After tearing the PlayStation 5’s guts apart earlier this week, Sony confirmed nearly everything we’d like to know on Friday about how its new console, launching November 12, will interface with PS4 games via backward compatibility.
We should probably start with the big news that Sony has not cleared up just yet.
Today, we received our first indication that PlayStation 5 will ship with something known as “Game Boost,” which its Friday news post suggests “may make [select] PS4 games run with a higher or smoother frame rate.” This suggestion doesn’t come with a handy footnote pointing us to a list of affected games or features, however.
Sony did not immediately respond to our request for clarification, so I’m left pointing to my recent deep dive with Xbox Series X’s backward compatibility suite. What I found there was compelling: Most games play nearly identically on Xbox Series X as they do on Xbox One X, since console games are typically coded with hard limits on technical aspects. But in the case of games that launched on PS4 with “unlocked” frame rates and dynamic resolutions, well, the sky might be the limit.
Will PS5 let those older, uncapped games tap into the full PS5 architecture or will certain CPU and GPU aspects be limited for compatibility’s sake? I found that Xbox Series X was generally quite generous to the minority of games that could tap into increased horsepower, but there’s no guaranteeing Sony will treat its older games the same way, in order to prioritize compatibility over upgrades. Additionally, will current-gen PlayStation VR games see their own boosts? “PSVR” is referenced repeatedly throughout today’s new document but not in the brief mention of Game Boost.
[Update, 3:05pm ET: Sucker Punch Productions has now confirmed that this year’s Ghost of Tsushima, which is currently capped at 30fps on PlayStation 4 consoles, will receive 60fps support and faster loading times on PS5 via a Game Boost-minded patch. This is likely a good sign that other recent first-party PS4 games will receive similar updates.]
Just deal with it
While we’ve yet to see a list of “select” games affected by Game Boost, we now have a small list of 10 games that stand out as exceptions for PS5’s back-compat suite. Sony seems confident in saying that the “overwhelming majority” of over 4,000 PS4 games will play on PS5, so we’ll start by pouring one out for the following 10 games that will not:
- Afro Samurai 2: Revenge of Kuma, Volume One
- TT Isle of Man – Ride on the Edge 2
- Just Deal With It!
- Shadow Complex Remastered
- Robinson: The Journey
- We Sing
- Hitman Go: Definitive Edition
- Joe’s Diner
Only one of those appears to be a PSVR exclusive, and the games’ commonality is otherwise difficult to ascertain. That weird list is also a possible hint that the metric for “playable” might be a fuzzy one for PS4 games, since Sony is already saying things like the following:
Although many PS4 games are playable on PS5 consoles, some functionalities that were available on the PS4 console may not be available on PS5 consoles. In addition, some PS4 games may exhibit errors or unexpected behavior when played on PS5 consoles.
That warning is followed by stern advice from Sony: before buying DLC for a game that you want to take from PS4 to PS5, test the game out on PS5 first “to see if you are happy with the play experience.” Hmm. We’d sure like to see more explanations or examples of how PS4 games on PS5 might leave players unhappy—should we expect loading pauses, frame rate stutters, or outright glitches? Or are we talking more about tolerable differences like mild audio hiccups or color-grading issues? Right now, we have no idea.
Speaking of color-grading: “HDR is automatically switched on for PS5 consoles,” Sony says, but this doesn’t confirm whether we should expect any “auto-HDR” treatment for older PS4 games, like Xbox Series consoles offer for older Xbox software. (This automatic HDR switch won’t happen on TV sets that don’t support the standard, and Sony says it can be disabled if you prefer.)
A sense of shock
Existing PlayStation VR hardware seems to be entirely compatible with PS5, with Sony confirming once again that users will need a PlayStation Camera adapter to connect to PS5—and that those adapters will be free. How exactly PSVR owners will get those adapters remains to be seen.
