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3
Feb

Save thousands on this eduCBA professional training bundle


In order to land a new, lucrative career these days, it’s often a good idea to cast a broad net and learn everything you can about multiple professional branches. Trying to enroll in all those courses separately can be a problem, especially when thoughtful training bundles exist.

Instead of wasting your time searching for the right courses, why not enroll in this Complete eduCBA Professional Training Lifetime subscription bundle? Right now at Android Central Digital Offers, you’ll pay only $80 for a unending access to the courses within. That’s 98 percent off the regular price of $7,970!

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You’re getting here over 9,500 hours of training and 29,200 lessons in multiple branches of the professional world, including tech, finance, project management, and more. The 10 main bundles include:

  • Tech Training Lifetime Bundle
  • Soft Skills Lifetime Bundle
  • Finance Lifetime Bundle
  • Mobile Apps Lifetime Bundle
  • Project Management Lifetime Bundle
  • Test PRep & Certifications Training Lifetime Bundle
  • Design Lifetime Bundle
  • Office Productivity Lifetime Bundle
  • Business & Entrepreneurship Lifetime Bundle
  • Data & Analytics Lifetime Bundle

This bundle, which actually contains 10 smaller bundles, is an incredible value right now at just $80, down from nearly $8,000. If you’re thinking about expanding your horizons, this might just be the opportunity you’re looking for. Access remains open forever, so you can plan your education around your busy schedule. Don’t wait too long, as this deal doesn’t last forever.

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3
Feb

Share your Super Bowl predictions in our weekend comments post!


The kick is up, and it’s good!

There are a few things that are 100% wholly American. One of them is using “American” when you really mean the United States, and another is the Super Bowl. It’s a weekend holiday in almost every way and even if you’re not into American Football you can’t help but see and hear about the teams, the drama, and the commercials.

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Once you have all the snacks and beverages purchased, the recliners oiled and ready for action, and your television screen sparkly clean and streak-free, take a minute and say hey in the weekend comments!

I’m not the biggest football fan, and “my” team will be watching the Super Bowl from home just like most of us will be, but I’ll probably be tuned in. I don’t want to miss the spectacle and not have a clue when everyone is talking about what happened come Monday. I even have a friendly wager with my neighbor and will be looking forward to the next snowfall so he can shovel my driveway when the Patriots win by 7.

What’s your line on the game? Will the Patriots find a new way to bend the rules so they win again or will Philly feed on all the excitement and go Hulksmash to win big? And who will have the best commercial? Jump into the comments and talk about it!

3
Feb

Sprint’s nationwide 5G network will launch in the first half of 2019


Faster data speeds are on the way, but you’ll need to pay more for them.

Wireless carriers in the United States are currently in a race to offer truly 5G networks and Sprint just announced that it plans on being the first one to roll out nationwide 5G coverage during the first half of 2019.

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To achieve this, Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure says the carrier will add new antennas to its towers that are capable of sending and receiving large MIMO transmissions. 5G support will be added to the towers/antennas with a software update, and unlike other carriers, Sprint will be deploying its 5G network through its 2.5GHz spectrum.

Over half of Sprint’s towers already support the 2.5GHz standard, and the goal is to expand this to all operating towers by the end of 2018. Furthermore, to help ensure the 5G network’s expansion, Sprint will utilize the power of 40,000 “outdoor small cell solutions” 15,000 strand-mounted cells, and as many as 1 million of the network’s Sprint Magic Boxes (small signal boosters that customers can purchase and use in their homes).

According to Marcelo –

Sprint is the only carrier that doesn’t have to compromise what 5G can deliver because we can deliver super wide channels of more than 100 MHz while still delivering mid-band coverage characteristics.

Another thing worth noting is the fact that Sprint’s 5G network is expected to cost more than what it currently charges for unlimited 4G LTE speeds. This is something the market saw during the transition from 3G to 4G networks, and while Sprint says it’ll continue to be a “price leader” before its 5G rollout, customers are going to “potentially see some modest price increases in the next year, but nothing substantial.”

Speaking more on the 5G price hike, Marcelo states that –

It’s going to be very difficult for our competitors to increase the price of unlimited, but we’re going to have a lot of room to increase our price of unlimited to get to similar prices as Verizon and AT&T in the future. You get that by having that amazing network. You get that by being the first one to launch 5G. So we’re looking at 5G as an amazing opportunity for the company not only for the position of the company, but also to charge for the blazing fast speeds.

