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Everything to know about PS5 release date, price, games, more

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The next console generation  PS5 is officially in the near future, now that both Sony and Microsoft have started to lift the lid on their upcoming platforms. Microsoft officially introduced the next Xbox as Project Scarlett during its E3 2019 press briefing with a video of developers and executives discussing the console’s features and how they’ll empower game makers. Sony pulled out of E3 this year, but the company revealed the first information about the next PlayStation — which is unofficially known as the PlayStation 5 — in April.

Details remain scarce at this point for both Scarlett and the PS5, but would-be early adopters are already hungry to learn more. Here’s everything we know about the PS5.

What is the PS5’s release date?

Sony hasn’t explicitly provided a launch window for the next PlayStation, let alone a date. But we do have an idea of when it could arrive. In late April, Sony executives said that the company would not release the PS5 for at least 12 months. That puts the earliest launch timing in the summer of 2020.

Considering that Sony hasn’t said much else about the system since then — and hasn’t confirmed any games in development for it — it’s hard to imagine the console would be ready to launch a year from now. In other words, the smart money is on a fall 2020 debut, which would put the PS5 alongside Scarlett (just like the PS4 and Xbox One, which launched one week apart in November 2013).

What are the PS5’s hardware specifications?

Sony hasn’t yet provided hardware specifications for the console. What we know right now is that like Scarlett, the PS5 will be powered by technology from AMD. The eight-core CPU will be based on AMD’s third-generation Ryzen processors and its new 7 nm Zen 2 architecture, while the GPU will be a custom design from the company’s upcoming Navi line of graphics cards.

The GPU will support real-time ray tracing, a cutting-edge rendering technique that debuted in consumer-level graphics cards from AMD competitor Nvidia in 2018. But right now, Sony has not confirmed whether the PS5’s GPU will offer hardware-based ray tracing features. The company is currently promising that the console will also support resolutions of up to 8K and frame rates up to 120 Hz.

On the nonvisual front, the PS5 will contain a custom chip for 3D audio, which will allow the console to deliver more immersive surround sound à la Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. It will still offer an optical drive for disc-based games. And Sony is touting a surprising component as the PS5’s biggest upgrade over current-generation consoles: a solid-state drive (instead of a hard drive) that’s designed specifically for gaming, which will greatly reduce load times and empower developers to create larger and more complex game worlds.

Will the PS5 be backward-compatible with PS4 games?

Yes. The PS5’s architecture is based partly on that of the PS4. So unlike with the leap from the PlayStation 3 to the PS4, your existing games will not become obsolete when Sony launches its next console. It’s worth noting, however, that Sony has not yet given any details on how PS4 backward compatibility will work or how much of the console’s library will be supported on the PS5.

Will the PS5 support cloud gaming?

Unconfirmed, but it’s more likely than not. In the Wired interview in which Sony’s Mark Cerny — lead system architect for both the PS4 and PS5 — revealed the first details about the next PlayStation, he didn’t divulge anything about the company’s cloud gaming plans. He said only that “we are cloud-gaming pioneers, and our vision should become clear as we head toward launch.”

One key development that points to Sony’s interest in cloud gaming is that the company recently signed a deal with Microsoft — yes, the Xbox maker, which is launching a beta of Project xCloud this fall — in which the two firms agreed to “explore joint development of future cloud solutions in Microsoft Azure to support their respective game and content-streaming services.” Azure is Microsoft’s cloud computing platform, and one of its most successful business segments. Sony currently offers a streaming library containing hundreds of PlayStation 2, PS3, and PS4 games via PlayStation Now, but the company is now investing even more in cloud gaming.

How much will the PS5 cost?

Hardware makers generally avoid giving pricing details until fairly late in the game, so assuming that the PS5 is launching in fall 2020, don’t expect Sony to announce the price until sometime next year. At this point, any numbers would be pure speculation — the company may still be finalizing the hardware, and the components will be the main factor in setting the system’s cost.

The last time around, Sony took the wind out of Microsoft’s sails by launching the PS4 at $399, $100 cheaper than the Xbox One (whose higher price tag was largely due to the inclusion of the second-generation Kinect sensor). A generation before that, the high-end Xbox 360 at $399 was $100 cheaper than the low-end PS3 at $499. Cerny told Wired that the company is thinking about a price that will be “appealing […] in light of [the console’s] advanced feature set.”

From everything we know about Scarlett and the PS5 at this point, the two consoles are on similar footing when it comes to their hardware components and capabilities. It would be fascinating to see Microsoft and Sony go head to head with two consoles at the exact same price point, wouldn’t it?

What games will the PS5 launch with?

Neither Sony nor any third-party publishers have announced any games in development for the next PlayStation. It’s not hard to imagine that some upcoming PS4 titles — even a few 2019 games like Kojima Productions’ Death Stranding — will eventually end up being released on the PS5. (Porting over recent last-gen releases is a relatively quick and easy way to beef up a console’s library early in its life.)

