Bethesda finally confirms that Hi-Fi Rush is coming to PS5 | Digital Trends

Bethesda finally confirms that Hi-Fi Rush is coming to PS5 | Digital Trends

Bethesda

Microsoft and Bethesda finally confirmed that Hi-Fi Rush is going multiplatform. In particular, it was announced that the rhythm action game is coming to the PS5 next month.

Rumors of Hi-Fi Rush going multiplatform began in January, spurring some discourse about a change in Microsoft’s first-party strategy. Although Xbox eventually addressed the concerns in a February 15 podcast, Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer would not say then if Hi-Fi Rush was one of the games; instead, he only teased that four games were going multiplatform and that the announcements were coming soon. During the Nintendo Direct: Partner Showcase this morning, we learned that Obsidian Entertainment’s Pentiment and Grounded were coming to Nintendo Switch on February 22 and April 16, respectively.

Later in the day, a video confirming that Hi-Fi Rush would launch for PS5 on March 18 was posted by Bethesda LATAM before being quickly switched to private. For those unfamiliar with Hi-Fi Rush, it was first released in January 2023 for PC and Xbox Series X/S. It’s an action-rhythm game inspired by titles like Devil May Cry, where players must fight to the beat of the game’s soundtracks. We adored the game following its surprise launch, giving it four-and-a-half stars in our review and calling it “a new blueprint for rhythm-action games.”

The PS5 version of the game appears to be a complete version that includes all post-launch content for Hi-Fi Rush. The full game is available now for PC and Xbox Series X/S and, if what this now-private video claims was accurate, it arrives on PS5 on March 18.

Editors’ Recommendations






Xbox Series X Presidents’ Day Deals: Consoles, Games & More | Digital Trends

Xbox Series X Presidents’ Day Deals: Consoles, Games & More | Digital Trends

Xbox

Microsoft’s Xbox Series X is a powerful machine with a healthy library of games and a wide range of accessories. If you want to enjoy discounts in your investments in the console, this year’s Presidents’ Day deals is the perfect opportunity. The offers from the various retailers participating in the sale are already online, and while they’re expected to last through the end of the holiday, it’s highly recommended that you make your purchases as soon as possible because we’re not sure if stocks will still be available for some of the more popular bargains.

Best Xbox Series X Presidents’ Day deals

Xbox Series X
Microsoft

If you don’t own the console yet, you’re going to want to take advantage of these Xbox Series X Presidents’ Day deals. Some of these are straight-up discounts for the device, while some are bundles that include games and accessories that you may need to make the gaming experience even better. Whichever offer you choose to purchase, make sure that you hurry because there’s no telling when these bargains will get sold out.

  • Microsoft Xbox Series X (Renewed) —

  • Microsoft Xbox Series X —

  • Microsoft Xbox Series X + Extra Xbox Wireless Controller —

  • Microsoft Xbox Series X Diablo IV Bundle —

  • Microsoft Xbox Series X + Seagate 2TB Expansion Card —

Best Xbox Series X game Presidents’ Day deals

Two Spartans side by side in Halo Infinite.
Halo

The best Xbox Series X exclusives give gamers a healthy number of reasons to purchase the console, but there are also a long list of multi-platform titles that are available for the Xbox Series X. If you’re looking for the next game to play, or if you’re building out your gaming library, you wouldn’t want to miss the savings that you can get from the available Xbox Series X game Presidents’ Day deals — even if that means adding more titles to your backlog.

  • Grand Theft Auto V: Premium Edition —

  • NBA 2K24: Kobe Bryant Edition —

  • Halo Infinite

  • Lego 2K Drive

  • Assassin’s Creed Mirage

  • AEW: Fight Forever

  • Hogwarts Legacy

  • Star Wars Jedi: Survivor

  • Mortal Kombat 1

  • Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League

Best Xbox Series X accessory Presidents’ Day deals

The Xbox Wireless Controller.
Microsoft / Microsoft

There are all kinds of Xbox Series X accessories, for purposes such as expanding storage, improving communication during online multiplayer matches, and giving you a new controller experience, among many others. They may get expensive in addition to everything else that you’re buying for the console, so check out the discounts that you can pocket from our favorite Xbox Series X accessory Presidents’ Day deals.

  • PowerA Enhanced Wired Controller —

  • Xbox Wireless Controller —

  • Xbox Wireless Headset —

  • SteelSeries Arctis 9X Wireless Gaming Headset —

  • Seagate Game Drive for Xbox Dual Pack —

Editors’ Recommendations






Here’s Everything Microsoft Announced About Xbox Today

Here’s Everything Microsoft Announced About Xbox Today

This story originally appeared on Kotaku.

After weeks of reports, rumors, and speculation around Xbox first-party games coming to competing platforms and potentially even making an exit from the console market entirely, Xbox publicly addressed the elephant in the room in an episode of the Official Xbox Podcast. The show featured Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer, Xbox President Sarah Bond, and Head of Xbox Studios Matt Booty. If you haven’t listened to the special edition of the Official Xbox Podcast, you can do so through Xbox’s YouTube channel (linked below). Or, if you just want the bullet points, here’s everything of note:

Xbox

Four Xbox games are coming to other platforms

As previously rumored and reported, four Xbox Studios games are coming to other platforms…and they won’t say which games they are. Spencer says he doesn’t “want to take anything away from those teams,” implying the announcements will be coming from the developers themselves. He did say they are not Starfield or Indiana Jones and the Great Circle, which feels like a response to reports that named those games, specifically.

While the team opted not to name which games are coming to other platforms (much less which consoles they’ll be launching on), Spencer said the goal with porting these games outside of the Xbox and Windows ecosystem is the long-term health of the Xbox brand. He also said that he expects exclusivity across the video game industry to shrink further in the next five to 10 years.

As for why the four unnamed games make sense as multiplatform titles, Spencer says these games have been exclusive to Xbox and PC for over a year. Two of them are “community-driven” games, as well as first iterations of franchises that Microsoft wants to invest in further. The other two are what Spencer describes as “smaller” games that were “never really meant to be built as platform exclusives [with] all the fanfare” typically associated with marquee titles, but were passion projects for the teams behind them.

Phil ends this segment saying he believes bringing those games to other platforms will help bring in more players to the Xbox brand, but also says that these four games aren’t a promise of more games coming to other systems in the future.

Diablo IV is the first Activision Blizzard game coming to Game Pass

Now that the acquisition is done and Xbox has laid off chunks of the company’s teams, Activision Blizzard’s games are coming to Game Pass. The first of these will be Diablo IV, which will arrive on the subscription service on March 28.

