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, CNET’s gift picks with expert advice, reviews and recommendations for the latest tech gifts for you and your family.
Everyone knows that Prime Day andare the two best times of the year to buy Amazon devices — Echo speakers, Kindle readers, Fire tablets, Ring security products and Fire TV streamers — at deep discounts, and this year is no exception. As of Sunday, Nov. 22, the online retailer has flipped the switch on most of its big discounts for the season, and we’ve curated the best deals below. Among the ground rules to keep in mind:
- These are the first significant discounts we’ve seen on the new 2020 Echo and Echo Dot speakers.
- Deals that are already live on Amazon’s site are at the top.
- Nearly all of these deals are also available at Best Buy, Target and other retailers.
- Note that many of these are a return to price drops from October’s Prime Day event.
- It’s not impossible for there to be additional bundle and add-on deals, but we don’t expect these prices to go any lower between now and the end of the year.
- Note that many of these are already backordered for weeks, and those ship times will likely get longer. However, Amazon devices rarely go “out of stock” — the shipping dates will just keep getting pushed further back in most cases.
Don’t see anything you want here? Don’t worry — moresales are coming.
Deals available now
Like the new, full-size Echo, the 2020 Dot boasts a striking new spheroidal aesthetic. It’s a solid smart speaker and remains a great entry point to voice assistance and the smart home.
The new Echo Dot will be $29, saving you $20 off the regular retail price.
Like the Echo Dot, the new Echo Dot with Clock is on sale. Save $21 on this Echo Dot model with an LED clock display for a great bedside, alarm clock assistant.
You’ll get all the Alexa smarts you expect with the added bonus of a visual indicator for time and other info.
This combo deal regularly retails for $60, but it’s now on sale for $29. Get the all-new Echo Dot along with a Sengled Smart Bulb and take the first steps in setting up your smart home. Since the Echo Dot is also on sale for $29, you’ll be getting the Sengled Smart Bulb for free.
Note this is the Sengled Smart Bulb that requires either Bluetooth control or the Sengled Zigbee hub.
Amazon gave the Echo a total redesign in 2020. It’s now a spherical smart speaker, but that’s not all. The newest Echo sounds great, includes a Zigbee receiver for smart home integration and looks good sitting on your countertop.
This sale saves you $30 off the $100 regular retail price.
If you want a display for video chatting, watching Netflix or just for use as a smart alarm clock, the Show 5 — the smallest smart display from Amazon — is a great little gadget. It dropped to $45 during Prime Day, and since that price is returning to Best Buy on Nov. 22, we expect it to return to Amazon this weekend, too.
The older version of Amazon’s entry-level smart was selling for $19 during Prime Day. That deal is returning to Best Buy — with a free smart bulb thrown in — starting Nov. 22, so we assume it will be returning to Amazon, too — stock permitting.
This $50 deal delivers an Echo Show 5 smart display and a Blink Mini camera, a great combo for keeping an eye on other areas of your home. The Echo Show 5 is Amazon’s compact 5.5-inch smart display. The Blink Mini is Blink’s affordable 1080p HD indoor, plug-in security camera.
The combo deal is regularly priced at $110, so this is a pretty hefty savings if you’re interested in smart security and Alexa.
Mesh Wi-Fi routers are becoming more and more affordable. The new Eero 6 system three-pack adds full support for Wi-Fi 6.
It’s not the best or most powerful mesh system, but if you have your heart set on Amazon’s latest Wi-Fi system, this sale saves $56 off the regular $279 price.
The Fire HD 10 tablet delivers upgrades like USB-C charging and a faster processor for better performance. There’s also a 2-megapixel front camera and 32GB of memory in the regularly priced $150 base model.
The Fire HD 10 has the same better-than-1080p (1,900×1,200) display of the previous model and the same microSD expansion slot for additional storage up to 512GB. This sale saves nearly 50% off the regular price.
Need something a bit more kid-friendly? The Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Edition tablet offers a 10.1-inch 1080p full HD display and 32GB of storage to support all their favorite shows and apps.
It also includes one year of Amazon’s Kids Plus subscription, a “Kid-Proof Case” with built-in stand, and two-year worry-free guarantee that replaces it if disaster strikes.
