Xiaomi Black Shark Gaming Phone Can Be Yours Soon For RM 2499 Onwards (UPDATE)

UPDATE – 23 Apr, 10:11 pm: Another retailer is also now taking orders for the phone. More details below.
ORIGINAL STORY – 23 Apr, 5:07 pm:
The much awaited Xiaomi Black Shark gaming phone finally made its debut last week and has garnered plenty of attentions from gamers throughout the world. While it is not yet known whether Xiaomi will officially release the device in Malaysia anytime soon, it is only a matter of time before someone import the phone into our market.
True enough, the well-known local retailer Mobile2Go has confirmed that it will be bringing over the phone to Malaysia soon. Not only that, it will be offering the phone together with its dedicated game controller.

Said to be made available at its stores on 26 April, those can’t resist the temptation can get their hands on the 64GB version of the device for RM 2599. If 64GB is too small for them, they can opt for the 128GB version instead which will go for RM 2999.
Once again, do note that the Black Shark from Mobile2Go and its G Store online branch on Lazada are imported units which means that their 1-year warranty is provided by the retailer itself. In case you need further clarifications, do give the retailer a buzz through its Facebook page.
(Thanks for the tips, CT Kok!)

UPDATE – 23 Apr, 10:11 pm:
Another renowned phone retailer, DirectD has also begun to offer Xiaomi Black Shark gaming phone to consumers. Interestingly, the company is offering at a slightly cheaper price of RM 2499 for the 64GB version while the 128GB version goes for RM 2899.

Also accompanied by Black Shark’s dedicated game controller, consumers can choose to obtain it through the retailer’s Wow Phone store on Lazada or its official Shopee store as well as directly at their branches. According to DirectD, the phone is expected to be available at their stores on 25 April.
(Thanks for the tips, everyone!)
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Detroit: Become Human First Look: A Good Start, But Needs Something New To Say

Calling this a first look at Detroit: Become Human is misleading. The first “mission” was already previewed at E3 last year, and even made an appearance at the PlayStation Experience 2017 in Kuala Lumpur. Needless to say, there is very little that isn’t known about how the game works.
With that in mind, it’s impossible to say whether Detroit is a good game. At least not from a two hour demo. There certainly are the beginnings of story threads that threaten to draw you into an immersive experience. But, there is no telling what will happen if you tug on those threads.

Detroit doesn’t rush into anything, taking the time to properly introduce all three main characters – Connor, Kara, and Markus. In fact, the first chapter of the story easily ate up the entire demo time. With none of the Androids even coming close to breaking free of their programming yet.
Which is perhaps why I am hesitant to praise the game. There simply wasn’t enough time to see how my choices played out in the greater scheme of things. It was like trying to get a first impression of a movie by watching the first 15 minutes. Especially since producer Guillaume de Fondaumiere says that unlocking all the various endings should take roughly 30 hours of gameplay.
This is important because a game like Detroit: Become Human will not be judged on combat mechanics or puzzles. Rather, its success relies on being able to tell an engaging story.

As far the setting goes, it’s one that we have encountered many times. It’s kind of a mashup between Blade Runner and I, Robot. The books, not the action packed movies. An exploration of the notion of humanity through the eyes of something that isn’t quite human itself.
Exploration really is the aim here, with each scene having multiple branching possibilities. Providing plenty of space for players to experiment with their dialogue choices.

One thing that Quantic Dream has introduced that may change how games like these are perceived is the option to visually track how the story branches. Players are provided with a breakdown of how they ended with a particular outcome, and are given the option to rewind back to checkpoints to replay and unlock other endings before moving on.
These endings are what will determine Detroit’s success. We have seen this premise before many times, played out across many types of media. Artificial intelligence gaining sentience and beginning to question their places in the world is almost a cliche at this points. What will set Detroit apart from its contemporaries is whether it has anything new or worthwhile to say.
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#LYTV: Acer Avengers: Infinity War Laptops Unboxing

