The next-gen console rollouts from Sony and Microsoft this year have been, for lack of a better word, soporific. But after weeks of spec comparisons and hardware boasts, Sony finally gave things a shot in the arm with the reveal of its new DualSense controller. It’s the most interesting announcement surrounding a next-gen console yet, and for Sony, in particular — which has barely updated its controller design in over two decades — the most exciting controller yet.
The DualShock line of controllers has long been one of the constants of the video gaming world. The original PlayStation controller set the standard for modern controller design, and its successors — the 1997 Dual Analog Controllers and the rumble-equipped generations of DualShock models that followed for the PlayStation, PlayStation 2, and PlayStation 3 — would codify that design.
The advances were revolutionary: the Dual Analog Controller was the first to offer two analog sticks for navigating 3D environments. The DualShock was the first major controller to feature integrated rumble feedback. (The N64 technically beat it to the punch, but it required a separate Rumble Pak accessory.) But even as Sony piled on new features across the generations, the overall design of its controllers remained the same.
Look at a controller from the original PlayStation, the PS2, and the PS3 from a distance, and they’re virtually indistinguishable. Even the PS4’s DualShock 4 — which, until the reveal of the DualSense, held the crown for the largest departure from the original 1997 design — hewed more closely to “tweaked PS3 controller” than “revolutionary new device.”
That’s very much not the case with the PS5’s DualSense controller. From the first time you look at it, it’s clear that this is a new thing, one that’s wholly different (and, hopefully, better) than past PlayStation controllers. The two-tone color scheme! The sleeker, less angular design! USB-C! The glowing blue lights! Even the fancy new PS-shaped logo button. The internet lit up after the announcement with comparisons to the futuristic robot EVE from Disney’s WALL-E, to BMW’s i8, to the redesigned Enterprise from the 2009 Star Trek movie.
The DualSense isn’t just a cosmetic redesign, though. Sony is also putting in a wide array of new features, like its adaptive triggers that can adjust resistance, new haptic feedback technology that the company claims is far more advanced than the old-fashioned rumble hardware, and even basics like an integrated microphone.
Will all of these experiments work? We’ll have to wait to try out the controller — and, more importantly, see if developers adopt them. The history of PlayStation controllers is littered with unused ideas, like the PS3’s SIXAXIS motion sensing or the PS4’s gesture-based touchpad. But the key thing here is that Sony is trying to move things forward.
And yes, Microsoft has also revealed its console and controller designs, and I commend the company for revealing them early on in the process. But neither the lightly tweaked controller nor the featureless gray tower seems to have elicited the same excitement.
In fact, you can look at the two controllers as almost emblematic of the approaches Sony and Microsoft seem to be taking with their next-generation consoles.
Microsoft wants the Series X to blend in seamlessly with the rest of its Xbox One and Xbox One X lineups. Accessories are cross-compatible, games will support cross-buy, and backwards compatibility of past purchases is a key selling point. The Series X will play the new Halo the best and offer the most impressive graphics, but your original Xbox One will play it just fine, too. The goal is a more refined version of the current experience — not a new one.
Sony, on the other hand, seems to want to pitch the PlayStation 5 as the next step forward. New games that won’t work on old consoles. New hardware features that will be exclusive to the PS5. Even things like the faster SSD are being touted as ways to unlock new types of gameplay experiences that weren’t possible on older hardware.
The DualSense controller’s new design and functionality encapsulates that goal. It’s an exciting first step into the future of gaming. Now… how about showing off that console, Sony? Or maybe even some games?
Now you can buy puzzles of Toronto businesses – NOW Magazine
In Toronto, puzzles have become an increasingly popular pandemic pastime. Seemingly endless time indoors means we’re all partying like it’s 1799, with local gift and game shops having a hard time keeping puzzles in stock.
A new Toronto startup wants to combine our newly-minted jones for jigsaws with the opportunity to help out struggling small businesses. PieceTogether is a new project that creates jigsaw puzzles featuring images of beloved local businesses – and gives $15 from every $35 sale directly back to the business.
“Even as restrictions ease many of these smaller businesses will still have to operate at a loss, it’s going to be difficult for a long time,” said co-founder Rich Pauptit in a release. “It’s just devastating to think that some of our favourite neighbourhood places to visit may have to close down.”
