Pokemon GO hasn’t even finished its worldwide rollout, but it’s all anyone is talking about or reading about this week; it’s truly inescapable. I haven’t seen this level of mainstream attention for a gaming product since Nintendo’s original Wii, and that’s truly a good thing for Nintendo. The company could use a positive story after dealing with so much negativity from the Wii U’s failure.
As Rob Fahey pointed out today, it’s also hugely encouraging for the future of Nintendo on mobile. Whatever you think of Miitomo, what Pokemon GO has easily proved in only the span of a week, is that with the right approach Nintendo’s IP can do amazing things on a smartphone. I can’t wait to see how Nintendo brings its most cherished IP, like Mario and Zelda to the mobile space. And should the upcoming NX somehow fail, shareholders can rest easy knowing that the company can triumph on devices it didn’t manufacture.
After racing to the top of the charts in the US and Australia, and just recently in the UK as well according to App Annie, Pokemon GO has already helped add $9 billion to Nintendo’s market cap. The monetization potential for sponsored locations and real-world businesses is staggering to think about as well. App Annie says it could “easily envision” Pokemon GO generating $1 billion annually.
The big question surrounding Pokemon GO now, of course, is will it stand the test of time or burn out in just a couple months? The mobile market has been evolving and games can reach maturity much faster. Nicolas Beraudo, MD EMEA at App Annie, commented, “…the average time to maturity for new releases dropped over 60% from 2014 to 2015, a reduction from 50 weeks to 17. What this means is that there is a trend that publishers have to release more games than before to stay profitable.” Once Niantic and Nintendo finish the global rollout, however, ensure that server issues are fixed and possibly introduce more features, Pokemon GO may be able to stay successful for some time.
Another major lesson to be learned from this incredible Pokemon week is how easy it is for people to get into augmented reality. You don’t need an expensive PC or headset or to block out the world and ignore your wife and children to play AR games. People in the know have been telling me all-year long that AR is the technology with the truly mainstream potential. Former Epic Games executive Mike Capps tweeted, “Great, now I have to change my slides saying ‘AR overtakes VR usage by 2021′ and replace that with ’2016′ and hope nobody remembers.” Indeed, Pokemon GO has shown us all that the entire world can easily hop on the AR bandwagon, and with Magic Leap now saying it’s in “go mode” and CastAR still on track for a family-friendly AR system release in 2017, it won’t be long before everyone’s talking about how fun AR gaming is. VR, meanwhile, will no doubt get better and better and offer some incredibly compelling experiences of its own, but I have my doubts on whether its potential can ever match AR’s.
Elsewhere in news, a story that received a lot of play this week was how Warner Bros. settled with the FTC for paying online streamers to say positive things about its games. YouTube celebrity PewDiePie was mentioned – in hindsight probably unfairly – in almost everyone’s headlines. PewDiePie explained in a video response that not only were the videos in question labeled as sponsored by Warner Bros, but they were published at a time when YouTubers weren’t even legally required to disclose such arrangements. PewDiePie, to his credit, was disclosing the nature of those relationships before he even had to, and the media (GamesIndustry.biz included) completely failed to mention that not-so-small detail. Love him or hate him, I think it’s fair to say that PewDiePie’s been vindicated.
And in a story that we’ve been following since last week when the CS:GO Lotto site owners were called out for the unscrupulous people that they are, Valve finally came around and said to itself, “Oh hey, maybe it’s actually not so great that we’ve been sued and are being associated with online gambling.” Why it took the Steam platform holder so long to come out against the gambling sites and to deny any involvement is a mystery to me. It’s good that the company sent out requests to the gambling sites to cease operations through Steam, but as one GI.biz commenter already noted, Valve could be taking an even tougher stance and could very well be launching a lawsuit of their own. This story is far from over, and in the meantime, you should be aware that Twitch has taken notice and changed its terms of service to ban gambling-related broadcasts.
Nvidia is not going to come out of new competition from AMD and Intel that well, according to analysts Well Fargo.
