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DF Direct Weekly on Kratos' comedic Xbox debut - and a memory boost for Series S

Plus: how fast is Nvidia's next-gen RTX 4000 line-up?

Welcome to the latest edition of DF Direct Weekly, which as the name continues to suggest, is our weekly news show where the team discuss what's new in the world of gaming and gaming technology. Veering at full pelt into the silly season, we kick off this episode with the astonishing War Gods Zeus of Child, or God of Warning as it's known on what can laughingly be called the game's title screen. War Gods ZoA was a essentially a shortlived homebrew game of sorts that sneaked onto the Xbox Store last week via the Creators' Collection, an unmoderated 'free for all' that essentially allows anyone to publish to PC and Xbox platforms. We had a few lighthearted requests for a full DF tech analysis so that's how we kick off this week's Direct, with a look at this abomination of a release (thankfully now deleted) running on ALL Xbox platforms. Spoilers: none can sustain a locked 60 frames per second!

There's also discussion of the news that Xbox Series S has more memory given to developers via a new update to the GDK development environment. The question is, can the 'hundreds of megabytes' added to the existing 8GB of memory make a significant difference? Alex suggests that we may see more RT modes, with the new RAM allocated to the BVH structures required to trace rays. As a counterpoint, I suggest that with 12.5GB of RAM available to developers on PS5 (at least at launch - and it's 13.5GB on Xbox) there's still a yawning chasm between Series S and other systems. I think any extra RAM is useful but I'm not sure how much of a game-changer it will be.

Why are developers being told that it's 'hundreds of megabytes' more memory and not a more concrete figure? Since recording the Direct, I've discovered that the amount of memory is somewhat fluid. There's a block of new memory available to all developers, but this can be augmented by disabling system level features the game may not be using, freeing up extra memory that otherwise wouldn't be used anyway.

Rich, John and Alex discuss the week's news and take on questions in DF Direct Weekly #73.
  • 00:00:00 Introduction
  • 00:00:57 News 01: War Gods Zeus of Child hits Xbox consoles!
  • 00:13:59 News 02: Xbox Series S to receive memory boost in new GDK
  • 00:25:28 News 03: Lovelace GPUs reportedly very, very fast
  • 00:35:59 News 04: Stranger of Paradise gets DLSS upgrade
  • 00:38:58 News 05: Return to Castle Wolfenstein gets new PC release
  • 00:51:59 News 06: Analogue Pocket gets beta 1.1 firmware
  • 00:55:39 DF Content Discussion: Upcoming DF Retro projects!
  • 00:57:44 DF Supporter Q1: What does John think of the new RetroTink 5X updates?
  • 01:02:59 DF Supporter Q2: Does HDR impact game performance?
  • 01:04:22 DF Supporter Q3: How do low-power systems like the Steam Deck slot into DF coverage?
  • 01:11:25 DF Supporter Q4: How did you enjoy your vacations?

The show continues with a look at recent - and credible - rumours that Nvidia's RTX 4000 series of GPUs is going to offer a huge performance uplift. Anything from 85 percent to 100 percent has been mooted in the leap from RTX 3090 to RTX 4090, with a similar doubling of performance from the prospective RTX 4080, while the RTX 4070 may well deliver the same performance as a 3090. At this point, the critical mass of leaks is quite compelling, but the news is soured just a touch by the circa 100W increase in power consumption at a time where energy prices are going through the roof. There are ways and means for users to play more efficiently and maybe we should look at this, but fundamentally, I've always been a proponent of frame-rate caps, whether it's 60fps, 30fps or something more arbitrary if you have a G-Sync or FreeSync screen. I don't think anybody should be running totally unlocked, unless there's some kind of esports argument.

Other news? Alex has a double-header of contributions, kicking off with a less than impressed reaction to Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origins' new anti-aliasing options (but at least DLSS works) while conversation about a Windows Insider version of Return to Castle Wolfenstein turns into yet another tirade about the staggering awful launcher that is the Windows Store. It's fundamentally unfit for purpose and has to go.

The DF Supporter Program yields more fantastic questions for our Q+A section, covering off some phenomenal new features for owners of the RetroTink 5X scaler, whether HDR rendering impacts game performance or not and our long term plans for Steam Deck coverage. And finally, we've all had holidays this summer so how did that work out, and could we effectively 'detox' from DF? We're massively proud of our community so join us. You know it makes sense.

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About the Author
Richard Leadbetter avatar

Richard Leadbetter

Technology Editor, Digital Foundry

Rich has been a games journalist since the days of 16-bit and specialises in technical analysis. He's commonly known around Eurogamer as the Blacksmith of the Future.