It's been just under nine years since Titanfall landed on the PC and Xbox, and just under nine years since publisher Electronic Arts has been underutilizing one of its most interesting and promising franchises. With the rumor that EA has canned a third Titanfall game after years of development, I think it's time we look back on what this game was, what it could have been, and lamentably, what it never will be. What is Titanfall right now? Part of the first wave of Xbox One titles and one of the console's very few exclusives, the original Titanfall was the first game developed by Respawn Entertainment, which was founded by former executives of Call of Duty creator Infinity Ward. It made a splash from its introduction at E3 2013, wowing gamers with a mix of fresh, parkour-infused multiplayer shooting and the titular Titan mechs as a fresh addition to the genre.
February sees the introduction of a new game to the roundup, the eye-catching but temperamental Forspoken, and some surprising framerate gains for a staple title. Plus, some exciting news that occurred mere hours after Keith's video published: Intel is slashing the Arc A750's price to $249! Compared to last month's driver release, the Arc A770 driver didn't change much for most of our testing titles. In GTA V, Counter-Strike GO, Assassin's Creed: Valhalla, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Total War: Troy, Borderlands 3, Horizon: Zero Dawn, Watch Dogs Legion, and Cyberpunk 2077, the results for the three-month test were in line with (or slightly behind) the two-month test. That's a particular bummer for Cyberpunk, which just got a DLSS boost on the latest Nvidia cards. There was one standout: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. Whatever special sauce Intel put into the new driver, it's showing about a 5-10 percent improvement across the board, while 1 percent lows saw a noticeable bump up to 51 frames per second at 1080p and 36 frames per second at 1440 -- that's some solid performance for such a new, graphically-intense game.
You'd think that collaborative chatting programs like Slack or Teams wouldn't need too many bells and whistles in order to be effective tools. Microsoft would beg to differ. The new Teams Premium tier not only includes the usual unlimited messages and better organizational tools, it's adding exclusive powers enabled by OpenAI's GPT 3.5 language model. The new tier will be $10 per month per user starting on June 30th, but you can get a cheaper preview for $7 until then. What does the fancy AI do?
OpenAI's ChatGPT's AI chatbot is so good, too many people are using it, crushing its servers. So the company is debuting a paid ChatGPT Plus service, which will launch in the coming weeks. ChatGPT will cost $20 per month, but don't despair. OpenAI says that it still plans to offer a free version of ChatGPT as well. If you've used ChatGPT before, you know how crazy powerful the chatbot can be.
OpenAI said Tuesday that it has released an AI "classifier" for identifying AI-authored text written by AI like its own ChatGPT. The problem? ChatGPT is pretty good at evading OpenAI's new tool. ChatGPT has absolutely overwhelmed academia, where students are using it as a virtual assistant of sorts in a variety of tasks. Unfortunately, some students are crossing the line and using it to create content that they are passing off as original--cheating, in other words. The trouble is trying to determine which answers were written by a human, and which by an AI.
It's been a little over two years since CDProjekt Red's sci-fi opus landed, and the general consensus is that, yeah, it's pretty much fixed now. While Cyberpunk 2077 was plagued with bugs and performance issues at launch, the developer has worked tirelessly to improve it. The latest update brings support for Nvidia's DLSS 3, which can work with the latest GeForce cards to dramatically improve frame rates even with demanding effects enabled. For the uninitiated, DLSS stands for Deep Learning Super Sampling. It's an incredibly complex technique that combines custom hardware processing with hundreds or thousands of hours of graphics analysis for each game.
Throughout all of this, Microsoft's Surface lineup has remained pretty much unchanged for years. Shouldn't Microsoft be doing something about it? Microsoft launched the original Surface in 2012 to set new standards for the PC market. But lately it's looking more and more like other laptop manufacturers are blazing a trail, and Microsoft has let Surface devices lag behind. Its fourth-quarter earnings report detailed problems launching Surface devices, and executives said that falling device sales would actually accelerate into this quarter.
Yesterday's Xbox Developer Direct presentation was a bit of a staid affair. But there was one standout. Hi-Fi Rush is a pop-rock breath of fresh air, a rhythm-based beat-em-up with all the color and attitude of a post-Pokemon kid's anime. And you can play it…right now, on PC and Xbox. Hi-Fi Rush comes from Tango Gameworks, a Japanese studio best known for The Evil Within and Ghotswire: Tokyo.
With soaring cloud revenues, plunging Windows and device revenues, and a few days into a substantial layoff, Microsoft's first-quarter results feel a bit like a quote from Dickens. The best of times: "The next major wave of computing is being born," as Microsoft reported 31 percent revenue growth in its Intelligent Cloud business, a day after Microsoft invested again in OpenAI and its chat service, ChatGPT. The worst of times: Windows OEM revenue sank 39 percent, thanks to a tanking PC market; Microsoft's Devices (Surface) revenue fell the same amount, thanks to issues launching products, reduced demand, and success a year ago. In the end, it all sort of came out in the wash, however, with net income down 12 percent to $16.4 billion and revenue sinking 2 percent to $52.7 billion. Microsoft reported $14.2 billion in revenue in More Personal Computing, its consumer business, down 19 percent, but 18 percent growth to $21.5 billion in Intelligent Cloud and 7 percent growth in Productivity and Business Processes, Microsoft's Office business.