Google Play Gift Cards Have Indeed Arrived In Malaysia: Here They Are In Flesh

True to the report yesterday, the Google Play gift cards have really arrived in Malaysia. While this has not yet been made official by 7-Eleven Malaysia, we have discovered the cards at one of the 7-Eleven stores in Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur last night.
Just as what has been stated on Google’s support pages, the Google Play gift card can be obtained in three nominations: RM 50, RM 100, and RM 200. Similar to other gift cards that already available at 7-Eleven Malaysia such as Netflix, PlayStation Network, Spotify, Starbucks Malaysia, and many others, the card generally has no value until it has been paid at the cashier.

We do recommend you to ask for the receipt as a reference; in case there’s something wrong with the card you purchase. This because not only that it contained MOL’s customer service’s phone number, but we also noticed other information on it too including receipt, reference, and card number as well as authentication ID.
While 7-Eleven Malaysia has partially informed another media regarding the availability of Google Play cards at its stores, such information had not been provided to us even though we did reach out to the company yesterday. With the discovery of these cards in Bukit Bintang, we will now try to obtain more information once again from the company as well as Google Malaysia.
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Gigabyte Unveils Aorus GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Turbo 11G Graphics Card

Gigabyte has unveiled its latest custom graphics card called the Aorus RTX 2080 Ti Turbo 11G. Interestingly, despite being a high-end graphics card, the RTX 2080 Ti Turbo 11G comes with a blower-style cooler—a cooling solution which is rarely seen on “pricey” graphics cards.
When it comes to design, aside from the single blower-style cooling fan, the Aorus RTX 2080 Ti 11G graphics card comes with an all black cooler shroud, along with several metallic accents and the iconic “Aorus eagle” logo. In addition, Gigabyte has apparently equipped with graphics card with a custom cooling solution, which consists of a direct touch vapour chamber and a “high thermal conductivity” copper heatsink to effectively cool the Nvidia Turing TU102 GPU.
Those aside, in terms of specifications, the boost clock of this graphics card is rated at 1650MHz, which is around 105MHz more than the reference RTX 2080 Ti graphics card by Nvidia. Other specifications like memory speed, bandwidth and bus size remain similar to the original RTX 2080 Ti. Meanwhile, the Aorus RTX 2080 Ti is also equipped with one HDMI 2.0 port and three DisplayPort 1.4 ports for video output.
Unfortunately, local pricing and availability of the Aorus RTX 2080 Ti Turbo 11G was not announced by Gigabyte at the time of writing.
(Source: Gigabyte)
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Google Assistant Will Now Warn You About Possible Flight Delays

Google Assistant recently got an improvement of sorts. The search engine received a flight delay prediction update, thus allowing it to predict any possibility of a flight being delayed.
Specifically, the new flight delay prediction algorithm can a possible delay in your flight with an 85% level of accuracy. It does this by using historic flight status data and combining it with machine learning.
Google states that upon completing the data analysis, its new feature is able to these predictions well in advance of airline officially confirming delays. Naturally, finding out if your flight is delayed can be conducted by prompting the Assistant with the usual “Hey Google”, followed by the corresponding flight delay question.

The feature is currently being rolled out, so if you haven’t received the update, do be patient. Once you receive the update, Google Assistant will also begin to “proactively” notify you when and if it predicts a delay.
This is act is no different than when Google provides you with automatic update regarding the weather or traffic conditions when you’re about to go home. All in all, it’s a nice feature to have active, plus it’s not all that invasive.
(Source: Google via Techspot)
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Huawei And ZTE Products Regarded As Security Threat By Czech Government

Huawei and ZTE are two companies that have been constantly getting warnings from the US. But now it looks like another country – or at least its cybersecurity agency – has come to the same conclusion. The Czech national Cyber and Information Security Agency (NCISA) is now warning network operators against using software or hardware supplied by these two companies.
Specifically, NCISA Director Dusan Navratil said “China’s laws … require private companies residing in China to cooperate with intelligence services, therefore introducing them into the key state systems might present a threat,” according to Reuters.
The agency added that the warning was made based on its own findings as well as that of allies. While not specifically mentioned, the US was likely one of them. After all, the US has made repeated statements of such nature.

