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ASCiiDiTY

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ASCiiDiTY last won the day on November 30 2020

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  1. There are currently a few notable deals on streaming services available. The ad-free plan for HBO Max is on sale for $7.49/month for the first 6 months. That’s 50% off the regular price of $14.99. This offer is likely an attempt to keep all the Prime Video Channel customers subscribed, since they just lost service earlier this week. The deal is for new or returning subscribers, but cannot be used by existing subscribers, and it ends Sept. 26. If you’re a Prime member, you can get 2 months of Showtime for $0.99/month through Prime Video Channels. That’s 90% off the regular price of $10.99/month. That offer ends on Sept. 19. Alternatively, you can subscribe through Showtime directly to get 6 months for $4.99/month when you use promocode MMANUTS when you sign up. Lastly, Plex is offering 20% off a Lifetime Plex Pass when you use promocode PLEXLIKEAPRO. That brings the one-time cost down from $119.99 to $95.99. This deal ends tonight at midnight. SOURCE: AFTVNEWS.COM
  2. While looking for more information about the unreleased “Pico” Fire TV remote that recently received FCC approval, I stumbled on a regulatory filing in Japan for a new Fire TV Smart TV remote with Japanese text on its buttons. Since Amazon does not yet sell Fire TV Smart TVs in Japan, the existence of this remote seems to suggest that Japan will soon be among the next new markets for Amazon’s line of smart TVs. Amazon first launched Fire TV Smart TVs in the US and Canada in 2017. The TV line then expanded to the UK, Germany, and Austria. The last and most recent country to see the release of Fire TV Smart TVs is India. The release of Fire TV Smart TVs in India before they were available in Japan was a bit unusual because stand-alone Fire TV devices launched in Japan two years before they were available in India. Amazon tends to follow the same release cadence of US > Canada > UK > Germany/Austria > Japan > India for new devices, but Japan was skipped over for Fire TV Smart TVs. Fire TV Smart TV Remotes from the UK (left), Germany (center), and Japan (right). One explanation for Japan’s seemingly delayed Fire TV Smart TV availability is the extra complexity found with Japanese TVs that isn’t present in other regions. On the remote that passed through Japan’s regulatory approval, you can see an extra row of buttons, just above the number pad, to handle this added complexity. The first of those buttons, from the left, is for tuning to terrestrial antenna broadcasts. The center button, labeled BS/CS, is for switching between Broadcast Satellite and Communication Satellite channels from a dish receiver. Your guess is as good as mine as to the purpose of the last button, which is labeled 4K. Near the bottom of the remote, below the Netflix button, is a d-Data button. This, in conjunction with the 4 color buttons along the bottom, allows TV watchers in Japan to interact with various user interfaces being broadcasted to the TV. This new Japanese Fire TV Smart TV remote is being manufactured by the same company that makes other Fire TV Smart TV remotes for Amazon. The regulatory filing includes several model numbers for the same remote, which could each be for different variations of the remote, such as remotes with different partner buttons or different brand markings. The TV brand is normally printed on the bottom of the remote, but it’s covered with tape on this new Japanese remote, so there’s no telling which TV manufacturer will release Japan’s first Fire TV Smart TVs. SOURCE: AFTVNEWS.COM
  3. A couple of months ago, a new Amazon remote passed through regulatory filings with Brazil and the Bluetooth organization, carrying model number P4C6EN. That same remote has now passed through FCC approval in the US, under FCC ID 2AYT9-7426. While there is still no definitive evidence that this is a Fire TV remote, that does seem to be the most likely scenario. The Bluetooth filing suggests this remote is codenamed “Pico,” however, if the dimensions of the remote outlined in the FCC filing are accurate, this remote seems to be longer than the existing 3rd-gen Alexa Voice Remote that comes with the stand-alone Fire TV media players. If it is a long Fire TV remote, that means it is most likely destined for use with a Fire TV Smart TV, because those remotes have considerably more buttons. That said, existing Fire TV Smart TV remotes are not manufactured by Amazon, and, therefore, are not submitted for regulatory approval by Amazon, as this new remote has been. So, if this is, in fact, a Fire TV Smart TV remote, it would be the first one