Gaming

Sony PlayStation VR gets global release

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Virtual reality platforms have the potential to be the future of entertainment, so it’s only natural that so many companies, like Samsung, HTC, and Facebook-owned Oculus, are getting in on the action with their own VR gear that were made available earlier this year. Sony, one of the most reputable names in the entertainment industry, is also trying to burst onto the scene.

And despite a late start, its PlayStation VR platform arguably has the best chance at winning over consumers who are willing to pay a premium for a high-end experience. And it’s all thanks to one feature: Sony’s headset will be powered (though not exclusively) by the PlayStation 4, the company’s fastest-selling gaming console, which has sold over 40 millions units since its launch in late 2013.


That’s a huge differentiator for Sony, as the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive — the PlayStation VR’s biggest rivals — both require a top-specced PC to operate. PSVR ships with a headset, plus a box that connects to the PS4 and provides additional processing muscle.

playstation vr move controller

The headset itself is pretty impressive in terms of specs; it boasts a 5.7-inch, full-resolution OLED display and supports up to 120 frames per second, which is ideal for VR. The kit won’t turn any PS4 game into a VR game, but it will have 60 different VR titles on offer at launch, among them a new Resident Evil game and Batman Arkham VR. It can also stream existing PS4 games and video content directly to the headset for a widescreen cinematic experience.

The PlayStation VR is slated for release in Australia, the U.S., the U.K., and Asia on October 13. In Sony’s home turf of Asia, the headset will launch in Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines.

playstation vr standard package

Standard PlayStation VR package

Sony’s PSVR will retail for AU$550 in Australia, $399 in the U.S., €399 in Europe, and £349 in the U.K. In Japan, it will run you 44,980 yen, while in Singapore the price of admission is 599 Singapore dollars. It will be priced at P22,900 in the Philippines, we’re told. It bears noting the standard package doesn’t include the PlayStation Move controller and the PlayStation Camera that’s necessary to have the proper VR experience.

[irp posts=”1749" name=”Microsoft HoloLens VR headset starts shipping today”]

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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