Thurrott Daily: November 7

Posted on November 7, 2016 by Paul Thurrott in Android, Mobile, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One with 20 Comments

Thurrott Daily: November 7

The eternal battle: Cat v. rodent.

Tech tidbits from around the web.

11/7/2016 10:04:46 AM

A few days behind on some of this, sorry…

Get an additional game with the purchase of any Xbox One S bundle, starting at $299

Microsoft revealed that US-based customers who buy any Xbox One S bundle through November 12 will get an additional free game.

From November 4 – 12, when you buy any new Xbox One or Xbox One S console bundle, you also get a new game of your choice, starting at $299.

To take advantage of this offer, head to participating retailers including Amazon, Target, GameStop, Best Buy, Walmart.com, and Microsoft Store.

Limbo is now available for Xbox One Backward Compatibility

Neowin reports:

Microsoft added another title to the list of Xbox 360 games that are backward compatible with the Xbox One today, Limbo. This is the second title to be added this week, with Blue Dragon being added on Tuesday.

Xbox One Backward Compatibility is beginning to close in on 300 games, with the 250 milestone being reached in mid-September.

I need to fire up Limbo again. I’ve never finished it, and it was made by the same folks behind Inside and features a similar creepy vibe.

Microsoft Selfie arrives on Android

Android Police notes the arrival of Microsoft Selfie on Android. (It first shipped on iOS way back in December 2015.)

Microsoft Selfie lets you take a photo with the front-facing camera on your phone and beautify it in one click. Microsoft says that the app “intelligently considers age, gender, skin tone, lighting and many other variables” and then takes the average photo shot with your average camera of your average face (not a direct quote) and makes it better. “Enhanced” and “natural” are two words used in the description, though I have trouble understanding what constitutes “natural” in an algorithmically edited photo.

You can download Microsoft Selfie from the Google Play Store.

Here’s the list of games that will be optimised for PS4 Pro on launch day

The PlayStation Blog talks up the PS4 titles that have been optimized for the new 4K-sort-of-capable PS4 Pro.

Next Thursday, 10th November, sees the launch of PS4 Pro, our most powerful games console ever. Offering enhanced performance via boosted CPU and GPU, with resolution up to 4K, HDR imaging technology, and faster, more stable frame rates, it’s the ultimate way to enjoy your favourite videogames.

We know you’re eager to find out which titles will be the first to take advantage of the increased power and performance of PS4 Pro. The following 30+ titles will be optimised for the new hardware on launch day. Some games have updates to add Pro support, while more recent titles like Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare have Pro enhancements built into the base game. We’ll keep this list updated should additional titles be confirmed.

In addition to the titles [optimized at launch], more than 45 games will be optimised for PS4 Pro by the end of the year, including Watch Dogs 2, Killing Floor 2, The Last Guardian and Final Fantasy XV, with the likes of Nioh, Resident Evil 7 Biohazard and For Honor to follow in early 2017.

Further to that, all first party software launched in 2017 and beyond, including Gravity Rush 2, Horizon Zero Dawn, Days Gone and Gran Turismo Sport, will enjoy the benefits of the world’s most powerful console.

Check out the post for the full list.

PlayStation Vue is now available on PCs

And speaking of Sony, the entertainment firm’s cord-cutting solution is now more broadly available. Engadget explains.

After coming to Android TV last week, PlayStation view has arrived on Mac and PC browsers, meaning it’s available on just about every device you can think of. It’ll work on Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Microsoft Edge and even Internet Explorer 10+ browsers, Sony says. The web service has some “unique features,” including a mini-player that you can shrink to the corner of a browser window while you look for more content.

PS Vue is an streaming service that includes live TV channels from NBC, Fox, ESPN and others starting at $30 a month, though availability depends on your zip code. It’s much like Sling TV, though the basic Vue package is $10 more. However, you do get more stations in total, and can buy channels individually or upgrade your subscription to get more.

You can learn more here.

