Leading online retailer Ebuyer has joined forces with Make-A-Wish® UK as their official tech gaming partner.
Every day, the lives of 10 families in the UK are changed forever when a child is diagnosed with a serious illness. From that moment, childhood takes a backseat to medical appointments and worry.
When children with serious illness or life-limiting condition are referred to Make-A-Wish, they really do make a wish, and the charity does everything it can to make it come true. The charity, established in 1986, works with partners around the world to help fulfil those wishes.
Ebuyer E-Commerce Director Andy Roberts said, “We’re really excited about being the official tech partner of Make-A-Wish. They do such an incredible job creating life-changing wishes. Ebuyer is playing a small part by providing the tech that the children and young people wish for, yet this small gesture can make a huge difference to them and their families.”
The East Yorkshire based online retailer has over 6 million registered customers and supplies tech to consumers, businesses and educational establishments throughout the UK.
Make-A-Wish Corporate Partnerships Manager Gina Fuoco said: “Ebuyer has been helping us grant our gaming and tech wishes since August 2020. Their support came at a vital time – making 54 wishes a reality when so many had to be cancelled or postponed because of the pandemic.
“That included 21 wishes for PS5s which were like gold dust to obtain! Gaming enables young people to interact, improve their motor skills and have fun. It often creates a level playing field online that contrasts with a seriously ill child’s real life experience so these wishes have a long-term impact.
“Ebuyer’s support has also included gifts-in-kind worth £22,636 which is incredible. We are hugely grateful to Ebuyer and excited to grow our partnership to grant even more wishes together this year.”
Over the weekend, during a Pokémon Presents video presentation, Tsunekazu Ishihara—president and CEO of The Pokémon Company—announced Pokémon Brilliant Diamond, Pokémon Shining Pearl, and Pokémon Legends: Arceus—new video games coming to the blockbuster series that spans 25 years.
Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Pokémon Shining Pearl will launch in late 2021, and Pokémon Legends: Arceus will launch in early 2022. All three games will be available exclusively on the Nintendo Switch™ system.
In 2006, Trainers were introduced to the Sinnoh region with the release of Pokémon Diamond and Pokémon Pearl on the Nintendo DS system. Players can once again visit the Sinnoh region in Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Pokémon Shining Pearl, which are faithful remakes of two iconic Pokémon games. Pokémon Legends: Arceus will introduce fans to the Sinnoh region of old—before the existence of Pokémon Trainers and Pokémon Leagues. It’s in this long-gone era that players will embark on an entirely new adventure to create the region’s first Pokédex.
“Trainers caught their first Pokémon in 1996 and began an adventure that has lasted 25 years. Through eight regions, many different platforms, and countless Pokémon encounters, they have strived to be the very best,” said Mr. Ishihara. “We hope that fans of all ages will enjoy creating new memories while exploring the Sinnoh region in these new games.”
More details about the highly anticipated New Pokémon Snap game were also shared in the video presentation, in addition to information about special in-game events taking place in celebration of Pokémon’s 25th anniversary.
For more information about the Pokémon 25th anniversary celebration, please visit Pokemon.uk/25.
A Pokémon Presents video presentation will be streamed later today—at 3:00 p.m. GMT on the official Pokémon YouTube channel.
Fans can look forward to approximately 20 minutes of Pokémon news.
Separately, in anticipation of the Pokémon Day virtual concert on Sunday, February 28, Post Malone has released a cover of Hootie and the Blowfish’s smash 1995 hit “Only Wanna Be with You” – appropriately dubbed the “Pokémon 25 Version”. The original record was last on the Billboard charts 25 years ago and Post recorded his version to help celebrate the 25th anniversary of Pokémon.
The song will be included as part of Post’s headlining appearance in the Pokémon Day virtual concert which begins promptly at 00:00 GMT on February 28 (7:00 p.m. EST / 4:00 p.m. PST on February 27), and can be viewed for free on the official Pokémon YouTube and Twitch channels, and on Pokémon’s 25th anniversary website.
In the meantime, fans can find links to the song here.
In addition to this exciting news, starting today, Trainers will have the opportunity to add a special Pikachu to the Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield video games by using a special password.
