Games Machines http://www.stuff.tv/games-machines/all en-GB Nvidia Shield Tablet http://www.stuff.tv/nvidia-shield/review-0 <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> We put Nvidia’s miniature mighty slate through its paces to see if it really is the best gaming tablet ever made </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-enable-hero"> <div class="field-label">Enable hero:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Enable full width image </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="1200" height="900" alt="Nvidia Shield review" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/DSCN9986.JPG?1412342654" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-byline"> <div class="field-label">Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/users/esat-dedezade" title="View user profile.">Esat Dedezade</a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="p1">Game how you want, where you want.</p> <p class="p1">That&rsquo;s Nvidia&rsquo;s tagline for its Shield Tablet, and it promises to open up a world of super powerful on-the-go gaming, thanks to the beastly Tegra K1 processer that lurks beneath its shell.</p> <p class="p1">Promising an unparalleled Android and PC game-streaming experience, the Shield certainly isn&rsquo;t shy when it comes to selling itself.&nbsp;But does it live up to the hype?</p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-pricing"><legend>Pricing</legend><div class="field field-type-number-float field-field-test-price"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> £240.00 </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-price-from"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 0 </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-price-notes"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Controller: £50 Cover: £25 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-ratings"><legend>Ratings</legend><div class="field field-type-hcmreviewrating-rating field-field-overall-rating"> <div class="field-label">Overall rating:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="hcmrating-default">8 stars</div> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-pros"> <div class="field-label">Pros:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Solid build </div> <div class="field-item even"> Incredibly powerful </div> <div class="field-item odd"> Frees up your games library </div> <div class="field-item even"> Console-quality controller </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-cons"> <div class="field-label">Cons:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Whole package is expensive if you’re not a PC gamer </div> <div class="field-item even"> More Android games need to take advantage of all that power </div> <div class="field-item odd"> Contrast could be better </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><legend>Review Section</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Simple yet solid </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p class="p1">At first glance, the Shield Tablet looks like a giant <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/htc-one/review">HTC One</a>, thanks to its rounded corners and dual front-facing speakers.</p> <p class="p1">Unlike the HTC and the <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/apple/apple-ipad-5/review">iPad Air</a> however, there&rsquo;s no metal in sight. The rear of the Shield is slathered in plain black matte plastic, and while obviously not as premium as metal, it looks smart and feels pleasantly grippy.</p> <p class="p1">It also feels reassuringly weighty in the hands and doesn&rsquo;t creak or flex if you try to bend it.</p> <p class="p1">Camera-wise, there&rsquo;s a 5MP front-facing offering for video chat and (shudder) selfies, along with another 5MP snapper on the rear, both without a flash.</p> <p class="p1">The left hand side remains bare, leaving room for an optional (but in our opinion, necessary) magnetic cover which doubles up as a stand. The cover itself is soft on the inside and made out of tough, durable rubber on the outside, which should protect the screen from any accidental drops, although it won&rsquo;t do anything to save the rear.</p> <p class="p1">The right side of the Shield features a power button, volume controls, a microSD slot for expandable storage, a stylus slot, and a mini HDMI port. More on those last two later and on the top you&rsquo;ll find a bass speaker vent, a headphone jack and a microUSB port.&nbsp;</p> <p class="p1">The Shield&rsquo;s dual front-facing speakers pack quite a punch for a tablet. They&rsquo;re loud, crisp, and don&rsquo;t distort, even at higher volumes with&nbsp;a HTC BoomSound-esque quality to them.</p> <p class="p1">Overall, the Shield Tablet&rsquo;s design is safe and solid. It won&rsquo;t draw eyes on the catwalk, but that&rsquo;s OK, it doesn&rsquo;t need to. The build quality - bar slightly squishy volume and power buttons &ndash; coupled with its grippy rear makes it comfortable in hand.&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/DSCN9962.JPG?1412342654" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="1200" height="900" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/DSCN9984_1.JPG?1412342654" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> A screen for gaming </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p class="p1">The Shield Tablet&rsquo;s 8in Full HD IPS screen looks lacklustre on paper when compared to the likes of 2K slates like the <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/android/samsung-galaxy-tab-s-84/review">Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4</a>.</p> <p class="p1">In general use however, you won&rsquo;t notice its lower 283 ppi count. Not unless you spend the majority of your time tapping away at the screen with your nose that is.</p> <p class="p1">Colours on the Shield&rsquo;s bright display are well-balanced, serving up bright, vivid hues without suffering from unrealistic oversaturation.</p> <p class="p1">The same can&rsquo;t be said for the contrast however. While IPS panels can never match the true blacks of an AMOLED display, blacks on the Shield&rsquo;s screen look more of a dark grey in comparison to the <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/apple/apple-ipad-5/review">iPad Air</a>.</p> <p class="p1">The difference in whites is even more noticeable. Next to an <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/apple/apple-ipad-5/review">iPad Air</a>, whites on the Shield look positively dark and creamy, and are begging for a sprinkle of Daz.</p> <p class="p1">Generally though, you only notice this sort of stuff when you&rsquo;re meticulously comparing different screens side by side. In general use and gaming, the Shield&rsquo;s screen is still sharp and pleasant to look at, and you shouldn&rsquo;t have any complaints.</p> <p>Our only other complaint is that you&rsquo;ll struggle with glare if you&rsquo;re using it outside, which could make headshots a problem when you&rsquo;re spraying bullets at enemies. Still, it&rsquo;s unlikely you&rsquo;ll be doing this beneath the glaring sun on a park bench so it&rsquo;s not a dealbreaker.&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/DSCN9968_1.JPG?1412342654" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-title"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Stick that in your benchmark pipe and smoke it </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-body-text"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Body Text:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The Tegra K1 processor that&rsquo;s nestled within the Shield&rsquo;s unassuming black shell is an absolute beast. We don&rsquo;t like getting bogged down in numbers as real-world experience is always more important,&nbsp;but we couldn&rsquo;t help ourselves:</p> <p>Antutu: 52,796</p> <p>3D Mark: 31,358&nbsp;Geekbench 3: 3,491 <p>Those numbers mean nothing on their own of course, so let&rsquo;s try and put them into perspective. The 3D Mark score isn&rsquo;t massively far away from the Acer Iconia W701&rsquo;s score of 39,592 &ndash; and that&rsquo;s&nbsp;running an Intel Core i5 processor.&nbsp;</p> <p>Its Antutu score also comfortable beats pocket powerhouses like the mighty <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/galaxy-s5/samsung-galaxy-s5/review">Galaxy S5</a> and <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/htc/htc-one-2/review">HTC One&nbsp;</a><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/htc/htc-one-2/review">(M8)</a> by almost 10,000 points and it scores higher than the Galaxy S5 in Geekbench too.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Tegra K1 Time </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p class="p1">High numbers are impressive of course, but they still don&rsquo;t mean anything at all if lag and stuttering is present.&nbsp;</p> <p class="p1">Thankfully the Shield has neither, and Android 4.4 runs smoother than a greased-up cheetah.&nbsp;</p> <p class="p1">Multi-tasking, app switching and of course gaming, are all handled with ease thanks to a combination of that beastly K1 processor and 2GB of RAM.</p> <p class="p1">This is meant to be more than just a regular Android tablet however. We want more than just snappy apps. We wanted a truly portable, no-compromise gaming experience. And the Shield delivers.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-3"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> A gaming portal in your hands </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p class="p1">Vegetarians turn away now. You&rsquo;ve reached the deliciously succulent meat of this review.&nbsp;</p> <p class="p1">The Shield is billed as the ultimate gaming tablet, and for the most part, it absolutely delivers.</p> <p class="p1">There are a number of ways you can enjoy games while you&rsquo;re on the move. The simplest way is to play existing Google Play store games and obviously they&rsquo;re handled with ease. But that&rsquo;s boring, and it&rsquo;s certainly a waste of that powerful Tegra silicon.</p> <p class="p1">Enter the Nvidia Hub.</p> <p class="p1">It&rsquo;s a dedicated portal to made-for-Shield games that take advantage of all that power, and includes heavy PC-hitters such as Half Life 2 (sold separately).</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/DSCN9964_2.JPG?1412342654" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-4"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p class="p1">Valve&rsquo;s legendary FPS is handled extremely well by the Shield&rsquo;s innards. It looks sharp and plays smoothly, and it&rsquo;s quite humbling to think that it outperforms the below-par PC we first tried to run it on nearly ten years ago.</p> <p class="p1">Combined with a mini HDMI cable (which annoyingly isn&rsquo;t included in the box), the Shield brings Half Life 2 to a 25in 1080p monitor, effectively turning it into a portable gaming PC/console.</p> <p class="p1">There&#39;s more. Trine 2 is a side-scrolling adventure game that&rsquo;s pre-installed and included in the price of the Shield. We had trouble getting it up and running and had to faff around re-installing it, but managed to get it running in the end.</p> <p class="p1">Its bright fantasy world looks fantastic both on the Shield&rsquo;s display and on an external monitor, and it should keep both younger and older gamers occupied in the first few hours of owning a Shield Tablet.</p> <p class="p1">So that&rsquo;s the Shield&rsquo;s gaming prowess taken care of. Almost.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/DSCN9993_2.JPG?1412342654" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="1200" height="900" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/DSCN9991_0.JPG?1412342654" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-5"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Free your gaming rig </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p class="p1">If you&rsquo;re the proud owner of a PC gaming rig, you&rsquo;ll know that they&rsquo;re generally not too happy with being lugged around.&nbsp;</p> <p class="p1">Well, not quite. They probably don&rsquo;t care either way, but your spine definitely will, especially if there are stairs involved.</p> <p class="p1">The Shield Tablet solves this problem by streaming games from your PC straight to its 8in screen, letting you use its controller to game away from your Pixel Den.</p> <p class="p1">We ran Far Cry 3 and Saints Row IV on the Shield Tablet while it was connected to a 1080p monitor downstairs, while our PC happily churned away in another room. And there was no lag whatsoever.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/DSCN9989_2.JPG?1412342654" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-6"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p class="p1">It&rsquo;s even possible to stream a PC game on two monitors and the Shield&rsquo;s screen simultaneously, in a gluttonous display of gaming escapism.</p> <p class="p1">Setting up requires a capable gaming rig with at least an Nvidia 600 series card or higher, and you&rsquo;ll need to install the GeForce Experience software too. Once that&rsquo;s done though, it&#39;s a simple matter of entering a pin, and boom &ndash; you&rsquo;re good to go.</p> <p class="p1">We ran into a few audio niggles with Far Cry 3 in which sound was still being sent to the PC speakers, and we couldn&rsquo;t fix it ourselves.&nbsp;</p> <p class="p1">Other games worked flawlessly, so we&rsquo;re putting that down to a random bug for the time being.</p> <p class="p1">We had no luck streaming games when tethered to our smartphone either so you&rsquo;ll need a fast, strong Wi-Fi connection to take advantage of game streaming on the go.&nbsp;Sadly, that probably means Starbucks probably isn&rsquo;t going to cut it but it is an option.&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="4160" height="3120" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/20140924_112913_0.jpg?1412342654" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-7"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> The Controller </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p class="p1">Nvidia&rsquo;s &pound;50 wireless controller is as essential to the entire Shield experience as its &pound;25 stand-cum-cover.</p> <p class="p1">Buying the Shield Tablet and not having the controller is the equivalent of having a Ferrari without power steering. Sure you can drive it, but it&rsquo;s going to be the opposite of fun.</p> <p>While the Shield is compatible with other Bluetooth Android controllers, its own controller works over Wi-Fi to reduce lag, and its quality rivals that of the Xbox One and PS4 gamepads.</p> <p>It felt rather large and chunky in our hands initially, presumably due to our recent PS4 Destiny marathons. Sony&rsquo;s DualShock 4 is still relatively slim and dinky compared to the competition, but it didn&rsquo;t take long for our hands to adjust.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/DSCN9971.JPG?1412342654" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="1200" height="900" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/DSCN9956_0.JPG?1412342654" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-8"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p class="p1">All the regular controls you&rsquo;d expect are present and accounted for. Two triggers, two shoulder buttons, two joysticks, a D-Pad and four action buttons are all where they should be.</p> <p class="p1">There&rsquo;s also a few touch-sensitive buttons in the middle, with a large green one taking you straight to the Nvidia Hub, along with home, back and start buttons surrounding it.</p> <p class="p1">The bottom of the controller has clickable volume buttons, located beneath a trackpad which works exactly like a laptop&rsquo;s offering, albeit in a smaller, more awkward way.</p> <p class="p1">Thankfully it&rsquo;s built like a tank, and everything from the triggers to the joysticks feel sturdy and grown up.</p> <p class="p1">Naturally it still can&rsquo;t hold a candle to the precision offered by a keyboard and mouse, but no controller can. The Shield Tablet itself does support Bluetooth keyboards and mice for the truly fussy gamer.&nbsp;</p> <p class="p1">Overall while &pound;50 is pricey, it&rsquo;s built to last. Our main gripe with it is that it doesn&rsquo;t double up as a PC controller too, which would have been a nice way to save some cash.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/DSCN9973_0.JPG?1412342654" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="1200" height="900" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/DSCN9957_0.JPG?1412342654" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-3"> <div class="field-label">Image #3:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_3" width="1200" height="900" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/DSCN9958_2.JPG?1412342654" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-title"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Nvidia Shield Tablet tech specs </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-body-text"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Body Text:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><strong>Screen:</strong>&nbsp;8in 1920 x 1200</p> <p><strong>Processor:</strong>&nbsp;Nvidia Tegra K1</p> <p><strong>RAM:</strong>&nbsp;2GB</p> <p><strong>Storage:</strong>&nbsp;16GB (expandable with microSD)</p> <p><strong>Camera:&nbsp;</strong>5MP rear, 5MP front-facing</p> <p><strong>Battery:</strong>&nbsp;19.75Wh</p> <p><strong>Dimensions:</strong>&nbsp;221 x 126 x 9.2mm</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-9"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> A familiar OS </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p class="p1">With everything else we&rsquo;ve talked about, it&rsquo;s all too easy to gloss over Android. And there really isn&rsquo;t much to say here.</p> <p class="p1">The Shield is running Android 4.4 KitKat, and Nvidia has mercifully left things alone for the most part. No garish themes or tonnes of complicated menus in sight.</p> <p class="p1">There are just a few Nvidia extras like the Hub and Twitch streaming controls, along with the Dabbler stylus software.</p> <p class="p1">Beyond that, it offers everything you&rsquo;ve come to expect from Android, including full access to the Google Play Store, and it all runs fluidly without any slowdown.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-10"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> A decent camera that streams your game face </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p class="p1">If you insist on using the Shield&rsquo;s 5MP camera, then expect to get decent shots in well-lit conditions, though don&rsquo;t count on cropping them at all &ndash; there aren&rsquo;t enough megapixels to retain the detail.&nbsp;The HDR mode is decent and its&nbsp;ability to manually select the focus and exposure points independently is also rather useful. But the lack of an LED flash results in low light shots that look like they were taken with a lens smeared with Vaseline and dust.&nbsp;</p> <p class="p1">If you really want to annoy us and take a selfie with a tablet, then its 5MP front-facing offering does a decent job too.</p> <p class="p1">Incidentally, though, that front-facing camera can also be used&nbsp;to stream your face to eager fans on Twitch &ndash; the videogame streaming service that lets gamers watch other gamers&hellip; game.</p> <p class="p1">We played through a few levels of Trine 2, Master Chief helmet in front of our heads to boot, and still didn&rsquo;t get any viewers.&nbsp;But hey, if you&rsquo;re more popular than us, you&rsquo;ll be glad to know that streaming works well, without impacting on the smoothness of games you&rsquo;re playing.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/DSCN9963.JPG?1412342654" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-11"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Stylus smarts </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p class="p1">Gaming muscle isn&rsquo;t the only trick the Shield has in its arsenal. Remember that stylus we mentioned earlier?&nbsp;</p> <p class="p1">Pulling it out prompts you to launch Dabbler, Nvidia&rsquo;s own painting/sketching app, which makes use of the Shield&rsquo;s powerful GPU to provide some fancy effects, like gravity-affected water colour dripping.</p> <p class="p1">The set up is a bit basic in its functionality &ndash; seasoned artists should look to more complete apps like Skectchbook Pro, or the Galaxy Note 4&rsquo;s active pressure sensitive Wacom stylus -&nbsp; but it&rsquo;s still fun doodling around.</p> <p class="p1">More impressive is the Shield&rsquo;s handwriting recognition. It can decipher our appalling scribbles 99% of the time, and though typing is still faster, it&#39;s still satisfying to watch our handwriting magically transform into legible text. OK, it&#39;s nothing new but our gadget fancies still get tickled all the same.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/DSCN9978_1.JPG?1412342654" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="1200" height="900" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/DSCN9967_1.JPG?1412342654" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-12"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Battery life </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p class="p1">The Shield will comfortably last a day of fairly heavy use &ndash; namely playing some Android games, web browsing, watching some shows on Netflix and sending emails. You could get away with not charging it by the time you get to bed, but you might struggle to get another full day out of it.</p> <p class="p1">When it comes to more demanding local games like Half Life 2 and streaming PC games however, the Shield will conk out somewhere between three to four hours. S we&rsquo;d recommend gaming while it&rsquo;s charging, just in case you need to dash off and need it to last for a while.</p> <p class="p1">It lasted around five and a half hours in our HD video loop battery test (screen at 50% brightness, Wi-Fi and sync on). That&rsquo;s acceptable but falls substantially short of the stamina of the iPad Air, its Mini brother or the Samsung Galaxy Tab S series.</p> <p class="p1">It appears to be the price you pay for power but stick to gaming near a power socket and you should be fine.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-13"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Verdict </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p class="p1">The Shield Tablet really is the ultimate gaming tablet. There&rsquo;s absolutely no question about that.&nbsp;</p> <p class="p1">Its insides are scarily fast, handling anything that even the latest Android games can throw at them with ease.</p> <p class="p1">Made-for-Shield games look amazing and play well, and PC game streaming is easy to set up and works seamlessly.</p> <p class="p1">The trouble is, there aren&rsquo;t enough made-for-Shield titles out there to warrant the cost of the Shield Tablet, a cover and its controller alone &ndash; a combined total of &pound;315.</p> <p class="p1">Until the hardware of other manufacturers choose to catch up, the Google Play Store won&rsquo;t be full of titles that take advantage of the Shield Tablet&rsquo;s gaming muscle either.</p> <p class="p1">That leaves PC game streaming as the main reason to snap up a Shield right now. If you&rsquo;re the owner of an Nvidia-powered gaming battle station and want to enjoy your library in other rooms or locations without breaking your back, then it&#39;s a very convenient, very capable solution.</p> <p class="p1">More casual gamers who don&rsquo;t own a 1337 gaming monster might be better off spending their money on the much cheaper Sony PS Vita &ndash; especially if they have a PS4, as that offers console game streaming straight to the Vita&rsquo;s screen too.&nbsp;An iPad Mini with Retina Display (which offers a better variety of regular apps and games) can also be snapped up for &pound;320.&nbsp;</p> <p class="p1">Cost and niche appeal aside, we salute Nvidia for producing a tablet which ticks all the right tech-head boxes. If you&rsquo;re after the most powerful tablet and a portable PC gaming experience, look no further.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/DSCN9987_2.JPG?1412342654" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-review-rating"><legend>Review Rating</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> power </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 10 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> screen </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 7 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> build </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 8 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-3"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> apps </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 7 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-verdict"> <div class="field-label">Verdict:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The Shield&#39;s sheer power and gaming smarts are incredible, but it&#39;s only worth a look if you&#39;ve got a gaming PC to take advantage of it</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-preview"> <div class="field-label">Preview:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Disabled </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-carousel-item"><legend>Carousel Extras</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-text field-field-carousel-item-title"> <div class="field-label">Carousel item title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Nvidia Shield Tablet review </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> http://www.stuff.tv/nvidia-shield/review-0#comments Games Machines Nvidia Project Shield Shield Tablet Tablets Thu, 25 Sep 2014 13:58:18 +0000 Esat Dedezade 1448552 at http://www.stuff.tv Long-term test: Microsoft Xbox One http://www.stuff.tv/microsoft/microsoft-xbox-one/review <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Its most ambitious features still aren&#039;t perfect, but the updated Xbox One is now a great console </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-enable-hero"> <div class="field-label">Enable hero:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Enable full width image </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Xbox One review" alt="Xbox One review" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/DSC02571.JPG?1409305386" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-byline"> <div class="field-label">Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/users/tom-parsons" title="View user profile.">Tom Parsons</a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Calling the launch of the Xbox One a bit of a false start would be going rather easy on Microsoft.</p> <p>There was Kinect, which nobody wanted but which was bundled into every box for an &pound;80 premium. There was the TV integration, which wasn&#39;t only unpopular but which also didn&#39;t work anywhere near well enough in the UK. And there was a performance deficit when comparing the same games against the <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/playstation-4/review">PS4</a>. Needless to say, the Xbox One has been losing out to the PS4 in sales ever since.</p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-pricing"><legend>Pricing</legend><div class="field field-type-number-float field-field-test-price"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> £350.00 </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-price-from"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 0 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-ratings"><legend>Ratings</legend><div class="field field-type-hcmreviewrating-rating field-field-overall-rating"> <div class="field-label">Overall rating:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="hcmrating-default">10 stars</div> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-pros"> <div class="field-label">Pros:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Solid line-up of games </div> <div class="field-item even"> Kinect-less console is cheaper and more powerful </div> <div class="field-item odd"> Occasionally useful multi-tasking and picture-in-picture </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-cons"> <div class="field-label">Cons:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Flagship features still have flaws </div> <div class="field-item even"> A big, inelegant box </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><legend>Review Section</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Design: a face only a mother could love </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Not everyone will love the design of the <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/playstation-4/review">PS4</a>, but at least it looks like it has been designed, rather than simply shoved into the case of a VCR from the &#39;90s. Exaggeration? Ok, but the One is a big angular box of a machine that no-one&rsquo;s going to appreciate for aesthetic reasons.</p> <p>The extra height (about 3cm) and width (6cm) is all the more disappointing when you consider that the One still comes with a chunky external power brick, whereas the PS4&rsquo;s is built-in. Microsoft says it&rsquo;s all about enhancing reliability by increasing air flow and keeping everything cool, but while eight months in we&#39;re yet to experience or hear of any significant technical issues or heat problems with the Xbox One, the same can be said of the much sleeker PS4. There&#39;s always time for a big issue to turn up, but so far both consoles appear to be just as reliable as each other.</p> <p>Noise (or a lack thereof) is vital for an all-singing, all-dancing lounge-friendly fun box, and the Xbox One is generally a very quiet console. When idling we measured a <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/playstation-4/review">PS4-matching</a> 42dB from 14cm in front of the console &ndash; that was just 2dB over the ambient room noise &ndash; and downloading and playing games or movies from the Xbox Store causes no increase in console noise. Popping a disc in automatically initiates installation, which increased noise to 49-50dB in our tests. Slightly disappointingly the disc drive continues to spin even after installation - even if you&rsquo;re not playing that particular game - but it does quieten to around 45dB, which is pretty much unnoticeable when combined with game or movie sound.