You can now play every classic Halo on Xbox with a mouse and keyboard

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You can now play every classic Halo on Xbox with a mouse and keyboard

Today, you can fire up an Xbox game console and play Halo with a mouse and keyboard. It’s hard to believe I’m writing those words.

Five years ago, I asked a small room of first-party Xbox devs how they felt about supporting mouse and keyboard (now that their boss Phil Spencer had confirmed they were on the way), but they were seriously skeptical. It took two more years for the Xbox One to get even a handful of keyboard and mouse titles in a November 2018 update. Even though games like COD: Warzone and Fortnite have paved the way for controller parity, the industry is still understandably wary about mixing console and keyboard players.

But now, keyboard and mouse is a native part of Halo: The Master Chief Collection (including Halo CE, Halo 2, Halo 3, Halo 3: ODST, Halo: Reach, and Halo 4) as of a new April 2021 patch, and it’s not alone: every Xbox that can play the game will let you adjust your field of view, crosshairs, and bind controls across multiple inputs, like any good competitive PC-grade shooter should.

Not only does that mean parity with PC, but it might actually make the Xbox version of Halo: MCC preferable for some. As my colleague Tom Warren points out, it’s easier to avoid cheaters in console games:

The full patch notes also mention new accessibility options, a new “Escalation Slayer” game variant, a new map for Halo 3, and you can easily set your in-game chat and audio devices separately now on PC. And of course, there’s a new season of content dubbed “Raven.” More info on that here.

Me, I’ve played Halo with a mouse and keyboard almost since the beginning. The first copy I owned was the Gearbox port for PC. It’s been a longtime favorite at LAN parties. Ah, do I miss LAN parties.

Published at Wed, 07 Apr 2021 19:28:17 +0000

Dell’s speckled G15 brings high-end AMD Ryzen processors to value-minded gamers

Alongside the Alienware M15 R5 Ryzen Edition, Dell is also launching a more affordable 15-inch Dell G15 Ryzen Edition gaming laptop. It’s for people who still want to experience AMD’s fast Ryzen 5000 H-series processors, along with an Nvidia RTX 3060 graphics chip, but for less. If the M15 R5’s $1,793.98 starting price is too high, the G15’s $899.99 entry-level configuration might be a more reasonable price point for you to jump in.

The G15’s speckled design might look familiar to you. That’s because Dell actually launched the Intel-based version of this model already, but in China first. This new Ryzen-based laptop is landing first in China as well, on April 30th, followed by a May 4th release elsewhere around the globe.

The starting configuration of the G15 Ryzen Edition will be fairly barebones in terms of RAM and storage, shipping with 8GB of 3,200MHz DDR4 RAM, and 256GB of NVMe M.2 capacity. It packs plenty of power otherwise for a $900 laptop, with a Ryzen 5 5600H hexa-core processor and an Nvidia RTX 3060 with 6GB of VRAM. In case you want something more powerful, the CPU be tweaked up to the Ryzen 7 5800H octa-core CPU, RAM can be added (either through Dell or by opening the laptop yourself), and you can configure it with up to 2TB of solid-state storage. The more powerful processor can also come with a bigger six-cell 86Wh battery, though you’ll get a three-cell 56Wh pack at the $900 mark.

At launch, the G15 can also be configured with a 120Hz refresh rate FHD panel at a fairly standard 250 nits of brightness, or a brighter 300-nit screen with a faster 165Hz refresh rate. Dell says a 360Hz refresh rate screen will be available later in the spring. Dell says the new G15 has adopted an “Alienware-inspired” thermal design to keep it running efficiently, and it certainly looks the part. It’ll come in at least two speckled colors at launch, a green and a grey. Later this year, an all-black model will be available.

Dell G15

This laptop ships by default with non-backlit, spill-resistant keyboard, but there are some upgrades you can make here. The first step up adds orange backlighting beneath the entire keyboard and emphasizes WASD. If orange doesn’t do it for you, there’s a four-zone RGB backlit keyboard that you can customize for a more colorful presentation.

If the Ryzen Edition G15 is anything like last year’s G5 15 SE in terms of performance, I’m excited to test it out. Assuming that it does, even the lower-end model should be reasonably powerful for people trying to stretch their dollar as far as possible.

If you really want the Intel version, Dell says a variant of it will launch in the US on April 13th for $799.99, but it’ll feature a last-gen 10th Gen Intel processor. Dell included this bit of information practically as a footnote, to give you an idea of how much emphasis it’s putting behind Ryzen this time around. The starting model features a Core i5-10200H quad-core CPU with Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1650 graphics chip. Upgrading can net you the vastly more powerful Core i7-10870H octa-core CPU with the RTX 3060, and you can get Thunderbolt ports. Dell didn’t share the price for the high-end Intel model.

Correction: Alienware lowered the starting price of its M15 R5 from $2,229.99 to $1,793.98, so I changed the price mentioned in the opening paragraph to reflect this update.

Published at Wed, 07 Apr 2021 19:25:28 +0000

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