50 hours into Persona 5, I’ve been having a great time getting to know its cast of stylish teenage misfits and conquering the twisted psychological palaces of bad adults. It’s just baffling that Atlus, the company behind this JRPG gem, doesn’t want me to share screenshots and video clips of my experience. Not easily, at the very least.
Atlus put in heavy restrictions for the average gamer on what can be shared about Persona 5. The game is out exclusively on Sony consoles, the PlayStation 3 and the PlayStation 4. The latter platform has built-in social features, allowing users to take screenshots, record videos up to 15 minutes long, or broadcast live to streaming services such as YouTube Gaming and Twitch. Apart from the intro screens and the brief opening moments of the game, all this sharing functionality is disabled for the rest of Persona 5.
Dedicated streamers who use external hardware to capture and broadcast footage of the game aren’t free from constraints. According to the official statement put out by Atlus USA, those who plan on posting videos are limited to showing only 90-minute chunks among other rules. Those live streaming the game are strongly warned to not exhibit anything past a specific point in the game’s story. Doing so risks video takedowns and account suspensions. All these restraints are for containing spoilers, supposedly.
Never mind the fact that the game has been out in Japan since September of last year, and that spoilers will always be easily found online when you go looking for them. Forget the emotional benefits game makers and fans get from shared experiences. I just have to consider my own time trying to cover the game for a review without the help of a capture device to declare that this sucks.
I’m either frantically reaching for my smartphone to snap a picture of a funny line of dialogue before the scene advances, or I’m looking through my phone’s relatively small, dark, and low-res screen while playing instead of my optimally lit Full HD monitor in anticipation of a screenshot-worthy image. Either way, the result is subpar, and I’m distracted from actually playing. This wouldn’t be the case at all if I were able to simply get a screenshot from the PS4 by pressing the SHARE button on my controller.
Adding to the frustration is that this limitation is dripping with irony given the presence and importance of technology in the world of Persona 5.
As the first game in the series that has come out in the 2010’s, Persona 5 is as modern as it gets. Your friends and confidants are constantly in touch via chat through your smartphone. The Phantom Thieves, your ragtag group of psyche vigilantes, gain public support through the aptly named online message board “Phan-Site.” There, followers share their love for the gang, as well as info that might lead to potential targets. The fictional hacker collective “Medjed” figure into the story as a global cyber threat. The very method by which you infiltrate the dungeons of the antagonists’ minds is through a mysterious GPS-like app on your phone called the Metaverse Navigator.
There’s even this fancy new feature called the “Thieves Guild,” which is basically the worldwide network of Persona 5 players. It shows percentages of what all the other players do with their time on in-game days, so you can get live tips on how you can better optimize your character’s busy schedule. It also shows the answers they choose for the random questions you get from teachers while your character is in class. The Thieves Guild is essentially a handy cheat sheet that brings the Persona gaming community closer!
And there’s also the undeniable feeling of rebellion throughout the game, of breaking free from the shackles of society, and of teenagers sticking it to the man.
These story and design choices are all so very now, especially in this tumultuous social climate. By locking down the simple act of sharing, Atlus undermines the contemporary, free-spirited, and always-connected message of Persona 5, revealing just how short-sighted, narrow-minded, and old-fashioned the company can be.
[irp posts=”12299″ name=”5 must-have Nintendo Switch games that aren’t Zelda”]
Vivo outs dual-display phone, China bans iPhones: Weekend Rewind
Brands that are hot and brands that are in hot water
Here are this week’s top stories on GadgetMatch.
1. Vivo’s new NEX phone comes with two displays
The NEX Dual Display Edition joins the Nubia X in spearheading two-face smartphones in the market. The main display measures 6.39 inches and it virtually occupies the whole front of the phone. On the back is the secondary 5.49-inch display which is always ready for use. Both displays use Super AMOLED panels and have Full HD resolutions.
Since the phone has an all-screen facade, it doesn’t have a front-facing camera. All of the picture-taking duties are handled by the rear shooters of the NEX. There’s a main 12-megapixel f/1.79 camera that’s accompanied by a special 2-megapixel f/1.8 night video camera and a Time of Flight (TOF) sensor.
2. MediaTek’s new CPU brings next-level AI
MediaTek went ahead and introduced its new chipset, the Helio P90, even though the Helio P70 just came out a few months ago. On top of better AI processing, it offers improvements across the board, from boosts in camera features and wireless connectivity to better overall performance.
It should also improve imaging capabilities. The Helio P90 can handle up to a supersized 48-megapixel unit or dual cameras split into 24 and 16 megapixels. 4K video recording at 30 frames per second is possible, as well as 1080p at 120 frames per second.
There’s still no word on which phones we can expect to feature this chip but we’re pretty sure the wait won’t be that long.
3. Samsung collabs with a Supreme rip-off
Earlier this week, Samsung China announced a startling partnership with lifestyle brand Supreme. In lifestyle circles, the red-boxed brand is a haven for hypebeasts.
Sounds good so far, right? The thing is, Samsung’s new collaboration is not with that brand. Instead, the Korean tech company has partnered with a known Supreme knock-off. Strangely, both the original Supreme and Samsung know this fact.
They have since re-evaluated this partnership and disclosed no definite reasons except that they “deeply regret the inconvenience caused.”
4. A loaded OnePlus 6T is now official
It seems like coming with a beefed-up version of a flagship is a thing now. After Huawei and OPPO partnered with Porsche and Lamborghini, respectively, OnePlus introduced its McLaren Edition of the OnePlus 6T.
