Top Contenders for GOTY 2023
The 2023 Game of the Year debate is heating up following the success of several major titles this year. Tears of the Kingdom is our pick for this year's winner, with the game trumping Baldur's Gate 3 and Starfield in at least one core area. However, October 20 will see the highly anticipated release of Marvel's Spider-Man 2 on PlayStation 5. Only time will tell how that plays out, but one thing's certain: this year's battle for the Game of the Year crown is going to be something that will be talked about for a long time. So read on to check out our list of this year's top 10 contenders for GOTY 2023.
What is the Game Awards?
The Game Awards ceremony is an hours-long celebration of video games and their surrounding communities held annually in the first half of December, with awards ceremonies, trailer reveals, and upcoming game announcements. Important video game industry figures, developers, esports athletes, actors, executives, and streamers attend the event as guests, presenters, and nominees. The Game Awards is the biggest gaming award show out there. Although there are others, The Game Awards always seems to bring the most hype and excitement. Especially when it comes to their Game of the Year category. The Game Awards 2023 will be held on December 7.
What is Game of the Year?
The Game Awards has 31 categories, from best narrative to best esports team, and includes contests for best game direction, indie, score, and performance. However, the award that generates the most buzz is the Game of the Year award. Game of the Year is an award presented annually by The Game Awards that is given to a video game judged to deliver the best experience across creative and technical fields.
Top 10 contenders for Game of the Year 2023
1. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
Just when people thought nothing could top Link’s journey in Breath of the Wild, the sequel to that game successfully delivered an experience as compelling as the last one. Tears of the Kingdom, which sees Link return to defend the vast land of Hyrule once more, features the most impressive open world map of any Zelda game to date, with so much interactive content to explore it seems nearly endless. The sequel took everything from its predecessor and expanded upon it. Along with that, it introduced an entirely unique crafting mechanic that allows players to build just about anything they can think of, from weapons to flying machines. More than 10 million copies were sold in the first three days, making it the fastest selling game in the Zelda franchise. Tears of the Kingdom, in our opinion, has the greatest potential for taking the GOTY 2023 award home.
2. Baldur's Gate 3
Baldur’s Gate 3 takes the CRPG genre and thrusts it into the next generation of gaming. Many games like to start slow before ramping up the action, but Baldur’s Gate 3 starts guns blazing, with you as a captive on a Mindflayer ship after being infected with a parasite. From there, you fight to take over the ship and crash land it, and off begins a wild journey to figure out how to get this alien parasite out of your head. The game is adapted from the Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition rulebook, which means your choices in approaching situations are almost endless, with the only limit often being your imagination. The cast you come across throughout the massive, 100-hour adventure is full of engaging personalities, each with fascinating backstories to explore. Larian Studios took the budget they accrued from the success of Divinity: Original Sin 2 and used it in the best way possible. All of this is enjoyable with friends online or in couch co-op, and it culminates without hyperbole into one of the greatest video games ever made.
3. Final Fantasy XVI
This action JRPG is the latest instalment of the franchise since 2016. Opting this time for a more medieval fantasy vibe, Final Fantasy XVI features nearly unparalleled graphics and cinematics throughout the entire storyline, immersing the player from the get-go among all the characters, the gargantuan Eikons, and the captivating and emotional story of main protagonist Clive Rosfield. Square Enix’s most acclaimed developers, including top developer Naoki Yoshida (Yoshi-P) and composer Masayoshi Soken, collaborated to bring it all to life. The game features high-octane battles and a compelling storyline, with satisfying, fast-paced combat. Final Fantasy XVI can cater to both single player and multiplayer audiences, and it features over-the-top gameplay elements with intense large-scale bosses like the series is known for. Despite the fact that it is a PlayStation 5 exclusive (for now), Final Fantasy XVI is a worthy contender for the GOTY award.
4. Resident Evil 4 Remake
It's not every day that a remake comes out and surpasses the original. Resident Evil 4 Remake proved to be one of those rare gems. Capcom did a commendable job on the classic action-horror from 2005. Along with a graphical overhaul that rivals modern day games, the clumsy controls were also revamped for a smooth gameplay experience. The remake also features some new narrative elements and additional characters that improve upon the original game while staying true to its original concept. You can feel the immersion as a player the moment you set foot on the Spanish village of Valdelobos as Leon.
5. Armored Core™ VI: Fires of Rubicon™
Positioned as a bit of a reboot for the series, Fires of Rubicon is as much a reintroduction for returning players as it is a primer for newcomers for whom this is their first Armored Core game. In the game, you are a shell of a deceased, augmented human grafted into the shell of an Armored Core. Your first mission for your handler, Walter, is to land on Rubicon and get yourself into the mercenary system so you can start to make money. Fires of Rubicon is a modern classic and quite literally is “just” a rock-solid action game. Which is no surprise, considering it was developed by the renowned FromSoftware, who also created last year’s GOTY, Elden Ring. Although not an open-world game and not having any side missions to complete, Fires of Rubicon does feature fast-paced action and deep customizability of your Armored Core shell, allowing for diverse gameplay and intense boss fights that test any type of loadout. The game has a steep learning curve, but once you get the hang of it, the exciting gameplay makes this one of the best modern action games.