In keeping with the music theme for this year’s celebration of Pokémon’s 25th anniversary, this Pikachu knows the move Sing, which Pikachu can’t ordinarily learn.
Fans will be able to find the special password in Pokémon’s email newsletter and on Pokémon’s official social media channels, as well as on the 25th anniversary website and Pokémon.com.
For more information about this Pikachu distribution and the year-long Pokémon 25th anniversary celebration, please visit 25.Pokemon.com/en-gb/
It’s time again to suit up and hit the frontlines of Geonosis with Delta Squad in the fight for the Republic of the Clone Wars!
Aspyr today announced the return of a Star Wars classic – Star Wars Republic Commando, the fan-favorite, first-person tactical shooter where players lead a team of clone commandos as they battle through increasingly difficult missions that take place throughout the legendary Clone Wars.
The game, brought back as a single player experience with modernized controls, arrives for Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4 on April 6 for $14.99.
“Since its original launch in 2005, Republic Commando continues to be a fan-favorite Star Wars game. We’re honored to be able work with Lucasfilm Games to bring back this beloved moment in franchise history.” said Ted Staloch, Aspyr Co-founder.
Star Wars Republic Commando
Chaos has erupted throughout the galaxy. As leader of an elite squad of Republic Commandos, your mission is to infiltrate, dominate, and ultimately, annihilate the enemy. Boss, Fixer, Scorch, and Sev, better known as Delta Squad, are back! Your squad will follow your orders and your lead, working together as a team – instinctively, intelligently, instantly. Relive the legendary campaign.
Welcome to the Clone Wars: Chaos has erupted throughout the galaxy. As leader of an elite squad of Republic Commandos, your mission is to infiltrate, dominate, and ultimately annihilate the enemy.
Battle Relentless Enemies: Battle a variety of highly intelligent and deadly enemies—from brutal Trandoshan mercenaries to the flying insectoid warriors of Geonosis.
The Squad is Your Weapon: Your squad will follow your orders, performing complex commands and strategic maneuvers. You are their leader. They are your weapon.
Pre-orders start today for Nintendo Switch on the eShop LINK.
Star Wars Republic Commando launches April 6 on Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4
Razer™, the leading global lifestyle brand for gamers (Hong Kong Stock Code: 1337), today announced the Razer Kiyo Pro, a USB camera with a high-performance Adaptive Light Sensor to deliver market-leading image fidelity, even in low-light conditions.
Combining an ultra-sensitive CMOS sensor with STARVIS™ technology, the Kiyo Pro brings a professional level of image quality to video conferencing and streaming.
With working from home now being a large part of professional life, the demand for better image quality on video calls is greater than ever. Built-in laptop cameras lack the resolution and framerates for professional looking conference calls and most webcams struggle to cope with less-than-ideal lighting, giving a dim, blurry video image which can impact a professional presentation. The Kiyo Pro solves these issues with a high-performance Adaptive Light Sensor, providing superior imaging under almost any lighting conditions.
“For both video conferencing and streaming, smooth and crystal-clear video quality under any lighting conditions is a vital part of the experience,” said Alvin Cheung, Senior Vice President of Razer’s peripherals business unit. “The Kiyo Pro, with its fantastic low-light performance, is ideal for those working from home who want to impress their customers and colleagues, and for streamers wanting to entertain their audience with a bright, vibrant image.”
Advanced Imaging. Absolute Fidelity.
At the heart of the new Kiyo Pro is the advanced Type 1/2.8 CMOS sensor with STARVIS™ technology. STARVIS™ is a back-illuminated pixel technology, used in surveillance camera CMOS sensors, to create high quality images from visible and near infrared light regions. By incorporating this technology into the Kiyo Pro, video conference calls will have a consistently bright, clear image, even under a wide variety of typical work-from-home lighting conditions such as dim rooms, harsh lighting, backlighting or just screen lighting.
The Kiyo Pro is capable of uncompressed full HD 1080p 60FPS, for unsurpassed image fidelity and detail. The HDR 30FPS mode ramps up the dynamic range, correcting under or over exposed areas on the fly, eliminating silhouetting if the subject is lit from behind, for vibrant colors and even lighting, across the whole image.
