PS5 update rolls out globally with 1440p support, gamelists and new party features

Sony has rolled out the latest PlayStation 5 system update globally with a much-requested feature: 1440p video output. The feature, first previewed in beta last July, will finally provide an option between less-sharp 1080p and demanding 4K that can reduce framerates. It will be especially beneficial to users with PC monitors that natively support 1440p QHD (2,560 x 1,440) resolution. 

Your monitor or TV will need to support 1440p/60Hz or 1440p/120Hz, Sony said. You can select the setting from the “Screen and Video” menu in the settings, and a “Test 1440p Output” button lets you check to see if your monitor is supported. However, using 1440p will disable variable refresh rates (VRR) that sync game and monitor framerates. That means you may see screen tearing and other issues that reduce smoothness.

The update also includes Gamelists, essentially folders to store games. You can have up to 15 Gamelists with 100 games each that include a mix of digital and disc games. Other new features include the ability to request a Share Screen from a fellow party member, view new friends’ profiles and receive notifications to help you join a friend’s game from a party chat. A new feature in preview in the UK and US, meanwhile, lets you do YouTube searches using Voice Command from anywhere on PS5, including during gameplay.

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‘Rocket League Sideswipe’ rolls out globally on iOS and Android

After launching into pre-season earlier this month, the mobile game Rocket League Sideswipe is rolling out to iOS and Android users around the world, 9to5Mac has reported. The side-scrolling car soccer game was unveiled earlier this year as a mobile, 2D version of Rocket League that lets you play solo or team with friends for two vs. two matches.  

Like the original, Sideswipe is all about that car soccer life, but with a 2D side-on instead of a 3D view. It uses touch controls designed to be easy to master, with advanced control mechanics available for better players. Like the original, there’s a ranking system and numerous car customization options. 

As with the pre-season trailer, the official gameplay video brings a similar look and feels as the original but adapted for simpler mobile play. Logging in with an Epic Games account for online matches will let you earn extra XP across both the regular Rocket League game and Sideswipe. The game launched in pre-season in Oceania to shake out any bugs, but it’s now available to everyone for free on the iOS App Store and Google Play

Update 12/1/2021 11:14 AM ET: The article originally stated that Rocket League Sideswipe was free with in-app purchases, but there are no in-app purchases. It has been updated with the correct information.

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Ring’s end-to-end encryption is rolling out globally

Ring’s end-to-end encryption for video streams is leaving technical preview, is now available to US users, and is currently rolling out globally, the Amazon-owned company announced on Tuesday. The opt-in feature makes it so that your video streams can only be viewed by you on an enrolled iOS or Android device, meaning that Ring can’t access that footage even if it wanted to.

The feature works with 13 Ring cameras, and you can see the full list of compatible models and follow the steps on how to set up end-to-end encryption on Ring’s website. Ring’s battery-powered video doorbells and cameras don’t support end-to-end encryption, according to that page.

Ring’s end-to-end encryption settings menu.
Image: Ring

End-to-end encryption is a boon for customers who want to ensure Ring can’t access their footage — turning it on ensures that Ring can’t turn over captured video to law enforcement, for example. Ring first announced video end-to-end encryption in September 2020 and launched the technical preview in January.

Alongside end-to-end encryption, Ring is introducing new features to help customers protect their accounts. If you use two-step authentication to provide extra security to your account, Ring now supports authenticator apps, which can be more secure than SMS. The company is also rolling out CAPTCHA in both the Ring and Neighbors app, which can prevent bots and spammers from logging into your account.

Ring is also making it easier to transfer ownership of a used Ring device. Right now, that process requires that you call Ring’s customer service department, but in the “coming weeks,” you’ll be able to transfer ownership of a used device to yourself right from the Ring app.

Correction: End-to-end encryption is supported on 13 Ring cameras, not 12. We regret the error.

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Tech News

ZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G launches globally

Unlike Huawei, ZTE seems to be back on its feet and is even doing just fine, at least in the smartphone market. Not only is it able to sell its smartphones in the US, it even has access to components and software that Huawei can’t even touch. Proof of that is the new ZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G, a mouthful of a flagship that just launched globally, including in the US, with high-end specs that surprisingly don’t ask much when it comes to price.

The specs sheet for ZTE’s latest flagship looks almost typical at first glance. The Snapdragon 888 and 8GB of 12GB of RAM is what you’d expect from high-end phones these days while the 6.67-inch AMOLED screen boasts of a 144Hz refresh rate despite a slightly lower FHD+ resolution. Unlike the Axon 20 5G before it, however, it opts for a more traditional punch-hole cutout.

What makes the Axon 30 Ultra 5G stand out, however, are three of the four cameras on its back. On paper, having three 64MP cameras, one of which is a Sony IMX686, sounds pretty impressive. Those three cover portrait, wide-angle, and ultra-wide-angle shots while a separate 8MP camera with a periscope-style lens handles 5x zoom shots.

That said, the phone does sound almost normal in all other aspects, especially as we have yet to see the Axon 30 Ultra 5G in real-world tests. What makes it unique from other flagships this year is the price tag it carries. At least when it comes to US dollars, ZTE is selling it for $749 for the base 8GB RAM and 128GB storage model.

The ZTE Axon 30 Ultra is now available for purchase around the world directly from the company’s online store. It comes with ZTE’s own MyOS 11 based on Android 11 and, presumably, with Google Play apps and services pre-installed in international markets.

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