GTX 1660 Ti Appears on FF XV Benchmarks

We all are just too excited about GTX 1660 Ti coming up. After all the card would help revive the mid-tier gaming that is slowly dying.

Thanks to TUM_APISAK (who tweeted about the leaked benchmarks) we now know more about the performance of Nvidia’s first non-RT, Turing based card. GTX 1660 Ti score has popped up on FF XV benchmark list.
The card records a massive score of 5000 points, just shy of Titan X’s score but edging over last Gen’s GTX 1070 at 1440p (High preset.) The card is allegedly priced at $279 and is expected to offer performance similar to RTX 2060. The card will be most probably devoid of any ray-tracing capabilities though.

FF XV benchmark

According to the latest rumours, Nvidia will launch the card on 22 February. However, we can’t say for sure. So stay tuned.

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Tactical RPG collection Braveland Trilogy coming to Switch on March 7

Braveland Trilogy, which includes tactical adventure RPGs BravelandBraveland Wizard, and Braveland Pirate, is coming to Switch via the Nintendo eShop on March 7, developer Tortuga Team announced.

Here is an overview of the collection, via Tortuga Team:

About

Braveland Trilogy is a compilation of three great turn-based adventure RPGs—the original BravelandBraveland Wizard, and Braveland Pirate. Each game in the trilogy offers classic tactical combat and role-playing gameplay combined with new challenges, heroes, henchmen, enemies, and environments – with all three versions playable on the Switch for the first time!

  • Braveland is a turn-based adventure game inspired by old-school turn-based games such as King’s Bounty and Heroes of Might & Magic. In Braveland, you start as a humble warrior’s son whose village was cruelly raided – and work your way to becoming the commander of a powerful army. Hand-crafted art complements a wonderful fantasy-based story where your young hero recruits allies to aid in the cause while learning spells and battling bosses on his way to becoming the ultimate protector of the land.
  • Braveland Wizard adds a new twist by placing you in the role of a new graduate of the magical academy. The game adds three schools of Battle Magic, a talent tree for deeper character development, more allies to recruit to your cause, and randomly created dungeons which offer your Wizard all kinds of rare rewards!
  • Braveland Pirate puts you in the role of the sea-dog Captain Jim, as he embarks on a quest to find the Eternal Treasure. Hordes of undead, chests full of gold, devious pirate captains, and breathtaking adventures await you in the Free Islands. This time around, you’re equipped with a sailing ship and a hearty crew, setting sail for tropical paradises loaded with loot!

Key Features

  • Three-in-one Fun: Get BravelandBraveland Wizard, and Braveland Pirate all in one great bundle. Each game offers a unique take on your character, from magic schools to pirate tricks, there’s something special about each game in the series!
  • Tons of Turn-based Bliss: Dozens of hours of gameplay and story will keep players endlessly engaged.
  • Monster Madness: Each game in the Braveland Trilogy adds more allies to recruit, fiends to fight, and bosses to battle. There’s always something, or someone, fresh to find and befriend, or battle.
  • Worlds of Wonder: Hand-drawn art and rich storytelling combine to immerse players in fantastical worlds.
  • Duelists Welcome: Same-screen multiplayer allows players to enjoy PvP battles.

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Jump Force first DLC launches in May

The first downloadable content for Jump Force will launch in May, the latest issue of V-Jump reveals.

V-Jump does not share detailed information about the downloadable content, but it is likely the first of nine downloadable content characters planned for release as part of the game’s $29.99 “Character Pass.”

Jump Force is available now for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

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MX vs. ATV All Out Anniversary Edition announced for PS4, Xbox One, and PC

Publisher THQ Nordic and developer Rainbow Studios have announced MX vs. ATV All Out Anniversary Edition. It will launch for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on March 12 for $29.99 / £25.99 / €29.99.

