Categories
Game

A real Sony PlayStation challenger for Xbox Game Pass could be released shockingly soon

We’ve heard whispers of a potential PlayStation competitor to Xbox Game Pass in the past, but today we’re learning additional details about what such a service could look like. Sony, of course, already offers a game streaming service called PlayStation Now, but a new report suggests that Sony may roll that into a larger, multi-tiered service that offers more beyond just game streaming.

Sony’s answer to Game Pass may be right around the corner

Bloomberg reports today that Sony is working on a new Xbox Game Pass competitor code-named Spartacus. According to unnamed sources familiar with Sony’s plans, this new subscription service will be available on both PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5.

Leaked data suggests that when this streaming service launches, Sony plans to phase out the PlayStation Now brand. That doesn’t mean that game streaming will be going away, but that it’ll be offered by Sony through one of the subscription tiers for its new service. Sources familiar with the plans suggested that the first tier will simply include what’s already provided via PlayStation Plus – online multiplayer, a selection of free games each month, and discounts on certain games offered through the PlayStation Store.

It gets particularly interesting when we get into the details of the more expensive tiers that may include PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 games. The third and presumably most expensive tier would offer all of that on top of extended demos and game streaming along with a selection of PS1, PS2, PS3, and PSP games.

While the details concerning those different tiers immediately make us wonder how much each one will cost, insider sources have not yet revealed a pricing structure. We can assume that the bottom tier will cost $10 a month or $60 a year since that’s what PS Plus subscriptions run now, but that only gives us a pricing floor and can’t inform us on the potential cost of higher tiers.

Spartacus borrows ideas from more than just Game Pass

While Spartacus and Xbox Game Pass seem relatively similar in structure, Sony is also borrowing ideas from other publishers. For example, the extended demos that are said to be included in the third tier could be similar to what EA offers to EA Play members. A basic EA Play membership, which runs $4.99 a month or $30 a year, allows subscribers to play new releases for up to 10 hours in the days before they launch.

On the other hand, an EA Play Pro subscription ($14.99 per month) allows unlimited early access to the Premium Editions of certain new releases days ahead of release. When we hear that Spartacus will offer extended demos, EA Play is where our minds immediately jump.

Spartacus could be a big win for PlayStation. Sony certainly has the first-party library to drive subscriptions to the service, and support for PS1, PS2, and PS3 games could hook the people who have upgraded to PS5 but want an easy way to play older titles. Microsoft offers a variety of Xbox 360 and original Xbox games through Xbox Game Pass, which may have prompted Sony to do the same with old PlayStation games.

Insider sources speaking with Bloomberg (as noted above) suggest that Spartacus could launch as early as spring 2022, so it may not be much longer before we have official details. Given the popularity of Xbox Game Pass, one has to imagine that Sony is working on developing its own streaming service, so perhaps a Spartacus reveal is more a question of “when?” than “if?” We’ll let you know when Sony reveals any concrete details, if it does at all.

Repost: Original Source and Author Link

Categories
AI

Google releases TF-GNN for creating graph neural networks in TensorFlow Google has released

Hear from CIOs, CTOs, and other C-level and senior execs on data and AI strategies at the Future of Work Summit this January 12, 2022. Learn more


Let the OSS Enterprise newsletter guide your open source journey! Sign up here.

Google today released TensorFlow Graph Neural Networks (TF-GNN) in alpha, a library designed to make it easier to work with graph structured data using TensorFlow, its machine learning framework. Used in production at Google for spam and anomaly detection, traffic estimation, and YouTube content labeling, Google says that TF-GNN is designed to “encourage collaborations with researchers in industry.”

Graphs are a set of objects, places, or people and the connections between them. A graph represents the relations (edges) between a collection of entities (nodes or vertices), all of which can store data. Directionality can be ascribed to the edges to describe information, traffic flow, and more.