The matter of PS5 controller compatibility is a bit more complicated than Xbox Series’ pledge of total forward and backward compatibility (with the exception of Xbox One Kinect, RIP). As has previously been hinted, PS5’s new DualSense controller will work with older games, but PS4’s DualShock 4 gamepad will not work with PS5 games. (Yes, you can still connect a PS4 DualShock 4 to play PS4 games on PS5. Whew, that’s a mouthful.) In good forward-compatibility news, if you already bought an expensive add-on controller, Sony assures you that “specialty peripherals [from the PS4 era], such as officially licensed racing wheels, arcade sticks, and flight sticks,” will work with PS5 software.
When playing the PS4’s library of PSVR games on PS5, Sony encourages users to stick with DualShock 4 as a gamepad, suggesting that the older gamepad offers the “best experience” in PSVR. This implies, but doesn’t confirm, that DualSense will not work the same way as a DualShock 4 in PSVR games like Astro Bot, which relies heavily on gamepad motion sensing via tracking elements like its “light bar.” You can also use existing PlayStation Move wands in PSVR games on PS5. [Update, 2:50 p.m. ET: Another official Sony page confirms that DualSense controllers will not work for PS4’s PSVR games.]
Certain PS4 system features have been scrapped when moving forward to PS5. The DualShock 4’s “share” button now brings up the PS5’s built-in “create” menu, which appears to do all the stuff that “share” did on PS4 but with a few additional button shortcuts. And PS4 social features like tournaments, “in-game live,” and second-screen app functionality have all gotten the axe.
And as Sony already confirmed last month, if you were holding out hope that any of your PS1, PS2, or PS3 discs would work on the PS5, you should stop that at once.
Five iPhone 12 features you won't find on any Android phones (and one Apple is missing!) – Daily Express
iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro landed on shelves on Friday October 21, with those who managed to pre-order earlier this month receiving their new smartphones through the post on the same day. Apple looks like it’s struggling to keep up with demand – with shipping estimates now slipping well into mid-November on most models. This could be a sign that Apple fans are flocking to the new design, reworked cameras and 5G support… or the widespread shutdowns due to the global pandemic have seriously impacted the Californian company’s ability to manufacture handsets and ship them around the world at its usual scale. Who knows, it could be a bit of both.
What we do know is exactly how the iPhone 12 series stacks-up against its closest rivals from the likes of Samsung, OnePlus, Sony and Google. So, to breakdown exactly what the new iPhone has going for it – as well as what it’s sorely missing – here is a list of five features that you won’t find on its Android counterparts.
1) iPhone 12 features you won’t find on Android: Ceramic Shield
Ceramic Shield is a new toughened glass developed with Apple and smash-proof specialists Corning. Although you’ll find Corning’s super-strength Gorilla Glass product, including the latest Gorilla Glass Victus (which is designed to prevent against day-to-day scuffs and scratches as much as drops) announced back in August, on a huge array of Android smartphones, the company uses a custom formulation when it works with Apple. And according to both companies, the latest result of this partnership is truly special.
Dubbed Ceramic Shield by the Apple Marketing department, the Californian company says it’s tougher than any other smartphone glass available right now. Corning and Apple have infused the toughened glass with nano-ceramic crystals to improve toughness. The result? Apple says all four new iPhone 12 models are four times more likely to survive accidental drops.
2) iPhone 12 features you won’t find on Android: MagSafe
Android smartphones have had wireless charging support for years… and Apple was incredibly slow to jump on the bandwagon. However, now that wireless charging is baked into every iPhone on-sale in the Apple Store, the US company is now bringing some interesting new additions to the table. MagSafe, which borrows its brand name from the trip-proof magnetic charging cables previously shipped with all MacBooks, lets the wireless charging puck snap to the back of your iPhone. This ensures the smartphone can’t buzz itself out of alignment with the charging coils after a few notifications and means you’ll be able to pick-up and use your iPhone when it’s charging.
