Xbox 20th Anniversary products launching on November 15, 2021

This year, the 20th anniversary of Xbox will be celebrated on November 15, 2021 and on that very day, commemorative products will be released for the fans and any gamer looking for new, high-quality products to have this holiday season! For the newcomers and the Xbox fans reading this, this 20th anniversary development is completely different from the Halo Infinite game and products launch set for December.

To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the recent Xbox.com article written by Xbox Senior Product Marketing Manager Jerrica Tsujikawa. Some parts in boldface…

November 15 will mark 20 years of gaming together! Fans helped shape what Xbox is today and we can’t wait to see what the next 20 years will bring.

Today, we celebrate our history together with the 20th Anniversary Special Edition Xbox Wireless Controller and 20th Anniversary Special Edition Xbox Stereo Headsetlaunching November 15 and available for pre-order now. We were inspired by our favorite memories together from the last 20 years and created not one, but two unique accessories to commemorate this milestone.

20th Anniversary Special Edition Xbox Wireless Controller

Sleek and sentimental – all in one package. The 20th Anniversary Special Edition controller is a fresh spin on the translucent green of the original Xbox Debug kit. The body of the controller features a translucent black finish with silver internals so you can see every detail. The nostalgic, green Xbox button brings us back to the first green Xbox logo. The iconic color can also be found on the back grips and around the hybrid D-pad.

The 20th Anniversary Special Edition controller benefits from all the features of our newest Xbox Wireless Controllers, such as improved ergonomics, better cross-device connectivity, a dedicated Share button and reduced latency. You can also easily pair and switch between your devices including the Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Windows PCs, Android and iOS via Xbox Wireless, and Bluetooth technology.

When you connect this controller to your Xbox Series X|S console, you will unlock an exclusive 20th Anniversary dynamic background.

Connect your 20th Anniversary Special Edition controller to your friends Xbox Series X|S to gift them this dynamic background as well! Once you choose another background, however, this one will disappear, and you will need to re-connect the 20th Anniversary controller to unlock it again.

The 20th Anniversary Special Edition Xbox Wireless Controller launches November 15 and is available for pre-order today for $69.99 USD in select Xbox markets worldwide and can be purchased at various retailers, including Microsoft Store.

20th Anniversary Special Edition Xbox Stereo Headset

Built upon our new  Xbox Stereo Headset, this 20th Anniversary Special Edition is something truly special. The headset similarly features a translucent black body with silver internals so you can see what brings this headset to life. Green accents on the boom mic, inside and outside of the earcups. The left disc is marked with our 20th Anniversary logo in our iconic green and the right dial has our Xbox logo imprinted, as seen on the Xbox Wireless and Stereo Headsets.

Just like our new Xbox Stereo Headset, enjoy ultra-soft large earcups and superb audio and chat quality. You can adjust the volume by rotating the right earcup or quickly mute incoming noise with the convenient on-ear control. The headset also supports spatial sound technologies including Windows Sonic, Dolby Atmos, and DTS Headphone: X (may require additional purchases or app downloads).

The 20th Anniversary Special Edition Xbox Stereo Headset launches on November 15 and is available for pre-order today for $69.99 USD in select Xbox markets and can be purchased at the Microsoft Store and other retailers. The headset is only available at the Microsoft Store in APOC/EOC.

The above article also includes details about two other upcoming products – the Razer Universal Quick Charging Stand for Xbox – 20th Anniversary Limited Edition and 20th Anniversary Xbox Gear. Check out the images below…

For complete details about Razer Universal Quick Charging Stand for Xbox – 20th Anniversary Limited Edition and 20th Anniversary Xbox Gear, click https://news.xbox.com/en-us/2021/10/07/celebrate-20-years-of-play-with-20th-anniversary-hardware/

Things are really looking great and the future of Xbox is more promising than ever before. Xbox fans and gamers who want the best and most enduring sessions of fun have Forza Horizon 5, Halo Infinite and The Gunk to look forward to before the end of 2021. 2022 will be even more exciting on the Xbox ecosystem with games like Starfield, Redfall, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chernobyl, Saints Row reboot and Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising to name some!

In closing this piece, posted below are Xbox-related videos for your viewing pleasure.

+++++

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

Dolby Vision on Xbox Series consoles makes home entertainment more pleasing

In my previous article, I made a short reference to the availability of Dolby Vision on Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X. For the newcomers and games still wondering what Dolby Vision’s relevance with the modern Xbox consoles is all about and how it can benefit gamers who have the means, we can take a close look at the details through the September 28, 2021 article published on Xbox.com.

Before examining the said article, let’s start first with a view of Dolby Vision on Xbox Series S and X via this official video released on September 23, 2021.

To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the Xbox.com article written by XGP Senior Program Manager Katie Slattery. Some parts in boldface…

At Xbox, we want to give gamers the best gaming experience at full audio and visual fidelity. That is why we partnered with Dolby to bring immersive spatial audio to our platform with Dolby Atmos in 2017, and ultra-vivid picture quality for movies and streaming with Dolby Vision in 2018. Then in 2020 with Xbox Series X|S, we launched the first consoles ever to support gaming in Dolby Atmos and with the future capability to support Dolby Vision.

Dolby Vision gaming now available on Series XIS

Starting today, gamers with compatible Dolby Vision-enabled TVs will be able to enjoy full-spectrum visuals with the rollout of Dolby Vision gaming on Xbox Series X|S. With Dolby Vision, epic worlds – such as lush rainforests or neon futuristic cities – are brought to life in more vivid color. Dolby Vision deepens your immersion into the experience by enabling you to see an enemy hiding in the shadows or spot hidden clues through expanded contrast and better clarity in both bright and dark scenes.

