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Engadget Podcast: The fallout from Apple’s WWDC 2024 and Summer Game Fest

Remember, it's Apple Intelligence, not AI!


This week has felt like a month worth of news, now that we've wrapped up Apple's WWDC 2024 and Summer Game Fest in LA. In this episode, Cherlynn and Devindra discuss their final thoughts on Apple Intelligence and the company's upcoming software, and they chat about some of our coverage highlights from the pseudo-E3 Game Fest. Also, we dive into X making likes private (what is Elon hiding?!) and the news around Sony buying the Alamo Drafthouse theater chain.

Listen below or subscribe on your podcast app of choice. If you've got suggestions or topics you'd like covered on the show, be sure to email us or drop a note in the comments! And be sure to check out our other podcast, Engadget News!

  • Our final thoughts on WWDC 2024 – 1:31

  • Bloomberg Report: Apple isn't paying OpenAI a fee for ChatGPT, but will share profits – 12:18

  • Summer Games Fest highlights: Kunitsu-Gami: Path of the Goddess, LEGO Horizon Adventures, and an Assassin’s Creed finally set in Japan – 25:06

  • X makes users’ likes private – 40:27

  • ChromeOS will soon run on Android frameworks, enabling more AI on upcoming Chromebooks – 44:40

  • Pop culture picks – 49:44

Hosts: Devindra Hardawar and Cherlynn Low
Producer: Ben Ellman
Music: Dale North and Terrence O'Brien

Devindra: [00:00:00] What's up, Internet, and welcome back to the Engadget Podcast. I'm Senior Editor Devindra Hardawar.

Cherlynn: I'm Deputy Editor Cherlynn Low.

Devindra: We are back from Apple's WWDC, and we have thoughts. Plenty of thoughts. And I feel like, It's just one of those whirlwind things. Both Trillin and I got back in from California yesterday.

After recording this, I still feel like my body doesn't know, like, where I'm in, Trillin, or what time zone. I don't know how you feel.

Cherlynn: I went to the gym at 8 a. m. Eastern. That's my best way of getting back on the Eastern time zone. There you go.

Devindra: I like how you fit in the humble brag there. Yes, congrats on going to the gym for Lynn.

Fantastic. We're also going to be talking about Summer Game Fest, folks. We weren't there for that and I was trying to get Jess Condit on, but she's super busy still writing up stuff from that. So we have got a lot of coverage around that and there's some stories I want to highlight that Engadget has done.

Also some games that looks pretty cool. Also joining us this morning is podcast producer Ben Ellman, who I'm sure has thoughts on Apple and the game stuff. Good morning. I sure do. Good morning. And [00:01:00] as always, folks, if you're enjoying the show, please be sure to subscribe to us on iTunes or your podcast or of choice, leave us a review in iTunes.

Drop us an email at podcast@engadget.com. I'm not seeing enough of those emails. I would love to answer some reader questions. You can also typically join us Thursday mornings around 10 30 a. m. Eastern depending on the timing, really. It's just like about scheduling, but that's about the time you can carve out in your schedule for us.

Join us. You could see us on video. Sometimes we'll demo gadgets and We'll just have a great Q and a session too. So it's a fun time. Join us for that. I do want to point out if you're just listening to this episode, we did do a bonus episode at Apple's campus and it actually turned out pretty well because for Lynn and I were like right outside the, was it the Mac cafe or cafe Mac?

But we were outdoors surrounded by traffic and other noise, but it actually ended up sounding pretty good. I'd say. And that was like our overall thoughts on WWDC. Two days of going through meetings, going through the keynote and everything. In this episode, I want to take like a, just a step back and do you have any final thoughts for Lynn?

Cause I know you did a piece about the undersung features. That [00:02:00] you appreciated that were announced. Anything else you want to shout out?

Cherlynn: Yeah, when we did our recording I don't think I had taken my demo of the new satellite messaging features just yet. So I wasn't able to talk about it. Plus it was under embargo, it turns out.

This morning, my article on the details of how messaging via satellite will work is on engadget. com if you want to head on over, but yeah, there's a lot of like under the radar things. I got at some of them during our. Recorded episode earlier this week. Maps, for example, I don't know if I mentioned, but like maps had some really cool routes, like hikes built in now, and you can create a custom route and then you can share them.

So my whole thing is I'm going to create these custom, like scavenger hunt trails, or like, how do you get from the train station to my favorite restaurant in the fastest way in my mind and share them with my friends. Or share my goal is one day to share the preferred route with my Uber driver.

Don't take this tunnel, take that tunnel. So that was one of them. I really like a lot of the other features that I found out after the fact, like iOS 18 [00:03:00] actually has some math notes embedded into the notes app where you can write a little list of expenses from a group trip, for example, and then, put an equal sign to equate them, the name of venue was 50, 000 and then I don't know, food was 10, 000. And then you can tally it by saying venue plus food equal, and then take that divided by however many people you have. How big of a trip

Devindra: were you having where you have 50, 000? I know, right? I was, I went,

Cherlynn: it's a, it was a wedding trip.

This was like, I was also on Brian Tong's podcast after where I made this exact same sort of like example, but instead of saying trip, I said wedding. So I'm using the same numbers from wedding planning. Okay.

Devindra: Okay. Except for,

Cherlynn: I said it was a trip. Listen, I travel bougie, I just go on boats my life.

Devindra: Yeah, we do. We are well aware. But I feel like that's a feature that could be abused also to hey hey kids, follow this path to my murder den.

Cherlynn: Sure. Or something like that. I don't know. I don't know. Create custom paths to lure people into your ice cream van. But that's obviously then on the person to decide whether or not to follow it.

It's not like telling you where to live [00:04:00] your

Speaker 3: life.

Cherlynn: Buddy three Oh five love in the chat asked if texting via satellite will be a paid service after a year. So Apple has literally no outright answer for it's a really shrug

Devindra: emoji on all the satellite services for less

Cherlynn: shrug emoji and more like. Like not sure yet.

I feel like the sense I'm getting is that they're playing their cards close to their chest. The satellite service provider for their satellite services is global star. And if I had to guess, I look at what global star charges and maybe do some math around like the package or whatever but it's,

Devindra: it's Apple.