Acer Malaysia launched three new Avengers-themed laptops last week: the Thanos Edition Nitro 5, the Iron Man Edition Swift 3, and the Captain America Edition Aspire 6. Here’s our unboxing of these sleek-looking laptops.
Out of the three laptops, the Thanos Nitro 5 is the most powerful one. It comes with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 GPU, an Intel Core i5-7300HQ processor paired with 8GB of RAM, 128GB of SSD storage – along with a 1TB HDD – as well as a 15.6-inch 1080p IPS display.
To learn more about these Acer Avengers-themed laptops, check out our coverage of the launch event.
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Meizu Unveils The Meizu 15, 15 Plus And M15 Lite

Meizu has made official its trio of 15 series phones. The phones do not follow the trend of tall screens, having a more traditional 16:9 aspect ratio instead. Also present on all three phones are Android 7.1.2 with its Flyme UI 7.0, 20MP selfie camera, and a circular fingerprint sensor below the display.
Meizu M15

The Meizu 15 Lite offers a Qualcomm Snapdragon 626 chipset coupled with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal memory. The screen is a 5.46-inch 1080 x 1920 LCD display. There is a single 12MP camera situated on the back with 1.4µm pixels, along with the unique ten-LED dual-tone flash. The battery is rated at 3000mAh with a fast charging feature.
Meizu 15

Next up is the Meizu 15 with its 5.46-inch FHD AMOLED display. The device runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 chipset with 4GB of RAM, and a choice of either 64GB or 128GB option. Its rear dual camera sports a 12MP+20 MP combination, along with a six LED ring flash. It will be available in White, Black, Blue, and Gold.
Meizu 15 Plus

Lastly, the Meizu 15 Plus will come with Samsung’s Exynos 8895 chipset with 6GB of RAM and either 64GB or 128GB of onboard memory. Its screen is a 5.95-inch 1440 x 2560 pixels. The battery is also bigger on the 15 Plus, at 3500mAh.
The rear camera is a 12 MP + 20 MP dual camera. The main sensor is measured at 1/2.3″ with a large 1.55 µm pixels, f/1.8 aperture and 4-axis optical image stabilisation. On top of that, the rear camera has a neat 3x lossless zoom feature.
Also new to the Meizu 15 Plus is a new mEngine. Which is a haptic feedback system that claims to have the same quality as Apple’s Taptic Engine. A claim that we’re not entirely convinced about.
There are three colour option available for the 15 Pus, which is Black, Gray and Gold.
All three phones will be available on 29 April in China followed by other selected countries. Pricing starts at CNY 1700 (RM 1050) for the Meizu M15, CNY 2500 (RM 1550) for the Meizu 15, and CNY 3000 (RM 1850) for the Meizu 15 Plus.
(Source: GSMArena)
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Xiaomi Black Shark Gaming Phone Can Be Yours Soon For RM 2599 Onwards

The much awaited Xiaomi Black Shark gaming phone finally made its debut last week and has garnered plenty of attentions from gamers throughout the world. While it is not yet known whether Xiaomi will officially release the device in Malaysia anytime soon, it is only a matter of time before someone import the phone into our market.
True enough, the well-known local retailer Mobile2Go has confirmed that it will be bringing over the phone to Malaysia soon. Not only that, it will be offering the phone together with its dedicated game controller.

Said to be made available at its stores on 26 April, those can’t resist the temptation can get their hands on the 64GB version of the device for RM 2599. If 64GB is too small for them, they can opt for the 128GB version instead which will go for RM 2999.
Once again, do note that the Black Shark from Mobile2Go and its G Store online branch on Lazada are imported units which means that their 1-year warranty is provided by the retailer itself. In case you need further clarifications, do give the retailer a buzz through its Facebook page.
(Thanks for the tips, CT Kok!)
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Netherlands Authorities Rule That Dota 2 And PUBG Lootboxes Violate Gambling Laws

The Netherlands Gaming Authority has concluded that lootboxes from four major games violate dutch gambling laws – technically classifying them as illegal gambling. The conclusion was reached after a study that looked into ten games; those that broke the law are those whose drops have a market value.
Dota 2, FIFA 18, Rocket League, and Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds were not directly named in the study, but were later pointed out by Dutch news site NOS. The remaining six games examined are still unknown, but is likely to include the more recent and popular games to carry lootboxes.
In this case, the four culprits are required to make changes to their lootboxes before 20 June; or risk being banned in the Netherlands.

