Resident Evil Village on Mac Review – Digital Foundry

Resident Evil Village on Mac Review: MetalFX Upscaling Challenges DLSS! by Oliver Mackenzie for Digital Foundry on YouTube

The accomplishment of MetalFX upscaling on the M1 lineup here is impressive. I wonder what Apple will be able to offer developers when the inevitable Apple Silicon Mac Pro hits shelves. Capcom proves that the Mac can be a place to game now. I hope other developers take notice and time to port their games to Apple Silicon.

Bethesda Doubles Down

Bethesda tweeted out this statement in regard to Mick Gordon’s thorough account of the DOOM Eternal score and soundtrack debacle.

The recent post by Mick Gordon both mischaracterized and misrepresented the team at id Software, the development of DOOM Eternal, Marty Stratton, and Chad Mossholder with a one-sided and unjust account of an irreparable professional relationship.

We are aware of all the details and history in this matter and unequivocally support Marty, Chad, and the team at id Software. We reject the distortion of the truth and selective presentation of incomplete “facts.” We stand ready with full and complete documented evidence to disclose in an appropriate venue as needed.

The statements posted online have incited harassment and threats of violence against Marty, Chad, and the id Software team. Any threats or harassment directed towards members of our teams will be met with swift and appropriate action to protect their health and safety.

We remain incredibly proud of id’s previous collaborations with Mick Gordon and ask that fans refrain from reaching conclusions based on his account and, more importantly, from attacking any of the individuals mentioned on either side, including Marty, Chad, or Mick.

Says a lot to even respond publicly to Mick and his account with four paragraphs in a little image. It comes off as written by Marty himself. He seems to have no issue using public company accounts to tell a story. We’ll see how this shakes out.

Chapter Select: Season 4, Episode 7 – Furious 7

Photo and design by Max Roberts

You thought this was going to be a street podcast? Max Roberts, Logan Moore, and Chapter Select alum Ricky Frech see if cars can fly and if hearts can soar in the biggest Fast & Furious film to date. Does Universal’s formula for family fizzle out or can the crew continue to top themselves?

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Furious 7

Rotten Tomatoes – 81% critic and 82% viewers


This episode was originally recorded on September 22, 2022.

@ChapterSelect

Max’s Twitter @MaxRoberts143

Logan’s Twitter @MooreMan12

Ricky’s Twitter @RickyFrech

Researcher, Editor, and Producer – Max Roberts

Hosted by Logan Moore & Max Roberts

Photo and Art designed by Max Roberts.

Mick Gordon’s Statement about DOOM Eternal’s Soundtrack

My full statement regarding DOOM Eternal by Mick Gordon

Marty lied about the circumstances surrounding the DOOM Eternal Soundtrack and used disinformation and innuendo to blame me entirely for its failure.

Afterwards, he offered me a six-figure settlement to never speak about it.
As far as I’m concerned, the truth is more important.

Marty’s Reddit post severely impacted both my professional and personal reputation. In releasing this statement, I’m exercising my right to defend myself. It is a defence, not an unprovoked attack, issued with extreme reluctance only after all other attempts to resolve the matter have failed.

This statement is not an excuse for a hate campaign. Acts of hate dished out online won’t result in any positive change. In fact, it only makes things worse.

Mick’s enthralling account of DOOM Eternal‘s soundtrack is gut-wrenching. id Software and Marty Stratton’s behavior is inexcusable and disgusting. If I were Phil Spencer, I’d have Marty out ASAP.

The Evolution of Kratos’ Posture

I’ve had the idea for this article since March 2018. I probably cooked it up as a pitch for when I wrote at DualShockers. Very much a Buzzfeed-style article with a comedic spin. One glance at the box art lineup for the God of War series and you’ll notice that Kratos has a bit of a posture problem.

With God of War: Ragnarök out today, I figured now is as good a time as any to execute this four-year-old pitch.

God of War (PS2)

My goodness! Look at the arch in Kratos’ back! Totally slumped over, neck craned up, arms a dangling down. This is painful to stare at too long. No wonder he walked off a cliff at the very beginning.

God of War II (PS2)

A significant improvement! Kratos is now upright and tall. It appears as if his arms are being held slightly back past his hips. His shoulders are haunched upward and his neck is nonexistent. Still a ton of work to do in improving his neck work.