If they were to do that, it would be like discounted somehow. It'd be right. Exactly. That's what I meant.

Cherlynn: Do the math to make it not. It's as expensive in assuming you already have sort of a device. Again I'm extremely extrapolating here. I'm not like, I don't have any insider info here other than I know there's no plan.

Devindra: I think it's funny. It's been like two years since Apple announced like satellite features. First of all, it was like the emergency SOS feature, right? If you're stuck in the [00:05:00] middle of nowhere, maybe you could send a short text somewhere to tell people where you are. And now it's like straight up, like more messaging features.

Cherlynn: No. Emergency SOS via satellite was just for emergency responders. So you were only alLowd to text it would be like when you're trying to dial nine one one, but you don't have a signal at all. Then you would be redirected to a service center. So Apple had these like middle people that it was helping relay these emergency SOS messages to either.

It would figure out where your closest nine one one slash emergency services situation is and route you there with your satellite message. Or have you like have they handle it themselves? Maybe if they like be the dispatcher or they get in touch for you. And it was like, yeah, only text messages.

This time around, yeah. Messages via satellite is different, right? You're not limited to who you can message over satellite this time. You can send it to pretty much anyone in your iMessage. IMessages are end to end encrypted. If you send that, you're also alLowd to send SMS, the. The stipulation that Apple has put in place is that [00:06:00] for SMS, only the person that's off grid is able to initiate a message over satellite because they want to prevent, promotional business messages from clogging up the congestion, the light, the network, the satellite network.


Devindra: makes sense. Yeah.

Cherlynn: Yeah, it absolutely makes a lot of sense. And I think that the inclusion of SMS here is good. So I asked, I was like, why not RCS? And I think the idea, I think what I'm getting is that like RCS messages are like bigger in terms of size to like compress over satellite.

Even if it's just text. So I think there's just challenges and complications there, but still, Cool too. Is it

Devindra: straight up just text is it the messages app, but doing multimedia stuff too? No, so it's just

Cherlynn: text and then with emoji as well as emoji tap back reactions. By the way, before this dubbed up, I did not know that those reactions are called tap back.

So thank you very much WWDC for Informing me. Yeah. Those, how, like when you're in a message with your friends and you like gray tap their double tap their balloon, I remember

Devindra: when they announced it,

Cherlynn: react, I [00:07:00] didn't know the name was tap back. I thought tap back was something else.

Devindra: This is sad.

We can't take the Android out of Cherlynn because yeah, that was a thing people were talking about on the Apple side. It's just funny when they talk about

Cherlynn: on your phone.

Devindra: No. You could apply so many memes to Apple's approach to the satellite subscription, right? Initially it was like, ask me in two years, please?

I have not figured this out yet. And then last year, they were like we're going to extend it for one more year. So I don't have to think about this. It's it is the ultimate can I extend the deadline for my book report, please? Professor? Can I, it's very much, it's hilarious.

So now it's a whole, yeah.

Cherlynn: I think it's interesting because it lines up with their approach to all of their Apple intelligence things where they're not charging people a fee. I think there's an unspoken yet in there. And I think Apple wants to be able to see if there's a. Reason to charge people before it charges people, which is not a bad idea.

I think right now, satellite services on iPhone 14 and later haven't seemed, [00:08:00] enough to justify paying an additional monthly fee for it, even if it's a dollar a month, like I just don't know yet, but with messages via Silhouette, I can see they're building their way there,

Devindra: yeah, it's also once you start being like, Okay, we're gonna start nickel and diming you for this stuff.

And I do feel like Apple is one of those companies. It's like that. Is that actually better for the customer experience? Do we actually does that actually mean people won't use it? If somebody has to subscribe to it, and then they're in an actual emergency, and they are going to subscribe to it on the go.

Is that person like, yeah, they don't know how to deal with that potential PR disasters. And now it's just like

Cherlynn: optics are awful. If you're suddenly just optics are

Devindra: awful. So now it's okay free for everybody. I think this is related to something we were talking about Trillian where I really did not want Apple to do like a paid AI service and they announced Apple intelligence.

And again, folks go back to our bonus podcast. You can hear our main thoughts about all the major stuff, but they specifically did not do Apple intelligence pro. Or plus or anything. It's just Hey, it's doing a lot of stuff that's baked into your devices. Either the iPhone 15 pro [00:09:00] max or the pro or the newer devices coming up or, M series max as well.

But it's what's on device, some Apple stuff in the cloud, which they're doing some cool privacy stuff with, and very little bits of chat GPT, like chat GPT when necessary, but nowhere along this point, are they like, please pay us more for faster. That's not happening, right?

Cherlynn: It's not seeming like it's happening.

And I think that's a good thing. And I think also the integration with chat GPT at no cost is a good idea on Apple's part. I do want to point out that CF five 42 in the chat that say that if satellite text is not available. It's going to cost, they would rather pay per use instead of a monthly amount.

Because you'd rarely use it. And yeah, that seems like maybe it will be the approach. It seems smarter to offer people that at a nominal one time fee when needed for something, that's an emergency thing, right? Like you don't have to pay for every single use, but we'll charge you per text. That makes a little bit more sense.

Even if it's very 1990s,

Devindra: I think that's the other thing like, Oh, we're [00:10:00] back to paying per text now. That's, I know,

Cherlynn: I know. Yeah. But that helps to, reduce or relieve the congestion, potential congestion on those networks that are so precious.

Devindra: Gotcha. Now that we've had some time away from WWDC, Sherilyn, and our coverage and all the meetings and everything do you have any thoughts about what is next for Apple for the year ahead or with their new software or anything?

Cherlynn: I'm looking to iPhone event for Surprises, I do think again, I'm keeping an eye on the chat and there are some things that like, it feels, so we talked about this on the episode that we prerecorded, but maybe for our like main audience, I want to repeat and reiterate the main takeaway.

It is that as usual, it seems like with some of these features, Apple is copying or doing things that other people have done before, right? AI. The chat is talking about the icon tints, like the customizable homepage, the RCS with support. These are things that Android has done for a while. Android has had material you and like the tinting of the icons.

