'Final Fantasy XV' Director Shows Game Running On GTX 1080 Ti

Since the end of November 2016, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One fans have been playing Final Fantasy XV, the latest entry in Square Enix’s long-running franchise. However, the PC gaming crowd was left out in the cold, so to speak. Plans to bring the game to PC players have yet to be confirmed, but a GDC video presentation makes it seem like there could be something in the works.

At last week’s Game Developers Conference, Hajime Tabata, the game’s director, presented a video that showed the development team’s process for Final Fantasy XV. This included gathering data on realistic lighting effects, creating authentic facial reactions, and making the in-game food the envy of Instagram foodies everywhere. In the latter half of the video, however, the topic switched to a partnership between Nvidia and Luminous Studio Pro, the engine used by Tabata’s team to create Final Fantasy XV.

From that point on, you can see multiple facets of gameplay, all of which were captured with the newly-announced GeForce GTX 1080 Ti. This includes combat, scenery, and even a detailed rendering of a cat. The video then ends with “The studio that brought you Final Fantasy XV now looks ahead to the future.”


If the ending message is any indication, it seems that Tabata and his team aren’t finished with Final Fantasy XV just yet. In addition to the downloadable content coming to consoles, the team will have to make sure that the game is up to the visual and performance standards that come with creating a triple-A game for the PC. That is, of course, if the game is actually coming to PC at all.

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Fujitsu To Build AI Supercomputer With 24 Nvidia DGX-1 Systems

Fujitsu-built supercomputer for RikenFujitsu-built supercomputer for Riken

Fujitsu announced that it will build a supercomputer for Riken, a Japanese AI research center, that comes with 32 Intel Xeon-based Fujitsu servers and 24 Nvidia DGX-1 AI accelerator systems and boasts a peak theoretical performance of 4 petaflops.

Nvidia DGX-1

The DGX-1 is what Nvidia likes to call an “AI supercomputer in a box.” It features eight Tesla P100 GPUs that are optimized for deep learning, and the whole system can cost as much as $129,000. The Elon Musk-backed OpenAI nonprofit was the very first customer to get one.

According to Nvidia, a DGX-1 has the same performance as 250 conventional x86 servers. The key word here is “conventional,” as Intel has its own machine learning “Xeon Phi” accelerators now, which can offer much better competition. However, they may still not be a match for Nvidia’s latest GPUs.

Although things could change over the next few years, when we’ll see more FPGAs or ASICs on the market that are more optimized for machine learning, it looks like GPUs are still the most common and effective way to train neural networks right now. Nvidia has also invested heavily in the software ecosystem to make its GPUs that much more appealing for customers who want to train neural networks on its chips.

Riken’s Supercomputer

A performance of 4 petaflops is towards the lower end of the spectrum for today’s supercomputers, which can already reach around 100 petaflops, and will soon reach 300 petaflops. The lower performance target may be the reason why Riken and Fujitsu decided to go with a modular solution based on 24 DGX-1 systems rather than a more customized architecture.

The whole supercomputer will be comprised of two server architectures: Nvidia’s DGX-1 systems and Fujitsu’s Intel Xeon-based servers (Primergy RX2530 M2). The file system will run on a “high-reliability, high-performance storage system,” which includes six Fujitsu Server Primergy RX2540 M2 PC servers, eight Fujitsu Storage Eternus DX200 S3 storage systems, and one Fujitsu Storage Eternus DX100 S3 storage system to provide the IO processing demanded by deep learning analysis.

According to Nvidia, the DGX-1 systems will offer Riken’s supercomputer the following capabilities:

  • Containerized deep learning frameworks, optimized by NVIDIA for maximum GPU-accelerated deep learning training
  • Greater performance and multi-GPU scaling with NVIDIA NVLink, accelerating time to discovery
  • An integrated software and hardware architecture optimized for deep learning

The Riken R&D lab will use the supercomputer and its AI capabilities to find better solutions to social issues. Riken aims to find improvements to healthcare for the elderly, the management of aging infrastructure, and response to natural disasters. The Fujitsu-built supercomputer should go online in April.