6. Hogwarts Legacy
Hogwarts Legacy, developed by Avalanche Software, stands as probably the biggest wildcard on our list. The huge, open-world fantasy game is set in the late 1800s, a century prior to the events chronicled in the Harry Potter novels, and puts players in the shoes of a fifth-year student at Hogwarts who holds the key to an ancient secret that threatens to tear the wizarding world apart. Players can explore Hogwarts and the surrounding areas, learn spells, brew potions, and master a variety of skills all while completing fun quests inside and outside the school. Hogwarts Legacy was a massive commercial success and a hugely entertaining game in and of itself. But, unlike some of the other games on this list, it doesn't quite feature the gameplay depth or additional objectives and options to allow it to contend with the real titans of this year. That being said, the way Avalanche offered up magical spells and presented the castle of Hogwarts, the town of Hogsmeade, and the surrounding countryside, is more than enough for Hogwarts Legacy to make the cut in this list.
Arguably the biggest game of the whole year, Starfield is a monumental release, even if only for the fact that it’s the first new IP release from Bethesda in almost 30 years. When a studio the size of Bethesda has spent decades putting out different versions of Fallout and The Elder Scrolls or publishing games made by other studios like Deathloop, DOOM, or Hi-Fi Rush, you have to take notice when they drop something brand new. A space-faring RPG that boasts up to a thousand explorable planets, each with their own points of interest, missions, and discoverables, Starfield sees you playing as a bold explorer, heading out into the wider galaxy and seeing what happens. The universe feels properly realized and lived-in, with the gorgeous aesthetics helping make the game more immersive. There is some messiness around maps, some noticeable loading times, and vast areas of planets and moons seem to be entirely devoid of life or points of interest; however, these points of contention generally fade soon enough, given that the game offers so much to do, as you improve your ship, pick up more crew, improve your own skills and stats, and tailor your hero (or space pirate, or whatever you want them to be, really) to your preferred gameplay style to complete the various missions.
8. Remnant 2
Remnant 2 does everything right regarding action RPGs. The first Remnant was a cult hit, but the sequel raised the stakes in almost every way. The sequel mixes effective melee action with gunplay-focused combat in a way that improves your options for taking on your enemies. The guns feel punchy and dangerous, and the abilities you can discover throughout the experience give the game an unofficial magic system that spices things up. Remnant 2 offers new weapons, armor, and even secret Archetypes that can completely change the way you play. The bosses are challenging, and each one is distinct from the rest, ranging from horrifying fleshy monstrosities to maze puzzles featuring alien technology that you have to solve. This sequel definitely belongs on any list of the games of 2023.
9. Diablo 4
Diablo 4 was the most highly-anticipated game from Blizzard Entertainment for some time, and it made an impressive impact upon its release in June. The fourth installment in the classic dungeon crawler franchise features incredible multiplayer RPG gameplay that allows you to choose from five playable classes as you embark on a new adventure through the human realm of Sanctuary, and of course the realm of Hell. Upon its release, the game was revered by various publications as Blizzard’s magnum opus title—its greatest since World of Warcraft—with millions of players flocking to the game as soon as the early release period went live. Diablo 4 soon became the fastest-selling game in Blizzard’s history, generating more than half a billion dollars in revenue within the first five days.
10. Star Wars Jedi: Survivor
This highly anticipated sequel to Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order continues the dramatically engaging story of exiled Jedi Knight Cal Kestis, reprised once again by the terrific Cameron Monaghan. Taking place five years after the previous game, Survivor follows Cal and his friends as they struggle to evade the tyranny of the Galactic Empire. The game takes players on yet another epic adventure across the fringes of the galaxy, while fighting for the resistance helmed by Saw Gerrera. All of the explorable level areas are even more expansive and full of fascinating lore and NPCs than in Fallen Order, capitalizing on everything that worked in the last game and making it all bigger and better. The upgrades were all very well-received by players, earning the new installment near-perfect scores across the board. Kestis’ story is definitely worthy of a GOTY nomination, and we could very well see it pop up come December.
A Review of Mortal Kombat 1
Mortal Kombat 1 is the next entry in the best-selling fighting game series Mortal Kombat. This brand new addition to the franchise is the 12th mainline game in the series and will be a reboot of the story, with the developers at NetherRealm Studios deciding that now would be the perfect time to give the series a fresh start. Not only is a continuity reboot a good way to introduce new fans to a long-running franchise, but it also provides the developers with a chance to return things back to a simpler, more focused starting point after years of expanding upon old ideas. Mortal Kombat 1 will take players back to the start of the series’ timeline for a wild revisionist version of the game while introducing new gameplay mechanics that drastically alter how the game is played. The result? An experience that has me excited for the new future of this series. Read on to learn all about the upcoming reboot, Mortal Kombat 1.
History of Mortal Kombat series
The Mortal Kombat series is set to turn 31 years old this October. The legendary arcade fighting game is known for its eccentric characters, competitive 1 on 1 gameplay, and brutal violence. Mortal Kombat set the arcade world on fire when it was released in 1992. Sure, games like Street Fighter had by that time already perfected the fighting game concept and become a household name, but Mortal Kombat broke the mold by featuring extreme graphic violence depicted using digitized actors. Its match-ending Fatalities system was particularly controversial: players were encouraged to “finish” downed opponents using various gory means. Although Mortal Kombat quickly became popular for its satisfying gameplay mechanics, public backlash from various quarters resulted in the rapid establishment in 1994 of the Electronic System Ratings Board, an industry-wide ratings system that determines the age appropriateness of video games based on their content. The Mortal Kombat series has even been censored or banned in several countries.
