DOOM Eternal Can Reportedly Hit 1000 FPS, Assuming You Have The Right Hardware

DOOM Eternal’s launch is less than a fortnight away, and it’s not an over-exaggeration to say that many of us are waiting for the game with bated breath. For the ones among you getting the game on PC, know that the game can – theoretically – achieve the 1000 fps mark. Provided, of course, you have the right and necessary hardware.
The framerate revelation came from Billy Khan, Lead engine programmer at id Software, who revealed it in a featurette video by IGN. In the video below, Khan explains that the supposed 1000 fps feat was made possible through id Tech 7, the new game engine powering DOOM Eternal.

According to Khan, id Tech 7 enables allowed him and his team to maximise the game in way that wasn’t possible with id Tech 6. And while he never actually achieved the magic 1000 fps, he does states that he was able to run the game at 400 fps with hardware that he had at the time.
At the time of writing, DOOM Eternal’s official product page on Steam still doesn’t list down the official minimum or recommended hardware requirements. On that note, it should be noted that the last DOOM didn’t need such high-end hardware to run at the highest graphics setting on Full HD or 1440p. The recommended specs simply being an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 or AMD Radeon R9 290X.
That said, the id Tech 7 is a brand new engine, so it wouldn’t surprise us if id Software raises the hardware requirements to something more recent. In any case, the game touches down on 21 March, so we’ll find out then.
(Source: PCGamesN // Image: NintendoEverything)
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Sharp Converts Display Factory To Mask Production

Japan is one of the hardest hit countries by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). So, somewhat unsurprisingly, tech company Sharp has started making face masks at one of its display factories. The plant in question that’s usually pushing out TV screens is located in Kameyama, in the Mie prefecture.
Sharp will make about 150000 masks a day by the end of the month. This will reportedly scale to 500000 a day at some point in the future. These masks are expected to hit shelves by the end of the month, but don’t have a price tag attached to them just yet.

Sharp made the decision to go into mask production response to a government call for increased production of masks. The exact facility was chosen to be converted to mask production thanks to its high cleanliness standards. This also makes the company the first domestic company not in the health industry to be making them.
It’s an interesting move, even if it’s at the behest of the government. At the same time, it’s unknown if Sharp is continuing with its TV display production. It won’t be surprising if that part of the business has been halted, due to many other plants in the industry being shut down. Samsung and LG, both South Korean companies, have shut down plants in their home country due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
(Source: Nikkei Asian Review. Image: Wikipedia)
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Apple Japan Shows Off MacBook Laptops Featured In Anime

Product placement for Apple devices are abundant in various forms of entertainment – be it movies, TV shows, etc. To prove this point, Apple Japan released a “Behind the Mac” promo video which featured Macbook laptops used in various forms of Japanese anime.
Most notably, the video includes Makoto Shinkai’s hit film “Your Name”, as well as his latest flick “Weathering With You”. Other anime titles also featured are Mirai, My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU, New Game!, Osomatsu-san, SSSS.Gridman, and much more.

Although the video showcased characters using MacBooks for various purposes, not all of them sport Apple’s branding. Certain scenes presented the laptops with a peach, heart, or pear emblem instead of the company’s iconic logo.
Without a doubt, the intentions of using alternate logos is to either parody the actual brand or to avoid any form of infringement. However, it’s rather amusing that Apple acknowledges these indirect approaches as a form of tribute regardless.
image: screenshot from Apple Japan’s “Behind The Mac” video
Seeing that most characters in the video are depicted to be having a good time with the device, it’s likely that they’ve not experienced the keyboard flaws just yet. Come to think of it, we wonder if there’s an anime villain who uses an iPhone?
(Source: Apple Japan via SoraNews24)
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Legendary “Duct-Taped Gamer” Gets A Documentary; No Release Date Yet

If you were among those who experienced the early days of the internet, chances are you remember a legendary photo. The photo in question is of a Duct-Taped Gamer, hanging from the ceiling while playing Counter Strike. The story behind the photo is getting a documentary, and it’s being made by the people responsible for it.
For now, the documentary is being called “Internet Legends: Duct-Taped Gamer”. Naturally, it will feature Drew Purvis, the legnedary figure himself. Beyond Purvis, the documentary will also have interviews with the other gamers who were there when the legend was created.

