Gaming

Xbox Series X Unboxing

Is this your next gen console?

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The next generation of console gaming is upon us. Here we’ll unbox Microsoft’s Xbox Series X.

Here’s a good look at the box.

xbox series x

On the different corners of the box, you’ll see the following details: The console’s name as well as the marks of it being next gen — 4K 120FPS and 1TB SSD.

xbox series x

Elsewhere on the box you’ll see an image of the console as well as its top features.

It opens up like so and you’ll the console neatly wrapped with this ‘Power Your Dreams’ message greeting you.

We’re gonna skip a few steps. Here’s the Xbox Series X in all its glory.

Xbox Series X

Inside, you’ll also find the “fine-tuned” Xbox Wireless Controller.

xbox series x

Cables. The one on the left is the Utlra High Speed HDMI cable (yes, that means HDMI 2.1), and your power cord.

As you may have seen from photos online, the top of the Xbox Series X has this green accent.

Here’s an even closer look.

Now, here’s the Xbox Series X with the Wireless Controller.

This doesn’t get talked about a lot but the it does have an accompanying smartphone app.

On the app, you can manage your library and stream your games to your phone. The app is available for both iOS and Android.

All right, we’re ready to play!

If you’re curious about the tech specs, here they are:

Processor

  • CPU. 8X Cores @ 3.8 GHz (3.66 GHz w/SMT) Custom Zen 2 CPU
  • GPU. 12 TFLOPS, 52 CUs @1.825 GHz Custom RDNA 2 GPU
  • SOC Die Size. 360.45 mm
  • Process. 7nm Enhanced

Memory and storage

  • Memory. 16GB GDDR6 w/320 bit-wide bus
  • Memory Bandwidth. 10GB @ 560 GB/s, 6GB @ 336 GB/s.
  • Internal Storage. 1TB Custom NVME SSD
  • I/O Throughput. 2.4 GB/s (Raw), 4.8 GB/s (Compressed, with custom hardware decompression block)
  • Expandable Storage. Support for 1TB Seagate Expansion Card for Xbox Series X|S matches internal storage exactly (sold separately). Support for USB 3.1 external HDD (sold separately).

Video capabilities

  • Gaming Resolution. True 4K
  • High Dynamic Range. Up to 8K HDR
  • Optical Drive. 4K UHD Blu-Ray
  • Performance Target. Up to 120 FPS
  • HDMI Features. Auto Low Latency Mode. HDMI Variable Refresh Rate. AMD FreeSync.

Sound capabilities

  • Dolby Digital 5.1
  • DTS 5.1
  • Dolby TrueHD with Atmos
  • Up to 7.1 L-PCM

Ports and connectivity

  • HDMI. 1x HDMI 2.1 port
  • USB. 3x USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports
  • Wireless. 802.11ac dual band
  • Ethernet. 802.3 10/100/1000
  • Accessories radio. Dedicated dual band Xbox Wireless radio.

Let us know if there’s anything specific you want to find out about the Xbox Series X. Our PlayStation 5 is also on the way so hit us up on social media if there specific things about the two next gen consoles that you want us to compare!

Computers

Lenovo unveils five new value-for-money gaming monitors

Complete with game-ready features suitable for any budget range

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Whether you’re working from home or playing games online, you need a good monitor to supplement. With the right set of features in your monitor, you can take your gameplay to the next level. However, a ton of these monitors designed for competitive play are pretty expensive. Fortunately, Lenovo Legion has a new lineup of monitors that address that.

This new lineup of gaming monitors from Lenovo bring game-ready features suited for all kinds of players. In particular, these monitors bring high refresh rates along with display technologies for smoother gameplay. From 144Hz to 240Hz, with either NVIDIA G-SYNC and AMD’s FreeSync support, these will surely bring the immersive gaming experience for everyone.

These monitors are now available in Lenovo Legion concept stores and authorized resellers nationwide. Below are the SRPs for these new gaming monitors:

Monitor Model Features SRP
Lenovo Gaming G25-10 24.5” FHD, 144Hz, G-SYNC Compatible PhP 9,995
Lenovo Gaming G27-20 27” FHD, 144Hz, G-SYNC Compatible PhP 11,995
Lenovo Gaming G27q-20 27” QHD, 165Hz, G-SYNC Compatible PhP 15,995
Lenovo Gaming G34w-10 34” WQHD, 144Hz, FreeSync Premium PhP 23,995
Lenovo Legion Y25-25 24.5” FHD, 240Hz, G-SYNC & FreeSync Premium PhP 15,995

 

SEE ALSO: Which Lenovo monitor best suits the typical gamer?

