Tag Archives: Yooka-Laylee

Could Ties To Xbox One Prevent Us Seeing Scorpio’s True Power?

Welcome to the podcast, and Episode 87 of our weekly show of gaming goodness. Among the rest of the comings and goings in the world of gaming on this week’s pod, there is of course the small matter of Microsoft’s hardware spec reveal of their long awaited and eagerly anticipated Project Scorpio system.

With no games to speak of, this unveiling has concentrated purely on the specifications of the new system. In an unorthodox move by Team Xbox, the reveal was made via games media outlet Digital Foundry rather than Microsoft themselves. A fantastic scoop for the good guys over at Eurogamer and Digital Foundry and a move that indicates, surely, just how confident Microsoft is in their new shiny technology.

That confidence does not seem to have been misplaced as the reports that Richard Leadbetter and his team over at Digital Foundry are optimistic to say the least and seem to vindicate Xbox’s claims that this new machine will hit that dream of not only 4K resolutions but also giving us that beauty at 60fps.

Digging deeper it looks like the guys at Redmond have also baked in improvements to the 1080p community into the Scorpio with what looks like automatic improvements to many legacy games due to the architecture in this new console.

Obviously, the Xbox guys don’t want to alienate all their loyal Xbox One owners and so there has been much use of the word ‘premium’ (read expensive) around this new console and also there has been much made of assuring Xbox One owners that the Scorpio will not be a break off point that leaves them behind. There is a commitment to existing Xbox owners that there will be no Scorpio exclusives – ‘No One Get’s Left Behind’.

This is reassuring and sounds great, it helps soothe the players who feel that it’s too early for a new console in light of previous generations lasting 7 years or so who may otherwise feel rather short changed at this mid-gen update. But could a commitment to keeping those ties to Xbox One, to ensuring that all games will work on the soon to be legacy machine, be counterproductive? Perhaps not now at launch but in the future and will the Xbox One eventually become an albatross holding the new monster that is Scorpio back, keeping it from its true destiny of Scorpio only exclusives?

Obviously, there’s a concern there and a knee jerk reaction would indicate exactly this scenario lurking in Scorpio’s future. An alternative view though would be that we live in a gaming age where the consoles we have already allow for such amazing games that there would be no reason that a game could not run on one of the current consoles. Take Grand Theft Auto V for instance, an absolute behemoth of a title encompassing a wide breadth of gaming systems across a vast open world and using several different gameplay mechanics and all this on the Xbox 360 and the PS3. Since then the game has been refined and improved as it has hit the PC and the next generation of consoles but the game itself is fantastic on the older consoles too. This seems a reasonable argument that any game that comes to the Scorpio will be able to be ported over to the Xbox One, it will just not have those extra bells and whistles in comparison to its new big brother. A move even closer to the world of the PC where, for example you can gain entry to a title using the minimum spec graphics card but you are aware that this will be the same game but a pared back experience in comparison to the Titan X owner.

So, rather than holding Scorpio back, we could see more titles for Xbox One and more innovation on the legacy platform as developers move forward and focus on the Scorpio. In a recent Q&A with Gamasutra, Phil Spencer mentions that it is actually an easier task to tweak a game downward rather than upward – this being the reason that the Scorpio dev-kits have double the memory in them than the consumer Scorpio.  This idea could then not only leave the Scorpio unfettered in future games aimed at it, but also benefit Xbox One players with a gaming experience that may perhaps have not been considered for their system in this new dawn of the Scorpio.

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Do Scorpio and PS4 Pro Signify A Future In Which Consoles Start To Rival PC Gaming?