The influx of layoffs in 2023 played into the decision to go multiplatform

Spencer says that despite a number of big games in 2023, the industry didn’t “grow,” which resulted in layoffs, including those at Microsoft. According to him, the company needs to expand beyond the Xbox’s player base in order to keep the company healthy enough to maintain jobs. He said:

When you think about a healthy industry, I want players who believe that they will find the best games on the platforms that they love. I want people who invest their careers in working here to feel like this is a place that they can be successful. And that really is down to being part of an industry that is growing. If you listen to Lisa Su, the AMD CEO, she’ll say that AMD-powered consoles are likely to decline in 2024. I think there’s an amazing set of games coming in 2024, but if we don’t get to growing as an industry, the industry will struggle. And today, there’s really two choices on how do you grow the industry. Do you say, I have a fixed number of players, the players that we have today, and do I find new ways to monetize those players to get more money from the players that I have? Or do you think about, how do I expand the business I have by finding new players and adding those to the base of players that already play? Our focus on Xbox for the last decade has really been on that latter point of, how do we make sure Xbox is growing? Growing for our players, growing for our creators so those people are finding success on our platform, which will grow the Xbox business and put Xbox in a position to be very strong for years and decades to come.

Xbox is still investing in hardware, with news on that front this holiday

After news that Xbox games were coming to other platforms, some speculation arose that Microsoft might be looking to get out of the console business and go the way of Sega by pivoting to third-party. For now, that doesn’t seem to be the case. Bond mentions that the company still views Xbox consoles as “the most flagship, seminal experience” for the brand. The company also has plans to announce something new on the hardware front “this holiday.” Beyond that, it’s also working on the next-gen Xbox, which will be “the largest technical leap you’ve ever seen in a hardware generation,” according to Bond.

Xbox wants to “respect” the library players have built

With news and speculation surrounding the future of Xbox devices spreading over the past few weeks, there’s been a concern that anyone who’s been building a backwards-compatible game library across the brand’s many devices might become obsolete down the line. Spencer said that Xbox will “respect” that in “future hardware generations” and “try to keep the services up as long as [it] can.” He compared this to Windows’ library longevity, saying:

It’s at our foundation. And when we look at future hardware generations and what we’re going to support, making sure that we respect—which is the word I use, “respect”—the investments that people have made in Xbox going forward is fundamental. And the fact that you get entitlements when you buy a game from us on both Windows and Xbox also means you have the ability to play that game across a multitude of devices, which I think furthers the compatibility of the games that you own.

Xbox will release 10 games this year

While we know some games like Hellblade 2 and Indiana Jones are coming from Xbox’s studios, Booty mentions that the company will be releasing 10 games across 2024. We don’t yet know what all of these will be, but can expect some to be revealed during Xbox’s June showcase.

Xbox Series S and Series X just had their prices slashed | Digital Trends

Xbox Series S and Series X just had their prices slashed | Digital Trends

Xbox

We’ve found an unlikely source of Xbox Series S deals and Xbox Series X deals, if you’re planning to buy one of Microsoft’s current-generation consoles. Dell has slashed the price of the Xbox Series S by $60, so it’s down to $240 from $300, while the Xbox Series X is discounted by $50 for a lowered price of $450 from $500. We’re not sure how much time is remaining on these savings, so if you want to get either console for cheaper than usual, it’s highly recommended that you proceed with the purchase as soon as possible. If you keep delaying the transaction, there’s a chance that you miss out.

Microsoft Xbox Series S — $240, was $300

Xbox Series S placed on a white table with the controller just in front of it
Getty Images

The Microsoft Xbox Series S is the cheaper version among the two consoles, primarily because it goes fully digital as there’s no disc drive. You’ll instead be downloading your games from the Xbox Store, or through your subscription to Xbox Game Pass. You’ll still be able to play the best Xbox Series X games on the Xbox Series S, whether they’re multi-platform hits or the best Xbox Series X exclusives. If you prefer going digital with your games anyway, and you like the titles that you can access through Xbox Game Pass, the Xbox Series S may be more than enough for you, and it’s going to let you save some cash compared to buying the Xbox Series X.

Microsoft Xbox Series X — $450, was $500

Xbox Series X on a table.
Xbox

If your budget allows, it’s highly recommended that you go for the Microsoft Xbox Series X instead. In our Xbox Series X versus Xbox Series S comparison, we highlight the Xbox Series X’s faster performance with 12 teraflops of processing power compared to 4 teraflops for the Xbox Series S, double the built-in storage at 1TB (though both consoles offer USB HDD support and the option for more memory with Microsoft’s storage expansion card), the capability for up to 8K gaming, and better media compatibility with its Ultra HD Blu-ray drive. Overall, you’ll enjoy a much better gaming experience on the Xbox Series X compared to the Xbox Series S.

Editors’ Recommendations






The best SSDs for 2023 | Digital Trends

The best SSDs for 2023 | Digital Trends

With pricing lower than ever, running your PC or device on a solid-state drive (SSD) is a must. Forget hard drives for anything but long-term storage. The PlayStation 5 lets you add an additional SSD now, too, and Windows 11 supports Direct Storage, giving you the same speedy loading times as the Xbox Series X with a supported drive. Meanwhile, PCs offer cutting-edge performance using PCIexpress 4.0 and 5.0, and the Steam Deck is just begging for a bigger SSD for larger game libraries.

Whether you want to upgrade your internal drive or need an external storage solution, an SSD will deliver fast and reliable read and write speeds. These storage devices use flash memory to store your data, making them faster than traditional mechanical hard drives. Not all drives are built equally, however. For the fastest transfers, you’ll need one of the best SSDs — and we’ve tested dozens to create a definitive list of what you should be buying today.


Samsung

Samsung 990 Pro

Pros

  • Superfast sequential read/write speeds
  • Relatively affordable
  • Great for gaming

Cons

  • Not as durable as larger models

The Samsung 990 Pro is the latest in Samsung’s line of high-end consumer drives, and it’s very impressive, indeed. This drive builds on the strengths of the 980 Pro with its high sequential read/write speeds of 7,450 MBps, and 6,900 MBps, respectively. That is limited by PCIe 4 speeds, but it’s still a big upgrade over the 980 Pro and is more than enough to deliver fast file transfers and game install times.

As for general use and gaming, the high random read and write IOPS ratings of 1,550,000 really help this drive stand out. They’re over 50% higher than on the 980 Pro, demonstrating that even without the advantages of a new PCIe generation, this drive really flies. It’s a perfect fit for anyone wanting to get their PC ready for DirectStorage games, or for those looking to upgrade their PS5’s existing storage with something bigger and faster.

The 2TB model is relatively affordable at around $200 and offers the best performance of the range. There’s greater durability to be found with the 4TB model, but it’s much more expensive.

SAMSUNG 990 PRO w/ Heatsink 2TB
Teamgroup TForce PCIE5 SSD.

TeamGroup

Teamgroup T-Force Z540 2TB

Pros

  • Cutting-edge SSD performance
  • High capacity with great durability
  • Thin graphene heat spreader keeps it cool and compact

If you want the fastest modern SSD out there, then the TeamGroup T-Forze Z540 2TB is the drive for you. With an unprecedented sustained read/write rating of 12,400 MBps and 11,800 MBps respectively, there’s nothing out there quite like it. Its random read/write rating is impressive too, managing 1,400,000 and 1,500,000 IOPS, respectively.

While there aren’t many scenarios where you’d be able to take advantage of such performance, it’s a nice-to-have feature that future-proofs you against any of the advances made with DirectStorage-supporting games in the next few years.

