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You can stop panicking about the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X



New console launches can cause some anxiety, especially in the time before you get the next-gen hardware yourself. And I get it. You’ve committed to spending a lot of money on that preorder for something you’ve never used before. And I think that would amplify anyone’s reaction to negative news. But I’m here to tell you that you can stop panicking about the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. Sony and Microsoft have got this (although Amazon and Walmart might not).

Xbox Series X is launching for $500 on November 10 alongside the more affordable Xbox Series S for $300. PlayStation 5 is launching for $500 on November 12 alongside the more affordable $400 Digital Edition. The wait is almost over, but you can start letting go of your concerns right now.

First, these are both great devices. Back in 2013, Microsoft and Sony weren’t sure about the future of consoles. That’s why they built underpowered systems with old laptop hard drives. It’s also why Sony didn’t start to regularly release huge first-party games until about 2015. Oh, and it’s why Microsoft talked more about TV than games during its launch.

That has changed. Console gaming has proven that it’s a resilient market with a passionate audience that spends a lot of money. And Sony and Microsoft aren’t meekly entering the next generation with cheap consoles — they’re bursting into the future with cutting-edge SSDs, CPUs, and GPUs.

Reviews emphasize the quality engineering, speed, and power of PS5 and Xbox Series X. And I think most people understand that both companies are serious about games — which is why many of us have begun stressing about the smaller details.

It’s all puddle news, friends

I like talking about upcoming games and hardware. It’s fun to try to figure out what is going to happen. But I also try to remember something important: How I feel about something before it comes out almost never ends up mattering.

This is a phenomenon that we see play out on a large scale in video games. My favorite example is the anxiety around the downscaling of puddles in Marvel’s Spider-Man for PlayStation 4. In early screenshots or trailers, the puddles were very reflective. Then in another trailer closer to launch, puddles looked slightly different.

Of course, once Sony and Insomniac released Spider-Man, no one talked about the puddles ever again. It was all nonsense — except that it was a reflection of people letting their anticipation turn into anxiety.

Now, I use the term “puddle news” whenever I see people getting worked up about some perceived issue relating an unreleased product.

And something like that is happening with the consoles right now.

The Xbox Series X’s nonexistent heating problems is a bit of puddle news. But now people are getting insecure about the Xbox UI. Over the weekend, I posted a video of GamesBeat reviews editor Mike Minotti and myself talking about Microsoft’s and Sony’s dueling philosophies when it comes to updating the UX, and many Xbox fans rushed to defend Microsoft.


But in the video, we barely criticize Microsoft. And this discussion is something most commenters won’t even remember the second they start playing Xbox Series X.

The UI works, and that’s all that’s going to matter when you are actually using it.

Sony is listening

When it comes to the PS5, this week we learned that you cannot store next-gen games on an external USB drive. Sony previously confirmed that you must play PS5 games from the internal SSD storage. But now we know that if you want to make more room on that drive, you’ll have to delete some of your PS5 games and then redownload them later (or install them from a disc).

Today, however, Sony said it’s looking into addressing this problem. Here’s a note from the PS5 FAQ:

No, players cannot transfer PS5 games to a USB drive. PS5 games must be stored on the console’s internal ultra-high speed SSD for gameplay. Explorations for allowing players to store (but not play) PS5 games on a USB drive in a future update are underway.

Similarly, Insomniac revealed today that it is working on an update to enable players to transfer their PS4 Spider-Man save to the PS5 remaster. This came after Sony originally said that saves wouldn’t transfer.

These are some basic features that we should expect Sony to be able to handle. But I think some fans are worried that maybe Sony’s leadership is feeling arrogant after the success of PS4. But it seems clear that isn’t the case. The company is listening, and if fans want something that seems reasonable (like the ability to store PS5 games), Sony’s going to get to work on that.

On the eve of the next-gen console launches, gaming fans should focus on that. These companies are both deeply invested into gaming now. PlayStation is one of Sony’s most important divisions. Microsoft just spent $7.5 billion to acquire Bethesda so it can add more content into Game Pass.

These companies aren’t spending all of this money just to screw up the small stuff. They want to get these things right, and I’m feeling confident that both of them will.

So let’s all take a deep breath and look forward to playing some games.

Source:- VentureBeat

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COVID-19: Two more Stratford retirement home residents die –



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Outbreaks in long-term care and retirement homes across Canada account for the majority of the country’s COVID-related deaths and represent one of the largest gaps to emerge in its response to the pandemic.

