Microsoft has revealed the latest expansion of its cloud services, Microsoft 365, with Personal & Family subscriptions rolling out to all subscribers from April 21. It'll include features across the Office suite and in a new Teams for Consumer app, with functionality that helps polish up papers, avoid biased language, manage finances and more. Meanwhile there'll be tools to track teen drivers and control what kids can access online and in apps, along with a leaked password monitoring system keeping an eye on the dark web for stolen credentials.
An announcement from Stadia today suggests three new games are coming to Stadia Pro inside the month of April. That'll bring the total number of games available for "free" on Stadia Pro to 10. Also in the mix are Destiny 2, GRID (racing), GYLT, Metro Exodus (so long as you claim it before March 31), and THUMPER (also so long as you claim before March 31). There's also Steam World 2 DIG, and Steam World QUEST: Hand of Gilgamech.
This week the folks at Stadia and Unity Technologies made an announcement about their new initiative to bring new games to the cloud gaming universe. This is part of the Google for Games Developer Summit - an online event, as is the situation with most events in the world at the moment. In Stadia Makers, creators will have the potential to be given technical assistance, free development hardware, and funding.
Cloud-based streaming is one of the hottest topics in the gaming market thanks to the launch of Google Stadia. It isn't the only game in town, of course, but its rivals seem to still be taking some time building up their arsenal and their business. Stadia's biggest competition may come from Microsoft whose Project xCloud is already in a limited testing phase. Just like Stadia, however, it needs games to actually make that happen and it's now showing how developers can do exactly that.
Microsoft has recently been pushing forward its Fluent Design aesthetic to more places where it has a presence. It isn't only on PCs or even the Web as the recent all-in-one Microsoft Office app proved. While that new Android app does let you access some of your files stored on OneDrive, you might eventually want to have access to the whole shebang. Fortunately, Microsoft is now giving its OneDrive Android app a Fluent makeover while also adding a few new features while they're at it.
A comment on Reddit probably sums up the storm surrounding Nintendo's next big title for the Switch. For a game popular for its relaxing gameplay, Animal Crossing: New Horizons might actually stress some players out or at least make them extremely careful about their game and their Switch. That's because not only will it be impossible to transfer your game data to another Switch, the lack of cloud save at launch means you will lose your game forever should your console meet an untimely end.
Google Photos, like many storage services, offers a data export tool that allows users to download all of the photos and videos they have stored on Google's servers. Officially called Google Takeout, Google has started notifying users about a security flaw that was present in the export tool late last year. It's a big one too, as it included videos belonging to other users in some export archives.
Game streaming might be one of the buzzwords in the gaming industry today but the idea of accessing computers hosted elsewhere has long existed even before "streaming" itself became a thing. Remote desktop access isn't exactly new but Canonical, the company behind one of the most popular Linux distributions on the planet, is putting a unique twist to that idea by delivering not Windows or even Linux but Android on a cloud.
Despite all of the privacy issues that have hounded major tech companies including Facebook, Google, Huawei, and even Apple, Samsung has so far remained out of that kind of news. That wasn't going to last forever, though, and as they say, when it rains, it pours. Samsung now finds itself with not one but three separate pieces of news that may make some think twice about using Samsung's mobile apps and cloud services, even if they may not be avoidable in some cases.
Today the folks at The Pokemon Company released a bunch of new info on multiple Pokemon games as well as the cloud-based Pokemon storage and trading system called Pokemon Home. This was all included in a single video stream, and Pokemon HOME was blink-and-you'll-miss-it quick, but it was there! Now's the time we get pumped up about the biggest missing component of Pokemon Sword and Shield, next month!
At this point, it's still too early to say if cloud gaming is the future, but plenty of companies seem to be willing to dive in and find out. This year alone, we've seen Google launch its Stadia platform as Microsoft really picked up steam on building out Project xCloud. Those two may have another competitor in the cloud gaming space before long, as Facebook announced today that it has acquired PlayGiga.