Category Archives: Gaming

MSI’s VR One and Stealth Pro Recognized as CES 2017 Innovation Honorees



msis-vr-oneMSI, a leading manufacturer of computer hardware products and solutions, received the distinction of International CES 2017 Innovation Honoree for its ultra-powerful and mobile VR-ready GS63VR Stealth Pro gaming laptop; and the world’s thinnest and lightest VR backpack PC, the VR One.

Recognized under “Tech For a Better World”, and “Gaming” categories, MSI’s VR One backpack PC is the world’s thinnest and lightest virtual reality backpack PC weighing less than 8 lbs. Powered by the latest in gaming technology and a unique cooling system to prolong gaming sessions, the VR One comes with swappable batteries, eliminate cables and cords, and is now available to deliver a truly wireless VR experience.

Honored under the “Virtual Reality” category, MSI’s GS63VR Stealth Pro is a mobile 17-inch gaming laptop with the power of full sized desktops. Armed with Intel’s 6th generation processor and NVIDIA’s VR-ready GeForce GTX 10-Series GPUs, the GS63VR Stealth Pro weighs only 5.35 lbs., measures less than 0.7-inches thick, and designed for mobile gamers who seek the best performance without sacrificing mobility.

MSI’s VR One and GS63VR Stealth Pro will be showcased during CES Unveiled New York on November 10th at the Metropolitan Pavilion. MSI’s entire lineup of gaming products will be in exhibition during CES 2017 at the Venetian Las Vegas Level 3, San Polo Hall – Room 3505 from January 5th to 8th


Blizzard Announced Overwatch League



overwatch-league-logoBlizzard Entertainment has announced the creation of Overwatch League. It is a professional sports league for Blizzard’s popular Overwatch game. The inaugural season will begin in 2017.

Overwatch League is a world-class sports ecosystem for professional Overwatch competition. Combining Blizzard’s esports pedigree with the best practices of major professional sports, the Overwatch League will focus on long-term stability for teams as well as opportunities for players to establish the types of professional careers associated with traditional sports.

At the start of the 2017 season, Blizzard will host a combine, where eligible players who have previously distinguished themselves in competition will be invited to try out for teams. Players at the combine will be evaluated across a range of tests, giving teams the opportunity to sign those who best round out their rosters. Anyone picked up by a team during the signing period will be guaranteed a contract that includes a baseline minimum salary and benefits package.


Pokémon GO Adds Daily Bonuses



Pokemon Go logoNiantic announced some updates  to Pokémon GO that I think will make the game even more fun. These updates will appear in version 0.45.0 for Android and 1.15.0 for iOS. In short – they gave players more bonuses!

Players will now earn bonuses for the first Pokémon catch and the first PokéStop visit each day. The daily bonuses reward you with XP and Stardust for your first catch of the day, and XP and extra items for your first Photo Disc spin of the day at a PokéStop. You get an even bigger bonus if you complete those actions seven days in a row.

It appears that the daily bonuses are here to stay. To celebrate this new feature, Niantic is adding more bonuses to your bonuses. From November 7, 2016, through November 11, 2016, PokéStops will grant more items. This means more Great Balls and, for Players that are level 20 and above, more Ultra Balls.

If you are reading this today, there is still time to take advantage of the extra bonuses. If not, it looks like the “regular” daily bonuses will continue. Personally, I’m having fun with this.  The daily bonuses are giving me enough PokéBalls from the first PokéStop that I visit to make me able to immediately start catching Pokémon. That’s better than starting the game with no PokéBalls because I’d run out the last time I played.


Pokémon GO has a Halloween Treat



pokemon-go-halloweenI love it when video games include a special Halloween event! This year, Pokémon GO is doing something special for Halloween. It is the first time the game has done this. This makes me wonder if there will be more special events after the Halloween one is over.

Niantic announced a treat for Trainers. From October 26th to November 1st, players can earn double the amount of Candy every time they make a catch, hatch and transfer Pokémon. Play the game as you typically would – and get extra Candy while you play.

Now is a good time to start using a Buddy Pokémon (if you haven’t done that yet). Your Buddy Pokémon will help you earn Candy four times as fast during this Halloween event.

There is another treat to look forward to. Niantic says that players will encounter “more spooky Pokémon than usual” during the Halloween event. You could encounter Pokémon that you haven’t caught yet.


