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Twitch Category Expansion

Is Twitch’s Category Expansion a Good Idea?

Ever since the site launched back in June 2011, Twitch has continued to transform video game culture as well as the world of live streaming. Six years later, Twitch is the chosen platform for over two million emerging content creators and receives upwards of 10 million visitors per day. However, the Amazon-owned site doesn’t just focus on traditional video games anymore, as over the last few years they have expanded their social video categories to include music, the creative arts, poker variants from online Texas Hold’em to live streams from Vegas and a number of other topics beyond console or PC gaming.

Initially, the idea behind Twitch was to create a brand new social network where members could bond over their mutual love of video games and other creative endeavors. Now, the site is so successful that popular content creators can make a living simply by live streaming gameplay to entertain their audience. Not only does the streamer have fun sharing their gaming experience with fellow enthusiasts, but fans also enjoy watching skilled, entertaining individuals, from poker pros to sculptors and musicians, focus on something they themselves enjoy.

Of course, as with all social networks, Twitch needed to adapt and evolve to stay relevant in a world where competition is inevitable. Early on in the company’s history, Twitch launched User Generated Programming, which included the typical casual gaming and speedrunning categories that Twitch is well known for, as well as Twitch Plays chat-driven gameplay. The latter gaming sector went viral in February 2014 after a crowdsourced attempt to play Pokémon Red on the site attracted over 6.5 million views in just five days.

After being acquired by Amazon for $790 million in late 2014, Twitch introduced a royalty-free music library, packed with 500 songs from various independent labels. This was big news for content creators and audiences alike, as it added an extra layer to the streaming experience. Still, the introduction of music was somewhat overshadowed by the big game changer of February 2015 when Twitch began live streaming poker games. Not only did this include players streaming their online games of Omaha, seven-card stud, Texas Hold’em and almost every other form of poker you can think of, but also live streams from land-based casinos such as The Bellagio in Vegas.

Although this may have seemed like a departure from Twitch’s usual console and PC-based streaming titles, iGaming and poker are incredibly popular online. In hindsight, fewer partnerships could have been better than that of the world’s leading game streaming site and one of the most successful online gaming industries in history. Before long, immensely famous poker professionals such as Jason Somerville and Jamie Staples were streaming live on Twitch and gaining huge audiences. There are now even Twitch streamers such as Parker ‘TonkaaaaP” Talbot who simply started streaming poker play online and has since managed to win $250,000 playing live and is an ambassador for 888poker. “There was no plan. I had watched video game streams for years, and thought why not give it a try,” Talbot told Lee Davy in an article for the company’s magazine.

Later that same year, Twitch rolled out yet another category named Creative where members could stream any number of artistic and creative works. After beginning with a Bob Ross painting marathon, this category is now home to a number of well-known artists who share their creative processes whether it be painting, sculpting, cosplay costume creation, cooking, composing or really anything else you can think of.

More recently, Twitch has introduced several other emerging content categories that are flourishing as we speak. These include IRL, a vlogging focused category, Social Eating where members dine together and Programmatic TV, which was inspired by the interactive nature of Bob Ross’ Joy of Painting marathon.

While Twitch is perhaps best known for its video game live streaming, the days of only watching Zelda speedruns is well behind us. After all, you can still find those sorts of things on YouTube so it didn’t really set Twitch apart. No, Twitch had to embrace new categories to keep their brand alive, garner content creators and keep audiences returning day after day. Not only was the addition of new categories like poker and the visual arts a fantastic idea, but it very well may be the change that keeps Twitch alive for many years to come.

cod wwii

Three Gaming Franchises that have been Revitalised by New Online Releases

2017 has been a fantastic year of game releases online for gamers worldwide, breathing new life into some of the longest-standing gaming franchises that have required a much-needed uplift and a new lease of life. Let’s take a look at three of the most world-renowned gaming titles to release something new to the online gaming community in recent months.

