Gaming

A somber look at the PlayStation 5 crisis

Can’t buy a PlayStation 5? You’re not alone

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PlayStation 5

In 30 minutes from the moment I’m typing this sentence, Walmart, one of the few American retailers selling the PlayStation 5 online, will restock its console shelves with an undetermined number of units. If the restocking goes exactly as it has in the past few weeks, the retailer’s website will crash within the first few minutes. When it goes back up again, everything will have disappeared from the shelves.

If you’re one of the millions of gamers looking to bag a PlayStation 5 or an Xbox Series X for the holidays, such an experience is familiar to you. Both Sony and Microsoft have fumbled their respective launches, leaving most of the hopeful without a console.

After weeks of the same, attempting to buy the new consoles and leaving empty-handed has turned into a shared global experience. Many are wondering when (or if) they are getting the device. Unfortunately, things aren’t as simple as they once were.

Day zero: zero stock

On November 10, the Xbox Series X and S dropped online for the first time. Though Microsoft’s console didn’t share in the same hype as its Sony counterpart, the new Xbox sold out within minutes. Faced with an even larger demand for the PlayStation 5, everyone portended much of the same for Sony’s console. Unsurprisingly, it was.

Days later, on November 12, the PlayStation finally launched. As expected, in the brief moment that “Buy Now” buttons opened, every retailing site either crashed or stalled. Most stores held a one-time drop. Meanwhile, Walmart did drops throughout the day. And, expectedly, every drop, one-time or gradual, sold out.

Only a handful received consoles on launch day: lucky pre-order purchases, even luckier same-day buyers, or, more likely, bots.

Rise of the machines

Most of the outcry revolves around despised bots refreshing every site and buying every stock before real people can do so. The bot’s owners, all of them scalpers, resell their supply at dramatic premiums. Hours after the initial launch, eBay had auctions going up to US$ 2,000. At the time of this writing, most entries hover around US$ 1,700. (For reference, the PlayStation 5 retails for only US$ 499.)

Neither Sony nor any authorized retailer explicitly commented on the bot takeover. Some (eventually) installed captcha measures to hopefully weed out bots from humans. It did little to stave to onslaught. Scalpers (or worse, scalper networks) thrived under the online-only purchasing system.

Should we, then, blame bots for the year’s most botched launch?

Bots, logistics, or supply?

Currently in our sights, bots and scalpers are easy targets. The systematic supply grab owes a lot of its shortages on the automated schemes of bots. Some scalper networks have even defended their actions. Supposedly, creating a scalping ecosystem creates jobs for scalpers who may have lost their jobs from recent furloughs.

However, a launch is hardly only a matter of consumers. There’s supply and demand, too. Didn’t Sony and Microsoft foresee the demand months ago?

Drumming up intense hype throughout the past few months, both companies naturally predicted a surge. It still wasn’t enough.

Sony, through the PlayStation’s official Twitter account, confirmed “unprecedented” demand for the PlayStation 5 series. It was still a surprise. Echoing the same, Sony Interactive Entertainment President Jim Ryan told a Russian outlet that “absolutely everything is sold.” Unfortunately for gamers, current predictions still estimate shortages lasting until spring next year.

Sony and Microsoft are hard-pressed to make more devices as soon as possible. However, with current COVID-19 restrictions, manufacturing facilities can’t work at full capacity. And it’s not just on the manufacturing side.

Recently, a logistics source confirmed that a lot of resources are still devoted to shipping COVID-19 aid, including PPEs and masks. With a potential vaccine on the horizon, supply transportation will certainly feel the crunch, leaving little room for less essential products like gaming consoles.

So, who’s to blame?

More than bots, scalpers, manufacturers, or logistics companies, the ongoing PlayStation 5 crisis pulls the curtain from an inherently broken system from a pre-COVID-19 era. The current global economy was, and is, ill-prepared for a global emergency.

Companies, manufacturers, and logistics did not anticipate an overwhelming demand for emergency products. Even now, the world is still aching for aid: from simple masks to scarce ventilators. We’re seeing the flaws only now because the new consoles are home appliances. Other launches this year weren’t as in-demand as the PlayStation 5. For example, with everyone staying indoors, not a lot of people are exactly lining up for a new iPhone 12. (Sorry, Apple.)

