PlayStation 5: Hardware Review

The Playstation 5 is the new, current-generation console released by Sony last November of 2020. The console is the most powerful yet of all the released consoles and really built upon what players wanted as opposed to their last released console the Playstation 4 Pro. I was very pleasantly surprised with the overall performance of this console and left with a feeling of satisfaction and comfort. There are a few changes I would have made personally, but this release is a huge success for Sony compared to previous releases. This console comes in two editions, being the digital-only and the disc. The digital edition costs $399.99, while the disc edition costs $499.99. If you can manage to get a console outside of scalpers, they are released in batches at stores such as Best Buy, Walmart, Amazon, and Target.

Sony PlayStation 5

The PS5 is excellent as far as performance goes, especially now that they have included a high-speed NVMe SSD creating a hell of a lot faster boot up, and cutting load times for games from 1GB in 20 seconds per the PS4 to 2GB in .27 seconds on this new console. The console supports 8K streaming for apps such as Netflix and Hulu, and we can now play games in full 4k thanks to the new AMD custom GPU with RDNA 2 architecture hardware. I will say what I am most impressed with the cooling system. We all of course remember the previous consoles, and how hot they could become leading to the fans running overtime. This resulted in load fans constantly trying to cool down the CPU and system leaving users feel nothing but anxiety or annoyance. I mean let’s be real, the PS4 Slim and Pro could get insanely loud. However, this system uses liquid metal cooling between the CPU and heatsink, as well as using new AMD technology where unused power will be diverted back and forth between the CPU and GPU. The only downside to this is that players experience varying frequencies depending on the demand from either part. Not to mention the PS5 will only be as quiet depending on the game being played and the performance it is being played in. We now also get to experience 3D audio with our games, creating a highly immersive experience, as well as finally getting a 4K blue ray player for the disc edition which we were left out of with the PS4 Pro. The only downside to the cool new technology is that with every console comes a give and take for your budget. The system runs slower than its competitor at 10.28 teraflops at 2.23 GHz but does have a good 16 GB of GDDR6 Ram. Space is another issue since new games tend to eat up storage, for instead of that terabyte we got with the PS4’s HDD, we only get 825 GB of storage for the new SSD. The system also only has a 350 power supply, which it already uses quite a bit of power when loading.

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Personally, I also loved some of the little things about the setup for the console. Before with the previous PlayStations’ uploading and downloading save data could be a pain. Half the time for plus players they did not always upload automatically, and you would have to manually do it. Other issues would lie with the actual upload and download because sometimes it would not upload the first time and you would have to go back and do it again for it to appear in your cloud saved library following up with the download which did not always work the first time either. I was initially worried about this when setting up my new console, however, the transfer of data was seamless and I had no issues whatsoever. All of my saved data was there in a matter of a minute. I also loved that the system set up was integrated with a new mobile set up from your app making it quick and easy, rather than having to worry about a long and tedious login. Lastly, I am excited as any other player when it came to the new backward compatibility feature. It might be a bit more limited than Microsoft’s Xbox line, but it definitely has a great selection. I was surprised to see the even Final Fantasy Type 0 made the cut, which I have been currently working on a replay of. The list is pretty extensive with a wide selection of Playstation 4 games.

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The interface for the console has its pros and cons for me. While I love the overall clean look, I feel like it is less interactive than before. The home screen is definitely more organized compared to the previous console entries, giving you now a media and games tab on the top. I also love that hovering over each game allows you to track your progress, and you even get a cool new news tab that follows the store tab. However, it feels a bit less social than the previous Interface. Rather than seeing your community feature, or seeing comparisons of other people playing the same game as you, you now have to individually search players or go to your mobile app to see a social media like a page of what your friends are up to. I do like the new profile layout, it feels a lot cleaner and innovative compared to a social media page. And the new menu you get for sharing content, trophies, a cool feature that replaced the social page which is game base, music, and notifications. So while some things could change, overall the new changes are mostly positive. Even the store feels a lot more innovation than the previous layout and feels very clean and modern. The overall Interface just has a more sleek and modern feel to it. Another great bonus is in addition the still getting PS4 free games of the month we now get PS5 exclusive games as well as plus members. Who doesn’t love free games? One downside players will face now is the increase in cost for games and accessories. Rather than spending the normal $59.99 the average game now goes for $69.99, which in all honesty is to be expected for the price the console was sold at and the number of resources that now goes into making these high-performance games.

