It’s been one year since the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X went on sale (Nov. 12 and Nov. 10, respectively). I went back to my original Day One reviews of the PS5 and Series X to see how those initial impressions have held up over the past 12 months.
What I found was that some things have changed, as one would expect from an always-online platform built around downloadable content. On the Xbox side, the entire platform is now much more centered around the Xbox Game Pass service, which has since added features like cloud gaming.
One of the PS5’s changes this past year was a hardware revamp that shifted internal components around, subbing in a smaller heat sink and redesigned fans — perhaps to make manufacturing easier or less costly.
But one thing that definitely hasn’t changed is that both the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X remain almost impossible to find. The same is also true for the less expensive Xbox Series S variant. Here in Malaysia, there is a huge waiting list and the price in black is almost double.
Demand outstripping supply is to be expected when a new game console arrives, and I’ve seen it happen with every console launch I’ve covered, going all the way back to the Sega Dreamcast. But that overwhelming demand, plus pandemic-fuelled supply chain and shipping issues and a worldwide chip shortage affecting all types of technology, has led to a perfect storm of sold out consoles.
Even one year later, restocks at online stores are gone in fractions of a second, and some people have made a career out of tracking down where to find one. Most of the attention goes towards the shortage of PS5 consoles, but the situation is similar for the Xbox Series X and Series S, as well as the new OLED version of the Nintendo Switch.
At the end of Year One, both game consoles have retreated a little further into their respective corners, and they feel less similar than they did at this time in 2020.
The Xbox Series X and Series S have leaned heavily into the $15 monthly Game Pass Ultimate service, which threatens to be a bigger brand than the Xbox console itself someday. Many of the biggest Xbox games like Halo, Forza or Sea of Thieves are all included in the subscription, along with a growing and rotating library of PC games — and the ability to play cloud-based versions of some games on nearly any device. It also includes a cross-membership for the EA Play subscription service and a back catalogue of great Bethesda games.
I really think Game Pass Ultimate offers one of the best values in gaming right now even if you don’t own an Xbox Series X. It makes the less-expensive Series S much more full-featured and adds a big catalogue to older Xboxes too. Microsoft also continues to expand its FPS Boost program, which brings higher frame rates to older games, especially on the Series S. Streaming media and social sharing remain a much bigger part of the Xbox mix than in the PS5. It frankly feels like an obelisk-shaped gaming PC: It can play games, but it can also do a lot more.
The PlayStation 5, on the other hand, has two subscription service options — PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Now — that feel anaemic in comparison to Game Pass Ultimate. But the PS5 has an enviable library of exclusive games, including many gamers have been raving about for the past year like Death loop, Final Fantasy VII Remake, Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart, Returnal and more. And no, Sony is not putting all of these A-list games in some all-you-can-eat subscription service, so be prepared to shell out for each one.
And while these still-new consoles will most likely continue to improve and evolve through software updates, they can’t easily escape the one handicap of all living room consoles — being built on a fixed hardware platform. The custom AMD chips inside can’t compete with high-end Nvidia and AMD parts for gaming PCs. That’s fair, because these are $500 consoles, not $2,500 Alienware or Razer laptops, but it also means the PS5 and Xbox Series X started aging the day they hit stores. Even at launch, they couldn’t reliably play new games at 4K resolutions at 60 frames per second, and gamers usually have choose one spec or the other from a menu for “performance” or “quality” modes.
The 20-year view
The original Xbox console debuted in the US 20 years ago this month. Its contemporary rival, the PS2, had arrived a year earlier. Back then, it was easy to see the Xbox as Microsoft’s attempt to sneak a computer into your living room under the guise of a game machine. The PlayStation 2 was more of a game-centric gadget. For example, the Xbox shipped with a broadband connection built in, while for the PS2, the broadband connection came in the form of an add-on module you had to buy separately and slot into the back of the console.
Ohio State vs. Penn State: Live stream, watch online, TV channel, prediction, pick, football game spread, odds – CBSSports.com
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No. 20 Penn State travels to Columbus on Saturday to square off with No. 5 Ohio State in a game that once looked to be one of the best games of the season. The divisional showdown has lost a bit of luster in recent weeks, however. Earlier this month, many anticipated this being a clash between two top-five teams battling for Big Ten East supremacy and a possible College Football Playoff. Unfortunately, a lot has changed since.
While the Buckeyes recovered nicely from its early-season loss to Oregon and dominated its Big Ten competition, the Nittany Lions cannot say the same. Going on the road and losing to Iowa 23-20 after losing quarterback Sean Clifford late in the first half was forgivable and understandable. Losing 20-18 in nine overtimes to 3-5 Illinois last Saturday is something different. Not only did that knock Penn State down 13 spots in the AP Top 25, it all but eliminated it from Big Ten title contention. The Nittany Lions now have two conference losses in a division with three teams that have yet to lose a conference game.