But I gotta say, we said this the last episode, and Apple seems to do it a little bit better. It's [00:11:00] really it's more sophisticated. They took their time to do something better and they're slow. And maybe the implementation isn't all the way there, but what they have delivered works the way they say it will, and they don't make promises.

They don't. Really? Typically, I think that's the thing.

Devindra: Yeah. One thing I want to point out, there was news yesterday that basically Bloomberg reported that Apple is not actually paying open AI for using and also open AI is not paying Apple. It seems like a weird agreement where.

Basically, OpenAI will get money down the line from like revenue sharing. I guess that's like the plan moving forward. But it is to me that really describes what we were talking about before, Cherlynn, where Apple has been like, okay, we have all this AI stuff and here carved in a little island. Is going to be our little AI model friends, right?

Right now, our friend is chat GPT, but if that friend breaks this relationship, if like they do something bad or we don't want to like deal with them anymore. Do you just cut out that [00:12:00] friend, X them out entirely, replace them with another, with Google Gemini or something. It seems very like plug and play, like what Apple can put in there.

They also mentioned that they are, they would consider Gemini. They have not. made any formal deals or other models that are very specific. So if you're a health worker, maybe there's a metal medical AI model that would be better suited for helping you rather than to have GPT or something. So that is interesting.

Cherlynn: It was nice of them. Nice. It was like smart of them to be like, Oh yeah, we're supporting the best one out there. Who's a pioneer in the field of this open AI. And I'm like, I don't know, I'd argue with Best. It is a pioneer, certainly. And I, we'll see, right? And they never mentioned They actually in the panel after WWDC keynote, by the way, that I just seen moderated panel Craig Federighi did mention that like Gemini or John Andrea might be the one that said this, but yeah Gemini might even be supported in future if it gets to that point.


Devindra: said that. Yeah.

Cherlynn: Yeah. Yeah. So interesting,

Devindra: it's interesting. Also, by the [00:13:00] way, I just want to talk about like how weird that whole situation was. So after the WWDC keynote, Apple invited press to come to this talk between Craig Federighi, their head of software engineering, and John Gianandrea Gianandrea their head of AI, right?

Oh, this is gonna be interesting. This is gonna be informative. Or informative, but it was also moderated by iJustine and no shade to her. I think she's great, but it did feel like this was just a scenario where Apple wrote these questions and Hey, person who is media well known, please ask these questions that we've asked and do not stray from any of this.

Cherlynn: It's one step above when Samsung does it's like their own company execs interviewing their other company executives situation where like you're paid literally by Samsung to interview Samsung people. In this case, I don't know if iJustine was paid, but it definitely feels yeah, you're a bit more.


Devindra: definitely.

Cherlynn: But someone that was more controllable than, say, a member of the press,

Devindra: it's just, it is interesting when companies do that, but Ben, go ahead.

Ben: So I was gonna say that it was also a little bit like how Disney does all of its PR stuff. [00:14:00] Actually this is on my mind because I saw the four hour long, was it?

It's four hours, the Star Wars hotel video. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yeah. So now people are talking about, Oh Disney does PR weirdly because it's also like really on rails. You have to say like the actual trademark name for everything. So was this similar?

Devindra: To me, I actually had that in my mind too, Ben. To me, it did feel like that.

It was yes, because of course branded content right here, blah, blah, blah. Everything we just said at the keynote, like it definitely felt on rails. It didn't feel like a natural conversation where. I feel like if one of us were to do that chat, we'd be like, yeah, but who, where are you, what are you training these models on?

What's going on here? Give us the full skinny and everything. And

Ben: yeah, can you tell us a little bit more about private cloud compute? Because that sounds like you're talking out of both sides. They

Devindra: did end up saying more about that, but even then I would have liked to be more. But that is funny.

I wrote up like what Apple and what specifically. I think Craig Federighi laid out for the whole Apple, the [00:15:00] private cloud compute thing too, but the really interesting there too is like Apple for years has been saying like, Hey, our stuff is on device. It's more secure than Google where you're sending all your photos to the cloud for processing or whatever.

And now they have to rely on the cloud a little. So they're like, okay. But is it a secure cloud? Is it a private cloud? Yes. Private cloud compute. Apple did say a few things that were interesting about that, Ben, where the information being sent, first of all it's tidbits, the little bits of information that you're, if you're asking Siri about something, we'll go there fully anonymized, like the private relay stuff that is already on iPhones and Apple services.

So that's helpful. Also the servers don't store anything. Which I think I'm sure the FBI is looking at this and no Apple, please, we need logs. We need data to see how people access things. And none of that is going to be on the servers. They say Apple has historically, like there was that whole thing, right?

About them fighting against the FBI that wanted to unlock. I think it was a shooter's phone at one point, right?

Ben: Yes, I remember that. That was like 2015, 2016 or [00:16:00] something.

Devindra: And then the, I believe authorities got into the phone in another way, but Apple for its part was like trying hard to push back against that.

So yes, it's a bad name. It's also like very marketing heavy, but also I don't know. They say they've they've laid out like the software that the servers are also using for security audits. Devices will only be able to talk to those approved servers. So it's not like somebody can intercept your question or something.

And the audit thing is something nobody else is doing for cloud security right now, at least from what I've seen.

Ben: The way it made it seem like, Like in the keynote though, was that like everyone gets their own like place in the server,

Devindra: which is impossible. That's certainly not true. But it's like, when you talk about the cloud the cloud is an amorphous thing.

It could be 10 servers. It could be 20 servers. But the point is, it's like this thing that can grow as needs require. That stuff is, that's just how we've been living with the cloud so far. But I. I certainly feel better about private cloud compute than I did about Microsoft recall right where [00:17:00] researchers were immediately like, Oh, you're just going to capture everything we do on your computer on our computers.

Okay. You're not graying out. You're not blurring out passwords or authentication or anything. And then people realize yeah, these are just a plain text database sitting in your hard drive. The other accounts on your system can access those very Easy to see security holes. I at least think like Apple has anticipated some of those on the server side.

