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PS5 restock updates: Where to look if you couldn't get a console from Walmart today – CNET

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If you missed out, today is not the only day this week consoles will be available.
If you didn’t get a PS5 from Walmart, don’t panic. The website has broadcasted a PS5 restock for both the Digital and Standard edition of the consoles starting Thursday, but there’s a catch. You need to be a Walmart Plus subscriber to be able to make the purchase, and unlike other restocks from Walmart you can’t just use the free trial of this subscription service to get access. 
It’s also likely we’ll see a PS5 restock from PlayStation Direct this week, but there have not yet been emails sent out confirming this. We will have more details on this soon, but if you’re not signed up for PlayStation Direct notifications you can start here
Getting in on a PlayStation 5 restock can be messy and frustrating, especially if you’ve been through a couple and still not been able to get your hands on one. Over the last year, the biggest retailers have made a lot of changes to the checkout process in an effort to both offer peace of mind and keep bots from buying all of the consoles and selling them for more somewhere else.
The most recent change we’ve seen in the PS5 restock game has been paid access, meaning you buy a subscription and one of the perks is you get in on the next PS5 restock either earlier than anyone else or exclusively for your club. 
After a few weeks of this new system rolling out across GameStop, Best Buy, Walmart and even Amazon in some cases, the one thing we can say for sure is it’s still not guaranteed you will get a console through these systems. The queue fills up fast for all of them, and consoles remain in stock for only minutes in many cases. Every time a PS5 restock happens, social media fills with people describing how they experienced glitches in the process and the consoles ended up being gone entirely. 
It’s unreasonable to sign up and pay for every service, but that’s where we can help. We’re constantly tracking the best way for you to get your hands on a PS5, and there are plenty of things you can do to increase your odds before the buy button lights up. Check it out below.
There are three big reasons why you’re still struggling to get a PS5. The first is the most obvious: The system is really popular. Sony says the PS5 is its best-selling console and has already sold 10 million units since launch
The second reason is the current chip shortage impacting most of the world’s electronics. Sony did say it has secured enough chips to meet its goal of 14.8 million consoles for the fiscal year
As for the last reason, it comes down to bots. Resellers are using software to purchase a massive number of PS5s at once, leaving only a few for actual humans to buy. Retailers added various bot protections during PS5 restocks, but these restrictions only hamper resellers so much.
We keep track of every PS5 restock, and maintain this list here of the most likely places you’ll find them.
Lots of companies now limit access to a PS5 to a subscription, but each one is a little different. Here’s the full breakdown of how each one works. 
For the moment, the service that seems most useful to most people is Walmart Plus. There are more restocks at Walmart than most other places right now, and that subscription can increase your odds of getting a console dramatically. You’re still going to have to be quick and accept that you may not get the console on the first try, but it’s a good way to increase your odds.
Major retailers like Walmart, GameStop, Amazon, Target and Best Buy don’t usually give much notice ahead of a restock. Sometimes they’ll have a restock in the morning, other times in the afternoon and, in some cases, even in the middle of the night. Here are some tips to help you get the jump on the competition. 
First tip: Don’t wait until you see an alert for a PS5 inventory drop. Check the links at major retailers for stock updates daily or even multiple times a day. (We’ve got the links all lined up below.) If you do happen upon some PS5 availability, go all-in with as many browsers and devices as possible. On a desktop, for example, open the retailer’s page in Chrome, Firefox and Edge. Then do the same on your phone and tablet. The more devices and browsers, the better. It’s like with lottery tickets: The more you have, the better your chances of winning.
Second tip: Create accounts at the different retailers and make sure you’re already logged in if you’re going to try to get a PS5. Make sure all your shipping, bill and payment info is updated on whatever device you can buy from, whether it’s a laptop, desktop or phone. This makes checking out a lot faster, which is crucial as retailers’ sites get quickly bogged down, leading to people losing their chance of securing a PS5. 
Third tip: Keep checking back with this post and follow CNET and Oscar Gonzalez on Twitter for updates.