The good news for Penn State is that it still gets to play all three starting this weekend, but the bad news is there’s little reason it can beat all three.
It’s better for the Big Ten if Ohio State wins: We’re almost to the time of year when playoff rankings will be released. If you’re the Big Ten, the most important thing is that you get at least one team in the playoff, but ideally, you’d love to get two. A Penn State win here would seriously hurt any chance of the latter coming to fruition. It would be Ohio State’s second loss of the season and history has shown that two losses are one too many.
With both Michigan and Michigan State playing earlier in the day, the conference will be down to only one undefeated team by kickoff. Of course, if you’re a Penn State fan, you don’t care about any of this, nor should you. All you care about is ending a two-game losing streak and getting the season back on track.
This could be the start of C.J. Stroud’s Heisman campaign: Stroud has been on fire in October. Although he threw for 484 yards and three touchdowns in Ohio State’s loss to Oregon, he’d been failing to live up to the lofty expectations that Buckeyes fans have for their QB after watching Justin Fields.
After sitting out of the Akron game because of an injury, Stroud has been lighting up the Big Ten. Over his last three games, he’s thrown for 1,032 yards, 14 touchdowns and no interceptions. Of course, he’s done this against Rutgers, Maryland and Indiana, so it hasn’t garnered much attention. But if Stroud can keep that up by lighting up a good Penn State secondary, you can be sure his Heisman candidacy will receive a significant boost.
Penn State needs to figure out a way to run the football: It’s been a serious problem for the Nittany Lions all season long, not just in their last two losses. This offense ranks 99th nationally with an average of 3.54 yards per carry, 99th in rushing success rate (48.7%) and 116th in total rush EPA (-40.73). There’s only been one game this season in which the Lions averaged at least 5.0 yards per carry, and that was a 44-13 win over Ball State in which they finished with exactly 5.0 yards per carry.
One of the best ways to slow down the Ohio State offense is to keep it off the field, and the best way to do that — particularly when you have a banged-up QB like Clifford — is handing the ball off. If the Nittany Lions are going to go to Columbus and shock the world, they’re going to have to run the ball somehow.
Date: Saturday, October 30 | Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: Ohio Stadium — Columbus, Ohio
TV: ABC | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)
This point spread is not an accurate reflection of the difference between these two teams at their best, but it accurately depicts where they are right now. Clifford was well below 100% during Penn State’s loss to Illinois, and if he’s not healthy, an already limited offense becomes even more of a liability. Also, losing defensive lineman P.J. Mustipher for the season had a noticeable impact on the Penn State rush defense against Illinois. Now that same unit has to stop running back TreVeyon Henderson while also covering all the weapons Ohio State has in the passing game. I just don’t see how Penn State can keep up with this Ohio State team right now. Prediction: Ohio State (-18.5)
Which college football picks can you make with confidence in Week 9, and which top-10 team will go down hard? Visit SportsLine to see which teams will win and cover the spread — all from a proven computer model that has returned almost $3,900 in profit over the past five-plus seasons — and find out.
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Sony's PS5 redesign is much lighter – but does it look any different? – Creative Bloq
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By 21 July 2021
We just hope it’ll be easier to get hold of.
If you’ve managed to get anywhere near a PS5 in the last few months (no mean feat considering the console’s popularity), you’ll know that it’s big. Very big. Ever since the machine was launched last year, its gargantuan size has been the subject of countless mocking memes. But a slightly more svelte PlayStation 5 could already be on the way.
As spotted by one Twitter user (below), tweaked PS5 manuals appear to confirm a new ‘digital edition’ model, which is a whole 300g lighter than the standard version. It isn’t clear exactly how this weight loss will be achieved, but the arrival of a new model could be good news for anyone who hasn’t managed to get hold of one yet (here’s where to buy a PS5 if you fancy your chances).
It appears a PlayStation 5 Digital Edition revision (CFI-1100B) is being listed by Japanese retailersThis revision is 300g lighter than the previous model (CFI-1000B) and also features a different screw https://t.co/zQOSkzfdn8July 20, 2021
It seems the new PS5, listed as CFI-1100B, will weigh around 3.6kg as opposed to the current model’s 3.9kg. Not only that, but the new model will no longer require a screwdriver when adding or removing the stand. Hardly a groundbreaking design tweak, but hey – perhaps you’ve found yourself desperate to stand your PS5 up sans screwdriver.
Still, it’ll be interesting to see if Sony has made any other design changes to shave off that 300g. We’ve already heard that the company is planning a redesign in an attempt to get stock moving again – a shortage of semi-conductors is behind delays to the production, and Sony is keen to “find maybe a secondary resource”, or speed things up by “changing the design.”