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="video-wrapper brightcove-player-wrapper"> <script language="JavaScript" type="text/javascript" src="http://admin.brightcove.com/js/BrightcoveExperiences.js"></script> <script src="http://admin.brightcove.com/js/APIModules_all.js"></script> <div class="brightcove-player"> <object id="myExperience-2899591698001" class="BrightcoveExperience"> <param name="bgcolor" value="#000000" /> <param name="playerID" value="" /> <param name="playerKey" value="AQ~~,AAAAEgPmGlk~,Fzd-TvXcznw-P3piHaryQBMeIzWITldz" /> <param name="isVid" value="true" /> <param name="isUI" value="true" /> <param name="dynamicStreaming" value="true" /> <param name="@videoPlayer" value="2899591698001" /> <param name="autoStart" value="" /> <param name="htmlFallback" value="true" /> <param name="includeAPI" value="true" /> <param name="templateLoadHandler" value="brightcoveTemplateLoaded" /> <param name="width" value="640px" /> <param name="height" value="360px" /> </object> <!-- This script tag will cause the Brightcove Players defined above it to be created as soon as the line is read by the browser. If you wish to have the player instantiated only after the rest of the HTML is processed and the page load is complete, remove the line. --> <script type="text/javascript">brightcove.createExperiences();</script> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Xbox One versus PS4" alt="Xbox One versus PS4" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/DSC02530.JPG?1409305386" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="1200" height="900" title="Xbox One versus PS4" alt="Xbox One versus PS4" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/DSC02534.JPG?1409305386" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-3"> <div class="field-label">Image #3:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_3" width="1200" height="900" title="Xbox One connections" alt="Xbox One connections" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/DSC02583.JPG?1409305386" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-4"> <div class="field-label">Image #4:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_4" width="1200" height="900" title="Xbox One power brick" alt="Xbox One power brick" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/DSC02587.JPG?1409305386" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-title"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Not standing tall </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-body-text"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Body Text:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Planning on standing your Xbox One up? Microsoft&nbsp;<a href="http://uk.gamespot.com/tgs/microsoft-on-xbox-one-vertical-orientation-do-it-at-your-own-risk-6414731/" target="_blank">revealed</a>&nbsp;at the Tokyo Game Show&nbsp;that the Xbox One is designed to be placed horizontally only.&nbsp;&quot;We don&#39;t support vertical orientation; do it at your own risk,&quot; says Albert Panello, Xbox senior director of product management and planning. &quot;It wouldn&#39;t be a cooling problem, we just didn&#39;t design the drive for vertical,&quot; he adds. &quot;Because it&#39;s a slot loading drive, we just didn&#39;t design it for both&quot;.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> The controller: if it ain’t broke… </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The Xbox 360 pad, loved so much that even hardcore PC gamers have been known to plug it into their rigs, is no more. But fear not, <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/microsoft/xbox-one-controller-revealed-%E2%80%93-old-dog-new-tricks/news" target="_blank">the One pad that replaces it is very similar</a>.</p> <p>In terms of size and weight it&rsquo;s almost identical, but there are some small ergonomic points of difference, including a move of the Xbox Home button to an extended section at the top, a recessed d-pad, smaller thumb-rests on the analogue sticks and a battery compartment that doesn&rsquo;t protrude from the back as it did before.</p> <p>There are niggles, though &ndash; to us those thumb pads seem too small, the d-pad feels rather cheap and clicky, inserting AA batteries into a controller feels decidedly last-gen (is a bundled Play &amp; Charge kit too much to ask?), it rattles when shaken, and over time we&#39;ve become rather annoyed by the hard edges where the plastic panels meet. It&#39;s largely the same controller as before, but it feels a bit cheap compared to the PS4 pad.</p> <p>But there are also some improvements. The triggers and shoulder buttons are curved more comfortably, and Microsoft has upped the ante in terms of vibration &ndash; there&rsquo;s even haptic feedback in the triggers themselves.</p> <p>There&rsquo;s always been a hefty dose of subjectivity to the discussion over whether the Xbox or <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/playstation-4/review" target="_blank">PlayStation controller</a> is &ldquo;best&rdquo;, and this generation it&rsquo;s a closer fight than ever. Sony has closed the gap in terms of ergonomics and accuracy, while also adding a touchpad to a tech recipe that already included a motion sensor - on paper it certainly seems the more advanced pad, and in the hand it feels that little bit more premium. Having said that, to those migrating from Xbox 360 the Xbox One pad will feel totally &#39;right&#39;, and the localised vibration is a fun and occasionally very useful addition.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Xbox One control pad" alt="Xbox One control pad" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/DSC02540.JPG?1409305386" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="1200" height="900" title="Xbox One controller" alt="Xbox One controller" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/DSC02543.JPG?1409305386" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-3"> <div class="field-label">Image #3:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_3" width="1200" height="900" title="Xbox One controller battery compartment" alt="Xbox One controller battery compartment" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/DSC02548.JPG?1409305386" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Operating system: a slightly cluttered dashboard </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Sitting somewhere between the Xbox 360 dashboard and the <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/microsoft/windows-81/review" target="_blank">Windows 8 Metro</a> interface, the Xbox One UI is clean, colourful and&hellip; a little confusing. The endless panes of the 360 have been stripped back to just three: Pins on the left, where you can keep your favourite apps and games ever ready, Store on the right, which is pretty self-explanatory, and Home in the centre.</p> <p>Home is a difficult place to settle into at first. The last thing you had open takes up the large centre image, while the four underneath are also ordered by how recently you accessed them and the one to the right of that represents the disc that&rsquo;s in the drive.</p> <p>With these tiles constantly shifting as you switch between apps and games it can prove a little tricky to keep up, and it&rsquo;s not helped by the fact that all of the system apps (Settings, TV, Store, etc) are represented by the same (user-selected) colour and a white logo, making them all look too similar for instinctive navigation. A game appearing in the recent activity tiles as well as the disc drive tile also seems a bit of a waste, especially as Xbox Movies you watch don&rsquo;t appear, meaning you have to delve back into the Store to resume whatever you were watching, even if you&rsquo;ve bought it.</p> <p>And talking of the Store, there are some weird issues here, too. Try using the One&#39;s global search function to find <em>Destiny</em>. You&#39;d have thought it would take you to game page where you could at the very least watch trailers and probably pre-order the game for download on the day of launch. Alas, that game page doesn&#39;t exist, the One doesn&#39;t yet support pre-orders of digital editions, and no trailers or other game information is turned up. It&#39;s almost like the game doesn&#39;t exist, but is made all the more weird by the fact that there&#39;s a trailer for the game on the console&#39;s Home screen. Think that&#39;s just Microsoft marginalising a game that&#39;s launching with exclusive PS4 content? Try typing in &quot;Advanced Warfare&quot; or &quot;Quantum Break&quot; and the result is the same.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Xbox One dashboard" alt="Xbox One dashboard" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/Home_US_3P.jpg?1409305386" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="1200" height="900" title="Xbox One pins" alt="Xbox One pins" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/Pins_US_3P.jpg?1409305386" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-3"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Kinect: from cornerstone to marginalised accessory </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Now here&#39;s the big change: Kinect, touted by Microsoft as an absolutely key component of the One&#39;s very existence, has been unbundled from the package. So should you buy one now that&nbsp;it&#39;s merely an accessory? Probably not.</p> <p>Over the last eight months we&#39;ve barely used ours, and given that Microsoft has now introduced new controller shortcuts that are actually much quicker than the mostly-correct-but-occasionally-annoyingly-inaccurate Kinect voice and gesture commands, there&#39;s even less reason to get it.</p> <p>There haven&#39;t been any particularly compelling Kinect gaming experiences, either, and those few developers who had such games in development will be seriously rethinking their plans now that the install base of Kinects can&#39;t be relied upon. Perhaps an amazing app or game will appear in the future that will bring Kinect back into the light, but we wouldn&#39;t hold our breath.</p> <p>If you&#39;ve already got a Kinect you may as well keep it set up for those&nbsp;handy features such as automatic login via face recognition &ndash; it can even log in a number of players at once and automatically switch priority by working out who&rsquo;s holding the controller.&nbsp;It also gives you one of the best Skype experiences we&rsquo;ve ever, umm, experienced, automatically panning and zooming to keep you in shot and producing crisp video and audio.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Xbox One Kinect" alt="Xbox One Kinect" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/DSC02558.JPG?1409305386" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="1200" height="900" title="Xbox One Kinect versus PlayStation Camera" alt="Xbox One Kinect versus PlayStation Camera" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/DSC02573.JPG?1409305386" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-3"> <div class="field-label">Image #3:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_3" width="1200" height="900" title="Xbox One Skype" alt="Xbox One Skype" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/Skype_Group%20Call_No%20Snap.jpg?1409305386" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-4"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> TV, TV, TV </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>It may have upset the thoroughbred gamers out there, but for a good number of people seeing Xbox control cable TV through voice commands during the announcement press conference was pretty exciting. It was a huge disappointment then, that this other huge new feature of the One was so underbaked for the UK at launch. Now, though, Microsoft has mostly finished the cooking.</p> <p>It all starts with&nbsp;HDMI pass-through &ndash; you plug your Freeview, Freesat, Sky or Virgin PVR into the HDMI input, and then plug the Xbox into your TV or AV receiver as normal. Hey presto, you can now watch your TV through the console dashboard. You can even set the Xbox to turn on your PVR, TV and amp automatically at start-up, ushering in the dream scenario of walking into a room and having all of your kit turn on with a two-word utterance of &ldquo;Xbox on&rdquo; - assuming you kept your Kinect, of course. A long press of the Xbox button on the pad will have the same effect if not.</p> <p>If you&rsquo;ve got a relatively simple setup in your lounge it&rsquo;s awesome, but it&rsquo;s worth remembering that while the Xbox can be taught the remote codes for all of your equipment there are only certain functions it can perform &ndash; switching inputs is not among them, so if your TV or AV amp start-up to an input other than the one your Xbox is connected to you&rsquo;re going to have to dig out the old zapper.</p> <p>But at least we do now have the OneGuide in Blighty. This fully integrates your PVR into the Xbox One UI, and gives you an Xbox-style version of your PVR&#39;s EPG. Testing it with Sky is initially exciting - the OneGuide is simple but actually much quicker than Sky&#39;s own EPG, and clicking on a program sends the relevant three-digit channel code to your Sky box via IR with real accuracy. There doesn&#39;t appear to be any loss of sound or video quality when using pass-through, and the earlier stutter issues caused by non-PAL refresh rates have gone.</p> <p>But there are issues. Recording isn&#39;t supported, and there&#39;s no way to access Sky&#39;s other menus through the OneGuide. Want to browse your recordings or the vast amount of on-demand content that Sky has to offer? You&#39;ll be reaching for the old Sky remote then.</p> <p>That rather undermines the whole feture, really, and you&#39;ve got to ask yourself whether routing your PVR through the Xbox UI is a good idea if you share your TV with non-gamers anyway.</p> <p>If you are the only person who uses your TV, there&#39;s still only really one major advantage to the OneGuide, and that&#39;s that you can multi-task using the Snap feature. However, there are some issues there, too...</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Xbox OneGuide" alt="Xbox OneGuide" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/OneGuide_TV%20Listings_US.jpg?1409305386" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-5"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Multi-tasking in a Snap </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Snap is the Xbox One&rsquo;s picture-in-picture tech. At any time, while doing anything, simply say &ldquo;Xbox, Snap&hellip;&rdquo; followed by the name of any of the console&rsquo;s Snappable apps and it will appear in a column on the right-hand side of the screen. There&#39;s now a controller shortcut for this, too - a double-tap of the Xbox button. Guess what? That&#39;s even quicker than the Kinect command.</p> <p>Playing a game and want to see what the football score is? &ldquo;Xbox, Snap TV&rdquo;. Watching TV and want to see what your friends are up to? &ldquo;Xbox, Snap Activity&rdquo;. And when you want to go back to just the one app, simply say &ldquo;Xbox, unsnap&rdquo; or return to the dashboard and click on the Unsnap icon.</p> <p>Not every app is Snappable, but a good bunch are, including the Game DVR and Xbox Music. In fact, using Snap is the only way to play Xbox Music while gaming, which is rather a shame &ndash; you may well want to listen to Band Of Horses while racing cars in <em>Forza 5</em>, but that doesn&rsquo;t mean you want to sacrifice a portion of your screen to pictures of the hairy chaps. Alas, that&rsquo;s the only way to do it.</p> <p>The Snap feature now has independent volume control for the two apps you&#39;re running. That&#39;s a big improvement on having both blaring at you at the same volume as before, but it&#39;s still not ideal as you have to go back to the dashboard and into settings to make adjustments, so you can&#39;t hear the changes as you make them, and even then it&#39;s a simple sliding scale of priority. How about simply prioritising whichever screen is currently selected and muting the other, so that you can concentrate on a game but quickly flick to the snapped TV app when a goal is scored or something? Or even in-app, on-the-fly volume control? Is that too much to ask?</p> <p>There&#39;s now a Snap mode for achievements, and those who like to hunt down every last one will find it very useful, because as well as giving you info on the achievement you&#39;ve just unlocked, clicking on one you&#39;re yet to get does an immediate web search for help on getting it. It&#39;s brilliantly quick - even more so than using the phone sitting next to you.</p> <p>Putting Snap to one side, switching between apps on the fly is very quick and easy. If you&rsquo;ve already opened the app you want at least once in this session it&rsquo;s practically instantaneous, although you have to wait a few seconds for it to initialise if not. Game progress is automatically paused while you mess around with other apps &ndash; go back to it and it&rsquo;ll instantly resume wherever you left off.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Xbox One Party Snap" alt="Xbox One Party Snap" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/Party%20Snapped_Movie_US.jpg?1409305386" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="1200" height="900" title="Xbox One Music Snap" alt="Xbox One Music Snap" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/Music%20Snapped_Gameplay_US.jpg?1409305386" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-6"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don’t forget the games </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Lest we forget, this is still a games machine first and foremost, and like Sony, Microsoft has been putting plenty of thought into how that should work for this new generation. Its DRM-like, constantly connected authentication system was binned after the post-announcement outcry, but you do install all games to the Xbox One, as you do with <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/playstation-4/review" target="_blank">PS4</a>.</p> <p>Disc-based games begin installing as soon as you slot them into the drive, but some games can be played before the process is complete. The 55secs it took for the PS4 to have <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/playstation-4/killzone-shadow-fall/review" target="_blank"><em>Killzone</em></a> ready to play is still the benchmark, though &ndash; on Xbox One we waited nearly 4 minutes for <em>Zoo Tycoon</em> to be playable, and 7 minutes for <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/xbox-one/forza-motorsport-5/review" target="_blank"><em>Forza 5</em></a>. <em>Ryse</em> was &ldquo;Ready to Start&rdquo; in just under 2 minutes, when just 3% was installed, but it turned out that only applied to the menu screens &ndash; actually starting a game took us to an installation page and it was in fact over 8 minutes before we could play. Now that&#39;s just cheating.</p> <p>A recent install of <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/xbox-360/titanfall/review" target="_blank"><em>Titanfall</em></a> took an age, too. 1min21secs to even begin (presumably because there was also a game update that needed to be cued up), and then we had to wait for the entire game to be installed before we could start playing, and that took a painful 17 minutes. Now that&#39;s not very next-gen.</p> <p>One issue that has been sorted is that you can now manage your Xbox One&#39;s storage yourself. Pop into the My Games and Apps section and you can see what percentage of your 500GB HDD is currently in use and delete anything you&#39;re no longer playing.</p> <p>Would you rather expand your storage than delete stuff? That&#39;s now very easily done, thanks to support for external hard drives via USB. 2TB external drives can be had for as little as &pound;60 these days, and the use of USB3.0 means there&#39;s no data-transfer choke point. The new storage is integrated seamlessly and unlike with the PS4, you&#39;re adding to, rather than replacing, the system&#39;s built-in storage. It may not be terribly neat having an external device dangling out of your console, but it sure is handy when you consider 40-50GB games are now the norm.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1600" height="900" title="It&#039;s not perfect, but Ryse looks utterly gorgeous" alt="Ryse" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/Ryse.jpg?1409305386" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-7"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> The games of right now </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>There were 59 games available to play on Xbox One at the last count, which should be plenty but is actually a long way shy of the PS4&#39;s 96.</p> <p>It&#39;s about more than numbers, though, and most of the big hitters are available on both of the consoles, including the likes of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.stuff.tv/playstation-3/call-duty-ghosts/review" target="_blank"><em>Call Of Duty: Ghosts</em></a>,&nbsp;<em>Battlefield 4</em>,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.stuff.tv/playstation-3/assassins-creed-iv-black-flag/review" target="_blank"><em>Assassin&#39;s Creed: Black Flag</em></a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.stuff.tv/fifa-14/fifa-14-next-gen/review" target="_blank"><em>FIFA 14</em></a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.stuff.tv/playstation-4/watchdogs-preview/review" target="_blank"><em>Watch Dogs</em></a>,&nbsp;<em>Need For Speed Rivals</em>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<em><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/wolfenstein-new-order/review" target="_blank">Wolfenstein: The New Order</a>.</em> Unfortunately, a good number of these run in a higher resolution on PS4 than Xbox One, which is&nbsp;a bitter pill for gamers expecting the next-gen experience to swallow, even if the games still look and play great when tackled in isolation. At least it&#39;s a&nbsp;problem that&#39;s on the way out, thanks to the unbundling of Kinect freeing up a performance boost for game developers.</p> <p>And let&#39;s not forget the exclusives that are already out there. <em>Dead Rising 3</em> and <em>Ryse</em> are more solid than truly brilliant, but the PS4 still doesn&#39;t have a driving game to rival the Xbox One&#39;s <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/xbox-one/forza-motorsport-5/review" target="_blank"><em>Forza 5</em></a>, and <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/xbox-360/titanfall/review" target="_blank"><em>Titanfall</em></a> offers one of the best multiplayer gaming experiences of the last few years.</p> <p>It does feel as though Sony is currently winning the indie game battle, but there are a couple of Xbox One exclusives that are well worth your time, including <em>Halo: Spartan Assault</em> and <em>Max: The Curse Of Brotherhood</em>.</p> <p><strong>READ MORE: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/xbox-360/titanfall/review" target="_blank">Titanfall review</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1600" height="900" title="Xbox-exclusive Titanfall is a modern multiplayer classic" alt="Titanfall" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/titanfall_2.jpg?1409305386" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="1600" height="900" title="It&#039;s seriously silly, but Dead Rising 3 is also quite a lot of fun" alt="Dead Rising 3" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/dead-rising-3-Los_Perdidos.jpg?1409305386" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-3"> <div class="field-label">Image #3:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_3" width="1600" height="900" title="Forza 5 keeps getting bolstered by extra cars" alt="Forza 5" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/renault-spark-03-wm-forza5-aug-cu.jpg?1409305386" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-8"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> The games of the future </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Eight months in, and the gaming floodgates are finally about to open - we&#39;re all going to get drenched in next-gen gaming awesomeness in the run-up to Christmas, and there&#39;s lots to be excited about after that, too.</p> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/playstation-4/call-duty-advanced-warfare/review" target="_blank"><em>Call Of Duty: Advanced Warfare</em></a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.stuff.tv/battlefield-hardline/review" target="_blank"><em>Battlefield Hardline</em></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.stuff.tv/assassins-creed-unity/review" target="_blank"><em>Assassin&#39;s Creed Unity</em></a>&nbsp;all look like proper revolutions for their respective franchises, while&nbsp;<a href="http://www.stuff.tv/fifa-15-first-play/review" target="_blank"><em>FIFA 15</em></a>&nbsp;is prettier and smoother than ever and next-gen&nbsp;<a href="http://www.stuff.tv/facebook/fully-charged-grand-theft-auto-5-ps4-xb1-and-pc-facebook-s-accidental-slingshot-launch-and-" target="_blank"><em>GTA 5</em></a>&nbsp;will give everyone an excuse to revisit Los Santos.</p> <p>Then there are the completely new titles -&nbsp;<em>Middle Earth: Shadow Of Mordor</em>,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.stuff.tv/alien-isolation/review" target="_blank"><em>Alien Isolation</em></a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.stuff.tv/playstation-3/evil-within-first-play/review" target="_blank"><em>The Evil Within</em></a>,&nbsp;<em>Evolve</em>,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.stuff.tv/playstation-4/crew/review" target="_blank"><em>The Crew</em></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<em>Project Cars</em>.</p> <p>All of these games are going to be available on both the Xbox One and PS4, though, and many an Xbox gamer is moaning that the PS4 version of the massively anticipated&nbsp;<em><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/playstation-4/destiny/review" target="_blank">Destiny</a>&nbsp;</em>is getting a whole load of extra content.</p> <p>Two can play that game, though, and the Xbox will be getting <em>Call Of Duty: Advanced Warfare</em> DLC first.</p> <p>Microsoft&#39;s also got one over on Sony by announcing that <em>Rise Of The Tomb Raider</em> will be available only on Xbox, at least initially. A big third-party exclusive like that is ridiculously rare these days, and it comes on top of a bunch of exciting first-party exclusives, such as <em>Quantum Break</em>, <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/xbox-one/e3-2014/first-play-sunset-overdrive/feature" target="_blank"><em>Sunset Overdrive</em></a>, <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/forza-5/first-play-forza-horizon-2/feature" target="_blank"><em>Forza Horizon 2</em></a>, <em>Crackdown</em>, <em>Ori And The Blind Forest</em>, and the extremely intriguing <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/microsoft/project-spark-brilliantly-sneaky-way-teach-your-kids-code/feature" target="_blank"><em>Project Spark</em></a>.</p> <p>And let&#39;s not forget <em>Halo</em>, which gets the <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/microsoft/gamescom-2014/halo-2-anniversary-magic-still-there/feature" target="_blank"><em>Master Chief Collection</em></a> of remasters this year and <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/microsoft/halo-5-guardians-confirmed-autumn-2015/news" target="_blank"><em>Halo 5: Guardians</em></a> in 2015.</p> <p>The future&#39;s looking very bright on the Xbox One games front. Brighter than the PS4? We&#39;ll have to wait until those games are actually playable to find out.</p> <p><strong>READ MORE:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.stuff.tv/20-most-exciting-games-left-2014/feature" target="_blank">The 20 most exciting games still to come in 2014</a></strong></p> <p><strong>READ MORE:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.stuff.tv/microsoft/gamescom-2014/gamescom-2014-ultimate-roundup/feature" target="_blank">Your one-stop shop for all of Microsoft&#39;s Gamescom 2014 Trailers</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1600" height="900" title="Not much is known about Halo 5, but we&#039;re still ridiculously excited" alt="Halo 5" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/Halo_Xbox_One_Reveal_04.jpg?1409305386" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="1600" height="900" title="Sunset Overdrive looks like the antidote to all those po-faced shooters out there" alt="Sunset Overdrive" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/sunset-overdrive-electricity.jpg?1409305386" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-3"> <div class="field-label">Image #3:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_3" width="1600" height="900" title="Apparently Quantum Break combines game with TV show, but we don&#039;t really know how yet" alt="Quantum Break" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/quantum-break.png?1409305386" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-title"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Upcoming games in detail </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-body-text"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Body Text:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Click below for extra info and hands-on impressions of all of the most exciting PS4 games in development</p> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/playstation-4/call-duty-advanced-warfare/review" target="_blank"><em>Call Of Duty: Advanced Warfare&nbsp;</em>hands-on preview</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/assassins-creed-unity/review"><em>Assassin&#39;s Creed Unity </em>preview</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/battlefield-hardline/review" target="_blank"><em>Battlefield Hardline&nbsp;</em>first play preview</a></p> <p><em><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/fifa-15-first-play/review" target="_blank">FIFA 15</a></em><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/fifa-15-first-play/review" target="_blank">&nbsp;first play preview</a></p> <p><em><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/alien-isolation/review" target="_blank">Alien: Isolation&nbsp;</a></em><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/alien-isolation/review" target="_blank">preview</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/playstation-3/evil-within-first-play/review" target="_blank"><em>The Evil Within&nbsp;</em>first play preview</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/playstation-4/crew/review" target="_blank"><em>The Crew&nbsp;</em>preview</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/playstation-4/destiny/review" target="_blank"><em>Destiny&nbsp;</em>preview</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/xbox-one/e3-2014/first-play-sunset-overdrive/feature" target="_blank"><em>Sunset Overdrive&nbsp;</em>first play preview</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/forza-5/first-play-forza-horizon-2/feature" target="_blank"><em>Forza Horizon 2&nbsp;</em>first play preview</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/microsoft/gamescom-2014/halo-2-anniversary-magic-still-there/feature" target="_blank"><em>Halo: Master Chief Collection</em> hands-on</a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-9"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Online: how to make friends and follow people </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Already extremely robust on 360, the Xbox Friends system has been fairly heavily modified for Xbox One. One of the biggest changes is that you can now add anyone as a Friend to immediately get updates on their activity (assuming their privacy settings allow it), but to them you&rsquo;ll appear as a Follower unless they also add you as a Friend. It&rsquo;s like the old system with a bit of Twitter thrown in.