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Weirdest, most unconventional smartphones worth saving for





The smartphone market is pretty saturated, as most of you probably know. Companies making smartphones release dozens of new models each year. At the end of the day, when all the launch events and announcements are over, we oftentimes find ourselves wondering whether anyone truly managed to innovate on the market. With Samsung, Apple and Google dominating sales with their massive marketing funds, it’s hard to find smartphones that are truly unique and unconventional and bring something entirely new to the smartphone market.

Since it’s so difficult to actually hear about unconventional smartphones and devices that innovate and change things, improving the user experience and making it difficult, we decided to make a list. Lists are fun to make and they’re pretty fun to read. Considering the flagship fatigue phenomena and the fact that it’s becoming increasingly hard to find a suitable smartphone for our personal tastes, we thought that picking out a few smartphones that are unique and unconventional would be a breather from the clones that we’ve been getting lately.

Don’t be surprised if most of the unconventional smartphones on this list don’t sound at all familiar to you. We’re bombarded with ads everywhere, and they mostly point us towards the same companies. Breaking out of the blinder marketing that’s going on now is a bit difficult, but we have to be open to new things and appreciate their value. So, without further ado, let’s see which unconventional smartphones have made it to our recommendation list.

YotaPhone 2 – two displays, limited availability, high price

The YotaPhone and YotaPhone 2 were and still are innovators in the smartphone market. The Russian smartphone market was first to launch one of the most unconventional smartphones at the time: one with two displays. The latest device they launched is the YotaPhone 2, which has a beautiful design, decent specs and a massive E-ink display on the rear of the device. Many of you have probably heard about the YotaPhone 2 thanks to crowdfunding and social media campaigns, but unfortunately, the phone is not widely avaialble. Nonetheless, the company behind the unconventional smartphone is planning on releasing a third model, with a different design, focusing on energy management and saving energy, as well as pertaining to an ecological construction that can be recycled. Until that becomes available, those of you who have the extra funds and want to upgrade to a unique smartphone with a weird design and quite a few benefits should check out the YotaPhone 2. Its price is a bit high, going for more than $700 depending on market and country. Considering the slightly outdated hardware, it’s a bit of a splurge, but that e-ink display is worth it.


You can use the E-ink display on the back of the handset for almost anything. It will display content in black and white, of course, consuming very little to no energy in the meantime. Nonetheless, you can even watch videos on it! Naturally, the e-ink display is made for reading more than anything else, as well as checking notifications without using up the handset’s battery life and autonomy. It’s a unique solution to the battery life problems everyone has been complaining about and while it’s future-proof to some degree, the YotaPhone 2 needs a bit of an improvement. Nonetheless, if you are a fan of unconventional smartphones and weird design elements, this could be for you.

The unique smartphone comes with a 5-inch FHD display on the front and the 4.7-inch  540 x 960 resolution E-ink display on the rear. Under the hood, the device runs on Android 5.0 Lollipop, backed by a Snapdragon 801 CPU, 2 GB RAM and 32 GB internal storage. The device packs an 8 MP autofocus camera on the rear and a 2 MP selfie-cam on the front. The whole shebang is powered by a 2500 mAh battery, which makes for at least three days of regular use, given the user takes advantage of the e-ink display’s benefits to conserve energy. Although a very expensive option, the YotaPhone 2 is truly unconventional and will improve your self-esteem, that’s for sure. Jokes aside, its bang for buck is legit, after all. It has two screens!

Sharp Aquos XX – monster specs and no bezels

Sharp is a display company out of Japan who has entered the American smartphone market last year with the Sharp Aquos Crystal. The unconventional smartphone was a hit at launch, seeing as it had only one bezel on the bottom of the display and a bezelless look all around. There are no other smartphones on the market that adopt this look and while it has its downsides (like the front-camera being upside down), it has a truly unique design. After the official flagship was launched, the company launched another two devices, one with a mid-range configuration featuring the Snapdragon 400 CPU and another, the latest launch of July 2015, the Sharp Crystal XX.

The Aquos XX keeps the unusual design elements of the original model, but adds a buttload of processing power to turn the handset into a true flagship, and not just a mid-ranger. The Aquos XX is only available at Japanese carrier stores, and it’s quite an expensive handset, priced between $450 and $700, depending on market. The handset is currently sold out everywhere, as far as we can tell, so there’s no way of getting right now. Nonetheless, an international release is said to come up soon enough because the unconventional design of the smartphone has raised a lot of awareness among international Android fans.

