Gaming

Xbox Series X confirms a November launch date

Halo Infinite delayed to 2021

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Without a doubt, Microsoft and Sony are stuck in a game of chicken. Both companies are waiting for the other to reveal their upcoming console’s launch date and price. Once one reveals their cards, the other can change strategies and adapt for the coming console wars. Today, the Xbox Series X confirms a November launch date.

On the official Xbox Wire blog, Microsoft announced a delay for the upcoming Halo Infinite, the franchise’s entry for the next-generation console now coming out in 2021. In doing so, the blog also reveals that the console will launch this November right before the holiday season.

Microsoft has also listed down several games coming out for the console (and also past generations) including Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Dirt 5, Gears Tactics, and Watch Dogs: Legion. Since the console is backwards compatible, popular video games from the current generation will also come out for the new console.

Of course, both companies have already hinted at a release date near this year’s holiday season. A previous leak has revealed the PlayStation 5’s launch date set for November 20. However, Microsoft’s latest blog post is the first confirmation from official sources. At least, Microsoft is still holding out on the exact date.

Now, the ball is in Sony’s court. Will they launch the PlayStation 5 around the same time? Additionally, how much will both consoles sell for? With the holiday season just around the corner, hype for both consoles are truly ramping up.

SEE ALSO: Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra may support Xbox games

Gaming

A somber look at the PlayStation 5 crisis

Can’t buy a PlayStation 5? You’re not alone

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PlayStation 5

In 30 minutes from the moment I’m typing this sentence, Walmart, one of the few American retailers selling the PlayStation 5 online, will restock its console shelves with an undetermined number of units. If the restocking goes exactly as it has in the past few weeks, the retailer’s website will crash within the first few minutes. When it goes back up again, everything will have disappeared from the shelves.

If you’re one of the millions of gamers looking to bag a PlayStation 5 or an Xbox Series X for the holidays, such an experience is familiar to you. Both Sony and Microsoft have fumbled their respective launches, leaving most of the hopeful without a console.

After weeks of the same, attempting to buy the new consoles and leaving empty-handed has turned into a shared global experience. Many are wondering when (or if) they are getting the device. Unfortunately, things aren’t as simple as they once were.

Day zero: zero stock

On November 10, the Xbox Series X and S dropped online for the first time. Though Microsoft’s console didn’t share in the same hype as its Sony counterpart, the new Xbox sold out within minutes. Faced with an even larger demand for the PlayStation 5, everyone portended much of the same for Sony’s console. Unsurprisingly, it was.

Days later, on November 12, the PlayStation finally launched. As expected, in the brief moment that “Buy Now” buttons opened, every retailing site either crashed or stalled. Most stores held a one-time drop. Meanwhile, Walmart did drops throughout the day. And, expectedly, every drop, one-time or gradual, sold out.

Only a handful received consoles on launch day: lucky pre-order purchases, even luckier same-day buyers, or, more likely, bots.

Rise of the machines

Most of the outcry revolves around despised bots refreshing every site and buying every stock before real people can do so. The bot’s owners, all of them scalpers, resell their supply at dramatic premiums. Hours after the initial launch, eBay had auctions going up to US$ 2,000. At the time of this writing, most entries hover around US$ 1,700. (For reference, the PlayStation 5 retails for only US$ 499.)

Neither Sony nor any authorized retailer explicitly commented on the bot takeover. Some (eventually) installed captcha measures to hopefully weed out bots from humans. It did little to stave to onslaught. Scalpers (or worse, scalper networks) thrived under the online-only purchasing system.

Should we, then, blame bots for the year’s most botched launch?

Bots, logistics, or supply?

Currently in our sights, bots and scalpers are easy targets. The systematic supply grab owes a lot of its shortages on the automated schemes of bots. Some scalper networks have even defended their actions. Supposedly, creating a scalping ecosystem creates jobs for scalpers who may have lost their jobs from recent furloughs.

However, a launch is hardly only a matter of consumers. There’s supply and demand, too. Didn’t Sony and Microsoft foresee the demand months ago?

Drumming up intense hype throughout the past few months, both companies naturally predicted a surge. It still wasn’t enough.

Sony, through the PlayStation’s official Twitter account, confirmed “unprecedented” demand for the PlayStation 5 series. It was still a surprise. Echoing the same, Sony Interactive Entertainment President Jim Ryan told a Russian outlet that “absolutely everything is sold.” Unfortunately for gamers, current predictions still estimate shortages lasting until spring next year.

Sony and Microsoft are hard-pressed to make more devices as soon as possible. However, with current COVID-19 restrictions, manufacturing facilities can’t work at full capacity. And it’s not just on the manufacturing side.

Recently, a logistics source confirmed that a lot of resources are still devoted to shipping COVID-19 aid, including PPEs and masks. With a potential vaccine on the horizon, supply transportation will certainly feel the crunch, leaving little room for less essential products like gaming consoles.

So, who’s to blame?

