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'Fortnite' app removal threatens social lifeline for young gamers – Japan Today

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A YouTube alert interrupted Jack Erricker’s schoolwork on Friday morning as he and kids all over the world woke up to the news that their favorite game, Fortnite, had been taken down from Apple’s Store and Google Play store.

“It’s basically the only game I play,” said Erricker, an 11-year-old in Bengaluru, India, an avid Fortnite player on his Apple iPad. “I’m not happy, I don’t think it’s a good move.”

Fortnite, which has attracted more than 350 million players globally, is especially popular among younger gamers and has become one of the few lifelines to the outside world for kids trapped at home during the coronavirus pandemic. Unable to play outside, kids are spending hours with friends chit-chatting and fighting on Fortnite, which is free to play and available on nearly all devices.

Apple and Alphabet Inc’s Google on Thursday removed Fornite from their app stores for violating in-app payment guidelines, and the news spread rapidly among kids who are otherwise too young to get headlines off CNN, the BBC or the New York Times.

Removal means no new players can download the game and the app will not receive updates from the store. But the game will continue to work for now for those who already have it.

Calum Jack, an eight-year-old from London, heard the Fortnite news from friends in Asia as soon as he woke up at 6 a.m. The topic was “all over YouTube,” he said.

He is online up to 10 hours a day, playing, building or just chatting with up to 20 friends as far apart as Canada and India. Fortnite and other online games have been Jack’s main social outlet since coronavirus lockdowns closed schools across the world in March.

“It’s been very important since we’ve been on holiday. We play all the time,” he said.

Fortnite-owner Epic Games has challenged Apple’s policy of taking a cut of purchases made inside the app by allowing users to pay Epic directly at a cheaper price. The financial ramifications of the move were apparent even to young gamers.

“Epic was cutting into Apple’s profit margins,” said Zoraan Kunnel, 13, of Bengaluru, India.

On Thursday, Epic released a video within Fortnite, on YouTube and other social media channels mocking Apple’s iconic”1984″ ad with the hashtag “FreeFortnite.” The hashtag has trended on social media and racked up nearly 26 million views on short-form video app TikTok.

“My friends think that Fortnite is going to win the argument,” Erricker said. “There’s a lot of people who play Fortnite, and they’ll be against Apple.”

As to what Jack will do if the game stops working on his iPad, he said: “”I’d just play on the PS4.”

© Thomson Reuters 2020.

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Google officially announces the $799 Pixel 5 – MobileSyrup

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After months of leaks, Google has finally announced the Pixel 5.

Google went a different way with the Pixel 5 compared to previous years and opted for a non-flagship processor in its latest device.

The phone features a Snapdragon 765G processor with 5G capabilities, as well as 8GB of RAM and the largest-ever battery for a Pixel handset at 4,000mAh.

Additionally, the handset sports an OLED 6.0-inch screen with a 1080 x 2340 pixel resolution that also features HDR10+ and a 90Hz refresh rate.

Camera-wise, the phone’s rear shooters have changed slightly.

The primary shooter is the same 12.2-megapixel camera with an f/1.7 aperture.

However, what’s changed is the 16-megapixel secondary sensor that uses an ultrawide lens with an f/2.2 aperture instead of a telephoto lens like the Pixel 4. There’s also a portrait lighting feature that lets users manipulate where a source of light is coming from. On the front, there’s an 8-megapixel f/2.0 camera.

Oddly enough, on the back, there’s a fingerprint scanner, and the device supports reverse wireless charging that Google calls ‘Battery Share.’

The Pixel 5 comes in ‘Subtle Sage’ and ‘Just Black,’ costs $799 CAD, and you can pre-order the smartphone now. Google says the phone will be available in Canada on October 29th.

Google also announced the Pixel 4a, Nest Audio and a new Chromecast during its recent keynote.

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Google announces the Pixel 4a 5G with Snapdragon 765G and more – MobileSyrup

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Although we already knew it was coming, Google officially announced its Pixel 4a 5G smartphone at today’s ‘Launch Night In’ event.

Back in August, Google offered a sneak peek at the 4a 5G and Pixel 5 alongside its Pixel 4a announcement. While it has barely been two months since then, it feels like a long time has passed. Many of the details of the Pixel 4a 5G leaked ahead of time and, unsurprisingly, most were accurate.

First up, the Pixel 4a 5G sports a Snapdragon 765G, making it more powerful than the regular Pixel 4a, which runs on the 730G platform. The 4a 5G also boasts 6GB of RAM and a larger 6.24-inch OLED display with the same 2340 x 1080 pixel resolution. The display also runs at 60Hz and sports Gorilla Glass 3.

The phone’s design isn’t significantly different from the 4a either. It sports the same polycarbonate back panel with a textured feel, a similar square camera bump, a colourful power button and volume buttons on the right-hand side. Also, like the 4a, the 4a 5G features a USB-C charging port and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Google’s Pixel 4a 5G includes 128GB of internal storage.

As for the camera, the Pixel 4a 5G sports a 12.2-megapixel primary shooter along with a 16-megapixel wide-angle camera. It supports 4K video recording at 60fps, and is the same as the camera system offered on the Pixel 5.

The phone runs on a 3,800mAh battery with 18W fast charging and comes in black.

The Pixel 4a 5G will cost $679 in Canada and you can join a waiting list on the Google Store website to get more information about when the phone will be available.

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Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War’s Zombies mode revealed by Treyarch – Polygon

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Developer Treyarch will usher in a new chapter of the franchise’s Zombies mode with Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, while retaining the four-player co-op play that makes the enduring mode so popular. This time around, Zombies fans will wield Cold War-era weapons to fend off a zombie invasion set during the 1980s — but the undead threat is still rooted in World War II.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War Zombies will feature a story mode set in Die Maschine, a graffiti-laden, boarded-up bunker with nods to Nacht der Untoten, the original Zombies map featured in Call of Duty: World at War. Players will explore Die Maschine as a member of the CIA-backed group known as Requiem, which has also piqued the interest of the rival Soviet-led group known as Omega Group. Intrigue, and swarms of angry zombies, will presumably follow.

The new Zombies mode will feature many of the gameplay elements players are familiar with: Perks, Pack-a-Punch machines, and mystery boxes. This time, however, there will no longer be a limit to how many different Perks you players can consume, “so go ahead and crack open a six-pack,” Treyarch says, “if you have the points to do so.”

Two glowing green zombies from Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War

Image: Treyarch/Activision

Black Ops Cold War’s take on Zombies will also feature:

  • Field Upgrades — which sound similar to the Modern Warfare abilities of the same name — that will offer “offensive buffs to abilities that aid in evasion or healing and reviving;”
  • Equipment that can be found or crafted, like grenade launchers, sentry turrets, explosive bows, and helicopter gunners;
  • and a chance to escape hairy situations via Exfil, which will let you call in a helicopter rescue but also dials zombie spawns “up to 11,” Treyarch says, and can earn squads rewards if you manage to survive.

Treyarch says that play time in Zombies mode will also contribute to Black Ops Cold War’s Battle Pass and that players can bring their Gunsmith-crafted weapons of choice into the mode. Better still, Zombies will have cross-generation, cross-platform play, meaning a squad will be easy to put together.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War will be released Nov. 13 on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X.

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