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Game

‘God of War: Ragnarok’ has a new story trailer and limited-edition PS5 controller

It’s been awhile since Sony teased us with the next installment in Kratos’ story. Earlier this year, a first look at God of War: Ragnarok showed us a father and son on a search for Tyr, the God of War of the Norse mythology. In the new trailer revealed during the September State of Play event, they have apparently found him, as he questions their motives, their quest and what they even know of so-called Godhood.

It’s a trailer that teases a complex story that seemingly has Kratos following his son’s lead this time around. Together, they will determine if they are bound by fate and prophecy, or make their own destiny — all while marching through a parade of stunning visuals and fast-paced combat while wielding familiar weapons like the Blades of Chaos and Leviathan Axe.

Between the story hints and action, the trailer definitely teases what looks like a worthy successor to 2018’s God of War — but if that’s not enough to convince you to pick up the game when it launches on November 9th, Sony is hoping a special limited-edition controller might do the trick. The God of War Ragnarok DualSense wireless controller is a blue and white affair decorated with a wolf and bear. The two-toned design is so subtle, you probably wouldn’t even recognize it as a God of War tie in at a glance. On the other hand, it’s not obnoxiously ugly, either.

God of War: Ragnarok, and its limited-edition gamepad, are both available on November 9th. Pre-orders for the controller open on September 27.

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Game

Sony’s next State of Play will highlight 10 PS4, PS5 and PS VR2 titles

Sony’s next State of Play preview event is going down on Tuesday, September 13th at 6pm ET, the company announced via Twitter Monday. “We’ll have some great updates from our amazing Japanese partners and developers all around the world,” Sony noted in a subsequent tweet. “Expect about ~20 minutes covering 10 upcoming games.”

Further details regarding which games will be showcased were not provided, however Sony has repeatedly focused on PS VR2 titles during the past two events, seemingly intent on teasing all of the nearly two dozen “major” titles — including from the Among Us and Horizon franchises — which are scheduled to launch alongside the next generation headset.  

The State of Play will live stream through PlayStation’s Twitch and YouTube channels. Gaming fans will be in for a treat tomorrow, as this afternoon event follows Nintendo’s next Direct stream, which is happening Tuesday morning, at 10am ET.

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Game

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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Game

Sony has a new PS5 controller, the DualSense Edge

Sony is leveling up its PlayStation 5 gamepads with the DualSense Edge. The Edge is all about customization — it features five unique profiles, upgraded guts and a few extra input methods. There are two function buttons below the analog sticks on the new controller, and in initial images all of the rubberized grips look extra grippy all around. 

Feel free to think of the DualSense Edge as Sony’s take on the Xbox Elite controller. Players will be able to remap and deactivate buttons, and adjust stick sensitivity and dead zones, and then save these settings to unique profiles. The stick caps and back buttons are also swappable on the new gamepad, and users will be able to replace the entire stick module. The whole thing comes with a braided USB-C cable and a carrying case with USB charging included.

There’s no word on availability or pricing for the new gamepad. Sony says it’ll share more information about the Edge in the months ahead. The DualSense is a standout feature of the PlayStation 5, offering intense haptic feedback and trigger buttons with adjustable tension. This adds a layer of immersion to games from Deathloop to Stray to Astro’s Playroom, and it’s something that Xbox simply doesn’t offer.

The Edge was revealed during Gamescom’s Opening Night Live showcase.

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Game

‘Alone in the Dark’ reboot confirmed for PS5, Xbox Series X/S and PC

There have been rumblings for a while that a remake of Alone in the Dark was in the works and confirmed at that the rumors are (sort of) true. It’s bringing a “reimagining” of the 1992 classic to PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X and PC, though didn’t reveal when to expect it.

The Lovecraftian original is widely considered the first 3D survival horror game (it earned a Guinness World Record stating as much), but there hasn’t been an Alone in the Dark title . This will also be THQ Nordic’s first entry since it bought the series from Atari in 2018.

The single-player reimagining from developer Pieces Interactive will feature an original story from Mikael Hedberg, the writer of  and , and creature designs from long-term Guillermo del Toro collaborator Guy Davis. The game will include characters, places and themes from the ’90s trilogy. It’s still set in the American South in the 1920s and features the first game’s protagonists, Emily Hartwood and Edward Carnby, as playable characters. However, THQ Nordic all the enemies will be brand new.

