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

The ASUS ROG Zephyrus S GX701 is now available

The first laptop with a whopping 300Hz refresh rate

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ASUS ROG continues to roll out more premium gaming devices, with the latest one coming from the Zephyrus lineup. The two new Zephyrus laptops now come with the highest refresh rate on any device along with powerful hardware.

Starting today, you can get your hands on the new ASUS ROG Zephyrus S GX701. The new  Zephyrus S comes with a 17.3-inch IPS FHD display with a whopping 300Hz refresh rate. To complement this high of a refresh rate, ASUS ROG even slapped in either an NVIDIA RTX 2070 or NVIDIA RTX 2080 inside. Along with the latest Intel Core i7 processor inside, the ROG Zephyrus S GX701 looks to be the ideal gaming laptop for the pros.

Depending on the unit you get, you also get up to 32 GB of RAM and 1TB of SSD storage. All of these contribute to unparalleled performance for any task you throw at it, or any game you throw at it. Both units also come with Gigabit WiFi adapters for better wireless connectivity and Bluetooth 5.0. When you purchase the whole package, you also get a free ROG Backpack, Cerberus Gaming Headset, teh ROG Gladius II, and an ROG Eye webcam.

The ASUS ROG Zephyrus S GX701 is available in all ASUS and ASUS ROG Concept Stores. The 32GB RAM, RTX 2080 unit is priced at PhP 209,995, while the 16GB RAM, RTX 2070 unit comes in at PhP 169,995.

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Gaming

FFVII remake teasers now comes with behind the scenes footage

A look into the iconic theme song and squad

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A delay in release did not stop Square Enix from teasing Final Fantasy fans even more. This time, however, the company is  just giving us two things to prepare our minds and hearts for the remake.

The first one, as you’ve seen from the header image, an HD recreation of Cloud Strife and his trusty motorcycle. An entire cast literally joins him in the picture, including Aerith, Tifa, Barret, and even Red XIII. Looks like this is just feeding more details on character art, more than anything else.

The second one is actually a behind-the-scenes look into the end theme of the whole remake. Nobuo Uematsu guides us through the creative process behind the end theme, including the recording sessions for it. To see more of it, here’s the entire behind-the-scenes footage:

Square Enix’ remake of Final Fantasy VII will be released on April 10, 2020. It will only be available for the PlayStation 4, and pre-orders are still being accepted.

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Apps

NVIDIA’s GeForce Now is ready for gamers

Another cloud gaming competitor

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NVIDIA’s game streaming service, GeForce NOW, is ready for gamers looking for alternatives to Google’s Stadia and Microsoft XCloud. NVIDIA is looking at its support for more devices and compatibility with existing game stores as its edge against competitors.

Luring in gamers

NVIDIA GeForce NOW is now available for general audience after it entered beta last year. Starting today, gamers can opt for either of the two tiers: Free and Founders.

Gamers on Free tier have to contend with a one-hour gameplay limit. Plus, they maybe put on a wait list for a certain game if there is too much demand. Meanwhile, gamers on Founders tier have priority access to games, a six-hour gameplay limit, and support for RTX.

Unlike its competitors, NVIDIA’s game streaming service supports more devices. It is available now in Windows, macOS, Android and SHIELD TV platform, with Chromebook support coming in the future.

This game streaming service also works differently than Google’s Stadia and Microsoft’s XCloud. It streams supported games from the Steam library, Epic Games Store, Battle.net, and Uplay.

There is no need to purchase a game as gamers can simply stream it if the service supports it. Smooth gameplay is guaranteed with support of up to 1080 at 60FPS.

Pricing and availability

GeForce NOW is available on all 30 countries across North America and Europe. Beta users are migrated automatically. For those planning to pay for the Founders tier, they will only have to shell out US$ 4.99 per month.

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