Unfortunately, unlike Apple, who actually use their GPU’s peak performance figures in transient compute workloads such as camera processing, currently the Android ecosystem just doesn’t make any advanced use of GPU compute. This admission was actually a breath of fresh air and insight into the situation, as it’s been something I’ve especially noted in our Kirin 9000, Snapdragon 888 and Exynos 2100 and Tensor deep-dives in criticizing all the new chips. It’s an incredibly stupid situation that, as long as the media continues to put weight on peak performance figures, won’t be resolved any time soon, as the chip vendors will have a hard time saying no to their customer’s requests to operate the silicon in this way.
This is kind of the phantom benefits for a holistic hardware/software design approach that are hard to illustrate and easy to ignore. I bet it’s also a reason iPhones can feel snappy for so long, even after years of updates. All silicon that can be put to good use, is put to good use, as much and as often as possible, I’d wager.
Q. What do you think the impact will be of multinational entertainment companies (e.g. Amazon, Disney, Netflix) increasingly investing in video games and buying studios? My personal concern is that developers will be pushed to make games that fit into brands, rather than creating great standalone experiences, but I may be overly pessimistic.
The question wasn’t directed at me of course but I won’t let that keep me from commenting. There seems to a lots of angst over consolidation. It’s not irrational but it feels more based on prior experience in different fields and hard facts. 2021 brought a ton of investment in games, in all kinds of forms. But just take a look on just a month’s worth of releases on Steam.
With such immense volume (and that’s just one platform) games are being ignored, gamers will never come across many of them, the media couldn’t possibly cover enough of them etc. One could argue that maybe we need more games because why not. I tend to disagree but let’s say I agree with that. This doesn’t mean we’d know what to do with them right now so, at least, I’d posit it’s not the time for more games. But it is time for smaller developers to merge, be bought out, create something better, bring new ideas etc. And consolidation helps with that.
The part of specific flavour and branding is a strategic choice, not an outgrowth of consolidation. If it were, every big player would have ended up like Disney without even trying.
These are different issues all lumped together, mainly due to the zeitgeist’s growing distrust of big companies, I suspect. Justified or not, it’s not the answer to all questions and we should remind ourselves of that.
There’s a lot to go over in a rare treat from SlashFilm, which has the tendency to annoy me with how it usually handles many other topics, and it’s worth a read. But it’s not a simple matter. Just look at the list of headings that’s just so happens to be a list of the issues sound mixers and engineers tend to face.
- It’s A Purposeful Choice
- It’s in the Acting
- Sound Isn’t Respected Enough On Sets
- Technology (AKA The Jurassic Park Problem)
- Familiarity/Passive Listening
- Mixing For Cinemas
- Mixing For Streaming
- Home Theater Woes
I will highlight the following though:
One prong involves educating people about the importance of sound, from studio execs to the filmmakers themselves. “There’s a lot of people who don’t prioritize sound,” says Thomas Curley. “They know that they need to have it, but they don’t necessarily think about it in a very creative way and don’t really like to bother with it much.”
“Sound is still a mystery to a lot of people,” Karen Baker Landers asserts. “It’s intangible. With picture, you see it. You understand.” Ironically, that lack of understanding of how sound works trickles down to audiences literally not being able to understand what characters are saying on screen. Perhaps if the processes of capturing, creating, and shaping great sound were better understood throughout the industry, substantial steps to improving those processes could be implemented.
Judging by what I’ve always been hearing from the videogame space, that’s always an issue. And yet, 100+ after the invention of cinema and decades after the advent of games — or just a couple if we count the time during which sound fidelity turned good enough to worry about such things — and the message has yet to go wide enough. Even amongst those of the craft. It boggles the mind.
Need I say more?