The analysts have added up some numbers and divided by their shoe size and come to the conclusion that Nvidia’s growth days are numbered and it could face some serious problems from AMD in graphics and Intel in co-processors.
The report said that renewed competition from AMD in graphics and Intel in coprocessors could create headwinds to growth and possibly limit Nvidia’s ability to beat expectations in the near term.
While the analysts expected Nvidia to continue to grow its coprocessor business in the future rising competition from Intel will also stuff up its momentum.
“The Knights Landing family might help Intel regain some share in the HPC coprocessor market, though Nvidia has also introduced a new coprocessor family this year, its Tesla P100.”
At the moment Nvidia shares are probably worth a “significantly” less than its valuation range of $30-36.
We expect that the analysts who wrote this will be having to get their stagecoach moving fast if they want to evade the tribe of Nvidia fanboys who will want to put arrows in their hats.
A little birdie told us that Nvidia is giving its Volta the 16nm FinFET treatment. This product uses stacked DRAM too so it looks like the whole thing will be pretty bleeding edge.
Our same deep throat told us that the performance per watt is expected to increase tremendously. Although this might be vague, little is known about Volta other than it is arriving after Pascal so any information we get is news. The earliest we expect Volta is 2017.
It is interesting to see that the lag between the GPU manufacturing and mobile processor manicuring is getting bigger. We expect to see Apple and Qualcomm making their first 10nm chips this year and it is unlikely that the GPU guys can match them.
The next generation Nvidia Volta GPU will stick with TSMC’s 16nm FinFET at . AMD will use 14nm Global Foundries for its Vega HBM 2.0 powered card. This is also scheduled for 2017. AMD’s CPUs will go directly from 14nm to 7nm so there is a chance that GPUs will skip 10nm and go directly to 7nm. This will probably take a lot longer to happen.
GPUs are complex parts and it takes time to get them to work using new manufacturing processes.
Mobile SoCs will head to 7nm in late 2017 or early 2018 but it will be interesting to see what will be the next manufacturing nod for the GPUs.
While beancounters have been predicting that VR will arise to become an important part of the IT industry, some of us have wondered if that was likely if the technology was too expensive and lacked a “killer app.”
But it is starting to look like the killer app will not be gaming, or office management, or anything else that the beancounters have been looking at. The real killer app, like VHS before it, will be smut.
Last week a group of VR retailers got together to produce a virtual erotica exhibition in Japan showing the porn applications available for VR. They had a few machines on hand and they expected a moderate amount of interest.
What happened was that shed loads of lonely Japanese blokes patiently queued up outside waiting to see if the tech was ready to meet their expectations. When we say loads we mean far too many. The exhibition had to pre-maturely close due to the pressing crowds.
While this made for a funny story, it actually shows who VR’s target market will be, initially. It will not be geeks or gamers it will be those who want a sexual experience either because they can’t get one, or can’t be bothered. It is these guys who are going to provide the base numbers that will make the machines profitable, rather than those who want to chainsaw zombies in 3D. For practical reasons these guys have deep pockets too.
It was the same people who provided the bedrock for internet bandwidth since the 1990s. Smut is still a mainstay of the Internet, although it is nowhere near as much as it was at the beginning. That is pretty much how this will play out over the next decade.
The porn users will be the early adopters and they will create the offer growth opportunities for component suppliers, including sensors, infrared (IR)/laser transmitters and LED chips. They will swiftly drive the cost of headsets down so that they become more accessible to other users and uses.
They will also force the development of better technology. Say what you like about porn, if it looks fake, or the experience is not particularly real then people are swiftly going to be dissatisfied.
This is going mean lighter VR head-mounted display (HMD) devices, more MEMS parts and IR/LED sensing components to detect the positions and movements of a “target.”
What we find interesting is that going through all the stories about VR and its cousin AR is that there is a marked reluctance for anyone to admit that this is what is about to happen. There are a few off-hand references to the “entertainment industry” or using the devices to “watch movies” but we can’t find anywhere that pundits are actually saying that “porn will be the killer app” – other than Fudzilla.
