Gaming news summary for August 2, 2015
Welcome to the Game Replay, the twice-weekly look at the wider world of gaming by the staff of MacNN. In today's edition, Nintendo adds more costumes and YouTube uploads to Super Smash Bros., Nvidia recalls the Shield Tablet over safety concerns, Sony allows PlayStation Plus subscribers to vote on which free games they will get, and Worms 4 is heading to iOS.
Nvidia shows off its wares at Computex Taipei 2015
Electronista has had the opportunity at Computex Taipei 2015 to go hands-on with the eagerly anticipated Nvidia Shield Console and high-end GeForce GTX 980 Ti GPU. Although differing substantially in terms of overall processing power, both share Nvidia's latest Maxwell GPU architecture, and stand to put their respective competitors on notice. Read on for our first impressions of these intriguing pieces of technology, which also includes a look at how the GTX 980 Ti performs utilizing Nvidia's latest VR frameworks on the Oculus Rift.
GeForce GTX 980 Ti has 6GB memory, 2,816 CUDA cores
Nvidia has launched its latest non-Titan flagship graphics card, the GeForce GTX 980 Ti, as well as commencing sales for its new set-top box. Part of a raft of announcements made recently, the new card is an upgrade from the GTX 980 that is claimed to easily play games at a 4K resolution, as well as meeting Oculus' virtual reality content requirements of providing images at a resolution of 2160x1200 at 90 frames per second.
Gaming new summary for May 13, 2015
Welcome to the Game Replay, the twice-weekly post where MacNN and Electronista look back at the last few days in the wider world of gaming. In today's edition, more IP is confirmed for Lego Dimensions, the Rockstar Editor will be heading to Grand Theft Auto V on next-gen consoles, and Nintendo is seriously contemplating dropping regional restrictions in its next console launch.
NVLink, higher memory bandwidth expected in Pascal release next year
Nvidia has outlined what to expect from its graphics cards in 2016, by detailing its upcoming GPU architecture refresh. Following on from the Maxwell architecture used in today's graphics card launches, Pascal promises to provide a performance increase of up to ten times that of current generation cards, making it more useful for supercomputing and intensive processing tasks.
High-end graphics cards formally revealed at GTC
Nvidia has revealed more details for two high-end graphics cards at the GPU Technology Conference earlier today. The GeForce GTX Titan X, initially unveiled as the company's new flagship card for PC gaming at the Game Developers Conference earlier this month, was joined by a new professional card in the Quadro range called the Quadro M6000.
New Nvidia mobile GPUs fill out 900-series collection
Nvidia has rolled out two new graphics processing units for notebooks. The GeForce GTX 960M and 950M follow the release of the similar GTX 960 GPU from January, and just like the desktop card is in comparison to the higher-powered cards in the GTX 900-series range, the new chips are being offered as a lower-cost, lower-specification alternative to the GTX 980M and 970M that still stand to offer decent visuals to users.
Titan X claimed to use 8 billion transistors, 12GB frame buffer
Nvidia is still producing new products in its Titan high-specification graphics cards range, with the company making an unexpected announcement during the Game Developers Conference. CEO Jen-Hsun Huang handed Epic Games CEO and founder Tim Sweeney the first GeForce GTX Titan X, declared by Huang to be the "most advanced GPU the world has ever seen."
Shield console capable of 4K video, in-home and Grid game streaming
Nvidia made two major announcements at the Game Developers Conference, relating to its gaming devices. A console version of the Nvidia Shieldhas been announced, providing similar streaming gameplay as the original handheld and the Shield Tablet, while the Grid cloud-based gaming service will be fully launched in the coming months, including a connection to the Steam online store and subscriptions.
Lower power requirements for $200 GTX 960 graphics cards
Nvidia is extending the GTX 900-series of GPUs, with a reduced-power model seemingly aimed at players of League of Legends and DOTA 2. The GTX 960 has the same Maxwell architecture as its stablemates, but hopes to appeal to budget-conscious gamers with a lower price point as well as lower power requirements than the GTX 980 and GTX 970.
