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By Allan D. Francisco

he Wild West is pretty much alive. This statement is brought to life by Rockstar Games award winning game, Red Dead: Redemption. Set in the vast and unforgiving deserts of America and Mexico, the game takes players into a wild rollercoaster of action in the boots and crosshairs of a gunslinger. Its not another Grand Theft Auto clone, but a game with its own identity and thrills. As a cowboy/gunslinger game, RD:R takes place somewhere in the border a fictional US state, and Mexico. Gamers get to play as John Marston, an ex-outlaw on a mission to bring his former colleagues to justice. With this task beset at his shoulders, John goes from a typical bounty hunter, to a significant icon in the Mexican Civil War, to a wellrenowned gunslinger. The game is played in thirdperson similar to Rockstars GTA. As John Marston, the player is able to traverse the seemingly endless lines of dunes and rocky crags on foot, on horseback, or via train. The map itself is large and wide, giving way for hours of exploration. In order to progress the game, the player must accomplish a certain mission. Aside from the thrilling storyline missions, the game also offers tons of side dishes to distract and add a significant amount

EVERY MONDAY February 27, 2012

Red Dead: Wild West Redemption

mobile OS with features including the ability to manage contacts right there on the SIM card. But the most exciting bit would be the Tango's ability to run on 256MB Windows Phone, which would be like Windows 8 running on a Pentium III PC. Sony's Vita Push Sony launched its PlayStation Vita handheld gaming platform in the United States and European markets last week. The basic, WiFi version is priced at $250, while the 3G-equipped edition goes for $300 and a monthly data fee from AT&T. Sony is pushing the Vita with a $50 million marketing campaign. Unlike with its PlayStation Portable experience, however, Sony is likely to find it hard to sell the Vita. After all, for quite so long now, consumers have been used to playing games on mobile phones and other handheld gadgets that aside from doing games can also perform other tasks, such as make phone calls, take photos, shoot videos, connect to the Web, and play digital songs. So, the million-dollar question now is why would any game-loving consumer buy the PlayStation Vita when it makes much more sense to buy an iPhone, or any Android or Windows Phone 7 smartphone instead? The Vita comes with a 5-inch screen, front- and rear-facing cameras, and is powered by a quadcore processor, which is also found inside the market's currently fastest tablet computers. Certainly, the Vita launch means so much for Sony. After too many quarters of not so pleasant developments, Japan's electronics giant could use some good news. This corner hopes enough numbers of mobile gamers fall in love with the latest portable gaming console from Sony. That's all for the meantime, folks. Join me again next time as we keep on watching IT.

Busy Microsoft
e are about done with the first week of Lent, a period that was supposed to be slow and conducive for reflection. Instead, we had more of the usual reports of killing and dying, of thieving and lying, and of hurting and maiming. Maybe it is part and parcel of our season of passion to suffer, to be tortured by these developments that highlight our seeming powerlessness, our apparent inability to make any difference at all in the overall course of things. But don't give up. Do hold on. Lent goes on for about five weeks more.

Heavy Week Microsoft had an interesting week. First, Cisco Systems made it known that it plans to appeal the European regulators' approval of Microsoft's purchase of Skype. Senior vice president Marthin De Beer's post on his company's blog says that while they do not oppose the merger per se, they wish the European Commission would require Microsoft to offer "standardsbased interoperability." Bottomline of Cisco Systems' opposition to the Microsoft-Skype deal has to do with the impending marriage between Skype and Microsoft's Lync unified communications system. A Skype-Lync tandem would combine the best that consumer and business telephony systems offer. Should a closed platform emerge from the merger (which most observers think will happen), Cisco Systems' competing technologies might get left out in the rain, cold and lonely. Meanwhile, rumor mills have been busy. According to some "news leaks," Microsoft is reportedly preparing its Tango update for the Windows Phone 7 smartphone operating system. Russian Web site has it that the update will endow the Microsoft

of play time. Combat in RD:R is more refined, as it features not just a cover system, but also a feature unique to the game, the Dead Eye. The Dead Eye is John Marstons way of showing how good he is in shooting stuff. It basically slows down time enabling players to tag and shoot enemies with frightening speed. Its fun to use especially in dealing with multiple enemies and its a heck of a show-off. Aside from the colourful and action-packed missions, RD:R features side quests and other stuff to take your eyes away from finishing the game. This include capturing wanted criminals and taking their bounties, hunting animals, finding herbs and roots, and mini-games. The mini-

games, such as poker and blackjack, provide players with a hefty amount of distraction while giving players rewards in the form of ingame cash. And by the way, players can also herd cows and capture wild horses. Red Dead: Redemption is one of the best games I have ever played. It features open-world exploration spiced up with action-packed combat and a dramatic plotline. The game is near perfect, in terms of how the player will find more things to do in it. This review does not even cover half of what youll experience in the campaign. If you own a console, then get a copy of this game. For sure, you would definitely stop holding your horses with Red Dead: Redemption. (Jose Gamaliel Felongco)

