SpaceX sets target launch dates for back-to-back flights next month – Spaceflight Now

File photo inside SpaceX’s hangar at pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Credit: SpaceX

SpaceX engineers are readying two Falcon 9 rockets for launches Oct. 7 and Oct. 9 from Florida and California, setting up another quick turnaround to first deploy a large TV broadcasting satellite for SES and EchoStar over the United States with a previously-flown booster, then add 10 more spacecraft to Iridium’s fleet of new-generation voice and data relay network.

First up is the Oct. 7 launch of an Airbus-built communications satellite from pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida for SES and EchoStar. The approximately 11,500-pound (5,200-kilogram) spacecraft will blast off aboard a reused Falcon 9 first stage during a two-hour launch window opening at 6:53 p.m. EDT (2253 GMT).

The launch was previously set for Oct. 2 but was pushed back to allow more time to complete preparations on the satellite in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.

The portion of the satellite owned by SES, known as SES 11, will support digital video and television services over North America, replacing C-band communications capacity currently provided the AMC 18 satellite launched in 2006. SES says the new satellite’s 24 C-band transponders will relay radio, television and video signals across the United States, including Hawaii and Alaska, plus Canada, Mexico and the the Caribbean.

EchoStar’s part of the satellite, which it calls EchoStar 105, includes 24 Ku-band transponders tailored for television and other telecom services for commercial clients and the U.S. government, picking up the mission of the aging AMC-15 satellite launched in 2004.

The Oct. 7 launch will mark the 42nd flight of a Falcon 9 rocket, and the third time one of SpaceX’s launchers has lifted off with a reused first stage booster. Designated as Core No. 31, the first stage set to loft the SES 11/EchoStar 105 satellite first flew in February, sending a Dragon supply ship toward the International Space Station before returning to land at Cape Canaveral.

The Falcon 9 rocket will deliver the SES 11/EchoStar 105 satellite toward an orbital perch more than 22,000 miles (36,000 kilometers) above the equator. The high-altitude target for the mission will require the first stage to descend to a landing on a floating platform in the Atlantic Ocean, officials said, leaving insufficient leftover fuel for maneuvers to return to Cape Canaveral.

The launch of the SES 11/EchoStar 105 satellite will closely follow a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket flight scheduled for the predawn hours of Oct. 5 from pad 41 at Cape Canaveral.

The SES 11/EchoStar 105 satellite will launch on a previously-flown Falcon 9 first stage booster, seen here landing at Cape Canaveral on Feb. 19 after a launch with a Dragon supply ship heading for the International Space Station. Credit: SpaceX

A Falcon 9 rocket with an unflown first stage could lift off from SpaceX’s West Coast launch base a day-and-a-half later with the third set of 10 new-generation spacecraft for Iridium’s network supporting global satellite phone calls, ship and aircraft tracking, and data relay services.

Liftoff of the Iridium satellites, each weighing around 1,896 pounds (860 kilograms) fully fueled, from Space Launch Complex 4-East at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California is targeted for 5:37 a.m. PDT (8:37 a.m. EDT; 1237 GMT) on Oct. 9, a company spokesperson said Tuesday.

The Iridium flight had previous target launch dates of Sept. 30 and Oct. 4. Iridium chief executive Matt Desch said both slips were requested by SpaceX to allow additional time for rocket processing.

Iridium has a contract for eight Falcon 9 launches to carry 75 of its satellites into low Earth orbit. Two of the missions, each with 10 satellites, blasted off successfully in January and June.

The last launch for Iridium from California on June 25 came two days after another Falcon 9 lifted off from Florida, setting a record for the quickest turnaround between two SpaceX missions.

Another batch of 10 Iridium Next spacecraft, manufactured in Arizona by Thales Alenia Space and Orbital ATK, are due to launch on a Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg in late November, followed by four more launches in the first half of 2018.

Desch told Spaceflight Now earlier this month that Iridium and SpaceX are discussing launching some of the missions on previously-flown Falcon 9 rockets.

But the discussions have not closed, Desch said, and he would not rule out any of Iridium’s future launches using a previously-flown booster, beginning with the late November flight.

Iridium says it will not switch any of its launches to reused vehicles until it is satisfied with three factors: the reliability of SpaceX’s previously-flown first stages, assurance that a reused rocket flight could help launch Iridium satellites sooner, and an acceptable financial discount.

The 10 Iridium Next satellites set for launch in October have been fueled and mounted to the two-tier multi-payload dispenser before installation on top of the Falcon 9 rocket. Credit: Iridium

In response to a question on Twitter asking if Iridium was eager to take a 30 to 40 percent discount offered by SpaceX for launching on a reused booster, Desch replied: “No news, but I wish those were the discounts! I think you’re reading speculation.”

SpaceX will follow up the back-to-back missions in early October with a late October Falcon 9 launch from pad 39A in Florida. That mission will launch the Koreasat 5A communications satellite for KTsat, a South Korean company.

The company confirmed Tuesday that the Koreasat 5A mission will lift off from pad 39A, not nearby pad 40, which SpaceX is repairing after a Falcon 9 exploded there in September 2016.

It was not clear how the delay in bringing pad 40 back online will impact SpaceX’s plans to launch its huge Falcon Heavy rocket for the first time later this year. Once Falcon 9 flights move to pad 40, ground crews are expected to need around two months to outfit pad 39A’s rocket transporter and strongback tower for the mammoth new launcher, which is made of three Falcon 9 boosters bolted together to send heavier payloads into space.

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Follow Stephen Clark on Twitter: @StephenClark1.

Your Google Home will now help you find dates

Dating apps have always been very hands on — full of swipes and texting — but now some of them are making the move to be hands-free.

Plenty of Fish announced on Tuesday that it’s launched an integration with Google Home, which will read your messages aloud to you and allow you to compose and send replies. The point of this, according to a statement from the company is to make “the process of sending a message easier by allowing a user to speak freely, rather than type – more in line with a natural conversation.”

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If anything involving a robot and romantically-charged messages can ever be considered natural, then sure. This moves comes on the heels of eHarmony announcing a similar partnership with the Amazon Echo last week. So why the sudden rush to add home assistant integration among these dating apps?

