March 29, 2020 - Episode 556 - Show Notes

March 29, 2020 - Episode 556

Sunday Mar 29, 2020 (01:09:32)

Description

This week, there's an Epic new publisher, a prankless online April Fools' Day, and some ad-friendly Google movies.

Participants

Scott Ertz

Host

Scott is a developer who has worked on projects of varying sizes, including all of the PLuGHiTz Corporation properties. He is also known in the gaming world for his time supporting the DDR community, through DDRLover and hosting tournaments throughout the Tampa Bar Area. Currently, when he is not working on software projects or hosting F5 Live: Refreshing Technology, Scott can often be found returning to his high school days working with the Foundation for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST), mentoring teams and judging engineering notebooks at competitions. He has also helped found a student software learning group, the ASCII Warriors.

Avram Piltch

Host

Avram's been in love with PCs since he played original Castle Wolfenstein on an Apple II+. Before joining Tom's Hardware, for 10 years, he served as Online Editorial Director for sister sites Tom's Guide and Laptop Mag, where he programmed the CMS and many of the benchmarks. When he's not editing, writing or stumbling around trade show halls, you'll find him building Arduino robots with his son and watching every single superhero show on the CW.

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Virtual Reality is seeing new displays and the end of Gear VR

While virtual reality has gained some traction over the past few years, it has still struggled to gain significant consumer adoption. There have been several attempts made to find a sweet spot, but thus far, nothing has quite gotten the job done. From phone-based headsets to flagship products, no device has quite captured the imagination of consumers.

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Epic Games grows its offerings, officially a multi-platform publisher

Epic Games has made it clear that they want to grow to be a true competitor for the big boys. While the company has long produced the popular Unreal Engine, it wasn't until Fortnite that the brand became a household name. They have used that position, and the unreal income from the game, to grow their offerings. The Epic Games Store, launched just over a year ago, was the company's first major push. But, there is one aspect of the industry the company has been lacking: publishing.

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Google cancels April Fools Day pranks to maintain serious tone

One of the longest-running traditions on the internet is the embrace of April Fools' Day. Internet companies the world over play fun pranks on April 1st every year, keeping their customers and fans on their toes. The most infamous supporter of April Fools' Day online has definitely been Google. The company's embrace of the tradition has led to some truly epic laughs, as well as some high profile product launches. That is because Google has often used the day to announce products that, in the moment, seem like they might be pranks. Most notably, in an age where free email accounts offered 25 MB of storage, Google announced Gmail with 1 GB of storage.

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Free, ad-supported movies might be coming to Google Play Movies

The business to get your viewership time is a crowded one, and seemingly getting more crowded every day. Movies and television are the focus, but short-form services have also been gaining popularity. But, while Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and Netflix proved that a paid subscription service could produce great original content, the focus of licensed content has been shifting. Services like Crackle, IMDb TV, Pluto, and Tubi have shown that a free and ad-supported model works for licensed content.

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