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Fallout 4 racks up record sales

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Fallout 4 has generated record sales at retail outlets and via digital download for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 computer entertainment system and PC.

Bethesda launched with approximately 12 million units worldwide to meet day one demand, representing sales in excess of $750 million. The collector’s edition, the Fallout 4 Pip-Boy Edition, sold out within hours of its announced availability.

Major retailers have informed Bethesda of the tremendous consumer interest in Fallout 4, with some noting it was the most pre-ordered game this year. In addition, the Fallout 4 Pip-Boy Edition was the fastest-selling collector’s edition of any game in history at leading retailers. Following the release, Bethesda was advised that launch day sales at some of the leading retail chains were the largest of any game released this year. Bethesda is now shipping more Fallout 4 units to retailers to meet ongoing market demand.

Digital sales of Fallout 4 are also breaking records. On Steam, Fallout 4 became the number one game played, surpassing the previous record for concurrent play with over 470,000 Fallout players. The companion app, Fallout Pip-Boy, became the number one game on the iTunes App Store. Fallout 4 also set the record as the most viewed game launch of all 2015 games, according to Twitch.

“We’re extremely proud of Todd Howard, Game Director at Bethesda Game Studios, and his experienced team of developers for their talent and dedication in creating this extraordinary game,” said Vlatko Andonov, President of Bethesda Softworks. “Fallout 4 is a masterpiece in game development and storytelling, providing fans hundreds of hours of fun as they explore and are challenged by this fascinating, beautifully crafted world.”

Fallout 4 has earned critical acclaim since its announcement in June 2015, winning over 160 awards at the 2015 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) including the coveted Game Critics Award for ‘Best of Show’, a selection voted on by an independent group of journalists from 39 leading media outlets that cover the videogame industry.

Following its release across the globe, this eagerly-awaited title has garnered additional raves from some of the industry’s most influential and respected critics. Reviewers have noted for particular praise the game’s storytelling, its vast, detailed world, crafting systems, exploration, meaningful player choices, shooting mechanics, hours of gameplay, and most importantly, total freedom of action.

“A huge thanks to our fans that’ve made this all possible,” said Todd Howard, Game Director on Fallout 4. “After four years of development, it’s not complete until our fans get to play it and make it their own. We can’t wait to hear about their adventures.”

Fallout 4 reaffirms the elite status of Bethesda Game Studios as among the finest development teams in the industry. Each of the last three games developed by Bethesda Games Studios were consensus ‘Game of the Year’ winners and rank with the highest-scoring titles in the industry. Fallout 4 is the follow up to the 2008 ‘Game of the Year’, Fallout® 3, and the first title from Bethesda Game Studios since the release of their global phenomenon and 2011 ‘Game of the Year’, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.

In Fallout 4 you play the sole survivor of Vault 111 and enter a world destroyed by nuclear war. Every second is a fight for survival, and every choice is yours. Only you can rebuild and determine the fate of the New England Wasteland. Welcome home.

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How we use phones to avoid human contact

A recent study by Kaspersky Lab has found that 75% of people pick up their connected device to avoid conversing with another human being.

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Connected devices are becoming essential to keeping people in contact with each other, but for many they are also a much-needed comfort blanket in a variety of social situations when they do not want to interact with others. A recent survey from Kaspersky Lab has confirmed this trend in behaviour after three-quarters of people (75%) admitted they use a device to pretend to be busy when they don’t want to talk to someone else, showing the importance of keeping connected devices protected under all circumstances. 

Imagine you’ve arrived at a bar and you’re waiting for your date. The bar is busy, and people are chatting all around you. What do you do now? Strike up a conversation with someone you don’t know? Grab your phone from your pocket or handbag until your date arrives to keep yourself busy? Why talk to humans or even make eye-contact with someone else when you can stare at your connected device instead?

The truth is, our use of devices is making it much easier to avoid small talk or even be polite to those around us, and new Kaspersky Lab research has found that 72% of people use one when they do not know what to do in a social situation. They are also the ‘go-to’ distraction for people even when they aren’t trying to look busy or avoid someone’s eye. 46% of people admit to using a device just to kill time every day and 44% use it as a daily distraction.

