Skip to content

Archive for

5
Sep

‘Fallout 4’ immortalizes a player’s late brother


Games have paid tribute to late celebrities and fans in the past, but rarely like this. When Reddit user NoohjXLVII (aka Andy) posted about the tragic losses of his father and his brother, as well as using Fallout 4 as a coping mechanism, Bethesda responded by including his brother as a character in Fallout’s Nuka World add-on. Run into Evan at the southernmost part of Nuka World’s map and you’ll meet the recreation of a man who Andy says was just as generous in real-life as he is in-game — the virtual Evan will gladly give you whatever he can. He’s not a perfect physical match, but he captures the “essence” of the person.

This won’t make up for Evan’s passing, although you can contribute to a GoFundMe campaign to help ease his family’s burden. Even so, the character (and the care package sent to Andy) are tremendous gestures. They’ll help preserve the memory of a man who, by all accounts, was taken from the world too soon.

[Thanks, Kristy]

Via: Kotaku, Eurogamer

Source: Reddit, GoFundMe

5
Sep

IFA 2016 showed us how far wearables have come


The wearables world has come a long way in a very short time, and plenty of companies have had to learn their lessons out in public. The first devices they launched were often far, far too ugly to find mainstream acceptance, but now the fashion and wearables worlds are perfectly aligned. That’s why we’re taking a look at the devices that arrived at this year’s IFA, and comparing it with their more embarrassing predecessors. Think of it like #throwbackthursday, except nobody’s got one of those face-worn retainers you only see in ’80s movies.

ASUS’ Zenwatch

Zenwatch_then.jpgZenwatch-now.jpg

Like many other early Android Wear pioneers, ASUS thought that it was hip to be square. It made sense, since smartphones have square displays too, not to mention the (then) scarcity of truly-round displays. ASUS trimmed the price to make the Zenwatch cheaper than its rivals, and curved the glass over the face to offer an illusion of greater ergonomics. The end result is a watch that made square faces look reasonably stylish, even if it would only ever cater to a niche.

Two years down the road and ASUS has firmly grasped a copy of the fashion watch design playbook and is holding it firmly with both hands. The Zenwatch 3 is packing a rose-gold inlay, a chunky crown and double pushers, making it look less like an Android Wear device and more like a Longines. It’s the sort of watch that goes down well with business types who want to be seen wearing their money on their wrists.

Samsung Gear

Samsung-then.jpgSamsung-now.jpg

When you look at the first Galaxy Gear you have to ask what Samsung was thinking, even back then. It may have been a refinement of the company’s S9110 telephone watch, but it wasn’t pretty, no sir. Admittedly, it’s a striking piece of gear, with a brutalist design, exposed screws and a humped, 1.9-megapixel camera that juts out of the band rather than the hardware. But when you look at Samsung’s earlier smartwatches, like the SPH-WP10, the Galaxy Gear looks like pure elegance.

Just three years stand between the OG Gear and the Gear S3, but they couldn’t be further apart in the looks department. The Gear S3 looks like a regular watch, the sort of ultra-masculine timepiece that you’d see advertised in an in-flight magazine. Like its immediate predecessor, the bezel acts as a control dial, but now it’s been geared so that it doesn’t even look like a watch from the future. In fact, the Gear S3 could convincingly pass for a Rolex diving watch made half a century ago.

Sony Headphones

Sony-then.jpgSony-now.jpg
Sony’s been there (or thereabouts) for plenty of milestones in personal audio, even if it might not want everyone to remember some of its own missteps. From 1968’s DR-4A, the company’s first noise-isolating stereo headphones, to the Xperia Ear, which will arrive in stores this November. Back in the day, a 5.5mm audio lead with a nice woven coating was what connected your headphones to the sound source of your choice. These days, of course, it’s all about Bluetooth, but the Ear lets you send commands to your phone as well as receive sounds back. Even if you wouldn’t necessarily call it a headphone, per-se.

A side effect of the design of these small earpieces, of course, is that wearing them are significantly less conspicuous. In an era where people wear enormous Beats-branded cans as a matter of course, in-ear earpieces are, by comparison, invisible. While the first-generation Xperia Ear stands out, other devices of its kind — like Bragi’s Dash — aren’t meant to be visible. Although, we’re getting to the point where it’s not necessarily right to call these gadgets wearables, since they’re not really worn so much as inserted. Then again, nobody wants to walk into an electronics store and ask for the insertables section.

