Apple iPhone X, iPhone 8 lack a key feature of the Galaxy S8

Apple presents the iPhone X as the “smartphone of the future.”

But at least in one key area, its new phones fall short of Android phones that have already been out for months.

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The iPhone X has new tech like facial recognition, but not when it comes to cellular radios. 


James Martin/CNET

The iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X lack the ability to tap into a superfast wireless network technology called Gigabit LTE, confirming a CNET report from earlier this year. Meanwhile, there are 10 Android phones, including the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 8, LG V30 and HTC U11, that boast the ability to reach a theoretical peak speed of 1 gigabit per second. That’s the highest speed offered by internet service providers, fast enough for you to download a two-hour movie in 15 seconds.

Apple confirmed that the new iPhones will be able to tap into LTE Advanced networks, which have a theoretical peak speed of 500 megabits per second. That’s fast, but not nearly as fast as what their Android competitors can hit.

The lack of Gigabit LTE on the new iPhones is noteworthy because the carriers are starting to trumpet the technology as a big advance that offers more speed and capacity — even if it’s not yet broadly available. When more of these advanced networks go online throughout the next year, you’ll start to see Android phones blow past iPhones when it comes to their cellular connections.

But Apple has never been at the cutting edge of networking tech, and these latest iPhones highlight the fact that the company prefers to wait for things to fully bake before embracing them.

“Apple’s not at the forefront of adopting network technology,” said Ben Bajarin, an analyst at Creative Strategies. “They’re rarely the first ones to do it.”


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Few members of the wireless industry that CNET spoke to were surprised by the move, given Apple’s track record. The company, after all, was late to the game with both 3G and LTE network technologies.

The latest iPhones do pack 27 LTE bands into a single model, making them usable virtually everywhere that LTE is available. It’s the need to reach so many people that likely has the company staying conservative.

“Apple needs to play a global game,” Bajarin said.

Apple declined to comment for this story.

Not just a turbo boost

Even if you don’t actually hit 1 gigabit per second, a Gigabit LTE network is a heck of a lot faster than anything you’re getting now. A test by Australian carrier Telstra saw real-world speeds of 100 megabits to 300 megabits per second, or about 30 times what your standard LTE signal looks like.

But there are myriad other benefits. Beyond the higher speeds, the carriers will be able handle more people on their networks — an increasing number of whom are on unlimited data plans gorging on streaming movies and video games.

Gigabit LTE is still in the early stages of getting rolled out even in the US, let alone the rest of the world. T-Mobile is the furthest ahead and boasts 300 cities with some level of Gigabit LTE.

AT&T calls its form of Gigabit LTE “5G evolution,” which is available in a rudimentary form in Austin and Indianapolis. But the company said a new iPhone and a Galaxy S8 would likely perform at the same speeds in those cities until further upgrades happen. The company plans to light up “5G evolution” upgrades in 20 more cities over the next few months.

Verizon and Sprint have held trials for Gigabit LTE.

The limited deployment of the technology means people aren’t going to care about it when purchasing their new iPhones.

But they may in a year or two. 

Better over time

Here’s the beauty of Gigabit LTE: As more networks get upgraded, your phone gets faster over time. So a Galaxy S8 or LG V30 may get decent speeds now, high speeds in a few months and crazy-fast speeds in a year or two, depending on where you live and how aggressive your carriers are with new network equipment.


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That’s a particular issue for the iPhone X, which Apple pitches as the model with loads of future tech, according to Patrick Moorhead, an analyst at Moor Insights. Given the dramatic price increase, he expects people to hang onto their phones longer, which means they’ll miss out on these speed boosts for a while.

“It’s a big miss,” he said.

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The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus don’t have Gigabit LTE tech either. 


James Martin/CNET

Moorhead said he sees the carriers and phone makers getting more vocal about Gigabit LTE by the end of this year, with broader deployments next year.

Still, network technology is the stuff of geeks and tech enthusiasts, so some people may not care about how much faster the network gets as long as their episodes of “The Handmaid’s Tale” stream just fine.

“It’s a nice to have,” Bajarin said. “But it won’t move the needle.”

Tech Enabled: CNET chronicles tech’s role in providing new kinds of accessibility.

Logging Out: Welcome to the crossroads of online life and the afterlife.

How To Check Your Instagram Followers With New “Follows You” Feature

The wait is finally over, photographers, selfie virtuosos, and existential caption writers. Your social media media game is in for a change now that Instagram unveiled its “follows you” feature. It’s time to really make those posts count, so choose your filters and angles appropriately.

