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Amazon Luna Game Streaming Service Launching for Prime Members June 21

Amazon announced its Luna game streaming service as a competitor to Google Stadia and Microsoft xCloud back in 2020. Amazon is now launching the service for Prime members with a free seven-day trial available from June 21st. This is the first time the service will be offered to those without an early access invite and will cost 5.99 USD per month after the trial has expired. The Luna game library includes titles from Capcom, 505 Games, and Team 17 with some highlights including Control, GRID, and Metro Exodus. Ubisoft games will also be offered however they are separate from the base library and cost 15 USD per month. Amazon is also offering the Luna controller for the first time with a limited 30% discount bringing the cost to 48.99 USD.

Mixcder Introduces G1 True Wireless Gaming Earbuds

Global audio specialist, Mixcder, is today pleased to announce the launch of the G1 true wireless earbuds. With improved portability and impressive functionality, the 2-in-1 G1 earbuds have been designed to improve users' gameplay experiences across some of the most popular consoles, including PS4, PS5 and Switch Lite and are now available to purchase from Amazon for £69.99. Thanks to the Bluetooth capability, the G1 can also be used with mobile phones like normal earbuds.

The unique 2-in-1 premium design of wireless earbuds and a compatible type-c adapter, paired with the built-in Qualcomm chip, ensures a stable connection and reliable performance without the additional cost of a separate adaptor or wireless accessories which are usually needed to connect existing earbuds to consoles and controllers. The G1 earbuds also have a built-in PixArt chip with 60 ms ultra-low latency technology, which effectively reduces sound delay and any audio lags, enabling users to maintain complete focus in Fortnite battles and multi-player matches on FIFA.

TerraMaster Announces F2-210 and F4-210 SOHO NAS

For professionals with specific needs, using a NAS will improve your productivity and protect you better from data loss and avoid costly data recovery services. For small office and home office setups, the TerraMaster 2-bay and 4-bay NAS models are perfect and below $300. Professionals working at home or in a small office need reliable storage to store data. Whether you are a content creator such as YouTubers, photographers, and videographers, or professionals doing remote work at home due to the pandemic, data storage must have reliable with adequate protection against data loss. Furthermore, data storage should not hinder productivity and creativity.

For professional individuals, a typical computer setup would suffice their needs. However, traditional data storage options such as HDD/SSD and portable storage drives come with limitations and vulnerabilities. This is where Network-Attached Storage, popularly known as NAS, come into play. NAS devices offer robust protection plus a few extras that traditional storage drives don't offer. NAS can be tailored to a user's specific needs that will help improve workflow and productivity.

The Best Just Got Better: Lypertek Announces the PurePlay Z3 2.0

KS Distribution is pleased to announce the release of the new Lypertek PurePlay Z3 2.0 true wireless earphones. This update to the multi award-winning PurePlay Z3 adds features such as the new Qualcomm QCC3040 chipset, Bluetooth 5.2, wireless charging, Hear Through mode and the new PureControl app compatibility - all this and more while keeping the price at £99/$99/€99.

Successor to the multi award-winning PurePlay Z3 (TEVI), the PurePlay Z3 2.0 takes the performance of Lypertek's first true wireless earphones to a whole new level. Utilising Qualcomm's latest QC3040 chipset allows for Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity and superior connection quality thanks to its TrueWireless Mirroring technology. Added features including wireless charging, Hear Through mode and compatibility with the new Lypertek PureControl app guarantees to offer an outstanding and customisable audio experience.

Philips Launches New 28" E-Line 4K Ultra HD LCD Frameless Monitor

[Editors' note: This press release pertains to the US division of Philips, with the news contained not necessarily the case globally.]

Envision Peripherals, Inc. (EPI), an affiliate of TPV Technology Limited (TPV), today debuts a new E Line monitor, the Philips 4K Ultra HD LCD monitor 288E2E. The Philips E Line monitor features stunning visuals and stylish design for workspace. Ultra-clear 4K UHD and Ultra-Wide-Color deliver ultimate clarity and life-like visuals. Its Multiview function meets the need for usability and productivity. The Philips 288E2E is available on Amazon for $309.99 USD, starting May 18, 2021.

