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Reviews

The New Playstation 5 Controller Will Be The WORST For Doritos Dust

The gaming industry is slowly but surely making its way towards the next console generation. We’re at the point now where both Sony and Microsoft are carefully doling out tidbits of information about the new Playstation and Xbox, like how the new Xbox’s controller will still use batteries or how good the PS5’s audio will be thanks to Mark Cerny’s obsession with ears.

And speaking of controllers, Sony recently unveiled the design for the new Dualsense controller for the Playstation 5. Let’s see what it looks like:

It’s a pretty slick looking controller. We like the haptic triggers, the lightbar being moved to the touchpad, the built-in microphone, and just its overall appearance. It’s a nice, pristine, white controller… A white controller…

Oh god, this thing is going to get so dirty.

A Nacho Nightmare

We all have our snack of choice. Whether it’s something healthy like some baby carrots or a bowl of strawberries, or something that typically comes out of a crinkly bag like a Cheeto or Dorito. While engaging in a good ol’ fashioned gaming session it’s not uncommon for most gamers to have a snack nearby to give them that boost of energy they need to keep shooting people in the head for long periods of time.

Now imagine eating your favorite flaming hot snack and grabbing this controller. In an instant, it’s going to transform into a chip dust-coated monstrosity covered in red and orange fingerprints. Sure, using any controller after eating a Frito-Lay product leads to disgusting results, but a shade of white as bright as this is going to show off the side effects of your snacking habits worse than any other color.

And that’s just chip dust. What about any other potential messes? Chocolate? Pizza? What about just regular ol’ dirt and dust? There are so many residues, substances, and various oozes that could permanently stain this controller, turning it from a beautiful beacon of the new generation to a cautionary tale for those who dare to game and eat anything that contains the word “nacho.”

Yet Another Reason To Obsessively Wash Your Hands

What was Sony thinking?! For years they’ve been using black as their default color option and it was a perfect fit. It was so much easier to clean off any kind of goo and leave behind no trace of your love for salsa. However, with the PS5, all it’s going to take is one moment where you forget to scrub your cool ranch encrusted hands and your brand new controller will look like it was just fished out of a dumpster. Maybe Mark Cerny should have spent less time thinking about graphical specs and more time thinking about how most gamers don’t own an endless supply of wet wipes.

Unless this is all part of the master plan. Perhaps Sony chose such a vivid shade of white because they know full well that these will be utterly ruined by Doritos dust and thus gamers will be forced to buy new controllers over and over in order to hide their snacking shame. That damned Cerny is always one step ahead of us!

We have to assume that at some point Sony will release a black version of the controller, so perhaps this will only be a problem for early adopters. But until we know for sure, this white DualSense controller will be a constant hazard for anyone who wants to play games while hungry. So be vigilant, be aware, and be careful. Because the last thing anyone wants is a nasty-looking controller that displays the ravages of your snacking past.

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News

Lord Of The Rings Visual Effects Reels Have Vanished From YouTube

[Update: For some reason, Weta has set the videos to private, so they can no longer be viewed.]

To bring Middle-earth to life for Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy, the filmmakers turned to New Zealand visual effects company Weta Digital, which at the time was only getting started. The Weta effects team delivered in a big way, as the extensive VFX shots in the films were well received by critics and fans alike. Each of the three movies won the Best Visual Effects Oscar, and they continue to look great by today’s standards.

Seemingly out of nowhere, Weta has now released the VFX reels for each of the movies to the company’s YouTube page in all of their 480p glory (via Gizmodo). Watching the videos is a delightful stroll down memory lane. The videos are set to Howard Shore’s epic music, and it’s impressive to see all the shots lined up in a montage in this manner. Not that anyone ever doubted it, but it’s clearer than ever from these videos that Weta undertook a mammoth task in creating visual effects for the films.

You can check out each of the videos below, which show off epic creatures like the Balrog, Ents, and cave trolls. The effects work also of course included bringing Andy Serkis to life as Gollum in one of the more memorable CG character roles we can remember.

While modern movies might have better-looking visual effects shots, the work Weta did for The Lord of the Rings still holds up well in 2020. And if these videos renew your interest in The Lord of the Rings, there has never been a better time to stay home and marathon the trilogy.

As for Weta, it was founded in 1993 by Jackson, Richard Taylor, and Jamie Selkirk and initially worked on Jackson’s Heavenly Creatures. The company also did effects work for the sci-fi movie Contact in 1997, before working on The Lord of the Rings. In addition to its Oscar wins for The Lord of the Rings, Weta has won Academy Awards for its work on Avatar, King Kong, and The Jungle Book. The company also also worked on The Avengers, Game of Thrones, and countless other massive projects.

The Weta Digital YouTube page is also currently hosting VFX reels for Deadpool 2, Avengers: Endgame, and more.

https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/rSG7gW-Q2mA
https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/xw4kkvT3ZDc
https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/pc1AZQOeM0w

Not everyone was so pleased with the Lord of the Rings movie’s reliance on CG. Viggo Mortensen, who played Aragorn, said he enjoyed the “organic” nature of Fellowship with its limited CG sequences, but he lamented the extended use of visual effects in the sequels.

“The second movie already started ballooning, for my taste, and then by the third one, there were a lot of special effects,” he told The Telegraph in 2014. “It was grandiose, and all that, but whatever was subtle, in the first movie, gradually got lost in the second and third.”

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News

Take Up to 88% Off on The Sims 4 Game and Expansion Packs on Amazon Now

Need to take a little breather from the real world? Great news—PC game codes for The Sims 4 and all its expansion and Game Packs are currently up to 88 percent off on Amazon.