When you log on and check out other people’s pages, there is now a designated spot after the profile information that indicates whether or not that person, business, or organization is following you. It’s the long-awaited tool people have been dying for… and it definitely has the potential to make things messy. Why isn’t she following me? Why is my ex following me? Who is this guy? Oh social media, you toy with our emotions so well.

The update seems to only be available for Android users at the moment. However, if you have an iPhone, you will probably have to wait for the next iOS update before you can check out “follows you.” Until then, you’ll be forced to do things the old-fashioned way: by scrolling through your followers and keeping a tab of who has access to your profile.

Though this is something people have been anxious to see on the app — though I’m not entirely sure why, as it can definitely cause a bit o21st-centuryry chaos — the news unveiled rather quietly.

iphone in handiphone in hand

sergey causelove

But the “follows you” unveil wasn’t quiet enough to go unnoticed.

You can’t fool your savvy users, Instagram.

Things have the potential to get awkward.

Take a look at “follows you” for yourself.

Groundbreaking, right? I look forward to explaining this feature to my mother, a new Instagram user with a total of three followers (my cousin, my aunt, and me) who happens to only be following those same three people. She has a lot to keep track of, so thankfully Instagram decided to make this update. It’s going to make things dramatically different for her experience.

But “follows you” isn’t the only change you can expect to see on Instagram. Now, when you check out a friend’s video of her super adorable pup or your co-worker’s new baby, all subsequent videos will automatically play afterward. However, exiting the app will reset these video capabilities. And to be clear: videos of puppies and toddlers are nice, but they’re not required for this new feature. Regardless of the content, all videos will play automatically when you click (it was just a wild guess that you enjoy pups and tiny tots).

Perhaps what users should really enjoy is the fact that taking a less than suitable selfie doesn’t mean you have to click “delete” and lose it forever. The archive app allows you to take down that subpar post and hide it from your profile, however, it won’t be completely deleted. So let’s say the lighting is really outstanding but you’ve noticed you smudged your lipstick. It might not be worth trashing entirely, so give this feature a whirl. You might have a moment where you reconsider the magnitude of said smudge and decide it’s not awful enough to remove. I’m more excited about taking advantage of the archives than “follows you,” but that’s just me.

Personally, I kind of enjoyed not knowing who was following me and who wasn’t. It took the guess work out of social media and let me just be. Documenting your life — from your career to relationships, family life, friendships, and everything in between — has become such a competition, it was nice to not have the option to see if someone decides to be so kind and follow you back.

While I guess it make sense that “follows you” would become a thing, I’ll enjoy not using in until my iOS updates. Sorry I’m such a social media Debby Downer.

Check out the entire Gen Why series and other videos on Facebook and the Bustle app across Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV.

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Danielle Valente

Danielle is part of the Elite Daily news team. When she’s not working, she’s usually reading or eating gnocchi at Frankie’s. Find her @dvwrites.

Danielle is part of the Elite Daily news team. When she’s not working, she’s usually reading or eating gnocchi at Frankie’s. Find her @dvwrites.

Snapchat’s animated Bitmoji feature means we can all finally live like Lizzie McGuire

Your tween dreams have finally come true and it’s all down to Snapchat’s new animated 3D Bitmoji feature. 

Those of us who whiled away our teenage years imagining ourselves as Lizzie McGuire will be ecstatic to learn you can finally have your very own animated alter ego à la Lizzie. Albeit over a decade too late. Eh, better late than never!

Now, you can add a sassy li’l animated 3D Bitmoji to your video snaps that looks just like you, and acts every inch the augmented reality alter ego. 

Lizzie McGuire—the popular teen sitcom from the early 2000s—was clearly ahead of its time, as the show’s eponymous protagonist had her very own animated alter-ego to convey her emotions. 

The uncanny parallels between the new Bitmoji and Lizzie McGuire’s envy-inducing alter-ego have not gone unnoticed. 

Diehard Lizzie McGuire fans have suggested that the developers over at Snapchat might have borrowed the concept from the tween classic. Shocking. 

Meanwhile, Lizzie McGuire-loving Snapchatters are expressing their delight at finally having the chance to live their truth. 

Does this mean we’re all basically living in a sitcom about our own lives? 

And for those with blonde-haired Bitmoji, their alter-egos even look a little bit like Lizzie. Not jealous at all. 

I think Snapchat might have quite a few Lizzie McGuire fans working behind the scenes. I wonder which of our other teen wishes they’ll grant next?