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s easier to connect with the people you want to then, but crucially it should also be easier to avoid the foul-mouthed tykes that so often ruin an online deathmatch, thanks to a reputation system designed to segregate players with bad reputations.</p> <p>And of course the scarily addictive Achievements system has been ported over to Xbox One, along with your existing Gamerscore. Challenges are being introduced, too, so that specific goals can be set for individuals or the community at large to work towards &ndash; a nice idea that seems to have been borrowed from Bungie&rsquo;s <em>Halo</em> series.</p> <p>Less of a nice idea is Achievements awarded for non-gaming activities, such as watching a movie or listening to a song. Thankfully these don&rsquo;t add to your Gamerscore, which would just be weird.</p> <p>As with the <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/playstation-4/review">PS4</a>, pretty much all disc-released games are available for download from the Xbox Store, either directly through the console or through the website or companion app (SmartGlass), and as with the PS4, they&#39;re outrageously expensive. You&#39;ve got to be seriously lazy or impatient to pay &pound;60 for the download of <em>Watch_Dogs</em> when the disc is <a href="http://www.amazon.co.uk/UBI-Soft-Watch-Dogs-Xbox/dp/B00CM1KX0W/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1408980176&amp;sr=8-3&amp;keywords=watch+dogs" target="_blank">&pound;43 from Amazon</a>. This really needs sorting.</p> <p>As mentioned earlier, pre-ordering digital versions of games isn&#39;t yet supported through Xbox, but is said to be on the way. Hopefully at that point we&#39;ll also get game pages so that trailers for unreleased games are easier to find.</p> <p>And Microsoft has also taken a leaf out of Sony&#39;s book by introducing free games for those who pay the &pound;40 annual subscription to Xbox Live Gold. Games With Gold gives every member the opportunity to download two free Xbox One games (and one Xbox 360 game) for free each month. The games made available so far haven&#39;t exactly been the cream of the crop, but hopefully once the back catalogue expands, the quality of free games will improve.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Xbox One Profile" alt="Xbox One Profile" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/Profile_US.jpg?1409305386" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="1200" height="900" title="Xbox One headset" alt="Xbox One headset" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/XboxOne_Chatheadset_LHS_34_RGB_2013.png?1409305386" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-10"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Watching movies </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>To be a successful hub of all lounge-based fun, a modern console needs to do much more besides games, and on top of the hit-and-miss PVR integration previously discussed, there are a bunch of apps that deliver stuff to watch when you&#39;re not gaming.</p> <p>There&rsquo;s support for Blu-rays though the Blu-ray app, which plays in 1080p with support for Dolby True HD and DTS HD Master Audio - although these aren&#39;t output natively, so you&#39;ll want to choose PCM to get them sounding their best. Plus, if you&rsquo;re the kind of person who gets a kick out of this sort of thing, you&rsquo;ll also love the built-in picture calibrator, which is an extremely thorough way to get your TV looking its best.</p> <p>There are lots of streaming apps, too.&nbsp;Xbox Video has a massive selection of movies available to rent and buy on-demand. Even films that are bought are streamed rather than downloaded, with the One dynamically scaling picture quality to match your broadband speed, but while there&rsquo;s touch too much judder for them to be mistaken for Blu-rays, the overall quality is high.</p> <p>Then there&#39;s the evergreen on-demand suspects - Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, Sky&#39;s Now TV and YouTube. iPlayer is still missing but due at some point this year. Sky Go is also missing from the Xbox One, which is odd considering it is on Xbox 360 and has been confirmed as being on the way to PS4. Crucially, all of these media apps are available whether you subscribe to Xbox Gold or not.</p> <p><strong>READ MORE: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/netflix/25-best-things-watch-netflix-right-now/feature" target="_blank">The 30 Best Things to Watch on Netflix Right Now</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Xbox Video" alt="Xbox Video" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/Movies%20TV%20Store_US.jpg?1409305386" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-11"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Making movies </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>As with the <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/playstation-4/review" target="_blank">PS4</a>, the Xbox One is constantly recording as you play. Clips are saved in two ways &ndash; automatically when you do something special in a game (usually it&rsquo;s unlock an Achievement), and manually by saying &ldquo;Xbox, record that&rdquo; or snapping the Game DVR app while you play. These clips are then made available in the Upload app, but the onus is on you to then go into the app and save the clips you want to keep &ndash; otherwise they&rsquo;re deleted to make room for more further down the line.</p> <p>Using the Upload app you can also edit and share your photos, including sending them to SkyDrive, where they&rsquo;re stored as a 720p MP4 for further editing and sharing however you see fit. As of March this year you can also broadcast gameplay live using Twitch. Simply say &quot;Xbox, broadcast&quot; if you&#39;re using Kinect or open the Twitch app if not, and whatever you&#39;re playing will be streamed to the internet for every other gamer to watch and comment on. I&#39;m sure they&#39;ll be nice...</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Xbox One Upload" alt="Xbox One Upload" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/Upload%20Snapped_Killer%20Instinct.jpg?1409305386" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-12"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Verdict </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The Xbox One has changed dramatically since it launched in November 2013. Simply put, Microsoft had bitten off more than it could chew and the console at launch felt decidedly unfinished.</p> <p>There are still issues with it - for instance the TV integration and Snap multi-tasking aren&#39;t where they need to be for gamers to embrace them wholeheartedly, and that&#39;s a big shame.</p> <p>But now that the price is the same as that of the PS4, that&#39;s much less of a problem. You might not be gaining much from their inclusion, but you&#39;re not losing, either.</p> <p>And it&#39;s all thanks to Kinect coming out of the package. It&#39;s sort of a shame in one respect, as Kinect was what made the Xbox One different and more ambitious, and the technology involved is seriously impressive. There&#39;s a feeling that if Microsoft had properly refined it before launch and supported it with better games it could have won people around, but it&#39;s hard to see a way back for the camera accessory now.</p> <p>So on the one hand the Xbox One is a less ambitious and more conservative console than was originally intended, but on the other that&#39;s allowed Microsoft to focus on the core gaming experience, and that puts it in a far better position to fight the PS4 in the future.</p> <p>For us the PS4 is still just about in front - right now it&#39;s got more games, many of which run at a higher resolution, more video apps, a nicer UI and a sleeker design - but the Xbox One is now very much in the fight. Let the comeback begin.</p> <p><strong>READ MORE: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/games-machines/top-ten" target="_blank">The 10 Best Games Machines in the World right now</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Xbox One review" alt="Xbox One review" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/DSC02558_0.JPG?1409305386" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-review-rating"><legend>Review Rating</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> games </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 8 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Graphics </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 8 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> design </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 8 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-3"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> smarts </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 9 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-verdict"> <div class="field-label">Verdict:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>There are still niggles, but the newly Kinect-less Xbox One is a better, more focused games machine</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-preview"> <div class="field-label">Preview:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Disabled </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-carousel-item"><legend>Carousel Extras</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-text field-field-carousel-item-title"> <div class="field-label">Carousel item title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Xbox One long-term test </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-carousel-item-standfirst"> <div class="field-label">Carousel item standfirst:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> &quot;The newly Kinect-less Xbox One is a better, more focused games machine&quot; </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/microsoft/microsoft-xbox-one/review" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Games consoles Games Machines Microsoft Xbox One Mon, 25 Aug 2014 16:33:06 +0000 Tom Parsons 1426739 at http://www.stuff.tv Long-term test: Sony PS4 http://www.stuff.tv/playstation-4/review <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Eight months on, is the PS4 still the king of the consoles? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-enable-hero"> <div class="field-label">Enable hero:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Enable full width image </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="1200" height="900" title="PlayStation 4 review" alt="PlayStation 4" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/sony-playstation-4-review-verdict.png?1409308058" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-byline"> <div class="field-label">Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/users/tom-parsons" title="View user profile.">Tom Parsons</a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Eight months is a lifetime in tech. A phone that&#39;s been available for eight months has already been demoted to&nbsp;irrelevance&nbsp;by the next dream device on the horizon.</p> <p>But with consoles it&#39;s different. Consoles have to live for years, and consoles evolve as they get older thanks to more games, more apps and more features.</p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-pricing"><legend>Pricing</legend><div class="field field-type-number-float field-field-test-price"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> £350.00 </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-price-from"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 0 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-ratings"><legend>Ratings</legend><div class="field field-type-hcmreviewrating-rating field-field-overall-rating"> <div class="field-label">Overall rating:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="hcmrating-default">10 stars</div> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-pros"> <div class="field-label">Pros:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Stunning 1080p gaming for the win </div> <div class="field-item even"> Remote Play is brilliant </div> <div class="field-item odd"> Super-slick and fast operation </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-cons"> <div class="field-label">Cons:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No DLNA - yet </div> <div class="field-item even"> 4K games still out of reach </div> <div class="field-item odd"> Some features look a little underbaked right now </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><legend>Review Section</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Design and build: living life on the wedge </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Smaller and lighter than it seems in pictures, the PS4 is not a device that you&rsquo;re going to have trouble finding a home for. In fact, it&rsquo;s very close to the <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/sony/sony-playstation-3-2012/review" target="_blank">PS3 Super Slim</a> in terms of width and height - the 30cm depth does increase its footprint, but only to<a href="http://www.stuff.tv/sony/sony-ps3-slim/review" target="_blank"> PS3 Slim</a> levels. It&rsquo;s a pretty compact device, then, and that&rsquo;s extra impressive when you realise that the power pack is built in, whereas the Xbox One has a big external unit.</p> <p>Overall this is a subtle but unique design, with the etched PS4 logo and glossy section (which is actually the removable hard drive cover) adding a touch of class. Only the slot-loader lets the side down in this regard &ndash; there&rsquo;s nothing exactly wrong with it, but it&rsquo;s got a bit of clunky resistance that the super-smooth <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/nintendo-wii-u/review" target="_blank">Wii U</a> drive doesn&rsquo;t.</p> <p>Far more important as far as we&rsquo;re concerned is the noise a console makes, and the PS4 is a very stealthy device. When idling we recorded 42dB from 14cm in front of the console &ndash; just 2dB over the ambient noise in the room. While installing a game disc this rose to 51dB, but once the disc is ripped it settles back down to around 43-44dB. In short, it&rsquo;s significantly quieter than the most recent versions of the PS3 and Xbox 360, and at most times completely unnoticeable unless the room is all-but silent. Impressive.</p> <p>Eight months on we&#39;re still to hear of any major technical issues with the PS4. There&#39;s always time for a Red Ring Of Death-type problem to reveal itself, but so far the slim, tightly packed chassis doesn&#39;t appear to impact reliability.</p> <p>It still looks like a classy bit of kit, too, even if the smart details such as the thin strip that runs around the edges are tireless dust-collectors.</p> <p>And if black is just a little too subdued for your tastes, you can now <a href="http://www.game.co.uk/en/white-playstation-4-with-destiny-vanguard-only-at-game-301247" target="_blank">pre-order a really pretty white version of the console</a>, which comes bundled with <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/playstation-4/destiny/review" target="_blank">Destiny</a>.</p> <p><strong>READ MORE: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/playstation-4/destiny/review" target="_blank">Destiny preview</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="video-wrapper brightcove-player-wrapper"> <script language="JavaScript" type="text/javascript" src="http://admin.brightcove.com/js/BrightcoveExperiences.js"></script> <script src="http://admin.brightcove.com/js/APIModules_all.js"></script> <div class="brightcove-player"> <object id="myExperience-2930395778001" class="BrightcoveExperience"> <param name="bgcolor" value="#000000" /> <param name="playerID" value="" /> <param name="playerKey" value="AQ~~,AAAAEgPmGlk~,Fzd-TvXcznw-P3piHaryQBMeIzWITldz" /> <param name="isVid" value="true" /> <param name="isUI" value="true" /> <param name="dynamicStreaming" value="true" /> <param name="@videoPlayer" value="2930395778001" /> <param name="autoStart" value="" /> <param name="htmlFallback" value="true" /> <param name="includeAPI" value="true" /> <param name="templateLoadHandler" value="brightcoveTemplateLoaded" /> <param name="width" value="640px" /> <param name="height" value="360px" /> </object> <!-- This script tag will cause the Brightcove Players defined above it to be created as soon as the line is read by the browser. If you wish to have the player instantiated only after the rest of the HTML is processed and the page load is complete, remove the line. --> <script type="text/javascript">brightcove.createExperiences();</script> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="1200" height="900" title="PlayStation 4 design " alt="PlayStation 4 design " src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/sony-playstation-4-review-design-1.png?1409308058" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-3"> <div class="field-label">Image #3:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_3" width="1200" height="900" title="Red Dualshock 4" alt="Red Dualshock 4" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/red-dualshock-4.jpg?1409308058" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-4"> <div class="field-label">Image #4:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_4" width="1200" height="900" title="PlayStation 4 versus PlayStation 3" alt="PlayStation 4 versus PlayStation 3" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/playstation-4-review-versus-PS3.png?1409308058" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> The controller: more different than it looks, and all the better for it </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>For many people (including this reviewer) the DualShock 3 was just too small and light to be very comfortable, and the lack of trigger-like shoulder buttons was an ergonomic issue when it came to shooters and racing games. Thankfully, while the DualShock 4 looks like only a minor departure from its predecessor, it&rsquo;s a much better pad.</p> <p>There&rsquo;s a small increase in weight, slightly larger, rounder handles, and the L2 and R2 buttons have greater surface area and far greater travel. Each individual improvement is a subtle one, but together they&rsquo;re enough to transform the DualShock into a far more satisfying controller and a worthy rival to the <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/microsoft/microsoft-xbox-one/review" target="_blank">Xbox One pad</a>.</p> <p>Also in the &ldquo;subtle changes&rdquo; category is a shift from mini USB to microUSB for the top-mounted charge-and-sync socket. There are also two new sockets below the PS button on the underside of the controller. One is for connecting a wired headset (more on that below), the other &ndash; labelled &ldquo;EXT&rdquo; &ndash; has a purpose not yet revealed by Sony. We love a good mystery, but if it turns out to be for a QWERTY keyboard attachment we&rsquo;re going to be right miffed.</p> <p>The Start and Select buttons have now been retired and replaced with Share and Option buttons, the first of which enables easy uploading of the game footage that the PS4 is constantly, automatically capturing, while the latter largely behaves just as the DualShock 3&#39;s Start does during games, but also reveals more info and options when pressed while an icon on the GUI is highlighted.</p> <p>Those two new buttons straddle the DualShock 4&rsquo;s boldest new feature &ndash; a clickable, multi-touch-capable touchpad. Unfortunately we&rsquo;re not completely sold on the usefulness of the touchpad &ndash; it does nothing at all when you&rsquo;re in the PS4&rsquo;s menus and only serves a purpose in games if developers specifically integrate it. Eight months on, the cute controls in <em>The Playroom</em> and&nbsp;control of the OWL robot in <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/playstation-4/killzone-shadow-fall/review"><em>Killzone Shadow Fall</em></a> - both launch titles - are still the most interesting uses of the touchpad, with other games using it only as an extra button, if at all.</p> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/playstation-4/sony-ps4/gallery?viewid=105978" target="_blank">CHECK OUT OUR FULL PS4 AND DUALSHOCK 4 GALLERY HERE&nbsp;</a></p> <p>We&rsquo;re still similarly underwhelmed by the light bar on the top edge of the controller. We understand that it helps the optional PlayStation Camera to track you and it does look pretty, but the suggestion that it can communicate player status and the like by flashing and changing colour is rather undermined by the fact that you can&rsquo;t really see the bar when holding the DualShock at a normal gaming angle.</p> <p>We wouldn&rsquo;t mind, but the touchpad and light bar are presumably the high-tech elements that most push the cost of a separately bought DualShock 4 up to the hefty sum of &pound;49. We suspect Sony would have sold a great deal more controllers by now if they&#39;d been cheaper, even without the light bar and touchpad.</p> <p>One of the fancy features of the DualShock 4 that we do love is the in-built speaker. Again, it&#39;s been used only sparingly so far, but alerts in <em>Resogun</em> and voice logs in <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/naughty-dog/last-us-remastered/review" target="_blank"><em>The Last of Us Remastered</em></a> are injected with an extra dose of awesome when they come out of the controller.</p> <p>Speaking of sound, the bundled mono headset continues to be an unpleasant blemish in an otherwise very premium package.&nbsp;Essentially half of the cheapest-feeling pair of earphones you&rsquo;ve ever seen, the bud actually does a decent enough job of pumping voice-chat into your lugholes and has a mic and switch at around chin height so that you can spout expletives at your enemies and use voice control for the PS4 UI. If you&#39;re looking for a voice-chat upgrade, we&#39;d heartily recommend the <a href="http://www.amazon.co.uk/Turtle-Beach-Ear-Force-P4C/dp/B00EI4V3FU/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1407861583&amp;sr=8-7&amp;keywords=ps4+headset" target="_blank">&pound;12 Turtle Beach P4C</a>.</p> <p>One extra advantage of the headset socket is that it can be set to carry all audio, so any normal pair of headphones can be plugged into it for a spot of private gaming or Blu-ray watching. There are also now a whole host of PS4-compatible headsets out there, ranging in price from about &pound;20 to &pound;200.</p> <p><strong>READ MORE: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/playstation-4/3-best-ps4-headsets/feature" target="_blank">Three of the Best PS4 Headsets</a></strong></p> <p>Finally and unsurprisingly, motion control makes a return in the DualShock 4, and it&rsquo;s far more accurate than before - as anyone who&rsquo;s played <em>Flower</em> on the PS3 will notice when they download it (for free) and try the PS4 version. It&rsquo;s just far more responsive, accurate and smooth. The motion control is so much better that you can now use it as a way to enter text in the PlayStation&rsquo;s menus, and it&rsquo;s much quicker than using the d-pad.</p> <p>All in all, while we&rsquo;re not yet convinced by every one of the DualShock 4&rsquo;s features, we are very convinced by the&nbsp;overall quality of the new controller. There are reports of the thumb pads on the analogue sticks degrading, and we have in fact seen that happen ourselves on the pads used with <em>Stuff</em>&#39;s dedicated <em>FIFA</em> machine, but to say those pads are subjected to excessive wear and tear would be a massive understatement. One that&#39;s looked after should remain solid for a long time to come.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="PlayStation 4 DualShock controller " alt="PlayStation 4 DualShock controller " src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/playstation-4-review-controller-1.png?1409308058" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="1200" height="900" title="PlayStation 4 DualShock controller " alt="PlayStation 4 DualShock controller " src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/playstation-4-review-controller-3.png?1409308058" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-3"> <div class="field-label">Image #3:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_3" width="1200" height="900" title="PlayStation 4 DualShock controller " alt="PlayStation 4 DualShock controller " src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/playstation-4-review-controller-2.jpg?1409308058" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-4"> <div class="field-label">Image #4:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_4" width="1200" height="900" title="PlayStation 4 mono headset " alt="PlayStation 4 mono headset " src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/sony-playstation-4-review-mono-earbud.png?1409308058" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-title"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Already got a PS4? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-body-text"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Body Text:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Check out our <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/ultimate-setup/feature">PS4 Ultimate Setup here</a>, and read about the <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/playstation-4/sony-playstation-4-5-best-games-2013/feature">best PS4 games here</a>.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Operating system: “PlayStation Dynamic Menu” doesn&#039;t do it justice </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>So you&rsquo;ve ogled and plugged in the console and fondled the controller so much that it&rsquo;s already covered in mucky fingerprints - now it&rsquo;s time to get gaming. Or at least it will be once you&#39;ve done any and all firmware updates that will probably be available for your freshly unboxed console.</p> <p>Once done you can finally get to know the PlayStation 4 interface, known rather undynamically as the PlayStation Dynamic Menu. This row of bold, square icons always contains What&rsquo;s New, TV &amp; Video, Live from PlayStation, Internet Browser, Video Unlimited, Music Unlimited and Library, with any games you&rsquo;ve installed slotted in in the order you most recently installed or played them. This whole section is designed to feed you live information, though, so hover on What&rsquo;s New and you&rsquo;ll see news and updates from around the PlayStation Network (now to be known as PSN), while leaving the cursor on a game brings up a row of extra icons that include things such as new content that&rsquo;s now available, the section that you last reached (so that you can hop straight back to that point), your friends&rsquo; recent activity in the game, community videos and the game manual. It&rsquo;s all genuinely quick, slick and useful.</p> <p>But don&rsquo;t mourn the old XrossMediaBar, for it&rsquo;s just an upwards-press away, and with so much content now having been moved to the PlayStation Dynamic Menu, this is now a clearer and cleaner selection of icons that takes in the likes of the PlayStation Store, Friends, Parties, Trophies and Settings. All are pretty self-explanatory although it&rsquo;s well worth exploring the Settings menu to ensure all is set up the way you want; we&rsquo;d definitely recommend enabling standby features so that the PS4 can download software updates and provide power via USB when it&rsquo;s on standby.</p> <p>One omission that still hasn&#39;t been rectified is that you&#39;re not alerted when your Friends come online. For some people with hundreds of friends (they don&#39;t count as real friends - you do know that, don&#39;t you?), that may be a blessing, but having the option to turn those notifications on and off surely wouldn&#39;t be that tricky. Perhaps a way to group friends into groups, so that you can be notified from some and not others, would be a neat touch.</p> <p>When it comes to actual gaming, pop a disc in and the bad news is that you have to install at least some of it before you can play it &ndash; in fact the process starts automagically as soon as you slot the disc in. The good news is that this doesn&rsquo;t take as long as you might imagine. In fact, we were able to play <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/playstation-3/call-duty-ghosts/review" target="_blank"><em>Call of Duty: Ghosts</em></a> just 55 seconds after slotting it into the drive. The game continues to install in the background, but the only way to tell is a touch of extra noise from the console &ndash; the game itself plays flawlessly.