Sony’s New FX3 Puts a Cinema-Quality Camera in Your Pocket

Illustration for article titled Sony's New FX3 Puts a Cinema-Quality Camera in Your Pocket

Image: Sony

For a while it seemed like Sony’s high-end digital filmmaking cameras were on a collision course with its Alpha mirrorless cameras as those shooters became more capable at capturing video. Today the inevitable was confirmed: Sony officially revealed its FX3 with features from both the company’s digital cinema and Alpha lines, giving creators a more affordable way to capture Hollywood-caliber content.

An image of the FX3 leaked a few weeks ago led to speculation that Sony’s compact cinematography tool would be able capture video at 8K resolutions, but the full-frame, back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS sensor the camera is using is limited to resolutions of up to 4K, or 16:9 QFHD at up to 120 frames per second. Although even with a cooling fan and a vent design that encourages natural heat dissipation, the FX3 can only record uninterrupted at 4K, 60P. Higher frame rate shooting is limited so the camera doesn’t overheat. Skipping 8K is a choice Sony made to either keep the FX3’s price tag down, or to ensure it doesn’t compete with the company’s pricier digital cinema cameras—or both.

When shooting video, the FX3’s ISO settings can be pushed to an impressive 409,600 which might come in handy the next time you find yourself filming on the dark side of the moon and can’t see the sun. The camera’s 627-point autofocus system includes features like AF Transition Speed, which ensures that automatic focus changes happen smoothly so as not to be jarring to audiences, and Touch Tracking, which allows operators to simply tap an object on the FX3’s flip-out touchscreen display to tell the camera what it should keep focused in frame, even as the subject is moving around.

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Illustration for article titled Sony's New FX3 Puts a Cinema-Quality Camera in Your Pocket

Image: Sony

With the battery and memory cards installed (both dual CFexpress Type A and SDXC cards are supported), the FX3 weighs just 1.58 pounds and includes a hot shoe mounted grip, making it easier to hold, operate, and maneuver the camera at low angles. Keeping a lightweight camera steady while shooting handheld is a real challenge, so the FX3 employs five-axis in-body image stabilization for smooth videos even while filming with a lens lacking any stabilization of its own. The applied stabilization is also captured as metadata while filming, allowing it to be tweaked during post-production.

Most filmmakers will want to keep the optional grip attached, because it not only offers quick access to several controls, including ISO, iris, white balance, and zoom, it also features 15 custom buttons that can be programmed as shortcuts to 140 different functions normally buried in a software menu. The grip also has a mount for a microphone, a pair of balanced XLR/TRS audio inputs, and a 3.5-millimeter stereo two-channel jack while the camera can capture four-channel 24-bit audio when multiple mics are attached.

Illustration for article titled Sony's New FX3 Puts a Cinema-Quality Camera in Your Pocket

Image: Sony

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The FX3 will officially be available starting sometime in March with a price tag of around $3,900. That isn’t pocket change, but it’s also $2,600 cheaper than the new $6,500 Sony Alpha 1, which many people will be considering as their next video shooter. It is, however, $1,400 more expensive than the recently announced $2,500 Blackmagic Design BMPCC 6K Pro, which offers 6K shooting and an HDR rear display, although 120 fps high-speed recording is limited to 2K. But for video content creators who already have a bag full of Sony E-mount lenses, or already have a workflow involving Sony’s higher-end digital cinema cameras, the FX3 sounds like an easy choice.

Sony Finally Announces Next-Gen VR For PS5

Old, boring, last-gen VR

Old, boring, last-gen VR
Illustration: Sony

Fans of Sony’s virtual reality efforts have been wondering what was to become of console-based VR with the launch of the PlayStation 5. Today the company announces that a next-generation virtual reality system is in the works for the PS5, but it’s not going to launch this year.

There are no images of fancy next-gen headsets or screenshots of upcoming VR games. Just a simple text post on the PlayStation Blog letting everyone know that the days of having to order a special adapter to use PS4 PSVR on the PS5 will one day be over. The only technological advancement mentioned is the incorporation of DualSense technology in the new VR controllers. Hopefully not the drifting analog sticks.

Look for more on Sony’s next generation of console virtual reality as it gets closer to being a real thing Sony can sell to us.

Sony Sued For Not Honoring Warranty Agreements on Defective PS5 Controllers

Illustration for article titled Sony Sued For Not Honoring Warranty Agreements on Defective PS5 Controllers

Photo: CHARLY TRIBALLEAU / Contributor (Getty Images)

Sony is facing a class action lawsuit over its reported failure to honor warranty agreements on PlayStation 5 controllers with obvious “drift” defects.