Well, Plenty of Fish told Mashable that it’s about starting a dialogue. They’ve positioned themselves as “the leader in conversations,” and they recently launched Spark, a feature which lets you start a chat based on a specific element of someone’s profile. They’ve seen an almost 25 percent rise in replies to messages for Android users and nearly 40 percent on iOS. This Google Home initiative is intended to build on that. 

The company’s CEO, Hesam Hosseini, explained in a statement, “We’ve found that a good conversation is the number one indicator of a great date, so both Spark and the Google Assistant integration were created to help people easily connect and get the conversation started.”

Managing your dating life while also making dinner or cleaning your house sounds like a win for the busy single person. The reality, though, is a little more complex. For one thing, you’re letting an already invasive device even deeper into a very private aspect of your life. 

Speech-to-text dictation is also still a clumsy enough affair that you may not actually save yourself any time in the end. Though it, of course, depends on your particular lifestyle. There’s also the issue that technically you’re conversing with a machine, not an actual love interest. 

Only you can decide if this integration will help you convert those matches to IRL meetups even faster, but just be careful you don’t fall in love with your Google Home or Alexa along the way.

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Apple dates macOS 10.13 High Sierra, iOS 11, and watchOS 4

Apple has officially dated the launch of its next operating system iterations: MacOS 10.13 High Sierra will now launch on September 25th, preceded by mobile-centric iOS 11 and watchOS 4 on September 19th – both of which come with next-generation hardware to boot.

The follow-up to last year’s macOS 10.12 Sierra launch, which brought with it a shift from the name OS X back to the classic macOS, macOS 10.13 High Sierra is more evolution than revolution. As well as tweaks to the included software – in particular a boost to Safari which sees it outperform rival Chrome by 80 percent for common JavaScript workloads, Apple has claimed – High Sierra includes the new Apple File System (APFS) to replace the outdated Hierarchical File System Plus (HFS+). The new standard filesystem across all Apple devices, APFS includes a range of improvements including on-the-fly compression, speed improvements, and creates hard links by default instead of copying the contents of files.

Other improvements in macOS 10.13 High Sierra include Metal 2.0, the latest version of Apple’s low-level graphics API, and support for the High Efficiency Video Codec (HEVC) H.265 – though hardware acceleration is only available on newer Apple hardware, with older devices relying on software-driven playback even after installing the final release of High Sierra.

At the same time Apple announced launch dates for iOS 11 and watchOS 4, the former running across the iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, and Apple TV families of devices and the latter running on Apple’s smartwatch range as well as driving the Touch Bar integrated into the company’s latest MacBook laptops. For iOS 11, there’s the unsurprising launch of a new iPhone: the iPhone X, which includes 64GB or 256GB of storage, a high dynamic range (HDR) 2,436 x 1,125 pixel 5.8″ display, and Apple’s latest ARM-based 64-bit A11 ‘Bionic’ processor with integrated ‘Neural Engine’ and M11 motion-sensing co-processor. For those baulking at the £1,000-plus price tag associated with the new iPhone X, though, there’s also the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, which drop to lower-resolution non-HDR displays but include the same A11 processor. Apple also announced a new Apple TV boasting 4K playback capabilities.

Smartwatch fans, meanwhile, have been offered the Apple Watch Series 3 – a device which borrows a trick Chinese smartwatch companies have been using for years and embeds a SIM card directly into the device allowing it access to LTE data networks without being tethered to a smartphone. The Apple Watch Series 3 will run the new watchOS 4 as standard, of course, which will also be released onto previous Apple Watch devices.

Black Friday 2017 – Dates, Deals (PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC, Gaming Laptops) – Everything you Need to Know

Black Friday is coming. In fact, it’s just over two months away, and we’re here to give you all the info you need to prepare. Use our handy Black Friday deals guide to ensure you get the biggest video game bargains, the cheapest PCs, the best laptops and more. If you’re eager for deals now, we’ve also got info on the best prices for PS4 consoles, the cheapest Nintendo Switch bundles, the best value laptops, and cheapest Xbox One S consoles available today.

Black Friday 2017 – When Does it Start? How Long Does it go on for?

Black Friday always falls on the day after Thanksgiving in the US. As Thanksgiving takes place on Thursday, November 23, 2017, Black Friday is Friday, November 24, 2017. While traditionally a US event, it’s well and truly made it over the UK now too.

Although the name Black Friday suggests that the event is a day long, in recent years retailers have held multi-day events with different deals being added all the time. Amazon is likely to start its Black Friday deals well in advance of November 24. Last year Amazon started listing deals from November 14. Keep track of this page for details on when the Black Friday deals start this year.

Other retails likely to take part in Black Friday 2017 including Target, Walmart, Gamestop, Best Buy, and NewEgg. We’ll round up the best deals from each of the major retailers in the US, along with deals from UK retailers like GAME, Argos, and Currys PC World.

Why is it Called Black Friday

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, Black Friday has existed since the early 1960s, with the name a reference to the fact that the date marks the first day of the year that retailers are in the black (rather than being in the red). The colors are linked to how accountants record the credit side of an account in black and the debit side in red.

It’s possible that the black ink explanation isn’t the origin of the term, with some believing that the ‘black’ in question being in relation to police officers dreading the terrible traffic caused by the influx of shoppers into cities.

Whatever the reason for the name, Black Friday is now known for the large crowds of people, all desperate to grab the best deals – as you can see in the video below.

Black Friday Console Deals

Over the Black Friday deals period there are likely to be good prices on PS4 consoles, PS4 Pro consoles, Xbox One S consoles, and Nintendo Switch games and accessories.

PS4 and PS4 Pro Black Friday Deals


If you’re hoping for a PS4 Pro deal this Black Friday, you may well get lucky!

Sony went big on PS4 Black Friday deals last year, and it will likely do the same for Black Friday 2017. With The PS4 marking its fourth anniversary on the market this November, deals for the basic Slim PS4 are likely to be plentiful and offer incredible value for money thanks to bundled games.