The Aquos XX is a massive phone and it comes with massive specs, and with regard to that, the $450 price that we found for the handset is a steal, a gruesome steal. Unfortunately, those outside of Japan will probably pay at least double that amount for this phone, if they can actually get it unlocked, as in Japan, it’s hard to get a factory unlocked unit as most smartphones have carrier-contracts in place. Nonetheless, if you feel like splurging, you’ve got another option.

When it comes to what’s under the hood, the Aquos Crystal XX competes with everything on the market right now. It comes with a huge 5.7-inch display that has virtually no bezels surrounding it, with an FHD resolution panel. Powering the device is a Snapdragon 810 CPU backed by 3 GB RAM and 32 GB internal storage, with a microSd card slot also available. On the rear, Sharp chose a beefy 13 MP camera with autofocus while on the front, the Aquos XX sports a 2 MP camera – upside down, of course. There’s also a 3000 mAh battery on board, alongside 4G LTE, NFC, Android 5.0 Lollipop and… a water-resistance certification.


How does that sound? The Aquos XX is one of the most unconventional smartphones of 2015 and only the Galaxy S6 Edge can compete with its design elements. With a metal body and a durable design, a large display and battery and a good processor backed by a neat amount of RAM make the Aquos XX a truly worthwhile handset. Too bad it’s so hard to get. Hopefully, the market will open up and we will be able to get our hands on this truly unique smartphone soon.

BlackBerry Priv – sliding QWERTY keyboard-touchpad, Android 5.1.1 Lollipop and BB security and privacy suite

BlackBerry is a Canadian company who was recently taken over by John Chen, who aims to turn things around for the struggling firm. The BlackBerry smartphone division has been dwindling, despite the positive reviews of another unconventional handset launched last year, the BlackBerry Passport. This year, the company is launching their first Android smartphone in an attempt to get a bigger user base and more revenue. Chen set a 5 million units sold goal for fiscal 2016 and if that’s not met, we can bid adieu to future BlackBerry smartphones.

With that in mind, saving up for the BlackBerry Priv seems like a good choice, because it might just be the last ever BlackBerry smartphone. Also, because it’s one of the most unconventional smartphones launched this year. Well, it’s not launched yet, but it’s up for pre-order so it’s kind of the same thing, isn’t it? Anyhow, the BlackBerry Priv is a powerhouse and an entirely new direction for BB and their fans, and it’s definitely worth checking out.


The BlackBerry Priv’s most interesting feature is the full QWERTY keyboard that’s placed under the display of the smartphone, on sliding tubes. The keyboard is also a touchpad, which means that the handset in its entirety is a very versatile and practical device, fit for power users and business users mostly. Casual users could also get a blast out of using actual keys to type on their phone, but the investment of at least $750, which is the speculated BlackBerry Priv price, might not be up the alley of every Android fan.

Nonetheless, the BlackBerry Priv has a lot to offer besides the sliding keyboard in terms of software and hardware, too. The design of the handset has its flaws, as it’s certainly a thick and heavy phone, but its metal construction give the handset an industrial feeling that will most likely be appealing to fans of the company as well as Android fans who want to change up their preferences a bit.

The hardware within the device isn’t anything to frown upon, the handset running on Android 5.1.1 Lollipop with BlackBerry’s privacy and security features built-in. At the same time, the handset comes with extra encryption in the spirit of the company, keeping its fans happy, even though they might miss the BlackBerry user experience in the end. Under the hood, the handset comes with a Snapdragon 808 CPU, 3 GB RAM, 32 GB internal storage and a pretty big 3410 mAh battery.

The BlackBerry Priv camera on the rear measures 18 MP and features optical image stabilization, dual-tone LED flash and phase detection autofocus. The front camera a generic 2 MP one, but the back camera can go 4K in an instant, which is a neat feature to add. The camera experience on the handset is expected to be on par with that of the Galaxy Note 5 or Galaxy S6, which spells success for the handset – at least on paper. Thanks to its design, software, hardware and unique history, the BlackBerry Priv is definitely going to go down in history as one of the company’s most unconventional smartphones ever. Hopefully, it won’t be the last BlackBerry we review.