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This new feature makes it easier for Google Home to hear you

One of Google Home’s ($129 at Jet.com) best features is how well it interacts with other Google products. Specifically, it works really well with Chromecast, allowing you to power on any TV or stream your favorite movies or shows on Netflix or using just your voice.

There’s a problem, however. If your TV or speakers are just loud enough, Google Home can have trouble hearing your commands.

Fortunately, Google recently rolled out a new feature to address that particular issue. Here’s how to use it.

Lower Cast audio when talking to Google Home

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Sarah Tew/CNET

When the noise level of a room is extra high, like when you’re watching a movie or streaming music, Google Home can definitely have trouble hearing the wake word. But usually, if you say it loud enough, you can get the speaker to hear the short wake phrase. In that specific scenario, the real problem lies with what you say after the wake words. Movie or music audio can jumble your commands, making it difficult for Google Home to understand what you’re saying.

However, if that music or movie happens to be playing through a Chromecast device, you will notice them acting differently in the future — if you haven’t already.

The new feature is called Lower volume when listening, and it does exactly what you’d expect. After you say the wake word, the volume of the Cast devices will be lowered while Google Home listens to your command. Once you’re finished with your command, the volume goes back to normal.

You will, however, still have to speak the wake work loud enough for Google Home to hear you. So if your Cast volume is too high to begin with, the new feature still may not help.

The setting is toggled on by default, but if you find the functionality to be disruptive, you can disable it.

  • Open the Google Home app on iOS or Android.
  • Tap the Devices button in the top right corner or tap the hamburger button in the top left and select Devices from the list.
  • Tap the action overflow button (three dots) in the top right corner of the card for your Google Home and select Settings in the dropdown menu.
  • Scroll down and tap on Lower volume when listening to uncheck it.

With the feature disabled, when you speak to Google Home, the volume of Chromecast devices will remain the same like it always has.

It’s important to note that this feature currently has several limitations:

  • It doesn’t work when you’re casting to a group of Cast devices.
  • If you started casting using anything other than Google Home, such as your phone or computer.
  • It won’t work when casting with Android TV devices with fixed volumes.
  • It doesn’t work when casting using a TV or speaker with Chromecast built in and running a firmware version older than 1.25.
  • It’s not compatible with movies or TV shows that use 5.1 surround sound.

Madden NFL 18 review – PS4, Xbox One sports game benefits from FIFA 18’s best feature | Gaming | Entertainment

Madden NFL 18 is out now on PS4 and Xbox One, and judging by the spate of new features, EA Sports has been busy in the off season.

The latest entry in the Madden NFL video game series is packing some significant new features, most notably a single-player story mode called Longshot.

Taking a cue from FIFA’s Journey mode, Longshot is a story of redemption in which a promising young quarterback named Devin Wade takes one last crack at superstardom.

EA Sports has also added a new co-operative Ultimate Team called MUT Squads, and given the visuals a bit of a makeover.

Has EA Sports done enough to score a winning touchdown? Check out the Pros and Cons review gallery below…

Madden NFL 18’s biggest and brightest new addition is the Longshot story mode, which is essentially the NFL version of FIFA’s Journey mode.

Proving that virtual sporting stories are here to stay, Longshot adds some much needed character and personality to what can sometimes be a dry and clinical game.

It’s also a handy way of learning the ropes, especially with a game packing as much jargon as this.

Madden NFL 18 also features some of the best match-day presentation in a sports game, not to mention unrivalled character models and animations.

Co-op play adds a new dimension to Ultimate Team, which has been getting a little stale in recent years – and not just in Madden.

Because everything is better when played with friends, MUT Squads is perfect for anybody who’s fallen out of love with Ultimate Team.

Only hardcore fans are likely to notice any significant changes on the field, which isn’t so much of a criticism as an observation.

The Madden NFL series has always been a safe pair of hands, making it harder to radically improve from one year to the next.

Fortunately, EA Sports has managed to introduce lots of new off-field elements that make Madden NFL 18 the best entry yet.

Madden NFL 18 has all the depth of previous years, but new additions like MUT Squads and Longshot make this the perfect package for newbies and veterans alike.

The Nindie Spotlight – Kingdoms and Dig Anticipation – Feature

As we keep getting slammed with all these Nindies on the Nintendo Switch, we figured in addition to our ongoing review coverage, we’d provide a quick roundup of some of our more dedicated Nindie-playing staffers’ takes as well as our coverage of all these games. Leading the charge likely every week will be Justin Nation, who runs Nindie Spotlight in addition to contributing to Nintendo World Report. This week, we sort through a bevy of intriguing releases and keep an eye towards the future. Check out this week’s download article for the full rundown.

