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The PS5 is Just Around the Corner- Release Date, Pricing, and So Much More

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Playstation 5 Release Date

After months of speculation and rumors, Sony has finally unveiled the new Playstation 5. The leaked images of the company’s upcoming game console are off but at least Sony has done a great job of producing quite an amazing-looking Playstation.

That being said, I know that you are interested in finding out the many different things about Sony’s upcoming console, so today, I will devote this article to providing you with the information that you need to know about the Playstation 5.

Release Date

Competition is a beautiful thing. Microsoft announced that the Xbox Series X will be released sometime during the holiday season, so Sony went a step further and announced that the PS5 will be releasing in November.

Now, you will have to wait until the console has been released in various regions because the company intends to release it in batches.

The first batch will be released on November 12 and it will only be available in the US, Canada, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand.

The rest of the world (especially in the United Kingdom) will have to wait until November 19 (just a week after the first batch’s release) to get their hands on this highly-coveted gaming machine.

Pricing

There were a lot of rumors and speculations that the new Playstation 5 will cost a lot more than its predecessor, but Mark Cerny, the lead architect and the main producer of the upcoming console, said that that is not really the case.

You see, there will be two versions that are going to be sold to the public. The first is the digital edition which will be sold for just $399. The disc edition will have a 4K Blu-ray player included and will be available for just an additional $100 (totaling $499).

To be honest, with all of its technological advancements, I am surprised that Sony priced the consoles as it is. I am willing to bet that people will be okay if the company would price it $50 more at least, seeing that the PS5 is a huge generational leap over the PS4.

Pre-orders have started since September 17, so if you want to reserve your unit, you must do so as soon as possible.

It is also worth noting that you have to confer with your retailer’s website as to when they will hold pre-orders since it will be the individual stores’ discretion to do so.

Originally, Sony had intentions of ramping up the production of the PS5 console to about 11 million units by March 2021, but because of the Covid-19 pandemic, there were some challenges that made this impossible.

Realistically, the company could produce a little over 7 million units by March of next year, so you can expect that there will be a huge chance that there will be a shortage of units sold worldwide.

Design

Playstation 5 Design

Previous mock-ups of the upcoming console made it look like an AV receiver or projector of sorts, but the upcoming PS5 actually looks more premium than that.

Instead of just a monotone color scheme, Sony went with a black and white theme where the main part of the device is black and some white flaps are placed on the sides. The flaps are shaped in a way that forms the letter ‘V’ which could be seen as a representation that the console is in its 5th generation.

As mentioned earlier, there will be two versions of the upcoming console- one that is completely digital and the other one having a 4K Blu-ray player. The latter will have a small disc placed on the side of the unit, so it will look bigger than the all-digital version.

Because of the design, the PS5 looks amazing when it is placed on its vertical orientation, though Cerny did mention that you can still put the unit horizontally if that is what you want.

Aside from the power and eject buttons, you will also find a USB-A and USB-C port on the console as well. Because the rear IO is not yet revealed to the public, it is interesting to know what other ports are available to you before the console launches.

Specs and Performance

  • CPU: x86-64 AMD Ryzen 8-Cores/16-Threads at 3.5GHz
  • GPU: AMD RDNA2 GPU, 36CUs at 2.23GHz, 10.3 Teraflops
  • RAM: 16GB GDDR6 256-bit, 448GB/s memory bandwidth
  • Storage: 825GB Custom SSD, NVMe SSD Slot (expandable)
  • External Storage: USB HDD/SSD Support
  • Drive: Optical Ultra HD (4K) Blu-ray (66G/100G) ~10xCAV
  • Game Disc: 4K Blu-ray up to 100GB per disc
  • Audio: ‘Tempest’ 3D Audio Tech
  • Video: HDMI Output, Supports 4K @ 120Hz (thanks to HDMI 2.1)
  • Dimensions: 390 x 104 x 260mm/ 390 x 92 x 260mm (digital edition)
  • Weight: 4.5Kg, 3.9Kg (digital edition)
  • Connectivity: Ethernet, WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.1

The performance of the Sony Playstation 5 is unparalleled and it is indeed a huge generational leap over the Playstation 4.

Back then, if you were playing graphically intensive PS4 games, you will have to wait a considerable amount of time to be able to play again after switching to different maps and scenes.

With the upcoming game console, thanks to its blazing fast SSD, you only have to wait a few seconds for everything to load up.

Game developers have been clamoring for a faster storage drive for years and thanks to this new innovation, they now aren’t shy of incorporating heavy textures into their games as the console can handle it now.

The performance package of the PS5 is no slouch. The GPU is based on AMD’s RDNA2 GPU architecture which would provide enough graphical horsepower to handle any game that you throw at it. It is helped further by AMD’s Ryzen CPU that has 8 cores and 16 threads, so you can expect some really huge performance gains over its predecessor.

At the time of writing, it was revealed that the storage solution of the PS5 is only at 825GB (usable), and considering that games will undoubtedly require huge amounts of storage, you are given an extra NVMe slot so you can plug your favorite SSD on it.

However, keep in mind that Cerny and his team are still struggling to find any SSD on the market today that can get near the performance of the SSD that you can find on the upcoming game console. This is both interesting and concerning since you already know that the performance is there, but the problem is that what if you are going to run out of storage space?

You do have the option to use an external hard drive though but that would mean an additional cost that most people are not going to be okay with (considering that we are still under the effects of the global pandemic, which means that money is tight).

8K Support

With such powerful hardware, I am happy to report that the Playstation 5 will support 8K resolution, albeit you need to have a TV that uses the new HDMI 2.1 standard to unlock the console’s full potential.

Aside from that, you can settle with 4K TVs that have support for high resolution since the PS5 can output 4K graphics at 120Hz which is indeed pretty impressive.

