The Weekly Authority: 👋 Sayonara Stadia

Google Stadia controller on table macro

⚡ Welcome to The Weekly Authority, the Android Authority newsletter that breaks down the top Android and tech news from the week. The 214th edition here, with plenty Pixel news before next week’s event, a farewell to Google Stadia, deepfake Bruce Willis and more…

🍰 It’s International Coffee Day today, so what better day for the new coffee and cake deal at my local coffee shop? The only question is, pumpkin spice or gingerbread latte?

Popular news this week

back of pixel 7

Google:

  • Loads of Pixel news: Google Pixel 7 specs leak, and we also saw a leaked spec sheet for the Pixel 7 Pro. Both look like iterative upgrades.
  • Speaking of, Amazon may have accidentally revealed the Pixel 7 price.
  • Meanwhile, Google officially showed off all the Pixel 7 colors in a new design video, and later in the week, a new Pixel 7 leak gave us the best look yet at the front and back in all colors.
  • And two exciting Pixel 7 features were just confirmed by the Google Play Console.
  • Here’s what to expect from Google’s Pixel 7 event, happening next week on October 6.
  • A Pixel Watch was spotted early at Target, a week before Google’s Pixel event.
  • We also heard about a Pixel Watch randomly attempting to pair with someone’s phone at a mall.
  • Speaking of, Google suspiciously makes Pixel Watch bezels smaller in new video, following last week’s video showing thicker bezels.
  • And here’s an update on what the Pixel Watch costs for the Wi-Fi model.
  • An error is preventing some people from using Google Wallet, and we’re waiting on a response from Google.
  • And there’s a fix incoming for the Google Photos image corruption issue — your original photos aren’t impacted, phew!
  • Finally: Google Phone app appears to be testing a new ‘bottom bar’ in-call UI on Pixel phones

Movies/TV:

glass bruce willis
  • Movie legend Bruce Willis becomes first celebrity to sell rights to deepfake firm: The actor has sold his rights to the possibility of a “digital twin” to be used onscreen for future projects to US firm Deepcake.
  • HBO Max releases The Last of Us trailer to bring more gamers to the streaming service: The first full trailer gives us a glimpse of Pedro Pascal as Joel and Bella Ramsey as Ellie.
  • The Witcher: Blood Origin debuts December 25 on Netflix: British actress Minnie Driver is part of the prequel cast, with Michelle Yeoh starring as Scian, the tale’s elven protagonist.
  • Speaking of Netflix, here’s why Netflix’s Dahmer series has sparked a backlash online: Some say it’s retraumatizing for the victims’ families.
  • Here’s our pick of the best new streaming shows and movies this week, including season three of Ramy, Australian horror-comedy Sissy, and the return of the Sanderson sisters in Hocus Pocus 2.
  • Meanwhile, Breaking Bad creator’s next series will stream on Apple TV Plus, still untitled but starring Rhea Seehorn (Better Call Saul).
  • Check out the creepy trailer for Attachment, starring The Killing’s Sofie Gråbøl as a religious, highly protective mother, coming to Shudder in 2023.
  • And since it’s spooky season, we’ve ranked Sam Raimi movies, including classics like The Evil Dead and Army of Darkness.
  • An AI program voiced Darth Vader in Obi-Wan Kenobi so James Earl Jones could finally retire.
  • Finally: Mashable’s Catherine Called Birdy review asks, “What happens when Lena Dunham makes a movie for kids?”