More than bots, scalpers, manufacturers, or logistics companies, the ongoing PlayStation 5 crisis pulls the curtain from an inherently broken system from a pre-COVID-19 era. The current global economy was, and is, ill-prepared for a global emergency.

Companies, manufacturers, and logistics did not anticipate an overwhelming demand for emergency products. Even now, the world is still aching for aid: from simple masks to scarce ventilators. We’re seeing the flaws only now because the new consoles are home appliances. Other launches this year weren’t as in-demand as the PlayStation 5. For example, with everyone staying indoors, not a lot of people are exactly lining up for a new iPhone 12. (Sorry, Apple.)

Fitbit’s Ventilator

On the other hand, a lot of people truly are jobless from a crumbling economy. Albeit a lackluster excuse, scalper networks do have a point that some people are reduced to less-than-stellar ways of making money amid the pandemic. (Not to defend scalping, though. It’s still a shady business.)

Throughout this entire shortage, one thing is clear: The world, as we know it, cannot adequately save itself from a global emergency. The fault inevitably rests on both individuals and systems who persistently refuse to accept the realities of the pandemic: from anti-maskers who put more people at risk to companies who haven’t prepared for the surge to governments who can’t provide aid for its citizenry.

Should you still get a PlayStation 5?

PlayStation 5

If you’re still inclined, Sony promises more stock before the end of the year. Anyone can still try their luck for a fresh device from the factory. More realistically, you can wait a few months without the new console; by then, Sony should have ironed out a lot of kinks and bugs.

No one is judging you if you do. No one is judging you if you don’t. But if you’re worried about the fear of missing out, just remember that not a lot of people have the PlayStation 5 yet, as much as we all would want one.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, remember the new stock I mentioned 30 minutes ago? Sold out in less than ten seconds. Go figure.

SEE ALSO: Sony PlayStation 5 Unboxing

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Gaming

Ubisoft reveals animated trailer for Immortals Fenyx Rising

Discover Immortals Fenyx Rising Animated Trailer that shapes the myth of Fenyx

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Immortals Fenyx Rising

You might not be too hyped for this game but this trailer might change your mind. Immortals Fenyx Rising (formerly known as Gods & Monsters) is a fun new take on Greek Mythology. You play the role of Fenyx — a new winged demigod who’s on a quest to save the Greek gods and their home from a dark curse.

This short animation film created by CLM BBDO shows Fenyx battling epic creatures. He tussles against the Minotaur, the Cyclop and the Griffin while How You Like Me Now by The Heavy insolently plays in the background.

Using the Sword of Achilles, Axe of Atalanta, and Bow of Odysseus, Fenyx defeats the monsters one after the other. Each battle she wins dents the rock and, as huge boulders detach from the summit, she ends up shaping the mountain… and her myth!

Watch it here!

Immortals Fenyx Rising takes grand mythological adventure to new heights. Only by mastering the legendary powers of the gods, overcoming heroic trials and confronting powerful mythological beasts, will Fenyx be able to take on Typhon, the deadliest Titan in Greek mythology.

It will be available on December 3, 2020 on the PlayStation 4, the Xbox One family of devices (including the Xbox One X), Nintendo Switc, Epic Games and Ubisoft Connect. The game will also be available on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S.

SEE ALSO: Assassin’s Creed Valhalla review: Home in unfamiliar territory

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Gaming

Seagate launches The Last of Us II PS4 hard drive

With 2TB of storage, slim design, and compatibility with most PS4 systems

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Seagate just launched a limited-edition hard drive to mark the release of The Last of Us II on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 4 Pro.

Unlike any regular hard drive, this one comes with a laser-etched design featuring one of the character’s distinct tattoos. The limited-edition HDD also has 2TB of storage for gamers looking to expand their gaming collection. Sony says this drive can store more than 50 games with the required storage of about 40GB.

However, it is worth noting that the game itself doesn’t come preinstalled on the hard drive. Players still need to download the game separately, after which they can store it on the drive to start playing.

The drive is also plug-and-play compliant, so gamers can take the drive anywhere. It connects via USB-A 3.0 for compatibility with other PS4 systems. It also has a slim and pocketable design for ultimate portability.

Availability in the Philippines

The Last of Us II limited-edition hard drive is now available in the Philippines for PhP 5,290 through gaming retailers Game One Tech, Datablitz, and Gameline.

Those who will purchase the hard drive also stand a chance to win exclusive prizes and freebies. Seagate will give away a PlayStation 5, a 43-inch smart HD TV, headphones, and PlayStation classic t-shirts to raffle draw winners on December 18, 2020.

Every purchase of 2TB Seagate Game Drive grants 5 raffle entries while a purchase of 4TB Seagate Game Drive grants 10 raffle entries. Finally, a purchase of The Last of Us II limited edition drive grants 15 raffle entries. Buyers have until December 16 to submit their raffle entries. Winners will be announced through Seagate’s official Facebook page and via email.

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