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DF Direct Weekly on The Last of Us PS5 remake, Hitman 3 RT and Starfield’s delay

Is The Last of Us being remade for PS5 – but is it really arriving this year? Do Hitman 3’s ray tracing hardware requirements make sense? And what’s up with the PlayStation Plus games lineup? These answers to these questions – and more! – are all covered in this week’s Digital Foundry Weekly show, hosted this time by Rich, John and Alex.

It’s the PS Plus relaunched games lineup that’s the first port of call, as the team mulls the curious selection of titles from the newly expanded service’s higher tiers – and the pleasant surprise that a selection of previously purchased digital PS1 and PSP games will be playable on PS4 and PS5 without a PS Plus subscription. The team passes comment on what was revealed last week, but maybe we’ve not seen the full picture quite yet as it appears that at least one Ridge Racer game will be added to the classics line-up.

The rumoured Last of Us PS5 remake is also an odd one – after all, the game has already received a PS4 Pro release, so what scope for improvement still exists for a re-remaster beyond targeting 4K 60fps? Alex Battaglia has some ideas – vis a vis ray tracing, naturally – and John Linneman follows up with some thoughts on what actual gameplay changes would make the PS5 release a more compelling prospect. It’ll be fascinating to see what direction Naughty Dog has chosen here, as there’s room from anything from a by-the-numbers remaster for PS5 hardware to a much more substantive overhaul that takes advantage of the lessons learned from the development of the second game.

The DF Direct, for your viewing pleasure.

While the Last of Us remake is rumoured for 2022, two other big games originally scheduled to arrive this year have been delayed. Starfield and Redfall, two releases from Bethesda that would have shored up parent Microsoft’s Game Pass offerings, have had their release dates shifted to 2023. In some respects, this isn’t a massive surprise – both looked to be massive AAA games that hadn’t shown any substantive gameplay six months out from release – but it means that the 2022 game release calendar is looking pretty bare. That’s an issue for Microsoft, and also has a pretty major effect on the rest of the games industry – including us at Digital Foundry. However, given the technical state of both Fallout 76 and Fallout 4 on launch, giving the development team additional team has got to be a good thing, right?

  • 00:00:00 Introductions
  • 00:00:59 News 01: PlayStation Plus line-up revealed
  • 00:11:58 News 02: Last of Us Remake set for 2022?
  • 00:19:04 News 03: Starfield/Redfall delayed until 2023
  • 00:24:13 Supporter Q01: Is it time for companies to shelve release dates?
  • 00:28:38 News 04: Hitman 3 RT requirements are heavy
  • 00:35:40 News 05: Test Drive Unlimited SC delayed till 2023, no more cross-gen?
  • 00:39:28 News 06: Portal 64 proof of concept emerges
  • 00:44:53 Supporter Q02: How does Balanced Mode in FSR 2.0 fare?
  • 00:50:20 Supporter Q03/04: FSR 2.0 on consoles?
  • 01:00:55 Supporter Q05: Is it likely that tensor cores will be less important on future Nvidia GPUs?
  • 01:04:43 Supporter Q06: Do you think we’ll see FSR 2.0 implemented into emulators?
  • 01:07:08 Supporter Q07: Why don’t console manufacturers release emulators and allow for legal ways to purchase ROMs?
  • 01:11:14 Supporter Q08: What first party Sony games would you like to see return?
  • 01:15:55 Supporter Q09: How many games have DRS yet still fail to reach their target frame-rate?
  • 01:20:52 Supporter Q10: What videos has surprised you in terms of viewer numbers, good and bad?
  • 01:24:52 Supporter Q11: If you could pick one game, from any console/PC generation, to receive the full Quake 2/Minecraft RTX treatment, which one would you pick?

The rest of the news topics are also interesting – Alex tackles the surprisingly steep ray tracing requirements for Hitman 3 (the update drops this week and we’ll be checking it out, naturally), the team talks about Test Drive Unlimited SC’s delay to 2023, and the amazing proof-of-concept release of Portal 64 running on real N64 hardware (!).

Elsewhere, DF supporters provided a host of great questions about AMD’s recently released FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR) 2.0 tech, an upscaling algorithm that uses data from past frames to improve its results – something that was notably lacking from the 1.0 release. The questions cover FSR 2.0 on consoles, how FSR balanced mode fares and whether FSR’s broader hardware requirements mean that tensor cores will be less important on future Nvidia GPUs. The most interesting question on FSR might have come from DF supporter Yogi, who asked whether FSR 2.0 could be added to Switch and PS3 emulation software – and Alex’s answer about the technical requirements is particularly enlightening.

Rich, John and Alex also answered some more open-ended questions to round out the show, including what first-party Sony games ought to make a return and if you had the power to choose one game to get a full path-traced remake, what would it be? Alex and John go for quite straight-forward choices, but Rich’s answer is out of left field…

That just about wraps up the Direct, but it now falls to me to remind you that you too can join the DF Supporter Programme to influence the direction of the Direct, talk with us on Discord and generally shape the future of Digital Foundry. We’d love to have you, so please take a look!

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