Gaming:

Google Stadia controller on table
  • Google is shutting down Stadia, surprising pretty much no one — all hardware, software, and DLC purchases will be refunded, and the service will remain live for players until January 18, 2023. Is this the right decision for Google? Vote in our poll and let us know.
  • Meanwhile, Netflix to open first studio focused on creating original games, based in Helsinki, Finland.
  • Razer Edge 5G is a new Android gaming handheld with 5G support: It also packs Qualcomm’s Snapdragon G3X Gen 1 silicon.
  • The alleged GTA 6 leaker has been formally charged by police: The 17-year-old was also arrested earlier this year for hacking Nvidia and Microsoft.
  • E3 2023 returns in June with separate business and consumer days: June 13 to June 16, 2023 are the dates for your diary.
  • Oxenfree II: Lost Signals is delayed until 2023: Developer Night School Studio says it needs more time to make the sequel “truly special.”
  • And PlayStation Stars launched in Asia: The platform’s new loyalty program lets you earn loyalty points and digital collectibles, with the former being redeemable for PSN funds and more. We’re expecting a launch in more markets next month.

Reviews

apple iphone 14 pro deep purple

Ryan Haines / Android Authority

Features

  • The Nexus 6P was the blueprint for Google’s Pixel ambitions — “It’s been seven years since the Nexus 6P launched, and for all its hits and misses, it has left an unmistakable imprint on the future of Google’s smartphone ambitions” (Android Authority).
  • I’m in a love-hate relationship with the iPhone 14 Pro’s always-on display — “I love how Apple’s always-on display looks, but there’s no doubt in my mind that Android does it better” (Android Authority).
  • Not all bots are bad, and Twitter knows it: “Automated accounts are the target of ire and the linchpin of Elon Musk’s attempt to break his deal with the platform. But some are benign — or even helpful” (Wired).
  • Content moderation is changing how we speak — and dictating who gets heard: “Le dollar bean, unalive, and seggs: The new internet lexicon serves the algorithm but not those who need it most” (Mashable).
  • Inside the documentary cash grab: “THR talks to Alex Gibney, Ken Burns, and other filmmakers about rising costs, ethical lapses, and the very soul of their profession” (THR).

Weekly Wonder

Norman Reedus and Lea Seydoux in Death Stranding.

Did you know that Stadia turned down the opportunity for an exclusive Death Stranding follow-up?

  • Before Google started winding down Stadia Games and Entertainment, a little over a year after Stadia’s launch, it was reported to be working with quite a few well-known developers on Stadia-exclusive titles.
  • This included projects with companies such as Harmonix, as well as big names like Hideo Kojima and Yu Suzuki.
  • According to 9to5Google, Kojima was working on a Stadia-exclusive follow-up to Death Stranding.
  • The original game launched in 2019 was an asynchronous multiplayer game and a PlayStation exclusive.
  • The proposed sequel would reportedly have been single-player only, with some reports suggesting it would be an “episodic horror game.”
  • And it looks like that might be why Google canceled Stadia’s Kojima collab, believing there wasn’t the market anymore for single-player experiences.
  • The game had reportedly received initial approval from Google and the early stages of development had begun.
  • Phil Harrison, Stadia’s General Manger, made the final call to scrap the project shortly after the first mockups were shown in mid-2020.

Would a Stadia-exclusive title from Hideo Kojima have saved Stadia as a platform? I guess we’ll never know, but given that the original game spent four years in development, the follow-up may never have launched before Stadia’s demise…

Read more: Killing Stadia makes me trust Google less

Tech Calendar

  • October 6 @ 10 AM ET: Pixel 7 launch
  • October 11 @ 1PM ET: Meta Connect Conference (new VR headset?)
  • October 11-12: Amazon Prime Early Access Sale
  • October 12 @ 10 AM PT: Samsung Developer Conference
  • October 13: Pixel 7 on sale? (TBC)
  • November 8: Skull and Bones release date on Xbox Series S/X, PS5, PC, Stadia, and Luna
  • November 9: God of War: Ragnarok launches on PS4, PS5
  • November 15-17: Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Summit
  • November 18: The Dark Pictures: The Devil in Me launches on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, and PC

Tech Tweet of the Week

Did Optimus learn its moves from Musk?

Have a hauntingly good week!

Paula Beaton, Copy Editor.

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