The big game-studio buy-up continues, and it’s Sony’s turn. Again. This time, it’s picked up Housemarque, the Helsinki-based studio behind PlayStation games including Returnal for the PS5 and arcade-style shooters like Super Stardust HD and Dead Nation.

Returnal PS5
Housemarque


In recent years, Sony Interactive Entertainment snapped up Ratchet and Clank developer Insomniac Games in 2019. Before that, it acquired Horizon Zero Dawn developer Guerilla Games — whose former head Hermen Hulst is now the chief of PlayStation Studios — and Sucker Punch, the studio behind Ghost of Tsushima.

Sony seems to be stepping up its studio shopping. Microsoft made waves with its acquisition of all those Bethesda wares, and we finally started to see the results at E3 2021, with exclusive games headed to Xbox.

It seems Sony isn’t stopping at Housemarque: PlayStation Japan uploaded the wrong image with their first tweet on the Housemarque news, mentioning a Bluepoint acquisition. That’s an entirely different studio, which was tasked with the Demon’s Souls PS5 remake. The spending spree continues.

— Mat Smith

Well, this is depressing.

Young kids who see their parents on a Peloton bike and want to join workouts will soon have another way to do that. Little Tikes has created a smart stationary bike for children aged three to seven. It’s called the Pelican Explore & Fit Cycle, which does not at all sound like “Peloton.” They’ll have access to trainer adventure videos from Little Tikes’ YouTube channel, but I feel pretty sad about the entire concept. Continue reading.

You can’t argue with cheap.

Review image of the new Lenovo Legion 5 Pro (2021)
Daniel Cooper

Lenovo has managed to make a laptop with RTX 3070 graphics for several hundred dollars less than many of its competitors. With AMD’s Ryzen 7 CPU and NVIDIA’s RTX 3070 GPU, all for $1,530, it’s very compelling on paper, but Dan Cooper says you should be prepared for a couple of compromises. To start, if you run on battery alone, don’t expect it to last more than five hours. Continue reading.

You’ll be ready when Dolby Vision-supported games are finally released.

Microsoft’s Xbox Series X and Series S consoles both support 4K Dolby Vision at 120Hz, but there’s a problem: So far, no TVs have supported all of those things at once. Now, LG has announced it’s rolling out a firmware update that unlocks Dolby Vision HDR at 4K 120Hz on its latest 2021 C1 and G1 series OLED models. LG’s high-end G1 and mainstream C1 series should be capable of 120Hz 4K gaming with Dolby Vision, but Xbox Series X owners have been reporting that isn’t the case, with an error message that says “your TV setup doesn’t support Dolby Vision at 4K 120Hz.” Continue reading.

Your patriotic watch face will automatically install.

Apple Watch International Collection band for US
Apple

Apple has revealed 22 special edition Watch bands to mark the summer Olympics, but this time you won’t have to travel to the games to get one. There’s a US band as well as straps for Australia, Greece (it did start the Olympics, after all), Japan and South Africa and many more countries. These Sports Loops also tap into App Clips, with the packaging helping you to download a matching Watch face for your new strap. They’re all priced at $49, but what price patriotism? Continue reading.

A cleaner OS to keep you productive

Devindra Hardawar spends a little longer putting Microsoft’s new OS through its paces. He says the company is fundamentally shifting the way many aspects of Windows work, with a centered taskbar and redesigned Start menu. But it’s still Windows and still works like it always has. There’s the focus on productivity, along with subtler improvements that make for a more pleasant user experience. At this point, Windows 11 feels like an OS that will please PC diehards (I think that’s probably Devindra) and mainstream users (hey, that’s me!) alike. Continue reading.

It also packs HDR and Windows Hello authentication.

Most laptops ship with a 720p or 1080p camera, so you have to purchase a separate webcam if you want higher quality video — or resort to using a compatible action cam or DSLR. Dell is offering a new 4K option, the $200 UltraSharp Webcam, which is capable of recording 4K footage at up to 30 frames per second.

Like Razer’s own Kiyo Pro webcam, Dell’s 8.3-megapixel camera also features a Sony Starvis sensor (only this one is 4K), which is normally used in surveillance cameras. You might not need your influencer ring light. Continue reading.

But wait, there’s more…

Amazon Echo Show 8 and Show 5 review: Not much has changed, and that’s OK

HP’s Pavilion Aero is its lightest consumer laptop yet

‘Contra Returns’ for mobile is finally coming to the US on July 26th

Amazon is reportedly pressuring suppliers for a discounted stake in their businesses

Zoom is buying a startup to bring real-time translation to video calls

Amazon picks up the rights to star-studded podcast ‘SmartLess’

T-Mobile uses eSIM to let iPhone owners test its network for free

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