Gaming

Is Microsoft working on two new Xbox One consoles?

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Microsoft’s Xbox One has been playing catch up to Sony’s PlayStation 4 since the start of the current console generation in 2013. This kind of fall from grace from Microsoft is unexpected given the Xbox 360’s previous dominance over the PS3.

Many critics say the biggest flaws of the Xbox One boil down to two things: It’s underpowered compared to Sony’s video-game console; and, it’s big as hell.


It’s true that the Xbox One is much larger than the PS4, party because Microsoft wanted it to have better heat tolerance than its predecessor, especially after last generation’s “red ring of death” fiasco. It’s also true that the modern Xbox is lacking on the performance front, with games like Call of Duty: Black Ops 3, Destiny, and Metal Gear Solid V all running better on the PS4, which has a faster graphics processor.

Microsoft is well aware that many gamers aren’t big fans of its console, and the company is hoping to fix the problem before it’s too late. A new report from Kotaku claims Microsoft will launch a cheaper and slimmer Xbox One before the end of 2016.

And in 2017, it will be releasing a more powerful version of the console. Kotaku said the 2017 Xbox One, codenamed “Scorpio,” will have an upgraded GPU capable of supporting Facebook’s Oculus Rift. To that end, Microsoft is also rumored to be pursuing a partnership with the makers of the popular VR headset.

These latest developments look to keep the console maker in step with Sony’s future plans involving PlayStation VR and PlayStation Neo, a better version of the PlayStation 4 Sony has been reportedly working on.

Could a new Xbox One be Microsoft’s new lease on life? Will 2017 be the year of the Xbox? These questions, and more, will likely be addressed at Microsoft’s E3 press conference on June 13.

So, what are your thoughts on a potentially cheaper and slimmer Xbox One and an Xbox One refresh? Sound off in the comments below.

[irp posts=”2962" name=”E3 2016: Meet the Xbox One S”]

Gaming

Playdate is a handheld gaming system with a crank

Yes, an actual crank

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If you’re bored of the current gaming console landscape or are simply waiting for the next-gen PlayStation to come out, there’s this new handheld system that might keep you a little busy.

From a company named Panic, which is known for developing the popular game Firewatch, comes the Playdate. It may seem like a simple gaming system at first, but look to its right and you’ll see its defining feature: a crank.


The developer says that some titles will use this analog controller exclusively, while some won’t at all (which, to me, sorta defeats the purpose of placing that game on this console). Everything will be played on its monochrome screen with no backlighting.

You can see it in action here:

The spin here is that the Playdate will come with a subscription of 12 games — delivered to you once a week for 12 weeks. It’s part of the initial cost of US$ 149, but there’s no word yet if there’ll be subscriptions after that and how much they’ll cost.

Each game will be a surprise, which may or not be a good thing. Spending this much on an unproven console — and possibly more for succeeding subscriptions — could end up becoming a costly risk.

Orders will be accepted later this year, while actual shipping will happen in early 2020. For now, you can sign up through the official website to receive updates on its progress.

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Gaming

Here’s an early look at the Sony PS5’s raw performance

Spoiler: It’s fast!

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Even though Sony dished out some early info on the upcoming PlayStation 5 (should they choose to stick to the numbered naming scheme) and revealed that it’s more than just a mere upgrade, we don’t have any tangible data on what exactly to expect.

Fortunately, Wall Street Journal tech reporter Takashi Mochizuki was present at Sony’s most recent gaming presentation and had this video to show us:


What you see here is a comparison between the loading times of the PS5 and PS4 Pro. Make no mistake here: The next-generation console is incredibly fast! A lot of credit must be given to the built-in SSD the PS5 will ship with.

This should be taken with a grain of salt, however. Tech demos are often fixed to make the newer (and more expensive) product seem superior. To the next-gen console’s credit, it’ll come with the latest eight-core Ryzen chip and a custom GPU from AMD’s Radeon Navi, which are capable of 8K gaming and ray tracing when put together.

Sadly, we still don’t have a release date and Sony won’t announce anything at E3 next month. For now, savor your PS4 and its growing library of classics.

Via: Kotaku

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Apps

Minecraft Earth is like Pokémon Go but with building blocks

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In a move that makes loads of sense, Minecraft is coming to mobile though an augmented reality app similar to Pokémon Go.

It’s called Minecraft Earth and it’s arriving later this year with a beta phase happening during summer. The developers offered this trailer, but it does little to explain how the system would work.


Check it out:

The official website’s FAQ section, however, delves into more of the info we actually care about.

For one, it’ll be free to play and will include several of Minecraft‘s traditional features including world building and discovering/fighting mobs.

Concerning regional availability, the developers aren’t confirming these details just yet. If it’s anything like the issues Niantic experienced with Pokémon Go before, chances are this rollout will be gradual, too.

Finally, for the “Will Minecraft Earth have loot boxes?” question, the website has a definite “No” to answer that.

Minecraft Earth will be available on both Android and iOS. Fingers crossed that there’ll be no delays. 🤞

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