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iPhone 12 vs. iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max: Which one should you buy? – CNET

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The iPhone 12 and 12 Pro are among the highest-rated phones CNET has ever reviewed. With features including 5G, a super-fast and powerful processor and fantastic rear cameras, the iPhone 12 line will likely be a top choice for anyone in need of a phone. 

But Apple released four iPhone 12 variants this year, including a whole new model called the iPhone 12 Mini. The company is splitting these devices into two distinct categories: the regular iPhone 12 line and the “Pro” aimed at people who love photography and have more money to spend.

To see which phone is best for you and your budget, I compared the iPhone 12 with the other two Pro devices, the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max, on account of their design, cameras, performance and other features. Read on to see which one is right for you.

Patrick Holland/CNET

Starting at $829 (£799, AU$1,349), the iPhone 12 isn’t the cheapest of Apple’s new iPhone 12 variants. That title would go to the iPhone 12 Mini, which costs $729 (£699, AU$1,1999). But the iPhone 12 has a bigger screen and is the most affordable of all three phones in this comparison. And while it still features the A14 Bionic processor and dual rear cameras, it doesn’t have a telephoto lens. The device’s base memory option starts lower, at 64GB instead of 128GB, as well.

Read our Apple iPhone 12 review.

Patrick Holland/CNET

Get the iPhone 12 Pro if you want nearly all of the hardware benefits of the iPhone 12 Pro Max, but in the smaller body of the iPhone 12. These goodies include the aforementioned telephoto camera, a brighter screen, lidar sensors and camera tools like ProRAW.

Read more.

Apple

The iPhone 12 Pro Max basically has all the latest and greatest features from Apple. Its 6.7-inch display means it’s the biggest of all the new models and its camera setup, while similar to the iPhone 12 Pro, allows for more close-up zooming. Whether you like to binge-watch a lot of video on your phone or want to take the absolute best photos and video, the Pro Max will satisfy. Unfortunately, this also means it’s expensive. At its largest memory capacity, it costs a whopping $1,399 (£1,399, AU$2,369).

Read more.


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Our in-depth review of the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro

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Design: Polished, signature Apple look across the board

In general, all three iPhone 12 models look similar. All have OLED displays, are IP68 rated for water-resistance, have magnetic backings that work with new MagSafe chargers and accessories and they have more durable screens strengthened by ceramic. And like past iPhone models, they don’t have headphone jacks.

But the most notable difference is that the iPhone 12 Pro Max has the biggest screen. Get the 6.7-inch Pro Max if you’re sure you want to have the most immersive experience you can watching movies, playing graphic-intensive games and video conferencing with your friends and family.

05-iphone-12-pro-2020

The iPhone 12 Pro (left) and the iPhone 12 in different shades of blue.


Patrick Holland/CNET

If you’d rather get something smaller, the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro have 6.1-inch displays with the same resolution and pixel density, so images will look equally sharp no matter what device you choose. But the iPhone 12 Pro’s display is brighter — its screen features 800 nits of brightness compared to the iPhone 12’s 625 nits. While I don’t anticipate any issues with the iPhone 12’s display, the iPhone 12 Pro’s additional brightness is likely to come in handy when you’re looking at your phone outdoors on a sunny day.

Though the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro are the same size, the 12 Pro is heavier thanks to its extra hardware and the fact that, like the iPhone 12 Pro Max, it’s made of stainless steel. The iPhone 12, meanwhile, is made out of aluminum. It’s strong in its own right and lighter than steel, but it’s not as tough.

The iPhone 12 comes in five color variants: a deep blue, a minty green, red, white and black. Though the choices aren’t as fun as last year’s iPhone 11 pastels, it’s more vibrant than the iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max, which have four colors. Apple offers the familiar grey, silver and gold as well as a greyish-blue it calls pacific blue.

iPhone 12 Pro models have telephoto camera, Night Mode portraits and ProRAW

All phones have identical wide and ultra-wide cameras to take photos with a wide field of view. But the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max have a third telephoto lens, which allows for optical zoom and improved portrait photos, though the iPhone 12 can still take portraits.