made by Amazon. Omni Series and 4-Series Fire TV Smart TV Remote Amazon did just announce its new line of Omni Series and 4-Series Fire TV Smart TVs, which are the first to be built by Amazon, so this new “Pico” remote could certainly be the one bundled with those TVs. However, the remote pictured with those TVs, seen above, looks functionally identical to the remotes that already come with existing Fire TV smart TVs, seen below. Those existing remotes are not made by Amazon and were not submitted by Amazon for regulatory approval. The only apparent difference between the Omni/4-Series remote and the existing Fire TV Smart TV remotes is the replacement of the Alexa voice button from a black button with a microphone icon to a blue button with the Alexa icon. That change alone would not necessitate a new FCC filing. Remote bundled with many existing Fire TV Smart TVs In the past, Amazon has swapped out the remote included with Fire TV Smart TVs without changing the TV itself. Some 2020 Fire TV Smart TVs from Toshiba and Insignia originally shipped with the older Fire TV Smart TV Remote. Once Amazon introduced a new remote, those same TVs began including the new remote in the box. There’s a chance Amazon’s Omni and 4-Series Fire TV Smart TVs will initially ship with the existing remote and then ship with the new “Pico” remote, once it’s released. Of course, this is all completely a guess. It’s also possible that the “Pico” remote is the one included from the beginning and it just looks identical to the existing remote but has new electronics. The “Pico” remote could also have nothing to do with Fire TV Smart TVs, since none of those remotes have ever been submitted to the FCC by Amazon. Hopefully, now that the new remote has been approved by the FCC, we’ll see it released soon and know the answer once and for all. SOURCE: AFTVNEWS.COM
  4. Just a quick reminder that HBO is being dropped from Prime Video Channels today. If you haven’t heard yet, HBO wants all subscriptions to be made directly, so they’ve pulled themselves from “channel” listings, like the ones run by Amazon, Roku, and Apple. If you’re a subscriber through Prime Video Channels, you should be receiving a credit for the remained of your current billing month. There is no way to transfer your account from Prime Video Channels to HBO directly, so you’ll simply have to subscribe through HBO like a new customer. SOURCE: AFTVNEWS.COM
  5. Anker has released its new Nebula 4K Streaming Dongle box running Android TV 10. The device uses Google’s reference design, which means it shares identical specs with Walmart’s Onn 4K box and many other streaming devices. What is mind boggling is its ridiculously high price of $89.99, which is triple the price of Walmart’s streamer, despite being practically identical in every aspect. The Nebula 4K Streaming Dongle, despite the name, is a small box that connects with an HDMI cable and does not hang, like the Fire TV 3 pendant or Tivo Stream 4K. It reportedly uses the same Amlogic S905Y2 CPU and ARM Mali-G31 MP2 GPU as the Walmart Onn, Tivo Stream 4K, and Dynalink Android TV box, however, those devices have a quad-core 1.8GHz clock speed, while Nebula’s description says its 4K Streaming Dongle has a CPU that is “up to 2GHz.” Neither Nebula, nor parent company Anker, list the streamer anywhere on their websites, which isn’t reassuring of their faith in the product. It supports 4K @ 60fps and HDR10, but there is no support for HDR10+ or Dolby Vision. It supports H.265, H.264, and VP9 video decoding, but not AV1. It comes with 2GB of memory and 8GB of internal storage. It supports 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi, but not Wi-Fi 6. Packed in is Google’s reference G10 remote, an HDMI cable, USB cable, power adapter, and batteries. This device really feels like Anker just said “why not” and slapped their Nebula brand on a generic box that is already being sold by many other companies. I suspect the ridiculously high list price of $89.99 is just there to make the device seem like a deal when they inevitably put it “on sale” for much less. At least, I hope that’s the case and that they don’t think it’s actually worth this much. SOURCE: AFTVNEWS.COM
