The weeks leading up to E3 – or what’s left of it – are always something of a dry spell, which perhaps explains some of the more offbeat topics discussed this week. After a presentation by TV maker TCL, rumors are picking up steam that Pro/Enhanced consoles will come from Microsoft and Sony in 2024. Meanwhile, Microsoft is planning an xCloud streaming stick – which appears to be happening – and news is emerging from Sony about its long-term strategy, which covers PC, mobile and a “longest dick ever” for PlayStation 4. All of this and more is discussed in the new DF Direct Weekly, embedded below for your viewing pleasure.
The TCL story likely has no real basis beyond what the company suspects – after all, an unaffiliated organization is unlikely to have insight into a platform owner’s console plans. There are several reasons we might not see mid-gen Pro/Enhanced consoles – which we’ll cover in a separate article later this week – but foremost is Sony’s own prediction that there won’t be any semiconductor shortages until 2024 completely resolved. Why limit sales of the existing model when it’s just about to take off by introducing a more expensive version that Sony is likely to lose big bucks on? And do we really need more power in a world where the Nintendo Switch and Series S have been so successful?
The cross-gen issue also surfaced in Sony’s recent disclosures to investors, with the most intriguing statistic being that 80 percent of PlayStation 4’s online revenue now comes from the digital realm, with just 20 percent from physical discs. Also intriguing is how Sony foresees the long-term prospects of PS4 as the home of free-to-play gaming. Maybe that’s one of the reasons why it’s so interested in games-as-a-service and why Bungie acquired it? More interesting from Digital Foundry’s perspective are Sony’s plans to fuel “exponential growth” by doubling PC and, um, mobile titles. With Sony selling around 2.4 million copies of Horizon Zero Dawn years after the PS4 release, there’s clearly a big market for its titles.
- 00:00:00 Introductions
- 00:00:46 News 01: TCL expects new consoles by 2024
- 00:13:07 News 02: Sony doubles down on PC
- 00:21:55 News 03: PS4 Cross-Gen here to stay for a while
- 00:25:42 News 04: Will the next Xbox be a cloud streaming stick?
- 00:29:34 Supporters Q: What do you think about whether the big obstacle to making game streaming more attractive is the internet infrastructure problem or something that the streaming software itself can solve?
- 00:35:42 News 05: PS Classics on PS+ is not that great
- 00:36:39 Backer Questions: PS Classics emulation
- 00:50:42 Backers Q01: If FSR 2.0 offers comparable quality to DLSS, don’t you think Nvidia is wasting valuable silicon area that could be used for more shaders on tensor cores?
- 00:53:16 Backers Q02: Any thoughts on using DLSS, FSR or XeSS to upscale streaming services like Netflix?
- 00:59:52 Backers Q03: Do publishers update physical disc versions of their games for later editions?
- 01:02:48 Backers Q04: Do you envision possibly using Steam OS on your personal PCs once there is a proper release of version 3?
- 01:07:34 Supporter Q05: Do you think we could see cross-gen games that ditch the last gen base consoles but work on the advanced consoles?
- 01:09:11 Backers Q06: Will the inevitable announcement (or release) of Knack 3 coincide with a PS5 firmware update to enable the promised 8K release?
Another big talking point this week concerns Microsoft’s plans for a new device, formerly codenamed “Keystone” — essentially a TV streaming stick that allows users to access xCloud streaming services without the need for a console or a computer are required, which were originally revealed in detail by Windows Central. We talk about why Microsoft is releasing such a product as opposed to TV-specific apps, and the state of streaming in general. At what point will the infrastructure be there to deliver a streaming experience that “just works”? Nvidia’s GeForce Now is the current standard bearer, with xCloud lagging a little behind – but even the best streaming service still has pervasive problems unless you’ve got a bottomless pit of internet bandwidth.
We’ve detailed our issues with Sony’s PS1, PS2 and PSP emulators before, but in this episode of DF Direct we’ll spend time answering questions from DF Supporter Program backers on the subject before we move on to another Override staples for backers – smart upscaling technologies. Yes, every week there are new questions to answer about FSR 2.0, DLSS etc. and this week is no exception! Admittedly, the concept of AI upscaling for video streaming is quite an interesting topic!
Finally Knack 3. It has to happen. Yes, good old Knack is the butt of many jokes, not least the idea of a new 8K sequel as discussed on this week’s show. But, you know what? The original PS4 Pro version of Knack, running essentially at 60fps on PS5, isn’t bad! And we claim that Knack 2 is a great game, especially for parents with kids. crack 3? 8K or not, let’s see!