Sony

Gamestop's Black Friday Sale Ad LEAKS

Though there still has not been any comment from retailer GameStop whether the rumored deals are true, observers are considering the possible truth in what apparently is a leaked image showing the upcoming Black Friday Sale deals from the company.

According to industry follower Gamespot, the ad first appeared at Bfads.net, and now even third-party discount sites like BlackFriday have treated the leaked image as an ad scan. If the deals shown in the image are true, then gaming fans and hardcore players alike will have a chance to score some massive deals on GameStop's Black Friday Event.

Highlighted on the discount ad are the console bundles for both Xbox One and PS4. For about $300 each, players can take advantage of the packaged 500-GB Xbox One and "Gears of War Ultimate Bundle," as well as a 500-GB PlayStation 4 and the "Uncharted Collection Bundle."

For Nintendo fans, there is also a GameStop exclusive Ike Amiibo on sale for $13. The flyer also indicates that some rare Amiibo figurines are already back on stock in the retailer's shop, although the ad does not indicate which rare figures would be made available. However, as the Black Friday Sale event is for both brick-and-mortar stores and the online GameStop shop, fans who may not make it to the sale can check out the available discounted figures, as well as other items, on the GameStop website.

To celebrate the new addition to the "Star Wars" games franchise, the Black Friday Sale event will also have a "Star Wars: Battlefront" savings bundle. Every purchase of the new "Star Wars" title will give buyers $30 off on one of the five Electronic Arts games – "Madden NFL 16," "FIFA 16," "NHL 16," "Dragon Age: Inquisition," and the new "Need for Speed" reboot.

According to the ad, the GameStop Black Friday event will happen from Nov. 27 until Sunday, Nov. 29.

The best Black Friday deals on PS4 so far.

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The season is here! As we count down to the Christmas Holiday, retailers & manufacturers are stacking up the discounts and deals. We will keep you updated with the latest and greatest deals as we find them, so you can stay ahead of the game and avoid  those in-store experiences!

 

Best PS4 Bundle Deals

Best PS4 Games Deals

Best PS4 Accessory Deals

Microsoft's Titan..falls

Titanfall only at 792p?

Titanfall only at 792p?

With every Console comes a major 1st party title that is labeled a "System Seller". The game that because it is developed by the console manufacturer, it takes full advantage of the system's hardware and capabilities to showcase the pure power and features of the system. It enables the console manufacturer to show off all of the power and prowess of their hardware, and how versatile it is. The Super Nintendo had the amazing Super Mario World, the Gamecube had Luigi's Mansion, Nintendo 64 the world renowned Super Mario 64, Dreamcast had Virtua Fighter 3, the Xbox had Halo, Xbox 360 had Project Gotham Racing 3. 

When the Microsoft marketing machine started pumping up the Xbox One release, the showcase title was Titanfall. A promising title filled with action, adventure, chaos, mechs, explosions, online multiplayer gameplay in a game that, according to the Devloper's founder, Vince Zampella, brings  "scale, verticality, and story" to first-person shooter multiplayer gaming". All of this, while running at 60 frames-per-second in full 1080p glory, to showcase the power and prowess of the Xbox One hardware. This was the game so massive that an engineer for the developer stated in an interview with Eurogamer that the game would not be possible on the PS4, because it wasn't powerful enough.  And that is where the game hits a major snag. You see.. As time went on, and both systems launched, we learned that the PS4 is actually much more powerful than the XBO, and every cross-platform title has highlighted this.

Next came the news this week that the title would only be able to run at 720p. This set the community ablaze with speculation and questions. Now that the game is set to begin an open Beta, it has been confirmed that the title will only run at 60fps at 792p. Turns out, the XBO hardware isn't powerful enough to handle the game either. Even with the recent development that XBO could get a 53 Mhz increase from disabling the Kinect camera, the XBO still cannot run Titanfall at 1080p. Some have been quick to point out that the game is still unfinished, in BETA, and that there is time to run optimization to enable improved performance. Even pointing out the Assassin's Creed 4 situation on PS4, a game that was originally only able to run at 900p on the PS4 until an optimization patch, which enabled the game to run at 1080p on the PS4. It is important to realize however, that the increase there was only from 900 to 1080p, already running at 60fps. In Titanfall's case however, the game is only capable of squeezing out 792p at 60fps right now. Ramping up to 1080p from only 792p seems a far stretch, if not impossible. This presents quite a challenge for the developer. And for Microsoft, after blasting the game on ever marketing channel they could find over the last 4 months, even 2 (TWO) pre-movie commercials to promote the XBO before a movie we went to a couple months ago, this is a serious blow. After all the hype, promotion and talk, even with disabling hardware features to eek out additional power from the XBO, Microsoft cannot deliver on it's promises with Titanfall. While it's important to remember that, again, the game is not finished, things do not bode well. 