LG Aka – googly eyes, personalities, affordable price

Most of the unconventional smartphones that go viral or at least pick up some international popularity come out of Japan. Or are designed for the Japanese audience. For whatever reason, be it their anime culture or their advancement and fascination with tech, Japan has all the neat tech first – sometimes exclusively. The LG Aka smartphone line-up is an example of companies’ tendencies to keep Japanese releases exclusive. Although you might be able to get your hands on the LG Aka cute-phone, as many dub it, from third-party resellers, it’s not going to be as cheap as the handset should be.

The LG Aka family is made up of unconventional smartphones that aim to showcase character and personality, through the googly eyes that are emotive and react to your grimaces towards the front camera. The phones are truly unique and can be perfect for people who are simply tired of the same old, same old smartphone design. Although the devices don’t add much aside from the googly eyes and bubbly personalities associated with each phone, they’re just awesome and cute and perfect for wacky Android fans, such as myself.


There are four differently designed unconventional smartphones in the LG Aka line-up, all with their own distinct personality. LG aims to draw people closer to their smartphones – not that we need to be any closer than we are – by creating personalities around the smartphones. Evidently, these are designed for the younger crowds, teens, pre-teens and even children. But thanks to the truly sweet design and unique idea, adults seem to be more fascinated by the handsets than kids.

The four designs in the LG Aka line-up are: Eggy ,Wooky, YoYo and Soul. Obviously, yet again, these are made for the younger crowds. Nonetheless, they’re interesting smartphones that should be affordable enough and powerful enough to be the daily drivers of many Android fans out there. Add to that that each character has its own backstory and you’ve got one of the most unique consumer electronics product out there.

So how does it work? The LG Aka is essentially the same phone, but you can buy “personality-sleeves” or the sleeves that are colorful which contain identification chips for each character. Once you slap the sleeve of your choice onto the handset, it will take on the personality of the sleeve, if that makes any sense. Unfortunately, most of the accessories that make the experience worthwhile can’t be found outside of Japan.

The handset specs include a 5-inch 720p display, Snapdragon 400 CPU, 1.5 GB RAM, 16 GB internal storage, microSD card slot, 8 MP camera on the rear with laser autofocus and LED flash, 2 MP camera up front, a 2610 mAh battery and Android 4.4.2 KitKat on board. With a sturdy polycarbonate body and matte grippy back panel, the LG Aka is quite an interesting and unconventional phone. It’s rather expensive, its price going up towards $400 for the unlocked model. Add the accessories and it’s a pretty pricey splurge. But it’s probably one of the funniest unconventional smartphones on this list, so it’s definitely worth checking out.

Nextbit Robin – privacy, security and a unique design

The Nextbit Robin smartphone took off through crowdfunding, where people picked up on the security and privacy features that the phone has to offer. Its main attraction is that it does most of its computing in the cloud, which is a new way of approaching smartphone user interface and experience engineering. The Nextbit Robin isn’t really one of the unconventional smartphones that stand out through design, but it has a few elements that are unique to its body that make it a futuristic phone.

With a streamlined design that is reminiscent of early Project Ara prototypes, the Nextbit Robin preaches simplicity and ease of use. The phone will automatically save apps and app data to cloud storage, freeing up physical storage space in the meantime. It will also back up any media that you choose it to, automatically, without interference.


While the Nextbit Robin doesn’t feature a unique design, it does however showcase a user experience that’s entirely different from what we’ve been used to. Still, it was designed by the man behind the acclaimed HTC One M7 and that shows. Its streamlined design, front-facing stereo speakers, polycarbonate body, five LED notification lights, four of which neatly placed under the cloud icon on the back of the phone and a minimalist design aesthetic make the Nextbit Robin a uniquely unconventional smartphone.

All that cloud processing is done by a Snapdragon 808 CPU backed by 3 GB RAM and 32 GB internal storage with an extra 100 GB of cloud storage that the phone will make use of. Up front, the handset comes with a 5.2-inch IPS LCD display with an FHD resolution and a 5 MP camera. The rear camera is a 13 MP sensor with dual-tone LED flash and phase detection autofocus. The whole device is powered by a 2680 mAh battery, which is supposed to handle at least a day of regular use.