In addition to just being a distraction, devices are also a lifeline to those who would rather not talk directly to another person in day-to-day situations, to complete essential tasks. In fact, nearly a third (31%) of people would prefer to carry out tasks such as ordering a taxi or finding directions to where they need to go via a website and an app, because they find it an easier experience than speaking with another person.

Whether they are helping us avoid direct contact or filling a void in our daily lives, our constant reliance on devices has become a cause for panic when they become unusable. A third (34%) of people worry that they will not be able to entertain themselves if they cannot access a connected device. 12% are even concerned that they won’t be able to pretend to be busy if their device is out of action.

Dmitry Aleshin, VP for Product Marketing, Kaspersky Lab said, “The reliance on connected devices is impacting us in more ways than we could have ever expected. There is no doubt that being connected gives us the freedom to make modern life easier, but devices are also vital to help people get through different and difficult social situations. No matter what your ‘connection crutch’ is, it is essential to make sure your device is online and available when you need it most.”

To ensure your device lifeline is always there and in top health – no matter what the reason or situation – Kaspersky Security Cloud keeps your connection safe and secure:

·         I want to use my device while waiting for a friend – is it secure to access the bar’s Wi-Fi?

With Kaspersky Security Cloud, devices are protected against network threats, even if the user needs to use insecure public Wi-Fi hotspots. This is done through transferring data via an encrypted channel to ensure personal data safety, so users’ devices are protected on any connection.

·         Oh no! I’m bored but my phone’s battery is getting low – what am I going to do?

Users can track their battery level thanks to a countdown of how many minutes are left until their device shuts down in the Kaspersky Security Cloud interface. There is also a wide-range of portable power supplies available to keep device batteries charged while on-the-go.

·         I’ve lost my phone! How will I keep myself entertained now?

Should the unthinkable happen and you lose or have your phone stolen, Kaspersky Security Cloud can track and protect your device from data breaches, for complete peace of mind. Remote lock and locate features ensure your device remains secure until you are reunited.

 

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Money talks and electronic gaming evolves

Computer gaming has evolved dramatically in the last two years, as it follows the money, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK in the second of a two-part series.

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The clue that gaming has become big business in South Africa was delivered by a non-gaming brand. When Comic Con, an American popular culture convention that has become a mecca for comics enthusiasts, was hosted in South Arica for the first time last month, it used gaming as the major drawcard. More than 45 000 people attended.

The event and its attendance was expected to be a major dampener for the annual rAge gaming expo, which took place just weeks later. Instead, rAge saw only a marginal fall in visitor numbers. No less than 34 000 people descended on the Ticketpro Dome for the chaos of cosplay, LAN gaming, virtual reality, board gaming and new video games. 

It proved not only that there was room for more than one major gaming event, but also that a massive market exists for the sector in South Africa. And with a large market, one also found numerous gaming niches that either emerged afresh or will keep going over the years. One of these, LAN (for Local Area Network) gaming, which sees hordes of players camping out at the venue for three days to play each other on elaborate computer rigs, was back as strong as ever at rAge.

MWeb provided an 8Gbps line to the expo, to connect all these gamers, and recorded 120TB in downloads and 15Tb in uploads – a total that would have used up the entire country’s bandwidth a few years ago.

“LANs are supposed to be a thing of the past, yet we buck the trend each year,” says Michael James, senior project manager and owner of rAge. “It is more of a spectacle than a simple LAN, so I can understand.”

New phenomena, often associated with the flavour of the moment, also emerge every year.

“Fortnite is a good example this year of how we evolve,” says James. “It’s a crazy huge phenomenon and nobody was servicing the demand from a tournament point of view. So rAge and Xbox created a casual LAN tournament that anyone could enter and win a prize. I think the top 10 people got something each round.”

Read on to see how esports is starting to make an impact in gaming.

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