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PlayStation TV Review | Lazy, Half-Baked, Overpriced, and Brilliant

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
Games consoles, Hardware, Microconsole, PlayStation TV, PS Vita, PS Vita games, PS Vita TV, PS4, Remote Play, Sony Computer Entertainment

PlayStation TV Review | Lazy, Half-Baked, Overpriced, and Brilliant

I was baffled by PlayStation TV to begin with.

It seemed to be too laggy for a PS4 streaming box, too short on features for anyone looking for a TV-oriented microconsole, with too little out of the box for newcomers. Moreover, here in the UK it still costs upwards of £80, for which you just get the console, three games -- OlliOlli, Velocity 2X, and Worms: Revolution (all of which have, I think, been part of the PS+ Instant Game Collection) -- but, as I said in my first impressions piece on PS TV,  you can't even fit them all onto the system straight out of the box thanks to the paltry 1GB of onboard storage.

The US, at least has itself a dedicated discount bundle that packs in a DS3 and a memory card. But we're not in the States.

The unit itself is stylish yet unassuming, it's tiny and beautiful, but hardly ostentatious. Measuring just 66 x 104 x 127mm, it really puts the *micro* into microconsole. Setup is nice and easy,the inputs -- the HDMI in, ethernet port, power switch and expandable proprietary memory slot are all found to the rear. There are other things you'll need to do for the optimum experience, mind. Cabling up your house completely is just not going to happen for most people, but if you're planning on using the PS TV for streaming, you'll need to make sure at the very least that your PS4 has a wired connection to your router. Extenders help -- if you can wire your PS TV up to an extender, that'll help, but what you don't want is a fully wireless setup.

PlayStation TV Review | Lazy, Half-Baked, Overpriced, and Brilliant

To be fair, I've not had a terrible time of it beyond that first week. A bit of local FIFA 15 action went down a treat. There were a few instances of lag, but nothing major. It's important to note that the more controllers you have connected to the PS TV unit (you can have up to four), the worse the performance becomes, but for solo play, PS TV has held up surprisingly when well streaming from the PS4. Online competitive multiplayer, however, is going to be variable. Two hours with Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare worked almost seamlessly, but a later test with Far Cry 4 was unplayable, and FIFA 15 online made me feel like I was drunk. Or the players were. Or both. I haven't used it for that since. It should also be noted that the games don't look as good as they would on your PS4, what with the resolution down to 720p.

I'm enjoying the PS4 Remote Play, but that's not worth dropping £80. Really, PlayStation TV is a niche microconsole for niche gamers who bought a niche handheld.

Which is why, I'm happy to report, I'm sort of loving it right now.

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Turtle Beach Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Sentinel Task Force Headset Review | All About That Bass

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, Hardware, PS4 accessories, Sentinel Task Force Headset, Turtle Beach

Turtle Beach Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Sentinel Task Force Headset Review | All About That Bass

The PS4 has almost removed the point of platform-dedicated headsets thanks to the fact that you can route the entire system audio through the versatile headphone jack in the DualShock 4. It means you can pretty much use whatever you have handy so long as the headset in question you have has a dual-function 3.5mm jack. But if you're a serious gamer, you want comfort and performance and something that, and I'm guilty of this, looks badass.

Dr Dre understands. The day he makes a Beats headset fully compatible with PC and consoles (no, I'm not counting the Solo) will be the day that folks like Turtle Beach soil themselves.

Thankfully for them, that day is yet to come.

Turtle Beach like their branded stuff, it does pretty well for them, and a Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare headset was inevitable. Enter the appropriately hilariously-titled Sentinel Task Force headset. Wireless on Xbox One but, annoyingly, not on PS4, the STF arrives packing a removable microphone with variable monitoring and muting controls, adjustable Bass Boost, volume and mic controls on the detachable extender cable, and a dual-function 3.5mm on an undetachable cable linked to the headset itself.

Turtle Beach Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Sentinel Task Force Headset Review | All About That Bass

The cups themselves are comfortable enough. I have a large head, helped expansively by the inches of fuzzy hair that get squished down by headsets like this, but the STF is a lovely fit -- snug without feeling crushing. The synthetic leather on the cups is firm enough to hold shape, but not as rigid as the sort of padding you'd find on the Tritton Kunai, for example. It must be said, however, that the cushioning doesn't exactly rival the luxurious pillowy softness of Razer's wares. If my ears could dream, their dreams would be filled with the Blackshark rather than this.

