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What to expect from Sony’s PlayStation New York event: PS4 Neo, PS4 Slim, and more

Sony is getting ready to replace the PS4. Sort of.

No, it isn’t launching the PlayStation 5 already, but it is supposedly going to introduce not one but two upgrades. The first one is called the PS4 Neo, and the second one is called PS4 Slim. Both of these consoles, as well as a new controller, are expected to be unveiled at a Sony PlayStation event in New York City. At the time of writing, Sony hasn’t yet confirmed the existence of the Slim console, however.

Still, if you’re interested in what it is or what it might feature, or maybe you want to know more about that PS4 Neo, which is supposed to bring 4K capabilities, we’ve given a quick overview of what Sony might unveil at its event.

When is Sony’s PS event?

Journalists received invites to a “PlayStation Meeting” scheduled for 7 September at 3pm EST at the PlayStation Theater in New York.

What can you expect from Sony’s PS event?


PS4 NEO (PS4K/PS4.5)

The PS4 Neo – also called the PS4K or PS4.5 – is set to be officially unveiled during an event in New York on 7 September. The new console will be able to upscale current PS4 titles to 4K and support games with improved visual fidelity, which benefits the company’s upcoming Playstation VR headset. In other words, it’s basically a souped-up PlayStation 4, bringing upgraded hardware specs and better graphical performance.

Sony’s console is also expected to feature an Ultra HD Blu-ray player. PS4 games will work on the console, too, and they’ll receive a boost in performance. Moreover, no game will be exclusive to the new console. Games will have an enhanced mode that will improve the graphics on the upgraded version, but they’ll still work on normal PS4 consoles. The PS4 Neo is intended to sit alongside and compliment the standard PS4.

Sony has already confirmed the console’s existence. We’re just waiting on the company to launch it. At the moment there are no details on a price for the console, but chances are, this will be a pricey upgrade. We already know a lot about PS4 Neo, thanks to a series of leaks as well as a direct confirmation from Sony’s Andrew House, but check out Pocket-lint’s rumour round-up for more details about the console:

  • Sony PlayStation 4K: What is PS4.5/Neo?


PS4 Slim

The Wall Street Journal has reported that we can expect two consoles to launch at Sony’s New York event: the rumoured PS4 Neo and a new “standard” slim model. All attention has been on a future high-powered console, and so no one expected a Slim model to be announced too. Sony has a history of revamping consoles, usually with a launch of the Slim with a lower price to attract those yet to jump on the PS platform.

While the PS4 Neo is expected to offer 4K output and more beefed-up internals, the PS4 Slim is expected to be a slimmer version of the existing PS4. It’s a console upgrade that’s becoming pretty standard in the industry. (Think of the PS3 Slim, and even the recently released Xbox One S, which has a smaller body and slightly improved features such as a built-in 4K UHD Blu-Ray player.)

Keep in mind a PS4 Slim appeared on auction site Gumtree recently, revealing a Marmite design. From that leak, we can see that the PS4 Slim is significantly slimmer than its predecessor and has most of the same connectors as the standard PS4. It has a power port, accessory port, HDMI out and Ethernet port. There’s no more details yet on other features the console might bring. We don’t even know pricing.

Some reports have suggested that the new PS4 Slim has the same capabilities as the existing PS4, rather than offering any sort of upgrade, but other reports, such as a recent analysis performed by the folks at Digital Foundry, has shown souped up internals for improved game framerates.

ZRZ (YouTube) via Engadget

PS4 Slim controller

The PS4 Slim might get a new controller, according to a recent leak. It looks as though the new controller isn’t going to vary too much from the DualShock controller of the PS4, but there’s a change to the light bar, now showing through on the top of the controller. Originally there was a video of this new controller shared by ZRZ on YouTube. A picture of the controller is floating around still, however, thanks to Engadget.

To verify the new design, a gamer who was able to buy that original PS4 Slim from Gumtree, has confirmed that this visible bar on the top just looks like a transparent section, allowing the light that shows at the front to be seen on the top too. Speculation suggested that this might be for linking-up with PS VR when it launches. With the number of leaks appearing, this is all looking likely.


‘Pokémon Go’ update explains which monsters are the best

Despite its incredible initial popularity, Pokémon Go has faced a number of issues since launch beyond just keeping its servers working. A Bloomberg report cites analyst numbers claiming the game’s active users have shrunk by more than 10 million from their mid-July peak, which makes keeping the remaining players happy even more important. An update that just arrived on Android and iOS is trying to address that, pulling in the recently-added Team Leader characters to give players advice on their Pokémon.

The only problem is that, as you can see in the screenshots, the advice is pretty vague and may not give casual players any useful info. Basically, by pressing the appraisal button while looking at a captured Pokémon, players can get feedback that indicates how that particular Pokémon’s stats compare to others of its species. That’s the kind of feedback you’ll need before deciding which ones to evolve, battle or trade to the professor — but only if you can understand what’s going on. The Pokémon Go Database fan site has a list of all the possible responses and what they mean in terms of numbers, acting as an explainer to the explanation feature.