Fortunately for you, if you are going to buy new TVs that can handle the PS5’s power, there are some that are offered by industry giants such as Samsung, LG, and even Sony, to name a few. Of course, they are not going to be cheap, but getting a TV is already considered an investment- one that can last for a very long time.

Audio

Playstation 5 Wireless Headset

Back then, there were rumors that the PS5 will support Dolby Atmos but this was neither confirmed nor denied by Cerny.

However, Cerny did say that the PS5 will produce ‘3D Audio’ that will make the person’s gaming experience more immersive than ever.

As to the specifics of the said technology, we are still oblivious to the fact but some game developers have given us a notion of it.

According to Jun Takeuchi, the game producer of Resident Evil Village, he said that the new audio technology was probably made for horror games because all you need to do is use a competitive pair of headphones to get the full experience.

Unsurprisingly, one of the accessories that were also announced during the event was the new wireless headset made by the company- probably the best thing that you can get to take advantage of the new 3D audio tech.

Controller

Playstation DualSense Controller

Every Playstation game console so far has come with a DualShock controller but the PS5 is going against the grain as it will now come with what is known by the company as the ‘DualSense’ controller.

Instead of using mechanical motors to produce rumbles, the new DualSense controller will use haptics to simulate an even more realistic response to the games that you play.

It remains to be seen how immersive these controllers can be, but I am pretty sure that you are excited to try this out for yourself as well (I know I am excited as well).

Accessories

I’ve already mentioned the new Pulse 3D gaming headset that is set to make your gaming experience more immersive thanks to the new 3D audio technology, but there are also some new accessories that will be released alongside the PS5 as well.

Aside from the DualSense Charging Station (for the controllers), you will also have the chance to get the new Media Remote specifically for the disc version of the PS5.

You will also have the chance to get the new HD camera which I think will be used for streaming purposes. But, I think that you can also use it for video conferencing as well.

For people who want to know if the PS5 is compatible with VR headsets, yes, it will be. I don’t think that the current PSVR headset is compatible with the upcoming game console, but Cerny assured the public that the Playstation 5 will have the capability of supporting VR content.

I think that a new PSVR2 headset is in order.

Games

Spider Man Miles Morales

To entice people to get the new game console, Sony has unveiled some platform-exclusive titles that will be launched alongside the release of the PS5. Do note that some of the games will be launched at an earlier date, but all of them have been confirmed. Here are just some of the best titles that were announced so far:

  • Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales
  • Gran Turismo 7
  • Demon’s Souls
  • Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart
  • Returnal
  • Godfall
  • NBA 2K21
  • Resident Evil Village
  • Tribes of Midgard
  • Hitman 3
  • Horizon Forbidden West
  • Grand Theft Auto V and Grand Theft Auto Online
  • JETT: The Far Shore
  • Solar Ash
  • The Pathless
  • Stray

Backward Compatibility

It was confirmed by Sony representatives that the Playstation 5 will be able to play the vast majority of PS4 games, but unfortunately, there is no news about the past PS consoles as of yet.

In a blog post, Hideaki Nishino has stated that you could potentially play about 90% of the PS4 games available on the platform on the new game console. Of course, support for those games would have to be released, but it is interesting to know that you can play your favorite titles on the new hardware.

However, support for the older generation games will probably not exist, so you will have to be stuck with the predecessor’s content portfolio. This can be a good thing or bad thing depending on whether or not the PS1 to PS3’s games list matter to you.

Conclusion

There you have it! I have given you all of the information that you need to know about the Playstation 5. What are you most excited about? Tell us in the comments section.

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Amazon Luna- Everything You Need to Know About Amazon’s Cloud Gaming Service

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Amazon Luna

It seems that cloud gaming is the future as a lot of companies are pooling their resources just to make things happen.

Amazon Luna is Amazon’s foray into cloud gaming and it is going to be available soon. Read further to find out more information about this new experience.

Channel-based Platform

Amazon Luna Platform

Google has paved the way for cloud gaming to come to the fore with the release of the Stadia not too long ago. Although it was mired with a lot of different issues, it seems that the company has found a way to make things work.

Amazon also wants in on the action and although there are some similarities with Luna and Stadia, there are also some stark differences as well.

Before I begin, I just want to explain the concept of cloud gaming. Basically, instead of downloading games to your gaming PC or whatever platform you choose to install them, you will just stream those games using data centers that are scattered all over the world.

It should go without saying that you need to have a fast internet connection to make this happen and so that you will not experience high latency (which was a huge problem when Stadia launched).

That being said, the premise of Google Stadia is that you need to either purchase an individual game so that you can play it at any time (forever) or you could subscribe to the monthly plan and play the games that are on offer every month (and continue to play them so long as you’re subscribed).

With Amazon Luna, you will be presented with different channels that you can subscribe to. Each of these channels has different games on offer which makes this quite appealing for game developers to show their mettle.

Right now, the platform is still in beta and there are only two channels available at the moment- Amazon’s own Luna Plus and the Ubisoft Channel. The latter will have 50 games that you can play right away and more Ubisoft games will be added in the future.

Keep in mind that this channel-based system makes it so that developers can price their services accordingly. It remains to be seen how much Ubisoft will charge individual users, so stay tuned for that.

1080p and 4K Gaming

Just like Google Stadia, Amazon Luna will support both 1080p and 4K resolutions. Of course, the latter would be more taxing and you will need a fast internet connection to be able to enjoy high-fidelity gaming. I suggest that you get a WiFi 6 router and a compatible device to make the most out of your experience.

Cross-Platform Support

Amazon Luna Cross-Platform

Unlike Stadia, Amazon Luna is more flexible in that it supports a lot of different devices. Not only can you play on your PC, but you can also choose to play it using your iOS devices, Android phones, and you can even utilize the company’s own FireTV devices as well.