Withings

withings-then.jpgWithings-now.jpg

Withings has built its ecosystem of health products piece by piece, but its first device with heart rate monitoring wasn’t one for the record books. The Withings Pulse was a square rubber brick that was intended to be worn on a belt clip like a pedometer. After your workout, you could pull out the device, press it against your finger and be told how well your heart was doing at that particular moment. But aside from its blocky design, it had some great features, including automatic activity detection and a long-life battery. Unfortunately, the act of removing it from the clip wore the rubber out pretty quickly, and it was easy to forget when you changed pants.

Now, the company has seen the error of its ways and baked in the optical heart rate monitor into its Swiss-inspired watch. The Steel HR masks its more technological components between an analog dial and sub-dial — the latter of which tells you how much activity you’ve undertaken that day. The only gadgety component of the watch is the digital sub-dial which offers your heart rate, as well as smartphone notifications for calls, emails and texts. By burying the nuts and bolts behind a well-designed and subtle timepiece, Withings is pushing us towards a world where we’re not even aware of the tech we’re wearing.

E-Ink Watches

e-ink-watch-then.jpge-ink-watch-now.jpg
Sony’s first E Ink watch, FES, arrived in 2014, and cleverly added the technology to both the face and wristband. That’s led to some interesting options for customization and promised to radically alter the way watches were worn. But it was by no means the first E Ink timepiece on the market, and an early proponent was Phosphor, which launched the Ana-Digi timepiece back in 2012. The display itself was static, and users could use a side-mounted pusher to toggle between time and date views on the face.

But adding E Ink to a watch clearly hasn’t provided the necessary surge in sales that Sony was hoping for. For the second-generation of its groundbreaking timepiece, it’s added more traditionally-watch like design cues. That includes a prominent bezel and sapphire glass across the crystal, making it slightly less exciting. Then again, it perhaps shows that the tried-and-tested formula for watches hasn’t changed much in the last century, and these companies have learned that if you can’t beat ’em, you might as well join ’em.

We’re live all week from Berlin, Germany, for IFA 2016. Click here to catch up on all the news from the show.

5
Sep

Bragi’s new wireless headphones are cheaper, but not as smart


It took nearly two years and a Kickstarter campaign for Bragi to deliver its completely wireless smart earbuds that handle music, activity tracking and phone calls. Now the company is back with its second product: The Headphone. At first glance, Bragi’s Headphone looks a lot like its elder sibling, but upon close inspection it’s quite a bit different. The main way to tell the two apart visually is the physical buttons and lack of multi-colored lights on the outside of this new model. Dash features touch controls for volume, skipping tracks, taking calls and more while Headphone has three buttons you’ll need to press to complete those tasks.

The Headphone also doesn’t have the activity tracking sensors that the Dash employs. Yes, this means you won’t be able to turn your head to answer calls or log a workout like you can with Dash. Without the extra tech on board, this new model touts nearly double the battery life at six hours. Balanced armature speakers provide the sound from your phone via Bluetooth and Bragi’s Audio Transparency feature is a click away. The tool allows for outside noise to come in so you can hear a car horn while on a run or what your coworker is saying in the next cubicle. Bragi’s feature-packed Dash is priced at $300, but the new Headphone will only set you back $150 when it ships in November.

Speaking of the Dash, the company also announced an update for the software that runs those wireless headphones. Bragi OS 2.1 improves Bluetooth performance, an issue we noted during our review, and adds language support for Chinese, French, German and Spanish. All of those fitness stats can now be shared with Google Fit and Apple HealthKit along with syncing on the Apple Watch. Bragi also added a Touch Lock that ensures you don’t use gestures when you don’t mean to, a shuffle feature for the internal music player and on-demand heart rate tracking that can be turned off should the need arise. The best part? It’s available right now.

While Bragi got a jump on the completely wireless in-ear headphone game, other companies have followed in its wake. Samsung’s Gear IconX does a lot of what the Dash offers for $100 less, including fitness tracking and internal storage. Just this week, Jabra revealed its version of wireless earbuds that track your hear rate and exercise like the other two options for $250, but the Elite Sport won’t house a a portion of your music library for phone-free access.

