What I Want From My Xbox One X!

I was able to pre-order my Xbox One X: Scorpio Edition, and I can’t wait.  I love new consoles, but here is the kicker, I don’t have a 4K TV, so the feature I want from this super powerful console is an Ultra 1080P/60 FPS mode.  I know some games are going to have it, but I hope it is a common occurrence.

I want the high res textures with super-sampling.  I want to run games without screen tearing or frame hitches.  Devs are saying the Xbox One X is like a fast PC with an NVidia GTX 1070 in it, and the 1070, while it can do some games in 4K, really shines at running games with max settings in both 1080p and 1440p, so while there are not a lot of 1440p resolution TVs out there, if you render the games at 1440p and then downscale to 1080p it should look amazing! (Yes I know that is what super-sampling is, which I mentioned earlier!)

While I hope the 4K is great with the Xbox One X, and that people with 4K TVs love it, I just want a true full featured 1080p experience which neither the PS4 or the Xbox One were ever really able to provide, but the Xbox One X should be more than up to the task!

The New Twitch App Is Pretty Great!

I know I was bemoaning all the apps we need to download so we can play computer games in an earlier post, but if Twitch/Amazon wants to be successful in the PC video game business, they needed to update their very bare bones app.  Thankfully their new desktop app is a like fifty steps in the right direction.

You can watch streams, have video chats, manage and add to your game library, and of course stream your games all from the same Twitch app.  Instead of some random launcher for just games, this app does it all.  It is still missing a few features, with cloud save syncing being chief among them, but they have assured me they are listening to their consumers, and that they want to make the Twitch Desktop App as feature rich as possible.  Apparently they already have save syncing working internally, so it shouldn’t be long until we see it out in the wild.  I mean it isn’t like Amazon doesn’t have the server space.

If you are a fan of Twitch, or just want Steam to have an actual competitor to keep it honest, it is nice to see Amazon making their service and the tools for that service better.  Now all Twitch needs is for a few major AAA games to launch on its store and we could have an actual competitive digital PC sales marketplace.  I am all for that!

Is AMD’s Vega Too Late?

Yesterday AMD FINALLY announced their Vega lineup of cards.  Their top end card will be the Radeon RX Vega 64, starting at $499 US, and their slightly lower end card is called the Radeon RX Vega 56, starting at $399 US.  As an AMD fanboy I was excited to see their new cards, and even more excited that they should be hitting stores soon, August 14th, but the sad news was that they were merely going to go toe to toe with the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 and the GeFore GTX 1070 respectively.

Coming out a year later and not being faster than those cards is a real bummer.  Don’t get me wrong, Nvidia needs the competition, but considering Nvidia already has their ultra fast GTX 1080ti out, and it easily bests the Vega 64, that means Nvidia’s next round of cards that are coming out soon will be even faster than Vega without even trying very hard.

Granted AMD will be able to compete on price like they always have, and they are promising to keep the supply chains stocked to keep crypto-miners from driving the price up, but it just would have been fun to see a fight for the high end graphics market again.  If Vega would have come out even six months ago maybe would we be talking about some sort of Super-Vega to compete with the 1080ti, but that didn’t happen, and now if you want super high-end graphics Nvidia is still the company you should turn to.

I Bought A Mechanical Keyboard And Now All Other Keyboards Are Ruined…

I have wanted a mechanical keyboard for quite some time, but I could never justify the price for one with real Cherry MX switches.  Not to mention my Microsoft Natural Elite has held up great for its more than fifteen year tour of duty, and if Microsoft would have made a mechanical variant of that keyboard I would have bought it in an instant.  Thankfully Corsair ran a deal on its refurbished STRAFE keyboards.  Now I can never go back to a rubber dome keyboard.

I didn’t think it would make that much of a difference, but it is night and day.  Every keyboard press is registered properly and with 100% accuracy.  No more, “did I push that or didn’t I?”, no more squishy feeling.  It immediately made a difference in my response times in games too.  I was still terrible, but at least now I was terrible with my character doing exactly what I was telling him to do when I told him to do it.

It was keyboard bliss until my ‘O’ and ‘Y’ keys started sticking.  I have never had a problem with refurbished hardware before.  I was devastated.  I was worried that my refurbished kit was buyer beware, but after a very quick phone call my new keyboard was being overnighted to me.  A+ for customer service.

Anyway.  Now I hate all non-mechanical keyboards.  I hate them so much.  Yes moving to a mechanical keyboard costs some dough, but it is well worth it.  Just look out for those deals.

Xbox Scorpio Is Beast!

It is clear that Microsoft doesn’t like being the less powerful than the PS4 Pro, so they went all out to beat it.  12GB of DDR5 memory, 4GB more than the PS4 Pro, and it bests PS4 Pro’s memory bandwidth by more than a 100GB/s at 326GB/s.  They boosted the core CPU clock speed by almost a full 1GHz.  Then on top of that they went up from 12 compute units on the standard Xbox One GPU to 40 on the Scorpio, so that is 28 more graphics threads, and 4 more than the PS4 Pro.  What does that mean to us?  It is pretty dang fast.  Fast enough to compete with the PC fanboys that is for sure.

Microsoft has also said that all games will get a boost, not just ones that program for it, so that will be interesting to see.  It will also be interesting to see if they can hit their native 4K resolution promise.  With this kind of power I am sure that they can, but will games’ FPS be able to keep up?  Now all we need know is how much all this power will cost?  I am guessing it will have to launch somewhere around $500, but any more than that and it could be DOA.  Especially since there are no Scorpio exclusive games.  All games should work on both the Scorpio and the Xbox One.  Microsoft should have an interesting E3.  I will be watching that is for sure.  Until then I am going to dream about compute units!

Watch the full reveal below!