Here is an overview of the game, via THQ Nordic:

About

MX vs. ATV All Out Anniversary Edition includes DLC track packs Ricky Carmichael Farm – GOAT, Hometown MX Nationals and Slash’s Snakepit. A staggering 14 additional tracks plus ALL the gear, Supercross, private compound and massive open environments that made MX vs. ATV All Out the complete off-road racing experience.

What’s new in the Anniversary Edition?

  • Ricky Carmichael Farm – GOAT: Two Supercross, one Nationals, one Waypoint, and two Opencross tracks PLUS multiple trails in Freeride.
  • Slash’s Snakepit: Three of the largest Supercross tracks in MX vs. ATV history PLUS an FMX area.
  • Hometown MX Nationals: The most authentic outdoor tracks. Four, huge Nationals tracks and two Freeride environments to explore with different time of day variations.

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Koch Media to distribute Buka Entertainment titles at retail

Buka Entertainment has partnered with THQ Nordic subsidiary Koch Media to handle the distribution of 9 Monkeys of ShaolinRedeemer: Enhanced Edition, and Ash of Gods: Redemption, which are all due out both physically and digitally for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC.

“We are delighted to finally announce our partnership with Koch Media, the leading European video games distributor and publisher,” said Buka Entertainment public relations manager Artem Studenikin in a press release. “We strongly believe that this partnership will exceed all expectations and help us to reach players around the world to let them enjoy our upcoming games on all current platforms.”

Koch Media head of communications Jorn Fahrbach added, “We are happy that Buka Entertainment chose us as a distribution partner. Their games fit perfectly in our portfolio, as they are offering multi-platform titles for an attractive price, and we all at Koch Media are looking forward to support these unique titles with our experience both in marketing as well as sales, across the different territories, stores and platforms.”

Find an overview of each title below.

9 Monkeys of Shaolin

9 Monkeys of Shaolin marks a true rebirth of the iconic brawler genre in vein of old-school video games. The game will be available in 2019 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC.

As a mere Chinese fisherman Wei Cheng you have to avenge the death of your friends and family slaughtered in a pirate raid at your peaceful village. The game protagonist is quite a tough nut to crack as he knows the basics of ancient martial arts only mastered by legendary Shaolin monks. Get your trusty battle staff ready for a challenging adventure in Medieval China and for merciless fights with hordes of various enemies.

Action-packed battles, user friendly controls and incredible atmosphere of great kung-fu movies of the 70s – all this makes 9 Monkeys of Shaolin a perfect choice for every true fan of really hardcore brawlers.

Redeemer: Enhanced Edition

Redeemer: Enhanced Edition is an intense modern take on the brawler genre where you will punch, hack and blast your way through enemies using fists, hammers, fire arms and even the environment. The game will be available in 2019 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC.

Play as Vasily, once elite operative working for the biggest Cybernetic Weapon Manufacturer in the world, he narrowly escape to a secluded monastery when the corporation turned on him, willing to make him one of its cyborg soldiers.

For 20 years he tried to find peace and harmony amongst fellow monks until the corporation eventually found his trace and is now closing-in on Vasily’s location In so doing, they have given him one last shot at redemption.

Ash of Gods: Redemption

Ash of Gods: Redemption is a turn-based RPG featuring constantly evolving storytelling with risks that truly affect gameplay, along with an extensive online PvP mode. The game will be available in 2019 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC. The game features a story based on the complexity and ambiguity of moral choice where any of the characters in game can die. Momentary benefits may cost a character a life, while sacrifice will make the walkthrough of one of following episodes easier. Ash of Gods: Redemption features a mix of gorgeous art, lush music, tactical combat, and a powerful story that plays out via dialogue driven layer interaction. Depending upon a player’s decisions, no two playthroughs of the game will be the same.

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New Details For Astral Chain By Platinum Games

New information on Nintendo and Platinum Games’ newly announced Switch action game Astral Chain have come in via Platinum Games’ official game page.

Get the details below.

