PES 2017 Mobile Review

HIGHLIGHTS

  • PES 2017 is now available on Android and iOS
  • The game is free-to-play, with optional in-app purchases
  • It uses the same game engine as the console series

More than eight months after the release of Pro Evolution Soccer 2017, Konami has brought the game to mobile devices worldwide. Unlike the iterative and standalone strategy devised by EA for FIFA Mobile, which chopped and changed football’s format, PES 2017 Mobile retains the full console experience, right down to the soundtrack and commentary. If you’re wondering (much like us) why we are only getting this now, given we’re barely four months away from the release of PES 2018, that’s thanks to a protracted development and release schedule. The game has been available in various beta phases since December, but is only now getting a full-scale launch, available free on both Android and iOS, with optional in-app purchases.

PES 2017 Mobile Review

From the get-go, you can tell that Konami wanted to hew as close to its console cousin in how the game looks and plays. Of course, mobiles still can’t compete with consoles in terms of power, but PES 2017 Mobile can definitely pass for an older PES console entry at first glance. More importantly, it works smoothly always, without taxing your phone to the point where it starts to heat up. And since the aim is to provide the full PES 2017 experience, the mobile version comes in at a hefty 1.5GB download. Match commentary isn’t included in that, which is a good thing since it’s available in half a dozen different languages. Instead, it waits for you to select your preference, and then downloads the (around 250MB) pack in-game.

As with any mobile title, PES 2017 Mobile starts you off with a tutorial, teaching you the basic controls for dribble, pass, shoot, and pressure. There are other advanced tutorials as well, for lob pass, through ball, slide tackle, and more, but in the interest of getting you into the action quicker, they aren’t shown at the start. Konami has come up with a new control scheme to suit the mobile play-style, which involves swiping on the screen in different ways. You can switch to the classic on-screen buttons if you prefer, but we found ourselves warming to the new controls quickly.

pes 2017 mobile barca dortmund PES 2017 Mobile

Once you get the hang of the basic controls, the game lets you pick your favourite team, with the same number of licenses as the console version. You’re thrown into an exhibition match right after, against the likes of FC Barcelona, and Borussia Dortmund. We won the game very easily (8-0, to be precise), and figured there would be a difficulty option to choose from later. But to our dismay, PES 2017 Mobile doesn’t have one.

Instead, difficulty ramps up as you progress through the game’s Campaign mode. Think of it as FIFA’s Seasons, except you play against computer-controlled teams instead of other users. Each campaign season is 10 games long, and you need a certain amount of points to qualify for the next one. There’s a simulation version of Campaign, where all 22 players are AI-controlled, and you only handle the management.

It could be beneficial for rookies, as they could learn something from the way the AI plays. You can also take part in local and online games, where you match up with others in real-time. We didn’t face any troubles with matchmaking (on Wi-Fi and cellular data), though it’s possible games will drop if your connection in unstable.

The last remaining, and most prominently displayed, game mode is called Events, which are challenges available for a limited time, some for a week, and others daily. Konami will also have challenges set around real-world happenings, such as the upcoming UEFA Champions League final. The more events you play, the tougher challenges you can unlock. Konami allows you to repeat these challenges, with the first attempt netting you some myClub Coins and GP, with future plays only providing more GP. More on those two later.

pes 2017 mobile myclub PES 2017 Mobile

Stripped down
Although it’s called “PES 2017”, for all intents and purposes, the game’s mobile version essentially retains one of the (money-making) aspects: myClub, which is Konami’s answer to FIFA Ultimate Team. After you’ve had the luxury of playing with a top team in the opening exhibition, you’re given a poor lot of players (usually in mid-60s, rating-wise) whom you must improve and win games with to better your squad. As you continue to play, you’ll build up two values that matter: GP, and myClub Coins. Both can be used to sign new players, buy agents, renew contracts, and so forth.

