Friday, November 30, 2012

Intel CPUs, THQ's humble bundle, WiiU guts and Xbox delays




The Midagedgamer report for 11-30-2012

This week: THQ gets a charity bump, Delays on Xbox720, Confirmed! WiiU CPU sucks and Intel CPU sockets in jeopardy!

THQ's seen a slight bump in its share price on Thursday due to an unexpected windfall of 2 million dollars from the success of their Humble bundle program.  The promotion allows the buyer to pay whatever they want for a collection of 7 classic THQ titles including metro 2033 and Company of Heroes.  The buyer can choose how much of the purchase price goes to THQ and charities including Childplay and the American 
Red Cross with the minimum purchase at $1 .  It's a nice influx of cash and the charity tie-in is either brilliant marketing or a new low depending on your sensibilities.  Know this, THQ has already defaulted on loan payments to Wells Fargo and has till January 15th 2013 to settle up.  THQ's share price was $1.45 a share on Friday's close.  If this promotion is successful in pulling THQ out of its financial woes it could mean that THQ may become the bargain bundler of the game industry.


There's a strong rumor, meaning more than just some scribbling on a Chinese website, that the next generation Xbox is due out for Christmas 2013.  Apparently multiple Bloomberg sources close to the next gen console's development say manufacturing problems have pushed back the original September 2013 release date. 


Splash Damage CEO Paul Wedgwood has created a new game publishing house called Warchest to distribute Splash Damage titles.  Their aim is to produce, "free digitally distributed games with high production values for all leading platforms". They've been successful with the strategy on the PC with the classic, "Enemy Territory" and now seek to extend the philosophy across platforms. 
The first hint of what's to come from the publisher is in the form of a teaser trailer for the PC only game, "DirtyBomb" to be followed by "Rad Soldiers" for IOS devices in June of 2013.  "Connectedness" is important to the new publisher so that you can continue your game experience across any device regardless of platform.  Not a bad idea.  It would be nice to play a game on a PC, for example, and pick it up where you left off on an IPAD.


A high profile Wii hacker has published specs on the WiiU on his personal twitter account, @marcan42,  claiming the CPU runs at 1.24 Ghz with the GPU running at 550Mhz.  Those numbers are weak compared to the upcoming next generation Xbox and PS3.  Of course this is a hacker we're talking about but other sources seem to be backing him up.  Last weekend PCPer's Ryan Shrout disassembled his brand new WiiU to peekat its insides as well although the technical specifications weren't as specific.  If you're a Wii fan this information is important to you.


Want to drive a pre-production C7 Corvette?  If you own Gran Turismo 5 you got the car as free DLC on Wednesday.  Funny how the front end looks like an Aston Martin...  Enjoy, PS3 racers!  Sorry Xbox and PC fans, none for you...


If you've managed to avoid the bloodletting that is an Xbox Live Gold account, Microsoft is offering a free weekend to try out the upgraded service.  Much like the pusher giving free samples to kiddies who then continue their habit by stealing mom's rent money...


Well over 100,000 people have petitioned Grand Theft Auto 5 publisher Rockstar games to port the title to the PC.  All I can say is, are you nuts? Since when is a console port ever been a good thing on a PC?  Keep it on the consoles until Rockstar does a dedicated PC version kids.


Finally...

The proverbial sky may be falling on PC enthusiasts.   A leaked processor roadmap shows that Intel plans to get rid of socketed CPU's in favor of BGA or soldered on mainboard designs after Haswell's successor, Broadwell launches in 2014.  The rumor showed up on a Chinese website and has gained support from motherboard manufacturers since the leak surfaced last week.  Consensus among the pundits ranged from "No big deal" to "not gonna happen."  Of course those who don't think it's a big deal were reporting the news while reading copy from their MacBook Airs. AKA, consumers not enthusiasts.
 It's likely Intel will consolidate its processor lineup and slate the low to middle range processors on the BGA platform.  Mainstream CPU's usually end up in OEM designs anyway so it makes sense to sell assemblies rather than individual components.  The enthusiast market will continue and likely pay whatever Intel wants to charge for the now "niche" discrete CPU offerings on the high end.  With AMD no longer a force and Intel focusing on Broadwell for mobile platforms, expect less choice in your future.


http://www.extremetech.com/computing/141443-leaked-intel-roadmap-shows-the-end-of-socketed-cpus-the-end-of-upgradable-pc


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