Join us every Sunday as we revisit the best hardware and technology stories from the past seven days. This week, Sony's PlayStation 4 SharePlay feature gets a reality check, Apple begins work on an experimental electric car project, and Microsoft prepares to unify apps and features across Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs.
Sony will begin a concentrated publicity campaign for its Morpheus VR headset with a "four-hour" showcase at the Game Developers Conference in March. Weeks ahead of its E3 media conference, Sony will send representatives to the Games Developers Conference in San Francisco to brief attendees on the prospects and challenges of developing virtual reality content for PlayStation 4.
Confirmed already is a one-hour speaker session, hosted on Wednesday March 4, entitled Beyond Immersion - Project Morpheus and PlayStation. Then on Thursday, a PlayStation US representative will discuss various insights into rendering for virtual reality. Sony has also booked seats on two public developer roundtables which will discuss VR.
But beyond this, games site Polygon claims that Sony will also host a standalone "four-hour event focusing on Morpheus." The showcase, set to take place on March 3, will apparently provide hands-on demos of the system.
Xbox One updates that Microsoft has in the works will allow for apps to run in the background and the system to be used as a dev kit, according to a new report.
After announcing last month that universal Windows 10 apps are coming to Xbox One, The Verge reports Microsoft will offer further details on its plans for Xbox One apps in April at the Build Developer conference. Support for running apps in the background will be added--opening the possibility for listening to music from an app while playing a game. Additionally, the limited group of developers allowed to create apps for the system will be expanded to include everyone.
A new SDK is also reportedly on the way that will allow retail Xbox One systems to be used as dev kits, effectively enabling any system to be used for creating games. This is functionality that was promised way back in the summer of 2013, before the Xbox One launched. A report circulated last year that Microsoft had scrapped plans to offer this. The company denied this was the case, and Xbox boss Phil Spencer reiterated in August that it remains a part of Microsoft's "roadmap."
One young Destiny player has learned a hard lesson about who to trust when using the new PlayStation 4 SharePlay functionality. The feature, in theory at least, was designed to allow players who are struggling through an area to virtually pass the controller to a more experienced gamer to help them. But that's not how things worked out recently for one young man.
The player, who goes by "Cuckooknight HD" chronicles in the YouTube video below (the horror starts around 13 minutes in) how he used SharePlay to connect with a stranger named "KirmitTHEfrog." He expected the user would help him discover a Destiny glitch that would boost his character. Instead, he walks away from his TV for some reason, and KirmitTHEfrog deletes his level-31 Warlock (oh no!) and his level-26 Titan (noooo!), while also zapping an exotic weapon from a third character (not cool, man).
"Oh my god, no, seriously?" he says when discovering the weapon is gone. At first, it appears he doesn't realize his two high-level characters had been deleted. But when he does, you can hear him sobbing.
Even if this Destiny video proves to be a fake, it illustrates an important lesson: Don't SharePlay with people you don't know, especially when characters you've spent dozens of hours building are at stake.
A developer edition of Sony's Google Glass-style augmented reality glasses are now available to pre-purchase from the company's online store. At $840, they are less expensive than Google Glass, but they are somewhat awkward-looking and appear to be bulky.
Officially called the SmartEyeglass Developer Edition SED-E1, the glasses are available now for preorder and will starting shipping next month in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Japan for $840, £520, €670, or ¥100,000.
Sony's smart glasses aren't all that different in form from regular specs, only they have a transparent screen in the lenses that allow you to see notifications for email and more sitting directly in front of your eyes. The SmartEyeglass headset weighs 77 grams (2.7 ounces), and also must be connected to a hockey puck-sized control unit that carries that battery, speaker, microphone, and touch controls. The glasses also feature a built-in 3 MP camera. Battery life is approximately 150 minutes for continuous use or around 80 minutes for continuous use with the camera on.
Sony will rely more heavily on its PlayStation and camera sensors business in an attempt boost profit 25-fold within three years, the company has announced.
According to Reuters, Sony CEO Kaz Hirai said that the company will back away from its smartphone business, where its failing to compete with the dominant Samsung, Apple, and cheaper Chinese manufacturers.
Hirai's comments also indicated that Sony may at some point abandon its once hugely successful TV business, saying that he would not "rule out considering an exit strategy." Instead, the company will focus on its more profitable camera sensors and PlayStation products, which it hopes will produce an operating profit of $4.2 billion for 2017/18.
First there were Apple computers. Then iPods, iPhones, and iPads. Then the Apple Watch. So what's next for the technology giant? Electric cars, according to a new story from The Wall Street Journal.
The Apple-branded electric car is reportedly code-named "Titan." The initial design of this car is supposedly similar to that of a minivan, though no images or further details were shared. As you might have expected, Apple declined to comment.
WSJ notes that Apple could choose to abandon its car-making initiative, and points out that it is not uncommon for Apple or its competitors to prototype an idea that never sees a commercial release. However, sources told the WSJ that the size of Apple's electric car team and the seniority of the staff suggest that the company is indeed serious.