Always cozy, never dull (Skyrim Special Edition screenshots)

The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim Special Edition ethereal god rays

1 minute read

Even after all these years, Skyrim never fails to disappoint in its pension for landscape views, atmosphere, and need to be played. The screenshots below were taken just outside of Whiterun and Dragonsreach. Although you’ll find a cozy atmosphere in many places of Skyrim, these zones are particularly inviting.

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Sun up serene (Microsoft Flight Sim screenshots)

Microsoft Flight Simulator clouds over nyc

1 minute read

  • 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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Forza Horizon 4 review – still incredible in 2021 and beyond

sunset drive forza horizon 4

6 minute read

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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What does PS4 Pro enhanced mean?

ps4 pro enhanced

5 minute read

The PS5 has officially arrived and with it the sensibility of many gamers has gone with the wind. But despite what consumerist trends might make us think, the move to next gen hasn’t made the PlayStation 4 obsolete.

And for those with a PS4 Pro, there are enhancements that bring next-gen features to last gen systems. Titles that offer additional features, aptly named PS4 Pro enhanced, bring Sony’s mid-generation refresh console quite close to next-gen systems.

Will you get to the potential for 8k and 120 FPS? No, but there’s plenty of visual eye candy to soak in while the PS5 stock situation resolves itself.

What exactly does “PS4 Pro enhanced” mean?

Simply put, Pro enhanced video games offer better graphics, resolution, performance, or a mixture of all 3. Many games with a Pro patch even allow you to choose between a game that looks better or plays better.

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Do you need a 4K TV for PS5? What to know.

is 4k necessary

4 minute read

With all of the talk of HDMI 2.1, 120 FPS, and 8K gaming, it’s easy to feel like you’ll be missing out on the best of what the PS5 (and Xbox Series X|S) has to offer with your current TV.

And with the rise and maturation of 4K sets, many are wondering if the jump to UHD is necessary when buying into Sony’s next-gen ecosystem.

The short of it? No, you absolutely do not need a 4K television in order to play the PS5. Yes, newer TVs will take advantage of the consoles feature set (namely higher resolution), but they’re also not needed to play the newest games.

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Will the PS5 actually support 8K gaming?

next-gen 8k gaming

5 minute read

Between 8K, 120 FPS, and ray tracing, half of the appeal of the coming generation seems to be tech based hype. Both the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 have shown that they will be beefy machines, but thus far, Sony has been the one to run away with its console’s technical achievements.

Of these, the bump to 8K resolution is one that stands out. According to Statista, just 31% of households made use of 4K TVs as of June 2018 and, in some ways, the display standard feels like it’s just now finding its footing. But as with most technological pushes, the sentiment is most likely a mixture of driving sales and looking to the years ahead.

Will the PS5 actually support 8K gaming at launch?

In short, it’s unlikely that we will see the PS5 output 8K in any meaningful way for some time to come. This may change with a potential PS5 Pro, but right now, the processing power required for 8K and the fractional market penetration of the standard makes it a very unrealistic proposition.

While more suitable for a mid-generation refresh console, the potential to utilize checkerboard rendering or another reconstruction technique instead of native 8K is there as 8K resolution TVs become more popular.

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The PS4 4K experience

ps4k

6 minute read

You’ve just come home from Best Buy with a brand new 4K TV and your PS4 is still hooked up to your legacy 1080p set.

Or maybe you’ve been holding off on the latest Samsung, Sony, Vizio, or TCL.

The million dollar question is this – how does the PS4 look on a 4k TV? Is it really that big of an upgrade?

It’s going to depend on multiple factors (more on this below), but this is what you need to know:

  • The jump to 4k is less impressive than the move to HD resolutions
  • The regular PS4 and Slim revision will be upscaled and have the potential to look better
  • TVs with poor upscalers can worsen the overall image quality
  • The PS4 Pro won’t look as good as native 4K content (Netflix, Blu-rays, etc.), but will appear very sharp or “clean”

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Is 4K gaming worth it without HDR?

xbox one controller

5 minute read

While the amount of households with a 4K TV has soared over the past few years, the process of upgrading is hardly cut and dry.

With technical jargon like Ultra HD, HDR, local dimming, and 10 bit color depth, it’s hard to know exactly what you’re getting yourself into, and whether or not the TV you’re about to buy is the right fit for your needs.

HDR, 4K’s partner in crime, makes things particularly puzzling for home theater setups – many TVs on the market lack HDR and those that do offer the new color standard often miss the mark.

If you’re someone just venturing into the land of higher fidelity, you might be wondering whether 4K, on its own, carries the same punch independent of all the developing TV tech.

Keep reading for a dive into what makes the jump in resolution worth it and whether it should be considered for gaming without HDR.

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How 4K HDR Affects Input Lag And FPS: Is The Jump Worth It?

how 4k hdr gaming affects input lag and fps

6 minute read

The constant chase for butter smooth FPS and jaw dropping visuals is half the fun for the technically inclined gamer, so it should come as no surprise that the move to 4K has caused quite a stir in the community.

Ultra HD resolution, in addition to HDR, the next step in color reproduction and contrast, have given Sony and Microsoft a unique selling proposition for their “beast mode” mid generation consoles.

Whether you’re looking to buy an Xbox One X, PS4 Pro, or enthusiast grade PC, you might be wondering whether or not the next evolution of visuals comes at a performance cost.

Does 4K HDR increase input lag? How does it affect framerate?

The short of it: opting for 4K HDR on your PS4 Pro and Xbox One X can increase latency, but it will ultimately depend on the TV or monitor that you are using. Gaming at 4K will also lower FPS in most cases.

Read below for a deeper dive on how the resolution bump will affect your overall experience and how to minimize the impact it will have on your enjoyment.

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Can the Xbox One and PS4 Stream 4K HDR? What to Know About Console Media Playback

netflix home screen desktop

3 minute read

In spite of the recent unveiling of several 8K TVs at CES 2019, 4K will continue to be the resolution to hit for those that produce content on YouTube, Netflix, Amazon, and so on.

And in the Ultra HD age, it can be a bit confusing to figure out which streaming devices support 4K and HDR, especially when it comes to gaming consoles.

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