As-is, it’s a small step towards helping players understand what’s going on without needing to search out help online, while the changelog indicates that Niantic is also working on “rebalancing” the training battle. So many areas of the game could use work to provide better rewards for time invested it’s hard to pick out just one, but that’s apparently what’s coming next. You can grab the new update on iTunes or Google Play right now — let us know if a few one-liners from Spark, Blanche and Candela are enough to keep you playing.

Source: Pokémon Go, iTunes, Google Play


Revisit 2005 by playing ‘Call of Duty 2’ on your Xbox One

Back before Call of Duty went full-on Michael Bay, the series focused on historical conflicts ignored by the then unstoppable Medal of Honor series. Xbox 360 launch title Call of Duty 2 was the last game in the series from original developer Infinity Ward to do such. And now, you have the chance to play through the Battle of Pointe du Hoc once again. How’s that? The objective-based WWII shooter is now backward compatible on Xbox One. If nothing else, it’s an interesting glimpse both at how much the franchise has changed and how FPS themselves have evolved over the past 11 years. Because, even in 2005, CoD 2 was considered a bit old-school in terms of design.

The best part is that it’s free — assuming you still have the original disc, of course. Everyone else can cough up $20 for it via the Xbox Game Store. Now’s a good of time as any to try finishing your run through the campaign on “veteran” difficulty, no? I can’t think of a better way to prep for Modern Warfare Remastered, myself.

Via: Eurogamer

Source: Xbox Game Store


Look at the Xbox 360’s cancelled ‘Goldeneye 007’ HD remaster

It’s one of those bits of gaming trivia that punches a specific generation of players square in the gut: There was once an Xbox Live port of Goldeneye 007 in the works, but it was cancelled. It’s true — Activation was porting the Nintendo 64 classic to the Xbox 360 back in 2008, but the project was canned when Microsoft and Nintendo couldn’t reach a licensing agreement. The good news? Today we finally get a look at what the game would have been — known leaker Rare Thief has posted 30 minutes of gameplay footage.

For fans of the original game, the video is a bittersweet revelation. Here, we see everything fans wanted from the XBLA remake: the complete, classic single player campaign, new high resolution textures, a much improved framerate of 60 fps and the complete multiplayer experienced tailored to online play over Xbox Live. Better still are the new features players missed out on, including new multiplayer levels, an option that equals all character heights (Take that, Oddjob) and an option to instantly switch between classic and HD graphic modes.

It’s nice to see what almost was, if a bit sad to know we’ll never be able to play it. That’s something we’ll all have to come to terms with — but hey, at least we still have Goldeneye: Source.

Source: Rare Thief, YouTube


Have a virtual visit to the Bauhaus with Harvard’s collection

Bauhaus, for the uninitiated, was a German art school that unfortunately closed its doors back in 1933. It was home to thousands of paintings, sculptures, photos and other various artifacts created by artists studying everything from architecture to graphic design.

While the school itself is no longer in operation, you can still peruse artwork you would have found there with Harvard’s massive collection of over 32,000 pieces of art available online for you to browse through at your convenience.

The artwork collection is a worthy tribute to the art school, which will be celebrating its 100th anniversary coming in 2019. Harvard Art Museum’s comprehensive look at the school features drawings and photographs as well as an essay about the school’s impact on the design world. You can also access a map of where you can see physical versions of some of the Bauhaus works in real life in Boston from the very same platform.

Check out the collection and get your daily quota of culture in for the day.

Via: Wired


Pokémon Go Gains New ‘Appraisal’ Feature for Highlighting Attack and Defense Capabilities

Popular augmented reality game Pokémon Go was today updated to version 1.5.0, adding new features to make gym battling more straightforward. New to the game is a “Pokémon Appraisal” feature, which will see in-game Team Leaders offering tips on each Pokémon’s attack and defense abilities to help trainers determine which Pokémon to use in gym battles.

While longtime Pokémon players are often already aware of which Pokémon are ideal to use against other Pokémon in a battle, the appraisal tool offers valuable information on abilities and weaknesses for those who are newer to the Pokémon universe.

According a blog post on the update, it also includes unspecified “minor bot fixes” and a promise that Niantic is working hard on “new and exciting features” that will be added to Pokémon Go in the future.

– Implemented Pokémon Appraisal: Trainers will now be able to learn about a Pokémon’s attack and defense capabilities from their Team Leader (Candela, Blanche, or Spark) to determine which of their Pokémon have the most potential for battle.
– Fixed a bug that kept defeated Pokémon at 1HP; these Pokémon will now return as fainted Pokémon. We’re working on rebalancing the training battle, stay tuned.fixes

Earlier today, a report suggested interest in Pokémon Go is steadily declining, so Niantic will need to implement new features to keep players interested. Daily active users, downloads, and the amount of time users are spending on Pokémon Go each day are said to be “well off their peaks and on a downward trend.”

