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Review: The PlayStation 4 Is Fast And Fun, But Needs Time To Grow

We live in a world where every other day there's a new iWhatever, a new tablet, just something. In video game culture, though, those moments aren't so prolific. As we celebrate the arrival of the PlayStation 4, we break down the ins and outs of the next-gen goliath.

Admittedly, two days is not really much time to get a fully actualized feel for the PlayStation 4. But, then again, you can learn a lot about a console in less than 48 hours when it's been broken down ever since the announcement of its launch earlier this year.

After downloading and installing the Day One 1.5 patch that activated many of the system's features, the PlayStation brand ushers gamers into the "next generation" with new features, a focus on social media and streaming, and a boosted emphasis on hardware that will surely pack a wallop when you play those first party titles.

The initial thing you'll notice when you navigate the revamped dashboard is how clean and speedy everything looks and feels. We opened up the web browser to note how fast the PlayStation 4's processing speed was. Running a custom eight-core AMD CPU, the PlayStation 4 was a dream when navigating online. Easy to punch in your favorite sites (VIBE.com, anyone?), the results were instantaneous and without lag. The PlayStation 4, which is capable of 1.84 teraflops performance, should be capable of much more in years to come — but for now, it was a joy and a pleasure. The physical box itself, designed by Mark Cerny (Knack), is a play off of the PlayStation 2 incarnation that gamers still love so dearly. Sharply-edged, drenched in ebony, the PlayStation 4 is roughly 11 inches wide by 2 inches tall by 12 inches deep and weighs just 6 pounds. Certainly, this looks better than the Betamax design of Microsoft's Xbox One, and slims down on the weight the PlayStation 3 had when it clocked in at nearly 11 pounds and was designed at 13 inches wide by 4 inches tall by 11 inches deep.

During a marathon play through of Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag, the system became heated after a 10 hour timeframe, its rear-panel ventilation grid (which included HDMI out, Ethernet and an auxiliary port for the PlayStation Camera) and recessed side partitions allowed the PlayStation 4 to easily transfer heat from the internal parts such that it would remain lukewarm to the touch. Initial reports before the console's release noted overheating and failing systems, but our review unit didn't experience any of those existential problems so far.

With this console, it is very clear that Sony wants its number one spot back after falling to Nintendo and Microsoft in previous years. The "wow" factor is noticeable from the moment you power up the PlayStation 4. The first time you see the crisp graphics, rendered textures, and detailed characters and objects, your eyes may take some time getting used to enjoying 60 frames per second.

Aside from the lush graphics on the screen, gamers will revel in the updated PlayStation 4 controller. The overhauled DualShock 4 is prepped for next-gen enjoyment. After using it heavily for 48 hours, Sony was right in keeping with the same concept since the PlayStation 1. The controller feels great in your hands, one can feel the added texture to the back of the controller, and the redesign allows for easier indication as to where your thumb is when you place it on the Sixaxis or the back trigger buttons. There's now an illuminated "Lightbar" between the triggers, faced forward, which identifies the player for multiplayer and can be partnered with the PlayStation Camera to enhance motion control. The Lightbar is also capable of feeding back color-based status information, such as a character's health state, or tagging letters upon the PlayStation 4's onscreen keyboard. On the gamepad's bottom, the DualShock 4 has a new, standard-size headphone jack that will allow gamers to play quietly during the late night or enable voice chat, without needing the $60 dual-camera PlayStation Camera.

Another noteworthy change is the touchpad, which is a nod to the PlayStation Vita that lets you play games with one finger. Resting in-between the traditional d-pad and the face buttons, the touchpad is a depressible, dotted, and smooth that was very responsive. At the time of review, we weren't able to put it into action, but during the PlayStation 4 demo, gamers will be able to call plays on NBA 2K14 or bring up your mechanized assistant in Killzone: Shadow Fall by swiping in a certain direction. Along with the removal of the "start" and "select" buttons in favor of the "share" and "options" buttons, the PlayStation 4 has doubled-down on its purpose to be the world's first social streaming video game console. The share, obviously, allows you to upload videos or photos to your favorite social media hubs (see: Facebook, Twitter), while the options button will allow you to invoke context-sensitive menus. The Remote Play functionality allows gamers the ability to stream their gameplay live through Twitch, which is a great and well-implemented feature that will surely become very popular as we go into the next year. Through your PlayStation Camera, you can become a gaming legend through the TV sets of other gamers around the world. All in all, this means the DualShock 4 is equipped with some of the smartest updates to ever grace the gaming community in years.