By all accounts, taping someone to the ceiling was an extreme measure. Even for an age when people lugged their rigs around for LAN parties, it’s an extreme move to make, in the name of making space for one more person. Things are quite different now, with gaming laptops being a thing. Broadband internet today also allows for reasonable responsiveness when playing multiplayer games online.
For those who have lived those days as a gamer, this documentary will no doubt be a nostalgic trip down memory lane. Or, maybe this would instead spur you to get a LAN party going. All that said, there’s no release date for it just yet.
(Source: Duct-Taped Gamer via PCGamesN)
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Intel Updates Graphics Command Centre With Game Capture And Broadcasting Abilities

Intel recently updated its Graphics Command Centre app with a couple of features. Specifically, the app now allows consumers using Intel CPUs to perform video capture and to broadcast their current gaming session online.
Needless to say, the functions of the two feature are more or less identical to the NVIDIA’s GeForce Experience Share and AMD’s ReLive. As per the app’s official description on Microsoft Store, Capture offers a simple and intuitive way for users to record videos on their primary display or to stream to a variety of game streaming sites like Mixer or Twitch. Of course, in order to pull off the whole affair, you’ll need to ensure that you’re Intel CPU is 8th generation or later.
Apart from the video capture and streaming, Intel also added in a Combined Desktop feature that, as the name suggests, enables users to combine multiple displays and transform them into a single, unified desktop user interface.

Intel’s Graphics Command Centre is available for download via Microsoft Store. However, it should be noted that the app is still in beta and that there’s still no indication from the semiconductor maker as to when a full version of the app will be released.
(Source: TPU)
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Dead Or Alive 6 Charges US$1 Every Time You Change A Character’s Hair Colour

Microtransactions for fighting games will always be contentious, be they for whole characters or cosmetics or other features. But with Dead or Alive 6 (DOA6), Koei Tecmo is taking things to the next level. The game is charging players every time they decide to change a character’s hair colour.
Every change costs a Premium Ticket, which is priced at US$1 (~RM4.20). Emphasis here is on the word “change”, because you’re not paying to unlock a hair colour. This means that even if you’ve paid for a change and want to go back to the default, it will still cost a Premium Ticket.
The change was added as part of the recent 1.60 update. Kotaku reports that this update is only for the PlayStation 4 version of the game.

Koei Tecmo, as a game publisher, is notorious for its monetisation practices. Dead or Alive 6 itself, for example, has so many available microtransactions that buying all would cost RM6870 on Steam. Beyond the DOA series, the publisher’s latest game, Warriors Orochi 4 Ultimate, has a grand total of RM1046 in microtransactions.
But because the publisher’s games are not as popular, they often escape public scrutiny. At least when compared to other publishers like Take Two, which tried something similar with NBA 2K18.
(Source: Kotaku. Image: Steam)
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Microsoft To Repurpose Cortana In Next Windows 10 Update

Microsoft is planning on redesignating Cortana, its long-time digital assistant, with the next Windows 10 update. According to its official blog, the Redmond-based company announced that Cortana’s duties as a personal helper will be switched to becoming more of a productivity assistant.
As always, enhanced security is a core feature of the update. However, Microsoft says that the refreshed Cortana experience will revolve around Microsoft 365. The blog also says that Cortana will help users retrieve answers to questions via Bing, set alarms, open apps, adjust settings, and provide you with an anecdote or joke that can be “shared with colleagues, friends or family”. Although, the latter point seems to be a feature that seems to be a generic feature that exists on other digital assistants.
On a related note, Microsoft says that it will also be ending support for third-party apps and and consumer functions. Including connected home and access to music. Access to Cortana will also be beefed up, with the upcoming version requiring users to securely log in with a work or school account.