God of War: Betrayal (Mobile)

Who could forget Kratos’ mobile debut? This is an odd pose. Is the Spartan General running toward us or tripping over something? His right arm appears to be straight up from his shoulder above his head. The right foot can be seen stretched out toward the back. I would not dub this proper running form.

God of War: Chains of Olympus (PSP)

Kratos’ neck appears! The anti-hero is standing tall with his head square, slightly looking toward the heavens. It helps that the game is about Helios falling from the sky, but at least Kratos is on the path to correcting his egregious posture of the past.

God of War III (PS3)

Zeus only knows how Kratos is standing in this one.

God of War: Ghost of Sparta (PSP)

Kratos’ Ghost of Sparta stance is the mirror image of his Chains of Olympus pose. Upright, but facing forward and head tilted down. It’s still in the realm of improvement.

Mortal Kombat 9 (PS3)

What is up with the arm curl? And slightly leaning to one side? If Kratos keeps this up, the back pain will surely finish him.

God of War: Ascension (PS3)

His poor knees and arms. This is the only vulnerable image we ever get of the Spartan. His head drooping down is a sad sight. Why is one knee off the ground though? That has to be even more painful! Perhaps all the stretching is correcting those early year hunches.

Shovel Knight (PS3, PS Vita, PS4)

As soon as the art style goes retro, Kratos’ posture reverts! Major God of War vibes with an aggressive forward lean, haunched neck and shoulders. I don’t know how he’ll ever recover from this…

God of War (PS4)

…And yet he does. Perhaps it is because he is a father once more and he does not want to pass on his terrible habits to his son. We see Kratos tall, level-headed, arms by his side. He is confident, determined. Atreus, on the other hand, is showing some negative behavior. I understand he is eager for the adventure and is on the bow of a boat, but the elevation of his right leg and slight lean worries me. Hopefully, he can break the familial curse and have healthy posture.

God of War: Ragnarök (PS4/PS5)

Praise be to Odin. They did it. Bravo.

Kratos is holding the Leviathan Axe a bit further down. Maybe all the upgrades from the PS4 title redistributed the axe’s balance.

If there are any more God of War games on the horizon, I hope Kratos remembers what he has seemed to learn during his time in Midgard.

My Video Game Collection Tour

I made a video.


I know the title and thumbnail are in the clickbait vein of YouTube. I feel a twinge of cringe at it.

But, I also sort of had fun making it that way. 😬

I made this tour video for a slew of reasons. I suppose the first is because I wanted to make it. I haven’t made a game collection video since December 13, 2008—near 15 years ago! You could say I was on the cutting edge of game collection videos; and all I made those videos with was my cell phone.

Well, I also made this new one with my cell phone. From 480p on a sliding keyboard phone to 4K60 on an iPhone 14 Pro Max; the leap in quality in just 15 years astounds me. I mounted the iPhone in a phone grip from Elgato and onto a handheld tripod I have lying around. I even wrapped my Apple Watch around the side to try and use as a view finder. I wish I had the thought to not point the camera up my nose. I’ll fix that next time.

I have all these cameras and microphones around. I want to use them more and more. I’ve spent a bit of the year doing live streams on YouTube and have had a ton of fun doing so. I recently bought some upgrade to make streams a bit better, once I find a good time to regularly stream again. Having a one month old has made time fly by lately. This video was a way to utilize some of those tools, while Abby and Eloise were out of the house.

This project was also meant to help push my editing technique. I tried to implement cuts and have some sort of pace. At 28 minutes, the pace could be much better. I threw in some jokes and sound effects, hopefully in a manner that elevates the content.

I was nervous to edit this video. I knew I wanted it to be more “modern” (i.e. clickbaity) and I’ve often refrained more presenting my work that way. I do the work and let it speak for itself. I left the files on my computer for a few days after shooting, wondering if I’d go through with producing and publishing it. Since I’ve run out of podcasts to edit at the moment, I decided to give it a go.

It didn’t take long into the edit to realize I had nothing to be nervous about. I was having fun in post-production too. The creative process has been instrumental to my life this year as a consistent outlet for me. I find myself pushing my own boundaries and trying mew ideas.

I enjoy seeing other folks’ collections and talking about them. I have a gear page here on Max Frequency (which is due for another update). It’s much easier to show these off in video rather than in writing. If you check out the video, I hope you enjoy!