</p> <p>Not quick enough for you? Games can now be pre-ordered from the PS Store and downloaded before launch, ready for play as soon as the clock ticks over to the official release date. It&#39;s a brilliant feature that would be far more attractive if buying digital versions of games from the Store wasn&#39;t so much more expensive than buying the discs from your friendly online shop. Buying non-physical copies direct from the source shouldn&#39;t command a premium in 2014, but it does.</p> <p><strong>READ MORE: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/playstation-4/uk-ps4-players-be-ripped-game-downloads/news" target="_blank">UK PS4 players get a rubbish deal on game downloads</a></strong></p> <p>Using the PS4 is a slick and fast experience all-round, though. Whether from standby or switched off entirely the console takes just 25-30 seconds to boot, and lag or stutter when navigating menus and multitasking is a rare, rare thing.</p> <p>There&rsquo;s a pleasing openness to Sony&rsquo;s approach, too. Sure, unlike with PS3 a &pound;40 per-year PlayStation Plus subscription is now mandatory if you want to play online, but if one person in the house has subscribed, everyone else who uses that console also gets access. Ditto any games, movies or DLC that have been purchased and downloaded.</p> <p>On the other hand there are a couple of odd omissions. You can&rsquo;t customise the wallpaper, for example, and the suspend and resume feature still isn&#39;t available. More annoyingly, the PS4 doesn&rsquo;t have DLNA built-in and still won&rsquo;t play media files over your network or from USB. The company has been &quot;exploring possibilities&quot; since launch with regards to adding the features, but eight months on there&#39;s still no confirmation. Fingers crossed they&#39;re part of the plan for the recently announced 2.0 firmware, due in the autumn.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1600" height="900" title="PS4 Home" alt="PS4 Home" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/Whats-new.jpg?1409308058" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="1200" height="900" title="PlayStation 4 review Profile " alt="PlayStation 4 review Profile " src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/05_Profile_1380034395.jpg?1409308058" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-3"> <div class="field-label">Image #3:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_3" width="1200" height="900" title="PlayStation 4 review Gallery View " alt="PlayStation 4 review Gallery View " src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/03-GalleryView_Video_1380034394.jpg?1409308058" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-4"> <div class="field-label">Image #4:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_4" width="1200" height="900" title="PlayStation 4 review Share button " alt="PlayStation 4 review Share button " src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/share_button_update_1380034396%20copy.jpg?1409308058" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-3"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Gaming performance: the next-gen promise fulfilled </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>We demand more than great games from a modern games consoles, but gaming performance still comes first, and once you&rsquo;ve overcome the disappointment that 4K games are still the exclusive domain of the high-end PC the PS4 is hard to fault in the performance stakes.</p> <p>But while at launch the PS4 had a graphical advantage over the Xbox One, with many key cross-platform games such as <em>Call Of Duty: Ghosts</em> and <em>Battlefield 4</em> hitting 1080p on the former but falling short on the latter, <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/flight/fully-charged-xbox-one-s-kinect-less-power-boost-flight-wi-fi-expanding-across-europe-and-wor" target="_blank">Microsoft&#39;s decision to drop the Kinect requirement</a> has freed up enough processing power for the gap to be largely bridged.</p> <p>Now we&#39;ve essentially got parity in the technical quality of games across the two platforms, it becomes even more about the content itself. Eight months in, how&#39;s the PS4&#39;s line-up looking?</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="604" height="453" title="Call of Duty: Ghosts " alt="Call of Duty: Ghosts " src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/Skyscraper.jpg?1409308058" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-title"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> When 500GB just isn’t enough </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-body-text"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Body Text:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The PS4 comes with 500GB of storage space, which might sound like a lot compared to the 60GB that the PS3 launched with, but with the OS and its gubbins taking up 92GB, plus big games taking up anything from 30-50GB, that hard disk is going to fill pretty quickly. Deletes and installs are quick, but there is a better solution &ndash; upgrade the hard disk.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s a thoroughly straightforward job, and according to Sony as long as the drive you&rsquo;re putting in is a 2.5in model with a speed of at least 5400rpm and capacity of at least 160GB, it will work.</p> <p>We&#39;ve done some experimenting ourselves with a bunch of different HDDs and&nbsp;there are definite benefits to upgrading, but you have to decide whether speed or capacity is your priority.</p> <p>Going for a 1TB HDD is the obvious choice. It more than doubles the usable space on the PS4 while still keeping costs down (2TB 2.5in drives are still prohibitively expensive). I tried the Western Digital Blue 1TB, which is currently &pound;50 on <a href="http://www.amazon.co.uk/inch-SATA-Internal-Hard-Drive/dp/B00C9TEBJQ/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1385727446&amp;sr=8-9&amp;keywords=western+digital+blue" target="_blank">Amazon</a>, and found that loading and install times were broadly on a par with the original PS4 HDD - so it&#39;s all gain, no pain.</p> <p>However, if you want to take the opportunity to speed up your new gaming pride and joy an SSD is a good way to do it. I tried the <a href="http://www.amazon.co.uk/HyperX-480GB-SATA3-Gaming-Solid/dp/B007R9N0O0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1407944753&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=Kingston+HyperX+480GB" target="_blank">Kingston HyperX 480GB</a> and <a href="http://www.amazon.co.uk/Crucial-CT480M500SSD1-2-5-inch-480GB-Internal/dp/B00BQ8RHJ2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1407944800&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=Crucial+M500+480GB" target="_blank">Crucial M500 480GB</a> and both saw improvements to install and loading times. We&#39;re only talking 5-10 seconds quicker to install a game disc, as the optical drive is the choke point there, but some loading times were significantly improved - starting a new game of <em>Assassin&#39;s Creed IV: Black Flag</em> was 24 seconds quicker when using the Kingston, with the Crucial just a couple of seconds behind that.</p> <p>There is a cost, though - currently &pound;200 for the Kingston and &pound;160 for the Crucial, and of course neither solves the overall issue of storage space. More speed or more capacity - your call.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-box-out-byline"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/users/tom-parsons" title="View user profile.">Tom Parsons</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-4"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> The games of right now </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The roster of 25 games at launch has risen to a very healthy 96 at the last count - a number that&#39;s made all the more impressive when compared to the Xbox One&#39;s 59.</p> <p>There&#39;s plenty in there that&#39;s not really worth your time, of course, and loads of big hitters that are available on both consoles - <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/playstation-3/call-duty-ghosts/review" target="_blank"><em>Call Of Duty: Ghosts</em></a>, <em>Battlefield 4</em>, <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/playstation-3/assassins-creed-iv-black-flag/review" target="_blank"><em>Assassin&#39;s Creed: Black Flag</em></a>, <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/fifa-14/fifa-14-next-gen/review" target="_blank"><em>FIFA 14</em></a>, <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/playstation-4/watchdogs-preview/review" target="_blank"><em>Watch Dogs</em></a>, <em>Need For Speed Rivals</em> and <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/wolfenstein-new-order/review" target="_blank"><em>Wolfenstein: The New Order</em></a> to name but a few.</p> <p>Then there are a few big exclusives: <em>InFamous: Second Son</em>, <em>Killzone: Shadow Fall</em> and its excellent standalone expansion <em>Intercept</em>, and <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/naughty-dog/last-us-remastered/review" target="_blank"><em>The Last Of Us Remastered</em></a>. That last one might be a remake of a PS3 game, but it&#39;s a remake that every Xbox One owner wishes they could play.</p> <p>PS4 is also marginally winning the indie game war, with crackers such as <em>Fez</em>, <em>SteamWorld Dig</em>, <em>Flower</em>, <em>The Swapper</em>, <em>Transistor</em> and <em>Resogun</em> all unavailable on the Xbox One.</p> <p>There are obviously Xbox One games that PS4 users can&#39;t play, with <em>Titanfall</em> and <em>Forza Motorsport 5</em> being particularly lust-worthy, but you can&#39;t help but feel that eight months in you&#39;re more likely to find a gaming experience that&#39;s up your street on the PS4 at the moment.</p> <p><strong>READ MORE: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/playstation-4/sony-playstation-4-5-best-games-2013/feature" target="_blank">The Best PlayStation 4 Games So Far</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1600" height="900" title="It&#039;s a remake, but what a remake" alt="The Last of Us Remastered" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/Last-of-Us-remastered-1600x900.jpeg?1409308058" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="1600" height="900" title="The Killzone Intercept DLC is really a full co-op expansion" alt="Killzone Shadow Fall Intercept" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/Killzone-Intercept-1600x900.jpeg?1409308058" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-3"> <div class="field-label">Image #3:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_3" width="1600" height="900" title="The gameplay won&#039;t be to everyone&#039;s taste, but few games are as downright pretty as InFamous Second Son" alt="Infamous Second Son" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/inFAMOUS_Second_Son-1600x900.jpeg?1409308058" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-5"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> The games of the future </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The games that are out now are really just scratching the surface of what the PS4 is capable of, and there&#39;s a heck of a lot to be excited about in the run-up to Christmas and beyond.</p> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/playstation-4/call-duty-advanced-warfare/review" target="_blank"><em>Call Of Duty: Advanced Warfare</em></a>, <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/battlefield-hardline/review" target="_blank"><em>Battlefield Hardline</em></a> and <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/assassins-creed-unity/review" target="_blank"><em>Assassin&#39;s Creed Unity</em></a> all look like proper revolutions for their respective franchises, while <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/fifa-15-first-play/review" target="_blank"><em>FIFA 15</em></a> is prettier and smoother than ever and next-gen <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/facebook/fully-charged-grand-theft-auto-5-ps4-xb1-and-pc-facebook-s-accidental-slingshot-launch-and-" target="_blank"><em>GTA 5</em></a> will give everyone an excuse to revisit Los Santos.</p> <p>Then there are the completely new titles - <em>Middle Earth: Shadow Of Mordor</em>, <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/alien-isolation/review" target="_blank"><em>Alien Isolation</em></a>, <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/playstation-3/evil-within-first-play/review" target="_blank"><em>The Evil Within</em></a>, <em>Evolve</em>, <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/playstation-4/crew/review" target="_blank"><em>The Crew</em></a> and <em>Project Cars</em>.</p> <p>All of those games will be available on both PS4 and <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/microsoft/microsoft-xbox-one/review" target="_blank">Xbox One</a>, of course, but the game at the top of many a gamer&#39;s 2014 list, <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/playstation-4/destiny/review" target="_blank"><em>Destiny</em></a>, has enough bonus content on PS4 to make the green side of the console divide even greener with envy.</p> <p>There are also full exclusives on the way in the form of cutesy platformer <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/littlebigplanet-3/littlebigplanet-3/review" target="_blank"><em>LittleBigPlanet 3</em></a>, <em>Forza</em>-alternative <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/playstation-4/first-play-driveclub/feature" target="_blank"><em>DriveClub</em></a>, and <em>Dark Souls</em> semi-sequel <em>Bloodborne</em>.</p> <p>Whether they can make up for <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/forza-5/first-play-forza-horizon-2/feature"><em>Forza Horizon 2 </em></a>and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.stuff.tv/xbox-one/e3-2014/first-play-sunset-overdrive/feature" target="_blank"><em>Sunset Overdrive</em></a>, both&nbsp;which are exclusive to Xbox One,&nbsp;will only become clear once we&#39;ve played them all. It&#39;s also worth mentioning that&nbsp;<em>The Rise Of The Tomb Raider </em>is, controversially, exclusive to Xbox, at least initially.</p> <p>What is clear now is that the summertime lull is nearly over and&nbsp;the rest of 2014 contains a bonafide bonanza of brilliant games, regardless of which console you&#39;ve plumped for.</p> <p><strong>READ MORE: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/20-most-exciting-games-left-2014/feature" target="_blank">The 20 most exciting games still to come in 2014</a></strong></p> <p><strong>READ MORE: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/microsoft/gamescom-2014/gamescom-2014-ultimate-roundup/feature/sony" target="_blank">Your one-stop shop for all of Sony&#39;s Gamescom 2014 Trailers</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1600" height="900" title="PS4 players get some exclusive Destiny content" alt="Destiny" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/earth_twilightgap_2.png?1409308058" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="1600" height="900" title="Unity looks like a real step forward for the Assassin&#039;s Creed series" alt="Assassin&#039;s Creed Unity" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/ACU_screen_79_SP_Environment_Climbing_GC_140813_10amCET_1407889490.jpg?1409308058" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-3"> <div class="field-label">Image #3:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_3" width="1600" height="900" title="Alien Isolation could well turn out to be the scariest game ever made" alt="Alien Isolation" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/5_1401190461_0.jpg?1409308058" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-4"> <div class="field-label">Image #4:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_4" width="1600" height="900" title="The addition of exo suits has the potential to completely alter the way Call of Duty is played" alt="Call of Duty Advanced Warfare" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/CoD_AW_Defender_Under_the_Bridge_1407753668.jpg?1409308058" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-title"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Upcoming games in detail </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-body-text"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Body Text:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Click below for extra info and hands-on impressions of all of the most exciting PS4 games in development</p> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/playstation-4/call-duty-advanced-warfare/review" target="_blank"><em>Call Of Duty: Advanced Warfare&nbsp;</em>hands-on preview</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/assassins-creed-unity/review"><em>Assassin&#39;s Creed Unity preview</em></a></p> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/battlefield-hardline/review" target="_blank"><em>Battlefield Hardline </em>first play preview</a></p> <p><em><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/fifa-15-first-play/review" target="_blank">FIFA 15</a></em><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/fifa-15-first-play/review" target="_blank"> first play preview</a></p> <p><em><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/alien-isolation/review" target="_blank">Alien: Isolation </a></em><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/alien-isolation/review" target="_blank">preview</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/playstation-3/evil-within-first-play/review" target="_blank"><em>The Evil Within </em>first play preview</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/playstation-4/crew/review" target="_blank"><em>The Crew </em>preview</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/playstation-4/destiny/review" target="_blank"><em>Destiny </em>preview</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/littlebigplanet-3/littlebigplanet-3/review" target="_blank"><em>LittleBigPlanet 3 </em>preview</a></p> <p><em><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/playstation-4/first-play-driveclub/feature" target="_blank">DriveClub </a></em><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/playstation-4/first-play-driveclub/feature" target="_blank">first play</a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-6"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Online gaming: living the digital distribution dream? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>These days a console lives or dies on its online offering, and the PS4 is a very well connected console.</p> <p>As well as all of the indie games previously mentioned (and a great deal more that weren&#39;t) every disc release is also available as a digital download, and many can now be pre-ordered and pre-downloaded so that you&#39;re ready to play the moment the official launch day begins - no more midnight excursions to the shops for those massive releases that you just can&#39;t wait for.</p> <p>The problem is that, as mentioned earlier, digital downloads of games cost more from the UK PlayStation Store than the same games on disc do from the likes of Amazon. The gap is often more than &pound;10, and to our mind the extra convenience isn&#39;t really worth that. This needs to be sorted, but in Sony&#39;s defence, it&#39;s also a problem for Xbox.</p> <p>There are good points, too. PS Plus is now mandatory if you want to play games online, but it also includes free games as it did on PS3. Admittedly your subscription only entitles you to one free PS4 game per month (plus two PS3 games and two Vita games), and so far the games that have been offered haven&#39;t really been top-tier releases, but we fully expect that to change once Sony has a bigger back catalogue to draw from.</p> <p>And then there&#39;s PS Now, which reintroduces backwards compatibility through streaming of PS3 (and Vita) games on a rental basis. At the moment it&#39;s still in beta, and only officially available in the US, but we&#39;ve already done some testing with it and even though we were streaming to London from servers in the States the performance was very impressive. This will be a very exciting feature when the UK beta launches in early 2015.</p> <p>There are other big online features on the way, too, such as Share Play. Described by Sony as a &quot;virtual couch&quot;, it allows you to take it in turns playing a single-player game with a friend, even if that friend is halfway across the world and doesn&#39;t even own the game. Local co-op will be playable this way, too - perhaps it&#39;s time we came up with another name for that.</p> <p>When it comes to traditional online gaming with friends, Sony now has a service to rival Xbox Live, which is just as well seeing as you now have to pay for it. It&#39;s very robust, chat is clear, and setting up parties is pretty quick and easy. The fact that you&#39;re not alerted when friends come online seems a weird gap, and hopefully one that Sony isn&#39;t going to take too much longer to fill.</p> <p>And if showing off is your kind of thing, there are plenty of ways to share your gaming exploits, thanks to the dedicated Share button. Simply pressing the button opens a menu in which you can choose to either save your screenshot or the last 15 minutes of gameplay, which the PS4 has automatically been recording in the background. If it&#39;s not an opportune moment to be taken out of the game - fear of a fragging, for example - holding the button for a couple of seconds saves a screenshot for you to share later, while a double-tap starts recording a specific section of video.</p> <p>You can upload screens and videos straight to Facebook or Twitter, or can now transfer to USB. One word of warning, though - for some reason the PS4 compresses screenshots as you upload or transfer them. The only way to get full, 1080p shots is to send them in a message to a friend across PSN, then open the Messages area of the PlayStation comapnion app and save the picture to your phone. Fiddly.</p> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/playstation-4/sony-ps4/gallery?viewid=105978" target="_blank">CHECK OUT OUR FULL PS4 AND DUALSHOCK 4 GALLERY HERE&nbsp;</a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1600" height="900" title="The £40 annual PS Plus subscription includes monthly free games" alt="PS Plus" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/PS-Plus.jpg?1409308058" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="1600" height="900" title="Practically every game is available to download, but prices are really high" alt="PS download prices" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/PS-store-prices.jpg?1409308058" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-7"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> What to watch when you&#039;re not playing </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Games consoles have to be about so much more than just games, and the PS4 is strong here, too.</p> <p>If you&#39;re the sort of old-fashioned type who still watches movies from optical discs, the PS4 will spin them like a demon DJ. Performance is comparable with a decent standalone Blu-ray player, and 3D Blu-rays are now supported on top of standard Blu-rays and DVDs.</p> <p>And if you&#39;re more of the streaming type, you&#39;ve got the likes of Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, BBC iPlayer, Demand 5 and Now TV. The latter gives non-Sky subscribers access to Sky Movies, Sky Sports and Sky Entertainment on a contract-free, pay-as-you-go basis, and those that do already subscribe to Sky will be pleased to hear that Sky Go is on the way later this Summer; once it&#39;s arrived, it&#39;ll essentially make your PS4 a multiroom box. Neat.</p> <p><strong>READ MORE: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/netflix/25-best-things-watch-netflix-right-now/feature" target="_blank">The 30 best things to watch on Netflix right now</a></strong></p> <p>And then there&#39;s Sony&#39;s own Music Unlimited and Video Unlimited. The first is basically a Spotify rival with the advantage of being able to stream music in the background while you play games. The latter is a really rather excellent movies-on-demand service that has all of the big new releases available for streaming in 1080p with 5.1 surround sound.</p> <p>What about 4K? While the PS4 is said to be capable of outputting a 4K signal, that hasn&#39;t been enabled yet. Perhaps when Netflix gets more 4K content and Sony launches the 4K version of Video Unlimited worldwide it might happen. But don&#39;t hold your breath for 4K games. While it might be able to output video, actually processing 4K gameplay is probably too much for even the PS4.</p> <p>There&rsquo;s also a web browser built-in, and this time it&rsquo;s less afterthought and more fully featured application. Google results appear rather small and difficult to read from across the room, but actual web pages behave pretty much as they do on a desktop and most embedded video plays without issue.</p> <p>And if the only thing you want to watch when you&rsquo;re not gaming is other people gaming, the Ustream and Twitch channels in the Live From PlayStation section are where you want to be. In the eight months since launch this has become utterly rife with ridiculous gaming action. So if you think some guy&rsquo;s doing a terrible job with that <em>Diablo</em> boss, you can helpfully tell him so in the comments that appear on the right-hand side.</p> <p><strong>READ MORE: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/amazon/25-best-things-watch-amazon-instant-video-right-now/feature">The 25 best things to watch on Amazon Prime Instant Video</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1600" height="900" title="Movie rentals and purchases on the PS Store are integrated with Video Unlimited" alt="Video Unlimited" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/PS4-video.JPG?1409308058" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="1600" height="900" title="There are plenty of apps for on-demand TV and movies" alt="TV and Video" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/TV-and-video-2.jpg?1409308058" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-3"> <div class="field-label">Image #3:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_3" width="1600" height="900" title="Live streaming of games is available through Twitch and Ustream" alt="PS4 Twitch" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/PS4-twitch.jpg?1409308058" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-8"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> The camera: turn your lounge into The Playroom </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>It now looks as though Sony&#39;s decision not to bundle the PS4 with a camera was a very wise one, but there has always been one available &ndash; the ingeniously named PlayStation Camera. The wee unit, which looks as though it&rsquo;s been constructed out of cubes, costs &pound;65 and has two lenses on the front so it can gauge depth.</p> <p>Once connected the camera can scan your features to enable facial recognition for automatic login, which is very quick and consistent. You can also use it for voice control. It&rsquo;s far more limited than Kinect&rsquo;s functionality, but the voice recogition is reliable and allows quick navigation between games, as well as hands-free screenshots.</p> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/playstation-4/sony-ps4/gallery?viewid=105978" target="_blank">CHECK OUT OUR FULL PS4 AND DUALSHOCK 4 GALLERY HERE&nbsp;</a></p> <p>However the best way to show off the PlayStation Camera is to open <em>The Playroom</em>, which is pre-installed on all PS4s. Once it&rsquo;s talked you through correctly setting up your camera (I&rsquo;m afraid you&rsquo;re going to have to move that coffee table) <em>The Playroom</em> gives you access to three activities. <em>AR Hockey</em> is the only real game, as it pitches two players against each other in a game of - you guessed it - Air Hockey that involves using the DualShock 4&rsquo;s motion control to bend and twist the table to your advantage. The other two involve messing around with a floating robot called Asobi and a bunch of delightful little people called AR Bots. The most fun is to be had with the latter, who inhabit your controller until you flick them into your lounge using the touchpad. You can then kick them, make them dance, or throw them objects that you create using a connected tablet. The thrill is relatively short-lived, but as a way to show off the capabilities of your new console <em>The Playroom</em> is absolutely superb.</p> <p>Really though, eight months on from launch we&#39;d have expected to have seen more software that takes advantage of the PlayStation Camera. As it is, other than login we&#39;ve not really used it, making that &pound;65 outlay look like a real waste. The advice now is to save your money - you can always add the camera if a killer app or game for it comes along in the future.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="PlayStation 4 review PlayStation Camera " alt="PlayStation 4 review PlayStation Camera " src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/playstation-4-review-camera-eye.png?1409308058" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-9"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Remote play: PS4 + Vita is a match made in gaming heaven </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Talking of killer, it&#39;s time to dig out that old <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/pch-2000/playstation-vita-slim/review" target="_blank">Vita</a> you&rsquo;ve left gathering dust. Connect Sony&rsquo;s handheld to your PS4 and you&rsquo;ve suddenly got the ability to play next-gen games anywhere. The closer to your PS4 you are, the better it works, but Remote Play does actually work across the internet - we&#39;ve even had it working from a cafe a couple of times.