The base game is currently priced at $4.99. Most expansions, which include new locations and a plethora of cosmetics, jobs, and interactions for Simmers to enjoy, are going for half off at $19.99. Game Packs like Outdoor Retreat, Spa Day, and Strangerville are $14.99 each.

Before getting too eager though, players should be aware that Amazon’s sale page states that this deal is limited to customers in the USA. Furthermore, the codes are nonrefundable and nonreturnable, so if you find that being an A-list celebrity in The Sims 4 isn’t to your liking, you won’t be able to get your money back.

Stuff Packs are not on sale on Amazon at this time. However, it seems as though this sale is happening concurrently on Origin, EA Games’ distribution site. Expansions and Game Packs on Origin are up to 85 percent off. Unlike Amazon, where Game Packs and expansions aren’t rolled together, Origin is offering a flat discount on bundling certain expansions. That might be more appealing to a gamer with a good idea of what they want from The Sims 4.

For those wanting to escape to a reality, where the worst you’ll have to endure is abruptly malfunctioning appliances and maybe a surprise visit from the Grim Reaper, this sale could not come at a better time. Better move fast, though – whether on Amazon or Origin, it ends April 9th.

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Reviews

Dark Souls – What Does The Title Mean?

The Souls franchise, birthed by the brilliant minds of FromSoftware and Hidetaka Miyazaki, has provided an ample amount of influence and difficulty unmatched in the industry. Despite the franchise’s immense acclaim, a dispute over the title’s underlying meaning still exists to this day. From Demon’s Souls to Dark Souls, then on to its later sequels, the franchise has been prone to evolution. In addition to the other various franchises under the FromSoft banner, fan conjecture can often become convoluted, especially when attempting to discern what exactly it means to be a Souls game.

To totally understand the namesake, it’s important to look back on its initial creation. It all started in 2009, when From Software’s Demon’s Souls became a bit of a cult hit. Blending horror tropes and Berserk influences with tight action-RPG gameplay, Demon’s Souls turned heads almost immediately. But, what was next? With the Demon’s Souls IP tied up with Sony, FromSoft had to alter the name in order to bridge the franchise to all platforms and audiences.

Enter Dark Souls, born through a few bouts of complicated retitling. At first, series creator Miyazaki wanted to call the sequel to Demon’s Souls “Dark Race,” which most certainly would have raised a multitude of red flags. FromSoft’s next two potential titles were “Dark Lord” and “Dark Ring,” the latter of which the team eventually went with. Little did From know, “Dark Ring” is literally a slang term in England for “anus,” so it was high time the developer got creative. Instead, however, they kept the Souls mantra and rid it of the Demon in favor of a more ambiguous interpretation.

That said, there is actually an in-lore reason behind the name. As per the Dark Souls Wiki:

The Dark Soul, one of the unique Lord Souls, was claimed by the Furtive Pygmy, the ancestor of the Chosen Undead and Humanity. In the introduction to the first Dark Souls, it is depicted as a small, reddish flame like a candle. […] During the advent of Fire, the concept of Disparity came into existence, and with it the Dark and the Light. From the Dark came beings (Hollows) who claimed souls near the First Flame; 4 of these became the Lords who claimed the mightiest and most brilliant of souls.[7] While the other three “Lords” chose larger souls, there was a fourth, a lowly and forgotten being known only the Furtive Pygmy. His soul was the Dark Soul.

Basically, the Dark Soul is the narrative impetus behind the entire Dark Souls franchise – which checks out, considering it’s in the title and everything.

And if this isn’t enough, there’s an entire Steam Community guide dedicated to the intricacies, metaphors, and astute observations surrounding the franchise in its fullest form.

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PS4

All the things we can’t unsee in the PS5’s new controller

Sony revealed the PlayStation 5’s new controller — the DualSense — on Tuesday, promising haptic feedback, adaptive triggers, a “create” button, and the ability to chat without a headset.

It also features a new design, with all kinds of pareidolia potential in its lines, buttons, and contrasting shades. So, like it or hate it, you know what must come next: Bring on the fan art!

Myself, I think the controller looks like a stormtrooper baked a croissant. But I don’t have the illustration talent necessary to bring that interpretation to life. Closest I’ve seen so far is this one, from bosslogic on Instagram:

View this post on Instagram

#PS5 I like it ❤️

A post shared by Bosslogic (@bosslogic) on

#PS5 I like it ❤️

A post shared by Bosslogic (@bosslogic) on

Fortunately (or not), many other fans on social media offered their own takes on what the new gamepad reminds them of.

Naturally, some in this ResetEra thread are disappointingly horny, so beware. Among the safe(r)-for-work takes, we start with Strong Bad, who sees his older brother, Strong Mad, in the design.

Whereas Twitter user BOW999 seems to see Strong Sad’s beefy traps and delts in the DualSense’s arcing shape:

IGN’s Brian Altano can’t unsee a different coveralls-wearing character:

Twitter user @kyoutasab came up with this original concept — a floating droid sidekick that emotes with its cord and light bar. (Although it does sort of resemble the star of Astro Bot Rescue Mission for PlayStation VR.)

Of course, it could just be a mascot concept for the new console. Anyone remember the Joy-Con Pup?

Bethesda Softworks’ Elizabeth Zelle issued a style ruling on what a particular icon now means.

Back to bosslogic, they also somehow saw Majin Buu’s pants in the DualSense’s grip:

View this post on Instagram

Buu'd up #PS5

A post shared by Bosslogic (@bosslogic) on

Buu’d up #PS5

A post shared by Bosslogic (@bosslogic) on

JackIreland_200’s tankini interpretation is shared by many:

How about a DualSense based on the Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Game & Learn Controller?