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Gaming

Nintendo developing a larger Switch with Samsung OLED screens

Coming this year

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Recently, the Nintendo Switch celebrated four years since its release back in 2017. Since then, the console has withstood various assaults from rivaling brands and outed a thriving ecosystem of games. Now that the console is a massive hit, we have to ask: When is the next Nintendo console coming out? Apparently, it might not take long. According to a new report, Nintendo is working on a larger Switch with a Samsung OLED display.

Reported by Bloomberg, the company is planning to unveil the upcoming 7-inch console sometime this year. Samsung will reportedly start producing the larger, 720p displays this June. Assemblers will then start processing the consoles in July. Additionally, when plugged into a TV, the display can supposedly put out images at 4K resolution.

If true, the upgraded console will definitely step up against the current console lineup. The regular Switch houses a 6.2-inch screen and the Switch Lite carries a 5.5-inch screen. Further, the regular Switch only puts out 720p resolution, whether it’s plugged into a TV or standing alone as a portable.

According to the source, Nintendo’s OLED plans will inch it closer to current smartphone technology. Smartphones already use OLED screens as a standard. In contrast, the Nintendo Switch is still stuck in LCD technology.

Unfortunately, though the rumored screen is impressive, the source has not revealed what type of processing power is in the console. For months, rumors have swirled around a supposed Switch Pro, a beefier beast with a more powerful processor. Sadly, no one knows if it exists yet.

If Nintendo does put out a more powerful console, the company can finally butt heads with the new generation of gaming launched last year.

SEE ALSO: Nintendo launches Mario-themed Switch version

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Gaming

I’ve lost hope in getting a next-gen console for the foreseeable future

On shortages, scalpers, and struggles from all over the place

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next-gen

If you already have any of the next-generation consoles, you may read this if you wish. But for most of us, myself included, we all shared a collective struggle to snag one of the two highly-anticipated consoles late last year. Unfortunately, such struggle continued even into the new year, even when Sony and Microsoft were pretty optimistic about it to start.

Don’t get me wrong: the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X are part of the future of console gaming. We’re talking technologies and hardware that supposedly rivals that of any gaming PC build for more than half the price. Even with a limited game library, game developers are adopting the next-gen consoles moving forward.

However, at launch, almost all units sold out in an instant — and the reasons are quite obvious. Months prior to launch, these companies stated numerous reasons for shortages on launch day. People like me were hopeful that restocking inventory would come soon enough, and would be enough for everyone all over the world.

But why are we still struggling to find a next-gen console?

Believe it or not, this struggle to simply purchase a next-generation console isn’t entirely on the industry itself. Sure, they’re running low on production staff, worldwide deliveries are a little messy right now — but that’s not 100 percent on them anyway. In case most people forgot, there’s still a COVID-19 pandemic happening in most parts of the world.

The pandemic put the video game industry on hold for a bit, as production for the next-gen consoles took a heavy hit. Because of remote working conditions and factories shutting down, Sony and Microsoft went out and said that launch day units will be scarce. I thought that they would just simply delay the launch, but nope — they still wanted to launch in November, on the exact day.

And yet, the next-gen consoles ended up being well-received by everyone — especially the ones that were either sent a unit, or successfully bought one. Both consoles sold out on launch day, mostly due to online pre-orders on Amazon, eBay, Walmart, and other retailers. Even here in the Philippines, eight retailers held online pre-orders and immediately sold out within the 5-minute window.

It’s pretty clear to me that there is a high demand for the next-gen consoles wherever you decide to buy one. However, the companies simply cannot provide regular stock as soon as possible due to a lot of factors — hardware shortage, mostly. Yet, Sony and Microsoft do their best to try and release more stock whenever possible so everyone gets an opportunity to buy one.

next-gen

What do you mean, everyone gets an opportunity?

I remember when Datablitz PH held its first online pre-order for the PlayStation 5 back in November, two weeks before the official release. On the day of the pre-order, I received the email with the link to the pre-order form and instructions on how the process goes. However, I was busy around that time, so I asked my sister to check the link for me.

