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Does Sony Really Understand Gaming Any Longer?
Sony was once viewed as the world’s most successful gaming company. After it launched the original PlayStation, many wondered if it could take off until, well, it did. And as we all know, the PlayStation 2 was a gaming chúng tôi all of that changed with the PlayStation 3. The console launched at a price that was far too expensive for what customers were getting, and it lacked the uniqueness of Nintendo’s Wii, which caught on quickly. Microsoft’s Xbox 360, while not as popular as the Wii, benefited from a strong online-gaming component.[Image credit: Joey]
Sony, therefore, was in trouble. Its console wasn’t selling and its online featureset just couldn’t match its chief competitor.
After the PlayStation 3’s price started to fall and Sony offered up some redesigns, the console staged a comeback. Now, it’s succeeding to some degree, though it’s still far behind both of its competitors.
It’s a similar story on the mobile side where Sony’s PlayStation Portable appealed to some gamers, but eventually couldn’t quite match Nintendo’s DS. And with the PlayStation Vita on store shelves now, it appears Sony doesn’t have what it takes to match Nintendo anytime soon.
That Sony might not be able to match the Nintendo 3DS isn’t necessarily all that surprising. What is surprising is that Sony would want to jump into a gaming-handheld market that’s on the decline, due to the success of smartphones and tablets in that space. What’s even more surprising is that it took so long for Sony to even come somewhat close to matching Nintendo on motion gaming and Microsoft on online gaming in the console market.
If you look more deeply at what I just said, you might arrive at a question I’ve been asking about Sony for the last few years: does it really understand the gaming business anymore?
[aqupte]Sony can’t quite see that gaming handhelds is a lost cause[/aquote]
Honestly, I just don’t know. Sony’s mobile hopes are perhaps the most surprising to me. The company has for years evaluated divisions and made tough choices to ensure that it didn’t try to do too much in a market that was slipping away (just look at the Walkman). And yet, it can’t quite see that gaming handhelds is a lost cause.
Over the last few years, iOS and Android have secured an overwhelming portion of portable game revenue. Sony, meanwhile, has been left to pick up only scraps. Considering that was happening before the Vita launched, why would the company even consider spending all of that cash on hardware research and design? That cash could have been more effectively used elsewhere.
At what point will Sony finally see the writing on the wall and realize that it must get out of the handheld market?
Sony should in no way get out of consoles. But that it doesn’t have a more robust online-gaming offering that can match Xbox Live is puzzling to me. Sony must certainly know that online gaming and digital distribution is the future. Why wouldn’t Sony invest far more cash into that market to capitalize on the trend? After all, it’s the smart move.
But actually making the smart moves isn’t something that Sony has been doing much of in the gaming space lately. And the more we consider the moves it’s made, the more we might wonder if it truly understands the industry today.
High-powered consoles and handhelds are great and all. But success in the gaming space today takes much, much more than that. And at least so far, it doesn’t appear Sony gets that.
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WTFast Gaming VPN: Is It Legit? How Does It Work? Rest assured that the software will reduce your latency in-game
Online gaming is great, but issues such as high latency can completely ruin your gaming experience.
WTFast is a simple-to-use tool that can fix latency issues while gaming, and today we’re going to test it out and see what it can do.Pros Simple user interface Supports over 1000 different games Can reduce latency and packet loss Uses machine learning Cons Free trial requires your payment information
While gaming online, the biggest problems can be high latency or lag. These issues can drastically impact your experience and potentially ruin your game.
Many tools can help you fix this issue, and one of them is WTFast. The software will pick the shortest route to the gaming server and thus lower your latency.
The software sounds great, so today, we decided to take it on a test run and see how it works in action.What is WTFast?
WTFast is a software that uses machine learning to choose the best traffic path for your gaming connection.
By doing so, the software will reduce your latency in-game and lower the number of lost packages.
To download WTFast, be sure to visit our in-depth WTFast download guide.
WTFast is a gaming software that will optimize your connection and reduce the latency and lag in online games.