More often than not, the data in machine learning problems is structured or relational and thus can be described with a graph. Fundamental research on GNNs is decades old, but recent advances have led to great achievements in many domains, like modeling the transition of glass from a liquid to a solid and predicting pedestrian, cyclist, and driver behavior on the road.

TF-GNN

Above: Graphs can model the relationships between many different types of data, including web pages (left), social connections (center), or molecules (right).

Image Credit: Google

Indeed, GNNs can be used to answer questions about multiple characteristics of graphs. By working at the graph level, they can try to predict aspects of the entire graph, for example identifying the presence of certain “shapes” like circles in a graph that might represent close social relationships. GNNs can also be used on node-level tasks to classify the nodes of a graph or at the edge level to discover connections between entities.

TF-GNN

TF-GNN provides building blocks for implementing GNN models in TensorFlow. Beyond the modeling APIs, the library also delivers tooling around the task of working with graph data, including a data-handling pipeline and example models.

Also included with TF-GNN is an API to create GNN models that can be composed with other types of AI models. In addition to this, TF-GNN ships with a schema to declare the topology of a graph (and tools to validate it), helping to describe the shape of training data.

“Graphs are all around us, in the real world and in our engineered systems … In particular, given the myriad types of data at Google, our library was designed with heterogeneous graphs in mind,” Google’s Sibon Li, Jan Pfeifer, Bryan Perozzi, and Douglas Yarrington wrote in the blog post introducing TF-GNN.

TF-GNN adds to Google’s growing collection of TensorFlow libraries, which spans TensorFlow Privacy, TensorFlow Federated, and TensorFlow.Text. More recently, the company open-sourced TensorFlow Similarity, which trains models that search for related items — for example, finding similar-looking clothes and identifying currently playing songs.

VentureBeat

VentureBeat’s mission is to be a digital town square for technical decision-makers to gain knowledge about transformative technology and transact.

Our site delivers essential information on data technologies and strategies to guide you as you lead your organizations. We invite you to become a member of our community, to access:

  • up-to-date information on the subjects of interest to you
  • our newsletters
  • gated thought-leader content and discounted access to our prized events, such as Transform 2021: Learn More
  • networking features, and more

Become a member

Repost: Original Source and Author Link

Categories
AI

Headless BI solution released by data startup Supergrain

A new data integration startup, Supergrain, today launched a headless business intelligence (BI) tool, designed for data teams who prefer interoperable, API-first solutions as they build out their modern data stacks.

The company, which was founded by George Xing, Supergrain’s CEO, and Thomas Chen, cofounder, and chief technology officer — both former engineering first hires at Uber and Lyft — also announced that it has raised $6.8 million in seed funding led by Benchmark.

“With the launch of our headless BI platform, we’re providing modern data teams with better tools to manage their metrics and analytic workflows,” Xing said. “Starting today, Supergrain’s API-first approach to BI will enable data teams to build trust in data and empower businesses to make data-driven decisions with confidence.”

The solution offers decision-makers a headless and interoperable BI solution that they can use to create a centralized repository of metric definitions that they can link to downstream tools, such as BI platforms and spreadsheets to create shared metric definitions.

Decision-makers often struggle with data analysis with traditional BI tools, like Microsoft Power BI, and Oracle BI, because there are no universal definitions of metrics. Metrics have different definitions within each tool and dashboard, making for a complex monitoring experience that reduces data reliability.

Supergrain helps address this challenge by providing a solution for creating universal metric definitions that the user can store in a centralized repository and then push to downstream applications.

API-first business intelligence 

A look inside code of Supergrain's business intelligence solution.

Above: A look inside the features of Supergrain’s business intelligence solution.

Image Credit: Supergrain

In an exclusive interview with VentureBeat, Xing explained that Supergrain enables teams to manage and integrate source-of-truth business metrics across all their data applications, and so provides a simple workflow for developing, testing, and publishing metric definitions.

Supergrain provides those sources of truth metrics via our APIs into the tools of their choice, be it BI tools, notebooks, custom data applications, or spreadsheet interfaces, Xing said.

