Category Archives: Gaming

The WoW Token Can Now be Exchanged for Battle.net Balance



Blizzard Entertainment created the WoW Token in 2015. In my opinion, the purpose was to give players a safe and secure way to buy in-game gold directly from Blizzard (and not from a disreputable gold seller). Today, Blizzard Entertainment expanded the potential uses for a WoW Token. Players can now exchange a WoW Token for Battle.net Balance.

Previously, the WoW Token had two purposes. A player who wanted to buy in-game gold could log in to World of Warcraft and spend real world currency on a WoW Token. After buying one, that player would put the WoW Token onto the World of Warcraft in-game Auction House. The player would get a quote that confirmed how much gold they would receive whenever their WoW Token sold.

Another player, who wanted to buy game-time, but did not have the real world currency to spend on it, could use their in-game gold to buy a WoW Token from the World of Warcraft in-game Auction House. That player would spend their in-game gold and use the WoW Token to pay for a month of game-time.

Today, Blizzard Entertainment has added a new option. World of Warcraft players who want to add to their Battle.net account can visit the World of Warcraft in-game Auction House, buy a WoW Token, and choose to redeem it for Battle.net Balance. In short, this gives players a new way to add to their Battle.net Balance without having to use real world currency.

The cool thing is that a player can spend the money in their Battle.net Balance on World of Warcraft Pets and Mounts. Or, they can spend it on items from other Blizzard Entertainment games like Overwatch or Heroes of the Storm. This gives more options to World of Warcraft players who also play other Blizzard Entertainment games.


Drone n’ Base is The Gaming Drone at CES



There are plenty of drones that can be used to take videos from the air or to take aerial photos.  That’s great for photographers, but doesn’t do much for gamers.  Drone n’ Base has created The Gaming Drone.  Use these little drones to play augmented reality video games.

Todd spoke with Matus, who explained what The Gaming Drone can do.  There are two styles of video game that you can play with The Gaming Drone.  One is an augmented reality game where you play against a computer.  You control your physical drone and battle the computer’s drone that is inside the game.

The other video game is a multiplayer race and battle.  Each player places a game board on the floor, and flies his or her drone over it.  This enables the player to race and battle with other players in the video game.

The Gaming Drone by Drone n’ Base is priced at $199.  Each package comes with one drone, one base, and two batteries.

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Razer’s Project Valerie Triple Screen Laptop at CES



One of the best things about motor shows are the preposterous concept cars that will never see the light of day and serve only to showcase the manufacturer’s technology. Razer are verging into this territory with a bonkers triple 4K screen laptop, codenamed Project Valerie, where the three screens combine to give a whopping resolution of 11520 x 2160. And get this….the screens will automatically expand and collapse – so cool. Aimed at the (very) serious gamer or esports player, it’s totally awesome and no doubt will have a price tag to match when (if?) it goes on sale.

Todd Cochrane is the host of the twice-weekly Geek News Central Podcast at GeekNewsCentral.com.

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More Pokémon are Coming to Pokémon GO



Niantic has been adding new things to Pokémon GO lately, in the form of partnerships between Pokémon GO and companies like Sprint and Starbucks. Niantic’s latest addition is something players will find in the Pokémon GO game itself. In short, more Pokémon are coming!

Niantic announced that as of December 12, 2016, players will have the opportunity to find Pokémon that have been newly added to Pokémon GO. Niantic explains:

Professor Willow has discovered Togepi and Pichu hatching from Eggs! Starting later today, Trainers will have the opportunity to hatch these and several other Pokémon that were originally discovered in the Johto Region in Pokémon Gold and Pokémon Silver video games. These are the first of more Pokémon coming to Pokémon GO over the next few months.

In addition, from December 12, 2016, through December 29, 2016, (10:00 am. PST) players will find limited edition Pikachu all over the world. These Pikachu will be wearing a festive hat. Niantic recommends that you use the Pokémon GO AR camera when you encounter the limited edition Pikachu, and post the screenshot on social media with #HolidayPikachu.


Starbucks is Now an Official Partner of Pokémon GO



Shortly after Niantic announced that Sprint had become the first U.S. Partner of Pokémon GO, Niantic announced that Starbucks is now an official partner of Pokémon GO. The partnership between Starbucks and Pokémon GO includes Starbucks stores that are located within the United States. Starbucks stores that are located outside of the United States do not appear to be part of this partnership. From the Niantic announcement:

Starbucks has a long-standing commitment to providing spaces for social interaction and real-world community building in its extensive network of locations. We appreciate their role in creating safe, welcoming locations for people from all walks of life to come together for refreshment and social engagement. Starting 11 A.M. PST on December 8, this new partnership will transform 7,800 company-owned Starbucks stores in the United States into PokéStops and Gyms, giving Trainers even more places to play and to engage with their local Pokémon GO communities.

Starbucks says that players who locate a Starbucks store within Pokémon GO will discover the Pokémon GO Frappuccino blended beverage.

It starts with a Vanilla Bean Frappuccino blended beverage and raspberry syrup blended with freeze-dried whole blackberries and topped with whipped cream. The Pokémon GO Frappuccino blended beverage will be available at participating Starbucks stores for a limited time while supplies last.


Sprint Becomes First U.S. Partner of Pokémon GO



pokemon-go-and-sprintThe Pokémon GO Team at Niantic has announced that they are working with Sprint.  This collaboration makes Sprint the first U.S. Partner of Pokémon GO.

Niantic and Sprint are working together to create a special Pokémon GO experience at over 10,500 Sprint locations around the United States. It is scheduled to begin on December 12, 2016.

As part of this collaboration, Sprint, Boost Mobile, and Sprint Radioshack stores will become PokéStops and Gyms, giving you even more places to stock up on Poké Balls and Razz Berries and to battle your friends. Sprint locations will also feature in-store charging stations to keep your Pokémon GO sessions going even longer.

Sprint will be offering an unlimited data plan that includes talk and text “so that customers can complete their Pokédex without worrying about running out of data or surprise overage charges”.  According to Sprint, when customers switch at least one line to Sprint and sign up for Unlimited Freedom with AutoPay, they get unlimited data, talk, and text at just $20 per month/line for a family of five until January 31, 2018.


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.