Comments None
Categories Consumer technology | Video games

This week, Peloton’s mis-step with Tread and YouTube Shorts is competing with TikTok. But first, news about Nintendo’s new Switch OLED and a look at Mario Golf: Super Rush.

Nintendo announces a new Switch with an OLED screen

Nintendo surprised everyone on Tuesday with the announcement of a new Switch model, the Nintendo Switch OLED model (4450 CDN).

The new console sports a 7-inch OLED screen (compared to the 6.2-inch screen of the launch model; the Switch Light has a 5.5-inch screen) which can display graphics of up to 1920 × 1080 at 60 frame per second.

Additional enhancements include a built-in stand, 64 GB of internal storage (up from 32 GB), an ethernet port, and improved speakers.

All existing Joy-Con controllers will work with the new hardware.

The Switch OLED model includes a dock that can be connected to a TV, but the device does not output 4K graphics (keeping to the standard high-definition of the first).

It will be available in two colour combinations: black console, white dock, white Joy-Con controllers, and black console, black dock, and neon red and blue controllers.

The Nintendo Switch OLED model will be released on October 8, the same day as Metroid Dread.

Golf gets a bit crazy with Mario Golf: Super Rush

Summertime is a great time to play golf, and when you play the game Nintendo-style, it’s bound to be fun for the entire family.

Up to four of you can play Mario Golf: Super Rush, either on one Switch system or online, and while you might start with normal golf, you might have more fun with Speed Golf and Battle Golf, which put a distinctive competitive spin on things.

I got into a heated battle with my kids playing Battle Golf. The objective is to be the first to get your ball in the hole, and if you don’t spend time trying to derail your opponents, you’re not doing it right. There’s nothing worse that having the hole you’re playing to disappear just as you’re about to make a putt.

You can also play a light role-playing experience in Super Rush in which you can take your Mii character through the Golf Adventure. Once you’ve done this you can bring your player into the other game mode, too.

Mario Golf: Super Rush is a delight, providing plenty of enjoyment for everyone.

Peloton forces subscription plan on treadmill owners

Peloton, the company that has built a business around selling monthly fitness memberships to use its internet-connected fitness machines, now requires owners to have a subscription in order to use its treadmill.

At the end of June, the company disabled the “Just Run” feature of its Tread machine, which allowed people to do just that. The company said it was done to secure the treadmill, which has been implicated in 72 injuries and the death of a child.

In a statement to PCMag Peloton said that Tread Lock, which locks the treadmill, “is not yet available without a Peloton Membership.”

The membership costs $40 USD a month.

YouTube Shorts designed to go up against TikTok

YouTube was one of the first places on the internet for video and the company has rolled out a new service, YouTube Shorts designed to compete against other short-form video sites, aka TikTok.

YouTube Shorts lets creators add text and captions to videos, record short (60-second) videos, add photos and video clips, and overlay filters on it all.

More importantly, Shorts permits sampling of audio from other Shorts, which allows the kind of iterative creation that is one of the reasons TikTok became what it is today.

YouTube Shorts is now available in Canada.

Comments None
Categories Consumer technology | Video games

This week, details on Windows 11, Arcade Fire’s summer plans, and the new Snap+ Juice Pack Mini from Mophie. But first, now everyone can plan Xbox games on any device with Xbox Cloud Gaming on a browser.

Xbox Cloud Gaming opens up to all Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers

Anyone with a subscription to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate can now play any of the games available from the library on the Xbox Cloud Gaming service.

You can play through a browser on a Windows 10 computer or Apple mobile devices, iPads and iPhones.

People with Android mobile devices are able to play games using the Xbox Game Pass mobile app, but that’s not something that is currently allowed on Apple devices, so Microsoft has been working on a way to let Xbox gamers play on their iPads and iPhones.

This has the potential to grow the Xbox customer base. If gamers who want to play the new Bethesda games, for example, refuse to buy an Xbox console, they can get a subscription to Game Pass Ultimate and be able to play on another system.

You can sign in or subscribe at

Microsoft wants to upgrade you to Windows 11 later this year

Windows is software that’s been used for 35 years, in one form or another, and later this year, Microsoft is rolling out Windows 11

The new operating system will be a free upgrade to most people who are currently using Windows 10.

The design is clean and simple, with a task bar anchored on the bottom of the screen with icons for the start menu, search, and other open applications in the centre of the task bar. Time, date, and connectivity functions remain in the bottom right corner of the screen.

Functionally, Windows 11 integrates Microsoft Teams’ Chat on the taskbar which provides instant connections to people “through text, chat, voice, or video” regardless of what device or platform they may be on.

You will also be able to run Android apps on Windows 11 and you’ll be able to find them through a rebuilt Microsoft Store that provides access to all kinds of content, from apps and software to games, television programs, and movies.

