“We see gaming as a critical part of our growth. AR and VR are going to be a big part of our future.”
These were words spoken by Lenovo Asia Pacific Chief Marketing Officer Nick Reynolds during a media group discussion at the sidelines of the Lenovo Legion of Champions Series II tournament in Bangkok, Thailand.
Reynolds spoke enthusiastically about developing more augmented and virtual reality-related products that will not intimidate the casual consumer. If we look at the Jedi Challenges AR game launched in 2017, they appear to be on the right track.
For the unfamiliar, Jedi Challenges puts an exact replica of the lightsaber on your hand and with the headset, the beacon, and an app, pits you against Star Wars villains. Yes, it’s as awesome as it sounds.
Reynolds, along with Lenovo Regional General Manager of Central Asia Pacific Ivan Cheung, highlighted the company’s existing partnership with Disney and all the other properties under the entertainment giant. The possibilities are endless.
Spider-Man VR Game?
One big property that Reynolds and Cheung mentioned is Marvel and its huge roster of superheroes. First one that the two talked about potentially making it into an AR or VR game is your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.
But how will that work? How does it tie in to making AR and VR accessible to more people?
Reynolds detailed how with Jedi Challenges, you already have an avenue for new content. “If you think about the Star Wars: Jedi Challenges, the headset and the beacon… that’s a platform, and that platform will allow all sorts of content to be accessed.”
“Does it have a life beyond this one game? The answer is strongly yes because it’s a platform that you’ll be able to have other experiences on with Disney content,” he added.
This is all theory and possibilities at this point, but Cheung says if enough people ask, Lenovo and Disney might just work on it.
“We welcome feedback from you [and the community], if the [Spider-Man] game actually happened, I myself, would be very excited,” said Cheung.
“If you use your imagination, it’s very easy to build a new app that you download on your phone that can deliver new content to the Mirage platform,” added Reynolds.
So if you want to know what it’s like to be a web-slinger, I would hound Lenovo right now to get started on producing the game.
More quality content needed
However, Reynolds noted that for AR and VR to truly thrive, there needs to be more quality content that’s meant not just for gamers.
“What’s going to wow people to buy it is being at Madison Square Garden sitting at courtside or ringside to watch a game or match,” said Reynolds.
The Chief Marketing Officer noted how it can be possible to watch live NBA games and “switch seats” at your whim. Like pay-per-view but on steroids. Imaginative applications like these are what’s needed to get AR and VR more mainstream acceptance.
Reynolds also shared how one of their influencers, who is an underwater photographer, is able to better relate that experience to viewers via VR. He said, “This content is viewable on YouTube, but it’s only truly immersive when you have the headset.”
Lenovo recognizes that its playing catch-up with its year-old sub-gaming brand Legion. However, they are confident they can close the gap with their approach.
Instead of appealing only to long-time and hardcore gamers, Legion wants to be a brand friendly to those just getting into gaming. They’re also developing products by directly communicating with the gaming community.
“We believe that working closer together with a bigger community actually will help us expand and advance in the overall PC gaming market in the region,” said Cheung.
They hope to achieve this closer relationship with the gaming community by hosting various gaming events and building “Legion experience zones” where customers can get a feel for their product portfolio and give feedback right away.
Lenovo Asia Pacific Manager Gregory Beh highlighted this approach as he introduced the anniversary edition of the Legion Y520 — their entry-level gaming machine.
Beh says this collaboration with the community will result in a big project that’s been 18 months in the making, which he says will be “better than our competitors. It’ll be groundbreaking and radical. Not just within Lenovo but also across other gaming vendors.”
He was tight-lipped as to what the project is exactly about but hinted at both a new product and partnership with a major eSports title.
In a separate session, Reynolds also mentioned producing a line of gaming notebooks that you could “take to the office with you.”
Looking around the media group, he pointed out how no one was working on a gaming laptop because it just doesn’t look well in a more formal setup. Reynolds believes everyone would love a gaming laptop but some aren’t too happy with how they currently look.
Whether or not these upcoming machines are part of the 18-month project that Beh teased remains to be seen. One thing’s for sure: There’s plenty to get excited about as the Legion enters a new phase.
Sony’s PlayStation is back, Xiaomi outs new Mi 8 variants: Weekend Rewind
Ending the week with nostalgic feels
Here are this week’s top stories on GadgetMatch.
1. The iconic PlayStation is back!
Let’s kick things off by taking a trip down memory lane. Almost 25 years after its debut, Sony is bringing back the iconic first-gen PlayStation and it will come as the PlayStation Classic.
It’s basically a miniaturized version complete with a pair of original controller replicas. What’s even more exciting is that fans of the original PlayStation will be able to relive 20 legendary titles including Final Fantasy VII and Tekken 3!
2. Razer Phone 2 gets a launch date
Razer officially confirms the arrival of its second gaming smartphone — the Razer Phone 2. It succeeds the Razer Phone that was launched last November and based on earlier leaks, it’ll be a familiar-looking product.