By buying a puzzle, he adds, “you get something fun to do at home as well as an easy way to support these vital independent businesses.”
Among the first wave of puzzles available for purchase: The Cameron House’s iconic exterior, the leafy cocktail bar Reyna, a cool bottle of beer from Shacklands, and a bird’s eye view of Stackt, with even more on the way. Check out the full lineup here.
Google Silently Releases Android Auto in More Countries – autoevolution
But more recently, users in a couple of new countries have been provided with the official Android Auto listing the Google Play Store, including here those in the Netherlands and Belgium.
Users who turned to reddit to confirm that Android Auto is now live in these two countries explain that they can “update it legitimately,” as seen in the screenshot here.
Others based the same countries, however, claim Android Auto isn’t available in the Google Play Store on their devices, so the app either rolls out in stages to these users or the Play Store updates are actually the result of the app originally being installed with the APK file.
In other words, if Android Auto is deployed using the dedicated APK installer, then updates are automatically served through the Google Play Store, and this is why some might be tempted to believe the app is now officially supported in their country.
But one user in the Netherlands says this isn’t the case, as updates through the Google Play Store weren’t possible before.
“I couldn’t update it through the store prior tot this, even with android 10. So I had to keep reinstalling through apk. Android auto seem to work different for a lot of people though. On my s9 plus it won’t show up in the store, even if I reinstall it on this phone (s10+)it will still show up in the store. On my phone it’s not a system app though,” one user explains.
Google is yet to officially announce the availability of Android Auto in more countries, so our only option is to actually wait until a confirmation on this is offered. Until then, a healthy dose of skepticism is definitely recommended.
Distributel Permanently Waives Data Overage Charges on all Internet Plans – Canada NewsWire
Company responds to the evolving needs of its customers
TORONTO, May 28, 2020 /CNW/ – Distributel Communications Limited is proud to announce that we have eliminated internet overage charges permanently on all current plans for our customers. In March, we communicated that we would temporarily waive these fees to support the large number of customers whose families are working and learning from home. Today’s decision reflects our customers’ changing needs and furthers our commitment to doing what’s right for Canadians.
“Our customers’ satisfaction is extremely important to us. They told us that they truly appreciated having data caps removed and that it made a real difference for them,” said Matt Stein, CEO of Distributel. “We thought about extending the program past the initial three months, but we quickly realized that customers’ needs have changed for the long term. The right thing to do was to eliminate these charges permanently. The internet has become such an essential part of our lives, that we want to make sure our customers can stay connected without ever worrying about additional charges.”
We listen to our customers and continue to respond to their evolving needs. This change is effective immediately across all capped plans, and no further customer action is required.
This is a time of change for everyone – our customers, our employees, and our partners. Our business continuity plans and practices have allowed us to continue supporting Canadians throughout this period. We are grateful for the tremendous efforts of our employees, customers, vendors and partners—all of whom continue to be there for one another.
“We’re all still adapting to this new world, and it’s clear that even as pandemic restrictions begin to lift, there are going to be long-term changes to how we work, learn and live,” said Stein. “Today more than ever, the internet enables many of the things we value most: keeping loved ones close, learning and developing, interacting with customers and colleagues, and recharging at the end of the day. We’re very proud that we can play such an important role in Canadians’ lives.”
Established in 1988, Distributel is a leading national, independent telecommunications provider offering a wide range of business and residential communications services. 100% Canadian-owned, with offices across the country and a national network, Distributel continues to forge new partnerships and bring innovative solutions to market directly and through a thriving wholesale division. ThinkTel, the Business Services Division of Distributel, is a provider of advanced voice and data services for the SMB and Enterprise markets throughout Canada. TV services provided through TotalTV Inc., an IPTV service provider that operates in Ontario and Quebec. As a top Microsoft Solutions Partner and a Cisco PMP, the Business Services division is focused on driving industry innovation. For more information, visit: www.distributel.ca.
SOURCE Distributel Communications Limited
For further information: Aby Bueno, Broad Reach Communications, T: 416-858-3135, E: [email protected]
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