GCP, AWS Projected to Become Main Drivers of Global Server Demand with 25-30% YoY Increase in Server Procurement, Says TrendForce

Thanks to their flexible pricing schemes and diverse service offerings, CSPs have been a direct, major driver of enterprise demand for cloud services, according to TrendForce's latest investigations. As such, the rise of CSPs have in turn brought about a gradual shift in the prevailing business model of server supply chains from sales of traditional branded servers (that is, server OEMs) to ODM Direct sales instead. Incidentally, the global public cloud market operates as an oligopoly dominated by North American companies including Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Google Cloud Platform (GCP), which collectively possess an above-50% share in this market. More specifically, GCP and AWS are the most aggressive in their data center build-outs. Each of these two companies is expected to increase its server procurement by 25-30% YoY this year, followed closely by Azure.

Cooler Master Releases SK620 Gaming Keyboard, A Wired Version of the SK622 Bluetooth Gaming Keyboard

Cooler Master, a global leader in designing and manufacturing innovative gaming peripherals and computer components, announces today an addition to the SK600 series of low-profile gaming keyboards with the Cooler Master SK620 wired gaming keyboard available in silver white and gunmetal. The SK620 is a compact gaming keyboard in a 60% layout for small form factor and portability. It retains many of the same features as its wireless counterpart, the SK622 Bluetooth gaming keyboard: sleek brushed aluminum styling, TTC low profile mechanical switches, improved keycaps and adjustable feet, and signature Cooler Master customization capabilities. It provides all of this in a convenient, wired format for a simple, straightforward package.

"The SK622 is one of our most popular gaming keyboards in the lineup, but not everybody needs Bluetooth wireless in their keyboard, which is why we designed the SK622 for gamers who want a viable portable input option, and for creative professionals who want something a little more durable than your standard chiclet keyboard" says Bryant Nguyen, Peripheral General Manager. "The SK620 maintains the striking aesthetics and improved typing experience of the SK622, but in a wired format for those who prefer it."

Amazon Cancels Development of Lord of the Rings MMO

Amazon Game Studios has cancelled the development of their Lord of the Rings game which was announced in 2019 after a contract dispute. Amazon Game Studios was jointly developing the game with Chinese company Leyou Technologies who were purchased by Tencent in December 2020 which prompted contract negotiations that could not be resolved and resulted in the cancellation of the game. Amazon has confirmed that all staff members working on the game will be reallocated and that they are disappointed they cannot release the game. This latest blow to Amazon Game Studios comes at a time when the division is already struggling with various titles announced getting delayed or cancelled.

Intel CEO on NVIDIA CPUs: They Are Responding to Us

NVIDIA has recently announced the company's first standalone Grace CPU that will come out as a product in 2023. NVIDIA has designed Grace on Arm ISA, likely ARM v9, to represent a new way that data centers are built and deliver a whole new level of HPC and AI performance. However, the CPU competition in a data center space is considered one of the hardest markets to enter. Usually, the market is a duopoly between Intel and AMD, which supply x86 processors to server vendors. In the past few years, there have been few Arm CPUs that managed to enter the data canter space, however, NVIDIA is aiming to deliver much more performance and grab a bigger piece of the market.

As a self-proclaimed leader in AI, Intel is facing hard competition from NVIDIA in the coming years. In an interview with Fortune, Intel's new CEO Pat Gelsinger has talked about NVIDIA and how the company sees the competition between the two. Mr. Gelsinger is claiming that Intel is a leader in CPUs that feature AI acceleration built in the chip and that they are not playing defense, but rather offense against NVIDIA. You can check out the whole quote from the interview below.