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The PlayStation 5 overall is an excellent console despite a few shortcomings. The controller feels fantastic, the console runs smoothly and has fantastic performance, and we now get access to a larger library thanks to the new backward compatibility making it so we no longer have to worry about using PS Now. Though the console right now is extremely hard to get a hold of due to scalpers and high demand, I do believe this is a great success for Sony since the launch of the PS3. We have fair pricing, great releases, and top-quality performance that we always expect from a reliable company like Sony.

DVS Score- 8/10

Choosing Your Platform: DVS Edition

When it comes to new gamers, or even veteran gamers choosing a platform to play on can be intimidating. You can be faced with a variety of choices, even as a parent choosing one for their child. This guide can come in handy by helping you narrow down your choice without feeling overwhelmed or pressured by irrelevant parties that tend to be a bit biased with their opinions. I mean let’s be honest, gamers can be the worst fanboys and their views might not be aligned with your best interests. In light of this I am going to break it down by covering each current generation system along with their advantages and disadvantages. These systems will be the Nintendo Switch, Playstation 5, Xbox Series X, PC, and I will also touch upon the Classic editions of retro consoles.

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The Nintendo Switch was released on March 3rd of 2017, and made a huge comeback for the company since the Wii U console that was largely unsuccessful due to it’s limitations. Part of what made the console so successful is the fact that it was immediately open to 3rd party titles and support, and also has a unique design for home console and as well as portable, and the exclusive titles that were strong candidates for 2017 Game of the Year.

However, why should anyone choose this console over the others? Firstly this console is well suited to those whom are mostly on the go. Any full time employee that has limited time for gaming can easily take this console with them to work. The Nintendo Switch is a handheld console that has the a docking station that enables it to be play on a TV making it also viable as a home console, and has a platform that allows coordinating game play with other remote players. This capability is very well suited for those who often travel as well as the homebody. This console is an excellent choice for families, as Nintendo is mostly known for popular family oriented games like Super Mario Brothers, Pokemon, and even goofy games like Arms. Gamers with a budget can also benefit from picking the Switch since it only costs 299.99 instead of spending 499.99 like the other console choices.

For gamers that do not care for playing on the big screen, the Switch Lite version is available at 199.99. Though additional accessories can be expensive, you still get everything you need just buying the console by itself. The other big plus is you’ll have access to Nintendo exclusive games that will not be available on any other platform, such as Mario Odyssey, Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and Fire Emblem: Three Houses. The Switch also now features live services to play online games with others such as Splatoon 2 and Overwatch, and the subscription is much cheaper than other services starting at 3.99 a month.

That being said there are some downsides to going down this route. A lot of accessories are sold separately, such as a protective case and screen protector. The screen for the Switch is plastic and easily scratched up. Some of the accessories, like additional joy cons for family events are expensive, as a pair of joy cons costs 69.99 USD and you will need to get a separate docking station. Another factor to consider is that the joy cons are extremely small, so for those with bigger hands will probably end up dropping another 59.99 on the Pro Controller. Additionally, you will also probably end up buying an SD card since the console only offers 32 GB of storage. Going along with the storage dilemma, it must be said that not all games will auto save to Cloud storage. Lastly, if you want to play in full 4K resolution at 60 frames per second, this is not your console. Nintendo has never been about being the latest and greatest, they hold value in their games and are more invested in their consumers instead of performance.

Nintendo Switch Shortage | Coronavirus Limits Switch Production
https://images.app.goo.gl/behtJ8EKhGyFdG6n9

The Playstation 5 is Sony’s newest console which released on November 12th of 2020, and made remarkable improvements from their Playstation 4. It is the best selling new generation console so far with 4.5 million units sold and 47.4 million subscribers. This system is sold at your local stores for 499.99 for the disc edition, and 399.99 for the digital edition making it a pretty hefty purchase. Which is why I am narrowing down the pros and cons to help you decide if this is the best choice for you.

First and foremost, I always say base your console choice on what your friends play on if you play online often. It can be pretty lonely for those who base their choice off of internet or local peer pressure, and we all have ran into elitists at your local Best Buy or GameStop that have their own opinions that may differ from yours. However if you genuinely don’t care about playing with your friends, there are still a number of great reasons that the PS5 can be well suited for you. First and foremost we all love Sony exclusives such as Bloodborne, Spiderman, Ghost of Tsushima, and God of War. While these exclusives are making their way to PC, not everyone has that budget, and you may have to wait years until new releases launch on that platform, IF they ever do.