1. Destiny 2

Destiny 2 has only been available for a little over a month on PC but already it has captured the imagination of the online gaming community. This online-only multiplayer game is already one of the top ten most viewed games on the Twitch live streaming network. As with the original, Destiny 2 is made up of live online gaming in two formats – player versus environment and player versus player action – the latter of which has become an iconic form of live online gaming today. Destiny 2 fanatics stream their own gameplay live to thousands of Twitch viewers every day in very similar high-definition quality to the immersive streams of online casino live games best in UK, in terms of the clarity of audio and visuals, to teach and inspire fellow gamers.

The Destiny franchise marked the first console franchise for developers, Bungie since their all-conquering Halo series. Further good news for fans of this new mythical sci-fi world is that the Destiny franchise is going nowhere fast. Bungie and Activision signed a ten-year agreement with at least one more title likely to come to market before the turn of the decade.

2. Call of Duty: WWII

The Call of Duty franchise experienced significant criticism following the launch of last year’s space-influenced Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. The release was considered too bombastic and extravagant and fanatics feared the game’s developers, Sledgehammer Games were veering too far away from its roots. Fortunately, Sledgehammer Games appeared to listen carefully to its customers, designing an intriguing and hard-hitting return to World War II for 2017.

Call of Duty: WWII also reverts to the popular first-person shooter series which has been received very positively not only be its long-standing fans but the gaming community as a whole. The heart-wrenching campaign mode is particularly powerful, playing an American soldier named Red Daniels, who just wants to make his girl back home proud. An impressive new multiplayer mode, War, has also taken things to another level. The concept is that one multiplayer team is on the attack while the other is defending and standing its ground in three different scenarios. The teams switch sides after two rounds, giving you the chance to experience both aspects in fascinating detail.

3. Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands

It has been three years since Ubisoft published a game from the Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon tactical-shooter franchise. Phantoms was considered a major flop by the game’s publishers and developers in 2014, so much so that it was decided to shut it down on December 1, 2016, citing development issues which prevented the title from reaching the Nintendo Wii U. Fast forward 36 months and we’re delighted to say the latest release has restored our faith in the franchise.

With a shed-load of action for both single player and online co-op play, Wildlands is a much-needed return to form for Ubisoft. It’s lightyears away from Advanced Warfighter both in terms of its location in the heart of the Bolivian mountains and the way in which it plays. It’s arguably the most cliched storyline in the Ghost Recon franchise, but if you can look beyond that and enjoy the thrill-a-minute action rather than acting as the stealthy practitioner then you will be as rewarded as we were!

These gaming franchises will by no means be the first or the last to go off the rails and find their feet once again; we’re just relieved that they took the time to rediscover the soul of these games which have captured the imagination of millions worldwide.

Gamification

Gamification – Take Advantage Of The Ripe Opportunity For Marketing

Gamification has completely changed the marketing arena – allowing marketers from all walks of life to address and directly communicate with a very unique audience. As each year passes, the video games market continues to grow at a phenomenal rate.

Young children are accustomed with gaming from an early age, while teenagers consider a normal part of their day-to-day life. Now, we’re starting to see that these habits persist through adulthood, and adults are continuing to adopt the same gaming habits they developed as young children.

What does this present for marketers?

A ripe opportunity to connect with an audience that is extremely loyal. And by loyal, I mean the type of audience that will continue to game until their retirement.

The entry-barrier to gaming is now lower than it has ever been before. If we look back 20-years, gaming consoles were extraordinarily expensive and not available to most middle class families. Now? The latest XBOX, PlayStation or Nintendo console can be picked up for the equivalent of 1 weeks wages for most people. And, with that said, there’s nothing saying that gaming has to be exclusive to consoles either. Simple online-based games and mobile games are equally as successful as their console counterparts.

Market your brand – continue to “touch” your customers via gaming

Let’s face it. We’re in an era where all new start-ups seem to understand the marketing arena. I mean, every new business seems to go through the same process. A website is designed and built, Search Engine Optimisation is performed from the offset, and link outreach becomes the “norm”. As businesses grow, they adopt even more marketing strategies, such as Pay-Per-Click advertising.

