IGN United Kingdom
FIFA 21 Review - IGN
Through small tweaks and refinements, FIFA 21 plays as well as it has done in recent memory, but lacks the relatively big features that are usually used to justify a new version of an annually released game.
In whats become a disappointing theme for sports games in general this year, FIFA 21 takes small steps in improving its core on-the-pitch play, but largely underwhelms off of it, providing very few big changes this time around. Sure, the moment-to-moment action feels as smooth as it has done in recent years, but a lack of real investment in Career mode and only slight changes to its other main modes feel like a series of missed opportunities. Incidentally, thats something FIFA 21s goalkeepers know a lot about when attempting to make a save in this game. On the surface, those changes are hard to spot. Theres none of the usual big headline features to speak of, such as new set piece systems or the introduction of timed finishing that have come in recent years. But the more time you spend with it, the more you realise how many smaller tweaks have been made, most of them being beneficial. Those add up to something substantial.For one thing, EA appear to have hit a sweet spot with the pace of gameplay this year, with matches flowing smoothly and, crucially, the speed of the players feeling appropriate when compared to their real-life counterparts. Not every attacker can leave a bedraggled defender in their wake this year, but certain stars such as Kylian Mbappe can which is just as it should be. Inconsistent pacing has been one of my major criticisms of FIFA over the past couple of years, so its a very welcome sight to see this evened out this year. EA appear to have hit a sweet spot with the pace of gameplay this year. When simply gliding past opponents isnt the answer, though, becoming a pass master will be key. Fortunately, that wont take too long to achieve, as passing your way up the pitch seems as simple as ever. Almost too simple, as you create triangles of play towards the opposition box until a sight at goal appears. It seems too easy at times to create openings with killer balls being played with ease all too often and needing little skill or vision to pull off. This, combined with significantly improved positional intelligence from AI attackers and ability to now tell them where youd like them to make a run with the flick of the right stick, leads to many, many opportunities to score over the course of 90 minutes. More often than not, these opportunities will turn into goals, largely due to the woeful goalkeeping on display. Goalkeepers rarely hold onto a ball from crosses and corners and tend to punch and flap at the ball 99 times out of 100, with even some of the worlds best shot stoppers seemingly suffering from fever dreams where their hands melt in front of their eyes when a ball enters their vicinity. Then theres the rebounds from shots that youd like to think a world-class keeper like Alisson could catch with ease, which usually just deflect into a waiting attacker's path to be slotted home. Maybe Im just cursed with bad luck, but this tends to happen far too often to purely be the work of the football gods.The worlds best shot stoppers seemingly suffer from fever dreams where their hands melt in front of their eyes when a ball enters their vicinity. One contributing factor towards this may be that while the attacking AI may have improved positionally, the same cant be said as much for defenders. While they seem to come to life around the edge of the box when a shot comes in (Ive seen a noticeable increase in the amount of players realistically flinging their bodies towards to shots in order to block) they seem over reliant on the player moving each into position, which can be unforgiving at times. I enjoy defending, but Im not sure FIFA 21 is a game made for players like me, with clean sheets coming at a premium.Thats not to say I havent been enjoying it; the new collision system makes for more robust challenges and slide tackles actually result in you gaining possession regularly, rather than the ball ricocheting off to far reaches of the pitch. Making a bold defensive move offers a high risk factor, perhaps as it should, but I just wish I had a little more assistance from the players I cant control at times. For example, if I want to bring a defender out to close down an attacker Id like my centre-back partner to come round and cover if he manages to beat me one on one. This rarely happens though and forwards get clean in on goal all too easily. One area that has seen nothing but improvement, though, is crossing and heading in particular. Gone are the headed shots of FIFA 20 that darted into the stands off of players seemingly cubic foreheads. Whipping in a ball from out wide onto a forward now feels like a genuine goal-scoring tactic rather than the low-odds lottery it has done in previous seasons. Its enjoyable to create a variety of goal-scoring opportunities over the course of a match and not just slipping through-balls to pacey attackers constantly, even if the goalkeeper will ultimately have no answers to any of these questions posed at him. Volta, Career and FUT Tweaks have also been made off the pitch with changes to FIFAs many modes. Theres no huge additions this year like the introduction of Volta in FIFA 20, but there have been adjustments to each that add a little extra punch. Volta, for example, comes with The Debut, a short two to three-hour single-player mode that serves as a re-introduction to the street side of football. To call it a story mode would be glorifying it a bit as it offers very