Your tech news digest, by way of the DGiT Daily tech newsletter, for Friday, June 12.
1. Finally, the Sony PlayStation 5
Well! Not one but two* PS5 consoles have finally been unveiled by Sony! (Or to be super grammatically correct and not fun at all, PlayStations 5).
Here’s what we saw:
- The surprise isn’t just the design, but that Sony will also offer a cheaper ‘Digital Edition’ of its console. There’s still a normal Blu-ray disc drive version, as you’d expect, while the new SSD-only version with no drive at all will download games, only.
- We don’t know costs or release date yet.
- *Is it right to say two? Or just a cheaper, non-disc edition? It’s not like it’s a PS5 Lite, really? I welcome your thoughts.
- Just look at that thing. The PlayStation 5 design was hinted at through the earlier DualSense controller release, and the classic black on black with blue LEDs is gone, now we see aggressive, futuristic curves, white with black touches and blue LED lights.
- If you missed it, the three-minute reveal is worth your time: Sony revealed it standing up, a big tower with billowing white curtains almost, and looking nothing like the Xbox Series X brick/tower/skyscraper.
- Later, Sony did show off how it looks if you want to orientate it horizontally or sideways, which looks a bit more like a progression from PlayStation 3 to 4 to 5, just with drapes:
- The design looks like it has a lot of heat dissipation going on towards the top, meaning a neatly packaged finish wasn’t an option, with lots of channels needed for excess heat to be removed.
- I’m in the camp that never wants a device to overheat, so functional design that dissipates heat without strictly worrying about size, or how it looks, is good with me. Even if it’ll never be beautiful, although seeing it in person is always different to the renders.
- No clues if there’s just the stark white, or if a black edition will be unveiled.
- The PS5 Digital Edition is slightly slimmer, given the lack of disc drive.
- There’s one USB-A and one USB-C port on the front of the console, with one more USB-A hidden somewhere, and two little unnamed button looking things on the front.
- Given the digital edition only has one of these, they’re likely power and eject buttons.
- Sony’s made a new circular stand for keeping it stable vertically and on its side, too.
- PS5 accessories! There’s also a new dual-lens HD Camera, a DualSense charging station to charge two controllers at once, new Pulse 3D wireless headset/headphones, and a media remote, with a couple of mysterious unmarked buttons on the bottom.
- For most of the show, the focus was on games. Sony kept people waiting for the hardware, of course, but the whole thing had huge traction, with Twitter dominated by reactions and excitement.
- The games did most of the talking, which is a safe habit of PlayStation in retaining focus on the experiences that await. And, also,, it wasn’t just going for blow-you-away graphics and AAA games, but a variety of art styles and gameplay and experiences.
- The likes of Spider-Man Miles Morales opened the event, probably the top highlight, with Horizon: Forbidden West closing the show in another big moment. Big AAA titles captured loads of attention, with epics like Resident Evil Village, Gran Turismo 7, and more, and arguably, one of the biggest wow moments for the graphics/physics now possible was with NBA 2K21, with rookie Zion Williamson looking pretty, pretty realistic including sweat physics, and a sweet dunk.
- But no one could’ve missed that fun indie games also had plenty of time in the sun, too, including Little Devil Inside, a quirky looking action game that doesn’t look like something I’ve played before, and looks like one of the more interesting games to get to PS5.
Future of gaming?
- Sony billed this as the future. And it will be, because this console should last half a decade or more; 2025+. What we saw did look and feel a little more like today in 4K, with games running on a much faster and more capable device. This future looks great! It’s just not that much different. Which isn’t a bad thing, but…
- Xbox is focusing on subscription gaming, Game Pass, and Project xCloud for streaming games.
- Sony looks like it isn’t messing with what’s worked for it since 1994: seriously great games, with almost certain exclusive hits in the vault that ensures few can resist opting in.
- The thing is, both approaches feel like they can work. The Xbox path feels a little more futuristic, but potentially a bumpy road along the way given the subscription-based approach, plus hardware cost. I’d say the ‘Netflix Of Games’ approach from Xbox Game Pass works better when you don’t have to buy a Netflix box just to get access.
- Let’s see how pricing (and the economy) looks as we get closer to the promised Holidays 2020 launch dates for both consoles.
- Here’s every PS5 game Sony just announced, including trailers (Wired).
- What we still don’t know about PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X (Kotaku).
- One prolific leaker suggests pricing of $499 and a November 16 launch date for the next-gen console, for whatever that’s worth this far out (Laptop Mag).
- And, on queue, The Last Of Us II reviews are now out, and nearly all describe it as nearly unbearable (Kotaku), needlessly bleak (Polygon), perplexing amid decaying beauty (Ars Technica), and without the impact for the first.
2. Samsung looks like it is working on an affordable Galaxy S20 Lite phone, but still with flagship Snapdragon 865 chip (Android Authority).
3. Here’s our first look at the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7, a great looking, probably expensive tablet (Android Authority).
4. Here is Apple’s lineup for WWDC 2020, including the keynote on June 22, 10AM PT, and later that day, ‘Platforms State of the Union’ (TechCrunch).
5. Light is out: Firm behind Nokia 9 PureView camera tech quits smartphones, is now in self-driving vehicles (Android Authority).
6. Apple and YouTube both launch $100M racial equity initiatives to support Black causes and creators (Reuters).
7. Veteran chip engineer (and CPU god?) Jim Keller leaves Intel after just two years (The Verge).
8. Plastic rain is the new acid rain, except worse: there’s no way to scrub water or land or air of the particles (Wired).
9. FCC has “serious doubts” that SpaceX can deliver latencies under 100ms (Ars Technica).
The PS5 memes are great and I can’t stop laughing at “i’m glad my router developed the confidence to pop its collar”, and this, uh, design prototype:
- Here are many more (Kotaku).
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