Of course, you can do all of that with a good ol’ fashioned cable. But a charging cable isn’t much good if you trip over it – it’ll send your £999 iPhone 12 Pro flying across the room. That’s something that won’t happen with MagSafe. And more interesting than charging, Apple is already using MagSafe for a series of new accessories, including a lightweight card-holder that magnetically sticks to the back of your handset and new cases that trigger custom animations to match the colour of the accessory. Third-parties will be allowed to make their own MagSafe gadgets, so we’re likely to see a truckload of interesting applications – from car charging mounts, to wallets and folios – over the coming months.
3) iPhone 12 features you won’t find on Android: A14 Bionic
While most flagship Android smartphones are fuelled by the latest-and-greatest from US chipmaker Qualcomm, Apple designs its own processors. This has enabled the Californian firm to focus on what it prioritises – battery life, speed, camera – compared to a one-size-fits-all approach designed to work in devices from a wide variety of manufactures, like the Snapdragon 865. For the last few years, Apple’s approach seems to have really paid off, with iPhones regularly toppling Android handsets with three times the amount of RAM during benchmark tests.
With the A14 Bionic, Apple is toppling its own MacBook Air models. The chipset inside the iPhone 12 series is the first smartphone silicon to be built on a 5-nanometer process. In a nutshell, that means all of the core components are squeezed together on a minuscule chip – allowing data to travel less distance and using less energy, which makes the smartphone faster and boost battery life, respectively. That’s a (very) simplified explanation, but all you really need to know is that A14 Bionic is a true beast.
It boasts the fastest CPU and GPU by up to 50 percent compared to the fastest competing smartphone chips. A14 Bionic also includes a 16-core Neural Engine – designed to hope with AI tasks handled on the handset itself, like identifying faces in the Photos app, suggesting iOS apps throughout the day based on your habits, and more.
Apple says its A14 Bionic boasts an 80 percent increase in performance and is capable of completing 11 trillion operations per second. Android cannot match that… until the Huawei Mate 40 Pro, which will use a Huawei-designed chipset built with a 5nm process – but no access to YouTube, Google Maps or the Google Play Store, launches in the coming weeks.
4) iPhone 12 features you won’t find on Android: Smart Data Mode
5G is clearly the future. This next-generation mobile signal allows super-speedy downloads and lower latency. Better yet, 5G smartphones won’t lose speed when in a crowded area, like a packed football stadium, sell-out gig, or festival – something that can’t be said for 4G. However, 5G can be a bit of a tax on battery life.
Most Android manufacturers have solved this issue by increasing the size of the battery cell. There’s no denying it, this works pretty well. However, Apple has taken a different approach to enable it to create the “smallest and lightest” 5G smartphone on the planet – the diddy new iPhone 12 Mini, which launches in November.
Dubbed Smart Data Mode, the iPhone 12 will toggle between 4G and 5G based on how much bandwidth it thinks you need. So, if you’re reading an email, or a long-form article – like this one – chances are, 4G speeds will work fine. So, Apple will quietly shift over your iPhone 12 to this slower mobile technology and conserve battery life. But, if you’re about to jump on the train to start the morning commute and try to download an entire season of a show on Netflix, iPhone 12 will connect to 5G and download hours of HD content in a few minutes.
5) iPhone 12 features you won’t find on Android: Dolby Vision
If you’re a budding Hollywood director, the iPhone 12 is the first device on the planet that offers the ability to film and edit Dolby Vision HDR footage. Video can be shot in up to 60 frames-per-second – comfortably more than the 24fps most blockbusters are filmed at – and edited within the Photos app or iMovie. Dolby Vision grading is processed live and sustained during editing thanks to the grunt of the A14 Bionic (see above). Apple’s professional-grade editing software Final Cut will be updated to support Dolby Vision HDR soon and you can already playback your latest movie with an Apple TV too.