This drive does require a PCIe 5 interface to function at full speed, though, so be sure your motherboard supports it.

TEAMGROUP T-Force Z540 2TB

Teamgroup T-Force Z540 2TB

Samsung 980 Pro SSD.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Samsung 980 Pro 500GB

Pros

  • Excellent all-around features
  • PCIe 4.0 support
  • Good value

Cons

  • Not as fast as newer models
  • More expensive than most SSDs

It might not be Samsung’s flagship SSD anymore, but the 980 Pro is still a top-tier NVMe SSD. Boasting sequential read speeds of up to 7,000 MBps and sequential write speeds of up to 5,000 MBps, the 980 Pro is an SSD that takes full advantage of PCIe 4.0. It’s still compatible with PCIe 3.0, but the drive enjoys twice the data transfer rate on PCIe 4.0.

The price is higher than some of its contemporaries, but Samsung SSDs provide an excellent mix of high-performance operation and durability, ensuring your SSD will last you many years to come. You can get the 500GB model for less, but there’s a lot more value for money in the 1TB model. The 2TB model is more expensive, but it does offer additional durability with a more expansive TBW rating.

The 1TB model is priced fairly and affordably, and still offers excellent performance. Grab it if you want one of the best PCIe 4 SSDs out there, without the high premium of newer designs.

Samsung 980 PRO 1TB
The Crucial MX500 SATA 2TB SSD.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Crucial MX500 SATA 2TB

Pros

  • Affordable
  • 2TB of storage
  • AES 256 bit encryption

While SATA connections aren’t as fast as the newer PCIe interfaces, the related drives can be significantly cheaper. If you need a lot of storage but don’t want to sacrifice SSD benefits, this Crucial drive offers an amazing 2TB of storage at an incredibly affordable price.

Sequential read and writes are very good for a SATA model at 560 MBps and 510 MBps, respectively. This model includes protection against power loss problems as well as AES 256 bit encryption for security.

You won’t get the best specs in the world with the Crucial MX500 SATA, but it sure can hold a lot without breaking your budget.

Crucial MX500 SATA 2TB
Western Digital Black AN1500 SSD in motherboard.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Western Digital Black AN1500 1TB

Pros

  • Dual SSD card for RAID 0 support
  • Great for upgrading a PCIe 3.0 interface
  • RAID 0 configuration means extra speed

Cons

  • A unique SSD that won’t work for everyone

The Western Digital Black AN1500 is an interesting drive. It’s an add-in PCIe card that actually comes with two Western Digital Black SSDs on board. Instead of accessing them individually, Western Digital has the drives set up in RAID 0. This configuration allows the drive to “stripe” data across two disks, splitting the workload between drives to reach higher speeds.

That’s important, as the Western Digital Black AN1500 uses a PCIe 3.0 interface. If you have an older machine, the AN1500 is a great drive to increase your performance beyond most other SSDs without investing in a new rig. The drive can reach sequential read speeds of up to 6,500 MBps and sequential write speeds of up to 4,100 MBps, bypassing even the fastest PCIe 3.0 SSDs.

Western Digital Black AN1500

Western Digital Black AN1500 1TB

Corsair Force MP600 1TB SSD in motherboard.

Corsair

Corsair MP600 Pro LPX

Pros

  • High-end performance
  • Massive capacity
  • Affordably priced for the size

There aren’t many SSDs that go as big and as fast as the Corsair MP600 Pro LPX. This low-profile drive comes equipped with a thick heat sink for heat dissipation and a massive 8TB capacity. It maintains excellent performance wat that size, though, with sustained read/write speeds of 7,100 MBps, and 5,800 MBps, respectively.

It’s compatible with the PS5 too, so you can give your system enormous storage capabilities if you don’t mind paying double what you paid for the console in the first place. Otherwise, it works well with any desktop PC with PCIe 4 support or better.

Corsair MP600 Pro LPX
Sabrent Rocket 2230 1TB on a PCB.

Sabrent

Sabrent Rocket 2230

Pros

  • High-end performance
  • Compact 2230 form factor
  • Compatible with portable PCs like the Steam Deck
  • Runs cool

Cons

  • Lacks performance of larger, higher-end drives

If you want to upgrade the SSD storage in your small laptop or portable gaming system like the Steam Deck, the Sabrent Rocket 2230 1TB is a great choice. It’s compact enough not to cause any clearance issues during installation, and yet it still maintains excellent performance for its size.

It has a sustained read/write rate of 4,750 MBps and 4,300 MBps respectively, and random read/write rates of 450,000 and 545,000, respectively. That drops it far behind the fastest SSDs, but it’s still a big upgrade over the stock Steam deck drive. There is a 512GB model you could consider as it’s notably cheaper, but it’s not only smaller — it’s slower too.

SABRENT Rocket 2230 1TB
The Seagate Storage Expansion Card.

Seagate

Seagate Storage Expansion Card for Xbox

Pros

  • Best way to upgrade Xbox Series S/X storage
  • Supports Xbox features like direct storage and quick resume
  • No installation required

You can’t install the Seagate Storage Expansion Card inside your PC, but you can in your Xbox. It’s the best SSD for the Xbox Series X and Series S, giving you an additional terabyte of the same ultra-fast storage inside the console. The drive makes upgrading easier than ever, too. All you need to do is slot it in the back of your console like a memory card.

The Seagate Storage Expansion Card enables a slew of Xbox features, including faster loading times than external hard drives, Direct Storage in supported games, and Quick Resume, which allows you to seamlessly switch between games without losing your progress. It’s not quite as fast as the internal storage, but it gets very close.

Seagate Storage Expansion Card

Seagate Storage Expansion Card for Xbox

Editors’ Recommendations






The 4 Best Monitors for Xbox Series X in 2024 | Digital Trends

The 4 Best Monitors for Xbox Series X in 2024 | Digital Trends

The Xbox Series X is a delightful console, but can ironically be a headache to get a suitable monitor for. Why? It can’t necessarily take advantage of all of the stats the best gaming monitors are going to be able to give it. It’s rated to run 4K at 120Hz max. This means the usual high definition, high refresh rate lists of monitors — what gamers typically go for — is thrown out the window. However, with lower requirements, there are actually also lower quantities of monitor for you to choose from without, essentially, paying for extra. No matter what your situation, however, here are your best options.

The best monitors for the Xbox Series X in 2024

  • Buy the

    for a monitor that is the right price and tuned to the needs of the Xbox Series X.

  • Buy the

    for a larger monitor with some fun extra features.

  • Buy the

    for one of the best gaming monitors out there that will also work great with the Xbox Series X.

  • Buy the

    for a serviceable budget gaming monitor for Xbox Series X gaming.

28-inch Samsung Odyssey G7

Best Xbox Series X monitor for most people

Samsung
Pros Cons
Right price Not so great for other gaming systems
Good size for most
G-sync and FreeSync support

To get the best gaming monitor for the Xbox Series X, go with the 28-inch version of the Odyssey G7. It hits all of the right specs without going too far over (you won’t really need 144Hz, but having just over 120Hz isn’t bad), which keeps costs about right. At the same time, it also comes with G-sync and FreeSync to ensure you get an optimized view into the gaming world of your choice. It has a gorgeous IPS panel and the size of this version, 28-inches, is going to feel just about right for a majority of gamers.