If the Fire HD 10 is a bit pricey for your toddler’s tablet, the Fire 7 Kids Edition is also on sale beginning Nov. 20 for $40 off the regular $100 price. You’ll still get the Amazon Kids Plus subscription, child-proof case and two-year guarantee.
The Fire 7 Kids Edition comes with 16GB of internal storage and up to seven hours of fun, a microSD card for up to 512GB of expandable storage and a screen with a 1,024×600-pixel resolution.
Blink Outdoor smart security cameras come in multiple kits, and though we don’t have pricing for each kit size, this sale offers up to $130 on a set. The largest kit available (and likely the $130 off deal) is a five-camera option.
Blink Outdoor cameras are wireless battery-powered HD security cameras that run for up to two years on the included two AA batteries. You can get motion-detection alerts on your phone with the option to customize motion zones in the Blink Home Monitor app, and these cameras work with Alexa for voice commands and smart home integration.
The Ring offers live 1080p video, motion alerts and two-way voice communication and a feature called Pre-Roll (when someone or something trips the motion sensor, you can see what happened before that). This deal saves nearly 50% off the regular $250 retail price and throws in an Echo Show 5 ($90 list price) to boot.
Note, the Ring Pro doesn’t have a rechargeable battery. If you can’t connect it to the existing doorbell wires at your front door, this isn’t the video doorbell for you.
The Fire TV Stick Lite is the most affordable way to put Amazon’s TV smarts in your home. There aren’t TV controls with this model, but you will get full HD, Alexa voice remote lite capability and access to thousands of TV channels and subscription options. Regularly $30, this sale cuts a decent $12 off the price.
Note there is also a sale beginning Nov. 20 for a Fire TV Stick Lite accessories bundle that includes the latest Fire TV Stick Lite, a remote case and Mission Cable USB power cable. Regularly priced at $63, it will be on sale for $50. You can see that deal here.
For just $2 more than the sale price on the new Fire TV Stick, you can upgrade to the 4K model to support even the swankiest streaming. You’ll get all the goodies baked into the Fire TV Stick with the added bonus of better video quality.
Regularly $50, this sale saves $20.
If you still pull in live TV over the air, you can record shows and watch them any time with the Fire TV Recast DVR. This version has a 500GB hard drive (a full 1TB version is also available) with two tuners, so you can record two shows at once.
The updated Kindle joins the Black Friday sale list with a $30 discount. Adjustable brightness and an 8GB storage meets the basic needs of any digital reader. Upgrade your purchase with Kindle Unlimited and ad removal for an additional fee.
At this price, the Echo Buds are considerably cheaper than Apple’s stock AirPods, which aren’t sweatproof and don’t offer any kind of noise-canceling capabilities. You get both of those features here and more, including onboard Alexa.
Amazon’s Echo Flex is a clever little gadget, adding Alexa to a modular smart plug design. The plug itself can attach various augmentations, like an LED clock, a motion sensor or a night light. To get this little device, plus all of Alexa’s smarts, for only $10, is a solid deal.
The Amazon Echo Auto is a clever little device that ports Alexa into your car, letting the voice assistant speak and play music through your stereo. At $30 off, it’s a solid deal for anyone wanting to smarten up their non-voice-equipped car.
PlayStation VR 2 to Offer OLED HDR Displays, 110-Degree Field of View: Report – Gadgets 360
PlayStation VR 2 will reportedly have two OLED displays that will support high-dynamic-range (HDR) video — that should make it brighter, more vibrant with an expanded colour spectrum, and capable of deeper blacks and more powerful whites. The original PSVR headset had a standard-dynamic-range (SDR) LCD display. The next-gen PlayStation virtual reality headset will also reportedly offer a 110-degree field of view, up 10 degrees from the first model and 20 degrees more than what the Oculus Quest 2 does. As for the dual controllers, PSVR 2 will feature sensors that can even detect how far your fingers are from the controller.
YouTube channel PSVR Without Parole brings word of new details about PlayStation VR 2 that is being designed exclusively for the next-gen PlayStation 5, citing a private developer conference held by Sony. UploadVR has confirmed that the conference took place earlier this week. This adds to what we have already known about PSVR 2, with UploadVR revealing in May that the next-gen PlayStation VR headset would offer a resolution of 2000×2040 per eye, for a total 4K resolution. The Quest 2 does 1832×1920 per eye. PSVR 2 will still need a cable though.
