DF Direct Weekly talks Witcher UE5, PlayStation 5 VRR and FSR 2.0 • Eurogamer.net

DF Direct Weekly talks Witcher UE5, PlayStation 5 VRR and FSR 2.0 • Eurogamer.net

Usually the Digital Foundry weekly blog that overtakes and fails the DF Direct Weekly post aims to offer a bit more insight into some of the key talking points – but this week I can only refer you to the article I previously wrote regarding CD Projekt RED’s transition from its own proprietary engine to Unreal Engine 5 for the upcoming Witcher title. Still, it’s a meaty subject that we cover in depth this week, along with Sony’s tentative steps to finally adopt new features in the HDMI 2.1 specification – including variable refresh rate (VRR).

VRR is important because it allows your console’s GPU to control when the screen refreshes. So rather than letting the game slavishly adhere to, say, a screen’s 60Hz refresh by delivering a new frame, the game can decide instead, opening the door to a smooth delivery of arbitrary frame rates – without screen tearing. If a game doesn’t lock at 60 fps, but instead fluctuates between 50 and 60 fps, chances are you’ll barely notice the difference. Even wider frame rate windows (e.g. 45-60 fps) may also feel smooth, depending on your perception of timing changes. VRR is also essential for 120Hz games to run well in a world where titles often run in an 80-120fps window instead. While PS5 performance has generally been very good, recent titles are starting to require VRR technology: Last week’s Elden Ring and Ghostwire: Tokyo to name just two.

It was also a big week thanks to presentations from AMD and Intel on their upcoming smart scaling techniques, FSR 2.0 and XeSS. There are a few important clarifications that need to be made about FSR 2.0. It’s seen as bespoke AMD technology – something brand new and exciting that could hopefully make its way to consoles. We’re strong supporters of the techniques used in FSR 2.0, but it’s important to stress that this is essentially AMD’s take on an existing technology that’s already been used in console titles, since at least 2016. Arguably it’s longer than that actually – the concept of ‘scaling’ with image information taken from previous frames actually started in 2013’s Killzone Shadow Fall (prompting the infamously ridiculous ‘native 1080p’ class action lawsuit) and although we didn’t mention it in the Direct, 2014’s Far Cry 4 featured HRAA – another early iteration of the technology. This means that FSR 2.0 can indeed be used in any console title and even on Switch – but the question is whether the developers want to use it or if their own solution can already offer better quality.

The 54th DF Direct Weekly, with Rich Leadbetter, Alex Battaglia and John Linneman on mics.

00:00:00 Presentations00:00:36 News 01: CD Project RED announces Witcher game powered by UE500:18:26 News 02: VRR is coming to PS500:28:19 News 03: AMD FSR 2.0 Presentation at GDC00:33:34 DF Supporter Q: Do you think FSR 2.0 could be used on console as they are powered by AMD?00:45:36 News 04: Unity launches new real-time cinematic showcase “Enemies”00:52:54 News 05: Zelda Ocarina of Time has been decompiled and made public00:56:56 News 06: Nintendo Switch supports the “Groups” folder00:59:03 DF Supporter Q: Would you still play the new PC versions if you weren’t testing them for a living?01:03:21 DF Supporter Q: What type of video or content do you dream of making?01:12:27 DF Supporter Q: Does it make sense that Nintendo is targeting 4K on the next Switch, even with the rebuild?01:18:03 DF Supporter Q: Can AMD and Nvidia do anything to fix shader compilation issues on PC?01:22:46 DF Supporter Q: Will you be reviewing GTA 5 when it releases on PlayStation 6 and Xbox Series XL?

Intel XeSS? This is the new scaling technique that we are really looking forward to testing – not only in terms of quality but also for its compatibility. Although it relies on a neural network for its results (and accelerates it through its own machine learning hardware), XeSS will run on competing GPU architectures, but the question is which cards and how fast will he ? In the Direct, Alex describes how Intel’s own numbers suggest a 2x performance boost via AI acceleration, which may mean that XeSS might be too slow to significantly jump from, say, 1440p to 2160p while native 2160p may be the same or faster. However, from lower resolutions like 1080p it may be a different story. Again, we’ll come back to all of this – as well as FSR 2.0 – once the technology is available for testing.

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And while we’re on the subject of scaling, an interesting question from one of our supporters concerns the talked-about inclusion of Nvidia DLSS in the new Switch. Much has been said about the potential for scaling up to 4K, but why focus on it? Isn’t that ridiculous for a portable system? I think the main distinction here isn’t that Nintendo will likely target 4K output, but rather that DLSS has the power to make low-res images look reasonable on a 4K display – something the low-res upscaling of base in the current switch is not particularly good at. It’s also just a very cool tool for developers to have in their toolbox, in general.

Beyond all that juicy talk, we’re covering Unity’s amazing Enemies demo and wondering if this time around these cutting-edge features can actually make it to games. We also discuss The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time’s PC recompilation project news, explaining how the “clean room” approach to development is entirely legal – but how the distribution of the fully compiled game with OG Nintendo assets is not. And yes – shader compilation stutter, the bane of PC gaming right now is (again) discussed at length. Beyond game developers and middleware vendors intervening to fix the problem comprehensively, is there anything AMD or Nvidia can do to help?

The DF support program? This is one of the main reasons we created DF Direct Weekly in the first place, to bring staff and community together. Every week fans submit their questions to the team and every week there are at least a few days of early access as well as an exclusive fan podcast RSS feed. And in addition to high-quality video downloads for all supporters, there’s also a bunch of bonus material – check out our weekly threads for details. Join us!

Article source https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-2022-df-direct-weekly-talks-witcher-ue5-playstation-5-vrr-and-fsr-2-0


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