DF Direct Weekly tackles Microsoft Game Stack Live, FPS Boost and AMD FidelityFX for Xbox
Plus: the return of Apogee and more supporter Q+A.
It’s that time again! Every Thursday morning, the Digital Foundry team convene to discuss the latest news in gaming, to talk about our most recent projects and to answer questions put to us by supporters of our Patreon! It’s a fantastic way for us to break up the working week, spend some time chatting with each other and to address a range of topics we wouldn’t usually have time to cover. This week, we discuss the new innovations to emerge at Microsoft’s Game Stack Live event – including the Agility SDK – and to round up the best presentations from the recent Nvidia GTC and also to mull over a range of recent events.
Topics up for debate this week include Microsoft’s latest round of FPS Boost enhancements and Sony’s climbdown over shuttering the PlayStation 3 and PS Vita digital stores – is it just a stay of execution and does Sony need to sort out some way to preserve a remarkable back catalogue of digital-only titles? We also discuss the recent controversy over CMOS battery replacement within PlayStation consoles and the reliance of the console to check in with an online server in order to make your games work, potentially an issue in getting these consoles to run years ahead when the servers may be shut down. Is this a Sony-only problem or is it an industry-wide issue that needs some kind of solution for preserving today’s consoles and their games for the decades to come?
Moving into our content discussion section (at the 52 minute time stamp) we talk about our upcoming Patreon relaunch: what is it all about and why are we doing it. It’s also the key to funding a lot of the work we do that struggles to make financial sense on YouTube but is hugely important for us as creators. From a personal perspective, I started out my professional career working on magazines – funded by both advertising and its cover price. I believe that the quality of journalism generally is an order of magnitude better than it was back in the 90s and yet now it’s being given away for free. Not only that, it’s mostly being distributed via platforms and search engines over which we have no control – and all of which want their own cut of ad revenues. Some kind of re-balancing is overdue, it’s happening elsewhere within journalism and we see the supporter model as one way to make this work as part of a sustainable business and to allow work like DF Retro to grow and flourish. We’ll have more on this soon and I’m looking forward to sharing what we’re planning with you!
Speaking of supporters, our Patreon Q+A session kicks off at the 1:07:28 mark. There’s a range of questions this week, ranging from how easy or hard it is for developers to tap into ray tracing, why so many console games with dynamic resolution scaling don’t have the same feature in their PC equivalents, whether unlocked frame-rates should be the norm when variable refresh rate displays are the norm and whether any non-AI based upscaling techniques can match Nvidia’s DLSS. Finally, who came up with the Digital Foundry name and what does it actually mean?