Gaming

Special Edition Nintendo 2DS XL features Animal Crossing, Mario Kart 7, Minecraft

They’re looking pretty good

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Breaking news, everyone! Nintendo is coming out with special editions of the Nintendo 2DS XL and they feature the games that we all love to play on it.

There’s a The Animal Crossing: New Leaf version and it’s looking good. 👀


The game-themed console features details straight out of New Leaf! It retails for JPY 15,980 and comes pre-installed with the game.

For the Minecraft fans, fret not! There’s also a console dedicated to it.

Just looking at it gives me Minecraft creeper goosebumps! You can own this baby for JPY 16,980, and of course, it comes with the game pre-installed.

Last but not the least, there’s also a Mario Kart 7 console.

It comes in a Mario color scheme and will be priced at JPY 15,980. Again, Mario Kart 7 comes with the purchase.

If you want to get a hold of these awesome consoles, your best bet is to fly to Japan. They’ll be available in stores starting July 19. The Animal Crossing version will also be available in Europe starting July 20.

As for the rest of the world, tough luck. I leave you to ogle at these cool Nintendo 2DS XLs.

Enterprise

Blizzard in deep trouble for supporting China

Update: Blizzard eases sanctions against Blitzchung

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Image source: Overwatch

The American corporate world is in a state of crisis caused by the tension between China and America. In the middle of this heightened Sino-American corporate war, Hong Kong lies in the middle, eagerly awaiting its democratic victory against Chinese authoritarianism. Because of the immensity of the geopolitical issue, individuals have inevitably expressed their opinions on the matter through public avenues.

Recently, individual opinions are getting in the way of corporate profits, especially for the companies that these individuals represent. From slaps on the wrist to outlandish punitive measures, American companies are putting a clamp on anti-China sentiments. The US is discovering where their favorite companies’ loyalties really lie — with the American people or with the Chinese government.


Blizzard: too cool for Hong Kong

Among these controversial companies, Blizzard Entertainment is fueling a significant portion of the dispute. Last weekend, the company held a Hearthstone tournament in Taiwan. The winner, Blitzchung (real name: Chung Ng Wai), expressed pro-HK opinions during his victory speech: “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our age.”

Days later, Blizzard Entertainment issued steep punishments against Blitzchung: stripping him of his prize money and banning him from competitive play for a year. The company has also fired the two broadcasters involved in the interview. Blizzard has deleted the official interview from their accounts.

“I don’t regret saying that stuff. And even now, I don’t regret it at all.” In defense of his actions, Blitzchung has expressed the necessity of his opinions. “I shouldn’t be scared. I hope my act can inspire other gamers like me, to continue to support the movement in Hong Kong,” he told AFP.

According to Blizzard, Blitzchung’s voiced opinion “offends a portion or group of the public, or otherwise damages [Blizzard’s] images,” warranting the fine and the ban. Curiously, the company did not say if the ban results from any Chinese intervention.

#BoycottBlizzard

Since then, Blizzard’s actions have sparked global outrage, accusing the company of political favoritism rather than supporting its customers or representatives. Many individual personalities have boycotted the company’s products including the highly popular MMORPG World of Warcraft and the competitive shooter Overwatch.

Some Overwatch players have even started using the game’s Chinese character, Mei, as a pro-HK icon. In the game, Mei — and the other characters — are largely apolitical regarding real-world politics. The game is set in a futuristic world with anthropomorphic gorillas and conscious robots. In creating a pro-HK icon, players hope to cause a larger boycott of Blizzard’s products.

Notably, Blizzard’s employees have also expressed dismay over their company’s actions. After the incident, several employees have walked out of their offices in protest. Also, an employee has supposedly taped over Blizzard’s forward-thing motto displayed on the company’s campus: “Think Globally” and “Every Voice Matters.”

The global outrage has already earned the attention of American lawmakers. Floridian Senator Marco Rubio has tweeted his support against Blizzard. “China using access to market as leverage to crush free speech globally,” he said.

Another senator, Ron Wyden from Oregon, has expressed the same sentiments. “Blizzard shows it is willing to humiliate itself to please the Chinese Communist Party. No American company should censor calls for freedom to make a quick buck,” he said.

Meanwhile, rivaling game companies have shown support for Blitzchung. Gods Unchained, a card game similar to Hearthstone, has promised to pay the tournament winner the full winnings stripped by Blizzard. Fortnite’s Epic Games has proclaimed that it will never penalize players for expressing their right to free speech.

Companies for China

Besides Blizzard, the NBA is also embroiled in a similar controversy. China has recently blacklisted the Houston Rockets because of a tweet from general manager Daryl Morey. Apple is also in trouble for supporting a pro-HK app and censoring the Taiwanese flag.

Slowly, the world is unraveling the curtain draping over the biggest companies today. Underneath, people are discovering a cruel truth: the persistence of money versus integral values.

Update [10/11/19]: At the end of the day on Friday (US time), Blizzard issued a statement in response to the recent controversies. In the lengthy post, the company has decided to ease up on the penalties issued to both Blitzchung and the shoutcasters. For one, Blitzchung will finally receive his full winnings. Further, Blizzard has reduced the bans to only six months.

Explaining their side, Blizzard has reiterated that the decision was made without Chinese intervention. According to the statement, Blizzard acted to ensure the tournament’s status as an inclusive environment for all gamers.

SEE ALSO: Blizzard is taking their other titles to your mobile

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Gaming

PlayStation 5 will launch on Holiday 2020

Featuring a new controller

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The next generation console PlayStation 5 will launch on Holiday 2020.

Sony PlayStation published a statement today announcing the time of the launch. Another major announcement is that it will come with a new controller – one that has haptic technology and adaptive triggers.


The haptic feedback will replace the “rumble” tech found in earlier versions of the the DualShock controller. PlayStation says haptic should provide a broader range of feedback. This means a different feeling when you crash a race car to the wall, tackle on the football field, or even ” sense for a variety of textures when running through fields of grass or plodding through mud.”

There’s also the new adaptive triggers which Sony says they incorporated into the L2 and R2 trigger buttons. The new tech will allow developers to “program the resistance of the triggers.” This means having a tactile sensation depending on the action you’re executing.

Game creators have already been given and early version of the new controller so they can incorporate it in upcoming titles.

SEE MORE: PlayStation 5: Everything we know so far

 

 

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Gaming

PS4 Remote Play now supports all Android devices

Android 5.0 and higher is supported

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Sony announced an update to the PS4 system software that brings it to version 7.00. With the update, Sony is improving the Party feature and bringing Remote Play functionality to all Android devices.

Remote Play feature

Remote Play is now available for all Android devices. Previously, it was available only for iPhones and iPads and Sony’s Xperia phones. This feature lets gamers stream their favorite PS4 games to their mobile devices.


The feature is only available for phones running Android 5.0 and higher. The PS4 Remote Play app which enables the feature is now available on Google Play Store. Previously, it was only present on Sony Xperia devices. The app lets gamers connect their DualShock wireless controller via Bluetooth to enable compact, on-the-go gaming.

Improved Party features

Sony also improved the network connectivity and audio quality of its Party feature. It lets gamers play with their friends and other community members. Along with these improvements, Sony also increased the number of Party users from 8 to 16. Chat transcription is now available, letting gamers convert voice chat to text.

Released in 2013, the PS4 has received substantial updates over the years which improved its functionality a lot. However, rumors are all over the place for the PlayStation 5, which is expected to be announced by Sony in late 2019.

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