The US first investigated Huawei for violating Iran sanctions back in April, followed by a nationwide ban on Huawei and ZTE for military institutions a month later. The latter was also barred from buying US-made electronic components, although the restrictions was later reduced by the US Department of Commerce.
(Source: Reuters)
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Details Regarding Google Play Gift Cards Malaysia Have Emerged; Availability Unknown

Google Play in Malaysia supports several payment methods including credit card, debit card, and operator billing. Soon, you can choose to pay by obtaining physical Google Play gift cards as well.
According to a report by Android Police, Google has quietly published some details regarding Google Play gifts card into its support section. Among them is the pricing of the card which is apparently available for RM 50, RM 100, and RM 200.
They can utilize it to purchase apps, books, movies, and contents from the Newsstand section of Google News. Google further stated that users are able to store up to RM 2,999 in their Google Play balance.

The only information that is still missing is the actual availability of the card. Even though Google has stated in its website that users are able to purchase the Google Play gift cards at 7-Eleven outlets, that is not yet the case according to the brief conversation we had with 7-Eleven Malaysia’s team.
We have reached out to Google Malaysia to obtain further information regarding the card, but we were informed that its representative is not available for the time being. We are now trying to reach out a few more companies that we believed might be able to shed more lights on the rollout of Google Play gift cards in Malaysia.
However, looks like it might take a little bit more time before we able to know more. So, stay tuned.
(Source: Google – 1, 2, 3 via Android Police. Thanks for the tips, KevinNgTK!)
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Gigabyte Unveils Aorus RTX 2080 Ti Turbo 11G Graphics Card

Gigabyte has unveiled its latest custom graphics card called the Aorus RTX 2080 Ti Turbo 11G. Interestingly, despite being a high-end graphics card, the RTX 2080 Ti Turbo 11G comes with a blower-style cooler—a cooling solution which is rarely seen on “pricey” graphics cards.
When it comes to design, aside from the single blower-style cooling fan, the Aorus RTX 2080 Ti 11G graphics card comes with an all black cooler shroud, along with several metallic accents and the iconic “Aorus eagle” logo. In addition, Gigabyte has apparently equipped with graphics card with a custom cooling solution, which consists of a direct touch vapour chamber and a “high thermal conductivity” copper heatsink to effectively cool the Nvidia Turing TU102 GPU.
Those aside, in terms of specifications, the boost clock of this graphics card is rated at 1650MHz, which is around 105MHz more than the reference RTX 2080 Ti graphics card by Nvidia. Other specifications like memory speed, bandwidth and bus size remain similar to the original RTX 2080 Ti. Meanwhile, the Aorus RTX 2080 Ti is also equipped with one HDMI 2.0 port and three DisplayPort 1.4 ports for video output.
Unfortunately, local pricing and availability of the Aorus RTX 2080 Ti Turbo 11G was not announced by Gigabyte at the time of writing.
(Source: Gigabyte)
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Sony Xperia XZ4 Leaked Screen Protector Hints At Larger Aspect Ratio

Rumours of the Sony Xperia XZ4 have been far and few, with the last report suggested that the phone could be sporting a triple-camera setup. Now, a leak of a screen protector designed specifically for the Xperia XZ4 more or less confirms the upcoming flagship’s new, taller aspect ratio.
The leak was first posted by serial leakster, Ice Universe (@UniverseIce). Besides a bigger surface-to-display ratio, another point to take note of is the much thinner bezels at the top and bottom of the screen protector.
If this truly is a screen protector for the Xperia XZ4, then it’s likely that Sony is finally edging closer to creating an all-display smartphone to match the current market.

The Sony Xperia XZ4 protective film reveals that it will have a high screen ratio design. pic.twitter.com/xmun0mO9zb
— Ice universe (@UniverseIce) December 16, 2018

Beyond that, no additional information about the Xperia XZ4 has been officially released. However, speculations are suggesting that the phone will be powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 SoC, a triple-camera main array, either 6GB or 8GB RAM, up to 256GB of expandable storage, and probably a 4000mAh battery.
Again, this is all merely speculation. So, until something more tangible or official is announced by Sony either during MWC 2019 or IFA 2019, we do advise you to take this bit of news with a large grain of salt.
(Source: Ice Universe via Twitter)
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Epic Games Store To Give Away Free Games Every Fortnight; Starting with Subnautica

Ever since the announcement of the Epic Games Store, it’s a given that it’s an uphill battle the company will be facing against other more established platforms, Steam chief among them. In addition to the 88/12 revenue share split that it announced, the company also announced that it will be giving away free games every fortnight (pun definitely intended). This round’s free game currently happens to be Subnautica.
This promotion campaign is surely an aggressive one. It also remains to be seen if there are enough developers willing to put their games out for free this way for extended periods of time. But it’s certainly a move that will bring eyeballs to the Epic Games Store, which in turn could lead to more game developers adopting the platform.

