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Amazon has already revealed the Echo Look, a smart speaker that judges your outfits. They’re already working on the next big thing, according to a report from CNET. It looks like we might see An Echo with a screen,  codenamed “Project Knight”.

CNETs source says that Amazon is looking to ramp up their product release cycle in order to stay ahead of the curve of its primary rival, Google. It appears that the retail giant was rattled by Google’s announcement that their Home smart speakers can now identify multiple users. Amazon has not yet announced the speaker but the source suggested that an Echo with a screen could be released as early as next month.

It is an interesting move from Amazon. The primary lure of smart speakers has always been the voice activated assistants. These assistants are great for tackling simple commands but sometimes struggle with more complex queries, a screen would help to remedy this. Amazon could utilize a screen in the same way that Amazon’s fire tablet does. Alexa could provide the user with basic information and the Echo’s screen would display more complex data.

An Amazon Echo with a screen

Amazon have focused on a broad specialized product line – Credit newsweek

Amazon’s interest in pushing out new products underscores the bitter fight for control of your living Room. It looks like Amazon is trying to innovate the market before Google can and make the echo a true multi-purpose device in the way that Google Home isn’t. Amazon has already been putting a lot of effort into improving Alexa’s capabilities and Google has been following suit with regular improvements to their own devices.

While Google has focused on creating one flagship product, Google Home, Amazon has taken a broader approach. “Project Knight” will join the rapidly growing family of Echo products. As well as the newly announced Echo Look, the Echo with a screen will join Amazon’s flagship Echo speaker, the Echo dot and the Echo tap. All of these devices have very different looks and are tailor made for different situations.  Amazon appears to be avoiding Google’s “One size fits all”, instead opting to reach as wide a user-base as possible in the hopes of enticing loyal users.

The stakes are pretty big for both companies. As people become more comfortable using smart devices in their homes the market is going to grow massively. Whichever company can gain dominance of the market will be able to embed their products deeply in our homes and lives, so there is a lot of money to be made here.

 

 

 

You'll find me wandering around the Science sections mostly, excitedly waving my arms around while jumping up and down about the latest science and tech news. I am also occasionally found in the gaming section, trying to convince everyone else that linux is the future of the computer gaming.

Consoles

Despite popular belief, PS4 sales in the UK skyrocketed last year

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PS4 sales in the UK climbed by a shocking 633 percent year-over-year in 2023, so apparently the old system isn’t dead yet. The previous year’s very limited supply of the system is likely a major factor in this figure, since the console’s lifespan was drastically reduced because of chip shortages caused by the pandemic. Still, it’s proof that PlayStation’s original platform has unmet demand.

With the very low prices of PS4 software (both in-store and online at the PS Store), this strategy makes a lot of sense. Plus, it’s future-proof, so there’s no harm in stocking up on PS4s while new-gen pricing is still high, since if you decide to switch to a PS5 in the future, you can transfer all of your purchases across. Not to mention that the majority of new releases still come out on the PS4, with several offering free PS5 upgrades.

While the percentage rise may seem huge, real PS4 sales will probably be much lower. It’s a sign that the gadget, which is now a decade old, isn’t completely dead yet, and we expect it to keep receiving maintenance for a while longer. Of course, this is great news for Sony, because the company would rather have PS4 players playing on its last-gen gadget than none at all, even if it would love to have them upgrade to PS5.

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Consoles

New PS5 firmware is available for download!

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A PS5 firmware update on a cold winter morning is unmatched. The latest PS5 system software update is 23.02–08.40.00 from Sony. Does this one add useful features or just boost system performance?

Though closer to the latter, it’s more than Sony’s favorite patch note. It fixes security issues, improves messages and usability, and boosts system software performance. Official patch notes for this 1.185GB update:

  • We updated system software security
  • We improved system software stability and performance
  • Some screens now have better messages and usability

That’s it. PS5 gets another win to recover from its midweek slump. Do you share our enthusiasm for this firmware update? Comment below. To spice things up, make your comment rhyme.

 

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Consoles

Baldur’s Gate 3’s Xbox Version Will Help PS5

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Belgian developer Larian Studios’ work on Baldur’s Gate 3’s Xbox Series S version will improve performance on all platforms, including PS5. The game’s fifth major patch, expected to launch this week, will include upgrades and new features. More details will be revealed later today.

Director of Publishing Michael Douse says PS5 performance improvements may be the “least exciting thing” in the title’s next update, so it sounds like a big one. Larian Studios employees are proud of “finally” implementing tweaks, fixes, and changes, Douse says. Later today, we’ll bring you all the Baldur’s Gate 3 update details.

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Those who reached the RPG’s third act have reported technical issues during the narrative’s conclusion, especially in co-op, so today’s update should fix them. New features like a permadeath mode are expected, along with Xbox Series S optimization fixes. What else should be added to the game?

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