Audi is evolving tech interface with the help of Samsung, Qualcomm, Nvidia, LG
After the smoke cleared, strobe lights dimmed, and high-energy music stopped at Audi's morning press conference at CES on Tuesday, the German automaker promised evolutions of its in-car tech, going as far as to introduce a concept that would drive and park itself, with no occupants at all. To drive the point home, Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, the Board Member for Technical Development of AUDI AG, started the company's updated, 690-horsepower Prologue concept with an LG smartwatch, pressed another command, and the car drove itself onto the stage.
Maxwell-based Tegra X1 powers Drive CX, Drive PX systems for infotainment, driverless cars
To kick off the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang took to the stage to unveil the company's newest offerings for mobile computing and in-car systems. Nvidia's newest processor, the Tegra X1, leverages the Maxwell GPU technology released last year to produce a new "mobile super chip." The invention of the new processor was necessary to power Nvidia's two other announcements during the show that look toward the future of the automotive industry, the Drive CX and Drive PX systems.
High-end monitor features Nvidia G-SYNC
As part of its pre-CES announcements, Acer has released a pair of gaming monitors. The Acer XB270HU is the world's first Nvidia G-Sync gaming monitor equipped with IPS technology, and the Acer XG270HU is the world's first gaming monitor with an edge-to-edge frameless display. Both of these 27-inch displays come with WQHD (2560x1440) resolution, and a 144Hz refresh rate.
Windows 7 TLS, SSL implementation fix breaks driver installations
This week's Microsoft "Patch Tuesday," the regular scheduled day for updates and bug fixes from the Redmond giant, hit a few snags. While one problematic patch to Exchange 2013 has already been retracted and re-issued, a second patch -- this one addressing SSL and TLS authentication -- has rendered many Windows Update drivers, including video card drivers from Nvidia and AMD, uninstallable on Windows 7.
Latest move by Samsung mirrors earlier Nvidia action
Samsung has racheted up its legal battles with Nvidia, bringing US regulators into the battle. Yesterday, the Korean manufacturer filed a complaint with the US International Trade Commission (ITC), attempting to block GPUs manufactured by Nvidia from being imported and sold in the US market. The complaint mirrors one that Nvidia filed against Samsung earlier this year, with Nvidia calling it "a predictable tactic."
Android Lollipop update dated for Nvidia Shield Tablet among other updates
Nvidia is finally going to offer its Grid cloud-based gaming service to customers later this month. Nvidia Grid will allow gamers to stream a selection of PC games from its servers over the Internet, similar to PlayStation Now and OnLive, though the GPU producer will only allow owners of the Shield Tablet access initially, before a wider launch of the service to other devices.
Computer builder 'caught off guard,' believes fallout will affect employees, community
Custom computer builder Velocity Micro is stuck in a legal battle between two computing powerhouses after Samsung lumped the company in with Nvidia over a patent dispute. The Virginia-based company issued an open letter today admitting it is confused by the whole situation, adding that it intends to fight the suit that will drain company resources.
Nvidia responds to benchmark criticism with multi-benchmark graph
Samsung has filed a lawsuit against chip producer Nvidia, accusing it of infringing its patents and faking benchmark results for its processors. Nvidia has since spoken up about the suit, filed last week, claiming Samsung's accusations of benchmark deception is false, by comparing its Tegra K1-powered Shield Tablet against Samsung's Galaxy Note 4 and its Exynos 5433 processor.
Shield Tablet getting Android 5.0 by end of November, free Ubisoft game for GPU buyers
While Nvidia teased that the Shield Tablet would be getting the Android 5.0 Lollipop upgrade on Twitter last month, the company failed to say when. Thanks to a new video teasing Lollipop on the tablet, owners can now expect to see the new mobile operating system (OS) on the device by the end of November. Nvidia also announced today that it's launching a new game promotion for GPU buyers called "Pick Your Path."
