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.
Redmi Note 11 Pro, Pro Plus announced: A huge power boost – Android Authority
Xiaomi has a ton of new budget Redmi Note phones in its portfolio, ranging from the China-only Redmi Note 11 series to the global Note 11 family, and the Redmi Note 11T. Now, the company has launched even more devices, dubbed the Redmi Note 11T Pro and Pro Plus.
The two phones share a ton in common, starting with a high-powered Dimensity 8100 chipset. Mediatek previously said this SoC specifically takes aim at the Snapdragon 870 and 888 and should deliver performance that’s more in line with the latter. The processor offers a 5nm TSMC design, octa-core CPU (four Cortex-A78, four Cortex-A55), and Mali-G610 MC6 GPU.
Interestingly, the new phones pack a 6.6-inch 144Hz LCD panel (20.5:9, FHD+), making for a departure from high refresh rate OLED screens seen on the global Redmi Note 11 series.
Otherwise, the Note 11T Pro and Pro Plus only differ in terms of battery and charging capabilities. The Pro model offers a 5,080mAh battery with 67W wired charging while the Pro Plus has a smaller battery (4,400mAh), 120W wired charging, and the in-house Surge P1 charging chip.
The phones also share a similar primary camera, namely a 64MP GW1 shooter. Redmi didn’t dish out secondary camera details, but we’re guessing the phones also pack an 8MP ultrawide lens and 2MP macro camera.
Other notable specs include a 3.5mm port, Bluetooth 5.3, IP53 rating, MIUI 13, NFC, side fingerprint scanner, stereo speakers, x-axis linear motor, and Wi-Fi 6.
Hadlee Simons / Android Authority
Redmi is also offering a special Astro Boy version of the Redmi Note 11T Pro Plus, offering a rather different design. In addition to the tweaked design, you’re also getting a special case and other goodies seen above.
Redmi Note 11T series pricing
The new Redmi phones are China-only releases for now, and there’s no immediate word on global availability. For what it’s worth, Xiaomi launched two separate Redmi Note 11 lines for global and Chinese markets, so it’s possible we won’t get these exact models.
Otherwise, you can expect to pay 1,799 yuan (~$270) for the 6GB/128GB Redmi Note 11T Pro, all the way up to 2,199 yuan (~$330) for the 8GB/256GB model. However, early bird prices mean you’ll be paying 1,699 yuan (~$255) and 2,099 yuan (~$315) respectively.
Redmi Note 11T Pro series: Hot or not?
The faster charging Redmi Note 11T Pro Plus starts at 1,999 yuan (~$300) for the base 8GB/128GB model, all the way to 2,499 yuan (~$375) for the 8GB/512GB model. Early bird prices of 2,099 yuan (~$315) and 2,499 yuan (~$375) respectively apply here too.
Like the idea of the Astro Boy edition? Then you’ll be spending 2,499 yuan (~$375) for the sole 8GB/256GB model.
Today's Wordle Answer (#339) – May 24, 2022 – GameSpot
Hey everyone, welcome to the actual start of the week, since we can all agree Monday’s don’t actually count. Today is May 24 and today’s Wordle is another easy one. I’d go so far as to say that you don’t even need my help, but hey me and my help will be here for you anyways.
Have you tried today’s Wordle yet? We use today’s answer literally all the time when talking about a certain medium of entertainment, so I’m fully expecting everyone to be able to guess it once you’ve all started on your guesses. You might get tripped up on the placement of most of its letters, but I promise you that everyone knows this word. You could guess it in your sleep, but that’s probably an ineffective strategy. If you wanted to use one that could actually work and begin with a significant advantage, you can’t go wrong with our list of the best starting words in Wordle though!
Today’s Wordle Answer – May 24, 2022
Today’s answer will be waiting for you at the very bottom but first, I’ve got a round of hints that should without a doubt help you get it in no time.
- Hint 1: The rhythm-game Sayonara Wild Hearts is often considered a playable version of today’s Wordle answer.
- Hint 2: Today’s answer is one of the key functions of your Sheikah Slate in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild, and contains a host of memories you have to track down in order to get the story.
Still stumped on today’s answer? I’ve got you, so there’s no need to fret. Today’s Wordle answer is…album. In its marketing, developer Simogo called Sayonara Wild Hearts a “pop album video game,” and I couldn’t agree more. Additionally, the album in Breath of the Wild’s Sheikah Slate was a strangely important feature, because it contained all these pictures that unlocked lost memories of Link’s from the Calamity. Without it, you’d know next to nothing of the game’s story. I still haven’t tracked every memory down, so maybe I’ll try my hand at the last couple finally, or maybe I’ll reinstall Sayonara Wild Hearts just to feel something. Can’t go wrong playing either game once you’re done with today’s Wordle, folks. That’s all I’ve got for you today, but be sure to check back tomorrow for another round of hints, and maybe even some recommendations.
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The new Instagram logo and font are dividing the internet – Creative Bloq
Just last week, Instagram users noticed that the app icon had randomly become a lot brighter. Well, now we know why – it’s all part of Instagram’s biggest rebrand in years. But it seems the internet is torn over the platform’s new look.
Meta-owned Instagram has revealed a new visual identity comprising of a brand new bespoke typeface, and the aforementioned brighter logo. Perhaps the most notable change is the new wordmark, now rendered in the ‘Instagram Sans’ typeface. (Looking for more inspiration? Check out the best free fonts.)
Instagram says (opens in new tab) the refresh is designed to help the platform “create more immersive and inclusive experiences.” In a blog post, the company breaks the rebrand down into three core areas:
- The gradient is reimagined with “vibrant colours to make it feel illuminated and alive, and to signal moments of discovery”.
- The new typeface, Instagram Sans, is “designed with Instagram’s heritage in mind and includes multiple global scripts.”
- The new layout and design system is “content-forward and celebrates creativity, simplicity and self-expression.”
We’ve already seen the tweaked icon (designed by Rose Pilkington (opens in new tab)), which appears to be blinding some users. But now we’ve been given a much more comprehensive look at the new brand identity. ‘Instagram Sans (opens in new tab)‘ is a fun new typeface based around what Instagram “lovingly” calls the “squircle” – the rounded square of its logo. The typeface is also available to use in Stories and Reels.
But the most noticeable use of the typeface is in the brand new wordmark (above). Replacing the ‘handwritten’ style that’s been around for as long as Instagram, the new wordmark is a much more contemporary affair – and considering how long we’ve had to look at the last one, I’m a fan.
But over on that other social media platform, reactions are mixed. Yes, Twitter is, as Twitter does, making its feelings known about the new look, and the responses range from really loving it to really not loving it.
I hate instagram’s new font, who’s working UI/UX over thereMay 20, 2022
why does instagram insist on giving us the ugliest fonts to exist. what IS that new fontMay 17, 2022
okay i wasn’t totally sold in the new gradient but this new instagram font is 👁️👁️ https://t.co/JDT7VLvqOXMay 24, 2022
And responses to the new icon have been doing the rounds for a few days now. “I’m going to have to reduce my screen brightness for that,” one Twitter user complains(opens in new tab) (opens in new tab), while another adds, “New Instagram icon is way over-saturated. Gross.” And lots have users have shared screen recordings of iOS seeming to struggle with the new icon – when closing the app, the icon appears to judder between the old and new design.
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Today's Wordle Answer (#339) – May 24, 2022 – GameSpot