Subscription Download nowDoes WTFast work?
Yes, WTFast works, and it will improve your latency in certain games. The software can help you if your connection is taking a longer route to the gaming server.
If your latency is caused by a technical issue or a limitation related to your ISP, then you might not see a drastic improvement while using WTFast.Is WTFast legit?
Yes, WTFast is a Canadian company founded in 2009. The service has several satisfied customers, so we can certainly say that WTFast is completely legit.What are WTFast features?
Reduce your latency
WTFast will select the best route to the gaming server, and by doing so, it will reduce the latency and lower the number of lost packages during gaming sessions.
Optimized traffic path
Thanks to machine learning, the software will take the optimal traffic path for your gaming connection. However, you can customize the path and pick the best server route anytime.
Real-time network analysis
WTFast provides you with real-time network analytics so you can keep track of your network data at all times.
Works as a GPN
Unlike a VPN, a GPN (Gamers Private Network) will optimize your connection data, and it won’t change your IP address or your network settings.
Supports the most popular games
WTFast works with more than 1000+ different games, and the developers are constantly adding new games to the list of supported titles.
All the latest multiplayer games are on the list, and it’s rather likely that your favorite multiplayer titles are supported.Do you have to pay for WTFast?
Yes, WTFast requires a subscription, but you can also test it out for free. There are four types of subscriptions, monthly, 3-month, 6-month, and yearly.Is WTFast worth it?
WTFast is a great tool, and with its simple user interface and more than 1000 different supported games, WTFast is one of the best gaming services you can use.
If you’re experiencing packet loss or high latency while gaming, WTFast might be the right choice, so be sure to use it for the best lag-free gaming experience.
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For starters, the publication portrays the A5X as “an absolute beast” of an system-on-a-chip. But, its power comes at a price because – as it is implemented in the new iPad – the A5X “under load consumes more power than an entire iPhone 4S”.
We kinda knew that, so just how fast is its quad-core GPU and can we expect jaw-dropping Retina games running natively in all their 2,048-by-1,536 pixel glory and – most importantly – at satisfactory frame rates?
Well, according to authors Vivek Gowri and Anand Lal Shimpiwho who know these things inside out, the A5X shows “a roughly 2x increase in triangle and fill rates” in GPU benchmarks at the 1,024-by-768 resolution of iPad 2. As a result, the new iPad delivers roughly twice the performance of its predecessor. Again, at the iPad 2’s 1,024-by-768 pixel resolution.
In many ways in the A5X is a very conservative design, while in others it’s absolutely pushing the limits of what had been previously done in a tablet.
This 2x speed increase draws from the four GPU units inside the A5X chip versus two on the A5 silicon inside the iPad 2. Note that both chips are based on the PowerVR SGX 543 GPU design from Imaginaton Technologies, the only differentiator being twice the GPU cores and the improved memory bandwidth.
Since we’re still on a 45nm LP process, GPU clocks haven’t increased so we’re looking at a pure doubling of virtually all GPU resources.
Now, the caveats…
You won’t notice this speed gain much in most iPad games updated for the Retina resolution, such as Shadowgun and Grand Theft Auto 3. The reason being, they resort to a trickery involving rendering the scene at 1,024-by-768 and upscaling images to the 2,048-by-1,536 resolution, using antialiasing to smooth out the pixels.
The end result is a nice-looking game on the new iPad’s Retina display that’s really being rendered at the iPad 2’s resolution.
When it comes to gaming at the new iPad’s native Retina resolution, frame rates “can drop to well below” what the iPad 2 delivers. Why? Because the two times speed gain offered by the quad-core GPU doesn’t offset the four times pixel count increase of the Retina display.
It’s because of this drop in performance at the iPad’s native resolution that we won’t see many (if any at all), visually taxing games run at anywhere near 2048 x 1536.
The bigger takeaway is that with the 543MP4 and a quad-channel LP-DDR2 interface, it is possible to run a 3D game at 2048 x 1536 and deliver playable frame rates. It won’t be the prettiest game around, but it’s definitely possible.