■ About

The Ark: A massive, prosperous, multicultural city. But disaster strikes when mysterious dimensional gates appear, bringing dangerous alien creatures to the Ark to attack the people and corrupt the land. The Ark police form a special task force, known as Neuron, to face the alien threat head-on.

Humanity’s last chance against invasion is a special living weapon called the Legion. As a rookie Neuron officer, you and your Legion will work together to solve cases and save humankind.

Astral Chain gives you full control over two characters at once for thrilling Synergetic Action, courtesy of Platinum Games. Switch between several Legion types and skills to save the world your way.

Astral Chain features character designs by the acclaimed mangaka Masakazu Katsura (ZetmanVideo Girl Ai), and marks the directorial debut of Platinum Games’ Takahisa Taura (designer of NieR:Automata). Hideki Kamiya, director of Bayonetta and writer / supervisor of Bayonetta 2, provides supervision.

Astral Chain

■ Story

Astral Chain is set in a near-future metropolis called the Ark. When this prosperous city finds itself under attack by creatures from beyond our dimension, it’s up to the special police task force Neuron to save the day – before the end of the world as we know it.

Astral Chain

Astral Chain

Astral Chain

Astral Chain

Astral Chain

Astral Chain

■ Characters & Visuals

Twin Heroes

You are one of a pair of twins, freshly drafted into Neuron and given a Legion of your own. Choose a male or female character – the other will appear as your twin sibling and closest squadmate.

Astral Chain

Masakazu Katsura, creator of manga including Zetman and Video Girl Ai, designed the main characters and their powerful Legions.

Astral Chain

Astral Chain

Meet Neuron – Your new squadmates

Astral Chain

Visuals

The Ark is a sprawling cyberpunk metropolis where anime and reality meet.

Astral Chain

■ Synergetic Action

Work together with the Legion – the ultimate living weapon!

Humanity’s last hope against the extradimensional invasion is the Legion – a living weapon, tethered to a human controller. You and your Legion will work together to fight off alien monsters – and crack police cases, while you’re at it. Synergetic Action is all in a day’s work at Neuron!

Astral Chain

Team up with your Legion for coordinated attacks on one enemy…

Astral Chain

…or take on multiple foes at once!

Astral Chain

Astral Chain

Astral Chain

Astral Chain is due out for Switch on August 30.

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Radeon VII Now Available for Pre-Order in India, Priced at Rs. 64,990

After so much debated and speculation, we finally know how much AMD’s flagship GPU, Radeon VII will cost in India.

The card is priced at $699, in the US however, several Indian tech sites claimed the card to be priced at Rs. 54,990 in India.
This pricing seemed a bit strange given that the similarly priced RTX 2080 costs around 70k in India. As a result, we did a rough analysis and concluded that the GPU would cost somewhere around 65k. Read the complete analysis here.

Fortunately, we finally know how much the card will ‘really’ cost in India. The card is priced at Rs. 64,990 with GST and other duties included. Vedant Computers has started accepting preorders for the same.

Radeon VII at Vedant Computers.

The flagship GPU comes with 3 free games and a whopping amount of 16 GB HBM2 memory. The Sapphire card is virtually identical to the reference card in design, in line with our previous rumours and leaks regarding time shortage to the manufactures.

However, with RTX 2080 priced just 5k more, is the AMD GPU worth buying? Read our breakdown here and let us know your pick in the comments below.

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Heavy discount on RX 580, grab one for 14k

Ever since the leaks of Navi and GTX 1660 Ti began to surface, the ‘budget gamer’ has been constantly growing uneasy. There seems to be ‘endless’ waiting for that ‘perfect’ card. However, if you are in desperate need of a 1080p gaming rig, you can get this old but, powerful card that is currently on sale.

RX 580 has a ‘very sweet’ price to performance ratio. The card is able to handle pretty much everything you throw at it. You’ll hit 60 fps in all major titles at high, if not ultra preset. If there are any performance issues, just drop a setting or two and you should be fine. The card comes in a 4 GB and an 8 GB variant. The one currently on sale is the 4 GB version.

