Gaming

ASUS ROG Phone 3 launches, has 144Hz refresh rate

ROG refines its mobile gaming machine

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The ROG Phone has been top of mind in the past year whenever someone thinks about a mobile gaming device. ASUS wants a firm grip on that recognition with the launch of the ASUS ROG Phone 3.

As the third generation iteration of this product line, there aren’t any significant, jump out of your seat, wow levels of new things. Instead, the ROG Phone 3 is a refinement of their formula.

Let’s jump right into the specs. It was earlier announced that the phone will be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus. It’s currently Qualcomm’s best and has an array feature geared towards “elite gaming.”

Elsewhere on the phone, it’s all about delivering the best. Naturally, the specs have been maxed out. Here’s a quick rundown:

  • 6.44-inch OLED display with a 144Hz refresh rate
  • Up to 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM
  • Up to 512GB of UFS 3.1 Storage
  • 6000mAh battery with a bundled 30W HyperCharge Adapter
  • Air Triggers with Enhanced Touch Gestures
  • Dual Front Facing Speakers

These are all par for the course and exactly the kind of specs we expected. In many ways, the ROG Phone 3 is a refresh of the ROG Phone 2 with minor noticeable changes — for good reason.

In terms of look, they toned the ASUS ROG Phone 3 down even more, getting rid of the cutouts that mimic the look of certain ROG laptops. The copper cooling vent has been replaced with a single sheet of glass with a transparent window to show off the AeroDynamic Cooling System.

The more understated, but still undeniably gaming look is in line, not only with their ROG line of laptops, but pretty much most gaming laptops of late. Gone are the bulky, over-the-top gaming look for something that looks a bit more subtle.

In terms of form factor and port placements, everything has largely remained the same. ASUS says this was intentional to make sure it remains compatible with existing accessories. That’s a really thoughtful approach.

Peripherals and accessories

Speaking of accessories, the ASUS ROG Phone 3 will come with the usual AeroActive Cooler 3 accessory. It’s a cooling device that now does more.

It now has a kicks stand so you can prop up the phone with the accessory on. ASUS also took away the 3.5mm audio jack from the phone — but this is still accessible with the AeroActive Cooler 3.

As mentioned, it will work with previous generations of peripherals. If you have the entire suite from either the ROG Phone or ROG Phone 2, it’ll work seamlessly with the ROG Phone 3.

The new accessory coming to the ROG Phone 3 is one that will let you connect your phone to any existing game controller you have lying round. It can be the Xbox Controller, DualShock 4 (PS4), or the Google Stadia controller — all will work with the phone with this new accessory.

Armory Crate, Game Genie

Also making an expected return are the gaming-related software baked into the phone. These are the Armory Crate and Game Genie.

Anyone who’s ever owned an ROG laptop should be familiar with this tool. With it you can customize how much power each core uses for certain tasks. You can also modify things like RGB lighthing, fan speed, as well as game controls.

Game Genie is like your mobile gaming assistant. Fire it up and it sends you into this interface where you can toggle all the games you have installed. It’s like having a console interface right on your phone.

It also lets you control the notifications you get while gaming and is also your tool in case you want to stream. You can stream directly on YouTube, but at the moment, Twitch is a no go. This is because there are still issues with Twitch’s API that need to be addressed first.

As for the UI, you can opt for the more stock Android experience, or you can embrace the whole gaming concept and go with the gaming skin. Like on the ROG Phone 2, it comes in two variations — one in black and one in white.

Again, like last year, if you have the Lightning Armor Case it’ll give you access to yet another variant of the gaming UI. Neat.

Solid cameras

From dual cameras, the ASUS ROG Phone 3 now sports a triple camera setup. They bumped the main sensor from 48MP to 64MP. And now it’s flanked by a 13MP ultra wide angle lens and a 5MP macro camera.

