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How PEN15 Threw A Convincing 2000s Pool Party, Down To The Boy Shorts

By Sara Radin PEN15 is officially back for its second season on Hulu, and it’s still seventh grade for best friends forever Anna and Maya, played by 33-year-old writer-creators Anna Konkle and Maya Erskine inhabiting 13-year-old versions of themselves. Just like in the first season, the middle school memories and pre-teen outfits definitely do not…

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By Sara Radin
PEN15 is officially back for its second season on Hulu, and it’s still seventh grade for best friends forever Anna and Maya, played by 33-year-old writer-creators Anna Konkle and Maya Erskine inhabiting 13-year-old versions of themselves. Just like in the first season, the middle school memories and pre-teen outfits definitely do not disappoint.
Season 2 finds the BFFs attending a co-ed pool party just days after their secret closet rendezvous with seventh-grade heartthrob Brandt during the school dance that closed the previous finale. For the splashy occasion, Anna wears a denim print swimsuit with a zip down the middle while Maya rocks a floral printed handkerchief-style top with ties. Both looks feature boy shorts, a swimsuit staple for adolescent women in the late 1990s and early 2000s. I myself am guilty of owning plenty.
While their swimwear may seem rather simple, costume designer Melissa Walker explains that it required a lot of creativity to squeeze the stars’ adult bosoms into the suits so their bodies look like that of seventh-grade girls. This is a challenge Walker has run into since the show debuted in 2019, but luckily she’s since been able to upgrade from ACE bandages to compression tanks and bandeau tops. These details are also what make the lead characters’ actions so compelling: From wearing muscle costumes and trying to join the boys wrestling team to practicing witchcraft while rocking thick eyeliner and necklaces made from hair, Maya and Anna always stay true to themselves.
HuluWalker likens the process of working with Erskine and Konkle to a “slumber party” because of how it also gives her an opportunity to dip into her own middle school memories and wardrobe. “Maya and Anna are so collaborative, and it’s like, ‘Oh, here’s a very specific memory from my childhood. Here’s one from yours,’” she tells MTV News. “And it’s just nice to cook them all in the pot and see what the most embarrassing soup is that we can make.”
Below, Walker talks about the process of building out the stars’ wardrobes and why she loves working with the IRL best friends so much.
MTV News: What has your process been for building the wardrobe out for the characters?
Melissa Walker: When we started, I went ahead and bought a bunch of YM and Seventeen magazines from like 1997 to 2000 so that we could still see what the kids [saw], who were a few years behind or got hand-me-downs from their older siblings, which is the case with Maya and those more on top of trends. There was such a variance between going through these teen magazines and seeing what the fashion sense actually was versus how that’s interpreted by a high schooler or even a middle schooler, because it’s just so different.
I’m a few years older than Anna and Maya. So I looked through my yearbooks and even thought about the way I translated trends versus how you do in seventh grade. Like, it’s usually right before your first job, so you don’t have money to buy anything on your own, and your parents have much more of an input into what’s going on. That was a big factor, especially with Maya’s mom being a little more overbearing, and then there’s Anna’s parents going through the divorce and being distracted. So we definitely tried to factor that into the decisions that they made through their wardrobe.
There were also very specific things this season, and last season, that were universal, like Rocket Dogs, Skechers, and low-rise jeans. There were very specific memories for Maya, having grown up in California, that we inserted into the show. And then Anna, all the popular girls in her school — she grew up in Vermont — had the matching Tiffany’s jewelry. So we made sure that all the popular girls had those.
HuluMTV News: What were some of the challenges you’ve run into with trying to make them look like seventh graders?
Walker: The first episode they threw at me this year was a pool party. We ended up building these bathing suits with compression in it already. We made Anna a denim pocket print tankini suit with spandex and boys shorts. I remember one of my friends had something similar but it was a handkerchief top. Then the bottoms that Maya had, they were little boy shorts, but I specifically added strings on the side. Back then, you’d wear them long so when you left the house, your mom thought you were being a good kid and then soon as you get to pool or beach you’d hike it up thinking that showing another inch or two inches of your thigh was sexy, but it ended up just bunching and looking like a diaper.
Sometimes I’d have to do very quick fittings with them for a specific outfit in between scenes, and when they’re not wearing the bra, you can see a difference in their posture and how it helps them change into their characters.
MTV News: That sounds like such a fun thing to witness.
Walker: The best part of it is that they’re just willing to go for it. One time there was a pair of MUD jeans, and I was like, oh, these might be a little too small. And they’re like, “No, we want the muffin top. We want that. We want the cringe. We want the embarrassment.” They’re not afraid of pushing it as far as they can go. And that freedom for a costume designer is such a treasure.
HuluMTV News: So in terms of sourcing the pieces, did you pull from thrift stores? Did you mainly create the pieces that they wore?
Walker: We did a few different things. Season 1, we definitely did a lot of Goodwill and thrifting. The ‘90s were popular, but Y2K wasn’t old enough to not be cool, but not old enough to be cool again. So I was able to find a lot of what I was looking for thrifting or on eBay and just in the time since then, the items I was looking at on eBay went from like $30 to $300. And now there’s this resurgence of specific Y2K fashions, so finding things was definitely more of a challenge.
The price point of all the vintage went up, but then we got to do a lot more collaboration with companies because, you know, Tommy Hilfiger, Lucky jeans, and Skechers — they’ve all started revamping older styles. I got to reach out to some different brands and actually have them send me some of their archived graphics from like 1999 and 2000 so I could reprint them. It was fun to get to collaborate with bigger brands and designers. And then this year we got to make more of the garments too, because we had to have multiples of a lot of things this year for different gags and whatnot. For example, we actually had to remake the Tommy Hilfiger shirt Maya, Anna, and Maura ended up all sharing.
MTV News: That’s so cool. And you mentioned that there’s an actual clothing collaboration, right? 
Walker: We’re making a PEN15-inspired clothing line and right now that’s just launched. Once we started shooting this year, the girls were obsessed with their bathing suits and they were like, “We need to make these.” And so we had intended on making a clothing company, and I was putting together my pitch, but then everything shut down with COVID and no one wanted to invest in the clothing line. So I actually partnered with a factory in downtown [Los Angeles], and we’re creating a program now to help encourage more designers to make clothing lines inspired by their work on the big screen.