While GP is earned only via playing, myClub Coins can be earned through achievements upon completing a specific task, or bought with actual money (i.e. in-app purchases) from an in-game shop, starting from Rs. 80, and going up to Rs. 7,900. Since it’s a free-to-play title, it’s obviously much quicker to collect more coins by paying. If you’re willing to pay up, you can even buy a “Special Agent” with myClub Coins, which will help you sign “special players”, and get on the road to glory easier than everyone else.

Plus, signing a new player is restricted to a lucky draw of sorts, where a carousel of white, silver, golden, and black balls scroll across the screen at a high speed, with a selection circle in the middle. Depending on when you touch the screen, it’ll slow down and come to rest at one of the colours, and get you that level of player. White is the lowest, with black being the highest. You can get new players from agents or scouts – the former costs 10,000GP after the first time, and the latter are earned through playing.

pes 2017 mobile player PES 2017 Mobile

There’s even a limit on how many matches you can fit in back-to-back, which comes by way of an Energy Bar (100 when full) that depletes by 20 with every game you play. It takes 15 minutes for it to recharge by one – excruciatingly slow, intentionally – which is supposed to incentivise spending on energy recharges (read: myClub Coins) in the shop section.

The bigger disappointment, in the light of the focus on myClub in PES 2017 Mobile, is that it takes away the option to play exhibition matches using real-world clubs by yourself or with your friends. The charm of mobile gaming, after all, is that you can play any time, and enjoy it without needing a specialised machine. We wish that Konami had allowed for impromptu Champions League games between the biggest European clubs, though it’s understandable why it would hesitate to, given the free-to-play nature of the game.

Verdict
Even though PES 2017 Mobile will be too easy (and in turn, boring) for players with any sort of experience, it’s still commendable that Konami could provide the same game engine – albeit an optimised one – used in the original console version, which provides for fast, attack-heavy arcade play, something PES has come to fully embrace, while EA Sports’ FIFA has gone the opposite route. Compared to FIFA Mobile, it’s in a league of its own, albeit with some constraints and frustrations inherent of free-to-play titles.

If you’re looking for football action on the go, you could do a lot worse.

Pros:

  • Runs great
  • New control scheme is well-thought
  • Commentary and soundtrack

Cons:

  • No way to change difficulty
  • Can’t play with real teams or clubs
  • Signing good players is down to luck
  • Energy Bar takes a day to fully recharge

Rating (out of 10): 7

We played PES 2017 Mobile on an iPhone 6 Plus. The game is free-to-play with in-app purchases on Android, and iOS.

More than half of shopping-related searches come from mobile devices

For the first time ever, consumers all over the world carried out more shopping-related searches on their mobile phones than on their computers.

Data from the new Salesforce Q1 2017 Shopping Index analyzed the shopping habits of more than 500 million consumers in 27 countries, with smartphones coming out on top for the first time.Man using mobile payments online shopping and icon customer network connection on screen, mobile-banking and omni channel

“A couple years ago, if you were browsing Facebook on your phone and saw a jumper you wanted to buy, you had to wait until you got to your computer to log on and purchase it. However, now, with the evolution of mobile, we can easily search on-the-go and make a purchase instantly,” comments Jamie Merrick, director of Industry Insights at Salesforce Commerce Cloud (formerly Demandware).

“Given that the conversion rate of a shopper who has used a search function is three times higher than non-search traffic, this has a huge impact on UK retailers’ approach to commerce. Having a mobile-first approach is key to ensuring shoppers have a seamless and easy mobile experience so that retailers don’t miss out on revenue growth,” adds Merrick.

Salesforce’s report says mobile drove more than half (53 percent) of all traffic, and 32 percent of all orders, while shopper spend was increased six percent in the same period.

As for the UK, site search resulted in 35 percent of revenue, which is the highest rate in the whole world.

Sixteen percent of shoppers expressed buying signals, which is the highest rate ever outside a period that’s not Q4. Growth in spend slightly outpaced traffic growth, while the average order value increased three percent year-on-year.

