The weeks leading up to E3 – or what’s left of it – are still somewhat of a dry spell, which perhaps can partly explain the weirder nature of this week’s discussion topics. After a presentation from TV maker, TCL, rumors are starting to pick up speed that Pro/enhanced consoles will come from Microsoft and Sony in 2024. Meanwhile, Microsoft is planning an xCloud streaming stick – something that actually seems to be happening. produce – and news is emerging from Sony about its long-term strategy, spanning PC, mobile and a “longest tail ever” for PlayStation 4. All that and more is discussed in the new DF Direct Weekly, embedded here below for your viewing pleasure.
TCL’s story likely has no real basis beyond the company’s guesswork – after all, any unaffiliated organization is unlikely to have visibility into any platform holder’s console plans. There are several reasons why we might not see mid-gen Pro/enhanced consoles – which we’ll cover in a separate article later this week – but the first and most important of them is the clean Sony’s prediction that the semiconductor shortage won’t be fully resolved until 2024. Why limit sales of the existing model when it’s really taking off by introducing a more expensive version Sony stands to lose a lot of money on ? And do we really need more power in a world where Nintendo Switch and Series S are so successful?
The topic of cross-generation has also surfaced in recent Sony investor reveals, with the most fascinating statistic being that 80% of PlayStation 4’s online revenue now comes from the digital realm, with just 20% from physical discs. Also intriguing is how Sony foresees the PS4’s longer-term prospects as a hotbed of free games. Maybe that’s part of the reason he’s so into games as a service and why he acquired Bungie? More interesting from Digital Foundry’s perspective are Sony’s plans to fuel “exponential growth” by doubling down on PC and, uh, mobile titles. With Sony selling an estimated 2.4 million copies of Horizon Zero Dawn years after its PS4 release, there’s clearly a big market for its titles.
- 00:00:00 Presentations
- 00:00:46 News 01: TCL anticipates new consoles by 2024
- 00:13:07 News 02: Sony doubles down on PC
- 00:21:55 News 03: PS4 Cross-Gen here to stay a while
- 00:25:42 News 04: Is the next Xbox a cloud streaming stick?
- 00:29:34 Supporter Q: What do you think the main obstacle to making game streaming more attractive is the problem of internet infrastructure, or something that the streaming software can solve on its own?
- 00:35:42 News 05: PS Classics on PS+ isn’t great
- 00:36:39 Fan Questions: PS Classics emulation
- 00:50:42 Support Q01: If FSR 2.0 provides comparable quality to DLSS, don’t you think Nvidia is wasting valuable silicon area that could be used on more shaders on tensor cores?
- 00:53:16 Supporter Q02: Do you have any ideas on using DLSS, FSR or XeSS to improve streaming services like Netflix?
- 00:59:52 Supporter Q03: Do publishers update versions of their games on physical discs for later print runs?
- 01:02:48 Supporter Q04: Do you see yourself potentially using Steam OS on your non-professional PCs once it sees a decent version of version 3?
- 01:07:34 Supporter Q05: Do you think we might see cross-gen games that ditch the last-gen base consoles but work on the upgraded consoles?
- 01:09:11 Support Q06: Will the inevitable Knack 3 announcement (or release) coincide with a PS5 firmware update to enable its promised 8K output?
Another big talking point this week involves Microsoft’s plans for a new device previously dubbed “Keystone” – essentially a streaming stick for TVs allowing users to access xCloud streaming services without needing a console or of a computer, revealed in depth initially by Windows Central. We explain why Microsoft would release such a product as opposed to TV-specific apps, and the state of streaming in general. When will the infrastructure be there to deliver a streaming experience that “works”? Nvidia’s GeForce Now is the current flagship, with xCloud falling short – but even the best streaming service still has serious issues unless you have a bottomless pit of internet bandwidth.
We’ve already exposed our issues with Sony’s PS1, PS2 and PSP emulators, but in this episode of DF Direct we spend some time answering questions from backers of the DF Supporter program on the subject, before moving on to a another supporter staple: smart scaling. technologies. Yes, every week there are new questions to answer about FSR 2.0, DLSS, etc. and this week is no exception! Admittedly, the concept of scaling AI for video streaming is quite an interesting topic!
Finally, Knack 3. It has to happen. Yes, good old Knack is the butt of a lot of jokes, including the idea of a new 8K sequel being hinted at on this week’s show. But you know what? The original PS4 Pro version of Knack basically running locked at 60fps on PS5 isn’t bad! And we argue that Knack 2 is a great game, especially for parents with kids. Move 3? 8K or not, let’s see!