All of this is pretty damning for the XBO. We consistently seem to see the flagship system falling behind in sales and delivery on promises. Add to that recent speculation tha Titanfall is coming to the PS4 soon. And what keeps the XBO from meeting it's own expectations and promises for Titanfall? Grant Brunner over at ExtremeTech puts it perfectly:

"So, why can’t Titanfall reach 1080p? It all comes down to frame rate. Twitch games, like competitive first-person shooters, require smooth frame rates for precise aiming and maneuvering. If the game dips to 20fps during a frantic moment, that could easily turn the tide in a battle. For a game like this, the priorities are obviously on visual polish and frame rate, so resolution takes a back seat.

Maybe if this were an Xbox One exclusive, the development team could have built and optimized the engine for 1080p rendering at 60fps like Forza Motorsport 5. However, this game has to run on the Xbox 360 and PC as well, so other considerations had to be made. It’s certainly not impossible to make games run at 1080p on the Xbox One, but it seems as if it’s more trouble than it’s worth for a game like Titanfall."

Don't Call it a Comeback: Sony 2.0 & Beyond

Sony has seen it's share of hurdles. From it's small beginnings as an electronics shop in Tokyo, Sony has established itself as one of the most recognizable names in the technology and home entertainment industries. That name however, has not always carried a positive connotation. Sony was the most prolific name in electronics through the 80's-90's, with icon products like the Walkman, Discman, Trinitron and WEGA TV's , and Sony Ericsson mobile phones. And to get there, Sony has made a name for itself by establishing and creating its own technology formats. And many of these products literally created markets. The CD, Betamax, MiniDisc, & Blu-ray discs. Their introduction to the market when there were already accepted standards made all of these products a gamble for Sony. Their successes though, yielded major payoffs for Sony in the long run. Sony became synonymous with quality electronics, garnering a reputation for the high quality of their premier lines of TV's, commercial video recording/encoding equipment, and home audio/theater products.

The 90's saw a sharp, and dangerous turn for Sony though. With the introduction of a new gaming system, The Sony PlayStation, and it's successor the PlayStation 2, Sony nabbed their own piece of the gaming market, becoming a dominant player. With the commercial success of their high quality TV's, gaming consoles and their established history in the electronics market, Sony became complacent. Lack of innovation began to breed stagnancy inside the historically ground breaking corporation. With the global financial crisis of the mid to late 2000's, increased competition for their PlayStation console and increasing competition in the TV market, followed by the devastating Japanese earthquake of 2011, Sony seemed on the ropes.  The unfortunate timing of these these situations all converging caused the Financial Times to criticize the company for its "lack of resilience" and "inability to gauge the economy." The newspaper voiced skepticism about Sony's revitalization efforts, given a lack of tangible results. This was evidenced by Sony's market capitalization cliff jump: $100 Billion in 2000, to $18 Billion in 2011. With Sony set to layoff over 10,000 workers (6% of it's employee base) in 2012, to the sale of it's US Headquarters in January 2013 for $1.1 Billion, things were not looking good. A once giant in the technology industry was now dog paddling to stay afloat in the turbulent waters of today's ocean of tech companies.

Oh what a difference a year makes.

In November 2013, Sony released the PlayStation 4 game console, to an overall warm reception from the tech journalist and retail firms, but flat out boiling hot reception from consumers. Selling more than 4.2 MILLION units of the $399 console in only 43 days, a staggering 97,674 units a day, beating out their only competitor, the Microsoft Xbox One by more than  In December 2013, Sony launched their Alpha A7, A7r and A5000 mirrorless cameras to critical acclaim.  In January 2014, at the annual CES (Consumer Electronics Show, but don't tell them I called it that, lest I get a nastygram from CES's lawyers), Sony took the event by STORM, showcasing some of the most stunning and breathtaking displays of the show in the 4K UHD television category, and with their behind the scenes partnership with the huge plans and exceptionally bright future of Netflix. Show-goers were treated to true innovation from Sony once again, and it is a welcome sight. 