The wide-angle lens on the Kiyo Pro gives a choice of three fields of view: 103°, 90° or 80°, making it ideal for video conferencing or streaming. The 103° view is wide enough to include everyone in a group video call or allow stream viewers to clearly see live activities, while the 80° view is perfect for professional headshot view or an engaging facecam window on gaming streams.
Flexible and fast
The Kiyo Pro has a range of extra features to adapt to any set-up and situation. With flexible mounting options for monitor, tabletop or tripod mounting, the Kiyo Pro can be positioned perfectly for use as a streaming camera regardless of the space available. The wide field of view and tripod mounting make the Kiyo Pro ideal for group conference calls, and its 16bit, omni-directional stereo microphone array ensures all participants’ voices are picked up.
For maximum uncompressed video performance, the Kiyo Pro utilizes a USB 3.0 connection to pass a 5GB/s signal. A separate privacy cover is included to both protect the lens and assure user privacy when not in use.
For more information on the Razer Kiyo Pro, please see here.
Leading UK games publisher and developer Jagex has today shone a light on the genuine habits of players when it comes to gaming, from preferred play location, to snack choice, to hours spent and more.
Polling just under 2,000 gamers from around the world, the in-depth study disputes – and sometimes embraces – the habits that popular culture has often linked to the gamer stereotype.
So, how do gamers play? How have lockdowns affected their habits? And how accurate is the basement-dwelling, pizza-eating gamer cliché?
From the basement to the bedroom
Contrary to popular belief, it seems that gamers do not confine themselves to basements, with over half of respondents (52.5%) actually playing games in their bedrooms. The living room follows second, with 23% seeking its relaxed confines, whereas 20.5% prefer the more formal set-up of a home office. A mere 3.5% live up to basement expectations.
Continuing the popularity of the bedroom, overwhelmingly, and across all age groups, gamers wear pyjamas and loungewear for their stints at the keyboard or at the console (43%). In lockdown life though, a surprisingly large amount (30%) are still happy to slip on a T-shirt and jeans. And a liberated 7% freely admit to wearing absolutely nothing while gaming!
When it comes to gaming in our new, indoors-focused reality of the past year, many have sought extra comfort from this hobby, both across the age groups and across the globe. Almost half (49%) say they now game more than they used to, and 15% game during the ‘standard’ working hours of 8am- 4pm. However, only a brave 8% owned up to specifically gaming when they should be working. Around13% have altered the times at which they game but maintained the same amount of gameplay, and 25% haven’t seen their habits change at all due to lockdowns. Just 5% say they now game less.
Players are also enjoying connecting with friends online while socialising in real life is on hold: A massive 71% of gamers play with other people, be they online friends, friends from “real life” or family members – this certainly suggests that gaming is a more sociable than solitary sport! Overall, people tend to game slightly more with online friends (36%) than real-life friends (28%).
Sociability is the name of the game when it comes to time of day to play too, with only 7% playing midnight to 4am as gaming night-owls, and just 2% potentially pulling all-nighters (or very early starts) and playing in the 4am – 8am slot. In general, gamers stick to much more sociable hours, with 48.5% playing during the evening slot of 8pm – midnight, and 26.5% playing 4pm- 8pm.
Phil Mansell CEO of Jagex, said: “Although the past 12 months have been incredibly challenging for everyone across the world, it’s great that gaming has cemented its place as a go-to pastime for more and more people looking to interact and socialise through online games, especially as we cope with the restrictions and lockdowns used to fight the pandemic. This past year has also clearly been important in overturning negative stereotypes about video games that linger in popular culture.”
Gaming – and other healthy lifestyle choices
Despite what people might assume when it comes to the food and drink choices of players while gaming, there’s a lot less snacking on fast food and sweets than you might imagine. Perhaps surprisingly, 37% of all players surveyed don’t eat at all while gaming, while the next biggest group (21%) only polish off home-cooked food. Less than half of that amount (10%) consume the next most popular choice – crisps – and fast food such as pizza (9%), and chocolate and sweets (5% each) languish further down in popularity by comparison. At 4%, even fruit beats the possibly more expected choices of chicken nuggets, chips and meat-based snacks (all 3% each).