If you’re starting to crack and considering buying a PS5 right now (and we know that with the number of big PS5 games dropping over the next few months, the pressure is on), you can do so, but at the cost of a hefty markup on sites like eBay or StockX. On eBay, for example, we’ve seen PS5 units priced over $1,000, although prices have slowly made their way down to approximately $700.
You will usually find the standard edition is available more often than the digital edition at Target, but that doesn’t make it any less solid a place to check for stock.
Currently one of the best places to get a PS5, but beware the company frequently makes the consoles available to Walmart Plus subscribers first. 
It’s usually a requirement to have a Prime membership to get access to a PS5 restock from Amazon, but not always. And if you sign up for the Treasure Truck program, you’ll get a text when a PS5 is available for delivery. 
Restocks happen fast at GameStop, and if you’re a PowerUp Rewards Pro subscriber you can occasionally get access to the console an hour before everyone else. 
You can find a PS5 restock at Best Buy more often than most places, though it occasionally requires a Totaltech subscription if you want to get in on one early.
If you want to buy a console directly from Sony, click this link and register to be put in the waiting queue. When you get an email inviting you to buy the console, it’s a fairly low-stress checkout followed by a one- or two-day wait for shipping and you’re done.
PS5 restocks don’t happen at Newegg super frequently, but they do happen and it’s a great idea to check here because a lot of other people don’t know to do so. 
You won’t be paying the standard price for your PS5 if you buy it from here, but you will certainly get it without much fighting to check out.
When all else fails, if you absolutely must have the console right now regardless of price, the folks at StockX will at the very least protect you from being scammed by someone who never intended to give you a console.
Subscribe to our daily spotlight on the best tech deals on the web – from phones to gadgets and more.
This story is regularly updated with the latest PS5 stock news.

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GTA Online's weekly update brings another new vehicle from The Contract – PCGamesN

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It’s Thursday, GTA fans, and you know what that means. GTA Online‘s weekly update is here, and while Rockstar Games hasn’t put the official notes on the Newswire just yet, players have dipped into Los Santos to see what’s new this week.
The significant new addition this time is a fresh set of wheels. The Obey I-Wagen is now available to purchase from Southern San Andreas Super Autos for $1,720,000 in-game currency. Rockstar introduced the electric four-door mid-size crossover SUV to GTA Online as part of The Contract update, so you may have seen it already if you’ve been doing some work for Franklin.
If you’re looking to raise some dosh this week, though, you’ll want to keep an eye out for Simeon’s contact missions as they’re paying out triple the usual rewards. Meanwhile, the South Central Leak investigation mission and Hardest Target adversary mode pay double the bonuses if you fancy a change of pace. The former is one of the missions from The Contract update, while the latter is a two-team mode where one member from each team starts with more armour.
This week, the GTA podium car is the Declasse Drift Tampa, while the GTA Prize Ride is the Karin Calico GTF, which you can snag by placing first in pursuit races for five days in a row.
Here are all of the discounts:
40% Off
– Itali GTB ($713,400)
– Itali GTB Custom ($297,000)
– Vectre ($1,249,500 – $937,125)
30% Off
– Stun Gun ($262,500)
– Compact EMP Launcher ($278,250)
Misc
– Old & New Music available on Radio Los Santos & West Coast Classics#GTAOnline
— Tez2 (@TezFunz2) January 20, 2022

For more open-world PC games, you can follow that link.
Get involved in the conversation by heading over to our Facebook and Instagram pages. To stay up to date with the latest PC gaming guides, news, and reviews, follow PCGamesN on Twitter and Steam News Hub, or download our free app for Overwolf.
Iain Harris Deputy news editor
Published: Jan 20, 2022
When not wrangling the news, Iain can be found tootling through Eorzea searching for Final Fantasy XIV’s hottest new looks. Has bylines all over, including: Kotaku, Rock Paper Shotgun, Esports News UK, VG24/7, and PocketGamer.Biz. Please don’t ask him how much he spent to get Xiao in Genshin Impact.

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Microsoft to Buy Activision Blizzard for Nearly $70 Billion – The New York Times

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Karen WeiseAndrew Ross SorkinKellen Browning and
SEATTLE — Microsoft plans to buy the powerhouse but troubled video game company Activision Blizzard for nearly $70 billion, its biggest deal ever and one that places a major bet that people will be spending more and more time in the digital world.
