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Updated: 14 hours 27 min ago

Amazon Games will bring Bandai Namco’s ‘Blue Protocol’ to the west

Thu, 2022-12-08 21:57

At the Game Awards, Amazon Games announced it will be publishing Bandai Namco’s forthcoming free-to-play online RPG, Blue Protocol in the west. A new teaser trailer offer views of the game's beautiful cel-shaded world, multiple character classes and weapons. It's an action RPG, with the ability to play both solo and cooperatively. You’ll apparently be able to participate in raids with up to 30 other players.

While the game will be coming to PC, Xbox Series X/S and PlayStation 5, Blue Protocol is designed to be played on controllers, with aim-assist support for people not using a mouse and keyboard. In fact, each class will have different sliders to adjust controls for smoother playstyles. Talking of style, you’ll apparently be able to customize your character deeply, across hairstyles, clothing accessories and even mounts – yes you’ll have your own fantasy steed a little like Pokemon Legends Arceus.

You’ll be able to pick from five classes at launch. The Blade Warden uses both a sword and shield, a Twin Striker that excels at short-range damage with double axes and the Keen Strider is an agile class with bow-based long-range attacks and area effects. Rounding out the lineup, the Spell Weaver is your magic wielder, while Foe Breaker has a massive hammer and can even fire a short-range cannonball. Somehow.

It’s 2022, so while you will be able to play the whole story without spending, there will be cosmetic upgrades available to buy, as well as features that will apparently help play the game. I get the feeling there’s more than a little inspiration gleaned from Genshin Impact, the free-to-play action RPG that’s been extremely lucrative for its creators – and a huge global hit. It’ll be intriguing to see how Bandai Namco’s new game compares. It’s also an unusual team-up with Amazon Games. 

According to the press release, Blue Protocol will be the “latest title in Amazon Games’ portfolio of high-quality live service games” including New World, an MMORPG – which makes some sense. Perhaps Amazon Games can offer some insight into ensuring Blue Protocol runs smoothly from a technical standpoint. The game is now set to launch in the second half of 2023, but expect a closed beta to run early next year. You’ll be able to sign up for that soon, online.

'Earthblade' is the next game from the team behind ‘Celeste’

Thu, 2022-12-08 21:40

Extremely OK Games, the developer behind the award-winning platformer Celeste, has revealed its new project at this year's Game Awards. It's called Earthblade, and just like Celeste, it's a 2D exploration-action game set in a pixel world. In Earthblade, you'll play Névoa, which the developer describes as an "enigmatic child of Fate" (with horns) who's returning to Earth. The trailer shows you some of the obstacles you'll have to face and the foes you'll have to defeat while exploring the remnants of a ruined world. Extremely OK also says you'll be piecing together Earth's fractured history as you play. 

We wouldn't be surprised if you have high expectations for Earthblade, seeing as Celeste had won several awards after it was launched. At The Game Awards in 2018, it won best independent release of the year. (Extremely OK didn't get its winged statue after the show ended, but a fan unknowingly purchased it from eBay and sent it to the developer just earlier this year.) It will take some time before you can play Earthblade and go on an adventure with Névoa, though: The game won't be available until 2024.

'Star Wars Jedi: Survivor' is a direct sequel to 'Fallen Order' arriving March 17th

Thu, 2022-12-08 21:21

The Game Awards is often full of surprise announcements and reveals but one thing we knew going into this year's ceremony is that it would provide a first look at Star Wars Jedi: Survivor gameplay. The game takes place five years after the events of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. Fittingly, the trailer shows an older and more rugged Cal Kestis, who's now a Jedi Knight. 

You'll journey to new planets in the Star Wars galaxy, each of which has unique biomes and enemies. You'll have fresh gear, skills and abilities at your disposal to help you survive these worlds. For one thing, Cal will be able to wield two lightsabers at once. He'll also have an ascension cable for vertical traversal and the ability to tame and ride creatures.

The trailer for the next entry in Respawn's Dark Souls-inspired series closed with a release date. Star Wars Jedi: Survivor will arrive on current-gen systems on March 17th, adding another prominent title to what's shaping up to be a busy first quarter for major game releases.

"As long as we fight, hope survives.

