Largest launch in Xbox history declared

Welcome back fellow Xbox fans, geeks and gamers! The new generation of console gaming has begun with the twin-launch of the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S done around the world. Even though there were not too many images of gamers and long-time Xbox fans lining up at retailers or at special launch-related events to buy the new consoles (due to the pandemic which changed life and business the way we know it), the launch has been declared the largest in Xbox history.

On Twitter, Xbox chief Phil Spencer posted: Thank you for supporting the largest launch in Xbox history. In 24 hrs more new consoles sold, in more countries, than ever before. We’re working with retail to resupply as quickly as possible. You continue to show us the connective power of play is more important than ever.

As you can see above, Spencer declared the launch as being the largest just as he thanked those who supported it. While no sales figures were provided, he stressed that more new consoles were launched in more countries this time which means that they already exceeded the respective launch of Xbox One in 2013. In retrospect, Microsoft sold over a million units of Xbox One at launch.

The new generation of console gaming has officially started with Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S now making their way through retailers worldwide.

With regards to supply, Spencer stated that they will resupply their retailers so that those who failed to secure a unit at launch won’t be left behind. It should be stated that retail giant Amazon told a certain number of their customers that Xbox Series X units ordered through them won’t be available until the end of the year. It should be noted that Amazon itself is a rival a Microsoft’s when it comes to cloud-related business and making gaming available to billions of people around the world. Delays regarding the two Xbox Series consoles also hit Canada and the United Kingdom. When it comes to launching games overseas, Yakuza: Like a Dragon reportedly (note: local publication Game Watch the source) has been delayed. Team Xbox needs to work on these issues.

In relation to the launch, EA Play has been made available to Xbox Game Pass (XGP) ultimate subscribers. This means that the said subscribers who own Xbox consoles – including the brand new Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S – will be provided EA Play membership for free and this will enable them to are able to play many games. Think about the many sports games, first-person shooters, role-playing games (RPGs), racing games and many other games from EA being offered apart from the many games already listed under Xbox Game Pass own lineup. Definitely there is no shortage of games to play at launch and backward compatibility is also a factor. With regards to the Xbox ecosystem, XGP Ultimate subscribers will be able download and play games from EA Play’s library on their Windows 10 personal computers starting this December.

By the way, do you own a copy of the acclaimed Xbox One-exclusive Gears 5? The said game has been relaunched along with the Xbox Series consoles with technical optimization for the said machines. The main campaign of the game has been updated and includes Dave Bautista (presented as WWE’s Batista) as Xbox icon Marcus Fenix. This is the closest thing Xbox and Gears of War fans will have to a live-action movie adaptation. For the newcomers reading this, Bautista appeared in two Guardians of the Galaxy movies, Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame and the James Bond movie Spectre.

More on Gears 5, the game takes advantage of the new technology of the Xbox Series consoles and this means heavily reduced load times, utilization of Quick Resume (now one of the most notable new features only on the new consoles), reduced input latency (meaning improved responsiveness), variable rate shading (a key feature of AMD’s RDNA 2) and the super smooth 120 frames-per-second frame rate in Versus mode. With regards to Xbox Series X, the game is presented in 4K resolution thanks to the Ultra-HD pack and Ultra-Spec graphics that were previously only made available to PC gamer. As if that was not enough, developer The Coalition prepared new features for the Gears 5 campaign, new achievements (worth almost 100 Gamerscore points), etc.

Gamers of Gears 5 transitioning from Xbox One consoles into Xbox Series consoles will be delighted to know that it will take only a push of a button to download the update and download the next-generation version of the game via Smart Delivery for free!

