Nintendo Says That Rumored Switch Exchange Deal Is Fake - Canadanewsmedia
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Nintendo Says That Rumored Switch Exchange Deal Is Fake

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Photo: Koji Sasahara (AP)

So you know all those reports earlier this week about a Nintendo Switch exchange program? Yeah, turns out it was all a bunch of crap. The Verge published an official statement from a Nintendo rep on Saturday debunking the deal.

The unofficial (and now, unfortunately, confirmed untrue) offer was first noted on Reddit, where users claimed Nintendo officials agreed to swap out their current Switch for a new model so long as they purchased the console after the upgrade was announced on July 17. One Youtuber even faked a recording of a Nintendo rep confirming this deal over the phone. This updated Switch has only been officially announced to have a longer battery life, but players who have gotten their hands on the model have reported its boasts an improved screen and CPU as well.

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Gizmodo reached out to Nintendo at the time to ask about the deal, but its phone line appeared to be overwhelmed by others wanting to know the same thing. Then Saturday, Nintendo provided the Verge with the following statement denying there ever was a Switch exchange program:

We do not have a Nintendo Switch exchange program. We always want players to enjoy their Nintendo Switch systems, and if anything ever gets in the way of that, we encourage them to visit http://support.nintendo.com for support, or to contact our consumer support team.

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Whomp whomp. Many Switch owners (myself included) have griped about how the console has entirely too short a battery life (roughly two and a half to six and a half hours) for what Nintendo originally marketed as a portable system, so the promise of a free upgrade seemed too good to be true. And, as it turns out, it was.

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Edmonton-based startup Mover acquired by Microsoft

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Mover, an Edmonton-based startup that offers data migration services, was acquired by Microsoft today. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The announcement was made Monday, with Mover co-founder and CEO Eric Warnke stating in a blog post that it has been a fantastic journey these last eight years, and Mover was ready to embark on its next chapter.

“Our technology makes us one of the fastest OneDrive and SharePoint document migrators in the world.”

Microsoft bought the company with plans to integrate Mover’s data migration service, which moves files online between cloud storage providers, with Microsoft 356. Mover’s technology will now help customers to migrate data to OneDrive and SharePoint.
Mover currently supports migration from over a dozen cloud service providers, including Box, Dropbox, Egnyte, and Google Drive, the integration will help users more easily transfer their files from those platforms to Microsoft’s OneDrive and SharePoint, enabling seamless file collaboration across Microsoft 365 apps and services, including the Office apps and Microsoft Teams. According to a Microsoft blog post from Jeff Teper, corporate vice president of Microsoft Office, the Mover integration is currently available with more plans and details to be revealed at Microsoft’s annual Ignite conference being held in November.

“Our technology makes us one of the fastest OneDrive and SharePoint document migrators in the world,” Warnke said in the blog post. “My team has proven this time and time again by setting migration speed records for the industry, always meeting customer needs. Security, file fidelity, and transfer accuracy are core tenets of our company and we take pride in our reputation.”

Founded in 2012, through the Vancouver Growlab accelerator, Mover originally began as a product called Backup Box, which allowed users to move data back and forth between cloud storage services. In the earlier days, as ‘the cloud’ was still gaining traction, Mover then decided to tackle to problem of data migration. In 2013, Mover raised $1 million (listed on Crunchbase as its total funding to date) in a seed round from Canadian and American investors, including Double M Partners, Yaletown Venture Partners, Amplify, and Medra Capita, as well as angel investors Jarl Mohn, Rick Barry, and Dennis Phelps.

“We have met thousands of wonderful customers and moved more data than I ever imagined. It has been an honor to be trusted by you and your fellow customers,” said Warnke. “On behalf of everyone at Mover, thank you to all our family, friends, customers, partners, investors, and allies who helped us get to where we are today. We couldn’t have done it without you.”

Image source Mover via Twitter

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New Huawei Google Confirmation

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Huawei has confirmed that the U.S. blacklist stripping Google software and services from its devices is hurting—and, worse, there is no solution in sight. The Chinese tech giant has sourced alternative options for almost everything included in its consumer devices. But not Google—that’s the bridge too far. And it gets worse—with various workarounds coming to nothing, and any in-house replacement still years away, Huawei has also confirmed it does not have a solution yet in sight. Bad news for users. And bad news for the company, with the likely toll on international sales.

Since May, Huawei has been fending off the impact of a U.S. blacklist that restricts access to its U.S. supply chain. The sanctions stop the company using U.S. hardware or software in new devices. And while the tech giant has launched a program to un-Americanize its supply chain, it accepts that it can replace hardware components but not Google’s core Android software. “We can continue to use the Android platform, since it is open-source,” Huawei’s PR chief Joy Tan told the Financial Times, “but we cannot use the services that help apps run on it.”

In reality Huawei had hoped for some political respite, for Trump to soften sanctions outside of core areas of critical infrastructure security. But, despite a few false starts, there has been no softening as yet. Huawei has spent months looking for an audience with the U.S. administration—but Tan told the FT that they have yet to secure a meeting, “either within the Trump administration or on Capitol Hill.”