The blockbuster acquisition, announced on Tuesday, would catapult the company into a leading spot in the $175 billion gaming industry. Games on virtually every kind of device, from bulky consoles to smartphones, have gained even greater popularity during the pandemic. Technology companies are swarming around the industry, looking for a bigger share of attention and money from the world’s three billion gamers.
In an industry driven by big franchises, Activision makes some of the most popular titles, including Call of Duty and Candy Crush. Yet the company has been roiled in recent months by an employee revolt over accusations of sexual harassment and discrimination.
Microsoft framed the deal as strengthening the company’s hand in the so-called metaverse, the nascent world of virtual and augmented reality. The metaverse has attracted huge amounts of investment and talent, though so far is more of a buzzword than a thriving business. Facebook renamed its parent company to Meta late last year to underscore its commitment.
But the focus on the futuristic metaverse belies the significance of the deal in the present: The acquisition helps Microsoft gain on its rival Sony in the long-running battle for gamers’ attentions and wallets by offering top titles. It also helps the software giant stay ahead of powerful newer competitors in gaming, like Amazon and Google.
Phil Spencer, the chief executive of Microsoft’s gaming business, said that whatever the metaverse may end up being, “gaming will be at the forefront of making that mainstream.” For now, he said, the acquisition is about gaining a stronghold in mobile gaming, where Microsoft barely competes, and a studio that produces hugely popular games. He called Call of Duty “one of the amazing entertainment franchises on the planet.”
Federal regulators may raise concerns about the acquisition, as Democrats and Republicans alike have pushed to limit the power of technology giants. On Tuesday, the Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission announced a new effort to broaden how they should determine if deals are anticompetitive.
Microsoft is valued at more than $2.3 trillion, second only to Apple. The takeover of Activision would make Microsoft the world’s third-largest gaming company by revenue, behind Tencent and Sony, the company said. Microsoft now makes Xbox consoles and owns studios that produce hits like Minecraft.
The game industry has been consolidating rapidly. A force behind that — and one that could grab the attention of regulators — is the arms race for exclusive content. Microsoft sometimes makes the games it owns available only on its own devices, such as its Xbox console, and unavailable on those made by competitors, like Sony’s PlayStation.
When asked whether Activision games like Call of Duty would become exclusive to Xbox, Mr. Spencer would say only that “our goal is to allow the content to reach as many players as possible.”
Microsoft has been hunting for ways to spend its immense cash reserve — more than $130 billion — to expand its consumer business. It has looked at acquiring the booming social network TikTok and the popular chat app Discord.
In Activision, which faces accusations that senior executives ignored sexual harassment and discrimination, Microsoft found a target under stress. The allegations have weighed on Activision, with its shares falling 27 percent since California sued the company in July over the claims.
The game maker’s shares rose more than 25 percent in trading on Tuesday. Microsoft’s shares fell by 2 percent.
The transaction may be seen as a victory for Bobby Kotick, Activision’s longtime chief executive, whom some critics had sought to force out over the controversy. Mr. Kotick negotiated a big premium for investors — Microsoft is paying $95 a share, roughly 45 percent above his company’s stock price before the announcement, though only slightly more than the trading price before the scandal broke.
Mr. Kotick will stay in his role until the deal is complete. Then the expectation is that he will step down as chief executive, though he could move into an advisory role, according to two people with knowledge of his plans, who would speak only anonymously because the talks were private.
The controversy at Activision began last summer when a California employment agency sued the company over accusations of fostering a toxic workplace culture in which women were routinely sexually harassed and discriminated against. In the ensuing months, employees staged protests, launched social media campaigns and called for executives to resign.
Some top leaders at Activision did leave, including J. Allen Brack, the head of the Blizzard Entertainment subsidiary, and the company pledged $250 million toward increasing employee diversity and said it would strengthen anti-harassment policies. But when The Wall Street Journal reported in November that Mr. Kotick had known for years about accusations of harassment against employees and in some cases had not taken action, calls for his resignation only grew.