  6. Now that the successor to the Fire TV Stick 4K, the Fire TV Stick 4K Max, has been announced, people are already starting to ask about the Fire TV Cube. Since the 2nd-gen Fire TV Cube is now the oldest model in Amazon’s Fire TV lineup, not counting the original Fire TV Stick 4K which will continue to be sold as a cheaper alternative to the Fire TV Stick 4K Max, I’m already seeing comments and receiving messages from people asking if we’ll see a new Fire TV Cube announced and when that will happen. So, let’s talk about that. .compare{width: 100% !important; table-layout:fixed;} .compare tr td{text-align:center; padding: 0.2em;} .compare tr td img{margin: 0 auto;} .compare tr td:nth-child(1){text-align:left;font-weight:bold; vertical-align:middle; background-color:#F2F2F2} .compare tr:nth-child(1){background-color:#F2F2F2} Announced Released Fire TV 1 (2014) April 2 April 12 Fire TV 2 (2015) September 17 October 5 Fire TV 3 (2017) September 27 October 25 Fire TV Cube 1 (2018) June 7 June 21 Fire TV Cube 2 (2019) September 4 October 10 Fire TV Stick 1 (2014) October 27 November 19 Fire TV Stick 2 (2016) September 28 October 20 Fire TV Stick 3 & Lite (2020) September 24 September 30 Fire TV Stick 4K (2018) October 3 October 31 Fire TV Stick 4K Max (2021) September 9 October 7 As I wrote about earlier this year, the vast majority of Fire TV models get announced in September and released in October, as you can see in the release history above. So, based on that fact alone, it’s pretty unlikely that we’ll see a new Fire TV Cube this year if nothing has been announced once October rolls around. Lately, Amazon has been having what are essentially Fire TV announcement events each year. We just passed this year’s big Fire TV day, on September 9th, with the announcement of the new Fire TV Stick 4K Max, new Fire TV features, new Amazon-built Fire TV Smart TVs, new Fire TV Smart TVs from Toshiba and Pioneer, and even new Luna features. So, it’s likely that if a new Fire TV Cube was on the horizon, it too would have been announced that day as well. The last shred of hope that we’ll hear about a new Fire TV Cube this year will probably be during an Alexa event later in the year. Amazon typically holds a large Alexa event every September where they announce tons of new devices, like new Echo speakers. Since the Fire TV Cube shares more in common with Echo speakers than any other Fire TV model, there is a possibility that a new model will be announced whenever Amazon announces new Echo devices. That said, Amazon has not even indicated that there will be an Alexa event this year. Since it doesn’t seem likely that a new Fire TV Cube, or other flagship Fire TV device, will be announced this year, when will one be announced? Nobody knows, but the simplest and most likely answer is September 2022. Since September is when most Fire TVs are announced, and we just had a big round of Fire TV announcements, it doesn’t seem likely that another one will be announced for another year. You may have noticed above that the 1st-gen Fire TV Cube was announced in April, which could give hope that another Fire TV Cube will be announced early next year, but the 1st-gen Fire TV Cube announcement was a fluke. Amazon originally planned to release the first Fire TV Cube alongside the 3rd-gen Fire TV pendant, in September 2017. For various reasons, it got delayed and missed that announcement window, which pushed its announcement out to early in the next year. That’s why it was one of the few devices not announced in September or October. All that said, there’s certainly no guarantee that a new Fire TV Cube will be announced in or within a year. The Fire TV Cube is easily the least popular Fire TV model by a longshot. Not because it’s a bad product, but because most people are perfectly happy with the capabilities of the much less expensive Fire TV Stick models. Since people don’t buy the Fire TV Cube much, relative to other Fire TV models, I wouldn’t be surprised if Amazon is in no rush to release a new model. Meaning, we might not see a new Fire TV Cube until 2023. There’s no way to know for certain when the next flagship Fire TV will be announced or released, but, that said, it doesn’t seem like it will be this year, it will probably be next September, and there’s sufficient reason to not see a new one until 2023. SOURCE: AFTVNEWS.COM
  7. Prime Video Channels has a new deal where you can subscribe to Discovery+ for $0.99/month for 2 months. This is for the ad-supported plan, which normally costs $4.99/month. The ad-free plan costs $6.99/month and is not on sale. Note that, unlike most Prime Video Channel subscriptions, subscribing to Discovery+ through Prime Video Channels does not currently give you access to the Discovery+ app. You’ll only be able to stream through the main Fire TV interface or through the Prime Video app on any device. One thing the Prime Video Channel subscription of Discovery+ does give you, however, is access to 11 live streaming channels which will be integrated into the Fire TV’s live program guide. This offer ends tomorrow, Sept. 15. SOURCE: AFTVNEWS.COM
