Microsoft May Formally Offer Sony A 10-Year Call Of Duty Guarantee To Greenlight Activision Deal

Microsoft kicked off 2022 by announcing its intention to acquire Activision Blizzard for $69 billion, and as we close in on the end of the year, Call of Duty has become the sticking point. Sony has objected to the deal, which could prevent it from offering future Call of Duty titles, but Microsoft is seeking to assuage the concerns of regulators. A new report claims that Microsoft is preparing to offer Sony a guaranteed 10-year license for Call of Duty, if it helps move the deal along. Activision Blizzard owns numerous major franchises, including but not limited to Warcraft, Diablo, and Overwatch....

Intel NUC 13 Extreme PC Review: Raptor Canyon Pushes Limits

Intel NUC 13 Extreme - Starting at $1179 ($1549 w/ Core i9-13900K) The new Intel NUC 13 Extreme is the fastest, most powerful NUC yet, but it's also the largest.   Ultra High Performance Relatively Quiet Supports 3-Slot GPUs Easier To Build Pushing The Limits Of SFF Price Premium Intel has consistently updated and upgraded its series of NUC small form factor PC systems over the years. What started as a niche family of mainstream mini-PCs that featured mobile hardware and would fit in the palm of your hand, expanded and morphed into multiple families of mini PCs, which run the gamut...

Xbox Boss Spencer Claims Microsoft Loses Up To $200 For Each Game Console It Sells

Gaming has experienced substantial growth over the past few years, and many expect that trend to level off as the economy cools. But Phil Spencer, the CEO of Microsoft Gaming, says that the company will continue investing in Xbox as gaming tends to weather economic downturns well. To keep consoles accessible, Microsoft and others have long taken a loss on the hardware, and that's still the case with the latest Xboxes. Spencer says Microsoft loses up to $200 per unit. While prices are staying put for now, Spencer notes that increases may be inevitable across hardware, software, and services. For...

Logitech G502 X Plus Mouse Review: Low Latency Wireless Gaming

Logitech G502 X Plus: MSRP $159 (Currently $139) The new Logitech G502 X Plus is a versatile, customizable, lightweight, high-performance mouse, that's loaded with features and offers both wired and wireless operation. Excellent sensor (Hero 25K) Comfortable design Easy to customize via software Satisfying click action Can engage a free-spinning scroll wheel Wireless or wired operation Two Lightspeed devices on single dongle No adjustable weights Right hand only A little pricey For the past five years, I’ve been gaming, working, and knocking around Windows with Logitech’s...

PlayStation 5 Jailbreak Is Now Available For Daring Gamers, Here It Is In Action

All the major game console makers try their best to lock down the hardware, and they don't take kindly to people working to circumvent their systems. Microsoft had its program against mod chips, Nintendo gets hackers locked up, and Sony had a high-profile case against noted hacker George Hotz in the PS3 era. Another Sony dispute may be brewing as modder SpecterDev has released a jailbreak for the PlayStation 5. The tool is still early and limited, but it could eventually allow gamers to run homebrew software and pirate games. The jailbreak relied on a flaw in the 4.03 kernel, which is enabled by...

This Nifty Steam Deck Docking Station Makes It Easy To Add M.2 Storage To The Handheld Gaming PC

Accessory maker JSAUX has previously released a pair of reasonably popular docks for Valve's Steam Deck handheld, but it's not stopping there. Its latest release has all the usual ports and an extra trick up its sleeve. The new HB0604 docking station includes an M.2 slot for an extra chunk of super-fast storage to beef up your docked Deck. The Steam Deck has its own internal storage, of course, but it's not exactly expansive. The base model has just 64GB of space, and it's using the sluggish eMMC standard. The faster NVMe drives are available in 256 and 512GB variants. With some games crossing...

Spider-Man Shines As Sony's Second Biggest PC Launch Surpassing Horizon Zero Dawn

Sony has just released Spider-Man Remastered on PC, and it's shaping up to be its second biggest launch yet. Gaming database SteamDB shows more than 66,000 players were active on the game late on Sunday, putting the superhero action-adventure title within a few thousand of God of War, which remains Sony's biggest PC hit. The game originally launched on the PlayStation 4 in 2019, making waves for its accurate depiction of Manhattan and stunning visuals. It was exclusive to Sony's platform, but it was successful enough that Sony opted to bring it to PC along with several other hit titles including,...