The constant use of data and cloud storage will definitely take a toll on battery life and autonomy, although the company behind the Nextbit Robin says they’ve done optimization in order to make the most of what resources the phone has. With that in mind, they added everything a phone could need, including a fingerprint sensor, NFC and quick charging.

So what’s the best part about the Nextbit Robin? Well, its price. The Nextbit Robin price is set at $400 and you can pre-order from the company. The estimated shipping date for the handset is February 2016, so you will have to wait a while until you can actually use it, but it’s totally worth the investment. With future-proof specs and design, the Nextbit Robin might dictate the way in which Android is going to go in the future.

Project Ara – modular smartphone, the future of customizability on Android

Google’s Project Ara is my favorite out of all these unconventional smartphones because it aims to bring true customizability to the consumer. Now, we can buy our phones readily made, maybe customize its design like you can on the Moto Maker platform for Motorola devices, but that’s about all you can do to customize a smartphone, aside from software. Project Ara aims to change that and wants to bring in the new era of smartphones and their relationship to consumers.

Project Ara is not just one unconventional smartphone, but a multitude of hardware modules that stick together to make for an unconventional user experience. The premise behind Google’s project is that users should be able to choose each bit and piece of their smartphone and customize it according to their own needs. As such, someone who wants a great camera but isn’t very keen on anything else will be able to choose a Sony or a Toshiba sensor for their smartphone, shelling out on that module, and choose cheaper, inferior hardware modules for the display, battery or other features.


Once the hardware of Project Ara, as it is constructed for the first time, becomes outdated or the user feels like customizing some more, they can easily switch out old modules with new ones. So if you want a bigger screen, you can keep all your smaller modules and just change the display and the frame of your Project Ara smartphone. Or, if you want better performance, you can switch the CPU and RAM modules out for newer, better, more expensive ones. This way, you can keep a phone forever, exchanging its modules – reselling the old ones or exchanging them for newer ones. An infinite world of possibilities.

Although availability and pricing for Project Ara is unknown, as Google is being very secretive about the project, the phone should become available next year. The company has not discussed protocols and procedures and has not yet offered insight into how many new module partners are on board with Project Ara. Nonetheless, it’s real and once it becomes official, it’s going to blow all the unconventional smartphones out of the water.

As part of the editorial team here at Geekreply, John spends a lot of his time making sure each article is up to snuff. That said, he also occasionally pens articles on the latest in Geek culture. From Gaming to Science, expect the latest news fast from John and team.


5 Reasons You NEED To Play The Final Fantasy VIII Remaster




Final Fantasy VIII Remastered

After many years of fans begging Square Enix to remaster Final Fantasy VII, they finally listened and did just that. There were numerous excuses as to why the game’s re-release had lagged behind the re-releases of both VII and IX, with the most common excuse being that the game’s original code was lost years ago. However, the company made it happen and the game is finally available for modern audiences to play on modern hardware today. We’re going to give you 5 reasons why you should do just that.

First time available on modern hardware

As we’ve already said, this is the first time that the game is available on modern hardware. While the game originally launched for PS1 back in 1999, it later got a PC port in 2000. That means that is has been a whopping 19 years since a new version of the game has been available for purchase, and that wait was a brutal one. However, it is finally over and you can now play this classic game on PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch along with PC. If the lack of modern hardware support was stopping you from checking out, that excuse just got thrown out the window.

The visuals look better than ever

Thankfully, Square Enix did not just slap this port together quickly and throw it out there to shut everyone up. They did a terrific job of putting on a shiny new coat of paint for the game, with the character models in particular looking much better. While things like environment textures didn’t get quite the same amount of attention, this is nevertheless the best that the game has ever looked. It also helps that the game is simply beautiful from a design standpoint, with the game’s world being gorgeous to behold even though we’re dealing with the hardware limitations of 1999.

Quality of life improvements

While those who played the game 20 years ago will still be getting what is essentially the same experience, Square Enix did add some quality of life improvements to put it more in line with current JRPGs. These changes include the likes of increasing battle speed by 3 times, shutting off random encounters completely and even a cheat to give you max HP and limit breaks. While these may seem minor, these will go a long way to ease some of the tedium that many feel after some particularly long gaming sessions. Max HP and Limit Breaks will also make the incredibly tough Ultima and Omega Weapon boss fights a lot easier to deal with.