“Playable frame rates” may be sufficient for casual games, but likely won’t cut it for 3D shooters and other graphics-intensive titles.
And the fact that both the new and “old” iPad run the same dual-core Cortex-A9 MPCore CPU with NEON SIMD accelerator from ARM Holdings isn’t helping either.
“With no change on the CPU side, CPU performance remains identical to the iPad 2”, the publication explains. That’s why the new iPad is slower when reading magazines.
While gaming at the native Retina resolution is feasible on the new iPad, it all comes down to frame rates and developers’ ability to really push the A5X chip to its extremes.
The aforementioned caveats probably won’t affect a few triple-As from the biggest developers with the most resources. I’m talking about so-called system sellers, such as the upcoming Infinity Blade Dungeons from Epic Games.
My sources in the graphics industry convince me that a handful of cherry-picked developers enjoy preferential treatment because Apple is fond of positioning iOS gadgets as portable gaming consoles, among other things.
Disappointed? Do you still think the new iPad has enough horsepower to drive graphics-intensive games natively at the Retina display resolution and at frame rates matching or exceeding those on iPad 2?
The Z3+ is a faster version of an already very fast smartphone, and few users would complain that the Z3 is slow. However, the processor change brings it up to speed with its 2023 smartphone rivals, and we appreciate the extra storage space as standard (and Sony has managed it without removing the microSD card slot). The other improvements are nice, but unless you’re a Sony enthusiast there’s little here to warrant the expense of an upgrade from the Xperia Z3. In fact, we still highly rate the Z3 Compact – a smaller version of Sony’s Z3 with a much more attractive price of £280 (Amazon), and that could well be half the asking price of the Z3+.
Sony has unveiled its Z3+, the UK version of the Sony Xperia Z4 that was last month announced in Japan and successor to the Sony Xperia Z3. We explain what’s new in the Sony Xperia Z3+ in our Z3 vs Z3+ comparison review.
In this article we are focusing on the key specifications of each Sony phone. For more in-depth information see our full Sony Xperia Z3 review and our hands-on Sony Xperia Z3+ review.
Note that the Sony Xperia Z4 is sold only in Japan. It’s the same as the Z3+ mentioned here, but comes with DTV (Digital TV) and FeliCa (a contactless RFID smart card system)Sony Xperia Z3 vs Sony Xperia Z3+: Price and UK availability
The Sony Xperia Z3 has a £549 RRP, but it’ll cost you just £360 SIM-free at Amazon. At £549 it was £50 cheaper than the Sony Xperia Z2 that launched in March 2014, which kept it in line with its Samsung and HTC rivals and made sense given its minor improvements over its predecessor.
Sony was rumoured to be putting an end to its biannual smartphone refreshes and when no Z4 appeared at MWC 2023 that certainly appeared to be the case. However, it has today (26 May) unveiled its Z3+, which is another phone that features only minor improvements over its predecessor.
Sony has yet to reveal UK pricing for its Z3+, which will go on sale in the UK in June, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see another £549 RRP, making it £30 cheaper than the HTC One M9 and £50 cheaper than the Samsung Galaxy S6.Sony Xperia Z3 vs Sony Xperia Z3+: Design and build
The Sony Xperia Z3 has a very similar design to every other Xperia before it, with the same rectangular shape, boxy corners, rounded edges and front- and rear glass panels. And the new Sony Xperia Z3+ is almost identical – but not quite.
Forget the Plus in the new Xperia’s model name – the Z3+ isn’t a phablet version of the Z3, with both adorning a 5.2in full-HD (1920×1080) panel. In fact it’s slimmer and lighter, slimming down from 7.3- to 6.9mm, and 152- to 144g.
It’s also lost that fiddly little flap over the Micro-USB port, which can make charging a pain (don’t worry – it’s still IP65/IP68-certified for dust- and waterproof protection). And there’s now just a single cover for the joint SIM and microSD card slot.