1) Android features you won’t find on the iPhone 12: High-Refresh Rate Display
A dizzying number of Android smartphones – at the same price point as the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro, as well as much cheaper – already offer a high-refresh rate OLED display. For those who don’t know, until recently, most smartphone displays were 60Hz, which meant they refreshed the image 60 times each second. Doubling that to 120Hz makes system animations smoother, removes the stuttering from scrolling, makes fast-paced video games feel more responsive and much more.
Unfortunately, Apple has decided to keep the refresh rate at 60Hz across the iPhone 12 series. It’s a shame as Apple is well aware of how brilliant 120Hz panels can be – the company was one of the pioneers of this technology when it introduced it to the iPad Pro range years ago. Given the shared “Pro” branding between this premium tablet and the iPhone 12 Pro, it seems odd Apple hasn’t included it in the £999+ smartphone at the very least.
iPhone 12 Lineup Enables Personal Hotspot Over Faster 5GHz Wi-Fi – MacRumors
As noted by MacRumors contributor Steve Moser, and confirmed by Aaron Zollo, the iPhone 12 lineup introduces support for Personal Hotspot tethering over faster 5GHz Wi-Fi, compared to 2.4GHz Wi-Fi on previous iPhones.
Personal Hotspot over 5GHz Wi-Fi is enabled by default on all iPhone 12 models. In the Settings > Personal Hotspot menu on these devices, there is a new “Maximize Compatibility” toggle that reverts Personal Hotspot to 2.4GHz Wi-Fi when enabled, with Apple noting that this may reduce internet performance on devices that are connected to the hotspot.
The combination of iPhone 12 models supporting higher-speed 5G networks and 5GHz Wi-Fi’s higher maximum throughput paves the way for faster Personal Hotspot, but testing will have to be done to confirm the exact speed improvements. Keep in mind that while 5GHz Wi-Fi is faster than 2.4GHz Wi-Fi, it has shorter range, so Personal Hotspot speeds will vary based on the distance of a tethered device to the iPhone.
MagSafe 15W fast charging restricted to Apple 20W adapter – AppleInsider
New testing shows Apple’s MagSafe charging puck does peak at 15W with iPhone 12, but only when paired with the company’s 20W adapter.
The apparent restriction was discovered by Aaron Zollo of YouTube channel Zollotech. In a comprehensive evaluation of Apple’s MagSafe device posted on Monday, Zollo found two Apple adapters — a new standalone 20W USB-C device and the 18W unit that came with iPhone 11 Pro handsets — achieved high rates of charge.
Measuring energy throughput with an inline digital meter revealed MagSafe hits the advertised 15W peak charging rate (up to 16W in the video) when paired with Apple’s branded 20W adapter. Speeds drop to about 13W with the 18W adapter, and Zollo notes the system takes some time to ramp up to that level.
Older adapters and third-party models with high output ratings do not fare well in the test. Apple’s own 96W MacBook Pro USB-C adapter eked out 10W with MagSafe, matching a high seen by Anker’s PowerPort Atom PD1. Likewise, charging rates hovered between 6W and 9W when attached to Aukey’s 65W adapter, Google’s Pixel adapter and Samsung’s Note 20 Ultra adapter.
It appears third-party devices will need to adopt a MagSafe-compatible power delivery (PD) profile to ensure fast, stable energy delivery when connected to iPhone 12 series devices.
As can be expected with any charging solution, temperature plays a significant role in potential throughput. Zollo found MagSafe significantly throttles speeds as temperatures rise, meaning actual rates are not a constant 15W even when using the 20W adapter. When heat rises, energy output decreases to protect sensitive hardware components and the battery itself. In some cases, this could prompt users to remove their iPhone from its case — including Apple-branded MagSafe models — to achieve maximum thermal efficiency.
Zollo also confirms older Qi-compatible iPhone models, like iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone 11 Pro Max, charge at about 5W with MagSafe. Apple previously said Qi devices would charge at 7.5W.
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