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11 Essential Preparations Before You Buy a PS4 or Xbox One

Author:
Brendan Griffiths
Category:
Features
Tags:
Buyer's Guide, Hardware, PS4, Xbox One

11 Essential Preparations Before You Buy a PS4 or Xbox One

With the arrival of the PS4 and Xbox One being unbearably close, we’ve decided to try to calm down for a few seconds to make sure we’re prepared. As it turns out, we still have lots to do and we imagine you do too. So, don’t get caught out on launch day and check out our 11 Essential Preparations Before You Buy a PS4 or Xbox One. Then we can all go back to staring at our calendars.

11 Essential Preparations Before You Buy a PS4 or Xbox One

Order a second controller

Local multiplayer may seem like less of a feature with each generation of gaming, but we daresay there may be a few titles (probably indie ones) around launch that will let you play with a few couch-buddies. Failing that, you’ll need a second controller for when the battery dies, as the bundled charging cable probably won’t be long enough to let you sit down. Trust me on this; I almost pulled my PS3 onto the floor the first time I sat down with the DualShock 3.

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Nintendo 2DS | £99.99 (With Voucher Code) | GAME

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Handheld, Hardware, Nintendo, Nintendo 2DS

Nintendo 2DS | £99.99 (With Voucher Code) | GAME

Nintendo Doorstop | GAME - White & Red or Black & Blue | £99.99
Voucher Code: GAMEPAL13

Includes charger and 4GB SD Card. Thanks to goonertillidie @ HUKD

Xbox One In "Full Production", CPU Gets 150Mhz Boost

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
Games consoles, Hardware, Microsoft, Xbox One, Yusuf Mehdi

Xbox One In "Full Production", CPU Gets 150Mhz Boost

Yusuf Mehdi, the corporate VP of marketing and strategy for Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Business, has announced that not only is the Xbox One in full production, but that the console's CPU has had a bit of a power boost.

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The Sunday Seven: Coming to Terms with PS3’s YLOD

Author:
Brendan Griffiths
Category:
Features
Tags:
Hardware, Personal Story, PS3, Sony, The Sunday Seven, Yellow Light of Death, YLOD

The Sunday Seven: Coming to Terms with PS3’s YLOD

The YLOD. The Yellow Light of Death. This is the dreaded sickness that PlayStation 3 owners fear. With my PS3 nearing its sixth birthday, it finally happened to me. While hardly as prevalent as the Red Ring of Death in the Xbox 360’s early days, the flashing yellow light is still cautiously feared amongst the PS3 community.

In order to cope with this grim occurrence I’ve incorporated the experience into my regular feature, The Sunday Seven. This isn’t a guide on how to fix the problem yourself, no, no, that’s a different fire hazard for a different day and for someone else to tell. This is what was running through my mind as I tried to come to terms with it and ultimately how to bring it back to life.

Hopefully, this won’t happen to you. So use this as a cautionary tale, an amusing anecdote by someone clearly a bit too much attached to a console or as a comparable accompaniment to your own past woes. Let’s face it; this is probably some form of karmic retribution any smugness of having a PS3 when everyone’s 360s were melting.

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Iwata Remains Sceptical On Cloud Gaming, Importance of Graphical Performance

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
3DS, Cloud gaming, Hardware, Nintendo, Satoru Iwata, Wii U

Iwata Remains Sceptical On Cloud Gaming, Importance of Graphical Performance

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has reiterated his scepticism when it comes to the notion of cloud gaming, particularly in regard to action games, expressing confidence in the continued success of physical consoles.

The Nintendo head honcho also played down the importance of graphical prowess and improved console performance, citing cost recovery and "saturation" as serious issues.

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Red and Blue PS3 Super Slim Consoles Coming Soon

Author:
Brendan Griffiths
Category:
News
Tags:
Blue PS3, Games consoles, Hardware, PS3, PS3 Super Slim, Red PS3, Sony

Red and Blue PS3 Super Slim Consoles Coming Soon

Sony are releasing two new versions of their 500GB Super Slim console on February 15th. Consumers will have the option of picking up red or blue versions, both of which will come with two DualShock 3 controllers for £249.99.

Both the red and blue models are currently available to pre-order at Game, with the red one being an exclusive to the store. If the white slim PS3 is anything to go by, these will only see a limited release and will be much more expensive on eBay at a later date, so act fast if they take your fancy.

While the black model released late last year appeared to look a bit cheap and tacky, I think these versions look much better, or maybe I’ve just become indifferent to my original 60GB version. Only kidding, I get to play PS2 games in HD after all.

