One of the more interesting things to come out of the Xbox leaks related to the Activision merger (and there was a ton of cool stuff) was Microsoft’s consideration of moving to Arm. It’s something that’s had my head spinning, especially with news cracking that Nvidia and AMD are serious about delivering ARM based processors. As someone who subscribes to Xbox Game Pass, the closure of the Activision Blizzard deal is nothing but good news for a consumer like me in the short to medium term. In fact, I’d call it good for most consumers on those terms. But I can’t help but feel like Microsoft played this case perfectly. They are disadvantaged globally, but the leaks from this case along with Xbox’s general investments make it clear that they, at the very least, have an idea as to how things could flip in the long term.
Windows Snap is an incredibly useful tool for productivity and multitasking at large. It allows those using a larger monitor or TV to emulate the functionality of having multiple displays to work with. Its greater purpose comes from the ability to reference while writing, troubleshooting, or using any other work related software, but it’s also fantastic for throwing video or messaging to the side while playing games. Lately, I’ve noticed that Windows Snap behaves differently when used with some Xbox Game Studios games.
Almost immediately, Starfield felt fragmented to me. Navigating the UI was a chore, and every move I made inevitably required awkward loading screens. Most of all, the entire experience felt obscured. Starfield is overstuffed with things to do, but most of the time it feels like you’re going against the grain. For me, the biggest appeal of Skyrim was the effortless flow of its open world. Anything I did felt in line with everything else in the game.
And that’s what was most jarring about Starfield – it lacked direction or even a sense that what I was doing was right (it can still feel this way). There are an endless amount of great quests, things to build, places to make sense of, and general paths of exploration. Bethesda clearly swung wide with this game, and at many points during my time with the game so far I was overwhelmed by possibility. But it also feels very uneven and, above all, feels like a whole that’s very systems driven. Right down to its exploration, each of these major aspects can feel very siloed off.
Halo Infinite has been in an absolute groove ever since the December 2022 update, and it looks like 343 Industries has got plenty steam in them yet with Season 5: Reckoning. Whether its Pierre Hintze taking over or the usual drawn out wind up of live service games, Season 5 has again addressed why Infinite hasn’t felt like prior games.
The best ways to lower input lag:
- Always choose Game Mode on your TV (other modes can have more than 1/10 of a second of input lag)
- If you’ve been having spikes of input lag that seem strange, switch to a wired controller
- Microsoft optimized the official wireless controller for latency, but it can still be prone to interference
- Choose Performance Mode over Quality Mode (30 FPS has double the input latency of 60 FPS)
I’ve had the Xbox Series X for about two years, and in that time it’s been mostly smooth sailing when it comes to input latency. There’s been a little weirdness at times (I’ll get to that below), but for the most part, responsiveness has come down to:
- The display I’m using
- The type of controller I’m using
- The game I’m playing
Getting right to it:
- Modern HDMI gaming monitors do support 75 Hz
- Starting with HDMI 1.3 (2006) displays using the standard could output 1080p at 120 Hz
- HDMI 2.0 (2013) introduced support for 1080p at 240 Hz
Despite the push for high refresh rate displays, 75 Hz monitors are still a great option for low latency gaming. They’re much lower priced than 144 Hz monitors, often have low input lag, and are usually 1080p (great for all PC build types). When it comes to hooking your monitor up to your GPU you’ve got two options: HDMI and DisplayPort.
First things first: refresh rates and how many frames you get in game are related to one another but not quite the same thing. If you’re someone with a 75 Hz monitor (refresh rate) you can output 120 FPS (or more) depending on your setup. The only catch is that the end result may not be to your liking.
It’s incredible the state Starfield launched in when you stack it up against both prior Bethesda releases and games launches like Cyberpunk 2077. Things just work for the most part. Sure, I’ve seen my fair share of floating rocks (geodes?) and wonkiness with AI, but nothing game busting. And look, there’s over 1000 planets so it’s probably going to take a little time to full iron out the procedural generation.
60 Hz might be good enough for you if:
- You’re a casual fan (you play a few hours a week at most)
- You aren’t deeply invested in competitive multiplayer
- You’re just getting into gaming
- High refresh rate displays are outside your budget (FOMO be damned)
Jumping into Modern Warfare II at 120 FPS for the first time was an absolutely wild experience. I felt in control in a way I never had before. In fact, it felt like I was never really in control playing games like Call of Duty or Halo Infinite when playing at 60 FPS prior. In some ways, it was more game changing than other huge tech advancements I had experienced in the past – moving Windows to an SSD or experiencing high definition for the first time.