So that's something. Yeah. Any other thoughts for Lynn out of WWDC?

Cherlynn: I honestly feel like I could talk about dub forever. But I will say that some people in our chat seem to be like underwhelmed by it all. I think I don't know about underwhelming. I think more, I was intrigued by a lot of the little things that seem to be coming to iOS 18 and watchOS.

I can't wait to try some of these features out for myself and see how my like more mainstream average friends, average Joe friends feel about AI. Like I was in the gym this morning to repeat that. And I was asking everybody, everyone's like, how was California? Cause you know, I didn't come to the gym for a few days and I was like, oh yeah, I learned [00:18:00] about this, learned about that.

And I'm waiting to see how people feel about it. And I think. I don't think we'll know until iOS and all the other software updates really roll out later this year. So we'll see.

Devindra: It's, it's certainly not as exciting as last year was. Like I went to, I went last year because there was new hardware and a whole new platform and a whole new vision of computing for Apple.

And now this is Hey we're just like catching up a little bit on AI. But also I think this this stuff is far more important in the long run for Apple than just the launch of vision pro because Apple intelligence covers everything. It's going to cover all their devices. It's also like a kind of like a reframing of how Siri will work, of how a lot of the, their apps will work like notes and everything, getting certain AI driven features.

Like briefly they had mentioned, Oh, you can, you could record calls on a, on voice memos and also have those automatically transcribed. And for some people like us. That's amazing stuff. That's tremendously useful. Also another example of Apple maybe putting a few apps out of business, I think call recorder and some of the other ones, like they, they may have some trouble.

[00:19:00] Yeah.

Cherlynn: Yeah,

Ben: they're putting my favorite tiny app out of business with Mac OS Sequoia, which one I love magnet and now they're going to do windows tiling like innately on the straight out of Windows 10

Devindra: baby. Apple's got it in 2024. Amazing. Amazing. Anything else you want to shout out, Ben? Because I know you had a lot of thoughts, too, on Apple's side.

Ben: The biggest thing was that it seems like a hidden app folder is going to be a problem in a lot of people's relationships.

Devindra: I, it's not that hard to bury an app into something right now, but yeah, that's certainly, what a targeted way to hide your Tinder,

Ben: yeah, and the way that these companies are going to pitch it is the same way companies pitched private browsing when private browsing started to be a thing, which is if you want to look for gifts for your loved ones or something, and you don't want them to know about it.

Yeah, sure. Sure,

Devindra: buddy. Sure. I like the app lock controls, that stuff looks cool. I don't know for

Ben: Oh yeah, I was thinking specifically about [00:20:00] you giving your phone to one of your kids. And then making sure that they can only watch a video or play that one game inside an That's super

Devindra: helpful and also shows Apple's kind of evolving its platforms for the way we actually use our devices.

Because you still can't do multi users on an iPad or something, right? So you have to hand an iPad with all of your stuff on it to a kid. And that's not great. And I don't, they probably will never do multi user. They'll be like, buy another iPad. That's how you do multi user iPads, right? Buy your

Cherlynn: mom an iPad.

You can't.

Devindra: And that's how I have ended up with three or four iPads in my house, and I'm already contemplating another one just because the ones I bought was like, Oh, we could share this. We could all use this. Now my daughter took this one. My wife took this one. This is now the baby video iPad.

It's tough.

Cherlynn: To repeat what Michael Coley in the chat said, I am adequately whelmed. This is absolutely true. I am not overwhelmed or overwhelmed. I am. By WWDC 2024, I will say though that Craig Federighi's all like his jokes and like the stunts or [00:21:00] what do you call them?

Gags. Yeah. Those are, I thought it was funny. And then the locked and hidden apps are a thing I have to it was going to make me feel even more like suspicious as a person. It's just not, it's going to trigger my suspicious nature even more than usual. But I like how, Oh, I'll vary. Also like Craig Federighi's hair styling pro app on his phone that he wants to hide was just such a funny thing to do.

I thought it was hilarious.

Ben: Also, the helmet that he was wearing in the skydiving scene that was literally just his hair. Just his hair. I didn't even notice that. I love the outfits,

Devindra: the skydiving outfits were like, Those were great,

Cherlynn: the jumpsuit with

Devindra: Suits almost like astronaut suits, but with like the colors and it was beautiful.

Those things were fun

Ben: and it made so much sense that it was like a hark back to the like Apple two. Yes. Era Apple two. Like

Devindra: white plus the colorful Apple app. Yep. Yep. I almost feel like they. They threw some shade at Google, right? They're like, Oh this was not on the live stream, but Tim Cook and Craig Federighi did get up on the stage at Apple Park.

And we're like, Hey, we're not going to have any fun. There's not going to be any stunts. [00:22:00] It's just going to be an hour of us. Just like delivering. It was very

Cherlynn: sarcastic. It was very sarcastic, but also.

Devindra: Literally what he was describing is what Google did just an hour of no fun delivering AI facts and I don't this is very boring and I don't care about all this.

And also, I don't know if I can trust half of this. I will say ultimately, between all the copilot stuff Microsoft has done between everything we've seen from open AI and chat GPT and the Google Gemini stuff. I at the very least feel like, Hey, we could trust Apple intelligence a little more because it's more focused on, Hey, I will do this thing within this app to make your life better and not, I am an overall assistant to do everything for you.

And I don't know what you're going to do with these AI generated images, but here they are. It feels more purposeful. Maybe not as exciting as it did last year for a lot of people, but this is how we will be using AI just like how we're using it right now for like occasional transcriptions and things like that.

That is useful functional stuff that doesn't require stealing, I don't know, resources from artists and also killing the environment in [00:23:00] the way that generated images can. All right, let's move on to Summer Games Fest. And while Sherilyn and I were in California doing all the Apple stuff, prepping for WWDC, another whole contingent of Engadget was in LA prepping for Summer Game Fest and getting ready for demos and briefings and all sorts of stuff.

There is no E3 this year because E3 is dead. We've talked about that, but Summer Game Fest is now like the, I don't know, the sort of new E3, like the, cause it's multiple streams. It's the Game Fest stream. With Jeff Keighley, but also Microsoft does a thing. Sony did their thing a couple weeks ago.

