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  • New Mac Pro in Q4 2022 expected to cap off Apple Silicon transition

    blastdoor said:
    A quad m1 Max based on current architecture would terminate the discussion. 

    A Mac Pro with that or more would be legendary. 
    Key word is “would.”

    if the quad max takes until the end of 2022 then add “have.”

    AMD is supposed to have 5nm zen 4 out later this year. For high end systems, at least 64 cores. 

    Apple will have the advantage of unified memory, and maybe that will give them an edge for some workloads. But I really hope they pick up the pace of apple silicon rollout + update on the Mac. 
    A quad M1 Max would be expected to be close to a Threadripper 3995WX:

    That's $7-8k just for the CPU. The GPU performance would be about 30% higher than a $3k Nvidia 3090, e.g an Nvidia 3090ti:

    In late 2022, AMD is saying they can double the performance with Zen 4 on 5nm and Nvidia will likely have a 1.5-2x 4090. But, it will still cost around $10k for those parts. Apple can sell a quad M1 Max for $3k. Even if Zen 4 and 4090 is 1.5-2x the performance due to higher power usage, an M1 Max Quad would be really competitive.

    Apple currently sells Mac Pro hardware that is way behind Threadripper chips, they don't need to compete with them on raw performance but the special hardware they have can offer huge improvements. Someone here compared their PC with 3090 against M1 Max and the Max chip beat it for render/export times in some cases:

    Multiply that by 4 and for people in those workflows, a 2x improvement on the PC side is still half.
  • Apple AR headset could cost consumers over $2,000

    At that price point, it better be mining BitCoins when I’m not wearing it.
    It has the processing power.
    If it was really this spec, it would be able to replace a laptop entirely for some but it sounds like a lot of guesswork. If Apple had the ability to fit an M1 Pro into a compact headset, they could have made the MBPs thinner and lighter too. The 14" M1 Pro components on the right, including battery would all have to get inside the headset:

    It also wouldn't have as much space as in the mockup as there has to be space for the nose at the bottom:

    The Oculus Quest 2 on-board chip is around 1TFLOPs:

    The test there puts it at around 1/6th of an Nvidia 1060. This is around Nintendo Switch level on-board. The Switch aims for 30FPS but VR is ideally 90FPS.

    Oculus Quest 2 has a link system (both wired and wireless) to display from a console or PC. That is much more usable for VR performance-wise.

    The fanless M1 or A15 makes way more sense in a headset. Strapping an iPhone to a head is much easier than a Macbook Pro and would keep it's price below $1k. It can also have a link system to allow more powerful Macs to stream content but iPhone hardware would be enough to handle video streaming, mobile games and social media.

    These wildly varying reports suggest that leakers have pretty much zero credible information on this product and are playing guessing games like everybody else.

    I think internally, it will have similar hardware to an iPhone. Here is an example phone AR system that teaches the piano in a way similar to games like Guitar Hero:

    Phone hardware is easily capable of rendering this and also physically based materials for realistic 3D objects. For anything heavier they can have a wireless connection to a Mac or a special adaptor that plugs into any video output for streaming using direct wifi.
  • Apple AR/VR headset hitting some snags & may not make 2022 release

    So, Microsoft does not have the ability to force every player to buy one. They are hoping Apple to show them how this can be done? 
    Microsoft always does their nerdy thing first. They already have the HoloLens, this is priced at $3.5k+:

    This is like what they did with tablets ($2799) before the iPad:

    They didn't wait for Apple to show them how it's done, they did their nerdy thing first then Apple showed them how it's done.
    Good points.
    There is one more that I've heard mentioned:   for work such as surgery (whether on a car or a human) where, particularly when combined with AI, it could guide the technician through a procedure -- either to clean out a throttle body or a carotid.
    And, possibly warfare -- it sounds a lot like the helmet worn in the F35.

    But, for pleasure, umm...
    Perhaps the difference is between a really serious gamer and someone who simply uses it casually as a way to fill time.  I could see a very serious gamer using one -- especially if it gave him an advantage over his opponent.
    I don't see the main use for Apple's wearable being gaming, I think it will be movies, apps and secondary displays for Macs/iPhones.

    AR gaming outside of Pokemon Go is pretty bad. There will probably be improvements to this so you can do things like virtual card games, Star Wars-like holo-chess but high volume interest at launch has to come from a well established content category.
  • Take-Two Interactive announces $12.7B deal to acquire Zynga

    emig647 said:
    I really don’t understand this, especially when Bethesda was $7.5B. 