Candy Crush Saga is Becoming a Game Show



candy-crush-sagaCBS has ordered an adaptation of the popular Candy Crush Saga game. The Candy Crush game show will be a one-hour live action game show series based on the game.

CBS, Lionsgate, and King will join together on the new format. Matt Kunitz will be the executive producer. The Candy Crush game show will be domestically distributed by CBS Television. Lionsgate will distribute it internationally.

In the series, the game that has become a worldwide phenomenon comes to life as teams of two people use their wits and physical agility to compete on enormous, interactive game boards featuring next generation technology to conquer CANDY CRUSH and be crowned the champions.

Not much else has been revealed about this new game show. A host will be announced at a later date. There appears to be a way for people to watch and play along at home. King’s Chief Creative Officer, Sebastian Knutsson, will serve as executive producer. CBS has not stated when the Candy Crush game show will premiere.

The overall concept reminds me of some of the game shows that were on Nickelodeon in the 90s (such as Legends of the Hidden Temple, and Double Dare). Contestants in those games also had to use their wits and physical agility in order to play. The Candy Crush game show might attract an audience who remembers the physically-based game shows they watched when they were kids.


Pokémon GO Update Includes Catch Bonus



pokemon-catch-bonusNiantic has updated Pokémon GO to version 0.41.2 for Android and version 1.11.2 for iOS. It added a catch bonus, updated Gym training, and improved the egg and incubator screens.

The catch bonus makes those medals you have been earning into something useful. You can get a catch bonus when you earn medals based on catching certain types of Pokémon (such as Kindler, Psychic, Gardener, and others). The new bonuses will give you a better chance of capturing Pokémon with a related type.

The example Niantic gives is about the Kindler Medal. Reach a higher tier for the Kindler Medal, and your bonus to catch Fire-type Pokémon such as Charmander, Vulpix, and Ponyta increases.

Personally, I am looking forward to the catch bonus. I’m starting to get frustrated by how often the Pokémon I catch escape from the PokéBall and make me use more PokéBall to try and capture them. My hope is that the catch bonus will prevent the problem of running out of PokéBalls because I had to spend so many on each Pokémon.

Niantic says Pidgey is both Normal and Flying type. Catching Pidgeys will get you closer to the next tier on both of those Medals.

The change to Gym training is for players of all levels. You can now bring six Pokémon to battle at a friendly Gym (instead of being limited to bringing one Pokémon at a time. The CP of the Pokémon you are training against might be temporarily adjusted lower during your training session to match your Pokémon’s capabilities.

The egg and incubator screens will now periodically update the distance walked without the player having to close and reopen the screen. I noticed that the number of kilometers you need to walk to hatch an egg has stayed the same – but the number of kilometers that you have already walked are now blue (instead of black).  That makes it easier for me to differentiate between the two numbers.


Twitch and Amazon Announce Twitch Prime



twitch-prime-logoTwitch Prime is a collaboration between Amazon and Twitch. It is a premium experience on Twitch that is included with Amazon Prime. It is intended to be something that combines the best parts of Twitch with the best parts of Amazon.

If you are already subscribed to Amazon Prime, you get Twitch Prime instantly for no additional cost by linking your Twitch account to it. If you already subscribe to both Twitch Turbo and Amazon Prime, you might want to consider cancelling Twitch Turbo. All the benefits of Twitch Turbo are included in Twitch Prime.

Twitch Prime offers “free in-game loot every month, plus surprises”. This can include skins, characters, and boosts and can also include free games. It offers free Twitch channel subscription every 30 days with ad-free viewing. Those who have Twitch Prime will get exclusive emotes, more chat colors, and a chat badge of royalty.

Right now, Twitch Prime is having a Hearthstone event that will last through November 6, 2016. Hearthstone is a virtual card game made by Blizzard Entertainment. All Twitch Prime members will get the newest Hearthstone hero, Tyrande Whisperwind. They also get a custom cardback.

In October, Twitch Prime subscribers will get a free PC game called Streamline, and an exclusive skin in Smite. New free loot will be offered every month.

An Amazon Prime membership comes with member discounts on new release box games, pre-orders of games, and collector’s editions. Amazon Prime allows subscribers to instantly stream thousands of movies and TV shows. It also offers ad free streaming of over 1 million songs, playlists, and stations. Those who have an Amazon Prime subscription get free two-day shipping on over 20 million eligible items from Amazon.com.