WIndows 11 is also built with gaming in mind with the new Xbox app is built right in.

And the new operating system is designed to support multiple input types, including typing, writing, clicking, touching, and talking.

Microsoft hasn’t provided a release date for Windows 11 but has said that it will be available this holiday season.

Arcade Fire posting concert videos all summer

Canadian band Arcade Fire isn’t playing a concert anytime soon, but they’re keeping the magic alive by posting videos of past live performances to their YouTube channel.

Videos are being posted every Wednesday and Friday and started with the performance of “No Cars Go” from their Primavera Sound set in 2017.

You can subscribe to be notified when new videos are posted.

New Mophie Juice Pack magnetically snaps to your smartphone

I was in Kelowna over the weekend watching a bunch of fastpitch games and keeping track of all the plays on my iPhone.

With three games in one day, that’s a real drain on the battery.

Luckily, I had the new Snap+ Juice Pack Mini from Mophie ($50 USD) with me.

I was an early adopter of Mophie’s Juice packs way back when the battery capacity of iPhones was limited. I remember how much those Mophie packs saved me when I was on assignment and actively using my phone for 8 to 12 hours at a time.

This new one is slick because it charges wirelessly, and because it’s magnetic. On my iPhone 12, with MagSafe, it snaps into place with ease.

It’s also compatible with Google and Samsung phones. If they don’t have the same magnetic capability, Mophie includes a metallic ring adapter so you can make sure that the pack lines up to the charging conductors on the smartphone.

The Snap+ Juice Pack Mini from Mophie has enough juice – 5,000 mAh – to completely recharge your smartphone before it needs to be recharged.

Comments None
Categories Consumer technology | Video games

This week, why Prime Day didn’t happen in Canada this week and Dyson disrupts the floor game again. But first, Cyberpunk 2077 is back on the Playstation Store, and Sony is starting a software beta program for the PS5.

Cyberpunk 2077 returns to the Playstation store

On Monday, Sony re-listed Cyberpunk 2077 on the Playstation Store.

The decision to reinstate CD Projekt Red’s futuristic role-playing adventure comes more than six months after the game was pulled and Sony offered refunds on the game. Which is priced at $60 CDN.

Cyberpunk 2077 has always been available in physical form and digitally from Microsoft, COG, Epic Games, and Steam.

Despite the fact that the game was made for last generation consoles, the PS4 and Xbox One (also Windows), it was an imperfect experience when playing on those systems. Players using the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S reported fewer problems, overall.

CD Projekt Red says that “users may continue to experience some performance issues with the PS4 edition” and recommend playing on a PS4 Pro or PS5 console.

A next-gen upgrade of the game, for PS5 and Xbox Series X/S, is still planned for release in “the second half of 2021”.

Playstation launches a PS5 software beta program

Game consoles are like any other computer system in that they require operating system software to work.

PS5 owners in Canada now have an opportunity to test out new features that Sony is building into the PS5 system software.

To participate, you’ll need a PS5 (duh), a consistent internet connection, and a Playstation Network (PSN) account.

The last PS5 console software update introduced support for external storage devices and gave PS4 owners the chance to try out PS5 games owned by their friends through Share Play.

Sign up for the PS5 system software beta program

Prime Day did not happen in Canada this year

You may have noticed that while the Americans were talking about all the Prime Day deals this week, there weren’t any in Canada.

The annual sale, which is an Amazon campaign to sell Prime memberships to customers, usually happens in the spring or early summer. Last year it was postponed to October as a result of the covid-19 pandemic.

This year, in Canada, Amazon says that Prime Day has been postponed.

The decision was made in May in part because of outbreaks at the company’s Canadian warehouses earlier in the spring.

“Due to the impact of covid-19 across Canada, we have decided to postpone Prime Day while we focus on the safety of our employee and supporting our customers and selling partners.”

A postponement date has not been announced.

Dyson disrupts floor cleaning again with new updates to high-tech vacuums

Yesterday, Dyson revealed two new floor care products that are good examples of how the company never stops working to improve.

The V15 Detect is a new portable system that is equipped with a laser diode that reveals the dirt on your floors. It’s also got an acoustic dust sensor, which listens for the sound of particles hitting a sensor, and can count them at the rate of 15,000 times per second.

The V15 Detect will adapt the suction based on the amount of dirt that is present and shows you on the LCD screen built into the handle just how many particles you’re vacuuming up.

The Absolute version of the V15 Detect includes a second battery pack and a HEPA filter. It’s worth the extra $50.

The Omni-Glide was designed to make your broom obsolete. It’s light enough to be wielded with one hand, and has a floating cleaning head that can spin and swivel in any direction, so you can easily manoeuvre around obstacles and under furniture.

Both of these new Dyson vacuums are available now.

← Older Newer →