The change in Cortana’s functions also serves as a stark reminder of its popularity within the world of digital assistants. As it stands, Cortana is fighting a losing battle against the likes of Google Assistant, Apple’s Siri, and Amazon’s own rising star, Alexa. By comparison, the three digital assistants have received greater acceptance and integration into the homes and lives of many consumers. Primarily due to the connected home and family-friendly features that Cortana will soon lack.
(Source: Windows Blog via Techspot)
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Will The Sony Xperia Brand Triumph Again In 2020?

In the first decade of the new millennium, the champions of Android smartphones were completely different from the selection that we have now. Before the significant rise of the Chinese brands, Samsung was locking horns with its nemesis at that time: Sony.
There are plenty of factors to what made the Sony Xperia brand one of the preferred choices by fans and Android users alike. Fans have expressed that the brand’s phones, during its prime, had sleek and stylish designs, impressive displays, and high-end camera performance to boot.
Sony’s line of Xperia smartphones were the talk of the town. So much so that they managed to easily dethrone competitors such as Samsung and HTC, especially when the Japanese company introduced the Xperia Z in 2013.
Sony Xperia Z & Z3 (image: Falcon Photography via Flickr)
The aforementioned handset was their first ever flagship phone that featured waterproof capability, which then became a staple and major selling point for most of Sony’s smart devices. On top of already offering a slew of impressive features, the company had also started introducing Ultra and Compact variants of its flagship phones to attract a wider audience.
With element protection, high performance in-house camera and other worthwhile features, it seems that Sony somehow has crafted a recipe of success for the Xperia brand. However, having an established framework would not necessarily prevent its inevitable downfall.
Sony Xperia Z Ultra (image: TAKA @ PPRS via Flickr)
By 2015 onward, the Japanese company and its Xperia brand had started struggling to maintain its dominance in the smartphone market. Chinese brands such as Huawei had started offering worthwhile phones at affordable prices and weatherproofing is no longer exclusive to Sony phones. Samsung by then had picked up steam with its Galaxy S phones which provided better designs, display, and even camera capabilities.
Even more so, subsequent releases of Xperia phones faced multiple negative feedback from critics and users alike. With issues such as inconsistent performance, overheating, and short battery life being the common gripe. Worse still, users who’ve moved on to other brands have remarked that Xperia phones had boring designs and offered mediocre camera performance – ironically, the two factors that helped establish the Sony brand in the first place.
Xperia XZ3 (image: Sony)
Moving on to current times, the Xperia brand has yet to find its footing to stay relevant in the industry. Again, most fans – including our own writer John Law – expressed that the Japanese company is still holding back on certain features that could potentially return the phones back to their former glory.
Most would agree that instead of outfitting their own handsets with exclusive high end cameras, Sony had decided to release the technology to other brands. With little to no unique selling point of their own, hope for the has-been Xperia brand is almost uncertain.
Sony Xperia Z2 (image: Wikimedia Commons)
Sony had since pulled out from marketing their phones in certain regions including Malaysia. Even more recently, their mobile division’s website had also been taken down, with a major part of their content shifted over to the company’s main site.
However, it seems that not all hope has been lost. It’s the year 2020 and Sony’s latest offering, the Xperia 1 Mk II, shows signs of promise. The new flagship phone packs current high end hardware, stereo speakers, and an impressive quad-camera setup.
Sony Xperia 1 Mk II (image: Sony)
Depending on who you ask, the Mk II’s design is either magnificent or downright generic. Personally, I like it and I do fancy the thin yet tall look, but I still question the relevance of it’s 21:9 aspect ratio – besides for video viewing and videography, of course. Fellow Lowyat.net writer Ian Chee adds that the company should also introduce a Compact model for variety.
Regardless, the Xperia Mk II is a step in the right direction for Sony, and we do hope the brand delivers with its newer products. And maybe if the company would swallow their pride a little and lower down the prices of their phones, I’m sure more users would embrace the Xperia brand even more.
Sony Xperia 1 Mk II (image: Sony)
Then again, I don’t make the rules but you know how it is, Sony. You have to play by them if you want to win the game, and it’s now or never.
(Header image: Sony Xperia Z2 by Maurizio Pesce via Flickr)
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LG Factories In South Korea Shut Down Following Coronavirus Infection

