HP & Lenovo Chromebook to Support Steam; Sony Unveils Playstation VR2’s Design; GM Asks US Approval for Self-Driving Car Sans Steering Wheel; Amazon Grocery Biz-Like Expensive Hobby?

HP, Lenovo, Acer, & Asus will apparently be the first makers to release gaming Chromebooks. Arstechnica.com reports that a code change suggests vendors are working on a Chrome OS that will support the vast Steam gaming system. Google had previously said (back in 2020) that it would bring Steam to Chromebooks. These won’t be the dirt cheap, entry level Chromebooks that many schools purchase. The base prices for the units expected to get Steam usability already start at $489 to $650. They will likely be in the $1300-$1400 range tricked out for gaming on Steam.

Sony has bowed the PlayStation VR2’s design. It sticks with the black and white color scheme of the PS5, and keeps the family resemblance with the original VR headset. According to theverge.com, one really welcome feature will be a lens adjustment dial. The new generation also has a new vent design, and a slight weight reduction. It supports haptic feedback, eye tracking, 4K HDR, at up to 120Hz frame rate. the VR2 has a 110 degree field of view, and connects to a PS5 with a single USB-C cable. So far, no pricing or release date, but since the design has been locked down and showed, expect those soon. 

The Cruise division of GM has formally asked the NHTSA for permission to put the driverless Cruise Origin into commercial service. Arstechnica.com says the filing notes that the car is “a zero-emission, shared, electric vehicle that has been purposefully designed from the ground up to operate without a human driver. This means it does not rely on certain human-centered features, like a steering wheel or a sun visor, to operate safely.” Yep…you read that right…NO steering wheel! The vehicle has coach seating, with passengers facing each other, and is intended for use as a driverless taxi…primarily on city streets. Only 3 weeks ago, Cruise started taking sign ups for people who want to ride in a driverless car in San Francisco. This as their manned vehicles continue to comb the City by the Bay with their mapping and data vehicles, which are all Chevy Bolts. As I was crossing the street in SF last week, both a Cruise Bolt and one of the Zoosk matte black Lexus SUVs crossed the street in front of me.  They’re everywhere!

You would think with their delivery business Prime Now, Fresh, Go, plus Whole Foods, that Amazon would be raking it in by now from their sizable grocery business. Well, CNBC reports that it just isn’t so at this point. Amazon’s combined grocery businesses, including Whole Foods, only come to 2.4% of the grocery market over the past year. For comparison, Walmart has 18%. Analysts, including Jake Dollarhide, CEO of Longbow Asset Management, quipped that “It’s almost like the grocery business is an expensive hobby.” It remains toe one business that isn’t primarily cloud based or logistics as Amazon’s other businesses are. That’s true of Amazon Web Services, e-commerce (the original business), and entertainment. That said, it appears that Amazon is in for the long haul…a strategy that looked stupid years ago with AWS…until AWS became their monster cash flow business.



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