Xbox Series X Review: Microsoft’s Hybrid Console HTPC Rocks

It is once again time for a new console generation and Microsoft has two shiny new products ready for the holiday 2020 shopping season. Continuing its tradition of sometimes fuzzy model branding, we have the new Xbox Series X and Series S, which succeed the previous-gen Xbox One X, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and the console formerly known as Xbox. This time around, Microsoft is focused solely on the gaming and entertainment experiences – there is no Kinect accessory or multimedia hub with HDMI input. The Xbox One X is all about improving the core gaming experience and all that comes with it. The...

World Of Warcraft: Shadowlands Laptop Graphics Shootout With Variable Rate Shading

About two years ago, NVIDIA started talking about a shader rendering method that applied varying levels of quality to different objects in the game world. That method was called Variable Rate Shading, or VRS. When applied skillfully and artfully in different areas of a scene that are less prominent in the gamer's field of view, the resulting rendered image quality wouldn't look all that different than if the whole scene had been fully shaded, though the graphics workload savings would improve performance significantly. Fast forward a year or so, and benchmarks became available for measuring...

How To Move Animal Crossing Islands To A New Switch With The ACNH Transfer Tool

If you're playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons on the Nintendo Switch and sharing the system (and a single island) among family members, we're sure that this story will be a familiar one. There's a rivalry between siblings or across generations as parents and kids get out of bed early each morning and start shaking trees, hoarding all of the fruit for themselves. Or maybe there's a disagreement about how to decorate the island. Maybe, just maybe, there's competition for playing time for other games where the rest of the family just isn't into the island life. Rejoice, Animal Crossing fans, for...

This Copy Of Super Mario Bros 3 Just Broke A World Record As Most Expensive Game Ever Sold

There's something fun about looking at a physical video game collection. That's especially true with retro games for systems like the original Nintendo Entertainment System, when cartridges came in boxes and those boxes were wide enough that the spine can show off some fun concept art. For the collector, it's fun to hunt down and find a variant, where corrections have been made between print runs. Those variants can then become collectible if they're rare enough, especially if the package hasn't been opened.  That's exactly what happened with a copy of Super Mario Bros. 3 for the NES....

Destiny 2: Beyond Light Explores Good And Evil But Doesn't Descend Deep Enough With Natural Choice

Destiny 2: Beyond Light has finally arrived. The long-awaited expansion has been out a week and Guardians have been perfecting their use of the new subclass Stasis. The expansion’s storyline questions the nature of Light and Darkness, but it unfortunately does not fully hit the mark. Here is our review of the Destiny 2: Beyond Light plot and the journey we wish delved deeper. ** Warning: Major Spoilers Ahead ** Destiny 2: Beyond Light - Descending Into The Depths Of Europa The new expansion picks off right where Season of Arrivals ended. Guardians are sent to Jupiter’s moon Europa...

DJI Mini 2 Review: 4K Drone Excellence For Beginners

A few months back, we took DJI's Mavic Air 2 for a test flight and came away impressed with its performance, overall photo/video capabilities, and its ability to stay aloft for a half hour or more. Today, DJI is back again with another new drone, and this one will go a lot easier on your wallet than the Mavic Air 2. We're talking of course about the Mini 2; the "Mavic" portion of its name has been dropped with this generation. The Mini 2 retains the compact, lightweight form-factor of the Mavic Mini, weighing in at just 249 grams. This allows the Mini 2 to continue to skirt Federal Aviation...

Awesome News For Mass Effect Fans, Legendary Edition Announced!

Happy N7 day, Mass Effect fans! November 7 has been something of an unofficial holiday for BioWare fans over the years, as news of a new game in the enormous hit sci-fi role playing series has traditionally dropped on this date. Today, BioWare announced that it has heard its fans' cries and has been working on a remaster of the original trilogy. Mass Effect Legendary Edition will come in Spring 2021 and bring Mass Effect to a new generation. Let's take a look at the official trailer, which dropped today. What makes this release so legendary is that it's not just a remaster of the...

Craft Your Way To Financial Success With These Animal Crossing DIY Recipes

There is no shortage of ways to make some quick bank in Animal Crossing: New Horizons for the Nintendo Switch. In fact, there are so many different ways, it starts to beg the question, "What do we do with all these bells?" The game has an incredible library of collectible items, but some of the most rare items only come around at certain times of the year, or have very rare DIY recipes to find. Getting those items may otherwise be hopeless until sometime next year, if not for the game's online capabilities.  Wheeling And Dealing At Nookazon Enterprising gamers always find a way, though....