You’ll find the same black, white and green colour options available for both Z3 and Z3+, although Sony says it has developed a new interpretation of its copper model.Sony Xperia Z3 vs Sony Xperia Z3+: Hardware and performance
A 2.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 chip, Adreno 330 graphics and 3GB of RAM allowed the Sony Xperia Z3 to fare very well in our benchmarks last September. We saw 2805 points in Geekbench 3.0, 29fps in GFXBench 3.0 T-Rex and 804ms in SunSpider. Also see: What’s the fastest smartphone 2023?
Things get a lot faster with the Sony Xperia Z3+, whose 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 octa-core processor runs Android Lollipop out of the box. As before there’s 3GB of RAM, but you’ll now find Adreno 430 graphics and 32- rather than 16GB of storage as standard, which can be boosted with a microSD card up to 128GB in capacity.
From the Xperia Z3+ you can expect performance on par with the HTC One M9, which recorded 3778 points in Geekbench 3.0, 867ms in SunSpider, 50fps in T-Rex and 24fps in Manhattan. However, we won’t know which phone is faster until we’ve run the Z3+ through our benchmarks.
The battery capacity has been reduced from 3100mAh to 2900mAh, which likely explains the reduction in size and weight. Sony claims it will still last two days, although we need to get the Z3+ into our lab to check. A quick charger is available for the Z3+, but not supplied in the box.Sony Xperia Z3 vs Sony Xperia Z3+: Cameras
Sony’s Xperia Z3 came with a 20.7Mp rear camera and a 2.2Mp front camera. Nothing has changed in the core hardware in this department, although one could argue that it didn’t need to – the Z3 is a great camera phone. There are a few software tweaks, though, with a new Gourmet mode and Superior Auto’s ability to recognise 52 scenarios. Superior Auto and SteadyShot with Intelligent Active Mode are now available for the front camera, too. Also see: Best camera phone 2023.Sony Xperia Z3 vs Sony Xperia Z3+: Audio
Audio quality is excellent from the Sony Xperia Z3, and it’s improved further with the Z3+.Sony Xperia Z3 vs Sony Xperia Z3+: Connectivity
Not much has changed on the connectivity front. You’ll get the latest 4G and Bluetooth connectivity, plus support for NFC, DLNA, GPS, PS4 Remote Play and more, but the Xperia Z-series flagship still lacks high-end features seen in its rivals such as a fingerprint scanner and wireless charging.Sony Xperia Z3 vs Sony Xperia Z3+: Software
Whereas the Sony Xperia Z3 came preinstalled with Android KitKat, an update to Lollipop is now available, bringing it into line with the Z3+. Both reveal a fairly vanilla implementation of Lollipop, but allow you to customise the Quick Settings in the notification bar. We did notice a fair amount of preinstalled bloatware, however, including Spotify, Vine, AVG, Kobo Books, Office Suite.Sony Xperia Z3 vs Sony Xperia Z3+: Verdict
The Z3+ is a faster version of an already very fast smartphone, and few users would complain that the Z3 is slow. However, the processor change brings it up to speed with its 2023 smartphone rivals, and we appreciate the extra storage space as standard (and Sony has managed it without removing the microSD card slot). The other improvements are nice, but unless you’re a Sony enthusiast there’s little here to warrant the expense of an upgrade from the Xperia Z3. In fact, we still highly rate the Z3 Compact – a smaller version of Sony’s Z3 with a much more attractive price of £280 ( Amazon), and that could well be half the asking price of the Z3+.
Also see: Best new phones coming in 2023.
Follow Marie Brewis on Twitter.Specs Sony Xperia Z3: Specs
Android 4.4.4 KitKat OS
5.2in Triluminos Display (1080×1920, 424ppi)
2.5GHz Quad-Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 CPU
Adreno 330 GPU
16GB internal storage
microSD slot (up to 128GB)
20.7Mp rear camera AF with LED Flash
2.2Mp front camera
Video recording at up to 2160p
Wi-Fi up tp chúng tôi 4.0
4G LTE Cat 4
Dust and waterproof (IP68)
Much has been written about the smartphone’s detrimental impact on point-and-shoot camera sales. Not enough has been written about an even bigger casualty of today’s do-everything phones: the once-revolutionary pocket camcorder.