“This trend in mobile search also highlights the importance of unified commerce across all channels — if a customer shops in-store, browses online or purchases on mobile, the experience should be consistent and as pleasurable for the customer as possible,” Merrick concluded.

Sony Mobile Xperia XZ Premium available to pre-order

Sony Mobile customers from across United Arab Emirates (UAE) can now pre-order Xperia XZ Premium smartphone online and in select stores from 20th May.

Pre-order customers will receive free Sony XB950BT Bluetooth deep bass headphones with their smartphone, which is priced at AED 2,699.

The stores offering pre-ordering in store and online in UAE include the Sony boutique at The Dubai Mall, Sharaf DG and Jumbo.

Xperia XZ Premium has won more than 30 industry awards globally and features Sony’s new Motion Eye camera system. It offers an incredible 960 frames per second Super slow motion video capture and playback, four times slower than any other smartphone. Its advanced camera captures motion the human eye just can’t see.

Sony Mobile Xperia XZ Premium available to pre-order

Xperia XZ Premium features a 4K HDR (High Dynamic Range, 2160 x 3840) 5.5” display powered by Sony’s BRAVIA TV technology.

Xperia XZ Premium other key highlights include fast download speeds, a new loop design and is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 Mobile Platform. It also features the USB Type-C socket.

Available in two colours – Luminous Chrome and Deepsea Black – Xperia XZ Premium can be pre-ordered in UAE from 20th May until 31st May, 2017.

Sony Mobile’s Xperia XZ Premium will be available in stores across UAE from the second week of June.

Sony’s new PlayLink brings mobile and console gaming together

Update: We’ve had a chance to try four of the five games Sony is releasing for PlayLink out for ourselves on the show-floor at this year’s show. Check out our impressions of That’s You!, Hidden Agenda, Frantics, and Knowledge is Power down below. 

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At its E3 conference this year, Sony has announced a new collection of smartphone-controlled games designed to entertain the whole family, including those who might not usually play games.

Under the umbrella PlayLink, these games are played on the PlayStation 4 console, but controlled via an iOS or Android smartphone rather than the DualShock controller. The concept is fairly similar to Jackbox Party games, which allows several players to connect over their smartphones and play short but addictive party games together.

The lineup of games at the moment is fairly small but includes the quiz games That’s You!, and Knowledge is Power. There’s also a Heavy Rain style adventure game called Hidden Agenda.

Meanwhile, Frantics is a multiplayer platform game where you tilt your phone to control a character on screen, and there’s also a new Singstar title called Singstar Celebration.

Mobile madness

We had a chance to try out four of the five games on the show floor.

First up was Hidden Agenda. Along with three other players, we played a mission as a cop investigating a missing person. Initially the demo started by offering us simple choices of how to proceed in the mission which we would each vote on using our phones.

However, before long one player had been secretly shown a ‘hidden agenda’ on their phone screen, which meant that they were trying to influence the story in a certain direction without giving this away to the rest of the group.

Although the game story’s mature themes seemed a little at odds with the group of us using our phones to vote, Hidden Agenda feels like it has a lot of potential for sabotage and intrigue.

Next up was Frantics, a game where you tilt your phone to control a character on screen as they compete with three other players. While the games were fun overall, we didn’t feel as though the control scheme particularly suited the smartphone controller, and there were points where we wished we were using a standard PS4 controller.

Knowledge is Power was a particularly strong game in the lineup. At first glance it appeared to be a fairly simple quiz game were everyone used their phones to pick between four available answers to each question, but after each round players would gain special abilities to disrupt their opponents.

Finally, That’s You! was a quiz game where players were asked subjective questions about each other. Points were gained not for getting the answers right, but for guessing the same answer as everyone else. One standout question was simply, “Who is most likely to taser themself while attempting an arrest?” We could imagine this game being especially fun with friends.

It’s definitely an interesting mobile approach from PlayStation (one that actually seems like something Nintendo should have considered rather than its IP-driven standalone titles).