“I think that’s the main lesson to be learned from this pandemic,” said Saverio Stranges, chair of the department of epidemiology and biostatistics at Western University’s Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry. “We can’t ignore the need for investment in those settings.”

About 80 per cent of Canada’s first wave COVID-19 deaths are linked to outbreaks in long-term care settings. It’s the highest percentage among 16 comparable countries, according to a study Stranges and two Western colleagues cite in an article published in the American Journal of Public Health, which explores how lessons from the 2003 SARS pandemic inform Canada’s response to COVID-19.

“Canada’s learned a great deal from SARS in terms of public health infrastructure,” he said. “But because SARS did not really hit long-term care facilities . . . I think COVID-19 has really revealed the vulnerabilities within those settings, which have been historically underfunded . . . not just in Canada, but I would say in many Western countries.”

As of Monday, there were 160 active outbreaks in the province’s long-term care and retirement homes, where 989 have been reported since the onset of the pandemic, Public Health Ontario says.

Of the province’s 3,505 COVID-19 deaths, including 19 Monday, 3,350 were people over the age of 60, a demographic experts warn is at higher risk of severe consequences of the virus if they are infected.

That isn’t likely to change during the second wave, Stranges said, which begs the question whether officials should have provided more protection to long-term care facilities prior to the current surge in cases.

“The same happened in Europe,” he said. “People wonder, should governments have made major improvements between the first and the second wave? Realistically, you can’t really change things dramatically in a manner of a few months, and that’s the sad reality.”

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Apple giving away up to $210 gift cards for Black Friday – MobileSyrup



Starting on November 27th, Apple Canada will start giving out free gift cards of varying amounts with iPhone, Mac, Apple Watch and several other Apple store purchases.

Depending on what device you get, the Apple Store gift card amount varies. Apple has a ton of products that include gift cards, but it’s not sharing how much each gift card is worth until the 27th. If you’re curious about how the deals will likely shake out, you can check out our Apple Black Friday post from last year.

Therefore, if Apple doesn’t share how much the gift card that comes with AirPods is worth, we can assume the card is likely going to be between $20-$30. Last year MacBook Pro models and other Macs came with a $280 gift card, so this year these items will likely come with the $210 gift card.

Items included in the deal are listed below:

  • iPhone 11
  • iPhone SE
  • iPhone XR
  • Apple Watch Series 3
  • AirPods
  • AirPods Pro
  • AirPods with Wireless Charging
  • iPad Pro
  • iPad mini
  • MacBook Pro
  • iMac
  • Apple TV HD
  • Apple TV 4K
  • Beats Studio Wireless
  • Beats Solo Pro
  • Beats Solo 3
  • PowerBeats Pro
  • Powerbeats High-Performance

All of the above items will come with an Apple Store gift card between November 27th and November 30th.

It’s also worth mentioning that this offer can’t be stacked with the company’s Education discounts.

Source: Apple

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Apple to extend fee waiver for paid events due to pandemic – RFI



Issued on: 23/11/2020 – 21:34Modified: 23/11/2020 – 21:33


San Francisco (AFP)

Apple said Monday it would extend through June 30 a waiver on app fees for paid events such as tutoring and fitness classes, citing the coronavirus pandemic.

The move is aimed at helping pandemic-hit instructors and performers to continue using iPhone applications for virtual classes and events at no cost.

Apple had initially agreed to a waiver until December, amid concerns raised by Facebook and others seeking to help people whose in-person classes and events have been canceled due to the global health emergency.

“As the world fights Covid-19, we recognize that adapting experiences from in-person to digital continues to be a top priority,” Apple said on its developer website.

Apple said the move affects the “in-app purchase” requirement for these services, and that it chose to give those affected more time to adapt in light of the pandemic.

Facebook earlier this year asked Apple to skip its usual 30 percent cut of transactions in mobile apps prior to enabling the social platform’s streaming application to be used to create, promote and host paid events from concerts and theatrical performances to yoga classes and cooking lessons.

The move comes amid increasing scrutiny of App Store fees, which are set at 30 percent in most cases, by developers and antitrust enforcers who argue Apple is abusing its dominance of the marketplace.

The iPhone manufacturer said last week that developers who make less than $1 million from selling apps on its store will see Apple’s revenue bite cut to 15 percent.

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