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'Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3' Delayed (Again) To April 25

Those eager to play CI Games’ Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 next month will have to wait a little longer. After initially delaying the game from January to April, the studio pushed the release date back another three weeks to April 25.

The reason for this latest delay was based on feedback during the game’s beta session. This forced the developers to make some changes to the game, which CI Games CEO Mark Tyminski believes will be worth the wait.

“We’ve worked tirelessly creating a whole new Sniper Ghost Warrior experience set in an ambitiously crafted open world new to the series,” he said in a press release. “While it’s an unfortunate decision to delay the game one last time, we believe these final changes will result in a better experience for players worldwide on day one. Thank you for your patience – we know the wait will be worth it.”

For those curious about the gameplay, you can check out the studio’s stealth walkthrough of one of the game’s missions, or you can read about our early preview of the game from PAX West. If you’re already convinced that you’re getting the game, make sure your PC can handle it by checking on the hardware requirements.

Name Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3
Type Stealth, Action, Open-World
Developer CI Games
Publisher CI Games
Platforms PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Where To Buy
Release Date April 25, 2017

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How to use your phone and not lose your driving licence

How to use your phone and not lose your driving licence

New, tougher UK legislation now imposes strict regulations on using your phone while driving. Fines, points, and even losing your license are a possiblity if you’re caught even touching your handset while at the wheel. So we’ve gathered together some tips and helpful gadgets that still allow you to use your device without surrendering the driving seat.

Our collection of tips and gadgets that allow you to safely use your smartphone while driving.


By

Using your phone while driving is not a good idea. Aside from the road accidents it could cause there’s also the real possibility of falling foul of new, harsher legal restrictions that come into play from March 2017. Now any driver seen holding, touching, or generally interacting with a mobile device while in control of a vehicle (and that includes sitting at red lights or being stationary while stuck in traffic) could face the levy of six points on their license and a £200 fine.

Drivers who passed their test in the last two years could lose their license entirely if caught using a phone, and more experienced motorists who see their cases go to court also face the revocation of their driving privileges while being handed a £1000 fine. To avoid these costly mistakes we’ve put together a collection of tips and tech accessories that let you use your phone without losing your license.

See also: Best Dash Cams, How to buy a car, and Driverless cars in the UK

How to use your phone and not lose your driving licence : Don’t use your phone at all

Ok, it’s something of a nuclear option, but it’s the only way to be sure. Such is the frequency with which we interact with our beloved handsets it’s entirely possible to instinctively pick up a device at some point in a journey. This will inevitably be at the precise moment that you pull alongside a police car with an unforgiving occupant, and you’ll be bang to rights with that glowing rectangle in your hand.

If you don’t trust yourself to resist the siren song of Facebook, Twitter, or even your music app, put your phone in the glove box, your bag, or just somewhere you can’t reach it.

How to use your phone and not lose your driving licence : Delegate to a passenger

If you have other members of your family or friends in the car then you can hand your phone over at the start of a journey and ask them to be your surrogate. Of course there are inherent dangers of devolving power over the music selection to younger members of your entourage, but remember you retain dominion over the volume thanks to the stereo controls in the front.

How to use your phone and not lose your driving licence : Use a cradle

If you still want to see your phone while driving, which most of us do when using it as a sat-nav replacement, then a cradle is the obvious choice. There are a number of different styles available, nearly all of which are designed to fit any handset.

For the best visibility you’ll want a window mounted model like the Mpow Grip Flex Universal. This has a fully adjustable arm that allows drivers to position it so that they can clearly see what’s on the display.

How to use your phone in the car without losing your license

How to use your phone in the car without losing your license

Buy the Mpow Grip Flex Universal for £9.99 on Amazon

Of course this still remain a temptation to touch the screen but to stay in compliance with the law you’ll have to ensure that you enter the route and start the navigation while you’re parked and the engine is turned off.

Technically you’re not meant to have anything on your windscreen as it could be deemed to impede your vision. Of course a large proportion of drivers have their phones or sat-navs in front of them at all times, so the law seems to be rarely enforced. But if you want avoid being caught on a technicality you could opt for a cradle that attaches to the dashboard instead.

