Chromecast with Google TV is already an affordable dongle, but why pay for it at all when Google will give you one for free? Subscribe to YouTube TV, Google’s live online TV platform with 85+ channels for $64.99/month, and Google will send you a free Chromecast with Google TV.
After your free two-week YouTube TV trial, you must pay for the first month before you will receive a promotional email from Google. It will take you to the Google Store, where you can redeem your free code for the Snow Chromecast with Google TV — not the Sunrise or Sky colors, unfortunately.
According to the offer terms (scroll to the bottom for this deal), you must subscribe ‘between October 15, 2020 and December 31, 2020’, then redeem your offer on the Google Store before February 28, 2021.
Based on the fact that YouTube is advertising the deal now, this means they don’t consider you subscribed until you pay for your first month two weeks from now, which would put you past the October 15 restriction.
Considering the Chromecast with Google TV only costs $50 on its own, this is truly only a deal if you want live TV, as you’ll spend $65 for six weeks of live TV and the dongle instead of $115 for the dongle and live TV. Current YouTube TV subscribers have no way to take advantage of this deal, which is a shame.
Google is also selling a bundle which includes any color of the Chromecast with Google TV and 6 months of the Netflix Standard Streaming Plan two-screen plan (normally about $128 separately) for $90. Unfortunately this bundle is currently sold out, and the Netflix Standard plan doesn’t enable 4K content.
AMD announces Radeon RX 6000 series gaming graphics cards – GSMArena.com news – GSMArena.com
AMD today announced the Radeon RX RX 6000 series of gaming graphics cards. Built on the new 7nm RDNA 2 architecture, these cards provide up to 2x improvement in performance over the previous generation AMD flagship while also including support for the new Microsoft DirectX 12 Ultimate API and will be available starting November.
The most important card in this series will likely be the $649 Radeon RX 6800 XT. It features 72 compute units and 16GB of 16Gbps GDDR6 memory on a 256-bit wide memory bus. The 6800 XT can clock up to 2015MHz under load (or Game Clock as AMD likes to call it) and can occasionally hit peaks of 2250MHz for short durations under ideal conditions (Boost Clock). AMD claims a total board power of 300W for this card.
The 6800 XT also has 128MB of what AMD calls the Infinity Cache. This is high-density, high-speed cache based on the Zen L3 cache. It is designed to minimize DRAM bottlenecks, latency, and power consumption and is especially effective at 4K and 1440p resolutions. Combined with the VRAM, AMD claims the Infinity Cache offers 2.17x the effective bandwidth of a 384-bit wide GDDR6 memory.
AMD also had some charts to show comparing the performance of the 6800 XT to the $699 RTX 3080. We usually take these with a grain of salt but in the absence of any reliable third-party reviews, these can be taken as a rough guidance.
Next is the $579 Radeon RX 6800. Despite being cheaper, the 6800 doesn’t lose out on much compared to the 6800 XT. The major difference is to the number of compute units, which has dropped from 72 to 60 due to one of the shader engines being disabled. The “Game Clock” has also been dropped down to 1815MHz with the Boost Clock down to 2105MHz.
Despite that, the Radeon RX 6800 will still have the full 16GB 16Gbps GDDR6 memory and 128MB Infinity Cache. And because it’s a bit slower, the board power has also dropped down to 250W instead.
The 6800 will mostly compete with the $499 RTX 3070, even though it’s more expensive. AMD claims in its charts that the 6800 is faster than the RTX 2080 Ti, which has similar levels of performance as the RTX 3070. However, we would take this chart with an even bigger pinch of salt as it makes use of a feature called Smart Access Memory, which we will discuss shortly.
Lastly, there is the flagship Radeon RX 6900 XT. This $999 graphics card comes with the full complement of 80 compute units along with the same game and boost clock speeds as the 6800 XT. The rest of the specifications are similar as well.
AMD decided to take a swipe at the lofty $1499 RTX 3090 with the 6900 XT in its comparison charts. This time, however, we would suggest a small teaspoon of salt as these results are taken with Smart Access Memory and something called “Rage Mode” enabled.
So what is this comically named Rage Mode? AMD calls it a one click overclocking solution. According to Gamers Nexus, Rage Mode unlocks the power targets on these cards so they can clock higher. It doesn’t actually overclock the card itself, just removes some of the power restrictions that could prevent it from clocking higher in some instances. For manual overclockers, this is nothing new but those who are either new or uncomfortable with overclocking can just click this one button and hope it does something.
As for the aforementioned Smart Access Memory, this one’s a bit more interesting. For this to work, you need a Radeon RX 6000 series GPU, a Ryzen RX 5000 series desktop CPU and a 500-series chipset motherboard. Once you have this trifecta and enable an option in BIOS, it allows the CPU access to the full 16GB VRAM on the graphics card, which supposedly reduces memory fragmentation on the VRAM and improves performance.