In relation to the availability of Xbox Series consoles, over forty new games (including 30 games optimized for the new generation) have been made available and Team Xbox made the effort to ensure that Xbox Series consoles owners will play the best versions of the games they owned (for consoles) across the generations. While a lot has been showcased about the acclaimed Forza Horizon 4 optimized for the new consoles, it should be noted that Halo: The Master Chief Collection has also been optimized and ALL Halo games have been improved to run at higher resolutions and higher frame rates as well. Being a long-time Halo gamer myself, being able to replay past Halo games way above the 30FPS limits alone is very enticing.

When it comes to the near future, be aware that starting November 18, 2020, cloud gaming will debut in Australia, Brazil, Japan and Mexico via the Project xCloud Preview program.

Project xCloud General Manager and Head of Product Catherine Gluckstein wrote: In each of these four markets we’ll begin with this Preview to test, iterate, and gather your feedback. And next year, we’ll move to the next step and bring cloud gaming to these markets as part of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate; this is an important step in our journey as we look to reach more gamers around the world. 

2020 has brought challenges to all of us, but we hope that cloud gaming simply opens up new ways for you to play when and how you choose. Enjoy Master Chief anywhere and everywhere when you play on your phone, get some laps in on Forza while someone else occupies the TV, or to try out a new-to-you Xbox game. Cloud gaming makes it possible to play those top titles on your Android phone or tablet. 

Come join us in Preview as we test and learn in Australia, Brazil, Japan and Mexico. During this Preview you’ll have access to a curated library of great games for free, including favorites from Xbox Game Studios such as “Minecraft Dungeons,” “Halo: The Master Chief Collection” and “Forza Horizon 4” in addition to some fantastic content from our partners such as “Black Desert,” “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds,” and “Yakuza 0.” 

Our Project xCloud Preview is currently supported on Android phones and tablets through the Xbox Game Streaming (Preview) app in the Google Play Store, available in English, Spanish, Portuguese and Japanese.

Anyone who wants to join can register online.  

Finally, GameSpot published a feature article highlighting their recent talk with Phil Spencer about Xbox and several related topics.

I find notable how the head of Xbox reacted towards GameSpot’s mentioning of a Bloomberg report which said that several developers in Japan have been approached by Microsoft about acquisition.

Let’s see how receptive gamers in Japan are towards the new Xbox consoles.

When asked if there was any truth to the report, Spencer responded: I don’t think so. I say, I don’t think so… I mean, I’m not in every meeting that every team has, but I’ll say not from me. Most of the opportunities that we’ve had to date have been a long-lasting relationship, and so, I don’t think we’re out there with our business card, throwing them out on the corner, trying to find people. I’ve talked about my affinity for Japanese studios and thinking back in the day when we had more games that were created in Japan as part of our first party, I’m excited when the deal closes to get to spend more time with Tango [Gameworks] and the work that they’re doing. So it’s an area that I’m interested in, but no, I don’t think it’s… I think that’s not accurate.

Spencer also expressed his view about the Asian market from a gaming standpoint and noted how different the Japanese market is compared to those in Korea, China and Southeast Asia. He also stated that he has an affinity for all the amazing creators based in Japan and he spent a lot of time there and wants to make sure those creators see Xbox as a great place for their games. It should be stated, in relation to what was said, that a free downloadable demo of Dragon Quest XI S is now available via the Xbox Store. The blockbuster Japanese RPG will be released in full on December 4, 2020 for Xbox One, Windows 10 PC and – via backward compatibility and XGP – on Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S.

Back to the interview, Spencer mentioned Mistwalker and their notable Xbox 360 JRPGs Lost Odyssey and Blue Dragon. Eventually, the interview focused on the upcoming RPG Elden Ring and when asked about it, the head of Xbox stated: I’ve seen actually quite a bit. I’ve played quite a bit.

In closing this article, here are some gaming-related videos for your enjoyment.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

For more Xbox-related stuff, check out the Xbox Series Philippines Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/XboxOnePH

Kong VR Now Open at Festival Mall in Alabang

Among the shopping malls of South Metro Manila (specifically Muntinlupa, Parañaque and Las Piñas), Festival Mall in Filinvest City, Alabang, has been a hot spot for people who wish to immerse themselves with virtual reality by availing the services and facilities of VR entertainment joints in the said mall.

