Gaming

Google announces cloud gaming platform, Stadia

Play anytime, anywhere

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Image source: Google

Have you ever wanted to play a game but didn’t have the hardware for it? We’ve all been there. In fact, the situation is even worse today. Back then, our biggest concern was having the latest video card. Now, console makers have continuously sponsored console exclusives, cutting off any gamers who don’t have the console. Want to play Bloodborne? Buy a PS4. Want to play Halo? Buy an Xbox.

Back in the past, the gaming industry speculated on a cloud gaming concept: you can play a console remotely; the same company streams the game to you. This was back before Netflix existed. Sadly, no one ever popularized or fully capitalized on the concept. The best thing we have is PlayStation Now, Sony’s own cloud gaming service limited to Sony’s library of games.

Now, Google has finally introduced its own entry. At the recent Game Developers Conference, the company unveiled Stadia, its new cloud-based gaming platform.

Unlike the PlayStation Now, Stadia does not require its own console. According to Google, gamers can access the platform anywhere online — laptops, TVs (through Google’s Chromecast), and smartphones. Thankfully, the service is brand agnostic; any device will work.

Currently, Stadia can stream up to 60fps and up to 4K resolution. In the future, Google hopes to bump this up to 8K and 120fps.

At most, the platform requires its own controller. The Stadia controller looks and functions like any other gaming controller today. However, the controller has not been authorized for production yet and not up for sale.

Likewise, the platform itself isn’t accessible yet. At the conference, Google demonstrated the platform by playing Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and DOOM Eternal on a normal Chromebook. Both AAA games require quite a heavy set of hardware to play.

Unfortunately, the streaming platform will require a lot of bandwidth. On launch, Google will undoubtedly focus on areas with high-speed connections, like those offered by Google Fiber. Google has not announced an exact launch date yet. However, it will go public sometime this year.

SEE ALSO: How to experience ‘Dark Mode’ in Google Chrome

Gaming

Sony postpones PlayStation 5 event amidst US protests

Letting more important voices be heard

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Last week, we finally heard some news about the upcoming but strangely silent PlayStation 5. Since the pandemic, the next generation of gaming kept out of the limelight, allowing the current generation to flourish amongst the locked-in gamers. Breaking the silence, Sony was scheduled to hold a showcase of PlayStation 5 launch titles this week for the upcoming console. Unfortunately, because of current events, the company has decidedly shelved the digital event.

Through their official Twitter account, PlayStation announced the postponement, allowing other issues to resolve in the meantime. “We have the decided to postpone the PlayStation 5 event scheduled for June 4,” the company said.

“While we understand gamers worldwide are excited to see PS5 games, we do not feel that right now is a time for celebration and for now, we want to stand back and allow more important voices to be heard,” the post continues.

Naturally, the announcement is timed perfectly for the currently ongoing protests happening across America. Recently, George Floyd, an African American man, was murdered under the custody of a white police officer. The incident, followed by the subsequent lack of justice, sparked a wave of outrage throughout the country.

Since then, other companies and personalities have shown their support towards the cause. Notably, Google postponed Android 11’s launch previously, starting a wave of similar postponements. Though none of the postponing companies have named the George Floyd case specifically, one can easily assume the announcement’s relevance to the current political climate in America.

In any case, it looks like gamers will have to wait a little bit longer before more details about the PlayStation 5 will inevitably surface.

SEE ALSO: Nintendo and Sony are in a heated battle during lockdown

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Features

Nintendo and Sony are in a heated battle during lockdown

Study also reveals which consoles were the most searched as lockdowns continue in SEA

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Photos by Alvaro Reyes and Mélanie THESE on Unsplash

It’s been roughly two and a half months since Southeast Asian countries have gone on lockdown due to COVID-19. As people were kept off the streets, video game companies found a way to reach these audiences through their consoles and game libraries. We watched as people spent most of their days learning new skills, staying healthy, and playing video games.

Little did we know, video game companies maximized this opportunity to sell more consoles, as well. A study by the iPrice Group revealed interesting data about the mini-console war that’s currently happening in Southeast Asia (SEA). In most countries, the Nintendo Switch and the PlayStation 4 are leading the charge towards greater heights.

It made perfect sense that Nintendo’s handheld console is seeing its staggering sales increase during this period. Searches on online shopping platforms related to the Nintendo Switch skyrocketed by 245% within SEA alone, thanks in part to the release of Animal Crossing: New Horizons back in March.

Image source: Livedoor

Apart from that, the Nintendo Switch dominates 5 out of 7 markets in SEA in terms of search volume. This, of course takes into account searches and purchases from people between mid-March to mid-April.

For most markets, the big 3 of gaming consoles (Nintendo Switch, PlayStation4, and Xbox One) dominated the charts. Apart from the Switch, the PlayStation 4 saw significant increase in interest between mid-March and mid-April by 135%.

The releases of the remastered versions of Resident Evil 3 and Final Fantasy VII contributed heavily to that increase. Surprisingly, in three countries (Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines), the PlayStation 3 makes an appearances as a widely-searched console.

Looks like people really love their video games! If you want to know more about this trend, you can find the full report here.

SEE ALSO:
#PlayApartTogether: Embracing lockdowns and social distancing
Tinder users are going on Animal Crossing for their first dates
Just Dance 2020 helps with your workout-from-home

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Gaming

Razer announces inaugural SEA Invitational 2020

Brought about by esports’ successful stint in the 2019 SEA Games

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Esports is seeing a steady rise in viewership as the COVID-19 pandemic kept everyone indoors. Gaming companies started rolling out their own versions of esports tournaments open to all players, whether amateur or professional. And after its successful stint in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, Razer wants to take esports to even greater heights.

As such, the company announced its inaugural Southeast Asia Invitational 2020, an esports tournament for the best of the best. The tournament organizers hope to gather the best esports athletes across Southeast Asia to prepare them for the 31st SEA Games in Vietnam. It will feature a unique tournament format, and will kick festivities off on June 22, 2020.

The invitational will feature three popular esports titles, two of which were in the 2019 SEA Games lineup. Expect intense and hotly contested action as players take the field in games like PUBG Mobile, DOTA 2, and Mobile Legends: Bang Bang. All of these will be available for streaming on Team Razer’s social media platforms: Facebook, YouTube, and Twitch.

This tournament is also in partnership with Tier One Entertainment, supported by esports federations across the region. Those who wish to participate in the invitational should talk to their respective federations.

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