GIVEAWAY: Netac Shadow Series RGB DDR5-4800 (16GB x 2) dual-channel memory kits

Sony shutting down one of the best PlayStation Plus bonuses

Derek Strickland | Gaming | Feb 1, 2023 5:16 PM CST

Sony is shutting down the excellent PlayStation Plus Collection on May 9, 2023.

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The PlayStation Plus Collection was one of the best surprises of the PlayStation 5's launch. The program is an added PlayStation Plus subscription bonus that gives PS5 owners access to a library of recommended PS4 games. Sony essentially gave all new PS5 buyers a head start with a pre-sorted games collection. It was also the best way to bridge the PS4 and PS5 generations.

The PS Plus Collection is coming to an end on May 9, but PlayStation Plus subscribers can still claim the games currently offered at any point up until then and keep them forever. Years ago, I said the PS Plus Collection was a golden ticket for subscriber retention, and Sony could use some other ways to spark PS Plus retention especially as subscribers fell by nearly 2 million last quarter.

Continue reading: Sony shutting down one of the best PlayStation Plus bonuses (full post)

EA cancels new Titanfall Legends singleplayer game to help save $140 million

Derek Strickland | Gaming | Feb 1, 2023 4:17 PM CST

EA has cancelled a new Titanfall singleplayer game in an effort to reduce spending and keep profits stable.

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Following a $235 million reduction in holiday net bookings, Electronic Arts is tightening its belt so it can navigate the current volatile market with a more lean frame. The publisher announced that a new cost reduction plan was instituted during the holiday quarter that is expected to reduce spending by up to $140 million in the second half of the year.

EA management was vague on exact details of its new plan, but it didn't take long to realize where the savings would come from. The publisher is slashing its production spending to help stabilize revenues against costs. EA has cancelled three games altogether, including two mobile games like Apex Legends Mobile and Battlefield Mobile. EA is also apparently shutting down the Industrial Toys studio that worked on the Battlefield mobile game. EA executives say that both Apex and Battlefield Mobile will be rebooted.

Continue reading: EA cancels new Titanfall Legends singleplayer game to help save $140 million (full post)

EA cuts costs by $140 million to stay slim in worrisome economy

Derek Strickland | Gaming | Feb 1, 2023 3:16 PM CST

EA has taken "disciplined" cost-saving measures to help keep the company more slim during the volatile economic market.

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The games industry is starting to reveal its holiday 2022 earnings reports, and it appears gaming's downward trend will continue. Like a few video game companies (and likely many more to come), EA has reported lower year-over-year earnings for the 2022 holiday period. There's a few reasons for this: one is that 2021 was a good year for gaming, and two, consumers are spending less on games content, titles, and services.

EA is responding to market contractions by reducing operational costs. This has led to game reboots and cancellations, and layoffs. during yesterday's earnings call, EA CEO Andrew Wilson assured investors that the company had a plan to counter falling revenues and rising costs, but did not talk about employee layoffs.

Continue reading: EA cuts costs by $140 million to stay slim in worrisome economy (full post)

Intel Arc driver update brings a massive 43% improvement to DX9 games

Kosta Andreadis | Video Cards & GPUs | Feb 1, 2023 8:00 AM CST

And not just DirectX 9 gaming, but modern titles also benefit from performance increases. And with a price drop for the Intel Arc A750 to USD 249 - Intel is positioning the GPU as a more affordable mainstream alternative to NVIDIA's most popular GPU, the GeForce RTX 3060. Those who buy an Arc GPU before July 31 will also be eligible for two free games; Nightingale and The Settlers: New Allies.

With the new price and impressive driver-based performance increases, Intel claims that the Intel Arc A750 delivers 52% more performance per dollar compared to the GeForce RTX 3060 across several DX9, DX11, and DX12 titles.

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Intel Arc A750

Whether you're playing a demanding game like Metro Exodus or popular competitive jams like Overwatch 2, Fortnite, and League of Legends, Intel is looking to deliver on the promise of Arc with this new driver update.

Intel made its first big step into the discrete graphics card market in October of last year with the arrival of the Intel Arc A750, a launch that had... issues. Although the performance was decent, reviews at the time noted that it was inconsistent, lagged behind NVIDIA and AMD, and the drivers were buggy.

Continue reading: Intel Arc driver update brings a massive 43% improvement to DX9 games (full post)

NETAC's new Z-RGB memory will offer speeds going all the way up to DDR5-8000

Kosta Andreadis | RAM | Feb 1, 2023 6:02 AM CST

In addition to blistering speed potential that will put it alongside some of the fastest DDR5 memory we've seen, it's built on the highly regarded and high-performing Hynix A-die memory module. Some users have been able to push the SK Hynix A-die to DDR-8600+ speeds with relative ease - leading to the tech being hailed as the fastest memory on the planet.

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With 16GB and 32GB kits available, each featuring a slick layer of RGB lighting, the Z-RGB series from NETAC starts at 6200 MT/s CL32 at 1.35V, going up to 8000 MT/s CL38 spec. That will require 1.5V, so it might be limited to certain motherboards. If you're looking at this sort of kit, you're probably rocking a high-end board.

