Thurrott Daily: June 17

Posted on June 17, 2016 by Paul Thurrott in Android, Cloud, Mobile, Music + Videos, Windows 10, Xbox with 0 Comments

Thurrott Daily: June 17

Tech tidbit from around the web.

6/17/2016 3:42:27 PM

Microsoft will sell games via Steam (again)

Speaking to Gamespot, Xbox head Phil Spencer said that Microsoft would (again) start selling its PC games via the rival Steam service.

“I look at Steam today, it’s on an incredible growth trajectory. It’s a massive force in gaming; a positive force. I think it will be bigger a year from now than it is today. And five years later it will still be bigger again,” he said. “I look at Valve as an important [independent software vendor] for us on Windows. They are a critical part of gaming’s success on Windows. I don’t think Valve’s hurt by not having our first-party games in their store right now. They’re doing incredible well. We will ship games on Steam again.”

Also in the interview, Spencer stressed that, while Microsoft will put some of its future games on Steam (he didn’t say which ones), he is also committed to further building out Microsoft’s own Xbox store on PC. “I want to build a store; there’s no doubt about that,” he said.

You can view the entire interview with Mr. Spencer on YouTube. Please steel yourself for grating music and just jump to the 23 minute market. And then deal with the banter. Geesh.

Full list of Xbox Play Anywhere games

VB24/7 was kind enough to publish a complete list of all of the Xbox Play Anywhere games that were announced at E3. They are:

Gears of War 4 Forza Horizon 3 ReCore Sea of Thieves Halo Wars 2 Scalebound Killer Instinct – Season 3 State of Decay 2 Ark: Survival Evolved Cuphead We Happy Few Crackdown 3

“Xbox Design Lab delayed in Europe until 2017”

There’s no delay. This was the original plan, as I reported here.

Android apps, Play Store arrive on Chromebooks in early preview

The day of reckoning is close at hand: A number of blogs are reporting that Chrome OS 53, now available to developer channel users, is rolling out, adding Android app and Play Store compatibility to select Chromebooks (Acer Chromebook R11 and C738T, and the 2015 Google Chromebook Pixel now, andmore later). 9 To 5 Google reports:

Androids apps and the Play Store are now officially on Chromebooks. Chrome OS 53 is rolling out now to all devices in the developer channel, but the Play Store is only showing up on the ASUS Chromebook Flip. Early users are reporting bugs, but reactions are generally positive with performance improvements over Android apps installed via ARC Welder.

Chromebook is treated as a tablet running Android 6.0.1 and apps designed only for phones will not download. One user reported successfully downloading Real Racing 3, but not being able to get pass the “Tilt your device left to steer” screen, hinting at an issue with the accelerometer. Games like Alto’s Adventure and Crossy Road are reportedly running well.

I’m looking forward to testing this.

An interesting OnePlus 3 review

I realize most of you can’t actually read this because of the pay wall, but The Wall Street Journal makes a great case for the OnePlus 3, which, like Google’s Nexus phones, is a great value that competes well with phones that cost double.

The days of the $700 Android smartphone are numbered.

Exhibit A is the $400 OnePlus 3, the latest in a string of value smartphones from a Chinese startup challenging the full-priced giants.

The design includes the new USB Type-C port … With 6 gigabytes of RAM and the brand-new Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor that’s found in many $700-and-up competitors, it won’t be obsolete the morning after you buy it.

It looks pretty great. But at least try the video review:

You can try PlayStation VR for yourself now

Sony reports that PlayStation VR demo stations are coming to U.S. retailers today, so you’ll be able to check it out before the fall launch.

PlayStation VR will officially launch in North America on October 13. But we know many of you have been asking – ‘When can I try PlayStation VR out and see some of the great games to come?’ Well, [today] and Saturday (June 17 and 18), we’re going to offer PS VR demos at more than 30 Best Buy and GameStop locations. Starting on June 24, that number will expand to about 300 locations across the US and Canada.

You can find the locations here.

Google finally adds slideshows to Google Photos

I really like—and recommendGoogle Photos, but the one thing that was conspicuously missing was slideshow support. Well, they just fixed that.

Slideshows are available now on photos.google.com and in the Android app.

So not iOS (yet) for some reason.

It’s now possible to play a slideshow from any album. Just open the album, click on a photo, and select Slideshow from the dropdown menu.

For the ultimate viewing experience, cast the Chrome tab to your TV while you sit back, relax, and make everyone jealous with your amazing photos.

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