Gaming Market Enters Post-COVID Decline As Gamers Return To Work And School

The past few years have seen dramatic changes in daily life as the COVID-19 pandemic raged on. While the pandemic is still ongoing, the push to return to "normal" is strong. People are killing less time playing games as offices and schools continue to fill up, and that might mean the windfall for game publishers and hardware makers is coming to an end. New data from market research firm NPD adds a financial angle to the recent trends. In the last quarter, US consumer spending on video games has dropped by $1.78 billion, a significant 13 percent chunk of the total $12.35 billion market....

Alienware m17 R5 Review: AMD Advantage Gaming Laptop Shines

Back in January at CES 2022, AMD rolled out its Rembrandt processors, now more properly known as the Ryzen 6000 mobile family. AMD made some bold claims about these CPUs, including that they'd surpass its previous generation with up to a 30% performance lift, despite employing fundamentally the same CPU core architecture. AMD's Ryzen 6000 chips come with all kinds of improvements over the previous-generation family, and in fact, the changes are enough that the company refers to this core architecture as "Zen 3+". Many of the updates for Zen 3+ have been focused at improving the power efficiency...

AYANeo Air Pro Handheld’s Tiny PCB Exposed Showing AMD Barcelo APU Ready For Action

Started as a company by a man with a vision for powerful handheld PC gaming, AyaNeo has blossomed into a whole brand with multiple product categories. If you gloss over headlines about the handheld PCs and are confused about the models, don't worry; your author had to do a lot of research to get this story straight. The company is offering five basic lines of handhelds: the "Next" series, the "Air" series, the "Slide", the "Flip," and then the base models that are simply numbered. The original models offer a balanced experience, the Next family is larger but offers uncompromised performance, the...

Maingear Vybe Gaming PC Review: A Ryzen And Radeon Hot Rod

Pre-built gaming PCs have gained in popularity dramatically, as crypto demand and chip shortages drove graphics cards and other component prices through the roof. That said, regardless of current PC components price points (which are now drifting back to MSRP thank goodness), we've always seen the value in a quality pre-built for a myriad of reasons, especially when it comes to some of the best names in the business, like Falcon Northwest, Origin-Corsair and the Northeast local crew at Maingear Computers. You'll know Maingear, even if you read our pages here only occasionally. The company is a...

F1 2022 Is Out With Beautiful Ray-Traced Cars And The Same Sweet Benchmark Mode

If you're not a hardcore racing fan, you may not have been aware that this year's F1 cars have seen significant redesigns to comply with the latest regulations for the racing class. Indeed, every team's cars look and perform quite differently this year, and that means big changes for Codemasters' latest entry in its aptly-named simulation series, F1 2022. To be honest, your author here isn't a racing guy—but our Editor In Chief, Dave Altavilla has been playing with it for his forthcoming review of a Maingear Vybe gaming PC he has on tap. In the meantime, have a look at this Hot Lap video...

ADATA XPG Alpha Review: An Ergonomic Gaming Mouse That Delivers

Adata recently launched its series of XPG Alpha gaming mice, which come in both wired and wireless flavors. The sleek and ergonomic mouse is designed to offer a combination of high-performance and gamer-centric features, with an array of customizable options available via the included XPG Prime software. The XPG Alpha gaming mouse is based on an industrial design language Adata XPG has dubbed its "Exoskeleton". The focus of the design is a balance between form and function. The XPG Alpha aims to provide an ergonomically sound and comfortable mousing experience, without skimping on features intended...

Falcon Northwest Tiki 2022 Review: Tiny Gaming PC That Slays

Back in the mid-90s, I recall sitting around with friends at the school lunch table poring over glossy magazines like PC Gamer and the long-defunct PC Accelerator, as well as the immense, phone-book-like Computer Shopper. Sure, you had your Dells, and your Compaqs, and your smaller vendors too, like ZEOS, Quantex, ALR, and the fledgling Alienware. Yet among PC gamers in the 1990s, none of those names held quite the same prestige as Falcon Northwest. Whether it was the high specs of the machines, sleek designs, or their unique, classy advertising, Falcon Northwest established itself as the Bugatti...

HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless Headset Review: Great Battery Life And Fidelity

Gaming headsets, in an effort to stand out from regular headphones, often sport flamboyant designs with harsh angles, polygonal shapes, and RGB LEDs. However, this styling trend can put off some gamers who have more subdued tastes or simply don’t like the stealth-fighter-Christmas-tree look. Fortunately, HyperX has a history of offering gaming headsets with more restrained, classier designs, going back to the original Cloud, which launched in 2014. The HyperX Cloud looked like a regular pair of headphones with a detachable microphone and attractive red accents. Since then, the company has...