Yes, marketing is expensive – and rightfully so. As every year goes past that a business is in operation, their marketing expenses typically increase too as the advertising market becomes saturated.

“We’re finding that more and more businesses are choosing to put SEO at the forefront of their business plans. It is the number one way to drive new customers to any business, drive sales, increase revenue and develop brand loyalty.”Matthew Carey, RhinoRank.io.

But, brands still struggle to connect with their audience.

Yes, brands do utilise advertising platforms such as Facebook to remarket to their audience(s). But, just how many businesses utilise the gaming market to develop their brand consistently?

There’s so many ripe opportunities. Just look at Twitch. One of the world’s largest websites – solely dedicated to gamers streaming themselves playing. As part of the platform, viewers who aren’t “subscribed” have to periodically watch 30-second adverts. That right there is a way to connect with your audience, and stay connected.

Don’t miss the chance to grow your business through integrated marketing on gaming platforms – whether that’s console, or online.

Stay tuned for Part 2 – utilising advertising and media powerhouses to drive consistent ROI in the gaming sector.

VR-technology

Cutting edge VR-technology from the cold north

Technological leaps can alter the way we live our lives at the flick of a switch. The Internet wasn’t just a huge game changer, but a life changer in the 90’s and virtual reality is presumed to do the same to the way we experience the world. The market for VR-equipment has been booming in the past year and while the technology becomes more available, users and industries are embracing it with excitement.

For a reason or another Finland has been at the pole position when it comes to developing VR-technology. Finland has for long been known for its success in the IT field and it’s technological know-how that allowed big players such as Nokia to arise in the 90’s. Even after Nokia, this technological expertise is still highly valued and the country is willing to pour resources out to educate top-notch engineers to keep the industry, not only alive, but always one step ahead.

Through firm knowledge this small country in the cold north has become a solid forerunner in the virtual reality business, even keeping well-known tech-countries such as China at bay. Finland currently teems with start-ups that work in in the VR commerce as well as in gaming. Two of these start-ups, which have completely exploded the markets after their launch, are Rovio and Varjo. The latter is a newcomer currently working on releasing VR glasses, which are able to display image with a resolution similar to the human eye. These codename “20/20” glasses will surely challenge both Oculus and HTC in the market and give a serious boost to exploring the not yet discovered possibilities virtual reality has to offer.

Harnessing such technology to the use of the gaming industry has already opened up new doors allowing the gaming experience to take new turns. One of the gaming branches extremely interested in using the potential of virtual reality is the gambling industry. Online casinos have been experiencing rapid growth during recent years, and it is of no surprise that the possibility of using virtual reality to upgrade the gaming experience appeals to the industry.

The world gambling is known to be especially innovative and bold when it comes to designing games that bring something previously unseen to the table and evoke interest in players. Equipping the player with VR-glasses gives a whole new dimension to rolling some free spins in the comfort of one’s living room or sitting down at a poker table. Especially live games can turn the VR frenzy to account by transforming whichever space to a high-end casino and offering games, which blur the line between live- and online gambling.

Finland is an interesting factor in the VR field, not only because of the technological pioneering, but also because the Finnish gaming- and VR industries walk so tightly hand in hand. Being a country of only 5,4 million inhabitants, the crème de la crème of tech tends to know each other well across industry borders. It can therefore be expected that these firm allies will be able to bring out news to the gaming field where virtual reality is a deeply thought through element and not just an add-on.

The turnover of the virtual reality market is estimated being as high as 108 billion euros in 2021, which further underlines the vast potential it has not only in entertainment, but in other sectors of the society as well. The fact that little Finland is a forerunner in developing VR-technology gives the whole Europe a vantage in bringing VR to the daily life of every person, whether it be in entertainment, education, engineering or in healthcare.

Strategy Games

5 Unique/Distinctive Strategy Games to Look Forward to in 2018

Strategy games never get old. Regardless of the gaming platform, they offer something gamers can look forward to. For 2018, gamers can expect a fresh lineup of strategy games with an impressive number of them offering exciting new concepts and features. The basic concept of controlling resources and battling enemy forces or other players is still going to be a common feature for most strategy games but there are some slight differences that make these games interesting. Take a look at our top picks for upcoming unique strategy games in 2018.

