Analogue DAC Thoughts and Impressions

My Analogue DAC showed up about two weeks ago and I finally had some time to play with it and write down my thoughts. Before my own DAC arrived, I was curious why there was a lackluster amount of reviews for the device online. Now that I have one, I see why most folks would pass on reviewing the DAC. It works exactly as advertised and serves a niche segment of an already tiny market. As some one who falls into the more casual side of that segment, I do think it’s worth the effort to discuss critically though.

The DAC gives the line of Analogue products flexibility. Before the Super NT, Analogue made the Nt mini. This was the NES FPGA console and it cost a whopping $450, but it had both digital and analog output. It also was made out of a solid block of aluminum. When the Super NT was revealed, one key factor that played into the significantly lower cost of $190 was the removal of analog support. Arguably, most customers want a simple plug-and-play, high-def way to play their SNES games. CRT televisions live on through the retro game community, purists that crave the highest quality video that the developers intended back in the 1990s. Most folks have chucked these kinds of TVs to the curb.

For those that want that analog output, the DAC provides that. For an additional $80 (really $100 after shipping), you can plug in any Analogue console and output the system to a CRT television. It still ends up being cheaper than an NT mini and works with any Analogue console.

As for the DAC itself, it is a small box that acts as the midway point in a daisy chain of video signals. Power is through the same USB Micro power supply that comes with an Analogue system. There is an additional USB Micro cable included that goes from the DAC’s USB port to your Super NT or Mega SG. This provides pass-through power to the console; no need to have two power supplies.

From the console to the DAC is where the HDMI cable goes. The console and the DAC communicate somehow, which makes the console kick into DAC mode. Then the DAC converts that digital input signal to analog out through a HD-15 port. All you need to do is buy the HD-15 cable you need. I went with the component cable that Analogue recommends, as it is the highest analog video I can currently play on. You also need a separate cable for analog audio.

And that’s it. I powered on my CRT and it worked immediately. I have to admit, seeing the Analogue boot sequence on an actual CRT was pretty rad. It just feels right. And that’s part of why I bought the DAC, because I enjoy playing games on my CRT. I currently have some form or another to play almost all my home consoles on an HD TV (sorry N64 and PS2). There is an authentic feeling when playing on a CRT. Maybe it’s just nostalgia that throws up blinders to convenience, but I genuinely enjoy having this capability.

The DAC also provides the promise for future compatibility in Analogue’s line. The Pocket connected through the Dock to the DAC (say that five times fast) opens up high fidelity analog video for handheld consoles that is extremely difficult to experience. Mods and software emulation melt away through the use of FPGA consoles and the DAC. Players could venture down the path of the MiSTer, but that is for the people into tinkering with computers. Analogue offers a path of least resistance, but that comes at a cost; both financially and straight-up consumer demand.

When stepping slightly outside the realm of plug-and-play, I did run into some issues. I wanted to test capturing analog footage. I have an older Elgato HD capture card that supports analog video capture. I plugged everything in and bupkis. At Jeremy Parish’s recommendation, I tried all the sync options, but to no avail. Somewhere in this chain of wires, a miscommunication is happening and I can’t figure out how to correct it. This doesn’t impact my ability to play the games, but It did mean I couldn’t capture direct footage for my needs (i.e. this article).

The DAC is a smart solution for multiple problems. It allows Analogue to make their primary consoles cheaper for every customer. It gives customers that do want analog video an accessible option that works with any Analogue console they own or will buy. It opens the gateway for consoles to get high quality analog output, even those that have to jump through numerous, technical hoops. Preservationist, historians, and enthusiasts get the performance they desire, while Analogue gets to have their cake and eat it too.

The Sound of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End – SoundWorks Collection

SoundWorks Collection: The Sound of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End on Vimeo

“What we did was a combination of a bunch of quads, but moving throughout the environment and then positional quads, but also moving quads in that when you move your head the quads are positional, but also ones that are going with you and then ones that you go through and that are collapsing and that combinition is so much more intricate than games that are out right now, mostly because they don’t have enough CPU to be able to do that. They don’t have enough sound bank memory to be able to have all that stuff.” – Jeremy Rogers

Allow me to introduce you to the PS5’s dedicated 3D sound engine Tempest with “performance and bandwidth comparable to eight PS4 CPU cores combined.”