Mortal Kombat development team
The team behind the Mortal Kombat franchise is NetherRealm Studios, an American video game developer based in Chicago and owned by Warner Bros. Games. Led by video game industry veteran and Mortal Kombat cocreator Ed Boon, the studio is also responsible for Injustice, another popular fighting game series. Warner Bros. Games were also involved in the development of Hogwarts Legacy, the action RPG that launched earlier this year.
Mortal Kombat 1 trailer and storyline
The announcement trailer for Mortal Kombat 1 sets up the scenario for the game following the story events of Mortal Kombat 11’s Aftermath downloadable content (DLC). If you haven’t been following the admittedly complex and somewhat convoluted lore, the gist is that Fire God Liu Kang recently beat both Shang Tsung and Kronika and reset the entire timeline back to its beginning. So, although technically a sequel to Mortal Kombat 11, Mortal Kombat 1 is also a soft reboot of the lore, making it far easier for newcomers to come in without having to worry about all the timeline/time travel elements introduced in Mortal Kombat 9, 10, and 11.
Mortal Kombat 1’s trailer opens with Liu Kang explaining his decision to create a “blank canvas” where people are free to choose whether to live in peace or in combat. As he continues, we see many of the iconic characters from the past in their original forms, including Raiden, who no longer has any godly powers—those were passed to Liu Kang in Mortal Kombat 11.
Liu Kang’s efforts to create lasting peace by resetting the lives of many of the series’ villains and heroes may be noble, but this is Mortal Kombat, after all. You can probably guess that things don’t quite work out. A mysterious enemy that Liu Kang “never could have anticipated” threatens the realms, and the champions must once again be summoned—champions who are already finding reasons to get into a scrap or two.
Characters in Mortal Kombat 1
The following is the current confirmed roster of Mortal Kombat 1 characters:
* Johnny Cage
* Kung Lao
* Li Mei
* Liu Kang
* Shang Tsung (Pre-order)
* Shao Kahn
Mortal Kombat 1 gameplay mechanics
Mortal Kombat 1 will feature an overhauled fighting system with new gameplay mechanics, finishing moves, game modes, and more. Here are some of the gameplay mechanics to expect.
NetherRealm have gone back-to-basics by giving each fighter only a single variation of play. This means every Liu Kang player will be playing with the same toolkit as other Kang players, and likewise for other fighters. This should prevent differences in gear and the variations system itself from breaking the delicate balance between fighters in tournaments. Previous games required such a large number of decisions and match-up knowledge that when DLC characters were introduced into play, the information intake and decision-making required to play at a decent skill level became almost overwhelming. Mortal Kombat 1 brings the game back to the glory days of the first Mortal Kombat reboot, where players could focus less on character decision-making in menus and more on actually playing the game.
Where Mortal Kombat 1 is really differentiating itself from more recent entries is its introduction of Kameo fighters. Similar to assists in Marvel vs. Capcom and strikers in King of Fighters, Mortal Kombat 1 allows players to choose one fighter who will complement their primary choice. The roster of Kameo fighters is separate from the main roster of playable fighters and includes past versions of returning characters from early Mortal Kombat games. During a fight, players can call in their Kameo for various assists, including combo extenders, throws, and breakers. Although this means players lose interactables in the fighting arena, that functionality did not add much value and shouldn't be missed. Kameo assists feel far more intuitive and intentional in their designs. Imagine—you are in the middle of a combo as Sub-Zero, and you get to call in Sonya to blast her energy rings at your opponent. Kameo fighters also play a role in the game’s Fatal Blow system. Fatal Blows work the same way they did in Mortal Kombat 11 but now make use of both fighters, allowing for wild combinations and more of the gory spectacle that players have come to expect from this series.
The list of confirmed Kameo fighters includes the following:
* Jax Briggs
* Kung Lao
* Sonya Blade
Fighting games generally aren't known for having particularly lengthy story modes, and the Mortal Kombat franchise is certainly no exception to that rule. The story mode in Mortal Kombat 1 can be expected to be as long as it was in Mortal Kombat X and Mortal Kombat 11 (approximately 5–6 hours). Recent years have seen NetherRealm Studios put greater detail into its story modes, with impressive cutscenes and plots featuring a wide range of game characters, and that can be expected to be the case here.
This mode involves a board game–like map with an almost top-down 3D gameplay mechanic that features iconic locations from the Mortal Kombat universe. Players will pick a character and explore a region filled with branching paths. Each node you get through offers a new obstacle to overcome. Invasion mode combines mini games, individual battles, treasures, and modifiers that affect difficulty. As you level up your character, you will receive in-game currency, concept art, cosmetics, and other resources that you can equip to strengthen yourself.
Mortal Kombat 1 graphics and design
The overall feel of a fighting game is often down to its performance. NetherRealm decided to move to Unreal Engine 4 for Mortal Kombat 1 rather than stick with their own Unreal Engine 3–derived technology or jump to the more advanced Unreal Engine 5. On Xbox Series X and S, the game runs at a solid 60 fps, although prematch cinematics, Fatal Blows, and Fatalities can only run at this framerate on PC; consoles will show these particular scenes at 30 fps. At these framerates, the resolution on Xbox Series X will be full native 4K, although dynamic resolution is in play, with pixel counts coming in slightly below 2160p depending on the action. On Xbox Series S, 1440p can be expected during cinematic sequences and 1080p during battles.
