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The Weekly OT #14: Sony’s Non-4K Neo/Pro

September 4, 2016

You never know where your inspiration is going to come from. The story of how Superbowl champion Trevor Pryce created Kulipari and brought it to our living rooms is a fun one. Herandar, how does this one compare to Danger Mouse?

Via Penny Arcade, I came across an excellent series of articles on the development of unique, core gameplay mechanics:  Gamasutra Deep Dives.  Two articles of particular interest are the one on rocket jumping in Rocket League, and the one on the “truly co-operative play” mechanic for the couch party game, Overcooked (the PA comic is hilarious!).  There is also the series from old, Post Mortem, in which the developers discuss the things that went well and went poorly in the creating of their game.  That all may sound pretty dry, but I find game design intensely interesting.

Narcos Season 2 is now live (plotline errors list by Escobar’s son), waiting in my queue to be watched. 

Over on his personal blog, Frenik has posted some excellent articles on why he is embracing PC gaming: It’s the end of console gaming as I know it…, Transitioning from Console to PC: Xbox Wireless Adapter, and Transitioning from Console to PC: The Price.  That article on price is one of the most honest articles on the topic of the cost of gaming on consoles and PC.  Good stuff, Frenik!

And finally, Rare released their second Tales From the Tavern Podcast (haven’t listened to it yet – too much BF1 for all these other great things to be consumed).


58 Comments leave one →
  1. September 4, 2016 8:21 pm

    For those who like An Idiot Abroad, or at least like the idea of watching people experience different cultures without too much support padding, there is a new show on NBC that might be quite entertaining, “Better Late Than Never”. Checking it out now.

  2. Herandar permalink
    September 4, 2016 10:20 pm

    Don’t know, as I haven’t personally used Netflix in months.

    • Herandar permalink
      September 4, 2016 10:27 pm

      Though that will change when the revived MST3K is released.

    • September 4, 2016 11:57 pm

      Understood. Good, good.

  3. September 5, 2016 3:05 am

    Apparently, there is some reality to this “bug”.

    “In 1916 and 1917, new Russian troops were sent to the battlefield with neither boots nor weapons and were expected to glean them from the corpses of their dead predecessors. This was one of the last straws that led to the Revolution.”

    sent to me by my ex-pat friend Mark.

  4. September 5, 2016 4:19 pm

    Psyonix has a page dedicated to the Rumble content complete with GIfs for all the powerups, etc. etc.

    Just as BF1 goes offline, Rumble Pack goes live. It is gonna be wack with lots of laughs. It will be a great mode to play after standard has become too intense.

    • September 6, 2016 1:13 pm

      Hockey Mode aside, the hoops/rocket labs variants are great for this very reason. Excited to add another to the list of modes we can enjoy

    • September 6, 2016 1:17 pm

      Oh snap, i forgot about these too:


      Help fund future esports events and prize pools with this cool new supplementary item system! Purchase an Unlock Key to open optional, in-game Crates that include random, but exclusive, Garage items that can be kept or traded with other players.

      Unlock Import Battle-Cars, Animated Decals, Exotic Wheels, and more with our inaugural Crates: Champion Series I and II!”

      Tons of crazy customization and car variants. You can also set look presets!!!

    • September 6, 2016 1:58 pm

      Yeah, there is a TON of new stuff in this update, stuff I didn’t even know about until I saw that page yesterday.

    • September 6, 2016 2:46 pm

      Hey, this purchasing of unlock keys, and trading stuff, is the the pre-cursor for a gambling opportunity. I forgot which game has that going on, on a massive scale, but with the sports competitive nature of RL, it is a no brainer for people with no ethical problems with it.

    • Herandar permalink
      September 6, 2016 8:51 pm

      The game with the problem is Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. And the gambling problem in that game is real.

  5. September 6, 2016 2:48 pm

    I didn’t realize it was a competition with Baltimore and other cities, but….GO CHICAGO!

    How’s the weather today? It’s thuggy, with an occasion rain of bullets.

  6. September 6, 2016 2:59 pm

    And I will be watching the next RL championships, like it were the playoffs of any major sport. I can’t get into the DOTAs and Starcrafs but I can understand Rocket League, and I gotta support the nerd in me, and in others.

    And Narcos has been renewed for a third and fourth season (still haven’t gotten to it yet)!

  7. September 6, 2016 6:03 pm

    Clubs and Look For Groups are live on PReview members.

    Someone should snatch up “The Stranded” asap, you can only have one unique name per club.