In early January, AT&T announced that it would introduce a genuine 5G network to 12 markets across the U.S. by the end of 2018. T-Mobile is expected to start deploying its 5G network at some point in 2019, and Verizon will launch its 5G service in a handful of cities this year.

With 5G just on the horizon of finally becoming a reality, what are looking forward to the most with these increased speeds?

A 5G network owned by the United States government? It’s not going to happen

Carriers

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  • Which unlimited plan should you buy?
  • Verizon’s Unlimited plans: Everything you need to know
  • Everything you need to know about the T-Mobile ONE unlimited plan
  • Everything you need to know about the AT&T Unlimited plan
  • Everything you need to know about Sprint’s Unlimited Freedom plan
  • Join the Discussion

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3
Feb

Deal: Moto Z2 Play on sale for $349 and 25% off all Moto Mods


The biggest savings begin Sunday, February 4.

With Valentine’s just around the corner, you’ll start seeing more and more companies offer discounts on phones, accessories, and more. Shortly after HTC announced its latest promotion, Motorola is next in line with its own set of hefty sales.

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The highlight of Motorola’s offer is a $150 price cut on the Moto Z2 Play. The Z2 Play isn’t quite as powerful as the Moto Z2 Force, but it’s still a more than capable phone and absolutely worth checking out at just $349.

One of the highlights of the Moto Z2 Play is its compatibility with Moto Mods, and there are savings to be had here as well. Motorola is offering 25% off every single Moto Mod it sells, meaning you’ll be able to save on Style Shells, the Insta-Share Projector, JBL SoundBoost 2, and more. Savings on these and the Moto Z2 Play will begin Sunday, February 4.

In addition to the above sales, you’ll also find smaller discounts, including:

  • Style Shell Moto Mods for $14.99 (normally $19.99)
  • Moto Folio for $11.29 (normally $14.99)
  • Moto Style Shells with wireless charging for $29.99 (normally $39.99)
  • Polaroid Insta-Share Printer for $149.99 (normally $199.99)
  • Moto 360 Camera for $224.99 (normally $299.99)
  • Free Amazon Alexa Moto Mod with purchase of Moto Z2 Force ($149.99 value)

See at Motorola

3
Feb

Steadicam Volt’s cinematic smartphone stabilizer is a little fiddly


Steadicam is the company behind iconic tracking shots in films like Rocky and Return of the Jedi, so when parent Tiffen launched a smartphone stabilizer bearing its name at CES 2017, there was a ton of interest. The $195 Steadicam Volt nabbed more than $1 million on Kickstarter and is now on sale at stores. It works very well and can produce natural-looking, cinematic shots, but don’t expect it to do that out of the box. It takes a fair amount of time to set it up, and even longer to master.

The Volt is a rather unusual type of stabilizer. Like Steadicam’s classic products, it relies on balance and inertia, but it also has a motorized gyro like the DJI Osmo and other electronic gimbals.

The gyro and electronics are tucked into the body. There’s a platform on top for the phone, and a handle and weighted frame below. Most of the parts are built from plastic, which doesn’t impart the most solid feel but makes the Volt very light — around a pound. It measures a bit more than a foot tall by about 9 inches deep, but it’s compact enough to squeeze into a jacket pocket when folded.

Tiffen says the reason for the hybrid gimbal/gyro approach is to give users maximum control. By applying pressure to the control surface just above the grip, you can quickly flip it around or change focus to a different subject. The Osmo and other products, on the other hand, can pan only as fast as the motor can turn.

The balance aspect means you can’t just take it out of the box and start shooting, though. First you have to set it up to your specific smartphone so that it’s perfectly — and I mean perfectly — adjusted. Once that’s done, you must learn how to use the thing so that you can shoot exactly the way you want.

I tried out the Steadicam Volt with a Samsung Galaxy S8, which already has a pretty darn good camera that shoots at 1080p or 4K (Ultra HD) resolution. As with any smartphone, handheld tracking shots can look very jerky, even if you operate it as smoothly as possible and turn on the built-in stabilization. For live streaming, even minor hand shaking can be noticeable too. That’s where the Volt can help.

