Nintendo Set to Shutter 3DS and Wii U Online Services April 8

Nintendo is planning to cease online play for the 3DS portable game unit and the Wii U console as of April 8. The company had previously announced it would discontinue the services sometime in April. Now it says as of 4:00 p.m. PDT “online co-operative play, Internet rankings and data distribution” for the platforms will be ending. For the foreseeable future, players can continue to download updates and games they had previously purchased games for the foreseeable future. But Nintendo says it may shutter connected ops sooner “if an event occurs that would make it difficult to continue online services.” Continue reading Nintendo Set to Shutter 3DS and Wii U Online Services April 8

CES: Ixana Transforms Human Body into Networked Receiver

Seattle-based tech firm Ixana is at CES 2024 demonstrating its Wi-R communication chip, which “reduces energy consumption by 100x compared to radiative wireless technologies like BLE, Wi-Fi, cellular, Zigbee and Z-Wave, enabling a paradigm shift in wearable technology,” according to the company, which nabbed a CES Innovation Award. The 4Mbps YR22 Wi-R chip offers “continuous charging-free body-worn health monitoring, video streaming for extended reality, and intuitive human-computer interaction,” Ixana says, explaining it works via algorithms that run via distributed computing on battery-powered devices. Continue reading CES: Ixana Transforms Human Body into Networked Receiver

Roku to Demo Its Pro Series TVs and Smart Picture AI at CES

Roku is following up the budget-priced, self-branded TV sets it introduced in January last year at CES with the more ambitious Roku Pro Series TV lineup debuting at next week’s CES 2024 and shipping later this spring. The 4K QLED Pro TVs will come in 55-inch, 65-inch, and 75-inch sizes retailing for under $1,500. Included are features like Mini LED local dimming for heightened contrast and deeper blacks. The Pro TVs also tap artificial intelligence for a Smart Picture feature that automatically adjusts picture and audio. The feature is scheduled to roll out to all Roku TVs this year. Continue reading Roku to Demo Its Pro Series TVs and Smart Picture AI at CES

Samsung’s New QD-OLED Monitor Called a ‘Game Changer’

Samsung Display has revealed plans to begin mass production on a new type of monitor with ultra-high-definition resolution of 3840×2160 pixels. Samsung says this is the highest pixel density and UHD resolution among available OLED monitors, and that the display also offers super-fast response speed to thrill gamers. The new QD-OLED monitors will initially be offered in two sizes: 32 inches and 27 inches. Typically, 30-inch QHD monitors offer 2560×1440 pixels, which Samsung says is fine for “general-purpose” use, adding that “consumers who enjoy gaming and high-definition video content will have a strong preference for UHD products.” Continue reading Samsung’s New QD-OLED Monitor Called a ‘Game Changer’

Amazon Thin Client Connects Employees to Virtual Desktops

Amazon’s new Thin Client is a new $195 device that allows enterprise users to connect to virtual desktop environments, such as Amazon WorkSpaces, using the Internet and a box as compact as the Fire TV Cube. In fact, the Thin Client leverages Fire TV Cube hardware, allowing Amazon to tap existing expertise from the e-retail giant’s streaming media player division. However, Thin Client “is not for spending time watching Thursday Night Football, or bingeing ‘Invincible,’” but aims to convenience workers while reducing technology costs and enhancing security for enterprise, the company says. Continue reading Amazon Thin Client Connects Employees to Virtual Desktops

Valve to Launch Its Overhauled Steam Deck OLED This Week

Valve’s Steam Deck OLED comes to market Thursday with an HDR OLED display that sprawls 7.4 inches, better audio, and a huge boost in battery life. Lighter, cooler, and promising faster downloads, the Steam Deck OLED comes in two storage configurations: 512GB and 1TB, priced at $549 and $649, respectively. As with its predecessor, Steam Deck OLED features a microSD card slot. A $79.95 Steam Deck Docking Station is also available to connect to external displays, wired networking, USB peripherals, and power. The release date is set for November 16. Continue reading Valve to Launch Its Overhauled Steam Deck OLED This Week

Apple’s New M3 Chips Make the MacBook, iMac ‘Scary Fast’

During yesterday’s “Scary Fast” new product event, Apple unveiled its next generation of bespoke processors — the M3, M3 Pro and M3 Pro Max — and some new computers to go with them. Built to the 3-nanometer spec that supports artificial intelligence and advanced graphics, the M3 line has 2.5x the speed of 2020’s M1 series, per Apple, which says the core processing performance is as much as 50 percent faster. New MacBook Pro laptops in 14-inch and 16-inch versions will feature M3 Pro and M3 Pro Max chips. An M3 powered 24-inch iMac series is also debuting. Continue reading Apple’s New M3 Chips Make the MacBook, iMac ‘Scary Fast’