Recently a brand new virtual reality entertainment joint opened at the 2nd level of Festival Mall and it is called Kong VR. It is located just steps away from Decathlon.

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Kong VR occupies this spacious spot of Festival Mall. Lots of high-tech, amusement equipment inside.

Kong VR describes itself as Korea’s top virtual reality theme park. Their Festival Mall branch has a lot of staffers waiting for customers to come in, pay fees and enjoy the many VR amusement experiences (including a King Kong-related game that’s supposed to test players’ balance and perception) they are offering. They also have lots of high-tech equipment inside as well as some machines that remind me of the video arcade experience.

Their featured VR experiences include Top Adventure VR, Beat Saber, Top Vulcan, Z-Town, and Arabian Nights to name some.

While I’m not much of a fan of virtual reality, I find their joint and offers interesting. Perhaps someday I’ll try one or two of their amusement experiences.

Has anyone among you, my readers, experienced any of the VR experiences there at Kong VR at Festival Mall? Please post a comment below.

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Someone playing Beat Saber.

All others reading this….if you are interested in Kong VR, visit them at Festival Mall.


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments.

 

2019 NTT Subic Bay International Triathlon in the News (April 22, 2019)

The 2019 NTT Subic Bay International Triathlon Asian Cup event is back in the sports news with the recent press release.

It made the following newspapers:

Philippine Star

Manila Bulletin

Tempo

Manila Standard

Manila Times 

Business Mirror

People’s Tonight

Malaya Business Insight

The triathlon will take place at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone this coming weekend. Contact the TRAP immediately for inquiries.

 

 

 

 

Asian Games Triathlon Gold Medalist Banners Large Field in 2019 NTT ASTC Subic Bay International Triathlon (SuBIT)

Asian Games Triathlon Gold Medalist Banners Large Field in 2019 NTT ASTC Subic Bay International Triathlon (SuBIT)

Pasig City, Philippines – April 20, 2019 – Japanese Jumpei Furuya, 2018 Asian Games triathlon gold medalist, banners a large field of   foreign hopefuls vying for qualifying points in the 2019 NTT ASTC Subic Bay International Triathlon (SuBIT) Asian Cup set for April 27 and 28.

Furuya, currently ranked no. 43 in the world and champion of last January’s NTT ASTC Asian Cup event in Rayong, Thailand will be backstopped by 13 other Japanese triathletes.

Poised to crowd out the Japanese are China’s sextet and Hong Kong’s large contingent–33 entries spread over the Elite, Junior and Super Sprint Distance Categories.

Supported by Philippine Sports Commission (PSC,) NTT, Philippine Olympic Committee (POC), Standard Insurance, Asian Centre for Insulation Philippines (ACIP) and Pocari Sweat, SuBIT lured over a hundred foreign entries.

Chinese Taipei had entered 18, Korea 16, Macao 10, Singapore nine, Syria six and Thailand four.

Not to be discounted in the 1.5-kilometer swim, 40-kilometer bike and 10-kilometer run Elite competition are both the pair of Australians and Palestinians and a sole Canadian.  

According to Tom Carrasco, Triathlon Association of the Philippines (TRAP) president, John Chicano will spearhead the Philippine challenge along with Kim Remolino even as Filipino-Spanish Fer Caseres is seen to spring a surprise in his quest for a slot in the Team Philippines for the SEA Games in December.

In the distaff side, 2017 SEA Games medalist Claire Adorna, Asia Games veteran Kim Kilgroe and fast rising JC Abad are the country’s best bets.

Overall, close to 800 foreigners and locals will see action in the annual event organized by the TRAP in cooperation with the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Tourism Department.

For more information, visit Triathlon.org.ph or send email at trapsecretariat@gmail.com.