AMD FSR 2.0 Takes On NVIDIA DLSS In Deathloop, Believe The Hype

AMD's original implementation of its FidelityFX Super Resolution technique, while good, was not quite on the same level as NVIDIA's DLSS solution in many circumstances. FSR has its advantages, to be clear—it's super-easy to implement and it has a low performance cost—but it wasn't a massive visual upgraded over the bilinear upscaling most games already offered as an option. FSR 2.0 aims to change that. Smart upscaling technologies came to the forefront of gaming graphics during the last game console generation, when players were buying 4K TVs, yet even the upgraded game consoles (the...

Origin PC Neuron 4000X Review: A Powerful, Clean 12th Gen Gaming PC

Origin PC has been building top-flight gaming rigs for over a decade now, and the attention to detail that the company demonstrates in its builds is right up there with the best of them. There was a time when Origin PC featured custom chassis designs, like the Genesis series of years past, which only Origin had in its line-up. Since being acquired by Corsair, however, there has been a shift in design philosophy that has played out well and has been beneficial to both Origin PC and its customers. This integration with Corsair has enabled Origin to create a tight-knit ecosystem within its gaming...

ASUS ROG Zephyrus M16 Review: 12th Gen Power, RTX Punch

By most accounts, Intel's 12th Gen Core processors based on the hybrid Alder Lake mobile architecture have been a smashing success for gaming laptops. From class-leading desktop performance to outstanding mobile prowess, the blue team's Alder Lake family has shown strong gains in workloads of all kinds. The first notebooks we looked at, an updated MSI GE76 Raider and an Alienware x17 R2, were both suitably impressive, but their large footprints and hefty weights aren't for everybody. Enter an upgraded version of one of last year's slimmer and lighter gaming laptops, the ASUS ROG Zephyrus...

Intel NUC 12 Extreme Dragon Canyon Mini PC Review: A Fire-Breathing Little Beast

When Intel introduced its first NUC systems featuring its Compute Element, it said the modular design would decrease the time to market for newer, more powerful small form factor systems. That certainly appears to be the case. Hot on the heels of our NUC 11 Extreme review from a few months back, we have the latest NUC 12 Extreme. At first glance, the NUC 11 and NUC 12 Extreme are nearly indistinguishable from each other. However, this latest little beast – code named Dragon Canyon – is packing a 65W Alder Lake-based 12th Gen Core processor, which should boost performance up quite a...

Here Are Some Of The Best TVs With Variable Refresh Rate For Xbox, PS5 And PC Gamers

So you scored yourself a newfangled Xbox Series X|S or PlayStation 5 console (congrats!), or at least you're hopeful you will during the next restock event. Now you're wondering what's the best TV to connect it to for the best high action experience. You're absolutely correct to assume that your choice of display matters, at least if you want to take full advantage of your console's capabilities. The latest generation game consoles are essentially home theater gaming PCs, in that they use similar hardware and support some of the same features. The PS5 and Xbox Series X both support 4K resolution...

Dying Light 2: Stay Human Gameplay And Performance Review - Beautiful But Deeply Flawed

Back in 2011, a little Polish games company released a game called Dead Island. It was a bit buggy and lacking in polish (no pun intended), but it was remarkably ambitious, and succeeded more than it failed. Dead Island was a big hit for the developer, Techland S.A., and so it went that "zombie game" sort of became Techland's bread and butter. After releasing a sequel to Dead Island, Techland released a game called Dying Light in 2015. Just like the Dead Island games, the new title was a first-person survival horror game, but it was more properly open-world, rather than the "wide linear" style...

Alienware x14 Laptop Review: Potent, Petite Gaming Prowess

Alienware's X Series of thin and light gaming laptops was first introduced a little less than a year ago, and Dell's gaming products division has been refining the sleek, spacey looking machines at a fairly rapid clip ever since. A couple of weeks ago, we gave you a look at the new Alienware x17 R2, the second coming of Alienware X Series flagship, now powered by Intel's 12th Gen Core (Alder Lake) CPUs and the mighty GeForce RTX 3080 Ti mobile GPU. That machine put up some fantastic numbers and looked great doing it, but today we return to the X Series with an entirely new offering from Alienware,...

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