little in terms of engaging story, but serves as a way to display the five new arena locations.Its very cheesy but does serve its purpose of giving you a reason to get back into Volta. Youll play matches against icons everywhere from Sao Paulo to Sydney as well as take on legends in skill challenges. On one particular occasion youll take on, and defeat, Kaka (one of the most explosive carriers of a football Ive ever seen) in a dribbling competition. Its very cheesy but does serve its purpose of giving you a reason to get back into Volta. Another addition to Volta is the option to now play online cooperatively with friends, something that was bafflingly missing from FIFA 20. All in all, though, Volta is very much like it was last year, and considering its a mode I didnt feel the need to play heavily last year outside of my first week, I cant see it taking time away from FIFAs other modes for me this year either.However, some of those modes arent doing a great job in competing for attention either. Things looked promising when EA teased big changes would be coming to the Career mode in FIFA 21, but sadly, its not quite the full facelift that I had been hoping for. Some fun new additions have been made but not enough to bring what used to be the games flagship mode back to its full glory.The interactive match sim option is probably the most impressive of all the features, even if a similar concept has existed in Madden for a good few years now. The ability to watch the game develop from a birdseye 2D viewpoint fills me, a Football Manager veteran, with nostalgia and serves as a great way to progress quickly through seasons and those cold, rainy nights in Stoke. Its noteable how quickly you can transition from this viewpoint to taking control of your players if the match isnt going quite how you planned that process is near-seamless and genuinely impressive. The interactive match sim option is probably the most impressive of all the features. Further borrowing from the Football Manager series are new training and player development systems. Being able to perform training sessions with your players to improve their match sharpness is a fun idea at first, but one I quickly grew tired of. Playing these glorified tutorial sections in order to gain a negligible amount of stat increases didnt do a lot for me and I quickly found myself simulating them at every opportunity instead. Meanwhile, the new player development options allow for more variety and are the closest Career mode comes to actually putting you in a head coachs shoes. I played around with these systems and was pleasantly surprised with the positive outcomes that can be achieved. For example, when playing as Tottenham I changed Eric Diers position from CDM to CB, a move that took him only two weeks to process and changed his overall rating from 78 to 82. Im a big fan of this system and cant wait to put it into practice more, whether that be making interesting changes like molding Trent Alexander-Arnold into the midfield playmaker he could be or going all-out bonkers with it and turning Neymar into a tough ball-winning centre-back. Ok, maybe thats going a bit too far. But you can do terrible things like that if you want, and thats cool.Despite these fun few changes to Career mode, though, most elements are still fairly largely stagnant. Despite these fun few changes to Career mode, though, most elements are still fairly largely stagnant. The same UI and presentation still exist, along with the drawn-out transfer negotiation scenes being played out by lifeless, Madame Tussaud versions of players and managers. Its a step in the right direction, but not a big enough one to satisfy my wishes for what Career mode could be.Its clear that Career mode isnt EAs focus though, and why would it be when Ultimate Team brings in the player base and revenue that it does? FUT is a beast in its own right and has also received a few tweaks this year without rewriting the playbook. These include quality-of-life upgrades, such as the long-awaited removal of fitness cards to the ability to now fully customise your stadium with sights and sounds of your own choosing. Im a big fan of the latter, which should hopefully further help each club feel different from one another. Microtransaction Reaction One thing that hasnt changed are the microtransactions. In short, microtransactions still look to be an issue in FUT 21 along with their inherent pay-to-win nature. Card packs are still available and people will certainly continue to buy them (with packs costing between £0.33/$0.42 and £16.66/$20.83 each) and EA has stated it has no plans to alter its approach to surprise mechanics unless laws are passed. Baby steps were made last year in regards to cards: Icons will now cost less on the transfer market, but the chances of obtaining one via a pack are still ludicrously low. So as of yet, very little progress has been made on this front, but who knows? Maybe by the time FIFA 22 comes around things might have changed with the new console generation. Theres also the introduction of FUT co-op, which allows you to experience both Division Rivals and Squad Battles together and share in the joy of eagerly opening a pack to see a 77-rated Ashley Barnes card staring back at you. Admittedly Ive fallen off of Ultimate Team in recent years, but my favourite way to play FIFA is teaming up with friends in co-op seasons or Pro Clubs so this new addition to FUT could be what gets me back involved. Speaking of Pro Clubs, theres now the ability to fully customise your squad of players. Thats a small, but much-appreciated feature that I cant wait to get stuck into.