The social streaming segues us into the improved Cross-Media Bar, which may become background noise as we go deeper into the console's life. New features such as the "What's New" section expands into a three-column feed showing everything you, your friends and interested parties have done on the PlayStation Network. Displaying when you or your friends start games, broadcast live Twitch streams, or even earn trophies could be easily ignorable or an rewarding experience depending on your gameplay preferences. If you are a true social butterfly, the PlayStation 4 offers you an ability to keep up with not just what your friends and family are doing now but what they've done recently. The downside to this is that the PlayStation, much like all social media streams, promotes ads and PlayStation products every few screens which could become annoying very quickly.

While you can send a "real name" request to your PSN friend online, the cumbersome back-and-forth process of requesting and accepting the offer could prove to be equally annoying to newcomers.

Still, for all the updates, bells and tweets, the common thread that seems to maligned the PlayStation 4 is the lack of quality Day One titles. DriveClub and Watch_Dogs have both been pushed back until 2014, which angered a lot of gamers, but that is not the only red flag. The PlayStation 4 is missing a game from one of their first-party studios that can be called a true blockbuster. During last night's (Nov. 14) countdown, Naughty Dog's Uncharted 4 was teased to millions, but with that not a Day One release, it makes the other titles look flat. The PlayStation 4 has a surprising 23 games slated for release, but many on the list are already available for the PlayStation 3. Titles such as Knack, Contrast, Resogun are aimed to distinguish themselves from the pack, but only the latter two are causing any excitement.

Killzone: Shadow Fall is a great looking game, which is no surprise given the power of the "Jaguar," but boy is it a beautiful experience! Right now, this game is the one that will keep fans walking in the door, but the lack of premium titles at launch gives its competition, the Xbox One, a slight advantage. A plus for the PlayStation 4 is that now game installs are both compartmentalized and prioritized. You can play your game as it downloads. This feature never slowed the progress of the download or the game while being played, which is a reward all in itself.

With Sony's PlayStation 4, they've managed to fix some of the problems from previous consoles, introduce new and impressive features, and indoctrinate the gaming community into the next generation of play. The console's redesign is beautiful; the DualShock 4 controller is totally 21st Century with the introduction of the "share" button, and Sony's launching of an iOS PlayStation App allows you to keep in tune to your console even when you're away from the system. Clocking in at $399, the price is $100 less than the Xbox One, which is out one week later, but falls short in the exclusive gaming department.

The announcement of Naughty Dog's Uncharted 4 does a lot to quench the thirst of hardcore gamers, but with it being so early in the game, the PlayStation 4 needs a little bit more time to grow if it wants that number one spot back.

Don't believe us?! Take a look at the breakdown of the PlayStation 4 in this video below:

The PlayStation 4 is in stores now. Will you go out to get yours? Or wait until next year when there are more games?

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Kush & Splendor: 5 CBD Beauty Products That’ll Take Your Self-Care Routine From 0 To 100

Lotions, creams, and salves—oh my! With cannabidiol (CBD) popping up in just about every product you can imagine, the cannabis-infused beauty industry is clearly on the come-up. In fact, analysts predict that the “wellness” movement—as well as the legalization of Mary Jane across the world—will help rake in $25 billion globally in the next 10 years, according to Business Insider. That’s 15 percent of the $167 billion skincare market.

And what better way to up the ante on one’s wellness routine than with all-natural CBD? Just ask Dr. Lana Butner, naturopathic doctor and acupuncturist at NYC’s Modrn Sanctuary, who incorporates CBD in her treatments.

“CBD is a fantastic addition to acupuncture sessions for both its relaxation and anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving effects,” Butner shares with Vixen. “The calming effects of CBD allows for patients to deeply relax into the treatment and really tap into the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for rest, digestion and muscle repair/regeneration.”

She adds that CBD’s pain-relieving effects are “far-reaching,” from muscular and joint pains to migraines and arthritis—and even IBS and indigestion.

The magic lies in CBD’s ability to impact endocannabinoid receptor activity in our bodies. Without getting too wordy, our bodies come equipped with a system called the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is the HBIC over our sleep, appetite, pain and immune system response. Also known as cannabidiol, CBD teams up with this system to help reduce inflammation and interact with neurotransmitters. According to Healthline, CBD has also been scientifically shown to impact the brain’s receptors for serotonin, the neurotransmitter responsible for regulating our mood and social behavior.

All that said, it’s important to note that not all CBD products are created equal. Many brands cashing in on the green beauty wave use hemp seed oil, sometimes referred to as cannabis sativa seed oil, in place of CBD... which doesn’t make them any less great! Hemp seed oil is actually high in antioxidants, amino acids, and omega-3 and -6 fatty acids—all of which are thebomb.com for your skin.