Current best PS4 Slim Deal

On November 7 Microsoft will release the Xbox One X, its competitor to Sony’s PS4 Pro. That’s good news for anyone who’s been waiting to buy a PS4 Pro as Sony will almost certainly try to make its mid-gen upgrade console significantly cheaper. Expect some great PS4 Pro Black Friday deals, likely bundling a collection of enhanced games.

Current best PS4 Pro deal

Xbox One and Xbox One X Black Friday Deals


Xbox One S is likely to be discounted during Black Friday sales.

Xbox One S is likely to be one of the most discounted consoles during Black Friday 2017 sales. Microsoft will have recently launched the expensive Xbox One X console and will want to bolster its Xbox ecosystem numbers by making the Xbox One S a bargain that’s hard to resist. With the rise in 4K TVs (and probably numerous Black Friday 4K TV deals) the Xbox One S could be pushed as an amazing value games console and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player – something neither of Sony’s PS4 console variants offer.

Current Best Xbox One S Deals

Don’t expect any Xbox One X Black Friday deals (the console may well be sold out in the weeks following launch), but numerous Xbox One peripherals are likely to be on sale during Black Friday. The Xbox One Elite controller is a good contender for a nice Black Friday price slash, as are portable hard drives if you’re looking to bolt on some extra storage – those 4K assets in Xbox One X games aren’t small!

Nintendo Switch Black Friday 2017 Deals

Nintendo’s latest console, the Nintendo Switch is in very high demand. The handheld/home console hybrid rarely stays in stock at a retailer for long as is likely to be one of the most in-demand consoles of the holiday 2017 shopping period. With that in mind, don’t get excited over the prospect of a Black Friday 2017 Nintendo Switch bargain. You might get a couple of retailers with new stock, and perhaps some bundles, but nothing of exceptional value will be on offer.

With the Switch you won’t totally be out of luck, however, with accessories and games potentially being among Black Friday offers.

Best Current Nintendo Switch Micro SD Card Deal

Black Friday Gaming Laptop and Desktop PC Deals

If you are on the lookout for a new gaming PC or desktop, Black Friday 2017 may well be worth waiting for. It’s worth bearing in mind that many laptops that claim to be built for gaming are in fact not good enough to play the latest games well. In a laptop you should be looking for a minimum of an i5 processor accompanied by a Geforce 1050 GPU. There have already been some pretty good deals on this spec laptop (especially in the UK) so expect some even better deals on Black Friday.

Black Friday Tips and Tricks

  • Set a budget and stick to it – Easier said than done, but try to give yourself a spending allowance for the Black Friday period. It’s easier to get carried away.
  • Don’t rush in – Make sure you look around for the best deals. Check our guide to the best Black Friday deals to make sure you’re not spending money you don’t need to.
  • Figure out what you want before Black Friday starts – Maybe you want a 4K TV. Do your research about that models you’d be happy with well ahead of the sales event starting. There will likely be lots of 4K TVs on sale over the Black Friday period, but some won’t be good, especially if you plan use the set for gaming. Be aware of input lag and what 4K sets offer true HDR capability.

This article may contain links to online retail stores. If you click on one and buy the product we may receive a small commission. For more information, go here.

Destiny 2 news – Xur, strikes, raids and trials PS4, Xbox One release dates revealed | Gaming | Entertainment

Destiny 2 news - Xur release date revealedACTIVISION

Destiny 2 news – Xur release date revealed

Destiny 2 players now know when Xur is coming to the PS4 and Xbox One game, plus the release dates for strikes, raids and trials this month.

Bungie have revealed the big release date schedule for Guardians for September in their “The Road to Legend” release map.

In a blog post, the Destiny 2 make revealed the activities that will be taking place in the first month of the game.

They added: “In October, new challenges will continue to arrive, including Iron Banner and new ways to have your prestige tested in the Raid.”

Here is the Destiny 2 release date schedule outlined by Bungue:

LAUNCH WEEK

Tuesday September 5

• Nightfall: The Arms Dealer

• Flashpoint: EDZ

Wednesday September 6 

Destiny 2 launch day

WEEK TWO

Tuesday September 12

• Nightfall: The Inverted Spire

• Nightfall Guided Games beta begins

• Flashpoint: Nessus

Wednesday September 13

• Leviathan Raid launches

Friday September 15

• Trials of the Nine begins

• Xur returns with a selection of Exotics

WEEK THREE

Tuesday September 19

• Nightfall: Exodus Crash

• Flashpoint: IO

Friday September 22

• Trials of the Nine

• Xur returns with a selection of Exotics

WEEK FOUR

Tuesday September 26

• Nightfall: The Pyramiding

• Flashpoint: Titan

• Leviathan raid guided games beta begins

• Faction rally begins

Friday September 29

• Trails of the Nine

• Xur returns with a selection of Exotics

Destiny 2 release date schedule from BungieBUNGIE

Destiny 2 release date schedule outlined by Bungie

In the blog post alongside the release date schedule announcement, Bungie said: “The road to launch is over. The wait is over. 

“The road to legend begins. Gear up. Mark your calendars. Rally your Fireteams. 

“On Wednesday, the race to be the first Raiding party to emerge triumphant from the Leviathan begins.”

Bungie also said gave an in-depth report on the first hours of Destiny 2, to see what they’re playing and when.

They said: “When Destiny 2 became available in North America, the Destiny Server Queue was enabled to regulate the increase in player population.

“Players were able to sign-in without delay within 15 minutes of the queue being enabled.

“The server queue may be enabled during the weekend to ensure stability. Players should only expect to encounter the queue during period when more players that usual attempt to sign in every second. 

“When these conditions exist, announcements will be made via @BungieHelp to communicate the expected impact and duration.”