Android software updates for more manufacturers revealed
More manufacturers have revealed which of its devices will be getting the upgrade to Android Lollipop in the future. Nvidia, HTC, and Sony have all confirmed their support for Android 5.0, though a rumor suggests that Google's own Nexus 7 Wi-Fi and Nexus 10 will be the earliest existing Nexus devices to gain the software update.
Nvidia alleges that Qualcomm, Samsung violate seven graphics patents in devices
Video card maker Nvidia has cleared its first hurdle in a patent dispute with Samsung and Qualcomm, as the US International Trade Commission (ITC) voted to investigate complaints the GPU manufacturer filed over infringement. The ITC will evaluate if a number of possibly-infringing devices, such as the recently announced Galaxy Note 4, should be barred from entering the country. The decision stems from complaints Nvidia filed last month with the ITC and US District Court in Delaware.
Notebook GPUs gain recently-launched Maxwell architecture
Nvidia's Maxwell architecture is now available for notebooks, the graphics chip producer has announced. Previously revealed for desktops in September, the architecture is being made available in the Geforce GTX 980M and GTX 970M GPUs, components claim are now the fastest and second-fastest notebook graphics cards available today.
Honda Connect touchscreen system arriving in Europe early next year
Honda's future in-car entertainment systems will be using Tegra processors, Nvidia has revealed. Joining the ranks of BMW, Tesla, Audi, and others, the Honda Connect infotainment system will use an embedded version of Android combined with the Nvidia processors, though it will be using the older Android 4.0.4 rather than a newer version.
Nvidia Shield LTE gaming tablet ships in United States
The LTE-equipped version of the Nvidia Shield gaming tablet has gone on sale in the United States. The tablet, which is able to stream gameplay from a gaming PC over a network as well as being able to locally play Android titles, is available at $399 as an unlocked device, though it can also be acquired via AT&T on-contract for $299.
Monitor said to have less blur, faster response times, sharper images with Nvidia technology
Display manufacturer AOC announced today that it's releasing a new monitor for the gaming market with the 24-inch G2460PG. The Full HD monitor supports a 1920x1080 resolution up to a 144Hz refresh rate, but also features Nvidia's G-sync technology that helps to eliminate screen-tearing and display lag. The company is positioning the monitor specifically to gamers.
Custom machine builders jump into new technology with GTX 970, 980 configurations
With the release of the new Nvidia Maxwell-based GTX 970 and GTX980, a number of custom computer builders have started offering the cards in their configurations. Leveraging the new Maxwell architecture benefits like dynamic super resolution and voxel global illumination, builders including Maingear, Origin PC and Syber are selling machines in custom and pre-built configurations to those looking in the market for a new PC with the latest technology.
Cards with ACX 2.0 said to feature lower temperature, quieter fans than reference
EVGA announced that it is putting a new cooling design into effect with the next generation of Nvidia cards. The Maxwell-powered GTX 970 and GTX 980 will include the ACX 2.0 fan technology, an improvement over the company's previous generation, that is said to use less fan power, have a quieter sound signature and keep cards cooler.
Tenth generation of Nvidia architecture delivers new lighting, anti-aliasing, and sampling
During the company's Game24 livestream event, Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang took the stage to announce> the next generation of GPU technology to be found in the 900 series of graphics cards. Nvidia's Maxwell, the tenth GPU architecture to be released from the graphics company, offers a number of new features over its Kepler predecessor, including new technologies like multi-frame sample anti-aliasing (MFAA) and dynamic super resolution (DSR).
Custom upgrade service with delivery, warranty perks comes to three Gigabyte models
A new line of gaming laptops have been added to CyberPower PC's VenomX customization service today, according to the company. Three of laptop and component manufacturer's machines have been brought over to the custom computer builder, giving consumers the option to bring the P25X2, P25W2 and Zeusbook Edge X4 up to their gaming standards.
LTE Shield tablet certified for AT&T LTE network
Pre-orders for a version of the Shield gaming tablet with LTE have opened in the United States and Europe. Coming after the Wi-Fi model's release and set to ship on September 30th for both continents, the LTE version adds cellular connectivity, with the mobile device claimed to be certified for AT&T's LTE network, though the unlocked version will also work with a number of other carriers.