The EReach Car Mount Holder is a silicon mat that grips the dashboard and securely holds your phone in place. Due to its low level nature the mat should happily fulfill the Highway Code stipulations while still providing a useful and safe way to view the screen.

how to use your phone in the car without losing your license

how to use your phone in the car without losing your license

Buy the EReach Car Mount Holder for £7.99 on Amazon

How to use your phone and not lose your driving licence : Hands-free kits

A strange quirk in the law, as far as we understand it, is that even though most modern smartphones come equipped with voice control assistants (such as Cortana, Siri, and Google Assistant) actually talking to them is deemed interacting with your mobile device. Now, we’re not sure this is something that would be provable, as you could have been talking to yourself or singing along to a tune on Spotify, but again it’s worth knowing that there are alternatives. What you can do, and we know this makes little sense, is interact with hands-free bluetooth kits that control your phone.

If your car stereo doesn’t have an AUX input or Bluetooth capabilities then one cheap and cheerful product we’ve found useful in this regard is the Nulaxy Wireless In-car Bluetooth FM transmitter. This plugs into your cigarette lighter and routes voice calls, music, and messages through your stereo system via the FM radio. It means you can take calls while driving and listen to music without cables running through the cabin.

how to use your phone in the car without losing your license

how to use your phone in the car without losing your license

Buy the Nulaxy Wireless In-Car Bluetooth FM transmitter for £14.99 on Amazon

For cars that already have Bluetooth equipped you could try the SOAIY S-61 system, a small device that neatly slides onto your sun-visor and gives you access to the voice control features on your phone. This allows you to start or answer calls, control your music, and even send text messages without taking your hands off the wheel.

how to use phone in car without losing license

how to use phone in car without losing license

Buy the SOAIY S-61 for £26.99 on Amazon

How to use your phone and not lose your driving licence : Use a media control device

A common way that we interact with our phones while driving is to change tracks on an album or playlist. While these are short tasks, they invariably involve looking away from the road. To avoid this you could use a Bluetooth media controller that attaches to your steering wheel. These allow you to skip back and forth through songs and easily adjust the volume by using your thumb. You’ll find a number of different models available, with the kwmobile Bluetooth Media Button being one of our favourites.

how to use phone in car without losing license

how to use phone in car without losing license

Buy the kwmobile Bluetooth Media Button for £17.90 on Amazon

So there you go, a few handy gadgets that can make using your phone in the car a lawful activity. Of course once self-driving cars are finally ready we’ll be able to fiddle with our devices till the cows come home, but for now a little restraint is still required.

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Huawei P9 vs Huawei P10 comparison review

Huawei took to the stage at MWC 2017 in Barcelona to announce not only the sporty Huawei Watch 2, but also its colourful 2017 flagship, the Huawei P10. Boasting a colourful look and improved internals, how does the Huawei P10 compare to the 2016 flagship, the Huawei P9? Here we compare the design, features, cameras and software of the Huawei P9 and P10 to help you decide which is the best option for you. Read next: Best smartphones of 2017

Huawei P9 vs Huawei P10 comparison review: UK price and availability

So, let’s talk pricing and availability of both smartphones. The Huawei P9 is readily available to buy in the UK after being launched back in April 2016, and although it costed £449 at launch, the Huawei P9 can now be picked up for £390 outside of contract from the likes of Amazon.

How does that compare to the Huawei P10? Announced at MWC 2017, Huawei is yet to unveil UK pricing for the Huawei P10, leading us to believe it’ll cost a similar amount to the P9 at launch, although we’ll upgrade this section once we know more.

Read next: Huawei P10 review

Huawei P9 vs Huawei P10 comparison review: Design and build

Looking at the Huawei P9 and P10, it’s easy to see that the two are from the same family of smartphones. Featuring a similar minimalistic design, both the Huawei P9 and P10 look sleek and feature a high-end build quality as is standard with Huawei-manufactured smartphones, although there are notable differences between the two. Let’s start with the basics, dimensions and weight: the Huawei P9 measured in at 145 x 70.9 x 7mm and 144g compared to the P10’s 145.3 x 69.3 x 7mm and 145g, meaning the P10 is ever so slightly heavier, but shorter than the P9.

