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Hands-on: Nvidia’s GeForce Now just leapfrogged Google Stadia – The Verge

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Cloud gaming may have finally arrived — for some
Nvidia just kicked Google’s butt. That’s my overarching takeaway.
One week ago, Nvidia announced it would effectively begin renting out its impossible-to-buy RTX 3080 graphics card over the internet. The graphics giant now offers a new tier of its GeForce Now cloud gaming service, $99 for a six-month membership, that promises 4K HDR gaming at 60fps, or 1440p at 120fps, delivered to practically any device you own, with far lower latency than Nvidia’s service has ever offered before.
I spent a huge chunk of yesterday testing it out on my phone, laptop, a borrowed Nvidia Shield TV set-top box, and even my own RTX 3080-equipped desktop PC for some direct comparisons. And on the performance front, at least, I came away impressed.
How cloud gaming works
Whether we’re talking about Google Stadia, PlayStation Now, GeForce Now, Amazon Luna or Microsoft’s xCloud, the core concept behind cloud gaming is the same: instead of a having a powerful gaming PC or game console in your house, you’re remotely accessing a gaming computer that lives in a server rack far away. Those servers stream the game to you just like a YouTube video.
Every time you press a button, move a mouse, or flick a joystick, that command has to travel over the internet to a server. That server then has to update the game and transmit a compressed video frame of that reaction all the way back to your TV, laptop, or phone. And it has to do it all so incredibly fast that you don’t notice a delay. 
That’s why simply having a fast internet connection (in Mbps) isn’t enough: it also needs to be stable, decongested, and you need to be physically close enough to those servers (think hundreds, not thousands, of miles away) so the round trip doesn’t take too long.  
One other downside of cloud gaming is that, because you’re constantly downloading video frames, it can eat up far more data than downloading game files themselves. Your average big-budget game is 50GB, but cloud gaming services can consume tens of gigabytes per hour.
I should warn you that I tested under best-case conditions: I live near Nvidia’s west coast servers, I’m using 5GHz Wi-Fi and/or wired Ethernet to connect, and while I hate Comcast, it does tend to have favorable peering arrangements that keep me from seeing a lot of lag in online games. But that goes for Google’s service too, so let’s get into it. In 2019, it was clear Google’s Stadia had surpassed every other nascent cloud gaming service in terms of responsive gameplay and clear image quality, even if “4K” was a lie. It’s equally clear today that Nvidia has leapt ahead on both fronts — to the point it’s starting to feel like a valid alternative to a next-gen game console and a promising stopgap if chip shortages mean you can’t find the console or PC parts you want.
Let’s make the console comparison first, because I think it’s the more favorable by far. I fired up Control: Ultimate Edition, Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Destiny 2 on the $150 Nvidia Shield TV, the only platform where the company currently offers 4K HDR streaming. While these aging games don’t have PS5 Ratchet and Clank levels of detail, it otherwise felt like I’d just plugged in the best game console ever made. Shadow of the Tomb Raider at 4K is everything the Stadia version was not: crisp, detailed graphics that actually feel like 4K. I launched it again on Stadia and found it muddy by comparison. Then I fired up Destiny 2, maxed out the settings at 3,840 x 2,160, bumped up the field of view to 90 degrees, and still saw it stay well above 60fps in a frantic firefight.
And I felt competent in those fights: the controls felt roughly as responsive as they do on a console, if not as good as a mouse and keyboard on PC.
But for me, the real console-style winner was Control, which ran butter-smooth at an AI-upscaled (DLSS) 4K at the highest levels of detail with half the ray tracing features turned on. While I’m not usually a fan of DLSS on a computer monitor, I couldn’t really tell the difference at the distance I play from my TV. Considering that the PS5 and Xbox Series X versions are lower-res and lock you to 30fps if you want raytracing, this might be the single best way to play Control if you’ve got the money and don’t have data caps — I clocked it at nearly 50Mbps, which is a lot of data.
On phone, too, I was impressed. At native 1080p, Control let me max out every single setting including ray tracing and ran beautifully — quite a bit better than it did on my old GTX 1080 desktop, frankly. I measured my Pixel 4a pulling down up to 30Mbps while streaming that. (I haven’t tried over cellular yet, nor did I get to try 120Hz on a phone.)
I just wouldn’t quite pick GeForce Now over an actual RTX 3080 desktop.
Technically, it’s got more horsepower than my desktop: with a 16-core AMD Threadripper Pro 3955WX and an Nvidia A10G with 24GB of VRAM, the company’s servers were 12 percent faster in the Shadow of the Tomb Raider benchmark, and I’m not surprised based on those specs.
But Nvidia made a choice to only offer 4K HDR streaming on its Shield TV set-top box to start, not on PC — and both the lower resolution and lack of HDR really hurt my PC experience.
When streaming games are perfectly still, they can look almost as good as games running natively. Here’s some screenshots I captured in Control on different platforms so you can see what I mean (blow them up to full-res first please):
If you look closely, you’ll see more fine detail in Jesse’s hair, her leather jacket, and her jeans, but it’s only when you get to Stadia (where Google is clearly rendering less detail) that we see a huge gap in quality.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider has even less of a gap between streaming and native when the game’s completely still:
What I can’t easily show you, not even properly in a video, is how muddy a stream can get when objects are moving… and those moving objects are getting compressed into images that can easily be streamed across the internet… and then that compression creates nasty image artifacts that smear across your field of view. But I can try:
This has plagued cloud gaming for years, and it’s particularly noticeable at lower render resolutions and in distant, grey regions like fog, smoke, steam, or simply semi-dark areas. Different video compression techniques can help, and that’s part of why Google Stadia was remarkably better at this than GeForce Now was in 2019. But a higher resolution stream and HDR also help a lot — I don’t see these issues nearly as much in the 4K HDR stream on my big TV, even when I stand up close. But on my desktop at 1440p, there’s a lot of the smearing going on.
Cloud gaming’s state of the art has just advanced thanks to a new infusion of hardware, but there are still plenty of reasons to hesitate. For one thing, this is the second time this year that Nvidia’s doubled the price of its top GeForce Now tier, first from $4.99 a month to $9.99 a month in March, and now from $99.99 a year to $99.99 for six months (though the previous tier is still around and “founders” are grandfathered into that one for life as long as they keep paying the bill.) That price includes access to many games that are free-to-play on other platforms, but you’ll need to bring paid games from Steam, EGS and Uplay yourself. Your savegames do come along for the ride.
For another, I’m not convinced GeForce Now is very tolerant of bursts of network congestion: my Destiny 2 session became totally unplayable after my wife started syncing a bunch of files to Dropbox, and freaked out again when she downloaded a single app installer to her MacBook a little later.
The reason I won’t buy in, though, is because large portions of my PC game collection simply aren’t there since Nvidia can’t obtain the streaming rights. I can’t play Deathloop or Back 4 Blood or Sekiro or Nier Automata or PUBG, all of which are on my current slate. Nvidia’s adding new games every week, including titles as new as Far Cry 6 and New World, but Nvidia can’t promise that some of them won’t also disappear.
Still, real RTX 3080 cards are still going for $1,600 on eBay, and PC hardware in general is very expensive to piece together right now. Gaming rigs use a lot of electricity, too, and energy costs are soaring in parts of the world. For the right person, $200 a year doesn’t sound like too much to ask for a competent gaming PC in the cloud.