Practically this means that a lot of investment and marketing is heading in the wrong direction. While people are talking games, or even office applications, they are missing out on the apps and hardware which will propel VR and AR through its initial adoption hurdle.
The world’s largest social network has announced that its own developers have built a multilingual composer. A user test of the service has begun.
The tool enables users to compose a single post that will appear in multiple languages. Other users will see that post in their preferred language.
“People use Facebook to share information and ideas in many different languages,” the Facebook team wrote in a blog post. “In fact, 50% of our community speaks a language other than English and most people don’t speak each other’s languages, so we’re always thinking about ways we can help remove language as a barrier to connecting on Facebook.”
Anyone in the test group can enable the multilingual composer by going to the Language section of their Account Settings.
The composer, Facebook noted, is only available for desktops now, but others can view the multilingual posts across all platforms.
With the multilingual composer, Facebook execs are aiming to let users connect with a broader group of people around the world.
According to Facebook, while the site is just beginning to test the service with individual users, they began testing it with Pages earlier this year.
The composer actually is being used by about 5,000 Pages today to post nearly 10,000 times per day on average, Facebook reported. Those posts are getting 70 million daily views, with 25 million of those views being seen in a language other than what it was originally posted in.
“This will absolutely help Facebook users connect to more people in more places, more easily,” said Dan Olds, an analyst with the Gabriel Consulting Group. “This new feature will give Facebook posters a much larger addressable audience and will save them quite a bit of time to boot.”
Language, according to Jeff Kagan, an independent industry analyst, continues to be the barrier that separates people the most. This new artificial intelligence-driven tool could help break down that wall.
“This is some of the magic that A.I. brings to the table that can change our world,” Kagan added. “This has always been a tough task, but with A.I., it’s actually getting much easier.”
According to Facebook, engineers used machine translation to change posts into different languages and language identification technology to determine which language individual users need to see posts in.
When creating a new post, users are given the option to have the post written in additional languages. They can specify each language they want the post written in using drop-down selections.
The rumor mill is flat out claiming that TSMC is getting the blame for a shortage of GTX 1080 and GTX 1070 supply issues. However, sources have been on the blower to say that is untrue, the lack of availability are generated by exceptionally great sales.
The 1080′s cards were launched in 27 May and the GTX 1070 on 10 June, however stocks are scarcer than an intelligent post-Brexit plan in the UK. Even the over-priced Founders’ Edition cards are as rare as an apology from an Italian politician.
The rumor is that that TSMC is having trouble producing the 16nm FinFET chips that power the Pascal GPUs in the GTX 1080 and GTX 1070. However what we are seeing is that interest is overwhelming supply – the Geforce has been selling better than any high end card in the recent history.
The reason is simple – the card’s performance is exceptional and if you are in the market for $500+ card you definitely want the 1080 or the 1070. AMD so far has nothing new to offer as a Fury X replacement.
According to many leaks Radeon RX480 will launch tomorrow, June 29th, but as you should probably know by now, this card cannot compete with GTX 1080 or 1070. The performance of Radeon RX480 should be around between GTX 960 and GTX 970, which is quite good for the mainstream card.
Again, people who spend $500+ on GPUs want more than that – they want to play Doom and Battlefield 1, or similar high end at 1440 or 4K resolution and Ultra settings. This is what is causing the shortage of cards.
NASA’s Juno probe is days away from its arrival at Jupiter, where it will execute a daring maneuver in order to get closer to the giant planet than any other spacecraft in history.
Getting up-close and personal with Jupiter is a serious challenge for space probes, because the Jovian giant is surrounded by a belt of very intense radiation that can quickly fry most spacecraft electronics. So rather than orbiting the planet, Juno will make a series of 37 loops between Jupiter and the radiation ring.
On July 4, Juno’s engines will burn for about 35 minutes to slow down the probe so it can enter into its loopy orbit in the Jupiter system. But if the maneuver doesn’t go as planned, Juno could fly right past Jupiter, putting an end to the $1.1 billion mission.
