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DF Direct Weekly talks Sony acquisitions, PS5's chip on a PC board and more


And why Ratchet and Clank’s 40fps mode is so cool.

Welcome to the brand new Digital Foundry Direct Weekly, where the team stop work on their projects for a couple of hours to catch up, talk tech, answer questions from our rather awesome backers on the DF Supporter Program – and in the case of this week, battle numerous technical gremlins – and a giant fly.

Topics up for discussion this week include Doom Eternal’s ray tracing upgrade (covered in-depth after this filming right here) along with Sony’s strategic acquisitions of Housemarque and Nixxes – two tech powerhouses capable of some incredible work. Housemarque looked like a logical buy, but PlayStation’s decision to swoop on Nixxes came out of the blue. All we can really say here is that this studio is one of the unsung heroes of the development community and we can’t wait to see what their association with Sony yields.

We also spend some time talking about Ratchet and Clank’s brand new 120Hz support, which sees fidelity mode move up to 40fps from 30fps. This is something we’re going to spend a little more time looking at because it’s potentially very exciting – games typically tend to target 30fps or 60fps – and the gap is wide. The new 40fps support sees a new frame delivered every three screen refreshes on a 120Hz screen, so you get consistent frame-times but you also get higher frame-rates – and the results are impressive.

And speaking of Sony, but moving across to hardware, we talk about the Ryzen 7 4700S desktop kit – which is essentially an integrated small form factor motherboard based on the PlayStation 5’s processor with its integrated GPU disabled. And as for more associations? How about the hilarious and rather pompous sounding ‘strategic cooperation agreement’ between Bloober and Konami? Could it mean a reawakening of the long dormant Silent Hill franchise?

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DF Direct Weekly, this week perpetrated by Rich Leadbetter, Audi Sorlie, John Linneman and Alex Battaglia.

For those interested in specific segments, here are some time codes for you:

  • 00:00:00 Introductions
  • 00:00:48 Doom Eternal RT is out!
  • 00:05:33 Ryzen 4700S – PS5 Processor on a PC board
  • 00:11:43 Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart’s 120Hz 40fps patch
  • 00:16:26 Sony acquires Nixxes and Housemarque
  • 00:27:04 Bloober Team + Konami enter ‘strategic cooperation agreement’
  • 00:32:19 Final Fantasy pixel remaster UI troubles
  • 00:38:58 DF Content discussion of the week
  • 00:46:50 Supporter Q1: CRT RGB question and DF Retro request
  • 00:50:29 Supporter Q2: Does the popularly held distinction between “gameplay” and “graphics” ever bother you?
  • 00:57:59 Supporter Q3: Do you think ray tracing will get left behind as too specialized a technology once we get into the later half of this generation?
  • 01:03:31 Supporter Q4: What title do you guys anticipate being the next milestone in bleeding edge video game graphics in the near future, and why?
  • 01:06:41 Supporter Q5: What is it like to film these Direct Weekly segments?
  • 01:10:39 Supporter Q6: Lichdom: Battlemage?

Continuing the discussion, the team talk about their recent projects before tackling questions posed by our brilliant community on the DF Supporter Program: John weighs in on a Bang and Olufsen CRT TV, mull over the balance between graphics and gameplay, assess the future prospecs for ray tracing and discuss the whole process behind the making of DF Direct Weekly itself – how do we do it? Do we like doing it? And then of course, finally… some laughs and anecdotes on Maximum Games’ now legendary Lichdom Battlemage.

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