Your tech news digest, by way of theÂ DGiT Daily tech newsletter, for Tuesday, July 28.
1. Analogue Pocket: Why and what gives?
Last year the Analogue Pocket was announced for 2020, er, well now itâ€™s coming in 2021 thanks to the supply chain problems in our world.
Now we know itâ€™ll be $200, and itâ€™s either blowing your mind or itâ€™s a curiosity: why would anyone pay $199 for a handheld console that just plays old games?
Well my friends, letâ€™s take a look.
What it is:
- Analogue is a long-standing handheld console maker, offering retro gaming in rather beautiful hardware.
- Where itâ€™s clever is its use of field-programmable gate array (FPGA) chips. That means hardware emulation is used as an all-in-one retro device that can play Game Boy, Game Gear, Neo Geo Pocket Color and Atari Lynx games, with an adapter required for the last three.
- The device itself is a 3.5-inch LCD at 665ppi, with Gorilla Glass protection, USB-C charging, and a 4,300mAh battery with between 6-10 hours play time. Thereâ€™s multiplayer, wireless play, a hard case, and more.
- That display is therefore about 10x more pixels than the Game Boy, and thereâ€™s customization of the visual experience called â€˜Original Display Modesâ€™, which mimic display profiles of some devices, along with quirks, warts and all. Also, rare vertical games can be played.
- The Analogue Pocket will launch for $199.99, while the optional dock to let you play games on your TV, will be $99.
Why it matters:
- The Analogue Pocket is likely to be very nice, but you can still buy working Gameboys second-hand, and thatâ€™s not exactly a hugely hot market.
- But older games still matter, many of which are timeless which only date based on screen resolution rather than the gameplay itself.
- The real winner here is that the Pocket is using a FPGA chip for hardware emulation, which means games running on it are not using software emulation.
- The reason that matters is that it recreates the console experience perfectly, including all the same ticks and flaws, like random slow downs during big moments and microstutters.
- Â Itâ€™s weird, but when old games run too fast they donâ€™t feel right, and thatâ€™s an experience shared by casuals and the hardcore retro gamers.
- For $200, opening up your gaming world to games like Linkâ€™s Awakening, the Golden Sun titles, The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap, Super Mario Land 1, 2,3, Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3, Donkey Kong, Tony Hawkâ€™s Pro Skater 2(!), and good old Mario Golf: Advance Tour and countless Pokemon games either makes perfect sense to you and youâ€™ll pre-order, or youâ€™ll enjoy keeping $200 you have put aside for tech and gaming devices for modern gaming.
- For me? Itâ€™s a soft no, given just getting your hands on cartridges is hard, but I like what I see.
- Hopefully, the Pocket can live up to being a quality new device for those that have already smashed that pre-order button.
2.Â Xiaomi is eyeing the ability to store earbuds inside your smartphone. Nice idea, another example of innovation, but not sure itâ€™ll go anywhere (Android Authority).
3. Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 leaks in hands-on video: Watch it here! (Android Authority).
4. Google officially extends its work from home policy through to July 2021. Given Google has, yâ€™know, some data, this is significant (Android Authority).
5. Quick Charge 5: Qualcommâ€™s 100W+ charging will go from 0-50% in 5 minutes (Android Authority).
6. The Alexa app, a hot mess, has now been redesigned. Interestingly, third-party voice apps have been dropped way down the order, meaning Amazon is signalling that â€˜skillsâ€™ are struggling (TechCrunch).
7. Rumors: New Intel iMac coming as soon as this week, redesign unlikely (9to5Mac).
8. Big leadership shakeups at Intel in response to huge delays: Dr. Murthy Renduchintala to leave, Dr. Ann Kelleher to lead push for 7nm and 5nm processes (Engadget).
9. A cyberattack on Garmin disrupted more than workouts: aviation services, flight planning and mapping (Wired).
10. Vertical farms could grow all the wheat we needâ€”but at a crazy-high energy cost, and with many unanswered questions (Earther).
11. Lollapalooza 2020 is streaming a special four-day broadcast for free on YouTube this year (YouTube).
12. Google is building a new private subsea cable between Europe and the US (TechCrunch).
13. Airbusâ€™ self-flying plane just completed successful taxi, take-off, and landing tests (Business Insider).
14. â€œHas anyone else been on their phone for hours just switching between apps and trying to find something to do without actually doing anything? Is this the new normal?â€� (r/nostupidquestions).
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