Again, this monitor represents what is best for the average Xbox Series X gamer. It simply checks all of the right boxes and is at the sweet spot in terms of price. If you want something larger, great for all of your gaming (including computer gaming), or even just a budget Xbox Series X monitor, there are other choices available.

Key specifications
Resolution 4K
Refresh rate 144Hz
Response time 1ms

48-inch LG UltraGear OLED

Best large monitor for Xbox Series X

Destiny 2 on the UltraGear 48-inch OLED monitor.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends / .
Pros Cons
Large, gorgeous OLED screen Expensive
G-Sync and FreeSync support
Lots of small, thoughtful conveniences

For a larger experience, you can go with the 48-inch LG UltraGear OLED. It has delightful OLED panel that features anti-glare and low reflection tech. While the important thing is that it supports 4K at 120Hz, it also supports 8K at 30Hz should your gaming support it. Finally, get great picture quality with HDR 10  and an intensive contrast ratio that will make hiding in the shadows all the more tense.

When we zoom out from the screen for a moment, we can easily see that the 48-inch LG UltraGear OLED has a lot of fun, built-in features. You’ll have to read our in-depth LG UltraGear 48-inch OLED review to get a feel for everything, but it is the tiny details (on a big monitor) that make this one so much fun. It has good speakers built-in, there’s an RGB strip on both sides of the monitor, and you even get a headset rack to the side, among other things. All small features, of course, but each contribute to the overall greatness of the monitor.

Key specifications
Resolution 4K
Refresh rate 120Hz
Response time 0.1ms GtG

Samsung Odyssey Neo G8

Best for multi-platform gamers

Samsung Odyssey Neo G8 with an HDR demo on screen.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends
Pros Cons
Gorgeous colors Cable management
Curved, matte display
FreeSync Premium plus (unofficial) G-Sync support

If you’re going to game on multiple systems, including your PC, why not get a higher quality monitor. That’s our thinking with the 32-inch Samsung Odyssey Neo G8, a 1,000R curved monitor with a delightful matte finish that makes it easy to game without glare. Our Odyssey Neo G8 review points out the pair of HDMI 2.1 ports for PS5 and Xbos Series X play. In other words, you’ll want one of the best HDMI cables for console play, but a DisplayPort for your PC. When used for gaming, our reviewer found a popping contrast with the deep black levels and saw worlds that felt vibrant.

The crutch, of course, here is that you’re paying for specs like a 240Hz refresh rate that you’re Xbox Series X isn’t going to fully support. But, if you game on your PC, too, then go ahead and grab this monitor, killing two angry birds with the same stone. This is an advanced monitor, moreso than you really need for the Xbox Series X, but not so much so that you should feel silly for desiring it to also work well with your PC. Furthermore, the price isn’t so considerably higher than other suitable monitors — especially when on sale — that you should discount it completely even if you aren’t doing much PC gaming at the moment.

Key specifications
Resolution 4K
Refresh rate 240Hz
Response time 1ms GtG

28-inch Asus TUF Gaming VG289Q

Best budget gaming monitor for Xbox Series X

Product image if the Asus TUF Gaming VG289Q 4K gaming monitor on a white background.
Asus
Pros Cons
Great colors Mediocre HDR and contrast ratio
Affordability
Value for the dollar

A great budget option among the best 4K gaming monitors, this Asus TUF monitor will get you through basic gaming without breaking the bank. Unless you’re a highly competitive gamer, the 60Hz refresh rate and 5ms response time will probably be alright for you. At any rate, the Asus TUF’s solid build construction and sturdy adjustable stand will feel comfortable as you play your Xbox Series X. While the monitor comes with mediocre HDR and contrast ratios compared to more expensive competitors, a couple of interesting features work to negate this. For one, it has a special ‘Gaming HDR’ mode to emphasize common gaming colors and a ‘Shadow Boost’ mode that allows you to see in more details when creeping through the darker parts of today’s gritty games.

Key specifications
Resolution 4K
Refresh rate 60Hz
Response time 5ms GtG

How we chose these monitors for the Xbox Series X

In general, it came down to getting the best gaming monitors that were (at least mostly) within the 4K at 120Hz parameters that makes sense for the Xbox Series X. And while we can technically get 8K resolution on the Xbox Series X, there aren’t many games supporting it and 2023 was not the year of 8K gaming monitors. While you can always get a better monitor than what is needed, we prioritized monitors that were the right price.

Size was another consideration that heavily weighed on our decision making. For most gamers selecting a gaming monitor, monitors around 27 inches to the low 30s will feel most comfortable, though some gamers prefer larger monitors. Our choices reflected this decision making process and the wishes of most gamers.

The response time of the monitor is a key statistic that anyone interested in picking out a monitor should know about. The shorter the response time, the quicker the image changes on your screen. Admittedly, however, this statistic can be dubiously reported. Trusting your own eyes and the instincts of other gamers is best.

Finally, in a world obsessed with back-to-back headshot, don’t forget about the beauty of gaming. Getting a monitor that looks good and has a wide color range can be just as important for your enjoyment of the game.

This article is managed and created separately from the Digital Trends Editorial team.

Editors’ Recommendations






The best co-op games on Xbox Series X | Digital Trends

The best co-op games on Xbox Series X | Digital Trends

The Xbox Series X is home to superb games we’ll no doubt be talking about for years to come. The system features RPGs, shooters, puzzle games, survival games, and even competitive experiences that throw you against other players to be the last person standing. Better yet are the games you can enjoy with friends, either from the couch or online. Something about working together with a friend to defeat bosses or tackle objectives is widely appealing, making it easy to see why co-op games are so popular. The lineup of co-op games is constantly growing on Xbox Series X, but there are several you absolutely need to play.

These are the best co-op games on Xbox Series X.

Editors’ Recommendations






The best video game consoles for 2024 | Digital Trends

The best video game consoles for 2024 | Digital Trends

It’s a fantastic time to be a gamer — when it comes to platform choice, there have never been more options available.

You could grab a PlayStation 5 and enjoy its killer lineup of exclusives or dive into the Xbox Series X’s deep game library (not to mention the fantastic deal that is Game Pass). Fandoms aside, the race between the two major consoles is closer than you’d think.

Or, if portability is a priority, you might be considering the time-tested Nintendo Switch or even giving the more experimental Steam Deck a shot.

We’ve spent a considerable amount of time with all these systems and can safely say that whichever one you pick is a solid choice. From impressive visuals to smooth performance and the ability to take your gaming experiences on the go, these devices have something for everyone. Whatever your gaming needs are, we’ll help find the right video game console for you. These are the best video game consoles to buy in 2024.


Martin Katler / Unsplash

Playstation 5

The best gaming console

Pros

  • Speedy hardware
  • Excellent game load times
  • Solid storage
  • Lots of must-own exclusives
  • New controller with enhanced haptics

Cons

  • Awkward design, even on new model

Why you should buy this: It’s the latest iteration of one of the most popular consoles of all time and has the best exclusive lineup of any console to date.