Triple Triad

The Final Fantasy series is known for having its fair share of enticing side quests and mini games, but there isn’t a single one that is as addicting as Triple Triad. The game is essentially a card game that is played on a 3×3 grid, and each card has a certain number on the top, bottom, left and right sides. You need to place your cards in a manner that the numbers on your cards are higher than your opponents, and seeing as your card can be attacked from four different sides this can be tricky. You’re able to challenge many different characters to a match throughout the course of the entire game, and doing so comes with plenty of nice rewards that will make your quest easier.

The game is awesome

While our previous points focused on specific elements of the game, this one is a simple fact that has been true since 1999: the game is awesome. Unfortunately, releasing immediately after Final Fantasy VII (a watershed moment for gaming) put it under a very cruel microscope, with many knee jerk reactions simply saying it “isn’t as good as VII.” However, in the years that have passed people have revisited the game, and the consensus has definitely changed. This adventure that Square created is unlike any other in the series, being host to an ambitious and bizarre plot filled with some of the best characters the series has ever seen. If you’ve played the game before then this is the perfect time to experience this masterpiece all over again, and if you haven’t then what are you waiting for?

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10 Huge Games Still Coming In 2019




10 Huge Games Still Coming 2019

2019 has been yet another good year for gaming so far, with several games releasing that will be big contenders for game of the year once the curtain closes. However, despite the year already being more than halfway over, there are still some huge titles on the horizon that are sure to make their own dents on the coming best-of lists. This article will list the 10 biggest games that are still coming in 2019.



A new game from Remedy Entertainment is always highly-anticipated, and Control is no different. The game is an action-adventure game in the same style as Alan Wake or Quantum Break, but with a supernatural twist. Players will control Jesse Faden, who possesses a variety of supernatural abilities like telekinesis, levitation and more. She will be using her abilities in order to defeat an enemy known only as the Hiss, which has corrupted reality. Control launches for PS4, Xbox One and PC on August 27th.

Borderlands 3


It has been many years since the last game in the Borderlands series released, but the hiatus is finally coming to an end very soon. Those who have played previous games in the series will feel right at home with this game, as it’s once again a loot-driven FPS. The game will offer more zany characters and a charming and insane world to explore, all while dealing with new antagonists Troy and Tyreen Calypso along with their Children of the Vault cult. Borderlands 3 launches for PS4, Xbox One and PC on September 13th, with a Google Stadia port release date being TBA.

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint


Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon series is returning soon with Breakpoint, which will serve as a continuation of previous game Wildlands. The game is set in an open world environment called Aurora, which is a fictional island in the Pacific Ocean. Players will control Lieutenant Colonel Anthony “Nomad” Perryman, who is a special forces operative that was sent to the island to investigate a series of disturbances in the area. Breakpoint launches for PS4, Xbox One and PC on October 4th, with a Google Stadia port coming in November.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare


Each new installment in the Call of Duty series is always huge, but Modern Warfare’s release marks a first for the long-running franchise. It will be the first game in the series that is reimagining of a previous game in the series, taking 2004’s original game and updating its mechanics and themes to match today’s world. The game will still have some of the beats that the first game had, but will also incorporate lots of surprises to make it a fresh experience. Modern Warfare launches for PS4, Xbox One and PC on October 25th.

The Outer Worlds


Obsidian Entertainment’s The Outer Worlds is one that will be very highly-anticipated for fans of Fallout: New Vegas, as this game serves as a sort of spiritual successor to that game. It will be an open world RPG that allows you to explore many unique areas crawling with plenty of deadly foes. Players will also be able to encounter and recruit NPCs as companions that have their own personal missions and stories to take part in. The Outer Worlds launches for PS4, Xbox One and PC on October 25th, with a Switch port also being in the works.

Luigi’s Mansion 3


It seemed very unlikely that Luigi’s Mansion would become a recurring franchise for Nintendo following the original GameCube game, but here we are. Luigi’s Mansion 3 is coming to Switch, which also means it will be the first home console release since the original game back in 2003. This time the game is set in a haunted hotel rather than a mansion, and Luigi has some new tricks up his sleeves to take down all those ghosts. Luigi’s Mansion 3 will launch exclusively for Nintendo Switch on October 31st.