</p> <p>You lose a little graphical fidelity, of course, but PS4 games still look quite astoundingly awesome on the Vita&rsquo;s 5in screen, and while there&rsquo;s a touch of input lag (particularly when playing over the web) that will make it a poor choice for competitive deathmatches, for single-player gaming it&rsquo;s barely noticeable. Extra buttons are cleverly mapped to the touchscreen and rear touchpad, too, and as everything you see is a mirror of what the PS4 is doing, you can simply use the Vita as a fancy extra control pad for the main console if you so wish.</p> <p><strong>READ MORE: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/pch-2000/playstation-vita-slim/review" target="_blank">Sony PlayStation Vita Slim review</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Playing PS4 games on a Vita is really quite amazing" alt="PS Vita and PS4" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/DSC03071_0_2.JPG?1409308058" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-10"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> PS4 versus Xbox One: the gap is amazingly close </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>At launch it was easy to see the PS4&#39;s advantage over the <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/microsoft/microsoft-xbox-one/review" target="_blank">Xbox One</a>. It was &pound;80 cheaper, cross-platform games looked and performed better on the Sony console, and many of the Xbox&#39;s headline features were half-baked at best.</p> <p>But now Kinect has been taken out of the equation and both the price and performance gaps have been obliterated. The PS4 is still the prettier device, but do you choose a console based on that? We certainly hope not.</p> <p>Choosing which one to get should come down to two factors: the exclusive games that you&#39;re most excited about and which one your friends have got. There&#39;s now no wrong decision.</p> <p><strong>READ MORE: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/microsoft/microsoft-xbox-one/review" target="_blank">Xbox One review</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="604" height="453" title="Xbox One vs PS4" alt="Xbox One vs PS4" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/xbox-one-vs-ps4_0_0.jpg?1409308058" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-11"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Verdict </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Its big advantages over the Xbox One may be gone, but the PS4 is still an absolutely cracking console, and one that keeps getting better with every new game, app and firmware update.</p> <p>For many, the only real priority is beautiful 1080p gaming, and the PS4 has done that since day 1. But with Remote Play, Share Play, PS Now and PS Plus it has a bunch of true next-gen features that add real value and wow factor. And it&#39;s all delivered with&nbsp;a degree of snappiness that the previous generation couldn&rsquo;t get close to.</p> <p>Of course we want more. We want to see some really clever stuff done with the PlayStation Camera and the DualShock 4&#39;s funky features. We want loads more games. We want more free games through PS Plus and we want digital downloads of games to be cheaper than the discs.</p> <p>But that&#39;s because we&#39;re greedy. The PS4 was brilliant when it launched in November 2013 and it&#39;s undeniably even better now. We can&#39;t wait to see what comes next.</p> <p>Words: <strong><a href="https://plus.google.com/108645194361577794712/posts" target="_blank">Tom Parsons</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="PlayStation 4 verdict" alt="PlayStation 4" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/sony-playstation-4-review-main.png?1409308058" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-review-rating"><legend>Review Rating</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> games </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 9 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Graphics </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 9 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> design </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 9 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-3"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> smarts </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 9 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-verdict"> <div class="field-label">Verdict:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Slick, powerful and packed with stand-out features, the PS4 delivers on the next-gen console promise</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-preview"> <div class="field-label">Preview:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Disabled </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-carousel-item"><legend>Carousel Extras</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-text field-field-carousel-item-title"> <div class="field-label">Carousel item title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Sony PS4: long-term test </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-carousel-item-standfirst"> <div class="field-label">Carousel item standfirst:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Eight months on, is the PlayStation 4 still the king of the consoles? </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/playstation-4/review" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.stuff.tv/playstation-4/review#comments Games consoles Games Machines PlayStation 4 Sony Mon, 18 Aug 2014 17:52:46 +0000 Tom Parsons 1425765 at http://www.stuff.tv Alienware X51 (2014) http://www.stuff.tv/alienware/alienware-x51-2014/review <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Does the refreshed version of our favourite gaming desktop have the might to take on a new generation of consoles? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-enable-hero"> <div class="field-label">Enable hero:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Enable full width image </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Alienware X51 review" alt="Alienware X51 review" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/Alienware-X51-review-7.jpg?1400777956" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-byline"> <div class="field-label">Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/users/henrywinchester" title="View user profile.">henrywinchester</a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A couple of years ago Alienware&rsquo;s X51 gaming PC had an easy ride. Both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 were long in the tooth, and it was child&rsquo;s play for Alienware to assemble a gaming PC with lots more power.</p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-pricing"><legend>Pricing</legend><div class="field field-type-number-float field-field-test-price"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> £599.00 </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-price-from"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Price from </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-price-notes"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> £1029 as tested </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-ratings"><legend>Ratings</legend><div class="field field-type-hcmreviewrating-rating field-field-overall-rating"> <div class="field-label">Overall rating:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="hcmrating-default">10 stars</div> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-pros"> <div class="field-label">Pros:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Good components </div> <div class="field-item even"> Winning performance:size ratio </div> <div class="field-item odd"> Fantastic for media </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-cons"> <div class="field-label">Cons:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Draws lots of power </div> <div class="field-item even"> A bit loud </div> <div class="field-item odd"> Below-par accessories </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><legend>Review Section</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> The most console-like computer around </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>We still really like the X51&rsquo;s compact size and small footprint, and it looks good under a telly.</p> <p>There are of course smaller computers out there, but the Alienware is about as compact as they get while still leaving space for chunky, powerful graphics cards and optical drives. It&rsquo;s only fractionally bigger than the <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/microsoft/microsoft-xbox-one/review" target="_blank">Xbox One</a> and <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/playstation-4/review" target="_blank">PlayStation 4</a>, too, but its curvaceous design looks dated compared to the consoles&rsquo; newfound angularity.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="It&#039;s not the smallest PC around, but it&#039;s compact considering the components it&#039;s packing" alt="Alienware X51 review" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/Alienware-X51-review-1.jpg?1400777956" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Locked and loaded </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Our sample is quite a high-end variant of the X51, shipped with the very latest Core i7 processor and an AMD Radeon R9 graphics card, backed up with 8GB of memory and a 2TB hard drive.</p> <p>There are plenty of options for further upgrades when you purchase the computer, and you can always pop off the side and install your own components, which is a mega advantage over all consoles ever.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="The curvy X51 is looking a bit dated next to the angular new consoles" alt="Alienware X51 review" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/Alienware-X51-review-4.jpg?1400777956" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-title"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alienware X51 2014 tech specs </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-body-text"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Body Text:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>All specs for model tested. For full pricing and customisation options check out the <a href="http://www.dell.com/uk/p/alienware-x51-r2/pd.aspx" target="_blank">X51 configurator here</a>.</p> <p><strong>Operating System</strong> - <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/microsoft/windows-81/review" target="_blank">Windows 8.1 (64Bit) English</a></p> <p><strong>CPU</strong> - Intel Core i7-4770</p> <p><strong>GPU</strong> -&nbsp;AMD Radeon R9 270</p> <p><strong>RAM</strong> - 8GB Dual Channel DDR3</p> <p><strong>Storage</strong> -&nbsp;2TB SATA 3Gb/s</p> <p><strong>Optical drive</strong> - DVD</p> <p><strong>Connectivity</strong> - 802.11ac, Bluetooth, HDMI (x2), USB 3.0 (x8), Gigabit ethernet, coaxial, optical, analogue audio</p> <p><strong>Dimensions</strong> - 343 x 95 x&nbsp;318mm</p> <p><strong>Weight</strong> - 5.49kg</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Packing a powerful punch </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>All of that kit adds up to a rich gaming experience that is certainly on a par with the consoles. It runs <em>Battlefield 4</em> with most of the settings pumped up, and it maintains a decent 25 frames per second on bechmarking favourite <em>Metro: Last Light</em> at its most intense.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s capable of 4K gaming, too, although you might want a bigger, Titan-toting rig if you&#39;re really serious about pushing those numbers of pixels around at silky smooth frame rates. And bear in mind that it looks very unlikely either of the new consoles will ever offer 4K gaming.</p> <p><strong>READ MORE: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/stuff-cool-list-2013-4k-now-ready-conquer-your-living-room/feature" target="_blank">Here&#39;s why 4K TV is set to take over your living room</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="The X51 can be oriented vertically or horizontally" alt="Alienware X51 review" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/Alienware-X51-review-8.jpg?1400777956" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-3"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Watch the electricity bill </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>There&rsquo;s a rather big disadvantage to the X51&rsquo;s beefy components, especially the graphics card: they draw a heck of a lot of power. It idles happily at around 44 watts, but boot up a game and it drastically increases to 250 watts - 100 watts more than the <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/microsoft/microsoft-xbox-one/review" target="_blank">Xbox One</a> and <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/playstation-4/review" target="_blank">PlayStation 4</a> under full load. It also gets loud, but not deafeningly so.</p> <p>However, these are problems with the nature of PCs in general, and Alienware deserves kudos for creating a case that requires no cooling other than the CPU and graphics card heatsinks, and as a result this is still far quieter than your average gaming PC.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="It&#039;s not as quiet as one of the new consoles, but the X51is quieter than the average gaming PC" alt="Alienware X51 review" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/Alienware-X51-review-5.jpg?1400777956" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-4"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Every expense spared on the accessories </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Surprisingly Alienware still hasn&rsquo;t fully embraced living room computing, which is a little odd given Steam&rsquo;s leaps and bounds in becoming a TV-based gaming platform.</p> <p>Here you get a mouse and keyboard chucked in, but they&rsquo;re both wired and both pretty abysmal - the mouse especially is like something you&rsquo;d find in a cereal packet. A remote control would be a great addition here, as would a game pad.</p> <p><strong>READ MORE: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/steam-box/ces-2014/hands-valves-steam-controller/news" target="_blank">Hands-on with Valve&#39;s Steam Controller</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="The bundled keyboard and mouse are wired and pretty naff. Budget for upgrades or a games controller" alt="Alienware X51 review" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/Alienware-X51-keyboard.jpg?1400777956" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-5"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> A media hoarder </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>It still functions really well as a media-centric PC, though, and it includes HDMI, DVI and DisplayPort outputs for connecting to a variety of displays, with optical and digital coaxial for audio.</p> <p>Alienware chucked in a 2TB hard drive for our sample (the base option is 1TB), and for an additional &pound;100 you can add a Blu-Ray drive. It handles media utterly flawlessly, it&rsquo;s nigh-on silent when doing so, and the variety of media services available for the PC - including naughty ones - only add to its versatility. Take that, <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/google-chromecast/review" target="_blank">Chromecast</a>.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-6"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Steam Machine? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The X51 more than meets the minimum requirements for Valve&rsquo;s gaming-dedicated Steam Machines, and its size and power make it perfect for HD gaming.</p> <p>However, it might be worth waiting to take a look at Alienware and iBuyPower&#39;s upcoming Steam Machines if a lounge-friendly gaming PC tickles your fancy. These lack optical drives so they&#39;re even tinier than the X51, and in theory they&#39;ll be cheaper because they won&rsquo;t need an extortionate Windows licence.</p> <p><strong>READ MORE: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/valve-s-steam-machine-army-every-angle-covered/feature" target="_blank">12 Steam Machines detailed, fondled and photographed</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Alienware&#039;s incoming X31 Steam Machine is smaller than the X51" alt="Alienware X31" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/alienware%20x31.jpg?1400777956" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-7"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Performance per pound </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>X51 configurations start at &pound;599, but ours totalled &pound;1,029. It&rsquo;s expensive compared to consoles, but PC games are generally far cheaper and ardent gamers will save cash in the long run - especially if they don&rsquo;t mind waiting for Steam&rsquo;s sales. In computing terms a souped-up gaming PC for around a grand has to be admired, too, especially given the small form factor.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-8"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alienware X51 (2014) verdict </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Alienware hasn&rsquo;t changed a huge amount about the X51, but this is still the computer to get if you&rsquo;re not tempted by a console.</p> <p>The wee size matched with powerful components make it perfectly suited to the living room, and in terms of performance it&rsquo;s up there with the <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/microsoft/microsoft-xbox-one/review" target="_blank">Xbox One</a> and <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/playstation-4/review" target="_blank">PlayStation 4</a>, but with the added flexibility of the PC as a platform. Steam Machines are going to liven this market up, but right now the X51 is the best balance of performance and size in the PC world.</p> <p><strong>READ MORE: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/desktops/top-ten" target="_blank">The Best Home Computers in the World right now</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Alienware X51 verdict" alt="Alienware X51" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/Alienware-X51-review-9.jpg?1400777956" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-review-rating"><legend>Review Rating</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> power </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 9 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> design </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 8 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Connectivity </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 9 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-3"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> quietness </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 7 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-verdict"> <div class="field-label">Verdict:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>It&#39;s not without its flaws, but the X51 remains the best balance of power and form currently available in PC land</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-preview"> <div class="field-label">Preview:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Disabled </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-carousel-item"><legend>Carousel Extras</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-text field-field-carousel-item-title"> <div class="field-label">Carousel item title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alienware X51 review </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-carousel-item-standfirst"> <div class="field-label">Carousel item standfirst:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> A gaming PC to take on the next-gen consoles </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/alienware/alienware-x51-2014/review" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.stuff.tv/alienware/alienware-x51-2014/review#comments Alienware Desktops Games Machines Gaming Windows X51 Sat, 17 May 2014 12:01:19 +0000 Tom Parsons 1437334 at http://www.stuff.tv Sony PlayStation Vita Slim http://www.stuff.tv/pch-2000/playstation-vita-slim/review <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> The Vita&#039;s gone all trim for 2014, but is that enough to convince gamers on the fence to take the plunge? [updated with video] </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-enable-hero"> <div class="field-label">Enable hero:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Enable full width image </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="1200" height="900" title="PlayStation Vita Slim review" alt="PlayStation Vita Slim review" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/DSC03074.JPG?1394622043" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-byline"> <div class="field-label">Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/users/tom-parsons" title="View user profile.">Tom Parsons</a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The PlayStation Vita is not a big seller, which is a shame, because it&#39;s pretty darn brilliant.</p> <p>The fact that it <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/playstation-4/review" target="_blank">plays beautifully with PS4</a> has breathed a bit of new life into the handheld, though, and keen to not let that go to waste, Sony has given it a svelte makeover.</p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-pricing"><legend>Pricing</legend><div class="field field-type-number-float field-field-test-price"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> £180.00 </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-price-from"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 0 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-ratings"><legend>Ratings</legend><div class="field field-type-hcmreviewrating-rating field-field-overall-rating"> <div class="field-label">Overall rating:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="hcmrating-default">8 stars</div> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-pros"> <div class="field-label">Pros:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Lighter, more ergonomic design </div> <div class="field-item even"> Screen is actually more natural </div> <div class="field-item odd"> Remote Play is great </div> <div class="field-item even"> Now has some built-in storage </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-cons"> <div class="field-label">Cons:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 1GB still isn&#039;t enough </div> <div class="field-item even"> Feels less premium than original </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><legend>Review Section</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Smaller and lighter, but it’s the curves that matter most </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Comparing new and <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/sony/sony-playstation-vita/review" target="_blank">old Vitas</a> side by side doesn&rsquo;t entirely go the Slim&rsquo;s way - it just doesn&rsquo;t look or feel quite as premium as the previous model, with more plastic under the fingers and a visible edge around the screen where it sits in the chassis, unlike the seamless, smooth fascia of before. The silver highlights have gone, as have the hundreds of tiny PlayStation symbols that adorned the rear touchpad, which is marked by boring dots on the Slim.</p> <p>There&#39;s certainly less in the way of fine detailing here then, but in terms of ergonomics it&#39;s a winner - while it doesn&rsquo;t look significantly smaller face-on, the 3.6mm cut to the depth is immediately obvious. But it&rsquo;s the new, curvier shape that contributes most to making this a more pleasant console to hold, while the soft-touch material that now runs right around the back makes it far easier to maintain grip during a long, sweaty session of <em>Motorstorm RC</em>.</p> <p><strong>READ MORE: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/10-best-games-destroying-your-social-life/feature" target="_blank">The 10 Best Games for Destroying Your Social Life</a></strong></p> <p>The analogue sticks, d-pad and symbol buttons are all identical to before, but the PS, Select and Start buttons are all now a little bigger and circular, and that makes them a little easier to find with a finger while your eyes remain fixed to the screen.</p> <p>All-in-all it&#39;s obvious that a number of changes have been made to keep costs down, but thanfully the changes also largely benefit the player. But can the same be said about the screen?</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="video-wrapper brightcove-player-wrapper"> <script language="JavaScript" type="text/javascript" src="http://admin.brightcove.com/js/BrightcoveExperiences.js"></script> <script src="http://admin.brightcove.com/js/APIModules_all.js"></script> <div class="brightcove-player"> <object id="myExperience-3292059807001" class="BrightcoveExperience"> <param name="bgcolor" value="#000000" /> <param name="playerID" value="" /> <param name="playerKey" value="AQ~~,AAAAEgPmGlk~,Fzd-TvXcznw-P3piHaryQBMeIzWITldz" /> <param name="isVid" value="true" /> <param name="isUI" value="true" /> <param name="dynamicStreaming" value="true" /> <param name="@videoPlayer" value="3292059807001" /> <param name="autoStart" value="" /> <param name="htmlFallback" value="true" /> <param name="includeAPI" value="true" /> <param name="templateLoadHandler" value="brightcoveTemplateLoaded" /> <param name="width" value="640px" /> <param name="height" value="360px" /> </object> <!-- This script tag will cause the Brightcove Players defined above it to be created as soon as the line is read by the browser. If you wish to have the player instantiated only after the rest of the HTML is processed and the page load is complete, remove the line. --> <script type="text/javascript">brightcove.createExperiences();</script> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="PlayStation Vita Slim review" alt="PlayStation Vita Slim review" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/DSC03059.JPG?1394622043" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="1200" height="900" title="PlayStation Vita Slim review" alt="PlayStation Vita Slim review" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/DSC03058.JPG?1394622043" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> OLED to LCD FTW? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>One of the most exciting features of the <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/sony/sony-playstation-vita/review" target="_blank">original Vita</a> was its use of fancy OLED tech for the display, and yet the new Slim has gone with old-fashioned LCD. Sony seems to be suggesting that LCD has moved on a lot in the last couple of years, but to us it seems very much like a cost-cutting move.</p> <p><strong>READ MORE: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/my/tv/lg-55ea9800-curved-oled-tv/review" target="_blank">LG 55EA9800 55in Curved OLED TV review</a></strong></p> <p>And yet, having lived with it for a while now, we actually prefer the Slim&#39;s screen.</p> <p>The original Vita&#39;s OLED certainly has deeper blacks, and that has a sharpening effect on edges, but the Slim&#39;s LCD digs up more detail in darkness, revealing objects and textures in dark scenes that the old Vita misses. It&#39;s more subtle in its colour reproduction, too. The OLED is very bright, but it&#39;s also a little overly vivid and has a balance that&#39;s too warm to be considered truly natural. The Slim, on the other hand, has smoother gradients between shades and a purer white balance.</p> <p>The resolution remains the same at 960x544, so its little wonder that there&#39;s practically no difference in sharpness between the two, which means it all comes down to contrast and colour.&nbsp;How much you notice or care will depend a little on what you do with your Vita. Those addicted to the likes of <em>Tearaway</em> might miss the OLED&#39;s extra punch, but for us the more pastel-like presentation of the LCD is just as appealing, and it makes for a more realistic reproduction of movies, too.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="PlayStation Vita Slim review" alt="PlayStation Vita Slim review" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/DSC03078.JPG?1394622043" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 1GB of storage should not be something to shout about </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The first Vita came without any built-in storage so if you wanted to download anything (which we hear is quite the craze these days) you had to buy expensive, proprietary memory cards. That&rsquo;s now changed. Sort of.</p> <p>The Vita Slim comes with 1GB of internal storage, which is an undisputable improvement. But with many games (including the likes of <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/ps3/fifa-14/review" target="_blank">FIFA 14</a>) coming in at over 3GB it&rsquo;s still not enough. If a cheap smartphone such as the <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/motorola/motorola-moto-g/review" target="_blank">Motorola Moto G</a> can cram in 8GB of space, why can&rsquo;t a handheld console that is increasingly pushing digital downloads of its games?</p> <p>Adding a 16GB card currently costs around &pound;25. And it doesn&rsquo;t actually &ldquo;add&rdquo; to the storage as inserting a memory card makes the built-in storage unavailable.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="PlayStation Vita Slim" alt="PlayStation Vita Slim" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/DSC03088.JPG?1394622043" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-3"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Goodbye proprietary charging cable, hello micro-USB </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>If you&rsquo;re a Vita player you already know how frustrating it is to run out of juice and discover you&rsquo;ve not got the stupid proprietary cable with you. Well, with the Slim that frustration should be short-lived, as the power connector on the bottom of the device is standard micro-USB, and who can&rsquo;t lay their hands on one of those in a hurry?