Oct. 15, 2021

Was the Kinect ahead of the game? - GWS#056

The Kinect might be coming back thanks to Sky's Glass TV which will integrated Sky Channels and have an optional 4K smart camera which is very much like the Kinect from the days of Xbox One!
More is revealed from the Twitch hack and the numbers are daunting if you've ever aspired to make it big as a streamer.
Netflix makes its first big gaming move and gives us a glimpse of what kind of games we could expect in the future.
Valve is pushing right to pair for the Steam Deck, while Nintendo has officially acknowledged that the Joycon drift issue might never be fixed.
A Japanese retailer might think it has found a way to deter scalpers, and the rumors have been true: GTA 3, Vice City, and San Andreas are getting remastered as part of the GTA: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition.


Sky TV resurrects the Kinect

https://www.theverge.com/2021/10/7/22714076/sky-glass-tv-streaming-service-uk-pricing-release-date

Sky TV announced the Sky Glass TV; TV sets that stream Sky TV content over Wi-Fi instead of a satellite signal.

Sky also revealed a 4K smart camera that will attach to the TV and will be available in 2022.

The camera also has body tracking as well as motion and gesture controls that can be used to play "family games" just like the Kinect on Xbox from Microsoft did.

Microsoft is collaborating with Sky to provide a watch party experience, which will allow people to remotely watch TV channels together and see each other's reaction in real time, which is an experience similar to what Microsoft wanted to achieve with the Kinect on Xbox.

The Glass TV is described as a "voice-first" platform, which allows users to use voice commands using the "Hello Sky" phrase. A remote will be included.

It has a UHD Quantum Dot display, Dolby Vision Support, HDR 10, three HDMI 2.1 ports, and a USB-C Port.

There will be six speakers; three outward and two upward speakers and a central subwoofer that are up to 215W and have Dolby Atmos support.

Sky is recommending a minimum connection of 10Mbps to stream HD content, or 25Mbps to stream 4K content.

The TVs will available in 43-inch, 55-inch, and 65-inch sizes and will integrate voice control and 21 streaming apps.

The TVs will cost £649, £849, and £1,049 upfront, or as low as £13, £17, £21 for a 48 month subscription to Sky Ultimate TV, which gets you the TV as well as access to Netflix and basic Sky Channels. Sky Sports and Sky Cinema are available as separate add-ons.

Sky won't be limiting this to the UK and have built the TVs so that other telecommunication companies can launch their own Sky Glass TVs, such as Australia's Foxtel Group which will launch it in the future.

 

Twitch hack is the gift that keeps on giving

https://www.pcgamer.com/twitch-streamer-income-leak/

The leaked Twitch data has shown the revenue that streamers get from subscriptions, in-stream ads, and bits. While this isn't representative of the total amount that streamers make from donations, selling merch, and sponsorship opportunities, it does show how much they make directly from Twitch.

The top 10 Twitch payouts from August 2019 to September 2021

  • CriticalRole $9,626,712
  • xQcOW $8,454,427
  • summit1g $5,847,541
  • Tfue $5,295,582
  • NICKMERCS $5,096,642
  • ludwig $3,290,777
  • TimTheTatman $3,290,133
  • Altoar $3,053,839
  • auronplay $3,053,341
  • LIRIK $2,984,653

The data also showed that the number significantly drop, and that the 1,000th top streamer for the two-year period made around $85,000 a year. With around 8.8 million streamers, that means that streamers need to be at least in the 0.01% top streamers of Twitch to make that kind of living.

T: In a way, these numbers also show us how much money Twitch has made in the last two years.

https://gamerant.com/twitch-leak-streamers-do-not-ban-list/

The Twitch hack has not only shed light on the payouts the top creators got, but also that Twitch seems to be giving preferential treatment to their top creators when they violate the terms of service.

The hack included a do-not-ban list with names of streamers and reasons why they shouldn't be banned. Reasons include:

Being the CEO of Twitch (with a note that says "do not ban for literally any reason")

Do not suspend; escalate violations to other team members

https://www.pcgamer.com/twitch-in-crisis-as-it-blames-server-error-for-massive-data-breach/

https://www.pcgamer.com/security-experts-aghast-at-the-scale-of-twitch-hack-this-is-as-bad-as-it-could-possibly-be/

The Twitch hack seems to have been caused by a Twitch server configuration change.

