All posts in “Tech News”

Nintendo dashes hopes of an N64 Classic

2016 had the NES Classic, 2017 had the SNES Classic, and 2018 has the PlayStation Classic, so a Nintendo 64 Classic can’t be too far away, right? Don’t count on it. In an interview with Kotaku, Nintendo of America CEO Reggie Fils-Aimé says that while he “would not ever rule something out… what I can tell you is certainly that’s not in our planning horizon.”

“We were clear when we did the first two Classic series that, for us, these were limitedttime opportunities that were a way for us as a business to bridge from the conclusion of Wii U as a hardware system to the launch of Nintendo Switch,” says Fils-Aimé. “That was the very strategic reason we launched the NES Classic system.”

“So while consumers may have been anticipating something, we view these as limited-time opportunities. We’ve also now been very clear that as the consumer looks forward to engaging with our classic content that is going to happen more and more with the subscription service.”

Dreams of reliving the mid-to-late-’90s console wars all over again will have to wait, then. The lack of an N64 Classic would indeed be easier to swallow if you could simply play Ocarina of Time on a Switch through Nintendo’s online subscription. The trouble with that approach, of course, is that Nintendo has been very slow to roll out its offerings.

Currently subscribers to the Switch’s online service have access to around 30 original and tweaked versions of NES games, but no other systems are available, and Nintendo isn’t selling downloadable games through its usual Virtual Console platform either. But Fils-Aimé hints that more content will be on the way. “As we look to the future,” he says, “our subscription service, NSO, Nintendo Switch Online is going to be the place where you can play our classic content,” adding “We’ll see what comes next” when pressed on whether this will go beyond the NES.

Sharp’s new smartphone has double the notch for…double the fun?

As phonemakers try their best to make the notch look less obvious, Sharp is doubling it up.

The Japanese electronics maker has unveiled its AQUOS R2 Compact, featuring the company’s first “double notch” design.

While the top notch houses the front-facing camera, the bottom notch features a fingerprint reader which sits below the 5.2-inch 2280 x 1080 IGZO LCD.

Measuring 64 mm wide, it’s noticeably narrower than the newer iPhones and other higher end Android smartphones. Sharp boasts that its design means the phone can be used easily with one hand, a dream that’s long subsided for us.

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Aside from that, the AQUOS R2 Compact runs on Android 9 Pie, boasting a Snapdragon 845 processor, 64GB of internal storage, 4GB of RAM, a 22.6-megapixel rear camera, and a 2,500mAh battery.

It’s unlikely you’ll see the phone outside of Japan when it releases on SoftBank in January next year, sad news if you’re one of those people who can’t get enough of the notch.

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Headset legend Astro just made a $200 controller that’s as elite as they come

$200. That’s a heck of a lot for a PS4 / PC gamepad, particularly when Sony’s much-loved official DualShock 4 controller can often be found for just $40 on sale. But because this PS4 / PC gamepad comes from Astro — the acclaimed company behind the you-get-what-you-pay-for Astro A40 and A50 headsets — I immediately knew it would be worth some serious consideration.

Astro has never sold its own gamepads before, but that hasn’t stopped the brand from going all-out today: the new, officially Sony-licensed Astro C40 TR controller is arguably even more elite than Microsoft’s Xbox One Elite, which itself raised the ceiling for gaming controller prices to a then-sky-high $150 back in 2015. (The Verge’s Microsoft expert Tom Warren argued it was worth the cash for discerning gamers, and I’d tend to agree.)

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The key feature that sets Astro apart from the crowd today? The analog sticks and D-pads are totally modular, so you can swap them out whenever you want to switch from a PS4-style symmetrical stick setup to an Xbox-like offset controller configuration.

Like the Xbox One Elite, you’re also getting a pair of extra, remappable rear buttons around back, switches you can flick to give yourself hair-triggers, and swappable extra-long stick caps for precision aiming.

The Astro C40 TR

Like the DualShock 4, you still get your touchpad and you can still plug in a wired 3.5mm headset into the controller for wireless audio — but because Astro’s using a 2.4GHz USB dongle to connect to the system (with sub-5ms latency), you may not have to worry about that sound taking bandwidth away from your precious Bluetooth connection.

Did I mention there’s a wired mode too, presumably for cautious pro gamers and to keep playing when the batteries are dry? You can just plug in a USB cable.

Astro says the C40 TR has up to 12 hours of battery life, and will ship in early 2019. I’ll wait to praise it until we can actually touch the thing — is it comfortable, and how durable is it? — but it sounds like Logitech (which bought Astro last July) may have raised the bar for gamepads.

