Gaming

Finally: Japan welcomes Pokémon Go

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Pikachu is home, and by that we mean you can now catch Pokémon’s iconic yellow mouse where it all started.

Pokémon Go is “finally broadcasting” in its native Japan, Niantic Labs, the company responsible for the now-wildly popular mobile game, announced. It was only a matter of time; in fact, the game was supposed to launch in Japan on July 20, but its release was postponed after a leaked email that gave the public a heads up became viral.


Japan is Pokémon Go‘s first stop in Asia, but other countries in the region are likely to follow soon. The game is now available in 36 countries and regions, including the U.S. and most of Europe. Niantic Labs chief executive John Hanke said in an interview he wants to make the title available to 200 more countries.

Japan is also the first location where the hit Pokémon title has a sponsorship deal that will see more than 3,000 McDonald’s Japan restaurants become Pokémon Go gyms, where players can train and battle their pokémon. Fast-food restaurants across the country will also sell Happy Meals with limited-edition Pokémon toys in them.

The partnership will no doubt drive unprecedented foot traffic to McDonald’s locations, though a company representative said stores would “call on players not to become a bother to customers who are eating.” Because the last thing you want to worry about while eating your matcha McFlurry is a kid breaking into your private space and obsessing over a Charizard (read: rare pokémon) on your table.

Screen Shot 2016-07-22 at 3.23.54 PM

The warning issued by Japan’s National Center of Incident Readiness and Strategy for Cybersecurity on Twitter and Line

Fearing the worst, Japanese authorities have taken measures to promote public safety, unsurprisingly, in cartoon form. Players have been asked to use “cool names that are different from real names” and try not to stay under the sun too long.

Pokémon phenomena has its roots in The Land of the Rising Sun, where the original Pokémon video games for the Nintendo Game Boy were released in the late 90s. The franchise has since spawned other video-game titles, trading card games, an animated TV series, animated movies, countless merchandise, and a real-life pokémon training facility in Osaka.

[irp posts=”3841" name=”Pokémon Go goes live in PH, 14 other countries in Asia, Oceania”]

Gaming

Playdate is a handheld gaming system with a crank

Yes, an actual crank

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If you’re bored of the current gaming console landscape or are simply waiting for the next-gen PlayStation to come out, there’s this new handheld system that might keep you a little busy.

From a company named Panic, which is known for developing the popular game Firewatch, comes the Playdate. It may seem like a simple gaming system at first, but look to its right and you’ll see its defining feature: a crank.


The developer says that some titles will use this analog controller exclusively, while some won’t at all (which, to me, sorta defeats the purpose of placing that game on this console). Everything will be played on its monochrome screen with no backlighting.

You can see it in action here:

The spin here is that the Playdate will come with a subscription of 12 games — delivered to you once a week for 12 weeks. It’s part of the initial cost of US$ 149, but there’s no word yet if there’ll be subscriptions after that and how much they’ll cost.

Each game will be a surprise, which may or not be a good thing. Spending this much on an unproven console — and possibly more for succeeding subscriptions — could end up becoming a costly risk.

Orders will be accepted later this year, while actual shipping will happen in early 2020. For now, you can sign up through the official website to receive updates on its progress.

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Gaming

Here’s an early look at the Sony PS5’s raw performance

Spoiler: It’s fast!

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Even though Sony dished out some early info on the upcoming PlayStation 5 (should they choose to stick to the numbered naming scheme) and revealed that it’s more than just a mere upgrade, we don’t have any tangible data on what exactly to expect.

Fortunately, Wall Street Journal tech reporter Takashi Mochizuki was present at Sony’s most recent gaming presentation and had this video to show us:


What you see here is a comparison between the loading times of the PS5 and PS4 Pro. Make no mistake here: The next-generation console is incredibly fast! A lot of credit must be given to the built-in SSD the PS5 will ship with.

This should be taken with a grain of salt, however. Tech demos are often fixed to make the newer (and more expensive) product seem superior. To the next-gen console’s credit, it’ll come with the latest eight-core Ryzen chip and a custom GPU from AMD’s Radeon Navi, which are capable of 8K gaming and ray tracing when put together.

Sadly, we still don’t have a release date and Sony won’t announce anything at E3 next month. For now, savor your PS4 and its growing library of classics.

Via: Kotaku

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Apps

Minecraft Earth is like Pokémon Go but with building blocks

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In a move that makes loads of sense, Minecraft is coming to mobile though an augmented reality app similar to Pokémon Go.

It’s called Minecraft Earth and it’s arriving later this year with a beta phase happening during summer. The developers offered this trailer, but it does little to explain how the system would work.


Check it out:

The official website’s FAQ section, however, delves into more of the info we actually care about.

For one, it’ll be free to play and will include several of Minecraft‘s traditional features including world building and discovering/fighting mobs.

Concerning regional availability, the developers aren’t confirming these details just yet. If it’s anything like the issues Niantic experienced with Pokémon Go before, chances are this rollout will be gradual, too.

Finally, for the “Will Minecraft Earth have loot boxes?” question, the website has a definite “No” to answer that.

Minecraft Earth will be available on both Android and iOS. Fingers crossed that there’ll be no delays. 🤞

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