Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella strongly dislikes video game exclusivity and wants all of Microsoft's software everywhere it can possibly be.
Today Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella gave testimony in the federal FTC v Microsoft court case, and shared his views on one of the most powerful and lucrative business tactics in the interactive entertainment industry: Exclusives.
"If it was up to me I would like to get rid of exclusivity on consoles," Nadella said. "The dominant player has defined market competition using exclusives. I have no love for that world."
During his testimony at the FTC v Microsoft federal hearing, Activision CEO Bobby Kotick says that Activision titles could be made available on content library subscriptions and cloud streaming services if the commercial incentive is large enough.
While Activision currently has no strategy in its long-term plan (which is a 3-year period) to include Activision-Blizzard games like Call of Duty, Diablo, and others on a multi-game content library subscription service like Xbox Game Pass Ultimate or PlayStation Plus Extra/Premium, the executive today indicated that it's not an impossibility.
Microsoft or Sony would just have to make it worth Activision's while and offer up a substantial monetary incentive. In other words, Activision games could show up on subscription services...but the price would be very high.
What smartphone OS does Google's Bard AI vouch for? Well, apparently it's iOS going by a tweet that flagged up a response from the AI indicating this.
Developer Junaid Abdurahman has been playing around with Bard and posed this question, posting on Twitter that the AI said it prefers iOS for a few reasons.
Namely that iOS is easy to use and highly secure, to name a couple of the points put forward by Bard in favor of Apple's mobile operating system.
Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg might be set for a cage fight - or at least some of the gossip from the rumor mill claims - but if you're keen on getting some big-tech-CEO brawling action right now, well, you can simulate the bout in a freshly released browser game.
The freebie Zuck vs Musk 'techbro beatdown' is the brainchild of the designer of Bejeweled, and founder of Blue Wizard, Jason Kapalka (as PC Gamer reports). It's actually a modified spin of an existing Blue Wizard game, WrestleBros, but with Musk and Zuckerberg starring as the wrestlers.
You can partake in a match against the computer, or versus a human opponent (playing against a local player on the same PC, or online), with wins facilitating upgrades.
Rockstar's original Red Dead Redemption has suspiciously been re-rated by Korea's Game Rating and Administrative Committee, hinting at a possible remaster.
It looks like Red Dead Redemption could be getting a remaster. Korea's GRAC ratings board has just published a final decision for Red Dead Redemption, giving it a mature rating. GRAC received the application earlier this month on June 5, 2023, and made a decision on June 16, 2023.
This new rating is separate from the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of the game. The new rating does not list a platform so it's hard to be sure.
Despite opinions of the contrary, data shows that Activision-Blizzard is a unique video games company. The publisher routinely generates multiple billions of dollars every year principally from three major franchises--Call of Duty, Warcraft, and Candy Crush. In my coverage on the Microsoft-Activision merger, there's been one point that I've reiterated over and over: Activision is an absolutely massive force in the video games industry.
Unfortunately, this is something that the FTC's key witness, the economist Dr. Robin Lee, failed to adequately demonstrate to federal judge Jacqueline Scott Corley. Lee was provided with a valuable opportunity to illustrate the full magnitude of Activision Blizzard King's presence in the industry.
Judge Corley had asked Lee specifically what other Activision games are important--much of the focus of today's hearing was on the $31 billion Call of Duty franchise, and rightfully so because that series is one of the consistently best-earning franchises ever created--but there's a lot more to Activision's billion-dollar portfolio.
Intel has released a new beta driver for its Arc family of graphics card, and it boosts the frame rates of Assassin's Creed Unity (an admittedly very old game) by a colossal amount.
According to Intel's release notes for driver version 18.104.22.16814, Assassin's Creed Unity (which was out in 2014) runs a rather staggering 271% faster at 1080p (on very high graphics settings), and 313% faster at 1440p (on high settings). That's four times as fast - or rather, 'up to' four times, as Intel observes.
Why is there such a huge jump here? Well, Intel has made no secret that it's (obviously) a mammoth task to optimize Arc drivers from scratch for all PC games out there, so it has concentrated on modern titles naturally (and DX12 or Vulkan).
The ongoing battle between Microsoft and the FTC over the company's planned $68.7 billion acquisition of Activision-Blizzard has been making headlines for a while now, with several Xbox, gaming, and even PlayStation revelations as the case is being heard before a judge. Company emails, testimonies, and even internal-only plans are surfacing - one being Windows related.
According to an internal Microsoft document outlining the company's immediate and long-term plans, it's planning to shift Windows to become a cloud-based operating system that can stream to any device. Similar to the current Windows 365 service exclusive to Microsoft's commercial customers, except for all Windows users with an eye towards Chromebook-like devices.
The information comes from a June 2022 presentation slide about the state of the company's business under the heading "Move Windows 11 increasingly to the Cloud" as a long-term opportunity. It states that the cloud and client will "enable improved AI services and full roaming of people's digital experience."
Razer's latest gaming audio product might look like earbuds, but the new Razer Moray headphones represent the company's first in-ear-monitors (IEM). What's the difference between these and, say, Bluetooth earbuds? Well, for one, anytime you hear the word 'monitors' when it comes to speakers or headphones, expect a focus on balanced, high-quality audio designed for creators and enthusiasts.
And here's the thing: Bluetooth or wireless audio is fine for most people, but the audio quality isn't great - hence why the Razer Moray in-ear monitors are wired. Razer is tapping into a market usually associated with more niche brands, the in-ear monitoring or wired earbud space, with the Moray design following many of the principles seen there, including things like high-quality braided cables and connections.
Designed with the "unique demands of gamers and marathon streamers" in mind, the Razer Moray buds can be used for pretty much anything, thanks to the focus on premium audio quality - bolstered here by THX Certification.
According to a new report at Seeking Alpha, the per-wafer cost of TSMC's upcoming 2nm process technology will be USD 24,570 when production begins in 2025. This represents a 25% increase over 3nm wafer costs, the current cutting-edge node at TSMC. Wafer costs for 3nm already increased by up to 40% over 5nm, so we're getting a clear picture that more advanced chipsets will also advance in cost.
With the price of consumer-focused enthusiast CPUs and GPUs for gaming and other tasks increasing in recent times, not to mention the unprecedented price increases for consoles like the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, we could see the next few generations of gaming hardware cost more than we're used to.
When it comes to GPUs for PC gaming, which feature TSMC process technology, if AMD or NVIDIA choose to use 3nm or 2nm process nodes - then it could see the price of flagship GPUs from both companies dramatically increase. This is wild to think about when the GeForce RTX 4090's MSRP is already an eye-watering USD 1,599.