Recently Browsing 0 members
No registered users viewing this page.
EA Play Live games showcase will return this July with another virtual event
by Pulasthi Ariyasinghe
Electronic Arts has been hosting its own yearly gaming event named EA Play (not to be confused with the subscription service) separate from E3 festivities for quite a few years now. Still, they have always taken place during E3 week to not miss out on the high levels of hype generated there.
Last year, the event switched to a digital format (EA Play Live) due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and today, EA announced the return of this virtual event. There is something different about this show, however. Unlike the usual June presentation, EA has pushed back the EA Play Live showcase to July 22, over a month after the returning all-digital E3 is supposed to take place.
Perhaps the company realized the E3 week schedule is too busy this time to shine a spotlight on its own wares. It's likely that the games the publisher is planning to push in the near future are aimed at the holiday season anyway, so it can take the hit of delaying the full reveals by a month.
The next Battlefield project is one of the games that are pretty much guaranteed to be unveiled in full at EA Play Live. The game is said to be the largest Battlefield being developed at DICE and its supporting studios, featuring more players than ever before. At least a teaser trailer should land in June if recent hints are anything to go by.
Other games likely to be revealed at EA Play Live include the usual trove of yearly EA Sports games like FIFA, NHL, and Madden, and perhaps a better look at Dragon Age 4 and the next Skate Project. Since Codemasters is now under EA's umbrella now, more racing games are something to look forward to as well, though not Need for Speed entries, for now at least.
HTC announces the 5K Vive Pro 2 and Vive Focus 3 VR headsets
by Pulasthi Ariyasinghe
At its ViveCon 2021 virtual event today, HTC unveiled two new virtual reality headsets. The new VR kits are aimed at separate markets, with the HTC Vive Pro 2 heading to PC VR consumers while the standalone HTC Vive Focus 3 is targetting business purposes.
The gaming-orientated Vive Pro 2 touts vast improvements over its predecessor from 2018, coming with a "5K" resolution (2448 pixels per eye), 120-degree FOV display running at 120hz, as well as fast-switching RGB sub-pixels for almost eliminating the annoying screen door effect and motion blur.
HTC is also including an IPD (inter-pupillary distance) slider, an adjustable head strap, a resizing dial, and promising a balanced headset for maximum comfort. The built-in headphones are Hi-Res Audio certified, and third-party headphones are supported as well. The headset is also backward compatible with DisplayPort 1.2, utilizing Display Stream Compression with help from Nvidia and AMD, so that older graphics cards can still enjoy the bigger and better hardware.
The Vive Pro 2 launches on June 4 and pre-orders are available from today. Purchasing the full kit will set consumers back £1299 / $1399 / €1399, with the package including the headset, Base Station 2.0, and Vive Controllers. However, HTC is offering a headset-only upgrade for those who own previous generation Vive or other SteamVR trackers and accessories. This option will cost £659 / $749 / €739 during the pre-order period.
Meanwhile, the business-focused Vive Focus 3's display is almost identical to the Vive Pro 2, offering a 5K, 120-degree screen with RGB sub-pixels. However, the refresh rate is set at 90hz over here. The magnesium alloy framed headset keeps the IPD sliders as well, and has quick-release buttons for removing the front and rear gaskets for easy cleaning or swapping in between sessions.
This headset is also an all-in-one design, meaning a PC is not a requirement for using it. The chipset powering it is from Qualcomm'S Snapdragon XR2 platform - much like the Quest 2. The battery that's powering the device is mounted on the back, which means a more balanced design according to HTC. The battery pack can also be swapped easily and touts a 50% charge in 30 minutes.
Contact-free open back speakers with a special 'audio privacy setting' for those needing privacy during meetings are also included. While hand tracking is being worked on, HTC is packaging a couple of redesigned controllers that utilize the headset's cameras for tracking. These are slated to last 15 hours on a single charge.
The Vive Focus 3 will go on sale starting on June 24 with a £1060 / $1300 / €1180 price tag.
The Xbox May 2021 Update is now available with better Quick Resume and passthrough audio
by João Carrasqueira
Microsoft is back at it with another monthly update for the Xbox family of consoles, and as usual, this one brings some notable improvements that should make your experience that much better. These updates are available for both the Xbox One and the recently-launched Xbox Series X|S, and there's also some updates related to Xbox apps on other devices.
First off, one of the more notable improvements is in Quick Resume, which is a feature only available on the Xbox Series X|S. This feature lets users quickly jump between different games without having them load all over again, and Microsoft says this update makes the feature more reliable and faster. What's more, games that support Quick Resume will have a new tag next to them to make them easier to identify, and there's also a new group in your games library that lists all the game currently stored in Quick Resume so you can launch them more quickly.