PlayStation VR2 launches in February at $549.99  – PlayStation.Blog

PlayStation VR2 launches in February at $549.99  by Isabelle Tomatis, Vice President of Brand, Hardware and Peripherals, SIE for the PlayStation Blog

PS VR2 launches February 22, 2023 at $549.99.

Woof.

Costing more than the PS5 hurts. I thought it would be $500 at the max. I understand the pricing. The tech in the headset and controllers is top notch; market-leading in some areas. Combined with the PS5 is still cheaper than a Valve Index and supped up PC or the new Quest Pro.

But, man, it is a tough pill to swallow when just looking at the sticker price. I bet Sony felt good when Meta raised the cost of the Quest 2 by one hundred bucks earlier this year. The top end Quest 2 now costs just $50 less than PS VR2. If you have a PS5, I think spending the extra $50 is a no brainer. If you don’t already own a PS5, then the conversation there changes tune.

Sony also announced a wave of games heading to PS VR2. Notable titles are The Dark Pictures: Switchback VR from Supermassive Games, Crossfire: Sierra BrigadeCosmonious High by Owlchemy Labs (of Job Simulator fame), and Tentacular. None of those are “wow, gotta buy PS VR2 day one” games to me though. Horizon VR: Call of the Mountain is doing almost all of Sony’s lifting here.

I’m surprised there is no mention of Astro Bot yet. I would have bet that Asobi was going to have a game ready for launch. I’m amped for Resident Evil Village. Hopefully, that is also a launch day title and I can have some impressions for Chapter Select Season 5. And, of course, the dream that Half-Life: Alyx could come to PS VR2 is still strong. That would be the game to snag. I hope that is something Sony and Valve could make work.

I am excited to get my hands on PS VR2. Hopefully, that’ll be at launch. But I know I am in the enthusiast group of consumers. I think this is going to be a tough, tough sell to the average PS5 owner.

And perhaps that’s the point. With Big Tech pushing for headsets and immersion, Sony is in a prime spot with their tech. It’d be even better if PS VR2 is PC-compatible. One would hope it would be, considering all that connects it to the PS5 is a USB-C cable. We’ll see how it shakes out in February and for the rest of the PS5’s life-cycle. The tech is exciting. I hope the games will be too.

Chapter Select: Season 4, Episode 6 – The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift

Photo and design by Max Roberts

Let’s go back to 2006…or are we in 2014? The gaijin Max Roberts and Logan Moore are joined by Yakuza member Michael Ruiz to examine how small stakes feel in a post-Fast & Furious 6 world. Has the Tokyo crew drifted into our hearts or are they better off forgotten?

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The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift

Rotten Tomatoes – 38% critic and 69% viewers


This episode was originally recorded on September 9, 2022.

@ChapterSelect

Max’s Twitter @MaxRoberts143

Logan’s Twitter @MooreMan12

Mike’s Twitter @TheMichaelJRuiz

Researcher, Editor, and Producer – Max Roberts

Hosted by Logan Moore & Max Roberts

Photo and Art designed by Max Roberts.

RE Engine May be the Most Flexible Proprietary Engine Out There

This has been a post I’ve had in the draft folder for some time. I’ve been spending a lot of time with the RE Engine lately, thanks to working on Season 5 – Resident Evil for Chapter Select. I decided it is time to crank this one out.

Holy smokes Capcom has a dope game engine!

The RE Engine made its debut with Resident Evil VII: biohazard in 2017. The “RE” would imply Resident Evil, but I guess it stands for “Reach for the Moon Engine.” Capcom has certainly done that. A new engine made sense for a reinvention of the franchise. Utilizing both a first-person perspective and implementing a fully playable VR version of the game dictated a need for new tech.

Since RE7‘s release, Capcom has turned the Resident Evil engine into the Capcom Engine. There are currently a total of 17 games that use the RE Engine. The real dope part is how diverse that catalog of games is and how many different platforms are supported.