ASUS ROG Zephyrus M16 Pictured, Combines 8-core Tiger Lake with RTX 3070 Mobile

Here are some of the first pictures of the ASUS ROG Zephyrus M16, a high-end 16-inch gaming notebook in development, characterized with its tall 16:10 aspect-ratio display. This display will come in two resolution options—2560 x 1600 at 144 Hz and 1920 x 1200 at 165 Hz. Both displays support 100% DCI-P3 coverage, and are mounted via a 180-degree hinge. Things get very interesting with that's alleged to be under the hood. The 2021 ROG Zephyrus M16 is powered by 11th Gen Core "Tiger Lake H45" processors, with the top SKU powered by the 10 nm Core i9-11900H, an 8-core/16-thread beast. Graphics options go all the way up to the GeForce RTX 3070 Mobile. A PCI-Express 4.0 x4 NVMe SSD is also included. Given its early listings on Amazon, one can expect launch of these notebooks to be right around the corner.

Amazon Hires Top Rainbow Six Siege Developers to Lead New Montreal Games Studio

Amazon Games today announced it has opened a new game development studio in Montreal, Canada. The Montreal studio, which joins Amazon Games development studios in Seattle, Orange County, and San Diego, will focus on creating original AAA games. Amazon Games is actively hiring to build out the talented team, with a variety of roles opening.

The studio's founding members include industry veterans Luc Bouchard (head of production), Xavier Marquis (creative director), Alexandre Remy (head of product), and Romain Rimokh (content director), who most recently worked as the core team behind the tactical shooter Rainbow Six Siege, which now has more than 70 million players since its launch. The studio's first project will be an online multiplayer title based on new IP.

Microsoft in Talks to Acquire Discord for $10 Billion

Microsoft is reportedly in talks with Discord Inc. for an acquisitions that sees Redmond pay $10 billion, sources tell Bloomberg. Discord is a major chat and collaboration platform popular with gamers, e-sports athletes, PC enthusiasts, and the tech community at large. The platform currently has over 100 million monthly active users, and has grown in utility as a collaborative work and learning platform owing to its free service model, providing not just text, but also group video. Discord has, in the past, been in acquisition talks with Epic Games and Amazon, so it remains to be seen if the Microsoft offer goes through.

Many thanks to DeathtoGnomes for the tip

Jeff Bezos Steps Down as Amazon CEO, AWS Head Andy Jassy to Take Over

In a move comparable to that of Bill Gates and Brin & Page disconnecting themselves from micro-managing the companies they co-founded; Jeff Bezos announced stepping down as CEO of Amazon. He has handed over reins of the company to Andy Jassy, who heads Amazon Web Services (AWS). He "leaves" Amazon as a corporate colossus, valued at $1.6 trillion. Bezos will remain as the Executive Chair of Amazon. He stated that he will remain "engaged in important Amazon initiatives." One of these is the Bezos Earth Fund, the aerospace company Blue Origin, and give more attention to "The Washington Post," which Amazon owns. In this regard, Bezos's retirement from the CEO's chair looks like a cross between the lives of Bill Gates and Elon Musk.

Arctic MX-5 Thermal Compound Listed Ahead of Launch

Arctic is readying its first new high-performance thermal compound in over a decade, the MX-5. 4-gram syringes of the compound started surfacing on Amazon UK, where it's listed for £13.59 (includes UK VAT). The listing does not mention the all-important thermal conductivity or viscosity figures for the compound, but mentions that it is not metal-based (doesn't contain metal particles), is electrically non-conductive (so you can use it on bare FCBGAs/FCPGAs without an IHS) and is designed to hold integrity up to 8 years after an application. The listing mentions a "ships by" date of March 15, 2021, which is also its release date.

Update Jan 25th: Arctic released a statement on Twitter regarding the availability of the MX-5.
The ARCTIC MX-5 will be officially released on March 15. Since there are only a few quantities at the beginning, a pre-sale will be done via Amazon and our website. Unfortunately, we cannot predict Amazon availability, so please check Amazon availability on your own.