Essentially, the user connects Supergrain to an existing data source, such as a database, produces a central definition for each metric, and then uses Supergrain’s API and query language (SGQL) to build workflows and analytics applications, so they can consume that data.

“Our approach is developer-centric, and what we call API-first, which means that we enable the data teams to define a single source of truth for metrics in a single repository, and then we expose all those metrics to the data consumers via APIs that they can query from anywhere, and so our approach is interoperable by design versus the traditional BI tools which are very locked in and application-specific,” Xing said.

Augmenting other BI providers 

Supergrain’s emphasis on accessibility is something many BI providers have tried to focus on over the past years to eliminate siloing, most notably with Tableau recently announcing a Slack integration for its BI platform and Microsoft Teams releasing an integrated Microsoft Power BI tab at the start of 2020.

However, while many of these providers attempt to create vendor-specific BI ecosystems, Supergrain has taken an interoperable approach with a solution that’s not intended to replace existing BI solutions but to augment them so that users can access insights generated by these tools via APIs.

Supergrain’s approach is different from many of these tools because it doesn’t seek to replace existing BI solutions; it seeks to enhance them and make them more accessible to users so that they’re not locked into a single application or solution to consume data.

While Supergrain is technically competing with other providers like Microsoft and Tableau that are building vendor-specific BI ecosystems, Supergrain is also compatible with them.

VentureBeat

VentureBeat’s mission is to be a digital town square for technical decision-makers to gain knowledge about transformative technology and transact.

Our site delivers essential information on data technologies and strategies to guide you as you lead your organizations. We invite you to become a member of our community, to access:

  • up-to-date information on the subjects of interest to you
  • our newsletters
  • gated thought-leader content and discounted access to our prized events, such as Transform 2021: Learn More
  • networking features, and more

Become a member

Repost: Original Source and Author Link

Categories
Game

Forza Horizon 5 released on Xbox Game Pass, immediately goes HAM with millions of players

Microsoft released Forza Horizon 5 on November 9, 2021 for Xbox Series X, in the Microsoft Store on PC, with Steam, and with Xbox Game Pass. This game was released with Xbox Game Pass for multiple platforms, including Xbox (console), PC (Windows), and through the system’s Beta Cloud Gaming interface. This means you could potentially be playing Forza Horizon 5 on your tiny baby smartphone by the end of the day today.

Forza Horizon 5 was released in a bunch of different bundles on different platforms on day 1. The Standard Edition includes the Forza Horizon 5 full game and nothing else, and that’s available on Xbox Game Pass. That’s the version most people will likely buy.

A Deluxe Edition was released for multiple platforms with both the game and Car Pass. The Car Pass system enables additional vehicles and features in the game, and will likely be highly recommended by the game itself once users drop in and start their vehicle-based journey.

That idea is reinforced by the fact that users who own Forza Horizon 5 Standard Edition on their console, PC, or are playing with Xbox Game Pass, they’ll be able to purchase a “Premium Add-ons Bundle” with all the content that’s otherwise available with the game’s Premium Edition.

A Premium Edition of Forza Horizon 5 includes the full game, Car Pass, a VIP Membership, an Expansions Bundle, and a Welcome Pack. And we’re sure if Microsoft were able to include any other names for “additional content”, they’d do so. UPDATE: Like this limited edition controller – speak of the devil!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B3x_hxdrqWw

Forza Horizons 5 was developed by Playground Games, published by Turn10 Studios, and released by Microsoft’s Xbox Game Studios. This game was directed by Mike Brown, and is available for play in both single-player and multiplayer gameplay.

Per data recorded by KudosPrime, using the game’s in-game leaderboard data, Forza Horizon 5 has nearly 3 million players, and it’s only just been released today. Yesterday before the game’s official launch, leaderboards indicated over 1 million players had already begun to drive. Early Access users started to filter in on the 5th and a huge spike of players appeared over the past half day, reaching nearly 3 million here at around noon Eastern Time, November 9, 2021. This should put the game on course to be the most popular Forza of the bunch, by a long shot – we’ll be keeping track!