To balance the Volt, you mount your phone and hold it horizontally. If the back tips up, you need to add weights until it tilts down, then adjust a slider for fine-tuned control. I needed just two weights for my Galaxy S8, but if you have a larger device, you’ll likely need more.

For side-to-side balance, you just push the phone to the right or the left in the cradle. Finally, there’s a screw adjustment that moves the phone back and forth so that it’s balanced perfectly and pointing ahead, not to the sky or the ground. Users have reported that some Volts don’t sit perfectly level, but there’s a firmware update to fix that issue.

With everything set up, I took the Volt to the street. You can’t just point it at your subject and capture glorious tracking shots — you have to get the hang of using it and develop a light touch on the controls for pans or tilts. Also, like most handheld stabilizers, the Volt doesn’t fix up or down movements, so you have to learn a sort of stealthy, smooth walk.

The Volt has two modes: sport and cinema. The former is on by default and offers a more rigid, easy-to-control operation. Cinema mode, activated by pushing the front button twice, provides less resistance, making for a smoother but touchier gimbal. You can use your built-in camera or any other app, including Tiffen’s own Image Maker. I didn’t have much luck with that app myself, as it crashed to a black screen when I tried using it.

It weighs less than a pound, so, with a light smartphone like the Galaxy S8, the Volt is easy to use all day. However, the 8-hour battery life is less than you get with other stabilizers, so if you do a marathon session, you’ll need to carry spare cells. Unlike with other products, though, it’s easy to swap them. That said, it will still function as a (much cruder) stabilizer even without power, so you won’t be totally stuck with no power.

The Volt always stays where you point it, whether up, down, left or right. If you want to change the angle, you merely apply pressure to the control stalk. Tiffin recommends using both hands, one to hold the gimbal handle and the other to control camera movement. I found that worked fine for me, but, with a bit more practice, I could hopefully do it one-handed, like Steadicam inventor Garrett Brown.

The Volt seems like an ideal stabilizer for vlogging or recording Facebook Live videos, since it’s fairly easy to control and tracks subjects faithfully. Flipping to the front camera and back requires a bit of care, however, in order not to jolt your phone or flip it around.

That brings up what is perhaps the Volt’s biggest flaw. If you happen to be out on a windy day, your phone could catch a gust and go out of control. Electronic stabilizers like the Osmo don’t have that problem to the same degree, as they’re more rigidly fixed. The solution is to brace the Volt harder with your hand, but that removes some of the smoothing benefits.

All told, I liked the Steadicam Volt, but it’s not for everyone. Users who want handheld, stabilized video with little setup and learning would probably be better off with the DJI Osmo, which also costs $195. There are also numerous knockoff electronic smartphone stabilizers on the market for around $100, if you want to take that risk.

If you’re willing to put up with the time needed to set up and learn it, however, the Volt is worth your attention. Once you become proficient (practice is the only way), there are more types of moves that you can do than with an electronic gimbal, and it gives you more direct control and feel too. The resulting tracking shots, I believe, are less mechanical and more organic-looking than you get with purely mechanical stabilizers. Just watch out for those gusts.

3
Feb

What we’re playing: ‘Yakuza 0’ and ‘Reigns: Her Majesty’


Welcome back to Gaming IRL, a monthly segment where several editors talk about what they’ve been playing in their downtime. This month, we spend too much time taking photos in Assassin’s Creed Origins, lose ourselves in Yakuza 0’s side stories, and ask the important question: “Tinder or Reigns?”

Reigns: Her Majesty

Jessica Conditt

Jessica Conditt
Senior Editor

I like to play a little game whenever I’m posted up somewhere with ample people-watching opportunities: It’s called “Tinder or Reigns?” Playing Reigns: Her Majesty looks a lot like scrolling through Tinder — one thumb swiping left or right — and I enjoy guessing which app people are actually using as they’re lost in their phones. I deeply hope (but supremely doubt) most folks are playing Reigns.

Reigns: Her Majesty is a sequel that functions a lot like the original mobile game: You’re the ruler of an ancient kingdom, and on each turn you get to make a choice about how the whole thing is run. Each decision affects various aspects of the kingdom, such as finances, the church, public affection and the military. If your score in any of these topics gets too low — or too high — you’re killed (usually in a brutal fashion) and you start up again as a new ruler.