Amazon Announces Luna Cloud Gaming Service - IGN - IGN
Amazon is launching a cloud gaming service called Luna.
Amazon is launching a cloud gaming service called Luna that will stream games to PC, Mac, and Fire TV devices, as well as web apps for iPhone and iPad. Android is listed as coming soon.The service, a direct competitor to Google Stadia, will offer various "game channels" that users can subscribe to, each which offer access to a library of games. Amazon's own, the Luna+ game channel, will launch with games such as Resident Evil 7, Control, A Plague Tale: Innocence, and Yooka-Laylee and The Impossible Lair for an introductory price of $5.99 per month. Luna+ will offer 4K resolution at 60fps for "select titles" and allows subscribers to play on two devices simultaneous. Amazon also announced a Ubisoft game channel that will give subscribers access to Ubisoft games on the day and date they launch regularly, with support for 4K resolution and mobile gameplay. No price was mentioned for the Ubisoft channel. According to Amazon, this is "the first of multiple Luna game channels in development, where customers can play games from their favorite publishers and genres." Luna also will feature integration of the Amazon-owned Twitch streaming platform, with Amazon announcing "players will see Twitch streams for games in the service, and from Twitch, theyll be able to instantly start playing Luna games." In addition to the service, Amazon announced an Alexa-enabled Luna controller that will connect directly to Fire TV devices in order to reduce latency between the controller and game. The Luna Controller will be available for $49.99 during the early access period. Luna is also playable via mouse and keyboard or other Bluetooth game controllers. People interested in Luna can sign up for early access now, but it's not clear when the early access period will launch. For more on Amazon's competitors in the game streaming service world, check out our updated Google Stadia review to see how we think Google's offering has progressed.
Microsoft Flight Simulator to Add Japan World Update Next Week - IGN - IGN
Microsoft Flight Simulator is getting a major Japanese-focused update very soon, as revealed at Tokyo Game Show.
Microsoft Flight Simulator will get a Japan World Update, set to go live on September 29 free of charge for all users.Announced at Tokyo Game Show, the update enhances the game's coverage of Japan thanks to digital elevation mapping of the entire country. Beyond the national refresh, which pledges to deliver a higher-definition look at "Japan's proud buildings, nature, and culture," multiple specific locations around the land of the rising sun will get an HQ overhaul.Six cities Sendai, Takamatsu, Tokushima, Tokyo, Utsunomiya, and Yokohama will be recreated via high-resolution 3D photographic surveying. Six airports Hachijojima south of Tokyo, Kerama and Shimojishima in Okinawa, Kushiro in Hokkaido, Suwanosejima in Kagoshima, and Nagasaki will be upgraded with detailed models. Additional landing challenges around Japan will also be added as part of the free upgrade, as well as a "digital elevation map" of the entire country. A highlight reel of the new upgrade in action showed planes of all sizes soaring over Japanese cities and scenic vistas alike, including a look at all the cities and airports listed above, as well as famous locations like Himeji Castle, Tokyo Skytree, and the famed "three beautiful views" of Japan: Itsukushima Shrine, Miyajima, and Amanohashidate. Microsoft also confirmed that the Xbox Series S and Series X will launch in Japan alongside the rest of the world on November 10 with preorders in Japan starting this Friday, September 25. Among the upcoming games "optimized for Series X/S" showcased in the presentation, the 2019 SNK fighting game Samurai Shodown (locally known as Samurai Spirits), trippy puzzler Tetris Effect: Connected, space shooter R-Type Final 2, and indie titles Bright Memory v1.0 and RPG Time: The Legend of Wright, will all be available at the Series X/S launch in Japan. Capcom's Pragmata, a brand-new IP which debuted at the PlayStation 5 reveal event earlier this year, was also confirmed to be available from its planned 2022 launch on Xbox Series X/S. Microsoft also announced that Project xCloud, the cloud gaming service which was added to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate last week, will be available in Japan "in the first half of 2021." Allowing Japanese Android users to play Xbox games on their phones could be a big deal for Microsoft as the Xbox console has struggled to compete locally with Sony and Nintendo, but the Android platform is very popular in Japan.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 Review - IGN
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 bumps up screen size and power for a vastly better foldable phone experience.