We see all these like cute things. I'm going to highlight some coverage here. Have you seen Lego Horizons Adventures, Shalyn? Do you understand what I'm talking

Cherlynn: about? Have not seen that I have not seen many of the Lego movies actually very recently I saw the it's not

Devindra: a Lego movie thing it's a horizon game thing So let me let's explain to what goes on here Cherlynn popular games and franchises occasionally get Lego fied So there's Star Wars Lego.

There's Harry Potter Lego [00:24:00] Basically, there's Marvel Lego stuff, right? This is the latest version of that stuff. So horizon You know, the zero, the horizon series on PlayStation from PlayStation four and five is now Lego formed. And I think it looks pretty adorable. I don't know, Ben, have you played the games?

Because I feel like the horizon games look really cool, but are really annoying to play. They feel like sub tier. AAA gaming for me where I'm like, I understand why you look so good, but I really wish I liked playing you better. And this game just looks like more fun than the actual horizon games.

Ben: I'm going to be real with you. I think there's a lot of stuff that is like Sony exclusive. That feels like a simulation of a AAA game. I am playing Ghost of Tsushima right now, and it. is fun, it's beautiful, but it's also surprisingly repetitive. Like every open world game. Yeah, I really understand where you're coming from.

But the new Zelda open world games, [00:25:00] like Tears of the Kingdom and Breath of the Wild, didn't feel quite as repetitive as like Ghost of Tsushima did. Like Tsushima?

Devindra: Yeah, I think

Ben: the

Devindra: thing like the Zelda stuff feels more alive and immersive, right? Like things just you stumble upon into things.

You're not like led from plot point to plot point. And I think the thing about Horizon is just, I don't, it plays very badly. It's like slow paced. There's a lot of like bow and arrow action. Whereas at least with Ghost of Tsushima, like you get cool samurai action. It's really fast. Like the actual action is fast.

But anyway, I'm not a huge fan of the Horizon games. Playing them, but Lego Horizon Ventures looks really cool. But,

Ben: and the really important thing about this being a Lego fied version of a Sony title is that the Lego fied versions of things are often like some of the first video games that kids play, period.

So that is their introduction to, Batman, that is their introduction to Indiana Jones. That's their introduction to Harry Potter when parents, yeah, when parents [00:26:00] think that maybe the real thing might be a little bit too advanced for them. Or, the idea of someone, falling down dead is scarier than, just Lego bricks, like they're

Devindra: also funnier.

These games tend to be like very comedic, very tongue in cheek. The Star Wars stuff. Like actively makes fun of Star Wars at times, which I think is hilarious. I need to play through those. Like they've done pretty much all the Star Wars movies, right? I need to play through those with my daughter. So this

Ben: is a great idea to introduce kids to one of Sony's like big franchises.


Devindra: man, they should do Lego Lego Last of Us. Oh no! This is such an SNL skit idea. Lego Last of Us would be amazing.

Ben: Oh. Lego Last of Us Part 2, where they try to lego fy the cycle of violence. What is the nature of revenge? They talk about, yeah, exactly. That would be beautiful.

Devindra: Aaron Suporius, Edding Gadget, calls Lego Horizon Adventure maybe Sony's most important game of the year.

Recall that Sony said that they're not going to have any major Basically [00:27:00] like studio titles happening this year. So this is a pretty big one for them. Some other stuff Kunitsugami, Path of the Goddess from Capcom. Yeah, from Capcom looks really cool. And it's like an action fantasy plus strategy game.

Jessica Condit previewed it. She says it feels as luscious as it looks. This is a weird looking game because it's like, it looks like a little bit. Almost Ninja Gaiden Actioner, but also there's like strategy stuff happening at the same time. I have no idea what's going on here, but this thing is coming on July 19th, so that is sooner than most of the games showing off at Summer Games Fest

Ben: yeah.

Yeah, from the screenshot, it looked pretty good. Souls like a little bit. And then I watched a bit of the trailer and I was like, no, this is Bayonetta. But then also what like strategy, it seems like it might be interesting. And if you're interested in any of those genres, then maybe it's two great tastes that taste great together.

Devindra: For sure. We're going to give all these games a Cherlynn scale. So I think the the Lego horizon game, maybe eight out of [00:28:00] 10 on the Cherlynn scale. Okay. This game. I would say zero out of 10, but I've got one for you, Cherlynn. Marvel Rivals, which is a team shooter using all the Marvel characters. I could see you getting into that.

I could see that being a 7 out of 10 on

Speaker 3: the Sherlock scale. It

Devindra: is like Overwatch, except it's all the, like literally all the Marvel people. So Iron Man, Hulk, I don't know, is Hulk blasting rays? I don't know how this is happening. Yeah, Vision also X Men stuff happening at the scene, like within it, from what I can see.

Spider Man's in here, Venom's in here, all the Marvel stuff. In a team thing, I would say,

Cherlynn: what I would play, not a team shooter. I would play a Marvel dating sim. Let's put Iron Man with like vision. Let's make them make out,

Ben: there was, if Marvel were cowards, that would do incredibly well.

Cause I was about to say something about how like Marvel has really infrequently had. A real like blockbuster franchise. Spider Man, I think does some of [00:29:00] the best for them. But if they were brave enough to do a dating sim where you could ship the characters.

Devindra: They did. They did.

Showing you, I think you need to play Marvel's Midnight Suns, which was a sort of like RPG strategy. Is it romance? There are romances within it, there are relationships, so you spend, it is a game where you have to fight big bad guys, but also you spend most of the time at a dormitory, just hanging out with Blade.

And everybody and just hanging out, having conversations for me, that was always like my favorite part of X Men stuff too, of just people talking to each other. So everybody yeah, go check out Marvel Midnight. I want to,

Cherlynn: I want to correct your scale a little bit. I think I don't know about eight out of 10 for the Lego Horizons thing.

I see it being good for you. I see it needed to be like extremely repetitive. Like this dude, hang on. Dude named Charlie in the chat was like Papa's. Pasta Perry or something. Pastaria. I don't know. It's if you put a word like a cute character, like a papa and you give me food like pasta, that's nine out of 10 on my scale.