All this came to a head with the Huawei Mate 30 launch in September. A device that should have prompted countless tech columns lauding its camera, processor and display innovations, instead it had the company fielding endless questions around Google workarounds to prevent the stunning new flagship falling flat in key markets outside China. Short answer—again, despite a number of false starts, there are no Google workarounds available to the millions of normal would-be buyers.

“There are so many Android users in Europe and south-east Asia,” Tan admitted, “they’re so used to these Google applications on top of Android phones.” The really bad news for Huawei’s loyal fanbase is that there isn’t a solution likely to appear any time soon. Google, it seems, is Google.

Shortly after the blacklist was announced, Huawei’s consumer boss Richard Yu announced an in-house operating system he claimed would replace Android on smart devices, running the same apps, providing a seamless way out. But it was misleading. HarmonyOS has now launched—but it is not suited to smartphones, designed instead for larger, simpler IoT devices like smart TVs. There is also the small matter of an Android development community that would need to expand to cover a new OS.

All of which was confirmed by Tan. Developing an Android replacement, she accepted, will take years, assuming it’s even possible. “We have to find alternative solutions for that ecosystem,” she said, “but it’s going to take some time to build.” Despite months of speculation to the contrary, it is now evident that the only current option is open-source Android without Google’s services, including the Play Store and its apps.

Despite the blacklist starting to bite—and it gets worse in November, when current temporary exemptions on certain suppliers ends, Huawei released strong trading results last week. In the first three quarters of this year, the company generated $85 billion in revenues, up 25% year-on-year, signing more than 60 5G contracts with leading global carriers and shipping 185 million smartphones. But almost all of those smartphones either predated the loss of Google or targeted the Chinese market, where Google is not available. The next set of results matters much more.

Huawei isn’t the only company under the hammer—Google itself is being hit hard by the restrictions. Losing access to Huawei and tens of millions of consumers, increasing its dependence on Samsung, losing revenue streams. “Many of our suppliers are talking with the U.S. government,” Tan told the FT, “including Google, I’m sure.”

And so Huawei continues to hope Beijing can secure trade talk concessions from the Trump administration before too many consumers shift elsewhere, at which point it will face the time and cost involved in winning them back.

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Leaked PS5 devkit photo stylized in 3D renders

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A bit ago a leaked photo showed off the PlayStation 5 devkit’s design, confirming the original V-shaped patent sketch was authentic. Now some digital renders capture the that design in 3D form.

The renders come from LetsGoDigital and are stylized digital recreations of the actual physical PS5 development kit, complete with the manta ray color scheme, front-facing buttons and USB ports, and distinct ventilation.

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Leaked PS5 devkit on the left, 3D render on the right.

The design is still pretty striking, but we shouldn’t expect the final PlayStation 5 to look like this. Final consumer-facing products are almost always different than their respective devkits, except of course for the Xbox One X.

Devkits are built specifically to push the system’s internal hardware–in this case a high-end AMD SoC outfitted with a powerful Navi GPU and an 8-core, 16 thread Zen 2 CPU–well past its limits and stress test the system’s full capabilities. Developers are encouraged to basically break the system under extreme load to see what it can do, hence the crazy ventilation system and tapered chassis that’s built specifically for heat regulation.

As devs refine their games and learn how to best optimize the hardware, and give real-time feedback to Sony, the PS5’s design will change and morph. But until then it’s important to have as much cooling as possible especially when dealing with GPU-intensive tech features like ray tracing, native 4K (and maybe even 8K) gaming, high frame rates, and a dearth of environmental, lighting, and physics effects.

Also it begs to question…is this the devkit for the PlayStation 5 Pro, or the base PS5? Or do they both use the same devkit and the base PS5 model is simply scaled down some, maybe sans the super-fast PCIe 4.0 SSD?

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This system design is also great for stress-testing older legacy PlayStation games on the new hardware, namely PS4 games. Sony confirmed the PS5 will natively play PS4 games, but it might also play every generation from PS1, PS2, and even PS3 onward. The idea is to have as much headroom to see what kinds of horsepower is needed to not only run PS5 games, but older PS4 games enhanced for the system.

The PS5 devkits are also made to stack onto each other and can apparently be flipped to run upside-down for utility and easy access to the console’s disc drive, which will play BD-XL Blu-ray discs that hold up to 100GB of data.

Sony is expected to reveal the PS5 in a special event in February 2020. The console will release in Holiday 2020, and sources tell TweakTown the PS5 will launch sometime in December 2020.

Check below for more info and confirmed specs.

PlayStation 5 confirmed specs:

  • Navi GPU Zen 2 8-core, 16 thread CPU
  • Sources: December 2020 release date
  • Ultra-fast SSD (likely via PCIe 4.0)
  • Support for 4K 120 Hz TVs
  • Ray-tracing enabled
  • 8K graphics support (probably video, not gaming)
  • Plays all PS4 games
  • Separate SKUs that ship on BD-XL Blu-ray discs
  • New controller with extensive haptic and tactile feedback
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