Gaming

ASUS ROG Phone 3 launches, has 144Hz refresh rate

ROG refines its mobile gaming machine

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The ROG Phone has been top of mind in the past year whenever someone thinks about a mobile gaming device. ASUS wants a firm grip on that recognition with the launch of the ASUS ROG Phone 3.

As the third generation iteration of this product line, there aren’t any significant, jump out of your seat, wow levels of new things. Instead, the ROG Phone 3 is a refinement of their formula.

Let’s jump right into the specs. It was earlier announced that the phone will be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus. It’s currently Qualcomm’s best and has an array feature geared towards “elite gaming.”

Elsewhere on the phone, it’s all about delivering the best. Naturally, the specs have been maxed out. Here’s a quick rundown:

  • 6.44-inch OLED display with a 144Hz refresh rate
  • Up to 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM
  • Up to 512GB of UFS 3.1 Storage
  • 6000mAh battery with a bundled 30W HyperCharge Adapter
  • Air Triggers with Enhanced Touch Gestures
  • Dual Front Facing Speakers

These are all par for the course and exactly the kind of specs we expected. In many ways, the ROG Phone 3 is a refresh of the ROG Phone 2 with minor noticeable changes — for good reason.

In terms of look, they toned the ASUS ROG Phone 3 down even more, getting rid of the cutouts that mimic the look of certain ROG laptops. The copper cooling vent has been replaced with a single sheet of glass with a transparent window to show off the AeroDynamic Cooling System.

The more understated, but still undeniably gaming look is in line, not only with their ROG line of laptops, but pretty much most gaming laptops of late. Gone are the bulky, over-the-top gaming look for something that looks a bit more subtle.

In terms of form factor and port placements, everything has largely remained the same. ASUS says this was intentional to make sure it remains compatible with existing accessories. That’s a really thoughtful approach.

Peripherals and accessories

Speaking of accessories, the ASUS ROG Phone 3 will come with the usual AeroActive Cooler 3 accessory. It’s a cooling device that now does more.

It now has a kicks stand so you can prop up the phone with the accessory on. ASUS also took away the 3.5mm audio jack from the phone — but this is still accessible with the AeroActive Cooler 3.

As mentioned, it will work with previous generations of peripherals. If you have the entire suite from either the ROG Phone or ROG Phone 2, it’ll work seamlessly with the ROG Phone 3.

The new accessory coming to the ROG Phone 3 is one that will let you connect your phone to any existing game controller you have lying round. It can be the Xbox Controller, DualShock 4 (PS4), or the Google Stadia controller — all will work with the phone with this new accessory.

Armory Crate, Game Genie

Also making an expected return are the gaming-related software baked into the phone. These are the Armory Crate and Game Genie.

Anyone who’s ever owned an ROG laptop should be familiar with this tool. With it you can customize how much power each core uses for certain tasks. You can also modify things like RGB lighthing, fan speed, as well as game controls.

Game Genie is like your mobile gaming assistant. Fire it up and it sends you into this interface where you can toggle all the games you have installed. It’s like having a console interface right on your phone.

It also lets you control the notifications you get while gaming and is also your tool in case you want to stream. You can stream directly on YouTube, but at the moment, Twitch is a no go. This is because there are still issues with Twitch’s API that need to be addressed first.

As for the UI, you can opt for the more stock Android experience, or you can embrace the whole gaming concept and go with the gaming skin. Like on the ROG Phone 2, it comes in two variations — one in black and one in white.

Again, like last year, if you have the Lightning Armor Case it’ll give you access to yet another variant of the gaming UI. Neat.

Solid cameras

From dual cameras, the ASUS ROG Phone 3 now sports a triple camera setup. They bumped the main sensor from 48MP to 64MP. And now it’s flanked by a 13MP ultra wide angle lens and a 5MP macro camera.

These likely won’t be competing against the likes of the Huawei P40 Pro/ P40 Pro+ or even the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra, but unlike the very first iteration of the ROG Phone, these cameras should be capable. Not stellar, but pretty solid.