To ensure a growing library of games are available, Dolby and Xbox are working together closely with developers to provide the tools they need so their titles can take full advantage of Dolby Vision. They can do this through built-in features within the Xbox platform or they can choose to implement the technology directly into a game’s engine.

There are more than 100 next-gen HDR titles optimized for Series X|S that will feature Dolby Vision, and in the future you’ll see more games like Halo Infinite taking full advantage of Dolby Vision.

Get the complete Dolby experience with Dolby Atmos by downloading Dolby Access today. Pair with Xbox headphones for the ultimate spatial sound experience.

Xbox Series XIS will deliver improved visual experience to thousands of classic games

In addition to this curated set of Xbox Series X|S optimized titles, we also wanted to ensure the robust library of games previously released in HDR or Auto HDR would benefit as well. This led us to work with Dolby to bring new visual enhancement capabilities that utilize Dolby Vision technology to deliver an improved visual experience for thousands of existing HDR10 and Auto HDR games. When you are connected to a Dolby Vision enabled TV and Dolby Vision is enabled on Xbox Series X|S, the consoles will automatically enhance your existing games to deliver a rich, immersive experience unrivaled by any other game console.

How Series XIS and Dolby Vision make your gaming experience better

Dolby Vision takes gaming to the next level through incredible brightness, color, contrast, and detail.  Games in Dolby Vision automatically map to any display that supports Dolby Vision, delivering players the benefit of seeing the best possible picture available. Dolby Vision is also compatible with next-generation features available on Xbox Series X|S such as DirectX Raytracing, automatic low-latency mode (ALLM), Variable Refresh Rate (VRR), and up to 120FPS depending on the capabilities of your TV*.

The article also has other notable details such as the confirmation that Microsoft and Dolby are collaborating closely with the companies that manufacture HDTVs/smart TVs and enable them to update the firmware to enable Dolby Vision at 120 Hz. That being said, if you own an Xbox Series S or Xbox Series X connected to that high-tech HDTV or smart TV in your household, you might want to check right now if it is indeed a Dolby Vision-enabled machine. There will be some adjustments to be made with the settings of your HDTV and you can see how at the very end of the Xbox.com article at https://news.xbox.com/en-us/2021/09/28/dolby-vision-gaming-now-available-on-xbox-series-x-s/

More on this technological breakthrough, I love the fact that it has been confirmed that thousands of classic games (games from previous Xbox console generations) will have visual enhancements covered by Dolby Vision. In short, when you play an old game on your Xbox Series console via the backward compatibility feature, there will be visual improvements as well as a better use of your TV’s Dolby Vision capability. With regards to the games of this current console generation, there are over a hundred HDR (high dynamic range) games optimized for the Xbox Series consoles using Dolby Vision benefits. Such enhancements and benefits will be present in future games like Forza Horizon 5, Halo Infinite, Starfield, Elder Scrolls 6, Fallout 5, the next Forza Motorsport, Avowed, The Outer Worlds 2, Perfect Dark and a whole lot more!

In closing this piece, posted below are Xbox-related videos for your viewing pleasure.

+++++

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

Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) on the lookout for local vloggers who made millions of pesos

Are you a vlogger based here in the Philippines who made a lot of money recently? Be aware that the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) is on the lookout for vloggers they might find taxable. The other day, it was reported by the Manila Bulletin that the BIR is paying close attention to a certain unidentified couple who allegedly earned between P50 million to P100 million (US$1 million to US$2 million based on the latest foreign exchange rates) that past few years and the deletion of their social media channel was seen to be a move to avoid taxation. It should be noted that the BIR launched a campaign focused on social media influencers or SMIs.

To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the Manila Bulletin article. Some parts in boldface…

A couple, who reportedly raked in multi-million pesos from video blogging (vlogging), abruptly deleted their social media channel in what the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) officials believe to be an attempt to avoid paying taxes.

Based on the initial investigation of the BIR, the couple earned P50 to P100 million in the past two years which enabled them to buy luxury vehicles and built a mansion somewhere in Metro Manila.

BIR sources said the couple deleted their channel days after BIR Commissioner Caesar R. Dulay announced a crackdown against social media influencers (SMIs) who have been receiving earning huge sum of money from social media platforms like YouTube and Facebook by compelling them to pay taxes.

The couple, BIR officials said, had more than 11 million subscribers. The names of the pair were withheld pending the outcome of the investigation.

But the BIR said it will still run after the couple, saying deleting the social media channel will not excuse them from paying taxes.

Vloggers are classified as self-employed subject to 12 percent value-added tax if annual income is P3 million and more, eight percentage tax if less than the amount and tax exempt if not more than P250,000.

Dulay advised vloggers to be truthful in their income tax declaration to avoid facing tax evasion charges.

The article ended stating that social media influencers cannot hide their respective income because the “tax authorities of countries where the social media platforms are based are obligated to furnish the BIR with their salaries under a tax treaty agreement with the Philippines.”

For the newcomers reading this, the penalties for tax evasion has been updated this year in accordance to the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Act. A person found guilty of tax evasion, the financial penalty is now P500,000 to P10 million. Imprisonment will be 6 to 10 years.

