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Confronting NVIDIA's DLSS: AMD Confirms FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR) to Launch in 2021

AMD, via its CVP & GM at AMD Radeon Scott Herkelman, confirmed in video with PCWorld that the company's counterpart to NVIDIA's DLSS technology - which he defines as the most important piece of software currently in development from a graphics perspective - is coming along nicely. Launch of the technology is currently planned for later this year. Scott Herkelman further confirmed that there is still a lot of work to do on the technology before it's ready for prime time, but in the meantime, it has an official acronym: FSR (FidelityFX Super Resolution). If you're unfamiliar with DLSS, it's essentially an NVIDIA-locked, proprietary upscaling algorithm that has been implemented in a number of games now, which leverages Machine Learning hardware capabilities (tensor cores) to upscale a game with minimal impact to visual quality. It's important because it allows for much higher performance in even the latest, most demanding titles - especially when they implement raytracing.

As has been the case with AMD, its standing on upscaling technologies defends a multiplatform, compatible approach that only demands implementation of open standards to run in users' systems. The idea is to achieve the broadest possible spectrum of game developers and gamers, with tight, seamless integration with the usual game development workflow. This is done mostly via taking advantage of Microsoft's DirectML implementation that's baked straight into DX 12.

Denuvo Joins Exclusive PlayStation 5 Tools and Middleware Program to Offer Anti-Cheat Technology to Game Developers

As security and innovation collide, Denuvo by Irdeto today announces it has joined the exclusive PlayStation 5 Tools and Middleware program. Denuvo, the leader in video games protection, offers its Anti-Cheat solution through this program to publishers and developers whose games are available on PlayStation 5.

Denuvo is at the forefront of games security with over 2 billion unique game installs protected across all platforms, and over 1,000 games secured. Joining the PlayStation 5 Tools and Middleware program therefore fosters Denuvo's continued commitment to excellence and innovation in game security. It also supports Denuvo's goal of protecting the developers' investment, where approximately 70% of their revenue is earned in the first two weeks after the launch of a game.

Microsoft: Only Consoles Supporting Full RDNA 2 Capabilities Are Xbox Series X and Series S, Excludes PlayStation 5

Microsoft has today published another article on its Xbox Wire blog, dedicated to all the news regarding the Xbox consoles and its ecosystem. In the light of yesterday's launch of AMD Radeon RDNA 2 graphics cards, Microsoft has congratulated its partner and provider of processors SoCs for their next-generation consoles. Besides the celebrations and congratulations, Microsoft has proceeded to show off what the Xbox Series X and Series S consoles are capable of, and how they integrate the RDNA 2 architecture. The company notes that there are hardware accelerated DirectX Raytracing, Mesh Shaders, Sampler Feedback, and Variable Rate Shading units built-in, so game developers can take advantage of it.

Another interesting point Microsoft made was that "Xbox Series X|S are the only next-generation consoles with full hardware support for all the RDNA 2 capabilities AMD showcased today." What this translates into is that Microsoft is the only console maker that uses the full RDNA 2 potential. This could leave Sony out in the dark with its PlayStation 5 console, meaning that it does not support all the features of AMD's new GPU architecture. There are not any specific points, however, we have to wait and see what Sony has left out, if anything.

Bug in HDMI 2.1 Chipset May Cause Black Screen on Your Xbox Series X Console or NVIDIA GPU

A German website, Heise.de, has discovered a bug in HDMI 2.1 chipset that causes black screen issues on specific hardware. On AV chipsets sourced by Panasonic, and used by Denon, Marantz, and Yamaha HDMI 2.1 AV receivers, the chipset experiences a specific issue of a black screen. More specifically, the bug happens once you connect Microsoft's newest console, Xbox Series X, or NVIDIA's Ampere graphics cards. When connecting these sources at resolutions like 4K/120 Hz HDR and 8K/60 Hz HDR to Panasonic HDMI 2.1 chipsets, the black screen happens. This represents a major problem for every manufacturer planning to use the Panasonic HDMI 2.1 chipset in its AV receivers, meaning that the issue has to be addressed. The Audioholics website has reached out to Sound United and Yamaha to see what their responses were, and you can check them out below.