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How to unlink Spotify from PS4 or PS5 – Android Authority

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Here are a few fast, easy ways to link and unlink Spotify from PS4 or PS5.
While it’s fun to listen to personalized playlists when gaming, a Spotify Premium account can only play on a maximum of three devices, which adds up fast. Additionally, if multiple people listen to music from the same account on different devices, they may experience audio interruptions. Therefore, you may need to shuffle around your linked devices and unlink your PlayStation console from time to time, especially if you’ve upgraded to a new gaming console.
Read more: Finally got a new PS5? Here are seven things to do first
QUICK ANSWER
From your PlayStation console, open the Spotify app and select the settings icon from the left side of the screen. Then, from the Account settings, select Log out. Presto! You’ve now unlinked your Spotify account from the PlayStation Network. More details below.
With or without a PlayStation console?
First, open the Spotify app on your PlayStation console.
Select the Settings icon from the left side of the screen. This will bring you to a new page.
From there, select Log out to unlink your Spotify account from the PlayStation Network.
That’s it! Easy-peasy, right?
To link your Spotify Account with a PS4 or PS5 again, log back into the Spotify app via your PlayStation console.
If you no longer have access to your PS4 or PS5 console, you can still unlink your Spotify account via a web browser.
First, go to the PlayStation website and log in with your PSN username and password. From there, click Services in the top left corner of the website and select entertainment for PS4 or PS5.
From there, scroll down until you find PlayStation Music. Alternatively, you can search for PlayStation Music via the search icon in the top right corner.
Click on Link my accounts. This will take you to a new page.
From here, you’ll be able to link and unlink your Spotify account from your PlayStation Network account.
Click Unlink beside your listed Spotify account, and voila, the accounts are no longer linked.
Read more: Fifteen tips to get more out of your Spotify account
Can I unlink a banned PS4 account from Spotify? 
Yes. You can unlink your PSN account, banned or not, from a Spotify account via a web browser. You can do so by following the steps listed above. If you experience any problems, we recommend contacting Sony Customer Support.
Can I listen to Spotify while playing games on PS4 or PS5?
Yes, you can listen to music while playing compatible PS5 and PS4 games. However, this feature is not available on PS3.
Which countries support Spotify on PlayStation?
Visit the PlayStation Spotify region page for a complete list of countries that support the Spotify service on PlayStation. Note that available artists and tracks may vary according to location.
When did Sony partner with Spotify to create PlayStation Music?
Sony teamed up with Spotify to create PlayStation Music in February 2015, which replaced their previous Music Unlimited service.

