- Sony reveals that it hasn’t determined the price of the PS5 – yes, really.
- The company said it is “very difficult” to price it.
- The decision will likely upset gamers who are using price to choose between the PS5 and the Xbox Series X.
Speaking in its new financial briefing, Sony’s chief financial officer Hiroki Totoki said:
[I]t’s very difficult to discuss anything about the price at this point of time…it’s a question of balance and because it’s a balancing act it’s very difficult to say anything concrete at this point of time.
Sony has just opened the official PS5 site. However, it isn’t ready to officially reveal the console, its release date or its price. There had been rumors that Sony is planning a major PS5 event, but it seems that it that may not happen for some time.
It may seem like a strange choice for Sony, which has let Microsoft get gamers excited about the Xbox Series X. Microsoft has revealed what the Xbox Series X looks like and has confirmed multiple games (Halo Infinite and Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2). Some may think that Sony would now be blitzing its way through announcements to match it.
However, holding back the PS5’s price may be a hugely effective plan for the company. Not confirming the console’s price allows fans to keep talking about the potential cost of the console. There have been several posts from analysts suggesting what the PS5’s price could be and this all reminds people about the PS5 and gets people feeling excited about it. Sony doesn’t have to pay a dime or put up any posters.
Potential PS5 Buyers Keep On Waiting
It’s a terrible plan for fans though as they just want to know how much money they should be saving. Price is going to be one of the most important issues that gamers think about when buying the PS5 or the Xbox Series X.
Microsoft knows this and Xbox boss Phil Spencer has said that “being too expensive and not powerful enough is not a great place to be.” Sony may have everyone talking about its consoles by keeping the PS5’s price to itself, but this could only push gamers to the Xbox Series X.
Microsoft’s Xbox Series X Strategy Could Give Sony an Easy Win
Xbox boss Phil Spencer defended the surprising Xbox Series X exclusives strategy, saying it’s “putting the player at the center and not putting the device at the center.” | Credit: Casey Rodgers/Invision for Xbox/AP Images
- In a new interview, Xbox boss Phil Spencer defends the company’s plans for Xbox Series X exclusives.
- The Xbox Series X won’t have any exclusives for one or two years after release.
- The strategy may have given Sony an easy win for the PS5.
In a new episode of Gamertag Radio, Xbox boss Phil Spencer defended the surprising Xbox Series X exclusives strategy. The strategy is “putting the player at the center and not putting the device at the center,” said Spencer.
The Xbox Series X will be incredibly powerful, and Microsoft wants it to run the “best games.” However, according to Spencer,
You don’t want to do that to the exclusion of everybody else and you also want to do that hand-in-hand with developers because developers want to find the widest audience possible.
I’m not gonna dictate to every third-party studio what they have to support.
Watch this video for more information on Microsoft’s plans for the Xbox Series X.
The Xbox Series X strategy fits into the larger idea of getting people to buy and play any Microsoft game and not just the consoles. It can make a huge amount of money from services such as the Xbox Game Pass and micro-transactions in its games. Choosing to release new games on Xbox One and Xbox Series X could get more people enjoying Xbox in some way.
It could also mean that Microsoft has handed Sony an easy win, helping it to get huge PS5 sales. Gamers excited about exclusive PS5 games will go out and buy the console, leaving the Xbox Series X eating its dust. Fans saw that happen with the PS4’s sales, and it could happen again with the next Xbox console.
Microsoft is unlikely to spend much time crying about that though, and its strategy shows long-term vision. Sony may win the sales race, but by getting more people using games and services, Microsoft could win the long game.
Your OnePlus phone is about become more useful while charging
Google revealed Ambient Mode for the Google Assistant back at IFA 2019, turning your Android phone or tablet into a smart display of sorts when charging. Your charging phone will display information regarding the weather, your agenda, and more. It can even display your photo albums and an interface for controlling smart home gadgets.
Ambient Mode has landed on a few devices already, and OnePlus has just announced that it’s the latest brand to offer the functionality on its phones.
OnePlus confirmed on its forum that Ambient Mode is coming to the OnePlus 3 and above (including the OnePlus 7T series). You can activate the feature by plugging in your phone to charge, tapping the notification, and going through the steps. But you can also manually activate Ambient Mode by visiting Google App Settings > Assistant > Devices (Phone).
