After months of rumours that all but confirmed the existence of a slimmer, refreshed PS5, Sony has finally made the new console official. Oddly enough, Sony’s left off the ‘Slim’ moniker that it usually affixes to its refreshed consoles – despite it bringing a (slightly) smaller stature to the party.
The new PS5 comes with a 1TB SSD (seriously, not even 2TB?), a 30% size reduction, and a 24% cut to the original’s weight. The big change here is the loss of the built-in disc drive, meaning players will have to buy a detachable UHD Blu-ray Disc Drive separately or as part of a bundle. It won’t be cheap, either. Sony says these will go on sale later, setting you back $80 a pop.
Sony’s also ditching the two-in-one vertical/horizontal stand, with all PS5s coming with a horizontal-only stand out of the box. Want a standing PS5? It’ll cost you $30 for the privilege because of course it does. Come November – Sony hasn’t provided a specific date – you’ll be able to pick up a pS5 Digital Edition for $400 or get a combo that includes the detachable drive for $450.
Local pricing and availability have yet to be confirmed for South Africa, though we’re guessing it won’t be a direct Dollar-to-Rand conversion. That won’t matter if you’ve already got a current PS5 in your arsenal, meaning you can give this one a miss. This is meant for those that missed the boat the first time around, and Sony is punishing you for it with all the frilly add-ons. It is pretty, though.
RIP Passwords, long live Passkeys
The world might be going passwordless sooner than we thought. Google’s officially made Passkeys the default sign-in procedure for all personal accounts. It’s news because before, Passkeys were an opt-in feature that could be ignored if you wanted.
For those still catching up, Passkeys are touted to be the be-all or end-all when it comes to online security. Passkeys don’t bother with text, instead using a four-digit PIN or biometric credentials to get into your accounts with the idea being to help phase out phishing scams. No more reworking birthdays, maiden names, or the name of your first pet fish to find something suitable.
Google wants this to be your main method of signing in, and now, it will be. It’s sending out prompts to Google users (so, everyone) to encourage the new tech and teach them how to go about setting them up. If you’d rather not wait on Google, we’ve got a guide that’ll get you going sooner rather than later.
Why the sudden change so soon after the feature rolled out? According to Google’s security communications manager, Kimberly Samra (via Techradar), it’s because the feature has become so popular. Around 64% of surveyed users reckon that the feature is “easier to use than traditional login methods,” and that the process is “40 percent faster,” than regular passwords.
Run: Duolingo is teaching music and math
Duolingo, the app that teaches language through methods of fear, is expanding the service to include music and maths – subjects that “transcend cultures and people, just like languages do.” They’re apparently also perfect for the Duolingo Method, which uses entertainment and interaction (and an evil owl) to make learning “fun.”
It’s promising hundreds of “bite-sized lessons” that’ll delve into over 200 music tunes. It’s keeping the gamified experience it’s known for, turning those lessons into levels that need completing, complete with health bars and all.
If you’re a complete novice to learning music, you’ll start off by learning the C and D notes in C major using a digital piano in the app. It’ll help you to identify the sounds of each note through their placement on a staff, making reading sheet music a little easier to comprehend. That’s the idea, anyway. Duolingo says that the new subjects will be available on iOS at first and only available in English and Spanish, with more languages to follow.
Disney looking into purchasing EA
Disney is reportedly looking to get into the gaming industry as a big-name player, rather than just licensing out its numerous IPs to studios. Bob Iger, Disney’s CEO, is being pushed internally by senior executives to acquire a major studio like EA or something similar, according to a feature from Bloomberg (via VGC).
Iger, who’s led some of Disney’s bigger acquisitions in the past, is “noncommittal” to the idea of taking on a studio. EA, however, would be the perfect fit. EA already handles plenty of Disney’s licences, having published most of the world’s Star Wars games, and recently signing a new deal that’ll see Marvel enter the EA household.
Disney’s hesitation might be explained by that $69 billion Activision acquisition led by Microsoft, with EA potentially fetching as much or more, thanks to EA’s Sports division. In the end, it may not matter. EA CEO Andre Wilson was questioned about the company potentially pursuing a sale:
“I think we are in an incredible position. We’re soon to be the largest standalone independent developer and publisher of interactive entertainment in the world,” he said. “I think we’re growing across platforms, we’re growing across business models, and we’re growing across geographies. And in a world where gaming is becoming more important to the lives of Gen Z and Gen Alpha, who will be the leading generation in terms of consumption, entertainment for the future, I don’t think we could be in a stronger position as a standalone company.”