</p> <p>Don&rsquo;t go assuming you can keep playing as you charge, though - as with the standard model the Slim uses more power than it can draw from standard USB 2.0 sockets, so if you want to game and charge at the same time you&rsquo;re going to want to keep the bundled wall charger handy. The battery life has been upped by about an hour, though, which means you&#39;ll now get 4-6hrs of constant play between charges, and by then you should really be giving your eyes and fingers a rest and getting outside anyway.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="PlayStation Vita Slim" alt="PlayStation Vita Slim" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/DSC03080_0.JPG?1394622043" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-4"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> The death of the mystery connection </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>On the top edge of the old Vita were two flaps concealing two slots - one for game cards and one mystery expansion slot, intended for peripherals that never materialised.</p> <p>And now they never will, because the Vita Slim doesn&rsquo;t have that extra slot at all. What a shame. Or maybe not - it could have been for rubbish things.</p> <p>In terms of wireless connections it&rsquo;s a little disappointing to see that there&rsquo;s no 3G or 4G support. 4G plus Remote Play could equal PS4 gaming in even more places than it currently does.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="PlayStation Vita Slim" alt="PlayStation Vita Slim" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/DSC03085_0.JPG?1394622043" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-5"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> The great stuff stays the same </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>But what if you&#39;ve never used a Vita? What does it actually do?</p> <p>Well first and foremost it&#39;s a games machine, and while the games available are rarely referred to as blockbusters, there are some absolute crackers now available. The aforementioned <em>Tearaway</em> is an absolute must-play - little wonder when you consider it comes from the studio that created <em>LittleBigPlanet</em> (which is also out on Vita, by the way). Indie title <em>OlliOlli</em> is the best skating game since Tony Hawk last &quot;made&quot; a good one, and if you&#39;ve never played the brutal and brilliant <em>Hotline Miami</em>, the Vita is the place to try it. There&#39;s also now a pretty huge catalogue of old PS1 and PS2 games ready and waiting to be revisited on the road.</p> <p><strong>READ MORE: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/apps-and-games/console-games/top-ten" target="_blank">The 10 Best Games in the World right now</a></strong></p> <p>Then there&#39;s Remote Play, which lets you take complete control of your PS4, including playing your PS4 games on the Vita. If you&#39;re not too far from your PS4 the connection is direct and practically seamless. A little further away but still in your house and the connection will go through your router, but as long as it&#39;s a half decent one only minimal lag is introduced - as long as you&#39;re not playing competitive Call of Duty it&#39;s absolutely fine.</p> <p>Best of all, you can control your PS4 from anywhere else in the world, too - as long as you&#39;ve got wi-fi internet access. Performance varies wildy depending on connection quality, but we have played Assassin&#39;s Creed 4 from a coffee shop and it was completely awesome.</p> <p>Aside from that there&#39;s a whole bunch of apps that you&#39;re probably not going to use much, such as Google Maps, email and a camera (the sensors really aren&#39;t good enough to bother too much with). Frequent flyers will undoubtedly make use of the video section of the PS Store, though, which has an ever expanding catalogue of movies and TV shows your flight-shortening pleasure.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="video-wrapper youtube-player-wrapper"> <iframe width="640" height="385" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/w0oxBviRGlU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="PlayStation Vita Slim review" alt="PlayStation Vita Slim review" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/DSC03071_0.JPG?1394622043" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-6"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Verdict </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Despite a slight cheapening of materials, the Vita Slim is undeniably an improvement over the outgoing original. It&#39;s&nbsp;comfier to hold, it lasts longer, it no longer relies on proprietary cables and the screen is, to our eyes, a surprise improvement. There are plenty of great games available for the Vita now, too.</p> <p>But Sony could have gone further. 8GB of internal storage should be a minimum, and a 4G option for those really committed to PS4 Remote Play makes a great deal of sense to us.</p> <p>If the cheaper construction was accompanied by a cheaper price we could see the Vita flying off the shelves and into the houses of PS4 players eager to link up the two consoles, but it&#39;ll be a bit of a surprise if that happens at an unchanged &pound;180.</p> <p>​The original Vita was great, the Vita Slim is better, but it&#39;s not quite the absolute must-buy it could have been if Sony had pushed the boat out just that little bit further.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="PlayStation Vita Slim review" alt="PlayStation Vita Slim review" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/DSC03076.JPG?1394622043" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-review-rating"><legend>Review Rating</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> games </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 8 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Graphics </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 8 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> design </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 8 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-3"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> smarts </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 9 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-verdict"> <div class="field-label">Verdict:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>It&#39;s an improvement in almost every way, but the new Vita Slim could have been even better</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-preview"> <div class="field-label">Preview:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Disabled </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-carousel-item"><legend>Carousel Extras</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-text field-field-carousel-item-title"> <div class="field-label">Carousel item title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Sony PS Vita Slim review </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-carousel-item-standfirst"> <div class="field-label">Carousel item standfirst:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> &quot;An improvement in almost every way&quot; – but can it win gamers over? </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/pch-2000/playstation-vita-slim/review" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.stuff.tv/pch-2000/playstation-vita-slim/review#comments Games consoles Games Machines PCH-2000 PlayStation Vita Slim Sony Wed, 12 Mar 2014 11:00:45 +0000 Tom Parsons 1431862 at http://www.stuff.tv PC Specialist Nvidia GTX Titan Battlebox http://www.stuff.tv/nvidia/pc-specialist-nvidia-battlebox/review <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Forget the Xbox One and PS4&#039;s paltry efforts, we get our 4K game on with one of the most powerful - and expensive - gaming PCs on the planet </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-enable-hero"> <div class="field-label">Enable hero:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Enable full width image </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="1200" height="900" title="PC Specialist Nvidia Battlebox " alt="PC Specialist Nvidia Battlebox " src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/main%20%28product%20sheet%29.jpg?1392837276" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-byline"> <div class="field-label">Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/users/henrywinchester" title="View user profile.">henrywinchester</a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There's a pretty major omission from Sony and Microsoft's new consoles: proper 4K gaming. Both the <a data-cke-saved-href="http://www.stuff.tv/microsoft/microsoft-xbox-one/review" href="http://www.stuff.tv/microsoft/microsoft-xbox-one/review">Xbox One</a> and the <a data-cke-saved-href="http://www.stuff.tv/playstation-4/review" href="http://www.stuff.tv/playstation-4/review">Playstation 4</a> will include support for ultra-HD media files, but with even 1080p gaming appearing to be a struggle, playing in 4K is a big no-no.</p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-pricing"><legend>Pricing</legend><div class="field field-type-number-float field-field-test-price"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> £3,900.00 </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-price-from"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 0 </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-price-notes"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> pcspecialist.com </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-ratings"><legend>Ratings</legend><div class="field field-type-hcmreviewrating-rating field-field-overall-rating"> <div class="field-label">Overall rating:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="hcmrating-default">8 stars</div> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-pros"> <div class="field-label">Pros:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Games look absurdly good </div> <div class="field-item even"> Media playback is jaw-dropping </div> <div class="field-item odd"> Well-built and specced </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-cons"> <div class="field-label">Cons:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Unfeasibly expensive </div> <div class="field-item even"> Some software is confused by 4K </div> <div class="field-item odd"> Rather large and heavy </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><legend>Review Section</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> In That Case </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The Cooler Master Cosmos 2 case PC Specialist's build arrived in is a whopper, approximately the same size and shape as the U.S.S. Sulaco. It's so heavy that we needed to employ three burly men to get it on our scales - so you won't be taking this to any LAN parties unless you're of herculean build. It's incredibly well-built, though, with sliding panels over the power button and USB ports, and another that covers the Blu-ray drive and hard drive hot ports.</p> <p>It's easy to access the innards, too - a latch secures the side panels, and on pressing this they swing open like the doors of a BMW. Inside PC Specialist has equipped the processor with a Corsair liquid CPU cooler, which links to fans at the top of the case with a pair of rubber hoses. It's one of the best cases we've come across, and despite its imposing size, it looks the part plus it's packed with cool and useful features.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Cooler Master Cosmos 2 case " alt="Cooler Master Cosmos 2 case " src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/1_0.jpg?1392837276" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="1200" height="900" title="Swinging side panels on the Cooler Master Cosmos 2 case " alt="Swinging side panels on the Cooler Master Cosmos 2 case " src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/swinging%20side%20panels.jpg?1392837276" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-3"> <div class="field-label">Image #3:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_3" width="1200" height="900" title="Nvidia GeForce GTX Graphics in PC Specialist Battlebox " alt="Nvidia GeForce GTX Graphics in PC Specialist Battlebox " src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/DSCF9638.JPG?1392837276" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-4"> <div class="field-label">Image #4:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_4" width="1200" height="900" title="PC Specialist Battlebox - Cooler Master Cosmos 2 case " alt="PC Specialist Battlebox - Cooler Master Cosmos 2 case " src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/DSCF9635.JPG?1392837276" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Screening Room </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>We also blagged an <a data-cke-saved-href="http://www.stuff.tv/stuff-cool-list-2013-4k-now-ready-conquer-your-living-room/feature" href="http://www.stuff.tv/stuff-cool-list-2013-4k-now-ready-conquer-your-living-room/feature">Asus PQ321 monitor</a> to test with the system. Like the case it's absolutely gargantuan, with its 31.5-inch size putting it in the same league as your average TV. It's also 4K, so it packs more pixels than there are atoms in the universe. Or something.</p> <p>As expected the picture quality is incredible, viewing angles are great and it's as bright as a thousand suns. It's an additional £3,000, although the price will drop as other manufacturers start pumping out 4K panels.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="4K content on the Asus PQ321 monitor " alt="4K content on the Asus PQ321 monitor " src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/7_0.JPG?1392837276" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="1200" height="900" title="Asus PQ321 4K monitor " alt="Asus PQ321 4K monitor " src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/PQ321Q_Front.jpg?1392837276" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-3"> <div class="field-label">Image #3:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_3" width="1200" height="900" title="Asus PQ321 4K monitor " alt="Asus PQ321 4K monitor " src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/8.jpg?1392837276" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Batman Begins </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Batman's latest adventure, <a data-cke-saved-href="http://www.stuff.tv/batman-arkham-origins/review" href="http://www.stuff.tv/batman-arkham-origins/review">Arkham Origins</a>, provided the perfect test for our new uber-PC. It comes complete with Battlebox endorsement, and by golly it looks all kinds of wonderful. With all the settings maxed-out Batman really comes to life in a way that's actually better than 3D.</p> <p>Everything looks so clean, and neat little touches from Nvidia's PhysX, such as billowing flags and cloths, add a lovely little does of detail and realism. One exception is Nvidia's own Temporal Anti-Aliasing, which bizarrely resulted in a drop in frame rates. However, it's arguable that anti-aliasing isn't even needed with such incredibly high resolutions.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Batman: Arkham Origins on PC Specialist Battlebox " alt="Batman: Arkham Origins on PC Specialist Battlebox " src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/3_0.png?1392837276" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-3"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Grid 2 and Skyrim in 4K </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Grid 2 could be similarly maxed-out, with the instant replays mocking our appalling driving in full 4K glory. Skyrim's pseudo-Scandinavian world looks amazing, too - despite being almost two years old, upping Tamriel's draw distances so you can see the lie of the land is still breathtaking.</p> <p>It's an astonishing way to see the game worlds you know and love, and it's reassuring if you've forked out such a huge amount of money to know that the consoles are never going to reach this sheer level of fidelity.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Grid 2 on the PC Specialist Battlebox " alt="Grid 2 on the PC Specialist Battlebox " src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/4_1.JPG?1392837276" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-4"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Older games </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Just for the LOLs, we decided to boot up the original Half-Life to see how it looked in absurd resolutions. Somewhat bizarrely, it didn't load up at all, giving us the same error we received a very long time ago when we were running it on Windows 98. Spooky indie game Limbo also failed to run.</p> <p>We're guessing that this is down to the incredible resolution and the inability of various game engines to understand all the pixels and what to do with them. 4K gaming is something of a rarity at the moment (the panel we tested is said to be the only one of its kind in the country), but we're sure developers will retrofit their engines to work with the software.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-5"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Creative Block </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>We don't just play games all the time - we also have to do a bit of video editing once every 10 years. Adobe's Premiere Pro was duly installed and fired up on PC Specialist's rig, and on poking about in a 4K media file we experienced absolutely no lag, and thanks to the SSD and 32GB of RAM it rendered in very little time. Photoshop was also able to handle truly huge images without any problems. It' as useful for media work as it is for gaming.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Adobe Premiere Pro on the PC Specialist Battlebox " alt="Adobe Premiere Pro on the PC Specialist Battlebox " src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/DSCF9666.JPG?1392837276" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-6"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Media playback </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>4K Blu-rays aren't really a thing yet (<a data-cke-saved-href="http://www.stuff.tv/sony/sony-kd-55x9005a/review" href="http://www.stuff.tv/sony/sony-kd-55x9005a/review">unless you're mates with Sony</a>) so we had to make do with the handful of ultra-HD movie files currently doing the rounds on YouTube. We chose one about Australia and it looked so absurdly stunning that we were tempted to fire up the barbie right there in our office. Blu-rays upscale rather nicely, although it's a bit annoying that support for the discs isn't built into Windows 8.1.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-title"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Sounds good </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-body-text"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Body Text:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The Asus panel has got built-in speakers, but seriously, don't ever use them. We've experienced better sound quality from mobile phones. If you're going to be spending this much on a rig we'd hope you've got enough to add a decent set of 7.1 surround speakers, too, and coupled with the screen and the inbuilt Asus Xonar soundcard you'll be in media heaven.</p> <p>Despite the soundproofing of the Cooler Master case it does get a little loud thanks to the sheer number of fans lurking within, especially when you fire up an intense game or benchmark. It's a lot quieter when you're just pottering about in Windows, though, and such a large experience demands the volume turned up to 11 anyway.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-7"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Windows Weirdness </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Somewhat preposterously Microsoft really didn't see 4K coming, and our previous experiences of Windows 8 ultra-HD screens have given us a normal-sized cursor (which is tiny on a 4K screen) and weird menu and dialogue box resizing. Thankfully, Windows 8.1 fixes a lot of this, giving us a cursor so resplendent in pixels that we spent about an hour admiring it. The dialogue boxes are still a bit all over the place, though, with some filling the screen and others being almost uselessly tiny.</p> <p>The biggest let-down in this department is Google's Chrome browser, which, despite its huge popularity, just doesn't understand 4K screens. Text is horribly jagged and aliased, images are packed with artifacts, and tabs and menu systems just don't work. Rebooting it in Windows mode is actually hilarious, with your favourite websites reduced to a slither in the middle of the screen. Thankfully Firefox works a lot better, but it lacks Chrome's wonderful syncing and cloud-based features. Overall the experience is good, though, and the incredible definition makes up for these occasional oddities.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Google Chrome browser on the Asus 4K PQ321 monitor " alt="Google Chrome browser on the Asus 4K PQ321 monitor " src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/Asus-monitor-chrome.jpg?1392837276" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="1200" height="900" title="Windows 8.1 cursor on the Asus 4K PQ321 monitor " alt="Windows 8.1 cursor on the Asus 4K PQ321 monitor " src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/DSCF9674.JPG?1392837276" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-8"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Verdict </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>PC Specialist's Battlebox is going to be out of the price range of 99 per cent of the population, but as a proof of concept it works wonderfully. We already knew 4K movies were brilliant, but gaming in 4K is a revelation, and one that finally consigns 3D to the digital scrapheap.</p> <p>For pricing reasons one of the next-gen consoles and its 1080p (or lower) graphics are going to have to do for now, but in a year or two 4K PC gaming could be a viable proposition for plenty of gamers. It may be best not to rush though, once you've had a taste of the 4K gaming cake you're really not going to want to go back to Full HD.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Nvidia Battlebox by PC Specialist verdict " alt="Nvidia Battlebox by PC Specialist verdict " src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/DSCF9631.JPG?1392837276" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-review-rating"><legend>Review Rating</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> power </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 10 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> screen </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 10 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> design </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 9 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-3"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 0 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-verdict"> <div class="field-label">Verdict:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>A taste of the future which has left us hungry for more. And while it's hugely expensive, a mere glimpse of modern games in high-definition is mind-blowing.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-preview"> <div class="field-label">Preview:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Disabled </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/nvidia/pc-specialist-nvidia-battlebox/review" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.stuff.tv/nvidia/pc-specialist-nvidia-battlebox/review#comments Games Machines Gaming GeForce GTX Battlebox Nvidia PC PC Specialist Mon, 04 Nov 2013 16:48:37 +0000 Sophie Charara 1428719 at http://www.stuff.tv Nintendo Wii U http://www.stuff.tv/nintendo-wii-u/review <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> The new future of consoles starts with Nintendo’s Wii U. Or does it? We hit up the latest gaming hardware to find out </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-enable-hero"> <div class="field-label">Enable hero:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Enable full width image </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="1200" height="900" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/nintendo-wii-u-main-moved.jpg?1392838232" /> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="1200" height="900" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/nintendo-wii-u-main1_5.jpg?1392838232" /> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="1200" height="900" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/nintendo-wii-u-main-02_0_5.jpg?1392838232" /> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="1200" height="900" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/nintendo-wii-u-main_5.jpg?1392838232" /> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="1200" height="900" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/nintendo-wii-u-06_5.jpg?1392838232" /> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="1200" height="900" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/nintendo-wii-u-05_5.jpg?1392838232" /> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="1200" height="900" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/nintendo-wii-u-main2_5.jpg?1392838232" /> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="1200" height="900" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/nintendo-wii-u-main3_5.jpg?1392838232" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-byline"> <div class="field-label">Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/users/tom-parsons" title="View user profile.">Tom Parsons</a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Nintendo has stolen a march on Microsoft and Sony by launching the Wii U before the Xbox 720 and PS4 have even been announced. But can the Wii U&rsquo;s dual-screen gaming and raft of launch titles do enough to repeat the runaway success of the original Wii? And can games like ZombiU tempt hardcore gamers away from their Xbox 360s and PS3s? Time to find out.</p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-pricing"><legend>Pricing</legend><div class="field field-type-number-float field-field-test-price"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> £250.00 </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-price-from"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Price from </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-ratings"><legend>Ratings</legend><div class="field field-type-hcmreviewrating-rating field-field-overall-rating"> <div class="field-label">Overall rating:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="hcmrating-default">8 stars</div> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-pros"> <div class="field-label">Pros:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Great fun </div> <div class="field-item even"> Clever uses for the Gamepad </div> <div class="field-item odd"> Brings multiplayer back to the couch </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-cons"> <div class="field-label">Cons:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Will be overpowered by rival next gen consoles </div> <div class="field-item even"> Sluggish UI </div> <div class="field-item odd"> Not as accessible as the Wii </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><legend>Review Section</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Design </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>While not a massive departure from the physical design of the original Wii, the Wii U is still a more sophisticated looking device than its predecessor, especially in the glossy black finish of the &pound;300 Premium Pack we tested. It&rsquo;s marginally longer, taller, weightier and more solid than you might expect.</p> <p>So what does the Premium Pack get you over the Basic Pack? Well, aside from the black finish (the Basic is white), you also get the Nintendo Land game bundled in the box, a Nintendo Network Premium Subscription, a stand for the console, a charging dock for the GamePad and 32GB of internal flash memory as opposed to the 8GB of the Basic.</p> <p>Is it worth the extra &pound;50? We&rsquo;d say so. While the Nintendo Network Premium Subscription is a loyalty scheme that&rsquo;s a little hard to get excited about, we like the way the Wii U looks on the stand, the charging dock is much neater than trailing cables to charge your GamePad, and the Basic&rsquo;s 8GB flash drive actually has just 3GB of usable space, which isn&rsquo;t enough to install even Nintendo Land from the Nintendo eShop. Thankfully you can add a USB hard drive to increase storage, and even Premium Pack buyers may want to go down that route, but we&rsquo;d still plump for more internal storage from the off.</p> <p>Talking of USB, the Wii U has loads of ports &ndash; two around the back and two more on the front next to an SD card slot. The back panel is also where you&rsquo;ll find a standard HDMI socket (a cable is included) and a dedicated connection for the sensor bar, which is unchanged from the original Wii. What you won&rsquo;t find is an ethernet socket &ndash; Wi-Fi is the only option for making your network connection, which will be a slight disappointment for those who still don&rsquo;t completely trust a wireless connection for gaming (yep, we still exist).</p> <p>Now we don&rsquo;t want to come across all weird or anything, but the Wii U also has one of the nicest slot loaders we&rsquo;ve ever used. Start pushing a disc in and there&rsquo;s no resistance, just a completely smooth action as the console takes control. There&rsquo;s a bit of read noise, and you&rsquo;ll also notice some fan noise in a quiet room, but as soon as a game soundtrack kicks in you&rsquo;ll be hard pushed to hear anything from the console itself.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="video-wrapper brightcove-player-wrapper"> <script language="JavaScript" type="text/javascript" src="http://admin.brightcove.com/js/BrightcoveExperiences.js"></script> <script src="http://admin.brightcove.com/js/APIModules_all.js"></script> <div class="brightcove-player"> <object id="myExperience-1992807962001" class="BrightcoveExperience"> <param name="bgcolor" value="#000000" /> <param name="playerID" value="" /> <param name="playerKey" value="AQ~~,AAAAEgPmGlk~,Fzd-TvXcznw-P3piHaryQBMeIzWITldz" /> <param name="isVid" value="true" /> <param name="isUI" value="true" /> <param name="dynamicStreaming" value="true" /> <param name="@videoPlayer" value="1992807962001" /> <param name="autoStart" value="" /> <param name="htmlFallback" value="true" /> <param name="includeAPI" value="true" /> <param name="templateLoadHandler" value="brightcoveTemplateLoaded" /> <param name="width" value="640px" /> <param name="height" value="360px" /> </object> <!