Friday, June 28, 2013

Ouya ouch, PS4 price drop Nvidia GTX 760



The Midaged Gamer Report for 6-28-2013

This Week:

Ouya ouch, PS4 price drop Nvidia GTX 760 and more!

First we get Ouya, then came Gamepop and now it seems Google is getting into the act with their own Android based console due out in the fall.  Apparently, Ouya's an idea worth copying with all these pretenders to the throne popping up. 

Ouya's sold out in retail markets, that's good news.  The bad news is that many faithful supporters of the original Kickstarter project are still waiting for their consoles to show up.  Backers were supposed to be first in line but a shipping snafu with DHL has left disappointed investors out in the cold. 

"Just so disappointed and discouraged at this point," said Damian, who contributed to funding Ouya on Kickstarter. "And to think of all the people and friends we've been effectively selling the console to on your behalf. At least the non-backers can get the benefit of owning the console."

Julie Uhrman, Ouya's founder has released a sympathetic statement to backers...

"I am pissed. Some of you have not yet received your Ouya -- and, to you, I apologize. I did not promise to ship to *most* of you before we hit store shelves. I promised to ship to *all* of you,"

A minor shipping issue has managed to blossom into a PR nightmare for the fledgling company that competitors are sure to capitalize on. 

With Google getting into the act and Gamepop hot on Ouya's heels it seems the old marketing adage of never wanting to be the one who's first to market because they take all the lumps rings true.  I guess they should've used UPS.

So if you're still fuming over the lackluster performance of your 4 figure AMD crossfire setup,  relief may be just around the corner.  AMD has announced a driver update due out July 31st via it's twitter feed

For the uninitiated, it appears that AMD cards in Crossfire have a serious performance issue directly related to drivers.  An issue Nvidia doesn't exhibit and one that has likely existed since the debut of multi GPU AMD/ATI configurations.  More about the story here.

Microsoft probably needs to fire its marketing department after the lambasting the company  took at E3 over their (former) Xbox1 DRM policies.  The pushback was so heated that it was looking a lot like another Windows 8 launch in the making.  You can thank Sony in part for that with their playful demonstration of their DRM policy. 

Microsoft's missteps followed by Sony's $100 price undercut on the PS4 have made Sony's console the early favorite.  This week we found out just how Sony was able to lop $100 off its price at the last minute.  In short...


Where every Xbox1 will come with a Kinect, the PS4 equivalent is now an add-on.  If you care about motion control that might be a problem for you.  It's also a potential problem for developers who have to decide if it's worth it to develop software for a device without a guaranteed market. 

From a marketing standpoint the price drop has helped the PS4 in the short term.  However, if  the lack of a camera cripples the console and forces consumers to spend the extra $100 anyway it could go badly for Sony.   

Instead of competing on features Sony is choosing to compete on price which could signal a lack of confidence in their own platform.  The only saving grace here is that Microsoft doesn't appear to have any allegiance to its own convictions either.

Why are these guys so afraid of each other?

Looking for an awesome midrange GPU that can leave AMD crying and Nvidia 670 owners fuming?  Then don't read the next paragraph.

Nvidia's announced yet another GK104 based GPU and you should care especially if you were looking at AMD's midrange cards.  The new 760 will sell for $249 and has basically the same performance as the GTX 670.  The specifications are in the table below...

Stream Proc.
Texture Units
ROPs
Core Clock
Boost Clock
Memory Clock
Memory Bus Width
VRAM
TDP
Trans.
Proc.
1152
96
32
980MHz
1033MHz
6GHz GDDR5
256-bit
2GB
170W
3.5B
TSMC 28nm

With equal or better performance to AMD's 7950 at $30 to $50 less, AMD has something to worry about again.  Of course if you care about game bundles, Nvidia still comes up short but what's a game worth if the card it runs on is subpar?

Finally,

So, if you've been following my blog for awhile you know that I picked up Grid 2 last month and Dungeon Siege 3 a few weeks back.  Both were on sale and both have occupied enough of my time to put the furniture in jeopardy due to game bugs.

So far, Grid 2 has been almost as enjoyable as the original game and the Racenet online component has proved to be far less intrusive than EA's Autolog.  That is, so long as you remember to set your game mode to private when you're playing with friends.  

Of course if you don't mind surprise competition horning in on your game just leave the default public setting on.  I'm still annoyed that I have to go online to play with someone in the same room. 

I've also noticed random frame corruption showing up regardless of GPU, processor or video settings.  I've seen it on all 3 of my game rigs and my friends dual GTX 680 setup as well. 

Another annoyance, car control,  It can get a bit dicey with minor contact with anything sometimes ending in a result reminiscent of Test Drive Unlimited.  In that game any contact with another object caused your vehicle to go wildly out of control.  It's not as bad as that in Grid 2 but it's noticeable.  With Grid 2 patches coming out every other day, hopefully the issue will be corrected.  It's a fun game but right now it takes a bit of patience to play it.


Dungeon Siege 3, on the other hand, is so bad that it generated its own blog post.  I've played it for about 4 hours now and while I'm getting used to the wild camera angles, poor player control and the wonky game save system I'm still annoyed with it.  I can't stomach more than an hour at a time with it.  

The game actually has about 50 achievements you can earn on Steam which seems ambitious considering how bad the game mechanics are.  Looking at the global achievement stats it appears fewer than 10% of players bother to even finish the game.  There's one achievement in particular that amuses me.  It's earned simply by playing with a friend for 3 hours straight in cooperative mode. 

I can guarantee I'll never achieve that one.
Post a Comment