Considering Sony’s sizable stable of internal studios, it feels odd that we only know about a couple of major PS4 projects in development: Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us Part 2 and Sucker Punch Productions’ Ghost of Tsushima. The company’s other internal development teams are probably already working on some PS5 launch titles — perhaps Guerrilla Games with a sequel to 2017’s Horizon Zero Dawn?

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Samsung brings Note 10 features to S10 series with new update

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A recent update brings a lot of the Galaxy Note 10 features to the S10 series of smartphones, according to the company’s latest blog post.

The update now lets users on the S10 quickly find photos in the Gallery app with keyword searches.

Another feature brings up content recommendations from the multimedia streaming apps on the handset. Additionally, ‘Media & Devices’ are now in the Quick Panel, which lets users control their experience across all devices.

There’s also an Auto Hotspot solution that turns your S10 into Wi-Fi hub for all your other Samsung devices if they share the same Samsung account.

Another part of the update brings an improved Night mode, AR Doodle and ‘Super Steady’ mode to the S10’s camera.

Further, there’s a feature that makes videos more dynamic and easier to edit, trim and personalize with Samsung DeX.

The rollout is currently ongoing and varies region by region. We’ve reached out to Samsung Canada for more information, but let us know in the comments below if you received the update on your S10.

And while mostly unrelated, Freedom Mobile customers with the Galaxy Note 10+ and S9 are now receiving a new security update with device stability improvements and bug fixes, as well as camera improvements for the S9.

Source: Samsung Blog 

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Windows highlight the best of Boulevard

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The dining area in the Boulevard show home by StreetSide Developments in Belwood Park. Courtesy, StreetSide Developments


Supplied / Postmedia

With well-sized windows in all the right places, a new townhome by StreetSide Developments fills with sunshine.

The Boulevard is a three-level, 1,398-square-foot model with a tandem garage displayed as a show home at Belwood Park, a development in the southeast community of Belmont.

Its use of windows create numerous bright, inviting spaces while lessening the need to reach for a light switch.

Every key space on the main level has at least one window — including the great room — which glows with two substantial panes on the front-facing wall and one on a side wall.

With direct access to a balcony, the great room feels extended. At six feet seven inches by 16 feet two inches, this outdoor space is ideal for everything from great conversations with family or friends, to a morning coffee in the fresh air.

The rear-facing U-shaped kitchen has a pantry, tile backsplash, and stainless-steel appliances, including an over-the-range hoodfan. Its counter facing the dining area has an extended eating bar that comfortably seats three people.

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While the front and back of a home are common spots for windows, it’s the side walls, such as the over-sized pane facing the central dining area, that help set this layout apart.

This enhances the overall flow of light across its open-concept main level, while highlighting the space in which families share a meal and reconnect after a day of school or work.

To that end, the dining area boxes out, adding to its visual interest.

Flooring across the main level is a durable and stylish luxury vinyl plank.

With three bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms, this model fits the needs of a young family. It also works for a downsizing couple who wants the space to host grandchildren for the weekend. Belwood Park’s other show home, the 1,153-square-foot Avenue model, has two bedrooms.

The largest bedroom measures 10 feet six inches by 12 feet and features an ensuite and spacious walk-in closet. Continuing the home’s focus on natural light, it benefits from a generously sized window on its main wall and a transom window on another.

The larger of the two secondary bedrooms — which also has a walk-in closet — boasts windows on multiple walls, as well.

Conveniently positioned just outside the master bedroom is a laundry area with a stacked front-load washer and dryer. This location avoids the need for any members of the family to carry a basket and laundry up and down stairs.

Joining Pine Creek and Sirocco, Belmont is one of three new master-planned communities by Anthem United located west of Macleod Trail.

The community — planned to be home to a future City of Calgary recreation centre — is near an established shopping complex in Silverado, and a large retail development that includes a movie theatre in Shawnessy.

Soccer and equestrian enthusiasts will appreciate Belmont’s close proximity to Spruce Meadows.

THE DETAILS

MODEL: The Boulevard is an 1,398-square-foot townhome with an attached garage.
DEVELOPMENT: Belwood Park.
AREA: Belmont is a new community in southeast Calgary.
BUILDER: StreetSide Developments.
DEVELOPER: Anthem United.
PRICE: This model starts from $314,120 plus GST.
HOURS: The show home is open 2 to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and noon to 5 p.m. on weekends and holidays.
DIRECTIONS: The show home is located at 850 Belmont Drive S.E. To get there, take Macleod Trail to 210th Avenue and turn right on Belmont Drive.
INFORMATION:streetsidecalgary.com

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Rainbow Six Siege Shifting Tides is adding the most lethal gun in the game

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Hit the deck: a big, scary gun is coming in the next Rainbow Six Siege update.