-- This script tag will cause the Brightcove Players defined above it to be created as soon as the line is read by the browser. If you wish to have the player instantiated only after the rest of the HTML is processed and the page load is complete, remove the line. --> <script type="text/javascript">brightcove.createExperiences();</script> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/nintendo-wii-u-review-14_3.jpg?1392838232" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="1200" height="900" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/nintendo-wii-u-review-16_0.jpg?1392838232" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-3"> <div class="field-label">Image #3:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_3" width="1200" height="900" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/nintendo-wii-u-review-09_1.jpg?1392838232" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-4"> <div class="field-label">Image #4:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_4" width="1200" height="900" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/nintendo-wii-u-review-07_1.jpg?1392838232" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GamePad </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The Wii U&rsquo;s headline-grabbing feature is the GamePad. While the Wii U itself is surprisingly heavy, the GamePad is featherweight, and first impressions aren&rsquo;t helped by the fact that the buttons rattle. We do not like gadgets that rattle.</p> <p>Use the GamePad for a while, though, and its qualities eclipse those early niggles very quickly. It&rsquo;s brilliantly ergonomic, even though the twin analogue sticks at first feel unnaturally far apart, and it&rsquo;s easy to reach both the shoulder buttons and triggers. (Those triggers are digital, not something that will make a difference to the launch lineup of games, but it could prove problematic in future &ndash; racing games in particular tend to rely on analogue throttles.)</p> <p>On the top of the GamePad you&rsquo;ll find a headphone socket (no dangling wires from TV to ears), volume control and a stylus, which nestles neatly into its own slot. Front side, there&rsquo;s a 1.3MP camera positioned just above the GamePad&rsquo;s pièce de résistance: a 6.2in resistive touchscreen.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="video-wrapper brightcove-player-wrapper"> <script language="JavaScript" type="text/javascript" src="http://admin.brightcove.com/js/BrightcoveExperiences.js"></script> <script src="http://admin.brightcove.com/js/APIModules_all.js"></script> <div class="brightcove-player"> <object id="myExperience-2044222475001" class="BrightcoveExperience"> <param name="bgcolor" value="#000000" /> <param name="playerID" value="" /> <param name="playerKey" value="AQ~~,AAAAEgPmGlk~,Fzd-TvXcznw-P3piHaryQBMeIzWITldz" /> <param name="isVid" value="true" /> <param name="isUI" value="true" /> <param name="dynamicStreaming" value="true" /> <param name="@videoPlayer" value="2044222475001" /> <param name="autoStart" value="" /> <param name="htmlFallback" value="true" /> <param name="includeAPI" value="true" /> <param name="templateLoadHandler" value="brightcoveTemplateLoaded" /> <param name="width" value="640px" /> <param name="height" value="360px" /> </object> <!-- This script tag will cause the Brightcove Players defined above it to be created as soon as the line is read by the browser. If you wish to have the player instantiated only after the rest of the HTML is processed and the page load is complete, remove the line. --> <script type="text/javascript">brightcove.createExperiences();</script> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/nintendo-wii-u-review-15_3.jpg?1392838232" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="1200" height="900" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/nintendo-wii-u-review-11_0.jpg?1392838232" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-3"> <div class="field-label">Image #3:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_3" width="1200" height="900" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/nintendo-wii-u-review-19_1.jpg?1392838232" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Touchscreen </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>If you&rsquo;re expecting Apple Retina Display levels of detail, you&rsquo;re going to be disappointed by the GamePad&rsquo;s screen. The 854 x 480 resolution equates to a pixel density of just 158ppi, and compared to the picture on your TV screen lacks a little vibrancy and crispness, even at its full 10m range. So yes, you&rsquo;ll find jaggies if you&rsquo;re looking for them, but playing New Super Mario Bros. U is still a premium game playing experience. Viewing angles are very good, too, so showing your skills off to a mate or sharing a movie doesn&rsquo;t involve one of you having to suffer through horrible colours.</p> <p>Despite these redemptive qualities, the GamePad loses points on battery life (in our tests it averaged about three-and-a-half ours of intensive use, with a half hour recharge to half power). Thankfully you can carry on playing while the GamePad charges.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/nintendo-wii-u-review-18_2.jpg?1392838232" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-3"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Setup and day-one firmware update </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>So you&rsquo;ve raced home with your new Wii U, ripped open the packaging and connected everything together &ndash; what&rsquo;s next? Now it&rsquo;s time to run though the initial setup, a process made more fun than it sounds by the use of the GamePad throughout. Between it and your main TV screen you&rsquo;re guided elegantly to choose your TV resolution, setup the GamePad as a universal remote for your TV and create your Mii avatar using the front-facing camera.</p> <p>If you buy a Wii U shortly after launch you&rsquo;ll also have to download an update &ndash; and it&rsquo;s big. Even on our very fast cable broadband connection the update took over an hour. If you&rsquo;re buying a Wii U for a loved one this Christmas we recommend you do the update before wrapping it up, unless you think their idea of a fun Christmas morning is one spent staring at a status bar.</p> <p>The good news is that once the update has been done, the Wii U springs to life. The formerly sparse home screen fills with floating icons and other Miis for your own little avatar to wave and speak cute gibberish to. A new row of icons populates the GamePad display, giving you access to Miiverse, the Nintendo eShop, internet browser, Nintendo TVii (not available in the UK until 2013) and Notifications, which flashes when a new message has arrived. Your homescreen also gains Wii U Chat, which let&rsquo;s you make video calls to other Wii U users, and the Netflix and YouTube icons that previously did nothing now actually open the advertised software.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/nintendo-wii-u-review-17_3.jpg?1392838232" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-4"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Performance </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>If your vision of a next-gen console includes CPUs and GPUs that require their own nuclear power station the Wii U is going to disappoint. Nintendo isn&rsquo;t prepared to talk details, but reports suggest that the Wii U&rsquo;s power is roughly equivalent to that of the PS3 and Xbox 360 and the early batch of cross-platform games bears that out, with titles such as Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 and Mass Effect looking almost identical to the Xbox 360 versions in side-by-side comparisons.</p> <p>The overall Wii U experience is actually disappointingly sluggish. With current smartphones and tablets offering instantaneous multitasking, the time it takes the Wii U to open and switch between apps is shameful. Even going from the settings menu to the Wii U Home screen involves a 20-second wait, and over time that&rsquo;s going to get pretty tedious.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/nintendo-wii-u-review-03_3.jpg?1392838232" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-5"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Launch games </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The Wii U has launched with almost 30 games split between full disc releases and downloadable games from the Nintendo eShop. Many will be familiar to even the most casual of gamer &ndash; Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, Batman: Arkham City and FIFA 13 to name just three &ndash; and while each of these adds fresh functionality through the GamePad, it&rsquo;s the brand new games that will excite the most. We&rsquo;ll be posting full reviews of as many of the launch titles as we can in the coming days, but for now here are some highlights.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/nintendo-wii-u-review-05_3.jpg?1392838232" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-6"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Nintendo Land </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Anyone who buys the Premium Pack gets Nintendo Land bundled in. A multiplayer mix of party games, Nintendo must be hoping this can do for the Wii U what Wii Sports did for the original Wii, but it&rsquo;s actually a rather different kettle of Pikmin. Rather than provide a host of games that are immediately familiar to absolutely anyone (even your Grandma knows what bowling is, and she&rsquo;s not afraid to pretend to do it in front of your TV at Christmas), Nintendo Land is full of more complex games that involve Nintendo&rsquo;s best-known and most-loved franchises. From Metroid to Animal Crossing, Zelda to Mario, all get a look-in, and most of the games have the depth and skill level to appeal to core gamers more than Wii Sports ever did. The problem is that most are complex enough to require long, dull tutorials, and even if she manages to sit through one of those your Grandma&rsquo;s still not going to know what the heck&rsquo;s going on.</p> <p>Leave her out and get your game-playing mates involved instead and you&rsquo;ll have much more success, with Nintendo doing a great job of introducing new ways to play using the GamePad. Pikmin Adventure, for example, sees one player using the old-school Wii Controller (you did keep some of those, right?) to control their Mii on the TV screen while the other player jabs at the GamePad screen with the stylus to throw Pikmin at enemies. It&rsquo;s seriously addictive fun.</p> <p>There are plenty of games for more than two players, too, such as Animal Crossing: Sweet Day, which sees up to four Wii Controller players racing around collecting sweets while the GamePad player tries to catch them using two guards, each controlled with a different analogue stick. You may go cross-eyed, you may completely lose your marbles, but you&rsquo;ll be laughing.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="675" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/nintendo-land_3.jpg?1392838232" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-7"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> New Super Mario Bros. U </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>A Nintendo console launch isn&rsquo;t complete without a proper Mario game, and New Super Mario Bros. U is about as &lsquo;proper&rsquo; as they get. In fact, at first glance it&rsquo;s so familiar you wonder why they bothered. Sure, it looks crisp and colourful and the ability to mirror it onto the GamePad so it can be played in bed is nice, but it&rsquo;s essentially just the same Mario game we&rsquo;ve been playing for decades, isn&rsquo;t it?</p> <p>Multiplayer brings it to life, thanks again to clever use of the GamePad. The entire New Super Mario Bros. U &lsquo;campaign&rsquo; can be tackled by up to five players, four of whom control Mario, Luigi and two Toad characters while the fifth uses the GamePad to drop platforms into the world and knock out enemies. The GamePad player is encouraged to help the Wii Controller players access hard-to-reach areas and save them from falling down gaps, but the real fun comes from being mischievous. With five players this is carnage of the first order.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="675" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/new-super-mario-bros-u_2.jpg?1392838232" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-8"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> ZombiU </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Thought Nintendo was all about cutesy characters and colourful graphics? ZombiU is here to make you think again. Initially easy to dismiss as just yet another zombie game, ZombiU quickly proves to be much more. Set in London after an outbreak that&rsquo;s turned almost the entire population into shambling flesh-eaters, you play a survivor based at Shadwell tube station who ventures out to complete tasks set by the mysterious Prepper. What could easily just be a generic zombie FPS is transformed by two things: permanent death and the GamePad.</p> <p>If you die in ZombiU &ndash; and you will, probably within the first three minutes &ndash; that survivor is dead forever. You awaken back in Shadwell as a new survivor ready to do the Prepper&rsquo;s bidding, but before getting on with that you&rsquo;ve got another aim: find your last character, who has now joined the zombie horde, kill them, and reclaim your bag of weapons and loot. Die on the way there and your selection of zombie-killing swag will be lost forever. Harsh, yes, but it teaches you to be careful and makes this a far more tense and thoughtful take on the zombie genre. You need to plan your moves, take zombies on one at a time, and have an escape route ready if you find yourself outnumbered.</p> <p>The GamePad is used to brilliant effect throughout. As standard it displays a map of the area, and with a tap on the corner of the screen a radar pulses out and reveals anything living or undead in the vicinity. More advanced is the environmental scanner &ndash; hold the left shoulder button and you can use the GamePad&rsquo;s supremely accurate motion tracking to scan the area for enemies and items of interest. You use the same functionality to aim sniper rifles and mounted machine guns.</p> <p>The GamePad also comes into its own in multiplayer. Here one player controls a lone survivor using a Wii Controller or the new Pro Controller. The other player is the Zombie King, who has a number of zombie &lsquo;units&rsquo; that can be dropped onto the map to stop the survivor capturing flags or steal them for the zombie team. With the arsenal of weapons available to the survivor it&rsquo;s easy to take on the zombies, but if the Zombie King manages to surround him things get much more interesting. Endlessly good fun.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="675" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/zombiu_3.jpg?1392838232" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="1200" height="900" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/nintendo-wii-u-review-10_1.jpg?1392838232" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-9"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Video </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Not only does the Wii U not play Blu-ray discs, it won&rsquo;t even recognise DVD movies. Disappointing as that is you do at least get access to Netflix, Lovefilm and YouTube from the Home screen. These services have only been enabled overnight so we&rsquo;ll be updating with our impressions as soon as we&rsquo;ve had time to give them a thorough workout.</p> <p><strong>UPDATE</strong></p> <p>The lightly customised version of Netflix on the Wii U is lovely to use, with quick, fluid responses as you shift through selections. Start playing a movie or TV show and Netflix does its typically impressive job of automatically scaling the resolution depending on the speed of your web connection. Anything over about 2Mbps should be fast enough for HD, which looks fab, although you can get a touch of judder in slow panning shots.</p> <p>In the default arrangement the GamePad acts as a remote control as well as showing the playing movie&rsquo;s artwork and giving a synopsis and cast details. One tap on the icon in the top-right of the screen and the arrangement is switched, with the movie playing on the GamePad. As expected you lose a little sharpness and vibrancy but colours are still natural and the picture is more than good enough for doing a spot of movie watching when the TV&rsquo;s being used for something else.</p> <p>YouTube has been customised more heavily, with the GamePad&rsquo;s physical buttons being used to control the menus on the TV screen. The GamePad screen is just used to give you information about the video currently highlighted, as well as allowing for easier searching via virtual QWERTY. It&rsquo;s a really clean, classy interface all told, but we can&rsquo;t help but think that not being able to actually watch videos on the GamePad is a missed opportunity.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/nintendo-wii-u-video_3.jpg?1392838232" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="1200" height="900" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/nintendo-wii-u-review-browser_1.jpg?1392838232" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-10"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Browser </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The internet browser works on both the TV and GamePad screens. This is another feature that&rsquo;s only just been enabled so we&rsquo;ll update when we&rsquo;ve had more time with it, but first impressions are that it&rsquo;s easy to use and quick to load pages, but also rather unkind to the relatively low resolution screen of the GamePad.</p> <p><strong>UPDATE</strong></p> <p>We&rsquo;ve now spent a bit more time with the Wii U&rsquo;s internet browser, and as we first suspected it&rsquo;s a bit of a mixed bag. The GamePad is unsurprisingly the lead device here, with pages always appearing on the touchscreen and the option to open the virtual curtains on your TV screen so that you can see a mirror of the browser.</p> <p>The experience is held back somewhat by the screen, which produces slightly jagged text and lacks multi-touch, which means there&rsquo;s no pinch-to-zoom or other fancy navigation tricks that Apple has taught us. Having said that, double-tapping on an image or paragraph results in an instantaneous zoom-to-fit, and the screen is responsive enough to make typing in search terms a breeze. Don&rsquo;t go thinking the browser will give you access to lots of extra VOD content, though &ndash; it&rsquo;s incompatible with the likes of BBC iPlayer.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-11"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Accessories </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Given that this is a console designed primarily for multiplayer action, a single controller isn&rsquo;t going to get you very far, even if it is the fantastic GamePad. If you&rsquo;ve still got Wii Remotes from the original Wii you&rsquo;re in luck &ndash; they&rsquo;ll all still work with the Wii U. In fact, some games, such as the Metroid Blast part of Nintendo Land, even take advantage of the later, upgraded Wii Remote Plus. It really would be good if you&rsquo;d kept hold of those, as new ones will set you back around &pound;50 each.</p> <p>Also, coming in at a cool &pound;50 is the new Wii U Pro Controller, an unashamedly Xbox-like controller complete with twin analogue sticks, D-pad and the full roster of buttons. It&rsquo;s a shame the shoulder buttons are still digital, but the bigger disappointment is how little support it seems to be getting from Nintendo in these early days &ndash; load-up Nintendo Land or New Super Mario Bros. U and the Pro Controller turns itself off entirely, despite the games only really needing a D-pad and two buttons to play. We suspect that for certain games (Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, we&rsquo;re looking at you) the Pro Controller will be all but essential, but spending &pound;50 on one knowing that some games won&rsquo;t even recognise it seems a bit of a waste.</p> <p>Far less of a waste is buying a USB hard drive. Anyone who&rsquo;s expecting to delve into the eShop on occasion is going to quickly fill even the Premium Pack&rsquo;s 32GB flash drive in a, er, flash, especially as core titles such as New Super Mario Bros. U and Nintendo Land will consume over 2GB each. If you want to go down the USB hard drive route there are some guidelines: make sure it&rsquo;s one with its own power supply, don&rsquo;t pay extra for USB 3.0 as it&rsquo;s not supported, and don&rsquo;t pay for more than 2TB as that&rsquo;s all that the Wii U can use for now. We&rsquo;d go for something like the Buffalo DriveStation, which is a glossy black match for the Premium Wii U and can be had in 1TB size for around &pound;55.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/nintendo-wii-u-review-02_2.jpg?1392838232" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="1200" height="900" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/nintendo-wii-u-review-01_4.jpg?1392838232" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-3"> <div class="field-label">Image #3:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_3" width="1200" height="900" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/nintendo-wii-u-review-04_2.jpg?1392838232" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-12"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Verdict </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Whether you should buy a Wii U largely comes down to the kind of gamer you are. If you&rsquo;re exclusively a solo gamer it&rsquo;s probably not for you, especially as the launch titles are geared towards local multiplayer.</p> <p>Even those who are used to playing Wii games with the family should be wary. Sure, the Wii U will still play all of those games, but the new, Wii U-specific titles are less immediate and less casual, and non-gamers aren&rsquo;t going to find it easy to get involved.</p> <p>However, if playing with friends in the same room is how you like your games (and let&rsquo;s face it, isn&rsquo;t that what got us all into games in the first place?), the Wii U is all but irresistible. The GamePad isn&rsquo;t as revolutionary as the Wii-mote, but it&rsquo;s a sensible evolution of the controls that adds a new dynamic to gameplay. Most of all, the Wii U transports you back to those halcyon years when multiplayer involved being mocked by the mates sitting next to you rather than a foul-mouthed 12-year-old from Arkansas.</p> <p>Is the Wii U the next generation of console gaming? Nope. Not even a little bit. As developers get used to its architecture it&rsquo;s possible that cross-platform games will look and perform better on the Wii U than they do on the Xbox 360 and PS3, but by that time the Xbox 720 and PS4 (or whatever it is they actually end up being called) will also be available. Whether the Wii U still has a place then will depend on what games emerge in the interim and whether developers can push the limits of the GamePad.</p> <p>So it&rsquo;s not an essential gaming upgrade by any means, but it is very good fun &ndash; particularly for living room multiplayer action. If you&rsquo;re a Ninty fan with &pound;250 to splurge, we recommend it. But if you&rsquo;re waiting for the next big thing in gaming it&rsquo;s worth holding out to see what 2013 has in store.</p> <p>Review by <strong><a href="https://plus.google.com/103215055246401872764/posts">Tom Parsons&nbsp;</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/nintendo-wii-u-review-08_2.jpg?1392838232" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="1200" height="900" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/nintendo-wii-u-review-12_3.jpg?1392838232" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-3"> <div class="field-label">Image #3:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_3" width="1200" height="900" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/nintendo-wii-u-review-14_4.jpg?1392838232" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-review-rating"><legend>Review Rating</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> games </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 8 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Graphics </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 7 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> design </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 8 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-3"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> smarts </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 9 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-verdict"> <div class="field-label">Verdict:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>It provides no graphical leap, but the Wii U&rsquo;s take on dual-screen gaming is a revelation, especially when gaming with friends</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-preview"> <div class="field-label">Preview:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Disabled </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-legacy-url"> <div class="field-label">Legacy URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> /review/nintendo-wii-u </div> </div> </div> http://www.stuff.tv/nintendo-wii-u/review#comments Games consoles Games Machines Nintendo Wii U Fri, 30 Nov 2012 12:11:30 +0000 Tom Parsons 423609 at http://www.stuff.tv Sony PlayStation 3 (2012) http://www.stuff.tv/sony/sony-playstation-3-2012/review <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Sony’s console slips on a new outfit for its third outing. Has it got the look or is it gaming mutton dressed as plastic lamb? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-enable-hero"> <div class="field-label">Enable hero:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Enable full width image </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Sony Playstation 3 (2012)" alt="Sony Playstation 3 (2012)" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/ps3-super-slim-hd-main_4_0.jpg?1392837478" /> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Sony Playstation 3 (2012)" alt="Sony Playstation 3 (2012)" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/ps3-super-slim-3_4_0.jpg?1392837478" /> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Sony Playstation 3 (2012)" alt="Sony Playstation 3 (2012)" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/ps3-super-slim-5_4_0.jpg?1392837478" /> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Sony Playstation 3 (2012)" alt="Sony Playstation 3 (2012)" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/ps3-super-slim-7_4_0.jpg?1392837478" /> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Sony Playstation 3 (2012)" alt="Sony Playstation 3 (2012)" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/ps3-super-slim-10_4_0.jpg?1392837478" /> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Sony Playstation 3 (2012)" alt="Sony Playstation 3 (2012)" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/ps3-super-slim-hd-2_4_0.jpg?1392837478" /> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-pricing"><legend>Pricing</legend><div class="field field-type-number-float field-field-test-price"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> £250.00 </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-price-from"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 0 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-ratings"><legend>Ratings</legend><div class="field field-type-hcmreviewrating-rating field-field-overall-rating"> <div class="field-label">Overall rating:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="hcmrating-default">10 stars</div> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-pros"> <div class="field-label">Pros:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Plays games and Blu-rays </div> <div class="field-item even"> Tidier design </div> <div class="field-item odd"> Ton of games out there </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-cons"> <div class="field-label">Cons:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No HDMI cable in the box </div> <div class="field-item even"> New disc tray feels cheap and nasty </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><legend>Review Section</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> overview </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>At first glance the new Super Slim version of the PlayStation 3 is all good news: it&rsquo;s notably smaller than the most recent Slim iteration of Sony&rsquo;s long-running console, and its 500GB hard-disk is the largest yet offered as a standard fitment. Compare it to an original 2006-edition 60GB console, and the new model is around half the size, has almost ten times the memory and costs less &ndash; so happy days, right? Unsurprisingly, it&rsquo;s not quite as simple as that&hellip;</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="500" height="375" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/ps3-hands-grille_2.jpg?1392837478" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> sleek appearance </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The latest PS3 is around 25 per cent smaller and 20 per cent lighter than the outgoing Slim model and, as you&rsquo;d expect, that makes it much smaller than the original console. Its new glossy finish gives it something of the look of its heavyweight forebear too yet, to our eyes, it looks a little retro after the matte finish adopted more recently. However, the most dramatic design departure is the adoption of a top-mounted disc mechanism with a sliding cover, replacing the slot-loading system of yore.