In closing this piece, let me ask you readers: Do you believe that the BIR’s search for qualified vloggers or SMIs to tax is good for the Philippines? Do you believe that your favorite vloggers or SMIs have a legal obligation to pay taxes? Do you believe that the affected vloggers/SMIs will react by promoting/favoring the politicians or potential election candidates who oppose the current administration?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

+++++

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 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, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

I Love Israel: Exchange of scientists between Israel and the Philippines confirmed

As I was browsing the latest and most relevant news at the Philippine News Agency (PNA) recently, I spotted the latest development about Israel-Philippines ties and it is about the exchange of scientists. Very recently, Israeli health experts provided valuable advise to Philippine authorities on dealing with COVID-19.

For me, this is significant because I observed that Israel itself has made lots of advances in the field of science and this was confirmed by the Bloomberg Innovation Index wherein Israel finished as the fifth most innovative country in the world for the year 2019. Israel also has its high-tech industries and excels in green science or agriculture feeding the world along the way.

To put things in perspective about the Israel-Philippines exchange of scientists, posted below is an excerpt from the PNA article. Some parts in boldface…

Israel and the Philippines will be sending scientists to each other’s countries as part of capacity building and trainings, an official of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) said on Tuesday.

“The specifics such as the number of the experts, duration and date of the visit will still have to be further discussed. While we want to proceed with the activity as soon as possible, we also need to consider the current situation, including travel advisories both in the Philippines and Israel,” DOST Assistant Secretary for International Cooperation Leah Buendia told the Philippine News Agency.

She said the Filipino experts going to Israel will be trained on drip irrigation, medicinal chemistry, Israel’s drug discovery, and artificial intelligence (AI).

On the other hand, the Israeli scientists going to the Philippines will meet with Filipino researchers.

“One of the agreements during the (Philippines-Israel joint committee meeting on science and technology) is to conduct a workshop which will serve as a platform for Filipino and Israeli experts to discuss their works, and identify potential collaboration. During the meeting, our Israeli counterparts said that they want to visit the Philippines,” she said.

DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Peña said the meeting with Israel’s Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) chief scientist, Avi Domb, and other officials of both agencies was held virtually last June 30.

He said they talked about the potential joint initiatives to be implemented on the identified priority areas that include agriculture (water management); AI (robotics); and health (biomedical engineering and drug discovery).

The discussed priorities were guided by the memorandum of understanding (MOU) on Scientific Cooperation signed by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte during his official visit to Israel in 2018, he added.

Israel is a valuable partner for us. It is part of our 20 priority partners for STI (science, technology, innovation) international cooperation, recognizing their strengths in STI and considering the pronouncements of engaging with non-traditional partners,” Buendia said.

She added that the DOST officials are happy that they finally had the meeting to lay out their plans for the collaboration.

De la Peña earlier reported that capacity building activities include scholarships, visiting professors, and trainings.

The conduct of joint conferences to discuss the respective researches and projects of experts shall also be expected, eyeing the development of AI applications for government/public service and emergency response, among others.

And here are some videos to help you know Israel better…

The latest exchange between Israel and the Philippines regarding scientists is a reflection of the stronger ties between the two nations. We Filipinos should be grateful to the State of Israel, no matter what happens and no matter who are leading as national authorities both here and there. We Filipinos can also give back by supporting Israel in more ways than one. We can pray for Israelites and provide varied support for them (note: refer to the Christians United for Israel reference near the very end of this article below) knowing that there are still terrorists (sponsored by Iran) and other forces of evil that are obsessed in destroying Israel.

Before I end this, here is a holy scripture for you all…

Now, this is what Yahweh says:

    “Listen, Jacob, to the One who created you,

    Israel, to the one who shaped who you are.

    Do not fear,

    for I, your Kinsman-Redeemer, will rescue you.

    I have called you by name, and you are mine.

  When you pass through the deep, stormy sea,

    you can count on me to be there with you.

    When you pass through raging rivers,

    You will not drown.

    When you walk through persecution like fiery flames,

    you will not be burned;

    the flames will not harm you,

  for I am your Savior, Yahweh, your mighty God,

    the Holy One of Israel!

    I give up Egypt as the price to set you free,

    Cush and Seba in exchange to bring you back.

  Since you are cherished and precious in my eyes,

    and because I love you dearly and want to honor you,

    I willingly give up nations in exchange for you—

    a man to save your life.

  I am with you now, even close to you,

    so never yield to fear.

    I will bring your children from the east;

    from the west I will gather you.

  I will say to the north, ‘Hand them over!’

    and to the south, ‘Don’t hold them back!’

    Bring me my sons from far away,

    my daughters from the ends of the earth!

  Bring me everyone who is called by my name,

    the ones I created to experience my glory.

    I myself formed them to be who they are

    and made them for my glory.”

Isaiah 43:1-7 (TPT)

If you truly believe in Lord Jesus, the Holy Spirit and God the Heavenly Father wholeheartedly and you continue to be faithful (not religious), you should be aware that Christians are meant to stand united with Israel, love the Jewish people and pray for the peace of Jerusalem. You can do your part supporting Israel by donating to Christians United for Israel (CUFI). Do not forget to read the Holy Bible, then pray in tongues to the Lord in the privacy of your room with the door shut.

Always be the fearless and aggressive church of Lord Jesus! Always stand in support of Israel!

+++++

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 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, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

COVID-19 Crisis: DILG urges LGUs to sign up non-tech savvy senior citizens for vaccination

Here in the Philippines, senior citizens are a priority group of people for COVID-19 vaccines and in order to avail of such vaccines, registration is the first step (which goes the same for others). Once the registration has been done, the local organizers will have to maintain the records, look closely and sort out the senior citizens whom they will contact and inform them of the slots scheduled for them.