The primary science objective of the Juno mission is to collect information about Jupiter’s interior, which will provide clues about how the planet formed. That, in turn, could provide information about the history of the entire solar system, and about the formation history of other solar systems in the universe.
“We think that giant planets like Jupiter are the cornerstones of planet formation,” reads a section of the Juno mission website. “These planets were assembled early in the process, before their young stars had the chance to absorb or blow away the light gases in the huge cloud from which they were born. Giant planets also play a big role in planet formation because their huge masses allow them to shape the orbits of other objects in their planetary systems, such as other planets, asteroids, and comets.”
As Juno skims through the area between Jupiter and the radiation belt, it will take precise measurements of Jupiter’s gravity and magnetic field. The strength of a planet’s gravity can help reveal its precise mass, and a planet’s magnetic field hints at its composition. All of that information can help scientists learn about a planet’s history, and Juno scientists hope to answer questions about when Jupiter formed, and if it has always been orbiting the sun in about the same place.
Juno will also send back a few dazzling snapshots of Jupiter. It is equipped with cameras to image the giant planet in visible light, as well as in infrared and ultraviolet light. The latter two instruments, along with other instruments on Juno, will be used to study the composition of Jupiter’s atmosphere; scientists are particularly interested in the water content of the planet’s atmosphere.
“Determining the amount of water — and therefore oxygen — in the gas giant is important not only for understanding how the planet formed, but also how heavy elements were transferred across the solar system,” the mission website says. “These heavy elements were crucial for the existence of rocky planets like Earth — and life. Since Jupiter is the best example of a gas giant that we have, learning its history will help us understand the hundreds of giant planets we’ve discovered orbiting other stars.”
The science instruments are tucked away inside a 400-pound (180 kilogram) titanium vault that will protect them from the radiation around Jupiter. Eventually the probe will make tight, 14-day-long orbits through the system, and get as close as 2,700 miles (4,350 kilometers) to Jupiter’s cloud tops.
But that’s only if the July 4 arrival goes as planned. By the time Juno reaches Jupiter, it will be traveling faster than any human-made object has ever gone — more than 40 miles per second (64.3 km/s), which is 144,000 miles per hour (231745.536 km/h), according to NASA officials. To slow down and enter into orbit near Jupiter, “Juno’s engines need to fire at just the right moment and in just the right direction for just the right amount of time,” according to the mission website.
“It’s a one-shot deal. I mean, the whole thing’s riding on this JOI — Jupiter orbit insertion — activity on July 4,” Scott Bolton, Juno’s principle investigator at the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado, said in a news conference on June 16. “Somebody asked, ‘When does the nail biting start?’ It’s already started.”
A few months back Nick wrote about AMD Zen processor found in a Linux Kernel Mailing List confirming that Zeppelin had support for eight bundles of four cores on a single chip, or 32 physical processing cores.
This tied in with a story written in August of 2015 about a MCM Multi Chip module that featured a Zeppelin core, a super-fast 100GB/s interconnection via 4 GMI links and Greenland (Vega) high performance GPU with 4+ TFlops of performance. This APU will still happen, it will just be a bit later – the end of 2017.
Now we have a few more details about Zeppelin cluster and this is proving to be another “Fudzilla told you so” moment. Apparently you can put up to four Zeppelin CPU clusters on a one chip and make a 32 core chip. This will be connected via coherent interconnect (coherent data fabric).
Each Zeppelin module has eight Zen cores and each Zen core has 512 KB of L2 cache. Four Zen cores share 8MB or L3 cache making the total amount of L3 cache per Zeppelin cluster 16 MB.
Each Zeppelin cluster will have PCIe Gen 3, SATA 3, and a 10GbE network connection. A server version of the chip has the server controller hub, DDR4 memory controller and AMD secure processors.
AMD will have at least three pin compatible versions of the next generation Opteron using Zeppelin cluster of Zen cores. There will be a 8 core versions with single Zeppelin cluster, dual Zeppelin cluster version and a quad Zeppelin version, that one that we have called Naples which will have 64MB L3 cache. All this sounds rather a lot.
We are expecting to see Zen-based Opterons in eight, sixteen and thirty two core versions for servers in 2017.