    • Blankman permalink*
      September 6, 2016 7:38 pm

      MS is allowing access to that ‘Clubs’ content to selected Preview members. They’ll start opening the flood gates little by little like they do on the last huge update.

    • Herandar permalink
      September 6, 2016 9:00 pm

      Logged in just to see if I had Club access. Whoever gets the chance should create “The Stranded” immediately. It will be more in demand than my club, (Mediocrity, Inc.)

  8. September 6, 2016 11:32 pm

    I am not available now to do so. Hopefully one of you can grab it.

    @Herandar, thanks for telling me which game it was. I couldn’t remember.

  9. September 7, 2016 1:15 am

    It is all about the water, baby! I know that it will be for me, an endless pleasure.

  10. September 7, 2016 2:44 am

    You know, thinking about the decriminalization of drugs, it seems to be facing the same kind of resistance that people who wanted to get divorced, or access to birth control faced back in the 60s and 70s. “If we let the children access birth control pills or condoms, we will be telling all the children to screw around and there will be more pregnancies, etc. etc.” Is that right? I just remember the stigma of people who wanted to get divorced, or the young girls who got pregnant, and today was the first time I thought of the recreational drugs in the same manner. Tax the crap out of them, ensure the relative safety (that they aren’t laced with rat poison etc.), and peddle them at the local drug store. Leave it up to the parents to teach their children not to mess with them. The parent-less children will do what they want to do anyway. At least if we are selling them good shit, we know they won’t die of poisoning, or bullets, or have to go to prison, where they will learn to be hardcore criminals.

    • September 9, 2016 8:56 pm

      I agree. People were advertising the end of the world for pot. None of that has happened. In fact it has taken that topic out of a lot of households, because a lot of it was that people didn’t know what the drugs were, didn’t know how to use them, and illegal aspect of it made an even more difficult relationship.

      The fact that you can go out and buy it, changes that dynamic. Addiction is addiction and it is more about psychological, physiological, and social aspect of it, which in turn can be treated easier because of not having the criminal effect of it, which can in turn ruin a persons life for something that is health based.

      Besides a lot of these drugs are still accessible in some form through medicine, and like that shows, it is easier to track and hunt down who is doing phony prescriptions, etc. Than having it completely illegal, where there’s no record of it anywhere. Were the providers are hiding in foreign lands, and makes it harder to truly control it.

      I think pot will show, that if given the choice people will buy it legally. I mean anyone can make moonshine or their brands of cigarettes, but in the end people end up buying it.

      At the very least you can then turn something negative, and use the funds for something positive, or to counter the effects of drugs in society.

  11. September 7, 2016 4:49 pm

    Don’t see them all in here, but there are a few of the great ones.

  12. September 7, 2016 5:06 pm

    I have a request, could someone (or multiple people) Tweet or facebook this Reddit thread on Psyonix official social network sites? (Could you do it now before the new content drops – or wait several weeks until the info storm has died down.)

    I wrote the thread and it wasn’t just shut down, but gathered a bit of interest. I would love that stat in the game. If you don’t mind doing that, thanks in advance! ❤

  13. September 7, 2016 6:28 pm

    PS4 Pro (rip NEO) was announced at 399$ coming later this year. Specs were essentially what was expected (~4 teraflops). PS4 Slim was announced to launch really soon at 299$.

    I was talking with Blank and Red and this, and we both thought it was a good move by Sony in terms of price points. But, I started to see a bunch of negative press on Twitter and it looks like PS4 Pro does NOT support 4k (UHD) Blurays.

    The choice must have been to cut costs, but when you promote your new “premium” machine by playing content in 4k… only to not support the primary reason people will be purchasing 4K TVs.

    The Xbox One Slim is 299$, supports 4K BluRays and is actually currently the least expensive 4K bluray player on the market.

  14. Herandar permalink
    September 7, 2016 8:00 pm

    You all can thank BF4 for the excellent netcode in the BF1 Alpha.

  15. September 7, 2016 9:15 pm

    Zos, thanks for tweeting that!

    MS wins this latest battle then. The Slim with 4K is an awesome deal for someone who doesn’t own a “next gen” machine yet. I love how these giants are so polite they keep opening the door for the other, rather than slamming it in each others face. “No, you first.” “Thank you.” “I will get the next one then.” Lovely!