Nindie Pick of the Week

Neal: I did review Semispheres (which is good but not great), but I’m most excited to dive into Kingdom: New Lands. The concept of trying to raise a kingdom while fending off foes and obstacles just seems neat. Also, Justin and our NWR reviewer Perry have both spoken highly of it.

Justin: Of the games I was able to spend more time with releasing this week, Kingdoms: New Lands was the clear and easy winner. It isn’t quite like anything I’ve played before and though the limited control and pacing won’t work for everyone I loved the challenge of experimenting and working to find success.

I only got the code for Quest of Dungeons yesterday but I can already confirm that it is the same “true roguelike” game I enjoyed on the PC, with the value add of being able to play it portably. While I had to be careful to keep track of my health, it was perfect to play as I watched TV with the family.

Perry: The past week my game time has been completely filled with Kingdom: New Lands. Featuring maybe the most satisfying strategic gameplay I’ve ever experienced, with easy to learn but hard to master mechanics the whole game is built up wonderfully, and perfect on the Switch. I’ve played it so much that it’s gotten to the point where I see the little pixel peasants and scenery from the game whenever I close my eyes, and when I’m not playing (like at work or visiting family) I am thinking about playing. I would recommend this game to anyone and everyone, just don’t expect a very fast-paced experience.

A Link to the Past

Neal: In this augural Nindie Spotlight, I want to call out TumbleSeed, which is an incredible, masterful game that had an update a few weeks back that made it even better (and way more friendly). It’s roguelike where you roll a ball around like in the arcade classic Ice Cold Beer. Also the music and art is mesmerizing.

Justin: I, too, have a lot of love for Tumbleseed but, though I unlocked all of the auras after the Four Peaks patch, I haven’t had the time to return to it. Going old school I’ll note that Has-Been Heroes is another early title I’d like to find time to get back to. While it has a hell of a learning curve I love the strategic gameplay and challenge.

David L.: This past week I’ve been obsessed with two games, Ironcast and NeuroVoider. I’ve been playing Ironcast since it’s August debut but I’ve really hit my strides this week and started doing speed runs. With NeuroVoider, I completed the review for the site but haven’t been able to stop playing. Both games are similar, roguelike permadeath with RPG elements involved.

Looking Ahead

Neal: While I was one of the few who wasn’t as in love with SteamWorld Dig, Image & Form’s follow-up SteamWorld Heist is a masterpiece that showed that they are a developer not to be trifled with. SteamWorld Dig 2, out on September 21, looks like it could be better than both the Dig and Heist.

Justin: I played the original Dig through to completion back on the 3DS and remember it going way too quickly and feeling somehow incomplete, so I’m looking forward to seeing all of the ideas they’ve been sitting on finally come to fruition. Next week will also bring the classic PC adventure Thimbleweed Park, which I’m looking forward to having an excuse to finishing. The signature humor from classics like Maniac Mansion and Day of the Tentacle is still present in the varied dialogue options you’re given and the puzzles are generally just as unusual as ever.

Perry: Unlike Neal, I was one of the people who fell in love with the first Dig. I loved the character design, the gameplay and most important the length. When I beat the game the first time I immediately went through and beat it again. The game made me want more of it and didn’t overstay its welcome, which I really appreciated. Now Dig 2 is coming and the developers are promising bigger/better everything. Although of course I trust them, I can say that I did feel that Heist was a bit too long, and hope that Dig 2 keeps it fresh. But one thing is for sure, I am extremely excited for Dig 2.

David L.: I’m most excited for the unknown. It seems like there are great Indie titles being worked on right now that don’t make it on Nintendo’s radar until the game is ready. I’m keeping my eye out for those diamonds in the rough.

Apple addresses ad industry complaints over Safari tracking prevention feature


 

In response to advertising industry objections to Safari’s new Intelligent Tracking Prevention feature, Apple on Friday explained how the service is a boon for both consumers and ad services who use it responsibly.

On Thursday, six ad industry groups penned an open letter criticizing Apple’s upcoming Safari feature, saying the decision to incorporate such technology into a web browser is heavy-handed and “bad for consumer choice and bad for the ad-supported online content and services.”

Today, Apple responded to the missive in a statement provided to The Loop.