By the way, the Astro C40 TR is just the latest in a trend of Sony offering its blessing to third-party controllers. Check out the Scuf Vantage if you want something closer to the Xbox One Elite (tho maybe read our review first), or the Hori Wired Mini Gamepad if you’d rather have a tiny new controller.

An Astro rep says there’s no plans for an Xbox version of the controller yet.

AT&T is launching a new app to manage parental control features

AT&T is sunsetting its parent control Smart Limits app and replacing it with a new app called Secure Family. The new app will be available November 26th, and includes new features like location tracking, time limits, and content filtering.

The upgraded version lets users monitor up to 10 lines for $7.99 a month. Location tracking is more accurate, and parents can set up the app so they receive arrival and departure alerts when their child enters or leaves a location like their school. Parents can also prevent purchases from the App Store or Google Play, and filter content based on age-appropriate settings when the app is installed on the child’s device. There’s also time limits to make sure kids aren’t spending too much time on their social media apps.

Verizon recently rebranded its own parental control app, upgrading its FamilyBase app to a new app called Verizon Smart Family. It offers much of the same features, and lets users add up to 10 family members to the app. It starts at $4.99 a month for partial features, and goes up to $9.99 a month for all the features including location tracking and alerts.

Black Friday 2018 Amazon deals: Shop sales on Fire tablets, Echo Spot, and more for Cyber Week

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Start saving now on Amazon devices before Black Friday and Cyber Monday are here.
Start saving now on Amazon devices before Black Friday and Cyber Monday are here.

Image: Amazon

With Black Friday only a week away, Amazon isn’t waiting for the shopping holiday to officially begin. The online retailer is throwing caution to the wind and announcing deals really early, so you can save on great products for the holidays. 

We’ve rounded up the best deals we’re loving right now on Amazon, and are even giving you a sneak peek at what’s going to be on sale before the deals are actually live. So all you have to do is skim through this roundup and pick the products that would make the perfect gift for your friends and family — or for yourself because you totally deserve it. (Hot tip: Add what you’re coveting to your shopping cart now, then once the deals go live just check out!)

SEE ALSO: Shopping tips for Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Amazon officially kicks off its Black Friday sale on Friday, Nov. 16, when even more products from great brands like Microsoft, Samsung, Sony, Fisher-Price, Mattel, and more go on sale for the holiday season. There are even deals on Amazon’s devices for video streaming and home security. 

In fact, the retail giant also has deals on turkeys for Thanksgiving from Whole Foods. Now that’s what we call synergy! 

And keep checking back on this post, as we’ll be updating it with new deals from Amazon as they become available.

Here are the best deals for Black Friday and beyond — so far:

Best Black Friday deals right now

Amazon devices on sale now

4K TVs

Laptops

Smart home

Home products

Toys on sale

Smartwatches

Deals starting on Friday, Nov. 16

Amazon devices on sale

Electronics and accessories

Toys for boys and girls

Fashion and accessories

Household and home furnishings

Smart home products

Gaming and accessories

Audible, music, and e-books

  • For a limited time, save 53% on an Audible membership for three months at $6.95 a month

  • For a limited time, new Amazon Music Unlimited customers can get three months of the premium streaming tier for just $0.99 and enjoy unlimited access to more than 50 million songs and hands-free listening with Alexa

  • Save up to 80% on select Kindle best-selling books

  • Get three months of Kindle Unlimited for $0.99 – Enjoy unlimited access to over one million books, popular magazines and thousands of books with Audible narration. Offer valid for new subscribers only

Pets and more

Sports and outdoors

Automotive

Whole Foods Market

  • Through Nov. 22, customers will be able to purchase select organic ($3.49/lb) and no antibiotic ($2.49/lb) turkeys, and Prime members will save even more on turkeys ($2.99/lb organic/$1.99/lb no antibiotic). Customers can reserve their turkeys in advance at wholefoodsmarket.com. Prime members who place their orders in advance online will be eligible for the lower prices on turkeys.

  • Through Nov. 22, customers who are not yet Prime members can receive $20 off their next Whole Foods Market in-store purchase of $20 or more when they sign up for Prime at amazon.com/PrimeSavings. New members can try Prime free for 30 days, full promotion details are at amazon.com/PrimeSavings.

Deals starting on Sunday, Nov. 18

Amazon devices on sale

Deals starting on Wednesday, Nov. 21

Amazon devices on sale

Deals starting on Thursday, Nov. 22

Amazon devices on sale

Deals starting on Friday, Nov. 23

Keep checking back, as there are sure to be way more deals launching on Black Friday.