The CSRX 300 is Siege’s first bolt-action rifle. It can penetrate seven layers of ‘soft’ walls with a single shot. And its gadget can destroy almost any defensive gear sitting on the other side of a reinforced wall.

This intimidating long gun will be held by Kali, a new attacker who’s a mash-up of Glaz’s sniping, Thatcher’s disabling, and Ash’s destruction-from-a-distance. For me, Kali is the most eyebrow-raising operator since the arrival of Clash’s electrified shield (which later had to be temporarily taken out of Siege while exploits were fixed).

Kali exclusively carries the CSRX 300 as her primary weapon, making her just the second dedicated sniper in Siege after Glaz, who was part of the initial 2015 roster. Though her gun doesn’t offer Glaz’s thermal optics, Kali’s rifle can zoom to 5X or 12X dynamically (compared to Glaz’s 3X magnification), allowing her to operate at a significantly longer range than any other character in the game. It also damages differently.

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Like every gun in Siege, the CSRX insta-kills on a headshot, but if you’re shot in the body by it, you’re instantly downed, and you automatically whirl around, prone, to face Kali. This does make her rifle the most lethal weapon in the game, but in practice this mechanic actually works in the defender’s favor in some cases: if you’re getting shot at through a window at a distance, automatically dropping prone will probably protect you from a follow-up killshot. When I spawn-peeked out from an elevated window on Consulate and got insta-downed by Kali, I was able to limp away out of view and get revived by a teammate.

The thing sitting underneath this rifle’s barrel may be the bigger deal. Kali’s gadget, the LV Explosive Lance, shoots like one of Ash’s Breaching Rounds: they fling out with zero drop-off, burrow into any surface, and detonate after a short fuse expires. Kali carries three charges.

These explosive projectiles destroy almost anything on either side of any soft or reinforced wall they hit: barbed wire, deployable shields (including Goyo’s Volcàn), Maestro’s Evil Eye, Blitz’s batteries, Kaid’s Rtila, and other gear that happens to be in within 2.5 meters. It also deals a small amount of damage, should a defender be hiding on the other side of the wall. Mira’s Black Eyes are one of the only defensive gadgets not affected.

As a package, Kali will test the level design of every map in Siege: expect players to exploit her ability to punch through soft walls at insane distance. And with the ability to knock out a big range of gadgets, she becomes one of the most versatile attackers, one who can influence the objective room from farther than any other operator. Counterbalancing her a bit are the thick white tracers that hang in the air with every shot that leaves the CSRX, pointing a clear line to Kali’s position.

Wamai, the new defender

Kali deserves lots of attention and scrutiny, but she’ll be joined by Wamai, a new defender who will probably have a greater impact than Goyo and Warden, the two most recently-added defenders.

The MAG-NET snags enemy grenades out of the air from a distance of several meters. He’s meant as an alternative to Jäger, the popular defender who typically sticks his grenade-zapping mini-turrets in the objective room and runs off to roam the rest of the round. But unlike Jäger, Wamai’s magnetic frisbees don’t destroy grenades. Once they’re scooped up, their fuse is reset, after which they detonate normally and destroy the MAG-NET.

This mechanic opens up new, devious possibilities for using enemies’ throwables against them. Pull a frag grenade into a Volcàn shield and light the floor on fire unexpectedly. Pull a smoke grenade away from a key chokepoint. Pull a Fuze puck back toward the ceiling, killing anyone unlucky enough to be standing above it.

MAG-NETs redirect a wider set of projectiles than Jäger’s ADS—even Ying’s Candela and Capitão’s bolts are up for grabs. Hibana’s X-KAIROS, which it doesn’t target at all, is the main exception. Otherwise MAG-NETs can be thrown onto any surface and charges up on a timer like Lesion’s Gu mines.

Jäger’s high pick rate motivated Ubisoft to build a character with a similar ability. Like Jäger, he doesn’t carry an ACOG for either the MP5K or AUG A2. But as a two speed, two armor operator, he’s more of an anchor than his German counterpart. It’ll be interesting to see what creative MAG-NET positions players come up with—the gadget’s long reach should make it viable at all skill levels, but Wamai players will have to place the gadget carefully to avoid Magneto-ing enemy grenades onto teammates.

Theme Park gets a renovation

The other thing coming in Shifting Tides will be a “surgical” rework of Theme Park. The map’s upper floor trainyard has been cut, replaced with a new, segmented bombsite that sits between Initiation Room and Daycare. Although plenty of other exterior windows and doors have also been removed or altered, and the map has been brightened throughout, this is the main layout change, making Theme Park 2 far less of a transformation than Kafe, but one that should make the map competitively viable. Theme Park’s train section took ages to clear and made attackers too vulnerable to flanks.

Led by Kali, I expect Shifting Tides to seriously impact the meta. Ubisoft hasn’t announced when it’ll go live, but says it should be playable on the test server soon.

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