Doing a deal with Activision is something of an about-face for Microsoft, which as recently as November was questioning the company’s culture. In an email to Xbox employees that was earlier reported on by Bloomberg and confirmed by the company, Mr. Spencer wrote in November that he was “disturbed and deeply troubled by the horrific events and actions” at Activision. On Tuesday, he appeared alongside Mr. Kotick to praise the deal, and Mr. Kotick said that he felt the two companies had “similar values and think about our cultures similarly.”
Mr. Spencer said Microsoft “sat down with Bobby and the team and looked at the plan that they have in place,” adding that company culture was always a work in progress. “We are very supportive of the progress that he and the team are making.”
Current and former Activision employees who have been leading the efforts to get the company to reform its culture did not think the purchase was likely to prompt change in the short term, especially because the sale may face a long review from regulators.
The origins. The word “metaverse” describes a fully realized digital world that exists beyond the one in which we live. It was coined by Neal Stephenson in his 1992 novel “Snow Crash,” and the concept was further explored by Ernest Cline in his novel “Ready Player One.”
An expanding universe. The metaverse appears to have gained momentum during the online-everything shift of the pandemic. The term today refers to a variety of experiences, environments and assets that exist in the virtual space.
Some examples. Video games in which players can build their own worlds have metaverse tendencies, as does most social media. If you own a non-fungible token, virtual-reality headset or some cryptocurrency, you’re also part of the metaversal experience.
How big Tech is shifting. Facebook staked its claim to the metaverse last year, after shipping 10 million of its virtual-reality headsets and announcing it had renamed itself Meta. Google, Microsoft and Apple have all been working on metaverse-related technology.
The future. Many people in tech believe the metaverse will herald an era in which our virtual lives will play as important a role as our physical realities. Some experts warn that it could still turn out to be a fad or even dangerous.
The deal could take 12 to 18 months to close, Mr. Spencer said.
“We will continue to fight for improvement and stress proper employee representation,” said Jessica Gonzalez, a former Activision employee and one of the organizers of the ABetterABK activist movement. She added that “this doesn’t change anything.”
Game companies, flush with cash since the pandemic increased the industry’s profits, have been consolidating rapidly. The previous record for the biggest merger in the game industry was set just last week, when Take-Two Interactive, the creator of games like Grand Theft Auto, announced plans to buy the mobile game publisher Zynga for more than $11 billion.
Last year, Electronic Arts and Take-Two engaged in a bidding war over Codemasters, a racing game company that eventually went to EA for $1.2 billion. Microsoft made another splashy purchase in 2020 when it bought ZeniMax Media and its slate of gaming studios for $7.5 billion.
Activision itself was the product of serial deal-making by Mr. Kotick over decades, rolling up smaller game studios. It took shape in its current form when Activision — then known primarily for producing titles for traditional gaming consoles — agreed to combine with the gaming unit of France’s Vivendi to expand into multiplayer online games like World of Warcraft.
Activision later bought King, the European gaming company behind Candy Crush, to expand into mobile games. King produced $1 billion in operating profit during the latest 12-month period.
“Scale truly is a tremendous benefit in the world of gaming,” said Hope Cochran, King’s former chief financial officer, who is now a managing director at Madrona Venture Group. “You want to build a community, and you need enough people to build it.”
Activision’s gaming efforts are facing headwinds. Players panned the most recent Call of Duty release, and releases of titles like Diablo and Overwatch have been delayed. Still, Activision remains quite profitable, reporting $639 million in profit in its most recent quarter.
Mr. Kotick characterized the deal as a calculation that Activision did not have the tools to keep up with big tech companies like Google, Apple, Amazon and Tencent in the rapidly evolving gaming landscape.
“We realized it was going to be an increasingly competitive world with resources that we just didn’t have,” he said.
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Intel’s Flagship ARC Alchemist Gaming Graphics Card With 32 Xe Cores Spotted: On Par With NVIDIA RTX 3070 Ti, Up To 2.1 GHz Clocks – Wccftech

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A brand new entry of Intel’s flagship ARC Alchemist Gaming graphics card has been spotted within the SiSoftware Sandra database.
