Gaming

Sony PS4 Pro launches today

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Don’t be surprised to see a line of giddy people snake around electronics stores; they’ve waited long enough. Sony’s PlayStation 4 Pro launches today in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K., laying out its vision for the future of console gaming.

And that future will be built on the backs of 4K and HDR games and video-streaming services. The PS4 Pro isn’t a completely new system, but rather a mid-life cycle refresh meant to deliver a better gaming experience, visually at least (because technology permits it, and because Sony’s TV business could profit greatly from the new console).


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The Pro is meant to bring eye-melting graphics to existing and future PlayStation 4 titles by rendering them at super-sharp 4K resolution and applying a fresh coat of colorful paint on them.

To get the job done, it’s got a custom AMD processor that delivers around 4.20 teraflops of graphics performance, or more than twice the power the standard PlayStation 4 can muster. Also on deck are a 1TB hard drive and a port for 4K HDMI out.

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2016 PS4 (left) and PS4 Pro (right)

However, it’s important to note that while Sony says the Pro is capable of running games natively at 4K, the console only upscales current titles at the moment. Curiously enough, it has skipped support for physical 4K Blu-ray discs, whereas the Xbox One S system it competes with doubles as a Blu-ray player.

Games that support 4K upscaling at launch include Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, Battlefield 1, and The Last of Us: Remastered. The full list can be found on the PlayStation Blog.

The PS4 Pro retails for $399.

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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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