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Samsung Galaxy S6, HTC One M9 up to pre-order on Amazon for the standard price

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Most people prefer to buy their smartphones from their carrier of choice, but for the rest of us, Amazon is often the best alternative available. The good news is that Amazon is now taking pre-orders for the Samsung Galaxy S6, Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge, and HTC One M9. The bad news is that the retailer giant is also only selling phones that have one carrier’s brand painted on them, so I guess we’ll have to wait a bit longer before fully unlocked versions of these devices become available. Still, at least you’ll be able to pre-order the Samsung Galaxy S6 or the HTC One M9 from Amazon and not have to deal with the carriers themselves. In addition, the phones are available without a contract and good deals are bound to show up sooner or later.

For now though, Amazon is offering all the upcoming handsets at some pretty standard prices. Take the Samsung Galaxy S6 for example. You can pre-order this bad boy on AT&T for the price of $685 for the 32GB variant, $785 for the 64GB, or $885 for the 128 GB version. Sprint is a bit more expensive and is offering the device for $700 for the 32GB  model and $800 for the 64GB. No 128 GB version though. Similarly, Amazon is listing the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge for both carriers and the prices range from $815 up to almost $1000, depending on variant. Color options include White Pearl, Black Sapphire, and Gold Platinum.

As for the HTC One M9, we’re looking at a bit more variety in terms of carriers, with the AT&T model being listed for $710 and the Sprint and Verizon versions for $750. The HTC One M9 only comes with 32GB on board, so there are no other variants when it comes to the storage. Color options here include “Gold on Silver” and Gunmetal Grey.

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Consoles

Despite popular belief, PS4 sales in the UK skyrocketed last year

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PS4 sales in the UK climbed by a shocking 633 percent year-over-year in 2023, so apparently the old system isn’t dead yet. The previous year’s very limited supply of the system is likely a major factor in this figure, since the console’s lifespan was drastically reduced because of chip shortages caused by the pandemic. Still, it’s proof that PlayStation’s original platform has unmet demand.

With the very low prices of PS4 software (both in-store and online at the PS Store), this strategy makes a lot of sense. Plus, it’s future-proof, so there’s no harm in stocking up on PS4s while new-gen pricing is still high, since if you decide to switch to a PS5 in the future, you can transfer all of your purchases across. Not to mention that the majority of new releases still come out on the PS4, with several offering free PS5 upgrades.

While the percentage rise may seem huge, real PS4 sales will probably be much lower. It’s a sign that the gadget, which is now a decade old, isn’t completely dead yet, and we expect it to keep receiving maintenance for a while longer. Of course, this is great news for Sony, because the company would rather have PS4 players playing on its last-gen gadget than none at all, even if it would love to have them upgrade to PS5.

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Consoles

New PS5 firmware is available for download!

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A PS5 firmware update on a cold winter morning is unmatched. The latest PS5 system software update is 23.02–08.40.00 from Sony. Does this one add useful features or just boost system performance?

Though closer to the latter, it’s more than Sony’s favorite patch note. It fixes security issues, improves messages and usability, and boosts system software performance. Official patch notes for this 1.185GB update:

  • We updated system software security
  • We improved system software stability and performance
  • Some screens now have better messages and usability

That’s it. PS5 gets another win to recover from its midweek slump. Do you share our enthusiasm for this firmware update? Comment below. To spice things up, make your comment rhyme.

 

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Baldur’s Gate 3’s Xbox Version Will Help PS5

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Belgian developer Larian Studios’ work on Baldur’s Gate 3’s Xbox Series S version will improve performance on all platforms, including PS5. The game’s fifth major patch, expected to launch this week, will include upgrades and new features. More details will be revealed later today.

Director of Publishing Michael Douse says PS5 performance improvements may be the “least exciting thing” in the title’s next update, so it sounds like a big one. Larian Studios employees are proud of “finally” implementing tweaks, fixes, and changes, Douse says. Later today, we’ll bring you all the Baldur’s Gate 3 update details.

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Those who reached the RPG’s third act have reported technical issues during the narrative’s conclusion, especially in co-op, so today’s update should fix them. New features like a permadeath mode are expected, along with Xbox Series S optimization fixes. What else should be added to the game?

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