Repost: Original Source and Author Link

Categories
Game

Oculus Go unlock software released for hardware freedom

An Oculus Go unlocked OS build was released today, courtesy of John Carmack. After a prolonged period of time and a whole lot of work in securing the rights to release the software, Carmack and crew made this build a reality. It’s a surprise, honestly, now that Oculus is owned by Facebook. It IS a welcome surprise, in any case.

The Oculus Go software unlock is relatively simple to enact. The most difficult part of the process will be your decision to push the software, given the agreement you must make with Oculus. You’ll effectively be agreeing that they are no longer responsible for any part of the device’s software or any future software updates.

SEE TOO: Our original Oculus Go review

Per Oculus, “this process will not work on any other device or OS,” and “please note that unlocking your device is not reversible and you will no longer receive OTA updates.” So why would you want to initiate such an unlock?

Because once you unlock you Oculus Go, you can install any software you like. Per Oculus, this process will give you access to the OS build so that you might “repurpose Oculus Go for more things today.”

Per Carmack, this process “opens up the ability to repurpose the hardware for more things today, and means that a randomly discovered shrink wrapped headset twenty years from now will be able to update to the final software version, long after over-the-air update servers have been shut down.”

Take a peek at the Unlocking Oculus Go page at the Oculus for Developers website. There you’ll be taken through the steps that are required to unlock the device and open your software door to the future. And if you happen to find a very awesome use for this headset and would like to share, let us know! Or just let me know over on Twitter – let’s chat!



Repost: Original Source and Author Link

Categories
Game

Stranger Things Season 4 release trailer teased, more plot already released

A new season of Stranger Things is headed to Netflix. This will be the fourth season of the show, after a bit of a break just beyond the previous most major hiatus. The first season was released in the year 2016, followed by season two in 2017, then the big break happened before season three in 2019, now we’re headed to season 4, which will be released in the year 2022. The fourth season was first confirmed in September of the year 2019.

Executive producers The Duffer Brothers will return, along with basically the entirety of the cast and crew. The plot is not yet entirely clear. The first season’s plot started in the year November 1983, the second season’s plot started in October of 1984, and the third season started several months after the end of the previous season, at the start of the month of July in the year 1985.

Season one had 8 episodes and was originally released in July of 2016. Season 2 had 9 episodes and first started streaming in October of the year 2017 – that was the first season to start in a month effectively matching that of the show’s plot. The same situation occurred with season 3, which was released on July 4, 2019.

UPDATE: Season 4 will begin with an episode called “Chapter One: The Hellfire Club.” This season’s first episode is the 26th episode of the show, overall. It is very likely that this season will consist of 8 episodes, similar to the first and third season.

If you’d like to explore more Stranger Things now, though you’ve already watched the entirety of the first three seasons of the show, take a peek at the comics! Dark Horse Comics has a whole bunch of Stranger Things comics that take place in the canonical universe of the show.

Seek ye out the comic book series Stranger Things: The Other Side, Stranger Things Volume 2: SIX, and Stranger Things Volume 3: Into the Fire, Stranger Things Volume 4: Science Camp, and Stranger Things and Dungeons & Dragons. A number of one-shot and in-universe side-stories were published as well, including Erica the Great!, Halloween in Hawkins, The Bully, “Stranger Things / Minecraft”, and Zombie Boys.

Repost: Original Source and Author Link

Categories
Game

Pokemon GO Ultra Unlock: Zacian and Zamazenta released

The last part of the Pokemon GO Ultra Unlock series for this year’s Pokemon GO Fest includes Zacian and Zamacenta. These Pokemon will be among the first released by Hoopa! Hoopa will likely play a significant part in the in-game story rolling through Pokemon GO from this point on, especially when it comes to Legendary releases. In this case, the first to Galarian Legandary Pokemon come from the hoops!