PSVR 2 will support foveated rendering that reduces rendering workload with the help of eye-tracking, and might also do flexible scaling resolution. Together, this should ensure better performance, as the PlayStation VR 2 will only render what you are looking at, thereby getting more power out of PS5. The controllers, in addition to distance tracking, will reportedly have haptic feedback, adaptive triggers, and capacitive touch sensors for the thumb, index, and middle fingers.
And since it’s talking to game developers, Sony has said that it wants “hybrid” AAA titles that will work both on PlayStation 5 and PlayStation VR 2. Think of what No Man’s Sky, Hitman 3, and Resident Evil 7 have done on PS4 and PS5. This would allow PS5 owners to decide whether they wish to play a game in standard TV mode or in virtual reality.
PlayStation VR 2 is expected in late 2022, per Bloomberg, though the new report says more details will be announced in early 2022.
Here Are The Top Ten Best-Selling Nintendo Switch Games As Of June 2021 – Nintendo Life
Nintendo has provided updated sales figures for its best-selling games on Switch, giving us a great look at which titles have performed the best since the console first launched more than four years ago.
It’s a very familiar list, with most of the system’s best-sellers holding their positions from previous reports. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Animal Crossing: New Horizons continue to dominate, both extending their leads at the top, with the former selling strongest during Q1 2021.
Elsewhere, Ring Fit Adventure is perhaps the most noteworthy name on the list, as sales continue to turn it into an evergreen star. The game has broken into the top ten by outselling New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe and seems to be showing no signs of slowing down.
Below, you’ll find the Switch’s best-selling games as of 30th June 2021. Note that the data only includes Nintendo-published titles.
Top Ten Best-Selling Nintendo Switch Games (as of 30th June 2021):
- Mario Kart 8 Deluxe – 37.08 million
- Animal Crossing: New Horizons – 33.89 million
- Super Smash Bros. Ultimate – 24.77 million
- The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – 23.20 million
- Pokémon Sword and Shield – 21.85 million
- Super Mario Odyssey – 21.40 million
- Super Mario Party – 15.72 million
- Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! / Let’s Go, Eevee! – 13.57 million
- Splatoon 2 – 12.45 million
- Ring Fit Adventure – 11.26 million
The numbers above are worldwide sales and include retail, digital, and copies bundled with hardware all combined. Nintendo has also revealed that Switch hardware lifetime sales have now reached more than 89 million units.
Any surprises in that top ten? Feel free to share your thoughts below.
Gone Home Studio Co-Founder Steps Down After Allegations Of 'Toxic' Workplace [Update] – Kotaku
Shortly afterwards, Polygon reported the departure in much greater detail, saying that since development of Open Roads began in 2019 fifteen staff had left the studio, while twelve of those who had left spoke with the site and “said their departure was at least in part due to Gaynor’s behavior toward workers, specifically women on the team”.
The report also says 10 of the 12 employees who have left have been women, and that Gaynor had actually left his role back in March, “after it became clear that the steps that were already being taken to improve his interactions with the team were only yielding temporary results.” One former employee “in a leadership position” told Polygon that “Working for him often felt like working for a high school mean girl. His go-to weapon was to laugh at people’s opinions and embarrass them in front of other people.”
While the allegations—and revelation that there had already been steps being taken to “improve his interactions with the team”—are substantial, Gaynor has not left the company, or even development on the game. Instead he will “transition to a role as a writer”, where he will remain as one of a reported six people still at Fullbright working on the game.
Fullbright released the critically-acclaimed Gone Home in 2014, and followed it up with Tacoma in 2017. Open Roads had been due for release in 2021.
Update 08/04/2021 9:37 p.m. ET: Gaynor has issued a statement that reads:
Hi all. I have a statement to share about my role at Fullbright. Earlier this year, I stepped back from my role as creative lead on Open Roads. My leadership style was hurtful to people that worked at Fullbright, and for that I truly apologize.
Stepping back has given me space and perspective to see how my role needs to change and how I need to learn and improve as part of a team, including working with an expert management consultant, and rethinking my relationship to the work at Fullbright.
I care deeply about Open Roads and the Fullbright team. I’m sad to have stepped back from day-to-day development of Open Roads, but it’s been the right thing to do. The Open Roads team has my full faith and support as they bring the game to completion.
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