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="500" height="375" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/ps3-hands-compare_2.jpg?1392837478" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> top-loading mechanism </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Doubtless this new mechanism saves cost and complexity, but it also feels cheap. Although the disc cover opens with spring assistance, you have to close it by hand. The new system&rsquo;s also a bit cumbersome when loading discs with the PS3 mounted vertically: better to sit your Sony horizontally on a shelf &ndash; although then you&rsquo;ll need to ensure there&rsquo;s sufficient space above it to allow for easy access. Either way around, we prefer the old system.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="500" height="375" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/ps3-hands-bd-carriage_2.jpg?1392837478" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-3"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> more space, but no more sockets </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Our review sample has 500GB of hard-disk space, enough to make it a truly useful media hub (a cheaper model with 12GB of flash memory is also available). Great, but we&rsquo;d love to see more USB inputs: two just doesn&rsquo;t seem enough in the Move era. However, our biggest gripe is that the PS3 still doesn&rsquo;t come with an HDMI cable as standard: sure, there&rsquo;s a composite AV cable in the box, but in the high definition age, that&rsquo;s as useful as a propeller on an X-Wing.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="500" height="375" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/ps3-hands-usb_2.jpg?1392837478" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-4"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> features </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Of course, not everything needed improvement. Sony&rsquo;s XMB interface allows for simple configuration of all the PS3&rsquo;s many abilities in seconds. And what abilities they are: gaming aside, you can play Blu-rays and DVDs, stream TV and films from iPlayer, LoveFilm, Netflix, Sony Entertainment Network and more, and even play a decent array of file types via your network or USB drive. 3D is catered for, as is TV recording and wavey-hand gaming, assuming you&rsquo;re happy paying extra for those Move controllers. That&rsquo;s a heck of a lot more than the original &#39;fat&#39; PS3 was capable of when it first came out.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="500" height="375" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/ps3-hands-river_2.jpg?1392837478" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-5"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> performance and noise </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>In comparison with the Slim there&rsquo;s really no noticeable performance difference, which is no surprise given that in most regards the two are identical. We do have one gripe, though, and that is that the new Super Slim is noticeably louder than its forebear, especially when spinning discs &ndash; a result of the switch to that top-loading mechanism and cheap-feeling disc cover, we&rsquo;d wager. It&rsquo;s nowhere near as noisy as the original model could sometimes be, so don&rsquo;t panic &ndash; but all the same, it&rsquo;s not the improvement we&rsquo;d hoped for.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="500" height="375" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/ps3-hands-compare-side_2.jpg?1392837478" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-6"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> verdict </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Is the latest Super Slim PS3 better than the old one? To an extent the question&rsquo;s moot: before long it&rsquo;ll be the only version you can buy, and despite its relative age Sony has managed to keep it relevant with heaps of new features and functions. On the other hand, we&rsquo;re not smitten by the new drive mechanism: if you&rsquo;ve already got a Slim, hang on to it, and if you&rsquo;re about to buy it might be worth seeing what the discounts are like on the outgoing model. Still, if you find yourself with a choice between a Super Slim or no PS3 at all, we recommend you dive in without delay.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-review-rating"><legend>Review Rating</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> games </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 10 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Graphics </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 9 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> design </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 7 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-verdict"> <div class="field-label">Verdict:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>It&rsquo;s a shame there are a couple of little flaws, but the PS3 remains a supreme all-purpose console and it&rsquo;s now slimmer and lighter than ever</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-preview"> <div class="field-label">Preview:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Disabled </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-legacy-url"> <div class="field-label">Legacy URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> /review/sony-playstation-3-2012 </div> </div> </div> http://www.stuff.tv/sony/sony-playstation-3-2012/review#comments Games consoles Games Machines PlayStation 3 (2012) Sony Wed, 10 Oct 2012 17:06:38 +0000 Paddy Smith 423045 at http://www.stuff.tv Nintendo 3DS XL http://www.stuff.tv/nintendo/nintendo-3ds-xl/review <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-enable-hero"> <div class="field-label">Enable hero:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Enable full width image </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="964" height="992" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/nintendo-3ds-press-shot-front_0_2.jpg?1392837908" /> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="1000" height="603" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/nintendo-3ds-press-shot-closed_2.jpg?1392837908" /> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="1000" height="631" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/nintendo-3ds-press-shot-closed-red_2.jpg?1392837908" /> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="1000" height="631" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/nintendo-3ds-press-shot-closed-blue_2.jpg?1392837908" /> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="1280" height="1280" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/nintendo-3ds-press-shot-stylus_2.jpg?1392837908" /> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-pricing"><legend>Pricing</legend><div class="field field-type-number-float field-field-test-price"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> £180.00 </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-price-from"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 0 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-ratings"><legend>Ratings</legend><div class="field field-type-hcmreviewrating-rating field-field-overall-rating"> <div class="field-label">Overall rating:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="hcmrating-default">8 stars</div> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><legend>Review Section</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Nintendo 3DS XL – overview </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Nintendo&#39;s handheld console refreshes have followed a predictable pattern over the years, firmly centred around Nintendo&#39;s &#39;bigger is better&#39; philosophy. The Nintendo 3DS XL &ndash; successor to the original 3DS &ndash; is no exception to Ninty&#39;s tried and tested game plan and arrives packing a bigger battery and two larger screens with the aim of creating a longer-lasting and more immersive 3D gaming experience.</p> <p>Is it enough to warrant an upgrade from the original 3DS or fend off the advances of the powerful PlayStation Vita? Read on to find out...</p> <p><a href="/review/nintendo-3ds" target="_self">Read our Nintendo 3DS review</a></p> <p><a href="/review/sony-playstation-vita" target="_self">Read our PlayStation Vita review</a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="video-wrapper brightcove-player-wrapper"> <script language="JavaScript" type="text/javascript" src="http://admin.brightcove.com/js/BrightcoveExperiences.js"></script> <script src="http://admin.brightcove.com/js/APIModules_all.js"></script> <div class="brightcove-player"> <object id="myExperience-1721073691001" class="BrightcoveExperience"> <param name="bgcolor" value="#000000" /> <param name="playerID" value="" /> <param name="playerKey" value="AQ~~,AAAAEgPmGlk~,Fzd-TvXcznw-P3piHaryQBMeIzWITldz" /> <param name="isVid" value="true" /> <param name="isUI" value="true" /> <param name="dynamicStreaming" value="true" /> <param name="@videoPlayer" value="1721073691001" /> <param name="autoStart" value="" /> <param name="htmlFallback" value="true" /> <param name="includeAPI" value="true" /> <param name="templateLoadHandler" value="brightcoveTemplateLoaded" /> <param name="width" value="640px" /> <param name="height" value="360px" /> </object> <!-- This script tag will cause the Brightcove Players defined above it to be created as soon as the line is read by the browser. If you wish to have the player instantiated only after the rest of the HTML is processed and the page load is complete, remove the line. --> <script type="text/javascript">brightcove.createExperiences();</script> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="500" height="375" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/nintendo-3ds-xl-review-hands-on-side-3ds-comparison.jpg?1392837908" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="500" height="375" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/nintendo-3ds-xl-review-hands-on-side-closed.jpg?1392837908" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-3"> <div class="field-label">Image #3:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_3" width="500" height="375" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/nintendo-3ds-xl-review-hands-on-connectivity.jpg?1392837908" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Nintendo 3DS XL – design, build and connectivity </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The 3DS XL really earns its XL moniker: it&#39;s a good chunk bigger than the standard 3DS. Impressively, though, it&#39;s only 1mm thicker. Its 156mm length (compared to the 3DS&#39; 134mm) does make it less pocket-friendly, though, so you&#39;ll ideally want to pop it into your bag when you&#39;re on the move.</p> <p>Although the 3DS XL is 100g heavier than the 3DS it&#39;s still light and comfortable enough for a strain-free gaming marathon, and we also like the fact that the screen can now be locked into a number of different angles as opposed to moving freely on its hinges, making it sturdier and more durable in the long run.</p> <p>The Nintendo 3DS XL also gains a new matte plastic chassis to replace the glossy plastic of the original 3DS &ndash; a welcome move for obsessive gadgeteers who hate fingerprint smudges. Overall the 3DS XL feels more premium than the slippery finish of the standard 3DS, although the grey and black finish of our review sample is a little unexciting.</p> <p>There&#39;s been a bit of a change in port locations as well, with the SD card and stylus slots now gracing the right hand side of the device. Sadly, the extendable metal stylus has been replaced by an all-plastic affair, but it&#39;s nice to see that the bundled memory card has had an upgrade from 2GB to 4GB. The exclusion of a charger is rather annoying, though, not to mention a little presumptuous on the part of Nintendo to assume that the majority of 3DS XL buyers will be upgrading from the 3DS and re-using their existing chargers.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="video-wrapper brightcove-player-wrapper"> <script language="JavaScript" type="text/javascript" src="http://admin.brightcove.com/js/BrightcoveExperiences.js"></script> <script src="http://admin.brightcove.com/js/APIModules_all.js"></script> <div class="brightcove-player"> <object id="myExperience-1745396015001" class="BrightcoveExperience"> <param name="bgcolor" value="#000000" /> <param name="playerID" value="" /> <param name="playerKey" value="AQ~~,AAAAEgPmGlk~,Fzd-TvXcznw-P3piHaryQBMeIzWITldz" /> <param name="isVid" value="true" /> <param name="isUI" value="true" /> <param name="dynamicStreaming" value="true" /> <param name="@videoPlayer" value="1745396015001" /> <param name="autoStart" value="" /> <param name="htmlFallback" value="true" /> <param name="includeAPI" value="true" /> <param name="templateLoadHandler" value="brightcoveTemplateLoaded" /> <param name="width" value="640px" /> <param name="height" value="360px" /> </object> <!-- This script tag will cause the Brightcove Players defined above it to be created as soon as the line is read by the browser. If you wish to have the player instantiated only after the rest of the HTML is processed and the page load is complete, remove the line. --> <script type="text/javascript">brightcove.createExperiences();</script> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="500" height="375" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/nintendo-3ds-xl-review-hands-on-screens.jpg?1392837908" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="500" height="375" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/nintendo-3ds-xl-review-hands-on-3ds-screen-comparison.jpg?1392837908" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-3"> <div class="field-label">Image #3:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_3" width="500" height="375" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/nintendo-3ds-xl-review-hands-on-playstation-vita-screen-comparison.jpg?1392837908" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Nintendo 3DS XL –  screens </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The Nintendo 3DS XL&#39;s screens are, of course, central to the 3DS&#39; redesign. The top and bottom screens are now 4.88in and 4.18in respectively, which is a massive&nbsp; improvement over the comparatively postage stamp-sized 3.53in and 3.02in screens found on the standard 3DS.</p> <p>The bigger top screen has a somewhat bitter-sweet impact on the gaming experience. It provides more immersion by serving up a larger, more forgiving &#39;sweet spot&#39; for the best 3D effect, and although we crashed a few times in Mario Kart 7 due to the odd bit of 3D distortion-related confusion, the extra space was definitely a good thing for maintaining 3D image stability.</p> <p>Cranking the 3D slider to max also results in a deeper 3D effect that, although pleasing, still has to be toned down after a while to give strained eyes a bit of a break.</p> <p>What&#39;s a bit disappointing is that the same 800x240 screen resolution has been carried over from the 3DS, and the stretching that needs to be done to make it fit the bigger screen means images and text appear far less sharp and much jaggier than before. It&#39;s a real shame that Nintendo didn&#39;t spring for a higher resolution screen: without it the 3DS XL&#39;s picture isn&#39;t the all-round improvement we were hoping for.</p> <p>Compared to the PlayStation Vita&#39;s gorgeous 960x544 5in AMOLED display, the Nintendo 3DS&#39; screen looks positively shoddy, with washed-out colours and jagged edges aplenty. Also unlike the PlayStation Vita, the 3DS XL&#39;s bottom touchscreen is still rocking older resistive touchscreen technology, which means no multitouch and a requirement for surgically accurate finger/stylus pecking when browsing websites and entering URLs.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="500" height="375" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/nintendo-3ds-xl-review-hands-on-controls.jpg?1392837908" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-3"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Nintendo 3DS XL – controls </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>There&#39;s been a fair bit of controversy over Nintendo&#39;s decision not to include a second analogue circle pad with the 3DS XL and, as before, we were left yearning for the extra precision offered by a second circle pad at times. Although its omission has resulted in a slimmer, longer-lasting handheld, we can&#39;t help but feel that a little more heft and one hour less battery life would be fair trade-offs for a second circle pad.</p> <p>Nonetheless, the existing controls (which are identical to those found on the 3DS) work well, with the one circle pad on offer providing a satisfying balance of resistance, accuracy and smoothness. The Select, Home and Start buttons have also had an upgrade and are now much easier to press mid-game.</p> <p>After a few hours of gameplay we also noticed that our thumbs felt a lot less cramped than after a heavy 3DS session &ndash; a testament to the extra comfort served up by the increase in size.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="500" height="375" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/nintendo-3ds-xl-review-hands-on-battery-life.jpg?1392837908" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-4"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Nintendo 3DS XL – battery life </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Part of the reason Nintendo chose to omit a second circle pad was to improve battery life, and we can happily say that it&#39;s at least done the trick. The 3DS XL lasted a little under 5.5 hours with heavy gaming, light web browsing and camera usage, which is an impressive feat given that Wi-Fi and 3D were on with the screen cranked up to max brightness.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="500" height="375" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/nintendo-3ds-xl-review-hands-on-camera.jpg?1392837908" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="500" height="375" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/nintendo-3ds-xl-review-hands-on-3ds-camera-comparison.jpg?1392837908" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-5"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Nintendo 3DS XL – gaming and camera </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The 3DS XL doesn&#39;t bring anything new to the gaming or imaging department and has the same pre-loaded AR apps and library of games that grace the 3DS. The front and inward-facing cameras also remain the same and provide more of a passing distraction as opposed to any real imaging uses, due to their low resolution.</p> <p>The 3D effect for still shots works quite well as long as nothing sticks too far out towards the lens, although video proves to be more temperamental with distracting ghosting present more often than not.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="500" height="375" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/nintendo-3ds-xl-review-hands-on-art-shot.jpg?1392837908" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-6"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Nintendo 3DS XL – verdict </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Perhaps as expected, the 3DS XL is an evolutionary step rather than a revolutionary one, and while there&#39;s no denying the benefits offered by the larger screens in providing a more immersive and enjoyable gaming experience, the lower resolution makes its success a rather qualified one.</p> <p>Existing 3DS owners will have to ask themselves just how much size matters to them, and given the crispness of the smaller 3DS&#39; screen, we would suggest that it&#39;s far from a necessity to upgrade to the 3DS XL right now.</p> <p>First-time buyers, however, should have no qualms about picking up the 3DS XL over the 3DS. It&#39;s bigger, better-built and offers up the familiar Nintendo gaming roster of Mario, Link et al with a portable 3D experience that not even the more powerful PlayStation Vita can offer.</p> <p>The Nintendo 3DS XL isn&#39;t for gamers who want HD graphics or the latest tech and console gaming on the go &ndash; that&#39;s the PlayStation Vita&#39;s calling. Rather, it&#39;s an embodiment of what Nintendo has always stood for &ndash; innovation and good old-fashioned fun.</p> <p>Review by <a href="https://plus.google.com/113744365591130339010/posts?rel=author">Esat Dedezade</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-verdict"> <div class="field-label">Verdict:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>A non-essential, yet evolutionary upgrade that offers the best on-the-go 3D gaming experience in classic Nintendo style</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-preview"> <div class="field-label">Preview:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Disabled </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-legacy-url"> <div class="field-label">Legacy URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> /review/nintendo-3ds-xl </div> </div> </div> http://www.stuff.tv/nintendo/nintendo-3ds-xl/review#comments 3DS XL Games consoles Games Machines Nintendo Wed, 18 Jul 2012 12:36:00 +0000 Esat Dedezade 422011 at http://www.stuff.tv Alienware X51 http://www.stuff.tv/alienware/alienware-x51/review <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alienware&#039;s Xbox 360-sized (and -styled) PC looks like the perfect machine to kick the console out of the house. But is it as happy sitting by the TV as under your desk? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-enable-hero"> <div class="field-label">Enable hero:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Enable full width image </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="1200" height="700" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/alienware-X51-review-main.jpg?1392837640" /> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="500" height="375" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/alienware-X51-review-press-3_5.jpg?1392837640" /> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="500" height="375" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/alienware-X51-review-press-inside_5.jpg?1392837640" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-byline"> <div class="field-label">Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/users/sophie-charara" title="View user profile.">Sophie Charara</a> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-pricing"><legend>Pricing</legend><div class="field field-type-number-float field-field-test-price"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> £850.00 </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-price-from"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 0 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-ratings"><legend>Ratings</legend><div class="field field-type-hcmreviewrating-rating field-field-overall-rating"> <div class="field-label">Overall rating:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="hcmrating-default">10 stars</div> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-pros"> <div class="field-label">Pros:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Console beating power </div> <div class="field-item even"> All the features of a full PC, under the TV </div> <div class="field-item odd"> Upgrading keeps pace with new tech </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-cons"> <div class="field-label">Cons:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> More expensive than an XBox or PS3 </div> <div class="field-item even"> No wireless or Blu-Ray as standard </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><legend>Review Section</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Design and build </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>With a glossy front panel and a classy matte finish on the sides, the X51 is just as pretty standing upright as it is lying down flat.</p> <p>Attention to detail, with a logo that rotates with its orientation and customisable front and side lights, is impressive &ndash; although unlike most PCs you&#39;ll need to find space for a chunky external power brick.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="567" height="425" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/alienware-X51-review-1-resized.jpg?1392837640" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="567" height="379" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/alienware-X51-review-5.jpg?1392837640" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Performance and graphics </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The mid-range i5 we tested hits the sweet spot between performance and price. It&#39;s blazing fast, although graphics leave a bit to be desired compared to super-high-end PCs; even the top-spec GeForce GTX 555 couldn&#39;t run Battlefield 3 on Ultra settings. That said, it should play any game you throw at it in detail-rich 1080p - that&#39;s sharper than most Xbox and PS3 titles.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="567" height="375" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/alienware-X51-review-3-resized.jpg?1392837640" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Power </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The X51 is relatively power-hungry when the going gets tough, but it still uses much less energy than a typical PC. At peak, the Xbox 360 consumes about 90W at full whack whereas the X51 is more around the 165W mark.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-3"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Noise levels </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>While idling or playing movies, the X51 is very quiet &ndash; a smidge louder than typical Blu-ray player, but not enough to spoil an intense moment. The fans don&#39;t spin up much when running games either, though if they do kick in then the whole neighbourhood will know about it. We look forward to the day when PCs don&#39;t sound like aircraft taking off.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="567" height="375" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/alienware-X51-review-2-resized_0.jpg?1392837640" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-4"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Home entertainment </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Built-in optical audio, Windows Media Center and the ability to stream from the web make the X51 an ideal all-in-one entertainment machine for the lounge. It&#39;s a little odd then, that Alienware hasn&#39;t bundled wireless peripherals, and there&#39;s no Blu-ray player either &ndash; that&#39;s only available as a &pound;90 option on the top-end model.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-5"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Futureproof </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Because it&#39;s a &#39;real&#39; PC &ndash; not built from laptop parts like the Mac Mini - the X51 is futureproof. Opening it up and swapping out components, including the graphics card, and processor, is easy, which means that in a couple of years it could be outperforming the next generation of dedicated consoles.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-6"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Versus Xbox 360 for gaming </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Both the Xbox 360 and the PS3 are beginning to struggle with the latest games. The X51 can handle Skyrim with almost all settings at max &ndash; it looks miles better and loads much faster too. While the Xbox controller is comfortable and versatile, the level of precise FPS control you get with a keyboard and mouse means going back to the Xbox feels like running underwater.</p> <p>You&#39;ll get a lot of fun out of the Xbox 360, and it&#39;s much cheaper than the X51 &ndash; but the fully-featured Alienware is where the real gaming power lies these days.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="567" height="375" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/alienware-X51-review-keybaord-resized_1.jpg?1392837640" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-7"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Versus Xbox 360 for media </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>There are lot of goodies to be found on the 360&#39;s dashboard including Netflix, Sky Anytime, Lovefilm and now BBC iPlayer plus it can stream content from your computer. But a PC will allow you access to any online music, movie or catch-up TV service, and can also stream to any other device &ndash; plus the X51&#39;s 1TB capacity is ample for ripping and storing a library of music and DVDs.</p> <p>It can&#39;t compete with the Xbox 360 on price, but if you&#39;re prepared to stump up the cash, the well built, well specced and versatile Alienware X51 is a killer addition to your study or living room.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="567" height="375" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/alienware-X51-review-4-resized_0.jpg?1392837640" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-review-rating"><legend>Review Rating</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Graphics </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 10 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> design </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 8 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> smarts </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 8 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-verdict"> <div class="field-label">Verdict:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Well built, well specced and versatile, the skinny but mighty X51 is a killer addition to your study or living room</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-preview"> <div class="field-label">Preview:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Disabled </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-legacy-url"> <div class="field-label">Legacy URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> /review/alienware-x51 </div> </div> </div> http://www.stuff.tv/alienware/alienware-x51/review#comments Alienware Desktops Games Machines Gaming PC X51 Thu, 29 Mar 2012 15:27:57 +0000 Sophie Charara 420594 at http://www.stuff.tv