Tech news roundup - October 5th, 2023
Unity pricing changes made some waves. X made changes again. Xbox documents leaked. New Pixel phones revealed.
Unity pricing changes
Unity Technologies, the company that has created the Unity engine, announced a Unity Runtime Fee on September 12th, 2023. Here’s the announcement: https://blog.unity.com/news/plan-pricing-and-packaging-updates
This made some big waves around game development communities, because this new fee was supposed to be based on game installs. The original plan was that per each Unity game install, the game developer / producer, would have to pay a fee to Unity Technologies. The fee would have applied only if the game had made a certain amount of revenue, and it had been installed a certain amount of times - based on the Unity license in use. The personal license was included among all others, to have the fee. The fee would have been even retroactive, and Cult of the Lamb developer announced on X, that they would delete the game on January 1st, 2024, when the fee was supposed to become effective.
So it is safe to say, game developers weren’t happy about the new fee.
But, on September 22nd, 2023, Unity Technologies posted an apology letter on their blog: https://blog.unity.com/news/open-letter-on-runtime-fee
They are not removing the fee, but they made changes to it. The personal license is now free of the fee completely, and no game with less than $1 million in the past 12-months would have to pay the fee. Also the fee applies only starting from the next Long-Term-Support version releasing in 2024. They also made some detail changes to how the billing is actually made: it is either done based on the revenue, or amount of new game installs - which ever is the smaller dollar sum.
Here’s their own summary of the matter: https://unity.com/pricing-updates
To me it still sounds complicated, but at least they listened to the feedback.
X stopped showing headlines of shared articles
X no longer shows the headline if you share an article in a post. Here’s what the new style looks like:
The text you see above the image is the actual post text, and there used to be a auto-generated headline below the image, which grabbed the articles headline from the source.
Microsoft’s plans for Xbox refresh leaked
Plans for a mid-life upgrade of Microsoft’s current Xbox line leaked from FTC vs Microsoft case (related to Microsoft’s attempt to acquire Blizzard). The Verge published some of the plans, which included a round, discless version of the current Xbox Series X: https://www.theverge.com/2023/9/19/23880111/microsoft-xbox-series-x-new-design-refresh
Arstechnica reported that Xbox boss Phil Spencer later said, that the plans are outdated: https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2023/09/xbox-exec-says-leaked-old-emails-and-documents-have-outdated-info/
Google announced new Pixel phones
The new Pixel 8 phones have Google’s latest Tensor G3 chip, that help run machine learning models on the phones. According to Google’s blog post, this chip is used especially for videos and photos: https://blog.google/products/pixel/google-tensor-g3-pixel-8/