RX 580 on Vedant Computers

The only downside of the card is its power consumption. AMD recommends a power supply of at least 500W, make sure you fulfill all the requirements. Find official details here.

The card is currently on sale at Vedant Computers, you can grab one for Rs. 13,999 while the sale lasts.

However, if you can shell out some more money, we strongly recommend you to go for the 8 GB variant because games are increasingly using better textures and subsequently more VRAM. You also get two choose two free games from AMD’s ‘Raise the Game’ bundle. Find the 8 GB variant here.

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HyperX Cloud Stinger Core Review

HyperX Cloud Stinger Core is quite a mouthful to say but rest assured is an entry-level gaming headset, and a good option for those on consoles. This entry-level headset will cost you around Rs3.5k so let’s take a look at these gaming headsets to see if they’re the ones for you.

Tech Specs

Headphone
Driver:Dynamic, 40mm with neodymium magnets
Type:Circumaural, Closed back
Frequency response:20Hz–20,000Hz
Impedance:16 Ω
Sound pressure level:99dBSPL/mW at 1kHz
T.H.D.:< 2%
Weight:215g
Cable length and type:Headset (1.3m)
Connection:Headset – 3.5mm plug (4 pole)
Microphone
Element:Electret condenser microphone
Polar pattern:Noise-cancelling
Frequency response:50Hz-18,000 Hz
Sensitivity:-41.5dBV (0dB=1V/Pa,1kHz)

The Headphones use 40mm drivers which are pretty standard for headphones in this price range. They’re closed headphones which mean no audio will leak out from your headphones, unlike Open Back Headphones. This also means that you will experience moderate levels of external noise cancellation when you’re playing games which is good if you live someplace noisy.

The headset doesn’t need any external power and is a simple plug and play device thanks to the 3.5mm jack which can be used to connect it to a PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch and even a mobile if your phone still has a 3.5mm jack.

Design and Features

The Headset has a very sleek looking clean design with a few sharp curves that make it look a little aggressive. It does look similar to the HyperX Cloud Stinger however unlike that pair of headphones, the Cloud Stinger Core is much darker with a black HyperX logo instead of a red one and only a blue border around the ear cups for colour.

The sleek minimal design looks good and is much better than a lot of gaming headsets that end up looking really ugly and gaudy. The headset also features a dedicated mute switch along with a volume controller which is great for those on consoles.

The cable length is 1.3m which is long enough that it can easily be connected to a controller and even to a desktop that is placed near your desk. This also means that cable clutter will be less which is always a plus. There’s only a single cable so you don’t have to worry about managing two seperate wires for the headphones and mic.

Sound and Comfort

Before we talk about sound let’s make one thing clear. This is an entry-level gaming headset. Gaming headsets, in general, don’t have the best audio and you can tell the difference if you’re an audiophile who listens to different kinds of music with varying levels of mids, lows and highs.

Now that that’s out of the way, this Headset has pretty good audio quality. It is a bit more biased towards the bass which is something we see in a lot of headsets but it doesn’t overdo it. While mids and highs aren’t as clear as you’d expect, the fact still remains that these are entry-level and will serve you well for gaming and casual consumption of media.

You won’t have any problems listening to audio cues in a game like enemy footsteps, callouts, gunfire etc. Directional audio is good so you won’t ever be in a situation where you won’t know where a sound is coming from unless the game itself has bad acoustics.

There is one caveat though that comes at this price and that’s the sacrifice of comfort. The cloth ear pads are actually pretty decent but comfort becomes an issue when you’ve been wearing them for an extended period of time, especially if you wear glasses.

Your ears will get hot and sweaty and you’ll feel a bit of discomfort but only if you wear them for a couple of hours in a stretch. There is a bit of foam padding at the top so your head won’t hurt because of pressure from the top so that’s good.