Who it’s for: Everyone.

Why we picked the PlayStation 5: With lightning-fast load speeds, a new controller, and a phenomenal lineup of titles (including fan favorites and new exclusives), the PS5 is the best plug-and-play gaming platform available.

First of all, the PS5 currently has the upper hand when it comes to games. PlayStation gamers have been enjoying Sony exclusives like God of War: Ragnarok, Horizon Forbidden West, and Marvel’s Spider-Man 2. Xbox fans, on the other hand, have been subject to a slimmer list of top-tier exclusive. Sony also has finally brought backward compatibility into the fold, too, and the PS5 will be able to play most PS4 games, so you won’t miss out on late-gen titles like The Last of Us Part II and Ghosts of Tsushima. The PS5 simply has the best game library out there right now.

The PS5’s solid launch lineup is only part of the equation, however. Slightly larger than the DualShock 4, the new DualSense controller refines haptic feedback, incorporating a precise sense of touch into the gaming experience that force feedback never achieved. If you’re draining your stamina bar to pull back a bowstring or attempting to bust down a locked door, for example, the hand triggers can convey that tension. Of course, if you need a little more from your controller, you can always shell out for Sony’s improved DualSense Edge controller.

Speaking of peripherals and hardware, both iterations of the console use AMD chips across the board, including an eight-core CPU running on a modified version of the Ryzen line. The PS5’s GPU also is from AMD and provides 10.28 teraflops of power, while supporting resource-intensive processes like ray tracing, which allows for more advanced lighting in games. It also comes with a 4K Blu-ray player, putting it in line with the Xbox One S and Xbox One X. In layman’s terms, the PS5 is technically less powerful than the Xbox Series X, but still packs a punch and represents a massive upgrade from last-gen consoles.

On top of all that, the PS5 will soon have its own designated virtual reality headset in the PlayStation VR2 — we haven’t gotten a chance to give it a test run just yet, but the list of launch titles is very impressive.

If discs aren’t your thing — or you simply want to save some cash — look no further than the PS5 Digital Edition. It retails for $100 less than the standard PS5 but is identical in terms of specs. The only difference between the two is that the Digital Edition has no disc drive, meaning Ultra HD Blu-rays are out of the equation, and you’ll need to rely on digital downloads. Everything else, including the launch lineup, remains the same.

Playstation 5

Playstation 5

The best gaming console

Xbox Series X Stylized Graphic

Hanif Jackson / Digital Trends

Xbox Series X

The best Microsoft gaming console

Pros

  • Gobs of potential
  • More storage than PS5
  • Accessible library through Game Pass
  • Good value

Cons

  • Lacking big exclusives
  • Difficult to fit in most A/V cabinets
  • Next-gen potential is untapped

Why you should buy this: It’s the most powerful Xbox available right now, and Game Pass is an attractive value.

Who it’s for: Players who want to play as many new games as possible with the best visual fidelity.

Why we picked the Xbox One X: The Xbox Series X is a tech powerhouse. The console features 12 TFLOPS of power and up to eight times more graphical performance than Xbox One, not to mention twice as much as the Xbox One X. The Xbox Series X also has 16GB of GDDR6 RAM and supports variable refresh rate, Variable Rate Shading technology, and a low-latency mode that allows for better responses out of your games. The power in this next-gen console is sure to wow gamers — that is when there are true next-gen games available for it.

Game lineup comparison is always at the forefront of the PS5 vs. Xbox Series X debate.
The Series X launch lineup was a little lackluster at launch but it has been bolster in the years since — Halo Infinite has been a multiplayer hit, Starfieldis the top exclusive RPG, and Hi-Fi Rush was a darkhorse candidate for best game of 2023 for some. The launch schedule for 2024 hasn’t entirely shaped up yet, but there are more great Xbox Series X games on the way.

In the meantime, Xbox Series X owners have no shortage of games to play. Xbox Series X will support every previous generation of Xbox games, similar to how Xbox One did. This means you’ll be able to play select Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X games all on the new machine — a huge win for game preservation. The Xbox also is home to Game Pass, the best deal in gaming. With more than 100 heavy-hitting games on the roster and promises of Project xCloud integration, gamers can explore and test out new titles for a low monthly fee. The library isn’t made up of last-gen throwaways, either; there are plenty of newer first-party titles that’d cost you a premium if you were to go out and buy them right now. Given Game Pass is available on PC as well, the Series X also allows for more cross-platform opportunities than Sony’s offerings.

While the Xbox Series X is a powerful machine, it’s also a surprisingly quiet one. The console’s cooling architecture is incredibly efficient, so much so you might wonder if the console is even on at times. The Xbox One, by comparison, is as loud as can be.

Xbox Series X

Xbox Series X

The best Microsoft gaming console

A person plays Mario Kart 8 Deluxe on a Nintendo Switch in handheld mode.

Nintendo

Nintendo Switch

The best portable game console

Pros

  • Game at home or on the go
  • Sharp display
  • Unique multi-mode controller
  • Excellent game library
  • Great battery life

Cons

  • Limited internal storage
  • Some controller options are uncomfortable

Why you should buy this: You want a console gaming experience — but on the go with unmatched first-party support.

Who it’s for: Everyone.

Why we picked the Nintendo Switch: Nintendo sidestepped the current console arms race by changing not how you use your console, but where. The Switch is a hybrid device that plugs into a TV, like the PS5 and Xbox Series X, but also works as a handheld.

While it doesn’t quite have the oomph to play the latest 4K, 120 fps releases slated for next-gen consoles, the Switch can play Doom at a smooth 30 FPS anywhere you want, and that’s more than enough for a lot of gamers. In addition to contemporary titles like Control, the Switch is a fantastic venue for reviving modern classics, such as The Witcher 3, L.A. Noire, and Dark Souls Remastered.

More than just a clearance house for lightly-aged AAA titles, the Switch also offers an ever-growing catalog of fantastic first-party games like Super Mario Odyssey, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and Animal Crossing: New Horizons, as well as excellent indies such as Stardew ValleyCeleste, and Ori and the Will of the Wisps. Add in some old-school Nintendo nostalgia with a growing list of NES and SNES games through Nintendo Switch Online, and the Switch is a well-rounded console.

The Nintendo Switch is also a great companion console for anyone who already owns a PlayStation or Xbox console. It can do things the competition can’t, and offers a host of great titles that will likely never appear on a Sony or Microsoft system.

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch

The best portable game console

switch lite vs oled which nintendo console should you buy

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Nintendo Switch OLED

The best premium Nintendo console

Pros

  • Improved screen
  • Improved onboard audio
  • Much better kickstand
  • Cleaner dock design

Cons

  • No upgrades for TV
  • Storage is still small

Why you should buy this: The Nintendo Switch OLED is a mid-generation upgrade that boasts a bigger, better screen and a flurry of bells and whistles to warrant the price of entry at $350. It’s ideal for those who are jumping into the Switch family for the first time, especially if you plan on primarily playing in handheld mode.