5
Sep

Amazon, Apple and Google back Microsoft fight over US gag orders


Microsoft isn’t going it alone in its lawsuit fighting gag orders for data requests. Amazon, Apple, Google and Mozilla have contributed to a friend-of-the-court brief supporting Microsoft’s case against the US government over the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, which lets officials bar companies from telling customers when officials want their info. In theory, the brief could sway the court’s decision and have it deem the ECPA a violation of the constitutional right to be informed about searches and seizures.

It’s not just tech industry giants contributing, either. Supporters range from oil giant BP through to the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Fox News. Even five former Department of Justice and FBI officials are supporting Microsoft.

There’s no guarantee this will work. The Justice Department insists that Microsoft has no grounds for its lawsuit, that there are steps to protect rights and that there’s a “compelling” interest in keeping criminal investigations secretive. However, as with tech companies supporting Apple in its battle against the FBI, the brief is a reminder that any ruling will have an effect on the rights of many people, not just Microsoft’s users.

Via: Ars Technica

Source: Reuters, Mozilla Blog

5
Sep

Apple Decorates Bill Graham Civic Auditorium Ahead of Wednesday’s Event


Over the weekend, Apple began decorating the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, which is where its “See You on the 7th” keynote will be held on Wednesday. Crews have put up window decorations and flags with Apple logos, plus other black-with-colored-dots themed banners and signage.

At the event, Apple is expected to announce the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, second-generation Apple Watch, and refreshed Beats products. Apple should also provide final release dates for iOS 10, macOS Sierra, tvOS 10, and watchOS 3, and it may have other product and service updates to announce.

Apple will provide a live stream of the September 7 keynote on the Apple TV and on iOS and Mac devices through its website. MacRumors will also provide live coverage of the event for those unable to watch, both on MacRumors.com and through our @MacRumorsLive account on Twitter.

Read: What to Expect From Apple’s September 7 Event

(Thanks, Edward!)

Tags: Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, September 2016 event
Discuss this article in our forums

MacRumors-All?d=6W8y8wAjSf4 MacRumors-All?d=qj6IDK7rITs

5
Sep

OLED TV: How to choose the best model for you – CNET


Deciding between expensive new TVs is a good problem to have. And we’re here to help you solve it, you lucky dog.

TVs based on OLED technology offer the best picture quality CNET has ever tested, outdoing the best new LCD-based TVs we’ve seen (SUHD or otherwise) by a comfortable margin. They’re also better than any of the great plasma-based TVs of yore, including the beloved Panasonic ZT60 and Pioneer Kuro.

In short, you want an OLED TV. To be more precise, you want an LG OLED TV. That’s because no other TV maker sells OLED televisions, at least, so far in the U.S.

Close



LG B6 and E6 OLED TVs give the best picture we’ve ever tested
Drag

First, three questions

Assuming you’re in the market for a new TV, ask yourself a handful of questions before you whip out your wallet.

  • Am I happy with a TV being either 55 or 65 inches? (Yes, 77-inch OLEDs exist — you can get 2015 or 2016 models — but if you can afford the $25,000 asking price, we’re thinking you’re consulting your personal shopper and/or home installer, which no doubt have on retainer.)
  • Do I think $1,500 for a 55-incher, or $4,000 for a 65-incher (gulp), is worth it for supreme image quality?
  • Will I be able to live with myself if, next year, the cost is $500 or $1000 or less for a somewhat improved model?

If the answer to any of those questions is “No,” take a deep breath, count to ten and slowly move your hand away from your wallet. #waittillnextyear

If you said “Yes,” or shouted “Hell Yes!” to all of those questions, whip it out and read on.

Option 1: If you can’t spend more than $1,500

lg-55eg9100-08.jpg Sarah Tew/CNET

Model:55EG9100

Size/price: 55 inches for less than $1,400 (converts to roughly AU$1,850, £1,050). The TV was recently as low as $1,149 on Amazon, $1,100 on eBay.

What you need to know: This is the lowest-priced OLED TV you can buy. It’s only available curved, not flat, and it only comes in this one size. It only has a 1,920×1,080-pixel resolution and doesn’t work with the latest HDR video content, but it still delivers better picture quality than any 55-inch 4K resolution LED LCD we’ve tested, HDR or no, regardless of price.

Best for: People who want a 55-inch TV, prize picture quality above all else, and can’t afford Option 2.

Option 2: Best OLED TV (unless you’re super-rich)

lg-oledb6p-02.jpglg-oledb6p-02.jpg Sarah Tew/CNET

Models: OLED55B6P (shown), OLED65B6P

Size/price:55 inches for $2,500 (converts to AU$3,300, £1,900), 65 inches for $4,000 (AU$5,300, £3,000).