Microsoft is Engineering Custom Processors for Servers and Surface PCs

Designing a custom processor can be a rewarding thing. You can control your ecosystem surrounding it and get massive rewards in terms of application-specific performance uplift, or lower total cost of ownership. It seems like cloud providers have figured out that at their scale, designing a custom processor can get all of the above with the right amount of effort put into it. If you remember, in 2018, Amazon has announced its Graviton processor based on Arm instruction set architecture. Today, the company has almost 10% of its AWS instances based on the Graviton 1 or 2 processors, which is a massive win for a custom design.

Following Amazon's example, the next company to join the custom server processor race is going to be Microsoft. The Redmond based giant is looking to build a custom lineup of processors that are meant to satisfy Microsoft's most demanding sector - server space. The company's Azure arm is an important part where it has big and increasing revenue. By building a custom processor, it could satisfy the market needs better while delivering higher value. The sources of Bloomberg say that Microsoft is planning to use Arm ISA, and start building independence from the x86 vendors like Intel and AMD. Just like we saw with AWS, the industry cloud giants are starting to get silicon-independent and with their scale, they can drive the ecosystem surrounding the new processors forward rapidly. The sources are also speculating that the company is building custom processors for Surface PCs, and with Windows-on-Arm (WoA) project, Microsoft has laid the groundwork in that field as well.

New Philips In-Ear True Wireless Premium Headphones

[Editor's note: This press release is from the Philips US division, regional applicability may vary. Street pricing is already down to $149.]

Envision Peripherals, Inc. (EPI) today debuts a new pair of premium, true wireless ear buds, the Philips In-Ear True Wireless Headphones TAT8505BKs. The True Wireless version of the popular Philips Wireless Over-ear Noise Cancelling Headphone TAPH805BK earbuds feature classic minimalist design and boast Hybrid Active Noise Canceling and Awareness Mode for control over what is heard, letting users sink into rich, detailed sound or tune into the world around them. The Philips TAT8505BKs are available on Amazon, for $199.99 USD, starting December 15, 2020 at 12:01 AM PST.

Love What You Hear
The perfectly tuned 13mm neodymium drivers ensure a detailed, expansive sound with rich, powerful bass and thrilling clarity for every track. When an earbud is taken out, the music pauses. Put the earbud back in, and the music starts up again. The Philips TAT8505BKs have a refined geometric design creating a comfortable in-ear fit. The circular earbud housing is tactilely pleasing and is designed to subtly catch the light, creating an elegant, understated look.

AWS Arm-based Graviton Processors Sees the Biggest Growth in Instance Share

Amazon Web Services (AWS), the world's largest cloud services provider, has launched its Graviton series of custom processors some time ago. With Graviton, AWS had a plan to bring down the costs of offering some cloud services both for the customer and for the company. By doing that, the company planned to attract new customers offering greater value, and that plan seems to be working out well. When AWS launched its first-generation Graviton processor, the company took everyone by surprise and showed that it is capable of designing and operating its custom processors. The Graviton series of processors is based on the Arm Instruction Set Architecture (ISA) and the latest Graviton 2 series uses Arm Neoverse N1 cores as the base.

Today, thanks to the data from Liftr Insights, we get to see just how many total AWS instances are Graviton based. The data is showing some rather impressive numbers for the period from June 2019, to August 2020. In that timeframe, Intel with its Xeon offerings has seen its presence decrease from 88% to 70%, while AMD has grown from 11% to 20% presence. And perhaps the greatest silent winner here is the Graviton processor, which had massive growth. In the same period, AWS increased Graviton instance number from making up only 1% of all instances, to make up 10% of all instances available. This is a 10-fold increase which is not a small feat, given that data center providers are very difficult when it comes to changing platforms.

AWS and Arm Demonstrate Production-Scale Electronic Design Automation in the Cloud

Today, Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS), an Amazon.com, Inc. company, announced that Arm, a global leader in semiconductor design and silicon intellectual property development and licensing, will leverage AWS for its cloud use, including the vast majority of its electronic design automation (EDA) workloads. Arm is migrating EDA workloads to AWS, leveraging AWS Graviton2-based instances (powered by Arm Neoverse cores), and leading the way for transformation of the semiconductor industry, which has traditionally used on-premises data centers for the computationally intensive work of verifying semiconductor designs.