The healthiest and unhealthiest age groups may also be a surprise – a whopping 60% of players aged 25- 34 either don’t eat or eat home-cooked meals while playing, compared to just 34% of players aged 35- 44. Players aged 35- 44 are also more likely to consume crisps (16%) and pizza and sweets/candy (12.5% each) than they are a home-cooked meal.
Most gamers also opt to rehydrate with water (54%) way before anything else, although a cup of tea or coffee is also enjoyed by 14%, with regular sodas/fizzy drinks the favourite choice for 9%. Again, however, older players are likely to shy away from the healthiest choices, with over 45s being powered by coffee (21%) and soft drinks/sodas (21%) before anything else, and 35- 44s even more so, with 31% for coffee and 28% for soft drinks/sodas.
Music ‘n merch
When it comes to the type of merchandise gamers choose to buy, preferences are split pretty evenly across the board between figurines, plushies, replica weapons and clothes. Posters and art is the firm overall favourite category at 23%, as well as male players’ favourite to the same degree, but female players are all about the cute soft toys with a solid 40% of female-identifying players picking them as their favourite. Curiously, although 16% of players like to buy game-inspired clothing, only 1% wear said items when gaming.
With music genres to listen to while playing, electronic was perhaps, unsurprisingly, a popular category for everyone – 19% pick it over anything else, and it registers as the favourite genre for players aged 18 – 24. The next most popular genre is rock (14%), but podcasts come in a strong third with 11%, perhaps showing that gaming and keeping yourself informed aren’t so incompatible.
Blizzard Entertainment today kicked off BlizzConline™, a fully virtual version of its perennial community and gaming celebration, with a slew of news and game announcements for a global online audience of fans and enthusiasts tuning in FREE via www.blizzcon.com.
During the event’s just-concluded opening ceremony, company president J. Allen Brack and development leaders for Blizzard’s franchises reflected on the past and shared an exciting look at the future, revealing the following games and game updates—much of which will be explored in more detail during the show:
One of the most acclaimed titles in PC gaming history returns with Diablo® II: Resurrected™, a faithful remaster of Blizzard’s classic action-RPG and its award-winning expansion, Lord of Destruction®, coming later this year to Windows PC and, for the first time, consoles. PC players can sign up now at www.diablo2.com for a chance to participate in upcoming public testing.
Blizzard also unveiled the Rogue for Diablo® IV, with a dark cinematic trailer and gameplay footage of the new player class in action. The Rogue is a swift, deadly, mobile class with unparalleled versatility. Rogue players can choose from a variety of ways to attack and trap their enemies and can enhance their combat through poisons, shadow magic, and specialized techniques.
Blizzard is set to kick off another jam-packed year of content—the Year of the Gryphon—for Hearthstone®, its popular free-to-play digital card game, in the coming weeks. The new Hearthstone year will feature a new Core set of cards designed to shake up the game, and the introduction of the Classic format, which will let players craft decks and compete using the original Hearthstone cards as they were when the game launched in 2014.
Also coinciding with the Year of the Gryphon is the first Hearthstone expansion of 2021, Forged in the Barrens™, inspired by the iconic World of Warcraft®locale where millions of adventurers began forging their legends—available for prepurchase now at www.playhearthstone.com.
Later in the year, Blizzard will roll out Hearthstone Mercenaries, a single-player and competitive game mode in which players collect mighty characters from the Warcraft® universe and level them up in tactical battles.
For World of Warcraft, Blizzard announced Chains of Domination, the first major content update coming later this year for the recently released Shadowlands expansion, as well as an all-new charity pet program that will yield two separate pets—Bananas the monkey and Daisy the sloth—for all modern WoW®players once donation goals are met. Blizzard also revealed Burning Crusade Classic™, an authentic recreation of the acclaimed first World of Warcraft expansion—also coming later this year, and included in players’ existing World of Warcraft subscription at no additional cost.