In a complaint filed in the Southern District of New York on February 12, the Japanese conglomerate is accused of violating consumer fraud statutes and breaching warranty agreements related to the PS5 DualSense wireless controllers, which the suit alleges have an obvious defect that allows the characters to drift across the screen even when a user isn’t moving the controller’s joystick.

Lmarc Turner, the lead plaintiff listed in the complaint, claims that he immediately experienced a drift issue with the controller after he took his PS5 home in early February. But after contacting customer services, Turner was reportedly left with some lame advice about troubleshooting the defective controller and not much else in the way of help.

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Eventually, “[g]iven that his experience with contacting Sony the first time did not satisfactorily address the drift issue,” Turner bought another DualSense controller for $69.99 a few days later, but “Had [he] been aware of the Drift Defect prior to purchasing his PS5, he otherwise would not have purchased the PS5, or would have paid substantially less for it,” the complaint says.

The suit also claims that Sony had to have known how widespread the drift issue was, particularly given “online consumer complaints, complaints made by consumers directly to it, and through its own pre-release testing.”

“This defect significantly interferes with gameplay and thus compromises the DualSense Controller’s core functionality,” the complaint says.

The DualSense controllers were released alongside the PS5 console in November to much fanfare after selling out via preorder pretty much everywhere.

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The lawsuit calls for Sony to launch a recall or free replacement program in order to replace the faulty controllers for all class members, and also calls for damage payments to be paid out to consumers in order to recompense them for buying new controllers or any other out of pocket expenses to fix the alleged defect.

Dbrand Dares Sony to Sue Over Its New Black Faceplates for the PS5

Illustration for article titled Dbrand Dares Sony to Sue Over Its New Black Faceplates for the PS5

Screenshot: Dbrand

Months after its debut, the PS5’s design remains highly divisive, and while Sony has already shut down one accessory maker who tried making aftermarket panels for the PS5, Dbrand is now daring Sony to sue over its new matte black PS5 faceplates.

Called Darkplates, Dbrand’s new PS5 addon isn’t just a sticker you can use to cover up the PS5’s stock white exterior, they’re full matte black plastic replacement panels that attach to the PS5 using the same grooves Sony uses to secure the default white side covers.

While some people might worry about tinkering with their expensive new console, Dbrand jokingly claims that “99.98% of humans can successfully install Darkplates,” suggesting that even people typically afraid of modifying their game console should have no issue swapping out the PS5’s stock side panels for Dbrand’s Darkplates.

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But where things get extra spicy is all the extra language Dbrand has littered across the Darkplates website practically begging Sony to file a lawsuit for violating Sony’s patent and intellectual property (or at the very least send out a cease and desist)—a fate encountered by fellow accessory maker Customize My Plates last year. 

Illustration for article titled Dbrand Dares Sony to Sue Over Its New Black Faceplates for the PS5

Screenshot: Dbrand

Right under the Darkplates header image, Dbrand even added a line saying “Go ahead, sue us,” while the microtexture Dbrand feature on its side panels serves as another jab at Sony, with Dbrand replacing Sony’s circle, triangle, square, and x icons with “familiar-but-legally-distinct apocalyptic spin on the classic PlayStation button shapes.”

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Available for the standard PS5 (with an option for the PS5 Digital Edition “coming soon”), Dbrand’s Darkplates look to be exactly what many gamers have been asking for since Sony first unveiled the PS5’s controversial two-toned black and white façade. However, they won’t come cheap as the two matte black side panels plus an adhesive middle skin (available in six different patterns) currently costs $61 (apparently discounted from $79). That’s basically the same price as a game, which might force people to choose between buying a new title for their PS5 or upgrading its looks.

Illustration for article titled Dbrand Dares Sony to Sue Over Its New Black Faceplates for the PS5

Screenshot: Dbrand

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But I have to admit, the PS5 looks pretty slick in all black, and it seems I’m not the only one who thinks that way as Dbrand’s Darkplates first three waves of orders have already sold out, with the next available wave expected to ship sometime in May.

Still, for anyone who truly can’t stand the PS5’s stock design, you might want to act fast. Despite Dbrand’s confident taunts, it’s hard to say how long Darkplates will be available before Sony’s legal team decides to get involved.

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Leaked Sony FX3 Could Pose Big Threat to Canon and Black Magic

Sony’s camera division has been on a warpath lately with the recently announced Alpha 1 serving as a direct response to Canon’s EOS R5. But now info has leaked about a new Sony cinema cam that could pose a serious threat to both Canon and Black Magic.