Death Stranding


If you’re looking for the most ambitious (and weirdest) game still coming in 2019, then look no further. Hideo Kojima’s Death Stranding has perplexed gamers ever since its announcement, and each new trailer that releases just brings more and more questions to the table. It is Kojima’s first game since breaking up with Konami after the release of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phanton Pain (and the cancellation of Silent Hills), and it looks like Kojima has taken the newfound complete creative control to deliver something truly original. Death Stranding launches exclusively for PS4 on November 8th.

Pokemon Sword & Shield


At this point we all know what to expect from a new Pokemon game, and Sword and Shield seems poised to deliver even more cute creatures for players to capture and battle very soon. What sets Sword and Shield apart from its predecessors is that it will be the first home console release for the series, which is saying something considering the series has been around for over 20 years. Pokemon Sword & Shield launches exclusively for Switch on November 15th.

Shenmue III


If you’re a fan of Shenmue then nothing needs to be said for the inclusion of the upcoming third game on this list. Fans of the series have been waiting nearly two decades for a follow-up to the second game, and in just a couple of months that will finally be delivered to them. Brought to life thanks to an extremely successful Kickstarter campaign, the game continues the adventure of protagonist Ryo Hazuki as he hunts down his father’s killer. Shenmue III will launch for PS4 and PC on November 19th.

DOOM Eternal


id Software’s DOOM 2016 was one of the best FPS games to come along in years, so it’s a no-brainer that the follow-up would be on this list. Eternal is set to offer yet another intense FPS campaign for players to plunge into, while also offering a multiplayer component that greatly improves upon the last game’s underwhelming multiplayer mode. There will also be twice as many demon types than there was in the last game, meaning that the chaos level just got that much higher. DOOM Eternal launches for PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Google Stadia and PC on November 22nd.

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5 Most Exciting Announcements From The Xbox E3 2019 Press Conference




Microsoft E3 2019

Microsoft’s Xbox E3 2019 Press Conference has officially come to an end, and with it came plenty of big announcements to get excited about. Some new games were announced, whereas previously-announced games got new footage and/or release dates. In this article we’ve narrowed it all down to the 5 most exciting announcements.

New Xbox “Project Scarlett” Coming Holiday 2020

We’ve known for a while now that a new Xbox was in the works, but now we know when to expect it. Microsoft’s fourth console (which hopefully has a better official name than Xbox One did) will be a big step up from the previous console. Things like much faster load times, an AMD Processor that is four times more powerful than the Xbox One X, 8K Resolution and 120 FPS were all mentioned. A price and exact release date weren’t mentioned. It will also be launching with…

Halo Infinite Coming Holiday 2020, Launching On Both Xbox One and Project Scarlett

The wait for the next Halo game has been longer than ever before for series fans, and the announcement at E3 revealed that the wait will continue. Halo Infinite will not be launching until Holiday 2020, meaning it will have been 5 years since the previous game released with Halo 5. It will also be launching on Xbox One and Project Scarlett, meaning the new console will have a big launch title for fans to get pumped about.

Cyberpunk 2077 Coming April 2020, Stars Keanu Reeves

It’s hard to pick a game that people have been more excited about than Cyberpunk 2077, and after Microsoft’s press conference we’re even more excited. Not only is it coming in April of next year, but Keanu Reeves himself will be playing a “key” role in the game. Everything shown from the game has looked great so far, so hopefully it all pans out and we have another classic from CD Projekt RED come April 2020.

FromSoftware and George R.R. Martin Collaboration Elden Ring Announced

This one was actually leaked prior to the presentation, but Dark Souls developer FromSoftware and Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin are collaborating on a new game. The game is called Elden Ring, and it will be a departure from the developer’s most recent games as it will be open world. Very little information on the game is known at this point, as it is still in the early stages of development.

Phantasy Star Online 2 Is Coming West

It took a very long time, but the popular MMORPG is finally coming west. The game is coming to Xbox One in a free-to-play form in Spring 2020, so the wait won’t be that much longer. “There will be no limitations on game experiences,”says Sega, because they want to “provide all players with a fair and exciting experience.”

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