Now that’s not necessarily obvious enough when glancing at the two smartphones, what is more noticeable is the slight change in display: the P9 features a 5.2in display while the P10 drops 0.1in, measuring in at 5.1in. While the P10 features a slightly smaller display than its predecessor, it doesn’t seem to have made up for this in any way: they’re almost identical in terms of both dimensions and weight, so where has the extra 0.1in gone?

One could argue that it’s due to the decision to bring the fingerprint scanner to the front of the P10 below the display, while it sits comfortably on the rear of the P9. While when situated on the rear of the P9 the fingerprint scanner could also be used to access the notification shade, activate the camera shutter or swipe between photos, the functionality has been removed with the P10.

Instead, the P10 fingerprint scanner works as the Home, back and multi-task Android buttons in one by using a series of different gestures. While it works well, we still prefer the rear placement of the fingerprint scanner as it made accessing the notification shade and taking snaps a much easier process.

That’s not all that’s new. The Huawei P9 was available in a variety of colours and finishes, including Ceramic White, Haze Gold, Rose Hold, Titanium Grey, Mystic Silver and Prestige Gold, followed later in 2016 by Red and Blue variants, although the P10 offers something a little more ‘out there’. Apart from the late additions to the P9 range, it was fairly muted – something that Huawei wanted to change with the P10.

The P10 comes in Graphite Black, Dazzling Blue, Dazzling Gold, Rose Gold, Greenery, White Ceramic, Mystic Silver and Prestige Gold, although like with the P9, not all variants will be available in the UK. Huawei worked alongside Pantone to produce the vibrant and eye-catching dazzling blue and greenery colour options, with the colourful shimmer noticeable even in low light. That’s not all either, as Huawei also introduced a hyper-diamond cut available on the blue and gold variants of the P10. The company claims that it not only reduces the number of visible fingerprints on the metal unibody, but should also provide a bit of extra grip too.

Read next: Best Android smartphone of 2017

Huawei P9 vs Huawei P10 comparison review: Features and spec

So, how do Huawei’s 2016 and 2017 flagships compare in terms of display technology? Of course, the Huawei P9 has a slightly larger display measuring in at 5.2in compared to the 5.1in P10, but what about the technology inside? Both feature IPS displays and the same Full HD (1920 x 1080) resolution, although the P10 has a slightly higher pixel density at 432ppi compared to 423ppi.

The P10 also features superior protection as it boasts Gorilla Glass 5 protection, compared to the third-generation Gorilla Glass featured on the Huawei P9. Gorilla Glass 5 should be more effective in protecting your display from scratches and cracks, but it isn’t shatter- or scratchproof – we’re also yet to test this for ourselves.

Inside, the Huawei P9 packs an octa-core Kirin 955 CPU and Mali-T880 GPU with either 3 or 4GB of RAM depending on the variant you opted for. It performed well in our benchmarks, although it couldn’t quite compete with the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S7 or iPhone 7. The Huawei P10 features Huawei’s latest technology, including an upgraded octa-core Kirin 960 CPU and Mali-G71 GPU with 4GB of RAM as standard. While we haven’t benchmarked the P10 just yet, the late-2016 Huawei Mate 9 features the same internals and the performance really impressed us during benchmarking, offering significant gains compared to the P9.

The Huawei P10 also offers 64GB of storage as standard, while the P9 offers a choice of 32- or 64GB of storage, although arguably it doesn’t matter too much as both feature a microSD card slot that’ll increase storage by up to 256GB if required.

Of course, the main draw of both the Huawei P9 and P10 is the rear-facing dual-camera setup. First featured on the Huawei P9 in 2016, the Leica co-engineered cameras offer something a little different to other dual-lens setups. Why? The setup is comprised of one colour sensor and one monochrome sensor, with the monochrome sensor collecting more light and detail than its coloured variant, then splicing them together for a high-quality colour image. In terms of the Huawei P9, this was a combination of a 12Mp colour sensor and a 12Mp monochrome sensor, coupled with phase detection, laser autofocus and a dual-LED flash.