Click here to see more images.

Ouya Controller Tweaked Following Community Feedback

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
Controllers, Hardware, Kickstarter, Ouya

Ouya Controller Tweaked Following Community Feedback

Dev kits for the $8 million-funded Kickstarter success story that is the Ouya began shipping out at the end of last year, and the developer community has being responding, mailing in feedback thick and fast to the Ouya team, and a number of popular suggestions have been taken on board, particularly with regard to the Android-powered mini-console's controller.

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RUMOUR: Xbox 720 To Simply Be 'Xbox', X-Surface Tablet On Its Way

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
Hardware, Microsoft, Next-gen, Xbox, Xbox 720

RUMOUR: Xbox 720 To Simply Be 'Xbox', X-Surface Tablet On Its Way

UPDATE: The X-Surface report has been uncovered as a fake, with the 'source' revealing himself to be a hoaxer.

It would seem that Microsoft are prepping for something large. Instead of delivering a next-gen console called the Xbox 720 or Next-box, it looks like MS will be reverting to the simplest title of all and bringing all of their next-gen initiatives under one umbrella, with the home console hub at the heart of it: Xbox.

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PlayStation Move Navigation Controller | £7.99 | Play

Author:
Brendan Griffiths
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Controllers, Hardware, Playstation Move Navigation Controller, PS Move

PlayStation Move Navigation Controller | £7.99 | Play

  • What: PlayStation Move Navigation Controller
  • Where: Play
  • Current Price: £7.99

This wireless navigation controller isn't essential for Move-enabled titles, but it makes life much easier for using the Move controller in games like Heavy Rain, SOCOM: Special Forces, Sorcery and especially Killzone 3 which is the best Move-supporting FPS. This nav controller is comfortable to use, acting as the left side of a DualShock 3 and at this price is worth a shot. It's certainly better than the alternative, holding a regular PS3 pad one-handed.

REPORT: PS4 Chipset Based on AMD A10 APU Series, Has Optical BR Drive

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
Games consoles, Hardware, Next-gen, Orbis, PS4, Sony
Discuss:
PlayStation 4

REPORT: PS4 Chipset Based on AMD A10 APU Series, Has Optical BR Drive

Fresh details have apparently emerged today regarding Sony's successor to the PS3, with "multiple sources" confirming that the PS3 - still being referred to by Sony solely under the codename "Orbis" - will once again feature Blu-Ray (rather than a purely digital setup), and will bring with it a revamped UI and a processor based on AMD's combined-chip A10 series.

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PS Move Navigation Controller | £7.99 | Sainsburys & Amazon | PS3

Author:
Brendan Griffiths
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Controllers, Hardware, Playstation Move Navigation Controller, PS Move
PS Move Navigation Controller | £7.99 | Sainsburys & Amazon | PS3
  • What: PlayStation Move Navigation Controller
  • Where: Sainsburys Amazon
  • Current Price: £7.99

You could try playing the Move versions of games like Killzone 3Goldeneye: Reloaded, Socom: Special Forces and more by using a DualShock in conjunction with the motion controller, but we'd recommend picking up one of these instead. It's great for games like Sorcery, Heavy Rain and the upcoming horror title Until Dawn too. Unlike the Wii's nunchuk, this is wireless so it's much more clutter-friendly. Head on over to Sainsburys or Amazon to save £4 over the other stores.

Thanks to JohnCena at HotUkDeals.

PS3 Super Slim Boosts Sony's Hardware Sales

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
Games consoles, Hardware, PS3, PS3 Super Slim, Sales, Sony

PS3 Super Slim Boosts Sony's Hardware Sales

Despite no price cut, and only really offering size and sound reductions rather than any additional features, it would seem that gamers are responding to Sony's recent low-fat gaming diet, as the PS3 Super Slim has boosted the Japanese hardware giant's home console sales by 138%.

According to according to UKIE and GfK Chart-Track (via MCV), 37% of all PS3 units sold last week were of the new model - sporting a 500GB hard drive.

Sony have announced that an EU-only SKU with 12GB Flash memory will release over here on October 12th.

Valve: First Public Hardware Beta Coming Within The Next Year

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
Big Picture Mode, Hardware, Jeri Ellsworth, PC games, Steam, Valve

Valve: First Public Hardware Beta Coming Within The Next Year

Valve's hardware division is fairly new, but the people staffing it are old hands indeed. Longtime inventor and section head Jeri Ellsworth has said of the division that its immediate aim is to work with the new Big Picture Mode to "make Steam games more fun to play in your living room".

