Gaming

Pokémon Go update adds Buddy Pokémon feature; new Easter egg uncovered

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The Pokémon Go community can apparently look forward to a new update this week. The update, referred to as version 0.37 for Android and version 1.7.0 for iPhones, will address a number of bugs and performance issues and introduce the Buddy Pokémon feature to the wildly popular mobile game.

You can find the release notes from Niantic Labs’ development team below:

– Implemented Buddy Pokémon: Trainers will now be able to choose one of their Pokémon to be their buddy. A Trainer can earn Candy for their Buddy Pokémon by walking a certain distance
– Made it easier to select smaller Pokémon on the screen
– Fixed an issue where Eggs would sometimes hatch without displaying the animation
– Improved performance reliability when a device switches networks to no longer cause the application to hang or stop updating
– Pokémon Go Plus support
– Minor text fixes

Pokémon Go Plus is slated for release on September 16 so a patch that adds compatibility with the $50 wearable is expected. It connects to your Android or iPhone via Bluetooth and alerts users when something occurs in the Pokémon Go app.

The new buddy system will allow trainers to walk their pokémon for candy, though you won’t exactly see your avatar walking on the map alongside your creature of choice. The candy you receive depends on the creature you’ve chosen, and some pokémon, stronger pokémon, will score you fewer candies than others for the same distance traveled. Also: Evolving pokemon will reset any progress it has made towards generating a new candy.

The Silph Road has put together a nice infographic showing you far you have to travel to generate one candy for every pokémon in the game — excluding the ones that haven’t been found yet; Mewtwo is rumored to dispense one candy every five kilometers. Yikes! Another thing to keep in mind is that you can’t use a buddy pokémon in gym battles.

pokemon-go-buddy-guide-silph-road

The new feature also contains an Easter egg that ties back to the game’s roots. Those who can recall the original anime series will know that Pikachu didn’t trust Ash at first, and it took a bit of time for it to sit on Ash’s shoulder. But it appears anime Pikachu isn’t the only one with bonding issues; players will have to walk at least 10 kilometers to see the iconic electric mouse do the same thing in Pokémon Go.

In addition to announcing the new update, Niantic Labs reiterated that it is killing support for rooted and jailbroken devices to mitigate cheating in the game.

Image credit: Penn State at Flickr

 

Gaming

Singtel introduces PVP eSports Championship

The telco’s next step in the world of gaming

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Singaporean telco giant Singtel has announced its latest eSports initiative, the PVP eSports Championship. It will be a multi-title regional eSports league from October 5 to 7, 2018 with a prize pool of US$ 300,000. For executives, the tournament is part of their efforts towards gaming within the Asia-Pacific region.

The tournament is done in partnership with industry players Razer, MET, Garena, and Blizzard. It will feature the popular PC game Dota 2 and Garena’s popular mobile game Arena of Valor. The Singapore leg of Blizzard’s global tour will also feature their popular game Hearthstone during the tournament.

Teams from Australia, India, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, and the Philippines will compete in local qualifiers organized by Singtel. The winning teams will then move on to the Grand Finals in Singapore, where they will compete against professional teams from North America, Europe, and China. The tournament also serves as Singtel’s opportunity to scout for Singapore’s own eSports team, which they wish to sponsor for future competitions.

Singtel hopes that the tournament builds upon current gaming initiatives from telcos like Globe in the Philippines and Telkomsel in Indonesia. Singtel CEO Arthur Lang recognizes the power of mobile gaming within the region, with smartphones being the main gaming device. “Telcos have every right to play in the growing gaming ecosystem,” Lang said in a statement.

To know more about the upcoming tournament and how to get there, you can visit its official website or MET’s official post. Singtel will provide details on streaming services for the tournament in the future.

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Gaming

Huawei’s GPU Turbo update will start rolling out in August

A number of Huawei phones are getting a GPU boost!

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Huawei is keen on giving their phones a performance boost through a software update. If you own a recent Huawei device, you must have heard of the upcoming GPU Turbo feature that the company claims will drastically improve graphics performance of existing smartphones.

The Chinese company has announced the official list of Huawei smartphones that’ll be getting the GPU Turbo feature. Along with it are the target release dates. Check out the table below:

Image credit: Huawei

A total of 14 devices will soon receive the update. Current flagships like the Mate 10 and P20 series will get GPU Turbo first by August, followed by the recently released midrange phones, such as the P20 Lite and Nova 2i, sometime in September. Thankfully, Huawei didn’t forget about last year’s P10 phones as well as the Mate 9 series from 2016; both will get the update in November.

Huawei’s claims about the GPU Turbo feature leave us wondering how it’ll actually work, so we’ll see whether it lives up to the promise when it launches. Just so you know, Huawei states it will improve graphics processing efficiency by 60 percent and reduce power consumption by 30 percent. AR and VR performance will also be improved.

Keep in mind that GPU Turbo will only work with PUBG Mobile and Mobile Legends: Bang Bang at launch. More games will be supported in the coming months.

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Gaming

Genki finally gives us Bluetooth audio support for the Nintendo Switch

It’s about time!

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When I first bought a Switch, I knew I was getting the best-possible mobile gaming experience available today. However, my high hopes suddenly went downhill once I realized there’s no way of connecting my favorite Bluetooth headphones.

That’s right: Despite being designed for gaming on the go, the Switch has no way of accepting any form of Bluetooth audio — a feature that’s been present on smartphones and other gaming consoles for ages.

If you want sound outside of the built-in stereo speakers, you’d have to connect your headphones or portable speaker to the 3.5mm port. That’s not too bad, but it goes against the truly wireless era smartphones and mobile gadgets are (forcefully) ushering us into.

This is where Genki comes in. It’s a straightforward dongle that plugs into the USB-C port of the Switch and enables you to connect any Bluetooth audio device to the Nintendo console.

What’s great is that Genki draws minimal power from the console and can even provide sound to two devices at once thanks to the power of Bluetooth 5.0.

This is a simple solution to a problem Nintendo should’ve addressed long time ago. The Switch has been available for over a year now, and no first-party accessories have been released to add Bluetooth support.

It’s currently being funded on Kickstarter with only four days left to reach it’s US$ 30,000 goal. Clearly, people are seeing the need for Genki, since it has already amassed nearly US$ 400,000 as of writing!

There’s still time to pledge, but the cheapest US$ 29 deal is already gone and the US$ 49 Day One Edition is also no longer available. The estimated delivery date is October 2018.

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