  8. Amazon has added the option to automatically upload photos from your phone in the Alexa app. Enabling the option will save your photos on Amazon Photos, where Prime members get unlimited storage and non-Prime members get 5GB of storage. The reason for doing so is so that your photos can be displayed in the screensavers of Alexa devices, like Fire TVs and Echo Shows. A “Daily Memories” option can be enabled to automatically display a new curated set of your photos every day. To enable the option, open the Alexa app on your phone and go to More > Settings > Photos. To enable Daily Memories through the Alexa app, go to Devices > Echo & Alexa > select your Fire TV or Echo > Screensaver. SOURCE: AFTVNEWS.COM
  9. Amazon has put nearly all Fire TV models and accessories on sale. These prices aren’t rock bottom deals as we see during Black Friday, but they’re definitely better than the average sales that come along all the time. If you weren’t impressed by the new Fire TV Stick 4K Max, then consider buying the regular Fire TV Stick 4K for $34.99, which is down 30% from its regular price of $49.99. That’s just $10 more than the lowest it has ever been. If you don’t need 4K, then the Fire TV Stick is $27.99 and the Fire TV Stick Lite is $21.99. Those are 30% and 27% off their regular prices, respectively, and are both within $5 of their lowest prices. At the other end of the lineup is the flagship Fire TV Cube for $94.99, which saves you $25 and comes within $15 of the lowest price it has been in the past. As for accessories, the Fire TV Recast DVR is $169.99, down 25%, and the Fire TV Blaster is $19.99, down 43%. Lastly, the just announced Fire TV Omni Smart TV 50-inch is $399.99, which is 22% off the regular price of $509.99, and the Fire TV 4-Series Smart TV 50-inch is $359.99, which is 23% off its regular price of $469.99. The main difference between the two is that the Omni has mics for hands-free Alexa control, like the Fire TV Cube. SOURCE: AFTVNEWS.COM
  10. Something you might not be aware of is that Amazon No-Rush Rewards, which are the free credits that Prime members get for selecting slower shipping options, all expire at the same time. Meaning, instead of expiring some number of days after you earn them, they expire on a specific date which moves up a few months throughout the year. The next expiration date is this Wednesday, Sept. 15, so you may have some credits expiring. You can check your balance and see when your credits expire on this page. If you’re looking for something to spend your credit on, the Prime Video Deals page is a great place to start. If nothing stands out, take a look a the Amazon Music Deals page or the Kindle Deals page. If you still can’t find something, or don’t really care, please consider supporting my apps with your credits. You can donate within my Downloader or Informer apps, or use the credits to remove the interruption (which appears about every 10 launches) in any of my Loader Shortcut apps. Even though it doesn’t indicate it on the screen, all in-app purchases will use your reward credits instead of charging your credit card. SOURCE: AFTVNEWS.COM
  11. The new Fire TV Stick 4K Max is, in my opinion, the most exciting new Fire TV device since the release of the 2nd-gen Fire TV Cube two years ago. While it certainly could be better (*cough* 8GB storage sucks *couch*), it seems to check a lot of the right boxes that you’d want in an upgrade to the original 4K Firestick. When the Fire TV Stick 4K was released in 2018, it was pretty groundbreaking since it was the first device at its price point to support all of the major video and audio standards, like 4K@60fps, Dolby Vision, HDR10+, and Dolby Atmos. The new Fire TV Stick 4K Max seems to carry on that strength and adds several new improvements. Here’s a detailed comparison table between the specifications of the original Fire TV Stick 4K versus the new Fire TV Stick 4K Max, as well as why each improvement matters. Device Specifications .compare{width: 100% !important; table-layout:fixed;} .compare tr td{text-align:center; padding: 0.2em;} .compare tr td img{margin: 0 auto;} .compare tr td:nth-child(1){text-align:left;font-weight:bold; vertical-align:middle; background-color:#F2F2F2} .compare img,.compare img.alignnone{margin:0px} Bold = Better Fire TV Stick 4K Fire TV Stick 4K Max Price $49.99 $54.99 Release Oct 31, 2018 Oct 7, 2021 CPU Model MediaTek MT8695 MediaTek MT8696 CPU Speed Quad-Core 1.7 GHz Quad-Core 1.8 GHz GPU IMG PowerVR GE8300 IMG PowerVR GE9215 GPU Speed 650 MHz 750 MHz RAM 1.5 GB 2 GB Wi-Fi Wi-Fi 5: 802.11 b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi 5: 802.11 b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi 6: 802.11 ax Ethernet 10/100 External (Sold Separately) 10/100 External (Sold Separately) Internal Storage 8GB 8GB External Storage Unofficial Support via USB OTG Native Support via USB OTG Operating System Fire OS 6 (Android 7.1) Fire OS 7 (Android 9) Architecture 32-bit 32-bit