Of QWERTY and Touchscreen Phones

Keypads are a thing of the past, while touchscreensare now the norm. Even before Steve Jobs popular devices, touchscreen phones have already been around. What really placed the iPhone several notches higher is its multi-touch capabilities. Since then, more and more users switched to using touchscreen mobiles. In this article, we look at the highlights and lowlights of the different types of phones having just the keypads, only the touchscreen, and a combination of both. Standard keypad or Candy bar These phones are the devices we all first used. Typing on the standard keypads may be the best only if your primary use of having a phone is for casual texting and calling. If you text a lot and you start to feel that its causing you stress to press keypads a lot of times, you should try looking for another handset solution. Touchscreen phone New to touchscreen phones? The first problem would be the lack of keypad. Yes, it will take a bit of time to adjust to its absence this would mean a slower text input rate. On the brighter side, navigation would be faster since you will just have to swipe here and there. But again, navigation is not the main use of a mobile phone, rather still text input. Whether the phone has capacitive or resistive touchscreen, inputting text can usually be time consuming and not user-friendly. You always have to make sure you hit the surface on the screen or touch the correct items on the spot. Theres a lot of room for errors. In addition, touchscreen phones usually need to have larger screens, therefore meaning higher power consumption and repetitive charging. Touchscreen with QWERTY Keypad The combination of touchscreen and QWERTY keypad provides the best of both worlds. You can directly tap/swipe the screen for easier navigation and type relatively faster with the provision of QWERTY keys. The usual lowlights of these devices are the size and bulkiness. In order to resolve this, manufacturers make either the screen size to be too big so QWERTY keys would suffer, or screen size to be smaller in favor of a nice QWERTY size and layout. Standard screen with Full QWERTY The full QWERTY keypad is a texters best friend. Messaging and social networking will be a breeze with the easy to type on QWERTY keys. Navigation could be a bit slow, but the availability of track ball and optical trackpad should solve this, at least in some handsets. Aside from typing made faster and more comfortably, the weight of such phones is usually low and the size is comfortable to go dual-thumbing on the QWERTY. In addition, the missing touchscreen simply means reduced power consumption. (Glenn Richmond Ong)
The Lumia 710, one of the Lumia devices [that] will amaze everyone who try it out, says Goshalia.

Nokia Still The Leading Phone Brand Owned By Most Pinoys

okia continues to be on the top of the mobile phone race as a recent survey revealed it is the brand of mobile handset owned by most Filipinos in 2011. The full results of the survey are disclosed in the Mobile Life 2012 study by TNS, the worlds leading custom research company. Mobile Life is the most comprehensive research on mobile phones that covers 43 markets from North America to Asia to Sub-Saharan Africa, with a total of 34,000 respondents. For the Metro Manila coverage, 500 face-to-face interviews were conducted among respondents with ages ranging from 16 to 60 years old across all economic classes. Among the questions asked was the brand of handset owned by Filipinos in Metro Manila, or what brand of mobile phone reflects the urban Filipino. Sixty-four percent of the respondents interviewed revealed they currently own a Nokia handset. The mobile phone brand on the second spot trails behind with a mere 12%. Compared with the 2010 study, the recent result reveals a decline of ownership of the Nokia brand from 70%. Still, the results reflect Filipinos continuous preference for

Nokia handsets. These results from the Mobile Life Study of TNS only show that the Philippines is still a Nokia country, says Dharmesh Goshalia, General Manager of Nokia Philippines. Despite the deluge of other mobile phone brands, Nokia remains in the consciousness of Filipinos as a reliable mobile device that meets their lifestyle. Goshalia further reveals that Nokia has set its sights on making 2012 another landmark year. The company is geared up to deliver aspirational products that offer choice for consumers, with differentiation on quality and value for money. Watch out for our Nokia with Windows Phones coming very soon. Those Lumia devices will amaze everyone who try it out. Also, expect more Dual SIM and QWERTY devices. We promise that it will be more fun with Nokia. Apart from revealing the mobile phone brand owned mostly by Filipinos, the Mobile Life 2012 Study also showed interesting results on mobile phone ownership. A survey disclosed that mobile phone ownership in the country remains stable and that mobile phones are now

More QWERTY devices to come, like the Asha 200.

more widely owned than the DVD player. The study also unveiled a significant increase in smartphone ownership since 2010 across all economic classes.

The Mobile Life Study of TNS only show that the Philippines is still a Nokia country. Despite the deluge of other mobile phone brands, Nokia remains in the consciousness of Filipinos as a reliable mobile device that meets their lifestyle, says Dharmesh Goshalia, General Manager of Nokia Philippines.