The PS5 is going to make games sound insane!

I wish I didn’t discover this video so late into the creation of Chasing the Stick

Sucker Punch Explains The Life Of The Samurai In Ghost Of Tsushima – Game Informer

Sucker Punch Explains The Life Of The Samurai In Ghost Of Tsushima – Game Informer by Matthew Kato for Game Informer

As far as combat goes, more secrets remain, such as a particularly tantalizing stealth combat action prompt called “slaughter.” This option (as well as the ability to perform chain assassinations) appeared when Jin sneaks up on some unaware enemies in a camp.

Mark and execute, anyone?

Jin peacefully plays a flute. Does this lead to something else, or is it simply for player enjoyment? Fox told us that it has a “specific role” in the game.

Time travel confirmed.

How the Studio Behind The Last Guardian Helped Ghost of Tsushima Find Its Direction – USgamer

How the Studio Behind The Last Guardian Helped Ghost of Tsushima Find Its Direction by Mike Williams for USgamer

“We reached out to them very early and we were like, ‘hey, here’s this game we want to make. First of all, what do you think? And two, do you want to help us out for obvious reasons?’ It was great, they were super excited about it,” says Connell. “They flew a number of us to Japan and helped us with a 10- or 11-day guided tour with a historian through central Japan, southern Japan, Fukuoka. We got to go to Tsushima. We actually got to go to the beach that the invasion happened on which is [Komodohama]. So they were very supportive early on.”

With the help of Japan Studio, Sucker Punch also spent time talking to consultants and historians. It needed to know about the history of the invasion of Tsushima. It needed to know how Japanese people from that time lived and how they moved. Sucker Punch even flew in modern-day practitioners of the samurai sword-fighting style to consult on the game and do some motion capture. “They were so freaking fast,” says Connell. “We had to ask them to slow down because it was too fast to capture.”

Ghost of Tsushima will launch with two voice tracks, the English recorded by Sucker Punch and the Japanese voice track overseen by SIE Japan Studio. Both tracks were recorded “almost simultaneously” and players will have the ability to choose one or the other when they load up Ghost of Tsushima for the first time on PlayStation 4.

I love hearing that Sucker Punch had such strong support from Sony to make Ghost of Tsushima as authentic as possible. Being a first-party studio has such a strong benefit of having Sony’s backing, both financially and creatively. I imagine this dedication will help translate to stronger sales in Japan as well. Ghost of Tsushima feels like a beautiful blend of Western and Japanese development. It is a unique pairing.

While the presentation showed gameplay as a Samurai or the Ghost, those aren’t two different combat systems. Jin can fluidly move between both as the need arises, with all of the tools at his disposal.

“We want to clear up that this is not a game where you choose to be the Samurai, or choose to be the Ghost,” says Connell.

So my initial read on being able to switch between styles is spot on. I can’t help but think that will lead to some sort of narrative disconnect with the gameplay though. The story side of Ghost of Tsushima is anchored in Jin’s transformation into “The Ghost” as he reclaims the island of Tsushima from the Mongols. Being able to ignore this Ghost path on the gameplay front, while great for actual mechanics, doesn’t jive with the narrative presented so far. Here’s what I wrote earlier this week.

But when watching the gameplay styles, it looks like maybe you don’t have to move beyond those samurai traditions after all, at least when playing. That could be a point of disconnect between the narrative and gameplay if there is not a karma system. Sucker Punch’s last franchise, inFamous, used karma as a key pillar in its storytelling and gameplay, so it does make sense for them to continue that practice in Ghost of Tsushima. The marketing so far just does not communicate that. It will be interesting to see how this element shakes out.

Interestingly enough, there is no karma system in Ghost of Tsushima.

Unlike the Infamous games, there is no good-evil karma system. Within the story of Ghost of Tsushima, the fall of Jin and his transition into the Ghost is the emotional core, but there will also be gameplay benefits to becoming that legendary figure.

I don’t want to judge the story and gameplay experience before I play the game myself. Color me curious to see how it all pans out thematically.

There’s also no hunting system in the game, where you kill deer, foxes, or bears for materials to make armor or items.

This strikes me as an interesting choice for an open-world game. There are clearly crafting mechanics with other supplies like bamboo and linen. while you may not kill animals for supplies, I still assume you can and will kill some animals. In the State of Play video there was a bear that was attacking some NPCs. I doubt there is a peaceful way to resolve that. I wonder what rewards, if any, there will be for killing animals.