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Sotheby’s to Offer $90 M. Giacometti Sculpture in Hybrid ‘Sealed Bid’ Sale

In advance of its New York modern and contemporary art evening sales next week on October 28, Sotheby’s has secured a valuable Alberto Giacometti sculpture for a private sale titled “In Confidence: A Masterpiece by Alberto Giacometti.” Grande femme I (cast in 1960) will be sold via confidential bidding starting on October 20. The work…

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In advance of its New York modern and contemporary art evening sales next week on October 28, Sotheby’s has secured a valuable Alberto Giacometti sculpture for a private sale titled “In Confidence: A Masterpiece by Alberto Giacometti.” Grande femme I (cast in 1960) will be sold via confidential bidding starting on October 20. The work is valued at $90 million.
Standing at nine feet tall, Grande femme I is from a series of five monumental female figures, each made by the Swiss artist for an outdoor installation project at Chase Manhattan Plaza in New York conceived in 1958. The cast was completed in 1960. The work carries an impressive provenance, having been formerly owned by Chicago collector Robert Mayer, whose American contemporary art holdings sold at Christie’s in 2019.  It changed hands again before going to New York art dealer and former Major League Baseball team owner Jeffrey Loria. The current seller, Revlon Inc. owner Ron Perelman, acquired it in 1993, and the work was last on the market in 1989, when Mayer sold it at Christie’s New York.

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The sale of Giacometti’s L’homme au doigt (Pointing man), 1947, at Christie’s New York set the artist’s record in May 2015, when it sold for a staggering $141.3 million, making it the most expensive work ever to sell at auction. It was sold by real estate magnate Sheldon Solow. Before that sale, the biggest sum ever paid for a Giacometti at auction was the $104.3 million put down for L’Homme qui marche I (Walking man), a companion work to the present sculpture, during at Sotheby’s London in February 2010. The sale of his Chariot sculpture generated the third-highest price for the artist when it sold for $100 million at Sotheby’s New York in November 2014. In October 2017, the artist’s Grande Femme II (c. 1960) sold for €25 million ($30 million) in a Christie’s Paris sale.
In an interview, Brooke Lampley, Sotheby’s vice chairman, global fine arts, said that the sculpture being brought to sale this month, in comparison to the record-setting male figure comparables, is valuable given the female subject’s continuity throughout Giacometti’s work. He began casting female figures in the early 1940s and enlarged them in the late 1950s. “You really can’t get a better example that is indicative of the artist’s intention,” she said.