The characters are depicted in exceptionally high quality with expressive faces, natural-looking skin, and outfits with detailed textures. Cloth and blood movements are highly fluid, with the virtual cloth appearing flexible and even responding realistically to fighter movements and to gravity. The animation style is similar to that seen in Mortal Kombat 11, still featuring the classic per-pixel character motion blur that Mortal Kombat is known for. Backgrounds are also shaping up to be impressive, with well-crafted materials, subtle shadowing, and proper reflections, backed up with realistic physics that let you knock over smaller items. Numerous small details have been included throughout the game that elevate the overall presentation.
Mortal Kombat 1 release date
Mortal Kombat 1 launched on September 19, 2023, for Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, and PC and is available on Steam and Epic Games stores. The title has been available for preorder for a few months already, including the highly sought-after Mortal Kombat 1 Kollector’s Edition, which comes with dozens of extra items. Although the game has not yet been confirmed for Xbox Game Pass, its predecessor, Mortal Kombat 11, is part of the Game Pass roundup, so we expect it to eventually be part of that subscription. Be sure to check out what’s on offer there and see why Acer is an official sponsor. Furthermore, with the purchase of a Windows 11 PC from Acer, you can enjoy one month free of Xbox Game Pass.
Acer Nitro 5 gaming laptop
The Acer Nitro 5 is a budget-friendly laptop built for gamers. Perfect for those who need a machine capable of running high-resolution 3D games, the Nitro 5 features a decent 15.6-inch HD display with 1440p resolution powered by an NVIDIA® GeForce® graphics card. Its vivid colors and crystal-clear clarity allow total immersion in any game.
Packing a powerful CPU/GPU duo at an affordable price, the Nitro 5 delivers frame rates usually reserved for pricier systems. The 512GB SSD offers plenty of storage. Thanks to its impressive battery life, you can focus on gaming sessions without interruption. Experience the perfect fusion of performance, visuals, and affordability with the Acer Nitro 5.
* Processor: Intel® Core™ i7-12700H processor Tetradeca-core 2.30 GHz
* Screen: 15.6" QHD (2560 x 1440) 16:9 165 Hz
* Graphics Card: NVIDIA® GeForce® RTX™ 3070Ti with 8 GB dedicated memory
* Memory: 16 GB DDR4 SDRAM
* Storage: 512 GB SSD
* OS: Windows 11 Home
By establishing a new status quo, introducing new combat mechanics, and reimagining fan-favorite characters, Mortal Kombat 1 is looking to be the biggest and most game-changing Mortal Kombat game to date, and we’re excited to see how it will be received after its upcoming release.
A Review of The Crew Motorfest
Strap yourself in for the hottest racing video game dropping this Fall, The Crew Motorfest! Rejoin the crew and pick your favorite cars, motorcycles, boats and planes, and get stuck into this exciting festival of motoring. Fancy a trip to Oʻahu, the jewel of Hawaii? How about we throw in the chance to get behind the wheel of over 600 vehicles, from Lambos to monster trucks? If this sounds like your cup of tea, then read on to discover all you need to know about The Crew Motorfest.
Dates and platforms
First things first. If you have played either of the two previous racing video games in The Crew franchise, then you’re probably itching to find out the The Crew Motorfest release date. If you’re a Ubisoft+ user, or a Gold or Ultimate edition user and you wisely pre-ordered the game, then The Crew Motorfest has been available to you since September 11th 2023. For all other users, the game was released on 14th September 2023, on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.
An open-world motoring extravaganza
As we shift into second gear, and prepare to explore the open-world racing environment of Oʻahu in The Crew Motorfest, let’s take a minute to check that we are properly equipped for the race! If you want to cross the finish line first in a racing game, you need the right vehicle. Similarly, if we want to perform at our best in any game, we need the right computer! Acer’s Nitro 5 Gaming Laptop will help you to reign supreme over the game world. 12th Gen Intel® Core™ processors deliver ultimate gaming performance, while delivering the flexibility you need to multitask seamlessly.
Back to the race. The Crew Motorfest is developed by Ubisoft Ivory Tower, the Lyon, France based subsidiary of publisher Ubisoft. The latest installment of The Crew is, as you may have guessed, published by the mother company Ubisoft. The renowned French video game publisher is famous for video game franchises such as Assassin’s Creed, Prince of Persia, and Far Cry.
Welcome to Hawaii
The Crew Motorfest builds upon the open-world racing environments of The Crew and The Crew 2. For a comprehensive explanation of the inside story of The Crew, check out the background story here! This time around, we have relocated from a scaled down version of the 48 states of the Contiguous United States, to a scaled down version of the Hawaiian island of Oʻahu.
The theme of The Crew Motorfest is a year long festival of cars and basically anything with an engine. Racing around the idyllic streets and mountains of Oʻahu, online, take your pick from joining The Crew in multiplayer racing competitions, or lone-wolf, single player racing adventures.
The Crew Motorfest map appears to offer players access to all corners of Oʻahu. From white-knuckle street races through Honolulu, cruising in classic cars, to off roading on the volcanic slopes. The Crew Motorfest will also offer you the opportunity to put your foot down in your favorite supercar, or even explore the rainforests in buggies. Whatever your preferred style of driving is, this game has it all!
