The last time we went to CES, Dell brought along its — a gaming PC stuffed into a portable shell with an 8-inch screen and detachable gamepads. Since then, Nintendo Switch sales have continued to skyrocket, and we’ve been teased by projects like the crowdfunded Aya Neo. But now it appears that Valve might really make the portable gaming PC concept happen, with information leaking about a SteamPal device with a controller codenamed Neptune.
If Ars Technica’s anonymous sources aren’t enough, you really have to look no further than comments from Valve boss, Gabe Newell. He recently told students in New Zealand that the company would have something related to console games to announce by the end of this year, and that “it won't be the answer you expect.”
Assuming Valve maintains interest in the project long enough to release it, this certainly seems possible. NVIDIA promised console-like portable gaming powered by Tegra about , and that begat the Switch, so I’m more than intrigued by the idea of what Valve could achieve with even more powerful modern chipsets and a deep library of PC games. Oh, and speaking of Valve, apparently the Portal movie is still in development.
— Richard Lawler
Expect to hear more soon.
Microsoft’s Build event for developers is happening this week, and CEO Satya Nadella’s keynote contained a significant teaser: “Soon we will share one of the most significant updates to Windows of the past decade.” Not only is the exec excited about the “next generation” of Windows, it’s apparently far enough along that he has been self-hosting it for months.
He closed his message to developers by saying, “Our promise to you is this: We will create more opportunity for every Windows developer today and welcome every creator who is looking for the most innovative, new, open platform to build and distribute and monetize applications.” Among the changes the company reportedly has planned include allowing companies to use their own payments system to collect fees for in-app purchases — a choice that has interesting timing as Epic and Apple trade legal blows over exactly that idea.
Separately, Waymo has been using the I-Pace to test self-driving tech.
It seems odd, but Google is only now adding its first electric vehicle to the Street View fleet. Over the next 12 months, specially outfitted Jaguar I-Pace EVs will start . And they won't just collect Street View imagery — they'll also monitor the city's air quality.
Street View cars in London similarly pulled double duty back in 2018, and the data is supposed to help build a street level map of air pollution. The mobile air sensors developed by Aclima will measure nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions as well as fine particles (PM2.5) in the air, street-by-street. VP of Geo Operations at Google, Paddy Flynn, said in a statement: “We’re using technology to capture this important data and make it accessible so that together with Dublin City Council, we can drive solution planning."
Your new Model 3 or Model Y will just use cameras now.
Just last month, Elon Musk said Tesla would start to remove radar sensors from its production cars, and the process has already begun. New Model 3 and Model Y vehicles built for North America no longer have radar onboard to enable driver assist features like Autopilot and its Full Self Driving system.
However, the change is happening so suddenly that buyers may receive vehicles with restrictions on the use of Autosteer, Smart Summon and Emergency Lane Departure Avoidance. Software updates "in the weeks ahead" will re-enable those features.
Mark your calendar.
Sony has its next State of Play will take place later this week with a focus on . The 20-minute stream will include 14 minutes of new gameplay footage captured from PlayStation 5. Tune in for the reveal at 5 PM ET on Thursday.