Saber Interactive to Develop Witcher 3 Port for Next-Generation Consoles, Says CD Projekt RED

According to the latest information coming directly from CD Projekt RED, we are finding out that Witcher 3, one of the most popular releases from CDPR, is going to be ported to the next-generation console lineup by 3rd party studio. Here you can read the message CDPR passed in its H1 conference call:
CD Projekt president Adam Kicinski
Regarding The Witcher 3 and its next-gen version: this project is developed outside, with our proven partner who had delivered the 4K version of The Witcher 3 and The Witcher 3 for Switch, so they already know our technology very well. We asked them to prepare the next-gen port, and as I said during my presentation, we expect a full next-gen experience, with great next-gen features, but it doesn't interfere with the next-gen development of CP, which is being done internally by the CP team, and we're confirming that CP will be released in the next-gen version. Well we have to differentiate two things: the current version, which will be released in November, will be playable from the beginning when next-gen consoles are released; you will be able to play the current-gen version on next-gen from day 1. And you can expect a bit higher quality than on the current-gen. However, the full-blown next-gen version is planned for next year and it will be developed internally.

Blizzard Confirms World of Warcraft Won't be Releasing for Consoles

Data miners have reportedly found a new piece of information about the very popular game World of Warcraft. Inside the game code for the new Shadowlands expansion pack, few data miners spotted support for gaming controllers, which lead to rumors that WoW is coming to next-generation consoles. With PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X coming soon, it is now a hot topic to see which games are coming to the new platform. However, Blizzard has issued an official response to those rumors saying the following:
We currently have no plans to bring World of Warcraft or Shadowlands to Xbox Series X. The platform was listed on the Brazil Ministry of Justice rating website in error, and the entry has since been updated to reflect that the game is coming only to PC
World of Warcraft Shadowlands

Xbox Digital Direct Set To Replace Redemption Codes In Console Game Bundles

Xbox Digital Direct is a new program that allows you to instantly redeem any games, subscriptions, and exclusive content bundled with your Xbox during the setup process. When setting up a new console the content and offers attached to the console will appear, ready to be added to your Microsoft account. The content can also be redeemed after the fact via the the accounts setting page under 'Included with this Xbox' along with 'My games & apps' under 'Full Library'. This will be a welcome change to new Xbox users who can avoid the hassle of code entering, but was likely implemented to stop code reselling.

Sony to Reveal PlayStation 5 on June 4, Console Won't be Cheaper than Xbox Series X

Sony Interactive Entertainment is expected to hold a virtual launch event on June 4, 2020, where it is expected to finally reveal the design, packaging, inclusions, initial exclusive game library, and more importantly price, of the next-generation PlayStation 5 game console. The event is scheduled for 1 PM PDT, and will be live-streamed. In related news, in an interview with GamesIndustry.biz, CEO Jim Ryan confirmed that the PlayStation 5 won't be cheap, at least not cheaper than the rumored sub-$500 pricing of the Xbox Series X. "I think the best way that we can address this is by providing the best possible value proposition that we can. I don't necessarily mean lowest price. Value is a combination of many things. In our area it means games, it means number of games, depth of games, breadth of games, quality of games, price of games... all of these things and how they avail themselves of the feature set of the platform," he said.

AMD Ramps Up Custom SoC Production for Next-Generation Consoles

Both Sony and Microsoft are expected to soon launch their next-generation consoles, which are highly anticipated among console gamers as they will bring some of the latest advancements in graphics, like ray tracing. The current situation in the world is that everything is slowed down due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Companies across the world have mostly slowed down their production lines due to the less demand, however, AMD has done exactly the opposite for their custom SoC customers. In wake of expected high demand, AMD has ramped up its production lines so it can supply Sony and Microsoft for their next-generation consoles—PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. This is an encouraging sign that the demand is going to be strong - and that AMD is up to the task of delivering.
AMD custom SoC

Hands on with the Big O 2020 Edition Dual-System from Origin PC

Corsair had acquired the performance system builder Origin PC in 2019, and we are seeing the first apparent synergic effects of this at CES 2020 with the all-new Big O system. The one-off from last year was a hand-built concept that made serious waves online by incorporating a PC, XBOX One X, PS4 Pro, and Nintendo Switch in the same chassis. It was not really intended to be a retail product, however, but this new 2020 version will actually come to the market in two main flavors: with an Xbox One S or a PS4 Pro pre-installed in a Corsair Crystal Series 280X dual-chamber case.

