The TR Podcast 61: Apple vs. Google, broken DRM, and AMD’s gaming manifesto

The Tech Report Podcast Date: March 28, 2010

Time: 0:53:10

Hosted by Jordan Drake

Co-Hosts: Cyril Kowaliski, Geoff Gasior

Download: MP3 (36.7MB) | M4A (50.1MB)

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Show notes

While Scott is hard at work finishing his Nvidia GF100 review, Cyril and Geoff join Jordan for this short and sweet episode. We start with a roundup of gaming-related topics: the size of the market for top-of-the-line PC gaming hardware, EA’s broken DRM being assaulted from within, and Valve’s Gabe Newell speaking his mind about Ubisoft’s equally dysfunctional copy protection.

Moving on, Geoff has the scoop about AMD’s new gaming manifesto, and rumor has it cheaper DirectX 11 GeForce graphics cards could be coming out this summer. We wrap things up by going over our latest poll, which reveals the IT roots of a surprising portion of our readership, and by examining Google’s souring relationships with both Apple and the Chinese government.

Send in listener mail, and we’ll answer on the podcast. – jdrake@techreport.com

Follow us on Twitter – ScottJordanThe Tech Report

Tech discussion:

    JPR: Enthusiast gaming PC hardware is a $9.5 billion market (0:01:44)- Read more

    EA.com editor in chief rails against company’s DRM (0:13:08)- Read more

    Gabe Newell speaks out against Ubisoft DRM (0:17:22)- Read more

    Cheaper DX11 GeForces could be out this summer (0:21:26)- Read more

    AMD outlines its Gamers Manifesto (0:22:59)- Read more

    Poll: Enterprise IT hardware and you (0:23:41)- Read more

    Apple’s relationship with Google more tenuous than ever (0:32:27)- Read more

    Google China starts serving uncensored content through Hong Kong (0:45:26)- Read more

That’s all, folks! We’ll see you on the next episode.

Comments closed
    • barleyguy
    • 10 years ago

    I just want to point out that the phrase “broken DRM” is redundant. All DRM is broken.

    • Bauxite
    • 10 years ago

    BTW, explosives only have to be “near” if you are having trouble aiming or controlling your fire.

    The various RPG are a lot less picky about killing, and still quite accurate even at long ranges…just have to learn the arc.

    • ssidbroadcast
    • 10 years ago

    Geoff: You sure Valve is still private? I thought maybe they were under the ATVI umbrella…

    • d0g_p00p
    • 10 years ago

    I was wondering what was going on with the Fermi review. Glad Scott is putting it through the paces. I cannot wait for the review.

    • pjladyfox
    • 10 years ago

    1. Bad Company 2 “everything is like play-doh” – I’m not going to assume what servers you are playing on but it sounds as if one of the following is happening:

    a. You are not playing on a Hardcore server – The easiest way to tell this if you see the crosshairs on your screen. If you see those then you are playing on what a lot of us like to call “console mode” or “n00b mode” where all of the assists are on and the damage is decreased per hit.

    b. “Spray and Pray FTW!!” – This Battlefield game will severely punish those, regardless of game mode, who love to just hold the button down and hose their target with bullets. Just like in real-life while that looks cool you’re not going to hit often if at all. Use short bursts, usually 3 to 5 rounds, and aim just below where you wish to hit and you should see an improvement. Otherwise, rest assured, those of us who do use trigger control will bag you as a trophy.

    Bottom line, the issue is either the server you are playing on or your playstyle that makes “everything is like play-doh” and not the game itself. This has been the same since BF2 and will continue to be so which is why Battlefield has been as popular as it has been until Modern Warfare was released. Modern Warfare 2 this is not and I’m greatly thankful for it.

    2. Is PhysX important over DX11 and Eyefinity – My own take is that I get a better “WOW” factor from better graphics than any physics. This is especially important considering that I should not have to by some widget from someone just to get physics when before NVIDIA did their thing there was physics available using only my CPU. Want me to care about it more, make it more open so I can see it on my Xbox 360 AND PC and not on a particular piece of hardware.

      • ThorAxe
      • 10 years ago

      @ pjladyfox

      I totally agree. Battlefield also has a much better multiplayer than MW.

      Is console gaming dead? Here are some interesting stats:

      Global PC Statistics
      Players at bfbcs: 800 175
      Players online: 45 858
      Servers: 12 362

      Global XBOX360 Statistics
      Players at bfbcs: 152 564
      Players online: ?
      Servers: ?

      Global PS3 Statistics
      Players at bfbcs: 210 682
      Players online: 32 878
      Servers: 5 005

      Source: §[<http://bfbcs.com/<]§

        • Bauxite
        • 10 years ago

        Battlefield and the associated community has years more experience in large scale multiplayer FPS, despite EA meddling and potential console diseases.

        This game is still following the 1942 formula, although more specifically the DC mod of 1942. Its a very good formula done right.

        • jdrake
        • 10 years ago

        I should probably rescind the notion that the game is ‘broken’…. I guess what I’m trying to say is that is DOES have a different feel from MW2… and I prefer MW2.

