Gaming

Microsoft to bring cross-platform multiplayer gaming to Xbox One, PC — and PS4?

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Good news for the gaming community: Microsoft today revealed that cross-platform play between Xbox One and PC (and possibly, Sony’s PlayStation 4) is coming to games that support Xbox Live, Microsoft’s online network for its video-game console.

In a blog post, Microsoft said that the first game to take advantage of open-multiplayer gaming would be Rocket League, a popular car-football game. It will initially allow matches between Xbox One and PC players, “with an open invitation for other networks to participate as well,” suggesting that Sony could likewise open the gates to borderless multiplayer.

Cross-platform gaming is something that gamers have been looking forward to for ages — especially now that the medium has moved away from single player to online multiplayer. Console and PC users being able to play the same game together will change the industry’s culture and create better experiences for the entire community.

There’s just one tiny problem: It’ll be up to game developers and Sony to decide whether or not they will support cross-platform play. Our guess is that it might take a while before we see PlayStation 4 players duke it out with those on the Microsoft side of things, but for everyone else who owns an Xbox One or a Windows 10 PC, the immediate future looks bright.

The current status quo is that players are limited to playing games on their system’s respective network, meaning PlayStation Network users can’t match up against those on Xbox Live (for Xbox One) and Steam (PC). There are outliers, of course, like the recently released Street Fighter V, which is platform-agnostic.

Features

Dragon Ball Legends, Incredibles 2, World Cup 2018: Now Playing

Mobile games, a family movie, a major sporting event, and more!

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We’re halfway through the year! With E3 2018 wrapped up and the second wave of flagship phones on the way, there are a lot of things coming. However, the future only looks bright if you can live in the moment, and right at this moment, this is what’s now playing for GadgetMatch.

Games to play

Detroit: Become Human
Rodneil: Most story-driven games have a single path and you just wear the shoes of the lead character as you go through that journey. That’s not the case with Detroit: Become Human where a single scene alone can have as many as six outcomes. This interactive drama game puts you in the shoes of three main characters by allowing you to make decisions for them, in turn affecting the outcome of the game and letting you be the author of your own story.

Dragon Ball Legends
JV: Both die-hard and casual fans of the Dragon Ball series have a lot to love with the latest mobile game based on the franchise. The game takes on many mobile tropes, including in-app purchases for faster progression and a play wall. However, the rest of the game is packed with action as teams of three go head to head in story or PvP modes.

Nearly every single Dragon Ball character you can think of can be summoned to be part of the team, but the built-in story mode revolves around a brand new fighter named Shallot. The campy story mode progresses in an episodic fashion, unfolding fight by fight. Battles are done in vertical mode with swipes, taps, holds, and attack cards that trigger powerful moves. Best of all, it’s a gorgeous game! The graphics are top-notch and faithful to the source material, right down to the crazy Ki explosions and dramatic finishes.

Godus
Isa: This random download from the Google Play Store got me playing God. No kidding, this game starts off with you saving some people from drowning and they end up as your very first “followers.” You build civilizations, explore unknown terrain, and even shift land masses as you create your own timeline of civilization. All that power as the almighty at the tip of your fingers is a pretty fun game, I have to admit.

Movies to see

The Greatest Showman
Chay: I rarely get to watch new movies in cinemas now because of traveling, but long haul flights are always a great opportunity to catch up on all the blockbuster hits I miss. This month, I finally got to watch The Greatest Showman on an EVA Air flight after seeing months of raving on my Facebook and Twitter timelines. If you’re a fan of musicals, this is definitely a must-see; I suggest renting or buying it on Amazon Prime now if you missed it in movie theaters. If musicals aren’t your thing, it’s still a great feel-good, star-studded movie to watch when you get bored on your next flight. I wouldn’t be surprised if you also end up humming to the songs the way I did by the time the plane lands.

The Incredibles 2
Isa: When I want to chill out and relax, I often opt for fun movies and try to shift away from suspense-filled plots. The Incredibles 2 is a perfect blend of light-hearted comedy that touches on themes of family togetherness, all wrapped in a superhero package. It was a great watch over the weekend, plus you get to see what happened in the lives of the same beloved characters from the first movie.