To sell Grande femme I, Sotheby’s will hold what’s known as a “sealed bid” sale intended to combine the anonymity of a private sale and the competition of public auction. Bidding will run from October 20 to 27. According to Sotheby’s statement, the “sealed bid process represents an open, competitive, and timed private sale.”
All interested buyers are required to submit a confidential bid for the work, which has a minimum starting bid of $90 million. At the sale’s close, Sotheby’s general council and an independent auditor will review the irrevocable bids, and the highest bidder will win the work. No specialists will able to review the bids.
“We conceived of this sale as a unique approach to this special object,” said Lampley, adding that the house was interested in “how to embrace the worldwide appeal of such an iconic work by one of the masters of the 20th century with the privacy clients expect when bidding at this price level.”

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Prime Day price cuts return to Best Buy: $55 Fire tablet, $45 Echo Show 5, $30 Fire TV Stick 4K and more – CNET

This story is part of Holiday Gift Guide 2020, CNET’s gift picks with expert advice, reviews and recommendations for the latest tech gifts for you and your family. Did you miss out on last week’s Prime Day deals at Amazon? We’ve got good news: Some of the best Amazon device deals are back… but this…

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This story is part of Holiday Gift Guide 2020, CNET’s gift picks with expert advice, reviews and recommendations for the latest tech gifts for you and your family.

Did you miss out on last week’s Prime Day deals at Amazon? We’ve got good news: Some of the best Amazon device deals are back… but this time at Best Buy. The 60-hour sale started at 10 a.m. PT Tuesday and runs through 10 p.m. PT Thursday. It started mostly with Echo speakers and displays (listed below), but as of Wednesday morning, more Prime Day low prices returned to Best Buy’s shelves. To be clear, all of these Amazon devices are now available at Best Buy for far less than what you’d pay at Amazon proper. Many of these discounts are available at Home Depot, too.The savings listed are compared to the prices on Amazon at the time of this writing. As always, prices and inventory are subject to change.Don’t see anything you want here? Don’t worry — more sales are coming, including Black Friday and Cyber Monday. 

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Amazon’s entry-level smart speaker is back down to $19, which is as low as these things tend to go. Just keep in mind this is not the new 2020 spherical model — that one hasn’t even been released yet. 

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

If you want a display for video chatting, watching Netflix or just using as a smart alarm clock, the Show 5 — the smallest smart display from Amazon — is a great little gadget. Last year on Prime Day, the Echo Show 5 bottomed out at $50. This year, it got as low as $45, and Best Buy is now matching that price if you missed it last week.

Read our Echo Show 5 review.

Chris Monroe/CNET

Normally a Ring Video Doorbell runs for $200, and the Echo Show 5 smart display goes for $90. The same bundle is currently selling for $275 on Amazon. But Best Buy is offering the doorbell for $140, and tossing in the smart display for just $10 more. If you’re looking to jump-start a smart home around a video doorbell, this deal is one of the best you’ll find.

Amazon

If you still pull in live TV over the air, you can record shows and watch them any time with the Fire TV Recast DVR. This version has a 500GB hard drive (a full 1TB version is also available) with two tuners, so you can record two shows at once. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

Amazon’s biggest, loudest and best-sounding speaker is your choice for a smart speaker that needs to fill a room. It works great with a range of audio from action movies to music. It also supports Dolby Atmos and Fire TV. This speaker is likely to make almost anyone (with the exception of dedicated audiophiles) quite happy. 

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

The Amazon Echo Auto is a clever little device that ports Alexa into your car, letting the voice assistant speak and play music through your stereo. At $30 off, the Echo Auto is a solid deal for anyone wanting to smarten up their non-voice-equipped car.

Chris Monroe/CNET

Amazon’s Echo Flex is a clever little gadget, adding Alexa to a modular smart plug design. The plug itself can attach various augmentations, like an LED clock, a motion sensor or a night light. To get this little device, plus all of Alexa’s smarts, for only $10, is a solid deal.

