Gaming

Fortnite removed from Google and Apple’s app stores

Its new in-app purchase system is to blame

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Apple iPhone XS

Fortnite — the famous battle royale game by Epic Games — has been removed from both the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store following a change that has big implications for developers and publishers worldwide.

The latest change involves the game’s in-app purchases (IAP). Epic Games implemented an update recently that let Fortnite bypass Google and Apple’s purchase system. This update prompted Apple to remove the game from its iOS store. Google followed suit, citing guideline violations by the publisher.

Challenging the 30% cut

Both Apple and Google mandates the inclusion of their own in-app purchase system on all games published on their platforms. As for Apple, it is strict on what purchases are done within an iOS app. It also takes a 30% cut on all purchases. Major tech companies have challenged this rule, stating that the rule is anti-competitive.

Google is less strict with in-app purchases on Android apps. However, it requires all Android games to implement the company’s own in-app purchase system. In the process, it also gets a 30% cut for all purchases.

This 30% cut is one of Epic Games’ major motivation for implementing its own in-app purchase system that circumvents Google and Apple’s system. In response to getting booted out of the major app stores, the publisher already filed a lawsuit against the two companies. The lawsuit company alleges anti-competitive conduct for both companies.

Apple responded to the lawsuit by stating that allowing Epic Games’ move will create special arrangements and an uneven the playing field for developers. Meanwhile, Google says that they’re open to future discussions with the publisher.

Paving the way for change

Epic Games’ new in-app purchase system seems more like an orchestrated move to challenge both Google and Apple’s store policies. Right after the removal of Fortnite, it launched the #FREEFORTNITE campaign and even posted a video that mimics Apple’s famous 1984 ad. As of now, iOS users can only hope for the best as the company shows no sign of relenting even after Apple removed Fortnite from store listings.

Android users are much luckier. They can still download Fortnite right on the Epic Games website. Back in 2018, the game publisher launched Fornite for Android directly on its website. Due to clamor, however, it relented and published the game on the Play Store. Google’s removal just reignites the publisher’s continuing clamor for the company to take a lesser cut on in-app purchases.

Fortnite gamers can only hope that something good comes out of this issue. On a bigger scheme of things, this issue fundamentally affects store policies that govern mobile apps and games. If this issue plays out, users may see some changes on their respective platforms. However, those hoping for bigger changes are out of luck. Both Apple and Google showed time and time again that it is willing to protect its store revenues.

Gaming

Nintendo Switch is now third-bestselling console in history

Overtakes Game Boy and PS4

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Though there are more powerful consoles now, the Nintendo Switch is the most representative of the world’s situation since its launch. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the console keeps breaking records. Now, it has crossed its most important milestone to date. The Switch is now the third-bestselling console in history.

Released back in 2017, the Switch is the quintessential console for hybrid gamers who play at home and on the go. In its first few years, the console already spawned classic titles such as Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey. However, its big break truly came during the 2020 lockdowns. The timing of Animal Crossing: New Horizons’ release created a worldwide moment when everyone stuck at home wanted a Switch to play the island life simulator. Since then, the console, despite launching an improved OLED version, is gradually mellowing out, especially when opposed to even more powerful consoles like the PlayStation 5.

Regardless, the Switch’s effect on the world is palpable. Today, Nintendo announced that the console has sold over 122 million units worldwide. With such a figure, the Switch moves up to the third spot in the list of bestselling consoles of all time. It squeaks past the Game Boy (118 million units) and the PlayStation 4 (117 million units).

Now, the next consoles in the Switch’s sights are the Nintendo DS (154 million units) and the PlayStation 2 (155 million units). The console is in for quite a climb, though. Unless it hits another golden age, it will take a while before another overtake.

It’s still possible, of course. The Nintendo Switch is still set to release a few much-awaited titles like Tears of the Kingdom, the sequel to Breath of the Wild.

SEE ALSO: Cult classic GoldenEye 007 is coming to Xbox, Switch

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Gaming

Samsung’s Odyssey OLED G8 is finally available to buy

Announced back during IFA 2022

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A good gaming rig is incomplete without a decent monitor. If you’re in the market for one and are willing to splurge, Samsung has finally released the Odyssey OLED G8 to the public.

Finally, after being announced way back during IFA 2022, the Odyssey OLED G8 is now available for purchase through retail. The curved gaming monitor features a 34-inch QD-OLED screen. Users can take advantage of the 1800R curvature and 1440p resolution to get the most of their games.

With adaptive sync and AMD FreeSync Premium Pro, images will not suffer from choppiness or tearing, even in fast-paced games. Plus, with HDR True Black 400, the monitor can reproduce colors and dark scenes accurately. Response time is also remarkably fluid with a low 0.03ms response time and 175Hz refresh rate.

Behind the monitor’s sleek chassis, the Odyssey OLED G8 houses a conveniently minimized port design to reduce tangled wires. The design can support Mini DisplayPort, HDMI, and USB-C. (The USB-C slot even supports up to 65W of charging.)

The Odyssey OLED G8 is now available for purchase. It will sell for US$ 1,499.99 through Samsung.com and select retailers.

While last year’s monitor is finally getting its spot in the open, Samsung has also unveiled a new series during CES 2023. The new Odyssey OLED G9 and Neo G9 showcases what’s coming next for the brand’s display segment.

SEE ALSO: Samsung launches Odyssey Neo G9, OLED G9

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Accessories

Logitech launches first-ever gaming earbuds

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Logitech G Fits

Logitech is venturing into the gaming accessories scene with the release of its first-ever gaming grade earbuds, the Logitech G FITS.

The wearables are the first earbuds from the brand to feature Lightspeed wireless, giving users pro-grade wireless connection for their PC, Mac, PlayStation 4 and 5, Nintendo Switch, and Android devices via USB-A or USB-C.

The true wireless gaming earbuds have 15 hours of total listening time. That’s seven (7) on their own and an additional eight (8) with the charging case. When connected via Bluetooth, the total battery life in one full charge stretches up to 22 hours.

The Logitech G FITS also feature the patented Lightform technology, which allows users to get a contoured and custom fit in just a minute.

They simply have to connect to the Logitech G FITS app which then triggers a number of embedded LEDs and harden the gel-filled tips to suit one’s ear as ideal as possible.

The same app may also be utilized for an equalizer to tailor-fit the listening experience, especially if one wants to emphasize bass or fine tune the settings.

Price, availability

The Logitech G FITS is now available in major retail stores and online via Lazada and Shopee for SG$ 389.

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