And now we have them rendered in the PS4’s Dreams for the first time, too:

And here’s another concept — the DualSense as a pesky spider sentry-bot.

Anyway, stormtrooper croissants! Someone get on that for me.

PlayStation Plus

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Mobile

All The Xbox Game Pass Titles Coming Soon And Leaving

As part of the April Inside Xbox briefing, Microsoft announced the next batch of titles coming to Xbox Game Pass and also confirmed which games are headed out of the subscription service.

Starting with the newcomers on Xbox One, the retro-style RPG Alvastia Chronicles is headed to the program on April 9. Also debuting that day is Journey to the Savage Planet from Assassin’s Creed III and Far Cry 4 creative director Alex Hutchinson’s Typhoon Studios. Yakuza Kiwami was also said to be coming soon.

Xbox Game Pass for PC is also getting new titles, including Football Manager 2020, Alvastia Chronicles, and Mistover on April 9. Additionally, the program is adding the officially licensed Stranger Things 3: The Game on that day for subscribers.

Microsoft also announced all the titles that are leaving Xbox Game Pass in April. On April 15, The Book of Unwritten Tales 2, Guacamelee Super Turbo Championship Edition, MX vs ATV Reflex, Prey, and Samurai Showdown II are leaving. On PC, Fez, Into the Breach, Prey, and Valkyria Chronicles are exiting the catalog on that day.

Xbox Game Pass New Additions For April

Xbox One (April 9)

  • Alvastia Chronicles
  • Journey to the Savage Planet

PC

  • Football Manager 2020
  • Mistover
  • Alvastia Chronicles
  • Stranger Things 3: The Game

Xbox Game Pass Titles Leaving In April

Xbox One (April 15)

  • The Book of Unwritten Tales 2
  • Guacamelee Super Turbo Championship Edition
  • MX vs ATV Reflex
  • Prey
  • Samurai Showdown II

PC (April 15)

  • Fez
  • Into the Breach
  • Prey
  • Valkyria Chronicles

Xbox Series X And Xbox One News

  • Xbox One Games With Gold For April 2020 Revealed
  • Xbox Series X Release Date Listed On Xbox Site, But Microsoft Says No Announcement Yet
  • Xbox Series X: Full Specs, Target Performance, And More Revealed
  • Xbox Series X: Release Date, Specs, Price, And Everything We Know

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Tech

What We Know About The PS5 So Far: DualSense Controller, Release Date, Price, And More

We’re only a few months into 2020, and we’re already getting a bunch of new details around Sony’s next-generation console, the PlayStation 5. Despite the recent coronavirus pandemic situation, the system is fast approaching its launch sometime during this year’s holiday season, and although there’s still plenty we don’t know about it, the latest facts are slowly clearing the fog around what we can expect. Last year, Sony began to reveal some of the first details about their next-gen plans with PS5, and we only expect that to continue in the months ahead, particularly with the official website now launched. [Update: Sony hosted a livestream to discuss PS5 details. It was a largely technical discussion, but we’ve updated the text below with the most relevant details that Sony shared. Subsequently, Sony shared the first details about the PlayStation 5 controller, known as DualSense. It features a distinct two-toned design, built-in mic, rechargeable battery, and a “Create” button that takes the place of the PS4’s Share button. You can read more about it below.]

First, we know what the console’s official name will be: unsurprisingly, the console is indeed called the PlayStation 5, just as was to be expected. Additionally, we’ve learned what the logo looks like, and it’s equally unsurprising. During 2019, it was revealed that the PS5 will also have PS4 backwards compatibility and SSD storage, and it will support PSVR. The company has also outlined some green, energy-efficient initiatives it is planning for the next generation.

PS5 And PS4 News And Announcements

  • PlayStation 5 Controller Revealed
  • PS5 Controller Replaces Share Button With A Create Button
  • PlayStation 5 Controller Will Use Rechargeable Batteries
  • PS5's DualSense Controller Includes A Built-In Microphone
  • Everything We Know About PS5's Price, Specs, Games, And Release Window

If Sony follows the outline for how the PS4 was properly unveiled, we can expect it to host a special PlayStation Meeting event. There had been some speculation that such an event could take place in February but that didn’t happen. If or when such an event is held, that could be when we learn about things like a price and launch game lineup. However, when Sony intends to roll out new info, it won’t be at the venue you might expect. Just like last year’s E3, Sony planned to skip E3 2020 before it was canceled, and ditto for GDC 2020 due to coronavirus concerns.

Below you can find all the details known about Sony’s upcoming console. It’s likely we’ll hear more details–big or small–in the coming months, so be sure to bookmark this page and check back often as more gets confirmed.

  • PS5 Release Date
  • PS5 Price
  • Will PS5 Be Backwards Compatible With PS4 games?
  • PS5 Specs And Disc Drive
    • PlayStation 5 Specs
  • PS5 Controller
  • Can I Use Expandable Storage With PS5?
  • Will PS5 Support PSVR?
  • The Logo
  • Energy Efficiency
  • PS5 Games
  • PS5 UI
  • PS5 Release Date

    This is surely the question on everybody’s lips: when will the PS5 come out? Sony, as you’d expect, is tight-lipped on the matter, but it has confirmed a “holiday 2020” release window for the PlayStation 5. The company has been no more specific than that–Microsoft has also provided the same vague window–but historically, November has been a frequent month for console releases in the past.