Within AMD’s test samples, they say anywhere from single digit to low double digit gains in performance with Rage Mode and Smart Access Memory enabled on the 6800 XT.
RDNA 2 also includes support for Microsoft’s DirectX 12 Ultimate API. This enables support for features like hardware-accelerated ray tracing, variable rate shading, mesh shaders, and sampler feedback, features that were previously only available on select NVIDIA GPU.
Ray tracing will likely be the one most were looking forward to. AMD announced a handful of titles that will be available soon that support ray tracing on AMD cards, although technically nothing really stops the existing titles such as Control, Metro Exodus, Battlefield V, etc. from working on RDNA 2 hardware since they are all based on Microsoft’s DXR implementation. It will be up to AMD to enable support for them in its drivers. Eventually, all DXR based titles should work on all RTX, Radeon RX 6000, and Xbox Series X|S hardware.
AMD is also supporting the Microsoft DirectStorage API, which aims to improve load times and improve texture quality. Along with that, the company will continue to support its own technologies, such as AMD FidelityFX, Radeon Anti-Lag, and Radeon Boost.
What’s missing from AMD’s arsenal for now is an alternative to NVIDIA’s DLSS or deep learning super sampling. This enabled AI-assisted upsampling of game assets using scans of high resolution assets, which results in close to native resolution image quality but with a lower rendering budget.
AMD has promised a technology called Super Resolution, which seems similar to DLSS but provided no further details that would let us know how well it would work. The feature is also still in development and won’t be available for some time after the launch of these cards. That should put a severe dent in AMD’s ray tracing performance compared to NVIDIA’s DLSS, which is likely why AMD hasn’t announced support for existing DXR titles as most of them have some form of DLSS.
Now for availability. The RX 6800 and 6800 XT will be available starting November 18 for the aforementioned prices of $579 and $649 on AMD.com. The RX 6900 XT will be available starting December 8 for $999. Cards will also be available from the usual board partners, such as ASRock, ASUS, Gigabyte, MSI, PowerColor, SAPPHIRE, and XFX in November.
Here's everything you need to know about the PlayStation 5 in Canada – MobileSyrup
For the duration of the eighth-generation of video game consoles, the PlayStation 4 consistently outsold its rivals from Xbox and Nintendo. In fact, since launching November 2013, the PS4 has gone onto become the second best-selling console of all time, behind only the PS2.
Given all of that success, all eyes are now on Sony to see how the company follows up the PS4 with the appropriately named PlayStation 5. With the PS5 set to launch in Canada on November 12th, here’s a breakdown of everything Canadians should know about the next-gen console.
For the first time, Sony will sell two new consoles at launch — the $629 CAD standard PS5 and the $499 PS5 Digital Edition.
However, unlike Microsoft’s dual-box approach with the Xbox Series X and S — wherein both devices have certain different specs and features — the two PS5 models are ostensibly the exact same device. The only difference is that, like its name suggests, the PS5 Digital Edition will not include a disc drive, so you’ll need to download all your games.
For context, Microsoft’s Xbox Series X will cost $599 CAD in Canada, while the Xbox Series S will be priced here at $379.
Here are the PS5’s specs:
It’s worth noting that in terms of raw power, the Xbox Series X comes out on top with 12 teraflops compared to the PS5’s 10.3. That said, the PS5’s custom SSD is superior to the Xbox Series X’s, allowing for even more rapid load times.
This section is simply meant to list the PS5’s specs, but scroll down for more information on how the SSD, 120Hz support and Tempest 3D Audio Tech work with respect to actual games.
Note: While the specs lists mentions support for 8K TVs, keep in mind that there won’t be any games anytime around launch that support the resolution. In fact, the majority of games — if not all of them — will likely not even reach 8K later in the console’s lifecycle. Therefore, you’ll be more than fine with a 4K TV, and for recommendations on which one to buy, check out this great round-up by the tech gurus over atDigital Foundry.
It’s also worth noting that Sony has also launched a ‘Ready for PlayStation 5’ line of TVs, which includes all of the necessary specs — namely, 120Hz support — to support 4K resolution and up 120fps gaming. So far, this TV lineup consists of two TVs: the Sony 900H (which starts at $1,299 for the 55-inch model) and the 8K-capable XBR Z8H (which starts at $7,999 for the 75-inch model).
All told, the PlayStation 5 has a rather well-rounded launch lineup. See below for the full list of games that will be available on day one. (Keep in mind, however, that some first-party games will come to both PS4 and PS5, and will be marked accordingly.)
- Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
- Astro’s Playroom (PS5 exclusive, comes pre-loaded on every console)
- Borderlands 3
- Bugsnax (PlayStation console launch exclusive, free with PlayStation Plus)
- Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War
- Demon’s Souls (PS5 exclusive)
- Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition
- DIRT 5
- Godfall (PS5 console launch exclusive)
- Just Dance 2021
- Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales (launching simultaneously on PS4 and PS5)
- Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered (a PS5 remaster of 2018’s Marvel’s Spider-Man with the base game and all downloadable content, plus expansions — included in Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales Ultimate Edition or sold separately via the in-game menu of the base version of Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales) (PS5 exclusive)
- Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate
- NBA 2K21
- Observer: System Redux
- Planet Coaster: Console Edition
- Poker Club
- Sackboy: A Big Adventure (launching simultaneously on PS4 and PS5)
- The Pathless (PlayStation 4 and 5 launch exclusive)
- Watch Dogs: Legion
It’s important to note that some PS5 games, like Demon’s Souls, will be priced at $89.99 in Canada — $10 more than the standard game prices. However, other titles like Sackboy will adhere to the regular $79.99 price tag.
Also, keep in mind that two PS5 launch titles have been delayed over the past several weeks. The Pixar-esque action-adventure game Kena: Bridge of Spirits is now set to release sometime in Q1 2021, while vehicular combat title Destruction AllStars was just pushed to February 2021 (at which time it will be free on PlayStation Plus for two months).
Meanwhile, here are some other games that are coming to PS5 shortly after launch:
- Destiny 2 — December 8th, 2020 (PS5 version, already on PS4)
- Hitman 3 — January 20th, 2021 (also coming to PS4)
- Immortals: Fenyx Rising — December 3rd, 2020 (also coming to PS4)
- FIFA 21 — December 4th, 2020 (PS5 version, PS4 version already out)
- Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart (PS5 exclusive) — “PS5 launch window”
- Yakuza: Like a Dragon — March 2nd, 2021 (PS5 version, PS4 version releases November 10th)
The other major thing to note with the PS5 is that virtually all PS4 games will play on the next-gen console via backwards compatibility on day one.
The only ones that won’t are fairly niche titles:
- Afro Samurai 2 Revenge of Kuma Volume One
- DWVR (developer has confirmed a backwards compatible patch is in the works)
- Hitman Go: Definite Edition
- TT Isle of Man – Ride on the Edge 2 (developer has confirmed a backwards compatible patch is in the works)
- Joe’s Diner
- Just Deal With It!
- Robinson: The Journey
- Shadow Complex Remastered
- We Sing
What’s more, some games will receive resolution and/or framerate enhancements, although it won’t be all titles, unlike what Microsoft is doing with the Xbox Series X/S. Backwards compatible games that have been confirmed to feature enhancements include Sony Santa Monica’s God of War and Sucker Punch’s Ghost of Tsushima both getting performance modes for up to 60fps gameplay.
On the subject of God of War, Sony is also offering PlayStation Plus subscribers a sweet new perk: The PlayStation Plus Collection. Available on day one on PS5 at no additional cost, the PS Plus Collection will grant PS Plus subscribers with more than 15 of the PS4’s most high-profile games:
- Battlefield 1
- Batman: Arkham Knight
- Call of Duty: Black Ops III – Zombies Chronicles Edition
- Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy
- Days Gone
- Detroit: Become Human
- Fallout 4
- Final Fantasy XV Royal Edition
- God of War
- Infamous Second Son
- The Last Guardian
- The Last of Us Remastered
Monster Hunter: World
- Mortal Kombat X
- Persona 5
- Ratchet and Clank
- Resident Evil 7 biohazard
- Until Dawn
- Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
PlayStation Plus costs $69.99/year in Canada and is required to play games online.
The PS5 uses a brand-new controller called the ‘DualSense,’ which stands apart from the PS4’s DualShock 4 controller in several ways. That’s not to say they’re completely different, though. The DualSense ostensibly features the same button layout as the DualShock 4 — touchpad and all.
However, perhaps the most significant difference is that the DualSense features haptic feedback and adaptive triggers for added immersion. In the case of the former feature, this means that you’ll feel dynamic vibrations depending on the title. Several developers have talked about how this is being used in their games, such as Insomniac, which notes that it will recreate Spider-Man’s Spider-Sense to let you feel the direction of incoming attacks in Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales. With respect to the adaptive triggers, one use case is Arcane blocking the triggers when your gun jams in Deathloop for immediate punchy feedback.
Additionally, the DualSense sports a built-in mic for voice chat and dictation, as an accelerometer and gyroscope for motion controls. Meanwhile, the DualShock 4’s light bar has been streamlined on the DualSense into a sort of outline around the touchpad. In terms of connections, the controller also now features USB-C.
The DualSense will cost $89.99 in Canada.