Now, there has been this entire debacle about Apple’s 30% cut on every app in its App store but the good news is that Amazon can circumvent that.

You see, when you are going to play on your iOS devices, the application will actually be a PWA or a Progressive Web App. Basically, the game that you want to play will run in a contained web browser instead of it being an actual application that you install in your device. This bypasses the whole 30% cut issue which is a good thing.

NVIDIA Hardware Use

According to a recent Steam survey, the vast majority of PC users are all using NVIDIA graphics cards. This is a good thing for Amazon Luna because it means that it can support a lot more people.

That is because the company’s cloud gaming service will use NVIDIA GPUs instead of AMD cards (which Stadia uses for graphics processing).

Supposing that Amazon Luna will be more popular than any other cloud gaming service out there, NVIDIA will enjoy huge profits as a result.

Can Be Streamed to Popular Sites

Amazon Luna Controller

Twitch is arguably the most popular streaming platform today and Amazon is looking to forge a partnership with the said service to allow you to stream your games to the popular website.

The said platform is widely used as a means of generating revenue- something that is quite popular today due to the recent pandemic.

This move also makes it appealing as well as more and more content creators can use Amazon Luna to reach a broader audience.

New Controller with Alexa Support

Amazon Luna Controller 2

Just like Google Stadia, Amazon Luna also requires you to get a special controller. The good thing is that the control will have a microphone so that you can use Alexa for specific voice commands.

What’s interesting about the Luna’s controller is that it is completely connected to the Cloud, which means that you do not have to pair it with the specific device you are going to use to play games online.

According to Amazon’s website, it should have a grippy texture and will feature low-friction thumbsticks that provide maximum performance across the board. By using the controller’s microphone, you can actually tell Alexa to fire up the specific game that you want to play, so long as it is inside the channel that you’ve subscribed to.

Conclusion

Amazon Luna is quite enticing, at least, on paper. It is shaping up to be a better cloud gaming service compared to its competitors but the service is still in beta, so there are more things that need ironing out before its official release.

Right now, there are only two channels that are available and Ubisoft hasn’t imposed its pricing yet. The Amazon Luna channel is priced at $6.99

If you are interested in getting in on the action, you can be an early beta tester by subscribing to the service.

Amazon Luna will be out sometime in October.

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Acer Nitro XV340CK Review- A Greatly Competitive Ultrawide Gaming Monitor Under $500

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Acer Nitro XV340CK Review

Ultrawide monitors used to be a niche display in that the only people who work on productivity tasks and creative workloads usually buy them.

Fortunately, the display technology has evolved and gamers, too, can enjoy a much wider screen.

Today, I am going to review the Acer Nitro XV340CK which is a 34-inch ultrawide gaming monitor that is priced competitively. 

Design

Even though this is marketed as a gaming monitor, the Acer Nitro XV340CK actually doesn’t look like it. It looks simple and I love the aesthetics, especially if you want to place this in your office.

The only thing that might make you think that this is a gaming display is that red accent that you can find on the base of the monitor but that’s about it.

Anyway, let’s start with the stand. Aside from the aforementioned red accent, the stand provides good ergonomics.

It gives you the ability to swivel the monitor a complete 360 degrees, you can tilt it to 35 degrees back and you can adjust the height up to 5.9 inches. Because this is an ultrawide monitor, you cannot put this thing in portrait mode.

I love the fact that this monitor has slim bezels. At only 0.4 inches, you can place another monitor right beside it and it wouldn’t really take a lot of screen real estate at all.

The overall build quality is good. Despite the fact that it doesn’t feel premium, at least when compared to the best gaming monitors out there, it still feels sturdy nevertheless.

For the ports, you get two Displayport 1.4 ports, two HDMI 2.0 ports, and two USB 3.0 ports. Due to the wealth of ports on offer, you can use this for your PC or your game console.

The only thing that might be cumbersome for some users is that the OSD controls are situated at the back of the monitor- particularly on the bottom right side. The buttons are also a bit smaller than usual, so you may have a hard time pressing the right ones.

Display

Acer Nitro XV340CK Review 2020

The Acer Nitro XV340CK has a 34-inch IPS display with a resolution of 3440 x 1440 and an aspect ratio of 21:9. It is the same as other ultrawide gaming monitors that you can find on the market so there is no problem with that.

You do have the option to enable the picture-in-picture mode so that you can divide the display in two if you wish to fire up two different programs at the same time. This is why it is not only a handy gaming monitor, but it can also be used for office work as well.

Its contrast and brightness leave much to be desired. With a native contrast ratio of 1048:1 and peak SDR brightness of only 247 nits, it is not the best display when it comes to these things.

However, its redeeming quality is that its colors are accurate. After calibration, I got 95% sRGB, 82% AdobeRGB, and 81% DCI-P3. It is relatively color accurate and it would have been nice for creative workloads, but its peak brightness just falls short of making it an ideal display for such use-cases.

It is also worth noting that if you are in a well-lit room that the brightness could be a huge issue. The good thing is that the display’s matte finish can help reduce glare significantly, though you will still find that it is not bright enough in some situations.

I am surprised by the fact that there is literally no color bleed on the Acer Nitro XV340CK. This is unheard of, especially since ultrawide monitors are notorious for this.

Performance

Sure, its peak brightness and contrast could have improved, but gamers are not especially focused on those things. If anything, it is the performance of the display that usually takes the cake and I am happy to report that you won’t be disappointed with the Nitro XV340CK.

Normally, with IPS panels, they tend to not have a good response time, but that is actually not the case here. At just 5.3ms, it is definitely one of the best out there even when compared to other, more premium models.

How about input lag? This is a speed monitor and as expected, input lag is minimal. At just 4.2ms, I am really blown away by the performance of this thing. Every keypress on your gaming keyboard will register almost immediately and that is really great from a competitive standpoint.