Industries of Titan

Industries of Titan is an industrial city-building strategy game wherein the goal is to design, create, and foster the growth an industrial city while competing with others (who are doing the same). The game is named as such because of its setting: Titan, one of the satellites/moons of Saturn. Each player must grow their cities from a few small buildings into a large metropolis. These cities need to have factories to convert raw resources into buildings and powerful devices. The game, though, is not just about building an efficient and powerful economy. There’s also battleship combat, politics, and technological race involved.

Industries of Titan was created by the same team that produced Crypt of the NecroDancer. It is distinctive in its amalgamation of economy-based and air-based fighting gameplay. The cities that can be built look stunning while the addition of aircraft combat creates a new kind of excitement. Gameplay, by the way, is real-time but it is possible to “pause” so you can play at the pace you prefer.

Overland

Overland is a PC/Mac/Linux game strategy game with a post-disaster America setting. It’s about surviving in a world that continuously becomes less conducive to human life as hordes of creatures—unclear if they’re aliens or mutated plants or fungi—attack. These creatures are attracted to sound and tend to appear where the human survivors are staying. In the game, the survivors must work as a group and avoid staying in one place to continue surviving. This is not a fighting game. Killing the monsters is possible but risky, hence not advisable. The real goal of the game is to find fuel and supplies to travel around and avoid the assailants.

What makes Overland unique is that it manages to be horror game without the cliche-horror-type-dark-setting and gruesome deaths. It’s a cruel game without being too visually so, at least as far as the “living” players are concerned. However, you will surely feel the stress as you take actions, make sacrifices, and deal with the many challenges as you move along. Additionally, the game does not say much about what players are going to get themselves into. There is no plotline revealed as you start the game. There are no instructions as to where you should be going. You just have to survive and make do with what you can find along the way.

Railway Empire

Railway Empire is a PS4, Xbox One, PC, and Linux strategy game that involves the building of elaborate and expansive rail networks. There are more than 40 trains you can play with for which you have to buy or construct rails, railway stations, maintenance buildings, factories, as well as tourist attractions. The goal in doing these is to maintain a railway network that is better than what others have. You have to outdo competitors by coming up with efficient railway networks to support booming industries and by researching new technologies to improve train and railway operations. Spies and saboteurs may also be deployed to one-up the competition.

This game may not be a new concept, but it stands out for being realistic, pragmatic, and flabbergasting. The graphics is a big plus factor. The extraordinary details on the trains, in particular, will likely impress gamers. The game concept is engaging and will offer something new for train buffs. It’s not just about strategizing for the efficient use of resources and designing of rail networks. You will encounter times when research and ingenuity are not going to be enough. You may have to make use of cutthroat strategies to outdo your competitors.

Frostpunk

Frostpunk is another city building game but with several twists. With a post-apocalyptic setting, this game requires players to ensure the survival of the cities or societies they build. It features a steampunk ice age scenario in an alternate 19th century that is inhospitable for human life, leaving the human population on the brink of extinction. What you need to do in the game is to nurture a small group of survivors to help gradually restore humankind. You should gather resources to run the generator that provides the warmth the survivors need. You also have a comprehensive Law Tree, which you can manage or modify to run the society you created as you deem fit.

Frostpunk stirs your morality (if you really get into the game) while testing your ability to strategize. It’s not just the usual kill-and-kill-to-survive kind of setup. There are decisions you have to make that makes the game not as easy to deal with. There’s the struggle to maintain one’s moral compass while addressing necessities. The post-apocalyptic ice age scenario adds to the coldly cruel nature of the game. There’s even the option to eat the dead during times of food scarcity by passing a law to allow it.

Airport CEO

This PC game may sound boring and ordinary, but it offers something many will likely appreciate. Airport CEO is an economic tycoon game that lets players experience what it is like to manage an airport. Gameplay involves the management of various installations or facilities including control towers, starting lines, sidewalks, roads, and even bus stops. You also get to design the airport terminal with efficient service for passengers in mind.