The Intel ARC Alchemist graphics cards for desktop PCs are scheduled for a launch in the coming months. Despite being so close to launch, Intel hasn’t shared a lot of info regarding product specs, names, and performance although they had several opportunities to do so with the most recent one being CES 2022. Instead, Intel decided to announce that 50+ desktop and notebook systems from its partners will be ready for launch.
Intel warns users to NOT overclock their non-K Alder Lake CPUs, cites “Damaging”
With that said, a brand new entry of Intel’s flagship ARC Alchemist graphics card based on the Xe-HPG architecture has been leaked within the SiSoftware Sandra database. The new entry is for the 32 Xe SKU (DG2-512) which features 4096 ALUs and a clock speed of up to 2.10 GHz. There’s also 4 MB of L2 cache and the GPU most likely features 16 GB of GDDR6 memory configured along a 256-bit wide bus interface. It’s easy to tell that this is still an engineering sample considering that it has no official branding attached to it whereas the ARC A380 has already shown up in SANDRA with its naming scheme.
As for performance, the Intel ARC Alchemist flagship graphics card scored up to 9017 Mpix/s which is slightly above the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti that scored 8369.51 Mpix/s. The AMD Radeon RX 6800 scores 10,607.29 Mpix/s in the same benchmark while the Radeon RX 6700 XT scores 7910.91 Mpix/s. The Intel ARC A380 scored 2956.10 Mpix/s. So we know that the flagship is over 3 times more powerful than the entry-level DG2-128 graphics card which should be correct considering it packs 4 times more cores.
Here’s Everything We Know About Intel’s ARC Alchemist Graphics Lineup
Intel will have at least three configurations of ARC Alchemist GPUs ready for launch in Q1 2022. These will include two configurations based on the top 512 EU die and one configuration based on the 128 EU die. Although there are more GPU configs that we have seen in leaks, it looks like those may be used in future products though that cannot be confirmed. So let’s start with the top-end configuration.
Intel Xe-HPG 512 EU ARC Alchemist Graphics Card
Intel Next-Gen Xeon CPU Rumors: 10nm Emerald Rapids, 7nm Granite Rapids, 5nm Diamond Rapids Detailed, Up To 144 Lion Cove Cores by 2025
The top Alchemist 512 EU (32 Xe Cores) variant has just one configuration listed so far and that utilizes the full die with 4096 cores, 256-bit bus interface, and up to 16 GB GDDR6 memory featuring a 16 Gbps clock though 18 Gbps cannot be ruled out as per the rumor.
The Alchemist 512 EU chip is expected to measure at around 396mm2 which makes it bigger than the AMD RDNA 2 and NVIDIA Ampere offerings. The Alchemist -512 GPU will come in the BGA-2660 package which measures 37.5mm x 43mm. NVIDIA’s Ampere GA104 measures 392mm2 which means that the flagship Alchemist chip is comparable in size while the Navi 22 GPU measures 336mm2 or around 60mm2 less. This isn’t the final die size of the chip but it should be very close.
NVIDIA packs in tensor cores and much bigger RT/FP32 cores in its chips while AMD RDNA 2 chips pack a single ray accelerator unit per CU and Infinity Cache. Intel will also have dedicated hardware onboard its Alchemist GPUs for Raytracing & AI-assisted super-sampling tech.
The Xe-HPG Alchemist 512 EU chip is suggested to feature clocks of around 2.2 – 2.5 GHz though we don’t know if these are the average clocks or the maximum boost clocks. Let’s assume that it’s the max clock speed and in that case, the card would deliver up to 18.5 TFLOPs FP32 compute which is  40% more than the RX 6700 XT but 9% lower than the NVIDIA RTX 3070.
Also, it is stated that Intel’s initial TDP target was 225-250W but that’s been upped to around 275W now. We can expect a 300W variant with dual 8-pin connectors too if Intel wants to push its clocks even further. In either case, we can expect the final model to rock an 8+6 pin connector config, The reference model is also going to look very much like the drone marketing shot Intel put out during the ARC branding reveal. That reference design was leaked a while back by MLID too. There’re also talks about a custom lineup being worked upon by Intel’s AIB partners.
News Source: TUM_APISAK
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