Origin will still offer all the usual configurations on the gaming PC side, with the base configuration starting at $2,499 MSRP for the XBOX One S version paired with a 1 TB HDD, as well as an Intel Core i5-9600K, 16 GB of RAM, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 GPU, a 240 GB SSD, and a 450 W power supply. The interesting element is certainly the console within, as it will be liquid cooled alongside some additional elements to keep the rest of the key components cool as well. You may also opt for upgraded storage options for the console, and further customize it by having an Elgato capture card built-in, so that you could stream your console gaming straight through the PC for example. Also, thanks to the completely separated power setup, your console would not shut down if your PC happens to go into standby for example. In terms of warranty, Origin PC will offer direct warranty for the consoles as well just like its traditional PCs. The Big O is up for pre-order with a special price starting at $2327 on the Origin website now.

Creative Releases the Sound Blaster G3 USB DAC Amp: Improving Audio for Game Consoles

Creative Technology today announced the release of Sound Blaster G3, a portable gaming USB DAC Amp that marks the latest addition to the Sound Blaster revolution ignited 30 years ago. Designed and built with game console users in mind, Sound Blaster G3 is the first Sound Blaster that works directly on PS4 and Nintendo Switch via a driverless plug-and-play format, and is also compatible with PC and Mac. Palm-sized and weighing in at a mere 32 grams, it boasts a great balance of the fabled Sound Blaster audio signature, on-the-go customization and other nifty gaming features at an attractive price tag.

Sony Toys with the Idea of Porting PlayStation-exclusives to PC

Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) is opening up to the idea of porting PlayStation-exclusive games to the PC, which is growing in popularity on the backs of titles that play best on this platform, such as Fortnite and Minecraft. At the moment, Shawn Layden, who heads SIE, is interested in putting some its first-party titles (developed and published entirely by SIE) on the PC platform. Compared to arch-rival Microsoft, Sony's garden has had taller walls. Microsoft has interests in both its Xbox console, and the Windows PC ecosystem, particularly the Microsoft Store, and has shepherded many of its ecosystem partners to co-develop for both platforms. Its latest move is the Xbox for PC GamePass, that brings about some coherence between the PC and Xbox.

Sony is gearing up for the next round of the Console Wars against Microsoft, in which its PlayStation 5 console will compete with Microsoft's codenamed "Project Scarlett" console. Both consoles will be designed for 4K Ultra HD televisions, with preparation for higher resolutions, such as 8K. Speaking on the development, Layden said "We must support the PlayStation platform — that is nonnegotiable. That said, you will see in the future some titles coming out of my collection of studios which may need to lean into a wider installed base."

Razer Unveils the Kraken X Ultra-light Headset

Razer , the leading global lifestyle brand for gamers, today introduced the Kraken X wired gaming headset. It is designed to be ultra-light and comfortable with 7.1 surround sound for all-day gaming that won't break the bank. Razer is also announcing that all its gaming headsets launched from 2019 onwards will offer 7.1 surround sound capabilities to provide the unfair advantage in gaming.

The Kraken X is designed to deliver superior comfort all day long. Seriously, all day. It features a fresh redesign that slims down the familiar Razer Kraken profile to an extremely light weight of just 250 grams (0.55 lbs), making it one of the lightest gaming headsets in the market today. Paired with soft memory foam ear cushions, glasses-friendly eyewear channels and an adjustable headband, the Kraken X serves as an undeniably comfortable gaming headset.