Not only does it have a carbon fiber pattern and the popular automaker’s logo on the back, but it also has practical features like Warp Charge that outputs 30W and charges the phone from zero to 50 percent in just 20 minutes. That’s McLaren fast!
5. China bans Apple from selling iPhones
Recently, Qualcomm engaged in a legal battle against Apple in China. According to the company, Apple violated some critical software patents.
Long story short, China has issued a guilty verdict against Apple and has banned the American company from selling and distributing most of its iPhones in the country.
The ban didn’t include the new iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR. However, iPhone models with older software versions are all under the ban.
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.
GadgetMatch Awards: Best Smartphones of 2018
Handpicked by the GadgetMatch team
Like it or not, there’s no best smartphone this year — or any year for that matter. Rather, there are great smartphones for different users and different needs.
In this set of GadgetMatch Awards, we look at the best of the best by category, from the most practical to the somewhat shallow. We’re sure you have your own winners, so let us know in the comments what you think.
Here we go:
Best Battery Life — Huawei Mate 20 Pro
Rarely do we think: When will this phone finally die? In fact, we often ask for more juice out of our smartphones, something that the Mate 20 Pro effortlessly delivers for us. On top of its class-leading performance and stellar looks, this smartphone can easily last for two days on a single charge — wow!
Best Selfies — Vivo NEX S
This pop-up camera is no gimmick; it takes awesome selfies, as well! From the moment it appears to the time it snaps our HDR-licious selfies, taking self portraits with the NEX S is both a spectacle and a pleasure.
Best Special Edition — Porsche Edition Huawei Mate 20 RS
How do you make an already-premium phone even more special? By slapping on some leather and the logo of a luxury automaker! Yes, the Porsche Edition Huawei Mate 20 RS is by far the hottest-looking smartphone of the year.
Best Design — OPPO Find X
There were tons of jaw-dropping smartphone designs in 2018, but none have wowed us as much as the OPPO Find X’s. The automatic sliding action continues to impress us to this day, and we can’t get enough of the borderless look in front.
Best Charging Technology — SuperVOOC
In terms of new technology, 2018 became the year of faster charging. That said, OPPO’s SuperVOOC tech stands above all with its insane speed. We can’t wait to see it in more smartphones come 2019!
Best Portrait Shooter — Apple iPhone XR
Portrait photography has become a standard feature across all smartphones, but the iPhone XR does it best with a single rear camera. We love how it cuts out the subject and applies the perfect amount of bokeh to our photos.
Best Beauty Mode — OPPO R17 Pro
OPPO has done it once again with a beauty mode we’re proud to use. The advanced post-shot customization and application of artificial intelligence have been taken to another level, and we love ’em!
Best Special Feature — Xiaomi Mi Mix 3
Slide up, slide down — rinse and repeat. No smartphone feature got us more pumped than the Mi Mix 3’s manual sliding form factor, which combines the best of nostalgia and practical application.
Best Display — ASUS ROG Phone
A 6-inch notch-less AMOLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate? We’re sold! The ROG Phone may be a gaming smartphone at its core, but it’s also a perfect multimedia companion thanks to its gorgeous screen.
Best Speakers — Razer Phone 2
Great speakers are such an underrated feature on smartphones these days. Fortunately, we have the Razer Phone 2 to remind us how it should be done. Two powerful speakers facing the user form the best combination we’ve seen all year.
Best Video Shooter — LG V40 ThinQ
LG has yet again brought professional-grade videography to the masses with the V40 ThinQ. While other manufacturers focus purely on photography, this little powerhouse offers a slew of video-recording features that we absolutely adore.
Best Productivity — BlackBerry KEY2
Let’s face it: As much as we’ve gotten used to touchscreen displays, nothing beats the no-look convenience a physical keyboard offers. BlackBerry executed this to perfection with the KEY2, and we’re so glad they did.
MediaTek Helio P90 arrives with next-level AI and processing performance
Coming soon to midrange phones everywhere
As previously reported, MediaTek’s latest midrange system on a chip (SoC) is here, and it brings next-generation AI performance to the segment.
Even though the Helio P70 came out only a couple of months ago, MediaTek felt that the P90 is needed to push midrange phones to the next level. On top of better AI processing, it offers improvements across the board, from boosts in camera features and wireless connectivity to better overall performance.
Let’s begin with the most important part: artificial intelligence. It’s what makes the P90 stand out, considering that it’s made for midrange smartphones. It owns an AI engine that houses a dual-core APU (application processing unit) with an AIA (artificial intelligence accelerator), which essentially place it ahead in its class.
These translate to numerous applications in real life, such deep-learning facial detection for quicker logins, real-time beautification and scene recognition for the cameras, and faster processing for augmented and mixed reality apps. Even better: Google Lens is already supported by this SoC.
Speaking of cameras, that’s another highlight here. The Helio P90 can handle up to a supersized 48-megapixel unit or dual cameras split into 24 and 16 megapixels. 4K video recording at 30 frames per second is possible, as well as 1080p at 120 frames per second.
On the connectivity side, it has support for the Cat-12/13 4G LTE bands, and more importantly, 2×2 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.0 — bringing it on par with more premium chipsets.
Everything is powered by a 12nm octa-core system consisting of two Cortex-A75 processors at 2.2GHz and six Cortex-A55 processors at 2GHz. A PowerVR GM9446 GPU running at 970MHz handles all graphics duties. In addition, CorePilot tech makes sure that everything operates efficiently.
We’re still waiting for word from partner brands on which phones we can expect to pack this new SoC. With CES and MWC coming up in the next few months, we’re sure to hear more about the Helio P90 soon.
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