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Sun up serene (Microsoft Flight Sim screenshots)

Microsoft Flight Simulator clouds over nyc
  • Game: Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020
  • Platform: Xbox Series X|S and PC (coming soon to Xbox Cloud Gaming)

Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 offers so many opportunities for great shots. After finding out how to access drone mode (hint: navigate to “Showcase” in the camera options), I’ve been having a blast seeking out scenes.

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Microsoft vs. Sony: strategy over specs

microsoft vs sony strategy over specs

I often forget the endless frustration of going against the grain of consumer technology. Mobile phones, laptops, gaming consoles – it wasn’t until relatively recently that most kinds of tech have made sizable gains in usability and features that most of us take for granted.

These days, improvement seems to come as iteration for those products which are most important in our lives.

And it would seem as though console gaming, thanks to the release of the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S, has all but gotten to a place of “pretty dang good”. Microsoft and Sony, instead of pulling ahead purely on specs, seem to have arrived at a fork in the road of strategy.

Each, thanks to decades of trial and error, has doubled down on vision and made their respective platforms a place to settle in.

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Forza basics: does FH4 have Tesla cars?

mountain look off in winter forza horizon 4

Play as you please and do what you want – one of the best aspects of Forza Horizon 4 is the ability to jump in and get going almost immediately. I’m one that would have enjoyed a more handcrafted approach to some of the game’s aspects, but it’s undeniably excellent evoking freedom.

Variety also cues an experience that is never too bogged down by feeling samey. Unfortunately, there are some exclusions in the car roster that may leave some fans wanting more.

If you’re wondering whether the game has Tesla vehicles, this isn’t the game to enjoy one of Elon Musk’s pillars of output.

Forza Horizon 4 does not feature any Tesla cars and most likely never will with the looming release of Forza Horizon 5. Content production for the game has come to a standstill.

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Forza Horizon 4 review – still incredible in 2021 and beyond

sunset drive forza horizon 4

In many ways, Forza Horizon 4 has been the culmination of my favorite aspects of the racing genre. I’ve never dove off into the sea of hardcore sims, but at this point in my life I’ve poured over a 1000 hours into a mixture of simcade and arcade racers.

What started with the early era of Gran Turismo on the PS1 soon gave way to various Need for Speed entries, Project Gotham Racing, early Forza games, and a smattering of games in between.

To say the genre clicks with me would be an understatement, and above all, the ability to jump right in and play has always spoken to me. I’d call the Forza Horizon series a sort of open world spiritual successor to the PGR series, but what Playground Games ultimately does better than anyone else is provide the means for immediate driving fun.

Forza Horizon 4 is accessibility done right – an experience that appeals equally to fans of the genre and those completely new.

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PS4 essentials: can the PS4 run at 120 fps?

how many hz

Each year it seems like there are a set of must have features across gaming. In 2021, that means high refresh rates, 8K support, and a slew of new ways to increase general fluidity.

If you’re someone looking to hop on the 120 fps bandwagon with your PS4, you’ll unfortunately have to wait until you lock down a PS5 or Xbox Series X.

No PS4 models support 120 fps both due to power and required spec of HDMI. It goes without saying that the PS4 also can’t handle 144 fps.

High refresh rates have only just now broken into the console space thanks to the bleeding edge tech found in the Xbox Series X and PS5.

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Xbox essentials: does Xbox Series X come with a USB-C cable?

cable not included

There’s nothing quite like unboxing a next-gen system. The anticipation of the old mixed with finally letting go of an aging console feels just right.

For me, the experience of unboxing and setting up the Xbox Series X was effortless when compared to prior consoles. The console literally pops up right in front of you as you open the box, and everything is tidily tucked away.

Read more on Xbox: How the Xbox Series X|S shine a light on performance

Within a few minutes I was off to gobble up all of the bandwidth I could thanks to Game Pass.

You’ll find that Microsoft provides everything you need to get up and go but, thanks to changes in cable standards, you might be confused as what is and isn’t provided. More specifically, the use of USB-C might be different than what you’re used to around the house.

Does the Xbox Series X include a USB-C cable?

Unfortunately, the console does not come with a USB-C cable despite relying on it to play without batteries. You will find a pair of AA batteries included in the packaging, but the only cables provided are the power and HDMI cords.

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PS4 essentials: can you download disc games on PS4?

bits and discs

I still remember the brilliance of downloading Halo 3 DLC with no need for brick and mortar stores. The immediacy and convenience made playing that much more palatable and exciting.

Since then, consoles like the PS4 have completely changed the availability of digital games. No longer a novelty, digital downloads have transformed the way we play.

But for those using a mix of discs and digital on the PS4 it can be confusing as to the two work together.

Can disc games on the PS4 be downloaded? Do you need to buy a game twice?

The short of it is that you can’t download disc games. You’ll need to have the disc inserted into the PS4 every time you want to play.

Alternatively, you could sell the disc version of the game and buy a digital license on the PlayStation store.

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Display essentials: do monitors affect fps?

from hz to fps

Despite TV manufacturers catering to gamers, monitors largely remain a much better option in terms of faster response times. New TVs offer features like Auto Low Latency Mode and Variable Refresh Rate, but monitors have offered much better latency for over a decade.

While not important to all players, lower latency and higher fps means more fluid gameplay and a greater level of control. For those playing first-person shooters and fighting games, a better response time can mean a competitive advantage over those playing on laggy displays or lower specced machines.

Just how do monitors affect fps?

Technically, monitors only affect fps indirectly. They’re responsible for the visible frame rate that a player will see, and it’s the reason why those with powerful machines opt for 144Hz displays.

No matter the in game fps, a 60Hz display will only ever output 60 fps.

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PS4 essentials: can you connect PS4 to a hotspot?

hotspot gaming

Between travel and spotty home internet, mobile hotspots are incredibly convenient for those that need to hop online in a pinch. They allow your phone to serve as a wireless router and function very similarly to one that an ISP would provide.

Can you connect a mobile hotspot to consoles like the PS4?

Thankfully, yes. Using your hotspot with the PS4 will be like any other use case. The only difference is that its usefulness will depend on what exactly you’re doing on the PS4.

You can also use a mobile hotspot to play online on the PS5.

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PS5 essentials: do PS4 gift cards work on PS5?

There’s some who say that the PS5 isn’t worth it and, while it may be true in some ways, I’ve found the system to be plenty worth it in one big way.

Playing on the PS5 has brought a whole new meaning to games like Destiny 2 and Fallout 4.

Between Game Boost and next-gen upgrades there’s no shortage of new experiences to enjoy.

And if you’re like me, it probably makes you want to browse and spend on the system’s digital storefront.

Which brings us to the confusion of moving to next-gen – can PS4 gift cards be used on the PS5?

Yes, PS4 gift cards will absolutely work. They will work whether you’re looking to buy a PS5 exclusive or bolster your PS4 library for those backwards compatibility enhancements.

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