Experience the next chapter in Cal Kestis’ story. #StarWarsJediSurvivor is available March 17. Pre-orders will be available later tonight!" pic.twitter.com/A79FYy1SLo

— Respawn (@Respawn) December 9, 2022

'Death Stranding 2' is Hideo Kojima's next game

Thu, 2022-12-08 21:19

Hideo Kojima's next project is Death Stranding 2. The reveal trailer for the sequel shows Fragile, played by Léa Seydoux, and Sam, played by Norman Reedus, in a world still infested with lethal BTs. There's no word on a release date, but according to the trailer's YouTube description, it's heading to PlayStation 5. 

Kojima took the stage during The Game Awards to introduce Death Stranding 2. Its cast is just as star-studded as the original, featuring Elle Fanning, Shioli Kutsuna and Troy Baker alongside Reedus and Seydoux.

Death Stranding came out in 2019 and it steadily became the industry's favorite walking simulator (despite the fact that it may have been a better movie than a video game). By the end of 2022, more than 10 million people had played Death Stranding. Its primary gameplay innovation was an online system that allowed players to communicate with each other, even though it was a single-player experience. Death Stranding was the first title out of Kojima Productions, the studio Kojima himself founded after parting ways with his longtime employer, Konami. 

Ahead of The Game Awards on December 8th, Kojima tweeted some teases for the show, including an image that seemed to be Fragile from Death Stranding. The tweet included the text, "How come?" and Kojima added, "'WHO' 'WHERE' 'HOW' and now 'WHY'."

We now know what Kojima was talking about — not that he asked.

Footage of what appeared to be Kojima's next project leaked online in early November in the form of a super strange video. It showed a character resembling Mama from Death Stranding traversing creepy corridors with a dark presence at her back, and ended with a title screen reading, "Overdose." It also included the reflection of a lounging shirtless man recording the footage off-screen, but that's likely unrelated to any gameplay mechanics. Today at The Game Awards, Kojima said his studio is also working on a second, completely new project with an experimental edge, so there's still some hope for whatever this was.

'The Last of Us Part I' hits PC on March 3rd, 2023

Thu, 2022-12-08 21:10

The Last of Us Part I will officially hit PC on March 3rd, 2023. This follows the game's launch on PlayStation 5 earlier in 2022. 

Part I is a modern remake of the original The Last of Us, Naughty Dog's dramatic zombie-adjacent game that came out in 2013 and quickly became an industry darling. There's since been a sequel, an upgraded version of that game, a remastered version of the original title for PS4, and probably a few other iterations we're forgetting, plus an HBO series coming out in January. 

We found The Last of Us Part I on PS5 to be gorgeous yet achingly faithful to its source material. For fans of the series, that's not a terrible outcome, and soon PC players will have the chance to judge for themselves.

The Last of Us is officially coming to PC on March 3rd! @TLOUVideoGame#TheGameAwardspic.twitter.com/STH3WVf4A1

— The Game Awards (@thegameawards) December 9, 2022

Rocksteady's Suicide Squad game (hopefully) arrives May 26th, 2023

Thu, 2022-12-08 21:09

Rocksteady's long-in-the-makingSuicide Squad: Kill the Justice League game finally has a firm release date. The studio has revealed that its villains-doing-good title will be available on May 26th, 2023. And, as the trailer below shows, it will be memorable for more than just gameplay. This is the curtain call for one of voice acting's best-known stars.

The upcoming game will have the Suicide Squad take on Batman, voiced by none other than the late Kevin Conroy. This is his last turn as the iconic hero, and it's an interesting twist at that. Like Superman and other major DC Comics champions, Batman has gone bad — enough so that he's breaking one of his cardinal rules. Naturally, it's up to Harley Quinn, Deadshot, King Shark and Captain Boomerang to deal with the Dark Knight.

The game is headed to PC, PS5 and Xbox Series X/S. It's too early to say if this will live up to the reputation Rocksteady made for itself with the Arkham Batman games. However, Suicide Squad will have been delayed three years by the time it (presumably) arrives. The developers are clearly willing to take their time, and this hopefully won't represent a repeat of the so-so Gotham Knights.

'Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon' drops March 2023

Thu, 2022-12-08 21:00

Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon has premiered at The Game Awards, where a trailer also debuted for the franchise's upcoming spinoff. Like its name implies, Bayonetta Origins tells the story of Bayonetta when she was Cereza and has only just summoned her first demon Cheshire. The trailer gives us a glimpse at the story and about how Cereza explores a forest despite her mother's warnings. It also shows the game's storybook elements, as well as some bits of gameplay with and without Cheshire. 