    Herandar, yes, I have maintained since DICE admitted their epic fail with the launch of BF4, that, while it took about 6 months, they really dealt very seriously with their Tick rate problem, and all the other issues. I assumed that they would learn for that for the launch of their next game, and it appears they have. Gamers win, and in the long run, DICE/EA will win, too. Can’t wait for the game. Loved watching the videos in the Xbox Community feed.

    • Blankman permalink*
      September 7, 2016 9:35 pm

      Six months?!? Try almost a year of a broken game, Suns. I’m not thanking DICE for shit, Herandar. EA took our money and delivered a broken game that was practically unplayable for almost a year. I can, however, admit that I’m enjoying BF1. I haven’t had this much fun with a BF-game since Bad Company 2.

      As Zos has already mentioned, Sony really screwed up by not including a playable 4K BR player. How does the company that developed the Blu Ray tech not include a 4K BR player in their next-gen console? Ridiculous. Zos, rED, & I were texting that Phil Spencer must be dancing in his office when the official specs were unveiled. The one thing that Zos & I speculated that Sony would probably lower manufacturing costs due to a cheaper chipset, therefore, offering a slight price reduction for the “Neo/Pro” when the Scorpio launches. MS is definitely taking a loss with the Scorpio, but they shouldn’t go higher than $499. Otherwise, Sony is going to continue selling their PS4 Pro over MS’ next console.

    • September 7, 2016 10:45 pm

      Microsoft is already out in full force promoting the $299 slim with 4K Bluray player. Excellent subtle trolling.

      This is going to be interesting to see how it plays out… the biggest risk Microsoft has is Sony releasing a Neo version 2 around the same time as Scorpio that matches it (or closes the gap) in performance, and also includes 4k Bluray. But I think it comes down to what we have been thinking all along, that Microsoft is willing (able?) to take a bigger loss on each console than Sony is.

      Phil Spencer has already said the Scorpio will be at a “console” price point. This makes sense when it is supposed to sit somewhere between a xbox one and a high end PC. I can’t imagine it will launch on $399, but it is definitely possible.

      Now that I am building a PC, the biggest thing I want to see is more cross platform (and license) games. Phil Spencer has said Keyboard and Mouse is coming to XB1, if this is the case my theory (hope) is that developers will simply provide the ability match gamepad players on PC with gamepad players on console and vice versa.

      I am already more tempted to buy some games knowing that I can play them on either platform!

    • September 7, 2016 11:19 pm

      You’re right, Blank. I stand corrected. It took 10+ months before they got the 60Hz patch out. Still, any time a company actually fixes their game, I give them props because the default is not to ever fix one’s games, as too many companies to list do.

      The Scorpio for under $500 would be sweet, for $400 (which is what I consider console prices – not this 5/600 Foreman Grill garbage) would have me darn near pre-ordering.

      Sea of Thieves in 4K. Blow My Mind.

    • September 8, 2016 1:08 am

      Only problem: Getting a 4k tv LOL! You can get monitors (without HDR for now) for pretty cheap.

      In terms of TVs, there are actually great deals on 4K TV’s that use the same HDR tech (HDR10) as Xbox/PS4. From what I have seen HDR IS a big deal (even more for movies).

      –55″ 4K HDR LG

      –40″ 4L HDR Samsung

      From what it seems, some of the “better for movies” TVs are actually worse in terms of their gaming performance. Hopefully before Q4 2017, prices drop even further and the monitors start to include HDR without too much of a premium.

    • September 8, 2016 1:12 am

      4K is about the only kind of TV you see on the store shelves here. However, those WONKY cheap prices are only available in the States. I’m not worried, in a year or two, prices will have dropped as the tech has improved.

    • Herandar permalink
      September 9, 2016 12:07 pm

      You don’t have to thank them verbally, Blank. DICE is perfectly content with you speaking with your wallet and pre-ordering.

    • September 9, 2016 9:15 pm

      I see it different. They are playing it smart by keeping the costs down now. What people really want is a 4k gaming machine, not a upscaling one with 4k BR. People watch streaming services more than they are buying Blu-ray. That’s just fact.

      They get a headstart on the scorpio. They make a nice VR friendly 4k gaming bundle. Once the UHD 4k BR drives go down, there you go, another SKU. Probably by next fall, and this will be a one year non-factor.

      Scorpio will have to beat that price. We know what happened when Sony released a cheaper console. 4k is a pipedream anyways, so all that hardware from Scorpio will just be sitting pretty until the devs (if they choose to spend more time on xbox than Sony) give it some love. Maybe you get to blow up more buildings on Crackdown 3 on scorpio.