There’s so much more to it than that — Reigns is a rich fantasy world populated by early science experiments, demons and witches, all veiled by the spectacle of palace intrigue. It’s bite-sized and vast — and so much more fun than Tinder.

Assassin’s Creed: Origins

Timothy J. Seppala

Timothy J. Seppala
Reporter

I’m a sucker for taking video game screenshots. It stems from my days writing reviews for print magazines where I had editors dead set against using the same press assets that everyone else had. This generation of hardware has made screenshotting incredibly easy, and has given rise to in-game photo modes. Typically, Sony’s first party games set the bar for DSLR-like controls, but Assassin’s Creed: Origins bucks that trend. Its feature set, combined with the atypical Egypt setting, mean making progress through the narrative is slow-going because I’m always stopping to grab a photo of an ancient temple or pyramid.

A lot of this comes down to how powerful the adjustable focus point and the depth of field controls are. I’m not limited to focusing on the center of a shot. Instead, Origins gives me full control of the focus point. Once I have composition set, clicking the left stick takes me to edit mode where, as I move the left stick about the frame, the focal point follows suit. From there, I’m able to adjust the depth of field slider to get the amount of bokeh I want. The depth of field looked like a cheap blur filter on my launch Xbox One, but the more powerful One X makes it look much more natural, in addition to pumping up the visual fidelity.

None of the screenshots I’ve taken will ever pass for DSLR photos, of course, but it’s not like I have a time machine (or an animus) to take me back to Ra’s Egypt. So, until science advances to the point where I can live out my ancestors’ memories stored in my DNA, this will have to do.

Yakuza 0

Nick Summers

Nick Summers
Associate Editor

At the core of Yakuza 0 is a gripping and tremendously well-written tale about murder, honor and revenge. If you follow the main storyline and ignore everything else, you’ll have a great time fighting through the streets of Tokyo and Osaka as the game’s dual protagonists Kazuma Kiryu and Goro Majima. You will, however, miss out on a massive part of what makes the series so special. Both cities are filled with people who have bizarre and occasionally heart-breaking stories to tell. Solve their problems and you’ll feel closer to each neighborhood; a true protector with friends on every street corner.

I was passing through Ashitaba Park, for instance, when I spotted an older gentleman staring at a young boy. I was curious and a little concerned, so I walked over and said hello. It turns out the man, Akatani, was in so much trouble with the yakuza that he had to fake his death and surgically alter his face. His wife and son have no idea that he’s still alive; Akatani is afraid to approach them in case the mafia figures out his true identity and takes them as hostages. Instead, he watches his son, Yusuke, from afar in the park, forever longing to reach out and say hello.

I was surprised and moved by his story. As I ran across the city and completed other quests, I made sure to stop by and see how Akatani was doing. His side-story develops in an unusual way; eventually, a group of mobsters grow curious and begin to question Akatani’s history. I step in, of course, and scare them away with a few well-timed punches and roundhouse kicks. The family is a little confused but express their gratitude. Here, I expected Akatani to come forward and reveal his true identity to them. But because he knew full well the danger it would put them in, he didn’t.

I couldn’t help but respect the man, despite his criminal past. Eventually we said our goodbyes and I moved on, hungry for other adventures. But as the hours rolled by I kept thinking about Akatani and his sad, lonely existence. What he must have been going through as I gulped down ramen and played Space Harrier in the arcade. It made me feel bad. In the game, his side quest was over, but a large part of me wanted to reach out and somehow continue our strange friendship.

Yakuza 0 is filled with side stories like this. They enrich the world and make it feel like a real, lived-in place. If you haven’t played the game yet, or if you completed it with a “critical path” mentality, I implore you to go back and look around for a while. What you’ll find is just as valuable and rewarding as the main storyline. Plus, it’s nice to just stop and smell the digital roses sometimes.

“IRL” is a recurring column in which the Engadget staff run down what they’re buying, using, playing and streaming.

3
Feb

Here’s what it would take to make Overwatch’s ‘Blizzard World’ IRL


Last week, the Overwatch team released a new map: Blizzard World. The multiplayer arena is a colorful amusement park filled with attractions and rides themed after Blizzard’s stable of games. It’s a delightful backdrop for the team-based shooter, filled with in-jokes and puns that make it look like a rapturous place for a gamer to visit. But what would it take to bring Blizzard World to life?