Beyond Alone in the Dark, the publisher had plenty more to show off during the stream, such as fresh looks at ,  and . Other new reveals included real-time strategy game ; an open-world arcade racer called ; and , in which you build homes on procedurally generated planets and sell them to alien clients.

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Game

The PS5 finally gets 1440p support

The PlayStation 5 now supports 1440p, at least for gamers with access to its beta software. While the console has supported 1080p and 4K output from the start, 1440p support is still a much-requested feature by players who use monitors instead of TVs. It provides a middle ground between full HD and 4K, after all, and is a popular choice for gamers who also play on their PCs. Testers who get the latest beta software for the PS5 will now see a 1440p HDMI video output option as an additional visual setting when they use the console with a compatible monitor.

Obviously, they can enjoy the full benefits of 1440p rendering if the game they’re playing supports the resolution. But if they’re playing a game that supports 4K, they could also benefit from the feature, because the option downsamples the visuals for 1440p output and that leads to sharper images. As VG247 notes, though, Variable Refresh Rate (VRR), which rolled out for the console in April, is only available for 1080p and 2160p. VRR gives the screen the ability to sync its refresh rate with that of the game for a smoother experience, and it’s not quite clear why it’s not available for 1440p output. 

In addition to 1440p support, the latest beta software also gives users a way to create gamelists in their Game Library so that they can better organize all the titles they own. Players can create up to 15 gamelists with 100 games each. Their in-progress activities will now be shown prominently at the top of the game hub when they resume a game, as well, and they can now request party members to share their screens so that they can watch their gameplay. Plus, when they enter a party and a member is playing game they can join, they’ll now receive an alert and then join the game directly from that notification.

Sony has introduced more experimental features with the new beta and has listed them all on the PlayStation blog.

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Game

‘Outer Wilds’ will be upgraded for PS5 and Xbox Series X/S September 15th

Outer Wilds is getting a PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S upgrade on September 15th, and it’ll be free for anyone who already owns the game on PS4 or Xbox One. Outer Wilds is a brilliant open-world mystery about exploring strange planets and unlocking the secrets of an endless time loop that’s consumed the solar system, and it first landed in 2019. It’s the first console and PC game out of indie studio Mobius Digital, and it’s picked up a handful of prestigious accolades since launch, including Best Game at the 2020 BAFTA Games Awards.

The native PS5 and Xbox Series upgrade will hit 60fps. Outer Wilds: Echoes of the Eye, a big and beautiful bit of DLC for the game, will also be upgraded and included in the new version.

The Switch version of Outer Wilds is set to come out after the new upgrade in September, and this is a delay from its original release window of this summer. Mobius Digital made all of these announcements during today’s Annapurna Interactive showcase.

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Game

Sony lowers forecast for PS5 gaming sales in 2022

At the end of its fiscal year in May, Sony was fairly bullish on gaming sales, predicting sales of 18 million PlayStation 5s for 2022 after selling 11.5 million in 2021. The company also expected a “significant” revenue increase in its gaming division over 2021 due to a boost across “all categories.”

In its latest earnings drop, however, the company has revised its profit forecast down by 16 percent from 305 billion yen ($2.3 billion) in May to 255 billion yen ($1.9 billion), “due to an expected decrease in sales of first party titles,” it wrote. The company also chalked up the drop in revenue to higher expenses due to its acquisition of Bungie Studios closing earlier than expected. 

Sony didn’t say anything about its PS5 console forecast, but it sold 2.4 million units this quarter compared to 2.3 million in the same quarter last year (21.7 million units to date). That means it must sell over 5 million units on average for the next three quarters to meet its May forecast — something it has never done before. In May, however, Sony said that it will finally be able to ramp up production to meet PS5 demand as supply chain issues ease — though as it stands now, the consoles are still in short supply. 

On the software side, things also went south as Sony sold just 47.1 million titles, including 6.4 million first party games, compared to 63.6 million titles and 10.5 million first-party games in the same quarter of 2021. On top of that, PlayStation Plus users dropped slightly from Q4 (47.3 million instead of 47.4 million), and monthly active users also dropped from 106 to 102 million. Sony introduced the new higher-priced PS Plus Extra and Premium tiers in June, but it has yet to reveal the impact of those — hopefully, we’ll learn more next quarter.