      Or maybe it takes a little while longer. By then Sony can still release another machine with better specs, because they didn’t have to eat up all the costs and have a larger install base that moves hardware.

      MS on the other hand will have to eat a lot of the costs just to be in the game. If Scorpio doesn’t level the field then it will be hard to justify another machine, and they will be sitting ducks for whatever Sony releases next.

    • September 10, 2016 3:57 am

      I don’t know specifics of who will win or when. But this conversation has suddenly made the whole issue crystal clear to me.

      The console industry is a very tricky game of timing and perception, the latter of which can be greatly affected by quality (e.g., RROD) and design choices (e.g., Kinect over GPU, tech over price a la PS3, etc. etc.).

      As regards Crackdown 3, it would seem like the promised form is almost certainly vaporware. When released, I suspect it will only be a shard of what was promised because the “Cloud”… is a lie (I am still not convinced that it is anything more than dedicated servers). Even if the Cloud were true, the biggest problem would still be data transfer over Comcast et. al sub-par broadband providers. It was a very exciting promise that I think is going to be difficult to fulfill (and this silence seems to be indicative of that difficulty).

    • September 10, 2016 9:56 am

      Oh definitely. It is all about timing. For me the curious part is that there’s no flagship being released with Scorpio that we know yet. Maybe another Forza? Maybe re-releasing Gears 4 and Halo 5? That timing part for Sony is more key than MS will ever admit. They get a cheap price point and get into the VR game early, push a little new ip in Horizon Zero Dawn. Get those devs working on HDR early, etc.

      Plus more importantly, they get Titanfall 2, which was tied to xbox one when it released. They get the COD time releases and the Destiny exclusives. Staying tuned for Battlefield 1 specs, which the install base will be bigger on PS4 than PC and xbox combined.

      I mean xbox right now just can say it has the cheapest UHD 4K BR and that it basically cleanup house and put their past behind them by removing Kinect support, and by delivering the true follow up to the 360 (I am thinking they will remove the “one” and rebrand the line when scorpio hits) I point towards the controller being the secret weapon. Being BT means you can switch from console to PC with no dongle.

      Sony just shut the door to Bethesda on Fallout and Skyrim using mods, so MS needs to be the mod friendly system, in like everything.

      They are releasing the editor for Halo 5 on PC, which is a great step because past editors had to be gimped in order to be able to run in the console. They need to do the same for Gears 4.

      They do that, and they instantly kill steam machines, because obviously Scorpio’s specs are better, but if it’s a closed system then it doesn’t matter how pretty it looks. If people can’t add custom content, then steam wins in keeping their base.

      but again, so far they are not there. Minecraft Windows 10 is a piss poor example of what they have done, closing an open game.

      Halo 5 forge can steer this away, and so would an editor for Gears 4 along with the xbox play anywhere license being default in all games.

      I mean right now toying around with the Unreal 4 Dev kit and how easy it is to upload and publish content on steam, like MS needs to get on that with the Scorpio right away. If they unite the PC and Xbox crowd then it’s a bigger farm to push content out to.

      but again right now they have it so closed that unless I am sharing “clips” from Evolve Stage 2 on the xbox app from PC, every other game that the system doesn’t want to recognize, it will not share it. Not even screenshots.

      So yeah, long ways before they truly break down the wall between console and PC.

      The other thing is mobile. iPhone 7 just released and it has 250gb of storage. That’s stepping on the toes of consoles. If ios games get bigger and have more processing resources, they will chip away future generation of gamers like they already have with Pokemon Go (and adults, I saw way more adults running around the parks!)

      and that’s just the iphone. when they kill the old ipads on ios 10, that will bring the new batch with the iphone 7s chips and longer battery life. MS already went the “Scorpio” route with the Surface Pro 4, and Apple still beat them with old tech, once the new tech comes out it will be a bloodbath.

      and to tied it all together with the timing part. Apple hasn’t jumped on the VR bandwagon because there are rumors they are developing not only VR but augmented reality (

      and here’s the thing and how it all ties up to gaming and consoles. If mobile does augmented reality, they bypass the tv middleman. So long 4k, hardly knew ya’. That’s just a practical device that works for everything, not just gaming. You get people hooked on that and it will be harder and harder to get future generations to sit down and play a game on a screen.

