Does the industry need another cloud gaming service? Facebook certainly thinks so. Unlike Google, Amazon, NVIDIA and Microsoft, though, the company is starting small. Really small. Instead of a standalone service, Facebook is quietly offering streamable games inside its social network. And instead of ‘triple-A’ titles, the company is offering smaller free-to-play experiences like Asphalt 9: Legends, a driving game you might have played on your phone.
Facebook’s cloud gaming initiative doesn’t have a name, and you won’t even know when you’re streaming — the new titles will simply be offered alongside its existing ‘Instant Games,’ which are based on HTML5 and load at a similarly breakneck speed.
A good move for the company? Probably. Facebook isn’t charging for the service, which means it’ll likely avoid the hype and subsequent disappointment surrounding services such as Google Stadia. The company is rolling out the service in select parts of the US (read our piece for the full list of locations) and plans to expand even further in the weeks ahead. It’s available on Android, the web and… that’s it. Because the service is contained within the Facebook app, it doesn’t meet Apple’s guidelines on cloud streaming. “iOS won’t work for now. Because, Apple (sigh),” the company wrote in a tweet.
—Nick Summers, Senior Editor
Apple’s next-gen AirPods Pro might not have their iconic stemMeanwhile a set of rumored headphones have yet to appear.
So what’s next for Apple’s wireless earbuds? According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, the AirPods Pro could shrink, with a shorter stem and replaceable ear tips. Meanwhile, Apple is making the updated entry-level AirPods look more like the current AirPods Pro, meaning they’ll also have replaceable ear tips and a shorter stem. Continue reading.
NASA confirms presence of water on sunlit surfaces of the MoonThe critical molecule had previously only been found in shadowed craters.
Astronomers have been aware of water ice present on the Moon, but it had only ever been discovered in shadowed impact craters at its poles. A recent mission by NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) has now confirmed the presence of water molecules in sunlit parts of the Moon’s surface.
NASA researchers already have a few ideas as to how that water might be getting made. It could arrive on the micrometeorites that land on the lunar surface, protected from the harsh environment within pencil-tip-sized beads of glass formed during impact.
It could also be hydrogen, arriving on solar wind reacts with oxygen-bearing minerals in the Moon’s regolith to create hydroxyl which is then bombarded with solar radiation to convert it into water. NASA must now determine how easy it is to actually access these sources of water — it could deeply affect the planning of future lunar missions.Continue reading.
Xbox Series X and Series S walkthrough is a day-one primerHere are your new consoles.
Microsoft shared an extensive walkthrough video of what it’s like to start up the Xbox Series S or Series X for the first time, highlighting just how fast the two consoles are. And if you’re interested in Quick Resume, the smartphone app and its $220 1TB expansion card, those are all covered too.Continue reading.