It is also worth noting that its 144Hz refresh rate is ideal, especially since most gamers are clamoring for high refresh rate displays anyway.

This is a FreeSync gaming monitor and you can enable this variable refresh rate feature in both AMD and Nvidia graphics cards.

To get a hold of the said features, it is important for you to know that you should use the DisplayPort cable that is included in the box. There is also an included HDMI cable if you want to use this display for your Xbox or Playstation consoles.

Acer Nitro XV340CK

Verdict

With all of those things being said, if I were to ask you how much this thing costs, what will be your guess? If you’ve guessed around $700, you’re wrong.

The Acer Nitro XV340CK is priced at just $450! At that price, you are getting a relatively color-accurate monitor, a really fast display with minimal input lag, and a vast number of ports that you can use for your PC or game consoles.

Sure, its contrast and peak brightness could have been improved, but if you are talking about raw gaming performance, the Acer Nitro XV340CK blows other ultrawide gaming monitors out of the way.

Just make sure that you have a nice gaming PC for this thing to work nicely. Other than that, I highly recommend the Acer Nitro XV340CK for its price and performance.

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HyperX Cloud Stinger S- A Comfortable 7.1 Surround Sound Gaming Headset

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HyperX Cloud Stinger S Review

As an audiophile, I’ve always loved HyperX’s gaming audio solution. They are inexpensive and for the price, you are actually getting sound quality that you normally would only hear from expensive products.

In today’s article, I am going to review the HyperX Cloud Stinger S. This is a budget offering that aims to improve upon the original Cloud Stinger with the inclusion of a 7.1 surround sound option.

Do I recommend this headset? Find out later on in the article.

Design

The HyperX Cloud Stinger S is actually quite similar to the original version. It has the same pleather ear cups that envelope your ears quite nicely and the clamping force of the headset itself is actually quite okay.

I’ve been receiving reports that there are some people that have problems with the tightness or, shall I say, how loose this thing can be. But that will probably be a result of the size of your head and not the actual product itself. For me, the fit was okay, but your mileage may vary.

Although this thing is predominantly made in plastic, the overall build quality is good, though I would advise you not to throw this headset when you lose a round in a MOBA game or first-person shooter.

There is a microphone on this headset and just like the original, it is not removable. It would have been nice if you could remove it when you are not using it because even if you fold the microphone (which also acts as a way of muting it), you will still see it which can be annoying at times.

This thing is quite simple and all you have for the controls is the volume slider that is located on the right ear cup. 

While other HyperX gaming headsets come with a carrying pouch, I am sad to say that the HyperX Cloud Stinger S doesn’t have one.

All you get in the box aside from the headset is a USB dongle that is attached to a relatively long cable and some documentation. And, since you use this thing completely wired, it can also be used in your Playstation or other game consoles as well.

The 3.5mm analog cable should be inserted in the USB dongle if you wish to use its 7.1 surround sound implementation, but if you are just going to watch movies or play non-competitive games, I suggest that you do not use it.

Audio Quality

HyperX Cloud Stinger S Review 2020

There are two modes that you can utilize if you are going to use the HyperX Cloud Stinger S. You can use its 3.5mm headphone jack and enjoy stereo sound or you could insert that into the included USB dongle and use the 7.1 surround sound feature.

Keep in mind that if you are going to use the 7.1 output that it is only supported on the PC since you will need the NGENUITY software to enable it.

That being said, the HyperX Cloud Stinger S’ sound signature leans more toward being bright and with a little emphasis on the bass. This seems to be the preference of the majority of gamers since lower frequencies can make those in-game sounds pop-out more.

I also love the mid frequencies as it is quite balanced as well. I’ve had no problems listening to in-game dialog and when I am using the microphone, it just works really well.

Although the high frequencies are okay, I would say that it is the weakest of the bunch, though not so much as to diminish the overall sound quality. You will still hear the sibilance of the cymbals and lead guitars, but it is not as pronounced as the lower and mid frequencies.

As for the 7.1 surround sound, you should enable it in the companion software and it is only available when you are on the PC.

Anyway, its surround sound is okay but I say this because it is a budget gaming headset. If you compare it to the more premium ones, this is subpar at best. Still, you could enable it in your favorite games but I will advise against it if you are just listening to music or watching movies.

Despite a relatively good clamping force, the HyperX Cloud Stinger S doesn’t do so well in terms of sound isolation. People around me can still hear what I was listening to, so this might not be ideal if you are playing at night and there are people sleeping.

Microphone Quality

HyperX Cloud Stinger S

There is usually this notion that budget headsets have horrible microphones but not the HyperX Cloud Stinger S. In fact, I would go on to say that it has one of the better ones on the market.

Instead of sounding tinny, the microphone quality of the Cloud Stinger S is full-bodied and my teammates can hear every word I said without any problems.

The volume of the microphone is also quite good as well. Normally, with budget offerings, you tend to sound a bit ‘too far’ but that is not the case here.

Overall, I am quite pleased with the microphone. The only thing that I do not like is that the flippable microphone may impede your vision sometimes, but I think that you can adjust to this.

Verdict

For a budget headset, the HyperX Cloud Stinger S is definitely one of the better sounding ones. I also love the fact that the microphone’s quality is top-notch and it can even go head-to-head against its more premium counterparts.

I am just a bit disappointed that you do not get a carrying pouch with this one because other HyperX gaming headsets have them. But, this is a minor inconvenience.

I did not feel the need to talk about the NGENUITY software mainly because it is pretty barebones and all you can do with it is to enable the 7.1 surround sound, adjust the volume and microphone, and that’s about it. There is no equalizer present which is quite odd.

Still, for what it is giving you, the HyperX Cloud Stinger S is highly recommended. This thing costs $60.