Fitbit’s Ventilator

On the other hand, a lot of people truly are jobless from a crumbling economy. Albeit a lackluster excuse, scalper networks do have a point that some people are reduced to less-than-stellar ways of making money amid the pandemic. (Not to defend scalping, though. It’s still a shady business.)

Throughout this entire shortage, one thing is clear: The world, as we know it, cannot adequately save itself from a global emergency. The fault inevitably rests on both individuals and systems who persistently refuse to accept the realities of the pandemic: from anti-maskers who put more people at risk to companies who haven’t prepared for the surge to governments who can’t provide aid for its citizenry.

Should you still get a PlayStation 5?

PlayStation 5

If you’re still inclined, Sony promises more stock before the end of the year. Anyone can still try their luck for a fresh device from the factory. More realistically, you can wait a few months without the new console; by then, Sony should have ironed out a lot of kinks and bugs.

No one is judging you if you do. No one is judging you if you don’t. But if you’re worried about the fear of missing out, just remember that not a lot of people have the PlayStation 5 yet, as much as we all would want one.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, remember the new stock I mentioned 30 minutes ago? Sold out in less than ten seconds. Go figure.

SEE ALSO: Sony PlayStation 5 Unboxing

Gaming

Bravely Default II preorder final demo now available

A must-play!

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Bravely Default II is a Japanese fantasy RPG with lovely art styles reminiscent of a refined version to early Final Fantasy releases. The series gameplay uses the usual turn-based battle system and job system. But, the series is more notable for integrating options to combine and customize job abilities, battle speed, and enemy encounter rates.

Bravely Default II is the newest addition to the Bravely series. So, what’s new? Bravely Default II lets you step into a brand-new world with four new heroes, new stories, and new job roles.

This iteration features a young sailor, Seth, who washes up the shores of one of the five mighty kingdoms of the continent. He encounters an escaped princess, Gloria of Musa, and they both venture out to meet more travellers seeking the truth to their world.

If you’re into RPGs or a fan of the Bravely series, this is the game release to look forward to. The game keeps its charming mechanics while piling on new features so if you want or need a taste of the game, the final demo is out now. Although, you won’t be waiting much longer for the game’s full release because it looking to be released on February 26 exclusively for the Nintendo Switch.

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Gaming

Immortals Fenyx Rising: Action, puzzles, and some good humor

For the kids and kids at heart

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Immortals Fenyx Rising is a fresh game with an action and puzzle filled open world that has humor and Greek mythology enclosed into it. You might say it can be a mix of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and Zelda: Breath of wild.

Backstory

The game starts with Zeus, the God of Thunder visiting his old companion Prometheus, the God of Fire, whom he has actually punished and chained to a rock for giving mortals fire. Zeus was asking Prometheus for advice on what to do with Typhon who just escaped from Tartarus and has caused destruction.

Typhon has already stolen Zeus’ thunder and the other gods are missing, giving Zeus no choice but to follow Prometheus’ advice to have faith in a mere mortal with a true identity that has yet to be unfolded.

Fenyx’s journey

This is where our protagonist Fenyx comes into picture. Fenyx’s adventures will be narrated by Prometheus for the whole game.

Fenyx, a Greek Soldier will be set on a journey to find the cause of all this destruction, after losing her companions and brother. She would learn to strengthen her skills, acquire wings and collect all the necessary weapons and armors to beat Typhon. Along the way, she would be battling bosses and corrupted heroes like Achilles, Odysseus and Herakles.

Art Style

I think this kind of art style has more appeal to younger audiences. Its like watching animated films from Pixar.

You’ll be able to the distinguish the gods through their trademarks. The armors and weapons that you collect through out the game was also very detailed.

One thing that was actually bothered me was the way the character walked — it felt heavy and bulgy. I expected this part to be smoother.

Gameplay

There are five difficulty levels to make sure the whole family can enjoy the game. Character creation is also pretty straight forward and not much options for customization.

For the controls and UI, Potions will be found on the left side and weapons and skills on the right. You would need to climb mountains, swim, run and fly around the Golden Isle to be able to finish tasks.