Note that the Pro models’ telephoto lenses have different apertures. The iPhone 12 Pro has an f/2.0 aperture while the iPhone 12 Pro Max’s aperture is f/2.2. They also have different zoom ranges. The 12 Pro has a digital zoom up to 10x and an optical zoom of 4x. The iPhone 12 Pro Max can go in even closer: it can digitally zoom up to 12x and it has a 5x optical zoom.

The Pro models also have two more things the iPhone 12 doesn’t: lidar and ProRAW. Lidar sensors use infrared lasers to scan for depth, dimension and distance. It’s similar to the technology that FaceID uses to scan your face to unlock your iPhone, but it has a longer range. Now that it’s included in a rear camera, lidar is great for low-light photography, specifically portrait photos in Night Mode. (Lidar also can be used for AR, which I will go into detail later.) 

59-iphone-12-202059-iphone-12-2020

The iPhone 12 Pro (right) and Pro Max have a third telephoto lens.


Patrick Holland/CNET

ProRAW is a feature aimed at photography enthusiasts. Saving photos in Raw allows for greater control and editing after you capture an image because the file format is uncompressed. But since Raw images are also unprocessed, you don’t get the benefits of Apple’s image processing. ProRAW aims to give you the best of both — these images are processed for noise reduction and dynamic range, but not other things like white balance. 

You also get more options with video if you choose one of the Pro models. Though all iPhone 12 devices have HDR video recording with Dolby Vision, the iPhone 12 captures this video at 30 frames per second. But on the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max you can capture it at the much faster rate of 60fps. Digital zoom is different across the iPhone 12, 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max as well. For video you can zoom up to 3x, 6x and 7x, respectively.

One thing the iPhone 12 Pro Max has that none of the other iPhone 12 handsets have is a different type of image stabilization for video called sensor-shift image stabilization (also known as in-body image stabilization. Usually seen in premium mirrorless cameras, it means that the stabilization system is located inside the camera itself, on top of other stabilization methods like  digital and electronic techniques and the phone’s gyroscope. Whether or not this means the iPhone 12 Pro Max is noticeably better at stabilizing video than the iPhone 12 or 12 Pro remains to be seen.

iPhone 12 and 12 Pro battery life and processing speeds

The three iPhone 12 models are equipped with Apple’s A14 Bionic chip. We haven’t tested the iPhone 12 Pro Max yet, but we did test the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro. Both netted comparable scores on benchmark tests and actually scored the highest numbers on any phone we’ve ever tested. We expect the iPhone 12 Pro Max to get similar marks and I’ll update the piece when those numbers come in.

3DMark Slingshot Unlimited

Apple iPhone 12

Apple iPhone 12 Pro

Note:

Longer bars indicate better performance

Geekbench v.5.0 single-core

Apple iPhone 12

Apple iPhone 12 Pro

Note:

Longer bars indicate better performance

Geekbench v.5.0 multicore

Apple iPhone 12

Apple iPhone 12 Pro

Note:

Longer bars indicate better performance

Apple doesn’t disclose the battery capacity of its phones and public knowledge of how big iPhone batteries usually come from unofficial, third-party teardowns. We did, however, conduct preliminary tests for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro. We ran a single battery test for continuous video playback on Airplane mode and the iPhone 12 lasted 17 hours, 14 minutes while the iPhone 12 Pro drained a bit faster at 15 hours, 56 minutes. Due to its size, it’s likely the iPhone 12 Pro Max has the biggest battery of the three. But runtime may remain relatively similar, so we expect its numbers to be around 15 to 17 hours. Check back with this piece though when final results are in for all three phones.

Other features to consider: Lidar scanners and memory capacities

I already mentioned the benefits of the lidar scanners in the iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max in relation to photography. But the sensors can enhance augmented reality features too. It can carry out AR tasks faster (think: building out a detailed 3D map of a room within minutes) or execute much more complicated tasks like occlusion, which is when you place a virtual object behind a real one. We’ll learn more about the full scope of the iPhone 12 Pro’s lidar capabilities when more developers use the technology, but apps and services like Snapchat are already updating their software to take advantage of it.