“I knew that it would be a technical hurdle to get right,” he says. “That’s not an easy thing to do, have everything in your game react to wind if possible. About two years later, a year and a half later, the game had it. Everything was windy. There were trees moving, and grass moving, capes moving, and hair moving, and particles… it was insane. At that time we were realizing that the game was just stunning. It was very very pretty, even early.”

The Particle Masters have proven themselves again with the wind interacting with everything. I like that the wind began solely as a visual element that turned into a mechanic. I really hope the technical performance can remain steady in particularly windy scenes that are dense with elements whipping around.

It’s remarkable that we are getting two first-party PS4 exclusives back-to-back to close out the generation. Especially since both Naughty Dog and Sucker punch kicked off the PS4’s life with The Last of Us Remastered and inFamous: Second Son. I hope it all ends on a high note.

Chasing the Stick Announcement Trailer

Update (06/05/2020): It is live.

Chasing the Stick is the story of video game developer Naughty Dog. It tells how they make their games with the unified goal of telling the story on the joystick. From The Last of Us to the PS5, Chasing the Stick tells the story of one of the video game industry’s most renowned and prolific developers.

Direct Download – Apple Podcasts – Google Podcasts – SpotifyOvercastCastroPocket Casts – RSS Feed

A couple of months ago at the end of March 2020, I announced this new project called Chasing the Stick. It would be the definitive history of Naughty Dog and their time working on the PlayStation 4. Covering the years 2013-2020, I have researched, analyzed, and critiqued the catalog that Naughty Dog has developed within one console generation. My transcription skills have gotten pretty good, if I do say so myself.

The end of the project is in sight. I plan to click the publish button on June 5, 2020. I chose that date for two reasons: It happens to be two weeks before the release of The Last of Us Part II and it also happens to be my birthday.

Chasing the Stick has turned into more than a lengthy editorial for my website. I have also turned it into an e-book and audiobook. It has been completely self-produced and published.

It will also be entirely free.

You will be able to download the e-book as a .epub or .mobi file. These can be added to your phone or Kindle reader quite easily. The audiobook will be available as a podcast through major podcast providers and as a direct download. I narrated the entire audiobook. It is the same experience no matter where you read (or listen) to Chasing the Stick. Everything will be available on MaxFrequency.net.

Chasing the Stick is part essay, part research, part history, part editorial, and part critical analysis. It is a celebration of my favorite video game developer. I’ve channeled all my excitement and energy for The Last of Us Part II into this story over the past four months. I cannot wait to share this all with you.

New Tenet Trailer Premiering in Fortnite

Grab a front row seat in Party Royale for a world premiere!

Catch the latest trailer for Christopher Nolan’s @TENETFilm
at the top of every hour on the big screen starting at 8 PM ET.

ʇnO sunᴚ ǝɯı⊥ ǝɹoɟǝq ʇı ǝǝS

Fortnite via Twitter

I understand Fortnite has become more than a battle royale game. It’s a social hub for hanging out and going to concerts. It certainly is experimenting with world-wide entertainment. Warner Bros. and Epic have clearly made a deal.

But I cannot imagine that Christopher Nolan, a huge proponent of shooting his movies on film and releasing them in a 70mm IMAX film format, is rooting for his next blockbuster to have a trailer debut on a virtual movie theater screen with 100 dancing avatars. That sounds like a terrible way to actually watch any video/trailer/movie.

I’ll just wait for the YouTube release.

The Last of Us Part II – Inside the Gameplay

The Last of Us Part II – Inside the Gameplay | PS4 – YouTube

“But more than anything it needs to put you in Ellie’s shoes. That you’re experiencing what Ellie’s experiencing, making you feel what she feels. Cause the more we do that the more the emotional beats of the story work for us and the more they work for us in this very unique way that only works in video games.” – Neil Druckmann

Jump and prone and dodge, oh my!

In the latest entry in what is apparently a weekly series from Sony and Naughty Dog, the team behind The Last of Us Part II shares the evolution of the gameplay mechanics from the first game to now. The comments are disabled, so if you care to watch the video, you may do so without fear of story spoilers.

