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Gaming News – December 2020

Nvidia Wants Reviewers To Toe The Line

 

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Over the weekend a row blew up on the Internet because Hardware Unboxed, a YouTube gaming hardware reviewer, received a rather terse email from Bryan Del Rizzo, Director of Global PR at Nvidia. In it, he stated that their channel wasn’t focusing enough on ray tracing (RT) but instead on rasterisation and therefore would no longer be receiving Founder’s Edition cards (presumably free of charge) for further reviews. In other words, Hardware Unboxed had been black-listed by Nvidia, with the implication being that since the channel was not spouting Nvidia’s own propaganda, they would no longer be part of ‘the club’.

 It is very clear from your community commentary that you do not see things the same way that we, gamers, and the rest of the industry do. Our Founder’s Edition boards and other NVIDIA products are being allocated to media outlets that recognize the changing landscape of gaming and the features that are important to gamers and anyone buying a GPU today, be it for gaming, content creation, or studio and stream.

The email then caused a resonance cascade through social media, with YouTube superstars such as Linus and JayzTwoCents jumping on the bandwagon with their own video responses which quite rightly criticised Nvidia for their shoddy behaviour. This caused Nvidia to back-pedal a few hours later and issue an apology to Steve at Hardware Unboxed. Perhaps I could suggest that Bryan Del Rizzo may be looking at spending more time with his family in future if this is how he handles Nvidia’s global PR.

Cyberpunk 2077 Is Finally Launched, With A Few Bugs

 

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I don’t usually pre-order games because of the hefty prices, but on this occasion, I got drawn in by the never-ending Cyberpunk hype and bought it (DRM-free) directly from GOG a couple of weeks ago. This game was first presented to the world some eight years ago and following several frustrating delays, it was released on 10th December to an expectant public, with one or two bugs, some of which are hilarious, such as several instances of male ‘equipment’ hanging out of characters’ jeans and vehicles literally falling from the sky unexpectedly. Here’s a link, but beware, it’s NSFW/K.

 

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I’m pleased to say that my experience with Cyberpunk has been completely bug-free so far with no CTDs (crashes to desktop) whatsoever. Neither have I experienced any ‘equipment’ malfunctions. The world of Night City and beyond is beautifully rendered, with incredible attention to detail, and whilst it’s a demanding game graphically, I’m able to play smoothly at 40-50 fps at medium settings. However, Ryzen CPU owners are reporting that their CPUs are being under-optimised in that multi-threading is not being used to its full potential on Ryzen processors. A Reddit user then came up with a fix that for some gamers gives them a 20fps improvement because the full power of the CPU logical processors is then being harnessed. On the other hand, some are reporting no difference at all, and others, some game errors. Whilst I don’t mind tinkering with game files — in this case, the game executable by using a hex editor — the game runs fine for me and I expect it to be patched very shortly.

Electronic Arts (EA) Titles Coming To Xbox Game Pass (PC) On 15th December

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Xbox Game Pass (PC) subscribers will receive an extra boost this Christmas with the addition of some EA Play titles at no extra cost. However, at the time of writing, both EA and Xbox don’t appear to be playing well together, and linking the two accounts is akin to banging your head against a brick wall. The only reason for linking is the addition of some EA Play games to Game Pass for Windows 10. First, you need the Xbox app and then the new EA Desktop (Beta) app and as from 15th December (today) the EA titles should be playable on Game Pass– in theory. Since mention of each other isn’t found anywhere in either client or the ability to link via the apps, the only way I could link EA to Xbox was to log in to EA directly through their website, then log out, then log in again but via Xbox Live, with my EA credentials.

 

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That links EA to Xbox, or so it seems. I then went to the Xbox app/settings/linked accounts but there’s no mention of EA apart from Steam and other accounts. EA Desktop still doesn’t have account linking visible, so clearly, the EA software isn’t working correctly. It does seem that both Xbox and EA haven’t designed their software in an easy to use manner. Furthermore, what you see related to your account on their websites doesn’t marry up with what you see in the apps/client software.

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Steam does a good job at this and both Epic and Galaxy (GOG) who are relative newcomers to this, have made account linking as easy as possible directly through the client software– it really couldn’t be easier.
I’ll be monitoring this to see how it progresses, especially whether EA games actually appear on Game Pass as they announced they would.

2 thoughts on “Gaming News – December 2020”

  1. Really want to get Cyberpunk at some point but I’d rather play on the PC than on a console. However my setup is now 7 years old so I don’t think it would be able to handle it great.

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