TV shows to binge watch

Suits
Rodneil: Meghan Markle who plays Rachel Zane on Suits recently married a prince. Not gonna lie, I have always had a crush on her and is probably one of the reasons why I started watching the show to begin with. However, I did drop the series right around Season 3, but Markle getting hitched made me want to pick up the series again. I thought Season 3 was a drag but if you’re able to power through it, Seasons 4 to 6 deliver a payoff that was set up on the show’s pilot.

World Cup 2018
Rodneil: Technically, this isn’t a TV show, but if you’re not tuned in to the 2018 World Cup, you’re missing out. It’s the biggest football stage that happens only once every four years, featuring the best athletes to take the pitch. Cristiano Ronaldo, who is one of this generation’s best players, already had a signature performance scoring a hat trick against Spain. Better tune in if big names like Lionel Messi and Neymar Jr. will also churn out huge performances.

Music to listen to


Lofi hip hop playlist
Rodneil: Whenever I write, I usually put familiar music on. More than silence, the white noise actually helps me think better. However, while I was trying to write one of the editions of Weekend Rewind, I couldn’t focus at all. So I hopped on Spotify and found this gem. If you’re feeling laid back and just want to go with the flow, the smooth, sexy, and funky tracks in this playlist will ride along with you. Do yourself a favor and listen to it as you read on.

Bloom: Troye Sivan
Chay: Unless you’ve been living under a rock the last few years, you’ve probably heard of Troye Sivan in one way or another. He’s an openly gay YouTuber from Australia who blossomed into a full-fledged music artist and released his first album Blue Neighborhood in 2015. This year, Troye is treating fans with a new album called Bloom that the New York Times describes as darker and sexier. It won’t be released until August, but singles like “My My My!” and “Dance To This” featuring Ariana Grande are already available on Spotify for everyone to, well, dance to this Pride Month.

Post Traumatic: Mike Shinoda
Jane: Fans around the world were devastated when Chester Bennington of Linkin Park passed. His bandmate Mike Shinoda was at a loss on what to do so he poured all his emotions and came up with his latest album. If you’ve ever experienced loss, are going through it now, or if you simply want to listen to raw, very human emotions and thoughts across the full spectrum, listen to Post Traumatic.

Books to read

Note To Self by Connor Franta
MJ: I always love moments of introspection and reflection. When a friend suggested Note To Self by Connor Franta, I found that the best time to read it was during Pride Month. Connor Franta is an American gay YouTuber/writer who published his memoir, Note To Self, last 2017. The book talks about self-love and acceptance, his battle with clinical depression and social anxiety, and his struggles with love and loss. It’s told through essays, letters, poetry, and photography — something I also love doing in my spare time. This book really connects with me in a deeper level, and I believe that it can help people understand the perspective of people suffering from mental illness. Pride Month isn’t just about festivities and loud celebration, it’s also about connecting and understanding with the LGBTQ+ community and their untold struggles and stories.

Freedom for the thought we hate by Anthony Lewis
Isa: This book traces the history of the First Amendment throughout US legal history and tackles the events that transpired and shaped law in the constitution as we know them today. Written by New York Times journalist Anthony Lewis, this book is a good read and is very apt for today’s times.

Cities to visit

Moscow
Chay: I can count the number of cities and countries I would much rather spend my money on over Russia. Moscow isn’t exactly at the top of most travelers’ bucket lists and I, for one, have always wanted to visit only to see Saint Basil’s Cathedral, but not much else. This year though, Russia is hosting the World Cup, so I’d say there’s really no better time to go, if you don’t mind a bigger crowd of tourists and fans, that is. Russians are infamous for being stern and too serious at times, so it’s also a rare sight to see them have fun at least for a few weeks.

Taipei
Marvin: Visiting Taipei has become an annual habit for me, but there’s always something new to discover in the bustling city. My latest trip brought me to Elephant Mountain, which has the most gorgeous view of Taipei from a naturesque point, and the traditional beauty of Jiufen’s streets. At the end of each day, I had a wide selection of night markets filled with food carts to check out — all of which are easily accessible via public transport.