While the bulk are third-person action/shooters, RE Engine also supports first-person games, VR, 2D platformers, retro-emulated arcade games, fighting games, action games, and online multiplayer games. The list of hardware is even longer with

  • Xbox One
  • PlayStation 4 / PSVR
  • Nintendo Switch
  • Xbox Series consoles
  • PlayStation 5 / PSVR2
  • PC
  • Apple Silicon-based Mac computers
  • Cloud-streaming platforms

The spread here is wide. And with that spread, comes a slew of technical capabilities. My PS5 version of RE7 has options for raytracing and 120fps, while the Switch cloud version varies. Resident Evil Village hits Apple Silicon Mac computers next week. I am curious how it performs on my M1 iMac compared to a maxed out M1 Ultra and a beefy PC.

Outside of spooky time games, Capcom making this the backbone of Street Fighter VI is serious. The style is off the charts and early impressions indicate the gameplay is solid.

Compared to the likes of Ubisoft’s Snowdrop and EA’s Frostbite, the RE Engine just seems better. RE Engine appears to be more flexible than Snowdrop, which is primarily used for online shooters, open-world RPGs, and Rabbids games (Mario + Rabbids does look beautiful). Frostbite is notorious for being a FPS engine stretched out for sports and massive RPGs. Credit where it is due though: while writing this, I checked what engine NFS Unbound uses and it is reportedly Frostbite. The new Need for Speed has a unique style to it, not far off from Street Fighter VI actually. Graffiti is so hot right now.

With a new update for Resident Evil Village out soon1 and the ground-up remake of Resident Evil 4, I am going to spending a fair chunk of time with Capcom’s game engine. It’s almost as exciting as the games themselves.


1. A game that supports first-person, third-person, and VR!

Naughty Dog on Learning PC Development

How Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection’s PC launch speaks to Naughty Dog’s present and future by Christian Gyrling for PlayStation Blog

I always told my PC-gamer friends that when I can play Uncharted on PC, that’s when I’ll build one. Well, that day has finally come. I’m not in the market to build a PC right now, but I guess my bluff has been called.

To celebrate the launch of Uncharted: The Legacy of Thieves on PC, one of Naughty Dog’s vice presidents took to the PS Blog to share insight to bringing their games to PC.

We also knew this PC release wasn’t going to be a one-off. As you may already know, The Last of Us Part I is in development for PC following its successful launch on PlayStation 5, and with this being, ahem, Uncharted territory for us, we knew we have a lot to learn about bringing our games to PC. But we were also determined to bring our careful consideration for every aspect of our games to this new version.

And The Last of Us Part I won’t be the last Naughty Dog PC game either. I suspect all future Naughty Dog games – all PlayStation Studios games — will likely come to PC at some point in their life.

First and foremost, we learned, particularly through our partnership, what it takes to bring our own engine to parity to deliver on PC hardware. Uncharted 4 and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy are already beautiful games in their own right, and we wanted to maintain that quality in the PC release. But we still wanted to provide flexibility in fine-tuning an experience PC players expect, and so it was important for us to support more cinematic resolutions as well as specific PC graphical features.

Naughty Dog’s engine is their own secret sauce they’ve kept refining since Jak & Daxter on the PS2. The jump to PS3 was notoriously difficult for the team. Since that console generation, Naughty Dog has prioritized adapting their engine to the new hardware as soon as possible; see The Last of Us Remastered on PS4, The Last of Us Part II‘s PS5-specific patch, Uncharted: The Legacy of Thieves on PS5, and The Last of Us Part I. All of these projects have brought Naughty Dog’s engine1 to the ninth console generation and now it’s on PC.

The PC space is also one that offers users a ton of flexibility in hardware specs, controls, and more. As we’ve primarily only ever had to focus on considering one or two system specs in the past, this was simply eye-opening for us. Having primarily developed for console controllers, we had to learn about the preferences and flexibility keyboard and mouse controls offer, and we found that we had to re-evaluate certain game mechanics to fit the new input methods.

This article iterates that PS5 is Naughty Dog’s primary focus. So I am curious how bringing games to PC now will impact design. When you go from two SKUs to so many, how does that enable or hinder game design?

We also needed to account for the variability of PC hardware as it pertains to data loading, and so we reworked our engine to add a “safety valve” of sorts to ensure a smooth gameplay experience across various PC specs. This isn’t something we’ve had to worry about since the Jak and Daxter days, when we added an animation of Jak stumbling if data was loading in too slowly.