Information security director of Future has stated the danger of Twitch's leaked source code as it can provide insight into the platform's infrastructure and potential points of attack on Twitch and Amazon as well.

The issue of this kind of hack is the insight of the Twitch source code that could expose certain flaws in the system for future attacks.

 

Netflix's first big gaming move

https://www.whats-on-netflix.com/news/netflix-gaming-the-story-so-far-whats-next/

On Sept 28th Netflix announced their first gaming studio acquisition: Night School Studio.

Night Scool Studio was founded by Sean Krankel and Adam Hines in 2014

Developers of Oxenfree and Afterparty

Oxenfree, released 2016, is a supernatural thiller, narative adventure

Oxenfree 2: lost signals was recently announced to be coming soon.

Netflix back in April 2021 said to shareholders that they are planning on expanding their entertainment line to including gaming.

And in July 14 they hired Mike Verdu; VP of Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality content at Facebook as their VP of Game Development

Aug 26th Netflix announced that testing will begin in Poland, and then in Sep 28th expanding to Italy and Spain on Android phones only. The content is focused mainly on mobile gaming.

Games included are:

  • Stranger Things: 1984
  • Stranger Things 3
  • Card Blast
  • Teeter Up
  • Shooting Hoops

Steam Deck opened up

https://www.theverge.com/2021/10/6/22713075/valve-steam-deck-teardown-repair-open

Valve posted an official teardown video of the Steam Deck.

They emphasized that inexperienced people should not be taking apart their own Steam Decks because it is a "tightly designed system" and the parts "aren't designed to be user-swappable".

The acknowledged right-to-repair by stating that users "have every right to open it up and do what [they] want", and they also stated that they will offer a source for “replacement parts, thumbsticks, SSDs, and possibly more”.

The parts they showed replacing were the thumbsticks and the SSD. Even though the cheapest version used an eMMC drive, it was shown that it will be using an m.2 connector.

 

Nintendo admits it may never fix the Joycon

https://www.theverge.com/2021/10/7/22715467/nintendo-joy-con-drift-never-fixed-switch-oled

https://www.nintendo.com/whatsnew/detail/2021/ask-the-developer-vol-2-nintendo-switch-oled-model-part-4/

Nintendo has finally addressed whether the Joy-Con drift issue has been solved on the Switch OLED model or not.

Ko Shiota, GM of Nintendo's Technology Development Division has confirmed that the Joy-Cons will always wear down over time, comparing it to how car tires wear out as the car moves.

In a Q&A about the development of the Switch OLED, they revealed that they have always been working on improving the Joy-Cons, and that the 2019 Switch Lite joysticks are different from the original 2017 Switch. The Switch OLED joysticks are the latest version of joysticks that Nintendo has been improving over time.

 

DO NOT PEEL THE SWITCH OLED SCREEN PROTECTOR

https://www.theverge.com/2021/10/8/22715422/nintendo-switch-oled-anti-scattering-film-protective-cover

The Nintendo Switch OLED is out and it comes with an adhesive cover out of the box

Do NOT peel this off. It is actually intended to be kept on.

It is known as a anti-scattering adhesive film. It is added protection incase the glass breaks.

The original Switch and Switch Lite didn't have this because if was made of plastic.

 

Japan's clever anti-scalper solution

https://twitter.com/aevanko/status/1446412407312576520

https://www.cbr.com/japanese-retailer-solves-ps5-scalpers/

A Japanese retailer has a unique, yet effective, way to stop scalpers

Nokiman Denki; the retailer is getting customers to write their full names on the box of the PS5

And removing the DualShock from inside the box

The reason is simple and effective, having the name of the box is not something that scalpers want to show everyone.

 

GTA trilogy remasters are happening

https://www.theverge.com/2021/10/8/22711013/grand-theft-auto-trilogy-definitive-vice-city-iii-san-andreas-pc-console

Rockstar Games has confirmed that GTA 3, Vice City, and San Andreas are getting HD remasters, and will be released in a package called GTA: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition.

No information has been shared yet on how the games will be improved, but the games have gotten “across-the-board upgrades including graphical improvements and modern gameplay enhancements.” and have promised that they will be keeping the classic look of the originals.

Rockstar is removing the previous versions from digital stores ahead of the launch in the coming weeks.