Next is support for passthrough audio for media apps such as Disney+, Apple TV, Plex, and Vudu. This setting allows audio decoding to bypass the console and head straight into your HDMI-connected speakers for better audio quality. You can enable audio passthrough in the Xbox console's sound settings, and the guide will show an indicator when you use an app that supports passthrough audio if the feature is enabled.
Another update has to do with parental controls, and it allows children to request access to multiplayer games on a per-title basis. The Xbox Family Settings app allows parents to disable multiplayer features altogether, but now parents can enable it for specific games if they deem them more appropriate. Other smaller updates include a new dynamic background called Motes, and for Xbox Game Pass users, the spotlight section of the Game Pass hub will now automatically play trailers for games when you focus on them, without having to open the game's page.
Aside from console-specific features, Microsoft also announced today that the Xbox app for Android and iOS can now notify users when their friends are online, The achievements page has been updated with new game stats such as time played, and finally, the performance and reliability of sending messages in the Xbox app has been improved.
Finally, Microsoft also announced today that the Xbox One SmartGlass app for PC will be discontinued in June, meaning you won't be able to download it and no new updates are planned. Microsoft recommends using the Xbox app for messaging friends and managing Game Pass downloads.
There are some known issues in this update, which you can find below:
The update should now be available to download, and you can either get it right now or wait for it to install by itself. Microsoft releases new updates with notable improvements every month, and it's worth keeping an eye out for them.
By Asher Madan
Xbox Deals with Gold feature Batman, Halo, Mafia, and more
by Asher Madan
Every week, Microsoft and select publishers discount a number of titles for a weekly Deals with Gold sale. This week, games from the Halo, Mafia, and other franchises are available for substantially less. Below, you'll find the Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and Xbox 360 games with their respective discounts. The deals and games marked with an asterisk are only valid for Xbox Live Gold members, so you'll need an active paid subscription for the additional discount.
Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One
Many of the games are also backward compatible so you can play them on your Xbox Series X|S or Xbox One.
Which titles are you interested in? Did you buy any up? Let us know in the comments below.
Acer refreshes its gaming laptops with Intel 11th-gen processors and RTX 30 series GPUs
by João Carrasqueira
Today, both Intel and Nvidia had some new hardware announcements to share, with Intel introducing its 11th-generation H-series processors and Nvidia announcing the RTX 3050 Ti and RTX 3050 laptop GPUs. Because of that, many new devices are being announced with these new processors, and a few of them are coming from Acer's gaming lineup. The company is refreshing the Predator Triton 300, Predator Helios 300, and Nitro 5 gaming laptops with the new hardware.
First off, the Predator Triton 300 is the most powerful of the bunch, with up to an Intel Core i7-11800H, which is an octa-core processor capable of boosting up to 4.6GHz. It also packs up to an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 GPU and 32GB of DDR4 RAM. The display options include a 360Hz Full HD display or a 165HZ QHD panel. Keeping the whole system running cool are 5th-generation AeroBlade fans, which are made of metal and promise up to 55% more airflow compared to plastic fans without increasing noise.
It also features Intel's Killer Wi-Fi 6 card and E2600G Ethernet, HDMI 2.1, Mini DisplayPort 1.4, a Thunderbolt 4 port, two USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports, and one USB 3.2 Gen 2 port. It also offers support for DTS:X Ultra audio with headphones. The keyboard has four-zone RGB backlighting and colored keycaps for the WASD and arrow keys. All of this is in a chassis that's just under 20mm thin (19.9mm, to be precise), so you get plenty of performance in a relatively compact package.
The Predator Helios 300 is less focused on portability, and it also features Intel's latest processors and up to an RTX 3070 laptop GPU. It features the same cooling fans as the Triton 300, but the 17-inch model also has Acer's Vortex Flow cooling system that should help improve cooling even further. It comes with up to 32GB of DDR4 RAM and the display options are also the same as the Triton 300.
The port selection is also pretty much identical, but the keyboard has some slight tweaks, with the WASD and arrow keys being concave to make them more comfortable to use while gaming.
Finally, there's the Nitro 5, which also comes with Intel's 11th-generation processors and up to a GeForce RTX 3070 GPU. It comes with a QHD 165Hz display in either 15- or 17-inch sizes, and Acer is touting a pair of M.2 and SATA SSD slots for storage, though you can also use the SATA slot for a larger HDD if you want to be able to carry more data around. It comes with Acer's Coolboost technology for cooling, too.
The port selection is very similar, too, though there's no dedicated DisplayPort connector here. Thunderbolt 4 is still supported though, so you should be able to connect to external displays with it. The keyboard once again features four-zone RGB backlighting, 1.6mm of key travel, and a Precision touchpad below that.
The Acer Predator Triton 300 will be available in July starting at $1,699, and in EMEA regions in June starting at €1,499. Meanwhile, the Acer Nitro 5 will be available worldwide in June starting at $1,099/€999 for the 15-inch model, while the 17-inch model will start at $1,299/€1,299. Acer didn't mention pricing or availability for the Helios 300.