Apparently you had subtle safety valves. What a very immersive way to deal with technical limitations. Never pull the player out of the world and game. Jak and Daxter‘s original goal was one seamless world and this stumble animation was one way Naughty Dog achieved that.

We’re excited to be offering The Last of Us Part I on PC in the future, and know that, moving forward, adding PC development to the way we develop games, which in no way undermines the importance of PlayStation 5 as our primary platform, will continue to benefit our team in the long run.

As PlayStation enters the PC realm, I expect The Last of Us multiplayer game to launch on PC day-and-date with the PS5 version. A big tell will be when God of War: Ragnarök comes to PC. With the ground work laid for Sony Santa Monica’s engine and pipeline, how long will Jim Ryan and PlayStation hold onto console exclusivity? When will Spider-Man 2 swing onto PC? When will PlayStation bring Nixxes in to co-develop the PC version of titles for same-day launches? That’s the future for PlayStation Studios in one way or another.


1. I wish I knew the name they call their engine…

Chapter Select: Season 4, Episode 5 – Fast & Furious 6

Photo and design by Max Roberts

Listen up! We’re heading to London baby! Max Roberts, Logan Moore, and wrestling move expert Mario Rivera hit the street to find out if ghosts are real as the Fast Family goes out to save one of their own. Does Justin Lin land the finale of his trilogy or does he run out of runway?

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Fast & Furious 6

Rotten Tomatoes – 71% critic and 84% viewers


This episode was originally recorded on September 5, 2022.

@ChapterSelect

Max’s Twitter @MaxRoberts143

Logan’s Twitter @MooreMan12

Mario’s Twitter @ThatMarioRivera

Researcher, Editor, and Producer – Max Roberts

Hosted by Logan Moore & Max Roberts

Photo and Art designed by Max Roberts.

I Bought a Pixel 7

Don’t tell Tim Apple, but I bought a Pixel 7. This is my first Android phone.1 I’ve always wanted to have one lying around. It’d offer a peek to what I am missing on the outside of walled Apple orchard. I could have a better pulse on the Android and Google world. Curiosity drove this desire. So with an absurdly good trade-in offer, I decided to let my beloved iPhone Xs Max go to the great Best Buy in the sky.2 Really, I sacrificed it for science.

Then phone showed up yesterday. I set it up fresh. Then I asked myself, “what the heck am I going to do with this thing?”

I spent the night and morning digging into my ideas as to why I even bought the Pixel. Now that it’s here, it’s time to start experimenting and finding where it fits in my life.

The anchor of bringing an Android flagship into my personal technology fleet was utility.

When I watch the Made by Google events and Google I/O, there are usually a few features that leave me gobsmacked in one way or another. Google shows off software I want in my life. The prime example is live transcription. You see the demos on stage or in reviews and you can’t help but think there’s some sort of illusion happening before your eyes. My brain leaps right to interviews and my podcasts.

I tested this feature out just this morning by playing a few minutes of Ben Thompson’s interview with Mark Zukerberg and Satya Nadella about partnering in the Metaverse. The transcription is almost realtime. With decent grammar.3 When Google releases the update to their recorder app to add speaker labels, I plan to use this to make passable transcripts of Chapter Select and The Max Frequency Podcast. It may not be that perfect transcription, but the out-of-the-box accuracy and ease of use makes offering this type of resource affordable to me. It is magic.

Like I just talked about with Casey Liss as I prepared for becoming a parent, the best camera is the one you have on you. That’s a lesson I learned in photojournalism at UCF (one of many). I upgraded to the iPhone 14 Pro Max this year so I could have the best iPhone camera in time for my daughter’s arrival. We also bought a big ol’ fancy camera lens. This trade-in deal seemed like the perfect opportunity to add the legendary Pixel camera to my camera tool belt.

For years, I’ve hear MKBHD talk about Google’s punchy colors and I’ve seen the camera comparisons. Each manufacturer has their own spin on camera priorities and computational photography. I finally get to have two of the major players on deck.

I may be ride or die with Apple, but I do my best to stay on top of the major ongoings with Samsung, Google, and interesting Android devices. Generally, that involves watching MKBHD videos to keep a steady pulse. Keeping this eye on “the other side” has helped me see where Apple falls short and stays ahead. More so, the hardware and software is fascinating. Foldables only exist in Android Land for now. There are under glass fingerprint sensors, super fast charing options, and wild camera arrays. Experimentation is still in full swing over the walls. While Google’s flagship is hardly full-fledged experimentation compared to the rest of the market, the Pixel 7 feels that way to me as a near-decade long iPhone user.

