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Sony reportedly readying an Xbox Game Pass competitor service
by Pulasthi Ariyasinghe
Sony may soon have an answer to the gaming subscription behemoth of Microsoft, Xbox Game Pass. A report from Bloomberg says the company has a new service planned to debut in the spring of 2022. Code-named Spartacus, it is supposed to offer three tiers of services when it goes online for the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5.
Bloomberg's sources include multiple persons close to the project and internal documents of Sony, which it had reviewed.
Currently, Sony offers two major gaming-related subscriptions, PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Now, with the former offering online play and monthly bonus games while the latter has classic and some modern PlayStation games for both download and streaming. The Spartacus service is reportedly combining the features of the two programs and axing the PlayStation Now branding.
While the details are not finalized yet, in the documents seen by Bloomberg, the first tier of the service would offer the current PlayStation Plus features, while the second tier will bring a "large catalog of PlayStation 4 and, eventually, PlayStation 5 games." Extended demos, cloud gaming support, and classic PlayStation 1, 2, 3, and PSP titles are planned for the third tier. Pricing information is still in the dark.
For $10 or $15 a month, Microsoft's Xbox Game Pass currently offers day one access to all first-party titles alongside a large library of games from other publishers. If the rival program from Sony turns out to be a real thing, it will be interesting to see how the games library evolves over there, and if day one subscription releases for mega-popular PlayStation exclusives will be a thing too.
Sony granted patent for mobile phone controller that looks like a PlayStation 4 DualShock
by Moshe Jacobs
A patent filed by Sony Interactive Entertainment reveals what appears to be a PlayStation controller that is designed for mobile gaming. Published this week through Sony Interactive Entertainment's division in Japan, the patent describes a mobile gaming system intended to play games with two controller grips akin to a traditional PlayStation 4 DualShock controller instead of a PlayStation 5 DualSense controller.
The patent describes the controller as having "...a left side grip portion and a right side grip portion gripped by the left and right hands of the user".
Despite including the traditional-set of outlined drawings on the patent, the drawings of the controller device leave out "...a shaft portion that can be tilted by the user, and detect the tilting direction and tilting amount of the shaft portion".
While exact details of how the mobile phone gaming controller device would be used to play games, it may be leveraging a smart phone to access the Remote Play feature in order to play PlayStation games. Although third party controllers exist to stream Xbox games, and PlayStation controllers already have functionality with mobile devices via Bluetooth, this new controller device may provide accessibility or new unknown features.
BBC iPlayer finally launches on PS5 and it's just in time for Christmas
by Paul Hill
The BBC has announced that its iPlayer streaming service is now available on Sony’s flagship gaming platform, the PlayStation 5. The broadcaster said PS5 owners can download the BBC iPlayer app by going to the Media tab on the PS5 home screen and selecting BBC iPlayer from the All Apps section. Doing this will add iPlayer to the apps library and make it available quickly via the PlayStation home screen.
Commenting on the launch, Neil Hall, Head of Product, BBC iPlayer, said:
If you don’t keep tabs on all the TV-related jargon, the Ultra HD support that comes with iPlayer is synonymous with 4K. If you have a modern TV, there’s a good chance it will support 4K so you’ll be able to get a good picture if you use iPlayer on your PS5.
While it’s great to see iPlayer on the PlayStation 5, it’s a little bit of a shame that it has taken a year since the console’s launch for BBC to launch its app. It seems the Xbox Series X|S was a bigger priority for BBC as the app launched last December on those consoles.
AMC Theatres will offer 86,000 Spider-Man NFTs to customers
by Paul Hill
AMC Theatres has announced that it will be offering 86,000 Spider-Man non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to members of AMC Stubs Premiere & A-List and AMC Investor Connect who purchase an advanced ticket for a Spider-Man: No Way Home showing on December 16.
The firm said that the NFT promotion is being held jointly by Sony Pictures and AMC Entertainment and marks the first time that this has ever been done by a major ‘theatrical exhibitor’. Those who successfully get one of the limited NFTs will be sent instructions via email on December 22 on how to redeem it. It said the NFTs must be redeemed by March 1, 2022, at 11:59:59 p.m. ET.
Commenting on the offer, Adam Aron, Chairman of the Board and CEO of AMC, said:
For those concerned about the impacts on climate change, AMC said that the Spider-Man NFTs will be redeemable on a dedicated site run by WAX which operates an ‘ultra-low carbon footprint blockchain’ that has been certified as carbon neutral. It’ll be interesting to see in a few decades how much these assets will be worth given their scarcity and historical relevance as they’re the first NFTs being offered by a major cinema.
Universal Media Server 10.13.0
by Razvan Serea
Universal Media Server is a DLNA-compliant UPnP Media Server. UMS was started by SubJunk, an official developer of PMS, in order to ensure greater stability and file-compatibility. The program streams or transcodes many different media formats with little or no configuration. It is powered by MEncoder, FFmpeg, tsMuxeR, AviSynth, MediaInfo and more, which combine to offer support for a wide range of media formats. Because it is written in Java, Universal Media Server supports all major operating systems, with versions for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X.
To see a comparison of popular media servers, click here.
Universal Media Server 10.13.0 changelog:
Improved matching and prettifying of TV episodes, especially anime and TV episodes Allow successful API matches to be updated via versioning, for more accurate results If a folder contains music tracks, music tracks will be sorted by track number (thanks, ik666!) Re-implemented UPnP searching (thanks, ik666!) Compact database on shutdown (thanks, ik666!) Fixed status line glitches while scanning Improved default network interface selection Fixed playlist folders not updating (thanks, ik666!) Fixed sorting when API result starts with a different letter than filename Parse files that have the short naming convention, where the parent directory is the real filename Fixed parsing of TV episodes in season 0 Fixed crash when bumping database version Fixed memory leak after failed API lookup Fixed hanging process due to filewatcher not closing before shutdown Various web interface code improvements (thanks, Amir, Florian, and Kurtis Hanson) Code readability improvements (thanks, Christian Baer!) Protect against uncaught exceptions Fixed memory leaks Fixed database thread-safety bugs Increased performance of some database queries Increased performance of filename prettifying Fixed sending API requests when external network is disabled Fixed process hanging if filesystem activity happens in a watched folder during shutdown Renderers:
Improved matching and transcoding on Samsung 4K+ TVs Translation updates via Crowdin:
Bengali (1%) (thanks, Bipul Dey!) Chinese (Simplified) (100%) (thanks, wwj402_github!) Chinese (Traditional) (96%) (thanks, Gene Wu!) Czech (100%) Danish (100%) (thanks, GurliGebis!) Hungarian (96%) (thanks, Hild György!) Japanese (100%) (thanks, Katsuhide.M!) Romanian (100%) (thanks, Bogdan!) Dependencies:
Bump assertj-core from 3.20.2 to 3.21.0 Bump checkstyle from 9.0 to 9.1 Bump gson from 2.8.8 to 2.8.9 Bump junit5.version from 5.8.0 to 5.8.1 Bump JRE from 8u302 to 8u312 Bump logback from 1.2.5 to 1.2.7 Bump maven-enforcer-plugin from 3.0.0-M3 to 3.0.0 Bump MediaInfo from 21.03 to 21.09 Bump oshi-core from 5.8.2 to 5.8.3 Bump spotbugs-maven-plugin from 4.3.0 to 22.214.171.124 Download: Universal Media Server 10.13.0 | 162.0 MB (Open Source)
Download: Other operating systems
View: Universal Media Server Website
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