Theme parks are a wildly expensive business, but that hasn’t stopped the biggest ones from building brand-new areas based on blockbuster entertainment franchises. The highly anticipated Star Wars zones set to open at Disneyland California and Disneyworld Orlando in 2019 are examples, and there are the Harry Potter Worlds in Japan, Hollywood and Florida.

The Blizzard World stage is the studio’s own interpretation of an entertainment theme park, bustling with rides, shops and restaurants inspired by Blizzard games. In fact, players can only run around a portion of it, as a good two-thirds of its “planned” area is limited to the background or not rendered at all — existing only in the in-game map. To imagine what a real-life version of Blizzard World would take to build, then, we need to do a bit of speculating.

Per the in-game map, painted in the muted watercolor style of Disneyland’s original 60s-era attraction posters, there are about 40 named attractions. Some are “E-Ticket” thrill rides like the Hellscream and Blackrock Mountain roller coasters, the Darkmoon Ferris Wheel and (assumedly) the drop tower Tyrael’s Fall. Others are restaurants, like the Hearthstone Tavern, or shopping areas like the Caldeum Market and Darkmoon Faire. Players walking in from the “front” of the map are greeted by the looming, massive Stormwind Keep from Warcraft — much like the princess castles at the center of Disney’s parks.

It turns out that amusements parks and multiplayer shooter stages have similar design philosophies, Overwatch’s assistant game director Aaron Keller told Engadget over email.

“Theme parks, especially local parks in Southern California, inspired Blizzard World as well as all of Overwatch’s maps to a certain extent. I’ve spent a lot of time at various local parks and I’ve always been fascinated at how well the parks lead visitors from one area to another,” said Keller. “Theme parks contain so many lessons for a level designer. Wherever you’re in a park there is always something interesting to see right next to you as well as something pulling you around the next corner, ultimately arriving at some incredible destination that was always visible on the horizon, encouraging you to continue traveling.”

As for how big the IRL version of Blizzard World might be, Overwatch’s lead writer Michael Chu could only guess.

“At least 100 acres, I think? It’s hard to say, as Blizzard World’s always growing. It’ll be done when it’s done,” Chu told Engadget over email.

The best food in the park

“We had a great time coming up with menu items and snacks for the refreshment stands around Blizzard World. In my opinion, the best food in the park is at Shen’s Delights. I did a quick check on the current seasonal menu at Snaxxramas and am happy to share it with you here,” Chu said.

  • Anub’Rekh-omelette
  • Noth’s Special Stew
  • Loatheb’s Creamy Fungal Bisque
  • Kel’Thuzad’s Plague Biscuits and Gravy
  • Zombie Chow
  • Spore Ribs

“Head chef Patchwerk puts a lot of importance into working with local farms and ingredients on its menu, and so I’m proud to say that everything served is harvested by Gothik,” Chu said.

The original Disneyland was reportedly built on 160 acres of orange groves bought by Walt Disney. But a comparable real-world park might not be Disneyland, according to John Gerner, managing director for amusement-park-consulting company Leisure Business Advisors.

“Although this imaginary theme park has Disney-like theming, it appears to have conventional rides and activities (such as an arcade),” Gerner told Engadget over email. “Cost would, therefore, be based on scale, capacity and country. A role model could be a Legoland theme park.”

Legoland’s parent company Merlin Entertainment builds its parks, which today require an investment of over 30 billion yen (or around $275 million), according to the Nikkei Asian Review. That’s possibly what it cost to construct the latest Legoland in Japan, which opened in April 2017. That park targeted 2 million visitors during its first fiscal year, and according to a 2011 research paper by University of Central Florida’s Kelly T. Kaak, the industry rule of “invest $100 per customer you expect to serve in the first year” is actually more like $109.61 per anticipated guest.

FILM-NINJAGO/PHOTOCALL

So, if Blizzard World were to anticipate 2 million visitors in its first year, Blizzard could reasonably spend a low estimate of $219 million building the park. That’s a more manageable goal than trying to compete with the original Disneyland off the bat, which welcomed 17.9 million visitors in 2016, according to the Themed Entertainment Association’s annual report. But there’s no denying that it’s more expensive to secure land in prime locations for a theme park these days.