Samsung is working on its own digital assistant

The jokes write themselves, but it’s true. Samsung is working on its own digital assistant. Reuters tries to make sense of the insanity.

Samsung said on Sunday it would launch an artificial intelligence digital assistant service for its upcoming Galaxy S8 smartphone, seeking to rebound from the Galaxy Note 7’s collapse and differentiate its devices.

The world’s top smartphone maker in October announced the acquisition of Viv Labs Inc, a firm run by a co-creator of Apple Inc’s Siri voice assistant program. Samsung plans to integrate the San Jose-based company’s AI platform, called Viv, into the Galaxy smartphones and expand voice-assistant services to home appliances and wearable technology devices.

Samsung is counting on the Galaxy S8 to help revive smartphone momentum after scrapping the fire-prone Galaxy Note 7, which will hit its profit by $5.4 billion over three quarters through the first quarter of 2017.

Just what we need. More of this baloney.

 

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15 Comments
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  1. 1 | Reply
    Jeff.Bane Alpha Member #1480 - 4 weeks ago

    I surely can't get enough of them. Hopefully Twitter is working on a personal assistant as well. 

    1. 2 | Reply
      Vuppe Alpha Member #1076 - 4 weeks ago
      In reply to Jeff.Bane:

      I want to have one personal assistant per platform. Cortana on my computer, Alexa on my home device, Xbox on my Xbox, Google Assistant on my phone. Siri in my car. Let's get it all fragmented.

    2. 0 | Reply
      Jeff.Bane Alpha Member #1480 - 4 weeks ago
      In reply to Vuppe:

      Facebook M likes your idea.

    3. 0 | Reply
      Brumfondl Alpha Member #317 - 4 weeks ago
      In reply to Jeff.Bane:

      Pretty sure that Twitter's personal assistant was called Tay...

    4. 0 | Reply
      Narg Alpha Member #420 - 4 weeks ago
      In reply to Brumfondl:

      "Pretty sure that Twitter's personal assistant was called Tay..."   LOL, so it's keyword will be "Oh Tay..."?

  2. 1 | Reply
    MutualCore - 4 weeks ago

    Exploding Samsung Assistants!

  3. 1 | Reply
    DaddyBrownJr Alpha Member #1342 - 4 weeks ago

    I would pay $2.99 for a Thurrott digital assistant!

    1. Paul Thurrott
      4 | Reply
      Paul Thurrott Alpha Member #1 - 4 weeks ago
      In reply to DaddyBrownJr:

      LOL it would mostly just berate you. 

    2. 0 | Reply
      MutualCore - 4 weeks ago
      In reply to DaddyBrownJr:

      Yeah but I already paid $64 for the real Thurott Assistant.

    3. 1 | Reply
      Waethorn Alpha Member #2235 - 4 weeks ago
      In reply to MutualCore:

      And look what it got you....

  4. 1 | Reply
    TomKer Alpha Member #399 - 4 weeks ago

    I wonder is Samsung's Viv will scream "duck and cover" just before you washing machine explodes...

  5. 0 | Reply
    hrlngrv Alpha Member #100 - 4 weeks ago

    Maybe the Samsung AI will be specialized in detecting when Samsung phones are about to explode.

  6. 0 | Reply
    the_real_entheos Alpha Member #2392 - 4 weeks ago

    I read the next to last paragraph too fast. I thought you mentioned the Samsung fire-phone. Maybe it's good that Amazon doesn't sell the fire phone anymore. Who would've thought that it would be more successfull (or less unsuccessful) than Samsung's "version."

  7. 0 | Reply
    MartinM Alpha Member #1234 - 4 weeks ago

    The Squirrel is so cute Paul, he's no rodent. :)

  8. 0 | Reply
    Lewk Alpha Member #958 - 3 weeks ago

    Is the Samsung Assistant a pseudo-warning system so the phone will cry out at you, "Warning, device is rapidly exceeding acceptable levels of heat and flames."