This Week in Tech : PS5 to support backwards compatibility?

Find out about the latest tech updates with this round-up of all the biggest stories this week.

11 Feb 2019

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The new PlayStation could be completely backwards compatible

Here’s some big news for fans who’ve been nurturing their game collection since the mid-90s. A newly discovered patent indicates that the PS5 might be capable of delivering amazing next-gen titles, while also being able to emulate the previous models: PS4, PS3, PS2 and the original PlayStation.

The Xbox One has had backwards compatibility for some time now, and this has been one of the biggest areas of discussion between PS4 and Xbox players. But this patent describes a new process that could give the next-gen CPU the ability to ‘interpret’ the CPU of older machines.

There are plenty of old games available through PlayStation Now, but it requires players to pay a subscription fee, and you’ll need a strong internet connection. Because of that, not everyone is happy about this option - let’s face it, it’s never going to be a replacement for dusting off your old, treasured copies. If Sony can bring this tech to life, the PS5 will have the biggest games library of any console, ever.

 

Alexa could soon be able to make 999 calls

Alexa could soon be able to make 999 calls

999 was the world’s first telephone response service, launched in 1936, but victims of crime could soon be able to use voice-activated personal assistants, like Amazon’s Alexa or the Google Assistant, to get in touch with the police.

The plans, being drawn up by Scotland Yard, would allow people to simply shout for help, and any compatible devices in-range will alert the police. With around three million Brits using voice-assistants, the Met - Britain’s biggest police force - believes it will “change the face of police contact.”

The feature is expected to be rolled out within the next 18 months.

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Xbox Live is coming to the Nintendo Switch, iOS and Android

Xbox Live is coming to the Nintendo Switch

Microsoft has confirmed its plans to expand Xbox Live to other platforms, namely the Nintendo Switch and mobile. Its aim is to “enable game developers to connect players between iOS, Android and Switch and any game in the Microsoft Store.”

It seems to be the natural next-step, after the success of cross-platform play that already exists with certain games, like Minecraft and Fortnite. However, Sony hasn’t been particularly co-operative, so it doesn’t look like it will appear on the PS4 just yet, though it did allow Fortnite cross-play beta at the end of 2018, so it could be a possibility further down the line.

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New lens filter accurately recreates the look of Kodak Aerochrome IR Film

New lens filter for Kodak

First of all, a bit of a history lesson, just in case you’re not completely up to speed with your different types of film (why not, may we ask?!). Aerochrome 1443 Film was an infrared film which was made and sold by Kodak. Originally, it was developed for use by the military, to detect any camouflaged areas from above, but then in the 60s it became quite popular to capture the landscape in this psychedelic style.

It gives the sky a strong blue saturation, while trees and fields seem bright red or magenta. Any photographer wanting to experiment with this style today would have to try and track down some of the rare, expensive film, or make do with Photoshop recreations – until now.

French photographer Yann Philippe teamed up with Kolari Vision to create the new IR Chrome filter. It works by only letting specific combinations of light wavelengths through, so it can correctly reproduce the classic Aerocrhome look.  If you or someone you know is an infrared photography fanatic, this could be the news you’ve been waiting for.

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