You can chalk up Flip’s abrupt end to the rise of smartphones, which not only shoot serviceable high-def video but also allow you to share that footage nearly instantly. In terms of sharing features, however, the Sony Bloggie Live MHS-TS55 ($250 as of March 13, 2012) is the first pocket camcorder out there that’s putting up a fight.Hardware and Features
Although the Sony Bloggie Live has physical buttons for starting and stopping recording, snapping photos, and powering the device on and off, you access most of the core in-camera features via the Bloggie’s 3-inch capacitive touchscreen. An internal 8GB drive handles the storage.
The Menu button also provides access to the Bloggie Live’s wireless sharing features, including live streaming; uploading directly to Facebook, YouTube, and Sony’s new PlayMemories Online service; and pairing the camcorder to another mobile device for viewing and sharing items via a smartphone or tablet (you’ll need to download a free iOS or Android app to your device for the latter feature to work).Wireless Sharing
You can see the results for yourself: Watch the simultaneously streamed footage from the Sony Bloggie Live and the iPhone 4S.
In addition to the discrepancies in resolution, the clips had noticeable differences in image quality, some of which you’ll see by viewing the test footage. The Bloggie Live’s video generally looked sharper and handled dramatic changes in lighting conditions more seamlessly, but its white balance was a bit off, creating a blue cast in most indoor scenes. The iPhone 4S tended to reproduce colors more realistically, but it also struggled more visibly with backlighting issues, and it tended to oversaturate colors in some cases.
Note that the Bloggie Live also did a better job in correcting the “wobble” resulting from walking with the camcorder; its digital stabilization system worked well in our tests. All in all, the Bloggie Live showed better contrast, detail, backlight-correction, and shake-correction when live-streaming video, while the iPhone 4S produced more-colorful video with good white balance.
Outside of the live-streaming mode, you can pair the Bloggie Live to your phone or tablet for viewing images and offloading them to the mobile device’s storage wirelessly. To enable remote viewing, you need to download the free Sony PlayMemories Mobile app to your iOS or Android device; the app acts as a viewer and a downloading interface for the videos and images you want to save. Once you select ‘View on Smartphone’ from the Bloggie Live’s menu, the Bloggie Live shows up as an access point in your phone or tablet’s Wi-Fi settings, and you enter a password that appears on the camcorder’s screen. The whole setup process takes about a minute.
In my hands-on tests, I was able to transfer a 6-minute video from the Bloggie Live to the iPhone wirelessly in a little more than a minute, but the resulting video was a much smaller size than your average native iPhone video (see the screenshot to the left). Wireless still-image transfers took about a second or two each, and they also appeared downscaled from their full 12-megapixel resolution; once they reached the iPhone, they ended up as 1920-by-1440-pixel images (just short of 3 megapixels). Overall, the mobile wireless-sharing function works decently, as long as you’re willing to deal with lower-resolution images and video once you’ve beamed them over to another device.Video Quality and Image Quality
In our lab-based subjective tests for still and video quality, the Sony Bloggie Live earned an overall score of Very Good. Despite performing very well for a small-size camcorder, it failed to clearly outshine some of its noted smartphone competitors in the same tests.
The Bloggie Live received scores of Very Good for overall video quality and audio quality in our movie tests, as well as Very Good marks for exposure quality and color accuracy in our still-image tests. However, all of that added up to about the same aggregate imaging scores as we saw from the iPhone 4S and Samsung Galaxy S II, the two camera phones that Sony was hoping to outgun with the Bloggie Live.
During my hands-on tests, the Bloggie Live proved a worthy alternative to a basic compact point-and-shoot camera in image quality. The touch-to-focus controls work well, and the Bloggie has decent macro capabilities (around 2 inches away from the subject) that produce a shallow depth of field.