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The PS5 is Just Around the Corner- Release Date, Pricing, and So Much More

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Playstation 5 Release Date

After months of speculation and rumors, Sony has finally unveiled the new Playstation 5. The leaked images of the company’s upcoming game console are off but at least Sony has done a great job of producing quite an amazing-looking Playstation.

That being said, I know that you are interested in finding out the many different things about Sony’s upcoming console, so today, I will devote this article to providing you with the information that you need to know about the Playstation 5.

Release Date

Competition is a beautiful thing. Microsoft announced that the Xbox Series X will be released sometime during the holiday season, so Sony went a step further and announced that the PS5 will be releasing in November.

Now, you will have to wait until the console has been released in various regions because the company intends to release it in batches.

The first batch will be released on November 12 and it will only be available in the US, Canada, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand.

The rest of the world (especially in the United Kingdom) will have to wait until November 19 (just a week after the first batch’s release) to get their hands on this highly-coveted gaming machine.

Pricing

There were a lot of rumors and speculations that the new Playstation 5 will cost a lot more than its predecessor, but Mark Cerny, the lead architect and the main producer of the upcoming console, said that that is not really the case.

You see, there will be two versions that are going to be sold to the public. The first is the digital edition which will be sold for just $399. The disc edition will have a 4K Blu-ray player included and will be available for just an additional $100 (totaling $499).

To be honest, with all of its technological advancements, I am surprised that Sony priced the consoles as it is. I am willing to bet that people will be okay if the company would price it $50 more at least, seeing that the PS5 is a huge generational leap over the PS4.

Pre-orders have started since September 17, so if you want to reserve your unit, you must do so as soon as possible.

It is also worth noting that you have to confer with your retailer’s website as to when they will hold pre-orders since it will be the individual stores’ discretion to do so.

Originally, Sony had intentions of ramping up the production of the PS5 console to about 11 million units by March 2021, but because of the Covid-19 pandemic, there were some challenges that made this impossible.

Realistically, the company could produce a little over 7 million units by March of next year, so you can expect that there will be a huge chance that there will be a shortage of units sold worldwide.

Design

Playstation 5 Design

Previous mock-ups of the upcoming console made it look like an AV receiver or projector of sorts, but the upcoming PS5 actually looks more premium than that.

Instead of just a monotone color scheme, Sony went with a black and white theme where the main part of the device is black and some white flaps are placed on the sides. The flaps are shaped in a way that forms the letter ‘V’ which could be seen as a representation that the console is in its 5th generation.

As mentioned earlier, there will be two versions of the upcoming console- one that is completely digital and the other one having a 4K Blu-ray player. The latter will have a small disc placed on the side of the unit, so it will look bigger than the all-digital version.

Because of the design, the PS5 looks amazing when it is placed on its vertical orientation, though Cerny did mention that you can still put the unit horizontally if that is what you want.

Aside from the power and eject buttons, you will also find a USB-A and USB-C port on the console as well. Because the rear IO is not yet revealed to the public, it is interesting to know what other ports are available to you before the console launches.

Specs and Performance

  • CPU: x86-64 AMD Ryzen 8-Cores/16-Threads at 3.5GHz
  • GPU: AMD RDNA2 GPU, 36CUs at 2.23GHz, 10.3 Teraflops
  • RAM: 16GB GDDR6 256-bit, 448GB/s memory bandwidth
  • Storage: 825GB Custom SSD, NVMe SSD Slot (expandable)
  • External Storage: USB HDD/SSD Support
  • Drive: Optical Ultra HD (4K) Blu-ray (66G/100G) ~10xCAV
  • Game Disc: 4K Blu-ray up to 100GB per disc
  • Audio: ‘Tempest’ 3D Audio Tech
  • Video: HDMI Output, Supports 4K @ 120Hz (thanks to HDMI 2.1)
  • Dimensions: 390 x 104 x 260mm/ 390 x 92 x 260mm (digital edition)
  • Weight: 4.5Kg, 3.9Kg (digital edition)
  • Connectivity: Ethernet, WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.1

The performance of the Sony Playstation 5 is unparalleled and it is indeed a huge generational leap over the Playstation 4.

Back then, if you were playing graphically intensive PS4 games, you will have to wait a considerable amount of time to be able to play again after switching to different maps and scenes.

With the upcoming game console, thanks to its blazing fast SSD, you only have to wait a few seconds for everything to load up.

Game developers have been clamoring for a faster storage drive for years and thanks to this new innovation, they now aren’t shy of incorporating heavy textures into their games as the console can handle it now.

The performance package of the PS5 is no slouch. The GPU is based on AMD’s RDNA2 GPU architecture which would provide enough graphical horsepower to handle any game that you throw at it. It is helped further by AMD’s Ryzen CPU that has 8 cores and 16 threads, so you can expect some really huge performance gains over its predecessor.

At the time of writing, it was revealed that the storage solution of the PS5 is only at 825GB (usable), and considering that games will undoubtedly require huge amounts of storage, you are given an extra NVMe slot so you can plug your favorite SSD on it.

However, keep in mind that Cerny and his team are still struggling to find any SSD on the market today that can get near the performance of the SSD that you can find on the upcoming game console. This is both interesting and concerning since you already know that the performance is there, but the problem is that what if you are going to run out of storage space?

You do have the option to use an external hard drive though but that would mean an additional cost that most people are not going to be okay with (considering that we are still under the effects of the global pandemic, which means that money is tight).

8K Support

With such powerful hardware, I am happy to report that the Playstation 5 will support 8K resolution, albeit you need to have a TV that uses the new HDMI 2.1 standard to unlock the console’s full potential.

Aside from that, you can settle with 4K TVs that have support for high resolution since the PS5 can output 4K graphics at 120Hz which is indeed pretty impressive.

