Gaming

All-new PlayStation Plus launches in June

Comes in three tiers

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Samsung Neo QLED

The rumored new version of PlayStation Plus is finally official and it is coming in June.

PlayStation Plus is a paid subscription service that provides users with the following benefits:

  • Two monthly downloadable games
  • Exclusive discounts
  • Cloud storage for saved games
  • Online multiplayer access

The All-new PlayStation Plus Tiers will expand this to three levels. These are PlayStation Plus Essential, Extra, and Premium (or Deluxe in select markets).

Essential

Existing PlayStation Plus subscribers fall under the Essential tier. There will be no changes to the pricing and benefits in this tier. For reference, here’s pricing in key markets:

  • United States — US$ 9.99 monthly / US$ 24.99 quarterly / US$ 59.99 yearly
  • Singapore — SG$ 8.90 monthly / SG$ 21.90 quarterly / SG$ 53.90 yearly
  • Hong Kong — HK$ 48 monthly / HK$ 128 quarterly / HK$ 308 yearly
  • Malaysia — MYR 29 monthly / MYR 69 quarterly / MYR 159 yearly

Extra

PlayStation Plus Extra has all the benefits of the Essential tier plus a catalog of up to 400 PS4 and PS5 games. The PlayStation Blog says it includes ” blockbuster hits from our PlayStation Studios catalog and third-party partners.” Games in the Extra tier are downloadable for play.

Here’s pricing in key markets:

  • United States — US$ 14.99 monthly / US$ 39.99 quarterly / US$ 99.99 yearly
  • Singapore — SG$ 13.90 monthly / SG$ 35.90 quarterly / SG$ 89.90 yearly
  • Hong Kong — HK$ 75 monthly / HK$ 215 quarterly / HK$ 515 yearly
  • Malaysia — MYR 44 monthly / MYR 114 quarterly / MYR 269 yearly

Premium

PlayStation Plus Premium and PlayStation Plus Deluxe. These two offer pretty much the same benefits which we will get to shortly. The key difference is cloud streaming.

Cloud streaming is only available in certain markets. In these markets, Premium will be offered. For markets without clouds streaming, Deluxe will instead be offered.

Here are the PlayStation Plus Premium benefits:

  • Everything the Essential and Extra tiers have to offer.
  • Adds up to 240 additional games. These include PS3 games available via cloud streaming as well as a catalog of original PlayStation, PS2, and PSP games. These are available both for download and streaming.
  • Offers cloud streaming access for original PlayStation, PS2, PSP and PS4 games offered in the Extra and Premium tiers in markets** where PlayStation Now is currently available. Customers can stream games using PS4 and PS5 consoles, and PC.
  • Time-limited game trials will also be offered in this tier, so customers can try select games before they buy.

Pricing are as follows:

  • United States — US$ 17.99 monthly / US$ 49.99 quarterly / US$ 119.99 yearly
  • United Kingdom — £13.49 monthly / £39.99 quarterly / £99.99 yearly
  • Japan — ¥1,550 – monthly / ¥4,300 – quarterly / ¥10,250 yearly

Deluxe

As mentioned earlier, Deluxe will be offered to markets without cloud streaming. It has the exact same benefits as Premium but games will only be available for download instead of streaming.

Pricing are as follows:

  • Singapore — SG$ 15.90 monthly / SG$ 40.90 quarterly / SG$ 103.90 yearly
  • Hong Kong — HK$ 85 monthly / HK$ 239 quarterly / HK$ 599 yearly
  • Malaysia — MYR 50 monthly / MYR 130 quarterly / MYR 309 yearly

How is it different from Game Pass?

Both subscriptions, especially the top tier ones (PlayStation Plus Premium | Deluxe, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate) open players up to a back catalog of games on the corresponding consoles. The biggest advantage on Game Pass is that new releases are immediately available at launch. This type of access was not mentioned on the PlayStation Blog.

Accessories

Razer introduces two new Ornata V3 keyboards

Slim, clicky, and ergonomic

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Ornata V3

Razer is releasing two new entry-level gaming keyboards in the Ornata V3 and Ornata V3 X, which will both have Razer’s Mecha-membrane switches.

The new keyboards come with all the basics expected of an affordable gaming accessory. That’s everything from their keycaps design, RGB backlight, and more.

The two low-profile gaming keyboards come with smaller footprint and slimline keycap designs. The ABS keycaps are UV-coated for scratch resistance, while the Ornata V3 X’s keycaps are spill-resistant.