The iPhone 12 starts at a lower base memory capacity and comes in 64GB, 128GB and 256GB options. The Pro models’ tiers are 128GB, 256GB and 512GB. Only you can determine how much memory you need and if your budget allows for more. But if you plan on capturing a ton of photos or shooting a lot of high-resolution videos, you’ll need more memory if you want to save them locally. If you plan on subscribing to Apple’s iCloud storage service, onboard memory shouldn’t be much of an issue.


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iPhone 12, 12 Mini, 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max specs

Apple iPhone 12 Apple iPhone 12 Mini Apple iPhone 12 Pro Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
Display size, resolution 6.1-inch OLED; 2,532×1,170 pixels 5.4-inch OLED; 2,340×1,080 pixels 6.1-inch OLED; 2,532×1,170 pixels 6.7-inch OLED; 2,778×1,284 pixels
Pixel density 460ppi 476ppi 460ppi 458ppi
Dimensions (Inches) 5.78 x 2.82 x 0.29 in 5.18 x 2.53 x 0.29 in 5.78 x 2.82 x 0.29 in 6.33 x 3.07 x 0.29 in
Dimensions (Millimeters) 146.7 x 71.5 x 7.4 mm 131.5 x 64.2 x 7.4 mm 146.7 x 71.5 x 7.4 mm 160.8 x 78.1 x 7.4 mm
Weight (Ounces, Grams) 5.78oz; 164g 4.76 oz; 135g 6.66 oz; 189g 8.03 oz; 228g
Mobile software iOS 14 iOS 14 iOS 14 iOS 14
Camera 12-megapixel (wide), 12-megapixel (ultra-wide) 12-megapixel (wide), 12-megapixel (ultra-wide) 12-megapixel (wide), 12-megapixel (ultra-wide), 12-megapixel (telephoto) 12-megapixel (wide), 12-megapixel (ultra-wide), 12-megapixel (telephoto)
Front-facing camera 12-megapixel 12-megapixel 12-megapixel 12-megapixel
Video capture 4K 4K 4K 4K
Processor Apple Bionic 14 Apple Bionic 14 Apple Bionic 14 Apple Bionic 14
Storage 64GB, 128GB, 256GB 64GB, 128GB, 256GB 128GB, 256GB, 512GB 128GB, 256GB, 512GB
RAM Undisclosed Undisclosed Undisclosed Undisclosed
Expandable storage No No No No
Battery Undisclosed; Apple lists 15 hours of video playback Undisclosed; Apple lists 15 hours of video playback Undisclosed; Apple lists 17 hours of video playback Undisclosed; Apple lists 17 hours of video playback
Fingerprint sensor No (FaceID) No (FaceID) No (FaceID) No (FaceID)
Connector Lightning Lightning Lightning Lightning
Headphone jack No No No No
Special features 5G enabled; MagSafe; water resistant (IP68); wireless charging; dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM) 5G enabled; MagSafe; water resistant (IP68); wireless charging; dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM) LiDAR scanner; 5G enabled; MagSafe; water resistant (IP68); wireless charging; dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM) LiDAR scanner; 5G enabled; MagSafe; water resistant (IP68); wireless charging; dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM)
Price off-contract (USD) $829 (64GB), $879 (128GB), $979 (256GB) $729 (64GB), $779 (128GB), $879 (256GB) $999 (128GB), $1,099 (256GB), $1,299 (512GB) $1,099 (128GB), $1,199 (256GB), $1,399 (512GB)
Price (GBP) £799 (64GB), £849 (128GB), £949 (256GB) £699 (64GB), £749 (128GB), £849 (256GB) £999 (128GB), £1,099 (256GB), £1,299 (512GB) £1,099 (128GB), £1,199 (256GB), £1,399 (512GB)
Price (AUD) AU$1,349 (64GB), AU$1,429 (128GB), AU$1,599 (256GB) AU$1,199 (64GB), AU$1,279 (128GB), AU$1,449 (256GB) AU$1,699 (128GB), AU$1,869 (256GB), AU$2,219 (512GB) AU$1,849 (128GB), AU$2,019 (256GB), AU$2,369 (512GB)

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PS5 restock: Here's where and how to buy a PlayStation 5 this week – TechRepublic

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It’s not too late to try to score a PlayStation 5 this week. Here’s where to look for the elusive PS5 in stores and online.