Facebook has signed nearly 140 deals, including with CNN, the New York Times, Vox Media, Tastemade, Mashable and the Huffington Post, the Journal reported on Tuesday, citing a document.
Comedian Kevin Hart, celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, wellness guru Deepak Chopra and NFL quarterback Russell Wilson are among the celebrities that Facebook has partnered with.
“We have an early beta program for a relatively small number partners that includes a broad range of content types from regions around the world,” Justin Osofsky, the vice president of global operations and media partnerships at Facebook, said in an email.
“We wanted to invite a broad set of partners so we could get feedback from a variety of different organization about what works and what doesn’t.”
The document shows that Facebook’s deal with online publisher BuzzFeed has the highest value at $3.05 million, the Journal said, followed by the New York Times at $3.03 million and CNN at $2.5 million.
Molecules with “right-handed” and “left-handed” versions are essential to all life on Earth, and have been found in meteors and comets. Now, for the first time, one has been spotted in interstellar space.
Discovering such molecules in deep space, called chiral molecules, can help researchers understand the development of life on Earth, which is rich in those complex molecules — what presenters at the American Astronomical Society’s summer meeting in San Diego called “life’s first handshake.” The discovery is explained in this new video by Science Magazine.
“This [discovery] is going to provide us with a laboratory to try to test theories about the role that chiral molecules played in the origins of life here on Earth and how that chirality might play a role in the origins of life elsewhere in the galaxy,” Brett McGuire, a researcher at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Virginia and co-first author on the new work, said at the AAS press conference today (June 14). [50 Fabulous Deep-Space Nebula Photos]
The researchers used the National Science Foundation’s Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia and the Parkes radio telescope in Australia to pinpoint the intricate molecule propylene oxide near the center of the Milky Way, in the mammoth star-forming cloud of gas called Sagittarius B2.
For the first time, scientists have measured a “handed” molecule in interstellar space. The molecule, propylene oxide, comes in both “left-handed” and “right-handed” varieties. It was found in the huge star-forming cloud of gas Sagittarius B2, pictured here alongside Sagittarius A*, the supermassive black hole at the Milky Way’s center.
Key biological reactions on Earth rely on molecules with the property called chirality — compounds that can form in two different varieties that are mirror images of each other, sort of like left and right hands. Though the molecules are made of the same components, it’s impossible to flip one around to make it exactly match the other.
On Earth, most chiral molecules exist largely in a single formation, even though when you create them chemically from scratch, both varieties will form. Many chemical reactions only work when molecules of a particular “handedness” interact with each other.
“When you shake somebody’s hand, your right hand shakes another right hand, and it forms that nice, interlocking gesture; if you try to shake a left hand with your right hand it’s a little awkward because the interaction is different,” McGuire said. “Chiral molecules work the same way.”
Processes powered by one particular “handedness” will produce more of that same type of molecule, and molecules with the wrong “handedness” won’t work at all in many biological systems. Because of that, most of the important chiral molecules on Earth, like amino acids, are all the same “handedness” as each other. But scientists don’t know how the Earth came to favor particular varieties to start with.
Researchers have found complex organic molecules on meteorites and comets, including chiral molecules which have shown a slight preference for one handedness over the other. Just a few percent excess “could be the tipping point that pushed life in a single direction, and that gave life the push it needed to, say, use only left-handed amino acids,” Brandon Carroll, the work’s other first author and a chemistry graduate student at California Institute of Technology, said at the conference.
“But if we want to understand where and how this started, we have to go even further back than the meteorites; we have to look at the gas clouds where these molecules formed from,” he added.
In this case, they spotted a hefty dose of propylene oxide in distant interstellar space — about 80 percent Earth’s mass, which at room temperature would take up five and a half earths’ worth of space, Carroll said.
If chiral materials had existed already in the cloud of gas and dust from which the solar system formed, or if they’d fallen to Earth on a meteorite or had been carried on a comet, that could explain Earth’s preference — and also help explain the process of life’s first formation on Earth.