Gameplay and cars
Take a peek at the gameplay trailer for a taste of The Crew Motorfest. As with the other games in the franchise, gameplay is rooted in online play, with concept cars, rally cars and classic cars at your disposal for the various challenges. There are even boats, motorbikes and planes available to experiment with. Gameplay is where this game truly shines, offering arcade style handling and driving. In terms of the racing, there is the opportunity to take unmarked routes to get ahead, and even a rewind option if you want to try again. With adventurous, fun races across Oʻahu the, the island is truly your motorsports playground!
This installation promises to deliver iconic cars from all over the world, embracing the passion and craft that has shaped the world of motoring. From Japanese, to European, and of course American automobiles, The Crew Motorfest car list offers a dizzying selection of over 600 vehicles from more than 50 different manufacturers for you to choose from. A welcome feature for many players is the ability to pack up your collection of vehicles from The Crew 2 and import them into The Crew Motorfest. Of course, you have the option to start from scratch, or import your car collection after you have played The Crew Motorfest first, and got a taste of what cars are on offer.
You will be free to tear up the tarmac, and a variety of other road surfaces in 15 custom made playlists, tailor made races, themed events and other unique challenges in The Crew Motorfest. There will be a different focus on car culture each month, allowing players to compete in new events and unlock newly added cars. September’s playlist is American Muscle, allowing players to complete handcrafted challenges behind the wheel of different generations of the iconic Ford Mustang! October pays homage to Japanese car design, and November will bring the best of European elegance and agility.
One of the cool features of the game is the ongoing, constantly updating nature of The Crew Motorfest. Weekly themes will bring new challenges, new cars and new rewards, Motorfest will always have something fresh for you! Live game modes include Grand Race, a 28 player free for all apex competition, Demolition Royale, a crew-based battle where 32 players are dispatched in 8 crews, and the last crew standing wins. Summit Contest is a weekly rated event: win big by climbing to the top of the leaderboards. Finally, check out Custom Show, the weekly game mode where you get a chance to express your style, and reap exclusive rewards.
From where we sit, everything about The Crew Motorfest looks fantastic. From the stunning, ultra realistic graphics, to the roar of the V8 engines, and the lush scenery of Hawaii, no details have been skipped over. This racing game promises to entertain and we can’t wait to burn rubber in the open-world streets of Honolulu.
We hope that you have thoroughly enjoyed this glimpse into the high octane world of The Crew Motorfest. If you’re hungry for more info about the exciting world of racing games, check out this informative article. Finally, for all of your favorite games, past, present and future, be sure to check out Acer’s Game Pass.
OLED Vs. QLED: Which is Better for You
When shopping for a new TV or monitor, there's a barrage of technical terms and specs to wade through. Terms like resolution and refresh rate can sometimes make the process feel more like a math lesson than a shopping experience.
Yet, even before diving into those specific metrics, it's vital to grasp the foundational technology that underpins them.
OLED and QLED displays, while often found side by side on store shelves, utilize fundamentally different mechanisms for video display and backlighting. These differences not only influence the visual quality but also the size, weight, and overall experience of your display.
QLED vs. OLED, which is the better choice for you? Read on as we delve into the strengths and limitations of each technology to help you make an informed decision.
What is OLED?
OLED, or Organic Light-Emitting Diodes, is a display technology utilizing organic (carbon-based) materials that emit light when electrified. Unlike traditional LCD/LED displays that require a backlight, each pixel in an OLED display produces its own light, enabling true black levels, a high contrast ratio, thinner designs, and potential for flexibility. However, they are susceptible to burn-in when static images remain displayed for extended periods.
What is QLED?
QLED, which stands for Quantum Dot LED, is an LCD (liquid crystal display) that employs quantum dots with an LED backlight to produce brighter, more vibrant colors than traditional LCD/LED displays. Both QLEDs and traditional LEDs are based on LCD technology. The difference is that QLEDs and LEDs have newer backlight technologies than the LCD. With QLEDs having the latest tech.
Now that we've covered the basics, let's dive deeper into the distinct characteristics of each.
OLED vs. QLED
The technology and picture quality
A common misconception is that QLEDs are a type of OLED. While they share some similarities, they are fundamentally distinct technologies. OLED differs from conventional LED displays in that they utilize organic LEDs to create the displayed images, eliminating the need for the traditional light-emitting diode (LED) technology. Each pixel of an OLED display emits its own light, negating the need for a backlight. Whereas the QLED display utilizes quantum dots to enhance the brightness and color of traditional LED LCDs. When hit by light from the LED backlight, these quantum dots emit their own differently colored light, producing vibrant and dynamic images.
Aesthetics-wise, what does this all mean? To help you better understand, we will break down the viewing experience into four categories and explain how they are impacted by OLED or QLED technology:
1. Black Level and Contrast
* OLED: Since OLEDs are self-emissive (each pixel produces its own light), they can achieve true black levels by turning off individual pixels completely. This results in an infinite contrast ratio.
* QLED: QLEDs are based on LCD technology that uses a backlight. While QLEDs utilize quantum dots to enhance color and brightness, they can't turn off individual pixels like OLEDs. However, high-end QLEDs use local dimming to darken specific areas of the screen, improving contrast, but it doesn't match the "true black" of OLEDs.
* OLED: Brightness levels in OLEDs are generally lower than those of QLEDs. While they can produce brilliant HDR highlights, their overall screen brightness can be outpaced by QLED displays.
* QLED: Capable of achieving higher levels of brightness. This can be particularly beneficial in brightly lit rooms or for HDR content.
3. Color Accuracy
* OLED: Provides excellent color accuracy at various brightness levels.
