Sony has officially ended production of its PS Vita games console.
The handheld console has been gradually phased out over the past few years - and this weekend Sony announced it would be discontinuing the Vita's final two models.
The PS Vita struggled against rival devices as well as a surge in the popularity of mobile gaming.
With no plans for a successor, games critics say a Sony version of the successful Nintendo Switch is unlikely.
When the PS Vita launched, in Japan in 2011, it initially sold well: around 300,000 units in the Vita's first week. But these figures dropped sharply. Sony is estimated to have sold only 10-15 million units in the Vita's entire lifetime.
In comparison, Nintendo's Switch console has sold more than 32 million units, only two years after it first went on sale.
Not only did the PS Vita have trouble keeping up with the popularity of Nintendo's DS family of portable gaming systems, but the years since the Vita's launch also saw an explosion in mobile gaming, with smartphones and tablets becoming powerful enough to run graphically intensive apps.
Although the Vita rolled out with high-profile titles such as Uncharted: Golden Abyss, Assassin's Creed III: Liberation and LittleBigPlanet PS Vita, the beginning of the end came when Sony announced in 2015 that it would stop making its own games for the Vita - deciding to focus instead on titles for its PS4 console.
In 2018, Sony said it would cease physical production of Vita games and that 2019 would be the final year the device was manufactured.
While the PS Vita has been consigned to history, Sony is believed to be readying a new games console.
Sent to us by: Roy W. Nash
Amazon has announced a new way for environmentally-conscious shoppers to help reduce emissions: a voluntary program that lets a Prime member schedule one specific day per week for deliveries.
Last week, Amazon announced that it would be making a program widely available to Amazon Prime members that would allow them to schedule all deliveries for a single day, once a week. The so-called "Amazon Day" service will be voluntary and targets customers who are concerned about their carbon footprint.
Grouping purchase deliveries will help Amazon cut down on emissions associated with sending a delivery truck to the same house multiple times a week, and the company says holding orders for a single day during the week will also allow it to group orders within a single package, thereby reducing packaging. Customers can select their preferred day of the week to receive shipments. Customers can add items to their Amazon Day shipment up until two days in advance of the shipment.
Customers can also choose to remove an item from "Amazon Day" delivery, having it shipped more expeditiously if necessary. Select Prime members have already had access to the program, but it was made available to all Prime members as of last Thursday.
The program is part of Amazon's plan to get 50 percent of its shipments to net-zero carbon emissions by 2030.
Sent to us by: Roy W. Nash
Microsoft is creating Windows Lite for dual-screen and Chromebook-like devices.
Microsoft is preparing a new lightweight version of Windows for dual-screen devices and Chromebook competitors. They're stripping back the Windows user interface with dual screens in mind. This new hardware could launch as early as later this year, depending on chip and PC maker readiness.
Intel has been pushing OEMs to create this new hardware category, and machines could appear much like Microsoft’s Courier concept, dual-screen laptops, or even foldable displays in the future. Either way, Microsoft wants Windows to be ready for PC makers to take advantage of it.
The Windows Lite interface will be similar to Windows as it exists today, but it will be more of a blend of what Microsoft does with its Surface Hub shell and the limited functionality of its Windows Phone Continuum user interface.
Microsoft might be targeting dual-screen devices initially, but the longer plan is for Windows Lite to help the company better compete against Chromebooks. Microsoft has previously tried restricting Windows 10 with an S Mode to just Microsoft Store apps, but most of the legacy of the Windows interface remains. Microsoft is now looking to ship something a lot more basic with Windows Lite and build on top of it for more complexity down the line.
It’s not clear exactly when Microsoft will ship Windows Lite or what it will eventually be named. The software maker has been experimenting with these ideas for years, as it has watched Chrome OS grow in popularity throughout schools in the US. Microsoft is holding its Build conference in Seattle in early May, and that would be an ideal opportunity to start revealing parts of its Windows Lite strategy, especially if it wants developers to build native app and web experiences for the new platform.
Sent to us by: Robbie Ferguson
Linux Kernel 5.0 has been released, and we'll tell you what's new.
Previously earmarked to be version 4.21, the new release comes with a bucket full of improvements, as you’d expect.
But don’t expect grand changes just because there’s a natty new version number.
Linus Torvalds explains that: “The numbering change is not indicative of anything special. If you want to have an official reason, it’s that I ran out of fingers and toes to count on, so 4.21 became 5.0”.
As always, the bulk of the improvements sit at the lower-level. Most major changes are invisible, intangible and uninteresting.
That said, there are some notable new additions worth mentioning. These include speedy data encryption to low-end devices and hardware, AMD FreeSync support for dynamic refresh rates and no screen tearing, the Raspberry Pi touchscreen driver out of the box, and a boatload of new hardware support.
The upcoming release of Ubuntu 19.04 is almost certain to include Linux Kernel 5.0 (or a later minor revision, should one emerge before kernel freeze on April 1).
That said, you don’t have to wait until then. If you're an early adopter who's not afraid to break everything, it’s possible to install Linux 5.0 mainline kernel now.
Sent to us by: Roy W. Nash