Microsoft stunned the gaming industry when it announced on Jan. 18 it would buy game publisher Activision Blizzard for US$68.7 billion, a deal that would immediately make it a larger video-game company than Nintendo.
Microsoft, maker of the Xbox gaming system, said acquiring the owner of Candy Crush, Call of Duty, Overwatch and Diablo would be good for gamers and advance its ambitions for the metaverse — a vision for creating immersive virtual worlds for both work and play.
But what does the deal really mean for the millions of people who play video games, either on consoles or their phones? And will it actually happen at a time of increased government scrutiny over giant mergers in the US and elsewhere?
Photo: Reuters 照片：路透
Is this really about the metaverse? Microsoft says so. And there are some ways Activision could help the tech giant compete with rivals like Meta, which renamed itself from Facebook last year to signal its new focus on leading its billions of social media users into the metaverse.
Metaverse enthusiasts describe the concept as a new and more immersive version of the Internet, but to work it will require a lot of people to actually want to spend more time in virtual worlds. Microsoft’s metaverse ambitions have focused on work tools such as its Teams video chat applications, but online multiplayer games such as Call of Duty and World of Warcraft have huge followings devoted to interacting with each other virtually for fun.
Pushing more people into such virtual social networks will not be all fun and games, however, and could amplify existing problems with online harassment, trolling and identity theft, according to Elizabeth Renieris, founding director of the Technology Ethics Lab at the University of Notre Dame.
Photo: Bloomberg 照片：彭博社
Will it actually happen? That’s a big unknown. Regulators and rivals could turn up the pressure to block the deal.
Other tech giants such as Meta, Google, Amazon and Apple have all attracted increasing attention from antitrust regulators in the US and Europe. But the Activision deal is so big — potentially the priciest-ever tech acquisition — that Microsoft will also be putting itself into the regulatory spotlight.
Photo: EPA-EFE 照片：歐新社
Photo: Bloomberg 照片： 彭博社
Tourists will benefit as yen falls 日本6月將開放觀光！日圓「貶值」學換匯英文 自疫情爆發至今已超過兩年，全球逐漸邁向與疫情共存的方式，日本政府也將陸續鬆綁邊境管制，最快有機會六月就開放外國觀光客以團體旅遊方式入境。加上日圓近期狂貶，來到二十年來新低點，專家預估，日本將迎來新一波的旅遊熱潮。今天我們就從國外報導的日圓貶值現象，提前為旅日做好準備吧！ yen weakness 日圓疲軟 Yet economists see building pressure for a shift if persistent yen weakness exacerbates inflation by raising import costs, particularly for energy, and reckon that 125 is a key level. （然而，若是日圓持續疲軟而提高進口成本，尤其在能源上，將加重通貨膨脹，經濟學家認為政策轉變的壓力很大，並預估貶破125是關鍵點。） yen weakness是「日圓疲軟，weak (a.)意思是「虛弱的、疲弱的，加上「-ness」名詞字尾，代表「疲軟的概念；加上「-en」動詞變化則有「弱化、削弱」的意思。 The bill would seriously weaken environmental protections. （這項法案將嚴重削弱對環境的保護。） exacerbate (v.)「惡化、加劇、加重，英文的定義為to make something that is already bad even worse（使某件已經很糟的事情更糟）。文章中提到通膨（inflation）加劇，將會對經濟造成負面的影響，因此可以看出作者的態度是不樂觀的。 This attack will exacerbate the already tense relations between the two communities.（這次襲擊將令兩個原本已經處於緊張狀態的團體關係更加惡化。） 提高成本raise、rise怎麼用？ raise import cost是「提高進口成本，討論數據「上升、下降時，經常使用raise和rise這兩個動詞，但是特別注意兩者使用方式有所不同。raise是及物動詞(vt)，後方必須要接一個受詞（名詞），如raise your hand、raise the eyebrows；然而，rise是不及物動詞(vi)，不能直接加上受詞，而是要在中間穿插一個介系詞作為連結功能的用途，如常見的go (to) school、listen (to) music等，因此rise的用法就是inflation rises，常見的the sun rises in the east就是如此。 The government plans to raise taxes. （政府計畫增稅。） Inflation is rising by 2.1 percent a month. （通貨膨脹一個月增長百分之二‧一。） 升值、貶值怎麼說？ Japanese yen depreciation is a big problem for the Japanese economy, because
After causing a stir with his first appearance at the Cannes Film Festival in 30 years for his new film Top Gun: Maverick, Tom Cruise made another stunning appearance at the film’s London premiere in Leicester Square on the evening of May 19. Having been given the honor of walking the red carpet with Prince William and his wife the Duchess of Cambridge, Cruise, being the perfect gentleman, extended his hand to the Duchess as she navigated a set of stairs. The sweet moment was spotted by onlookers and greeted with a barrage of camera flashes from the assembled media, while
The Grammys: Music Lovers’ Festival 葛萊美獎：音樂人的盛典 There are few awards ceremonies that get more attention than the Grammys. This annual ceremony, first held more than six decades ago, recognizes outstanding achievements in the music industry. The trophy that is presented to winners is in the shape of an old-fashioned record player called a gramophone. The idea for the Grammys first came about in the 1950s. People in the recording industry were concerned that musicians, singers and songwriters were not getting the same recognition as people working in film and television. The movie industry, for example, had been awarding Oscars since 1929, and the television industry handed out
This is an announcement about the English speech contest. 這是關於英語演講比賽的公告。 ABC School Announcement This year’s English speech contest is coming next month! All the topics are listed on the school’s website at: www.abcschool.edu/speech. The deadline for registration is May 31. Each class should register at least one student. 必備單字 1. list v. 列表、列舉（國中基本1200字） 2. speech n. 演講、言論（國中挑戰800字） 3. topic n. 題目、話題（國中挑戰800字） 實用字詞 1. deadline for registration 報名截止時間 2. at least 至少、最少 閱讀技巧： 將長句分成短字詞，以利閱讀 All the topics / are listed on / the school’s website. 所有的題目／都被列在／學校的網站上。 斷句練習： Each class should register at least one student. 解答： Each class / should register / at least / one student. 每個班級／應該報名／至少／一位學生。 考題練習： TOEIC Bridge測驗X國中會考題型 1. What is the announcement about? (A) An English contest (B)