As alluded to by my joke, the core focus of these gameplay evolutions is the inclusion of three new mechanics; jumping on command, lying prone, and being able to dodge in combat. These were all revealed back at E3 2018. In fact, almost all of the footage used in this video is from E3 2018 and the press demo from September 2019. This video primarily provides developer insight.

Looking closer at the video actually revealed a few things to me that I thought were worth sharing. The biggest takeaway is related to Sony reusing old footage: The HUDs are different. Subtle differences made over the course of over a year. The entire HUD appears to live on the right side of the screen with an interesting combination of analog and digital representations of information. For example, there is both a visual representation of the ammo in the currently equipped gun as well as a number. I can see why Naughty Dog would include both types of indicators. The visual can show you the immediate clip of ammo, while the number shows all ammo for that gun.

“When you are partially hidden or you’re like in grass, that means people from afar can’t see you. People from closer can kind of see you. They will eventually acquire you. You are not completely hidden when you’re in grass. And it makes you as a player become much more aware of your surroundings.” – Neil Druckmann

For stealth, it seems that the circle on the right fills up with a gray circle when player visibility increases. This was in the E3 2018 demo, so this could have changed at any point within the past two years. Since Naughty Dog has decided to make stealth itself analog, I like that its in-game representation is also analog. I’m curious what other visual and audio cues players will have for stealth as well.

The music in the background of the video gives folks a small taste of the soundtrack for The Last of Us Part II. I cannot wait to listen to it all.

Apparently this is a weekly series for the time being. I’ not sure if this will go on for four more weeks until launch day or just another week or so. Next Wednesday (5/27/20) is when the next “Inside” video will be published. If I was a betting man, I’d put money on it covering the music.

Paper Mario: The Origami King, Live Reaction and Discussion – Arlo

Paper Mario: The Origami King | Live Reaction and Discussion – Arlo

I meant to share this back when Paper Mario: The Origami King was announced. I got caught up in the day and just never got around to it. Arlo is the de facto voice of Paper Mario on YouTube for me. His YouTube career took off with the fantastic “The Problem with Paper Mario” video. He also kickstarted the Remaster The Thousand-Year Door campaign last year as well as took an in-depth look at Color Splash three years later. The muppet knows his Paper Mario.

His open-letter in the Problem of Paper Mario video, Arlo talks about the lack-luster reveal of Color Splash and how he wishes there was maybe a small teaser that lead into a full-blown stylish trailer. We got that with The Origami King. Arlo talked about the lack of uniqueness and any real sort of plot. It appears that The Origami King has both of those. Maybe Nintendo is finally listening to fans. Or maybe it is foolish to hope for that after the last two games?

The Last of Us Part II Limited Edition PS4 Pro Announced

Celebrating The Last of Us Part II With a Limited Edition PS4 Pro Bundle and More – PlayStation.Blog

Wasn’t sure if this would happen or not, considering there was no word before the indefinite delay. This has obviously been in production for some time though, especially when you think about the game’s originally planned February 2020 release date. Being announced exactly one month before the game’s launch makes sense in light of all the surrounding circumstance.

As for the design of the console itself, it has a matte gray/black finish with Ellie’s moth tattoo engraved on the top: The game’s title is printed on front middle section, beneath the disc drive. The controller features the same coloring with the tattoo embossed on the right handle with the game’s logo stamped on the touch pad. The bundle comes with the typical 1TB hard drive and a standard edition copy of The Last of Us Part II.

Overall, I find the console design sleek and clean. I prefer dark matte materials to be used on tech, especially over glossy bright colors. The tattoo art being engraved into the console gives a unique texture (not that you’d be running your fingers over it regularly). It sort of mirrors the process of a real tattoo; scratching into the surface to permanently alter it with art. Out of the plethora of PS4 console variants, this is one of the better looking ones, in my opinion. I do wish the game’s name was not stamped on the front though. I think it would look much better.

Sony also announced a matching Gold Wireless headset and a Seagate 2TB external hard drive. I do like the crimson padding on the headset, but I wish it was a Platinum model instead. This does give me hope for a special audio mode for The Last of Us Part II like the first game had on the PS3 with the Pulse wireless headset. Fans may also buy the controller individually.

Whoops.

Next-Gen Duking it Out in June

Not E3: When to expect Sony’s and Microsoft’s next big summer events by Jeff Grubb for Venture Beat via DualShockers

Grab the salt.

