Console's End?

A new device streams console games to your PC, while one gaming exec says the days of consoles are numbered.

1 min read

Having the latest, greatest game console in your living room is a badge of honor.   But that badge may be going the way of your CD player.

With the increase in broadband penetration, and the increased robustness of digital delivery services, we may not need game machines much longer.  Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision, said as much this week in a presentation at the Deutsche Bank Securities Technology Conference in San Francisco.  As Gamespot Australia reports, Kotick "told attendees to 'expect many of our products to be playable independent of a console,' specifically saying he'd been impressed with media hub functionalities shown by 1080p TVs that let users stream content from their PCs. He also suggested a day in the not-too-distant future where players' Facebook profiles will be integrated into Guitar Hero, letting them make songs to share with friends, post high scores or favorite songs on their profile pages, and so on."

Meanwhile down in Austin, Texas, a company called Spawn Labs is doing its share to break down the wall between consoles and PCs.  The company has a settop box, the Slingbox, which lets you stream console videogames from your TV to your PC.


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Deep Learning Could Bring the Concert Experience Home

The century-old quest for truly realistic sound production is finally paying off

12 min read
Image containing multiple aspects such as instruments and left and right open hands.
Stuart Bradford

Now that recorded sound has become ubiquitous, we hardly think about it. From our smartphones, smart speakers, TVs, radios, disc players, and car sound systems, it’s an enduring and enjoyable presence in our lives. In 2017, a survey by the polling firm Nielsen suggested that some 90 percent of the U.S. population listens to music regularly and that, on average, they do so 32 hours per week.

Behind this free-flowing pleasure are enormous industries applying technology to the long-standing goal of reproducing sound with the greatest possible realism. From Edison’s phonograph and the horn speakers of the 1880s, successive generations of engineers in pursuit of this ideal invented and exploited countless technologies: triode vacuum tubes, dynamic loudspeakers, magnetic phonograph cartridges, solid-state amplifier circuits in scores of different topologies, electrostatic speakers, optical discs, stereo, and surround sound. And over the past five decades, digital technologies, like audio compression and streaming, have transformed the music industry.

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