Foldable phones have come a long way in a single generation, and theres no better example than the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2. Where Samsungs first-generation foldable phone was delayed due to reliability issues and came with a pair of compromised displays, the Fold 2 feels like a ruggedly solid device thats a truly all-screen experience both inside and out.However, folding phones are still a premium experience and the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 comes with an astronomical $2000 price tag. As cool as a phone that transforms into a tablet is, some apps dont display properly on foldable devices, not to mention Android still doesnt look great on a big screen device.If youre still willing to take the plunge on cutting edge technology, the Fold 2 has the best displays, speakers, and performance of any foldable device today. Its the only foldable phone I can truly see myself actually using right now. Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 Design and Features While you might think a phone that folds in half would feel flimsy in your hand, its actually the opposite with the Fold 2. With a hefty 9.95-ounce weight and 16.8mm thickness, the Fold 2 actually feels like an overstuffed ice cream sandwich or candy bar. This is a device made with practically double the amount of metal and close to three times the display area youd find on a traditional smartphone, so its no wonder why it feels so substantial in your hand.If youre worried about reliability, the Fold 2 has been a rock-solid device for more than two weeks of testing. You wont find any gaps for dust to slip under the ultra-thin glass display. Meanwhile, the phone has stood up to being folded dozens of times a day, and though an unmistakable crease has developed on the interior display, you only really notice it when the screen is off or you go looking for it. Compared to the first generation Galaxy Z Fold, this new model has flattened edges. The phone also borrows the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultras flat coat of Mystic Bronze paint and large rectangular camera bump thankfully it only protrudes out by a single millimeter this time. The biggest improvement to the Fold 2 is you get a full-screen experience both inside and out. The cover screen has been blown up from 4.6 inches with a 720 x 1,680 resolution to 6.23 inches with an 816 x 2,260 resolution. Meanwhile, the internal display is now 0.3 inches larger, which gives you a 7.6 inch screen with 1,768 x 2,208 resolution. The cluster of selfie cameras taking up the corner on last years model has been reduced to a single punch hole camera, so the screen really stretches to all the edges of the device this time. The folding display looks marvelous and despite using a flexible panel, the colors, pure blacks, and high brightness it presents are indistinguishable from the cover screen or any of the other Super AMOLED displays Samsung has put on a phone this year. Even more impressively, this foldable screen hits a 120Hz refresh rate and for once you dont need to bring down the display resolution to hit that number, unlike on the Galaxy S20 Ultra and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. When folded out into a 7.6-inch tablet, the Fold 2 isnt too large for me to hold with one hand. I can easily cradle it by a corner or grip it from the sides with my fingertips. The aspect ratio and display size here are perfect for reading online articles, though the text scaling can vary wildly depending on which site youre visiting and/or which app youre using. Reading full-page digital comics looks particularly fantastic thanks to the deep blacks and vivid colors you get from a Super AMOLED panel.And for me, the screen size is just right to read full pages without having to zoom in. Samsung has frequently pushed multitasking on its mega-sized smartphones, but on the Fold 2, having three apps open at the same time seems much more reasonable. With the larger screen, apps have more room to spread out so everything remains legible and elements are actually large enough for you to tap easily without having to carefully squint and poke. Another big improvement to the folding screen is its underlying hinge mechanism. Whereas the original Galaxy Z Fold snapped to attention in three different positions, the Fold 2 smoothly transitions between being folded and completely open, and its able to hold its position from anywhere between 75 to 115 degrees. While its semi-open, the phone engages Flex Mode to give you extra functionality in certain apps. Folding the screen partway while in this mode alters the interface to give you a clean viewfinder on the top half while moving all the controls to the lower display. Having the camera set up this way also gives you a great stationary camera you can use for group shots or taking long exposures from any flat surface. Alternatively, you can watch YouTube videos while reading or writing a comment at the same time. I just wished Flex Mode was implemented in more ways, like being able to scroll through your list of emails while opening one in a larger preview pane. Another great use would be in the calendar app so you could see the whole month at a glance and plan out your days in a second window. Of course, Samsung and Google will continue to improve Android 11 and apps for foldable screen experiences. I certainly hope Google will finally put work into improving Android on bigger screens since Instagram looks like a blown-up version of the mobile app with poor scaling. Watching YouTube and other streaming videos on a bigger screen is, of course, always better, but having thick black bars on top and bottom takes some getting used to. That said, if you watch a lot of movies or other 21:9 content, the cover screen has almost the perfect aspect ratio despite the display is smaller and thinner than most traditional smartphones. Speaking of the cover screen, its much more usable than the one found on the previous Galaxy Z Fold. I actually like the tall and narrow aspect ratio for scrolling through Twitter and Instagram, however, its not great for everything. Anything text-heavy like web pages and email both look incredibly squashed, and the font is often too small for anything more than just quickly checking your notifications. Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 Gaming and Performance The Galaxy Z Fold 2 finally delivers on the flagship phone experience Ive been expecting from Samsung all year: it lets you set the screen to its maximum resolution and frame rate at the same time.Playing games with an extremely smooth frame rate feels great on a regular phone and its even better with this convertible tablet device. On a bigger screen, you can just appreciate more of the smooth movement. Of course, that larger screen gives you a bigger picture for games, and thankfully most games dont change the aspect ratio to conform with the taller display. Instead, youre presented with almost double the vertical resolution over a regular smartphone, which can come in handy for spotting enemies up high in mobile shooters. Having the larger picture also means your thumbs end up covering less of the screen, which is even better when you can move the virtual joysticks and buttons to the very edges of the device. The phones underlying Snapdragon 865+ processor doesnt have any problems keeping up with demanding mobile games like PUBG Mobile, Call of Duty: Mobile, and Asphalt 9: Legends. Whats more impressive is how well it can play games while also allowing you to web browse and watch YouTube videos even if the audio becomes confusingly mixed together. Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 Camera For such an innovative folding smartphone, the Fold 2 comes with a fairly standard camera package. You get three 12MP cameras each covering the usual ultrawide, wide-angle, and telephoto focal lengths. Unlike Samsungs Ultra-tier flagship phones, theres no special hybrid Space Zoom features here, though you can still add up to 10x digital zoom.As usual, Samsungs camera sensors and image processing do a bang-up job of capturing vibrant colors with plenty of dynamic range and sharpness. The only problems I have with the Fold 2s image quality is it can be a little over-aggressive with sharpening extremely complex scenes, like foliage, and the Night Mode on this phone can be a little hit or miss with how it evaluates exposures. Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 Battery Life The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 comes with a decently large 4,500mAh battery, enough to see me through most days with 45% of its capacity still left by the end of them. Thats with daily usage consisting of watching two hours of streaming video, checking around social media for an hour or two, random web browsing, and playing mobile games for an hour.The good news is Samsung managed to squeeze fast charging into the Fold 2. With the included 25W charger, plugging in for 30 minutes gives you 46% of your battery capacity and an hour of plug-in time brings the capacity up to 86%. Purchasing guide The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 retails for $1999 and can be found at Best Buy, Verizon, AT&T, or direct from Samsung.
Fortnite vs. Apple: Parody Ad Disappoints Original Director, Ridley Scott - IGN - IGN
Director Ridley Scott weighs in on Epic's Fortnite video homage to his original 1984 Apple commercial after a legal battle broke out between the two companies.
When Epic Games launched its legal action against Apple over alleged anticompetitive behavior in the App Store, the developers of Fortnite created a shot-for-shot remake of the famous 1984 Apple Super Bowl commercial directed by Ridley Scott. IGN spoke with Scott about Epics homage in a recent interview and while Scott feels the Fortnite ad was well produced, he believes the message should have been about a more powerful topic.IGN asked Scott, director of critically acclaimed films like Alien, Gladiator, and Black Hawk Down, if he has seen the Epic remake of his famous Apple 1984 commercial.I sure have and I wrote to them because on the one hand I can be fully complimented by the fact they copied [my commercial] shot for shot, Scott says. But pity the message is so ordinary when they could have been talking about democracy or more powerful things And they didnt use it. Scott added, I think the animation was terrific, the idea was terrific, the message was ehh. 1984 is the name of Ridley Scotts famous Apple commercial which aired nationally during Super Bowl 18. The commercial was based on the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell and was meant to convey Apple as a rebel against an oppressive regime believed to be IBM. After Epic bypassed App Store rules by implementing its own payment system on the Fortnite iOS app, Apple removed Fortnite from iOS devices. After this, Epic announced a lawsuit against Apple over anticompetitive practices and started its #FreeFortnite social media campaign. As part of this campaign, Epic released its version of Scotts 1984 commercial, only this time Apple is the oppressive regime, and Fortnite is the rebel. There's even an in-game Fortnite event about the dispute with Apple. Apple has countered Epics lawsuit, claiming the company broke the App Store rules and has threatened to revoke Epics developer account, which will jeopardize not only Fortnite but any iOS game running on the Unreal Engine. Companies like Microsoft have come to Epics defense, claiming that revoking access to Unreal Engine will harm more companies and developers than just Epic. Matt T.M. Kim is a reporter for IGN.
