Samsung announces two new ‘affordable’ curved gaming monitors

Samsung has announced a pair of gaming monitors at Gamescom 2018, positioning them as “affordable” in the company’s own words. The CJG5 series comes in 27- and 32-inch varieties, both using curved 2560 x 1440 VA panels with a refresh rate of 144Hz. The monitors have two HDMI ports (one 2.0, one 1.4) and a DisplayPort input.

The monitors are listed at £309.99 for the 27-inch version and £359.99 for the 32-inch model; US pricing isn’t yet available. The 27-inch is probably the better buy — 1440p is a great resolution at that size, but it gets pretty blocky when stretched out to 32 inches. On the other hand, you’re not going to get as much benefit from the curvature on a smaller panel. (It’s also debatable whether you’ll get much benefit from the curvature on a 16:9 panel of any size, to be fair.)

Anyway, assuming a typical UK-to-US price conversion — i.e. not one with much relationship to the actual exchange rate — a 27-inch 1440p 144Hz VA curved Samsung monitor in the region of $300-350 does indeed sound like a reasonably good deal. The biggest advantage of more expensive models tends to be variable refresh rate tech like Nvidia’s G-Sync, but if you have a strong GPU that’s being wasted at 60Hz right now, a monitor like this could be a good first step into the world of ultra-high frame rates.

Fortnite for Android is launching today exclusively on recent Samsung Galaxy devices

One of the worst-kept secrets in gaming has turned out to be true: the Android version of Fortnite will be available exclusively on Samsung devices at launch. But it’s not just the new Note 9 and Tab S4 getting Fortnite; owners of a range of recent Samsung devices — the S9 / S9 Plus, Note 8, Galaxy S8 / S8 Plus, Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 Edge, and Tab S3 — can all start playing the beta today. You’ll be able to install Fortnite from either Samsung’s Game Launcher app or Epic’s new installer, both available here.

The official announcement from Samsung comes after a handful of reports pointed to the possibility, most recently following a leak of the game’s APK. The exclusivity period will last “for the next few days,” according to Samsung. That sounds like less than the 30-day window that was rumored, which should be welcome news for fans of the game. Anyone preordering the Galaxy Note 9 will have the option of receiving 15,000 V-bucks and the Fortnite Galaxy skin (seen above) instead of noise-canceling AKG headphones. (Or you can get both by paying $99.)

When Fortnite does finally make its way out to the wider Android audience, it won’t be a typical launch. You can signup for an invite to the Android beta here; Epic also has a list of the compatible devices in its FAQ. The developer also previously revealed that it’s bypassing the Google Play Store altogether and instead releasing its own launcher for Fortnite.

“Epic wants to have a direct relationship with our customers on all platforms where that’s possible,” CEO Tim Sweeney told The Verge. “The great thing about the Internet and the digital revolution is that this is possible, now that physical storefronts and middlemen distributors are no longer required.” The move also allows Epic to get around the 30 percent fee Google takes from all purchases in its store.

At last count, Fortnite had an estimated 125 million players spread out across PC, Xbox One, PS4, Switch, and iOS. With the impending Android launch, the battle royale game is set to get even bigger.

Fortnite for Android might be exclusive to the Galaxy Note 9 at launch

Samsung might be taking its marketing of the Galaxy Note 9 in a different direction than previous Notes: the company is said to be planning a huge, exclusive Fortnite push through a partnership with Epic Games. Both 9to5Google and XDA Developers are reporting that Fortnite’s Android port will launch alongside the Note 9 — perhaps even as a pre-bundled application. Samsung might have a 30-day exclusive on the hugely popular battle royale game, according to 9to5Google.

Epic Games did not respond to a request for comment.

Both sites say that Note 9 buyers will be rewarded with some Fortnite bonus freebies in exchange for preordering the phone, including complimentary V-Bucks, player skins, and more. And yes, apparently somehow Samsung has found a way to add S Pen functionality to the game. (The new S Pen is expected to include Bluetooth and should offer more advanced software features on the Note it’s paired to.)

XDA Developers claims that Fortnite will play a key role in Samsung’s marketing of the Galaxy Note 9, which will be touted for its gaming prowess thanks to the Snapdragon 845 inside and a “vapor chamber heat pipe” that’s designed to cool the device during extended gameplay sessions. Samsung began teasing the Note 9 today with advertisements promising long battery life, fast performance, and generous storage. But highlighting games would be new territory for the Note, which has traditionally been marketed as the best smartphone around for productivity.

Launching Fortnite exclusively on Samsung’s newest smartphone will certainly limit Epic’s revenue on the platform — even if only for a month. The game is printing money for the publisher on every platform where it can be found and is expected to rake in over $2 billion of in-game purchases this year. But Samsung’s marketing dollars can only help the game in the long run, and you can bet fans with Android phones will be trying to sideload it as soon as it’s available on the Note 9. If the timed exclusive window is accurate, everyone else on Android can expect to play Fortnite sometime in September.