Bungie also gave information on active investigations into Destiny 2 and resolved issues. These are as follows:

DESTINY 2 – ACTIVE INVESTIGATIONS

• PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 4 Pro platform error CE-34878-0

• We are actively investigating crash reports from the #Help forum with platform partners

• Some players have reported that disabling PlayStation 4 HDCP settings may circumvent the issue

• Destiny 2 CABBAGE errors returning players to orbit when attempting to enter new areas

• Some Network hardware and service providers are impacted by this error more frequently than others

• Mida Mini-tool is not properly appearing at the Postmaster

• We are actively investigating an issue where Mida Mini-tool is not properly sent to Postmaster

• When completing the “Enhance!” Quest, please ensure you have multiple inventory slots available in the Energy Weapons category to prevent this issue from occurring

• Vanguard Research Tokens may be lost if a player completes a Meditation without first receiving the Meditation from Ikora

• To prevent this issue from occurring, ensure the proper Meditation has been selected prior to a Fireteam Lead launching the activity

• If a player has selected the wrong Meditation, they will need to complete the activity before they’re able to select an alternate mission

DESTINY 2 – RESOLVED ISSUES

• Issues causing Multiplayer Permissions errors on PlayStation Network have been resolved

• We have resolved an issue where players would see “Content cannot be selected at this time” messaging when attempting to access the PlayStation Store from Destiny 2

• We have resolved an issue where players would encounter 503 errors when attempting to view pages on Bungie.net

• We have resolved issues with long Matchmaking times that were resulting in MONGOOSE errors

Two analyst predict different PlayStation 5 launch dates

PS5 release date, specs, rumours and more

Microsoft’s Xbox One X launches this November, and is set to become the most powerful home console on the market. But could Sony be prepping its own next-generation hardware in the PS5?

According to multiple experts, yes. Macquarie Capital Securities analyst Damian Thong predicts Sony will launch the PlayStation 5 in 2018. Thong claims (via Wall Street Journal) that Sony will release its next-gen PlayStation in the second half of the year.

Normally these sorts of rumours are ignored, especially with such little noise coming from Sony. However, Thong correctly predicted the PS4 Slim and PS4 Pro. It’s worth taking his words into consideration.

However, another analyst has chimed in with a differing viewpoint. Wedbush Securities’ Michael Pachter believes that the PlayStation 5 will launch in 2019, and be backwards compatible with PS4 Pro games. Pachter believes Sony is waiting for an increase saturation of 4K TVs in consumer households before launching new hardware.

“Will it play games that were made for the PlayStation 4 Pro? That’s the question. I think it will. So I think they will build a console that will backwards compatible with the PS4 Pro,” Pachter said in an interview with GamingBolt.

“My expectation that is that it’s not coming out in 2018. That is a 2019 0r 2020 but probably 2019. Sony is probably timing it better because they are going to bring out a 4K capable device when the 4K TV market reaches 50% in the USA and 35% in the rest of the world.”

Related: Uncharted Lost Legacy preview
ps4 pro

Whether you believe Pachter or Thong (or neither), the rumblings make it seem as though the PS5 is certainly not too far away. As such, Trusted Reviews has put together a wishlist of what we’d love to see, as well as all the latest news as it comes.

PS5 release date – When is the PlayStation 5 coming out?

Sony hasn’t actually said a thing about a new console – yet. The PS4 continues not only to be the current best-selling console, but one of the best sellers in history, so it makes sense to not announce a successor yet.

The PS4 sold 20 million units last fiscal year. That’s an astronomical number, especially when added to the 40 million sold as of May 2016. However, in its earnings report, Sony did admit it expected hardware sales to slow (via GI.biz).

Microsoft is coming back swinging with Xbox One X, so the PS4 is soon to become an inferior machine from a specs perspective. Logic would point to Sony having to respond in some fashion.

Related: Best PS4 Deals
gt sport

PS5 Specs – How powerful will the PlayStation 5 be?

Again, without any announcements, we can’t fully assess what the PlayStation 5 will look like from a hardware perspective. We can, however, take a look at the competition, and see how Sony will compete.

Let’s take a look at the Xbox One X. It has an an eight-core 2.3 GHz CPU, paired with 12GB GDDR5 memory and a GPU sporting 40 compute units operating at 1172MHz. In layman’s terms, this is a mid-range 2017 gaming PC, but with lots of clever software and hardware tricks to squeeze maximum performance out of it.

Related: PS4 Pro vs Xbox One X

Xbox Scorpio

As is ever the case with console launches, manufacturers have to balance cost with performance. The PS4 has been so wildly successful because it’s been able to offer better performance on third-party titles over Xbox One.

Now the balance of power is swinging in Microsoft’s favour (albeit with a more expensive console), Sony will want to redress that and offer a console even more powerful than the One X. Or perhaps Sony will be able to counter with a less powerful but better-value console come that woolly 2018 launch date.

PS5 Price – How much will it cost?

As we don’t even know its specs, we can’t accurately guess how much the PlayStation 5 will cost.

We will soon, however, get some form of barometer when we find out the cost of the Xbox One X. We will hopefully find out exactly how much Microsoft’s hardware costs at E3 2017, but early estimates predict around £450-550, which is pretty reasonable for the performance on offer.

PS5 Backwards Compatibility – What can we expect?

At the launch of the PS4 Pro, system architect Mark Cerny clarified this was not the start of a new console generation. “I believe in generations. Generations are a good thing. So, philosophically, we believe in them. We believe they continue, and this is a mid-generation release,” he is quoted by Gamasutra.

Sony was at pains to make sure consumers saw the PS4 Pro, a modest improvement over the base console, as a mid-cycle refresh.

Microsoft, meanwhile, sees the One X as the beginning of the end of console generations. Microsoft’s head of marketing, Aaron Greenberg, told Engadget “We think the future is without console generations.”

Both with very different outlooks, but both doing something important: allowing players to carry over their game libraries.

Related: PS4 Pro vs PS4
PS4 Pro review

Sony made a misstep in a lack of PS4 backwards compatibility. Microsoft capitalised by offering extensive Xbox One backwards compatibility via consistent updates, with new games added almost weekly.

Both Xbox One X and PS4 Pro, as they’re not fully fledged ‘next-gen’ consoles, play all current and future Xbox One and PS4 titles respectively, but with improvements over being played on base consoles.

The PlayStation 5 simply must offer backwards compatibility so that all PS4 games work on the machine.

PS5 Games – What will we get?

2017 has offered some of the best PS4 games the console has seen. So let’s look at which series are due a sequel and judge which titles might be around at launch of a new console.