Last week, Samsung temporarily closed down one of its factories in South Korea following a novel coronavirus (COVID-19) infection. More recently, LG did the same with one of its display factories. But this was reportedly done not because one of the company’s staff caught the deadly bug.
Reuters reports that the facility was closed following the infection of a worker in a neighbouring bank. Both were also located in Gumi, the same city as the Samsung plant.
Naturally, LG temporarily suspending operations of its display plant will affect the production of its phones. But many other brands like Apple makes use of the company’s displays. As a result, the delay will likely affect a lot more phones than just the company’s own.

Meanwhile, another division called LG Innotek has also shut down. This division supplies camera modules for Apple’s iPhones, among others. In this instance, one of the company’s own employees caught the deadly flu bug.
Both Display and Innotek arms will be closed today, the latter to be disinfected. They are expected to resume operations tomorrow. Of course, LG could decide that the situation warrants a longer suspension for the safety of the staff under its employ.
(Source: Reuters [1], [2] via Engadget)
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Box Office: The Invisible Man Soars, Birds of Prey Continues to Fight

The Invisible Man opened wide this past weekend in the US to tremendous reviews. The film currently has a 92% ‘fresh’ on Rotten Tomatoes (with an average rating of 7.6/10) and an 89% audience score. It’s a brilliant film (stay tuned for my full review tomorrow ahead of its wide release here in Malaysia this Thursday) by Leigh Whannell, one that understands that creating tension and suspense through precise camerawork and character writing makes for a far more engrossing horror picture than silly jump scares and loud music.

So, it brings me nothing but joy to report that the film has smashed it at the North American box office in its first weekend of release. The Invisible Man grossed $US 29 million in North America and $US 20.2 million outside of North America for a $US 49.2 million global cume. There are a number of things to keep in mind. 1) The film has a production budget of merely $US 7 million and 2) It hasn’t been released wide outside of North America (in Malaysia for instance, the film received a limited release this past weekend to build hype ahead of its official launch).
I’m certain that horror fans will rush out to see it in the coming weeks. The R-rated horror film will face little to no competition until the release of the highly anticipated A Quiet Place on March 19. Expect The Invisible Man to continue to soar at the box office until then.
After a disappointing box office debut (there’s really no other way to spin this), Birds of Prey has continued to soldier on. After four weekends in theatres, the Cathy Yan film centred around Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) has raked in $US 78+ million in North America and $US 109+ million outside of North America for a worldwide total of $US 188.3 million.
This isn’t something to pop a champagne for, especially considering the film’s $US 85 million budget (keep in mind that the general rule of thumb is that big-budget Hollywood films need to gross roughly two times more than its production budget before it starts to see real profits, due to marketing costs).

That said, it’s certainly not the massive failure some people have made it out to be. Even taking the aforementioned rule of thumb into consideration, the film has already made a small $US 18 million profit, which once again, isn’t great, but it’s not a flop either.
Birds of Prey is a fun action-heavy comic book film that was likely buried at the box office because of its misleading title — most casual friends have no idea what to make of Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn and have no idea that it’s a Harley Quinn centric film — and poor marketing campaign. After its opening weekend, Warner Bros changed the film’s title online to Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey for SEO purposes.
Birds of Prey is currently playing in Malaysian cinemas. The Invisible Man is set for a 5 March release.
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