Based on a tweet from respected leaker Nokishita, the new Sony FX3 has a few interesting things going on. That’s because even though it carries the FX tag like Sony’s high-end cinema cams, it also sports Alpha branding from Sony’s consumer mirrorless camera segment, which suggests that Sony may position the FX3 as an option for both pros and more advanced home users.

And while there aren’t any detailed specs available for the FX3 just yet, MirrorlessRumors.com claims people are speculating that the FX3 could support video capture at 8K, UHD 8K, oversampled DCI 4K, and high frame rate UHD 4K. If true, that would land it right in the sweet spot for a lot of experienced content creators looking for a powerful but still relatively portable dedicated video cam.

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Additionally, the positioning of what looks like an AF joystick on the top side of the camera (instead of in the back where it would usually be), suggests that the FX3 might have a huge built-in screen to better monitor footage, similar to what you get on a Black Magic Pocket Cinema cam. Elsewhere, the inclusion of multiple mounting threads should make the FX3 easy to slip into a cage, giving users extra flexibility for tacking on additional components and accessories.

Either way, the big picture is that with the FX3, it looks like Sony is specifically targeting competing video cameras like Canon’s EOS C70 and the Black Magic’s range of dedicated cinecams, as it looks to gobble up even more of the mirrorless camera market share.

Unfortunately, there’s no word on pricing just yet, but current rumors say Sony is expected to officially announce the FX3 prior to the CP+ show, which is slated to take place virtually starting on Feb. 24.

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I Miss Experimenting With My Grandparents’ Old Sony Handycam

I MissI MissGizmodo staff fondly remembers the extinct gadgets of years past.

It’s hard to miss a gadget the size of a shoebox when the smartphone in my pocket outperforms it in every way possible. But I miss my grandparents’ ‘90s-era Sony Handycam and the fun videography experiments my siblings and I concocted in an effort to avoid being pushed out the door to play outside.

In the early ‘80s my parents bought a Canon camcorder to document the earliest years of our family but it was a time when video cameras were beastly devices requiring a shoulder to rest on so while filming you looked like a soldier readying to fire a bazooka. It was also very expensive—something I distinctly remember my parents complaining about when it broke and had to be taken in for repairs. As a result, that camcorder was not a play toy. My father happily spent many weekends with us making short movies that I’m grateful were produced decades before embarrassing home movies could be easily shared online, but he was always the person behind the camera. That would change several years later when Sony made camcorders smaller and more affordable using the same formula that made the portable cassette player one of the most popular consumer electronic devices of all time.

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Before the iPod came along, the Walkman was the ubiquitous term for any portable music device that could be easily carried around in hand. The company’s clever approach to branding it, emphasizing portability right in the name, eventually gave birth to the Sony Handycam in 1985. For consumers who were used to hoisting heavy camcorders onto their shoulders, a video camera you could easily use and hold in one hand was nothing short of miraculous. Sony took advantage of an 8-millimeter tape format called Video8 released the year prior that was much smaller than VHS tapes and the Betamax tapes that Sony failed to sell to consumers, but still dominated news rooms and TV studios around the world.

Video8, and its eventual successor Hi-8 which offered improved quality, allowed camcorders to be considerably smaller and easier to use, and more appealing to actually carry around for family get togethers and vacations. It also meant that consumer-grade camcorders could be made a lot cheaper, which is probably one of the main reasons my grandparents finally bought themselves one. I don’t remember the exact make and model of the Handycam my grandparents owned (it was very close to the model pictured above) but what I do remember is by that time my parents’ camcorder was old, outdated, and barely held a charge for more than a few minutes. As far as I know, to this day it’s still sitting in its fancy carrying case on a shelf in a closet in their home.

Not only was my grandparent’s camera smaller and better, but they were also willing to let my siblings and I have some fun with it. I can remember an evening spent playing with its titling feature that turned stills of hand drawn text into colorful video overlays, which we used to capture weird and silly faces instead. Our most enjoyable video experiments came when we dug into the instruction manual and discovered the camera’s “Sport mode” and its ability to play back videos frame-by-frame. Sport mode was simply the consumer-friendly term Sony gave to a setting that maximized the camcorder’s shutter speed, ensuring that kids captured running across a soccer field during a game wouldn’t appear as nondescript blurs when the video was played back.

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We weren’t soccer players, but we had an abundance of Hot Wheels toy cars, what turned out to be 30+ feet of orange track, and an old play set that encouraged kids to smash cars together like a miniature crash testing facility. With an unsafe length of orange track hung from the ceiling leading to the crash site, we positioned the Handycam so that it was focused on the scene of impact and turned on Sport mode in hopes of capturing our own crude versions of slow motion crash test footage.