Airport CEO does not provide the usual combat and conflicts you expect in most strategy games. However, its concept is a great way to take a look into how airport management is like. If you are a frequent air traveler, this game can let you experience how difficult it is to operate airports and design everything to make sure that passengers are safe and satisfied. Albeit not completely accurate with its details, this game is educational. It even allows you to take a dip into human resource management and the signing of contracts with various contractors who play important roles in airport operations.

These are a few of the interesting new games set to be released in 2018. They may not be totally unique or new concepts but the little new things they introduce should make them worth anticipating. A little note: the games featured above may require you to invest some time to get acquainted with them and to savor the thrill of getting into the game. If you prefer something you can play casually, you can try online multiplayer strategy games here. These browser-based games are comparably exciting and do not require you to install anything. Game options are varied, from Viking and Medieval games to modern warfare and post-apocalyptic themed games.

PlayStation Universe

Snatch these 5 Much-Loved creations from Naughty Dog PlayStation Universe

Have you ever tried hands on the latest Naughty Dog PS4 games? If not, then you are probably not interested in keeping your life exciting. Well, there are many such PS4 games those will provide a good exposure while making you adventurous at the same time.

However, if you are really in search of some attractive deals for your PS4 devices, grab some from Dealslands so that you don’t waste your time and energy. And the deals won’t cost you an arm or a leg as well.

  1. Uncharted 4: The Thief’s End

While you would start playing the game of Uncharted 4: The Thief’s End, then you would realize that it is a rip-roaring stuff to play this. Amongst the frantic combat that happens in the midst, this version of Uncharted achieves something wonderful – Maturity.

The level of polish that Thief’s End delivers is beyond imagination. The new control that 4 x 4 holds over the tricky terrain is just lovely. When Nate’s grappling hook zooms over after he swings over the cliff, you will get a magnificent vista of the game. The way Nate slips across the cliff faces will make you imagine as if they are water-slides.

The way that Naughty Dog has expanded its arena and terrain would make you enjoy the larger land mass. Sometimes, the game becomes boring due to its nooks and crannies. But if you prefer lineage, then this choice is advisable and recommended. Even the choice is so energetic.

  1. The Last of Us: Remastered

Honestly speaking, I avoided playing this game at first!! But then I realized that there is something that is keeping me from catching it again. So I decided that I would play this game.

Somehow, I slogged through the levels over and over again so that I could reach to the least point margin to progress to the next level.

While you are playing this game, you will get to understand the journey of Joel, a salty survivor and Ellie, what started as a cute story would transform into a brutal story.

Time and again, Naughty Dog has proven itself for having the expert and well-equipped development team with itself. When The Last of U: Remastered was released, it has delivered us another consistent gaming experience. From the extensive and interesting as well as unique world. This world is practically supported with the game mechanics.

  1. Uncharted: The Lost Legacy

It is always recommended that you shouldn’t play Uncharted: The Lost Legacy without trying for the rest of the series. The standalone gaming adventure, The Lost Legacy is stormed with the exciting action packed moves and some of the most beautiful vistas as well.

The shootout was packed up with the disposable guns against the paramilitary troops. So every wall I was approaching was crumbling and I had to climb over most of them. I was feeling that I was playing a great linear action game – but without any suspense.

  1. Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception

Are you fond of the spills, mystery, romance, and thrills? Then Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception is the ultimate choice.

The team at the Naughty Dog has ultimately perfected its spacing. The platform of Drake’s deception progresses effortlessly and smoothly from high tension guns to brain storming actions and chase sequences.

Comparing the Call of Duty shooter, it is pretty similar but the Call of Duty works on a much broad emotional level.

The Final Line!!!

While you play all these Naughty Dog creation, you may feel that you are loving this. You may also search for some more of the latest deals on PS4 games so that you don’t get to spend a fortune. But no worries, there are many available on the web.