That offering has been upgraded for the P10: it features the same 12Mp colour sensor, but an upgraded 20Mp monochrome sensor to collect more light than its predecessor. Despite the larger monochrome sensor, the aperture stays the same as the P9 at f/2.2 – those looking for better should opt for the P10 Plus, which features improved lenses capable of capturing more light, and should perform better in low-light conditions. Along with the improved sensors, the Huawei P10 finally boasts optical image stabilisation and 4K video playback, two huge omissions from the Huawei P9.

That’s not all for the P10 either, as there’s a bunch of software additions too. The Huawei P10 is the second Huawei smartphone to feature the company’s lossless zoom technology, a Huawei-developed algorithm that provides a 2x digital zoom without any noticeable loss of quality. It’s impressive, as we noted in our Huawei Mate 9 review, but isn’t perfect. There’s also a new Portrait mode that analyses your face and tweaks the lighting and other elements to provide high quality ‘portrait shots’, or ‘selfies’ to you and us.

The front-facing camera has also had an upgrade when compared to the 2016 flagship. It has been upgraded from a standard 8Mp camera on the Huawei P9 to a Leica co-engineered 8Mp camera on the P10, although we’ll have to reserve our comments about quality until we’ve put the P10 through more tests.

Read next: Huawei P10 vs Huawei P10 Plus comparison review

Huawei P9 vs Huawei P10 comparison review: Software

Let’s talk software. The Huawei P9 features Android 6.0 Marshmallow with Huawei’s own EMUI 4.1 overlay, which has gone under fire many times in the past for not only being too complex but also for featuring quite a bit of bloatware. While there isn’t a huge amount of bloatware on the Huawei P9, there is an abundance of Huawei-branded apps and game demos when you first power on the device, many of which aren’t needed for general day-to-day tasks.

The Huawei P10, on the other hand, features Android 7.0 Nougat alongside EMUI 5.1, a total revamp of Huawei’s Emotion UI that offers a much-improved user experience when compared to EMUI 4.1. The update offered a simplified UI with access to a large percentage of phone functions within only two or three taps, and a much cleaner look.

It’s not all aesthetic though, as EMUI 5 introduced machine learning to Huawei’s smartphones and EMUI 5.1 is a natural progression of this. Huawei claims that the smartphone can learn from your habits to better allocate processing power to different apps at different times of day, providing a snappier experience. In fact, Huawei claims that the new machine learning capabilities will provide a faster smartphone after a year of use than when fresh out of the box.

This is coupled with the most recent addition to its roster of machine learning algorithms, with the Huawei P10 able to predict where on the display you’ll tap before you’ve tapped, allowing it to pre-load whatever you were going to tap on and thus, providing a more responsive smartphone experience. Of course, it’s hard to test these kinds of claims independently and as EMUI 5 hasn’t been out for a year, we can’t test its effectiveness compared to a non-EMUI 5 enabled smartphone just yet.

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Netflix vs Amazon Prime Video comparison review

Video streaming is now part of our modern daily lives, which means no more TV schedules and much more choice. If you’re trying to decide between Netflix and Amazon for your streaming needs, we’re on hand to help. Our Netflix vs Amazon Prime Video comparison review looks at price, devices, content, offline viewing and more to help you make up your mind. Plus, we also take a look at Netflix and Amazon’s lesser-known rivals including non-subscription options. Also see: How to avoid the latest Netflix scam.

Jump to: Price | Features | Devices | Content | Rivals

Note: Amazon Prime Video was once called LoveFilm Instant. For information about when LoveFilm ended and Amazon Prime Video took over, visit our What is Amazon Prime Video article.

Netflix vs Amazon Prime Video: Price

Netflix and Amazon Prime Video both offer a 30-day trial, so we’d strongly suggest starting with these as a way of seeing which one you prefer. You can go ahead and kick off your free trials by following the links below:

Amazon Prime Video free trial
Netflix free trial

Netflix’s pricing starts at £5.99 per month, and that’s for the basic subscription that only lets you watch on one screen at a time (you can’t share this with friends or family) and doesn’t offer HD content. The standard subscription model costs £7.49 per month, offering HD streaming on two devices at once. For Netflix Premium, you’re looking at £8.99 per month for 4K Ultra HD quality and the use of four devices at once.