This article was previously published as part of our Prime Day 2020 coverage. It has been updated to reflect pricing and deals for Best Buy’s sale. 

Subscribe to our daily spotlight on the best tech deals on the web – from phones to gadgets and more.

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PS5 vs Xbox Series X: The next-gen consoles we’re buying and why – CNET

Next gen console releases are weeks away and we’re excited!The PlayStation 5 hits stores on November 12 and the Xbox Series X and Series S launches two days earlier on November 10.But which one should you buy? And which one can you buy now that pre-orders have gone nuts?  For more like this Subscribe to the CNET Now newsletter…

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Next gen console releases are weeks away and we’re excited!The PlayStation 5 hits stores on November 12 and the Xbox Series X and Series S launches two days earlier on November 10.But which one should you buy? And which one can you buy now that pre-orders have gone nuts? 

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That’s a tricky question with a lot of layers to dissect. The answer is: It depends. Do you own a 4K TV? Do you subscribe to Game Pass? Are you a Halo fan or a God of War fan? Do you like Bethesda games or Naughty Dog games?We thought we’d ask the dedicated gamers on CNET’s staff which consoles they’re planning to buy and in what order.Mark SerrelsIf you have a 4K TV you most likely want to go with the Series X over the Series S.
Microsoft
I’ve thought long and hard about this and I’m pretty sure I’m going to end up with both an Xbox Series X and a PlayStation 5.As an owner of a 4K LG OLED, I have zero interest in the Xbox Series S, despite the fact I love the design. The fact the console doesn’t support 4K gaming guarantees I’ll be picking up a Series X instead. I suspect the Series X will be the best choice for cross platform games this generation and Game Pass is an incredible service so, for me, an Xbox Series X is a must. I love how seamlessly it runs last-gen games with super high frame-rates at 4K. It’ll be a while before must-play next-gen titles trickle in so that’s another important selling point for me.I’ll also pick up a PS5 though — probably the digital edition. I haven’t bought a box copy of a video game in years, despite the fact they’re slightly cheaper here in Australia. I like the convenience of having all my games stored on a hard drive and I like the lower cost of the digital edition itself.Which console will I buy first? Depends which one I can get to be honest. Most likely I’ll pick up the PS5 if I can — purely because I want to play the Demon’s Souls remake. But I’ll be grabbing an Xbox Series X either at the same time or immediately afterwards.Steph PanecasioI think at this point I’ve settled on getting the digital edition of the Playstation 5, but not at launch. The hype is pretty extensive and I’m enjoying being a spectator for the console war drama, but I’d rather wait until it’s actually necessary to get them — my PS4 and Xbox One X can still do the job well enough and I’ve got no reason to upgrade just yet. So yes, when I do, I’ll opt for the Playstation first. Historically I’d get both, but I need to stop being a hoarder when it comes to consoles and games (you’re looking at the person who inexplicably has seven physical copies of The Witcher 3). By opting for only one console (at least to start) I’m saving a huge chunk of space on my TV cabinet — have you seen the size of these things? And by opting for the digital model, I’m freeing up space in my bookshelves for, well, actual books. As for Xbox, I’m still incredibly tempted by the Game Pass service, I won’t lie. Will I get one eventually? Maybe. I’m half hoping my partner will get one himself, thus removing the need for me to worry about forking over more cash. Excuse me while I send this article to him for future reference.Dan Ackerman
CD Project Red
Who am I kidding, I’m getting them both. I’ve already pre-ordered a Xbox Series X and plan on getting a PS5 asap. I can legitimately say it’s for “professional development,” plus, as terrible as this sounds, I just like going through all the menus and setup and output options and everything. That’s what happens after you work at CNET for a certain number of years. Funnily enough, I was never into console games as a kid. After the Atari 2600, I was right onto my Tandy TRS-80 Color Computer (aka, the Trash 80), and mostly PC gaming through my teen and college years, but not even much of that. My return to consoledom started when I caught a live-action TV ad for Resident Evil 2 back in the late 1990s and said,” Wow, that looks like a George Romero movie, I’ve got to get one of those…” Less than a year later, I was working at an early video game website (UGO.com) and covering the launch of the Sega Dreamcast, so I’ve had every console since then, from