapeouts planned in the next twelve months. And, while driving to commercialize 7-nm in 2018, we are actively developing next-generation technologies at 5-nm and beyond to ensure our customers have access to a world-class roadmap at the leading edge".


Now, this has quite a lot to do with AMD's next-gen Navi GPU architecture, as they will be tapping Globalfoundries' new 7nm node - and with the manufacturing giant saying that their 7LP technology is "exceeding initial performance targets and is expected to deliver greater than 40 percent more processing power" over the current-gen 14nm process, we should expect quite a lot from Navi.


Navi is posed for a 2H 2018 release, and depending on how Radeon RX Vega performs, AMD might need it - especially with whatever NVIDIA counter punches Vega with. Although a few comments have been passed through me from my industry sources who have said that Vega "could be very promising", if AMD can take Vega by the hand and perform a perfect 10/10 in front of the judges - you, me, and the rest of the gamers and enthusiasts out there - Navi is going to take things to the stars, hopefully.

Take-Two kills OpenIV GTA IV mod with cease and desist

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jun 15, 2017 10:27 am

Take-Two has killed off yet another high-profile Grand Theft Auto mod, and the community has responded with an uproar.




Rockstar parent company Take-Two Interactive has sent a cease and desist letter to the developers of OpenIV to stop development at once. Open IV is a massively ambitious Grand Theft Auto IV mod tool that served as an editor and archive manager for PC versions of the game, allowing modders to craft game files and gamers to easily sort their mods. The OpenIV team had been developing the tool for nearly 10 years before Take-Two's random cease and desist.


In the letter issued to OpenIV developers, Take-Two claims the mod tool allows "third parties to defeat security features of its software and modify that software in violation Take-Two's rights." As such, the OpenIV modding tool has been declared as illegal. In response the team has decided to follow Take-Two's order and and stop distributing OpenIV altogether.

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Dell unveils 37.5-inch UltraWide 21:9 display for $1499

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Displays & Projectors | Posted: Jun 15, 2017 5:17 am

If you're in the market for a high-end 21:9 UltraWide display, Dell might just have what you're after with their new UltraSharp 38 Curved Monitor, the U3818DW.




Dell's new U3818DW is the world's first 37.5-inch curved UltraWide monitor, with a native 3440x1440 resolution and because of the 37.5-inch panel it has 25% more viewing space than a 34-inch 21:9 panel. It features 99% of the sRGB range with factory calibration out of the box, as well as a powerful USB Type-C connector that has up to 100W of power ready for your devices.


The new Dell U3818DW will cost $1499, and will be available on Dell's website starting on June 23.

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Middle-earth: Shadow of War 30-minute gameplay video out

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jun 15, 2017 4:00 am

Middle-earth: Shadow of War had some gameplay footage love from E3 2017, with GameSpot sharing a huge 30-minute gameplay video from the E3 2017 build of the game. If you don't want to be spoiled, don't watch it.



If you haven't heard about Shadow of War, it's an open-world action RPG that continues down the path of its predecessor in Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. Shadow of War will throw gamers into a more personal, and much larger world filled with heroes, villains, and battles. There are original enemies in Shadow of War, more personalities, and a new cast of characters.


Middle-earth: Shadow of War will be released on October 10.

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ARK: Survival Evolved will be fully released on August 8

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jun 15, 2017 2:46 am

After two years as a Steam Early Access title, ARK: Survival Evolved will be released as a finished game on August 8, says developer Studio Wildcard.



The developer added: "The past two years have been one heck of a journey! Millions of ARK players worldwide have built gigantic bases, captured and trained armies of dinosaurs, crafted armories full of weapons and eaten billion of pounds of berries. With your help, we're now about to reach the completion of core content for ARK: Survival Evolved and release the full game to the world! That was just the beginning; now we'll be entering the next phase of our journey. Players who have been with us throughout this early access program and were excited with the launch of each update, have even more reason to be excited! ARK is going to become even more fun with surprise new content at launch and beyond, as we continue to have a massive amount of additional gameplay, creatures, and story elements in the works".


The world of ARK: Survival Evolved is already huge, but the game's first official mod is now here for Steam gamers - with Ragnarok featuring a massive 144sq kilometer map, designed to be explored in the many ways you can traverse the land. The ocean has its own ecosystem, with distinct variations of the former ARK creatures... as well as a new creature exclusive to Ragnarok.

Continue reading 'ARK: Survival Evolved will be fully released on August 8' (full post)

Original Xbox emulation might happen on the PC soon

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jun 15, 2017 1:32 am

I still remember buying the original Xbox when it came out, and spending hundreds of hours inside of the world of Halo. It was a system seller, and even games like Project Gotham Racing kept me entertained for months and months.




But now the Xbox is dead and buried, with the successor in the Xbox 360 being a phenomenal success - and then into the world of the Xbox One. Microsoft quickly released the Xbox One S with a 4K-capable Blu-ray player, and then just announced the 4K-capable Xbox One X console coming on November 7 for $499. However, Microsoft might have another trick up its sleeve in its dash for complete console domination: Xbox emulation for the PC.


Xbox boss Phil Spencer told PC Gamer: "I want people to be able to play games! [Emulation] is hard. [Xbox] 360 specifically is a PowerPC chip, emulated to x86, which is difficult. It's a little bit easier when you have a fixed spec, when you think about Xbox, Xbox One S, and Xbox One X. And you think of the variable specs of the PC space, so you're taking a fixed-spec PowerPC emulator and then moving it over to run on PC, so there's a lot of work there".


He continued: "The original Xbox, OG Xbox, is a little bit easier, because that was an x86 chip it was running on. Obviously when we think about UWP and the ability for games to run across console and PC, we're getting closer. I want developers to be able to build portable applications, which is why we've been focusing on UWP for games and even apps that want to run on multiple devices. So I think we've got work to go do there, but I think it's in our future".