The researchers’ measurements of the propylene oxide don’t reveal which handedness the far-off molecules have; the data from the radio telescopes show only the composition, not how each molecule is put together. However, future work could try to determine that by watching how the molecules interact with polarized light, which corkscrews in a particular direction, the researchers said.
“Now it gives us a testbed, some molecule we can actually go back and perform the far more complicated and challenging observations necessary to detect the handedness,” Carroll said. “That’s what we’re really excited about, because that will let us start to test theories about processes that might actually have chiral preference in the interstellar medium.”
AMD has released a short video where its lead system engineer Louis Castro running Doom on its Summit Ridge, Zen-based processor.
This means that the silicon is in good shape and the processor was taped our probably late last year with no major issues. AMD’s CEO Lisa Su has already said that the desktop version shall arrive first, and this was the CPU demonstrated in the video.
Summit Ridge is not an APU and doesn’t have a GPU core. AMD engineers were using a discreet GPU probably from one they found out the back.
The Summit Ridge is an FM4 socket processor and half dozen of them are shown in the video.
At its E3 2016 press conference today, EA said that DICE and Motive were working on a new version of Star Wars: Battlefront for release in 2017. Visceral Games are creating an action-adventure game with an “original narrative set in the Star Wars universe with all-new characters.”
Respawn Entertainment is developing “a different style of gameplay” which takes place in a different timeline we have yet to explore with our EA Star Wars titles.” In other words, almost every EA studio is flat out making something Star Warish.
And while the company didn’t make any mention of it at the news conference, the preview video it showed fans offered a very brief glimpse of a player wearing a PlayStation VR headset, while an X-Wing’s cockpit was shown on screen. That’s likely to stoke anticipation about a reboot of the classic 1997 title “X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter.”
EA and Lucasfilm signed a multiyear licensing deal in 2013. Due, in large part, to the strength of “Star Wars Battlefront,” EA handily beat its earnings estimate in its most recent quarter. Star Trek Bridge, the simulation of the Bridge inside of an Enterprise, a big VR commitment from EA looks like a fun game too.
Yahoo Inc has hired boutique investment bank Black Stone IP LLC to aid in the selling of nearly 3,000 of the internet company’s patents, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
The company has sent letters to a number of potential buyers for the patents, which date back to when the company was founded in 1996 and also include its original search technology, the report said.
The deadline for bids for the patents has been set for mid-June by Yahoo, according to the Wall Street Journal.
In March, Yahoo said it would explore the sale of $1 billion to $3 billion of patents, property and “non-core assets”.
Yahoo and Black Stone IP were not immediately available for comment.
Verizon Communications Inc is gearing up to submit a second-round bid of around $3 billion for Yahoo Inc’s core internet business, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
Private-equity firm TPG was also expected to submit a second round bid for the assets, the newspaper reported.
Reuters reported last month that Verizon had added Bank of America to its roster of investment banks, as it looked to gain an edge over other bidders for Yahoo’s core assets.
Yahoo is expected to hold at least one more round of bidding, and the offers could change by the final round, the paper reported.
Yahoo did not comment on the report, while Verizon declined to comment.
MediaTek’s R&D teams are working with European-based car vendors to develop the company’s automotive electronics and virtual reality (VR) offerings.
Digitimes claims that having developed SoCs for smartphones, mobile devices, and connected home appliances, MediaTek is stepping up development of chips solutions for auto electronics and VR applications.
MediaTek is focused on in-car entertainment systems, and will be using its partnership with China-based NavInfo, a digital mapping service provider to help out.
NavInfo will sell subsidiary AutoChips (Hefei) and will also form a strategic alliance in which MediaTek will make an investment of US$100 million.
MediaTek will be developing VR for handsets and will support Google’s Daydream VR platform.
Meanwhile the team is flat out improving its IC solutions for Internet of Things (IoT) and wearable device applications. It is pretty sure that this will become the third largest segment after mobile devices and connected home appliances such as digital TVs. In fact the only two areas that MediaTek does not appear interested in is server and augmented reality (AR) applications.