What you need to know: If you can afford it — and you have no interest in 3D TV — there’s very little reason to get a more-expensive OLED than this one. The B6 has a flat screen, 4K resolution, HDR compatibility (both kinds!) and a better picture than any previous model.

Best for:People who want a 55- or 65-inch TV, prize picture quality above all else, and don’t like curved screens or wasting money.

Other options (and why they’re worse choices for most people)

lg-olede6p-02.jpglg-olede6p-02.jpg Sarah Tew/CNET

OLEDE6P series: Currently $1000 more then the B6, the E6 (pictured above) adds 3D capability, a sleeker picture-on-glass design, better sound courtesy of a speaker bar along the bottom and a redesigned remote. Its picture quality is basically the same, however, so for most people it’s not worth the extra dough.

OLEDC6P series: The same price as the B6, the only difference is that the C6 has a curved screen and 3D capability. The curve is mostly aesthetic, but most people who prize video quality (including me) prefer flat screens. (LG says flat models outsell curved ones three to one.) If you don’t mind the curve and want 3D, however, it’s a tempting alternative. I don’t intend to review it, but I expect image quality to be basically the same as the B6.

OLEDG6P series:At 65-inches, this TV costs twice as much as the B6, yet LG says it has the same picture quality. But maybe you don’t mind paying twice as much for marginally sweeter styling? If that’s the case, perhaps you’re interested in the 77-inch version.If you can find one, expect to pay somewhere north of twenty grand.

OLDer OLEDs: Last year I told you to buy the EG9600 (curved) and then the EF9500 (flat) OLED TVs. In 2014 it was the 55EC9300. Many of you did. Congrats, your TVs are still awesome. But the new versions are better. If you’re considering buying one of these longer-in-the-tooth OLED TVs, be sure to understand what you’re missing. The 2016 versions have better picture quality and other extras, like Dolby Vision HDR, that make them superior now.

When you’re spending this much on a new TV, I think it’s worth it to step up to the new B6 to get those improvements, unless the discount is truly astronomical. Personally I wouldn’t want to get an open-box, used or otherwise non-100-percent-new model, but again, the discount might be tempting.

And if that’s your conundrum, it’s a good problem to have.

5
Sep

Android Central 304: IFA 2016 crossover special!


A very special crossover episode with the Windows Central team live from IFA 2016 in Berlin.

Dive into all the news from the week, including big announcements from Samsung, Huawei, Sony, Motorola, Lenovo, Acer, Asus and more! This one is a doozy, folks, so dig in, grab a beverage (or two) and enjoy.

A quick warning: There is some swearing in this live episode. Sorry again, Jeff!

Thanks to this week’s sponsor:

  • Harrys: Use promo code AC to save $5 off your first purchase — start shaving smarter.

Podcast MP3 URL: http://traffic.libsyn.com/androidcentral/ac304-128.mp3

5
Sep

Save 30% or more on these awesome Anker accessories today!


Anker is running a one-day sale at Amazon and is offering at least 30% off its great accessories. Whether you need some new cables, an external battery or even a computer mouse, you won’t want to miss out on this sale! Anker makes some great accessories for all types of smartphones and other electronics, so if you are looking to save some money and grab some fantastic accessories, today is your chance.

anker-powercore.jpg?itok=SH7c7Hxu

Some of the deals include:

  • Anker 10400mAh power bank – $17
  • Anker 10 port USB desktop charger – $30
  • Anker Powerline+ USB-C cable – $10.50
  • Anker Dual USB car charger – $15
  • Anker Wireless Mouse – $12.50

There are a bunch of other accessories available in this one-day sale as well. Remember, it is only good for today, September 5, so don’t wait too long to place your order.

See at Amazon

5
Sep

Best leather cases for Note 7


best-wallet-cases-note-7-hero-01.jpg?ito

What’s the best leather case for Galaxy Note 7? We’ve got a few favorites that are sure to dazzle!

The Galaxy Note 7 is sophisticated, so its case should be nothing less. Leather whispers sophistication in a dulcet tone that compliments your Note 7 elegantly. Here are the best leather cases you can find for the Galaxy Note 7.