    Revenue from mobile gaming is now larger than revenue from PC gaming and console gaming combined. This is a point that I always make when people say Apple can't be taken seriously for gaming unless they do PC/console style AAA games.
    Zynga's revenue growth over recent years has been pretty high too at 50-60% per year. Here is Zynga's latest annual report:

    Latest 2021 quarterly is here:

    Their top games are Empires and Puzzles, Merge Dragons and Zynga Poker. These 3 games made over $800m in 2020. Total revenue in 2020 was $1.97b and $2.1b in 9 months in 2021. They made over $400m loss in 2020 but they managed to cut costs a lot in 2021. One of their significant costs is ads to attract new players, they spent $583m in 2020 on Facebook and Google ads. They also made $300m on ads in their games, mainly Words with Friends.

    Microsoft bought Zenimax for $7.5b, which includes Arkane (Dishonored, Wolfenstein, Deathloop), Bethesda (Elder Scrolls, Fallout), id (Doom, Quake). It's quite a few popular franchises but most of them don't sell many copies. Arkane games are around 2 million copies. The Bethesda games are the biggest ones but they sell over a long period of time. Elder Scrolls and Fallout sell tens of millions of copies but even considering the 30 million copies of Elder Scrolls, if every copy was $60, that's still only $1.8b and they don't all sell at $60 and not all in 1 year. Zynga has recurring, growing revenue that exceeds AAA games.

    The problem with mobile is it seems to be mostly driven by addictive games rather than quality. The mobile game charts hardly ever change. AAA is all about quality experiences but they are really expensive to produce and usually have low recurring revenue, this leads to making sequels of their most popular franchises. The Call of Duty games have a good mix of quality single player and recurring online multiplayer.

    Companies like Take Two will have seen how much revenue games like Fortnite, Minecraft, Call of Duty Mobile have been making and the revenue growth. They need to stay competitive with companies like Tencent:

    Companies like Tencent are using their revenues to buy up as much of the gaming industry as they can. Even when mobile gaming isn't directly a threat to non-mobile game companies, having profitable mobile game companies buying up the strongest players in the industry definitely is.
  • The metaverse is 'off limits' on Apple's VR headset, claims report

    blastdoor said:
    starof80 said:
    If the rumors about this is true, Apple would be smart to reconsider about getting in the Metaverse. They will be left behind.
    Considering that "metaverse" is just a nebulous and wobbly term that Epic and Facebook cooked up to dodge criticisms and doesn't mean a single thing right now, it's not much of a concern today.
    I think 'metaverse' means the same thing as 'social network' -- it's a vehicle for selling ads and manipulating people, full stop. 

    Just like Apple doesn't have a 'social network' but does (through Messages and FaceTime) have a network through which people have positive social interactions with friends and family, I suspect Apple will not participate in the 'metaverse' but will have AR/VR devices that provide entertainment and help people to be more productive. 
    WSJ tested the concept of living in an early metaverse here:

    VR is too disorienting to do this all the time.

    The metaverse type experiences that people are immersed in today are like Minecraft, Fortnite, GTA Online, World of Warcraft, Second Life. Someone tested Fortnite in VR, this is probably the most compelling use case for wearing headsets for such a long period of time and kids already spend this much time in them outside of VR:

    There's a video here showing some gaming and social stuff in Meta's experiences, most of this looks pretty horrifying, especially with the kid screaming at 2:15:

    It's clear to see from these videos why it would have to be short experiences at a time using a VR headset, most people can't wear them that long because you're only looking at the display's artificial light source. A mixed reality experience would be much more comfortable for long periods.

    Watching a movie would be an example of a short-term experience too. I could see people buying a product for an enhanced movie experience but not at over $1k.

    This whole product description sounds off with the Airpods Max padding, Watch-style bands (this wouldn't be a fashion wearable), $1k-3k price. It's like one of those car mockups with the iPhone antenna bands, trying to piece together parts of Apple's other products into a new one. Especially when Apple has said a number of times that they don't see much value in VR. If they have front cameras, they can do passthrough so you'd see the real environment like on an iPad AR app and it offers the ability to have the processing on the device but if they were doing this, I'd expect the form factor to be closer to ski goggles than current VR hardware, a bit more compact than the mockup:

    I expect Apple to make an AR wearable that allows VR-like experiences and nothing else and the tech is here to do this in 2022. They've been working on these products for over 6 years already. It says here it took just 2004-2007 to do the iPhone from concept to launch:

    They have thousands of world-class engineers working round the clock. There's no way they are just going to come up with an overpriced derivative nerd helmet. I think the only thing they make will be something Tim Cook would be happy wearing to work all day at a mass market price point. It's something they can sell as an accessory with the iPhone 14 and require an iPhone 12/13/14. That way it's a $20/month premium with a new handset instead of a $499 purchase.