Happy Naughty Dog Gaming!!!

eSports Players

Play Like a Pro With eSports Players’ Chosen Gaming Gear

Thinking of upping your video gaming play? Want the latest technology to enhance your gaming performance? One of your options is to invest in the same equipment as some of the biggest pros and pro teams in the eSports industry, who rely on their equipment to see them through countless battles time and time again.

When gaming, it is imperative that, above all, you feel comfortable with your equipment, spanning from your monitor, mouse and headphones all the way to the objects that are often focused on less, such as the mouse pad and chair that you sit in. Each individual piece of equipment work as components that join together to create a cohesive set of armour, weapons, movements, abilities, ears and eyes during all of your gaming endeavours. As Virtus.Pro member Wiktor “Taz” Wojitas points out, “you need to have good movement, which is in your keyboard” as well as “good aim, which is in your mouse and mouse pad”. Equipment can make or break a professional eSport player’s performance, such as mouse lag costing the player precious seconds in which the direction of the game can be utterly transformed. Luckily, this kind of pro equipment doesn’t have to cost the earth, either.

Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok

One of the most prolific eSports personalities to emerge from South Korea, “Faker” competes in League of Legends tournaments all over the globe for his team SK Telecom T1 (who are sponsored by a Korean telecommunication company of the same name). This year he has been using the BenQ XL2430T monitor to compete with in competitions, presumably due to its high refresh rates, anti-blur technology, pixel pitch of 0.276mm and response time of 1ms (GTG). Furthermore, “Faker” uses a BlackWidow Ultimate Stealth keyboard and a DeathAdder Chroma mouse, both the creation of Razor, promising optimal speed and responsiveness during gaming, along with opportunities for customisation.

Fnatic

The eSports team Fnatic have their own dedicated line of gaming hardware available for their fans to purchase if they so wish. Carrying the orange Fnatic logo, it is a great way to show support for the team while carrying out your own gaming challenges. The Dual Modular Gaming Headset was devised from discussion with pro CS:GO, League of Legends and Dota 2 pro eSports players, as well as a collaboration with audio company AIAIAI, whose designs featured in the Museum of Modern Arts.

The Rush Pro Gaming Keyboard is being used by Fnatic’s CS:GO team in the ESL Pro League, which was originally named the “Electronic Sports League” when it was created in 2000, the finals of which for this year’s season take place on the 11th of December 2017 and are sponsored by Logitech, Lenovo, Nvidia, among others, as well as leading online betting sites like Betway. At just over $93.00, the Rush Pro keyboard has been made specifically suitable for gaming due to its total of five preset profiles, wrist rest that is detachable and backlighting to prevent eye strain when gaming late at night.

G2 eSports

The team G2 eSports recently competed at the Epicenter 2017 tournament, which took place from the 28th to the 29th of October for CS:GO and was sponsored by Monster Energy, obtaining third place. While most members of the team have selected different mice from each other, two players both favour the Logitech G903 mouse. It is likely that players “NBK” and “bodyy” prefer the Logitech G903 over all others as a result of its high sensitivity (2.60) and eDPI of 1,040, which is in contrast to the SteelSeries Rival 300 used by “apEX”, which has sensitivity of 1.91 and eDPI of 764. The GS eSports officially website offers fans of the team the chance to purchase a branded pro gaming chair for $360, which is designed to connect you with the eSports pros while bringing you comfort while you game.

There are also modifications you can carry out on your current gaming gear, or alternatively, even something as simple as altering the monitor settings can bring major changes to your ease of gaming. For example, changes to the field of view settings allow you to become more comfortable with your position in the game-scape, especially if engaging in a first-person video game. Also, screen resolution puts less strain on the GPU if it is turned down to a slightly lower resolution that still ensures an immersive and detailed gaming world, such as 720p.

Go The Simba Hybrid Way For A Deeper Sleep

Over the last couple of years, I’ve increasingly become a troubled sleeper. It’s partly because of my anxiety, but mostly owing to my chronic upper-back pain. Naturally, I’ve tried switching to different pillows and mattresses but to no avail. Someone at work was talking about Simba and how the products are incredibly good. I was all ears and decided to take a look.

