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.

Gaming

Genki finally gives us Bluetooth audio support for the Nintendo Switch

It’s about time!

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When I first bought a Switch, I knew I was getting the best-possible mobile gaming experience available today. However, my high hopes suddenly went downhill once I realized there’s no way of connecting my favorite Bluetooth headphones.

That’s right: Despite being designed for gaming on the go, the Switch has no way of accepting any form of Bluetooth audio — a feature that’s been present on smartphones and other gaming consoles for ages.

If you want sound outside of the built-in stereo speakers, you’d have to connect your headphones or portable speaker to the 3.5mm port. That’s not too bad, but it goes against the truly wireless era smartphones and mobile gadgets are (forcefully) ushering us into.

This is where Genki comes in. It’s a straightforward dongle that plugs into the USB-C port of the Switch and enables you to connect any Bluetooth audio device to the Nintendo console.

What’s great is that Genki draws minimal power from the console and can even provide sound to two devices at once thanks to the power of Bluetooth 5.0.

This is a simple solution to a problem Nintendo should’ve addressed long time ago. The Switch has been available for over a year now, and no first-party accessories have been released to add Bluetooth support.

It’s currently being funded on Kickstarter with only four days left to reach it’s US$ 30,000 goal. Clearly, people are seeing the need for Genki, since it has already amassed nearly US$ 400,000 as of writing!

There’s still time to pledge, but the cheapest US$ 29 deal is already gone and the US$ 49 Day One Edition is also no longer available. The estimated delivery date is October 2018.

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Gaming

Dell G7 and G3 gaming laptops launch in Singapore

Dell steps up its gaming series

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The newest gaming laptops of Dell, specifically the Dell G3 and Dell G7, are reaching more consumers with another Southeast Asian launch shortly after its formal announcement in the Philippines.

Both Dell G-series notebooks officially launched in Singapore. They feature 15-inch IPS displays packed in a gaming-forward chassis. The new laptops are powered by eight-generation Intel Core processors with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 10-series graphics.

The Dell G3 is the company’s thinnest gaming laptop to date with a slim 22.7mm profile for gaming on the go. It comes with SmartByte software that prioritizes gaming and video performance over Wi-Fi networks. It’ll be available in three color options: Licorice Black, Recon Blue, and Alpine White.

Dell G7 in Alpine White

The Dell G7 is a more powerful option and has a distinct design compared to other gaming notebooks in the market. It features a GeForce GTX 1060 with Max-Q design and 6GB of DDR5 memory. It even has an option for an eight-generation Intel Core i9 processor and a UHD display if you want to have the best-possible configuration. The Dell G7 is available in either Licorice Black or Alpine White.

As for pricing, the Dell G3 (15-inch) starts at SG$ 1,199 while the Dell G7 (15-inch) is from SG$ 1,699. Both G-series gaming laptops are now available through Dell stores and authorized partners in Singapore.

SEE ALSO: Dell’s new laptops offer a lot of customization for office work

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Gaming

Special Edition Nintendo 2DS XL features Animal Crossing, Mario Kart 7, Minecraft

They’re looking pretty good

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Breaking news, everyone! Nintendo is coming out with special editions of the Nintendo 2DS XL and they feature the games that we all love to play on it.

There’s a The Animal Crossing: New Leaf version and it’s looking good. 👀

The game-themed console features details straight out of New Leaf! It retails for JPY 15,980 and comes pre-installed with the game.

For the Minecraft fans, fret not! There’s also a console dedicated to it.

Just looking at it gives me Minecraft creeper goosebumps! You can own this baby for JPY 16,980, and of course, it comes with the game pre-installed.

Last but not the least, there’s also a Mario Kart 7 console.

It comes in a Mario color scheme and will be priced at JPY 15,980. Again, Mario Kart 7 comes with the purchase.

If you want to get a hold of these awesome consoles, your best bet is to fly to Japan. They’ll be available in stores starting July 19. The Animal Crossing version will also be available in Europe starting July 20.

As for the rest of the world, tough luck. I leave you to ogle at these cool Nintendo 2DS XLs.

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