    PS5 Price

    Again, Sony has not stated how much its new console will cost, but it did say that the PS5’s price will be attractive to gamers. “I believe that we will be able to release it at an SRP [suggested retail price] that will be appealing to gamers in light of its advanced feature set,” said Mark Cerny, the lead architect of the PS4 who’s currently working on its successor.

    Of course, you wouldn’t expect Sony to say anything different, but one gets the feeling the company has learned from the PS3’s exorbitant price tag–and the console’s subsequent struggles–and the PS4’s more reasonable cost and subsequent successes.

    Will PS5 Be Backwards Compatible With PS4 games?

    Cerny also confirmed the PS5 will be backwards compatible with PS4 games, as the two consoles are built upon similar internal architectures. This will be welcome news for those who were disappointed by the PS4’s lack of backwards compatibility with PS3, PS2, and PS1 games.

    In terms of which games players can expect to play, the full list hasn’t been confirmed. However, Cerny noted that PS4’s 100 most played games will be playable on PS5 at launch and all will run even better than before. “Running PS4 and PS4 titles at boosted frequencies has also added complexity,” Cerny said. “The boost is truly massive this time around and some game code just can’t handle it. Testing has to be done on a title by title basis. Results are excellent though. We recently took a look at the top 100 PlayStation 4 titles as ranked by playtime and we’re expecting almost all of them to be playable at launch on PlayStation 5.”

    He also discussed how backwards compatibility will be approached in the PS5 internally, and how the functionality will not be removed upon subsequent console iterations given the nature of their approach to designing the feature. “One way you can achieve backwards compatibility is to put the previous console’s chip set into the new console, like we did with some PlayStation 3s,” he said.”But that’s, of course, extremely expensive. A better way is to incorporate any differences in the previous console’s logic into the new console’s custom chip. Meaning that, even as the technology evolves, the logic and feature set that the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 4 Pro titles rely on is still available in backwards compatibility mode. One advantage of this strategy is that, once backwards compatibility is in the console, it’s in. It’s not as if a cost down will remove backwards compatibility like it did on PlayStation 3.”

    SIE president Jim Ryan told GameSpot sister site CNET backwards compatibility and cross-gen are important for the PS5 to help players have a seamless transition.

    “Whether it’s backwards compatibility or the possibility of cross-generational play, we’ll be able to transition that community to next-gen,” he said. “It won’t be a binary choice about whether you have to be either on PlayStation 4 or next-gen to continue your friendship.”

    In yet more welcome news, PS4 games will even run faster than they do on your current console, in part because the PS5 will contain a solid state drive, as opposed to hard drives that current consoles ship with. Cerny has demonstrated a load screen from Insomniac’s Spider-Man taking less than a second on a PS5 development kit, compared with 15 seconds on a PS4 Pro.

    Sony showed off the faster loading times during an investor presentation in May. You can see the video below, which was captured by Wall Street Journal reporter Takashi Mochizuki.

    PS5 Specs And Disc Drive

    This is where Sony has been surprisingly forthright with new information. The company has confirmed the PlayStation 5 will contain an AMD chip that has a CPU based on the third-generation Ryzen. It’ll have eight cores of the seven-nanometer Zen 2 microchip. The console will also support 8K gameplay, but this will of course be dependent upon TVs catching up.

    Graphics will be driven by a custom version of Radeon’s Navi line. This graphics chip will support ray-racing, something which is starting to become popular in movies and video games. Although it is traditionally thought of as a lighting technique, Cerny says this technique could also improve game audio. In fact, PS5 will fully support 3D audio.

    The aforementioned SSD is a big detail too, as it means games will load faster and be able to handle more objects on-screen at once than current HDD-driven consoles. Characters and cameras could move faster through game worlds, as environments could be loaded in much faster than they are at present. It will also lead to faster install times for games and patches.

    As one final detail, we know the PS5 will not go the route of the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition, which doesn’t include a disc drive. Instead, the PS5 will include a disc drive, so rest assured you’ll still be able to buy and play physical games. PS5 discs will have a capacity of 100 GB, and the console will also support 4K Blu-Rays.

    Sony has also confirmed that the PS5 is capable of supporting 4K visuals at 120Hz for those who have TVs that can support that. 120Hz is a refresh rate around double the rate of standard TVs. You can check the full specs below:

    PlayStation 5 Specs

    Component Spec
    CPU 8x Zen 2 Cores at 3.5GHz (variable frequency)
    GPU 10.28 TFLOPs, 36 CUs at 2.23GHz (variable frequency)
    GPU Architecture Custom RDNA 2
    Memory/Interface 16GB GDDR6/256-bit
    Memory Bandwidth 448GB/s
    Internal Storage Custom 825GB SSD
    IO Throughput 5.5GB/s (Raw), Typical 8-9GB/s (Compressed)
    Expandable Storage NVMe SSD Slot
    External Storage USB HDD Support
    Optical Drive 4K UHD Blu-ray Drive

    PS5 Controller

    Sony has opened up on its vision for the PlayStation 5’s controller by saying: “One of our goals with the next generation is to deepen the feeling of immersion when you play games, and we had the opportunity with our new controller to reimagine how the sense of touch can add to that immersion.

    “To that end, there are two key innovations with the PlayStation 5’s new controller. First, we’re adopting haptic feedback to replace the ‘rumble’ technology found in controllers since the 5th generation of consoles. With haptics, you truly feel a broader range of feedback, so crashing into a wall in a race car feels much different than making a tackle on the football field. You can even get a sense for a variety of textures when running through fields of grass or plodding through mud.