When Disneyland first opened its doors in 1955, it only cost $17 million to construct (or about $156 million today, adjusted for inflation). The price to erect Shanghai Disneyland, which opened in mid-2016, was $5.5 billion. Even the upcoming Legoland located a few hours north of New York City is expected to cost $500 million to build.

A Blizzard World built today would face fierce competition. A March 2017 report from The Park Database pointed out that less than 10 percent of amusement parks worldwide take in over 80 percent of all the industry’s revenue. Disney’s and Universal Studios’ locations in Southern California, Florida and Japan are the only ones taking in over $1 billion in revenue annually each, while the average for a Legoland park is $114.7 million. In other words, don’t expect to build a new park and reach Disney’s level of success.

Mary Poppins dances at Disneyland

But Blizzard has something that other small parks don’t: A roster of popular entertainment franchises with serious recognizability in certain global communities. This is a big advantage for Disney and Universal at the top of the theme-park food chain:

“For both Disney and Universal, their theme parks are a location-based delivery system for the rest of their media business,” The Park Database report stated. “Both brands of parks are owned by media and entertainment conglomerates with television, movie and other media properties that allow cross-pollinating … business models between their theme parks and the rest of their assets.”

Blizzard doesn’t have characters as internationally famous as Mickey Mouse, Luke Skywalker or Harry Potter. But it does have four successful flagship franchises, all with very recognizable characters that resonate with fans: Overwatch’s popular female hero, D.Va, became a symbol for a feminist group in South Korea, whose members brandished her logo at last year’s Women’s March. That game’s team has released a dozen short animations that have racked up between 9 million and 22 million views apiece, which are of such high quality that they look like dry runs for a Pixar-level feature-length film. And while the Warcraft movie underperformed domestically when it opened in mid-2016, it had the largest foreign-language debut in Chinese cinema history, taking over $150 million during its first weekend. Blizzard’s non-gaming content is popular all over the world.

Would fans come to Blizzard World? Since 2005, tens of thousands have made the trek to the annual Blizzcon weekend in Anaheim, California; last year’s brought a record 35,000 fans to the city’s convention center, which is a block over from Disneyland. They come to get hands-on access to unreleased game content, watch pro-level tournaments and see Blizzard execs and team leads tease announcements for the next year. But they mainly come to join thousands of other equally hyped fans in an environment packed with statues, tapestries and swag from Blizzard’s lineup of games.

BlizzCon 2017

Blizzard World, of course, is a love letter to those fans, a fantasy zone filled with the locations, props and references only veterans of Blizzard’s oeuvre will understand. Who knows if any executive seriously considered the Overwatch stage as a blueprint for a real theme park. That said, the company did hold a fan art contest for a “Blizzard World” back in 2009, while the studio’s concept artist Peter Lee had reportedly sketched out his own version of it while developing the abandoned MMO Titan.

How much are Blizzard World’s daily operating expenses?

“Luckily, in the world of Overwatch, there’s ready access to clean power (similar to the power supplied by LumériCo), which means that in some areas Blizzard World is quite efficiently operated,” Overwatch lead writer Chu told Engadget. “I don’t have the exact figures in front of me, but I did a quick tally on the cost of the attractions in the StarCraft expansion to the park, which came out to 1,800 minerals and 275 vespene gas. You’d have to check with accounting, but that seems like a bargain to me.”

A real park wouldn’t be Blizzard’s first permanent location built to entertain fans, either: The studio has two esports arenas; the first opened in Taipei in March 2017 and the second in Los Angeles. Those locations help spread the Blizzard brand and sell merchandise, which are both things that theme parks do well.

Blizzard has spent a lot of money willing the Overwatch League into existence and building arenas to promote its games as viable esports contenders. Given parent company Activision Blizzard’s large revenue ($1.8 billion in Q3 2017 alone) and range of creative properties, it’s not a stretch that something like a theme park could be viable.

But if they do, they might want to hurry up before a rumored knockoff park in China beats them to the punch. Or, for a little money up front, Overwatch’s associate game director Keller could get started now.

“One of the really fun parts of working on Blizzard World was the amount of ideas that the team and the rest of Blizzard contributed to the map,” Keller said. “If you would be so kind and offer me a small personal loan of several billion dollars I’ll start working on a really solid design for the actual park straight away. I’ll put everything into it that we’ve imagined. It would be so awesome!”