With the likes of God of War, The Last of Us Part 2, Spider-Man and Gran Turismo Sport all on the horizon, those series are pretty much locked down for the forseeable future. Plus with Ratchet and Clank, Uncharted 4 and Persona 5 all recently launching, we wouldn’t be seeing those titles arriving with the PS5.

It’d be more likely we’d see brand-new IP with the new console, or a return of an old favourite like Infamous or the Resistance series.

PS5 VR – Will we get a new headset?

PlayStation VR has proven a big success for Sony. Even today it’s hard to find a headset in stores or online.

It also has a great library to support it, with new releases arriving on the PlayStation Store frequently for current owners of the headset.

Related: Best PSVR Games
PlayStation VR

However, as a console VR headset, it naturally couldn’t match the power and fidelity of its PC counterparts. If the PS5 is significantly more powerful than the PS4, could we see a hardware revision to offer a better virtual reality experience?

Related: Best PS4 Games | Upcoming PS4 Games

It would make sense, as Microsoft is planning on offering VR with the Xbox One X, though based on the company’s showing at E3 this won’t be a big push at all.

Rainbow Six Siege Alpha Packs LIVE now on PS4 after Xbox One and PC release dates | Gaming | Entertainment

Rainbow Six Siege Alpha Packs are live now on PS4 today, with the loot boxes finally arriving on Sony’s console.

Alpha Packs went live on Xbox One earlier this week and for PC last week, meaning that PS4 was the last format to receive them.

The official Rainbow Six Siege Twitter account posted: “Alpha Packs are now available on console & PC. Will you unlock the pack? Roll the dice or use renown today”.

For those who don’t know, Alpha Packs are the PS4 version of loot boxes and offer limited edition cosmetics, like the Black Ice Weapon Skin series.

The loot found in the Alpha Packs will change over time, with over 1,000 items now available.

In a blog post about Alpha Packs on the Rainbow Six Siege website, Ubisoft said: “Alpha Packs are designed as a way to give you free cosmetics, just for playing the game! 

“Alpha Packs will also offer us an exciting opportunity to provide players with a second chance to pick up limited time cosmetics, such as the Black Ice Weapon Skin series.”

Alpha Packs are part of the big title 2.1.1 update which went live on July 11.

This was the first of two large patches that were being deployed during Operation Health.

However, Alpha Packs were not immediately available – with the release date coming later.

There are a two different ways of obtaining Alpha Packs, chance rolls after winning a match or through the Rainbow Six Siege shop.

The ways you can obtain Alpha Packs was outlined in a blog post on the official Rainbow Six Siege website.

Chance

When you complete a match, your Chance rating increases slightly more for a win than it will for a loss. This is compounded by other factors such as whether you were the MVP, or a Year 2 Pass holder. The most substantial gain in Chance will be from winning and losing matches.

Winning

You are able to earn Alpha Packs through winning matches.

After emerging victorious from your latest match, you are taken to the Loot screen. Here, your total Chance is taken into account, and you roll to win an Alpha Pack. 

If the roll lands within your Chance rating, you will be presented with an Alpha Pack! Should the roll land outside of your Chance rating, you will have the appropriate amount of Chance added to your total for the next time you win a match.

Once you have won an Alpha Pack, your total Chance is reset to zero. Your Chance that is granted for winning the match will then be added after the reset, granting you a small amount of Chance so you are able to start working towards your next Alpha Pack!

Shop

You will be able to purchase an Alpha Pack for 5,000 Renown. The Year 2 Pass VIP discount will apply to Alpha Pack purchases. 

PS5: Two analysts predict different PlayStation 5 release dates

PlayStation 5: release date, specs, rumours, all the latest PS5 news

Microsoft’s Xbox One X launches this November. But could Sony be quietly prepping its own next-generation hardware?

According to multiple experts, yes. Macquarie Capital Securities analyst Damian Thong predicts Sony will launch the PlayStation 5 in 2018. The news comes via the Wall Street Journal, in which Thong claims Sony will probably release its next-gen PlayStation in the second half of the year.

Normally these sorts of rumours are ignored, especially with such little noise coming from Sony, but Thong was the analyst who predicted the PS4 Slim and PS4 Pro. It’s worth taking his words into consideration.

However, another analyst has chimed in with a differing viewpoint. Wedbush Securities’ Michael Pachter believes that the PlayStation 5 will launch in 2019, and be backwards compatible with PS4 Pro games. Pachter believes Sony is waiting for an increase saturation of 4K TVs in consumer households before biting the bullet on new hardware.

“Will it play games that were made for the PlayStation 4 Pro? That’s the question. I think it will. So I think they will build a console that will backwards compatible with the PS4 Pro,” Pachter said in an interview with GamingBolt. ““My expectation that is that it’s not coming out in 2018. That is a 2019 0r 2020 but probably 2019. Sony is probably timing it better because they are going to bring out a 4K capable device when the 4K TV market reaches 50% in the USA and 35% in the rest of the world.”

Related: Upcoming PS4 Games
ps4 pro

Whether you believe the words of Pachter or Thong (or neither), the rumblings make it seem as though the PS5 is certainly not too far away. As such, TrustedReviews has put together a wishlist of what we’d love to see from the console, as well as all the latest news as it comes in.

We’ll be updating this page as new information crops up, and the console is eventually revealed, so be sure to bookmark it!

PS5 release date – When is the PlayStation 5 coming out?

Sony hasn’t actually said a thing about a new console – yet. The PS4 continues not only to be the best-selling console of the current systems, but one of the best sellers in history, so it makes sense to not announce a successor yet.

The PS4 sold 20 million units in the last fiscal year, an astronomical number, especially when you add it to the 40 million sold as of May 2016. However, in its earnings report, Sony did admit it expected hardware sales to slow (via GI.biz).

Microsoft is coming back swinging with Xbox One X, so the PS4 is soon to become an inferior machine from a specs perspective. Logic would point to Sony having to respond in some fashion with a new, more powerful machine to keep performance-hungry gamers happy.

Related: Best PS4 Deals
gt sport

PS5 Specs – How powerful will the PlayStation 5 be?