While Internet access is widely available in the Philippines, there are still senior citizens who cannot get themselves registered digitally (online registration) not only because of the lack of access (or lack of hardware) but because they are not familiar with the digital ways and processes. In the City of Las Piñas, vaccine registration can be done digitally or manually. Check out the details right here. If other cities don’t offer manual registration at all, then their senior citizens who have no Internet access or are not oriented with computers/gadgets are in a major disadvantage and may have been left behind.

In relation to this, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) urged local government units (LGUs) to come up with ideas to help the disadvantaged senior citizens get registered. Posted below is the excerpt from the Philippine News Agency (PNA) article. Some parts in bold…

Local government units (LGUs) should find a way to register seniors, who are non-tech savvy and without access to the internet, for a Covid-19 vaccination schedule, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said.

“The LGUs must help our seniors who do not know how to use high-tech gadgets. Find the ways on how to register them immediately even manually so that they can avail themselves of the vaccines,” Año said in a text message to the Philippine News Agency (PNA) Wednesday.

While many older adults have access to the internet and are tech-savvy, others are not and have a hard time navigating vaccination registration websites set up by LGUs.

“Kung kinakailangan i-house-to-house sila (If needed, LGUs should conduct house-to-house visitations to register them) then so be it,” Año said.

Since the start of the vaccination rollout last March, among the groups prioritized for inoculation are senior citizens or under the A2 category.

So there you have it! DILG Eduardo Año made a pitch to the LGUs to literally go the extra mile to help the senior citizens who could not get registered digitally. It should be noted that there are some senior citizens who are bedridden or are physically disadvantaged and could not get themselves registered online. Also remember that some websites designed for online registration might not be user-friendly enough for senior citizens and others who are just starting using the Internet.

In ending this article, let me ask you these questions: Is your local government unit doing enough to get disadvantaged people registered for COVID-19 vaccines? Do you know any senior citizen in your local community who badly needs help on getting registered? Have you thought about assisting senior citizens (who are not oriented with computers and online processes) to get registered? Is your local government unit offering manual registration? Is your barangay offering assistance to senior citizens who are unable to get registered? Did anyone from the LGU or your barangay send representatives to your local community to help the unregistered senior citizens get registered?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

+++++

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 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, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

What could happen with regards to rumored event related to Xbox-Bethesda deal

Things have been quiet for the past months following the megaton announcement that Microsoft is acquiring Bethesda (through parent company ZeniMax Media) for a staggering $7.5 billion. Since then, Team Xbox has gotten stronger as the deal means pushing their number of 1st party game studios to almost 25.

In recent times, Microsoft created a brand new subsidiary called Vault (a nod to the Fallout franchise) which will serve as a new and temporary home for ZeniMax. The acquisition of ZeniMax and all of Bethesda is up for review by the regulators of the European Union (EU).

In relation to this, Jeff Grub of GamesBeat said in a podcast that an event will be held in which Microsoft will share details about their plans for the future regarding Bethesda. It was stated that such an event might happen in the middle of March 2021. By that time, the EU’s decision on the Xbox-Bethesda deal should be known.

Here’s an excerpt from GamingBolt’s report…

Grubb says it might not be a dedicated Direct-style event, but fans should expect to hear about plenty of new information either way.

“Once the deal closes, they will talk about it in a big way,” Grubb said. “I don’t know if it will be a full Direct-style event, but they will make note of it, and they will talk about it extensively, and they will explain what it means to everybody… kind of talk about the immediate future for both companies becoming one in the future.”

Personally, I can imagine an Xbox-Bethesda event that will done in video format and shown online to many fans and gamers around the world. However, I imagine it to be totally different from the Xbox Games Showcase of July 2020. I don’t expect it to be a lengthy video but still it will be long enough and serve as a makeshift celebration of Microsoft acquiring a major game publisher in Bethesda which itself is a rare event in the business world of video games and computer gaming.

The way I see it, the Xbox-Bethesda event could happen with the following possibilities:

  1. Xbox head Phil Spencer will welcome viewers and confirm that the acquisition of Bethesda has finally been done and the planned projects will push through and ensure lots of fun stuff for Xbox fans, fans of Bethesda’s many game franchises and people who love to play games via Xbox consoles, Windows 10 PCs and laptops, and mobile devices.
  2. Microsoft and Bethesda’s extensive business relationship will be mentioned, if not highlighted.
  3. Starfield will be announced yet again but will be presented by Todd Howard and a video showing the first-ever gameplay footage. Howard or the video itself could announce Starfield as an Xbox-exclusive game with late 2021 release window.
  4. Bethesda games released on previous generations consoles (Xbox 360 and Xbox One most likely) will be confirmed enhanced with FPS Boost when played on Xbox Series S or Xbox Series X.
  5. More Bethesda games of the past and the future will be made available via Xbox Game Pass (XGP).
  6. Ghostwire: Tokyo Deathloop, the temporary exclusives on Sony’s PlayStation 5 (PS5) console, will come to Xbox Series consoles and Windows 10 PC with exclusive enhancements and features some time in late 2022 or early 2023. Xbox Game Pass listing will be confirmed.
  7. Other Xbox game studios such as Obsidian Entertainment, Playground Games, Ninja Theory, The Coalition and others could make an appearance and some of their upcoming games for Xbox Series consoles and PC may be previewed. If this happens, it will symbolize the unity of the teams under Xbox Game Studios.
  8. Most, if not all, new games of Bethesda will be announced as exclusive to the Xbox ecosystem which includes Xbox Series consoles (note: Xbox One could still be supported), Windows 10 PC, mobile devices and Xbox Game Pass subscribers. Meanwhile, old Bethesda games that were released on multiple platforms will still be made available.

