Gaming

Best TVs for the PS5 and Xbox Series X

Be ready for the Next Gen consoles

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With Sony PlayStation finally unveiling what the PS5 looks like, the conversation around the Next Gen consoles has once again gained momentum. For sure, you’re going to buy either the PS5 or the Xbox Series X, but what TV should you get along with it?

One of the key specifications of the next gen consoles is improved graphics quality with support for up to 8K graphics, and 4K graphics at 120Hz refresh rate. It stands to reason that you’ll need a TV that can take advantage of these features.

One key specification to look for in your next-gen console TV companion is HDMI 2.1. HDMI 2.1 enables a host of features that are beneficial for gamers. These include, but are not limited to the following:

  • 4K at 120Hz (vs to [email protected] with HDMI 2.0)
  • Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) — enables FreeSync and G-SYNC like the ones on gaming monitors for reduced screen tearing.
  • Up to 10K Resolution
  • 48 Gbps Bandwidth (vs to 18 Gbps with HDMI 2.0)
  • Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) or ‘Game Mode’

Naturally, every TV that’s listed here has that particular specification. These TVs also have a ‘Game Mode’ that’s supposed to optimize your entire gaming experience.

We haven’t used any of these TVs ourselves, but based on collected opinions from other websites as well friends and colleagues who have tried some of these TVs, these are what we ended up with.

Best Overall — LG B9 OLED Ultra HD 4K TV

While researching this topic, the LG B9 is the specific TV that kept coming up. You have two size options — 55” and 65” and a host of AI features thanks to its A7 processor (Picture, Brightness, Sound, Sound Tuning).

Based on experience (we have an 65” LG TV in the GadgetMatch HQ), WebOS is pretty fluid to use, and LG has taken extra care to make sure cable management is properly handled.

At US$ 1599/ PhP 79,999 it’s actually a pretty sweet deal considering all the high-end features you’re getting.

Best 8K — QLED 8K Q950TS (2020)

If you’re looking towards the future, have some serious cash to burn, and a considerably wide enough space, consider getting this future-ready 8K QLED TV by Samsung.

We’ve talked lengthily about Samsung’s 2019 8K QLED TV. So this is essentially that but with a few improvements, chief of which is the Infinity Screen. This is a bezel-less beauty and one that looks absolutely premium.

This 85” massive TV that should look good as your primary home entertainment hub retails for US$ 12,999.99. Samsung does have other 8K QLED TV options for much less than that which we’ll list later on.

Everything else 

LG

Name Size/s Price
LG GX 65 inch 4K Smart OLED TV 65” TBA
LG CX 4K Smart OLED TV 77”, 65”, 55” TBA
LG NanoCell 8K 75NANO98PNA 75” TBA
LG C9 OLED55C9PPA 55”, 65” US$ 2,499 (Special deal US$ 1,499 at time of writing)

PhP 142,990 (Special deal PhP 99,990 at time of writing)

LG OLED 4K OLED65E9PPA 65” US$ 2,199
LG NanoCell 65SM9000PPA 65” TBA

SAMSUNG

Name Size/s Price
Samsung QLED 8K Q800T 65” N/A
Samsung QLED 8K Q900R 82”, 98” Starts at PhP 4,990,000
Samsung QLED 8K Q900TS 65”, 75”, 85” Starts at US$ 5,499.99

SONY

Name Size/s Price
Sony Z9G 8K 85”, 98” Starts at US$ 7,999.99
Sony Z8H 4K 75”, 85” Starts at US$ 5,999.99
Sony X900H 4K 55”, 65”, 75”, 85” Starts at US$ 999.99

VIZIO also recently had their 2020 Summer Showcase which listed a bunch of TVs with support for HDMI 2.1. In the Philippines, we were told that XTREME’s S-Series of TVs are all equipped with that feature.

It’s worthwhile to note that whatever UHD TV with HDMI input you have should work fine with the next generation consoles. The ones listed here are just the TVs especially equipped to take advantage of all that next gen goodness.

