Fortnite Chapter 2 has ended and Chapter 3…has not quite started just yet. After the calamitous battle against the Cube Queen, Fortnite (and right now, the Epic Launcher) is down until Chapter 3 comes online. Last time this happened, we got a black hole animation for a few days. Now? My guess is that won’t be that long, but players are now floating in a vast ocean, waiting to make their way to the map.
So, how did we get here?
Well, to start things off, players are put in a somewhat defensible area alongside a friendly blue cube, who fought back against the Cube Queen and her hordes of Cube Zombies and flying saucers until it was impossible to survive.
Then, that transitioned seamlessly into a cutscene where The Foundation rescues Jonesy from Doctor Sloane’s torture and reveal himself to be none other than The Rock, which is no great shock, given all the hints the game and he have been doling out lately. But it is neat to see him playing a Fortnite original character, rather than himself or something from a different licensed IP, which is how we usually see celebrities enter Fortnite.
We were warped back to a playable sequence where we ran through tunnels under the island, escorted by a scientist that sounded suspiciously like Joel McHale. Once the chamber flooded, we emerged to watch the entire island flip over and reveal a brand new island underneath, which will serve as the Chapter 3 map.
Then, a tidal wave came, as you imagine might happen when an entire island flips over, and now players are stuck floating clutching debris like Jack in Titanic, waiting for the greenlight to head to the map. As of right now, we do not know how long that will be.
Fortnite is moving over to Unreal Engine 5 as of this new chapter, so it’s a bigger transition than usual. But we also did see the battle pass trailer leak earlier today, implying that perhaps it won’t be that long until the game returns. Maybe tonight, I’d guess no later than tomorrow, so players can still hop in during the weekend, but we’ll have to see. Stay tuned for updates as we get them.
As far as Fortnite events go it was…pretty good. Lately, these have been more cinematic than not, where you’re a pretty passive observer. This one integrated a cutscene directly, and I personally find the concerts more engaging, but it was still cool.
So, you can keep trying to log in to see when Fortnite stops being down, but it’s likely going to be a bit, so keep an eye on social media for clues on when things will return and you can dive into Chapter 3. More to come, stay tuned.
Update: Debris is starting to float through the water. Maybe this is how we end up on shore eventually:
Update 2: The map is slowly being revealed by this website, asking people to flip their social media photos and post #FortniteFlipped
Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard Buy Is Not A ‘Metaverse Bet’ – Forbes
When Microsoft bought Activision Blizzard this past week for nearly $70 billion, the same refrain kept being repeated, first by Microsoft, then by mainstream outlets. That this purchase was a “big bet on the metaverse.”
And yet no one, Microsoft’s Satya Nadella included, have been able to articulate exactly what that means, or why that’s the case. Unless we have finally arrived at the inescapable conclusion that the true metaverse as it exists right now, is mostly just…video games, and has been for decades now.
There is nothing about the Activision Blizzard purchase that actually speaks to this new, often VR or web3-driven vision of the metaverse. Activision is not a VR or AR developer in any meaningful capacity. Their most “immersive” virtual world game is World of Warcraft, the MMO that has existed as a “livable” virtual space since 2004, and these days, is often badly showing its age.
The metaverse is supposed to be a shared, interconnected digital space, but there’s nothing about this purchase that signals Microsoft is building something like that. This is simply a very large tech company buying a very large video game publisher, and they will then start making a lot of money from those very popular video games.
What idea of the metaverse are we even trying to qualify here? Is it simply the idea that if you own a bunch of IPs under one company, they could theoretically be combined someday to create a “metaverse”? If that’s the definition, than Fortnite is far ahead of everyone, licensing hundreds of IPs for use in its game, including a number across Sony and Microsoft video games (Master Chief, Kratos, Aloy, Marcus Fenix, etc).
Microsoft is betting on the video game industry, you know, the thing that has existed for forty years and is bigger than all other entertainment industries combined? The metaverse remains little more than a buzzword, something to spur investment in web3 projects, or try to justify Facebook’s colossal investment in VR. I do agree that video games, as a concept, are closer to the fictionalized vision of the metaverse than anything else, and yet this has been true for eons. Purchasing Activision Blizzard, which does not really have much of a roster of “living universe” games, seems entirely outside of this. Minecraft was more of a “metaverse purchase than this,” but that buzzword didn’t exist back then.
I think tech investment in video games is a good thing overall, and I expect to see more of it. But pretending like buying the company who produces the highest selling video game of the year, every year, is about making a “metaverse play” is disingenuous, and simply repackaging something that has already existed for decades.
Samsung Galaxy S22 series now rumoured to launch February 9 – MobileSyrup
Samsung recently revealed an Unpacked event is coming but didn’t set a specific date for the keynote. Rumours previously indicated that the event would take place on February 8th. However, information from reliable tipster Ice Universe suggests the S22 series will instead be revealed on February 9th.
However, Digital Daily says that the phone series will launch on February 8th, with the devices releasing on February 24th.
Rumours indicate Samsung’s Galaxy S22 Ultra will feature a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor, up to 12GB of RAM, 512GB of storage and work with an S Pen. The other S22 models will lack the S Pen, sport an S21-like design, a trio of cameras, and the aforementioned Snapdragon 8 gen 1 chipset.
Samsung will likely unveil the official launch date for the Galaxy S22 series in the coming weeks.
Samsung Galaxy A53 passes through TENAA, some specifications revealed – XDA Developers
The Galaxy S22 series isn’t too far off, with Samsung now accepting reservation orders for the phones, but there are a few other devices in the pipeline too. One of them is the Galaxy A53, the upcoming entry in Samsung’s super-popular A50 lineup, which has already leaked a few times. Now we have the first concrete information about the phone’s hardware, thanks to a new regulatory listing.
TENAA, China’s equivalent to the FCC, has published certification information for the Galaxy A53 (via Android Authority). The page includes dimly-lit photos of the phone from the front, rear, and side, which appear to match the renders published by OnLeaks from November. There is some new information though, especially about the internal hardware.
The phone is identified as the SM-A5360, and has 5G support — there was speculation that Samsung might be ditching the 4G option and only selling a 5G-capabel A53, but we’ll have to wait and see if that’s true for every region. TENAA says the device measures 159.5×74.7×8.1 mm, again matching the information from OnLeaks, and weighs 190 grams.
Other hardware details include a 6.46-inch 1080×2400 display, a 4,860mAh battery, an unspecified 8-core CPU, 8GB of RAM, 128 or 256GB of internal storage, microSD card support up to 1TB, and an under-screen fingerprint sensor. There are three rear cameras: 64MP, 32MP, and two 5MP. The listing also reaffirms the Galaxy A53 won’t have a headphone jack, which is a shame.
Overall, the phone doesn’t appear to be significantly different from last year’s Galaxy A52. The screen is nearly identical in size, though we don’t know the refresh rate — the A52 4G had a 90Hz display, while the A52 5G/A52S was 120Hz. The Galaxy A52 also had the same 8GB RAM, 128/256GB storage, and in-display fingerprint sensor. We don’t know for sure what each camera will do, but the A52 had a 64MP primary lens, a 12MP ultra-wide, a 5MP macro, and a 5MP depth sensor. The 32MP camera mentioned in the listing could be an upgraded ultra-wide, or Samsung might be swapping it for something else (like a telephoto camera).
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