Watch Dogs: Legion Graphics, Game Play & Performance Explored

The war of the Watch Dogs series has always been fought in two parts -- physically with weapons and by proxy in the online space. In the original, which took place in Chicago, hacker Aiden Pearce, aided by the DedSec crew, hacks just about any device in his vicinity on his quest to make up for the loss of his niece, Lena, and take down a mysterious software called Central Operating System (ctOS) that ran the city and spied on its citizens. Then in Watch Dogs 2, players entered the shoes of Marcus Holloway, a DedSec activist whose goal it was to overcome ctOS version 2.0 in San Francisco while simultaneously...

How To Make Serious Bank On Turnips For 1,000 Bells Each In Animal Crossing

Playing the Stalk Market in Animal Crossing: New Horizons is never a sure thing. Some weeks, you buy as high as 120 bells a piece from Daisy, only to sell them to the Nook Boys on Saturday afternoon for a measly 60 bells a pop. Other weeks, players can make serious bank not just by selling at high prices, but by opening up their island to visitors. However, thanks to a partnership between Nintendo and Ally Bank, that money is guaranteed to rock your ACNH world.  Ally Bank and Nintendo put together a sponsored island with a set, guaranteed price of 1,000 bells per turnip. Obviously, since...

NVIDIA Reflex Tested: Low Latency, Precision Gaming At 360Hz

A few weeks back, we showed you NVIDIA’s Reviewer Toolkit, which gives publications like ours the ability to quantify GPU performance, power, and system latency in finer detail than we could before. One of the main components of the Reviewer Toolkit is a small device, dubbed LDAT, or the Latency Display Analysis Tool. LDAT connects to a system via USB and features an integrated photoelectric luminance sensor, along with a direct connection to the left mouse button on a modified Logitech G203 gaming mouse. When connected to a system and mounted to the proper location on a monitor, LDAT can...

Great Amazon Prime Day Deals Happening Now On Roku Streaming And Apple Devices

Amazon's Prime Day may not have officially started yet, but much like Black Friday sales, retailers have no reason to wait for the actual day to start grabbing eyeballs and convincing consumers to bust out the ol' credit card. The ubiquitous retailer's big shopping event spans Tuesday and Wednesday, October 13 and 14, but the deals have already commenced.  Remember that in order to take advantage of these deals, you need to be a member of Amazon's Prime program, which includes all sorts of perks including Amazon Prime Video, expedited shipping, and a bunch more. Today's pile of goodies...

Alienware m15 R3 Review: A Quieter, Powerful Gaming Laptop

Thin and light gaming laptops are no longer a novelty, as practically every PC maker offers their own take on the category. Some of them don't always stand-out from the crowd, however, and can push the envelope on thermals in ever-tighter chassis designs. That is most definitely not the case with Dell's Alienware m15 R3 though, unless you want to compare it to last year's Alienware m15 R2. At a passing glance, this year's refresh looks just like last year's model. That is not a bad thing, as the new m15 R3 is a head-turning laptop with some notable improvements to this newest iteration, including...

Nintendo Reportedly Argues That Switch Joy-Con Drift Isn't A Real Problem For Gamers

The Nintendo Switch phenomenon known as Joy Con drift "isn’t a real problem or hasn’t caused anyone any inconvenience." Reportedly, Nintendo is making this claim in its defense of the class-action lawsuit regarding Switch controllers registering input even when not being touched. These words will no doubt be of great comfort to my UPS driver, who delivered freshly-repaired Joy Cons to my house earlier this week. That box must have been empty. According to one redditor, the law firm behind the Joy Con drift class-action suit wants to fight back.  Chimicles Schwartz Kriner &...

Bowser And Team Xecuter Arrested For Pirating Nintendo, Xbox, And PlayStation Software

The name Team Xecuter might bring back nostalgic waves for console pirates from the early 2000s, but for Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo, the name likely brought shivers down executives' spines. In the early 2000s, the notorious pirate hackers created several iterations of modification chips for Microsoft's Xbox console. Those chips could override the system's built-in, locked-down BIOS to run pirated games. More recently, the group is known for the SX lineup dongles that could perform similar actions on various Nintendo Switch models. Now, their hacking days may be over.  The U.S. Department...

