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By Jay Bonggolto
HMD Global announces the Nokia 2 V Tella for $168
by Jay Bonggolto
HMD Global announced today its latest entry-level smartphone that costs less than $200. The Nokia 2 V Tella is available to purchase now in Walmart stores and through Walmart.com from $89, with availability on select Verizon stores scheduled later this month for $168.
The device sports a 5.45-inch HD+ display and is powered by a quad-core MediaTek Helio A22 SoC, paired with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage. At the back of the phone, there's a dual camera comprising an 8MP auto focus sensor that uses artificial intelligence to provide "greater depth and brighter image results even in challenging lighting situations". It is complemented by a 2MP depth sensor.
While most of its key specs are nothing to write home about, its battery life offers a better experience for its price range. Its 3000mAh battery features an AI-powered Adaptive Battery system to prioritize resources for your most frequently used apps, keeping your phone up for as long as two days.
The Nokia 2 V Tella has a dedicated Google Assistant button and AI Face Unlock. Other features include support for dark theme, Focus Mode, Family Link, and many more. The phone runs Android 10 and comes in blue color.
Peak Design's Mobile is like MagSafe, but not just for the iPhone 12
by João Carrasqueira
Just last week, Apple introduced the iPhone 12 family, and with it came the launch of MagSafe for iPhone, a new mechanism that makes wireless charging on iPhone 12 easier, while also allowing for accessories to be attached using the mechanism. But if you're looking for something similar without the Apple tax - or without joining the Apple ecosystem at all - Peak Design today introduced Mobile, an ecosystem of magnetic accessories that are very reminiscent of MagSafe for iPhone.
Peak Design is most known for its Everyday travel bags and camera accessories, and Mobile is its first major investment in smartphone-specific accessories. At the core of the ecosystem is the Everyday Case or the Universal Adapter. The former is a regular smartphone case, but it's only set to be available for Samsung's Galaxy S20 family as well as Apple's iPhone 11 and 12 lineups, while the universal adapter is a simple sticker that you can attach to almost any smartphone.
From there, you can use the magnetic mechanism to attach your phone to any of the remaining accessories in the lineup, which are designed for a variety of use cases. There are wall-mounts in case you're in the kitchen and need to see your phone's screen hands-free, for example, car mounts (with or without wireless charging capabilities), bike mounts, a kickstand, a tripod, and more. Some accessories relies on the magnets exclusively to hold the phone place, but others, like the bike mount, use a hard lock that relies on aluminum teeth to prevent your phone from flying off the mount.
Apple's MagSafe announcement caught Peak Design off guard, but the company says it's working to ensure that its accessories are compatible with MagSafe to the best of its ability, so soft-lock accessories and mounts should work with MagSafe phones and cases, while MagSafe chargers and and accessories should also be able to lock onto the Peak Design case. Work is still being done in this area, though, since Apple hasn't publicly shared details on what work is needed to make MagSafe-compatible accessories.
Peak Design's system may be interesting if you're not planning on getting an iPhone 12, though it's worth keeping in mind that wireless charging is only designed to work with phones that are compatible with the Everyday case. If you use the universal adapter, it might not align properly with your phone's charging coil, meaning official support is pretty limited. In terms of mounts and other accessories, though, almost any phone should be good to go.
Mobile by Peak Design has just launched as a Kickstarter campaign, but it's already smashed its $100,000 funding goal. Still, if you'd like to get a discount on the products, you can back the campaign and get some of the accessories for a lower price. The expected shipping date is May 2021.
Rainbow Six Siege is coming to Xbox Game Pass on consoles and Android via cloud
by Pulasthi Ariyasinghe
Ubisoft games are rather rare additions to Microsoft's Xbox Game Pass subscription, but another one is coming soon. It was announced today that the popular tactical shooter title Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege will be introduced to the service later this week.
The game won't be available on every Game Pass service Microsoft offers, however, as only the console and Android cloud gaming variant will receive it. Unfortunately, the PC version was not mentioned in the announcement, not even as a coming soon. This is to be expected considering Ubisoft has a rival service of its own to Game Pass, Uplay+, that offers the title on PC.
Currently in its fifth year of support and played by over 60 million players, the Ubisoft-developed first-person shooter offers a highly tactical five versus five experience. The title is known for its destructive levels and the multitude of operators with their own gadgets and abilities that players can choose to gain an edge over opposing teams.
A free next-gen upgrade is also planned for taking Rainbow Six Siege forwards into Xbox Series X|S and PlayStation 5. Obviously, those enjoying the game through Xbox Game Pass will also receive the upgrade when it drops.
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege goes live on October 22 on Xbox Game Pass for Console as well as Android via game streaming for those subscribed to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. Microsoft is also bringing in three classic LucasArts titles among other games to Xbox Game Pass this month.
By Usama Jawad96
Pulling an EA: NBA 2K21 now has unskippable ads during loading screens
by Usama Jawad
EA received a lot of flak last month for introducing advertisements in UFC 4 a month after launch, and the company eventually had to remove them following backlash. While fan outcry should have been a clear indicator to other companies that gamers are not a fan of this tactic of being forced to watch ads in a premium game, it appears that 2K Sports has done exactly the same with its latest release, NBA 2K21.
NBA 2K21 launched on current-gen consoles, PC, and Stadia on September 4, 2020, and is slated for release on next-gen consoles next month. Depending upon which version of the game you buy, you could end up paying a base price of $60 all the way up to $100. Regardless of it being a premium title, it appears that the publisher has decided to introduce unskippable advertisements in the game, a month after launch.
Stevivor recorded adverts for the Oculus Quest 2 on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC editions of the title, during pre-game loading screens. The site says that sometimes these ads run even longer than it takes for NBA 2K21 to load, which is quite ridiculous, as it indicates that you're essentially being forced to watch an ad even though the game has fully loaded.
See one of the jarring ad in the video below:
The move is certainly despicable considering NBA 2K21 is a full-priced AAA game and that advertisements have been suddenly introduced a month after launch, without warning. That said, the publisher did the same with last year's entry in the franchise so while these ads are not entirely surprising, it's understandable that players are outraged that the company is continuing this practice.
Source: Stevivor via IGN
TIGA: UK's video games industry grew at its fastest rate
by Paul Hill
The Independent Games Developers Association (TIGA), a trade association representing the UK video games industry, has revealed that the UK video games development sector grew at its fastest rate since records began in 2007. The growth experienced by the industry means it is now contributing £2.2 billion to the UK's GDP, up from £1.8 billion last year.
In its upcoming annual report into the state of the UK video games industry, TIGA shows that the sector saw the fastest rate of growth of full-time and full-time equivalent creative staff at games studios with figures rising to 16,836 employees up from 14,353 the year before.
It also said that the total games development workforce, including contractors, grew from 16,532 to 18,279 which is a record high.
Discussing the findings, Jason Kingsley OBE, TIGA Chairman and CEO and Creative Director at Rebellion, said:
While the news is positive for the UK's economy, TIGA did warn that the sector still faces significant challenges especially when it comes to financing and access to highly-skilled workers. To address these issues, it said that the Video Games Tax Relief should be enhanced to encourage investment and that a Video Games Investment Fund should be introduced alongside a strengthened UK Games Fund to improve access to finance.
To ensure the sector has access to highly-skilled people TIGA said that industry-university links should be strengthened, skills and training should be improved, and UK games companies should be able to recruit skilled workers from the rest of the world.