Horizon Zero Dawn PC System Requirements Revealed - IGN
Minimum and recommended PC specs have arrived for the upcoming Horizon Zero Dawn PC port.
System requirements for the Horizon Zero Dawn PC port have arrived ahead of the game's launch next week.Revealed via the Horizon Zero Dawn Steam page, we can now see the minimum and recommended specifications necessary to play the game.Horizon Zero Dawn - Minimum Specs
- Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
- OS: Windows 10 64-bits
- Processor: Intel Core [email protected] or AMD FX [email protected]
- Memory: 8 GB RAM
- Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 (3 GB) or AMD Radeon R9 290 (4GB)
- DirectX: Version 12
- Storage: 100 GB available space
Asus ROG Phone 3 Review - IGN
The Asus ROG Phone 3 delivers the fastest mobile gaming yet with 144Hz screen and an extremely responsive touchscreen, but is it worth its asking price? Find out in our full review.
Gaming phones used to define themselves by having high-refresh-rate screens and the fastest mobile processors around. But in a world when flagship Android phones are starting to feature 120Hz displays and blazing fast chips, standing out is getting to be that much harder.With that in mind, Ive been eagerly waiting to see how Asus would top itself again with the ROG Phone 3, and Im glad to say I havent been disappointed. This new top-range handset comes fully loaded with a 144Hz screen plus a 270Hz polling rate, which together makes this the fastest, most responsive mobile gaming device around. That said, with a jaw-dropping price of 1,099 (about $1,270), you really have to prioritize mobile gaming to justify getting a device like this. Asus ROG Phone 3 Design and Features The Asus ROG Phone 3 is a pretty massive device in person. Thanks to its large 6.59-inch display, its even taller and just slightly wider than some of the largest flagship handsets like the OnePlus 8 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra.All of that extra height comes from the AMOLED screens slightly longer 19:9 aspect ratio. Plus, the phone has some actual bezels on its top brim and bottom lip to make room for dual front-firing speakers. Size aside, the ROG Phone 3 features a more subdued design that doesnt quite scream gaming as much as its previous renditions. There are fewer circuit board-inspired lines on the back of the phone, and the integrated heatsink stands out less now that its been swept under the phones glossy shell. It only becomes apparent that this device is a gaming phone when you switch it into its gaming-focused X-mode and the RGB logo lights up. Just above that logo, youll also find the camera hump which has gained an additional 5MP macro camera since last years model. Along with the new up-close snapper, you also have a 64MP main camera 16 megapixels sharper than last years model and a 13MP Ultrawide camera. Flip the phone and it looks like the spitting image of its predecessor. The only visible difference on the 2020 model is the removal of copper accents on the otherwise all-black speaker grills. But beyond aesthetics, the screen has seen an almost complete overhaul with a new 144Hz panel that also has a touch sampling rate of 270Hz. Those are marked increases over the ROG Phone 2s 120Hz display and 240Hz touch sampling rate. The new model is HDR10+ certified with bonafide 10-bit color, so it can display 1.07 billion different hues to cover 113% DCI-P3 gamut, and everything is calibrated to a Delta-E <1 accuracy. What this all means is youre looking at a display thats as color accurate as some media production monitors. Asus ROG Phone 3 Gaming and Performance Internally, the ROG Phone 3 has seen a spec bump with Qualcomms latest Snapdragon 865 Plus processor. The new chip runs at a higher clock speed of 3.1GHz, putting it a step over the 2.84 GHz Snapdragon 865 found in high-end Android phones. The Adreno 650 GPU is also overclocked to deliver 10% more graphical performance. Lastly, this CPU sports 16GB of LPDDR5 memory thats roughly 600Mhz faster than the LPDDR4X were used to seeing in most smartphones.The overall effect of this faster, more powerful chip allows you to turn up all your mobile graphics options to their highest levels. This high-powered processor can also drive a game at the displays full 144Hz refresh rate or at least thats what we would say if most games could actually run that fast. Just as we found when reviewing the Red Magic 5G, the only mobile game that could actually run at 144Hz was Real Racing 3. Now it looks simply stunning to have your F1 racer fly to every corner and perfectly hit the apex in one smooth motion, but sadly you can get this buttery smooth experience with a majority of most popular Android games. Call of Duty: Mobile, Asphalt 9, PUBG Mobile, and pretty much every game we could think of only ran at a maximum refresh rate of 60Hz. Although the majority of Android games wont be able to run at 144Hz, playing them on the ROG Phone 3 still feels like the best gaming experience you can have on a phone. First off, the screen just looks gorgeous with amazing colors, contrast, and deep blacks. Secondly, the 270Hz touchscreen polling rate makes aiming with your thumbs feel incredibly smooth and responsive to the point that I could lineup a headshot a second before my opponent could. Of course, another big advantage you have here is the two touch areas on the right side of the edge. These touch areas emulate the shoulder buttons on any standard controller, you can shoot and aim down sights with your index fingers, leaving your thumbs free to move your character and aim at all times. Out of all the gaming phones on the market, the Asus ROG Phone 3 has the widest array of accessories. In the box, you get an attachable AeroActive Cooler 3 fan that now features an integrated kickstand. Add the pair of optional Kunai 3 controllers and their holder case, and suddenly you can play with this gaming phone in a Nintendo Switch-like experience. Throw it into a Twin View Dock 3 for a second touch screen like the Nintendo 3DS. And then you can fuse the two to turn it all into a giant Frankenstein of a gaming phone with dedicated controllers and two screens. Theres even a Mobile Desktop Dock that allows you to connect the Asus ROG Phone 3 to a gaming monitor or TV for big-screen mobile gaming. It sounds ridiculous, but it was genuinely fun to push the gaming phones video to a 4K TV, grab a pair of Kunai controllers and play a fighting game in versus mode. The ROG Phone 3 is also compatible with all of the same accessories for its predecessor. So, if youve already acquired a few or prefer the older accessories, all of them will work with Asus new handset. The only other accessory I had trouble with was the Kunai 2 controllers, which simply refused to allow me to pull both triggers at the same time. I could only either aim down sights and be unable to fire or vice versa, it was almost as if the controller couldnt understand that I was holding down two inputs at the same time. Asus tells me that this isnt an issue with the Kunai 3 controllers, which Im hoping to test in the future. Asus ROG Phone 3 Camera The Asus ROG Phone 3 comes well equipped with just as many cameras and quality cameras at that as a high-end Android device. Between the wide-angle, Ultrawide, and Macro cameras you can have a lot of fun taking shots at different focal lengths. And while there isnt a telephoto, I hardly miss having one here.For the most part, the Asus ROG Phone 3 captures images with a good amount of detail, but the color and dynamic range you can capture is particularly amazing for a gaming-focused device. The only fault I can find in the images is the shadows are often a little too dark, so any areas with black or near black pixels end up losing a lot of detail.64MP vs 16MP The main 64MP camera captures intensely detailed images when left to snap photos at its native resolution. Annoyingly though, as with most new phones, choosing to capture photos at your maximum resolution locks you out of all your other camera options like the Ultrawide and Macro mode. To access your other cameras and a lossless 2x digital zoom, you have to drop your main camera resolution down to 16MP. Asus ROG Phone 3 Battery Life Not only does the Asus ROG Phone 3 make gaming on a phone feel better, but youll also be able to do it for longer thanks to the devices massive 6,000mAh battery. I put this device through some heavy usage consisting of watching four hours of streaming video and playing games for three hours with some regular browsing in between, and I still managed to end the day with 40% of my battery life left on the device.Thanks to the included 30W HyperCharge adapter you can juice up the ROG Phone 3 quickly too. Plugging in the phone for just 30 minutes will give you back 47% of your charge and after a full hour, I was sitting at 85% of my full battery capacity. Purchasing Guide The Asus ROG Phone 3 will release in the US later this September. US pricing has yet to be announced but in Europe the 12GB/512GB variant retails for 999 (about $1,150) while our review unit with 16GB/512GB 1,099 (~$1,266).For those who cant spend as much, Asus has also introduced a more affordable Strix version that sports ony 256GB of storage and 8GB of memory for a lower 799 (about $920) price. Unfortunately, the Strix model won't be releasing in the US All Asus ROG Phone 3 models also come bundled with three months of Stadia Pro.