Video Resolution 4K @ 60fps 4K @ 60fps HDR Types HDR10, HDR10+, HLG, Dolby Vision HDR10, HDR10+, HLG, Dolby Vision Video Decoding H.265 (HEVC), H.264 (AVC), VP9, VP8, MPEG-4, MPEG-2 H.265 (HEVC), H.264 (AVC), VP9, VP8, MPEG-4, MPEG-2 AV1 Audio Decoding Stereo, PCM, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Atmos Stereo, PCM, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Atmos Remote 2nd-Gen Alexa Voice Remote 3rd-Gen Alexa Voice Remote Basic Remote Buttons Voice, D-Pad, Select, Home, Back, Menu, Play/Pause, RWD, FFWD Voice, D-Pad, Select, Home, Back, Menu, Play/Pause, RWD, FFWD Device Control Buttons Power, Volume Up, Volume Down, Mute Power, Volume Up, Volume Down, Mute Extra Remote Buttons - Channel Guide, App Shortcut (4) CPU & GPU The Fire TV Stick 4K Max uses newer and faster processors for the CPU and GPU than the Fire TV Stick 4K. The difference in clock speed of 100 MHz isn’t much, but the clock speed isn’t the only thing that matters for real-world perforamance improvements when it comes to processors. Amazon says that the Fire TV Stick 4K Max is “40% more powerful” than the Fire TV Stick 4K. That certainly doesn’t mean that the newer Firestick will be 40% better in all benchmarks and comparisons. For example, Amazon says the Fire TV Stick 4K Max launches apps 15% faster than the Fire TV Stick 4K, not 40% faster. I’m sure you’ll notice a slight increase in speed and smoothness while navigating around the Fire TV Stick 4K Max, but I don’t expect it to be a night and day difference. RAM Just as important as the improved CPU and GPU of the Fire TV Stick 4K Max is the increase from 1.5 GB of RAM in the Fire TV Stick 4K to 2GB in the newer device. That’s a significant increase and where you’ll likely notice that the most is in re-launching apps. When you exit an app, it usually doesn’t close. Instead, it stays in RAM so that if you return to it, it will launch much more quickly. Having more RAM on the Fire TV Stick 4K Max means more apps will be able to stay in memory, which means more apps will launch quickly when they are re-opened. Wi-Fi The Fire TV Stick 4K Max is the first Fire TV model to support Wi-Fi 6 (i.e., 802.11ax). While, yes, Wi-Fi 6 offers increased speed, that doesn’t really matter much on a streaming device, since most streaming services cap out well below what Wi-Fi 5 speeds are capable of. Where Wi-Fi 6 will make more of a difference is its lower latency and improved stability, especially at further distances. If your Fire TV Stick 4K Max is sitting right next to your router with little interference, Wi-Fi 6 probably isn’t going to make much of a difference over Wi-Fi 5. Where you’re more likely to see an improvement is if you have a central router with Fire TV Stick 4K Maxs spread out at different ends of your house, since most buffering issues are caused by range and interference, which Wi-Fi 6 improves. External Storage Both the Fire TV Stick 4K Max and the Fire TV Stick 4K come with only 8 GB of internal storage. Not increasing the internal storage of the Fire TV Stick 4K Max is easily the most disappointing aspect of the new model, as many people have pointed out. That said, the Fire TV Stick 4K Max does natively support external storage. What that means is if you connect a USB flash drive to the Fire TV Stick 4K Max using an OTG cable, you’ll be able to move some apps off of the internal storage and onto the USB drive. With the Fire TV Stick 4K, connecting a USB drive doesn’t give you the same option by default, but it is technically possible to hack your way to the same functionality if you’re comfortable making changes like that. Having it just work on its own with the Fire TV Stick 4K Max is definitely much easier. Fire OS Version The Fire TV Stick 4K Max uses the latest version of Amazon’s operating system, Fire OS 7, while the Fire TV Stick 4K uses the older Fire OS 6. Functionally, the two versions are nearly identical, but where it matters the most is with 3rd-party app support. For instance, Netflix currently only supports Dolby Atmos surround sound audio on devices running Fire OS 7. So, while the Fire TV Stick 4K does not support Atmos in Netflix, it is very likely that the Fire TV Stick 4K Max will. AV1 Video Decoding The Fire TV Stick 4K Max is the first stand-alone Fire TV model to support AV1 hardware video decoding. Simply put, AV1 is a new format for streaming video that several companies are backing. Its main competitor is H.265 HEVC, which is supported on both the Fire TV Stick 4K Max and Fire TV Stick 4K, and is the format that nearly all 4K streams use. A key difference between AV1 and HEVC is that AV1 is free, while HEVC requires licensing fees. Google, and YouTube specifically, are aggressively pushing AV1 adoption. So much so that it’s