Pokémon Go can be downloaded from the iOS App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Tag: Pokémon GO
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Fossil evidence of supernovae found on the sea floor

Astrophysicist Shawn Bishop of the Technical University in Munich looked for evidence of supernovae in an unlikely place: on the sea floor. Now, according to a paper in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Bishop confirmed that there is a fossil record of a supernova event buried in the sediment at the bottom of the ocean.

Specifically, Bishop was searching for the isotope iron–60, which is produced during a supernova and blasted out into space. Bishop’s hypothesis was that iron–60 particles from a supernova would oxidize as they passed through the Earth’s atmosphere, becoming rust that settled on the ocean floor where it was consumed by “magneto tactic” bacteria to create the magnetite chains they use to detect magnetic fields. By examining sediment core samples using accelerator mass spectrometry, Bishop found atoms of iron–60 preserved in the microfossil remains of these ancient bacteria. Once he compared the iron-60 concentrations in several different core samples, Bishop believes he found a terrestrial record of a supernova that occurred 2.2 million years ago in the Scorpio Centauri cluster — which actually corresponds nicely to iron-60 deposits found on the moon.

A second study led by Anton Wallner of The Australian National University published similar findings in the journal Nature earlier this year, identifying evidence of a particularly rough period when the Earth was being blasted by a series of nearby explosions. What’s more: the evidence also suggests that one of the supernova events found in the fossil record may have set off the ice ages of the Pleistocene era, some 2.5 million years ago.

Via: Gizmodo

Source: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Technical University of Munich


Visa-powered payment ring is now available to everyone

That Visa-based payment ring is no longer limited to athletes who made it to the Olympics in Rio. Anyone can now pre-order an NFC Ring that lets you tap to pay at many store terminals without pulling out your phone or twisting your wrist. Plunk down about $53 (£40) and you can get one in your size around its expected December ship date. As with the Apple Watch, you don’t need your phone around once you’ve set it up — it uses anonymizing tokens to make payments all by itself. It’s not flawless (we found that you have to hold it at an angle for best results), but it’s far subtler than many existing payment methods.

Source: NFC Ring, Infineon


PSN’s first Humble Bundle gives you Capcom games at a discount

Humble Bundle is best-known for its PC game offers, but it’s branching out in a big way. It’s partnering with Capcom and Sony to launch PSN’s first-ever Humble Bundle, the appropriately titled Humble Capcom PlayStation Bundle. Pay at least $1 and you’ll both get a handful of Capcom titles as well as donate some of your purchase toward the American Red Cross, and Save the Children. You can choose how much goes to charity versus the developer, so there’s an incentive to splurge in the name of a good cause.

As always, what you get depends on how much you’re willing to spend. Everyone who chips in will get Strider, Final Fight: Double Impact, Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo HD Remix, Wolf of the Battlefield: Commando 3 and a 45 percent discount for Street Fighter V. They’re nothing to write home about (Strider is the only PS4 title at this tier if you’re not buying SFV), but it’s still a good value. Naturally, things get more interesting the more you’re willing to pay. Pay above the average and you’ll snag the HD remasters of Okami and Resident Evil alongside four other games. Spend at least $15, meanwhile, and you’ll score Devil May Cry HD, Resident Evil 0 Remastered and a half-off coupon for Mega Man Legacy Collection.

If you like what you see, you’ll have until September 5th at 2PM Eastern to take advantage of the Humble Bundle. It’s not a killer deal, but it could be a good way to catch up on games that you missed the first time around. And look at it this way: if this offer proves to be a hit, you might just see other developers offering PSN bundles of their own.

Source: Humble Bundle, PlayStation Blog


Amazon is rebooting Scorsese’s ‘The Departed’ into a TV series

Streaming services continue to gobble up popular titles to adapt and reimagine for their content-craving audiences. But unlike Netflix’s recent decision to adapt the timeless children’s novel Anne of Green Gables, Amazon Studios has shown that it’s willing to go in a bit harder of a direction. After announcing last week they’d be making a series exploring Playboy creator Hugh Hefner’s life, Deadline reported today that the company will be re-imagining Martin Scorsese’s 2006 mobster drama The Departed as a TV series.

While Scorsese’s picture deals with undercover intrigue between the FBI and local Irish mob in Boston, itself adapted from the Hong Kong-based film Internal Affairs, the Amazon show will be set in Chicago, Illinois amid warring drug gangs. According to Deadline, its plot will revolve around a young cop going undercover inside a Latino gang, which plants their own man inside the police department.

The series will be written and executive produced by Jason Richman, creator of network police drama Detroit 1-8-7. While no cast or other creative roles have been announced, the production houses Vertigo Entertainment, Initial Entertainment Group and Plan B Entertainment, which all helped create Scorsese’s film, are returning to produce the show.

Source: Deadline


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