Cyberpunk 2077: PC-Exclusive Ray-Tracing Effects Revealed - IGN - IGN
Cyberpunk 2077 will also arrive on Nvidia's cloud streaming service, GeForce Now at launch, with support for these ray-tracing effects.
The PC-exclusive ray-tracing effects coming to Cyberpunk 2077 have been revealed by Nvidia.As part of the graphics card manufacturer's technical partnership with CD Projekt Red, Nvidia is bringing four immersive ray-traced effects to Cyberpunk 2077, which will enhance the game's performance and fine-tune its fidelity. You check out screenshots of the effects in action below: These immersion-bolstering effects include Ray-Traced Diffuse Illumination, which "captures sky radiance" and emissive lighting to ensure that the sun and moon "realistically illuminate Night City." The game will also feature Ray-Traced Reflections which as you might have guessed, make reflections more realistic in how they simulate the way light affects surfaces.Ray-Traced Ambient Occlusion will also affect the game's shading tech on PC, further darkening objects with ambient lighting. Finally, Ray-Traced Shadows have allowed CD Projekt Red to bring "pixel-perfect shadows" to the game, as well as "directional shadows from sun and moon light" to further increase your immersion. Cyberpunk 2077 will also utilise Nvidia's DLSS 2.0 technology, an AI Rendering system that uses a deep learning neural network to boost frame rates "while generating beautiful, crisp game images," which should in theory allow you to crank the settings on launch. Nvidia also revealed that the game will land on its cloud streaming service, GeForce NOW, at launch, with support for ray-tracing effects baked in. It's possible that these ray-tracing effects could make it to the upgraded PS5 and Xbox Series X versions of the game arriving post-launch, but there's no confirmation of that right now. For more on Cyberpunk 2077, check out our article covering the four hours of gameplay we experienced during a recent preview. If you missed yesterday's slew of announcements via CD Projekt Red's Night City Wire, you can catch the full broadcast here. Jordan Oloman is a freelance writer for IGN. Follow him on Twitter.
PS5 Price Listed on Amazon UK Was 'an Error' - IGN - IGN
After a £599.99 pricing for the console went live, Amazon UK has told IGN that listing was made in error.
Yesterday, Amazon.co.uk added a number of listings related to PlayStation 5, including a number of games and, most notably, the PS5 console itself at a price of £599.99 (approximately $746 USD). Amazon has now confirmed to IGN that these listings were an error.As noted by Wario64 on Twitter, Amazon UK posted listings for 500GB, 1TB and 2TB models of PS5 (currently, PS5 is listed only with an 825GB model), all priced at £599.99. At around the same time, a reported 118 listings for PS5 games also appeared on the retailer's site, including apparent unnamed games from publishers such as Konami, Bethesda, and Rockstar. Several of those listings included a £69.99 retail price (full price games in the UK typically retail at £59.99 on current-gen).The same pricing across console models, as well as the sheer number of game listings suggested that these were speculative, rather than informed listings from Amazon, and Amazon UK PR has now confirmed that. "This was an error," said an Amazon UK spokesperson to IGN. Speaking specifically to the PS5 console listing, it "was priced as a dummy product with a dummy price." Amazon will often create dummy listings ahead of announcement events, which can be filled out if and when those announcements are made - that goes some way towards explaining the scattershot approach to what was included in this swathe of listings. There's some discussion to be had over how Amazon UK arrived at those dummy prices, but it's unlikely that, if it did have privileged information, it would be posting it publicly before any potential announcements at today's PS5 event. PS5's price has been a constant talking point since its initial reveal. We don't know any specific retail numbers, but reports have said that it's running at a $450 manufacturing cost, that stock could be 'limited' in its first year, in part due to a hugher-than-expected price, but that COVID-19 hasn't affected its RRP. Speaking of that PS5 event, you can stay here with us for all the info, live from the show - here's how to watch Sony's PS5 reveal event on IGN. Before that, there's the matter of IGN Expo Day 2, where we've got more exclusive reveals, gameplay and trailers for you - here's how to watch that (and if you want, you can add the whole schedule to your digital calendar). Joe Skrebels is IGN's Executive Editor of News. Follow him on Twitter. Have a tip for us? Want to discuss a possible story? Please send an email to [email protected]