Below are the PS5’s other official accessories:
- DualSense Charging Station (supports two DualSense controllers) — $39.99
- Pulse 3D wireless headset with 3D audio support and dual noise-cancelling microphones — $129.99
- HD Camera with dual 1080p lenses for gamers to broadcast themselves and their gameplay — $79.99
- Media Remote to navigate movies and streaming services –$39.99
The Pulse 3D wireless headset is one of the supported headphones for PS5’s Tempest 3D Audio Tech at launch. This allows games to disperse audio in a more context-specific way, like making Horizon Forbidden West‘s machines sound different and be more easily located, or letting you hear where your teammates and enemies are in Marvel’s Avengers. At launch, 3D Audio is only supported through select headphones like this, but Sony is working to enable it natively through TV virtual surround sound in the future.
Finally, it’s important to note that the PS5 will support the PS VR at launch. Additionally, the PS Move Motion Controllers and the PlayStation VR Aim Controller will work with “supported PS VR games on PS5,” says Sony. However, the PS5’s HD Camera accessory will not work with the VR peripheral, and you’ll need a special adapter to use your existing PS4 Camera. You can get one for free if you own a PS VR, although you’ll need to order one from Sony using this form.
Sony has completely overhauled the user experience for the PlayStation 5.
Essentially, the PS5’s tile-based home screen has been divided into two sections: ‘Games’ and ‘Media.’ The Media section will contain all of the entertainment apps, with the following apps confirmed to be available at launch:
- Apple TV (also coming to PS4)
Amazon Prime Video is also coming at a later date.
The real star, however, is the ‘Games’ section. On the dashboard, each game will have its own integrated hub that features unique ‘Activities’ (more on that later), news stories about the game in question, video clips, downloadable content and more.
At any time when you’re in a game, you can pull up the ‘Control Center’ using the PS button on the DualSense controller. From here, you can perform many general system tasks without leaving the game, including viewing which friends are online, checking up on the status of downloads and managing controller settings.
More importantly, the Control Center will let you access the aforementioned Activities. Essentially, games will have their own list of ‘Activities’ that link to specific parts of a game. In the case of Sackboy: A Big Adventure, these Activities are tied to specific levels of the story. Clicking on any of them will let you nearly instantly jump into that section of the game, thanks to the PS5’s speedy SSD. Cards will also provide additional information on that specific content, such as your level progress and even personalized estimates on how long it will take for you to complete it.
Also available as a PlayStation Plus-exclusive feature is ‘Game Help,’ which will offer official developer support for specific in-game objectives in supported titles like Sackboy. In practice, this will allow you to get tips on how to complete the given objective right from the Control Center, removing the need to pull up a wiki or video. Moreover, because these come straight from the developer, you won’t have to worry about suggested YouTube videos or articles that contain spoilers. Should the developer enable it, some cards can even be put in picture-in-picture mode or side-by-side view for live reference while you play.
In terms of social features, you can interact with any notifications from the top-right corner of the screen without leaving the game. If this is party invite, you can hop right in and even use the ‘Share Screen’ feature to invite participants to watch your gameplay live. What’s more, these videos can be put picture-in-picture mode in a section of the screen per your choosing to allow you to continue to play your own game as your friend’s stream continues in the background. Further, the DualSense’s built-in microphone allows you to use your voice to dictate messages instead of the virtual keyboard, should you so choose.
It’s also worth noting that the official PlayStation app on Android and iOS was updated on October 28th with a new UI, integrated PlayStation Store experience, in-app party creation and voice chat and more for use with both PS5 and PS4.
Of course, these are still the early days for the PS5, as the console isn’t even officially out yet. Therefore, additional information will no doubt come out in the months ahead.
For now, stay tuned to MobileSyrup in the coming days for more on the PS5.
PlayStation reveals updated mobile app with overhauled UI, voice chat and more – MobileSyrup
Most notably, the update introduces a complete overhaul of the app’s UI, with a new home screen that displays what your friends are playing and easy access to your recently played games and Trophy List.
Further, a new ‘Explore’ tab is being added to let you see official news from game developers and PS Blog content. On top of that, the PlayStation Store has been integrated into the app for smooth browsing and shopping. From here, you can also remotely download games and add-ons directly to your PS4 and PS5.
Elsewhere in the app is newly added support for voice chat and party groups. This means that you can create party groups from within the PS app and begin voice chatting with up to 15 friends through your mobile devices.
As part of these new social features, you’ll also be able to send PSN messages through the app. With this new functionality, however, Sony says it will be retiring its existing standalone PS Messages mobile app. While a date for this wasn’t provided, Sony noted that all existing PSN messages will carry over to the new version of the PS app.
Sony says the PS app update is rolling out globally later today on iOS (12.2 or later) and Android (6.0 or later) devices.
The PlayStation 5 will launch in Canada on November 12th for $629 CAD. We’ll have more on the console in the coming days.
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