To carry out verification more efficiently, Arm uses the cloud to run simulations of real-world compute scenarios, taking advantage of AWS's virtually unlimited storage and high-performance computing infrastructure to scale the number of simulations it can run in parallel. Since beginning its AWS cloud migration, Arm has realized a 6x improvement in performance time for EDA workflows on AWS. In addition, by running telemetry (the collection and integration of data from remote sources) and analysis on AWS, Arm is generating more powerful engineering, business, and operational insights that help increase workflow efficiency and optimize costs and resources across the company. Arm ultimately plans to reduce its global datacenter footprint by at least 45% and its on-premises compute by 80% as it completes its migration to AWS.

AWS Implements High-Performance EPYC and Radeon Pro Processors for Graphics Optimized Workloads

AMD announced Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS) has expanded its AMD-based offerings with a new cloud instance for Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2): Amazon EC2 G4ad instances for graphics-optimized workloads. With this new instance, AMD now powers eight Amazon EC2 instance families across 20 global AWS Regions. AMD also announced that Amazon GameLift, a fully managed dedicated game server hosting solution, is now providing its video game hosting customers access to AMD EPYC processor-based Amazon EC2 C5a, M5a and R5a instances.

"Today we build on the strong collaboration between AMD and AWS, which started in 2017. This expansion of our cooperation is a proof point of the continued performance and capabilities that AMD provides its customers," said Forrest Norrod, senior vice president and general manager, Data Center and Embedded Solutions Group, AMD. "Amazon EC2 G4ad instances are the first powered by both AMD EPYC CPUs and Radeon Pro GPUs, and adding to the existing EPYC processor-based instances, they exemplify the ways in which AMD CPUs and GPUs provide fantastic performance and price/performance for AWS customers."

"The high-performance capabilities of the AMD EPYC CPUs and Radeon Pro GPUs are enabling AWS to create a new graphics-focused instance that help us keep our leadership price/performance offerings that our customers expect," said David Brown, Vice President, Amazon EC2, Amazon Web Services, Inc. "We're delighted to continue this great collaboration with AMD, enabling the Amazon EC2 G4ad instances to provide the industry's best price performance for graphics-intensive applications."

AOC Introduces 16T2 15.6" Portable USB-C Touchscreen Monitor with Smart Cover

[Editor's note: This press release is specific to a US product announcement, and it may have been released in other regions before.]

Display specialist AOC announces the AOC 16T2, a new portable touchscreen monitor with USB-C connectivity. The 39.6 cm (15.6") IPS display 16T2 comes with Full HD resolution and can be connected to a laptop, desktop/server or a smartphone through its two USB-C ports (utilizing DisplayPort alternate mode) or its Micro HDMI port. Thanks to the built-in 8000 mAh battery, the 16T2 can be used on-the-go without requiring a power outlet and can even act as a power bank and charge a smartphone. Less than a centimeter in thickness, a featured smart, foldable cover for portrait and landscape orientations and VESA wall mount option make this monitor a great tool for mobile business users as well as mobile gamers, students, IT administrators, small businesses, DIYers, and more. The AOC 16T2 is available on Amazon starting November 9, 2020, for $249.99.

Microsoft xCloud May Bypass Apple App Store with Web App

Microsoft is reportedly planning to release a "direct browser-based solution" to bring their Xbox Game Pass xCloud streaming service to iOS and iPadOS devices targeting a 2021 launch according to sources familiar with the matter. Microsoft has faced numerous issues with bringing the service to Apple devices due to App Store policies requiring each game to be uploaded as a separate application for review. Microsoft has previously stated that this solution is unacceptable and they would be investigating other options, they seem to have concluded that a web app would be the best route forwards. This approach is very similar to Amazon's Luna game streaming service which will also utilize a web app for access on Apple devices.