Image: Sony Interactive Entertainment

If you’re still looking for a PS5 for a holiday gift or for yourself, there’s still a chance. I’m in the trenches with you, trying to nab one for my kid, and here’s where I’ve been searching and what I’m finding. I’ll update this article regularly as I find out more information.

Of course finding a PlayStation 5 has been a nightmare since it launched on Nov. 12. Retailers such as Walmart, Meijer, Target and Best Buy sold out fast. Bundles became the way to go, with GameStop, AntOnline and Newegg offering bundles starting at $600-plus and even those sold out within an hour or less. 

For those new to the PS5 shopping game, there are two versions. There is a $400 digital-only model and a $500 console version. The only differences between the two are that the console edition includes an Ultra HD Blu-ray disc drive to allow for PS5 Blu-ray disc games and PS4 Blu-ray disc games, and video from 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays and standard Blu-rays and DVDs. The digital edition has been selling out faster than the console version, because of its lower price, but that’s if you count time in seconds. They’re both in great demand, and the goal for most people is to buy one at any reasonable price solo or in a bundle. There are scalpers afoot, but we won’t talk about them since that’s not an option I’m willing to consider. 

SEE: Guide to becoming a digital transformation champion (TechRepublic Premium)

Check sites regularly, use the refresh button

An important way to find a PS5 is to constantly check the main sites that sell the PS5, such as Target, Best Buy, Walmart, Kohl’s, Costco, Sony direct, GameStop and AntOnline, and refresh the page frequently. 

For instance, Best Buy often shows out of stock, but several times it’s given me an “Open Box” option for stock. It disappeared just as quickly, as others grabbed the available stock, but it was there. So someone nabbed one. The last time I saw this was Nov. 25, so it’s been a few days, but others have reported on social media that they’ve seen the same thing more recently.

With that in mind, here are the places to look for a PS5 this week. Retailers such as GameStop have been offering bundles of a PS5 console or digital edition paired with controllers and games for around $800, and they sell out fast. AntOnline offered a PS5 bundle in the mid-$800 price range yesterday and it was available for several minutes before selling out. Adorama released limited stock online Monday morning, but it sold out in four minutes. 

Target is offering the PS5 for online ordering and in-store pickup, so it’s worth regularly checking the site to see if your local stores have added any new stock. Remember to look at Walmart periodically, too. And also Amazon. The retailer has been showing restocking, and sometimes it’s through third parties that are selling for scalped rates, but you might get lucky and find it for the regular retail price.

You can use these direct links to go to the retailers’ pages for the PlayStation 5 digital edition and console version:

Best Buy: PS5 Console and the PS5 Digital Edition

Amazon: PS5 Console and the PS5 Digital Edition

GameStop: PS5 Console and the PS5 Digital Edition

Target: PS5 Console and the PS5 Digital Edition

Walmart: PS5 Console and the PS5 Digital Edition

Sony PS5 queue for direct purchasing

Buying a PS5 direct from Sony is a definite possibility as they restock periodically as well. A queue is formed when stock is available and it gives an approximate wait time and it will let you enter the purchase area once your time arrives. This actually happened once for me, and it told me my wait time would be more than an hour, but at the time the queue opened up, I had stepped away from my laptop and I missed my chance after being in a digital line for about 90 minutes. But this option does work, even if you’ve been waiting for a very long time as I had that day, so there’s hope.

Follow PS5 social media accounts

Another option is to use social media to your advantage. There are many social media accounts providing regular updates on which retailers are offering potential merchandise drops of the PS5. Employees who work at the stores are leaking information, and shoppers are showing receipts as they find in-store units. 

To take advantage of this source of information, find the social media accounts that you find trustworthy and follow them. A quick glance on Twitter has @spieltimes reporting Walmart walk-ins as a reputable source for PS5 units, as well as a possible PS5 queue opening up today on the PlayStation direct store online, and potential stock coming in at Target. And Canadian shoppers will have better luck at Walmart, according to @PS5StockUpdates, who reports that on Dec. 3 at 11 am EST, there will be new stock available online.