If you already have Amazon Prime, and you like playing video games, it won’t cost you anything to get Twitch Prime. If you don’t have Amazon Prime, you can take advantage of a 30-day free trial of it. Twitch Prime is currently available in the US, UK, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain.


Super Mario Run is Coming to iOS Devices



super-mario-run-for-iosNintendo has announced that Super Mario Run is coming to iPhone and iPad. It is the first Mario game to be released on iOS. The game will be free to download, and is scheduled for release in December of 2016.

Super Mario Run is being described as “a new kind of Mario game that you can play with one hand.” Hold your iPhone or iPad in one hand, and tap the screen with your other hand. In short, they are making it clear that you won’t need a controller to play this Mario game.

In this game, Mario constantly moves forward through the courses while you use a variety of jumps to navigate. Mario will behave differently depending on the timing of your taps, so it’s up to you to show off particularly smooth moves, gather coins, and reach the goal.

Nintendo says the game has three different modes. The first mode is a challenge course for players to complete while gathering coins. The second mode lets players challenge the play data of other players to show who “can beat a course with the most style to impress Toads into joining you.” The third mode lets players create their own Mushroom Kingdom, using the coins and Toads collected in the first to game modes.

The is no information about when, or if, Super Mario Run will be released for Android. Based on the comments I’ve seen on Twitter, there are some people who are really upset about that.

Super Mario Run is free to download, and some content will be available for free. Additional content will be available for purchase.


Pokémon GO Plus Will Be Available Soon



Pokemon GO Plus
Niantic has posted an update on their blog that says that Nintendo and The Pokémon Company will release Pokémon GO Plus on September 16, 2016, in most countries. (It will be released in a few South American territories later this year).

Pokémon GO Plus is not a new version of, or an expansion of, Pokémon GO. Instead, it is a wearable device that players can use to play the game.

Pokémon GO Plus is a companion device that connects to your phone over Bluetooth Smart (the Bluetooth low energy connection designed for health and fitness applications), allowing you to keep your phone in your pocket and go about your day-to-day activities while still being able to collect valuable resources and capture even the most elusive Pokémon.

Niantic says that Pokémon GO Plus will “allow you to blend Pokémon GO more seamlessly into family and fitness activities.”. They point out that the wearable will let you go through your day, and play Pokémon GO, without having to look at your screen all the time.

The Pokémon GO Plus device will vibrate and light up to alert you to the location of a nearby PokéStop. Players can click the Pokémon GO Plus to collect items from the PokéStop. The device will also light up and vibrate if there is a Pokémon in your area. You can catch the Pokémon by using the Pokémon GO Plus, but you won’t know which Pokémon you caught until you look at the in-game journal later on.

The Pokémon GO Plus was first announced in September of 2015 when the Pokémon GO game was officially announced.


Blizzard Launches WoW Legion Companion App



World of Warcraft Legion Companion AppBlizzard Entertainment has launched the WoW Legion Companion App. It is for players of World of Warcraft who have the recently released Legion expansion. The app can be downloaded for free from either the App Store or Google Play.

The WoW Legion Companion App can be used by players to keep track of their progress in game. It is not a substitution for the World of Warcraft game (or the Legion expansion). In other words, the app lets you do certain in-game things through your mobile device, but you still need to use your computer to play WoW.

Players can use the app to:

Track World Quests – View your active world quests and emissary bounties from the app. You can check on rewards and figure out which quests to do once you’re in-game.

Mission Control – See which missions are available to you in your Class Order Hall and get them started through the app. You can complete missions, collect rewards, manage your followers, upgrade their gear, and recruit troops for future missions.

Order Hall Progress – Conduct research and track the status of your Order Hall tech tree to maintain the momentum of your in-game progression.

The app requires players to have an active World of Warcraft subscription, the World of Warcraft Legion expansion, and at least one character that is at the appropriate level. Some things do not unlock until after your character reaches certain levels.

In November of 2015, Blizzard Entertainment acquired King Digital Entertainment. Since then, there has been much speculation that the result would be an app that connected to at least one of Blizzard’s games. The WoW Legion Companion app appears to be that result.