Bayonetta Origins will be available on March 17th, 2023 for the Nintendo Switch only. You can pre-order a digital copy of the game from the eShop right after The Game Awards wraps up, but you can also purchase a physical copy when the title launches.

'Judas' is the first project from BioShock creator Ken Levine's Ghost Story Games

Thu, 2022-12-08 20:51

Ghost Story Games has revealed its first title nearly six years after BioShock creator Ken Levine founded the studio. A trailer for Judas debuted at The Game Awards and while it's not an actual BioShock game, it draws from that series' art style. It's also a first-person shooter in which it looks like you can wield elemental powers.

You play as the titular Judas, a "mysterious and troubled" character who is stuck on a starship that's falling apart. According to a description on the game's Steam page, "your only hope for survival is to make or break alliances with your worst enemies." 

Bloomberg reported earlier this year that the game had been stuck in development hell for several years amid multiple reboots and Levine changing the direction of the project multiple times. But Levine suggested back in 2015 that his next game would be a sci-fi first-person shooter, and Judas at least fits that bill. There's no release window as yet, but it's coming to PS5, Xbox Series X/S and PC.

Meanwhile, there is a BioShock game in development at a separate Take-Two studio. But this is not that. Judas is definitely not a BioShock game.

Ghostbusters: Rise of the Ghost Lord' trailer shows off co-op VR gameplay

Thu, 2022-12-08 20:45

The Ghostbusters virtual reality game teased earlier this year now has a full trailer. Ghostbusters: Rise of the Ghost Lord comes to Meta Quest 2 and PlayStation VR2 in 2023.

The trailer shows four Quest 2 users donning their headsets to battle dark forces descending on San Francisco. The in-engine (pre-alpha) footage follows the players using an arsenal of PKE Meters, Proton Packs and traps to hunt down and ensnare a slippery phantom. Just as the players close their trap and breathe a sigh of relief, a gigantic, skull-faced specter we can only assume is the titular Ghost Lord emerges over the rooftop. It’s exactly the gameplay you’d expect from ghost-busting in VR.

Publisher Sony Pictures Virtual Reality (SPVR) and developer nDreams (known for Far Cry VR: Dive Into Insanity) are launching the title right as the Ghostbusters IP is enjoying a pop-culture resurgence. Although the latest movie received mixed reviews, it did well at the box office, ranking as the tenth highest-grossing movie last year. An animated Netflix series is also in the pipeline, and a 4v1 co-op game that lets you play as a ghost launched on PC and consoles this October.

'Hellboy: Web of Wyrd' is a stylish brawler that takes its cues from the comic

Thu, 2022-12-08 20:42

One of the least expected announcements at The Game Award creator Mike Mignola and Dark Horse helped pen the story, and the cel-shaded look is more than a little reminiscent of what you saw on paper. b of Wyrd, a roguelite (read: purposefully brutal and repetitive) brawler that revolves around everyone's favorite half-demon. You play Hellboy as he takes on a series of seemingly disconnected adventures that are ultimately linked to the mysterious Butterfly House — with plenty of difficult one-on-one fights, of course.

The comic book connection is more than superficial. Hellboy creator Mike Mignola and Dark Horse helped pen the story, and the cel-shaded look is more than a little reminiscent of what you saw on paper. You can also expect some solid voice talent, as Lance Reddick (Charon in John Wick, Zavala in Destiny 2) plays the titular character.

The game doesn't yet have a release date, but it's coming to PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and Switch. You'll have no problems finding a platform to play on, then.

'Hades II' promises witchy vibes and a new immortal protagonist

Thu, 2022-12-08 20:40

Supergiant Games is sticking with what works. Hades II is on its way, slinging more Greek god-ness and a new protagonist, the Princess of the Underworld. The game is heading to early access on PC first, with more details coming in 2023.

The reveal trailer for Hades II shows the protagonist, Melinoë, training with the witch goddess Hecate, before diving into a familiar isometric landscape. Familiar, but perhaps with a few more gnarly trees. Like its predecessor, Hades II is a roguelike dungeon crawler. And if it's truly anything like the original Hades, it'll be fun as hell.

Hades II is a direct sequel to Hades. Supergiant describes its story as, "Chronos, the Titan of Time and the wicked father of Hades and his brothers, has escaped his imprisonment in the depths of the Underworld to wage war on Olympus. Can Time itself be stopped?" Melinoë is the sister of Zagreus, the star of the original game, and she has her own magical abilities.