Yes, this was a bit beyond my budget, but when I saw that the Simba Hybrid Mattress had free delivery and a 100-Night Sleep Trial, I couldn’t resist the offer. Being a cleanliness-freak, the Simba Hybrid Mattress Protector was a must-buy. Also, the height-adjustable and temperature-controlled Simba Hybrid Pillow seemed too good to skip!

All three products were delivered on time and damage-free. Before getting into my sleep experience, let me take a moment to commend the smart packing of the mattress. Usually, one would expect a 5-layered mattress to be super-bulky. Nope, not this one! The King-Size Simba Hybrid Mattress that I ordered was effortlessly easy to unbox, and once placed on the bed base, it just unfolds and rises on its own!

With my backaches, an overly soft mattress and pillow that sink in too much are a strict no-no. But anything too hard is bad for my insomnia. To my utmost delight, both the mattress and pillow from Simba proved to be exactly what I was looking for! I believe that the responsive memory foam of the Simba mattress adapts to my sleeping position; so the firmness is exactly the way I want. My wife prefers very soft mattresses, but even she was raving about how the luxurious this one from Simba is, and how well she slept! Also, the mattress is engineered in a way that one sleeper doesn’t get disturbed when the other one tosses and turns.

The best feature I’ve liked about the Simba Hybrid Pillow is that nanotubes filling can easily be removed or added to alter height and firmness. All this without creating a mess! I’ve used the pillow for around three months now, and I’ve experienced a marginal decrease in my upper spine ache. With my insomnia almost gone, I look forward to sleep time rather than dreading it!

Just like the responsive foam of the mattress, the hybrid pillow shapes up exactly the way your head, neck and spine require. Last but not the least, there is a ‘down feathers’ layer inside for that much-needed luxurious feel. Also, did I mention that both pillow and mattress are temperature-controlled? Even better value for money!

Let me also tell you that the Simba mattress protector is an essential purchase if you are buying the hybrid mattress.  After all, you are spending a bomb on the mattress, and you would want it to remain clean. It is the best protector since it fits all kinds of mattresses, and is spill-resistant as well as waterproof.

For a disturbed sleeper like me, I feel I’ve hit the jackpot with the Simba Hybrid Mattress and Pillow. Don’t take my word for it, try it on your own. They offer a 100-night trial with free returns, so you have nothing to lose either way!

Console and iGaming

Console and iGaming Crossovers: The Future?

With console gaming continuing its role as the primary breadwinner of the $91bn world gaming industry, there is little wonder the crossover potential of many of its iconic titles and characters. The popularity of titles as varied as Angry Birds, Tomb Raider and the Mario franchise has led to film, television and even music video crossovers, with the increasingly mainstream games industry making strides in the wider entertainment industry.

Another phenomenon of this crossover potential is within the gaming industry itself, with console stars having been utilized not only across the console and PC sectors but in others, too. The increasingly prevalent online gambling industry is one area that has unsurprisingly run with these themes, with a host of titles having made the crossover between platforms with huge success. A glance at the 2017 Ukie report into the performance of the online gambling industry reveals that it is expected to grow to around $59bn by 2020 and that a post-smartphone surge in the popularity of iGaming is partly driving this growth.

iGaming
“iGaming” by Casino Connection

The ability to enjoy gaming with the chance of real-term prizes is one that has an obvious appeal, but the reality is that without an attractive gaming narrative and gameplay, iGaming titles fall just as flat as they would on a more mainstream platform. This is where the old favorites step in, of course, and attributing an iconic video game character to a slot game can hugely increase its success. The familiarity of popular characters, especially those who have previously already made the leap into film or TV, gives the iGame a validity it would otherwise miss. This is an especially important attribute in a crowded online gambling industry, of course, where trust is key.