“It’s generally viewed as a superfood and is great for adding nutritional value to your diet,” Ashley Lewis, co-founder of Fleur Marché, told Well and Good last month. “In terms of skin care, it’s known as a powerful moisturizer and skin softener that doesn’t clog pores or contribute to oily skin.”

However, when companies start marketing CBD and hemp oil as one-in-the-same, that’s when things get a bit tricky.

“The biggest issue is that hemp seed oil and CBD are two totally different compounds that come from different parts of the hemp plant, have different makeups, and different benefits,” Lewis added. “Marketing them as the same thing just isn’t accurate and does a disservice to consumers who are expecting certain benefits that they won’t get from hemp seed oil and who are often paying more for what they think is CBD.”

So if you’re looking to benefit from the perks specifically attributed to CBD, make sure you’re reading labels before buying, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Hell, ask for a product’s test results, while you’re at it. It never hurts to be sure.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, are you ready to see what all the hype is about? For this 4/20, we rounded up a few CBD (and hemp!)-infused products to help give your self-care routine a bit of a boost. Looks like your holiday just got that much kushier. You’re welcome!

Note: Data and regulations surrounding CBD and its use are still in development. That said, please don’t take anything written in this post as medical or legal advice, and definitely double check the laws in your state. Also, please do your body a favor and hit up your doctor before trying any new supplements. We’re just tryna look out for you. Okay? Okay. Read on.

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Jamie Foxx and Grey Goose take over The Times Square Edition bar to Live Victoriously launch event.
Jamie McCarthy for Getty Images – The Times Square Edition

Jamie Foxx Takes Over Grey Goose Happy Hour, Announces Comedy Tour

Leave it to Jamie Foxx to take over a New York City happy hour. To celebrate the launch of Grey Goose's latest campaign, Live Victoriously, the actor and comedian made a surprise appearance at The Time Square EDITION Hotel on Tuesday (April 16).

As attendees were treated to after-work cocktails like "Angel of Music" (Grey Goose vodka, sparkling rosé, and lemon cardamom) and "The Grey Goose Martini" (Grey Goose vodka, dry vermouth, orange bitters with a twist of lemon), Foxx walked behind the bar, took over and mingled with attendees. Bar-goers joined him behind the bar, danced, showcased some dancing and rapping talents on the impromptu "Grey Goose Idol" and jammed out to songs like "Blame It" (feat. T-Pain). Later in the evening, Pepa of Salt-N-Pepa made an appearance, Foxx cracked jokes and announced his upcoming, Kill the Comedian Tour, his first stand-up tour since his last comedy special in 2003.

As Jamie busted throwback moves behind the bar with bar-goers, comedians Aidy Bryant of Shrill and SNL’s Colin Jost made surprise appearances at Brooklyn's Extra Fancy and the Financial District's Underdog. Bryant and Jost performed spontaneous stand-up comedy routines and played a small game of sending selfies to each other.

Scroll through more photos from Jamie Foxx's appearance at Grey Goose's Live Victoriously event down below. Like Foxx wrote in his Instagram post, "Sometimes you gotta turn up on a Tuesday" and celebrating life's small, everyday moments.

Turning a random Tuesday into a night to remember. This is how to #LiveVictoriously ✌🏽. @iamjamiefoxx pic.twitter.com/IOdb58NWNw

— Grey Goose (@GreyGoose) April 17, 2019

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ANGELA WEISS

Rihanna Trademarks "Fenty Skin"

Rihanna's "Fenty" brand is expanding once again. After filing a trademark application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office on Mar. 25, Riri has officially secured a trademark for "Fenty Skin," Page Six confirms.

Fenty Skin will reportedly consist of a line of "medicated and non-medicated skincare, soap, body care and personal care products, and related accessories such as kits, tools and applicators." It will not include color cosmetic, perfume, or other fragrance products, however.

Although the trademark was approved only one month after the application was filed, Page Six notes that an examining attorney still has to process the trademark, which could take up to three months.

Once Fenty Skin is finalized though, it will join Rihanna's other thriving lines including the culturally-inclusive makeup collection, Fenty Beauty. The singer also has a lingerie line called Savage x Fenty.

Be on the lookout for Fenty Skin.

 

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The @FENTYBEAUTY summer takeover continues! 💪🏿BRONZER. 8 SHADES coming ‪on APRIL 5th‬!! It took over 2 years for me to create our #SUNSTALKR BRONZER with every skin tone in mind! Look out for it at ‪fentybeauty.com‬, @sephora, @harveynichols, and #SephorainJCP

A post shared by badgalriri (@badgalriri) on Mar 28, 2019 at 11:30am PDT

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