01
Mar

Playstation 4 to use AMD x86 Architecture

Written by bokou. Posted in Hardware News

Playstation 4

According to Digital Foundry’s Richard Leadbetter via Gameranx.com, the next generation of Playstation console is “essentially a PC” in terms of its technological make-up. He writes that Sony and AMD are collaborating on the console’s CPU, moving away from the PS3′s Cell architecture to an x86 processor for the new console. This is good news for PC gamers because it could possibly mean more cross platform games, better PC “ports”, and probably faster console price reductions (considering how quickly the prices in the PC industry drop).

If they’re going to be partnering with AMD we’re likely to find something along the lines of the AMD A4 or AMD A6 inside the machines. These are APUs rather than traditional CPUs. An APU integrates a CPU and a GPU on the same die thus improving data transfer rates between these components while reducing power consumption. They’re not as good as some of the high-end CPUs paired with high-end GPUs, but they get the job done and on a closed-system they can be fully taken advantage of without having to worry about things on a normal everyday PC taking up their fair share of the processing power.

Toss in 2gb or 4gb of RAM, a 320gb HDD (possibly a smaller solid state?), and a blue-ray drive and you could be looking at a $300-$400 system. Personally I’ll be happy if this is the case simply because the games will be written for x86 architecture meaning we’ll see a lot more games end up on the PC that we didn’t get before (ahem, Red Dead Redemption…)

01
Mar

Blizzard Lays off 600 Employees

Written by bokou. Posted in MMO, World of Warcraft

Blizz Layoffs

The lost subscriptions are one sign, but the laying off of almost 600 employees is another. Hoot has brought to our attention in the forums that  Business Wire reports Blizzard is laying off approximately 600 employees. The company anticipates approximately 90% of the affected employees will come from departments not related to game development – which means about 60 are being laid off from the game development departments.

They do say that it’s not going to affect any of their upcoming releases such as Mists of Pandaria or Diablo III. In addition, Blizzard is still recruiting and looking to hire qualified developers for a number of open positions. Further details are available at http://jobs.blizzard.com. It looks like it was more shrugging off excess overhead that they gained during their WoW growth than a “we’re not making any money so we’re laying off all these people!” Layoffs are always a sign of interior house cleaning though and it does point to the fact that Blizzard probably isn’t making as much money as they were during WoW’s height.

29
Feb

PC Part Picker

Written by bokou. Posted in Hardware News

PC Part Picker

Following up from yesterdays post about CanYouRunIt, I want to show you guys a site that might make building a new PC (in the event your results from CYRI were bad and need an upgrade) a lot easier.

Most computers I’ve built have existed only as wishlists or imaginary shopping carts before hand and I had to keep all the performance expectations in my head going only by reviews of other customers or reviews found by googling. Very rarely do you have a shopping website that lists on a scale the performance differences say between two CPUs or two video cards.

Check out PCPartPicker.com

PC Part Picker

Included to help you decide on which parts to use are graphs representing price per ghz, price per gb, etc. These can make it easy to see where Solid State drives lie in relation price-wise to traditional mechanical drives, where the Intel processors lie price-wise to the high ghz AMDs, and more.

PC Part Picker

With current up-to-date prices and information on shipping costs, grand-totals, and possible promotional codes – the site makes it really easy to lay out your build before you buy it. There are also safety measures in place to prevent you from accidently buying incompatible parts. One thing it doesn’t recommend before finishing up your build (that I’ve seen) is thermal paste – as you may or may not want to use the stuff that comes with your aftermarket cooler (if it even comes with any).

Be sure to check out PCPartPicker.com next time you need to build a system!