Who it’s for: Players who want a better-looking screen in handheld mode or who play online while docked. It’s great for users who plan on upgrading or who have never owned a Switch system before.

Why we picked the Nintendo Switch OLED: We picked up the OLED to take advantage of the bigger, more vibrant screen. It’s fascinating just how much better the new OLED screen looks compared to the LCD display on the original model. And the larger 7.0-inch screen on the new OLED model is a major improvement, giving you a bit more mileage out of the device without increasing the size of the machine overall.

The Switch OLED is an excellent choice because it uses all the accessories from the previous model including Joy-Con controllers, dock, microSD memory cards, and, of course, games. This means users who are upgrading can use all of their old accessories on the new OLED model.

While the Switch OLED does play all the same games as the original Switch, games simply look better on the new machine — at least in handheld mode. When placing both systems side by side, it’s easy to see the difference between the two screens. Since the OLED has a built-in LAN port in the dock, you’ll be able to plug in an Ethernet cable to enjoy online gaming without some of the headaches that come with using Wi-Fi.

Users who like to play in tabletop mode will be pleased with the Switch OLED’s new kickstand, which covers the entire backside of the system. This is a huge improvement over the thin, flimsy kickstand on the original model. Overall, the original Switch still gets the job done, but the OLED model is a significant improvement in more ways than one. Like the original Switch, the OLED won’t run games at a higher fidelity but is perfect for those who love high-quality Nintendo games or ports of older beloved classics — especially in handheld mode.

Nintendo Switch OLED White

Nintendo Switch OLED

The best premium Nintendo console

Steam's new handheld console, the Steam Deck.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Steam Deck OLED

The best handheld gaming PC

Pros

  • A massive library of Steam games
  • Best specs of any handheld system
  • Customizable controls

Cons

  • Disappointing battery life

Why you should buy this: It features a massive library of high-quality Steam games that look and run admirably.

Who it’s for: Players looking for console-like performance and selection on the go.

Why we picked Steam Deck: The Nintendo Switch made us hungry for high-quality games on the go, but sadly, the system was never powerful enough to run fan-favorite third-party titles you’d find on PlayStation, Xbox, or PC. The Steam Deck makes that dream a reality, giving you access to a huge chunk of games available on Valve’s platform without sacrificing too much quality. Sure, the games don’t look and run as great as they would on a powerful PC, but the Steam Deck does a surprisingly good job of showcasing graphically intensive games in a way Nintendo Switch never could.

If you’re debating between a standard Steam Deck and the OLED version, we think the upgrade is definitely worth the price bump. With a significantly improved screen, better battery, and small software tweaks that go a long way, the Steam Deck’s second draft makes kept it in the top spot for portable PCs.

Aside from featuring a robust lineup of games (that are shared across your Steam account), the Steam Deck offers plenty of control customization, a clean UI, and a reasonable price. We also can’t overstate how nice it is to jump into the system and see all the games available that you’ve purchased over the years through Steam. Sure, not every game is compatible with the device, but practically every new release works on Steam Deck, making it well worth the purchase.

If you’re looking for an even better Steam Deck experience,

Steam Deck OLED 256GB

Steam Deck OLED

The best handheld gaming PC

Playing the Asus ROG Ally Z1 Extreme in handheld mode.

Asus

Asus ROG Ally (Z1 Extreme)

The best Steam Deck alternative

Pros

  • Solid performance
  • Acceptable battery life
  • Beautiful, 120Hz screen
  • Flexible control scheme
  • Support for basically any PC game

Cons

  • Turbo mode drains battery quickly
  • Windows has a lot of quirks
  • Armoury Crate is a utility, not an OS

Why you should buy this: It’s a surprisingly powerful handheld that really feels like a handheld PC.

Who it’s for: Players looking for on-the-go gaming who need a more customizable experience.

Why we picked Asus ROG Ally: The ROG Ally is really the first true Steam Deck competitor. Looking at the Steam Deck vs. Asus ROG Rally, this new handheld is clearly a faster device and has some more serious hardware.

“At first pass, the Asus ROG Ally fixes almost every single problem I have with the Steam Deck,” wrote Gaming Editor Giovanni Colantonio comparing the base models. “From a more comfortable design to a vastly improved screen, it’s the first device of its kind that doesn’t feel like a first-pass experiment.”

You’re not getting PS5 levels of performance in the ROG Ally, but it’s a good illustration of the performance on tap. More of a gaming laptop compressed into a handheld device than a straight-up console, the ROG Ally definitely has its software quirks. But if you can get past that, it’s a great device — perfect for anyone who needs a bit more control over their experience.

Asus ROG Ally (Ryzen Z1)

Asus ROG Ally (Z1 Extreme)

The best Steam Deck alternative

how to delete games on ps4 playstation 4 pro review

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

PlayStation 4 Pro

The best budget game console

Pros

  • 4K gaming for less than $500
  • Improves visuals on select PlayStation VR titles
  • Makes all games run slightly better than standard PS4
  • Looks good even on 1080p TVs
  • Supports all PS4 games

Cons

  • HDR can be difficult to set up
  • Very few titles offer 4K support at launch
  • No 4K Blu-ray Player

Why you should buy this: This last-gen console has a healthy catalog of top-tier games and the price tag has dropped since the release of the PS5.

Who it’s for: Anyone who wants to game without breaking the bank.

Why we picked the PlayStation 4 Pro: While plenty of gamers are making the jump to the PlayStation 5, there’s still a lot of life left in last-gen consoles. The PlayStation 4 Pro is still a serious gaming machine with a vast library of games, and the console’s price tag (and the cost of games, accessories, etc.) only is going to continue to drop. The PS4 Pro is also slightly easier to find than the PS5, though, most modern consoles have suffered from low availability following the recent chip shortage. The PS4 Pro delivers an impressive playing experience for 4K television owners because of the enhanced graphics and sharper images for 4k-enabled titles.

We’re not going to pretend that the PS4 Pro is close to matching the superior PS5, but it’s still a worthwhile gaming experience. Aside from a handful of titles exclusive to the PS5, you’re going to have access to most major titles out now and all the most popular free-to-play titles.

Price is a major factor when deciding whether to upgrade to a new system — there’s no shame in snagging a last-gen console to play with until the PS5 becomes less expensive and more widely available.

Sony PlayStation 4 Pro

PlayStation 4 Pro

The best budget game console

nintendo switch lite price negotiations colors

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Nintendo Switch Lite

The best budget portable game console

Pros

  • Comfortable design
  • Sharp and vibrant display
  • Solid battery life
  • Brings back the iconic D-pad
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Slightly smaller game library
  • No TV mode support
  • No motion controls

Why you should buy this: The Nintendo Switch Lite is the best handheld game console out right now, giving you access to all the latest and greatest Nintendo titles without the price tag of its hybrid counterpart.