This console is also more geared toward single player gamers with Japanese Style and Action Adventure RPGs respectively. You also get powerful performance from the PS5, with the ability to play new titles in 4K resolution and 60 frames per second, add their 3D audio support and controller that uses haptic feedback.

Nevertheless there are some downsides to this platform. Chiefly the storage size for their SSD, which is only 825GB, and the system is just not as powerful as the Xbox Series X. So for those who want the most powerful console, you might want to look at other options. Another downside is that while their backwards compatible list is impressive, it does pale in comparison to the available Xbox selection that goes as far back as the original Xbox’s titles. The overall design for the console is also extremely huge compared to other consoles, which might prove inconvenient for those with limited space. That being said, the console is a great pick for the gamer more geared towards single player RPGs, or those who absolutely love Sony’s exclusive titles that are almost always Game of Year candidates.

PS5 review: a hardworking beefcake - Polygon
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On November 10th, 2020 Microsoft released it’s Xbox Series X, the most powerful console of this generation. While the console was remarkably improved from the last entry, the launch did not do well, like previous console launch. That being said, the Series X is still an excellent option for gamers that love multiplayer games, Microsoft exclusives, and the most powerful performance that doesn’t bust the budget, and a great choice for those who love PC gaming, but need a break from traditional PC play. This console is a beast, running up to 8K resolution, the 12 Teraflop AMD RDNA 2 GPU and runs at 120 fps with 16 GB of RAM. The Series X is also usable as a home theater system to watch movies or stream in general. You can gain access to exclusives (also on PC) such as Halo, Gears of War, and Sea of Thieves, making this console perfect for players that want to make the most of a multiplayer experience.

If higher performance isn’t as important, you can also step down to the Series S. This is just a less powerful and cheaper option for those who care more for the multiplayer aspect and don’t want to fork out 499.99 USD. At 299.99 USD the Series S console still suits online gamers that need to budget but still care about pure performance. There aren’t as many of the more popular its counterparts, but it is cross compatible and cross save with PC, and allows for the use of the Xbox Game Pass, which carries over to PC as an app. With this option you can start playing on an Xbox machine, save, and literally pick up where you left off on your computer. You can also play with PC key and mouse friends who don’t have an Xbox.

Xbox is also know for its backward compatibility, so most of the original Xbox or Xbox 360 titles can be played on various Xbox consoles in upscaled resolution and frames. While the Xbox Series X has amazing perks, there are things to consider. There are a lack of many new titles available because of a poor launch and horrible performance shown for Halo Infinite. Also since Xbox Game Pass is compatible with PC, it might be more expeditious to do PC gaming if you have the budget and are not concerned with having a console, especially one you might find inconvenient or visually unappealing.

When is the Xbox Series X restocking at Best Buy, GameStop and other  stores? - CNET
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Last but not least, classic PC gaming has limitless options, and can prove to be the ultimate and most powerful experience with varying costs. You can buy a prebuilt computer, laptop or make your own build. However, to get the best performance despite what biased opinions might say, you will be spending at least a grand if not more especially with current surge in demand due to the huge influx of online education and employment brought on by Covid.

PC gaming is the best avenue for those who want the most customization for their gaming and performance experience. You can get apps and download games from almost any major gaming company like Activision Blizzard, Ubisoft, and EA. You also get great platforms like Steam that have excellent bundles and a massive collection of various games dating back to the Stone Age. You’ll also find apps for customizing your accessories and parts, i.e. Razer offers headset, mouse, keyboard, and even mousepad customization; AMD will offer you a performance customization app for your motherboard, GPU, CPU, and more.

A personal computer can be updated as needed and can last a lot longer instead of having to upgrade often with new gaming consoles. These serve as great examples for players looking to maximize their performance and have total control over how they choose to play. However there are downsides for going down the computer route, such as price. You can spend less to play, but those players will find you won’t be playing in 2K nor 4K with limited frames depending on your settings. Even with a smaller budget you will be looking $800 at the bare minimum.

Those looking to build will also find that the market is totally off the charts with GPU and CPU prices. Tt might be far better to buy preowned at this point in time. Portable gaming laptops are great if you are on the go a lot, however they have a tendency to run hot because of the graphics which tends to give them a shorter life span. PC’s also have a learning curve, because unlike consoles you generally have to adjust your game settings to reach the quality you want. Not all games available have an automatic optimization setting for your build. You’ll also end up needing to learn how to use different apps to monitor your performance or adjust your peripherals. Lastly, operating systems can be quite expensive and literally a pain to deal with. Windows 10 nearly always releases bad updates in need of patches which can lead to minor issues such as audio problems all the way to random crashes.