Devindra: The thing about the Lego games is that they're all very repetitive. [00:30:00] Like it's about collecting stuff and just like very low difficulty things. So anyway, Marvel rivals Matt Smith wrote this up and he calls it like, yeah the biggest threat to this is all the other rival team shooters, like overwatch.

This thing looks cool, but I do not understand how they're balancing the various powers here. So I guess we'll see Matt Smith also covered Assassin Creed Shadow Shadows, which is the one set in Japan. And this one looks really cool. There's going to be a female assassin. Also the legendary black assassin or black samurai Yasuke is featured in this one too.

This game looks bad as hell or like badass in the way that Ghost of Tsushima does. I think it looks really cool. The only thing is, it's Assassin's Creed, and I don't know if we can trust Ubisoft to be super original lately, at least with the Assassin's Creed games. Thoughts? Ben? Zhilin?

Ben: So I remember, years ago, I looked up an article just now, Ubisoft said, In 2014, that they would never do an Assassin's Creed game [00:31:00] set in feudal Japan, but now that Assassin's Creed is basically releasing games, what, every year?

Every two years? So it's become like a 2K franchise. We have Assassin's Creed 2K24, we're finally getting Assassin's Creed in Japan.

Devindra: That's it was the most obvious thing in the world. Come on, we, a lot of us grew up playing Ninja Gaiden and a lot of similar games. Just give us open world, give us cool swords.

That's what, it's, we're begging you, begging Ubisoft to do it.

Ben: And that's what people were thinking about. Early on, they were saying, okay what assassins do we really know about? Perhaps the ones in Japan?

Devindra: Anyway, that looks cool. That looks, and that's also going to be on Apple hardware too.

Apple made a point to point out to show that's going to be running on Macs and also like iPads and stuff too. So this is another example of Apple getting like AAA games. I believe they also got the last couple Assassin's Creed. Yeah. The recent one set in the Middle East was also on Apple devices.

So that's all cool stuff. We actually saw some hardware. [00:32:00] From all these announcements to Microsoft announced. That

Cherlynn: was cool.

Devindra: I don't know if it's cool. Cool to me to see

Cherlynn: like hardware out of a gaming show,

Devindra: it's confusing because what we ended up getting is There's a 1 terabyte all digital Xbox Series X, which is not selling very well right now, but At $450, that's confusing because the MSRP for the Series X is still $500, but everybody has that thing on sale below four 50.

So for the longest time, you could have gotten the Series X for 400, I think at times. Occasionally I saw it's three 50. With a just drive in everything. There's no like hardware tweak for this. They're not making this any faster. So that is really weird, especially as we're hearing about the like.

PlayStation 5 Pro coming out there is a 600 two terabyte special edition Xbox Series X, which is baffling to me because nobody, very few people are buying the Xbox Series X. So presenting an even more expensive one show in. I [00:33:00] don't understand the capitalists more

Cherlynn: expensive. I will say I saw the headline and that's really the extent of it.

I was like, Oh, and all digital series X. Cool. I guess the series S doesn't need to exist anymore. I don't know. And also am I getting this one? Because I don't like to collect discs. I don't, but then you're saying it's more expensive than the, the previous series X.

Devindra: It depends. Like it's more expensive than the like MSRP.

So this is all very confusing. And Aaron Saporas wrote up a great piece about this is a little disappointing because we also saw from the whole Xbox leak stuff, and you can't always take that information, like to be completely legit, but we 500, two terabyte, all digital. Xbox Series X that was codenamed Brooklyn with faster Wi Fi and a lot of stuff and a new controller that had like Motion sensing like doing more stuff like that The DualSense controller is doing now on PlayStation 5 that controller is nowhere to be seen and instead We have a more expensive Xbox Series X that people already were not [00:34:00] wanting from Microsoft.

So that is weird Microsoft did show off like a whole bunch of cool games at their thing. Like we finally saw perfect dark We saw a bit of the new fable It has also been years since those things were announced and those games also aren't coming until 2025, I believe. So again I don't know what a difference is going to make for Microsoft, but so confusing when I look at Microsoft's problems, I'm like just you want to sell subscriptions, man, just make your shit cheaper, get, let people buy your box, and then they will subscribe to your thing.

Nobody's going to buy 600 Xbox. Maybe the weird, like the people who have already bought Xbox series X's may buy another one. I don't know. It's just baffling to me. So just does Microsoft not want the market for Xbox seems soft. It's super soft. My thinking is like Microsoft just doesn't want to lose more money on it.

Cause they're already losing a ton of money in Xbox hardware. So if you Lowr the price, then you're taking a bite out of potential revenues, right? But if you raise the price, then at least like maybe you'll make that up for the loyal fans who are already supporting [00:35:00] you, who are rebuying second consoles.

I don't know. That just seemed baffling to me. Another tidbit micro the Xbox head, Phil Spencer said I think we should have a handheld. I wonder what that means. Are they going to debut something this holiday season? Is that the thing they're really going to want people to push to?

Rather than a box into your TV, maybe a handheld that can be docked like a Switch, or a Steam Deck or something? To me, that seems like a logical path forward for Microsoft, especially if you want to sell Game Pass subscriptions. Yeah. Would you buy an Xbox handheld, Trillian?

Cherlynn: Bye is a strong word.

I will play on one depending on the software, I think. But I don't know. I have an INAO that I borrowed from Sam, I believe. And it's full windows. And after a while, I just basically sitting. Collecting dust. So I don't know that I'm the type of person that will get like a steam deck or whatever.

The steam deck

Devindra: is so much bigger too. So yeah. Okay. Okay. I think we know where it stands.

Cherlynn: I hook it up to my [00:36:00] TV. I think maybe if the Xbox gaming handheld could be hooked up to the TV, like a lot of them can, then I would be more inclined to, yeah.

Devindra: There's no reason they couldn't and right now that's another good use of the Steam Deck because it's like a portable console that you can play handheld, but bring it on vacation, dock it to the TV if you want to, and do some like big living room gaming too.