the RROD Xbox 360 to the dusty Wii U. I am skipping the Series S, no need with my 4K LG OLED TV (probably the most-common TV among CNET editors) and, frankly, I’m not thrilled about the launch game lineup on either console. No must-haves for me, and there’s not even a next-gen version of Cyberpunk 2077. I’d love my Spider-Man save to transfer to the PS5, but that’s about as much as I care about backwards compatibility. I generally have zero interest in revisiting old games. They’re never as good as you remember. If you’re worried about playing Perfect Dark or Halo 1 or anything like that on a new-for-2020 console, you might as well just make the full leap and start playing Gloomhaven. Nicole ArcherHorizon Forbidden West will be a must play on PS5.
Sony
I’m going to make this short and sweet: I am not a fan of brutalism and I find the design of the Xbox Series X personally offensive. If my niece comes to visit, I would have to baby proof the box lest she falls and blinds herself on the corner. Plus, I just really really like Horizon Zero Dawn and want to play the sequel. That said I’ll probably eventually get the Xbox Series S because I feel like it would look good next to my PS5. Plus, my first gaming console was the original Xbox and I will always have a soft spot for the old boy — I would be betraying my roots if I didn’t pick up an Xbox again.Daniel Van BoomEventually, I’ll buy both a PlayStation 5 and an Xbox Series X. By the end of 2020? I’ll have bought neither.I enjoy system wars as much as the next guy, but right now the excitement around both next-gen consoles is a little too theoretical. Microsoft’s Game Pass-centred model, in which the Series S/X are essentially hardware to power the Xbox streaming service, could change the industry. Sony’s renewed fanaticism about exclusive titles could result in more must-play first-party games.But both possibilities lie in 2021 and beyond. Come November, there won’t be many games on either console you can’t play on a PS4 or Xbox One. For me, that means there’s no rush to buy a PS5 or Xbox Series S/X.For the future, I suspect I’ll buy a PS5 first. Both consoles will be bought with a disc drive — it makes it easier to wiggle out of a $69.95 RRP. Lori GruninLet’s split “Lori Grunin” in two: The reviewer and the real person. Both ended up agreeing that the Xbox Series S is the best option because money and Game Pass Ultimate. 
Dan Ackerman/CNET
Personally, a console is competing with the need for a pricey new phone, a new iPad Pro and a new full-frame camera and lenses, along with a cranky old biddy of a cat who needs dental work and who has expensive taste in food. I’ve still got a 1080p TV, which I haven’t watched since cutting the cord a while back. I don’t particularly want to chip in for a new one because I’m a cranky old biddy of a person with expensive taste in gear.While Lori the reviewer toyed with the idea of a PS5, Game Pass Ultimate and day one availability for new exclusives sold the Xbox to both sides of my brain. But I would never have preordered anything, because as a rule I consider it insane to spend money on almost anything over $50 before it’s been out for at least a few months and has had a chance to be debugged and dissected ad nauseum. I’ve also had years of exposure to the latest and greatest of everything to learn to get over the FOMO for most of it. Lori the reviewer spent hours hitting refresh on three different sites for them all when preorders went live.Jackson RyanWould love to see a new console generation defined by the unique experiences it can bring to video games, rather than improvements in POWER and SPEED. These new consoles feel like souped up current-gens.I have a perfectly good Nintendo Switch. That will see me through until there’s an absolute must play on either of these bilious boxes.Sean KeaneAfter much thought, I preordered a PS5 so I can play the shiniest version of Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales and the Demon’s Souls remake. But the deciding factor was Resident Evil Village. I know the console won’t get a price drop before that comes out next year (Capcom hadn’t hinted at a PS4 version before I preordered).Miles Morales goes to work.
Insomniac/Screenshot by CNET