Cooler Master Introduces New Blue Steel and Wilderness Colorways for the Lightweight MM711 Gaming Mouse

[Editor's note: This press release is from Cooler Master USA, and other regions may not be covered by it.]

Cooler Master, a global leader in designing and manufacturing innovative gaming peripherals and computer components, has announced a series of new, limited edition colorways for the MM711 RGB ultra-lightweight gaming mouse. These new colors include:
  • Blue Steel - a stunning metallic blue color scheme, available now at MicroCenter.
  • Wilderness - an eye-catching metallic forest green colorway, available on October 15, 2020 on Amazon.
One of Cooler Master's most innovative gaming mice to date, the MM711 weighs approximately 53g thanks to a durable, perforated honeycomb shell. It is among the lightest pro-grade gaming mice on the market today. In conjunction with a lightweight ultra-weave cable for virtually no drag, PTFE feet for effortless glide, and top-of-the-line pro-grade internals, the MM711 allows for longer gaming sessions and quicker response time with minimal fatigue and reduced wrist strain. These newest color variants add vibrant personality to an already unique gaming mouse - providing aesthetic options that appeals to all users.

Amazon Launches Luna Cloud Gaming Service

Amazon has joined the ranks of fellow tech giants in launching their very own cloud game streaming service. Luna is a cloud gaming service that lets you play games on compatible Fire TV, PC, and Mac devices as well as through web apps on iPhones and iPads. The new service will compete with Google Stadia, Microsoft xCloud, NVIDIA GeForce Now, SONY PlayStation Now, and more boutique services such as Shadow or Vortex. Luna is currently in an invitation-only stage with initial pricing of 5.99 USD per month for Luna+ while in early access. Luna+ supports gameplay on two devices at once with resolutions of up to 1080p 60 FPS with 4K support coming in the future for select titles.

Luna offers game channels which grant access to a specification selection of games for a monthly fee currently, only Luna+ is offered with a Ubisoft channel coming soon. Luna+ features a variety of action, adventure, platformer, indie, shooter, RPG, racing, and classic games from Ubisoft, Capcom, 505 Games, and Team 17 with more games to be added over time. Some of the major games on the platform include Control, Grid, Resident Evil 7, Metro Exodus, ABZÛ, Overcooked 2, and Two Point Hospital. The Ubisoft channel will include a variety of games including Watch Dogs: Legion with all DLC unlocked for play on a single device for an as of yet unannounced monthly fee.

GUNNAR Optiks Launches The "Holy Grail" Of Gaming Glasses, Lightning Bolt 360

GUNNAR Optiks, the preeminent force and No. 1 brand in gaming glasses, today announced the launch of Lightning Bolt 360 (LB360). Infusing 15 years of advanced lens technology, frame design experience and gamer feedback, the LB360 delivers the most versatile pair of gaming glasses ever created to players worldwide.

One of the key innovative design features of LB360 is the lightning bolt shaped temple which relieves pressure at the front of the head. It also comes with three different interchangeable temples, standard, post and a strap option for the ultimate comfort while wearing a headset, two interchangeable lens options (Amber for indoor gaming and Sun for outdoor use) and three nose bridge sizes to choose from.

Amazon Games Studios Signs Publishing Agreement With Smilegate RPG

Amazon Games today announced it has reached an exclusive publishing agreement for North America and Europe with Korean developer Smilegate RPG. They will collaborate to publish a game releasing next year, with specific details to be revealed at a later date. Founded in 2002, Smilegate (parent company of Smilegate RPG) is the creator of CROSSFIRE and the Lost Ark MMORPG. CROSSFIRE is the world's largest first-person online shooter game and one of the most played online games in the world, with over 670 million registered users and more than 8 million concurrent players globally.

The Amazon Games leadership team includes veteran developers and publishing executives who helped deliver some of the world's most popular games. In addition to its publishing agreement with Smilegate RPG, Amazon Games is internally developing New World, the massively multiplayer online PC game releasing in Spring 2021, online multiplayer shooter Crucible, an original AAA online game based on the literary works of The Lord of the Rings, and several unannounced projects.
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