Legal filing on Nvidia website pulled following HTC tablet name leak
Nvidia may have inadvertently confirmed the existence of a HTC-produced Nexus tablet. A legal filing by the chip producer names the tablet as the "HTC Nexus 9", something which matches earlier leaks pointing towards a tablet codenamed Flounder and the T1, with the document also suggesting it will be introduced in the next few months.
Two-prong filings with FTC and courts seek injunction, damages
Graphic processor manufacturer Nvidia has filed suit against Qualcomm and Samsung, accusing both of patent abuse. In a conference call about the suit, Nvidia Chief Executive Jen-Hsun Huang said that "they're using our technology for free in their devices today and they're shipping an enormous number of devices." Nvidia is seeking a sales and importation embargo on Samsung devices using PowerVR architectures, as well as anything using a Qualcomm graphical chipset.
Nvidia delivers genuine differentiation with its Shield gaming tablet
Although it might look like just another Android tablet, the Nvidia Shield Android gaming tablet is one of the more interesting devices to come out in a segment that swamped with endless options, but little genuine differentiation. It tries to stand out from the crowd not with a heavily customized user interface, or even bold design, but rather tries to specialize in one particular area - Android gaming. It is also one of the first devices on the market running Nvidia's latest chip, the Tegra K1. While it still sports a 32-bit ARM Cortex A15 4+1 architecture clocked at 2.2GHz, its graphics capabilities are the real highlight. It sports 192 Kepler GPU cores, which is the very same architecture that powers Nvidia's vaunted discrete desktop and notebook GPUs.
New Nvidia Quadro releases span low to high-end performance
Nvidia today unveiled its next generation of Quadro GPUs. The company promises that the new lineup delivers up to twice the application performance and data-handling capability of the previous generation of the line. Five new Quadro GPUs have been announced -- the K5200, K4200, K2200, K620 and K420.
Tegra K1 with dual-core 64-bit Denver processor, 192-core Kepler GPU due later this year
Nvidia has revealed some of the architectural details of the 64-bit version of the Tegra K1 System on Chip (SoC). Revealed eight months after the original 32-bit version, the 64-bit version uses Denver, an architecture project originally meant for use in servers, with the company claiming it will be the first 64-bit ARM processor for use with Android.
Company records expected to be broken next quarter
Video card maker Nvidia yesterday reported revenue for the second quarter of its 2015 fiscal year ended July 27. It reported revenue of $1.10 billion, up 13 percent from $977 million a year earlier, and in line with the previous quarter. Revenue for the first half was up 14 percent, to a record $2.21 billion from $1.93 billion a year earlier. In line with record revenue, the company also posted record gross margin of 56.1 percent.
Cascaded display research from Nvidia could lead to cheaper virtual reality displays
High-resolution, low-cost displays for virtual reality headsets such as the Oculus Rift could become a reality sooner than first thought, if recently-revealed research from Nvidia is adopted. Researchers working for the graphics chip producer realized that stacking two lower-resolution panels on top of each other could effectively provide a similar experience to the user as looking at a higher-quality display.
Nvidia Shield Tablet retains game-streaming functionality of original device
Nvidia has finally launched a new gaming tablet in the Shield product line, following a number of leaks. The successor to the Shield controller and the Tegra Note 7, the Shield Tablet effectively separates the display and controller elements of the original Shield, with an accompanying wireless controller allowing it to be used in a similar manner as a portable console.
Rumored Shield Tablet has similar appearance to predecessor, metallic speaker grilles
An image of what is believed to be Nvidia's next attempt at a gaming tablet has leaked. Thought to be called the Shield Tablet, tying into an earlier certification leak, the device appears to have a similar appearance to the company's previous Tegra Note 7 tablet, though apparently it will have a slightly different placement of front-facing camera and metallic sections covering the speaker grilles.
BBC points to the newest Shield being powered by K1, utilizing same software
The BBC has learned through anonymous sources that the next iteration of the Nvidia Shield could be used to play Android and stream PC games in a new way. The rumored device looks to build on existing technology surrounding the Shield, including the use of the GeForce Experience and GameStream to stream games from a host computer powered by an Nvidia GPU.