I remember you liked Arcane, right? Srillin, the series?

Cherlynn: The TV, the show? The

Devindra: League of Legends show? Yes. So we saw a trailer for Season 2? That looks fantastic. It seems like that's going to be the only other season of Arcane, so that looks cool. At least from what we've seen so far, that show takes forever to produce because the animation is so complicated and so in depth.

But I'm looking forward to seeing that. Yeah, folks, let us know what you like from all the gaming announcements. Like I was so focused on Apple. I only saw occasional trailers here and there, but perfect dark look cool. I am playing a bit of I am your beast, which is the demo. That demo is up now on steam and that's from the folks who did that max pain clone recently, which looked, that was a cool game.

[00:37:00] I really enjoyed playing that. And I'm your beast is just cool and stylish and violent and all the fun ways. So podcasts and gadget. com, let us know what you enjoyed from summer game fest and all the announcements recently.

Let's move on to other news. How do you think what do you think Cherlynnn? Currently as of now, I think X is officially making likes mostly private for everybody. Do you think this will hide your shame or do you not care?

Cherlynn: I saw, we were having a chat in the late afternoons, like of the team, the afternoon shift.

And I know that Pranav was like quite upset. He cannot no longer stalk some of the people that he would look at their likes. I think this is helpful.

Speaker 3: Yeah,

Cherlynn: it was helpful. I think it helped you understand what people were like in a way that their tweets or their retweets weren't going to show. For me, I.

Personally don't care. Like I don't didn't care if people saw my likes or not. Like I'm not going around liking salacious or like things. [00:38:00] But yeah, my take on this move is it's obviously protecting the people that Elon Musk wants to protect and himself included, right? What is he liking? The thing that makes me Like pause is like, what if what's what if a social platform, like Instagram starts doing this to hiding your likes, because you used to be able to like stalk people way more easily on Instagram, let's be honest.

And then now it's a bit more like of hoop jumping. And I know that. So all my experience of the internet is through the lens of Reddit, right? And Reddit, there's one that I follow. That's I don't follow it, but it pops up on my homepage. It's the Travis, I'm sorry, the Taylor Swift. And Travis Kelsey sort of subreddit where they're like, look at all the people he follows and look at all their posts he liked.

And I'm like,

Devindra: wow.

Cherlynn: Like it's not

Devindra: crazy. Yeah.

Cherlynn: I don't think it's telling really, I don't know, but it does. It is some data that you're now. That are now being hidden from you. So it is is like free speech, but hide your [00:39:00] shame. I don't know.

Devindra: That's what it is. Like every time Elon is yeah, we believe in total free speech, but also I don't want people to see what I truly believe in.

And the dude has been out there saying I dunno, racist and misogynistic things, and honestly, anti Semitic things at points too. So it's dude has actively supported neo nazis on his feed I wonder what, I almost look, I think like he, he just learned that likes are totally public and that people can hit a button and see everything you've liked.

And then it's just like a line of like porn and weird random stuff and weird racist stuff that he got

Cherlynn: called out. Or caught doing something recently that but the thing is we've all noticed that he does these things stupid like replies and whatnot And so like why is he only realizing now I think someone That he cares about the opinion of told him

Devindra: It's cat turd or whoever like one of those people that that also are Big fans of the former president.

I don't know. It's a very silly thing. Also we saw on the news this week that [00:40:00] Elon Musk withdrew his breach of contract lawsuit against OpenAI on Tuesday. The move came a day before a California judge was supposed to hear OpenAI's request for dismissal for that whole thing. That was the one he thought, he said OpenAI had become like a closed source, de facto subsidiary of Microsoft and was basically using OpenAI to make a lot of money and to license its services.

And he just pulled back on that. I wonder if the revelation about the Apple deal not being fully a thing that is making a ton of revenue could be part of that. But the other He's just jealous,

Cherlynn: he's just jealous Grok isn't getting more.

Devindra: He's all about, he wants to crock. He wants everybody to crock.

There was another report yesterday. The open AI's actual revenue is reportedly booming with annualized revenue of 3. 4 billion. That is, that's a lot of money. Where is that money coming from? Cause it's not just like chat GPT pro subscriptions. Revenue, because Microsoft owns 49%. I don't quite know.

So there's a lot of like weird, shady stuff happening.

Cherlynn: The paid subscription version of chat GPT alone. I don't, yeah. I don't [00:41:00] know if that's enough. It can't be billions. Like it's

Devindra: 20 bucks a month. And also I don't know how many people are actually doing that. Anyway. What did you think of this Sherilyn?

The news that Chrome OS will soon be leaning on the same technology that powers Android. That kind of makes sense. Yeah. Yeah.

Cherlynn: I think it's interesting as to what it implies for the future of Chrome OS. I think we are, we've been waiting so long for this sort of like midway between Chrome and Android OS that could help Google better take on or better make better tablets or tablet software.

That's really all I could really think about. I don't know that it. Specifically

Devindra: right here, Google is saying you will be embracing portions of the Android stack, like the Android Linux kernel and Android frameworks as part of the foundation of Chrome OS. That's interesting, because before Chrome OS was like a Linux foundation plus Chrome, plus a lot of Chrome stuff, whereas Android was always like a Linux foundation, and now they're like Let's just smush the two together a little bit, right?


Cherlynn: feels as if it's building out the OS a bit more, like the Android kernel, the Android framework, that sort of stuff, like in the way it handles, maybe, [00:42:00] notifications or apps, maybe. And then like with Chrome running as a very like browser based sort of OS, like maybe it'll. Be on top of that Android framework even more.

Yeah, but here's the other thing too. Apparently this is going to take some time, but it will according to Google, enable more AI features on Chromebooks

Devindra: or at least enable. Yeah, it'll make it easier to develop because right now, if they want to do that, they'd have to build out the Chrome OS actual software base plus a separate stuff for Android.

And now Google can combine work a little more easily. So that makes sense.

Cherlynn: Yeah, and in the past Chrome OS has adopted quite a few Android features already yes, like I said, more Android app support, and then also the Android Bluetooth infrastructure was also baked into Chrome OS.

