Welcome to the new Digital Foundry Direct Weekly - our regular news show where DF team members take a time-out from their current projects to talk about the latest gaming and tech news... and for once, I'm not it! There is a decent excuse, however. The truth is that examining six different console versions of Forza Horizon 5 all of which can see comparisons alter on a biome-by-biome basis resulted in a truly colossal amount of work. In terms of embargo coverage, thankfully John Linneman had us covered with his in-depth tech analysis concentrating on the Xbox Series X version, but even on the same day, I was still wondering how to contain and present the vast amount of data I'd gleaned from all systems. Hopefully it paid off! There's still more Forza to come - with more from our studio visit, a deep dive into the PC version and something a little extra on the PC side made possible by the amazing Digital Foundry Discord community.
In the meantime, Audi Sorlie, John Linneman and Alex Battaglia sat down for the weekly virtual get-together, with a diverse range of news topics, including PS1 'demake' efforts with Bloodborne, Netflix's initial foray into gaming, plus the release of the original Little Big Planet source code. Headlining the show, it's all about Battlefield and it's all about ray tracing - Alex shares his thoughts on the Battlefield 2042 RTX trailer. Meanwhile, it looks as though Sony has once again listened to legitimate critiques of PlayStation issues, resolving the PS5 CMOS battery timebomb. It's all a bit of a non-issue in the here and now, but very much a problem for the future. Replacing a dead CMOS battery within the console with a fresh one requires Sony's servers to re-authenticate the system clock to run any games at all (even physical games) but in a hypothetical scenario, what would happen if there were no Sony servers, or if the user had no internet access? The issue was fixed on PS4 a while back and now future preservation of PS5 titles looks assured too. Good!
Another cool story is the arrival of a patch for Dying Light on Switch. We loved Techland's port, but found the unlocked frame-rate a touch troublesome - despite running faster, the drop in consistency actually gave the illusion of the game running worse. We gave some feedback to the developer and it's great to see that the situation has changed significantly with a new patch. Performance is now capped at 30fps, giving an overall more consistent look to the game. Beyond that, resolution in handheld mode has improved and while we've not done A to B comparisons, the feeling is that the LODs have been pushed out to give a better-looking game overall. Great stuff!
- 00:00:00 Introductions
- 00:00:58 Battlefield 2042 RTX trailer reaction
- 00:10:40 PlayStation 5 CMOS issue fixed
- 00:17:06 Dying Light Switch improved
- 00:22:31 Netflix adds games to their brand
- 00:31:12 Bloodborne PS1 demake
- 00:37:42 Little Big Adventure 1&2 source code released
- 00:42:40 DF Content Discussion: Forza Horizon 5
- 00:48:37 DF Content Discussion: Guardians of the Galaxy
- 00:53:06 DF Content Discussion: DF Retro reveal
- 00:56:18 DF Supporter Q1: Did you have parents or older relatives who were into games when you were younger and do they still play?
- 01:02:40 DF Supporter Q2: Will 120Hz modes on the latest consoles be less prominent as time passes?
- 01:07:34 DF Supporter Q3: How many games does each of you have in your collections?
- 01:12:21 DF Supporter Q4: When will clothing on characters stop clipping through geometry?
- 01:17:07 DF Supporter Q5: Do you think that moving into PC publishing might prompt Sony to look at their older catalogue?
- 01:20:45 DF Supporter Q6: Why do Nvidia keep releasing lower tier GPUs with more VRAM than the higher tier GPUs?
- 01:22:36 DF Supporter Q7: Why does Norway have such an underdeveloped game industry compared to its Scandinavian neighbours?
Meanwhile, outside of the news discussion, the team discusses their recent projects with the phenomenal Forza Horizon 5 and Guardians of the Galaxy taking point. For the former, we're really proud of the work we did and the access to information we had via a studio visit to Playground Games in Leamington Spa, UK. We were able to take a look at the game running on multiple systems simultaneously, we had extended discussions with the creative and tech leads and more than that - we just love the end product. It's been a huge highlight for us this year and with the game going 'public' in the next couple of days, obviously, we highly recommend checking it out. Guardians of the Galaxy? It's another phenomenal 2021 release that gets so much right - and another stunning game from Eidos Montreal, previously responsible for a brace of excellent Deus Ex titles. We had concerns about this team moving away from Deus Ex and towards a Marvel franchise, but ultimately, the pedigree and talent of the team shines through.
And finally, as usual, we round off with a bunch of questions put forward for discussion from backers of the Digital Foundry Supporter Program - where the mystery of Nvidia's lower tier GPUs having more memory than its higher grade alternatives is pored over, plus musings on just how committed Sony is to bringing its back catalogue to PC... and as games grow more complex, will 120Hz support slack off? As usual, if you'd like to get more closely connected to the DF team and what we do (and get Saturday access to every weekly Direct), do consider supporting us. Talk to the team on Discord where we've grown an incredible community, get pristine quality downloads of everything we do and where direct support has been a night and day game-changer for our beloved DF Retro. Join us!