Again, without any announcements, we can’t fully assess what the PlayStation 5 will look like from a hardware perspective. We can, however, take a look at the competition, and see what Sony will need to do to compete.

Let’s take a look at the Xbox One X, which has an an eight-core 2.3 GHz CPU, paired with 12GB GDDR5 memory and a GPU sporting 40 compute units operating at 1172MHz. In layman’s terms, this is a mid-range 2017 gaming PC, but with lots of clever software and hardware tricks to squeeze maximum performance out of it.

Related: PS4 Pro vs Xbox One XXbox Scorpio

As is ever the case with console launches, manufacturers have to balance cost with performance. The PS4 has been so wildly successful because it’s been able to offer better performance on third-party titles over Xbox One.

Now the balance of power is swinging in Microsoft’s favour (albeit with a more expensive console), Sony will want to redress that and offer a console even more powerful than the One X. Or perhaps Sony will be able to counter with a less powerful but better-value console come that woolly 2018 launch date.

PS5 Price – How much will it cost?

As we don’t even know the console’s specs, we can’t accurately guess how much the machine will cost.

We will soon, however, get some form of barometer when we find out the cost of the Xbox One X. We will hopefully find out exactly how much Microsoft’s hardware costs at E3 2017, but early estimates predict around £450-550, which is pretty reasonable for the performance on offer.

PS5 Backwards Compatibility – What can we expect?

At the launch of the PS4 Pro, system architect Mark Cerny was at pains to clarify this was not the start of a new console generation. “I believe in generations. Generations are a good thing. So, philosophically, we believe in them. We believe they continue, and this is a mid-generation release,” he is quoted by Gamasutra.

Sony was at pains to make sure consumers saw the PS4 Pro, a modest improvement over the base console, as a mid-cycle refresh.

Microsoft, meanwhile, sees the One X as the beginning of the end of console generations. Microsoft’s head of marketing, Aaron Greenberg, told Engadget “We think the future is without console generations.”

Both with very different outlooks, but both doing something important: allowing players to carry over their game libraries.

Related: PS4 Pro vs PS4
PS4 Pro review

Sony made a misstep in a lack of PS4 backwards compatibility. Microsoft capitalised by offering extensive Xbox One backwards compatibility via consistent updates, with new games added almost weekly.

Both Xbox One X and PS4 Pro, as they’re not fully fledged ‘next-gen’ consoles, play all current and future Xbox One and PS4 titles respectively, but with improvements over being played on base consoles.

The PlayStation 5 simply must offer backwards compatibility so that all PS4 games work on the machine.

PS5 Games – What will we get?

With 2017 offering some of the best PS4 games the console has seen, it’s important to think about which series are due a sequel so we can judge which titles might be around at launch of a new console.

With the likes of God of War, The Last of Us Part 2, Spider-Man and Gran Turismo Sport all on the horizon, those series are pretty much locked down for the forseeable future. Plus with Ratchet and Clank, Uncharted 4 and Persona 5 all recently launching, we wouldn’t be seeing those titles arriving with the PS5.

It’d be more likely we’d see brand-new IP with the new console, or a return of an old favourite like Infamous or the Resistance series.

PS5 VR – Will we get a new headset?

PlayStation VR has proven a big success for Sony. Even today it’s hard to find a headset in stores or online.

It also has a great library to support it, with new releases arriving on the PlayStation Store frequently for current owners of the headset.

Related: Best PSVR Games
PlayStation VR

However, as a console VR headset, it naturally couldn’t match the power and fidelity of its PC counterparts. If the PS5 is significantly more powerful than the PS4, could we see a hardware revision to offer a better virtual reality experience?

It would make sense, as Microsoft is planning on offering VR with the Xbox One X, though based on the company’s showing at E3 this won’t be a big push at all.

What do you think? Is 2018 far too soon for the PS5, or does Sony have to act because of the Xbox One X? Let us know in the comments.

Two analysts predict different PlayStation 5 release dates

PlayStation 5: release date, specs, rumours, all the latest PS5 news

Microsoft’s Xbox One X launches this November. But could Sony be quietly prepping its own next-generation hardware?

According to multiple experts, yes. Macquarie Capital Securities analyst Damian Thong predicts Sony will launch the PlayStation 5 in 2018. The news comes via the Wall Street Journal, in which Thong claims Sony will probably release its next-gen PlayStation in the second half of the year.

Normally these sorts of rumours are ignored, especially with such little noise coming from Sony, but Thong was the analyst who predicted the PS4 Slim and PS4 Pro. It’s worth taking his words into consideration.

However, another analyst has chimed in with a differing viewpoint. Wedbush Securities’ Michael Pachter believes that the PlayStation 5 will launch in 2019, and be backwards compatible with PS4 Pro games. Pachter believes Sony is waiting for an increase saturation of 4K TVs in consumer households before biting the bullet on new hardware.

“Will it play games that were made for the PlayStation 4 Pro? That’s the question. I think it will. So I think they will build a console that will backwards compatible with the PS4 Pro,” Pachter said in an interview with GamingBolt. ““My expectation that is that it’s not coming out in 2018. That is a 2019 0r 2020 but probably 2019. Sony is probably timing it better because they are going to bring out a 4K capable device when the 4K TV market reaches 50% in the USA and 35% in the rest of the world.”

Related: Upcoming PS4 Games

ps4 pro

Whether you believe the words of Pachter or Thong (or neither), the rumblings make it seem as though the PS5 is certainly not too far away. As such, TrustedReviews has put together a wishlist of what we’d love to see from the console, as well as all the latest news as it comes in.

We’ll be updating this page as new information crops up, and the console is eventually revealed, so be sure to bookmark it!

PS5 release date – When is the PlayStation 5 coming out?

Sony hasn’t actually said a thing about a new console – yet. The PS4 continues not only to be the best-selling console of the current systems, but one of the best sellers in history, so it makes sense to not announce a successor yet.

The PS4 sold 20 million units in the last fiscal year, an astronomical number, especially when you add it to the 40 million sold as of May 2016. However, in its earnings report, Sony did admit it expected hardware sales to slow (via GI.biz).