Fortunately for you, if you are going to buy new TVs that can handle the PS5’s power, there are some that are offered by industry giants such as Samsung, LG, and even Sony, to name a few. Of course, they are not going to be cheap, but getting a TV is already considered an investment- one that can last for a very long time.

Audio

Playstation 5 Wireless Headset

Back then, there were rumors that the PS5 will support Dolby Atmos but this was neither confirmed nor denied by Cerny.

However, Cerny did say that the PS5 will produce ‘3D Audio’ that will make the person’s gaming experience more immersive than ever.

As to the specifics of the said technology, we are still oblivious to the fact but some game developers have given us a notion of it.

According to Jun Takeuchi, the game producer of Resident Evil Village, he said that the new audio technology was probably made for horror games because all you need to do is use a competitive pair of headphones to get the full experience.

Unsurprisingly, one of the accessories that were also announced during the event was the new wireless headset made by the company- probably the best thing that you can get to take advantage of the new 3D audio tech.

Controller

Playstation DualSense Controller

Every Playstation game console so far has come with a DualShock controller but the PS5 is going against the grain as it will now come with what is known by the company as the ‘DualSense’ controller.

Instead of using mechanical motors to produce rumbles, the new DualSense controller will use haptics to simulate an even more realistic response to the games that you play.

It remains to be seen how immersive these controllers can be, but I am pretty sure that you are excited to try this out for yourself as well (I know I am excited as well).

Accessories

I’ve already mentioned the new Pulse 3D gaming headset that is set to make your gaming experience more immersive thanks to the new 3D audio technology, but there are also some new accessories that will be released alongside the PS5 as well.

Aside from the DualSense Charging Station (for the controllers), you will also have the chance to get the new Media Remote specifically for the disc version of the PS5.

You will also have the chance to get the new HD camera which I think will be used for streaming purposes. But, I think that you can also use it for video conferencing as well.

For people who want to know if the PS5 is compatible with VR headsets, yes, it will be. I don’t think that the current PSVR headset is compatible with the upcoming game console, but Cerny assured the public that the Playstation 5 will have the capability of supporting VR content.

I think that a new PSVR2 headset is in order.

Games

Spider Man Miles Morales

To entice people to get the new game console, Sony has unveiled some platform-exclusive titles that will be launched alongside the release of the PS5. Do note that some of the games will be launched at an earlier date, but all of them have been confirmed. Here are just some of the best titles that were announced so far:

  • Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales
  • Gran Turismo 7
  • Demon’s Souls
  • Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart
  • Returnal
  • Godfall
  • NBA 2K21
  • Resident Evil Village
  • Tribes of Midgard
  • Hitman 3
  • Horizon Forbidden West
  • Grand Theft Auto V and Grand Theft Auto Online
  • JETT: The Far Shore
  • Solar Ash
  • The Pathless
  • Stray

Backward Compatibility

It was confirmed by Sony representatives that the Playstation 5 will be able to play the vast majority of PS4 games, but unfortunately, there is no news about the past PS consoles as of yet.

In a blog post, Hideaki Nishino has stated that you could potentially play about 90% of the PS4 games available on the platform on the new game console. Of course, support for those games would have to be released, but it is interesting to know that you can play your favorite titles on the new hardware.

However, support for the older generation games will probably not exist, so you will have to be stuck with the predecessor’s content portfolio. This can be a good thing or bad thing depending on whether or not the PS1 to PS3’s games list matter to you.

Conclusion

There you have it! I have given you all of the information that you need to know about the Playstation 5. What are you most excited about? Tell us in the comments section.

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Amazon Luna- Everything You Need to Know About Amazon’s Cloud Gaming Service

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Amazon Luna

It seems that cloud gaming is the future as a lot of companies are pooling their resources just to make things happen.

Amazon Luna is Amazon’s foray into cloud gaming and it is going to be available soon. Read further to find out more information about this new experience.

Channel-based Platform

Amazon Luna Platform

Google has paved the way for cloud gaming to come to the fore with the release of the Stadia not too long ago. Although it was mired with a lot of different issues, it seems that the company has found a way to make things work.

Amazon also wants in on the action and although there are some similarities with Luna and Stadia, there are also some stark differences as well.

Before I begin, I just want to explain the concept of cloud gaming. Basically, instead of downloading games to your gaming PC or whatever platform you choose to install them, you will just stream those games using data centers that are scattered all over the world.

It should go without saying that you need to have a fast internet connection to make this happen and so that you will not experience high latency (which was a huge problem when Stadia launched).

That being said, the premise of Google Stadia is that you need to either purchase an individual game so that you can play it at any time (forever) or you could subscribe to the monthly plan and play the games that are on offer every month (and continue to play them so long as you’re subscribed).

With Amazon Luna, you will be presented with different channels that you can subscribe to. Each of these channels has different games on offer which makes this quite appealing for game developers to show their mettle.

Right now, the platform is still in beta and there are only two channels available at the moment- Amazon’s own Luna Plus and the Ubisoft Channel. The latter will have 50 games that you can play right away and more Ubisoft games will be added in the future.

Keep in mind that this channel-based system makes it so that developers can price their services accordingly. It remains to be seen how much Ubisoft will charge individual users, so stay tuned for that.

1080p and 4K Gaming

Just like Google Stadia, Amazon Luna will support both 1080p and 4K resolutions. Of course, the latter would be more taxing and you will need a fast internet connection to be able to enjoy high-fidelity gaming. I suggest that you get a WiFi 6 router and a compatible device to make the most out of your experience.

Cross-Platform Support

Amazon Luna Cross-Platform

Unlike Stadia, Amazon Luna is more flexible in that it supports a lot of different devices. Not only can you play on your PC, but you can also choose to play it using your iOS devices, Android phones, and you can even utilize the company’s own FireTV devices as well.

