This week on The Shift, Shane Hewitt and I talked about FIFA 23, NHL 23, Cyberpunk 2077, The Last of Us (again), Amazon’s Kindle Scribe and Fire TV Omni, and changes coming to YouTube’s Partner Program.
Technological World for September 28, consumer tech: Kindle Scribe, Fire TV Omni, changes to YouTube's Partner Program
Amazon announced a bunch of cool new devices today, and YouTube wants to distribute more money to musicians and creators.
Amazon reveals Kindle Scribe, a new tablet designed for handwriting
The Scribe is a new Kindle that is so much like paper that you can write on it. The 10.2-inch device comes in storage capacities of 16 GB, 32 GB, and 64 GB, and with the included stylus you can mark up Word documents, PDFs, even take notes on the books you’re reading from the Kindle store.
You’ll also be able to import documents to the Scribe or export them to your computer. The Scribe releases on November 30 and is priced starting at $430.
New 4K QLED TV set added to Amazon Fire TV series
Amazon’s line of affordable televisions gets a serious bump in quality with the line of Omni sets with 4K QLED screens. The 65-inch model is only $1,070 and you can get a 75-inch screen for only $1,500.
These come with a photo mode built in that Amazon’s calling “Ambient Experience” that turns the television into a digital frame that will display artwork, photos, and more.
Other Amazon things of note
- Amazon is building Eero mesh technology into select new Echo devices so they will double as a smart speaker and a way to extend your Wi-Fi. Existing, fourth generation Echo Dot devices will also get this functionality through a software update.
- Alexa voice remote pro is a new, universal remote control that works with Fire TV devices and many other televisions, soundbars, and receivers. It leverages the sophisticated Alexa voice assistant to make it easy to watch TV. You can pair headphones to the remote and you can ask Alexa to help you find it when you inveitably lose it.
YouTube looking to pay more to creators and musicians
YouTube Shorts is a TikTok competitor, and short form videos that include music – and often choreographed movement – are popular. But creators of that content haven’t qualified for the same kinds of revenue sharing as more traditional YouTubers.
Next year, though, YouTube is expanding access to the Partner Program to make it easier for short-form creators to revenue sharing.
Creator Music is a related initiative that provides YouTube creators of all formats to a library of music they can use which will better compensate musicians and music rights holders.
Technological World for September 28, games: FIFA 23 and NHL 23 ready for prime time, Cyberpunk 2077's new life, The Last of Us gets a full trailer
Fall is here so sports are on the television for us to watch and to play, people are playing Cyberpunk 2077, a full trailer for The Last of Us.
EA Sports FIFA and NHL games get annual updates
FIFA 23 hits game systems on Friday and NHL 23 arrives on October 14, a week after the professional hockey league season opens. And along with the usual updates to the sports simulations, EA Sports has some special things lined up for fans of the games.
Musqueam culture featured in FIFA 23
Artists from the Musqueam Indigenous community in B.C. have created clothing, kits, and a stadium that are featured in FIFA 23.
Volta Football Pitch is a representation of the real Musqueam stadium in the ancestral and unceded territory where Vancouver is located.
Ted Lasso and AFC Richmond appear in FIFA 23
The popular Apple TV+ character Ted Lasso, played by Jason Sudeikis, is also appearing in FIFA 23 as a playable manager in the game’s career mode. And the AFC Richmond players, including Roy Kent, Jamie Tartt, Sam Obisanya, and Dani Rojas, also appear for fans to field.
NHL 23 launches on October 14
With Canadian phenom Sarah Nurse on the cover – the first time a female player has been on the box – NHL 23 is all in on featuring women in the game.
Canada’s Marie-Philip Poulin is the top ranked player from the IIHF Women’s National Teams with a rating of 94. That compares to Connor McDavid’s 95, which tops the list of active NHL players. (Here’s the full ratings list.)
And when you’re creating your own teams, you can mix and match female and male players to create the best team possible regardless of gender.
One of the new features in NHL 23 is what the developers are calling, “Last chance puck movement,” which is about players being able to make final plays with the puck while they’re falling or otherwise being taken out of the play. Think of it as the Bobby Orr feature.
Cyberpunk 2077’s new life
The Netflix animated series, Edgerunners, set in the world of Cyberpunk 2077, has sparked a resurgence of interest in the game developed and published by CD Projekt Red in December of 2020.
This can happen, in part, because of how many copies of the game were sold before it was even released.
Over 20 million cyberpunks have been roaming the streets of Night City – partying with Jackie and getting to know Johnny, driving around with Panam and diving with Judy, hanging out with River and listening to Kerry’s songs.— Cyberpunk 2077 (@CyberpunkGame) September 28, 2022
Thank you and we hope to see you all in the Afterlife! pic.twitter.com/ifFLhg6npO
Full trailer for HBO’s The Last of Us adaptation
Filmed in southern Alberta, the television series based on the Naughty Dog video game series will be released next year.
In the trailer we get a sense of the post-apocalyptic world and the main characters, Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie (Bella Ramsey), with voice over from Anna Torv’s Tess.
We also get a quick glimpse at one of the humans infected by the Cordyceps fungus.
The Shift, September 21: #Deathloop, #HardspaceShipbreaker, #ReturnToMonkeyIsland, #MotiveIronMan, #CoDMW2, #Kensington, #VideoConferencing
This week on The Shift, Shane Hewitt and I talked about Deathloop and Hardspace: Shipbreaker arriving on new platforms, the release of Return to Monkey Island, the announcement of Motive’s Iron Man, and Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2’s multiplayer beta. We also talked about the suite of products from Kensington to help you kit out a proper video conferencing solution in your home office.
Technological World for September 21, consumer tech: Kitting out your home office broadcast studio with Kensington
Even if you’re going back to the office, odds are that you’ll end up spending some time in a home office. And while many people scrambled to collect the various technical accessories that would help them get a high Room Rater score, there’s no such excuse now.
Kensington Computer Products has just rolled out a suite of must-have solutions that will help you show nicely whether you’re sitting in a Zoom meeting, chatting with your colleagues in Microsoft Teams, putting together a podcast for your community group, or recording a video presentation for that online conference.
It starts with a webcam, and the new W1050 camera (US$50) delivers 1080p high defintion video and is flexible enough for just you or a group. You can adjust the angle of the camera and it’s a fixed-focus device, so it’ll keep you looking crisp.
You’ll only look as good as the light on your face, though, which is where the L1000 Bicolor ring light (US$40) comes in. This has a mount in the middle of the ring designed for a webcam so you’ll have soft, consistent light to illuminate you. Because it’s an LED device, you can control the colour of the light, too, from cool blue to warm yellow.
The A1020 Boom Arm (US$90) connects the two together and anchors them to your desk or table, giving you the ability to move things around to accommodate your setup. It’s designed with a groove down the arm to help manage the cables coming down from the ring light and webcam.
And once you’ve got the video under control you can turn your attention to the audio with a reasonably priced headset, the H1000 (US$50), and a headset switch (US$150), which enables you to easily move your audio between sources, including computers, smartphones, and tablets. These can be hardwired with USB-C, USB-A, or 3.5 mm cables, or using Bluetooth. By tapping a button you can move from your conference call to watching the latest movie trailers on your phone without having to take off your headphones.