Who it’s for: Everyone

Why we picked the Nintendo Switch Lite: If you plan on only using your Nintendo Switch in handheld mode, the Nintendo Switch Lite makes for a great option at a slightly lower price point. It lacks the television docking support of the standard system but features a smaller size and a slightly better battery life than the updated Switch console that launched last year. It’s compatible out of the box with nearly every Nintendo Switch game, as well, and is perfect for games like Pokémon Sword and Shield.

Ditching the Joy-Cons, the Switch Lite comes with an all-in-one design. It’s almost an inch shorter in width, making it more compact than the original. Coming in at 9.7 ounces, it’s lighter, but not so much that it feels flimsy. Being smaller than its predecessor, the button layout had to be altered slightly, but the console is still incredibly comfortable and easy to navigate.

There aren’t any obvious differences in gaming performance on the smaller console, either. Revving up the field in Rocket League or building your defenses in a tense Fortnite match will feel just as smooth on the Switch Lite display versus the original Switch’s screen. With no dock, HDMI support, or Joy-Cons, the Switch Lite doesn’t have TV support or motion controls, which slightly impacts your gaming options, but most of the Switch library is available.

Nintendo Switch Lite

Nintendo Switch Lite

The best budget portable game console

snes classic edition review 14593

Les Shu/Digital Trends

SNES Classic Edition

The best retro game console

Pros

  • Games all work exactly as they should
  • Rewind feature works very well
  • Great game library
  • Star Fox 2 released, for the first time ever
  • Beautiful miniature replica design

Cons

  • You need to hit the console’s reset button to change games
  • Slimmer game selection than NES Classic

Why you should buy this: It has 20 of the best games ever made for only $80 (retail price).

Who it’s for: Nintendo fans old and new, and those who grew up with video games.

Why we picked the SNES Classic Edition: The 16-bit era saw Nintendo at the peak of its creativity, releasing popular, acclaimed games like The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past *and *Super Metroid alongside cult hits like Earthbound. Third-party companies didn’t take a backseat, with Square Enix’s Final Fantasy VI and Konami’s Super Castlevania IV among the best games of all time.

With the plug-and-play SNES Classic Edition, you can experience all over your favorite classic Super Nintendo games as you remembered them through retro gaming. There’s even a CRT filter option mimicking the look of your old television.

With the addition of a save-state feature, playing old Nintendo games on the SNES Classic is significantly less frustrating than it was 25 years ago, and when you’re ready to sit down and game with a buddy, classics like Super Mario Kart and Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting give you a chance to compete for bragging rights.

The SNES Classic Edition also is the only way to play Star Fox 2, outside of the Nintendo Switch Online service, a game Nintendo canceled just before its original release date. To unlock it, you just need to beat the first level of the original Star Fox, but it will be very tough to pull yourself away once you start playing.

SNES Classic Edition

SNES Classic Edition

The best retro game console

sega genesis mini review genesismini feature

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Sega Genesis Mini

The best alternative retro game console

Pros

  • Authentic design
  • Huge library of games
  • Clean, convenient menu system

Why you should buy this: The Genesis Mini is Sega’s retro console offering, renewing the classic Nintend0-Sega rivalry in a new era.

Who it’s for: Those who preferred Sonic’s blazing speed to Mario’s block-breaking ways.

Why we picked the Sega Genesis Mini: While the SNES Classic was our top retro pick, there are some golden age classics that only can be found on the Sega Genesis. From groundbreaking platformers Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (arguably when the company’s speedy mascot was in his prime) and Earthworm Jim to iconic fighter kings Streets of Rage 2 and Mortal Kombat II, you have to admit that Sega has just as many stellar, nostalgic titles as its Nintendo counterpart console.

The Sega Genesis Mini features 42 games — 40 of which are Sega classics — while the once Genesis-bound Tetris and arcade shoot ’em up Darius sweeten the pot. The package includes a sleek, miniaturized version of the Sega Genesis console and two classic controllers. The console is ready to plug and play and includes a power adapter and an HDMI cable.

The games are presented almost exactly as they were, but the console does include a save-anywhere function, which is quite a time-saver. Overall, your preference for retro console will largely be driven by whether you prefer Sega’s lineup or Nintendo’s. There are certainly no wrong choices, and this is exemplified by the fact that these consoles still generate hype decades later.

Sega Genesis Mini

Sega Genesis Mini

The best alternative retro game console

4K, HDR, and buying game consoles

The PS5 and the Xbox Series X support high-resolution gaming that can take advantage of emerging display standards, 4K, and High Dynamic Range (HDR). Some people don’t have a 4K TV, and fewer still have quality HDR support, which is broken down into its own sub-categories.

While there was just a small selection of games for last-gen consoles that took full advantage of these features, the newest slate of consoles will better leverage these technologies moving forward, essentially standardizing them. Keep in mind, however, that no console requires you to own a 4K or HDR-compatible TV, meaning you can buy a new console and hold off on buying a more capable TV until you’ve done more research, found games you feel are worth upgrading for, or are otherwise ready to commit.

If you do decide to purchase a new TV for the sake of a video game console, you should look for a 4K TV that runs at 60Hz and supports HDR 10, as opposed to HDR “Premium.”

Editors’ Recommendations






The Xbox Already Looks Like a Toaster, Now It Is One

The Xbox Already Looks Like a Toaster, Now It Is One

The Xbox Series S toaster will stick an Xbox logo on all your bread.
Image: Walmart

A wise man once said, “All toasters toast toast.” Well, sure enough, they… don’t, but some non-toaster devices could be well adapted to aid me with making a quick BLT. Now Microsoft, in all its wisdom, has decided to take its Xbox Series S design and finally add a slot on top—not for discs—but for bread. Why turn a Series S into a toaster? For the memes, of course.

Twitter game deal spotter Wario64 first noticed the toaster was real and that you could buy it from Walmart. Judging by reviews, the toaster has been around for a bare few months, though Microsoft hasn’t put any real emphasis behind it like it had the previous Xbox Mini Fridge. As The Verge first mentioned, the toaster first popped up (pun intended) earlier last year on French sites, but it took until holiday time in 2023 for it to come up for sale elsewhere.

The $40 Series S toaster’s big claim to fame is how it will burn an Xbox logo onto your bread slices. Otherwise, it’s your average 2-slot toaster with a browning shade selector and an LED digital countdown. It has significantly more physical buttons and dials than Microsoft’s cheaper console, and it’s enough to make me nostalgic for the physical switches on far older game consoles. At the very least, it’s not much more expensive than other toasters. Judging by the specs shown on the purchase page, the toaster is actually larger in volume than the real Xbox Series S console. It also stands on little rubber feet rather than sitting brick-like next to your TV.

There’s been plenty of jokes going on for years that the Xbox Series X had a very fridge-like silhouette. So much so that Xbox promoted a limited Series X mini fridge to “Power Your Memes.” Those fridges were extremely limited to start, but a few are still around and up for sale if you’re desperate to cool your beverages in a big black box that happens to have an Xbox logo on it.