Whichever option you choose to try to score a PS5, know that you’re not alone. I’m there with you and will keep updating this article with any information I find that might help in everyone’s search.

Also see

  • Raspberry Pi: A cheat sheet (TechRepublic)
  • Technology in education: The latest products and trends (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
  • How to securely erase hard drives (HDDs) and solid state drives (SSDs) (ZDNet)
  • Raspberry Pi: More must-read coverage (TechRepublic on Flipboard)

  • Xbox Series X restock for Cyber Monday: Where to buy the next-gen gaming system

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    Review: PS5 is big and pricey, but boasts impressive speed and visual upgrades – Prince George Citizen

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    Seven years after the release of the highly successful PlayStation 4, Sony has fired its latest salvo in the war to capture the hearts and minds of big-spending video game enthusiasts.

    The PlayStation 5 launched Nov. 12, two days after archrival Microsoft debuted its new Xbox Series X and Series S units. The latest round of the console wars started with a bang, as both systems quickly sold out.

    article continues below

    Sony, however, is coming off a decisive victory in the last round of the battle. According to sales figures from Sony Interactive Entertainment, all versions of the PS4 combined have sold more than 113.5 millionunits as of Sept. 30, making it the second-highest selling home console behind the PlayStation 2.

    In an effort to keep its edge in the video game arms race, Sony has released an expensive but powerful platform with a bold esthetic that breaks from past conservative design choices. While upgrading to Sony’s latest console will come at a cost — a unit that includes an Ultra-HD Blu-Ray drive has a recommended retail price of $629.99 while a digital-only version costs $499.99 — the improved experience will be difficult for dedicated gamers to pass up.

    The increased processing power of the PS5 is seen through the quality of the graphics. Titles that have built from the ground up for the console, like the punishing action role-playing game “Demon’s Souls,” look stunning. The difference in visual quality will be more striking from gamers upgrading from a base PS4, which did not support 4K resolution, rather than the more recent PS4 Pro.

    A notable part of the visual upgrade comes from the PS5’s use of ray tracing, an advanced rendering technique to realistically depict light and shadow. Until recently, ray tracing was considered too resource-intensive to use effectively in video-game development.

    Games available at launch that support ray tracing include “Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales” and “Demon’s Souls.” Spider-Man’s bio-electrical powers provide a nice example of what the technology can do — and seem to come without a performance cost.

    As impressive as the eye candy is, the speed of the PS5 is arguably a more noteworthy improvement over its predecessor. Load times are markedly faster for PS5 games; even games with massive maps and environments to handle like “Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla” have little downtime.

    As a result of this extra processing power, the PS5 is a bit more unwieldy than its sleek precursor. The version of the PS5 with the Blu-Ray drive is 39 centimetres wide, 26 cm deep and 10.4 centimetres high, making it Sony’s largest console. The digital-only version is about a cenitmetre shorter. The units can be set horizontally or vertically to give some options, but it will take up a good chunk of your entertainment centre.

    Sony is pivoting from the traditional all-black colour scheme to a two-toned black-and-white look. The PS5 also has a contoured design that sets it apart from the clean lines of the PS4. Whether the new look works or not is, of course, an exercise in subjectivity, but the PS5 is certainly bolder in appearance than its clinical counterpart.

    The design choice is mirrored in the accessories available at launch, which include the DualSense wireless controller, a wireless headset, an HD camera, a controller charging station and a media remote control, for those who wish to use the PS5 as a launch point for their favourite streaming services.

    The DualSense controller is a significant change from Sony’s long-running DualShock design. The controller has more heft to it and features cleaner lines in its construction. It features haptic feedback, which is intended to make instances in a game that cause the controller to vibrate feel more realistic. A nice feature is that the controller’s touchpad is now covered and resistant to the possibility of getting smudged with greasy fingerprints.

    Most PS4 games are playable on the PS5, and are easily ported over with a USB drive. Saved games will have to be expressly moved over, either by removable drive or through the cloud service provided by the PS Plus service, which comes at an added cost.

    PlayStation 4 controllers can be used, but only to play PS4 games. Those wanting to enjoy local multiplayer on a PS5 game will have to shell out for another DualSense controller, which costs about $90.