Subnautica is free between 14 and 27 December 2018. The Epic Games Store will move on to its next free game, Super Meat Boy, from 28 December 2018 to 10 January 2019.
It’s worth noting that these two games are part of the 14 titles that the Epic Games Store launched with. Once the company announces the next free game, we’ll be able to see if the free games on offer is a rotation of the current list of games.
(Source: Epic Games. Also thanks to Kenneth Tan for the tip!)
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Here’s Our List Of Highly Anticipated Games Coming In 2019

2018 is coming to an end, and it’s fair to say that it’s been a pretty great year for gaming. But just as we looked forward to this year’s games the year before, the gaming world is now shifting its attention towards the several titles in 2019 that are expected to make a real bang at launch.
Needless to say, the number of triple-A titles for 2019 are numerous, with some being more anticipated than others. To that end, my colleague Ian and I thought to compile and share with you the games that we’re most looking forward to.
John’s 2019 list of games
Anthem

Announced earlier this year, Anthem is a game created by legendary developer BioWare, and published by EA. Specifically, the game is the first brand new IP since Dragon Age Inquisition and the doomed Mass Effect installment, Andromeda.
Initial impressions and gameplay footage makes the game look hybrid between Destiny 2, Tom Clancy’s The Division, with just a hint Dragon Age Inquisition thrown into the fray.
Anthem is slated for a 22 February 2019 release.
Doom Eternal

Blood and gore. Glory kills. A protagonist with breathtaking anger issues. Unnecessary showboating. A world overrun by demons. Just like the reboot that launched back in 2016, Bethesda’s sequel, Doom Eternal, is shaping up to be just as bloody and satisfying to the core. Seeing how I grew up playing the original Doom and the reboot, this is one game I truly can’t wait to play sooner rather than later.
Doom Eternal is slated for release next year, but as of yet, the good people at Bethesda and id Software have yet to provide an exact date of launch.
Far Cry New Dawn

Announced during The Game Awards 2018, Far Cry New Dawn is the next installment in the Far Cry series. Surprisingly, the game is a sequel to Far Cry 5, and it’s also the first time that Ubisoft has ever released a sequel to a previous title.
Set 17 years after the events in Far Cry 5, players will now take on the role of a yet to be named protagonist who must brave the onslaught of the new world created by the nuclear holocaust brought about by Joseph Seed, the antagonist from the last game.
Far Cry New Dawn is expected to be available on 15 February 2019.
Metro Exodus

Metro Exodus is set in the year 2036, two years after the events of Metro Last Light. Players will be placed in the shoes of Artyom, the original protagonist from the last two games. This time, Artyom will need to journey far east into uncharted territory. Beyond that, not a lot is known about the game’s full story as of yet.
Metro Exodus is slated for a 15 February 2019 release. The same time as many other titles, such as Far Cry New Dawn.
Ori and the Will of the Wisp

First announced back in E3 2017, Ori and the Will of the Wisp takes place sometime after the first game. There’s still not much known about the premise of the game. What we do know is that Ori, the titular character will now have to venture further into the Nibel forest, where he must “uncover the truths of the lost ones, and unearth Ori’s true destiny.”
Ori and the Will of the Wisp is slated for a 2019 release, but like most prominent titles, it still hasn’t received an proper launch date.
Resident Evil 2

Considered one of the best-selling titles of the franchise, players will once again be able to revisit the infested Raccoon City in new and ultra high definition detail. Just as before, players will have to traverse through and escape the zombie-riddled city, and solve puzzles as either Leon Kennedy or Claire Redfield.
The Resident Evil 2 remake is set to launch on 15 January 2019, just two weeks before the release of Kingdom Hearts 3.
Cyberpunk 2077