Xbox Series X Fridge – World Premiere – 4K Trailer

On average, most Xbox Series S consoles should typically only reach about 125 degrees Fahrenheit. The smaller Xbox is not as powerful as a Series X or PlayStation 5, so it’s not going to get quite as hot as its bigger brother or competitor. A toaster should reach temperatures of about 320 degrees Fahrenheit, so before you make any jokes about the Xbox already being hot enough to be a toaster, the science isn’t on your side (though I won’t stop you. Hell, look at the headline. Do you think I have many compunctions about ragging on silly tech?).

PC ports need to be better in 2024. Here’s how | Digital Trends

PC ports need to be better in 2024. Here’s how | Digital Trends

Digital Trends

I’ve said it once, and I’ll saw it again: 2023 wasn’t a great year for PC gaming. We saw some excellent games, but most were marred by poor ports that exhibited performance issues, bugs, and other game-breaking problems. Even at the end of the year, though, things are looking up, and I hope that trend continues into 2024.

Rather than rehashing the performance issues we’ve seen on PC all year, I want to look forward. Here are the five things I want to see out of PC releases next year.

GPU decompression

Portal: Prelude RTX | RTX IO Off vs On Comparison – Cake Scene

There were a few common threads across PC ports in 2023, but one of the most prominent was the lack of GPU decompression. As I’ve written about previously, the Xbox Series X and PS5 have dedicated decompression hardware, which equals the computational power of almost a full CPU. PCs don’t have a dedicated decompression processor, but you can offload some of that work to the GPU.

We’ve heard about Microsoft’s DirectStorage, which is currently available in Ratchet and Clank Rift Apart with GPU decompression. In addition, Nvidia has its RTX IO feature, which we saw vastly improve loading times in the demanding Portal Prelude RTX

Loading times in Portal Prelude.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

Faster loading times are great, but the real advantage of GPU decompression is the IO bottleneck you can see in some PC games. If the GPU decompresses assets, that takes some strain off of the CPU. In titles like Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, which poorly scale across the high thread count available on modern CPUs, getting past the IO bottleneck can help reduce traversal stutter that’s caused by invisible loading zones.

Here’s how Nvidia explains it: “RTX IO alone cannot completely remove stutter, but it can be an aiding technology to help reduce stuttering. It can do so by scaling down the dependence on CPU compute when the need to load textures and geometries ‘faster’ is the cause of stuttering, and freeing up the CPU to work on other tasks.”

Frame gen for all

An astronaut explores a planet's surface in Starfield.
Bethesda

I’m tired of the DLSS 3 and FSR 3 debacle. Every major AAA release should include the latest upscaling and frame generation tools from Nvidia and AMD. If you’re going to include one, you must include the other. There’s really no excuse at this point. Within a week of AMD releasing the source code for FSR 3, modders created a tool that could utilize FSR 3 in any game that already had DLSS 3.

Frame generation is important, but we saw a nasty dynamic between FSR and DLSS this year overall. Starfield was probably the worst example, with the game only supporting FSR at release despite cries from the community for a DLSS version (a DLSS mod released within a day of the game’s launch). We’ve seen over and over again that DLSS and FSR largely use the same backbone, so to add one to a game and not the other doesn’t make any sense.

As we’ve seen with games like Starfield and Alan Wake 2upscaling and sometimes even frame generation are essential tools for getting the best performance in demanding titles. Supporting FSR, DLSS, and even Intel’s XeSS ensures that players can get the best experience regardless of the GPU they own, and that should be a top priority for any major PC release.

Proper HDR

The HDR overlay for Special K mod.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

I love the Special K utility I have running on nearly every PC game I play — make sure to read how the “Swiss Army Knife” app transformed my setup — but it’s a solution that doesn’t need to exist. I mainly use it to inject HDR in games that don’t have a proper implementation, and as most PC gamers know all too well, that’s most PC games.

HDR has been on the backburner for PC gaming for years, and for good reason. We haven’t had the displays that can truly make an HDR experience shine on the desktop. That changed this year, and it’s time PC ports started paying attention to the HDR experience that console players have enjoyed for the past several years.

Any HDR implementation is better than none at all, but ideally, the game will support different HDR formats and come with sliders for peak luminance, saturation, and midpoint. Cyberpunk 2077 is a prime example of HDR done right in a game, and I hope more releases in 2024 apply that format.

While we’ve mostly seen a swatch of VA and IPS panels with disappointing brightness in years past, we’re seeing many more gaming monitors built for HDR. OLED panels like the LG UltraGear OLED 27 are fantastic for HDR, but we’re also seeing an influx of mini-LED displays like the Cooler Master Tempest GP27Q. Now, we’re just waiting on proper HDR support in the games themselves, and I hope to see more of that in 2024.

SSD required

An SSD installed in a PC motherboard.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

There was a bit of an outcry this year over some system requirements. In particular, games like Starfield, Diablo 4. and Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty list an SSD as a requirement to run the game. This, apparently, came as a shock to some PC gamers (and even some journalists) who think that a modern AAA release should be able to run on storage tech that debuted in 1992.

We’ve seen a few examples of the horrors of using a spinning hard drive in a game designed for an SSD, with Ratchet and Clank Rift Apart being the most prominent example. I appreciate developers holding onto HDDs to skirt the ire of PC gamers, but it’s time. We need to move on to requiring an SSD for modern AAA games.

Don’t misunderstand what I’m saying here. HDDs don’t need to go away entirely, and if a game can run on an HDD without problems, that’s great. However, we’re in a time when the cost of a 1TB or 2TB SSD is roughly the same as a high-quality HDD of the same size, so games shouldn’t focus on supporting storage tech that’s well past its prime. Furthermore, with features like RTX IO and DirectStorage, an SSD is required to get the most out of this IO tech.

More Vulkan

The Steam Deck OLED on a pink background.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

This is less about optimizing PC games and more about broadening support. I hope we see more Vulkan next year. I’ve written about previously the advantages of Vulkan over DirectX, including occasional performance improvements, but the main draw of Vulkan is that it works across multiple platforms. DirectX only works on Windows. Vulkan works on Windows, MacOS, and Linux.

The majority of PC gaming happens on, well, a PC, but that’s changing. Devices like the Steam Deck now give Linux a larger slice of the PC gaming pie, and recent Macs are powerful enough to run games like Baldur’s Gate 3 — a game that, for the record, supports both Vulkan and DirectX. You see that a lot. Games like Red Dead Redemption 2 and Doom Eternal are easy to get working on Steam Deck because they use Vulkan.

The scope of PC gaming is only getting broader, and Windows is no longer the single destination for playing games. Vulkan ensures that games can run on different operating systems without fancy translation layers that can bring up a slew of issues. Ideally, we’ll see games that support DirectX and Vulkan. It’s certainly possible, as titles like Red Dead Redemption 2 and Baldur’s Gate 3 demonstrate.

PC ports in 2024

2023 wasn’t a great year for PC gaming, and I’m sure we’ll still see plenty of problematic PC ports next year. However, the games we saw in the latter half of this year were certainly better than those released in the first half, and that makes me hopeful that the stability of PC ports is on an upward trend.

There are still techniques like pre-compiling shaders that PC ports need, but I hope that the solutions we saw for problems in 2022 will become the norm in 2024. That’s certainly what we saw throughout the last year.

Editors’ Recommendations