3
Feb

How to watch Super Bowl LII on your Android phone or tablet


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How can I watch the Super Bowl on my Android phone? Depends: live or after the fact?

Game day approacheth! Super Bowl parties shall abound, but what if you can’t make it to one? What if you’re stuck somewhere without a TV? What if you wanna watch the Super Bowl in the bath? You can — on your Android phone or tablet. But how?

When and where

The game takes place on Sunday, February 4 at 6:30pm ET / 3:30pm PT in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Here’s how to stream:

In the U.S.

If you’re in the U.S., lucky you! You have more options than most for watching the Super Bowl live. If you can’t be around for the live game, you still have options to watch after the fact.

NBC Sports

This is your best option for watching the Super Bowl live, since NBC is airing the contest on domestic TV, so the app will allow you to stream the game for free. Unlike previous years, you won’t need a corresponding TV login to start streaming — just download the app and get watching!

Download: NBC Sports (Free)

NFL Mobile

Verizon’s NFL streaming exclusivity ended in 2017, so now the big game will stream free for everyone, if you’re not interested in going the NBC route. Yahoo Sports will also be airing the game.

Download: NFL Mobile (free, with in-app purchases)

Outside the U.S.

Unless you have a TV subscription, there’s no way to stream the Super Bowl live and for free on your Android phone or tablet, though there are paid options.

Canada: CTV GO

If you have a cable subscription that includes CTV, you’ll be able to live stream the Super Bowl in the CTV GO app, with proof of subscription.

Download: CTV GO (free)

U.K.: BBC or Sky

In the UK, BBC Sport and Sky Go are both airing the game, which is a nice change of pace.

Download: BBC Sport (free)

That’s pretty much it

If you’re wanting to watch Super Bowl LII on your Android phone or tablet, those are really your only options at this point, aside from some less-than-legal shenanigans.

How are you watching this year? Got another option for streaming on Android? Let us know in the comments below!

3
Feb

How to share photos and videos from PlayStation Network


ps4enhanced01.jpg?itok=CTo5mIVZ

We all do cool things we want our friends to see

There are so many times we do awesome things in video games we wish our friends could have seen. Well, PlayStation makes it so that even if they aren’t in the same room as you, you can share your gaming achievements with the rest of the world. There are plenty of options as to which social media you can share to or, heck, share to them all!

Sharing Videos

You can set your PlayStation to always record the last 10 minutes of your game play for you to share with your friends. You can opt into this option by following these 3 steps.

Press the Share button.
Select the Video option.
A option will appear explaining what I just mentioned above. Select yes to opt in to this experience and viola!

So, now that you’re all set up, if you’ve just completed a super cool achievement or got your first no-scope-mid-jump-head-shot let’s figure out how to get that video uploaded to the internet!

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Hit the Share button located on your PlayStation Controller.
An option menu will appear on the left, on the top of that menu you will select the same video option you pressed before to opt into video recording.
Now select the social media you wish to share it to and sign in.
Customize the message you will share your video and select upload at the bottom!

Now, if you want to change or edit the video just select the option button that will appear after you’ve selected which social media you want to share to.

Taking Screenshots

Other than video, you can always take a screenshot of what you’re currently seeing on your TV. But, only as long as you are in an area of game play that allows screenshots to be taken. You’ll notice most loading screens will give you a notification that video recording has been paused, meaning you can not take screenshots on this screen either.

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Hit the Share button located on your PlayStation Controller.
On the bottom of the option menu that will appear on the left, you will see it tells you that you just took a screenshot.
In order to save this screenshot, you must press the triangle button before you leave this option menu.
Now press the Share Image button on the top of this menu.
This will open a menu to chose which social media you wish to share to.
After selecting the media you wish to share to, it will prompt you to edit the message and then upload!

The fast route of taking a screenshot that will automatically save is by pressing and holding the share button.

If you want to change the screenshot you’re sharing select change selection on the screen you edit what you are posting (Step 6 mentioned above).

Streaming

PlayStation 4 also gives you the option to sync your account with several different types of game streaming services, including Twitch. As long as you have your log in information for your accounts, you’ll be good to get that set up, and heres how!

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How to Stream only to your PlayStation friends

Press the Share button on your controller.
Press Start Share Play
Select your party members and send the invitations!