The keyboards also feature Razer Chroma RGB with 10 lighting zones. The V3 X has four lighting effects: Breathing, Spectrum Cycling, Static, and Wave.

Aside from these, they have backlit dedicated media keys for more convenient controls such as playing and pausing, skipping, or adjusting brightness or volume.

Adding value to the Ornata V3 and V3 X is their magnetic soft-touch wrists rest. These are not often included for keyboards in their price range.

Pricing, availability

The Razer Ornata V3 and Ornata V3 X keyboards are now available on Razer’s official website, Shopee, Lazada, and through their authorized sellers.

The Ornata V3 will retail for PhP 2,590 while the Ornata V3 X is priced at PhP 4,199.

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Accessories

SteelSeries unveils Arctis Nova Pro series

The almighty future of audio

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Arctis Nova Pro

SteelSeries has released the Arctis Nova Pro series. It’s latest and most advanced gaming and esports headsets yet from the company.

The series has two variants — the Arctis Nova Pro and Arctis Nova Pro Wireless. The new series is enhanced by SteelSeries’ Sonar Audio Software Suite. It helps deliver the ultimate sound quality and clarity.

The software is the first in-gaming Pro-grade Parametric EQ which gives gamers even more control over sound across games, team chat, and the microphone and allows them to adjust individual frequencies on the fly seamlessly.

Both variants come with immersive 360° Spatial Audio which is fully compatible with Tempest 3D audio for PS5 or Microsoft Spatial Sound.

They also feature Multi-System Connect which allows users to switch between platforms easily. Complementing the next-level sound experience is an AI-powered noise cancelling and broadcast-quality bidirectional microphone.

Price and availability

The Arctis Nova Pro will retail for US$ 279.99 for both the PC/PlayStation and Xbox options, while the Arctis Nova Pro Wireless is priced at US$ 379.99.

In Singapore, pricing are as follows:

  • Arctis Nova Pro – SG$ 439
  • Arctis Nova Pro (Xbox) – SG$ 449 (available in Sep 2022)
  • Arctis Nova Pro Wireless – SG$ 599 (available in Sep 2022)
  • Arctis Nova Pro Wireless (Xbox) – SG $620

There are also booster packs for users to be able to customize the headsets with headbands and metallic color speaker plates of their choice.

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Gaming

Final Fantasy XVI producer reveals game details in interview

Things just got more exciting

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Final Fantasy XVI

Ever since the announcement of Final Fantasy XVI a few years back, enthusiasts have been on the edge of their seats in anticipation how exactly the latest installment in the popular video game franchise would look like.

Now, no less than producer Naoki Yoshida is teasing us all with even more details for what is there to expect before FFXVI releases officially in the summer of 2023 exclusively on PS5.

Here’s a quick rundown of the highlights of his latest interview regarding FFXVI.

FFXVI won’t be traditional open world

Unlike previous iterations of Final Fantasy, the upcoming video game is going in a different direction as it will not be open world, surprisingly.

Instead, it will be an “independent area-based game design”. Still, Yoshida did give away that it will take a lot of inspiration from “triple-A open world RPGs” to allow players to experience the game on a “global scale”.

Clive’s got company — making battles more interesting

Prior to Yoshida’s interviews, players have been expecting FFXVI’s protagonist, Clive, to be a solo fighter which meant that the game would have been a single-player type for the first time.

But apparently, Clive’s got company — other characters who will fight alongside him but will be AI-controlled, according to Yoshida.

Something that will also resonate uniquely with players will be the Eikon-versus-Eikon battles. Players will be able to control an Eikon in real-time and engage with another Eikon.

Yoshida recalled the original Final Fantasy in making XVI

Citing the importance of making each of Final Fantasy’s releases true to its essence, Yoshida mentioned that he went to as far as thinking about the original Final Fantasy and remembering how it felt like while playing the lead role.

He said that he “wanted to recapture that feeling in XVI”, plus the advancements in technology and modern game design.

This is something Yoshida hopes could turn into reality for people to look forward to.

The game is almost ready as of the moment

Yoshida also mentioned that in terms of progress, the game is “fully playable from start to finish” already. 

As it stands, it looks like voice-overs in different languages are currently the focus as of the moment, as well as finetuning to make sure there are no bugs or glitches.

Since FFXVI is full of action, it is only natural for the developers to have it undergo several tests to ensure smooth gameplay.

A third trailer will drop later in 2022

Lastly, a third trailer that will succeed the “Dominance” trailer released a month ago will drop this fall.

That will surely excite players even more as they get closer and closer to Final Fantasy XVI’s launch next year.

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