Destiny 2: The 5 key things PC gamers need to know

 

It seems like only yesterday, or just over seven weeks ago, that we found out Destiny 2 would be coming to PC, shedding the original’s console-only shackles. On Thursday, Bungie revealed more details about the upcoming multi-player first-person shooter. A lot of it’s good, some of it’s not so good, and some of it’s downright surprising.

Here’s what PC gamers need to know about Destiny 2.

Destiny 2 will be a Battle.net exclusive

Say what? Yep. The PC edition will be available from Activision Blizzard-owned Battle.net, not Steam.

Bungie signed a 10-year publishing deal with Activision so it makes a little sense to see Destiny 2 on Battle.net, but it’s still surprising. Until now the site was exclusively for Blizzard’s own games, with other Activision games such as Call of Duty appearing on platforms like Steam and the Windows Store.

Does Destiny 2‘s arrival on Battle.net herald the beginning of another rival to Steam or an Activision-wide version of EA’s Origin? Not according to Blizzard. The company says this is all about getting Destiny 2 out to the world as quickly as possible. Bungie can focus on making a great game (and spinning up game servers), while Blizzard takes care of the social and retail aspects. Sounds reasonable, but it’ll be interesting to see if any more non-Blizzard games show up on Battle.net over the next year or so.

Lots of PC-friendly features

This doesn’t sound like a half-assed port, as Bungie’s plans include a lot of PC-centric features, according to PC Gamer. That includes full keyboard and mouse support, custom keymapping, 4K and ultrawide resolution support, an uncapped framerate (consoles will be limited to 30 frames per second), and the ability to adjust the field of view–a blessing for anyone who suffers from FPS motion sickness.

No cross-save between PCs and console

It’s a rare feature anyway, but cross-play and cross-saving won’t be available with Destiny 2, as first reported by USGamer. With Microsoft playing up the Xbox Play Anywhere program and the popularity of Destiny among gamers of all stripes it’s a shame to hear Destiny 2 won’t break out of the usual silos.

Choose your platform carefully. This is a game that is best played with friends, and if all your friends are on Xbox while you’re on PC—well, you need better friends.destiny2big

No PC release date

As of now there isn’t a release date for PCs. The game will hit the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 on September 8. The PC release date, meanwhile, is still not set and won’t be for at least a few more weeks, Bungie told PC Gamer. Bah.

Beta for all

On the plus side, there will be a beta for PC, but we’ll have to wait and see when that will happen. Will the PC beta roll out at the same time as the console beta, for example, or will we be waiting longer for that too? We don’t know yet.

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Key Trends To Watch As BlackBerry Reports Q1 Earnings

 

BlackBerry is expected to publish its Q1’18 results on June 23. We expect the company’s revenues to trend lower on a year-over-year basis, amid lower service access fee and hardware revenues, although this could be partially offset by higher enterprise mobility software sales. Below we provide a brief overview of what to expect when BlackBerry publishes earnings.

Trefis has an $9.50 price estimate for BlackBerry, which is slightly below the current market price.

EMM Business Should Drive Software Revenue Growth

Late last year, BlackBerry updated its EMM offering by integrating its BES (BlackBerry Enterprise Server) software and the Good Technology product that it acquired in 2015, naming the product BES UEM. The EMM business has been gaining traction, with the firm processing 3,532 customer orders during Q4 2017, marking a 16% sequential increase, with its exposure to non-regulated industries – which are traditionally not BlackBerry’s forte – rising. The recent customer wins should allow the firm to bolster overall revenues during the quarter, as BlackBerry now employs a licensing model for the software.Image result for Key Trends To Watch As BlackBerry Reports Q1 Earnings

Updates On Fleet Management Business

BlackBerry has been increasing its presence in the fleet management space with its Radar solution, which enables transport companies to transmit information regarding the location, temperature and physical contents of their trucks. During Q4, BlackBerry won a contract with Trailer Wizards, Canada’s largest commercial trailer rental company with about 25k trailers. BlackBerry charges $10 to $20 per month for every trailer connected to Radar, implying that the business could become lucrative if BlackBerry scale up its installed base. That said, the fleet management market is very fragmented and bigger players such as Verizon have also been doubling down on the market via acquisitions. Larger players are likely to benefit from greater economies of scale and better network effects

 

Key Updates from the Tech Sector Last Week

Tech stocks outperformed the broader markets in the week ended July 7

Technology stocks (QQQ) rose 0.6% during the week ended July 7, 2017, compared to the 0.1% rise in the S&P 500 Index (SPY). There were no earnings releases of note in the tech sector during the week ended July 7, and there won’t be any of note in the coming week either.

