Plus: Quake Remastered is the MP palate cleanser you need to play.
Before I jump into discussing the latest gaming and tech news, there’s something very important I need to share with you: Quake Remastered has reignited my love for multiplayer gaming. Maybe it’s just nostalgia. In the mid-90s, myself and my co-workers at EMAP magazines were religiously playing the game via a mini-LAN setup at the office. When we moved to offices in Docklands, the entire office was networked, making more massive multiplayer gaming a viable lunchtime activity. Last month, the same personalities met to replay the game once again, starting with the classic levels. It holds, it’s true. If you’re jaded by today’s massive multiplayer shooters, battle royales, season passes, and progression systems, round up a few friends and get together for a Quake Remastered. It supports cross-play, and all systems – even Switch – support keyboard and mouse. It’s amazing: the simplicity, the purity and the awesome design will blow your mind.
Less revealing but still important are some of the key talking points raised by last week’s news, starting with the news that Sony is continuing to produce the PlayStation 4 while Microsoft has completely ditched all flavors of the Xbox One. The news has been framed by the idea that Sony cannot physically supply enough PS5s, meaning PS4 production has been ramped up to fill the void. It’s true that Sony has previously stated that its main goal is to move from one generation to another as quickly as possible, but the fact is that there is always an extended transition period between console generations. For example, the PlayStation 4 was launched in 2013 but its predecessor only ceased production in 2017.
Older hardware tends to find a new, more value-conscious market, especially in a time when new consoles are expensive. Will continuing to sell latest generation consoles prolong the transition period between generations? Well, it’s much more likely that the existing PlayStation 4 user base of around 120 million plays a much bigger role in this, but it does point to a different strategy being pursued by Sony’s main competitor. The Xbox Series S sees Microsoft selling a capable next-gen machine for less here and now, it’s not a million miles shy of PS4 money. It’s a clean break from the past, but still allows users to tap into the previous-gen library and a good companion for Game Pass. Different companies, different strategies, but I’m not sure I fully buy into the narrative that Sony is still making PS4s because it can’t make enough PS5s – they’re two devices aimed at two very different markets.
- 00:00:00 Presentations
- 00:00:38 Is Sony addressing PlayStation 5 shortages by making more PS4s?
- 00:04:59 Final Fantasy 7 Remake PC Square Patches
- 00:13:21 GeForce RTX 3080 12 GB: inevitable price and availability problems
- 00:21:16 Fortnite back on iOS via GeForce Now
- 00:26:42 DF Content Discussion: Will’s Weird Tech – are wheels the ultimate PC upgrade?
- 00:34:18 DF Content Discussion: Quake Remastered
- 00:37:17 DF Content Discussion: God of War Discussion on PC
- 00:45:30 DF Supporter Q1: Recent reports suggest that Series S sales may overtake Series X. What does this mean for the future development environment of Series X?
- 00:52:06 DF Supporter Q2: Hypothetically, if VRR were to become the norm and every modern display supported it, what kind of frame rates do you think developers should be targeting?
- 00:58:13 DF Supporter Q3: Hi DF, do you think the continued shortage of chips will cause cross-generation versions to persist for the majority of major releases until the end of 2022?
- 01:02:43 DF Supporter Q4: Have you ever had discussions about color grading in games with the developers?
- 01:06:10 DF Supporter Q5: How plausible is Half Life Alyx on PSVR2 according to your (steel) crystal balls? Inside knowledge, rumor confirmation?
- 01:07:04 DF Supporter Q6: Why don’t more PC games just compile shaders in advance?
- 01:12:00 DF Supporter Q7: Would the DF team consider exploring the topic of integrated graphics for games in a future episode?
- 01:15:04 DF Supporter Q8: Which title that will be released in 2022 are you most looking forward to from a technological point of view?
Other news? We’ve received the first patch for the PC version of Final Fantasy 7 Remake – a PC port that disappointed us due to its lack of options and notable stuttering issues. At first, I found it hard to believe that the performance was as bad as my colleagues said, so I decided to try the patch with a system with a Core i9 10900K and an RTX 3080. The truth is that even with the patch in place, everything my colleagues had reported turned out to be true – even at 1080p, 3080 can’t handle 60 frames per second. It looks like the fix only serves to remove the mandatory dynamic resolution scaling and even then only when selecting high frame rates. Yes, there have been complaints about the presence of DRS, but the obvious solution is to allow users to turn it on or off, instead of limiting it to certain frame rate targets. It’s a game that still requires a lot of work.
Returning to a more positive discussion, Alex Battaglia spends some time talking about his recent discussions with Sony Santa Monica Studio and Jetpack Interactive, where we learned a lot about the development process for the PC version of God of War, while hardware guy Will Judd blows me away with his enthusiastic review of the wheels he attached to his PC. I’m also spending some time teasing the upcoming GeForce Now RTX 3080 cloud review that Tom Morgan has spent a lot of time putting together since returning from vacation. Image quality tests, latency analysis, competitive comparisons with Stadia and xCloud…watch out tomorrow. There can always be issues with cloud gaming platforms, but this is by far the most successful streaming system to date.
And of course we cover a bunch of questions from the DF Supporter Program. Will the impressive commercial success of the Xbox Series S skew development towards Xbox Junior? If and when variable refresh rate displays become the norm, will developers target arbitrary frame rates for their performance goals? Will Half-Life Alyx be coming to PlayStationVR 2? It’s the kind of chat we have all the time on the support program where backers can talk directly to the team, get early access to much of our content, and more. Join us!