one of the main tension points between Google and Roku’s argument that got YouTube TV removed from Roku’s appstore. The inclusion of AV1 support on the Fire TV Stick 4K Max essentially means that Amazon is playing nice with Google’s requirements, so there shouldn’t be issues that get Google apps removed over AV1 support. Remote The Fire TV Stick 4K Max comes with the newer 3rd-gen Alexa Voice Remote, while the Fire TV Stick 4K still comes with the older remote. The only difference between the two is the inclusion of a guide button and 4 app shortcut buttons on the newer remote. The guide button takes you directly to the live channel guide grid built into all Fire TVs. It’s a nice way to quickly browse live channels if you use any of the services that are integrated into the guide. The app shortcut buttons on the newer remote are more controversial addition because some see them as blatant advertisements. Initially, I felt the same way, but since it turns out they can be remapped to open any app using my Remapper app, they can be made useful if you don’t use the apps that they originally open. SOURCE: AFTVNEWS.COM
  12. I’ve already covered that Amazon’s Luna cloud gaming service is now available on Fire tablets and Chromebooks, and that Prime members can play 4 games for free for a limited time, but there is a lot more Luna news that has just been announced. Here’s a summary of all the changes announced for Amazon Luna this week, including new games for existing channels, entirely new channels, and a new feature that lets your friends and family play for free. Local Multiplayer Gaming …that’s Online In the world of multiplayer and cooperative gaming, there’s the local variety, where all players are physically playing on the same device, and the online variety, where each player is on their own device connected to a central server. Luna is blending the two with the announcement of Luna Couch, which will allow local multiplayer games to be played without needing to be physically located together. Any game available through Luna that offers local multiplayer is compatible with the new feature. You just launch a multiplayer game and are given a code. You give that code to another person to enter on their end and the two of you can play together, from two different devices, regardless of where you are located. The best part is that only the person starting the game needs to be subscribed to Luna. The players receiving the code can join the game for free without needing to subscribe. New Luna Family Channel For those of you unaware, Luna uses a channel subscription model. Instead of buying or renting individual games, you pay a monthly fee based on which channel or channels you subscribe to. Each channel subscription gives you access to play a set of games as much as you want. Amazon Luna launched with 2 channels; a Luna+ Channel that now includes 95 games for $5.99 per month and a Ubisoft+ Channel that includes 30 games for $14.99 per month. Amazon has just announced a third Luna channel called the Family Channel. It includes 35 games, all of which have an ESRB rating of E (Everyone) or E10+ (Everyone 10+), and costs $2.99 per month. Like the other channels, the Family Channel is available with a 7-day free trial. Many games feature local co-op multiplayer so that parents and kids can play together. If you don’t have a Fire TV or Fire tablet, you will still need a Luna invitation to play. I’ll include a full list of all games on each of the 3 Luna channels at the end of this article. New Ubisoft+ Channel Games & Price Increase The Ubisoft+ Channel currently costs $14.99 per month and has grown to include 30 games from Ubisoft’s library. On September 30, the price will be increasing to $17.99 per month. Current subscribers and those that subscribe before the price increases will be grandfathered in and continue to pay $14.99 for as long as they don’t cancel their subscription. Ubisoft has announced that 3 upcoming new games will be made available on the Ubisoft+ Channel on the same day that they are released to the world. The games are Far Cry 6, which launches on October 7, Rider’s Republic, which launches on October 28, and Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Extraction, which launches in January 2022. New Luna+ Channel Games The Luna+ Channel has added two new games. The new games are Mega Man 11 and the multiplayer online battle arena game SMITE – Battleground of the Gods Upcoming Retro Game Channel Amazon has announced that a new retro-gaming Luna channel will be launching soon. The channel is said to include arcade-style games from Atari, SNK, and other publishers. The only games known to be included so far are Another World, Dragon’s Lair, and King of Fighters. A price and release date has not been announced. List of all Luna Games and Channels Luna+ Channel Games ($5.99/month) A Plague Tale: Innocence ABZÛ AO Tennis 2 Atomik: RunGunJumpGun Blasphemous BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle Blazing Chrome Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night Bridge Constructor: The Walking Dead Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons Bug Fables: The Everlasting Sapling Call of the Sea Castlevania Anniversary Collection Contra Anniversary Collection Control Cook, Serve, Delicious! 