What we failed to realize was that a fast shutter speed works great outdoors with the sun shining, but simply can’t capture enough light indoors to see anything. We spent the next hour harvesting every single lamp, flashlight, and power bar in the house and surrounded the play set and the camera with so many exposed bulbs that we had to wear sunglasses indoors. But it worked, and for the next six hours we’d send cars hurdling down the track and crashing into other vehicles and obstacles, and then watch the instant replay, frame-by-frame, on a nearby TV. We were essentially the Slow Mo Guys but with cheaper equipment and decades before YouTube became a thing.

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Surprisingly, 36 years after its debut, Sony still sells Handycams, but the company has long since ditched cassette tapes for solid state flash memory. Modern Handycams are roughly the size of a can of soup and capture footage at resolutions up to 4K. Given the capabilities of modern smartphones the market for standalone video cameras has shrunk dramatically since 1985. Why carry a separate device when your phone makes it easy to quickly capture a moment in 4K, even in slow motion, and then immediately share it with friends and family around the world? Instead, the Handycam line now focuses on features targeted at more professional users including multiple sensors for improved image quality and a level of zoom that smartphones currently can’t provide.

My grandparents’ Handycam stopped working decades ago, but the lessons learned from experimenting with it have stuck with me to this day. AI-powered smartphone cameras are undeniably easier to use, but there’s something to be said for figuring out and understanding the fundamentals and inner-workings of a device, including its limitations, as we discovered when trying to shoot indoors with a fast shutter. I’ll admit that more often than not I’ll reach for my smartphone when I need to record a video, and while capturing crashes in slow motion decades later yields vastly superior results, it’s still not the technology that makes it fun, but the experimentation.

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All the Ways You Can Make Use of Your Old PS4 or Xbox One

Illustration for article titled All the Ways You Can Make Use of Your Old PS4 or Xbox One

Photo: Alex Cranz/Gizmodo

If you’ve just upgraded to a Sony PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, or Xbox Series S, you might be wondering whether your existing console is just going to sit in a corner gathering dust. Are you really going to go back to it all that much? If the answer is probably no, then you’ve got a few different options when it comes to what to do with it.

One option is of course to simply carry on gaming: You may have built up a huge collection of titles, and new releases are still going to appear for the last generation of machines for a while yet. If you don’t want to move your games over to your new console, then you can still get hours and hours of fun out of the old one yet.

If you decide that you’re going to do most or all of your gaming on your new console in the future, then there are really two main options for your old PS4 or Xbox One: Either repurpose it using the other apps available for the hardware, or say goodbye to it by putting it up for sale, donating it to a worthy cause, or recycling it.

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Should you have any more ideas for how you’re going to make use of your old console, we’d love to hear them—leave them in the comments below.

Turn It Into a Media Center

If you’re not going to carry on gaming with your old PS4 or Xbox One, but you still want to hang on to it, the obvious alternative use is as a media center: Both the Sony and the Microsoft consoles support a bunch of video and music apps that you can carry on using while keeping the gaming machine hooked up to a TV or monitor.

Some of the movie and TV show apps you can install on either of these consoles include Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, Disney Plus, and HBO Max. Even Apple TV has now made its way to the PS4 and the Xbox One, so you can queue up all the digital media you’ve bought from Apple and the Apple TV Plus streaming service. On the music side, there’s Spotify and Pandora on both consoles and SoundCloud on the Xbox One.

Plex is another option, the versatile app that lets you stream movies, TV shows, and music stored in digital form from a computer on your local network right to your PS4 or Xbox One. If you’ve got a ton of digital content trapped on a Windows or macOS machine somewhere in the house, you can use Plex to stream it to your old games console with the minimum of fuss.

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Netflix runs just about anywhere, including on games consoles.

Netflix runs just about anywhere, including on games consoles.
Screenshot: Netflix

All of these apps are simple and quick to install, and can be accessed from the respective app stores on the PlayStation 4 or the Xbox One—subscription prices will vary from app to app, but once you’re signed in and set up, you can start watching pretty much straight away.

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Don’t forget the ability of the PS4 and the Xbox One to play discs either—you can spin up Blu-rays, DVDs, and even CDs using the consoles, depending on the machine. The PS4 can play Blu-rays and DVDs, but not CDs; the Xbox One consoles (with the obvious exception of the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition) are able to play Blu-rays, DVDs, and CDs. Just slot in the disc to get started.