“Apple believes that people have a right to privacy – Safari was the first browser to block third party cookies by default and Intelligent Tracking Prevention is a more advanced method for protecting user privacy,” Apple said. “Ad tracking technology has become so pervasive that it is possible for ad tracking companies to recreate the majority of a person’s web browsing history. This information is collected without permission and is used for ad re-targeting, which is how ads follow people around the Internet. The new Intelligent Tracking Prevention feature detects and eliminates cookies and other data used for this cross-site tracking, which means it helps keep a person’s browsing private. The feature does not block ads or interfere with legitimate tracking on the sites that people actually click on and visit. Cookies for sites that you interact with function as designed, and ads placed by web publishers will appear normally.”

Announced at the Worldwide Developers Conference in June, Safari’s intelligent cookie blocker uses machine learning algorithms to reduce invasive cross-site ad vendor tracking. Touted as a privacy feature, the technology obscures a user’s online activity from being tracked without their knowledge.

As noted by Apple in a June post to the WebKit blog, “Many users feel that trust is broken when they are being tracked and privacy-sensitive data about their web activity is acquired for purposes that they never agreed to.”

Apple documentation notes Intelligent Tracking Prevention collects statistics on resource loads induced by a cookie, as well as welcome user interactions such as clicks and text entries on a visited site. Cookies that are deemed “allowed” can be used by third parties for one day after the user last visits an associated website. After the first day, and out to 30 days, the cookie is partitioned. This means users can stay logged in to infrequently visited sites, but restricts the use of cookies for cross-site tracking.

Intelligent Tracking Prevention will roll out on both iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra, which launch later this month.

Snapchat Adds New Animated 3D Bitmoji to World Lenses Feature

Snapchat is adding 3D Bitmoji to its World Lenses feature, allowing you to introduce animated avatars to your locale as you see fit.

Snapchat Bitmoji

The 3D Bitmoji animations are based directly on models you’ve already created using the Snapchat app. The new 3D Bitmoji option will appear in the rear camera Lens options within Snapchat on both iOS and Android after the app next updates.

Interestingly, some of the animations can actually run for longer than the standard 10 second single Snap. However, iOS users can also utilize the new multi-Snap feature to capture multiple Snaps and link them together in a direct sequence. (Sorry Android users, you have to wait a little longer).

The Bitmoji and World Lens feature work well together. The animated avatar can do some skateboarding tricks, or some yoga in a location of your choice, while you capture the action.

For or Against?

I cannot lie. I hate Bitmojis, from their genesis across Facebook, to their current iteration on Snapchat.

That said, I can see that Snapchat have taken the avatars further than their previous versions.

The new 3D Bitmojis actually anchor directly in the world around you. For instance, the skateboarding clip will do a trick onto a kerb or similar feature, and so on. So, in that, they’re already streets ahead.

In addition, it shows more innovation from Snapchat. As other messaging and social services seriously encroach on their users, the introduction of services like World Lens, animated 3D Bitmojis, along with the Friendmoji and Bitmoji Geofilters is sure to help users keep their Snap-Stories alive and active for much longer.

Are you a Bitmoji fan? Are you excited about the new Snapchat feature? Let us know your thoughts below!


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Pokemon Go news: Sneaky Niantic update adds great new feature following event reveal | Gaming | Entertainment

Many Trainers may not have noticed it but a new Pokemon Go update was rolled out by Niantic this week.

The new patch was released with very little fanfare, although a changelog has confirmed some of the tweaks.

These include one new feature that could help Trainers out a lot in the future.

Pokemon Go news patch notes:

  • Items received from spinning Gym PokéStops and completing Raid Battles are now displayed in the Journal.
  • Improved Pokemon Collection screen search functionality by allowing Trainers to search using “defender” and “legendary”.
  • Resolved a bug which caused Pikachu hats to disappear from the in-game model and icon.
  • Resolved a bug which caused some icons to disappear when scrolling through the Pokédex.
  • Various bug fixes and performance updates

The important note is the one describing how Niantic have changed how you organise your Pokemon.

Trainers can now filter Pokemon by Defending and Legendary Pokemon by using the “Defender” and “legendary” keywords.

This could save players a lot of time and even help those who haven’t been playing long with which Pocket Monsters to use for each task.

Another thing found by dataminers in the new Pokemon Go build is references to the upcoming Safari Zone events in Europe.

Two waves of events are happening in the coming months, with both apparently receiving their own unique badges.

