Welcome to the very latest episode of Digital Foundry Direct Weekly - DF's weekly show where the team discuss the latest gaming and technology news, while fielding a barrage of questions from backers of the Digital Foundry Supporter Program. And while the news this week is dominated by Sony's subscription plans, it's the new footage of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild that catches our eyes. Is it actually running on Nintendo Switch?
So here's the thing - pixel counts on the new content vary between 720p in some instances to 1080p in another (the original was 900p) but what really struck us was the sheer fidelity in the presentation. Character self-shadowing, the quality of the volumetric rendering - it's very good indeed and worlds beyond the presentation of the original game. Just to be clear, we're not for one minute suggesting that Nintendo has delivered a surprise reveal of Switch Pro/Super Switch/Switch Model S/insert name but we would prefer to see transparency on game video sources - and in fairness, that level of transparency is exactly what other platform holders are delivering now.
As for the revised Sony subscription service? It comes across as a rationalisation of its existing offering, combining two different services into one. However, we still have more questions than answers really, especially in terms of what the games actually are that are being offered in the higher-end tiers and of course, the elephant in the room - curation and quality of the emulation for older systems along with the effectiveness of the streaming.
- 00:00:00 Introductions
- 00:00:40 News 01: PlayStation reveals new subscription service
- 00:10:32 DF Supporter Question roundup
- 00:22:37 News 02: Breath of the Wild 2 delayed till Spring 2023
- 00:28:30 News 03: Nvidia RTX 3090 Ti details
- 00:35:38 News 04: Intel Arc launches on laptops
- 00:43:08 News 05: KNACK ALERT
- 00:45:45 DF Supporter Q1: What's your opinion about Steam Deck possibly utilising FSR 2.0 or XeSS using DP4A?
- 00:56:36 DF Supporter Q2: Do you think Steam Deck will stop being a niche product?
- 00:59:42 DF Supporter Q3: What's your take on DirectML?
- 01:04:04 DF Supporter Q4: John has mentioned he believes PS2-era or earlier games look best on a CRT because many effects were meant to render at a lower resolution. Isn’t that more of a game-by-game assessment, though?
- 01:10:36 DF Supporter Q5: Do you feel manual transmission adds anything to the gameplay experience in racing games versus just sticking with automatic?
- 01:13:55 DF Supporter Q6: Do you think BFI (Black Frame Insertion) is a dying technique now that LG has removed BFI 120hz from its newest generation OLEDs?
- 01:19:56 DF Supporter Q7: When did you start building PCs, and what started it?
We also discuss the recent Intel Arc reveal - yes, 'Chipzilla' is finally entering the discrete graphics market. However, it is doing so with the least possible hype with a debut that focuses entirely on the laptop space, and with the least capable part in the line-up - an easy target perhaps, especially for AMD, which has come up with its own benchmarks that comprehensively best the Intel part. On the one hand, even factoring out AMD's contribution, it's difficult to get excited about a brand launching with a low-end part - but at least it will give us some idea of the ecosystem and driver-level features. On the other hand, there's no indication that AMD actually knows for sure what Intel was benchmarking, nor what the power level of the chip was - so its takedown efforts do need to viewed with the proverbial grain of salt.
The DF Supporter Program? Backers get early access to the Direct of course, typically on Saturday afternoon every weekend. They also offer up a range of excellent questions. Could Steam Deck tap into AMD's FSR 2.0 and Intel's XeSS technology? Absolutely yes, but the real question is the extent of acceleration we'll actually get from them. Will we ever see DirectML AI upscaling from Microsoft? Does manual transmission add anything to Gran Turismo if you don't have a full-fat steering wheel set-up? And what on earth is LG doing in downgrading the black frame insertion technology in its nearest OLED displays?
We're fiercely proud of our supporter community and naturally, we'd recommend joining us. DF Direct Weekly is a core part of this, but that's just the tip of the iceberg - as our weekly Twitter update on all things Patreon-related hopefully communicates. See you next week!