Apple argues, once again, that it has a right to enforce its rules and that it’s not being anticompetitive. Apple claims Epic has benefited in many ways from the partnership and Fortnite’s placement in the App Store and that a 30 percent commission on in-app purchases is a small price to pay for those benefits. Apple alleges that Epic is doing all of this to advertise Fortnite and that Epic has sacrificed third-party developers, who use its Unreal Engine to build 3D games and other programs, to advance its own interests.
“This lawsuit (and the front-page headlines it has generated) appears to be part of a marketing campaign designed to reinvigorate interest in Fortnite,” the opposition states.
Apple claims interest in Fortnite dropped by nearly 70 percent from October 2019 to July 2020, and that Epic is “a saboteur, not a martyr.”
“The only reason third-party Fortnite players and Unreal Engine developers are threatened by this commercial dispute between Epic and Apple is because Epic is sacrificing them to advance its own commercial interests,” the court document reads.
These fire comments don’t immediately change anything. They only suggest that Apple is preparing for a fight. Next, Apple and Epic are scheduled to appear in court on September 28th.
Microsoft is releasing a non-subscription Office suite in 2021
In a blog post announcing the next version of its Exchange Server, Microsoft has slipped in a single line that’s bound to make those who hate paying subscription fees for Office apps happy. “Microsoft Office will also see a new perpetual release for both Windows and Mac, in the second half of 2021,” the tech giant’s Exchange team wrote (as spotted by Windows Central), confirming that a new version of Office you can purchase with a one-time payment is coming next year.
The company has been pushing Microsoft 365 for years now as the main way to get its Office apps. This subscription-based version of its suite gives you access to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and other apps for a monthly payment. While you can use some of those apps for free online with a Microsoft account, you won’t be able to install them on your PC like you’d be able to if you pay for a subscription.
Microsoft’s Xbox Series X 1TB expandable storage priced at $219.99
Microsoft’s first 1TB expandable storage drive for the Xbox Series X / S will be priced at $219.99. Best Buy has started taking preorders for the accessory, revealing a final price that had leaked recently. These expandable storage cards slot into the rear of both the Xbox Series X / S to match the internal SSD speed and provide 1TB of extra storage.
Microsoft’s expandable storage solution is proprietary, and only Seagate has been announced as a manufacturer so far. Microsoft tells me more suppliers and additional sizes will be available in the future, but the $219.99 price will still surprise many potential next-gen Xbox owners.
The Xbox Series X ships with 1TB of SSD storage, and the Xbox Series S just 512GB of storage. Microsoft’s pricing means the $299 Xbox Series S jumps to nearly $520 if you want to add the additional storage and bring it up to 1.5TB overall. That may make the larger Series X more appealing to those who need the storage, particularly as games will start to require it once they’re enhanced for the Xbox Series X / S. Games for the Xbox Series S can be 30 percent smaller than the Series X, which will certainly help with storage options.
An alternative to this expandable storage is simply using any USB drive to store games when you don’t need to play them. If they’re not enhanced for Xbox Series X / S then you’ll even be able to run them direct from USB storage, or you can simply copy them and use drives as cheaper cold storage.
It’s difficult to judge the price of these expandable storage cards, simply because there aren’t enough comparable PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSDs out there. Sony has chosen to allow players to slot their own drives into the PS5, but these drives will need to meet the speed requirements of the internal SSD. Those speed requirements mean that PS5 owners will need the very best PCIe 4.0 NVMe drives that are starting to make their way into PCs. Samsung announced its 980 Pro earlier this week, which looks like it might be an ideal candidate for the PS5 due to its fast read and write speeds. Samsung’s 1TB option for the 980 Pro is priced at $229.99, but Sony has not yet revealed which drives will be compatible with the PS5.
The benefits of Sony’s more open approach is that pricing on compatible PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSDs will inevitably drop over time due to competition and lower manufacturing costs. Assuming Sony certifies most high-end drives, there should be a lot of options. Microsoft will need more manufacturers producing its expandable Xbox Series X / S storage cards for competition to take place and prices to be lowered over time. It’s going to be a waiting game to see exactly how Sony and Microsoft handle expandable storage options in the coming months, but it’s clear from Microsoft’s pricing that it’s not going to be cheap for early adopters.
Seagate’s 1TB Game Drive for Xbox Series X, Series S costs $220
At this price (and with no other sizes or manufacturers available so far) adding storage to the cheaper console costs two-thirds of the system’s price. If you’d like to have some extra space to install those launch-day games, then you can pre-order the 1TB Game Drive for Xbox Series X and Series S right now and have it ship on November 10th.
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