Microsoft is coming back swinging with Xbox One X, so the PS4 is soon to become an inferior machine from a specs perspective. Logic would point to Sony having to respond in some fashion with a new, more powerful machine to keep performance-hungry gamers happy.

Related: Best PS4 Deals

gt sport

PS5 Specs – How powerful will the PlayStation 5 be?

Again, without any announcements, we can’t fully assess what the PlayStation 5 will look like from a hardware perspective. We can, however, take a look at the competition, and see what Sony will need to do to compete.

Let’s take a look at the Xbox One X, which has an an eight-core 2.3 GHz CPU, paired with 12GB GDDR5 memory and a GPU sporting 40 compute units operating at 1172MHz. In layman’s terms, this is a mid-range 2017 gaming PC, but with lots of clever software and hardware tricks to squeeze maximum performance out of it.

Related: PS4 Pro vs Xbox One XXbox Scorpio

As is ever the case with console launches, manufacturers have to balance cost with performance. The PS4 has been so wildly successful because it’s been able to offer better performance on third-party titles over Xbox One.

Now the balance of power is swinging in Microsoft’s favour (albeit with a more expensive console), Sony will want to redress that and offer a console even more powerful than the One X. Or perhaps Sony will be able to counter with a less powerful but better-value console come that woolly 2018 launch date.

PS5 Price – How much will it cost?

As we don’t even know the console’s specs, we can’t accurately guess how much the machine will cost.

We will soon, however, get some form of barometer when we find out the cost of the Xbox One X. We will hopefully find out exactly how much Microsoft’s hardware costs at E3 2017, but early estimates predict around £450-550, which is pretty reasonable for the performance on offer.

PS5 Backwards Compatibility – What can we expect?

At the launch of the PS4 Pro, system architect Mark Cerny was at pains to clarify this was not the start of a new console generation. “I believe in generations. Generations are a good thing. So, philosophically, we believe in them. We believe they continue, and this is a mid-generation release,” he is quoted by Gamasutra.

Sony was at pains to make sure consumers saw the PS4 Pro, a modest improvement over the base console, as a mid-cycle refresh.

Microsoft, meanwhile, sees the One X as the beginning of the end of console generations. Microsoft’s head of marketing, Aaron Greenberg, told Engadget “We think the future is without console generations.”

Both with very different outlooks, but both doing something important: allowing players to carry over their game libraries.

Related: PS4 Pro vs PS4

PS4 Pro review

Sony made a misstep in a lack of PS4 backwards compatibility. Microsoft capitalised by offering extensive Xbox One backwards compatibility via consistent updates, with new games added almost weekly.

Both Xbox One X and PS4 Pro, as they’re not fully fledged ‘next-gen’ consoles, play all current and future Xbox One and PS4 titles respectively, but with improvements over being played on base consoles.

The PlayStation 5 simply must offer backwards compatibility so that all PS4 games work on the machine.

PS5 Games – What will we get?

With 2017 offering some of the best PS4 games the console has seen, it’s important to think about which series are due a sequel so we can judge which titles might be around at launch of a new console.

With the likes of God of War, The Last of Us Part 2, Spider-Man and Gran Turismo Sport all on the horizon, those series are pretty much locked down for the forseeable future. Plus with Ratchet and Clank, Uncharted 4 and Persona 5 all recently launching, we wouldn’t be seeing those titles arriving with the PS5.

It’d be more likely we’d see brand-new IP with the new console, or a return of an old favourite like Infamous or the Resistance series.

PS5 VR – Will we get a new headset?

PlayStation VR has proven a big success for Sony. Even today it’s hard to find a headset in stores or online.

It also has a great library to support it, with new releases arriving on the PlayStation Store frequently for current owners of the headset.

Related: Best PSVR Games

PlayStation VR

However, as a console VR headset, it naturally couldn’t match the power and fidelity of its PC counterparts. If the PS5 is significantly more powerful than the PS4, could we see a hardware revision to offer a better virtual reality experience?

It would make sense, as Microsoft is planning on offering VR with the Xbox One X, though based on the company’s showing at E3 this won’t be a big push at all.

What do you think? Is 2018 far too soon for the PS5, or does Sony h

FIFA 18: Xbox One and PS4 release dates, cost, pre-order and complete guide as Cristiano Ronaldo bags the cover

The Real Madrid star will feature on the cover of the huge football game for the first time ever, stoking anticipation for the new release

The accolades continue to roll in for Cristiano Ronaldo; fresh off winning La Liga and the Champions League, the Real Madrid star is now the face of the best-selling sports video-game franchise on the planet.

EA Sports announced on June 5 that Ronaldo will grace the cover of FIFA 18, which will be released later this year.

PES 2018: Everything we know so far

It will pit him against Barcelona rival Lionel Messi in yet another category, as the Argentine has signed up to appear on the cover of Konami’s Pro Evolution Soccer.

FIFA’s popularity has soared in recent years, however, with its Ultimate Team game mode making it the dominant force when it comes to football games. With anticipation for the new release already high, here is our complete guide to what we know and what to expect.


WHEN WILL FIFA 18 BE RELEASED?


FIFA 18 will be released worldwide on Friday, September 29. There are two ways, however, to get your hands on the game early.

The first is to pre-order the ‘Ronaldo Edition’ or ‘Icon Edition’, priced at £79.99 ($79.99) and £89.99 ($99.99) respectively and packed with bonus Ultimate Team content. They will be available to play on Tuesday, September 26, which is in line with EA’s knack for going live on a late Tuesday in September.

If that’s not soon enough you’ll need to sign up to EA Access (Xbox One) or Origin Access (PC), both of which cost either £3.99 ($4.99) a month or £19.99 ($29.99) a year. That will get you 10 hours of trial play time from Thursday, September 21.

If you’re a PlayStation 4 player, the September 26 date is the earliest you will be able to play.


HOW MUCH WILL FIFA 18 COST?


Cristiano Ronaldo

As mentioned, the special Ronaldo and Icon Editions cost £79.99 ($79.99) and £89.99 ($99.99) respectively. The standard version, meanwhile, will be priced at £54.99 ($59.99) – £5 more expensive than FIFA 17.