The 10 best prebuilt gaming PCs | Dot Esports
https://images.app.goo.gl/fVkmrsJ4xQwpuq3F7

Lastly and briefly I want to touch on the Classic Editions of retro consoles. Gaming companies have been releasing new classic mini versions of retro consoles like the NES Classic, Sega Genesis Mini, and the Playstation Classic. These mini consoles come loaded with old bangers like Super Mario Brothers, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Metal Gear Solid. These are great options for collectors, retro players or for those who just want to buy a quick console for the family for a few hundred dollars. A downside to these consoles is how fragile they are and that you are limited to the preloaded games, but they still are great buys for the price and love of nostalgia.

Best Retro Gaming Console 2020: Play Retro Games on These Mini Consoles -  IGN
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It can be a struggle for gamers to find the right gaming console or computer that best fits their needs or play style. As a gaming fan that has owned nearly every platform, I hope this article serves as a guide that helps players veteran and new find the platform that best suits them.

Simple Tips and Tricks for Newest Overwatch Hero Echo

How to Play as Echo

Echo is currently live on Overwatch servers, and you’ll be hard-pressed to play a quick-play match without her flying around the skies on one team or the other. Because she’s so new to the game, most people have not figured out the best way to play her; we’re all just experimenting and learning at our own pace. After a little bit of research – and a lot of in-game practice – I’ve found a couple tips and tricks to playing Overwatch‘s newest hero.

Tip 1: Play With a Mercy

Tip one has less to do with the Echo player and more the heroes that make up the rest of her team. If you’re lucky enough to be queueing with a group, this tip should be easy enough. You’re going to want a Mercy on your team. Now, I’m not claiming that other supports don’t have the capabilities to keep Echo in tip-top shape, they most certainly do, but pairing Mercy with Echo can make for a deadly duo.

Echo can launch herself in the air and glide as she falls – a combination of Pharah and Mercy’s flight abilities. Because of this, Echo is reminiscent of the Pharmercy combo many players despise. It’s hard to focus an airborne Echo with a Mercy in her pocket, and killing a Mercy protected by an Echo can be just as challenging. That’s why the combination works so well.

Tip 2: Understand the Beam

At first, I thought Echo’s beam felt pretty weak. It hardly does any damage and doesn’t feel like a viable attack option. The beam ability does 50 damage per second for 2.5 seconds, which isn’t that bad, but it most likely won’t help you secure a kill. On the other hand, if the enemy is under 50% health, the beam does 200 damage per second. That means if your tracking is perfection, you could do a total of 500 damage in one use of the ability. On top of everything, this ability also works on shields. Once a barrier starts showing cracks, which only happens once it’s under half health, using Echo’s beam can shred through the shield’s remaining health.

Tip 3: Practice Duplicate

Echo”s ultimate, Duplicate, allows her to copy an enemy player and turn herself into them, abilities included. Does your team need more healing output for the last push? Now you have a third support. Need more damage? Echo copied the enemy reaper, and now their team’s tanks don’t stand a chance. Her ultimate depends heavily on timing, as most do, and you need to know when the best time to invest is, or when you should back out.

Echo’s Ultimate Duplicate Courtesy of Destructoid

The best way to use this ability is to get up in the sky. When you have a bird’s eye view, it’s much easier to pick and choose your Duplicate target. One of the best heroes to duplicate right now is Reinhardt. This choice gives your team an extra shield, not that the copy is going to use it, as well as a target to tank more damage if necessary. One of the best things about this Reinhardt duplicate is that the Echo can charge in without worrying about death. If she loses all her health, she reverts back to her original form and can fly right on out of the fight. If you manage to build up the copy’s ultimate, which you probably will, your hammer down can change the whole flow of the battle.

Be careful though, if the target you’re intending to copy is close to death, you might miss out on the window to Duplicate them.

Tip 4: Know When Echo isn’t Working

Echo is similar to Pharah, and we see a lot of the same counters between both characters. A good Widomaker, Ashe, or McCree can take Echo out of the sky before she has time to do anything, and a competent Sombra can keep her on the ground indefinitely. If the enemy team suddenly switches to hard counter your Echo, it may be time to switch it up. Of course, don’t expect anybody to give up Echo at this point in the game. A new hero will be all the rage for a few weeks, but once the hype dies down, common sense should rear it’s head again.