I believe that it is inevitable that the new Bethesda games, including those that were in development before Microsoft even started negotiating with ZeniMax, will be made Xbox-exclusive for it is very clear that Team Xbox wants to make Xbox Game Pass attract many more millions of subscribers from around the world much like how the streaming services Netflix and Disney+ attracted so many millions of subscribers globally. XGP alone added a lot to Microsoft’s revenue as its base of subscribers reached 18 million. Making Bethesda’s new games exclusive will add tremendous value to XGP and Xbox LIVE as a whole. That being said, think about the exclusive content that helped Netflix and Disney+ attract so many millions of subscribers.

Making Bethesda Xbox-exclusive also means making the Xbox brand (and its game studios) even stronger than those on PlayStation and Nintendo. Microsoft knows that millions of gamers love playing single-player role-playing games (RPGs) and having Bethesda’s blockbuster RPG franchises like Fallout and The Elder Scrolls ensures big game sales through Xbox consoles and Windows 10 computers. Don’t forget that Team Xbox also has Obsidian Entertainment (which made the popular Fallout New Vegas for Bethesda) to provide such RPGs. Speaking of exclusives, whatever Japanese RPGs Sony could snatch as PS5 exclusives from Square Enix (Final Fantasy XVI for one), Team Xbox can literally fight back with exclusive Bethesda RPGs which are more than enough to make Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S more attractive consoles for anyone who loves role-playing the console way. I should state that Bethesda RPGs have a huge collective following among PC gamers.

As I noticed on social media over the past few months, a lot of PlayStation fanboys, haters of Xbox and some Nintendo fanboys are still feeling uneasy over the possibility of Bethesda games becoming Xbox-exclusive. They are afraid of getting locked out…meaning that none of the new Bethesda games will be released on their PS4, PS5 and Switch consoles.

More on exclusivity, Xbox chief Phil Spencer made things clear in an interview with Kotaku and below is an excerpt for you all…

“Is it possible to recoup a $7.5 billion investment if you don’t sell Elder Scrolls VI on the PlayStation?” I asked.

“Yes,” Spencer quickly replied.

Then he paused.

“I don’t want to be flip about that,” he added. “This deal was not done to take games away from another player base like that. Nowhere in the documentation that we put together was: ‘How do we keep other players from playing these games?’ We want more people to be able to play games, not fewer people to be able to go play games. But I’ll also say in the model—I’m just answering directly the question that you had—when I think about where people are going to be playing and the number of devices that we had, and we have xCloud and PC and Game Pass and our console base, I don’t have to go ship those games on any other platform other than the platforms that we support in order to kind of make the deal work for us. Whatever that means.”

No matter how the haters and opposing fanboys see it – including the Nintendo and PlayStation fanboys working as journalists – what Microsoft owns, Nintendo and Sony cannot touch nor steal. If they really want the new Bethesda games, they will need an Xbox Series console or a capable Windows 10 computer to buy those games and/or sign up for Xbox Game Pass (if they want to save money on new games).

As for those who insist that all new Bethesda games should be released on multiple platforms, they should slow down and look at PS5’s camp. Why is Final Fantasy XVI a PS5-exclusive? Is Square Enix better off releasing their new games only on Sony’s platform while you oppose Bethesda releasing games as Xbox-exclusive? Also, why would a Microsoft-owned Bethesda be obligated or be forced to release games on competing game consoles from Sony and Nintendo after all the $7.5 billion spent on the acquisition?

As for Minecraft remaining a multi-platform franchise, the case of Microsoft’s acquisition of its developer (Mojang) simply cannot be applied to the Xbox-Bethesda deal. Bethesda is a major publisher with almost ten game studios and a wide bunch of games from established game franchises.

The existing market of Xbox console owners combined with Windows 10 users is large enough to sell Bethesda games to. To say that Xbox-exclusivity of new games such as Starfield and sequels or spin-offs to Fallout, Elder Scrolls, Doom, Dishonored and other franchises won’t benefit paying consumers is nonsense.  

From this point on, we can only wait and see what happens next. Will the EU approve the acquisition of ZeniMax/Bethesda? Will the rumored Xbox-Bethesda event actually push through weeks from now? Tell me what you think.

In closing these, here are some relevant videos for your enjoyment and learning…

+++++

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

Muntinlupa City Government turns over 20,000 tablets for public school students

In an effort to help local learners in the ongoing distance learning amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the City Government of Muntinlupa has provided several tablet computers for local public school students. Mayor Jaime Fresnedi recently turned over 20,000 units of mobile tablets to the Schools Division Office – Muntinlupa, led by Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Dominico Idanan, to be given to underprivileged public elementary, junior, and senior high school students.

Mayor Jaime Fresnedi (4th from right) turns-over 20,000 tablets to Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Dominico Idanan (center) and student representatives last January 8. Fresnedi says the initiative aims to help Muntinlupa students access online learning resources and help them adapt to the changes and challenges of the new normal in the education system. Earlier, the local government also turned over the first batch of 2,557 laptops and 28 photocopiers to the Schools Division Office for public schools and teachers. (source – Muntinlupa PIO)
A few of the many tablets that were turned over for the benefit of public students of the city. (source – Muntinlupa PIO)

Fresnedi says the initiative aims to help Muntinlupa students access online learning resources and help them adapt to the changes and challenges of the new normal in the education system. The turn-over ceremony was attended by public school principals and some student representatives.