There's already internal beta testing going on, and Ellsworth hopes that Valve first product will be ready for a public beta within  the next year.

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PS Move Navigation Controller | £7.99 | Sainsburys & Amazon | PS3

Author:
Brendan Griffiths
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Controllers, Hardware, Playstation Move Navigation Controller, PS Move

PS Move Navigation Controller | £7.99 | Sainsburys & Amazon | PS3

  • What: PlayStation Move Navigation Controller
  • Where: Sainsburys / Amazon
  • Current Price: £7.99

An essential item if you want to play any shooter titles that are Move compatible. Killzone 3, Goldeneye: Reloaded, Socom: Special Forces and a few others support the device. It's also worth picking up if you want to play an adventure title like Sorcery or even Heavy Rain. The upcoming horror title Until Dawn will be much better with a navigation controller. A PS3 pad can be used instead, but it's not ideal holding it with one hand. Head on over to Sainsburys or Amazon to save £4.50 over the other stores.

Thanks to robdougall at HotUkDeals.

Wii U Going on UK Demo Tour

Author:
Brendan Griffiths
Category:
News
Tags:
Hardware, News, Wii U, Wii U tour

Wii U Going on UK Demo Tour

The Wii U is coming to a shopping centre or expo near you so you can have a go for yourselves. Having played the new console at E3 and Gamescom and we'd urge you to try it out before splashing the cash on the next-gen machine that's turning out to be a little bit more expensive than we thought.

Given the public nature of the displays we wouldn't expect the blood-splattered ZombiU to be there, but titles like Super Mario Bros Wii U and Rayman Legends should be a given. Check out the early online UK prices for Wii U bundles here.

Click here to see those tour dates!

Valve Job Ad: 'We're Jumping In To The Computer Hardware Space'

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Hardware, Rumour, Steam, Steam Box, Valve

Valve Job Ad: 'We're Jumping In To The Computer Hardware Space'

Rumours that Valve are working on a set top box/living room PC reached fever pitch today with the discovery of a job listing that, quite literally, states that the software company will be "jumping in" to the "computer hardware space."

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Remedy: Next-Gen A "Quantum Leap" Over Current Systems

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
Development, Hardware, Next-gen, Quantum Leap, Remedy Entertainment

Remedy: Next-Gen A "Quantum Leap" Over Current Systems

Is it time for a Scott Bakula DVD marathon? Well, always, but that's not what we're talking about here. Max Payne and Alan Wake devs Remedy Entertainment have suggested that the next generation of games consoles are something of a "quantum leap" over current tech.

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3DS XL Hardware Review | Big Deal

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
3DS, 3DS XL, Bigness, Handheld console, Hardware, Nintendo

3DS XL Hardware Review | Big Deal

The 3DS' first hardware revision is a big one, in any sense of the phrase. Nintendo's new handheld is a colossus, a titan amongst portables, and one that fixes a number of key problems with the original model. Comfort, battery life and build quality have all been addressed, while the enormous new screens promise to provide a flat-out superior gaming experience on the go. But is it worth an upgrade?

It's worth noting that the 3DS XL features exactly the same firmware, features, cameras and onboard software as the original 3DS, and you can read the full details in our 3DS hardware review. This article, therefore, documents the major changes that the XL brings to the table, both in terms of practicality, form factor and the way you'll play 3DS games.

Form, Function & Changes

3DS XL Hardware Review | Big Deal

The 3DS XL's killer feature is, somewhat obviously, two enormous screens. Both are 93% larger than the 3DS, with the top 3D screen measuring in at an impressive 4.88 inches: the largest ever on a Nintendo handheld. It's still slightly smaller than the Vita's capacitive touchscreen, but only just. To accommodate these lucious new screens, the chassis has naturally been increased in size to 156 x 74 x 21mm. Impressively, this is only a 22% net increase compared to the 3DS, and both screens fill much more of the bezel thanks to some technical chicanery regarding bespoke speakers in the lid. The XL is also exactly the same thickness as its predecessor, though it weighs an extra 100g. You might be able to just about squeeze it into a pocket, but chances are that you'll have to carry it in a bag.

The initial impression is of unbelievable bigness, to the extent where you'll likely want to run around your house comparing it to things. We've done the hard work for you - click the comparison pictures to 'embiggen.'

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