back to article Intel caught faking CES ultrabook gaming demo

Intel has been caught faking a demo at its press conference during the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. On Monday, general manager of Intel's PC Client Group Mooly Eden demoed an Ivy Bridge ultrabook playing a Formula One driving game to display the graphics capability of the system. With a steering wheel on the podium …


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  1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  2. M Gale

    This reminds me...

    ...of when the games consoles started breaking into the 3D arena properly. Atop the display you'd see a console "plugged into" a television, demonstrating some kind of really impressive trickery.

    ...until someone lifts up the tablecloth and reveals the SGI workstation. Oops.

  3. JeffyPooh

    "...something a netbook could handle..."

    Playing an HD video? I wish my crap netbook could play a simple HD video. Sniff...

    1. Shades

      Something... not quite with right your netbook then. My Samsung NC10 plays 720p easily and can, with the right codec, do 1080p.

      1. RAMChYLD

        RE: Something

        > My Samsung NC10 plays 720p easily and can, with the right codec, do 1080p.

        Care to elaborate? The NC10 only has a resolution of 1024x600. Have you tried hooking up a Full HD TV and running it as a second display of 1920x1080?

        My Dell 10v can't handle it either, so don't feel bad. Why I threw it aside and bought a regular notebook when my annual bonus came in.

        1. Shades

          As it happens...

          "Care to elaborate? The NC10 only has a resolution of 1024x600. Have you tried hooking up a Full HD TV and running it as a second display of 1920x1080?"


          My NC10. The (then) girlfriends TV.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        not right?

        You are aware that only some netbooks are capable of playing 720p, and very few 1080p, and all depends on the processor+graphics hardware ... which the poster didn't mention. So yours can, whoopee. An ASUS EEE 1015PX can certainly manage 720p with no problem, and also 1080p in some situations (e.g YouTube), whereas a 1015PN has an NVidia chip so has no problems at all with 1080p in any situation.

        So no, nothing wrong with his netbook

    2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      I have yet to see one that cannot

      XvMC + vlc (you had to tweak the build options on the older vlc) delivers 1920x1080 video on any netbook I have tried. This means no h264 though. MPEG4 :(

      1. Davidoff
        Happy My netbook (Lenovo Thinkpad X100e) plays Full HD videos just fine, no matter what codec or bitrate. But then it does have an AMD Athlon Neo processor and Radeon HD 3200 graphics and not just an Atom with GMA500.
    3. DrXym Silver badge

      My netbook can (just about)

      My netbook is about 18 months old and can just about play a 720p video though it occasionally stutters or drops frames. A larger and more recent laptop (costing £399) has no trouble at all playing them even 1080p and can even make a pretty decent job of playing Portal 2 at medium settings.

      I would sure as hell hope an ultrabook costing 2x again should be able to play games and videos with very few problems. Maybe it wouldn't play games on ultra settings, but it should be able to do them on medium at least.

    4. Asgard

      On the video on youtube, it can't even play back the video without stalling, as the video halts between 0:04 and 0:08 whilst the sound continues to play. :)

  4. The Cube

    It only counts as a fake if

    the video was recorded on different hardware. If the video was recorded on the tin he was demoing then it is arguably a lot less fake than any recent Apple advert (sequences fabricated to increase gullibility). I can see why a senior exec would not want a Gates BSOD moment and why the techies might not want to show the world how good their exec was at playing a game...

    1. BristolBachelor Gold badge

      I might agree with you, except for this bit: "...and because the game takes a couple of minutes to load..."

      I would view a demonstration of pressing a button and something happening as meaning that is what happens; not that someone paused time for 2 minutes to allow the hardware to actually do what is shown.

      1. Def Silver badge

        Re: "...and because the game takes a couple of minutes to load..."

        As much as I don't want to stick up for Intel (ever), you can't always blame the hardware for sloppy coding.

        The resource loader/manager I wrote for <last game I worked on> was capable of pulling data off the hard drive far quicker than the game systems that requested it could process it. While I'm quite pleased with the overall design and implementation of the system I wrote, the fact the data needed so much post-load processing before it was usable says a lot more about the designs of other parts of the game than my loader.

        1. Thomas 4

          Whining about 2 minutes?

          Back when I were a nipper, games took anywhere between 5-10 minutes to load from a cassette, complete with horrible screeching noises. Even then, we counted ourselves lucky if we didn't get a Read Error B at the end of it.

          Goddamn punk kids, spoiled rotten these days....

          1. Martin Lyne
            Holmes Read Error B. FFFFFUUUUUUU. If the netbook could handle playing the game smoothly, okay, maybe I'll believe that. But running a video recording app AND playing game in decent res at the max of it's spec? I'm willing to bet it was a video from different platform. Next time, have one with the game pre-loaded (we're not judging loading times) but paused (immediate impact!), or just admit it can't run it. Just look like amateurs now.
          2. M Gale

            Read Error B

            This is why I <3 the old BBC. It loaded in regular-sized blocks and if one of them fouled up, the counter would stop and you'd just rewind the tape a bit and replay that block. Didn't stop it taking bloody ages just to load a 747 simulator that comprised of an instrument panel, a line for the horizon, and runways represented as very long quads. The first time I witnessed Acorn 1770 DFS in action I think it took me the rest of the day to scrape my jaw off the floor. Can we have an "old fart" icon please?
          3. Dan 37
            Daley Thompson's Supertest, Spectrum 128k - 13 minutes if memory serves. These days I get shit off our users if it takes more than 10 seconds for their publisher doc (including dozens of multi mega-pixel images shown at thumbnail size) to load.
            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              and if I'm not mistaken....

              ...Lord of the Rings and Valhalla took even longer...or did it just seem like that.
              1. Thomas 4

                God forbid if it had a multiloading system

                Fuck you, New Zealand Story. Seriously.