Many of the games really benefitted from giving each player their own screen, and being able to play with phones rather than controllers should help larger groups play, rather than needing to rely on people having a large number of controllers.

That’s You! will be the first game to be released free to all PlayStation Plus members on July 4. You can see the trailer for yourself below:

  • E3 is the world’s largest exhibition for the games industry, stuffed full of the latest and greatest games, consoles, and gaming hardware. TechRadar is reporting live from Los Angeles all week to bring you the very latest from the show floor. Head to our dedicated E3 2017 hub to see all the new releases, along with TechRadar’s world-class analysis and buying advice about the next year in gaming.

Sony Mobile Xperia L1: a beautiful handful

The Sony Mobile Xperia L1 is a must-have for anyone looking for a low priced smartphone with a big display screen size.

Sony Mobile Xperia L1: a beautiful handful

With so many smartphone’s out on the market, it can be difficult to choose the right device for you, but if you’re looking for a cost-effective smartphone with an impressively big display then you’ll want to check out the Sony Mobile Xperia L1.

As the most reasonably priced device from Sony Mobile’s latest line of Xperia smartphones, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the Xperia L1 is light on features.

This is, however, not the case as the Xperia L1 comes with a stunning 13MP rear camera, a 5MP front camera, 16GB of internal storage (expandable by up to 256GB via microSD) and of course, the device’s beautiful 5.5-inch display with a screen resolution of 720 x 1280 pixels.

A must-have for anyone who wants to scratch that phablet itch but desires a device with a practical screen size, the Sony Mobile Xperia L1 is available now from a range of Irish mobile providers.

 

Sony Mobile Xperia XA1: small but spectacular

The Sony Mobile Xperia XA1 is the smallest of the recently released lineup of Xperia smartphones that includes the Xperia XZ Premium and the Xperia L1, yet it comes with some particularly powerful features, namely the 23MP rear camera.

It boasts an Exmor RS for mobile sensor, resulting in brighter and more vivid images and professional quality smartphone pictures, while the F2.0 wide-angel lens is perfect for large group shots and landscape photography.

The Sony Mobile Xperia XA1 uses a power-efficient processor designed to keep the smartphone powered for longer, which allows you to browse the web, watch videos and play video games for longer periods without having to worry about the device’s battery.

With a gorgeous borderless design that fits comfortable in your hand, the Sony Mobile Xperia XA1 is easily the most subtle of the latest range of Xperia smartphones and is a joy to both handle and to use.

Facebook Rolls Out New 'Order Food' Feature for Mobile and Web

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The feature is showing up for select people in US
  • It appears on web and the app as well
  • The ‘Order Food’ feature is powered by Delivery.com and Slice

Facebook is rolling out a new ordering food feature, in a bid to keep users hooked onto its app, and not stray off to another app for other tasks. The social media giant now has a new option on Web and mobile allowing users to order food online. This ‘Order Food’ feature is showing up for select users for now, and only users in America are set to get it first.

Facebook Rolls Out New 'Order Food' Feature for Mobile and Web

This new feature is possible due to Facebook’s partnership with Delivery.com and Slice in the US, announced back in October. TechCrunch reports that the option shows up on Facebook’s side bar or the app’s main menu. By clicking on it, the Order Food option throws up all the supported restaurants. The restaurants are displayed with a featured image, rating, cuisine, and a price point. There’s a Start Order button at the bottom of it, clicking on which will take you to the selected restaurant’s page. It then shows you if the restaurant is open for delivery or pickup. You can then add delivery address or switch to pickup, whatever you prefer. Then from the menu, you select what you want to order, see how much delivery fee is levied, final amount to be paid, check your cart, choose mode of payment, and confirm the order.