On September 16, official Pokémon Go Safari Zone activities will be taking place at Unibail-Rodamco Shopping Centres located at CentrO in Oberhausen (Germany), Les Quatre Temps in Paris (France) and La Maquinista in Barcelona (Spain).

New in-game medals and special 2 km Eggs will be available from various PokeStops found at each of these shopping centres.

But one of the biggest boosts will be the Pocket Monsters spawning around these areas.

Lures will be activated all day at each PokeStop at the event, which will see the likes of Kangaskhan, Chansey, Larvitar, and others popping up throughout the day.

Trainers in the area may even get to catch a few Shiny Pikachu, Shiny Magikarp, and various forms of Unown.

Another wave of Safari Zone event will be held in October, apparently getting slightly different rewards.

Niantic have confirmed that Gym and Raid Battles will not be available at these shopping centres during these events.

This would suggest that Niantic are not planning on launching any new Legendary-types, like they did in Chicago and Yokohama.

Feature: The PlayStation Store’s Content Problem

There are nearly 30 new games on the PlayStation Store this week. Among these titles are juggernauts like NBA 2K18, standalone expansions such as Dishonored: Death of the Outsider, and remasters like Baja: Edge of Control. Amid the madness is Time Recoil, a new top-down shooter from one of PlayStation’s most prolific indie supporters, 10tons. But as the wealth of software on Sony’s digital storefront increases, PR coordinator Jaakko Maaniemi notes that it’s getting harder and harder for titles to get noticed.

“We’re superbly aware this is the worst time of the year for indies to launch games, and we’d certainly pick another time of the year if we could,” he tells us. “Quite often it just so happens that we, like many indies, find that we don’t have the financial luxury of postponing a release three to six months to be in a less competitive time window. Competition isn’t exactly weak at any time of the year. It’s important to realise this isn’t meant as a complaint per se. I’m just depicting how it is.”

As if competing with almost 30 new releases wasn’t bad enough, Maaniemi points out that many products have multiple SKUs – all of which eat up valuable PlayStation Store real estate. It’s true, too: a quick glance at the plaza reveals that there are three versions of NBA 2K18, three versions of NHL 18, two versions of PES 2018: Pro Evolution Soccer, and even three versions of Dishonored: Death of the Outsider. “For a small indie game like Time Recoil, it means that the title is found only on the 13th row of the new releases list in North America,” Maaniemi sighs, though things are a little better in Europe.

But what can be done? There have been calls for heavier curation on the PlayStation Store from some more vocal industry pundits, with the intention being to eliminate lower quality releases – but it’s unclear how such a process would be policed properly at the platform holder’s level. Maaniemi thinks that taking steps to accommodate more titles could be the solution.

“Visibility is the first step in getting towards the chance of taking that bite out of the revenue stream,” he says. “Pretty much everyone has added storefront real estate; in other words, more categories and more feature slot types. It’s great: more slots means there’s more to share on any given week or day. But of course the returns on this start to diminish pretty fast. If there’s only ten games on display, each one of them gets a lot of attention. With 20 games, some start to get no more than a glance. With 50 games…”

Maaniemi believes that algorithms could be used on the PlayStation Store to look at players’ buying habits and promote content based on their tastes and interests. “Steam is probably the most progressive and hard working on this,” he admits, “as they clearly do make an effort to guarantee some visibility to everyone, and nowadays they even try to show games to the customers who they believe would be interested in the game.”

But for now, developers like 10tons are using different tactics to keep their titles in the PlayStation Store promo reel for longer: discounts. “It’s better than nothing for sure, but unfortunately it also pretty much educates the active games store customer to never buy anything at full price,” Maaniemi adds, “which, of course, could very well throw off a flawed recommendation algorithm about the desirability of a game.” Clearly, this is an incredibly difficult problem for all parties to solve.

It’s an interesting challenge because, as PlayStation Store consumers, we demand to see a vibrant storefront filled with a variety of different products to purchase. And it’s that kind of environment that drives virtual foot traffic to the plaza in the first place. But with such intense competition, it’s extremely difficult for any one product to stand out, and Maaniemi is clear about the consequences: “The rule of thumb a decade ago was that 90 per cent of games fail financially, and it’s the 10 per cent that fund their development. Now it seems like 99 per cent of games fail financially, so the chances of getting that 1 per cent game […] are not great.”


Do you think the abundance of content on the PlayStation Store is starting to become a problem – and what can be done to ensure every game gets the necessary attention it deserves? Try not to get lost among the cavalcade of comments below.