Previously, the City Government also turned over the first batch of 2,557 laptops and 28 photocopiers to the Schools Division Office for public schools and teachers.

“The City Government of Muntinlupa will continue to support our teachers and students to adapt to the changes of the education system, no one will be left behind. We will ensure that everyone can access all kinds of learning modalities whether online or offline,” Fresnedi said.

This past January 4, the City Government also inaugurated the Muntinlupa Mobile Learning Hub, the first innovative roving ‘learning bus’ in Metro Manila to teach city residents about disaster resilience.

The learning bus is equipped with state-of-the-art Virtual Reality area where residents can wear VR headsets to experience being in ‘close-to-actual’ scenarios of disasters including earthquakes, flooding, storm surge, bomb explosion, chemical poisoning, volcanic eruption, tsunami, and landslide. The VR facility aims to provide immersive, visual and sound-based experience of weather disturbances and calamities and to train residents on disaster response.

Further, the DDRM Mobile Learning Hub has an interactive Lecture Area with informative videos on COVID-19 Protective Measures, Disaster Prevention, Mitigation and Preparedness, First Aid Response and Management, and Basic Life Support, among others.

Public Information Officer Tez Navarro said the Learning Hub will visit several barangays and health and safety protocols will be strictly implemented. Regular disinfection of the facility will also be conducted.

Navarro noted that the learning bus will also be used for the information campaign of the City Government on COVID-19 vaccination.

As of January 7, Muntinlupa City has 48 active cases, 5,152 confirmed cases with 4,937 recoveries, 167 reported deaths, 23 suspect cases, and 287 probable cases.

+++++

The above information was provided by the City Government of Muntinlupa for the purpose of public information and transparency. Some parts were edited for this website.

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, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

Looking good on the way to Xbox Series consoles launch, Part 7

How fast time flies. The much-anticipated launching of the premium Xbox Series X and the budget-friendly Xbox Series S next-generation consoles from Microsoft will launch 9 days from now. Have you already ordered a unit? If you really want to make the jump to the next-generation with Xbox, keep looking at the legitimate online retailers who are open to accepting pre-orders.

Before the end of October, an article was posted at Xbox.com which confirms what has been speculated for some time now – the next-generation Xbox consoles indeed have AMD’s RDNA 2 technology complete with unique technological features.

For the newcomers reading this, RDNA 2 is defined as follows: The custom designed processor in the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S leverages RDNA 2, the latest next generation graphics architecture from our partners at AMD. RDNA 2 provides a significant advancement in performance and efficiency as well as next generation graphics features such as hardware accelerated raytracing and variable rate shading.

More on the article by Technical Fellow Andrew Goossen and Director of Program Management Jason Ronald, Team Xbox congratulated and celebrated their amazing partners at AMD with regards to the announcement of Radeon RX 6000 Series of GPUs (graphics processing units) which use the RDNA 2 architecture. Microsoft and AMD’s business relationship has lasted fifteen long years and it started with the Xbox 360 console which was a very memorable, fun-led console I had.

For the next-generation of console gaming, Microsoft and AMD’s strategic partnership is already making things look exciting. Here’s a big confirmation from the Xbox.com article: Xbox Series X|S are the only next-generation consoles with full hardware support for all the RDNA 2 capabilities AMD showcased today.

Here’s a detailed excerpt: AMD’s latest RDNA 2 architecture delivers a significant increase in performance and efficiency over previous architectures, as well as adding new hardware acceleration capabilities including hardware accelerated DirectX Raytracing, Mesh Shaders, Sampler Feedback and Variable Rate Shading. Hardware accelerated DirectX Raytracing, showcased at launch by titles such as Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs: Legion, enables developers to deliver a new level of visual fidelity and immersion through techniques such as realistic lighting, shadows, reflections and acoustics. Mesh Shaders can manipulate geometry in real time to provide a high level of fidelity and flexibility that developers have never had before. Sampler Feedback greatly improves memory efficiency by allowing games to load into memory, with fine granularity, only the portions of textures that the GPU needs for a scene, as it needs it, providing an effective 2.5x memory and bandwidth multiplier beyond the raw hardware capabilities. Sampler Feedback also enables efficient creation and shading of textures on-demand.

Finally, Variable Rate Shading (VRS) delivers much finer grain control on how developers can leverage the full power of the Xbox Series X|S by enabling developers to focus their GPU resources on the areas of a frame that most benefit without reducing the overall image quality. By leveraging techniques like VRS, games such as Gears 5 can see performance increases up to 15% and beyond resulting in higher, more consistent frame rates and resolution at the exact same image quality. All of these next-generation capabilities are available via hardware in both the Xbox Series X and Series S and we are excited for them to also come to PC, providing a common set of features that developers can rely on when developing their games across console and PC.

At the very beginning of development of the Xbox Series X | S, we knew we were setting the foundation for the next decade of gaming innovation and performance across console, PC and cloud. To deliver on this vision we wanted to leverage the full capabilities of RDNA 2 in hardware from day one. Through close collaboration and partnership between Xbox and AMD, not only have we delivered on this promise, we have gone even further introducing additional next-generation innovation such as hardware accelerated Machine Learning capabilities for better NPC intelligence, more lifelike animation, and improved visual quality via techniques such as ML powered super resolution.