The feature is fairly simple, and is self-explanatory, once you begin to use it. Once the order is confirmed, it gives you an average estimate time of delivery as well. Unfortunately, this feature could not be tested by us, as the option is only showing up for select users in US for now. There is no word on if Facebook plans to roll this service out to other countries. Food ordering services like Delivery.com and Slice will benefit heavily from this new feature, as it can reach out and tap into the large audience database of Facebook. Facebook confirmed the roll out of the new feature to TechCrunch.

 

From the user’s point of view, it eliminates the need to open another app to order food, and can now do an additional task from Facebook itself. Ride sharing app Uber also tapped into the online food ordering market with UberEats, and has launched the service in India earlier this month. However, Facebook has made this feature available within its app, and hasn’t launched a separate app like Uber.

Let us know if this feature is showing up for you, and whether it is working smoothly in the comments below.

Cheetah Mobile Launches Live.me Broadcasting App in India

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Live.me live broadcasting app available in India
  • The app is available to download via Google Play and App Store
  • Cheetah Mobile is maker of popular utility app Clean Master

Cheetah Mobile, the maker of popular mobile utility apps like Clean Master, CM Security, and Battery Doctor, has now launched its live broadcasting app for Indian users. Live.me app is now available to download via Google Play and App Store.

Live.me app will provide video-broadcasting features with interactive stickers with face-mapping technology to interact with the audience. The app also offers users to interact with other users and social influencers ‘live’. As add-ons, users can purchase digital “gifts” like emoji for favourite live creators. The app also supports social media integration to allow users to share their broadcasts to friends.

The app maker has plans to build fan communities by promoting Indian artists through live events and promotions within the app and on social media. The app can also identify sensitive Indian keywords in both English and Hindi that will block and report users with unsavoury content. Currently, Live.me features over 50 ‘influencers’ to engage with including artists such as Vishakha Sodha, Shruti Singh, Sonel Singh, Avanie Joshi, Shahzan Mujeeb, Nalin Swami, RJ Diamond, and RJ Kalpesh.

Cheetah Mobile Launches Live.me Broadcasting App in India

Announcing the launch, Yuki He, VP of Cheetah Mobile said, “Live.me is a platform of expression and creativity. We recognize the bursting creativity and passion among the people in India and we are proud to bring Live.me to empower this passion and bring it alive. We hope that users in India embrace the app and give voice to their talents and reach a global audience. The introduction of Live.me in India will shape the future of mobile broadcasting.”

Cheetah Mobile claims that Live.me has been ranked as top app under social category on Google Play for the US region while it’s third top on the App Store. Other markets where Live.me is available include Japan, Taiwan, Vietnam, Indonesia, and the Middle East.

 

AMD Details Ryzen Mobile, Threadripper, Radeon Vega, and Epyc at Computex 2017

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Threadripper will launch in summer 2017 with multiple SKUs
  • Ryzen Mobile laptops will launch before the end of the year
  • Radeon Vega graphics cards will be released by the end of July

At a press conference on the sidelines of the annual Computex trade show in Taipei, AMD made a number of announcements covering products across its portfolio, including the Epyc platform for servers, Ryzen desktop and mobile CPUs, Threadripper enthusiast CPUs, and Radeon Vega graphics processors. However, specific details were light, and none of the upcoming products were demonstrated hands on.

AMD Details Ryzen Mobile, Threadripper, Radeon Vega, and Epyc at Computex 2017

AMD President and CEO Lisa Su welcomed top executives from Dell, Acer, Asus, HP and Lenovo on stage to show off desktop and laptop systems based on AMD Ryzen CPUs and Radeon graphics cards, all of which are being launched at Computex. All desktop Ryzen processors, including the upcoming budget-oriented Ryzen 3 lineup, have been certified as Oculus VR ready. A working sample of a sub-15mm thin 2-in-1 with a Ryzen Mobile processor was shown on stage.

amd ryzen epyc radeon AMD

Derek Yu, Global Marketing Director of Asus’ ROG gaming division introduced the ROG Strix GL702ZC laptop using a Ryzen Mobile processor, described as the world’s first 8-core gaming laptop. No price, launch date or specifications were disclosed, expect for the fact that the device is certified VR ready, and has a Ryzen 7 CPU, Radeon RX 580 GPU, and FreeSync-capable screen. Yu also stated that the ROG Strix GL702ZC delivers the highest ever performance for a consumer laptop in multi-threaded benchmarks. Ryzen Mobile laptops for consumers are expected to launch before the end of 2017, while models for corporate and enterprise customers will come out in the first half of 2018.