Apps to download

FIFA
Chay: The official FIFA app has been updated to focus on the 2018 World Cup, providing exclusive content and features surrounding the month-long event. If you’re overwhelmed with the schedule, one tap on the app shows you the groups and all the matches in the four-week tourney. There’s also a Live Scores tab with previews, play-by-play updates, and statistics — if you can’t watch your favorite teams live.

Headspace
MJ: As I’ve been getting into working out and being physically fit, I also remember to take care of my emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being. Headspace is my new friend in the realm of technology, an app that helps me practice mindfulness and meditation. I always use this app before I start the day, during a stressful situation to help me think clearly, and at night to help me fall asleep.

Did you like any of our picks or have suggestions of your own? Feel free to let us know in the comments section!


Now Playing is the GadgetMatch team’s favorite games, movies, TV shows, and more each month. If you’re curious to know what we’re into at the moment, this is what you should check out. So grab your popcorn, get some drinks, and enjoy what’s now playing!

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Gaming

Sony permanently slashes prices of PlayStation 4 favorites

Here’s your chance to grab Uncharted for cheap!

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Despite their abundance, video games continue to wow with their exorbitant prices. Currently, the most popular PS4 games out in the market still cost around US$ 60.

Thankfully, Sony is finally slashing the prices of its console’s bestsellers. As such, these fan favorites will reenter the market as “PlayStation Hits.”

The permanent rebranding will slash the affected games prices to just US$ 20 each. This, of course, doesn’t include any additional sales that Sony might implement in the future.

The lineup consists of both top-selling games and console exclusives. This includes the console’s poster children: Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us Remastered and Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, and FromSoftware’s Bloodborne. With the promo, Sony offers gamers the opportunity to play this generation’s biggest games before they inevitably launch their next console within the next two years.

On retail shelves, the PlayStation Hits will ship in a red case (as opposed to the usual blue) to differentiate the series from Sony’s other offerings.

This isn’t the first time that Sony has repackaged their bestsellers more competitively. On previous console generations, Sony has reshipped these games under the “Greatest Hits” moniker.

Starting June 28, the entire 15-game lineup will relaunch under the new branding. Initially, Sony will start the run exclusively in the United States and Canada. Currently, the company hasn’t revealed when the promo will see other territories.

However, the hard exclusivity applies only to physical copies. Anyone with a US account on the PlayStation Network can still avail of the slashed prices through the Store.

The complete PlayStation Hits lineup includes Battlefield 4, Bloodborne (standard edition), Doom, DriveClub, Infamous: Second Son, Killzone: Shadow Fall, The Last of Us Remastered, LittleBigPlanet 3, Metal Gear Solid 5: The Definitive Experience, Project CARS, Ratchet & Clank, Street Fighter 5, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, Yakuza 0, and Yakuza Kiwami.

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Gaming

You can soon trade and send gifts with friends on Pokémon Go

The feature we’ve all been waiting for

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Pokémon Go is nearing its second anniversary in July, but before that, its developers have some treats to keep us happy.

A major update will roll out later this week that’ll allow trainers to add real-world friends to trade Pokémon and items with. A system involving Trainer Codes will be used, wherein you have to share a unique code in order to send friend requests.

What’s more special is the chance to send special gifts. By spinning Photo Discs at a PokéStop or Gym, there’s a chance of earning a gift, which you can send to anyone on your friends list. If the receiver is lucky, an egg that could hatch an “Alolan form of a Pokémon originally discovered in the Kanto region” might be inside the package.

Even better is the ability to trade Pokémon like on the older games — finally! Doing so requires Stardust and a trainer level of at least 10, but you get bonus Candy for every successful transaction. The only catch is that certain Pokémon, such as Legendary or Shiny ones, require special conditions to trade, and these can only happen once a day with more Stardust involved.

But this isn’t just some social networking gimmick. By battling alongside online friends and sending them gifts or Pokémon, you can increase your friendship level for added bonuses, such as extra attack power during fights.

Truth be told, these are features that should’ve been released a long time ago. They’ve been demanded since the app first launched nearly two years ago and are only now being implemented.

I guess it’s better late than never, but it’s probably Niantic’s way of bringing former trainers back. Nintendo is doing the same thing by adding Pokémon Go integration into the Switch’s first Pokémon game. These tricks are certainly working on me!

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