        MW2 feels faster and more tactile to me. There are also things like the fact that you can’t go prone in BC2 or the fact that crouch is hold… but aiming is toggle… and you can’t adjust that.

        I haven’t finished my review either – so I might get used to it. It’s just becoming a game that makes me think “wow – so glad I didn’t pay $55 for this review copy” after a few hours.

          • pjladyfox
          • 10 years ago

          Re: BC2 versus MW2

          It’s interesting that you point out how MW2 “feels faster and more tactile” compared to BC2. It shows that DICE really did nail things this time and it bodes well for BF3. Hopefully things will stay this way since I strongly feel the direction the Modern Warfare / Call of Duty franchise will make it more of a HALO mod. *shudder*

          The crouch toggle, from what I understand, is being looked at right now which you can read here:

          §[<http://forums.electronicarts.co.uk/battlefield-bad-company-2-pc/944653-bfbc2-suggestions-glitches-bugs-compilation-thread-sticky-please.html<]§ As far as the lack of prone goes who cares really except for those who choose the recon class? This was WAY overdue considering how infested most BF2 matches were with snipers and they only have themselves to blame for the change IMHO. If you're running as a medic, assault, or engineer you should be up front and not laying prone somewhere. Besides, recon gets the ability to call in mortar strikes which more than makes up for the lack of prone. Really, and I hope this does not sound harsh, but those who focus more on the lack of prone and how "it's not MW2" really need to go back to MW2 and leave those of us who are happy with how this game turned out alone. I mean, no offense, have'nt you guys already ruined one franchise with that junk? Battlefield 2, and the Desert Combat mod, were never meant to "feel faster" or be "more tactile" they were meant to be BATTLEFIELD. If DICE EVER goes the direction of MW2, which I hope never happens, then it will cease to be a Battlefield game.

          • ThorAxe
          • 10 years ago

          I respect you Jordan for voicing your opinion.

          Gaming is after all, a matter of taste. I do agree that MW sets a faster pace.

            • pjladyfox
            • 10 years ago

            That is one thing I did forget to mention that ThorAxe does point out. I fully respect that people have individual tastes when it comes to gaming. However, where I take exception is when people try to make a particular game the same as another one for good or for ill.

            A game should stand on it’s own merits, good or bad, and give developers the ability to make their games stand out with not only different features but different playstyles as well. If you force a developer to make their game the same as another popular franchise then you are essentially making a mod of an existing game rather than a completely new one.

            By giving developers the ability to make their own unique title it gives us as gamers a much wider variety to play from and allow us to choose what we like. If however you allow the majority to rule, well, then we all lose in the long run because why innovate or change a style of play at that point if all the majority wants is another Halo or MW2?

            • Aphasia
            • 10 years ago

            The thing is that above the superficial stuff, like, they are both contemporary war shooter fps games, they are more different than alike, and IMO should not and can not be compared since they took two different turns WAY too early for that.

            I like both games, but for entirerely different reasons.

    • Philldoe
    • 10 years ago

    Bad Company 2

    An entire clip to kill some one? Learn to aim yo. 3 body shots from an XM8 Prototype will kill.

    You may be mistaking low gun damage with a more realistic gun accuracy model. You can’t expect to get a kill when you just hold down the trigger, recoil is going to totaly screw your aim. Use short controlled bursts

    • glynor
    • 10 years ago

    I don’t know… I suspect that the stories of Jobs vs Schmidt and personal animosity might be a bit exaggerated:

    §[<http://gizmodo.com/5503004/steve-jobs-and-eric-schmidt-spotted-together-again-photos?skyline=true&s=i<]§ Not non-existent (this is obviously a stunt for PR purposes), but probably not as bad as the press has made it out either. Two execs who are mildly annoyed at one another does not an entertaining newspaper story make.

      • glynor
      • 10 years ago

      PS. I totally agree with you guys that competition (as opposed to collaboration) will likely provide better results for the consumer. I don’t know if we need the two companies to “hate” each other, but a little good-spirited competition is absolutely a good thing. Both of them still could learn a lot from each other.

      • d0g_p00p
      • 10 years ago

      When you are worth billions of dollars each it does. Not that I agree. I wish the media (and the public) would just let the ultra rich alone. If I had my wish, hacks like Paris Hilton would never be in the limelight.

    • alphacheez
    • 10 years ago

    Looking forward to reviews from Cyril. Too bad Scott wasn’t available to give a bit of a scoop on Fermi; look forward to that review tomorrow (I hope).

    I think DRM needs to be wrapped in something that adds value for the customer like the way Steam allows you to redownload games, backup games, organize games that weren’t even purchased through Steam etc. Valve also does a good job of running specials on games in which people are likely to be interested.

    I’m a bit concerned about Apple taking out Google-related features in future iPhone updates due to the growing animosity between the two companies but I am hopeful Google will be able to push Apple to more open behavior and less craziness like blocking apps for “duplicating functionality” of Apple apps.

    I’ll probably look into getting a new phone this Summer as my iPhone 3g will likely look quite dated compared to the offerings available then. I’ll seriously consider an Android-based phone at that point but there are some problems with OS versions being all over the place depending on the Android device you’re using; I hope that situation gets worked out. It really seems to fragment the Android platform.

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