“Please note that this is a staged rollout, which might take up to a week to a full release, your patience will be appreciated,” the company cautioned. So you just have to sit tight if you can’t activate it just yet.
Don’t have a OnePlus phone? Well, Google revealed last year that the feature was coming to Sony, Xiaomi, Nokia, and Transsion devices. Furthermore, the search giant previously told Android Authority the feature will be available “anywhere on these devices where Voice Match is supported.”
How Google Recognizes Traffic Jams in Maps
Berlin artist Simon Weckert recently “hacked” Google Maps by filling a red wagon with 99 iPhone running Google Maps and dragging around the city to fool the service into thinking there was a traffic jam when there wasn’t one.
It’s a clever trick, but it raises questions as to how Google Maps tracks and responds to the data it collects in normal traffic conditions. If it’s possible to fool Google Maps with a pile of old iPhones and a wagon, can you always be certain the app is accurate? Based on what we know about Google Map’s algorithm and the company’s responses to Weckert’s DIY traffic jam, the answer appears to be: yes, for the most part.
How traffic jams show up on Google Maps
Google Maps continually refreshes based on anonymously tracked user data, traffic sensors, and satellite data to make sure the app is displaying the most accurate traffic conditions possible.
If you’ve ever used Google Maps, you’ve likely seen streets colored green, orange, or red. Green roads mean traffic is moving normally, but orange and red represent slowdowns. Slowdowns show up when users in navigation mode are currently traveling at slower-than-usual speeds on that part of the road and are applied by Google automatically. However, once other divers using Google Maps are able to get through the area at normal speeds, Google will remove the slow down status for that area—even if other users are still driving slower.
It’s unclear how many slower-than-usual users are necessary for Google Maps to register it as slow traffic, but according to 9to5Google’s report on Weckert’s traffic jam experiment, it only took a single car driving past him at normals speeds to undo the traffic jam status caused by his wagon of iPhones. That said, it appears that Google Maps ignores when lots of users are at a standstill. Weckert’s wagon had to be moving in order for Google Maps to see the traffic jam—even though nearly 100 phones were in navigation mode and not moving. How long a vehicle must be idling before it’s ignored is unclear; obviously, Google Maps will notice if several users are stopped on a highway and report it as a slow down, but if a bunch of people are parked in a parking garage and just happen to have navigation mode on, then you probably won’t see any traffic jams listed in the area.
Interestingly, not all vehicles are treated equally. Google Maps can tell the difference between a car, motorcycle, and other vehicles (at least in certain countries and regions). So even though a cheeky scooter might be able to weave its way through a traffic jam, Google Maps could—in some cases—recognize that the smaller vehicle’s movement doesn’t necessarily mean that regular traffic conditions have resumed.
Accidents, construction, and other traffic incidents
Google Maps also updates traffic reports based on user input in addition to passive, anonymized location and movement tracking to help keep conditions updated.
Accidents, construction zones, speed traps, and other alerts can all be reported in Google Maps, and the more users that report an alert help it show up faster on the map for others and potentially help them avoid slowdowns and find better routes if necessary. We’ve previously covered how to do this on both Android and iOS, but here’s how to report traffic incidents and slowdowns in Google Maps if you’re unfamiliar:
- While in Google Maps’ navigation mode, tap the “+” icon (third icon down on the right-side menu).
- Tap the icon for the type of incident you wish to report. Follow the on-screen instructions to finalize the submission.
- The app will begin adding the report to the map, though you have a short countdown window to undo the report if you want to cancel.
Reroutes and ETA calculation
Google compares the speeds of its users with speed limit information to calculate estimated arrival times. Basically, it takes how fast you’re actually moving, how fast you should be moving based on speed limits, how fast other drivers are going and adjusts how, and how much further you have on your route to determine your ETA.
Google Maps will also cross-reference user-reported conditions and other traffic data is monitors with your route and current speeds, and will adjust your arrival times if it notices a slowdown or other incidents along your route. Once the app has determined the severity and length of the slowdown, it will alert users whose routes are affected and suggest alternative directions if it’s ultimately faster.
Google Maps’ reroute suggestions aren’t always perfect, however. The algorithm can only respond to the most recent data and make a guess—it certainly can’t tell the future, either—so rerouting won’t always be faster (or necessary). That said, you can be reasonably confident that the app is giving you the most up-to-date information it has.
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