So right now, my plan for the Pixel is two-fold: 1) use it as a tool for podcasting and recording and 2) have a better understanding of the Google and Android ecosystem. I’m looking at the Pixel with a laser focus. What can I do here to enhance my work? I don’t need Twitter or messaging or fitness on my Pixel. It won’t grow in those areas of my walled orchard. But I can use it to prune distractions in production. I can enrich what I make. The Pixel isn’t here to disrupt my workflow, but strengthen it. We’ll see how this experiment pans out.

And now for some quick, initial impressions of the Pixel 7 experience.

  • I prefer the iPhone 14 Pro Max always-on display. I like that colors and the widgets. If Apple was late to the always-on game so they could achieve this vision, I’m glad they waited.
  • The fingerprint is scanner is bright. It’s slightly slower than what I am use to (aka Touch ID), but them’s the breaks with optical sensors. Still a neat feature.
  • Face unlock, not so much. With no depth sensors, it’s physically not as secure as my fingerprint or Face ID. Having dual biometric access is an odd balance. I just default to the fingerprint. Sometimes the face works first. I may just disable Face Unlock.
  • The camera is snappy. There are these helpful little videos when you enter a new spot of the UI. HDR10 limited is limited to 30 fps.
  • Apple Music is nice to have, but weird to have a slice of Apple UI within the confines of Android. Is there an Apple TV app?
  • This phone is slippery. As MKBHD would say, it’s a glass sandwich. I have to buy a case.
  • The gestures are not natural and I’m not sure if that’s four years of iOS gestures or just out of touch design. If you even graze the left side of the screen, it reacts like a Back button. If I try to swipe open the lefthand panel in Discord, it backs out of the app. I turned the sensitivity of this feature as low as it would go. It will certainly take some getting used to.
  • Why are the Chrome controls up top? I don’t want to stretch to the upper right corner to access my tabs. Please. Help.

1. It can’t make phone calls, so is my Pixel 7 even a “phone?”

2. The Xs Max was/is valued around $185~, but the Pixel 7 promotions brought that up to $475. Best Buy also threw in a $100 gift card. After tax, the Pixel 7 cost me $60~, which seemed worth the price of my curiosity.

3. Unlike that sentence.

Dedicated Hardware

While chilling in the hospital during a hurricane after having a baby, I was reading Ben Thompson’s free weekly Stratechery newsletter about Nvidia and their current position.

Moreover, Nvidia is, as with ray-tracing, backing up DLSS with dedicated hardware to make it much more performant. These new approaches, matched with dedicated cores on Nvidia’s GPUs, make Nvidia very well-placed for an entirely new paradigm in not just gaming but immersive 3D experiences generally (like a metaverse).

Nvidia in the Valley by Ben Thompson

Editing in WordPress’ iOS app is atrocious (plus I was busy with a new human), so the draft sat on the server. Then this morning, I was watching MKBHD’s iPhone 14 Plus video and he mentioned a similar trait.

But what’s really happening now is companies are developing their own silicon with special sections of their system on a chip designed to accelerate certain functions that they think will be a priority for their users.

These observations on dedicated hardware in custom silicon reminded me of the PS5. Here’s what I wrote about Sony’s ninth generation console in 2020.

The through line for the whole talk was how customized the PS5 actually is. The SSD is custom. The CPU and GPU are custom. The I/O board is custom. Beyond parts you’d need to build a gaming device, Sony has developed and incorporated their own custom silicon to aid those cornerstone components. There is a custom flash controller for the SSD, which helps prioritize and free up lanes for information to go through. There is a custom “Kraken” decompressor. Kraken is a compression tool that is supposed to be popular amongst many game developers. This custom decompressor unpacks that format with the power of nine Zen 2 cores. These are not chips you can buy off the shelf and slap into a PC.