We’ve reached out to other brands to confirm which of their TVs have HDMI 2.1 so look for this list to be updated once we get their confirmation.

H/T: Premium Builds/ Tom’s Guide/ IGN/ Rtings

Gaming

Forspoken review: Outspoken with little to speak of

Wait for a sale

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Forspoken

It doesn’t take a lot to create a decent roleplaying game. All you need is a fish-out-of-water character, a vast open map, and a seemingly endless list of objectives. Though it has all three, Forspoken struggles to keep up with its pretenses as a Western roleplaying game.

First, the good

Credit to where it’s due, Forspoken is a fun game for the first few sections. Exploring the incredibly huge map with magical parkour is enjoyable. Eclipsed only by Elden Ring’s Torrent, magic parkour is one of the most innovative ways to quickly traverse large distances, especially after learning more advanced techniques.

Likewise, fighting balanced enemies with limited powers provides enough of a challenge to keep players on their toes in Athia. Neither the player nor the first enemies feel overpowered.

Unfortunately, the game’s novelty quickly evaporates after you figure out that you have to repeat the same motions dozens upon dozens of times. Forspoken’s map is much larger than it ever should have been. Though abundant in number, every point of interest is separated by large distances, some platforming challenges, and a battle sequence. The greater map is empty. Do this over and over, and the game gets stale quick. With adequate rewards, this shouldn’t be a problem, but Forspoken also suffers from a communication issue.

A communication issue

For most roleplaying games, completing an objective on the map usually nets palpable rewards for the player: a significant experience boost, new skills, new gear, or a bag of loot. An open-world game necessitates a lot of exploring. Even if a game is repetitive, earning substantial rewards is satisfying, at least. Forspoken does not have this — not in an easily discernible way, at least.

Treasure chests, which account for most of the points of interest on the map, reward players with a litany of crafting materials. Most of which will go unused because the game doesn’t easily tell players how to use them. After a dozen hours of collecting materials, I had a wealthy cache of each ingredient to make practically anything. Even then, I had little idea where each one went.

The map’s major rewards — new cloaks, new nail arts, and experience — also do little to explain how Frey improves with each completed objective. Clearing out an enemy camp, for example, rewards players with +1 magic. The game does not tell you how much damage that conveys. Certainly, after completing a few of these, Frey feels stronger, but it’s not easy to see how much stronger, especially when most enemies are bullet sponges with absurd health pools anyway.

Plus, these don’t even scratch the surface of objectives wherein the main reward is literally just a lore dump you have to read from a menu.

Forspoken

Difficulty shouldn’t always mean more enemies

Another issue with clearing out Athia’s large map is how Forspoken handles difficulty. Though there are options to adjust difficulty, the game relies on a limited bag of tricks to make it more difficult for players: increasing enemy health and quantity. In moderation, relying on this strategy works. However, Forspoken does this to an obnoxious level.

Prepare to fight five mini-bosses in one encounter for a lore entry. What compounds this issue more is an insane enemy health pool which causes encounters to last a lot longer than they should. One mini-boss encounter took me 15 minutes, even with appropriately leveled gear and the right spells.

Because of the sheer number of enemies, an encounter can stun-lock Frey for an absurd amount of time. The player can hardly prevent this since it relies on chance. Despite offering a wide array of moves, the risk of knockbacks shoehorn players into a slow run-and-gun tactic (which might not even play into an enemy’s weaknesses), instead of using each ability to the max.

On paper, Forspoken’s combat offers a fluid way to take down enemies by seamlessly switching between spells and moving through the battlefield with magic parkour. Unfortunately, an imbalance in enemy strategies bogs the game down in prolonged sequences that often reward players with only middling boosts.

Forspoken

A lack of optimization

For a game released on modern hardware, Forspoken took a while to launch. The game was delayed a few times. Given how delays often work, you’d think that it would release in a fairly optimized state. It’s not.