* QLED: Thanks to the quantum dots, QLEDs can achieve outstanding color accuracy and can also cover a significant portion of the color spectrum, especially at high brightness levels where OLEDs might struggle.
4. Uniformity and Viewing Angles
* OLED: Offers excellent viewing angles due to its individual pixel light emission. The self-emitting pixels ensure consistent light, color, and contrast across the screen, allowing for a near 180-degree viewing angle.
* QLED: Traditionally, QLEDs suffered from limited viewing angles, meaning colors and brightness could shift when viewed off-axis. However, newer QLED models have started to address this issue with improved viewing angles.
Burn-in and lifespan
For those unfamiliar with the term burn-in, it refers to a permanent display defect caused by prolonged static content being displayed on a screen. Over time, if static images (like channel logos, news tickers, or user interface elements) stay on the screen for long periods without change, they can "burn in" and leave a ghostly residue or faint image even when the display is showing other content.
OLED screens, which rely on organic compounds to emit light, are particularly susceptible to burn-in. Over time, as these organic compounds degrade, if certain pixels consistently display the same static image, they can degrade faster than surrounding pixels, leading to uneven wear and, ultimately, burn-in. This can manifest as faint but permanent imprints of channel logos, user interface elements, or other static content.
Luckily, for the average user, burn-in issues with OLED screens shouldn't be a significant concern as long as static images aren't displayed for prolonged periods, and the screen is given resting intervals. For a better understanding of how burn-ins on OLED screens can happen, check out RTINGS.com’s 9000-hour test on OLED screens.
On the other hand, QLED screens are a type of LED/LCD display enhanced with a layer of quantum dots to boost color and brightness. Since QLEDs are based on traditional LCD technology and use a backlight, they don't have the same burn-in risks as OLEDs.
When considering lifespan, the organic compounds in OLEDs can degrade over time, potentially reducing their overall lifespan, whereas the inorganic nature of quantum dots in QLEDs offers a more consistent performance over time and may imply a longer overall lifespan.
In terms of design, OLEDs are thinner than QLEDs. Traditional LCD displays, including QLEDs, require a backlight to shine light through the display to create an image. QLEDs use quantum dots to enhance the color and brightness of this light, but they still rely on the backlight. This backlight system adds to the overall thickness of the display. Since OLED pixels emit their own light, the number of layers required in the display stack is reduced.
Additionally, the organic materials used in OLEDs are not only thinner but also more flexible than the materials in QLEDs. This has led to innovations like curved, foldable, or rollable OLED displays.
Generally, OLED displays, which use organic light-emitting materials, have been pricier due to production complexities. In contrast, QLED displays utilize quantum dots to boost LCD performance and come in a broader price range. While lower-end QLED models can be more affordable than OLEDs, high-end QLEDs can match or even exceed OLED prices. Prices for both technologies have been competitive, influenced by brand, features, and marketing dynamics.
OLED vs. QLED: Which is the better choice for you?
The decision between OLED and QLED largely depends on your preferences, viewing habits, and budget. Both have their advantages and potential drawbacks. However, before purchasing, you should consider some essential decision points:
* Budget: If you're price-sensitive, you might get a larger or better-featured QLED for the price of an OLED.
* Viewing Environment: For bright rooms, a QLED might be preferable due to its high brightness. For dark rooms where a cinematic experience is desired, OLED might be the choice.
* Usage: If you plan to use it as a computer monitor or for games/content with static images for prolonged periods, QLED might be safer due to the risk of burn-in with OLEDs.
* Aesthetics: If a super-thin design is a priority, OLEDs have the edge.
Ultimately, both technologies offer excellent viewing experiences, and you can't go wrong with either. It's about weighing what aspects are most important to you.
However, if you are interested in purchasing an OLED product, Acer has a line of OLED devices from laptops, monitors, and gaming TVs.
Computer Basics for Kids: What to Teach and Why?
Tech is all around us. From computers to smartphones, digital advertisements, and game stations, tech seems present in almost all aspects of modern life. Kids today are so-called digital natives, growing up with technology around them. In fact, most kids will not remember a time when computers and tech did not dominate our world. Alongside dance, sports, and band practice, it is important for children to learn how to use computers to remain competitive in a world that seems to introduce new tech products daily.
Why teach children about computers?
Learning about computers is no longer an option — it is necessary to keep up with our modern way of living. Here are some more reasons why computer classes for kids are beneficial.
1. To become digitally literate
Digital literacy helps kids become fluent in using the internet, social media, and other tech, which is now integrated into our modern-day society. Although it does not mean that children should know everything there is to know about computers, they should at least have basic skills to help them survive in a tech-heavy world.
As children grow into adults, they will have to handle an increasing amount of life admin online. As such, becoming digitally literate at a young age will help them thrive in later life. Unlike older generations of so-called digital immigrants, kids have the added benefit of growing up in a tech-based environment, making becoming digitally literate more manageable.
2. To prepare them for school
Chromebooks and other tech devices are being introduced into schools from very young ages, so basic computer skills are required for children to keep up in class. Computers, tablets, and other tech devices are not just exclusively used in computer science or IT classes, meaning kids should be able to grasp technology from the get-go. In fact, 79% of US teachers in a recent survey said that students are able to achieve more by using technology, emphasizing its importance in contemporary classrooms.