All of these custom components surround the cornerstone chips that make game consoles possible. Instead of forcing developers to conform to a custom standard, this hardware seems to alleviate hardware work loads and assist developers. It strikes me as the inverse of the PS3 and its Cell architecture. It took developers quite a bit of time to adapt to the Cell processor: It was notoriously tricky to work with. The PS5 is using a custom AMD Zen 2 processor, which seems to be an industry standard…

…I thought the most custom element was the 3D audio tech that Mark detailed. Sony wanted to offer great audio for all players, not just those with fancy sound systems or headphones. So they went ahead and built custom hardware to help create 3D audio from any set of speakers (eventually). Headphones are the gold standard due to one speaker per ear, but Mark even talked about generating 3D audio from TV speakers. With it included in every single PS5, that gives all players and all devs the opportunity to experience/use 3D audio. It reminds me of the leap from standard definition to HD, but for our ears.

Almost two years into the PS5’s lifecycle, we can see the payoffs of leaning into custom hardware alleviation. The raw loading speed of games, 3D audio, the DualSense haptics, all come together to enhance the game experience while providing developers with power. 3D audio itself is a stand out mechanic when implemented right.

[In Returnal] I heard wild alien creatures whipping around me in the level. I instinctively turned toward the sound and stopped immediately on the enemy. 

This was more than standard surround sound pointing me in a direction. I locked-in on the enemy with my ears before I did with my eyes or gun. In a fight-or-flight scenario, my ears did their survival job.

Then I got thinking about PSVR2 again…

When you combine these [haptic feedback and adaptive trigger] elements with the PS5’s Tempest audio engine, PSVR 2 has incredible potential to really put users in a place.

PlayStation’s pursuit of immersion this generation is off to a stellar start and promises to be a transformative addition to gameplay. I can’t wait to feel, hear, and see more.

We are in an era where big tech companies understand both their needs and their consumers (be that developers or customers). These companies then leverage their R&D and pour immense resources into developing custom hardware to make the experience better.

It’s not just PlayStation. Look at Apple with the Mac’s leap to Apple Silicon. The performance smokes Intel and AMD. Nintendo uses a custom Nvidia chip in the Switch. There have been plenty of rumors that the next console from the Big N with implement Nvidia’s DLSS to achieve a 4K image. Microsoft brought back the proprietary memory card!

The tune all of these companies are marching to is custom hardware to alleviate and streamline processes. It doesn’t sound like the songs of the past, like the Cell processor or the Trash Can Mac Pro. Big Tech seems to have found a groove and isolated what their platforms need to flourish without being cornered for years because of one decision. The song of custom sounds good now, hopefully someday it goes out on a high note instead of a whimper.

Chapter Select: Season 4, Episode 4 – Fast Five

Photo and design by Max Roberts

It is time to assemble the team. Two precision podcasters – Max Roberts and Logan Moore – don’t crack under the pressure of discussing this transformative film. Can the Fast Family pull off the greatest heist of all and become a billion dollar franchise?

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Fast Five

Rotten Tomatoes – 78% critic and 83% viewers


This episode was originally recorded on August 30, 2022.

@ChapterSelect

Max’s Twitter @MaxRoberts143

Logan’s Twitter @MooreMan12

Researcher, Editor, and Producer – Max Roberts

Hosted by Logan Moore & Max Roberts

Photo and Art designed by Max Roberts.

Google Stadia is Shutting Down

My thoughts when Stadia closed the doors on its first-party studio last February:

Google’s own studio didn’t even last two years.

Google hired former Head of Sony Santa Monica, Shannon Studstill, not even one year ago.

This is, unfortunately, not surprising. The clock is ticking for Stadia on the whole. Real glad I got a controller and Chromecast for free late last year. When Google is practically handing out hardware, you know the end is near.

Turns out the end was 19 months away.

[Stadia] hasn’t gained the traction with users that we expected so we’ve made the difficult decision to begin winding down our Stadia streaming service…

Players will continue to have access to their games library and play through January 18, 2023 so they can complete final play sessions. We expect to have the majority of refunds completed by mid-January, 2023.

Make sure to back-up those Stadia games!

Joking aside, I saw IO Interactive is trying to help their Stadia customers. Wonder what will come of it…

Interesting to see Jade Raymond fully with PlayStation now since Sony bought her studio Haven. Colin Moriarty and I discussed how Haven is playing into PlayStation’s development strategy. It sounds like that tech or the ideas behind it spawned from Stadia.

Ironic to see Jade at PlayStation and Shannon Studstill working at a blockchain company now.