Purpose-Built AI Device May Be Coming from Ive and Altman

A new AI-first form factor could be coming to market as the result of a partnership between OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, former Apple design guru Jony Ive and SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son. Altman and Ive are said to be developing — and SoftBank potentially funding — an AI device to succeed the smartphone. Since co-founding OpenAI in 2015, Altman has been vocal about the need for a new type of device, purpose-built to leverage the capabilities of artificial intelligence. Ive, meanwhile, has been looking for a second act since exiting Apple after leading design on the iPhone, iPod and MacBook Air. Continue reading Purpose-Built AI Device May Be Coming from Ive and Altman

Sony’s Wireless PlayStation Portal Coming to Market This Fall

Sony Interactive Entertainment has announced its new wireless gaming device, the PlayStation Portal remote player, will debut in time for the holiday season. The handheld unit streams PlayStation 5 games over Wi-Fi, displaying the action on an eight-inch LCD screen in 1080p resolution at 60 fps. The player will be priced at $199.99. Sony is positioning the PlayStation Portal as ideal for multigame households where players share a TV or want to play PS5 games in another room of the house. Since the Portal operates by mirroring the PS5, it can also display other media. Continue reading Sony’s Wireless PlayStation Portal Coming to Market This Fall

Roku Adds 1.6M Streaming Accounts but Revenue Sluggish

Roku managed a 1 percent increase in Q1 revenue on sales of $741 million. While sales in is platform segment were down 1 percent, to $635 million, the company had a positive performance on the streaming side, with 1.6 million active accounts added to take it past 70 million. Streaming service distribution, including FAST channels, is part of Roku’s platform services, along with ad sales, media and entertainment promotions and Roku Pay. In Q1, the Roku operating system was again the top-selling smart TV OS, with a record-high 43 percent of TV unit share in the United States. Continue reading Roku Adds 1.6M Streaming Accounts but Revenue Sluggish

NAB to Lead ATSC 3.0 Transition Working with FCC, Industry

The National Association of Broadcasters will lead a new public-private transition to ATSC 3.0 from ATSC 1.0, an initiative known as “the Future of Television.” Also known as NextGen TV, ATSC 3.0 will bring 4K Ultra High Definition images, two-way interactivity, greater accessibility options, and multi-screen applications to televisions via over-the-air broadcast signals working in tandem with broadband. FCC chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel announced the Future of TV onstage in Las Vegas Monday at the 100th NAB Show. The FCC will work with NAB to bring together industry, government and public interest stakeholders to establish a roadmap for NextGen TV. Continue reading NAB to Lead ATSC 3.0 Transition Working with FCC, Industry

Apple Pushing Forward into Financial Services Despite Delay

Apple, which has identified financial services as a growth area, has experienced delays in rolling out such products, including Apple Pay Later, a “buy now, pay later” (BNPL) service announced in June 2022 and initially scheduled to launch in September. The service reportedly began rolling out in a beta test among Apple’s retail employees this month and could be available to consumers by March or April this year, according to recent reports. A proposed high-yield savings account tied to the Apple Card and Wallet app was unveiled in October but has yet to release. Continue reading Apple Pushing Forward into Financial Services Despite Delay

Tech Firms Push Back as ‘Right-to-Repair’ Gains Momentum

As “right-to-repair” laws gain traction in states including New York, which passed legislation last year, tech firms are girding to battle back against consumer rights to buy parts and access information about how to implement DIY fixes. Forced obsolescence being part of virtually every hardware manufacturer’s business plan, the rapid pace of device disposal and replacement has proven taxing on the environment, as well as costly for consumers. Some companies are said to design software that performs inadequately with replacement parts, or update software to intentionally degrade product performance with age. Continue reading Tech Firms Push Back as ‘Right-to-Repair’ Gains Momentum

CES: Samsung 8K Premiere Projector Marks an Industry First

Samsung has introduced its 8K Premiere ultra-short throw projector that CNN calls a “first-of-its-kind.” The projector, and update to the company’s 4K Premiere, supports a maximum picture of 150-inches for a massive screen. Native 8K remains a ways off, but the system artificially up-rezzes 4K content while future-proofing. Sitting just inches from a screen or wall, with Dolby Atmos, the unit minimizes wires and auxiliary equipment, which has been a trend at CES 2023. Due for release later this year, pricing was not announced, but the 2020 model that this one builds upon started at $3,500. Continue reading CES: Samsung 8K Premiere Projector Marks an Industry First

CES: OS-Supplier Roku to Launch Its Own Line of Smart TVs

Roku, whose software the firm claims is used in a third of U.S. TVs, will release its own line of televisions this year. The San Jose-based company, known for its smart TV OS, plans two models: the Roku Select and a higher-end Roku Plus, according to an announcement at CES 2023. Available in 11 models ranging from 24- to 75-inches, the Roku Select and Plus Series TVs will focus on streaming features associated with the brand, with prices ranging from $119 to $999. The new Roku TVs will include access to free live TV, news, and sports, plus popular Roku features like Find My Remote and Private Listening. Continue reading CES: OS-Supplier Roku to Launch Its Own Line of Smart TVs