Weekly Digest - 2021.36
SpaceX successfully landed a Starship prototype for the first time. Well, technically it's not the first one, but it's the first that survive the test. The Starship SN15 did the same test as previous prototypes. It launched itself achieving high altitude, and started free-falling. Then, just above the ground, prototype reoriented itself and softly landed on the landing pad.
This is a huge success for the SpaceX. If everything goes as planned, NASA might use Starships for the first two missions to the Moon by around 2024.
This week we had the first round of hearings. Here are the takeaways:
Image credits: SpaceX
Amazon has launched its game streaming service. It's powered by Nvidia's GPUs and runs on Windows, which should developers easily port games. Right now, it supports over 100 games.
The launch date is still unknown, but service will be available on PC, Mac, Fire TV. The iPhone and iPad will get support via web apps. An Android version planned for after launch. The official pricing is also unknown, but early access price is set at $5.99/month.
Amazon also announced special controller that will cost $49.99 during the early access.
Multiple developers, including Epic Games, Spotify and Basecamp, have formed the Coalition for App Fairness intended to coordinate efforts to fight against Apple's monopolistic behaviors on the AppStore.
The source code of Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 has leaked online.
It shouldn't be a big issue for Microsoft as Windows XP is no longer supported, but system itself might still have couple of surprises, as secret macOS theme has been discovered.
Microsoft has officially confirmed Xbox Series S. It's a simplified version of the Xbox Series X. Here are the highlights:
It's a good choice for people who want new Xbox, but doesn't care about 8K and optical disc. The only downside is really small storage. 512GB is really small, especially when games can take more than 200GB of storage. Hopefully, soon Microsoft will release another version with 1TB of storage.
Regarding Xbox Series X, it will also launch on November 10th for $499. The preorders will start on September 22.
Apple has announced an event that will be held on September 15th. Similar to WWDC, this event also will be digital only. According to rumors this event will focus on new iPad Air, Apple Watch Series 6. New iPhones will be announced in October or even later.
In August, Epic sued Apple, couple weeks later Apple is suing Epic, asking for damages over the breach of developer contract. In the press release they called Epic the "modern corporate Robin Hood" 😂
Apple has every legal right to do so, but I think the PR damages will cost Apple more than potential settlement with Epic.
Image credits: Microsoft
Apple is planing to open another Store in Singapore. Normally, such thing wouldn't be even worth mentioning, as Apple has hundreds stores around the world. But this is the first Apple Store that floats on the water. Apple Marina Bay Sands is a giant glowing orb and will be docked on the bayfront of Singapore.
Judge decided that Apple can’t retaliate against Epic Games by terminating the Epic's developer accounts or restricting use of Unreal Engine by developers on Apple platforms. Also, judge decided that Apple doesn't have to bring Fortnite back, as Epic deliberately violated AppStore rules.
So the first battle has been won by Epic, but this is not the only good news for them. Epic gained an ally in Microsoft. Company from Redmond asked Apple to allow Epic continue development on Unreal Engine. Unreal Engine is one the most popular game engines in the world, and cutting off the support for Apple platforms might have severe consequences for game industry.
Despite all of this, Later this week, Apple did removed Epic's account from AppStore with all its games. What is more important Apple listened to the judge, and left Unreal Engine's account intact.
Microsoft Windows 95 just turned 25. It's incredible how fast it went and how much we progressed. 25 years ago you needed good PC to run it, today you can run it in a browser.
After cancelling E3 it looked liked gamers will not get any major gaming event this year, but Gamescom organizers found a way. They created virtual conference. Unfortunately nothing special was announced, but we got couple of cool looking trailers.
Image credits: Javan Ng