State Of The Graphics Market

The latest data from Jon Peddie Research shows the status of the market for graphics cards and embedded graphics in personal computers. Looking at those numbers is an excellent way to gauge the healthy of the PC gaming business, because for the most part only gamers will be buying graphics cards for a PC. This year’s second quarter was, usual for graphics cards, weaker than the first quarter, with a drop of 17.5 percent.

The total number of add-in graphics card shipped in the second quarter was 11.5 million, with both AMD and Nvidia losing ground compared to the previous quarter. AMD’s cards dropped 10.7 percent in sales from the previous quarter, and Nvidia’s cards lost 21 percent in sales — but Nvidia still holds a substantial lead in the market, with 62 percent market share compared to AMD’s 37.9 percent share.

The interesting part about the graphics card market for PCs is that most PCs ship with Intel integrated graphics, so add-in cards aren’t really necessary for many purposes. In fact, the attach rate of GPUs to PCs is 139 percent, reflecting the fact that many PCs have both integrated graphics and an add-in card. AMD also supplies integrated graphics with their processors, as well Intel, but Nvidia does not. Thus the market share numbers look different when integrated graphics are considered, with AMD reaching nearly 18 percent of PCs, Intel with 67.3 percent, and Nvidia with only 14.72 percent. When Steam members were surveyed, the numbers were different, reflecting the nature of the Steam audience as core gamers: For Steam users, AMD had 29.8 percent of the market, Intel had 18.85, and Nvidia had 50.93 percent, or just over half the market.

In general, Nvidia is more successful than AMD at selling add-in graphics card, with a more than two to one advantage over AMD. While Intel has improved its integrated graphics performance, any PC gamer will want to see the significant upgrade in graphics that comes with an add-in card, even with the additional cost. Compared to the latest Xbox One and PS4 graphics, a mid-range graphics card with a good CPU should be capable of producing better graphics, which is something many PC gamers will continue to desire.

Source: Anandtech

Oculus Leaps Into Controller-Free VR

While the Oculus VR headset continues to attract plenty of interest from game companies, there are still hurdles to overcome before the device can become a consumer product. One of the major difficulties is control. Using a standard game controller such as you might find on a console is difficult, because you can’t see the buttons. Moreover, using such a controller will tend to pop you out of the immersive fantasy that you’re in another world, which is exactly where the Oculus Rift would like you to remain. What’s the answer

While Oculus has already purchased a company that makes modified Xbox 360 controllers, other companies have proposed a variety of solutions in an effort to become the standard way to control a VR experience. Now Leap Motion has stepped forward with an inexpensive method that seems to solve many of the problems noted with control schemes.

Leap Motion makes a gesture-detecting sensor for the PC and Macintosh platforms, and they have created a mount that holds ther sensor on the front of any flat VR headset – such as the Oculus Rift, in either developer version so far – for only $20, while the sensor itself is $80.

The Leap Motion sensor is extremely precise, and can track all ten of your fingers in their position with the most recent version of their software. The current model uses infrared cameras, but the company is experimenting with a version that also has color cameras.

“With the infrared, we track the hands, and with the color, we’ll show you the rest of the world,” said CTO David Holz. “In the future, you can imagine a camera like this could track your position in the room.” Developers will be able to grab the sensor data coming from the Leap Motion and integrate it into their software, making your VR experience fully aware of your hand positions and head motions. Thus, if you wanted to swing a sword or fire a pistol, you’d merely make the appropriate gesture with your hands.

Will this be the interface technology that VR has been looking for What do you think

Source: Re/code


‘Gran Turismo’ Film Tracks 15 Years Of Racing

Sony is celebrating the 15 years of its epic racing game Gran Turismo with a documentary about the game’s creator Kazunori Yamauchi. The doucmentary was directed by Tamir Moscovic, and is entitled Kaz: Pushing the Virtual Divide. Sony is using the documentary to look at the process of creating the game franchise and how it evolved over the years.

The game franchise has been one of the best-sellers for the PlayStation consoles, selling more than 70 million copies since the game first launched in 1997. The series has been instrumental in bringing a more realistic level of racing to consoles, with features like being the first console game to show a 360-degree view of a 3D-rendered car, or letting players choose from a huge variety of cars rather than just a small set of cars on one type of track.

Sony said the documentary is “about drive,” on the “Gran Turismo TV” online channel, and how Yamauchi’s passion “forever changed the gaming and automotive landscape and in doing so, redefined how we perceive the relationship between art, entertainment and culture.” The movie first debuted on Hulu in January and is now available for free on YouTube, as you can see in the version embedded here.

Sony is also developing a movie treatment with producers Mike De Luca and Dana Brunetti, who are currently producing Fifty Shades of Grey.

The most recent version of the game, Gran Turismo 6, was released on December 5, 2013 for the PlayStation 3. Sony will be bringing the franchise to the PlayStation 4, as developer Polyphony Digital (Yamauchi’s company) has already announced Gran Turismo 7 will be arriving for the PlayStation 4 sometime in 2015. The addition of this documentary and a possible feature film will certainly serve as good marketing tactics, generating higher enthusiasm among current fans and helping a significant number of people become new fans of the game.

Source: Variety