Now included as part of Blizzard’s anniversary-themed Celebration Collection on Windows® PC (via Battle.net®), as part of The Blizzard® 30-Year Celebration Collection on consoles, or as a standalone game on consoles, the Blizzard® Arcade Collection is a digital set of Blizzard’s original console hits, The Lost Vikings®, Rock N Roll Racing®, and Blackthorne®, enhanced for modern platforms.
Over the next few hours today and starting again at 12 p.m. PST tomorrow, six channels of programming will feature deeper dives on Blizzard’s franchises, including a behind-the-scenes look at ongoing development ofOverwatch® 2,the company’s highly anticipated sequel to its blockbuster team-based shooter, and Diablo® Immortal™, its upcoming mobile massively multiplayer online action-RPG. (Of note, Blizzard recently completed its first stage of regional testing on Diablo Immortal, receiving an enthusiastic response from testers, and will be rolling out further tests in the coming months. The game has also recently received publishing approval for release in China.) Viewers will also be treated to one-of-a-kind esports showmatches—with legendary StarCraft® and StarCraft II pros facing off, as well as a battle between reigning Overwatch League™ champions, the San Francisco Shock, and a dream team comprising pros, community figures, and more.
Channeling the spirit of the live show, BlizzConline will also put a huge spotlight on the creativity and skill of the people who help bring Blizzard’s games to life. There will be multiple segments featuring artists, musicians, voice actors, content creators, and streamers, as well as an epic showcase highlighting some of the talented cosplayers, storytellers, and other artists inhabiting the Blizzard community.
To learn more about BlizzConline and for a full schedule of events, visit www.blizzcon.com.
SQUARE ENIX® today announced that the massively popular mobile tactical RPG, DRAGON QUEST™ TACT, has surpassed 3 million downloads since its January 27 global release.
To celebrate, both new and seasoned players can complete limited-time quests to earn a total of 2,000 Gems.
Players who have not yet begun their adventure in DRAGON QUEST TACT can enjoy all of the above content, plus they can receive the iconic King Slime monster if they begin playing before 11:59 AM PT on February 28.
Additionally, now until 12:0o P.M. PT on February 28, players can purchase a limited-time global exclusive bundle using 100 premium Gems. This bundle contains 50 EXP Codex L, 100 Skip Tickets, 10 Regular SP Scout Vouchers and 30,000G, and is perfect for new players getting started on their adventure.
“People across Japan have been having lots of fun playing DRAGON QUEST TACT, so I’m extremely pleased that the game is now available worldwide,” said DRAGON QUEST TACT General Director Yuji Horii in a recent video message to commemorate the game’s global launch.
“I hope that the game provides a fun experience for DRAGON QUEST enthusiasts and new players to the series alike.”
In DRAGON QUEST TACT, players will embark on an epic, tactical journey to diminish the evil that plagues the world of Orchesterra and join forces with familiar DRAGON QUEST series monsters along the way to save the world. Players will strategically build teams of iconic DRAGON QUEST monsters and direct them in heated tactical battles that unfold on a grid-like map.
Along the way, players can recruit new monsters as allies and upgrade their favorites to take on more ferocious battles.
Additionally, the Battle Road challenges adventurous players with even more story content for players eager to learn more about their monster allies. New and more experienced players can enjoy this new form of combat in this simple-yet-deep tactical RPG game that features a large roster of beloved monsters.
Today, SQUARE ENIX LTD announced that Marvel’s Avengers launches on the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S consoles on March 18, 2021 alongside the second new playable Super Hero for the game: Clint Barton, also known as Hawkeye, the unmatched archer with unerring precision.
Players who own the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One version of the game can upgrade to the full next-gen version at no additional cost* and transfer their save game to keep their progress.
Clint Barton will bring his unique talents to the game’s roster as part of Marvel’s Avengers Operation: Hawkeye – Future Imperfect at no cost to owners of the core game on all platforms.
In addition to a new playable Super Hero and the new chapter in the game’s ongoing Avengers Initiative story, Marvel’s Avengers Operation: Hawkeye – Future Imperfect also introduces a powerful new villain: Maestro, a version of Hulk with Bruce Banner’s brains and the Hulk’s strengths and abilities, now driven mad in an apocalyptic future.