The first glimpse of Cyberpunk 2077 came about back in 2013, with an official trailer for the game having been released a little more than six months ago. Three months after that, the game’s developer put up the 48 minute play demo that you see above.
To be fair, this title is really just a longshot and I am really, truly hoping that the CD Projekt Red (CDPR) will actually be able to pull a Hail Mary and release the game by this year. At this moment in time, however, any further development of the game is shrouded in secrecy, with CDPR using John Carmack’s infamous “It’s ready when it’s ready” motto.
Ian’s 2019 list of games
Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown

Originally announced for 2017, Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown will finally be released early next year. In fact, it will be out 18 January 2018 for consoles, and 1 February for PC. The story revolves around callsign Trigger, a pilot for the Osean Air Force who is accused of murdering a former president, and is sent to the penal military unit Spare Squadron as a result.
Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown will be released on 18 January 2019.
Devil May Cry 5

The true sequel of the series finally comes, a whole decade after Devil May Cry 4. Dante returns from his journey to the demon world, and a mysterious figure robs Nero of his Devil Bringer arm. Newcomer V also adds a completely new gameplay style to the series, with three different demons under his command.
Devil May Cry 5 is slated for release on 8 March 2019.
Ghost of Tsushima

Ghost of Tsushima is probably the closest that we will get to an Assassins Creed game with a Japanese setting. It looks great, be it in terms of graphics or combat mechanics. And, in my eyes at least, it has probably the best implementation of the “Iai” quick draw in actual combat, as opposed to some fancy cutscene. Unfortunately, there’s still no specific release date for the game beyond the extremely vague 2019.
Judgment

The same beautiful world of the Yakuza series, but now on you play a character on the other side of the law. Takuya Kimura lends his likeness and voice to Takayuki Yagami, an ex-lawyer turned private detective as he searches through Kamurocho for the answers he seeks. The same whacky combat system as well as the addition of detective segments reminiscent of the out-of-courtroom segments of the Phoenix Wright series.
Judgment will be available some time in Summer 2019.
Kingdom Hearts III

Probably the most highly anticipated game in the list, Kingdom Hearts III will finally be gracing the PS4 consoles of long-time fans. After keeping everyone waiting for half a decade since its first trailer in E3 2013, the game is finally free from the countless delays that plagued its development. Sora’s journey will finally continue, and thankfully, pretty early next year.
Kingdom Hearts III is scheduled to hit stores on 25 January 2019.
Monster Hunter World: Iceborne

Technically, it’s not a new game, but as is the tradition of Monster Hunter, every G-Rank expansion comes with enough content to almost qualify as one. The expansion not only brings a new rank level, but also a new map, a few new and returning monsters, and a story continuation where the base game left off.
Monster Hunter World: Iceborne will grace hunters sometime in the Autumn of 2019.
The Division 2

Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 comes with a lot of changes over the first game. The setting is different, as are the systems and mechanics. But most importantly, the game’s playstyle variety has seen a major boost, at least based on what we know so far. But will all the other changes translate to better gameplay the way plays tyle variety will? We’ll soon find out.
Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 will be out on 15 March 2019.

Ian Chee contributed to the writing of this article.
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Kingdom Hearts III Gameplay Leaked; Director Says Biggest Spoilers Not Yet In Game

Kingdom Hearts III is only six weeks away now, but at least one person has shown a copy that slipped through the floodgates. Clips of the game’s title screen and install screen, among other footage, have made it on to the internet.
A brief gameplay was also posted on YouTube, but it has since been removed. According to Eurogamer, it served as a warning to fans to do their best to avoid leaking any possible spoilers.

Heads up, Kingdom Hearts fans:
The full version (!) of KH3 appears to be out in the wild (some screenshots and videos exist that I won't share here)
But yeah, be careful on both social media and YouTube pic.twitter.com/6QKhu31IaZ
— Nibel (@Nibellion) December 15, 2018

Responding to the leak, director Tetsuya Nomura says the biggest spoilers are not yet in the game. He says that the ending of the game, specifically the epilogue and secret movie, will be released at a later date.

An important message for #KingdomHearts III from Director Tetsuya Nomura: pic.twitter.com/j9aVRFTS5B
— KINGDOM HEARTS (@KINGDOMHEARTS) December 16, 2018

In light of the current development, this can be seen by fans as a good thing. And indeed it is a smart move, particularly if it’s to be released as day-one free DLC. Because obviously it’s a bad idea to lock the ending of a game behind a paywall.
(Source: Eurogamer)
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