EK Fluid Gaming 270 Conquest Review: Immaculate PC Gaming

Back at PAX East 2020 in March, we were captivated by the systems we saw at the EK booth that all featured an incredibly clean looking hard line liquid cooling setup. We were surprised to learn, however, that these were not custom builds on display to showcase EK’s renowned water blocks and fittings. Instead, EK has jumped into the boutique pre-built computer space with a line-up they are calling EK Fluid Gaming. The Fluid Gaming systems are a bit of natural offering for EK. The bulk of the gaming PC market is incredibly competitive and price sensitive. Instead of wheeling and dealing...

Cyberpunk 2077 PC Requirements Are In And They’re Surprisingly Lenient

CD Projekt Red's Cyberpunk 2077 is one of the most hotly-anticipated games of recent years. The Witcher developer's take on the dystopian Cyberpunk tabletop RPG series promises to merge tons of action, series lore, and amazing graphics into a huge open-world adventure through Night City. From the screenshots we've seen over the last couple of years, it had appeared that the game might require a hefty PC. However, CDPR released the system requirements, and they're lighter than most people thought they'd be.  The game's official Twitter account tweeted minimum and recommended specs, and it seems...

Epic Asks Court To Force Monopolist Apple To Put Fortnite Back On App Store

"Epic" might be the best word to describe what's sure to be a prolonged, dramatic court battle between gaming heavyweight Epic Games and iOS App Store walled garden builder Apple. By now you're familiar with the somewhat sneaky direct payment method Epic hid from Apple inside the iOS version of Fortnite during the review process. Following Apple's subsequent removal of Fortnite from the app store and ultimately a termination of Epic's developer contract, the developer has struck back. Epic has asked the U.S. District Court of Northern to step in and force Apple to roll back what the Unreal creator...

DJI Mavic Air 2 Review: A Powerful Drone For Any Skill Level

DJI brought a lot to the table with its original Mavic Air that launched back in 2017. It was a step up from DJI's entry-level Spark, but not quite as feature-packed and robust as the Mavic Pro. In other words, Mavic Air struck a nice balance in between the aforementioned product bookends with respect to performance, features, and price. And unsurprisingly, it became one of DJI's most popular drones as a result. As you might expect, DJI needed to follow up on the original Mavic Air with a worthy successor, and we have that now with the aptly-named Mavic Air 2. The Mavic Air 2 bests...

ASUS TUF Gaming X3 Radeon RX 5700 Series Review: Great Coolers, Solid Value

By now, AMD's Radeon RX 5700 family of GPUs is a pretty well-known quantity. The Navi architecture that makes up the current crop of AMD-based graphics cards offers pretty good bang for the buck from the mainstream Radeon RX 5500 XT up to the biggest and baddest Radeon RX 5700 XT, thanks to aggressive pricing and the economics of TSMC's latest 7-nanometer manufacturing process. We were pretty impressed with Navi when it initially launched, and partner cards sweetened the deal with higher clocks and better acoustic performance.  Unfortunately, ASUS's earliest Radeon RX 5700 designs from the...

Here Are All The Fish, Bugs And Critters In Animal Crossing New Horizons For August

It's a new month, and that means there are new creatures to catch in Animal Crossing: New Horizons for the Nintendo Switch. As summer heats up, a handful of new bugs and fish will appear, ripe for catching and giving them to Blathers as donations to the museum or as gifts for that one villager who really seems to like bugs (for me it's Cube). Also don't forget to hop in the ocean for a quick dip, because there's something new at the bottom of the sea, too.  The critters listed in our table below include active hours, location, and hemisphere, so you know the best times and places to grab...

OnePlus Buds Review: Great Sound, Battery Life And Price

If there’s still any doubt that truly wireless earbuds are a thing, let us introduce you, dear reader, to the second wave -- exemplified by the OnePlus Buds. See, the first wave really took off when Apple introduced the original AirPods -- meh sound, OK battery life, high price. The focus was on convenience, reliability, and calls. Other major brands followed suit, like Samsung, Sony, Jabra, Amazon, Microsoft, and most recently Google -- some offering special features like long battery life, or active noise cancellation, or tight AI assistant integration. You either spent upwards to $200...

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