3?! CrossCode Deponia Doomsday Dice Legacy DiRT 5 DiRT Rally 2.0 Edna & Harvey: Harvey’s New Eyes Edna & Harvey: The Breakout—Anniversary Edition Everspace Furi Ghost of a Tale Ghostrunner GRID Hard Reset Redux Iconoclasts Indivisible Infinite Minigolf Katamari Damacy REROLL Ken Follett’s The Pillars of the Earth Killer Queen Black Kingdom Come: Deliverance Lumines Remastered Mega Man 11 Metro Exodus Mighty Switch Force! Collection Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom Moving Out Narita Boy No More Heroes No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle Obduction Observer: System Redux Overcooked! 2 Panzer Dragoon Remake Paper Beast—Folded Edition R-Type Dimensions EX RAD Redout Resident Evil 7: Biohazard Rez Infinite RIDE 4 RiME River City Girls Rogue Heros: Ruins of Tasos Saints Row: The Third Remastered Shadow Tactics Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse Shantae: Risky’s Revenge Shantae: Half-Genie Hero Ultimate Edition SMITE Sonic Mania Plus Star Wars Pinball Steamworld Dig Steamworld Dig 2 Steamworld Heist Steamworld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech Super Mega Baseball 3 Tacoma Tangledeep Team Sonic Racing Tennis World Tour 2 The Falconeer The Falconeer: Edge of the World The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV The Mummy Demastered The Sexy Brutale The Surge The Surge 2 The Wonderful 101: Remastered Thimbleweed Park Two Point Hospital Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late [cl-r] Valfaris Valkyria Chronicles 4: Complete Edition Victor Vran Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap Yakuza 0 Yoku’s Island Express Yooka-Laylee Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair Ys VIII: Lacrimosa Family Channel Games ($2.99/month) Beach Buggy Racing 2: Hot Wheels Edition Bee Simulator Bridge Constructor Portal Buildings Have Feelings Too! Death Squared DreamWorks Dragons: Dawn of New Riders El Hijo — A Wild West Tale Garfield Kart — Furious Racing Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams Melbits World Momonga Pinball Adventures Monster Truck Championship: Rebel Hunter Edition Overcooked! PictoQuest Pile Up! Box by Box Race The Sun Skelittle: A Giant Party!! Smoots Summer Games Smoots World Cup Tennis Snake Pass Space Otter Charlie Sparklite Spirit of the North Spitlings SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom — Rehydrated Summer Paws Super Kickers League Ultimate Super Mega Baseball: Extra Innings The Adventure Pals Tracks — Toybox Edition TRANSFORMERS: BATTLEGROUNDS Trollhunters: Defenders of Arcadia Tumblestone Urban Trial Playground Wandersong Yono and the Celestial Elephants Ubisoft+ Channel Games ($14.99/month, increasing to $17.99/month after 9/30) Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: China Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: India Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: Russia Assassin’s Creed Odyssey Assassin’s Creed Origins Assassin’s Creed Syndicate Assassin’s Creed Valhalla Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: Wrath of the Druids Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: The Siege of Paris Child of Light Far Cry 2 Far Cry 4 Far Cry 5 Far Cry New Dawn Far Cry Primal Immortals Fenyx Rising Monopoly PLUS Scott Pilgrim Starlink Steep The Crew Ghost Recon Breakpoint Ghost Recon Wildlands Rainbow 6 Siege The Division The Division 2 Trials Fusion Trials Rising UNO: Ultimate Edition Watch Dogs Watch Dogs 2 Watch Dogs Legion Watch Dogs Legion: Bloodline SOURCE: AFTVNEWS.COM
  13. Amazon Prime members can play 4 different Luna cloud games for free, as much as they want, through September 15. The available free games are Metro Exodus, Resident Evil 7 Biohazard (Gold Edition), Katamari Damacy REROLL, and Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom. An invitation to Luna is not required. Just launch the Luna app on a Fire TV, Fire tablet, or compatible browser/PC/phone and start playing. SOURCE: AFTVNEWS.COM
