News: Sony Wants Your Social Credit Score!

Sony Might Let You Preorder a PS5, If You Are Important Enough

Sony’s ṔŚV is a very important console. It is also a very exclusive console. Not just any riff raff is allowed to play on ṔŚV. It is like a very posh and very exclusive private club. That is why Sony have put up a web page for customers to register their interest in preordering a ṔŚV console. Sony will then consider the application, and if they then deem one to be in possession of sufficient quantities of social and/or industrial clout then they will extend an invitation to place a preorder.

Filthy peasant.
Playstation-Chan would as soon step on your face as look at you.

For any relationship to thrive there needs to be a certain degree of reciprosity, and the currency that Sony is interested in is nothing so gauche as money. Of course it will also require money too, truckloads of the stuff actually. the ṔŚV has been tipped to be one of Sony’s most expensive consoles after all! But money is not enough. If it was just down to money then any common as dirt nouveau riche pretender could buy their way into Sony’s exclusive walled-off paradise. No, in order to prove oneself worthy, one must be able to buy Sony off with social capital instead. Do you have a massive friendlist, which could be made envious of your early adoption of the ṔŚV? Do you have a successful Youtube channel, which could be used to demonstrate the superiority of ṔŚV? Are you an industry gatekeeper who will cause Sony problems if you are not given preferential treatment? If one’s answer to all three of these questions is a resounding ‘no’, then the application is not looking all that good, is it?

Ubisoft Gives Up on Xbox in Europe

For a while now we have been saying that the Xbox One is a bit of a waste of time as far as gaming consoles goes. It has been handily surpassed by PS4, and has even been massively bested by Nintendo Switch, which launched years after the Xbox One. Microsoft may have clawed themselves back out of the abyss with the introduction of Xbox Game Pass, but regardless one would have to conclude that they are a console manufacturer with one foot out the door of the console business. They cannot figure out whether they should be supporting their console or backing their operating system, and the indecision really shows.

Now Ubisoft has pulled the plug on their support in Europe.
The Switch has pummelled the Xbox One into a distant third place.

It would seem that Ubisoft agree with TDT that Xbox One is a massive waste of time. Ubisoft have revealed that the collector’s editions of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Watchdogs Legion, and Far Cry 6 are all destined to be digital only in PAL regions, while PS4 versions of the same games will all have physical copies in the PAL region. At this stage the North American Xbox one version of these games appears to be unaffected by this policy switch. If one were the Xbot owner of an Xbox One console, how could one not feel like they have bought a massive turkey at this point?

Rumour: Switch Pro in 2021?

Several weeks ago this author discussed a rumour on the podcast which suggested that a Nintendo Switch Pro was inbound. This rumour was based on nothing more than the fact that a guy had been hired to work on Nvidia’s mobile architecture, who would also be working with Nvidia’s tenser core technology, which is the machine learning tech that makes DLSS upscaling of resolution possible.

It's FUN!
People hung up on fidelity are perhaps missing the key selling point of the Switch…

This started rumours of a switch pro since it would be a mobile chipset capable of playing Switch games in 4k. Now Bloomberg has bolstered this rumour by stating that a 4k Switch Pro is inbound for the first half of next year. A DLSS upscale of 1080p to 4k is very, very good, while a DLSS upscale of 1440p to 4k has beed described by Digital Foundry as being better than native 4k in many instances. This means that if the DLSS performance of Switch Pro is approximate to that of RTX cards, then it will be even better suited to outputting 4k visuals than the PS4 Pro. It is not 100% known whether this will be a Switch successor console, or a Pro model of the Switch. That said, given the success of the Switch, it seems way more likely to be a Pro model.

So then, what is this rumour worth precisely? It is certainly true that Nvidia are working on this technology, and that Nintendo could have access to it for a price – but there are perhaps more arguments to doubt it than not. The machine learning tenser core capabilities being talked about are still reletively new among desktop GPUs, and have not yet made it into any other mobile device powered by Nvidia, so to adopt this tech would put Nintendo right on the bleeding edge of mobile technology. As Caspius has pointed out, using bleeding edge tech goes against the design philosophy of nearly every piece of hardware that Nintendo has ever designed.

If this was Sony being rumoured to be adopting such a new piece of tech then the rumour would be much more plausible, but because it is Nintendo who owe their continued existence to the strategy of repurposing older technology it certainly raises a few questions over the authenticity of the information being presented. Caspius likens Bloomberg’s sources to being their friend’s uncle who works for Nintendo. It is possible that the unprecedented success of the Nintendo Switch may have changed Nintendo’s corporate philosophy, or that the replacement of Iwata may have done similar; but it seems far more likely that the high end mobile chipset being discussed is intended for an expensive mobile phone, or maybe even for a follow-up to Nvidia’s Shield TV Android console. This tech may eventually find its way into a Nintendo product, especially given their business relationship with Nvidia, but unless something has changed that likely would not be for a few years.

One comment

  1. As Caspius has pointed out, using bleeding edge tech goes against the design philosophy of nearly every piece of hardware that Nintendo has ever designed.
    This is it to a T. Nintendo plays it safe (and cheap, which is even more important). They like to make money on their hardware these days (what a luxury!), and they like to use stuff that has been out for a good while, because it is more convenient/safe for developers (a group that N. have finally realised are important to their business model).

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