  • Spigen Wallet S
  • Tauri wallet flip cover
  • IstanbulLeatherShop
  • Ringke Flex S
  • Caseology Envoy
  • Benittorre leather phone cover
  • Samsung leather cover

Spigen Wallet S

note-7-spigen-wallet-s-01.jpg?itok=EA9Rz

Spigen makes some the best phone cases around and its Wallet S faux-leather case is perfect for anyone who wants a leather case for their Note 7, and especially perfect for the animal lover in all of us.

The shiny black finish is sophisticated and rather business-like but has this sexy quality that lets you know it’s all pleasure.

In typical wallet case fashion, there’re three slots for cards and a cash pocket inside, and the reversible magnetic latch is handy for keeping your case both closed and open. The cover folds back into a stand for hands-free usage, and the PU leather is flexible and easy to work with.

It may seem odd to start a leather case roundup with one that’s made of pleather, but it feels the same (if not better) and happens to be the best of the best.

See at Amazon

Tauri wallet flip cover

note-7-tauri-leather-wallet-01.jpg?itok=

Tauri’s wallet case for the Note 7 is the classic wallet case you’d expect: it has room for three cards, a bit of cash, and the front cover closes to enrobe your phone in luscious, genuine leather, secured by a magnetic clasp.

Its best feature, of course, is its ability to fold back into a stand so that you can watch YouTube and Netflix and play games hands-free. The leather is soft to the touch and feels great in your hand – it’s not slippery.

Your Note 7 sits in a silicone shell inside, with a cutout at the back so you can take photos and video, and the charging port is left open so that you never have to take the case off.

See at Amazon

IstanbulLeatherShop

note-7-istanbuleathershop-01.jpg?itok=y0

Etsy is an awesome place to find quality leather cases for just about any phone and the IstanbulLeatherShop always delivers. This handmade, genuine leather wallet case is gorgeous and understated, with a wan finish that gives it a modern look.

It has an inner shell that grips your Note 7, while keeping ports and buttons open, and the front cover secures tightly with a magnetic closure. Or, you can opt for “Book Style” and go without the closure.

The cover folds back into a handy stand for hands-free viewing, and the suede microfiber lining won’t scratch up your screen.

Handmade means that every wallet case is unique, so if you want a case just for you, Etsy and the IstanbulLeatherShop is just the place.

See at Etsy

Ringke Flex S

note-7-ringke-flex-s-01.jpg?itok=iLW2--7

If you want a leather case but still worry about leather’s durability, then why not go for a case that blends leather in with the protective qualities you already look for?

The Flex S series by Ringke is a really cool blend of flexible TPU and a faux-leather on the back that stylish, sophisticated, and very effective in the event of a drop or bump.

The softer TPU bumper is perfect for shock absorption and protecting your Note 7 from scratches and the pleather back gives it a cool, almost rugged look, like if Indiana Jones had a modern phone case, it’d be this one.

Ringke makes great-fitting cases all around, and starting at $13, you really can’t go wrong.

You have your choice of Deep Blue, Sleek Gray, or Vintage Brown.

See at Amazon

Caseology Envoy

note-7-caseology-envoy-01.jpg?itok=kzri8

I’ve only recently come to realize that Caseology makes some of the coolest cases around. Every time I research a roundup like this, its products just get better and better, and the Envoy is no different.

The Envoy is a dual-layer affair, with a flexible TPU shell that has a pleather back and a polycarbonate frame that sits around the whole thing to secure it all in place.

That’s awesome on three fronts: 1. Your Note 7 is protected from drops and scratches, thanks to the rubbery TPU. 2. That protection is enhanced by the hard polycarbonate frame that helps disperse impact around the TPU. 3. The faux-leather back looks really cool and if you pick the right color, it’ll have “you” written all over it!

You have your choice of beige, Cherry Oak, green, and navy blue leather, all with gold polycarbonate frames.

See at Amazon

Benittorre leather phone cover

note-7-benittorre-leather-cover-01.jpg?i

Benittorre’s option isn’t so much a case as it is a pouch, but it’s a freakin’ sweet pouch, made of genuine leather. Some folks might be worried about a pouch and easy access to their Note 7, but this one features a pull ribbon that makes extraction a breeze.

The hand-stitching is expertly done and every cover is unique, meaning you’ll have a one-of-a-kind case to show off that’ll have everyone asking about it.

One of the most consumer-friendly options Benittorre offers is the choice to have its logo on your cover or not. If that doesn’t say confidence in branding, then I don’t know what does. They know you’ll tell your friends about it.

