Sony’s big PlayStation State of Play presentation gave me everything I needed: lots of Final Fantasy VII Remake news. Aside from that Mat-specific part of the showcase (a new chunk of DLC alongside a free PS5 upgrade with a terrible name, an FF7 battle royale mobile game that no-one asked for, soundtracks coming to streaming services), there wasn’t any earth-shattering news. There were a couple of new titles, some release dates and more gameplay footage — I’m already excited for Deathloop.
The biggest news might have come the morning after State of Play, when a Bloomberg report suggested you’ll be able to upgrade the PS5’s storage this summer.
The PlayStation 5’s 825GB internal SSD seemed small at launch, especially when games already circle 250GB. While you have been able to expand storage through USB, any expansion made wouldn’t work for PS5 titles (and the high-speed loading demanded by new-generation consoles). If the report proves true, you’ll be able to put another drive into the PS5’s currently empty M.2 expansion slot, with a firmware console upgrade apparently ensuring there’s no overheating when the system kicks it up a gear.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to listen to something. Have a great weekend.
— Mat Smith
Kiwi Crates, JuniorJams headphones and virtual museum tours.
COVID-19 means several Engadget editors are homeschooling their kids while juggling work. Naturally, this has been an excellent time to embrace the gadgets we already own to help keep our kids engaged. We put out a call asking our editors to tell us which devices have proven essential over the last year — check out the devices they found helpful. Continue reading.
And all the port options.
Framework, a hardware startup founded by former Oculus engineer Nirav Patel, wants to take the Fairphone model of a repairable smartphone and bring it to laptops. Almost all the machine’s components, including the display, battery, keyboard and the display bezels are replaceable. Inside, you’ll also find the SSDs, memory and WiFi modules all use industry-standard sockets. Rather than fixing the port selection, the company has created expansion cards. These are little USB-C connected boxes that can add a USB-C, USB-A, HDMI, DisplayPort, MicroSD, an extra SSD or even a discrete headphone amp to the chassis. The device will ship summer 2021, but no price has been set yet. Continue reading.
It’s like an Apple store, but it’s Target.
Target will reportedly open mini Apple stores that make it easier to browse and buy gadgets at its big-box stores. You can buy a new iPhone or check out the latest Apple Watch styles while you’re picking up some socks, cereal or chewable vitamins. The first of these stores will open in February, with Target staff in these ‘enhanced’ spaces getting special training from Apple. Continue reading.
The latter will try to sidestep mean Twitter.
During Twitter’s Analyst Day, the social network revealed some big plans for the future. Communities would be a Facebook groups-like feature that will allow Twitter users to come together based on their interests. The company also said it’s “exploring” features geared more toward creators who want to monetize their Twitter following, including tipping and “super follows.” According to images shared by Twitter, super follows would provide users with access to newsletters, special badges and other “exclusive content.”
Twitter is also working on a new tool that will automatically detect and block abusive accounts for users, the company said during its recent 2021 Analyst Day presentation. Twitter didn’t provide a lot of details on the feature. However, two screenshots showed a new Safety Mode option users will be able to toggle to “mute accounts that might be using insults, name-calling, strong language or hateful remarks.” Continue reading.
It aims to give everyone a fair shot at a new console or graphics card.
Newegg Shuffle is a lottery system. Ahead of each draw, you can select certain products that you’d like a shot at buying. If you’re chosen, Newegg will notify you by email and place the items in your cart.
At the time of writing, Newegg is offering customers the chance to claim a PS5 bundle (with three games and an extra DualSense controller) or one of several NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 Series graphics cards. Other products that might appear in the lineup include Xbox Series X/S, AMD Radeon 6000 series GPUs and AMD Ryzen 5000 series graphics cards. If you’ve been trying to beat bots to highly sought-after products, then random chance might be the best option available. Continue reading.
But wait, there’s more…