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2014 is shaping up to be a phenomenal year for Sony. Having fallen from greatness, and learned the values of humility and hard work all over again, Sony is shaping up to begin a new renaissance. A period of rediscovery. And it's us as consumers who reap the rewards and benefits of having an old player back to competition level play. 


Tech Defined: UHD vs 4K

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Hey everyone. So we are in to 2014, and as I mentioned coming into the holidays, 4K and UHD were going to be the big buzzwords moving in to 2014 and CES 2014 in Las Vegas. With the trade show in full effect for it's last day today, more than 300 devices sporting 4K displays have been on exhibition. From TV's to monitors to laptop displays, 4K and UHD (Ultra HD, or Ultra High Definition) is everywhere. Unfortunately, with so many devices and articles about 4K and UHD out there, the two terms have become so conflated that many times, even tech writes who know the difference have began using them interchangeably. the problem is, UDH and 4K, are NOT THE SAME THING. So here is some knowledge to help you understand the difference. 

Before I break down the differences, keep in mind that, as a consumer, there is no PRACTICAL difference between 4K and UHD. That said, the term “4K” originally derives from the Digital Cinema Initiatives (DCI), a consortium of motion picture studios that standardized a spec for the production and digital projection of 4K content. In this case, 4K is 4096×2160, and is exactly twice the previous standard for digital editing and projection (2K – 2048×1080). As you can see, 4K clearly refers to the fact that the vertical resolution (4096) is just over four thousand. The 4K standard is not just a resolution, either: It also defines how 4K content is encoded. A DCI 4K stream is compressed using JPEG2000, can have a bitrate of up to 250 megabits per second (Mbps), and 12-bit 4:4:4 color depth and image quality. 

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Ultra High Definition, or UHD for short, is the next step up from Full HD — the official name (that no one uses) for the display resolution of 1920×1080. UHD doubles that resolution to 3840×2160. It does not take a genius to see that 3840 is actually quite far away from four thousand. Almost every TV or monitor that you see advertised as “4K” is actually UHD. There are some panels out there that are 4096×2160 (aspect ratio 1.9:1), but the vast majority are 3840×2160 (1.78:1). If you displayed 4K content on one of these “4K” displays you would get letterboxing (black bars) down the left and right side of the screen. There isn’t yet a specification for how UHD content is encoded (which is one of the reasons there’s almost no UHD content in existence), but it’s unlikely to be the same quality as DCI 4K.

So there you have it. UHD, and 4K are just not the same thing. It is interesting knowledge, but not essential. The truth is, that because the TV industry has decided 4K sounds great, and they are using it. And in all honesty, 4K is just a name. It communicates what the industry wants, which is a much higher end display than the current generation of 1080p displays. But at least now, when that salesman at the local electronics shop or Best Buy tries to talk to you about a new 4K TV, you can set him right and let him know, you aren't the average consumer: You are a Rethink Associates customer. 

Sony says Thank You to PSN Customers in 2014..

While PlayStation Plus has been working overtime for a year to really bring value to the $49.99 annual cost for it's premium service. A selection of FREE games each month has been one of those perks for a while. But in Quarter 1 2014, Sony outdoes themselves, with some stellar offerings for the month of January.

Starting the Lineup of Freebies, PS3 owners can look forward to the STELLAR Bioshock Infinite, a critically acclaimed and award winning title in the Bioshock series. One of the few games to tackle complex and uncomfortable themes like racism, religion and idealism, and show the ugly side of all. Definitely an immersive and thought provoking experience, it is never afraid to push buttons and never pulls a single punch. This is not just a good or GREAT game, it is an essential game that everyone should experience, gamer or not. PS3 owners will also get Devil May Cry: DMC, with new skills and visuals, and Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, a truly innovative title that has people playing the part of two brothers at the same time, using an analog stick for each. 

PS4 owners can look forward to the Visual Treat that is Don't Starve. The beautifully cell shaded art style, it is a truly innovative game that mixes adventure, action, and RPG elements. 

And if you have a PlayStation Vita, the socially networked brain trainer Smart As.. will challenge your mental capacity and problem solving skills while comparing your accomplishments and failures to your friends'. And Worms hits the Vita too, for more annihilation and mayhem. 

January is shaping up to be a fantastic start for PlayStation Plus members.