To be clear, here, Pokemon GO already released SOME Galarian Pokemon in the last few months. With the launch of Pokemon Sword and Shield, Niantic was onboard with launching Galarian versions of some Pokemon that were already in the game – like Galarian Slowpoke, Galarian Farfetch’d, and Galarian Zigzagoon. This event would appear to be the first big push for Pokemon entirely new to Pokemon GO from the Galar Region.

Included in NEW releases are Skwovet, Greedent, Wooloo, Dubwool, and Falinks! Shiny Pokemon that’ll be appearing either in raid battles or more commonly in the wild include Galarian Farfetch’d, Unown U, Galarian Zigzagoon, Galarian Weezing, Lapras, Mega Beedrill, Galarian Meowth, Galarian Ponyta, Galarian Stunfisk, Mega Pidgeot, and Snorlax!

Week 1, Ultra Unlock 3, Sword and Shield

Pokemon Go Ultra Unlock Part 3: Sword and Shield is about to go off. The first bit starts on August 20 and lasts until August 26. The second part starts on August 26 and lasts until September 1. Start and stop times are all 10AM local time.

For the first half of this event, we’ll see Raid Boss Zacian in its Hero of Many Battles form. This Pokemon will begin to appear at 10AM local time on August 20, and it’ll be the most powerful Pokemon of the bunch – unless you’re weak against the many stings of Mega Beedrill.

The first week of Sword and Shield Ultra Unlock action in Pokemon GO will include Mega Beedrill in Mega Raid battles. You’ll also see Falinks, Lapras, and Galarian Weezing as 3-star battles. This week will feature 1-star battles with Galarian Slowpoke, Galarian Farfetch’d, Unown U, and Galarian Zigzagoon.

There’ll also be a raid hour with Zician on August 25, 2021 from 6PM to 7PM local time. There’ll be so many Zacian out there in the world, you won’t know what to do with them!

Week 2, Ultra Unlock 3, Sword and Shield

In Week 2 we’ll see Zamazenta in its own Hero of Many Battles form. This Pokemon will appear first in four-star Raid Battles in Pokemon GO, and it seems likely there’ll be no Shiny version at launch. At the same time we will have quite a few other Shiny Pokemon in Raid Battles during this event.

Week 2 raids are just as excellent as those in week 1, including Galarian Meowth, Galarian Ponyta, Galarian Darumaka, and Unown U for 1-star raids. The 3-star raid crew includes Galarian Stunfisk, Falinks, and Snorlax! There’ll be a Mega Pidgeot available as a Mega Raid, too.

Week 2 will feature a Zamacenta Raid Hour on August 30, 2021 starting at 6PM local time and lasting until 7PM.

Stay tuned as we learn more about the Pokemon that’ll appear during this event series. UPDATE: The NEW Shiny Pokemon for this event include Galarian Meowth, Galarian Farfetch’d, Galarian Weezing, and Galarian Stunfisk. As it generally is with new releases of Shiny Pokemon, these Pokemon should be far more common in shiny form than they ever will be in the game again after this event is done.

Repost: Original Source and Author Link

Categories
Game

Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster I, II, III released: Prices and trailer

This week the first three Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster games were released for multiple platforms. The original Final Fantasy game (just Final Fantasy), as well as Final Fantasy II, and Final Fantasy III, are now all available from the folks at Square Enix Co., Ltd. for one-time prices. Much like most Square Enix games, mobile or otherwise, Final Fantasy I, II, and III have a one-time price, meaning you’ll buy the game and have all the content, with no worries about future DLC or in-game purchase nonsense.

Below you’ll see the launch trailer for Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster. This game is very, very similar to the original, now remastered with graphics that fit your chosen device’s display. If you’ve only ever played Final Fantasy (or either of the first two sequels) on a very old TV, they might very well look better now than they’ve ever looked before.