In our quest to put gamers and developers first we chose to wait for the most advanced technology from our partners at AMD before finalizing our architecture. Now, with the upcoming release of Xbox Series X|S and the new AMD Radeon RX 6000 Series  GPUs, developers have a common set of next-generation tools and performance capabilities that will empower them to deliver transformative gaming experiences across both console and PC.

Boom! The two Xbox Series consoles have the complete features of RDNA 2 technology. The wait that Team Xbox had to go through was worth it. In the years to come, the terms DirectX Raytracing, Mesh Shaders, Sampler Feedback and Variable Rate Shading will be more discussed as game designers create more of their projects for Xbox Series S, Xbox Series X and Windows 10 PCs equipped with RDNA 2-based GPUs.

To make things clear to everyone, here are the definitions:

Hardware Accelerated DirectX Raytracing (DXR) – From improved lighting, shadows and reflections as well as more realistic acoustics and spatial audio, raytracing enables developers to create more physically accurate worlds. For the very first time in a game console, Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S include support for high performance, hardware accelerated raytracing. Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S use a custom-designed GPU leveraging the latest innovation from our partners at AMD and built in collaboration with the same team who developed DirectX Raytracing. Developers will be able to deliver incredibly immersive visual and audio experiences using the same techniques on PC and beyond.

Mesh Shading – Mesh shading will enable developers to dramatically improve the performance and image quality when rendering a substantial number of complex objects in a scene. As an example, mesh shaders could enable the player to experience asteroid belts and fields of flowers in more pristine detail without seeing a loss in performance.

Sampler Feedback Streaming (SFS) – A component of the Xbox Velocity Architecture, SFS is a feature of the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S hardware that allows games to load into memory, with fine granularity, only the portions of textures that the GPU needs for a scene, as it needs it. This enables far better memory utilization for textures, which is important given that every 4K texture consumes 8MB of memory. Because it avoids the wastage of loading into memory the portions of textures that are never needed, it is an effective 2.5x multiplier on average on both amount of physical memory and SSD performance.

Variable Rate Shading (VRS) – Variable Rate Shading increases GPU efficiency by concentrating shader work where it’s most needed and reducing shader work in areas where it won’t be noticeable. With minimal developer effort, VRS significantly improves GPU performance resulting in more stable and higher resolutions and frame rates with no perceptible loss in visual quality.

Remember when I mentioned many times before that Xbox is an ecosystem composed of Xbox game consoles, Windows 10 PC and smartphones (supported by Project xCloud) backed with the fast-growing Xbox Game Pass (XGP) subscription service? With all the technical information and explanations above, the strategic partnership between Microsoft and AMD is much greater than just hardware and features…it also serves as a foundation for supporting Xbox ecosystem users regardless of what hardware they use.

While it is a fact that AMD also partnered with Sony for the PlayStation 5 (PS5) consoles, so far the Japan-based corporation has not boldly stated anything about having full-featured RDNA 2 on their next-generation consoles. While we don’t know what exactly Jim Ryan and Mark Cerny know behind the scenes at PlayStation headquarters right now, it is clear that their team strongly focused on the PS5’s SSD (solid state drive) and tried to manipulate people into believing it is the next big thing. It seems like the PlayStation guys, whose idolaters are still restless and agonizing over the Xbox-Bethesda deal until now, just could not admit that the AMD technology PS5 has is actually inferior to what the Xbox Series consoles have.  

Going back to RDNA 2 and Xbox, Ubisoft recently presented Watch Dogs: Legion running on Xbox Series X with raytracing implemented. Watch the video below…

In ending this, here are more gaming-related videos for your viewing pleasure. Right now, the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S are the only next-generation consoles with full hardware support for all the RDNA 2 capabilities and that ensures great value in return for the respective $499 and $299 prices of the consoles.

+++++

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

COVID-19 Crisis: Muntinlupa Molecular Lab to open next week, eyes processing of 100 COVID-19 tests per hour

In a bid to strengthen the local testing capacity and COVID-19 response efforts, the City Government of Muntinlupa announced it is set to open its own Molecular Laboratory in Ospital ng Muntinlupa (OsMun) which is expected to process one hundred tests per hour.

OsMun director Dr. Edwin Dimatatac reported to Mayor Jaime Fresnedi and Department of Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade the status of the city’s Molecular Laboratory during a virtual meeting of the local COVID-19 Response Team last October 27.

Ospital ng Muntinlupa director Dr. Edwin Dimatatac (left) and Muntinlupa City Department of Disaster Resilience and Management chief Erwin Alfonso (center) inspect the Muntinlupa Molecular Laboratory located at SAGIP Building, near Ospital ng Muntinlupa, Filinvest Corporate City, Alabang. (source – Muntinlupa PIO)

Dimatatac said that the delivery of medical equipment is expected to be finished by the end of this month and the laboratory will be operational next week. He noted that the laboratory can process 100 tests per hour and results may be released as early as six (6) hours. The hospital director noted that they are in close coordination with DOH for the laboratory’s accreditation.

Further, personnel to be assigned in the city’s Molecular Laboratory were already trained by the DOH and Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM). The laboratory is located at the Saklolo at Gabay ng Ina at Pamilya (SAGIP) building near Ospital ng Muntinlupa in Alabang.