I can't tell you exactly when, but, somewhat recently. So yeah, it looks like definitely they want to put more AI in Chrome OS. I'm

Devindra: sure Google folks are looking at this and like, why are we managing two separate code bases for very similar products at times? Like ultimately Chrome OS could just end up being Android running like a full screen, [00:43:00] version of Chrome or something, or a slightly, I don't even know.

I don't even know why it should be a whole separate thing, except Chrome OS was a lot more secure than Android. So maybe this could open up security vulnerabilities. I don't know. We shall see final bit of news this week. And there's so much news this week. So we didn't get to have a chance to do everything, but I saw the news yesterday that Alamo draft house is being bought by Sony pitchers.

That is something

Cherlynn: I didn't know how to feel about this. Honestly I couldn't tell if it was a good thing net or not so great thing. We all love Alamo draft house, but yeah, it's huh.

Devindra: It's a whole thing. So in 2020, what was it? The Paramount decree ended. That was the thing that prevented movie studios from owning movie theaters, because that's how it used to be before the 1950s.

So like studios had direct control over cinemas and the experience of that meant they would like limit which movies could go where, or like really isolate things similar to how some games can only be on certain consoles, like how that all stuff is controlled. So this [00:44:00] is the first example we're seeing of that whole thing kind of Going away a little bit.

It's interesting because Alamo has been in trouble for a while. They declared bankruptcy a couple of years ago. I know their licensees have been shutting down in several states. Like people, people have been also talking about like bad labor practices and something from them.

This will financially help Alamo draft house. Help it survive longer as a brand. But I do wonder what this means. Like how will Sony picture integrations make their way into this chain? Will Sony like block things from other? That's what I was thinking. Other folks. There's nothing stopping them from doing that because the paramount decree is gone.

So that is weird. And I do wonder if we'll see more of that too, because before the whole like Reddit stock stuff happened, like AMC was tanking for a while. Regal was tanking and there was a thinking that in these companies, other companies, movie studios, and other companies may just start buying up theater change because these are big buildings that are already built with giant screens.

There's a lot you could [00:45:00] do with that infrastructure that isn't just Doing studio, studio movies and stuff too. So I guess we'll see. I'm just like really, I don't know, just really hesitant to celebrate this news at all. I know. Let's move on to what we're working on. Are you, is there, are you working on anything for Lynn?

Cause I'm dead right now.

Cherlynn: I am dead, but I have something like four edits on my plate today. So I got a. I got a power through and then and meetings and the work continues, even if you feel dead, sometimes

Devindra: the work continues. That's how it goes. We'll, we have devices that we'll be reviewing soon too.

So it'll, it just, it's an onslaught, like things just come at us folks. But yeah, when you get excited, we're going to reenergize after WWDC and get ready for all the new devices we're expecting any picks for us this week.

Cherlynn: I in the obviously I haven't been like. Doing any relaxing in the last few days, but today at last night, when I got home, I was like, finally, I am in my home.

I feel so good at home. I really like being in my apartment that I meet to order to feel good for me. [00:46:00] Finally sat back and turned on like my guilty pleasure. I saw on Netflix, perfect match season two is on. So I started watching perfect match. It is the trashiest stuff. The stuff that like, there's tLC and ABC and all of those quality, like quality, there's like reality TV. That's there's a standard, right? And then there's Netflix reality. And then there's Netflix reality in terms of perfect match where they basically pull people from their other reality shows, like the circle or love is blind or too hot to handle, and then they put them together in one space, I think it's in Tulum and then have them try to date each other.

And it is absolute trash and I am here for it. You know what I like? I like to watch people be bad or, go through these like struggles of like your self esteem and whatnot, and then psychologically tear them apart, but also compare them to people I know in real life, it is so somehow relaxing for me.

Devindra: It's like a brain massage for you. I get it. It's just it helps you chill out. That's [00:47:00] totally fine. I want to shout out. I've been reading or I guess listening to an audio book, which is how I can define reading at this point. Cause often my eyes are too tired to read cause I'm reading stuff all day.

But during our trip to WWDC and afterwards, I have been listening to the audio book for tomorrow and tomorrow. Have you heard of this, Cherlynn? No. This is a novel by Gabrielle Zevin. It's about two friends who bond over a love of video games and end up running a video game studio together.

But it's also, this novel about friendship and platonic love and romantic love and also finding a place for yourself in the world when you feel like the world is not meant for you to I think it's really fascinating and moving. It gets a little over the top at the end, but this is something people have been talking about recently because it is a, it is not like a tech centered book, but it is something that is well aware of like the culture of video games and what it means for us and how Things are built.

So I think you'd enjoy this one, Sherilyn. It's definitely going to become some sort of Netflix, I dunno, series or movie. I think a [00:48:00] movie is being planned. I know the rights were sold, but this thing is so like long and I wouldn't say quite epic, but it's about life. It's about a journey of life between friends.

And it would be really hard to contain this in like a 90 minute or two hour movie even. But anyway, I'm enjoying the audio book. I got that from Audible. But the book itself I'm sure would be a fun, easy, breezy read tomorrow and tomorrow. If you're listening to this show, I think you'd probably dig it.

So check it out. It's by Gabrielle Zeman.

Cherlynn: That's it for the episode this week, everyone. Thank you as always for listening. Our theme music is by game composer Dale North. Our outro music is by our former managing editor, Terrence O'Brien. The podcast is produced by Ben Elman. You can find DaVendra online at

Devindra: DaVendra on Twitter.

Wherever. Blue Sky, Mastodon, all over the place. And I talk about movies and TV at thefilmcast. com.

Cherlynn: If you want to send me some examples of mind numbing games or TV shows, like anesthetic for my brain send them to me on Twitter. I am at Cherlynn Lo over there. [00:49:00] Or on threads at Cherlynn Instagram, or just email CCHER at Engadget.

com. Email us your thoughts about the show at podcast at Engadget. com. Leave us a review on your favorite podcast platform and subscribe anywhere you get platforms, anywhere you get platforms.

Devindra: Yes. Thanks folks. We're out.

Cherlynn: Microsoft.