Amazon Prime Video is a bit cheaper than Netflix, at £5.99 per month. Or, you can sign up to Amazon Prime for £79 per year, which also includes extras such as free next day delivery, Amazon Prime Music and more. This works out at £6.58 per month and is better value than Netflix if you order from Amazon fairly regularly and are happy with the video library on offer. Like Netflix, with Amazon Prime Video, you can stream to two devices at once.

Check out our Sky Q review for Sky’s latest set-top box and TV platform.

Netflix vs Amazon Prime Video: Features

You probably already know the basics, but we’ll sum them up here just in case. Both Netflix and Amazon Prime Video are subscription-based media streaming services that you pay for monthly in return for unlimited streaming of TV shows and films. They’re accessible via the internet on Smart TVs, games consoles, set-top boxes, desktop computers, laptops and mobile devices, and are regularly updated with new things to watch.

They also now both offer offline streaming, but both have limitations. Not all content is available to download to view offline, but the catalogue of downloadable content is continuously growing for both. You can find out more about how to download content by following the links below:

How to watch Amazon Prime offline
How to watch Netflix offline

Taking a closer look at the differences now, and you’ll find that Netflix offers better account features for anyone sharing their subscription. You can set up multiple accounts for different users to keep your recommendations and watch lists separate, and there’s also a dedicated kids section for child-friendly content.

Netflix user accounts

Netflix user accounts

One key difference that can be tricky to get your head around to start with is that, while everything you see on Netflix is available to stream, only Prime Video content with a ‘Prime’ banner can be watched as part of the subscription. Other videos are available to watch but come at an additional cost to buy or rent.

It’s also worth noting that the basic Netflix subscription at £7.49 doesn’t include 4K content, while the Amazon Prime Video service does at no extra cost.

You’re probably thinking that it’s an easy decision now, right? After all, we’ve said that Amazon gives you more for your money, but the issue is that it all comes down to compatible devices and available content, and that’s where things get tricky and will be different for different people. Read on to find out more.

See also: How to watch US Netflix in the UK.

Netflix vs Amazon Prime Video: Devices

Amazon Prime Video devices

Amazon Prime Video devices

To access Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, you’re going to need a compatible device. That could be a phone, tablet, laptop, games console or set-top box. See also: Amazon Fire TV Stick vs Chromecast vs Roku Streaming Stick.

We’ve put a table together below to show you the compatibility of each service (support may be limited to certain models, especially for TVs and Blu-ray players). Aside from the device listed below, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video can be used via a web browser on a PC or laptop, whether or not they are connected to an external display like a monitor or TV.

 

Netflix

Amazon Prime Video

Smart TV

Sony, Samsung, Sharp, LG, Philips, Panasonic, Toshiba

Sony, Samsung, LG, Panasonic

Games Console

Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, Wii, Wii U

Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, Wii, Wii U

Tablet

Android, iPad

iPad, Android, Amazon Fire

Smartphone

Android, iPhone, Windows Phone

Android, iPhone

Blu-ray player

Sony, Samsung, LG, Philips, Panasonic, Toshiba

Samsung, Sony

Home cinema system

LG, Sony

LG, Samsung, Sony

Set-top box

Sony, YouView, Virgin Media, TalkTalk

Samsung

Media streamer

Apple TV, Philips, Roku, Western Digital, Virgin Media, Google Chromecast

Amazon Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, Apple TV (via AirPlay from iPad or iPhone)

Netflix used to be the obvious choice because of the breadth of devices, but it’s now too close to call. You’re likely to have a number of devices which can access either service.

For full list of devices and models check Netflix and Amazon (and here).

Netflix vs Amazon Prime Video: Movies and TV shows content

Price, features and device compatibility is all well and good, but they mean nothing if there’s nothing you want to watch. Films and TV shows are on offer with both services, plus original content you won’t be able to find on rival services. Which is better in this respect will depend on your personal taste.

Examples of original series on Netflix include Better Call Saul, Orange Is The New Black, House of Cards, Bloodline, Daredevil and popular documentary series Making a Murderer. See our list of the best TV shows on Netflix and our round-up of the best Netflix movies here.

Over on Amazon you’ll find originals including The Man in the High Tower, Ripper Street, Black Sails, Bosch, Constantine and Extant.

