Your PS4 Just Became A Tiny Bit More Powerful

2 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Black Ops III and PlayStation won Black Friday, marketing study finds.

Chances are you haven’t realized it, but your PlayStation 4 got a little bit more powerful. Call of Duty: Black Ops III commanded the lead position in video games on the start of the holiday season on Nov. 27, according to a marketing study by researcher Infoscout.AMD’s semi-custom offering allowed the PS4 and Xbox One to launch at incredibly low prices, but unlike the prior generation, the PS4 is already falling behind an affordable gaming PC.It sounds like some sort of biblical revelation, but Sony has unlocked the seventh CPU core on the PlayStation 4, allowing game developers to use it however they want.Microsoft’s Xbox One entertainment console has spent the last few holiday shopping seasons in the shadow of Sony’s PS4 and even its direct predecessor, the Xbox 360.

Unable to articulate its vision for an all-in-one entertainment console from the outset, in 2014 Microsoft decided it’d focus on video games and video gamers, delivering new streaming video and broadcast video features quietly. A few price cuts, new hardware bundles and one major software update later, the Xbox One is the console to purchase this holiday season, even when compared to the PS4.

Infoscout also said it was no surprise that individual game sales came out on top over console purchases, as the consoles have been out for a couple of years. Games accounted for 44.2 percent of such sales on Black Friday, followed by 37.1 percent for console bundles, 10.7 percent for consoles, 4.6 percent for accessories, and 3.4 percent for memberships. In particular, the changelog mentions the 7th core, as spotted by Eurogamer — “PS4 – Added FMOD_THREAD_CORE6 to allow access to the newly unlocked 7th core.” FMOD runs on every platform out there — PlayStation 2, 3, 4, Portable and Vita, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Wii, Wii U, 3DS, iOS, Android, OS X, Windows, Linux and more. Of the console makers, the marketing study said that PlayStation brands won in the 18 to 35 age group, while Microsoft won in the older 36 to 55 age group in the U.S. Additionally, with 4K and VR submerging, you will come to find that the remaining three years of the console’s lifecycle will feel like a very long time.

AMD and its APU is the only viable solution because Intel’s (NASDAQ:INTC) inferior graphics API and Nvidia’s (NASDAQ:NVDA) lack of a desirable x86 license immediately puts a high performance and affordable SoC from the latter two companies out of the question. Xbox One Rise of the Tomb Raider Bundle buyers get a digital copy of Rise of the Tomb Raider and a copy of Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition, the previous game in the series. You could build a gaming PC that’s faster than a console for about $400, which was an absolute impossibility in the former generation’s early years as you would need well over $100 to build such a rig. Because of this, I’ve always suspected that Sony (NYSE:SNE) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) would have to refresh their consoles much more quickly than the previous generation, especially as VR and 4K become a reality (and PC-exclusive). With earlier consoles, manufacturers would separately scout a CPU and GPU to fulfill the task, but with the current generation Sony and Microsoft paid AMD to develop a single chip, the APU, with both a powerful CPU and GPU.

It will be the manufacturer’s responsibility to innovate its product in ways that Nintendo (OTCPK:NTDOY) did with its highly successful Wii, which distinguished itself from the PC and other consoles ultimately leading to the highest sales figures of the generation. The $399 Xbox One Holiday Bundle comes with 1TB of storage and digital copies of Ori and The Blind Forest, Gears of War Ultimate Edition and Rare Replay.

To start, AMD’s upcoming high-performance, highly anticipated Zen Plus architecture will arrive and favorably replace the low-power Jaguar cores in the current consoles. This is important as GPUs make up the bulk of a chip’s thermal output, but most importantly, the foundation of the next consoles will be cured on a far superior manufacturing process. These are improvements that investors have been waiting for AMD to deliver on and when they do come it will likely surpass on many individual’s expectations.

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