    • September 10, 2016 5:17 pm

      All solid points. I personally have been hoping that Scorpio would basically be a toggle PC W10/Xbox console, that I can game on, but can also use to do my MS Office work and Internet surfing on. Edge browser on the One is rubbish.

      I would think that MS will be dropping the “One” moniker with Scorpio, and from now on just call it “Xbox” and then a number, not part of the name, indicating the model, a la Apple with iPhone.

      Depending on how it is marketed (i.e., they must go with a beta build Preview Games a al A:SE to avoid negative press), Sea of Thieves could become a system seller. It could become one of those apps you were saying MS needs.

      It think we are probably agreeing on the following, but just to clarify:

      4K viewing is different from 3D, it is not niche, and the 4K TVs will be widely adopted. One of the amazing features of those TVs is 2 x 1080p on one TV for those who like picture-in-picture, or basically picture-beside-picture. I just went to one of the largest electronics chains again last night, and there are only a few TV models on the floor that aren’t 4K. If I want to buy a new TV, I basically have to buy 4K now – in Japan.

      The 4K disc media, however, will probably only appeal to those who still collect movies, and renters with crappy Internet (i.e., poor streaming). Each progressive tech (DVD, then BluRay, and then 4K) will have fewer collectors/adopters. As soon as very high speed Internet is ubiquitous, optical drives will disappear except for as back up of personal/important content. That is still a ways off, so optical discs will be around for a while, but in steadily diminishing demand. Streaming is here to stay, but it will also only be able to offer 4K to those who have really good Internet.

      I don’t care one way or the other for the Scorpio 4K media drive. But I do care that it can handle 4K streaming and games, and I care about that even now with the “S – is for sexy”. Looking forward, 4K capability is a huge feature for me and I think for most people, as this generation showed – that specs matter. By far, the biggest reason people switched from Xbox to Sony was because of Resolution Gate and the extra 1/32 inch of cock and foreskin that Sony promised to its gamers. All the other stuff was just nails in the coffin. It was the initial E3 unveiling (DRM and Privacy issues) followed by an unrecoverable loss in the specs war (which was, as is being proven, mostly just emperor’s clothes perception).

      I think that having a 4K label on the box, that alone will sell one system over the other. Sony can make changes, make that happen in time. I don’t know if they will, but if they don’t, they will regret it. 4K is not going to go away, unless it were to make way for the next higher resolution. One final point, after 4K, the only reason higher resolution will be desirable is for a clearer picture on larger surfaces. We don’t need to see beyond the pores in Harrison Ford’s face. What we do want, however, is that kind of clarity on a 120 inch screen.

      Mobile. Mobile was “made” for Augmented reality, and by definition, the TV is not – TV and consoles cannot compete with the mobile in the augmented reality space. I think augmented reality is only meaningful if it works everywhere, not just in my living room where my mounted cameras are. Also, as the specs gap between mobile and console narrows, so does the market for console hardware. When the rumor that Nintendo’s next console would basically be hand-held, i was excited. Yes, basically a TV connectable console that fits in the palm of my hand. Size matter here, too, only it is not the male appendage we are talking about in this case.

  16. September 8, 2016 1:08 am

    • Blankman permalink*
      September 8, 2016 9:55 am

      Hmmm, wasn’t even aware of this upcoming movie. And here I thought that “in the morning, we’re making waffles!” 😜

  17. September 8, 2016 6:09 pm

    Here is a pretty informative Rare interview on the topic of Sea of Thieves. In it, in the wake of the No Man’s Sky fallout, the interviewer pushes the point of “over-promising” pretty hard. Rare seems to have some solid answers.

    It really is a good interview, and here are some more Rare employee answers to follow-up questions.

    You know, the more they talk about their game, the more it sounds like they are planning on going the Ark route via the Preview Release way. They just have too much stuff that requires mass testing before it can be locked down.

  18. September 9, 2016 2:24 am

    This is big news for Nintendo fans.

    Anyone who knew this announcement beforehand definitely had insider news.

  19. September 12, 2016 4:08 pm

    I think you are confusing 4k for Sony. Their games will be 4k digital or otherwise. Their BR capabilities will not be 4k.

    4k Streaming and Downloading is happening regardless of the drives.

    So in terms of resolution it will be the same. There’s no advantage there. The Scorpio advantage, what you will be paying extra, is in the area of performance.

    That one in particular can be tricky. On the post in my blog about the price there’s a link of how one could build a “Scorpio” like PC. The processor for example, was 4 core i7 because it showed it could outperform eight cores in certain situations.