Shield Tablet spotted as name for Nvidia gaming handheld follow-up
Nvidia is preparing to launch another device in its Shield product line, with the device likely to take a different form from the original. New listings for a device have appeared at the Global Certification Forum directly mentioning a Shield Tablet, suggesting that, not only will it have LTE connectivity, but it could also change shape from a controller with a clamshell screen to a more conventional tablet.
Denver to start as mobile Tegra chip, Tesla GPUs used to supplement ARM-based servers
In 2011, Nvidia announced that it would be developing a 64-bit processor with the "Denver" project code name for servers. This week, it appears that the company's view of servers in the future changed, causing the company to look toward ARM chips. Rather than Denver being built for server use, the company says that the chips will make an appearance in the mobile line of Tegra processors.
NVIDIA's Tegra Note 7 tablet OTA update includes streaming of Netflix in up to 1080p
Nvidia's Tegra Note 7 tablet has received an OTA update, allowing for streaming of Netflix HD content up to 1080p on the device. The Tegra Note 7 tablet features a seven-inch HD display, with enough battery capacity for up to 10 hours of video streaming. The tablet is one of the first Android devices available that can stream Netflix in high-definition. Available with a 16GB storage capacity, the Tegra Note 7 is priced at $200.
Use of Gameworks tools said to put AMD at a disadvantage, Nvidia refutes claim
With the release of Watch Dogs on PC this week, a number of complaints have arisen over the state of the game when played on AMD hardware. In a pair of articles from Jason Evangelho of Forbes, AMD brings to light some of the underlining problems caused by companies like Ubisoft using Nvidia's Gameworks tools during development. Nvidia dismissed the claims, trying to poke holes in AMD's statements of blocking them out of driver optimization.
GPU cards currently available to add-in partners and builders like Origin PC
Nvidia announced today that their fasted video card to date is now available to system builders and add-in card partners. The Geforce GTX Titan Z, based on the company's Kepler architecture, will run users a staggering $3000 to start according to the company.
First Xiaomi tablet equals screen size, resolution of Retina iPad Mini
Chinese smartphone producer Xiaomi has launched its rumored first tablet. The Mi Pad shares more than a passing resemblance to the iPad mini with Retina display, with Xiaomi using a 7.9-inch display with a 2048x1536 resolution matching Apple's tablet, though the aluminum finish of the iPad mini has been replaced by brightly-colored shades of plastic similar to that of the iPhone 5C.
Handheld now features two of the highest rated PC games of all time
Last month at the GPU Technology Conference, Nvidia announced that it would be working with game developer Valve to bring one of the most celebrated games in PC history to the Android-powered Shield handheld. Today, the company announced that Portal is available on the Google Play store, with an added bonus: Half-Life 2 has also been ported, and released for use with the Shield.
Low prices dev kit offers parallel computing with Tegra K1 core
Nvidia announced that they are now shipping the Jetson TK1 supercomputer kits which have been aimed at "developing embedded applications and devices" for various projects ranging from robotics to medical diagnostics. The kit features a small board powered by the Tegra K1 processor, the company announced in March at the GPU Technology Conference.
Select Nvidia cards to come bundled with Ubisoft's cyber thriller title
Nvidia has announced a new software bundle for customers who purchase select Nvidia GeForce GTX video cards, starting on April 29. While more recent bundles have focused on free-to-play games, the newest bundle offers customers a copy of Ubisoft's Watch_Dogs when it releases on May 27. Consumers that purchase a GTX 780 Ti, 780, 770 or 760 card will be eligible for the promotion.
Blackphone specifications released before shipments start in June
The privacy-focused Blackphone from Geeksphone and Silent Circle will be shipping with an Nvidia Tegra 4i as its processor, it has been revealed. At the same time as announcing the use of Nvidia's System-on-Chip, a finalized list of specifications for the device have been released by the manufacturer, confirming it will have a 4.7-inch 720p IPS display.