3. To create online safety
Social media and other technology are not inherently bad, but they can be dangerous and leave kids exposed to predators if they are unaware of how to protect themselves. Teaching children about the dangers of the internet, cyberbullying, and mental health issues arising from technology may help them identify and overcome such situations before it is too late. Additionally, computer classes for kids can help them become more self-disciplined, understand healthy amounts of tech usage, and be aware of the downsides of tech addiction.
4. To foster cognitive development
Problem-solving skills are an important factor in cognitive development. Interactive computer activities or learning coding skills through games like Minecraft can help cultivate strong cognitive skills. Moreover, computers also nurture creative and critical thinking and allow children to express themselves through music, drawing, or coding applications.
5. To prepare them for future tech-based careers
Currently, over 92% of jobs require computer skills and digital literacy, which may increase as we become increasingly reliant on tech. Encouraging early exposure to computers through coding or computer science classes can spark a passion for tech-related career choices in later life. Moreover, allowing children to dismantle and analyze computer parts can also help shape future careers. In short, a child’s first laptop experience could be the first step toward a promising career in tech.
At what age should children start using computers?
There is some discussion about which age children should start using computers. It can seem like a catch-22 — starting too early risks tech addiction but starting too late risks missing out on cultivating important skills in their early years. The US Government Office of Education Technology recommends that screen time should be avoided for children under two years old, reminding us that technology should not be used for the sake of it. However, this age group may benefit from actively using technology, such as chiming in on video calls to talk with relatives.
Children aged between two and five should have limited screen time to no more than an hour per day. This includes tech usage at home and in educational settings. Similarly, children aged six and above should have no more than two hours of screen time daily.
The specific age at which a child is ready to start using a computer will vary depending on the child's individual development and interest. It also depends on the type of screen time and the conditions under which it is used. Screen time that is more like a stand-in babysitter may be convenient for parents but unstimulating for the child, whereas educationally beneficial apps could complement real-world interactions. Generally speaking, kids above six years old can begin using the internet, allowing them to explore and become young content creators. At this age, children will also start using the internet for school and homework.
Computer basics: what to teach?
Jumping straight to coding or computer science classes may be too overwhelming for children of a young age. So, what are the most suitable basic computer skills to teach kids?
1. Basic computer operations
How does a computer work? How can we safely switch a computer off and on? Although they may be second nature now, we all had to learn these things in the past. Children are no different, and it is crucial to explain basics, like why a computer should be safely shut down instead of simply pulling the plug out. Additionally, this would be a good time to teach children how to use a keyboard and mouse, including left, right, and double clicks, and how to launch applications. It may also be possible to teach them the fundamentals of file management.
2. Internet skills
Once kids have grasped the basics, they can start to learn how to use search engines to find answers to specific search terms. They can also learn about online communication tools like email, investigating how to effectively open, read, and reply to emails. It is also possible to teach them how to use social media at this point.
Just like real-life safety talks include learning how to cross the road and not to talk to strangers, children should also be taught how to use the internet wisely. They should be educated about potential online dangers such as predators, cyberbullying, and sharing personal information. Kids should also learn how to recognize unsafe websites and the importance of strong and unique passwords.
Introducing kids to basic programming concepts through games like Minecraft Education is a great way to stimulate young minds in an exciting way. It encourages collaboration with peers and a creative approach to learning, cultivating communication skills. There are hundreds of classroom-friendly games available to supplement classes and help kids boost their confidence in coding.
5. Hardware basics
Aside from learning coding to communicate with computers, it is also crucial to teach kids about the primary components of a computer. Knowing what CPU, RAM, and hard drives do and how they interact forms an understanding of how computers work and may ignite an interest in a future tech-related career.
Kids are digital natives and have the advantage of growing up in a tech-dominant environment. As such, they should learn computer basics at a young age to give them a competitive advantage at school and in their future careers. Learning about computers helps cognitive development by encouraging creative and problem-solving skills and can benefit them in all areas of life. By teaching children about the dangers of the internet, they can be aware of potential risks and learn how to protect themselves. Moreover, learning to code through applications like Minecraft encourages communication with peers and helps them develop a creative flair. As long as the content they are exposed to is age-appropriate, teaching kids basic computer skills helps pave the way to understanding how technology works.
DisplayPort 2.1 vs. HDMI 2.1: Which is Better for PC Gaming?
The gaming world is filled with debates: PC vs. console, keyboard vs. controller, and, of course, DisplayPort vs. HDMI. While some debates might boil down to personal preference, the battle between HDMI and DisplayPort hinges on cold, hard facts.
Before we jump into the debate, let us cover the basics of DisplayPort and HDMI.
What is DisplayPort?
DisplayPort, developed by the Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA), is a digital interface designed primarily for transmitting video from PCs to monitors, although it can also carry audio and data. Since its debut in 2006, there have been multiple versions, with DisplayPort 1.4, a feature-based upgrade, being the most prevalent in modern devices.
The standard DisplayPort connector has a 20-pin design with a lock for secure connection, but there's also a Mini DisplayPort variant without this feature. Recently, Mini DisplayPort has given way to USB-C, which can deliver DisplayPort capabilities via DisplayPort Alt Mode. DisplayPort 2.1 is currently the most advanced version, supporting exceptionally high resolutions and refresh rates.
What is HDMI?
HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface), introduced in 2022, is a digital interface that transmits video and audio signals from a source device to displays, like TVs and monitors. With over 10 billion devices sold, HDMI is widely used in home entertainment systems and computers, HDMI cables combine audio and video into one cable, simplifying connections and ensuring high-quality signal transmission.