Sony PlayStation 5 Console Confirmed Powered by 8-core Zen 2 CPU, Navi and Ray Tracing Confirmed

Sony's own lead system architect Mark Cerny spilled the beans on the company's upcoming "PlayStation 5" games console - the name isn't confirmed, but it's a PlayStation, and it's the fifth, so, following from the previous nomenclature just makes sense, doesn't it? One particular detail, however, is of most interest to us PC hardware junkies, and that one little fact is the confirmed Navi GPU that will power it. This is, almost certainly, a semi-custom Navi-based GPU, however; but the tidbit that PlayStation 5 will have raytracing support is the one game changer for hardware expectations - on paper, at least.

Of course, Navi is expected to debut much sooner in the consumer space than on next-gen consoles, but the fact that PlayStation 5 development kits are already being seeded - and an increasing rate, according to Sony - bodes well for the feature's inclusion on AMD's consumer-based cards. Either that or the company is taking a software approach to raytracing, which, if NVIDIA's 1000 and 10*0 series is any indication, wouldn't go very well with performance intentions. This does mean that raytracing is about to receive a much-needed market penetration boost for its adoption by developers. NVIDIA will of course be able to wave the flag of having been the first company to introduce the technology to consumers.

The Subor Z+ Console/PC Hybrid with AMD Fenghuang SoC Benchmarked

Last August Chinese pC maker Zhongshan Subor announced a mysterious new console/PC hybrid called Subor Z+ with an interesting spec sheet. The most intriguing part of that machine was none other than a new AMD SoC custom with the code name 'Fenghuang/FireFlight'. Based on the Zen architecture instead of the Jaguar used in consoles such as the Xbox One X or PS4 Pro, this SoC has a CPU with 4 cores and 8 threads at 3.0 GHz a Vega-based GPU with 24 CUs at 1300 MHz, 8 GB GDDR5, 128 GB SSD and 1 TB HDD.

The preliminary tests that we could see thanks to DigitalFoundry have now been completed with a new series of benchmarks from a Chinese YouTube user in which we can see the Subor Z+ running different Windows games at more than 60 fps in some of them. The graphics power sits between a RX 570 and a GTX 1060 according to the content producer, and among the results we have different scores showing how far this can go. For example, Fire Strike Extreme (486 points), Time Spy (3288), Tomb Raider (74.81 fps without clarifying graphic config), Cinebench (110/581) or PUBG, which was running at around 50-55 fps at 1080p and with low level of detail.

EEDAR: US Gaming Led by Mobile, Followed by PC, Console Gaming

A new report from EEDAR paints quite a rosy picture for PC gaming: much rosier than what most users would think it to be. That mobile gaming is the platform king is no secret: anyone and everyone seems to be rocking a smartphone these days, and every smartphone has a myriad of games available that are so easy to consume that practically everyone with a smartphone (particularly an Android one) qualifies as a gamer. The interesting bit comes in the result that PC gaming is ahead of console gaming in gamers' minds and usage.

Atari Announces Atari VCS Pre-Sale Begins May 30th

Atari - One of the world's most iconic consumer brands and interactive entertainment producers - today announces that pre-sales of its new Atari VCS hardware platform will start May 30, 2018. The pre-sale is exclusive to Indiegogo and features the time-limited Atari VCS Collector's Edition featuring the special retro-inspired wood-front. In addition to the Collector's Edition, fans will have the option to pre-order the Atari VCS Onyx, a sleek black version. Early-bird Atari VCS packages will be offered, including the Onyx starting at $199 USD for a limited period of time. Other packages will include the Classic Joystick and Modern Controller. Initial Atari VCS shipments are planned for Spring 2019. Fans who have signed up for "insider" email alerts at AtariVCS.com before May 24, 2018 will be eligible for special purchase incentives during the pre-sale.

The VCS is a completely new Atari connected device, designed in California by Atari. The company has partnered with AMD who provides the Atari VCS custom processor with Radeon Graphics Technology. The Atari VCS platform will offer support for 4K resolution, HDR and 60FPS content, onboard and expandable storage options, dual-band WiFi and Bluetooth 5.0, as well as USB 3.0 support. A complete list of Atari VCS product specs will be posted with the pre-sale.