The full game will eventually be available on consoles and PC, but early access will begin on Steam and the Epic Games Store. Supergiant revealed the sequel during The Game Awards.

'Dead Cells' is getting Castlevania crossover DLC in early 2023

Thu, 2022-12-08 20:23

Dead Cells developers Motion Twin and Evil Empire are getting a chance to pay tribute to Castlevania, the series that inspired their game, with the roguelike's next DLC. Dead Cells: Return to Castlevania is said to be the game's biggest expansion to date, and it will be available on the PC and console versions in early 2023.

An animated trailer that debuted at The Game Awards gave a sense of what's in store, though it didn't provide a look at any actual gameplay just yet. You'll be able to team up with Castlevania heroes Richter Belmont and Alucard as you battle throngs of monsters, including werewolves, in an attempt to reach the Dark Lord's throne room. The DLC includes 14 Castlevania weapons and items, including the Vampire Killer, Cross and Holy Water. They've all been reworked to fit in with the fast-paced combat of Dead Cells.

The DLC includes two new biomes, including Dracula's Castle. You'll get to fight Death and Dracula as you make your way toward "Dead Cells’ most epic and ambitious boss battle yet," according to a press release. On top of all that, the soundtrack features 51 original Castlevania tracks. Twelve of them are getting a Dead Cells-style makeover, including "Vampire Killer," "Bloody Tears" and "Divine Bloodlines."

PS5 hit 'Returnal' is coming to PC early 2023

Thu, 2022-12-08 20:15

You won't need to pick up a PlayStation 5 to understand the fuss over Returnal. Housemarque has announced that a PC version of the sci-fi roguelite will be available in early 2023. There aren't many details of what's new at this stage, but it's safe to presume there will be plenty of visual splendor like in the PS5 release.

Apart from its graphics, Returnal is best known for its merciless third-person action. You're not only going to face seemingly impossible odds, you're practically expected to die frequently (as you do in many roguelites). It's integral to the story — you play Selene, a woman stranded on an alien planet trying to find answers every time she comes back to life. While the difficulty is at times frustrating, the mechanics are solid enough that you might enjoy repeating an extra-challenging segment.

We'd expect some technical features to carry over from the PS5 edition, such as 4K ray-traced graphics and 3D audio. It's not clear if features like the DualSense-oriented haptic feedback will make the cut. However, there's little doubt that Returnal will shine on a sufficiently powerful PC.

'Street Fighter 6' lands June 2nd, 2023

Thu, 2022-12-08 20:10

You'll have to wait a while longer to give Street Fighter 6 a spin. Capcom revealed at The Game Awards that its modernized brawler will be available June 2nd, 2023 for PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X/S and PC (via Steam). Pre-orders are available now.

The new title includes favorite series characters like Ryu and Chun-Li as well as relative newcomers like Luke, a DLC addition from Street Fighter 5 who's a "key player" in the expanding storyline. SF6 will add new modes like World Tour and Battle Hub, and promises to be more accessible to newcomers with a "modern" control mode. You can expect new mechanics like the Drive Gauge, and real-time commentary from experts in the fighting game scene to help explain what's happening in matches.

Just announced, @StreetFighter 6 launches on June 2, 2023! Watch the trailer for more glimpses at World Tour and a first look at Dee Jay, Manon, Marisa, and JP.

Pre-order now - https://t.co/XZhD5yNySipic.twitter.com/kqPJuCKX6a

— The Game Awards (@thegameawards) December 9, 2022

It's too soon to say if SF6 will please hardcore fighting game fans. However, it's clear that Capcom is eager to court players who've felt intimidated by the sometimes steep learning curve of fighting games. In theory, you'll enjoy yourself enough to stick around for the long term.

'Vampire Survivors' got a surprise (and free) iOS and Android release

Thu, 2022-12-08 19:50

Although it only snagged a single nomination at The Game Awards, Vampire Survivors is a true game of the year contender. It arrived on Steam in early access a year ago and it recently landed on Xbox. Now, you'll no longer need a Steam Deck or Xbox Cloud Gaming access to play it anywhere or at any time. 

As spotted by Polygon, Vampire Survivors has suddenly arrived on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Unlike the myriad clones that have popped up on both stores throughout the year, this is the real deal. What's more, the mobile versions are free — Vampire Survivors costs $5 on Steam and it's included with Game Pass. 

The timing suggests that the mobile release was going to be a surprise announcement at The Game Awards. Perhaps we'll hear word of PlayStation and Nintendo Switch versions soon too.