    So basically the so-called performance enhancement of the scorpio :p might be beaten under the right circumstances by lower tech. Again it hasn’t been released it’s all speculation, but I wouldn’t be surprised if at the end of the day they end up not that different.

    Not to mention that it is dependant on developers. So more bang on first party games, optiknal bang on third parties.

    As for TVs, you are right. 4k will be the standard, but for me TV is no longer the center piece of media in the household (we have 4, 2 are not even plugged in. All HDTVs). So yes if you have a BR player chances are you still use discs, and a 4k TV would make sense.

    I don’t use discs anymore, even when a buy a BR/DVD/Download combo. The code is the only thing that is useful. The disc sits full time in a shelf.

    I even stream from Netflix/Hulu/Amazon/HBO movies that I own and that are 3feet away from me. :p

    3D was a niche market, what I am saying TV all together will potentially be a niche market in the future.

    See I can stream cable tv entirely on my phone. That was the sole reason we went back to the cord.

    I think the only thing that is holding it back is the areas that still have a bandwith cap, either because they are remote and/ is too expensive to upgrade.

    That’s kinda funny after ten years of the console wars to see who dominates the living room, in the end it was the living room the one that suffered the most casualties.

    • September 12, 2016 4:36 pm

      I thought the PS machines wouldn’t be 4K capable, now I see that they just won’t be 4K BR disc capable. Thanks for clearing that up.

      We are on the same page completely as regards streaming. I have discs on the shelf, but am watching the Netflix versions because it is SO EASY. My whole next gen library is digital and I love it! Two benefits, it doesn’t take up space in the house (and need dusting etc.) and I don’t have to be constantly reminded how much money I spent on this hobby. It is worth it, but I don’t always have a reminder in my face of stuff I don’t play anymore that cost me hundreds-thousands of dollars. Also, when it is digital, I can go and play it without digging around and trying to find it. I actually don’t misplace stuff very often, but Zos and rED are constantly losing their shit. 😉

    • September 12, 2016 5:02 pm

      I think the biggest issue in regards to 4K streaming is that it really doesn’t look nearly as good as a UHD disc (even larger of a gap than 1080p streaming to BR, which is already bad enough). But more importantly are the bandwidth requirements.

      Sadly in the USA, the average internet service isn’t good enough to support 4K streaming proper. In many regions, this isn’t even an economical issue, they can’t even pay a absurd premium for the service. This is not even considering the other international markets.

      Especially in the early adapter crowds, who are out buying 4K TVs this holiday, UHD players will be an important purchase when making the jump to 4K.

      In terms of PS4 Neo, I think the biggest question for Microsoft is whether or not Sony plans on releasing a Neo 1.5 next year. But I am not sure the economics of it, I don’t think they will. I think Microsoft is willing (and needs) to take a loss on each unit to push their console ahead. They will also need to have software to show off next year at e3. I believe this is why they announced ballpark specs so early. Come Holiday 2017, they want to have the most powerful console, and want to be have games available that take advantage of the hardware.

      I do think that the Neo (and exclusion of UHD drive) was a misstep for Sony. Probably their first big one. On the other hand, the Xbox One S has been selling well and Microsoft has been making some interesting decisions that are rebuilding their reputation (Play Anyware, Backwards Compat etc)

      Really, “gamers win” is correct. The price of the PS4 and XB1 is very good, the library of games is amazing. I think giving additional options (PS4/Pro, XB1/Scorpio) on the quality of their games visuals is the correct call. I still plan on buying a Scorpio (even though I am building a PC this month).

    • September 12, 2016 5:43 pm

      Agreed about Internet services being the barrier to broader, higher resolution adoption.

      Why is it that the same resolution for streaming isn’t as pretty as what is coming off the disc? Is their corruption in the data, or is the HD streaming actually just 720 called 1080? What is going on there? I didn’t know about that difference either.

      Be sure to let us know how you built your PC, what it cost, and how totally awesome it feels to run RL at 144 frames per second.

    • September 12, 2016 6:12 pm

      Compression, compression, compression. I just bought The Iron Giant blu-ray, and after watching so much Netflix recently, even an animated film from 99′ looked significantly better, and this is with my 300mbps down 50mbps up connection. Its the same issue with low quality music streaming services VS CD, but it much more noticeable for movies.

      The compression for 4k is apparently even much worse (as there is a huge increase in the data being streamed ~4,5 times larger than 1080p). Also, anybody with a half decent sound system can quickly tell the difference when streaming vs BR, as the audio isn’t great for streams either.

