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AMD has announced its latest processors, graphics cards and motherboards at Computex 2019, one of the biggest hardware trade events in the tech calendar. Team Red CEO Lisa Su unveiled the RX 5700 Navi GPU, five Ryzen 3000 CPUs and the first X570 chipset motherboards.
The company's next-generation graphics cards based on the Navi architecture have been the subject of intense rumour for months and at Computex, AMD released the first concrete details. The first card will be called the Radeon RX 5700 series and according to AMD, it offers performance in the same league as Nvidia's GeForce RTX 2070. The firm backed up its claims by demonstrating Strange Brigade, a Vulkan-supported title where Radeon typically outperforms GeForce, with the RX 5700 leading the RTX 2070 by 10 per cent.
As well as moving to a 7nm process produced by TSMC, AMD says that the new graphics card is built on a new microarchitecture called RDNA, replacing the GCN microarchitecture first adopted in 2011. RDNA reportedly boasts a 25 per cent increase in performance per clock and a 50 per cent uptick in performance per watt. The extent to which this is actually a new architecture remains to be seen however. A prior roadmap from AMD points to a next-gen architecture coming after Navi, while Linux drivers have also suggested a GCN base. Meanwhile, Anandtech says that RDNA still uses the same 64 shaders per compute unit. We hope to learn more about RDNA soon.
I tried to hide my disappointment, but I couldn't. It was Christmas, 1983 and I wanted a ZX Spectrum. All my friends either had one, or were also desperately hoping one would be sitting under the tree. Instead, for reasons which my parents have never satisfactorily explained (it was probably on special offer), I got a Mattel Intellivision console. In the four years since between its release in 1979 and that fateful yuletide morning, the Intellivision had already played out its own rise and fall.
While I pined for a Speccy, in truth the Intellivision's chief opponent was another console entirely. Not that there was much competition - the Atari VCS was an all-conquering behemoth of a console, its shadow drawing long and wide across the world of videogames. It revolutionised home gaming. But the popularity of the VCS didn't scare away other manufacturers, and one eager outfit was veteran toy company, Mattel.
Mattel - the name a compound of the names of owners Harold Matson and Elliot Handler - had been founded in 1945, and in an era keen to forget the horrors of World War 2, proved successful, especially with its range of Barbie fashion dolls. But by the mid-70s, Mattel's younger executives were pushing for the company to branch into electronic toys, initially handheld LED games such as Auto Race and Baseball. These early efforts met with mixed results while development of an interchangeable cartridge-based system began in earnest in 1978.
Dauntless is a generous new free-to-play riff on Monster Hunter which has already eaten the best part of a week for me. For a while, though, it looked like the most charismatic monster I would be hunting was the little silhouette guy who turns up whenever the game is loading. I fell in love a bit: the feet are big and plodding, the head is bowed in something that looks like defeat or too much self-knowledge. The tail almost drags on the ground. I didn't want to hunt this monster. I wanted to make sure it had its favourite scarf to hand and a good book to read. It was certainly a bit more likable than the game's early level beasts, which appeared to be seemingly interchangeable lizards and dragons.
Then I met Shrike. And everything was new again.
How can I describe Shrike? Imagine you are a terrible person and you fed an owl steroids for several years, and you made it watch violent 1980s action movies all night and you maybe made it sleep in a tank filled with plutonium so it got all weird and radioactive. If you're picturing a giant muscular owl with a wingspan the length of a Routemaster and eyes that sometimes glow: that's Shrike.
Assassin's Creed 3 Remastered arrives on Switch after a month's delay, but the question it poses is simple: is this truly a remaster? Based on close comparisons, its visual feature set is more in line with the original last-gen releases - lacking the new rendering features of the PS4, PC and Xbox One versions. Equally problematic is the fact that this release is delivered via a 13.6GB install, down from the 45GB on PS4. Clearly, cuts have been made on Switch - but where? And to what extent does it impact the overall experience?
Let's discuss the positives first. The big surprise is that this game does run at a native 1920x1080 while running docked to a TV. Dynamic resolution can't be fully ruled out, but that's the fixed resolution result I get from every sample. It represents a huge boost over Wii U's native 720p, and brings it up to the level of base PS4 in terms of sheer pixel output. That's not to say it's perfect though: the post anti-aliasing takes away some of the clarity - and it misses dithered elements with lots of sub-pixel detail. Other aspects, like Switch's low-grade ambient occlusion and shadows, introduce shimmer of their own as well. Ultimately, 1080p is a nice plus point, but image quality overall is cut down compared to the other versions.
Also impressive is the portable play. Switch delivers a native 720p here, a pixel-perfect match for the screen, while retaining all of the visual detail and fidelity of the docked experience. Barring a step back in texture filtering quality, and a tweak to the resolution of depth of field, you otherwise get the same game on the go. In common with many Switch games, it's actually better suited for the handheld display, with the smaller screen real estate serving to hide some of the game's blemishes.
A Battle.net update has removed the Activision credit for Destiny 2, while Bungie has indicated it will soon be ready to discuss a "new era" for both the game and the developer.
In January 2019, Bungie split from Destiny publisher Activision after eight years of tension between the two companies over the shared world shooter. The deal handed full publishing rights, and this control, of the Destiny franchise to Bungie.
Back when Bungie and Activision were public pals, Destiny 2 launched on Battle.net, sitting alongside Blizzard games such as Overwatch and World of Warcraft. Now the couple has split, Activision is no longer listed as the publisher of Destiny 2. Instead, Bungie is down as both developer and publisher of Destiny 2, which is listed in the "partner games" section with Treyarch's Call of Duty: Black Ops 4.
New Darksiders and Destroy All Humans games look set for E3.
Internet sleuths aligned an image showing THQ Nordic's E3 lineup with comments made by the company's boss to deduce the titles the company is set to announce.
During THQ Nordiq's ill-fated 8Chan AMA, an image was uploaded by an employee of the company showing a list of games to be shown at E3 in June. On the list was Destroy All Humans and Darksiders: Genesis.
Ever play Bloodborne and think, you know what? I wish I could play as the enemies! Well, now there's a mod for that.
Modder Lance McDonald created a mod that lets you play as the enemies in FromSoftware's PlayStation 4 classic. All you have to do is press L3 to take control of a locked-on enemy. Usefully, pressing L1+R1+R3 returns control to the player.
"Pretty happy with this," McDonald tweeted. "It's actually a debugging feature that was removed, I just patched in some sneaky code to access it."