Rumors are claiming that Sony will hold a PS5 event in early June, possibly on June 4. My birthday is June 5, so I’ll gladly take that as an early birthday present. The rumor claims there is a possibility of the date changing, which isn’t surprising considering the state of the world and the fact this is a rumor. This post also claims both first and third party games would be shown. No word on pricing or the console itself. This all seems nebulous, but until Sony talks, it is worth putting a pin in early June.

The Xbox angle of this rumor is a bit more concrete since Microsoft has confirmed monthly events going forward. Grubb reports that Microsoft is looking at June 9 or June 10 for the June event, but really isn’t sure what they will show off. It’s possible we get a release date and/or price. Maybe Microsoft focuses on the user experience, showing off the UI and other features. We have a rough sketch of the June Xbox event, but the details are fuzzy.

I find it interesting that the rumor mill is churning that both companies are pondering an early June event. Right when E3 2020 would have taken place. I wonder if a PS5 event before The Last of Us Part II will suck some of the wind out of its impending launch. Probably not, since the original game did well out of the gate, before the PS4 was fully revealed. We are currently two weeks away from early June. If any of this pans out, we will likely have an announcement within the next week or so. Both companies will want some hype leading into their respective streams.

Ghost of Tsushima Preview

Ghost of Tsushima has been put in a unique position. Sony is closing down the PS4 console generation with a new IP, just like they did with the PS3. Just taking a glance at Sony’s first party line-up over the course of the PS4’s life cycle will show you that there was a heavy emphasis on single-player open-world games. Sucker Punch actually laid the first brick with inFamous: Second Son in March 2014, four months after the PS4 launched in North America. The studio has had time to learn over the course of an entire console generation, observing their fellow PlayStation Studios partners and outside developers. Sucker Punch has the opportunity to place the capstone on the legacy of PS4’s open-world exclusives.

Last week, Sucker Punch had the opportunity to reveal detailed gameplay for Ghost of Tsushima in a State of Play. I took some notes while I watched this 18-minute presentation and a little bit of time to chew on what Ghost of Tsushima appears to be. If you’d like to watch the State of Play for yourself, you can watch it on YouTube. The State of Play is broken into five chunks: The World, The Samurai, The Ghost, Customization, and Presentation. Each of these gave a taste of what makes the game unique.

“Exploration has been at the heart of our open-world design since the very beginning. But you can’t have exploration if you don’t have curiosity. So we’ve continually asked ourselves how can we let the island guide you in the most thematic and immersive ways possible?” – Jason Connell

Jason Connell opened up the presentation by discussing the island of Tsushima and how Sucker Punch is trying to entice players to explore. The opening shot is with Jin, the main character, on a cliff looking over a part of the island. I saw yellow and white forests, smoke stakes, and a beached (or docked) boat. These contrasts in color and materials catch my eye, but I’m curious to see what will drive me to explore those areas once a controller is in my hand. What will the game teach me about exploration to encourage me to continually do it?

The mechanic that Sucker Punch came up with to help player’s navigate the island is genius. Place a pin on the map and then a “Guiding Wind” will appear and blow in the direction of your pin. You can summon the gust of wind at any time to point you in the right direction. As someone who loves a clean HUD, this is such a nuanced and noninvasive tool for navigation. The wind isn’t just a collection of white lines either. The wind interacts with the world, pushing grass and leaves along as well blowing Jin’s cloak. It is sort of like the inverse of the wind while sailing in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. I hope there is a way to add an on-screen marker for those that want one, but the Guiding Wind is an elegant solution for immersive navigation.

Beyond that, open-world staples are here: Different animals will lead you to certain places nearby, smoke stacks indicate people in danger, fast travel is unlocked as you explore. There are items that the player may pick up like bamboo, linen, dye flowers, and “supplies.” I assume these are for crafting armor, which has its own mechanics. Armor has advantages that can be tailored to the play style of the player, while dye lets the player tailor the colors of the armor to their liking. Combined with Charms and Skill Points, the gameplay seems to have a heavy emphasis on player choice.