    Staying on the leading edge of console gaming will always tax an entertainment budget, and upgrading to a PS5 is no different.

    A PlayStation 5 console was provided for review purposes.

    This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 30, 2020.

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    Review: PS5 is big and pricey, but boasts impressive speed and visual upgrades – The Battlefords News-Optimist

    Published

     on


    Seven years after the release of the highly successful PlayStation 4, Sony has fired its latest salvo in the war to capture the hearts and minds of big-spending video game enthusiasts.

    The PlayStation 5 launched Nov. 12, two days after archrival Microsoft debuted its new Xbox Series X and Series S units. The latest round of the console wars started with a bang, as both systems quickly sold out.

    article continues below

    Sony, however, is coming off a decisive victory in the last round of the battle. According to sales figures from Sony Interactive Entertainment, all versions of the PS4 combined have sold more than 113.5 millionunits as of Sept. 30, making it the second-highest selling home console behind the PlayStation 2.

    In an effort to keep its edge in the video game arms race, Sony has released an expensive but powerful platform with a bold esthetic that breaks from past conservative design choices. While upgrading to Sony’s latest console will come at a cost — a unit that includes an Ultra-HD Blu-Ray drive has a recommended retail price of $629.99 while a digital-only version costs $499.99 — the improved experience will be difficult for dedicated gamers to pass up.

    The increased processing power of the PS5 is seen through the quality of the graphics. Titles that have built from the ground up for the console, like the punishing action role-playing game “Demon’s Souls,” look stunning. The difference in visual quality will be more striking from gamers upgrading from a base PS4, which did not support 4K resolution, rather than the more recent PS4 Pro.

    A notable part of the visual upgrade comes from the PS5’s use of ray tracing, an advanced rendering technique to realistically depict light and shadow. Until recently, ray tracing was considered too resource-intensive to use effectively in video-game development.

    Games available at launch that support ray tracing include “Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales” and “Demon’s Souls.” Spider-Man’s bio-electrical powers provide a nice example of what the technology can do — and seem to come without a performance cost.

    As impressive as the eye candy is, the speed of the PS5 is arguably a more noteworthy improvement over its predecessor. Load times are markedly faster for PS5 games; even games with massive maps and environments to handle like “Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla” have little downtime.

    As a result of this extra processing power, the PS5 is a bit more unwieldy than its sleek precursor. The version of the PS5 with the Blu-Ray drive is 39 centimetres wide, 26 cm deep and 10.4 centimetres high, making it Sony’s largest console. The digital-only version is about a cenitmetre shorter. The units can be set horizontally or vertically to give some options, but it will take up a good chunk of your entertainment centre.

    Sony is pivoting from the traditional all-black colour scheme to a two-toned black-and-white look. The PS5 also has a contoured design that sets it apart from the clean lines of the PS4. Whether the new look works or not is, of course, an exercise in subjectivity, but the PS5 is certainly bolder in appearance than its clinical counterpart.

    The design choice is mirrored in the accessories available at launch, which include the DualSense wireless controller, a wireless headset, an HD camera, a controller charging station and a media remote control, for those who wish to use the PS5 as a launch point for their favourite streaming services.

    The DualSense controller is a significant change from Sony’s long-running DualShock design. The controller has more heft to it and features cleaner lines in its construction. It features haptic feedback, which is intended to make instances in a game that cause the controller to vibrate feel more realistic. A nice feature is that the controller’s touchpad is now covered and resistant to the possibility of getting smudged with greasy fingerprints.

    Most PS4 games are playable on the PS5, and are easily ported over with a USB drive. Saved games will have to be expressly moved over, either by removable drive or through the cloud service provided by the PS Plus service, which comes at an added cost.

    PlayStation 4 controllers can be used, but only to play PS4 games. Those wanting to enjoy local multiplayer on a PS5 game will have to shell out for another DualSense controller, which costs about $90.

    Staying on the leading edge of console gaming will always tax an entertainment budget, and upgrading to a PS5 is no different.

    A PlayStation 5 console was provided for review purposes.

    This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 30, 2020.

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