It’s a bit easier to browse Amazon’s current library without having a subscription, so you can get a better idea of the content without even having to sign up for the free trial. Just search in Amazon’s website in a browser. You’ll find that it too is high quality, and offers a broad range.

They each have around the same amount of content, with close to 4,000 films and TV shows each, too.

As mentioned before, we think it’s well worth signing up to both trials in order to get a better idea of which has the offering that’s best suited to you.

Amazon Prime Video free trial
Netflix free trial

Amazon included with Prime TV and movies

Amazon included with Prime TV and movies

Netflix and Amazon Prime Video rivals

Of course, streaming is not just limited to Netflix and Amazon. There are plenty of other places you can go to watch on-demand movies and TV shows if you’d prefer.

A key rival to Netflix and Amazon Prime Video specifically for films is Sky Movies which provides titles via Now TV for £8.99 per month if you’re not a Sky customer. There are fewer movies on offer (over 1,000) but they are much newer. Now TV is available on a wide range of devices including TV, mobile and media streaming boxes.

There are various non-subscription options available if you want more of a pay as you go service. This way you can rent or buy to keep only the titles you really want to watch. Prices vary so you often need to shop around to find the best price and they are available on a range of devices, too.

Key players in the non-subscription streaming market (apart from Amazon) include Wuaki TV, TalkTalk TV (formerly Blinkbox), Sainsbury’s Entertainment, Google Play and iTunes.

Follow Chris Martin and @PCAdvisor on Twitter.

Best streaming services poll

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Ghost Recon: Wildlands (PC) impressions: A beautiful, buggy world with no load screens

Far as I can tell, Ghost Recon: Wildlands is a 30-50 hour game. PCWorld received a review code late on Friday (during GDC, no less) and I’ve only managed to play maybe 10 hours. So yeah, as you might expect we’re not reviewing Wildlands today.

Even so, I’m here to offer up my impressions from those first ten hours—mostly PC performance, but also an abbreviated section about the game itself.

Performance

If nothing else, Wildlands is a technical feat. I’m not going to say this is the largest map I’ve seen in a modern game, but it certainly feels that way at times. It’s enormous, with the game often asking you to travel upwards of six kilometers from one end of a province to another—and there are 20-odd provinces in the game, with no load screens as you travel.

Ghost Recon: Wildlands Ghost Recon: Wildlands

It’s stunning—and taxing. Even with a GeForce GTX 980 Ti I’ve had to dip certain settings to hit a steady 60 frames per second, and that’s at 1080p. At 1440p or 4K? Good luck. This game is brutal.

And I don’t think it’s Ubisoft’s fault. There will doubtless be some performance gains over the next few months, a bit more optimization both from both Ubisoft and the big graphics card companies. For the size of the game though, and the amount going on, Ghost Recon: Wildlands doesn’t seem poorly-optimized at launch. Just punishing.

For what it’s worth, I only saw major gains from changing two settings: Level of Detail and Vegetation Quality. Everything else netted me a frame or two extra performance, but dipping those two was enough to jump me 5-10 extra frames on average. Start there if you’re having issues, and make sure to take advantage of the in-game benchmarking tool. It’s accessible from the Options menu, and I found it a pretty reliable indicator of performance.

Ghost Recon: Wildlands Ghost Recon: Wildlands

Performance aside, the game is buggy as hell—some of which I first noticed months ago and which haven’t been rectified. Particularly in co-op, Wildlands seems to have all sorts of issues. I played about two hours this weekend alongside my colleague Adam Patrick Murray and in that time saw an error involving him repeatedly falling out of and respawning into a helicopter I was flying; an issue where he couldn’t revive me because my corpse had fallen under a pillar; a weird disconnect where I could see what he was doing but on his end my character had been replaced with an AI that was doing something totally different; and the list goes on and on.

Ghost Recon: Wildlands Ghost Recon: Wildlands

Zoom in, and you can see Adam standing outside this helicopter as I fly it.

One last note: I don’t have an AMD graphics card at home, and haven’t tested on one yet. There was a note with our review code though saying that AMD’s drivers would update on Monday. If we notice any widespread AMD issues we’ll be sure to let you know.