Fenyx will have access to a mix of weapons during combat like swords, axes and bows. Animals like horses can also be tamed into mounts.

I’ve always enjoyed a good adventure and solving some puzzles but what I like most about Immortal Fenyx is that I can switch weapons during a battle. From using an axe for heavy damage to quick attacks with a sword then a bow for range attacks. You’ll be able to create your own play style while battling bosses.

If you wanted to take a break from your usual games or still waiting for a good AAA game release, then Immortals Fenyx Rising is a good game to spend time on. You’ve got some good action, puzzles, stories and some humor from Zeus and Prometheus.

Immortals Fenyx Rising is available on multiple platforms.

PlayStation 4/5
Xbox One, Series X/S
Nintendo Switch
Google Stadia
PC(Steam, Ubisoft, Epic Games)

PC requirements
Very Low Settings – 720p/30FPS
Processor: Intel Core i5-2400 / AMD FX-6300
Video Card: GeForce GTX 660 / AMD R9 280X
VRAM: 2GB NVIDIA / 3GB AMD
RAM: 8GB (Dual-channel mode)
Storage: 28GB HDD
OS: Windows 7 (64-bit only)

High Settings – 1080p/30FPS
Processor: Intel Core i7-3770 / AMD FX-8350
Video Card: GeForce GTX 970 / AMD R9 290
VRAM: 4GB
RAM: 8GB (Dual-channel mode)
Storage: 28GB SSD
OS: Windows 10 (64-bit only)

High Settings – 1080p/60FPS
Processor: Intel Core i7-6700 / AMD Ryzen 7 1700
Video Card: GeForce GTX 1070 / AMD RX Vega 56
VRAM: 8GB
RAM: 16GB (Dual-channel mode)
Storage: 28GB SSD
OS: Windows 10 (64-bit only)
Very High Settings – 1440p/60FPS
Processor: Intel Core i7-8700K / AMD Ryzen 5 3600X
Video Card: GeForce RTX 2070 Super / AMD RX 5700
VRAM: 8GB
RAM: 16GB (Dual-channel mode)
Storage: 28GB SSD
OS: Windows 10 (64-bit only)

Very High Settings – 4K/30FPS
Processor: Intel Core i7-8700K / AMD Ryzen 7 3700X
Video Card: GeForce RTX 2070 / AMD RX Vega 56
VRAM: 8GB
RAM: 16GB (Dual-channel mode)
Storage: 28GB SSD
OS: Windows 10 (64-bit only)


This gameplay feature was written by Jan Ariz Joy Franco or Rizuher in-game name. She’s a full-time software developer and plays games to de stress. She just started streaming few months ago to help cope with the pandemic and wants to promote a toxic-free gaming environment. She’s a big fan of Super Mario. If you want to support her just drop a follow: http://facebook.com/rizuph.

 

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Gaming

We’re getting a Star Wars game from Ubisoft

It’s a story-driven open-world adventure

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Star Wars Ubisoft
Photo by Brian McGowan on Unsplash

May The Force be with Ubisoft! The company just announced that it is collaborating with Lucasfilm Games on a new story-driven open-world video game set in the beloved Star Wars galaxy.

The game will be developed using next gen tech including the Snowdrop engine. There aren’t any specific details yet as to what the game will be about exactly. The companies involved — Ubisoft and Lucasfilm Games — have expressed excitement over the project.

“The vast Star Wars lore is an incredible source of inspiration for our teams,” said Yves Guillemot, co-founder and CEO of Ubisoft. “This is the beginning of a long-term collaboration with Disney and Lucasfilm Games, and we are pleased to be working hand-in-hand to build upon the incredible legacy of Lucasfilm to create a game that we know Star Wars fans will love.”

“We are inspired by the passion and talent of the team at Massive, and together we share a vision for the type of original stories we want to tell with our players in this expansive galaxy. They have the creativity, experience, and community understanding to bring awe-inspiring authenticity, depth and innovation to this new Star Wars game,” said Douglas Reilly, VP, Lucasfilm Games.

More information about the game and the release date will be shared at a later stage.

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