This week, the guys discuss the news from wccftech.com where, in discussions with ARK: Survival Evolved’s Lead Designer (and co-founder of Studio Wildcard) Jeremy Stieglitz, he revealed that he equates the power of the PS4 Pro at around the same level as a $900 PC saying:

‘We estimate it would cost at least $900 to build a similarly powerful PC, and that’s if you were custom-building it with extreme cost control. We estimate its raw GPU performance is similar to an NVIDIA 970, and along with CPU improvements and overall more memory, it’s a really high benchmark for console performance.’ See the full article here

This has to be applauded as an amazing feat from Sony to get so much oomph out of a small form factor box and at a low power consumption too. While probably not hitting full native 4K across the board of upcoming (and pre-existing) games, Sony’s mid-generation upgrade has generally been well critically regarded in terms of the visuals that it can push out – even when using checkerboarding techniques etc – making a real difference to graphical quality and visual fidelity. Continue reading

Tales From The Indie Paradise That Is EGX

This week on the Lost Spark Podcast we have a jammed packed episode as Darren (@DazWhitham) makes his triumphant return to the pod, James (@BIGsheep) is back with tails of scaling historical ships all in the name of work (and pleasure!).  Also on the podcast this week Antony (@ChessmanUK) chats with his nephew Will (@FireproofWillUK) after a fun packed day at EGX. Continue reading

The Lost Art of Surprise – Do Pre-Show Leaks Take The Shine Off E3?

This week James Thomas (@BIGSheep) joins Antony and Darren on the Pod adding his unique mix of insight and critique that just, well, simply classes up the whole affair to be frank.

With E3 almost upon us, the excitement at Spark Towers is tangible and so, of course, a fair chunk of debate time is allocated to discussing and dissecting what treats will be scattered before us at next weeks show and at the pre show conferences.

Taking a layer of sheen off things though is the now usual and ever increasing (at least, so it seems) number of leaks in the run up to the event.

Are these leaks truly uncontainable? Or could they be some kind of industry PR orchestrated attempt at hitting us with news in a way that makes it seem more exciting? If that is the case, then we could expect that all the great news would indeed be held back for the big conferences over the E3 week of gaming goodness.

E3 Expo in Los Angeles

If that is the case, well, that’s all well and good but here’s an idea, in fact no, a plea, from the Sparks and indeed any gamers that will join in the cry.

Legitimate or not – Please try to plug those leaks before E3! #dontleakE3

For gamers all around the world E3 has always been such an exciting time and never more so than nowadays when, thanks to the awesome evolution of technology, this hallowed event has also evolved. From its humble beginnings as a primarily business affair, to a much more exciting and inclusive event that is available for fans to watch live along with the press, to share in the anticipation, excitement and delivery of the gaming news that will shape the next year of our beloved hobby.

So please, leave the surprises alone and keep the leaks away.

Of course, it wouldn’t be an E3 with out the Lost Spark E3 Predictions, so this week Darren, Antony and James running through some possible , some crazy and some down right awesome predictions for the celebration that is E3 2016.

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Would Oculus Support Convince You To Upgrade To Scorpio?

The rumour mill is at it again and the latest morsel to bounce off from that ever turning grindstone is the speculation that Microsoft are, as many have suspected, indeed working on some new Xbox hardware. A slim model firstly will be bestowed upon us and next, the much more exciting idea of an Xbox One upgrade – codenamed ‘Scorpio’ – that will house a more powerful GPU and technically could handle 4K. Though unless the I/O transfer was increased this would mean lengthy load times for 4K content.

These specs mean that the Scorpio could technically support Oculus Rift which surely would be a great boon to the guys over at Microsoft in wake of Sony being well on the run up to releasing their own VR system for PS4.

Lets hope we hear more at the upcoming Microsoft event at E3.

The question is, if this Xbox Scorpio does come to fruition, would you upgrade your existing Xbox One for the benefits of this next iteration? Or is it all too early for such upgrades?

How do you feel about this shift in console life-cycles and deployment that seems to want to bring itself more in line with the Apple model of more iterative updates rolled out more frequently? Should it be left as it always has been, with a big gap and a big jump in tech for the newer models upon release (not so obvious a jump these days it seems). Or is that ideology an antiquated concept these days and by getting in line with Apple, are Sony and Microsoft merely moving inevitably along with the demands of current times?
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