That’s further emphasized with the gameplay styles between playing as an honorable Samurai or the dishonorable Ghost. Nate Fox talks about precision and energy management. It sounds like an action game with parry timing and utilizing certain techniques against certain foes. There are different attack stances, which may or may not impact gameplay in significant ways. There is some sort of stamina meter while in combat, but its finer details are still unknown. As for playing as the Ghost, this style seems far more stealth and fear motivated. Frankly, it reminds me of Splinter Cell or the Arkham Batman games. Shadows, higher perches, smoke bombs, tools for distracting enemies. All the tools I saw on display were to give the player that feeling of power over the enemies.

Between these two styles, I am curious if there is some sort of karma system in the game. Before this presentation, I would have though not. The description of the game and the trailers portray it as a tale of revenge that drives a decent man to betraying everything he was taught. It seems pretty cut and dry in that regard:

As one of the last surviving samurai, you rise from the ashes to fight back. But honorable tactics won’t lead you to victory. You must move beyond your samurai traditions to forge a new way of fighting—the way of the Ghost—as you wage an unconventional war for the freedom of Japan. – Sucker Punch

But when watching the gameplay styles, it looks like maybe you don’t have to move beyond those samurai traditions after all, at least when playing. That could be a point of disconnect between the narrative and gameplay if there is not a karma system. Sucker Punch’s last franchise, inFamous, used karma as a key pillar in its storytelling and gameplay, so it does make sense for them to continue that practice in Ghost of Tsushima. The marketing so far just does not communicate that. It will be interesting to see how this element shakes out.

Some of my favorite features showcased are the superficial modes that alter Ghost of Tsushima’s presentation. It’s no secret that I love the idea of playing this game with the Japanese voice over and English subtitles. It just feels (maybe sounds is more appropriate) right. The photo mode appears to give users fine grain controls, even allowing users to change the elements floating in the wind or the music in the scene. Sucker Punch looks like they’ve taken the years of feedback for other PS4 games’ photo modes (including their own) and are making a full-featured tool. The coolest surprise was cinema mode. This gives Ghost of Tsushima a black and white, grainy, moody appearance that mirrors classic samurai films. I can only imagine how gorgeous it will look on my 4K OLED TV with HDR. Combined with the Japanese voice track and you’ll have pretty authentic appearance. I get pumped up just thinking about it.

The end of a console generation is often the best time for the system. Developers squeeze every ounce of power out of the console as a studio’s game design philosophy is explored. The PS4 is particularly fun to be a part of with both The Last of Us Part II and Ghost of Tsushima. Having both an established franchise with a long-awaited sequel and a brand new IP give the PS4 both sides of the console-exclusive coin. If both games end up being strong PlayStation games, the energy going into the PS5 will be even more powerful. July 17 is just two months away. I feel like it will be here before we know it.

Sony Speaks Softly and Carries a Big PS5 – Dieter Bohn

Why Amazon’s hardware makes more sense than Google’s by Dieter Bohn for The Verge

Epic CEO Tim Sweeney says the PS5 is so impressive it’s ‘going to help drive future PCs’. He is very impressed. When I first saw reports of fast storage, I thought it was just about faster load times. It’s clearly about so much more.

“We’ve been working super close with Sony for quite a long time on storage,” he says. “The storage architecture on the PS5 is far ahead of anything you can buy on anything on PC for any amount of money right now. It’s going to help drive future PCs. [The PC market is] going to see this thing ship and say, ‘Oh wow, SSDs are going to need to catch up with this.’”

While not the main point of Dieter’s newsletter, I found the headline of this section enticing. Yesterday’s reveal of Unreal Engine 5 being exclusively paired to the PS5 name is a tremendous boost to PS5’s appearance. Unreal is a multiplatform engine though and this was an exclusively built tech demo to showcase the new engine’s technology. Unreal should perform the same on the Xbox Series X.

“We consider things strategically but doing our best,” said Totoki, reports Bloomberg’s Takashi Mochizuki. “As for pass or fail, I would wait for PS5 sales to make that judgement.”

Sony’s R&D into the SSD and custom I/O sounds like it will pay off not just for the PS5, but the PC market as well. Competition keeps things healthy. This is part of why I prefer console gaming. The hardware is tailored for the experience. This is why first party studios get such great results. Look at the Switch and games like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe or Super Mario Odyssey. Nintendo has some of the generation’s best looking and optimized games on technically weaker hardware. Intimate knowledge of a console can lead to fantastic results. I am eager to see both what Sony and Microsoft cook up this generation.