No fewer than three major console titles, including Hitman, Game of Thrones and Tomb Raider, have successfully made the crossover to slots-based gaming and are available for fans to play with promotional offers and free spins for Slot games online at Games William Hill. Furthermore, the crossover appeal between the games industry and Hollywood is obvious, too, with Ghostbusters and Spartacus also featuring, as does a game inspired by the popular TV sci-fi show Battlestar Galactica.

Tomb Raider is a particularly prominent cross-platform title, of course, with titles in every conceivable entertainment stream, including a box office-busting film franchise starring Angelina Jolie. The forthcoming Alicia Vikander reincarnation of the franchise was announced in recent weeks and is eagerly anticipated, with many hoping it will lead to a reboot of the ever-popular console and indeed iGaming titles.

Titles such as Red Dead Redemption and Fallout: New Vegas having toyed with bringing the casino experience to console gaming, but the iGaming industry as a whole is rumoured to be making its very own move into console gaming as the VR revolution makes itself felt. Many expect online casino games to flourish as consumers become able to enjoy realistic casino experiences from the comfort of their own home, and with eSports having experienced its own revolution in recent years, the combination is likely to see slot games played across consoles in the near future.

Which games make the crossover to iGaming in the future remains to be seen, but with these titles showing no signs of slowing in their popularity with slots gamers, it is likely more will follow suit.

gaming laptops

Great gaming laptops under $1000 that are worth buying

Gaming has evolved into one of the most popular forms of entertainment in the world. The advancements in the gaming industry has turned it into a multibillion dollar industry and many people have developed extensive careers simply by designing and developing different forms of cool games. The widespread popularity of gaming has influenced ardent gamers of all age groups and has led them to invest in different types of laptops and desktop computers that are configured to deliver the ultimate gaming experience.

When you are looking to enjoy your favorite video games in the best possible manner, you need to have a laptop that is configured to provide you with the optimum performance. There are currently many good laptops out there that are created to present users with an awesome gaming experience. However, if you are still a student or just fresh out of college, you may find it difficult to invest heavily in a laptop even though you want the best gaming experience. In that case, the best thing for you to do would be to go for a laptop that comes at an affordable price bracket of less than $1000. Here are some great laptops that you can consider when you are looking to have an excellent gaming experience without burning holes in your pocket.

Razer Blade Stealth RZ09-01962E20-R3U1

If you are looking for a budget gaming laptop, you should definitely consider getting yourself the Razer Blade Stealth RZ09-01962E20-R3U1 model that comes just under $900. While it does not have a very powerful graphics card to deliver optimum results, the Intel HD Graphics 620 can still work well with mid range games. However, it does make up for the drawback there with a good CPU that is powered with Intel Core i5-7200U 2.5GHz. The 8GB DDR3L RAM also offers enough sustenance power when you are looking to play some of the more popular games.

Lenovo Ideapad Y700 80NV0029US

The Lenovo Ideapad Y700 80NV0029US is yet another powerful laptop model that is available at a budget price. It has a CPU that is powered with the 2.6GHz Intel Core i7-6700 which is quite fast to say the least. The CPU is also further equipped with Nvidia GeForce GTX 960 graphics unit that can deliver a stellar gaming experience each and every time. The lightning fast speeds offered by the laptop make it ideal for many games that have high end graphics requirements. Additionally, the 1TB storage space and 16GB RAM makes it a must have device for gamers looking for budget laptops.

Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-53VG

Priced just under $600, the Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-53VG model comes with a cool 15.6 inch display as well as plenty of goodies under the hood that just makes it the best gaming laptop in this range. The CPU is powered with an Intel Core i5 processor and it is further powered by Nvidia GeForce 940 MX graphics card which can deliver awesome performance. The 8GB RAM can be further expanded to 32GB. Although the storage capacity of 256GB is not much, the laptop still has enough of great features to be worth considering.

Lenovo Legion Y520

The Lenovo Legion Y520 is powered by a 7th gen Intel Core Processor as well as an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti GPU that can deliver quality performance for a budget laptop. It also has 8GB of RAM that can provide good support for some of the more advanced games. However, it does lack when it comes to the storage space and battery life.

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