With up to 100 million Americans across the country affected by severe heatwaves, you may need a breather. Staying at home – with air conditioning or a powerful fan and a cold drink – should help. (Just remember to stop from time to time to check on unhealthy and aging relatives, as well as your pets.)
For fun, many reach for a video game controller to virtually escape to another world for a few minutes.
Whether you own a PlayStation 5 (PS5), Xbox Series S/X, or Nintendo Switch, you may not be getting the most out of your favorite console. So, to “level up” your knowledge of what’s possible, below are a dozen lesser-known features of your gaming system.
Note. If indicated, some tips apply to multiple computers.
sony playstation 5
Built-in microphone: Want to “chat” with the online friends you’re competing against? If money is tight, you may not know that the PS5 DualSense wireless controller has a built-in microphone, allowing you to chat, strategize, or scream online without having to buy anything. To avoid embarrassing moments like when your loving mom brings you a plate of cookies during a game, players can quickly turn off voice capture using the dedicated mute button on the controller. The PS5 controller also has a small speaker, but it will sound much better if you plug your headset into the 3.5mm jack.
Get help (no spoilers): To make games more accessible to all skill levels, PS5 has a new feature called “Game Help” that helps players get help quickly and easily. Compatible with multiple games (including one of my favorites, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart), players can get hints (and pin them to the side of the screen), watch videos and more – all within the game – to get help without identifying any “spoilers”. While in the game, press the PS button and in the control center, select the game card on the left marked “Clues Inside” (if this name is supported).
Expand storage: Now that many gamers are downloading games rather than buying them on plastic, consider adding more storage to your PS5 that you can plug in externally (via USB) or, even better, add a Solid State Drive (SSD) inside your PS5. New this summer from Western Digital and Sony Interactive Entertainment is the Western Digital WD_BLACK SN850 NVMe SSD for PS5 consoles ($169 – in one heatsink design to keep things cool. The 2TB model is $279. (Note: Xbox Series S /X and Nintendo Switch also allow you to expand storage.)
Thanks for the (computer) memory! Here’s how to buy the right data store for your needs
Download games through your smartphone: Many modern PS5 games are huge, so downloading digital games on PS5 can take a while. Luckily, you can speed up the process and start the download using the PlayStation app on your smartphone or tablet. You just need to make sure your console is linked to the app (Settings > Console Management in the app) and that your PS5 stays connected at all times (on your console: System > Power Saving > Features Available in Rest Mode > “Stay connected to the Internet”). ). Now inside the application you can select the game and you will see the option to “Download to console”.
XBox S/X series
Transferring games from Xbox One: If you spent money on Xbox One games years ago, there’s no reason why you couldn’t still enjoy them on your new console – and there’s a quick way to do so. Press the Xbox button > My games & apps > Complete library > All own games. While you can download any of these games, it will be faster to transfer them from your old console. As long as both consoles are on the same Wi-Fi network, on Xbox Series S/X go to Settings > System > Backup & Transfer > Network Transfer and then check the box, select your old console. choose what you want to copy over.
Blu-ray disc playback: While the plastic may seem dated, Blu-rays look and sound better than what your streaming services can provide, not to mention all those extras that are often packed onto the disc. While there is no built-in app on the Xbox Series X (there is no optical drive for the Xbox Series S), you can still play 4K Blu-ray discs by inserting the disc into the tray and you will be prompted to download the app from the Microsoft store. Those with an AV receiver connected should also go to Settings > Devices and Connections > Blu-ray and enable “Allow my receiver to decode audio”.
Use your controller elsewhere: Did you know that you can use an Xbox Series S/X controller with a Windows PC or Mac? Or your Android phone, iPhone, iPad or other tablet. Even Apple TV. Yeah. This wireless controller uses Bluetooth to pair with other devices and will work with any compatible game – and there are many. When you search for nearby Bluetooth devices on your device, press the Xbox button in the center of the controller so it can be found, and then pair. (Tip: Even old wired Xbox controllers can be plugged into a laptop or desktop USB port to play games.)
Control your Xbox with Google Assistant or Alexa: Finally, you can control your Xbox Series S/X with your voice, such as turning the console on and off, launching a specific game, pausing a movie, inviting a friend to play, taking a screenshot, starting a broadcast, etc. Go to Settings > Devices & Connections > Digital Assistants. Here you can enable your preferred digital assistant and then follow the appropriate instructions to get started with Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa (Apple Siri is not supported).
Use wireless headphones: Sure, there is a 3.5mm jack in the top right corner of your Nintendo Switch, but what if you have a pair of wireless headphones or headphones? No problem, as you can connect your favorite headset to the console via a Bluetooth connection. On the home screen, tap the System Preferences icon (which looks like a little sun) and then select Bluetooth Audio from the list (it’s at the bottom). Finally, click “Pair with device” and find your headphones in the list nearby (which you must also put in “pairing” mode first). And don’t worry: up to two wireless controllers can also be connected when using Bluetooth audio.
Find lost Joy-Con controllers: If you’ve lost those little Joy-Con wireless controllers (or one of them), navigate to the Controllers icon on the home screen and select Find Controllers. A menu of currently paired controllers will open, including all paired Nintendo Switch Pro controllers. When you select a controller, it will vibrate, which can make it easier to find it. (Please.)
Parental control app: You may not be aware of the free Nintendo Switch Parental Control app available for iOS (iPhone and iPad) and Android devices (or go to p.nintendo.com to find it). Log in to the app with the same Nintendo Account as on Nintendo Switch, and you can now set a daily play time limit (for example, 2 or 3 hours), age restrictions (for example, prevent your 8-year-old child from playing “Adult Games”). “). ”, track the amount of game time for each family member in the system and much more.
Free games: As with “Also available for PS5 and Xbox Series S/X”, you can find a lot of free content to play on Nintendo Switch, including several demos available for download on Nintendo eShop, allowing players to try some of the games, before they buy. Recent free demos include Kirby and the Forgotten Land and Metroid Dread. Demos for Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes and LIVE A LIVE are also available and allow players to carry over their progress to the full game if purchased.
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