Continue reading: NETAC's new Z-RGB memory will offer speeds going all the way up to DDR5-8000 (full post)

Cyberpunk 2077 gets DLSS 3 and a massive boost to RTX 40 Series RT performance

Kosta Andreadis | Gaming | Jan 31, 2023 9:59 PM CST

Cyberpunk 2077 was prominently showcased during NVIDIA's big GeForce RTX 40 Series reveal last year. The visually stunning game was shown taking advantage of cutting-edge DLSS 3 rendering alongside the reveal of an RT Overdrive mode that will push the already intensive real-time ray-tracing in the game even further.

Exclusive to GeForce RTX 40 Series GPUs (RTX 4090, RTX 4080, RTX 4070 Ti), DLSS 3 is a combination of DLSS Super Resolution, NVIDIA Reflex, and Frame Generation. The latter needs the new GeForce GPUs because it is an intensive AI process involving specific hardware that can generate new frames to boost performance. As per the video posted by NVIDIA above, we're talking about the sort of leap that has made DLSS 3 one of the most talked about bits of PC gaming tech in the past year.

Continue reading: Cyberpunk 2077 gets DLSS 3 and a massive boost to RTX 40 Series RT performance (full post)

Corsair's new RMx SHIFT ATX 3.0 power supplies significantly change PSU design

Kosta Andreadis | Cases, Cooling & PSU | Jan 31, 2023 9:29 PM CST

Corsair has lifted the lid on its latest power supply series, the RMx SHIFT 80 PLUS Gold Fully Modular ATX Power Supply. What makes them stand out isn't that they're all ATX 3.0 certified and come with PCIe 5.0 12VHPWR cables perfect for the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 40 Series GPUs, but that all the connections are on a side panel. "A revolutionary patent-pending side cable interface."

A first for PSUs and something we're surprised hasn't happened until now.

According to Corsair, moving the modular connections to the side panel on the new RMx SHIFT 80 PLUS series makes it easier to manage cables and connect PC hardware. Accessing a PSU and connectors from the side would no doubt be something many potential PC builders would love - and the new RMx SHIFT 80 PLUS series is launching in everything from 750W to 1200W variants.

Continue reading: Corsair's new RMx SHIFT ATX 3.0 power supplies significantly change PSU design (full post)

VoiceLab, which replicates any voice via AI, is adding safeguards

Kosta Andreadis | Artificial Intelligence | Jan 31, 2023 8:31 PM CST

Some examples include people making it sounds like Joe Biden is announcing that the US will send troops into Ukraine, celebrities reading excerpts from Mein Kampf, and all manner of racist and offensive messages.

ElevenLabs' AI speech tool, VoiceLab, lets you "clone" someone's voice from a one-minute clip of them speaking, allowing you to have at it with the cloned voice able to spit out any 2,500 characters via a text-to-speech interface.

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With the state of discourse on the internet and anonymity, it's not a surprise that people have been taking advantage of and abusing the tool to create objectionable material and spreading it online.

Continue reading: VoiceLab, which replicates any voice via AI, is adding safeguards (full post)

Robot lawyer that was going to contest a traffic ticket is no longer on the case

Kosta Andreadis | Artificial Intelligence | Jan 31, 2023 7:58 PM CST

Recently we reported that legal advice startup DoNotPay was planning to have two defendants dispute speeding tickets with AI "robot lawyers" feeding them what to say. DoNotPay even describes its app as "the world's first robot lawyer," using AI text generators like ChatGPT and DaVinci.

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These traffic ticket disputes were just the first step in what the company hoped might lead to AI helping defendants take on corporations or even suing someone on their behalf. Well, as it turns out, these robot lawyers won't be pleading any cases anytime soon. The planned February 22 California traffic court hearing will now be robot lawyer free.

Like most of us, it looks like the legal system is a little scared of a potential robot uprising - and enslavement of the human race via what we assume would be lawful means. DoNotPay CEO Joshua Browder has told NPR, "Multiple state bars have threatened us; one even said a referral to the district attorney's office and prosecution and prison time would be possible."

Continue reading: Robot lawyer that was going to contest a traffic ticket is no longer on the case (full post)

LOL Verifier is a device to make sure you're actually laughing out loud

Kosta Andreadis | Internet & Websites | Jan 31, 2023 7:01 PM CST

Since the dawn of the internet and digital social interaction, typing "lol" has meant that you found something so funny - you're laughing out loud. At least, that's the idea. In 2023 it's become shorthand for amusement on any level, and "lol" has become a part of everyday conversation.

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You've probably said or typed "lol" when you thought something was slightly amusing without actually laughing. We've all done it. The same sentiment applies to the rise of laughing emojis and social media platforms. There's nowhere near as much laughing as we all imply.

This raises the question - who's out there laughing out loud?

Continue reading: LOL Verifier is a device to make sure you're actually laughing out loud (full post)

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