April 2019 Gaming News Round-up

The world of gaming is so fast-paced that news sometimes evades our attention. We decided to compile the biggest news that have come out during the last month and bring it to your attention:

Sony reveals specs for their next-generation console

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Sony has just fired the first bullet in the next-generation console war. On 16 April 2019, online magazine, Wired, published a first-look at the specifications for what was described as the “next-gen Playstation”.

In an exclusive interview with Mark Cerny, PS4’s and now the new console’s lead architect, the magazine shed some light on what the new console has under its hood and what performance we can expect. Without getting into specifics, the new next-gen console is touted to be a massive leap to its predecessor, compared to the minor upgrade seen between PS4 and PS4 Pro.

Among the things to look forward to the ability to support ray tracing, a technique that simulates realistic light interaction with objects, and also up to 8k display support. The most intriguing morsel out of the interview was the use of SSDs for the new console, touting it as a “game changer”. To demonstrate this, Cerny showed the load times of fast travel in Marvel Spider-Man (2018) being cut from PS4 Pro’s time of 15 seconds, to just 0.8 seconds in a “low-speed” version of a devkit.

This reveal comes in the wake of Sony’s announcement that they won’t be attending E3. People have been wondering about Sony’s plans since the shock announcement. After keeping silent for several months, it seems they are ready to start shifting gears. Indeed, the next-generation of gaming is shaping up to be an exciting one.

Microsoft announces new Xbox One S All-Digital Edition

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The Xbox One S All-Digital Edition was announced as a new edition to Microsoft’s Xbox console family. The All-Digital Edition has the same features as the Xbox One S but leaves behind the Blu-Ray disc drive.

The All-Digital Edition seems to be Microsoft’s response to the growing consumer trend of purchasing games digitally instead of buying them physically. To attract prospective buyers, Microsoft has decided to price the All-Digital Edition USD$50 (SGD$68) cheaper than the regular Xbox One S, and this price difference will remain even if the Xbox One S gets a discount. The All-Digital Edition is set to be released for sale on 7 May 2019.

Borderlands 3 announced

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After nearly 7 years since Borderlands 2, Gearbox has finally unveiled the sequel to the critically-acclaimed game; Borderlands 3.  The game was formally announced at Gearbox’s PAX East panel and revealed the box art and release date of the game, 13 September 2019, a week later.

The game features four new characters for players to choose from: Moze the Gunner, who pilots the mech, Iron Bear; FL4K the Beastmaster, who can command and control beasts; Amara the Siren, who summons multiple ethereal arms to combat enemies; and Zane the Operative, who wields an assortment of gadgets, including ones that act as decoys. Along with the new characters, fan favourites like Maya the Siren have been confirmed to return.

Confirmed dates for all E3 Press conferences

E3 continues to be a spectacle ever since it was first held nearly 15 years ago back in 1995. If you have been keeping up with the yearly press conferences that are held at this event, you’ll be delighted to know that two more major showcases are slated to appear in this year’s edition.

Microsoft, who have had presentations at the event since 2000, have again confirmed their participation,  with their conference scheduled at 2100hrs GMT+0, 9 June 2018. Square Enix also has put their hat in the ring, confirming their participation for the second year in a row. Their conference is scheduled for 0200hrs GMT+0, 11 June 2019.

With the exception of Nintendo, who is almost certain to be present as well, this means that all the major press conferences have been dated. For the full show listing, see below:

CompanyShow Start Time (All times are in GMT+0)
Microsoft2100hrs [9 June 2019]
Bethesda0130hrs [10 June 2019]
Ubisoft2100hrs [10 June 2019]
Square Enix0200hrs [11 June 2019]

Visuals courtesy of Sony, Microsoft and Gearbox Software

Russell Matthew Loh

Watcher of films and player of games. Dabble with writing in between.

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