Key Updates from the Tech Sector Last Week

Top movers in the sectors

Semiconductor stocks led the charge of tech companies in the last week. The top three tech gainers last week all belonged to the semiconductor sector. Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) was the top performer in the last week, gaining over 6.0%. Applied Materials (AMAT) climbed 5.1% while Lam Research (LRCX) rose 4.1% last week.

On the other end of the spectrum, Western Digital (WDC) was the biggest loser last week within the tech sector, falling 5.1%. Western Digital is facing a lawsuit from its partner, Toshiba (TOSBF). Teradata (TDC), a provider of database-related products, fell 5.0%. Meanwhile, Marvell Technologies (MRVL) fell 4.2%.

Microsoft is reorganizing its global sales force

The Washington-based company is planning a huge reshuffling of its sales force. The company wants to challenge Amazon (AMZN), the leader in the cloud computing space. This move may lead to thousands of layoffs.

Amazon is pumping more money into its India business

Amazon has increased its investment in India to build big warehouses, marketing, logistics units, and discounts. The e-commerce giant had invested $2 billion in India three years ago.

Qualcomm’s battle with Apple continues

The legal fight between Qualcomm (QCOM) and Apple (AAPL) continued on Thursday, July 6. According to the Wall Street Journal, Qualcomm has asked trade authorities to halt the imports of some Apple devices including iPads and iPhones.

Samsung is likely to report the highest ever operating profit

Samsung (SSNLF) projects fiscal 2Q17 operating profit of about $12.1 billion, a whopping 72% increase of $7.0 billion from the corresponding quarter last year. The company estimates that its revenue will be $51.9 billion in this quarter compared to 2Q16’s revenues of $44.0 billion.

 

HTC lowers Q1 loss, pins hopes on key flagship launch

 

HTC talked up the benefits of cost savings in Q1, acknowledging it is “pinning a lot of hope” on a smartphone launch scheduled for next week.

The struggling Taiwan-headquartered smartphone maker is expected to unveil its 2017 flagship on 16 May, following rivals including Samsung, Xiaomi, LG and Sony, which have already shown their hands. Reports suggest HTC’s device will feature an innovative touch interface, with sensors around the body of the unit, which can be used to control functions.

In a conference call, Chialin Chang, president of HTC’s Smartphones and Connected Devices business unit, reiterated the company is looking to “make sure that we have continued traction in the flagship and premium” section of the market.

The vendor’s decision not to play in the lower cost segments of the smartphone market means it is unlikely to see a strong recovery in sales and volumes when compared to its heyday – although profitability will benefit.

HTC reported a loss of TWD2 billion ($66 million) for Q1 2017, reduced from TWD2.6 billion in the prior-year period, on revenue of TWD14.5 billion, down from TWD14.8 billion. Operating expenses were trimmed to TWD4.7 billion from TWD6.2 billion.

The company previously revealed sales for April 2017 – the first month of the second quarter – were down 18 per cent year-on-year to TWD4.7 billion.

HTC provided little additional detail on its Vive VR business. Chang said the development of the market, including the launch of 5G, stands to change the shape of the market.

“It’s our belief it will tie into not just the smartphones, it’s applications including virtual reality or mixed reality,” he said.

 

Asus ZenFone 4 Selfie visits GFXBench revealing key specs

 

Recently, Asus revealed that the ZenFone 4 will be one of the upcoming smartphones. Now, the entire ZenFone 4 lineup has been leaked revealing the possible models those might come from the stable of the Taiwanese company. It looks like Asus will unveil the ZenFone 4 series of smartphones soon. Previously, the names of these upcoming smartphones, their model numbers and specifications have been leaked in full detail.

This has made it easy to figure out the exact model that was spotted on the GFXBench database as the unknown Asus Z01M. From the leaked information, the Asus Z01M appears to be the ZenFone 4 Selfie.Image result for Asus ZenFone 4 Selfie visits GFXBench revealing key specs

Some of the key specifications of the Asus ZenFone 4 Selfie have been revealed by the GFXBench listing. Going by the same, the device in question is said to run on Android 7.1.1 Nougat OS out of the box.

It is said to feature a 5.5-inch FHD 1080p display and employ an octa-core 2GHz processor. The unknown processor is said believed to be either the Snapdragon 625 SoC or Snapdragon 626 SoC.

The other hardware aspects are said to include Adreno 506 graphics unit, 4GB RAM and 32GB of default memory capacity that can be further expandable. If the benchmark listing is to be believed, the Asus ZenFone 4 Selfie might feature an 11MP selfie camera and a 15MP main camera at its rear.

As the sensor size seems to be different from what we usually see on smartphones, we believe that it is not accurate. From the specifications, it looks like the ZenFone 4 Selfie is a mid-range smartphone that might have an affordable price tag. For now, we have no word on when this device might be launched and we await an official confirmation regarding the same.