I’m still using a launch PS4 and don’t intend to get whatever mid-generational PS5 upgrade Sony puts out, so I’ll wring plenty of value out of the PS5 over its seven-year lifespan — to play the remaining PS4 games in 4K and move fully onto the next-gen when it really gets started in late 2021.To maximize the likelihood of getting games as cheaply as possible, I’ve opted for the model with disc drive. Even though most of my purchases are digital, I don’t want to give Sony too much power. Also my friends sometimes give me physical games as presents.As for Xbox Series X, I’m still undecided. I was all about the Xbox 360, but the Xbox One never had an exclusive game that made the console irresistible. Microsoft’s purchase of Bethesda certainly makes a killer Series X exclusive (Series Xclusive?) more likely, but I’ll wait and see.Game Pass is a pretty great service, but my already massive backlog makes it a less tempting prospect.Eli BlumenthalWhile I have been looking for both the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 All-Digital, I so far have only preordered the Xbox. After growing up playing all three generations of Xbox, I have been swayed towards PlayStation in recent years through games like Spider-Man PS4 and MLB The Show. I’m a big sports gamer and while most recent titles have lacked noticeable or game changing improvements on current-gen, the new trailer for NBA 2K21 on next-gen has me hyped for what both of these new systems can offer. The insane battle to find somewhere to preorder a PS5 has kept me in the Xbox camp, at least for right now. As someone who doesn’t have a large catalog of PlayStation discs, I can’t bring myself to justify shelling out the extra $100 for the regular PS5 (based on early reports, I could be in for a longer wait as it seems like Digital consoles are in shorter supply than disc ones). Throw in the rising costs for next-gen PlayStation controllers and major games and I feel like there are even better uses for that money than a disc drive I almost certainly won’t use. I can’t even remember the last time I used a disc in general — PlayStation, Xbox, Blu-ray, DVD or CD. As for the Xbox, a few factors swayed me including the fact that I have a Game Pass subscription, am really intrigued by xCloud and that I have friends and family planning to get one. While I thought about the Series S, with my TCL 6 Series has 4K and Dolby Vision and like Serrels the appeal of 4K gaming was enough to get me to choose the bigger system. Plus, I was lucky enough to see it available on Amazon to place the order (even if it now may no longer arrive on the 10th). Eric FranklinSince the release of the Xbox One X I’ve become a primarily Xbox player. Microsoft’s services like Play Anywhere, xCloud and of course Xbox Game Pass address my gaming needs as a dad with two young kids and not a lot of time to himself. So I’ve opted to preorder both the Xbox Series X for my living room and an Xbox Series S for my home office. The Series X will replace my One X and the Series S will double up with my newly built PC on my brand new 27-inch 1440p HDR 144hz monitor. In reality, I’ll likely end up playing on the Series S the most since my wife gets first dibs on our 4K TV. As for games, while I’m looking forward to trying a few launch games like The Medium, The Ascent and The Falconeer, I’m equally as interested in playing my current huge backlog of game like The Outer Worlds, Doom Eternal and the Yakuza series — I’m still early in Yakuza 0, my first foray into the world of Japanese gangsters and goofiness — with faster load times and the ability to quickly switch between them — I get bored easily — with the Quick Resume feature.Since Microsoft revealed these features in March, the new Xbox has occupied way too much of my brainspace, but soon it will have a chance to live up to my way too high expectations for it.As for the PS5, I’ll likely get one eventually, but may wait until they slim that puppy down — have you heard? It’s big. Oscar GonzalezI’m usually a two-console kind of gamer, but my original plan for this generation was to start off with the PS5 and then eventually get my hands on an Xbox Series X. The lack of a strong, exclusive launch game — for me, it would have been Halo: Infinite — makes Microsoft’s next-gen console a little less attractive. That changed with EA Play’s inclusion into Games Pass and seeing Quick Resume in action. While yes, I will be able to play Games Pass titles on my Xbox One, the idea of having all the games I’m playing through available to play within seconds of each other is something I didn’t know I wanted. As a guy who wants to jump into different multiplayer games such as Call of Duty: Warzone, Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 and even Fortnite as well as work on various single-player games like the Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry games, the Quick Resume is going to be the feature designed just for me. 
Epic Games
Because of that, I have a pre-order for the PS5 and Xbox Series X. As tempted as I am to go entirely digital this generation, the fact is that new physical games at launch, or weeks after release, tend to go on sale. Digital version don’t. Retailers are also quicker to drop the price of games if they fail to sell at launch while digital titles take much longer before a significant sale. So for me, the Xbox Series X will be the Games Pass machine while the PS5 is for Sony published titles and other exclusives. It’s the best of both worlds and at the best price. 

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