The mic also works well and delivers clear audio. It has noise-cancelling and is a condenser mic which means even if you’re in a noisy environment, the mic won’t pick up the background noise. There was no problem whatsoever when communicating in games and the dedicated mic switch came in handy on many occasions.

Verdict

The HyperX Cloud Stinger Core is a good entry-level headset that tick off a lot of checkboxes for those looking to upgrade from cheap in-ear buds or on-the-ear headphones.

Coming in at around Rs3,500 this headset is great for those who have multiple consoles and don’t want to buy an extension or separate headphones. They have good audio output, a decent mic and come with a two-year warranty which is great in case something goes wrong. And it does all this while also looking stylish but not over-the-top.

The names can get confusing for HyperX Headsets with HyperX Clouds, HyperX Cloud Cores, HyperX Cloud Stingers and now the HyperX Cloud Stinger Core so if HyperX or Kingston could maybe make the naming scheme a bit easier for the consumer, that’d be great and would help get rid of a lot of confusion.

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Metro Exodus: RTX and DLSS Analysis

Metro Exodus is out now and all the platform exclusivity debacle aside, the game itself is great and looks visually stunning. The game also comes with RTX and DLSS and we’ve been waiting to see more of this so let’s discuss how it affects performance and visuals in this title.

Let’s discuss the implementation of RTX in this title. RTX is only used for Global Illumination which means only the light from the sun is ray traced and not reflections or any other light sources like in Battlefield V. This was done mainly because changing how local light sources worked would change the stealth mechanics for those who were not using RTX so they decided to only go for Global Illumination.

This means that while outdoor scenes will look much more realistic, you won’t see much of a difference in indoor scenes because of the reasons mentioned above ,however, that doesn’t mean you’ll see non-RTX like performance.

On an RTX 2080 Ti, you’ll see the average frame per second drop from around 87 fps to 53 fps when using the High RTX preset(which is the lowest setting) and the game preset on Ultra at 4K resolution.

That’s a drop of around 35 fps for something that will only be visible outdoors. While it does look more realistic and cinematic, having that drop even in areas with no visible change isn’t great. Plus, the cards like the RTX 2060 and RTX 2070 are good for 1080p Ultra with RTX on High.

Moving up to 1440p on the RTX 2060 and the RTX 2070 will see you get a framerate between 35-54fps and 42-60fps respectively at Ultra. Dropping down the settings from Ultra to High could net you more frames but unless you drop to Medium on the RTX 2060, it will be pretty hard to get a consistent 60 fps experience with RTX on.

There’s another way to gain more frames though and that’s with DLSS. Deep Learning Super Sampling or DLSS uses AI to upscale an image to a targeted resolution without losing image quality. Sadly, we feel DLSS needs a bit more time before it can be used in place of using a Native Resolution.

DLSS in Metro Exodus makes the image less sharp and lacks detail. There’s also visible artifacting and the image doesn’t look too clean. It seems to lose a lot of detail and actually feels like a little more blurry as if you were using an AA like FXAA which would make the screen a little blurry but get rid of Aliasing.

DLSS is being constantly improved as Nvidia’s supercomputer is continually learning and will improve over time.

So, is Ray tracing and DLSS worth using in Metro Exodus if you have an RTX card? Well, it really depends on your personal preference. You could easily play the game on Ultra at 1440p with RTX on High using an RTX 2060 and 2070 but with the framerate capped at 30fps.

However, since Metro Exodus is a shooter, I personally wouldn’t do that. You could also try out DLSS and if you think it looks good then, by all means, use it and enjoy the extra frames to bump up the graphical settings.

Personally, the game is visually breathtaking even without Ray Tracing and I’d prefer a Higher Resolution like 1440p with a solid 60fps framerate rather than dropping resolution for a bit of eye candy.

If you really do want to play with RTX on at 1440p with an RTX 2060 then you should drop down the graphical quality preset from Ultra to maybe High or even Medium and try out DLSS and see if that looks good to you.

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