Though I haven’t hit major game-breaking bugs, there were a number of performance dips throughout the game. Even on performance-focused settings, framerates dropped to a standstill when there were high particle effects on screen. Frey constantly clipped through the terrain and found herself stuck on finnicky edges (which sometimes required reloading from previous saves).

The game is also dragged down by numerous cutscenes. Though not a bug per se, it’s not a great sign of optimization that the game has to pause for a cutscene just to show enemies arriving. For a game featuring fluid movement and combat, Forspoken often takes players out of the action by pausing for unnecessary cutscenes.

Forspoken

Better on sale

Overall, Forspoken is persistently flawed. However, amid the game’s shortcomings, the title still has an exciting combat and movement system. Plus, if you disregard the tedious open world, Forspoken’s linear story, featuring the wide range of abilities, are enjoyable. My interest always bounces back after beating one of the game’s main bosses.

Still, it’s hard to call Forspoken a game worthy of its AAA price tag. It might be better to wait for a discount.

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Gaming

The free PlayStation Plus Collection is going away

Iconic titles will no longer be available

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Gaming subscriptions have brought a wave of notable titles to gamers on several platforms. However, as streaming platforms have shown as of late, subscription-locked content can disappear in an instant. In a surprise move, Sony is putting an end to its iconic PlayStation Plus Collection.

Back in 2020, Sony’s subscription service added the PlayStation Plus Collection, an easy way to play all of the most iconic titles of the past era. By paying for the monthly fee, players can access titles such as God of War and Bloodborne.

Surprisingly, Sony has announced that PlayStation Plus will no longer offer the PlayStation Plus Collection starting on May 9. Before then, subscribers can avail themselves of the titles and keep them in their libraries. Players who do so before May will keep their access to them as long as they are a subscriber.

After May 9, the subscription service will no longer offer these titles for free. Players have to buy them individually.

The cancellation is a monumental change for the subscription service. The current games catalog already features a revolving series of titles changing monthly. The Collection, which has featured the platform’s bestsellers over the years, was thought to be untouchable. It already made the price of admission worth it. That’s no longer the case.

The Collection, as it is now, includes: Batman: Arkham Knight, Battlefield 1, Bloodborne, Call of Duty: Black Ops 3, Crash Bandicoot: N-Sane Trilogy, Days Gone, Detroit: Become Human, Fallout 4, Final Fantasy XV: Royal Edition, God of War, Infamous: Second Son, Monster Hunter: World, Mortal Kombat X, Persona 5, Ratchet & Clank, Resident Evil VII, The Last Guardian, The Last of Us Remastered, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, and Until Dawn.

SEE ALSO: It’s easier to get a PlayStation 5 now, Sony says

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Gaming

Sony, Xbox, Nintendo are skipping E3 2023

Might hold their own events

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E3 used to be one of the most anticipated showcases for the gaming community. However, since the pandemic, the event’s impact gradually shrank especially because of in-person cancellations. Now, despite the return of in-person events, E3 still has a massive uphill climb to bounce back from the past. This year, Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo have officially pulled out from the event.

For the first time in four years, E3 is holding an in-person event at the Los Angeles Convention Center this June. Unfortunately, according to IGN, three of the biggest companies to grace the show floor will not make an appearance for the event this year.

In an interview with the source, Microsoft says that Xbox will still hold a showcase around the same time. However, the company will likely skip the floor itself and hold its event concurrently in another location.

IGN also reports that Sony and Nintendo will follow in Microsoft’s footsteps and skip E3 this year. Nintendo usually holds its own Direct events online. Holding its own outside of an in-person event is just what you’d expect for the Switch’s growing library of games.

Sony, on the other hand, has not shared any official plans during June’s showcase yet. If anything, the PlayStation 5 is in for an optimistic year, given the console’s upcoming games. An exclusive event sounds possible, too.

SEE ALSO: E3 is finally returning to in-person events next year

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