Now, there has been this entire debacle about Apple’s 30% cut on every app in its App store but the good news is that Amazon can circumvent that.

You see, when you are going to play on your iOS devices, the application will actually be a PWA or a Progressive Web App. Basically, the game that you want to play will run in a contained web browser instead of it being an actual application that you install in your device. This bypasses the whole 30% cut issue which is a good thing.

NVIDIA Hardware Use

According to a recent Steam survey, the vast majority of PC users are all using NVIDIA graphics cards. This is a good thing for Amazon Luna because it means that it can support a lot more people.

That is because the company’s cloud gaming service will use NVIDIA GPUs instead of AMD cards (which Stadia uses for graphics processing).

Supposing that Amazon Luna will be more popular than any other cloud gaming service out there, NVIDIA will enjoy huge profits as a result.

Can Be Streamed to Popular Sites

Amazon Luna Controller

Twitch is arguably the most popular streaming platform today and Amazon is looking to forge a partnership with the said service to allow you to stream your games to the popular website.

The said platform is widely used as a means of generating revenue- something that is quite popular today due to the recent pandemic.

This move also makes it appealing as well as more and more content creators can use Amazon Luna to reach a broader audience.

New Controller with Alexa Support

Amazon Luna Controller 2

Just like Google Stadia, Amazon Luna also requires you to get a special controller. The good thing is that the control will have a microphone so that you can use Alexa for specific voice commands.

What’s interesting about the Luna’s controller is that it is completely connected to the Cloud, which means that you do not have to pair it with the specific device you are going to use to play games online.

According to Amazon’s website, it should have a grippy texture and will feature low-friction thumbsticks that provide maximum performance across the board. By using the controller’s microphone, you can actually tell Alexa to fire up the specific game that you want to play, so long as it is inside the channel that you’ve subscribed to.

Conclusion

Amazon Luna is quite enticing, at least, on paper. It is shaping up to be a better cloud gaming service compared to its competitors but the service is still in beta, so there are more things that need ironing out before its official release.

Right now, there are only two channels that are available and Ubisoft hasn’t imposed its pricing yet. The Amazon Luna channel is priced at $6.99

If you are interested in getting in on the action, you can be an early beta tester by subscribing to the service.

Amazon Luna will be out sometime in October.

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Acer Nitro XV340CK Review- A Greatly Competitive Ultrawide Gaming Monitor Under $500

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Acer Nitro XV340CK Review

Ultrawide monitors used to be a niche display in that the only people who work on productivity tasks and creative workloads usually buy them.

Fortunately, the display technology has evolved and gamers, too, can enjoy a much wider screen.

Today, I am going to review the Acer Nitro XV340CK which is a 34-inch ultrawide gaming monitor that is priced competitively. 

Design

Even though this is marketed as a gaming monitor, the Acer Nitro XV340CK actually doesn’t look like it. It looks simple and I love the aesthetics, especially if you want to place this in your office.

The only thing that might make you think that this is a gaming display is that red accent that you can find on the base of the monitor but that’s about it.

Anyway, let’s start with the stand. Aside from the aforementioned red accent, the stand provides good ergonomics.

It gives you the ability to swivel the monitor a complete 360 degrees, you can tilt it to 35 degrees back and you can adjust the height up to 5.9 inches. Because this is an ultrawide monitor, you cannot put this thing in portrait mode.

I love the fact that this monitor has slim bezels. At only 0.4 inches, you can place another monitor right beside it and it wouldn’t really take a lot of screen real estate at all.

The overall build quality is good. Despite the fact that it doesn’t feel premium, at least when compared to the best gaming monitors out there, it still feels sturdy nevertheless.

For the ports, you get two Displayport 1.4 ports, two HDMI 2.0 ports, and two USB 3.0 ports. Due to the wealth of ports on offer, you can use this for your PC or your game console.

The only thing that might be cumbersome for some users is that the OSD controls are situated at the back of the monitor- particularly on the bottom right side. The buttons are also a bit smaller than usual, so you may have a hard time pressing the right ones.

Display

Acer Nitro XV340CK Review 2020

The Acer Nitro XV340CK has a 34-inch IPS display with a resolution of 3440 x 1440 and an aspect ratio of 21:9. It is the same as other ultrawide gaming monitors that you can find on the market so there is no problem with that.

You do have the option to enable the picture-in-picture mode so that you can divide the display in two if you wish to fire up two different programs at the same time. This is why it is not only a handy gaming monitor, but it can also be used for office work as well.

Its contrast and brightness leave much to be desired. With a native contrast ratio of 1048:1 and peak SDR brightness of only 247 nits, it is not the best display when it comes to these things.

However, its redeeming quality is that its colors are accurate. After calibration, I got 95% sRGB, 82% AdobeRGB, and 81% DCI-P3. It is relatively color accurate and it would have been nice for creative workloads, but its peak brightness just falls short of making it an ideal display for such use-cases.

It is also worth noting that if you are in a well-lit room that the brightness could be a huge issue. The good thing is that the display’s matte finish can help reduce glare significantly, though you will still find that it is not bright enough in some situations.

I am surprised by the fact that there is literally no color bleed on the Acer Nitro XV340CK. This is unheard of, especially since ultrawide monitors are notorious for this.

Performance

Sure, its peak brightness and contrast could have improved, but gamers are not especially focused on those things. If anything, it is the performance of the display that usually takes the cake and I am happy to report that you won’t be disappointed with the Nitro XV340CK.

Normally, with IPS panels, they tend to not have a good response time, but that is actually not the case here. At just 5.3ms, it is definitely one of the best out there even when compared to other, more premium models.

How about input lag? This is a speed monitor and as expected, input lag is minimal. At just 4.2ms, I am really blown away by the performance of this thing. Every keypress on your gaming keyboard will register almost immediately and that is really great from a competitive standpoint.