It’s likely those prices will drop, though, as the game nears release and retailers compete for sales.


WHAT CONSOLES WILL IT BE RELEASED ON?


It’s confirmed – FIFA 18 will be available to buy on Xbox 360 and PS3 as well as Xbox One, PS4, PC and the new Nintendo Switch.

There was some doubt as to whether EA would bother with the older consoles this year. That’s because the new Frostbite engine is too powerful for them to run, resulting in watered down versions of the game missing some key features such as The Journey.

Once again, the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions will not match up to their PS4 and Xbox One counterparts and will not include The Journey, but they will, at least, exist.


WHAT ABOUT THE NINTENDO SWITCH?


Nintendo Switch

The Nintendo Switch version of the game will not run on Frostbite either, which is a blow to FIFA fans who were hoping to finally be able to play the game at its full, comprehensive best on a Nintendo platform.

FIFA 18 on Nintendo Switch: What to expect

EA are insistent, however, that they have built a worthy title for the new console and have revealed that in place of Frostbite, the Switch edition has its own, custom-built engine.

A lack of Frostbite means a lack of The Journey, which is a significant omission, but the potential for Switch players to take Ultimate Team on the go and open packs wherever they can find an internet connection is intriguing.

For a deeper look into what to expect on the Switch, click here for our comprehensive guide.


WHEN CAN I PRE-ORDER FIFA 18?


You can pre-order FIFA 18 right now. It’s available to buy through the official channels such as the PlayStation and Xbox stores – find the PS4, Xbox One and PC versions at these links – and also with a few of the major retailers, with more set to follow soon.

You can also snap up the ‘legacy’ versions for PS3 and Xbox 360 now for arrival on release day.



WHO WILL BE ON THE COVER OF FIFA 18?


The choice of FIFA 17 cover star came down to a fan vote (won by Marco Reus), but this time EA has gone straight ahead and picked one on its own – and who can blame them when it is Cristiano Ronaldo?

FIFA 18 Ronaldo

Ronaldo has been announced as the ‘global’ cover star, meaning there is a possibility a vote will still happen in each region to pick a second, more local athlete. With Ronaldo’s appeal worldwide and his probable lack of enthusiasm for sharing the cover, however, we wouldn’t bet on it.

We can also safely assume that Ronaldo will retain his status as the game’s highest-rated player in the wake of this news.

The only other player you’re likely to see on the cover is Ronaldo Nazario, who appears to have bagged the front of the Icon Edition .


WHAT NEW FEATURES ARE IN FIFA 18?


There are plenty of new features that have been revealed specific to certain game modes, which you can read about further down this page.

In terms of gameplay, EA Sports are billing FIFA 18 as “the biggest step” in franchise history due to the introduction of ‘Real Player Motion Technology’, a new animation system that “unlocks the next level of responsiveness and player personality”.

Related to that are new movement and finishing animations that are said to make striking and heading the ball more fluid. EA are also introducing “all-new” crossing controls to allow players to get greater accuracy on their balls into the box and shape crosses in different ways.

While the feel of individual stars has always been a big focus for FIFA, this year they are also ramping up their efforts on a team level. The addition of ‘Team Styles’ is designed to bring sides with a recognisable style of play to life on the FIFA 18 pitches.

There will also be additions in terms of stadiums and matchday atmosphere, with EA using their Frostbite game engine to create a more cinematic experience built around the little details like sun position, on-pitch debris and pitch quality.


WILL ‘THE JOURNEY’ BE IN FIFA 18?


Yes, it will. After a successful debut, The Journey is back for another year and so is Alex Hunter.

EA released the first trailer for the second edition of the game’s newest mode on June 10 and it was a star-studded affair, featuring a number of players, coaches and pundits speculating as to Hunter’s future.

FIFA 18: What’s next for Alex Hunter?

From the video, it looks like we can expect to have to decide whether or not Hunter should agree to a transfer ahead of his sophomore season and there is also a glimpse of a meeting with Cristiano Ronaldo.

In FIFA 17 you could only play as Hunter with a Premier League club, but that looks set to change this year – check out our complete guide to The Journey for a better idea of what might be coming.

EA has previously confirmed that new characters and storylines will feature in The Journey on FIFA 18, but it always seemed probable Hunter would be back as the protagonist given the way the 17 story – spoiler alert – ended rather abruptly at the conclusion of his first season.


WHAT’S NEW ABOUT ULTIMATE TEAM?


The biggest news here so far will be of most interest to PS4 and PC players, and concerns the replacement of ‘legends’ with cross-platform ‘icons’.

The availability of retired players of days gone by exclusively on Xbox One in FIFA 17 will be shared across all consoles this year and rebranded as a result. The first to be revealed, as mentioned, is Ronaldo Nazario, who will grace the cover of the special ‘Icon Edition’ of the game now available to pre-order.


The Icon Edition comes with a five-match loan card of the elder Ronaldo to get you started. You’ll also receive the same five-match loan card of Cristiano Ronaldo, giving you one hell of a front two to kick things off with.

We’re sure more will follow when it comes to FIFA’s most popular game mode.


WHAT NEW LEAGUES WILL BE IN FIFA 18?


Bad news for those hoping to play in the Chinese Super Leagie on FIFA 18 – it won’t be included in the game despite its influx of star names over the past couple of years.

The latest summer transfer rumours

We’re still waiting to find out whether or not any new leagues will be added.


WHEN WILL THE FIFA 18 DEMO BE RELEASED?


The FIFA 17 demo was released approximately two weeks before the full game came out, so you can expect to be getting your first taste of FIFA 18 sometime in early to mid-September.


WILL FIFA 18 FEATURE VIRTUAL REALITY?


PlayStation VR

Anything you read on this front is purely speculation at the moment, with EA giving no indication VR will be a part of FIFA 18 despite the early success of the headsets as they hit the market and begin to influence gaming.

It’s easy to imagine a VR future for FIFA – especially now a more cinematic mode like The Journey is a reality. There has not been much indication it is a priority, though, and it’s hard to see the core of how the game is played changing given the boom in competitive gaming.