Microsoft is revealing the Xbox Series X boot screen animation today and is promising to focus on first-party Xbox Game Studios games during a July event. In a teaser video for Thursday, May 7th’s, Xbox Series X gameplay event, Microsoft subtly reveals the Series X boot animation and sound with a “boot up a new episode of Inside Xbox this Thursday” caption.
The boot animation simply states Xbox and isn’t as aggressive as the thud and boom of the current Xbox One X that still shocks me every time I turn the console on and my surround sound system is up high. The Xbox Series X boot-up sound is a lot more reserved and sounds a little like some of the older Windows sounds from the XP and Vista era.
Alongside boot screens, Microsoft is promising to reveal more about its Xbox Game Studios titles over the summer. “In July, we will dedicate time to focus on the incredible games coming from Xbox Game Studios,” explains Jerret West, head of game marketing at Microsoft. “A number of our studio teams are looking forward to sharing first looks at new gameplay, insights from development teams being optimized for Xbox Series X, and brand-new game announcements.”
Despite warnings of possible game delays for the Xbox Series X, Microsoft says “our goal remains to launch Xbox Series X and Halo Infinite this Holiday.” Microsoft will now hold monthly “Xbox 20/20” streams in the lead-up to the Series X launch. These start with an event on Thursday where Microsoft plans to highlight third-party Xbox Series X games, including titles that will take advantage of the new Smart Delivery feature.
The Xbox Smart Delivery program allows you to buy an Xbox One version of a game and get the upgrade to the Xbox Series X version free of charge. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla — the new Viking-based iteration of the popular franchise — will support Smart Delivery, which is an encouraging sign for the next generation of consoles.
This week’s event will also include games that are optimized for the Xbox Series X, including titles that will support 4K resolution, 120fps, DirectStorage, hardware-accelerated DirectX ray tracing, faster load times, and more. We’ll be covering all of Microsoft’s Xbox Series X announcements on Thursday, so stay tuned.
Britain in talks with 6 firms about building gigafactories for EV batteries
Britain is in talks with six companies about building gigafactories to produce batteries for electric vehicles (EV), the Financial Times reported on Wednesday, citing people briefed on the discussions.
Car makers Ford Motor Co and Nissan Motor Co Ltd, conglomerates LG Corp and Samsung, and start-ups Britishvolt and InoBat Auto are in talks with the British government or local authorities about locations for potential factories and financial support, the report added .
(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Himani Sarkar)
EBay to sell South Korean unit for about $3.6 billion to Shinsegae, Naver
EBay Korea is the country’s third-largest e-commerce firm with market share of about 12.8% in 2020, according to Euromonitor. It operates the platforms Gmarket, Auction and G9.
Shinsegae, Naver and eBay Korea declined to comment.
Lotte Shopping had also been in the running, the Korea Economic Daily and other newspapers said, citing unnamed investment banking sources.
South Korea represents the world’s fourth largest e-commerce market. Driven by the coronavirus pandemic, e-commerce has soared to account for 35.8% of the retail market in 2020 compared with 28.6% in 2019, according to Euromonitor data.
Shinsegae and Naver formed a retail and e-commerce partnership in March by taking stakes worth 250 billion won in each other’s affiliates.
($1 = 1,117.7000 won)
(Reporting by Joyce Lee; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)
Canada launches long-awaited auction of 5G spectrum
The 3,500 MHz is a spectrum companies need to provide 5G, which requires more bandwidth to expand internet capabilities.The auction, initially scheduled for June 2020, is expected to take several weeks with Canadian government selling off 1,504 licenses in 172 service areas.
Smaller operators are going into the auction complaining that recent regulatory rulings have further tilted the scales in the favour of the country’s three biggest telecoms companies – BCE, Telus and Rogers Communications Inc – which together control around 90% of the market as a share of revenue.
Canadian mobile and internet consumers, meanwhile, have complained for years that their bills are among the world’s steepest. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government has threatened to take action if the providers did not cut bills by 25%.
The last auction of the 600 MHz spectrum raised C$3.5 billion ($2.87 billion) for the government.
The companies have defended themselves, saying the prices they charge are falling.
Some 23 bidders including regional players such as Cogeco and Quebec’s Videotron are participating in the process. Shaw Communications did not apply to participate due to a $16 billion takeover bid from Rogers. Lawmakers and analysts have warned that market concentration will intensify if that acquisition proceeds.
In May, after Canada‘s telecoms regulator issued a ruling largely in favour of the big three on pricing for smaller companies’ access to broadband networks, internet service provider TekSavvy Inc withdrew from the auction, citing the decision.
Some experts say the government has been trying to level the playing field with its decision to set aside a proportion of spectrum in certain areas for smaller companies.
Gregory Taylor, a spectrum expert and associate professor at the University of Calgary, said he was pleased the government was auctioning off smaller geographic areas of coverage.
In previous auctions where the license covered whole provinces, “small providers could not participate because they could not hope to cover the range that was required in the license,” Taylor said.
Smaller geographic areas mean they have a better chance of fulfilling the requirements for the license, such as providing service to 90% of the population within five years of the issuance date.
The auction has no scheduled end date, although the federal ministry in charge of the spectrum auction has said winners would be announced within five days of bidding completion.
($1 = 1.2181 Canadian dollars)
(Reporting by Moira Warburton in Vancouver; Editing by David Gregorio)