For the uninitiated, Vampire Survivors asks you to choose a character with a locked starter weapon and perk, then sends you out into the Castlevania-inspired world to face an endless stream of enemies (but no vampires, oddly) and stay alive as long as you can. Your weapons auto-fire and all you have control over is your movement and the ability to choose a weapon, perk or upgrade when you level up. It's immensely enjoyable, and you can download it on your phone, gratis, right now. In addition, you can play the mobile versions in vertical or horizontal mode.

Meanwhile, developer Poncle will release the first paid Vampire Survivors expansion on December 15th. Legacy of Moonspell will cost $2 on Steam and Xbox. It wouldn't be a surprise to see the DLC pop up on the iOS and Android versions as well.

Former Twitter employees file class action gender discrimination lawsuit

Thu, 2022-12-08 17:49

Elon Musk has yet another class action lawsuit to contend with over his handling of mass layoffs at Twitter. The latest comes from two former employees who allege “women were significantly affected more than men” in the November layoffs that cut nearly half its workforce.

According to the lawsuit, a total of 57% of women employees were laid off, compared with just 47 percent of men. It goes on to note that the disparity can’t be explained “based upon a justification that Musk intended to retain more employees in engineering-related roles” because women engineers were also cut at a higher rate than their male counterparts.

It states that “63% of females in engineering-related roles were laid off on November 4, 2022, while 48% of male employees in engineering-related [roles] were laid off.” For non-engineering roles, there was also a “great disparity” between men and women who lost jobs, with 51% of women and 42% of men affected by the cuts.

The lawsuit also cites numerous tweets from Musk that show his “discriminatory animus against women,” and claims that his requirements for employees to work up to 12-hour days as part of an “extremely hardcore” Twitter 2.0 is also has a “a disproportionate impact on women, who are more often caregivers for children and other family members, and thus not able to comply with such demands.”

The lawsuit is at least the fourth class action suit brought against the company following mass layoffs in November. Former employees and contractors are also suing the company over violations of the US Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act, which stipulates companies with more than 100 employees must provide at least 60 days notice ahead of mass job cuts. Another former employee has brought a suit against the company, alleging that Musk’s demand forcing all workers back to the office discriminates against people with disabilities.

Elsewhere, Musk is also facing an investigation from San Francisco city officials in the wake of reports that Twitter has set up hotel-like bedrooms inside of its offices for employees. 

UN passes resolution to curb space debris from anti-satellite missile tests

Thu, 2022-12-08 17:30

The United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution today asking countries not to conduct direct-ascent anti-satellite tests (ASAT) that create space junk. The US spearheaded the measure after the International Space Station (ISS) had a close call last year with more than 1,500 pieces of debris from a Russian ASAT.

The measure doesn’t ban the development or testing of ASAT systems, but it discourages conducting them in a way that creates space debris. Although since it came from the UN General Assembly and not the Security Council, it isn’t legally binding.

In addition to creating navigational hazards for astronauts, space junk also reflects sunlight to Earth’s surface, interfering with ground-based telescopes. Moreover, researchers expect orbital debris to increase by magnitudes over the next decade as internet-broadcasting mini-satellites, like SpaceX’s Starlink, grow in popularity.

Vice President Kamala Harris, who chairs the White House National Space Council, tweeted praise today for the passage. “Back in April, I announced the United States will not conduct destructive direct-ascent anti-satellite missile tests, and I called on other nations to join us. Today, 155 countries voted in favor of a UN resolution, helping establish this as an international norm for space.”

Of the four countries that have conducted ASATs — United States, China, India and Russia — only the US voted in favor today. In addition to Russia and China, nations voting no included Belarus, Bolivia, the Central African Republic, Cuba, Iran, Nicaragua and Syria. Nine more nations abstained: India, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Madagascar, Pakistan, Serbia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Togo and Zimbabwe.

Watch The Game Awards here at 7:30PM ET

Thu, 2022-12-08 17:00

Get ready for two and a half hours of game trailers, announcements, gameplay and maybe even a few award acceptance speeches. The ninth edition of The Game Awards is upon us. We'll be covering all the big news from tonight's event, which you can also watch live below starting at 7:30PM ET.

