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DF Weekly: there's a Warehouse Sale on at the DF merch store

30% off shirts, beanies, posters and stickers.

Last week, Rich used the week's DF Direct as a launching point to write about how Intel's new benchmarking tools could be transformative for our testing and coverage of PC games - and this week I'm here to say that there's a sale on at the Digital Foundry store.

There's a bit of a difference there in terms of scope and import, but I thought I'd take a moment to explain how things are going with the DF Store so far and explain why we're discounting a good portion of our wares. In short, we're hard at work creating new designs, and that means that we'd like to clear out some of our original efforts to reclaim that physical/virtual shelf space for what's to come.

With that in mind, we've knocked 30 percent off the price of our original Digital Foundry Logo t-shirts in black and white. These designs won't be retired forever, but it's likely that they'll be out of stock for a little while at least - so if you like the designs, this is a good chance to pick them up at a discount. You'll be happy as Tom (Morgan, pictured above).

Digital Foundry Direct Weekly #157 is embedded above - yet another two hour epic, this time kicked off with a call to check out the DF Store Warehouse Sale. Watch on YouTube

I've also selected a few extras to be included in the sale - the now-not-as-seasonal Beanie, which I still wear regularly in the UK's 'spring', and two lovely pieces of artwork: the DF Fighters A2 poster and the Motherboard sticker. All three items are also 30 percent off, and make a lovely addition to your head, living space and laptop respectively.

We've also cut prices on shipping a few times since the store launched, and we ought now to be quite competitive when it comes to shipping items both domestically (within the UK) and abroad - so do have a look and see what you think!

Of course, there's much more going in the world than this sale, and the remaining two hours, one minute and 39 seconds (!) of the show covered diverse topics, including the establishment of the Xbox game preservation team - sparking conversations on the next Xbox consoles, next-gen Fallout 4 upgrades, reactions to the Star Wars Outlaws story trailer and the very first deployment of FSR 3 for consoles with Immortals of Aveum.

  • 0:00:00 Introduction and DF Merch
  • 0:01:39 News 01: Xbox establishes game preservation team
  • 0:20:26 News 02: Fallout 4 getting current gen upgrade
  • 0:30:03 News 03: Star Wars Outlaws story trailer drops
  • 0:46:10 News 04: Dead Space is dead!
  • 0:53:56 News 05: Immortals of Aveum gets FSR 3 boost on consoles
  • 1:08:29 Supporter Q1: Can you get console-like convenience on a PC?
  • 1:16:12 Supporter Q2: Is the PS5 Pro's CPU boost enough to bring a 30fps game to 40fps?
  • 1:20:23 Supporter Q3: Are modern games too 'fake', with their reliance on upsampling and frame gen?
  • 1:26:40 Supporter Q4: Could RT be losing traction with upcoming games?
  • 1:34:38 Supporter Q5: Could Microsoft launch a Series S-matching handheld this holiday season?
  • 1:42:06 Supporter Q6: What does Microsoft mean when they claim the next Xbox will have the biggest tech leap in a generation?
  • 1:52:06 Supporter Q7: Should we be happy that more games are targeting 30fps on the consoles?
  • 1:57:57 Supporter Q8: How powerful will the Switch 2 be relative to the Steam Deck and Series S?

The Immortals of Aveum chat is quite interesting to me, as while the game didn't quite set the world on fire in terms of sales, it's certainly served as an interesting test bed for a whole range of emerging tech - most notably being the first AAA game to ship with all of Unreal Engine 5's headline features intact apart from Epic's own Fortnite. This time around, it ought to use the latest branch of FSR 3, which should provide much-needed improvements to AMD's frame generation technology.

We noted before that FSR 3 is effective, but tends to stumble in some situations - like delivering evenly paced frames or working with VRR. The forthcoming FSR 3.1 update ought to help some of these issues, but running on consoles presents added issues not found on PC - most notably the fact that consoles typically don't offer many ways to reduce input latency. Latency is the key downside to frame generation at the moment, and Nvidia's implementation on PC relies heavily on integrating its Reflex tech to soften the blow as much as possible. On consoles, there's no equivalent tech, so it'll be fascinating to see how FSR 3 fares - even on a relatively laggy controller-based setup.

I was also taken with the gang's answers to some fascinating supporter questions this week, most notably the unified response provided to a supporter that asked if modern games were too 'fake', given their reliance on upsampling and frame generation.

Echoing the comments of Rich, Alex and Oliver on the Direct, it's tempting and even somewhat reasonable to blame these technologies for the sudden surge in games that have arrived on PS5 and Series X sporting incredibly soft resolve and subpar image quality all-around, but the fact remains that none of the frames in a game are actually real - it's all fakery, as we heard from Cyberpunk 2077 developer Jakub Knapik. Basically every graphical technique used in gaming is a way to approximate reality in a way that is good enough, rather than necessarily striving towards an actual ground truth.

You can still say that you prefer a game that looks sharper and that's fair enough, but there will always be game developers that are happy to sacrifice 'raw' pixel counts in order to push for more realistic (or stylistic!) looks unlocked by these sorts of technologies. A fixation on 'real' versus 'fake' frames is ultimately a bit reductive, and it can be more helpful to think, as Oliver suggests, about whether you're happy or not with the final frame output and why.

Ultimately, frame generation and upsampling are part of a push for performance and optimisation which has existed in video games for decades - especially on consoles, where use of lower-than-native resolutions, especially for effects, has been commonplace. They're tools that allow developers to accomplish their vision of what their game should look like while still hitting a given frame budget, and while it is interesting to know how the sausage is made, so to speak, you shouldn't let that knowledge harm your enjoyment of the end product.

And speaking of the end product, let's bring this full circle and say that you ought to check out the DF Store Warehouse Sale while that 30 percent discount remains. After all, all of this merch is certified free from fake frames and Digital Foundry approved.

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