Thursday, December 15, 2005

Revolution vs. Xbox One

So, Revolution specs have been leaked onto IGN's site. The quote that best describes the specs is the following: "As soon as we find out what it can do then we'll know if Revolution will just be like an Xbox or something a little more." To me, these specs are quite disappointing. If you aren't disappointed, then you don't appreciate the new gaming experiences that increased power can open up. Complicated physics? No can do. Realistic reflections? Ha! Normal mapping? Laughable! Hundreds of enemies? Sorry, wait for Revolution 2 (or buy a PS3 or Xbox 360). Since I like speculating on the Revolution, let me tell you if it'll be like an Xbox or something a little more.

The Revolution has a processor that's possibly twice as fast as the GameCube processor. GameCube has a 485 MHz PowerPC, so let's assume the power is like a 970 MHz PowerPC. Xbox has a 733 Mhz. It's difficult to compare different architectures just based on clock speeds, but since the Xbox 1 got about twice the CPU performance of GameCube, I'd say they are the same.
Winner: The same.

No details have really emerged, but IGN reports that the Revolution dev kits are just GameCube dev kits at the moment. Let's assume that the GPU is a souped up version of the current GPU. The current GPU isn't nearly close to as good as the Xbox GPU, which features shaders and all sorts of goodies that GameCube lacks. So, although it's not obvious what the clear winner is, I'm guessing they'll be similar in power.
Winner: The same.

Revolution has 88 MB of useful RAM along with the 16 meg of slow ARAM according to IGN. Xbox has 64 MB.
Winner: Revolution!

HDTV support
Revolution will support 480p. Xbox 1 supports 480p, 720p and 1080i. Miyamoto has claimed that people can't tell the difference... I don't know what mushrooms he's been eating, but you can totally tell the difference between a 480p game and the higher HD resolutions.
Winner: Xbox

Yeah, yeah, yeah, everyone is claiming that the Revolution controller is the greatest thing since the joystick, so MAYBE I'll let the Revolution win here. But really, what good is the controller if no one makes games for it? Most development studios aren't really enthused about making games for it. Sure, the big companies release press releases saying they will develop for it, and individual people say how great it is, but I'm betting most of the game developers who praise it won't actually make games for it since it is their studio's decision, and most studios (that I know of... Sure, I don't know everyone, but I know a good slice of game developers) aren't doing Revolution games. You can do a cross plat game for PS3 and Xbox 360 and hit a large target audience, or risk it all on one platform that might not actually have good market penetration... So, most studios aren't going to want to do it, especially because a lot have already started developing next gen tech. They aren't going to abandon it and go back to their current gen tech for Revolution, are they? Maybe that's good because Revolution will get some fresh, new developers, but on the other hand, the new blood will be inexperienced and might
make mediocre games...
Winner: Uncertain

Well, there you have it! The Xbox has better HDTV support, but the Revolution has more RAM. Otherwise, they'll probably be comparable. The one ramification of the poor hardware specs is that Revolution won't get ports. That's someone good because titles will be able to utilize the controller more, but it's also bad because there won't be very many games for it...

Friday, December 02, 2005

Professional Gaming is a “REAL” Sport

I don't know if you read (I certainly don't), but they have this article on the most “feared” people in sports. I noticed Fox Sports has adapted a very interesting definition of sports. It's good that they chose an athlete from my favorite sport (competitive eating), but pro gaming? Fox Sports is the authority on sports, so if they consider a sport, it must be. Let's look up the definition of sport, shall we? According to, the definition is "An activity involving physical exertion and skill that is governed by a set of rules or customs and often undertaken competitively."

Man, moving a mouse sure requires a lot of physical exertion! So, if video games, qualify as sports, I'm hoping they'll make minesweeper an Olympic event. I'm awesome at it! And if we are qualifying video games as sports, why aren't other games? Chess should be a sport then too. It requires just about as much physical exertion as Quake and is just as competitive.

Since video games are now sports, we can have the shameless “athlete” promotion. Just as athletes can promote a product that they know nothing about, so too can professional gamers. Take Jonathan “Fatal-one-ty” Wendel for example. Does he know anything about motherboards? I doubt it. Does buying his motherboards make you a better gamer? Definitely. Just like buying Air Jordan sneakers makes you a better basketball player. The most crucial product that he sells that improves your gaming product is the Sound Blaster X-Fi Fatal1ty FPS. About this product, he says: "When I'm competing I need top-class performance and the most realistic sound to help me know where my opponent is and Sound Blaster X-Fi really delivers for me...there is nothing faster or better. I only put my name on the very best products. If you're a serious gamer, you just have to get one of these!"

If you're a serious gamer that is made out of money or has some sort of money tree, then The BIG G agrees that this is a good purchase... But, $279.99 for a sound card?!?!?! Let's look at the feature set and how it applies to gamers. Firstly, it comes with a remote. That costs extra money, but is very useful for gaming. I play all my games with an IR remote. Secondly, it has 109 db SNR (Signal to Noise Ratio). Now, that means that the noise is 1.26 * 10^-11 times the original signal. If you are a loser with a completely obsolete SoundBlaster Audigy 4, which features 106 db SNR (features a little less than twice as much noise [2.51 * 10^-11]), you need to go upgrade right away. Let's assume that Jonathan “Fatal-one-ty” Wendel is playing the game on 100 Watts. I'm thoroughly convinced that he's such an amazing gamer that he can not only HEAR the noise at 2.5 picowatts, but it also makes him a worse gamer! This is why his endorsement is so valuable. Let's take a look at his statement that there is nothing better. Creative makes the X-Fi Elite pro, which has more features like 116 db SNR and some that only appeal to audio professionals. Despite it has a lot less noise, CLEARLY, IT IS WORSE because Jonathan “Fatal1ty” Wendel says so!

When I become the world's greatest Minesweeper pro athlete, I'll only endorse sound cards with 32 bit audio at 384 kHz and a 200 db SNR because that's what I need to get my best Minesweeper performance. Selling out rules! Incidentally, feel free to contact me for product endorsements. I have as much integrity as “Fatal-one-ty”, so I'll convince people to buy the top of your line regardless of how practical it is.