    “The second innovation is something we call adaptive triggers, which have been incorporated into the trigger buttons (L2/R2). Developers can program the resistance of the triggers so that you feel the tactile sensation of drawing a bow and arrow or accelerating an off-road vehicle through rocky terrain. In combination with the haptics, this can produce a powerful experience that better simulates various actions. Game creators have started to receive early versions of the new controller, and we can’t wait to see where their imagination goes with these new features at their disposal.”

    On April 7, Sony shared additional details, reconfirming that the controller uses a rechargeable battery. It also revealed the design, which you can see above–it has a tone-tone look and features a built-in microphone, so you don’t need to wear a headset for online voice chat. Furthermore, the Share button from the PS4’s DualShock has been replaced with what Sony has now dubbed the Create button. Details on what that change means have not been shared, with Sony explaining in a PlayStation Blog post, “With Create, we’re once again pioneering new ways for players to create epic gameplay content to share with the world, or just to enjoy for themselves.”

    SIE boss Jim Ryan added, “DualSense marks a radical departure from our previous controller offerings and captures just how strongly we feel about making a generational leap with PS5. The new controller, along with the many innovative features in PS5, will be transformative for games–continuing our mission at PlayStation to push the boundaries of play, now and in the future. To the PlayStation community, I truly want to thank you for sharing this exciting journey with us as we head toward PS5’s launch in Holiday 2020. We look forward to sharing more information about PS5, including the console design, in the coming months.”

    Can I Use Expandable Storage With PS5?

    The PS5 allows users to install non-Sony proprietary expandable storage, giving you the option to purchase off-the-shelf parts to slot into the system. According to a Digital Foundry report, “NVMe PC drives will work in PlayStation 5, [but] the only problem is that PC technology is significantly behind PS5 [and] Sony needs to validate them to ensure that they will work properly.”

    In Cerny’s talk discussing the PS5, he noted that Sony was testing expandable storage devices to ensure that they can physically fit into the PS5 and also deliver the required performance. The company has advised people not to purchase drives ahead of it revealing its recommendations, so don’t jump the gun just yet in your efforts to prepare yourself for the incoming launch. PS5-compatible SSD storage is expected to come “a bit past” launch, though.

    Will PS5 Support PSVR?

    The current PSVR will indeed be supported by PS5, as will the PlayStation Move controllers. “I won’t go into the details of our VR strategy,” Cerny has stated, “beyond saying that VR is very important to us and that the current PSVR headset is compatible with the new console.” The system architect stopped short of saying whether a new PSVR device will ever come out, however.

    The Logo

    It was believed that Sony’s briefing at CES 2020 could bring with it some PlayStation 5 news, but that only barely turned out to be the case. Sony’s Jim Ryan appeared on stage to share some impressive stats regarding the PS4 and to reveal the PlayStation 5 logo, which you can see below. It’s hardly surprising, maintaining the same style used for recent generations. Beyond that, Sony had nothing new to discuss about PS5 during the tech-focused event.

    Energy Efficiency

    Though Sony has been generally quiet about the PS5 since its announcement, it came forward to reveal just slightly more information in conjunction with the announcement of a United Nations initiative. The Playing for the Planet alliance aims to make the video game industry more environmentally friendly. To that end, Sony announced that the next generation of its hardware will use dramatically less power when placed into suspend/sleep mode. Just one million PS5 users turning on the energy-efficient feature would save enough electricity to power 1,000 US homes. The company is also conducting a carbon footprint assessment and looking into more energy-efficient data centers.

    PS5 Games

    We don’t yet know many confirmed games coming to PS5. It’s reasonable to presume annual titles like FIFA and Call of Duty would make the jump to PS5, though their developers haven’t stated anything concrete.

    Currently, the only confirmed PS5 game is Godfall, a loot-based melee action-RPG. It’s scheduled for late 2020, which more than likely makes it a PS5 launch game. However, time will tell!

    The other game possibly confirmed to be playable on PS5 is the Final Fantasy VII remake, after Square Enix’s president and CEO Yosuke Matsuda said: “I believe that our teams have made it so that the game will support both the next generation and the current generation of consoles. I believe it is being developed so that it is going to be playable on both, so I’m not really concerned about that and I believe that the fans are also going to be able to enjoy it on both, including the next-generation of consoles.”

    However, it’s not clear whether Matsuda was referring to a dedicated PS5 edition of the game, or if he was simply referring to the PS4 version being playable on PS5 via backward compatibility. If it’s the latter, then we can technically count every PS4 game as playable on PS5.

    Finally, we know Bluepoint Games, the studio behind remakes such as Shadow of the Colossus and Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection, is working on a PS5 game that it says is a “big” one.

    PS5 UI

    PlayStation 5’s new user interface will allow you to see more details about friends’ games without opening the applications themselves. “Even though it will be fairly fast to boot games,” says Cerny, “We don’t want the player to have to boot the game, see what’s up, boot the game, see what’s up. Multiplayer game servers will provide the console with the set of joinable activities in real time. Single-player games will provide information like what missions you could do and what rewards you might receive for completing them—and all of those choices will be visible in the UI. As a player you just jump right into whatever you like.”

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Reviews

All The Clues Pointing Towards A Fortnite Doomsday Event

Fortnite‘s first chapter came to a dramatic end in 2019 when the entire game disappeared into a black hole. During the downtime, avid players didn’t know what to do with themselves. So much so that millions of people reported to simply sitting and watching a blank screen, whether it be in-game or on Twitch, waiting for something to happen. Eventually, something did. A new island emerged from the darkness. Only a few months later, a lot of players believe Fortnite is about to experience another world-ending event.