        2. Shakje
          Def as in Defdefire? That would take me back a few years... And yes, I did know someone who used that alias and worked in the games industry.
          1. Def Silver badge

            Re: Shakje

            Nope, different Def.
        3. beast666
          Thumb Down

          @Def's resource loader/manager

          "The resource loader/manager I wrote for <last game I worked on> was capable of pulling data off the hard drive far quicker than the game systems that requested it could process it." Do you want a medal for that? Game system: Can you load this resource with tag/filename/whatever x to this address. Def: Hmmm, look and see if x is resident. Yes, it is, its here... No, its not resident, ask Windows/OSX/ios/Xbox/PS3/whatever to load it to said address, maintain a simple data structure associating x with said address. Return the address. Provide simple API call to unload a resource. Perhaps if you are so good, you'd have done something about reducing the post-load processing demands needed rather than claiming your coding Nobel prize on how fast your loader was when in fact it was the os that was fast?
          1. Def Silver badge

            Re: @Def's resource loader/manager

            It was a fully asynchronous, multi-threaded (in that the fetching and processing of data happened in different threads - there was actually one thread per physical data source - of which it supported multiple sources concurrently - network, hard drive, DVD, etc) resource loader that reordered incoming requests according to physical locality on the local media (network requests weren't reordered, obviously), supported multiple systems requesting the same resources simultaneously, supported resources specifying a hierarchy so that if resource A also needed B, C, and D, it (A) wouldn't be reported as ready for use before those other resources had also been loaded.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      For sure

      A presentation is a presentation - it's hard to present and do a good job of it, so I'm fine if they use videos for it. However, if I get that machine and it doesn't do what you claim it does, then expect trouble.

      Surely, someone like Intel should be able to simply rig up an identical machine in their stand that is really playing the game, and either let the public play it, or have someone playing it live? The presentation might be faked, but even the laziest journalist would see it for real when doing even the most basic of checks on the story. Seems as much a PR fail as anything else.

    3. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

      Sorry, TC,

      To me, this is a deliberate intention to deceive. There is a world of difference between "smoke and mirrors" and lying, and this is well into the latter category, as demonstrated (pun not intended) by the steering wheel on the stage that he pretended to use, and then the lie that about it being controlled off-stage. A far better and more honest approach would have been to pretend to use the steering wheel to do great things in the game for a while, and then walk away from the accessory whilst it drove itself, and then - when the laughter subsided - admit that this was a recorded demo, but there is a real demo on the stand for all to try. This man lies like a city banker - and that isn't a good thing.
  5. P. Lee

    "Graphics capabilities will be scruitinised when it comes out"

    PR job done.

    1. Ru

      Not all publicity is good publicity

      Just ask Mr. Reiser.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    'tis a fine old tradition

    I've seen a crash or blue screen at almost every product launch I've ever been to, all the way back to WfW 3.10 (yes, there was Windows for Workgroups 3.10), it'd feel wrong if there wasn't one.

    I have, on occasion felt sorry for the guys on stage but I'm always disappointed when I don't see one and suspect trickery, having event management company owners in the family I know 'rigged' demos happen far more often than most people would suspect.

    1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      Wrong acronym

      I'm sure WfW actually stood for Worries for Workgroups, at least I always experienced it that way. Kids getting a WiFi link with DHCP allocation to share some files have really no comprehension what a flaming battle office file sharing used to be, and Worries for Workgroups was at the root of it..
  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    not fakery as such.

    But i do recall seriously considering writing a controller input recorder that could then be applied to a game running at 1/10th speed, so that the effective framerate could be speeded up by 10x on playback. Glad we went down the line of monster hardware specs instead though, so we could demo it live at reasonable framerate.

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  9. P Saunders

    Sure it can handle DX11

    Just like all those machines were "Vista Capable" or "Vista Ready".

  10. D. M

    This is not logical

    If the reason is game loading time, why can't they play a video on big screen that shows someone play the game properly (eg. clearly show the person play such game on such hardware). I'd want to see something "real" than fake movie.
  11. mark 63 Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    keynote ? ?

    wtf is a keynote? obviously I've heard the expression "keynote speech" but that dosent mean I'm any nearer understanding it. In this article it was used in this sentence "Keynotes are rehearsed repeatedly" does keynote just mean speach? or address? is it just a word we bung in front of other words to make them seem more important? does it mean important? am i still me?
  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Keynote is an opening speech

    WTF would you expect from a company that has been convicted on three continents for chronic violation of anti-trust laws. You can fool most of the people, most of the time and reap a Helleval lot of financial profit.
  13. Brian Cockburn

    Have they heard of preparation?

    So what if it takes two minutes to load? Surely it is not difficult to have a second laptop (or whatever it was that they were demonstrating) ready with the software already loaded (or loading during the babbling) and then bring on a 'company gamer' to do the actual playing rather then have some be-suited nob showing that his skills lie in PR (or running a company perhaps) rather than gaming? If, as is suggested, the keynote speech is well rehearsed and critically important then doing it right should be quite high up on the list.
    1. Azzy


      Yup - this is a simple solution to the problem.

      Did they only have one prototype? Then start the game before the beginning of the presentation, and open the presentation with the game demo, then gun the game and do the rest of the presentation. Even if the PR guy couldn't play the game for crap, it shows the capabilities of the game just as well driving down the highway, as it does swerving across traffic and into a drainage ditch.

      It's really hard to excuse what they did there, and it looks really bad for them.

  14. MrHorizontal

    Not defending Intel, but...

    It does work, they just didn't get Mooly's machine updated with the proper demo in time:
  15. ideapete

    Laptop Whatzat

    Some kinda Dance ?

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