Pricing and availability

The ASUS ROG Phone 3 will come in three variants. They are as follows:

12GB + 512GB — EUR 999
16GB + 512GB — EUR 1099
8GB + 256GB (Strix Edition) — EUR 799

Pricing in other markets will be revealed as they launch on these respective markets.

Gaming

PG 5 sneakers gets the PlayStation 5 colorway

It just makes (dual) sense

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pG 5

Nike and PlayStation are collaborating once again for the signature sneakers of NBA star Paul George. For its fifth iteration called the PG 5, these basketball kicks are going to get the PlayStation 5 treatment.

On the PlayStation blog, Paul George notes that Nike and the PlayStation designers including Yujin Morisawa took inspirations from his game to bring this collaboration to life.

 

What to expect:

  • The tongues of the shoe have the PG and PlayStation logos
  • The colors of the shoe are heavily inspired by the industrial design of the PS5 with references on the sock liner and outsoles.
  • Iconic PlayStation shapes are integrated and can be seen along each shoe in the same pattern as on the DualSense wireless controller.

The P5 G PlayStation 5 colorway also comes with a special hangtag to celebrate the partnership.

The PG 5 PlayStation 5 colorway drops in select regions starting May 14, 2021. Specific pricing and availability details have yet to be announced.

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Entertainment

League of Legends’ animated Netflix show is coming soon!

Out by this fall!

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The new animated series is titled Arcane. And, it’s coming from the League of Legends (LoL) publishers themselves: Riot games. Despite releasing countless animated shorts, Arcane is a first for the League franchise. Riot Games partnered with Fortiche Productions to develop and produce this series; keeping character designs and art close to home.

Since the first hint of it in 2019, fans have been waiting patiently for this release. And if you want the series now, you’ll have to wait a little bit longer. It’ll be out on Netflix and on Tencent Video in China by fall this year.

We follow two iconic League champions, their origins, and the power that tears them apart. The backdrop to the story is the utopian region of Piltover and the oppressed underground of Zaun.

Riot Game’s Global President of Entertainment, Shauna Spenley said, “Arcane was created as a love letter to our players and fans, who have been asking us for more cinematic experiences that dive deeper into the worlds and champions in League of Legends.”

Netflix’s video game animated series

Arcane is just one of few new video game adaptation slates in Netflix’s lineup. Which, spells good news for fans and players of games. One recent release was Dota: Dragon’s Blood, an animated series inspired by Valve’s multiplayer online battle arena (moba) game DOTA 2. Other Netflix series based on the video game realm include Assassin’s Creed, Castlevania, Cuphead, Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness, and Assassin’s Creed.

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Gaming

Discord, Sony team up to integrate the app in PlayStation consoles

Xbox lost the game!

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PlayStation 5

Sony is partnering with Discord to integrate the popular online communication app with the built-in social media tools of the PlayStation consoles. The instant messaging app is top-rated in the gaming community and is specially designed for gamers.

While the exact nature of the partnership is still unclear, Sony says that the two companies are “hard at work connecting Discord with your social and gaming experience on PlayStation Network.”

The Japanese console maker already has a host of in-built tools, but their capability is limited, and nothing can reach the potential of  Discord. We also don’t know whether to expect the complete Discord app within the PlayStation system or just a few bare minimum bits of it.

As part of the deal, Sony is also investing an undisclosed amount of money into Discord as part of its Series H investment round. Keep in mind, Sony is a minority investor and hasn’t acquired the app directly.

Interestingly, Discord already has a partnership with Sony’s arch-rival, Microsoft’s Xbox. Although, it’s limited to profiles, and there’s no link between Xbox Live party chat and Discord’s audio chat.

The announcement will surely hurt Microsoft, which was reportedly trying to acquire the chat app for a whopping US$ 10 billion a few weeks ago. The talks ended inconclusively, and Discord decided to continue as an independent company.

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