Doomsday Clues

Players and dataminers have discovered a series of doomsday clues that suggest the end of Fortnite‘s relatively young second island is nigh. The first points towards Fortnite‘s second demise were discovered by FortTory. Three items, all with the word doomsday in their names, not so well hidden within Fortnite‘s code. A Doomsday Device, Doomsday Hatch, and Doomsday Door.

So far, only one of those items has manifested in the game, and as of right now, it serves no other purpose than an aesthetic addition to the map. No fewer than five Doomsday Hatches have popped up around The Agency, a location added at the beginning of this season right in the middle of the map. The hatches don’t open yet, but there has been speculation as to where they might lead. Some players even think they might be portals back to the original Fortnite map.

What’s Midas Hiding?

The Doomsday items discovered by FortTory aren’t the only objects indicating that something big is coming. In this season’s Battle Pass menu, each of the characters introduced at the start has their own room. The rooms, as well as the attached challenges, have been revealed with each passing week. Players are yet able to see the inside of Midas’s room. However, images of the room have leaked, and there’s something being referred to as the “Doomsday Door” within it. Just like the hatches, there is currently no way of knowing what might be behind that ominous looking door.

On top of that, some players have reported what appear to be intentional glitches happening while on the Battle Pass screen. Wires flailing and huge tubes popping up out of nowhere. We’re yet to see the glitches for ourselves, but it seems as if whatever big event is coming to Fortnite, players may get a first look at whatever is causing it before they even enter a match.

Fortnite disappearing into a black hole isn’t the only massive event that has happened in in the game. The incoming Doomsday event could be like any number of things have happened in Fortnite‘s past. When the door and the hatches open, everyone playing could be transported to a limbo-like cutscene as has happened in the past. Perhaps something will become weaponized similar to when a nuclear missile was launched into the sky and created rifts in Fortnite‘s atmosphere.

Hopefully, Epic is a little more inventive and comes up with something original. It certainly has a good track record of doing that. As for the theory those hatches will take players back to map one, we personally think it’s still a little early for something like that.

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News

The best invisible braces for your teeth in 2020

Presented by Verma Media

If you’re thinking about straightening your smile this year, there are a number of options out there, including at-home solutions that make it easy and affordable as well as more traditional in-office options. With so many different brands of invisible braces on the market, what’s the best choice?

We’ve broken down some of the biggest players in this space below!

At-home invisible aligners: how it works

Before we go into your options, we want to give you a quick explanation of at-home, doctor-directed teeth straightening for mild to moderate tooth movement. The process starts with an at-home impression kit which a licensed dental professional uses to create your treatment plan. The company then sends you your aligners without you ever having to leave the house, which can be especially important during this time of social distancing.

You’ll start with the first set of aligners, which begin to move your teeth toward their final destinations as directed in the treatment plan. Throughout the course of treatment, you’ll switch to new sets of aligners that bring your teeth closer and closer to the outcome, until you finish the last set of aligners.

This differs from traditional in-office treatment where the dentist or orthodontist takes impressions or a scan of your teeth in-office. Then, throughout the course of treatment you will have in-office check-ins as directed by your doctors.

byte, the fastest at-home invisible aligners

While other at-home invisible aligner options can take six months to a year on average and in-office treatment can take up to two years, byte treatment averages just three short months. They make this possible through an FDA-cleared high frequency acceleration device called HyperByte that uses high frequency vibration (HFV) technology for safe, effective treatment. This is one of their biggest differentiators compared to other companies in this space.

HyperByte transmits micropulses through the roots of the teeth to the surrounding bone, helping prevent inaccurate tooth movement and speeding treatment by increasing overall cellular activity. With the use of HyperByte, you will change aligners every five to seven days compared to switching aligners once every two weeks, the traditional method used by other at-home aligner companies.

Additionally, byte uses what they call SmileScience where they analyze the proportions of your face to design a smile unique to your look. This is different from other aligner companies (including in-office treatment) that put your teeth through the same software program—and run the same alignment procedures—without taking your actual face into account.

At just $1895 (with a monthly payment plan option of $249 up front then $83/month for 25 months), byte is an affordable solution for people looking for straighter teeth. Not only are all plans created by a licensed orthodontist, but their customer care team is 100% U.S.-based for quick, easy access to questions throughout the course of treatment. Plus, they include premium teeth whitening treatment, a free retainer at the end of treatment, and a lifetime guarantee. If at any time after going through your byte treatment and while using your retainers your smile moves out of alignment, they will help get it back into alignment at no additional cost.

SmileDirectClub: your basic at-home invisible aligners

Similar to byte, SmileDirectClub offers affordable aligners at $1,895 with a monthly payment plan option. While their aligners include free teeth whitening, the retainer is an extra cost at the end of treatment, with no lifetime guarantee.

Without HFV technology, their treatment plans take six months on average. Instead, patients use “chewies,” small cylindrical chewing devices made of a soft spongy plastic-like material that you chew on while wearing their aligners. SmileDirectClub’s customer support is not 100% based in the U.S.

Candid Co.: at-home aligners with remote monitoring

A little pricier than other at-home options, Candid Co. aligners cost $2,400 (26% more expensive). Their aligners include free teeth whitening, but retainers at the end of treatment are extra, and there’s no lifetime guarantee.

They claim this allows them to reduce treatment time by allowing you to change aligners faster depending on the results captured during remote monitoring. Like SmileDirectClub, Candid uses chewies to seat aligners.

Invisalign: the leading in-office invisible aligners

The leading in-office option—used by both dentists and orthodontists—Invisalign costs $3,000 to $7,000 on average with treatment time averaging 12 to 18 months. With this option, you’ll be spending regular time at the dentist, especially if your treatment requires attachments (or anchors) for your aligners. The primary benefit of Invisalign is that these brackets do allow for more complicated cases beyond mild to moderate tooth movement.