The common types of HDMI you will encounter are Type A (Standard), Type C (Mini), and Type D (Micro).
Over the years, various versions of HDMI have been released, each offering improvements in resolution, audio capabilities, and other features. HDMI 2.1 is the latest iteration of this connector.
DisplayPort 2.1 vs. HDMI 2.1: Which is better for PC gaming?
In PC gaming, every component, from the graphics card to the cable, is crucial in delivering an optimal experience. Among the pivotal decisions gamers face is choosing the right display interface. HDMI and DisplayPort, two of the foremost contenders in this arena, often go head-to-head in discussions about visual performance, refresh rates, and audio quality.
At this point, you are probably wondering, “Is DisplayPort better than HDMI, or is HDMI better than DisplayPort?”
To successfully answer the DisplayPort Vs. HDMI question, you must look at four important features of the connectors that play a big impact on PC gaming. These four features are are follows: bandwidth and resolution support, Variable Refresh Rate (VRR), Multi-Stream Transport (MST), and latency.
1. Bandwidth and Resolution Support
Bandwidth dictates the maximum data transfer rate, affecting how quickly and smoothly game visuals and audio are transmitted to your display. Resolution support determines the clarity and detail of game graphics, with higher resolutions offering crisper and more immersive visuals. Thus, higher bandwidth and resolution support directly elevate the fidelity and responsiveness of your PC gaming experience.
DisplayPort and HDMI versions dictate the maximum resolution and refresh rate capabilities. Commonly, monitors and computers support DisplayPort 1.2 or 1.4 and HDMI 1.4 or 2.0.
DisplayPort 2.0 and 2.1, boasting nearly three times the bandwidth of DisplayPort 1.4, offer the potential for up to 16K resolutions using compression or high refresh rates at lower resolutions. HDMI 2.1 only offers up to 10k, so based on numbers alone, DP 2.1 beats out HDMI 2.1.
However, in the current gaming market, DisplayPort 2.0 and 2.1 have limited support with GPUs from both Nvidia and AMD. As of September 2023, only the AMD Radeon™ RX 7800 XT with AMD RDNA™ 3 architecture supports DisplayPort 2.0 and 2.1. Nvidia GPUs, at the time of the posting, do not support DisplayPort 2.1 or 2.0.
Considering G-SYNCS's rapport with DisplayPort, it is very likely that Nvidia will follow suit and eventually announce support for Display Port 2.0 and 2.1.
In comparison, both HDMI 2.1 and 2.0 are currently supported by both Nvidia and AMD.
Winner: HDMI 2.1 (but not for long)
2. Variable Refresh Rate (VRR)
Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) is a technology that allows a display to dynamically adjust its refresh rate to match the frame rate output of a content source, like a gaming console or PC. By synchronizing these rates, VRR reduces visual artifacts like screen tearing and stutter, providing a smoother visual experience. This technology is especially beneficial for gaming, where frame rates can fluctuate frequently.
Two primary VRR technologies dominate the market: FreeSync and G-SYNC. For users with an AMD graphics card, FreeSync is the go-to choice, and it's compatible with both HDMI and DisplayPort connectors. On the other hand, if you're using NVIDIA's graphics solutions, you'll want G-SYNC, which currently only supports DisplayPort. Thus, NVIDIA users should prioritize a DisplayPort connection.
Winner: DisplayPort 2.1
3. Multi-Stream Transport (MST)
MST is a technology incorporated into the DisplayPort 1.2 standard and later versions. Its primary purpose is to allow a single DisplayPort connection on your computer to handle multiple video outputs simultaneously; this official term is called Daisy Chain. This technology can allow for expansive game views or simultaneous multitasking, such as gaming on one screen while monitoring streams or chats on another. MST's efficient bandwidth use ensures that each connected display delivers optimal gaming visuals without compromising performance.
MST theoretically supports linking up to 60+ displays from that single connection. You can achieve this by 'daisy-chaining' monitors directly or using an external hub. Though HDMI doesn't inherently support MST, a DisplayPort to HDMI hub can simulate this function, provided the source device has a DisplayPort output.
Winner: DisplayPort 2.1
Latency denotes the delay between sending a signal from a source device and its display on a target device. Measured in milliseconds, it impacts synchronization and real-time interactions, especially in gaming. Lower latency means faster response and smoother experiences.
The latency of HDMI 2.1 and DisplayPort 2.1 is quite similar (0.01 milliseconds). However, some factors can affect the latency, such as the length of the cable, the quality of the cable, and the specific devices that are being used.
In general, the latency of HDMI 2.1 and DisplayPort 2.1 is low enough that it is not noticeable for most gamers.
While HDMI 2.1 has its merits and is a versatile connector found in various entertainment setups, when it comes to PC gaming performance, DisplayPort 2.1 edges out as the champion. Its superior bandwidth and resolution support, exclusive compatibility with NVIDIA's G-SYNC, and the daisy-chaining capabilities of MST offer gamers a higher tier of immersion and flexibility. Unfortunately, DisplayPort 2.1 and 2.0 have limited support with Nvidia and AMD GPUs, which means that in terms of resolution, HDMI 2.1 is still king. However, when DisplayPort finally gets full support from both AMD and Nvidia, those seeking the pinnacle of PC gaming experiences should look towards the benefits of DisplayPort.