There’s an extra option if you’ve got an Xbox One and a Windows computer somewhere else on your home network. Get the Wireless Display app installed on your Xbox console, and as long as you’re on the same network, you should be able to use the console as a wireless, second screen for your PC: You can beam over photos, websites, movies, games or whatever you want. On Windows, open Settings then go to Devices, Bluetooth & other devices, and Add Bluetooth or other device to make the connection.

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Sell or Donate It

If you’re not going to keep gaming on your old console, or use it as a media center, then you can opt to sell or donate it. Donating will leave you with a fuzzy glow but less cash: You shouldn’t have to look for long to find a niece, nephew, neighbor, or friend who will gladly take your PS4 or Xbox One (and all the associated games) off your hands.

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Should you not be able to find anyone, plenty of charities and institutions (like hospitals and youth centers) will take an old PS4 or Xbox One off your hands, including the likes of Charity Nerds and Gamers Outreach—but always get in touch with them in advance to check. Most charities that accept donations should be open to the donation.

You might want to hang on to your PS4 or Xbox controllers—they can be used with the newer consoles, or with your smartphone, or with a Windows computer. If you do any gaming anywhere else, then it might be worth hanging on to your controller and repurposing it for use on a different device.

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Keep your fingers off your iPhone screen by connecting up a gamepad.

Keep your fingers off your iPhone screen by connecting up a gamepad.
Photo: Apple

As for selling, trading your console in is the most convenient option, though you’ll probably get less money for it. From retailers like GameStop to online outfits like BuyBackWorld, you’ve got a few places to pick from—just make sure you look up the instructions for fully resetting your console and wiping it clean before you part with it.

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Direct selling sites like eBay or Craigslist are more effort but will usually return you more money. If you’re new to selling relatively high-price gadgets on these sites, check out the help pages before you get started: Take lots of photos, be detailed in your listings, and get some help from a more experienced seller, if you can.

Whatever you do, don’t just put your console in the trash. Even broken devices will fetch money on eBay (they’ll probably be repaired or used for parts), and Best Buy and Microsoft are just two of several options for recycling your PS4 or Xbox One. Once you’ve responsibly disposed of your old hardware in whatever way you see fit, you can make the most of gaming on your new console.

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All the Best New TVs Announced at CES 2021

Illustration for article titled All the Best New TVs Announced at CES 2021

Graphic: Gizmodo, Image: TCL, Panasonic, Samsung, Sony, LG

CES was very different this year. Show floors in Vegas hotels were swapped for an entirely virtual event and back-to-back Zoom presentations. That can make demoing the technology powering new OLED or 8K TVs a little tough. But from what we did get to see coming out of this year’s CES, there’s plenty to be excited about.

Sony kicked off CES 2021 by announcing new OLED, 4K, and 8K TVs in its Bravia XR family of displays, all of which will feature its new Cognitive Processor XR. The big thing to know about this powerful new chip is the way it enhances audio and video in an attempt to create an overall more immersive experience. The primary way the chip does this is by zeroing in on the natural focal point of an image and improving the quality of that object or person to make it look more realistic. The chip is also supposed to improve upscaling from formats like 4K to 8K by reducing noise and blur. That should perk the ears of anyone entertaining buying an 8K set this year, as there’s still very little 8K content of which to speak.

Illustration for article titled All the Best New TVs Announced at CES 2021

Image: Sony

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In addition to its fancy new chip, some of Sony’s TVs this year will feature ambient light sensors to adjust the brightness of the screen to better match the light in a given viewing environment. This certainly sounds like a neat feature, but we’re eager to try it in person and with a number of different entertainment setups, including with Hue lighting. Beyond that, this year’s Sony TVs will be powered by Google TV, an exciting upgrade from Android TV. And all of its Bravia XR displays will have HDMI 2.1 support for 4K 120fps, Variable Refresh Rate, Auto Low Latency Mode, and e-ARC—a pretty big leap from its paltry inclusion in last year’s TVs.

The Bravia XR lineup of TVs will include the X95J and X90J 4K LED TVs, Master Series Z9J 8K LED, and the Master Series A90J and A80J OLEDs, as well as a slightly differently spec’d 100-inch version of the X90J called the X92. Pricing will be announced later down the line.

Illustration for article titled All the Best New TVs Announced at CES 2021

Image: Samsung

Samsung announced new microLED TVs in 99-inch, 88-inch, and 110-inch display sizes—all of which will borrow their technology from Samsung’s existing modular super-screen The Wall, a product that was pretty neat but not especially suited to consumers who just want to unbox a TV the normal way rather than it needing to be installed by a professional. These new TVs will check that box.