  14. Amazon has expanded the availability of its Luna cloud gaming service to Fire tablets and Chromebooks. Just like with Fire TV devices, playing on a Fire tablet does not require an invitation first. When playing on a Fire tablet, you actually don’t need a controller since Amazon has created touch controls. Obviously, having a gamepad like the Luna Controller will be a much better experience, but touch controls might be fine for simple games. At the very least, they’re a good way to try the service without first committing to buy anything. All Fire 7, HD 8, and HD 10 tablets from 2018 and newer are compatible, which means 8th-gen or newer models. You can check a Fire tablet’s generation by going to Settings > Device Options and looking under the “Device Model” or “About Fire Tablet” section. The full list of compatible Luna devices and browsers can be found here. In conjunction with Luna’s expansion to Fire tablets, Amazon is offering a Fire HD 8 + Luna Controller bundle for $115.98, which saves you $44, and a Fire HD 10 + Luna Controller bundle for $155.98, which saves you $64. SOURCE: AFTVNEWS.COM
  15. It’s like Christmas for Fire TV fans because Amazon has unloaded a bunch of info on new Fire TV products and features. While the main focus has been on the new hardware, like the Fire TV Stick 4K Max and the Amazon-built Fire TV Omni Smart TVs, there are also quite a few new software features coming to both the new hardware and existing devices. Here’s a breakdown of the features coming soon to Fire TVs. Before diving in, it’s not entirely clear which Fire TV models will be getting these features and when they’ll arrive. The new Fire TV Omni Smart TVs are certainly a shoo-in for getting all of these improvements, since most were announced in conjunction with those new TVs. I’ve asked Amazon about specifics for which devices will get these features and when, but they, unfortunately, only provided vague answers like “across Fire TV” and “rolling out broadly,” which could mean all devices will gt them, but could also not. “Alexa, what should I watch?” You will be able to ask your Fire TV “what should I watch” to begin an AI-driven dialogue with Alexa to receive content recommendations. This is using Amazon’s new Alexa Conversations feature, so it’s not supposed to be a boilerplate response, like it is now. The recommendations are supposed to be tailored from your streaming apps and you’ll be able to refine them by genre, actors, and more. It will launch in beta this year. Alexa voice-based X-Ray Info Way back in 2015, Amazon added the X-Ray feature to Fire TV devices for Prime Video content which allows you to press up on your remote while watching something to see a slew of information about the specific scene, like actor names, the music currently playing in the scene, trivia, and much more. Amazon is now making that information available by voice through Alexa. While watching something, you’ll be able to say “who is this actor” or other similar questions to pull up the appropriate answer. The information will appear at the bottom of the screen, on top of what you’re watching. A timeframe for the release hasn’t been given. New Smart Home Dashboard Amazon says it is launching an “all-new smart home dashboard” on Fire TV devices. There is already a smart home dashboard available on most Fire TVs, which can be accessed by saying “open smart home dashboard.” There’s no word on how the “all-new” one will differ, but it will allow you to control and view the state of your smart home devices. This is coming later this year. Smart Camera Row on Fire TV Amazon says it will be adding a “new row on Fire TV that is specifically dedicated to your smart cameras.” I assume, from the wording, that this will be added to the home screen of the Fire TV and not just in the smart home dashboard. Presumably, the row will list all of your security cameras and allow you to view a live feed when a specific camera is selected. A timeframe for the release hasn’t been given. New Shortcut Panel Amazon says it will be adding a new shortcut panel to Fire TVs for “smart home controls, communications, weather, news, and more.” The panel will be opened by tapping the microphone button on your remote and will appear at the bottom of the screen. “Alexa, play Something from Netflix” Earlier this year, Netflix added a “Play Something” button that uses your profile and watch history to suggest what to watch next. Amazon is exclusively integrating that functionality into Alexa on Fire TVs so that saying “play something on Netflix” will launch the feature directly. It will launch this fall. TikTok app in the US and Canada Earlier this year, TikTok released an official full-fledged app for Fire TV devices in the UK, Germany, and France. Amazon and TikTok have revealed that the app will finally be available to customers in the US and Canada. A timeframe for the release hasn’t been given. SOURCE: AFTVNEWS.COM
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