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Xbox Social Media Manager Explores Zeta Halo Using PS5 Controller – Pure Xbox

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Xbox Social Media Manager Explores Zeta Halo Using PS5 Controller  Pure Xbox
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Artists Show Off Slick Concept for Xbox Series X Elite Console – GameRant

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The Xbox Series X will inevitably receive an updated model, and one creator shows off their design of what it may just look like.
The Xbox Series X is the current flagship console for Microsoft, and one of the most powerful consoles ever made. Like previous generations, the Xbox Series X is bound to receive a sleeker new model, perhaps even with upgraded specs, and one content creator has shared what they think it may look like.
When Microsoft revealed the Xbox Series X in 2019, its design was attention grabbing, and some might say for the wrong reasons. There is nothing outwardly strange or offensive about the design, but its size, shape, and color immediately saw comparisons between the Xbox Series X and refrigerators. Micosoft saw this as a great marketing opportunity, however, releasing an offical Xbox Series X mini-fridge that has quickly sold out practically everywhere. With the last generation of consoles, Microsoft released the Xbox One S and Xbox One X towards the end of the Xbox One's lifecycle.
RELATED: Microsoft Discontinuing Production on Xbox One X Consoles
A YouTuber by the name of Concept Creator has designed a mock-up of what the next Xbox Series X console variant may look like. Originally covered by Ilse Jurrien of LetsGoDigital, graphic designer Jermaine Smit of Concept Creator trims away the fat of the original Xbox Series X design, making it much more slender, sleeker, and recognizable, thanks to some key implementations. Size-wise, the Xbox Series X Elite, as Jurrien is calling it, evokes the jump from the Xbox One to the Xbox One X but to a much higher degree, with the Elite nearly shrinking the original Series X in half. The most eye-catching change of the Elite is the sharp, raised cross-piece that cuts across the top and front of the console, with LEDs that glow Xbox green on both sides.
Despite the additions, many of the key Xbox Series X design features are retained in the Elite's mock-up. On the left side of the console is the disc-tray, power button, and four USB ports that appear smoothly chiseled out of the console's body. Likewise, the signature venting that appears on the top of the original Xbox Series X returns on the right portions of the Elite, providing a nice blend of textures that dissuade easy comparisons to DVR boxes. Concept Creator's Xbox Series X Elite design also has a white variant, channeling the design of the Xbox Series S, the original console's little sister.
As it stands, not much (if anything) is known about the next iteration of the Xbox Series X. Microsoft's next family of consoles have been out for over a year, and while the Xbox Series S sold very well during Black Friday this year, still not everyone who desires one of these systems has been able to get one yet. With that in mind, while it is fun to think about the future of these systems and what they may look like, Microsoft's priority should still be in making its current lineup more available. Unless the Xbox Series X Elite magically doesn't require microchips, it will likely fall into the same issues as the current console lineup.
MORE: Xbox Game Pass Game Trek to Yomi Explained
Source: LetsGoDigital
Harry Potter actor Rupert Grint opens up in an interview in regards to his feelings towards the controversial author J.K. Rowling.
Recent graduate just trying to start conversations about video games. Can often be caught playing Halo when he really should be working on his backlog.

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