Vying for the top prize of Game of the Year are God of War Ragarnok, Elden Ring, Horizon Forbidden West, Stray, A Plague Tale: Requiem and Xenoblade Chronicles 3. God of War Ragarnok has the most nominations with 10, while Elden Ring and Horizon Forbidden West have seven each. Among the other notable nominees are Marvel Snap, Immortality, Scorn, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II, Splatoon 3, Tunic, Cult of the Lamb, Sifu, Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, MultiVersus, Vampire Survivors, Diablo Immortal and Overwatch 2.

There's a new category this year called Best Adaptation, which recognizes TV shows, movies, podcasts, comic books and books that are based on games. Arcane: League of Legends, Cyberpunk: Edgerunners, The Cuphead Show!, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and Uncharted are the inaugural competitors.

While most of the awards are about honoring the past year in games, the ceremony looks toward the future with fresh reveals. You can expect news on dozens of games and expansions, including Among Us, Baldur's Gate 3, Destiny 2: Lightfall, Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, Tekken 8 and lots more we don't yet know about.

In addition to usual suspects YouTube and Twitch, the event will stream on dozens of other platforms. As a reminder, if you watch via Steam TV and you're eligible to win, you might get lucky and score a free Steam Deck. Valve is giving one away for every minute that the show runs. Otherwise, you can catch the livestream in glorious 4K right here:

A new electrolyte mixture may prevent EV batteries from catching fire

Thu, 2022-12-08 16:30

Lithium-ion battery fires may not be all that common, but they are a concern — just ask electric vehicle makers and Samsung. Thankfully, research at Stanford might reduce the chances of those devices lighting up. Scientists have developed an electrolyte (the substance that carries lithium ions between electrodes) that won't catch fire even at temperatures of 140F or more. The trick, it turns out, was extra lithium salt.

The team added as much of a particular lithium salt (LiFSI) as possible to a polymer-based electrolyte, bumping the mix from less than half of the electrolyte's weight to 63 percent. The LiFSI served as an "anchor" for flammable solvent molecules, preventing them from catching fire. The combination lets a lithium-ion battery continue functioning at temperatures as high as 212F.

Unlike other attempts at non-flammable electrolytes, the polymer-based design is gooey and can fit into existing lithium-ion battery components. That lowers the costs and lets companies use their current manufacturing processes. You could see the technology reach real-world products quicker than rivals that would require custom (and potentially expensive) production methods.

There's no mention of near-term attempts to commercialize the new battery tech, which was funded by the Energy Department. However, the researchers already see multiple benefits for electric cars. The design could not only lower the risk of EVs catching fire, but increase their range. Automakers frequently need to space lithium-ion battery cells to prevent them from heating each other. This advancement would let companies safely pack more batteries into a given area, allowing either higher capacities or more spacious interiors.

This could also prove useful for phones, laptops and other mobile devices where space and safety are priorities. You might eke out more runtime on a charge, or worry less about a fire in your pocket. This discovery wouldn't prevent fires resulting from damage, but it could prove reassuring in everyday use.

Audeze reveals its latest gaming headset with planar magnetic drivers

Thu, 2022-12-08 13:45

Audeze has revealed its latest wireless gaming headset. The company claims that Maxwell has a battery life of over 80 hours. When you eventually do need to recharge it, Audeze says you can fully top up the completely depleted battery in 2.5 hours via USB-C or by up to 25 percent of the capacity (which should be enough for a day of usage) in 20 minutes. The headset is said to offer improved low-latency wireless range and stability performance over Audeze's Penrose model.

Maxwell, which has 90mm planar magnetic drivers, can deliver high-resolution audio at up to 24-bit 96kHz when you use the included USB dongle or a wired USB connection, Audeze says. There's a 3.5mm jack too.

The headset has a hardware-based AI system that can automatically filter out background noise at the touch of a button when you're speaking. Maxwell has five built-in microphones as well as a Shure-designed detachable boom mic. There are built-in volume controls for the headphones and mic as well.

Along with audio quality, comfort was a key consideration for Audeze. The 490-gram Maxwell has a spring-steel headband with an adjustable suspension strap. Moreover, the earcups feature a dual-chamber design that offer passive noise isolation.

There are two versions of Maxwell, one designed for PlayStation and the other for Xbox. Both work with Windows, macOS, Android, iOS and Nintendo Switch. The PlayStation model costs $299 and supports Tempest 3D Audio on PS5 and PC. The Xbox version (which is licensed by Microsoft) costs $329. It comes with a Dolby Atmos license that will activate automatically for Xbox Series X/S and PC. Pre-orders are open and Audeze expects to start shipping Maxwell in January.

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