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Additionally, Samsung is introducing more customization options for its The Frame display, the company’s most popular TV for its ability to camouflage into a room’s decor by looking more like a framed artwork than an imposing black mirror in the middle of your space. Samsung’s Neo QLED TVs, meanwhile, use more and smaller LED lights to deliver better and more controlled brightness while also minimizing blooming. Lastly, Samsung is rolling out a new remote for all of its 2021 QLED 4K and 8K TV—and it charges on solar. Samsung says this remote can charge on both indoor and outdoor light, as well as through a USB-C port. That’s exciting! But we’d love to see this remote in action before getting too hype. In the meantime, we’re cautiously optimistic.

Let’s chat about TCL for a moment because this company really wowed me this year with the promise of massive screens at an affordable price point and the introduction of 8K on its popular 6-Series display (we’re big fans of it here at Gizmodo). At least three screens will ship in 85-inch variations this year, including a 4K QLED with Roku, an 8K QLED TV, and a 4-Series that will retail for $1,600. That’s a steal! While the other two will definitely still be pretty pricey, TCL will likely undercut many TV makers in the space for similarly spec’d 85-inch displays. Also an 8K 6-Series? I’m looking forward to seeing that upscaling in action, but TCL’s got a lot of competition on this front. And to be clear: Just because you can buy an 8K TV doesn’t necessarily mean you should.

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Illustration for article titled All the Best New TVs Announced at CES 2021

Image: Panasonic

Panasonic is taking a decidedly more modest approach—size-wise, at least—to its marquee OLED for 2021. The JZ2000 will be available in both 55-inch and 65-inch sizes, which is definitely enough TV for most people in my opinion. Panasonic says this OLED will be brighter and feature better on-unit sound, and the TV will get support for features like eARC, auto low latency mode (ALLM), and variable refresh rate (VRR). That might make it a pretty attractive pick for gamers, but we’ll have to see how it performs first. Its My Home Screen will also be getting a refresh—though that may be less important to folks who already cut the cord and use a streaming device.

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And last but not least, LG, which is finally doing miniLED. The OLED king will introduce both 4K and 8K miniLED displays this year, as well as new C1 OLEDs starting at 48-inch screens and G1 OLEDs in 55-inch displays and up. Like Panasonic, LG is also redesigning its native WebOS operating system. I’m a little on the fence about this one. Nothing about LG’s previous OS was necessarily bad, and this one looks a lot like, well, just about everything else. But we’re looking forward to a hands-on demo with this new OS version later this year.

We’re live from our couches covering CES 2021! Click here to read our complete coverage.

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Mash the Buy Button for Final Fantasy VII Remake, The Last of Us Part II, and More in Today’s Best PlayStation Deals

Illustration for article titled Mash the Buy Button for iFinal Fantasy VII Remake/i, iThe Last of Us Part II/i, and More in Todays Best PlayStation Deals

Graphic: Gabe Carey

Best Tech DealsBest Tech DealsThe best tech deals from around the web, updated daily.

Featured Deal: Final Fantasy VII Remake | $30 | Amazon

The best Sony PlayStation deals for January 2021 are here.

The PS5 is finally here, and good luck finding one: they’ve been popping in and out of stock at retailers so far, and they’re likely to remain scarce for months to come. It’s the usual console launch routine, but we wish you well if you’re still on the hunt.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for PS4 game deals, Sony and its partners havs just rolled out big savings on smashes like Final Fantasy VII Remake, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, and The Last of Us Part II, along with other gems. And you can save on PlayStation Plus and handy accessories, as well!

PlayStation Plus 2-Year Membership | $58

Use code PSPLUSJANUARY at checkout

Illustration for article titled Mash the Buy Button for iFinal Fantasy VII Remake/i, iThe Last of Us Part II/i, and More in Todays Best PlayStation Deals

Image: Quentyn Kennemer

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A PlayStation Plus membership is essential if you want to play PS4 games online, but at $60 a year, it might seem a bit steep.

Luckily, you can grab a 24-month membership now for just $59 through Eneba using the promo code PSPLUSJANUARY. The subscription also grants you free games to download each and every month, which you can keep for as long as your Plus plan stays active. Just add this one-year subscription to your cart, up the quantity to two in the cart, and then pop in the code.

Disclaimer: While we’ve heard your complaints about our use of Eneba links in the past, note the redirection to EU region-locked products has since been resolved by our affiliate partners at Eneba and Awin.