      Redbox is still a very popular service. You can rent BluRays for 1.50 (changing to 2.00 next year I think). This is cheaper than pretty much any rental streaming service.

      Digital is the future I believe, but I think the service is actually worse off for 4k movies than it is gaming in general. The avg 4k movie is around 100GB to store on a disc. That means, the most you will be storing on the new PS4 Pro (1TB) is 9 movies (with no games installed or any other media). Physical disc is just a preferable method at this point until everyone has gigabit+ internet, streaming services reduce the compression/improve the technology AND/OR consumers have much larger capacity drives and can let their content download and stay stored on the disc.

      In terms of my PC, i should have the final specs this week. It’s going to be a powerhouse for work/school as well, and then I will throw in a GPU probably around the holidays.

    • September 12, 2016 6:43 pm

      Zos, thanks for taking the time to explain it! I greatly appreciate it.

      EDIT: I am going to add this. For me, the prettier the better, but I have been watching some ugly streaming for years now. Most recently, since Netflix has become available, I have upgraded to its quality and am thrilled. The fact is, now, I watch most of my TV on my 9″ Kindle resting on my chest, about on foot from my face, with no glasses so that I don’t have to struggle with my bifocals (angling my head just right so that I see clearly). Maybe that is why I don’t care about special effects and action in my movies anymore. I am all about story. LOL!

    • September 13, 2016 1:02 pm

      Yeah I think that’s a big big difference, it’s all about of where you stream. Again if I am streaming to a big tv where it stretches out the image, and I am using a high end sound system, it will be obviously garbage compared to BR discs, and that’s fine. That is the niche that BRs cater to. But that’s kinda like LPs vs Digital.

      That’s not where the mass consumption will go however, like in the article I posted. BRs are going down and streaming is going up. On portable devices, it doesn’t make that much of a difference. 4k Streaming has been around as Ultra-HD on Netflix since 2014.

      Either way, to me 4k isn’t a big deal because of all those things! You need a good connection to reliably get 4k, or you need to shell out $30-38 per BR, not to mention a player, a tv, and a nice audio system. In order to enjoy it properly. That’s just niche. BR rentals on redbox are $2, have been for a while, which is another reason BRs are useless to us now, and I doubt the 4k rentals will start at the same price point.

      It was the same thing with 1080p, you are not going to shell out extra cash to watch everything at that resolution. To watch a drama, etc. Half the content hasn’t been converted anyways. If I am watching the The Wire, I don’t need 4k. 4k will become important once it goes down in price, once the infrastructure of the internet can support it. So the huff puff about the UHD to me shows how MS still doesn’t get it.

      That’s why to me Sony is making a gaming console first. $400 Pro version with 4k gaming now, and $500 for VR now. VR works with both Pro and Old SKUs. That’s just the bundle, you are able to buy the VR stuff separately, and not all games have the same price point.

      I do think there will be a Sony Pro 1.5 at some point, even if to just include the UHD drive, and tweak more stuff for VR. Right now bundles are separate, but say a year from now MS announces the scorpio alone for $500-800. Then Sony counters with a $800-900 Pro and VR bundle, and either throw in the best VR game or a known franchise.

      That would kill it.

      VR is already sold out, there’s a showing next saturday at my local gamestop. Im just curious at how it works, so I will check it out.

      Definitely we all win, these companies want the market share so bad, they are throwing awesome tech our way. I just don’t think they are all sustainable. Something is destined to hit the early clearance bin, be it 4k TVs, 4k players, Scorpios, VR, etc.

      The question isn’t if the tech is great, it is. It’s whether it will be at a reduced price a mere few months after release.

    • September 13, 2016 5:49 pm

      VR is niche. Don’t know about the rest of those technologies that you mentioned, though I do know that AR is very cool and will eventually be in everything we do. VR, however, is niche (it won’t go away, but it will never be ubiquitous), for many, many reasons.

    • September 13, 2016 7:09 pm

      We forget the difference in scope however between the video game console sales vs the “niche” 4KTV market. It is estimated that there will be 50-60 million 4KTVs sold this year alone (32 million sold last year). That is more than the number of PS4s sold since it launched and every console’s # units sold combined in 2015.

      Video Games are actually “niche” lol.