Looking ahead, Sony has a few major titles on the horizon that could perk up software sales, including God of War Ragnarok coming November 9th, and The Last of Us Part I remake arriving on September 2nd. On the hardware side, the PSVR 2 has been revealed but isn’t expected to arrive until next year.  

The next quarter will be a lot more interesting for Sony’s gaming division, as PS5 sales will show if it’s been able to ramp up production. Game sales will also be notable, as the steep drop this quarter bodes ominously for the industry as a whole. 

Update 7/29/2022 10:34 AM ET: The post has been updated with information that Sony has sold 21.7 million PS5s to date, not 21.4 million.

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Game

Naughty Dog shows off improved gameplay from ‘The Last of Us’ PS5 remake

With the PS5 remake for The Last of Us set to arrive soon, developer Naughty Dog recently showed the benefits you can expect with the new hardware. Now in a 10-minute video, the company has detailed new features including a speed-run mode and smarter AI, while walking through improved graphics, physics, character models, animations and more. 

As we saw last month, the new graphics are indeed much improved, with native 4K at 30 fps or dynamic 4K at 60 fps. The biggest changes are with gameplay, though. First off, the remake uses AI from The Last of Us Part 2, which gives enemies and NPCs more complex tactics, making for better fights. It’s not one-sided, either, as your companions’ AI has also been updated. 

The remake also includes new gameplay modes. One of those is a permadeath mode for those who want the full “infected” zombie apocalypse experience, along with new unlockable costumes for Joel and Ellie. The other is a speed run mode — details are scant on that, other than that you’ll be able to measure your progress with a timer. 

The other improvements revolve around characters, with new models that include far more detail “down to the irises and the pupil depths,” noted creative director and writer Shaun Escayg. The team also updated the animations with improved facial expressions, motion-matching tech for more flowing movements and more. It also includes new materials, physics, haptics, 3D audio and more.

The remake does look impressive, but it will sell at a full $70 triple-A price when it arrives on September 2nd. As such, Naughty Dog and Sony appear to be doing more than the usual amount of marketing for a remake, no doubt hoping to show potential buyers it’s worth that. 

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Computing

Perfect for PS5, this 1TB internal SSD is under $150 today

If you’ve been waiting for one of the best SSD deals to upgrade your storage capacity, we’ve found the ideal choice. Right now, you can buy the WD Black SN850 1TB Internal SSD from Best Buy for just $142, saving you a huge $128 off the usual price. It’s the perfect internal SSD for using with a PlayStation 5 thanks to its inclusion of a heatsink, but it’s also a great bet for other systems such as your laptop or desktop. Hit the buy button if you know it’s for you or read on to see why it’s such great value.

Why you should buy the WD Black SN850 1TB internal SSD

If you’re looking for one of the best SSDs, the WD Black SN850 1TB internal SSD is an excellent bet. It offers read speeds up to 7,000MB/s with up to 5,300MB/s write speeds. That means that whatever you’re loading will load faster while you also get the benefit of 1TB of storage. Given the PlayStation 5 has just under 1TB of space when you first buy it, that’s a huge upgrade. If you prefer to purchase games digitally or you regularly download games via PlayStation Plus, it’s going to make a huge difference as you won’t have to worry about uninstalling games so often. Worried about opening up your PlayStation 5? Don’t be. It only takes about 10 minutes to slot the internal SSD in and anyone with a screwdriver can do it.

Using a PCI Express 4.0 x4 interface also means the WD Black SN850 1TB internal SSD is a great choice if you’re looking to upgrade your laptop or desktop, too. Its WD_BLACK Dashboard software is compatible with Windows 11, Windows 10 and Windows 8.1 so you can easily monitor the health of your drive as well as optimize performance using its gaming mode. It even offers fully customizable RGB lighting that is controlled through the dashboard so you can get it looking like the rest of your system.

Incredibly simple to install however you plan on using it, the WD Black SN850 1TB internal SSD is easily one of the best NMVe SSDs you can buy. With reliable real-world performance and solid sequential speeds, it’s ideal for gamers of all types.

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