Then, she texted me saying that every pre-order slot was full, even for the Digital Version. Slots went out so fast, it’s like the 5-minute window was way too long. At the moment, I had no complaints because I expected this to happen. This wasn’t the case for the rest of the internet as they took  their complaints to social media on the online pre-order system.

Another pre-order wave started, so more opportunities, right?

A second wave of pre-orders came in just last January, and I didn’t even bother with it anymore. Instead, I decided to lurk around Datablitz’s Facebook page and see the comments on their restocks and, well nothing changed. The claims were the same as the first time: bots from other buyers, while others are able to log in at an earlier time. There were even some conspiring that retailers had internal agreements with other people about it, which I don’t think is the case.

In essence, not everyone gets a “fair” opportunity at grabbing a next-gen console. It sucks that this has been a regular occurrence with premium items like this, and yet no concrete actions have been taken. But, I was thinking that maybe we’re looking at the wrong culprits here.

It isn’t the pre-order system’s fault entirely, and it’s mostly because this was an initiative by Sony and Microsoft given the pandemic situation. We’re trying to contain the virus here, and staying indoors for the most part is the best way moving forward. Still, I think they could have improved the process with every new run.

Wait, how come they have an abundance of stock of the next-gen console?

Instead, allow me to direct your attention to the scalpers themselves; you know, people selling you things for an insanely higher price. You’ve seen these people on a Facebook Marketplace or on Shopee, promoting that they have a next-gen console ready for you. Some of them even go out of their way to offer you a complete bundle to save you the hassle!

It’s not just these people that are participating in the grand sweepstakes for a next-gen console. In addition, there are also these (let’s just call them) unauthorized resellers who also somehow have stock of these consoles. While some of them do sell the console at either a fair or much lower price, there are those that don’t tell you that you have to pay extra fees for them.

PlayStation 5

In essence, these people manage to give you what you want: a next-gen console. The catch, however, is that you have to satisfy these two conditions to get it: be a sure buyer, and be ready to spend tons of money getting it. 

But, I thought that next-gen consoles were in shortage?

That’s the first thing that came to my mind when I kept seeing some of these “sellers” on social media. The fact that they have nearly tens to hundreds of units every other week just makes it hard to believe. Even when both Sony and Microsoft declared a shortage for the next couple of months, the grind continues for these “businesses.”

I say that they’re a business because these sellers claim to be such entities. They’re somehow able to capture a need present in their market, and provide the product or service to address it. As with most businesses, they determine the price such products or services are offered through extensive research and planning. For scalpers and unauthorized sellers, however, price setting is the easy part.

These entities will seek to supply everyone with as many units as possible, and they’ll find ways to procure them in bulk. You know how people were complaining that bots are taking their stock for online pre-orders? Well, some online retailers and news agencies are aware of such technologies being abused that way.

In my own experience asking one of these unauthorized sellers, they told me that they’re supposedly closely linked to the manufacturers. Also in some cases, they are not giving me a full rundown of any additional fees nor any proof of such. Yet, they expect me to simply abide by the payments since I got it for cheaper. In essence, they achieve the same thing as scalpers do by paying more than official retailers.

So, what now? Should we just wait for regular stock?

Admittedly, I’m already thinking that regular stocks of the next-gen console won’t be here for another 7-8 months or so. It’s not just because of the already announced shortages in hardware. Rather, it’s the fact that there is a higher chance that scalpers will get a hold of them first.

I feel like these companies were pretty clear on how they want the next-gen consoles to be received. In my opinion, they truly want to give everyone access to the future of gaming; that maybe you don’t need to spend insane amounts of money for crisp, clean gameplay. You know, something that you can do on a gaming PC but on a much cheaper yet strategic price tag.

PlayStation 5

Yet, these scalpers and unauthorized resellers simply want to make a profit off a need like this. Cry about it all we want, but these people exist and some people partake in their businesses. They’ve practically turned the next-gen console into a true luxury, something that the industry and some governments are trying to go against. 

I’ve lost hope in trying to get the next-gen console for this year, or possibly while the shortages are still in effect. At this point, I’d rather spend that money somewhere else, or invest it in the stock market. We could wait for regular stock all we want, but if scalpers keep getting these from us, there’s just no hope.

SEE ALSO: A somber look at the PlayStation 5 crisis

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