It's not enough to have a pressure cooker, you need an Instant Pot that's also a slow cooker, and a rice cooker, and a yogurt maker. Your video game console is also now a media center and live streaming platform. And if your printer doesn't also make copies and send faxes, then what are you even doing with your life? This obsession with do-it-all gadgets has even hit the world of music gear. While there were certainly earlier examples, it really started to take off in the '90s with the emergence of the groovebox.
When the new M1 Macs came out in November, we were impressed with their performance specs but also worried that the new ARM-based processors would have compatibility issues with many older, x86 based apps that users have come to love on MacOS. We thankfully saw many companies (such as Google, Adobe, and Blizzard) rushing to release M1 versions of their software right at launch, and native support has only gotten better since. For the stragglers still running on x86 architecture, Apple's new Rosetta2 emulator does a fantastic job of providing a seamless experience for users--most people won't even notice that apps like Steam aren't running natively on the M1 Macs. The M1 MacBook Pro 13 is undoubtedly the best MacBook Pro 13 we've seen in a long time. Apart from its blazing speeds in single and multi-core performance, its integrated graphics are actually a bit ahead of both AMD- and Intel-based machines (although the graphics performance is still a far cry from that seen from discrete GPUs like the AMD Radeon and Nvidia GeForce RTX cards).
The world's hunger for graphics chips for PCs and gaming consoles means there will be short supply in many markets through the first half of this year, according to chip titan Advanced Micro Devices. "We did have some supply constraints as we ended the year," said CEO Lisa Su on a conference call with analysts Tuesday evening following the company's report of stronger-than-expected Q4 results. Shortages of supply "were primarily, I would say, in the PC market, the low end of the PC market and in the gaming markets," said Su. "That being said, I think we're getting great support from our manufacturing partners. The industry does need to increase the overall capacity levels. And so we do see some tightness through the first half of the year." AMD's Radeon RX 6900 XT graphics card, introduced last quarter.
SAVE $400: The Dell G7 4K gaming laptop is a great way to experience PC gaming without the bulk of a desktop -- it's $400 off at Best Buy as of Jan. 20. Before they all start coming out, you're going to want to prepare by getting the right gear, whether that's one of the elusive new consoles or a high-end PC. If you haven't had any luck snagging a PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X, you should definitely look at dipping your toes into the world of PC gaming. A gaming laptop is a good way to start, and the Dell G7 is $400 off at Best Buy as of Jan. 20. The Dell G7 gets you a high-quality pc gaming experience without the bulk of a desktop.
OK, it's here more for the amazing backstory than the qualities of the handheld itself, but Gizmondo did momentarily look like a contender back in 2004, offering text messaging, web browsing and video playback as well as mobile gaming. But then the founders burned through millions of investor funds on Regent Street stores and extravagant launch parties, and the whole thing collapsed in spectacular fashion, symbolised by one exec's (non-fatal) 200mph Ferrari crash on the Pacific Coast Highway. Admittedly, there was not a huge amount of developer support for Dreamcast's amazingly idiosyncratic memory card/handheld console hybrid, but the fact that it even exists warrants it a place on the list. Despite its teeny 48 32 dot LCD screen, the VMU did support a range of mini games including a Chao pet sim in Sonic Adventure and Zombie Revenge's surreal Zombie Fishing. With a name that sounded like a character from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, the Tapwave Zodiac was another ambitious attempt to combine a games console with a mobile multimedia platform.
Video games often deliver futuristic outlooks with adventures such as "Halo" and "The Last of Us." But game hardware company Razer has an imaginative vision of how you might play games in the near future: the Project Brooklyn concept gaming chair. The carbon fiber-constructed gaming chair, unveiled at the CES tech trade show Tuesday, has a 60-inch flexible OLED panoramic display that rolls out and retracts, surrounding your field of vision. And you will feel the game, too, with tactile feedback built into the cockpit-style seat. Adjustable armrests can be used for a mouse or made into a tabletop for a full keyboard.
Despite the pandemic, it's been a pretty great year for video game hardware. Microsoft launched the Xbox Series X, a powerful obelisk packing a 12-teraflop GPU, and the smaller Series S, which can run games natively at 1440p resolution. Sony, meanwhile, released the PlayStation 5 and a cheaper Digital Edition that doesn't come with a disc drive. Both companies are struggling with stock shortages at the moment and a number of user-reported hardware issues. Still, it's a minor miracle that neither Sony nor Microsoft was forced to delay their next-gen launch.
KFC has killed two birds with one stone this Christmas with a deluxe gaming system that also keeps your fried chicken warm. Built in partnership with hardware manufacturer Cooler Master, the KFConsole has a built in'chicken chamber' for your extra-crispy three-piece. The system isn't just for show: According to Cooler Master, it can handle VR games and offers a 240 frames-per-second frame rate and 4K display compatibility. Heat generated by the console will keep chicken warm, while a custom cooling system keeps the device from overheating. Fast-food giant KFC unveiled the new KFConsole, a working PC gaming system with a built-in'chicken chamber' that will keep your three-piece warm Other specs include an Intel Nuc 9 Extreme Compute Element and two Seagate BarraCuda 1TB SSD drives, according to the Cooler Master website.
Know someone that would love a new console this holiday season? Figuring out what to buy them, though, can be tricky. Should you go next-gen or stick with something cheaper from the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One era? It all depends on your budget and what, if any, kind of hardware your loved one already owns. If you're still flummoxed by the seemingly-endless options, fear not: we've assembled a guide to choosing and gifting a console in late 2020.
Save $240: Get the latest Dell G5 15 gaming laptop (16GB RAM, 512GB SSD) for $1,199.99 at Dell as of Oct. 27. The onslaught of new game releases is upon us this fall. With titles such as Watch Dogs: Legion kicking off the holiday rush, it's important to prepare yourself with an upgrade to the latest gaming gear. And for anyone who doesn't buy into the PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X hype, the latest Dell gaming laptop is a fitting alternative. You save $240 or 17% off the original price as part of Dell's early Black Friday sneak peek.