Setting up your Online Streaming Account

Press the Share button on your controller.
Press Sharing and Broadcast Settings.
Press Broadcast settings
Press Link with Other Services.
Log into the account you wish to stream from.

How to Stream Online

Press the Share button on your controller.
Select Broadcast Gameplay.
Select your Streaming option. (I.E. Twitch)
Select Start Broadcasting

Thoughts or Stories?

Did this article help you figure out how to properly share all of your PlayStation experiences with friends and family across the world? What are some of the experiences you shared! Show and tell in the comments below!

PlayStation 4

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  • PS4 vs. PS4 Slim vs. PS4 Pro: Which should you buy?
  • PlayStation VR Review
  • Playing PS4 games through your phone is awesome

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3
Feb

Best games to play with the Gear VR controller


Picked up the new Gear VR with the new controller? These are the games you should try.

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The Gear VR controller is a handy addition the virtual reality headset that adds a variety of controls to your experience. The controller is motion sensitive and has a small set of well-placed buttons. Game developers have taken advantage of this and made solid games to play using the Gear VR controller.

Base Blitz

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To play a real-time strategy game, you need to quickly build structures and command troops. Base Blitz takes advantage of the Gear VR motion controller and lets you click easily, and quickly, select actions within the game.

Base Blitz brings out your competitive nature with a basic battle setup that allows you to focus on planning and thinking quickly.

See in Oculus Store

Dragon Front

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Bringing a digital collectable card game into VR has proven successful for Dragon Front, with versions of the game now available for both the Oculus Rift and Gear VR. Providing fully customizable decks across 300 characters, 5 factions, and a champion system, the transition to VR hasn’t come with cutbacks to gameplay.

Offering the depth expected from a CCG, while still granting the immersive qualities of VR, the game offers one of the best-seated experiences available for the Gear VR today. Support for the Gear VR controller only makes this game better, by streamlining its controls to the touch of a button.

See at Oculus Store

A Night Sky

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A Night Sky allows you to explore the stars in virtual reality and combines the view with some fun and simple activities.

After putting on the headset and grabbing a controller, players can search for constellations and map them out in real time. As these constellations are discovered they’ll come to life before your own eyes, leaving mystical creatures to roam the world around you.

While an unusual use of virtual reality, the game is unique on the platform.

See at Oculus Store

SingSpace

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From all the existing video game genres seeing a revival in VR, the last I’d have considered is karaoke. However, Harmonix’s latest virtual reality experience, SingSpace, brings your terrible singing to the Gear VR. Taking advantage of the inbuilt microphone, players can band together and plan their performances.

If anything like my previous experience at the Game Developers Conference 2017, this life-scarring title is surely one to remember. The social aspects of SingSpace are also a focus, allowing players to perform with one another over the internet.

See at Oculus Store

Drop Dead

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Although mobile virtual reality isn’t the best platform for a fast-paced shooter, Drop Dead is among the best on the Gear VR today. While an on-rails experience at its core, the floating gun on your head makes aiming intuitive and accurate through your headset’s tracking. Rewarding players who kill the most zombies in style, the game isn’t afraid to acknowledge its arcade approach to gameplay.

Gear VR controller integration makes the experience only more immersive, removing the need to tap the headset’s touchpad to fire. Instead, these controls are mapped to the handheld controller, with a physical trigger now available.

See at Oculus Store

Panzer Panic

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Panzer Panic places you behind the wheel of a tank within VR. You can combat other tanks and play games like capture the flag in a third-person shooter battle. The game can be played without a motion controller but adding one adds more depth to your gameplay. You can tilt and rotate the controller to steer your tank and use the trigger to fire at enemies.

One thing to note is that the game seems to forget that you’re using a motion controller if you leave during the middle of the game so you’ll have to be mindful of your controller settings to fully enjoy the game.

See at Oculus Store

If you love gaming on your Gear VR, make sure to check out our other collections of titles.

The Best games for Samsung Gear VR

Best Samsung Gear VR Games with Offline Play

Best multiplayer games for Gear VR

Samsung Gear VR

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  • Gear VR review
  • The Best games for Samsung Gear VR
  • Inside Samsung’s Gear VR web browser
  • Gear VR vs. Google Cardboard

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