      Also, I think there is another reason Microsoft (and Sony) are going for the UHD 4K market. It is where the high-end GPUs are targeting now on PC. Nvidia’s Pascal chips are all about dat 4K. There is no reason to even buy one of these cards unless you plan on gaming in 4K. Also, AMD’s Vega GPUs are going to much of the same story when they launch early next year.

      Microsoft already got burnt horribly for the 900p/1080p “resolution gate” at product launch. Even if the difference is not even large, the narrative that grows behind these “weaknesses/strengths” has a major impact on the success of the consoles.

      I do think that Microsoft having the cheapest UHD BR player on market (for now at least) will be largely beneficial to their console sales this holiday. As much as the exclusion of a UHD drive in the PS4 Pro is a “non issue” to most gamers, just the negative press about this is a change in pace for Sony this generation.

    • September 13, 2016 9:08 pm

      Yes, perception, and Microsoft doesn’t want to be on the wrong end of that one twice.

    • September 13, 2016 9:27 pm

      When I said niche I was comparing it to mobile devices. Smartphones alone do what? 343 million? That’s without counting the new smartphone releases this fall. That’s without counting everything that’s not a TV that has a display. Niche enough? 😛

      As far as gaming goes, actually been reading a bit more. See most 4k tvs are 40-inch above right now. Some don’t even do 8ms refresh. You have to go to monitors for anything lower, and that’s in the 27″ range.

      and as far as PC goes. Correction is all about that 6k or above. The real money is in multiple displays, which will get more stable in the next few years. Once it does, one display gaming will be dated.

      Now here’s the other little fun fact, if you go shopping for video cards, right now you have to go for display ports. Why? HDMI is capped at 24hz on the cable. Display port 60hz.

      Makes a lot of difference in gaming, and in multiple displays.

      but hey i don’t care anyways, a guy can buy a 55inch 4k tv with supposed 120hz refresh rate, with supposedly right hdmi cable, at a 8-12 feet viewing distance. He is just going to have to be really good at that aim assist for not to become a punching bag. Full price to get pounded in 4k glory, UHD approved.

      and I have no qualms of that type of gamer paving the way with full price purchase for everything that will be drastically cheaper years from now.

      and again the fact that MS is celebrating UHD over releasing their console a year late both in 4k gaming and VR at a cheaper price point right now, is just missing the gaming point entirely. In fact if you go to

      That’s their new splash page. That’s the “new” microsoft leadership for you.

    • September 13, 2016 9:55 pm

      ah yeah forgot to add Pokemon Go users alone downloaded Pokemon Go 75 million times by the end of July. That’s just one app, if we count gaming in general, then also not so niche.

      Now before you say… but that’s mobile… there’s this:

      ah so the money makers don’t even use tvs? Go figure. Niche?

    • Blankman permalink*
      September 14, 2016 4:19 pm

      Wait, isn’t Pokemon Go AR, not VR? I think that Suns is saying that “VR” is niche, not AR.

  20. September 14, 2016 2:30 am

    Speaking of Pokemon

  21. September 14, 2016 4:06 am

    Actually thanks to this post I remembered that I had an update to the video card I had not checked if it had fixed the stability of the dual screen. It did!

    so yeah ended up doing 3932×1080 on high without problems on Ark, even spawned a cluster of dinos and didn’t have a problem. But yeah just having multiple screens expanding trumps 4k on just one screen, IMO, and this is just two, on three it’s even more drastic.

    There’s a video of a triple 4k display, but it lags, and the cost is just prohibitive.

    but anyways here’s a video that explains TV vs. Monitors.

    One of the links they mention:

    and then if you sort it by resolution to 4k you can see the difference between TVs and monitors and draw your conclusions.

    • September 14, 2016 5:42 pm

      I don’t think anyone is trying to argue that 4KTV are better than monitors for hardcore gaming or that smart phone sales aren’t astronomical. A lot of us here use PC monitors as our daily drivers for Xbox as well. Input lag is definitely an issue, but that has been the case since HDTVs were even a thing. But the grand majority of console gamers use an HDTV regardless. As 4K panels become more mainstream, more display makers will put an emphasis on input lag (as was the case for 1080p).

      The multi monitor gaming thing is cool (I only used to see it in things like flight/driving sims or tech demos), but I don’t see that taking off or becoming the next big thing in gaming by any means (let alone PC gaming). Whereas 4K will be the standard resolution in likely the next 4 years (much like 1080p has been). OS’s will be designed around it, media will be produced in it etc. Having a console that performs well on the standard just makes sense. This will especially be the case when Microsoft releases the Scorpio.


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