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Katamari Damacy REROLL | $20

Illustration for article titled Mash the Buy Button for iFinal Fantasy VII Remake/i, iThe Last of Us Part II/i, and More in Todays Best PlayStation Deals

Screenshot: Bandai Namco

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The PlayStation 2 cult classic is back in action on PS4 in Katamari Damacy REROLL, in which you control the Prince of Cosmos as he seeks to roll up the world’s stuff—including people, places, things, and creatures—into a giant ball. Why? Well, to send up to space as a star to appease the wacky King of All Cosmos, of course. It’s deeply weird and seriously wonderful. Save $10 at Amazon.

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Dreams | $20

Illustration for article titled Mash the Buy Button for iFinal Fantasy VII Remake/i, iThe Last of Us Part II/i, and More in Todays Best PlayStation Deals

Image: Andrew Hayward

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Dreams is one of the most awe-inspiring games on PlayStation 4, with the developer behind LittleBigPlanet delivering even more powerful and surreal game creation tools for the average player to use. The results have been spectacular, and you can even experience it in PlayStation VR if you please. Save $20 off right now.

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Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time | $35

Illustration for article titled Mash the Buy Button for iFinal Fantasy VII Remake/i, iThe Last of Us Part II/i, and More in Todays Best PlayStation Deals

Image: Andrew Hayward

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It’s about time… for you to jump on this deal for Crash Bandicoot 4 if you’re a fan of the old-school platforming hero. He’s back with a brand new core series entry more than two decades after the last one on PS4, and right now it’s $25 off at Amazon.

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BEBONCOOL PS4 Controller Charging Dock | $12

Illustration for article titled Mash the Buy Button for iFinal Fantasy VII Remake/i, iThe Last of Us Part II/i, and More in Todays Best PlayStation Deals

Image: Ignacia Fulcher

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Stop hunting for a charging cable every time your PS4 gamepads run out of juice. Use BEBONCOOL’s simple charging dock instead to ensure that your DualShock 4 controllers are always topped up. This dock holds two controllers at once and takes about two hours to restore them to 100%. It’s a couple bucks off right now, too.

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Final Fantasy VII Remake | $30

Illustration for article titled Mash the Buy Button for iFinal Fantasy VII Remake/i, iThe Last of Us Part II/i, and More in Todays Best PlayStation Deals

Screenshot: Square Enix

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If you didn’t already jump on the Final Fantasy VII Remake when it released this last spring, now’s the time: it’s $30 off at Amazon and Walmart.

Square Enix lovingly recreated the 1997 classic for modern hardware… well, at least part of it! Final Fantasy VII Remake turns the initial chunk of the game within Midgar into a much larger 40-hour-ish adventure, with the later parts of the quest to be released down the line.

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DIRT 5 | $40

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Image: Andrew Hayward

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You can already save $20 on the newly-released DIRT 5 for PlayStation 4, and it comes with a free upgrade to the enhanced PS5 edition out later this month. Codemasters’ latest rally racer features tracks spread across 10 global locales, a narrative campaign mode, and local split-screen modes for couch play. You’ll get a free upgrade to the PS5 version, too, if you have (or get) the PS5 with a disc drive.

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The Last of Us Part II | $30

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Image: Andrew Hayward

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The year’s biggest PS4 release to date, The Last of Us Part II is another blockbuster smash from Naughty Dog, featuring the kind of incredible emotional heft and attention to detail that made the first game and the Uncharted series so legendary. It’s half-off at Amazon.

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Immortals Fenyx Rising | $30

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Image: Andrew Hayward

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If you’re on the hunt for a brand new adventure, Ubisoft’s just-released Immortals Fenyx Rising could do the trick. It’s like a more cartoonish and humorous Assassin’s Creed with a more focused open-world environment, plus some clear influence from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Save half off on PS4, which upgrades free to the PS5 version as well.

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Assassin’s Creed Valhalla | $40

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Screenshot: Ubisoft

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Ubisoft’s latest historical action romp explores the Viking invasion of England with a dash of Norse mythology in the mix, and the result is another gorgeous, compelling adventure with exciting combat and loads to keep you busy. Right now, Amazon has one of the holiday’s biggest hits on sale for $40 on PS5 or on PS4.

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DualShock 4 Back Button Attachment | $20

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Image: Giovanni Colantonio

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Ultimately, Sony’s curious PlayStation 4 DualShock 4 Back Button Attachment wasn’t the PS5 controller foreshadowing that many assumed it to be. Still, if you want the ability to add a pair of customizable buttons to the back of your PS4 controller, complete with a tiny screen that shows the current mapping assignments, it’s $10 off at Amazon right now. It’s a good way to upgrade your current, basic controller rather than splashing out on a fancy, $100+ controller.