About Marvel’s Avengers on PlayStation 5 & Xbox Series X|S
The PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S version of Marvel’s Avengers offers higher framerates and enhanced visuals compared to current generation of consoles at up to 4K resolution on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X and 1440p for Xbox Series S. The game utilizes the consoles’ built-in SSD for dramatically faster loading and streaming times and takes advantage of their graphics power and memory to deliver higher-resolution textures, farther draw distances for high-resolution models, improved heroics and armour destruction, and other enhancements that leverage the full might of these new consoles to make gamers truly feel like a Super Hero.
Players who transfer their profiles and save games to next-gen consoles continue the action right where they left off. In addition, cross-gen play is supported so PS5™ connect and play with their friends on PS4™ and Xbox Series X|S players can connect with their friends on Xbox One.
About Marvel’s Avengers Operation: Hawkeye– Future Imperfect
Future Imperfect’s story picks up in the wake of Clint Barton’s protégé Kate Bishop’s Operation, Taking AIM and can be played solo or with up to three friends to deliver the ultimate Super Hero experience. Players will learn more about Hawkeye’s quest to find Nick Fury, leader of SHIELD, who he believed could help stop the rise of AIM. What he uncovered instead was a dangerous new weapon being built by Scientist Supreme Monica Rappaccini that could change the fate of humanity. Along the way, Clint finds himself wrapped up in a time-bending experiment, journeying to a future Earth destroyed by cosmic forces and inhabited by Maestro, an older, twisted version of Hulk who is as smart as he is strong.
The lead-up to Future Imperfect began with Marvel’s Avengers Operation: Kate Bishop – Taking AIM, which launched on December 8, 2020. In Taking AIM, Kate Bishop, master archer and skilled gymnast, resurfaced after her investigation of Nick Fury’s disappearance following A-Day led to Hawkeye going missing as well. As she unravelled the mystery behind the sudden appearance of time-warping Tachyon Rifts, she uncovered a twisted new plan from AIM, which pushed her to work with the Avengers once again.
About Marvel’s Avengers
Marvel’s Avengers offers players a truly rich experience and combines the single player focused Reassemble story campaign with the ongoing Avengers Initiative’s War Zone missions, which take the Avengers around the world and beyond. Each mission in the Reassemble campaign is designed to showcase one or more hero’s unique abilities, while the Avengers Initiative missions can be played solo with your own custom AI team or with a group of up to four players** as any Hero in the player’s roster.
The narrative of Marvel’s Avengers will expand over time with the addition of new stories featuring new heroes, villains, mission types, regions, items, and more delivered to players at no additional cost once they own the core game. These stories move the entire Marvel’s Avengers narrative world forward on a multi-year arc, and all new missions are accessible to the entire roster of playable heroes.
Marvel’s Avengers is currently available on PlayStation®4, Xbox One, PC, and Stadia and is rated PEGI 16.
*Free upgrade available only from PlayStation 4 to PlayStation 5, or from Xbox One to Xbox Series X|S. Upgrade from PlayStation 4 disc version requires PlayStation 5 console with disc drive. Upgrade from Xbox One disc version requires Xbox Series X console. **Internet connection required. Your platform’s online multiplayer requirements will apply.
About Buildings Have Feelings Too! Imagine a city where buildings can walk and talk to one another. Each one has its own aspirations, hopes and fears. Most of the time they are just trying to get along with each other and make it through the day. Buildings Have Feelings Too! is a city management game with character. Players must grow their city whilst making sure the individual buildings thrive, or risk them being demolished forever.
As time progresses, new industries can be researched and new architectural marvels built. In turn, world events might cause buildings to fail and businesses to go bankrupt! Players must discover new ways to attend to their city’s needs. This could involve refurbishing a building or simply grabbing it by the hand and moving it to a nicer part of the neighbourhood.
As players progress they are able to grow their city, allowing for multiple neighbourhoods. Specialist areas, such as busy finance hubs or bustling theatre districts, become available.
Additional layered attributes such as electricity supply, noise pollution and transport add more complexity and challenges for players.