We can’t help but hope Sony does take the opportunity to tweak the appearance of the PS5. Maybe it could take a cue from this wildly popular all-black PS5 mod. Or even this ridiculous water-cooled PS5. Whatever happens, anything that speeds up the production line is a good thing in our book. Until then, check out today’s best games console deals below – and be sure to take a look at these awesome Nintendo Switch deals.
Daniel Piper is senior news editor at Creative Bloq, and an authority on all things art, design, branding and tech. He has a particular penchant for Apple products – some corners of the internet might call him an ‘iSheep’, but he’s fine with this. It doesn’t bother him at all. Why would it? They’re just really nicely designed products, okay? Daniel is also a comedian and national poetry slam champion, and his favourite Bond is, obviously, Sean Connery.
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When AC Valhalla's Last DLC Update Is Coming | Screen Rant – Screen Rant
The release date of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla’s newest DLC isn’t official yet, but signs point to when players can expect its release in early 2022.
After the release of Ubisoft’s official trailer this summer at E3, it’s clear players can expect another DLC for Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. While an official release date has not been set yet, there are a number of clues available which provide a reliable idea of how soon the DLC’s release can be expected. As Ubisoft indicates in its trailer, there is more content coming in the game’s second year.
In a recent financial report covering the first half of the 2021-22 fiscal year, Ubisoft provided some insights concerning the importance of AC Valhalla to its overall financial performance and its plans concerning upcoming expansions to the game. Given that the fiscal year ends on March 31, 2022, this narrows down the timeline for the DLC’s release considerably.
Overall, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla has been very profitable for Ubisoft. To date, the title has already earned the developer its second-largest profit ever. Given its performance thus far, Ubisoft is determined to continue its success by releasing new content in the game’s second year, something that hasn’t been done for the AC franchise before. Judging by the clues and leaks now available, fans of the franchise can hope to dive back into the game’s mythical storyline by late winter or early-spring next year. The last DLC release date for AC Valhalla is most likely early 2022.
As per usual, Ubisoft is keeping the details of the DLC’s contents close to its chest. However, some sleuthing for clues from the game’s latest software patch has gleaned some information regarding what the DLC will be about. Leakers j0nathan and AndyReloads on YouTube have revealed from their datamining that the DLC’s title will be Dawn of Ragnarök and the storyline’s setting will take place in the dwarven realm of Svartalfheim. This reveals Ubisoft’s intention to turn its attention to the mythical storyline within the game, following in the same vein as the Asgard and Jotunheim sequences.
Ubisoft’s official expansions trailer provided clips of some intriguing concept art, including depictions of a Muspelheim gate with dwarven dwellings in the background. Datamined leaks provided by AndyReloads reveal a trove of information, including Svartalfheim’s map, similar in size to England and Francia, and new achievement quests as well. Pieces of code indicate one discovery quest involves locating all the “dwarven shelters” on the map, the completion of which earns the player a trophy in AC Valhalla.
Datamining performed by j0nathan provides clues concerning new abilities as well. For instance, the “raven form” ability will allow Eivor to transform into a raven for a limited period of time, fly around the map, and land at specific locations. Other new abilities appear to also include enveloping Eivor in an icy or fiery layer of skin and a teleportation-style dodge. It is not clear yet whether some or all of these abilities will be limited to the Dawn of Ragnarök storyline.
If these leaks and clues are any indications of what’s to come in the new DLC, there is plenty left in-store for AC Valhalla fans. The new DLC’s return to the game’s mythical setting and storyline will hopefully satisfy players who have enjoyed experiencing Asgard and Jotunheim and playing through mythical stories integral to Viking lore and history. It seems all signs point to Assassin’s Creed Valhalla‘s continuation of success for the AC franchise and Ubisoft.
Next: Assassin’s Creed Valhalla’s Most Hidden Easter Eggs
Sources: j0nathan, AndyReloads/YouTube
Melissa Chance is Gaming Feature Writer for Screen Rant, writing game analysis articles. She also is an adjunct instructor for SNHU teaching World Literature and was previously an assistant professor for a community college. She earned her Master of Liberal Arts in composition and literature from Henderson State University in 2010. As such, she enjoys exploring and analyzing games for their theme and social commentary alongside playing for the sake of escaping the trappings of a mundane world. Currently, Melissa is based in the Florida panhandle with her wife and son where she is pursuing her career in freelance writing and currently working toward a degree in Cyber Security. She enjoys a variety of gaming platforms including Xbox, PlayStation, PC, mobile, and table-top games. Additionally, Melissa is also an avid fisherman, writer, amateur philosopher, and just as nerdy in person as this biography portrays.
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