Sony Bloggie Live
Samsung Galaxy S IIBottom Line
The Bloggie Live is a very good video performer; outside of its streaming mode, though, it didn’t produce mind-bogglingly superior video in comparison with the top smartphones it was built to compete against. When shooting 1080p video, it was strictly on a par with the output of smartphones such as the Apple iPhone 4S and the Samsung Galaxy S II, although it does have better stabilization features and output controls than both of those phones. In live-streaming mode, the Bloggie Live produces a few more benefits, including sharper video and the option of saving the streaming footage as a high-definition 1080p clip to its hard drive.
If you’re looking specifically for a pocket camcorder, the Bloggie Live is a solid option, with wireless sharing features that you won’t find in any other model. If you’re seeking a handheld device to replace or augment the 1080p video or image-capture quality of your phone, the Bloggie Live largely matches the output of today’s top phone cameras. And if you’re shopping for a dedicated video-streaming device that won’t eat into your phone’s data plan or battery life, the Bloggie Live may be worth the price.
Microsoft will no longer sell you Windows 10 licenses
If you value your safety and would like to only use licensed products, you have to hurry.
Microsoft has just announced that it will no longer sale Windows 10 licenses after January.
You can still buy them from retailers, but the company is officially halting all license sales.
What we’re about to tell you right now is really important and should be treated as a priority, especially if you value your online safety.
If you are still interested in buying a licensed Windows 10 copy, you’d better hurry because Microsoft will stop directly selling Windows 10 licenses by the end of the month.
The operating system will still be supported until 2025, but licensed versions of the popular OS will no longer be sold.No more Windows 10 licenses from Microsoft
January is over, and if you try and navigate to the purchase webpage for Windows 10 Home or Windows 10 Pro, you will be redirected to the Get Windows 11 page.
Once there, you’ll find that there is only a single license purchase link that only allows you to purchase the latest operating system, Windows 11.
To help you out a bit, there is also a list of vendors from where you can buy a Windows 11-compatible PC and there are FAQs for customers who are not tech-savvy too.
However, while Microsoft is no longer selling Windows 10 licenses through its website, you can still buy these at third-party retailers like Newegg and Amazon.
Not to mention the fact that, if you are lucky, you might also find physical copies of Windows 10 in brick-and-mortar stores.
As we previously mentioned, Microsoft will still support Windows 10 for a few more years, but we won’t be able to buy a Windows 10 license except through existing stores of licenses at third-party retailers.
Remember that some versions of Windows 10, such as 20H2, have already reached end of support. That’s why we recommend that you upgrade to Windows 10 22H2, the last version of the OS.
In the above-mentioned post, Microsoft says that January 31 (2023), will be the last day this Windows 10 download is offered for sale.
For those of you that didn’t quite catch it, the elimination of the Windows 10 license basically means that Windows 11 will not only be the operating system that Microsoft wants you to buy.
Allow us to rephrase and say that it’s also the only operating system that Microsoft will allow you to buy, therefore the obvious choice.
Don’t worry, we’ll see this again in a few years when the Redmond-based tech colossus will release Windows 12 to the public.
That being said, just because Microsoft won’t sell them anymore, doesn’t mean you can’t still get your hands on a licensed copy of Windows 10.
In fact, the alternative for those wishing to buy a Windows 10 license will be to turn instead to third-party retailers that still have the product in stock.
Keep in mind that OEM copies of Windows 10 are still available at Amazon, although the Windows 10 product listing lacks any indication that Microsoft itself will soon stop selling Windows 10 licenses.
There’s also the option to install Windows 10 on your machine without paying for it, but you will lose the ability to personalize your PC and we don’t recommend it at all.
There will also be a watermark on your desktop asking you to activate Windows, so yet another reason to go official.
On that note, know that this is pretty much the beginning of the end for Windows 10, seven and a half years after it launched, as Microsoft continues to pivot strongly towards Windows 11 as the preferred OS.
A lot of new functionalities are primarily being added to Windows 11 and it’s also being pitched as the most secure version of Windows.
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