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Yakuza: Like a Dragon | $35

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Just a couple months after release, you can already snag Sega’s Yakuza: Like a Dragon on PS4 for $25 off the list price. This role-playing adventure takes place in Yokohama as you take the role of a long-imprisoned gangster, now free and seeking the truth behind the betrayal that landed him in the big house. It’s ripe with personality and has a new turn-based battle system, unlike the many previous entries.

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Nioh 2 | $10

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You might’ve missed Nioh 2 last spring during the whole world-gripping pandemic thing (still happening, btw), but now’s the perfect time to loop back on this stellar sequel. Nioh 2 amps up the intensity of the Dark Souls-esque samurai experience and scored great reviews in the process. It’s just $10 right now for the standard edition, a steep discount from the original list prices.

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WD Black 5TB P10 Game Drive | $120

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It’s pretty easy to fill up your PlayStation 4’s hard drive with games, especially bigger AAA fare, but you can boost your storage tally at a discount right now.

Amazon has the WD Black 5TB P10 Game Drive for $30 off right now. This external hard drive plugs right into your console with a USB cable and lets you download and store potentially dozens more games for easy access.

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Sony’s 2021 TVs Are Gamer Ready, and Some Feature Nifty Ambient Light Sensors

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Image: Sony

Sony’s latest TVs are getting a big processor upgrade and a new native OS experience.

The company this week announced its 2021 line of Bravia XR displays, which are powered by Sony’s new Cognitive Processor XR. Sony is extremely proud of the new chip, which handles both video and audio processing and upscaling to ideally provide a better picture. Sony says this technology has the ability to identify the natural focal point of images on a screen and enhance the most important parts of those pictures to make them more lifelike. So in a scene where the hero is bloodied up in the foreground and a copse of trees is in the background, the processor will ideally prioritize improving the foreground elements of the image.

On the upscaling front, the new processor will now sample from a wider range of content when using AI to upscale content to 4K and 8K. For example, instead of simply referring to images of a castle when a castle is on screen, the processor would also refer to images of stone, as that’s what the castle is actually made from. That should provide a sharper image with less of the unattractive blur and noise that can plague upscaled content.

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And it’s not just images that get a boost—the company says the Cognitive Processor XR can upconvert sound to create a more immersive sound stage as well. Apparently even upconverting 2.1 and 5.1 audio to 5.1.2 surround.

Illustration for article titled Sonys 2021 TVs Are Gamer Ready, and Some Feature Nifty Ambient Light Sensors

Image: Sony

Besides the new processor, Sony’s also putting new ambient light sensors on its high-end sets that will not just adjust the brightness based on the brightness of the room, but adjust the white balance as well. Sony hasn’t disclosed exactly how the white balance adjustments will work and whether the TV will turn orange if you set all your Hue lights to red, for example. But it’s a potentially neat feature!

This new Bravia XR family includes the X95J and X90J 4K LED TVs, Master Series Z9J 8K LED, and the Master Series A90J and A80J OLEDs. In addition to their picture- and sound-enhancing smarts, all TVs in the Bravia XR lineup will also run on Google TV, a favorite OS among the staff here at Gizmodo that improved upon the Android TV experience (which is also great). And all models in this family will also be gamer ready, with each supporting 4K at 120fps, Variable Refresh Rate (VRR), Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM), and e-ARC. That’s a huge step up from last year, when Sony’s support for HDMI 2.1 features in TVs was extremely lacking.

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Sony’s X90J, X95J, and A80J models will all be equipped with XR 4K upscaling. The X90J will be available in 50-inch to 75-inch display sizes, while a 100-inch version of this TV will be called the X92 and will not include an Acoustic Multi-Audio feature available on smaller screens. The X95J will ship in 65-inch to 85-inch sizes that offer multiple stand orientations. The A80J OLED will be available in 55-inch to 77-inch displays, and the Master Series A90J OLED will be available in 55-inch, 65-inch, and 83-inch versions. The Master Series Z9J 8K LED, meanwhile, will be limited to 75-inch and 85-inch screen sizes.

These TVs will also get support for Sony’s Netflix Calibrated Mode, IMAX Enhanced, hands-free navigation with Google Assistant that’s baked directly into the TVs themselves, ATSC 3.0, ambient sound and picture optimization features, Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos, and Google Assistant- and Alexa-enabled devices. All good stuff that’ll probably cost ya!

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Sony is tight-lipped about pricing for now, though. The company said it will officially announce pricing for these models in Spring, so there’s still time to dream.

And if you want to see more new gadgets and devices from CES 2021, click here to read our complete coverage.

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Update: After publication, Sony said that the 100-inch version of the X90J will be called X92 moving forward. We’ve updated this article to reflect the change.