It’s somewhat unknown what the Dutch expect to happen in this case. For the most part, it looks like the games involved would have to ensure that anything that comes from lootboxes would have to lose their monetary value. Perhaps by removing them from the Steam marketplace. A move that could potentially alienate players who have already paid money for the items.
Still, the Dutch are also pushing for this finding to be extended to the rest of the European Union. Possibly forcing the game developers to rethink their ideas about how to encourage players to buy lootboxes.
Despite only finding four games that have contravened Dutch gambling laws, the authority also warned that the other games examined lack controls for “socially vulnerably groups. The study also notes that all ten games have a “moderate to high” risk for gambling addiction.
[Source: Ars Technica]
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HTC Desire 12 Series Pre-Order To Begin On 26 April: Price Starts At RM 599

HTC Malaysia has announced that the company will kick off the pre-order program for its Desire 12 and Desire 12+ smartphones on 26 April. Interesting enough, customers who pre-order through this program which will be held exclusively at Shopee will be able to get their hands on these device for less than their normal retail price.
Specifically, the Desire 12 will go for RM 599 while the Desire 12+ can be obtained for RM 729. As a comparison, these phones will instead go for RM 739 and RM 899 respectively once they are released into the market soon.
HTC stated that only 1,000 units will be made available for this special pre-order program, so do plan ahead.
Developing…
(More Info: HTC Malaysia Desire 12 Pre-Order Program)
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SmugMug Buys Flickr To Save It From Disappearing Forever

SmugMug has confirmed its purchase of the photo hosting service Flicker for an undisclosed amount. The purchase allays fears that the once popular photo sharing service will be shuttered for good after former owner Yahoo was bought by Verizon.
Flickr’s future was uncertain after Verizon began cutting assets from its new acquisition. Looking to reduce the bloated giant that happens to be Yahoo. Unfortunately, at the time, the free photosharing company ended up on the chopping block due to a diminishing userbase.
SmugMug, on the other hand, is a much smaller service that Flickr; and doesn’t offer any sort of free service. The company has existed longer than its new acquisition, but has done so by catering to a more niche market of those who don’t mind paying for storage and want more privacy.

The CEO of SmugMug Don MacAskill said the company is committed to maintain Flickr as a separate entity from SmugMug. He also said that the community of amateur and professional photographers will still benefit from the purchase as SmugMug will invest resources into the company in the near future.
(Source: USAToday via DPReview)
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Samsung Joins Race To Buy Nokia Health

It would appear that Samsung has expressed interest in buying Nokia’s health division. This would put it in direct competition with Alphabet’s Nest and two other French companies.
News that Nokia is preparing to sell its health technology business appeared last week, with Nest being the primary contender to make the acquisition. However, the division, which was formerly French company Withings, may instead be sold to a local buyer due to political pressure.
The French government is still keen to promote homegrown artificial intelligence and technology efforts. And would likely rather keep the Withings patents and expertise within the country.
A fact that may put Samsung in the same boat as Nest. Both with money to offer, but having to consider the impact of politics over the matter. Chances are that both foreign companies will rethink their bids; although EU regulators may not be happy if the French government tries to interfere with a purely business deal.
[Source: Android Authority]
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Valve Buys Indie Studio Campo Santo; Might Actually Put Out A New Game Next Year

Valve has acquired indie game developer Santo Campo. The 12-man studio announced the acquisition over the weekend, and promised that it would still be continuing work on its next game.
Details of the acquisition are not available; seeing that neither company is publicly listed. Instead, it is understood that all 12 employees of Santo Campo will be joining Valve.

Santo Campo is responsible for the 2016 indie hit Firewatch. It’s said to be in the middle of development of In the Valley of the Gods; which will now be released as a Valve title in 2019. Meaning that Valve might actually get around to releasing a new game next year.
Valve itself has not actually developed a new game since Dota 2. It’s in the middle of testing a digital card game called Artifact; which has mechanics designed by legendary card game developer Richard Garfield. However, little has been said about the game since it was announced last year. Indicating that an actual release is a long way off.
[Source: Santo Campo]
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