Welcome to the latest edition of DF Direct Weekly – Digital Foundry’s regular show on the latest gaming and technology news. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the lion’s share of our news discussion this week revolves around the release of Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered on PC. We discussed the various trials and tribulations we had in delivering our coverage – not least the arrival of a big (and welcome!) patch on Embargo Day. However, on this week’s show, we talk about our discussions with Nixxes, the remaining performance hurdles, and the title’s notable CPU load, especially with ray tracing enabled.
However, we also spend quite a bit of time talking about the rising cost of gaming – or more specifically, the massive increases in energy costs. In the UK at least, we’re looking at a potentially massive and disastrous rise in electricity costs in October – and the recent news about next-gen GPUs to raise their TDPs have worried a lot of people. First of all, I think the biggest TDP increases can be found on the more expensive GPUs, but in the end we might have to look at the power savings caused by framerate limiters.
As we discuss on this week’s show, you never really take full advantage of a CPU – you buy a more expensive processor to cope with the worst-case scenarios… so why not apply the same strategy with a GPU as well? I’m very happy to play most triple-A rates at 90-100 fps, basically a render time of 10-11 ms per frame. Other than that, I hardly see much difference in my perception – but the energy costs when using an unlocked GPU are significantly higher. So setting an arbitrary framerate cap that’s in the sweet spot of the game you’re playing seems like a good idea to me, with the idea that your extra GPU performance will only be deployed where needed in service of a consistent experience. It will be interesting to see if Nvidia, AMD or Intel consider some sort of power efficiency mode – but of course using DLSS or FSR 2.0 is also a big energy saver.
- 00:00:00 Introduction
- 00:00:57 News 01: Spider-Man Remastered released on PC!
- 00:27:05 News 02: Boneworks gets Metal Gear Solid mod
- 00:35:30 News 03: RTX 4070/4080 power consumption lower than expected?
- 00:42:48 DF Update: DF Site Upgrade + Half-Life Charity Stream
- 00:46:01 DF Supporter Q1: Is Rich surprised that DF Direct has been around for so long?
- 00:47:52 DF Supporter Q2: Was the Xbox BC program canceled due to licensing or technical issues?
- 00:52:54 DF Supporter Q3: Can Microsoft introduce OS modes with less features to free up more performance on Series S?
- 00:55:37 DF Supporter Q4: How much will RT improve this generation with just efficiency gains?
- 00:59:23 DF Supporter Q5: What are your favorite methods to implement complex graphical effects in retro games?
- 01:06:54 DF Supporter Q6: Will Sony ever release a new portable PlayStation system?
Other topics this week? We take a look at a brilliant-looking mod for VR classic Bone Works, which uses Metal Gear Solid’s original PS1 aesthetic to remarkable effect. We also discuss the brand new Digital Foundry website coming online later this week. It’s a complete overhaul that aligns with the relaunch of our Supporter program, giving users easy access to all the exclusive content we’ve rolled out over the past year without having to dig through Patreon’s unfathomable archives. For those who don’t support us, at least you get an idea of the kind of bonus content and exclusive videos we offer.
Supporter Q+A? As usual, there are some great topics for debate this week. Based on the excitement surrounding Steam Deck, what are the chances of Sony producing a new PlayStation Portable? Well, based on how well Steam Deck performs without the kind of low-level access that made Vita and Switch so great, you can only imagine how good a dedicated PlayStation handheld would be – but in the meantime, it seems Sony is happy to see their PC ports playing on Steam Deck or any other portable PC. The future of console ray tracing is also debated, along with licensing restrictions for Xbox’s backward compatibility program – could they be released in the future? Interacting with our community through DF Direct Weekly and our brilliant Discord is a pleasure, so please consider joining us!