Clear Correct: budget in-office invisible aligners

Another in-office option, ClearCorrect aligners cost anywhere from $2,000 to $8,000, making them a more affordable solution in some cases. They do not provide an average treatment time, though the Consumer Guide to Dentistry reports they can take from 12 to 24 months.

Fast, affordable, guaranteed

To us, the winner for treating mild to moderate malocclusion is clear: byte invisible aligners. Not only are they the fastest option, they’re one of the most affordable solutions on the market, with a lifetime guarantee.

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Nintendo

The Best Animal Crossing Merch For New Horizons: Accessories, Amiibo, Switch Skins, And More

After years of waiting and a delay, Animal Crossing: New Horizons is finally out on Nintendo Switch. It’s already on track to be one of the biggest Switch games of 2020, and Nintendo is going all-out with Animal Crossing merchandise. Controllers, carrying cases, plushies, Amiibo–you name it. We’ve rounded up all your options for showing off your Animal Crossing love. There’s even a New Horizons Switch console that might be the cutest Nintendo system ever made (although it’s currently sold out everywhere.)

If you haven’t picked up the game itself, be sure to check out our Animal Crossing: New Horizons buying guide for any remaining bonuses and discounts on the game, as well as our Animal Crossing: New Horizons review. Plus, check back with GameSpot as you start diving into the game, as we’ve got a ton of guides to help make your island experience better, such as what to do on your first day, how to build the general store, how to unlock the clothing shop, and more.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons News And Guides

  • Animal Crossing: New Horizons Eggs — How To Get Each Type For Bunny Day
  • Animal Crossing: New Horizons Fish Guide
  • Animal Crossing: New Horizons Bug Guide
  • Animal Crossing: New Horizons – New Fish And Bugs In April
  • How To Crossbreed Flowers In Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Animal Crossing: New Horizons Switch console | $300

The Animal Crossing Switch console is a beauty. It comes with a pair of exclusive Joy-Cons, a dock featuring Tom Nook and the Nooklings, and a back panel decorated with tiny silhouettes of characters, trees, boats, and more, all perfectly scattered across the island setting. If you have a launch model Switch, you might be happy to learn the Animal Crossing Switch comes with the upgraded battery found in all current Switches. The launch model has a 2.5 to 6.5-hour range, while the updated model boasts a 4.5 to 9-hour range.

The special edition console released March 13, one week before New Horizons. It doesn’t come with a copy of the game, though. The Joy-Cons and Switch dock were sold separately in Japan, but Nintendo hasn’t announced plans to release either individually in the US.

The Animal Crossing Switch is currently sold out online at all major retailers, but we’ve seen it come back in stock sporadically since release. It usually sells out quickly, though. You can see the online listings below. Some retailers will let you sign up with your email to get notified when it’s back in stock, which might be a good idea if you haven’t been able to snag one for yourself yet.

Purchase Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Of course, if you haven’t purchased the game itself just yet, you can do so at most major retailers.

Check out where you can buy the game below!

  • Get it at Best Buy — $60
  • Get it at Best Buy (digital download) — $60
  • Get it at Amazon — $60
  • Get it at Amazon (digital download) — $60
  • Get it at Walmart — $60
  • Get it at Walmart (digital download) — $60
  • Get it at GameStop — $60
  • Get it at Nintendo Eshop (digital download) — $60

Game and Bell Bag bundle | $65

Best Buy is selling the game bundled with an adorable little bag modeled after Tom Nook’s Bell Bag. The bundle costs $65, so you’re only paying five bucks for the cute bag (as opposed to the $20 the bag costs by itself).

Animal Crossing: New Horizons Official Companion Guide | $28.49

Animal Crossing isn’t a game you need a traditional walkthrough for, since it never ends. But the New Horizons official companion guide will tell you everything you need to know about the island, including a catalog of every item you can purchase, find, and create. The 432-page paperback releases April 9 and is available to pre-order at Amazon for $28.49.

Aloha Edition carrying case | $25

An official accessory from Nintendo, the Aloha Edition carrying case comes in versions for both the Switch and Switch Lite. The case uses the well-known Animal Crossing leaves for its design and also comes bundled with a screen protector. This popular case is selling out most places.

Game Traveler Deluxe Case | $16

A new Game Traveler Deluxe case celebrating New Horizons. This cute case is compatible with both the Switch and Switch Lite, but the Switch will fit more snugly in this hard shell design. The case comes with a game card holder for four Switch games and a microSD case for two cards. There’s an adjustable stand inside the case that props up your Switch or Switch Lite when in tabletop mode.

Power A Enhanced Wireless Controllers | $50

These wireless Animal Crossing Switch controllers from PowerA are adorable alternatives to the Pro controller. You can choose between a K.K. Slider or Nooklings design. Each controller is a lovely shade of green and features an Animal Crossing-themed pattern.

PowerA wireless controllers look and feel great, but they don’t operate exactly the same as the Pro controller. They use AA batteries for power and don’t have Amiibo NFC support or vibration. They do, however, have an additional pair of buttons on the back that can be programmed on the fly. Both designs are currently sold out but might come back in stock soon.

Nintendo Switch console skin | $23.54

Maybe you don’t want to (or can’t) spend the cash on the Animal Crossing Switch, but you still want your console to look the part. These officially licensed skins from Controller Gear deck out your console, dock, and Joy-Cons with Animal Crossing designs. Three Tom Nook designs are available, each of which features Tom Nook and/or Timmy and Tommy Nook. Each skin comes with a screen protector as well.