It’s also important to note that these games are remastered based on the original titles. If you’ve played remakes of these games at some point over the past decade, you might find these games slightly unfamiliar. They do not include the “additional elements” present in the remakes, instead appearing more like a hardcore homage to the original content.

The game Final Fantasy has a price of $11.99 USD on the Google Play Store for Android devices. Final Fantasy II has that same price, $11.99, and the game Final Fantasy III has a price of $17.99 USD. These prices are also valid for Apple’s App Store for iOS devices. Amazon also has the games available for Fire devices for the same base prices.

There’s also a Steam listing for the entire Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster collection, complete with soundtracks and wallpapers. There you’ll purchase (and pre-purchase) Final Fantasy I-VI, and gain access to the first three right out the gate. That whole bundle will cost you a cool $74.82 USD.

Repost: Original Source and Author Link

Categories
Game

Razer iPhone Kishi released with “free” Xbox Game Pass Ultimate trial

There’s a new Razer Kishi Universal Gaming Controller for iPhone (Xbox) out in the market this week. Right alongside the launch of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate cloud streaming at Xbox (dot com), Razer’s teamed up with Microsoft to deliver a controller that’s made to work on this platform, top to bottom. Users will plug their iPhone in to this device, open Safari (the web browser), go to the official Xbox website, and log in.

You do not need this specific controller to play Xbox games on your iPhone. That’s not what this is all about. This is simply one of several ways in which an iPhone user can make the whole Xbox streaming system work with the greatest of ease.

This version of the Kishi for iPhone works with a new design with Monochrome face buttons. This version also works with MFi certification, connects with most (not all) iPhone models released over the past few years, and “seamlessly works with controller-compatible iOS titles” from Xbox and with Apple Arcade.

There is very little difference between this Razer iPhone Kishi and the one that’s been released in the past. This one (with the Xbox in the name) comes with a 90-day “free trial” of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate – which is different from the versions that’ve come before. This device is one of many Kishi controllers for a variety of devices

This Razer Kishi Universal Gaming Controller for iPhone (Xbox) will cost approximately $100 USD (or 110 Euro) when it becomes available in the Razer Store online and at retailers in the USA and throughout Europe. We published a Razer Kishi Review back in June of 2020 in an earlier iteration. If this newest version is as good or better than that, it’s not going to be difficult to recommend the hardware to prospective users of Xbox cloud gaming on iPhone devices – not difficult at all!

Repost: Original Source and Author Link

Categories
Tech News

Telegram group video calls, screen sharing update released

With the addition of group video calls, Telegram is quickly becoming the most feature-filled communications app and ecosystem in the modern world. Telegram has added group calls and screen sharing to their Voice Chats feature, allowing these features for all devices, all at once. That means smartphones, tablets, and desktops too.

To start a group video call, the users that’ll be in said call must be in a group. The voice chat must be started by an admin, who can start said voice chat via the (menu) button (three dots in a vertical line) in the profile of their chosen group. That’s for Android.

If you’re using Telegram on iOS, the admin of a group should be able to see a “Voice Chat” button right in the group profile. At launch, group video is limited to the first 30 people who “join the voice chat.”* Audio-only participants in this group chat are unlimited.

*This limit “will increase soon”, according to a Telegram representative. Numbers of people who can join video chat will increase as voice chats “take on streaming games, live events, and more.”

Group video on desktop and tablet machines allows a slightly more manageable set of options for group video calls. Users will have the option to tap a button (usually in the upper right-hand corner of the screen) to expand group video chat to split-screen view or to view the side panel.

Telegram is also adding screen sharing at the same time as group video chat. Per a Telegram representative, “to share your screen, tap (the menu button) in any app and select it from the menu.”

Users should be able to access these new features in Telegram now, for Android, iOS, macOS, and Windows desktop environments. If you cannot access group video chat, make sure you have the newest update for the Telegram app.

Repost: Original Source and Author Link