[Rumour]: PS4 Has More CPU Resources Than Xbone
In the run up to the launch of the Xbone, Microsoft looked on as their new successor console was shown to be categorically lacking in every single hardware capability in relation to the PS4. In a desperate attempt to regain some positive marketing spin for their fledgeling box, Microsoft upclocked the system’s CPU by a paltry 150mhz [raising the frequency to 1.75ghz] and used this as a positive point of comparison against Sony’s PS4. Microsoft’s Albert Penello even went on to boldly declare that the Xbone had ten percent more CPU than the PS4, despite Sony’s CPU particulars being undisclosed.
“We have at least 10% more CPU. Not only a faster processor, but a better audio chip also offloading CPU cycles.”
As of writing, the PS4’s CPU particulars remain undivulged, and yet it is rapidly becoming apparent that the amount of processing power that it allows developers is yet another area in which the PS4 outperforms the Xbone. In benchmarking the texture generation prowess of the Substance Engine, a multiplatform engine compatible with both the PS4 and Xbone, it was shown that the PS4 was able to process fourteen megabytes a second to the Xbone’s twelve megabytes per second. Given that this process is solely performed by the system’s CPU, it would appear to indicate that PS4 developers will have a tangibly greater amount of CPU processing power available to them than will their Xbone counterparts. One explanation for this result is that Sony have managed to overclock the PS4’s CPU somewhere in the vicinity of 2ghz, while another plausible explanation is that the Xbone’s CPU is still clocked at a higher speed than the PS4’s, but that the Xbone’s Windows 8 and Kinect operating systems reserve an extra CPU core for overhead than does the more efficient PS4 system software. Whatever the case, it remains too early to say. The only reason that this story remains in rumour territory, is because the Substance Engine developers did not provide enough in the way of detail as to under precisely what conditions their benchmarking took place.
In other PS4 news, the PS4 is officially the fastest selling console launch in UK history, selling a massive 250,000 consoles, easily eclipsing the former record of 185,000 units sold held by [of all things] the PSP. 250,000 sales was easily enough to shoot Sony past the 170,000 units that the Xbone has managed to shift to date – and makes a complete mockery of the 150,000 Wii Us that Nintendo has been able to sell since its UK launch over a year ago.
Japan Developers Signal Further Decline into Mobile Development Doldrums
What is the logical reaction for a publisher who has experienced a huge unforeseen success in the form of an extremely hardcore console title. Is it to nurture the franchise and double down on everything that made it popular? Is it to create a string of quick iterative sequels to capitalise of the success of the initial game? Or is it to attempt to force the game’s developers to turn it into a smartphone franchise, as that is the trough from which all the pigs of the industry are currently gorging themselves? If the latter explanation happens to be the case, then the publisher in question must almost certainly be Japanese, as it is currently the defective moon-brains of the yellow nation which are entertaining the superficial train of thought that smartphone development is a fool-proof rout to certain mega-profits. Of all the game franchises that have been ill-suited for a forced migration to touch screen mobile phone gaming, perhaps the most laughably inappropriate would be From Software’s Dark Souls, and yet this is precisely what the creatively derelict simpletons at Namco Bandai are attempting to coerce the game’s developers into.
The strength of the Dark Souls brand rests with its unrelenting difficulty coupled with tight and responsive controls, meaning that players will die often, yet it will always be their fault rather than the game’s. One thing that is for damn sure is that the game’s mechanics, much like its audience, is untransferable to the smartphone environment, and yet the idiots in control of the purse strings of the large corporate publishers do not understand this. The people in charge are little more than bean counters who view games as widgets and a franchise name as little more than marketing voodoo which allows them to sell more widgets, irrespective of product or platform. In short, they do not understand their own product.
“We’d like to bring Dark Souls to mobile, but it’s very difficult because the guys at From Software are very much console oriented. To change their mind about it, it takes quite a while.”
Of course this smartphone-centric approach can also manifest itself in the entirely opposite direction, with Square Enix president, Yosuke Matsuda, pretty much stating that the company will no longer green light new console projects unless the franchises can first prove themselves on smartphone.
“Also, not just limited to smartphones, but we’re putting consideration into the type of games and their target audience, as we decide on the platform. Again, I feel that we also need to add more original titles for smartphones. Similar to Kaku-san-sei Million Arthur, if it becomes a hit on smartphones, then there’s a chance we may also release it for consoles, too.”
The smartphone audience is not the same as the console audience; they are a different group of people who enjoy playing titles which lend themselves to markedly different dispositions and playstyles. Success on one platform is not an indicator of success on the other, as console owners would not hand over four or five hundred dollars for a new PS4 or Xbone if their needs could be just as effectively catered for on a smartphone. Japan’s response to the emergence of smartphone gaming has been one long unmitigated sadness.
Youtube Flags Jonathan Blow’s Own Game Development Footage for Breach of Copyright
One of the more recurrent news stories of the week has been Youtube/Google’s mass genocide of game content on the grounds of baseless copyright claims. One is not adverse to a thinning of the herd with respect to the bloated ranks of ‘let’s players’, but the truth of the matter is that many high quality review channels have been punished for their perfectly legitimate use of game footage to illustrate their critical points. The ostensible reason for this switch in Youtube policy has been user’s flaunting of copyright law by uploading full movies and CDs to the video streaming service, and so the way that videos are now flagged for breach of copy right is Youtube’s use of algorithms which scan uploaded content for copyrighted music and video. While this may be perfectly reasonable for film and music content, it is clearly inappropriate for video gaming content, seeing as a game’s soundtrack is almost certainly comprised of copyrighted material, and yet this material is inextricably linked to the gameplay experience, making its use permissible under fair use laws.
This switch in policy has seen the termination of WatchMojo’s channel [with over a million subscribers], while the Angry Joe Show has received over sixty take-down notices, and Classic Game Room has opted to leave Youtube altogether. It was only in the last several days however that this situation managed to devolve into a fullblown farce, with one of Jonathan Blow’s one gameplay videos for The Witness being flagged for copyright by Sony, despite the fact that it is a product that Blow himself owns one hundred percent.
“I feel like Google [and] YouTube are just unprepared for the reality of how things are made in the current era and what relationships look like. What they are doing only makes sense when most things are owned by a small number of corporations. Well, that’s the 1950s through ’80s. …”
Here is a thought – if Youtube/Google wishes to have a zero tolerance policy with respect to copyright, then how about they actually spend the money to hire real people in order to ensure that their guidelines are enforced properly, rather than simply allowing a computer program to sanction users based on some extremely arbitrary parameters. Youtube has lost a lot in terms of quality content this week, and one’s gut feeling is that there is a whole bunch more that will be lost in the weeks and months ahead. If the current Youtube policy goes unmitigated then one can only imagine that in the fullness of time it will be replaced by another service, yet the current problem is that Youtube has no immediately apparent competitor with the same reach or monetisation options – and so in the meantime it will likely be the users who continue to suffer.