Gaming

Acer announces new Predator Helios gaming laptops with next-gen power

It’s so new, the exact specs are unknown

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It’s raining gaming machines at Acer’s launch event. Aside from a powerful desktop tower, the company also announced two new Predator gaming laptops: the updated Helios 300 and Helios 700.

Starting off with the refresh of the Helios 300, Acer gives its two-year-old model a much-needed facelift. From bold red accents, the new Helios 300 now has teal blue and an RGB backlit keyboard. Like any laptop today, the Helios 300 now sports narrow bezels which reduce the weight and size of the laptop, plus it features a 144Hz Full HD panel.


Inside, the Helios 300 will be powered by a 9th-gen Intel Core i7 processor and GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q graphics with up to 32GB DDR4 memory and up to three storage bays.

The laptop will come in both 15.6- and 17.3-inch form factors with a starting price of US$ 1,200.

The Helios 700, on the other hand, is a completely new gaming machine. It’s a 17.3-inch laptop with a chunky body, but it’s got some distinctive features.

The most striking is its HyperDrift keyboard. Manufacturers have been trying to “reinvent” the keyboard on laptops, and this is Acer’s latest take. The entire keyboard, trackpad, and palm rests slide forward.

The goal here is to increase the airflow directly through the top of the notebook, which will keep the internals cool. It’s a unique and unusual design, but it’s pretty close to the forward keyboard positioning of the Triton series.

Specs-wise, the Helios 700 can be configured with up to a 9th-gen Intel Core i9 processor and GeForce RTX 2080 graphics. It may also have up to 64GB of DDR4 memory, a 144Hz display, 5.1 speaker setup, and Killer Wi-Fi 6.

The Helios 700 is expected to go on sale starting at US$ 2,700. It’ll be available for purchase in select regions later this month.

SEE ALSO: Acer’s new Predator Orion 5000 goes up to 9th-gen Core i9, RTX graphics

Gaming

Nintendo planning to launch more affordable Switch this year

Coming sooner than expected

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A report by Nikkei claims that a smaller and more affordable Nintendo Switch is indeed coming this year — during fall to be exact.

This backs up The Wall Street Journal‘s source that says two models are on the way: a pro model and a lite variant. While the former is expected to push better graphics and offer a larger screen, the latter looks to be more compact at the expense of losing the vibration feature.


Fortunately, both should still have TV compatibility for a larger screen to play on. The bigger takeaway, however, is that this lite version might not launch at the same time as the higher-end model, which might be saved for another event this year or next.

It’s possible that Nintendo is discretely making noise for its next batch of handheld consoles after the slew of info we received about Sony’s next-gen PS5 a couple of days ago. Microsoft also made its disc-less Xbox One S official the other day.

These announcements seem timely, with the three major players possibly feeling some heat from Google and Apple, both of which have announced their own push into the gaming realm with cloud gaming solutions and an exclusive app store, respectively.

Via: The Verge

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Gaming

Sony PlayStation 5: Everything we know so far

It’s more than just a mere upgrade

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After months of speculation, the time has come for Sony to drop its plans on its latest console. In an exclusive interview with Wired, Sony’s lead system architect Mark Cerny revealed initial details on the upcoming PlayStation 5. Here’s what we know so far:

The new PlayStation console will house a better CPU and GPU to meet the demands of long-time gamers on the system. The CPU will be based on the third generation of AMD’s Ryzen line, with eight cores of its new Zen 2 architecture. It promises to bring better performance and 3D audio capabilities, as well.


Meanwhile, the GPU will be a custom variant of AMD’s Radeon Navi, and will come with ray tracing! Apart from better overall visuals, the GPU now opens support for 8K graphics. To date, no gaming console has ventured into including ray-tracing technologies into their GPUs so it will be interesting to see how Sony will do it.

With games requiring more space to run smoothly and flawlessly, the new PlayStation provides a solution with an upgrade. This time, the PlayStation 5 will come with a solid state drive (SSD) that promises better and faster loading times. Cerny demonstrated the power of the SSD by playing Spider-Man through a PlayStation 4 against a developer’s kit-version for the new console. The results: web-slinging across New York City in under a second for the SSD.

Unfortunately, the PlayStation 5 won’t be available this year and Sony has yet to confirm a release date. The company isn’t expected to make that announcement any time soon since they pulled out of E3 2019. For now, all we can do is simply wait for new details to surface.

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Microsoft’s next Xbox does not have a disc slot

All digital!

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Image source: WinFuture

For the past two to three decades, video gaming has always been associated with compact discs. From then to now, video game stores are lined with cases and cases of discs. Sadly, times are changing. For quite a while now, PC gaming has almost completely moved to digital distribution. Now, video game discs belong exclusively to console gaming. However, the compact disc’s last sanctuary is slowly coming to an end.

Recently, a leak has revealed Microsoft’s latest project — a disc-less Xbox One. Supplemented by detailed renders, the Xbox One S All Digital does not include a tray for discs. Instead, the upcoming console will rely solely on digital downloads and subscriptions. Unfortunately, the leak does not include any other hardware specifications. However, the leaked box art indicates the inclusion of pre-installed games like Minecraft, Sea of Thieves, and Forza Horizon 3. The leak also hints at 4K support and 1TB of internal storage.


Finally, the leak included the device’s release details. The Xbox One S All Digital will retail for EUR 229.99 starting May 7 in Europe.

Albeit strongly supported, the leak still carries a slight bit of uncertainty. Microsoft has not officially announced the device. However, given the industry’s current trajectory, an all-digital console sounds like a logical choice. Google has even announced streaming service Stadia. Unfortunately, the industry’s trajectory does not bode well for the traditional compact discs of old. Say goodbye to scratched disc problems; say hello to more slow internet woes.

SEE ALSO: Microsoft built prototypes of Xbox controllers for mobile

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