AMD also announced that its upcoming 16-core, 32-thread Ryzen Threadripper CPU will launch in “summer 2017”. Multiple versions will be available, some with fewer cores, but all of them will use the same X399 motherboard platform and server-based TR4 socket. All CPUs will also be able to address up to 2TB of DDR4 RAM in quad-channel mode, and have access to 64 PCIe 3.0 lanes for high-speed peripherals, such as four graphics cards. X399 motherboards from Asus, Gigabyte, MSI and ASRock are already in development and will be ready for the launch. A Threadripper CPU was also shown to the public for the first time at the event.

amd ryzen mobile AMD

On the graphics side, AMD’s Radeon Vega Frontier Edition graphics card for AI and deep learning applications will be made available on June 27, while consumer gaming graphics cards based on the same Vega architecture will be launched at the Siggraph conference near the end of July.

Finally, AMD announced that its Epyc server CPUs will be available in single- and dual-socket configurations beginning from June 20. Partners were not named, but Su stated that the company expects wide industry support.

Laptops based on Ryzen Mobile will be launched before the end of the year, the company said.

70 Percent Mobile Apps Share Your Data With Third-Party Services: Study

HIGHLIGHTS

  • 70% of smartphone apps are reporting personal data to third-party cos.
  • Some of the information these apps are collecting is necessary
  • Lumen Privacy Monitor analyses and reports the traffic apps send out

More than 70 percent of smartphone apps are reporting personal data to third-party tracking companies like Google Analytics, the Facebook Graph API or Crashlytics, warns a new study.

When people install a new Android or iOS app, it asks the user’s permission before accessing personal information. Some of the information these apps are collecting are necessary for them to work properly: A map app wouldn’t be nearly as useful if it couldn’t use GPS data to get a location.

But once an app has permission to collect that information, it can share your data with anyone the app’s developer wants to – letting third-party companies track where you are, how fast you are moving and what you are doing.

To get a picture of what data are being collected and transmitted from people’s smartphones, the researchers from IMDEA Networks Institute in Spain developed a free Android app of their own, called the Lumen Privacy Monitor.

It analyses the traffic apps send out, to report which applications and online services actively harvest personal data.

Because Lumen is about transparency, a phone user can see the information installed apps collect in real time and with whom they share these data.

70 Percent Mobile Apps Share Your Data With Third-Party Services: Study

“We try to show the details of apps’ hidden behaviour in an easy-to-understand way. It’s about research, too, so we ask users if they’ll allow us to collect some data about what Lumen observes their apps are doing – but that doesn’t include any personal or privacy-sensitive data,” the researchers said in a statement released by the institute.

This unique access to data allowed the researchers to study how mobile apps collect users’ personal data and with whom they share data at an unprecedented scale.

More than 1,600 people who have used Lumen since October 2015 allowed the researchers to analyse more than 5,000 apps.

“We discovered 598 internet sites likely to be tracking users for advertising purposes, including social media services like Facebook, large Internet companies like Google and Yahoo, and online marketing companies under the umbrella of internet service providers like Verizon Wireless,” the study said.

More than 70 percent of the apps were connected to at least one tracker, and 15 percent of them were connected to five or more trackers, the findings showed.

“Tracking users on their mobile devices is just part of a larger problem. More than half of the app-trackers we identified also track users through websites. Thanks to this technique, called ‘cross-device’ tracking, these services can build a much more complete profile of your online persona,” the researchers said.