DOTr Sec. Tugade vowed to assist Muntinlupa for the accreditation of the laboratory. Tugade noted that Deputy Chief Implementer against COVID-19 Sec. Vince Dizon committed to donate one RT-PCR machine to Muntinlupa’s Molecular Laboratory once the accreditation is approved by the DOH.

A look at part of the equipment in the Molecular Laboratory. (source – Muntinlupa PIO)

The additional equipment is set to double the laboratory’s capacity from 200 tests to 400 tests per day. Muntinlupa City aims to operate two polymerase chain reaction (PCR) machines at the laboratory which can process 500 to 900 samples a day.

Mayor Jaime Fresnedi says the construction of the Molecular Laboratory will augment the city’s detection-isolation-treatment strategy in curbing COVID-19. He noted that while the City Health Office records improvement with COVID-19 cases, the City Government will not be lenient in implementing health protocols and other programs.

A sharp drop of active cases was recorded in Muntinlupa from 768 cases in September 1 to 69 cases as of October 26. The city’s recovery rate has further improved to 95.25%, an all-time high since the start of the pandemic.

Muntinlupa City also earned the lowest prevalence among Metro Manila cities with a rate of 0.13. The city’s prevalence rate or the number of cases over the total population is below the ‘acceptable rate’ of 1.0.

As of October 26, the doubling time in Muntinlupa City is at 17.94 days. Doubling time refers to the number of days for COVID-19 cases to double in number and the standard rate of transmission should be at 7-30 days to be considered decelerating.

The City Health Office has also launched a mobile swabbing testing in coordination with barangay health centers. As of October 26, the local health office facilitated 19,307 swab tests equivalent to 3.57% of the city’s population. Muntinlupa surpassed the national target of testing two percent of the population.

Recently, the 144-bed quarantine facility “We Heal As One” COVID-19 patients and suspect cases was inaugurated in Pacwood Site, Barangay Tunasan through the efforts of the Department of Public Works and Highways in partnership with the City Government.

DPWH Secetary Mark Villar, DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade, and Mayor Jaime Fresnedi led the blessing ceremony of the emergency quarantine facility amounting to P45-million last October 13. During the program, Villar reported that an additional quarantine facility with 200-bed capacity will be constructed in the Filinvest Tent Parking Area.

Isolation Facility manager Dr. Juancho Bunyi said the We Heal As One Center in Tunasan is accommodating 22 COVID-19 cases (12 positive individuals and 10 probable cases) as of October 27. Occupants of the We Heal As One quarantine facility are given free medicine, food, and hygiene kits.

As of October 27, Muntinlupa City has 4,615 confirmed cases with 4,411 recoveries, 54 active cases, 150 reported deaths, 131 suspect cases, and 290 probable cases.

+++++

Latest City Government of Muntinlupa details sourced from their official media release. Some parts were edited for this website.

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, NOT to distorted views and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, engagements, commerce and updates, visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

COVID-19 Crisis: Muntinlupa City Government turns over 2,557 laptops, 28 photocopiers to public school teachers

The City Government of Muntinlupa provided laptops and photocopiers for public school teachers in a bid to help them adapt to distance learning amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mayor Jaime Fresnedi led a ceremonial turn-over ceremony of the first batch of 2,557 laptops and 28 photocopiers to Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Dominico Idanan and other school principals yesterday.

All Muntinlupa public school teachers in elementary, junior and senior high schools, including school heads, will each receive a brandnew laptop with specifications prescribed by the Department of Education.

Public schools are also set to receive photocopiers to aid in the printing of modules for the distance learning modality being implemented in the “new normal” of education in the country.


Muntinlupa Mayor Jaime Fresnedi (4th from left) leads a ceremonial turn-over ceremony of 2,557 laptops and 28 photocopiers for public school teachers to Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Dominico Idanan (3rd from left) and other school principals last October 8. The local government of Muntinlupa will also provide tablets to public school students in the coming weeks in a bid to help them adapt to distance learning amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (source – Muntinlupa PIO)

“The City Government of Muntinlupa will continue to support our teachers and students to adapt to the changes of the education system, no one will be left behind. We will ensure that everyone can access all kinds of learning modalities whether online or offline,” Fresnedi said.

Further, students who are in need will also receive tablets to help them access online learning resources. The City Government awaits the delivery of the devices to be distributed to the students. Fresnedi added that the city’s scholarship program will continue to be a priority of the City Government.

Muntinlupa Scholarship Program (MSP) acting chief Alvin Veron assured the public of the continuity of the local government’s scholarship program despite academic calendar shift and changes in teaching modalities.

The scholarship program chief said MSP will synchronize its services with the new academic calendar and noted that there will be adjustments with the distribution of allowance. MSP also plans to implement a cashless disbursement of scholarship allowance starting with Senior High School students.

Muntinlupa City offers a comprehensive educational assistance program with over 71,000 scholars in elementary to college, including technical-vocational, graduate, law and medicine schools.

Elementary and alternative learning system students in Muntinlupa receive an allowance of up to P4,000 per year. For junior high school students, the local government provides up to P5,000, while senior high school students receive up to P6,000 per year.

Further, State Universities and Colleges students, including beneficiaries of Continuing Assistance for Reintegrating Students Program, receive a maximum incentive of up to P10,000 per semester depending on their academic performance. Other cash assistance are given to different scholarship categories.

+++++

Latest City Government of Muntinlupa details sourced from their official media release. Some parts were edited for this website.

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake newsNO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiaristsNOT to distorted views and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, engagements, commerce and updates, visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673