It is also worth noting that its 144Hz refresh rate is ideal, especially since most gamers are clamoring for high refresh rate displays anyway.

This is a FreeSync gaming monitor and you can enable this variable refresh rate feature in both AMD and Nvidia graphics cards.

To get a hold of the said features, it is important for you to know that you should use the DisplayPort cable that is included in the box. There is also an included HDMI cable if you want to use this display for your Xbox or Playstation consoles.

Acer Nitro XV340CK

Verdict

With all of those things being said, if I were to ask you how much this thing costs, what will be your guess? If you’ve guessed around $700, you’re wrong.

The Acer Nitro XV340CK is priced at just $450! At that price, you are getting a relatively color-accurate monitor, a really fast display with minimal input lag, and a vast number of ports that you can use for your PC or game consoles.

Sure, its contrast and peak brightness could have been improved, but if you are talking about raw gaming performance, the Acer Nitro XV340CK blows other ultrawide gaming monitors out of the way.

Just make sure that you have a nice gaming PC for this thing to work nicely. Other than that, I highly recommend the Acer Nitro XV340CK for its price and performance.

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HyperX Cloud Stinger S- A Comfortable 7.1 Surround Sound Gaming Headset

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HyperX Cloud Stinger S Review

As an audiophile, I’ve always loved HyperX’s gaming audio solution. They are inexpensive and for the price, you are actually getting sound quality that you normally would only hear from expensive products.

In today’s article, I am going to review the HyperX Cloud Stinger S. This is a budget offering that aims to improve upon the original Cloud Stinger with the inclusion of a 7.1 surround sound option.

Do I recommend this headset? Find out later on in the article.

Design

The HyperX Cloud Stinger S is actually quite similar to the original version. It has the same pleather ear cups that envelope your ears quite nicely and the clamping force of the headset itself is actually quite okay.

I’ve been receiving reports that there are some people that have problems with the tightness or, shall I say, how loose this thing can be. But that will probably be a result of the size of your head and not the actual product itself. For me, the fit was okay, but your mileage may vary.

Although this thing is predominantly made in plastic, the overall build quality is good, though I would advise you not to throw this headset when you lose a round in a MOBA game or first-person shooter.

There is a microphone on this headset and just like the original, it is not removable. It would have been nice if you could remove it when you are not using it because even if you fold the microphone (which also acts as a way of muting it), you will still see it which can be annoying at times.

This thing is quite simple and all you have for the controls is the volume slider that is located on the right ear cup. 

While other HyperX gaming headsets come with a carrying pouch, I am sad to say that the HyperX Cloud Stinger S doesn’t have one.

All you get in the box aside from the headset is a USB dongle that is attached to a relatively long cable and some documentation. And, since you use this thing completely wired, it can also be used in your Playstation or other game consoles as well.

The 3.5mm analog cable should be inserted in the USB dongle if you wish to use its 7.1 surround sound implementation, but if you are just going to watch movies or play non-competitive games, I suggest that you do not use it.

Audio Quality

HyperX Cloud Stinger S Review 2020

There are two modes that you can utilize if you are going to use the HyperX Cloud Stinger S. You can use its 3.5mm headphone jack and enjoy stereo sound or you could insert that into the included USB dongle and use the 7.1 surround sound feature.

Keep in mind that if you are going to use the 7.1 output that it is only supported on the PC since you will need the NGENUITY software to enable it.

That being said, the HyperX Cloud Stinger S’ sound signature leans more toward being bright and with a little emphasis on the bass. This seems to be the preference of the majority of gamers since lower frequencies can make those in-game sounds pop-out more.

I also love the mid frequencies as it is quite balanced as well. I’ve had no problems listening to in-game dialog and when I am using the microphone, it just works really well.

Although the high frequencies are okay, I would say that it is the weakest of the bunch, though not so much as to diminish the overall sound quality. You will still hear the sibilance of the cymbals and lead guitars, but it is not as pronounced as the lower and mid frequencies.

As for the 7.1 surround sound, you should enable it in the companion software and it is only available when you are on the PC.

Anyway, its surround sound is okay but I say this because it is a budget gaming headset. If you compare it to the more premium ones, this is subpar at best. Still, you could enable it in your favorite games but I will advise against it if you are just listening to music or watching movies.

Despite a relatively good clamping force, the HyperX Cloud Stinger S doesn’t do so well in terms of sound isolation. People around me can still hear what I was listening to, so this might not be ideal if you are playing at night and there are people sleeping.

Microphone Quality

HyperX Cloud Stinger S

There is usually this notion that budget headsets have horrible microphones but not the HyperX Cloud Stinger S. In fact, I would go on to say that it has one of the better ones on the market.

Instead of sounding tinny, the microphone quality of the Cloud Stinger S is full-bodied and my teammates can hear every word I said without any problems.

The volume of the microphone is also quite good as well. Normally, with budget offerings, you tend to sound a bit ‘too far’ but that is not the case here.

Overall, I am quite pleased with the microphone. The only thing that I do not like is that the flippable microphone may impede your vision sometimes, but I think that you can adjust to this.

Verdict

For a budget headset, the HyperX Cloud Stinger S is definitely one of the better sounding ones. I also love the fact that the microphone’s quality is top-notch and it can even go head-to-head against its more premium counterparts.

I am just a bit disappointed that you do not get a carrying pouch with this one because other HyperX gaming headsets have them. But, this is a minor inconvenience.

I did not feel the need to talk about the NGENUITY software mainly because it is pretty barebones and all you can do with it is to enable the 7.1 surround sound, adjust the volume and microphone, and that’s about it. There is no equalizer present which is quite odd.

Still, for what it is giving you, the HyperX Cloud Stinger S is highly recommended. This thing costs $60.

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