The phone should sport the same body as its predecessor including the display with buttery-smooth 120Hz refresh rate. Of course, the internals will have beefier specs as well. We’ll know the low down real soon during its special event at California this October 10.
3. Apple is on the lead!
While it may be true that Apple didn’t sell the most number of smartphones, they still earned more than their competitors. According to the latest data from Counterpoint Research, Apple had the biggest share of industry profits during the second quarter of 2018.
For comparison, Apple earned 62 percent of the second-quarter smartphone profits. Samsung, which is the top-selling smartphone vendor, is responsible for just 17 percent of smartphone profits in the quarter. Huawei takes the third spot with eight percent of the profits.
4. A complete but affordable smartwatch
Huami, Xiaomi’s sub-brand in China, has a smartwatch that offers tremendous bang for your buck. The company just unveiled the Amazfit Verge and it’s got everything you could ask for in a wearable without the high price tag.
The Amazfit Verge has a GPS, heart-rate sensor, and a full-circle AMOLED display. It’s also equipped with a microphone and loudspeaker that allow voice calls through the smartwatch.
5. Xiaomi outs Mi 8 Pro and Mi 8 Lite
On a related note, Xiaomi also held a quick event to announce a few things including two new Mi 8 variants — the Mi 8 Pro and Mi 8 Lite.
In a nutshell, these are additions to the flagship Mi 8 family. The Mi 8 Pro is similar to the Mi 8 with the same specs like its Snapdragon 845 processor, up to 8GB of memory, and 128GB of expandable storage. Although, this model comes with an in-display fingerprint sensor.
As the name suggests, the Mi 8 Lite is a toned-down Mi 8 and comes with a midrange Snapdragon 660 chipset, dual rear cameras, and a 24-megapixel front camera. Both phones are initially available in China, but international availability is yet to be announced.
Weekend Rewind is our roundup of top news and features you might have missed for the week. We know the world of technology can be overwhelming and not everyone has the time to get up to speed with everything — and that includes us. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the rewind.
Singapore’s first iPhone XS buyer goes all out
He went for the 512GB storage!
Whenever new iPhones launch, a familiar scene is people lining up in front of Apple Stores long before launch date. The same is true in Singapore where the iPhone XS and XS Max officially became available on Friday, September 21.
We visited the Apple Store in Orchard Road and caught up with the first person to cop the new iPhones. His name is Daniel and he went all out getting two units of gold iPhone XS Max with 512GB of storage. Watch our interview with him.
The same situation is true elsewhere in the world. In countries like the US, Canada, Australia, Japan, and more, lines formed as those who pre-ordered got ready to claim the new iPhones.
This is the first time that the two sizes of iPhones feature the same specs. In years past, there was always a plus model that had more features other than just having a bigger form factor. In 2018, the only difference is the screen size — 5.8 inches for the iPhone XS and 6.5 inches for the iPhone XS Max. Both phones are equipped with the new A12 Bionic processor. Apple says it’s their smallest and most powerful chip to date. Both also sport dual cameras.
The Apple Watch Series 4 also launched today. It’s a significant update to Apple’s primary wearable featuring medical advantages other than the usual improvements. As always, it still is a lifestyle gadget and comes with an array of available looks.
Apple iPhone XS unboxing: Beautiful gold color!
We have them early!
It’s now mid-September and if you’ve been following technology news, you’d know that means one thing: new iPhones from Apple. And if you’ve been following GadgetMatch closely the last few years, you’d expect us to be brewing content by now.
This year, we got them early. What we are unboxing the 5.8-inch model, dubbed the iPhone XS and the bigger variant, the iPhone XS Max. There’s also a more affordable 6.1-inch iPhone XR coming later in October.
The box has not changed much — it’s still the same minimalist white box with the image of the phone you’re getting. Inside are a packet with manuals and stickers, USB-A charging brick, Lightning cable, and a pair of Lightning EarPods (not AirPods, they just look alike).
It’s worth noting that the bundled charger is the regular adapter and cable from yesteryears, even if the new iPhones already support fast charging. To get fast charging on the iPhone XS and XS Max, you need to spend an additional US$ 75 for a Lightning to USB-C Cable and a 29W USB-C adapter.
Since omitting the 3.5mm headphone jack, these new iPhones are also the first ones to not include a headphone jack to Lightning dongle — an extra US$ 9 purchase if you ever need one.
Unlike previous years where you need to get the bigger model to have the best features iPhones have to offer, the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max are essentially the same phones — the latter just has a bigger display and battery capacity.
The iPhone XS and XS Max also come in a new beautiful gold color, something similar to our favorite iPhone 8 and 8 Plus color from last year — a subtle, non-tacky shade of gold. A slightly darker gold but shiny stainless steel band also highlights the edges of the phones. Button and port placements have not changed, and the notch housing Apple’s TrueDepth Camera technology lives on.
We have more iPhone content coming in the next few days so make sure to stay tuned for that. Our unboxing video is also coming where we unboxed a new case color as well. Subscribe to our YouTube channel if you haven’t yet.
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