Nintendo Switch Lite console skins | $10

Nintendo Switch Lite owners won’t feel left out thanks to Controller Gear’s console skins. There are three patterns to choose from–Outdoor, Timmy and Tommy, and Woodtone–each of which are $10. These skins won’t ship for a few days or more than a week, but you can still get them at Amazon.

Animal Crossing Amiibo

Scanning Amiibos while playing New Horizons allows you to invite characters to your campground. A separate mode called Photopia lets you arrange your figures and dress them up for a photoshoot.

As of right now, 16 Animal Crossing Amiibo figures have been released, most of which came out around the same time as Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival for Wii U. However, due to increased demand around Animal Crossing: New Horizons, some Animal Crossing Amiibo are becoming hard to find, and prices are going up. Best Buy is restocking a handful of them for $9 each; they’ll ship in April. Others are available on Amazon and other retailers for various prices. We’ve indicated the Amiibo currently available below.

  • Blathers — $9
  • Celeste — $9
  • Cyrus — $12
  • Digby — $9
  • Isabelle (Smash Bros.) — $16
  • K.K. Slider, Mr. Resetti, and Rover 3-Pack — $18
  • Kapp’n — $9
  • Kicks — $16.44
  • Lottie — $9
  • Mabel — $13
  • Reese — $12
  • Mr. Resetti — $9
  • Rover — $9
  • Tom Nook — $16

Amiibo cards

New Horizons also supports Amiibo cards, and they offer the same perks as the figures. Though not really display items like regular Amiibos, there are far more cards out there, each displaying one of the cheery denizens of the Animal Crossing universe. Amiibo cards were released in four waves, and each pack comes with six Amiibo cards.

  • Series 1 — $14 — SOLD OUT
  • Series 2 — $20 — SOLD OUT
  • Series 3 — $17.28 — SOLD OUT
  • Series 4 — $20 — SOLD OUT
  • Series 1-4 (four-pack, 24 cards total) — $45 — SOLD OUT

Isabelle Nendoroid | $44

This Isabelle Nendoroid is probably the cutest Animal Crossing product you can buy. Good Smile’s popular Nendoroid figurines come with numerous accessories and a stand. Isabelle comes with musical notes that attach to the stand, a clipboard, and a pen. Good Smile has opened pre-orders for a new restock of the figure, with its re-release planned for September. You can currently pre-order for just $44 at Good Smile US until April 16.

Isabelle plush | $20

A wide assortment of Isabelle plushies can be found from a quick search. But I have to say, a fair number of them are less than great. This Isabelle plush is just about perfect. It’s available directly from Nintendo for $15. Target has a different, almost-as-cute Isabelle plush available for the same price.

Tom Nook plush | $12.67

When I first looked at this Tom Nook plush, I grimaced. It’s not cute. But then I looked at Tom Nook again and remembered that he’s not cute anyway. He’s a hardworking but tired-looking raccoon who wants you to pay him back for those home renovations. Plush Tom Nook can look at you in dismay every time you’re about to buy something you don’t need online (not including this plush). It’s currently sold out at most places, but you can pick one up at Box Lunch right now.

DJ K.K. Slider | $24.49

K.K. Slider is obviously the coolest Animal Crossing character, and this plush is further proof. Not only is he wearing a stylish hat and sophisticated glasses, but his headphones are casually draped around his neck while he scratches the record with his tiny paw.

More Animal Crossing plushies

In addition to Tom Nook, Isabelle, and K.K., you can find a handful of Animal Crossing plushies at Amazon, Nintendo, Play Asia, and Target. Play Asia’s plushies don’t release until April 30 and will cost you more in shipping. If you want Rover, Mr. Resetti, the Nooklings, and more villagers, now’s your chance. GameStop will send you a random one from the assortment.

See plushies at:

  • Amazon
  • Nintendo
  • GameStop
  • Target
  • Play Asia

Animal Crossing: New Horizons sticker sets | $13

Best Buy was offering a Tom Nook decal sticker as a pre-order bonus, but you can snag an entire set of stickers for yourself on Amazon. The brand, Controller Gear, is offering two sets of officially licensed Animal Crossing: New Horizons stickers, and they’re both pretty adorable. These are tech decals, so they’re safe to go on your phone, laptop, and more.

Nook’s Homes Mug | $18

This Animal Crossing-themed mug shows off your appreciation for the raccoon who makes all of your dreams possible. Is Tom Nook a design expert? That’s up for debate, but he’s all we have to help us make a home that’s large enough to satisfy our hoarding desires.

K.K. Slider T-shirt | $20

We can’t all be as cool as K.K. Slider, but we can celebrate the famous musician with this officially licensed graphic T-shirt. The shirt is available in men’s, women’s, and youth fits and comes in black, navy, olive, dark heather, and heather blue. This Brewster’s The Roost Cafe shirt is a close second to K.K.’s shirt.

K.K. Slider Coach’s Jacket | $56

What could be better than wearing a KK Slider shirt? Wearing a KK Slider coach’s jacket over your KK Slider shirt, of course. Exclusive to Box Lunch, this coach’s jacket is 100% nylon and features a picture of our favorite DJ on the back.

Isabelle Hat | $15-$22

This fun hat bearing the face of Animal Crossing’s lovable Isabelle is billed as a “Dad Hat,” but thankfully, anyone can wear it.

Best Deals This Week

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  • PS Plus Drops To $40 In Limited-Time PS4 Deal
  • Where To Buy A Nintendo Switch Right Now
  • Fantastic Sale On Steam Games Includes Pre-Order Discounts On Resident Evil 3, Trials Of Mana

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