There’s also a slot on the front of the pouch where you can comfortably store a couple cards or your ID.

If you don’t like this version, Benittorre has a few to choose from, including a camel-colored option and one without the front pocket.

See at Etsy

Samsung leather cover

note-7-samsung-leather-cover-01.jpg?itok

What would a roundup be without the phone manufacturer’s version of the case in question? Samsung’s leather cover is a gorgeous black case that fits onto the back of your Note 7, leaving the buttons, ports, and S Pen all open to easy access,

The matte-finished, black leather is understated elegance in its truest form and it’ll had a bit of mystery and intrigue to the already enticing Note 7.

It doesn’t seem to be available yet (except for a rather suspect Amazon listing), so keep your eyes peeled!

See at Samsung

Leather, anyone?

Are you using a sexy leather case with your Note 7 that you think deserves a mention? Sound off in the comments below!

Samsung Galaxy Note 7

  • Galaxy Note 7 recall: Everything you need to know
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 7 review
  • The latest Galaxy Note 7 news!
  • Here are all four Note 7 colors
  • Complete Galaxy Note 7 specs
  • Join the Note 7 discussion in the forums!

Verizon
AT&T
T-Mobile
Sprint

5
Sep

PlayStation 4 Neo vs PS4 Slim vs PS4: What’s the rumoured difference?


Sony is hosting a special PlayStation event on Wednesday 7 September where it is expected to announce not one but two new versions of its PlayStation 4 console. The first will be a slimmer, thinner machine with a few improvements over the current model, the second a much more powerful games machine to take the brand forward.

These are dubbed the PS4 Slim and PS4 Neo (AKA PS4.5 or PS4K) and are likely to come out in 2016 and 2017 respectively.

We suspect they will both completely replace the existing machine, of which Sony has sold more than 40 million units to date, but if you already have one it is unlikely you’ll be forced to upgrade any time soon.

There are some that might consider doing so, however, so here are the differences between all three models based on the rumours, leaks and speculation we have so far. It might help you decide whether to save up for a replacement.

  • Sony PlayStation 4 Neo: What is PS4.5/PS4K, when is it coming and what will it offer?
  • What to expect from Sony’s PlayStation New York event: PS4 Neo, PS4 Slim and more
  • PlayStation 4 Slim: Release date, rumours and everything you need to know
  • What time is the PlayStation 4 Neo and PS4 Slim launch and can I watch it online?
  • PS4 Neo (PS4K) vs Project Scorpio: What’s the rumoured difference?
  • Xbox One S vs PlayStation Neo (PS4K): What’s the rumoured difference?

PS4 Neo vs PS4 Slim vs PS4: 4K HDR gaming

Although there is considerable debate on how effective the PS4 Neo will be at playing games in a 4K resolution, with leaked specifications taken into account, Sony boss Andrew House has gone on record to say the machine will support the format. At the very least its higher spec’ed graphics processing and CPU will be capable of running games at smoother frame rates and in Full HD – maybe even 120fps as some have hinted.

We’ll keep an open mind on this one, as 4K gaming is something Xbox is discussing for its Project Scorpio machine out next year. It would be madness if the PS4 Neo couldn’t match those ambitions.

Neither the PS4 Slim nor the original PS4 can play 4K games. It is even highly unlikely that the former will be upscale existing titles to 4K, considering every indication to date points to it having the same inner gubbins as the current model.

PS4 Neo vs PS4 Slim vs PS4: 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray

Some were surprised when the original PlayStation 4 was released without HDMI 2.0 connectivity or HDCP 2.2 copy protection. Those are mandatory for 4K Blu-ray playback and thus the PS4 will never be upgraded to work with Ultra HD discs. There’s also the matter of the disc drive, which is of Blu-ray, but not UHD BD standard.

From what we’ve heard of the PS4 Slim so far, the same will be true of the slimmer machine. Even though consoles have reportedly made it into some customers hands, allegedly through a retailer in the United Arab Emirates, there hasn’t been a single report of them doubling as 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray players.

The PS4 Neo, on the other hand, will be capable of playing 4K Blu-rays. That’s almost guaranteed. What’s more, it will support HDR picture tech for a wider colour gamut and better contrast on compatible TVs.

PS4 Neo vs PS4 Slim vs PS4: 4K video

There is a direct parallel between each of the machines Blu-ray compatibility and 4K video, from services such as Netflix and Amazon. Neither the PS4 nor PS4 Slim are expected to carry the 4K versions of streaming services and, in the case of the latter, likely to have the necessary connectivity for video or copy protection.