Metal Gear Survive System Requirements Revealed

Metal Gear Survive, the upcoming spin-off from Metal Gear Solid V, will be dropping on consoles and PC this February 21. While console owners just pop the game disc into their consoles and start playing, the PC crowd has to worry about the system requirements. Konami recently added this information to the game's Steam page. According to the company, Metal Gear Survive should run fine on a system with an Intel Core i5-4460 with 4GB of RAM and a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650. However, they are recommending an Intel Core i7-4790, 8GB of RAM, and a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 to get the best experience. Compared to other modern AAA titles, Metal Gear Survive is relatively small and only requires 20 GB of hard drive space. However, gamers will need to have a steady broadband internet connection, since the game requires a constant connection to the internet even for the single-player campaign.

ClockStone Software & Valve Come Together to Make Bridge Constructor Portal

We welcome all lucky applicants to Bridge Constructor Portal with our new vehicle-based test chambers, Quantum Tunnels and patented Aperture technology! For the last year we've been secretly working in our underground labs on the next iteration of the million-selling Bridge Constructor series. This new stand-alone title will release on PC, MacOS, Linux, mobile devices, and console, and fully embraces the Portal license, one of the most beloved video game franchises of the last decade.

Bridge Constructor Portal will blend the laws of structural engineering and technology straight from Aperture Laboratories into an exciting new game experience, all under the demanding gaze of GLaDOS. Bridge Constructor Portal will be released on December 20 2017 for Windows, MacOS and Linux as well as for mobile devices. The console versions will follow in early 2018.

Black Mirror Out Now on PC & Consoles

The tragic story of the Gordon family gets a new chapter: Today, KING Art Games and THQ Nordic are releasing Black Mirror; a modern re-imagining of the acclaimed gothic-horror adventure series. The new protagonist, David Gordon, must deal with the mysteries of Black Mirror castle as well as trying to find out if there is an ongoing curse on his family.

Like in the original graphic adventure trilogy, the Gothic Horror genre and its unique atmosphere of madness and psychological distress remains at the heart of Black Mirror. The point-and-click gameplay of the original trilogy served as the basis for the re-imagined gameplay, which focuses on close-up investigation and interaction with nightmarish visions that plague the protagonist of the game David Gordon.

Atari Team Teases Us with Photos of Upcoming Ataribox Controller

Initially the Ataribox team wanted to wait until the console's launch to officially reveal the controller's design. But they just couldn't help themselves and decided to share a few photos of the controller on their Facebook page. As expected, the Ataribox's controller maintains a squared design with a familiar layout similar to the original Atari 2600's controller. There's a single joystick in the middle and a big fire button in the corner of the controller. The joystick appears to sit on a translucent, glossy black surface with LED lighting. However, we're not 100% sure on the lighting as it could have been a result of the camera's flash at the angle of which the photo was taken. We will just have to wait until launch day to verify. What's worth noting, though, is that the modern iteration of the controller is accompanied by home and back buttons, which weren't present on the original design.

Thrustmaster Announces New Sparco R383 Racing Wheel

It's been a while since we saw an announcement regarding this particular type of hardware here at TPU, but Thrustmaster have risen to the challenge of offering couch racing enthusiasts all over the world a new solution for their gaming wishes. The Thrustmaster Sparco R383 is an evolution of previous Thrustmaster's designs, built in a 1:1 ratio to its real life counterpart.

Officially dubbed the "Rally Wheel Add-On Sparco R383 Mod", it features a black suede rim with a brushed metal faceplate. Two adjustable metal paddle shifters are available in the back, measuring 5" in height. There are nine buttons available, as well as a directional pad that acts as another button when it's pressed down. The Sparco R383 Racing Wheel is compatible with a plethora of Thrustmaster bases (you can look at the list after the break), thus ensuring compatibility with both the console and PC realms. The Sparco R383 wheel is available now for $200.
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