Dammit Gabe, what did we do to you to deserve this?

Subject: General Tech | March 19, 2015 - 01:50 PM |
Tagged: sad, half life 3, gaben

Gabe, once again, will not confirm or deny the possibility of another Half Life game but did imply in an interview that there are no teams currently working on one.  The reason is sad but obvious, as our sometimes maligned Raptr posts have shown, DOTA 2 and CS:GO make up over 10% of the time spent gaming by those with Raptr installed and at the time this article was written 14% of online Steam users are playing those games.  That translates to a lot of hats being sold and a lot of money coming into Valve; significantly more than would come from a new Half Life thanks to the ongoing nature of those online games and the market they have created.

You can catch the interview from the links on Slashdot but stating that this is the end of single player focused games from Valve is an overstatement.  The online gaming market is more lucrative but there is still a market for those of us who prefer stories to online bragging rights and some of the work they have done on current game engines should be translatable to a financially viable single player game or ten.

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"Half-Life 3 is undoubtedly one of the most anticipated games in history. While Valve transitioned from the revolutionary series that brought the company most of its original success, to online games like Team Fortress, Dota and Left 4 Dead, people still desperately want to believe that there is more coming for Half-Life."

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Source: Slashdot

FarCry 4 performance, it is almost ready for prime time

Subject: General Tech | January 14, 2015 - 02:24 PM |
Tagged: ubisoft, sad, gaming, farcry 4

[H]ard|OCP recently put out a pair of articles covering Far Cry 4, the first of which covered the various new graphics features, many of which are only available to NVIDIA users and others like the Godrays which have such a performance impact on AMD GPUs that they may as well be NVIDIA only.  The second will be of more interest to gamers as they benchmark a dozen GPUs, covering NVIDIA from the GTX 750Ti through to the GTX 980 and AMD from the R7 260X through to the R9 290X.  They also had a chance to test SLI performance but unfortunately as Ubisoft decided to disable Crossfire completely in the game there could not be any multiple AMD GPU setups tested.  Perhaps the most telling conclusion from [H]ard|OCP is also the most obvious, even though this is an evolution of the FarCry3 engine there have been numerous issues with the game since launch and even after six patches major issues with the game and the continued refusal to support Crossfire are hurting this games performance.  If you still plan to play the game you can read [H]'s full performance review to see how your GPU should perform in Ubisoft's latest ... release.

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"We play Far Cry 4 on no less than twelve different GPUs for this in-depth look at what graphics settings are playable in Far Cry 4. We will talk about playable settings and show apples-to-apples so you know what to expect in this game and what upgrading your video card may do for you in this new game."

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

Alas poor OCZ, we knew them well

Subject: General Tech | November 27, 2013 - 03:04 PM |
Tagged: sad, ocz, bankrupt

It has been a rough year for OCZ as they tried to overcome the problems that they inherited from once CEO Ryan Petersen.  The news first broke in February when Wells Fargo announced that they would have OCZ delisted from the stock exchange as they had not submitted an acceptable profit statement since Q1 of 2012.  That would have had a drastic effect on the ability of OCZ to do business and would have triggered a shareholder revolt.   The new company head, Ralph Schmitt, managed to stave off the Feb 28th deadline with the help of Crowe Horwath LLP's auditors and received an extension on the SEC deadline.  As long as OCZ could produce an accurate accounting of 2012 and Q1 of 2013 by April 8th they would not be delisted.  Unfortunately the corrected bookkeeping revealed a serious problem with OCZ's sales model.  The higher their raw revenues climbed during 2013 the more their net loss increased, with sales incentives, poor chip supplies and other costs contributed to a seemingly unsustainable business model.

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Today the sad announcement of the coming demise of OCZ became official, at 9AM EST trading of OCZ stock was suspended as they announced their impending bankruptcy.  The trading resumed just a short time ago, at 2:30PM and as you can see the news is bleak for shareholders.

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The stock price declined by 67% since the beginning of the year until this announcement and is currently plummeting even more.  According to Barrons and other sources, Toshiba has made an offer to purchase OCZ's assets, the "“material terms have been agreed to,” though there are a number of conditions that have to be satisfied, such as retention of employees."  Until this deal is finalized we will not know the fate of OCZ and their product lines or warranty support and it could be quite some time before the specifics are agreed upon and announced to consumers.  It is a sad day for enthusiasts who have enjoyed the great performance and low prices that OCZ's SSDs lines offered.

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UPDATE : “With the recent news OCZ wants to reassure all our valued customers that the Company is honoring all product warranties. If any customers require support they are encouraged to contact our customer support and forum support teams who will be more than happy to assist.”

Source: Barrons

AMD likely slashing 10 to 30% of its workforce

Subject: General Tech | October 15, 2012 - 02:54 PM |
Tagged: amd, jobs, sad

If Friday's announcement of AMD's lowered financial expectations was not enough to depress you, The Inquirer has heard from three separate sources that AMD is looking to cut between 1000 to 3000 employees, representing 10% to 30% of its workforce.  Rory Read's excising of the marketing department has not magically reversed the $500M in reported losses so far this year and so he will be attempting to treat the symptoms with a larger dose of the same cure.  Being a publicly owned company who have seen their stock prices plummet by 14% last week so something had to be done, even if on the surface it looks to be bad for the company in the long term.  The chances are good that the graphics department will be left mostly intact but the CPU team could be facing a lot of cuts which could slow or derail the development of the next generation of processors.

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"Last week AMD revised its revenue forecasts down considerably due to weak demand and now multiple sources have said that the firm is preparing to lay off a significant percentage of its workforce. According to three sources that spoke to Allthingsd, AMD is preparing to cut anywhere between 10 percent and 30 percent of its 11,000 employees."

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Source: The Inquirer

A lot for storage but little in the way of a warranty

Subject: General Tech | August 9, 2012 - 01:12 PM |
Tagged: hdd, toshiba, western digital, 3tb, Warranty, sad

As has been mentioned previously on PC Perspective the current trend of HDD manufacturers reducing the length of warranty is not being well received, though with only three manufacturers left consumers have little choice in the matter.  At least with Western Digital, you are more likely to get a 3 to 5 year warranty than you are a single year.  That negative feedback obviously hasn't fazed Toshiba, who are using the WD plants they purchased earlier this year to manufacture 1.5, 2 and 3TB HDDs, 3.5" in size and available in both 7200 and 5400RPM models and offering 1 year of warranty.  In short, a factory which was previously capable of providing a 5 year warranty on spinning disks for your long term storage now offers a shorter warranty than the SSD manufacturers who are poised to replace them.  The Inquirer offers more on this depressing topic here.

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"Toshiba, the distant third vendor in the storage industry, was given the chance to buy part of Western Digital's hard drive business when it wanted to appease regulatory bodies to approve its purchase of Hitachi. With some of Western Digital's plants, Toshiba is now set to launch a range of 3.5in hard drives topping out at 3TB."

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Source: The Inquirer