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Sony announces partnership with Discord to bring service to PlayStation Network
by Pulasthi Ariyasinghe
Sony Interactive Entertainment has entered a partnership with Discord, the popular communications platform that boasts over 140 million monthly users. In an announcement, Sony president and CEO Jim Ryan revealed that the service will be integrated into PlayStation Network in early 2022.
"Together, our teams are already hard at work connecting Discord with your social and gaming experience on PlayStation Network," said Ryan in the Sony blog post. "Our goal is to bring the Discord and PlayStation experiences closer together on console and mobile starting early next year."
Going beyond Xbox's current Discord integration, which only allows linking and sharing what users are currently playing, Sony intends to allow the full suite of Discord features available on its own services, from groups to cross-platform communication. Speaking of Xbox, while not confirmed, there were reports of Discord rejecting an acquisition offer from Microsoft just last month.
The partnership has Sony investing in Discord as well, though exact amounts were not revealed today. "To bring these experiences to life for our players, Sony Interactive Entertainment has made a minority investment as part of Discord’s Series H round," added Ryan.
Sony's MLB The Show 21 is coming to Xbox Game Pass on day one
by Pulasthi Ariyasinghe
Sony Interactive Entertainment revealed recently that its longtime-running baseball series MLB The Show would be shedding exclusivity and hitting Xbox consoles for the first time in the franchise with the upcoming 2021 edition. Now, Microsoft has announced that the game is hitting Xbox Game Pass at launch.
Other than purchasing it outright, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S players can gain access to MLB The Show 21 on the day it releases by having an Xbox Game Pass for Console subscription active. Moreover, the title will have cloud play support on Android phones and tablets, which is available to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members.
"As we said from the beginning, this is an incredible moment for all of us and bringing the franchise to more players and baseball fans is something that we at MLB, MLB Players, Inc., and Xbox are all excited about," said MLB Senior Vice President Jamie Leece. "We can’t wait for Xbox fans to experience the fastest, deepest, and most intense moment-to-moment baseball action yet."
Developed by Sony's first-party developer San Diego Studio, MLB The Show 21 is coming out on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 5 on April 20.
Gartner predicts in-use global devices will hit 6.2 billion this year
by Paul Hill
The analyst firm Gartner has predicted that in-use devices including PCs, tablets, and mobile phones, will reach 6.2 billion units this year. According to the firm, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed device usage patterns and is ultimately increasing the number of devices that each person has.
According to data from the firm, the 6.2 billion figure is set to rise by a further 3.2% in 2021 reaching 6.4 billion units. The biggest loser as a result of the pandemic is desktop PCs which are expected to decline from 522 million in 2020 to 470 million in 2022, however, the usage of laptops and tablets will increase by 8.8% and 11.7% respectively as they’re preferred by people working from home.
Image via Gartner Commenting on the data, Ranjit Atwal, senior research director at Gartner, said:
In addition to laptops and tablets doing well in 2020, smartphones are expected to see an in-use increase of 1% this year following a decline of 2.6% last year. The analyst said that lower-priced 5G handsets will encourage people to upgrade their smartphone or finally make the shift from a feature phone.
By Namerah S
Krafton launches top-down mini-game POBG inside PUBG
by Namerah Saud Fatmi
In honour of April Fool's Day, companies around the globe have celebrated the day with fake products and ridiculous announcements. At first sight, one might think that the announcement of the game titled PlayerOmnom's Battlegrounds, or POBG as most people are calling it, is one such prank.
On the contrary, the creator of the wildly popular battle royale title PlayerUknown's Battlegrounds says so otherwise. Krafton has released an official statement authenticating that POBG is indeed real. PUBG's makers are currently offering players a chance to play POBG, which they are jokingly claiming to be the inspiration for the main game.
Players can enjoy the title in the form of a mini-game within the PC version of PlayerUknown's Battlegrounds. A gag trailer for the newly unveiled game-within-a-game can be seen below:
The mini-game is available for a short period of time. PUBG players can play the top-down shooter through the lobby of the game. PC users will be able to play POBG starting from today until April 12.
Meanwhile, console owners have not been left out of the April Fool's special release. PUBG players on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One platforms will be able to play POBG through the main game's lobby from April 8 through April 19, 2021.
By Namerah S
PS Plus games for April revealed, Oddworld: Soulstorm and more
by Namerah Saud Fatmi
The month of March concludes today and the video games for PlayStation Plus in April 2021 have been announced. The monthly gaming subscription from Sony offers its subscribers two free games for the PS4 and one free title for the PS5 every month.
The next installment in the Oddworld series launches on April 6 next week. As announced previously, Oddworld: Soulstorm will be joining the PS Plus roster upon release. It will be the only free game for the PlayStation 5, and the offer does not cover the PlayStation 4 version of the title. The upcoming PS5 title will feature next-gen features such as feeling Abel's heartbeat levels thanks to haptic feedback on the DualSense controller.
Meanwhile, the two PS4 games slated to arrive on the PS Plus library will be the action-adventure survival horror title Days Gone and third-person shooter Zombie Army 4: Dead War. Subscribers can claim April's titles starting April 6 and ending on May 3.
Last month's freebies included two games for the PS4, one for the PS5 and one for PS VR. These were Final Fantasy VII Remake, Remnant: From the Ashes, Maquette, and Farpoint respectively. If you're a PlayStation Plus member, you still have until April 5 to claim them, as well as Destruction All-Stars, which has been available for two months.