These likely won’t be competing against the likes of the Huawei P40 Pro/ P40 Pro+ or even the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra, but unlike the very first iteration of the ROG Phone, these cameras should be capable. Not stellar, but pretty solid.

Pricing and availability

The ASUS ROG Phone 3 will come in three variants. They are as follows:

12GB + 512GB — EUR 999
16GB + 512GB — EUR 1099
8GB + 256GB (Strix Edition) — EUR 799

Pricing in other markets will be revealed as they launch on these respective markets.

Gaming

Ubisoft offers Far Cry 5 for free this weekend

Experience the violence in Hope County for a limited time only

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Ubisoft has another weekend offering for everyone, focusing more on their popular franchises. In previous offerings, they gave players one whole weekend to play games such as Assassin’s Creed Origins for free. As such, any progress accumulated will carry over when you purchase the game. This time around, they’re offering the same mechanics to those who wish to play Far Cry 5 this weekend.

For those who are still unaware, Far Cry 5 is the fifth installment in one of Ubisoft’s most popular first-person shooter franchise. The game tackles socio-political and religious topics as you play a Deputy in Hope County, Montana attempting to detain Joseph Seed. Throughout the game, you will encounter members of Seed’s congregation, the Eden’s Gate, who will stop at nothing to see a prophecy fulfilled.

From August 5-9, 2021, Ubisoft is offering players for the PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S access to Far Cry 5 for free. For each platform, here are the timings:

  • Ubisoft Store (PC) – August 5, 9 PM
  • Epic Games Store (PC) – August 6, 1 AM
  • PlayStation Store (PS4, PS5) – August 5, 3:01 PM
  • Microsoft Store (Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One) – August 5, 3:01 PM

 

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Gaming

Horizon Forbidden West reportedly delayed to 2022

Another delay this year

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Horizon Forbidden West

When the console was announced last year, the PlayStation 5 revealed an impressive lineup of games coming for the next generation. The list included highly anticipated sequels to popular PlayStation 4 titles likes Spider-Man: Miles Morales, God of War Ragnarok, and Horizon Forbidden West. However, because of some reason or another, the titles were delayed beyond the near future. Unfortunately, one of the titles, Horizon Forbidden West, is reportedly delayed once again.

According to Bloomberg, the title is now set for a release sometime in 2022, rather than its formerly projected timeframe for this year’s holiday season. The report does not reveal what the reason is for such a delay. If anything, it’s not the first delay for the gaming industry this year. The games’ respective developers have also reportedly delayed God of War Ragnarok and Gran Turismo 7.

Of note, however, the supposed delay hasn’t been officially announced yet. There’s still a chance that the game is coming this year.

Even if the game is truly delayed to next year, 2022 is looking like a great year for PlayStation gamers. Besides the aforementioned games, another title announced during the console’s launch event, Stray, is also coming next year. The delays, at least, compensate for the still-ongoing chip and console shortages plaguing the industry today.

SEE ALSO: Horizon Zero Dawn’s Aloy is coming to Genshin Impact

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Gaming

Bring out immersive FHD gaming with the AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT

A graphics card fit for the modern gamer

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AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT

For most competitive gamers, high frame rates matter in the grand scheme of things. Apart from seeing just the right amount of detail, it’s almost imperative to have more than enough frames to react to. Whether you’re playing on a 4K TV or a 1080p gaming monitor, a high frame rate keeps you locked in — something AMD is offering with its latest graphics card: the AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT.

The AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT comes with 8GB of dedicated GDDR6 VRAM, which is capable of playing most modern games at high frame rates. Built on the RDNA 2 architecture, this new GPU promises to also bring a high-fidelity and responsive gaming experience.

To achieve this, the graphics card comes with full support of AMD’s FidelityFX and Smart Access Memory technologies. Although, AMD designed it for the FHD space, meaning those with 1080p monitors will heavily benefit from this GPU.

Beginning August 11, 2021, the AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT will be available starting at US$ 379. It will be available across most global retailers and etailers.

 

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