However, the PS4 Neo will almost certainly be able to play back 4K content from a growing number of online services.

PS4 Neo vs PS4 Slim vs PS4: Performance

A while back a leaked document appeared online, detailing some of the headline specs of Sony’s premium PS4 Neo. It might be fully representative – we’ll only find out that on 7 September – but it’s something to go on now.

It stated that the Neo will have 4.14 teraflops of GPU power and GDDR5 memory rynning at 218GB/s. It will also reportedly run on a 2.1GHz octa-core processor.

That clearly beats the AMD Jaguar CPU on the PS4 and 1.84 teraflops of graphucs processor found on the PS4 and, it is said, the PS4 Slim.

Performance wise, that means it is considerably faster and capable of much more intensive work.

@shortmaneighty2

PS4 Neo vs PS4 Slim vs PS4: Design

We currently have no idea what the PS4 Neo will look like, and might not even find out on 7 September either, if the original PS4 unveiling was anything to go by (which only featured the DualShock gamepad design, rather than the console).

However, thanks to plenty of PS4 Slim leaks, each featuring the same build and design we can safely say that it will be smaller and thinner than its predecessor. The new DualShock is also slightly redesigned, with a clear LED lit strip now running along the top of the touchpad.

If we’re being honest, we actually prefer the current PS4 design to the Slim version we’ve seen in leaked photos. Although it would be great if the new one is quieter. Our current console sounds like an industrial leaf blower at times.

PS4 Neo vs PS4 Slim vs PS4: Backwards compatibility

While backwards compatibility on the PS4 is restricted to PlayStation Now – which features cloud-playable versions of PS3 games – and downloadable, converted releases, the PlayStation 4 family will benefit from all PS4 games being playable on across the consoles.

Andrew House confirmed that releases with better graphics, HDR and other bells and whistles for PS4 Neo will also run, in a lower resolution or graphical detail, on the other PS4 machines around the globe. There will be no games that are exclusive to the premium machine, he promised.

Pocket-lint

PS4 Neo vs PS4 Slim vs PS4: PlayStation VR

As far as we know, PlayStation VR headsets – which come out on 13 October – will be compatible with all PS4 consoles, regardless of their spec. We wonder though if the PS4 Neo will be able to run titles at 120 frames per second to match the headset’s top capabilities.

At present, existing PS4 consoles run them at 60fps and the PS VR media box upscales (frame doubles) the video.

PS4 Neo vs PS4 Slim vs PS4: Price

There have been quite a lot of suggestions floating around about price. At present, you can get a 500GB PS4 for around £280 including a game. The 1TB version costs anywhere from £320 with a game.

Strangely, the one UK PS4 Slim leak suggested it will cost £380. Unless it comes with a 2TB hard drive, that doesn’t make sense to us. Surely it should be cheaper than the existing model rather than more expensive, especially if size and an LED strip on the controller are the only major changes?

That price also doesn’t sit well with pricing suggestions for the PS4 Neo. Several sources claim it’ll be around $399 (£349) at launch. Again, that can’t be dramatically cheaper than the PS4 Slim.

We wouldn’t actually be surprised if Neo ended up around the $499 mark at launch.

PS4 Neo vs PS4 Slim vs PS4: Release date

The standard, current PS4 has been around for three years and is readily stocked everywhere. It is tipped that the PS4 Slim replacement model will hit shops from 14 September – a week after the launch event – and considering alleged devices have made it onto the marketplace already, that makes sense.

The PS4 Neo, however, is unlikely to come out in 2016. Instead, we expect it to majorly rival Xbox’s Project Scorpio for Christmas 2017. 

PS4 Neo vs PS4 Slim vs PS4: Conclusion

A conclusion about which of the consoles to buy is actually quite easy, even at this stage where final details are not known. If you are looking for a games console right now, and PlayStation shades it for you over Xbox, it’s worth holding on for another week or two for the PS4 Slim.

That said, if there are few hardware improvements, only aesthetic ones and an extra light bar on the controller, you might want to check out the pricing of existing PlayStation 4 variants. There’s plenty of stock still out there and they are bound to be reduced in price when the Slim arrives.

Those who are happy to wait should do so, however. The PS4 Neo will undoubtedly be the king of the family and therefore the machine to aspire to.

%d bloggers like this: