PlayStation 4

This $199 PS4 and ‘Spider-Man’ Black Friday bundle has my bargain-sense tingling

Posted by | black friday, Gadgets, Gaming, PlayStation 4, PS4, Sony | No Comments

I’m calling it — this is the best deal of this year’s Black Friday season, for gamers anyway. It’s amazing. It’s spectacular. Sony is selling a PlayStation 4 Slim with the new Spider-Man game for $199. That’s way too little money.

The 1TB PS4 slim currently retails for $300, and that used to be the cost of the 500 GB one. So a $199 price for the improved, terabyte-capacity console would already be a great deal. But throwing Spider-Man in there? I’m not usually one to call out individual details for Black Friday (we’ll have a roundup), but this is ridiculous.

That game came out just the other day, and has garnered absolute rave reviews; plenty of TechCrunch staff have lost dozens of hours to it, and expansions are on the way to suck even more time. It’s still going for full price most places, so that’s worth $50 or $60 right there.

I own a PS4 already and I’m going to do this. The Slim update didn’t change a lot, but it’s quieter, easier to use (no more invisible buttons!), and of course considerably smaller. Getting it for $139 is a no-brainer. Comes with a controller too, obviously. Then I trade in the old one and pick up Tetris Effect on store credit!

For comparison, both Microsoft and Nintendo are offering their basic consoles with a popular game bundled in for $299. Obviously Sony is looking to eat their lunch.

Sure, you could also save your money for a PS4 Pro. But the benefits there, while I wouldn’t call them dubious by any means, aren’t really must-haves for most gamers. Red Dead Redemption 2 isn’t going to look that much better unless you’ve also got a 4K HDR setup and all that jazz. If you’re super into the AAA games and best possible graphics, by all means go for it, but for the rest of us who’d rather buy another 4 or 5 games with the money we saved? Slim it is.

There’s also a PSVR bundle for $200 and controllers are cheaper too. But the Slim is obviously the centerpiece here. You’ll have to go to “participating retailers” and probably fight people like me to get the deal, which goes live on November 18 like all the others.

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There’s a new PS4 Pro and it’s much quieter than the original

Posted by | computing, Gadgets, Gaming, playstation, PlayStation 4, Sony, video gaming | No Comments

There’s a new Sony PS4 Pro and it’s much quieter than the original. Right now, it’s only available in a Red Dead Redemption bundle, but eventually, it will likely be available as a standalone product, too.

The new CUH-7200 version reportedly dropped the console’s noise from 50 decibels to 44 decibels, though, as EuroGamer notes, it can still top out at 48 decibels. The noise reduction is reportedly thanks to improved cooling, which in turn, reduces the strain on the cooling system within the PS4 Pro. The original PlayStation Pro came out two years ago, and at times, it can roar like a jet engine.

The revised model looks the same as the original, so check the model number on the box to ensure you’re getting the quieter option.

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Sony is finally opening Fortnite cross-play on the PS4

Posted by | epic games, fortnite, Gaming, PlayStation 4, Sony | No Comments

Cross-play has been one of the biggest selling points for Fortnite, allowing players to engage in the battle royale, regardless of platform. There has, however, been one major holdout — until now. While PS4 players have been able to play one another, Sony has been dragging its heels at the seemingly inevitable update.

Today, however, the company is taking key steps toward letting users battle it out, regardless of platform. Sony Interactive Entertainment President and CEO John Kodera announced via blog post that the company is opening up cross-play beta, beginning with the crazy-popular sandbox survival game.

“Following a comprehensive evaluation process,” the exec writes, “SIE has identified a path toward supporting cross-platform features for select third party content. We recognize that PS4 players have been eagerly awaiting an update, and we appreciate the community’s continued patience as we have navigated through this issue to find a solution.”

That “path forward” will feature the major platforms that support the title, including, Android, iOS, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Windows and macOS. As Kodera notes, the update is a pretty sizable policy shift, so the company, “will update the community once we have more details to share, including more specifics regarding the beta timeframe, and what this means for other titles going forward.”

Until now, Sony has suggested that such a move could pose a security risk to users. Observers, on the other hand, have suggested it was holding out purely out of monetary concern for the company.

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Sony is bundling Red Dead Redemption 2 with a 1TB PlayStation 4 Pro

Posted by | Entertainment, Gaming, PlayStation 4, PS4, red dead redemption 2, Sony, TC | No Comments

Considering it’s been eight years since Red Dead Redemption came out, it’s no surprise that fans of the franchise are ravenous for the next installment of the game, which launches October 26.

Last week, Rockstar Games offered some publications the opportunity to preview the game, giving gamers even more to salivate over. But Sony is offering a way to take action.

Sony is offering a RDR2 + PlayStation 4 Pro bundle that actually makes sense for the game. Instead of changing up the physical design of the console, Sony is offering 1TB of storage on a jet black PS4 Pro alongside the RDR2 disc and a dual-shock controller.

Ready for Red Dead Redemption 2? Grab a new bundle including the game and a 1TB PS4 Pro system starting October 26: https://t.co/rOS2mTXrT9 pic.twitter.com/cANcYmRDlF

— PlayStation (@PlayStation) September 24, 2018

Now, for a game like Red Dead Redemption, which offers a massive open world to explore and an extensive campaign, storage is key. That storage will come in handy for folks playing Red Dead alongside other games without forcing those players to make decisions about what to keep and what to delete.

Pre-orders for the bundle went live today on Amazon for customers in the U.S. and Canada, and costs $399 or $499 CAD.

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Microsoft is building low-cost, streaming-only Xbox, says report

Posted by | Gadgets, Gaming, Microsoft, Nintendo, nvidia, onlive, PlayStation 4, Sony, xbox | No Comments

It was revealed at E3 last month that Microsoft was building a cloud gaming system. A report today calls that system Scarlett Cloud and it’s only part of Microsoft’s next-gen Xbox strategy. And it makes a lot of sense, too.

According to Thurrott.com, noted site for all things Microsoft, the next Xbox will come in two flavors. One will be a traditional gaming console where games are processed locally. You know, like how it works on game systems right now. The other system will be a lower-powered system that will stream games from the cloud — most likely, Microsoft’s Azure cloud.

This streaming system will still have some processing power, which is in part to counter latency traditionally associated with streaming games. Apparently part of the game will run locally while the rest is streamed to the system.

The streaming Xbox will likely be available at a much lower cost than the traditional Xbox. And why not. Microsoft has sold Xbox systems with a slim profit margin, relying on sales of games and online services to make up the difference. A streaming service that’s talked about on Thurrott would further take advantage of this model while tapping into Microsoft’s deep understanding of cloud computing.

A few companies have tried streaming full video games. Onlive was one of the first; while successful for a time, it eventually went through a dramatic round of layoffs before a surprise sale for $4.8 million in 2012. Sony offers an extensive library of PS2, PS3 and PS4 games for streaming through its PlayStation Now service. Nvidia got into the streaming game this year and offers a small selection of streaming through GeForce Now. But these are all side projects for the companies.

Sony and Nintendo do not have the global cloud computing platform of Microsoft, and if Microsoft’s streaming service hits, it could change the landscape and force competitors to reevaluate everything.

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The SteelSeries Arctis Pro lineup is a new high-water mark in comfort and quality

Posted by | Bluetooth, Computer Hardware, computing, controller, dts, Gadgets, Gaming, Headset, mac, microsoft windows, oled, player, PlayStation 4, Reviews, sound cards, SteelSeries, TC, Turtle Beach, wireless, Xbox One | No Comments

SteelSeries has two new Arctis Pro gaming headsets out, and they pack a lot of tech and versatility into a comfortable, visually attractive package. The SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless and Arctis Pro + GameDAC are both incredibly capable headsets that deliver terrific sound, and depending on your system needs, should probably be your first choice when looking for new gaming audio gear.

The Arctis Pro Wireless is, true to its name, wire-free, but also promises lossless 2.4GHz transmission to ensure lag-free audio, too – a must for competitive gaming. The combination of the wireless functionality, the long-wearing comfort of the suspension system headband and the included transmitter base that can hold and charge a swappable battery as well as display all key information on an OLED readout makes this a standout choice.

There are some limitations, however – compatibility is limited to either PS4 or PC for this one, for instance. The wired Arctis Pro (without GameDAC) is compatible with the Xbox One, but both the wireless version and the version that connected to the wired DAC will only work with either Sony’s latest consoles or with a Windows or Mac-based gaming PC.

I’m a bit saddened by that since I’m a big fan of PUBG on Xbox, and also lately of Sea of Thieves, but I also do regularly play PS4 and PC games, and the Arctis Pro Wireless is my weapon of choice now when using either, either for multiplayer or single player games. The wearability and sound quality (which includes DTS X 7.1 surround on PC) is so good that I’ll often opt to use them in place of my actual 5.1 physical surround system, even when I don’t need to chat with anyone.

Other options, like the Turtle Beach Elite Pro Tournament Headset, offer different advantages including more easily accessible fine-tune control over soundscape, balance of chat and game audio and other features, but the SteelSeries offers a less complicated out-of-box experience, and better all-day wearability thanks to taking cues from athletic wear for its materials and design.

The GameDAC option additionally has Hi-Res Audio certificate, which is good if you’re looking to stream FLAC files or high-res audio from services like Tidal. The DAC itself also makes all audio sound better overall, and gives you more equalization options from the physical controller .

The main thing to consider with the Arctis Pro + DAC ($249.99) and the Arctis Pro Wireless ($329.99) is the cost. They’re both quite expensive relative to the overall SteelSeries lineup and those of competitors, too. But in this case, cost really is reflective of quality – channel separation and surround virtualization is excellent on these headsets, and the mic sounds great to other players I talked to as well. Plus, the Pro Wireless can connect to both Bluetooth and the 2.4GHz transmitter simultaneously, so you can use it with your phone as well as your console, and the retractable mic keeps things looking fairly stylish, too.

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‘Shadow of the Colossus’ PS4 remake exceeds the original

Posted by | Culture, fiction, Gaming, ICO, PlayStation 4, Reviews, shadow of the colossus, TC, video gaming | No Comments

 Shadow of the Colossus is one of those games I’ve purchased multiple times on multiple platforms, because the original was about as unique and satisfying a video game experience as you can find. But the new PlayStation 4 remake of the Team ICO standout, which recreates the game in stunning 4K HDR, is that rare remake that proves a better and more satisfying experience than the… Read More

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This ultra-cute tiny PS4 controller is a great option for children and the small-handed

Posted by | consoles, Gadgets, Gaming, PlayStation 4, PS4, Sony, TC | No Comments

 If you like playing console games with the younger generation, you may have come across the issue of their tiny hands being unable to perform certain combos, reach certain buttons easily, and so on. While this makes them satisfying opponents, it might be better if they had a controller more suited to their physiology. Well, good thing there is one! Read More

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PlayStation 4’s 4.50 software update adds HDD support, 3D Blu-ray capability for PS VR

Posted by | Blu-ray, computing, Gadgets, Gaming, playstation, PlayStation 4, TC, video gaming | No Comments

32622930126_3d50cf55c4_b PlayStation 4’s next big software update is going out now to beta testers, and it adds a lot for owners of the console to get excited about. There’s support for external USB HDDs, which means regardless of how much internal storage you have on your PS4, you can add up to 8TB of additional space via external drives, ensuring you’ll never run out of room for games and saves.… Read More

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Sony announces the Pro, a more powerful PlayStation 4 with a $399 price tag

Posted by | Gaming, playstation, PlayStation 4, Sony, TC | No Comments

PlayStation lineup Sony is revealing the details of an upgraded version of the PlayStation 4. Sony Interactive Entertainment President Andrew House said the new version of the console — dubbed the Pro — is specifically designed to support 4K TVs and high dynamic range video. In other words, it can offer more beautiful, detailed graphics than the existing PS4. Sony’s Mark Cerny said… Read More

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